Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween !!!!!

Here's all my children in their costumes just before going to trick-or-treat. Since Halloween fell on a Wednesday, we went trick-or-treating in a neighborhood close to where we attend church. We had dinner with a wonderful family whose son used to be in my preschool class, once upon a time, when I was a teacher. He's now a freshman in college. Yikes! They bought us pizza and treated us like royalty. The kids had a great time too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

You win some, you lose some

Okay, so it's the night before Halloween and I am officially finished with everyone's costumes. Ben wanted to be a pirate, Ellie a witch, Claire a witch (although if you ask her, she says "A Halloween") and Macy a doctor. We already had the doctor scrubs, so Macy was easy, but the other three required a little more work on my part.

I finished Ellie's dress (Simplicity 5402-OOP-I think) on Friday in time for a party on Saturday. Here she is in the dress she deemed "perfect":
I finished putting the velcro on Claire's dress today. No picture yet, but the dress is almost just like Ellie's, just different black sparkly fabric for the skirt and no sequins on the bodice. I'll take a picture of everyone tomorrow and post.

Then there was Ben. I stayed up until 1:00 this morning working on the pants and vest. Today during Claire's and Ellie's "rest" time I worked on the shirt. The pattern (Simplicity 3644) is not by any means difficult, just a lot of pieces and lets face it I'm pregnant, still bothered by nausea and by the time evening comes, soooo tired. I didn't get to even cut out anything until 9:00 last night and although I wasn't planning on entering the costume in the fair, even so, I try to employ some standards.

This afternoon after Claire decided to paint the floor, numerous tattlings from Ellie ("Claire hit me again!") I got the shirt mostly finished by the time Ben got home from school. Had him try on the outfit and then came the tears. Nothing was right except for the vest. I think the "puffy" shirt was just a bit too much for him. I knew this was going to happen. He looked so cute. I told him not to worry, we'd figure something out. So tomorrow for school and Trick or Treating he's just going to wear jeans, a white t-shirt and the vest I made (along with the Hat and eye patch which were either purchased or gifts). But I did convince him to put on the outfit once I got the buttons on the vest and I took a picture so at least I'll have the memory of all the hard work I put into the outfit. Here's my son who is too embarrassed to be seen at school like this (shh, don't tell):I promise not to bring this picture out again until after he's married and his wife stays up making a costume for her son or daughter and they won't wear it either. In my defense, I showed Ben the pattern before I bought it. It was just like the outfits he saw in Target and other stores that were $30.00 and made out of that cheap poly material that is just nasty. I used my winnings from the "You be the judge" contest and had plenty left over. The material for the vest and the buttons I already had in my stash.

I'm off to do the dishes by hand since our dishwasher decided to stop working. Then I'll iron some shirts for my husband and make some items for my daughter's first grade party tomorrow, but no more sewing for me tonight thanks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Be The Judge

When I posted how I did this year at the fair, I forgot about one of the contests I entered. Every year our fair has a contest called "You Be The Judge". Every year there is a different charity that we make something for and the fairgoers vote on their favorite. At the end of the fair, they tally the votes, give out prizes (usually a Jo Ann's gift certificate and a plaque) and give the items to the organization chosen that specific year. Items made in the past have been walker bags, baby items, cancer caps, etc.

There are four ways you can win. The most votes on children's day (the day children get in free), the most votes on Golden Year's Day (the day seniors get in free), the favorite of the Home Arts Building workers and Most Popular Vote (most votes gathered over the entire fair). The nice thing about this contest is even if you're not the best at construction, no one will really ever know. Judging is mainly based on how it looks from a distance. No one is allowed to touch or handle the item so if your seams aren't perfect or your knitting gauge is off, no one will ever know. It's a great contest for those who are just learning a skill.

This year's contest was to make hats, mittens, scarves, etc. for school children for winter. (Yes, I believe it will get cold eventually) The items could be sewn, knit, crocheted-whatever the maker chose, just as long as it would fit a school age child. My items would have fit a small kindergartner, but I doubt anyone much older would have wanted to wear them.

