Henry – 6 years old!

  Happy Birthday!

Henry – 6 years old!

I dyed this shirt for Henry to wear on his birthday, unfortunately he is sick today and can’t wear it to school:

 Henry's rainbow shirt(Henry asked that I wash it tonight so he can wear it again tomorrow)

He picked brownies for his birthday treat to take to school.

We have been on spring break, Friday – Monday.  I made a big deal yesterday with Henry about his last day of being five years old.   There is something special to me about being five. You are only five once!  When you are five you are cute, innocent, funny, happy, full of energy, a philosopher, smart, polite, kind, honest and caring.  Henry has been all these things and more!

Henry smile

 

I learned at Henry’s parent teacher conference, that Henry does get grumpy, Mrs. Fechter share this with me:

Henry grumpy

 

When I interviewed him on his last day of being five years old he told me these things:

Favorite color:  Blue.

Favorite animal – Baby cub lion.

Favorite food – Fried chicken.

Favorite fruit – Pear.

Henry's missing teeth

Favorite restaurant – Hibachi Grill.

Favorite thing about school – Gym.

Henry skiing

Favorite movie:  Batman.

Favorite job:  NO JOB!

Favorite thing to do at home – Ride my bike outside and play on the tablet.

sledding Henry air

Friends at school – Alex H, Micheala, Sophie, Landan, Addy, Michael, Emmett, Lewis, Gwen & Jocelyn.

Favorite holiday:  Christmas and Halloween, cause there is candy.

Henry's kite

I asked him, “What do you want to do when you are six years old?

  1. “Just eat, so I can grow even more!” and
  2. “Play outside!”

cards Henry smile

 

Click here to see Henry’s favorites from last year.

 

December 2014

December 2014

Jack took our annual family photos:

Family Profile 2014

Family 2014

Aunt Carol brought us the trees behind us in the spring of 2000 (our first spring).  This batch of trees never got cut for a Christmas tree because they were too big when we started having a tree.

We had good snow and great skiing early in the month.  After our first night of skiing Henry wrote a note to his teacher.

Letter from Henry

We had good sledding in our field.   Henry would get a running start and get some serious air before hitting the snow!

sledding Henry air

Nola Mae ran up and down the hill many times.

Nola Mae

The best hats!

Henry black hat  Nola Mae black hat

Early in the month I had two more kinds of soaps that were ready for the holiday: 

  soap vanilla & patchouli soap lavender & lemon grass

The first photo is Lavender, Vanilla & Patchouli.  The second photo is Lavender & Lemon Grass with ground lemon powder.

Charlie dyed a pair of bamboo socks for his teacher.  We did a test pair last month because I wanted him to have a feel for the syringe and working with the dye.  He was easily frustrated with his own socks and it seemed like he hated the whole process.  So I figured we would have to find a different gift for his teacher.  About a week before the last day of school he asked, “When are we going to dye my teacher’s socks?”  I just assumed he hated it and would never want to do it again.  Charlie promised me he would have extra patience for this project.  And he did while he got help from Nola Mae.

dyeing Charlie 3

Mrs. Johnson’s socks:

dyed socks Charlie

The color in this photo is so off from the actual color.  He used a purple and a teal color called Kingfisher Blue.

Charlie and Nola Mae messing around with a backpack:

Charlie & Nola Mae babywearing

We cut our Christmas tree from our property:

I remember planting this tree very well, even what clothes I was wearing, and the pair of gloves I had on. It was one of the first days I accomplished something significant after feeling like crap for months with morning sickness (my pregnancy with Robbie).  I planted a total of 15 trees, only three trees made it this long.  I tried to imagine when we would be cutting this tree down for our Christmas tree.  I didn’t imagine we would have four children around this tree, 11 1/2 years later.

christmas tree 2014

Nola Mae strawberry hat

One of my sisters got engaged this month:

Becca & Ben

Here is some kind of Elemental Warrior equation Robbie made with  some calligraphy pens that I had.

