Friday, May 29, 2009

Welcome to the Blogging world, you Hot Rockin' Hubby, you!


Yes, I am proud to say that my adorable, ahem, I mean HOT hubby is now a blogger. He is an amazing guitarist and a gifted teacher, writer and singer as well.

Did I mention that he is HOT? Oh yeah!

His blog, The Lonely Guitar Player, will feature guitar technique, guitars, tone, equipment, and, I suspect, lots of music talk. Now I am not a guitarist myself, so the language is not completely familiar to me. But, I am a singer and have been so blessed to have Don as my own personal guitarist for the last 21 years.

In addition to this, Don is the lead guitar and one of the songwriters for the Denny Russell Band.

If you happen to be near Grass Valley or Nevada City, CA this weekend, you can catch Don and the band at Tailgators Sports Bar and Grill. The address is 2075 Nevada City Hwy
Grass Valley, CA 95945. And on Saturday, they will be playing at the Nevada County Fairgrounds for a community race.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Making Scones, with a side of Froggy singing

Tomorrow is the last day of MOPS until we reconvene in the Fall. That makes tomorrow our annual Tea Party! YAY! I love tea parties and I love scones, so I volunteered to make the scones.
And low and behold, I had the best helper today, the lovely Ahnalin!

She helped me measure, stir, knead, roll and sprinkle. She ate far more dough than was healthy, and then she helped clean up afterward.

We used the scone recipe from my favorite cookbook. This book actually belongs to my mother-in-law but I use it all the time. I hope she leaves it to me someday, hint, hint.




I love my little vintage sifter. I use it all the time.



Ahnalin took this pic of me wearing an apron that belonged to Don's Yaya since the 1930s. Not the most flattering pic, but I love the apron.


Ahnalin is very serious about her rolling pin technique, therefore some of the scones probably did not rise as much as they could have. But she is one serious roller!


What a mess!

Now Ahnalin gets to do her favorite thing, washing the dishes and tools. She LOVES this! She will spend an hour playing in the sudsy sink. And then, her next favorite thing.....vacuuming. Weird! But Nana bought Ahnalin her own vacuum because she loves it so much. Yeah......we do not share the same gene pool for sure!

She refused to let me brush her hair today. It was a sensory kind of day, so the kneading, rolling, washing and vacuuming all were good sensory stimulation and really calmed her down. She truly loves this stuff, which totally cracks me up.

And the end result of our labors was so yummy! We made 10 dozen scones!


And then, just for fun, a little froggy singing.
Excuse the lack of loveliness on my part. No makeup today and, gee, am I looking old!

video

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm a Wondermommy!


This last week I have been busy sewing lots of gifts as well as testing out Wondermommy's new "Skants" pattern. This is just a darling and very versatile pattern. I sewed up the Skants as well as a pair of capris using the pattern. The pattern comes as an e-book so it is a download and prints off your own printer. There is a skirt, pant, capri, shorts and "Skants" pattern, so you have lots of great things to try. I am still not sure how to do the link thing within a post. I keep trying with the various tools on blogger but I am not figuring it out. If anyone wants to give me any tips, I am open! PLEASE!!!

But in the meantime, I have a blog button for Wondermommy to the right hand side, so if you want to get your hands on this great pattern, click on the button and it will take to right there.



Ahnalin loves her daisies so she had to put one in her convenient back pocket.

These are little capris made from the same pattern. I love that they take so little fabric and go together quickly. I did most of the sewing on my serger, and just topstitching on my regular machine. Super fast and easy peasy!


More back pockets for my girly! I can hardly wait to see how many rocks she collects in these!
Thank you to Mellissa for allowing me to test this fabulous pattern!

In addition to the Skants pattern testing, I had several gifts to make this last week. A dear friend of mine and fellow vocalist ( who is super gifted and amazing, by the way!) is having her first baby in a month. I have been hounding this girl to have a baby for as long as I have known her. And just to spite me ( not really, but I am saying it anyway!) she and her hubby have chosen to wait until the birth to find out who this baby is. So, no hints as to boy or girl! This is soooo frustrating for a girl who loves to sew! So I had to figure out something to make that was not totally boy or girl. So...I made a "Minky Monkey" blanket. OOOOh it was so soft, I had a hard time parting with it. I used this super neat rayon gross grain ribbon as the binding and I am now officially crazy for the stuff. It is so much easier to work with than bias tape and looks so pretty and finished. Oh, and the monkeys are out of Moda's brushed cotton. Super cozy! For some stupid reason, the photo is sideways, though I have edited it to be right side up. Really, I am not computer savvy. Thank God I can sew, cook and sing. Otherwise I would have no skills at all!

The same day as the shower, Ahnalin was invited to a little friend's birthday party. Her friend is a girly girl whose favorite color is pink. This I can handle. Oh, and have I mentioned previously that Ahnalin tells all of her friends that I will sew their birthday presents? Yeah. Oh well, more fun for me and she gets bragging rights.
Ahnalin chose a pillowcase dress for her friend and I loved her fabric choices. I thought about monogramming the dress but literally ran out of time. Still cute though.


