Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We have bees!

Oh, and pears.

Too bad the bees aren't producing honey for us. But they are providing entertainment.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

because I have too much free time....

As you might imagine, with five kids, one being a new infant, and the oldest being six, I have a lot of free time. Add to that a part-time job (20 hours a week), which I went back to this week, a Bible study that actually requires me to work at it, playing piano for church and getting ready for our big conference at work.... well, I really need a hobby.

So I took one up.

I've always liked to sew, In truth it's been a hobby for several years. I just go back and forth on whether or not I have the ambition for it. Right now I do.

I got the ambition last week, when I spotted a contest. It was for a new Bernina sewing machine.

Bernina is my favorite brand of sewing machine. I don't really need a new one, because I love the way mine works. But it's older than me, and well, I wouldn't mind some of the newer features.

And the contest looked easy: sew two squares of fabric (scarves) into a tube and use elastic thread shirring to make it into a dress. Then embellish, etc to make the dress your own.

Now, I haven't really entered sewing contests before, but I've seen enough of them to know that it's not the garment that wins the contest so much as the photo. So I mentioned it to Chester. He was totally on board.

I spent date night looking for inspiration, and decided on a sheer flowey white floor-length dress. I originally wanted to paint flowers on the back (that got nixed in the end).

We hit a rummage sale the next day, and bought a set of sheer light blue curtains for $2. At the same sale, we bought a small stack of taffeta scraps for 50 cents. Then I went to work.

Did you know that shirring 10 feet of curtains down to, say 32 inches or so, isn't really what elastic thread was meant for? I learned something.

The dress was done in two evenings (which included cutting off places where I screwed up). Then Chester designed and I made another front piece out of the taffeta to wear over the dress. They looked good together.

Now to find some popsicle-stick shaped young ladies to model.

I asked two friends. Both agreed. Chester shot the photos and played with GIMP to photo edit. Here's the results.

40 dresses were entered in the contest. There's some really nice ones there. But I honestly think that mine could win. So if you don't mind, please vote for me! I'm currently just barely ahead of another really nice dress, so I need all the help I can get if I'm going to get the new machine. Voting is open until Wednesday, September 30th. Thanks!

Now I'm excited about sewing again. Started a pair of booties for Tommy this evening. Maybe I'll finish the diaper covers I have cut out too :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

A scribble art primer

This week's art project: scribble coloring.

My family did this when I was a kid, and I realized this week that my kids had never done this. So we learned.

First, you scribble loosely on the paper.

Then you color in the spaces, all different colors.

Josephine was very careful to color in all the spaces.

Bennet had his own interpretation of the scribble picture, and it looks great!

Grape Jelly for the severely preoccupied

Our grapes were ripe on the day I went into labor. Which do you think took my attention?

So, the kids (and Chester) picked.

Chester piled them into the roaster, added a cup or two of water and put it on low.

Several hours later (this is fine for up to 12 hours or so), they were all cooked out -- the only lumps remained were seeds. Then Chester strained the mixture through a pillow case into ice cream buckets and froze the juice.

Monday (three weeks later) I felt somewhat recovered and ambitious, thawed the juice, and made up 21 jars of jelly. Yummy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Sweet Namesake

Last Sunday was a Family Holiday: Sweet Sunday

Years ago, the Davises lived in the city, and were somewhat impoverished. One year when they had practically nothing to eat, someone dropped by with a truckload of corn, and just gave it to them (the corn, not the truck). They celebrated by inviting over a couple of friends and eating an entire meal of sweet corn that night. Thus, the birth of Sweet Sunday.

The next year, they celebrated Sweet Corn season again, by inviting a couple of friends over and having a meal of sweet corn. And a tradition was born.

Sometime along the way, Sweet Rolls were added to the mix. And now, there's usually a rebel or two who feel they need protein in a meal, and bring sliced meat or something.

But each fall, we gather as a family, to remember and celebrate God's provision in the harvest of Sweet Corn.

This man is a mainstay at Sweet Sunday.

He was the best man in our wedding,

and is Tommy's namesake.

The meeting of the two was Sweet indeed.