Friday, April 27, 2007

Maybe Someday for Chloe???

Today is a day full of emotion. I am angry. I am sad. I am irked. I am perturbed. I am disheartened. I am dismayed. But most of all I am just plain disappointed. Mostly in myself, I guess. For its my own fault, really.

Last night I started sewing on my matching skirt to Chloe's dress. It was coming along nicely. (and quite quickly, I might add) It was beautiful. I loved it. The fabric was gorgeous. The design of the skirt was perfect. (flouncy, to be precise) I envisioned all the places and times I would wear this skirt. I was in a dream. Ohhh...

But then, as I was sewing the seams of the skirt, a horrific knowledge crept into my consciousness. The skirt appeared small. I paused. As I began recalling certain things I had learned about patterns while making Chloe's dress I knew I was in trouble. Deep and serious trouble. I looked at the pattern and it said "Misses sizes 8-18". Quite understandably I thought myself to be a size 8, since that is what I wear at the store. I am a Misses size 8. Well, it would appear that the good people at Simplicity think the word "Misses" means something entirely different than I do. Apparantly a "Misses" size 8 fits around my thigh. Would that mean "Misses" actually means "child"? Because this dress would probably fit a child size 8...not an adult.

I measured my waist and it would appear that I am a size 20!!! Now I know there is no way on God's green earth that I am a size 20!!!! I may not be the same size I was before I had Chloe but there is no way I am a size 20! Something is seriously amiss with usage of the word "misses". Either the department stores have it wrong...or the Simplicity pattern people.

I took a picture of the skirt.

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See?? It really is a beautiful skirt. I went ahead and sewed in the zipper. (which I did a very good job for my first zipper, if I do say so myself) I am debating giving this away to someone with a girl this size...or putting it in Chloe's dress up chest...or even saving it for Chloe to wear someday. What should I do with this? I hate to not finish it. I do NOT need another WIP around here.

It looks as though I will be heading out to Jo-Ann's again this morning. Because when I get an idea in my head, it must be carried out, right? I MUST have a matching skirt for Chloe's dress. Who could go to the Ladies Spring Banquet and not have matching skirts??? (everyone else but Anna...that's who!) So let's hope they have enough of the fabric I need and that I can find a reasonably priced pattern that I like.

So, off I go. We will venture out in the rain and wet slicky muck that is outside to get the correct size of pattern. (it would really have helped if they had a picture of the pattern on the size of person it was intended for. They shouldn't rely on me to measure myself. No. That is unreliable)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

She's Not an "Out of the Box" Type of Girl

Nope! Ever since Chloe learned to crawl she possessed this fascination with boxes. Small boxes, big boxes, rubbermaid tote sort of boxes...even suitcases. Basically, if she can climb in it, she will. And she giggles the whole time. I don't know what is so funny about it, but she finds it hilarious. I end up playing along with her and giggling too because it really is quite comical.

Today she emptied out her "Little People" tote box and carried it to the perfect location (perfection is all in the eyes of the toddler in this instance) and then climbed in. Sometimes she just sits in it. Sometimes she brings in toys with her and plays. Sometimes she walks around in it...or even has one leg outside and one inside and walks around the edges like that. (this is a fairly new skill since she was previously too short to accomplish this)

Today she layed down inside and put the lid on top of her.

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Every day I say "this kid cracks me up" and she really does. You should have heard the giggles. Oh my!!! You would have thought someone was blowing raspberries in her armpits or something. (that is the most ticklish spot on her body. You want a giggle??? Blow raspberries in her armpit) She about lost it when I opened the lid a tad to peek in and say "peek-a-boo".

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In other news, I am almost done with Chloe's dress. I am writing this post as an attepmt to stall on it. The only thing left for me to do is sew in the zipper. I have NO CLUE how I am going to do this. The directions are a tad vague...I guess they are assuming a begginer seamstress would have chosen a pattern that said "Easy" on it instead of one that includes sewn-in seams, gathers, pleats and such. But since when have I ever done anything the easy way??? My mother used to get frusterated with me because I always liked the difficult things. I couldn't start at the bottom like everyone else. Nope. Not me. I always choose something difficult and started there. Guess that means I am "out of the box" too??

So, I thought I wouldn't show any more pictures until the "revealing" but I got a good one today to show you. Just sort of a preview of something. I learned how to sew on lace...that was fun. I love lace. It was much easier than I thought it would be too.

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I still haven't figured out this tension thing. Oh well...the dress is almost done and I am quite proud of it. Wanna know what makes me giggle besides watching Chloe lying inside a tote box?? Seeing a cute dress that I have just made, knowing I have made it and yet being amazed at myself for having just made it. That makes me giggle with glee to myself.

We went out for lunch today with some friends. Guess what I tried??? I had a bite of my very first "real" crab cake. I had one before at one of those chain restaurants and it was HORRIBLE. The one today was awesome. I loved my bite. (I didn't order it myself out of fear...and it was a little pricey for something I wasn't sure I would like) So we had some ourselves for dinner tonight. (the restaurant is literally like 2 minutes from our house) I didn't enjoy eating a WHOLE one though. It was huge and VERY fishy tasting. Don't get me wrong. I adore seafood. I can't get enough of it. BUT...this was a little too fishy tasting. I don't know how to explain it. I know...I'm weird. What can I say?

