Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas... a few days late

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope that you are all enjoying your time with family right now.  I am doing just that.  Dear husband Hugo is off of work for the week so there will most likely be no photos and no more posts until after the new year.  I can't wait to share pictures of the the very bias skirt that I whipped up for Yasmeen right before Christmas and all of the many rosette and floral head bands that I made for her and her friends.  I will do so when everyone is back to work and school but for now, I am off to enjoy the time that I have with them home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

car I promised, just a day or two later than said

I have to begin with a BIG I don't know how all of the other mom's who blog do it!  I finished the car rolls several days ago but getting great pictures with everything else that needs to be done around here was just I settled for what I got and maybe there will be a new year's resolution in all of this ; )  Here they are.

This is the inside of my daughter Evelyn's, I bought the only pack of cars that I could find with a pink caddilac and wouldn't you know, there are only five in that bag!  Well I have made six pockets so I think it's time to pull a shiny red car from Moses' stash ; )

Moses and Evelyn are getting my little hatchbacks...just like the first car I bought (VW golf) but with a much nicer paint job.

My nephew's

and my niece

are getting these 

I only filled the ones for my little monsters so here the two stand filled with goodies.

Remember that these were far from my idea, I got the idea and tutorial here.  I didn't go to the bottom of Jill's tutorial until after I was done with most of the making but if I had, I might have realized that there were TEMPLATES that make the process of cutting out cars and painting on numbers much EASIER!  It's OK though, my kids got hatchbacks and that would never have happened if I had seen the templates ; )

I am off to conquer the rest of the rosettes so that everyone will have a gift under the tree.  I hope to be back with picks before Christmas but if I'm not, Merry Christmas to everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas is coming...

and I have been working round the clock over here to get all of the gifts made.  I have spent ample time looking over the wonderful things posted on Sew Mama Sew's Handmade Holidays and although I wanted to pick more, I finally decided on just a few things to mass produce for the kids and their friends/ cousins.  Next year I want to start earlier so that all of my gifts can be hand made.  I really am loving making them all but like always, I have bit off more than I can chew and it looks like some of these gifts will be arriving for Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas instead ; )  

So what have I made and what am I still working on?  Well these car rolls looked like they would be a piece of cake so I had to make them (six in total) but they took a lot longer than I thought they would.  Not sure if it was all the diaper changing, breast feeding, taxi driving, and cooking that needed to be done...never mind the cleaning ; ) but it ended up taking me 2 weeks to complete them all.  They came out OK but there are a lot of things that I will do differently if I do these again.  In fact, making these gave me the idea for an entire post that I would like to do on freezer paper stencils when Christmas is over and I have time to actually think and post again.  They are for my smallest children and my niece and nephews and because they are all five and under, I think they will forgive me the imperfections.

I have also been making a ton of rosette head bands that I found the idea for here  The tutorial is great but hand sewing was not the plan when I started to make all my gifts.  I saved the sewing part on 40 of the rosettes thinking I would knock them out during my Wednesday bible study and my Friday mom's group but when I got to Wednesday Bible study, I realized that I had forgotten my thimble.  Please note, DO NOT HAND SEW WITH OUT A THIMBLE unless you want a few small holes in a finger on your sewing hand.  It's Saturday night and I am still feeling the pain.  I am hoping to finish all of my rosette headbands tomorrow and post pics.  

I took a break tonight and went to my good friend and neighbor Jacqui's annual Christmas party tonight where I scored a Wal-Mart gift card in the gift exchange (wooooo hooooo!!!!!!!!!).  Needless to say, I have had one to many glasses of wine to take a great pic of the car rolls or the rosettes that I am working on but I plan to post them tomorrow (really I am going to do this this time).  So until tomorrow, have a good night and enjoy Christmas break!

finally, I'm back with pics

It has been a mad house of sewing, baking, concerts and class parties over here.  Makes me wonder how I ever thought I would get back here before the months end but here I am!  First up, the pictures of the money cuffs made for Yasmeen's guests at the party last month.  I believe it was nearly two weeks ago when I promised to post these "tomorrow" well never mind the tardiness, here they are:

the monograms were done freehand with the satin stitch

handy zippered pocket to put your $$$ in 

and a cute little 15 month old to model them for you...funny thing is that she put these on herself while I was busy, oh, I have a lot of fun to look forward to with this busy girl!

