June 2014

June 2014

June was a productive month for me.   I am happy with the amount of things we did and the things I accomplished since it was our first month of summer vacation.   Things are getting easier for me with four children, because I remember past years in June I spent the month adjusting to summer vacation and me feeling very frazzled.

I did a lot of dyeing this month, check out my post about those projects here.

purple dress

A friend asked me to make her daughter a rainbow skirt for her birthday.  Her favorite color is pink so I reversed the rainbow and put the pink on the bottom so it is more visible and because I can never make the  same thing twice.  I always have to mix things up!

Spiderman was in the house when I needed a model and

skirt ruffle rainbow for Laura

he was pretty good at twirling around.

skirt ruffle rainbow for Laura spin

I had helpers planting my hanging baskets and flower pots.  I am usually picky about what color flowers go together and how many get planted in certain pots.  Not this time.  Lately, I have challenged myself to “let go” of the middle steps and be happy with the finish product – planted flowers.

planting flowers

I got my garden planted this month.  And my garlic is looking awesome!

garden June 2014

Since I am so late at getting this post done I am able to include a comparison picture of the garden a little over a month later.

garden July 10 2014

Jack had some company while he changed the oil in his car.

 changing the oil

Henry had his 4K graduation.  I also wrote a blog about these awesome socks Henry is wearing.  (Click here to read that)

Graduation 4K Henry

 

 First day of school, September 2013.   Frist day of school 2013

Last day of school, June 2014.

Last day of school 2014

 

Our strawberry patch was going strong this year.  I didn’t have much time to pick them all when they were ripe.  So I often sent kids outside to “eat as many strawberries as you can!”

strawberries Charlie

Strawberries Henry & Nola Mae

Nola Mae playing in her kitchen.  The hole for the sink (was a plastic bowl) is a common place for her body.  She usually goes from standing on the stove, to standing on the narrow shelf, back to the stove and then into the sink area.

Nola Mae kitchen

Aunt Susie came over and switched up our dinner table seating arrangements.  Henry worked it out so he and Nola Mae could share the piano bench.  And they were pretty cute together!

Henry & Nola Mae at table

My sister, Becca, is training for the Madison Ironman this year.  She is amazing!  My Mom, our sister Danna and I went to cheer Becca on at the High Cliff Half Ironman race that she participated in this month.  All I can say is “WOW!”

tri becca

Our cousins came to visit with us for a couple of days.   I had a wonderful time with a house full of children, seven kids – 10 years old to two years old.  Although I had to share my time with Jessie and seven kids, it seemed much easier to visit with her than it is when we are at a family gathering of 50 people.

Jessie field

jessie rock cousins

Our youngest babies together.  These two littlest cousins got along amazingly well for being two-year olds.

Jessie cousin friends

Our oldest babies together.  Some how our middle children got missed, isn’t that what always happens?

Jessie oldest kids

We spent a few days at Granny’s while our cousins (Andrew & Libby)  and Aunt Karen from the West were visiting.  Our visit happened to overlap on my Mom’s birthday.  When I announced my plans to the kids that I was going into the sewing room to make Granny’s birthday present Henry followed me down to the sewing room with his own idea.  He asked me what Granny’s favorite color was and I said blue.  He gathered scraps of fabric, cut pieces out and told me his design – to make Granny’s house.  I serged edges and he sewed the roof, windows and the door on.  This was the first time he has sewn something on my machine.

Henry sewing for granny Henry sewing Granny's house

This is what I made for my Mom from one of my dyed projects.

dye ice on glue resist bag

 You never know what you will find on the farm.  Henry happened to wander into the corn field and found hundreds of little frogs hopping around.

       Mom's Henry's frogs hands 1

He took a handful back to the house to show Granny.

Mom's Henry's frogs hands

I had a blast this weekend.  Visiting with family, watching and playing soccer.  We have our own CrossFit coach in the family, so we did a WOD (I don’t have a photo of that).

Mom's soccer on the farm chopper box

The littlest goalies.

Mom's soccer on the farm little goalies Mom's soccer on the farm

We ended our time with cousins at Diamond Lake.

Mom's Diamond lake resting

Four days after leaving Granny’s I took the two big boys to Grandma Helen’s to spend four days with the Vater cousins in North Dakota.

