Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer's Bounty

Of course these photos were taken a few weeks ago, right at the tail end of July when the summer really peaks in my neck of the woods, but posting in a timely manner is beyond me at this point.

I love the summer peak. When my flower garden is flooded with color.

Even the unmowed lawn looks lovely. A field of wildflowers.

And our garden is blossoming. My favorite is the Asparagus bean, just based on the lovely blossom it produces.

We went with raised boxes this year. The native clay soil was beating us down. And I knew weeding was out of the question for me this year. So far we're pleased. But when the plant does well it just seems to attract more pests. You win some and you lose some.

And of course my absolute favorite thing to come this summer....
fresh, ripe tomatoes. My mouth is watering at the thought.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Promise I've Been Sewing...

Well I wish I could share with you all the sewing projects I've completed this summer, but I can't. It seems that the best I can do is just complete them.

I turned 30 this summer. Wow. I don't like being in a new age bracket, checking a different box on surveys and forms, but I refuse to mourn. This is life, I'm living it. I'm 30 and that's young to someone else. Now I just need to befriend this someone else so they can make me feel young! =)

My husband threw a birthday party for me. It was wonderful and he did all the work. Good food, great friends and well behaved children (until they reacted to the ice cream cake like it was crack). Did I mention it was wonderful?

But I couldn't let this milestone birthday go by without receiving something handmade. I just had to make it myself. I treated myself to a birthday banner. I cut into one of my favorite fabrics, this navy blue with white polka dots. And then didn't even cry when I cut apart a stark white doily and sewed pieces parts randomly onto the exactly 30 pennants I had cut out. They were strung together with white binding. I hung it up on our porch for the party and I think I'm the only one who knew they were there. But that's all that counts. Of course I took lovely photos of them and then accidently deleted them. I'm too lazy busy to go back out there and get more photos to show you.

Then I put together a LOT of reusable cloth gift bags for the Christmas in July sale on Etsy. That was a bust. Not a single sale. But I got my items into a second shop around here! Hip hip hurray for cold calls.

I made a bag for my sister that traveled to Africa and back. Jealous.

I finished a quilt (queen size no less) for my other sister to celebrate her graduation from college (to be bestowed upon her this weekend). Not so jealous at the idea of going through college, but proud none the less.

I made two table runners and one baby quilt from the scraps left over from the queen sized quilt. Lets just say I have a problem with over estimating how much fabric I need. I still have a grocery bag full of scraps left over. I'm just so sick of the colors that I can't do anything more with them.

I am in the process of finishing 7 cute cloth color books for babies. I'm building up my inventory for a craft sale I'll be participating in for December.

On the not so glamorous side I also altered at least 13 cloth diapers. Boring, but yeah for having properly fitting diapers now and less leaks!

And of course on my to do list/pile is a lap quilt for a wedding present, a dozen or more flower hair clips and bobby pins, felt crowns for dress up, a purse/clutch designed just for me, and lots lots lots more reusable cloth gift bags.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sometimes It Really Is That Good

Something has turned recently, like a tide or the phases of the moon. It was slight and gradual each day, but all too apparent when I spent the time to look. I find myself coping with staying at home better than I did before. I question my decision less at the end of the day and spend more time just being here.

Don't get my wrong. I've still lost my temper with the three old at least once this week. She visits time out more regularly as the day wears on and the heat adles our brains.  And I still count down the hours until Daddy comes home. But I'm not resentful to be making dinner and still watching the kids. I don't feel the need to check out earlier in the day. I can make it a little bit longer. Of course all bets are off on Fridays.

And most of all, when they get to go visit Grandma....I miss them.
I start missing them before they're even gone.

I can see a little bit more now just how good things are.

A recent Saturday morning...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mommy Monday

I've been thinking about the value of a day. I read alot on Ashley's blog - Under the Sycamore - about how she wants to live intentionally. I guess I've had to read her vision of what that means several hundred times for it to sink in for me, because I'm starting to get it.

