Monday, May 16, 2011

Lots of Attention!

S went to school last week and was the talk of the school for a day.  Why? Because I told her teacher about her new dress.

Usually I do not brag about my work (except perhaps to friends, neighbors, sewing circle pals, etc ;) This day, however, I made an exception because I was really bragging about S.  She has been bugging me forever or at least since we bought this fabric to make her a dress.  I did make both girls tunics using this fabric and pink t-shirts, but S has grown out of hers so she was really wanting another.  I told her to draw out the dress she wanted and the dress above was what she drew.  I was really impressed since I had been wanting to make something like this ever since I saw a similar dress made out of knit.

When we went to school and the teacher told her how beautiful her dress was, I made sure to tell her that S had designed it.  At the end of the day, when I picked S up the kids were on the playground.  While I waited for her to finish up playing, I heard at least two groups of adults talking about S's dress and how she had designed it.  I was so proud!!

I just hope her next design is as easy to make ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gotta ♥ NJ

I thought last week that perhaps I would have to scale back the Gotta ♥ series because I was running out of things to love.  You know how once something becomes the norm, it is hard to see the goodness in them.  I mean it is still good, but you lose that wonder or that desire to talk about it because you assume everyone already knows.  That is how Germany went also.  I raved about it for about a year or so and then it just became our lives.  I thought NJ might be losing its sparkle after just a few months.  Then a couple of things happened and I am back to thinking this is a pretty cool place to live.

This week I would like to focus on my redneck side.  I have one, ya know.  I am from Tennessee.  You can't help but have some redneck in you if you are from there.  Nothing over the top, just a little love for things not quite hip.  I've heard that NJ has its fair share of rednecks, but we live in a pretty yuppy town, so we don't see much of that here.  I also assume that NJ rednecks are like those people on Jersey Shore.  I could be way off since I have never seen the show. I am just giving you my impression.  Anyway, I got to let my redneck side out this weekend when E put up the...Tire Swing!! (in the front yard, no less!)

In Texas we had those pesky things called Home Owners Associations (HOA).  I mean, I got "reminders" about my driveway needing a cleaning or the fact that I dared to put a bench in the front of my house (so I could sit and watch my kids play).  The "reminders" were quite annoying.  I, being from TN, totally understood that the point was to keep people from putting cars up on blocks in the front yard or putting out a flock of flamingos (I've always thought that was sort of funny though).  But the HOA took itself a bit too seriously in my opinion.  I mean, limiting the height of play structures in your own backyard. Please.

Where we live now, houses have been here for 50+ years.  People buy them, renovate them, change the neighborhood.  There is no HOA.  And that means that I can have a tire swing in my front yard and that my family and I can INTERACT with neighbors while enjoying our currently wonderful weather.

So, I gotta love NJ for mature trees and no HOA's!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...

Normally, Wednesday means something about New Jersey.  Today, though, we have some special, exciting news. What you may ask. SEWING.  Yes, it has been a long time.  When we moved we had lots to do.  Then, to be honest, I didn't want to make anything that would clutter up my already cluttered house.  I mean there are so many cute things on the web these days like this mini-tent on Sew Mama Sew, but really it is just something else to put in the girls' rooms or heaven forbid, the family room downstairs that I just can't justify making it.  Add to that the cold weather up here that has prevented the girls from wearing dresses and you wipe out almost everything that I sew on a regular basis.

It was hard not sewing because that was one thing that gave me a feeling of accomplishment.  Yes, I do have two beautiful girls and a wonderful husband, but really on a day-to-day basis they are my reason for complaining not for smiling.  Sorry family! That may sound awful, but it is sadly true. After I stopped sewing,  I didn't know how to get back into it.  I had no circle of encouraging friends (nearby) and no real goal.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I pulled out a quilt that I had meant to finish for Father's Day LAST YEAR! I don't remember what prevented that from happening other than a lack of time, but it didn't get done.  Well, I pulled it out and started working on it.  That feeling of peace that comes from sewing finally came back to me.  Yay! I started looking on the blogs again.  I even found some inspiration.

So yesterday, while the girls were at school, I stopped working on the quilt (so hoping to get it done for this Father's Day) and made a book caddy for A's room.  Her room is really one of the worst in the house.  It is so small. (It would be a great sewing room.  In fact, if we stay here that long, I see the girls moving downstairs and me having that room ;)) It doesn't help that we still have the changing table from Germany which is larger than an American changing table.  We also still need a chair in there for story time. With S we just sit on her bed, but A is still in the crib.  There is also a HUGE play kitchen in there that worked great in our big Texas house, but not so well here.  The girls still love it though (seriously probably the best gift we have ever given either of them!) Anyway, the point is she has so much and her room looks awful. There is no room for a bookshelf, but she is soooooo into being read to right now.

I saw a book caddy on a blog that utilized those curtain rods that have two parallel rods.  It looked great and was mounted along side the bed.  I would link to it here, but I have no idea where I saw it now.  I didn't want to buy anything else and I didn't really want to put anymore holes in the wall either. So, I made it a little differently and mounted it to the side of the crib.  I do see A getting out of the crib sometime in the future and if we still like the caddy then we can do the curtain rod thing.  However, with this design we only have to get a curtain rod that has one rod.  I assume that is cheaper.

Here is the the caddy without books...

 And this is it with the books in it.  Due to the design there is a good 6" of unused area that the straps take up.  On the original, that did not happen because there was no need for straps.  However, I like that all the materials were in my sewing room.  I especially appreciate that as there is no Joann's or Hobby Lobby around here.  I have been told though that there is a Fabric World "nearby" but I haven't checked it out yet.

Hopefully, this is the first of many new projects.  But no promises!