I helped out at the church today setting up for the Ladies Spring Banquet that is on Saturday. That was fun. I didn't do much. Kind of hard with a toddler running around wanting to dance on all the formal dresses we were using for decor. (we are having a fashion show) Well, guess who called me this evening? The pastor's wife. Do you have any idea what she wanted??? Do you??? Let me say that I am a bit of a shy person and I don't like the "spotlight" on me. NOW can you guess what she wanted??? Okay...let me tell you...

One of the models cancelled for the fashion she wanted me to take her place. WHAT???? But...I said yes. It is my act of worship to the Lord. I will be wearing a "tea length" dress. I haven't seen it but let me explain something to you. This is a "mock" fashion show, right??? So...let your imaginations run wild with what a "tea length dress" could encompass. I caught a glimpse of some of the "outfits" in the dressing room at church. There was a dress with golf balls attached all over. Another dress incorporates a garden hose with a watering can for the purse. I am afraid. VERY afraid. But hey! If it brings someone closer to the Lord...bring it on!!! I am ready for service!

I am off to read up on zippers. Have a great evening everyone!

Magical Somethings

It is due time I posted about this fantastic swap we had over on my forum and the wonderful things I recieved from Around74. The fabulous Magic Ball Swap. I have to tell you...this was the most fun swap I have ever been a part of. I have found an evil twin residing somewhere within my being during this swap. She cackled and he-hawed while winding the Elephant Egg for Angeleyes, but I put her in her place and made Angeleyes a second ball to hopefully make up for my naughty twin's misdemeanor.

So, without further ado, I present to you not one but TWO magic balls. (and some other equally exciting things not contained within the "magical" realm.)

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First, let me say...isn't that the cutest card??? Around74 always sends the cutest cards. I love this one....

Anyways, I waited for Chloe to wake up from her nap the other day before we began the unwinding of the magic. I thought she would particularly enjoy that part. I was right...a little bit. Daddy helped her for a minute or two and she thought it was neat.

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I even got this cute picture of the two of them...and I am going to do something special with it but more on that later.

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She got tired of pulling the yarn and started playing with her bunny in that picture. Then off she ran until I finish unwinding her ball. Toward the end I called her over and showed her that there was indeed something of interest in this yarn. As soon as she saw Ariel, that was it! She HAD to have it!!.

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This is eveything that was in her magical yarn ball. (with the new yarn ball beside it)

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And now for my ball.

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It is so fun to unwind the yarn and find treasures inside. Around72 sent me some size 80 thread in different colors (gonna maybe try a doily in this??? Think I can do it???) and a tatting shuttle (or what I believe to be a tatting shuttle since I have never seen one in person. This will go great with the "learn to" book she sent in the package. It has a learn to tat section!!), and some "normal" pink thread, some pink and red varigated Sinfonia Cotton yarn (YUM!!! Have I ever mentioned that I adore Sinfonia yarn? Oh, I Did??? Okay. Nevermind.)and a Vintage inspired measuring tape (just gorgeous...just gorgeous. And the perfect size too) and a little pink vinyl bag (perfect for Barbie sunglasses and shoes, I think) and last but not least...the cutest little pink picture frame with beadwork around it. I would like to put that picture of Chloe and James (up above) into it for my sewing room. Wouldn't that be just so sweet? I could look at them for my inspiration whenever I am in there working.

Thank you so much Around74. You are such a dear. I appreciate everything you sent me. (and that sweater thing on the front of that cover is now on my WIM list. Yes it is. Don't know when I will get to it, but I can see myself wearing that)

Today I am off to decorate the church for the Spring Banquet on Saturday. This is going to be the best Spring banquet ever. I am almost done with Chloe's dress too. I think I can get it done today and then start on my skirt tomorrow. The skirt shouldn't take me too long. It actually says "Easy" on the pattern. Now if only this dress didn't have a zipper. I am not looking forward to that.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Feeling Flouncy!

I like that word. FLOUNCE. Isn't that a delightful word? I have been daydreaming of "flounce" like things for the past 2 hours. Here is what a REAL flounce looks like...

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I am getting along quite nicely so far on this dress. (minus the whole tension problem which I have yet to solve. A commenter shared an idea about the bobbin tension that I am about to go try...I'll let you know how that turns out.) Anyways, while making and hemming my flounce, I got lost in a world of daydreams. Sometimes words will do that to me. Send me off into a "what could be" sort of place.

I would love to be "flouncy", you see. To me it encompasses both the essence of all that is feminine along with a hint of something coquettish. A romantic lady with an added bit of flair in her personality.

Then I think of a cat. I don't know why...but flounce just reminds me of a cat. Maybe because it rhymes with pounce and cats do indeed pounce. Or also there is a cat treat named Pounce. Or maybe cats have a "flouncy" personality. Quite possibly so.

Sometimes little girls are flouncy. Like..."Oh you flouncy little girl, you." Kind of like my English friends say to Chloe. "Oh you cheeky little girl, you." Or they say, "You're a cheeky little girl, aren't you?". You could, in turn, say, "Oh your a flouncy little girl, aren't you?" Of course this would have to be said in a British accent or else the piquancy would be lost entirely.

Then I I sometimes do...wouldn't it be interesting to look up the definition of the word "flounce" to see what it truly means. Okay...I just made one. I know that. But I wonder if there are any other meanings. More romantic or exhilerating meanings. Imaginative ones that spark my interest.

