Happyfull, that peaceful place between wanting more and having too much.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quilt top reveal...

The first of the two "Baby Clothes" quilt tops is finished.  
I hesitate to show you photos because a quilt top is only really half, or maybe a third of a quilt...it certainly doesn't tell the whole story or compare to the finished product.
But this one is just too fun not to show...
I used snuggly white flannel between the colorful blocks so the quilt will be extra nice to curl up with.
I chose to applique the boy's initials on some of the white squares using smaller scraps of fabric...this way he'll definitely know which quilt is his!
It's windy and cool today in Minnesota so these were the best photos I could get...
just wait til the whole thing is done...this baby is going to be precious.

Here's to you, my sweet girl

I'll be honest, this has been a hard week with my daughter.  
I've had a lot of extra "life stresses" that have eaten up some a lot of the energy usually reserved for Patient Parenting.  
In it's place there has been much Frustrated, Disappointed, and Exasperated Parenting on my part...and that's never helpful to anyone.
So this morning I'm going to take a deep breath, forgive myself for my imperfections, and try harder to be the best mom that I can be.

Today I am thankful that even when I'm grouchy faced mom, my sweet daughter loves me...and gives me more chances.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspiring first grade readers

My son's first grade teacher (whom I adore) asked me to help her jazz up a little reading nook in her classroom.  It's an area that's been created with movable walls (like the ones used in cubicles) where the kids can sit and read.  

My plan was to make a curtain/wall hanging thing to cover one of the walls that would be colorful and inviting...and maybe inspire the kids to read...:)

I started by measuring the wall, and cutting a piece of light blue felt to fit:

Then I added some ribbon to the bottom to add weight so it would hang nicely...I added a second row of trim too but didn't photograph it, maybe you'll be able to see it in the finished product photo:

I wanted there to be something to read on the banner/wall hanging...
I researched reading related quotes but didn't want it to be too cliche, so I chose to just use some basic words...


Using fusible web, I cut out the letters for each of the words, positioned them on the banner, ironed, and then zig zagged around them with my sewing machine...

I couldn't help myself from adding some big button "periods" too.

And here is how it looks in the classroom...
It fits perfectly and looks really nice.  It's just what that drab corner needed.
Some of the kids were very excited about it when I put it up...and the teacher liked it a lot, too...:)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Embrace the camera. weekday morning edition

Embrace the Camera...inspired by Emily at the Anderson Crew

I'm not sure why I decided to attempt a photo session with the kids this morning.

It started out as a bribe..."whoever gets dressed and has their teeth brushed gets to take some photos with mom..."
As soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized that they had sounded about as cool as offering up carrot sticks as an after dinner treat.

But, the kids played along anyway...

and then they had to get the dogs involved...

and then it started to get a little crazy...
but in a good way.

And then it just fell apart...

and I was very glad to be able to drop them off at school.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Here's to you, my sweet girl...

Mornings can be hard around here.  Soleil can have a hard time waking up and when she does often we're greeted with a mixture of hyperactivity and grouchiness.  
Sometimes there is screaming, door slamming, and tears...often times there are multiple outfit changes and tantrums over things not feeling quite right (socks, underwear, ponytails).
And then there is the daily fight over taking her medicine...and the Inspector Gadget routine that I have to do to be sure that she actually took the medicine and didn't just hide it somewhere.
Just getting everyone dressed, fed, and out the door can leave me feeling like I need a nap.

But then there is a morning like this one.  
And I'm reminded of all the sweetness inside my daughter...
and the gentle love that she shows all of us.

Today I am grateful for this...
Before I even came downstairs, Soleil had quietly accessorized Toni with a pink bow.

Thank you Soleil for reminding me that small acts of love can speak louder than morning grouchiness...
and that it isn't always about following a routine and getting places on time...that love and family don't always fit into my ideal Type A mold...and that your free spirit is truly a blessing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hang with me...please

I haven't posted in a few days, I've been a little preoccupied with family things.  
But please don't go away!  Just hang in there a little longer...
(the following photo has nothing to do with this post...I just couldn't NOT include a photo)

I'm making lots of progress on my Baby Clothes Quilt and I've done a few Home Decorating projects.
It's all coming...soon.

I promise.

I've been thinking a lot about Fall Decorating lately.  Mums, pumpkins, apples, etc.
Have you?  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Embrace the camera.

Embrace the camera.  
Purposely put yourself IN FRONT of the camera.  
Create visual memories with your children.
Inspired by:

I've been off on a flea market (Junk Bonanza) adventure this week...so I'm giving you a photo of Soleil and me from this past winter.
Soleil's sweet face and the sparkle in her eyes...awww, it makes my heart warm.
I'm so happy to be home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What I've been working on. Progress.

