Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Flirty Apron Sent & Received

This is a bit of a picture of the apron I made for my partner. I mailed it off today but forgot to have my husband or Nature Girl take a proper picture of it. This was my one handed self snap shot of it. I really need to get a dress model so I can photograph the aprons I make. The funny thing about this apron is that for once I actually followed the pattern to the letter and didn't deviate or do my own thing. That's hard for me, I suffer from creative-itis! Creative-itis is a disorder where you think you can tweak things a bit to make them work better for you. It often results in extra time using your seam ripper, lots of curse words, frustration and learning things the hard way.

For the Spring Flirty Apron Swap we had to include three tuck-ins with your apron. The challenge was to match the items with your partner's initials. I used fabric scraps from the apron to make a few of the tuck-ins. I made my partner a rug mug, a wire bird's nest pendant/keychain, a quilted kite and I sent along the Sunday Dinner apron pattern. It's the pattern I used to make her apron. I had a hard time sending off the kite as I love it and so wanted to keep it to hang in our craft room/office. But I sent it on it's way today. I hope she'll like the package I sent.

But don't feel too bad for me because we got apron swap mail yesterday! Isn't the wrapping beautiful! It's funny how pretty wrapping makes it even more exciting to open the package to see what's inside!

Deidrea sent two aprons, one for Nature Girl and one for me! I love Nature Girl's expression here as she opened a box with a sweet treat shaped like a diamond ring. She's already wearing the apron Deidrea made for her.

Spring is finally in the air here. The new aprons and the spring weather lead to dancing and horsing around in our front yard and this upside down moment. The neighbors probably wondered what we were up to! Thank you to Deidrea who sent us this wonderful apron package! Nature Girl and I loved the package! The aprons are unique and beautiful!! Thank you!!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from us to you! May you have hoppy, I mean HAPPY day surrounded by your friends and family!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Preparing for Easter

We're preparing for Easter and our spring break. Isn't this bunny bag sweet? My teaching roommate brought it back from California. It's filled with sweet treats and Easter goodies.

I found this cookie at our local bakery. It's a shortbread cookie with candy coating and a marshmallow bunny. It's called a Little Bunny Foo Foo cookie. I bought one for Nature Girl and I ate one too. Yum!

Our spring break starts tomorrow night. We're excited! Nature Girl and I made a list of things to do over vacation. Nature Girl thought of the title for our list - Our Awesome Vacation List. I made a to do list for myself too. She aptly named that one the Boring List and said it had to be kept separate from Our Awesome Vacation List. Too Funny! She added 7 activities to the Awesome list, since we have a week off and a week has 7 days. Really we have 9 days off but I didn't tell her that. With our lists ready I'm sure we'll have an awesome vacation!
We hope you have a great Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Girls Night

Nature Girl and I had a girls night last week. We had dinner together, stopped off a thrift store to look around and then went home to relax. We had a good time!

We ate at Panera bread. Nature Girl claims this was the best tomato soup and bread ever. She sheepishly told me it was even better than my tomato soup. This is funny since I make her tomato soup from a can.

After dinner, thrifting and a bit of grocery shopping we headed home to relax. Here we are taking a self portrait. We had accidentally zoomed the camera in too far, but I like how this picture turned out.

This is another self portrait. Nature Girl gave us makeovers by fixing our hair. I was looking very pretty with over 25 barrettes in my hair. I really enjoyed girls night. It was nice to spend the time together and just have a night of fun without the regular interruptions of life. I think we need to schedule more girls nights and maybe a few nights that include the daddy too!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April Friday Night Sew In

I participated in the April Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) this week. It's was fun though admittedly I started late Friday night so it became a Friday night and Saturday night sew in for me. Nevertheless I have finished my project. I made this ruffled scarf from a pattern I found awhile ago over at the Sewing Republic. It's meant to be a thank you gift for someone who wears a lot of white and cream. I'm a bit worried that the green & white gingham looks like a kitchen curtain around my neck. I asked my husband. He said now that I pointed it out, yes. What do you think? I bought some more fabric, not gingham, so I can make a few more of these. Nature Girl has requested a pink one to go with her pink sequins hat and I want to make a black and white one for myself.

