Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time to tip things back in balance after the holidays

This Christmas was a special one.   The first year that Brooke really understood what was really happening and the first year she was truly animated about it.  We watched Christmas movies, sang Christmas songs and I actually enjoyed wrapping Christmas presents this year (that's a first ever!).

Christmas card photos were such a blast this year since you could actually get her to pose without feeding her food and snapping shots at the same time, just hoping that you got something in the process.

The owlet sweater I made her was perfect for our Christmas card photos.  She looked so great with her little brown boots and her red and white striped leggings.  Not sure if it gets any cuter than this?  But I say this every year and some how we seem to pull off another great card the following year.   Just glad I have a cute subject to photograph.  This photo card was designed using the Stampin Up MDS software.  This was the first time I have made a digital card or even played with the software.  It was fun, but a little sad. . I do love the paper and stamp cards . ..I just did not have the time with all I had taken on with making gifts this year.

Still, I would highly recommend the software.  It is just like working with paper and stamps. .without the paper and stamps.  They have all the paper, stamps, eyelets, punches, etc that they offer in the catalog all at your fingertips.  And rather than the preset cards they have online, I can design my way!

How could you not love that face!

Now on another note. . .finding balance again.  I love the idea of making all my gifts, it really does truly make me happy. . .but not getting it all done timely makes me feel awful.  Starting earlier in the year in my game plan for next year.  I made so many things that I didn't have time to photograph before gifting them away.  Bummer :(

My felted carrots looked good enough to eat so I did good on the felted food front.  

I made my first bucket hat (free pattern by Oliver + S) came out great.  I even made one as a gift.  But I didn't get a photo of this before gifting away.  I think I will make more as gifts and Brooke will need a few more for the summer.  The pattern is fairly easy and it has a really nice professional look to it.

And Brooke's expression on Christmas morning after I had been at the sewing machine for hours on end proved completely worth it.  
She said "Thank you Mama for all the presents.  Mama you are so proud of me." 

I am proud of you Sweet Pea. . .my cup runneth over :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas gifts weeks 5 & 6 . . .

The past two weeks have just been incredibly SUPER busy.  Between trying to get all these pajama sets done (and photograph them), my office Christmas party, the Christmas card photo shoot for our Christmas cards, and then the normal work routine and raising a 2 1/2 year old . . .just crazy.

I will say that I am enjoying the thought of Christmas so much more since I decided to make my gifts this year rather than buying them.  There is just something so much more organic about making your own gifts that really represent the spirit of the holiday giving season.  I find that even though its stressful to get them all done, the act of personalizing each gift is so much more rewarding.  I hope that my daughter will always enjoy them.

When I got to this set of pajama pants I decided to go with a different cuff.  I decided to use the technique that I used from the lady bird pink dress so that you get more of the cuff pattern.  You do lose a slight bit of the length on the pants but maybe a 1/4 inch I think.  I like the look much better!  I actually have many more pairs finished.  I just haven't had time to put them in front of the camera.  I am hoping to today.

I also finished the owlet sweater for Brooke to wear in our Christmas card photos (will post photos later).  I love this pattern (Katie Davies - you can find on revelry) but this time I knit it in a bulky weight adjusting the pattern size to get the size I wanted based on the gage.  So I knit the baby size in a bulky and got a 2T.  The yarn is Cascade Lana Grande in a off white.  I also chose to knit a two by two rib for the neck to make it a turtle neck sweater rather than a straight neck.  Gives it that warm cozy winter feeling I think.

Red buttons for the Christmas season.  

So excited about this sweater!  The photos came out amazing and were so much fun this year.  Keeps getting better every year.  

The one thing I did have to give up this year is making my own paper cards.  There is just not enough time and something has to give.  So this year I used the MDS from Stampin Up to design my own digital card.  Its a digital card . . .but at least it is my own design.  I like it and will post later.  I am now eagerly awaiting for them to arrive in the mail so I can mail them out.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Gifts: Week 4

 Christmas gift prep week 4 has come and gone.  And with all the other things I had going on this week, this has been a rather productive one.  I managed to finish one carrot with 4 more on the way and close to being complete, two pairs or pajama's, and one cowl.  Woohoo!!!  And considering I took off an entire day to bake 3 batches of chocolate chip cookies, 2 batches of brownies, 2 batches of scones, 2 loaves of cheddar dill bread, and 2 loaves of pumpkin bread . . .hey I deserve the superwoman award this week.  (aka . .Deer Camp prep)

But anyway, I love this carrot!!! The more felt things I make the more I fall in love with this whole idea.  They look so realistic and are a much healthier toy choice over plastic.

