Monday, May 30, 2011

Handmade Home Sewing

I really hadn't planned on doing any more sewing before the baby came, but after not making anything for a couple of weeks, I was anxious to do something. So a few projects were in order.

All of these patterns came from, or were at least based on, projects in Handmade Home by Amanda Soule, which, after making these things, has officially become my most-used sewing book!

After making some of the hot pads at Christmas time, and keeping one for myself, it has become my all-time favorite pot holder to use. I really wanted to make some more, but since I really didn't need any more pot holders, I resisted...until I remembered that I had a couple that were quite worn out. I decided that by using these old pot holders to make the new ones, I would not only save these ones from the trash, but I'd be able to save the batting for other projects!

I am so excited to have more of these to use - and I love that I was able to use something old to do it!

These are my version of the rag bag - made a little differently from the ones in the book. Hanging from a hook in my linen closet, these look much better than the plastic grocery bags I was using to corral the holey socks and pieces of old t-shirts that I use for messy cleaning jobs.

The Broadturn Bag - I've been wanting to try this pattern for a while, and I like how it turned out. It was a fun change from the typical tote bags I usually make, and I'll be trying it out today when I go grocery shopping!

This project will probably be in the works for a while - the start of a rag rug. I had a couple of old sheets and an old tablecloth to use, and I was about to use scissors to cut them all into strips when I realized that I could tear them instead. That was a huge timesaver! I think these three things might be enough to make a whole rug. Right now I'm in the middle of the long and tedious job of ironing the raw edges in, which is the part that will probably hold me up!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Freezer Food

I don't know how many times I have been thankful for the little chest freezer we purchased last year. Sitting in our dining area, it might not add to the aesthetics of our home, but it has, many times, made life easier for me and saved us money! I've been filling it up over the last month with food to be used after the baby is born.

I haven't made too many main dishes, but I have lots of partial meals and baked goods made up. With hamburger and hot dog buns, tortillas, English muffins, pizza crusts, cookie dough, muffins and waffles, plus things like black and refried beans, chili, and a few other things, I should be able to keep our meals quick and simple. And I'm very thankful for that!

Simple Syrup

On a whim, I gave Seth a French press for Christmas, thinking he could make his daily coffee himself, quickly and simply. Thankfully, he loves it and uses it almost every day. We have been buying flavored syrup for his coffee, but then came across this simple recipe for making our own. He likes vanilla flavor, so I added a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Seth says that his coffee tastes just as good as it did with the purchased syrup. I love that it is super quick and easy, all natural (and no corn syrup!), and less expensive. And it always makes me feel so good to be able to make something myself!

Making Room for Baby

When we found out a few months ago that Seth would be attending grad school nearby, it was our hope to be moved and settled before the baby came. But that hasn't worked out, and though we still plan to move soon, we had to make some room for the baby in the meantime.
I've been doing some purging, organizing, and rearranging. We got rid of the organ that was rarely used, and I made that spot into the kids' play nook. It needs some cute decorations on the wall, but that will probably wait for now. Moving their things means most of the mess is contained to one area, and also gave me a little spot to put the infant seat.

Still waiting for the oven door to go back on - hopefully that will happen later today! =)

I rearranged some of the kids' clothes to make some room for baby clothes, and got the Moses basket all washed up. Fortunately, that's small, so I can easily tuck it just about anywhere - and move it as I need to.

With the bed, clothes, burp rags and diapers all washed up, I think we're ready!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


We were incredibly blessed last night when the home group we've been attending threw a surprise baby shower for me! We've only gone to the home group for a couple of months now, so I wasn't expecting anything like this and was completely blown away!
Seth, who was in on the surprise, was asked for ideas and he told them practical things, and maybe some Seventh Generation diapers.

And practical they were!

They gave us enough diapers and wipes to last about a month (and as much as I love cloth, that will be very helpful), and even some for Joanna! Plus lots of baby shampoo and lotion (I guess hearing Seventh Generation was enough of a hint that I liked natural stuff), laundry detergent, baby toothbrushes, and some fun stuff, too. The Bob Books (pre- and beginning reading books) were bought with all the kids in mind, and Benjamin's already enjoyed looking at some of them with me!

It is wonderful to be surrounded by so many thoughtful and supportive people, and we are so thankful for that!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Around My Home

In my sewing basket....

Some lovely new fabrics make me want to start some new projects!

On my bookshelf....

New titles I've been from the library, one I received for Mother's Day. Both full of inspiration!

On my table....

Mother's Day tulips...I took a departure from my usual arrangement, and am loving the fun look!

In my kitchen....

Fresh yogurt and iced jars make everything look better!

Some of the yogurt went to making these orange creamcicles...I didn't use a specific recipe, but instead an idea from my mom and sister.

They were a hit!

In my laundry pile....

I love these fleece sheets...they are so soft and warm, and the kids thought they made a cozy place to play for a few minutes before they made their way back to the bed.

In my arms....

Two (soon to be three) precious little people. I've been thinking lately of the huge privilege (and challenge) I've been entrusted with in raising them!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fun Easter Eggs!

I enjoy putting together simple little treats for our families for holidays like Easter. A couple of days before Easter, I came across this fun idea for felt Easter eggs. I loved them! It didn't take long for me to whip up a number of these, including some extras for us! I decorated mine with symbols that reminded me of the real reason for Easter. I love how they turned out, and I plan on expanding our collection next year! Such a fun alternative to plastic eggs!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Seth came home the other day with a bunch of balloons from work, and the kids wasted no time taking them over as new playthings!

I love Joanna's face here!

A Craft Bazaar!

Just as I was wishing I had some more sewing projects to work on, I found out my church was going to be putting on a craft bazaar, something I've always wanted to do. I had about three weeks to make some things to sell, which was the perfect amount of time to allow me to make a good number of things without having it hanging over my head for a long time! Having never done anything like this before, I really had no idea what or how much to make, so I just decided to make a a variety of different things and see what happened! Most of the things I made are things that I use and love, which made them even more fun to make and sell!

It was a fairly small-scale bazaar, so I didn't sell tons of things, but I did sell enough to cover my all my supply costs with a little profit, which was my goal! And I still have a big box of things that I'm now trying to decide what to with - gifts, Etsy, a craft fair? It was a fun experience - and very satisfying to actually sell things that I made!

Since I've been sewing pretty much non-stop the last few weeks, I am finally feeling like I have gotten in my sewing fix, and am ready to move on to some other projects - such as getting ready for the baby!