Saturday, October 31, 2009

Costume Pics

Here's Silje with tons of make up, and we with no make up at all...on the internet.


Both the kids changed their mind, and grabbed different things then planned out of the dress up bin. David is a lion (and he roared quite effectively at everybody.) Elias was Eeyore, and a very sleepy Eeyore too, since he didn't take a good afternoon nap. Silje decided to be a black cat, and I pulled out the face paint for her.
Silje was upset that she had to wear a coat over her costume, but Elias and David both had costumes that fit over their fall coats. Knut and I gave her a long list of all the costumes of ours that were covered by winter coats throughout the years, and how she was now a part of a long line of children in our region who spend hours deciding what to be, only to have it covered by a coat. Surprisingly, it did make her feel better!


Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Just What's Goin' On

Look at this big boy eating his grilled cheese sandwich.

Laughing at that silly camera.

We've been experimenting today with some furniture arranging. Up until now, we've spent little time in our living room, and it has mostly been a storage place while we were working out other storage plans. Lately, we find ourselves hanging out in the floor in here quite often. There's not really toys in this room anymore, and no t.v. or other distractions. It's just a warm, peaceful place.

Our plan is to save up for furniture for this room, and we should have enough saved up by next winter. Until then, I was talking with Knut today about moving up the furniture from the basement. It's so old and in pretty poor condition now, so I was a little afraid that if we moved it up it would be a permanent fixture. Knut had been thinking the same thing, and suggested we just move up the sofa, and leave the love seat down in the basement by the t.v. So he and I moved it up. Good thing I've been working out my arms with a really heavy baby! A sofa is no big deal after him!

This was the layout I had going on in my head. I think I'll be tweaking it for the next few weeks, and adding some pictures to the wall, since new furniture that we'd get would pretty much be in the same layout. Unless I completely change my mind, which wouldn't be unheard of!

We've lived here for over a year now, and it's probably time to start going through all these pictures for the walls! After the living room is finished with furniture and a completed fireplace, it will be onto the dining room...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things just have to get done

As I've said previously, Elias has been very busy lately. We've never childproofed our house much. I remember when Silje was a little crawling baby, and I actually sat, pregnant with David, by the stairs in our old townhouse and repetitively taught her the word "no." Some things were put out of danger, but we were determined to house proof our child, not childproof our house.

Ahh, the wisdom one has when they have one child.

Now I have 3 children, and I'm out of ideas. This house has such an overwhelming multitude of things to get into, and I've tried to teach Elias, and he does listen about 80% of the time which is good, but that 20% could really hurt him.

Such a sweet baby.

So now that I have 3 and a dog, I'm constantly pulled in all sorts of directions, and can't keep up with Elias every moment of every day as I was when Silje was this age. Then yesterday, when I was trying to put things away, and started moving the pack n play back upstairs, I thought, "this is not just a portable crib." There is play in the name, isn't there?

So Elias spent some time yesterday, with me in the kitchen.

'Cause I have work to do, and I'm sick of staring at these dishes.

At first he looked at me with terror like "I have to take a nap in the kitchen? I'm not even tired!" But then I plopped in some toys, and then he really got happy when I blasted some fun kids music. It was a party now! David thought it was so cool, and they spent a lot of the time touching each other's hands through the mesh.

Now, if only it was a novelty today. Time for a fresh batch of toys in there, I guess.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Skippin' Over Fall

Well, the fence around the roses is put up. Winter must be around the corner.

The roses have been cut down, and soon they will be covered with dried leaves to protect them from the harsh cold.

Although, it feels like we skipped over fall. The leaves never changed at our house, which feels like a complete shame. We got that one really cold spell, and the leaves just died without beauty. Then the wind came, and blew all the dull brown leaves to the ground. No oranges, reds, or yellows this year. Just blah beige.

At other times, it feels like fall hasn't even started. They are doing bouts of combining, like today. Germination tests on the soy beans are currently being done at some seed lab to see if the soy beans dried in our drier are any good. We're crossing our fingers, and bringing it in and drying it at very low temperatures very slowly...just in case.