I've made some progress on the quilt that I'm making out of baby clothes.  Wanna see?

After A LOT of research on how to best stabilize all of the knit fabrics, I decided to use a fusible sheerweight interfacing.  Here's how I did it...

*Keep in mind that I have decided that the finished quilt blocks will be 8 inches square, 
so I will be cutting 
8 1/2" squares to accommodate for seam allowance*

After carefully seam-ripping each onsie/shirt/sleeper (in this case a shirt) apart, I placed it right side down on my ironing board and ironed it flat.  Then I placed a 9" square (approximate) of the fusible interfacing, bumpy side down, on the shirt.

I affixed the interfacing to the shirt using a wet pressing cloth and a hot, steamy iron (FYI, fusible interfacing comes with great instructions).

Then I flipped the shirt over and using my 8 1/2" square ruler cut out a perfect, stabilized square.
Here's an action shot...

Now, that stack of baby clothes = 44 squares!

Here is one of my favorites:

What's next?  Cutting out the 44 squares of white flannel that will go in between these beauties!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Princess

Few things get me as excited as a good silent auction.  Silent auction + drinks = good time for Ruth.  Often if the drinks are especially accessible, I bid on quite a lot and forget about things like budgets.  

Such was the case last winter at an event benefiting a family challenged by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

But this time I won something good.  Really good.

I won the opportunity for my daughter to be a Princess for a Day

And today was her day.  
She was an Honorary Princess with the St. Paul Winter Carnival Royal Family and had the opportunity to have breakfast with the Royal family, was officially "Knighted" by the King, and rode in a parade alongside the Queen of Snows.

  I was so proud of her...and happy for her.  She did a fantastic job.  And was a perfect princess.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Embrace the camera: First day of school.

(The following text came from her blog):

so, have you ever embraced the camera?  if you haven't, why not?
it's important for your kids/family members/etc. to have memories of YOU.  one day, you won't be around, and all they will have are those 2 pictures you let someone take of you at christmas time.
stop messing around and make some memories...and capture those memories...with YOU IN THEM.
it's that important.

We're looking a little intense in this photo.  I guess we're still working towards "embracing" the camera.

This was breakfast this morning at our house.  My kids were fueling up for their first day of school.  Shore is now a First Grader and Soleil is in Third Grade.  
They were ready...and so was I.
Bye-Bye summer!!!

*OMG, I just noticed that there are PAPER TOWELS in this photo!!!  They were left over from our cabin vacation...I promise! 
Don't hate.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What I've been working on

Have you been wondering where the crafty posts had gone?  
I kind of was too. 
Actually, I've been working on something that I needed permission to show you...and the permission giver had been out of town.
But permission has now been granted and I'm gonna start showing...

I have been hired to make TWO twin sized quilts (yay)...but get this, they're going to be made out of baby clothes!  Is this a phenomenal idea or what?  This incredible mom saved her two sons' baby clothes and is trusting me to turn them into quilts.  

This last week has been "fabric prep" week.  I've been seam ripping all of the adorable little onsies and sleepers in an attempt to maximize fabric.  And researching the best way to stabilize all these soft cuddly knits.

I've loved touching and examining each and every one of these garments.  I've daydreamed about my client holding, rocking, and feeding her little boy...getting to know and falling in love with this new little person.
It's made me think a lot about my own babies and those years of rocking chairs, instinctive bouncing, and middle of the night meals. 

I've been given full creative freedom with these quilts...but I'm going to keep things simple.  The clothes are the main attraction.  
I'm thinking a patchwork design using 8" finished squares.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Embrace the camera. Saturday morning edition.

Inspired by the Anderson Crew here is my Embrace the Camera entry.  I'm calling this "Saturday Morning Edition"...I'm extra crusty and unwashed but it's oh so real.  
I was going to crop, blurr, sepia tone these bad boys all up...but instead, I'm just giving them to you raw, and in their original state.  We're embracing the camera here, right?!?
I adore this family of mine.
may The Force be with you...
today and every day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here's to you, my sweet girl...

Soleil is fearless and will try anything.  Her body may be tiny, but she has the courage of a giant.  I have always been enamored by her willingness to put herself out there and try something new. After not being able to hoola hoop at her kindergarten Sock Hop she taught herself, practiced all year, and won the hoola hoop contest in first grade.  Then she won it again in 2nd.  
This last week, while at the cabin, she was determined to paddle board.  When we explained that she was too young/little to paddle board on her own on such a big/deep lake she agreed to go out with an adult.
But then she insisted that she be the one paddling.
She's my WonderGirl.

Today I am grateful for Soleil's nerves of steel.  I'm convinced that if she puts her mind to it, she truly can do anything.