Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Swamp

Since I had so much fun working out a pattern for the bunny, I thought I would try another animal. I chose a swan (obviously I hope) and am pretty happy with the result. I showed it to my 4 year-old nephew the other night and asked if he knew the type of bird. He looked at me completely straight-faced and said "a swamp".

There are a few things that I think I would tweek if I had another go at it, but I'm not quite sure about how to make the improvements. I like the body and wing shapes very much, but the beak is goofy. I think it might better if it were attached by hand after the body is sewn. I love the way the wings worked out. After sewing the wings and turning them inside out, I used my free-motion quilting foot and added the feather shapes. The baby swan was done sort of rough. I left the seems exposed and stitched in a black thread. The baby made the whole piece work much better as a toy. Betsy has had a lot of fun playing "mama and baby" games all day with them. For both, I might still add eyes, but maybe not.

What next? I don't know. I have a couple of ideas, but nothing real solid yet. Kinda strange. I usually am so anxious to start my next project because I have so many ideas for it. I am starting to feel like I should switch gears and start doing some crafting for the baby. Quilt? Crochet? Knit?

Part of my crafting problem right now is that I don't have a dedicated area to craft. Fabric is in the basement, open projects are in the family room, sewing machine is in the living room. It's just all over the place. I would love to be able to start something and be able to just leave it and then come back later and pick up right where I left off. Now, I have to have enough time to get to certain point (ie. get all pieces cut out) and then get it all cleaned up and put away. It takes me a little more motivation to get started this way.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy bunny and sad fish

Over the past week I have managed to get a little bit of crafting done. I made this bunny from more of the wool sweaters from the trift store. I did a few mock-ups in muslin before I was happy with her shape. She was fun and I'm happy to have a design that I can use as a quick hand made baby gift. I have started on another animal that is coming along nicely, but there is still more work before I will post the photo.

Jim is still away for another week. Can't wait till he gets back. Seems like he has been away for ever! My mom can to visit for the past week and we had a wonderful visit. On Saturday there was a funfair at Patrick's school. Pat really, really wanted a goldfish. We waited in a tremendous line three times to have a try at throwing the ping pong ball in the bowls. They would let him stand right over the the bowls an tell him to drop the ball in, but he would keep throwing the ball super hard and it would go flying away. He was on the verge of panic tears when they finally gave him a ticket to just go get a fish. He turned around and yelled to the crowd of kids in the room "he gave me a ticket and I didn't even get it in the bowl!" Now it was my mom and I in tears laughing so hard.

So Pat goes to school on Monday and, of course, his fish, the smallest of the three, dies. When he gets home and sees the poor fellow floating in the crystal ice bucket of a fish bowl he felt really sad and started crying. He went to his room and spent some time to himself and came back down about an hour later and seemed O.K. I told him it was time for him to start his homework. He sits down with his math worksheet and starts working on some story problems. For the final question he needed to write his own story problem. This is what he wrote. "I had 3 goldfish. 1 diyd. How maeny ar left. 3-1=2."

He has not mentioned the fish again.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Life after the holidays

Many of our days over the winter break are best described by the photo on the sofa. But I did get some crafting done. The sweater chicken was made from a Martha Stewart pattern that she did on her show in December. I also made the knitting bag, pig and a ball from old felted sweaters. The bag came out really cute. It was made from an old irish sweater and I added handles and flowers and buttons. Really cute. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it before I gave it to my mother-in-law. I filled it with some beautiful yarn and a pattern for a scarf. What a satisfying person she is to make a present for. She carries it with her everywhere and tells everyone about it. So very nice. She has made so many beautiful things for our family over the years I 'm glad she was pleased with a handemade gift from me.

For the old sweaters I went to a local thrift store and found so many great colored sweaters that I have to come up with more uses for them. It 's just an addictive material to work with. I've been working on a bunny pattern that I think will come out great. My only hang up with stuffed animals is that I can't stand polyfil. Yuck! After calling around and searching the internet I finally found some wool stuffing at Magic Cabin. I ordered an ambitious amount.

Jim was home for the week between Christmas and New Years after a long trip in December. It was great to have him home, but now he left just last night for a 3 week trip. It has been a long time since he has travelled like this. He got a promotion in December and I think it might continue like this for a while.

I almost forgot the most exciting news of all. We had our level II ultrasound and we will be having a baby GIRL. Wow! I love knowing that all this kicking and hiccuping is a little girl. It wasn't the happiest news for Patrick. He had his heart set on a boy to balance things out around the house. I don't blame him. I remember feeling sad as a kid when I found out my mom was having a boy when she had my brother. Patrick said he felt that now it would be very hard on him because he will have three little sisters to keep an eye on. He is a good boy and a great brother.

I have started taking progesterone shots each week which will hopefully reduce the risk of going into preterm labor. Right now I'm at 21 1/2 weeks which is not viable. I'm anxious to get to about 27 weeks. Then at least we have a chance if I go into labor. But really I won't be comfortable until I'm at 34 weeks. That is when Betsy was born and she, and we, were able to get through that without any problems. Other than those worries, I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy. I love the kicking. I'm not stressing about weight. This will be the last time (for sure!) and I feel more bitter sweet about it than I remember with Betsy.