Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coaster - Basic Quilting

Originally uploaded by jmilikow

So I finished my first super basic quilting project. Well, not project even LOL. I made a coaster. Maybe doesn't seem so exciting, but I had to use a walking foot, which I'd never heard of until I started reading about quilting. The pattern is from "Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts" (which is a beautiful book - it was a gift from my sister for my birthday). The fabric is "Ingredients" by Lecien. I did the stitches that go around and around in concentric squares. They're not perfect, but they're fairly close to it. I'm going to make six as a housewarming present for my cousin - I think I'll get more used the the quilting guide on the walking foot as I do more. It's really cute and I'm very happy with it.

On a parenting note (for once - I know I've been so obsessed with sewing of late!), Yoav has almost, if not completely, given up tantrums. He had a spell for months (did I even take the time to post about this?) of throwing tantrums when things weren't going perfectly - the phrase I heard more than any other for weeks on end was, "Put it back together!" UGH and "Untore it!" I know he hasn't had any this week. I can't remember the last one, but I think it was less than a month ago. Sometimes it would literally go on for an hour. Me just doing my Aldort impression (validation). "Aah, you really want it back together. You wish it hadn't torn." In the last six months or so, I'd been playing with a phrase from Aldort's book, "How would you be without that thought that you want it back together?" The first time, it "worked" beautifully (worked in quotes since I know it's ok and healthy and all for him to cry and tantrum if that's what he's needing to do) and he said what he'd do if he didn't have the thought and decided to give up the crying and do *that*. But most of the time, he'd say what he'd do if he didn't have the thought, for example, "I'd just make a new one." or "I'd just eat it anyway." But he wouldn't want to do that. He'd choose to stay in the tantrum. UGH!!! But finally, I think we're through it. Probably should say that in writing or I'll jinx things, but I'm hoping!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Day

We had a great day today! Probably all because I got lots of sleep - I was in bed for a full 8 hours.

A few comments from the day:

At one point, Yoav was playing train in the bedroom, which means he uses the closet as a train and pretends to be the conductor and punches tickets with a hole punch and opens and closes the closet doors to let people on and off the train.

At one point when I was nursing Elie, he was singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and then went into this song (which he made up, in case it isn't obvious) to the same tune:

My Mommy loves, My Mommy Loves
My Mommy loves my brother"

He didn't say (sing) it in a way that made me think he was jealous at all though. He was just singing matter-of-factly. Lately he's been saying that he loves Elie a lot and he's said sorry to Elie a few times when he's accidentally hurt him.

When Elie took a nap, I got lucky with what turned out to be a genius idea. We took an 8.5"x 11" piece of felt with three pieces of regular copy paper on top and used the sewing machine to sew them together in the middle. Yoav pushed the presser foot, which he enjoys LOL. Then the great part was that then I gave Yoav his crayons and he colored on all the pages to fill in the book and I got to prepare fabric for another project while he was doing it :)

Yoav also made a kippah for his Curious George. He actually cut out a template out of cardstock himself (he's seen me make templates, but I didn't suggest it for this and he didn't ask for help) and cut out the pieces of felt himself. He asked for a needle and thread which I provided and he started sewing it up himself and I made the mistake of offering help and then he lost interest in sewing it up. But he was excited with how it came out. He also sewed a button onto George after the kippah by himself - I just did the start knot and end knot.

Also Yoav was so cute when I was cutting fabric. One of the fabrics was "Kids and Numbers". I think it's a Cosmo print, but not 100% sure. Anyway, Yoav said he wanted a boat (the one next to the #4), so I cut out one and gave it to him and then gave him a few more scraps leftover from my other cutting. He said "Thank you for giving me so many pieces of this fabric. I love this fabric." His thank you was so heartfelt. It was really sweet.

He also said thank you later when I let him use the camera (after he just broke the one we just got him less than a week ago!).

