Saturday, September 20, 2008

Facing the music....or in this case, the fabric

Well, I did it. After seeing this Wee Wonderfuls post the other day, I got inspired. A comment on Wee Wonderfuls led me to this tutorial and got me all itchy to tackle my own stash. I got all...or at least most, of my fabric out of boxes and onto a bookshelf. There wasn't room for the seven boxes that have upholstery fabric in them, or all the small pieces of yardage and fat quarters, or all the cool sheets waiting to be turned into something, but at least I can see the majority of what I have. Biggest surprise so far....Jim hasn't commented on the bookshelf full of fabric yet. Of course, I haven't said "I need to go buy some fabric." to him yet either. I became a little worried that the girls might think I'd just set up a fabric buffet for them, but so far all Rachel has said was "Is this all your fabric? Cool.". And Sarah has left it alone (miracle of miracles)! The space where the bookshelf is has room above it for about four more shelves, so I'd eventually like to have storage above it, or get a taller shelf so that everything can finally live together. I do think this is going to help me immensely when picking out fabrics for projects though. I found a few more surprises as well - like a yard of baby blue animal print. What the? And while I look at all this fabric, I can honestly say that I am lacking in areas. Three piles of blue and yet not enough of the right blues. And not enough apple green or the right orange. I "need" more good browns as well. At least now I have an idea of what I should be keeping my eye out for when I go wandering through fabric stores.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The weather has started to cool here, which means it's only 80 now instead of 90, but what a difference ten degrees can make! Mornings are cooler, the air is starting to feel crisper and I am itching to call summer quits and say hello to fall! I think that making the pumpkin cupcakes last week made me officially over summer. Then magazines started coming in that scream fall and I got a new pair of shoes in the perfect fall color. Sarah and I took a walk this afternoon and she picked up some acorns. The signs are all pointing that way and I'm ready! Of course fall means Christmas is all the closer and once again I will be in the midst of gift making panic. Be careful what I wish for, I guess.

I should keep that in mind as my project for tonight is organizing all my fabric. I'm trying to get it all out in the open so that I can see what I have, after years of storing it in boxes. I'm not sure I actually have room to have it all out and about and my other fear is that Jim will then know how much fabric I actually have. But it's true, isn't can never have too much fabric. Of course I am wondering what possessed me to buy some of the things I've seen tonight. Several deep, brownish reds in patterns that look like I was heading towards something Colonial. And just a minute ago, a yard of orange fabric with seems mottled, but actually has cats all over it. Hmmm. But see, if I wasn't organizing it, I wouldn't know I had it. Perhaps I ought to start a pile to share with others. I guess I'll start parting with the questionable ones when I run out of space for the desirables.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fairy tale festivities

Today was the Fairy Tale Festival at Rachel's school. The kindergartners dress as a character from a fairy tale or nursery rhyme and have an action packed day full of fun. When I first asked Rachel what she wanted to be, she said Cinderella. Since part of their homework this week was supposed to be working on their costumes, I continually tried to get her to be something that we could make, but she wasn't buying it and the teacher said that there was no need to reinvent the wheel if we already had a costume, so Cinderella she was. In the morning they paraded through the school in their costumes and had story time with a special guest - Mother Goose.

After story time the 7th. grade buddies performed fairy tale plays in French and Spanish for the Kindergartners. The French class did Sleeping Beauty and the Spanish class did Snow White. The girls seemed most fascinated by the fact that some of the guys wore dresses and played the parts of girls.

In the afternoon, the 7th graders hosted games for all their buddies (and siblings that happened along). The kids got candy along the way and also earned pennies that they got to spend in their class store, buying prizes that parents had sent in. I was at Dollar Tree last night buying prizes after coming to the realization in the afternoon that I had carried the bag of prizes sitting by the door since Tuesday night down to the curb with our recycling on Wednesday morning. That has to be where the bag disappeared to. Brilliant. That's what I get for being prepared ahead of time.

And after games, what could be better than filling up on treats before it's time to go home? Everyone was to bring snacks that somehow related to a fairy tale or nursery rhyme. There were some really cute ideas....Rice Krispie treats rolled into balls and colored green for the Princess and the Pea, "poison" caramel apples, leaf cookies that came off Jack's beanstalk and some of the pumpkins that were hanging around when Cinderella's fairy godmother needed a pumpkin to turn into a carriage. I got the idea from Hello, Cupcake! which is a really fun book. They also have a blog and a flickr group with lots of great ideas. I also really liked the recipe for the cupcakes that's in the book. It starts with a basic cake mix, but uses buttermilk in place of water and calls for an extra egg. Jim even commented on how yummy the cake was. And he should know because last night I think he popped more than a couple of these little bite-sized guys into his mouth.

