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The day has come…

8 Oct

To let the cats outside. I am not going to lie, I am nervous. BUT, I just don’t think we can keep them from darting out the door any longer. They are fixed and still have their claws. Lets hope that it all works out! So far, so good. 🙂

This is Charlie. He is a super sweet cat. He lets the kids drag him all over the place, and doesn’t care. All you have to do is approach him, and he starts purring. He is the more timid of the two cats. He was our “Rescue” cat. We saw him in the local newspaper, and wanted to give him a home. We already had Gatsby, and thought he might need a friend.DSC_0038

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The look on his face here makes me think of Garfield. Hahaha  He is such a good sport.

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Addison and Charlie…dirty face and all. (I just gave her chocolate.)

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They are playing “Doc McStuffins”.  MK is the doctor.

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And here is The Great Gatsby. He definitely has a wild spirit. He has been itching for a chance to get outside since the first day we brought him home.

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So, this is what’s going on here on this beautiful Tuesday! We just got back from the Great Wolf Lodge, so I have laundry to do… but at least I am doing it with the windows open while I listen to the kids play outside!

XOXO

Amber

UPDATE: While I was folding laundry, I was watching an episode of 2 Broke Girls on CBS called Kitty Kitty Spank Spank. It was so ironic.. I had to post. This was the conversation:

“We can’t become cat ladies! It always starts out innocently, rescuing a stray, then you have to get another one so that they can entertain each other while you are a work. And then somewhere along the line, four more sneak in, and you think, “We are good, we are cool. We are the cute girls with 6 cats.” And then one day, there you are on Animal Cop, screaming, “Don’t take my babies! These 27 angels is all I got!” That’s how it goes Max, once you get one, you get 27!”–Caroline

Totally reminds me of me and my friend Cassidy! haha

Petite Pillows

25 May

I am completely finished with the girls patchwork pillows!! The girls just love them, which makes a Momma happy. 🙂 They actually turned out how I pictured they would look, and that rarely happens. Usually what I intend and what is reality doesn’t match up.

This one is Addison’s pillow. She picked out the picture. She was giddy over the French knot colored sprinkles too. See, it’s true that everything really IS better with sprinkles.  I wanted to do embroidery with red thread, so that it looked like the vintage redwork embroidery… but then I thought it needed a few colored accents. These transfers were Aunt Martha’s Ducky Duck transfers.

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Here is a close up of the crochet border. You can click this link to go to the tutorial on how to do this: You Go Girl! is the name of the blog. This links you to the part where you are actually doing the single crochet border, followed by the shell. If you don’t know how to add the blanket stitch to the pillow, you need to go to that tutorial and back up to her week 3 post.

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Below is the back of Addison’s pillow. I created an envelope enclosure to insert the pillow. (You can’t see it well because the material is so busy. I wanted to be able to take the pillow out if needed, plus it’s easier to crochet the border without the pillow insert inside.

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Back of Macyn’s pillow.

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I think I mentioned this in the previous post, but I love the hand quilted look, so that’s what I did! :)  Now, I am not patient when quilting. Not everything lines up the way it should… but I just eyeball it and make it work! I am pretty sure my friend Roxanne was appalled today when she saw me sewing this together. She is an ACTUAL quilter.  I jacked up the corner around the picture there, so I decided to create my own “washi tape” to tack on top to hide the flub.

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This is Macyn’s duck that she picked out, headed off to market!

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And these are the two recipients! (Notice our new kitten Gatsby? Macyn is trying to get him to look at the camera. There is nothing like a 3 year old and a kitten! I have to limit her “holding” time to when I am in the room only. She’s learning to be gentle, and Gatsby is proving to be a sweet kitten.)

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I love my girls. :)I think this picture expresses their personalities so well. I am so blessed!

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I Heart Stitching!

22 May

I have been doing some embroidery projects and wanted to share a few.  This is the picture that Macyn picked out for me to stitch for her. I am making a pillow with it. So far, I have the top done! Yay! I will post pics of it when it is completely finished.

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I love hand quilting. It is so pretty! I just like the way it looks vs. machine stitched…even though I am new at it and my stitches aren’t always the right length.

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I used scraps to make to make the patchwork topper!

