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March 28, 2013

Easters Past, Present and Future!

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One thing that I always love about Easter is spending time with my family.  When I was younger I loved to die eggs with my brothers and cousins. We would sign our names with crayon or try to find ways to create a different design on the shell.  Then we would wake up on Easter morning hut for our Easter baskets throughout the house.  This was always fun because my mom and dad would hide them in the craziest places like the dryer, under the stairs or way up high on the ceiling fans.  After church we actually got to eat what was in the basket and look to see if we had a present inside.  The thing I always liked was that I would get a letter of inspiration from my parents.  That to me was the most precious gift I got on Easter!!  Ah the good ole days!!!
This year I get to spend Easter with my new family; Ralph and Bubba!!!  I am so excited to see what happens this year!!  We have already started it off by making Easter Cupcakes!

I was so excited because Ralph was able to help me make and decorate them as well as being able to give them away!!  I loved to see him get into the spirit of service but being excited to cook with mom!!  He is turning out to be the little chef!  I call him Chef Ralph!




We are going to continue with the dying of the eggs and hunting for the Easter basket but the main idea this year is new traditions.

New traditions! Looks into the future.  That is a crazy thought!  But I like to seek out new traditions that we can add to the holiday next year.  This year it was the cupcakes and service, next year I would like to develop and Easter Egg hunt since so many of my nieces and nephews are around at that time I think it would be exciting as well as create a family dinner with everyone.  These are just a few new traditions I want to try.  I loved what I did when I was younger and thrilled at what we are doing this year and i am ecstatic about next year! 
March 27, 2013

Shel Silverstein Inspired Toddler Tee

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This is the first official PR&P Project that I have done something for Heber. Although, you might recognize him from the fall 2012 season when he modeled for his cousin when she was sick. I think the Underwater Land themed top is more fitting, don't you?


So as I'm sure it did with most of you, my mind went in about a million directions when they announced the artistic inspired theme for the first week of this season's Project Run and Play. My first thought was overwhelmed. I mean art is incredible, but what is appropriate for children's clothing and also something I love? I was stumped. Originally I thought maybe I would run with the architecture side of art since that's my favorite. I was thinking of doing a remix of the Eiffel tower into a dress for Ty, but the difficulty, potential cost, and a teething, sick baby vetoed that idea. Hence we went easy this time around.


Next to architecture, my next favorite kind of art is black and white illustrations, more specifically Shel Silverstein. After looking at all of his illustrations I found a picture he did for the Underwater Land album. It was perfect for Heber's personality and nautical theme is pretty big right now.

I used my fabric budget for the other weeks of PR&P so I had to get creative this time around. I ended up going to Goodwill and finding a men's t-shirt that I decided to refashion into a shirt for Heber. I hand drafted some pattern pieces and cut away. The binding around the original neck of the shirt was seam ripped off re-sized to fit the neck line. Once I had put it all together besides the side seams, I got started on the image.


I took the image I found and opened it in Silhouette. I used the trace feature to get the general outline. I cleaned it up and made the image and the line the same color. After doing this you can make the line thickness as much as you desire to make your image bolder. Finally you can use the trace feature again over what you worked on to get a single cut line. And then your image is ready to go.


I cut it on freezer paper so that I could iron it onto the shirt I made. The plan was to use spray paint to get the image on. Unfortunately because some of the freezer paper pieces were so small, they wouldn't stick to the fabric when I tried to iron them on. I ended up still using the freezer paper that I had applied, but just used a sharpie marker to sketch out the little stuff instead of spray paint. Finally, I pulled off the freezer paper, heat set the image, and sewed the side seams from under the arm pit to the bottom of the shirt.


I'm really excited about this tee. Heber looks so handsome and he finally has a shirt that is easy to get over his big head and fit his long body. If you haven't seen it yet you should check out the incredible dress my sister Jo made this week.




Where we are linking up:
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March 26, 2013

