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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I feel so loved : )

In the last couple of weeks I have been given three awards! Heidi Ann at Foxgloves Fabric and Folly, Lola at Lola....Again and Tine at Sodeste all gave me this award! I feel so special : ) Thank you so much, ladies, y'all made my month!

I am now supposed to pass this award along to other deserving blogs! I will give this award to

Kelci at Crafty Mama Creations
Michelle at Eat, Sleep, Create
Lisa at Polka Dot Cottage
Sandy at Sandy Kisses
Jona at Stop Staring and Start Sewing
Marie at The Villa Family
Jill at Thou Shalt Not Whine

On the creative homefront, I have barely been sewing. I ended up with a cold or my allergies are acting up or something. I just know I feel like poop! Not bad enough to be sick in bed, but bad enough to want to just lay around all day while my kids destroy the house and nothing gets done. I seem to feel a *little* better today, I guess I need to tackle that pile of laundry and discipline my children. Why is it when you don't feel well and aren't staying on top of everything, the kids just kind of go wild? I mean, they know how they are supposed to behave, but unless you enforce it, they act like animals. I have a going away party for a friend tonight, her husband has been relocated to Houston, so that will be a nice and sorely needed break : ) Dh can have fun herding the animals for a few hours LOL

Everyone needs to head over to Foxgloves Fabric and Folly today! She is having a 100th post giveaway and has 3 beautiful handmade gifts. A beautiful heirloom quilt, a Christmas table runner, and a Summer of 2008 pillow. So, that is 3 lucky winners! Make sure you leave a comment today or tomorrow, because she is going to draw the names on August 1!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday morning

It is Saturday morning and we are back home. This is what I basically did while on vacation. I would sit in the rocking chair on the porch while drinking my coffee, enjoying the breeze and knitting. I am wearing some pajama pants I made out of an old, ripped pair of sheets. You can't really get more relaxing than this. Of course, the little ones would come out every once in a while and want to climb up in my lap, but mostly they would watch the older children fish. Now we are back home and Samuel and Ava are fighting over whether they will watch Little Bill or Dora : ) Back to real life LOL

I did finish both booties and started on a third one, this time in pink. As you can see, they aren't the same size, I guess this is what happens when your brain is too relaxed lol I will have to make two more to match each one, I can't give this odd sized pair to anyone.

Today, I need to clean all the cat fur off of my furniture. Oh, and we still have the little kitten : O Dh is NOT happy! He was really not happy when she jumped on his head at 7am this morning. The cats never do crazy things like this to me, just the one person in the house who doesn't like animals. I really need to find her a home, but we are so attached to her, so it is going to be hard to give her away. She is just the sweetest little thing and I want to make sure the person I give her to will take good care of her.

I can't believe it is already the end of July! Public school will start soon, and it seems like the summer break just began. We don't start homeschooling until after Labor day, but that will be here before I know it. I need to get all of the curriculum bought and organized. We are trying several new things this year, hopefully the children will do well. The main new curriculum we will be using is Teaching Textbooks for the two high school boys' math. I know several families that have used this and they say it is awesome. I am also looking for a new Science and History curriculum for Sydney and Isabella. They do these two subjects together since they are only a year apart in school. I know there are several homeschooling moms who read my blog, any suggestions? I need to make the most of my last few weeks of freedom LOL I know the moms whose kids go to school are counting down until they have their freedom back : D

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend : )

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poverty Point

Well, Austin's golf tournament was canceled, but we took our trip anyway. The cabin was already paid for, and my dh needed to get away. I am the type that likes to stay at home, dh loves to travel. If it were up to him and we could afford it, we would travel every month. I, on the other hand, like to stay in my nest. Once we get somewhere, I really do enjoy myself, but a vacation once or twice a year is more than enough for me.

