Sometimes you feel like a nut

    Well, hello there! It’s been awhile, huh? But I’ve been busy, so I have lots to tell you. First, though, some pictures from the April tornadoes:

    Are those some handsome boys, or what? Look at that concentration! They have never wanted to help with the laundry, but hanging socks on the clothesline was such a novelty, they jumped right in. Luckily, our yard is fenced, so I don’t think the neighbors suffered too badly, seeing our drawers flapping in the wind. Really, the weather after the storms was gorgeous – high 70s, breezy and sunny, perfect for hanging out clothes. Since we had no electricity for about 5 days, the post-storm weather was really a blessing, and we were able to spend most of our time outside in the sun instead of inside in the dark.

    Baseball finished up last weekend with two tournament games – both lost – in 95 degree sun. It was just brutal, and I’m honestly surprised that the games weren’t cancelled for fear that the players might end up with sun stroke. The boys were all so tired, I honestly don’t think they cared if they lost, as long as they didn’t have to stand out in the sun anymore. It seemed like the season was especially long this year, although I’m sure it was no longer than any other year. It was the first – and probably last – year that I attended the games for two teams instead of one, and it ended up being a much larger time commitment than I was expecting. I think we’re done with sports for awhile, and I’ve been glad to be home every evening for an entire week! I’ve felt quite decadent and lazy with all this time on my hands.

    In between games, I did manage to get a few things done. End of year gifts for the boys’ teachers:

    I used patterns from Wild Olive. Last month, she dedicated all of her etsy shop profits to World Vision Caregiver Kits, and even though I didn’t really need an excuse to buy her patterns – they are just so charming! – it seemed fortuitous that I needed the patterns when she needed the profits. Also, check out her blog, which is loaded with cute inspiration and freebies!

    I also worked up these gifts for my mom for her birthday:

The patterns were in Embroidery with Ann Estelle and Friends, by Mary Engelbreit. You can’t tell from the picture, but in addition to the ruffle, I made bias tape to sew around the other three edges. I used a Clover bias tape maker, and it was so freakin’ cool, I’ve been trying to think up other projects that require bias tape. I also used this Simplicity disappearing ink pen to transfer the patterns, but I don’t recommend it. I bought it because it has a fine tip, and some of the pattern details are so fine, I couldn’t trace them with the large tip pen that I already owned. The problem with the Simplicity pen is that the ink disappeared almost as soon as I marked the fabric! I don’t even know how many times I traced it until finally I just started free-handing some of the details. For the french knots, I actually used Aunt Martha’s paint tubes – partly because I can’t make a French knot to save my life, and partly because I have wanted a set of those paint tubes ever since my mom owned them when I was little and wouldn’t let me use them. J

    I have some other projects lined up, including my first attempt at pattern making, and some more gifts that I can’t show you yet. With all my free time, you’d think I’d have them done by now, but, hmmm, no. Soon, though!

    What have you all been doing this summer?

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