Friday, April 11, 2014

Funeral Weekend

Life has been chaotic and busy here at my house with multiple ongoing home remodeling projects and getting close to the end of school.  We have a senior in HS and so we have stuff to do with that, and just plain life in general--like all of you.

I have some projects to post, but today I'll do something a little different.

Last weekend I flew to Utah for the funeral of my 94 yr. old grandmother on my mother's side.
Besides the fact that I left MN with 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground and 32 degrees to arrive in Utah with it being 60 and sunny, it was a lovely weekend and a great time to reflect on a life well lived, as well as the strength and blessing of good family ties.

All 23 Grandchildren of Leona Johnson (from 4 daughters)
First time we've ever had a picture of ALL of us at one time.
Ages range from 20 to 47 (yikes, that's me!)
Me and my siblings are the 6 on the right.

Emily and I will now tackle the task (slowly) of coming up with a memory quilt using her clothing.  When we did it for our other grandma it came together quickly. Emily knew right away how to use her clothing. This time around it might take us longer. Grandma J's style is so much different than Grandma F's that we'll have to think about it.  Guaranteed we'll post when we have a plan, but for now we're just going to enjoy the fact that we had a great weekend of family togetherness celebrating our lovely grandmother.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Boyfriend Scarf

As you've probably noticed I've been trying out different cabled scarf patterns.  I found this in a book from the library and then found it online.  I was originally going to make this scarf  and even started it, but it wasn't quite doing what the pattern intended.  I think for the yarn I was using it needed to have more than one stitch in between for the ribbing.  You just couldn't see any differentiation. So I found the Boyfriend Scarf instead and it does make me happy.

This scarf, with all the ribbing knitted into it, is rather thick and warm.

Daughter #2 has now put in her order of this scarf in burnt orange.

  • Find the pattern here online. Or it can be found in the book "Chic Knits" by Phuong My Ly, pg. 59.
  • I used Red Heart Soft Yarn in Grape, 2 skeins, for this scarf.
  • Repeated pattern 8 times plus the rounds of side cables (rows 4-12) before binding off.

This is one cycle of the pattern (rows 1-51)--approx. 9 inches long.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Life Skills---DIY style

Over the weekend we worked on the next step to get our kitchen dining ceiling completed.  Taping and mudding and sanding were on the agenda.

Hubby did most of it as he is more particular about it than I am, which is probably a good thing.  Our youngest daughter wanted a chance and so he taught her how to mud and let her do a portion too.  Shouldn't every 10 yr. old know how to mud?

Tape it all off from the rest of your house before sanding because it will be a huge mess.

Hubby in all his sanding glory.

Our next problem to solve is on the left---painted over avocado green enamel paint = peeled paint and new paint and tile that won't stick unless we prep it differently.  Another yuck job that has to be done.  We'll tackle that one too.  Thanks to The Home Depot paint guys for their heads up on what to do.  I'll tell you about it when we get there.

All mudded and sanded.  This alone makes me happier to look at it.  It is going to be awesome.
Next up some primer and paint--once we get the rest of the kitchen area ready to paint.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bye-bye popcorn

This past Saturday hubby and I hit it hard and got rid of the popcorn ceiling in our dining room.
What a big ol' pain!

There are always some surprises when you do remodels.  And once again we found out that the builders did not prime the ceiling before putting on the popcorn ceiling.  Before we did our main bathroom remodel we had removed the wallpaper which had been put directly onto unprimed sheetrock.  It just pulled pieces of sheetrock with it. Those brown spots below on the ceiling are beyond the paper of the sheet rock.

Thank goodness for mudding to cover up all that.

You can also see the regular ceiling of the kitchen side (towards the upper right of the pic), and the patch job of the ceiling where we removed the dividing wall some years ago.  It'll be nice to have it all done, albeit for someone else to enjoy more and longer than we will.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bring on the Ombre

Two of my three daughters are ALL about comfort first when it comes to their clothing.  If it doesn't feel right then forget how cute it is because it won't be happening.