Want to know more about the FNSI? Click here to go to Heidi's blog and see a list of people who participated. It's kind of fun to see what everyone made.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Doodles and Bits of Wool

We've had birds on the brain here. The April YOE theme is bird's nests. This combined with my habit of drawing and sewing little red birds has made for lots of bird crafts. As a result I can finally take this note off my desk.

Nature Girl asked me, back in January when I sewed this red wool bird for Gin, if I would make her a bird too. I gave her some paper and asked her to write me a note so I wouldn't forget. This is the note she wrote. I quickly scrawled a few extra details and put it on my desk to look at later.

I haven't had time to work on it but could you disappoint this sweet little face? No, of course not! She's the biggest supporter and fan of my crafts. She always seems to think I'm capable of far more than I think I'm capable of. She frequently checks on me when I'm crafting to provide her opinion and request that I make things for her. Often with the activity of everyday life these projects get put on hold, so when I had a few extra minutes this past weekend I decided to try to sew her a bird. It took me two months to get to it but I'm finally finished and can remove the note from my desk.

This little green bird was made from a recycled wool sweater. She thought it needed a nest and some eggs so I figured out a way to make a nest from another felted sweater. We added a few little green pom-poms to look like eggs in the nest.

As I worked on the bird she found the cuff of the sweater on the craftroom floor and claimed it. She wore it on her wrist before coming back to tell me it was almost like the fingerless gloves she saw made on a craft show. I had cut the cuffs of the green sweater too short so we pulled out another sweater then cut and stitched those cuffs into fingerless gloves.

See, she loves them! She's been wearing them all week. I think she might be sad now that spring is on it's way and she won't need to wear wool gloves anymore! We've certainly have had fun with our bits of wool!

With the arrival of spring a bird doodle seemed like a good idea. I had a bunch of meetings this morning at school so I doodled this tree as I listened. The drawing needed some color so I took it home. I find coloring to be very relaxing so a spent some time coloring tonight. I really enjoy doodling and coloring!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Clean Up & Recycling

Looking proud of her work.

This weekend we spent some time outside enjoying a day of 60 degree weather. Since it was so nice, we went for a family walk in our neighborhood. As we walked we saw lots of trash, aluminum cans and bottles strewn along the side of the road. Nature Girl was upset that people would throw trash on the ground. She has always been conscientious about putting trash where it belongs and taking care of the Earth. We discussed cleaning up the trash another time when we had bags with us. She agreed that we should clean it up but was worried about getting her hands dirty. Dirty hands, not a problem! We have a box of disposable gloves left over from a tie-dye project.
Monday after school Nature Girl and I set out on another walk wearing our disposable gloves and carrying a few trash bags. We didn't get very far down the road before encountering a new and unfriendly looking dog in our neighborhood. There is a leash law in our town but apparently his family doesn't know about it. We opted to turn around and clean up the other side of the street instead of facing this unfriendly fellow. We filled a bag about a third full with trash and collected half a bag of cans, glass and plastic bottles.

Nature Girl thought we needed a staged photo of the clean up. Here she is picking up a beer can. She crushed and recycled the cans, then sorted the plastic and glass. We took it all out to the the curb where it was recycled the next morning. We'd like to keep working on our neighborhood spring clean up and recycling effort but we have to wait for it to stop raining. It's been raining for days. I just checked the weather and it looks like the rain is supposed to continue through the weekend, so maybe next week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Progress Not Perfection

I usually try to stay positive and share funny things and crafty tidbits here on our blog but today's post is something I've been ruminating and pondering on for a few days. I just can't seems to figure it out and don't know how to change it. So this is my attempt to get it all down and try to make some sense of it.

Progress not perfection. That has become my mantra in my adult life. I have always struggled with the idea that somehow I am supposed to be perfect, do everything right and never make mistakes. While I know that this is not realistic or even possible, I have never been able to fully let go of this idea. I do not have this expectation of others. As a matter of fact I am very forgiving and understanding of the mistakes of others, after all they are only human! But try as I might I can't accept this idea for myself. Yes, I know this is my own crazy issue! It's one that I usually try to keep hidden but it's come to the surface this week. When Nature Girl was born I learned to let go of some of my internal need to be perfect. She was fussy and had to be held 24 hours a day. I couldn't do things to my previous standard so I learned to let go a little. Apparently not enough!

