Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Bathroom Curtain

As I have mentioned before, during Dale's layoff he did some work in our upstairs bathroom. He spent a lot of time scraping several layers of yucky, old painted wall. It was gross, believe me. It all started when I was trying to clean some mold off the wall. The paint just crumbled under my rag, and I remember thinking "Well, I guess it's time to repaint the bathroom." Dale had it on his "Lay off Honey Do" list anyway. He scraped and scraped, then washed the walls, and then repainted. In the following pic the wall color is supposed to be white. The lighting for the camera seemed to go a bit wonky. He also replaced our sad, tired, broken, vanity over the sink. I didn't take a pic of that, but instead of the generic metal type, he got a cute white wooden deal that looks more modern and has clean lines to it.

Anyway, I wanted to make a special curtain as like everything else in the bathroom, was sad, tired, thread bare, and stained from mold and age. I didn't want to just slap something together, but make it special. So, since Jerusha's skirt debut last week, here is what I have been working on, and finished yesterday afternoon in time to hang it up before Dale got home:

Under my needle next is either church outfits for us gals or starting the bathrobes for the kids. I also have a wedding quilt to finish before the end of May, and Springy type throw quilt for us, and a lap quilt that is already basted and ready to quilt, just haven't gotten around to it yet. My sewing list is horribly long right now, but I'm making my way through it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Skirt For Jerusha

I had some of the blue fabric leftover from one of the skirts I made Esther. After eyeballing and Jerusha, I decided it would be suitable for an everyday skirt.

She was quite tickled with it, even though it wasn't pink. ;)

Simple Woman' Daybook

It has been a while since I did one of these entries. Well, here it goes!

FOR TODAY, March 21st, 2011.....

Outside my window... Dark, gray, wintry mix.

I am thinking... Winter's last hurrah!

I am thankful for... the comforts of home

From the learning rooms... We just finished a unit study on the Iditarod, and are starting a unit study on Cats.

From the kitchen... Bread baking, menu planning.

I am wearing... Olive green courderoy skirt, turtleneck, and matching embroidered fleece pullover.

I am creating... a new curtain for the bathroom and knitting on my Seaweed Cardigan.

I am reading... "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on DailyLit.com, and "Titanic's Last Secrets" by Brad Matsen.

I am hoping... that the Japanese nuclear reactor will be under control soon, and praying for the Japanese population.

I am hearing... the happy hum of the washer.

Around the house... Laundry, general picking up to do, and schoolwork today.

One of my favorite things... Snuggling with Isaac when he first wakes up and is all warm and cuddly.

A few plans for the rest of the week: A normal week for us... school, chores, sewing, etc.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

For guidelines go to: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cabled Scarf

I finished this scarf last night! I wore it today with my fingerless mitts while we were out running errands. I loved knitting it, and it proved to be an easy pattern. I did frog it all out after about 4 inches, as I wasn't getting it wide enough for my preferences.

I'll be working on my Seaweed Cardigan while I work up the courage to try making Elizabeth's sock from my "Two At a Time, Toe Up" book.

I received the Aloft yarn I ordered from KnitPicks during our Missions Conference and am enjoying eyeing it, and basking it the luxury of a wonderful mohair/silk blend. So scrumptious! I'll be making a wrap out of it eventually. I'm looking forward to working it up, for sure!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just Stuff

I feel like I have been negligent here to my blog lately! I think things are finally settling back into a normal routine. Dale is back to work.. sort of. He went back to work Tuesday, was sent home early Wednesday, and didn't go in Thursday because of how slow it is right now. They are doing inventory today so he is back to work again. We all got very used to having him home!

It is good to back into our normal routines, however. I love spontaneity, and being flexible, and all that, but there is comfort in basic routine. It gives me some direction for the day, and helps me to be more organized (though I use that word VERY loosely!).

Spring has officially sprung. I have heard of several people seeing robins, though I have yet to spot one. Elizabeth and I have been able to get some jogging in, and I've been keeping my eyes peeled, but so far,I haven't seen any. Our deep, fun, gorgeous snow is about 90% melted and gone, leaving wide patches of muddy, yucky, brown, grass visible. I'll be glad when everything starts getting green and fresh looking again. Hopefully it will be soon. We are full into "Mud Season" here, and while my kids are looking forward to spring because it means the end of the school year is approaching, and soon summer and pool time will be here, I am looking forward to the mud drying up. What a mess!

