throwback thursday {house}

On Thursdays I throwback into my years of blogging archives and dig up some oldies but goodies (at least in my opinion). When I was going back through my last 7 years of Octobers, I about fell out of my chair looking at this post. While we are still deeply entrenched in the remodeling of our home, looking at this photos from 4 years ago when we first moved in are a good reminder of how far we have come. I’ll have to do an updated post with recent photos so you can see the difference. But for now…here’s a look back from 2010.

Front of our New House

So a couple of weeks ago we moved to a new town (kind of a suburb of the city we lived in) and into a 50+ year old house. It’s something my husband and I have been praying about and longing for for years. We live literally across the street from a park with a greenway that leads all the way to the next small town. If we decide to go public school again, we can walk to school. And we are in an old house with “character”.

Kitchen (plan is to at least redo the doors, if not all the cabinets)

The road to this house though was really, really tough. Our old house was not the best built house and we ended up having to pay to have a bunch of stuff fixed in order to even sell it. But we knew that we were on our way out. The house that had prompted this whole decision to move at first (a foreclosure) ended up selling before ours did (don’t they all!). And when we first attempted to buy the house we bought the first time, they promptly turned us down. We hemmed and hawed about money and budgets and making it all work and honestly in the end it all panned out. The move was slow, but good. We bunked at my parent’s house (sans the parents) for a week prior to moving in and they came home from their trip just in time for us to have a week to move in and get settled. Then things started falling apart again.

Dining Room (view from the kitchen…plan is to paint!)

Among other issues that have come up (such as 1/4 of the wood floor in our master is missing due to a room expansion that happened years ago!) we basically found out this week that our main sewer line was filled with tree roots and practically inoperable (this after our basement semi-flooded with sewage). Something that hadn’t been fully disclosed and led me on a path of anxiety attacks etc for the last few days and eventually (where I should have gone first) into the shelter of the Lord’s wings. It hit me this morning, the root of these anxiety attacks that I’m prone to have at times, is that I go into myself and into my ability to “fix” things instead of straight into the arms of the One who can fix things.

Front of Den (another of the large bay windows in the front…plan is to paint!!)

This morning the kids and I were reading about Moses crossing the Red Sea in this Bible (which rocks if you haven’t seen it). The Isrealites are up at the Red Sea, Pharoah is storming down on them and they are freaking out. But the whole time, Moses is standing there telling them “God will provide a way” and you know that he believed it (even though his knees were probably knocking too). God will provide a way and He is. The money for the repair is being provided and things are going to be ok. I just pray that the next time my knees start knocking and my heart starts freaking out that I’ll stand there and look fear in the face and just remind myself that “God will provide a way.”

The Basement

(this room has already undergone the first part of the transformation. We had to move all the furniture out last night and the hubs removed the nasty carpet. Obviously the plaid is going next, then some paint and tile and this will hopefully be our school/play/sewing studio…as soon as the sewer line is fixed!)

tipsy tuesday {amazing applesauce bread}

I recently had a bushel of apples in my house and spent the better part of 3 days making gobs of applesauce. While we are doing a pretty darn good job of going through these jars of sauce I had a hankering to make some applesauce cake.

I don’t have too many cookbooks that I’ve hung onto since I was first married almost 18 years ago, but I do have one: The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. It was gifted to me by a family that I had babysat for years at a shower and I’ve treasured it for the memory of that family and also because it’s just a great baking cookbook. I have started altering some of her recipes a bit (mostly becase I don’t use vegetable shortning) and this is one of the recipes I played around with a little. It turned out amazing and was even better 3-4 days later. So enjoy!

Applesauce Cake
adpated from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book
makes 2 loafs

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil, but you could use whatever)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat (or you could use 2 1/2 cups all purpose)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups hot applesauce
1 cup raisins
1-2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease two 8.5×4.5 loaf pans.
Mix together the butter, oil and sugar, beating until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Mix together the flour, salt, soda, and spices and add to the creamed mixture along with the applesauce, raisins and walnuts. Beat until the batter is well blended.
Spread evenly in the pans and bake loaf cakes for about 1 hours (check after 45 min) until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in pans.

learning to sew: tic tac toe roll up

Roll up cover

My second level of sewing classes started this week and in this series we are doing a machine AND a hand project in each class. I’ve been searching for a good machine practice project for a while and see paper mazes all the time on pinterest, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted my students sewing through paper on the machines. The original plan was for me to trace a “maze” onto some fabric, but after doing a little more research online I ran across this great project on the Sewing School website (home of the great Sewing School series of books). I took the idea of a tic tac toe bag and altered it some to meet my objectives. It turned out to be a great project and is an easy one for you to recreate at home.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

You need some muslin for the front (or any other solid light colored fabric) and some craft felt for the back.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Cut the muslin and the felt into 6×8 rectangles.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Using a ball point pen and a ruler, draw your lines to make your squares.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Set up your machine on the lines and using a straight stitch, sew from end to end.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Use a zig zag stitch to sew the muslin to the felt. Make sure to leave the top open for your pocket!

