Friday, November 18, 2011

Celebrate the Day-The Scarlet Threads Way

Whew! I'm here. It's been a bit of a hiatus from blog world ... due to an ucky tummy.


In fact it's been THREE WEEKS of ucky tummy for me and I am SO GLAD to finally wake up feeling normal. (or closer to normal)
And although I don't have an explanation as to what I was battling (it went from my sinus to my eyes and made them red and swollen and puffy from one to the other for a week and then descended into my tummy for two more weeks of agony) I'm going to guess that it had to do with having 2 young-'uns in elementary school and one more young-'un potty training. Germ overload. And let me tell ya, I wash my hands so much my skin is cracking. (Which in itself is no doubt a problem for getting more germs in.) No one else has come down with it, which is weird, but such a blessing! But don't think I've totally been sitting on the couch. The Christmas tree is up, hocky practices and games have been attended, I've gotten a little tiny bit of sewing done, and the house is in an okay state. And I read a few blogs here and there to buoy my spirit. (sorry if I didn't leave any comments.)
Thank you God is all I can say for those miracles!

Anyway, on to better things. Did you see the NEW APRON at Scarlet Threads??!! There is a naming contest going on right now. You have until Thanksgiving to leave a suggestion with them on what you might name it. The winner gets a 50% off coupon for their Store! And I know exactly what I'm going to choose if I win! That beautiful new blue apron!!!
So hop on over to Scarlet Threads and celebrate the holiday season or me feeling better by leaving them a name suggestion!
I think you'll agree it's a BEAUTIFUL apron! And I happened to sneak a peek of it this summer at a secret little boutique I ran across online ... I think it must be their test market or something. I'm so happy to see it will be a part of the Scarlet Threads honor roll!
If you want to see my name suggestions, you'll have to check out the comments under the Scarlet Threads blog post on the Naming Contest. Oh yes, and while there, leave your own name suggestion(s)!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Khloe Sweetness and New Peasant Dress: Ruffled Feathers Company

Did you all see the post on the SaWeEeT Ruffled Feathers twirl that Khloe's mom won for her? If not, you should check it out HERE. Tanya is such a dear friend ... and she is WAY generous in her comments of me, oh my goodness ... but her daughter is SO cute, you really must see all her modeling session for full effect. (and the post after this one for the out-takes! HA!)
If you are interested in this skirt design I certainly have more fabric ... and also lots of fabric in other patterns and colors just giddy to become a skirt or dress for your little one at Ruffled Feathers Company! Just leave me a comment or an email at   almquist  at   fmtcs  dot com  (replace the at and the dot with the symbols.)

I've also been working on a new style that goes super well with Ruffle Pants.  A special Thank-You goes to my sweet friend, Angie, who asked about a month ago if I could do something along these lines for her daughter Chloe for Christmas (funny how I have all these dear friends with daughters named "Chloe/Khloe"!)  I'm still working on the coordinating Ruffle Pants so I can't reveal it just yet, BUT I made another version for my sponsor ND Christmas Child Melissa that I can show you.

When I asked to be one of Melissa's Christmas sponsors, the coordinator was more than happy to link us up. Apparently her Chinese Foster Mom doesn't dress her too much like a girl much of the time and could really use some Pink/Purple/Girlyness!!!
Oh can I help there!
Here is a sneak peek at the Peasant Dress. ENJOY!:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Something About a Doll--Part 2

*If you haven't read the Part 1 post a few days ago, you may want to scroll down or go HERE to read that first.
So here Beth sits in the top of my closet ... with her friends, Raggedy Ann and my faux Cabbage Patch girl, Melinda Nicole (never mind her dirty face from too many kisses years ago.) I'm tickled that you all were curious enough to want to see my very, very favorite doll!
Thanks for asking me to post her photo--you really didn't have to twist my arm too hard ;-)
And I would have in the original post, however Jeff had the camera on his hunting trip in North Dakota last week.

She is so fragile from age now days.
Hopefully I described her well ... and please excuse my non-neat closet. (ack!) The girls are lounging on a box of old letters and precious stuff from back when people used to write real paper letters and cards. (I love mail!) Maybe I'm dating myself ... I guess this is my little spot of "heart things." I'm sure Jeff has eye'd it more than a million times wondering why it's taking up a quarter of the shelf of our precious closet space. And come to think of it ... I probably should find a better spot for it, but we don't have a ton of random unused closet space. And I don't want to put the girls in a box in the basement. There is something so final about that. And I'm not ready for final.
If I could pan the picture around to the right a bit there is also a beautiful BIG China Doll that my mom bought for all of us girls one Christmas (my sister, former-sister-in-law and myself.) Funny thing is ... my sister and sister-in-law both have girls (sigh.) Alas, mine has never left her box and peers out from behind the plastic sheeting in mint condition right next to the Mattel brand doll that I received back when I worked at Mattel as a designer when I was still single. She is also in mint condition. And really ... I see Beth as so much more beautiful than they are. I guess that is a learning lesson for me to soak up and apply to myself on those blue days that I feel a bit tattered and aged from being "loved on" too much too.

