500 Something Post Giveaway

Here’s a preview of the giveaway before I begin to ramble:

I sometimes feel that I’m constantly saying “no” to my children.  This is especially true when we’re out shopping.  I’ve gotten them trained to not ask for things much when we’re out…or at least they’ve learned not to bother.  The answer will be “no.”

The bad thing is I want so badly to say “yes.”  I’d love to say “yes.”  I want to shower my children with all things good.  However, if I say yes to one child, not only do all the other children with me perk up and start asking for things as loudly and frantically like a nest of baby birds, but the child who I said “yes” to sees it as a free ticket and asks for more things.  The only thing I can do at that point besides fill my house with junk and spend hundreds of dollars on it, is to say “no” every time one of them opens their mouth, or forbid them to speak at all, which never works.

So I’ve learned the trick to showering my kids with good things is to get them things when they’re not with me, and surprise them with that good thing when it’s just the two of us.  Then I don’t get the whine “but I wanted that one!  Why can’t I get this too!  I never get anything fun!”  Instead, I get “You got this for me?!  Wow!”

See the difference?  Yeah…never buy your kids toys at the store.  I wish I could, but the sense of entitlement comes out so fast before I can even get to the checkout.  When I present them with something at home they feel so special that I thought of them.

So I spoiled Silje down in Phoenix with something that probably should have been a birthday present, but I couldn’t help myself.  I was out shopping by myself (gasp!) and they just found their way into my cart.  Crocheting this year has proven to be a bit too difficult for her at this age, so I thought we should do some sewing instead.  We did a few ornaments at Christmas, but honestly, they didn’t turn out that well and I completely lost steam for the project.  You know…having a baby and all.

Isn’t it such a cute little basket?  Even better, I found a little sewing kit with pink things.  A little pink pin cushion, pink seam ripper, everything.  We started working on a counted cross stitch bookmark together.

I told her at the beginning that it may take us months to finish, so she could expect it to go slow.  I’m surprised how patient she is about it.  She needs help with every. single. stitch.  So I have to sit right next to her the whole time to help her, which I think is her favorite part about it.  It’s just “us” time.

See and Sew: A Sewing Book for ChildrenI picked up this book using Swagbucks on Amazon, and thought it would be fun to work through it after we finished the bookmark.  Then I got the idea for my giveaway.  I wanted so badly to make something for the giveaway, but my load is so full.  Still, I wanted to do something to show appreciation for you readers.  So I’m delegating the work.  I’d like to get one of you sewing.  Or get your daughter, granddaughter, or that girl at your church sewing.  In my dreams, I’d love to inspire one of you to be Candy (my sewing mentor as a little girl) to someone else.

Now, I wish I could afford to giveaway the full basket that I did for Silje.  However, as blogging is just a hobby, I have to limit myself.  Here is the giveaway package that could be sent to your house:

It’s the children’s sewing book, just like ours, with the gorgeous vintage inspired illustrations.  It has little project ideas for little hands.  Silje loves to sit and go through this book and has all sort of projects planned that she has little time for…just like her mommy.

Also, the pink sewing kit that Silje went bonkers over.  It’s not the basket, but the accessories.  It contains the pin cushion, scissors, pins, needles, thread, a seam ripper, pink tape measure, hem ruler thingy, and a tailor’s pencil.

Lastly, you’ll need some material to inspire a project like Silje has her bookmark.  I got these 3 fat quarters as a gift with purchase from a quilt shop, and although they’re gorgeous, I don’t have a project in mind for them.  I have enough projects in mind to last me a good 5 years straight or so, so I don’t have room for fabric without a project.  These could make beautiful doll clothes, or little stuffed animals, or a cute little apron.  (I’ll stop there with the ideas or I may change my mind and keep them.)  I’m throwing in this spool of ribbon from my stash because I think it goes well with the color palette. 

All you need is a little basket to store it, and you have everything you need to teach some hand sewing to either yourself, or someone special in your life that you’ve been meaning to spend some quality time with.

So here’s how you enter.  I’m going to borrow some ideas from my friend Melissa‘s 500th post because I thought it was fun:

1) Follow me.  Leave 1 comment saying that you do. 

2) Leave 1 comment telling me what one of your favorite posts was.

3) Leave 1 comment with a question that you would love to have me answer in the blog.  I’m not saying I will answer all of them, but I’ll probably answer a few.

4)Put a link to this giveaway and a comment about it on Facebook.  Then leave me another comment to tell me you did.

So, up to 4 ways to enter.  You can do all 4, or just 1.  You could technically do none of them, but you’re not going to win that way!  Please leave one comment for each entry, so that it’s easier to distinguish the winner using an online random number generator.  In one of the comments, make sure you leave your email address or blog address so that I can somehow contact you if you win.  If I cannot contact you, I’ll pick again.  Comments/entries will be closed next Monday.

I just want to say a quick thank you in advance to all you readers.  This blog is a lot of fun for me, and mostly because of the comments and feedback you give.


  1. says

    I am a follower! My little girl would love to get this as a gift. She’s about to turn six, and loves it when I sew her something. Now maybe I will be inspired to have her try sewing. Thanks for the chance!

    jenniedean at hotmail dot com

  2. says

    A question for you… it seems we both have the homeschooling and sewing thing in common. But you are one step ahead of me with the garden. We’re trying our hand at a small vegetable garden this summer in our small, suburban neighborhood yard of practically nothing. I would love to go bigger on a piece of land being offered me if this works out. But with three small children, all I can think about is how to accomplish the maintenance of a garden with such little ones in tow. What do you do? How do you keep them from pulling the veggies with the weeds?