My youngest always wants to "see" the fabric, which actually means she wants to touch and feel it first before she decides if she will wear it.

Recently I made her a fun ombre t-shirt dress for Spring and Summer.  She is getting taller and a good portion of the clothes we held onto from last year for this year will be heading to the giveaway pile because they are too short.

She informed me exactly how she wanted this dress.
White on top
Light blue in the middle
Dark blue on the bottom

Luckily I had all those pieces of knit in my stash.

Used pattern McCall's M6276--which is crazily already out of print.  I swear I just bought this pattern last year. I cut and determined the widths of each section.  You can do this with any good t-shirt pattern and adjust accordingly.

I am in the process of making a color blocked t-shirt dress for me.  Got sidelined a little in that process by house stuff over the weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Finds--Kwik Sew patterns purchase

Haven't posted a Friday Finds in quite some time.  Not that I haven't been scoping out the thrift store, but I just haven't posted about anything that I've come across.

Earlier this week I stopped by my favorite fabric store that is still in the process of going out of business.  I found some orange poly-knit that will match perfectly with a skirt that I made a long while ago, but haven't had anything other than a white tee to wear with it.

I also bought some Kwik Sew patterns for $3.60 apiece.  We all know they never go on sale more than half off so this was a nice deal.

Here's what I bought.

Kwik Sew 3633 Color blocked dress.

I could've just winged it to make this style, but I bought it in a moment of laziness of the brain.
I will probably make it exactly as is---white, pink, black.  I already have all those colors of knit.

Kwik Sew 3338--good basic t-shirt pattern.  I already have some patterns, but Kwik Sew seems to fit better than some of the other pattern companies I've bought from.

Kwik Sew 3489--good basic knit wrap dress.  Think Diane von Furstenberg style wrap dress.

Kwik Sew 3341--skirted tennis shorts.  I will end up using this as a basis for making skirted swim bottoms for me.

And finally, the craziest purchase I've made in awhile.
Kwik Sew 2881--men's swim bottoms
I've never made men's or boys' swimsuits.  You can buy them for so cheap it isn't worth the effort. However, our oldest son (12 yr. old) swam for the HS swim team this year and had a fabulous time.  They wear the swim jammers (black shorts above) all the time.  Those are not cheap--on sale maybe $25 if you're lucky. And then on Fridays....get ready for this---it's Speedo Friday.  My older 2 daughters just cringe at that thought but my son was so unhappy that he didn't have a Speedo to wear on Friday at practices.

Now we are all ready for next year.  I don't want to make them yet as he is growing like crazy, but he already has some swim fabric picked out from my stash for his Speedos---including a camo print and a gold sparkly piece so he can match the older guys who have their golden Speedos.

I just have to say that teenage boys are so different from teenage girls.
It has been awhile.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dressing for Spring---10 yr. old style

We aren't quite technically to Spring, but we're having a few Spring-like days here and there.  Last Sunday was one of those with almost 50 degree weather and barely a need for a coat even with the huge piles of snow everywhere.

What to wear, what to wear...

If you're 10 yrs. old this is what you wear.

A fun Spring tiered peasant skirt and short sleeve shirt, with your fuzzy boots.

It's all good.

Skirt pattern--Simplicity 4650 (old Lizzie McGuire pattern)
Shirt pattern--Simplicity 4565
Thrifted sheet.

We're ready for Spring to arrive permanently.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Flared Assymetrical Skirt

This is the second skirt daughter #1 has had out of this pattern.  She outgrew the first one (almost the exact same color) but loved it enough that she asked for another one.

It's a little tricky to lengthen this pattern, but we've done it.

The pattern is out of print, but I did see some on Etsy and ebay.
McCall's 4153
Asymmetrical cut and flared hemline.
No waistband--just a fitted waist and side zipper.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Knit Cable Scarf--version #2

Now I might be getting slightly cable crazy here and not just my daughter.
Maybe it is the stupidcold (all one word) we've been having continually too.  Two days of 40 degree weather thrown in was not enough and made the next round of stupidcold even worse than before.
But really, cables just look so pretty.