And the corn is just sitting across the road, not appearing to be in any hurry at all.

Meanwhile, inside, I have all the pink diapers cut out and snapped. Now I just have to sew them up. I plan on working on them tonight and tomorrow night, and finish up the pinks. Then I'll just have 4 more colors to go.

Maybe I'll blog more later today...but there's chores to do, and I have time to do them!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not Sleeping and Other Happenings

I laughed to myself as I gave advice to a friend of mine with a little baby on sleep. Ha! Like I have it figured out. Elias has gotten up at least 5 times each night for the last 2 nights. He just finished getting 2 teeth in, so I would think he's not getting more, but I could be wrong. He's not getting up to cry, or to play. I don't know how else to describe it besides "wild!"

He doesn't stop moving. ALL. DAY. LONG. He only wants to play with things that are dangerous, and he always wants to be held, but as soon as you pick him up, he leans way down to try to reach the something on the floor.

He gets up at night, and I take him back to our bed to nurse him, but he hates being in our bed now to nurse. He just thrashes, and giggles, and kicks, and bites. When I pick him up to bring him back to his room, his feet are in constant jumping motion the whole way. It's 3am, Elias. Give it a rest.

And the noise. He wants to be held all day, and if I set him down, he screams. He's outgrown his baby carrier, so my arms are getting really, really strong. But now, he likes to "talk" loudly when I carry him around. It's mostly just "Ahh. Ahhh. Ahh. Bababababa dadadadidididi." Ending with vigorous kicking and my arms.

So this morning, I was having a tough time pulling myself out of bed. Knut was good enough to get the kids started on breakfast while I was trying to convince myself the Bible study was worth the effort to going to today. When I came downstairs, I saw that Knut had set Elias on the kitchen floor so he could have 2 hands to cut some yummy apple bread for the kids' breakfast this morning.

So, to give you a picture with words, since I had no motivation to descend another flight of stairs to get my camera: Elias had completely emptied out the tupperware cupboard, the pots cupboard, and most of the pan cupboard. He had taken several plastic grocery bags out of the drawer, and was playing with the handtowels in that drawer. All the while, experimenting with his vocal range and abilities. Silje and David were fighting over something as they almost always are these days, and there was my sweet husband, who saw me come downstairs from a long night of attempting to sleep.

"I need to go to work." Knut said.

But fortunately for us, it seems that the kids don't gang up on us all at once, or we would surely fall. David has been doing so much better. I don't know if it's the fact that he is no longer 3, or that he and Silje get a break from each other 3 days a week. The sweet boy actually offered to clean the basement for me the other day. Yesterday he raked leaves with Knut, and then Knut said they had the best time racing their bikes up and down the driveway.

However, while I was trying to fall asleep after finally getting Elias to sleep again I heard David walking down the stairs. I got up and creeped downstairs myself and found him in the basement playing cars. When asked what he was doing, he simply said, "Just playing, Mommy." With Elias crying so much, he thought it was time to get up. He looked very relieved when I said it wasn't morning yet, and very willingly went back to bed.

Silje continues to be her bright, insightful self. She sees things most people don't notice, and is listening to conversations all the time. I pity the person who leaves the news on in the background. She WILL ask you about every single story. That balloon boy hoop-la had her worried sick for hours. She was practically in tears going to bed that night, because we had still not heard if he was found. She will ask you what a sex offender is, she will ask you about a bill being pushed through congress, and she will ask you what your doctor's final diagnoisis was. So word to the wise--watch what you say around her! ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and pretty much got upset at everybody a some point. There. I said it. I am a happy, cheery person in the morning, especially Monday mornings.

I do not consider buying fabric/yarn/patterns or drool over them on the internet while I already have too much going on in my sewing room. No, it is not an addiction.

I do not secretly get excited when Christmas things show up at stores way too early, and I have not walked up and down the aisles looking at everything and drinking it all in. It's not even Halloween yet, for crying out loud!

