The Kain Family
It seems that most of my projects these days are necessity projects. Today’s project is no exception.
Yesterday I debuted our new space (sewing space for Mama, and play space for the boys). Since our new space is in the basement, the floors tend to be cold (a bonus in the summer, but gives you shivers during a Michigan winter). Another problem with the floors….when in a sewing frenzy, Mama tends to drop pins. I’m getting better, but I still do not to risk one of my little guys stepping on one.
I had a solution.
My husband had chucked a wool sweater into the donate box. I quickly pulled it out knowing I could do something with it, it was wool. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture because I cut into the sweater pre-blogging days.
I used this tutorial and template from Leafy Treetop Spot. The slippers in the tutorial are made with fleece. I have plenty of fleece, but I was envisioning something warmer and a little bit sturdier.
The outside upper slipper, and inside sole are cut from the felted sweater.
The bottoms are made from Blue Jean Buttercup leftovers.
I used some red fleece left from the boys’ Halloween costume to line the slipper uppers. The Velcro is also from my stash (which is why it doesn’t match).
I made size 10/11. They are quite big on the boys right now, but they’ll grow into them. The tutorial is very easy to follow, and would make wonderful last minute Christmas gifts.
Do you dive for wool sweaters? If so, what are your favorite wool projects? That sweater barely touched the donation pile before I snagged it up. It seems like wool sweaters are a little harder to thrift these days.
Hi folks! Its Theresa checking in. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words on my “I need a break” post!
I wasn’t intending on being away for well over a month. But I am glad I took some time.
On that particular day (August 21), we were well into potty training. The boys were doing pretty good actually, peeing in the potty the majority of the time. Number 2 was a different story.
I had been putting them in their room for “quiet time” (because they decided that naps aren’t ‘cool’). I had put a pull-up on the boys, tucked them in, and closed the door. I took a shower (because on this particular day the boys also decided to wake up two hours earlier than normal).
When I stepped out of the shower I heard laughing, giggling, and “POO-POO! POO-POO! POO-POO!”
Upon hearing chants of POO-POO, I dressed as quickly as possible, and ran into their room.
Standing there were my two angelic boys. Proud faces.
Pant-less. No pull-ups. Bare bottom except for chocolate like smears coating their chubby legs. (I’m so sorry. I didn’t react the way a blogger would, I didn’t take a picture.)
Yup. First they had decided to pull every piece of clothing from their dresser. In the meantime they pooped. Then took off their poopy pull-ups. And smeared fecal matter EVERYWHERE.
Take a few days like this (not the same, but similar) + our upcoming life changes (mama being away from home) x fear of ‘how the heck are we going to do this’ = one stressed Mama that needed a break.
Anyways, I am happy to say we are adjusting fairly well. The boys prefer to use the potty (inside, outside is a whole ‘nother story). School is going great. And the hubby has been tremendous, helping with housework, dinners, and giving Mama an empty house to study in.
As you can see, most of our life is settling into place. There is one aspect of my life that is lacking. My sewing machine has been neglected, as well as any other creative hobby I enjoy. I
want to need to reconnect with my creative outlets. I’m just not sure how to fit it in. Do I stay up late or get up earlier? Do I set a timer? Write it on a schedule? Wait until an empty slot of time opens up? HELP!
What are your tips, tricks, or methods for fitting your creative outlet into a busy schedule? Please share your secrets!
Things are busy again. Life is about to become even busier.
The last couple of weeks have drained me. The boys not taking naps and potty training have wiped me out. On top of these parenting changes I have been trying to get everything ready for school.
My creative outlet has suffered immensely. I have learned that I have to/want to/need to create.
While I love writing here and interacting with you all, I feel like lately I have just been posting crap for the sake of posting.
I have decided that we would all benefit from a little break. I plan to re-bond with my sewing machine, spend time with my family, and get acclimated to my new workload.
I won’t be gone forever. I may even pop in sooner than planned. My goal is to recharge.
Thank you so much for understanding. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks.
It is that time again, another month closer to thirty-one.
The last couple weeks have been crazy. Our routine is out of order, and looks like it will never be the same again. The boys still aren’t napping. We just started trying to potty train. I have many final details to work out before school starts. And the list continues.
Anyways, here is a 31 by 31 update:
1. Paint, and decorate dining room. *I think I am focusing on the office and eat-in part of the kitchen this year. I picked out colors, and bought paint already.
