Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate

Categories: swishina | Crafts

Crochet, sewing etc.


This One Time: When I turned 29, my husband sent me to New York for a week to hang out with my brother. It as awesome. That must be my version of a spa getaway. There was also that time I turned 32 and he planned a relaxing family resort trip and did all the cooking, packing, and preparing. Also awesome.

One time he bought me six different chocolates to try. Seriously. Chocolate. Awesome. I've always said he is good at gift giving.

Car Conversations: Things we talked about in the car on the way home from gymnastics.

How many times each of us has been on an airplane. Sienna: 2. Dalton: 27. Maggie: 29. I stopped counting mine, but I guessed around 60.

What's for dinner.
Dalton: Is it January? Then I don't want strawberries. Strawberries aren't good in January.

What we wish were having for dinner.
Dalton: I want to go to Ruby's and have a cheeseburger with ketchup, fries and chicken and I'm getting a chocolate smoothie.

Slurpee rewards for dry diapers.

Maggie Grows Up: We had dinner with the entire family at Dad's care center tonight, followed by family pictures. Dalton started throwing up on the way there, slept in the car for 45 minutes, then curled on a chair for the rest of the time.

Maggie was shocked to learn that Ember is 14, Erin is 40 and Ember is taller! When Erin left Maggie said, "Bye 40 year old aunt whose daughter is taller than her!"

Also Tyler asked, "when can we call her Margaret?"

Maggie sat herself between her older cousins for dinner and had some older cousin conversation, but she also enjoyed plenty of giggly time with Kyli.

We stocked up in hand me down snow clothes in all sizes that will do for our three kids. Tomorrow is play in the snow day.

Christmas Sewing: I got started on Christmas sewing today. I made new stockings for Maggie (Christmas owls) and Dalton (Star Wars) so Sienna can use one of their old ones. I also made something for Rachel. It's amazing how fast things can get done when the baby thinks the sewing machine is funny, and everything is working properly.

Homemade Halloween costumes was as much crafting as I thought I would get done this year, so with my expectations exceeded I have high hopes for Christmas now!

This is such a Mom type journal entry.

Making Stuff: I love to make stuff. I love to make people smile. I love to make people laugh. I love to make my kids smarter, better people. I love to sew things. I love to make homemade cards, scrapbook pages, and music. I love to make memories and yummy food. I love to write and I love to play. And I love to learn to make new things.

Creating makes me who I am. It fulfills me. I've known this for a long time. Happily, it is also my destiny.

[Comments] (1) A Useful Skill for Fixing Things With: This week I found myself using my sewing skills for lots of useful things. I made a "leash" for Maggie (so no one snatches my darling child in the big city), sewed straps onto the sunhat Alyson sent for Dalton (thanks!), mended my skirt, finished my baby sling etc. All for the cost of $1.37 for a package of sew-on snaps and $6 for the sling (which saved me about $30). I love when I need something fixed and I go and fix it. I still need to make cases for our new camera and laptop.

I got a jury duty notice today. I think I have a good excuse.

Crafty and Sly: Being a parent is the most fulfilling thing in my life right now. Maybe that isn't saying much, but I love watching Maggie grow and learn new things every day. (Yesterday she learned the word "facebook"...) She makes me laugh out loud, and is silly on purpose, and is So. Incredibly. Smart.

One of the great things about having kids is that making toys is so much fun! It's very rewarding to make something both useful and fun. I just finished Maggie's quiet book. It isn't spectacular and it was a lot of work, but she loves it.

Speaking of crafting, apparently me and my craftiness was the topic of conversation during Relief Society a few weeks ago. I was able to get the fourth person who mentioned it to me, Jenny, to tell me what really happened. The lesson was on talents and Jana raised her hand and said how I can make something from nothing and several other girls chimed in about my craft blog. This was before I gave Jana her baby gift made from scraps. Is this what I get for being friends with the Relief Society President?

*Nest*: Today I made soup for lunch, and another double batch of pretzels for the freezer, and nice, real dinner for John. I hope the pretzels even fit in the freezer after the batch of hot pockets I made yesterday.

