Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Jammies

What Was I Thinking?

I made some jammies for my niece, nephews and Jake for Christmas. I was excited because I had all this super soft microchamois fleece fabric. Perfect for Christmas jammies. They were a big project to take on, not only right before Christmas, but they also had feet in them, and the fabric turned out to be very stretchy and hard to manage. I thought I could handle it and I wanted to tackle the challenge. Hmmm... maybe next time I will listen to the voice of reason and pick one challenge instead of a bunch at once!

I was going to write a 3 part saga but I decided not to bore you with the grim details about how I serged Sam's feet in inside out so the gripper fabric would be touching his feet instead of the ground. That's helpful isn't it? Ever try unpicking serging on jiffy grip fabric? Well, if you live your life and never have to, you will have lived a good life. (At least that was my thought that night at 3 am.) I had machine troubles, sewed Andrew's waistband in wrong, my hems were terrible and wavy, the list goes on. And guess what, Christmas is over, yes? Well, the saga doesn't end. Sarah's were way too big for her - I think I must have gone with Andrew's inseam on those accidentally because they are the same size otherwise. Oops.

So tonight, I am shortening them. Not even sure what I am doing because they have elastic at the bottom and then the feet. I should have just folded out the excess and serged that. But I wanted the seams to be straight (which is actually impossible on this fabric!!!)so I measured and cut, pinned and serged, thinking it was going to be OK. But guess what? Would these unruly beasts EVER be sewn right by this bewildered seamstress? NO. I sewed the foot on backwards. Yeah, I'm good. I think I better stick to some easy stuff for a while. And take my time when learning new things- I think it was just the Christmas frazzledness more than anything. I DID learn a lot and the kids are soooo soft and nummy in their jammies!! And they love them so that is all that matters.

If anyone that reads this uses a serger - this tip is really helpful for frogstitching (rip it, rip it) or unpicking serger stitching.

There's a picture in my last post but here are some more. They really did turn out cute and I'm still totally glad I gave them a shot. Did I mention how cute these kids are or how much I LOVE them? It has been such a fun Christmas being all together and having my sister and her family here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and that you will be blessed with health and happiness in the new year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Behold.. the Neon Atom

This is Jake's science project. He had to be creative with what he used to make a 3D atom. Our first ideas were hula hoops and sports/toy balls. We ended up with this. It looks like it is not a circle in the pictures, but it is. I'm not sure where we would have been without my dad's help. My mom even went to Toys R Us to get balls. Don't mention you need help to these guys, or they are on it. Stat. With my dad's put-it-together, fix-it know-how, my mom, the poster queen, and Jake's great ideas, we pretty much rocked this project. At least I think so, but I'm biased. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What is it about when someone tells you what to do?

I have been really good with my eating for about a week. I've been trying to eat actual food during the day. Yeah, I know novel idea huh? No Power Bars, Balance Bars, etc. Just actual meals. When I have no energy at all, this is a lot harder than it seems! I love when I make a big meal that I can eat for a few days. I'm not that picky. My sister in law gives me leftovers too, which totally rocks. And other times, there's nothing to be found. Anywhere. So I just wait until I have energy to make something. And sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Poor Jake. Problem is, he doesn't like anything I make, unless it is pasta. So, a can of soup or spaghetti for him. I do have oatmeal for breakfast usually so that lasts for a while.

But then I get starved by about 9:00 at night, and I want to eat everything. Is that a good plan for my body? No. So, I am trying to remember just to eat real food during the day. It was going quite well and I didn't feel like eating junk at night. Then, today, while I was lying there fat flat on the table, getting a massage today (the only thing that makes my muscles relinquish their vise grip) the guy starts going on and on about how I need to watch my carbs and that bread is only carbs, and especially watch my fat intake, and I shouldn't eat sugar, etc. (This guy also once went on and on about how I need to exercise. I know. I used to exercise all the time. I loved exercise. It made me happy. It makes me very unhappy that if I do it now, I am even more unable to get out of bed than usual. It does not help to tell me these things. I would give my right elbow to be able to go on a nice jog and not have it make me want to die. But I suppose you can't understand these things unless you have been there. And I hope you don't have to come here.)

So, guess what I did tonight? Came home and scarfed down a half bag of these puppies and ate a cookie. And this is on top of the fattening and delicious pizza my mom got for us at her house. Is it just me or would it be common courtesy to note that it takes a lot of courage to get my half-naked body up on that massage table when I am not even real comfortable with myself in clothes? Dude. You think I don't know all that??? I used to eat really healthy. Grrr. Something truly went awry in my body and I just crave stuff like crazy. Even when I eat real food. It drives me up the wall. I am trying. so. hard. I will be eating some junk for Christmas. So, family, don't expect me to be a saint. But hopefully I can make some progress after that. It feels like no matter what I do though, (I really am good sometimes) my body either just stays the same or gets bigger. Like the fat just wants to stay, like a rude and unwanted houseguest who will never leave.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Am Undoubtedly a Molasses Gingerbread Cookie

Quiz: What Christmas Cookie Are You?
Are you simple and sweet or decked out with all the trimmings? Take the quiz and find out what type of Christmas cookie you are.
I was thinking about what kind I would be and I had actually decided I would be this kind of cookie.
And this was my answer:
You are undoubtedly Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies. You're warm, spicy, and multifaceted.
So... get your spicy self over there to find out what kind you are.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I sewed with knit fabric. I have wanted to for at least 2 years and I finally took the plunge. Knits are just so comfy and easy care, you know? Of course, jammies are always the easiest thing to start with because then I don't worry too much if they aren't perfect. These are for my cute nephews Sam and Andrew. Do I need to keep an even score? I have cute clothes in mind for Sarah and a shirt in the works. Darn I wish my sister would move here - it sure would make it easier to try things on them. (And see them grow up, and play with them, and all that good stuff.) But hey, I can thank my lucky stars they are coming for Christmas. Next on my list is Christmas pjs for all of them - so that will be fun!

