Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My baby is three today.
It's still Christmas Eve for about 45 more minutes in my timezone, so it's still her birthday. My little unicorn (see... oh, about four posts back) is three today.
Sitting here, alone in the living room with the Christmas tree lit and stockings to be stuffed I feel so eternally grateful that sweet Lucy Margaret is here to celebrate Christmas with us this year. It's still quite raw when I allow myself to go back to when she was sick and it's like a fire hydrant of fear, sorrow and tears is opened if I really allow myself to feel the emotions that I went through during that time. One week that still brings me to my knees.
I don't look back on it so that I can constantly live in the past. I keep it all in my heart so that my view of life is altered. If chocolate milk is spilled down the front of a dress -- even a dress I made and put *hours* into making -- those hours mean nothing if the little girl wearing that dress isn't around ever. A stain is a stain and it's simply a mark of living.
Happy birthday, Lucy. I love you more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just a rest stop..

I'm still dashing (in theory, at least) to get Christmas gifts done. But I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Or stopped at a rest stop for far too long and got distracted.
I've picked up a new hobby. One I obviously need (because I don't have *nearly* enough already... and oh-so-much time to complete them all.. ha!).
I'm now absolutely loving embroidering by hand. I just LOVE it! I can carry it anywhere with me and have relatively little to carry around. I like keeping my hands busy. I really dislike being somewhere and doing nothing. Any sort of tv time is the worst. While we don't have cable, relatives do... and if there's tv-watching, I'd rather be doing something crafty.
I've only done three corners of napkins thus far (and have another in the works), but I'm having such a lovely time doing it already and I can see myself continuing on.
I ordered the Ultimate Kit from which included the scissors, embroidery thread (a color pack of your choice), a textile to embroider upon, an embroidery needle, an embroidery hoop... and maybe something else? Oh yes, a transfer pattern pack (I picked "Flower Power" for my beginning ventures). And, um, I *might* just have another order with them in the works right now. One that includes more color choices of embroidery thread, more needles, more patterns... and there *is* a gift for somebody else in there too! My oldest has an embroidery kit from last year that she got but it's a tad on the cheap side of things... yet she's had an AMAZING time with it. So I went and got her a prpoer kit from here so we can sit and embroider together!
So now for photos... here are two napkins (the one on the right was my very, very first project ever!) that are quite Christmasy. Not sure where they'll make their home (the back of the one on the left isn't quite as pretty to look at... which is kind of a dilemma since they're napkins and the back *does* show).

And my favorite thus far (out of only the three projects I've completed):
Laying on my desperately-needing-a-new-cover ironing board.

But I really can't take any more breaks along the way. Not only is Christmas just around the bend, but my youngest's birthday is on Christmas Eve! I have a divine dress planned, but I'm being held up in the process by not tracing out the pattern in her size. I HAVE to do that today. My sweet little just-about-three-year-old deserves a big, ol' happy party this year. Because we're blessed to still have her here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hanging my heart(s) out there...

And I started on some blues....
I ran out of the heart ribbon, so I need to go and look for some more. I have more hearts cut out... they just need that extra punch with the ribbon I think.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Simple whimsy

They're not incredibly fancy, ornate or amazing... but I think they're just so cute.
These are going to a silent auction at church that's tomorrow. I'm making up some more for gifts in just a few minutes.
I just love, love, LOVE this batch because I think they play off of each other *so* well!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Still dashing...

I churned this dress out today after blogging about the Zoe shirt I finished earlier.. I just didn't have time to blog it because I had to go to work.

This is an Olivia dress from Farbenmix, I just omitted the hood. While I really do like the look of the hoods, my girls seem to think they're merely means of pulling each other around and I don't like how they stretch them out.

I wasn't sure how the fabric for the main body would work because it's a quite lightweight jersey, but I think it will drape okay. I'm thinking of making some leggings to go with it because I have quite a bit of that turquoise and leggings are pretty much necessary in our winter climate.

