Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Hubby Routine

I really should get a picture of the Hubby pouring chlorine into the pool while dressed in his white shirt, tie, dress shoes, and nice suit because if it needs to be done, then he has to do it regardless of his attire, but usually he can wait for more appropriate digs and so he looks like this
as he goes about his business.
Honestly, we do have the two largest deciduous trees in the neighboorhood  just to the side of our pool.
"Get that camera outa my face." He is thinking in the back of his cute little head.

We have the cleanest pool in the neighborhood. My Hubby is a meticulous leaf attacker.
Thanks Hun!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ruffled Polar Fleece Scarf

When I was shopping with the li'l sis last fall, we came across a cute little ruffled scarf and I stated that I should make one just like it. I say that kind of thing all the time, and sometimes take a picture while I'm in the store so I'll remember the item in question. Here is the scarf displayed in the store and to the left of the scarf in a large cupcake like white plastic container, is a duplicate scarf all wound up like a flower.
This looked too easy to pass up, and so I made it up a few weeks ago.
I started with a 5 inch wide piece of polar fleece with rounded corners and decided the ruffle would be a contrasting fall ish color so added the gold/brown thread to my serger.  I made sure my serger was on 3 threads and was set to rolled hem in a fairly wide seem (about 3.5 mm) The stitch length setting is set on 1.5 or so, because the stitches need to be tight together as they are going around the stretched out scarf.
Let's see if the video from my phone works in this here blog.



Maybe it worked. Check it out.

Then after I was done stitching all around the scarf in a rolled hem I rolled the actual scarf into a flower and tied it up for a nice gift presentation.
And then tied a cute ribbon around the flower.
Now it's all ready to give away to someone special.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Elf Apron

The previous post has a picture of machine embroidered Elf's. It is the first project that I completed using my new embroidery sewing machine. It is an awesome Bernina machine, and so I'm back to the days when I learned to sew on my mothers Bernina, except this is not your mothers Bernina.
The Hubby bought it for me for Christmas. A very nice Christmas for me. He just took me to the sewing machine shop one night and we checked them all out. He had given my a new one about 22 years ago, and he thought it was about time to get another one.
It comes with lots of designs, but nothing that I wanted for this apron/jumper I wanted to copy from a magazine I saw, so I found some Christmas designs online and downloaded them onto a flash drive. Then I just put some white cotton fabric onto a hoop, plugged the flash into my USB port of the machine and the machine told me what to do. All I had to do was pick a color when it stopped every once in a while.
Then move the hoop over and do it again.
It took me a few hours to get these 5 elves all sewn up, but it was a lot quicker and hardier than if I'd tried it by hand sewing them,
and they will wash and wear really well.  So I made this apron and attached it to this little jumper.
Ells likes it.
She looks cute in it too.
What a nice Uncle M.
Merry Christmas morning!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have A Very Merry Christmas

It's the best time of the Year.
Oh by golly, have a holly jolly Christmas.
This year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top THIS Christmas Tradition

We all have various family traditions that remind us of happy occasions from the past. Christmas, of course, has some of the most memorable because we tend to repeat them each year and they just become engrained in us. I think that when at least 4 of my 5 kids are asked the question, "What is your favorite family tradition?" They say, "The Shepherds Dinner on Christmas Eve." We didn't start doing this interesting dinner until probably 1992, when someone in our Oak Hills, Oregon ward (church congregation) told me about the way their family celebrated the coming of Christ. They sit on the ground (floor) and eat what they think the shepherds outside of Bethlehem would have eaten on that first Christmas night.  Goat cheese perhaps, or figs and unleavened bread (crackers), fruit juice, dried fish, or dried anything for that matter are some of the things we think about when shopping at our super super market for this event each December 24.
We sometimes get quite elaborate compared to what the shepherds would have eaten. Our stomachs are probably all much more stuffed than the original shepherds ever even thought of being, but it is an exercise in empathy if nothing else. We do love this tradition and the lessons it teaches us.
The Hubby and I went to dinner with my "walking buddies" and their respective hubby's tonight. We were talking about some of our traditions and Laurie said that she has never had a Christmas morning without her parents there. In her parents house during her youth and in her house after she had children herself, they have always been there. Wow, 50 years is a long tradition with the same loved ones sharing Christmas morning. What a blessing for the grandchildren, to have that unconditional love all around them.
Well, Carolyn topped the time frame and the place as well. She has woken up in the same bedroom, in the original twin beds, now pushed together to make a king, looking out the same window on Christmas morning for all of her 58 years. Can you imagine?  Every year for 58 years in the same house. That is all her grown kids know, and the tradition of going "home" is deep rooted in them too. They just expect to travel to Grandma's house. Grandpa (her father) died a few years ago, and Grandma just keeps it going for them all, but Carolyn herself has taken over the roll of charge person and caregiver.
Quite an amazing tradition. 
How 'bout you? Any other good ones out there?

