Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Moments

Today we took Gabe to the Binder Park Zoo. We just knew he would love seeing the animals from his picture books up close, and we knew he would love riding the kiddie train around. We were so excited to take him on this outing.

We knew some of the things he would love, but he still had some surprises up his sleeve for us. One of the biggest thrills of the day was sitting. Anywhere there was a seat, or anything that vaguely resembled a seat (like the above chicken crate)he had to sit. At a few points along the trail when he wouldn't ride in his stroller or walk with us, we got him to follow right on our heels by saying, "Hey, Gabe! There's a seat up here! Let's go sit!" And he would walk away from whatever tree or leaf or rock he was inspecting to go sit on a bench.

He even tried to use the pygmy goats as seats. He's such a funny boy.

We went through the African Safari part of the zoo, and as we were sitting on a bench eating some popcorn we saw two children throwing fits. Child number one wasn't allowed to get what he wanted from the gift shop. His parents drug him away kicking and screaming. Child number two wasn't allowed to get her face painted. Her daddy carried her, sobbing violently into his shoulder out of the park.

A few moments later, my child threw his own little tantrum. Was it over the face paint? The gift shop? Nope. My boy is funny. He started bawling his eyes out because he dropped some of his popcorn on the ground and we wouldn't let him eat it. Mind you, there was a half full bucket of clean popcorn sitting on the bench. He didn't want that.

I didn't know whether to be proud or concerned. HA!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Embroidery is not my specialty

Melly (of Melly & Me) posted the pattern for this embroidered Kokeshi doll as a freebie on her blog on Friday, and even though I don't usually embroider beyond blanket stitching felt eyes on toys I make, I ran right out and bought a hoop so that I could make her.

I had purchased a book called Doodle Stitching on a whim awhile ago, and even though it had a bunch of cute ideas and instructions I really wasn't inspired to tackle a project until Melly posted this cute little stuffie.

I made my first one in simple red and pale blue to match the cherry blossom print I put on her back. Then I decided to go in a different direction from Melly's pattern and use a little bit of applique with the embroidery for a second doll.

This is how she turned out. Very cute. I really like the detail of the fabrics and the whole different dimension it ads to the embroidery. However, this was a huge pain in my rear. Embroidering through two layers of fabric and two layers of interfacing was a challenge to say the least. Especially keeping in mind the title of my post. I am not very experienced.

I chose to use that leftover rayon embroidery floss from my youngest sister's birthday gift because it was shiny and there were gold accents in the kimono and obi fabric I chose. I hated it then, but I thought it might work better for an actual embroidery project. Nope. Still hate it. Impossible to work with, probably won't ever do it again.

But I am pretty pleased with how my first ever lazy daisy turned out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

One quarter

I have finished 10 more blocks since I first posted about the quilt I'm working on. I know I won't keep up this momentum, but I am pretty happy that I have nearly a quarter of the blocks for this quilt done after only a few days of working on it.

I tried to incorporate a few more vibrant colors into these blocks. I'm loving the way they mesh with the older blocks while still standing out. I can't wait to see how this whole thing comes together.

I think I'm just going to keep making blocks until I run out of teal and green scraps. Whatever doesn't end up in the quilt I will make into something else.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A start

I decided Sunday to begin with the scrappy quilt. I don't expect to finish it any time soon, so I won't feel guilty abandoning it for my other projects when I get the supplies. I have nine blocks done as of this morning.

I picked the fabrics in this quilt from my stash of scraps. I decided to stick with fabrics that had either a teal blue or an earthy green because I had an overwhelming amount of them. So far I am thinking that even if it is combined with an earthy green or a teal blue, there will be no pink on this quilt. But I may change my mind about that and use more of my Lila Tueller scraps from my patchwork bag.

I absolutely love how these blocks come together and make the star pattern.

These secondary squares are pretty cool too.

If you hadn't noticed there are only eight of the nine blocks in the first three photos. The picture above is the elusive block number nine. I don't like it. I should rephrase that, I like it, but the teal seems to fade into the background and it doesn't mesh well with the other blocks I have made so far. I'm not tossing it out yet. I have no idea how the rest of these blocks are going to come together and this may just fit in somewhere I can't see at this point. Worst case scenario, I can always put it on the back of the quilt.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Moments

It is a unique perspective having a teenager and a two year old. I think that's why I love, and have been posting so many pictures of my son trying to be just like Daddy. I know these days are fleeting, and there will be a time when he thinks his dad is lame (and maybe a little weird) just like his big brother does.

