Saturday, March 29, 2008

Baby Shower gift

As I mentioned previously, there is a baby shower coming up this week. The father-to-be teaches at my school, and his wife actually teaches at the school were our church meets. :) I really wanted to make a nursing cover, but I wasn't sure how to find out if she's planning on trying to nurse. First I asked some teachers who know the father better than I. Then I went ahead and just asked him myself. She is, so the next step was choosing some fabric.

They do not know yet if it's a boy or a girl, so I perused JoAnn's (our only fabric store in town) hoping to find something fun and fashionable for the mom. Who knew I'd find Alexander Henry fabric right here in Small Town, Florida. :) I settled on the Kleo Sage blossoms for the front and Nekko for the back. The colors match, even though they don't necessarily look like it below (pics found online).



here's a picture *I* took of the fabric after I laundered it

I also have some terry cloth I'm planning to sew onto one corner of the back, and Joy mentioned making a pocket or something to hold a paci on the next one she makes. I'm considering it.... I have never done a zipper yet, and I want to keep this simple. Then I decided velcro might not be great in case the mom wants to let her baby nurse to sleep. I'm just not sure.... I probably need to ask Joy more about what she was thinking. :) Lastly, I bought D rings in hope of making the sliding adjustable straps instead of ribbon straps. I'll let you know how it goes! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Frugal (Almost) Friday

Last night I needed to drop some things off at the post office, which is so conveniently in the same shopping center as Joann's. What's a girl to do?? I wanted to see if they had any Easter decorations left. I hit the jackpot! They had JUST moved everything to the back of the store for their 70% off after-holiday sale. Since it had JUST been moved, it wasn't even picked over!!

I was thrilled to get the following for just over $10 (it should have been over $36)!

I thought the bunny candy jar was adorable with its little crooked smile. :) The two boxes of eggs on the right are paper covered, and I'll use those for hanging from a tree/tree branches. The two boxes of eggs on the left are for a wreath. I have a grapevine wreath I like to change up for the various seasons. They had a really cute Easter wreath with these eggs around it (stuck in with florist wire). I could have bought the wreath for $9 (not bad), but I bought these eggs for about 1/3 of that price, AND I can use the wreath I already have (one less thing to store!). I'm so excited!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Little Update

Just a little note to say the bride seemed to love the kitchen coordinates I've been posting about. People couldn't believe I made them, and many people said the fabrics were PERFECT for the bride. So, hooray and praise the Lord!

Matt is going fishing on Saturday, so I was kind of trying to decide what in the world to do with myself. BUT, now a baby shower at work has been moved up to next week, so I think I'll get my "baby sewing" on. I'd love to make a nursing cover, but it's for the teacher's wife..... I'm not sure if I should ask the male teacher if his wife plans to nurse, you know? So, while that's my favorite baby gift (because they're so stinking clever and helpful!), I might go with a blanket or softie toy or something. Hmmmm, any thoughts? I can't WAIT to get the embroidery machine this fall (we're working towards it--they are *expensive*), and then I can really take my sewing "up a notch" with personalization.... and then I'll have even MORE questions for Joy, too! :)

Thanks for all your encouragement and following along on the bridal shower sewing project. Stay tuned for the baby shower adventure, and please let me know if you have any thoughts on what to make!


P.S. If you are interested in trying a similar project, I used patterns from

Sunday, March 23, 2008

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love, this righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
'Til on the cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid;
here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine,
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
‘Til he returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand!

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Excerpt

Our pastor posted this excerpt on the church blog this week. I found it encouraging in light of the celebration of Jesus' victory and resurrection on Easter tomorrow.

Aslan turned to them and said: "You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be."

Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often."

"No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?"

Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.

"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadowlands—dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. (C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle, New York: Collier Books, pp. 183–84)
Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again. Hallelujah!

Kitchen Set Complete

Last night I finished the casserole tote. We bought a dowel, Matt cut it for me, and then I sewed it in. I'm pretty happy with how my first attempt worked out! :)

The whole set together (apron, oven mitt, casserole tote)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tango with Technology

I'm not SURE this counts as crafty (?), but I would say it falls under the category of "creativity" at least.

My class is creating comic strips using the program Comic Life on the Macbooks (I'm participating in a grant that gave our school 11 Macbooks! One teacher from each grade level is part of the grant, and my students are doing amazing things with them). They researched an animal in tech lab, and now they are taking that info to make a comic about their animal (working in pairs). I gave them specific guidelines and we went over a self-assessment rubric they will be completing, though the guidelines also allowed room for choice and definitely for creativity (I seek to support their autonomy and provide as many creative outlets as possible). I made a sample to post on my class blog for the parents to see while they wait for their children to finish (so I can post theirs). I had too much fun. I thought you might enjoy seeing it. :) I chose penguins because we JUST finished Mr. Popper's Penguins today (which they LOVED).

Click on the picture to enlarge it and read all the little captions and comments!
I noticed a typo... Oops. I had a fever when I made it... does that count for anything? :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I know I'm still lacking some in the frequency of these updates. Two days of FCAT left--hooray! My allergies are also kicking in here. Time for some Rinocort, I do believe. :)

I will leave you with a Psalm that has meant a lot to me lately...

