Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KB's Wedding Dress

My newest sister-in-law is KB.

She and Uncle Brad got married in March and from beginning to end, and after the end, her wedding dress gave her trouble. There was finding the perfect one, then arranging the perfect fit, then a cleaning that led to another cleaning...then the wedding, then another cleaning, that actually never happened (warning to brides: when a "cleaners" cleans or preserves your dress - CHECK IT because it's possible it's not cleaned...)

So KB's mom tried to consign the dress, and the consignment shop wouldn't accept it due to the filth, so she let me cut it up and make some things out of it.

I cut the side out first to save the brooch. Then I cut squares out of the rest of the skirt and nipped and tucked "flowers" into each square. Then I took the lining and cut sashing out of that to connect the flower squares to the center square.
Then I took more of the lining to do two more rounds around the top, one with pleats and one smooth.

Then I found a large sheet of ice blue raw silk lining in my scrap stash to use for the backing. It will be REALLY smooth.

I was originally going to go with high loft batting so the quilt would be thick, but then changed my mind and went with organic bamboo (I thought KB would dig that).

I layered the blue raw silk, the bamboo batting and the quilt top and stitch along all the edges.

Since this dress has been so much trouble, here's what I was going for in cutting it up and changing it around:

1. Comfort - that this lap quilt would provide KB with a sense of soft, smooth comfiness, at the end of the day, middle of the day or at its beginning.

2. Bliss - that KB would have a sense of bliss - like the kind after a great hard soccer game, a long hot shower, and then a moment under a lightweight, super-smooth, comfy blanket to watch movies with an old friend...or a football game with a funny husband...or skype from Asia with her parents.

3. Wonder - that KB would maintain a sense of wonder that something used...or worn...or experienced once, can change and change and change again. Just like marriage.
Here it is:

I saved the zipper in the back to make a bag:

And save the top and some of the tulle under the skirt to make the most ridiculous apron ever:

(courtesy shot with a shaved Sugar in the foreground...in case she was missing her own Harper).

Love you KB! We'll turn around any dress with bad juju that you have!

Father's Day 2011

As usual, I was reading Anna Maria Horner's happenings the other day. I came across her Father's Day Post and got inspired.

I loved how truthfully she honored her father and I realized it was just the inspiration I needed to finish my own father's Father's Day gift.
At the end of July.

So I took an empty Altoids box:

Then I made a list, completing the sentence, "Because of my dad..." on small pieces of paper.
Punched a hole in the paper, slipped a binder clip through it, and nestled it in the empty box. I put it in a gift bag (with a new container of Noxema) and voila! Happy Father's Day!

1. ...I know how to make cinna-mutty for my kids. (***Cinna-mutty is a piece of bread with peanut butter spread on top, cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on that and toasted lightly in the oven***).

2. ...my kids say "shuck-a-manola."

3. ...I'm not afraid of chores or yardwork.

4. ...I'm not afraid to start over or even begin a new career at any phase or age.

5. ...I have an appreciation for vinyl records.

6. ...Billy Joel and Beatles lyrics come naturally.

7. ...I have a sense of humor about people and their quirks.

8. ...I know at least one Marx Brothers movie by heart.

9. ...the sounds of Garrison Keillor's voice is like a Saturday night lullaby.

10. ...black coffee in the morning is my favorite way to start the day.

11. ...I pay attention to what song is in my head when I get up in the morning.

12. ...I appreciate clean floors.

13. ...I understand seeing a commercial for Noxema and then needing to go at that moment to the store to purchase my own tub of the refreshing tingling face wash.

14. ...I grew up thinking every dad sang and played the guitar.

15. ...Peter, Paul, and Mary are more than Biblical characters.

16. ...I appreciate eating a brownie over the sink instead of getting a plate.

17. ...I know there is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to load the dishwasher.

18. ...I believe that every Apple product will make my life better.

19. ...I'm a better parent.

Happy (late) Father's Day!
And thank you for the inspiration, Anna Maria!

Now to finish that Mother's Day present...

Tooth Fairy? Where You At?

