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

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Dye Projects – June 2014

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

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

Dye LWI green blue purple ring sling

The finished ring sling:

dye lwi ring sling finished

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

dye LWI green blue purple clothes

and this cotton drawstring laundry bag,

dye LWI green blue purple laundry bag

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

dye LWI green blue purple old sheet

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

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

Dye brown skirt before

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

dye lwi terrecota brown skirt

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

Dye before photo dress

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

dye ice bahama blue fabric

dye ice bahama blue dress on

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

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

dye dharma

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

dye glue resist hands

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

Dye glue resist Henry's sun

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

dye ice on glue resist results

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

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

dye ice on glue resist bag

 

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

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

dye ice creulean blue & better blue green

Dyes:  Cerulean Blue and Better Blue Green.

Dye ice ring sling creulean blue & better blue green

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

dye ice blue green

 

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

dye ice purple middle strip ring sling 2

Ice dyed with Intense Violet Dylon Dye.

Overdyed with ice and Navy Dylon Dye.

dye over intense violet with navy1

I am falling in love with the LWI technique.

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

dye LWI granny apple, peacock blue, & power berry

Dyes:  Granny Apple, Peacock Blue & Power Berry.

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

dye LWI granny apple, peacock blue, power berry rings

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

dye LWI granny apple power berry

May 2014

May 2014

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

Nola Mae Band aids

 

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

Manufacturing day Lot

 

Manufacturing day Monsters

Manufacturing day table

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

Mother's Day photo 1

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

Mother's Day photo

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

Madison bus w Robbie

 We toured the capital.

Madison Capitol

 

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

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

Madison H & NM

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

Jack's day planting trees

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

Jack's day firewood

Charlie & Nola Mae soccer

Piano Henry & Nola Mae

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

Iola Charlie bench

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

Iola Little Shivers

 

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

St Vinnie load 1

St Vinnie load 2

St Vinnie load 3

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

St Vinnie load Friends

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

bike Tomorrow river trail getting ready

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

bike Tomorrow river trail

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

Nola Mae potato smasher

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

Nola Mae 1st ponie tail

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

Nola Mae

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

Bike to Big Falls Gene's

 

Bike to Big Falls Picnic

 

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

Bike to Big Falls Water H

 getting our feet wet.

Bike to Big Falls Water NM

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

Wood chips

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

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

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

Dad's swing

Dad's Marbles

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

Dad's dead bird Nola Mae

Dad's yard pole Nola Mae2

Dad's yard pole Nola Mae

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

 

Fun Projects

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

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

Minecraft Creeper valance & TNT pillowcase

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

Then a friend asked me to make a ring sling:

ring sling natural w bronze rings

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

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

Before:

dye Shibori dylon dark green failed

Second attempt:

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

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

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

dyed ring sling dylon blue jeans solid dip

 

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

dye dylon blue jeans grad attempt

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

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

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

skirt pink flowers Payton

March 2014

 March 2014

March was a month full of many highs and many emotionally draining sad days.

Nola Mae’s Christmas gift from Uncle Eddie and Auntie Kay arrived this month.

Nola Mae's Kitchen

Nola Mae dressed herself like this one day.

Nola Mae clothes

My cousin Eric passed away this month after battling brain cancer for over six years.

Eric Hamm & family

This one is one of his daughter, Ashlee’s favorite pictures.

Eric Hamm

Eric was a great cousin to my brother, they were close in age and had made a lot of fun adventurous memories together – no mom would ever want to hear those stories.  Eric, his brother Travis and my brother, Steve, were mostly annoying little boys to me when I lived on the farm.  I do remember thinking those little Hamm boys were cute, sometimes.  Eric grew up to become a kind, loving, hardworking, generous man who was a loving husband and father.  He helped my Step-Dad farm, they had breakfast together almost every morning and was the best nephew and friend anyone could ever ask for.  Because we have two cousins named Eric in our family, he is called  “Grandpa Jerry’s Eric” who gives tractor rides by Henry.  Eric was wonderful with Henry and kept him in the combine with him for a very long time.