I didn’t realize this month was full of extended family stuff until I put this post together.  What a great month!

Knee-High Socks – Charlie’s Fashion

Knee-High Socks – Charlie’s Fashion

I bought colorful socks with the intentions of making baby leggings with them. That never happened!

UFO socks for babyleggs

Charlie snatched them up and has worn them. I didn’t always notice when he was wearing the knee-high socks this past winter, because he had pants on. But when springtime arrived and he started wearing shorts to school he kept wearing his colorful knee-high socks. I thought that if kids teased him he would stop. Charlie is a pretty cool kid and well liked at school. So when he continued to wear the knee-high socks with his shorts I just thought that none of his friends or classmates teased him.  I should have asked him.

The day of Henry’s graduation we were walking out of school with Charlie’s teacher from last year.  Mrs. Honken complemented Henry on his colorful socks.

Graduation 4K Henry

I told Mrs. Honken that Charlie started this knee-high sock fashion in our family.  Those rainbow socks were actually Charlie’s.    Henry laid them out the night before so he could wear them for his graduation.   Charlie put them on when he got dressed.  Henry was very sad to see Charlie wearing the socks that morning!  I didn’t have to say a single word to Charlie, he  instantly took them off and gave them to Henry for his special day.

Mrs. Honken thought they were cool socks and said that maybe by next year other kids will be copying Charlie.  And then she asked, “Are your friends wearing socks like that?”  Charlie told her that all his friends tell him he is weird.  Mrs. Honken was awesome because she made a few more comments about how cool she thought Charlie was and how much she loved the knee-high socks.  I was heart-broken to hear this news, but also proud of our boy for doing what he wants and not caring what others say or think!

There is another story about these colorful rainbow socks I need to document and remember FOREVER!  It is so funny, the story made my Aunt Karen cry and if she is your friend she will tell you this story:

Henry wore these rainbow socks to school one day.  Mrs. Fredy, his 4K teacher, asked him where he got those colorful socks from (thinking that they were a gift from someone or for his birthday).  Henry told her, “I got this one from the dirty clothes.  And this one from under the couch.”

Henry adores Charlie and has gladly taken up this fashion of wearing knee-high socks.

Madison H & NM

I don’t have many photos of Charlie wearing knee-high socks.  I found this one from the last day of school he wore these black socks with purple and white stripes.

Last day of school 2014

And this one from last week when he went golfing with Jack.

Charlie's socks golfing

When I searched for examples of Charlie’s socks I found this adorable photo from July 10, 2011 when Charlie was almost 6 years old.

CB's socks

 Charlie thinks his socks are cool and that is all that matters!

Dye Projects – June 2014

  June was the month to work on some dye projects that have been brewing in my head.  I will be doing a demonstration on fabric dyeing at my local quilt guild’s meeting in early August.  I am far from being a pro at this, but with every project I do I learn more and more.  I am looking forward to sharing my projects, ideas and my knowledge with them.

I was motivated to try a new (new to me) technique called Low Water Immersion (LWI) when a friend asked me for a three color ring sling.

Dye LWI green blue purple ring sling

The finished ring sling:

dye lwi ring sling finished

During most dye projects I am able to add a few extra things to my dye projects.  I have a stash of white items that I pick from.  Most often I have a slightly stained onesie or child’s shirt that is still in good condition, so I add those kinds of things to my dye projects.  In the above LWI ring sling I dyed these items:

dye LWI green blue purple clothes

and this cotton drawstring laundry bag,

dye LWI green blue purple laundry bag

and this old sheet that was going to be a ghost for our dress up box, but the face never got cut out.

dye LWI green blue purple old sheet

Whenever I dye something I get the bug to do more…

I had this brown skirt that I loved and could only wear it around home because it had some stains on it.

Dye brown skirt before

I did a LWI dye technique and Dylon dye Terracotta Brown.  The lining of the skirt is prettier and turned out more how I was expecting it to look.  The red splotches are from the dye not being fully dissolved.

dye lwi terrecota brown skirt

I ice dyed this dress of Nola Mae’s that had some color bleeding from the colorful trim when I used a stain remover on the dress.  It was the exact same shade as Dylon dye’s Bahama Blue.