Psalm 30
Joy Comes with the Morning
A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.

30:1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
7 By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
9 “What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kitchen Coordinates

Previously I posted about an apron I made and a some-what failed attempt at an oven mitt (it's functional, but the shape did not come out right). Last night I worked on part III, a casserole tote, and gave the oven mitt attempt number 2. :)

I'm not totally done with the casserole tote. It's kind of like a Pyrex Portables carrier, but more fun because it's personalized (and I might have my sister, Joy, monogram it for me, so it might be even more personalized)! My grandmother made one for my mom years ago, and she still uses it. I think it's fun to have something with a splash of your own style, so this was the perfect gift to make for someone (and it is a gift). Anyway, it's not complete because I need to finish the tops of the sections for the handles. The instructions I had didn't *quite* seem to go step-by-step, there was some presumption of following along that I had some guess work to do. Anyway, the handles are one part I am slightly guessing at, and I need some dowels to finish them (basically you end up sewing a pocket into the fabric and insert a dowel by which to carry the tote. I'll post another picture when the tote is truly complete, but here it is save for the last step. :)

(there is velcro holding the two "attached" flaps together,
so the casserole dish won't slide out front-to-back)

I also tried the oven mitt again. I'm still not totally satisfied with the hand part (though the thumb is a huge improvement), and the "bias tape" I made for the bottom gave me trouble (actually sewing it onto the mitt gave me trouble). But, at least this one is gift-able (my original intent).

As you might imagine, today's jobs include stopping by Home Depot or Lowe's (hmmmm, or Michael's? I know A.C. Moore has dowels, but we don't have an A.C. Moore) for a dowel so I can finish the tote! Other than that, we tossed around the idea of an afternoon at the beach (about 70 minutes away), but it's rather chilly for FL. As I recall we tried to go in March previously one year figuring it would be warm--it's the beach!--but it was very windy and cool. Maybe we'll hold off a little longer..... we ARE going to Hilton Head in less than a month. ;)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Easy Peasy!

You need to check out Half Pint House's "cardigan hack" in which she explains how she turned a clearance long-sleeved t-shirt from Walmart into this adorable cardigan!

A student in my class has a thin grey sweatshirt that has been transformed into a cardigan with a sweet puppy ribbon or fabric running down the raw edges, and I've always thought I should file away that idea. Here is it again! Go check out the whole post.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Busy Times

I'm sorry I haven't posted recently. Last weekend we had the delight of hosting my parents for a weekend visit (happy sigh). They had to leave yesterday morning, and then today was the first day of FCAT testing (Florida's standardized testing). Even though I'm not the one taking the tests, it's rather exhausting, especially in conjunction with the time change!

The good news is that my class feels positive about having their first test behind them today, as I predicted they would. :) They are hard workers and I know they will "show what they know" while they continue working carefully and doing their best. :)

I also helped my friend, Trish, yesterday with her twin 5 month old boys, whereas I usually help on Wednesday or Thursday. But tonight is her husband's last day of night float, so she was looking for some help to make it through. She's made it! Two+ weeks of her husband on night float (he's a resident)! The boys are doing great, and it was fun to see them all. Then today is my usual tutoring day. Anyway, all that to say the beginning of the week was FULL, but things should be settling down now. I'm hoping to get to my next sewing project tomorrow, and I'll update you on how it's going!

Thanks for hanging around, and I'll have some (hopefully enjoyable-to-read) updates very soon!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Break it up

No, that's not what I had to tell my students today. :) It's part of something that ran through my mind as I worked in the yard this afternoon.

Over the weekend I've been straightening the yard, tidying the lanai, raking and bagging bags upon bags of leaves. And as I uncovered more and more grass (you might not think there'd be so many leaves to rake in Florida!), I thought of one of my mom's favorite verses.

Hosea 10:12
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

As I raked and pulled up dead grass, sticks, and mounds of leaves which choked out the sunlight and water our backyard so desperately needs, this verse seemed to come to life before my eyes. I was breaking up our fallow ground (in a way). It has not been "living" as it should have been. It's been smothered in leaves, pine needles, and other yard debris.

Now it can receive and take in the physical rain it needs to produce more fruit (in our case, grass).

It made me what ways are we not living as God means for us to be? Where do we need to break up fallow ground in our lives and our hearts, that "he may come and rain righteousness upon [us]"? And do you have fallow ground hidden by other things, as ours has been hidden under piles of wind-swept leaves? Is your fallow ground covered in busyness or endless chatter in your head and heart that prevents you from being still and listening?

Lastly, it also made me wonder what things in my life don't belong here, or what things are you trying to convince yourself don't belong (I don't have time, I don't know how, I can't...), but should be present? You see, I never though of Florida as a place I'd have to rake leaves. But sure enough, we live in northern FL and are surrounded by pine trees and deciduous trees. Are there things in your life that don't belong (as I thought leafy trees and raking yard didn't?) Or are there things you're trying to convince yourself aren't right or necessary (pine tress in sunny FL??) that actually SHOULD be there (our climate IS right for them here)?

The things you can think during some quiet time in the yard. :) May we indeed SEEK Him and drink in the righteousness He showers upon us. He is the only thing to quench our thirst.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Some recent projects

reversible apron

too small oven mitt :)