The bottom edge is simply serged and I might just leave it that way. I probably should have just done a rolled hem, but when I do that I like to do a lettuce-edge finish and this isn't a super stretchy jersey and I wasn't sure if it would 'lettuce' well and produce a nice, ruffley edge.

Two gifts down! I need to make something for the youngest next so I at least have a balance of gifts. Then I'll start all over

The less-than-four-week dash...

And I'm off... off to my sewing room and sewing like a mad woman, that is.I think I might have found some of that mysterious and elusive (to me) sewing mojo. I told myself today that I HAD to go and sew SOMETHING for at least one of the girls for Christmas. Less than four weeks to go and I had *eek* NOTHING for them.
I had purchased this material with the exact intention of sewing something up for my oldest. She completely adores anything to do with animals. I'm not much of an animal-print kind of a person (in fact, usually animal prints make me crinkle up my nose), but this was somehow perfectly acceptable.
I sewed up this raglan shirt from the Farbenmix Zoe pattern and it went together so quickly and easily and I just love it.

It's nothing super duper fancy, but I'm fairly certain that it's sure to be loved by the recipient -- and that's enough for me.
Oh, I must note also that the tag on the side of the body of the shirt has a giraffe on it! I always forget little stuff like that, but while rummaging through the sewing room trying to figure out what to sew, I found these tags and knew I had to use one on something for the oldest!
I must get back down to the sewing room after finishing up my lunch and hopefully I'll churn out one more item before I have to (ha! before I *get* to!) go to work.

What? Too late for Halloween photos?

My sewing has taken such a sidenote, it's not even funny. I love it. I just love the process of creating and then having a finished product to show -- and since I mostly make clothes, they're highly practical also!
But I really think that after getting back from the hospital, I've had a hard time getting into it. I feel like I've been catching up on everything else... and then with working part-time, my time is even more limited.
But of course the girls couldn't suffer simply because *I* was having a hard time with things... so Halloween costumes were whipped up mostly the night before the church Halloween party.
I wish I would have gotten better photos of my pirate, kitty cat and pink unicorn, but somehow in the rush I got just two decent ones.

I do love the way the mane turned out on the unicorn... but the yarn has NOT washed well at all and I think I'm going to have the rip the seam and take it all out. At least she'll have a cute, pink hoodie still out of it!
And the ears on the kitty! I wasn't sure at all how I was going to attach them, but I just cut slits where I thought the ears should go, inserted them and sewed them in... and they stood up just perfectly.
ETA: Goodness, I almost forgot some of the specifics for the sewing of these costumes! The hoodies for the younger two are both modified from the Hannel pattern, published by Farbenmix. Their velour leggings are both from an Autumn (I think?) issue of Ottobre.. 2007 I believe. They're the "Lily" leggings.
For the oldest, I needed a quick shirt pattern (no time to trace one out, I had to grab from something I'd already traced out) and ended up using the Olivia pattern by Farbenmix, but obviously I didn't make it into a dress, so I just used the top half to create the shirt. I didn't make the pirate pants... she already had some great black pants so we used those. And the red and white polka dot material around her waist? Just a piece of material from my sewing room. I just rolled it up a bit to hide raw edges and we tied it around her waist. No-sew costuming at its best!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

balancing act

Thank you so much to those who have expressed their care and concern over my littlest after being so very sick.

