Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monkey Business

I had found this free, adorable, Molly Monkey pattern at mmmcrafts website.  I had downloaded it quite awhile ago, but just got working on it this past week.  It's not finished yet, but here's what I have so far.
(these pictures were taken with my phone so they're not the best quality)

 I have the beret sewn but still need to sew on it's ribbon band.

 I edge stitched all around the shoes and the red flowers and also added a few french knots to dress them up a bit.  I loved doing this hand stitching and wanted to make more of these shoes because they are so adorable!  But I don't have anyone else to wear them.  :))
My daughter had her own ideas about how she wanted the face to look, so it's slightly different from the original pattern.  I didn't sew up the skirt yet, but hope to get that finished this week.

My boys loved this doll and when they saw that there was also a Mikey Monkey pattern, they sweetly requested it.   I had so much fun sewing Molly that I am looking forward to sewing them a Mikey.  By the way, the Mikey Monkey pattern can be found at mmmcrafts Etsy shop.
(Thank you Larissa for such lovely patterns and instructions!)

Stuffed Toys

I've been feeling crafty lately, but I think it's because it's been SO long since I've done much sewing or crafting just for fun.  It seems that recently the only time I sew is when I have to make something.  And for a while I was doing some sewing for profit.  But, after I officially gave that up and put my machine away, I hadn't touched it for some time.  But, I finally pulled out the old Kenmore last week and got to work on a couple projects that didn't NEED to be done, but were just for enjoyment.  Here they are:

I did a couple little Owls for my boys.  I found this free "Easy Owl Pattern" at Toad's Treasures on blogspot.  Thank you Emily!!

We took a trip to the fabric store and I let my boys pick out their own fabric and decide on it's design.  They also did the stuffing and together we got them done in 1 afternoon.

My 10 yr. old decided that he wanted a "tummy" on his, which was not on the original pattern, and so he picked an old world map design fabric for that. 

It's hard to tell here, but my 7yr. old picked out black and white checkered and zebra print felt for the eyes and feet, and the wings are black and white owls.  He later wished that he had picked a "tummy" piece as well, but he's still happy with it.

These were so easy and so much fun to make that I definitely want to make more of them.  I actually picked out fabric to make an owl for myself, but I haven't gotten to that one yet.  That will have to wait for another day.  :)

Crocheting Again

Wow, it's been a long time since I've been here.  Hard to keep up sometimes.  Anyway, I've been crocheting again.  I would like to do it more consistently, along with sewing. 

I still consider myself a beginner at crocheting. 
Here are couple things I've been working on lately.

The first is my Blue Bird.  I have fallen in love with many of the amigurumi animals, especially these cute little birds.  I was a little chicken at first to give it a try (pardon the pun), but I finally just dove in and did it.

These are all supposed to be single crochet and crazy enough I had forgotten how to do that most basic stitch.  So, I googled it and watched the first video I found on it.  The funny thing is though, that without my realizing it, they had showed the wrong way to do the stitch.  So, I did the whole bird in this other stitch, half way between a single crochet and a half double crochet, (not sure if it's even a stitch) and I was thinking that my bird seemed a lot bigger than the one with the instructions.  Now I know why, ha!  Oh well, I still think it turned out okay.  I kind of made my own tail, since the instructions I had didn't explain how to sew it on.  And I didn't have any of those "safety eyes" so I just embroidered the eyes on along with the beak instead of using felt.  For my first one, I was happy with it.  It quickly became my daughter's and she named it Bernard, and my other kids all want one now. 

I didn't completely follow the instructions from any one website, otherwise I'd post it here.  But, here is a link for the one that comes the closest to it at Bitter Sweet.  Her birds are adorable, and she does lovely work on so many other items.


Here is my other crochet project, which I just started and finished last night.  It's a winter hat with ear and front flaps.

The hat looks orange in these pictures, but it's actually red and black.  I used Vanna's Choice 100% acrylic yarn from Lion Brand.  The pattern is the Earflap Hat  also from the Lion Brand website.  I wasn't completely happy with the pattern and I had to adjust it quite a bit, which was a feat for me since I'm such a novice crocheter, but in the end it didn't turn out too bad.  I'm not sure I would use this pattern again.  I am definitely looking for another earflap hat pattern though, because my other two kids would really like to have me make them one. 

And this is the VERY first time in my whole life I have made a pom pom.  It was so much fun!  And SO easy!  I am now looking for things I can use these on because I just want to keep making more and more, ha!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oswald Chambers

I have been using "My Utmost for His Highest" for years as a devotional book. Even though I've already gone through it several times, it continues to stay fresh for me. Here are just a few thoughts of his that have really been impressed on me.

John 16:33 ~ "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
"An average view of Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble.  It is deliverance in trouble - which is very different."

"God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome.  The strain is the strength."

"If you spend yourself physically you become exhausted; But if you spend yourself spiritually, you get more strength."

"We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God's purpose, we are taken up into God's purpose without any consciousness at all. We have no conception what God is aiming at, as we go on it gets more and more vague."