Dye before photo dress

Underneath the dress I added a scrap piece of a bed sheet that my step-mom gave me.

dye ice bahama blue fabric

dye ice bahama blue dress on

I was disappointed with the results on both the dress and the scrap sheet.  The Bahama Blue doesn’t give that “ice dye” look.  I would have been better off practicing tub dyeing with those two pieces.

One night on facebook I saw someone in a dyeing group I follow list dyes for sale.  People rave about this brand of dye (Dharma Dye).  I wasn’t really interested in purchasing it mainly because it is only available on-line, Dylon Dyes I can buy from JoAnn Fabric easily.  This deal was a good one and this was my chance to try that brand.  I bought about $150 worth of dye and didn’t have to pay shipping for a lot less.

dye dharma

I have wanted to try a glue resist dye project and since the scrap sheet was a flop and blotchy it would work for this technique.

dye glue resist hands

We traced hands and Charlie and Henry took turns adding designs to the fabric with the glue.

Dye glue resist Henry's sun

I scrunched up the fabric on my ice dyeing tray, piled ice on top and sprinkled a tiny amount of my new Dharma dyes on the ice and this is what we got:

dye ice on glue resist results

Dyes: Daffodil, Cerulean Blue, Better Blue Green, and Fuchsia Red.

I made this little bag for my Mom for her birthday.  Each side of the bag has one of my children’s hand print.

dye ice on glue resist bag

 

I had part of the rainbow colors done for this set of napkins.  With my new dyes I wanted to try a tub dye with them so I finished my rainbow by dyeing the yellow with Daffodil, and the pink on the right was dyed with Fuchsia Red.  I had two purple napkins and threw one of them in the Fuchsia Red dye.  I think that is the napkin next to the orange one. dyed rainbow napkins set 1

I did an ice dye with my new dye and got this piece that will be made into a ring sling for a friend who will have her baby this fall.

dye ice creulean blue & better blue green

Dyes:  Cerulean Blue and Better Blue Green.

Dye ice ring sling creulean blue & better blue green

These are the bonus items I dyed (top two shirts were under the ring sling and ice and the bottom two were in the “drip water”).

dye ice blue green

 

My biggest failed dye project is this (I am sorry Michelle, if you read this):

dye ice purple middle strip ring sling 2

Ice dyed with Intense Violet Dylon Dye.

Overdyed with ice and Navy Dylon Dye.

dye over intense violet with navy1

I am falling in love with the LWI technique.

These two pieces I made after someone saw the first LWI ring sling I did.  This ring sling was done with my new dyes.

dye LWI granny apple, peacock blue, & power berry

Dyes:  Granny Apple, Peacock Blue & Power Berry.

dye LWI granny apple, peacock blue, power berry ring sling

dye LWI granny apple, peacock blue, power berry rings

I had a little bit of Peacock Blue and Power Berry left so I scrunched up this piece of scrap sheet into a coffee can, squirted the blue in the middle and the purple on the outside edges, this is the result:

dye LWI granny apple power berry

May 2014

May 2014

No matter where her owie is the band-aid goes on her face.

Nola Mae Band aids

 

In 4th grade the kids put on a “manufacturing day”.  They manufacture items to sell to the rest of the elementary school.  Robbie recycled crayons into Lego shaped guys and into flowers and stars and made stuffed monster faces.

Manufacturing day Lot

 

Manufacturing day Monsters

Manufacturing day table

We planned a last-minute picnic lunch with our moms for Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day photo 1

My mom stayed for the whole day, so we went for a bike ride with my mom, Robbie, with Henry on the tag-along and Nola Mae in the Burley.

Mother's Day photo

Robbie’s class had a field trip to Madison.  We rode a hot steamy bus together for a total of 5 hours, I quilted for 4.5 of those hours while visiting with him and got a little cuddle time after a long day.

Madison bus w Robbie

 We toured the capital.

Madison Capitol

 

We went to the Wisconsin Historical Museum  – a beautiful place!   I was impressed by how much Robbie had learned in school before this trip.  When we toured the Capitol the kids already knew a lot about the history of our state and about what happens in the Capital.   I first realized this when we were at the museum, Robbie and I walked into a section about Aztalan.  As soon as he saw this area he said, “Oh!  Aztalan, I know all this!”   I pointed out that we need to appreciate this stuff and we needed to walk around and look at all the cool tools in person, not just in books!

