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Posts Tagged ‘family’

I know I really shouldn’t complain.  As far as winters go, this one has been fairly mild.  I guess I just wasn’t expecting the huge snow storm that rolled through here a couple days ago.  I’m not usually one to lounge on the beach, but right now all I want to do is dig a hole for my every growing belly and lay face down in the sand.

For now, I suppose I must be content to sip my tea and look at the bright snow from the comfort of my warm office, with the little one dancing happily in my tummy.  Only 17 weeks until I get to see her beautiful face!

Are you looking forward to a change of season?

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Today is my dude’s birthday, and what better way to start than early morning pancakes, coffee, and of course presents before work?? 

I am not the only crafty one in my family.  Mike is crafty in all sorts of ways, but lately he has been talking a lot about woodworking and making toys for our little one.  I got him the Complete Manual of Woodworking, and Making Toys that Teach to get him started.  The Complete Manual has a great section on hand tools, which is why I settled on this book over the many others about Woodworking.  We don’t have lots of money to buy all the power tools that some people use.  Making Toys that Teach has some great beginner’s projects that will be great for a baby/toddler.

I love the idea of our baby enjoying toys that Mike and I made.  And, I am even more happy that Mike will enjoy making the toys.  Our little one will be born to a great father who is already in love with her.  Happy Birthday Dude!

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Weekend Fun

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great holiday weekend, if you celebrate Thanksgiving, or just a great weekend if you don’t!  We had family visiting from California last week, and we definately enjoyed the festivities.  And can you believe it is now less than a month to Christmas??  This is one of my favorite times of year.

This weekend we travelled into the mountains to choose the perfect Christmas tree.  This is my family’s first time doing this, and we had a blast.  The sun was out, the view was beautiful, and there was only a minimal amount of snow covering the ground.

We finished decorating our tree last night, and it looks great.  I love having a fresh tree to look at and enjoy in our living room…it makes the whole house smell delicious!  To celebrate our accomplishment, Mike and I had a glass of eggnog, some peppermint candy, and watched Elf.

In light of the new future addition to our family, Mike and I are trying to get some family traditions in place so that we can continue them when we have the little one.  I am really interested in hearing your holiday traditions!

Are you enjoying the holidays yet?  Do you have any family traditions that make the holidays special?

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I know that it is still early in the season, but the Holidays are getting closer and closer.  Its time to start thinking about gifts for friends and family.  If you are thinking about making a gift for someone, I have put together a list of all my tutorials as a place for you to get started.

Stormy T-shirt Make or buy a simple t-shirt and spruce it up with this applique and embroidery

Paper Flower Mobile Craft this simple flower mobile for some beautiful home decor or to be used as a wand for an imaginative little girl…experiment with different colors of paper and sizes

Magnolia Shirt Detail Make this neckline detail for an otherwise boring store-bought tank

Grill Tool Carrier Summer may seem far away, but it will be back before you know it!

Reversible Water Bottle Holder Put together this handy water bottle holder for fitness and outdoor gurus

Gardening Apron By Christmas time, spring will be just around the corner…Make a cute apron for a gardener you know.  This apron could also be used as a traditional kitchen apron.

Flower Headband This headband is super quick and easy, and is so cute!

Chunky Necklace This necklace is very inexpensive and simple to put together, but it looks like a million bucks!

Lei Neckline Dress up a simple top by adding this feminine neckline

Bread Linen/Cloth Napkins Monogram some beautiful linen to wrap around fresh-baked bread for the home baker, or use these as napkins for your eco-conscious friend

Corsage Neckline Add detail to a store-bought top

Scrap Tote Sew this simple tote to be used at the market

Emboridered Bookmark A bookmark is the perfect gift for a book addict

Baby Blanket If you have extra time, try your hand at printing on fabric and sew up this beautiful blanket for a baby or expectant parents

Eyeglass Holder Upcycle some old sweaters and make this eyeglass holder, very easy on the pocket-book

Binding Tape Make some patchy binding tape for a sewer, and pair it with some other sewing goodies, like buttons, ribbons, and other trims

Messenger Bag Make this messenger bag for anyone who needs to tote around a lot of stuff…this project is fairly time-intensive, but the results are worth it

Hair Pins This is a quick project that any girl will love

Yo-yo Table Runner This project will take care of all those little fabric scraps you have hanging around.  Make one in Christmas colors, or to match the recipients home decor

Knit Cuff If you don’t have much experience knitting, this is a great project for you…it takes very little time, and very little yarn

Simple Jersey Dress This is a great dress to make because it takes very little time, and it will fit almost any woman, add to that the elegant silhouette and you’ve got yourself a perfect gift

Wrapped Gift Cards If you don’t have time to make anything and find yourself last-minute scrambling to find a gift, get a couple giftcards and wrap them in this unique way to make the gift more special

I hope this list inspires you!

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Today I’ve decided to show you that I’m not the only crafty one in my household.  Look at what Mike made for me for our anniversary yesterday!  Isn’t he talented?  On the inside he made a little coupon that can be pulled out to redeem my gift!

Mike and I both have an inability to wait to give each other their presents.  I think when we find a perfect gift, we want to see the joy on the other person’s face when they see it.  We usually end up exchanging gifts the night before a big event because we just can’t wait any longer.  It is the same with Christmas…in the days leading up to it, we slowly begin to open the small gifts from each other, once a night until we get our last big present on Christmas.  Its very fun.

Back to the card…can you believe this envelope that he made?  He cut out the paper and then stitched the sides with thread to close them up.  Lovely!