This is our first time at Poverty Point State Park. It is one of the nicest state parks that we have ever stayed at. They have a nice RV campground with a water playground for the kids. They also have a marina and beach area and several hiking trails. We are staying in the cabins on the lake. They are less than a year old, and really beautiful in a log cabin sort of way. Actually,we got to stay in two different ones LOL I was not exactly happy about this. Before Austin's tournament was canceled, we had to be here from Tuesday through Friday. They didn't have 3 nights straight in one cabin, so we had to stay in one cabin Tuesday night and then pack up everything today and move to the other cabin for the next two nights (yes, I wanted to cry). The first cabin was older, with a loft and a bigger porch. It wasn't on the water, but was in the woods. The cabin we are in now is on the water. While we have a beautiful view and the kids can fish right off the front porch, it is making me a little nervous with Samuel and Ava. The older children are good about helping us keep an eye on them, and if Chad and I aren't out there, we lock the door. The hard part is they stand at the door and cry until we take them out lol Oh, and did I mention that the cabins have flat screen tv's with satellite?!

Yeah, we are really roughing it LOL This is totally my idea of *camping* : D Even dh has to admit that doing it this way has its advantages over the tent. And we obviously have WiFi, I can get my blog fix everyday : )

This is the front porch with rocking chairs, the kids spent most of the day fishing. They caught LOTS of catfish. We just throw them back in, dh wasn't in the mood to clean fish, we had spaghetti for dinner : )

This is a cabin on the side of us, ours is identical.

Here are some pictures of the cabin we stayed in last night.

I loved the back porch, it was shady and surrounded by trees.

Ava was posing for us LOL

I even managed to get some knitting in this afternoon while watching tv. Dh took the kids to the beach area, so it was nice and quiet : ) I finished a whole baby bootie, I will show them when I finish the second one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

a couple of things

This little dress started out as a skirt for me, for some reason I have been on this creative ideas kick. I get an idea in my head, and I hurry up and try it. I really need to think through things a little more. I just took some fabric, squared it up, cut it in half and sewed two seams. I didn't flare it out like I needed to for a full skirt, which is what I was wanting. The idea was for a shirred waist skirt. I have one and it is so comfortable. Anyway, no problem, I just turned it into a little sundress for the girls : ) It's perfect for them, and they love it. I am going to whip up a couple more, so they don't fight over this one LOL Very quick and easy project. Elastic thread is so cool! Sorry about the lighting in these pictures, I had the macro setting on and didn't realize it. The pictures came out too bright, but I had no time to retake them. I got this fabric for $1.50 a yard on clearance at Joann's.

Oh! Look what I figured out to do on my serger! I have had this serger for 3+ years and have never ventured past doing a basic overlock stitch. Well, Saturday I got brave and figured out how to do a rolled edge and picot edge. All it involved was removing the stitch finger and setting the little knob to R or P. I can't believe that I could have been using this nifty feature all of this time. In my head, it was just so difficult to do. You can do a rolled hem in about 1 minute, AWESOME!

My little niece, Stella, is turning 5, so I am making her the Oliver + S Puppet Show Tunic and shorts. So far, I just have everything cut out. I am using Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric in these two prints. Not quite sure what I am going to use for the shorts. I am thinking some brown linen with matching fabric pockets.

I also found some more $10 sheets at Target. I love the color of these.

We are going out of town for the rest of the week. Oldest son has a golf tournament in North Louisiana, so we are going to take a mini vacation. We rented a cabin at a State Park. My whole family loves to tent camp, except me lol I love the outdoors, but at night, I want a clean bathroom and bed. So, the cabin is the compromise : ) They are pretty rustic, but they have indoor plumbing, and that is my main requirement. Oh, and air conditioning, maybe they aren't so rustic, after all lol Supposedly this park has internet access(definitely NOT rustic), so we shall see. If they do, I will blog. I am going to miss my sewing machine, but am going to bring some knitting and embroidery projects with me so I have a creative outlet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New summer dress

I have been wanting to make one of those cute, long maxi dresses. I wanted a halter style, so I decided to use Amy Butler's Cabo Halter for the top part, since it was the only pattern I had that resembled what I wanted and I needed(wanted) to start sewing immediately LOL I just made a gathered skirt to attach to the bodice. I used the sheets I had bought from Target because I wasn't sure how it would turn out and needed a lot of fabric. I didn't want to waste some expensive fabric in case it was a disaster. I really love the print and the sheet fabric is so crisp and cool, perfect for a summer dress.