And this particular pattern gives you a slight herringbone or chevron look to your scarf.

Quick pic because it was so cold.
If we wait for warmer weather to take pics I may not be able to post until June.

If you didn't want the scarf as wide as the pattern indicates (approx. 8 inches) I would suggest you adjust the pattern to do the K1, P1 edges only 2 times and not 3.  And/or you could also decrease the K26, P26 down to 22 stitches and then repeat the CB4 and CF4 only 5 times instead of 6.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The house madness begins

Well, we met with our realtor and got down to business with him as what we could do or not do to get the amount of money out of our home that we want.  Talked about projected dates, etc. and now the craziness begins in full force.

First up is our master bathroom (1/4 bath).
We needed to remove the tile, which was PLASTIC by the way.  The kids got into it.  And in fact there might have been a little fighting over who got to do the demo.  Please, there are plenty of tiles for each of you to get rid of.

This daughter wanted us to take out the toilet and sink asap so she could take care of the rest.  O.K. not quite ready for that, but hopefully this next weekend we can have everything in order of what we plan for this space and knock it out.

This view is to determine what space is available for a built in vanity into the wall.  We did that in our main bath and it is so awesome to not have this cupboard or shelving sticking out.  Not sure what we'll do as the space available is only about 14 by 19 because of studs and plumbing, but we'll see.

The next couple weeks will probably be mainly posts about house stuff.  I do have other projects I have done or am working on, but really this should take top priority for the next while.  Hope I can stay focused.  I'd really rather be sewing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Braided Scarf

I made this scarf at least 2 years ago, but never blogged about it.  I think I was trying to decide if I actually liked it and would wear it.  Just this Winter I finally blocked it out and wore it.  I received some nice compliments on those days.  So I guess I should wear it a little bit more.

I can't remember what yarn I used for it.  But obviously I went 2-tone in greens.
Note:  After making a run to Jo-Ann's for something else, I think this yarn was Lion Brand Jiffy in Apple Green and Avocado..

The pattern is called "Braided Neckpiece" from this book, "Loop-d-Loop" by Teva Durham, pg. 118-119. You can also find in on Ravelry here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Knit Cable Scarf

I tried another cabled scarf pattern.
This one I happened to see on the skein of yarn itself while browsing the aisles at Michael's.

It worked up really pretty in my sunny yellow yarn.

A little close-up to show the detail of the pattern.
I really like this pattern.  It worked up fairly quickly for as much detail as it shows.

If you need a little cable knit abbreviation lesson this post is very helpful.  
Knitting Glossary includes some video instruction.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chunky Cabled Scarves

Daughter #1 has been slightly obsessed with cabled sweaters and would really like to make herself one.  We may do it down the road, but in the meantime we started with something slightly less intimidating and needing less yarn for her first cabled project--a scarf.

I've made cables before, and although they look difficult, it really just involves crossing some stitches as you knit.  And being able to read the pattern directions.  So together she and I each made the same scarf pattern so that I could talk her through hers (at least for the first couple cables) and then she could do it on her own. And I would end up with one too.

And then I made a couple more.....

Working with chunky yarn is a plus too.  Your project works up much quicker.

  • Pattern here free from JoAnn's. Shown L to R above
  • Blue one made from Loops and Threads Charisma color Royal 2 skeins
  • Finished dimensions after blocking 8 1/2 inches by 30 inches.  We only used a portion of the second one as daughter #2 wanted a shorter cowl version.  One alone wouldn't have been enough for a cowl however.
  • With the remainder of the blue I made only half of the width of the scarf until I ran out of yarn.  Daughter #3 got a little cabled scarf that measures 4 1/2 inches x 35 inches.
  • Tan one made from Lion Brand Hometown USA color Los Angeles Tan 2 skeins (or as Hubby said, "the color of their air.")
  • Finished dimensions after blocking 8 1/2 inches x 36 inches 

Monday, February 10, 2014

WHAT, swimsuits already?!