I am proud to announce that I won the most popular vote this year. Below is a re-creation of what I made:

Why a re-creation? Well they gave the original ones I made away of course! The above set I made for Ellie for her birthday. I used two patterns with some adaptations. The hat and the bear face design came from McCalls 9084 (oop). It's actually a baby pattern so I had to make the hat a bit bigger, but not much. I used this pattern when I taught head start to make all of my students hats and mittens and they fit perfectly. I used a different mitten pattern than what was in the pattern because I needed the mittens to be a bit larger. For the mittens I used the Easy Mittens pattern by Timberlane press and added the ears, etc from the McCall's pattern. I added the pink bows. I don't know if you can tell, but I added ears to the hat as well.

Here's Ellie modeling her birthday present:Now we just need some cooler temperatures for her to wear them outside!!!

Next year's contest is to make book bags for the Head Start program in our public schools. I have the sheet with all the specs somewhere and already have some ideas.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Today Ellie is Five!!!!

Where did the time go? It's been a very busy weekend and we're still not done with the fun yet! After a dinner of hot dogs, pasta and grapes, we will be eating the above cake made by Ellie and myself. Don't let the pink frosting with purple sprinkles fool you, there is a carrot cake lurking underneath. I can't help but wonder if a carrot cake by any other color will taste as good. Hmmm.

These were the cupcakes requested for her big party on Saturday. They are just a white box cake mix with a chocolate ganache frosting on top. I got the frosting recipe from baking bites. The only problem was when I made the frosting and gave a taste, it was much too strong. I didn't even use all bittersweet chocolate. I had a bit of dark chocolate, some semi-sweet and the rest was regular milk chocolate. Still very strong for a bunch of five year olds. Luckily I had a container of vanilla frosting hiding in my pantry. I mixed it in with the chocolate and it was deemed perfect. Ellie added the cherries on top. Most all of the children ate only the frosting. I don't blame them, it was the best part! I just need to finish one more present (which is actually fair related) and then I am done with this birthday girl. I'll post about the present in the next day or so.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hair today . . .

This doesn't have anything to do with the fair, but something I'm proud of nevertheless. A while ago (a year?) I was watching the today show and Ann Curry had grown out her hair and donated it to locks of love. I had found myself with hair below my shoulders and decided I would do the same thing. Unfortunately my hair wasn't long enough to donate (you must donate a minimum of 10") and I wasn't really ready to cut anyway. So I grew it out for about another year or so and finally made the plunge. Here is a before picture:

A few hours later, a 12+ inch donation and a few highlights later this is what we have:
I'm enjoying my shorter hair and it will be a nice length when the baby is born. I loose a ton of hair about 4-5 months after giving birth and hopefully it won't be as noticeable when that happens. It's a lot easier to comb now too!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Baby time

Here is a baby outfit I made for the friends who came over for dinner on Saturday. They are having a baby in the middle of October and don't know what it is. It's my favorite outfit to make for new babies. The material is a knit white velour that I got from Very Baby which used to be called One Stop Diaper Shop. I used Kwik Sew2433 for the main baby outfit and the Baby Essentials Pattern found at New Conceptions for the hat. I especially like to make this for someone if they're not going to find out if they're having a boy or a girl.

I made this outfit for my daughter Ellie to go home in from the birthing center when she was born. She was also born in October and it's perfect for the fall weather. I did enter that outfit in the fair and it won a red ribbon. I have to admit I was disappointed since it's not an easy pattern and I had done a perfect job. The judge did say it was a hard decision so I know it was well made. Snaps are from the snap source.

I'm thinking of making this outfit in pink for our newest addition who is due sometime in February. Here's a sneak peak of the newest little member of our family:

This is the first time we've had a 20 week ultrasound done since I was pregnant with my son. We wanted to find out what the baby was this time. I guess when you're on baby #5 you get a little crazy! Anyway, these 4-D images are amazing.