For anyone who hasn't made the Cabo Halter, it is VERY low and kind of gaps open, especially if you are any bigger than an A cup. I had to fix this because I don't think it is appropriate for a 37 year old mom of 7 to be walking around with her boobs hanging out, plus my 16 year old son would have just died of embarrassment LOL I had to add a little strip across the front and top stitch everything together. Even after doing this, the top is obviously not made for a woman with boobage. I am not huge, on the small side of a 34D and I am bursting at the top. I really needed to make a full bust alteration, but I don't know how to on a halter top. It kind of just smashes my boobs. It is still very wearable, and besides feeling a little tight across the chest, I really love it. The skirt part is loose and flowy and so cool in this South Louisiana heat!

Dh took the pictures while laying on a float in the pool, so they aren't that great LOL Plus he was trying to get me to make sexy faces at him, which grossed the kids out! I spared y'all those pictures, they are more goofy than sexy. The lighting is terrible, but you can get an idea of what the dress looks like. I wore it to my friend's house and out to dinner and was super comfortable even after I ate like a pig. Which makes this the perfect dress IMO : D

edited: Just a reminder that Project Runway starts tonight! I am soooooo excited, this is my absolute favorite show on tv, well that and LOST. Yeah, there is no rhyme or reason to my tv watching habits lol Anyway, I can't wait!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Weekend spent frantically sewing

In usual PuddinPop fashion, I waited until the last possible minute to start sewing the twins' baby shower gifts. I had two itty bitty baby dresses and two baby blankets with applique to sew. I started Friday afternoon and the shower was Sunday at 3. I also had to make time to take a trip to Hancock fabrics for the Kona solids I needed for the blankets. This of course took 3 hours out of my day on Saturday, because I *had* to look around! I was a very good girl though, I only bought the two yards of solid cotton and 2 yards of the most gorgeous red dotted swiss fabric that was half off. I passed on a bunch more fabric that was half off, I only bought my favorite one. I am sort of regretting that now, I mean half off, you can't beat that! Oh, and I also bought some bobbins and tear away stabilizer, but those items don't count because they are necessities, not fun stuff. Anyway, I was sewing right up until 3 o'clock, I didn't get to the shower until 4 LOL I am sooooooo bad about this procrastination thing, I hate this about myself. Dh was very helpful and kept the little ones mostly out of my hair so I could work.

Here is what my sewing table looks like after a flurry of sewing. The cup is the leftover of a banana split malt that dh made me to help keep my energy up, my morning cup of coffee and my bra that I throw up on the table every night because I am too lazy to put it where it belongs. Oh, and a stray Lincoln Log and Care Bear from the kids : ) In all honesty, this is what my sewing table looks like all the time, except for the 5 minutes after I spend an hour cleaning it. Kind of like the rest of my house : ] I usually just shove everything to the side when I need to work at the table.

Here are the dresses, I really love how they came out, the pattern is so cute. I mentioned it in a previous post, but the pattern is from Made by Rae. What a talented girl she is : ) My friend LOVED them, which is the important thing : ) I also got lots of compliments from other people at the shower, which always makes me feel so good!

At first, I was going to just do the blankets with the printed fabric on one side and the solid fabric on the other, but since I had *so* much extra time ::::eyeroll:::: I decided to applique some birdies : D Did I mention, that I have never really done applique before? I hope she doesn't mind, but I copied Marie's adorable birdie applique. I admired it when I saw it on her blog and thought it would be so cute on the blankets. While making the first applique on Saturday night I went a little crazy with the scissors and cut the blanket while trying to cut away the stabilizer :O It was tear away stabilizer, I didn't even need the darn scissors! Needless to say, I put the sewing away for the night. I had to figure out a way to hide my mess up because I had no more solid fabric and no time to start over. I had originally planned to just have the birdies, but had to put them in a nest to hide the cut. I guess it came out ok, not exactly what I was planning. You can see the pink and yellow applique doesn't look quite right. Oh well, it's handmade it isn't supposed to be perfect, right? At least, this is what I tell myself : ) I am praying that my applique doesn't fall apart the first time she washes the blankets LOL