To Be "Hung by the Chimney with Care"

After knitting all my children's Christmas stockings as they grew up, my daughter thinks that the best stockings are knitted 'cause they look like "stockings." She asked me to knit them in random designs, shapes and sizes unlike the ones I made in her youth that were all the same pattern and size, with different motif and color choices. Her colors, however, are going to match well.
So, over the past few years I've made them stockings as they added to their family with yarn that I purchased in bulk to begin the project with a questionable completion date and quantity. Last year was Ellery's first Christmas and this post was about her new stocking.
Another new baby was added this year and the Mommy wanted a plainer stocking with just a couple colors, white polka dots, and a short stumpy stature.
Here is the base of the sock, nearly finished.
Now, with the polka dots added. I first tried to crochet white circles and sew them onto the shell, but that wasn't what the designer (K) had in mind, so I did duplicate stitched circles on the sock and that was just right for her. Not too hard, not to soft, but just right.
I also like the added strings of pompoms. I should get a picture with them hanging from their mantle. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Heart NYC

The Hubby has some business in Boston this week, and so we decided that if I accompanied him on his "trip", we'd first spend the weekend in The Big Apple. 
We were able to do a little shopping, (for fabric - his favorite kind of shopping) go to MOMA and check out the modern art, preview the new Broadway play "Spiderman Out of the Dark", listen to fabulous singers in sacrament meeting as well as "Sing your own Messiah", investigate the Christmas markets in Bryant Park and Columbia Circle, and eat some good food in some arbitrary restraunts.
Here's an IPhone photo of the Hubby in Time Square. If this place is the same latitude and longitude of when I was there last, that is the only resemblance. I think it goes a block further on both ends of the main Broadway/7th Ave intersection, and at least 7 times the height and width of billboard/ big screen/ signage as it did in 2000, which I think is the last time I graced the city with my presence.

This handsome man has taken each of our 5 children one at a time to this great city for their 16 birthdays, and they all have done different things that were decided on by themselves. He had never been asked by any of them to take them to MOMA, so the only time he had been there was a business reception several years ago. We started off on the top floor and we thought, "If this is it, our favorite places won't be in jeopardy of being replaced." As we went down to the next floor, and the next, we really enjoyed the art work and short history behind it all. Here is a Monet.  Everyones favorite and one of the most famous.
One of my favorites is Kandinsky.
All sorts of good stuff.
The New Spiderman play was interesting. I like to cry and laugh a lot during a play, and this one didn't really give me that, but I was certainly entertained. Very fun take on an old comic book.
This picture is of the curtain.

The garment district gave me some fun places to shop for actual clothing/fashion fabric. I'm so used to just having a selection of cotton quilting fabrics, that this was a real treat for me. I bought a couple grey wools, and a satiny bright green for a blouse. Each of them have a little spandex for stretch and an updated wear and look. I also bought black wool for a vest (yes, Kathryn - for you).
I tried to spend just a few hours there, as to not bore The Hubby too much, but he is always a good sport about shopping. Thanx!!

Church was their Christmas program and was very well done. The tenor Michael Ballum sang "O Holy Night" very well and the organist was also famously good.
We went back that evening to listen and sort of participate in singing the Messiah, by Handel, and the soloists were equally good. I lost my program, but I had looked up the soprano Marie TeHapuku before that and she was a real opera singer. Her first mayor role was one my mother played when she was pregnant with me. It was the role of Hansel in "Hansel and Gretel", and I grew up listening to pieces from this opera here and there, so I feel a certain kinship to it.

We went down to "ground zero" and couldn't see anything, but they are planning a beautiful memorial.
Serene and simple.
We took the train out of NYC to Boston this afternoon and I took a few pictures on my IPhone. They really aren't good but at least it shows where we were.
"Training" out of NYC. So pretty, the skyline is, and my little granddaughters would get such a kick out of the train whistling down the track.
 All along the eastern coast, through Connecticut, then Rhode Island, and finally to Masseschusetts.
Such a great time with the Hubby.
Thanx! Did I say that already?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Family is the BEST

Just thought I'd go back a week and post some pictures from our trip to Utah and Colorado.
We arrived in Brigham City a day before the storm hit. We were bundled up all snug in Grandma's house for the 6 inch snowfall.
It was very pretty. And then became very cold as the next couple of days proved. There were 5 degree mornings and I'm just not used to that, being acclimated to Nor California and kinda liking it that way.
 We visited with Grandpa in the care center. Jonathan and Stephanie are with him in this picture. Michael had gone back down to Salt Lake City for basketball practice and Thanksgiving dinner with the team at Coaches home.
Father and son (The Hubby) pictured here.  Grandpa seems settled and not too agitated in the center.
Then we went up to Aunt Toni's for dinner.
 Grandma love the appetizers.
 Stephanie loves the puppy's.
 The family loves the football games too.
 Yes, including Grandma Hodgman.
Sarah set a beautiful table. Everyone helped in the cooking and cleaning, what a great family I married into.
Thanks for a lovely holiday.
The Hubby and I dropped of Jonathan and picked up Michael's car in SLC, then followed Stephanie to Pleasant Grove where she was dog sitting, to spend the night before heading to Grand Junction for one short day.