She's doing AMAZINGLY well now. You'd hardly ever know that she was sick at all, which is really such a blessing. Sometimes it's hard to just jump back into real life, almost as if nothing happened. Even though all I wanted to do was do something *normal* like laundry and dishes, it was so hard to come back and just keep on working. It was like I really needed a break/vacation after all that we went through.
To have to sit back and watch as your child comes close to death is nothing I would ever wish upon anybody. It's the absolute worst feeling in the world... knowing that I would give absolutely anything to take away the hurt, the pain, the illness, but knowing I can do no more than hold her hand and try to comfort her. But something worked. And she's still here.
So of course she was the recipient of my first round of sewing in weeks...
I needed a quick fix. I didn't have the time (or desire) to get into anything that was complicated in the least, so I went with the tried and true Olivia pattern by Farbenmix. I omitted the hood and the pocket on the underdress (who am I kidding, I've never even attempted the pinafore even though it looks quite cute), which made things all the faster.
I used some great ribknit (that could be dyed.. I just like it the way it is) I got from.. hm... SewZanne's I think and the magenta thermal is from JoAnns. I really want to get some more thermal material because there's something about it that just screams, "I'm nice and warm and snuggly!" and that comes in handy where I live. The wind is ferocious outside right now.
And of course, with winter approaching (heck, it feels like it's been here and left already, but I know that was just a taste of what we're in for), any little girl's dress here is going to need leggings to go underneath. I didn't get a photo of the leggings alone, but I took the lazy-because-it's-quick route and instead of creating a proper casing for the elastic for a waistband, I just used some underwear elastic (I got mine at SewZanne's) ... or maybe it's called boxer elastic? It's wide-ish and it's cute with some monkeys on it. It's so fast and easy to just serge the elastic on.
Gee whiz, I'm wordy. On to the pictures already.
Here's my littlest in all her cuteness, standing on the couch to pose. The picture looks a bit fuzzy (I like to pretend it was done on purpose for some really neat artistic effect)... and it's because I had left the digital camera out in the vehicle and it got below freezing that night, so when I brought the camera in for pictures, the lens kept fogging up!

And then a shot just a bit later of her playing in the snow in her new dress. We had inches and inches more than that, but a lot had already melted off.
I love icicles. Don't you just want to pluck them off and eat them?
And now we'll travel *back* in time a bit. The littlest returned from the hospital on a Sunday and by Monday we were out picking pumpkins at the aunt & uncles' pumpkin patch south of town. It was gorgeous. And I figure this works for the ol' sewing blog because my girls are wearing shirts that I made (even if I made them last year!).
Here's the littlest with the pumpkin she picked out all by herself: A lovely, very small, green one ;)

And my three sweet girls (yes! I made the pumpkin hat on dd2!) and their cousin.

So now I'm just trying to figure out the balance to it all. Keeping up with life (while still having to visit the doctor's office for some blood draws to make sure her counts are all looking good), working (I'm a part-time barista at my favorite coffee shop) and trying to get in a bit of sewing time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

it's been a while...

I feel like I've been a bad blogger... first homeschooling started back up, then there were a few minor colds and flu bugs...
But then it all went bad very, very fast.
For the last week I've lived at hospitals. First it was the local hospital. On Monday evening we went in because the youngest had blood in her urine. I looked just like straight blood... which of course worried me... but more than that, she had been sick for two days and was completely lethargic by then and very yellow.
It was assumed at first she simply had a UTI (urinary tract infection) that had spread to her kidneys. But it wasn't 'fixed' with antibiotics. She even got worse.
There were a few times we were reminded of the severity of it all, but the first was the night in the ER when the ER doctor said she was, "touch and go," and that our littlest was the "sickest you'd ever want to see a child."
After three nights in the local hospital her condition hadn't improved and she was taken by ambulance to a larger, regional hospital nearly three hours away.
On Thursday she was admitted to the larger hospital and placed in a regular room in the pediatric unit, but shortly after that was placed in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit).
There we were, in a larger hospital with more sick kids ... many sick kids... and yet, our littlest was the only one sick enough to be in intensive care. That was our second big reminder of how very sick she was. If she had continued in her condition for even one more night, I don't know if she'd be around still. It's hard to write that out... like they're merely words.... saying my child -- my baby -- could have died.
It's all so surreal... but yet, it was a very real possibility.
She's had two blood transfusions. I thank the heavens for those two people who had donated their blood... because that kept my little girl going.
Here is what she looked like Thursday in the PICU...