It isn't even Valentine's Day yet, but there are swimsuits in the stores ready for you to buy.  Not sure how well that will go over here in MN with our 40+ sub zero days so far this winter.  And 16 of them in row. Yikes! That isn't to say I couldn't think about warmer, sunnier weather, but it certainly isn't a reality for us here.

In the attempt to consolidate and eliminate stuff from my sewing room for an eventual move this summer, check out my Etsy shop for some swimsuit fabric and other items and FREE shipping through March 15.  It just needs to go--and I'm ready.  Items may be added in down the road too as I de-junk that horrible mess of a room that I call my space.

Blue Hawaii Floral Swimsuit FabricTurquoise & White Floral Swimsuit FabricWhite with Yellow and Pink Floral Swimsuit Fabric
Black and White Baby QuiltTote with Decorative Zippers--Pastel VersionChrysanthemum Hotpads--Pink Trio

Friday, February 7, 2014

One Pot Sweet Potato Chili

Tried this recipe for Sweet Potato Chili a couple weeks ago.  The recipe came in our little magazine from the health clinic.  Loved, loved, loved it!  We will definitely be making this again.

The lime juice and fresh cilantro make it AWESOME!

Case in point, one of my daughters tried my soup--all doctored up--then served herself some and told me that it wasn't as good.  Well, she hadn't added the yogurt or cilantro to it.

Recipe pdf. found HERE.

And just as good leftover as the day you make it.
Yummy served with corn or tortilla chips too.

Changes I made:
  • Doubled the recipe for our family.
  • Used 1 can each pinto and garbanzo beans, undrained, but they were my home canned jars and so they have less liquid than store bought cans.
  • Used 1-15 oz. can corn, drained
  • Did not double the red pepper (only because I forgot to buy 2 instead of 1)
  • Used plain yogurt.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Class Quilts 2014

Well, this may be my last year to put together class quilts with my kids and their classmates.  I've been doing it over the years to help with the school's annual fundraiser for the Spanish speaking T.A.s.  Since we plan on moving before the beginning of the next school year this may be it for this particular project.

I tried to change it up a bit this year with a different-ish block pattern that I haven't done before with the kids. I am pleased with the results.

1st grade quilt--with the corner blocks made by my youngest two.

5th grade quilt

Doing their best to look good.

And how 5th graders really act at the end of the day....

A couple close ups of the blocks and the quilting

Back and binding of the 5th grade quilt.

Bonus for me--I thought the auction was in February and have been hustling a bit to get them completed.  But it is going to be in April this year.  Woohoo! I am ahead of the game.  And I just dropped them off at school this morning.  Forgot to measure them before doing that, but they are large enough to cover me up.

Great job kids!  Thanks for all your creativity!

Linked up to Finish It Up Friday at CrazyMomQuilts

Previous Quilts
5th Grade 2011-2012
Kindergarten Handprints 2011-2012
3rd Grade Self-Portraits 2011-2012
1st and 5th Grades 2009-2010

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trip to Nebraska and Mom's "Christ"-mas tree

The kids and I road tripped down to Nebraska for a long weekend last weekend to visit my parents for my dad's 75th birthday.  The kids had both Monday and Tuesday off of school (and we're off AGAIN today for extreme windchill weather---please make it stop!)  It was a nice trip and good to get away.  We even enjoyed a 58 degree day one day while we were there.  Sure beats our -20 degree wake up this morning.

My mom left her Christmas tree up so that I could see how she put it together after I had sent her new Christ ornaments for her birthday last year.

One dove on the tree to represent the Holy Ghost at Jesus' baptism

Angels bought at Michael's
Love her cluster lights that she's had for years
The white lights represent Christ being the light of the world

Two different red ball ornaments to represent the drops of blood shed by Jesus.
I think she found these filigree balls at Michael's too.

Biblical Names of Christ Ornament Set bought at Deseret Book


We also discovered Baker's Candies in Greenwood, NE., famous for their chocolate meltaways.  Yep, they're good!  Thanks Mom for sending us home with a couple bags.
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