I also finished another page in Maggie's quiet book. I've decided to do one more page, then sew 3 buttonholes along each page and thread something through to tie them together. The book could use pockets to hold some of the items when they aren't being used, but I can't decide how to do them, so I'm just not going to. I'm going to try to finish the book tonight.

Another item crossed off my to-do list is getting new insurance. We got new auto and homeowner's with lower rates on each, and a MUCH lower deductible on the homeowner's. yay me!

Brag About Nothing: I finished something really fabulous tonight (possibly as awesome as the mini dinosaur shoes), but I'm going to wait to post about it until after we see Colette on Wednesday. 'Cause Colette gets one too. John asked, "why did you make Colette one?" The answer is, I didn't. I made one for Maggie, then realized I could do better. A in Calculus notwithstanding, I had miscalculated horribly and had over twice the fabric I needed anyway. So, I picked up another zipper and made another, better one for Maggie. I think my mom is beaming down at me.

Update: I've posted about the Fishie Coats now.

Blue Slides and Project Updates: This morning I took Maggie and Ember to the waterpark (Blue Slides, as Maggie calls it). Ember starts school on Wednesday, so it is our last time taking her. It was about 80 degrees and cloudy and we were just about the only people there. Maggie got tired of riding the slides (even though she didn't get dunked this time) and let Ember watch her so I could go by myself. Amazing! I hardly get to do anything by myself.

I also finished a cover for our car seat. Maggie picked out the fabric and laid claim to it as soon as it had any resemblance to a "monkey blankie". I had to convince her it was for the baby and remind her that she has a pink duckie blankie for the car. She still kept snatching it and tucking herself under it.

Sadly, I noticed that my purse is coming apart - probably because the home dec fabric I used was very unravelly. It probably unraveled itself away from the zipper. I am trying to remember how old Maggie was when I started carrying a purse again, and I think I will make myself a zippered pouch with a cell phone pocket instead. So that has been added to my project list, along with baby hats and getting Maggie's winter clothes in order.

[Comments] (1) Check and Check: I am still plugging away at my pre-baby-D list. Yesterday, I made a sheet for our pack-n-play. We tried to buy as much gender-neutral stuff as possible with Maggie, but I could never find the green sheets, or even blue, and eventually had to settle for pink. So John picked out some flannel when we were spending his bonus money on food storage on Saturday, and I made one. It was really easy, and it will be nice and snuggly for our winter baby. The flannel was $3/yard, and I bought 8 yards of 1/4" elastic for 97 cents!!

Another project, I just finished is Maggie's Halloween costume. I made her a "Lucy dress" - as in Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts. It cost about $5 to make and she really likes it. I used a different style on the same pattern from previous dresses, and leftover thread from Rachel's dress, so I just had to buy the fabric (with a 40% coupon, of course).

In non-sewing news, we are in the middle of rotating our water storage. Very exciting. Next up, a tree skirt and Christmas stockings, which I never made last year, and a quiet book for Maggie.

: Maggie took a nice long nap yesterday, so I got started on my list of things to do before the baby is born. I got two projects completed, entirely from scraps. First, a grocery bag dispenser, just like the rag holder I made Leonard. It's even made out of the same repurposed material, a badly sewn apron I made for Pioneer Day when I was 18 and worried some of my Primary children wouldn't have costumes for the parade. I also made a rice bag warmie for a birthday present, using flannel scraps from a pair of boxers I made Leonard last Christmas.

I made a pair of baby pants, also out of Leonard boxer scraps, but they are so tiny they'd barely fit a newborn (at least, one wearing a diaper). So we will call them practice. Baby D has a 12 pairs of PJs and only a few pairs of pants, so more will be made.

Sew Soon: Recording my birth in her journal, Mom wrote, "I accomplished nearly everything I wanted to do before the birth of the baby – including making Leonard’s Halloween costume. I guess it’s time to start working on Christmas now."

My birthday is about two weeks before our baby's due date. And Mom sews a lot faster than I do. I'd better get started. 51 days to go.

I made a list of things I want to get done before the baby arrives, really a lot of which is sewing. Today I picked up fabric for Maggie's Halloween costume, and luckily Christmas fabric is out already. Maybe I will actually get stockings and a tree skirt made this year.