The picture isn't the greatest as it was just taken on my cell phone... but I think her yellow color comes through. She also got severely jaundiced.
They don't know what caused it. That's a scary thing.
She was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia, which means she was producing antibodies that were killing her red blood cells. .. It could almost sound silly in a 'pun-ny' kind of way, but her body was killing her life blood. The thing that keeps our bodies alive.
She saw a pediatric hemotologist and also the intensivist at the larger hospital.
Their highest-ranking theory (because they really don't know... but it's their best guess) is that something viral triggered this. Instead of fighting off the virus, her antibodies somehow did something wrong and the antibodies were killing off red blood cells.
But it's still just a theory. The pediatric hemotologist said in all the years he's been a practicing doctor, and all the years in his specialized field of pediatric hemotology (kid blood), he's never seen this. He's heard of it, but never seen it.
She's one in a million.
Of course I already *knew* she was special... I just didn't realize how special she was.
Kids are amazingly resilient.
After nearly being on her deathbed Thursday, by Friday morning she was already showing signs of perking up. She was able to move back to a room on the regular pediatric floor before noon.
By that evening she had her catheter removed. By Saturday she had her central line removed. By that evening she was climbing the beds and playing in the play room they have on the floor.
And today, Sunday, she was released and sent home.
This picture is from Friday morning... she still has quite a few wires on her, but she was smiling.

Today, to look at her, you'd never guess that three days ago she hardly even had the energy to cry out when they put the central line in her femoral artery. You'd never know that she could do little more than sleep.

Because today, she's been running around and playing with her sisters, "the grills" as she says (instead of "girls").

So that's why I haven't been sewing. I've been playing advocate and cheerleader for my beautiful baby girl.

I'll get to sewing again.... doing something 'normal' like that is high on my list.

But for now, I'll settle for just being home. For not living in a hospital. For not having to recount her medical history and all that's transpired over the last few days. For not crying every single day. Because I'm all cried out. I don't even have tears of joy left.

But if I did, they'd be flowing.

She's back home. Right where she belongs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finally Feliz!

I'll admit... the title of the post made me giggle a bit. Becuase not only have I finally completed that darn Feliz dress (by Farbenmix), I'm finally happy as well!
I was hoping for some nice outdoor shots with it, but the wind is terrible and cold and there's a chance of thunderstorms.
Outdoor pictures will just have to wait. For now, my MILs living room will have to do!

But of course it wouldn't be complete without details. The dress was not nearly as hard as I made it out to be. There was one part I simply couldn't wrap my head around for some reason, but I'm much more of a visual person. Simply reading instructions doesn't always get me very far. But, I figured it out finally and it all worked out. Quite easily really, even though it's a bit time-consuming (ruffles are! But I'm not very familiar with making ruffles!).. and oh my -- what a fabric hog! I had originally planned for the underdress to be all of the orange/red fabric (Heather Bailey), but I didn't order enough... so I had to improvise and the green pindots just fit. I'm actually quite pleased with the color combination.
I had toyed with using some pale blue, pulling from the overdress/overapron fabric, but I just didn't have the right shade.
I'm still completely head-over-heels in love with the fabric from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line!!! I want to get some in every colorway possible. Maybe next month. Or whenever I find a budget.
Until then, I'm very pleased with this dress and now I just have to trace out the pattern for my younger two also!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

churning along

I finally had to just cut out the darn pieces of the dress and Just. Start. Sewing. on it. It was completely blocking my sewing mojo. I couldn't get any other projects done because of this one looming above my head.
I don't even have preview pictures.
I hope to be done today. Wish me luck. While I'm quite close to being done, I'm trying to decide on the bottom of the underskirt and whether it needs ruffles or not.
(The dress, is the Feliz.. beautiful! just tricky for me for some reason... and the fabric? A lot of Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Projectless, but happy

