Because Sometimes


Because sometimes you just really need to take some orange juice in your lunch.

And sometimes the only spill-proof container that you have on hand is for breastmilk.

Don't judge.

Happy Birthday Times Four


Sometimes family birthday parties are small, quiet affairs. 
And sometimes family birthday parties are big, loud, and raucous. 
Such is the case when you celebrate four birthdays at once…and you invite an additional six little kids over to enjoy the festivities. 

There was a bit of skinny dipping (well, with a diaper on). 

A bit of limboing (in which O had a distinct advantage). 

A bit of horsing around between the cousins (ridiculous pun intended).

A bit of amazing backyard acrobatics. 

And a bit of hanging out with my sisters - one of which makes this face after she's just been insulted (for the record - it was not by me!).

So a very happy birthday indeed to my very first brother-in-law, my very first niece, and my very first (and only) pops. Oh, and a very happy birthday to me too! (Best part of the birthday party? The fact that I got to take home all the left over cake. Carrot cake for breakfast the next day? Yes, please!)

A Bag For All Occasions


A couple of weeks ago the lovely Anna of Noodlehead amazingness asked if I would be interested in pattern testing a new bag that she had been designing.  My immediate answer was "yes."  And then after she sent pictures of the new bag my revised answer was "yes!  yes!  yes!" - because in addition to being beyond flattered that she would even ask me to test a pattern (me?) the bag in the pictures that she sent was adorable.

Between work and life, making a couple treks to the fabric store because I kept changing my mind on how I wanted to put the fabrics together, and waiting for some bag supplies in the mail, it took me a couple of weeks to get around to making the bag, but I can tell you this - it was worth the wait.

The bag is the perfect size.  Big enough so that I can carry around all the crap that I normally carry around (and let me tell you - that's a lot of crap) but small enough that it doesn't look completely oversized and overwhelming.

Oh, and the bag has pockets galore.  One large one on the back of the bag, three smaller pleated ones on the front (pleated pockets?  Um, yes please!), and one on the inside that you can sew to divide in whatever way works best for you.

The pattern calls for three different fabrics so you can mix and match to your heart's content, but I ended up falling in love with a Joel  Dewberry fabric and after contemplating using a complementary fabric for the outer pockets, I decided that I loved the pattern on Joel's fabric so much that I was just going to use it for the pockets as well.  Now that all is said and done, I can say that I'm really pleased with that decision.

As for the lining fabric, it doesn't get much more fun than yellow stripes (yes, I think I may have a yellow obsesseion).

And the bag supplies that I was waiting for in the mail?  Sew-in magnets which are awesome and the pattern clearly explains how to use.  And a key fob, which isn't in the pattern, but what the heck, I put one in there anyway.

I love the way the bag turned out...and apparently O does too because she just exclaimed "dat's a pretty fabric bag, momma."  I'll make a sewer out of her yet!

Dear Ikea


Dear Ikea,
I always knew that I liked you but when you put your staff at the transit center this morning and offered free coffee to all the commuters I had an epiphany...I actually love you (yeah, I'm easy like that).



What To Sew When Your Brain Has Turned To Mush


There are times when I'm up for a challenge and there are times when I think "for the love of God, I WILL NOT sew a dress that requires me to cut out 20 pieces!"  And truth be told, I've fallen more in the latter category lately.  So while I've picked up a few cute patterns at pattern sales I feel like my brain is just not up for the challenge of a new pattern.  And so I'm going back to a favorite.  In particular, I'm going back to Simplicity 2444, although this time I will apparently be dressing myself as a table cloth as I have some gorgeous black and white gingham fabric waiting to be pressed and cut up (I blame my obsession with gingham solely on this dress.  Yeah, yeah, I know it's a different pattern, but man, gingham has never looked so good!).

When World's Collide


There was a time when 16 year old me lived in Buenos Aires and enjoyed all that the city had to offer - well, all that the city had to offer a sixteen year old.  You know, a non-enforced legal drinking age, taxis to drive you all over the city, and night clubs that didn't open until after 2 a.m.  Oh, and there was also the most delicious ice cream that you've ever eaten...and they even delivered it to your house.  Ahh, life was good back then.

There were also sweet little treats like alfajores to enjoy and so when I came across a couple of these little tasty treats a while ago I knew that I needed to scoop some up for the hubby and the kiddo.

It looks like it's delicious when world's collide.

Stating The Obvious


There are times when I have many things to say about the items that I've made.

And there are times when I have nothing to say about the items that I've made (and it takes me nearly three months to take pictures of them).

This would be one of those times.  So here we go.

It's a cardigan.

It's green with orange buttons.

It was made with Spud and Chloe worsted yarn.

I used the basic instructions in Knitting From The Top to design it.

It's for O.  It fits her.  And it kept her nice and toasty on our trip.  Hurrah!

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation


I feel like a disclaimer is needed, so here it is:

We do not normally go on vacation this much.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that I've never been on vacation this much.  But after two years of sticking close to home because of an infant/toddler who didn't travel well, we decided that damn it, we deserved a couple (okay, a ridiculous number) of mini-vacations.

