Sunday, August 23, 2009

Little Birds Tutorial

I keep being asked how I made these little birds, so here you go. I hope this tutorial will show you how easy they are made.
fabric scraps
cross stitching thread
two beads

Cut 2 - 3 1/2 " squares for the body and 1 - 2 1/1 " for the beak of the bird.

For the beak you need to fold the small square in half into a rectangle. I used my iron to make every crease hold.
Fold it again into a square. Open the last fold back up.
Fold both sides in as triangles. And one more time over for the finished beak.
For the bird's body take the two big square, lay them right sides together and sew one side closed.

Take the folded beak, open the body squares and lay the beak on the seam pointing the beak to the center.

Fold the top square back down and sew the left and right side closed. NOT the bottom.

It should look like this when you are done.

Turn in inside out.

Before continuing with the bird I fixed the legs. I used cross stitching thread, but anykind of wool ,ribbon or thread you have should work well. I measure about 24 inches 9 times and braided it. To end up with two 5 inches legs.

Now stopped in the pantry to get yourself a snack. You earned it. And while you there. Grab the rice, too.
Fill up the the body with rice, but maximum 3/4, because you still need to be able to sew it closed under your machine.
Fold the raw edge in for about 1/4 inch.

Close it, but the opposite way by positioning the seams on top of each other. And just pin it in the middle once.
Add the legs and pin them in place.
Then just top stitch it closed.
All is left to do, is adding the eyes. I used beads for the eyes. They are a little tiny.

Have fun with them.

p.s. let me know if it sounds confusing somewhere.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friendship Bag Swap

A little while ago Karin told me that she couldn't resist signing up again for a new swap. I called her crazy before, because she did participate already at quite a few and once a while it does get stressful to finish your project on time even it looked so easy at the beginning, so I never bothered with a swap since years. I did fabric swap a long time ago.

But I peeked at the tutorial from her swap. Here is the p.s. i quilt: friendship bag tutorial. How cute I thought.

Yesterday was the last day to register for the swap. And I did.

Today I tried the first version of the little bag. It is really small, but didn't it turn out adorable. I actually love it. And usually I doubt my projects a while before I really like them. lol

I like it so much that I might have to make another one, because I do not know yet if I will be able to give this one away. Even it was already pinned together, I undid the last step to add a label of mine.

Pst. Don't tell about this.
Mr. Pink Pink Pink

- Playing with Chiara -

last day of summer break

The girls both agreed
that we just had to stop and snap a picture of this sign today
after we already passed it on Tuesday.

Remember 'No Swimming'

Today was the last official day of summer break. After this weekend school starts again. The girls already met their new teachers and know a few classmates - they scramble up their classes every year - and are all excited for Monday to arrive. So hopefully getting up around 6 am will also be exciting. But today it was still summer break. I woke them up relatively early and we packed up everything we needed for a few hours at the lake. The icebox was filled with cold drinks, sandwiches and watermelon. A little bit more taste of summer. The kids had a fun and it was hard to get any of the three out of the water for the "mandatory breaks" there the lifeguards took every hour.

I don't know for how much long Sierra Beach will be open and if we have another chance to go, but for sure the temperatures are still high here and no rain in sight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

simple and staying

A few months ago I was not much in sewing mood. There was too much going on in spring, but before we left for summer break i took a trip down to Austin and went fabric shopping for my mom and Karin. At that time when picking out all the treasures for them I couldn't resist and brought the fabric for this quilt top home and actually after figuring out the simple design went to work. I got all the strips done, but ran out of time to finish the top. So it was sitting in a stack on top of my washing machine.

Of course even I stacked the strips up nicely, had the brown strops already cut, I laid everything on the flor out at Soren's nap time. It just didn't look right anymore. The order was mess up anymore. So I was sitting there trying to figure it which strip belong where not to have any fabric coming together. Grrrrrrrr. That's why you don't take breaks when you can't let it lay out, but it this house either the kids run through and after the girls are trained not to step on laid out fabric, now we have Soren, then the cats run like maniacs chasing each other through the house over it that all pieces would fly in any direction. We had all that before too. It does not get boring here.

