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January 30, 2013

You Driving Me Crazy T-Shirt Vinyl with Racing Pants

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Looking for some other fun Valentine's Outfits, here are some previous posts that might be helpful.
I had an idea for T-Shirt Vinyl for Ryder a few weeks ago because every time I accelerate quickly he says, "Mom, You driving me Crazy." (mind you this is said with his cute speech problems, so I am not sure everyone would understand. But I do).
When I abandoned my hard Valentine's Day sewing idea than I went through fishing in his shirts. I had bought a blank navy shirt to be used as PJ's so I fished it out for this project. I wanted the writing to surround the car but I am not sure the way that I had the text wrap it was the easiest to read, but I know what it says and Ryder loves that it has a car on it.
When I showed it to him the next morning, he ran with elation. As he exclaimed, "My car shirt." He scooped it up and hugged it.
I was so relieved. About 1 minute later, he pointed out that it was just a shirt and asked, "Where are my car pants."
Dazed and confused of how he could go from joy to complete sadness in a matter of moments,  I said, "Sorry, I don't know how to make car pants."
He said, "Ya, Mom you can make car pants."
My second attempt, "I don't have enough material."
"Ya, there is some in my bedroom. I will go get it." (my fabric cubby is hanging in their bedroom)
At that point I just smiled and realized that Boy Week had given him a boost of confidence that I could make more than just pretty dresses but boy clothes too.

I went to my fabric stash and found a men's 4XL shirt (that I found on the $1 rack at Walmart) with horizontal stripes. I realized if I ran the pattern pieces so the stripes were running down his legs instead of across then I knew it would be perfect. The only thing that I changed for last week's comfies was that I needed to cut the pattern a little wider so it would still be comfortable, even though it didn't have the full stretch to it. The bottom of the pants are made using the ribbing from the top of the shirt.

Ryder is a huge fan of the comfort and movement in this outfit.
  Keeping It Simple Sumo's Sweet Stuff The Girl Creative Sew Chatty So I Married A Craft Blogger
January 30, 2013

Amelia Earhart's "love is in the air" look

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 As I thought about this weeks challenge for Project Run and Play  I had two ideas, first I knew I wanted to have a skirt made from hearts, with out actually having hearts on the print.  And the second thought, was that I wanted to somehow incorporate Amelia Earhart's look in to the design.  When I think of Amelia Earhart, I think of clean lines, bomber jackets, and a neck scarf. I looked her up.  Did you know she is attributed to designing the first pants look for women.  She called it the look for "active women"  THANK YOU Mrs. Amelia!  She was featured in Vogue and everything.  I of course chose Amelia for the "in the air" part of the theme, "Love is in the air". She was an amazing pilot and inspiration to women everywhere.  She helped us to know that we can do hard things!  I also thought it fit nicely since I say her name "air-heart".

First, the skirt.  I made a pattern for half a heart taking up most of an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.  I cut the pattern on the fold, creating the heart. I found the brown fabric in the remnant bin, and matched fat quarters with it, using 3 of each color(green, pink, and yellow).  I cut out 18 hearts in all, making this a very full skirt!

                         See those little toes, helping me wherever I go :)
When I finished sewing it all together, it reached up to the ceiling and half way back again.  I then layered the "garland" in to a circle, spiraling it around, so the hearts all laid flat.  Think 6 layers of Four leaf clovers. Then I measured #5's waist, and used one of my dishes with a similar circumference.  I used a sharpy marker tracing around the spiral, until every heart had 1/4 of a circle on it.  And then I cut it out.  This cut all of the points off of the hearts.  I used this remnant to make a little skirt for Jo-Jo(this was my baby doll when I was little, and now it is #5's).

Next I gathered the garland.  I do this by sewing 3 basting stitches, across the entire length of the garland, and then pulling at the three strings simultaneously, so that I might "gather" the fabric.
Next I measured the elastic, and sewed it directly on to the gathered skirt.  For this look, I used a button to fasten it at the back, and later added a second strip of elastic, for a vivid color contrast.  I wanted to keep this as a grass skirt look so I decided not to stitch the two outside edges together.
Right after I took this picture, the camera broke forever, and I had to revert back to the web camera, for the rest of the photo shoot.  
Now for the outfit.  I copied an old navy dress for the pattern for this shirt. I like the linen, and I think it will be very comfortable, soft, and washable!  I made several mistakes and revamps but, in the end I really like how it turned out.  I made the bias, that goes around the shirt collar.  The sleeves are finished with fold over elastic. The hem at the bottom is done with my straight stitch, on the very shortest stitch.  I like the almost braided look that it gives it.

