Friday, August 5, 2011


Look at that sweet sleeping baby! This is eighteen-month-old H, riding on his papa's back through Acadia National Park last summer. He's riding in the SweetPod baby carrier that I made last spring before a different family trip, to Texas. The carrier was indispensable on both of those trips, through airports and on hikes. But it has shown its true utility now that little mister G has arrived. This is the carrier that I wear on every trip to the grocery store and the doctor's office, and every day on walks with the boys. George rides in front for now, but the day when he can ride backpack-style isn't far off.

This is a very detailed pattern with a great supply buying guide at the beginning. I did have to mail-order a few supplies, like high-density foam for the hip support and all of the heavy-duty fasteners, but the pattern includes sources for the special materials. I would encourage anyone who needs a baby carrier to try sewing your own with this pattern. It seems complicated, with the nap hood (which zips in its own integral pouch) and all of the adjustable straps, but it was much easier to complete than I thought it would be. Totally do-able. The savings over similar store-bought carriers was substantial and the SweetPod is way cuter and much more comfortable than some carriers that don't include the hip support.

I'll be using it again this afternoon, on a trip to the nature center. Happy hiking (and sewing).

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Yesterday at the grocery store I was contemplating buying some flowers for our dining room table. There were bouquets of deep red, magenta, mustard yellow, dahlias and zinnias, sunflowers. But something has shifted in me and I bought the plain white dahlias.

Henry spotted this bluejay feather on a recent walk and he found the broken robin's egg in our yard a few weeks ago. I think they're so beautiful together, and suddenly I'm drawn to those cool blues. I love adding nature finds to our little kitchen windowsill vignette, and I love how the blues and whites seem to creep in organically near the end of the summer.
Last night was the first night that I consciously noticed the dusk coming sooner. In a light rain, the end of the day felt so *summer*, but with a twist of fall. I think I say this every year around this time: I'm so ready.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New jammies

The big boy has graduated from his union suit pajamas, since body-length zippers and middle-of-the-night potty runs don't mix. Perfect excuse to try out the crossover tee pattern from Growing Up Sew Liberated!

I made the size 3, but next time I will make the 2, as this one is a lot big. This was also one of my first projects sewn with knit fabrics. The neck came out a little gape-y. I guess I need to stretch the rib binding pieces more before I sew them down? Or start with shorter pieces than the pattern suggests? Buy higher-quality rib-knit? Perhaps I just need more practice. The knit sewing has definitely made me want to get more comfortable with the serger-- sewing those seams more than once is no picnic.
He seems happy with his new jammies, no?

The shorts are from a pattern I drafted from the pants block pattern at Children's Fashion Workshop. These block patterns have been so useful. And the fabric is some cheap interlock I got a long time ago from JoAnn's. (As a side note on that, I was in there for some needles on Sunday and they still had this print! This isn't the first time I've seen a print there literally a year after I've purchased it. Is it just my location, or do they keep stock around for a long time?)At least two more sets of pajamas are on deck for my big boy-- firetrucks and frogs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Popcorn and popsicles for supper!

This has been a hot summer punctuated by projects (potty training comes to mind) that take more effort and time than you think they will. So about once a week, I find myself left with very little time before supper and nothing in the works. On these days, I've been resorting to a combo of popcorn (popped in delicious coconut oil) and a cold kefir concoction. On this day, the cold kefir of choice was kefir popsicles: kefir, frozen strawberries and honey. Last week, I made vanilla kefir ice cream to go with our popcorn. It was delicious.

Now, I know popcorn and cold, sweetened kefir isn't the most healthy supper option. But it's stress-free for both Mama and her two-year-old and it just feels so much like summer. I guess I'll have to come up with a different crunch-time go-to meal for the winter!
Grady likes popsicles too.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hello August

Hello. Happy August. I can't believe we're already into the last month of summer. Lately I've been trying to decide if this blog is worth keeping. I feel like I should be pouring my extra time into baby books for the boys or photo albums instead of writing about my crafty and country pursuits on this blog. But I keep coming back (even after extended absences) so I guess we'll see. I'm going to try to get a better rhythm going for August. There are many completed projects that have not yet been shared.

The dapper dandy that you see above is Harry. He is my older son's best friend, a doll made from this pattern for Henry's first birthday. The boy always says, "Harry is a nice doll, Mama." And then he bites him in the belly. All that love, you know. Sometimes Henry loves Harry a little too much, as illustrated by Harry's new chin. His old chin was so loved that there was a gaping hole and stuffing was exposed. We can't have that. So Mama gave him a chin graft. The sad part is that since this photo was taken Harry has lost a leg and he has a hole in his shirt. Both repairs will be happening soon, I hope. I think I'll have to sneak him out of Henry's room in the middle of the night.