Eric Hamm & Henry combine

Here is a story that was played on Wausau Channel 7:  http://www.wsaw.com/home/headlines/We-Are-9-1-1—Fire-Fighters-251835861.html?device=phone#.Uy-6_COhLbt.facebook

Nola Mae had a bit of one on one time with her cousin Joey when we were home for Eric’s funeral.

cousin Joey

 There were many pairs of dress shoes in the entry way at my Mom’s house.   I asked Nola Mae to put her shoes away and she found this comfy spot in Ben’s shoes.

Shoes Ben & Nola Mae

 

 I was able to ski with two of my sisters in the same day this winter.  Becca is training for the Ironman race this fall, so we were required to skiing for at least 1.5 hours.  Kayla’s brilliant idea was to make Becca pull Nola Mae in the sled.  I felt like I was flying on my skis!

skiing sisters

 

 Getting ready for a ski. skiing sled

 

Nola Mae strap and ready for a nap in the sled.

skiing ready in sled

We skied backwards on the trails today for the Ski Backwards Party (annual spring party) . I was cruising and debating which way to go because the difficult uphill climbs are really awesome downhills during this springtime party. Just as I was bringing myself back to reality that I can’t ski ALL the trails today while pulling Nola Mae because she will wake up soon. She started screaming. I looked into the sled and saw her hands were out of her gloves and they were freezing! I sat in the snow bank next to the trail and put both of her hands in my stinky arm pits and nursed her until she was happy and her fingers were warm again. I have nursed all my kids on the ski trails at some point and can remember each time. Because it always involved screaming and a really good ski.

 

skiing milkies break

 When Henry saw our shadow he said it looked like a “two-headed monster.”

skiing 2 headed skiing monster

 

skiing shadows

We hit a beautiful spring day for skiing a couple times this month.  One that is memorable to me is a day that I was unable to convince Henry to take the blue and black trails with me.  He told me “you do the blue loop and I’ll do the green loop.”  There have been times this winter that he skied ahead of me, while I packed Nola Mae into the sled, so maybe a 7 minute head start.  Last year when he was almost 4 years old he left the chalet and headed out on the green trail without telling me.  I had many skiers looking for him for me and he was pretty far out there (for a kid that was almost 4) when someone found  him and directed him back to the chalet.  One day we skied together to the shelter taking our blue loop short cut.  With the promise that I would pull him up the big hill.

Here he is getting pulled down the hill to the shelter.

skiing spring

Once we arrived at the shelter I got him comfortable with snacks and did a small loop around the shelter area multiple times.

 skiing shelter snack time

 

 On another day, we went separate ways with the plan to meet at the shelter.  I skied as fast as I could up the biggest hill on the blue loop to meet him back at the shelter.  He told me he would play around on the hill by the shelter and that he would eat his snacks when he got tired.   It was nice to get outside for the fresh air, exercise, a nap for Nola Mae and Henry getting a boost of independence because he is a big boy!

 

My friend, Michelle, has been a good source of hand-me-downs to our family, was doing some cleaning.  She had this electric guitar that was a little broken and no being loved by her boys anymore.  She wondered if Jack could fix it and would we want it?  I thought, “what the heck”, maybe Jack would want it!  When Jack came home I was a little nervous about what he would say to me adding to his list of things to fix.  His eyes lit up and he told me he was actively looking for a used electric guitar on craig’s list.   Jack was able to fix it and it is being played often at our house.

Henry guitar

Robbie found this thin piece of ice outside and was very excited to show me and have me guess what shape it is.  Can you guess?

WI shaped ice

Before one of the snows we got this month a chicken came out of the barn and was walking around in the yard.  When I tried to “shoo” her back to the barn by the others she insisted on walking to the road, crossed it and there was no way I was going after her then.  I said my good byes and wrote her off as a dead chicken.   Especially when I woke up two days later to find snow on the ground.   Later in the day, Nola Mae was in the living room telling me that there was a chicken outside.  I didn’t believe her and told her that chicken is probably dead.  I looked out the window, she was right, there was a live chicken out there!

lost chicken

I got a piece of bread and caught her!

lost chicken catch

This photo was taken just before my most recent This Moment post titled “Trust”.  Henry helped Nola Mae climb the big snow bank and then she wanted to get down and he was going to help her.

helping

 

 Every chance Nola Mae gets she goes outside.  She often asks to go outside.  This is her first time going to the shop to see Papa all by herself.  I remember each boys’ first trip to the shop without help.  I may even have pictures of them doing it like this one.