The pants happened, because the shirt was to short to be a dress :)  so of course it needed something on bottom!  And, this is where I was finally able to bring in the Earhart look!  Yahoo.  I decided since she was back in the planning, I would honor her with a very plain, comfortable pant, and a cuff at the bottom.  I cut this pattern off a pair of khakis, that #5 wears.  The waist band is the fold over and finish elastic.  It is becoming a new favorite of mine.  I only have a sewing machine that sews a straight stitch, and no serger, so I try to save time, wherever possible, and that elastic, seems to be a go to for me.  The pants are simple, and do the job.

Lastly we bring in the bomber jacket.  This was so fun to make!  I cut everything really big, off of one of #5's jackets, and then I gathered the sleeves and waist.  I finished them with elastic.  I also lined the jacket with the same fabric-just a printed cotton, to give it a heavier "leather" feel.  I added the minky and buttons, just for fun!  And the outfit was soon completed with the aviator hat, and iconic scarf.  That hat pattern was cut off the hood of an old jacket.  I lined it with minky for softness and warmth.

January 30, 2013

Introducing the Designer behind Our Logo

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I love how life takes you through a period of snapshots of places and people. Often times it seems like you come across the right people for the stage that you are going through. One of those people is our dear friend Celina.
We have been so blessed to have her humor, "tell it straight" personality, and talents in our life. I remember, when Al first introduced me to Celina, it was during an "Anne of Green Gables" movie party. From that moment, I knew we were sure to be kindred spirits.
One day we were sitting around talking about logo design and Celina talked about how she loved the logo concept and if we ever needed help to just give her a shout. We gladly agreed to accept her help and after asking what our mission was and what style we wanted she whipped out our logo in a few days. And she hit it on the head the first time.
This logo gave us the ability to believe that we could make a difference in others lives and inspire a change in us and them. It is a reminder that our home is our emotional center; it is what keeps us grounded, striving and thriving.
We would like you to get to know our friend and graphic designer, Celina. If you are interested in logo design please contact her at celinalynnallen at gmail dot com.
 Now for the fun part, Introducing Celina, through 11 Random Questions
The most interesting year of my life?
...Hm. "Interesting" is such a relative term! Let's see. Ooh. The year I was born. Life certainly got a little more interesting for everyone that year :) Or I guess it could be the year I graduated high school in Portugal and came to America by myself to start college? That could be interesting.. But no, wait. It might be last year. Yep. Maybe some people would be more interested in my histories, but for me personally, I think this past year has been my most interesting. In this past year I graduated college, became a mommy, a better practiced (though FAR from perfect) homemaker, and really found myself in my own skin. It's been a busy year, but hey, that's probably where the "interesting" part fits in :)

What would you wear on a North Atlantic Cruise?
                   On a North Atlantic cruise, I would definitely wear underwear. But on top of that, I think I'd probably don some of my favorite jeans paired also with favorite boots, LOVE boots. And with said jeans and boots (and likely leggings or long-johns!-- this girl takes bundling seriously.) I would also be wearing a sweater, maybe even an ugly one. To top that off, I would certainly be wearing a parka. Now I'm not even entirely sure what qualifies as a parka, nor do I own one, but if I was going on a N-Atlantic cruise I would most definitely own one. And wear it.

What style of clothing would you wear, given the choice?
                Given the choice of wearing a)western, b)Italian, c)Chinese, or d)American, I'm confused. We all GENERALLY wear similar things these days. So we must be talking about what stereotypically the genres wear.. But wait. What do Italians wear? Probably nothing! In which case, I'm there. That's me :) But if I was dressing that way here, being the United States, pretty sure it wouldn't legally last long, so then I would probably just put on jeans and a shirt/sweater :) Call me American.

What is your favorite and least favorite parts of being a mom?
                I LOVE being a mom! Granted I have the best, happiest kid a girl could ask for, but really it's been so fun! And SO humbling. My favorite part is all the time I get to spend with Greyson and being there to witness his growth and development. It's such an amazing thing to see your kid grasp a concept especially when you consider all the things their environment must bombard them with every day. They have such a capacity for learning! I guess my least favorite part has been "no". Of course it has to be done but I hate to have to teach him something that doesn't make for a happy kid. Oh well, it will make him happier eventually, right? Oh, and also favorite, Greyson is such a flirt. And being around him the most, I'm victim to most of the batted eyelashes and funny furtive looks when he's being naughty. That's been fun.

