Monday, December 17, 2012

Something Finished!

Don't you love the feeling of accomplishment? It's like dropping a weight from your shoulders and standing up straight for the first time in awhile. I have am basking in this short lived feeling for the evening. Short lived because I still have so much to do before Christmas but I've finished a big thing. Enough talking! Here it is!

Four mantis babies! From FiberDoodles. I've made two others using this pattern. It's a great pattern I highly recommend it.

I've been working on these since well before thanksgiving but I could only work on them at night after the girls went to bed.

With Tonka to keep me company while I worked in the basement. Watching movies or tv. But tonight I sewed on the eyes and the antennas.

Then they were done! A labor of love for my aunt, who ordered these back in August and I procrastinated thinking I had enough time, not to worry. Man, that time went by fast! But they are done now, and they leave tomorrow to be given as gifts. But now I'm off to bed, because tomorrow I have to arm myself with my hook and produce some Christmas presents!

They'll miss me, I know. But they're going to good homes. And just for your entertainment...

We went and saw Santa today and both girls loved Santa, Alyssa basically jumped into his lap!, and then tried to stick her fingers in his mouth. Amelia was shy but friendly. Then we couldn't get her to smile. This is the best we could get out of her, I love it anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bad Day...

This afternoon has been an awful one. This morning was great.

We went downstairs and listened to records. The girls played together and with their toys.

Elliott played air drums at Amelia. She yelled at him and told him to stop. Then about 1230 Alyssa had enough. So I put her to bed. And about an hour later Amelia had a massive meltdown that woke up Alyssa who needed to take a longer nap and then refused to go back down (is currently playing in her crib instead of sleeping). She then proceeded to cry at everything. Amelia isn't feeling well and neither is Alyssa so I've had someone attached to me the last 30 some odd hours. I feel worn down and on the brink of a blowup myself. Plus, I want to go throw rocks at my neighbor's highly obnoxious dogs who bark all day long. Even when my neighbors are home they somehow miraculously don't hear their dogs barking, though I can hear them in almost every room of my house, two doors down from them. (Just for the record, I don't have the balls to be mean to anyone so I just get real mad and sulky without doing anything about it. Confrontation makes me really uncomfortable too.)

I'm just ready for bedtime tonight. Please say a prayer for me if you think about it. I'm sure tomorrow will be better. It has to be, right? Right?...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Just Stopping By

I want to start by saying that I am sorry that I have been so quiet lately. With Christmas coming up and my mom just getting back into town most of my free time has been gobbled up. I've even developed my old crochet callus and even a new one on my thumb because I've been using a naked hook.

I've been working hard trying to get things finished for presents and an order my aunt placed back in August. It's my fault that I waited so long to get the order going, but I'll make it! I have to.

I've been crocheting where ever we go because there is no time to sit and enjoy the ride! The hooks need to be turning and things need to get done. And by the time I get some time the last thing I want to do us blog, sorry. I still read all of my favorites, but even then I don't have the energy to comment on them.

But hopefully I'll be able to revamp my blogging attempts and be kinder to you, my readers. I may be back before Christmas but I can't make any promises. So if I don't see you before then I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

And just to play catch up, Amelia had her first dentist appointment last week and she did an amazing job! She let them do everything they needed to do and didn't cry or fuss. But they did turn on the tv for her so that could have something to do with it.

And both my girls...

Are decked out and ready to see
Santa! Hopefully it'll go well, but we'll see.

Have fun with your Christmas prep!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Small Hello

Good morning! How are you? I'm good. Survived Thanksgiving, my dad and sister came as had dinner with us. This is my third year cooking dinner for my family, first with my dad and sister joining us. Each year I get a little further behind in all I do to get ready for it. My first year everything was done and on the table exactly when I said it would be. Each following year I've been rushing to get the rolls in the oven, the gravy made, and some other odd instances that make me feel frazzled. But it was all delicious and I had a great time with my family. That's what matters right? I hope you had a fabulous turkey day also!

I did not get my thing done for Thanksgiving. I started and was doing pretty well but then it hit me that Christmas isn't that far away and I still have so much to do to get ready for that.

I'm making everyone's Christmas present this year. I have a pretty good start on all of it but I need to stay on top of it if I'm going to make it.

I'm half done with this present. It's fun to work on and it has a lot of meaning in the colors.

Plus I'm working on some mantis for my aunt. Four for Christmas and another one for another time. I have one and a half finished.

That's what I work on after the girls go to bed. All other crochet things are worked on during the day. Then there's another blanket I've started but don't have a picture of, and a quilt I have to get done. Plus something I'm contracting to Elliott to make for me. And don't forget the endless hats and scarves I'm going to make. My goal for this year is to get it all done BEFORE Christmas. If I keep up the good work I'm confident I'll make it. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic though. We'll see! I'll keep you posted.

Oh! I just want to show you a few things. Starting at the bottom and going clockwise, that's Alyssa newborn, 3-4 months, and 8 months. It's ridiculous how fast time is flying.