–verb (used without object)
1. to go with impatient or impetuous, exaggerated movements
2. to throw the body about spasmodically; flounder.

3. an act or instance of flouncing; a flouncing movement.

1. storm, bound, prance, bounce.

Hmmmm...very intersting. While not quite the romantic definitions I would have hoped for, I find it quite interesting to note that no where in any of these definitions is there anything about sewing or sewing terms. But I find it fascinating that the word "bounce" is a synonym. Not only does it rhyme with flounce and pounce but it sort of means the same thing as "pounce" doesn't it? Flounce may be a more cat-like word than I originally thought.

Now I must be off to attach my flounce to the dress. Have a wonderful evening everyone. And girls!!! Don't forget to add a bit of flounce to your marriage. (my own definition of flounce...not Webster's. His is too boring.)

Just a Matter of Tension

With crocheting I must say I do fairly well with the whole tension aspect. I am able to adjust my tension to be either a bit tight or fairly loose depending on what I am crocheting. I can use the same hook and get varied results just by adjusting my tension. I don't know how common something like this is, but I like to consider it sort of a skill that is mastered. ( my knowledge...I have always been able to do this.)

Now with sewing...its a different matter altogether. As some of you know, I got a new Bernina sewing machine for Christmas from my dear and loving husband. My old sewing machine was the Singer that belonged to my mother while I was growing up and learning to sew. Well, little Miss Singer decided to quit on me so I recieved this wonderful new Bernina. I have read the manual to my new Bernina and I am pretty sure I understand everything there is to know about it...but for some reason, this tension thing is causing problems. I spent many hours last night fiddling with the thing while trying to sew on Chloe's dress. I just can't get it. I am at my wits end with it.

We are having our new windows installed today or else I would head on over to the store I bought it from to have them take a look at it for me and possibly show me what I am doing wrong. But...I don't have time today nor tomorrow to do this so I am working on the dress with poor tension. (because the dress MUST be done by Saturday for the Spring Banquet. We couldn't possibly wear the same dress we've worn before to a "Spring Banquet" now could we???)

Even still, the dress is coming along quite nicely. I am loving my color choice. I have gotten the Bodice done and am now ready to begin working on the skirt. That should be alot easier than this bodice was. Boy! I was working right along and things just kept stumping me. I would have to read and reread and read the pattern again just to understand what it wanted me to do. Finally, I thought to myself..."this pattern is NOT easy!!!!" I grabbed the pattern case thingie and realized that no where on the pattern did it say "easy". I shook my head at myself.

You see...I had only been looking at the patterns in the pattern book at the store that claimed they were easy. But the minute I saw this dress, I knew I HAD to make it. (you all know me by now...*rolling eyes*) I didn't even check to make sure it claimed "easy". Boy...that was a mistake.

I am trucking right along though and quite proud of myself despite the difficultness of this particular pattern and the loose and rough stitching (the tension problem). If it weren't for the stitches looking like dog do-do this dress would actually be quite good for my first attempt. (although I did make a dress in highschool but that doesn't count since it was like 15 years ago...and my mother helped me do it)

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So, now I am sipping the most delightful cup of PG Tips tea in the world and waiting for this tired child to fall asleep so I can start on the skirt of the dress. I don't know how I expect her to fall asleep in the basement with them banging around upstairs, talking loud, and trumping up and down the stairs a billion times. I best go comfort her since she is crying at the moment. (there was quite a large "trump" up the stairs a few minutes ago that must have sounded like a herd of elephants to her...pretty scary.)

Have a wonderful afternoon everyone!!!

Little Packages

Every day with Chloe offers up new and exciting adventures for me to join with her in or laugh with her at or smile at. She literally changes overnight. This is the most amazing thing to watch. The other day she learned how to open up the "snack" drawer where Mommy keeps her stash of "sugar" and "chocolate". (shhhh!!! Don't tell anyone that I have candy in the house!) Now, she is able to reach in there and grab whatever her little fingers find to grab - a new feat. She can't see in the drawer yet...not quite tall enough...but she stands on her tippy toes and reaches in as far as her little hand will reach and grabs a hold of whatever feels interesting to her little hand.

One day she grabbed my baggie full of those little hard, strawberry candies. Its not that she wanted to eat them nor was she trying to open the baggie. Nope. She just carried that baggie of strawberry sweets around with her all day. ALL DAY!

The next day her wandering fingers found delight in a packaged fortune cookie left over from our Sunday night dinner at the Chinese Restaurant. Again, she wasn't trying to eat the cookie. She was perfectly content to walk around all day carrying the bag in her hand. I wonder what all this is about? I let her carry it around. Its not really hurting anything. If she started setting up a fuss about getting into the fortune cookie, I would then step in and stop this...but for now...she may carry her "treasures" around as long as she likes. Its cute.

Speaking of little packages, it has been over a week since my birthday and I haven't shown you a lick of what I got. Shame on me. Neither did I show you what my sweet Secret Pal sent me for my reveal package. Double shame on me. So, I give you a ton of Little Packages. (some are a little bit larger than "little" but oh well...I liked that title for this post and it shall stay)

First package I want to show you is from one of my dear testers. She has been a tester for me since...I think since about last summer or somewhere close to there. I love having her around on my forum and getting to know her. She obviously knows a bit about me and my love of books because she sent me a very old book. She grew up reading this book and that makes it even more dear to me. The book is Bambi. I never even knew this was a book but now I will be reading it. Maybe even for my 50 book challenge this year. You never know.

