Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knee high BEFORE the 4th!

One of Courtney's daycare kids got to go for a walk yesterday.

So we stopped to check on the corn and see if it was going to make a good crop.

Do those knees count, Mark?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Still a bag lady... Butterick B5475

If you recall my previous posts, you know I've been working on another sewing project. You also know that it's been a challenge! But, it's DONE! I actually finished it last Friday night. I mailed it to Jess on Saturday, but I couldn't show it to you until she received it, because there were some details inside that she didn't know about, and I didn't want to ruin her surprise. She got it yesterday, so now I can give you the "lowdown".

Here's what the pattern looked like, Butterick B5475:

It doesn't look too bad, right? Just a bag. Pretty simple and straightforward? Sure.

Well, if you read this post, you know the straps gave me plenty of grief! But they turned out nicely! Look:

That yellow rectangle is a pocket flap that fastens down with Velcro. It's kind of hard to see the pocket below it, because the fabric is matched, but it's there.

After struggling so hard but finally completing those straps, I went to the next step and nearly cried when I realized that I still had to do two more of those stinkin' straps!! They went up the sides of the bags like this:

But I was determined that I was going to get them done! I trimmed down even more seam allowance, and they actually went quite a bit better than the first two. WHEW!!

They fasten together via Velcro. They're what hold the sides folded into the bag. There are also magnetic snaps on the tabs you can see below to hold the bag closed. The tabs were not difficult to make, but they were also kinda putzy, as they were interfaced, too, and had to have the snaps installed into them.

The toes to the left belong to my little assistant. :) Here she is again below, holding the bag open for a better view.

There is also a divided pocket inside, with the left part made for a cell phone. More putzin' with darts, etc., to make that.

So all in all, the bag was not difficult except for turning the straps right side out, but it just took a long time because of all the details (and all the lawn mowing, etc.).

Finally, you can see my beautiful assistant modeling the bag for a little size perspective.

The print fabric is from Jess's new Outside Oslo collection. It's from the Dusk colorway, and it's called "Picket".

I really like the looks of it, but I'm thinking this may not be the most convenient bag to use, with those straps going across inside there. I guess Jess will just have to try it and find out. You can check out her blog post today and see what she thinks of it.

Now I'm ready for a quick, EASY, and fun sewing project for a change!! I have one in mind. I'll show you when it's done... which shouldn't be long! ;)

"Yellow sky at night....

.... means we lucked out, right?" Isn't that the way that old saying goes? Okay, so it isn't. But that's how it happened here last night. The forecast originally called for possible stormy weather with 1 to 2 inches of rain... neither of which we needed!

It was close to 9:00 p.m. when I looked out the window and saw the sky like this:

I'd never seen it quite like that before. Everything was so yellow! It was raining very lightly. The radar showed that we were just on the back edge of a rainy area that had apparently come up from the south but slid mostly to the east of us. In just a few minutes, the clouds started breaking up:

And that was it, except for a blast of wind. We only got a trace of rain. Thank goodness!

This last photo is marred a bit by the raindrop on my lens, but I thought it was kinda cool the way the flash colored the leaves yet everything in the background is black.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Morning pretties

I couldn't resist grabbing the camera this morning, despite the misty fog coming at me. It's just a good thing I had my back to the wind, or my lens would've gotten wet. Such a common, simple flower, but aren't they gorgeous?!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wouldn'tcha know....

Miss Courtney gets all prettied up, does the Flower Girl thing in her uncle's wedding (on the H side of the family) on June 11th, and somehow still manages to end up with a kitten in her arms! What a lucky girl she is!

Here she is in her lovely dress....

..... and very carefully doing what Flower Girls do on their way up the aisle:

Just being her beautiful little self (dreaming of being a bride someday?):

Once more, looking a bit mischievous, with her parents:

She did a great job, and has one more experience under her belt! Way to go, Sweetie!

(Photos courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa H. Thanks!!)

(I changed my mind, Suzi, but didn't think you'd care. :) )

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rain, rain.... go away!

We've been getting deluged with rain lately. Since Monday night, we've gotten nearly 3 inches... over an inch of that just during the noon hour yesterday. That's on top of the 2.24" we got about a week ago. Needless to say, the crops have plenty of moisture this year. And then some. Lots are under water.

Here's a part of our yard right after the noon downpour yesterday (taken through a drippy window, since it was still raining):

Courtney didn't mind the rain much, however. She got to wear her rain boots! In puddles! She worked really hard with Grandpa to get the rain off the driveway.

Below you can see her and Grandpa in action with perhaps a little better method of making the rain go away.

More rain is in the forecast for today. Hopefully we'll get some sunshine back by Friday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cute photo of the day (week? month? year???)

Courtney 'n Mittens:

(Click to enlarge!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day.....

..... to Daddy, Grandpas, and all of you other fathers out there!

Our little watercolor artist, Courtney, was at it again. She seems to have used a bit of a different technique than she did on her mommy's card.... maybe used a little less water or something. Or something.

I happened to think, a little too late, that we should've put a mustache and goatee on that daddy bird. ;)

I think her name is too long. It never seems to fit in her spaces. ;)

(Once again, template by Larissa of mmmcrafts)

Friday, June 17, 2011


Josie was chillin'.

Courtney couldn't resist.

It was VERY funny!

Josie didn't even care.

Somersaults might be more fun.

Wispy found the whole show quite boring.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bath hog

I just took these pics. They're kinda lousy because the sun was so bright, but I thought they were funny. The robin in the bath just seemed to be enjoying itself to the fullest. It sat there for the longest time, then would splash a little more, then sit a little more with its feathers all ruffled......

And then.....

"Hurry up, will ya? It's MY turn!"