[Comments] (1) Farm Auction: Last night was the talent auction, my favorite Enrichment. I've been looking forward to it for months, AEB finishing my donation weeks and weeks ago. I made two felt sack lunch sets. They were the first thing auctioned so they didn't go for much, but both people who won them told me how cute they were.

I won two dinners, a plate of brownies, and a painting of Mike Wyzowski done by one of the YW.

Today we went with the ward playgroup to the farm at Thanksgiving Point. Maggie has been looking forward to riding a pony all week. She did great, and enjoyed petting the animals and feeding the horses from her hand. She was afraid just walking by the goats, but she let horse eat from her tiny hand.

[Comments] (1) Sly and Crafty: I've been super crafty this week. I sewed some maternity clothes and some snack bags for Maggie. I also did some scrapbooking, and planted our garden. Right now I am working on some felt play mail for Colette as a big sister present. It is turning out really cute.

[Comments] (3) Back Seat Sewist: I did some sewing today. I mended some of John's clothes, and made some felt food items for Someone's upcoming birthday. I have one more to make, and I will post pictures tomorrow. Maggie has taken to standing behind me while I sew and saying "uh-oh!" every time I stop the machine.

[Comments] (2) Change Me!: Two and a half years ago I got a new friend. We'll call her "Bernina". She's 20 years old, but top of the line. Anyway, for two and a half years I've been sewing with the same needle. Big no no. But I didn't know how to change it. I actually fully intended to make Rachel's dress with a new needle, but I couldn't figure out how to change it and I couldn't figure out the 12 different needle types Mom has.

So last night (I actually typed "Sew last night"...) I was making a little make-up bag and I broke the needle on the zipper foot. Oops. I ended up sewing the zipper in by hand.

My point is, today, 2 quilts, 15 pairs of boxers, 30 baby announcements, 2 sets of felt food, 7 rice warmers, 3 dresses, a skirt, 2 tutus, a pair of pants, 2 purses, a wallet, a makeup bag, and some other stuff later, I finally changed the needle.

[Comments] (1) Crafty Friday: I was on a crafty roll all day yesterday. I made a rice bag, a drawstring bag, a something something, finished my last chocolate chip cookie and four cucumbers/pickles and most of an Oreo. I also made some homemade notepads for my piano students (article forthcoming) and scrapbooked 8 recipe cards for an exchange. Is that it? It seemed like a lot more work yesterday.

[Comments] (1) I am so awesome: I made myself a new purse. All by myself. With no help from my mommy. (Other than the free cream-of-the-crop sewing machine and a little bit of genetic crafting skill). I had to use about 6 different online tutorials instead, including Bernina's how to use a zipper foot (which I still haven't figured out). I am hoping some talented, bored, old lady will emerge from obscurity at the Relief Society Talent Auction next week and offer to teach me how to sew. I mean really sew. I told you I was getting ambitous.

Also, I found the rack of bobbins I kept from mom's house. Somehow I've been using two bobbins for four colors over the last month. I'm so glad to have 20 more!!

Busy Me: At our open house Jon and Sharon gave us a book called "That's Not My Mermaid" that Maggie and I both love so much I wrote a (yet to be published) article about the series. Keep your eyes peeled, it should be published soon. I've been slowing down in the article department, but trying to still write my goal of one per week.

While you're browsing my links, check out the new pictures I posted of our trip to the zoo on Saturday and Maggie's birthday party on Sunday. I also just got some pictures developed and have been scrapbooking a little, so look in my gallery too. There's a cute little cover I made for Maggie's photo book, her latest favorite toy. A bunch of the pictures I developed were for that, and it also occurred to me to put in her photo book pictures from Christmas cards that I kept, but am never going to scrapbook.

[Comments] (1) Crafty Mom: I have been scrapbooking a lot lately, during Maggie's naps and while she plays sweetly on the floor next to me. You can see the finished product in my scrapbooking gallery on the Coordinates Collections website (That's Jamie's website where I help run contests, etc on the Message Board; links at the top of my page).

