Friday, February 26, 2016

A New Nightgown

Graysen has just one nightgown that she's been wearing since she could walk, and it's now more like a shirt.   She still loves it though, and Mama and Mimi thought she would like a new one - one that would twirl and be like Clara's in the Nutcracker.

I found this pattern, Hannah's Nightgown by Olabelhe, and ordered it.  It looks so pretty and twirly and, best of all, fairly simple to make.

I had this white-on-white stripe that has been in my fabric stash for many years.  I just hadn't found the right thing for it.

The yoke went fine, and I decided to add some lace and tucks to fancy it up a little bit.


This is my lovely new sewing room about halfway though.

The instructions called for pleating the skirt instead of gathering, although I think gathering would have been fine.  I did try it, and it worked great.  There was a lot of learning though, and I took it out twice before I re-read the directions - and then twice more once I got into a rhythm of pleating.

It looks pretty dangerous.

I finished it this morning and put the buttons on tonight.  I could easily have made it in a day if I had wanted to.

What little girl would not love a sweet twirly nightgown like this to do ballet in?  Graysen Bindert, that's who!  She was wishy-washy about it when I showed it to her and reluctantly let me try it on her.   And told me sadly that she didn't like it.   Perfect fit.  Size 3T for a just-turned-3-year-old.  She needs a couple of inches in length that I can add.  IF she ever wears it.  Emily and I think she will, if nothing more than for dress-up.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day of sunshine today, if a little chilly, and we got out and walked from the house to the apartment, at least Katherine and I did.  Mike took Graysen to North Bend to show her the gymnastics building and let her see a little of what she would be doing next week.

Sweet Baby K.  I love her so much.   It's good to spend some time alone with her.

We kept Graysen at the apartment while the others went to a church meeting tonight, and she found one of my button boxes.  She spent a lot of time arranging them and exclaiming over them.

Stella has accepted the children a little better now and doesn't run and hide, but she's keeping a pretty good eye on her.

We're still trying to figure out what to put in the living room and have bits and pieces (and boxes) from everywhere.  At least there is a path now.

While I folded clothes, Graysen kept busy with a basket of hotel freebies.  Who needs toys?

Tomorrow is another rainy and cool day.   Glad we had this pretty one anyway.  The trees are budding out and looking so promising.  

I don't know what this is, but it has a white berry, and it grows all along our path.  We're looking forward to a lot of blackberries this year too.

I think this is heather.  There is a lot of it - white and purple - growing along the sidewalks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Just looking out the window today, it looks like a nice warm spring day.

But not so.  It's a cool 50 degrees with relentless gusts of wind.  Brrrr.  Still, it's better than the rain we had the last couple of days.

We're watching the Southern weather very closely.  Almost every member of our family and most of our friends are in the area, and I can't remember a worse forecast for storms and tornadoes.  It's in Mississippi and Louisiana at the present time and will be in Alabama late this evening and then on to Georgia and Tennessee after that.  I know a lot of people are worried, and businesses are closing early in Andalusia so people can get to safety.

Tornado Outbreak Underway
Timing the Largest Tornado Threat

I have birthday pictures of Graysen's 3rd birthday party, which was so much fun, but I don't have time to do them justice right now.

Here are a few photos from the past few days.

Those eyes!  And eyebrows.  And kissable cheeks.

Graysen got so much jewelry for her birthday along with high-heeled shoes and a new tiara.  She's examining all her rings in the sunlight this morning.

She refuses to wash off this hideous tattoo.  I still can't believe a grandchild of mine chose this!

As we got to the top of the stairs at nap time, we found Jack enjoying the sunshine too.  He not only did not move, but he reached out and slapped at us for disturbing him.

Even with two people, this was harder than it looked.  Wet babies are slippery

Now I'm going to sew finally so will MAYBE have some pictures by tomorrow.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Settling In

Yesterday Mike and Ryan installed Graysen's car seat in the back seat.  Since they had her in there for measurement, and she thought she was going somewhere, we decided she and I would go hang out at Mimi and PopPop's house.

I was so nervous.  We carried our children and half the children in town many miles with no car seats or seat belts, and yet I was very reluctant to be responsible for this precious little being behind me.   It was a good first trip for me, one stop sign, a left turn, and we were there.  I did forget my phone and had to go back because I was expecting an important phone call., but that helped my confidence.

