Thursday, June 26, 2008

On the fly....

This is just a quick post to let you all know I'm still here. I've got tons I would like to write about and no time to do it. Does anyone else have this problem?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

...because making something makes you feel like you've really done something.

So I've been home for almost a week. Somehow there always seems to be twice as much to do when I get home from a trip than I ever had before the trip.

One of the things I've been doing is sewing. Sewing an apron to be specific. I mentioned in my last (brief) post that my sister and I have been learning how to draft our own skirt patterns. (That went really well by the way, I just have to complete a few finishing touches to the skirt and then I'll post about it.) Learning how to do that gave me the confidence to make an apron by making a pattern from an apron I already have. I basically gave the old apron a good ironing, folded it in half, layed it out on some freezer paper and traced around it.

Anyway here are the results...
A front view....
A back view....hopefully it gives you an idea of how it ties in the back...
Here is a close up of the tie.....
And what it looks like not tied, layed out flat. The ties go through loops at the side and that is what "cinches" it in at the waste. I love this apron because, believe it or not, it is very flattering to the figure. I also love the scalloped bottom.
Here is a detail of the pocket and the fabric.
And the story behind the fabric is this. It's vintage fabric. I bought it at a yard sale some years ago and there is about five yards of it. (Or at least there was until I made the apron.) It was (until I washed it) a highly polished cotton and only 36" wide. I think the person who originally purchased the fabric must have passed away because there were a lot of household items at this sale. You know, kitchen utensils, linens, table clothes, cloth napkins, serving dishes, that sort of thing. I bought another five yards of material along with this that is of the same vintage. I wish I knew what that vintage was. And I've always wondered what the original owner of the fabric had intended to make with it. A dress perhaps? For herself? For a child?
Well anyway, I made an apron with it. This particular apron is intended for a door prize at a homeschooling mom's retreat I'm going to this weekend. I like it so much though that I think I'm going to make myself one out of the same fabric.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh, by the way, did I mention I was on vacation?....

I have not dissapeared.

I am sort of on vacation. Meaning I am away from home and my regular computer.

I'm visiting my sister and we have been busy learning how to draft our own skirt patterns and then make them. So far so good! I'll post the results when I get home.

Last night we went out for Chinese food and tonight we're going to see Kung Fu Panda. We're "theme-ish" that way.

For a good laugh today check out this. Warning: lots of cuteness and laugh-out-loudness. We've been doing a lot of that here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

WFMW - The "Mom I'm Bored" Edition

It's Wednesday again and time for another edition of WFMW. Shannon, our venerable host at Rocks In My Dryer has given a theme this week. It is the "Mom, I'm Bored" Edition and she has asked that we share ideas and tips for keeping the kiddos busy this Summer.

Well, I thought about that and I thought about what we were doing. If you have visited me before you may know that we are homeschoolers. (I don't blog about it much because I don't consider myself much of a fount of knowledge in that arena, I usually am busy gleaning ideas from other folks.) I'm discovering that this is much more of a lifestyle than I ever dreamed it would be and that while formal learning (as in books and worksheets) may be suspended for the summer, learning never actually stops. Also there is a lot of learning that goes on that will never come out of book. Learning that develops character.

Romans 5:3&4 say, "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Work will often produce tribulation, which leads to perseverence, which leads to character. So my idea for this summer is to put my kids to work.

Now before you start thinking that my kids are some sort of twenty-first century Oliver Twists or something, let me assure you that I plan on letting them have plenty of fun too. In fact I hope that they find at least some of the work they do, fun.

So here are some of the work like activities they will be doing:

#1 - There are the chickens, The Girls, as they are sometimes called. They will need daily feeding and water changing. They will need to be let out of their coop every morning and have their saw dust freshened regularly. That will be Daughter's job. Before that the coop needs to be built. Son will be helping with that.

#2 - There is the wood pile. Husband regularly brings home small loads of firewood which the kids help him unload and which Son is responsible to stack.