When I spent a recent day building a train set for a preschooler and staring into the eyes of newborn I found myself asking what the value of this day was. And immediately I knew that the value was just in me being there, participating in their lives. It may feel like I measure my days by the loads of laundry and sink full of dishes I am able to complete, but just because I'm doing "nothing" doesn't mean it's not worth anything.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Can't Believe I Finished!

Well this blog was started with the intent of posting sewing projects. So lets back up from mommy world for a moment, and take a gander at the latest finished project in my house.

This queen sized quilt is a graduation present for my youngest sister. I hope she enjoys it (and keeps it out of the dryer...hint...hint). I just can't believe I was able to start and finish such a large project with two kids in the house in just a couple months (to be fair I did the majority of the sewing on the days my mother in law was able to take one or both kids for the day).

I cut a lot of fabric for this quilt. A lot. So much that I had enough fabric to make a baby blanket, two table runners - all three are now assembled and pinned, waiting for a moment of sewing to finish them. I really need to get better at estimating my fabric needs.

There's probably another small project or two in the scrap pile on the stairs, but I'm starting to get sick of these fabrics and color scheme. Until recently the extra scraps were living in my preschooler's tonka truck, but they've been hidden (in the plastic bag) so I can stop picking them up off the floor every night!

Next on my wish list of projects includes some doilies. Yummy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Plans

I saw this post on Whatever and was inspired to make a family summer checklist too. I've seen Meg's summer list before, but this summer I'm at home with the kids and am really feeling the time fly by before I can grasp it. Last summer we had every intention to go camping and we never did. So this year, I don't want to see opportunities slip past us again.

My husband said "oh, it's a checklist, you'll like that." Okay, I admit I am a list oriented person, but still. He really did think it was a good idea though. And my preschooler loves it! She made me explain what each picture meant and then she spent the rest of the evening teaching daddy what they meant. She is a wonder to watch in action.

Well wish us luck. We've already checked off two and even did an extra! Can you tell we're outdoors kind of people?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Turning Thirty

So in just a few weeks I'll be turning thirty. I don't feel old as in  -life is over I'm so old - but more like - I don't understand teens anymore/I find clothing from Eddie Bauer appealing/I have children/am I really all grown up - old. The prospect of facing a milestone in life is making my mind wander with questions.

Am I supposed to know who I am by now? I feel so unsure of myself in this moment in time. This stage of life where I am staying home with my kids is still new to me. Who am I? A daughter, a sister, a wife and a mom. But those feel like labels. I know the things I like to do. I know what I have done in the past and wish for in the future. But what am I really capable of? Where are my limits and can I push them? What does my heart speak of when all else is silent? What does the future hold for me? Will I accomplish the things I hope for some day?

Of course asking questions just makes me feel more unsure of it all. But I suppose a little soul searching doesn't hurt every once in awhile. I know in the end I'll be turning 50 some day and I'll say to my daughters, I just wish I could be 30 again, just like my mom told me many years ago.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Find a Replacement Please!

I told my husband today that I feel irreplaceable, but not in the warm fuzzy feeling way.

 As bedtime drew near for a 3 year old who was as crispy as toast and I held a hot, sweaty, fussy baby I suddenly realized how intregral I am to them. I am irreplaceable in their eyes and hearts and yet all I wanted to do in that moment was escape. Not escape and flee the country house, just escape from their need for me.

Remind me that I said this when they are teenagers who view me as unnecessary. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some Sewing Has Been Done

I finished my second custom order for Seamingly Sarah. A cute little bag for a world traveler. I think this accomplished young woman (it's for my sister, I have to brag about her!) will enjoy it while trekking through Africa this summer!

But I may have been a fool to take on a queen size quilt too (since it's for my youngest sister, she won't mind if it takes awhile!).  I can find 5 minute increments to sew, but that takes a while to add up when the project is in the dimensions of 90" x 96"! Oy. Right now I'm stuck on what to do for the backing. I love to repurpose stuff and make do with what I have (i.e. whittle down my stash of fabric before another single piece comes into this house!), but I just don't have something that will work. I'll just dig deeper.