We made it okay, and I improvised a little on a lunch.  Graysen didn't care what it was, as long as it was a picnic.  She was just so excited to be here by herself.  I made some tuna salad which neither one of us cared for and a peanut butter and honey sandwich which we shared.  Along with yogret, that was a nice meal, especially when she had such a lovely dining area.

We're dealing for the first time I can remember with an eating area with carpet.  No room to eat in the kitchen.  Emily brought over this floor mat and I had brought Mama's craft tray.  Along with a plant stand with no plant (sore subject), she was perfectly happy.   The bunny stew was delicious.

Sherry had sent her a cute place mat that she made with vinyl fabric on one side and chalkboard fabric on the other, so when she's not eating, she can draw.  She did that last week but was too busy to draw yesterday.

Since I had to get some appropriate eating and drinking utensils, I thought I would try these sippy cups.

Sounds like a great idea for no spills.  I tried one earlier and it worked for me.  Graysen was not so convinced.  She is used to her own cup and absolutely enjoys her milk out of that.  It's comforting to her and what she is used to, but she gamely tried the new one.  I wasn't sure she was getting anything, but the milk running down her stomach once convinced me she was.

We'll try Katherine on one today since she is not used to one yet and she does tend to toss hers off the highchair, so we can test that no-spill thing.

This happened immediately after we got here.  This old bookcase was sitting in the hall to be thrown away, and I had found a couple of Emily's old dolls that she was going to toss out too.  It didn't matter to Graysen.  She was thrilled at the double bunk beds.

After she finished washing dishes, she even asked for the stool as a special bed for the bunny.

I think you could put her in front of a sink with soapy water and, of course, running water, and she would play forever.  It's hard to lure her away.  This picture was after she had dumped this container of water on her shirt and was waiting for it to dry.

Mike had taken this picture earlier yesterday morning just after we got to her house .  He labeled it "Channeling Either Cinderella or Daisy from Downton Abbey".

So - to apartment settling in.  It's hard.  Clutter.  No time.  Decisions.  Where to put what.  What to throw away.

Our old desk from Trion had a couple of wobbly legs, so Ryan took one home and repaired it.  We're really happy to see it here.

I just stuck some stuff on top and not sure what will stick.  It will be good to get the sampler hung above it.

I may be going lamp crazy.  The living room/dining room doesn't have a lot of light, and these lamps don't add much, but somehow it makes things look more homey.

 I had this old wreath and decided to hang it here. for some reason  Mike advised me on the bow color.  The first one didn't work, and he thought white would be perfect with the white dishes.  I may consult him more often.

Ryan and Mike pulled out this china cabinet to put a hole in back for yet another lamp.  I love this piece, and it got sent to the corner of the living room, so I wanted to give it a little importance.  We'll see.

A busy day is ahead.  Babysitting until around 2:00 and then going to Target and Safeway for birthday party supplies and Home Depot for something.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Catching Up

Lots to catch up on!

Most important, Mike had his brain scan Friday morning, and it was clear.    Lots of prayers answered!

The trip to Seattle was uneventful, and we managed to find the Ikea store on the way home by using the GPS on the phone.  It was complicated-seeming, but just following directions, we got there with no problem.

The visit was very successful, although it was a little confusing at the beginning.  Once we got the hang of where things were and what we were looking for, it got a bit easier.  Deciding on the actual desk was confusing and time-consuming, but we finally sorted it out.  Picking up the boxes and loading them was easy - except one box weighed 71 pounds.  It all fit in the car nicely, and we were on our way.

{I did some research and found out that dark spot on my photos is possibly caused by an oil leak.  There are fixes but all kind of beyond what I want to get into.  We could get the camera into a shop for repair - or get a new one.  Mike is thinking after 5 years, I could use a new one, especially with so many opportunities for pictures now.}

We spent the whole weekend on the sewing room.  Friday night and Saturday morning was all it took for the construction.  The rest of the time was ploughing through all that stuff I had packed.

Even though the directions had no words and just pictures, we were able to figure it all out.

My first thought was to get a long (59-inch) table and put both machines on it, which would have been cheaper, but when I saw the gray 6-drawer Alex, I fell in love with it for an embroidery machine stand.  So we got 2 small drawer units, one large one with casters, and one laminated top that is about 36 inches long.