It is a very simple pattern, but right now I am on the simple trip. I just loved the colors and after finding the brown-blue leaves fabric and the blue one with the flower print I just went from there. From there is has to be qilted someday.
AUBREY - I usually give my things away. LOL. Once a while I sell them, but then usually pre ordered for now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Butterfly Scrap Quilt

A few days ago I decided that I had to make a quilt top. I had a pattern in my mind out of scraps or fabric in my stash, some which I had since a decade. It is nothing so special, but it is was really good to be back spending a night on my sewing machine. I guess which might even have missed me. LOL. Not even once the thread ripped, or the needle broke or aything else happened besides that I miscalculated the first block I made and have one extra now - smaller.

The easiest part after choosing the fabric is done and I added the last two strips on the right and left side of the top thsi morning, now I just need to get my mind set sometime to layer it and pin it and actually quilt, hopefully without wrinkles. I have to admit, I am dreading that part. I have a ferw quilt tops almost done, but that step is the hardest. Adding the binding I love. By now I figured out how to close the two ends so you don't see the beginning and the end - if I remember how - and sewing it to backside by hand it takes a little bit more time, but it is just the last step. The last touch for a quilt.

But I do hope that with the quilting I can give this scrap quilt the special something that it is still missing before I can send it its way.

Don't ever leave the table

Do I really need to say much more?

The girls deserted Soren at the breakfast table while he was still munching away and I when I came a moment late I found him like this.

No, we don't use the high chair anymore, it only has a climbing function for right now until it wil be moved out of the way. Big chairs for big boys.

He had his little bowl filled with cerial and milk and a spoon, but I guess neither the bowl nor the spoon was big enough for the big boy because he needed the BIG scoop to eat and ate right out of the cerial container and out of his bowl in between.

I guess I can call myself lucky that today he decided it was a day he didn't need to show us how well he can pour milk, too, and did not need to ad milk to all the cheerios in the container. We had milk pouring days before. And he even tries to lift the gallon containers of it. KID!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Little Birds (Fabric)

Can you believe? I actually managed to do some sewing in Germany. So these little birds are made in Germany. And got the last little touch ups last night here, ready for their new owners besides the two little ravens which I just can't let leave.
The bird is sewn out of two big rectangles for the body and on small for the peek within minutes. Then it is filled up with rice to add the weight, you add some legs, I used braided embroidery thread. With some beaded eyes the birds can see. And voila.

It is HOT in TEXAS

Anybody up for travelling? Go ahead. I am staying home for right now.
Frankfurt Airport - the kids with Oma & Opa

I do really have to say as much trouble and as whiny as my kids can be when it really has to be I can count on my kids. When flying back from Frankfurt to the States the changed the gates twice on us and twice we had huge delays so in both airport we had a lot of walking to do, no correct me, in Frankfurt we walked a lot, in Philadelphia we landed so late and it took so much time to get after immigration and customs to get through security again that our connection flight was already boarding that we literally had to ran through the airport from terminal to terminal twice because the printed our gate information wrong to catch the flight minutes before closing the door, only to wait an hour for take off. The girls did great and it was rough. But we made it instead of spending a night at the Philadelphia airport stuck.
Just to come back here to deal in the morning with a not working car and roadside assistance and the garage. And chasing cat hair for two days two months worth. But it is nice to be home.
After lots of cleaning and unpacking and organizing we took off to the lake yesterday because it is just too hot outside to do anything else outdoors. And today we are taking it a little easy before before our week will be busy with getting ready for school, appointments and just everyday and normal life.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A date 15 years ago

This August, 15 years ago we had a date. Leland and me. We planned on meeting at the Anscavallo, at the ugly horse statue three weeks from "now". That was after my gradutation and trip and his field time. I just turned 19 and he was 21. A long time ago and a long time at that time and neither one of us knew if the other one would actually show up.

We both did.

Fours years later with lots of long distances relationships due to college and new duty stations in between we married. Not at that Anscavallo, but in Wuerzburg and in 2000 we left Germany for good. The kids and me came back for visits, but Leland never did have the chance.

15 years* later we just had to stop once at the ugly horse statue and showed the kids the spot where we met again. (*Almost 15 years later, because we did that already in June.)

- Somehow Ansbach truly has a problem with modern art and beauty - ok it is in the eye of the beholder - but most of the statue are truly ugly - and I do love art.

One of the favorite places of the kids in town. The playground right across of the bridge of the mall before going into downtown with a little waterfall to splash in. A "Biergarten" and Cafe right there. It is not huge, just small, but places like that I love about Germany.

You can even see a part of the original "Berliner Mauer" (Berliner Wall) standing right in the center since October 3rd, 1990 as memorial against oppression, inhumanity and intolerance.


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