Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Category: sewing

Another day. Another blog post.

Hi Blog!

How was your weekend? Mine was OK. Saturday was Biggest’s birthday party. It’s weird now that the boys are older, their birthdays are more about hanging out with friends, and less about parents making cute decorations and coordinating games and activities. I felt so useless. All that hard work on Pinterest for nothing.

These cupcakes were from our family birthday dinner. They were way cuter than his party cake.

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The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful; errands, cooking, cleaning. Eh. I didn’t feel so well.

Last night, we had chicken roasted on top of beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and regular potatoes. It was tasty. Roast chicken is so easy and always smells delicious, so much better than store bought rotisserie chicken. Note to self- roast more chicken.

Then I finally got the long, hot bath that I’ve been dreaming about since Super Bowl Sunday. It was worth the wait. Note to self- take more baths.

Oh! And I almost forgot to show you my crafty accomplishment. I made curtains for the kitchen and powder room out of some towels that were on clearance at Target. How’s that for frugal? Now we won’t be flashing our neighbors anymore. They’re probably really glad.

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Tis the Season.

6 days off from work = really hard to get back into the swing of things this week.

We had a our first snow fall the day before Thanksgiving. The boys and I were snug at home so they bundled up and went outside for an adventure. All of their adventures these days seem to involve Nerf guns.

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Littlest and his friend built a snowman. It was pretty cute until they kicked it over immediately after this shot was taken.

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I did a lot of sewing while I was home, and my little buddy was a great help.

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I’m kinda a one trick pony when it comes to sewing, so guess what I made… more pajamas pants!

Some really BIG ones…

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And some really tiny ones…

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Because doesn’t every Elf on the Shelf need pajama pants?

Speaking of elves, we had quite a fright on Thanksgiving Eve when we couldn’t find Timmy (our elf who was expected to arrive on Thanksgiving) anywhere! Yipes! Tom made a mad dash to Target to look for a suitable replacement. He found several different elves but none that looked like our Timmy. He brought one home, thinking that the boys wouldn’t notice a switcheroo, but I wasn’t so convinced.

Well, thank God for Christmas miracles because who should appear stuffed in the very back corner of my closet but TIMMY himself! What a close call!

And for the record, here is ORIGINAL Timmy next to IMPOSTER Timmy. See the difference? Why do manufacturers insist on causing trouble for parents of missing elves? As if we don’t have enough problems already.

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The excitement doesn’t end there! We got our tree! Wheeee! And decorated it!

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My favorite ornaments are always the homemade ones.

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Apparently inspired by the Christmas spirit, this virtuoso put on a show for us. He only knows Jingle Bells and the Dreidel Song so it was a short concert.

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Which turned into a jam session.

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Then I learned how to make lattes at home! This was monumental.

Here is my latte shown next to a char sui bao which is, in my opinion, the perfect food.

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Littlest was uncharacteristically quiet one day, and then we figured out why.

A Christmas list as tall as he is!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Excuse me while I blow my nose.

Ahhh- CHOO! I officially have my first cold of the season, so my 4 day weekend was full of soggy tissues and NyQuil. Ick.

On Thursday, I dragged the boys around on errands. We went looking for new dog beds and ended up with a beta fish. His name is Finn and he’s blue.

We did get dog beds too.

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Everyone had to try them out.

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Success!

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On Friday, the boys were otherwise occupied so I could be a complete slug, except that I wasn’t. In my delirious state, I tried to finish my quilt and it REALLY SUCKED. So I just cut up the stupid thing and made pillows instead.

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They don’t match anything else in our house, but I don’t care. After all of the time and effort and money that went into them, we WILL use them!

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Anyhoo… on Saturday, we had soccer and it was hot. The boys were sweaty and frustrated and I was trying to be peppy and supportive (“Good play! Wow! Great save! Go team!) but I was really pretty feverish and tired. Luckily we made it through the game (6-0, we lost), afternoon playdates, and went out to dinner. The boys thought that it was super fancy to sit on a couch at a restaurant. Yay for easy dinners.

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I perked up a little on Sunday so we went apple picking. We got a lot of apples.

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So we made applesauce and ate it with whipped cream, which was good. We still have a lot of apples though.

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Then the best part of the weekend happened. You know, the part in which Tom hung up my cross stitch projects!!! Wheeee!

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This really deserves some break-out-the-good-camera action, but have I mentioned that I’m feverish, so phone pics will have to do for now.

Behold!

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It’s like a museum of cross stitch! Dedicated to ME! I’m not an egomaniac, I swear. Or am I? How embarrassing. >gulp<

My first quilt!

On Friday, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt. I stopped at a cute sewing store on the way home from work and bought some stuff. Then I went home and laid it all out. I am notoriously bad at math, so I didn’t have enough squares and no extra fabric. So what did I do? I cut up an old shirt! How’s that for improvising?

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I tried to make the pattern random which was surprisingly hard to do. I kept accidentally putting similar fabrics next to each other. The other thing that was surprisingly hard to do was keeping the dogs off of my work. They were obsessed with walking right over my quilt. I really wanted to get sewing, but had to clean up and go to a Mom’s Happy Hour. My life is so hard.

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I started sewing right away on Saturday morning. The corners don’t line up perfectly, but besides that, it was super easy and fast to do.

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Then it was time to add the batting! Tom had borrowed my car so I had to take his stick-shift Jeep to the fabric store. It was HOT and BUMPY and I am NOT GOOD at driving a stick shift, but nothing can stop a woman on a quilt making mission. I was DETERMINED!