"God's aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short-sighted to see what He is aiming at."
 These last two quotes are especially meaningful to me.  And God used a natural instance to open my eyes even more regarding being "short-sighted" when it comes to His working.

When coming home from somewhere I usually turn onto our block and drive past our house to the end of our street and make a U-turn at the corner so I can be facing in the right direction to park in front of the house.  Well, recently, while driving home with the kids in the car, I decided to just pass our street and go down one more block and come around, avoiding the U-turn at the corner.  Well, my youngest exclaimed, "Mom, I thought we were going home, you passed our street!"  I said, "We are going home."  And he replied, "No, we're not, you passed our street."  The other kids in the car made an attempt to explain to him what I was doing.  I thought it was interesting that it seemed that he couldn't understand but mainly because he simply would not accept the explanation.

Our Father showed me, by His Holy Spirit, that this is what I do.  And, apparently, I do it often.  Many times when I question the work of God in my life and my family's it's because I am short-sighted and I look upon His work as "missing the mark".  Sometimes, I'm not even recognizing God's hand.  The other interesting and startling thing to me about this quote of Mr. Chambers is his usage of the phrase "missing the mark".   The Greek word hamartia is translated sin in our New Testament, and it is deeply rooted in the idea of missing the mark.  So, in the same way, when I consider God to be somehow missing the mark in the way that Oswald Chambers mentiones it, I am considering that work of God to be sin.  Looking at it this way definitely hit home with me and has truly humbled me and brought me to a new place and way of thinking about Jehovah and Yeshua. 

Thank you Yeshua for being our Redeemer, You are truly the Beautiful One, the Christ, the Lamb for sinners slain.  Praise and glory and honor be to You and our Sovereign Almighty Father.  Glory to God!!  Praise and Adoration be lifted to You beautiful Savior.  Thank You, Praise You!  Yeshua Christ the One Messiah!  Hallelujah!  Amen!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Crochet Happines

It's funny how God arranges things. I took the food over to our Homeschool Friend who is recovering from surgery and got to visit with her a bit. She had broken her ankle and will be sitting in a wheel chair through most of her recovery, which must be so difficult because she is an active lady. Although, I know that it's often during these kinds of times that God blesses His children with life lessons and reminders of how it's good to be quiet and slow down. I'm sure God will bless her as she has blessed others.

Well, she was in the process of knitting a beee-yooh-tee-ful afghan. And as I was admiring it I mentioned how I've been trying to teach myself to crochet and she quickly and unexpectedly responded, "Well, come over later and I'll help you." Wow! How could I pass up that offer? So, I'm going over tomorrow afternoon and getting help with my crocheting. giggling and clapping hands I'm SOOO excited! Hee hee.

Poor Hubby and 1 of my daughters is sick with the stomach flu. Three of my other kids just got over it a little over a day ago. There is still 1 daughter and myself who have not had it...yet. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cooking For Others

I just finished my Chicken Soup, which I'll be taking over to a family whose wife/mother just recently had ankle surgery. I have only met her once, they are in our homeschool group. Why did I capitalize chicken soup? I have no idea. Maybe because it's been such an issue with me all day, a Bid Deal, to the point of being anxious. I did give it up to God and am trusting Him to bless it.

I can't believe that I have been feeling nervous about cooking this meal. She does have some food allergies so I had to keep those in mind. But, I found myself feeling the urge to cook the chicken soup. Even though I stressed out about it a bit and actually made a decision to change the menu to Chicken Stir-fry with Rice, at the last minute I had to go back to the original plan. It seemed that I was just supposed to cook this food, ha! I did pray about it and certainly feel that this must be His leading, for whatever reason. I am hoping that I will be able to "see" why it must be the chicken soup. :) I'll be taking fresh bread along with it. I tossed the idea of salad around in my mind (no pun intended) but again, for some reason I am not compelled to do the salad. I'm going to bake some brownies in the morning to add as a sweet little treat.

Today has been a busy day. Actually, the past two weeks have been very busy, and I have still not recovered...I'm so tired, and to avoid falling asleep on my keyboard, I'm heading to bed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sporty Santa

Here are the Bucilla Sport Santa stockings I did for a customer over the holidays. I had never done these before and once I had started them I realized I had grossly underestimated the amount of time involved in sewing these. There's no way, just by looking at them, that you can even begin to imagine how much work is involved. I had consulted a seamstress who regularly assembles these for customers so that I could get an idea of how much to charge for my time. But, according to the time she gave me for how long it takes her, she must either be very fast at hand sewing or I am very, very slow. (maybe as slow as I am at getting my project photos uploaded.)

When I finally finished them I felt like I needed to celebrate, but everyone in my home was sleeping and so I had to be satisfied with a quiet little "Yay!" from myself and the satisfaction of a job completed. The customer was very satisfied and even complimented my stitching, so I was happy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Not a Survivor

(I originally wrote this within the first 6 months after my daughter's death. I didn't post it then, I don't remember why.  I...