Friday, November 4, 2011

Something fun...

I actually was mentioned in a quilting magazine!

Back in 2009 I made a tutorial for for reusable produce bags.  Lisa eliminated the side strip of material for her version, but it is a little surreal to see her credit my blog for the inspiration for the project. 

Makes me want to try to go through the process for myself...I guess I'd have to think up something fun to sew first.  ;)

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Best First Day of School Ever

It always starts with a front door picture....

The first time getting to ride the bus to school (yes, I even took pictures in the rain!)

It was still raining too much for the "Mill Road" Sign photo, but I got one of her off the bus...this may be the last year she humors me...

Maggie missed Katie.  A lot.  It will be easier on her in a few weeks when she starts preschool.

Two sisters walking ahead of mommy and Becky...
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More from the night before 2nd grade....

Katie, Maggie and Becky all cuddling Daddy...well when Maggie wasn't telling us that she "can't like a picture!" and when Becky could sit still...
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Happy Birthday Katie...

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Monday, August 15, 2011


That is what Maggie calls gymnastics...

We did a little summer program for both girls through GEARS and they loved it! 
Maggie on the balance beam on her first day....She did the big one later...
On her way up to a handstand on the first day.  Quite the little monkey.

Katie also took a class that met right after Maggie's.  Becky wasn't cooperating so I didn't get pictures from her class.

We made friends with another family with 4 girls!  One girl Katie's age, one slightly older than Mags, one a little younger, and the last was Becky's age.  We had a good couple of weeks having friends to talk to during class...

I think the girls want to continue, so we'll see how it goes...
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Monday, August 1, 2011

Hook Family Applesauce

Yep...starting our applesauce sessions for the year.  Last year we did our first batch on John's birthday and ate all of it within a month or so.  So we made more....and more....

We only did 3/4 bushel tonight, but it ended up being about 3 gallons of sauce.  We have the same amount to do tomorrow, but my quality control called it a night after the second batch.

Katie and Maggie were using the food scale to determine the largest and smallest apples, which Katie would write in her 'notebook.'

They would load up tiny buckets to bring me a few apples at a time, which I washed, cored, then quartered.  Threw the apples into a pot with about 2 inches of water on the bottom and cooked for 10-15 minutes on med, or until the apples were cooked.  (sometimes I put a little vanilla into the water while the apples are cooking)

We then (oh wait, I) go nuts cranking the Foley mill until I have a large pot of sauce, which we add a little sugar and cinnamon to, then Quality Control tries some, then gives the OK to put the rest into freezer for us to use later. 
In case you are wondering...I used Lodi apples.  That is what everyone around here seems to recommend, and they taste great!  Later I will just get sauce mix seconds from Masonic Village.
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Update

Once upon a yard sale....
I got some pottery barn benches.

that make perfect beds for Katie and Maggie playing house

As you can see here, she's sleeping!  ;)

Since it has been quite a while without an update, here is Katie--mid-bang grow-out...

And a blurry picture of Becky that one of the girls took with the camera...sorry but this was the only one that had her cute little head in it!

I can't believe that it is offically much to do and school will be here soon!
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mornings with Maggie and Becky

when mommy isn't home

this is what Margaret

and Rebecca

are up too....

Aren't they cute? I can't believe that Katie's time as a first grader is coming to a close...
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Sick Days...

Pro...John taking care of the girls all day for several days in a row.

Con...I'm in too much pain to enjoy it.

Pro...Urgent Care turned out to be a pleasant experience on Easter.

Con...24 hour CVS was NOT. a bag full of medicine, gatorade and cough drops to get me through...

Con...I'm impatient...I mean it has been 24 hours...shouldn't I be feeling almost fantastic yet?

Pro...I wasn't labeled a hypocondriac and sent home after they pocketed my money.