I've been stuck.
I was in such a rush to finish the quilt for dh and did so in just over a week. Then one week later I did another entire quilt in a week for my mom.
I've been living from adrenaline high to adrenaline high.
And now there's nothing immediate and pressing to sew for. I could do some orange and black for games we attend for the local high school.. but I can't even bring myself to do that.
But we've been fishing with my mom some more.
I could almost count this as crafty. I did make her hat and hoodie...
I couldn't resist this. While I think my youngest is adorable up close, I couldn't resist getting it all in the bigger picture.
But this shot? It sums it all up. It was gorgeous. The weather was perfect, the lake was still, the clouds were dancing across the sky. We watched the sun come up that morning, as we were on the road by 6 a.m. Watching the sun creep over the mountains, bathing the landscape with illumination. The fishing wasn't so great, but the view was worth it all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

completed quilt and more fish...

I'm at my parents' house and my mom was kind enough to let me take some pictures of the completed quilt... though I realized I just got *half* of the quilt since it's folded in half over the back of her couch.

But really, I've already posted the full top, so half will just have to do. And really, you should be glad I forgot to take pictures with my own camera. Hers is MUCH more lovely anyway. A new, fancy camera is absolutely on my to-purchase list... (okay, I'll admit, I probably have a list a mile long... but this is certainly in the top three... fabric *might* have it beaten out... though looking at these pictures, I'm not so sure).

And more fishing...
The youngest actually LOVED playing with the fish head for a long time... it was when she suddenly looked at it and said, "Mom, I think it's dead..." that she got that look on her face.

This has to be one of my all-time favorite pictures ever. It's the perspective of it all that just has me tooting my own horn on my photography skills (see?! get me a good camera and life is amazing! It doesn't hurt that in my past life -- aka, pre-staying-at-home-with-the-kids days -- my job did involve taking pictures for my paycheck).
Don't your children play with fish heads?
(... are you like me and keep singing this song: ? I can't help myself!)

Fishing hat at Sunshine

We went fishing yesterday (Sunday). My mom, my husband, me, and our three girls. We caught nine lovely cutthroat trout -- three of which were caught by me!
I knew on Saturday that we would be fishing with my mom on Sunday... which of course is not without some sort of sewing challenge. Yes! *Fishing* can even present sewing challenges!
The older two have been fishing with my mom many times, but the youngest really hasn't and she didn't have a fishing hat! I *know* there are bound to be about a million little girl wide-brimmed hats somewhere in this house, but they all seem to turn up missing the minute I actually need them.
So, my 2.5 year-old needed a hat.
And while this might not be something everybody else would think of as lucky, I happen to think she's quite lucky that her head circumfrence is equal to that of a paint can! Lucky girl! That made it very easy for me to make up this hat.
And sew I did. I made it up as I went along, but I figured a wide-brimmed hat couldn't be too tricky... and it wasn't really. I used two pieces of half-yard remnants from other projects I had worked on with Heather Ross' Mendocino line, which lent itself perfectly to a sewing-for-fishing project. The hat really isn't so floppy. When I went to take the pictures, the wind was picking up, so it just looks more floppy than it really is.

The lining on the underside of the brim is lovely seahorses... and while we don't have seahorses here, nor in Sunshine Reservoir, I thought they added a nice aqautic touch.

And the scenery? Isn't it just lovely? It really was a perfect day for fishing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


The quilt for my mom is done. I just need to wash it now.
I'm so pleased with how it all went (other than not paying attention while I was quilting and getting terrible fold-overs)...

The proof that I've been too busy with binding and not tending to my artistic children...

Note that there are glasses here... (and be thankful I spared you the leg shots... if there were red spaghetti noodles... and one could swim in them and have them stick... that's what the middle child's legs looked like)

And not so distracting, except maybe for the cheesey-cute factor...

I'll get the finished quilt in a bit. I really have to catch up on laundry first (that's a problem when I get immersed in projects... like making a quilt in four days... the rest of the house goes to shambles... and the amount of laundry that three little girls can generate is mind-boggling)...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pureed flowers

My mom's birthday is this coming Monday (Aug.25) and I figured I better do something for her, since she is my mother and I love her DEARLY!