I'm feeling better about this whole mom-hood gig. I read something on Momformation (on that resonated with me...something along the lines that this is just a season. Similiar to "This too shall pass." But more like this is the season for playing pretend, dress up, nursing, making silly faces to entice a smile and nothing else. Yes, I feel boring when I recite what I did for the day to my husband (who by the way is my biggest supporter). Yes, I yearn to dive into my bin of fabric and not come out for days. Yes, I feel socially awkward at the thought of finding mom friends (that's a whole other post). But this is now and now requires reciting Cinderella or Beauty and the Best to my three year old and carrying around a chunky newborn (love her to bits and pieces). Tomorrow may be different.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Am I Cut Out For This?

I've been staying at home with  my two girls for two months now. I can't believe my littlest is two months old, time flies. But I can't believe I've only been doing this for two months, time is dragging.

I love to watch my kids interact. The baby gives her big sister the biggest smiles. And her big sister tries so hard to win those smiles. I love it.

But I'm exhausted. I know there is missed sleep from nursing at night, but I'm also exhausted from just being at home. I feel like all I do is laundry and dishes.

The past several days have been building up to a temper tantrum day for me. All these moments of a whining preschooler and my tiredness made me fabricate doubts. Doubts that I'm not cut out for this stay at home mom thing. And so today I flipped out on my 3 year old like I was a three year old myself. I even gave myself a time out. I felt like a giant ass. I asked God to give me a moment to remind me, remind me that I loved that 3 year old. And He did. We flipped on some music and all three of us danced our little hearts out. I sat on the floor holding my baby and my preschooler wiggled her way inbetween my legs. I held them both tight and just loved them. Thank you God.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Seven Weeks

My baby is 7 weeks old and I thought I'd be back to regularly blogging by now, but I'm not.

There's so much I want to write about. So many pictures I wanted to post about projects I was working on, but now are done. Such is life. There's so much I want to do, but at the end of the day I have done

1. laundry
2. dishes
3. fed both kids
4. clothed and kept clean both kids
5. changed diapers and assisted with the potty

This is my life right now.

I want to tell you about the birth. All three and a half hours of intense labor pains. The surprise and shock of how quickly it went really scared me. I felt so unprepared.

I want to tell you about the immense struggle I felt when I was faced with loving for two children at the same time....for the first time.

I want to tell you about the guilt I feel everytime I have to put the baby down to help my oldest. She'll never get the undivided attention my oldest had. That makes me feel inadequate.

I want to tell you that I quit my job. How scary it is to give up stability (and cheap health insurance) in this economy. But we're both really trusting on God (and our budgeting skills) to provide where ever there is lack.

I want to tell you how I wonder each day if I'm cut out for this. If I'm doing the best I can for my family.

I want to tell you about the countless moments I'm actively trying to savor with my newborn. This is our last and knowing that I'm really trying to breath in each moment. Each chin quiver could be the last. I love and drink in each one. Love it.

I want to tell you how I've seen my oldest struggle with the immediate decrease in mommy's attention and how I've seen her grow so much in just a couple of months.

So much to talk about and so little time. I just hope it doesn't take me another 7 weeks to start telling some of these stories.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Ultimate Mommy Monday

39 and a half weeks of pregnancy joys and pains broght me this

And we couldn't be happier.

My life is broken into 2-3 hour increments
I forgot how tiny newborn diapers are
Newborn burps are G-ross
The skin is sooooo soft
I'm surprised by the amount of love I have for both my daughterS
I LOVE saying "my daughterS"
I'm tired....naptime


Friday, March 25, 2011

Tip Week - Tip # 5

Thanks for staying me with this week for all the tips. National Sewing Month only comes along, oh, once a year I we should celebrate in style!

