Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fabric and thread things

I've been trying to embroidery. 

I made that for Mom as a Mother's Day present.  I haven't done a lot of embroidery, especially without on a pattern and on regular fabric. But that was my card (my present was manual labor). 

I'd like to sew another throw pillow--one that's probably three times the size of this one. 

It won't be so fussy.  I'll use bigger and fewer pieces, and maybe Evelyn can help me piece it together.  We've got a long weekend ahead of us and I'm full of plans. 

Cody and I are working on a quilt.  After a lot of waffling about how we'd arrange the squares, I figured we'd just go for it.  We decided how many squares we wanted in each horizontal row (I think we're 'supposed' to do it lengthwise, but that seemed too daunting) and just went for it after Evelyn went to bed.  I put together a row and sew it up, and then he does.  He cut out most of the pieces and I did all of the ironing.  I'll probably sew all of the strips together (but maybe not.  We're using his grandma's sewing machine and he seems to be remembering how to work it), and who knows what we'll do about the binding.  We'll probably just tie it off instead of quilting. 

It's for Evelyn, of course.  We've wanted to make a quilt for her since she was in my belly, but it just didn't happen.  Now she's here and we know her a bit better and she's starting to outgrow some of the blankets I made her.  She still likes this quilt, but it's currently on top of her doll, Sonnykin.  I don't know.  I just like to make her covers.

I could go on and on about quilts and blankets and what it means to keep someone warm with the work from your hands, but that will probably be another post for another time.  Maybe after we finish the quilt top and I take some pictures.  For now I'm ready to sleep under the blanket I made myself as a college freshman.  It's a quilt top made of scraps that I sewed on top of a comforter I bought at Fred's for $20 a day or two before I went away to college.  It's a weird mishmash of weights and textures and it's mine. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Another Saturday at Petit Jean State Park

A couple of weeks ago, Evelyn said she was in the mood to hike  So that's what we did.  I took a bunch of pictures and finally got them uploaded to the computer.  So now I'm sharing them here.

It was a great day.  We hiked around 4 miles, didn't have allergic reactions to poison ivy even though it felt like we were wading through it sometimes, and Evelyn got to be our leader some times and paid close attention to trail markers.  Perfect.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Granny squares

I've been making fancy granny squares.  No real reason why, but it seemed like something that would be fun.

And it has been.

All patterns came from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet, which is apparently a book Evelyn can recognize now.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mother's Day came a little early

On Mondays our library has crafts in the youth department.  Evelyn came home with a bouquet of paper tulips.

Last night, I came home to find her and Cody wearing their aprons and stirring things on the stove.  I put my flowers on the table for the occasion.  We ate a dinner of chicken, kale, and cheesy rice.  She was pumped about the food selections (she loves her cooking).  

Today I came home and she was running around in circles waiting for me to guess where she'd hidden a surprise for me until she led me to her closet.  She mostly unwrapped things for me.  Look at all these treasures!

I asked Cody if this was something he'd had to pay extra for that the kids could choose to participate in, but nope!  He didn't know anything about it until Evelyn came home with a gift her teacher had assembled/helped her assemble.  A gift bag featuring her own artwork!  Some Hershey's Kisses and Hugs shoved into a whisk wrapped in cellophane and bearing a tag that reads "Whisking you a Happy Mother's Day full of hugs and kisses!"

This little hand made from something incredibly breakable!  Evelyn nearly got upset when we unwrapped this, but I convinced her I could glue-gun everything back together.   Lucky for me, I was able to follow through and she told me about her day while I lined up fingers and glued them back on.  It's perfect.

There was also this little interview that I love and hate. 

I was interested in what she thinks of my job.  I'm relieved she thinks I love vegetables as much as I say I do.  (And I do love vegetables.  It's just that I love other foods more, but want to fake model positive eating habits.)  I felt a little like flinging myself into the river when she said if I had more time I'd play with her, but she's not wrong.  If I had more time, I'd play with her.  And if I was with her every minute of the day, we'd both still want more time together.  I know these things are pure cheesy heartstring-yanking busywork, but man it got me.  I'm impatient and I feel like I raise my voice too much and I'm usually a fun mix of tense and exhausted at the end of the day.  But I'm happy that if you ask my girl what I say all the time, she'll think of all the times I ask her "How was your day?"  We take turns asking one another every night (she doesn't seem to care much about tone, so she's more than willing to strike up a conversation with her tense and exhausted mom).  And we like to do everything together.  She's my adventure girl and she makes our family a million times better.

Wearing her creative glasses and her thinking face.

We'll continue celebrating Mother's Day all through the weekend, and maybe into next week.  But for now, I feel like one of the most celebrated moms there is.  It's a good feeling.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Things. Joy. Projects.

Sometimes I want to do slow living/minimalism.  Or be a prepper.  I always want to be a crafter.  I haven't made much of anything in the past couple of months, but I want to try sewing.  We're trying to make a quilt for Evelyn.  We've got the square cut out and that's about it for the past couple of weeks.

Evelyn keeps sharing bunny things with me.  I think they make my craft shelf look nice.
 We rearranged some furniture in the living room last weekend so that I could move the table next to my bed out into the living room because that's where the sewing machine lives.  A secret sewing machine is pretty cool, but it opened up on top of the bed and our bedroom just isn't the best place for sewing projects.  So I replaced the table with a little cubby shelf that had been in the living room. There are plenty of spots for books and projects and notebooks--more space than there was before, actually!  I'm keeping ten or more books at a time checked out from the library, so this is pretty great.

And having the sewing machine out in the living room has already paid off.  I found the manual (along with a lot of thread) in a box of things from Cody's grandma that I thought I'd already gone through, and discovered that I'd pretty much done everything wrong the last time I tried to wing it with this machine.  But on Friday night, I pulled out some scraps and got to ironing and cutting and.....actually stitching some pieces of fabric together successfully.  After several tries, I even wound a bobbin.  That actually took until Saturday afternoon.  Before that, I went through some of bobbins Agnes had wound.  While sewing and pressing and sewing some more, I gave myself some pretty tense shoulders and an accompanying tension headache.  I was tense because I wanted to sew well, and I wanted to sew because I thought doing this would be fun and relaxing.  I also felt like I should be better at sewing because I used to be great at it.  Then I remembered when I was doing very much sewing and realized I was probably just good for a fifteen-year-old receiving near-constant supervision.  Oh well. (I know that I made Evelyn a baby blanket, but I have no memory of how it turned out even halfway well. Hormones are weird.) Here's the result:

It's not perfect, or even very okay.  But I got the hang of a few things and Evelyn had fun helping me with a few parts and beginning her own project with the scraps.  She also wants to make a quilt.  She is not one for small projects.  Whatever.  We're both having fun playing around.  I've been trying to play more.  And it's been fun!  I've been reading about having fun and playing.  I like how Marie Kondo is all about decluttering so you can enjoy what you have.  That lady LOVES her things.  I love this bread box.  I don't know what we'll do with it (probably not store bread), but I like it. 

It might store fabric scraps.