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She even sent me some buttons she has collected from thrift stores and such. I love buttons. I don't have an extensive collection...YET!!! I am only beginning, but this will help me along greatly. Yay!!! Thank you dear. I appreciate it very much.

Next up is my secret pal reveal package. WOW! That's all I can say. I was blown away by this package. I even cried a bit. I sure felt spoiled and special by this package.

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Do you see everything there??? There is a marvelous book titled Vogue Knitting with all sorts of stitches, tips and articles in it. I have thumbed through it a bit but I can't wait until I have time to sit down with a yummy cup of tea and read it in depth. WHooo HOooo!!! There is also a knitting book for babies with some delicious patterns in it. Gosh I wish I could knit faster. There are so many things in this book I would love to make. Also included was a doily pattern book I didn't have in my collection (I need to get to making some doilies again soon...I am going through doily withdrawel) and some scrapbooking stickers, a WOW 2007 cd (this is great, I didn't have this one yet...I love the WOW cds) and even a little doggie with a doggie house for Chloe. (which she loved, by the way....) Wanna see Chloe receiving her new doggie??? Well, of course you do...

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The most special thing to me about this package was the TOTC hook. My secret pal was asking about my hook collection and the fact that I do indeed collect hooks. So, she bought me my first ever TOTC hook. I am in heaven. I can see these things becoming an addiction quite quickly. I need to have hubby build me a little something to hang on the wall to display my new hook in. (and the many more that I will be acquiring in the next few years. (he he he)

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(sorry for the blurry picture above. Guess I still haven't mastered the whole "holding the camera still while snapping the picture" skill. I must work on that.) Thank you so much Jeanie for being such a delightful secret pal. I appreciate all you were able to do for me in the past two months. You are such a dear.

Next up is a delightful little package I received from none other than my own secret pal, Heart. I spoiled her (at least I attempted to spoil her) over the past two months and what does she do??? She goes and spoils me right back.

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I can't believe everything in this little "Thank You" package. Boy oh boy. She made me a doily teacup and saucer. Soooooo cute and dainty and "ladylike". *wink to Heart*.

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It really makes me want to drink a real cup of tea in it. It is sooo cute. When I have my tea party with some girlfriends, I will have to set this out as part of my decorations. Wouldn't that be sweet??? Not only did she spoil me with delightful little things but she sent along the cutest little teacup set for Chloe. (who adores this set by the way.)

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See how much she loves it???

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And she knew immediately what to do with it too...I have trained her well.

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She walked around saying "T" the rest of the afternoon. ("T" meaning "tea" in toddler talk) Now I had sent Heart some size 80 thread for her to try. I know she loves thread and that she hadn't tried anything that small. Well, what does she do but turn around and make me something from it. (talk about a sweetheart)

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The light pink one is size 10 thread and the dark pink varigated is size 80 thread. Same pattern, different thread. I love them. I am going to treasure these forever. The size 80 one will be in my Bible so I can remember to pray for Heart whenever I see it and the size 10 one will be in one of the books I am currently reading. Thank you so much dear for being such a sweet and genuine friend. I couldn't have asked for a better secret pal and I am honored to have you for a friend.

This next little package I am thrilled about! I am ecstatic!! Elated!!! Overjoyed! Do you know that I actually jumped up in the air and danced around the room for a few minutes before I opened it??? I knew exactly what it was and oh boy was I excited!!! Check this out and you will see for yourself why I was so happy.

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My order from the English Tea Store came!!!! Do you see what that is in the picture??? Do you??? DO YOU??? That is my PG TIps!!! I am so elated...comepletely and thouroughly! Can you believe that I have yet to sip a cup of this delightful tea??? I bet you never could believe that...but its true. I am sort of in awe of it. You see...I haven't seen this packaging since I lived in England. I have had some of the tea because my friends from England brought me some when they came a year and a half ago...but I didn't "see" the package. Now that I see it...its almost like I am living in a dream. I go touch it every so often just to make sure its real.

Anyways, I will be making myself a cup this afternoon. I have reveled in the the radiance of this tea for a whole day now and its time I enjoyed the taste of it too. I can't wait.

I had better get going now. Chloe is climbing something in the kitchen from the sounds of it and it doesn't sound like something I would like her to be climbing. Also, I need to get to working on her dress (which is coming along quite nicely, I might add. Maybe I'll show you an update later on. Note the word "maybe". I am a busy lady, you know and very forgetful on top of maybe is the KEY) Have a wonderful morning everyone!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Interpreting Greek

Last night I started reading the pattern so I could begin Chloe's new dress. I must be honest with you. While I have very little sewing experience, I CAN sew. My mother did teach me a few of the basics while I was a girl. As a teenager I even made myself a dress. I doubt I wore it in public, but still...I was quite proud that I made it. (silly me chose a plaid fabric which lent to my frustrations and caused the dress to not meet my strict standards of clothing attire) I have also made a few doll clothes for neices and such. And a few years ago I made quite a complex quilt top. (which now needs to be quilted and is on my WIP list for the year. I DO aim to finish it this year. (just not right now)

Anyways, I bought this pattern yesterday...