If I agreed for all of the kids to have a flu shot when Silje was in for her boosters before school started, and was told that they needed to have them all come back in a month for another installment, I would not not bring them back because I got busy, and then decided that I don't want them exposed to Dr.'s office germs. Every time I bring my kids to the clinic this time of year they all get sick.

I did not let David start watching cartoons at 7am this morning. Well, if you got up as early as I did, handle the cranky kids who were up too late last night, and up WAY too early this morning, and you were coming to your breaking point at 7am, you might not let him watch cartoons either.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The First of Many

I made the first diaper for my sister's twins. I normally work in more of an assembly line fashion, doing a bunch at once. Normally, though, I do just one "tester" to work all the kinks out before doing a large batch. This one is the raspberry with the burnt orange snaps, like she picked. Isn't it sassy? I made one final change, and switched to the La Di Da diaper pattern instead. The information and resources in the pattern were too tempting, and plus, I think that pattern itself has all the things I liked about the other one, but a bit more contoured. This is an all in one (AIO) diaper, so no pieces come apart. No pins, no rubber pants. Just this. It goes just on like a sposie. I'm learning I'm more of a fan of pocket diapers, where the soaker comes out for washing, but I think if I had twins, I might go this route too.

It has rows of snaps so it will grow with the babies...until they get to a medium.

As you can see, this is a small. Aren't the size tags neat? I feel so professional. The top stitching isn't quite so professional. I'm using just plain white polyester thread for all of the diapers, and I didn't think that on the colored ones you'd see any crooked stitching. Most of it is straight, but when sewing around the snaps, the presser foot keeps running over them, and it gets a little tricky. However, I'm confident that I'll figure out how to do it in my sleep. down.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saving Money on Groceries

Well, I try to blog everyday, but I've been at a loss as to what to blog about, and after talking with my mom this morning, she suggested I share some of my money saving grocery shopping tips.

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say, and as we get further on in the month, our meals get more and more creative. I'll start it out by sharing my beef stock recipe. I don't know if you could call it mine. It's different every time, and I rarely measure anything, and often just go by what I have on hand. Don't make it complicated. Beef stock is a yummy version of beef broth that can be used in soups and sauces, etc. The main difference between a stock and a broth is a stock has many more flavors in it as it uses vegetables and such in the mix.

Yum...this is the pot I had going last night. I needed the stove top space, and since my pots can go in the oven, I just had it continue simmering in there.

Gretchen's Beef Stock

Get your biggest pot, and put in a few beef bones from the grocery store. They are often labeled soup bones, and very cheap. Then wash but don't peel carrots. Chop them up into chunks, and plop them in. I do about 3-4 carrots in my pot. Then do about the same amount of celery if you have it. You'll want at least 2 onions, coarsely chopped. If I have more, I'll put in more, but I like at least 2. Put all the papery peelings in the pot and everything. You'll want to do the same for about 2 heads of garlic. Paper stuff and all. If any part of these vegis are rotten or dirty, discard. Otherwise, stick every part of them in. Then add some spices. I like to put a couple teaspoons of whole peppercorns, and sea salt. Sea salt is the best for stocks. Then I'll put a small handful of twigs of fresh thyme from my thyme plant, and a few bay leaves. If you have parsley, throw some of that in too. You could add really anything you particularly like after that. Some spices that I don't use that you could are basil, chili or maybe even mustard seeds. I don't know...whatever you like. I just like to keep my stock multipurpose. I can always add different spices to whatever it is being put in.

Then fill the rest of the pot with water, and let it simmer for at least 3 hours. Let cool, and strain everything out, so you just have the stock (liquid) left. I then divide the stock into 1 cup portions in Ziploc baggies, and freeze. Sometimes, if I'm really trying to stretch it, I'll save those vegis etc. that I just boiled, fill the pot with water again, and try to get some more stock out of them. If the stock turns out lighter than I like second time around, then after I strain, I'll put the liquid back on the stove and boil it down to a color I like.

If the vegis remaining have any flavor it it left at all, you did not use it enough. You'll want to throw out everything that you strain out because it's tasteless. If you are tempted to eat them--you didn't used them enough. That's just my cheap, ahem... I mean thrifty opinion.

