Thursday, August 29, 2013

And So, A New Chapter Begins


Her bag was packed, and she has new shoes to boot, courtesy of daddy (Actually, her whole outfit is almost all courtesy of daddy)

Isabel's first day of kindergarten1st day of school - kicks

Her new adventure was about to begin.

We woke up early and had breakfast
(That's not really Snapple -- it's orange juice in a Snapple bottle)

1st day of school - breakfast

I packed her lunch...

Bento lunch - 082913

We snapped some pictures...

Isabel and Momma

And it was off to school!

We got there a tad early (a rare occurrence, and will probably never be repeated again...we are never early. We are never on time either), so we snapped more pictures

I am usually not in pictures with Isabel, so this is a field day for me!

And the teacher came up, called her students and whisked them away.

John and I were like, "Is that it?!" and stood around at loose ends for awhile.
It was very anti-climatic.

I don't think that Isabel even had a chance to say goodbye before going off into the classroom.

A few hours later, I came back to make sure she got on the bus (and really, it was to familiarize myself with her new routine)

And it is goodbye again.

I can just gobble her up, she is so stinking cute (and yes, I am probably overly biased here)

Her verdict?

She loves her kindergarten

But dislikes the afterschool place.

The bus ride was apparently "HORRIBLE", as she loudly exclaimed.
In public. Strangers were amused.

All in all, she had a good day because:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And So, A Chapter Ends...

Summer is over. 
Tomorrow is the beginning of a new school year.

This time of year has never affected me before. but this year... TOMORROW (!!!), Isabel will embark on the next chapter of her life as a kindergartener.

She has grown so much

She is starting to go on monkey bars by herself now.  

She is a bit of a monkey herself too

She can do a cartwheel! We practiced for a whole week in the evenings.


And she is still a pretty dismal singer


Her reaction after watching herself on the video: "I didn't sing like that! That wasn't me!!"


I am sad that she will be leaving all the kids that she has grown up with since she was 2 months old. 

Her best friend at school is feeling quite sad too...

And the boy Isabel intends to marry gave her a stuffed puppy to remember him by
(sweetest thing, EVER. My heart melts. I think I am more affected by this gesture than she is)

We went to each of the rooms at her daycare today to give out little tokens of appreciation to the teachers and caretakers who have looked after her and nurtured her and kissed away her boo-boos when I was unable to because I had to work.

These people have been with her almost as long as I have, and I don't know how they do this, year after year of saying goodbye to kids who will most definitely not remember them or remember all that they did for them.


It has been 4 and a half years of joy and worry, contentment and  frustration, guilt of feeling like I can never do enough and pride that she has turned out the way she did (Though there are more that some parts of her personality that just makes me want to throw up my hands and give up)

And the journey has barely even started. 

Momma loves you, my not-so-baby girl.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Things To Do

Let's Go Fly a Kite - Simple Skirt

If only my weekend to do list was that simple, I'll be set.

Whilst waiting 10,000 years for my junk of a work computer to finish running a (VERY SIMPLE) query,  I sew to distract myself from tearing out my hair.

A part of the "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!" present, made a simple skirt that I think will fit a 12/18 month child....I hope.

It's been awhile since Isabel was that young, and the skirt looked impossibly tiny to me. Was Isabel really that little once upon a time?

Let's Go Fly a Kite - Simple Skirt2

The kite applique is a complete rip-off from Homemade by Jill when she posted one in she made in her Instagram.

I never quite liked cutesy detail on children's clothes, but this one appealed to me because the song "Let's Go Fly a Kite!" from Mary Poppins played in my mind throughout. 
I love that song. 

Isabel and I sing it together

Mary Poppins - Let's Go Fly a Kite - Simple Skirt

It took perhaps an hour to get this done. Simple, quick and fulfilling. 

Meanwhile, that computer still isn't done yet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Evolutions of a Study/Library/Office

One of my dreams was always to have a room that is to be deemed a "study". Just one of those quirks of mine.

When we bought the house all those years ago, there was an extra room that was designated as such.

This room was where I would pay the bills. That was the extent of its use for a long time. Eventually, it became the place I sewed, and now, craft with Isabel.

The first time the room was painted, circa 2008 thereabouts, I went with a darker green for a masculine, serious feel...

Looking back, I cringe. It looks dreary, and boring and empty.
I don't even LIKE green.

Then I went through my white phase, picture circa 2011:

Room is still equally empty - I've never been good with accessorizing

But the room feels lighter, more airy, more girly.

And here she is now:

study 2013, dwell studio striped wool rug, pottery barn mia chandelier photo IMG_4485-1.jpg

With actual bookcases...filled with books, books and more books. I think that was what was missing all those years ago...

Books are an important part of my life. Always have been. And I am glad to be reunited with them.

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A glitzy chandelier is also an obsession.
This room is by far the most "colorful" room in the house, with the exception of Isabel's bedroom.

Study, library, Pottery Barn Mia Chandelier photo IMG_4490.jpg

The walls have something beyond paint on them

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The room is done (for now -- just need two more parson chairs to complete the seating)

I came across lots of old pictures of Isabel while looking for the original study pictures -- my darling, my love (although she really hates it when I call her my love...that term of endearment is apparently reserved for her future boyfriend to call her)

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Monday, August 12, 2013

It's a Bird's Life --- And a Mini-Me

Did I mention that I bought a ton of fabric recently?