What better way to show love than a quilt? At least that was my way of thinking... so into the stash I dove. I came up with a stack of 20 fat quarters that I got at the most amazing discount from my local quilt shop. They aren't all prints I would normally put together (and really, only about half really appeal to me on any level), but I'm always up for a challenge and decided I would try it anyway.

Because time is of the essence, I figured I'd go simple in the technical construction of the piecing of the top. And so it's together. One day for cutting and sewing the strips. All while homeschooling too (yesterday was the first day of school).

I even pinned it to the batting/backing and got just a few lines quilted thus far.

It was hard to work on for a while because I wasn't loving it. At all. I don't know if it was the simplicity (and that it's not quite what I had in my head) or if I just didn't like the prints at all... but it was challenging.

So now I need to finish the quilting and move on to the binding ... and we'll see if I can get it completed in less than a week.
edited to add: I'll sneak in the dimensions here... it's 62" x 72" ... all the strips are cut 4" wide and at varying lengths....

And then... oh, I can't WAIT to move on to other projects. I have a Feliz I've been just dying to cut into but I'm a bit nervous and worried it might take some time... after this is done, I just need to dive in. I can't let it just sit because I'm nervous I might mess it up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Medocino beauty for sweet slumbers...

Oh yes, another pillowcase. I just can't help myself. I *smile* when I see fun accents like custom pillowcases out of favorite fabrics!

Yes, I know, I've been planning the most gorgeous Feliz dress... and I do have all the fabrics prewashed and I even have the pattern traced out in the size of my oldest... but I'm just not feeling super focused and I need a few quick projects to get my sewing mojo flowing again.

And let me tell you, these do the trick.

I love the fabrics from the new Heather Ross Mendocino line. Or maybe I love the *feel* of Heather Ross fabric even more. Or maybe it's my girls who love mermaids and I can't help but comply by helping them foster that love.

Whatever the reason, I love this pillowcase.

And the wrinkles on my lovely white sheets? Sleepy wrinkles from the littlest who just woke up from a nap. She gave the pillowcase her sleep of approval.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

completed quilt, golden slumbers

When I'm not off galavanting around the beauties of nature, I am still sewing.

I finished the quilt for dh last weekend, actually, but haven't shown it yet because I was quite distressed about it.

Oh, the binding is PERFECT. Really. It's the most perfect binding I've ever done. The corners? They couldn't be better. The hand stitching to the back? Okay, I'm sure *somebody* could find a flaw or two, but I think it's amazing.

But I washed it and dried it. On hot. And it seems that a blue (or two or three, I can't be sure) was not colorfast. And the color bled. There were three oranges that picked up some blue tint, with one of those orange prints taking the brunt of the hit.

I was quite upset about it for a while. I just spent *HOURS* of time on this quilt, pouring in blood, sweat and tears (really, I did! I poked myself with a pin while handstitching the binding! so that's the blood... the sweat came because it was hot last week here and we have no air conditioning and working with a quilt on your lap is NOT a cool thing... and tears... yeah, they came afterwards)... after all that, the color bleeds and it just doesn't look as vibrant as before.

Now that I've had some time to think about it, maybe it's not as bad as I originally thought. But it's still upsetting. Not that dh will even notice ;)

And then, I made The Most Lovely Pillowcase Ever.

It would be completely based on that, but I'm terrible at actually following directions and I just made up my own measurements ;)

Isn't that dreamy? I'm certain I've slept better since I've had this.

The pinkish fabric is one from Heather Bailey's Fresh Cut line... and the green is from Heather Bailey's Bijoux... and the pink/red stripe? It's some Candy Stripe print, I but I can't remember more than that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What I do when I'm not sewing...

I love where I live. All sites posted are within two hours of where I live (including Yellowstone)!