My Dad is recovering from a total knee replacement. Starting to move better. The other leg is taking the brunt of healing the operated one.
 My mom and baby sis.
Me, Mom, Tracy, Camille.
Then back to Salt Lake City to watch Michael's new team play a game.

 Warm ups.

 Jumbotron Michael.

I love this cute kid.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First Blizzard in at Least 17 Years

The Hubby and I are in Utah for the holiday, and it is shaping up into a frigid experience.

A freezing cold Alaska apparently sent this front our way, and we will hopefully be able to see our 3 Utah children for Thanksgiving if they can brave the roads for 70-110 miles in the next 16-36 hours.
Such beauty is all around us as the white sparkley stuff continues to fall and blanket the entire outside world in a soft cloud.  It started about 4 hours ago in a blizzard of furry. The wind was coming from the north, no the south, no the north as it twirled around us when we came out of the big Walmart in town (which is a whole 'nother post for this blog.)
It has now settled down to light falling snow with hardly a breeze.
So pretty, as we snuggle comfortably in my MIL's home and enjoy our electricity and lights and warmth, and each other.
Quite a memory for this Colorado girl from California. I used to be used to this kind of thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ruffled Skirt Option

I made this little skirt for Ells. I had seen a cute little nearly 2 year old at church in a darling, ruffled, drop waisted skirt with a cute bow that I wanted to duplicate.  This was to match a sage(ish) green sweater that I made for her last spring to go with a little summer outfit. The new skirt would extend the wearing of that sweater through the cooler months, but the skirt was to tiny for her so I had to make it a little shorter and give it to her baby sister.
It barely goes around li'l Coco, but it works and the lightweight chiffon strips that make up the underskirt, are perfect for making it pop out as she moves.
The flower that I appliqued to the little onesie had previously been cut out with my Big Shot (Sizzix) and others like it were used for a hair accessory,
so I hardly even had to plan for the easy iron on.
I then set off to make one just a little larger for the original intended target.
It turned out just as cute, and I added a different color ribbon (Katz chose the blue) for accent.

I'll quickly give some general directions for this easy skirt. Sized for a 2 y/o. Skip to next picture to avoid boredom.
Materials: 1/4 yard contrasting fabric
                 1/2 yard main fabric
                 1" elastic tape to fit around waist +2 inches.
                 1 1/2 yards ribbon for underwaist embelishment
                 approx. 10 yards 4" wide chiffon fabric

     *  Cut 7" x 27" rectangle of contrasting fabric
     * Sew right sides together on 7 inch sides leaving 1 inch open at 3 1/2 inch till 4 1/2 inch. (this is for elastic waistband insertion)
    *  Fold and press waistband circle in half with wrong sides together. Sew 1 inch down from fold for elastic casing.
    * On inside of skirt (where the waistband hole is)  gather the first row of chiffon and sew to bottom of inside waistband right sides together. A ruffling foot on your sewing machine is ideal for this step, but basting, gathering the thread, pinning and sewing works well too. I gathered about 3 times the length to the waistband.
     * Sew a second 4 inch row to the top one again gathering 3x the bottom ruffle to the straight bottom of the first. (if your waistband is 27", you should use about 81" for the first tier and 243" for the second)
     * Make 5 - 2"narrow contrasting belt loops of fabric or ribbon and sew right sides to front of waistband 1.5 " from bottom. Space 4" apart across the back of skirt, and leave open in the center front.Fold down to bottom of waistband and baste in place
     * Cut 2 - 7 inch strips of your 45" main fabric. Sew them together and gather them to the front of the waistband right sides together. (Using the ruffling/gathering foot I sewed my final seam after the gathering was finished, but if you don't have a the foot just gather 2.5 - 3 x the amount (80") sew the seams then gather and sew the one large ruffle onto the front of the skirt.
     * Finish hem seam with rolled hem foot, or turn up twice in .25 inch increments and sew for hem.
     * Draw elastic through waistband casing using safety pin to lead the way. Sew elastic to fit child's waist, then finish off original seam of waistband.
     * Draw ribbon through belt loops and tie a bow to side front.
When I came home yesterday, the little cuties were at my house starting a little laundry. Their mommy had them all decked out in the new little outfits.
I found this little hedgehog applique on a fun blog the other day and thought it was perfect for this outfit.
Ells likes it too.

She also likes singing "Itsey, Bitsey Spider".
At all times.