Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Masterpieces: Her first sewn pillow

As many of you with small children know, they want to do everything you do normally!  I was recently handed down a sewing machine and I couldn't be more excited about it...and now so is Miss Carmen.  With my sister's help, I was able to figure out the new machine as well as teach Carmen how to sew. 

The first night we just let her sew on some scraps of yarn but she wanted to make something.  We decided that a small pillow would be a good way to start.  The first step was to shop for the fabric and she of course picked princess themed fabric.  Then I washed the fabric and my sister came over and taught her what to do.

She seemed to have a good time with sewing the pillow.  Our table is a counter height table so we had to get creative with how to set her up to sew but it worked out.  She is never left alone with the sewing machine on and I think I might get her some gloves so that she doesn't get poked by the needle.  I'm so glad she likes to craft and looking forward to teaching her how to make lots more things!
And another fun part...the stuffing!

Some day we'll tackle knitting but for now she's just happy with her pillow!  Her Aunt G also sewed one for Ria so they both have matching little pillows.

Happy Sewing!

What age did you learn to sew or knit?  Have you taught your children how?  What trick do you have to teach a 4 year old how to knit?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Embracing the Christmas season early!

As I mentioned before, my favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I know most people think that Christmas season shouldn't start until the day after Thanksgiving but I don't quite follow that.  I listen to Christmas music all year long if I'm doing something like dishes or cleaning where I need a pick me up.  It's my happy place music!  And this year for the first time, I have put up our Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving and I am very happy about it.  It might just be a new tradition in our house. 

Saturday during Ria's nap, Carmen and I decorated the bigger tree!  She was so excited about the lights and checked out every ornament!  It was so much fun to tell her about each one and show her the ones she made last year for our tree.
After Ria woke up from her nap, I had wrapped two new ornaments for them to open and put on the tree. I don't have close ups but Carmen got Elsa and Ria got Anna from Frozen. Yes, if you notice my stocking is not completed yet!  It's in a project bag and about 2/3rds done.  I actually decided last night that I was going to put away the hitofude cardigan I've been working on and finish up the stocking first before I go back to knitting on the cardigan.  I also have a secret project I'm knitting for the girls that I'm very excited about and will share with you as soon as I'm done!  I'm almost 50% done with it.
My step-sister came over after we were done with the tree and helped me and Carmen with some crafts during Ria's nap!  I found two pins on pinterest that I wanted to do this year.  First was the ornament wreath seen below and pin found here.  To make this, we took all the ornaments that I bought at the dollar tree and hot glued the tops to them.  Then we strung them on a wire hanger and closed up the wire hanger and hung it up.  The burlap garland I made using this pin and hot glued the ornaments on to it.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this came out and it makes me so happy to see it!
I love how it looks from my kitchen too!  I was cooking dinner and was just so happy to see it!  I also hung up some new pictures in the corner there too!  We are repainting the living room and changing out those curtains in the new year but I couldn't wait any longer to put some stuff up.  You can also see my small nativity scene in this picture.  I still haven't found a safe place for my willow tree nativity scene but some day it will come back out.

One of the crafts I did last year was this nativity scene that my sister printed and laminated for me!  I put magnets on the back and Carmen loved playing with it last year.  This year it's been a bit hit too!  The pin for that can be found here so you can print your own.

After a busy day of crafting, cleaning, and toddler/child wrangling, I was so happy to sit with some hot cocoa, my knitting, and Love Actually with all the Christmas decorations up!  It was so nice to get some time to enjoy it at the end of a busy day!
I hope you enjoyed my Christmas decorations!  I have some more ideas but most are going to have to wait until next year.  There is one more decoration I have left to finish that is already half way completed and then I'm getting back to knitting and baking!

Happy Christmas Decorating!!!

When do you plan to put up your decorations?  Have you already?  Any new decorations you have for this year?

Friday, November 21, 2014

This moment - teach them young.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama.  A single photo(or several) – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sock Masterpieces and a published pattern.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there has been knitting and quite a bit of it.  Masterpieces are what we call finished objects in our podcast and so I figured I'd start with the socks I've finished so far.  I had planned to knit a pair a month but as usually life happens.  I did get I think 8 pair this year so that's a good number.

Recently, I taught my first toe-up sock knitting class at my local yarn store Stash - a place for yarn.  I was so nervous before the class because I had never taught a technique class.  I've taught plenty of people how to knit but never has someone paid me to teach them.  Yes, I was a middle school teacher for 3 years, so not saying I haven't been paid to teach but not paid to teach outside of that.  Anyway, the class went really well!  I got some great feedback and we've already scheduled my next teaching gig at the shop! 

While I was planning for the class, I decided that I really wanted them to leave the class with a pattern for the socks.  During the class we created tiny socks but here is a download link for you for the adult size socks that I published.  The socks have links to YouTube video tutorials within the pattern for your reference.  Since this is the pattern I have been using most lately, I had plenty of test knits for it!  Below are the 2 that I used as a reference to create this pattern.

