Monday, April 19, 2010

Betsy Dresses, round 1

Two new dresses for my babiest sister Betsy, who just turned 3. Her favorite color is red and she had startling blue eyes just like the vampires in the Underworld series (when they start to feed, LOL! Google image search if you'd like.)

When I found this small mushroom print in the clearance rack at a local quilt shop, I thought it was perfect for a Betsy dress. I pulled the perfect red from my stash, washed and ironed it and then realized it has very faint paw prints on it. What the heck? Anyway, it doesn't show up very well and I am unable to go buy more fabric right now so the pawprint fabric was made to work for the top of the dress.

For the skirt for the 2nd I used a 1/2yd of "fat eighth" fabric that Tony got me for our anniversary years ago. I think it was our 1st anniversary, he and baby Jeremiah went out and bought me several half yard cuts of fabric (3 of which were these type), some thread and a really good pair of scissors. : ) He's so sweet! I had to piece the lining of the top to get it all cut out of the piece of solid blue I had but it looks very nice inside so I'm happy with it. I would rahter have to piece the lining then just throw the larger chunks of fabric in the scrap bin.

I have a couple more dresses I'm planning for her, one shaped just like this from some AWESOME fabric I found in mine and Mom's stash. You'll just have to stay tuned to see it, I'm excited so I'm not giving anything away.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bouncy House USA

This post is basically for anyone in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Hidden away in the gently rolling hills off Clinton Highway in the Shaad Rd. area of Knoxville is the most wonderful creation ever: The Bouncy House.

An indoor, heated and air conditioned, fairly clean, inflated playground wonderland awaits all children for open play between 10am and 2pm on weekdays! Have a roudy kid? Boucy House! Raining, don't know what to do? Bouncy House! Can't take anymore sun exposure? Bouncy House!

This place is awesome. My friend Tara has 3 small children roughly the same age as my own and we hit this place several times over the winter because there isn't a whole lot to do indoors for pre-k kids around here (though the Children's Museum in Oak Ridge is terrific too!) We love this place and go as a treat every few months.
They have one moonwalk type thing specifically for children 2 and under, complete with a mini slide & ball pit; another one that's a mini obstacle coure just for 7 and under and then all the others are any age!

We took Tony and Artemas while Tony was on vacationed the day it rained because the kids had been wanting to show him how much fun it is. For the 3 of us adults to take the 2 kids to bounce for the 2hrs we stayed cost me $14.60. Where else can you entertain the whole family for that??

The larger obstacle course one is quiet a workout for grownips and the giant slide is a BLAST! They have (slightly overpriced but still fairly reasonable) drinks/snacks you can purchase and they also do birthdays, but for us just going during open play works well.

If you go, make sure you bring socks as the bouncing area is strictly no-shoes but don't worry, if you forget they have socks for sale for about $.75 LOL!

Lily Dresses

Lily is my 2nd and youngest, beautiful Goddaughter and she loves to dress up pretty! She's very girly, into accessories and frills. She loves cake.

I've been having a lot of fun lately making those few sundresses for Hannah. They were so easy and so quick, and honestly write now my quilting and knitting have taken a back seat because I just can't deal with the tiny bit of added stress of another ongoing, long suffering project. These dresses take about an hour and tada! Something to show for your effort!

The other day I took advantage of JoAnn's 40% off quilting fabric sale, raided my stash to see what larger pieces I had that would work and came up with materials for 4 little dresses for Lily. I actually dreamed the cupcake one and I was so thrilled when I made it first and it turned out just as cute as it was in my head! For Lily, who wears about a 4-5T and has about a 24" waist, I needed 1/2yd for the skirt and about a 1/2yd for the top (though I bought 5/8ths/yd just to make sure I'd have enough.) For Hannah's I used the same 1/2yd for the skirt but it took considerably less for her tops, in fact one Mom managed to squeeze out of an FQ and the rest I bought 1/4yd cuts for.

One has the same skirt fabric as one of Hannah's, where Hannah's was dark purple on top Lily's is blue. The brown colored bottom of the one dress is a old-prairie looking chicken fabric. Lily also loves chickens. : )

I can't wait to get these to her, and I so hope they fit! I will probably have to come up with a couple dresses for my other Goddaughter, her older sister Summer too but might have to use a different pattern. We shall see. : )

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Slowly, slowly

Kids TricyclingWe have had a very busy couple of weeks. I've had good intentions of keep y'all posted with pics and whatnot, but honestly, at the end of the day I'm too tired to bother with the computer. Plus my darling hubby bought me 4 of the "Full..." books (Full House, Full Tilt, Full Blast, etc) by Janette Evanovich so I've been reading instead of wasting my life in the internet.

We had great expectations of Tony's 2 weeks off. We greatly over estimated not only our ability, but also our energy and the amount of help we'd be aVeronicable to get. As it stands it was pretty much Tony and Artemas all week, with our friend George coming by a couple times to help out invaluably and me helping when I could and the MIL had the kids. We had thought we'd get the room done (at least to the point of Upsidedown Jeremiahdrywall, though I had hopes for paint and carpet too), paint the floors in the living room, build the tiny little deck for the other side of the front porch and put in a small garden. Go ahead, laugh. It's okay, we are. What did we get done? We got the bedroom destroyed and *almost* framed back in. All the other stuff will either become morning before Tony leaves for work or weekend-warrior type things.