It didn't do any good, though. Robin #1 just kept sitting... till Josie ran over to watch out the window, too. ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I won the battle

If you remember from this post a couple days ago, I told you my latest sewing project was fighting me. Here's the picture again, of what I fought with. See those narrow pieces hanging down with the round part at the end?

They are long, narrow, and have a sew-in fleece interfacing basted to the back. I had to sew them to a matching, uninterfaced piece. Easy. Then came the battle. I had to turn them right side out (through an opening I had left, of course). I knew it was going to be hard... but I had no idea how hard!! It was next to impossible, even after trimming away all reasonable bulk. I came soooo close to giving up. It was actually harder than the hardest part of sewing the Weekender bag together!

But I persisted (and nearly wore out my hands, arms, and patience... not to mention the poor fabric)... and I WON THE BATTLE!

Here's what they became:

They're each about 30 inches long, and barely an inch wide. Leaving a 4" opening at the middle meant I had to shove those ends over a foot from each end. Those thick round ends just did NOT want to go through. BUT THEY DID! Whew!!

I'm assuming the rest of the project will go much more easily. It's gotta. It can't get any worse! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I couldn't resist

Sorry for posting another snow picture already, but somehow it's easier to look at in June. Especially when it's somewhere else and not here! This is my friend, Mark, next to one of their rental cabins in the mountains in CALIFORNIA... just 3 days ago!!

He kinda looks like he's enjoying himself, doesn't he, sitting there atop the snowbank in his short sleeves. But he's probably more likely worrying about how they may have to cancel reservations for renters for the 3rd week in a row, because of the snow. And that would, as he said, make them a "non-profit corporation this year". Aargh. Glad you're still smiling, though, Mark! ;)

The weather's just been crazy all over!

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's comin' along....

.... but it's fighting me. *sigh*

Here 'it' is, in part, in its early, just-interfaced stage:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Young artist at work

With it being so HOT on Tuesday, Courtney needed something to do indoors. (Though she would've spent the whole day out with the kittens, Grandma needed to cool off!) I'd come across a tutorial here for making a "pennant necklace" using just felt scraps and some string or embroidery floss. I thought it would be a good introduction to sewing with a needle and "thread".

Courtney quickly chose pink floss to string the pieces on, and then began to cut. She didn't want just triangles, though, so she decided to be a little more creative and make her own shapes.

She had to get them 'just right'. Look at that discerning eye:

Not quite right... it needed a little more trimming:

She loved the cutting. The "sewing" part required quite a bit of guidance by Grandma's hand. But we finished it, and here it is!

I cut the hearts, BTW. She was impressed that I could fold a piece in half, cut a little, and when she opened it, it actually was a heart! ;) So she tried folding and cutting a piece... it turned into a "bow" (green, on the far left end)! I also helped round the corners off of her circles.

Here she is modeling it (not letting me shorten it up for her)... with her current "picture-taking smile".

If you have young kids at home for the summer that need something to do to fight boredom, check out Skip to My Lou's blog. Each day in the month of June they're featuring a different craft. There are lots of fun things to make for different ages.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I have so much kitten cuteness to show you, but not enough time to get a whole post done about it right now, so here's just a peek at part of it:

Despite another cooker of a day ("only" 96° this time) and gale-force winds yesterday, Courtney and I managed to spend some time in the machine shed with some of the babies. That one on her lap is Snuggles. You'll get to see the rest of them eventually. Time... time... where'd it go???

At least it's MUCH cooler today (70's!), and cooler yet comin' up. Nothing like extremes. Crazy weather! But I'll take all of the "cooler" when I can get it. (Note: I said "cooler"... not "cold"!) It's groceries and errands today, and hopefully some sewing later. Everything's cut out, finally... all 44 pieces. Sewing them together will be the fun part... I hope!

Monday, June 6, 2011

WHEW ! ! !

I'm sure glad I did all my outdoor busy-ness LAST week! Here's what we have today... photo taken moments ago (4:30 p.m.):

I hope my poor little tomato and pepper plants aren't fried.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Busy week!

I've gotten a ton of things done this week. If only I could be this productive all the time. Ha... I'd be worn out and buried in a month! But as they say, ya gotta "make hay while the sun shines"... and the sun has shone a lot this week (finally!). It not only spurs me on to get things done before it disappears again, but it also energizes me. Does it do that to you, too? I just can get so much more done when the sun is out!

I got all my planting done, made a little more hay with the lawn mower, finally sorted and got rid of all the recycleables that were stacking up dangerously in the garage, and did a whole lot of other things. Here's a sample of what I planted on the north side of our house:

I do so love the non-stop begonias. They certainly live up to their name!

I think my favorite this year, though, just might be this begonia in the foreground below. Look at all those blooms! Behind it is a new kind of impatiens, called something "tropical" because of their pink-orange-yellow color, I think. They should be interesting.

Methinks I was heavily influenced in my color choices somehow this year by "Agent Orange". I do believe, though I've never cared all that much for orange, that it's starting to grow on me. Blue, however, is still my favorite color. But really, how many blue flowers can you find, anyway?

Speaking of orange, here's another sample. I didn't choose this color, but I think it's kinda nice, too. More on him and his siblings later.....

I'm also making progress on my latest sewing project. Y'know what? I think I'd rather cut out another Amy Butler Weekender Bag than what I'm cutting now! At least those were big pieces with mostly straight sides. And little did I imagine that this new project might have just as many pieces (50) when all is said and done, if not more! But it SHOULD be easier to sew. I hope! It's gonna be really cool, too. More so than expected. I think you're gonna love it, Jess! ;)

So I'd better carry on here. I'll be back when I can, but don't worry if I don't show up for a while again... I'll probably either be sewing or out soaking up SUNSHINE! :)