Saturday, January 30, 2010

Valentine Hearts

I found the pattern for these on a website called Skip to My Lou. I have a friend who used to crochet alot and loves to decorate her house for the holidays. She is a wonderful woman who loves to do things for others when she can, is upbeat and happy, sees the good in each situation, and always asks how your family and children are doing. I wanted to do something for her to show her I love her and appreciate all she does for her neighbors.

A simple, easy to make crochet heart garland.

You can find the directions and better photos here:
Crochet Heart Garland
If you like crafting and crafting with kids, you will really like Skip to My Lou. Lots of fun ideas and great tutorials on crafting.

This project was so fast and fun that I may make a garland for our home, as well.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lamb Diapers

Vet2Be named the little lamb Amanda Lynne (a mandolin) because he loves mandolin. She still loves running around with the dogs, but is definitely not house trained! I looked at preemie diapers the last time I was at the store. $9 for 30 diapers! Nope! Not spending that much money on diapers for a lamb.

I had some flannel on hand and decided to make some diapers for her.

Its a little hard to see in this photo, but there is a hole in the diaper for her tail!

A better photo with her tail coming through the diaper.

Here is the pattern I drafted. The instructions follow.

Click on the picture, it will come up full size. Then print to your printer. You may have to resize the pattern for your ewe lamb. Our lamb is very small.

Printable directions - click and print.

 Instructions for Ewe Lamb Diapers (This diaper will not work for a ram lamb)
  1. Wash the flannel in hot water before you start to cut out or sew. Flannel will shrink. If you cut and sew before you wash the fabric, your diapers will shrink the first time you wash them,
  2. Cut out both pattern pieces and overlap where indicated. Tape pieces together.
  3. Cut out (2) diapers on fold.
  4. Cut out (4) 3” x 3 ½” squares of flannel for the absorbent pad.
  5. Zig-zag or serge around the edges of the absorbent pad.
  6. Place absorbent pad on dotted lines on diaper and sew around the edge to attach it to the diaper.
  7. Place other diaper piece on top of the one with the pad (the pad should be on the inside) then serge around the entire edge of the front and back of the diaper to make one diaper.
  8. Mark placement for tail hole and sew a buttonhole there. Cut buttonhole open.
  9. Pin velcro where indicated--strap pieces should be on one side, tummy pieces should be on the opposite side of the diaper. Before you sew, make sure that you can fold and the diaper and the velcro will come together to hold the diaper on.
  10. Sew velcro onto diaper
  11. Match dotted lines for darts. Serge or sew along dotted lines. You do not have to do this step, it makes the diaper fit better, but the diaper will still work if you don’t sew the dart. I serge the dart, you can also zig-zag at the dart and trim the excess.
These would probably fit doeling goat kids, as well. Hopefully we won't have any problems this year and have a 'house goat' as well as a 'house lamb'!

The diapers last about 2-3 hours before we have to change them. I need to make a few more to last us a few more weeks. They only take about 10 minutes to make. Finding the 10 minutes can be a problem some days!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dogs DO Like Lamb!

Vet2Be took this photo today, what a great shot of the new lamb and our dog, Sam.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Emma's Casket

Carpenter built the casket for Emma. He is Emma's uncle and our son-in-law. I lined it with the same fabric as I used to make the dress and the hankies for the women. I wasn't sure if they would want a pillow lined with pink or white, so I lined one side with pink and the other with white. They can use whichever side they want that way.

I left the pink side of the pillow up in the picture so you could see the pillow better. I stapled the bottom of the lining to the bottom of the casket along the seams so you can't see it. I had to use hot glue to attach the top of the lining to the inside wall. I couldn't figure out any other way to do it.

 The trim isn't caulked yet. It will look much better when you can't see any cracks at the corners. I used a bit of the ribbon, trim detail, and pearl that I used on the women's hankies.

