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

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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

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:  https://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

February 2014

February 2014

I have had a busy month.   I am pleased with the amount of things we (I) did and the things we caught on camera, considering it was a short month.

Nola Mae loves to play in the water.  I am expecting to have lots of fun this summer at the beach.  Whenever she hears the water running in the kitchen she comes running and yelling “bubbas” and lately she has spent time in the bath tub.  She is making up for the lack of baths she had during her first year of life.  Every time I tried to give her a bath she would scream.  I don’t really care for extra messes around our house, but when this sweet girl is loving the bubbles I can’t resist.

Nola Mae bubbles

My friend, at Kissing Glue, shared a few awesome valentine ideas that she has done in the past that inspired me to do this with our boys.

valentines swedish fish

valentines Charlie

We don’t celebrate anything in a big way, ever, especially on Valentine’s Day.  I am okay with that!  My Valentine wrote me a sweet letter with all the things he appreciates I do, and he didn’t miss a single thing!  My letter is definitely a keeper to dig out on a rough day!  He also made me a drink, one of my favorites, that I haven’t had in a very long time!  I sure do miss Rusty’s Backwater Salon’s bloody Mary’s!

valentines drink

I love this smile:

sledding smile

We had a little excitement this month with Charlie.  I wrote a blog post about Charlie’s emergency visit, click here to read that post.

ER Charlie finger 1

Someone left the door open and Nola Mae followed.

barefoot in snow

Her hair is starting to come.  I knew it would arrive sometime because I was a bald child until I was two.

Hair on Nola Mae

Nola Mae nursed her baby doll for the first time this month.  She also has read books to her babies!

      nursing doll

Reading:

I am proud to say everyone in our house likes to read books.   Nola Mae hasn’t shown much interest until recently.  Henry and I read books often and she plays in the room and sometimes comes to sit on my lap to look at one or two pages at a time.

Reading Henry & Nola Mae

She recently has started to bring me books to read to her and even sits in my lap for the entire book!  Last week she kept bringing me books, we read these five twice in one sitting.  And then she sat there for another 10 minutes reading them by herself.

reading Nola Mae

I came home from night skiing with friends and found this…

reading to sleep

When it was time for me to go to bed I found her like this…

   reading book tent

Skiing:

Pointy hood, heart booty, cutie pie!

skiing snow heart Nola Mae

skiing family night

Skiing Robbie snowbank crash

skiing Robbie snowbank rest

If this girl could ski every day she would be happy.  Everyday, she says, “kiing” and puts on someone’s skiing helmet or boots or plays in the skiing sled when I have it in the house.

skiing sled

Babywearing:

I wrote this post this month with photos from one of our snowshoe outings.

snow shoe nap wrap light rainbow

Lately I have been thinking, “I don’t remember the last time I wrapped Henry.”  I was feeling kind of sad thinking that there may not be another time, since he will be 5 in one month.  Then he got hurt in the toy room, dug out my wrap and brought it to me and asked to go on my back until he felt better.  He was up there for about 10 minutes and was happy to take a picture so we can remember this moment.

Wrap me Henry

Dyeing projects:

ice & snow dye purple & green on line 2 ring sling pieces1

Finished ring sling ice & snow dye:

 ice & snow dye purple & green ring sling with toddler

This could actually go in March’s monthly post because it will be finished in March.  But I started this rainbow ice dye on February 28th.  My collection of dye projects is growing and I may get a “dyeing project”  blog posts done in March and include the finished projects from this dye session.

ice dye rainbow on ice

I bought this basket for ice dyeing, $2.49 at Goodwill.  I will need to test it out soon.  I couldn’t use it for my rainbow project because I needed a bigger surface.  I struggle every time to stack the ice or snow high enough and I think the sides on this basket will help solve that problem.

ice dye basket

My sewing projects this month:

I went to the library looking for fat-quarter quilt books and jelly-roll patterns.  This is what I came home with…

sewing books inspirations

I used these scraps of fabric that I ice dyed last month to sew these zipper bags and this panel of fabric that may turn into a baby quilt or a tote bag.

ice dye pink & yellow bags & quilt

While I was making zipper bags I dug out my bag of unfinished zipper bags.

 zipper bags

The three ring slings I made this month.  The last one is for a child to carry a doll and strong enough for an older sibling to carry a real baby.

ring sling green Carolyn ice & snow dye purple & green ring sling ice & snow dye purple & green ring sling child size

