Pumpkin Patch Flash

Say that 5 times fast!

Just like any other great small place you find that is amazing and not well known, once word gets around it is the new hot spot, still great but changed.

Alas our charmer of an apple orchard/pumpkin patch falls into this category.

But first this past weekend I had my mind set on a photo shoot with the kids, me=photographer, kids=subjects, then a visit with some family and then the pumpkin patch, remember hubby is working, I am going solo.

There is a small town in MN where 3 generation of my dads family have lived on a farm that has been shrinking as each generation passes it on, however there is a fantastic bike trail, and now an orchard/pumpkin patch, that butts up next to what used to be “our land”, and land that still belongs to a cousin, how can this not be the place to gather fall goodies!?!

Pictures first:

This is one of my faves…such personality! I took hundreds of shots, just clicked away and chatted with them, seemed to work well.  The quilt they are sitting on was made in 1937….it does not come out often but what better time then a photo shoot to use some of the special pieces we have right?!

Patchworkreality

This one was right before someone was pinched I think…and I forgot Avalon’s hair pretty ( I made all the hair pretties…blush) but look at how big they are getting!

2013 October 105 copy_edited-1

We visited with my Aunt and uncle that still live on the family farm and went with another Aunt to the pumpkin patch.  In the meantime we picked up a friend who is like a sister to Tanna.

Holy cats, they piled out of the truck bee lined for the big orange pumpkins, each picked out a pumpkin that they needed to have another buddy help them carry to the wagon  which we used to haul the pumpkins to the truck. Patchwork pumpkin patch

Than they ran from animal to animal, through a barn…fed some goats..my aunt and I could barely keep up. We did get to see some animal very close, the kids just loved these pigs…

Piggy

Changes I noticed from years past; They no longer let you pick apples off the tress, we used to each get a bag and fill it up off the tress, they now sell bagged apples and donuts and have a small concession stand. The corn maze seemed to have been down sized a bit to allow for more parking and there were less animals, the kids were bummed that this year there were no kittens.  Still a Great pumpkin/apple/gourd place, and the people are so friendly it just feels a little more commercial, maybe the kids felt it too.

I had the kids pack and bring a sack lunch which we enjoyed on a hay wagon under a beautiful weeping willow and everyone was ready to go.

2013 October 434 copy

It was fast and furious Pumpkin Patch flash fun…

Haystack photo

Advertisements

Upcycled Jewelery Oraganization

Is it May already…and almost 1/3 over. I am still pushing foward on the NYR to become more oranginzed.

Organization in our house is a constant battle, a good one, but hard-fought non the less.

With 3 girls, the princess accessories are at an all time high, but I am sure it is just the tip of the iceberg.

At her recent campout birthday party, Raiven received a few new special accessories, she has pierced easr, has been acquiring necklaces and bracelets from relatives and friends, and thrifting. Until this project she was hanging them on a wooden drawing doll, is that what it is called?

I accidentally deleted a whole card full of photos…ugh! So the before shots are none existent..but here is what we did:

I had 2 black picture frames that were thrifted or the glass has brokern out of, I was tired of tripping over them but knew I would find a use from them….eventually.

When I saw this I decided to upcycle the old frames to organize our oldest daughters jewelry.

We spray painted them in Raiven’s color choice.

Then Hubby cut, he is the type A to my relaxed type B, and attached chicken wire to the frame.

He attached them to the wall with hallow all sinkers, since they were not on a stud, we wanted them securely in place.

2013 May 058 copy

WE added these hooks to the chicken wire, we crimped the top set closed so they are fixed in place, but we left the others uncrimped so she can move them around as she likes.  These are from Menards, but I am sure any hardware store has them.

2013 May 059

The other side we did not put any hook on, we left this one for earrings so she can just loop them over the wire.

2013 May 055 copy

I made the yellow beautiful art on her wall, inspired by one I saw on Zulily.

