Tuesday, November 8, 2011


A lot of babies are born among our loved ones. Some girls I had in Young Women are starting to have babies, and that is very special to me. Seeing them make wise choices and lead beautiful lives give me a lot of joy as I work with 12 and 13 year old girls in Young Women again.

This post is for my mom. She assures me she wants to see my bibs even when they are the same bibs I always make. I can never thank my mom enough for teaching me how to sew. She shared the joy of working with my hands through her beautiful creations. She continues to be my inspiration.

And there is more to come...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quinn turns four

It was funny that Quinn knew exactly what he wanted. His guest list consisted of Aunt Karine, Jennabee, Aunt Tamsin, Grandpa and Grandma Campbell, and Aunt Trisha(Grandma Campbell's sister). So we invited them and their families over for dinner and a small celebration.

We asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner. He said Aunt Karine's home made mac-n-cheese, Aunt Trisha's fruit salad, deviled eggs "the eyeball kind!"(I think he remembered the deviled egg eyeballs we took into Asha's class.), and cheese cake "with berries on top".

I should always let Scott choose boy gifts. Look at his smile! I would have never picked a bow and arrows.

This years has been a milestone for Quinn. He learned to entertain himself in ways we approve of. We are no longer worried that he might burn the house down or that he might seriously injure himself. We no longer panic when we haven't seen him for five minutes. He got potty trained. He stopped sucking his thumb. (Thanks, Scott, for your diligent effort at applying Mavala Stop day after day.) After not being interested for what seemed to be a long time, he recently learned his ABCs and their sounds in two weeks. Leap Frog DVD a friend loaned to us did the magic.

Quinn loves being with his brother Kai, and wants to copy everything he is doing. Lego and trains can keep him happy for a long time. He likes to watch Bob the Builder and is sure he can build a house if only we let him use Dad's tools.

When we get our Costco coupon book, Scott and I individually go through and circle things that we want to purchase. One day Scott went to Costco without me and came back with several junk food that we had never bought before. When I asked Scott why he had gotten them, he said they were circled on the coupon book. We opened the book to see wobbly circles that Quinn had added. Quinn was very proud of himself that it worked.

We asked him what his memorable moments were from the past year.

"Staying at Aunt Karine's house while Mama was in Japan and Dad was on a business trip." If he had his way, he would live there and be Aunt Karine's son.

Riding the ice explorer on the athabasca glacier in Canada. "The wheels are bigger than me!"

Hiking a total of 26.2 miles without ever being held. Here he is near the end of Opal Hills in Jasper Ntional Park. He said he couldn't possibly walk another step, lied there for a few minutes to charge, and then walked down the rest of the way.

After Kai's birth, I was told by my OBGYN that I shouldn't have any more babies. I was getting older and my scar tissue was building up from three c-sections, she said. It didn't help that I was mad at her for the complication she had caused during the c-section, but I decided to ignore her suggestion. I knew there was another baby and I wanted to have him/her. I didn't even tell Scott what she had said until much later. Two and a half years later we had Quinn. I can't imagine our family without him.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year our friends(the same ones that had the 80's party last year) invited us to a murder mysery party. The sciene was set in Chicago in the 20's. Scott was a shady business man and I was a sociolite . Here we are on the way to solveing a mystery.

Jerome was the Grim Reaper. I made a skirt with a draw string, a top on a bias, and attatched a hood. Karine gave me some black remnants from her project, so there was no cost. Because I draped everything straight on the body, the fit was great. Jerome made the sythe with card board, aluminum foil, and duck tape.

Asha was a journalist. A french kind. I made the jacket as you saw in the previous post. She made the "press" tag. Bryan generously gave her several vintage cameras to complete the look.

Kai's costume came from Amazon. He was very paticular about exactly what kind of Ninjya he should be, so I didn't bother teaching him about real Ninjyas, nor worrying about making him look authentic.

We successfully steered Quinn away from the pink flamingo costume, his original plan. This picture was taken at the church carnival.

Cropped jacket for Asha

Last year I made a goal to challenge myself physically and see if I could get back in shape before I turn forty. I am not going to bore you with the details here, but let's just say it has been a journey. As it turns out, I am not good at managing two projects, and sewing had been put on hold... until this past week.

