Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye Gift Wrap - Hello Cloth Gift Bags

Last year after once again feeling dismay at the massive pile of paper on Christmas morning I finally decided to make the switch over to cloth bags. I bought a big stack of Christmas fabrics on sale (feeling ever so smart for planning ahead and getting them at 70% off ;) ) Then they sat on my sewing shelf for a whole year. In November I started to really think that it was about time. In early December I made a couple ;) I made the rest (35 or so) in the 2 days before Christmas, staying up until ohhhhh 2 am Christmas eve finishing them up ;)

It was so worth it tho! It felt amazing to see them all sitting there under the tree. Even more amazing to fold them all up and put them away for next year. My husband even made them with me :) He did all of the ironing for me enabling me to just sew sew sew as fast as I could.

The blue gift above is a playsilk - a gift from one of the kids. We often use the play silks for wrapping gifts -I love that it's become second nature to just wrap gifts in cloth. My oldest still feels that the ripping of the paper is the most important part. I didn't think to use cloth when she was young. I understand her feelings tho - I'll admit to stifling some of those feelings myself, *but* how can we not? I mean really - how sustainable is it to just throw away that much paper ? It just doesn't make sense. With so many problems in the world today - Re-using things is what makes sense. So many issues in the world today are beyond our control - this is such a simple thing to do. It's what really feels good - the kind of good that doesn't have guilt attached with it ;) I like that kind better.

And next year? Oh man - wrapping the presents is going to be *soooooo* easy! And every time I wrap a gift in one of these bags I'll get that lovely feeling of knowing that I've done a good thing. *And* hopefully I'm passing that value on to my children - changing things one step at a time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just a little cheese with our Christmas ;)

Matching *glow in the dark* pjs ;)

I swear I didn't plan to make them for everyone.....
It just ended up that way....

No one seemed to mind tho - and everyone liked them.

IT all started when my oldest picked out the fabric above to make some for herself - many many moons ago. She doesn't particularly like to sew- she just found herself killing time in the sewing store with me - and well her shopping urge kicked in and all of a sudden she felt like sewing. Until she left the store.

The boys begged and begged for that fabric - but you see it was hers.....

Soooooo first I decided to make them up for her for Christmas. Then I spotted the same fabric in many other colors at the same fabric store and decided to make some for the boys.

Then on Christmas eve when it became apparent that I wouldn't be finishing the night gowns that I had cut out for the girls (different fabrics) I realized that I had enough fabric left to make them some pj bottoms too and that seemed a whole lot more doable.

I do think that it makes for a pretty funny photo ;)

I didn't use a pattern for any of them - just grabbed a pair of their pjs bottoms and eyeballed it. I did learn that this method doesn't work so well once you're working with a body that has curves ;) It worked ok - but a pattern would have been better.

I hemmed the bottoms with bias tape - because I hate hemming - and bias tape just looks so good :)

Of course I used Angry Chicken's method - because it's the best :) Love her blog :) I got her latest book - "Bend the Rules with Fabric" - for Christmas - it wasn't a surprise at all that it is excellent :) I can't wait until I have more time to get aquainted with it......

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beatles Love

As my boys are getting older I'm finding it harder and harder to think of gifts I can make for them. The girls are easy peasy, but the boys not so much. I'm pretty pleased with what I made them for Christmas this year tho - to go with their love of the Beatles, I ordered 7 different Beatles themed fabrics and made them duvet covers for their beds.

For the backs I used flat sheets that I had already - Red for one, and Green for the other. Then some solid colored flannel with some of that back color on the front. I was a bit worried that the Beatles fabric might be too loud - which is why I staggered it with solid colors. I really love how they turned out.

I also love how I manage to justify the extra expense of buying organic sheets (I'm pretty tricky at finding good priced ones on ebay) by making such good use of all that fabric from the top sheet - which we all hate around here ;) A lovely big hunk of organic fabric :) Makes me a little giddy ;)

The boys loved them - in fact on Christmas Eve I was really pleased when S said " I wonder if we're going to get any Beatles stuff?" Yes - definitely pleased :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

So close!

The excitement is building - Mum and Dad are staying up wicked late finishing up presents (and nursing a sick Big Miss A who is thankfully well now this morning after a long 24 hours of ear ache and fever) The kids are starting to twitch with anticipation - Big Miss A has just been patiently waiting for Santa to arrive and checks the tree every morning. The boys can't sleep and S has declared it a near impossibility for him to finish making his gifts in time - we're working on that tho - in fact right now I'm typing one handed and helping him hold his fingerknitting with the other ;) - I'd best go give him my full attention - and besides - I hate typing one handed!