Who is your favorite artist?
               HA! Who is my favorite artist. That is such a good question! See, I graduated with an art degree, which means I definitely spent a good deal of time around artists, famous and non, alive and dead, and I don't think I came away from my education with an "oh, this person is my favorite artist". I don't know! I for sure love some styles as opposed to others, but I don't necessarily have a favorite one-man-show. Though I do appreciate Eric Carle. I did an emulation project based on his work. :)

Do you commentate during movies or remain silent?
               Hahaha... fresh on the brain, this one. I talk during movies! Mostly just commentary on things I find funny or ridiculous, but I do. And Talon is such a good sport about it. He mostly pretends not to mind, but especially when we're watching a good boy movie for the first time, he gets a look and occasionally my behavior warrants a finger on the lips. Haha, poor soul.

Name your favorite car.
               My dream car has grown up. It's gotten a lot more practical and a lot more room in it. Ha. These days my dream car looks a lot like a Toyota Venza, with ohhhh, maybe 10-15 more miles per gallon? I think had you asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have said an Audi TT convertible, but somehow that got lost in the growing up part of things.

Sweet or Savory?
 Sweet. No, savory. No, sweet. No... BOTH. my favorite thing is both. I don't think there's anything I love more than a sweet/salty goodie! Ooh. "Goodie" singular looks funny. Better go with plural. Sweet and salty goodie(s) are my favorite.

What is your favorite font?
this one.
 Actually, I don't have a favorite font either. For me it totally depends on the "where it's going to end up". Though I do own much of the pea series fonts :)

What inspires you?
               Ok, honest moment. Other people inspire me! (And I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but in this respect I'm geared up to argue my point.) That's talking about all sorts of different inspirations, too! For instance, when we were dating I found that my (now) husband inspired me to want to be a so much better me (I don't know if I ever made it, but let's hope a little.. ) (and that's probably how he made it to the altar ;) )! Old people inspire me to live without regret and hesitation. My parents inspire me to create and hold on to an awesome healthy marriage. My son inspires me to be the best mom that I can (I might not be yet, but I'm sure inspired to keep trying). The selfless inspire me to do less for MYself. The Shaffer sisters inspire me to be so much more crafty and to be a better homemaker, mom, and wife (you guys do have a pretty good thing going for you..) For real. People are my inspiration, and I'm so glad there are so many cool ones out there.

What was your first impressions of the Shaffer Sisters?
Hm. Mostly it was like coming home. Though I haven't met/spent time with all of the sisters of Shaffer, there was just some sort of familiarity and ease when it came to knowing you. It helps that Al and I see eye to eye on about 11 out of 10 things, but mostly running into you guys is like running into my own sisters. Or cousins. On the better side of my family. You're just down to earth, practical, and most conveniently of all, you're real. And I'm glad to know you! :)
January 29, 2013

Love You Little Bird with Simple Skirt made from Fat Quarter

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This week Al is getting ready to move half way across the country (Idaho to Chicago) and stop being my neighbor :(. PS we have been neighbors for 3 of the 3.5 years that Power Shoes and Al have been married, our children are practically like siblings.
We have been busy packing, cleaning and all that not so fun stuff. It has been really strange for both of us to be busy, but not with projects. Jo came this weekend to help with the packing.
This week I knew I wanted to do something for both of the kiddos for Valentine's Day over at Project Run and Play but I knew it couldn't take too much time. I put Al's Silhouette to use for one last project before it got boxed up, T-Shirt Vinyl project.
I decided to use a bird for the shirt because Boston's nickname has always been little bird.