Elemental warrior equation

Dyeing and sewing projects (I have a post all for my December dyeing projects, click here to see them):

My friend, Michelle, gave me some curtains she had in her daughter’s room.  I dyed them, because they were white!

dye ice curtain

Nola Mae and three of her cousins got pretty snow dyed skirts.

dyed ice curtain skirt

My first Maxi skirt for one of my sisters:

sewing maxi skirt becca

Two bags made of dyed fabrics:

bag dyed red mandala

Front of bag:

bag dyed & embrodiery

Back of bag:

bag dyed Aunt Karen

Robbie and I went Christmas shopping and he had the idea that I dye the kids matching shirts.

dyed family shirts 1 dyed family shirts 2

It was my idea to do a “V” for our last name.  Jack helped me with the colors.

dyed family shirts

Jack has been busy in his workshop:

A book shelf for Robbie.

Robbie's book shelf

A tool box for Henry.

Henry's tool box

A bench for Nola Mae.

Nola Mae's bench

We set up the ping-pong table for Christmas break, this could become a tradition I could get use to.

ping pong

More of my favorite photos from this month:

Trombone Robbie

   Robbie Runs

Nola Mae's sled

Monopoly Grandmas

Mama santa hat

Charlie computer

cards Henry

cards Henry smile

Dye Projects – November 2014

I have gone out of my comfort zone this month and tried color combos that I would never imagine I would like and have found that I love them…earth tones!  From the beginning of November to now (mid-December) I have dyed four different batches of earth tones (3 of them in November).

Ice dyed bandana.

dyed ice bandana earth tones

Ice dyed flour sack towel.

dye dish towel earth tone Ila mandala

One of my aunts commissioned me for a table-cloth and dish towels in earth tones.

dye mandala table cloth & towel set earth tones

Another Aunt asked for a table-cloth and dish towels.

Dye earth tones Ila table cloth and towels

I found some white pieces of cotton fabric in my stash of things, so I dyed these.  I hope some day to make them into quilts:

dye mandala fabric blue green purple               dyed ice mandala snowflake

One of my favorite dish towels:

dye mandala towel sunflower

I found a round table-cloth at Goodwill.  I was hoping to perfect the sunflower so I could dye this set:

dye sunflower table cloth and towel

Dyed at the same time, with the same dye, on two different cottons – table-cloth colors are a little dull compared to the towel.

A table runner or dresser scarf (is that what you call them?)

dye table runner rainbow spiral

It is a linen and poly blend – 30 1/4 X 19 1/4 inches.

I am working on perfecting the maṇḍala design.  Robbie was in the basement visiting with me during one of my rinsing sessions.  I was excited about the results and showed him a few.  He asked, “How did you get so good at them?”  How sweet of him!  Since they weren’t so good.

Susie asked me to dye some linen napkins for her.  They were the smallest pieces I ever worked with.  And a bit of a challenge.

dye smallest mandala fold

I knew they needed a lot of time in the dye, so they sat in “the muck” after the ice melted for a long time.  A new method for me and a little nerve-racking because really, how can something beautiful come out of that yucky water?

dye smallest mandala in brown & blue in muck

These did…

dye mandala napkins Susie

I have been wanting to make a few more buffs for us, since Henry seems to steal mine.  I had this stripped knit fabric that I “needed” to dye (because it was so boring).

dyed buff w blank

A buff was perfect for this fabric.

dyed buff action  dye buff knit

Here are a few more of my favorites from the month:

A ring sling for a friend’s little girl.

dye ring sling toddler size

White clothes I found at a thrift store:

dye shirt 3T purple and blue slants

   dye baby rainbow DNA

Dye Projects – September & October 2014

 Dye Projects – September & October 2014

I bought 24 white bandanas to dye, here is the start of them:

dye bandanas

The blue one on the right was supposed to be green and blue but you couldn’t see the green.  I over dyed it with black.

dye bandana blue & black

 dye bandana pink w purple

I dyed the boys bandanas with our school colors:

Dye bandanas orange and black

A few shirts, size 5 or 6T:

dye ice rainbow tanks

Henry has claimed this shirt.

dye ice t-shirt

My favorite white shirt that I tried to do a Galaxy dye on and it flopped.  In my opinion I saved it with adding the black swirl.

dye ice fail swirl w black

Four small bags that were upcycled from the corners of a high quality fitted sheet, so the opening is elastic:

dye shibori bags

I need to find a use or a market for these.  The elastic is in great shape because this sheet was new, but damaged.  I was thinking for fruit that you want to ripen faster or for when you are traveling and short on space in you bag and you need to pack a second pair of shoes – put them in this bag and your clothes won’t get dirty.

