Category Archives: life

Family Day 2009

Since we were married on New Year’s Eve, we celebrate the anniversary of our family on New Year’s Day.  We all love the outdoors and e tend to gravitate toward our local state park for together time outings.

Parents, post-hikePeterHike at MayburyReeds, Cold.brrrr.

18 degrees and beautiful yesterday (BRRRRRRRRRRR). I’m so grateful for my family!



Filed under life, motherhood

Decorating the tree.

Decorating the tree.

Originally uploaded by Pranamama.

Why are you surprised that all the ornaments are in the lower 1/4 of the tree? Ella decorated it (and continues to re-decorate daily). We had NO idea she would love the tree this much.

I’m afraid to think of what she’ll say when we have to take it down!


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Birthday Report and Holiday Dress Update!

Didn’t start off great, but when I arrived at my friend Jennifer’s for a play date, she had made me BROWNIES (which I had for breakfast.  I sure needed them after hydroplaning and being on the receiving end of a sloppy now slide from a truck onto my windshield.)

They were the best brownies I have ever had in my life.  Ever. In my life.

The recipe is here.

Ells didn’t nap, even while I was at the salon covering my greys…I’m sure there are only the 4 I saw, but still…


I came home to a pile of presents and gorgeous flowers!  We all went (inlaws too) to eat Ethiopian food at The Blue Nile in Ferndale and it was magnificent.  I love that my children eat exotic, spicy, vegetarian food.  Even the non-veg kids ate only vegetarian food.  It was fantastic!

I finished my niece’s holiday dress.  Ella is wearing it above, in the photo with my flowers.  She wasn’t really in the mood to model yesterday, so I didn’t get a lot of great shots.  I’ll try again tomorrow when she’s in a better mood, before I ship it off to Memphis.

I used my Party Dress pattern along with the Teatime Pinafore, with some modifications.  (You may remember, I made this for Ella’s Birthday, too, in a beautiful Magenta color.)

I used a simple rolled hem on the sparkly organza pinafore :


And trimmed it with ribbons and bows:


I used our great aunt’s buttons on the front of the dress and the back of the pinafore:



I made a puff sleeve and puffed hem out of cotton batiste:


Of course I finished the inside so that Sophia’s skin is caressed with super-soft fabric, and no annoying threads or scratchies!

Waistline – flat-fell seams


Shoulder – turned and stitched seams:


Skirt – French seams:

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Ella didn’t want to take it off….but hers is next.

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I’m working on a tutorial to share with all of you who commented on my flickr photostream about the Furrowed Cuff on Ella’s holiday dress.  I’ll have instructions and a photo follow-along tutorial for this technique tomorrow!


Filed under life, sewing

Cross Cultural Friendship

…or…the Internet is a wonderful place!

As you all know, we are here in Copenhagen, Denmark for our annual trip for J’s job.  I love this city, and have since the first moment I set foot here 4 years ago, but now I have reason to love it even more: friends!

I’m sure many of you read Astrid’s beautiful Connecting The Dots blog, and you have seen her beautiful creations, most notably her beautiful children!  We “met” through the yahoo sewing group ottobre-english.

Well, I was fortunate enough to have spent the day with them yesterday at the Copenhagen Zoo.  It was cold and rainy, and the girls were a little shy at first (I have to admit, so was I!) but in the end, coloring books, snacks, and the sweetest little Frida has us all come out of our shells to have a lovely time!

Ronja and Ella held hands periodically as we walked.  (It’s too bad I’m not a very good (or quick) photographer, because it was really, really darling!)  I just loved watching them interact, and they really seemed fond of each other.


Ronja is so beautiful, and a loving big sister to her little Frida. Sweet Frida had a nap after her sparkle, shiny, smiley lunch.  She is probably the happiest baby I have ever met, and so beautiful, all the time! She really has a twinkle in her eye….as if everything is amusing to her.

