Here's the whole "Wizard of Oz" gang dressed up for Halloween! Clockwise from the tallest we have, Glenda the Good Witch, Dorothy, The Wicked Witch of the West (she wouldn't let me put green make up on her but she made one cute wicked witch!), the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow.
Miss Abbey didn't have a candy bag so I made one for her and she received so many compliments about it. I didn't get a good picture of it, but if you look closely you can see it above. I used a sweet owl fabric and the same ribbon from the scarecrow costume. At every house she came away declaring, "I got candy!". This was her first year to really "get" the whole trick or treating and it was so cute how surprised she was by the candy. Now if I can just keep her out of it.....
Then there was the Wicked Witch of the East - the one Dorothy dropped a house on. Remember her? Abbey thought it was great fun that I dressed up in the same costume as she did. She declared me the little witches' mom...I like that much better. We were able to piece most of the costumes together from our dress up box at home, a few pieces came from the thrift store (scored Dorothy's costume for $1) and the lion costume was made by me. I love the way the mane turned out!
The Fall banner is finally up! It's been a busy day in photoshop for me, but not before we spent lots of time in the fabulous fresh fall air with friends. There is something so relaxing about sitting around with good friends talking while our children run around like crazy kids playing around us. Plus, it usually means a nap for at least one of them come afternoon (and mama too).
Check out these Fabulous new wet bags from Bummis!
Also new in the shop are the newest additions to the Bummis diaper covers. You really have to see the Super Stars prints in person to really appreciate their sweetness. All my girls went "Awe" when we unpacked them. We will definitely be pulling one of each color (sage and lemon) out for our new baby. That's right! Baby "Six" is due next Spring. Everyone is so excited and I'm starting to feel much better now that the first trimester is behind me. That means more energy which is very much needed to keep up with five girls.
Speaking of cloth diapers, we are sponsoring a giveaway over at the Walk Slowly, Live Wildly blog. Sara is an online friend of mine (but hopefully when she visits TX next we'll be real life friends too) - she did a wonderful post on her blog about using cloth diapers and organized a giveaway for a few cloth diaper goodies. So if you want to learn more about using cloth diapers (these are not your mama's cloth diapers - no more pins, plastic pants, or yuckiness!) then head on over there. I like how she described learning about cloth and how if it interests you to jump right in. It can be overwhelming with all the choices out there these days, but it is so easy once you just do it! There is nothing like the softness of a cloth diaper wrapping your baby's bum. Once you get started, you'll never go back. I'm always available to answer questions - it's what I do - so don't hesitate to ask anything - there isn't a question I haven't been asked. I can't wait to pick out some new diapers for our new baby and I'll be sure to post back on my favorite newborn diapering "system" soon. Sara's is just about the same as mine so go on over and sign up to win some cloth diapers!
Be back next week with some pics of my Halloween gang! Can you guess what they will be? Just follow the yellow brick road...
Boy - it's been a long time since I've been in this space and believe me, it's not from a lack of wanting to be. You know how life takes those twists and turns, throws you up in the air and back down like a roller coaster ride? That's how it's been around here the past month. Luckily, all is well here with my own little family, everyone is healthy, happy and thriving. A nice young man asked me this week in the hospital elevator if I was going to see a new baby....sigh, oh how I wished I could say yes. It was obvious from his beaming face and coffee in hand that he was indeed a brand new dad. But no, I wasn't going to see a new baby, I was going to see an old man - my dad. For a man who hasn't seen a doctor in years, one fall has led to many medical interventions and a series of back and forths to the hospital. He's on the smooth part of the roller coaster ride right now though and we hope he's on the road to recovery finally. I told him today - no more midnight rides (to the hospital that is).
In the midst of the medical drama, Fall has arrived here in south Texas and it is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! This has to be my favorite time of year - perfect weather - clear blue skys - and pumpkins! For the past two weekends I've made pumpkin muffins for breakfast and I'm still tweaking the recipe to get it just right. The first time wasn't spiced or sweet enough and this time it was a bit too heavy on the molasses. They were both yummy though...just not perfect. Maybe the next batch will be and I'll post my recipe then or if you have one you love - let me know.