Tip # 5 - the ultimate tip of all tips...................

Keep sewing - or more accurately - keep doing what you love

If you love sewing, keep sewing, even if it's not perfect the first, second, heck one hundredth time.

If you fall in love with scrappy quilts - do it

If you become smitten with colors - explore

Follow your desires and keep going. I'm glad I do.

Much love to you all!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tip Week - Tip # 4

Tip # 4 this week comes from a friend.
I posted awhile ago about losing my pins (not marbles). My box of pins had tumbled on the floor and it always causes me some heart palpitations when I have a 3 year old running around at the same time.

Morgan commented that her grandmother used to keep a big magnet next to her sewing machine for such an occassion. A sewing tip has never been as welcomed! Thank you Morgan!

Maybe I can find an antique magnet to go with my antique pins?

Stay tuned for the final tip tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tip Week - Tip # 3

Tip # 3 is...



Ah, yes, the tedious, but sometimes worthwhile venture of getting out the ironing board and iron each time you create a seam. Burn fingers burn! But it really does help, especially when you crate patterned blocks that almost need to lock into eachother. The "locking" or lining up of seams and blocks is much easier when the seams are all neatly pressed down.

It is also beneficial for pressing darker seams away from the potential light fabric counter part. Lets say you sew a piece of white fabric to a piece of black fabric. Press the entire seam over to the black side on the back. Otherwise you'll be seeing the seam through the front forever.

But something I learned was you can do a fingernail press too, just to stave off the iron for a little while. If you don't want to get the iron out at each step, take your fingernail and press the seam down from bottom to top.

But if you do get the iron out, remember, you're PRESSING, not IRONING. So put the iron down and press, don't move the iron up and down like you're ironing a shirt. Don't ask me why, that's just what I've been told. Anyone care to elaborate?

Stay tuned for Tip # 4 tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tip Week - Tip # 2

The second tip for this week is:

Keep a consistent quarter inch seam
(or whatever width seam you're aiming for)

My first few quilts had blocks of all varying sizes because I would start out trying for a 1/4" seam and waver back and forth between 1/2" and 1/8" seam. I had one blue and pink quilt that I had to fill spaces in with extra fabric because the blocks were just so different in size that they would never line up.

Here is a horrible photo of said quilt, but you can see the pink strip on the bottom left hand corner. Yeah, that's a filler.

Beautiful color combo though, right?

Stay tuned for tip # 3 tomorrow!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tip Week - Tip # 1

So apparently March is National Sewing Month - or at least according to an article by a local quilt shop in the pennysaver.

So in honor of that I'm going to post a sewing tip each day this week. Don't hold your breath for anything magical. I just want to impart some of the first "aha" moments I had when I started sewing.

The very first tip I learned when starting out on this sewing adventure was ACCURATE MEASUREMENTS and ACCURATE CUTTING!!!! It doesn't get any better than starting with the basics. Of course my equipment was limited to sissors and my living room floor (and a general eyeballing technique), but eventually I acquired a cutting mat, straight ruler and rotary blade that greatly aided the entire process. The right tools helped me achieve this accuracy. Maybe this tip should be about the right tools? 

But remember, from the first cut you make to the last, keep accurate measurements.
Square up your blocks as you go and keep checking along the way.
Press down hard on the ruler and focus on a steady hand. Nothing brings a long and tired night to an end faster than letting the rotary blade slip every so slightly off course and ruining a piece of fabric.
Measure twice, cut once
(that one's curtesy of handsome husband)

 Stay tuned for tip # 2 tomorrow!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Home Decorating

Apparently my nesting instincts go beyond sewing and cleaning. I've been inspired to actually decorate my house lately, as evidenced by the very color coordinated room for Whirlwind and the soon to be baby.

Thankfully my handsome husband has been enabling my whims and has even agreed with some of my suggestions (yeah)!