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Well, last night I was in a confuzzled mess. I was taught how to read a pattern but somehow the years have erased this information from my memory. I recalled such words as "selvage" and "Lining" but for the life of me, I could not bring to recollection what "tailor tacks" were nor what I was meant to use them for. What does any person do in this situation??? Well that's what I did. I called my mother. Do you know what she tells me?? Do you? Do you??? First, let me say that my mother took a correspondance seamstress class many MANY years ago. (I think she was first married or something like that...a LONG time ago.) So basically, my mother knows her stuff. She also knows what she is talking about if anyone should be able to explain this "greek" to me, she would be the one.

WRONG!!! She had no clue what a "tailor tack" was. UGGG!! How am I supposed to sew this dress with tailor tacks if I don't know what it is??? Well, after reading the "greek" pattern for about 30 minutes (okay...not that long...but long enough to send my brain for a complete whirl)it dawned on me what it was and I continued on with my process.

I got all the pieces for the dress layed out and pinned to my fabric.

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I honestly and freely admit to you all that the scariest part of sewing is making that first cut. A million fears instantly raced through my already confuzzled mind. What if I didn't get it lined up properly? What if the scissors slip and cut the pattern to shreds? What if I layed the pattern out wrong and I don't have enough fabric (as if I bought the last stitch of fabric in the world and it is now impossible to find any more). But these are the kinds of thoughts I think about when about to cut beautiful, rosey-pink fabric.

But I did it. I got it cut and now I must learn Norwegian to accompany my newly mastered Greek skills.

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Man. This is making me wish I had taken Home Ec instead of Band in highschool.

Today I am headed over to the Pastor's house to make candy purses with the Pastor's wife for the Ladies Spring Banquet. Bummer! (not bummer about going to her house. That will be fun! I love going over there.) Its just that I don't get to sew this morning. Oh well...maybe I will get to it this afternoon. I also have hopes of finishing the garden digging tonight after dinner. It is supposed to rain tomorrow (quite possibly tonight too) so I would like to have the flowers in the ground before that happens. Needless to say, it will be a busy day and I must leave you now. I see someone has gotten thier hands into the "snack" drawer and little fingers have found my stash of Starbursts. I must go rescue my starbursts. Have a wonderful day everyone!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Garden to Call My Own

The house we bought last October came without one single flower or plant unless you consider grass and dandylions "plants and flowers". While this saddened me for a while, it also gave me a whole lot of room for dreaming during this long and drawn out winter. (have I mentioned yet that we had SNOW on Easter??? Yes we did!! YUCK! Just when I was ready for spring we had snow!!!)

Well, now we have such glorious weather again that my hopes are soaring. My spirits are in the clouds as I dream and plan and dream some more. This weekend was spent building the shed.

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I worked alongside my husband the whole weekend and got a nice little sunburn that will be a tan by tomorrow. (yay!) Sunday evening I decided to head up the street the garden center and see about some flowers. Ohhhhh Boy!!! Did I get flowers!!! Check this out!

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There are dusty millers, carnations, roses, a clematis, daisies, begonias, snapdragons, rhodonderans and more. (can't think properly at the moment)

I can't wait to get these things in the ground. My original intentions for venturing to the great "garden lovers paradise" was to buy a few little flowers for my giant pots to sit alongside my front walkway. But when do I EVER do as I intend to do??? Quite rarely, I must say. So I came home with quite a few flowers and not enough garden space. What would any normal person do??? Find a garden space to put them in. That is precisly what I did.

First, I chose my location.

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See the strip of grass between the sidewalk and fence??? That is going to be my extremely LONG garden. Then, I proceeded to digging...

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...and enlisting the help of my toddler. (as you can see from the picture above.) She enjoyed it. Really she did!!! See???

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That is her smiling. Of course, the instant she saw the camera she dropped the shovel and wouldn't "pose" anymore. Oh well...she's two. What can I say?

We (I mean "I") dug for about 2 hours and then called it quits. The heat finally got to me...(I dislike being sweaty VERY much and I was sweating profusely.) I got more than half of the garden dug though.

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I hope to finish it tomorrow. I was planning on finishing it tonight once the air cooled off a bit but I am soooo dog gone tired. Digging grass like that breaks your back. So, tonight I will be cutting a dress so I can sew it for Chloe. I am excited about it. My first time using my new sewing machine. We have a Ladies Spring Banquet on Saturday for our church and I thought it would be fun if Chloe and I matched. I bought enough fabric (I hope) to make myself a matching skirt. Its going to be so cute. (IF I can get it done in time...we shall see about that.)

I leave you with a picture of "Bear" getting a bath. (pronounced Baaao. She was giving bear a baaao.)

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Animals I Will ALWAYS Visit When I go to the Zoo

I love to go to the zoo. Each time I go, there are certain animals I will always visit. I will list my favorite animals here for you today.

1. Tiger (my utmost favorite animal in the world. If I could be an animal, I would be a Tiger)

2. Elephant

3. Cheetah

4. Leopard

5. Lion

6. Lemur (these things make me laugh. I love them)

7. Dolphin (so I have to go to Sea World or something instead of the "zoo" but I still love them)

8. Killer Whale (same as before)

9. Walrus

10. Polar Bear

11. Giraffe

12. Sheep (I figure God really loves sheep and we are often compared to sheep so I decided that I kind of like them. I think I would want one as a pet. That would be cool)

13. Angora Rabbit (I want one of these for a pet too. Maybe I could even learn to spin my own yarn?)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Gave Birth to an Elephant Egg!!!