While I was on the field trip, Jack stayed home with Henry and Nola Mae.   He took these photos:

Madison H & NM

 Jack finished planting 175 trees this month with Henry’s help.

Jack's day planting trees

 They worked on firewood and made a big pile in the woods.  Henry told me the pile took a lot of work because it is taller than him.

Jack's day firewood

Charlie & Nola Mae soccer

Piano Henry & Nola Mae

Robbie and I met Jack and the kids at piano lessons.  During Robbie’s lesson we walked around town.  I was there when Jack took this photo of Charlie.

Iola Charlie bench

When I was looking at photos from this day I knew this is one I wanted to include in my blog and save in my memory forever!  Because he is looking directly at me, giving me a look I don’t see very often: “love”.  He is the boy that seems to dislike me the most.   I wasn’t talking about candy, minecraft, ice cream, or legos.  We were just looking at each other.  I was thankful for Jack being there because I could hear him taking pictures of something during this look between me and Charlie and I was hoping it was of Charlie.

Iola Little Shivers

 

 We had a rummage sale during our town’s city-wide rummage.  It was a one day sale for us, with constant people coming from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm.  I thought it was worth it and very successful.  But there was still a lot of stuff left.   I was able to invite a few friends over to take one last peek.  Then I loaded it all up and took a full car load to St. Vinnie’s in Plover.

St Vinnie load 1

St Vinnie load 2

St Vinnie load 3

This small load went to friends who couldn’t come check out my stuff but had a “wish list”.

St Vinnie load Friends

We were talking about going on a bike trip and Nola Mae found all our bright-colored biking vest and put them on and told me she was ready.

bike Tomorrow river trail getting ready

 Jack took many pictures and even put together an awesome video from our bike trip on the Tomorrow River Bike trail from Amherst to Scandinavia.

bike Tomorrow river trail

 My mother-in-law would say, “there is some kind of learning going on here.”  These were very old and stale taco shells I found in the cupboard.  I had them on the counter and Nola Mae brought the stool to the counter, pulled out the potato masher and just started mashing them.  It kept her busy while I did my stuff and the mess wasn’t too bad.

Nola Mae potato smasher

 She asked for this “hair band aid”, honestly, it wasn’t my idea!

Nola Mae 1st ponie tail

 Henry and Nola Mae were in the yard getting blankets and books ready for reading in the shade.  Henry came into the house and asked me if he could take the camera outside to take a picture of Nola Mae being cute.  This is one of his photos.

Nola Mae

 My car was in the repair shop last week.  The day it was ready to come home Jack drove the truck to his friend’s house and got a ride the rest of the way to work.   Henry and I biked 10 miles to their house to pick up the truck.  If I was thinking ahead I would have put Nola Mae’s car seat in the truck, instead we had to pack it in the Burley.  Henry talked the entire way,  peddled hard up and down the hills, especially when a scary dog came after us.

Bike to Big Falls Gene's

 

Bike to Big Falls Picnic

 

 We couldn’t pass Big Falls without checking out the water and

Bike to Big Falls Water H

 getting our feet wet.

Bike to Big Falls Water NM

We had a little extra time before the boys got home from school to drive to the neighboring sawmill for some bark mulch – $40 for a truck load.  I think I could have gotten a better deal if I planned a head and went when the guy I know was working.

Wood chips

 Nola Mae and I took  a short trip to Milwaukee for my cousin’s baby shower.  I made her this ring sling this winter, dyed it with snow, Flamingo Pink and Sunflower Yellow (Dylon Dye).

snow dye ring sling pink & yellow snow dyed pink & yellow ring sling in action

Nola Mae and I had a wonderful visit with my Dad and Step-mom, Lynn.

Dad's swing

Dad's Marbles

 We went for a walk and Nola Mae found a dead bird.  Against my Dad’s suggestion she still picked it up and looked at it.

Dad's dead bird Nola Mae

Dad's yard pole Nola Mae2

Dad's yard pole Nola Mae

The boys will be done with school on June 12th.  I am pretty excited about the things we will do this summer.  I have plans for everyone to make a “wish list” of the goals they have, the things they want to do, and where they want to go.

 

Fun Projects

 I spent the last week sewing and dyeing till I was sick of both.

