Friday, July 31, 2015

Welcome back from OZ!

Seems like I've been gone awhile! Which I have. After a 2 year service in my church serving in the Young Women organization for Girls ages 12 to 18, and then finding out that I have fibromyalgia, I have struggled to have the energy to do what I have done in the past! However, God has been good to me, and through his Grace I have the strength to go and to do when called upon! It's awesome to be able to see His hand in my life! I know where my strength comes from, and it's an awesome thing to be able to witness it.

My youngest daughter, Sara, just got home from serving a 19 month mission in the Kansas Wichita Mission. She LOVED it! She tells me that she was born in Utah, but she grew up in Kansas! She loves the people of Kansas, and the things that she learned while serving there! So it was only appropriate that when she came home that we greet her at the airport with all the grand-kids dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz! It took me two weeks to sew the costumes for our now 8 grandchildren, but I had a blast, and relished the time and the "excuse" to be able to come in and just sew! It seems like my own life has taken off on it's own tornado, and it hasn't touched down yet!

These sweet children are my grandchildren! Tyler is the Tin Man, Then we have the Lollipop Guild - which, by the way, passed out lollipops to the people at the airport while we were waiting for Sara to come home! They passed out around 100 lollipops and had a blast. When Sara finally got off the plane, they welcomed her home with the Lollipop Guild Dance! It was classic! Our Lollipop Guild is Jackson in the Green, Aiden in the Red, and Ryan behind them in the Blue! Our sweet little 3 month old scarecrow, Noah, was just a tiny newborn when Sara arrived. Thankfully he decided to stay little and still fit in his costume! His growth was the spur for the photo shoot!
Then we have Brooke as Glinda the Good Witch, with Laura as Dorothy and Franz as the Lion! These awesome grandchildren are the light of my life. I can say that sewing costumes for them is very satisfying, and makes not being able to quilt worth it. :) What a grandma won't do for those perfect grandchildren!

Sara received her shirt in the last box we sent to her before she came home. She got the shirt and a lot of quotes from the movie, "The Wizard of Oz" along with some new red shoes. She was more than a little nervous to come home, but we're sure glad to be able to have her home for the summer before she heads off to school and trades that t-shirt for a BYU Idaho hoodie! Sara tells us she wants to get back to Kansas, and that she may have been born in Utah, but she grew up in Kansas! All Dorothy had to do was click her heels! Home was Kansas.

When our children leave home and have experiences, whether it's on a mission like Sara and three of her brothers did to volunteering to teach English in China like another daughter did, we have to remember as parents that they are receiving life experience of their own, and have been able to learn valuable experiences that have helped prepare them for the world. We can let them fly from home when they actually do "visit" us at home again.

I say "visit" because in my experience, I am finding that a lot of parents in today's world want to hang on to their children- even after life building and maturing experiences that build that child's self confidence and self assurance in themselves. Sometimes even after they are married! That's so damaging to a child. They are ready to leave your nest and set out for themselves. As hard as it is, you need to encourage them to try their wings. Encourage them to use those skills to grow! Embrace the gift that your child can be independent and free! It's what you have taught them to be! It's the seed that you have planted in them. It's a seed that was planted in them also by their Creator. It's going to be ok. THEY are going to be ok. YOU are going to be ok. It's part of the plan. It's time to let them go. Let them follow that Yellow Brick Road. Let them begin their journey.

Sara is my "baby girl" and I remember when she "grew up" and started doing things that left me home alone, I just sort of wandered around the house and I didn't know what to do! I have spent my whole life in the service of my family! And all of a sudden I have TIME. and I didn't know what to do with myself! I was so overwhelmed with this time to myself that I couldn't function! I actually didn't know what to do! But that changed .....  I had to accept that Sara had grown up, and I had to walk through that door to being an EMPTY NESTER! It was a hard door to walk through. And it was a scary door to walk through. But I finally did it.

You know what? It's a great door to walk through! Turns out the dang thing is a revolving door! At least at our house it is! And it brings home friends, and new boyfriends (currently), and new babies, and new pets, and a lot of stuff from Amazon, and grandkids that are old enough to have sleep-overs at Grandma's and sleep in my room and wear me out! and I have TIME with my sweetheart. Time that we have yearned for through the years when we were raising our family. We planned for it, we nurtured it, and sowed the seeds for that someday. Well, guess what. The seeds have sprouted, and we are starting to see the harvest! After 33 years of raising our family, and having courage to let my children FLY, I get to rest and embrace the time with the man of my youth and the man of my dreams! It's awesome!

Here is some of the sweet fruits of our labors! It's the reward for not killing the teenagers! :)

 I couldn't have this - if I didn't let my kids follow their own path down that yellow brick road, and meet the people in their lives that will influence them, give them their trials, help them in their trials, bless their lives, bring color to their lives, protect them, love them and help them be courageous. 
Eventually they make it to the Emerald City and find out who their real friends are, and that all along, home is where there is love and safety. Home, hopefully for your children is where there is love and peace and happiness and refuge. And they have made it that way, because they were able to follow their own pathway and make correct choices.   They might not be "babies" any longer, but they are still your children, and I can tell you this. The sweet babies they bring home with them are worth letting them follow their own path, and supporting them on their journey. Just Love Them. They'll come home eventually. And they bring these sweet angel babies with them. 

