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April 30, 2013

Quiet book adventures..

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[Intro by Al] So do you remember our dear friend Celina (table refinish, valentine inspire designer)? She's amazing, wonderful, and I'm pretty sure was one of those people that was definitely my best friend in the pre-existence. Almost from the moment I met her I felt an instant bond of sisterhood. Beyond all that, she is incredibly talented. She was the genius that morphed Scary and my vision to create our incredible logo a few months ago (on the first try, she definitely did some designing between the lines). She has been working on a quiet book for her son for months and I knew we must share with you it since she hasn't quite caught the blogging bug yet to have it reach you.

Quiet in the Country {Quiet Book}

Some friends of mine came over recently to visit. I remember they, as my son was bashfully flirting with them and, admittedly, being a little quiet, asked: “does he say anything?” (Obviously we don’t spend too much time together, because) in my head and, consequently, out loud, I laughed. MY kid? Say anything? He’s a 13 month-old chatterbox! His vocabulary may be limited; but boy, does he use what he’s got!

Any lucky exerciser who happens to share the morning track with us would know. His most choice word is “hi”, and every walker/jogger we pass is greeted shamelessly, and often more than once, or twice. “HI! Hi! hi. hi. hi..” and so it goes til we either happen upon another poor sweating soul, or gain too much headway from the last.
Longer story made short: my kid makes his fair share of noise in the world.
…especially on Sunday.  In our weekend worship services we do a good amount of singing, and the boy isn’t afraid to join in. Notes or no, he’ll sing his little heart out. Even after the song is long over. So laughing, and with good motivation, I decided it may be time for a “quiet book”. We’ll see if it holds up to it’s title.

I’m an avid Pinterester, and with a determination for a packable and lasting distraction for the little, the boards were near first in my search for inspiration.
JACKPOT!
Who knew there were entire blogs dedicated just to quiet books? Pinned em!

After quite a bit of perusing, exploring, and freshly armed with plenty of ideas, I set out on my creative journey. I decided I wanted to try and carry some sort of theme throughout the book, because it seems far too many quiet book pages are a little scattered and eclectic. To each his own (and the littles probably don’t care a bit one way or the other!), but this one’s own is way too OCD (or whatever other blessed definition there might be for ME) for so much crazy if I get to design it myself! ..So my chosen theme: “Quiet in the Country”. It might make a nice titled cover, if I ever get around to it, but for now we’re going to jump right into the thick of it, since that’s really all I’ve got to show for myself:


In the country there are farms. On farms, barns. In barns, animals. And farm-barn-animals, it would seem, are so very entertaining for a 1 year-old. So we had to have animals. And, hey! They fit on your finger. Fun.


Pretty close to the farm, and barn, and usually taking care of the animals there are cowboys. But contrary to popular belief, cowboys do wear clothes other than a hat and a pair of boots (though they may be a staple for most outfits). We’ve got a little cowboy and his wardrobe to prove it.


Boys love trucks, and mine is no exception. So of course we had to fit in our little cowboy’s favorite ride! His tractor doesn't do many of the loud and exciting things that the real does, but it’s sure got a nice pair of spinning wheels! And for 13 months, that’s still pretty cool.


Country folk need food too! So we planted some carrots and it would seem they’re ready for harvesting. Kid loves to uproot those suckers.


Some country food is better for playing with. Potatoes, for instance already come with eyes, why not make a whole face? And heck, why not one we all recognize? (and even a feminine counterpart, if you’re feeling it..)


Another country delight is fresh produce! Right from the tree. We even brought a basket to collect em in, it should be a snap (ha! See what I did there..? ;))


“A penny saved is a penny earned”, or in this case the kid will get reeeeal good at saving/earning his juice can tops! Anyone out there giving real money to their babies? Yeah, I’ve had better ideas. Pretty sure a penny given to my little guy is a penny lost or taking a trip to the hospital. Pass!


Shout-out to all the advanced seamstresses/seamstremisters that might happen upon my humble little venture: I’m very much a beginner, so hopefully you were able to enjoy the outcome beyond all the obvious “I-would-have-done-it-this-way”s. It was a fun project, and like many things I find with motherhood, I’m figuring things out as I go. But, hey, life as an experiment is always a little more exciting!

Celina

April 29, 2013

Lost Arts of Sewing.