Nola Mae heading to shop

 When there are still snow banks you can sled!

spring time sledding hill

 The boys had a blast during the last weekend of their spring break sledding down this snow bank into the muddy grass and muddy puddle.  I actually have great videos.

And when we go hiking in the field for one last sledding adventure sometime you have to pull the sled through the mud and grass.

spring time sledding

Babywearing:

 I had an awesome morning in the sewing room! Nola Mae was on my sewing table twice and the rest of the time she played nicely.  (I say that because she didn’t tip anything over or knock all my bobbins and spools of thread on the floor.)  Nola Mae found a long piece of cheetah fabric and wanted “wrap!” It was too short for us so I suggested she get her baby. She went upstairs by herself to get the baby and we wrapped the baby.

babywearing Nola Mae doll

One day Nola Mae wasn’t taking a nap.  I suggested she get wrapped on my back while we work in the sewing room.  She agreed and within minutes she was sleeping!

Ellevill Jack blue eyes   Ellevill Jack sleeping

 Dyeing projects:

I shared the start of this rainbow ice dye in last month’s post.

This is what I got!

A women’s XL shirt, newborn nightgown, 2T turtle neck, 5T cotton dress shirt, newborn onesise, a pre-fold diaper,

ice dye raibow project

Dylon Dye – 2 packs of tulip red, 1 pack of goldfish orange, sunflower yellow, dark green, ocean blue and intense violet.

A ring sling piece or material for a skirt, and

ice dye raibow ring sling

a piece of cotton quilting white on white fabric 54 X 54.

ice dye rainbow quilt fabric

An ice dye of china blue and ocean blue dyes for this ring sling piece.

 ice dye china blue & ocean blue ring sling fabric ice dye china blue & ocean blue ring sling

The shirt is how I envisioned the ring sling to turn out, with less splotches and less purple.   The cloth napkin sat in the dye that dripped into the bin.

ice dye china blue & ocean blue shirt & napkin

Sewing:

I had extra squares from my scrap quilt that I am making and made this trivet.

                  trivet square scraps

 Henry found this scrap piece and wanted me to make him a teenage mutant ninja turtle mask.

teenage mutant ninja turtle mask

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

 

January 2014

January 2014

When the weather is very cold outside and the boys still need to get out, the barn is one of those places.

Basketball in the barn 3

After Christmas was over I started trimming branches off the tree to burn in the wood stove.  I slowly trimmed the branches and when it was time to take the ornaments off I continued to burn branches in the wood stove until it was a manageable size for a big boy to carry outside.

Christmas tree bare

Charlie carried it down to the burn pit and I started it on fire.

Christmas tree fire

Nola Mae carrying a box down to the burn pit to burn.

Christmas tree bonfire

Sledding hill boys

My Dad and Lynn came to visit us for a weekend.

Dad & Lynn visit skiing field Dad & lynn visit skiing hill

Piggy back

 

Almost every day Nola Mae puts on someone’s ski boots and tells me “skiing!”

Skiing girl always

I bought 40 pounds of grapefruit this winter.  This was the biggest one.

huge grapefriut

 

The boys went away for a weekend with Jack.  Jack took these (and many more) great photos, these are my favorites.

Ice fishing Robbie

Ice fishing Charlie

Ice Fishing Henry

I got this idea from my friend Sarah.  I filled these balloons with colored water,

ice ballons

and decorated our igloo with the ice balls.

Ice balls

Nola Mae photos:

She enjoyed playing with my cake decorating tips by making towers with them.

Future cake decorator

Henry did this to Nola Mae while I was doing some laundry.

Marker head

Nola Mae just reading (warms my heart).