You can do the same thing for Chicken broth by using chicken bones instead of beef bones. Sometimes when I cook up a whole chicken, I just don't clean the bones as good as I should, and throw it in the pot with some vegis for chicken stock.

Just beware. My family CAN tell the difference between the store bought stock and homemade stock pretty easily. Knut always frowns when I use the most expensive stock I can find at the store in a soup. He sighs and says "You used the store bought stuff's just not as good..."

Other grocery tips:
Other than making my own stocks, I garden, which saves money on vegetables. As far as everything else, besides buying in bulk, like I addressed in other posts, I rarely use coupons. Instead, I buy generic. For most things, that is. I find there is rarely a difference. I do buy brand name Oreos when I splerge on them. When we splurge on pop too, which I'll address later. I find that when I got nuts on the coupons, my grocery bill shoots way up. It's because I'm buying stuff I don't need because I have a coupon. It's called marketing, people.

Make a list at home of everything you need, and stick to it like crazy when you get to the store. You'll be shocked at how much money you'll save.

We also nix most junk food. We usually only have Diet Coke for Knut during busy farm times, but other than that, we rarely have pop in the house. We rarely buy chips, but instead buy nuts or pop popcorn fresh when we need something salty and crunchy. And we don't do the microwave popcorn anymore, but buy a big bag of kernels, and pop it up in a popper. Way cheaper. (Well, nuts aren't really cheaper, but they're much healthier.)

We buy the cereal in bags, and pour it into those Tupperware things for cereal. Although, I encourage everyone to eat oatmeal as much as I can because #1 it's more healthy, #2 it's so much cheaper, and #3 everyone in my family loves oatmeal, if it has brown sugar crumbled on top of it. Yum! And buying a canister of oatmeal is about half as cheap as getting the pre-seasoned little packets. I used to buy those until I did the math and found out I was spending at least 2 times as much, and have you seen how much sugar they put in those little packets? Wow! Knut thinks I use a lot of sugar, but it doesn't even compare to how much is in the little oatmeal packets.

Knut usually makes eggs with a ton of vegis in it in the morning for his South Beach diet thingy. If he has oatmeal, it has to be the old-fashioned kind.

We don't buy a lot of juice, or use Koolaid. Sometimes as a special treat. I'm not against either of those on any level. I just don't think they're the best use of our grocery money. Instead, we spend our money on actual fruit, which, again is healthier, and cheaper. Kids can have a cup of juice and get their daily value of fruit and sugar in one cup. But then they're still hungry! However, if they eat a whole apple, they have their fruit, their sugar, and their snack all rolled into one. A glass of water on the side is even better. It's funny how cheaper and healthier hold hands a lot.

We still have desserts, but try to go for homemade ones as often as possible. We get apples and rhubarb for free, so we take advantage of that. However, as much as Knut likes things like brownies homemade, often the box mixes of those on sale are cheaper to make in the long run. (although maybe not as tasty.) But even that will be cheaper than buying brownies ready made.

Another huge money saver for us has been our bread maker. I think I priced it out, and every loaf of bread on our bread maker costs us about $1. Try finding a great loaf of bread for that at the store. The really nice ones are usually around $4! That was an awesome birthday present for me one year. I did used to make my bread in the oven before, but if I ran out of time I'd pick up some bread at the store. It never tasted as good, and everyone, including me, would complain. With the bread maker, I have no time excuse.

I'm not saying that I never buy anything pre-made, or get my kids the classic junk food that's out there. Our kids aren't forbidden from those things, but we try to keep those things for special occasions, like road trips. You wouldn't believe the amount of junk food that we consume on a road trip. It's just not a lifestyle for us to have wheat thins and licorice on hand on any given day.

So what do we eat for snacks? Like I said, popcorn, nuts, and then there's banana bread or apple bread, fruit, slices of cheese with crackers, left over desserts, no-bake cookies, regular cookies with lots of milk on the side. We usually have ice cream from those big buckets that are from local dairies and really yummy on hand. Once or twice a month I suppose I'll have to admit you can find a box of Little Debbies or Oreos in our house. But normally not that often, and I hide it from the rest of the family. Knut is nice enough to share. I'm not. Wait, it's not Monday. I shouldn't be confessing.