A small canvas bag:

dye rainbow canvas bag

Pajama pants for me, rainbow DNA on the side of the leg and I attempted a swirl on the bottom of the other leg:

dye PJ pants

The pants are so comfortable I went back to Walmart’s clearance rack and bought the rest of the ones they had in my size.

A solar system pillow case (king size):

dye solar system pillowcase

Charlie pointed out that Earth is the wrong size compared to the sun and other planets.  That is what I wanted.  I also wanted the sun to be more yellow and Earth to have more land.

I found this new tool at a rummage sale for $0.25.  It will help me apply small drips of dye in small places.

dye injector

Ice dyeing is really my favorite kind of dyeing.  Soon snow will be here and I can use snow instead of buying ice!

dye ice in progress melted dye ice in progress

I have attempted to make dyed scarves.  I am not a scarf-person because I am always hot and I have no clue about fashion.  With the help of my sisters I may wear one of my scarves.

This rainbow infinity scarf was given to one of my sisters.

scarf Kayla

The other half of this scarf was purchased by a friend.

scarf vintage dyed rainbow 4

dye ice rainbow scarf lace 1

I dyed this infinity scarf for another sister.

scarf Danna

This scarf went to my step-mom.

 Scarf Lynn

This scarf is my favorite scarf.  I had a different idea how this was going to turn out (mistake #1 never have any expectations of a dye project).  I used a tie dye method call DNA with liquid red, yellow, and blue dye to do the rainbow squiggly line and then iced dyed the loose fabric with black.  Someone said it reminded them of the Hungry Caterpillar.   This one was sold to a family member.  I am still dreaming up ideas on how to do this method again but with different colors.   I am stuck on deciding the colors, my fabric is prepped and ready for dye!

        dye tie & ice DNA flat   dye tie & ice DNA

This is a full size sheet.  I was testing the folding method and the color combos and was pleased with the results.

dye ice spiral purples cropped

 I want to do flower looking tie dyes, so I am practicing on flour sack dish towels that I bought at Fleet Farm and Target.  The fold is call a mandala.  My first attempt was on these two towels.

 dye tie flour sack mandala orange & blue dye tie flour sack mandala rainbow

I am calling this my birthday sheet.  I bought this white sheet at Goodwill for my birthday to try a mandala design on a larger piece.   I finished this today and it was like opening up a birthday present!  I can’t express how happy I am with these results.

 dye tie mandala purples & green

dye tie mandala purple & greens center

Funny dyeing story:   Jack’s brother, Eddie, called our house.  Henry (5 year old) answered the phone. Eddie must have asked if Henry knew where his mom and dad are. I heard Henry say, “I don’t know. I think my mom is dyeing in the basement.”

I have a bunch of my other dyed scarves, sewn scarves, soaps and other handmade items in my etsy store.  I am too lazy to put them in this blog post. I especially don’t really want to use up my blogging space for photos of that kind of stuff.

Feel free to check out my etsy store (my store name is skiingmama):   https://www.etsy.com/shop/skiingmama

September 2014

September 2014

First day of school photo:

First day of school 2014

On the first day of school, Nola Mae and I took a bike ride to town to run errands.  I needed to do lots of things this day, grocery shopping, library, bank, post office, drop something off at school and most importantly get exercise and get away from the house so I wasn’t thinking about missing my boys.  Our way home was a lot of work for me…27 pound child, 15 pound bike trailer, 75 pounds of groceries and library books.

Bike errands

I have planned to dye my hair a non-traditional color (purple) for many months.  I finally got around to doing it and it faded to pink (not one of my favorite colors).  In the last month I have considered chopping my hair just twice to get rid of it.  When my mom first saw me after I dyed my hair, she joked with me that my fabric dyes got in my hair.   Now, I am feeling like I will keep it for a while.  Next, I will attempt purple and maybe more colors.

 hair dye pink

Jack has made many cigar box guitars in the last year.  This month Charlie finished a two string cigar box guitar.

 cigarbox guitar in progress

Jack made a video of Charlie and shared it on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202628856665701&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

cigarbox guitar Charlie's

I have an amazing husband, he deserves a blog post all to himself.   He is talented in many areas, he is intelligent, he is teaching our kids many skills, he creates beautiful wooden furniture and boxes.

