Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yellowstone 2011

For the past 3 years we have taken a week off in the summer to spend in Yellowstone National Park. My inlaws own an adorable little cabin 30 minutes outside Yellowstone in Island Park Idaho, so it turns out to be a fun and affordable vacation for us. We play games, watch movies, swim in the river, take hikes and enjoy lots of time with just the 5 of us.

We usually take 2 or 3 days to spend in Yellowstone Park itself. Some of our favorite sites are Dragons Mouth Cave (a cave that hides a boiling hot spring so it seriously looks like a fire-breathing dragon lives inside), Old Faithful, the stinky mud pots, the Junior Ranger Station at Madison, and the many waterfalls around the park.

On this trip little C refused to walk. Bruce and I try really hard to keep our spirts up and a happy face on during this little annual vacation of ours. We know it's going to be A LOT of work, but we also know it can be a lot of fun if we all have the right attitude. We were really put to the test by our little 4 year old this year!

But it was worth it to catch a few moments like these. Here they are, all getting along, waiting for Old Faithful.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Christmas in July... last one, I promise!

Do you remember these...

If not you can read more about them HERE.

A lot of the time when I make something I'm not too sure about, I hold it up for my kids and ask them "what do you think this is?" Kids are so honest that I know if they get it right the first time, I've done a good job. When I held up these slippers for the first time to my daughter and asked what she thought they were, she got super excited and said "Tinkerbell's Shoes!" Well, they could be Tinkerbell shoes too, I'm ok with that. They are also Elf shoes, I told her. She was happy with both (they might have spent more time being Tinkerbell shoes to be honest, but that just makes them fun all year long!)

I've decided to make the pattern free for you to download. Just click HERE. I don't have a "tutorial" with pictures, but I did spend a lot of time trying to write out a good pattern.

The pattern is for a 3 to 8 year old, but I highly suggest you measure your childs foot to choose the right fit. I started out with a half yard of green felt and a half yard of flannel. You'll also need 6 pom poms, 3 for each shoe. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I'll get back to you!

Christmas in July

I am much more in the mood to think about our upcoming vacation to the cabin and laying out in the sun while the kids splash in the river. But if you want the best fabric selection you'd better start thinking about your Christmas projects in June and July, because that's when the fabric hits the selves. By the time November rolls around, it will be all gone.

Do you follow NanaCompany? I am in love with everything she does! I love all the sweet romantic fabric she uses. Recently she posted an adorable little story about having cookies and milk every night before bed with her little children and she made these too cute little cookie mats.

I wanted to make 5 (one for each of us) but I didn't know how much use they would get in our household. While working one night and staring at the Christmas fabric wondering how long it will be before it's all sold and thinking about buying some, I remembered the cookie mats. How about a little mat for Santa... Perfect! I pictured my children setting out Santa's special little mat with his homemade cookies and milk and I knew I had a darling project on my hands.

Looking through these pictures I think I still want to make some everyday cookie mats. Wouldn't they look cute all hung on a hook in the kitchen?!

NanaCompany's Cookie and Milk Snack Mat Tutorial

Most of the fabric I used is Sweetwaters new fabric line, Countdown To Christmas, except the black for the plate... I can't remember :( sorry.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Quilt For Me and Cupcakes

It's so often that I make quilts for work or quilts as gifts that it was a rare treat to be able to make this quilt for me. I fell in love with the fabric, I chose the pattern, I even added my own style to it and made it using raw edge applique instead of fusible web. I wanted to start on this quilt months ago but some other project that was more pressing always got in the way. And so my beautiful layer cake sat on the shelf, tempting me every day to drop whatever I was doing and make this quilt.

I finally couldn't take it any longer and during a brief moment in between projects I jumped in and started to cut up my fabric. It came together so quick and so easy that I couldn't stop and finished it in no time.

I am so happy with this quilt, it turned out just like I hoped. Once it gets plenty of snuggle time on the couch I plan on hanging it in my living room. If you've read my blog you know I like to use my quilts. An uncuddled quilt is an unloved quilt and that make me sad to see. Even if that means the quilt gets washed, folded, and a very small spot or two. It's worth it to know my family makes good use of them and enjoys them.