She is thrilled with this new addition to her room, and is really lets her showcase all the special jewelery she has, as most of it has been gifts.  It also gives her the independence to choose what she wants to wear and gives her the ability to easily care for her special jewelry.

2013 May 050 copy

Easter…Spring Break Day 3

Here are the eggs we worked on so hard for no more than 29  minutes on Spring Break day one…. it is  amazing how fast these soak up color and how quickly little hands can work.

You can see evidence that some egg “dyers” were more gentle than others….

2013 March 1157 copy

The Easter Bunny came and hid 6 candy filled eggs for each child around the living room, dining room and kitchen.  He left some small trinket toys, and books in the girls baskets and Solomon got an all in one tool, everyone was really happy.  It is so fun to see children bubbling over with excitement and zest for life!

Each holiday I try to capture all of the kids in a fairly coordinated picture, feel free to view the Christmas Card photo outtakes post from last year.  The outfits today were a  little more casual  (sidenote: Solomon added the velvet blazer and top hat on his own…since he could dress himself  he has loved blazers and being fancy)  since we were having brunch at my aunt’s house, nothing fancy since she always has some painting crafts for them:

Loud and Proud:

2013 March 1090 copy

Bunny Ears in your face:

2013 March 1094 copy

And one with Farley:

2013 March 1115 copy 2

After brunch at home Solomon, Jon and I played a game of scrabble and we all just lazed around, it was perfect, the kids played and giggled and Jon and I laid down, digested brunch and listened to our happy family.

Jon and I tucked the kids in and finished our taxes…whew!!!  That is a relief to check off the list, especially owing a business, seems to take a lot more number crunching.

That big lug of a dog turns 3 tomorrow, think we should cook him something special?? Anyone have any good doggy reicpes??

Holiday Photo Card Out Takes

It’s that time of year, everyone that was on top of their sh*t got their family pictures taken in October, even November with lovely fall colors, amazingly pulled together outfits, and perhaps with that angelic yellow light from behind, or maybe it was photo shopped in but really whose judging?

Last year we did a photo shoot in late November/early December, I wanted a little snow in our picture, it turned out lovely.

This year I had a whole shoot in mind, but time slipped by, outfits and accessory got to be more work to find and pull together for 6 people than I had imagined, I worked 80 hours at the hospital in the span of 3 weeks, normally I am home….on so go my excuses.

So, no well-planned photo shoot for us this year, just me, my Cannon 7D, all 4 of my favorite players, and some natural light streaming from the windows full of crisp wonder from a fresh layer of snow.

Ahhhhh, sounds magical right?  Well here is what will NOT be sent out on my cards this year:

2012 December 268 copy2012 December 258 copy

Avalon was obviously having the best time….you can see here that she is mortified that no one else is having fun.

2012 December 226 copy  2012 December 195 copy

Santa’s tassle is blocking Santanna’s face.                              Avalon, again loving every minute, and eyes on me, please.

2012 December 159 copy2012 December 151 copy2012 December 140 copy2012 December 133 copy2012 December 129 copy2012 December 129 copy2012 December 112 copy

Ok so this might not have been the best idea, someones head got bonked, eyes of madness oing on , and again Avalon just not feeling her cooperative mojo.

Ok… lets try single pictures, just a head shot, that won’t be too hard right?!?

2012 December 367 copy2012 December 282 copy2012 December 294 copy2012 December 106 copy

ALriiighty Season’s Greeting from our family to yours,

Love, Jon (attention getter, prop man, not pictured), Sarah (behind the camera, also not pictured), Crazy laugh guy (who was apparently snacking), the
Pouter age 8, Squishy face and the Joker.

In all honesty I can’t help but laugh when I look at these,  the best part about pictures is that when you look back they mean so much and are great memories, of small teeth, hair styles, chubby wrists that are now gone, and memories made, out of the 395 photos I snapped I did get 1 that I used for the photo card and 1 head shot of each kid that I am going to make into wall canvases, but please tell me that others of you have these amazing moments stored on your hard drive as well??!!