Sorry it looks crooked. Did I also mention that I am "not-crooked-bow-tying impaired"?

And the last project I made this week was a swim bag for my cute mother-in-law Lyn, for her birthday. I made this out of the vinyl coated Moda "Dottie" and a remnant from my stash for lining. I love this bag. No pattern, I just winged it, and am really pleased with the results. I thought of putting in a zipper, but went with a flap and magnet clasp instead. I love it! Now I want one for me!



And last but not least, two little happy things that I did not make. The Creator knows how much I love cherries and daisies and blessed me with both today. I love these little "kisses from heaven".


Don't these gorgeous cherries look like two little hearts? They were almost too cute to eat.....almost. Alas, I ate them anyway. And boy were they yummy!

And I was presented with this little bouquet today from Ahnalin. So sweet!

India had made the little vase from a craft kit years ago, and Ahnalin discovered it again, feeling it was just the right size.

I pray you all have a beautiful weekend. Leave me a comment and let me know you stopped by!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Old Favorite



Back in the summer of 2001, when we were living in New Hope, PA, we took what was probably my favorite vacation ever. We visited Williamsburg, Virginia and toured the historical area as well as several settlements, plantations, and battlefields. I had read that the best way to give your child a meaningful experience was to dress them in the style of the period. The brochures said that this was a signal to the actors in the villages to include your child in their activities. So, me being me, I researched the style of the day and made India a colonial gown. The only concession to modernity was the zipper. If I were making the gown now, I would choose instead to have the gown lace up like India's Dream Dress. I have tried to find photos of India in the dress, but they are from the days before we owned a digital camera. So they are in hard copy and probably stashed somewhere with my scrapbooking stuff. And let's just face it. I am a loser at scrapbooking. I would rather sew any day of the week.

But the dress is worn nowadays by a lovely vintage (though not of the same era as the dress style) dress form in the guest bedroom. I pulled it out the other day to photograph and remembered how much I loved this dress. I can't wait until Ahnalin can wear it someday. India looked so darling in this dress. And the ploy worked! As we walked through the streets of Historic Williamsburg, people fussed over her something fierce! I believe news traveled about her and her dress, because as we walked into the dress and hat makers shop, they pulled me into a back room and offered me a job. That was rather surprising. And, boy! I was tempted! But India was pulled into several of the little dramas around town and thoroughly enjoyed her time. She remembers so many of the interesting facts she learned on that trip and has wonderful, warm (well blazing hot as it was over 100 degrees!) memories.


The two fabrics were both Williamsburg Foundation licensed reproductions of actual fabrics used in colonial times.


We hope to go back and visit again someday. Maybe I should make myself a gown!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

India and the Rainbow Fish

India is in the Advanced Drama B class at school and tonight they had a showcase of their most recent projects. The students recreated well loved children's books adding their own personalities. India's group chose the book "Rainbow Fish".

India interpreted the character of the "Wise Gypsy Octopus".

Oh, sorry about the jerky camera motion. I have no tripod and handed the camera to Don to hold. So don't get too seasick while watching this.

Tea Party at Ahnalin's school







Last Friday, Ahnalin, along with the other preschoolers at Bearcats, had a tea party for their mommies. I was very honored to attend with my precious girl!
She was thrilled to wear an outfit that I had made her using a pattern designed by another designer, Annastasia Cruz of My Treasured Heirlooms http//:mytreasuredheirlooms.com

I was thrilled to be a pattern tester for this beautiful pattern! Ahnalin usually wears the peasant blouse that is part of the pattern, but truthfully, we could not find it this morning! So she wore an older blouse that I had made with it. I love this pattern and plan to make many more of this style. There are several variations of the design, including a peasant blouse, dress, pants, capris, twirl top and sundress. The pattern is beautiful, well designed and economical as well. Annastasia is a gifted designer and makes beautiful clothes as well.

But back to the tea party, as you simply must see what Ahnalin had waiting for me. She made me a print of her little hand with a poem to remind mama of how she is only little for a little while. Oh it makes me cry to think of it. We waited and prayed so long for our precious Ahnalin, and now she is nearly at the end of preschool! She also made me a keychain and a card with pretty spring flowers. And we got to share some yummy fruit, muffins and juice.


My sweet Ahnalin, thank you for the privilege of being your mommy. Out of all the babies in all the world, I am glad God chose you for me.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Generations

To all you mothers, first-mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, step-mothers, foster mothers, mother "figures", and hopeful mothers, I want to say "Happy Mother's Day! You are loved. You are blessed. You are special.


I am so blessed to be the mother of two precious, daughters. My road to parenting has not been easy, and I do not take for granted the gift of my children. Someday, in heaven, I hope to meet the babies who did not live long enough to be born to me here on Earth.I am so grateful that my precious India, was my first baby. I love her with all my heart, even when she makes me completely crazy. She is beautiful, talented, well spoken, funny, and brave. What a gift she is.