I have been planning/designing/working on this “creeper” valance since mid-April. Finally it is complete and ready to mail along with the TNT pillowcase:

Minecraft Creeper valance & TNT pillowcase

After this was done I left the sewing room for a few days.

Then a friend asked me to make a ring sling:

ring sling natural w bronze rings

At the same time I got another request from a friend who wanted a dyed ring sling. While I waited for our plans to finalize I went a head and over dyed a flopped dyed project from this winter.

This was muslin 12 x 12 inch squares, dyed using a Shibori technique, with Dylon Dye Dark Green. I have no idea what I did wrong. The patterns hardly showed up and the fabric was a very light shade of green.

Before:

dye Shibori dylon dark green failed

Second attempt:

dye Shibori dylon blue jeans over failed dark green dye on muslin

dye Shibori dylon blue jeans over failed dark green dye clothes pin

Once I finalized the shade of blue to shoot for I started my first dye bath method.  The ring sling turned this pretty shade of blue (Dylon Blue Jeans):

dyed ring sling dylon blue jeans solid dip

 

I got a bonus out of this project, a dyed tank, sort of gradual change in shades of blues:

dye dylon blue jeans grad attempt

With both these projects with blue dye and many rinses later, left me swearing I would never dye anything blue again.  I shouldn’t even say that because it was kind of fun and the blue is so pretty in real person!

I am taking a break from sewing and dyeing for now. I am doing some serious spring cleaning this week! Spring has finally arrived.

The next sewing projects on the table will be some fun skirts.

skirt pink flowers Payton

April 2014

April 2014

April was a busy month for us and for my blog.   I posted six times this month, see all my posts here:  http://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2014/04/

Then the snow started to melt.   Henry has learned about spring-time at school (and at home of course).  He thinks spring should be here already:

spring hot blooded Henry

He told me today (April 30th), when I told him it was time to go outside, “I am not going outside when all that grey stuff is in the sky.  And that fog is yucky.  It has to be light out there and then I will want to go outside.”

 

This month we celebrated Henry’s 5th birthday:

 Birthday Henry 5

 

 My brother and nephew called to sing “Happy Birthday” to Henry.  He loved it.

Birthday call

The cake, this teenage mutant ninja turtle cake is pretty close to earning  my “ugly cakes” award.

Teenage Mutant Nija Turtle cake

 These things sure are the ugliest cupcakes I have ever decorated.  I was pretty embarrassed sending them to school with Henry.   And was reassured that four and five year olds don’t really care.   At the end of the day I found out there were extras and he delivered one to Charlie’s 1st grade teacher, Charlie’s current teacher, and one to Robbie’s teacher.  Now I am really embarrassed!   On a positive note this was the first cake decorating project I have done in the last two years where Nola Mae wasn’t crying or needed to be worn.

Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles cupcakes

 

Then the next day was Nola Mae’s 2nd birthday:

Nola Mae facing forward

 I turned her around to face forward in her car seat.  She wasn’t unhappy facing backwards,  now that she is two she is okay face forwards in her car seat.  Often I noticed her cranking her neck around so she could look out the front window.  Now she just tells me “go that way”.

We skied on snow:

When we were getting ready to go out to ski Nola Mae wanted to wear her baby.  So I wrapped them both.  I think this is one of my favorite baby wearing photos, minus my eyes being closed because the sun was so bright.

This was April 15th.

babywearing  double ski

 I had the best  ski with my friend, Mary, on April 17th at the ski hill.

April 18th was our last ski.

And we skied on grass to find the snow:

skiing on grass

Last ski babywearing

Can you see her feet in my shadow?

Last ski looking for snow

 This was the last piece of heaven for me this winter…four of my favorite boys on snow, laughing, getting exercise and

Last ski 1

 a fun little chunk of snow to ski back and forth on for a little while.

ski last ski

 The boys headed back to the chalet without me, like usual, and when I came in I found them doing this…

last ski boys waiting

All three boys had a friend’s birthday party to attend.   Two birthday parties landed on the same day, the same weekend Jack’s canoeing trip was scheduled for, and the same day I needed to work at the ski hill for our big spring trail run.  Grandma Hanna saved the day!   She played with the kids, transported them to the birthday parties, visited the library, and cleaned the messiest parts of my house.