Remember that these were not my idea, I first saw them here and then followed that link to this tutorial..  The tutorial was great.  I added the piece of fabric with the monograms because I wasn't happy with the visible stitching after adding Velcro.  Also, I wanted to add more of the pink (Yasmeen picked the pink for the inside and I thought it was better out.  So we compromised and she loved them.

Now this morning I am trying to fit in a couple hours of work out side of the home before I finish making the rest of  my Christmas gifts and yes, I am way behind but still hopeful ; )  I am hoping that I can come back and post late tonight when I have gotten some more done.  I would love to show pics of the wonderful rosettes I've been working on and the car rolls that I have made.  I still have 3 skirts and few other odds and ends to complete before Christmas so off of this computer I am getting now!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Birthday Party and a great idea for Party Favors

 As I have shared with you all before, I think Birthday's are a BIG deal.  I love celebrating the lives of the ones I love.  You've already seen a pic from Yasmeen's "family party" in my last post but there was more.  We threw her "friend party" on the following Friday night with 5 of her closest friends.  Her slumber party was a success made possible by wonderful friends and our dear neighbor Jacquie who volunteered to drive us all to the ice skating rink at the Galleria (yes, on Black Friday!).  Here are some highlights  from the party.

gotta have balloons!

a root beer toast to the Birthday girl!

my wonderful neighbor and friend, Jacqui the driver

waiting on line to get ice skates

gotta love a turquoise hat with scarf to match!

little Evy joined the slumber party movie watching  fun

plenty of pillows and plenty of popcorn

a birthday breakfast with the little ones joining in

Evy scored the candy cane turned into a hat

 I also wanted to show off the party favors that I whipped up (late, they are going out with the thank you notes tomorrow).  I found the idea for the wrist wallets here where there is a link to a great tutorial here .  Yasmeen loved them and picked out the fabric from my monster stash of smaller cuts. 
but that will have to wait another day because I am running behind on all of my pics and editing.  Hopefully the post with the pics will be tomorrow.  I have to say that as much as I am enjoying this little blog, it is really a challenge to get to it and actually have all the photos of everything you want to share ready to go.  So until tomorrow...

Monday, November 22, 2010

and operation Birthday Surprise is complete...well almost

So the day has come and gone and here I am, still up!  I just had to come and post pics of just how much I was able to get done on the big birthday surprise for Yasmeen.  Her room is not yet complete but hopefully it will be before her slumber party on Friday.  My apologies for the pics but I was exhausted by the time I got to take a pic and the lighting left a bit to be desired.

The lamp shade is still not redone and I now realize that a few more pillows might be in order to give her that "sofa" feel that she so wants but I'm quite pleased with the progress.

The photo collage extends further to the left of this photo but the full pic came out a mess (even darker than this one) so I'll have to take better pics in the light tomorrow.
She absolutely LOVES this collage!
SUCCESS at last ; )

My daughter has been begging for posters to be hung in her room for a long time now.  Lucky for me, one of her best friends has a mom who really loves her and granted her wish this year.  She delivered and hung all three of these lovely frames filled with Yasmeen's pick of super stars.  Gotta say that I'd never sen Kesha before and am not so very impressed...I must be getting old.

Now all of the hodgepodge of posters are hung up in her closet and she couldn't have been more thrilled.

These are the two pillows that I kept saying I would post pics of.  The last one I did was the one with her name on it and that was fun.  I have never tried to "embroider" anything with my machine until this pillow and I learned a lot doing it.  Freehanding it is kind of liberating after all of those straight lines.

I leave you with a pic of the 11 year old herself.  She said that this was the best birthday of her life..I hope we don't disappoint her next year.

Happy Birthday my dear sweet Yasmeen!
I love you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

birthdays are super special...