I wore this sweater last winter.  It slowly shrunk on me and so I felted it to make a stuffed fish.  Wouldn’t it make a cute fish?  Well, it fit Nola Mae perfectly.  So she will wear it this winter and I will have to come up with something else to make with this wool sweater.

wool sweater stripes felted

I found a different sweater for the felted wool sweater fish.  The loop holding the wooden teething ring is Velcro.

wool sweater fish w wooden teether

pillow case monkeys

pillow case TNT Landon

Fingerless gloves I made from a felted wool sweater.  I added the four heart beads to each glove.  I have great appreciation for the beautiful work my aunts and step-mom do with their jewelry making!

wool sweater fingerless gloves w heart beads

This black sweater had a lot of love in it when it came to me.  I added a little love when I made these little pillows for two sisters who miss their Daddy.

wool sweater kitty

wool sweater wolf

Jack asked me to find a bag that would fit his shoes, a t-shirt, a small towel and a pocket for his wallet for when he goes to racquetball.  I thought it would take me awhile to find the right bag so I thought I would just make him one.  It was fun, quick and easy.  I didn’t buy a single thing for it.  The lining fabric came from my friend, Anna.  The padding and outside fabric came from my mother-in-law and the handles were the end of the strap from a Mei Tai that I made for our cousin, Jessie.  I was surprised that the blue matched perfectly.  I have a box of the trimming from straps of bags and aprons that I have made for this very reason!

bag Jack's racquetball  bag Jack's racquetball pocket

 

November 2013 – Month 11

November 2013 – Month 11

I missed adding this photo to my October blog post.  We had a good time walking around town trick-or-treating with friends.

Halloween friends 2013

Halloween costumes 2013

We started a program with Aunt Susie’s library where we will read 1,00 books before kindergarten.   Check out this link to find a library near you or to see other websites like, “Books your child should hear before kindergarten”. 

Reading to Henry

Nola Mae likes to read too and be cute.

Nola Mae book

Nola Mae eager to get at the after school snack.

After school snack

Nola Mae likes wearing boots and she doesn’t seem to care if they are on backwards.

boots Nola Mae

We took a walk to meet our new neighbors.  Charlie wore his stilts down the hill.

Stilts Charlie

And for most of the walk to the neighbor’s.

Stilts Charlie road

I took this picture on November 22nd after one of our first snowfalls.  Nola Mae discovered that snow is yummy.

Nola Mae eating snow

She likes to wear backpacks.

Nola Mae back pack

Even when they are too heavy for her and she tips over.

Nola Mae backpack fall

Nola Mae has been showing signs of understanding the potty.  After helping her take off the back pack I told her we should change her diaper soon.  I came into the living room and found her waiting for a new diaper.  Once her diaper is off she wants to sit on the potty.

    diaper change

 Batman with rotten teeth has started to put away the silverware from the dishwasher on a regular basis.

Henry Batman Helper

Sometimes bedtime is a little challenging with Henry.  Jack usually reads one book to him and he can have a pile of books to read himself until he gets tired.  Sometimes he comes out to tell me he isn’t sleepy.   I can’t remember how bedtime went this time.  I thought it was hilarious when I found his body in the pillow case and his head on the book that he was reading.

Henry sleeping on book in pillow case

I was laying out my wraps to take photos of them for when I am ready to sell.  Nola Mae climbed on the table for a pose.

Snowflake girl

Our family photo shoot.

Family Photo Shoot 2013

Family photo shoot Robbie & Charlie 2013

Family photo shoot Henry 2013

Family Photo shoot Nola Mae 2013

Hunting with cousins in the north woods.

Hunting cousins

Napping in the north woods.

Hunting Charlie Naps

Peek-a-boo cousins.

Peek a Boo Kale

Sewing projects this fall:

A pillow case for Charlie’s friend.

Pillow case Alek

I made this bag for Cousin Jessie.

Bag Jessie's

I made this bag for myself out of an old curtain.  I bought the brown and the turquoise for the inside.

bag old curtain  bag old curtain inside

A cloth tray made out of a curtain fabric and scraps from my bag.

tray old curtain

A zipper bag for Robbie’s friend, Brock, who is a Duke fan.

