Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Cozy Cake-ish Sort of Day

That was yesterday. My cozy cake-ish sort of day. I baked and crocheted all day. (as far as I can remember, at least. It was such a long time ago) Okay. Let me think here. Since it was Friday that means it was time to crochet something for my Boutique. I decided on a teapot cozy and chose some lavendar yarn in Simply Soft. Scrumptious!

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I also found the perfect button to accent this delightful yarn. See?

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I love the ties on this tea cozy. That is probably my favorite feature of this design. It ties on either side of the teapot to hold the cozy in place.

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As you may recall, I mentioned the fact that my dear friend Miss K and I are throwing a small tea party on Sunday. (tomorrow) It will be an opportunity for ladies in the church to get to know other ladies in the church they might not know. At least for Miss K and I. There are plenty of ladies we would love to get to know on a more intimate level and we just can't accomplish this on Sunday morning.

Well, I began my baking for this tea party yesterday. I won't show you what I've made so far though. I will save that for tomorrow when I show you the actual tea party. But what I will show you is what I did with some leftover cake batter I had. Miss K informed me that the youth group was getting together for a pool party last night with another youth group from up north. What better way to practice my cake decorating skills than on a bunch of youth who will eat anything in sight no matter what it looks like, right?

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It turned out terrible. Absolutely terrible. I took it anyways and I don't think there was much left to the cake by the time I left. I just can't seem to get this consistancy thing down right. Uggg.... I think I may have to buckle myself down and sign up for one of those Wilton classes. I don't want to, but I may have to if I am going to get this right.

I spose you would like to see some pictures of the pool party? (well, at least I know James does so I will post some. You all just have to suffer through tons of pictures of Chloe)

We arrived at the house and went to the restroom to change into our suits. What follows now is the dialouge of Chloe as she anxiously awaits to "go fwimming".

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*excitedly* - "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Go Fwimming!! Go fwimming now."

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"Oh! What's that? You hear sumping?" (the teenagers outside are jumping into the pool and screaming)

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*something must be funny to her*

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"I see you!! Go fwimming now."

At which point I put the camera away and took her swimming. We found a floaty device and sat in it. Everyone thought it was adorable so they grabbed the cameras for a kodak moment.

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Its taking a bit longer than Chloe's attention span. ("get out now", she says.)

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We leave the pool and dry off only to find out little Chloe wants back in. (none of the teenagers got out when she did)

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So the pastor's son tells me that he will take her in for me, if I want. YES! I do want because what I don't want is to get back into that icy cold water again.

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I think that was more fun than boring ol mama anyways. She laughed and giggled and got tickled by the tickle bug AND the tickle monster. (there is a difference, you know)

Well, now...its time for me to go mow the yard and dead head the roses before I head over to Miss K's to set up for our tea party. Have a glorious weekend everyone! Enjoy this summer while its here. (because its such a wonderful summer to enjoy) I'll chat at you later.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Misleadings of Easy-to-Sew

Easy-to-Sew, eh? I wonder what that means? Simple seams, maybe? No hard curves? Because last night I learned what Easy-to-Sew does not mean.

Easy-to-Sew does NOT mean...

~ you should start the project at 10:00 at night.

~ there won't be millions of little pieces to cut out.

~ there won't be a ton of steps to the project.

~ it will be quick to sew.

~ you should begin sewing buttonholes for the second time in your life at midnight.

~ you won't need your seamripper.

All those misleading thoughts regarding the term "easy-to-sew" on the front of the pattern put aside, I did manage to get the dress finished this morning. After about 20 minutes of fussing with the buttonholes last night, I gave up and finally went to bed. Needless to say, I found them fairly easy this morning. I think they should mention these things on thier pattern package somewhere. "Easy-to-Sew" can be very misleading.

Anyways, I spose you would like to see the fabulous dress? I will gladly oblige. I now present to you, Chloe's Fourth of July dress.

