Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pretty in Paisley Skirt

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This skirt was a great afternoon sewing project.  My sweet husband kept the kids (mostly) out of my craft room to allow me some glorious (mostly) uninterrupted sewing time.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, especially since my skills are a bit rusty.  There are lots of little (and big) imperfections, but it's totally wearable and I think it's cute!

I used New Look Sewing Pattern 6354, view F, for my pattern.  I did make a few changes.  I added a lining, so I cut two of each of the skirt pieces.  I also didn't add any ribbon detail around the waist.  Another minor thing that I added was some top-stitching around the very top, it looks more finished and it helps keep the elastic in place. 

The pretty paisley fabric came from the Walmart clearance section.  As did the turquoise material used on the yoke.  (I can't remember where the tan fabric that I used for the lining came from; it was probably on clearance at either Walmart or Joann's.)

There are no visible raw edges on the skirt.  I dislike raw edges, because I think they make a garment look a little frumpy -- even when the wearer is the only one to see them.  (It's a personal thing, and believe me, I don't mind them on other people's stuff!)

Here's the inside of the skirt, where you can see the lining. (You can also see some of my very messy seams, oh well.)  The lining's right side is facing in (towards my legs), making the wrong sides of both fabrics face one another.

I hemmed the lining about an inch higher than the skirt.  For this hem I simply folded the material over, ironed it, then folded it once more to hide the raw edge, ironed again and finished it with a zigzag stitch.  The skirt hem I folded, ironed, zigzag stitched, then folded again and did a straight line top-stitch.  

I made a reversible skirt with this same pattern a couple of years ago. 

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I will be sharing this at various parties around the web, including these!

Friday, June 27, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Some of My Current Favorite Things

This post may contain affiliate links. 

1.  My Beco Gemini Baby Carrier is a big favorite right now.  Seriously, I don't leave the house without it.  It's been to the highest point east of the Mississippi, it's hiked the trails to see the Hunger Games waterfalls, it's been to the beach, to Church, and I can't count the times it's been used around the house.

2.  Play-doh. Catherine loves playing with it.  For hours.  (I have a random Play-doh post from a couple of years ago, if you're interested.)

3.  This Fisher Price Bouncer.  Dominic doesn't need it as much as Catherine did.  (She would *only* sleep in the bouncer.)  However, he certainly does his best sleeping in it.  Here's some pj's and giggles:

4.  The pool.  I love it.  Catherine loves it.  Dominic tolerates it.  Of course, I'm not actually swimming laps . . .

5.  This yarn.  Even though it's not a super high quality yarn I really like the feel and I love the color.

6.  Air Conditioning.  I have to be honest, I love my AC.  I both love and enjoy the outdoors, but it is so nice to be able to come back to a cool and comfortable home.

7.  Here's a random thing that I realized that I greatly appreciate: our Brita water pitcher.

What are some of your current favorite things?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIPS: Sweater, Headband, and a Skirt

I haven't made as much progress as I'd like on my sweater, I'm only on row 19!  However, I do like the way the yarn is working up.  (I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that this will actually fit!)

I needed a super quick project, so I started whipping up a crochet headband.  I will be sharing my simple pattern with you soon! (UPDATE: Here's the Easy Scalloped Headband Pattern.)

Even if my knitting hasn't progressed I am happy that I started and finished a sewing project this week!  I made a simple skirt.  I'm working on a blog post on that too, but here's a little teaser.

Also, did you see that I (finally) posted about The Blue Giraffe?

What are you working on this week?  I'll be checking out a lot of the posts linked up with these three wonderful bloggers:

Frontier Dreams with Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Blue Giraffe (An Amigurumi Crochet Project)

Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream
Color: Faded Denim
Hook: G
Pattern: (affiliate link) Vanna's Choice: Easy Crochet Critters

I love this pattern book!  It basically uses single crochet -- although you do need to know how to increase or decrease.  (A basic explanation is included in the book.)  Like 99% of crochet patterns out there it is written in "crochet shorthand", but if you aren't familiar with the terms they are easily googled!

I have made a giraffe with this pattern before.  (Check out the full post here.)  This time I used a smaller hook and I think my stitches are a bit tighter.  Of course, this makes the giraffe a little smaller.

Catherine really likes the blue giraffe.  (Although, she has criticized that the head is a little too flopsy.)

Here's one more picture of me with the giraffe.  My talented sister, Sarah, took this picture when I was pregnant with Dominic.  She is the artist behind the camera in all of these shots, actually!  I love that you can see Catherine frolicking in the background.

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I love sharing my projects at various parties like these.

Friday, June 20, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Some of the following links might be affiliate links.  

1.  My husband and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary this week.  Time sure flies!

2.  Catherine checked this book out of the library this week.  It's pretty basic, with only one word on each page, but I do have a gripe with one of the sets of "opposites" that they use: front and side.  In my humble opinion, side is not the opposite of front, back is the opposite.  What do you think?

3.  I love these mountains.

4.  I started knitting a sweater for myself!  Are you doing any "selfish crafting"?

5.  Dominic has a Very Hungry Caterpillar outfit.  Every time he wears it we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Over and over and over again.  Guess what he's wearing today?

