September 6, 2008

  • I’ve been working on…


    …domestic projects of late!

    Last Saturday was a day at home, and since my cleaning is done on Monday, bills and bookwork on Wednesday, grocery and errands on Thursday, and laundry on Tuesday and Friday (just ask me about my new organization rampage sometime!!), there  remained nothing left to do except “play!”  So play I did…

    Ben’s sister, Beth, happily surprised on by coming down for the weekend to visit all of us! We had so much fun seeing her again! To celebrate her coming home, the Yoder family spent the day together on Sunday, and I brought the dessert for lunch…


    Pies still make me nervous when I make them, so please bear with me as I gloat just a little in the fact that I made three from scratch  including the crusts. Whew. That’s huge! Sour Cream Apple Crumble, Pecan, and Coconut Macaroon, to be exact.

    Along with all the other “domestic duties”, one of them is ensuring that my young, exloring daughter does not take in more than her share of minerals… For some reason, this is her favorite place to play in the deck! She can have her little bucket of water and some toys, but oh no, in the dirt and pots she wants to play…


    She always sits with her legs crossed like this – and it just tickles me because her legs are still so chubby they hardly will cross each other! But in the highchair, in bed, playing with toys, reading books – it must be the most oh-so-comfortable pose for her!


    A few weeks ago I was at Goodwill and found an adorable red and white sundress – in women’s size 14. Earlier, I had read about the idea to make a little girls’ dress from Goodwill finds, so the idea is not original with me. Just have to clarify that one. I love to copy other brilliant (and cheap) ideas.


    I was so excited when I saw this little dress take form… Until, that is, I tried it on my  daughter. Or rather, attempted to try it on my daughter. I hadn’t used a pattern or anything, just tried to eye-ball it. Which is not a very good idea with a very growing child. The adorable little dress would not even fit over her head! One the second attempt, I was able to slide it down over her wiggling, squirming, chubby body, but once it was on I was afraid I would have to cut the thing down the side to get it off. I think I was almost as clausterphobic as she was at that point – and greatly disheartened. I’m not a big-time seamstress, so for me to try to do this was a Big Attempt…

    So, I tried again. I think I have enough of my dad in me that makes me stick at something even when I’m frustrated to death…


    Zoe’ was having so much fun pulling ribbons and whatnot from all my sewing boxes.

    And finally a new dress emerged, still without a pattern, but this time sewn while the baby was awake, thus resulting in lots of fittings every few minutes…




    A little ‘embellishment’ to hide the seam in the middle of the red sash.





    I’ve been busy practicing piano to play at the wedding of one of my childhood friends…  My cousin, Cherie, recommended some music from Yanni, and I have just LOVED playing those pieces!! So fun to play again, it’s been a while since I’ve just sat and played every day for a substantial amount of time…

    But I’ve found that it’s very difficult to practice with a one-year-old! If I practice when she’s sleeping, she’ll often wake up. If I try it when she’s awake, she bee-lines over to the piano and wants to play too. So we have a little lesson – learning where Middle C is. I have a feeling we’ll be repeating that lesson for many years yet…

    (Her cheeks look like chipmunk cheeks because we had to give her chips to keep her happy for these pictures. We’re not indulgent parents. She was just tired. From all the dress fittings.  )



    So, sometimes during the course of that Saturday, I can’t remember the order of events, I decided that curtains need to be make for the two curtain-less bedrooms – the guest room and Zoe’s room. Ever since we moved here two years ago we kept thinking that we’d buy our own place and move. Soon. But it still hasn’t happened, so I decided that It. Is. Time. these rooms have curtains. There is something so warming about curtains. I remember I learned that from my friend, Bek.

    Ben and I helped Jeremy & Bek move when we still lived in PA, and I was so amazed when, on the day of the move, Bek put up curtains throughout almost the entire house. But as soon as they were up, I understood why she did. It brought such a cozy feel to the house, even though it was new and not lived in yet.

    So after two years in this house, I’ve finally remembered that. :) And it was just like I remembeed. I wasn’t sure if I’d remember much of the curtain-making skills I learned from my sister-in-law, Mary Jo, but it came back, little by little. I did go for the more simple styles, though, just to, well, simplify things.

    The curtain fabric for Zoe’s room was all given to me by a friend from church who has a window treatment business. These were just fabric scraps she was giving away, so I made two identical curtains for Zoe’s  bedroom.


    In the bedroom…


    And in the guest room…



    This was the day for the sewing maching to show out…

    A dress that Zoe’s been wearing has been getting a little short, but I wasn’t ready to tuck it away yet. A bit of tulle under the skirt should do the trick and lengthen it just  bit.




    I found this dress at Ross for $13.99, or something very cheap like that. I wanted just a little bit of length on it too, so since tulle seem to be the thing, well, this dress got it too



    But I thought something seemed amiss with the 2 red buttons. Either they needed to come off, or else there needed to be more red. So, we did this…


    But now I’m thinking maybe it’s too much red?? Maybe have some feedback on that??


    So that’s the extent of the sewing factory right now.

    A few things around the house…

    A Pottery Barn chalkboard that I picked up for a few dollars at the outlet a long time ago – cheap because it was missing the stuff to hang it up with. 99 cents at Walmart fixed that problem, and made me wonder why it’s been hiding in the closet all these months…


    A view from the galley kitchen looking into the dining room. The baskets on the wall are ones I got free from the Pampered Chef party I had at my house in July! I was so excited and happy about them! And grateful to the people who came to my party and (should I come out and say it??) bought things! These parties always make me feel a little bad, because people have to buy stuff so that you (the hostess) can get anything free…


    In the kitchen (photo was taken on the counter, but I usually keep it on top of the frig)… A wooden coca cola box  Ben and I found at a flea market in Savannah once upon a time. Was great to hold all kinds of garden goodies this summer, and I have visions of using it at a cookout with checkered napkins and salties filling the two compartments. Any other ideas?