Nola Mae reading

Another “heart warming” photo, when one sibling sweetly kisses the other.

playhouse window kiss

Playhouse steering wheel

I told Nola Mae to watch me out the window while I fed the dogs, started the car and checked the skid steer’s hydraulic fluids.  This is where she was when I came in.  Usually, she stands on the shortened chair so I was a little surprised she found this good seat in the window.

watching out the window

We had a great month of skiing. 

                Ski family Charlie crash Ski family pulling Henry

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

Ski Henry leaves us

ski snow eater

This winter two kids in the sled is a heavy load!  I got a good work-out and a nap out of both of them.

 ski sled double load sleepers

Breaking a new snow shoe trail  during a snow storm…Nola Mae wasn’t happy when the sled tipped over because the trail wasn’t wide enough for the sled. Eventually she fell asleep and she didn’t notice when it happened.

   sled tipping on snowshoe trail

  Upcycle projects:

This upcycled trivet made with denim and scraps of yellow and orange fabrics., inside lining is fleece from an old baby blanket and the backing is two pieces of corduroy that were given to me.  This was my contribution to the Art Exchange for the Vater family Christmas.

upcycle denim trivet

Jack’s Art exchange item:

cigar box guitar canoe paddle

Jack made two other cigar box guitars.  If you have facebook you may be able to view a video he made  click here to see  the video.

In my research for a upcycle project I found a denim rug that I wanted to make for my kitchen.  I have used this wool rug, weaved by Jack’s aunt.  I like a rug under the sink area and have always thought that I needed a rug that had an angle for that spot.

kitchen rug

So I made this…

kitchen rug upcycle denim rug

Inspired by this design – http://lieslmade.com/2013/08/15/parquet-inspired-denim-rug-tutorial/

Upcycled elephant from a felted wool sweater.  The cutest thing I have made in a long time!

Upcycle wool sweater elephant

Ring slings that I made this month:

I made this one for a friend who just had her first baby.  This was a table-cloth that was used at her wedding.

Ring sling Upcycle from table cloth

This ring sling went to a first time mama.  These two mamas are smart – baby wearing with their first baby!

Ring sling turquoise chevron

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

October 2013 – Month 10

October 2013 – Month 10

Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  For many reasons…cooler temps, beautiful colors, yummy apples, my fall projects are so much fun, and winter is almost here.

Fall trees

We (mostly I) picked all the apples off our trees.  One of my biggest fall projects is to make applesauce.  I am hoping a lot of these apples will get eaten!

apples in garage 2013

I waited to pick the last batch of apples after a few good frosts.  I needed to wait until most of the hornets were dead.  The hornets were horrible around the apples.   If I didn’t pick up the windfall apples every day they would be covered with hornets.  I found a few of these apples still on the tree where the hornets ate everything but the skin.

empty apple

This fall I placed an olive oil order for my friends and family.   I bottled up about 12 gallons.

Olive oil 2013

Toddlers in our house are hard on glasses.  When Henry was two he flushed my glasses down the toilet.  Nola Mae recently did this.

bent glasses

My second favorite fall project is planting garlic.  This year I planted 3 1/2 pounds of garlic = 340 cloves.  I expect to get more than 11 pounds of garlic next summer.

garlic to plant

My garlic space, before picture.

Garlic 1

After tilling and raking those nasty weeds.

garlic 3 spot chicken

Since garlic planting takes me about three days to get done because of the distractions I have.  Nola Mae watched the chickens taking dirt baths in the garden and she would copy them

garlic 2 helper

And so did Henry.  He came into the house to show me how clean he was after his dirt bath.

scrub w dirt

Almost done!

garlic 3

My best helpers!

planting garlic

Charlie has had some trouble with a boy in his class not being nice to him.  It has gone on since last year.  The first time I was aware of him was last year in 1st grade.  On morning I walked Charlie to his locker and was hanging out.  This little boy arrived and as they were taking off their coats he  called Charlie some horrible name I think it was “stupid idiot”, right in front of me.  I was shocked and told him what I thought about it in the nicest way I could come up with.