Con...I have strep throat and I only ever remember hearing kids get for my take home treat for volunteering at Katie's school.  (Though I would still do it again because it was a lot of fun, just be labeled as the weirdo mom with the mask on to not catch all their germs....)  I also got a side of a killer sinus infection that is also killing my ears and making it a little tough to I've had much better weekends...

Pro...I have lots of fun blog reading to catch up on when I'm up to it.

Con...I probably missed all the Silhouette giveaways that was going on.  Oh well...always next month, right?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Stuff

Sorry I have been MIA lately...
I think I am at the point that I need to split my "family" blog and "crafty stuff" into a blog of its own.  It is too cluttered with my sewing stuff for family to weed through to find cute pictures of my girlies.

I went on my first trip to Zook's Fabrics and have several projects in the works that I will be sharing soon!  I post the new blog address when it is ready to go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today's Top 20

Amanda was kind enough to feature my Scrappy Produce Bag Tutorial on her Blog, Today's Top 20!  Go and see all the fun stuff she rounded up this week!

Today's Top 20

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ruffle Purse Tutorial--Version 1.0

You will need to print out the pattern pieces here and here.

I am still learning so any tips on how to make pattern pieces easier (but not require a program that costs hundreds of dollars, please clue me in!)

Start out by cutting out and taping together the pattern pieces.  Place the pattern on the fold and cut out 2 pieces of the lining fabric and 2 pieces of the outside fabric.

1.  Place the lining fabric pieces right side together and sew along the outside.  I was lazy and serged along the outsides since I try to use my serger for everything possible because I love it and it makes a nice edge.  This will be hidden so it really doesn't matter if you just sew a straight line.

2.  Cut 2-- 1.5 inch square pieces of fusible interfacing and iron on the wrong side of the lining fabric.  This will keep your magnetic snap from ripping your fabric. 

3.  Cut 6-7 2" strips of fabric to make your ruffles.  I again just took the lazy way out and serged the edge because Katie thinks serged edges look fancy, but it will look more polished if you fold over the edge twice a narrow 1/4" and stitch.

4.  Make gathers with the ruffles but running the fabric through your sewing machine with LSTT (Long stitch length, tight tension)  It should automatically gather your fabric for you as it passes under the needle, but if you want more gather, just lightly hold onto the thread at the top of your machine to increase the tension a bit more.

5.  Start at the top at the ruffle line.  Pin your ruffle onto your front panel to the outside fabric UPSIDE DOWN.  Sew it looks funny, right?  Now either iron or press it down with your fingers so that the ruffle lays the right way.  Stitch it down and it will enclose the loose ends of your fabric. 

6.  Repeat with each ruffle, just overlapping them slightly unless you want a really full look.  (If you want to go wild, you can ruffle the back too!)

7.  Put the outside pieces together right sides together and stitch around the outside like you did for the lining.  Trim off any extra fabric and turn. to check that it looks the way you like.

8.  Line up the pieces of the lining with the outside shell and pin.  Stitch around and up and around the handle strips, leaving a hold several inches to turn.  Turn and topstitch around the outside to close up the turning hole.

9.  Tie up the straps and you're done!  Let me know if you make one!

You may have noticed that this says 1.0....I realized that I forgot to take pictures when I made the first purse which is why it isn't picture heavy like my normal tutorials, but I also came up with a nicer way to do ruffles san serger, so I'm making another ruffle purse for Maggie in the middle and will share that tutorial as version 2.0.  Who knows?  Maybe I can find a tip from someone to make my pattern pieces look not as wonky.  ;)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to be a Baby by Me the Big Sister

I'm participating in Helping Little Hands Read-a-long.  This started March 1st and goes on all month...go check out Polly's blog for lots of fabulous books and activites to do with them.
We have three princesses, so now we have not one, but two big sisters!  We initially found this book when Katie was 3 at the library and laughed so hard that our bellies hurt.  What I loved about this book is the range of emotions that the big sister goes through...she talks about all the awesome things about being a big sister, all the things that she can do but the baby can't do, and as you get toward the end of the book the big sister talks about comforting the baby in the middle of the night and all the fun things that they will do together as the baby grows up. 
Well, that was 3 years ago and I knew the fines would get pretty steep once we did our three renewals, so I got it on Amazon...I actually think that it was my first Amazon purchase...