I know that this is a little unrelated, but I have a quick question for you all…have you ever made your own face wash/lotion?  I have had a terrible time moving out to Colorado, which has a much different climate from where I grew up.  I can’t seem to find a good lotion or face wash that mosturize my skin enough.  Do any of you have any suggestions?  I found this awesome site, and I was thinking about giving some of the recipes a try.  I’ll let you know how they turn out!

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My mom’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago.  It is emberrasing to say, but remember me making everyone’s gifts for Christmas?  Well, my mom’s is still not finished.  It is going to be a blanket, but has proved to be a much more time consuming project than I originally thought.  So, for her birthday, I wanted to make my mom something special that she could actually have right away, and not have to wait months to have it delivered.

You might recognize this fabric as the plaid linen I used to make my skirt.  I thought the fabric would make a beautiful set of bread linens.  Bread linens can be used for rising bread, and for storing fresh baked bread.  Cloth can also help keep bread fresh just a little bit longer.

I also made two smaller cloths, about washcloth size.  I’m not exactly sure what they can be used for…I guess I originally had washcloths in mind, but they may work better as cloth napkins.  Below I have instructions for these, as well as the pattern for the monogram, if your name happens to start with a “D”, hehe.

Today would be a perfect day to craft these and make the switch to cloth napkins for Earth Day!  There is much less waste created, and they can be thrown in with any old load of laundry you might have going.

The sad end to this story is that despite my good intentions, I still didn’t get these done for my mom before I left.  I did finish it on the plane though, and they should be on their way to my mom’s house tonight!

You will need:

  • 100% linen fabric, cut into 15″x25″ pieces for bread linen, or into 10″x10″ pieces for napkins
  • matching thread
  • contrasting embroidery thread
  • needle
  • this “D” cross stitch pattern, or find one from here that you like

Sew a zig-zag stitch along the edges of the fabric at 1/4″.  Fray the edges by pulling individual strands of the fabric, until you reach the zig-zag edge.

Cut a piece of embroidery.  You will see that the strand has six or so threads that make up the whole.  Divide the piece of embroidery so that you are only working with three strands.  Cross stitch your initial onto the lower right corner of the fabric.

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I spent the weekend with my family, sorting through my grandparents’ odds and ends.  They actually passed away in Spring 2007…it has been 2 years.  At the time, they lived in Palm Springs, CA and we had already spent months with them, caring and supporting them in the last few months of life.  It was amazing to see the time and effort my mom and aunt spent with them, giving shots, cleaning them, talking with them.

I remember the day my step-grandpa passed away.  He was staying at home and all of us girls were there (my mom, aunt, sisters).  He had been having a pretty hard time breathing, and sometimes went whole minutes before gasping for air.  It was morning and I went to take a shower.  I was almost done when someone ran in and told me that grandpa had died.  We spent the morning crying…I’m not really sure who took his body away or when.  It was all kind of a blur.  My mom must have taken care of those arrangements.

Later on that day, we visited my grandmother in the hospital.  She had just been diagnosed with leukemia and had started chemo.  We were all dreading the question, “How is Ira doing?”  I didn’t know how to answer, and so my mom did.

We had three more weeks with Grandma Cole.  In the last few days I stood by her bedside, alone.  I didn’t really know what to say.  My thoughts went to the people who try to say last words to comatose loved ones, and then to the people who criticize them for trying to get those last words in.  What do you say to someone who won’t ever be able to respond?  Do they hear you?

We tried going through all of their stuff after they passed away.  We managed to do some of the important things, like my grandmother’s jewelry, but in the end it was too overwhelming.  We had some friend come and help us stash everything in boxes, left in a storage yard, not forgotten, just put on hold for a while.

It was strange going through everything.  So much has happened since everything was packed away.  And yet, everything from that Spring came back to me as we studied each item and tried to decide whether to keep it or sell it.  We unwraped a box of china that had been stored much longer than everything else…it was still wrapped in paper from 1960.  It made me wonder if my grandfather and I share some of the same thoughts and reflections, separated by 50 years.  It also made me think about the future…my kids going through my treasures when my life is over.

One thing that I keep going back to is my mother’s strength.  Her ability to keep going back for more boxes until the job was done, just like in life…she takes care of the important things, even if they are difficult.  Caring for dying parents.  Taking care of the body of a loved one.  Saying what needs to be said.  Opening the door to years of stored memories.  My mom is one tough cookie.  I hope that I can provide that for my kids.  I love you mom, thanks for being you.

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This past week I visited my hometown in California.  It turned out that our last-minute trip was actually perfect timing…it was my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary!  As we were leaving their anniversary party, my grandma hugged me and whispered, “Only 59 more years for you two!”  My grandparents’ life together is an inspiration and a testimony that love can last a lifetime.  I look forward to spending the next 59 years with Mike.

My grandma and my mother were the first people who really got me into crafting in the first place.  I was reminiscing with my mom this weekend about my favorite dress…made by her for Christmas when I was young.  It matched my sister’s!  I also remember going to my grandma’s house to make aprons and gifts for my family.  She taught me how to sew and embroider.  I like to think that my grandmother made the dress she is wearing in the picture above.

This weekend I also went to the Huntington Gardens with my mom, sister and aunt.  It is so beautiful I just can’t describe it!  Besides the natural beauty of the place, there are many details that I enjoy taking in.  Maybe I will use them for some inspiration for future projects.

Oh, and did I mention their greenhouse!?  If only I had the room for one of these babies!

That’s my sister, Allison, with my Aunt in the background!  We had such a great time together.

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