The ribbing on Sam's neckline is a little wide and Andrew's is a little narrow I think. Next time, I think I would do somewhere in between. And I would extend the sleeves a bit and skip the cuffs there. And maybe do wider leg pants with no cuffs. Unless they like them exactly like this and want more, then that's what I'll do. I aim to please! I sure hope they are comfy and they like them! I had fun learning a new skill.

Tires and Tools Jammies

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas Questions from Kara

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper but gift bags are awfully convenient. A little of both is good.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I’m allergic to the real thing.

3. When do you put up the tree? It just depends.

4. When do you take the tree down? That just depends too. Energy and time have to collide at just the right moment.

5. Do you like eggnog? I adore it! But I can’t have dairy. I used to pour it over a bowl of rice and warm it in the microwave – yum!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm.. Easy Bake Oven… or Laurie Walker the huge life-size doll maybe? (Even though my brothers and dad tortured her.)

7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad is not just hard – he’s impossible. We’ve all given up and just make him scrapbook pages.

8. Easiest person(s) to buy for? I really LOVE shopping for most people. It’s probably one of my favorite things ever.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes – one carved from olive wood in Israel.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I usually try to mail some, but it isn’t looking good this year.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can’t remember a really bad one.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Maybe Elf? But I also like all the cheesy ones that are on Hallmark this time of year.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? November-ish. I never have it all done early though – it is part of the whole Christmas feeling going out and shopping for presents.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes. One was a candle, and another one was this awesome chocolate violin that I gave to a guy who plays the violin. It was just too perfect.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Nothing in particular comes to mind, although I do like the festive foods like ham, cookies…

16. Lights on the tree? Chyeah!

17. Favorite Christmas song? I like most of them. I love O Holy Night, For Unto Us a Child Is Born, Little Drummer Boy, What Child is This?, I could go on. Oh - and Baby It's Cold Outside is fun.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home! Well, wait… are we talking warm and balmy weather? If so, I’d be all over it.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer & Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have a star for it right now. I like both.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We do family presents on Christmas Eve, and then Santa and Mom and Dad ones on Christmas Morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Usually the weather and the crummy road conditions that come along with it, but not this year – it’s only snowed once so far.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like lime or light green in with the green and red.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham, turkey, whatever works.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A cutting table for sewing!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Want to win something cool?

Wall Decals are a great way to decorate. They are less permanent than paint and come in a variety of fun expressions as well as some decorative art. My favorite is the wall art. I mean, I could certainly find a place for this beauty somewhere in my house:

And who can resist this knobby knee birdie?

This one might be helpful around here:

Grosgrain, which is the blog of a talented seamstress who designs amazing clothing and sews for her daughter and giveaways, her new store, etc. is having a ...
All you have to do is link back to the giveaway on your blog and you are entered. Pretty sweet.
And while I'm on the subject of cool sites, I think this Brick of Mormon Stories is pretty great.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Do You Cook Your Paper?

This was a really cool project for Jake's art class. He did the writing in calligraphy and it was supposed to be funny - hence the "missteaks." (The first letter is a decorative "I".) He did a great job!

When you are done writing and you've erased your pencil marks... then the fun part begins! You burn the edges with a lighter. Then you need to brown the paper and the instructions gave four choices, holding it over an electric burner, baking it, ironing it for a while, or using tea or coffee on it. First we tried baking it. It just said to use a low heat, so we tried 215 degrees for a good 10-15 minutes, but nothing happened, then we turned it up and turned it up again, but nothing much happened.

So we tried the burner method and Ta Da! It worked! The whole thing made our house stink but it turned out really cool. After you are done cooking it, you then turn it over and rub oil all over it to make it look like parchment. Pretty cool project.

He thinks he's so funny pulling a sly one on Mom and hiding his face during the shutter lag time :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gratitude Prayers Update

Hey guys!

I wanted to update how this went because it was such a cool thing. It was a surprise - gratitude prayers are actually a relief! It was a nice change from having to come up with the right things to ask for -or worry about - all the time. I realized that my subconscious mind really thinks I have to worry about things and try to figure everything out, or nothing will be OK!

I just got to look at the good things. What a nice break! It let me sit back and give the job of figuring it all out to Him. That can be easier said than done but, voila! a gratitude prayer accomplished it for me. It made faith take over and that was a beautiful thing. I can rely on Him to know what I need. Sometimes figuring things out and pondering does help a lot, but I need to remember to keep the balance. I did not expect to learn any of this, and I really loved this experiment!

So, on that note, here's a list of things I'm glad about today:

That Nablopomo is over! :D It was good and got me in the blogging mode but it will be a relief also to just post when I want to and feel like I actually have something to say (whether it is significant or not.)

That Jake's big present came while he was gone for the long weekend and he didn't see it!

That selling Jake's bedroom set on Craigslist enabled me to pay for Christmas and his birthday next month.

Happy Christmas time!