Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Fun

I’ve had this fabric in my stash for a couple of years now.  I originally bought it for my Dad. A couple of summers ago I made him several short-sleeve shirts, all in fun, bright prints. Over the course of about three months, I think I made him about a dozen shirts, which he loved.  He has always had such a fun personality, and loves to wear bright cotton ‘Hawaiian’ shirts all summer long.  He always has some fun, off the wall project for me to ‘help’ him with.  Earlier this year he and my step-mom went to a ‘Titanic’ Ball.  Everyone dressed in clothing from the era, and the styles were just fabulous. Dad came up with the idea of making a lifejacket suitable to the time, and we spent a fun couple of hours creating it together. Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of it. I took pictures of Dad and my Step-mom before the party, but never thought to include the lifejacket.

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My most recent project for Dad was a clown costume for work. It was a lot of fun to do, and I will post pictures as soon as I have them.
Now back to the reason for this post!  I made MacKensie a super easy skirt for Halloween. All I did was cut a long rectangle, sewn together with one side seam and my first-ever yoga style waistband. I will be using this method to make waistbands fairly often, it is so easy!

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Getting a picture of the skirt on her was more difficult than actually sewing it. She is always on the move these days so pictures are literally taken ‘on the run’.

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I put the skirt on her to try on after a quick diaper change, so nothing matches. The waistband turned out a little big, but still wearable. Hopefully it will still fit next year. This is the only pic of her standing still – sort of.

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As usual, she is wearing someone else’s shoes. On the wrong feet no less.

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And here she is seconds after the skirt came off. She’s too busy to stop and put her pants on! Lately she has been obsessed with keys.  She discovered the lock on my cedar chest and has been trying to fit a key in the lock ever since. It is so hard to believe she is fourteen months old already.  Time passes so quickly!
See you next time!
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Meet me at the party!

Market Yourself Monday @ Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Marvelous Mess Party @ Marvelously Messy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blueberry Raspberry Jam – Or The EASIEST Jam You’ll Ever Make!

I heard about this jam from a friend some time ago, but it sounded too easy to be true. We both kind of dismissed it, never intending to try it. Well today curiosity got the better of me and I thought, ‘Why not?’  So I gathered my ingredients and got to work.  Twenty minutes later, I had some delicious jam!
The ingredients are simple,
4 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries ( I threw in a handful of raspberries I had in the fridge, just to use them up)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 box of lemon jelly powder
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My sugar didn’t make it into the pic!
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Place fruit in a large sauce pan, and break apart with a potato masher if desired. Heat slowly on medium high heat.  Add sugar and jelly powder and stir until dissolved.
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Bring to a boil and stir for two minutes.
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Annnd…, you’re done!  Allow your jam to cool slightly and pour into freezer safe containers.  I ended up with just less than 3 cups of jam.
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Allow your jam to set, and have a taste test!  My husband was impatient to try it, so my jam wasn’t quite set when I spooned some on a cracker, but it set quite nicely when it was completely cooled.
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Store opened container in the fridge, and pop the rest in the freezer.
My family loves it!  I am going to try other fruit/jelly powder combinations too.  You are only limited to your imagination with this recipe.  Have fun with it, and your family will think you slaved away in the kitchen for hours!
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Join me at these great parties,

Your Whims Wednesday @ My Girlish Whims
What I Whipped Up Wednesday @ Sugar and Dots
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Made By Me @ JAQS Studio
What we Wore, Read and Made @ Rae Gun Ramblings
Lil' Luna Link Party
Whimsy Wednesdays @ The NY Melrose Family

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holding on to Summer… Fashion Wise


In my usual fashion, I’m posting something that I made for my granddaughter a few weeks late.  A whole season late! I made this little romper for MacKensie way back in July! I used a piece of cotton blend fabric that I’ve had in my stash for years. I wasn’t too sure I’d like the romper when it was finished, so I used a fabric that I wasn’t worried about wasting. To my surprise and delight, it is cute after all!
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I made a size 1, and it fit perfectly.  The pattern doesn’t recommend the the bum ruffles, but when you have such a cute little bum to dress, why skimp on ruffles? If I ever make it again, I will lower the front neckline slightly, and maybe leave out the elastic at the ‘waist’.  The elastic seems to sit so high on the body that to me it looks strange. 
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Isn’t she adorable? I may be slightly biased, but not much. Isn’t it amazing how quickly babies grow and change?  These photos were taken in mid-July. A month later she looked like this!
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Join me at these great parties!

Happy Hour Friday @ Happy Hour Projects
Feature Friday @ Blissful and Domestic
Friday Fun Party @ Craftionary
Financial Friday @ The Grant Life

Friday, September 28, 2012

Living With Fibromyalgia and Other Happy Thoughts

 

I don’t like to talk about myself.  Especially about my illnesses. I’ve started and erased this post several times now, because each time I do, whatever I write sounds so trite and false. But I feel that it is time for me to write this, for my own piece of mind, if nothing else. I don’t want pity or sympathy,  just understanding, for myself as well as anyone else who is suffering.  I can’t even pretend that I am a skilled writer, in fact I agonise over each word and phrase.  And spelling!  Don’t get me started.  If it wasn’t for my best buddy Spell Check, you would likely think you were reading some lost version of Klingon or something. (Assuming that someone will even read this!)  So, whoever you are dear, brave soul,  please bare with me as I stumble along in my attempt to tell you my story.

