Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Season

I love this season! We just decorated our house and Christmas tree tonight. I love the lights and all the nativity scenes we have. It just makes me feel so happy to look around and see Christmas all over my house.

I think I'm nearly done with Christmas shopping. I've become quite ambitious about the number of crafts I'm going to complete as gifts this year. I've got a busy month ahead to get it all done. I did manage to finish a couple of things this weekend, though. I can't post any pictures yet because I can't be certain who will check my blog. I'll have to do a big photo post after Christmas day.

For now, I need your input on one outstanding Christmas idea. What do I get or make for the women in my Primary presidency? I can't spend too much money, but I do want to show them my appreciation. They really work hard to make things run smoothly. I would appreciate any ideas you can share!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Need . . . To . . . Craft . . .

I've been pretty busy this week and haven't had time to do any crafting. I've been trying not to think about it. Then, this morning I started browsing through blogs and following links to other blogs . . . about crafting! Now I am in full withdrawal mode! I found a super cute craft that I really want to make for someone for Christmas. I'll probably need to make one for myself first so I can work out all the kinks. (And that way I get something super cute too.) I can't wait to get started! Not sure when I'll have time, but Christmas is coming quickly, so I better get to it!

Check out my inspiration here:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Creating - 2009

A couple of months ago I took the twins to the fabric store and let them each choose a pattern for a Halloween costume. Maryam chose Bo Peep and Peyton chose a pirate. On a separate occasion, I took them to a larger fabric store to help choose the fabric for their costumes. Please do not attempt this. I understand so much better now why my own mother used to come home with surprises for us, rather than taking us to the store to choose our own things! It's really beneficial for all, in the end. But I digress . . . After approaching the cash register, I soon understood why many (most?) people buy their children's costumes. It was really much more expensive to make them than to buy them. I told Tobin later, I will probably never make them again, since it was not cost effective.

The patterns and fabric were purchased in early September. Then they waited. And waited. It's been some time since I used my sewing machine for something other than straight lines. It's been a very long time since I attempted an article of clothing or used a pattern. Finally, at the beginning of October I decided I better get moving on this project. I started with Peyton's costume because it had fewer pieces and fewer details. I made his sash first - super easy! All straight seams! Then I made his pants. This caused some apprehension. I have vivid memories of sewing pants or shorts when I was much younger. I always sewed the crotch seam wrong and had to pick it out and re-do it. The patterns I bought this time have a new (to me, at least) way to sew the pants. It was so easy. I was not confused! The pants were done correctly the first time! Lastly, I sewed Peyton's lined, satin vest. The last bit of this project was a bit tricky, but overall it was not bad at all. Suddenly, my confidence was boosted. I do remember how to sew clothes! I can do it!

A few days later I started on Maryam's costume. Hers was much more involved, had many more pattern pieces, more articles of clothing to make, lace, ribbon . . . . I had to make a few phone calls to my mom for help and advice. Really, how is a person supposed to narrow hem an apron with curved corners? Narrow hem a curve? Well, it's not professional work and I'm not selling it, so I guess it is what it is, right? Sew a little lace over it, and it looks great! For Maryam's costume I sewed an apron, dress, hat, and pantaloons. I was so sick of that costume by the time I was done! Some parts of the process were frustrating, and I feared that the costumes would look "homemade" in the worst sense of the word. But the damage was done. The costumes were finished just the day of the ward party. There was no time for a Plan B.
The twins were so excited about those costumes! They put them on for the first time, and suddenly it was all worth it. Every frustration, every minute I worked into the wee hours of the morning for several nights was all worth it. They beamed in their brand new outfits. And I beamed. They are the cutest little Trick-or-Treaters I have ever seen! And their costumes looked fabulous (not terrible, as I had feared). I was actually proud of my accomplishments. Suddenly my tune had changed. I think I want to make their costumes every year! . . . . I'll just have to learn to use my coupons more effectively.

Halloween night the kids had a blast with their friend Sadie. The weather was better than perfect for Trick-or-Treating. It must have been in the low 70s as we walked around our friends' neighborhood. After gathering plenty of candy, we headed back to Wolf and Liz's house for an outdoor movie, which soon became two movies. We enjoyed Smore's and a fire as we watched movies and gave out candy to very few other Trick-or-Treaters.