Sunday, September 25

Sewing for Smiles

Eva has a hard time buying knit pants that are long enough and skinny enough. I made these from an old Stretch N' Sew pattern from the early 80's.
Leah has a new dress to grow into! It turned out just a little big. The fabric matches one of the doll dresses we made her. The pattern is Simplicity 2689. I added the pink band at the bottom. The best part of the this dress is it has no zipper or buttons. Easy to pull on and comfy to wear.

Saturday, September 24

Balloon Glow

Our first balloon glow was super.
The weather was perfect.
We arrived a bit early.  Staked our our spot.
Which was behind these awesome lawn chairs.
 There was cotton candy and roasted corn on the cob. 
Then, the first balloon appeared over the horizon.

 The sun started setting and the glowing began.

Hydrangea Harvest

We have a 30 foot hedge of hydrangeas. I have cut and hung a few of the last blooms.

Hopefully they will dry nicely and we can enjoy the memory of summer throughout the dark wet winter that is to come.

Friday, September 23

Showers and Birthdays

It's been hard to get back in to the swing of sewing since our move, but it's coming back to me... slowly.
We've had a handful of parties in the last few weeks, which has helped.

I went to a shower for a friend who's expecting her first in a few short weeks.  She is a musician and I thought she might enjoy one of our family's favorite books, "Animal Orchestra". 


I also made a thin, knit blanket. 
And a wipes & diaper pouch.

One of Henry's cute friends turned four.  She is the girliest-girl and just darling.  So, Henry and I made a skirt for her together.  He insisted on pink and purple and loved sitting on my lap, guiding the fabric through the machine.  If there are any mistakes, I'm totally blaming him. 

Monday, September 19

Table Top Makeover

We found this table in our attic, five years ago, when we bought our house.  It had seen better days.  The veneer was warped, broken and stained from water damage, but I thought the metal legs were pretty cool and it was just too solid of a table to throw away-- it is surprisingly heavy.  We moved it out to our shed and there it sat until recently...

Our new place is great, but there isn't much room for my big sewing amoire.  Needing a place to rest my sewing machine was the motivation I needed to finally refinish our attic find and make it useful once more.
My father-in-law took the legs off, sanded the whole thing down and replaced the old screws that were holding the legs on.  
I know.  I'm super lucky.

I decoupaged paper to the top and now I have a clean, smooth, sturdy surface where I can sew my heart out!

Sunday, September 18

Cheapest Dog House on the Block

 Our puppy chews.  A lot.  He's chewed up shoes, a door mat, feather pillows, stuffed animals, dish cloths, toilet paper, bath towels, computer cords, clothes, cell phone chargers, and a tennis ball, to name a few.  He's chewed holes in my four-year old's pants, while the four-year old was in them.  When we first got him, we bought a plastic dog crate, to crate train him, but he chewed the hinges off.  People say dogs out grow this stage.  
I'm hoping they are right.

Since our mini-move, Mochi has been happily playing in our country back yard and sleeping on our deck.  But, the weather is getting colder and wetter and the puppy needs some shelter.  I've scoured Craigslist for a used dog house with little luck.  I just can't bring myself to fork out more money on something he's going to destroy.
So, Billy came up with a great idea: turn a storage tote into a dog house.  

We bough an 18qt storage box for less than $6 at Target, turned it upside down and traced a hole for the door.

   Billy used a box cutter to cut it out.  

 We snapped the lid on, turned the tote upside down, and put sealant in between the box and the lid, all the way around.

Next, Billy used sealant to attach a spare lid to the top, for a little added rain protection.

Ta-Da!  A dog house!  And I don't care if the dog chews it up, because it was only $6!

Friday, September 16

12 Squared: September Square

This month's quilting bee block is called Cobblestones and Bricks.  Mine is a little unbalanced looking and I'm trying to mentally rearrange the fabrics to look less... party on the left and business on the right.
Maybe I just need to switch out a print, but which one?
Any suggestions?

Monday, September 12

Home Made Energy Bars

My husband likes to keep a stash of expensive energy bars for a quick breakfast on the run or snack in between assignments at work. So I decided to see what I could make to help with the grocery bill! After studying recipes on the internet this is what I made this morning! I think they are tastier than those Odwalla Bars! And much less expensive!

Janene's Homemade Energy Bars

1 1/2 c. granola
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins or other chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup coconut
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses or honey
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9X13 pan with parchment paper and coat with vegetable oil spray. Combine all wet ingredients in mixing bowl and add dry ingredients till evenly mixed.
Press dough evenly into pan. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Saturday, September 3

Highlights of Los Angeles

Forget movie stars, Dodgers, surfers and taro card readers! For me L.A. is all about 3 amazing grandchildren!
Hunting for wildlife in the Malibou tide pools.
Seeing how close we could get to a rather tame pelican!
Messing up mom's clean kitchen with our cookie dough!
Listening/watching Fiddler on the Roof while decorating cookies! Tradition!
Giggles at bedtime!

Doll Clothes for Leah

My 6 year old grand daughter loves her dolls. During my visit we made them a few outfits
This two piece dress is a blouse and skirt made from McCall's Crafts Pattern # 2506. Added a ruffle to the skirt and made the blouse without the collar and we the shortened sleeves. Two fabric circles and a button serve as a flower embellishment tacked onto the waist.

Leah can mix and match with these two tops, two skirts and pink pants. From same pattern as above. To the top on the left I added a ruffle on the bottom. Both tops have velcro closures.
Leah dresses her dolls consistently each day and night. She is a good "mom" to her girls!
Coming soon! A dress for Leah from the fabric on the left, so she can match too!