Well Miss Sara - I don't know who to warn first that you're starting your journey! :)  Idaho? The boys? or the Flying Monkeys! But I do know one thing! You're up for the adventure! 
I can't wait to see your story!

Many thanks to Camera Shy in Lehi Utah for taking our photographs and playing with our kids! You are awesome Ashley B!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dinosaur Tails

My favorite thing to give 3-year-olds for their birthdays are DRESS UPS!!! They just seem to really get the imagination going when they turn 3.
My Grandson Aiden with his superhero capes that I made him .... enough to share with friends!
My Granddaughter Brook and Me - in various Princess Dresses. (I made the pink one)
So, in celebration of my grandson Ryan's 3rd birthday, his momma called up with a request. Seems that Ryan is obsessed with Dinosaurs.... might be the Christmas dinosaur shirt I bought him - much to his mothers nightmares - that he begs to wear EVERYDAY! So,  I made these dinosaur tails for him to dress up in.

The tutorial was AWESOME! I found it very easy, but I am also an experienced seamstress. I read in the comment section of beginner sewers having an OK time, but they ended up making a few sets, so the pattern can't be that bad!
(It took me 2 hours to make both sets, stuff and sew them shut) 
 You can find the pattern at the following address:
And of course, I HAD to made the proverbial capes! what's a birthday for a 3-year-old boy without capes???
So here is a glimpse of the ones I made. The emblems were appliqued and I found the patterns under Google Images; Superhero emblems. They are made with felt on Satin.
I just LOVE 3-year-olds!!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Being Creative - Free Embroidery Samplers

I LOVE to create!
 I try to do at least one thing every day that won't get "undone" by time or the kids! (it was a good way to stay sane during my children's growing up years!)
Well, time moves on, but I have found that my love to be creative hasn't changed much over the years. It doesn't matter if it's fabric, paints, wood, windows, embroidery floss or embroidery thread. I just like to be creative.
This past two years, I've found that I like to create patterns. I really don't have the need to design them for money, but rather for pleasure. I've also found that I like to share the patterns with others.
The following are items that I've designed thus far, and have written the patterns. if you'd like a copy of the pattern, please email me at and I'd be happy to send you the pattern!
(and I'll apologize ahead of time. Some of the pictures are sideways. I never claimed to be creative in the computer department, so you'll have to forgive the pictures. Hopefully you'll be able to see the designs!)

"Forget Not"

 "I WiLL Stand in Holy Places"
Young Women 2013 Sampler

Details of Doll Ideas with hands, faces, arm position, hair

 More Details of Doll Ideas

"Stand in Holy Places" Pillowcase Embroidery Sampler

"Stand in Holy Places" 8x8 quilt square Embroidery Sampler
The above sampler is on and you can get the download at the above web address!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quiet books....round 4....Ding!

I always wanted to have a quiet book when my kids were little. I made one...on pellon and drew on the pellon with magic markers.... that weren't permanent.... and the kids put the pieces in their mouths... :(
It wasn't a good experience.
But oddly enough, the kids still had fun with the book.
Fast Forward about 20 years, and I've learned a lot. I also have more patience...and time. And less kids to take care of. So I decided that I'd try it again.
 I made my cute new little Grandkids and myself (they need one when they come to Grandma's house...) quiet books. This time I sewed them and I used a pattern. They turned out cute. I tweaked the patterns and customized the books. They got all fancy because now we had t-shirt iron-ons to use. :) Yeah baby. I put Grandma and Grandpa's pictures under flaps and a title that says "who loves me".  I sewed them with the cutest material, and they turned out great.
Who Loves Me? page with flaps

Who Loves Me? page with flaps opened.
I used t-shirt transfers for the pictures and ironed them onto muslin.
clockwise: Grandpa, Great Grandparents, Grandma, Great Grandparents. (this is my book. 
The kids' personal books have mom and dad in the great grandparents slot, with Brad and myself under one flap, and the other grandparents under the other flap.) 

sheep (texture) and jingle bells in bow.

dog in a dog house. they like to eat the dog.

"Family Tree" - under each flap is a picture of each person in our family up to that date.
(This was the page that was overwhelming me... We're going to have so many people that this page was going to cause some real problems! But of course, it's one of the more favorite pages!)

"Brook and Aiden" (the two grandkids that got the quiet books)
 in sleeping bags with Velcro and zippers. You can play with the dolls.

Butterfly with crunchy wings. (use cellophane wrap for the crunch between two pieces of fabric!)

Once there was a snowman, tall, tall, tall.
This page was NOT fun. Cute, but not fun.

Color matching balloons.
(used my sizzix die-cut machine for the balloons!)

"I spy" Quilt page
"Bee" Humble, grateful, Prayerful, clean, smart and true page.
Bees with Velcro.
FYI - Velcro doesn't do well if you just glue it on. :(
I had to go back and sew it on felt, then sew the felt pieces together. That was a pain!