Nearly twenty years ago I was diagnosed as Manic Depressive/Bipolar, and to put it quite simply, I went through hell. I had months of twice weekly therapy sessions, and tried any number of anti-depressants and mood stabilizers, searching for the right combination.   Depression completely takes over your life, controlling everything that you think, feel and do. I couldn’t eat, (I lost 65lbs in seven weeks) sleep, or think clearly. During this period I raised my own four children, plus my two stepdaughters.(all under eight years old) It was an up-hill battle, one that many times I was sure I would lose. Without the love and devotion of my husband and family, I’m not sure that I would have made it through.  In time I was better able to handle my illness, and was able to regain some control over my life.  Depression still plays a large role in my life, and probably always will. I still fight the over-whelming sadness and desire to hide myself away from the world nearly every day, but thankfully my manic episodes are much less frequent.

Eventually I was able to get a full-time job, and  I finally felt whole and productive. I felt that I was contributing to society and my family. I felt proud. I worked at the company for eight years, and worked my way up to manager. My job was extremely physical, with long hours, and I loved it. I still kept up my home and cared for my family. I was determined to do everything, and be perfect at it. The only thing I didn’t do was look after myself, and continually pushed myself to the limit and beyond.  Eventually, the demands of my lifestyle caught up to me. In May of 2006 I was diagnosed with  Fibromyalgia.  Suddenly my life was in an upheaval.  Within Months I was unable to work, and ‘retired’ in August of 2006.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness, meaning that it is not life-threatening, but it is most defiantly life-changing.  The list of symptoms and over-lapping conditions is extensive and debilitating. Fibro claims the entire body and affects all of it’s functions and abilities. It causes exhaustion so deep that breathing is a chore. Imagine being so physically exhausted that you need help getting to the bathroom, because without it you may not be able to get up and go. I know that sounds extreme, but it is the reality that I and many others with Fibro live with.  Pain is another relentless part of my life. I have two kinds of pain meds, but neither takes the pain away, just dulls it somewhat. Depression has taken over again, and I don’t have the strength or willpower to fight it. I’m not going to list my multitude of symptoms and over-lapping ailments. Because frankly, there are too many, and it is just too depressing.

Fibro has robbed me of so many things. My health, my job,  friends and family that don’t or won’t understand, my ability to do the most mundane chores and the desire and ability to do my favourite hobbies as much as I’d like. What used to take me a couple of hours to sew now can take days or weeks. But the most important thing that fibro has stolen from me is my self-worth and self-confidence.

If you know anyone with Fibro or Depression or any other hidden chronic illness, the absolute best thing you can do for them is to let them know you understand. It is far to easy to judge someone because of what you see on the outside. Just because we aren’t able to keep up with you doesn’t mean that we are lazy or don’t want too. It just means that at that we can’t. You need to look inside a person, and really see what they are suffering, before you judge can them.

I apologise for such a depressing post, but I just needed to get it out. In the next few days I hope to show some of my sewing projects. To leave on a happy note, here are a few pictures of my granddaughter’s first birthday!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MacKensie

Just a quick post this morning to share the cuteness! I took these pictures of MacKensie last night.  Enjoy!

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I know I’m cute!

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Playing with Mercedes.

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Playing with Daddy.

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Have a great day!

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Red Gingham


I love this little outfit. Red gingham just screams  ‘summer’ and ‘picnic’ to me. You too? Thought so!  I made this outfit from a little tablecloth I picked up at my favourite thrift store for 49 cents. The fabric is soo soft, and very light weight, perfect for summer. I didn’t have a pattern for the dress, I just made it up as I went along. I did use a pattern for the panties, but can’t remember which one. (there are so many out there!) I already had the eyelet lace, so this outfit cost a grand total of 49 cents.  My kind of price!  I meant to take pictures of MacKensie wearing it the other day, but, naturally I forgot. I wish I had, because it is so much cuter on her.

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Tomorrow I plan to make a dress for my daughter Hillary. What have you been up too?
And because I can’t leave without showing some major cuteness,
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Our little bathing beauty.  She really loves her bath time!
Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Stitching!
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Feel like a party? Join me here…….

Tickled Pink @ 504 Main
Friday Flair @ Whipperberry
Simply Creations @ Simple Home Life
Friday Fun Party @ Craftionary
Fugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Angel Tops

These little tops have several names, bubble tops, peasant tops, or as we grew up calling them, Angel tops. Most likely because the little sleeves resemble angel’s wings. But in this case, I would say it is because the wearer (is that a word?) resembles a sweet little angel!

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You can just see the little curls starting to form around her ears. I think she is destined to have thick, curly hair like the rest of us!
These little tops are so easy to make, and use very little fabric. I made four of them in a couple of hours, using scraps left over from other projects.