That is why I am up at this ridiculous hour, working my arse off to finish Yasmeen's birthday surprise.  The pillows are almost done (one blind stitch left), the blueberry muffins are ready for breakfast, over 3 dozen cupcakes are baked and iced, ready to go...really gaudy flowers (hot pink and orange) are in a vintage vase by her bed.  There is still so much more to do and I am hoping it all gets done before my wonderful 11 year old arrives home from school.

I have been asked by a large number of people "why? can't you do it smaller?"  No, no I can not ; )  I was blessed with a family that celebrated my life (wait, they still do) ever since I was born.  It wasn't about large parties (although there were a number of those), it was just about celebrating.  My mother would wake us up with our favorite breakfast and one gift.  The whole family would sing happy birthday to you before you were even seeing straight.  Then there was dinner, a wonderful dinner in which you could request deep fried chicken mashed potatoes, and sopapillas all on the same table on the same night!  My mom is great ; )  It was magical every special day that was always set aside for me.  I want my children to have that too.

Here are some pics of the crazy going on in my house right now:

cupcakes before the icing.. had to run to the HEB at eleven o'clock when I realized there was no more powdered sugar for the butter cream..ugh

There are 150 photos in total and as soon as I get home from taking her to school those bad boys are going up on one of her walls

ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles..

still need to be ruffled...

this lamp shade will be the home to the mountain of ruffles when I finish them

a ridiculous number of pics that look to be of the same cup cakes..

but there not!

34 kids will be in her classroom when these are served

and you know she'll want to deliver cupcakes to every teacher that she's ever had ; )

ran out of butter cream icing and it's too late to make more right now

Friday, November 19, 2010

time is slipping away from me..

So in true Wendy style, I have possibly bit off more than I can choose.  I finished pillow number four but the pics I took are horrible so I am waiting until pillow five is done to do a retake of them for posting.  I am in the middle of putting together a photo wall instillation for the big birthday surprise on Monday.  If I don't get back to blogging before then, I promise that I will post pics of Yasmeen's new room on Monday night...late...after all the dishes from the birthday dinner are done.  I am getting off of this computer now so that I can get to the rest of my list..

Saturday, November 13, 2010

pillow 7

After a long week of learning how to put a zipper in (it's really quite easy if you follow instructions...yes, I have a difficult time with that), I finally finished 3 pillows for pillow week.  It was going to be 7 and I was going to post very impressive photos...  but it's late and my house is a wreck and with limited clean surfaces for which to lay my pillows, you get to see some mediocre pillow pics at best.  No worries, I will show them again next week when I have completed the rest of them and they sit atop my daughter's bed in her (hopefully) finished bedroom. I should probably mention that the reason I decided to follow along with pillow week is that I thought it would be a great birthday gift for my eldest daughter Yasmeen.  She is turning 11 on the 22nd and I thought I would surprise her by actually finishing the bedroom decor that we started on 2 1/2 years ago (I know, I know..between diapers, breastfeeding, pregnancy, diapers, potty training and still breastfeeding...well you might know how it is).

Here they are!

This is the first one I did, then cut up and redid after trying twice to install a zipper to no avail.  I finally went with an envelope backing

So I did get a zipper done successfully on this one.  I figured simple stripes would be a nice break after all the pleating and ruffling.

The pompom trim is something I don't think I ever want to mess with on a pillow again.  I have to say that I wished that I could have made my pompoms and done something more like this one that Meg did at elsiemarley but there was no way with my week that I would have ever gotten it done.  Maybe next time.

This was my first attempt to piece fabric together, I think it turned out OK but I didn't get a great shot of it.  So now I am off to bed so that I can rest up for round two.  I promised my husband that I would have this part of the gift done by the end of pillow week (he doesn't know that it was over today so I'll just carry on till tomorrow is over ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

pillow 4

So I just new that I would have great pics to post by now.  Instead I am feeling the need to run to the store and buy several bottles of wine to cure my depression over pillow number 1.  I am trying to do new things with every challenge and this week, I thought hey zippers!  Yes, I will do that!

The good news is that I now know how to do a zipper.  Even better news is that I don't think it is really that difficult.  The bad news is that I sewed in this zipper and it is way to small.  Now I have to figure out how to make this work.  I have spent to many hours on this one to ditch it now.