I was so pleased with how the flocked vinyl looked on the shirts (yes, store bought) that I decided to whip out a quick skirt to match. The fabric for the skirt is Riley Blake Promenade Damask in Purple, that I purchased last spring as part of a fat quarter bundle from my local craft store.
This skirt was so simple and allowed me to use almost every inch of the little Fat Quarter. Do you want to make one?
I cut the fat quarter into 2-18 by 10 strips. (If the pattern would have been different I might have made it at 10.5" in height, but in order to make the pattern match up on the sides I had to loose that 1/2" inch.) I serged around all the sides (but if you don't have a serger you could use another seam finish option, like a zig zag stitch, pinking, or bias). With the right sides together I sewed up the edge of the 10" side and pressed the seam open. I put a 1/2" hem on the bottom of the skirt. I then gathered the top of the skirt, with a long running stitch.
I then measured the little birds waist (18") and subtracted 2" (16") and cut 1" colored elastic. Then using a 1/2" inch seam I closed the elastic. Then I sewed the edges of the elastic down.
Then I matched the side seam of the skirt with the elastic. I pinned my elastic to my skirt at the half and quarter marks over lapping the fabric with the elastic by 1/2". Then I used a long stitch and increasing the upper tension at the 1/4" and 3/8" mark I sewed around my elastic.
Boom the easiest skirt I have ever made!

The is one of the first skirts of the spring collection I look forward to showing you more.  And check back here tomorrow to see what I made for the little bird's brother.
Keeping It Simple Sumo's Sweet Stuff The Girl Creative Sew Chatty
January 28, 2013

The hearts of our Fathers

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"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers."  Is a scripture from Malachi 4:6.  That is in the Old Testament of the Bible.  In our church, this scripture is often referred to, when we talk about our family history.  We love our ancestors.  Most of us have extensive details of those who came before us.  

One of the books I own, talks about my Great Great Great Great Grandfathers' massive hands.  Did you know I have never met someone with hands as big as mine- except my own fathers hands.  

The big framed document in the background is Hubbins direct lineage from his mother to Adam.
The two books are  compiled stories about my progenitors from almost 200 years ago.  
The quilted tablerunner is an heirloom that was given to me  from one of the "great aunts" at a family reunion . 
When I was young, we often  went on family trips to visit my Great Grandfather.  One of the attributes that I have from him is my ability to work slowly and carefully.  My hand stitching is even and done with ease. I also spend alot of time intensive detailing on my acrylic paintings. Grandpa Shaffer could wittle a toothpick(al mentions it in this link) into a working chain, or make a fan.  I wish I had a picture of that, that I could show you.  Another attribute is a funny little feature that a few of us Shaffer Sisters seem to posses.  We have thick dark eyebrows.   Believe me when I say we trim and pluck, often.  

This is our Great Grandpa and his little sister.  Check out those eyebrows!

We as Shaffer Sisters like to think we can do hard things.  I guess the reason we are so bold, is that we have seen those we love be succesful at the hard things they took on.  Grandpa Shaffer and his wife Lucille were asked to restore the Lucy Mac Smith home   in Nauvoo Illinois.(This link is used with permission from Stephanie Schultz-author and photographer of the linked blog)  He also built churches and homes all across the western United States.
His father Dick Shaffer invented and patented several tools, to increase his productivity.  He was a faithful and loving husband.  Always working hard, honoring his wife, and keeping his patience.  

This is a picture or our Great Great Grandpa and one of his inventions
Grandma Twila almost single handedly raised 6 kids.  Later in her life, I remember spending a lot of time at her home, where she taught me to clean, bake, and make candy, as well as to love the little things in life, like a good head massage, a catnap, or just to sit around during meal times and talk.
Grandma Betty got her bachelors and masters degrees while raising three children and running a ranch.  She took night classes over an hour drive from her home.  All the while sewing, keeping house, and helping her aging parents.
I remember our own mother sewing, beautifying our home, baking the best oatmeal cookies for skiing trips, potty training us at about 1.5 years of age, washing and neatly folding cloth diapers, teaching us to read, sew, love and live the gospel, and a love of continual learning and improvement.  We often attribute my parents with the talent of perfectionism and dedication.  They are devoted and imoveable.  
This is a four generation picture of Scary, Momma Shaffer, Grandma Betty, and Ryder.  We love these women!

As my sisters and I look at the talents we posses, we often attribute them to our progenitors.  Whether through nature or nurture, we are grateful for all of the time and love that has been poured in to us.  We gain strength from the examples of those that came before us, those that struggled to make a life in the dusty flats of Nebraska, those that worked on railroads networking the country, those that lovingly baked bread for the masses, those that sewed each thread of clothing for their families, and those that lived and died for the testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we work to perfect our own talents and share them with you, we lovingly honor those that came before us.  Our hearts are turned to them.    

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