Which leads me to this point - we just got back from another weekend out of town.  We stayed in a lovely little cabin at this lovely little establishment and enjoyed all that comes with running around on the Olympic Peninsula.

By the end of the weekend though I was convinced that we probably should have run around a little less and relaxed a little more.  I think that we all would have benefited from a few more dips in the pool

a few more walks on the beach

a few more quiet moments in Port Townsend

a few more ridiculous pictures

and a few more games of shuffleboard

a few more diaper-less runs around the field

a few more close encounters with animals

and a little less animal snot being blown in our face.

Which only goes to show that you can learn things even when you're on vacation.

So for our last and final vacation, I plan to bring a ton of books and a beach chair and if you're looking for me, I'll be the one with my buttocks firmly planted on the ground for the entire vacation.  So there.

Rolling With The Punches


Today is my Friday off so today I made big plans.

Today we were going to spend the day with grandma.

And today we were going to go to a farm to enjoy a little animal petting, pony riding, and fruit picking.

But today we found out that O has hand, foot, and mouth disease and oddly enough my mom doesn't want to hang out with somebody who has an open sore in her mouth.

And I'm not really into taking her to the farm where she can infect a bunch of unsuspecting children.

So instead, we're spending the day at home eating popsicles and smoothies.

Not quite the day that I had planned, but you know, you have to roll with the punches (or the open mouth sores...whatever).

Reason Number One Of Why I Shouldn't Be Invited To Baby Showers

When I was pregnant with O, the one thing that people told me over and over again was "You're going to love parenthood.  It is so much fun."  Amidst all the declarations of fun, however, one woman looked at me and simply said "Parenthood is hard.  It's a lot of work."  And as she told me this, all I could think was "man, she's kind of a downer."

But when the baby finally arrived my feelings about this statement changed completely.  Rather than feeling that she was overly negative and really should have kept her comment to herself, what I felt was thankful.  I appreciated her honesty and I appreciated her willingness to speak up when it flew in the face of what everyone else was telling me.  Because I'll tell you this, for me at least, there were very few things "fun" about those first couple of weeks.  Lack of sleep?  So not fun.  Breastfeeding problems?  Also no fun.  Arguments with your husband at two in the morning?  Definitely not fun.

And so when I found myself at a baby shower this past weekend and I repeatedly heard the women around me telling the mother-to-be how much fun it was to have a baby and that she was just going to love every minute of it, I saw myself cringing in the corner and thinking about how a small dose of honesty is not a bad thing.  I appreciated someone telling me that it's normal not to feel joy every second.  It doesn't mean that you're less of a mom and it doesn't mean that you love your child any less.  It just means that sometimes the best things in life are hard...and require work...and exhaust you at times.  These things are not mutually exclusive and I wish new mothers (and fathers) were told this more often.

But amidst all my wishing that people were more honest, I have to say that I stayed silent.  When someone commented "Yeah, I don't understand why people feel compelled to say such negative things to pregnant women" and everyone agreed, I didn't say anything.  Instead I began to wonder whether I was just bitter and overly negative.  To be honest, I'm still wondering if I am...

The Waning Days of Summer


To be honest, there's been next to no sewing going on around here lately.  It just seems such a waste to be holed up in the basement when it's so nice outside (plus, you know, I'm totally lazy).

So rather than plugging away at the sewing machine, I've been spending my days eating my weight in blueberries, leisurely reading trashy novels, and heading to bed early (is there anything better than a good night's sleep?).  It's been the perfect way to spend the waning days of summer.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow


What can I say?  Girlfriend can really hold a note...

Ahhh, Jam


With both of my parents born and raised in New York City, I clearly come from city-folk.  There was no backyard farming, no animal raising, and no canning going on in my parent's home.  So last year when I made jam and canned for the very first time I was ridiculously excited.  And I was even more excited when the jam actually tasted good.  So excited in fact that two weeks later I attempted to make some more jam, only this time I used a recipe that didn't call for pectin and instead required you to find the "gelling point."

What I learned from that experience?  Pectin is my best friend...because I am apparently incapable of finding the elusive "gelling point."  Rather than making jam that day, I ended up making some mortar-like substance that could be used to construct buildings.  

So when it came time to make jam again this year, you can bet that my only requirement was that the recipe contain pectin.  In fact, both recipes that I used called for pectin because in the course of one afternoon I made two batches of jam (one strawberry and one strawberry rhubarb).

That's right, folks - I made 16 jars of jam in an afternoon.  I think I may need an intervention.

Vogue 3830 - The Original


In the off chance that your curiosity was piqued by my shirt version, here's the original dress that I made from Vogue 8380 many, many years ago. The main fabric is some gray and yellow Amy Butler polka dot fabric and the contrasting fabric is just some 100 percent yellow cotton fabric that I picked up at Joanns.

The waist band on this sucker is a wee bit snug (as in I must breathe in very deeply in order to zip it up), but once it's zipped all is well.

And hurray for sunny weather so that I can actually break out a sundress!