So we had a few birthdays since the last time I blogged and I promised a picture of the twin's presents - book slings! I saw these in an etsy store a while back and knew they would be perfect for the girls to keep their nightly reading (you know - those books they are supposed to read at night but can never find), ipods, magazines, small treasures, etc. It was easy to figure out how to make them and I made them reversible so they can have them on a fun bright fabric or a solid fabric (with monogram and pockets). I just saw that Meg over at Sew Liberated posted about her son's book sling too - so go take a peek!
Enjoy your week!
This is an important announcement so please listen carefully. Today, outside in my front yard, at the end of the driveway, something absolutely wonderful occured. I felt a cool breeze! Aren't you excited?! I can't remember the last time there was a cool breeze here in TX, so this is big...no huge! We've finally broken the 100 degree records, it has rained this weekend (we are in the worst drought ever recorded) and there is a cool breeze. Sounds to me like Fall is coming. The rainy weekend was perfect for sewing and I did sew - but I can't show it to you just yet. What I made is all wrapped up for two little girls who have a birthday tomorrow. So I'll show you that soon. In the meantime, here's something else I finished - the Weekend Sewing Summer Blouse.
I had such fun sewing this blouse up as a friend made one along with me. If you don't have a sewing buddy, get one! I really like the fabric I used for this blouse (it's cotton gauze from Heather Ross' Far, Far Away line). I wouldn't use a quilting cotton for this shirt as it would be too stiff. My ingenious friend found some light airy cotton in the form of a thrifted sheet which worked out to be perfect for this shirt.
The Weekend Sewing book has so many great ideas and I love that about the book. However, there are a lot of errors (from cutting out pattern pieces to the yardage needed for a project), so before you sew from it, please go check for the errata page on Heather Ross' blog or go to the Weekend Sewing flickr group discussion board.
Some of the changes I needed to make included: (writing these down so I can use them later!)
*Needed 2 to 2.5 yds of fabric total for the Medium size
*Cut the shirt length 3" longer than called for. Next time I'll cut it 4" longer or make the hem shorter.
*I didn't use double folded bias tape for the neckline, only 3/4" single folded bias and this worked out fine. I think the neckline would have been too thick with double folded.
*Shortened the placket by 4"! It would have been way to long otherwise. I still sewed up the bottom a little with a fancy zig zag stitch so it wouldn't gap open too much. I read that the hand sewing on the placket would often come undone in the first washing so the machine stitching is more durable. However, I've found that washing all the clothes I've made on the delicate cycle and then hanging them to dry or only drying in the dryer to get the wrinkles out works best. After all that handiwork, who wants it to be ruined in the washing machine?
Now for the giveaway information! Fun! We're delighted to offer up a Moby Wrap from our store for a giveaway over at the Vegan Family Inc. blog. Sheri brings a whole new outlook on eating vegan and I love her new blog. I get lots of ideas on feeding a family with healthy snacks from her so go check it out and be sure to enter the Moby Wrap Giveaway while you are there!
Remember Blossom from the 1990's sitcom - the fun loving teenager who had a best friend named Six? The actress that played Blossom, Mayim Bialik, was featured recently on a show talking about her parenting approach and discussing how she is raising her children. When Jeff came home from work yesterday, he wanted to show it to me since he knew I would find it interesting. Here's the link in case you'd like to watch it yourself: http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/goddess/spotlight-to-nightlight-mayim-bialik-from-teen-icon-to-unconventional-mom/270?nc
We do all these things she mentions too - breastfeed & co-sleep with our babies, wear them in a sling or wrap, cloth diaper & ec (elimination communication), homeschool and attachment parent. So why are all these things called being an unconventional parent? Everything about them seems perfectly normal to me and many other parents who are raising healthy, well adjusted children. It makes sense to me to feed my baby the way God intended her to be fed and to keep her close to me so I can meet her needs.
In all sense of the word, I am a "full circle mother" because I didn't always parent this way. My first born took the brunt of my mothering newness and as number two and three came along (together I might add), it finally made sense to me to stop questioning myself and to just mother the way I wanted. We stopped shopping at Babies R Us when we (slap across the head) finally realized that babies only really need three things - loving parents, a mother's breast and some diapers. Okay, a few clothes are nice too and I couldn't live without my sling or wrap after having several children so maybe that's five things.
I wish society would stop treating us as being unconventional and see these common sense ways to parent as being "normal". Yesterday I saw an ad on tv promoting breastfeeding (www.breastmilkcounts.org) so maybe things are changing. Maybe when my girls are mothers it will be normal to breastfeed their babies. Baby steps...baby steps...
