Thursday, June 18, 2009

100% Summer

It's definitely summer in these parts. I'm behind on the jam making already, but did get two batches of strawberry jam made today. And making jam means something really big at our means that the kitchen is functional! It actually has been functional for a while why wasn't I making jam before? Who knows.

These jars looked so pretty this afternoon, sitting on the counter with the sun shining through them. I came across these little 4 oz. jars last year late into my jam making, but loved them because they helped me to stretch the jam that I had and give it to more people as gifts at Christmas. I'm stocking up on them now and hope to be able to give an assortment of jams this year. So if you know me, the odds are, you're looking at part of your Christmas present.

There are gallons of mulberries waiting in my freezer and by the time we return home from another road trip, it will be blueberry and blackberry picking time. Just need to make sure I hold on to enough to get us through to the next year. I had to buy a few jars in the past few months and I don't love it nearly as much as when I know it came from my kitchen.

In addition to making jam today, the girls and a neighbor friend took a romp through the sprinkler. Sarah knows how to tackle a sprinkler - always be prepared. I fear I may have gotten the goggles a tidge too tight on her, as they seem to be rearranging her face. That may explain why she didn't wear them for long. Or perhaps their usefulness with sprinklers was overestimated.

And then there was this brilliant idea. Get chalk wet and grind it into a paste to paint yourself with. Even after rinsing in the sprinkler, my bathroom towels suffered from this one. It made me happy today, watching the girls romping around in their swimsuits in the yard, drippy wet, grass clippings stuck to their bare feet, cooling off from the heat of the day (and it was hot! and humid!) and just being kids. This is what summer is supposed to be.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Confession

Back in March (or there 'bouts), I went to a baby shower. It was a shower for a second child...gender to be a surprise. I was stumped for a gift - what could I make (quickly) that they wouldn't already have and could be gender neutral? I think I was also in the midst of all sorts of other things that left me not very focused and managing my time poorly. I gave a big box of diapers and wipes. That is NOT the kind of baby gift I like to give. But I did tell myself that once the baby arrived I would make a "welcome to the world" gift that would suit him or her. The mother mentioned that her daughter had a taggie blanket that was her lovey, so I thought I'd make the new baby a taggie quilt. Enter unused squares from baby Charlie's quilt, some fabric tags from scraps and voila, a much more presentable baby gift.

I put the top together just like any other quilt and edged it with the light blue fabric, which I now regret choosing - it should have had a brighter, more fun color edge, but I was trying to make it more boyish. I made the tags the same way I make my bias tape, although it's not on the bias. I sewed around the edges to secure it and then pinned them facing in, to the top of the quilt. I pinned the backing and batting, right sides facing the right side of the quilt top, and sewed it together leaving about a 6" opening at the bottom. Then I turned it all right side out, sewed the opening up and free motion quilted it. Now all that's left is to get this over to the new little fella.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Gift of Clothes

The girls and I are going to welcome a new little fellow, baby Charlie, this afternoon. We'll be taking him his quilt, which I showed in the last post, and some things for his big brother and sister as well. In the immortal words of my six year old nephew (five at the time of his proclamation, I believe) "Clothes do not make good gifts!" and yet I continue to make and give them to this fickle age group. I did pick up a few other little things as well, to take the disappointment off getting clothes to celebrate a new sibling. Hopefully Will will like his "Super Will" freezer paper stencil shirt though, and Audrey won't be too cool yet for a cutesy applique top.

And while I was terribly late (again) with these brother and sister birthday gifts for some other special friends, I did manage to get them finished and mailed off. Lucy's outfit uses the Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt tutorial and more easy applique for the top. Owen happens to have quite an affinity for fans, so I was excited to make him some fan t-shirts. My skills at freezer paper stencils are pretty minimal, so I had to keep the image simple, but I was happy with how they turned out. I think you get the idea that it's a fan.

I just finished a new baby blanket, but I'll save that for another day. Time to wrap up the goodies and get ready to meet little Charlie.