Also, here is a dress I made for Maggie. This is the first real item of clothing I've made, and also the first new thing I've tried without Mom to call for advice. The plus side of not having Mom means that I do have her sewing machine, which makes life much easier. We went to the fabric store last Saturday so John could pick out the fabric I make the next dress out of. Maggie is going to be so cutely outfitted... when she grows into them. All the cute patterns were toddler-sized!

: One of the things I did while waiting for Maggie to arrive was sew little plastic rings onto Mom's duvet and ribbons onto the cover we bought, so the comforter would stay in place. Now I see that Mom had sewn suspender clips onto her cover. I thought maybe the cover came like that. Brilliant. Oh well, my idea works ok.

[Comments] (1) : My contribution to society (the freezer) for today was a batch of Aunt Jeuney's basil pesto, requested by John. Pesto is good because it doesn't take up very much room, but you can get a lot of easy meals out of it. I neglected to put the cheese in, however, and had to scoop it out of the ice cube tray and back into the blender to fix it. Rachel says to blame the Beet. The freezer is pretty much full, but I am hoping to make 2 more batches of pizza dough and some curry sauce. I used the existing curry in the freezer to make dinner for John tonight.

We got the glider I ordered today. Apparently the delivery guy came while I was taking a nap, because when I woke up there was a giant box on the patio by the kitchen. I am not sure how he got it onto the patio, but as it is now pouring rain, I'm not complaining. I moved the box as far out of the rain as I could, and put a towel over it. That will have to do until John gets home.

I also got a package with awesome presents from Aunt Anne and Kristen. I am so thrilled! I know Leonard disapproves, but Kristen also sent me a pair of Lily's ruffle-butt tights.

Yesterday I sewed all morning and made all the 9-squares for the quilt I am working on. Except, and no one related to Aunt Margaret should ever say this, I don't have enough fabric. I need 19 more little squares. I'll have to take some back from Noelle, or buy a 1/4 yard remnant or something. I should be able to finish this before the baby comes!

I am going visit teaching in half an hour. I should wear real shoes, since it's raining, so I'd better start getting them on.

[Comments] (1) : On Monday, my wonderful husband called me as I was leaving work and said, "Come straight home, I have a surprise for you." He had brought home Pizza Hut (free), a DVD, and a little packet of Nerds for me. "Happy half-way through pregnancy," he says. He had also cleaned the house. Too cute!

Yesterday I finished putting together my quilt, stuffed, and started tying it. Turns out the quilt batting I've kept under our bed for the past two years is actually pillow stuffing; I used it anyway.

[Comments] (2) : I wanted to go home and take a nap after work, but I decided to go to the store. On the way to the store I decided to get my haircut. When I got home, I put the groceries away and made a cheeseball. Then I went through the Voter Information guide we got in the mail to see what I thought. Then I figured I'd better do the dishes (John doesn't like when I take naps with a messy sink). Then I took a shower, sorted out some new deliveries for Coordinates Collections, made a few paper add-on kits and, since I still hadn't taken a nap, worked on my quilt. I finished putting together the top (or bottom) half. Tonight I am going to put together the other side, then I will be nearly done!

By this point it was 8:00, so I decided to read a little bit (I am reading Angels and Demons, which John bought me for my birthday) and go to bed at 8:30. Then John came home, so I got to snuggle with and talk to him for a while. So, I'm still tired but I got a lot done. I am excited to FINALLY finish a quilt. I like doing the tying part. Mom's sewing machine doesn't get "stuck" as much as mine used to - and that's what makes sewing take a long time.

I really like my new haircut. It's about at my chin, with just the bottom layered. I have bangs too, which I don't like, because they won't do what I want. I want them to be cute bangs like Rachel has, not ugly bangs like I have. Oh well.

We got some free tickets to Universal Studios and are going on Saturday with Rachel and her friend Rob. Rachel and I have never been before. I'm not going to take Beet on most of the rides, but I think they have a lot of shows and fun stuff, and the weather should be nice.

I'm starting to get to a really uncomfortable place with my clothes. My stretchy stuff still fits, and most of my shirts, but I don't have very much stretchy stuff I can wear to work. John bought me a few maternity things at Old Navy, but they don't quite fit yet.