6.  I saw an area rug that I really liked in a magazine and have been (very causally) looking for it online.  This one is very similar to one I liked:

7.  "Porcupine" has rolled over a couple of times now.  I think he shocks himself each time, it's pretty adorable.  Catherine loves that he is starting to be interested in toys.  These two are growing up too quickly!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIPS: Finished Projects and A New Sweater

Here are two projects that are (finally!) finished.  They both had been started over a year(!) ago. 

Even though I have quite a few projects that are currently in progress I decided to start another one!  I cast on this sweater.  This will be my first knitting project for myself.  The pattern is for a size small, which I am not, but I'm hoping that using larger needles will make enough of a difference.  We'll see.

I love the color of this yarn!  It's called Teal Lake.  I've never worked with this type, or even this brand, of yarn before, but it looked so nice and felt so soft I thought I'd give it a try.  (And *cough* it was in my price range.)  How about you, have you worked with this yarn before?  What did you think of it?

Frontier Dreams with Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami
Yarn Along with Ginny

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another Crochet Project: King Sized Granny Square Blanket

This isn't a new project, in fact, it's about ten years old!  It is the largest crochet project that I've completed.  (I have another large blanket that has been languishing in my WIPs bin for years.)

  It has a great weight to it and is quite cozy.  We normally use it while lounging on the couch.

This is an "exciting" picture because Catherine is in it.  (She thought the rest of this photo shoot was way too boring.)

Here's another granny square project from a while ago:

Do you like crocheting granny squares?  What's the biggest project you've completed?

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Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes

These are going to be pretty quick because we want to get to the pool.

1.  We picked up a new game last week, Race for the Galaxy.  It takes a few slow games to understand how it works, but then it really picks up!

2.  What do you think of this fabric?  It caught my eye, but I can't decide it it'd be too busy to wear.  My thought is it could make a cute sundress.

3.  I also like this fabric:

4.  Can you tell I'm itching to do a sewing project?  It's been about 15 years (!) since I've worked with knits, so I'm ready to try again!

5.  Here's a picture of my girl rocking the "Princess Leia Hair":

6.  Here's my boy with the "Fine, Mom.  Take my picture.  Again." expression:

7.  Did you see the Frozen themed giveaway that I'm co-hosting?

Make sure to check out more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Frozen Themed Giveaway THREE WINNERS (Ends 6/16) US

The frenzy that is Disney’s movie “Frozen” is still going full swing! Kids of all ages are obsessed with Elsa, Anna, and Olaf. Parents are waiting in line for three hours with their children to meet the characters at the Disney theme parks!  My daughter hasn't escaped the craze -- Grandmom gifted her the movie when Dominic was born.  

This fun frenzy is why Your Strong Tower, Coupon Friendly, Sopha Jones Mom, Super Frugal Stephanie, and an awesome group of bloggers (including me!) have teamed up with to bring you the Frozen Giveaway! Win one of these three prizes for your kids: a singing Elsa doll, a singing Anna doll, or a customized Frozen hoodie! PLUS parents also get a magical item of their own from Tablecloths Factory!

Our first lucky winner will receive the singing Elsa doll plus a Grandiose Rosette Backdrop. Elsa sings “Let It Go” and lights up in a frosted icy blue glow when motion activated.
Our second winner will score a singing Anna doll and a Beverly Hills Waves Overlay tablecloth. Anna sings "For the First Time in Forever" and also lights up in a frosted icy blue glow when motion activated.

Our third prize winner will receive a Disney Frozen hooded sweatshirt and a Blossoms & Sequins in Lace Table Overlay. Your child will enjoy the comfort of this warm and toasty pullover hoodie. It’s a 50/50 cotton-poly blend, has set-in sleeves, double needle-stitched armholes, and bottom band for durability. Personalize it any way you like.

About our sponsor: has a vast selection of colorful linens and d├ęcor items for all of your summer party needs, whether you’re planning a family reunion, 4th of July fireworks bash, or an early fall wedding. If you need chair covers, tablecloths, runners, sashes or simply table napkins, has you covered with gorgeous fabrics in a rainbow of colors. And don’t forget, they also carry great party supplies such as favors, balloons, LED lights, and cake stands to fulfill all of your entertaining and decorating needs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fine print and details: Giveaway runs from Wednesday June 11th to Monday, June 16th 2014. Contest is open to US residents age 18 and up. (Sorry, prizes cannot be shipped to Hawaii or Alaska.) The Philosopher's Wife is not responsible for prize shipment or fulfillment. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.  Void where prohibited. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Easy Banana Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Despite this cookie's long name they really are super easy to make.  They aren't overly sweet, so indulge without the guilt!  (Or have a few for breakfast.)

Makes 16 cookies.
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mash the bananas.  Add the the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Spoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool for one minute before removing.  

Here's the awesome part: these cookies have less than fifty delicious calories each!  

I will be sharing this recipe at various blog parties, including these and It's Time for a Party!