Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010 Highlights

Our Holiday Season in photographs:

The annual Lobster-fest at Mimi and Jeff's
Dinner is almost ready.

Shelby's favorite gift and my least favorite?  Haley's LOUD vacuum cleaner.  

The girls had a blast decorating the tree at Grandma and Grandpa Pfaff's house 

Don't eat it, Haley!

Our budding photographer, Shelby

Time for a tummy ache from all that icing! (Decorating cookies for Santa)

Shelby got that lemon from Santa after all (thanks to one of his elves!)
Santa also brought Big Wheels.  He thought the girls' legs were long enough.  Maybe in 2 years!

Haley and Grandma playing in the leaves

All the Pfaffs posing with the new fort (Monica, Bryon, Shelby, Ashlee, Juanita (with Isidora due soon), Aaron, Janice, Norman, and Haley

Modern Version of a Quilting Bee

In 2011, I will be doing something I've never done before--quilting!  My cousin-in-law, Wendy, is fearlessly guiding me, and whoever else wants to join us,  through all the steps.  On her blog, she will be posting sew-a-long steps and will be holding my timid hand the whole way.  Join us in making a doll-sized quilt here.

Per Wendy's direction, I purchased two light and two dark fabrics.  The four I picked are from the Quite Contrary line from Riley Blake.
Love those berries!

I also picked up some supplies at Joann's.  If anyone in the DFW area has a favorite fabric/supplies store other than Joann's, PLEASE contact me.  My frustration with them is mounting!  

Who knew 100% cotton batting was so hard to find?

I can't wait to get started and will keep my eager blog-reading fans informed of my progress!                 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Fort for the Pfaffs

 Bryon's parents recently moved to a new home in Los Lunas, New Mexico.  So, what do you think was the first big purchase for their new place?  New appliances?  New furniture?  Nope!  Bryon's dad promptly bought the biggest playset Costco had to offer.    

The instructions clearly state that one should read through the entire manual before attempting to assemble oneself to ensure that "professional help is not needed."    It also estimates time to complete the project at 40 hours.  So, the challenge and race are on for the engineering Pfaff Men!
Step one complete!

How exactly are we going to get this level?

Just a small sample of the parts included. 

Still smiling!

The topping off party.

Who looks more excited~Grandpa or Shelby?
The guys are estimating that they are two-thirds done at this point.  I just know the grandkids are going to appreciate this addition to the new house for MANY years to come!

Friday, December 17, 2010

And the winner is....

#96, Tracy!  Congrats!  Thanks for all of the great ideas and tips.  I can't wait for the next sew, mama, sew giveaway day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My First Giveaway--CLOSED

If you just stumbled across my little blog via Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway day, then welcome!  I'll be honest.  My blog is more about my boring little family than about sewing tutorials.  Feel free to read older posts to peek into my crazy life.  There are a few sprinkled here and there about my sewing messes and successes.

Now, onto what you came here for.  I found the pattern for these cute little birdies in Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces and have gone crazy making a flock of my own. 

Each bird is stuffed with a little lavender from my mother-in-law's garden, so they all smell divine!

The winner will have her choice of one bird and will also receive a bag of dried lavender to use in her next project.

To enter, leave a comment with your best sewing tip for newbies like me.  Or, if you are a non-sewer, share your favorite cooking or crafting tip. Winner will be chosen at random on 12/17/10 at noon.

Oh, and just for fun, I doing a survey about that silly automatic needle threader on sewing machines.  Do you use it or not?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Ugliest Gift Wrapping, EVER!

In my previous life (before kids), I loved spending a whole day carefully wrapping my Christmas gifts.  I would use coordinating wrapping paper, make my own fancy bows, drink hot chocolate, and listen to Christmas music.  It was lovely.

Present day doesn't allow such luxuries.  Kids love nothing more than to rip open gifts, especially when told not to touch them for awhile.  What's a girl to do?  Sew her presents, of course!  So far, not one gift has been broken into.

I started by having the girls make a huge mess with paint on craft paper.
 I then cut out the paper, sewed some silly designs, stuffed the gift inside, and "hemmed" it up.  I've managed to put a few under our Christmas palm tree.
 It's been fun using some of the decorative stitches on the sewing machine.

 Sewing a perfect circle is next to impossible, as seen on the left Christmas tree.

 My sister, Molly, gets the shaft every year, since her birthday is 3 days before Christmas.  Not only is she getting the dreaded "this is your birthday and Christmas gift all in one," so is the wrapping.  It's a birthday/Christmas creation!

The middle one is supposed to be a peppermint, yeah, not so much...but it was fun trying!

This fun project works well on the small gifts, but the big ones will be a little difficult.  Those may just get a single bow right before we do the gift opening.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Best Universal Tadpole, EVER!

