Sewing: Toddler Apron

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My kids love to be in the kitchen and being my sous chefs. I only have one apron that I bought for my eldest daughter, while my youngest was still an infant. Let’s just say there are fights over the one apron, which is bright pink. I bought it from Hobby Lobby.

During the last part of “nap time” today I cut out these pieces. I traced the main part of the apron onto a newspaper for a template. Then I guesstimated a straight piece for a ruffle, two draw strings to tie together, and a piece to hold it onto the neck (I have no idea if that has a special name or not).

Next I plan to iron all the pieces and hems. I suppose we’ll see how far I’ll get during the next nap time…. which will probably be Monday.

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Baby Blanket

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My cousin has decided to become a foster mother. She’s approved for infants to 2 year olds… which means she’s not going to get a lot of sleep. But I thought I’d give her some of my hand knits. I’m using two strands of baby yarn together and a 10 1/2 circular needle. I think this is going to be awesome. After I’m done blocking it, I’m going to put a piece of fabric on the back so you can’t pull the fair isle floats. I’m using a cross stitch pattern as my fair isle pattern. I bought it on Etsy. I’m planning on doing most of them blue, and one of them bright neon yellow. I hope it turns out well.

 

 

Reading a Good Book Outside

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The weather lately has been wonderful. It feels pretty awesome to be outside (except for the inevitable muddy shoes… and pants). I love reading while watching the kids play outside. I’m reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. It’s a really entertaining read also very informative. One new goal for this year, kind of inspired by this book and others I’ve read is that I’m going to try to reduce our family’s meat intake so I can buy an organic chicken and make it last. We already do two days vegan, and one other main meal meatless.

Hot Dawg!

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I got this in my stocking for Christmas. I had seen it before, but hadn’t thought it worth my money to buy such a thing. I have a couple complaints about it. The cutting tool isn’t sharp, which I suppose is okay for safety and kids, but it makes it rather difficult to cut through the all beef franks that I bought. You have to make sure that it’s exactly lined up with the bottom or it won’t go through. When it does go through, beware, you may get hot dog juice on your glasses or shirt, the fat generally goes everywhere, that’s why I put a paper towel underneath the tool. If your kid doesn’t like the casing of the hot dog, then congratulations, this tool basically peels it for you. I waited to clean it until later that day the first time I used it. Not so the second time. The hot dog fat was really tough to get off if you let it sit there, so definitely rinse it off. You also need to have a tiny scrub brush to get in the crevices to get the hot dog casing out when you clean it. The kids are very amused by me using it. So, if you have it, use it at the table and let your kids see it happening, that’s the best thing about this.

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Books in 2014

Now that Christmas is done, I have less knitting projects to post. I still have two projects I’m working on. Flip-flap fair isle mittens for my mom, and a scarf for my husband.

I have read more books this year than I have in a long time. I read 27 books (11774 pages) this past year. Most of that is probably due to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I am so very hooked on that series. I binged on that. It is so good. After I finished that series, I decided that I should read more.

The one that started it all!

Here’s a list of books that I read this year and some of my thoughts on them.

1.The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet: Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal Ideas by Laura Fuentes

There were so many good ideas in this book. I need to buy it. It has a list of all the recipes in the back of the book, you can mark whether or not the kids liked it, what you need to change in the recipe, etc. Pretty awesome.

2.The Joy of Hobby Farming: Grow Food, Raise Animals, and Enjoy a Sustainable Life by Michael Levatino

The more I read about farming, the more I want to do it and I figure the more I read about it, the better educated I will be when it comes time to purchase some land and animals.

3. Let it Rot!: The Gardener’s Guide to Composting by Stu Campbell

I’d say this is a good resource book to have on the shelf if you can’t figure out why your compost pile isn’t working like you want it to. I think the biggest struggle for me and my compost pile right now is putting enough brown materials in it. I have bunches of vegetable scraps, but not so much of anything else.

4. Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food by Wendell Berry

Reading this book is enough to make anyone who has the smallest interest in farming or food production want to run off and purchase a farm.

5. The Call of the Farm by Rochelle Bilow

This book started off really good, but it kind of turned into a love story, not that that’s bad, but I wanted more farm details in it. I did read it rather quickly. I think the author is a good writer.

6. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander, #8) by Diana Gabaldon*

I waited for over a month on my library’s wait list for this book. It was well worth the wait. I think that during that wait I thought about what was going to be resolved from the previous book almost every day.

7. The Guru, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysios Farasiotis

This book is by far the best Orthodox book I have read in a long time. It was in a very conversational style, and was more like a biography than anything else. I read it very quickly, I’m very interested in the topic here. It deals with demonic possession, hinduism, witchcraft, and how to escape those things.

8. An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7) by Diana Gabaldon*

This novel is set during the beginnings of the American Revolution. Both sides are represented. So good and definitely a cliffhanger ending.

9. Harvest: Field Notes from a Far-Flung Pursuit of Real Food by Max Watman

This book was interesting because it dealt with food in a more realistic manner than the idealistic organic typical foodie. He shared failures and successes.

10. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6) by Diana Gabaldon*

You just have to read it.

11. Family Life (Spiritual Counsels, #4) by Paisios of Mount Athos

I highly recommend reading this book and re-reading it. I need to buy it. Elder Paisios goes through young people figuring out what they’re going to do with their life (going to college, what to study, etc.) and getting married, raising children, and taking care of elderly parents. It will cause you to question the way you do things. It has changed my life.