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We are honored to announce that we are going to be participating in A Jennuine Life the Lost Arts of Sewing. The sewing lost arts are something that we have taken recent interest in, Al and I (Scary) have commited time and energy to trying to learn these lost arts. We have turned to neighbors, youtube and embriodery websites.
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We are excited to learn more from our blogging friends, to see the complete line up click here.
We will be sharing a 1940's dress pattern with embriodery at the neck yoke and waistband that we are remixing to bring to date.
April 25, 2013

Join Us in Making for Mom Series

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We are so excited to (re)announce our Make for Mom Series. In May you should try to not miss a day of selfish making, because heaven knows we all need to be selfish once and a while
We called for guest posters for the series out of our instagram friends and followers and we were happy to fill most of the open positions. You should be so excited because no matter your ability, interest or need we have it all!
We are asking you to "Make Along". Just like our inspiration contributors we don't have any rules besides you make for you and your needs. I hope you have as much fun as we are planning our selfish making.

The Made for Mom's Who's Who:

AmandaJedi Craft Girl
MaeThe Life of a Compulsive Crafter
OlubunmiZoeEden Design
MichelleHandmade Martinin
MelissaMellywoods Mansion
AjaireCall Ajaire
SusanWinter Wonderings, Wanderings and Whatnot
ShannonLittle Kids Grow
MaegenFoster Ramblings
MaxMax California
CailaCaila Made
BonnieFish Stick Design
KCThe Real Thing with the Coake Family
liZSimple Simon & Co.
and a few more that we are still working on scheduling
April 22, 2013

Newsboy Cap (KCW Monday)

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This week will will be joining all the other mom's (and potentially grandmas, dads, grandpas) that are sewing for Kids Clothing Week. This is our first go at it, but we are really excited to join the fun. This week we will mostly be giving a quick preview of our accomplishments with the tutorial to follow later (so that we can put more time into sewing than blogging).


Today I made Heber a newsboy cap. I have been dying to make him one pretty much since the moment he was born, but I couldn't find just the right pattern or look. Last week Scary hopped by to visit JoAnn's Daffodil Dash sale. They happened to have McCall patterns on sale. The very first page of the childrens clothing had the newsboy cap I had been searching for the last year. She almost missed it, but luckily for me she didn't and she told me about it. Yay, I was really excited! So excited that I went to 2 different JoAnn's to get it (it was sold out of the first one) all in the middle of flash flooding. This was the final perfect touch to complete his Common Axis look!


I had to make some adjustments to the pattern, so I will let you know how to do it just right sometime in the near future, but the pattern was fairly awesome. It was a McCall pattern number M6575. I hope you're getting excited for what Scary and Jo have cooking in KCW projects. Prepare to be amazed.
April 22, 2013

Jo's Chicken Salad Sandwich

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Now that I am pregnant there are about 3 main things on my brain.
1st- What can I eat?
2nd- Where is the nearest bathroom?
3rd- Can I sleep on that?

Today I woke up from my nap, found the nearest bathroom and then went to the kitchen.  I was ravenous.  I mean, my left arm was lookin' pretty tasty.   I looked around like a Tasmanian devil, trying to find something to eat.  Protein was definitely on the menu, but when I went to find some meat in the fridge, the smell turned my stomach and I right around!
 I decided to go with something canned instead.  Enter Costco's Kirtland brand canned chicken.(No this is not a product promo- I wish they knew I was promoting them, and that they would pay me in cases of canned tuna and chicken, but alas I am on my own!)

Jo's Chicken Salad
12.5 oz. of canned chicken
1/2 c. mayo
1/4 c roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 c raisins (Captain America said to mention that these are optional)
1/8 c almonds
Mix it all together and put some of it on a couple slices of fresh bread with a couple leaves of lettuce.  And, if your pregnant go ahead and devour it now!  If not, feel free to cut it, say a prayer, invite your husband to dine along, etc.

I hope you love this as much as I do.  On a side note, I considered putting shredded coconut in the mix, but I wondered if that might be just a pregnancy thing.  What do you think? Would coconut be good in it?

With Love,
-Jo
April 18, 2013

Simple Twists

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A couple of months ago, I was walking through a store and saw the cutest flower applique fabric that I just had to have!  However, I wasn't sure what I could use it for when I saw it.  I couldn't justify buying it at the time, but when an opportunity arose to make a couple of dresses for my niece's I just had to say yes!
When I was thinking of the design for the dresses I was thinking princess style.  The flower material had many different colors of flowers and so I chose yellow satin for my 2 year old niece with brown hair and pink satin for my 1 year old niece with red hair.  Each color complimenting the girls complexion. Each dress is simple with a few twists to them which makes them unique and different. 
The yellow dress has a mild sweetheart neckline to create a more princess look, pedal sleeves, and band around the midriff with a bow tie in the back.  The dress itself gathers at the midriff, and has lining and tulle underneath to make the poof factor.  I used the flower applique over the top and hand stitched the bottom to make the bubble hem.