    And this positively makes Ben blush with shame, because he thinks I did a terrible job on it. I found these two brass candlesticks at a garage sale, and thought I could paint them white for a shabby chic look. Well, I was in a great hurry hate to take so much time on little things, but I didn’t even dust them off properly or prime them before I spray painted them. Therefore, if you look veeerrryy closely, you’re see speckles of dust under the paint. And Ben can’t stand a half-way job. But, dust speckles or no dust speckles, they now adorn the dining room table.



    And now I’m projected out.

    And very VERY excited about the trip to see my family and go to Liz’ wedding in less than a week!

    Happy Saturday to everyone!










Comments (22)

  • your ideas are genius!  i really like that chalkboard…and the tulle looks great on both dresses.

  • What an inspirational post! I love your ideas and the way you mix things together….I think your house looks absolutely beautiful! I’d love to see it!

    have a wonderful week!

  • You are the cutest thing ever! I enjoyed this post. You’re a very creative person… (sighing enviously)  =]

  • Hi! How are you?

    Just thought I’d drop by and “say” hi. Your little girl is sooo adorable!

  • *sigh*
    i’m gonna be just like you someday when i get big…
    i can’t wait wait wait to see you in less than a week!!!!

  • thanks for sharing your projects! I love all your good ideas. If only I had a sewing machine, or could sew….. I am the same way with painting things. Doing it the right way takes such a long time, and I am so impatient to finish things quickly!

  • Oh, oh, oh! Your talent in the sewing department makes me positively green with envy! I love what you did to your dress (the red looks good), Zoe’s dress is ADORABLE, and the curtains . . . well let’s just say that if you lived anywhere close, i’d hire you. I’m always envious of your bargain-hunting skills too! Please teach me how to bargain hunt, ok? I hope to see you for a teeny weeny bit at least when you come, but we’ll have to work it out just right ‘cuz we’re leaving too. ::tight hugs:: can’t wait!

  • You are so creative and clever.  I wish I had a knack for fixing up things and making them look good again.  Great job on the curtains too.   Jeff sounds a lot like Ben.  He is such a perfectionist when it comes to things like painting.  If things can’t be done exactly right, then they’re not done at all.

  • oh, that`s just fun to see what other moms do with their creative genius! i loved looking at all your stuff you did.
    someone just told me lately “beauty is what you do with what you have”!! i love that and that is so you! i just love to see the cool things you can do and be resourceful…
    i especially loved the chalkboard and the little dresses for zoe. :) super cute!

  • by george! i think you done got enough of comments for one day. . .!! and i STILL think you should disconnect your phone, because after all, why rack up the bills if you don’t even use it?!!! i am at the verge of climbing pertaining to a surface higher than myself right now–tree-wall-person…okay, so maybe it’s called a *mental breakdown*. [i've been studying til the cows get home]. . .just finished 7 hours of med study- and a long way to go!! oh, & it didn’t help anything that one of my close friends got married today [sniff]. . .my current, emotional equilibrium is rather scarifying right now. so i just thought i’d warn you before you come– that your sis is turning into a medical dictionary!!! :(

    . . .but we can still hang out over coffee. . .ok?! c-u soon! =)

  • so many things to comment on… the dress for Zoe’ is adorable!!!  And I love the curtains you sewed. you’re welcome to sew anything up for me when you get the urge! =) the pies look very good. its so fun doing all that domesticy things. =)  have fun w/ your family.

  • You have such lovely taste!  Zoe’s dress is quite adorable…sorry about the trials.  That cutting and not meausring sounds like exactly what I would do.  I’m just not sure I’d have the gumption to start all over again.  And I love the curtains, too, especially the ones in the nursery. 

  • Ditto to what Thelma said. I really like the curtains and may borrow your ideas to dress up the windows in our rented house(at least if we find out whether we’re staying for another year). ;) Cheers!

  • Wow! Impressive.For now I’m rather in “survival mode”… maybe someday I’ll get creative again. But for today… I just want to get the bathrooms cleaned!

  • Gotta echo all the above comments!! And I still want that chalkboard. :) Tell Ben that the chabby chic look is okay with a few imperfections. In fact, often imperfections add character. :) Thanks again for that delicious meal yesterday. Was superb!!!!

  • absolutely amazing! when i get a house of my own, i’d love to do projects like you do. alas, i don’t do such things now, so i prob. wouldn’t in the future either. anyway, love all the dresses (including the red belt w/ the red buttons), the curtains, & knowing that creativity such as yours is still existant.

  • Just wanted to thank you again for the delicious meal yesterday.  Such a class act!  What a priviledge to be the first ones whose menu was posted on the new chalkboard!  See ya~~

  • @Yoderfamilyof5 - 

    @justcallmeM - Was a pleasure to have you here!

  • I LOVE the curtains you made for your little girls room – did you have a pattern?

  • @RICHK1200 - I didn’t have a pattern, but I just measured the window and added several inches on each side, and then figured out how long I wanted them, and mounted them on a board to install them. I think the curve part could’ve been more curvy though. They were really very simply curtains to make because the top part doesn’t have to be finished because of the board mount, I just sewed the different fabrics together in strips, then sewed right sides together  leaving the top open - it would be more complicated if you’d finish off the top for a rod or something.

  • You will see my footprints all over your site…Sonya sent me here to look at these curtains – she is coming to help me decide what I want to put on my windows…;) Thanks.

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