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

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Furniture

We finally bought some new living room furniture. It was so time, my old furniture was almost 12 years old and was in horrible shape. I stupidly bought off white couches, I don't know what I was thinking! I only had 3 small children at the time, and didn't realize what they could do to white furniture LOL Well, it was brownish gray after a few years. I slipcovered it, but it was just DONE.

I was very careful while looking this time around. I got a great heavy duty fabric in a dirt hiding brownish green color. Yes, I learned my lesson : ) They also have low arms and a cool, modern curved front to it. I love it! We also got a special stain retardant on it and they will replace anything that can't be removed, they will even replace a cushion if you accidentally cut the fabric or tear it. Can't beat that for an extra $100, especially when you have 7 children sitting on this furniture LOL It always amazes me the different ways my children can find to destroy my stuff!

Oh, and the sofa is kind of messed up in the front where it curves in, so they have ordered me a new one. I am just keeping this one until my new one comes in. If anyone lives in South Louisiana, I highly recommend O'Halloran's Furniture. Beautiful furniture and GREAT customer service!

Here is the sofa. See, you can see how it is messed up in the front.

Here is the love seat.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Signs of Spring

I walked outside Saturday morning to see this beautiful iris! These are from my Mom's garden, this is their second year in my yard. I called her, and hers aren't blooming yet, this one was an early bird. None of the others are ready to bloom, so this one was special : ) I LOVE spring!

Oh, and my camera took great pictures, I have been having trouble getting them to come out clear, especially when I used the zoom. Problem is, I don't know what I did to get them to come out LOL Hope I can do it again!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Morning Walk

We have a really beautiful neighborhood to walk in. It is one of the older neighborhoods in the city where we live, so there are lots of beautiful, old, mature trees. It is dark when we start our walk, so we always get to see the sunrise.

I love how the light looks coming through the mostly bare branches on this one.
A camellia bush in a neighbor's yard shedding it's petals.

We always see something new, even though we follow basically the same path every day. I have started bringing my camera every morning. Sometimes I get great shots, but usually they are fuzzy or the lighting isn't quite right. I love photography, but am not so great at it. I don't really have a clue what I am doing, so that probably explains my less than perfect pictures. Maybe practice makes perfect. I enjoy the practicing : )

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New fabric and patterns

On Saturday, I took a trip to Joanns for the President's Day sale. I only planned on buying some bias tape makers but of course ended up buying more : ) They had their Simplicity patterns on sale for $1.00 each and their clearance fabric was 1/2 off the clearance price! Who can pass that up?! I found these 3 great Project Runway patterns, very cute and stylish and I will be able to use some of the fabric I am expecting from my fabric coop. I never really dress up, so these styles are perfect for me. Hoping to get a cute summer top wardrobe from these : ) I also grabbed this knit matte jersey print for $2.50 a yard, regularly $12.99!!!

I have plans for that jersey, as well as for this one!
I picked up this knit print for $2.50 as well. And I bought this pattern for both of them. There wasn't quite 2 yards of the flower print, so I am making the sleeveless wrap top with it. I have all the pieces cut out, just need to sew them together. Easier said than done considering I have never sewn with Matte Jersey. It is very silky and drapey and was a pain in the butt to cut! It didn't help that I didn't have any ball point pins. Picked some up yesterday at Walmart, so that should help my frustration level. I am determined though, I have tops made in this fabric and they are so flattering, it covers a multitude of sins LOL Wish me luck! If the top turns out decently, I am going to make the wrap dress with the brown jersey. I figure if it is a disaster, I am not out much money and I at least tried. If it does work out, I am gonna be sewing a crapload of Matte Jersey : D

Lastly, I bought the fashion cotton fabric to go with this Amy Butler pattern.

I actually have a beautiful black and white print that I want to make this with, but before I cut up my expensive fabric I wanted to try it out on something less expensive. I really don't like sewing muslins, but realized recently that I REALLY should! More about that later in the post. However, I cannot spend that much of my precious sewing time making something that I can't actually wear because I used some awful cheap fabric. So I was on the hunt for some bargain fabric that was wearable. I was so excited to find this, I got it for $1.50 a yard!!!! It was regularly like $9 a yard. And it is fashion cotton, not the cheap quilting cotton that they sell at Joann's, so I think it will make a really cute top.

