Monday, July 28, 2014

Cousins and dirt

Dirt 4

Dirt 2

Dirt 3

Dirt 5

Dirt 6

Kaitlyn 2

Braeden 1

Sometimes all kids need to have a really great time is a whole lot of freedom and an equal amount of dirt.  It never ceases to amaze me that kids can occupy themselves for so long with so very little.  We were fortunate enough to have my nephews come and stay with us for a week, and boy oh boy did these kids have a great time together.  There was no need for elaborate activities or toys to keep them busy and happy.  All we needed were the thankfully cooler temperatures and lots of freedom to roam, play, and dig.  Kait was more than happy to show her cousins all the best ways to play and get really and truly dirty.  You know it was a good time when more often than not we had to spray off with the water hose or strip down on the porch before coming in the house.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

KCW: Day 3 Twirl Skirt

Three days into the Kids Clothes Week challenge and I've already made three skirts, I'm calling that a major win.  Not everything I have planned for the week is going to fit in with the "kid art" theme because I'm making myself complete the week using only fabrics from my stash.  There are so many amazing fabrics out right now that I could easily convince myself I needed for this week, but I'm resisting.  Somehow.  Have you seen the Wee Wander collection?  It's a miracle I haven't caved.  I'm pretty sure I need a fabric shopping reward for not buying any this week right?

But for now I'm staying strong and using fabrics that I bought ages ago that have sat unloved until now.  It feels good to finally put these fabrics to good use and to make a bit more room in my sewing area as well.  It was beginning to get a bit crowded in here and I actually started to feel guilty about the amount of unused fabric.  Shocking right?  The fabrics I used today on this skirt were purchased two (seriously, two) years ago to make a skirt just like this.  Why in the world did it take me two years to finally use a fabric that I bought with a project already in mind?  Especially something so simple.

Though, I guess it didn't turn to be the quickest of simple projects.  Sometimes it is the simplest projects that turn out to give you the most trouble.  That turned out to be the case with this "simple" layered skirt.  It was nothing but user error by not paying attention to my layers as I sewed them together...yep, I sewed the middle layer in with the seams facing out.  Sigh.  It was an easy (though time consuming) fix, and in roughly twice the time it should have taken the skirt was finished.

Floral Skirt 1

Floral Skirt 3

Floral Skirt 5 

 This girl of mine and her love of long skirts.  Skirts and dresses can be hard to find in a length that will please her, especially as she gets older and even taller.  Thank goodness for a mama that can keep her well stocked for as long as she's still into this style - which I realize could change at absolutely any moment.  I was a little concerned it had passed right in the middle of sewing this skirt actually.  Midway through when she walked by and commented "Mama, I'm just not so sure about it.  It's awfully long isn't it?" as she scowled at the fabrics I thought for sure I was going to end up having to find a new home for it.  Thankfully the moment it was finished she declared it to be "just beautiful and perfect" and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief as I watched her twirl about the room in it.  I think the twirl factor might have saved me on this one.  Whew.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

KCW: Day 1 Fairy Skirt

Yesterday was the first day of Kids Clothes Week, and it took me by surprise just like every other time.  I knew that if I didn't jump right in with something simple to get myself started I'd probably just skip out on the whole week and I really didn't want to do that this time.  The theme for this week is "kid art" and I knew that was the perfect theme for us to really jump into.  We really love art around here!  

Fairy Skirt 2

I started out with making this very basic skirt while the kiddos were napping yesterday.  A simple linen rectangle with a solid white border at the bottom, an elastic waistband and done!  It couldn't have been easier.  I had such grand ideas for what we could do with this skirt to embellish it, thinking wholly towards hand embroidering some of her awesome artwork along the white band. 

Of course the second she saw the skirt she had other plans.  Crafting with children really is the ultimate exercise in learning to let go of control.  Very rarely do my children have the same vision for a project as I do and sometimes it can be hard for me to step back and let them take over and create their own vision.  Hesitantly I handed her the skirt and told her to have at it - create whatever you think would be perfect.  Immediately she gathered up her sketch book, pencil, and fabric markers to get to work, drawing out her designs before transferring them to her skirt.

Fairy Skirt 3

Fairy Skirt 4

Fairy Skirt 5

I'm so thankful I was able to get out of her way on this project as I watched this simple skirt transform into the canvas for her art.  She spent a great deal of time working on each detail, coming alive as new ideas popped into her head as she worked.  In the end she created this amazing one of a kind fairy skirt that she (and I) are both so very proud of.  

