Gumdrop Wreath


I first made a gumdrop wreath in college.  It was an idea from a Martha Stewart magazine of course.

It was actually quite fun to do with my kids.  Bridget is 4-1/2 and was able to really help.

We used small cutters to cut the toothpicks in half (it would be quite difficult to break in half as suggested by MS.)

It is important that you use the round larger toothpicks because the small flat kind are not strong enough to hold on the gumdrops, which are a heavy candy.

It is also important that the point end of the toothpick go into the wreath.  If you use the end that you cut, it does not grip the styrofoam.

We are celebrating advent this year by using both the traditional advent wreath with five candles and a Jesse tree.  Each night we light our candles and remember what each one represents and then we hang our ornament on our Jesse Tree (or in our case faux white branches from C&B.)  The children get to eat a chocolate gold coin while we read the corresponding scripture for each ornament to remind us that God’s word is sweet and worth more than gold (and to get them to sit still.)  I am excited because even though they are young (two and four) they completely understand that we are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus and that he came to bring light in the darkness.

While we still have fun with the spirit of Santa, Paddy is expecting a baby Jesus to show up Christmas morning.  Speaking of Paddy, he took me by surprise and completely potty trained himself recently.  He also had his first haircut. The  picture below  will explain why I finally had to do it. . .

it may not be cheaper to make your own cushions. . .


I made a bench cushion for my 81″ long bench in my kitchen.  Cushions always seem to be expensive, so I made my own.  The foam alone was well over $100 and that was with a 40% coupon.  The foam is a petroleum based product which accounts for some of the cost, but foam is just expensive.  Then I purchased 3 yards of sunbrella fabric so that it would be easier to clean.  I spent about $200 on just the materials, and I still had to make it!

I used an envelope method (where it overlaps in the back)  that my sewing teacher taught me in Oak Park.  It is easier and quicker than a zipper pillow. My first cushion I made was for my outdoor bench:

 

I made the cover too big and had to buy another piece of foam to put in it so that it would fit.  Fortunately, I had purchased 2″ foam, so that the final product was a nice comfy 4″ cushion.  for my Kitchen bench I purchased 4″ foam to start with, so I had to measure very carefully to make sure it was the correct width and length.  I did have to rip out one seam, but overall it went much smoother this time around.

My bench seat is 19″ deep, and the fabric had enough width to it that I could simply finish both ends, and there would be enough to wrap around the width of my cushion and leave a nice overlap in the back.  I then added 4″ to the 19″ to account for the height of the foam and folded the fabric so that it would have the appropriate width after it overlaped.  I then sewed up one end and boxed the corners. This is a good link from Craft Apple on how to box corners.  It is the final end that you sew that is so tricky.  I had to double check my cushion length and again add the 4″ to account for the height of the foam.   I sewed the seam and boxed the corners again, and viola, a very expensive homemade cushion!

This is the underside so you can see the seams, boxed corners and how the envelope opens in the back.


Just some random cuteness.  I found my children sitting together on the same chair (not using the 6 foot long cushion I just made!)

also, anyone remember Shirt Tales?

 

my “new” sewing chair


I finished my upholstery class at modhomeec and my teacher featured me on her blog!!  So here is my finished chair


Taking the class has inspired me to look for some vintage chairs to re-upholster to complete my sitting area.  I did find a computer cabinet on craigslist to use as my sewing cabinet


I got the idea from Heather Ross in her book Weekend Sewing to use a computer cabinet for sewing:

We have been loving this Indian Summer we have been having.  Yesterday Bridget and her friend from next door played “ninja” with shields and swords. . .

a lost month


Time has a way of always moving forward even when your life seems to stand still.  August came with many changes for my family.  Some happy and others incredibly painful.  It is hard to believe how much can change in just one month.

As we prepare to say goodbye to August and unofficially  start fall, I want to remember that we did make it to a beach this year, even if the water wasn’t salty.  It never feels like you had summer if you don’t spend some time at a beach.

 

Both of my children are now in preschool.  Bridget goes three days a week for pre-k and Paddy goes one day a week to mother’s-day-out.

Today was the first day they both went to school for a full day.

I felt both elation at having a day to myself for the first time in 4-1/2 years and also that pang in your heart knowing that your babies are no longer babies.

I am using the first six Wednesdays that they are both in school to take a beginning class in upholstery at ModHomeEc.

This is the chair I am going to paint and recover.

This is how the chair looked after our first class. The first step is to remove the existing upholstery and I sanded the chair down so I can paint it.

So as something ends, something also begins.

not a box


It is NOT A  Box, it is a choo choo train

 

My children love to play in boxes, today we made a train out of diaper boxes that I have saved.

 

Happy news, three dearest cousins no longer live 5000 miles away!

We celebrated their arrival back to the States with a hot tub party and lemonade!

 

animal friend (or lizard) carrier


There is a great new sewing shop in town call The French Seam.  They carry lovely designer fabric that you can’t get at Joanne’s.  I picked up this book by Oliver + S there and it is full of adorable things to sew for children.  My first project was the animal friend carrier.  I made one for Bridget and Paddy, but Paddy only wore his for a minute because he has no interest in stuffed toys.  He would probably wear it if I put a digger in it.

Notice the lizard in the carrier along with her zebra friend. My children both love (but especially Bridget) the rubbery, squishy reptiles and dinosaurs.  Target had all of them on clearance for $0.83 so we came home with several yesterday.  After I finished sewing her carrier, she wanted to carry her lizard around in it.  She also gave it about six baths yesterday.

Every time I went into a bathroom, the water was on and lizard was getting soaped up, he also went swimming in the pool and had sunscreen and lip gloss applied.  Most little girls would want to carry their dolls around, and I her put her American Girl doll in her carrier, but that lasted about 30 seconds. . .

 

backyard camping


I am not a camper.  The few times we went camping as a family were very painful. I told Patrick early on in our marriage that the closest he will get me to camping is to stay at a hotel where the door opens to the outside. My husband, however, has fond memories of it as a child and promised Bridget that they would backyard camp this summer.  He woke up Friday morning and informed her (not me) that they would do it that night.  You don’t mention something like that to a four-year old and not keep your promise. Because we don’t have a backyard we set up “camp” at my parent’s house who fortunately live on 10 acres with woods, a creek and plenty of firewood.

Patrick proved to be a first rate camp-fire builder and it was the first time in years that I have had a smore!

Unfortunately he did not build the benches as well, and I sat down and broke the board clear through!

The best thing about camping out in the backyard, is that around 11 pm, when you realize that your four-year old is not going to actually sleep in the tent, you can take her inside and put her to bed.

OTHER NEWS: My baby turned two at the end of June. Here are a couple of pictures from his party.

I made his shirt and pants out of a very cute Japanese transportation print.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: