Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cloth storage

I am so excited that I figure out a way to store some of my fabric and use these containers. I won these containers last August at Staples and I have not known what to do with them. It occurred to me on Saturday to put my material in them. Woohoo! I just love getting a good idea. Although, I don't know WHY I didn't think of it earlier!
The first box has material with less than 1 yard. It also has a lid that goes on top. I think it was intended for photo or CD storage. The bigger container (which is really a magazine box) has a yard or more in each piece of fabric.
It really helps me to see what colors I have.

Monday, May 26, 2008


So pretty they'll make you dizzy, these patriotic whirligigs spin in the wind. They're tacked to clothespins so you can clip them to anything -- like a bicycle basket. Cut two 5-inch squares in different colors from patterned paper. Glue back-to-back; let dry. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner. Make a 3-inch cut along each line. Fold every other point toward center; glue. Affix to clothespin with map tack.

This idea is from Martha's website.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Postage Stamp Porch

My front porch is a tiny little thing. It's big enough to open the door and that's about it. I have always been disappointed that I did not have a huge wrap around porch that I so long for. So, I am decorating challenged with this tiny postage stamp of a porch. So much so that I have never even attempted to do anything with it at all! This year I decided to do 'something'! I mean, after all, something is better than nothing - right?

I started with an old wooden chair that I found under my mom's shed. I had thought to paint it but I haven't yet. I can't make up my mind on the color. I have a pint of white and a pint of yellow. Right now, it will stay as is until I have time to think about what color. Next, I added a fern. You can't go wrong with a fern, right?

I added this enamel bowl under the chair. I don't know where it came from. I found it while cleaning up the yard. I know the boys dragged it out from somewhere. I like that it's dirty and rusted. I think I need to add something in it - perhaps baseballs since the boys are always playing outside.

I don't know what else I will add. I think I need some color. Perhaps I could add a garland of red and blue stars that can stay up until the 4th.


Monday, May 26th

I decided this morning (Monday) to plant flowers in the pan. We'll see how it does.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All finished!

All finished with sewing for the weekend. I stayed up on Saturday night cutting out all the shorts and sewed all Sunday afternoon. They all turned out really cute and I think the boys will like them. They both picked out what they wanted to wear tomorrow to school.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sew 'em up

Lately, I have been bitten by the sewing bug. I haven't sewn in many years. No reason, I was just too busy. This morning, I decided to make shorts for the boys for this summer. They are both tall and skinny. The pants bought in the stores are always too big in the waist and I end up taking them up. It occurred to me that I could make the shorts so much cheaper and very quickly. I made these two this morning in less than an hour.

I also bought a sidewinder (woohoo!!!!!). This is a handy little gadget threads your bobbin. No more messing with winding a bobbin on the machine. I tried to explain this to my husband but he just didn't get the jest of my excitement!

For their next pair of pants, Nikolai wants Diego and Deniska wants Cars. They both like the pants I made for them to wear this morning. I also bought a really nice wooden thread holder. I want to mount it to the wall instead of standing up somewhere. I will need to think about how to do that!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My new dress

Here's a picture of my new dress that I made yesterday.
The fabric is floral with blue and red flowers on a yellow background. I think the fabric was given to me. So, my dress cost me $5 and that was for the price of the pattern. I did buy 2 more pieces of material but they were both $1.50 a yard for a grand total of $12 for 2 dresses - a good deal!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A new dress for me!

I have had sewing on my mind a lot lately. I don't know why I have decided that I wanted to sew a dress. I haven't made a dress in years and years! It just seemed like a good thing to do. I imagine it's because my mom always made me a new dress on Mother's Day. Our dresses would match and I was so proud. I always wore a red rose and she wore a white rose.

I selected this pattern (Simplicity 2929) because I wanted something simple and quick to make. I already had fabric that I could use. It only took a few hours to make the dress. I choose View C, which is the solid light green dress on the pattern front. It would have been a lot quicker if I hadn't had help from Deniska. He hung over my shoulder and asked a zillion questions.

It has side pockets but they hang too low for me; I'm not happy with them at all. I won't put them in the next dress I make using this pattern. I already have 2 pieces of fabric picked out; I might just make another one tomorrow. I think this is the perfect summer church dress.

The dress is pressed and hanging on the bathroom door just waiting to be put on tomorrow morning for church. I do admit that I am excited about having something new to wear. I will try to post a picture of the dress tomorrow.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Crafting - a life line

I had virtually quit crafting after the death of my brother and when we adopted Deniska 4 years ago. I was the main caregiver to my aging mother with Alzheimer's, I had a 4 year old who didn't understand a lick of English, and a husband who was overwhelmed by all the new changes in our life. I can remember going to work, crying, taking care of Mama, crying, dealing with family life, crying, going through the routines of life, crying, etc.... Seems I did a lot of crying.

When Mama went to the nursing home, I thought things would somehow be easier. Instead, it got harder to go through each day. In May 2006, we lost Gabriel. That was devastating to me and I will never forget his smile and sweet little body. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and say a prayer for him. It was almost too much to bear.

Nikolai arrived a year ago and once again we started with the difficult transition of adding a child to our settled family. Temper tantrums, crying, acting out, throwing things, pinching, stealing, and tattling are just a few things that we went through daily. It took a year for him to settle down and those things are not as common. I still was going to the nursing home, crying on the way home, dealing with difficult children, and tottering on the edge of despair. Still, no crafting in sight. I just did not have time.

I can't say that the past four years have been fun or particularly happy. In fact, they have been very difficult with more sadness than happiness. Our marriage must be really strong for us to cling to each other as we drifted on this sea of unrest and unhappiness. Ir's been hard - too hard.

Mama died in December 2007 and something died in me too that day. I can't explain what died, I just know that I am no longer the person I was. I am an orphan. Something deep inside awakened and called to be recognized. The creative part of me was waking as if from a long slumber. I started crafting again. The dishes could go unwashed, the clothes unfolded, the floors unswept, I needed to craft. And, craft I did. Through crafting, I found that the problem was within me. It was not the external pressures place on my life, it was the internal pressures of having everything perfect. I had to change if I wanted my life to change. I could not continue trying to do everything.

Perfectionism is a horrible thing. She will not allow you to be human. She robs you of enjoying the laughter of children when they have made a mess playing. She doesn't allow you to enjoy small accomplishments because she always points out what is wrong. She is jealous of your free time and always sends guilt to you. I don't like her very much. She has been with me far too long and I am tired of her negative spirit. It was time for us to part ways.

As I crafted, I sent Perfectionism away. I told her to leave me alone and let me grieve for my mother and my brother. I have never grieved for my brother who died 4 years ago. I was too busy taking care of my mother, my child, my husband, everybody else instead of me. Now, I have time to grieve. I grieve for my brother who was robbed of meeting and loving my children. I grieve for my children who will never know their uncle or grandmother as vibrant, productive people. I grieve for my husband who is stuck with a slightly crazy wife. I grieve for myself who has been denied so many things by herself. Perfectionism still tries to sneaks in sometimes and I have to guard against her. I find prayer helps a lot to keep her at a respectable distance!

With each craft, I grieve a little more. I feel better. I feel healthy. I feel that I might enjoy life once again!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Proverbs 24:3-4 - By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.