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I used Simplicity 5540 for this dress. I love it. She looks so good in dark blue...which is the color of her eyes. I can't wait for the Fourth to get here so she can wear it. Okay, so she is wearing it today. I had to take pictures of it on her and she didn't want to take it off. Its her "staw dewess" after all. I am a bit surprised she didn't call it her "princess dewess" as she calls most of the dresses I have made lately. (she believes she is princess Annaliese from the Barbie movie)

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She loves the pockets. I showed her that she could put things in them and she grinned from ear to ear. I can only imagine what was going through her head as she thought about the possibilities. Endless. What excitement for a 3 year old kid.

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I took a picture of the good pocket because I didn't want to show you the pocket I sewed on backwards. Don't know how that happened, really...at 11:30 at night. (I simply cannot imagine at all) So, hopefully I can get the hat and shorts done this weekend to go along with this dress. At least the hat. I've never sewn a hat before so this should be interesting.

The Great Girly Ghan is finally finished as well. You have no idea how happy this makes me. One more WIP finished and out of the sewing/craft room. WoooHooo!

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The only issue left is what to do with the thing. I bought the supplies about 2 1/2 years ago to make it for Chloe. My mind changed. After crocheting it I see now that its about the same size as the baby afghan I made for her so it can't really replace that. I thought it would be substantially bigger and more appropriate for a toddler/kid, but alas, its not. So, I do have options. One...Just keep the thing for Chloe anyways. Two...give it to a girl in the church who had a baby last week. Three...have a little bloggy giveaway and send it to one of you lucky readers. What do you all think? Do you want this lovely, bright afghan for your daughter or grandaughter?

Well, now...its time for me to head off and do something productive. I am thinking a teapot cozy or something. I need to do some baking today for the tea party on Sunday as well. Fairy cakes and brownies and scones. YUM! I'll chat at you later. Have a good one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pictures For Daddy

I snapped a couple of pictures of Chloe this morning as we were feeding Bob and Larry. (our two fish) Chloe told me she was "eyeing the hole".

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Then she wanted to "eye the hole my other eye".

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Its amazing I got some decent pictures I was laughing so hard. I've never heard her say "eyeing the hole" before nor have I ever seen her try to look at the fish through the hole in the top of the tank. This hole is about the size of a quarter and supposedly you feed the fish through this hole. I just take the whole top off. Imagine a 3 year old trying to get a handful of food through a hole the size of a quarter. That would take some fine gross motor skills to accomplish.

Immediately after snapping these pictures, Chloe says, "I see it...I see it." Meaning, she wants to view the pictures on the back of the camera. I showed them to her and she giggled. (maybe she realized how silly it was to "eye the hole". I don't know) Anyways, she then ran upstairs to her room and started jumping on the bed saying, "picture me for Daddy". Aha! What a brilliant idea. We should snap some pictures while she's in the mood to pose. I followed her with the camera and let her pose wherever she wanted to. (after getting her dressed, of course)

First she wanted to jump on the bed. ("jumpy bed" as she calls it.)

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Then she hopped off the bed for, "I see it...I see it." I asked her what next and she said, "train, peeze."

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After another "I see it" session during which we looked through ALL the pictures on the memory card, she wanted to pose on the bed rail. It went something like this.

Mama: "What next?"
Chloe: "Uuummmmm"
Mama: "What do you want to do for Daddy?"
Chloe: "Uuummmmm....Here!!!"

Then she did this...

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Does this kid pose, or what? She knows how to do it. She proudly wanted to see her picture so I showed her and then told her to do it again but to smile this time. She ran back and did this...

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Oh my goodness...we have the makings of a model. (not that I would let her model, mind you, but she sure knows how to put on the glam) Then things started to get a little crazy. We had a "flip for daddy" time.

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After which she spied her bumpy ball and wanted to pose on that.

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Then she rolled all over the floor for Daddy. (Fun! Its amazing how much fun rolling on the floor is for a toddler. She giggled and laughed the entire time.)

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I thought Daddy might like a window picture so I asked Chloe if she would like to sit in the window. She jumped up and down and said, "Yay!" I took that as an enthusiastic yes.

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Bugs Bunny accompanied Chloe. (he was a little scared at first but Chloe showed him he had nothing to be afraid of.)

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What a sweet kid. She did all this for her Daddy.

