Friday, April 24, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Wonder of wonders, Nate finally caved. After years of talking backyard chickens and years of browsing the classifieds for a cheap chicken coop in Ogden and pinning chicken coops on my Pinterest board, we are caretakers of four (I slipped an extra in at the last minute) baby chicks!
It's true, he only agreed because he's really in to building "mini houses" right now and a chicken coop was right up his alley. He's already admitted that he'd love to just turn around and sell it on KSL once it's finished. But he's too late!! We have some fluffy little friends who will take up residence in this fine coop he's constructing in about a month.
I was encouraged to press Nate again this spring for chicks partly because of an article in the most recent Taproot magazine about backyard chickens. The article sings praises of raising backyard chickens and talks of the ease and the benefits (especially to children) of such and adventure. Though I do think that all of our various animal trials are really just temporary distractions from what we really want (a dog), this is not a bad place to be distracted. The article also gave great information about family friendly breeds to bring home. It was just the information and the push I needed to make my arguments.
The kids are head over heels in love with their own personal chicks that they picked out at the local IFA store. Here's what they chose:
Oliver right away spotted a particular Ameraucana. He's excited about the colored eggs. And this particular chick has a Mohawk feather look. The workers were so nice as to catch the exact ones the kids had in mind. He's named his chick Tim Tim (yes he does know it's a girl).
Louisa went for a New Hampshire Red. It's beautiful and I'm excited about the eggs hers will provide. She named her chick Rosie (not after her cousin, but because it will be red).
Byrdie wanted a black chicken. She went with an Australorp. I know the least about her chicken breed but she was insistent. No name yet.
And though Nate wasn't willing to let the twins pick a chick, he couldn't stop me from picking one for myself. I was torn. It was like a kid in a toy store--so many choices! I went with a Buff Orpington though I am almost regretting that I didn't get speckled Sussex. I named mine Nina.
Oh, they are so much fun!
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
For those of you in the sewing community, you may recognize this great Cotton and Steel lion fabric on this same Roller Skate Dress pattern with yellow lining. Yes, I'm a total copycat. Not that it really matters, but I DID get permission from sweet Gail at Probably Actually to make the exact same dress that she made for her daughter. It was just so perfect I didn't want to change a thing.
However, Louisa was not of the same mind as myself. After trying on the partially finished dress a month or so ago I could tell by the look in her face that if finished, this dress would not be worn. There's nothing more discouraging for a sewing mama than that look. All my motivation for finishing the dress went out the window. But with KCW's theme being "Wild Things" I decided that this would be a good time to get the dress finished. But it needed some adjustments if it was to be worn and enjoyed.
That fabric wasn't the problem--I knew that. She had been sooo excited when this lion fabric arrived in the mail just for her. However, I knew, from a previous project that the Roller Skate Dress pattern, though a favorite of mine, was not a favorite of hers. With this dress pattern being fully lined it needs some lightweight fabric. And my lining apparently just wasn't lightweight enough. It was heavy and just weighed down my slight Louisa and felt uncomfortable on her.
So, here's what I did. I cut the lining at the waist and instead of sewing a casing all around the waist and gathering it with elastic, I just gathered each of the sides with elastic. I was inspired by this dress by Hanna Andersson. And I also added pockets (Geranium Dress style) to make it even more appealing to Louisa. I really like these changes and am thinking of using these modifications in the future. I think the absence of the heavy fabric and the modified elastic waist helped to make the dress more free and flowing. And I think, I hope, that will make the difference in weather or not she wears this dress. In my opinion, it could't be cuter!
That last picture was "can I be done with this photo shoot already?!"
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
It's that time of year again where people unload their junk and I spend some precious Saturday morning minutes and some precious dollars sifting through it to find something that will bless the corners of our home--or at least give me a small adrenaline rush from the excitement of the hunt. Because really, as I just recently heard, The Quest is the Best.
Here's what made my heart go pitter patter this past Saturday:
Awesome old school teacher's chair. Ok, yes, I have one almost identical to this already--EEExcept! This one doesn't have arms so it slides under my sewing machine table perfectly! Totally worth five dollars.
Mint green shelf. Really, I was looking for just this thing. Really I was. Thinking about displaying my Russian nesting dolls on it. Three dollars and I don't even need to repaint.
Sweet yellow doll house. It does need some TLC, but it was two dollars. And it is so very sweet.
One dollar for a turquoise napkin dispenser. It just so happens that our outdoor dishes are turquoise. Perfect!
And these old metal file drawers might not look like much now. But they will. Wait and see. Yes, they will.
And what treasures could you not resist lately?
Monday, April 20, 2015
OK, so I have to say that I've never really participated in Kids Clothing Week before. I've always wanted to. I certainly sew enough kids clothing. But I've got to be honest. I don't really understand their website. It's not super user friendly. There's a blog that's entirely different from the challenge. And it's not really easy to sign up or to add projects or to see where to find all the projects other people are adding. I just get really confused.
Aside from that deterrent, it also doesn't really fit my style of sewing--one hour each day for a week. I can't really sew for just one hour. Once I get going I want to keep going. But then I can't always commit myself to sew every day for a week straight. I'm sure not everyone who participates sticks strictly to these guidelines but those are the rules.
I'm going to try it this round however. For one, I just ordered two more patterns that I want to use for this summer and I have lots of fabric sitting around that aren't meant for either of those patterns. That means that I'm behind. Behind in my self set arbitrary schedule for sewing clothing for my girls. Who would have thought that these completely made up deadlines would determine my to do list for an entire week. I'm sure there are other sewers out there who can relate.
Anyway, I've had some fabric on my shelf for about a year and even an idea of a pattern for this fabric. But I could never find that pattern out there. So I'm attempting to make one. It's simple enough I think I can do it. I wanted a Japanese wrap style dress with a different fabric on top and on bottom. I'm using the Geranium dress as a guide. More photos to come.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Last year for the twins' birthday I made them a set of Suzanne dresses by Citronille. They have been a great staple in their wardrobe for this past year. I'm sad to retire them but they are getting small and difficult to get on and off. It was clear that they needed a new set. I had actually bought fabric with the Suzanne pattern in mind probably close to a year ago. Their birthday was the deadline I needed to get them sewn up. I think I'm liking this tradition of Suzanne birthday dresses.
Last year I used the size two pattern. This year, size four. They fit just right. The fabric is both from Heather Ross--bees and snails. The bees, obviously meant for Bea. The snails, well, I just liked the color combination and the little swirly looking snails. The girls also really do like animal prints and take ownership in their particular frocks.
I love this pattern and would really like to try some more of Citronille's patterns but the shipping cost and the language barrier are both two very big deterrents to purchasing any more. I'll just have to continue using the two patterns that I have often. Luckily this pattern goes up to size eight, yes, I'm sure there will be more birthday Suzanne dresses.
Linking up with Frontier Dreams.