Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Simple Sleeping Bag

Last evening I did a little more sewing once the kiddos were in bed. I made a simple bed roll for Smiley. I have made a variation of this for each of our kids and they have come in very handy for helping to give some spacial boundaries when they first moved into big beds, for bedding when we travel and camp, for "camping" in their rooms during nap time and for using around the house when they watch a video or want to rest or picnic on the living room floor. The kids enjoy these and the proof is in their smiling faces. And below is a picture of Smiley's new sleeping bag, along with directions.

The details & directions:
- Prewash the fleece.
- Cut a piece or two of 58/60" wide fleece to the desired length. I've made these a bit longer than the child so they'll have some room to grow. (For this one I used two remnants I had on hand.)
- If using two pieces, sew pieces together. (I sewed them together using a straight stitch, then opened up the seam and top-stitched with a zigzag to reinforce and make the seam more smooth and comfortable for the user.)
- Hem the top edge using a zigzag stitch to accommodate the stretchy nature of the fleece.
- Fold over piece of fleece so salvages meet.
- Trim off the salvage.
- Straight stitch from this point forward. Sew bottom seam.
- Using a large seam allowance (approx. 1 - 1.5") sew up the side, starting at the bottom, about half way up.
- Open up the unsewn part of the side, turn edge under and hem each side to the top. If you want, sew a line where the side seam ends connecting the two hems which will reinforce the opening area a bit more.
- You're done! Let the kiddos enjoy!

I surely could use a lesson in writing directions. These seem as clear as mud, so feel free to ask questions if they don't make sense. I have considered using zippers for the side, but for young children, this seems easier for them to use and certainly easier to sew up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Make-It Monday

This week has started off well with one project completed which was started last week. For months I have been wanting to take some time to sew up a blanket for Smiley in anticipation of him moving to a big bed this summer. Last week I got started, and as with most projects I start, set it aside for later. Today I saw the blanket top sitting on my crafting table and decided to just finish it off today. I really like to piece together blanket tops, but always struggle a bit with putting all the layers together because it gets bulky and my machine doesn't really like that, and neither do I. This time I used polar fleece for the filling rather than batting just because I had a large remnant on hand and was able to find another one this weekend, which when connected, made a large enough piece. The blanket is not especially fluffy, but I think it will be really warm and filling with one layer of fleece was SO much easier than traditional fillers. So I spent $3.50 and was able to make the rest of the blanket with fabric on hand (thanks again, Mom!). This will coordinate well with the blanket I made for Sportster when he was about the same age as Smiley. Here is the finished product. Not perfect, but complete.

One goal I have for this year is to use up some of my supplies, the volume of which has grown far beyond my sewing and crafting cabinet. This blanket was a good start toward that goal.

What projects do you have around that you would like to get completed? My next project to complete is a biggie...catching up on scrapbooks for the kids and our family, which will first require having hundreds of pictures printed. It's been a looooooong time since we printed pictures. Maybe I'll get back to that in March.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You Know You're A Tightwad When...

...you try to convince your husband to return the gift he bought for you for Valentine's Day because it used up the entire contents of the gift cash envelope, and more.

I suppose you are dying to know just exactly what this indulgent gift was. A ring? No. A certificate for a spa treatment? No. A new outfit? No. Expensive chocolates? No.

The gift given was much better than that. A deluxe electric blanket so I'll no longer need to go to bed with scarf and hat and four blankets on the bed and still have icicle toes. After only one night of crawling into that toasty bed I'm sold. This gift will not be returned but will be a gift that really does keep on giving.

While some wives wouldn't be delighted with this gift, I am. My husband really took time to think of what would make my life more enjoyable and selected this gift. What can I say? I'm a practical girl with a husband who loves me!

The Power of Love Expressed

We had a simple Valentine's Day celebration at home this year. The kids had just come down with the most recent round of illnesses which included some bad coughing. This wasn't all bad, though, since it caused me to miss Bible study that morning and make a special breakfast for the kids. Even though I know holidays are coming, often I feel unprepared. Setting the table and making a valentine for each child used about all the creativity I had beginning at 11:00pm on February 13th. Sometimes the role of mom (i.e. celebration maker) leaves me feeling pretty inadequate. The kids did enjoy their breakfast of shaped pancakes, strawberry milk and special kid yogurt (a treat I rarely buy). But what stuck with me most was how Sportster really enjoyed the simple valentine I wrote to him and read those words for others in the coming days. The love I expressed to him really did seem to sink in and made him feel special. It makes me think I need to be more intentional with those little expressions to make my family really feel loved by me.

So, even though I'm not the mom who has it all together and has decorations and special foods and gifts ready for each and every holiday, the little things I am able to do with love will still be enough for my kids.

Uncommon Courtesy

Today was Bad Experience #62 with Craigs*List. What is up with people?!! I don't understand it, but maybe I'm weird. Here's how 60-75% of my sales have gone.
A. I post something to sell.
B. They e-mail me to say they want it and will meet me at a time and place I set.
C. I reply promptly and set the time and location.
D. And then they don't show and I don't hear from them for another day, week, or ever.

I know they are complete strangers so there are not those relationship expectations or anything, but simple respect of another person's time would go a long way. Have you had similar experiences? Am I missing some important detail here to make this process go smoother? I'm feeling like common courtesy isn't so common anymore.