2. Build a display shelf for hubby’s decoys. *Have some ideas.
3. Finish piano project.
4. Build a piece of furniture.
Plant garden. Can/preserve. *Garden is planted and looking great! I picked and froze berries in July. The zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers are in full swing. Made some refrigerator pickles.
6. Put together 31 meal binder.
7. Potty train boys. *Oh my gosh…we started this last week…what a job!
8. Go on a family vacation. *Not going to happen this summer, possibly during Christmas or spring break.
9. Make a new chore chart. *Been using last year’s, need to complete new one now!
10. Mail Christmas cards.
11. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. *I just realized I only have three months!
12. Have 12 date nights (at least one a month). *June we went to see a friend’s band play. July we picked blackberries in the rain, and are had a golf date tonight (I golf almost as good as a bowl…). August- went to local beer tent after hubby’s softball tournament, and we were so graciously surprised with an awesome gift- a babysitter and gift certificate for dinner tonight!
13. Go on a mini-vacation with hubby.
14. Go to a Tiger game.
15. Read 12 books. *I have been reading, need to document my reads.
16. Start nursing clinicals. *Start in less than three weeks!
17. Get a 100 bowling average. (Don’t laugh! I have been working on this for five years now. This IS my year!)
18. Whittle down debt.
C.N.A Recertification, start working part time.
20. Sell crafts (somehow; etsy/farmer’s market/craft fair). *Opened Theresa’s To-Dos on etsy at beginning of this month. Need to spend some time in shop. I also have been selling crocheted hats via word of mouth.
21. Clean out and organize garage.
22. Find a system for paper. Tackle paper clutter.
23. Go through cookbooks.
24. Organize photos.
25. Work on blog organization.
26. Sew everyday for 31 days, only using stash.
27. Crochet a hat a day for 31 days. *This is my challenge for August. I am a little behind- but I am giving myself grace.
28. Make a quilt.
29. Work on one photography skill a month. *I have some catching up to do!
30. Complete 31 pins. *Started planning…So many pins, not enough time.
31. Do 31 refashions. *11 done, 20 to go
Your turn, are you working on anything special, big or small? I love reading/hearing about your latest projects! This last week has been so trying. The lack of ‘me’ time due to vanishing naptime syndrome combined with potty training twin (boys!) has got me worn down.
*Maybe I can muster up a twin tip for tomorrow….Toilet Nightmares…
We have been experiencing naptime refusal around here. There hasn’t been a nap since Saturday. To add to (or contribute to) the nap-less-ness Zeke has learned how to escape his
cell crib. His favorite place to escape is right into his brother’s crib. Xander would like a nap.
I know most two year olds are in toddler beds, but we have been prolonging the transition. It is so nice putting the boys down for a nap/bedtime and knowing that they are safe (and the potential for them to get into mischief is greatly reduced). Yet we knew this day would come.
Needless to say, my routine has been out of whack.
Here’s a quick update on my 31 hat project:
The beanie above, and the three below are for customer orders.
These three are waiting for their “D” appliques. I used this pattern from Posh Patterns. The pink hat, and bottom blue hat is made using Caron Simply Soft, top blue hat is made with Red Heart Super Saver.
This is the Big Girl Bonnet by Karla Rae (free Ravelry download). I used Caron Simply Soft and size G hook. This hat did end up smaller than I had anticipated, but that always happens to me. (I never check my gauge.) This pattern was easy to work up, and is very cute. The pattern was a little confusing while working the brim. I believe this was due to our naptime quandaries. It was clear once I re-read the pattern a few times.
*I am short a couple of hats (five hats in seven days). I had figured this would happen, so I sourced a few patterns for ‘quick’ hats in case I had to play catch up.
Signing off, praying for naptime….
Just when I thought I was done with berries for a little bit, the U-Pick blueberry signs went up. This past month I have been busy picking, cleaning, and freezing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. And now blueberries.
My stepson requested blueberry muffins. Since I am a huge fan, I set out to find a
decent good egg-free recipe. I tried a few, but they were just ho-hum.
This morning the sweet little baking angels prodded me to try Google one more time. I stumbled upon Art of Dessert.
This blueberry muffin recipe is mind blowing! I don’t think I have ever tasted muffins this good.
If you have an abundance of blueberries, you have to make these muffins. *If you don’t have an abundance of blueberries, stock up when they are on sale!
Okay, I’ll stop with the blueberry muffins. Lets talk zucchini.
For those of you with a garden, you know that once the zucchini is ripe its hard to keep up with. We picked our first zucchini less than a week ago. We have ate the lovely vegetable for dinner almost every night for the past week. We have given it away. I have been baking like a fool. (Seriously, I am a fool. It is August!)
