Friday, October 31, 2008

Haloween - the little boys

This year I had everybody choose their costume from the costume box.  Jerome and Asha's came from the Petersens in San Diego.  Kai's Robinhood was Jerome's first costume in Philly, and Quinn's was marked down to $4.75 at Costco on Halloween day back in Pittsburgh.     


Happy Halloween

This is Tamsin, Scott's sister.  Isn't she a dazzling witch? 

Tamsin asked me to sew her costume, and I did.  She chose Simplicity 0517, view D.  The pattern was pretty simple and easy to follow.  It is made to flatter a curvy figure like hers, with darts in the front and back.  If you ever try this pattern though, keep in mind that attaching 10 yards of boa by hand takes some time.  Two and a half hours for me.  That is nothing in the scheme of sewing a whole dress.  But it is a killer if you are thinking the dress is mostly done, and there is JUST the trimming left to do.           

Tamsin and I followed the tutorial from this video clip to make the hat.  Again, a great tutorial and we loved the result.  

With extra long purple lashes and a long silver wig, she is ready to scare some nieces and nephews.  Actually, they just burst into laughter.    

Jerome is Luke Sky Walker and Asha, Dorothy. 

I will add a picture of Kai and Quinn later.  Quinn fell asleep and Kai was a big mess of dribbles by the time I remembered to pull out my camera. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

7 - I got tagged

This is the little house we lived in one summer.  We were in Evanston, IL for Scott's internship.  It was nice to be there  after the busy first year of Scott's business school and my church obligations.  Jerome was four and Asha, almost two.   
A few "firsts" happened here.

-First pre-school for Jerome
-First tomato garden
-First charcoal BBQ ribs 
-First front tooth knock-out for Asha

and the most significant,

-First living close to Vogue Fabrics, an amazing textile store.  If only I could go back and look around that store.


I got tagged by Vicky, one of my favorite friends from San Diego.  I really enjoyed reading her "7" post because it reminded me of what an incredible person she is.  Thanks, Vicky!   

7 things that I can do:

1. make Scott tell me six things I can do

2. organize

3. multi-task

4. lift heavy things 

5. shovel snow

6. draw

7. pack, move, and unpack REALLY fast


7 things I cannot do:

1. lie

2. needles or blood

3. focus when the house is messy 

4. go to bed at a reasonable time when Scott is gone 

5. make witty comments

6. take Advil when I have a headache

7. stare at bumpy textures    


7 things I say often:

1. Turn off the water.

2. Turn off the lights.  

3. I already said no.

4. Do you need to use the bathroom?

5. Put the socks in the laundry basket.  

6. Put that book down!

7. I - just - loooove you. (Kai said this when he was really little, and now we all say it to each other.) 


7 things I plan to do before I die:

1. help my kids develop faith in God

2. help my kids learn to eat good food

3. help my kids learn Japanese

4. help my kids learn to play a musical instrument

5. serve a mission with Scott

6. go on an Alaskan cruise

7. travel all over Japan with Scott and kids


7 things that attract me to Scott:

1. his faith

2. his confidence

3. his willpower

4. his humor

5. his cooking

6. his passion for fun family vacations

7. he makes me want to be a better person


7 Favorite Foods:

1. Japanese noodles

2. strawberries

3. flourless dark chocolate cake  

4. paella

5. coconut curry

6. squash

7.  seafood pasta 


7 people who I would like to do this (only if you want to):

1. Yurika

2. Yuko

3. Alison

4. Kim

5. Allison

6. Kersten 

7. Jacquie 



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tracing patterns

Here is Quinn with his new 'do.  I was all sad, as usual, to see the fine baby hair go.  The kids, on the other hand, love it and called him "handsome" all day.  

Asha is in need of winter clothes.  I have been busy tracing patterns from Japanese sewing books of Alison's and mine.  Unlike the individually printed and packaged American patterns, all the patterns from the book are drawn on top of each other on a couple big sheets of paper.  You find what you want, trace it on your blank sheet of paper, cut it out, pin it on the fabric, add the inseam, make the markings, and cut your fabric out.  It is a lot of work.  But it is SO worth it.  The clothes turn out really cute, and they always fit Asha well.  I used to tape the pattern sheet to the window during the day to trace it.  I would have complained about my sore triceps by now, but a roll of Swedish tracing paper changed that.  This material is durable enough for the sharp pencil led, yet very transparent.  In fact, it is durable enough to be sewn up for a fitting.  I did all the tracing at night on my table.  How quickly it goes when you don't have little helpers to distract you.  And thank you, Alison for leaving me with a roll of the wonderful stuff.        

