Except for today – thank you, rain! – it has been so hot around here that it’s causing a sweat shortage because we’re all sweated-out already from days of climbing temperatures….don’t people come here to get away from 103 degrees in the morning?! Even though being outside last week felt like sitting in a fire and brimstone-filled sauna, The Redhead had just one thing on her mind and Momma couldn’t distract her from it – riding her new bike. Sounds like fun right? Of course! Training wheels, shiny helmet, glittery streamers – this thing has got it all (The Redhead owes her Grandma Ellie and Grandpa Curt a LOTTA hugs for this one!).
Sophia showed off her well practiced skill set….getting on the bike. And that’s where the confidence ended. One lap down the street and back again ended with a still-enthusiastic Redhead, just as long as I had both hands either on the bike or on her – preferably both. Too bad I couldn’t miraculously sprout and extra set of hands just for this event! Another time down and back up the street and I saw the tension begin to mount and a strained look growing on her face….no problem! I thought – we’ll just ride down the block to the park and give her a little break. Pretty happy Redhead!
Fifteen minutes was about how long these smiles lasted before she was ready to get back into some air conditioning. I don’t know if my Mom-sense ran out that day or what, but the next five minutes biking home caused a colossal meltdown. I, of course, tried to console her the best I could….but not before snapping a bunch of cute, crabby-faced pictures!
….and ends in a face full of tears!
Can all of us in the Twin Cities agree that this “Summer” has been one of the most sun-less seasons ever?! Believe me, I hate to complain when my alternative is frigid winter, but when the sun showed its face for the approximate 30 minutes that we had beautiful weather today, I frantically raced into action as if I might never see Summer again.
Out came the sun tea pitcher that I’ve kept close at hand, just in case we had enough rays to brew!
I love sun tea….no idea how it tastes so much better than kettle-tea, but but somehow those warm rays lend Lipton a little bit of magic. Here is the finished sun tea next to the cute plant pot that The Redhead made. Notice that there are no actual plants growing in the pot. As I predicted, the poor things didn’t make it very long…
I raced around like a madwoman, frantically running back and forth around the living room trying to jam my shoes on, dragging the pitcher to the porch and excitedly hollering to the Redhead to “quick, get ready so we can take a walk while it’s nice out!”
We have some great paths right outside our door – some shoesie pics as we walked a trail:
And The Redhead’s favorite spot – the bridge with what she calls the “waterfall” which is, in reality, a creek with some rocks (but we’ll let the fantasy continue).
The sunshine was fantastic while it lasted – let’s hope we have lots more soon!
I really wish that I had a green thumb! I don’t. I don’t know what the opposite of having a green thumb is, but my thumb is that color. I wish that I could keep a plant – any plant – alive, but it never seems to work out for me; however, when The Redhead gave me a hand-painted (by her!) flower-pot, I felt like with her help, we might be able to successfully grow our own little flowers.
This is her getting frustrated that I wanted to take pictures of her present instead of getting down to business and planting something in it – you can see her face getting more and more miserable with every shot (geez, Momma!).
I love that even simple things like planting seeds feels like a new and exciting adventure to a three year old…she loved the idea that she was going to get to plant something in “mud”.
Now, the best part – getting our hands dirty!
A little water (hopefully, we’ll remember to do this on a daily basis so the plant will actually grow).
Dirt, sun, water and a great paint job – if I were a plant, this would be the life for me!
I think I’ve mentioned how excited I am that Spring is finally here – it is definitely my favorite season and it’s taken FOREVER for it to come to Minnesota, so I’m really grateful! Along with Spring comes all kinds of fun stuff, like tree buds and green grass and Easter….and with Easter comes not-so-fun stuff like rouge strands of Easter basket “grass” that gets stuck in my vacuum and hoards of left over plastic eggs.
The Redhead has approximately fourteen million of these plastic eggs strewn around the house, emptied of their sugary contents. I threw away most of them but then a miracle happened and I saw this post at Creativity in Progress: Brilliant!
I immediately heated up the hot glue gun and with a button, some beads, a sharpie and some random bits from my crafty left-overs, The Redhead had an absolutely adorable – and even personalized(!) – new little tea set!
She helped pick out some of the decorations – she especially liked the gold stars on her orange tea cup and then she played with them for an hour – they’ve quickly become one of her favorite play things! She especially likes filling them up with Momma’s beads and serving them to us as “special drinks”.
What a great way to re-use and repurpose junk I would have just tossed in the garbage can three months from now when I was sick of seeing them all over the house! I’m tempted to use the other three million plastic eggs to make sets for all the little girls I know….
I’ve got the fever, folks – the Spring Fever! I was cleaning out my closet and putting away my winter clothes (hopefully for a good, long while!) and I came across a dress that I bought a year ago on Target clearance because…well, it was on clearance. And I liked the emerald green color. Unfortunately, it was hideous when I actually tried to wear it (not a great quality when you’re talking about clothing). It had a great hem to it so I decided to make The Redhead a skirt out of it instead of throwing it out and it turned out great-fitting, but kind of boring.
Lately, I haven’t had a lot of time to spare, so I fancied her skirt up in one of the quickest and most fool-proof ways possible (seriously simple!) and I thought I’d share. I’m gonna loosely use the word “embroidery” in this post, but in all honesty, this technique can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I kept it super-SUPER-simple for my projects. If you’re awesome at embroidery, embroider away!
You’re Going to Need:
A Design, Solvy (water-soluble stabalizer that you can get at craft/fabric stores), Pen or Marker, Embroidery Floss/Craft Thread, Embroidery Hoop
First of all, you just need to find a design that you like! For me, I like to use simple designs and line-drawings. For the Ice Cream Sundae design on The Redhead’s skirt, I actually used an iron-on transfer that I bought at Joann Fabrics a long time ago.
For another project, I printed some line-drawings that were available on the internet. You’re going to trace your design, so you can use just about anything – for instance, tracing one of the free, downloadable stickers here could be really cute (and you can adjust the size)!
Use a little bit of tape to anchor a square of Solvy to your design and use a pen or permanent marker to trace it right onto the Solvy.
Once the ink is thoroughly dry, place the Solvy onto the material that you are embroidering on and secure it with your embroidery hoop.
Let your creative juices flow with the color and style of embroidery you want to use! I used three strands of thread for the thickness that I wanted and did straight stitches all around the tracing. Just remember to sew from the front of the garment/project that you are embellishing and to knot your embroidery thread well each time you change thread.
I don’t have any pictures of this step, which is sad because it’s my favorite part!
I specifically use Solvy as my stitch reinforcer on these projects because it’s magic when it comes to its removal – it completely desolves in water but still leaves your stitches more durable! Once you’re done stitching, remove the embroidery hoop, trim off excess Solvy and then dunk your project in a bowl of water and watch the Solvy disappear (you may need to rub off any undesolved Solvy with your finger in the water). You can throw your project in the drier or let air dry and viola! You’ve got a cute, embellished, fabulous something!
The awesome thing about embellishing this way is that it can be easily portable – you can throw the project in your bag to work on while waiting, riding the bus or watching TV and you can easily start and stop the project whenever you need to, which is a huge plus for me when The Redhead asks for a glass of milk, I get her a glass of milk, she spills the glass of milk and then requires another glass of milk. No harm done to the project due to my lack of attention!
My Mom got a set of embroidered tea towels for her birthday that I did in the same way:
Before I knew it, she had distributed them throughout her house along with her Easter decorations!
I hope that you are finding great ways to get ready for Springtime – if you try this project out on something of your own, drop me a line and tell me how it turned out!