April 8, 2011
One of the things that is fast becoming a favorite of mine is sewing for my girls.
I like being able to create exactly what I want for them, as opposed to scouring the stores and settling on something that's okay, but not what I'd hoped for.
I love giving them something that is uniquely theirs, that can hopefully be theirs to treasure in years to come.
And I think that the creativity and focus of purpose that sewing allows is a bit therapeutic for me.
So today, I'm sharing with you three of my favorite things when it comes to sewing. The ones that are fast becoming my standby/go-to projects.
The first is this felt crown tutorial.
I made my first "birthday crown" in September 2009, and it has become a much anticipated part of our birthday mornings around here.
The thing I love about this tutorial is the simplicity of it. After making several I've gotten to the point wear I can do the actual sewing of the crown (minus the decorative embelishments) in about 15 minutes.
I also love the room for creativity in making these. Here are a couple I've made.
This one was for my niece's first birthday "poodle" party.
This is Miss E's for her "Fancy" party last year.
I go back to this basic pattern every time and am always so happy with the results!
Okay, second is a newer discovery, but I already know I'm in love.
I've been following the blog of The Handmade Dress for a couple of years now, but have only recently jumped into trying out her patterns.
My first experience was the Miss Mary pattern, for my Miss A's 9th birthday.
I need to take a full length shot of this one, but as you can see it's a beautiful yet simple "big girl" dress.
The website says the patterns will take you about two hours from start to finish. This one took me four hours, but now that I know what I'm doing, I'm sure I could do it in two next time.
The patterns are easy to follow and require very basic sewing knowledge. It was exactly what I had hoped for when I ordered it.
And favorite sewing resource number three….
Well, you remember these girls.
I know I told you before how much I loved this pattern from Wee Wonderfuls.
Well, the love has continued as I've been able to pull out the pattern again to clothe our little "girls" in dresses to match their owners.
My girls have long been fascinated with the American girls and how you can dress them just like you. So we've found our own version of that and they couldn't be more thrilled. I've found that they are not concerned at all if the actual pattern of the dress is identical, as long as the fabric is the same.
There you have my three favorite things when it comes to sewing lately.
I pulled out all three last weekend and in a single day whipped up Miss I's entire birthday loot.
The prized birthday crown (made extra fast and simple this time by the use of printed felt), a little dress for Josie and a matchy Miss Madeline for the birthday girl.
The Miss Madeline pattern actually did only take me two hours, start to finish on my very first try, so I will definitely be going back to this one.
I hope you're inspired to try all these things out. You won't be disappointed!
**disclosure: these endorsements are my own, not solicited or compensated in any way.
Posted in: Favorite Things, Homemade, Little Girls
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December 23, 2010
I was so bummed when I realized in all my busy-ness I missed my chance to participate in the Christmas Tour of Homes
I am not much of a decorator. I can be a bit of a minimalist. So at Christmas the house feels especially decked out to me, even though compared to most it's probably not much.
I'm always a little sad how few people get to see, between constant running around and sickness. It just never seems like December ends up being a time when it's easy to have people over.
So I'm going to share with you here, so I feel like somebody's seen it!
Are you ready for a load of pictures???
First is my Martha Stewart jingle bell wreath.
This hangs on my front door the first half of the month, and is then replaced by a fresh, homemade evergreen wreath that my mother-in-law is kind enough to help me create every year. I forgot to take a picture of the fresh wreath, so maybe you'll have to see that tomorrow.
This is our sweet little Jesse Tree, decorated with Miss A's hand-drawn ornaments (inspired by the ones you'll find here). This is our first year doing this, and it has been so great! A wonderful way to refresh our focus every day.
This is my little nativity that Hombre bought me for our first Christmas because I just thought it was the cutest thing ever. I love it!
A little touch of color on my kitchen counter. Gingerbread house courtesy of my girls of course.
I have several fun pieces of decor that came from my crafty mother-in-law over the last several years. I love how they all kind of blend together and feel like a set. This is the pinecone candleholder.
A festive snowflake.
The star. (Miss A's favorite)
And our Advent calendar. All the girls really enjoy this. Miss A keeps careful track of whose turn it is to flip the piece each day.
We collect new ornaments every year, and have so many great ones.
This is the nativity set my mom made for us when Miss A was a baby. The girls love setting it up every year.
I love to decorate with pictures. These are my favorites from when Hombre and I were kids.
This is my Christmas album. I add a few new pictures each year, so we can grab it anytime and look over all of our Christmases as a family.
We've built quite a collection of Christmas books. I like to set them all out where we can see them. I love having extra splashes of color here and there.
The girls are given free reign to decorate the bedroom door and the fridge.
And I like to brighten the inside of the front door with all of the Christmas cards.
I forgot to take a picture of the stockings, but you can see those here. They are one of my absolute favorite pieces of decor.