If you have any other tips, feel free to leave it in the comments! With everyone tightening their belts these days, we all could use them! So what is your favorite money saving grocery tip?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Elias Update

Do you know there is so much going on with this little guy that I can barely keep up with him?
He just got 2 more teeth the other day. They just snuck in! That brings him to a grand total of 8 teeth!

He says "mama" and "dada" and of course "baba" (his multi-purpose word) and likes to make any kind of noise in general.

He is on the move and has places to go. I'm finding it much more difficult to have a baby crawling in this house than our tiny little townhouse in the city where the other 2 learned to crawl. In this house, there is adventure at every turn. I chase after him a big portion of every day. He is learning the word "no" and obeys it about 80% of the time. I'd say that's pretty good for almost being one.

Can you believe it? He's almost one! Just a few weeks away, and he'll get to smear chocolate cake all over his face.

He's still the flirt of the family and coos and bats his eyes at any female within range. He's got the cutest laugh too. He's ticklish really anywhere on his torso, and especially so around his neck. If I were to describe his laugh it would be a "gut giggle." It's so cute!

He's also able to sign a little bit. He'll say "more" and he likes to clap. Whenever we try to get him to sign something, he just tries to say the word, though. I think he's more like David that way. He just wants to skip to the real thing.

He prefers finger food to baby food. He just hates being fed, unless it's something he can chew. If I cube up whatever we're eating and lay it on his tray, he'll make sure everything goes pretty close to his mouth. Lena, his faithful companion, has claimed her spot under the highchair during meals. Smart dog. It's less to clean up for me, so I let her. Everybody's happy that way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The 80

This last Sunday after Sunday school, church and then watching the Vikings winning yet another game and Knut's parent's house, and before our evening Bible study, we squeezed in one more fun activity. We headed out for a big extended family picnic out at the 80.

I know it's called the 80 for "80 acres" but I'm not sure if the park is 80 acres, the field next to it is 80 acres, or if them combined is 80 acres. You know when you meet someone for the 6th time, and you can't remember their name, but you're way beyond asking what their name is, so you just pretend that you know? It's like that with me and the 80.

The 80 isn't accessible by road. We drive on a dirt road known only to the family as "that dirt road past Ruth and Jerry's old place." (And yes, if you come to visit our farm, those are the directions you will be given.) And we park on the side of the gravel, and the farm's 3 pickups were waiting on the field to shuttle people over the the park.

The kids really liked this mode of transportation! Uncle Lars' girlfriend, Molly was able to come, and the kids always like that!

Here they are, holding their camping chairs, and ready to go!

The 80 is situated beautifully under some old oak trees and overlooks a lake.

We were bundled up, but really, it wasn't too cold.

All of Knut's cousins who were in town came, and we really make quite a group. It's amazing to see his grandparents who are now in their 90s walking around with their walking sticks like it was no big deal. I have a great picture of Knut's grandma, but she has forbidden me to show it to anyone.

Knut's aunt has a sister-in-law who has a severe form of down syndrome. Her name is Dorothy. As Dorothy's mom is getting older, she's spending more time at her brother's family's house, and coming to family functions like this. At 50 years old, she doesn't speak, but at the beginning of this picnic, she picked me to stand and sway with in a hug for 5 minutes or so. It was so sweet, and I'll have to admit, maybe my favorite part of the day.

Knut's cousin, Daniel, found a forgotten decoy, and gave it to David. David has enjoyed it so much, and doesn't understand why we won't let him sleep with it.

Elias' buddy and second cousin, Trygvie was there, looking all big and 1.

His baby look seems to be disappearing as "toddler" seems to be taken over.

We had hot chocolate, (although some preferred milk;) ) and roasted hot dogs over the campfire.