I was a little skeptical about these ugly pieces of wood when he loaded these into our car.

wooden burrow

One day he handed this beautiful bowl to me and told me he made it from the wooden burrows that we brought home.

wooden burrow bowl

Charlie turned a bowl with Jack.  He took his unfinished bowl to school to show his teacher.  Charlie was eager to finish it and then took it back to school.  One day I was looking for Charlie’s bowl to take a photo.  He told me he gave it to his teacher.

We got together with all the Vater cousins this month, unfortunately because Grandpa Neil passed away.  It was wonderful to see our kids having a blast with their cousins, and visit with the cousins we don’t see very much.  Nola Mae and I missed out on the last family gathering because she was sick.   I am not interested in doing the math on when I last saw Jack’s cousins from CA, it was sometime when Ben was still a little boy.  When Ben opened his mouth I just about died, because he had a man’s voice, not a little boy anymore!  Ben is the tallest man in the Vater family.

vater cousins and family

I have many sisters, four of them, all of them are amazing in their own way!  Early this month, Becca completed her first Ironman in Madison,  2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run.

I wasn’t able to make it to Madison to cheer her on.  I was able to watch her finish from the comforts of my home, 130+ miles away on my computer through the live-feed video on Ironman’s website.

I have my very own finish line photo of her.

IronMan Madison Becca

 Nola Mae loves to put clothes on, take them off, and put extra layers of clothing.  While I was taking a shower  Nola Mae climbed   on the counter and was putting socks on and taking them off.  I took this picture with the intention of doing a blog post with all the photos I have collected of her in her many outfits.

Nola Mae socks happy

Everything was going great.  You can see all the socks on the floor that she had on and took off.  Then she got stuck in these blue socks, that is when things started to get UGLY!  Exactly, one minute later…

Nola Mae socks sad  Nola Mae socks sadder

Two days later…there was an outfit that included many layers and many tears – three shirts, one dress and one pair of tights – she wanted more clothes on and I wouldn’t help her.

Nola Mae flopping

The above photos aren’t so pretty ones of Nola Mae, but this one is!

Nola Mae

When you co-sleep and put your child to bed before yourself they claim their spot.

Yours spot

I knew Henry was outside on the deck.  I heard sounds of a trombone.  I was afraid he snuck Robbie’s  trombone upstairs and outside.  I was relieved, happy and very excited to see him making music with the vacuum cleaner hose, rather than the $754 trombone!

Henry hose trombone

Four days before my birthday a wonderful gift arrived at our house – a spiral ham and caramel popcorn!  I was delighted, ham is one of our favorite things.  Especially, mine because one ham goes a long way here.  If I am remembering correctly this ham gave us  at least four meals, fillings for additional meals, made awesome snacks and were added to cold lunches for boys.  The very last of this ham will be eaten sometime this fall when I make my favorite soup!

bday ham

On September 11th, Nola Mae and I drove to Milwaukee to see my sister, Emily.  Earlier in the week she was admitted to the hospital for liver failure and the talk was “she isn’t going home until she gets a new liver”.  Her MELD Score was so high, she was on the top of the liver transplant list for the Midwest.  As the week progressed and she got more fluids and antibiotics she was feeling and looking better.  I was thankful to see her in better spirits and health later in the week so that when and if a new liver came to her she would be strong enough to make it through a transplant.

Emily hospital 9-11

On Monday, September 15th, around 4:30 AM Emily was told that there is an organ donor who is a perfect match for her.   I am pretty sure this was the longest day in her entire life.  It sure was for me!   The staff took her to surgery for the liver transplant at 5:30 PM.  If I am remembering correctly, I got the call at 12:21 AM, on the 16th, telling me that her surgery was done and she will be heading to ICU.

Click here to read my thoughts on the day of Emily’s transplant, “A Sister’s Emotions”.

I spent the day before my birthday glued to my computer and close to the phone waiting for any news on Emily’s transplant.  I didn’t get much sleep that night and woke up for my birthday in a zombie-like state.  I knew Emily was sedated, well cared for in ICU and I needed to get the heck out of my house!  IT was MY birthday and I wanted my special coffee and I wanted to use my 60% & 50% off coupons at JoAnn Fabrics!  So Nola Mae and I went to town!

I made a trip to my favorite thrift store and found a bunch of dye blanks!

