Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Scream

In order to vamp up my diaper product (and use my degree in art history, lol) I decided to run Art Diapers of the Month (ADOTM) in my buy,sell,trade (b/s/t) page.  This last month we did a group vote and decided to go with Edvard Munch's The Scream.  To do this I ordered some fabulous fabric on Spoonflower in performance knit, it is 100% polyester and great at preventing wicking (this is important with cloth diapers!). It also NEVER fades which is another cloth diaper bonus considering the wash routine diapers have to go through to be really clean.

Honestly, the Scream is the perfect fabric print for cloth diapers. I am sure that Munch is rolling over in his grave for me reducing his famous artwork to the utilitarian purpose of catching baby's poo; but there you have it.  Nothing is safe now-a-days.

Anywho, I ended up with plenty left over to make my daughter a pair of grow-with me pants (complete with The Scream image on the bum) and a Scream shirt.  Love this little outfit and think that it is perfect for the upcoming Halloween season.

For the shirt pattern I used this Raglan pattern from Brindille and Twig which is a fantastic pattern and very easy to sew up with or without a serger. Much easier with a serger, of course!  And the pants patterns came from Max and Meena on Etsy.  They are grow-with-me pants and fit well from 1 year to 3+years plus have a circle bum that allows for more room for cloth diapered booties. I am just sorry that I only started sewing knits this year since they are so easy to make with a serger (and from the look they seem very comfortable).

What's on your sewing table this week?  I have to finish fixing up a few older diapers for baby #2 (new velcro) and I have 3 custom diaper orders to work on this week.  Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

shelby g

Monday, August 31, 2015

Around the Farm

The garden season is winding down! And I realize I never made a single update on how everything grew this summer. We had the best garden this year and I really think keeping the aisles mowed made all the difference. Even when the rows were overrun with weeds (I took most of July off from weeding...) I could easily mow the aisle and it helped give order to the garden which made me feel better.  Since these images were taken I have weeded areas of the garden and begun to take out the overgrown peas and bolted lettuce.  For now we are harvesting carrots, cukes, potatoes, and basil from the garden for pesto and other delicious homegrown sides.  Unfortunately for us we are now down to a single hot plate since our grill officially died at the beginning of August.  And while our kitchen ell project is progressing well it is likely we'll use one hot plate for another month or two.  This pregnant lady often dreams of lasagna and fresh bread and most importantly pies. I cannot wait to have our kitchen open as I feel our family's nutrition is somewhat lacking this summer.

Our baby chicks have grown!  They should start laying anytime now which is great since the older hens are starting to molt and their egg production has decreased dramatically.  So far we have lost 4 hens this year to predator or old age and we hope the rest of the ladies hang on throughout the winter.  We plan on raising 10 more chickens next year and may incubate our own or find a better quality chicken breeder.  Murray McMurray, although cheap and full of variety, breeds low quality genetic strains which makes them more susceptible to early death and disease.

And this baby belly is growing!  With about 7 weeks left to go I am starting to dig through the baby clothes once again.  We have plenty of everything whether boy or girl and are excited (and nervous) about the next phase in our family.  Audrey has also grown  over the summertime and we can actually (sort of) have conversations where we know what she is saying.  Still working out the logistics but are trying to work her into the homebirth somehow; she'd think it was really neat and it's important for us that she is around to be a part in the delivery of her sibling.

Have a wonderful last day of August!

shelby g

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Road Map

With a little less than 9 weeks to go before #2 arrives Audrey and I have been finishing up projects that sit in the unfinished pile (basically since  her birth!). This one in particular is a small street quilt made from 1 yard purchased at (not exact via link but close enough). Compared to the price of the rugs made with a similar design this was definitely worth the purchase.  Yet it did not come completed which is why it was unfinished for such a long time.

I made this simply and fast, with a cotton backing, poly fleece lining, and road map top. The binding is a grey bias tape that I found in my giant box of ric rac/binding.  After I tied the pieces together I pinned the binding on the back and stitched around then pinned the binding on the front and top stitched. A lazy way to do it and it doesn't look amazing but Audrey seems to like it. She calls it her "blanky" and likes to sneak up on the cat and throw it over him (proceeding to also throw herself over the blanket... we have such a tolerant kitty). 

Other than that this has been a busy month!  I've "hired" a few mommas to help manage my business page and they have convinced me get my pregnant bum back behind the sewing machine from taking July off.  I have a stocking of my store coming up on Tuesday so I am busy sewing up for that and hope that I can pull myself together to do one more stocking before the baby is born.  I've started sewing up jersey knit clothing with my serger and it is a life changer. Like the dresses I made for my nieces at Moosehead I've been able to make pants and shirts without the puckering that knits get from regular machines. Below is an example of a newborn set... so cute! (Must make some for #2!)

Along with my business I attended my first craft fair as a vendor.

It went surprisingly well... I didn't make money (just covered my fees and babysitting) but it was fun to get out there and have people admire the cloth diapers and supplies I make. And this pregnant momma really enjoyed the fantastic social interaction with artisans and customers. Will I do it again? Probably not but maybe.  By next August I will have an almost 3.5 year old and a 10 month old so who knows what I'll be up to then.

Hope you have a fun, crafty, Saturday!

shelby g

Monday, August 3, 2015

Moosehead Lake 2015

Moosehead Lake for 2015 has come and gone. This, as always, marks the winding down of summer for me even though we have a month (or more) of excellent summer weather ahead of us.  And I love Fall, by far my favorite season,.... but still winter is never far away.

Just overnight it seems like my nieces have grown into young ladies.  And Audrey, who is about 2 years and 8 months younger than her youngest cousin Aurelia, had an enjoyable time following them around, playing, learning new words and sentences and her cousins did a great job including and tolerating her.