Henry’s friend was given this ice dyed cape that I made.

iced dyed cape

ice dyed cape hood

Charlie’s friend got a store-bought gift, which I thought was kind of boring.  I don’t have many good ideas for a homemade gift after all of their friends get a pillow case.   And they are too old to have fun with capes.  When Charlie saw the gift I bought for his friend he asked “how come you didn’t buy two?”  I asked him, “Why, does it look like it is going to break right away?”  No, Charlie wanted one for himself.

Robbie and I made this  Minecraft TNT pillowcase together, which was perfect for that boy!  I walked into the party and saw Minecraft stuff everywhere.  That mom put on a pretty amazing Minecraft themed party like no body’s business!

pillow case TNT Landon

Side note:  I went to school on a Friday where there was a reading party kids can bring pillows and blankets to get comfy to read.  I saw one boy with a pillowcase I made a couple of years ago, so that was cool!

We were home for Easter:

I took the opportunity to dye eggs with the boys while Nola Mae napped.  She woke up at the tail end of things, she was happy to watch and hold an egg.

happy with one egg

 This was the first year we had enough of our own brown eggs to dye.  I saved them so they were “old” eggs like the store-bought eggs in order for them to peel nicely.  They peeled nicely and they were the most beautiful shades we have ever had.

Easter eggs

I spent a total of $27 on our Easter treats/gifts this year.  Each boy got a small gift with a small amount of candy in their basket.  Charlie learned how to make those rubber band bracelets using his two fingers from a girl on the bus.  This sweet girl has given him many handfuls of rubber bands.  So I decided he should get a couple of bags of his own.  Robbie and Henry were very excited about the cool colorful socks they got.

Charlie's rubber bands

 Nola Mae waiting by the window for the boys to come home:

Nola Mae blueberries

We had Charlie’s VIP (Very Important People) Day:

Each child is scheduled for  a VIP Week.  The child can fill out the “all about me” poster and include photos of them as a baby and other childhood photos,  and photos of their family and pets.

VIP poster

And then one or both parents come to class towards the end of one day for 30 minutes to talk about their work, hobbies and/or  interests.  I did a little demonstration on cake decorating with Robbie’s class when he was in 2nd grade, so Charlie wanted to do the same thing.  Extra bonus is that at the end of our time everyone got to decorate their own cupcake.

I talked about sewing with Charlie and my sewing.  I brought the shirt Charlie sewed when he was 5 years old and Charlie’s baby quilt to show them.  I had a few other quilts in my bag, if they seemed interested.

I  also told them about Jack’s interests in woodworking and brought a few of his wooden bowls that he has made.

turned bowls

Charlie’s teacher, Mr. Wester, knows how to facilitate the short time you have with the class so it is organized, purposeful in ways of giving the students opportunities to be respectful, thoughtful and polite while practicing communication skills.  Mr. Wester asked Charlie to introduce me and Nola Mae, he had everyone sitting on the carpet to focus on Charlie and our talk.  I am sure they are well-practiced since it is April already.  The questions the kids had for me and for Charlie were impressive.  My favorite question was from a boy.  He asked something to the effect “what was the most important subject in school for you to be good at sewing?”  Thankfully, I had the “right” answer…”Math”.  He slapped his leg and said, “WHY DOES EVERYONE SAY MATH!!!!?”  It was cute!  I was able to pull out my current quilt that I am working on and explained to them the math I  needed to do to figure out the spacing of many different colors.  It was a perfect “math” example!  I forgot to point out where I made some measuring mistakes.   I had so much fun!  I thanked Mr. Wester for taking the time to do this with all the families because it was so nice to come to the classroom.  I hope that all the other families that had their VIP Day felt as excited and as important as I did being Charlie’s mom.

Charlie's VIP

We took a hike on the boardwalk in town and did a little wrestling:

I am slowly adjusting to the fact that boys wrestle.  I never did that with my sisters or brother.  I became more open about wrestling when I saw home videos of my sister-in-law and her sisters wrestling.  Here Charlie is on top, which isn’t always the case.

 walk wrestling

 Often I wonder how the wrestling match started and why Charlie is the one that seems to get hurt.  And then I see a picture like this…Charlie doing something to Robbie.

walk teasing

Sewing time is supposed to be fun and peaceful.  The month started off great.  I was able to make a few things with ruffles (see my post “I Love Ruffles” ).

rainbow ruffle dress

And then my sewing time became unpredictable and limited.  Nola Mae hasn’t been napping well and seems to know when I sneak away to the sewing room.  I have wanted to take a picture of her on my sewing table for a long time.  This day I had the camera and was able to get this shot:

sewing table

Sometimes it is stressful when she is in the sewing room with me.  Because she wants to be on the table.  If I am sewing at the machine I sometimes let her sit there and she plays with the buttons and papers.  She learned on her own to leave the spool rack alone because once it tipped over and it scared her.

