Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Crafting

This year, I had wanted to have a handmade Christmas.  I have some what managed this goal, but not as much as I would have liked.  As usual, I didn't plan well and I am so far behind!  I am getting there, but I need to spend some more time actually finishing up certain things.

I have 1 of 2 stockings completed.  I have 2 mostly finished, but I need to embroider names on the cuffs, and then sew on the cuffs.  Not too much to complete, but enough that I really need to get it finished.

I made one new felt ornament, but I still need to finish sewing 2 more.  I have them all cut out, I just need to finish hand sewing.

I finished 2 pillow cases, and have 1 more to finish sewing.  They came together so easy and I really like how the boys came out.  I can't wait to pull out my sewing machine and finish my daughter's pillow case!

We made a Santa plate to leave cookies for Santa Christmas Eve.  I used a project that I found on pinterest, only I used Bic markers, not sharpies.  I read that Sharpies didn't work as well as the reports said they did.  I have to admit, I just now remembered, I didn't cure it in the oven (though I did read that the oven curing didn't matter).  I guess I should through the plate in the oven just in case it makes a difference.

I still have some pj bottoms to make.  I didn't even want to attempt the tops.  I know I have a limited time to finish everything, so I have to do what I can.  I have a bunch of soap that I made and plan on giving for gifts.  I am going to try to see what else I can easily make so that I can give out handmade gifts like I want, but not things that people don't want.

I'm loving my new sewing machine.  My Sofia2 sews wonderful and is so light.  It is so easy to take it out and put it away.  I can even do the simple embroidery on the cuff of the stocking on my Sofia.  As much as I shouldn't have really spent the money and I should have gotten a less expensive machine, I am so happy that I have this one.  I love it and I love using using it.  I have been thrilled with Babylock products.  Totally recommend getting one!

Have a great Holiday,

Monday, December 10, 2012


Sometimes I feel like a big fake!  I spout off all these beliefs that I have, yet I don't always follow through with them.  It seems like I'm all talk and no action sometimes.  Yet, I guess since the name of this blog is "The Balance of Living a Handmade and Natural Life", I should focus more on the balance piece of things, something I don't always do well at.

A lot of time, I find myself thinking I need to do things in an all or nothing manner.  I forget that I don't have to follow things 100% of the time, I just need to follow my beliefs most of the time.  Balance is something that I really need to work on!

I was trying to live a lifestyle that is mostly free from animal products thinking that it was a more healthy way to live.  It probably is a better way to live, but then again, it's all about balance!  The problem is, a) I think I really do like meat, and b) my kids really, I mean really like meat.  I am trying to lose weight, but I need to make a lifestyle change not just a diet.  I want and need to start making more of my own food vs buying prepared foods just because it is easier.  I need to plan better, then it won't be an issue and i will be living that handmade and natural life with my food choices for me and my family.

I need to start making sure that I take time to create.  I know that I feel so much better when I do.  I have a bunch of WIP's (works in progress), but my latest project that I need to finish are family Christmas stocking!  I have finished my daughter's and am almost finished with my sons', then I need to start on mine and my husband's.  We all have some, but mine is from when I was a kid and my husband's and my kids' all need to have better made stockings!  I have a lot to work on and maybe some day I'll even be able to sell some things that I make.  That is one goal that I have and hopefully I'll be able to actually meet it.

Balance is the key to having a happy life.  For me, I need to remember that it is not an all or nothing thing when it comes to my beliefs.  I don't have to always make things from scratch, wether it is food or anything else, but it is important for me to try to make things as often as possible.  I will try to remember that I can buy things from the store already made, but I need to follow through with my belief that I want to make things for me and my friends and family.  Maybe my next posts will be more about projects that I have completed or projects that I am trying to complete!

My daughter's new Christmas stocking!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Trying To Be Productive

It's amazing how little time you have when your kids get to be preschool age.  When they were babies, I had the luxury of naps.  Now, naps are few and far between and I never have all 3 kids occupied where I can spend time and create.  Of course, as usual, there are also good points to the kids getting older.  Now that they no longer nap, life is a little easier to plan or not plan and just go and do.  We can do so much more with them now.  We may have less free time on our hands, but I wouldn't change a thing.

That being said, I still try to find time to be creative and maybe even blog about my creative projects.  It may not be as often as I want or as complex as I want.  My blog posts may not be as intellectually stimulating as I would like.  But, I am finding time to create and some how, some way, journal about it; and that is what is really important to me.

Since my last post, I have done a decent amount of projects.  I have also treated myself to a new sewing machine.  I decided that my cheap $100 Joann Fabrics Singer, was just too frustrating for me to actually use.  I loved having a more portable machine than my Baby Lock Ellageo embroidery machine, but the Singer was just not a good quality machine.  At first I didn't understand the negative comments, but then After just a couple of uses, I realized how right all those reviews were.  I love my Ellageo, it's just not really portable.  I was looking at a Janome QDC3160 and a Baby Lock Grace.  I ended up at "Nashua Sewing and Vac" on Black Friday and ended up getting a Baby Lock Sofia2 for what I was quoted the Grace to be at another store.  I had heard really good things about Nashua Sewing and Vac and felt really good about trying out sewing machine and buying there.  There is nothing wrong with the Janome.  I know a few people who love the Janome and they all have different Janome machines.  One of them is not a Baby Lock fan.  I decided that it must be ike buying a Nikon vs a Canon.  I have always used a Canon, but I know that Nikon is just as good, just personal preference.  I wish I had more time to devote to my sewing!

What I've been up to:

English Paper Piecing Diamonds

Ballet Slipper Ornaments

Thanksgiving Skirt

Matching Thanksgiving Tie

My New Sofia2!

Embroidery On My Sofia2

Embroidery On My Sofia2

Embroidery On My Sofia2

Sewing On My Sofia2 With A Stitch Sampler

Cookie Plate for Santa

Cinnamon Ornaments

Now if I could just make sure that I continue to be creative both by myself and with the kids, I would be a very happyMommy!  I can't wait to sew more often.  We are in the process of decorating for Christmas and then cleaning up after that!  Right now, Creativity is going to be limited.  I am trying to make sure that I ambling creative with the kids so that they get to be creative as well as me.  Some days are better than others, but often as things are with kids, they don't go as planned, but we are still making memories and that is what is most important!

Happy Holidays to All!