  I bought these fabrics.  The birds and butterflies were on the $4/yard rack.  The bottom white fabrics I bought for making dyed scarves.

bday fabric

A close up of one of the white fabrics.

dye blank for scarf

I made two scarves from this fabric – one for my step-mom and one to sell or give away as a gift (or maybe keep for myself).

Dyed Scarf Rainbow colors

My last stop in town was Starbucks, thanks to my sister Danna and her boyfriend, I purchased a yummy coffee and this beautiful coffee mug.

bday coffee cup

The boys (& Jack) gave me a package of socks, these awesome rubber boots and something else.  I can’t remember what the third thing was.   I love my new boots and wear them every day!

bday boots

Usually my garlic gets planted in October.  The planting window for garlic in Wisconsin is mid-September to November.  I remember this because my birthday is the beginning of this planting window and my brother’s birthday, which is at the end of October, is my absolute last day for planting garlic.   This fall, I started planting my garlic before my birthday and then finished planting 200+ cloves of garlic the day after my birthday.

garlic planting 2014

We are were still picking raspberries into October.

Raspberries 8-31-12

 Every year I find a pair of Walking Sticks in my raspberry patch.  They are always attached to each other every time I see them.  This time I happened to have the camera with me and when I bumped them, they came apart and I took this photo.

walking stick

I have accumulated many dye blanks, I am always looking for more.  Recently, I  had some time to organize and prioritize my dyeing projects

dye thirft store blanks

I also had some time to set up a little dyeing space in my basement and got busy.  In one week I dyed 20 pieces.

dye table

We paddled up the river from Big Falls when the leaves were beautiful.  It was a great way to end the month.

paddle car fall 2014

paddle big falls 2014  paddle rocking 2014

I am making and selling soap again this year.  I started early for Christmas by making four batches.

“Cleansing Calendula”, with essential oils: Lavender & Tea Tree and ground Calendula flowers for a great exfoliation.    Aroma:  Soft, floral.  Benefits:  Renewing, cleansing, stimulating.

soap calendula flowers & lavender & tea tree  

“Cinnamon Swirl”  with essential oils:  Orange & Cinnamon and ground cinnamon, which gives it the dark color.   Aroma:  Warm, spicy   Benefits:  Warming, comforting, energizing

 soap cinn & organe

(these are the same soap, just different batch and different method of coloring with the ground cinnamon)

“Jumping Juniper”  essential oils:  Juniper, Lavender & Rosemary   Aroma: Floral   Benefits: Restoring, empowering, balancing, purifying, &  uplifting.

  soap juniper, lavender & rosemary

I have about twelve pounds of garlic to sell.

garlic for sale 2014

It was a good birthday month for me!

August 2014

August 2014

A moment when everyone was getting along nicely!

4 kids talking

Charlie is thrilled about his candy DNA he made in summer school.  I had to take this photo for Aunt Danna who is studying Bio-Chemistry at UW-Madison.

Charlie Science

Charlie celebrated his 9th birthday.

charlie bday cake 9 yr

Mask making:

 

blue tape mask

blue tape mask 4 kids

 

We biked to Big Falls this summer for the first time.  Round trip was 16.5 miles.

We went to the Sweet Shoppe for some games and ice cream.

 

 

big falls sweet shop

 

big falls playground

big falls waterfall

 

Charlie’s new hair cut – trim at the beauty solon.

 

 

charlie long hair

 

Then a buzz cut from Papa:

charlie short hair

 

This hen has always acted “broody” so I decided to give it a try to let her hatch some eggs.  I expect chicks any day.

 

chicken coop hatching eggs

Nola Mae loves to come to the chicken coop with me.  She has figured out how to climb so she can collect eggs.

chicken coop Nola Mae

My garden is doing well:

Garlic crop was a success.  I am not sure how many pounds I grew this year.

 

garden garlic 2014

I was able to recruit some helpers for the peeling and trimming jobs.

garden garlic cleaning

garden garlic trim

We got a lot of rain this month.  I didn’t get out to the garden to pick my green beans for a few days.  I was surprised with an 11.5 inch long green bean.

  garden forgotten green bean

We found this cute frog in my purple cone flowers.

garden frog purple coneflower

I have lots of corn in the freezer, about 120 cups.

garden corn

I did some dyeing this month, check out my post Dye Projects – August.

These dyed items found new homes this month:

dye clothes

 

Granny visited us for Charlie’s birthday.  Nola Mae put her glasses on.