Appliqued Turkey Shirt Tutorial

Happy to update from yesterday’s post that the Turkey shirt has made it through BOTH the washed and the dryer!!

Here is what I now have for Santanna:

 

I am very happy with the way it turned out, I really like the raw edges on all of the appliqué, it gives it a bit of a feathery feel…if you make a shirt like this you can use a product called fray check on the edges and it should prevent this from happening, it may make the edges a little more stiff though so keep that in mind.

Please keep in mind that I am in no way experienced in the art OR science of sewing, especially with a machine, that being said here is how I made this shirt:

1. Grab a shirt, this black one was for sale in my ebay store, it was a new with tags Target cast off that set me allllll the way back 49 cents….so really if you are a novice like me, just take a shirt that you already have or thrift one, just in case…..

2. Gather fabric, I recommend getting material that is not very stretchy, it will make this much easier when sewing onto the T shirt that is stretchy itself, I am pretty sure the fabric I used was quilting fabrics that someone had donated. If you have old sheets, tablecloths etc, these would be great

3. Grab templates for a circle, and feathers, our local bread store gave the kids these “feathers” to color and return for a free cookie, and the circle is a trace around any round object that you have at home. I know some of my directions might not seem super concrete but I think that any artsy/craft project should be more of how you like it with guidelines than solid have- to’s..

4. Cut out all your templates, I free handed the eyes, the fabric I used dictated the eyes, you might want circles or layers, play around with what you have until you like them the I had a few different styles before I decided I has them right. For the beak I cut a triangle and for the snood (the bacon looking thing, yes I had to Google that) I cut a free hand bacon shape. I cut different size circles for the body which was dictated by the size of the shirt. So you have a circle (body), arrow shapes (feathers), triangle, (beak), and a bacon shape (snood).

5. Now lay out your feathers on your shirt, move them until you like how they lay, I did some at different lengths to give it a natural abstractness, then lay your circle over them and carefully pink the feathers to the circle but NOT to the shirt. Sew around the circle to set feathers in place, do not forget to backstitch. Continue these steps, continuing with the beak, eyes and snood (are you comfortable with this word yet?…not sure I am :))

 

6. Now you should essentially have a turkey patch or an appliqué, lay it out on your shirt, and pin it into place, after I did this I found there were some feathers that needed a little trimming here and there. Now here comes the trickiest part, sew around and up and down your circle and feathers to completely secure your turkey into place. Here is what I learned: the first shirt I made I actually just went whole hog and stitched the turkey parts onto the shirt like above, but I found it got very bulky and was hard to keep all the feathers straight. I did complete my first shirt by sewing right onto it so if you feel like this will work for you please do not let me discourage you. I just think it works better especially for the eyes and smaller parts to already have them sewn on prior to sewing on the shirt, otherwise it gets to be quite thick, and this starts in the T word….tension, I am not there yet. I appliquéd my turkey one feather at a time, and then laid my shirt back out to make sure all the parts were where I wanted them. I did end with some puckering some pieces moved a bit, but I really like the originality of the way it looks.

 

 

7. Decide if you want legs, or any other special details, a little fabric bow would be cute if you want a girly turkey. Snip any loose threads, turn the shirt inside out and wash in cold in and dry as you would any cotton T shirt. ENJOY your Turkey shirt!!!

The kids are really having fun with this, I just finished Solomon’s shirt tonight and he decided his needed legs, Raiven has decided that she would like hers appliquéd on with dark aqua thread. What better way for us to all hang out and be creative, then THEY get to wear it!!

You can see it is not perfect, but I can tell you that I have less than $6.00 invested in each shirt, if even that. I will post a picture of all of us at the Turkey trot.

Thanks for looking!

