Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christmas Parties

Here are the girls all dressed up at the work party.
Bee loved her napkin and was quite entertained by it.

The President of the college sang with the children, as is his tradition.

Here they are captivated as the President's wife read's them "The night before Christmas."

She told Santa that she wanted a 'Dreamlight" for Christmas.

This is a picture of Abigail coloring an ornament at a church sponsored Christmas activity. This was a stake activity . They had gathered together hundreds of nativities which lined the hallways and we were able to walk by and admire all of the different ones. Then we went into the Children's room where there were a number of different activities for the children to do. There was also live music and and a live nativity in the cultural hall. We were happy to see some of our friends from Iowa who were playing the parts of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.

This beautiful sweater that she is wearing was crocheted by her grandmother. So beautiful!

My favorite nativity.

The walls were decorated with artwork from primary children. We even found a few from the children in our ward, although I never found one from Abby.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas Gifts

I wanted to do something special this year for my Visiting Teachees, for my friends, and for my Seminary students. Therefore, I headed to pinterest for cute ideas. I found lots of ideas and finally felt that this one might be a meaningful and useful gift.

Frame notebook paper (or pretty solid color), hot glue a bow (if wanted), velcro a dry erase marker to the back ... viola, reusable, never ending note pad. Perfect for a To Do list for desk or kitchen or in kid's room for chore list. Great gift for teacher or coworkers. How come I didnt think of that.teacher to-do list in a picture frameframed to do list
I downloaded a template from here and then opened it in adobe photoshop. I played around with the settings and created my own to do list for each person. I learned a lot about how to use photoshop and was very appreciative to Benjamin for his patience with me.
Here are the ones that I came up with. It is hard to try to know what patterns your friends might like without directly asking them.

These colors are some of my favorites. It doesn't hurt that her name starts with the same letter that mine does.

I then had each printed in color. I cut them to size and placed each in a frame. I attached a magnet to the back of each and then included a dry erase marker that could hang from the magnet.

SRX Magnetic Dry Erase Markers, 6/Pk BDU4560VA12
I used this kind of markers, but not this brand of markers. I found this picture here.
I wish I had made me one.

It would be pretty easy to send anyone the file if they wanted one. I could easily use one of the patterns above and just change the letter. Let me know. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013


This summer, I had been considering painting a tree on the wall as a means to decorate a baby's room. We've been hoping for a baby for years and I decided that I would do it when we had one. When Sierra approached me this summer and asked me to paint a tree on her wall, I decided that I did not have to wait until I had a baby. I could paint a tree on Abby's wall right now. So I did.

I found this picture online on pinterest, but the link did not work. I had no guides or instructions, just this picture to go off of. 

Wall murals kkatnthehat

I drew the tree on the wall with chalk and then over a period of a few days, painted the tree on the wall. I did the best that I knew how, but I was not pleased with how it looks up close.

Bee had so much fun with the ladder. She used the tray at the top to store her most recent "collection."

I bought the vinyl online and then Sierra cut out all of the leaves and letters for me on her Cricut.

We also borrowed Tasha's cartridge and printed out some butterflies and some birds.

The tree has been finished on her wall since June, the quilt was just recently finished.
I also drew a silhouette of Toothless and of a Pteranodon on her wall, but I haven't decided if I am going to paint them in or not. She is starting to grow out of her dinosaur phase, some days. At this rate, I can just wash away the chalk and draw a silhouette of her next phase in chalk. She seems content with that.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Birthday Quilt

For months now, since July-ish, I have been working on a new quilt for Bee's bed. She sleeps on a futon, which ends up needing a queen sized quilt. I searched pinterest for ideas found so many wonderful quilts.
Girl quilt
cute little girl quiltquilt patterneasy quilt patternBaby girl girl quilt

I finally decided on this one:
baby quilt pattern

I looked closely at the picture and then tried to recreate it in a much larger version. It took me nearly six months to complete, but Bee loves it and really seems appreciative.
Here are some pictures of the steps involved:

I chose most of the fabrics myself. I went to four different stores to find them all. Then I had to go back to all four stores at least twice as I began comprehending how much fabric I would need for a queen size quilt.

This sewing machine has been going strong now for a long time. It's amazing what a hundred dollar machine can survive, not that I wouldn't mind a much nicer machine. :) Especially one with more stitch options.

I have used my rotary mat and cutter so often since I purchased them. They were a great investment. 
I cut, pieced, and sewed this quilt together in three days. It then took me five months to finish. I actually had to pick out the green shown in this picture, because I didn't like it and I replaced it with a different shade.

I used a queen-sized flat sheet for the back. It was a super-easy way to finish off the quilt. I had plenty of the flat sheet left over to use it as the green strip and for the leaves. I still have quite a bit left and have some fun ideas about how to use it in the room.

A kind friend from church, Pam, let me use her amazing quilting machine again. I was much better at it this time and it did not take me nearly as long as Benjamin's quilt had. She was extremely patient with me and the heart pattern that I chose to use, turned out perfectly.

The needle sews beneath on the quilt while I hold onto the handles and follow the pattern with the laser. It was weird not to watch the machine actually sewing. Sometimes I would sew quite a ways before I noticed the bobbin was out.

Here is a full length shot of the quilting machine.
I made the binding, sewed it mostly on following a pattern that I found online, only to realize that I was following the wrong patter. I then had to unpick the entire binding and start over. Thanks again to Pam and Ruth Anne for helping figure out how to fix it and how to make the mitred corners. Here's the pattern to follow. I had to make sure I used the extra-wide instructions. Then I hand-sewed on the binding to the other side. I finished it the night before her birthday party, just in time to wrap it.

Here some pictures of the finished quilt on her bed.

Purple is a fun color. We're enjoying it at our house a lot lately.