  3. says

    I love all your Homeschool Friday posts. I actually look forward to reading them each week. Many times I am inspired to do something new with my own kids. My favorite so far has been the one from 2/18 about The Year with Miss Agnes. I headed straight to the library the next day to check it out! too bad the painting project didn’t go over near as well with my kids!

  4. says

    I haven’t been reading your blog very long, but I have enjoyed all your homeschooling posts. I’ve got a few good ideas from what you’ve been doing with your kiddos that I would like to do with mine too.

  5. says

    I put a link on facebook, now I just need to friend you too. THanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures of your beautiful family and everything else that keeps you busy. :)

  6. says

    Some of my recent favorite posts have been the Pharisee edition and the one where you talked about the salesman trying to convince you to buy the puke colored couch.

  7. says

    Maybe you already “talked” about it, but can you tell us the story of how you and Knut met?
    (If it was at a bar or some seedy location you don’t have to…)

  8. says

    I haven’t been following you too long, but I love the posts on homeschooling, but I think that my fav so far is the Shopping for a Friend post you recently put up. It is so great that you have a group of friends who will do that for each other and the bowling pattern is just so cute! (If I win I can use the fat quarters to make it with my daughter! Fun!)

  9. says

    You have probably answered this already, but I would love to know a little bit more about what got you into home schooling and what were some of the obstacles you encountered (like lack of family support etc.) and what you did to combat them. My husband and I are seriously thinking about it, but it is a HUGE decision to make!

  10. says

    I am a follower…
    There, I admitted it!

    I have been teaching Amelia to sew and I think she would love this book! I have not seen it yet.

  11. says

    My favorite post was your grandmothers flower garden quilt tutorial.. or paper piecing.. not sure what you called it! Your quilt for Silje. It inspire me to make my first quilt ever for my baby boy. I LOVE his quilt and loved making it. amd have you to thank for his heirloom!

  12. says

    Your blog is new to me so I will need to spend some time exploring. I liked this post because I have a girl who just turned 11 and she is interested in sewing. I will see if the library has the book and the bookmark idea is great! sue.momof3@gmail.com

  13. says

    Question: When do you find time to sew? The only time I seem to have is from 8:00pm to midnight. It’s fun to create and have time to myself, but the next day I’m exhausted!

    Bonus question: Do you scrapbook too?

    dfrazzled (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. says

    Favorite Post: Solveig’s birth story. I love hearing about how babies come into this world. Each one is so special and needs celebrating!

    dfrazzled (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. says

    I decided to close my FB account, so I can’t post there anymore. I will ask someone I know to post instead, if that works for ya!

    Thank you for the giveaway. It’s fun to read your blog.

    dfrazzled (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. says

    My favorite posts are the ones that you show what you have been knitting. I found you on DSD and we were in a stash contest together. I liked looking at the different things that you knitted up. I crochet, but not knit, so I love to see others work.

  17. says

    I love your post about the red knitted Annie dress. I LOVE knitted dresses unfortunately I do not know how to knit but hopefully one day I wil have time to learn. I also love your cloth diaper posts

  18. says

    Thank you for the chance at this give a way. I just got a sewing machine in hopes of getting my girls and I an education in the fine art of sewing. So far I am not getting any where. Maybe this can get me started. Thank you for doing this and inspiring others to sew.

  19. says

    I love reading what you post – however – I hate admitting how long it’s been since I have seen you guys. Love you both – Andrea Perry

  20. says

    A question…. How do you pronouce Silje’s name? I have been wondering ever since you posted about Silje’s Sweets onthe divas.

    walawton at hotmail dot com

  21. says

    Favorite post…. I really enjoyed readin Solveig’s birth story but I also enjoy all your yarn alongs. It inspire’s me to try some new things… I love your annie dress and can’t wait to see your new pattern!

    walawton at hotmail dot com

  22. says

    Dear Gretchen,
    I would like to know how Silje gets through the Rosetta Stone Chinese pronunciation of words. In our Russian one, my younger kids get very frustrated because their answer has to be the perfect pronunciation, or else the program will not accept their answer, even if it is correct. Since they do not get it correct, they are not able to pass that level because they did not get 90%. I have decided to take a break from Rosetta Stone for a while with my two younger kids because it is so frustrating for them, and I don’t want them to hate Russian because of it. What do you suggest? Does Silje ever get frustrated?
    Thanks for this giveaway.
    Love, in Christ,

  23. says

    I liked your blog about the differences you felt in friendships in the Cities versus friendships here in the rural parts. You wrote about how you missed being more dependent on others when you lived in the Cities and how you were so much closer to others there. Friendships here definitely take more time to develop into a deeper level…people are just not very open about personal things, especially weaknesses. I hope things are growing deeper in your life with friends (and family, too, of course). Love, in Christ, Elysia Larson

  24. says

    A question… Do you have any fun sewing with kids projects in the works? I’m always looking for age appropriate, fun sewing projects to do with my girls. (It’s so generous of you to offer this giveaway! Some lucky little kid is going to just love it! I know my daughter would love it. She hasn’t asked for her own sewing basket yet, but I’m sure she will some day. It’s just a matter of time until she get tired of sharing my supplies!)

    monique at sewmeagarden dot com

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