Oh, and as promised, here is the finished top. The reason it took me so long to share it is because I messed it up. Never get halfway through a project and then wait days to pick it up again, you won't remember the alterations you were making. At least I didn't, I should write these things down, but never do. I tried to position my arms so that the mess up isn't as noticeable, but I altered the top of the bodice on one side to make it longer and forgot to do it on the other side. So, my top is lopsided : [ You can see how much shorter it is on my left side, the right side if looking at your computer screen. I am slouching my shoulder to make the top hang straight. I am going to fix it, but it is going to be a pain in the butt to do. I hate when I make mistakes like this. I will fix it though, because I really love this top and this fabric. The only thing I disliked about the pattern was the neck facing. I really hate facings, they never want to stay down. Next time, I will either line the bodice or just do a bias binding like on the sleeves. A great pattern though,it would even be cute as a dress.
No, I am not planning on wearing the top with that brown skirt, I just threw it on with what I was wearing for the day lol I made this skirt over a month ago and forgot to share it. It is ok, I can't remember the pattern off the top of my head, but I won't be making it again. I don't find it flattering on my figure. It is comfortable though, so I wear it around the house or to the grocery store. I hate that I wasted this fabric : ( Sorry about the wrinkles, but I wasn't going to iron it just to lounge around the house.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Knitting, cross stitch and a broken sewing machine

I did finish my shirt and I will share it later, no pictures yet. I thought I would show y'all my sad first sock. First of all, I needed to use smaller needles. My sock is WAY too wide LOL I used size 3 dpns, I think I need size 1 or 2. I am going to order some of the new Harmony needles from Knitpicks because they are prettier than the ones at my LYS. I am gonna just unravel the sock and start over. I paid $8 for this yarn, I am not going to waste it! And look at my holes and dropped stitches, not pretty LOL

I also took some pictures of a jewelry box that I stitched a cover for. Before I learned to sew or knit I learned to cross stitch. I was just pregnant with my first child and picked up a Christmas ornament kit at Walmart. I was instantly addicted, it was the first really crafty thing I had ever done and I loved it. I really wish I would have learned how to sew and knit and embroider when I was young. I feel like I wasted all of this time not doing something that I really love. However, my mom wasn't into these things, nor was anyone else I knew, so there really was no inspiration for me to learn. I am so glad my girls are learning all of these things at a young age, they will always be able to enjoy them.

Anyway, I eventually taught myself to do other counted thread work on fine linen. For years this was my only fiber hobby. I didn't really learn to sew until about 5 years ago and only learned to knit 3 years ago. Since picking up sewing and knitting, I have done very little counted thread work. I really miss it, I think I may start a new project, Lord knows I have a big enough stash of the stuff LOL I think I will start sharing some of my projects on here. I *think* this is a Lori Birmingham chart, I got it while at a cross stitching convention in Houston. It is stitched on 32 count linen. It sits on my dresser and I really use it for some of my jewelry. It is really nice for when we travel, I can just stick the whole box in my suitcase. The R stands for Richard (pronounced Ree-shard, remember we are French Canadian). You can click on the pictures to see the stitching close up.

Today and tomorrow I will be sewing two little dresses and blankets for twin baby girls. One of my good friends is having her baby shower Sunday and I thought that the itty bitty baby dress pattern from Made by Rae would be adorable. I first saw this made up on Creative Little Daisy for her brand new granddaughter Bayleigh. I got this and this from Jona at Fabritopia, I think it will be adorable for twin girls : )

The reason I am so behind on my sewing is because I had a broken machine for half the week. Well, not the whole machine, thank goodness, but the spring for my feet holder popped off. I tried to fix it but the screw that holds it in place was stripped. I have a Janome dealer near my house, so went there praying that they would have the replacement part, since Kenmores are made by Janome. I couldn't find the part on Sears.com, so was sort of panicing. I *need* my sewing machine. It took me two days to remember the Janome dealer LOL My brain isn't working at full speed lately.

Oh, and I got my invite from Spoonflower!!!! Not that I have any clue how to design my own fabric, but if I figure it out, I can LOL

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My oldest daughter is 12!