Lessons Learned from the Heart of Our Father

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This weekend I had the opportunity to go HOME. There is nothing like the crisp air, sagebrush every where and the beautiful tall mountains to make me feel at peace. But most of all it is the quiet, tender ways of the man that Al, Jo and I call Dad that makes me feel at rest.
We haven't  had much of an opportunity to talk about our Dad on the blog so today I am going to share a little bit about the man that helped shape us to the women we have become.
I love talking to my Dad. His knowledge about fishing, nature and craftsmanship are extensive. I love the discussions we have: how to tie a fly, identifying tracks in the snow, and the best way to tear apart pallets. He is one of the first and most trusted sources that I know. His thirst for knowledge on a variety of topics always keeps me on my toes.
His strong hands are skilled and his mind is sharp. Growing up, if their was a piece of furniture that we needed that we couldn't afford, he would find a way to make it. Jo, Al and I for most of our years at home all shared a bedroom that had one floor to ceiling book case that Dad made. Our bed was a queen size bunk bed which Dad made for us Christmas one year. He made it out of wood that he had found in the dumpster at a job site. He and Mom embodied the attitude of "making due", sometimes achieved by doing without but most often achieved by the "making" part.
As we have grown, I think we have tried to remember the things that our Dad has taught us through his quite example. As I watched Ryder follow Dad, it is fun to see him have the same respect and admiration that I feel for the man that has given me so much.
As we prepare for next month to talk about parenting, I am reminded of the things we were taught as kids and have noticed how much those teaching and activities have helped all of us. Things that were common place in our home were: Saturday morning doing chores as a family, multiple mini-lessons about how to fix a dresser drawer (glue it and screw it, right girls?), and humor and rough housing.
My favorite thing was when he would calmly say, "Hey do you want to go on a drive?" There was no pressure if his invitation was declined, though there were only a handful of occasions that any of us ever turned the opportunity down. I never knew where we were going or when I would be back. I knew that we would go slow and time was never an object. It was always a treat. Now that I am older, I realize that those drives gave him an chance to touch base with us while removing distractions and keeping it very comfortable.
Our hope for next month is that we might be able to remember the positive traditions of yesterday and increase our understanding for tomorrows challenges.
Here are our themes for the month of April, "It takes a Village to Raise a Child" aka link up your parenting ideas.
April 1-7: Old Dog Can Play New Tricks (Jokes, Pranks, April fools day traditions, and Fun)
NEW, April 7-30: Special Circumstances (Blended families, Mental and Physical challenges, Behavior Issues, or anything else that doesn't fit with the other topics but deals with parenting)
April 8-14: Singing Out of the Rain (Rainy Day Activities)
April 15-21: Busy as a Bee (Activities to keep your kids busy)
April 22-28: Raising Kids is a Walk in the Park (Outdoor Activities)
April 29-May 4: Good Ideas for Those Who Wait (Quiet Activities, Travel Games, or activities that will keep your kids entertained while you are found waiting)

We look forward to hearing from you and listening to your ideas. If you would like to guest post, please e-mail us at shaffer.sisters@gmail.com.
March 25, 2013

Susanna Shap Inspired Woven and Flower Dress

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It is that time again!  Wahoo.  It is so fun for my sisters and I to sew along with some pretty awesome designers of children's clothing.  We love to see what inspiration comes from week to week.  And, I think we all like the challenge of making something that our kids will wear and love, on a time crunch.
So, today I am going to lead you through my thoughts and design for week one, all the way to completion of a dress I really love for my little "Rogue".
Week 1:  Inspired by Art---Choose an artist, art movement, or artwork and create a children's look inspired by your choice.

I wondered if I should do light and shadow inspired by Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte), Georges Seurat, 1884-1886.
Or, maybe I should do Starry Night by VanGogh as a rough paint job, or possibly the textured fabric that we see now-a-days.  After painting it, I thought about using tucks and using the trees as the focal gathering point.
But as I was browsing through paintings on line, I came across this one.  I love Susanna Shap's style, I have tried to copy it a few times with little success.  I love those fat brush strokes, all of the texture, and the three dimensional look it gives the painting.  I love that she didn't have to paint shadows on those flowers, but that they are actual shadows.  I also love that every stroke is a continuation of the last, and the colors blend naturally on the canvas, as opposed to being pre-mixed on the pallet.
As I started to think about this, I figured it would translate really well to fabric.

I used two tones of Chiffon for the basket weave and a really soft polyester for the rest of the dress.  As far as notions, I used a hidden zipper, pearl beads, and silk hydrangeas.
I drafted my own pattern
And then I just started trying things.  I wasn't really sure how it was going to all work.
 1. Was too big.
2. Was super hard to work with, there were way to many biases  and I couldn't figure out what to do with it.  
3. I tried again and I feel like this one translated the painting perfectly, and it was a lot simpler to work with!
 After going crazy with this weaving, I wanted to see some actual results, so I decided to finish the dress.
 It is hard to see, but there is chiffon around the collar, sleeve, and hem.
Once I finished the weave design, I was finally able to pinned the weave on to the bottom of the dress, I got so excited!  It looked like I pictured, which is always a good sign!
 Here is the front and back of dress

Up-close in front & Up-close of basket weave, with hydrangeas and pearl centers.  I tried to put the flowers on in clusters of 3 and 5.  I love the trellis look it gives to the whole thing!

So, now the dress is done, and its time for the photo shoot!  I have such a cute little stinker!  Love that little Rogue.  

 

There just happened to be this awesome decor at the mall today, and I thought it was perfect!



Look a frog, maybe he will turn in to a prince!  Kiss him quick!
So I love this dress, and I love fact that it moves so well on her.  I love the translation from painting to clothing, and I love that I don't have to hand stitch on any flowers for a while, a long while, like hopefully not until I sew her wedding dress

Where we are linking to:
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