Monday, November 30

christmas books...a preview

Guess what we're starting tomorrow... a countdown to Christmas!!!! The kids and I are going to be busy reading our way through the stack of goodies. Between the grandparents getting the kids new books, my desire to pick out (at least) one nice hardcover each year, and my general love for books - December is a literary month!!! It's a nice way to stay focused on what's important throughout the season - books, Santa, giving, Jesus, time with family. (not necessarily in that order)

I'll be reviewing at least one book a day - usually more. Please feel free to chime in with "that's my favorite too!!" whenever the mood strikes you. I will be doing other random crafty & cooking posts too - but since a lot of my crafty time is going to be spent making Christmas presents, I won't be able to share as much of my sewing this month as I would like. Don't worry, I'll share after Christmas!!

I'm looking forward to reading through the month with you!

Sunday, November 29

o christmas version

Our "big" tree is in the family room. It is a real tree - yes, we trudge around with the kids, spin it, test it for width, straightness, and a million other factors and then just pick the first one anyway. :) Luckily, the weather was AWESOME this weekend, so picked a winner without a lot of frustration & freezing.

It is not your typical designer tree, because that's just not how we do it around here. Every single ornament on that tree tells a story, and hopefully someday my kids will be groaning "I know, mom, can we just hang it or do we have to hear the story AGAIN?" And because I don't want you all groaning "enough already" I decided just to post a couple favorites.This is a clay dough ornament that my aunt brought back from Ecuador for me when I was 2-1/2. Her face is a little cracked, but she's holding up pretty well!!

Ornaments bought at the Eric Carle Museum on our big trip this summer. Special vacations earn special ornaments. (From past years we have a Scottish flag, boots from Fort Worth, starfish from Seattle, Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, etc.)

This was a special present to my husband the first Christmas we were together. We'd been dating about a month. The ornament is a cocoon, and I wrote something cheesy (let's be honest) about how I hoped our relationship would grow. Luckily it did. :)

I just crack up at this one - it was from my son's 2nd Christmas, and this was his favorite song to sing! (Just the fa la la part, of course.) We're going to try and teach it to Abby this year.

We have a few of the Hallmark ornaments - a drummer boy for my son, a Fisher Price Family Farm - we have hearts & pregnant mama ornaments when I was expecting the kids - glass globes with pictures inside - a glass cube with roses from my wedding bouquet - snowmen with our names on them - glittered preschool picture - and so many more. I love that our tree is a mish mash of memories - even if it makes the kids groan someday!

How do you decorate your tree? Do you have a favorite ornament?

o christmas tree...peace version

We have two Christmas trees... oh yes we do. We have one small one (sitting on top of a box) so it's just the right height to be seen in the front window. It's a fake tree, and it's smaller, so it always gets put up first. (As in as soon as possible after Thanksgiving!!!!!)It's "MY" tree - but that probably means something different to most of you. It is not your typical "perfect" designer tree. It is my "peace" tree. It has blue and white lights (shocking, I know) and only blue, white and silver ornaments. However, it's not as matchy-matchy as you might think.It has a dove that Conner made last year in preschool. It's a fun foam body, paper folded wings & tail feathers.It has a few doves that I made using a Family Fun pattern a few years ago. (If you look at the big tree picture you will see them in a ring around the bottom - perfect kid grabbing height!)

It also has a lace dove from my mother-in-law, glass etched balls, and a heart that says "peace" on it. There are some glitter-covered balls (took a picture, it didn't turn out. use your imagination.) and some plain shiny balls. Those are all higher up on the tree.

I love this tree because it's blue :) because it's pretty in my front window :) and because it is a symbol to me of part of the spirit of Christmas... finding peace in your life, peace in Christ, and peace in the world.

Wednesday, November 25

girly apron & cookie apron

This simple white apron has a ruffle across the front - cupcake covered heart in the corner, and her name across the top.

This simple red apron is ready for Christmas cookie season - the ribbon across the top & waistline says "Cookies for Santa" - and a gentle reminder across the front to "ENJOY".

Monday, November 23

a winner... and sorting it all out.

I only had one person enter in my 300 giveaway. Maybe nobody read my blog during those three days, maybe nobody wanted free stuff, maybe the rules were too hard, I'm not sure. Anyway... congratulations to Lisa @ Life with 4!!!! I e-mailed you... so just answer and I'll get your package shipped off!

As for the sorting it all out. I am overwhelmed by some stuff happening here at our house. I won't bore you with the details, but I just feel a little out of control. It probably doesn't help that I've been spending my sewing time doing a lot of not-so-exciting commissioned stuff & prepping for my next craft show, not creating brand new stuff. I am always happier when I can create, not just produce. There's definitely a difference for me!