"Mommy, I think my s'more could use, well some more. I think something is missing."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I was not too lazy this week, to give all the kids a good bath Saturday night so they can all be clean at the same time for Sunday. I then did not proceed to pick wax out of their ears as I saw fit all day Sunday. I never once heard: "Eeewwww, Mommmmmy!!"

I did not join a woman's Bible study for the last few weeks, and only complete about a day of homework. I completely know how awesome Bible studies are and don't waste that valuable opportunity. Further, I did not promise myself to work on Bible memory and write out a few cards to work on, and then proceed to work on it for 2 days...3 weeks ago. I am not the queen of good intentions.

I did not sneak coffee three times this last week, after weaning myself off of it almost 3 years ago. No, I do not have an addiction, no, it is not a problem, and no, one of my friends could not tell simply by my jittery voice on the phone that I had snitched some coffee I should not have had.

I do not have dirty laundry on my floor in the bedroom that can actually be dated by the fact that it hasn't been in season to wear for a few weeks.

Silje and David have not been out of clean socks for 2 days now, and I did not spend 10 minutes searching for a pair of acceptably clean socks for Silje to wear to school today.

And lastly, I did not leave the ironing board and iron out all weekend long in a place in the laundry, ahem, I mean sewing room where it was constantly in my way. I did not walk around it, move it, curse it, and then finally this morning, take the 3 seconds it takes to put it away. That makes no sense at all, and I always do things that are efficient and logical.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tutorial: cutting out a pattern

Can I just say I love that I learned about this automatic post feature? I never get to post on Sundays because I'm usually near the computer that day. So I'm programming it to publish when I'm not here. That's just so cool!

OK, I know this may sound like a dorky tutorial. But listen, if I would have known there was an alternative to cutting out patterns like the way I was taught in jr. high sewing class where you take your paper scissors and cut out the thin tissue paper, tearing it accidentally as you go, and then pinning the thin tissue paper onto the fabric, and then taking the sewing shears and making little jagged cuts around the tissue paper, I would have caught an even bigger sewing bug long ago.

When I started sewing diapers, my online diaper sewing friends strongly encouraged me to get a self-healing mat and a rotary cutter. Little did I know that investment would spur on other sewing adventures. I have a large mat that covers the top of my chest freezer. I use OLFA rotary in a 45mm size. I find that to be the most multi-purpose.

We're not cutting diapers today, though. We're cutting p.j.s for part of David's Christmas present. (Shhhh! Don't tell him!) He was so sweet the last time I made him pajama bottoms. At the time I had been working on one-sized diapers for Elias, and pj's for Silje. When he saw the boy flannel, he assumed it was yet something else for Elias. When I told him I was making something for him, he got so excited he jumped all around my laundry...ahem...I mean sewing room. The little sweetie loves homemade stuff.

I'm showing you this method on a Kwik Sew pattern. I'm going to try not to infringe on any copyrights or anything, and only show you partial pieces of the patterns. Kwik Sew patterns are a bit more money, but in my opinion, are worth every single little penny. I try to catch them at a half off sale usually. They come on actual paper, not tissue. I think their patterns are a bit more stylish, and less boxy as some other brands are. But that's just my opinion, and I don't get patterns exclusively from them.

The lady at the fabric store taught me this method, and I'm so thankful. She has saved me so much money and headache in the process. First, you'll want to unfold the pattern you're working on. It's recommended that you iron the paper so that it's more accurate. I'll admit, sometimes I don't.

Then you take some non-fusible interfacing. I buy the cheapest, thinnest stuff I can find for usually .99 cents a yard. This one happened to have a light graph on it, but it doesn't have to. In fact, my favorite stuff doesn't have it. You'll want to trace with a Sharpie just the size you want. For David, I'm going with an XS. (This is pattern 3604 by the way.) The beauty of this method is you don't cut the actual pattern. If I want to make him pj's again next year, I just trace the next size up on some new "pattern fabric." The hard copy of the pattern is actually never cut.

I transfer as much of the information from the pattern to the pattern fabric as I can. I usually write the pattern #, the piece #, the size I'm cutting it in, the grain, how many pieces to cut, and any notches.