                                                                                                  

 The little details on it are: the gather on the bodice, the hand made bow at the midriff which connects with the V shape which allows the beautiful yellow satin material to show through the flower applique material.

                         

The pink satin dress has a regular round neckline because I wanted to keep the innocence of the little girl look still verses the yellow dress.  The sleeves are a regular puff sleeve with gathers at the bodice, the dress portion has a bubble hem again with tool and lining on the inside to give fullness and gathers at the bodice.

                                      

The detailing is simple and perfect for a one year old.  The details are the  flower wrap around the middle of the dress separating the bodice from the dress it goes from the from all the way to the back to create a tie.

                                   

The other detail is the ribbon going around the bottom of the flower applique material creating a nice round finish at the bottom of the dress.

                                         

When I decided to do these dresses I had to sit down and draw out the dresses so that I had an idea of what I wanted to do.  I used a few pattern pieces from the Simplicity patterns, numbers 2265 and 1701A, but then deviated to make the dresses my own and the way that I wanted them to look.  Which made me glad that I had drawn out the pictures.
                                 
                                                                                   
                                  
   These two dresses are my first attempts to making little kids cloths and I have to say it was hard but it was worth it to see those two girls light up when they got their dresses. It has been a great experience and I hope that I can continue to challenge myself in making new things.  In hind site I would do a few things differently but that is why we do things that challenge us to make us learn and learn from our mistakes.  Both dresses turned out so cute and I can't wait for the next challenge.
  Before  I leave today I wanted to express my gratitude for my sisters on the blog for allowing me to be a part of their family and the blog! Unfortunately life has thrown a few lemons my way the last couple of months and I have to step away from the blog for a little while. But I appreciate all of my readers support and hope that I can come back soon. 
April 17, 2013

Wonderful Wanda: Soft Soles Sandals

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For the week and half, I have been properly introduced and well acquainted with hand embroidery. Yesterday, I spent a good deal of the day working on assembling the dress (I have done previews of the embroidery on Instagram), when suddenly I realized I didn't have any shoes that would coordinate with her dress.
Needing some quick success, I decided to finally (have had it planned for months) make Make It and Love It's Baby Girl Sandals. I used Wrights Mediterranean Blue Extra Wide Double Fold Bias tape on the edges and for the center tie. I also zig zagged around the edges of the shoes instead of using vinyl basis (which for me didn't really work).
I have been working with Boston to be able to cope with having shoes on her feet. She is more interested in helping me sew. Maybe with her assistance I might be able to finally finish the dress.


April 16, 2013

We are inspired by you Boston

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When I read about the marathon in Boston yesterday, I was so saddened by what had happened.  I told my boys about it.  They asked me how some one could do that to someone else.  I don't even know myself. I couldn't answer there questions.
 All images of the tragedy are from CNN News website
An injured man is loaded into an ambulance on Monday, April 15, after two bombs went off near the finish line of the fabled Boston Marathon. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/15/us/boston-marathon-explosions/index.html'>Read our developing news story</a> and follow up-to-the-minute reports <a href='http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/16/explosions-near-finish-of-boston-marathon/'>on CNN.com's This Just In blog</a>.
As I was reading about the tragedy and feeling so sad and disheartened, I came across a quote from Mr. Rogers.  It reads, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers, You will always find people who are helping."
A second explosion goes off near the finish line.
I was so grateful that I came across this quote.  You can't explain away the bad things that happen, but you can deal with it by looking for good.
A bystander who was injured in the first explosion is wheeled across the finish line while receiving medical attention from rescue workers.
 Don't ask why God lets bad things happen.   Look for the good things that God's children do, when bad things do happen.  We always have agency.  Agency for good or agency for evil.
Former New England Patriots <a href='http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1606043-former-new-england-patriot-joe-andruzzi-assists-survivors-at-boston-marathon' target='_blank'>offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi</a> carries a woman from the scene.
After my husband heard me talking with the kids about this quote he said, "Will you be the person running away from evil, or the person running in to save others from evil."
An injured person is taken away from the scene in a wheelchair.
As we all mourn together today, we hope this quote and free printable will encourage and inspire you.

With love,
-The Shaffer Sisters.
April 16, 2013

So Yummy You Wouldn't Even Know It Was Healthy Applesauce Spice Cake and special announcement

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So I didn't want to go shopping on Saturday.  I was to tired.  I didn't mention this yet, but I am pregnant.  Baby #6 will be joining us in November. (this is the special announcement-can I get a wahoo!) That being said, everything has been falling apart around here.  I have mounds of laundry, dishes and the kids are wearing  clothes from the back of their dressers (but those dressers are getting empty)
Luckily I have a pretty terrific sister-in-law, and she is picking up a ton of the slack.  She runs the kids to school, makes half of the meals, and keeps me going.
Last night was my turn to cook, but since I didn't go shopping I was having a hard time coming up with something for dessert.  I had planned on doing cheesecake, but I just didn't have the ingredients.  So, on to the super yummy applesauce spice cake.