One thing I love is that the book really is an amazing reflection of the transition that Katie went through and now the one that Maggie is going through as a big sister.  I know when Mags was a baby Katie had moments of frustration, and now they play dress up together, built forts, and giggle with their sister secrets. 

Now, this may be a bit long for a smaller toddler who doesn't enjoy long story time but even at that age you can flip though...just don't skip the highchair page....that was one we would have to read over and over to Katie.  :)

So now you have it reserved at your library, right? 

So I wanted to share a really fun big sister activity.  I thought that it might be fun to have Katie (who is 6) make a book for Becky about what Becky was like as a baby.  We thought up some prompts, mainly from the book, for her to use to write and illustrate.

(We did have a minor problem with markers bleeding though so Katie wants to re-do the beginning of the book...maybe the printer paper wasn't the ideal choice....)

So here are a few pages that she made:

Here are some prompts that we used:

What does Becky wear all day? 

What kind of hair-do does Becky have?

What is Becky's favorite toys?

What song do you like to sing to Becky?

Does Becky have any nicknames?

Where does Becky sleep at night?

What can you do now that you can't wait to do with Becky?

What/How does Becky eat?

How do you make Becky smile?

Now that would be sweet enough to keep, but I told Katie after she finishes her book we will scan the pages and I'll wait for a free photobook offers that happen occassionally online and get it printed like a real book for her.  The other option would be to use pictures from that first year and have the big sibling "write" a story about the pictures.  We will probably end up with a mixture of both.

Nothing makes a big sister feel as grown up as being a published author, right?

Let me know if you do this and how it goes!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

Had fun looking through some pictures of my Dad with Katie and Maggie. He would have been 58 today but Katie and I celebrated his birthday this weekend at Crispus Attucks.
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Wednesday think I'm getting sick so I just drank a glass of OJ.  Started to feel worse but still managed to drag myself and the three girlies to the church for cherub choir practice.  Katie is upset that we didn't stay for Ash Wednesday service, especially since Pastor Carol had a wonderful banner that the congregation was going to make during the service, but I just didn't feel great.  I get home and finally feel like the mucinex is starting to kick in just in time to get the girls ready for bed and everything ready for school pictures tomorrow for Katie.  So while the girls are burning off their energy in the trampoline, I thought that I would share a fun highlight of my afternoon....

My Very Vera Crayon Roll Up was featured today on One Pretty Thing...I feel so honored!

I also was awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by Joy!

So before I can do anything else, I better get some cute kids in bed just in case I want to attach the skirt lining of Becky's dress while I watch Off The Map...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Becky's Dress for her Baptism

Ok, it isn't done yet...I made the fabric lining out of satin and I just need to sew it in.
Becky was in such a good mood tonight that I couldn't resist playing dress up with her, especially with the little bonnet that I sewed little white crocheted roses onto Sunday night. So, yes, it will fit nicer (mainly across the shoulders) once there are buttons on the back and her little toes won't get stuck in the skirt once the lining is put in.

I know I am the biased mommy, but isn't she absolutely adorable??? Maggie and Katie tell her so all the time and she will flash her pretty blue eyes at them.

I found this pattern on is called the Tiny Olivia dress. There are patterns for larger dresses (so I could make one for Katie, but at the rate that I am going it would take a year, so don't tell her.)

I have a few other crafty things in the works...
when computer time permits, I will finish up the ruffle purse pattern...
my next sewing project will probably be the girls' Oliver + S dresses...
for now....getting caught up on laundry so I can ENJOY my crafty time.

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Three Sweet Girls

Aren't they sweet? It is so rare that Maggie cooperates for a picture that I had to share.

Doesn't Becky have a look like "What are they doing???"
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