He even went the extra mile to build me three frames to stretch these beautiful dish towels over. We're going to hang them in our bedroom (hopefully this weekend). I think they're just gorgeous (ignore the flash)!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I made Irish Soda Bread for the first time this week!


You can find the recipe here at the From Scratch Club blog.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Well after I finished Whirlwind's quilt and the baby's blanket I had all these scraps left over.

Since my bin of fabric is tucked away in the closet to make room for the bassinet in our room I'll be darned if I'm going to lug that thing out and put away these scraps. So instead I decided to start another sewing project (like the psychotic pregnant woman I am). Let's just face it....

My name is Sarah and I'm addicted to sewing.

There it's out and it's the truth. God help me (finish this project before the baby comes).

I'm thinking a scrappy lopsided log cabin pattern is emerging.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baby Blanket - Check

Look what I finished!

I've officially finished all the sewing projects I had set out to do before the baby comes.
And I thought perhaps this baby blanket would be a reach for me to finish on time.
But here it is in all it's glory and still no baby!
I did however skip the binding and just topstitched around the edge to save time.

As I approach the last week before my due date I get more and more physically ready to have this baby (i.e. cranky and achy).

On a sidenote Whirlwind keeps asking if the blanket is for her. I keep pointing out the beautiful quilt I made just for her, but she is in love with the stars on the back.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Don't forget that the flower accessories are 35% off at the Seamingly Sarah shop.

Shop now while you still can!

*****And if you're local (i.e. I can hand deliver the item to you) I'll even take off shipping******

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tah Dah!

Here it is, Whirlwind and baby # 2's room!

This is the growth chart I made them. It's what you see as you enter the room. I still have to write Whirlwind's past measurements on it.

And then this is Whirlwind's toddler bed (hand built by handsome husband himself). Quilt and pillows are supplied by moi!

To the left is the crib.

To the right is the closet turned dresser area. This is the least visually appealing part of the room for me, but we had to do it to make room for the toddler bed and crib. I would love a house with another bedroom, but for now this will do. And it will do just fine! I am on the hunt for cheap/free organizational boxes, but for now stacking and diaper boxes are the modes of choice. Such is a budget.

I am particularly proud of the pillows/pillow covers I made for Whirlwind. I used the scraps from her quilt. All I can say is: cute.

I wanted some new prints for the room, but with a limited income I didn't want to spend $$$. Microsoft Publisher and to the rescue!!!! I made this myself and actually ended up using a default font on Microsoft instead of one of the twenty I downloaded from All it cost was the price of matting at our local frame shop.

I made this banner for Whirlwind for her first birthday. It's been in her room ever since. If baby # 2 ends up being a boy, well he's just going to have to get use to a little pink. =)

The fabulous green walls are also courtesy of handsome husband.

I can't believe there is going to be a little baby in here soon. Swoon.

And it's little butt is going to be in these. I do not look forward to diapers again.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Magic Wand

Did I mention how rough Whirlwind can be on her toys? Forget getting her plastic, it'll break within seconds and sometimes even wood doesn't stand a chance. After breaking multiple magic wands handsome husband and I created this handmade magic wand for Whirlwind.

Don't judge me. You try cutting a star free hand!

Of course the burlier we make the toys the more chance they have to become lethal weapons in her hands. I may have to rethink any hard objects!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Does the To Do Pile Multiply at Night?

How is it that my to do pile continues to grow? And how does it continue to grow at a faster rate than my "done" pile? Oh right, I keep going back into my bin of fabric and pulling out all the projects I want to do. When will my brain realize I have a baby coming in +/- three weeks?

quilted canvas
black and white tree quilt (white binding is awesome - really makes the quilt pop!)


pillow covers for whirlwind from the scraps of her quilt (one down, two to go)

cloth wipes for baby # 2
baby blanket for baby # 2

(obviously the priority is the cloth wipes!)

Wish me luck this weekend. These projects need to get out of the way in order for the true nesting to take place.
(i.e. cleaning the base boards! are pregnant women considered psychologically insane?)