Thursday, October 21, 2010

Punkys Pumpkin Patch

Ahnalin is on Fall Break!

So, she and I got to go to Santa Rosa with Don
on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Most of our time was spent looking for rental houses
so we can move.

But all house-hunting and no play,
makes Sivje a very stressed out mama
and Ahnalin a very grouchy girl!

So, Ahnalin and jumped in the car 
and drove up Redwood Highway to 
Punkys Pumpkin Patch,

There are many Pumpkin Patches in Sonoma County,
but Punkys offers lots of fun things to do for FREE!!!

Look closely and you will see Ahnalin
Jumping inside the bounce house. 

She jumped for at least 20 minutes before even going down the slide!

Then she went down the bouncy slide a bazillion times!

Then we headed over to the SUPER GINORMOUS TALL SLIDE!!!

There was NO ONE THERE! 

No lines!

And she slid to her heart's content!

There was no "Hay Bale Mountain" 
at Punkys so she improvised.

We saw green pumpkins....

and white pumpkins....

and lots of colors in between.

And this very lumpy, bumpy orange pumpkin
just made me really happy!

In the end, she chose a sweet yellow orange pumpkin
without a stem.

She did not want this pumpkin to be left unloved 
and unchosen because it had no stem.

That is who my little one is. 

She has a big heart for those who may feel 
left out and abandoned. 

Happy Pumpkin Patch Day my darling girl!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Change On The Horizon

Change is Exciting!
(and kind of scary)

Let me step back a bit and let you know what is happening
in our family life.

I know I mostly write about sewing, and my kids, and my hubby.

Well, here is a bit more about my hubby.

Before we moved back home to California,
Don had been a full-time music pastor
at several different churches across the U.S. 

As a family, we experienced a great many health difficulties,
several miscarriages, and many adoption
attempts that fell through leaving us heartbroken and 
emotionally and financially depleted.

Our last home, before we moved back to CA,
was a darling historical home in Historic Brownsburg, 
Bucks County, PA. 
The house was infested with bats and black mold,
but I loved it anyway. 

That house affected our health in a very bad way.

So eventually, when Don's parents built their lovely
home in the Sierra Foothills of CA, 
they asked us to move into it with them.
We gratefully accepted!

We have lived here ever since.

In this time, we have dealt with India's multiple diagnoses,
more miscarriages, more adoptions falling through,
Ahnalin's miraculous adoption, 
and then, of course the recession.

We started to attend a wonderful 
and loving church, 
called Twin Cities.

The people of Twin Cities loved on us
and loved us back to wholeness.
They were with us to mourn and 
to celebrate. 
The admonished and encouraged us. 

The showed us in VERY practical ways,
that we were worth more than just
the sum of our talents. 

They were the Hands and Feet of Jesus.

Almost as soon as we walked in the doors of Twin Cities,
we were folded into the arms of the
Celebration Arts Team.

You see, my husband,
and of course I say this COMPLETELY without bias,
is the greatest guitarist who has ever lived.


For 8 years Don played guitar
with the CA band.
And 5 years ago, he was hired
as the band leader.

Dave Bollen, the man on the right in the above picture,
is the Minister of Music at TCC and a very dear friend.
The first picture you see at the top of this post
was taken October 3 at about 6:30 AM,
on our last Sunday as a family at TCC.

Yes, we would arrive to begin rehearsal when the
moon was still out.
I love this place.

Ahnalin is sitting on a little stool on the stage at TCC
at our last morning rehearsal.

She was so sad that it was our last day there as a family.

TCC is the only church she has ever known
and she is fearful of getting to know a new church,
school, town, and friends.

Oh, I forgot to say why I am writing all this!

This is our NEW CHURCH!!

You see, Don was hired to
be the new worship leader of the
Contemporary Service at First Presbyterian Church 
in Santa Rosa, CA!!!!


Somehow, the Lord decided that it was
time for us to make a change.
change it is!!

Again, COMPLETELY without bias,
I can say that Sonoma County CA is truly the
MOST BEAUTIFUL place on Earth.