   Nola Mae Granny glasses

Napping Nola Mae.

Nola Mae sleeping

A common scene at our house.

Play house swing

I made a new soap this month:

Tea tree and lavender essential oils with ground Calendula flowers.

soap calendula lavender & tea tree

My very popular soap:

Orange and cinnamon, swirled this time.

soap cinnamon orange

Playing on the sinking canoe is always a lot of fun!

sunset sunk canoe

I made this wrap for someone, 100% linen, color is honeysuckle and beautiful!

wrap 100% linen honeysuckle

I had to try it out!

wrap 100% linen honeysuckle action

Dye Projects – August 2014

Dye Projects – August 2014

 

 I did a dye demonstration at the Norske Needlers’ Meeting.

I had the dye and supplies for them to do a Low Water Immersion dye in large yogurt containers.

dye Norske Needlers LWI 1 dye Norske Needlers LWI 2

Their results:

dye Norske Needlers LWI Fabrics 1 dye Norske Needlers LWI Fabrics 2 dye Norske Needlers LWI Fabrics

At the quilt guild meeting I showed them how to start and ice dye with this shirt and two pieces of fabric.  The two colors of dye I used was Dylon Flamingo Pink and Navy.

dye ice pink & navy

I had some leftover dye from the demo.

dye liquid leftovers

So I did this:

dye leftover projects

This was accordion folded and LWI in that bin above with the primary colors of fire red, daffodil and royal blue.  I was horrified when the red was flowing across the whole thing.  And then pleasantly surprised by the beautiful results.

dye LWI rainbow

dye LWI royal blue, cerulean blue & better blue green

The baby shirts are suppose to have a heart in the center – flopped!

dye Tied daffodil & royal blue

This was the most surprising, the fabric on the left isn’t cotton, just the decorative thread is.  So the thread is the only thing that took the dye.  I was going to make matching skirts for me and Nola Mae.  Making hers into a watermelon skirt.  Some how the green that I used on the bottom wasn’t green.

dye leftover skirts

I got all these shirts from a thrift store.  They were having a $5 bag sale so I grabbed everything in the store that was white to dye!

dye leftover dyes shirts

I still have some dye left over and am waiting for more inspiration to put it to good use. 

I have been thinking of doing a galaxy ice dye and finally just did it on this sheet and piece of fabric and

dye ice galaxy fabric

these shorts.

dye ice galaxy shorts

July 2014

 July 2014

This month started out pretty horrible.  I had strep throat.  Once I was feeling better, I hurt my back while pulling weeds in the garden.  I literally spent over a week sleeping and lying around.  I feel fortunate to have independent children, a hubby who is able to take a day of vacation anytime and a wonderful doctor friend who will see me in her office on her day off and again on the weekend.  I wouldn’t have been able to get better as quickly without  her!   That week did a number on my brain too.  I haven’t recovered from that lost week yet!

If you come to our house, Nola Mae will want to show you the big hole in the garden.  There once was a large rock there.

garden hole get ready

This hole keeps her busy and entertained.

garden hole jump

Another source of entertainment in our yard.

Nola Mae Tractor

Waiting for fireworks.

Henry & Nola Mae fireworks

Mr. Ernst baling his hay in our field.

Mr. Ernst marshmallows

Counting Mr. Ernst’s marshmallows.

counting bales

I love this smile!

Henry smile

Our big boys went to North Dakota with Grandma, Grandpa, uncle and cousins.

ND July 4 2014 cousins

ND July 4 2014 bluff

When they called me from North Dakota they told me they could spend all summer there because they were having so much fun.

ND July 4 2014 swimming

All four kids together after the big boys came back from their trip to North Dakota.

four kids on rocks

Henry has this great friend, Micheala, who he sat next to in school, they played together, helped each other with projects and giggled a lot together.  Micheala invited Henry to her birthday party at the pool.  Every day we counted down the days until the day before the party.  Henry helped me pick out the fabric for this bag to give to her, because she LOVES pink!

bag pink batman

The weekend came…Eddie came to help Jack cut down the huge oak tree that was leaning towards the house.

Oak tree standing

Oak tree plan

Helen counted about 120 to 130 years for the age of the tree.

Oak tree down

Oak tree sawing

  Jack and Eddie did a fabulous job dropping the tree away from the house and garage.  Jack put his chain saw in a “safe” place.  The tree landed perfectly on our wood pile and did not damage the chainsaw!

