Sunday, September 22, 2013

Here I am

Today I was informed that I don't put any pictures of myself on my blog and that I especially don't put any dorky pictures of me on it. Go figure. It's my blog. I'm usually taking all the pictures so I don't have that many to choose from. I am terrible at "selfies" and only occasionally do I use the self timer feature on my camera. I scrolled through my picture catalog for 2013 and tried to find all the single pictures of me that I could share with you. I managed to come up with a few.

 August 31 - helping Brian make salsa. That is an entire bowl of onions that I chopped, along with tons of cloves of garlic. Not one tear was shed during this whole procedure. Usually I try to be out of the house when Brian is making salsa. My eyes can't take the pain of that smell!
 August 18 - Leaving the kiva at Defiance House in Lake Powell. Everyone posed for one of these pictures. I'm not sure what I'll do with all of them. This one would not have made the cut for my yearbook without this blog post.
 August 18 - Dinner on the houseboat at Lake Powell. We needed to cut an onion and I suddenly remembered that I had read somewhere about using goggles when you slice onions. We had some swim goggle on hand and I tried it. Wonder of wonders, it really worked. I felt like an absolute dork and couldn't quit laughing but hey what's a little dorkiness between friends?
August 19 - our last night at Powell. Brian took a bunch of pictures while I skied so I have a few to choose from. I believe I mentioned before how amazingly perfect this ski was. What a phenomenal way to end a trip!
 July 4 - mountain biking in Park City. Super fun ride!
 May 28 - Happy birthday to me!
Feb 28 - picture of my 2012 yearbook. Such an accomplishment. I'm quite pleased with myself each time I finish one of these books. I can't tell you the joy it brings me to look at these and see what my family has done all year. It goes by so quickly, I'm grateful to have these books to remind me of how blessed I am.

So that is it. That is all the single pictures of me so far this year. I have a some more of me with someone else. Usually that someone else is Brian or Brian & the girls. I just now realized I have zero pictures of me in the studio. I'll have to remedy that in the next couple months.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Does that sewing machine still work?

There is just something about creating that I am compelled to do. You know I love to make things. I always have. Sometimes it feels like a sickness. I see a picture & it stays in my head to torment me. I start rearranging my day(s) so I can make whatever it is that is taking up so much brain space. I get a little distracted and annoyed if I can't find the time to try out this new thing. Usually once the new thing is made I can move on. Sometimes I love what I made enough that I have to make some more. My mom is a great seamstress. She was always busy making things too. She crocheted and cooked and sewed and raised 7 kids. Busy busy busy. She taught me to crochet and embroider. She tried helping with sewing but I would have none of that. I don't remember how many crochet flowers I made when I was young but it was a lot. I loved making them, choosing different yarns and making a bouquet. I think that phase lasted about 6 months and then I was done crocheting. Doing crosstitch was a different story. That stuck for quite awhile. I loved all those rows of x's. Once I grew up, married, moved out of state and spent tons of time pregnant and alone I came to love crocheting and sewing. When I was in the waiting room of my doctor's office I saw a couple patterns in a magazine that got me back to crocheting. They were a cow and a pig stuffed animals. Samantha's first stuffed animals were crocheted by me.
I still love them.

I started sewing when I wanted curtains for my baby's bedroom. We had a very limited budget & I had some time on my hands so I learned how to sew. I called my mom frequently with questions about patterns and instructions. Most of the time the instructions didn't make sense and I would need an explanation about why I could or could not do it the way I wanted instead of how it was written. From time to time I still call her to talk my way through something that doesn't make sense to me. I've made many halloween costumes and little girl dresses and valances. I wouldn't put my skills above intermediate. I'm a bit too impatient to actually read and learn many parts of sewing. I can sew a straight(ish) line and I love a project.

Recently a friend emailed me a picture of 2 projects she wanted to try. I thought they were cute and wanted to try them too. A little while later she gave me the 2 patterns & I instantly got stuck on when could I get those made. I was fine until I had the patterns in my hand and then I had to try them out right then! Right then turned out to be a few days later & now I can barely stand how cute they are!

These are travel jewelry pouches. Inside are little pockets for earrings, rings, etc.

The other project took a bit longer. I wouldn't call it a beginner project.
Cat, Dog & Monkey coin purses. I don't know that any money will actually be put inside these little cuties. Most likely they will be used for ds games.

Shortly after the coin purses were finished and school started I saw a blog post about cargo pant messenger bags. A couple girls needed new bags for school so I thought I'd give these a try. I ran to the D.I. and picked up 3 pair of men's cargo pants and whipped these up. I used some of my leftover material scraps for the linings. I think they turned out ok. I followed the tutorial instructions but if I make them again I would make them square instead of rectangular. They are just too long for my taste. They do fit a notebook which they wouldn't if they were square. A square one would be more purse size. Also I'd do a different strap. These straps are made out of the pant fabric but there is not enough pant fabric to make the straps as durable as I'd like. I'm not quite sure how I'd change it (I have a few ideas) but I don't think these straps are going to last very long hauling around the school stuff my girls use.

I think I'm done sewing for a little while but who knows. I need a new fall handbag and there is a wallet pattern I want to try. It's not quite what I want but I could alter it. It will take a bit of thinking so I'll get back to you on that.

Friday, September 6, 2013

And so it begins

It's official. We're back on schedule. For good or bad the calendar is filling up quickly. 
Here they are on their first day of school.
 6th grade
 8th grade
 10th grade
12th grade

Can you believe how quickly they are growing up? Me neither. Sam LOVED her first day of school. Because (as she is happy to remind you) she is a senior and being a senior rocks. The other girls think school is great too. Julia is in a bit of a tough spot though. She is going to a different middle school than everyone she went to elementary school with. It's hard to be the new kid. Fortunately she still plays soccer with some of her elementary school friends. It's good for her to feel their love once or twice a week.

Short course swim season has started for Gretchen and Julia. They are happy happy to be back at CHAT & see their swim friends again. September is a great month to swim outside. High school swim has unofficially started for Samantha and Sydney. "Tryouts" aren't until October so they are just getting back into swim shape. Their team is small enough that anyone who wants to be on the team can be on it. They are glad to be back in the water too.

I think I mentioned the mountain bike team in another post. Sam & Syd are on the team and their first race is next Saturday. They have been working hard and doing well on their bikes. I'm glad they are able to meet different kids by doing different sports.

I'm not quite back to regular studio time yet. Soon, maybe next week even. It kind of depends on food. That big beautiful garden of ours is producing tons of food. Brian is a fantastic gardener. I'm learning to be a fantastic harvester. So far I've bottled all the tomato/spaghetti sauce we will use for the year. Brian has done the majority of the salsa he will do. I bottled 24 quarts of peaches. Can I just say I never in my life thought I would bottle peaches. Who does that? Apparently me. I'm debating making grape juice and bottling that. This is our first year with any grapes and they are super delicious but we will never be able to eat them all. Who knows, maybe I'll do pears too. Our fruit trees are going crazy this year. It's amazing. Do you need some apples or asian pears or bartlett pears or tomatoes or peppers?
We have plenty and would love to share!