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We love you Daddy!! Hope you are having fun in the desert with all that sand and heat.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gretal's Petals Ensemble

WHEW! *feverishly wiping sweat from brow*

Its finally done. I know you are probably wondering if I even design things any more, what with all the sewing going on around here. I do, I do. Have no fear. I just have to take it a bit more slowly due to the carpal tunnel in the wrists and the hoards of fabric in the sewing room. Especially when I design my lovely thread dresses. They take longer anyways. And don't even mention frogging. Please! Frogging new designs in thread adds so much more time onto the project. Ugggg.

But all that aside, I completed it. I think this shall be my last thread dress for Chloe for a long, long time. I need to start designing thread dresses in newborn - 6month sizes. They don't take near as long as 18 month sizes. And if all else fails, I can simply turn around and sell them on my website or on Etsy. Ahhh....then I could cheat and work on them two days a week. Design day and Boutique day. (which reminds me...I think I need to take away one of the sewing days and create a second design day. Monday just doesn't have enough hours to get any designing done at all)

Without further ado, I present to you Gretal's Petals Ensemble.

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Now I just need to get around to typing her up so she can get into testing. I aim to get that accomplished before I head out to the folk's next week. This dress will be available in baby and toddler sizes. WoooHooo! If you wanna test it, check out my testing forum. This pattern should be ready in the next couple of days!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Bumpy Ball and Other Fun Stuff

Daddy bought Chloe a new ball before he left last week. You know those giant rubber balls that fill up the giant baskets in Walmart? Yup. That's them. Everytime we pass those baskets in the aisle Chloe insists that she "needs that one" and I, of course, tell her that she does "NOT need that one" and quickly manuver my cart around it.

Well Daddy, being the kind and benevolent father that he is, purchased the ball after Chloe said, "I need that one" and fluttered her eyelashes at him. (you know how that goes...) This ball has now become the prime toy in our household, taking the place of her mini Bugs Bunny (which, up until last week, she carried with her everywhere) Chloe loves to "go bumpy" on her new "bumpy ball".

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This keeps her entertained for hours at a time. Why on earth didn't I buy this thing before? Okay. Not really hours...more like minutes, but as any mother of a 3 year old can tell you...anything that keeps the kid occupied for longer than 30 seconds is a beautiful thing.

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I have been overwhelmed with love and support since James left last Wednesday. I've never recieved such support all the other times he has left. I am amazed and humbled by it all. Let's just say that my worrying over being bored and lonely this summer flew out the window. Right out of the window and into the bright blue sky. In fact, I think I will be bored and lonely when James returns home. No. Just kidding. But seriously. I've had something to do everyday since Friday. We went to the beach with Miss K on Friday and spent the night at her grandmother's. Drove home late Saturday night. Church on Sunday. BBQ at Miss K's mother-in-law's Sunday afternoon. Monday evening Miss K came over and we started a new project. (more on that later) Today Pam called me up and asked us if we wanted to go to the park with them. I immediately said YES!!! I knew Chloe would love to see her best friend Daisy.

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Chloe adores Pam's daughters, Chloe and Daisy. She actually asks to go to visit them every single day. Today was the perfect day for the park. The weather was nice and cool and so the slides and swings weren't hot. Chloe pushed Chloe on the swing.

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And then Chloe pushed Chloe on the swing.

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Get a little confused there? We actually call them Baby Chloe and Chloe to keep them from getting mixed up. Most everyone at church calls my Chloe "Baby Chloe"...or "Little Chloe".

Now, back to my mention of a new project Miss K and I started last night. A few weeks ago we discussed the idea of throwing a tea party for some of the ladies in the church. We talked about the fact that we don't know hardly any of the ladies in the church and we needed to have an opportunity to get to know them better. Sunday mornings is too hard because of the amount of people. We tend to see the same people sitting around us and talk to only those people. By the time you say hello to all your friends, its time to go home. So, we decided we needed help.

We are throwing a tea party but we are only inviting 4-6 ladies per time. That way we can get to know the ladies that attend better on a more intimate level. We even stated such on the invitation so they would know they had better show up or else Miss K and I will be having tea by ourselves. No...just kidding. (boy...am I in a mood or what today??)

Sunday is our tea party. Miss K brought over a special little tea wallet last night to show me. She saw one at a craft show one time and so she went home and figured out how to make one herself. She modified hers to fit our style and then showed me what she did. You can guess what I then did.