Bag zipper Brock O

A large cloth box for stuff, I still need to add handles.

cloth box flowers

Ring sling for friends.

ring sling pink w elephants  Ring sling w stripes

I sold my Ellaroo Ysable woven wrap.  This was the first wrap I bought.  It wasn’t getting much use so it was time for it to find a new home.

wrap ellaroo good bye

July 2013 – Month 7

July 2013 – Month 7

My Uncle Carl from California came to visit this month.  He was able to spend an afternoon/evening at our house.  Nola Mae warmed up to him very quickly.

uncle carl & Nola Mae

Our family went to Big Falls to play in the rapids on a really hot day.  It was the busiest I have ever seen the place.  There were about 30 other people there, usually we are the only ones.  There is a zip-line there where most of the people were.  I would love for the boys to try it some day.

big falls four kids

Just so you know, when Jack went down these rapids his butt dragged the whole time.

big falls Charlie

Nola Mae enjoyed the refreshing feel of the water.

big falls Nola Mae

Good things come in threes:

1)  Jack installed my new clothes line.

clothes line on silo

2)  Jack built a gate for us (my request).  For some reason our road is a toddler magnet.  Every one of our kids loved sprinting to the road.  Maybe it is the thrill of Mama or Papa chasing after them.

Gate for Nola Mae

We have had the W-9 since our first year living here.  It was a tractor of Jack’s dad’s.  We used it to break ground for our veggie garden and that is about it.  It is a big tractor.

Tractor W-9 & kids

We also owned a Farmall H that was useful to us for moving firewood and cleaning the barn.  We decided to sell them both.  It was sad for me to see them go.

Tractor W-9 & H loaded up

3)  I have been trying to convince Jack for at least the last five years to buy me a skid steer.

skid steer

I found some hay!  I am thinking this will be the last winter I buy hay for my horse.  She may need to die or find a new home.  I have fond memories of all the sweat and dust of baling hay on my Step-Dad’s farm.  I had a fun time with Robbie and Charlie going to get this hay.  I pulled them away from the computer to help me one evening.  We drove to the field where the hay was baled and loaded up two loads of 25 bales each.   And then they helped unload it.  In the truck on the way to get our second load Charlie said, “This is fun!”

bales boys unloading

Henry helped unload the second load in the morning.  And helped with stacking it in the basement of the barn.

 bales Henry

My friends and I ordered a total of 170 pounds of blueberries from Country Corner Sales for $2.05/lb.  Last year I paid $2.53/lb.   Not very often can you say, “The price went down this year!”   The pick-you-own blueberry farm is charging $2.50/lb ($0.25 more than what they charged last year).

Blueberry boxes 2013

Nola Mae thought she had her own box.

Blueberry Nola Mae 2013

I harvested my garlic this month and wrote about our garden.

garlic harvest 2013

I boiled eggs one day and went outside before they were ready to be taken off the heat.  I got this exploded egg.  It looks like a chicken head to me.  What do you see?

egg boiled oozing

Charlie has been wanting to bike to town (a round trip is 10 miles) all summer.  We have only done a 4.5 mile loop in our neighborhood a few times.  With complaints and many water stops most of the way.   On this day I added a 2 mile loop, totaling 6.5 miles, to test them out for a trip to town.  I hooked up the train for a bike ride.  Henry on the tag-along attached to my bike and Nola Mae in the Burley attached to the tag-along.  Robbie couldn’t find his shoes so he biked in socks.  Charlie was just plain crabby about the whole idea.

bike train

The 6.5 miles wasn’t that bad after we were done.

A few days later, we went to town on our bikes.  Charlie was pumped.  Robbie was tired before we started.  They raced almost the whole way and I had a hard time keeping up with them.  It took us 36 minutes to go the 5 miles.

bike to town picnic

We had a picnic at the park, then dropped off some of my healing balm at a friend’s house and at the pharmacy.  The pharmacist is testing it to see if they want to stock it on their shelves.   We went to the library for some books on CD for our trip to Milwaukee and then to the ice cream shop.

bike to town ice cream shop

On the way home Charlie was so tired I considered dropping his bike off at my friend’s house (3 miles from our house), putting Henry in the trailer with Nola Mae and having Charlie ride on the tag-along.   Nola Mae was sleeping and Charlie seemed better after more water.  When we were two miles from home Charlie figured out a way to hold onto the bike trailer/stroller’s handle bars with one hand and his handle bars with the other.  He peddled while holding on and there were times I could feel him pushing me and other times when I was pulling him.  He said he would let go when a car was coming and while going up and down the hills.  I could have sworn he was holding on when we were climbing that last hill to our house and I looked back and he wasn’t.   Henry is a good peddler on the tag-along.  It took us 48 minutes to get home.

Often I find Nola Mae walking around with a pen ( or whatever writing utensil she can find) and paper.  Maybe she will be a writer.  She sat with Java for a long time as if she was interviewing her.