The lid is a bit too tight this morning. The trim won't fit inside the casket box. Carpenter will have to fix that before he brings it to the mortuary sometime in the next day or two.

I love the walnut and the maple together. I think the casket is beautiful. I hope the family will like it and that knowing that there were so many people who cared to use their hands to make things for their little girl will bring them comfort during this difficult time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Lamb

Our friend started lambing season early. Not on purpose, the ram got in with a ewe early so there were early lambs! Our friend said the ewe didn't like this little ewe, so she asked if Vet2Be wanted to bottle raise her. Of course he said yes!

She came yesterday afternoon and stayed in a large plastic storage tote all night near the wood stove. Vet2Be slept by her, he has always thought that would be great fun. He decided it really wasn't any fun at all because the little lamb kept whining most of the night. Every two hours she cried until he fed her a little bit. Hopefully we will be able to get her out in the barn tonight. If she seems like she is eating well and staying warm today, then we will give it a try.
Sam and the new lamb

 Vet2Be trying to keep her a little quieter this morning :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Emma's Passing

Emma will be born on Wednesday, and then she will be buried on Friday. We are so sad for this young couple who have waited and prayed for a baby. It is heartbreaking to know that she will not live to run and jump and play. It would not matter where she was born, nor what doctor delivered her, Emma's little body cannot survive. Emma's mommy and daddy are relatives of our daughter.

Last Sunday my daughter asked me to sew Emma's burial clothing. How could I refuse when we pray so often to know of those in need and to be able to help them if we can? Of course I said yes. After Spunky and Carpenter left, I remembered that Hubby helped to build a casket a few years ago for the daughter of a family friend. I texted Spunky and let her know. Monday she and Carpenter were at our house with Hubby working in Hubby's woodshop shop learning how to build one. Carpenter has built many beautiful homes, but he has never built anything like this little casket. They spent all day Tuesday building a beautiful casket that I will line tomorrow.

Here are photos of what I have been working on this week for little Emma. I have included links to the patterns I used, but many patterns can be found at The Preemie Project. I found a helpful size chart at Touching Little Lives. There is also a size chart at The Preemie Project. Both sites give approximate measurements for infants between 1.5 pounds and 5.5 pounds.

The "Angel Pocket" 

The"Angel Pocket " open

 I am not sure if Emma will be too fragile to dress. I read that some infants in her condition are very fragile, so I wanted to sew an Angel Pocket just in case.  Here is the link where I found the pattern by Marianne Doty. She calls it a 'fetal demise pouch'. That was much too harsh a name for such a difficult time. I found another site that called it an Angel Pocket and I much prefer that name.

Crocheted booties for Emma

The pattern for the booties I crocheted is found at Warm Hearts, Warm Babies. I will also knit a small Christmas Stocking out of the same yarn as a keepsake. I am sure this couple will have more children and I am also sure that they will want remember their little Angel Emma at Christmas. I am certain that they will want to tell their future children about their older sister.

Emma's Bonnet

I found the pattern for the bonnet at  Sewing For Babies. They are a non-profit organization that provides clothing and other items for preemies in Arizona. I lined the bonnet with pink because the Pioneer women in the 1800's often lined their bonnet brims with pink so they didn't look pale. I thought that would be good for Emma.

Emma's Dress
I found the pattern for Emma's dress here. There are other patterns here, scroll down to Miscarriage/Still born and you will see a list of links and PDF's to download for free. I modified the pattern so that it did not have 3 sections of lace on the front. I chose eyelet lace for the dress and I think it turned out beautifully. If you click on the picture you will notice the lace detail around the neck as well as the 3 pearls I stitched onto the neckline lace. I also lined the dress because I wanted it to look as much like a dress that would be worn by a baby that would be brought home as possible. The bonnet also has pearls stitched at the end of the ties.