Fairy Skirt 7

Fairy Skirt 8

Fairy Skirt 9

Fairy Skirt 12

A beautiful world of fairies represented on her skirt hem, even the back is full of them.  Such a simple project, and yet, I feel this might be one of the most important pieces we've created together.  I cannot wait for the rest of this week!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Kiddie Park

Kiddie Park 1

Kiddie Park 3

Kiddie Park 5

Kiddie Park 6

Kiddie Park 7

Kiddie Park 8

Kiddie Park 9

Kiddie Park 10

My nephews are staying with us for a few days and we're trying to make the most out of their visit with us. The majority of their visit is simply spent running wild and getting incredibly muddy but last night we took them to the Kiddie Park to ride some fun rides.  I had attempted to take our Girl Scout troop several weeks ago and the event got rained out so we just divided up all the tickets between the girls so everyone could go back whenever they had a chance this summer.  We saved our tickets until now and I'm so glad that we did.  The kids had an absolute blast riding everything together, though I do think Braeden might have had the most fun of anyone.  He was all smiles through the whole night.  Thank goodness for the 3 hour nap they decided to take yesterday afternoon because it was so late when we got back home, even with that nap they all happily climbed into bed and were asleep in seconds.  That is a good day for everyone.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coral Reef

Ever since the mermaid birthday party we've been on mermaid overload. When the opportunity to join an ocean themed swap came about I knew that I needed to take the chance to add to our underwater pretend play.

We're still waiting for our box full of goodies to arrive but for my part of the swap I decided to branch out from my normal crafting supplies and try something new. I used a scroll saw to create these cute little wooden coral reef toys. They are going to be perfect for playscapes and pretend play.

I have to say I was a little nervous to try and make them but I had so much fun with the process.  I've already started a couple more woodworking projects since finishing these.  I might just have to ask Santa for my own new saw for Christmas.  And perhaps and extra large supply of spare blades.  Ahem.
     Coral 1

I wanted to add a little something extra just for fun so I included some hand sewn wool felt starfish. I used wool roving that we picked up at a local sheep farm recently to stuff them and did a simple blanket stitch around the outside.

I hope these pieces will be as well loved at their new homes as they are in ours.  I'm always so nervous whenever I mail something out because I'm just sure they're going to be hated.  I know it's ridiculous but I just can't seem to help it.  I always tell the girls to do their best and be proud of their work but it doesn't seem to be a lesson that I've quite learned yet.  Someday...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


It has been a while since I've made any stuffies or dolls but I had a request for a turtle for a new baby gift and I knew the perfect one to make.  I've had this pattern from Make it & Love it saved for ages and was excited to have a good excuse to finally make one.  

Turtles 2

Turtles 1

Turtles 5

Turtles 3

Turtles 4

Turtles 6

Turtles 7

The pattern went together incredibly easily and in no time I had a sweet little turtle!  Of course I couldn't stop at just one (have you noticed that about me yet?) and so I had to make him a little friend to keep him company.  They're just too fun!

Monday, July 14, 2014


It's amazing how a small (missing) piece of technology can cause such big problems. Thankfully it was an inexpensive small piece of technology and now I can once again upload pictures off of my camera to share with everyone. It did give me quite a bit of time to write out blog posts for all the waiting pictures and I think I have posts scheduled through the end of the month now. Except this post, this is just a last minute addition because I can't resist sharing some of these pictures from our holiday weekend. It's so much fun for everyone when the girls get to spend time with their cousins and we're really trying to make it happen as often as possible. I just wish I had gotten a picture of all of them together where you could actually see their faces - next time for sure.

    Fourth 14

Fourth 15

Fourth 13

Fourth 12

Fourth 6

Fourth 4

Fourth 7

Fourth 2

Fourth 1

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Swimming

Swimming 1

Swimming 4

Swimming 5

Swimming 6

Swimming 7

Swimming 8

Swimming 3

Swimming 9

Swimming 10

Swimming 14

Swimming 11

Swimming 12

Swimming 13

There are few things better than these sweet and simple joys of summertime.  As the temperature rises on these oh so long days of summer we're finding it harder and harder to pull ourselves outside.  It's a bit of a weird phenomenon really.  While many people look forward to summer weather and the opportunity to spend a bit more time outside, we tend to do our hibernating during this time.  The humidity of an Oklahoma Summer has a tendency to do that to us.  Really you'd think that we'd be used to it after all of these years but that simply hasn't been the case.  

There does seem to be one exception that bring all of us out even on the hottest of days...water.  These days they are practically living in their swimsuits - putting them on first thing in the morning just in case there is time for a quick swim or run through the sprinkler at any point during our day.  And to their great enjoyment we've managed to find many opportunities for just those very things these past several days.  It's hard to say no when I know just how much fun the yes will be.  

So for now we ignore the laundry still waiting in the dryer and the to-do list begging for attention.  Summer already seems to be slipping away and I know that soon we'll be packing up the swimsuits and beach towels, trading them in for longer pants and light jackets.  So for now, while we can, we are going to soak up all the Summer time sweetness we can.