Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cutest Little Mama Lately

We bade farewell to our precious guests this morning after nine wonderful days of their sweet fellowship. Kait is a lovely picture of godly womanhood, striving to honor the Lord and love her husband, Zach, and her son, Bruce (and any other "arrows" the Lord sends to fill their quiver).

It is truly a blessing to have friends who not only offer pleasant company, but whose counsel and encouragement are motivated by a desire to please God and spur His people on toward obedience to the Scriptures. I love that Kait and Zach speak the Truth of God's Word into our lives and serve as an example of faithfulness for our children to emulate.

My heart was filled with joy as I observed the patient, wise, and loving way in which the two of them operated in one accord to meet the needs of their baby boy. For such a young woman, Kait very graciously welcomes Zach's input in tending to Bruce's well-being, and they are doing a fabulous job handling his daily routine!

During the visit, Kait mentioned that her nursing "bib" (as I call them) was too short, and that she'd like to have one with a bit more flair. She has such an eye for color, which I observed on a shopping trip with her to the fabric store. She ended up "shopping" from my stash at home, instead, and I just love how she boldly stepped outside the box with these patterns and colors!

Kait was interested in this fabric, which I had used in this nursing cover, this bag, and this bag. Sadly, I didn't have enough to allow it to stand alone. In the end, that proved a matter of serendipity. I love, love, LOVE the solution we came up with! 

After perusing my stash, she quickly amassed a lovely sampling of Amy Butler fare, and we were off! In trying to figure out a way to use ALL of the fabrics she chose without making everything clash entirely, I thought it would be fun to use a scrappy strip method from a couple of bags that I made a while back. (And here's the other one.)

The ruffle/pocket/strap fabric is leftover from the toddler backpack I recently made for an adorable little girl in California, and the backing fabric is from the spring bag I made for myself.

Yesterday was a busy day for us, and I couldn't wait to get back to sewing this cover. I managed to finish it last night around midnight, while Craig, Kait, Zach, the children, and a visiting friend played Bananagrams next to where I was sewing. That's one of my favorite games, so my attention was definitely divided; but I was a woman on a mission. I only regret that I didn't get a video of the little hopping-dance action from Kait when she held the cover in her hands for the first time, role-playing the admiring friends who will most likely covet her nursing bib and demand one just like it.

There's nothing like little tiny baby feet hanging out of a nursing "bib".

We will miss having this sweet family around. It makes me look forward to Heaven, where we won't have to be concerned with details like mileage or airline fees, and we'll be together, worshiping the King around His throne forever! Until then, we have Skype, Facebook, and occasional visits.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Car Wash & Dog Leashes

Sometimes I feel like this video describes my vehicle:

But instead of sing-along CDs, soda, and soccer balls, I find water bottles, DVDs, and extra clothing throughout. 

The beauty of having children old enough to drive is that, since they are the chief source of dirt and clutter in my Suburban, they can also be the ones to clean it.

No matter how old they get, however, it is still a great temptation for a boy to squeeze the soapy sponge over his sister's head.

Morgan is a good sport. Graham isn't walking with a limp.

I am particularly thankful for Caelyn's self-control, since Graham tried to use me as a human shield from the hose. I quickly went back inside, where I was working on a couple of fun projects.

While the children were washing the truck, our friends, Zach and Kait, who are visiting from Pittsburgh, were inside speaking my love language. I'm so spoiled by friends who will accomplish tasks that I'd rather not do myself.

A few days ago, Kait, Gabriela, and I paid a visit to Home Goods. 
(Honk if you love that store!) 
As I passed the clearance shelf of the pet-supplies section, something jumped up and grabbed me. Not really. But it should have. Since it didn't, I grabbed it, instead. Here it is:

I could NOT resist this sign! Could you? I mean, if you had a dog. Or two.

Kait is one of those creative Pinterest types, just overflowing with great ideas. She suggested that I find a spot to hang this sign with hooks for the dogs' leashes and collars.
I remembered recently coming across a set of bumblebee hooks from a few houses ago.

