November 29, 2012
We have been going non-stop for the last week and a half. And of course, we're not done. A full weekend awaits us.
But I had to squeeze in a minute to share my current happiness….
Last November some plum colored yarn caught my eye and I started a project.
Now, a year later, it's finished!
With a crochet hook and the simple ripple pattern I learned for a friend's baby blanket, I jumped into a project that was just for me.
I seldom make things that are only for myself. But for some reason I found myself longing for a project that was just mine.
The pattern was set, but I let go of all planning from there. One color at a time, I selected whatever looked pretty to me that day. I wanted to make something just for the fun of making it and not be tied down to following too many rules.
The only rule was color. You know I've grown more fond of color in the last few years.
Each color in the blanket became a marker of one whim after another. Looking at them all as they accumulated, I started seeing pieces of my life.
I remember watching a movie with my sister during the purple.
Visiting a far away friend while working on the tan.
Episodes of Andy Griffith and Leave it to Beaver with my girls are in the blue and the green.
Sitting on a familiar couch sharing secrets while working through the pink.
Night after night sitting in bed next to my husband, watching silly sitcom reruns. Sometimes weekly visits to Hobby Lobby to search out my next color.
A year later I've discovered the joy and satisfaction of giving time to the creating of something. Watching it grow and then come to completion and ending up with a treasure to enjoy that is so much more than a simple blanket.
Though the color choices were random, there was and underlying goal.
I wanted something tangible to represent the truth I've been working at taking in for some time.
The truth that the unplanned and unexpected, the detours from what would seem preferable, the jumbled up and making no sense kinds of pieces…. when they all get put together, they can be beautiful.
Not a perfect kind of beautiful. But maybe a better kind.
At the end I bound all the edges together with a simple ivory border. With that a bunch of random colors turned into one.
Much like life. The pieces laid out one at a time, side by side don't always look quite like we want them to. But in the end it won't be a bunch of broken up pieces. Somehow it will all fit together. And I'm confident that it will be beautiful.
I'm calling it my "Winter Rainbow".
It's not perfect. I find myself wondering if it was a mistake to let it be random.
But really I don't think so. I like looking at and being reminded that beautiful is never dependent on perfect.
Posted in: About Me, Homemade, Life
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June 13, 2012
One of the things I always love about summer is the open time that becomes available for things we love but don't normally get to do.
Any type of craftiness definitely falls into that category.
Last summer we sporadically fit in some sewing and crafting time.
This year I've decided to designate a set day of the week for this purpose.
Here's the projects from our first two weeks.
Curious George "toys". We cut all the images out of a friend's old scrub shirt. The girls helped sew them on the machine, stuff them, and then sew them by hand.
George has been a big obsession around here lately, so when my friend offered me the shirt I knew we could find something to do with it.
This week we made new clothespin girls, to be companions for the ones we created last year. This is a lot of the girls' instruction coupled with my construction. I don't really feel I can leave them on their own to figure out this sort of thing since our main tool for the task is a hot glue gun. So at the end of the day, I was the only one with blistered fingers!
A couple of my thoughts on crafting with my girls:
We almost exclusively use leftover/scrap/handed down supplies for their projects. This helps me be relaxed about the outcome of it, and also makes it feel more reasonable to make things on a regular basis.
Also, most of you know I'm not a fan of excess clutter. The reason I can enjoy making this sort of thing with my girls is because they play with all of it. A lot. And by the time they're tired of playing with it, it's usually about ready to be tossed anyway.
What do you like to do during the summer that you can't get to during the school year?
Posted in: For Fun, Homemade, Sewing
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July 12, 2011
With formal lessons out of the way for a couple of months, the schoolroom table has become home to a favorite companion of mine.
It's been so nice to have the sewing machine out where I can just stop and use it a few minutes here and there. Normally it has to be stored when not in use because we just don't have the extra space for it to sit out all the time.
With it so readily available, it's been getting lots of use. I find simple, uncomplicated sewing to be a wonderful "break" in my day.
Of course I already showed our collaborative summer sewing project here.
I've been able to completely take care of a pile of clothes mending and altering that had been sitting for months. Yay for that!
I've also done a bit of what I call "just make up whatever you want" sewing. I spent some time recently with a friend who operates an etsy shop where everything is made out of used materials and it left me feeling motivated to consider what I might be able to create out of things we just aren't using anymore.
First I made my baby a headband out of one of her old shirts. The flower was decoration on the shirt and I just couldn't bear to throw it away even after the shirt got holes. This was super fast and easy…maybe a ten minute project. I just love it!
Next I made bandana style headbands for all of us out of random fabric scraps. Another simple and fast project.
For the big girl I whipped up an around the house/play dress out of two of Hombre's old shirts. She loves it, it's super comfy, and cute in a very funny way. To be honest it doesn't look exactly how I pictured it. But it was ten minutes of just snip and sew and see what we end up with. I figure any dress that takes ten minutes start to finish is awesome.
And last, to please my fancy girl, I took some excess dress up clothes and trimmed them down to fit the dolls. Again, so fast and easy and all the girls are thrilled with this addition to the doll wardrobe.
I know this is all super basic stuff, but it's been fun and gives us all something "new" to be excited about without spending a penny.
Have you been doing any sewing this summer?
Posted in: Homemade, Sewing
1 Friendly Note
July 2, 2011
Well, we got up at 4 o'clock this morning to try to ensure good seats at our local 4th of July parade.
Mission accomplished. Of course now I am so exhausted I'm having a hard time mustering the strength to even type.
But I wanted to share the fun new stuff that was made for my girls this week so they can look exciting in their red, white and blue. (Remember my obsession with that?)
Their sweet new shirts came from Grammy (that would by my mother), who got her inspiration here.
Fun huh? I love the simplicity of them. And you can bet I will be requiring at least a dozen photos of my girls in them before I let them run off to be stained by grass, dirt, watermelon and who knows what else.
My inspiration came from here, and with Grammy's leftovers I was able to create (in less than a half hour total) the perfect matching accents.
I was afraid these were going to be complicated, but honestly they were so simple. I just love them and will probably need to make more in some non-holiday colors. Such a fun change from all the bows and flowers.
Oh, and I have one more great link for you. This kept my three children plus my dearest friend's three children happily occupied this morning while we waited for the parade to start. I of course opted for markers over paint, but it was still a big hit.
I'll be back to share more about our patriotic festivities soon. For now, I need a nap!
Tell me, what are your fun activities this holiday weekend?
Posted in: Holidays, Homemade
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