#3 - There are the gardens, both vegetable and flower. When it finally stops raining here Daughter will be responsible to help water them. She will also have the privelage of helping to harvest them as well. She has already told me that she is looking forward to that! :)

#4 - Are all the regular daily chores they are expected to do like making their beds, keeping their rooms picked up, folding and putting away laundry and cleaning up after themselves when they are finished with a meal. Son will probably also have days in which he will be responsible for getting lunch on the table as I have several projects I hope to be working on.

#5 - And this is really more of a treat for them than work, they are keeping a reading log. All it is is a simple list of the books they complete and the number of pagers read. They are both natural readers so I rarely if ever have to coax them to do this.

#6 - And this really is the fun stuff...Son will spend a week at church camp (definately NOT work for him) and Daughter will take swim lessons and keep up with her piano lessons (oh yes, and a week of Vacation Bible School for her too).

So there you have it. That is how I'm keeping my kiddos busy this summer. And hopefully building their character in having them learn some new skills, faithfully completing their work and hopefully do their best.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men... ~Colossians 3:23

For more (fun!) ideas about how to keep your kiddos busy this summer head on over to Rocks In Your Dryer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Of Yard-Sales, Chickens & Mushrooms

Well the yard sale, or garage sale, or whatever you want to call it that I spoke about in this post went off pretty well. That is, aside from the fact that when Husband and I opened the garage door to put the tables out at 6:45 AM there were already people standing in our drive-way. Oh, and did I mention we advertised for the sale to start at 7:30AM AND our car was still sitting in the drive-way? We asked them to give us five minutes, which they...didn't...and finally I had to ask one lady to please move out of the way and to please not go in our garage until we put the tables out.

After that things went well. Happily the big items sold and did not have to be stored in the garage again.

Among the items that I wanted to see go were a pair of heart shaped wicker wreaths that you see a picture of below. My friends were cracking up at me as we were pricing things on Friday because I kept telling them little stories behind everything. Finally when I got to the wicker wreaths Jen (from Grace and Glory) said, " have got to blog about this!!!!"

So now I will tell you the silly little (and I do mean little) story behind these wreaths.

You see I've had these wreaths years. I got them at a close out sale a fabric store was having in the town Husband and I met and married in. I always had the intention of doing something with know like putting some dried flower arrangements in them and hanging them on the wall with a pretty ribbon or something. But in never happened. Everytime I would go through my craft things I would think, "This time I'm going to get to those and do something with them."...and...I never did, or have, or whatever. Finally, this time, in my bid to be a little more ruthless I decided to price them and put them on the sale table!

Which I did.

...and I still have them. Yep, that's right. They are now so out of date decor wise, that they did not sell.

On to the chickens.

They are growing and displaying signs of being what they are...chickens. We let them wander around the yard during the day when the dog is at work with Husband. They munch bugs, fight over worms, eat my roses and poo Things in the greenhouse attached to the house are getting very dusty and...errr...poo-y...sooooo the chickens are moving this weekend to new digs further out in the yard. Away from the house. In an enclosed chicken area. Where they can poo to their little hearts' content. I'll post some pictures next week after we have the new coop built and show you what their new place looks like.
We have been amazed at their rate of growth. I never knew chickens grew so fast! Our only concern right now is whether they are hens or roosters. One of them seems to be maturing a little faster than the others in her comb and wattle area. If in fact she is a he, he will have to be moved to our friends place out in the country. We don't want to call any attention to ourselves with a rooster in the suburbs.

Thanks to all the rain and warm temperatures last week, the chickens were able to feast on a delicacy. Mushrooms.

I point you to the picture below as an example of what I found in our yard on Friday. That was the first dry enough day we had had so that I could go out and check on the garden. At first I noticed a mushroom here and there. Then I started really looking at the ground and discovered we had almost as many mushrooms in our lawn as blades of grass.

To say the least, I was a little creeped out. Apparently we have one big fungus among us, lurking just below.
We're supposed to have more rain tomorrow and again later in the week. I'm sure the mushrooms will appreciate it. And so will the chickens.