There's Amelia as a newborn, one year, and today. She'll be three in 2 months and some change. Where does all the time go? Must have been all the fun time I've been having with these babies of mine.

We bought Amelia some pink Christmas lights for her room, I've been wanting to do it since last Christmas but Elliott said she was probably a little too young last year.

She loves them! I figured she would. I'm just glad Alyssa doesn't know that her big sister is getting something she's not. Next year might be a different story! Well, I'm sorry there's not more to show you. My mom and step-dad just got back into town so we've been hanging out with them all week. But I'll get pictures of the other stuff I'm working on for you next time!

Hope you have a great day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crochet Hats and This and That

Hello there! How are you today? I'm great... Kinda. The girls have been keeping me up a lot of nights and while everyone is enjoying the nice little extra hour we received last Sunday I somehow am feeling like I lost an hour. But besides the lack of sleep I'm good. I wish the weather would decide if it wants to be hot or cold, I hate the fluctuation. Sorry, enough complaining! That's not why you're here!

I have a crawler now! She's been doing that since the 4th of October.

She doubles as a climber too, please ignore the mess, it was clean before the girls got to it.

And a trouble maker. My dad taught her that. Papa was so proud when I sent him the picture. At least it's not marbles. Yet...

So what have you been up to lately? I've just been hanging out with the girls and Elliott and trying to get the house organized. Is that really possible with children? Craftwise, I've been doing some things. Want to see?

I finally finished these hats a friend of mine wanted for her little boy and baby girl. I had a lot of fun making these for her.

And luckily Amelia is about the same age as her son.

And Alyssa is the same age as her daughter. My girls loved the hats too so I think they'll be getting a pair of their own soon.

Then I made this hat for another friend. Monkeys are very in right now, but are they ever not in? Sorry, I can't lead you to a pattern for these because there isn't one. If you'd like one I'd be happy to come up with a tutorial for them! Just let me know. :-)

I'm so lucky both of my girls love to have hats on! Makes trying to figure out length and size really easy. And taking pictures is much easier of someone is wearing them, but only if they hold still long enough.

I also did a swap for Halloween through ravelry, are you on ravelry? It's really fun but be careful because you can spend so much time on there and not even realize it. I did this little monster gal for my partner.

I put some goodies and a note in with the girl and sent her to her new home. My partner loved her! It's always nice when your work is appreciated.

And this is what I got from the person who sent to me! A little witch with orange hair and an orange purse! It included a little puff ball black cat and a little locket charm. I love getting packages! Especially when they contain something just for me! Amelia tried to run off with her several times, the goose!

Then I had this great idea for a sippy cup tether that ties to a suction cup that you stick to the high chair tray. Ok, it's not my original idea but the pattern is. It's made from a fat quarter, interfacing, Velcro, and a ribbon. This was my first one and it works great! But I need to tweak things to make it better.

Alyssa loves it and so do I because her cup isn't falling on the floor 50 times throughout dinner.

I also made this awesome Cell figurine for my brother to hang in his truck. It's made from polymer clay and has an eye thing (don't know the technical term) poking through his head.

I haven't given it to him yet but he has seen it. He says he loves it, which I hope he does, because I had so much fun making it!

Cell is a character from an anime show called Dragon Ball Z. We were really into the show when we were kids, among other anime shows. Hopefully he'll be hanging in my brother's truck before too long!

I'm also working on something else Thanksgiving related, I think I'll make a tutorial to go along with it too, not that it'll be all that hard for you to figure out on your own if you wished.

And I finally cleaned up my craft area. It was dreadful! It was one of those situations where I didn't realize it had gotten that bad and once I started cleaning it was much worse than I had imagined. And it still looks cluttered, that's why I'm not showing you a picture, but it's definitely cleaner.

Besides all that, not much ado about anything really. So I'll leave you with some pictures of my girls sleeping and wish you a happy rest of the weekend!

P.s. that little penguin was mine when I was her age. It's been keeping her safe at night. :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween and More

Hello! How are you? Sorry I've taken such a long time to come back. I really wasn't planning to take a month away. Things just happen and I haven't really been crocheting or sewing a whole lot so I didn't have much to talk about without repeating myself. But now that Halloween is over I'll have more time to devote to Christmas presents and other crafts.

How was your Halloween? Safe I hope! Halloween seems to be our busiest holiday, there's so much going on and we just love Halloween so we want to do it all! We missed our town's downtown trick or treat because it was too cold for Alyssa, I think Amelia and I would have been fine but I didn't want Alyssa to suffer because we wanted to go so we stayed home. Then the next day we went to the trick or treat at the barn at our Ag Hall.

This is the third time we've gone but arrived later because Alyssa took a really long nap. We normally get there right when the start.

Alyssa and Elliott rode the train together after Amelia and I rode it. Elliott said Alyssa cooed the whole time. She did that when she saw the tractors too. My guess is she's going to like tractors and trucks and things that go. But I also thought Amelia would too, she's a little afraid of tractors now.

