March 27, 2009

Eat Your Veggies (Part I)

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, May 2008

I am so excited about my new project! It all started with a large, ugly pile of dirt behind our garage. This pile came about when Jesse (using all of his manly power) dug out lots of dirt from the side of the garage (a very uninteresting story in which I will explain no more). Piles of dirt are difficult to get rid of (i.e. dirt cannot go into the yard waste bin that the city picks up, so it must be loaded into a truck and taken to the dump, which we have done before and is very time consuming and not fun at all). Therefore, it sat there through the fall and winter and began to grow weeds. I'm sure our neighbors were pleased. Yes, we are "those" people in the neighborhood. You're welcome, neighbors.

Now that spring has sprung the snow has melted revealing to us again just how large and ugly this pile of dirt really is.

Well, what shall we do with it?

Turn it into a vegetable garden, of course! Oh, my father will be proud. And, my Grandpa 'Kowski would have been so proud. Now, if I will only be able to make it grow. Hmmm . . . we'll see.

I've never had much of a green thumb. I only have one house plant that has survived, and that is only because of Grandma George's intervention. It is an ivy plant . . . shouldn't be difficult, right? So, a veggie garden is probably not wise. But, why not give it a try?

I spent the better part of my Saturday last weekend with a hoe in hand digging out the weeds of our pile of dirt. I did a number on my hamstrings and had difficulty walking for the next three days. Nevertheless, I managed to get partly there with planning out my lot. You can see it marked below . . . using beer bottles, of course. A little insight into us living life in Iowa! (For all concerned family and friends . . . we're not truly redneck, I promise! At least in comparison to some folks here. The beer bottles were just the only "stake-like" contraption I could find in the garage.)

The plan for the next couple of weeks is to finish the plot. And, then . . . I will finally be able to plant some seed. I'll post with updates. Get excited!

March 19, 2009

Pants for a Spring Retreat

I got some wonderful sewing books for Christmas last year. (Thanks, Mom!) One of them was Amy Butler's In Stitches. The style of the book amazes me. Plus, the patterns are simple to put together. I love it. One of the patterns was "lounge pants". Here is the picture from Amy's book.

I thought they would be a perfect surprise gift. You see, I traveled to Denver, CO just two weeks ago to see my sister and meet up with my Mom and a friend for a weekend Women's Retreat (one of my favorite weekends of the year). I thought, wouldn't it be so fun if I could make some lounge pants for all of us to wear on the retreat? I could pick up some really cute vintage sheets at the thrift store . . . and all four of us would be so cute in our lounge-y pants! I was so very inspired by the jammies that pinkpicketfence made for her sister, here. (Her pictures are so fabulous). I just couldn't help myself. And, the thought made me so excited.

Well, life happened in between my daydreaming of lounge pants and the weekend of the retreat, and I ended up with only one pair to bring with me - not four. I was even finishing them at the last minute the night before the trip and couldn't even get a decent picture of them! These pants went to my twin sister, Em. Here she is modeling them for me.

The fabric I used was from a vintage sheet set that I had picked up last year and used it to make European pillows for the guest room.

I love the fabric and this was the perfect opportunity to use the rest of it. I modified Amy's pattern a bit. I thought her pants were a little too wide. So, I took an inch off of both sides (I think). Unfortunately, that made them a little tight in the hips. Thankfully Em is a skinny minnie, so she can squeeze them past her hips easily. Note to self: if narrowing the width in the legs of pants start narrowing 10 inches from the waistline.

I also substituted the drawstring waist for elastic and then just sewed a bow to the front. Lastly, I added 3 inch pink trim around the waist and the bottom of the pants. I like how they turned out.

Em is also modeling a kimono robe that I made for her at Christmas. I thought I would share that briefly too. Here's the picture from Amy's book.

Here's Em.

The fabric is another vintage sheet that I picked up. It has a nice paisley pattern on it (although you can't see it in this picture). It's lined with white flannel making it feel a little "heavier" (for those cold Colorado mornings) and making it cozy on the inside. I added the 5 inch white trim around the sleeves and body. She likes it. And, I like that she likes it. And, I really like her.

**In that picture Em is standing on a chair next to her fridge. I can't remember why. But, no, she is not 9 feet tall.**

March 15, 2009

Itty Bitty Babies

There were three babies born in the last 5 months to couples in our small group - two little girls and one little boy. It's been so fun to walk through the pregnancy/bringing-baby-home experience with these friends. As a gift to each of the kiddos I printed on some onesies using the same freezer paper technique that I used for my nephew's shirts. Once again - totally enjoyable!

The little boy received three onesies in a transportation theme. I can't help myself but to make things theme-y. He also received a little pair of navy blue sweatpants that I made for him to match the shirts.

The little girls each received a shirt with a bird. I got the inspiration from a most adorable picture on another favorite blog of mine. (Is that picture not so cute?)

And, I made each of the girls matching white sweatpants to go with their new shirts. It looks like Ella likes her new outfit.

Here's Taylor in her outfit - so cute and so funny.

Those pictures make me so happy.