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Yup. I got up this morning and made 10 of the little suckers. They were so simple. I can't tell you how I made them though...because we are going to sell them. Miss K is going to open up an Etsy shop and between the two of us, we should sell loads of them. These things are so darn cute. Take a look at one.

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It really is like a tri-fold wallet, folded over twice. When you open it, you find three little pockets inside.

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These pockets are for holding tea, of course.

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They fold up small enough to fit in a purse or even the back pocket of your pants. How clever are they?

The sewing fun didn't stop there though. After we came home from the park and Chloe went down for her nap, I got out my favorite shirt pattern and made myself a pinkified shirt. (white with little pink flowers embroidered all over it)

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This fabric is linen and a little heavier than I thought it would be made up. That's okay though, because this is still my favorite shirt pattern so far so I will wear this shirt often. Well, this shirt and the one I made on Thursday with the same pattern.

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More linen fabric. (it was on sale a few weeks ago) I love this fabric so much that I was wishing I had bought enough to make a skirt instead of a shirt. But, I need more shirts than I do skirts so I will be happy with what I have.

I finished another something special today. Its so special and gorgeousomuss that it needs its own post though so I will make another post either tonight or tomorrow. I am off now to find some muchly needed chocolate and start working on Chloe's Fourth of July dress. I finally got the fabric washed and dried and it is now sitting on my couch waiting for me to cut it out.

Have a fantastical night everyone.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Beachified Weekend

There's something about the vastness of the ocean that moves me.

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I can't explain it, but I love it. The waves rolling back and forth. The foam tickling my toes and seeping back into the sand.

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There is always such a sense of freedom there, a sense of frivolty and fun. Everyone at the beach is smiling.

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When my girlified friend Miss "K" asked me if I wanted to go to the beach with her this weekend I immediately said yes. Not only would it help me get over James leaving this week, but it would also be loads of fun. A total girl trip, jewelry and kitchen stores included. What girl can say no to that?

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My big adventure of the weekend was learning to crab. Can you believe it? I've officially had my very first crabbing experience. What fun! So you take some old chicken necks (we used some that were over a year old - frozen, of course) and tie them to a string and throw them over the edge of the dock.

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The little crabbie grabs the string with his claw and starts nibbling away at the chicken. (which is so putrid that little acid bubbles sizzle on the top of the water when you throw the chicken in...talk about salmonella, eh?) The baby crabs don't know any better so they don't let go of the string when they see sunlight. We could sometimes pull them clean out the water and watch them nibbling away. Of course, because they are so small we have to throw them back in...far enough away they don't come back to let us catch them again...which they do anyways, silly things. They'll learn someday.

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I loved it. It was worse than sticking a hook through a worm. The tomboy in me shone through all my "pinkness" and "laciness" and I sunk my fingers into that nasty chicken and tied my tough knots and caught myself a crab.

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When we walked around the corner of the house with our whole 3 crabs I caught Chloe sitting by herself, looking a little like a deer in headlights.

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I was told she had somehow managed to find her nuk in her luggage in the bedroom and come outside with it in her mouth. Miss "K"'s mother knew that the nuk is only for bedtime and so she mentioned that to Chloe. Upon hearing this information, Chloe walked back into the house and reappeared moments later with her blankie. She proceeded to climb up on this wicker chair, stated "I go ni-night" and there she sat until I came around the corner about 20 minutes later with my bucket of 3 crabs.

Later that evening, we were packing up the car to head home and Chloe was sitting in the front seat watching us. As we gathered at the front of the car to decide if we had all our stuff, I looked over and saw this peeping out at me.

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What a goofball. With a kid like this our summer is bound to pass quickly and soon it will be time for Daddy to come back home to us. Oh, how I miss him. He is finally at his location and has started work this weekend. Now begins the countdown for his homecoming.

Well, its time for me to run along. I promised a little girl I would play Barbies with her. Its gonna be loads of fun. I do believe Bugs Bunny is stopping by for a visit tonight. Have a great evening everyone. Call you father and let him know you appreciate him. Daddy's love that. (I know mine does - which reminds me...I need to call him before Barbie can have her tea.)

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