         "So Yummy You Wouldn't Even Know it Was Healthy Applesauce Spice Cake"
   

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
      1/2 C butter
      1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
      1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
       1/4 tsp ground cloves
       1/4 tsp. ground ginger
       1 1/2 C sugar
       1/2 tsp  vanilla
Cream all of these ingredients together.  When I say cream I mean make it look like whipped cream-thick and fluffy
       1 1/4 C  milk
       1 tsp lemon juice
       2 C whole wheat flour
       2 tsp baking powder
       1/4 tsp salt
       1 C applesauce
       2 tsp. Molasses
I personally think the lemon juice made the applesauce flavor really stand out.  Bake this in a buttered 9X13- I used a dark metal pan.  I baked it for about 30 minutes.  But, my oven bakes a little warm.  It had a pretty heavy- sweet bread feel to it, not the light and fluffy cake your used to.

OK, here is the fun part.
I have never browned butter before, but it brings out such a yummy flavor out.
so here is a recipe for Browned Butter frosting
3/4 c of browned butter (melt the butter on low until it turns a light golden)
6 c powdered sugar
3 TBL of Milk
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
whip it all together and wallah yummy frosting perfection.

                       
We may have eaten it for breakfast this morning too.  Just saying-it could be considered healthy.  If you liked this, you should check out my other pregnancy craving here or Scary and Al's here.
April 15, 2013

Common Axis Top and a Happy Birthday

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From the beginning Heber has always been quiet, calm, and sensitive. He takes life at the pace of his easy going drum. He is shy and affectionate. He has always been full of surprises (especially the day he decided to join our family and we made to the hospital less than 30 minutes before he was born).


If you were to meet him, you would be greeted with big eyes and a serious face. When strangers make him smile, he usually chooses to turn away and hide his grin in my shoulder. If you get blessed for him to share his smile, you will find warm chocolate eyes, a wide open mouth, and 2 very distinct dimples. Even with just his family, he nearly always tries to stifle his laugh and so it comes out more as a grunt.


He loves to give kisses and when he does he opens his mouth really big and goes in quick. This usually leaves me with a slobbery cheek and a red spot from the rushed kiss. His favorite thing in the world is his big sister Ty. Even on the grouchy, teething days, Ty can have him rolling in laughter. Their completely opposite personalities make for a dynamite duo.


This week Heber turned one and I find myself reflecting on my lifetime so far with him. It's funny how someone so little can make such an impact. He has taught me to relax and to not over extend myself because of his need for the easy going pace (even from the beginning). It was such a shocker when I realized that he would only do things when he was good and ready (he waited to start crawling until he was 9 months as opposed to Ty who was 10 months and walking).


Heber's chill personality brings peace to my soul. This weeks project for PR&P was the perfect opportunity to capture of his happy, zen personality. Heber needed a new shirt for church that was comfortable and didn't require a tie (he likes to chew on them and then they are really soggy and make his shirt wet too). It's been my goal this season to meet the needs of my kids' wardrobe as I sew along for PR&P and I think that I have been successful.


The fabric and design probably seem familiar, because I tried to make it correspond to Ty's Concentric Circle Dress. I didn't want Heber to have another white church shirt. I wanted something stylish and fitting for a toddler boy that had a splash of color. Lucky for me I have Scary. Our minds together are capable of near magic when it comes to clothing design.


Lately she has taken to getting the pictures off the pattern guides from the internet and putting them on Photoshop. Then she works her magic until we are completely satisfied with the outcome. This is what our design looked like when we had finished. It was everything I wanted.

Our goal with the circles on the front this time was to make them less bold and a little more distressed than the one on Ty's dress (plus eliminate the hand stitching. I used miraculous freezer paper and my silhouette again. The biggest difference in my studio design from last time was to try to make the perforations as large as possible.


I used Simplicity 1923 pattern, size 1 and hardly had to adjust it. The only exception is the length which I made size 3. Heber and Ty are both nearly in the 100th percentile for height, so we always go up a couple of sizes to get the needed length, but still want to keep it fitted. I also love the length because regardless of the position he is in while crawling or toddling, he will always have his tummy covered.


Just a reminder about our parenting link ups (see right sidebar) that are open for the rest of the month.

Also, while you are stopping by, feel free to check out what other great stuff my sisters and I have made for our kids during this season's PR&P. And keep an eye out for Scary's incredible dress for Boston. Wow, I am excited!
   

           

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