Tuesday, September 25

Library Day

Library Day

Today was library day again. I'm still making the trip alone. Don't worry about the boys, though. They visit the library one, sometimes two, days a week at school. Our schedule will ease up (it's fall baseball season) in just a few weeks and we will be able to resume our family visits. (yay!)

I'm really trying to get caught up on my book club reading right now. (It's a struggle.) With this in mind, I came home with just one book today. My library haul for the week is simply Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches by Reader's Digest. It's been quite a few years since I've done any real embroidery but I recently felt very inspired by so many wonderful embroidered pieces that I have been seeing. I started a small project and then decided to refresh myself with some of the "fancier" stitches.

This one is going on my wish list.

Monday, September 24

Scalloped Blanket

Scalloped Blanket

Another pattern from Amy's book. Have I mentioned that I really love this book?! I actually wasn't planning on getting this book at all. I don't have babies or little girls to sew for and I figured I already knew how to make napkins and aprons and such. However, every time I ventured over to the book store, I found myself flipping through it. Then I started looking at all the great finished projects posted in the flickr pool. Well one thing always leads to another and in this case, that means I, of course, bought the book.

This is the Scalloped Baby Blanket made to throw across the couch. I used 1 1/2 yards of 45 inch wide cotton with flannel between the layers. This made it just the right size for snuggling up. I didn't preshrink my fabric before sewing, opting instead to wash it after it was completed. The blanket came out out all crinkly and soft. I'm planning on making a few several more -- for the livingroom, for gifts, as a picnic blanket, etc...

Friday, September 21

Happy Birthday, Topher!


My baby is 7 today! I suppose he's not really a "baby" anymore - but he's still my baby!

Wednesday, September 19

A Charming Little Bag

Charming Handbag

The weather here in Texas may not say "Fall" but the calendar does and that has got me thinking about corduroy. It's much too hot for corduroy clothing but a new bag is just the thing. This was made using the Charming Handbag pattern from Amy Karol's book, Bend-the-Rules Sewing. (I LOVE this book!)

Charming handbag detail

I enlarged the pattern by 150% to make it just a bit bigger. (Not a lot bigger but enough) I also added a divided pocket inside. I made it to fit my cell phone but my phone kind up pulls the lining down in a funny way. It's still a handy little pocket though. I made the straps the length specified and when the bag cinches up, it fits perfectly over my shoulder. (Oh and the velvet ribbon is not as bright as it appears in the photos)

I really like this bag and I am sure I'll be making more!

Charming Handbag

(action shot -- at baseball practice)

Tuesday, September 18

The Boys in the 'Hood


The boys are thrilled that we now live in a neighborhood (as opposed to just a house on a street). We have sidewalks here and bike paths and a playground around the corner. There are also a lot of other kids in the neighborhood and very little traffic. (another welcome change for us!).

Most afternoons my bell rings and someone is looking for Edmund. These boys travel in a pack and I love seeing them out there. They are always up to something. Sometimes it's a touch football game across the front yards or maybe a game of pick up basketball in a driveway. It might be baseball in the cul-de-sac or just bikes and scooters around the neighborhood.

It doesn't really matter what they are doing, though. They are being boys and they are having fun!

Friday, September 14

Back to School Swap - Recieving

My creation

My Back to School Swap package arrived today and I think, in my excitement, I may have left all the other mail scattered across the front lawn! (I went back and checked, I only dropped a sales ad)

This package came from Sarah via Royal Mail (which just added to my excitement!) The package was wrapped in lovely green tissue - then again in pink tissue. Once I got to the tote, all the goodies were also wrapped in tissue. I tried to be dignified while unwrapping but I'm afraid I just tore in to it all! As I told Sarah, I quite literally gasped aloud as I opened each gift. I could barely barely pull myself together enough to snap some photos.

Back to School Swap

Sarah did a wonderful job creating a package with the very little bit of guidance I provided. She sent buttons and ribbons and button-y alphabet stickers which will be so much fun to put to use.

Back to School Swap

She made a wonderful tote that I can't wait to use. (Perhaps on my next library trip) Just look at that button and ribbon detail! She also made a matching book cover for a blank book that will be perfect for sketching and quick watercolor studies.

Back to School Swap

I'm sorry to go on and on but, really, I am just beyond thrilled! Sarah really put so much thought and care in to this package and she made me feel so special. Look at those fabulous knitting needles! They look like ribbon candy! I need to find a project to start with those.

Thank you, Sarah. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I had such a great time creating my swap package (pictures to come). Getting something so wonderful in return was an added bonus.

Thursday, September 13

Library Day - Book Club

Book Club

Once again, it's Library Day. It's also Book Club Day.

My library haul this week is a very meager one. I walked out with nothing more than next month's selection. We are able to take books out for just 2 weeks and these next few weeks promise to be busy ones. No time for armfuls of books this time.

The book club meeting went very well. This is my first book club since Edmund was a toddler. That one didn't last too long for me - I was a relatively new mother and pregnant with my second. I had no time (or energy) to read, let alone carry on an intelligent conversation! I really enjoyed myself today. The conversation was lively and there were a lot of very interesting opinions. I think I had something to offer to the conversation and that felt good. I'm glad a I went and I'm looking forward to next month. If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

I also met a woman who is on the board of the local Newcomers Club and has promised to take me under her wing at their upcoming meeting. Apparently it is a very active group with a lot of social activities!

Tuesday, September 11

Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek

Just a quick little peek at something that went in to the mail today. It will soon be winging it's way across the ocean to land someplace exotic (or at least another country. One that I would love to visit someday)

I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Monday, September 10

Rainy Monday

Rainy Monday

It's raining cats and dogs today (That's an expression I don't really get). The rain is really coming down and it brought some pretty severe thunder and lightning along with it. There are flash flood warnings and my road looks more like a raging river. I love it! It's a perfect day to snuggle up inside with a cup of coffee rich with cream and my book. It's a cozy sort of a day.

Mother Nature was kind enough to give us a very short break this morning - just long enough for the boys to make it to the bus with out getting wet. Long enough, also, for me to grab the camera. The colors are so bright and vibrant.

Enjoy your Monday. I know I'll enjoy mine.

Friday, September 7

Friday Love


- I love shopping with my "green bags" - especially the blue insulated bag

- I love that the baggers always ask if I'd like some help out to my car with my purchases - large or small

- I love that the young 20-something manager at Starbucks flirts with me (in a very sweet way)

- I love early morning grocery shopping - alone!

- I love shopping with a menu plan and a list - it keeps me organized and on track

Sense a theme? Today was market day!

Tuesday, September 4

Book Club

Book Club

There is no trip to the library for us this week. We are still making our way through the huge stack of books we've accumulated already. (Nearly 30 books out right now!)

In addition to all those books, we've also got a little extra-curricular homework to keep us busy. Edmund, Chaz and I have each joined a book club. My assignment is The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards and so far it has been an interesting read. Chaz (3rd grade) is reading Goosed by Bill Wallace and is thrilled. He has another book waiting to be read by this same author so in his mind, it must be a good book! Edmund (5th grade) will be reading The Teacher's Funeral: a Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck - that is if he can tear himself away from the other books he is currently reading.