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Cut an 18″ length of ribbon, fold it in half and sew the folded end to the inside of the felt.Count out 4 buttons each of 2 different colors and throw them inside the pocket.

Tic tac toe roll up. For practicing machine sewing

Roll it up from the bottom and wrap the ribbon around and tie it up.
Throw it in your backpack and have a quiet little game to play with a friend where ever you go!

After the girls were done sewing their little pouches they each received a “sewing machine driver’s license” that I found online. These were such a hit and we had a lot of fun celebrating!

Random Other Things…

If you grew up in church youth group in the 90’s you know all about the music of Rich Mullins. There is a movie out about his life and a coordinating album that is filled with covers from some great artists. In addition to Rich Mullins, you might also remember Sixpence None the Richer. Leigh Nash has an amazingly haunting voice and I never knew that she did her own album of hymns. It’s beautiful. So set up your sewing machine, have a listen and take a trip down youth group memory lane :)

throwback thursday {of the garment sewing kind}

On most Thursdays I go back through my blog archives and pull an old post that is a little dusty and needs to be blown off and cleaned up a little. This Thursday’s post is back from 2008, back when I could sew and dress my chick in whatever I wanted…six years later that isn’t happening. This is a Children’s Corner pattern that I wish they made bigger because I think I would love to sew it again.

flower/gingham front

The past few days I’ve been trying to finish up this outfit. The baby has been sick since Sunday, so time for sewing (or really much of anything) has come hard to find.

flower/gingham shirt

I made the shirt on Saturday before the baby got sick and really had so much fun sewing it, although I made some pretty silly mistakes! I spent some found time yesterday fixing those mistakes and finishing it up. The shirt is Macy by Children’s Corner.

flower/gingham pants

Today I made these little pants to go with it. They are just simple gaucho pants and I added the trim around the bottom.

flower/gingham shirt

I absolutely LOVE this outfit and can’t wait for the baby to be well enough to take her out and show it off!!

tipsy-tuesday {another pattern review: made by rae ruby top}

This summer one of my goals was to make some tank style tops for myself. I have long loved the patterns and styles of Rae at Made by Rae. I fell in love with the lines of her Ruby top and was excited to stitch up a few. After my day of fun trip to my favorite fabric store, I snatched up a few fabrics to put these together and when I got home I promptly got started.

Made by Rae ruby tops

Overall, this is a pretty simple and very well written pattern to put together. I love how it lends itself to so many different variations…not to mention that it can be a top or a dress. There’s a great flickr pool with all the different ways that people have put these together.

Made by Rae ruby tops

My biggest issue with this pattern was sizing and honestly it wasn’t the fault of the pattern, but just my tiny shoulders and bust. I tend to always sew a size up a little bit when I use a pattern for the first time (it’s always easier to take it in and you can’t ever add it back!). After posting the pics on instagram, Rae herself actually commented (how cool is that!?)and suggested making a size small for the yoke and a medium for the bottom…so I will definitely try that again.

Made by Rae ruby tops

After wearing both versions a few times and realizing that they were just too big in the shoulders, I did end up taking some the yoke apart at the shoulders and underarms and bringing it in some. I wore the lighter colored one a few weeks back with a belt and loved how it turned out.

I’m excited to try this pattern again and maybe even try the dress version. I do really think it’s one that I’ll keep and sew again and again, now that I have the sizing down. I highly recommend it!

pattern review {O + S badminton shirt}

Oliver and s badminton shirt

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time you will know that I’m a huge fan of Oliver + S patterns. I truly give these patterns all the credit for teaching me so much about sewing and pattern construction. I’ve sewn quite a few independent and boutique patterns over the years and I always come back to O+S because it’s almost always a no fail pattern.

I’ve made the coordinating badminton skort a few times and love how easily it comes together. It lends itself to so many easy adaptations and alterations, but I hadn’t had a chance to put theĀ  shirt together until this summer.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The bird fabric is an organic by Birch and the grey trim fabric is from the Ed Emberly collection. Both were lovely to work with and I love how they came together.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The little tie on the front was actually some trim I ordered years ago from the Netherlands and never used it for what I had originally intended. I think it was honestly the perfect way to top off this little shirt!

This is a great pattern and pretty easy to put together. It came together in an afternoon and the hardest part were the “sleeves”. The original pattern has a ruffle on the shoulders and my chick is very anti-ruffle so we opted to leave that part off. While it did save a step, had I realized we weren’t going to add the ruffle I would have probably altered how I constructed that shoulder seam a little better. I also added some length to the bottom of the shirt.

Oliver and s badminton shirt

The thing I love about Oliver + S is that no matter what you sew, you end up with a garment that 1. doesn’t necessarily look like your mom made it (you know what I mean) and 2. you have a garment that looks so complicated to construct, but yet it really isn’t.

I would say this is a great pattern for an advanced beginner.