Cousins at the pool...just hanging out...eating some snacks...

...like raisins.

And then - it's unbelievable - we all lost a tooth!

Why is this stunt endlessly funny? I don't know.

Thanks, Pops, for keeping this silly trick alive.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Woman's Trash...Another Girl's Embroidered Heart.

One night, when we were on vacation, I went for a walk after dinner. Turns out the next morning was trash pick-up morning.

One house in particular had some choice garbage in the street. I saw this cool red box, it was starting to rain, and no one was at the house for me to ask permission to take the box...so I took it. FIRST TIME EVER I SWEAR.

Isn't it cute?

When I got back to the house and opened it, it had a styrofoam-shaped head in it.
I was indeed surprised. Papa and Corinne were not.

They immediately bonded.

So my cool red box is a wig box. Who knew?
It also had some (very clean) half-used embroidery items and instructions to decoupage.

I grabbed some of the embroidery stuff, lightly drew a heart in pencil on the fabric, and Svea took over from there.

I think my oldest girl is going to be crafty...

I'm so proud of her rainbow heart!

Thank you stolen trash treasure!

Our Last Night of Vacation

Eating by the sea, the boys:

and the girls:

Hooray for vacay!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Usually Ninjas...Usually.

Henry wants to be a ninja. In every way.
He also wants to use the word "usually" in just about every sentence he constructs. Usually. Sometimes he gets it right.

So I had some friends over the other night and we made monster softies. I made this one:

Its name is Booger.

Henry saw it and wanted to make one too, so he made a ninja:

Usually, he always wants to make things ninja.

Since we've been on vacation, Henry and Svea (and Corinne) were allowed to pick out their top sugar cereal: Luckie Charms, usually.
But Henry can't stand to just eat them. Usually he likes to study the branding and marketing and want to re-brand it: ninja-style.

So he came up with his own box of cereal. Ninja cereal, usually. It's usually Cheerio's mixed with chocolate chips so he calls it "Muddy Ninjas."
The prize inside is usually weapons. Or "wepons." But you can't get ALL the weapons at once. You have to wait, usually.

Front of the box:

Back of the box:

(at the bottom are the weapons you can win...usually)

In addition to pillows and recreating cereal box schemes, he also wanted to star in his own ninja video. So here you go, folks. The first of many attempts to ninja-fy every aspect of Henry's life.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Newest Biker in the House

Look who learned to ride her bike today!

What a blur of pink and purple!

Just in time for Le Tour de France!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

This Girl Loves Her Some Waves...and Jesus.

Svea has wrapped herself up and around and through the ocean this summer. She got hit by a wave so hard yesterday that she turned to Brian and said, "Whew! That one washed my SINS away!"

How did we have a child who loves Jesus and the church so much?? She came out of the womb that way, I tell you.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Swimming Lessons

The first 7 months of Corinne's life, she hated water. Hated it.
But at the magic age of 8.5 months, she is accepting. Here she is at Miriam's birthday party, i.e. her first swimming lesson:

Henry and Svea just finished their first ever official swimming lessons at the YMCA. Best money we've spent all summer.

It helped that the instructors were muscle-y, super-tanned 17-year-old boys. Svea could hardly look at her instructor. His cuteness melted her eyeballs.

Once they got swimming though, we could hear her spilling her guts to him and I thought it might be time for me to have the talk with her about the "circle of trust." You know, privacy in the family and all.

When she got out of the pool the first night she came walking over to me and said, "Whew, Mama, I need some relax-tion."

Henry's lesson consisted of him and another 7-year-old boy laughing their heads off at absolutely nothing for 35 minutes. Later I asked him if he knew that other boy before the lesson began.

Henry said, "What boy?"
I said, "The only other boy in your swimming class."
He said, "Oh. Of COURSE I knew him. He goes to my school."
I said, "Sorry. I just didn't know."
He said, "MOM. You don't even KNOW what my life is like."

Then he threw his towel over his shoulder and swaggered off to the car by himself.
Duh, me.

What do I know, right? I'm just the mom.