They sold out today - seven minutes into the sale, they were all gone. The girls did a great job of marketing and selling their product. I'm very proud of them.
I promised a progress shot of the Eternal Blanket of Love. Here it is, all folded up and looking pretty.
A better look at the colors
I was going to take a poll on calling it done vs. knitting those last 2 (HUGE!) blocks, but decided that I couldn't live with not adding the second blocks of those two colors. Symmetry, you know. So, it won't be done for Christmas, but it'll be done right.
Off to a fancy party! Have a great weekend.
This morning, I started here.
Bags stacked, waiting to be measured for handle placement, pinned and sew together.
I measured, I pinned and I sewed. I took a break.
I ate gingerbread. Recipe here - download Amy's cheat sheet for her favorite recipes. They're just as fantastic as everything else she does.
This afternoon, I was here.
20 more bags completed. Lindsay made signs and we made hangtags. The market starts tomorrow and goes through Friday. I thought it was Friday only and I was ahead of the game. But no! I squeaked on in there just in time. I have 5 more bags to finish tomorrow that she'll use to supplement Friday's stock. Any leftovers will be made available here and if needed, on Etsy.
I know what no one is getting for Christmas this year. A basic tote bag. I'm not making any more of these for a while!
Tomorrow, the Eternal Blanket of Love will make a grand reappearance. No, it's not done, but another block is done. A choice must be made and I need your input, oh wise ones.
The production line for this week has begun. The girls cut out bag pieces yesterday. Today I double-checked their work (note to self - give another cutting lesson and buy a new rotary blade), separated the pieces into straps, pockets, interiors and exteriors. Pieces were ironed, straps were sewn and flipped, exteriors were sewn, pockets were sewn onto interiors and interiors were sewn. All except the Christmas bag in front which requires a different thread color. Tomorrow, the pieces will be put together, the Christmas bag sewn, and the next batch begun. I know we all feel better knowing that this project isn't being neglected.
In other happy news, we received a lovely package in the mail from Tracy that contained two photos. This one she traded for one of Gunnar's photos that she liked and this one was the prize for me (the lucky winner!) in a blog contest. I can't wait to put them both up on the walls. Thanks so much Tracy! I will treasure the infamous washboard guy and G is finding just the right spot in his room for his photo.
Preschool proof sheets were generated this morning and will be delivered tomorrow, crew pictures are ready for printing, and Gunnar may even go back to school for the first time in over a week. That flu bug is a real humdinger, but I think he's finally conquering it. There's just nothing worse than lingering illness for a sick kid. He has appreciated all of your well wishes. Thanks so much for all the love!
Lindsay's best friend Lilah from Seattle turns 18 today. We will not move this post into discussing my disbelief at the idea that little Li-lee is 18. We've had enough of my being awed at the passage of time and feeling old. So let's just look at the pretty pretty bag and not talk about the rest of that stuff.
The fabric is Joel Dewberry in the Aviary line. It came from Sarah of course. She's out of that one, but she's having a sale! go look! The bottom is the very last piece of brown twill fabric that has graced many bags. The inside (forgot to take a photo) is white twill left over from a pair of Ikea curtains. I think those curtains were 12 feet long apiece, and I only needed 4 feet of them at the time. I've been using the rest of them for years now. It's the endless $10 supply of fabric. There's a birdie pocket on the inside.
Happy birthday Lilah! We love you and can't believe that you're all grown up. You'll always be that little girl who danced to the Spice Girls in my living room to me.
It's gifting season chez Jackson, and here's the first of the handmade birthday gifts that will be on endless parade for the next month or two. Up first, dishcloth 1 of 3 for a lovely sister-in-law. These will be packaged with a few other goodies in a new tote (of course) and off they'll go.
Knit from Mason Dixon Knitting in Lily Sugar & Cream - one ball of orange and one of yellow, orange and white ombre.
Next up, a little more detail on two of the lunch bags (have to go retrieve the 3rd one from Lindsay's hovel. I mean bedroom). A tutorial has been requested and will be forthcoming. My base pattern comes from Super Eggplant and I modify it to fit my needs.
Inside the little lunch bags, we use these to bring our food to school. Much better than baggies and other disposable items.
How does all of this make my little corner of the world a better place? They're all part of my effort to tread a little lighter on the earth. Yes, I know my containers are plastic, but they're not disposable plastic and the kids love them and don't lose them. We're making a real effort to think about what we use and how we use it. About making good food and not eating school food. About using and giving reusable, laundry safe washcloths instead of sponges while washing dishes. About giving gifts that we make rather than buy and giving things that may look like less but really are so much more. We're trying to live mindfully each day and think about the impact we can and do have on our environment and making good choices about what we use. Living this way and thinking about how we live each day is helping me enjoy each day instead of just getting through it and closer to the finish line of Jeff's graduation day.
What are you doing to make your corner of the world a little better? What feels right to you?
Today was the first day of kindergarten for my baby girl. She woke up at 5AM and came to snuggle me this morning before we got up and got ready for the big day. I laid there and held her and thought about the milestone that today was going to be. Her first day with all new kids in her classroom - 23 of them. Her first day eating lunch in the cafeteria. Her first day with all. those. kids. Would she be okay? Would the big kids intimidate her? And if you know her at all, are you laughing at me yet? She walked right into class, found her cubby, put away her things, greeted the teacher, found her chair and sat down like this.