I think that we lived in Georgia when I bought these hooks. I can't remember where I found them. Potterybarn? Restoration Hardware? Neither of these? Eh. Doesn't matter. I'm glad that they were unearthed after our move.

Last week, we had the honor of briefly hosting a dear friend from Alabama and two of her daughters. One of them is a photographer, and she offered to take some candid shots of our family. (Coming soon.) Anyway, she snapped a few photos of Rhodes & Menina, so I duplicated one, changed it to black-and-white, printed and framed it, and added it to this wall grouping.

I robbed Peter to pay Paul, as they say, with this frame. We're running low on black frames, so Gabriela remembered some Potterybarn starfish prints that are no longer being used in the girls' bathroom. Eureka! It's a good thing, too, because I had my eye on the frame that holds the photo of my grandfather in his Army uniform. (*Gasp!* Don't worry, Mom. I would have replaced it right away.)

Project Number Two should be posted soon. I'll give you a hint: Kait will have better coverage when nursing her sweet son, Bruce, in public.
And Kait has quite a knack for pairing fabrics and colors!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Zakka Basket

It's been quite a while since I've used this book. It was one of very few purchases I made while living in Africa. Everything costs much more there, unless it's locally made. On that day, I bought two sewing books and a set of bookmarks, and spent around $100. Ouch! But it was worth it. And I was desperate for some retail therapy at the time.

Yesterday, I was looking around my house for a basket to hold some extra wash cloths. (I recently bought more towels. I have a "thing" against using the same towels for too long.) Anyway, I didn't have quite the right basket that would look nice next to that big chunky one in the background above, which holds the towels. Being one who prefers instant gratification, rather than driving to TJ Maxx, I headed to my sewing room.

Shortly thereafter, I returned with this basket in hand. I used leftover fabric from Craig's wallhanging. The dimensions in the book were much too small, so I just branched out on my own and started cutting.

The instructions suggested using red thread for the decorative stitching, but I chose this refreshing blue to match some of the accents in our bathroom.

I've had this lining fabric for a couple of years, but I hadn't found a way to use it before now.

Little things really can make a big difference. I'm so glad that I acted on impulse.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Must Share!

I saw this on Sew Many Ways over the weekend, and I just had to share it. She borrowed it from a friend to share with her readers. I think it's precious and would love to have it framed for my sewing room. Of course, I have helpers to take care of the dishes, and no one in our house is allowed to even leave his/her room without making the bed. (This does slip at times, however.)

The author gives wise advice about keeping oneself neat in case of unexpected guests; and I'm a firm believer that my husband is even more worthy of seeing me at my best than a stranger. There are days when he arrives home to find me in workout clothes or a T-shirt and shorts, with my hair in a ponytail & no make-up. I try not to make this a daily habit, though. I aim to set a decent example for my girls (and for my boys, who will look for wives one day). Lipstick, I admit, is reserved for outings only, and I have never donned a dress for sewing (although I think it's a fun, girly idea).

I've been working on little details around the house, now that our track schedule has slowed down just a tiny bit. The wall hanging that I made for Craig as an anniversary gift is finally hanging above our mantle:

I was trying to think of a way to display some Bible verses that will serve as daily reminders to our family, and I remembered this photo frame that the children gave to me last year. I still hadn't printed any photos for it, so I dug into my scrapbook paper stash and printed the verses for framing.

This week I hope to do more organizing. I'm dreading the attic, but it's a necessary item on my growing to-do list. I must admit that I rather like always having something to check off. Of course, there are several sewing projects in my near future, and I'm late getting my plans in order for the upcoming homeschool year. 

I've been toying with the idea of making slipcovers for the sofas. If that happens, I'll definitely employ the help of my girls. I have no idea what I'm doing, so a little research will be in order. I heard from a friend that a local boutique is offering a class, or I may use this source. Even if it doesn't happen until 2013 - or never - it's a fun thought.