It seems that Nature Girl has inherited a bit of this perfectionism. Her report card came home last week. Students are graded on this scale: S- = standard not met, S = standard met, and S+ = exceeds standard. Nature Girl's report card was all S and S+ with the exception of two little areas that were S-. Both areas are skills that just require a little bit more rote practice, which we will ensure she gets. My husband and I were pleased with her report card. We praised her as we reviewed it together. When she saw the first S- she started to cry. I felt so terrible!!! To see her so upset about it was heart breaking! She's just in first grade. It is not our expectation that her report card be perfect but it seems to be her expectation. She has always been a child that does not like to be wrong, make mistakes or lose( I wonder where is got that from?!!).

So this leads me to wonder is perfectionism a trait that is inherited? How can I teach her from a young age to stop reaching for something that is a myth and is never possible to achieve? Better yet how do I teach myself that so I can teach her? Being motivated and ambitious is not a bad thing but feeling terrible when you haven't done something perfect, even when that something very small, is a bad thing! I don't want her to struggle through life with this. Somehow I need to remember the mantra - "Progress not perfection." - and teach her as well. So how do I do that? Telling her that she's not perfect and we don't expect her to be isn't enough. We've already been doing that so it's time for a new plan. I just haven't figured it out what that plan is yet. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gnome Bowling

February's YOE theme was gnomes so I made this little gnome bowling set for a YOE giveaway. These gnomes are happily living at Kerry's house now. Nature Girl loved the movie Gnomeo and Juliet so when she saw these gnomes she wanted her own set. I thought she should be able to make her own set.

I gave her some wood doll pins and she went to work painting them. I took pictures of the process along the way and we've created a tutorial so others can make their own gnome bowling set too.
Nature Girl painted her gnomes blue and red like the movie. She had the idea of mixing the colors together. I helped put the polka dots on at her request. I also helped with sewing and gluing the hats on. When she finished making her gnomes she used a Chrystal Light container to make a gnome home to store her game in. I love the ladder going into the tree hole and the little squirrel she drew. It turned out so cute!
The picture is a bit dark but, here the gnomes have been set up for a game of bowling. In between frames the gnomes were paired up and married. The red hats married blue hats and lived happily ever after. It was very cute! If you'd like to see how to make your own gnome bowling set you can look on the sidebar or click here for instructions.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools Equals a Snow Day!

Well, here in the Northeast April Fools Day equaled a snow day. I have to admit I've enjoyed being home with Nature Girl today, hanging out in our pjs and crafting all day. But here's where the fool part comes in. . . for every snow day we have it means another day of school day tacked on to the end of the year. Now school will be in session until June 22nd! We'll be dieing in the heat come June. I work on the second floor with just one small window we open in a feeble attempt to cool ourselves. That's what I have to look forward to in June but for today I enjoyed my time at home.

We made unsweetened ice tea with our new ice tea maker. This is Nature Girl's glass. Yes amazingly she loves unsweetened tea and lemons! She accessorized her own glass with the umbrella and straw.

It was a productive craft day for me. I finished another hedgehog pincushion this morning trying a smaller nose this time. I think I prefer the big honking nose on my original prototype but I love the look of the colorful leave shaped pins I added. I found these pins at JoAnn Fabrics a few weeks ago.

Then I finally got around to finishing and posting a felt bunny in an egg tutorial(it's on the side bar.) I made the one in the picture for Nature Girl last year for Easter. I'd like to make a few more to use for Toy Society drops. Maybe I'll get them done this weekend.
I also made this little apron for Nature Girl. I have three more like it cut out waiting to be sewn. I wanted to make them for my nieces in Hawaii. I planned to have them done before we visited but as you know we've already been to Hawaii and back and I haven't started sewing them yet.
Sewing an apron today meant I got to use my brand new iron for the first time. I read Karen's post about her new red T-Fal iron and decided to try it for myself. It arrived this week along with the ice tea maker. So now I'm sipping ice tea and ironing. For those of you who know me and know that I rarely iron my clothes with an iron. . .yes, it's true I use the dryer for ironing. . . you maybe questioning why I even need an iron. It's purely for crafty purposes like apron making, sewing, etc. and for the occasional yet extremely rare ironing of an actual article of clothing. The iron worked like magic today and it shut itself off. Definitely a good thing.
well, I'm off to craft a bit more before bedtime, for tomorrow the snow day is over and it's back to the real world of house cleaning and school work! I enjoyed nature's April Fools joke and made the most of the snow day.