We had our annual Missions Conference with Marc and Esther Zimmerman and their lovely family. Wonderful preaching, wonderful fellowship, and a wonderful time of refreshing for us. They are going to France, Lord willing, and both are third generation missionaries! It was so interesting to talk with them and get their perspective on some many areas of discussion about current events, good and bad,and hearing of some of their experiences growing up and how deputation has been.

Esther and Elizabeth are spending a couple days at a friend's house. They, of course, were really excited about it. Their mom had already apprised me of some of their activities, so I was excited for them. I had planned on making them a couple of new everyday skirts this Spring, and had it on my "To Sew" list. I bumped it up to the top, and made them each two plain, everyday skirts to pack. Their current skirts and culottes are showing the wear,tear, and abuse they get from being worn almost everyday.

I must mention the beaded necklaces they are wearing are products of their own creativity. One afternoon we made beaded jewelry with the Zimmerman girls. I made one too, but forgot to take a pic of it.

I was going to work on the new curtain for the bathroom today, but I am sorely tempted to get out the fleece for the girls' bathrobes for their birthdays and whip those up while they aren't home. Yeah, they picked out the fleece, but I can at least get them constructed and hidden so there is some element of surprise. The bathroom curtain is pieced like a doll quilt, so it is taking more time than I had planned. I figured since Dale had spent so much time and energy cleaning, scraping, painting and putting in a new medicine cabinet, I could do something nice for the curtain.

As soon as the curtain is done,however, I plan on getting back to some real quilting. I still have two wedding quilts to get through this spring, not to mention some "chore" sewing. My machine will be busy for a few months!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fingerless Gloves

I just finished these cute, easy Fingerless Gloves tonight. I already am in love with them. I have a ton of yarn leftover so I am going to make a cabled scarf to match them. The Fingerless Gloves pattern is in "One More Skein, 30 Quick Projects to Knit" by Leigh Radford, and the cabled scarf is in "One Skein, 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet" by the same author. Great books for some fun, gratifying, fast projects for you or for gifts.

Still awaiting my new cable from KnitPicks, so I will start the scarf and then do Elizabeth's socks when the cables come in.

Have a pleasant evening!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Summer Nursing Nightgown

Here is the lighter weight nursing nightgown for my friend. Just finished it last night! Whew!

A close up of the fancy stitching:

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Welcome to the Teenage Years

Dale and I were hoping for a couple more months before we technically have 3 teenagers in the house, but I think that is past praying for at this point. There are certain signs that you can see in your "Tweens" as they get into the milestone years call "TEENAGER". If you have teenagers, then you understand the capitilization on that word. If you don't... well, don't worry, your time will come. Mwhahahahahahahaha!

For example, there is a certain language of monosylabic grunts that is indiginous to the teenagers. Now, lest you think, "Hey, we survived the world of Toddler-ese, how hard can it be?", let me assure you, it is totally a horse of a different color.

The singular language of toddlers is something you can learn to understand more quickly than Teenager-ese, because toddlers are actually trying to say something COHERENT. Teenagers... not so much. They are just responding in a monosyllabic grunt with no effort or desire to be coherent.

Mama to toddler: "Would you like some juice?"
Toddler: "Ummm... peeeaaaaze?"

Mama to preteen child: "Would you like some juice?"
Preteen child: "Yes, please!"

Mama to teen: "Would you like some juice?"
Teen: "ugngf."

Now, in context that could mean "Sure thanks!" or "No thanks". So, I have to resort to retraining the teen to respond clearly and politely, like a regression into toddler years, strangely enough.

You can also see their penchant for independence growing. Not necessarily a bad, thing, by the way. They need to have some independence to MOVE OUT later. However, for now, ours are spreading their wings in little ways. I saw it in our oldest when he first asked to ride his bike all over the neighborhood, then go fishing with his friends, go down to a friends farm to help out, etc. Again, not a bad thing, just noticeable that he was wanting to go away from home more, instead of hanging out here.