I remember the day I found out I was going to have a girl. I was so happy, I loved my little boys, but I had always dreamed of having a girl. During the same ultrasound, they also found some complications. She had a condition called amniotic band syndrome and there was the potential for serious problems. I was 23 weeks pregnant when we found this out, and the doctors told me that if I could get to 28 weeks without these bands wrapping around her, she would be ok. Those were a long 5 weeks, everytime she would move inside me I was afraid she was getting entangled in these bands. But God was merciful, at the 28 week u/s, she was perfectly fine and the bands had calcified and were no longer a danger. I have never been so relieved in my life! She was my smallest baby at 7 lbs. 8 oz. and is still a tiny little thing. She was 11 days overdue, and has been late ever since LOL She kind of moves at her own slow pace : )

As a small child, she would constantly run into things because she never paid attention to where she was going. She had a gorgeous head full of beautiful blond curls and pale blue eyes, she looked nothing like my child lol She would talk and talk and the most hilarious things would come out of her mouth. My friends would sit and talk with her, just to see what she would say. There was a time when everything was *spooky*. She would say this with eyes open wide in the cutest little baby voice. She was and still is a passionate child, when she gets upset, watch out! LOL Dh is always saying puberty should be fun LOL

She is growing into a beautiful young woman! She is an awesome ballerina, she has beautiful grace. No clue where that came from ; ) Even when she was little she could just naturally dance. She loves her siblings, even her two annoying older brothers. She is always willing to help with the babies, not the housework, but she will do anything I need her to do with Sam and Ava. I have a feeling if I do have any more children, she will be a second little mommy to them. I am sure she will be a great mother herself when she gets older. I am so enjoying watching my daughter grow and mature, I hope we will always be close : )

I love you Sydney, Happy Birthday!!!!

this is a picture taken when her and her friends and sisters were playing in makeup. She is not allowed to wear makeup for real yet. It just gave me a glimpse of her all grown up : )

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

We had a wonderful day for the 4th of July. It started early and lasted all day and into the night. I got lots of pictures of the daytime activities, but didn't get any of the fireworks. Ava decided that she DID NOT like all of that noise and I had to go in the house with her. She did enjoy watching from the windows, though.

First and most important (at least to the kids) was the giant waterslide. They had the best time! Even Ava enjoyed it, my kids are extremely daring, which is kind of scary when your the mother. Which is funny, because I am a big weenie, I don't like to try anything that might remotely end up in injury. Probably because I am very clumsy and always get hurt lol

The other little ones had their own water fun : )

This is my cousin Jenny's little boy Collin, he played with this waterhose for at least an hour!

Here are Ava and Collin enjoying some watermelon

Bubba(Stevie) and Eden, my cousin Carla's little grandbaby and my cousin Dawn's little girl, had fun splashing in the baby pool. Bubba was appropriately dressed : )
Eden had the best time taking the water from the baby pool and transporting it to the trashcan full of water balloons with a water bottle. You can keep kids busy forever playing with water.
All of the big people enjoyed sitting around and visiting. Most of us only see each other once a year on the 4th, so we have lots of catching up to do.

This is my mom with her oldest sister, Georgia. My mom is 57 and my Aunt Georgia is 78. My Aunt was the second child of 10 siblings and my mom was the baby. My Aunt Georgia already had one child when my Mom was born, as a matter of fact, my Aunt Linda and my cousin Gwyndolyn(Aunt Georgia's oldest) were born only 5 days apart!

As you can see, I didn't exactly get my top finished, I had a busier day Thursday than I expected and only got about 3/4 of the way done with it : ( I really wanted to wear it too! Oh well, I am gonna try to finish it today. That is my cousin Dawn's husband, Steve, behind me. We have our 4th of July celebration every year at their house. They have a beautiful new home that thankfully survived Hurricane Rita. The house was only like a year old when the hurricane hit and they didn't know for several days if it was destroyed. Everyone still remembers and talks about Hurricane Katrina, but Rita hit the Western side of Louisiana a few weeks later and was just as devastating. Most of my Mom's family is from a *very* small community called Johnson's Bayou on the Louisiana coast and it was practically wiped out.

Here are Dawn's son Noah and Parker taking a break from the waterslide.

Oh, and we have a new(temporary) family member. This adorable little kitten was on our back patio Thursday. Stray animals seem to always find their way to me. I guess they know I can't turn them away. Dh is not quite as in love with animals as I am though, I am lucky to have the dog and two cats. So, we are going to have to find her a good home. She is sooooo sweet though, it will be hard to give her away. My animals are as unhappy as my dh is to have her in the house, as you can see, Zsa Zsa just hisses at her. We have named her Zoey.