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They are also light weight and cool for summer.  I plan on making several diaper covers in neutral colours to wear with them.
Do you ever have so many things on your list of things to sew that you can’t choose your next project?  I have so many patterns and ideas for MacKensie, that I can’t make up my mind!  Choosing what fabric to use for each project is even worse!  Unfortunately there are many times that I end up not sewing, because I have too many choices or ideas.  Then, something strikes my fancy, or inspiration hits and there is no stopping me!  Once I start sewing, I block out the world. The house could be tumbling down around me, and I wouldn’t notice.  I also like to have more than one project on the go at any given time, and of'ten work on several things at once.  I’m curious to know if anyone else does this too.  Leave a comment and let me know.  (so I don’t feel so alone and crazy!) Have a lovely day!
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Come party with me!

Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple
Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do
Creative Me Link Up at Southern Institute
Tickled Pink @ 504 Main
Friday Flair @ Whipperberry
Simply Creations @ Simple Home Life
Friday Fun Party @ Craftionary
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Dresses

The warmer weather has finally arrived to stay. (ok, at least we hope!) MacKensie is growing like a weed, and I’ve been busy sewing summer clothes for my little monkey. I finished this pink embroidered sundress and diaper cover last week. It is a tiny bit too big, but with the rate she’s growing, she’ll fit into it in no time.
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The fabric is gorgeous, and the pictures don’t do it justice. It has a sheen to it, even after being washed, almost like a polished cotton. Can you believe this fabric was a curtain?  I found it months ago at a local thrift shop for a dollar, and couldn’t believe my luck. The previous owner had simply made a wide hem at the top for a rod to pass through, so the design on the fabric wasn’t affected at all. I still have enough left to make her another dress when she outgrows this one!  Sewing for MacKensie is so much fun, that I have to pace myself, or she’ll have enough Nanny made clothing for three little girls!
Next time I’ll show you the red gingham dress and ruffle bum diaper cover I finished the other day.  And after that, the angel tops, and after that…….

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I'm linking to these fabulous parties!

Share The Wealth Wednesday, at Laugh Love and Craft
Create and Share, at Trendy Treehouse
We Did it Wednesday, at Sew Much Ado
Penny Pinching Party, at The Thrifty Home
Inspiring Creativity, at Dragonfly Designs
Wow Me Wednesday, at Ginger Snap Crafts
Creative Me Link Up at Southern Institute
Tickled Pink Friday @ 504 Main
Friday Flair @ Whipperberry
Simply Creations @ Simple Home Life
Friday Fun Party @ Craftionary
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lovely in Lace

If you have been keeping up with the fashions on Pintrest, you will have seen several versions of the lace skirts that are popular this year.  I love them, but unfortunately my figure doesn’t.  So, what was I to do but make one for my daughter.
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It was very easy to make, just time consuming.  I drafted a simple pencil skirt from her measurements, cutting both front and back on the fold. I used a soft cotton lycra knit in a soft ivory colour with a  2.5” wide lace, sewn flat to the skirt fabric. Because of the amount of stretch in the fabric, the skirt didn’t need a zipper.(yay!) I had planned to make a casing for an elastic waist, but instead I just turned down 2.5” and hand stitched it in place.  Easy-peasy.   I’m very happy to say that the skirt fits perfectly, and I am sure it will be worn often. 
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The waist is straight, it was just lying wonky.  I have a feeling I will be making more of these soon!

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I'm linking to -

We Did It Wednesday, at So Much Ado
Rock 'N Share, at The Shady Porch
What I Whipped Up Wednesday, at Sugar and Dots
Inspiring Creativity Wednesdays, at Dragonfly designs
Will Craft For..., at Tales of a Trophy Wife
Share the Wealth Wednesday, at Laugh, Love, and Craft
Wow Me Wednesday, at Gingersnap Crafts
Make it Wear it Thursday. at The Train to Crazy
Create and Share, at Trendy Treehouse
We Did it Wednesday, at Sew Much Ado

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Reunited

After almost five months, my son was finally reunited with his baby daughter! After many visits to our lawyer, and one court order, access has been set until July, when the custody and access will be settled for good. We are all beyond happy to have our sweet baby back with us. She will be with us several weeknights and alternating Saturdays.  It has been a long hard fight, and it isn’t over yet. I’ll never forget the look of despair in my son’s eyes, as he tried again and again to see his baby. Hopefully those days are behind us! MacKensie is now 8 months old and is adorable.

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Holding his baby for the first time in 5 months.

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MacKensie was understandably shy at first. She loves playing with Daddy’s phone.

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And here she is a few short visits later. All smiles and giggles. She sure loves her Daddy.

Now that MacKensie will be spending more time with us, (in a few weeks she will be spending a few days at a time) I have been busy sewing her summer wardrobe! I will post the little dresses I have made for her in the next few days.

I have missed blogging so much!  But with the stress and heartache I just couldn’t bring myself to write cheerful posts. I hope to blog at least once a week now. Even if it is just to post pictures of our little sweetie!

Thanks for stopping by!

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