Oh I do hope that tomorrow I will be posting pictures of several lovely pillows..until then, I am back to the pillows.

Monday, November 8, 2010

pillow week..slow start

So on Sunday, I discovered (thanks to Meg ) that it is pillow week at house on hill road.  Getting a late start, I spent my "sewing hour" mapping out my plans for the challenge only to realize that I would need to get to the fabric store in order to execute my plans.  So no actual sewing has taken place yet but off to the store I went with the little ones in tow (joy is having small children with you in the fabric store).  Tonight all I could do was cut, does that count?  I have no cool pics today but hopefully tomorrow I will be posting at least one finished pillow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

bringing the toddlers on board..

All of us who have little ones know that it is really hard to get dinner on the table at a decent hour with whiny little ones under your feet.  While I have no hope to offer when you are toting a baby or a 1, I can tell you that if you space your children well that you can hand the baby over to you eldest and bring the whining toddler to a happy squeal of joy.  Just bring the toddler on board. 

I learned this lesson by watching my mother relate to my first child.  It took a little retraining of the brain, but somewhere in the third year of her life I got on board with bringing her to the counter with me.  It takes a lot less time to have them help you with your chores than to fuss with the whining and the tantrums.  While this works for everything from laundry (they love to help sort when they are just 2 and they love to put  the clothes in the machines when they are just 1) to dusting (a 3 can clean the baseboards quite well while a 1 or 2 loves to scrub the coffee table even if you have to go behind them afterwards) and of course, a 3 is an amazing helper in the kitchen but a 2 can help quite well also. 

My boy Moses is now 3 and a quarter and he always wants to make everything in the kitchen with me.  At first, when he was a mid-1 I would just give him pots, pans, some empty jars of spices, and a whisk, a spoon and a spatula.  That kept him happy for a little while but by mid-2 he was ready for the stool (OK, we don't really have a stool so he uses a chair ; ).  Sometimes I get the camera out to document what he has done.  Our most recent endeavor with pics was a favorite dish around here.  Rice and beans with sausage and on the side, tostones.  He put everything in the pot and while the tostones are way to hot for him to handle, he handed me every single one of those platanos on the way to the pan.

the rice and beans

the tostones and sausage

the happy boy!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

finishing eachothers art..

So Yasmeen and I have spent many an hour finishing each others art.  Sometimes I start the piece and sometimes she does.  Sometimes we are on a plane killing time, sometimes I see that she was "done" with her piece long before the page was filled while painting at the dining room table.  

We started doing this together when she was very young (as early as she could pick up a crayon and make a few marks).  It has provided ample time for togetherness doing something that we love.  I also believe that it has given her a good eye for composition.  I liken it to reading to our children.  When they can read pictures, we read them the words.  As they grow and learn to read, they read one page and we read another. 

Today I was strolling down memory lane and found these pics that Yasmeen and I did together.  Well, all but the last one.  I saw that one (which was done on the same day as the one before it) and thought it was a great example of how far she has come in composition.  These pics date back from when she was five or six until the summer of '09.  For some reason I don't have anything more recent scanned.  Either we need to get busy doing art together again or I need to start scanning!

Yasmeen finished these two pieces by making the bodies and there clothing.

Yasmeen drew this lady complete and then I painted her, added the clothes and the back ground.

This was a still life of a small wooden statue that we have in our dining room.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Petticoat central..Halloween 2010

So here they are, the petticoats that took hours and hours to make!  If you are wondering why my tiny girl is wearing hers as a dress, it's because I got carried away and forgot to measure when I cut the satin lol.  It was too late in the day once sewn so we tied it around her neck and voila, she had a dress.  The girls were "bursts of color" designed by big sis Yasmeen.  They were supposed to have these tops on that I was supposed to sharpie tie like the ones here but I ran out of time and still had to whip up the Dalmatian costume for Moses.

I would blog more about this experience in costume making tonight but I am absolutely spent so it will have to wait.  I do however feel the need to post all about my experience making those all time consuming petticoats.  I am stunned that anyone would make those to sell now that I have made one.  $65.00 is cheap for that amount of work!  Maybe you get fast at making them when you make them to sell on Etsy?