[Comments] (2) : The foam at JoAnns was green, so I ended out with 2 yards of "costume felt". I don't think I needed the whole two yards, but at 70% off I paid less than $2 so I can hardly complain. I made a tunic-shaped thing (ok I cut a hole for my head in the middle of a rectangular piece of felt), but I am debating making Swiss-cheese holes because the felt is very orange. It's more like Kraft Singles colored, so maybe I will wrap myself in plastic. I also made a little headscarf out of an extra piece. It's actually kind of cute. You know, for a bright orange piece of felt tied to my head.

After over a year and five tries, I have finally finished my scrapbook page of Grandpa's funeral. I kept having a hard time when I sat down to do it and I'd end up staring into space. Or I'd want it to be perfect and put it off so I could get the right supplies. Anyway, it's done. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it tells the story I want it to.

[Comments] (2) Ah, the Weekend: Because we are so busy doing the week, we always have jam-packed weekends. This week was no exception. E&Y kindly let my husband loose while the sun was still up on Friday and we spent the evening at Disneyland. It was awesome! The crowds and the lines were way down. We got to go on all of the exciting rides, except for Splash Mountain, in just over four hours. My acute hearing (hahaha) got us to the front of the line at the Matterhorn in a double-rider slot. And John got us a free pinneapple whip- the girl kept saying it was too runny, but free runny whip is better than no whip, or expensive whip. And it wasn't even runny.

Saturday John worked the entire day. I cleaned, finished Jamie's kits and sewed. Yes, contrary to popular (John's) belief, I actually do know how to use my sewing machine. Mom gave me a million (about 2,000) flannel squares. I made five squares of nine. Most of my time went into sorting the fabric. I don't know what I'll do once I have a finished quilt (or three). Anyone want a quilt?

Saturday night we went on a date to the beach. This was John's idea. (isn't he cute?) I made us BLTs and we took a blanket and ate dinner watching the waves. We contemplated sand, took a walk, and poked a dead jellyfish. Then we spent the rest of the evening wandering around South Coast Plaza and Metro Pointe, and had a Jamba Juice.

Yesterday was the dedication of the Newport Beach Temple. John and I went to the second session at the Irvine Stake Center, then we went over to the Newport Beach Stake Center to be ushers. We were quite superfluous, so we didn't feel too badly about leaving early. We'd been invited to dinner with some other young couples in the ward. We had a good time there, making some friends and eating yummy food.

Anyway, other than the standing out in the sun, and poor John being exhausted from working so hard, the actual Dedication was lovely. I even used the antique white handkerchief Aunt Anne gave me when we got married. I love when we all sing "The Spirit of God" at the end. We were just in a chapel, but it was so loud you couldn't even tell when the video feed kept shutting off. Now I am excited to actually go use our new temple! John is taking off Sep. 16 to spend the day spoiling me, so we are going then.

: John and I went to our ward closing social on Friday night. We ate dinner with our next door neighbors, then sat around and talked with our next door neighbors. Then we gave up and came home and played dominoes with our next door neighbors. Yesterday I cleaned the house and got a haircut. John and I went for a nice long walk on the Provo River Trail.

Today we are having another ward thing because we got a new Bishop today. His wife is the dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.

I am trying to sew one of those bags filled with rice that you put in the microwave or freezer. The only fabric I have is quilt squares, but I’m pretty good at sewing in straight lines. I was almost done sewing a pink flannel cover for it, but then my sewing machine started making a funny noise, and wouldn’t you know it, all kinds of stuff fell out of my bobbin door. Mommy, you will have to help me put it back in when you get here.

Happy New Year!: Well, we are finally done with I-15, hopefully for at least a few days. Besides driving back to Utah, we've made three trips to Midvale and back, the last two of which were very windy and scary. I am exhausted. We stayed up playing games with the pretty much the whole family then crashed on the floor with the nephews again.

Now we're back and cozy at home. I have to work tomorrow, but I am really looking forward to the weekend. Of course, then John has to start school again.

We started reading our fancy Family Book of Mormon. It's neat, all kinds of pictures and quotes and stuff right along in it. This week I have also learned how to crochet quilt squares- I am moving on from scarves and straight lines!

Safe journies to all those of you still traveling.

: I have learned how to crochet and gotten a good start on scrapbooking our wedding pictures.


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