I also really liked the recipe for the cupcakes that's in the book. It starts with a basic cake mix, but uses buttermilk in place of water and calls for an extra egg. Jim even commented on how yummy the cake was. And he should know because last night I think he popped more than a couple of these little bite-sized guys into his mouth.

As usual, you can get a look at more photos from the day over on flickr.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

We caught the magic

While we didn't intend to hit two of the areas bigger attractions this weekend, we did. Friday Sarah and I accompanied Rachel and her classmates on their first field trip to Rock City. I love that the teachers let younger siblings come along! We don't get credit towards our volunteer hours if we bring siblings, but we still get to go.

The kids are learning about Fairy Tales, so they toured Rock City with their 7th grade buddies and at the end, their buddies had to read them all the fairy tales in Mother Goose Village. When I was in elementary school, I traveled to Chattanooga with my cousin and grandparents for several years to attend a church camp at Covenant College. As part of our trip, we always visited Rock City. I especially remember the magic of Mother Goose Village, which now, with all its black lights and fairy tale vignettes, is actually a good bit freaky. You can read more about Rock City here. I will spare you the photos of gnomes in black light.

Sarah was a trooper during the long walk, although she knew I had her lunch box in my backpack, so she was hungry the whole time and let me (and most everyone else on the trip) know about it often. The girl can't stand to be in the company of an unopened lunch box. It doesn't matter if it's 8:15 AM and she just ate seven pancakes. If there's a lunch box about, she's hungry. Here she is taking a break along our walk. Sitting on, what would you expect at Rock!

After the field trip we returned to the school and helped set up everything for the kids and their buddies to make gingerbread houses. Sarah was such a helper! She more than willingly helped open some of the over 40 cans of vanilla icing that we had to put out. She gladly helped distribute graham crackers and she very graciously taste tested some of the hard candies for Rachel's teacher. And while all those tasks have something that you might imagine lured Sarah to them, she also helped set the tables with spoons to spread the icing with, threw trash out and was just a great helper. Her reward was that she and some other younger siblings also got to make gingerbread houses. It is safe to say that a good time was had by all. I even overheard one 7th grade boy exclaim, "This is the most fun I've ever had at school!".

That was just the beginning of our weekend though, because on Saturday we surprised Jim by taking him to Lake Winne to celebrate his birthday. I had told the girls that we would take Daddy to a park, but did not elaborate, since Sarah had already told him at least three times in the previous week that we were giving him a camera for his birthday (which we were). Even when she gave him his gift she said something to the effect of "Open it, it's a camera!".

We had a great day at Lake Winne and the kids hit a lot of rides. They were more adventurous than I would have anticipated, but when I think about it, I shouldn't really be surprised. The park is the perfect size for our family right now and I thought of it as phase one in contemplating a trip to Disney. One of Sarah's favorite rides as this giant slide. She went down it no less than five times, I believe.

Rachel, apparently, loves to be swung in circles, really fast (this should come as no surprise to me), as she rode the Matterhorn two times back to back. Once with Jim and when he bowed out for a second trip, she did it by herself.

Here's a few more pictures from the day, ending with one tired little girl going around and around in a boat. Actually, that wasn't Sarah's last ride. Rachel wanted to end with a ride on the Ferris Wheel with her Dad and Sarah chose the bumble bees and asked me to ride along with her. I never gave a second thought to hopping on a kiddie ride with her, but unlike Rachel, apparently I am not meant to be swung around in any type of circle, whether it be going at top speed or a snails pace. Those darn bees made one circle and I knew I was in trouble. I had to spend the whole ride staring at the floor of the ride, careful not to catch a glimpse of anything moving past me. Thankfully that was how our day ended because I was done for after that. Pathetic, I know. You can see some addidtional pictures over on flickr as well.

The end.

Monday, September 1, 2008

An interruption

I'm sorry to interrupt all the kindergarten, cute kid talk here, but by george, I actually finished a project! This baby quilt came out of the wash today. It's a gift for a friend's very special little boy. I can't wait to take it to him on Wednesday, when I'll drop some dinner off as well. After Rachel's log cabin sewing project for school, I thought it might be a good way to go about some baby quilts that were different from all the 4" square quilts I have made previously. This was fun, went quickly and made me think I knew what I was doing...until I realized I didn't. As it turns out, all I've ever learned about quilting I learned from here, a 2001 issue of Martha Stewart Babies. Clearly I have a lot more learning to do. Like how to get all three layers smooth and taught while quilting. Usually I have trouble with the back, so this time I thought I'd outsmarted myself when I worked from the back, smoothing it out and pinning it, but guess what....there is now bunching in the sashing surrounding the blocks. Nice. It's not too bad though, and maybe the baby won't notice. I also managed to to this quilt almost entirely out of fabric I had on hand. All I had to buy was the solid for the sashing and the horseshoe fabric that I made the bias trim out of. Just couldn't resist that to complete the cowboy theme.