Gobble gobble:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Navy on the Cheap

I had to take a small break from blogging, our youngest had  her tonsils and adenoids removed and her recovery took some time.  She is now totally healed and hopefully on the road to gaining weight and her blood levels normalizing.

In the mean time I have am still doing well with not buying new clothes, aside from the few categories mentioned here.  This has been a bit a challenge lately with the changing of the seasons and all the great deals popping up and new styles and prints in stores.  Especially for the kids, it would be so much easier to just purchase everything they need in their size at one store in one day and Done.  However, easy is not always the path to conservation and resourcefulness.

That being said, I did partake in the Give and Get sale at Old Navy this past weekend; 30% your entire purchase.  I use a Gap Visa card to pay for many of my eBay retail purchases and also larger purchases that I than pay off when due.  This garners me Gap Rewards that come in $1o increments.  I hoard these until close to the expiration date, thus making the pile rather substantial.

So I printed of my G&G email and took my $100 in rewards that were due to expire the end of May, and bought some essentials and a few items that will be listed in my eBay store.  Raiven got an new pair of shoes that she desperately needed.  I also bought each child a reusable cup and lunch container for our road trip to Montana over spring break.

What do you think I paid for all this loot: ??????

Total:  $16.96!!! 

As I looked over my receipt writing this post, I noticed that the St. Patty’s Days shirts rang up at $7.50, they were supposed to be  $0.97, so I will have to go back and get a refund, which will actually bring my total to a negative amount!!!  Just a tip for Gap and Old Navy when they price kill an item, it will usually end in 97, and most times they have to override the price, so watch to make sure they do this.  I have had to go back a few times, they are always glad to do adjust the price, but I do not like to have to make the extra trip.

Reclothed Resolution..

It has been awhile since I added to my blog. We had a full and happy couple of holiday weeks. I wanted to quickly get in a short post about my resolution this year.
My plan is to buy no new clothes for our family of 6!!! We will be buying and recomsuming clothing from second-hand stores, consignment stores, Ebay, and donation stores like Goodwill, Savers, and the Salvation Army
Disclaimer: this excludes underwear, socks (for obvious reasons, although I have seen them at SAvers….I just can’t!!), and possibly shoes especially for the kids.  I think little feet need to have the full support of new shoes while growing and developing walking, running and balance skills, not shoes that already have a wear path from someone else.  Also I am sure some of you shudder at the thought of used shoes, which lets my mind wander into thoughts of what my have been in a previous shoe.  Typically we also take the kids to a local shoe store that sizes them and checks the fit of the shoe on their feet, the way kids grow and as active as they, it gives us   parents peace of mind.  

This resolution is really exciting for me, I grew up going to auctions and basically treasure hunting with m y dad, I love finding what I consider a “treasure”!  My mom grew up in Santa Barbara and was/is a huge fan of second-hand stores and customizing clothing to make clothes, and accessories  personal.

For years I have sold our kids gently worn and sometimes worn to play condition clothes on Ebay for a small or surprisingly large return on investment, this has been a very fun and often lucrative hobby.  I have seen some of the wonderful items that other sellers have, and am sure I can find clothing for our kids here also.  However, my primary outlets will be the donations stores and local stores. 

What I hope to teach the kids, my husband and I gain from this is  that we can help the Earth by recomsuming great clothes that have been used and tossed aside, save money in the process and even great creative by making a pair of jeans with holes in the knees some great patched jeans. Or find an old wool sweater and make mitten or anew soccer bag.  Additionally, stores such as Saver, Goodwill and Salvation Armay all give to help others, for example, our local savers support the epilepsty foundation.

I originally thought that I would do a 365 of  our finds, but I think I might just do one post a week on how we are succeeding, struggling, and overcoming our reclothed resolution.  I will also include the total cost, and at some point perhaps continue the cycle and sell them on ebay when we are done with them if I deem them sellable, kids can really wear clothin out!

Happy 2011!!!