By the way, I spotted this book while at the store. How funny!

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And did I just out myself as a nerd? Although who am I kidding, you’ve all figured out that I’m a nerd by now.

I finally got home safely (but sweaty and annoyed) and proceeded to sew on the batting.

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The thing is that I didn’t really “plan” how to make a quilt before I set out to make a quilt. I was just following along to a Martha tutorial without really thinking too much ahead. Martha said to sew on the batting first, then add the backing, then sew bias tape around the edges without mitering the corners. I guess that her instructions are for a more rustic looking quilt which is great and all, but I kinda wish that I had looked at other methods before diving into this one. Oh well… live and learn.

At this point, I got too tired to deal with the edging and backing so I abandoned my quilt for dinner and some relaxing.

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On Sunday, we went to a christening. Tom was the godfather, which was crazy for so many reasons! The baby was super cute though (as was the godfather). We visited and ate and went home.

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And so ended another wild weekend around here.

Monday!

Work has been turning me into a grump, so I decided that an attitude shift was in order. Last week, I tried really hard not to COMPLAIN and, you know what, it worked! I felt much more positive by week’s end.

It may also have helped that I got a lot of stitching time. On Friday, I brought my cross stitching to work and spent my lunch time stitching in the park. A stitch break was just what I needed.

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Friday night, I sewed my first pair of pajama pants (for Biggest)! It was pretty exciting.

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Stephanie and I hung out on Saturday. Lunch (Yum!), followed by a trip to the fabric store (Yay!), followed by afternoon cocktails (YUMMM!), followed by a quiet evening at home with TV and stitching (Perfection!). I am making good progress on this.

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Sunday was sooooooooooper productive. I spent almost all day in the kitchen (Fun!). I made:

  • chocolate zucchini bread
  • regular bread
  • spaghetti sauce (for this week)
  • more pickles (New recipe… this one is a keeper!)
  • meatloaf, potatoes, and green beans (for dinner)

I love productive days! I also did laundry, went grocery shopping, cleaned up the house, and made another pair of these…

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Oh, and look at my cute sewing buddy!

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Happy Monday!

Sew in love.

Yesterday was a really exciting day.

I came home to find this…

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Which led to this…

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Which led to this…

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Which led to this…

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Lest you think that I’ve forsaken my one true love, I haven’t…

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Can’t write anymore. Must. Go. Sew.

TGIF!

Happy Friday!

While on the cruise, I rediscovered my love of reading. I plowed through The Hunger Games (probably the last person on Earth to read it) and The Other Boleyn Girl. Both were so good! Last night, the boys and I went to the library so that I could check out Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I am already half way through Catching Fire. I can’t put it down.

Today I ordered a new sewing machine and I am very excited! Although my Mom worked as a professional seamstress for many years, I never picked up her talents. I can’t wait for it to arrive. Homemade pajama pants for everyone!!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Thankful for Thanksgiving.

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was nice and relaxing. Yay for eating and laying around for days! That’s my kind of holiday!

Instead of braving the malls on Black Friday, Steph and I had a crafty day. She tried to teach me how to quilt. I was a FAILURE. Quilting looks like it should be easy, but it is HARD!

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I gave up after piecing together one wonky star and we went to the crystal shop which was way more fun. I got such nice goodies.

Other highlights of our Thanksgiving holiday…

  • I am getting really good at Candy Crush.
  • I am now addicted to Long Island Medium (Thanks a lot, Steph!).
  • I baked the PERFECT loaf of bread. FINALLY! It went really well with The Pioneer Woman’s beef stew recipe.
  • We brought home our Christmas tree. We picked the first one that we saw and it’s perfect!

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Have a great week, everyone! Posting will be sporadic around here as I approach Work Week from Hell. 

 

Murder, photos, & sewing machines.

I sniffled and blew my nose through most of the weekend, but it was a good and surprisingly productive one! So much grocery shopping, and cleaning, and cooking but also a lot of stitching and TV time. We watched the entire 1st season of American Horror Story- Creeeeepy! Last night while in bed, I convinced myself that we are living in Murder House and really freaked out. Note to self- no more scary TV shows for awhile.

I made significant headway on my stitching, but have no photos to share. In related news though, Tom got me a Canon Speedlite external flash for my camera! Since we live in dark, cold Pennsylvania, it’s hard to find natural light in the evenings (when I usually take pictures). This flash is complicated and I have no idea what I’m doing, but the shots so far actually look like natural light! So excited to learn more.

Related to stitching, I am trying to make peace with my sewing machine. My Mom worked as a seamstress when I was growing up. She sewed beautifully and would design patterns and make us clothes. Being the typical unappreciative child, I hated wearing her dorky hand made designs and wished that I could just buy cool sweaters from The Limited and Benetton like all of the other girls. Needless to say, I didn’t bother to learn how to sew.

Fast forward many years, I would kill for some custom made clothes. Every time that I take something to be altered, I get annoyed that I can’t do it myself. Now that I’m into cross stitching, I am really wishing that I could sew in order to make cute things out of my finished projects.

So… this weekend, I dug my sewing machine out of the basement (after praying that no ghosts would attack me down there like in Murder House). I bought a little sewing machine maintenance kit and set about dusting and oiling my new friend. Afterwards, I sat down and practiced some sewing! Can you imagine… it was kinda fun! Who would’ve thought?

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