Well the boys have voted on their favorite zucchini muffin recipe.
Yup, you read that right. Egg free chocolate chip zucchini muffins. (Say that three times fast.) The recipe is adapted from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking, and can be found here. I did make a few adjustments, but I’m sure the muffins would be perfect following the recipe (if you haven’t noticed, I tend to use recipes loosely). I’ll share my adjustments later.
*This recipe made 24 mini muffins, and 12 regular muffins. While I was washing up the dishes, my sneaky boys were pulling muffins off the counter behind me. There were six muffins of each size left by the time I caught on, so I guess this recipe is a keeper!
What are your favorite zucchini recipes? I have a feeling we are going to need all the recipes we can get!
So I finally did it. I have had enough of the self doubt and procrastination.
I finally opened my Etsy shop. It still needs work, and I don’t have everything listed, but I had to put an end to the excuses. If you would like to take a peek, click over here.
Right now I have my personalized bibs/burp cloths and gift card coffee cozies listed:
I hope to list more by the end of this weekend. Realistically, it may not happen until next week. I also have plans to list some crocheted hats.
*If any of my projects here caught your eye, and you would like them listed, please let me know!*
Oh yeah, I was supposed to tell you about my latest crazy challenge. #27 on my 31 by 31 list is to crochet a hat a day for 31 days. I have decided to attempt this challenge in August for three reasons. 1) I had a few more hat orders to complete (and more requests from the family). 2) I start school next month (and a hat a day may not be possible after that). and 3) There is a local craft fair in November that I would like to participate in.
I plan to post my progress weekly, so stay tuned!
Finally, I would like to thank all you guys for keeping me accountable. I love and appreciate your encouragement!
Today is the last day of July Refashion Month. I didn’t finish 31 refashions like I had intended (one of my 31 by 31 goals, but I still have 10 more months). I did manage to whip out a few more projects. Today I want to show you a couple refashions I finished, but haven’t posted yet.
First is two more muscle shirts for my boys.
These were made from two men’s 2XL t-shirts. I was able to cut two tanks from each shirt. I had completed the first two shirts in June, and mailed them off to Sewing to Rebuild. The other two sat on my sewing table cut out and ready to sew for way too long.
The next one was a super quick project.
The boys’ preppy shorts left me with two sleeve cuffs. (Which had adorable pearl snaps.) I kept looking at the cuffs, trying to decide what to make of them.
I stitched the cuffs together using a wide but short zigzag stitch. Then I covered up the stitching with ribbon. The ribbon also helped the project look a little less masculine (the ribbon has sparkles!). I cut a piece of ribbon for a strap. Then I folded the rectangle into a pouch, tucked in the ribbon, and topstitched along the original seam.
This last project is also one that has been sitting on my sewing table, cut out, for way too long!
I have made so many of these bags. They are made from bed sheets, and can be made in any size.
I use these as my reusable shopping totes, beach bag, overnight bag, and just about anything you can think of bag. These totes are my favorite for three reasons. 1. They hold so much stuff. 2. No need worrying about getting them dirty. Just toss in the washer. 3. They fold (or in my case roll) up super small.
*I know it is hard to tell, but the bag rolled up is smaller than a soup can.
Did you participate in Refashion Month? If so, share a link. I would love to see your creations.
Do you have projects that have been sitting in your to-do pile for a long time? Seriously the tote has been cut out and waiting to be sewn for a couple of years. I know the reason this project sat so long (my machine was acting up and I gave up and packed her away for a few months), but I have quite a few other projects that I do not have an excuse for.
I haven’t done an egg-free post in a while. I have been in a little bit of a cooking slump lately. Somehow my boys became finicky eaters, and frankly I am tired of throwing food away.
Desperate to get them to eat breakfast (and needing to use up some ripe bananas), I searched for a banana bread recipe. I found a winner!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread adapted from food.com
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bread pan.
Combine bananas and butter. Mix in milk and vanilla.
Add in brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Add in flour, mix until just combined. *Don’t over mix, your bread will be rubbery!* Gently mix in chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared bread pan and bake for one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.
I am happy to say, the boys love this bread! I am planning on trying it with zucchini as soon as it is ready to pick.
How do you deal with finicky eaters? If you have any tips, please share! I am at wits end trying to get them to eat good food. They used to be such good eaters, so maybe (hopefully) this is just a stage two year olds go through….