11.27.2013

Bedtime Story Pajamas - Take Two

 

I know that things have been awfully quiet around here lately, but you can rest assured that it's not because things have been going terribly wrong.

In fact, in many ways, things are going terribly right around here (although being an entirely too superstitious person, I'm a bit afraid to even write that...is that just inviting something bad to happen.  Let's hope not.)


O is officially rocking it in her first year of preschool.

C has mastered the art of angrily crossing her arms in front of her when we do something to displease her (trust me, it's much cuter than it sounds).

And Ben is a champ who has seamlessly taken on more of the parenting duties while I've been in evening classes.

And as for me, well, something had to give around here and lately it's been my presence in this little space (and probably my presence in your space too because I've also become the worst commenter).


But I've tried to keep a little bit of time here and there for some sewing projects and here's my most recent one - a new pair of pajamas for O.  I loved the Oliver and S Bedtime Story pajamas the first time I made them for her, but they haven't fit her in quite some time now.  And she sadly had grown out of the size options on the smallest size package so I had to pony up the money to buy the largest sizes.   Of course that meant that I also had to tape the entire PDF pattern together and trace it, which is not an easy thing to do when you have a one and a half year old trying to tear apart everything that you just taped together.  Good thing she's so darn cute.


I cut out a straight size 4 for my four year old and the top seems a bit large on her, but hopefully that just means that it will fit her for many months to come.  The main fabric is from the Moda Ticklish Collection and the contrasting fabric is Valori Wells's Bridgette Lane flannel - both super-soft flannels.  So now she is officially all set for some warm and cozy winter sleeping.  Just in time for the super-cold weather that we've been having around here lately.

11.24.2013

A Knitter


Once upon a time I was a knitter.

Like an all-consumed, thought-about-it-constantly,  knit-like-it-was-my-part-time job knitter.

I made hats and scarfs and shawls, but what I really loved to make were sweaters (for me, of course, because I'm nothing if not a totally selfish knitter).  And make them I did.  Many, many sweaters.

But I haven't made a sweater for myself in years.  I've started one many a times, but I just can't get up the motivation to finish it. And honestly, I haven't even knit a stitch since finished I this little hat last December.  But recently the knitting bug bit again.  Not only does the little nip in the air remind me that knitting is fantastic, but there is nothing that beats the portability of a knitting project.  Plus, knitting is the perfect craft to do in those two minutes while you're waiting for your kid to put on their shoes, or the three minutes while you're waiting for your husband to finish packing the bag, or the five minutes while you're waiting for the water to boil.  And given that that's pretty much what my free-time looks like nowadays, knitting is kind of the perfect hobby

Before deciding on a knitting project I searched through Ravelry trying to find something that piqued my interest, but in the end I decided to stick with what I love - which is knitting top-down sweaters that I design based off of Barbara Walker's book, Knitting From the Top.  Mostly I love that there is no "trying to get gauge" when you design your own sweater.  Instead there is just an acceptance that "this is my gauge and I'm just going to work with what I have."  It is liberating.

So there you have it.  Me and knitting have fallen in love once again.  And I'm currently in the middle of knitting a little sweater for O to keep her all warm and toasty in the upcoming winter.  It'll be a top-down sweater with cables running down the sleeves and probably just a simple garter stitch body (I'm a simple gal with simple knitting needs).  And I am loving making it. 

Hopefully she'll love wearing it.

11.13.2013

The Philippines

Teenage Carolyn chillin' on a banca boat
(and yes, Hard Rock cafe t-shirts were totally cool then)
(and no, not in an ironic way)

Growing up the idea of home was pretty much a foreign concept.  I was born in the South, but then we quickly moved to the West Coast followed by a move to Western Europe followed by a move back to the West Coast followed by another move to the West Coast followed by a move back down South.

And all before fifth grade.

Home was pretty much wherever my parents dragged us.

And when I was 12 my parents moved us to the Philippines so that my dad could work in a small town near Batangas.  Originally I was supposed to spend the years my parents were in the Philippines at a boarding school in Singapore, but through a series of events I instead ended up living with a family in Manila.  There's a lot that I could say about that time in my life (like how I showed up for my first day of school and the office told me that I couldn't stay because I didn't have the proper visa...which, of course, made me start crying in the office because I had just moved in with the family the day before and so I didn't know my address, my phone number, or how to get home.  Awesome.) but what I remember most of all was that being in the Philippines was the first time that I felt "home." And considering that I was an awkward teenager, living in a foreign country, with a family that wasn't my own, that's certainly saying something.  You've never met someone who looks so Irish but could cuss so well in Tagalog and play a mean game of Pusoy Dos.

But that was over 20 years ago and sadly my Tagalog skills are nearly non-existant now and I don't even remember half the rules to Pusoy Dos.  But what I do remember is how much I love that country.  And how it hurts my heart to think about what they're going through right now - especially considering all that they've gone through in the past.

But if there's one thing that I learned in the three years that I lived there is that you never count the Philippines out.  And if there's one thing that country has going for it, it's the unbreakable spirit of the Filipino people (and the fact that they start playing Christmas music in the stores in early September.  Man, I loved that as a kid).

So, stay strong, the Philippines.  Stay strong.
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