About Me

South Louisiana
I have been married for 20 years to a great husband and we have 8 children ranging in age from 1 to 18 years. I am a homeschooling mom, which can be very challenging. I love sewing, knitting, reading, gardening and have recently started oil painting. I love to create. I really want to have a blog to show off some of the stuff I create, but I also want to share about my life and family. email me at ctrich8@bellsouth.net

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Festival Internationale

On Saturday, my four girls and I went to Festival Internationale. This is a yearly festival in Lafayette, Louisiana that celebrates different cultures. Chad and the boys had all gone camping to celebrate my nephew's birthday, so we were alone for the night. We went with one of my best girlfriends and her 2 girls. Her hubby and boys were at the camping party too. It was kind of overcast, but was nice until it started raining. Luckily we got most of our day in before the rain started.

Here are the girls, minus Ava, from left to right: Sydney, Isabella, Shelby, Savannah and Samantha in the front. Sydney, Isabella and Savannah are mine : )

Ava pushing my purse around LOL She wore her new Ginger Blossom dress : )

They all got their faces painted.

Samantha showing off her Mardi Gras mask, notice the feather on the nose LOL

It is always interesting how much the dynamic changes when they boys are gone. Much quieter and calmer around the house LOL No one is constantly picking on someone. I am not saying my boys are the only ones picking, my girls definitely do their share. But for some reason, with the boys gone, there wasn't any teasing or fighting. When we got home, we relaxed, got ready for bed, watched a movie, read for a little while and went to sleep. Not one drama to deal with. Ahhhh, so nice for a tired mama : ) When the boys got back Sunday afternoon, life was back to normal LOL It was a nice break. I really am ignorant to how alot of sibling rivalry goes. I only have one brother and he is almost 5 years younger than me. We were both quiet, bookworm type kids, so even though we had our occasional fight over which tv show to watch, for the most part we got along and quietly pursued our respective interests. Life is VERY different in a large family (what an understatement) LOL MUCH noisier and lots of different personalities to clash with each other! For the most part though, I love it, it is just kinda nice to have a break from all the craziness sometimes. If anyone watches the tv show Brothers and Sisters, this is what I envision my life to be like when my children are grown LOL Just the way they get along with each other, not the soap opera drama! Even with all of the teasing and arguing, I know my children really love each other and would never want to be without their siblings. They must, they keep wanting me to have more babies LOL

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ginger Blossom dress for Ava

Sunday afternoon, after I finished my top, I cut out a dress for Ava. I used one of the new Ginger Blossom fabrics. I think it came out really cute. It is a fairly easy pattern. I thought about putting a pale yellow ric rac around the edges, but decided not to. I may change my mind later and add it anyway.

I used a different technique for gathering the skirt. I can't remember where I read about using dental floss, but I have been wanting to try it. Basically, you take a length of dental floss and zigzag over it where you want to gather. The first time, the zigzag was too wide and too long. This made it to where the fabric wouldn't stay gathered. So, I shortened the length to 1.0 and the width to 4.5 and it was perfect. I guess because the floss is slick, the fabric gathered extremely easily and quickly. It was awesome, I usually HATE to gather fabric because it can be time consuming and you have to be careful to not break those darn threads. This was a breeze! From now on, when I have a large piece of fabric to gather, I will be using this technique. I gathered the sleeves the usual way because they were so small and the two rows of stitching gives you a little more control. In the picture, I hadn't shortened my length and width yet, so your zigzags should be closer together.

The dress fits really well, I made a size 2. Here she is modeling it. She was in rare form this morning. I did have to give her a Rice Krispie treat, but as soon as she had it in her hot little hands, she was posing all over the place LOL

Please excuse the mess in the yard and my horribly unkept flower beds : )

She dropped her half eaten rice krispie treat in the grass, so here she is getting a new one in the kitchen.

Oh, and I used two vintage buttons that I got on my St. Francisville trip. They matched the yellow in the fabric perfectly. I love old buttons.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another Project Runway top

This is Simplicity 2927. You can also add short sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves or make a dress instead of a tunic. I chose the sleeveless tunic. I found that it went together very easily. I really love this fabric, I bought it several years ago for $1.50 a yard at Hancocks. I used a green fabric for the button and the mock piping. It fits really well, I made a size 12. The only thing is the top back wants to poof out a little, I think I may go back and add darts on each side of the zipper so that it fits to my body. This would also make an adorable dress!