Saturday afternoon when my husband went to mow the lawn, Gabe ran right straight to the garage and hauled out his Fisher Price mower. It was an adorable thing, watching him walk the rows his dad had just mowed. Stopping to occasionally pull the string and give his mower a dirty look as if asking it, "Hey, why aren't you making that much noise?"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where to begin

It has certainly been nice relaxing for the last week or so, but I definitely need to get back in the crafty saddle as I have a laundry list of projects to complete.

I am not sure where I want to start. I have been meaning to work on a scrappy quilt, one of those projects that I expect will take months, if not years, to complete. That way, when the mood strikes me to sit at the machine I will always have something in progress.

I want to make a bed for this cute, but extremely annoying dog.

I need to start on my son's Halloween costume before too long.

I could start on some Christmas gifts I've had in mind for awhile.

I have a very special baking project that I want to work on. I think I'm going to shop for the ingredients for that later.

I am putting off planning a second birthday party for a certain little boy who I cannot believe is almost two.

Big list...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I must apologize for missing a Monday Moment, but I was three hours north of home throwing a baby shower this weekend. It was a lot of fun, a lot of activity and not a lot of opportunity to get online.

So, now that it's over with I can show you a few things. Remember this teaser pic I posted a few weeks ago? Here is the actual item, completed, though not hanging up at the party. I didn't get any photos of that.

How cute did that turn out? I especially love the little puppy face as the O.

As you can see from the banner, the baby shower colors were all sorts of reds, blues and browns. We did red velvet cupcakes with whipped icing. My second time ever using my dessert decorating gun, I think I made pretty cute little frosting swirls on the cupcakes.

And last but not least, my niece. Wearing her birthday dress and my shoes, carrying the puppy I made for her baby brother. Of course, in true three year old fashion she has a mouth full of food and is no way prepared for a photo, but that's what makes it great.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Moments

As I said in yesterday's post, there have been some big changes in our house this week. Meet our newest family member, Roxy! Through a completely crazy set of circumstances we found ourselves taking in this puppy who needed a home.

It has been quite the adjustment having her here. Getting up in the middle of the night because she has to go outside to potty, worrying about how much time we take at the grocery store, and trying to teach both the toddler and the puppy the difference between baby toys and dog toys. Watching my son walk up to her and say he loves her makes all of the hard work worth it, though.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sock diggity dog

I finished the second sock dog! I didn't make a collar for this one yet. I put the red collar for the first dog on him and didn't like it. I don't know if it was just the color or if the stripes make it look weird.

I am probably starting the third and final dog tonight. Time is running down on this baby shower business! I can't believe how much I have accomplished in less than two months.

It has been quite the week here, there has been a pretty big change in my house that I will blog about tomorrow. My printer died, pushing back a few baby shower projects. It rained yesterday (when the sock dog was finished) so I couldn't take photos and today it is 104 degrees outside according to the thermometer in my car. Yuck-O.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Moments

My husband's birthday was this weekend. He has a slight fixation on Land Rovers so I bought him this ridiculous remote control one. It was supposed to be Dad's toy, but my son wasn't having that. He saw it in the basement and yelled "Truck! Truck!" He grabbed his shoes and headed for the door.

Of course, his daddy was nice enough to let him play with it. He wasn't so good at the controls, but man did he flip out whenever we took them away. He is ALL BOY...minus that little Dora the Explorer obsession.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The eye of the beholder

I was making a stuffed animal recently that called for button eyes, but as a lot of parents get nervous about buttons as choking hazards I decided to go with my favorite standby, felt.

I sketched out three different eyes, the two above and one more closed eye with the eyelashes in the middle. I cut them out of felt and put them on the toy. I knew immediately that I liked the closed eye look the best. To me, it said cuddly bedtime buddy in a way that the open eye did not.

My husband took one look at it and made his choice known. "I like the open eye. The other ones just look like blue dots, not eyes."

So I decided, as a bunch of you know, to send out an e-mail with several photos of the different eyes on the animal. I didn't let anyone know what was up, just that I needed help making a decision and I anxiously awaited the opinions.

What I found out was that exactly half of the people agreed with me, and half of them agreed with my husband. Normally in a situation like that I would go with my gut, BUT, the people who preferred the closed eye generally made comments like, "Oh! I love them all, but the closed eye is my favorite!"...the people who agreed with my husband commented things like, "I don't like the closed eye AT ALL."

It was enough to make me go back to the drawing board. I googled the type of animal I was making (a surprise for someone who reads here, to be revealed later) and grabbed out the sketch book yet again. I came up with this. I think it's a decent compromise.