Wednesday, January 30, 2013

:: Mystery note

It had been a tough day.  My reactions to the kids had been... well, if you were gonna be kind, you could call them "less-than-patient", and I was feeling terrible at the way my anger had gotten the best of me.  Multiple times.  I never thought I was an angry person... till I had kids. 

My only hope was that in genuinely apologizing to them, and telling them "I am so sorry.  Mommy doesn't always do the right thing.  I need God to help me, too", that they would see this example of imperfect people needing the Lord's help.  And as they get older, they would know how to apologize themselves, and ask God for his transforming power in their own lives.

Children are such an example of God's forgiveness. 
Offered so quickly. 
So graciously. 
So freely. 
Later that day, after they were all in their beds and the house was quiet, I went to my bedroom to fall (exhausted) into bed, and I saw this on my nightstand:

Only one of my children can write that well so far.  (But I LOVED that it was a mystery note.)

Emotionally spent from a long day filled with my own failures - I sobbed. 
And I begged God to make me slower in my responses, "not quick to anger, but abounding in love" more tomorrow... and the next day... and the next.  It's amazing how recieving grace does that.  Gives you hope for tomorrow.  And the heart to try again.

Monday, January 28, 2013

:: Blessings (Handmade - part 4)

I have a very dear friend from my childhood.  I think I met her when I was about 5 or 6.  We grew up together, went to church together, and lived within walking distance of each other's families.  Now she and I no longer live in the same state, and even though we are thousands of miles apart, we find we have very similar tastes.  A few months ago when she was here visiting, as she looked around my house for the very first time, she told me she just painted her kitchen "almost the same color as yours!"  I think she is the only friend of mine who just might like red and aqua as much as I do.

These potholders were my first attempt at a more modern strip-piecing technique.  It was super easy, and a fun way to use scraps.  Just lay 'em down, sew 'em together, and then trim 'em all to the size square you want.  Fun, easy, and a more updated look than a traditional patchwork block.

The backs are even scrappy.
I'm excited to for her to have a bit of a Colorado friend in her Maryland kitchen.

As I was making them for her, it made me realize why I like sewing for other people.  Because while I am creating something, I am thinking about the person I am making it for.  Thinking about what I like about them, funny memories, and sincere conversations.  And in that process - in those quiet moments of me sitting at my sewing machine - my heart is blessed.
I love you, dear friend. Thank you for blessing me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. Inspired by SouleMama
. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

:: Life on subfloors

We take a break from the Handmade series, to give you:  Subfloors.  Painted.
As many of you know, I currently live on subfloors.  In our house, we haven't had money to put in nice flooring yet, so we have opted to live on painted subfloors (as least you can mop them and get them clean!) rather than nasty dinning room carpet.
A few months ago, one day while my man was at work, I decided the carpet in our master bathroom had to go. I enlisted the help of my 2 oldest children, and that carpet was history. Gone. (And nope, I didn't call Josh first. Better to let him find out once the deed's been done!) The kids helped me pull up all the tack strips, as well as all the staples used to hold down the padding. But that's as far as we got that day, and I never got around to painting it.
This past weekend I gave my dinning room floors a fresh coat of paint.

 ...and was motivated to prime and paint the bathroom while I was on a roll.

please excuse the Insta photo
The weather was beautiful, the older kids played outside, and Blaize sat beside me, chewing on whatever he could find.  (the strings on my shirt... a fingernail polish bottle...)

...the Sam's club pack of toilet paper.  Yeah.

I buy a few gallons of "oops" (mis-tinted) paint at Home Depot, mix them all together, and that's the color we get.  Very cost effective that way. 

Watch out!  You may just want to give it a try. It's addicting.  =)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

:: Dresses for the girls (Handmade - part 3)

Right before Christmas, I got the idea to make up dresses for each of my 3 girls and my niece, Alaina.(but I gave hers to her before I got a picture!)  The pattern I used (McCalls 6311) was one I had bought this past summer at Hobby Lobby when it was on sale for $.99, and never got around to using. 
And boy do my little ladies love dresses.  Not only for the feminine aspect (such as twirling), but dresses are much more comfortable on chubby bodies than stiff jeans.  In the winter they layer them over a long-sleeved shirt and leggings, which also looks adorable.
For Hannah and Audrey's, I put gathering in at the waist.
 I changed it up for the older girls, and put pleats in Ellie's (and Alaina's - not shown).
Come summer, I bet I will be using this pattern again.  =)
L to R: Hannah, Audrey & Ellie

Monday, January 21, 2013

:: Travel hand sewing kit (Handmade - part 2)

The other morning as I was sitting down to start my quite time and coffee, I looked over at my beloved stack of reading stuff, and was compelled to snap a picture.  I'm noticing a trend in my life...  It's sad.  Even all the kids, when asked what Mom's favorite color is, don't hesitate but quickly say, "Red and Aqua" (like it's one color together).  On the bright side, at least Josh doesn't have to guess what color I'd pick.
But back to the matter at hand.  Continuing on with our series of  recent sewing projects...

My newest love this week is making hexigons, using the paper piecing method.  In order to learn how to do them, I looked up a few tutorials online.  Now every night after the kids go to bed, I've been sewing hexi's. I've fallen hard. 
Last week on Instagram I saw a picture of this travel sewing kit, and was thrilled when I found Amy's great tutorial on her blog!
That girl, she thought of everything... little pockets for paper templates, finished hexi's, fabric, scissors, needles, and even a place to keep your spool of thread from rolling away.  Some people are so tallented.  I love to copy them.

The whole time I was making mine, I kept thinking how much fun it would be if I had a friend I could make one for.  Someone who would love it (and use it) as much as me.  These adorable things are just begging to be shared. =)

Friday, January 18, 2013

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. Inspired by SouleMama
. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

:: Christmas come and gone... (Handmade - part 1)

Hannah's doll bunk bed
Wow.  I can't believe January's half-way over, and I'm just getting ready to show you a few of our projects.  So as not to overwhelm you with pictures, I will try to divide them into a series over the next few days.

So.. where was I?  Oh yes.. Christmas...  Josh made these 3 adorable doll bunk beds for the girls.  We found the free plans on Ana White's amazing website.  (more on that later)  They fit their 15" Bitty Baby dolls, as well as Ellie's 18" American Girl doll.

They were inexpensive to make, just some cheap pine, and a few coats of paint we already had leftover. 

Audrey's doll bunk bed
Ellie's doll bunk bed

I made mattresses using some fabric I had on hand, using this pattern.  They were quite easy.  In all, I think each bunk bed cost about $10 to make.  And the girls loved finding them at the end of their scavenger hunt Christmas morning.

The Handbuilt Home: 34 Simple Stylish and Budget-Friendly Woodworking Projects for Every Room
Side note:  Ana White has HUNDREDS of free plans on her website!!  And she just came out with this book, The Handbuilt Home.  I rented it from our local library and IT. IS. AMAZING.  I think I would love every piece she has in it!  (no, I'm not paid to say any of this) 
I also finished a duvet cover I was attempting to make. 
 I found a screaming deal on a comforter awhile back. We loved it when it came in the mail, but unfortunately for me, when I began looking to buy a cover, I realized why it was such a good deal. It was not normal dimensions for any standard size covers... Long story short, I made one. Let's just say it wouldn't win any ribbons at the fair, but at least it works. =)
So there's a few.  More tomorrow...

Modern Pearls Quilt Along - Week Four (the finish!)

Good Morning, friends!  It's the fourth (and final) week of our Modern Pearls Quilt Along, and this is where all those 9 patches start t...