I also used my narrow hemmer foot for the first time. I wish I would have tried it sooner, I love how the hem came out. It wasn't perfect, but like anything, the more you use it, the better you get. I used this tutorial from the Threads website.
There is lots of great sewing information on this website, I also love the magazine.

So far I am really loving the new Project Runway patterns, I have several more to try out : ) They are very stylish and give you lots of different variations.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I REALLY hate to clean my house!

After my lovely and relaxing weekend, I sort of ended up extending it into the week. I did school with the children and basic household chores like dishes, but really let everything else go. Well, it is scary what letting everything else go does to a house with 9 people and 3 animals living in it. I just finished cleaning. Now that I am done, I love my fresh, clean house, but I swear I HATE the actual cleaning part. All I could think about was I would much rather be sewing, reading, giving birth, ANYTHING besides cleaning! If I had the money, I would so have a housekeeper. I know I am whining, sorry, but I am really the only person I know who hates cleaning this much. My friends and family actually enjoy it! I wish I did, since it is such a big part of living LOL

Anyway, instead of cleaning, I have been sewing this week. Not that I have much to show for it. I am almost finished with another Project Runway pattern, this one. I made the sleeveless tunic. I should have a picture up tonight or tomorrow. And I still need to take pictures of the lovely treasures I found last weekend at the antique shops. I got some beautiful turquoise Fiesta Ware that I love!

I will now go and take a shower, and then the baby is going to take a nap and I am going to sew, guilt free!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More pictures from the weekend and a sad story

Just a slightly weird and morbid fact about me, I love cemeteries. I don't find them scary, I find them peaceful and tranquil. So when I saw this cemetery while strolling through the historic district of St. Francisville, I had to go in. I would love to be buried here, it was full of old trees, it was beautiful. I could have walked through it for hours. I love to look at the old graves, and another morbid fact about me, I always look for baby graves.

This particular one was the saddest one I have ever seen. The whole cemetery was very shaded, but there was a ray of sunlight shining directly on this one gravestone. It was very different and immediately grabbed my attention. It looked like a child's coffin, and in fact it held 4 children : ( It was very old, from the late 1800's. I just loved the little lamb sleeping on top of the cross covered coffin. It seemed so sweet and peaceful. I pray these poor parents at least had other children, I can't imagine losing 4 young babies, what heartache this mother must have gone through.

This was written on the front of the coffin. It says Little Ones of John W. and Belle Leake.

These two pictures are from one side of the coffin. The first one reads Louise, died May 4th, 1876, aged 8 months.

The second one reads Lucile, died Dec. 15, 1876, aged 23 days. That was two lost children in 1 year, can you imagine? : ( I wonder if there was an illness that caused the death of both of these babies?

The other side had the deaths of two more babies in 1872, there was a lot of erosion on this side of the coffin, so the names and ages were hard to read. The other end of the coffin read Our Little Ones in Heaven.

We are so blessed to live in a time and a country where the death of children isn't such a common occurrence. I have suffered 3 miscarriages, all in the first trimester, and that was devastating enough. I cannot even fathom losing many children. I realize how very blessed I am to have 7 healthy and happy children.

On to a happier subject. Here is one of the massive live oaks from the grounds of the Cottage Plantation. These trees make me so happy. I think I would chain myself to one of them if anyone ever wanted to cut them down. Can't you just imagine setting up a picnic underneath that tree and relaxing while your children ran around? My idea of heaven on earth!

Here is the small bridge we had to cross to get to the plantation. I forgot to mention that we saw 7 young deer crossing the road the first evening we arrived. I was trying to get my camera out of my purse, but wasn't quick enough before they disappeared back into the woods.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Back to Life (back to reality LOL)

It is funny how when you are used to taking care of so many people, you feel lost when you only have yourself to look after. When we left late Friday morning, I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I think it was because I didn't have any of the children with me LOL I didn't let that bother me for long though : )

First, we drove to Nottoway Plantation, which is south of Baton Rouge. They call it the White Castle of Louisiana. If you like plantation homes, you will love this place. I can't imagine what it would have been like to live in this beautiful home. Sometimes, I wish I was born 150 years ago, then I remember that they didn't have air conditioning LOL They did have indoor bathrooms though, with heated water, which was impressive for that time. Still, can you imagine wearing those huge gowns with corsets, and there being no cool air. The fact that this is South Louisiana makes it even worse. It gets horribly hot and humid down here during the summer. I imagine it would be like wearing a wedding gown everyday. Beautiful, but not very comfortable.

Me, standing on the massive front porch at Nottoway

The front of Nottoway, taken from the levee in front, holding back the Mississippi River.