For years, Don and I have prayed that
the Lord would someday, in His Grace
and Mercy, provide a way for us to move back to this area.
And we love being in the ministry.
When we heard about this position,
and met the people,
we fell in love.

I mean,

The people in our new church are loving and genuine and
they LOVE Jesus!

Sure, we have a few details to work out still,
but God has already answered so many prayers
and questions that I know the rest will somehow fall into place.
Last Sunday was our first official Sunday at
First Pres.
Ahnalin was fearful and nervous.
And because I had decided not to sing on Don's first Sunday,
I chose to stay with Ahnalin in her Sunday School class.

India was very sick and she laid down most of the morning but she
was there with us. So we started out at our new church as a

Our dear friends from TCC,
Don and Lola Stamey, came to visit and support us
on our first Sunday.
Afterwards, they treated us to lunch at our
favorite local restaurant,
"Fitch Mountain Eddies" in Healdsburg.

And then, because I promised my friend Laura,
we dropped in to her daughter's
cupcakery called  "Sift" .

  In celebration, we each chose a different flavor
of cupcake and then cut them up
so we could each taste the different flavors.

(To my Prism diet buddies, yes, I tasted them all!)

After this, we drove around neighborhoods
looking for available homes for rent.

We are praying to find the right house
soon so that we can get moved in.

So, how, you may ask,
can you be praying for our family?

Well, thank you for asking!

Please pray for Ahnalin's anxiety during this transition.
She is extremely anxious, and we find that she is
struggling more with her PTSD and RAD than she has
for a very long time.
Please pray she meets a friend.

And for India, who is waiting to hear whether or not
she has been accepted into the Disney College Program.
This change and move is coming right at a time
when she is transitioning to adulthood.
And she is unsure what this will all mean for her.
Please pray that she is accepted into the DCP so that
she at least knows how to plan and pack. We all
feel that the DCP would be a great fit for her.
And please pray for her health.
She has an ulcer right now in addition to her other
medical issues and is so tired of feeling cruddy.

And for my Hot Rockin' Hubby,
please pray for him as he is learning the culture of a new church and job.
Please pray that he would be able to joyfully embrace the mission of
our new church home. He is making friends already with the musicians
in his new band, and I am so grateful for these wonderful people.
He is so excited and happy,
and I am so glad to see him that way!

For me, well for all of us really,
please pray that
God would direct us to the right house.
I am praying for a school where Ahnalin will feel accepted and
eager to learn. She is a great student but so nervous about it all.
I pray that our new home will allow us to get a dog
for our girls, who have begged for one for so many years.
I pray for a home where we can
entertain friends.
I pray for a home with a place for me to set up my sewing.
And mostly I pray that our family will be a family in our new place.

Yes, I know this is a much different post than I usually write.
I will be back to sewing next post.
If you have stuck with me in this post, thank you so much.
I am so grateful for your friendship and encouragement.

So, I have a lot of packing to do, in addition to
sewing some testers for other designers and
some custom items for clients.
I will try to post as often as I can,
but I really do beg for your prayers.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pink Scooters for Cherish

I love this little dress!

It is almost as cute as my darling niecy poo Cherish!
I can't wait to see her in this dress.
I know, I know.
It has rick rack on the collar....
and the cuffs.

I am pretty much in love with 
those puffed sleeves.

I can't wait to see yummy toddler arms wearing them.

I love the fabric.

You see, Cherish's Mommy and Daddy
have a scooter that is their date vehicle.

So I thought it was perfect!

And the back view,
well, I love that little belt.

And....more rick rack.

The pattern is "Carol" by 

The Children's Corner.

Very simple

Very classic

I can't wait to see my darling niece wearing it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Red Rose Farm In The Mailbox!

Or should I call it 
"Happiness In The Mailbox"?

Have you visited
Late Bloomer Quilts?

Oh my goodness!!
Late Bloomer Quilts is
the lovely company owned by
designer Elizabeth Scott.

And I LOVE her designs!

I admit it. 

I have been stalking her blog, shop
and Twitter because I am 
so CRAZY IN LOVE with her first 
line of fabric. 