YES I DID!!! See??? We are having a Magic Ball Swap over on my pattern testing forum and this is what I birthed.

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Or at least its the size of an elephant egg. I cannot tell you what is inside this giant ball of yarn, for that is for my swap partner angeleyes70 and angeleyes70 alone. But let me tell you...I found myself to be evil. Very evil indeed. While winding this ball I cackled and cackled to myself...just knowing that my poor dear swap parnter would have to unwind this thing all over again. Ahhhh...the sheer bliss of ny imagination. I can almost hear her now! The shouts and grunts of frustration as she sees what is coming next. Oh, if you think winding these things is hard...just imagine what UNWINDING one would be like. Ha ha ha. I will be laughing for the rest of the day now.

So, it took me about 3 hours to wind. Wind and insert, insert and wind...wind some more. Ha ha ha...I am still laughing though because you see...I believe it will take her at least double the amount of time to unwind this thing as it took me to wind it!!!

And it is quite possible that I used this "swap" as a stashbusting attempt. This you will not know for sure though because all is hidden within the Elephant Egg. Ohhh...the irony. Ohhh...the evilness. You never knew I had it in me, did you? Sweet little stay-at-home mom designing sweet little baby dresses and bonnets. Little ribbons and lace and such. But oh yah! I can be evil too. Uh-Huh!

Maybe I should include some chocolate when I ship this so angeleyes70 will forgive me.

(P.S. I KNOW elephants don't lay eggs. I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!!!!)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Thoughts That Pop Into My Head

I can't think of anything profound today to list. At least not anything pertaining to the number 13 so I thought I might just list the next 13 things that pop into my head. I am known to be a random person with thoughts that flit about like a bumbling bee upon a flower. Let's see what is going through my head today.

1) Do bees really "bumble" around? (I like that word...bumble. Makes me giggle)
2) I wonder what I can do today that would make Chloe giggle uncontrollably.
3) Will the commissary have enough organic milk for us today?
4) I really should start buying more organic veggies along with the organic milk (only problem is, the commissary has such a limited selection of organic veggies. maybe I should put in a request.
5) Did I feed the fish today?
6) I would really like to crochet a skirt in time for my birthday but I just don't have the time. Maybe for the Ladies Spring Banquet at the end of April?
7) I wonder where my friend Molly is and how she is doing.
8) The song we made up in fourth grade still makes me laugh. I will never forget that Molly dislikes mayonnaise because of that song.
9) Will we ever get another pet? I don't know. I think it would be fun to have a rabbit. Maybe for my birthday? Or else a large aquarium with lots of fish in it.
10) I hate spelling that word...aquarium...I always get it wrong.
11) Maybe I should return the white sash on my window treatment to the store and get a red one to match the curtains. I bet it would look nicer. I really need to get those tiebacks installed so I can see out my window during the day.
12) Which kind of tea should I drink after I return from my shopping trip? Chai Spice or PG Tips?
13) Will I never get these bloomers done for Chloe's outfit so I can work on some doilies or something? I really want to make some shawls and skirts for myself. Also some doilies. I would also really like to finish my tablecloth. AND I would love to knit my coat.

Okay. So now we know that I am random. It took me approximately four minutes to type up that list. (and I typed it as I thought it.) Geesh! How random can one person get? Okay. I need to get to the grocery store or I won't hear the end of it. (hubby left the car for me today) I dread grocery shopping since it takes me 20 minutes just to drive there. Uggg. Well, I better get to it. Have a wonderful day everyone.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Favorite Tea

We lived in England for a year about 4 years ago. I have always believed that I was born 100 years too late. I am very old-fashioned you see. I drink tea, collect china and write letters on stationary. I crochet doilies and cook dinner for my husband. I bake bread and use cloth diapers. I would love to go "calling" on my friends only in this day and age, that is not something people enjoy. You have to have a "reason" for getting together for tea.

While we were living in England, I came to the realization that I was not born 100 years too late. I was only born in the wrong country. I should have been British.

I miss England terribly. I miss the flower gardens. I miss the thatched roof houses. I miss the quaint villages. But most of all...I miss popping over to my neighbours house every afternoon for tea. I LOVE English tea. It is not the same as American tea. Not the same by far. When our friends came last Christmas (2005) to visit, they brought me some of my favorite tea. (such delightful friends) I have about 5 bags left of this since I use it sparingly.

But look at what I found!!! I am so thrilled with this! I have bought from this English Tea store in the past but I only seemed to see teapots. Today I spent some time to browse around and guess what I found??? MY UTMOST FAVORITE TEA IN THE WORLD! PG Tips. Needless to say, I am ordering a box as I am typing this post. I have GOT to have some of this tea. (and I may even buy myself a pink teapot as well.)

Well, I am off to have a cup of tea and eat lunch and take a nap. I woke up with the most horrible headache today and a bit of nausea. Uggg. I am not feeling so hot. I even have a tid bit of the sniffles. I hope I am not getting a cold or the flu or something. That would not be good. Wish me luck in my sleeping endeavors. It would seem that everytime I try to nap, one of the neighbours starts hammering into the walls for 3 hours...or playing loud rock music...or the dog starts wining at full volumn. I NEED SOME SLEEP TODAY! Have a great day everyone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sunday's Hunt

And now...the moment you've been waiting for. THE DRESS. But first, we must start with Saturday night. It was a normal night. We were splashing in the bathtub. Boats with hippos were zooming amongst the waves while eggs were being fried "sunny side up" in the orange elmo skillet. Life was good. Life was normal. Then, during the diaper installation and the insertion of the toddler into the pajamas, the thought occured to me that we hadn't dyed our eggs yet. So, at the time when Chloe usually has her story and goodnight kisses, we traisped down the stairs and proceeded with the Easter Eve ritual.