Mother's Tears Hankie and Father's Handkerchief

 I found the pattern and the idea for the Mother's Tear's Hankie at Touching little Lives. You can find the pattern here: Mother's Tear's Hankie. I made the mother's hankie out of the edging of the dress. I had plenty of fabric so I made each of the Grandmas a hankie out of the plainer part of the dress material. I had already bought some plain men's handkerchiefs that I had planned to sew lace onto (the same lace as I hoped to use on the dress) but when I couldn't find any lace, I decided to use the men's handkerchiefs for the father and the Grandpas. My sister-in-the-gospel has an embroidery machine that embroiders smaller than mine does. She was very happy to help by embroidering Emma's name in white on each handkerchief. The Mother's and Grandmother's handkerchiefs are embroidered in a cursive style font, the Father's and Grandfather's handkerchiefs are embroidered in a block style font.

Grandma's Hankie made from the same fabric as Emma's dress with a ribbon, flower, and pearl, all matching Emma's dress.

Memory Envelope

I could not think of a way to package all the gifts. I certainly didn't want to wrap everything up as if it was a joyous gift, it didn't seem like the right thing to do. I was at a lovely store and bought a fabric envelope that the mother can use as a memory envelope or for whatever she chooses. I wrapped the dress, booties, and bonnet in tissue paper and slipped it in on one side. I wrapped the Angel Pocket in tissue paper as well and slipped it into the envelope on the other side. I also wrapped the hankies in pairs, one pair for each set of grandparents, and one set for Emma's parents. The moment I saw the fabric envelope I knew it was perfect for wrapping the clothing and other gifts in.

Here is the poem that is attached to the outside of the memory envelope.

Thinking of You with Love
We thought of you with love today,
but that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday,
and days before that too.
We think of you in silence,
we often speak your name.
All we have are thoughts of you,
and our heavenly aim.
Your memory is our keepsake,
with which we will never part.
God has you in His keeping,
we have you in our hearts.
A million times we`ve wanted you.
A million times we cried.
If only love could have saved you,
you never would have died.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn`t go alone.
For a part of us went with you...
the day God called you Home.
~Author Unknown

For Emma and her sweet family

I also included this note with the gifts.

Dear Emma,
You have been a blessing to our family. We never met you, yet we were given the privilege to serve you and your parents in a very sacred way. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to sew your clothing, my good friend is thankful to have the chance to embroider your name on hankies that your family can keep in memory of your short but meaningful life. We look forward to meeting you one day. Though your life was very brief, it was profound and has touched many people in a way that has changed lives for the better. Thank you for teaching us so much in such a short time. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you.

Here are two other links that I found to make things for a baby that has passed away:
Memento Bracelets: At the Irish Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society there are many patterns to download including Infant Bereavement Memento Bracelets.
Dolly Diaper: Skip To My Lou: Child's Doll Diaper
I would check the size of the diaper against the sizing chart and adjust the size to fit the infant.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Long Week

It has been a long week so far! It really started last Thursday when Spunky broke the carbon monoxide detector. As I was falling asleep that night I realized that the symptoms that Vet2Be has been having for months (headaches, stomachaches, nausea, extreme fatigue) might be from carbon monoxide poisoning. I didn't put all the symptoms together until that night. We've been treating the symptoms as separate! So he has been sleeping upstairs for the past 4 nights.

Friday the hay truck came to deliver 10 ton of hay--and got stuck in the snow. As they were making their way out of the access road they were sliding into our camper so our very kind neighbor hooked up his truck to pull the camper out of the way so the hay truck could make the turn. Our neighbor slid into the garden with the camper and got stuck. So another neighbor came down with his diesel duley (that happened to have almost bald tires on the back 4) to pull him out.

In the end it took almost 3 hours to get all three trucks out of the snow, ice, and mud. In the process they tilled under all the blackberry bushes and 1/4 of the raspberry bushes. But I was glad that they were able to get out! As the 'train' of three trucks was making their way down the straight part of the access road they started slowing down. Everyone shouted, "Don't Stop!" I ran out into the main road (not a big road) and stopped the 3 cars that were coming. Once they saw what was coming out of our access road they understood and were very patient!