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I also bought some #8 DMC Perle Cotton. I am really enjoying stitching with it because it’s only one strand. An IG user, Bitsofstitching, introduced me to it. (She also has a blog btw: BitsofStitching)

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I am also joining in on a Stitch Along with BitsofStitching with this Barney Park Sampler from Charlotte Lyons’ Etsy store. It didn’t come with a stitch guide or anything, so I am just doing whatever stitch I feel like, which was the point of buying it… I would love to learn some new embroidery stitches.  I  am using this website for instructions on new stitches: Rocksea Embroidery.

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Here are some of the stitches I used on the roof: Back Stitch, reverse chain stitch (probably the most common stitch I use), braided chain stitch, buttonhole stitch, satin stitch, feather stitch.

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For the yellow flower, I used an eyelet stitch and outlined it with a backstitch. I think it made it look like a marigold flower.  I actually ran out of thread on the gray, so its not finished yet. I just had to come to a stopping point because I was stitching at my mother’s house, and we had to pack up to go home! 😉 The leaves are a lazy daisy stitch, and the frame around the window is a raised chain band.

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My girls fight over who this is in the window. They both think it’s a picture of them.  I did lazy daisies on the edges, and the satin stitches outlined with a back stitch in Navy. The coral color is a reverse chain stitch, yellow a back stitch, and gray French knots.

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The tree trunk was a really cool stitch. I used a whipped fly stitch… and outlined the sides in a back stitch.. of course! 🙂

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The pink was supposed to be a pyramid stitch I think, however, I didn’t know that stitch until after I had stitched it. It still looks the same though, but probably would have been neater and easier if I had done it correctly.

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MK is my little model when I am taking picture of my projects. 🙂 She ALWAYS wants me to take photos of her. Hehe.. she even put on her fancy rings.

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She is explaining that the cat in the sampler is our new kitten,Gatsby…and the dog is our boxer, Dixie….and of course the girl is her.

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If you are interested in doing the “Stitch Along” go visit Charlotte Lyon’s Etsy Shop and grab a sampler! It shipped quickly. 🙂 And you don’t HAVE to get the same one I did, but I think it’s pretty cute. Just tag your photos on Instagram with the tag #housewrenstudio.  If you want to follow me on IG, my user name is barber1029.

Happy Stitching!

Our life via Instagram

13 Apr

It’s been too long since I’ve posted, but here’s a little glimpse of what fills our days!
You can follow me on Instagram here: barber1029

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Elf on the Shelf: Day 1

5 Dec

Nannie and Poppy bought the girls and Elf on the Shelf yesterday. We are SO EXCITED about him.

You DO know about the Elf on the Shelf right??! If not, you’ve been living in a cave….or at least without the internet. (In which case, you wouldn’t be reading this either.)  Here is the basic gist of it: This is a special scout elf. He reports back to Santa every night about whether the children were Naughty or Nice..and when he comes back in the morning, he is usually hiding somewhere new, or he has gotten into something he shouldn’t have. He is a very silly elf.

Meet ours…Rudy Snowflake. (The girls couldn’t agree on a name, so they both picked one. Addison wanted Rudy. Macyn wanted Snowflake. I think this is a huge improvement when it comes to names because the other day, Addison told me that she wants me to have another baby so she can name it Watermelon.) Elf Shelf

Apparently Rudy Snowflake likes to drive around in the Barbie Camper. I think he’s a little sweet on Sleeping Beauty too, since he convinced her to ride along.

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There is one catch however. You are NOT allowed to touch the Elf. If you do, he loses his magic. The girls wanted to take a picture with him, but were extra careful not to touch. I think they showed amazing restraint. We will see if they can go all day long without touching him! I can’t wait to see what Rudy Snowflake has in store for us tonight!!

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Thanks Nannie and Poppy for helping us start this new family tradition. If I can’t BE little… I think this is the next best thing! I love keeping the “magic” alive. I’m probably having as much fun as they are!

–AMBER

Graduated Granny Blanket

2 Aug

So I decided to finish up my graduated granny blanket. (I used this tutorial. I literally stalk this lady’s blog. She is super fabulous, and she inspires me to crochet!) I thought about going another round with all of the colors of the rainbow again, but that would have required WAY more yarn than what I had. I decided to finish it off with a pinky/red border, which sounds really weird, but the color combo worked well in my opinion. I actually started out doing triple crochet stitches in a granny square pattern, but hubby thought it had too many large holes, so I shortened them to double crochets, doing a solid green row, and then back to a “three-one-three” pattern.