I also finished another pair of pajama pants this weekend.  These are for my niece Emma for Christmas.  Size 12 months from the Oliver + S pattern.  This is the best pattern.  Quick, easy, and fun!

These are for my other niece Shyla for Christmas.  I actually went on a cutting rampage yesterday and cut 10 projects, 8 being pajama pants so I will have lots to work on this week.  Its a short work week (2 days) so there is plenty of sewing time in my time budget.

And finally the cowl I started last week.  Came out great.  Love the colors.  I am now working on a owlet sweater for Brooke for our Christmas card photos that I plan to take this coming week.  Almost done but I need to make mittens too . . .eek!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christmas gifts: Week 3

 Week 3 turned our to be a very busy and exhausting week.  With the elections going on me being out of town for work . . . .not a big accomplishment week.  But the good news is . . .its a three day weekend so I can make up a little time.  The above dress is the "Pink Dress" which I blogged about here  Very simple dress sewing wise but is extremely eye appealing otherwise.  I highly recommend it.  Pattern sizes range from 1 year to size 8 so I will be able to use this pattern many times over the next few years.

 This dress is a Christmas present for my niece Emma.  She will be a year old in may and its her first Christmas.  I made the dress a size two so she will have plenty of room to grow.  Fabric was great buy at Joann's on clearance along with the trim fabric.  With a coupon . . .this might have cost me $5 to make and I have some leftover fabric to play around with for bags.
And I have pulled out the knitting needles again for some needed projects.  This cowl I made back in April of 2012 and blogged about here  Simple one skein that looks quite elegant when complete.  I also have a white owl sweater in the plans this week and red mittens for the Christmas card photo shoot coming up for this years cards.  No out of town plans this week so I will be forging ahead with my Christmas present plans.  Can't wait for next weekend. . .my hubby is giving me a sewing day in the middle of deer season!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Christmas Gifts: Week 2

Week two of Christmas gift prep and I have one completed project, one almost complete project, and a few more started.  

The completed project consists of four juicy red felt tomatoes.  They look almost yummy enough to eat!  These were quick and easy projects to make.  I could put one together in an hour watching television in the evening.  The pattern came from the book"Big Little Felt Universe".  Lots of cute projects in this book and I have also found some cute patterns on Etsy that I also plan to make.

The almost complete project is the "Pink Dress" pattern in blue paisley for my niece Emma for Christmas.  I am so close to being done. . .just need to sew the collar piece down and it one more in the finished pile.  This is also a great pattern that I will use over and over.  Posted more about this pattern here:

After finishing the tomatoes I started a felt carrot from the Bugga Bugs pattern that I found on etsy.  I have the carrot sewn and stuff but I still need to add the leaves.  I just love it!  Its so cute!  Brooke said we need to go and put it in Papa's garden.  So I guess it looks pretty real.

And finally, been putting this off for a while but the quilt for my niece Emma's crib to match the baby bumper I made this summer.  I need to sew on the binding which I was going to make but decided to buy for ease since the fabric my sister chose was a little thin to provide a strong binding edge.  But now that it is getting cold I need to finish this. . .it's pretty easy I just need to do it.  So here it goes!  Not a Christmas project but a project that needs to be off my list!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Christmas gift prep: Week 1

Week 1 of Christmas gift prep.  This week I chose to stick with something easy since my work week was busy and my husband was also out of town for work.  Oliver +S pajama bottom pattern from the Bedtime Story pattern was a perfect choice.  Consists of three pattern pieces and I can put one together is an evening . . probably two in an evening once I have the pattern down.

 The first pair I made from some clearance flannel from Joann's.  Cute but hard to photograph.  The pattern is very busy and I had a hard time getting the focus right.  The photo is still blurry and I tried several didn't ways with several didn't setting and this was the best I could get.  Now when I made the first pair I didn't surge anything but I did with the second pair and will from now on.  I really like the surged finish.

  Really like this pair.  I surged the edges, changed the cuffs and this flannel is softer and drapes better.

 The second pair I did the bottom cuffs in a different flannel from a fat quarter I got last year in CT. 

 I would have done the waist band too but I couldn't get the band unless I pieced the fabric together which I just didn't feel like doing.

The second project I started this week was the felt food for Brooke's kitchen.  I have several patterns to get done before Christmas.  I am trying to squeeze at least one or two of these felt projects in a week.  