12. The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5) by Diana Gabaldon*

On the eve of the American Revolution

13. The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade by Philip Jenkins

I believe I wrote about this book in a previous post. But suffice it to say that you can tell Mr. Jenkins has a protestant paradigm that taints the way he sees and writes about Catholic and Orthodox Christians (though I’ll have to give him kudos for even mentioning Orthodoxy).

14.  Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4) by Diana Gabaldon*

Read it.

15. Voyager (Outlander, #3) by Diana Gabaldon*

This was was a bit harder to get through than the others, but it’s worth it.

16. Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster W. Cline

Has some really good ideas, but somewhat hard to implement with toddlers who can’t converse with you.

17. Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2) by Diana Gabaldon*

Gasp!

18. Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon*

I got hooked on this series by listening to a podcast from craftsy that they had with Diana Gabaldon because evidently Jamie Fraser knows how to knit. Little did I know that it would become a series that I couldn’t put down.

19. The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski

This is a history of fashion, mostly it’s practical and functional uses and how clothes were made. It’s made me think a lot more about what I wear. In the past year, I have worn more skirts. I only have one pair of jeans and the rest are skirts, though I bought myself a pair of leggings so I could wear skirts in the winter and not freeze.

20. The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online by Kari Chapin

I took notes on this one. I’m just starting to sell my hand knits. I don’t think it will turn into a full-time income, but it helps a little. By the way, if you want something knitted, I will happily quote you a price.

21. United States of Americana: Backyard Chickens, Burlesque Beauties, and Handmade Bitters: A Field Guide to the New American Roots Movement by Kurt B. Reighley*

This book went through various new movements within american agriculture and pop culture. It was rather informative and I hadn’t heard of some of them. Entertaining.

22. Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us by Christine Gross-Loh*

I found some things that I would like to implement in this book, but somehow I think that maybe the culture outside of us will have more influence than we would like.

23. 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil

I took notes on this one too. Some of the things he mentions are not hard to do, others are like ‘yeah, right’. One thing he recommended was to have a news fast. Don’t let all the negativity of the news and/or social media get to you. Just turn it off. I already do a version of that.

24. A Man is His Faith: Ivan Kireyevsky and Orthodox Christianity by Alexey Young

My husband got this book on interlibrary loan from the University. It was a short book, but really good. Ivan Kireyevsky was a lay person who had a very wide influence in Russia. Good person to know about.

25. Organic Gardening For The 21st Century by John Fedor

Good resource and inspiration for things to think about.

26. To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife by Caitlin Flanagan

This was an entertaining read. Some things I could relate to, others I could not, but if you want a light read, try it.

27. Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit : the lives and counsels of contemporary elders of Greece by Middleton, Herman

This book is a compilation of the lives of Elders and their selected writings. We read it in the Women’s Faith and Growth meetings at my Church. I loved it and the conversations it inspired. I started reading more books about and by Elder Paisios. That information has changed my life.

I love the printed book. The smell and feel of the pages. It’s wonderful. I love libraries. Thank God for libraries!

My goal is to read 50 books in 2015. Here’s hoping I don’t fall off the bandwagon. You can follow me on goodreads.

Baby Shower

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I didn’t use a pattern for this hat. It took me a while to figure out a stitch repeat that would work with the number of stitches I cast on.

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These booties are from this pattern.IMG_0215This scarf is also going with this gift. It doesn’t match, but it is still green and white.

 

I moved the bookshelves

IMG_0100.JPGSo after I found this… I told them to put the books away.

IMG_0101.JPGThis is what that looks like…

IMG_0102.JPGThen I went upstairs to put one kid up for a nap, and it turned out like this….

So after the umpteenth time of this happening, I moved the bookshelves up the stairs to my bedroom. According to my iPhone I have climbed 25 floors today.

IMG_0105.JPGNow the books are organized by type… though not by author or some series… my husband seems to remind me. I think I’ll leave it like that so my husband has something to tease me about… other than dirty kitchen floors, dirty dishes in the sink and all the other chores that I can’t seem to get done. He’s the best. He doesn’t mention it. 🙂

The Fall Festival

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It took me a couple full days to finish these costumes. I am evidently not so good with elastic. Everything with elastic was too big. I made the knee pads for Wonder Red with elastic and they are down around her ankles. Oops.

This was at our Fall Festival at our Church. They had games for the kids to play to get candy or a toy prize. They had a bouncy house, which by far was the most popular thing for all the kids.

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I could not for the life of me find a pink crown. I found purple, green, silver, and more, but no pink ones. So we went to the dollar store to improvise. I bought pink foam crown shapes, and pipe cleaners. I used hot glue to fold over the bottom of the crown to encase the pipe cleaners to hold it onto her head, and also to glue on the gems to the crown. However, her forehead turned pink… and it just had to wear off, wipes didn’t help.

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Next year, I hope I choose something less labor intensive. My house certainly did not thank me for all the hours I neglected it to make these costumes. But the girls were so happy. 🙂

 

Red Riding Hood or Wonder Red

DSCN0934These are the handwarmers.

DSCN0942This top was rather fast to make. Doesn’t look like much, but hey, it’s just a costume, doesn’t need to be great like it would if she was wearing it every day. I also made a cape… but I forgot to picture it. Now all I have to do is make shoe covers and knee pads out of felt…. oh geez… and hat, i just realized that as I was typing this. Darn. Definitely start before October next year. And what in the world is going to happen if I ever have another kid. I’ll have to start in March.