Nola Mae & Java

My friend, Lynn, gave me this cute dress for Nola Mae.  I have been wanting to take a cute picture of her in the dress for Lynn.  Nola Mae has been getting the dress dirty before I could get a photo taken.  This is an example of how quick I can be with the camera.  I was in the kitchen, my camera is usually there, I turned around and saw Nola Mae doing this…

Nola Mae on chair

I was admiring how well Nola Mae was playing with this car,

Nola Mae drives tractor

and the next thing she did was take a drink out of this little puddle on the deck.

Nola Mae thirsty

Nola Mae comes out the chicken coop with me often, she is usually on my back, this time she was walking with me.  I feed them and then collect the eggs, so I am not tripping over them or getting pecked when I am stealing eggs.  Nola Mae decided to eat with the chickens.

Nola Mae eating w chickens

Henry is teaching her how to climb ladders.

Nola Mae ladder

I have a friend who got married the same weekend as the Liver Walk.  Earlier this year she asked me if I was interested in making her wedding cake.   I seriously considered it.  I knew she was having a small wedding and she would be the kind of bride I could work with.  My only concern was having the time to make the cake.   During the week of her wedding I was sad to not be making her wedding cake.  I started making a triple layered 9 inch round cake for my nephew’s graduation party.  I needed Nola Mae to be busy for a little while so I could mix the cake by letting her play with the water on a chair AT the sink.  NOT in the sink!

  Nola Mae in sink

Henry was doing a great job reading to Nola Mae.  I was impressed with how well he knew the right sounds and words to Mr. Brown can MOO, can you?

Henry reading

Nola Mae wanted to hold the book and Henry didn’t like that idea.  They both were happier once Nola Mae had her own book to hold.

Henry reading 2

Jack made this beautiful box for Nola Mae.

box Nola Mae

We went to the Liver Walk and had a graduation party for my nephew afterwards. 

Liver walk 2013

I made snake bubbles and they were a hit with all the little kids and even the big kids. 

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles K

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles Ali

Liver Walk 2013 bubbles Kayla & Ali

How to make snake bubbles: 

  • Cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle (soda or water bottle).
  • Cut an old sock just before the heel, so you are using the toe and foot part of the sock to cover the bottom of your bottle.
  • Secure the sock on the bottle with a rubber band.  Since I was traveling and making these a head of time, I also put duct tape over the rubber band.
  • Soap mixture was 1 parts Dawn dish soap and 2 parts water.
  • Dip the bottom of the bottle in the soap mixture and blow.

Note:  Smaller kids may suck in while blowing and swallow or breath in bubbles.  Henry will tell you that is YUCKY!

For colored snake bubbles click here.

Since the skid steer has arrived a lot of projects have been getting done around our yard.

Rock wall 1

Rock Wall 2

Rock wall Nola Mae

skid steer Nola Mae

I have gotten braver with my soaps.  I purchased more essential oils this spring and made this soap in early June.  It turned out beautiful, this has cinnamon and orange essential oils with ground cinnamon.  If you like cinnamon smelling things you would love this!

soap cinnamon orange

Sewing projects this month:

Tooth pillows for a sister and brother.

tooth pillow maddie  tooth pillow alek

A TNT pillow case inspired by Minecraft for one of Robbie’s friends.

pillow case TNT Landon

I made a Mei Tai for a friend’s sister.

Mei Tai kid size

Three beautiful ring slings.

ring sling brown w green steph  ring sling green w br steph  ring sling plum Pam

I bought this fabric at a rummage sale.  It is the perfect weave for a wrap.  I serged the edges and used it for weeks until I finally hemmed it.

Wrap DIY shorty Ruck Under Bum (RUB)  wrap DIY woven naptime

It is shorter than my other wraps and there is only enough room for me to do a Rucksack carry tied under the bum (A.K.A. RUB).  I have learned that I love it for very fast ups and downs and escaping out from the fabric when laying down Nola Mae.

Wrap DIY shorty I escaped

I have another picture of her sweetness in my light rainbow wrap.

wrap light rainbow naptime

I am in a babywearing group on facebook.  Each week they do a “carry of the week”.   A great way to learn a new carry or in this case a new tie off.  This is a double hammock carry with a salt water tie with my Zara Velvet wrap.

Wrap Zara Velevet Salt Water double hammock

My favorite pictures of the month:

baby wearing sibling Ergo Charlie

baby wearing sibling Ergo Charlie woods

Robbie fancy moves

Nola Mae wheel

Nola Mae fence

Week 43 – October 22 – 28, 2012

Week 43 – October 22 – 28, 2012

(Completed on 12-17-12)

Biking in PJs.  When you are ready to go and the timing is just right, just get on your bike and GO!

