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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The fair was in town

Summer is officially almost over. The Farmer's Day Fair was held this past weekend. A week earlier than usual but it still signifies the end of summer. We went on opening night to eat lots of really yummy food, let the kids explore the midway, and to see all our friends. Jimmy promptly found his best friend and took off. He is getting too big. The kids won some prizes at the games and Bianca surprised us all by winning a large stuffed dragon at a dart game. Who knew she had such good aim?

Bianca and I ended up wandering down to the fair again on Saturday for the horse show and so I could see the craft fair. Bianca has been obsessed with horses lately and I am going to have to call about some lessons for her. I was hoping this obsession would blow over but it has only gotten stronger. We watched some of the English walk/trot classes and then wandered over to the horse pull. Several sweet horse owners let Bianca pet their animals.

Then we wandered up to the craft fair. Before I even got in the building I had bought a jar of caramel sauce and two marble painted fat quarters. Bianca also got to marble paint a small piece of fabric. I found out from the vendor what paint they use and I may have to order some and give it a try. The results are beautiful.

Once inside, there were booths offering jewelery, cupcakes, hand knits, crotchet items, and hand carved furniture. Bianca tried her hand at paper making, made a river rock necklace and got a crochet beret that she hasn't taken off since I bought it. I think I may try out a booth next year. I have a feeling American Girl clothes will sell really well. We also looked through the contest entries. The quilt and needle work were amazing. I may enter some socks into the knit category next year and I think my picture of the deer in our yard will be going in the photography contest.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's a twin

So Bianca has a bunch of friends but her two best friends just happen to share her love of American Girl dolls. What is a crafty mom to do but make some skirts that match for all the girls' dolls. Unfortunately, I realized I didn't have quite enough of this fabric to make three skirts, although two skirts out of two fat quarters isn't bad. So one of Bianca's friends will get this skirt:

Purple side of skirt

Green side of skirt

The other will be getting a skirt made of these two fabrics. Please excuse the cat hair on the close ups and the cat on the iron board; I still need to wash the fabric:

Fabric 1

Fabric 2

Both fabrics together

I am a bit obsessed with the blue/green combo lately. Luckily, Bianca is happy with any doll clothing. Although, she really fell in love with some purple and pink batiks at our local quilt shop. So you may see some of those in the future.

There are a few things I learned making this skirt a second time. First, read the directions again. Even if it is a really simple pattern and you think you know what you are doing. If you don't you may (like me) sew the skirt together before adding the velcro. If you do there are two options, you can cheat and just sew it on even though the stitches will show on the outside or you can pick out the entire seam while swearing at yourself, attach the velcro and then resew the seam. In case you didn't guess I chose the second option.

The second thing I learned actually made my life easier. As I was trying to mark where the velcro goes I had an epiphany. If I cut out the area on the pattern where the velcro goes I could just mark the area as I marked the pattern. Just make sure you make your marks on the right side of the pattern since that is where the velcro gets attached.

Pattern on fabric

Close-up of velcro area

Once I get the next two skirts done, I think I may make the girls matching shirts for their dolls. I think I may also look for a way to modify the pattern to make a girl's skirt.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

All things girly (or at least American Girly)!

I love having a little girl. There is just something about having a girl to share girly things. I just get her! The last few years she has really been into American Girls. Last year for Christmas she got Saige. Two years ago she got Jess and Kaya. I have been sewing a ton of clothes for her lately. Thankfully, Jess and Kaya have been willing to model them for me.

The reversible wrap skirt, modeled by Jess:

 The wrap skirt is a great free pattern. This blog has some great advice on making the skirt and also have a link to the free pattern on Craftsy. The skirt is super easy and even a beginner sewer would have no issue. The hardest part was making sure I had the velcro lined up correctly.

 Jeans and t-shirts, modeled by Kaya:

The jeans and shirt pattern are from Liberty Jane. Every Friday they have a free pattern and they also have several that are always free. The first shirt is from the free Trendy t-shirt pattern. The second is using the t-shirt variations pack using the 3/4 length sleeve. I am going to have to cut the sleeves a bit shorter next time because they ended up more like long sleeves. I like the pattern but hemming the neckline and setting the sleeves are really fussy. If you get the variation pack there is a way to add a neckband which would probably be much easier.

The jeans are pretty easy. When I first read the pattern it was confusing. The best thing to do is to just start sewing. Some things are clearer once the previous steps have been finished. They actually have usable pockets. One of my back pockets ended up bigger than the other when it was all said and done and something is a bit wonky about the waist but overall I am happy.

The last thing to share is the cute cut outs I put up in Bianca's room. I actually found them at Dollar Tree. There is a weird shadow on Tinkerbell in the photo. The words say "A dream is a wish the heart makes".

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Things have really changed

So, I have been sitting here thinking about how much things have really changed in the last year. And boy, have they changed. Jay and I bought a house. We love it. It is 5 minutes from the kids school and my job. It is close enough to town to be convenient but far enough away that we are pretty isolated. The best part is we are only a mile from the beach.

The second major chance is I got a new job. I loved my housekeeping job because it was flexible but I really wanted to put my degree to work. I was hired at the local elementary school and I am a 1:1 para in the intensive needs program. I work with a sweet adorable little boy. He and his family are just amazing and I really love my job.

Now for the minor changes. We lost one of our cats almost two years ago and our other one last summer. We also lost our dog in August. In September we added two kittens to our household. Al & Abby are brother and sister. They are too cute. Please ignore the bag of donations in the first photo.


Then for Mother's Day Jason got me a new puppy. She is a border collie, lab, husky, and Australian Shepard mix. We named her Timber.

Yes, she is very strange and sleeps with her head in Jason's shoe.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Something about our yard...

Our new yard seems to attract wildlife. Today we had a mid-morning visitor. Bianca noticed him first out the window.

About a month ago in the early morning we had four very special visitors.

I am not sure what it is about our yard that the animals like so much but I am glad they do. It makes for some great photos!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fun at the Lake

Today Jimmy had a baseball tournament over in Readsboro. He rode over with his coach. I wasn't sure what to do with Bianca so I went and picked up her BFF. These girls have been friends since preschool. They are heading into 2nd grade in the fall and will be in the same class again. I guess the teachers know a good combo when they see one.

Since it was another hot day I decided to take the girls to the lake. I got some amazing photos. One of my Mother's Day presents from Jay was a Nikon D3200. I am still learning all the ropes but I love the camera.  I also got a bit of a sunburn. I guess I missed a few spots with the sunscreen.

As for the tournament, Jimmy's team took 3rd. I was extremely impressed. The teams they were playing were older, all-star teams. Jimmy had a great time and his coach was happy with how he well he behaved. The last game he was batting .750. She said he also made some good fielding plays.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sleepover fun

Recently my kids have discovered the fun of sleepovers. Bianca went to her first sleepover at the end of last summer and has been loving them ever since. I think we have either had a extra child sleeping here or have lost a child to a sleepover every week in the last month. Thankfully both kids have a close circle of friends where I really like the kids and trust the parents.

Last night Bianca had one of her good friends over after the girl's spa birthday party. I wish that I had thought to have someone sleepover with Jimmy too. It is actually easier to have both kids have a friend. This morning the girls were having a blast making themselves mustaches and then dressing up as princesses.