Oak tree chainsaw

 The video on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202381381878986&set=vb.1326037913&type=3&theater

We have an awesome firewood pile.  Charlie thinks we won’t have to make firewood for a couple more years.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him we make firewood for future years, not the coming winter.  This wood is what we will burn, not this winter, next winter (2015-16) and hopefully some will be left for the following winter (2016-17).

Oak Tree firewood

The weekend was over…On Sunday night, after reading our bedtime story, Henry asked me again, “How many days until Micheala’s party?”  At that moment I realized we missed the party, it was yesterday.   The poor boy cried himself to sleep.  I called the mom and made an ice cream date with Micheala.  We picked her up and while we were in the car Henry had a whoopee cushion and kept  blowing it up and squashing it.  They were giggling so hard it just melted my heart to see them having such a great time.  While at the ice cream shop they talked and talked while just sitting on the riding toys.

birthday ice cream 2

birthday ice cream

Fifty-five pounds of blush and bing cherries ($1.66/pound).  We ate almost all of them except for a quart size bag of them went into the freezer.

cherries 2014

Five days later, eighty pounds of blueberries arrived.  I paid $2.25/pound.  The kids were slacking this year and only ate about fifteen pounds before we made one pie and froze the rest.

Blueberries 2014

 There are wonderful times in my life when all four kids will play nicely together, not often, but it does happen.  They went down the path to the edge of the field and played for a very long time.  I can’t remember how long but long enough for me to keep wondering “What in the world are they doing?”  Finally, this is what I saw coming up the hill.

Best big Brother Robbie

And then something like this happens…Henry and I picked raspberries one hot afternoon. While we picked Henry and Nola Mae weren’t getting along.  They were mostly fighting about who would get my next handful. I sent Nola Mae to a shady part to eat her raspberries. Henry was still kind of mad at her so he said, “Nola Mae I hope you eat ALL your raspberries! And then you poop, raspberry poop, on your head!”

 Henry & Nola Mae

Our lotion girl:  Thankfully this mess was outside.

lots of lotion

 My sewing projects:

I made this wet bag for a friend who uses cloth diapers.

diaper wet bag butterflies

And this Didymos Winter Lillies wrap was made into a ring sling for another friend.

Didymos winter lilies ring sling convert

 I dyed this in June and sewed it into a ring sling this month.

dye ice Navy over Intense violet ring sling

and this one.

ring sling green july 14

My first minecraft creeper inspired pillowcase.

pillowcase minecraft creeper

My dyeing projects:

Charlie designed the glue resist on this cloth to cover his desk.  He wanted rainbow colors, which I used to ice dye it, but it doesn’t look very rainbow-ish to me.  When he saw it for the first time he said, “Awesome!”  I was holding my breath because it didn’t turn out like I expected.

dye glue resist ice Charlie

I made this ring sling for a friend who loved the ring sling I made last month in the same colors.   This one turned out a little darker and just as beautiful.  We traded this ring sling for a new bike for Robbie.

dye ice cerulean blue & better blue green 2nd time ring sling

Robbie with his new bike.  I think we got the better end of the deal!

Robbie bike traded for ring sling

 This is a picture of “testing my patience”.  I have learned that dyeing stuff takes a lot of patience.    All of those items in the bags first sat under ice for over 24 hours, then I gently put them into these plastic bags for 12 hours.

dye ice rainbow swirl batching

Then they needed rinsing with the hose, and then rinsed in the washer for many rinse cycles.

dye ice rainbow swirl rinse

 Once I dried everything in the dryer I hung them on the line to get a good look!

dye ice rainbow swirl on line dye ice rainbow swirl osnaburg

dye ice rainbow swirl ring sling 2

This was a white sheet that I will make into a quilt for Robbie.

  dye ice rainbow swirl sheet dye ice rainbow swirl Tank

This was a white table-cloth.

Dye LWI rainbow table clothe

with matching napkins that I dyed.dyed rainbow napkins set 1

  We have a trombone player!  He is very happy to be done playing the piano.

  Robbie Trombone 1 Robbie Trombone 2

I have had this sign on my fridge for many months.  I was reminded this month how very important this is for everyone to follow (adults and children)!  I hope you follow this advice too.

THINK

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!

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