And someday, oh I pray, that I get to meet the mother who placed my youngest daughter, Ahnalin, to be found, and eventually placed in my arms. If I could meet her, I would tell her how grateful I am to me a mother to our daughter. I know she must long for this precious child, in her heart, even if she is not able to long for her outwardly. I am so grateful that she chose to continue her pregnancy, when ending it would have been the much easier option in the country where she lives. I am so grateful for all the people who prayed our precious Ahnalin into our lives. She is a miracle!

I am blessed to be the only daughter of my beautiful mother, Barbara Jean. She is amazing! She has boundless energy, and a deep love for people. She always sees the best in people and loves them. She reflects Jesus every day. She is the most generous woman I have ever met. It used to drive me crazy, as a child, when I would say something unkind about a person, and her response would be "They need love, let's invite them to lunch!" YIKES! I learned quick not to be catty, and to see the heart in other people. My daddy was a pastor for all my growing up years. My parents opened our home up many times a week to just live out their faith in front of people, sharing their lives, their food, and the love of Jesus. I never saw my mother be uncomfortable with someone, no matter how they dressed, how they smelled, or how they spoke. She just loved them. She still does. She is a loving, committed wife, a dear friend, and an amazing grandmother. Oh, and one more thing.....when playing barbies with India, at the age of about 5 or 6, she taught her to play "Get your hands off my man!" Yeah, like most girls, India had several female dolls, but only one male doll, "Beast" (AKA Prince Eric). So, my mother taught India that useful phrase that will probably be used at least once in her life! Thanks mom! Eek!

I am also blessed to be the daughter-in-law to my precious hubby's mom, Lyn. I know how blessed I am! I have many friends who do not enjoy good relationships with their MILs, and I get to say that mine is one of my dearest friends. We talk daily, of course, because we live with them. But more than that, we truly love and enjoy each other. Sometimes, my poor hubby, has to deal with both his wife and his mom being on the same side of issues such as haircuts, and slightly trashy band names, but for the most part, we do pretty well with boundaries. Lyn, who I call "Mum" in deference to the fact that we are both pretty committed to our love of all things British, also lives her relationship with Jesus out in front of me, daily. She is another ear for my daughters when I am busy, or just not seeing things the same way. She will always read stories, or play dolls with my little one, even when she is in pain.
Nana is actually wearing the apron I made for my mom, but I wanted to get it on camera before it left the house. And somehow, I cut my nephew in half while taking this picture. Sorry T.

Yes, I am blessed and I know it.

Today, I am grateful to be singing a great song in the services at church. The song, "Generations" by Sara Groves, talks about how, the choices I make, and the way I live my life, will have lasting effect on the generations to come. That is a lot of pressure, but also a gift.

The lines "Generations will reap what I sew, I can pass on a curse or a blessing, to those I will never know," have such impact. The choices I make, whether I choose to live a live of faith and trust, whether I choose to control my temper and tongue, whether I choose to love my husband even when I disagree with some decision or statement, whether I choose fear or peace, will have an impact on how my daughters make the same choices. And that will impact their children, and so on and so on. Wow! That makes me really want to see God's word, and listen to the women ( and men too), in my life who help me with those choices.

As a seamstress, these lines have a different meaning as well. I love to sew a quality garment. I learned to sew, primarily, from my mother. She is so creative, and fearless. She used to sew all my dad's suits. She would look at something she wanted, and copy it, out of it seamed, a half yard remnant. And now I sew. I hope that the items I sew will be passed down to younger generations. I hope that the love of creating is passed down. I hope the joy in a job well done, is a gift I give my children.

This leads me to the gifts I made to give to my mother and my mother-in-law. Yes, according to Yahoo, the gift I chose to make for them is a "reminder of the hard work of mothering". I disagree. Mothering is hard work! But you may as well have something pretty to wear while you are doing the work! So I made them aprons. I love this pattern, called "Emmeline" by Sew Liberated. I have the link to the designer's blog in my blogroll. I will definitely be making more of this pattern. It is fabulous and so pretty on. For my mother, and sister-in-law Chelle, who is celebrating her first Mother's Day, I chose fabric that has crows on it. Anyone know why? heehee! For my MIL, I chose fabric with teacups and cupcakes. All of these fabrics were in my mighty stash, which never seems to get smaller.

Just to confuse you more, this is India wearing Nana's apron!

I had better get to bed if I want to have any voice at all to sing. But I want to say to all of you, I pray that God blesses you with a very special Mother's Day. And to those women out there who long to be mothers, God sees your heart and knows your desires. He can take your hurt, disappointment and anger. He loves you and wants you to have someone to love in return. I pray you have children to love soon. To those of you who have made the very difficult decision to place your children in the arms of others to love and raise, God also sees your hurt and wants to minister to you. You are loved and cherished. And I pray that someday your children will know and honor you. All of you women have the opportunity to affect the generations to come. Make the decisions in your life with the knowledge that you are loved.

In His Grace,
Sivje