This makes me so happy to see ALL these drawers - 10 of them - and 6 more in the larger one.   The quality is really good, and those drawers just glide in and out so nicely.  They hold a lot too.

It's beautiful to me.  The knee opening is a little bit smaller than I expected, but I'm used to it now, and it's no problem.  

By the time we got to the bigger Alex, we were doing the drawers assembly line, and that made it easier.

See why I like it so much!  All those drawers make me giddy.

I was hoping all my Mettler thread would fit in one drawer, but I had to use the second one for the rest plus the other brands that I've collected.

One we got them all together, I saw that they were not going to go just like I had pictured, but the final result is so much better, I'm glad it didn't work.

I turned the table with the sewing machine at right angles to the window and put the embroidery machine behind the chair.  Now I can swivel back and forth between both machines.   It's a little snug but a pretty good arrangement.  

I still have a lot of work to do, but it SOOO much better than this time last week.  

Every inch of this wall is used.  From left to right is the serger and things related to that.  Regular fabric folded on the shelves, scraps by type on top, and fat quarters and other fabrics in the drawers.  In the cloth bins are blank shirts and towels and things that need organizing.  I don't have plans for all the drawers on the right, but that will be lace, bias tape, trims, pleater and smocking things, and anything else I find that needs a home.  I made space for the ironing board and iron between the shelves, and the iron has its own little cubbyhole.

I'm okay with the ribbon storage for now.  This was an old CD case my father-in-law had, and I think it makes a pretty display.  I had bought a little stand with dowels just for ribbons, but I ended up pulling my hair out every time I had to use ribbon and had the whole thing fall apart, spilling rolls of ribbon everywhere.  Unless Graysen starts liking hair bows, I may never have to use this much.  Odds and ends of ribbons are stored in plastic bins behind, roughly color coordinated.

These will undoubtedly be changed many times, but for now I'm so happy to open a drawer and see what's avaiable instead of  opening the little plastic bins that sat on my old table.

It's good to have everything I need for embroidery right in front of me.   Other stabilizers are in a shoe bag on the back of the door.

I'm not quite ready for pictures of the bookshelves on the other side or the closets - and may never be!  
I thought about getting Mike and Ryan to build me a pegboard for thread and other things, but with all this drawer space, I might not need it.  I'll just try hanging up the thread holders.  

It's not pretty compared to a lot of sewing room makeovers I've seen, but it's so practical and the best I could do in an apartment.  I'm pretty proud of it in case it doesn't show!

Stella is getting more and more comfortable here and went out to sniff the air on the balcony this morning.  

She's still a little spooked by cars going by right below us and seeing various dogs go walking by, but we can't wait for spring to get some plants going and maybe a rug.  

Mike and I went to North Bend again today to do some checking on activities for Graysen.  For her birthday, we're going to give her some ballet, gymnastics, or swimming lessons, and there are plenty to offer.  

I just took the camera and took lots of pictures, mostly in North Bend, but the first one is the usual picture in Snoqualmie but this time on a cloudy day.

I don't know my trees, but I guess this is a birch.  It's beautiful anyway.

The first place we visited.  There is a beginner class for Graysen - Bizzy Bees - and it sounds like something she would enjoy.  We like it that she can sign up for a month at a time in case she doesn't like it.

The community center in North Bend almost in a cloud.  They offer dozens of classes for toddlers, so it will be hard to choose.

The rest of the pictures were just taking a road and seeing where it would take us.  So pretty.

Mike had been hoping to see the elk once again, and sure enough, there they were.  They were pretty far away, but close enough for me.  Two people were out in the field with them taking pictures.  Sounds dangerous to me.

Back home, Graysen turned 3 on the 13th and celebrated with the family and with their friends at the mountain house on their trip.  Then Saturday is her party at Rosanne and Lou's house.  From hearing the plans, it's going to be pink and beautiful and fun - and pink.  

Katherine has taken off on her crawling and is pulling up and seems to have her first tooth.  She hasn't shown it to me yet though.

Morning fun.  The girls aren't to the point of playing together yet, but they will co-exist, and it is so sweet.  Katherine adores her sister and laughs when she does and wants every toy she has - which doesn't always end well.  

The family at Mt Ranier Park on Graysen's 3rd birthday.  Katherine was not impressed with the whole outdoor scene.