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Ella and Ronja also taught each other the names for the animals in their respective languages.  It was so sweet to see them talking to each other, only briefly pausing from time to time for Astrid’s translations.

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Ronja made Ella the most beautiful drawing!  I cannot wait to frame it and hang it in her room! (And seriously, how on earth could any fabric be this beautiful?  Astrid gave me the loveliest collection of Danish fabrics and now I miss my sewing machine.)

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When it was time to leave, Ella asked if Ronja was coming to our “hotel-house” to color some more with us.  If that isn’t an endorsement of a budding cross-cultural friendship, I don’t know what is!


Filed under inspiration on the web, life, motherhood, traveling

Saturday Hike

_Peter's leading the wayWalking with Daddyfirst encounter with mossElla and Peter at the Lake

Peter loves the lakeElla loves the lakeSomeone's making a tipi

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my baby is two

It seems like just yesterday that I made it through another 16.5 hour (plus) labor.

I cannot believe how quickly she has grown, and how magical her presence has been in our lives.  She’s surely the Family Spackle we expected she’d be.

Ella 2nd Birthday 011 Ella 2nd Birthday Brothers

Ella 2nd Birthday Bike Ella 2nd Birthday 002

I love this little one. I am in awe of her sense of humor, her love for her siblings, her imagination, her compassion and her creativity.


Filed under life, motherhood

Sketching and stitching and dreaming

Last week I had a major breakthrough.  I received some seriously beautiful fabric and was immediately drawn to making it into something other than another nice pretty folded piece for my collection of nice pretty folded pieces of good design intentions.  I couldn’t stop thinking about what would definitely be a dress.  I dreamt of it, I doodled it, and finally, I began with a solid idea.  As I was drafting the pattern and arranging the pieces on the fabric, something kept me from cutting everything and then sewing it all together.  I cut, then stitched, then decided on a trim, then stitched, then tried the pieces already sewn onto Formella and then I stopped.  I realized what I already had was something pretty special.  Ideas fell into place, and I was able to continue to construct what was initially a dress idea into a pinafore that I feel is simply perfect on its own.  I decided to construct the remaining portions of the dress idea as a separate dress altogether and I couldn’t be happier with the results so far.

Here are some photos of the pinafore (still awaiting its underdress) The photos do not do this fabric justice.  The colors are so rich and deep that I just want to sink into it.  I wonder if I could get away with wearing this in my size? Probably not. partypinafore 004 partypinafore 003

I was thoroughly inspired by this skirt to get a little ruffle-y.  (Once I read the post and devoured her entire blog, I discovered that Miss Jona has a gorgeous little fabric shop, Fabritopia.  Orders were placed and received.  A new bookmark has been saved.  Go there.)  You may notice that I finally learned how to use that contraption that has been sitting in my sewing room, taunting me from its box for over a year now.  That ruffler is my new best friend. My ruffle is more of a pleat, I confess, but I love it on  this pinafore. Crisps up the edge of the magnificent meandering blossoms, I think.

The underdress is coming along nicely in a gorgeous plum baby corduroy that feels like velvet.  The sleeves are going to be simply magical,  if I have my way with the fabric!

Construction has been halted however, in favor of a very specific request by Miss Ella (did I tell you she asked me to call her that?)for a “Fairy Costume, Orange One” for her upcoming birthday.  I have scoured the web, trying tutorial after tutorial after tutorial and yet, after fearlessly attempting these techniques at home, I understand why people charge (and pay) so much for those lovely tutus and pettiskirts…they are a pain in the ass to make!  Plus, none of these tutorials, though really, really great (especially that last one, WOW!) are exactly what I want for my little Orange Fairy.

I’m going to try to dream about this one tonight before my mom comes over to play with ellabella tomorrow.  It will probably be my last chance before the birthday to get it done.  Otherwise I’m going to be baking cupcakes like mad (and enlisting brothers and sister to frost and sprinkle fairy dust on them!)


Wish me luck!

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Filed under creativity, inspiration on the web, life, motherhood, sewing