Saturday we found out why Vet2Be's light fixture didn't work. After about 2 hours of hunting Hubby and a neighbor who is an electrician found about 5 splices in 30 feet of wire leading to Vet2Be's bedroom. All the splices were black and charred. Another reason for Vet2Be to be feeling so sick lately. They also found a spot that was arcing above his bed. It is all replaced now, but Vet2Be's bedroom is not put back together yet. I have washed all the bedding to get rid of the insulation that came down, but we haven't put the ceiling back up so Vet2Be is still sleeping upstairs in front of the woodstove.

Saturday also brought Blondie and her husband from another state. They wanted to be here for Monday (when Son1 gets home from Mexico) and for the Eagle Court of Honor for Vet2Be (Saturday 16th).

Sunday Spunky and her husband came by. They asked if I would make the burial clothing for a baby that will be born this coming Tuesday and buried on Saturday. The baby is RN's brother and sister-in-law's baby, their neice. There is no chance for the baby to survive. There are too many problems, the least of which is that her heart is outside her chest and there are only two chambers. Hubby also volunteered to help build the casket for the baby. Carpenter, Spunky, Hubby, Vet2Be, and Son1 worked on Tuesday to start it. Carpenter (Spunky's husband) and Spunky were here most of the day today (Wednesday). It isn't done yet, but it is built and all is ready for the finish work to be done over the next few days. It is beautiful. They made it out of walnut and maple.

I have the booties finished. The patterns for the gown and bonnet cut out, but I have to shop for the fabric and trim. I will also be lining the casket. Such a sad time for that family, I wish there was something more we could do for the family. This is their first child.

Monday brought the furnace technician out to check for carbon monoxide. He couldn't find any but I had had the basement windows open for 5 days by that point. He did find a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger was under warranty, but the labor cost was over $600. The furnace tech came back on Tuesday for about 3 hours to finish the repair.

Monday also brought our Son1 home from Mexico. He had been gone for 2 years and it was great to see him! As we were pulling his clothing out of storage to wash, Vet2Be said, "His clothes looked alot bigger before he left!" Vet2Be has grown so much that he fits in his big brother's clothes now! We thought it would be great fun to have Vet2Be wear Son1's clothes to the airport. Sure enough, Son1 saw Vet2Be before he saw any of the rest of us! It was a wonderful moment :)

So, it was a long week. Lots of things happening that don't normally happen. Some wonderfully happy things, and some sad things. We are grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who supports and sustains us, who gives us a sure knowledge that there is life after death and a reunion with loved ones. We are grateful that he is mindful of our every need and our every care. We are grateful for the Gospel that brings such good news to us and to the world.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Diana natters on....

It's winter and I'm doing lots of inside projects that I don't get to in the summer and working outside. I've been sewing and knitting and finishing projects inside. Here is an outstanding blog with many e-lessons!

This woman is extraordinary! Her videos are high quality and she does a wonderful job explaining each technique. Honestly, I can't believe she has posted so many videos and done so much work to share with so many people for free. However, I'm very grateful to her. If you have a knitting machine, I would set aside some time to check out her links. You can find them on the left side of her blog screen.

Diana natters on...

Here is a list of what she offers on her blog:

Machine Knitting Video Lessons
Ribber Course (25 lessons)
Garter Bar Course (14 lessons)
Beginning Machine Knitting Course (29 lessons)

Project Videos
Knitting Socks on Standard Gauge Machine (3 parts)
Warm Ribbed Scarf to knit (1 part)
Warm Lined Slippers (2 parts)
Warm Child's hat (1 part)
Swirl Round Baby Blanket (3 parts)
Child's English Rib Sweater (3 parts)
Luxury Throw - Easy Ribber Project (2 parts)
Child's V-Neck Raglan for Beginners (15 parts)
Honeycomb Dishcloth - Easy Ribber Project (1 part)
Honeycomb Dishcloth - Sportweight Cotton (1 part)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

One Clean Closet

This is probably the only time Son1 will have a clean closet, before he even gets home.
I finished all the laundry, put all his clean clothes in his closet, made the bed, and dusted. He will have to put away his books when he gets home, other than that everything is ready for his return on Monday.