After touring Nottoway, we made our way to St. Francisville to check into our bed and breakfast. We stayed at the Cottage Plantation (not the Cotton Plantation LOL). The grounds were unbelievably beautiful!!!! We drove through about a half a mile of woods, across a small wooden bridge, after which the landscape opened up onto acres and acres of old live oaks with spanish moss draping the branches. Some of these live oaks were 200+ years old. Amazingly beautiful! We had a beautiful room in the main house furnished with many antiques. The bed was king size though, so not an antique, but beautiful and comfortable. Every morning, they brought coffee up to our room and then served us a huge country breakfast in the main dining room. It was so nice to be served like this, I am usually doing all of the serving LOL Oh, and we could not have asked for more perfect weather. A cool front came through on Friday night, so it was cool in the mornings and around 70 during the day. GORGEOUS!

The front of the house at the Cottage Plantation, where we stayed.

The back of the house, the middle dormer was our room.

The inside of our room

This sweet dog greeted us everytime we returned to the plantation. This place would be heaven on earth for a dog!

We spent the weekend eating, antiquing and walking around the beautiful old town. I found a few treasures that I will share in a later post. Sunday morning, after breakfast, we walked around the grounds at the plantation and then went to Baton Rouge and hung out at the Barnes and Noble for a few hours. My two favorite kinds of stores are fabric stores and book stores, so browsing with no time limit was nice. Then we ate lunch and did some shopping at the outlet shops in Gonzalez. I was glad to get home, I really missed my babies. I enjoyed the break, but love my life and home.

Me, sitting on a huge root from one of the 200 year old live oaks

One of my favorite old homes in the historic district of St. Francisville

Monday, April 14, 2008

I have been tagged!

Ok, before I left on Friday I was tagged TWICE! LOL Once by Tine from Sodeste and also by Holly from Magnolias and Sunshine. So, since I don't yet have my pics uploaded from this weekend, I figured I would share 6 odd things about myself before I forget LOL Oh, by the way, we had a wonderful weekend! The weather was GORGEOUS and we relaxed and shopped and ate and had a great time. I will post details and pictures during the week. Today is busy, I have my annual gynecologist appt. (joy joy NOT) and school and getting back into my routine. The day after returning from a trip is always a little crazy for me.

Ok, for the list.

1. I love cheesy 70's, early 80's music. When I say cheesy, I mean CHEESY! We're talking Barry Manilow, Air Supply, England Dan and John Ford Coley, you get the picture. I even had Copacabana as my ringtone for a while. My friends and kids would die when it would ring in public LOL I admit, I kept it for awhile just for the embarrasment it caused my loved ones : D Now, my ringtone is The Tide is High from Blondie.

2.I was Senior Prom queen

3. I had a horrible habit of biting my nails for as long as I can remember. Last fall, I just decided to stop biting them. Now, they are pretty and long. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I do have to keep nail polish on them, if they are bare I am tempted to bite them again.

4. I love garlic, sometimes a little too much, if you know what I mean ; )

5. I have no sense of direction, this drives my dh crazy, because he was born knowing where to go. He really is the kind of guy that does not have to stop and ask for directions. I, on the other hand, could get lost walking to my mailbox.

6. I love to watch tv. I always have the tv on while I am sewing.

Ok, I am not going to tag anyone, because everyone I was going to tag has already been tagged.

Hopefully I will have pictures for y'all tomorrow : )

And here are the rules:

1: Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In 15 hours

Dh and I will be outta here! LOL We leave tomorrow morning for St. Francisville and don't have to be back until Sunday evening. I am so ready! I know I will miss the kids, but the break will be nice.

I took a couple of quick pictures of the shirt and skirt. I had originally planned on wearing them together, but don't like them together after all. I'll probably just wear a tank top with the skirt and jeans with the shirt. The pictures are not that great, it is horribly windy outside today, which made the sleeves on the shirt look kinda wierd. My 11 year old snapped them for me and she was in a hurry. I will hopefully have better pictures next week from this weekend. I "think" I like the shirt, it tends to make me look pregnant, but I think that is just the style of it (it couldn't possibly be the chubby belly I have ; ) I decided on it for the sleeves, I thought they were cute and different. My girls and dh loved it, my two teenage boys thought it looked dorky. I think I will ignore the two boys : )

The shirt is one of the new Project Runway patterns (Simplicity 3504) and the skirt is a New Look pattern. The skirt was very easy and straight forward. The only thing I changed was using an invisible zipper instead of a regular one. I always use invisible zippers, I just prefer the way they look. The top was a little more difficult. At first I just inserted the inset by matching the dots, but it gapped open and was too low and just looked terrible. I ripped it out and pinned it on the top while I was wearing it, so that it would fit right. Besides sticking myself a couple of times, this worked well. I really need a body double, but am not in the mood to wrap myself in duck tape. It sure would have come in handy yesterday though. I used a sheer cotton fashion fabric from Joanns. It was on sale and I have some left that I think I will use for a little top for Ava. I lined it with some cotton batiste that was also on sale.