The twins, are not due to turn to official teenagers until May, but it seems to me they are already there. I had proof yesterday when we were out together shopping. We had a some errands to run, and Dale needed some hardware stuff which, for the record, I COULD have gotten without too much trouble, and I needed some stuff for a welcome basket for the missionaries we are hosting next week, which Dale COULD have done as well, but we decided it would be easier if we all went and I took care of one list while he did the other.

The girls went with me (and Isaac, since I had the cart and he was sitting in it watching his sister's antics with amusement), and off we went. I made the mistake of going past the nail polish. Sudden the twins were stopped, and pouring over different colors, and so I allowed each of them to pick a new color. Jerusha wanted some pink, but since I already have 8 billion little jars of different shades of pink, I told her to just wait until later and I would paint her nails a pretty pink, which satisfied here.

We were about ready to check out when Caleb asked about getting sneakers. Dale confirmed my inquiring look that he did indeed need new sneakers, and there were some on sale, so he went off with Caleb and we waited towards the front of the store. Then I noticed the clearance racks... 1$ an item! We all congregated around them, and the twins kept finding things they liked (and needed... an extra bonus!). They each got 3 or 4 items. The boys were not so lucky, but didn't seem to care. My oldest enjoyed rolling his eyes and trying to answer his little brothers question of the day, which was "What is with girls and shopping?".

Esther has been in a purple phase, and most of her items were of that color. Elizabeth is into black. I blame it on her Grandma Van, who once told her "if you don't know what to wear, wear black". Grandma meant it for going out somewhere, or dressing up. Elizabeth has taken it as her life's motto. For now. At their age their tastes will change a thousand times.

I am not an "all black" fan, but there are bigger battles that will have to be fought, so I chose to just smile and remember that at least she is the one wearing it, and I don't have to.

Jerusha got a couple of cute little things. At least I have one girl NOT in the teenage phase, and as long as something is pink, she is happy. For example, this little coat she got... for a buck! Can't beat that!

And she (well, I...) couldn't resist this t-shirt.

Now don't tell them, but I do get a kick out watching their symptoms. While we were digging through the racks, the girls were looking at a couple of sweaters. At one point they both pulled out the same style. There was a sudden frenzied consultation between the two about who was getting what color since they didn't want to look the same.

Then, after we got home, they were on the phone for over an hour, updating their good friend, and then their Grandma about all their purchases and what color they are doing their nails, etc. etc....

Esther and I went out for a jog and when we got back the twins (also known as the Magpies) were chattering about what they were going to wear, what color their nails were to be, what to do with their hair. You see, we were having a pizza party for some of Benjamin's friends.

All I could think was... oh no, the "boy" thing is starting already?

Esther put my mind to ease.... sort of. At my raised eyebrows glance in her direction she said, "oh, it is just for practice. We figure it doesn't matter what we look like for Benjamin's friends, but it doesn't hurt to practice looking nice for when we meet someone who counts."

How flattering.

Oh yeah. They got it, and they got it badly.

Welcome to the TEENAGE years.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My First Socks

Why is Esther smiling?

Because she is the first guinea pig... em, recipient, of the first pair of socks I have ever knitted! I think I'm in love with sock making. I've ordered some 40" cables for learning "Toe Up, Two at a Time" with the Magic Loop method. I have lots of socks to make for the gremlins. I have to admit, I like working with the DPNs because it seems more portable. Two at a time means keeping track of two balls of yarn, and that isn't conducive to "taking it with you". I may have to have a pair on the circular needles, and a pair going on the DPN's. But... that would be obsessive, eh?

While I am waiting for my Knitpicks order to arrive, I will be working a pair of fingerless mitts and get my Seaweed Cardigan as much done as possible. Oh, and I have to confess. I ordered some of that Aloft yarn and the River Stole pattern. Dale saw me drooling over and said "Just get some and get it over with", rolling his eyes. He has lived with a Quilt/Yarnaholic long enough to know that sometimes there is no fighting the need for fiber therapy.

Here is my first... of many I hope... pair of socks!