This month this boy drew a very nice picture of a dragon and gave it to Charlie.  The nicest thing he has ever done to Charlie.  I was excited about that.  Charlie said he just wanted to throw the picture away because Kris isn’t nice and why would he want to keep anything from him.  I explained to Charlie that if he did something nice back, like draw him a picture or write him a thank you note maybe Kris would feel some love and try being more kind.  Charlie was not excited about that at all!    He wrote this:

Charlie's note to Kris

Kris has been more kind to Charlie but not 100% of the time.   Charlie is watching him, calling him on his behavior and is making sure the teachers are aware of the times Kris hurts someone.

This month was the last time I hung the diapers on the line to dry.  My last load took three days to dry.  And the sun is definitely not strong enough to do any bleaching!

Diapers last load of the season

One of our kind neighbors gave us a basket full of goodies with directions and a note to pass the Boo-ed on to another neighbor.

Boo-ed to us

I asked the boys what neighbor we should do this back to, they suggested the newest neighbors that we haven’t met yet.  We waited until it was dark and dropped this basket of goodies off on their door step.

  Boo-ed

Nola Mae’s way of playing Legos with Robbie.

lego table

Nola Mae at 18 months:

Nola Mae Smiles 1

Aunt Carol made this beautiful dress for Nola Mae.

Nola Mae turquosie dress

Nola Mae hiding the deodorant container that she is playing with.

Nola Mae hiding

I have made kale chips for me and Nola Mae to eat.  One batch was a little oily.  She must have felt the need for some moisturizer.

Nola Mae face kale chips

I am not sure how the bowl of applesauce got on her head and face, well and everywhere else.

Nola Mae face applesauce

Nola Mae likes to put on the boys’ underwear and likes to try to catch chickens to hug them.

chicken hug

Henry went with Jack pheasant hunting in North Dakota:

ND Jack & Henry

They were gone for eight days.  Henry had a wonderful time.  I am not surprised because he didn’t have to share Papa, Grandma Hanna and Grandpa Rob with any other kids.

ND Breakfast

ND exercises

ND napping

ND reading

ND Henry Sky 1

ND skidsteer

ND Henry w birds

Charlie actually missed Henry.  When they came home Charlie ran out to greet them and carried all their bags into the house.

ND Charlie unpacking

Baby wearing:

Nola Mae has learned to multi-task like me.  Dishes while wearing her baby.

Nola Mae dishes

Wrap scarf Nola Mae pumpkin     Wrap scarf bees

wrap scarf gate 2

  wrap scarf grass

Henry came home from school sad and tired.  He brought me a wrap and asked me to put him on my back. I told him I wanted a picture of us so I could remember this because he is getting really big.  As soon as I got the camera out his sadness turned to silliness.

Wrap DIY Coral funny face

  How can I bottle up this sweet little girl who loves it up on my back?

   Wrap back Nola Mae

I have sold two ring slings this month.

A friend bought this one for Robbie and Charlie’s past gym teacher who they adored.  Even though I made this before I knew who it was going to I packaged it up with a little love and sleepy dust for Mrs. Bourget and her son.

ring sling colorful stripes

I sold this ring sling  to my first “stranger” customer that I met on Facebook and it went far away, Arizona.

ring sling green w owls

I made this ring sling for myself by ice dyeing it.  I have only worn it a couple of times – once for this photo and one day while running errands in Waupaca.  I have more ideas and wouldn’t mind selling this one so I can make a new one.

ringsling ice dye mirror

Do you know someone who is having a baby and wants to enjoy the benefits of wearing their baby?  I can help!

Other posts for this month:

Robbie’s Favorites, age 10

This Moment – Planting Garlic

This Moment – Long Bike Ride

August 2012 – Month 8

August 2012 – Month 8

August started out awesome with a Tom Pease concert in Iola!  And spending our wedding anniversary with family at my cousin, Annie’s wedding.   This was our 16th  anniversary.