Enjoy the magic everyone :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Messenger Bag

She likes it! :)
This isn't the best picture, but it's showing the inside of the bag- there are a variety sizes of
pockets in the interior of the bag.

We looked high and low for a school bag that met both my daughter's desire for something attractive/fashionable, and my need to buy something well made that wouldn't be in a landfill in a year or less ;) We weren't getting anywhere fast, so I decided to make one for her birthday :) - which I must say I'm starting to think is a lot less time consuming than shopping for hours. I like the end result a lot better too :)

The pattern is here

The fabric is from Anna Maria Horner's new line - in the oil cloth. It's a very high quality fabric - I'm quite impressed with it and it wasn't hard to sew with at all.

The interior fabric isn't fancy - I got it at Fabricland :)

I cut apart my own purse for the strap and clip/closure. The zipper had just broken and I was itching for a new bag ;) And besides I'd have had to drive to the fabric store an hour away to get those parts otherwise, so it really did work out perfectly :)

I think I will make another one in a smaller size ( the pattern comes in 3 sizes and is very easy to make) for myself :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

A scary day for this mama...

And for my girl too. I had to rush my oldest daughter to the ER this morning when she woke with excruciating pain in her foot that quickly turned to tingling and numbness that travelled rapidly all the way up her entire right side of her body by the time I got to the hospital. The only possible explanation we could think of was that she'd banged it hard at an Aikido class on Sunday past - but that was 5 days ago.

We never got any answers as to why this happened, but we ruled out all the scary things for the moment and are watching her closely. It seems to be passing after a trip to the chiropractor thankfully.

What a scary time it was tho! I was so afraid that the numbness would affect her breathing, or that perhaps it could be a permanent thing. So many thoughts running around in my head.

This girl of mine - we had a rocky time in her childhood. SHe had celiac disease (an auto-immune disease triggered by gluten) that went undiagnosed until she was 12 years old. The type she had was the neurological type and so the damage was happening in her brain and resulted in pretty severe mood swings for many many years. I feared so much for her future and spent so so many hours researching to try to figure out what was causing it all.

Now 2.5 years into being gluten-free life with my girl is so lovely. I get to see *her* as she was meant to be. Happy and charismatic and creative and loving and funny and just an all around beautiful person.

Today I feared so much that something would happen to take her away now that I've finally got her back again. It made me stop and realize just how much things have changed for the better around here. I'm so relieved that she's ok....

and that I didn't get a speeding ticket while rushing like a mad-woman to the hospital ;)

It's my girls birthday coming up and I was planning to share some photos of her here in honor of that occasion. Tonite seems as good a night as any.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Miss Big A - Photographer Extraordinaire

It's interesting to see the world through a 3 year old's eyes - especially when that 3 year old is my daughter ;) Things look a lot different from her height. She only just tried taking photos for the first time for these. She had quite the lightbulb moment when dad explained to her that she should look at the screen and push the button when she likes how it looks. Before that she was just randomly pointing and shooting - lots of floor shots happened ;) I think I'm going to have to invest in a kid's camera so mine doesn't get wrecked ;) She's definitely hooked :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Dolls for the Girls

For Miss Big A :

A "Honey Doll" - Pattern by Joy's Waldorf Dolls

Miss big A is almost 4 years old now - it seemed time for a doll Friend.

For Little Miss A:

A weighted baby - pattern from Joy's Waldorf dolls
Weighted with millet scented with lavender essential oil
The fabric is organic cotton sherpa - which is quite possibly the most heavenly soft fabric I've ever encountered - I want to roll up in it!

Little Miss A loves baby dolls. I didn't think she was quite ready for a friend doll - and the benefits of having a weighted doll seemed fitting for her personality.

These were such a joy to make - I've made a couple other waldorf dolls and I have to say that it is more fun each time as the process becomes more familiar. And I have to be honest - other times I made my own pattern and I'm just not a designing sort of gal - having the pattern took away the stress which made making the doll a whole lot more enjoyable. I finally learned how to do the hair properly this time thanks to the excellent directions that came with the pattern. I think I'm hooked ;)