The other is these…
I made handprints of each of my girls on their first Christmas. They think it's really fun to see how tiny their little hands were. And in my sappy pathetic-ness, it's a way of holding onto my babies. Miss E is always concerned that her's is so much smaller, and every time we have to explain that's because she was born closer to Christmas.
Last, of course…who doesn't love the glow of the Christmas tree?
Glad you could visit our home!
If you'd like to share some pictures of your Christmas, feel free to leave a link in the comments. I'd love to see.
Posted in: Favorite Things, For Fun, Seasons
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September 11, 2010
I've been meaning to share forever about this one. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get around to it.
A few months ago I purchased a couple of different cd's for my girls from Seeds Family Worship. I was really drawn to the idea of my kids memorizing verses without the obvious "work" of memorization. I thought it would be some nice music for them. (we needed something new, because as much as I love it, I'd heard Jesus You're My Superhero one too many times! )
So we bought Seeds of Praise and Seeds of Courage. And the girls loved them!
The part I didn't expect was that I love them too. I mean really love them.
What do I love?
- I love that the music totally appeals to my kids.
- I love that other than a couple of songs, the music also totally appeals to me AND my husband…you know, the musician who never likes anything!
- I love that my kids are learning all of these verses. One thing I am living proof of is the songs you love as a child will stay with you for the rest of your life. There hasn't been a day since age seven that I couldn't tell you every single lyric to "Livin' on a Prayer" or "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". So I love that it's the Word of God that is being so fixed in their little minds.
- I love that when I go to bed at night and can't get the "kids" music out of my head, it is God's Word that is going through my mind over and over.
Seriously, I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed these cd's. We will definitely be adding to our collection in the future.
You can go here and listen. Our absolute favorite is "Better than Life" off the Seeds of Praise album.
What's your favorite worship music for the whole family?
Posted in: Favorite Things
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August 27, 2010
Well, I know I'm a little late getting around to it, but I'm finally ready to talk about school!
This of course would be the first day picture. Everyone was fresh and bright and ready for action.
Trust me, the enthusiasm took a dive quickly.
This is the first year in our homeschooling experience that we have had a rough transition phase from summer to school time. The first couple of weeks I honestly didn't think any of us were going to survive. But it's getting better now. We're figuring out a good routine and getting used to having actual structure in our day again, and it's a good thing.
So, in our house this year we have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, and a 3 year old teacher's helper.
My utmost goal for school this year was to combine as many subjects as I reasonably could for both girls; basically to avoid teaching two completely separate lesson plans every day. That about killed me last year.
Of course some subjects have to be grade specific, but there are many that can be shared. For this year everyone is working together for history, science, art, music, and all read-aloud books are chosen with everyone in mind. So far it's been really great. They help each other remember what they're learning, and I don't have the constant struggle of finding extra hours in the day to teach everything twice, not to mention trying to prevent countless interruptions from the ones who were not being taught.
For our curriculum we have always mainly used My Father's World, which we do enjoy. I decided for our shared subjects to try some different things out this year though, and so far we are really excited about all of them.
First our music text for the year. We are all loving this book. I am enjoying learning the hymns with the girls, and I think it's such a wonderful thing for them to have in their little memories. Our My Father's World lesson plans for this year include an introduction to classical music & orchestra instruments, so I figure between the two we are getting very well rounded music lessons.
This is our main read-aloud book that I am SO excited about. It's a great collection of classic literature, poetry and contemporary kids lit all grouped by "character" categories. We are all enjoying it.
One big switch we made this year was science. We've always studied science in a unit study kind of method. A couple weeks on planets, a couple weeks on oceans…this and that all year long with lots of random experiments thrown in. The kids always enjoyed it, and I know they learned things, but it always felt a little too hodge-podgey for my OCD personality.
This year we are trying out one of the Apologia Science texts. They take the approach of focusing on ONE topic for the entire year. The thing that really drew me to this is Miss A has developed a serious obsession with birds, and the first of their three year zoology series is all about birds. So it was just perfect. I already feel like we've learned so much, and the biggest shock of all… I am actually enjoying science time. This a new and very pleasant development in my life. Only took twenty-nine years to find out I could enjoy it!
So, these are all of the new things we're testing out this year. So far all of them are feeling like a good fit.
A couple of other things we really love…
I bought this Mighty Mind set for Miss A when she was about three, and it has been a great thing. All the girls enjoy it.
And the other favorite…
This GeoSafari belonged to my sisters and I when we were being homeschooled. Still works great and they think it's kind of like a video game so it's a great learning tool.
I love all of the fun things I get to explore and learn along with my girls as I teach them. I know homeschooling doesn't appeal to everyone, but for me it really is probably one of my most favorite things. I love it. I love getting to spend this time with them and watch them learn and share their excitement when we finally figure something out. I'm so thankful I get to do this. So thankful.
Posted in: Favorite Things, Homeschooling
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