On a totally unrelated note, my son has been at Cub Scout day camp the last couple days, which means I get some time with just me and my two little girls. After a trip to the library we went and got cupcakes at our favorite little cupcake shop, The Sweet Tooth Fairy.

So much fun to place my little girls in front of every cupcake flavor imaginable and let them choose their favorite. C picked raspberry lemonade, P picked Neopolitan, Daddy got rootbeer float, and I went with my old favorite oreo cookies and cream (there will be cream cheese frosting in Heaven!)

Life's simple pleasures... quilting, cupcakes and family. I feel so blessed!

Quilt pattern by Thimble Blossoms called Marmalade, fabric also by Camille Roskelley called Bliss for Moda. Can't wait for her new line coming out soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Freezer Paper

So I know I am not the first one to discover the wonders of freezer paper, but for anyone out there who hasn't tried it yet, this stuff works great for dress making patterns! I admit, this is my first time trying it out. I've heard it's great to use for all sorts of sewing projects, but I have a dirty little secret in that I usually just cut up my patterns instead of tracing... I know, it's horribly lazy of me. In my defense, I don't really like to make the same thing twice so I don't figure I'll ever need the pattern again. But spending 16$ on a pattern as cute as this and only use it once is pretty stupid of me. I bought my freezer paper at Walmart awhile ago and to tell you the truth I have no idea how much it cost. But I can tell you this roll is going to last me along time.

I laid out my pattern and tore off a piece of freezer paper. I could see through the freezer paper just fine so I traced straight on to it. When I was done I lightly ironed the freezer paper, shinny plastic coated side down, to my fabric. It stays just well enough to cut out your pattern and when your done peel away the paper and your piece is perfectly cut out.

I was really happy with the way it turned out and felt more that just a little stupid for not trying it before. My adorable Oliver and S Family Reunion Dress pattern stayed neatly intact to be made again someday or pass along to someone else.

Above All Fabric recently did a sew along for the Family Reunion Dress. There's no chance of me getting mine done by the July 15th deadline to be entered into the prize drawing, but it's helpful to have the steps laid out for you. I'll be sure and show you mine when it's all done!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Knot Shorts *free pattern link*

I whipped up these adorable little shorts for P yesterday. There's a tutorial that was part of Grosgrain's Free Pattern Month that you can find HERE. They ended up a little baggy, but there's room for her to grow. I used some home decor weight fabric that I found on sale for 5$!

I also had to share this picture I snapped of my youngest at church today. I have to admit, I was jealous of her little nap. I wish I could get away with that ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Orleans over the weekend...

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. I certainly did! We spent the weekend in New Orleans. My husband is an attorney and had to attend a legal conference. I tagged along and we spent a couple extra days together exploring the city.

We fell in love every time we turned around. New Orleans is such a fascinating city. So much history!

While my husband was in his meetings durning the day, I enjoyed walking around enjoying the architecture, shopping and eating.

We took a tour of the Mississippi River aboard the steamboat Natchez. Live Jazz and lots of yummy food made it one of my favorite things we did in New Orleans.

The houses, as you can see, are worth the trip.

And we definitely had to stop by one of their wonderfully spooky cemeteries. Because of the ground being so saturated with water, they have to bury their dead above ground in these tombs. I'd never seen anything like it before!

I didn't come across any quilt stores on our trip, but I did find a delightful store full of art work and these handmade dolls. A lot of the shops are owned by artists who sell and display their art in a gallery like setting.

We got to enjoy lots of live music. They aren't kidding when they claim to have live Jazz bands on every corner!

And eat some of the best food I have ever tasted. I am determined to find a decent Creole resturant in Salt Lake City... any suggestions?

It wasn't Mardi Gras season but this pink tree with beads drapped from it's branches was absolutely beautiful. I don't think you see it the picture just how great it was. It actually sparkled in the sun! A lot of the trees still held signs of a city who likes to have fun.

I highly recommend New Orleans as a vacation spot, especially if, like me, you enjoy history, shopping and FOOD (who doesn't!). I will miss New Orleans, I hope we get back there some day!