I am sure she must think I am a crazy nutcake. 

Well, maybe not "nut" cake since I 
am allergic to nuts.

But at least a fruit cake.

On her blog last week, 
she ran a giveaway for a fat quarter
stack of her new line.


I WON!!!

Do you see the note she included in the fabric?


So, in case you are wondering.......

I had thought of making a quilt for 
Ahnalin's new bedroom with these 

I am going to be selfish and make a quilt 




So, do you want to know why I love these designs so much?

Well, years and years ago,
I was an interior designer and window display designer
for some Laura Ashley stores.

I was so very passionate about Laura's designs,
and really her whole lifestyle.

Clear, fresh, beautiful florals 
and allovers that recalled
lovely dreams of the unspoiled countryside. 

Dreams of picnics and gardens,
white picket fences,
and drinking tea on the grass,
all the while lovely, lilting music 
would be drifting over a babbling brook. 

That is what Red Rose Farm is for me. 
It reminds me of those peaceful and happy things.

Elizabeth, thank you for this lovely gift.

I can hardly wait to get started!

You are a very gifted and generous designer.

Happy Sewing Everyone!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My School Girl

 You know, Ahnalin is a big First Grader now.

 She has been reading since she was barely 5, 
but has really fallen in love with books
this year.

Her favorite books,
and I do mean FAVORITE(!!!!)
are "Dick and Jane" books.

She reads them all the time!

So, when I saw that Laura Johnson of
had designed a classic school girl style jumper 
with a classic "Peter Pan" collared blouse,
I begged to be one of the pattern testers.

 And this little jumper and blouse really
remind of of Dick and Jane!

This little lined jumper has a pleated skirt
and buttons up the back.

I made Ahnalin's out of a medium weight twill, 
embroidered with ladybugs.

I used red gingham mini piping, 
and ladybug buttons on the back!

The blouse was made from white Kona cotton
and white rick rack (surprise!)

And it went together so easily!

Laura provides clear, concise directions
and lovely hand drawn illustrations.

Sorry, this photo is so blurry, 
but it makes me laugh so you get to see it.

The pattern includes sizes 4-12 
and provides both the jumper and blouse
pattern pieces. 
Which is a great deal!

Ahnalin read her book out loud the entire time 
that I was taking these pictures.

She started to make faces and giggle 
and just like that!
She was off and so "done" with
her mommy taking pictures!

So, pop on over to Laura's website and 
check out her pretty patterns. 

Laura, thank you for letting me test your darling pattern!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Stash Game Items

 Stash Game at Sewing Mamas 
is over for another season. 

And I am happy to say that I actually made 
it through ALMOST the whole
month without purchasing fabric.

I said ALMOST.

But almost is better than totally going overboard.


Yeah, this is how I felt after nearly a month 
of refraining from purchasing fabric.

Did I mention that I quit sugar
at the same time?

Talk about overcoming addictions cold turkey!

My goal for stash game has been to make a few Autumn 
outfits for Ahnalin. 
It is still really hot here, 
but once it starts to get cool, 
Ahnalin NEEDS long sleeved dresses 
and leggings. 

And she loves knit play dresses with 
those leggings because they are COZY.

The fabric for this outfit was all from 

I love Chez Ami knits because they sew up beautifully 
and wash up very softly.

And they are so reasonably priced in the clearance section. 

The pattern I used for the dress was McCalls
M6157 in a size 4 with a size 6 length, 
view D.

You can purchase this pattern as an instant download
directly from McCalls.
However I added the striped front underneath
the crossover front, because it gaped
and was too low cut without it.

I trimmed the neckline in Fold Over Elastic
"FOE" that I purchased from 

The leggings are from an older
Ottobre pattern Magazine.

 And then I made a few birthday presents.

Both of these simple twirly skirts
were made without a pattern.

Just stash fabric, trim,

 And two more Yaya's Aprons 
in the child size small, 2-4, 
had to be made for a set of twins 
who were just turning 2!

I made another outfit during stash game, 
but I will reveal that one in a few days.

(Here is a small hint..... It was a pattern tester
for another designer.)