Ever heard of the Universal Tadpole?  Yep, me neither, until my super-smart sister had kids and earned her master's degree.  She can tell you all about how the first images kids draw of people look the same worldwide.  It's usually a circle with lines for arms and legs (no body or neck).  Fascinating that kids in Dubai are drawing the same thing as kids in the good ol' USA.

Today, a friend and I took our kids to lunch.  Shelby was coloring on anything, including the table.  I handed her the bag my yummy burger came in, and this is what my budding Picasso designed:

It was a Universal Tadpole! To the right is a bird, complete with wings and claw feet.  Is it too early to set up an etsy account for her now?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts

I've been having some fun with Thanksgiving crafts lately.  First, this turkey project looked fun:

idea stolen from someone more creative than me ( actually)

So, in about 30 minutes at work, using scrap cardboard and google images, I made this:

Please stop by my house and add a feather to our turkey!  The feathers are already cut out and are waiting to see what your a thankful for this year.  

The second Thanksgiving project in our house is this really cool bunting. (Who knew that's what they were called!?!)

idea from cousin Wendy (someone else that is more creative than me)

With cousin Ashlee (Bryon's niece) coming to visit, I thought it might be a fun activity for the girls.  What could be more adorable than three girls making handprint turkeys?? 

Needless to say, our turkeys look more like tie dye.  My plan is to try our hand (get it?) each year until the flags are full.  Hopefully next year's will be more turkeylike...Purchase a blank Fall bunting for yourself, and see if your turkeys look better than ours!  My cousin-in-law, Wendy, is selling them at  

Just wait until you see my Christmas crap crafts.  If only there were more hours in the day and less toddlers wanting to get involved!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blast From the Past

Remember these?  Yep, good ol' leg warmers from the '80's.  I'm sure I didn't look this hot in mine.  If any of you five readers out there have pictures of me in a pair, please feel free to send all originals straight to the shredder!

So, after Shelby started crawling a little, someone told me about Baby Legs, basically leg warmers for babies.BabyLegs Leg Warmers, Sweet Heart

I quickly shelled out my $12 and ordered some.   As a bonus with her crawling around in them, my floors got dusted.

Jump ahead a few years, and I came across this awesome tutorial on how to make your own baby legs using a pair of women's knee high socks.  Low and behold, Target had them on sale for $1.  I managed to whip out TWELVE pair in one day.  If you do the math, I made TWELVE pair for the price of one.  And, I had fun doing it.  Here's Haley modeling hers today, while climbing as high as possible in a bounce house.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 101

How to Carve a Pumpkin in Three Easy Steps

1.  Line the floor with a plastic trashbag and let the kids scrape out all the nasty insides from the pumpkin.

2.  Marry an engineer who is a perfectionist and is also handy with tools.  While said husband is carving, do your best to keep kids away from sharp tools.

3.  Place candle inside your jack-o-lantern and shower said husband with lots of praise, all the while thanking your lucky stars you didn't have to carve a thing!

How to get some "me" time

Hey, Moms!  Do you need 15 minutes to check your email and catch up facebook?  I learned the hard way today that the trash-bag stash is a great way to keep your toddlers entertained for just a few minutes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shelby's Homemade Halloween

At 28 months, Shelby finally gets the concept of Halloween.  For two months, she's told anyone that will listen that she is going to be a mermaid and get candy.  I think every single employee at Joann's Fabric is well aware of her costume by this point.

Finding an easy mermaid pattern was harder than I thought.  Sure, there were several by McCalls and Simplicity, but I was gently told those were too hard for a beginner.  Well, watch out Project Runway, because I designed my own. 

The wig sounded like fun, so I started with it.  E-6000 glue is my new BFF.  I used it to glue yarn and shells to a headband.  It turned out so cute that I made another one for my cousin's daughter also.

Next, it was time to start sewing.  The tail fin was first.  I just drew out a pattern and then cut out the scale fabric.  I had to use no-iron sew-in lining since the fabric melted just by leaving it in the sun.
 I then attached that to a skirt that will be lucky to hold together past 10/31/10.  I predict the elastic will slip out before we make it to the neighbor's front porch...
 Next came some sequin gluing with the magical E-6000 and some added tulle to give the illusion of waves.  Get it?

  The swimsuit fabric for the top was a lucky find in the remnant bin.  I just played around with it for a couple of hours weeks until a shirt appeared.  Shelby then glued sequins and jewels wherever she pleased.  After she went to bed, I re-glued with good ol' E-6000.  That skirt may fall apart, but those sequins aren't going anywhere!

Unfortunately, the tulle and sequins made the inside quite scratchy.  The only way to get Shelby to wear her costume was to put a top and pants underneath.  In the end, I was very excited to see her trick-or-treat in an original costume!

All in all, I had a blast being creative and can't wait until next year.  Heck, I might even make costumes for Bryon and me!