At this point we still have one small triangle piece of wall to tediously built on the left side (ifBack of the house you're looking at the back of the house) and then put "flashing" Hannah's Pedicurealong the edge of the new structure and old shingles so that crack won't leak. Then it's *simply* putting up siding, putting in windows and putting on shingles. For the outside. Inside we still have to run elecrtical (a friend is supposed to come help Artemas and I do it Thurs while Tony is at work but we'll see if he can make it), then insulate, drywall/tape/mud/sand. Then it's ready for paint and carpet. Will this Artemas Lassosever be done? *sigh* Eventually. The good thing about this project is that it's sort of like pregnancy; once it's begun there isn't an out and you just have to grit your teeth and see itHannah whacks piniata through til the end. The end result is always worth it; it's just the process that's laborous.

We had a great day on Thursday because we took the day off on the count of rain and treated the Opening presentskids to a trip to the "Bouncy House." I have a whole blog post about that planned in my head because it is really an awesome thing to do around Knoxville, for fairly cheap, in rainy (or too hot or cold) weather.

Saturday we had Hannah's 2nd birthday party at the little park behind our house. We set up under the shelter, and in retrospect should have setTony Fireman carries Diantha up in the sun because the cool breeze left the kids freezing while they ate (though the strong sun left my shoulders and neck suDes swingsnburned while they played). Hannah got a bunch of really nice presents but what is more spent some quality time having a ton of fun with her aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. We let her pick out the decorations which were simple flowers with a gigantic 10lb princess tiara piniata. I packed that sucker full, I'm telling you. It was so heavy in fact that on the first whack the loop on the top broke and Tony had to rig it up again by wrapping the rope around the middle of it. Still, a blast!!

I've been trying to spend as much time outdoors as I can with the kids who are tired of being in the house. Lots of sunscreen has been used, lots of knees have been scraped and lots Hannah swingsof showers Jeremiah swingshave been taken afterward but we are having fun. I have been trying to knit Jeremiah another pair of socks, something mindless I started on Thursday to help me relax and cope with the stress we had/have going on with not finishing the room and getting ready for Hannah's party. It hasn't exactly gone as planned though since the first sock I finished too small and (after throwing it across the room) I had to pick out about half of it and start over. Then in the middle of finishing it I dropped a needle at a local pizzeria (New York Avenue Pizza, newly opened on Kingston Pike between Lovell Rd & Campbell Station Road, Betsy swingsVERY YUMMY PIZZA). Thankfully the bamboo needles I use come 5 to a pack so I had a "spare" at home.

The only bad thing about the newly gorgeous weather and spending time Flowers in her pocketoutdoors in it is my son Jeremiah's allergies are acting up terribly! He went through this last spring too, after the first few weeks when the pollen died down he was fine but for now, poor baby. He's been almost mainlining benedryl or zyrtek, itchy eyes all the time (medicine isn't helping that at all.) We're trying flushing his eyes with salt water; my MIL says that helps her sometimes and I don't want to use eye drops on him if we can help it. Even with the Dancing in the yardmedicine in his system his face is still swollen. If it doesn't slack off in a couple days I am making him a Drs appointment. I'd hate for him to have to have allergy shots or something but I would rather the little pain and bother to help him be able to play and sleep without a problem. : ( Still he's a big boy and is very diligent about washing his hands before rubbings his eyes, etc and is having so much fun playing outside though he told me tonight "Pollen is the worst thing. Ever."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Demolition is finished!

My Mother in Law was off work today and picked up the kids for a day of who-knows-what kind of fun, leaving Tony, Artemas and I to finish the demo which involved tearing down the rest of the ceiling (top and left side), taking down the old ceiling fan, bagging all the old insulation, remove the rest of the roof, the rafters and the frame for the side wall. A big task!

We got it ALL done!! This morning Tony and Artemas took a load of debris to the dump that involved 12 bags of insulation. This is a picture of my front walk right now--all these bags are full of insulation too. We're not sure the dump is open tomorrow with it being Good Friday and this being the Bible Belt. Anyone local know if the one on Racoon Valley is open? LOL!

The windows in our "bedroom" seem quite superflous right now, so we left them open for the night. Tomorrow the goal is to lay the subflooring, build the "knee wall" and begin putting in new support beams for the roof. The actual secondary goal is to be able to at least put the roofing felt on, so when the expected (and therefor definite) thunderstorms hit Saturday night we don't have to worry about our house getting wet inside!

We'll see though since the kids will be with us tomorrow. We are really missing them with the time we've had to be gone away from them already this week, and know they miss us. I am going to try to spend my time with them tomorrow reading books or rocking while watching TV. The house needs housework stuff done again by now but I am really missing some time with my babies.