But back to what brought me to Beth in the first place ... the New Day Christmas Sponsorship Program. In my journey to find "the perfect doll" for one of my two sponsored sweeties ... I came across this:
And she arrived on Wednesday while I was at Bible Study! Can you believe that instead of the hippo that was embroidered on her outfit in the picture (my favorite, as I collect hippos) she instead had a little lady bug! What could possibly be more perfect?

At 20" she's pretty big and I'm already wondering how I'm ever going to get her to Ch*na ... but of course first off I had to extract her from her box. It's pretty big in itself and since I wanted to enjoy a smidge of her too before sending her away it seemed reasonable that I can wrap her without it ... and let me tell ya, removing all the plastic wires and clips was like a birthing process in itself. I'm sure the folks at ND will be more than happy to NOT have to tackle that job with this one toy at least!
Oh my goodness, she did NOT disappoint. Look at these beautiful feet! It's a shame that I put the booties on her ... but I didn't want them to get lost and I'm pretty sure they'll eventually come off and Eliana will get to enjoy those sweet feet too.
(Hopefully she doesn't have a foot aversion problem. I know some people that do and just HATE feet! But ... these are just SO very sweet in my opinon!)
And although her eyes don't open and close like my Beth's ... they are so deeply brown and so lifelike and beautiful, I'll overlook that one thing, because otherwise ... she's just perfect.
I'm not sure if Eliana has any other Christmas sponsors this year (so many people were blessed to want to participate to bless these children that some of them have a couple of sponsors I hear! Isn't that SO cool?! And the extra toys will be scattered around to everyone appropriately--I'm confident that God will have a hand in that for sure)--but I'm really hopeful that Eliana spots something special in this one gift and really loves it. There is something so special about a doll--it's one of the ways our little girls role-play in caregiving and mothering ... and I cannot think of a more precious gift than to be a part of that molding and shaping process that will touch her and her someday little ones far into the future.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Tricks

Halloween 2011
Halloween fell this year on a hockey practice night ... practice that begins at the beginning of regular trick-or-treat time and ends at about the end of it.
This was going to take a bit of trick to get the treats!
But ... as a resourceful mom ... I tried my best to solve the problem of my boys' "need" for candy while begging in costume, colliding with our responsibility of attending a set practice that we've committed to.
And quite honestly, with Brayden edging ever closer to being "too big" for this kind of thing ... I don't want to miss these childhood memories!

So, we drove a bit early into the BIG town where hockey practice occurs ... in costume,
And were the FIRST trick-or-treaters out! 
I've NEVER trick-or-treated in the daylight! It felt kinda weird ...

BUT, people had started getting their candy and drive-way barbeque fires out (even if most of them were JUST getting home for work (wince!)) and were more than happy to give Brayden some grief about his Vikings outfit (haha!) (It's a midwest thing I think, either hate them or love them, and since we don't have a professional team here in Iowa folks are a bit split between Green Bay, the Vikings and the Bears ... I'm just going with the Vikings since Jeff is from MN and they have that cool purple color. And as for the driveway barbeque fires? How cool? Never have seen that in our little town. It was pretty cool to see house after house having a little campfire on their driveway in their patio fireplaces!

I do want to mention that I did a pretty nice job giving Brayden black football-lines on his face and Easton a nice "black-eye" all thanks to my eye-shadow. I have no idea where the actual Halloween makeup went ... not to mention Nolan's Red-Power-Ranger mask. Oh well ... he was just as happy without it (thankfully!)
Brayden (Viking football player)
Easton (RoughRider hockey player)
Nolan (Red Power Ranger)

And the 36 kids who should have been at hockey practice?
... only 7 showed up!
Talk about some sweet ice time for Brayden and the other 6 kids. Oh yes ... and on the way home the two bigger boys and I stopped at a few houses in the dark just to make it feel like real Halloween. All were happy ... and I even got a few Almond Joy bars from the boys (yay! they don't like them--what a bonus!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Little Hope for Your Day

Some days we all need a little hope.

Well, I woke up to just that this morning! Six weeks ago this little outfit started on its journey to the East ... I posted it here but since it was a Wordless Wednesday Post I wasn't exactly forth coming about the outfit's destination ... 

On that day her Forever Parents had not yet found Hope's paperwork but were Hopeful that God would provide it in His timing. And so He did (the very next day!) and they are now on their journey to Hope!

Sometimes I get a bug under my bonnet to make something in particular ... and this is an example of one of them. For whatever reason I knew this fabric combination in particular would mean so much to Hope's mom ... and I was intent on making it. Believe it or not this dress FLEW together in a matter of hours! It surprised even me! I started it at noon and finished it by hockey practice time at 3pm.
Only God whips things together like that.
I thought you'd want to enjoy the vision modeled. (And yes ... those ARE ladybugs on the shoulder straps!)

Sweetly, Simply, Hope.
(The Ruffle Pants will be great floor dusters!--heehee!)

But the dress? It is PERFECT on her!

Happy Birthday a few days weeks late Hope!

The family

The family