As you can tell I hung out with the kids a lot. When you have a toddler playing with high energy older children (that swim a little deeper, run a little faster, etc) you tend to be the one watching all the kids so your child doesn't fall behind or (even worse) fall off the dock.

I did find time to hang out with the adults too; a wonderful group of intelligent, hardworking, women who rarely get a chance to see each other. This is our eighth year of collecting at Moosehead together and I find myself changing in my interaction with them as my responsibilities/projects grow at my own home... I enjoy more the general compassion/conversation of the group and find myself drawing from the groups life experiences; how they felt during similiar times in their lives to mine but also reveling in the fact that everyone, although related, are all so different in the paths they decided to take in life.

I hope that your weekend was as sunny and bright as mine!

shelby g

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chicken Whisperer

Our little chicken whisperer.  She loves her new chickens, especially the really fat ones that are easy to catch.  We are trying to teach her a better technique for catching the ladies since Audrey tends to grab their tail feathers in order to get the best grip on them and they DO NOT like it.  Luckily for me the chicken coop is located near by the garden so while Audrey is playing with her chicken friends I can pop into the garden for weeding (and this years garden is awesome... will share later this week).  Audrey always ends up in the coop or in the tall grass chasing the chickens. I hope that this interaction helps create both friendly chickens and willing farmhand for the future.  One of my parenting fears at the moment is discipline; recognizing when to properly discipline my child for disregarding me (like, when she pulls on the the chickens tail feathers even though I have told her to be gentle; she needs to learn a new way to catch them and that cannot be achieved if I yell at her, right?) and also Audrey's discipline; learning how to be helpful and respectful.

The other morning Audrey was out and about with the chickens. She caught one and proceeded to carry it to the house, open the screen door (her new skill, thank you older cousins!), and nestle on the couch with her chicken friend.  Needlesstosay the chicken was less than thrilled but Audrey seem quite content with her new house pet. And since our house somehow always has a chicken or two in it (we feed them too many treats from the backdoor and they think it's cool to come in) we didn't really mind the extra company.  The chicken didn't last long in the house since she was a little terrified and Audrey was squeezing a little too tightly.

How are the critters doing in your neck of the woods?  have a wonderful day! We are finishing up the roof on the ell today, our contractor starts to shingle tomorrow and start the chimney while Mr. Meanie starts on the walls! Fun times!

shelby g

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Raising the Frame

For one thing you couldn't have asked for a better weekend to raise a timber frame.  Although it was hot out, as is expected in July, there was hardly a cloud in sight and not even the threaten of thunderstorms.  One of our fears going into this weekend was a change in the weather since we didn't want the beams or subfloor damaged by rain.

We had an excellent crew of  around 10-12 friends, family, and neighbors who showed up early on Saturday morning. They worked for a few hours readying the old part of the house (removing pegs, flashing, and parts of old beams that protruded into the new section) along with making the work site as safe as possible (covering up the 12+ foot drop that will someday be our cellar stairs) and then they were ready to go!  The first part of the project was fairly straight forward: raise the walls. For that the walls were assembled on the subfloor and pulled up by the workers with the aid of brute force, jib poles and anchored for safety using ropes attached at both ends of the wall and then to our tractor.

Since the beams were carved green (which is the way to go) there was a little twisting and cracking but with a little persuasion all notches fit in the grooves.


The day was topped off with a lobster and clam feast and lots of excitement and feelings of accomplishment from a day of hard, but rewarding, work.  The next day started out with similar energy but was met with few concerns, particularly those around safety and how to raise heavy rafters well above the heads of the workers to fit for the roof peak.  After many, many ideas; most of them requiring the use of machinery rather than the brute force from the day before, our very helpful grandfatherly neighbor swung by. He knew someone who knew someone who had staging we could borrow. Perfect solution for a half day conundrum.

From then on it was smooth sailing. We combined many of the ideas, using the staging to create stable ground for lifting, use of a lift to raise the heavy beams, brute force, jib poles to stabilize the rafters, and gravity.  After the first rafter was set the rest fell into place and then several of the perlings were placed allowing the building frame to come close to completion.

By the next day a small core of helpers came back and finished up the frame.  Thank you to everyone who helped out; it looks great, incredibly stable, and will last generation upon generation.  We had a rain storm blow through yesterday and covered the roof with a large tarp and now today, sunny and cool, Mr. Meanie will begin on the roof.  We have a lot of work ahead of us but are happy with how everything turned out so far. The frame, from start to finish, has taken about 8 months (if you don't count the planning process). From harvesting the spruce logs from our woods in January to milling them with the Alaskan chainsaw mill in our backyard during the blizzards of January/February to carving/notching/jointing the beams from March - July this has been quite a process; well worth it but likely to not be repeated anytime soon!

have a wonderful day,

shelby g

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Timber Frame Day

It's happening!!  Yesterday Jeff, his brother, and my Dad laid down the sill and subfloor. And it all fit (with only a few minor chiseling moments!).  The day was a hot one (and will be today, as well) but these gents worked tirelessly for about 13 hours laying down the sill and support beams then nailing down the subfloor. 

And now for today. Jeff is out in the barn at this very moment chiseling out a few of the remaining roof support beams and then we should be good to go for the day.  We have around 10 or more friends and relatives showing up early this morning to help in the construction of the post & beam frame.  And later we will have a lobster/clam feast (with fresh strawberry shortcake) to celebrate this project and thank everyone who was able to help out.

So if you are in the area and you know where we live please stop by and check out this project. Also we expect to have many slow driving vehicles go by our house today so if you are one of them please beep and wave! (For real, so many people have driven by at a snail's pace while we have stood on the front lawn and they never wave... don't be shy people!)

Have a wonderful day!

shelby g