Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some Delightful Things....

Oh, cold weather, you've done it again! Yesterday morning we celebrated another day off from school due to the arctic chill. A pajama day indeed. Jumping on beds, crafty projects, and painting kept us busy most of the day. It was quite divine:)

The paintings were fun and we worked with watercolor and acrylic. Even I managed to get my fingertips dirty. The idea: simple lines and shapes with limited colors (and teaching my little one, moderation with paint). I love the way these came out!

The bracelets are another story. Ya, we've all seen them and yes... any mom you ask will say she's tired of finding these plastic bands ALL around the house. But I have a wonderful story to share.  It all started when my fourth grader decided she wanted to be classroom president. Every student was required to run, complete with a presentation & speech about what he or she would do if they became class president. There were some great ideas inspired by books we've read & we couldn't believe how eager she was. Working on this at home for some time made a difference. We couldn't be happier when we found out the good news. She was classroom president! "Now, I want to do something really special mom. I want to make a fundraiser." (This past year, "fundraiser" became a common household word....) "Do you think I can sell those bracelets for the kids that are at St. Jude's?"  To make sure we were talking about the same thing, I asked her which kids? Her brief reply referring to the commercials she's seen made me realize, she knew what and who she was talking about. I wanted to know why as well. What was it that she has seen or heard that made her want to help? She said it just didn't seem fair for them. "We're making all these bracelets and if we sold them, maybe the money could help them find a cure so they could get better & go home." Speechless, I just stared at her. As parents, we want to know that we are raising our kids to care, to be thoughtful, and have compassion. Never did I picture my nine year old wanting to do a fundraiser for other children. In all honesty, I didn't even know what to do. I guess I thought it was something she "just said."  Yes, I was still shocked and maybe a coping mechanism for having a strong minded child. "It's just an idea," I kept saying to myself.  And instead... I did the unthinkable. I remained silent and didn't pursue her fundraiser. She brought it up here and there, saying, "Mom, when are you going to call the principal for the fundraiser? Did you email my teacher?" For Christmas break & a couple weeks, we didn't hear about it. I thought her idea was long forgotten and she had changed her mind. Little did I know that silence can allow your child to speak louder and in their own voice. This past week it happened. I found a message left on my cell phone. It was the school principal. He had talked briefly about my daughter's persistence & how she wanted to have this really special fundraiser. "Let's get in touch and hear the plan, 'cause I think this is great."

That was it ~ she meant business. Before I knew it, I was in touch with St. Jude's, managed to contact the school, & get her game plan rolling. Sometimes it's the most unselfish things that can determine who we are and what we want to become. Glad to see she's on a magnificent start in wanting to make a difference. So as for the bracelets, we are super busy. Sewing will take the back burner so my little ones can show me how to make more than a 'fishtail'.  I don't think I will ever look at one of those rubber bands the same again. And yes, we're hoping to send some bracelets too:)

Happy Trails to making a difference:)

Friday, January 17, 2014

A little January note....

Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. 
~ Author Unknown

Coming across these words on a day planned for cleaning & organizing reminded me
that some messes promise results:)

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Prepping for February

I've done it. I think I officially went overboard. A much anticipated extravaganza hooked me at Joann's. It's like I lost crafting control. When time came, I found myself in line with yards of fabric, Valentine stickers, a wreath, ribbon, and scrapbooking items. But, I have good reason. Sale, sale, sale!

I'm sharing with you my finds and the main reason for my trip ~  Valentine's! Every year the girls & I make homemade Valentine's to pass out at school. After creating a couple, the girls choose which one they like best. This year's winners are.........

cupcakes and bookmarks!

They weren't too crazy about my take on "you give my heart that fuzzy feeling," 
(which sported real fuzzy fabric).
But I thought it was genius!

On another note~
My daughter's school project had me flipping through photo boxes and scrapbooks from years ago. They needed to collect a few pics to create a time line of how they've grown. A beautiful project indeed. This made me want to scrapbook all over again! Therefore... I just needed paper flowers and awesome stacks!

Plus.... another idea ~ paper quilting = awesome artwork for the girls bedrooms!

And the favorites:

Why can't these be fabric choices?
Ohh the items that inspire.....

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Let's Catch Up....

The Christmas tree is sloooowly coming down. All the beautiful ornaments have been put away.... A little bitter sweet as usual. An area once filled with the crisp smell of pine and look of glitter is now gone. Instead, an open space will be available with the possibility of anything to fill it. The home is recovering from a mish mash of Christmas meets birthdays x2! Multiple Santa figurines, birthday balloons, Christmas cards, garlands, and banners were displayed everywhere.  Why don't I hold back, you ask? .... Because when all is complete ~ the tidiness is that much sweeter.

The girls have finally gone back to school. The three extra days off on break were scrumptious as I'm sure we all can remember how good it felt to have a 'snow day'. (But this time they were 'sub zero' days.) In the midst of all the freezing and wind, all I could think about was which plants weren't going to survive the ice. Hence... the gardening catalogs have slowly made their presence. The seed orders have been placed, but you'll find no new veggies here. Just some pretty flowers I hope will take. Ya know... It's officially two months till I start seeds indoors! 

And our beautiful Amaryllis bloomed! Just lovin' the bright red!

On another note~ The sewing room is getting some much needed re-organizing as the holiday season took it's toll. Because let's face it, if it didn't have a 'spot' in the house, it somehow ended up in that particular room. As the girls say, "just put it in there". I have some gorgeous, bright aprons that will be making their way to the shop. But in the meantime, here's a sneak peek!

Till next time friends!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Birthday Bunting

Hello 2014! I hope you all rang in the New Year with filled hearts and loved ones. Not only are we enjoying a snowy start ~ But look who turns 7 today! 

In celebration of my peanut's birthday, I just had to make some new birthday bunting. Pretty pinks & yellows seemed to fit her personality well. (Actually it's perfect for both girls!)  I was itching to get this project under way as soon as possible & wanted to show all of you how easy it is to make. All you need is some fabric, bias tape, and a pattern. For the 3/4 oval drops, I used Amy Butler's petal bag pattern and transferred it onto tissue paper. (I just love using patterns for other uses!) I also added about a centimeter so that after stitching, my finished piece was the actual size of the petal. But you could use medium size dishes or picture frames for your patterns. Just make sure to transfer them by tracing onto tissue paper first. For circle dishes, fold your pattern so that it creates a garland of soft half circles. 

I lined the printed fabric with a pastel, satin pink. This added a little weight too. If I had lined with quilting cotton, I would've used fusible interfacing to strengthen it. If you decide to line with satin, pin your pieces together in more than one spot because it will slide. After stitching, I snipped a little more with pinking shears so that when it was turned right side out, the edges would lay flat. You could tell by the pictures that I ended up making the bias tape too. Soft white flowers on cream fabric was just perfect to finish it off.

Bunting is so fun to make, especially when you get to use up all your remnants. I think I'm hooked! 
Isn't it just lovely?

Happy Trails to the Birthday girl and a New Year:)