Well, upon entering the kitchen and procuring the egg dyeing kit from the drawer, another realization hit me. We didn't have any hard boiled eggs. (and it was already 10 minutes past "lights out".) I quickly filled the pot with water and commenced to boiling the eggs. We then tested how long we could draw out the "dye preperations". First we watched the tablets dissolve individually in the water. (this particular kit only containted 3 dyes. Shoot!)

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Chloe then stirred the cups of dye, managing to get it on her fingers in the process. I got smart in the middle of the procedure and placed some paper towels over her entire work area. (pretty much as far as her arms could possibly reach) Then, the dying began.

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Drop the egg in...(some of which cracked due to the height of the drop)

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...and wait for the color to set. (Mama likes dark colored eggs.)

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Then we prep the paint.

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And presto. We have painted eggs. Chloe loved the whole process. Although stirring the dye seemed to be the most fascinating part. Sunday morning we had the hunt!

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As soon as Chloe saw the first egg hiding on the floor she knew what to do. She dived for it and picked it up almost before I could grab the basket for her to put the egg in. (again...eggs were dropped from substantial heights into the basket. I feared for the shells but we managed to save most of them from damage)

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And another picture of her just so you all can see the dress again.

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I am darned proud of that dress. I was up until 2:30 in the morning weaving in ends on it. 5 HOURS!!!!!! That is the longest by far that I have ever spent weaving in ends on anything. The part that took the longest was, of course, the multitude of size 80 thread ends that I thought would make a lovely addition to the dress. Let me tell you. It was COMPLETELY worth it. This dress is my best design ever. I love all my dress designs and couldn't really choose a favorite until now. THIS is my favorite. I adore this dress.

I didn't get the bloomers done for it so I am working on those this week. They will be beautiful too. And alas, we were unable to find the time to snap a picture of the whole family in our Easter outfits. Oh well...maybe I will have someone do that this week. Our family Easter picture.

Well, now I am off to tackle something. I will post about that later. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Management Binder: Children

I was remiss in my blog posting last week and failed to show you the next section in my binder. Today is Tuesday so I am late again. (as usual) But hey! Better late than never, right? So, today I will show you my Children's Section of my management binder.

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Of course, I HAD to have a picture of Chloe on this tab. My bundle of joy and sunshine. I also could not limit myself to one verse here so I wrote two that I really like. Here they are...

Psalms 127:3
"Children are God's best gift."

I love that verse. I truly believe they are God's best gift. My life changed so much after Chloe. She has taught me patience, responsibility, how to laugh and have fun amongst other important lessons too. I never would have thought that having children could bring so much laughter, but it does. I laugh more now that all the rest of my life put together.

The next verse brings me back to the task at hand and reminds me that raising children is hard work.

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when hs is old, he will not depart from it."

Training children really is hard work. When Chloe was a month old, I thought my biggest challenges of motherhood were teaching her to fall aleep by herself and clipping her fingernails. Oh...if only all of parenting were that easy. Now our struggles are with the threatening bathtub and the fact that the cat simply does NOT need food. I also know that compared to what challenges we face in the future, these little toddler canniptions are minuscule.

So, in this section I have some print outs of rules I found a while ago during some blog-surfing. I find it helpful to read through these every now and again to remind me my focus is not "tea parties" and "fancy dresses" but on raising up a child who takes to heart God's truths and gives her life over to the control of her Saviour. I spend many hours praying about this. It is the noblest calling of a woman. (of parents)

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Next in this section is my list of things I need to teach Chloe. After reading the list this morning I see I need to update it. There are many things on this list that we have already worked on pretty well. I write such things as "make bed" and "tantrums are a no-no" and this reminds me to stay focused on the task at hand. Whenever I see an attitude or issue with Chloe that needs adjusted, I write it on this list. Also, when I think of a new "chore" she should be capable of carrying out, I add it to this list. It is amazing what a 2 year old is capable of doing around the house. We just need to take the time out to teach them.

Next is my "Family Fun Time" list. Every evening after dinner is finshed and the kitchen is cleaned up we have family fun time. We are oftentimes at a loss for ideas of what to do together. This list comes in very handy during those times of un-imagination. Here is what I have on that list so far. (I see that there are many things I can add to it. This notebook really could use an update)

~Play Jenga
~Read a book
~Put puzzles together
~Play music (piano or such)
~Play hide and seek (a family favorite resulting in tickles and giggles)
~Puppet Shows
~Play ball
~Make cookies
~Make cards
~Tea party

The next list in my binder doesn't really pertain to the "childrenn" theme. It is my list of "Fun Things to do with James". Come date night it is really hard to think of things to do together. We rack our brains and usually end up watching a movie. (how boring) So, now we have a list we refer to. A very handy thing. Here are some of the items on our list.