I figured it was the prime photo op too. I usually have the girls’ photos taken before their birthday every year, but we didn’t get around to it. (My photographer is in LONDON!! Isn’t that awesome?! The same time as the 2012 Summer Olympics!) Anyway, so I took some of my own photos with my crochet blanket as a photo prop. I do realize that I am definitely not a professional photographer….or crocheter either, but it was still fun.

MK & Addie

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I really don’t think I have seen cuter kids.
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I can say that… it’s my blog 🙂
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I mean, come ON!
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Cuteness overload!
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I also held my own little crochet class at the house. We let the kids pretty much hang from the ceiling fans while I tried to teach some friends the basics to crochet. Kids, Yarn, PIZZA. That pretty much sums it up! 😉  Even though I don’t feel like I am certified to teach anyone this…I do know how to refer them to the internet and YOUTUBE! haha

I will say that regardless of the reasons WHY we get together, it’s always fun to get together with friends, old friends and new ones.

Cara

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Heather
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Leslie
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Jennifer
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–Amber

Learning to Crochet the Day Away

9 Jul

So I have found a new hobby: Crochet! Go ahead and say it…of COURSE I didn’t need anything else to do, but oh well! 🙂 My mother tried to teach me to crochet when I was younger, and I have attempted to do it time and time again. I know I have a couple of unfinished scarves lying around still. For some reason, this time, I meant it when I said I wanted to learn. She came over and showed me the basics again. I think the difference this time was that we have YOUTUBE! Before, when I was a teen wanting to learn, I didn’t have access to YouTube like I do now. I needed someone to sit beside me the entire time. If my mom wasn’t present, I couldn’t remember what to do next, but now that we have access to videos and picture tutorials, it’s easy as pie! 🙂 I do feel like it helped to actually have someone sit down with me to show me, but when I can’t remember what to do, I just do a web search!

I found a couple of projects on my Pinterest that I was interested in doing. I have a friend that is having a baby, so I made this blanket for her. I actually bought the yarn off of a lady from our local facebook Swap Shop. Apparently the lime green yarn, Mint Julep, is no longer in production, so I had to switch to Spring Green when it ran out. You learn something everytime you crochet, and this was a lesson learned…. MAKE SURE YOU CAN GET MORE OF THE SAME COLOR YARN if you are working on a project. DUH. I was too far into it to unravel it, so I am going to pretend like this was on purpose and that I wanted to graduate the color to a darker one. 😉 Hopefully the baby won’t be offended.

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I have found that I have a fondness for granny squares. I like the satisfaction of having something finished so early on in the process. (Plus, it’s easier to hold on to. I hate to chain 100, turn it, and and try to stitch the next row. It usually takes me a few rows to have something substantial to hold onto before I get comfortable holding it. If you have ever tried to crochet, you understand.)
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And THIS so far, is my pride and joy. 🙂 I read a blog where a lady made a blanket like this (check out my Pinterest) and was intrigued. I am not finished with it yet. I am not sure WHEN I will be finished with it. I want it to be a pretty large blanket, so I am just going to add on until I feel like it’s the size I want.

I keep my yarn in this bag, which is why it is in the picture…I am not finished! I have actually had quite a few people ask me where I got this bag at, so I will link it: http://abarber.mymarkstore.com/ (Click “Shop Entire Collection” and browse around! Lot’s of fun finds!)

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Here is the beginning of my next project. I hope I can figure it out. We will see! I am definitely a “Beginner” crocheter, so this may be biting off more than I can chew. However, I know my mother and Meme know how to crochet with their eyes closed, so if I need help, I am sure I can call them! 🙂
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And of course, I had to post pics of my girls. I have been away at a Women’s Retreat this weekend, and have missed these girls! It certainly is nice to get away for a weekend, but I do love coming home to my husband and children!
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MK is getting SO BIG! *sniff*
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Seriously?! The crazy thing is that noone has to teach her to pose like this.
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And I LOVE THIS PICTURE…because they are both standing up on the slide and you can tell that MK is scared she is going to fall off, which is why she is grabbing the back of Addison’s swimsuit. LOL

This also makes me think of what Addison said earlier when she was wrestling with MK, and apparently her panties were giving her a wedgie. She said, “Mom, these panties are cracking me up!” Haha

Love these girls.

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