Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A jacket for Little N

I am still playing catch-up on posts, and this one is no exception. The coat was finished on September 13th.

Last spring, I made Big N a fleece coat with Clifford on it. Little N also wanted a coat, with princesses on it. I made the same size for both kids, so I wanted to finish Big N's first, to make sure it was done before it was too small. Little N was very patient, waiting for her princess coat. It also helped that we didn't wear coats for a few months.

The finished product is super soft and I think my sewing skills improved between the two coats.

Little N is in heaven when she is covered in princesses. If I could change one thing, I would have placed a different princess on her left arm to balance out the images a little better, but overall, I'm very happy with the outcome.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Baby K's sweater

I recently had the pleasure of going to a baby shower for my friend M. In honor of her soon-to-be-born baby K, I knit a very fast sweater. This is one of my go-to patterns and it seems to be a hit for all the new moms.

I also knit the buttons into the sweater. It is safer than sewing them on as far as I am concerned. The only way the buttons will come off is if the sweater completely falls apart.

For baby K

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sugar Cookies

Both the Ns and I made cookies on Saturday. The kids had wanted to do a rolled sugar cookie using cutters. I decided to try the recipe on the back of the last bag of sugar. I haven't found a sugar cookie recipe I really like, so this one appeared to be as good as any other.

There was a slight problem in that the dough was a drop cookie dough, not a rolled cookie dough. The kids were having no part of a drop cookie. They both wanted to roll out their dough and use the cookie cutters.

Little N hasn't quite grasped the concept of not overworking the dough, but she had a blast doing so. If it meant we didn't eat (or in this case, bake) half the cookies, she didn't seem to notice. Big N wasn't a fan of the sticky dough, but he was a fan of the edible cookies. As a compromise, we pulled out all the play dough while the cookies baked and all was right with the world.

I was quite happy with the flavor and texture of the cookies, so I will have to share the recipe before I toss out the empty bag.

Old-Time Soft Sugar cookies
Courtesy of the Fred Meyer bag of sugar

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
Cream together shortening and sugars. Mix in egg, followed by the buttermilk and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir into the wet mixture. Chill dough for about an hour. Drop by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar with cinnamon (or colored sugar) on top of the cookie. Bake at 400ºF for 7-9 minutes or until set.

I do not keep buttermilk on hand. The best substitution I've found is to pour your milk into a glass cup measure and add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, and you have a great alternative to running to the store for buttermilk.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Love letters

Shhh.... don't tell the office manager where I work, but I gave my son a pad of post-it notes out of my desk.

He is making great use of them, leaving love post-its all over the house.

I didn't know how much I could appreciate a pad of post-it notes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Big N and the violin

Big N has been taking the preparatory strings program at CWU and he's really enjoying it. He seems to find issue with the holding still part, but hopefully he will grow out of that at some point. He really loves listening to violins play, but prefers the music that also has someone singing.

Practice this evening

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great time with all our guests. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It snowed over the weekend and continued through Monday. Tuesday morning, we woke to 4+ inches. It has been an excellent week to take a few days off. While Big N was at school, Little N and I took the opportunity to play in the back yard. Little N is officially an excellent snow angel artist.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm slightly behind on this post, considering this is the week of Thanksgiving.

I made Little N's costume this year, perhaps I should use that as the excuse for not posting since August considering I've been sewing since August. Little N wanted to be a purple and pink princess. These are, of course, the only color options she would consider and the brighter the better.

I had a lot of fun sewing this. I had to research how to deal with the thin fabric that is the top of the skirt. The actual pattern called for tulle, but Little N picked out this bright purple and pink sheer fabric with stars on it. She was in love and there was no convincing her otherwise. It took me about a month of sample swatch sewing to finally figure out the best option for the hem and the interior seams. The seams show through, meaning you had to be careful in how you dealt with them. I ended up using a princess seam for the interior seams. The hem was a little harder to deal with. I first marked the 16 feet of fabric with a line to determine the edge. Then sewed just next to the line. After that, I trimmed the edge as close to the seam as possible, trimming off the pen line. Then folded the hem up and into itself, ironing the edge into a rolled hem. Another seam all the way around almost at the fold and the hem was finally done. The rest of the dress followed the pattern. I did have to add seams on the topskirt where the zipper opening was, where the pattern called for no seam on a tulle.

Little N is quite a slave driver, watching me sew and commenting on my progress as the gown came along.

"But, Mommy, you haven't finished my dress," was always the statement after she told me good morning and I had spent the evening before staying up way to late sewing. She was thrilled when it was done, as was I.

All in all, this is the most complex item I've made and I've had to put the sewing machine away for a bit. I'm a little crafted-out for now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mom at work

Some days are harder than others to be a working mom. Its hard to not see your kids all day and to realize how your own impact on what they see and learn is lessening every day.

Did the Feminists of my childhood lie to all of us little girls when they said you truly could have it all? I'm not sure if I have it all. I have a fulfilling job and the student loans to show for it. But, am I missing out on something more fulfilling?