This one was pretty easy to make using a CD as a pattern and then beads for sprinkles.  I really like the felt . . .much better than plastic.  Not bad for a busy week one . . .this week could be good or bad. . .with Hurricane Sandy on the way I could be stuck at home without power or I could be slammed at work . . .hard to tell.  Just going with the flow.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rhinebeck. . . .what a great day :)

 We went to the annual Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool last weekend.  What a great day!  Weather was perfect, Brooke had a great time, got to spend time with friends. . .what else could you ask for right?  As with tradition I spent the weekend with a close friend in CT so that the morning of the festival it was just a short drive.  I also asked a co-worker to go with me this year, so the trip down the day before was much more relaxing for me.  A four hour trip in the car with a 2 year old is definitely much better with a co-pilot.
This year it was absolutely perfect for taking some truly great shots of Brooke.  And I actually took about 150 shots total . . the trick I find with a 2 year old is to shoot fast and frequent and in the end your average is pretty good.  I delete a lot but with digital. . .who cares right?

Brooke was so funny about our trip this year. . .all week long she asked me if we were going to see the sheep today.  And every time I told her, it got a little short . . .in a few days sweetie, in another day pumpkin. . . tomorrow we get to see them. . .each time her little face would light up more and more.
 Its just amazing how fast she is growing.  I am very lucky to be able to capture these moments and freeze them in time.  
Oh how we waited so long for Sheep kisses xoxoxoxo
 This was also the perfect opportunity to take some photos of her in the "in-threes" cardigan that I knitted a few months ago.  It looks great with a jean skirt and a pair of brown boots just as I had imagined.  The fit is nice and she has some room to grow.  Size is a 2T/3T so I should get two years out of it.  Woohoo!
 Yarn is cascade superwash . . .about 1.5 skeins.  Now I am not a big fan of superwash but it is nice right now with the growing messy-marvin in the house.  
 I also really like the three different color buttons.  They are bright and fun and can be mixed and matched with different shirts.  

What is next on the agenda. . .well its getting to be that time of year again. . .prep for Christmas.  I have many Christmas gifts lined up.  First in line is the Oliver & S pajama pants for Brooke in a few different flannel prints.  Then the Oliver & S bucket hat for Brooke.  The list is really long. . .better get going on it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Infinity obsession

I think I am officially obsessed with making infinity scarfs.  And maybe this fabric above too?  I just bought some more to make place mats for my dining room table.  It's not high quality fabric but I love the print and with a Joann's coupon a scarf cost me $4.70 to make (1 yard of fabric).  You can't go wrong with that.  These scarves are also easy to do projects that take no time at all.  I made both of these this morning while my daughter was still asleep.  

This one is a striped knit fabric that I also purchased at Joann's.  Cost is about $6.80 with a coupon.  Because of the way this fabric is cut I had to cut four pieces and use three to make the tube.  The fourth I think I will use to either make Brooke a scarf or a maxi skirt.  But this one was fun as well.  I love stripes!  I might have to get some more of this and make a matching maxi skirt :) Stylish!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A few quick sewing projects

 Two very quick sewing projects.  Above 1.  Pillow cases using two yards of fabric and Amy Butlers pillow case pattern.  In just over an hour I had two new vibrant pillow cases.  I love them!
And 2.  An Infinity scarf using 1 yard of fabric and 1 hour to cut and sew.  Goes great with a long black jacket, jeans, and pair of brown riding boots.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall . . .my favorite time of year :)

We went on our first of two annual apple picking trips last weekend.  We always go to Douglas Orchards in Shoreham, VT.  Had a great time this year!  Brooke is another year older and we can actually pick apples with her and not worry as much as we did last year.  She listens much better and really likes to help and mimic everything we do.  It's so cute and fun. 

 We are sporting some piggy tails this year too.  Although keeping them in her hair is a challenge.  At this point during the day, it was my third attempt at keeping them in.  She is fast too. . .I put them in and turn around and the next thing I hear is . . ."mama look I have two hair ties". . .ugh again!

 Now the trick this year is getting her to pick the apple's from the trees and get them into the bag without sampling each one.
 We love apples!
 Nothing like a bag of Vermont Mac's.  And even though we are about 15 minutes from Hick's Orchard in NY . . .we have a rule in our house. . .no out of state maple syrup or apples. . .Flewelling rule!
 My handy helper!
 And my two photo hams:)


 Our traditional pumpkin/tractor shots. . we have done these every year since she was born.

And of course Apple Pie!!!!

 Dough recipe - from the back of King Arthur's perfect pastry flour and the inside recipe from King Arthur's Favorite Apple Pie recipe via King Arthur's all purpose baking cookbook.
 and it was good:) - need to bake another pie this weekend.

And finally. . .fall knitting is in full progress.  My Rowan Tweed Honesty sweater is coming along nicely.   I love the colors and the pattern is challenging enough where I have to pay attention a bit but not too much.  Just the right amount.  I have another 10 cm until the back is finished.  I am loving knitting from my stash . . .feels good to use some of this yarn that has been sitting around for years.  

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