I read Mary Anne's post today and it just really hit me. I try and roll with the punches - I try to be a mellow mom. I have two grandmas nearby who don't work outside the home & are willing to spend time with my kids during the weekdays when I'm stressed about getting sewing jobs done. My house doesn't have to be spotless. My husband mops! (and an assortment of other REALLY helpful wonderful supportive things)
However, I still have things I'd like to work on...
-more one-pot meals. Unfortunately, I'm not much of cook anyway & don't really like my foods all mixed together. But it sure would make life easier!
-streamline the errands/ stores/ outings. My kids like hanging out at home (which hasn't always been true for my son). I should let them enjoy their toys, playing together, etc. more often.
-better solution to the fighting over toys problem. Unfortunately, Abby's a little young to understand the don't fight or it goes away rule that Mary Anne uses.

How do you keep it together??!!!! Please, any tips would be great!

A couple other things to look forward to... I'll be posting some new projects soon, looking forward to family time over the Thanksgiving weekend, and I'll be participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway December 2nd.
See you all again soon!!

Tuesday, November 17

christmas to a T

Just wanted to show a couple close-ups of recent shirts:

Look! It's snowing out the window!
A Christmas tree fabric in a Christmas tree shape on a Christmas tee!

Friday, November 13

annikka's dress

Guess what - another blue dress!
It's a very similar (if not the same) bodice as so many of Dawn's designs, but instead of short sleeves or sleeveless, it has long sleeves. YAY! I used some beautiful white floral buttons for the back. So sweet.
The double-layer skirt definitely adds some weight to the dress, but the swirl factor is amazing! The fabrics I chose are a bit busy, but depending on what you pick, you could embellish the bottom hemlines with so many fun things like ricrac and ribbon! I'm thinking I'm going to add a navy ribbon around the waistline too - just a little something extra. You could also strip piece the topskirt for some added color & pattern. There's just so many options with this dress!
The next time I make this, I think I'm going to try it with finewale corduroy. There's so many beautiful prints out there, and gorgeous coordinating solids.

Buy your own pattern from Olabelhe Designs here.

Monday, November 9

third time's the charm!

Can you believe it? This is my 300th post! Woo-hoo! And I am now up to 33 followers.
I've been thinking about it for a while and trying to decide how to celebrate. A 3-themed giveaway seems the best, wouldn't you agree?

Here's the rules...
1. Browse my ArtFire shop and pick your favorite 3 items. Leave me a comment.
2. Time to be thankful... think of 3 things you're thankful for. Leave me a comment.
3. Been reading my blog for a while? What are your top 3 favorite posts? Leave me a comment.

Each comment is an entry. You have three days... Entries will be closed at 3 p.m. on the 12th. The more comments, the more chances to win!

Oh yeah... and what do you win? One of your favorite 3 items from my shop, of course!!! Good luck!

Sunday, November 8

craft show wrap-up

Harvest of the Hands was a success! I had a lot of fun setting everything up, meeting with customers during the show, and chatting with my friends.
Do you see the PVC mannequins holding the beautiful dresses? They worked out perfectly!
Since the craft show was at my church, I just borrowed a rocking chair to make my booth a little more comfy & welcoming. I brought the screen from home.
I'll be posting stuff that didn't sell in my ArtFire shop throughout the week. Do you see something you're interested in?

Thursday, November 5

satin ruffles

A flannel blanket is so soft. But somehow, it's even better with a satin ruffle!But then you add striped mint minkee on the other side?
Ahhhhh.... so luxurious!

Wednesday, November 4

ready for a game?

Tic-Tac-Toe in its own little carrying bag.Made entirely out of felt - two layers of felt for the board, ribbon for the lines, and machine embroidered x's and o's.
Who wants to play?

Tuesday, November 3

bibs & aprons

A few more goodies for the craft show...

A children's apron - perfect for Christmas cookie & candy making!An apron for the adult cook of course!
Of course, we can't forget Thanksgiving either!
A Thanksgiving meal is a special one - why not prepare it with a prayerful heart?
I'll happily embroider the cook's name on any of the aprons!

And lastly... every baby needs a special bib for the special meal!

Monday, November 2

craft show goodies

I know, we just finished Halloween. But in making-it-for-craft-show-land, I'm starting to focus on Christmas. Here's what I've been up to...
Christmas tree on a light brown tee.
Reverse applique & machine embroidered snowflake on a red tee.
Ornaments on the neckline of a white onesie.
Mittens by the pocket of a hooded sweatshirt.
Mittens on a clothesline on the back of the sweatshirt.
Rudolph & some light bulbs saying HO HO HO!!!!

What's your favorite Christmas symbol or decoration? What would you put on your shirt?

Sunday, November 1

PVC & my awesome hubby

Look what he did!!! I said can you make me a mannequin? Some PVC in a T-shape on a piece of wood or something? I gave him a couple different dress sizes to make, and he went to work. It still needs a coat of spray paint, but it will be great for displaying at the Craft Show this weekend!!

Thanks, sweetie.