~Play frisbee
~Play football
~Go for walk
~Go for bike ride
~cook a meal together
~learn ballroom dancing
~visit Barnes and Nobles (to read and sip coffee)
~play a game
~make cards for the family
~learn a song together (guitar and piano)
~go on a back-pack picnic
~put a model car together

Those are just some of the things on our list. (some things would probably make you all blush a little so I will save you that and not include them.) I also have a list of some "BIG" trips we would like to take during our lifetime. I don't know when or how these will happen but they are written down and maybe we can save up for one or two of them. Here are a couple just to give you an idea.

~England (to visit our friends there. Actually, I would rather just move back there, but I don't know how feasible that is so a visit would suffice.)
~Italy (or we could just move there too. That would be cool)
~Greece (our friends in England have been to Greece a couple of times and this place is paradise. Simply gorgeous)
~Disneyworld in Florida
~African Safari (our friends in England did this and it sounds amazing)
~Canada (namely Prince Edward Island...Anne of Green Gables land)
~Niagra Falls

So that is all. I hope you enjoyed this section of my binder. Have a great day everyone!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Know What Today Is???

If not, let me tell you. Its Friday!!! Hooray!!! That means James will be home tomorrow and we can do fun things finish the banister upstairs that is a gaping hole right now (and poses an endangerment risk to impulsive toddlers who find such things curiously delightful) or mowing the yard (always fun) or gardening or watching movies.

Anyways, James is not yet home because it is only Friday, not Saturday. So, what do we do on Fridays to prepare for the merriment of the weekend? Why we scuplt, that's what we do. (come all should know me by now.)

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This was my very own sculpture of the day. I had no help what-so-ever from Chloe on this piece. I am quite proud of it. Little fingers were sure to spoilate my work of art but I managed to shield it against the foe. I call this "The Hunt". I'll let you guess why I call it that.

Now for Chloe's work of the day. I must warn you that she did have help from me on this one. I let her pick the colors and the cutters and this is what I made from her choices.

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I was torn between two names for this one. (I can't wait until Chloe is old enough to start naming her own works of art. That should prove amusing) The first name is "Attack on the Penquins" and the second name is "Penguin Attack". I went with the first one though, since the second one implies that it is the penguins doing the attacking and that, as you can see, is simply NOT the case.

I am sorry that I had to show you something as gory as that on this sweet little blog of mine. I don't know what got into my child's head today. Why we created a work of art pertaining to shark annihilation I will never know. Something about "artistic license" I believe. Anyways, I will mollify this post by showing you what I bought for myself on Wednesday. (told you I would use that new word. I like it) I told you all I was going shopping for my Easter jewelry. Here is what I found.

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I even found that purse on sale for $11 and it matches my new sandels I bought for Easter. I have been wanting a brown purse for a while now but can never bring myself to go "purse shopping". I am pleased. I will get unveil the whole ensemble on Sunday. (or quite possibly Monday since we are going to the pastor's house for dinner on Sunday and I probably won't get on the computer. I like to take Sunday's off from internet related things.)

Well then, as my reward for leaving the house to buy my jewelry and purse (it was FAR away from my house...okay? Took me 20 minutes to drive there AND there was traffic. I think I deserved a reward for that!) I stopped by the used bookstore. (it was on the way home. Geesh!)

Check out what I got for Chloe.

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What alot of books! We collect Little Golden books. I should take a picture of all our Little Golden books on the shelf. There is quite a bit...almost a whole shelf full. I don't buy the Disney ones though. I stick mainly to the "old" ones. I have found some new ones in the stores recently that are horrible. I always believed Little Golden books to be "safe" but 1 1/2 years ago I brought one home that was full to the brim with evolution. I returned that book immediately (with quite a fight from the sales lady) and now I read through each book I buy before I buy it. I won't be making that mistake again.

And here are the books I bought myself.

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Seeing as how I loved "The Scarlet Letter" so much, I thought I would read a couple more of Nathanial Hawthorne's books. I found two. I also found the BIG book of Winnie the Pooh. Upon seeing this book memories flooded my mind of my own childhood. I had to buy it for that sake alone. I also collect Grace Livingston Hill books and they had one not currently in my collection so I got it.

And what do you think was next on the drive home??? AC Moore, of course. AND I had a coupon that I needed to use. This was the full 50% off instead of the usual 40% so I HAD to stop. Here is what I got with my coupon.

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Okay, I think I have enough doily patterns to fullfull my Doily Challenge at least 7 times. (more like 7 times 7) At least I didn't buy the tablecloth pattern book I was looking at. THAT would have been over the top. (so what if I have plans to buy it next week...we won't mention that yet)

And then I picked up a couple of magazines. I am not normally a magazine purchaser...of any sort of magazines...but both of these caught my eye.

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Crochet happens to be my favorite crochet magazine if I am going to purchase one and this one had some nice things in it that I may make someday. (someday far off in the distant distant I can't even see it...but there will be a someday.) Now I have to say this...if all Interweave Knits issues are as packed as this one with gorgeous patterns that are quite "usuable" then I forsee myself buying every issue of this one. If I could only knit as fast I can crochet...we wouldn't have any issues.

Well, I have rambled quite enough. I need to get working on a little ensemble for Chloe. You all know what I am talking about here so there is no need to mention it. Let me just tell you this. The dress is complete and I have started on the hat. This outfit is going to blow you away. Now if only my size 80 thread will arrive in the mail today I will be set.

Have a wonderful day everyone!!!