I am planning on bringing my camera, I am sure there will be lots of pretty things to photograph. I'll let y'all know what a great time I had when I get back : )

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lots of sewing!

I sewed all weekend long, starting on Friday afternoon. I started with the Maya wrap sling I have been needing to make. I decided on an off white, tissue weight linen for the wrap. It is for a little boy and I couldn't find anything remotely cute for little boys at JoAnns. Linen is always a winner, and I figured I could spruce it up with a little bit of machine embroidery. The wrap is easy to put together, I followed these directions. I made a wide hem all the way around, so that I would have somewhere to embroider without using interfacing. I think it came out really cute. I am going to buy some different colors of embroidery thread next time it goes on sale. I am kind of wearing out that ice blue LOL I have a couple hundred decorative stitches on my sewing machine, I sure am enjoying trying them out!

On Saturday I cut out and completely finished a skirt using this Amy Butler fabric. It came out really nice and it fits! Not as loosely as I like my clothes to fit, but I can actually wear it! Next time, I will add a few inches to the waist. I started this top to go with the skirt yesterday, I am going to try to finish it today. I made the outfit to wear this weekend on my St. Francisville get away! I will take a picture of me wearing the outfit when I finish the top.

It was a very productive weekend, especially for me, I don't usually do this much sewing all at once. Now, my house was a complete disaster this morning, but it was worth it. Wish I could do this every weekend ; )

Friday, April 4, 2008

I Give Up (for now)

I spent all of my sewing time yesterday trying to fix that %@#^ Lotus Tunic. I now realize, for it to look right, I am going to have to take the whole thing apart, and redo all of the seams. I am too much of a perfectionist to just rig it. The fact that it has a lining makes altering it much more difficult. I know I should just toss it, the fabric was only $1.50 a yard, but I really like the fabric. I am going to make another one out of different fabric for sure, I love the pattern. And now that I know what I am doing, I am sure it will come out great. I think I will try something else for now though, I kinda want to puke when I see that particular pattern right now LOL

Before I do anything else, I need to make a Maya wrap for Chad's coworker's daughter. She is due to have a baby boy any day now. I bought some lightweight linen and am going to embellish it with some machine embroidery and applique. I am thinking an elephant would be cute. Chad asks me everyday when he gets home if I have done it yet. I guess I need to get my butt in gear :O

We are going to St. Francisville next weekend, just me and him!!!!!!! I am so excited! My Mom and Dad are going to watch the kids. We will have 3 days and 2 nights to just do whatever we want! We havn't done this since I was pregnant for my 5th child, Savannah. She is now 8 years old. We are long overdue. We are staying at an old plantation that is a bed and breakfast. We will probably just eat and shop at antique shops, maybe tour a few old plantations. It sounds like pure heaven! I am hoping to have a few things made to wear, but we shall see. I am not having much luck with that right now (what an understatement! )

Oh, and I moved my sewing area around two weekends ago. My sewing area is in my room, so it doesn't look like a big difference. However, it really improved the space in my room. I moved the big cutting table into the corner where my sewing machine was, and moved my sewing machine table in front of the window where the table was. For some reason, the constant mess on the sewing table doesn't look as bad now : ) And it makes my bedroom a little roomier. Here are some before and after shots.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I love my husband!

Last week was kind of a down one, nothing bad happened, just your usual yuckiness that can sometimes accompany being a homeschooling SAHM. The children were being unusually snippy with each other, and I was kinda PMSing LOL Anyway, one day I called Chad at work just to vent. Later, I had left for a little while to bring one of the girls to ballet class, when I got home these beautiful roses were waiting for me on the dining room table. Cheered me right up : ) I love pink roses, and these had 5 buds per stem. There were so many that I made a mini arrangement for my kitchen window to make me smile while I do dishes (believe me, I do ALOT of dishes LOL) They are still beautiful today, a week later! Oh, and can you believe, he bought these at Albertson's, which is a grocery store chain in our city! They were inexpensive and gorgeous, can't beat that!