While the weather here hovers in the 100s still, it makes for perfect sewing weather inside. I've finished a couple of projects and crossed them off my "to-do" list - not a chore list at all, but a fun "I can't wait to get to them" list! Most of the time, my mind moves faster than my hands so there will always be a list going on! This is the pillowcase that I found thrifting - a cute yellow gingham - that I brightened up with some ribbon and a pocket. The project that my friend is working on, "Little Dresses for Africa" is still in the works. She hopes to finish collecting the dresses by the end of September so there is still time to make some more! The girls particularly adore little embellishments like pockets.
I had one more thrifted pillowcase, so I made a second dress for my Abbey. The white is so summery!
With this one I practiced using the embroidery function on my sewing machine. So pretty! Her favorite color is purple!
This next pillowcase dress I actually made last year for Allie, so it's more of a shirt this year. This is not a thrifted case, but rather a family pillowcase that was passed down to me many years ago. My mother always kept it in the linen closet and wouldn't let us use it. Then she gave it to me! Once I found a pillowcase pattern I liked, I knew this one would make the perfect dress. Just look at those details! I think this was made by a great-grandmother. Much better than sitting in a closet forever.
Up close of the details:
I do something similar to this pattern by just cutting out an armhole by making a gentle curve. You can finish the armhole with bias tape, ribbon or sometimes I serge the raw edges then just fold it inside by topstitching. I like to use a casing at the top with some elastic inside to make the fit just right. Add some pretty ribbon and embellishments of your choice and your done!
Our favorite thrift store in town is open Wed-Sat, thus making Wednesday the ideal day to shop since they have been closed for a few days (and restocking). It's part of our Wednesday routine now to stop into the thrift store to see what new "treasures" we can find. Thrifting is alot like treasure hunting but here someone else's trash becomes someone's new treasure. Everyone has their favorite sections - Allie & Abbey head to see if there are any new Barbie's (because I will only buy used Barbie's - they break too easily), Melissa first checks the luggage area (because she wants a tote like this one) then she looks at the books, the Twins pretty much look over all the toys and stuffed animals, and I head to the housewares. Little glass plates that are prefect for dessert for 20 cents a piece are my kind of find. Or a cast iron skillet that just needs a little tlc - $5. Score!
Here's our loot from our last visit:
A dehydrator for $15 (not sure if this is a good one or not - anyone know?) but I've been wanting to make some homemade snacks like these yummy (and healthy) cookies I saw posted on the Green and Crunchy blog so I was super excited to find this. Two pillowcases for $1 each to make some little pillowcase dresses (love the ruffles on the ends here) and two sweet little books about the "Five Little Peppers" for 50 cents.
Looking forward to next week's hunt!
After our anniversary Saturday, Jeff graciously took over Sunday by helping in the kitchen, cooking dinner and keeping the peace with the girls. I love it when that happens! He's a fantastic cook and brings me food - what girl wouldn't love that? With all his help, I was finally able to spend some time at my sewing desk making a few outfits which have been lined up for a while now. Allie really loved the mermaid fabric by Heather Ross and wanted a skirt made with it.
So this is what came out of the sewing room Sunday:
Of course we needed a shirt to go with the skirt! I was thrilled to try out the embroidery feature of my sewing machine for the first time. I used Jona's (Stop Starting and Start Sewing) cute trick with the sleeves and they were super easy. Allie loved the whole outfit - especially the ruffles.
I had a little extra fabric so I quickly made up a little halter dress for Miss Abbey to match her sister's new mermaid outfit. I love sewing without a pattern - it reminds me of my Great Aunt Elizabeth and the sundresses she used to make me when I was a little girl. She could whip out a dress in the blink of an eye and never used a pattern. There's something about just letting go and being creative when the project is patternless - so much fun!
I had to do a little bribing with the lollipop so I could take her picture. This girl is serious about her lollipops.
How cute are they?
That's how old I was when I met him, today it's how many years of marriage we are celebrating. We were just kids when we started dating in high school - he was a senior while I was a junior. Growing up together has given us more perspective on our life together I think. We are able to remember back to the carefree days of running about on the river in his boat then heading back to get ready to go out to dinner. Just the two of us, spending time talking all day and playing in the sun. He told me once while we sat together on the bow of his dad's boat watching two porpoise play just off the front of the boat that he wanted to marry me someday.