Biking Henry in PJs

And since you are outside you better do the chicken chores.

Wrap chicken chores

Helen captured this big squeeze and kiss.  Nola Mae has gotten use to Henry’s loving, most of the time he gives her sweet little kisses on her head as he is walking by (even harder to get those kissing on the camera).

Henry big kiss

Charlie’s Jedi robe in progress.

Jedi robe Charlie

Nola Mae’s new mobility has gotten her “stuck” in a few places.  If I am remembering this is the week where I “lost” her in the house for the first time.  I went to the bathroom and when I came out she wasn’t anywhere close to where she was when I went in.  That was a little scary, I thought maybe Henry took her somewhere, but realized that she is indeed getting around the house by herself at record speeds for an almost seven month old!

Nola Mae crawling

Piano lessons from Robbie.

Piano Henry & Robbie

Robbie Cards

Nola Mae’s last nap in this rocking chair.

Nola Mae Napping

I took this cute photo of her in her ruffle diaper.  I think Henry thought I was taking a picture of her chewing on this toy ring,

Nola Mae diaper ruffles

because he found his own ring to play with.

Henry silly

Robbie’s new kind of airplane.

paper airplane Robbie

Henry helps me make bread crumbs.  When all of the boys turned three years old the “I hate crust” switch turned on.  Charlie takes a sandwich every day to school.  I cut the crust off, because if you let a kid take it off half the sandwich is wasted.  I feed the curst to the chickens or save it and then dry them out for bread crumbs.

jobs Henry bread crumbs

Jack came home on the 22nd and went right to work on the kayak.

Kayak clamps

We have a “nest” in our room and lately all three boys have been sleeping in our room.  This night I nursed Nola Mae to sleep and Robbie was still awake.  I was able to put her next to him while I took a shower.  When I was done with my shower they were all sleeping.

Nest sleeping kids

A birthday gift for one of Robbie’s friends.  I think I have made a pillowcase for all of his friends.  Now what do I make for gifts next year?  What homemade thing will 10-year-old boys like?

pillow case Brock

The boys had a day off from school.  I took them to the ski hill to see the new trail and to pick up sticks and rocks.

ski hill new trail

Robbie wanted a hood on his Jedi robe.  I didn’t have time to put one on Henry’s.  Charlie didn’t want to be a Jedi, instead he was a wizard with the mask Grandma Helen made last Christmas for the “mask” gift exchange.

Halloween customes 2012

Week 32 – August 6 – 12, 2012

Week 32 – August 6 – 12, 2012

Henry and I took a road trip this week.  He complained that the sun was in his eyes and “looking at Nola Mae isn’t working.”  I usually suggest that he look at Nola Mae, who is to the left of him,  when the sun is in his eyes because it isn’t too long until we change directions on the road.   My suggestion really wasn’t working because we were driving north for a long time and the sun wasn’t moving.  I gave him one of Nola Mae’s hats to cover his eyes.

When we got home he put one of his hats in my bag so it is with us next time.

We picked the older boys up from summer school and went to the Big Falls hydro dam for a picnic lunch and some adventures.  The water is so low we can walk on the rocks everywhere.  You can see the water lines on the rocks in this picture of Henry to get a feel for the low water level.

The dam was turned off so I let them swim over by the rope swing.  There were people going off the rope swing.  It was very entertaining and I may be brave enough to do it if I can talk Jack into coming with us.

While the boys played in the rapids and on the rocks I was able to find a big indent in a one of the boulders and make a nest for Nola Mae.  And it was shady!

While we were there playing in our normal spot where I think it is safe a grandma and grandpa showed up with two grandkids.  They were letting them slide down this big rock into the swirly waters that make me nervous.   I guess with the water being so low this spot makes for an awesome slide.

And the water is about chest deep for Charlie.  They had so much fun!  Unfortunately this is a sunny spot.   We didn’t stay long but I promised we would come back as long as we didn’t get any rain.

The reason for my road trip…to pick up my newest wrap.  This woven wrap is designed in Norway by a company called Ellevill Wraps of Norway.  My wrap is a Zara Velvet.   I purchased  this wrap from a mama in the UK and split the shipping cost with someone else who was also buying a wrap from the same person.

I didn’t love it at first because it seemed to have more pink in the weaves than what I saw in the photo!  It is growing on me and has sort of satisfied my craving for more purple in my life.

