Friday, April 4, 2014

Simple Sewing Project ~ Fleece Beanbags

Are you ready for a super satisfying afternoon sewing project? I highly recommend checking out this tutorial from Abby at While She Naps for making some rainbow fleece beanbags.  I dragged my ridiculous stash of fleece upstairs from the basement last week, with the intention of making a plain rainbow of beanbags. Once the kids saw my collection of prints, though, things changed, and suddenly I WAS CUTTING OUT FIFTEEN (one is already missing, because children).

These took no time at all, and the kids have been enjoying them. They have made up games where they try to pile them on their heads and walk down the hallway without having any fall off, or tossing them into baskets (or at each other, because children). Beanbags are just fun to have around, so give them a try!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This Week in My Kitchen

Capturing my love of whole foods, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the center of my home. 
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For more glimpses into the weekly kitchens of other lovely bloggers, follow this link to Heather's blog hop post!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This Week In My Kitchen

Joining the lovely Heather this week.

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Capturing my love of whole foods, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen. 
A weekly collection of photos from the center of my home.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Perfectly Frumpy Sweaters For Two

Last week, I needed to sew. I just *needed* to, you know? I started looking through my Pinterest boards, which is apparently my go-to activity for inspiration (just look at my "crafty" tab - I mention Pinterest frequently). I really want to make some spring clothing this year - I would love to get in the habit of making a few new pieces with each season. I thought it best to start with something for the girl. That's when I found this amazingly clear and simple tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional. Wow. I am in love! Not only was this a simple garment, but I didn't need a pesky serger, which I don't have. Hooray!

The girl chose her fabric colors and I got to work. It took me almost two hours, I would say, from drafting of the pattern to finished product (I still need to iron these puppies...ironing is not so much my thing). Once she had one, well. It was seconds until the boy declared that he wanted one, too. "BLUE AND SILVER!!!!!" (Silver is kind of his thing.)

The second time around was much quicker - a little over an hour. I made the body of his the same size, even though there are two years and two sizes between my kids. I shortened the length of the arms, and made the pockets without the pleat. He loves it, and has requested that I add a big button to the front so that he can partially close it at the top. 

I used a delightful 12 ounce cotton knit for these, and I only wish that I had more information about where this beautiful fabric came from. I bought a ton of it from a big group order on a sewing message board about four or five years ago. MESSAGE BOARDS, YOU GUYS. The good old days.

I will likely be making several more of these in more colors and sizes, perhaps with varying pockets and a belt, or even a hood. YES. A HOOD. HOOOOOOOOOODS!!!!!!

Now I'm working on my knitting projects, and I may try to sneak in some smaller sewing here and there. I'm itching to make one of these amazing quilted mug rugs from Amanda at Ms. McPorkchop Quilts. Her quilting skills are pretty amazing, for reals. I love to look through her past projects for motivation. I have a lot of quilting to do this year!

I hope that everyone is having a fine Thursday. We had a snow day today, but the sun has come out for a bit, so even though it's cold, it still feels cheerful inside. Come on, Spring!!!!! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thinking Spring

Though the temperatures are at a point where they're not *quite* warm, and there will still be the random day with a high in the teens, I can tell that springtime is not far off. The sunlight is changing, and now with daylight savings in effect, I'm looking forward to enjoying more of it. I have felt the itch to MAKE THINGS, which is proof enough for me that a new season is coming. 

I have some beautiful yarn from Quince & Co, which I hope to start winding up today. I have plans for some new knits for the kids for their Easter baskets, and I'm pretty excited. I haven't had a big knitting project in too long, and now to have two? Yes. The boy has been requesting a "silver sweater with yellow buttons", and some lark in frost seems like it will fit the bill. For the girl, a "very very pink" springtime shawl (chickadee in rosa rugosa). 

I sewed myself an extra-big project bag for the occasion - I have been hoarding this Japanese sheep print for years, always knowing I wanted to make something knitting related with it. The interior is some happy melon Kona cotton that was a leftover from a beach bag I made several years ago. I'm loving the contrast of the end-of-winter browns with the hope of brightness hidden inside.

I have the latest issue of Kinfolk to dive into. I have never read this magazine before, but it really is lovely - so well made and designed. I wanted this issue in particular because the theme is Home, which is something that I have been striving to focus on lately. Living more simply and with less...just LESS. 