I am trying to make a dent in my stash prior to cutting into the new. Because it pains me to cut in to fabric that was recently purchased. A hoarding symptom, probably.

I have a long list of items that I want to sew.
I started trolling round the net for patterns again, so first up, Reversible Wrap Top with Flutter Sleeves pattern by Craftiness is not Optional

Reversible Flutter Sleeved Wrap Top

It is definitely one of the better free patterns that I've used, and dare I say, better than some that I have actually purchased. Easy enough to follow along and the finished product is pretty durn cute. Sizes are limited, but sufficient.

Usually not a fan of reversible patterns as one sides gets used more than the other, so if I make it again for Isabel, I shall probably make it with a plain lining on one side.

Reversible Flutter Sleeved Wrap Top

Isabel's was made using the 4/5T sizing. It fits fine with room to spare on her now. 

Made a 12/18M version as part of a "Welcome to the World" present for a little girl of a friend
...except she's been in the world for about 6 months now...another case of where the aspiration is there, but the motivation is not. I am working on it.

Fabric Selection:

Isabel got all stash-fabric (she was consulted on the fabric selection, as usual) and the baby got part new, part stash.

Riley Blake Simple Bunting, Michael Miller Lil' Daisy

12/18M - Michael Miller's Lil' Daisy in Grey from the Plain Jane collection, Riley Blake's Simple Buntings in Aqua from the Simple Life collection, sleeves in Heather Bailey's Hello Roses in Taupe from the Nicey Jane Collection

Michael Miller Humming Bird, Love birds; Riley Blake Trees

4/5T - Oddly enough, all fabric in her top has a bird theme -- definitely purely coincidental...Michael Miller's Humming Birds in White from the Flora and Fauna Collection, Riley Blake's Trees in Blue from the Happier collection and Michael Miller's Love Birds in Black from the Hedgehog collection (LOVE this fabric)

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

What I Did on My Birthday

We had cake, naturally -- thanks to the ex for that

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Isabel decided that the cake was rather plain, so decided to add some flair to it

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My garden treated me to some birthday flowers (Little Lamb hydrangeas from the front yard) in a thrifted vase ($4!)

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A gorgeous, HUGE monarch-like butterfly came to visit the butterfly bush in the side garden

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Isabel got a new dress

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And we went to the carnival

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Where she proceeded to sit all the adult-like rides that she could.

Right at 42 inches tall, she could sit on a select few

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And there was no looking back for her

And she got a snowcone

One would think it was HER birthday....which it may as well have been, since she said "Because she was with me to celebrate my birthday,  SHE gets to choose what to do. And no, I don't get to choose the activity for her birthday, because that rule only applies to adult birthdays. When it is a kid's birthday, the kid naturally gets to choose...."

She may be a lawyer when she grows up.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Oliver + S Teaparty Sundress - Review and Thoughts

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I am actively trying to get back into sewing.

I've placed orders for new piles of fabric (despite the mountain of fabric that I've been hoarding - another topic for another day), and since they have been so kind as to send emails with codes for 50% off patterns, I've bought some new O+S patterns to (hopefully) work on.

In the meantime, I am going through some of the older patterns that I bought in the previous years (but never used!! the shame!) and hopefully make something before she outgrows the size selection available

First up, the Tea Party Sundress.

I may have overdone it with the detailing -- I was too lazy to put in actual piping, but felt that the skirt needed more defining between the panels, so I triple stitched along most seams

(Don't mind the purple marker stains you can see in the bodice -- that's just the washable marker I use to mark out the pattern on the fabric -- they disappear once it goes into the wash. Isabel is not the only one who gets to use fun stationery!)

O+S Tea Party Sundress - details photo IMG_4419.jpg

The pattern is fairly straight forward, as all O+S patterns are...However, I disliked the method of hemming the skirt -- it was a new technique and required hand-stitching (which I abhor, and which I am quite terrible at)

I tore out the stitching twice, and finally just decided to machine-stitch it...which resulted in a not quite so pretty outcome...

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Because the skirt hem curves, it didn't match up fully despite my best intentions...And it left me with an inch of hem that just didn't fit for me to stitch it together, so I left it alone.

At least it is on the back of the dress, so it is not too terribly noticeable when it is worn (or so I tell myself -- it just looks like she creased it really bad from sitting on it)

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Ah well.

As for fit, I made a size 5 for my 4 year old, so the fit is a tad roomy for her currently, but she will be able to wear it next summer as well. 

Fabric selection from my hoard:

Bodice is Pink Dots from Tanya Whelan's Ava Rose Collection (Isabel matched it -- I say she did well -- I would never have paired the two together)
Skirt is "Hopscotch Vine Trellis" in blue -- not sure who the manufacturer is

(While looking for the fabric names from my orders from's archive, I found that the pattern was purchased in December of 2009. Only to be made 3 1/2 years later....whoops...I've always had more aspiration than motivation!)