Then you simply take your rotary, and cut out your pattern. For my own clothes, I can easily drape and pin this pattern onto my dress form, and adjust the pattern right there before it even touches the actual clothing fabric. It's pretty handy.

So here's a piece cut, and ready to go.

I'm making these winter pj's out of flannel. Just a friendly reminder, when you are making clothing, preshrink your fabric. Do a zig-zag stitch on all the cut edges, and throw it in the washer and the drier, at the hottest setting they go.

What I love about this method is you just lay the soft pattern on the fabric, and it just kinda "sticks." I've never had a problem with shifting (except with silky fabrics, but I rarely sew with those). Again, you probably should iron your fabric. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I'm pretty lazy. When it comes to diapers and pj's I figure it's going to get wrinkled anyway. When it comes to quilting or making a bag, I will pull out the iron. This is where I am so not like Martha Stewart.

Then just cut along the edge of the pattern. If your cutter isn't going through the double layer fabric, it's time to change the blade. Apparently, a dull blade will ruin your mat.

I leave the pattern on the fabric until I'm ready to sew. With as many interruptions as I get in a day, I try to get a pattern cut one day, and try sewing on a different day. In fact, while I was cutting this pattern, I was interrupted 2 times because it was nap time, and David kept crawling into Elias' crib and tickling him without mercy. You should have heard it on the monitor. I wasn't sure if I should be angry or crack up laughing.

And here's my stack of pieces, waiting to be sewn up. I like to leave my sewing room with a nice stack like this, so that it's immediately inspiring upon return. Sometimes I leave the room in frustration, but I try not to. If I leave with a tedious job to return to, I may avoid this room completely for weeks.

With my interruptions, cutting this out took less than 30 minutes. (OK, I didn't time it. But it went really fast!) The quickest way to fall in love with sewing is a bit of instant gratification. Break it up into steps, and pretty soon, you'll be done. If I waited to sew until I could finish it from start to finish, it would never even start.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Product of Delayed Harvest

They say good weather is around the corner...

And I hope so...

Because otherwise...

I think we might not have any woods behind our house left.

Yes, Knut. I think our new wood fireplace might be set for awhile.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Silje's Hair

There is a topic of utmost importance that Knut and I are trying to decide on. Silje's hair. I love her long hair with her soft curls. I've always said that as long as she lets me brush and take care of it, I'll let her have it long. Well, she still lets me, although she is starting to ask, quite often to get it cut short.

To show you what treasure we're talking of, here she is. She paused for a moment, mid-dance for this picture.

And here is the back. Don't be distracted by the fairy wings and crown.

She begged us to let her cut it before school started, but we just couldn't bare it. I told her we'd talk about it again at Christmas. Well, she's bringing that up, that Christmas is around the corner, and she still wants it cut. If it were up to her, she'd cut it about shoulder length.

Both her grandmas feel strongly about this, and in different directions. of them won't like whatever we decide. I've always said that Silje can have her own style, as long as it's modest. In our culture, at least, hair length is not an issue of modesty. I can't help but feel that I'll have an emotional breakdown if we go ahead with a haircut this Christmas. She's only had her hair trimmed twice, both around Christmas time. This last time, she was pouty because I wouldn't cut more off.

On one hand, her hair is beautiful, and I can braid it about any way and keep it out of her face nicely. On the other hand, maybe her curls will really take off if her hair is shorter, and it will be even cuter. Maybe when we cut her curls off, they'll never come back.

On the other hand, are we allowing her beautiful long hair to become a part of her identity? Would it be better to help her focus on characteristics that matter more like compassion and integrity? I'm sure her hair is long enough to donate. If it turns out not quite as cute (because Silje simply couldn't not be cute!) couldn't she just chalk it up to experience and decide she likes her hair longer in the future? It is just hair, after all. Right?

I'm not sure what to do. I would like some opinions please! Please Please Please leave a comment, and tell me what you would do to her hair and why. I fixed the comments so you don't have to have a google account to leave a message anymore. Anyone can do it. So don't be shy. If you have any ideas as to what kind of haircut, if we take the shorter route, we should do? I could really use some input.