A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

In The Sewing Room - Before

Having 2 weeks of no school has given me the opportunity to find other ways to occupy my time.  One of those ways was to start getting all the Christmas chaos out of the sewing room, and try to make it into a usable work space again.

 This is looking into the sewing room from my bedroom.  It's a "bonus room" in the master suite.  If you look at model homes, you sometimes see them set up as a gym or nursery or home office.

On the left, we have storage drawers and the sewing machine table.  Embroidery machine in the back, cover stitch machine on the left, sewing machine in the center, and serger on the right.

Two giant racks of too much fabric.

Between the rack and the cutting table are more bins full of fabric.

The cutting table.  It's under all that crap, I promise.  I figure if I post pictures of it messy, I'll be motivated to clean it up and post pictures of it looking nicer.

Bookcase with... more fabric.  Also my essential oil collection.  And miscellaneous stuff that just sort of ends up in this room.

This is an "in progress" shot.  Here, the room is looking worse, before it looks better.  I ended up getting rid of 3 boxes of fabric, and the large basket.  I asked myself, "Would you buy this today?" to help determine if I should keep or toss some things.  It's hard, because I always find myself thinking, "I could make _________ out of that."  But realistically, there's just too much.  I've inherited fabric that I would never have chosen, so it needs to go.

 Putting away our Christmas gift bags.  We started using cloth wrap several years ago, and this year, after Christmas at our house, there was less than one bag of trash.  I'm really happy about that.

Once I started cleaning the sewing room, I found some old UFOs (UnFinished Objects).  This one was part of a set.  I made the hat and pants back in August.  Since the baby has undoubtedly outgrown the shirt by now, Paul took it to work with him to give to one of the many people having new babies.

A size 140 nightgown that I cut out for Brianna when we lived in our old house.  Hannah will be able to wear it in a couple years.

A size 3T dress that I cut out when the Little Ones were here.  I'm not thrilled with how it came out.  The skirt fabric didn't gather enough.

When we got our foster license in 2009, I bought this fabric.  Although I used some of it for a pack and play sheet, I figured it was time to turn the rest into a baby blanket and pass it on.

Paul ended up taking 4 blankets to work with him.

One boy blanket,

and 3 girl ones.

Feels good to sew up some of the pile of fabric and know that it will have a new life somewhere else.

Next, I started in on napkins.  Our old napkins were getting pretty ratty.  Paul had mentioned it more than once.

So I made some new ones, using print on one side and solid flannel on the other side.  And I got rid of the worst of the old ones in our napkin basket.  Including one from our Santa Rosa house, 12+ years ago.

I know sewing isn't the fastest way to make a difference in the whole room, but I got inspired while I was in there, and decided to roll with it.  Inspiration seldom coincides with opportunity these days.

Long time readers may remember me making Luke pants before:  first year home, second year home.  Since none of his pants came back home with him when he returned in August, I wasn't sure if he'd still fit the size 3-4 or not.  I held the pattern up to him and realized there's no way those would still fit!  This year is the size 4-5.

The fish pair has a watery turquoise flannel on the inside.  I have 2 more pairs in progress, cowboys and pandas.  I used my Kohl's cash to get him a couple new shirts to go with them, and I'll try to get some modeling shots next week.

I got a JoAnn's gift card for Christmas, so I'm thinking I might pick up a heart print to make something for the girls to wear for Valentine's day.

It feels good to get in there and be creative again.  I'm enjoying seeing space open up on the shelves, and things get rearranged.  I hope to be posting some "after" pictures soon of a more orderly sewing room.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Day at Zach's House

You know you're getting old when you go over to your child's house for Christmas!

We'll skip over the part where I got lost (you know, following the directions on my phone, which took me to the BACK gate of the air base, not open to civilians, where the nice guards with machine guns rolled their eyes at me) and pick up with getting to the FRONT gate.

Zach & Heather's new house is cute!  We arrived just in time to help with some last minute meal prep.

Their tree was cute.

Grammy, myself, and Brianna.

Grammy & Carl

Christmas selfies!  Hannah



Sam took this shot of my mom and I with Josiah and Zach.

Lukey couldn't quite wait for the meal, so he had some fishies to hold him over.

But soon, it was time to eat.  The weather was pleasant enough to eat out in their big back yard.

And then we came inside and opened presents!

We got Grammy a beautiful kimono style robe, and a calendar with pictures of all the grandkids.

I asked Brayden if he would help Luke open his present from Grammy.

It's a turtle!

Luke likes toys with noise and lights, or toys that dangle.  He was blessed with both this year from his grandmothers!

A good time was had by all!

I'm blessed that Zach and Heather and Brayden are settled close enough for visits.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

"Gingerbread" Houses

First off, there's no gingerbread involved in these.  I'm all about easy, so we use graham crackers, store bought frosting, and tons of candy.  It's a tradition we all enjoy, year after year.

Eli decided he was going to make a TANK this year.

Pretty impressive.

I usually do a nativity scene every year.

Sam made a silo and filled it full of candy.

Not sure why Jack is playing dead.  He may have been imitating one of the people in his scene.

Someone said this looked a little like Eeyore's house.

Josiah, doing his traditional "smile" for the camera.

This wasn't taken until after most of the big kids were finished, but it shows some of the candy chaos involved in this project.

Brianna's ornate creation.

Katie made a zoo.

Hannah had a structure going, but when it fell, she just sort of went with it, and decorated all the slabs.

And Lukey got to eat all the broken graham crackers.  So a good time was had by all.

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