Project details
Pattern: One More Row socks by Natalie Rush
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks Ragg Shades in the blue stripped Ragg colorway
Cast on date: June 9th, 2014
Finished date: August 13th, 2014
Notes: I love this colorway!  These were the 2nd of this colorway that I knit because I put the heel in the wrong place the first time but those first sock now live with my niece SurferGirl.  She has bigger feet than I do so it worked out perfectly!  I just got a picture of her wearing them and there is nothing that I love more than getting pictures of my hand knits in use!


Project details
Pattern: One More Row socks by Natalie Rush
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Socks Ragg Shades in the Grey Brown Marl colowary
Cast on date: August 13th, 2014
Finished date: August 25th, 2014
Notes: I cast these on the night I finished the previous pair.  Always socks on the needles, always!  These were knit during the time I was waiting for my surgery date, waiting to go into surgery, and while I recovered.  They came out so well and are so warm and comfy!  They were perfect to knit during a very stressful time in my life.

Happy Sock Knitting!! 

What is your go to sock pattern?  Please let me know if you use this pattern and you have any questions about it. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Currently: my blogging voice, family, knitting, holidays

Hi long lost bloggy friends!  I miss you all and I miss this space.  Some how over the last couple months I have lost my blogging voice and I'm not sure how to get it back.  I can't tell you how many times I've sat down to write a blog post and just get lost.  It always comes back to where do I start and what do I say.  I've been blogging at this space for over 7 years and in that time I've had one podcast, which has been put to rest, and now doing another.  I realize this space isn't the same as my podcast but for some reason I can't figure out what I want this space to be.  As I work this all out, I still want to share what's going on in my life as I always have.  So today we are going to start with a Currently post.  Hope you enjoy!

Currently:

I'm FRUSTRATED with my lack of voice on this blog.  As my life has changed, this blog has changed and I love going back and reading old post about what I was focusing on or thinking about.  I don't want to let this space go quite yet. I need to turn the frustration into planning and organizing the blog posts that are swirling around my brain.

I'm RELIEVED that my girls, hubby, and I have been managing our newish schedule well.  The change happened over 90 days ago and I don't really want to share lots of details but my hubby got a different job with different hours. This change has changed everything about our work week so it was a bit of a transition.  I was happy for my husband because the job change is so good for him but at the start I was very stressed about how it would effect our family.  We've had some difficult times of lack of sleep but overall I think everyone is doing well with the it.

I'm THANKFUL for my local family, who always steps in to help whenever we need them.  When our schedule first changed, I had to have surgery but it was not the greatest timing.  My family was very supportive of me getting the surgery as soon as possible as the doctors were suggesting and they all pulled together and helped me in every way they could.  Without them there, I'm not sure it would have gone as smoothly nor would I have healed as well.
I'm DELIGHTED that I have been able to knit quite a bit lately.  I don't feel like I've had all that much progress because of the lack of finished objects but I have actually been getting a lot done!  As I've said many times, knitting is my therapy and my mind is a better place when I have time to knit.  I have some very pretty things to share with you all soon!!
I'm EAGER to start decorating my home for CHRISTmas this weekend!  I love our home with the Christmas tree lit and my nativity scenes out.  It just makes our home feel so warm and full of holiday cheer!  We won't be in town for the week of Christmas this year but my sister is going to be staying at the house for the week with the pups!  I figured why not get my Christmas decorations up early so we can enjoy them longer and she will then get to enjoy them the week she's staying at the house.  My sister's family across the street will also get to enjoy our outdoor lights so it's worth it.   Picture is from last year.
I'm BEWILDERED how my first daughter is about to turn 4 on Dec 1st!  How is she already 4?  The time has flown by but she is just blossomed into this smart, kind, and loving child that fills this mama with pride!  I can't wait to celebrate her birthday with our family and friends on Dec 6th!  Someone got her a pretty awesome experience gift for the following day that I can't wait to experience with her!!!
I'm EXCITED about all that is coming in the next couple weeks.  My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I love spending time with family and give me a turkey dinner and this momma is happy!  I also love Christmas traditions!  This year we are road tripping up to spend the week with Special K's family and I'm so excited about it!  We haven't been up there in 2 years and I am looking forward to the girls getting time with their cousins, Grandma, Aunt, Graunt, and more! I can't wait for them to all meet Miss Maria and get to know her.  Will be an adventure as it's our first LONG road trip with them but I'm so very excited! 
 
I feel LOVED.  With our new schedule, my husband and I don't have lots of time together but the time we do have is spent focusing on family and quality time.  I'm so grateful for everything he does every day for our family.  He works so hard and loves us so much.  I can't express how much he means to me but I look forward to celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary next month and many many more in the future.

Thank you for reading!

How are you currently feeling?