I had some time to make a few cute skirts.  I will post about that next, maybe.

 A very enjoyable sewing project for me was coming up with this valance for someone who found my blog when she was searching for Minecraft things for her son’s bedroom.  She was looking for a Minecraft Creeper valance.  This is the design I came up with, 5 ft long and 17 inches tall:

minecraft creeper valance

 And in the last week of this month I dyed these things.   The fabric squares are muslin, with a base color of light green – my first attempt was a total flop.  So over dyeing with Dylon Blue Jeans looks okay.  I expected better results.  While doing that dye project I slowly dipped this tank top in the dye bath, you can see a gradual change in the shades of blue, if you look closely.

dyed blue jeans shirbori fabric & dipped tank top

Baby wearing photos this month:

Just before our ski.

babywearing doll with flag

 Waiting for the boys to come home.

Nola Mae fake hair babywearing

 If anyone was wondering if it is possible to keep your baby wrapped on your back while flopping yourself on the floor, kicking and screaming.  Nola Mae’s answer is “Yes!”

babywearing flopping on the ground 1

 I am not sure what brought this on.  This is actually one of the first times she has done this.   That’s the reason for the photo.

babywearing flopping on the ground 2

Robbie helped Jack in the woodshop:

 woodshop Robbie

And so did Nola Mae.

   woodshop Nola Mae

I hate making cookies because I don’t like messing with the oven and cookies every 8-10 minutes, plus I eat a bunch of warm ones throughout the process.  The boys love cookies.  My latest and greatest idea is to make a triple batch of cookies and separate the batch into small logs (enough for 1 dozen cookies), wrap them in wax paper and freeze them.  These cookie dough logs are larger than I usually do because I didn’t have any wax paper.  I am not sure how well they will keep in the freezer with just plastic wrap, so we will have to use them up quickly.  I also left out enough for us to have two pans of cookies this time.

cookie dough

I am ending this month with a cold.  I had two very worthless days.  I am drinking lots of water, mullein tea and eating garlic and extra vitamin D.

Cold remedy

I Love Ruffles!

Before I had a daughter, you never would have heard me say, “I love ruffles.”  When it was just “life with three boys” ruffles were the furthest from my mine and I drove past the formal dress shop in town I would be thankful I that I would never have to think about those fancy dresses.  The first time I drove past that same store after Nola Mae was born, my first thought was “Darn it!”

Recently I made a few things with ruffles. Only because I wanted a rainbow dress for Nola Mae that looked like this one my step-mom found on pinterest:

Then I had this great idea…buy a bunch of rainbow fabric with a debit card that I won from the bucket raffles at my cousin’s cancer benefit. My cousin has a nine-year old daughter who was getting an American Doll and would probably like matching skirts with her new doll.  All my life I have said, “I would never make doll clothes!” Well, when a sweet little girl is getting an expensive doll, as her last b-day gift from her daddy, I thought she needed matching skirts!

I searched many sites for ideas and patterns. I found a few patterns that helped me come up with my design. I got the measurements from my cousin’s wife and went to work. The doll skirt was first, because if I made a mistake it would be a small mistake.

I learned a bunch of things while making the doll’s skirt and made the skirt for Ashlee with no mistakes.

 

Then I adjusted my sewing methods  a little more and made a dress for Nola Mae:

rainbow ruffle dress on Nola Mae

 

Rainbow ruffle dress on gate

 

Ruffles are a lot of fun to make! After finishing Nola Mae’s dress I started to look at my fabric stash and started imagining ruffled skirts.  I needed to leave my sewing room because I only have one daughter who would look pretty cute in a ruffled skirt every day of the week and remembered I don’t get much time for sewing because there are other things that need to get done around the house.

Never say, “Never!”