Farm page with t-shirt transfer animals in barn, and finger-puppet pig, cow and chick.

Gotta have that "peek-a-boo" page.
By the time I got done I had decided that they were way to much work for what they looked like. The only problem was that by the time I finished them.... I had another a different family...And mom knew that I sewed these quiet books, because "mom" was my daughter that I had bragged too. Dang! Her only response to my bragging? "When do we get ours?" Shoot!
So my quick response was, "Don't worry, I'll have it by Pee-baby's 1st Birthday." (Her nickname for her son, not mine. But in all respects, it'll protect his identity.)
Fast forward again to one month ago. I am back to making quiet books. Pinterest has a lot of ideas and some really neat ways to do things! There's even a page on there that has circuits so that you can light up your robot! Amazing! The dang thread has wire in it! This mom is a genius! And apparently has WAY MORE time and patience than I do! But her pages are AWESOME!
Well, I didn't want to get THAT creative, so I kept mine on the down-low, reduced the size just a bit, and I used felt this time. Felt doesn't fray. Yay felt! My oldest daughter called up while I was busily working on the book and asked, "What are you doing?"
As I dropped my head in shame, I admitted I was working on a quiet book. She was so excited! Pee-Baby was FINALLY going to get his quiet book! (Pee baby is now 2 1/2 years old). Then I had to admit that I wasn't actually making this particular quiet book for him. I was making it for a shower for his soon-to-be-born cousin, and that he was going to have to wait, yet again, to get his quiet book.
Let's just say that daughter #1 wasn't that happy. :/
Well, the pages turned out really cute, were pretty easy thanks to the felt and the reduced size, and I got the book done in my spare time in about a week. I was quite pleased with myself. And daughter #2 loved the quiet book and has it safe at home, waiting for our new little grandson to grow up a bit.
Quiet Book Cover. Letters cut out by a cricut machine. I thought that was pretty creative.

Page one is felt squares with button shapes.
Fun for when he's 2-3, and nice to look at and touch as a baby.

Pinterest idea. I thought this was quite clever.
buttonholes with ribbon. Tie a knot in the end. Ta da!

Families are Forever flap.

Pocket made of vinyl behind the temple for a family picture.
Instead of the temple (if you're not LDS) you could put a place that your family likes to go
or "who loves me" etc.

This is a mirror on paper! Perfect for little kids. This one still has
the protective sheet on it. (I got all the "extras" at JoAnns).

Lion with Ribbon Tags for mane

Bug Jar. You can take the bugs out.

Under the Sea Counting page. Not finished at this point!
Textile page. Babies love to touch stuff!
Whoops! I guess I didn't get a picture of the next page that is half showing!
It's like a water globe made of vinyl. Inside is glitter, beads, and anything small and shiny.
I just sewed around the edge of the clear vinyl (with a "roller foot" on my machine), left a small opening and inserted the glitter,etc. then finished sewing it up. The stuff moves around and is shiny.

Rainbow colored beads + black and white.

I wanted something different besides hands for Peek-a-boo. Elephants are fun and they work!
Meanwhile, Daughter #1 called up again, and asked, "When do we get our quiet book?"
How do you put off cute little pee-baby any more? So I got to thinking....

  • I am just getting started in this grandbaby business.
  • I am a seamstress after all...
  • I have 7 children... I'm going to have A LOT of grandkids.
  • I'm going to have to make all these grandkids a quiet book. (Be careful what you start!!!)
  • that's a lot of sewing...
  • how can I make my life easier?
  • Squirrel!
  • Wait! I have an embroidery machine, and I now have the ability to digitize and make appliques.
  • hmmmmm.
  • I am now digitizing quiet book pages for Pee Baby's Christmas present.
I must admit that these pages are FUN! They are turning out very professional looking, and there are so many possibilities! My brain just keeps thinking up so many ideas to do that I've started writing them down in a book so I don't lose the ideas!
My first page is done. It's a "Monster Truck". Grandpa got Pee Baby hooked on Monster Trucks at his last visit in October when he took him for a ride in the Razr and watched you-tube videos of Razr crashes. Pee Baby LOVES it! So of course the first page HAD to be a Monster Truck.
There's also a Mr. Potato Head Dress up doll, a Drive the Cars page, a Save Your Money Piggy Bank, and other ideas are coming!

(Potato head pieces are going to Velcro on Potato head...embroidery is without the black outlines at this point.)
Pee Baby is FINALLY going to get his quiet book, Grandma has embroidery files for future grandkids that all I have to do is define colors and sew out age appropriate pages, and Quiet books aren't the drudgery that they used to be! The pages can also be taken out and updated on holidays and birthdays to age appropriate activities! YAY!
(I must admit though, that I bought a "music" button [at Hobby Lobby in the Doll section] that plays Twinkle, Twinkle. I'm waiting for him to go to church with that one! :) )
I guess Quiet Book Stress can be a good thing. It forced me to get creative!
 Thanks cute little Pee-Baby! I Love you! Even if you murder BUGS!
 - this video inspired the Bug Jar!

If you have an embroidery machine and would like FREE copies of my patterns, please comment below, or send me an email at