But she actually sat on one this year at Ag Hall! Normally she won't even let Elliott touch it but this year she wouldn't even let Alyssa share the seat with her!

Oh, if you're wondering, I made Amelia's costume again this year. I made her one last year too. This year is my best work yet I believe. But I'll get to that later.

And Alyssa was the same ladybug Amelia was her first Halloween. But back to our running around:

After Ag Hall we took the girls to the Howl-O-ween our local PBS was sponsoring at Union Station. P.T. the owl was there and Amelia loves giant animals like this.

Alyssa was in the carrier so she didn't get a chance to give P.T. a hug.

Then daddy and Amelia played with all sorts of things at the place. I had never been there before but there was so much to do! We got to this kinda early so it was still pretty controlled among the kids. By the time we were leaving, about two hours after it started, things were getting fresh with so many kids. Everyone was getting tired and hungry so we left before anyone had a meltdown. Elliott and I both get a little overwhelmed with huge crowds like that and I get really snippy and bite-y when that happens. So any bystander who accidentally, or purposely, gets in my way might receive a rude comment or me running into them on purpose to make them get outta my way! I'm an angry mama bear sometimes. But we left before any of that happened.

On Tuesday we had a bonfire with my in laws. Food, candy, 80s Halloween specials on VHS, and of course Papa gives all the babies tractor rides. Alyssa cooed the whole time again and Amelia kept asking me "what's that?"

Then Wednesday was the big day! Amelia's third Halloween and Alyssa's first. We decided we should finally take Amelia trick or treating because we felt she was old enough to understand now. All day she kept asking when we would go, she was so excited.

We just went around our block because we knew she wouldn't last long. And we were right, we didn't get half way around and she was already starting to drag. Once we made it back to the house we pulled out our own candy and sat out in the driveway. I don't know about your weather, but our's was perfect! Then Alyssa had a meltdown and I put her to bed and Amelia got her second wind. She helped Elliott pass out candy and said, "happy Halloween guys!" after every pass.

The camera didn't capture the real glow of the sunset but it was really pretty. We ran out of candy this year. Last year we had quiet a bit left over but the year before we ran out too. It always seems to happen right when we want to go in and that's ok with me! Elliott's parents stopped by for a bit and Amelia got to stay up way later, which resulted in a meltdown followed by a mommy meltdown to match. Once she finally got into bed Elliott and I made a snack and watches Halloween. Elliott has a funny sense of humor, nothing I could ever compete with, he's really a funny guy! I heard a noise outside and asked him, as if he would know sitting right next to me, what it was. He told me it was Mike Myers sitting on the back deck playing a banjo trying to sell me insurance. I said I wasn't interested. Then we heard another noise and he said, "now that's Mike Myers smashing his banjo because he's pissed off you won't buy insurance from him and now he has to go back to banjo repair." I still get tickled when I think about that.

We're all pretty well recovered from that night now. Except Amelia who keeps reopening the wounds by finding and eating candy in odd places. She's been talking a lot about squirrels lately, maybe she's taken a page from their book about stashing.

On to the costume(s)! I asked Amelia repeatedly what she wanted to be for Halloween over the whole month of September and finally it came to us. Daisy duck! She's totally into Mickey mouse clubhouse and talks about it all the time, so it was perfect. I measured her and drew up my own pattern, dreaming big the entire time. It took me threw days to draft the pattern.

An afternoon to cut.

Two days to sew. And two hours to finish the hood equaling to three different attempts.

The sleeves were a happy accident. I'm not an accomplished seamstress by any means, I love quilting, so I had no idea how to measure for the sleeves. I looked all over the Internet and on pinterest, found several tutorial but still ended up making a guess. I wanted the sleeves to puff like this but assumed I had measured wrong and had made the sleeves measure to fit like a t shirt sleeve. But I measured wrong and had to gather the tops to make it fit. Yay! The legs were an accident too, but they fit just amazingly with the body around the leg hole.

The butt and front bottom are stuffed to make her look bottom heavy. The inside is lined with a knit fabric to hold the stuffing in.

The back has a zipper excluding the hood, it's all one piece.

Here's the hood without the beak. She didn't care for it at the house when I made her try it own several times. She kept telling me, "mama, I don't like this." But once we were outside and around people she loved it.

Alyssa was actually going to be Minnie mouse in the carrier, I made a cover for the carrier to look like Minnie's dress and I was going to make a hat with a bow and ears but I messed up the hat so bad. I broke two needles and countless thread. I even ran over a pin head with a needle and the needle stabbed and stayed in the head, that was the first one I broke and it all went down hill from there. So I just abandoned the mission.

But I'm very proud of what I accomplished with Amelia's costume. Would you believe my vision of the costume is exactly what you see? Well, it is. I love when things fall into place like that.

We had to go to the pumpkin patch twice this year because the first time Alyssa was asleep and it was cold and rainy. This time was windy but warm and so much more fun.

Took a lot of pictures too. I love hanging out with my fam. They're the coolest people I know! I do have some other stuff to show you but I'll save that for another day. Happy November everyone! Be thankful! :-)