My dream purple wrap is a Zara Tri Purple or a Zara Aubergin (if you have a minute you can search Google Images for those two).

Aunt Danna is finally home!  She was gone for a year living in MT working for AmeriCorps.  In my opinion this was the best time to meet Nola Mae.  She was awake and full of smiles for Aunt Danna!

Robbie loves experiments.  He has lots of plans for many different inventions and experiments.  I don’t like them because there is a mess and usually wasted food.  I let them do just about anything in the kitchen.  They learn so much and they are expected to clean up after themselves.  The boys wanted to make jello for dinner.  So I let them pick the flavor and they each made their own dish.  Robbie mixed two tablespoons of every jello flavor I have.  I don’t buy the boxed jello, I buy it in a bag – the directions are 1/3 heaping cup to 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of cold water.  He said it turned out pretty yummy.  I have about 7 different flavors and his turned out dark green and sort of brownish looking.  I didn’t try it.  I probably should have.

Robbie had a friend’s birthday party, his first sleepover.  I am almost through all of their friends for giving a pillow case with their name on it.  I don’t know what I will do for gifts next year.

Robbie has been wanting to make a parachute all summer.  I am not sure if he was imagining one for his body or a toy.   We searched the internet for parachute ideas and directions.  While I made the pillow case he made his parachute.  It turned out so nice he made one for his friend and we wrapped a package of gum to the parachute.

I am not sure if everyone knows that Jack started a big project this summer.  (Now everyone will know.)  He is making a cedar strip kayak for our family.  If he doesn’t mind I will share more progress photos of the kayak.

Henry and Nola Mae sleeping while I work on the computer in the wee hours of the morning.

Week 29 – July 16 – 22, 2012

Week 29 – July 16 – 22, 2012

Monday, July 16th:  I can’t express how tired I am of spilled milk!  I have been threatening that I am going to charge the boys for their spills of wasted milk and start counting how many spills we have in a week.  I don’t really want to know because I would probably get more irritated.  When they spill they are expected to clean it up themselves.  I had to take a photo of Henry cleaning up his spill by wanting to drink it off the floor.  This is problem solving from a 3-year-old that makes me laugh and scream all at the same time.

Charlie wanted to write a letter to my dad, Grandpa Bob, because he wanted to know if he could play video games at his house when we come to visit.  Charlie wanted to have Nola Mae’s company.

Tuesday, July 17th:  This week I finished making this bag.  This is my purse/diaper bag.  I didn’t use any kind of pattern for it.  The design was inspired by Nola Mae’s baby quilt (not done yet and no photos to share).  I took the dimensions from a free bag that I got from JoAnn Fabrics that I was using until I wore the handles out.  It is huge and I fill it up every time I leave the house.  I never expected to have such a large bag but when I have a baby in cloth diapers, a 3-year-old not fully potty trained, a wrap to carry, snacks for kids and water bottles it fills up quickly!

I am seeing the fun possibilities of having more purple in my life, thanks to Nola Mae.  I bought these fabrics this week with plans to make her some things.

Wednesday, July 18th:  Robbie has been reading and listening to the Harry Potter books.  Today he spent three hours listening to Harry Potter on CD.

I ordered 15 pounds of these Rainer Cherries through my neighbor.  The price was good, at least, better than what they are in the store.  They appeared to be “seconds” and tasted delicious!  I am not sure how long they lasted here, maybe a few days.

Thursday, July 19th:  Nola Mae rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time today at 3 months 11 days old.  How did this time come so fast?  I am not ready for this!

During the last day of swimming lessons the kids get to play – go off the diving board and down the slide.  Robbie surprised me with this dive.  I didn’t know he could do this!

Charlie was entertained by doing twists in the air.

Friday, July 20th:  We love blueberries in muffins, pancakes, yogurt and just plain.  Because I have four kids, I decided that this summer we would skip going to the blueberry patch to pick our own blueberries.  So I cheated and ordered 50 pounds of blueberries from Country Corner Sales in Marion. Pick-your-own at Chet’s Blueberries in Custer was $2.25/lb and I paid $2.53/lb.

I now have 22 quart bags of blueberries in the freezer.

Saturday, July 21st:  Nola Mae rolled over from her back to her belly!  She has also been able to get things to her mouth to chew or suck on.

A pillow case for Robbie’s birthday party gift.

Sunday, July 22nd:  Blackberries are ripe!  I think Helen (Grandma Hanna) might have a photo of Robbie at age two, wearing this same shirt, in this same pose.