Monday, May 11, 2009

Time Is Free, but It's Priceless!

Yesterday was that great day known as Mother's Day. The day where all of us moms are supposed to be showered with presents, thanked endlessly for all we do, and treated like a Queen. We get to sleep in and get breakfast in bed. We don't have to cook, clean, or referee a fight. Our spouse arranges a Day of Beauty at a spa.... What? That didn't happen in your house? didn't happen in mine either.

My Mother's Day started out pretty much like any other weekend morning....I get up with the kids between 6 and 6:30 (my kids are and always have been early birds) and my husband sleeps in. The day was quickly turning into just another weekend where I do what I do everyday, while my husband gets to putz around in the garage, tinker with one of his bikes, or run errands (without kids, of course). So I took the bull by the horns. I took charge of my own Mother's Day fate. I told my husband:

"I am going into my sewing room for the day. I am going to sew and watch movies. If the kids come to me with any of their typical drama, I am sending them to you. You have been warned."

And I locked myself in my "mom cave."

And what did I sew? Why, something for myself, of course! :)

We live in Arizona. In case you haven't's hot here. Very hot. Not that I'm complaining...I'll take the heat over cold, tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes any day. But it does make you really think about your wardrobe choices. For me, it means cool cottons, no sleeves, and usually flip-flops.

This year I decided I needed to venture away from my typical summer "Mom wardrobe" of V-neck t-shirts and shorts. I decided to make myself some cotton dresses. I happened to have a pattern lying around that my mom had given me ages ago (Simplicity 9620), so I decided to go with that. It's a simple buttons or zippers. You had your choice of necklines and I went with the V-neck.

I managed to make two of them yesterday (while watching "Slumdog Millionaire" [LOVED it!] and "Twilight" [yet again!]), and I'm pretty happy with the results.

The pics aren't the 4 yr old daughter took them for me. She was trying to get me to pose and do all the things I make her do when I use her for my sewing model.

So what was my Mother's Day gift? Well, my kids got me a card and some tulips, and they both made some really cute crafts at school. But the BEST gift I got yesterday was time, uninterrupted (pretty much!) time, to sew for myself!

Hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unsung Heroes

This week (May 3rd - 9th) is National Teacher Appreciation Week. My son's school sent home a note from the PTA last week reminding everyone to take the time to show thanks and appreciation to their child's teachers. The note had some suggestions for things to do each day: bring an apple on Monday, have the child write a note on Tuesday, bring a flower on Wednesday, have the parent write a note on Thursday, and a "spirit" day where each grade wears a different color on Friday.

Well, I had already planned on making something for my son to bring in at the end of the week, but my son, being the black-and-white, walk-the-line, rule-follower he is, insisted that he had to do what the note said...if it is written and came from school, it must be.

I could have sent an apple, but what is his teacher going to do with 25 apples? And I'm SURE she has plenty of apple magnets/pictures/pencil cups/mugs/dust collectors and would probably thank me for not giving her another one. I told him we'd pass on that one. The note from my son was easy. (Give my son blank paper and office supplies and you won't see him for an entire day.) He made cards for his regular teacher and his reading teacher.

Then there was the flower day. I think buying cut flowers is a big waste of money. Potted plants I can go for. But cut flowers just wilt and die and you're left with nothing but a dirty vase. So instead I had my son make bookmarks...I printed them out with a cute little poem I found about teachers and he drew flowers on them and added his name and the date. I laminated them, added a ribbon, and voila! We fulfilled the flower requirement to his satisfaction.

Tomorrow is the day I'm supposed to send in a note from me. I've got a couple of thank you cards to fill out and I'm going to send the gifts I made for them. Last year I made tote bags for the kids' teachers, and they were such a hit that I decided to do it again.

My son's main teacher collects all things ladybug, so I chose a cute ladybug print for the lining and accents and paired it with a nice denim for her bag.

The bag is a nice size for books, papers, etc and has an outside pocket and a tie closure. I also used my dear friend Tracey's great lanyard tutorial to make a matching lanyard for her school identification:

For my son's reading teacher, I had no idea if she collected anything or what types of things she's into. But I know she's young, so I picked something I liked and thought was a little "retro chic."

I used Robert Kaufman's "Fruit Basket" in the brown colorway, paired with a nice bright green for the lining and accent. (For some reason, my greens look a little "off" in this picture...but in person the green pears and the green lining fabric are very close).

I also made her a matching lanyard out of the "Fruit Basket" fabric. I hope they enjoy these totes as much as I enjoyed making them.

And I hope they know how much I appreciate all the guidance, support, knowledge, and fun they have given my son this year.

Don't forget to take a moment and thank all the teachers in your child's life this week!