I was really happy with my shopping trip, I got some really great bargains! I brought Sydney and Isabella with me and they got some cute doll patterns and fabric. They are doing so well learning to sew using these doll patterns. I barely have to help them anymore. Before I know it they will be sewing their own clothes. I really want my girls to have a love for sewing and all things crafty. They also know how to knit.

Here is Isabella wearing this little shrug I made for her, she wore it to church Sunday.

And now for my sizing, non muslin sewing mess up. I bought this great shirting fabric and Vogue pattern to make a shirt dress. I love this style, comfortable and classic. I made view A.

Well, this was my first time sewing a Vogue pattern. I always made a size 12 in other patterns and since the measurements were the same on this pattern, I made a size 12. I don't know if Vogue's sizing is smaller or if it was just this kind of dress, but after all my hard work, I go to try the dress on and guess what? IT DOESN'T FIT!!!! I could get it on and button it, but there was major gappage at the buttons, so NOT flattering. If I suck in and don't breathe it looks great, but I think I am gonna have to breathe :< I really wanted to cry, because while sucking in the dress looks so good! I am gonna make another one in a size 14, but I can't find this fabric anymore. The good news is that I have a skinny minny friend that this will fit perfectly and look great on, so my loss is her gain : ) At least the dress won't go to waste.

Here is a picture of the dress, which really doesn't do it justice, it looks totally different on. On, it looks like the picture on the pattern. I will take another picture with my girlfriend wearing it, so you can see how flattering it is. I am also going to make a tie belt out of the extra fabric. Oh, and the painting in the corner of the picture was done by said skinny minny friend. She gave it to me for my birthday last year, isn't it beautiful?! She is extremely talented.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Walking again

In September, my dh Chad and I started walking every morning for exercise. For 3 months straight we got up at least 5 out of 7 mornings a week at 5:45 am and would walk 2-3 miles. We did this for two reasons, first because we want to be healthy and second because we are getting older and the weight is getting harder to control. I am by no means fat, and I really don't want to lose more than 5 pounds. Even though I weigh a good 15 pounds more than I used to 5 years ago, I was really too skinny then. I look much healthier now. I just REALLY need to tone up. Having 7 children, with 4 of them weighing in at 9 1/2 to 10 lbs at birth really does a number on your body LOL Anyway, in addition to looking better, we felt GREAT! I didn't realize how sluggish I was, the walking gave me so much more energy, which I desperately need ; ) Well, the holidays rolled around and while we did pretty good through Thanksgiving and into December, we got off track around Christmas. We intended to start back up in January, but kids got sick, we got lazy and here we are the middle of February feeling like crap and looking thick around the middle again.

So, Monday morning we got up at 6:00 am, somehow that extra 15 minutes of sleep made this more doable LOL and started walking again. I can't believe how much better I felt with just that one walk. I am even in a better mood during the day, I can take alot more whining and fighting from the kids before I start yelling :D We even got up this morning with the temps in the upper 30's. I know that is warm to you Northerners, but down here in South Louisiana that is freezing LOL Hopefully we are back on track, I really enjoy Chad's company too, we can talk without any interruptions, which is rare with 7 children. When we get back to the house, the coffee is ready and we sit and drink it together while watching the morning news. A very nice way to start the day before the kids get up, Chad goes off to work, and I prepare for the craziness of homeschooling. Now let's see if we can keep this up in July and August when the morning temps will be around 80 degrees and the humidity 100% LOL The not so great part of living this far down south.