Next comes choosing the fabric.  My goal is to only use what I have, two bins of fabric and clothes Scott and I don't wear anymore.  Stay tuned!  


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whirlygiggles finished

It is finished!  I am so glad I decided to have a quilt to practice the free motion quilting on.  It surely was helpful to get all the little detail and technique down.  I read everything Amandajean wrote on her tutorial and the flickr group discussion she linked to.  Getting the thread tension right was the hardest.  I kept breaking the needle, too, because I couldn't keep a steady speed.  I can't wait to get more practice.  The binding is a scrappy one from all the left over fabric.      

Quinn's recent  pastime: playing with the pumpkins Aunt Kersten grew and gave us.   

Now off to gymnastics.  Thank you all for your support!  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Asha turns seven

Asha turned seven this month, and we had a girly birthday party on Saturday.  Six cousins and four friends came to help her celebrate.  

Scott made a long treasure hunt that took the girls all over the house.  They got their lunch bags first and then found more things to put in it.  
A few crafts, cake, and presents followed, and the party was a great success.  Asha was beaming with excitement to see so many of her favorite people at once.       

Asha has always been a bright spark of joy in our family.  When she was two, one of her uncles called her a little politician at the family reunion  because she loved associating with people.  She knew every cousin by name and greeted each one.  Then she sat on all the uncles and aunts' lap and charmed them.  She has kept that up and Scott and I have always been known as Asha's dad and mom.  Asha loves gymnastics and piano, and also enjoys reading books about them.  Asha doesn't miss a beat.  She knows where everything is and what everybody should be doing at any given time.  I can always count on her help when I am in a pinch.  

We love you Asha!  Happy seventh birthday! 

Here is Kai with his cousin, Michael, during the "near sleepover".      

Friday, October 10, 2008

Google Reader

I love Google Reader.  Like the internet and cell phones, I don't know how I lived without it.   My Google Reader knows me pretty well, too.  It has gotten better at recommending new blogs that I should subscribe to.  Here is a list of things it knows about me, in no particular order.    

I am a visual person
I quilt and my quilting style is more modern than traditional
I like to sew children's and women's clothes
Pretty fabric makes my heart sing  
Organization and simplification bring peace to my life 
I am looking for fun party and dinner ideas
I am LDS
I have children and I like them
I am a sucker for stationary

Today it recommended I subscribe to my own blog.  I thought it was super funny.  Or I should say, "Well done, Google Reader!" 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whirlygiggles top

Scott is back from a week long business trip.  It is so nice to feel whole as a family again.  I resisted the urge to sew while he was gone, in order to focus on running the house and keeping the kids happy.  I have great kids.  They were very good to me and we  got along well.   

Whirlygiggles top is now complete.  I added several patterns from "Surf and Sand" (Marcus Brothers) and one from Amy Butler to the quilt top and that made all the difference.  Now I am ready to quilt it and put the binding on.   


Here is the boy version lunch bag.  The wood grain pattern comes in dark, medium, or light, and the one shown is the medium shade.  The party is an all girl one, but I made some for Jerome and Asha.   

Thursday, October 2, 2008

oilcloth lunch bags

So, I got some oilcloth from to make lunch bags with.  I found too many cute patterns and ended up buying a bit more than I needed.  When the package came, Asha saw me admiring the cute cloth and had a great idea.  Why not make 10 more!  Give them away as part of the party favors at her birthday party!  "Oh, sure, what a cute idea!" I thought, but then had to think through before responding.  It was going to be at least four hours of my precious time.  Five if I put velcro on.  Is it worth it?"  

In the past, Asha has managed to put many things on my sewing list that I didn't enjoy doing.  Some of the worst ones include setting sleeves in Barbie's wedding dress to make it more modest, mending rips in princess dresses, and making a padded cover for her chin-up bar so her tummy wouldn't hurt when she practiced gymnastics moves on it.

I decided the lunch bags would still be a fun project to do.  I followed this tutorial, but also added the overstitch on the bottom sides.  They turned out really cute, and I love the patchwork one I made with leftovers.  

Quinn, now almost 11 months, took two steps.  The shutter speed on my camera is too slow to capture the walk, but you get the idea from the picture.  Scott is wearing Jerome's sunglasses to motivate him to "stay up".