In August we took a trip to Banff and surrounding national parks as a family. On one of the harder hikes, I was trying to make conversations with Asha in a desparate attempt to distract myself from the huff and puff. The topic of Haloween costumes came up. Before I knew it, I had committed to sewing Asha a jacket. Who knew being in nature with people you love could make you do such things.

Fast forward to last week...
I turned to my new sewing book I got from Japan titled "Sweet Girls Clothes" and choose style V in size 140. Here are the measurements the book gives for size 140. Height 140cm, chest 68cm, waist 57cm, hip 73cm. I think it is a smaller size 10. This is what the cover of the book looks like.

I used denim from my stash.

To minimize bulk, and to keep the project interesting, I tried my hand at a Hong Kong seam. Changing the thread back and forth got tedious, but I love the end result.

She wore the jacket to church. A picture of the jacket complete with the rest of her Halloween costume is coming in the next post.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Last night I wanted to watch some talks I had recorded from the BYU Women's Conference. I knew I would fall asleep if I sat down, so I decided to sew. I don't know the logic behind it, but I get more out of those talks when my hands are busy.

I was happy to find a pair of Asha's shorts all cut out and ready to go from last year's project pile. The fabric came from an extra large pair of white shorts I bought at a yard sale for 50 cents. It has a heavier weight with good amount of stretch.

I drafted the pattern with Alison's help a few years back. Size 130. You can see another pair I had made with this pattern here.

The fabric I used for the elastic casing is voile from Ana Maria Horner's Little Folks collection. This light weight fabric is not sheer, drapes beautifully, and has a subtle sheen to it. It feels similar to the lawn of Liberty of London, but for the third of the price. Check out Anna Maria's entire fabric collection here. It is a true work of art.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trailer report - the bunks are in

One of the last things on our list was to put bunks in. All-fab, a local metal working company, built the frames and we sewed the cover with duck canvas.

This bunk has hinges so we can fold it in half length-wise and tuck it behind the couch during the day.

The one on the end may stay up there to provide extra storage for sleeping bags and pillows.

We bought 10 yards of 2 inch wide velcro. We used our glue gun to attach the rough side to the inside of the frame, and then sewed the fuzzy side to the canvas. It holds the canvas tight and we will be able to take it off and wash it.

We will get to test them out during the Memorial Day weekend. Destination is still to be determined.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scripture bag

This is the perfect little scripture bag for your little guy.

measurements (click picture to enlarge)

I used corduroy from my stash for the outer layer and cotton/linen for the inside and the pocket. If you use quilting weight fabric like I did for this girl version, sandwich a heavy weight fabric in between so it will hold it's shape. And here is another boy version I have made before.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bendy dolls, felt horses, and wool pants

Some of you have asked for a tutorial on these cute dolls Elizabeth Lee made. Here it is.

Elizabeth actually didn't use a pattern or a tutorial for the horses but she wishes she had because it would have been easier. She found a tutorial that looks exactly like what she did. Tutorial here.

And here you can see how to make the sweater sleeve pants.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for letting me share your creations!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Furniture refinishing, desk


After sanding

Finished with new hardware

Furniture refinishing, buffet & China cabinet

I know some of you didn't get a chance to look at the picture display up close. With the permission of Adrianne and Stuart Campbell, I am going to post the pictures and paint references.

China cabinet, bottom - before

Buffet - before

Buffet - after

China cabinet, top - before
with my nephew, Grant trying on his daddy's glasses

China cabinet - after

"For all of our painting projects we used Behr Oil Based Primer found at Home Depot.

We used Behr Paint + Primer (Oil Based) in white for the china cabinet and desk. And I don't remember the shade of blue for the buffet. But it was the Behr Paint + Primer line as well.

We bought new hardware for the china cabinet at Home Depot. Rather than buy new hardware for the buffet, we spray painted them in Rustoleums White Epoxy Spray Paint - which is good for metals and appliances."

Adrianne will be happy to answer any questions you may have. adriannercampbell@gmail.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trailer report - on the road

We finally did it. A week in Seattle with the trailer we worked on for months. It was simply amazing. We have some pictures to prove it.

Here we are eating the first meal of pasta and meat sauce...

and breakfast of steel cut oats.

Last swig of "fizzy water" before bed.

Even chores like washing dishes are fun when you are in the trailer. Quinn begged for a turn one day and got one.

And it is all cleaned up now, ready for another trip, hopefully sooner than later.