Monthly Archives: August 2014

My kids’ recent projects



Dorothy sews a lot these days. And by a lot, I mean I sometimes wish I’d never taught her and had not ceded a part of our family room and my fabric storage area to her needs. (Honesty!) But in the bigger picture, I’m very glad she enjoys it, is creative with it, and can envision and execute a project in ways that will serve her even better than the basics of hemming and button sewing. She likes to get ideas from two books I got her, Sewing School and Sewing School 2, both of which I heartily recommend. The instructions and patterns in the book are clear enough that she can trace, cut out, and follow them without my help. My favorites among her projects, however, are the ones she dreams up on her own. Like a cape for her baby sister!

snowmanOr an Olaf (snowman) costume for her brother. Seeing this project spread out on her sewing table before she put the carrot nose on DID give me pause, but then I recalled that she was sewing costumes for a theatrical production of the movie Frozen she, her brother, and their cousins had in the works. She’s very results-oriented in that she prefers to complete a project in one sitting than to bother with niceties of hemming or facings, but who can blame her?


Both big kids recently rediscovered the swirl-and-spin art kit. I loved seeing the line of brightly-colored squares waiting to dry, so I…


made them into a poster using Publisher and had it printed at Costco. We gave copies to both the grandfathers for Father’s Day and they were big hits.


I never got a great picture of the printed posters, but you can see it on the mantle behind my father-in-law in this snapshot. Both grandfathers were told the prints were for the garage (how much wall space does one have to spare, anyway?) but both chose to frame and hang them inside, making my little artists beam with pride.


And speaking of woodland creatures, a bag



As a third-time Mom I feel like I have very specific needs as far as bags go. I don’t want to carry a diaper bag, because that’s so 2006 for me, but at the same time I simply must carry, well, diapers. So I like to carry one large bag that can serve as my purse and my assorted-kid-and-baby-crap bag all in one, and it must have many pockets, an outside easy-access pocket for my cell and keys, and both handles and a shoulder strap.

As you can imagine, I sometimes have trouble finding exactly what I’m looking for. I found this decorator-weight fabric last spring when I was looking for something else, and I decided it wanted to be my new of using a pattern, I just kind of created the bag I wanted. I measured to figure out how big it needed to be to serve all my needs, then made a basic, box-shaped bag with a zipper top, a lining, and many, many pockets. I sewed a removable pouch of the same exterior fabric that contains all my diaper-change gear, so on the rare occasions Miss Baby and I go separate ways her little tote can stay with her and I can be off with a lighter load. Perfect! Just don’t call it a diaper bag or we’ll fight. 🙂


Magnetic woodland animals, unloved


Daphne had taken a recent liking to peeling off and eating our magnetic poetry, so I spent all weekend making baby-safe magnetic woodland animals for her out of felt. I did not use a pattern for these, but I did do a felt animal search on Pinterest and looked at some of those for inspiration. I embedded strong magnets in sewn-on little pouches in the back of each animal so the baby cannot eat the magnets. Now she scoots over to the refrigerator and whines because the magnetic poetry is gone. ‪#‎fail‬


But at least she knows what the camera is for…animal-smiles

Field trip bags


trailerHello there! I want to send a big thank you and welcome to all the visitors my little blog has had this summer from the Country Living website. I was so honored to see my Yellowstone included in the “14 Gorgeous Camper Decorating Ideas” article, and was overwhelmed (almost to the point of going into hiding!) by the traffic my site garnered for a couple weeks. If you are here to read about my Yellowstone, you can click on this link to get only trailer-related blog posts. I’m hoping to post new camping pictures soon, but I admit we’ve not taken it out even once all all this beautiful summer. My third baby has not been the greatest sleeper, and somehow we’ve just not found the time. Maybe I’m just worried to break the glass on the windows that finally got replaced? I’ve got fall camping plans percolating in my head, and will be sure to share photos here. In the meantime, I’m feeling weak and guilty for not having taken her out–make me an offer, and maybe I’ll sell and start over. 🙂

field-trip-bagsIn spite of our lack of summer camping we’ve still put a lot of miles on the children this year. Last spring I got frustrated with my kids turning every small trip or homeschool field trip into a “gimme gimme” occasion in even the smallest gift shop. I don’t usually indulge them, but they still beg (and annoy me). I noticed most tourist site gift shops sell scouting-style patches embroidered with their logo, and that they are usually reasonably-priced. I sewed a canvas tote bag for each child, and used my embroidery machine to add their names. Then we started collecting patches on excursions and field trips, and now much of the front of their bags are filled up, ony 6 months later!

filed-trip-bags-afterThese bags have served dual-duty in providing something for us to look for and purchase in gift shops, and holding the sundries (water bottle, snack, sunhat, etc.) that each child needs on our trip. We wrapped keepsake keychains around the straps and I used this handy fabric glue to adhere the patches.