Monday, October 29, 2012

The Coolest Thing I've Ever Sewn! (keep reading...)

I've been busy. Life has been very full. Crazy, stressful, fun, and deeply satisfying all rolled into daily routine.
Besides the week we spent with Eric's family in Idaho (I won't be going backwards for photos this time, I've still got too full of a plate) and a visit from my parents last week (which I completely forgot to take pictures. Literally, I did not take a. single. photo. Shame on me. I'm sure eventually I'll get copies of their pics...) So besides the visits and recovery time that they require after so much fun, I've been in school. My final semester of regular classes before the 2 semester thesis. I have to admit, I'm not really all that into this semester. I find the books less engaging than I expected and the essays are not only boring, I'm struggling to implement the feedback from my teacher, so not even the writing is coming naturally to me. I'm half way through with the class and at this point I'm just trying to keep my enthusiasm up to finish strong rather than digressing.

But, what I'm REALLY excited about is how much I've learned in the sewing department. Perhaps this is really the root of why my class isn't holding my attention? Because I'd rather be creating things...:) I already blogged about the Rapunzel dress I figured out how to make for Gwen. Well, I also made Caroline's peacock costume. Both turned out so cute and I'm proud as a peacock myself! After Halloween I'll post pics of those.
With the help of a very talented friend, I made this diaper bag. We even altered the pattern slightly to fit my desires and specs (magnets instead of velcro, elastic instead of zip tie cords), and it turned out beautifully!

And lastly, I am sooooooo excited to unveil my latest creation: 

A Family History Advent  

an advent for the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving. 

I've often been struck by how Thanksgiving just gets glossed over on the way from Halloween to Christmas. I wanted to do something special as an advent to really get the kiddos excited about Thanksgiving. So I thought about a book advent, but it just didn't seem quite right. I thought about the things I'm really grateful for and want my children to appreciate too... and one of the greatest blessings in my life is knowing that my family can be together forever, even after death, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have felt a connection to my ancestors for some time and love doing family history work. I would love for my children to feel that same connection, to have a relationship with those who have paved the way for us to enjoy the blessings we have today. After much thought and prayer, I feel that this idea came from the Lord to fulfill those desires. 
It is an ancestor advent, each day leading up to Thanksgiving will be a different ancestor. We'll put on their leaf, read stories about their life and their faith, and look at fun pictures. I've made enough extra leaves to add any additional children that join our family over the years (I figured they'd really enjoy each having their own day! Looking at pictures of when they were a baby, etc.). By Thanksgiving, the Eternal Family tree will be filled with the "blessings" of family members that are ours for all eternity because of Christ. 

 I designed freehand, cut out, 
and then appliqued on this tree and the script.
for scale, see my socks.

sewed on velcro circles
Then sewed on the sashing, sewed up the sides,
and put a binding on the top and bottom.

edited photos into sepia and re-sized as necessary
cut out those photos in circles
and mounted onto individually cut out maple leaves
(I used a printed off leaf from the internet as a template. )
Then laminated, cut out again, and glued on velcro circles.
The lamination was the most expensive part. It cost more than fabric,
thread, velcro, paper, and printed photos combined.
This photo is my maternal grandmother at 17 when she got married. 
By Thanksgiving, it will look something like this.
I sewed button hole openings in the back and inserted a dowel rod (I had to do button holes because the width exceeded the longest dowel rod I could find). I'll attach a ribbon to the dowel rod so it can be hung on the wall for the month of November. 

I'm STOKED about this project! Aren't you? Come on, admit it... you are tempted to make one too!!!! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Our family has made it a tradition to go pick apples at the beginning of fall. Ohio is excellent apple country, and there are TONS of varieties available for picking that you don't normally find in stores. We like to 'explore' I guess, and the past three years we have tried a different variety each time for our applesauce. This year's choice was Cortland, a mostly sweet apple with a tiny bit of tart. The pristine crispy white flesh made for awesome fresh eating! And eat we did. This was the first year they told us the policy is they don't charge for what you eat. He actually told us as he handed us the bags, "so eat your breakfast out there!" We were pretty happy about that  because keeping the kiddos OUT of the produce in the past has made it less enjoyable for them, I think. This year, they LOVED it! All the "a-poe"s little Caroline could possibly bite! (and she bit quite a few!) Now every round object that she can't identify with a word/sign she knows is an a-poe, including tomatoes, plums, and pumpkins.
There was apple eating
 and apple picking
 apple eating
 and apple color examining
 much running with apples to create mostly blurry photos... :)
 examining of ants all over the fallen apples
 peek-a-boo amongst apple leaves
 I think she was a Thundercat, most likely Cheetarah. 
 Repeated attempts at "escaping", but at least she just ran down these long rows of trees and we could still see her.
 and of course there was posing with apples.
We really had a splendid time, the weather was perfect, and our apples were/are delicious!
 We ended up with 18 quarts of applesauce,
partially consumed apples hiding in every room of the house (thanks, Caroline),
and memories of a great time!