Monday, March 12, 2012

Striped Crocheted Beanie

I recently was asked to make a brown and green beanie. I really enjoyed a smaller project I could do while sitting on the floor with all the kids playing near by. This beanie was made with Simply Soft yarn so it is machine washable. I worked it in rounds from the top down with double stitches. Then I finished it with a few rows of single stitch. It is basically an adult version of Luke's hat. Both of the girls want one now and kept asking if this one was for them. Even though they have numerous Mama made hats I think I'll make them some striped ones. Maybe next fall since our cold weather seems to be about over already for this year.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project Simplify: Week 1 Kids' Stuff

Tsh over at Simple Mom is spring cleaning and organizing four hot spots this month. First up is those pesky kid spaces. It is funny how quickly craft supplies, books, and projects can multiply around my house. I definitely needed the motivation and weekly goals to keep me accountable and working towards completing some of these trouble areas so I decided to join in. I also have a little extra job. We will be moving into our new home in about three months. I really want to organize and reduce our stuff before packing and taking all the mess into the new house. Further, with three kids running around I am trying to pack a few boxes a week to make things easier this summer. So what two areas did I tackle this week?

First was Sydney's desk area. This is the only area that is just her's. Her sister is only allowed at the desk when invited. This means that all prized possessions get put thrown on the desk for safe keeping. Between school, church, Awanas, and projects at home this desk quickly gets lost. So with her help we went through everything. We wanted her to be able to use the desk again so only her radio and a couple pictures were going to be kept on there. We hung up a couple favorite pictures and projects on the cork board and the rest either were thrown out or filed in our keepsakes for last year. As you can see things look much better now. We will see if she can keep it that way.

The second area was this area of their bookcase. These four cubbies are supposed to hold art supplies that they are allowed to use any time like coloring books, sketch pads, crayons, markers, stencils, etc. It is also for their small but growing collect of Korean books. No wonder they can't find the pencils they want to use without help.

Although it took a bit longer, I had both girls help me. First we took everything off the shelves. I had Violet organize all the pencils, crayons, and markers while Sydney picked out which coloring, sticker, activity books she wanted to keep. I helped her narrow down a bit more and then we put all her books up high and all Violet's on the lower shelf so she can get then herself.

It worked well to tell Sydney she could keep everything she wanted as long as it all fit in a magazine holder. It also is making clean up much easier. They will each put all their books right back into the holder and back on the shelf. I noticed that they are using them more now and Sydney has been reading her Korean books more these past couple days. I think that while the kids have trouble keeping things simple and organized they really like to be able to see what is available, are more likely to play with it, and have an easier time picking it up. I'm thinking that we need to do a major simplification of all their toys before we move.

How do you keep kid's toys and stuff organized? Any tips or tricks you can share? Next week is all about the kitchen and/or pantry if you'd like to join in.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Picking Quilt Fabrics

Picking out fabrics for a new project is one of the most creative steps and one of my favorite parts. As I look at different possibilities of fabrics and colors I try to imagine what each will look like in the finished quilt. How will the colors, values, etc. play off each other to help the quilt come alive? Quilts are like a piece of art where the fabrics are the artist's paints so things like composition come into play. I do not have an art degree but with an artistic husband who has an eye for design and many friends who are artists, I have learned a thing or two along the way. I can't always tell you why something works but I can usually tell what I like. So I try to keep playing with fabrics and layouts until something 'sings' then I just try to trust my gut. It is a little risky but in some ways all art is.

With all that said I recently picked out fabrics for two new quilts. The first picture is some charms squares cut out of blue fabrics from my stash with a little bit of yellow thrown in. I'm trying something new so we will see how it turns out.

This second bigger stack of fat quarters is for a commissioned quilt. I'm so excited to make it but I am still a little unsure about the fabric placement. I think I need a little more time to play with them or maybe a second opinion. It is a design I've never used so it is harder for me to visualize the finished quilt and I think that is part of my hesitation. I have loved the Swoon Quilt pattern from Thimble Blossoms ever since seeing it. It is so gorgeous. This is the first time I have purchased a quilt pattern to try. I have used tutorials and free patterns online. The blog community is so generous. I have also sketched my own ideas and sort of made my own patterns for different baby and toddler size quilts. I am really looking forward to making this quilt and of course I loved picking out fabrics to use. Any excuse to buy new fabric is good in my book. I will keep you updated on my progress with both of these projects.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leap Day Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to everybody who commented on the Leap Day post. It was so fun reading all your comments and meeting so many new bloggers. A big thank you to Elizabeth at Such a Sew and Sew for hosting the giveaway.

Without further ado the winner of the yard of fabric is Lisa Cox. I have sent you an email Lisa.

I really enjoyed participating in the giveaway. I see more giveaways in the future here. What are some of your favorite things to win? Do you prefer fabric and supplies or finished products? Have any of you won things in the past?