February 4, 2016

Christmas Traditions

We've had seven Christmas' together as a family, but I still don't feel like we have a lot of traditions yet. We do all of the traditional things, like baking and decorating cookies, decorating the tree together, watching certain Christmas specials and movies, getting new Christmas pajamas, etc., but nothing particularly unique to our family. This year I started something new that I hope will be something the kids will look forward to each year, and remember once their grown up. I decided to sew the kids' each a Christmas pillowcase that we would pull out each year with the Christmas decorations, and they could use throughout the Christmas season. I know that that was the kind of thing I would have loved as a kid. I bought the fabric in secret, carefully choosing fabric that suited each of them, and sewed them one evening after the kids were asleep. The plan was to give them to them on the first night of the Christmas season, which to me starts when the tree is set up :) 
 Somehow I got the idea that rather than wait until Christmas eve to give them their Christmas pajamas, I should give them at the beginning of the Christmas season, so that they'd have all month to wear them. I had also chosen each of them a new Christmas book for our collection, and a Christmas ornament that represented something about them this year. I decided that I'd wrap them up in their newly sewn Christmas pillowcases, and have them waiting under the tree for them, on the night that we decorated the tree. Stu gave them baths downstairs, then they came upstairs to these..

 It was a memorable, peaceful night and I'm happy that I thought to record it with pictures. I look forward to picking out new Christmas pajamas, books, and ornaments each year, and delivering them on that first Christmas night in their original Christmas pillowcases. I'm guessing that next year they will have possibly forgotten, but I hope that in time it will be something they anticipate and look forward to each year :)

The Nutcracker

I've looked forward to taking the girls to see the Nutcracker ballet for a long time. This winter seemed to be the perfect year for their first show, with both girls in ballet and cousins here to join us! After looking at all of the options, we decided to go to a production being put on by a local dance school. It was important to me that the girls' be able to understand the storyline, and this one was narrated!! But the kicker was that they had a "Sugarplum Tea" before the show, where they had fancy drinks and desserts, and the kids' could meet the cast. It was perfect!
Of course one of the best parts about going to the Nutcracker (or any ballet) is getting all dressed up, so I had to make the girls' some Christmas dresses. I used this pattern by Ellie Mae Designs, and let them pick out the fabrics. One of the highlights of the afternoon (for me at least) was when the costume designer from the ballet complimented me on them!

January 8, 2016

Halloween Sewing: 2015

I had a lot of fun planning and sewing the kids' Halloween costumes this year. And I was able to incorporate my new found love of crochet into each of their costumes!
Lincoln's still of the age where we can choose his costume, however he loves Daniel Tiger so much that I'm pretty sure he would have chosen it on his own if he could. His costume was really easy to put together. He had the pants and shoes already, and I bought the plain red hoodie from American Apparel. Then I crocheted the hat and tail. I didn't have particular pattern for either, but combined a few for each element (the base of the hat, the ears, and the stripes), so I'm really happy that they turned out.

Dede settled on Rapunzel after looking through the pattern books at Joann's. At first she wanted to be Elsa again (but with a new dress ofcourse!), then Merida from Brave (I liked this idea, since I could use the Merida dress I'd made for her birthday party), but I enjoyed doing something new. I used Simplicity's Disney Rapunzel costume pattern. The yarn headband and braid instructions were also included with the pattern. This was an intense costume to sew, but I'm proud of it, and she loves it!

Mollie had known that she wanted to be an indian for a while. She liked the fact that I was also an indian for Halloween when I was 6! I heavily modified a really basic long sleeved dress pattern to create her dress. I modified a basic crocheted hat with ear flaps for her "wig", and made the braided tails super long. I think the hair really made the costume :) 

December 30, 2015

Pumpkin Picking: Take Two

Our second attempt at pumpkin picking was much more enjoyable. The weather was perfect, and we almost had the whole place to ourselves.