Oh, and here is a pillow I made to go with this home decorating project. This is just the cover because I am waiting on the pillow forms to go on sale. It is 24" by 24", looks bigger than I thought it would, glad I didn't go any bigger. I think I may add some hand embroidery purlsoho style to the brown panels, havn't decided yet. I put a zipper in so that I can take it off and wash it. It is always better if I can wash things, they tend to get dirty in my house for some reason : / I plan on making a couple more pillows in different sizes. The will go on my fireplace and hopefully not the floor.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How my children play in their kitchen LOL

My dh made Samuel and Ava this adorable kitchen set for Christmas. They absolutely love it and spend lots of time pretending to cook and serve us food. However, fixing food isn't the only thing they do. They love to play "hide the baby in the oven" as well! LOL

Ava also likes to put her babies in the oven, kind of like it is a baby bed LOL Children are so cute, I guess God made them this way so that you could live through the sleepless nights and temper tantrums LOL

Monday, February 4, 2008

Am I the Only One?

I have been looking at blogs for about a year now, and my favorite ones are all sewing, knitting or craft related. They also have beautiful photography. I know this is probably not the case, as a matter of fact several of the blog writers have stated such. But from the pictures, the houses always look perfectly decorated and perfectly kept. I feel like such a failure! LOL

My house never looks well kept unless I have cleaned it 5 minutes before. Seriously, within an hour, you can barely tell I did any housework at all. It is nearly impossible to keep up with. Now, I do have 7 children and they are homeschooled, so they are ALWAYS at home. There are no times during the day where there is nobody here to mess things up. All meals are eaten in my kitchen, so as soon as breakfast is cleaned up, it is time for lunch, etc. And yes, my children all have chores to do. There is a rotating chore list, so no one is always stuck with the least favorite one. All of the older ones are also required to wash their own clothing once a week. I do all towels, sheets, mine and dh's clothes and the 2 youngest children's clothes, so I still have quite a bit of laundry to do. Anyway, try to fit sewing time in here and you end up with a trashed house most days. It doesn't help that I grew up in a house with a mother who kept everything very neat and clean. Of course, I only had one brother who was 5 years younger than me and we went to school everyday. I really feel better when my house is clean. I find it very difficult to sit down and sew when the house is a wreck, but if I wait until everything is clean, I would never get to enjoy my hobby. I really do have some serious issues with perfectionism. I am a perfectionist who cannot even come close to achieving perfection. Some days it can almost drive me crazy!

Anyway, I said all of that to ask if I am really the only one who struggles with this? In my mind, all of you ladies in blog land always have everything perfectly in place, fix huge and creative meals every night and of course clean up the kitchen immediately afterwards ; ) And then retire to your neat and orderly sewing rooms to sew up some amazing creation and then photograph it beautifully to share the next day on your well written blog. LOL In reality, I know this is not true, and if this IS true for you, I don't want to hear about it!

I will share a picture of what my house looks like right now as I am writing this. I do intend on cleaning up after this blog entry, but I promise, it will be back to looking like the picture by tonight LOL I don't know why I needed to get this out, most days I really don't let this bother me, at least not much, but it has been a rough week.

I added an extra one of the dining room for good measure ; )
I won't even bother showing the childrens' rooms, they do not have my neatfreak tendencies at all! LOL Well, Isabella does, but she shares a room with her sister Sydney, I think at this point she has just given up, poor thing. Even my room, which is usually pretty neat, I have to have someplace to escape to, is a mess this morning :sigh:

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ballerina Blankie

I bought this blanket kit from Joanns over a year ago. I bought it specifically for the ballerina fabric in the middle of the blanket. It had this ugly flannel for the backing, but I found the ballerina fabric at my local quilt shop and used that instead. I added a layer of flannel in the middle to quilt it lightly and stitched in the ditch around the different fabrics. It helped to add just a little bit of weight to the blanket. I also added ribbon "taggies" along the edges because Ava has an addiction to tags LOL I figured I'd hook the girl up! Here she is with her new blankie this morning. Excuse the dirty dogfood dish in the corner ; )

Here is the blanket in the beautiful sunlight. I can't believe how much better pictures come out in natural light!
Here is a closeup of this gorgeous fabric. I have another yard and a little bit, don't know what I am going to do with it. I am almost afraid to use it, because I don't think you can buy it anymore.