 

Our Last – Bear Baby Quilts

Our Last – Bear Baby Quilts

 

quilt bears & balloons Robbie

Robbie’s baby quilt.

 I finished Robbie’s quilt before he was born.

quilt bears with bows Charlie

Charlie’s baby quilt

Charlie’s quilt was started before he was born and finished by his 2nd birthday.  I used the same yellow, blue and pink fabric as Robbie’s quilt.  The bears are a collection of browns from my stash, my mom’s, my grandma’s and my mother-in-law’s fabric stashes.  The lace was added because when I nursed Charlie to sleep in my bed he always found the lace on the quilt my mom made me and held it in his has even after he was sleeping.

quilt bears with hearts Henry

Henry’s baby quilt

Henry’s quilt is my least favorite out of the four.  I was in a rut when it was time to plan his quilt.  I wanted to keep the pattern going by using the same fabrics as I did with Robbie and Charlie’s quilts.  I wasn’t able to find one of the prints.  So I took the reds and blues that I have collected over the years for Jack’s denim quilt that I made and did a “crazy cut” design for the border.

 

quilt bears in purple Nola Mae

Nola Mae’s baby quilt

Nola Mae’s quilt was started after she was born.  I found this idea before she was born.   If she was a boy these bears would have had shorts and a shirt on.

 

quilts baby bears

All four quilts are machine appliquéd and hand quilted by me.  All four quilts also have a heart on them, Robbie’s balloon, the quilting in the border on Charlie’s, Henry’s bears’ have a heart, and the quilting on Nola Mae’s.  They were all fun to make.

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Two years ago you started out as the biggest surprise of my life. When you were a few minutes old I still thought you were my fourth son. I saw your little bottom and thought, “Where is the penis?”  Still, thinking you were my fourth boy.  My midwife, Jane, asked “Jenny, Do you know?” Reality hit me and  I said, “Yes, but I don’t believe it.” Everyone else in the room knew you were a girl before I did.

Nola Mae new

3 generations with Nola Mae copy

 

Other surprises you have given me in your first year of life:

You can be so easy-going, not mind meals being interrupted by older brothers, and not put up a fuss when there isn’t any milk, and you were a baby that loved to sleep.

You learned quickly how to go up and down the stairs with very little practice and guidance.

You were happy and smiling 99% of your first year of life.

You loved to be held, wrapped, and carried.

wrap Light Rainbow  Nola Mae snow

You were a mama’s girl and would be a papa’s girl once Papa came home – diving into your papa’s arms when he would walk in the door.

Jack & Nola Mae

You adored your big brothers.

Charlie reading to Nola Mae

You were more adventurous and more of a climber than Henry.

In your second year of life your personality is shining:

You are fast.

You are strong.

You are smart and absorb everything around you.

You love to be high up.

keller lake Nola Mae climbing

You love to cross-country ski.

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

You love to be outside.

You love to play with cars and just started playing with babies.

You make “motor” sounds with your mouth.

You like to wear your babies on your back, “wrap”.

wrap scarf grass

You like to breastfeed your babies, “milkies”.

You just started to love taking a bath.

You can get yourself dressed and have preferences of what you want to wear.

You still love to be held, wrapped, and carried.

You love to sleep next to someone during every sleeping moment.

Henry & Nola Mae napping

You still adore your brothers and show great love and affection – my favorite thing is when you are on my lap and Henry comes to give us a hug you make sure to kiss him and pat his back.

hugs

You miss the boys and Papa when they are at school/work and often mention them.

Kitchen stool Nola Mae w Robbie

You love to color on your skin with markers more than on paper.

Marker head

You love to read and look at books.

Nola Mae book

I love it when you want to do something yourself, you say “self” or “SELF!!!!!”

My favorite thing you copy what I do is when I yell “I love you!” out the door to the boys when they are walking to the bus. You say, “love you!”

My favorite word  you say  is “Zata” for pizza.

You are constantly saying multiple words to tell me something and that started just the week before your birthday.  Your vocabulary is growing so quickly I can hardly keep track.

I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises you have for us in your little heart and head.  I know there is a lot of beauty inside you and I wish there was a magic potion I could rub on your head to help you see that you are going to grow up to be a smart and loving person who is glowing with beauty from the inside out.

Happy birthday, Nola Mae!

Nola Mae 2nd birthday