It would be nice if more of our closets looked this tidy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wolf Valance and Cushions

Our son is coming home from Mexico in one week! We are so excited. We haven't seen him for two years! The last picture we got was August 6, 2008, so it has been a long time since we have even seen his face.

One of the things I wanted to do before he got home was to 'finish' a few things in his room. When he was a teenager he started to like wolves and so when we re-painted his room we also put up a wall paper boarder with wolves on it. I never made a valance for the window, and the window seat was still covered in green lizard fabric from before the change.

Last week I finally sewed the valance, a window seat cover, and his bed cushion all using the wolf material that he loved before he left.

Nothing special, but I think he will be happy to see his old room again! It made me feel better to get it all done.

The quilt is still in the washer, but you can see the bed cushion that is covered with the wolf fabric. The cushion underneath is more than 30 years old and needed a bit of batting to fluff it up a bit.

The quilt (that is still in the washer) doesn't match his room, but I know he loves it and will welcome the warmth it provides since he is coming to freezing temperatures from 80˚ F weather! It will be on the bed tomorrow after it is dry. Then the bed will be covered with a clean tarp so that when the animals decide to take a nap they won't leave their fur all over it!

I'm also washing all his clothing and hanging it back in the closet. I'm on load #3 and it looks as if there are at least 3 more loads to do. I'm glad I can do the wash for him and have his room ready for the day he returns.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Oregon Trail Quilt: Whirwind

Another month whizzed right by! I sewed these blocks this morning before class (and before we went out to milk) because I just didn't get to them over the holiday. I really like getting the next month's block kit free, so it is worth the time and effort to get the blocks done in time for class.

 My completed blocks for the month.
It took about 1 1/2 hours to sew all four.

You should be able to click on the image above and then right-click and save as to your computer.

 Instructions we received.

This block is known by a few names: Whirwind, Twin Sisters, Pinwheel, Waterwheel and Windmill.

Quilter's Cache has some good directions, but you can't use their sizes because the block will turn out to be a 12" square--too big for the quilt I am making. Use the sizes listed on the instructions above, but use the step-by-step directions provided at Quilter's Cache.

I also played a bit with a 6 1/2" Square in a Square for the setting blocks. I paper pieced it, but I was talking on the phone while I was piecing it so I didn't get all the pieces the right size. Oh well! I took good notes and I'll make a few more for next month to see how I like them.

You can see that this block didn't turn out exactly 6 1/2" square. I decided to use a light and two mediums for the setting blocks so they don't take away from the main blocks in the quilt.

Here are the instructions I drew up for the setting square.

Here are some good directions for paper piecing from Quilter's Cache. Yes, they have an amazing amount of resources on their site!

Here is a great video on paper piecing, too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Clean Stalls for the New Year

We had a break in the weather! The temperature was 35˚ F today and so we decided that it would be a great time to clean out the stalls. It's been more than six weeks, and while picking them out is helpful, a good cleaning was necessary! This has been a wet, sloggy winter and the stalls aren't staying as clean as they usually do.

If there had been no snow on the ground there would have been two other families who would have been here to help clean stalls. They love the manure for their gardens. That's okay. We don't mind using it to build the soil at our place either.

Here is a photo of what we took out. This is the arena that we used to use for horseback riding and horse training. Nothing grows here in the summer but weeds. We've been slowly adding manure and straw the past two years in hopes that we can build the soil enough to plant some pasture grass.

Awww.... cute face over the fence!

4/5 of the kids that play in the arena. If anyone comes out the back door towards the barn, the goat kids all come to see if they are going to get a treat!