I also sewed up a little something for the girl, which I will share later in the week as I now have another to make for a certain boy who has decided that he would like one, too. She chose her own colors for this creation, maybe inspired by an envelope of wildflower seeds that has been sitting on my desk, just waiting for the ground to thaw? 

Have you been feeling the change in seasons where you are? 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

{adventures} Universal Studios, February 22, 2014

Our last day in Orlando arrived too quickly. After eating some breakfast at the hotel, we decided to take the water taxi back to Universal Studios. It was a quick ride, and quite refreshing. 

This particular Saturday was one of the Mardi Gras Celebration days at the park. While we didn't stay for these special festivities, which included a Mardi Gras parade and live music (more on that later), it was cool to see the decorations everywhere, different from our previous day.

Our first stop was the Transformers ride. We went through the long queue, but since it was still early in the day, the wait time was quite short, so we had to pull over to the side to take photos in order to let other people walk past us. 

My second time on the ride, I did not wear the special glasses. I wanted to be able to see all of the physical environment elements that the husband and his company had designed. It was so cool, and I would recommend that everyone try this on a second time around. It's amazing to discover which elements are actually real, and not part of the video projection. It's a bummer that the ride car doors are so tall, because there are some features that you practically miss altogether, including a huge helicopter!

Part of the attraction of the Mardi Gras festivities is that there are all kinds of live concerts that happen on these special evenings. As you can see, Robin Thicke had other things going on this evening, and did not perform. I have no idea what they did instead of this...maybe nothing?

We didn't go on the Twister ride, but I found it funny that their big merchandising for this ride was a variety of cows wearing goggles, because of that one flying cow in the movie. *sigh*

The Shrek 4-D Experience was a general disappointment. It seems like they spent an awful lot of money on theming the queue for this, only to have you enter a crappy theater and watch a short 3-D movie that involves chairs that jerk around and spray water at you. The motorized chairs were really loud, at times louder than the film, and it was just really weird. 

Painted flats! Like a movie lot!

Construction for the Harry Potter expansion, which I will only bring up one more time.

The Men In Black Alien Attack was SO. MUCH. FUN. The theming was excellent, and while I was unsure about whether or not anything related to this franchise would still hold up, it really and truly does. You enter a ride car that moves on a track, and you have a laser gun that you use to shoot aliens, which pop out from the animatronic scenery. It actually keeps your score! So fun! We would have probably done this again if we weren't getting hungry for lunch. 


We took another ride on The Simpsons, and I loved it just as much as the first time. We had lunch in the big cafeteria, which is super organized. All of the tables are marked "reserved" because they control the line of people ordering food, and then show them to seats as they are available. We had Krusty Burgers, which are pretty much exactly as you would expect. They involve a cheese sauce that gets ladled on, and a scary steamed burger patty. While we were eating, there was a sudden downpour, but it only lasted about 20 minutes. 

After it let up a bit, we ran over to the E.T. ride, which I was excited to see again. By the time we were through, the sun had come back out, and it got quite hot. We got in line for the Disaster Movie! show, which was so cute. Several people were plucked from the group to take part in the filming of a disaster film, directed by a fictional master of disaster films, played by a hologram of Christopher Walken. You get moved through several rooms, and taken through the filming process, which ends with you boarding a subway car, which records your reactions during a simulation of an earthquake. As you pull back to exit the ride, the movie trailer plays for you on a screen. It was fun, and would be a great ride for school-aged kids.

After choosing a few souvenirs for the kids (and maybe a couple of Ravenclaw patches for myself...), we exited the park and hung out on the City Walk for a while. Our treat for the day? We split a Cinnabon and an iced coffee. I thought that I missed Cinnabon, as we haven't had one near us in years and years, but as it turns out, I don't. I may have gotten the husband addicted to their Cinnabon-flavored iced coffee, however. We ended the day with a round of science-fiction themed mini golf, and dinner at the hotel. I was sad to leave the beautiful weather, but our mini vacation was just what I needed to recharge and prepare myself for the long slog to the spring. Thank you for being my most favorite traveling companion, dear husband. I can't wait for our next adventure.