Thursday, December 1, 2011

Odds and Ends Before the Weekend

Warning...this post is a little long and random...but read on if you'd like a snapshot of our week and the projects I have in the works.

I've been having a pretty productive week.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  A big part of it is that we haven't had all that much going on, so I've been home and able to get things done.  I realized a couple weeks ago, that even though Christmas was (then) over a month away, I have a limited amount of craft time when the children are asleep.  I usually get about 2 hours in the afternoon while the younger two are in their rooms for naps/quiet time before Firecracker gets home from school.  Then I get 2-4 hours in the evening after the kids are in bed, depending on when we get them to bed and when we go to bed.  Depending on how the kids are behaving on any given day, I can work on gifts for others while they're awake, so that adds some to my craft time.  I think the scarcity of kid-free time has helped me budget my time better.

Every year, I make too many plans for homemade gifts...and every year I run out of time for half of them.  This year, I've got some pretty ambitious plans for homemade gifts for Christmas.

My biggest projects are the kids' quilt.  I'm working on a bed quilt for each of them.  They all need one that fits their current bed...and I know if I don't get it made for Christmas, then it probably won't get done for at least a year or more with the new baby coming in March.  I could go buy them bedspreads...but the truth is quilting is my absolute favorite kind of crafting and I don't get to do it all that often.  Of all the many quilts I've made, Firecracker is the only one of my kids that has one I made, and I'd like for each of them to have one.

Here's a sneak peak at the progress on Firecracker's quilt.  I tried using some basting spray...and I am in LOVE!  It made the machine quilting to easy!  Now all that's left is the binding.

I've got Sweet Pea's quilt top mostly finished.  I'm hoping to get it basted (and maybe quilted) this afternoon.  We've got good weather for it...and it has to be done outside because of the fumes associated with the basting spray.

Sweet Pea will also be getting  a new fleece fitted sheet (click here for the tutorial) to coordinate with her new quilt...
...and her dollie is getting a mattress and matching fitted sheet for her bed too.

My mother-in-law saved me and picked up the last of the fabric I needed for Little Brother's quilt.  I didn't buy enough of the main fabric...and they were out online.  The box with it just arrived yesterday, so now I can start on his.

I've also been experimenting with some bead mazes for stocking stuffers.  Once I finish them, I'm hoping to get a tutorial and patterns up.

Yesterday, I finally tried a tutorial for printing onto fabric for some coloring ornaments.  These aren't finished, but this printing on fabric idea has opened up whole new possibilities.
Little Brother tried out the sewing machine for the first time.  I wouldn't let him use the foot pedal, so he hand-cranked his whole project.  I was pretty impressed at his patience.

Besides the two double layer fleece blankets (tutorial here) we made...

I also tried out the braiding technique on a scarf...hopefully a tutorial will follow soon...
I haven't actually worked on this project this week...but the painting experiments are coming along beautifully and I'm hoping to get some more done on them this weekend, so our mantel will have something happy to show off.
The more time I spend crafting, the less time I've had for actually writing about it.  I'm hoping to have some more coherent posts and tutorials up about these projects soon.  If there's one you're particularly curious about, let me know and I'll try to move it to the top of the list.

And if all this is making you tired to's made me tired to do.  I think I'll be going to bed early tonight.  And rest assured, the house has suffered some...The kids have watched more Toy Story than they should...

And while the kids have loved putting up the Christmas tree and ornaments...
...Our tree with three different kinds of lights (white, purple, and multi) and nearly all the ornaments 2 feet from the ground, is not going to win any awards on Martha.  We're going to buy new Christmas lights next week.

And the kids are loving the nativity least the two we've pulled out of the garage.

And I'm loving that our foundation is in.  They should start framing our new house next week!!!

Last, but not least...I've made a few tiny changes to my blog which you may or may not have noticed.  I added a little Favicon which should come up instead of the blogger icon.
I've also added the little "Read More..." link if you read my blog from my general blog page.  I've debated about doing that for a while.  I don't particularly like having to click an extra time to read a post I'm interested in, but this allows for easier browsing, since a lot more posts will appear at the same time.  Any thoughts from you?  Love it?  Hate it?  Indifferent?

 And in one last piece of blog news...November 2011 was my highest blog traffic month yet.  Yeah!!  My biggest months before this always came when a particularly good project was featured on a couple of "big" blog at the same time.  But November was just a regular month with regular projects, so it was a nice little surprise to see so much traffic.  Of course I know the only people I really need to impress are my husband and three little kids, but it's nice to know there are people out there who find what I share useful.

How as your week been?


  1. I'm really interested to see how the painted nativity went! The Nativity is the one Christmas decoration I haven't really figured out yet. The sneak peek of the one you painted looks awesome though so I'm excited! I'm also glad that the fisher price nativity has lasted so long :) I might have to buy that next yr for Baby L's first Christmas.
    I will try and post pictures of projects soon.

  2. I found your site while googling felt food (huge fan too) and love it. (now your newest follower) I too do a home-made Christmas and this year am making the kids quilts. I just finished my little mans monster quilt which will go up on our blog next week, am breaking for some smaller projects and will get back to work on my 5 year olds purple flowers quilt!

  3. Hooray for so many beautiful projects...I have some too, but they are all still in my head...ugh. The progress on your new home is thrilling. I would love to learn more about basting spray. I've never heard of it before reading your post. And I have a quilt project to get started on after Christmas for a certain little fellow who will be arriving in March...


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