Wedding thumbs up

We had a little entertainment with our napkins while waiting for the dinner to start.

napkin Robbie

napkin charlie

napkin Henry

napkin Nola Mae

The broccoli, green beans and lettuce are ready for eating.

broccoli bean & lettuce

The cherry and grape tomatoes are just starting.  I needed to do a little lesson on colors and ripeness with my helper.

tomatoes Henry

We took photos in all my favorite spots in the yard for my post announcing my new name for my blog.  This is one that didn’t make the cut.

four kids on rocks

The Waupaca Foundry sponsored an artist who does metal moldings for a community art project that will be put up after South Park’s remodeling.  The two big artists in our family designed our family square.

family plate

We visited friends who have a lot of humming birds.  I mean a lot!  At one time there were 10-20 birds around these feeders at one time.  How many can you count?

humming birds

I took this picture coming into the barn one day.  I like how clear the reflection of the house is on Jack’s new door.

Red door

One night we hiked in the field to see how close we could get to the coyote that has been hunting in our field.

boy searching

Jack took this photo from the top of our hill.

farm from hill

I have recently learned how to hula hoop.  Never in my life could I do it, until now with these homemade ones.  I have been dreaming of making them for years when I first saw them at the Iola Fitness and Aquatic Center.  These were a upcycling project because we used these pipes to get water to our trees that were far from the house.  I only had to pay $0.17 for the connector.  Jack was cleaning them up and going to throw all the pipes away.   Hula hooping  is a good workout!  Have you hula hooped lately?

hula hoops

I had enough to decorate and give some to my nephew for his birthday.  One for him, each of his parents and his aunt that also has a birthday in August.

hula hoops taped

I guess Nola Mae was thirsty.  In the process she spilled milk inside my fridge and got stuck.  I didn’t realize how filthy it was until the spilled milk, thanks Nola Mae!

Nola Mae in fridge

Nola Mae got her first taste of the beaters.

Nola Mae beaters

I love that Charlie likes to decorate cakes.  Takes all the pressure off me.  He wanted a Minecraft golden apple.  So easy!

Charlie's cake Golden apple

For Charlie’s birthday I asked him many questions about his favorite things and blogged about it here.

Charlie's b-day cake

Nola Mae at 16 months old:

Nola Mae cutie

Nola Mae GPS

nola mae in purple

wrap DIY coral woven Nola Mae

Many people have commented how adorable Nola Mae is when she gets comfortable or sleepy when she puts her hands behind her head.  I started taken photos to really see how often she does it.  I won’t bore you or use up all my space on this blog with her in the exact same pose.   She is adorable.

Nola Mae Sleeping 1

Nola Mae sleeping 2

In the month of August I finally finished my post about my homemade soaps.

soap March flakes

Baby wearing:

Or not.  I went for a run one night and Jack took Nola Mae out to the wood shop.   He should really learn to put her in the Ergo by himself to be able to get things done.

babywearing not

I had some creative thoughts about a new Stash Shot of all my baby carriers and the best one was putting them on the clothes line.

wraps stash shot on clothes line folded

Nola Mae trying to wrap herself.

wrap Zara velvet Nola Mae (2)

wrap Zara velvet Nola Mae

My favorite wrap right now, a DIY woven wrap.  It cost me $2 at a rummage sale.  I found a box of fabrics and bought three pieces for $6 – this woven fabric, a wool piece for my neighbor and a dark blue woven piece that seems too stiff for baby wearing.

wrap DIY coral woven Nola Mae and Mama

I am stealing Jack’s phrase for this photo, “Beat in the front.  Beets in the back.”

beat and beets

I saw this dog carrier at a local arts festival.  I never knew they had actual carriers for pets, Outward Hounddog is the brand.

wrap dog wearer

Sewing projects:

A skiing friend ordered this one for a friend

ring sling Ann

and this one for a co-worker.

This is a darker turquoise color in real life.  It is so beautiful I wish I would have seen this color when I was picking out fabric for my ring sling.

ring sling turquosie 1

I feel very blessed to have friends wanting to share the love of baby wearing and for all my amazing friends supporting my little side jobs that give me a little spending money.

One of my first ring sling sales has come back for a second one for her cousin.

ring sling turquosie 2

This ring sling doesn’t have a home yet.ring sling flower print

Neither does this one. 

ring sling narrow stripes

This one is more narrow than the ones I have made.  The shoulder is a gathered shoulder, instead of pleats.  It would be great for a newborn baby.

Or maybe not because it seems to fit us.

ring sling stripes w baby