She looked at us like "why are you still here?" and then she decided to get up and look around. She went to the US map rug and showed the teacher the states with her foot. She read all the stuff on the board. She read a story with her daddy. And then she looked at us, letting us know that it was time to go be with the other parents in the cafeteria because this is her world, not our world. So we went to our world of parents and we all made our way toward letting go.
Since it's not a crafting blog without crafts, here is the back to school project - lunch bags for all 3 kids. Gunnar's on the left, Annika's in the middle and Lindsay's on the right. Each of them picked out fabric and I made them last night. They're big enough to hold lunch and the water bottle, but small enough to fold up and put in a pocket.
And lastly, the official back to school photos.
Lindsay politely refused my offer to come to the high school and take
her picture too for her last first day of school. Something about it
not being very "cool." Whatever that means.
School starts tomorrow. Our summer just flew by. I can't believe that tomorrow we'll be getting up early, packing everyone's lunches, and heading off for the first day of school (touching first day of kindergarten post will be tomorrow). We've spent the weekend getting ready. School supplies are purchased and packed away in backpacks and binders, first day outfits are picked out, lunch menus made. All three of them picked out a fabric from the stash cupboard and I'm going to make new lunch sacks for each of them tonight that are small enough to fold up into a pocket or into their school totes. The excuse for not using lunchboxes has been that they're too bulky and too easy to lose, so we'll make these nice and easy to remember. We also needed new pjs for fall (even though it's currently 112 degrees outside). Gunnar's were made last weekend, so Annika got hers today. Here's an action shot.
They're made of Heather Ross goldfish fabric that arrived in the mail on Friday. Clearly I was awfully excited to make something out of it. My other pretty fabric requires more planning - it needs just the right project. But Heather Ross is perfect for jammies. Along with the goldfish came a bunch of buttons for fabric covered buttons/magnets. Gunnar got right to work.
We also drove out to Buckeye to see some dear friends for an afternoon swim and burgers on the grill. Betty worked for me until about a week ago when she wisely retired. I was a little behind on her retirement gift so I brought it with me. I hope she enjoys using it in her new life of leisure and knows that I
appreciate everything that she has given me more than I can possible
say. Here is the traditional "tote in tree" shot.
I turned Gunnar loose with my camera and he had a great time taking photos.
You had to know that if G is behind the camera, then Philip will be in front of it.
Overall, we had a lovely weekend that was a nice finish to the too-quick summer fun. Tomorrow we begin the last leg of Lindsay's journey through high school and of Jeff's through law school. Here's to taking time to enjoy each day's gifts while keeping an eye on the finish line.
Gunnar has an amazing teacher this year. She embodies everything I look for in a teacher - compassion, enthusiasm, a love of learning, and the ability and desire to connect with every child at their own level and teach them based on their own needs. Gunnar is a very bright and creative child who excels in school. He has one small problem - he has dyslexia. Last year, his 2nd grade teacher didn't want to put the time and energy into tackling his reading disability. She told me that some boys are just late to read and he was smart enough that he'd just "get it" eventually. He didn't. When he entered 3rd grade this year, I had a long talk with his new teacher about Gunnar and his needs and my disappointment over the lack of assistance he received the year before. She took on his reading success as a personal challenge and worked with us as if he were her own child. She has been his champion all year and we love her for it. He has made huge strides in his reading abilities, and while most of the credit goes straight to him for all of his hard work, he never would have done it without her love and her advocacy for him and his needs. We're feeling truly blessed to have her as our teacher this year and next year.
How does this connect to crafting? Because we made her a tote bag for her end of year gift of course! She has been threatening to "borrow" Gunnar's tote bag for a while now, so she needed her own. Gunnar picked out the fabrics and helped design it.
The top is Alexander Henry "Mocca" in Chocolate and the bottom is a brown twill from jcaroline creative. The inside is a coordinating Alexander Henry stripe. It's about 16" long and 16" wide at the top, narrowing to 12" at the bottom with a wide base for carrying books and other teacherly things.
I think this little ribbon detail is my favorite part.
There's more sewing and knitting on the agenda today. I might need one of these bags for myself for a change...
Today was Annika's last day of preschool. I have really mixed feelings today. We're going to miss her preschool - it's an incredible environment focused on creativity, learning through play, and developing social awareness. The teachers truly love the kids and love their work and it shows. But the truth is that she has outgrown the school and is ready to move on to the new challenges of kindergarten. She'll be at the same school as Gunnar, which has a similar learning environment to the preschool. But even kindergarten has become pressured - more about academics and less about crafts and stories, art and music, tying shoes and sharing blocks. I don't feel ready to watch this happen, to see her heading out of her safe little world and into a bigger, wider world. At the same time, I'm filled with pride as I see her learn to read and write just because she wants to learn, her exploration of art and nature and science. I love her enthusiasm about going to school with Gunnar and her identification with her new school with the big kids. As she begins this new leg of the journey of learning and discovery, we'll walk by her side and catch her when she stumbles, guide her over and around the obstacles. I feel more confident this time around, with two others having traveled the same path before her. This fall, Annika will be in kindergarten and Lindsay will be a senior in high school. It'll be a full circle year - one of beginnings and endings and beginnings again. A reminder that every ending is also a beginning.
On a crafting note, we made a thank you gift for Annika's teacher. A tote bag, of course, because I wanted to know it would turn out well and be useful. I hope she likes it. I used the same patchwork strip as Sarah's bag and the same lining fabric (which only is used in projects for VERY worthy people), but a khaki exterior and a different pocket fabric. Hopefully she likes it.