Friday, July 20, 2012

On a happier note...

Here's what's blooming this week...
Jumble of blooms: Gaura, Veronica speedwell seedling, Japanese anemone "September Charm" and alium and snapdragons in the background
Gorgeous lily -- orange is not my favorite color in the garden, but I love this lily

Sea thrift (not miniature version)

Tragedy in Colorado

If you didn't see any news today, there was a shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and 12 people died last night at midnight.  58 more were injured.  How can a person do that?  I have so many questions about how and why this happened, but I want to focus on just one.

What can I do to keep this from happening again?

Am I showing the love of God in all my interactions?  None of the people I have relationships with are capable of anything like this, but who knows how many people I walk by in the grocery store have thought about shooting into a crowd.  I have a brief chance to make a tiny difference in their day.  The next time I'm in a bad mood or want to scowl at a stranger or simply ignore them, I will try not to.  Not in fear that they will shoot me, but to try to show them a little love.  As my little girl grows up, I'll try to teach her to do the same.  We pray with her every day at bedtime, and I always pray that she will be happy and healthy, but most of all love God.  If you love God, you'll love others.  Even when it's hard. 

That's all I have to say about it tonight.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

(so cute) Baby Girl Shorts Tutorial

Hey look, my first tutorial!  How did I get here?  Through pinterest, I discovered the wonderful world of craft blogs and tutorials.  The first blog I looked at was craftiness is not optional, and I struck gold!  Jess has tons of wonderfully written little girl tutorials that look doable, and are sooo adorable.  Confession time:  I haven't actually done any of them.  However, reading them gave me confidence to make my own outfit.  Awhile ago, I found the sweetest Easter outfit at Gymboree on clearance.  Fuzz has an extremely long torso, and it was a belly shirt instead of a tunic on her -- not quite a look I like.  So, I tweaked and copied it.  Surprisingly, it turned out well!

What do you do when something turns out well?  Make three more of course!  Altogether, I made four little outfits of the same design for Fuzz and her three little friends.  They had pictures on Sunday by Marci, and I'll post one when I get them back.  Somehow, I managed to make four tops without remembering to take pictures from the beginning, but I did take pictures of the shorts.  Here's the end result:
The dress and bias tape fabric is Meadow Gray Peacock Lane by Violet Craft, it looks like they still have it on clearance at Fabric Envy.  The pink is pomegranate by moda (I think, I got it from Joann's), yellow is Bella solids in 30's yellow by moda and blue is kona solids in lagoon.  I was impressed by the quality of all of the fabrics.

Today I'm just going to attempt to explain the shorts.  Make sure the directions make sense to you when you're making them.  Leave a comment if you have any questions. 

(Bear with me, I'm new at this)

Materials needed:
Less than 1/2 yard 44" wide woven fabric
1" single fold bias tape (or 1/2" double fold ironed open)
Elastic cord
Elastic for waistband (I used 1/2")
Note: I used a 3/8" seam allowance unless otherwise stated. 

Optional pre-step: make your own bias tape.  I used this tutorial from made and another one I can't find now.  It was much easier than I thought it would be!  Plus, the quality of the bias tape was (way) better than the store-bought stuff. 

1.  Here's the pattern I made: Shorts front, shorts back 1 and shorts back 2.  I wasn't sure how to share the scanned pattern.  Please let me know if it worked or any suggestions you have to make it easier.  It's basically 12-18 month size, but cut generously so the shorts are extra poofy.  Because baby girls need extra poofy shorts.  Size up or down using bloomers you like the fit of.  Cut two fronts and two backs. 

2.  Pin and sew the fronts to the backs at inseams (A to AA), right sides together.  Press seam open.  (No picture, you can figure that out.)

3.  Pin and sew crotch, matching front to front and back to back (B to B and BB to BB).  Trim seam at curviest part of crotch. 
4.  Open up and pin and sew side seams (C to CC).  So, right sides together front to back.  They should look like shorts now.  I pressed all the seams the same direction to make inserting the elastic in the waistband easier.  You can press the seams however you like.

(Ignore the bias tape around the leg openings for now.)

5.  Open up the single fold bias tape and pin the right side of the bias tape to the right side of the leg openings (D).  When you get all the way around the leg opening, overlap 1/2" and cut.  Now pin the ends of the bias tape together and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press open. 

6.  Now sew in the fold of the bias tape around the leg.

7.  Fold over, press and pin.  

8.  Sew 1/8" away from other edge of bias tape, leaving a 1" opening to insert elastic cord.  Also, sew down the middle of the bias tape. 

9.  Make a casing for the waistband (E), folding over 1/4" then 3/4".  Pin and sew leaving opening to insert elastic.

 10.  Insert elastic cord in leg openings.  Measure around the top of the leg and add 1/2" for overlap.  Close to 10.5" worked for all four little girls.  I found that sewing the elastic cord together by hand was least frustrating.  Sew casing closed.

11.  Insert 1/2" elastic into waistband.  Again, measure your little one, this time around her belly button and add 1/2" for overlap.  The girls varied from 16-20" here, averaging 10 months old.  Overlap and sew elastic ends together with a zigzag stitch or big X.  Sew casing closed.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blooms, blooms, blooms...

The front yard planting is looking pretty good -- it still has lots of color.  I don't know about you, but by the end of July I'm a little lacking in blooms.  I'm always looking for more easy-care perennials (or even annuals in a pinch) that are blooming well starting the end of July and into August.  I'll be keeping my eyes peeled the next few weeks, will you keep a lookout, too?

Here are my favorites this week:
Coreopsis verticillata (I think)

Penstemon possibly "Garnet"

Japanese anemone "September Charm"

Shasta daisies-from a single seed many years ago

David Austin rose "Strawberry Hill"

I'm working on a tutorial for cute and easy shorts for baby girls, so watch for another post soon!

Happy gardening!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 5th of July!  We had a nice Independence Day yesterday with a visit with family we haven't seen in a while and a few fireworks at 7:00 pm for Fuzz's benefit.  Fireworks are pretty lame during the day.  She didn't know what to think.
I thought I picked quiet ones, but the grand finale had some loud crackles that she did not like.

Daddy save me!
On another note, here's what's blooming in my garden lately:

"Nikko Blue" hydrangea

Hydrangea from Grandma Stella

Lots of peas!
 Here's what's coming in the garden...

Another flush of roses (Graham Thomas) and more lilies