On the Elie side, his new thing is asking for "this" for everything - anything he wants, he holds out his hands to the object and says "this". Yoav and I have had a few laughs talking about this and that. Yoav set up a game where he put two objects in front of Elie and asked Elie if he wanted "this" or "that" and, of course, Elie always says "this" and Yoav cracks up :)

Elie also likes to do somersaults on the bed. He's done a full somersault a few times, but, actually, he mostly puts his head on the bed and tush in the air in position to do a somersault and then one of us peeks between his legs and we all laugh.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yoav's Logic

This morning, Yoav said: "I can't pick up Bat Sheva (she's 7), so I can't pick up you (to Jeremy) because you're bigger than her. I can pick up Abby, but we fell down and laughed. So I can pick up Elie, but we might fall down and laugh." Seemed like a pretty clear thought process...

We went out to Applewood in the morning for breakfast and then I went to the fabric store, then Coop and then Uncle Benny came to play. I was talking to the woman who owns the fabric store about my cutesy kippah and she said if I want, she can sell them for me in her store! Not that I'd make much money on them, but they're fun to make and it would be neat for me to try. I bought some fabric and I'll make a few to show her.

A friend and I were talking about language mistakes our kids make so I've been making a point of noticing Yoav's speech - here's a few things he says wrong:
often says f instead of th, like "fief" instead of "thief"
or says s instead of th, like "nusing" instead of "nothing"
or even says d instead of th, but i can't think of an example
he says "mifchief" instead of "mischief", which is too cute ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Originally uploaded by jmilikow

I made another kippah for Yoav. This one is a fabric one - I used a pattern I bought from Oy Vey! Quilt Designs. Yoav picked out the fabric - it's a Japanese print by Kokka with small helicopters, planes and rockets. The kippah fits really well -a Yoav can even run around and it stays on, so a big improvement over the knit one I made.

We had a great day today. We went to the local coffee shop when Elie fell asleep and then went to Phoenix and Jackie's house. We had SUCH a great time. The boys played inside together for awhile and then we went out in the snow. It was freezing, but both boys had fun making tracks in the snow and running around. Yoav didn't want to leave and it was FREEZING, but he said he'd leave if we went back to Jackie's house, which we were all more than happy to do (especially since Jackie said she'd make hot chocolate LOL). Jackie and I actually got to talk a lot, which was much needed for me. Thanks Jac!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knitting Needle Case

I just finished sewing this knitting needle case. I LOVE it. It's a gift for my SIL.

The pattern is here. The fabric is Free Spirit by Heather Bailey. It's not my favorite fabric, but I was trying to find something my SIL would like, not just my favorite. In the end, it's probably not ideal for either, but I'm pretty happy with it. I can't wait to pick out fabric to make one for me now!

The only modification I made to the pattern was to come in 1.75" instead of 2" on the right when making the lines because it seemed like (correctly IME from the finished product) there otherwise wouldn't be enough space on the left. I tested a little and see that the top row is really for 14" needles - smaller needles can fall down into the pocket. I don't use any 14", so for mine, I'll stitch a bottom to the rows about 8" down for the first row and a little less for the second row - I'll have to see what length my DPNs are and I'll make the bottom for the second row about an inch less than them. The bottom row is fine for me - it's for circular needles and notions. It also needs to be 1.5" wider for it to come out perfectly. My left column is only .75" and right column is 1". So I'll make that adjustment too. My ribbon is 100% linen and is 1 yard long.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Story Telling

This was a post to our local AP Yahoo group that I wrote in response to someone looking for help with jealousy.


I just thought of something else - STORIES!!! I finally read
Nancy Mellon's "Storytelling with Children" and found it to be well
worth reading and I think a story (probably to be told many many
times) might be perfect for this situation.

Because I often find it hard to muster the mental strength to even
start a story, I have a beginning that I can use for anything - this
was an idea in the book. For me, my standard story begins w Sammy the
Squirrel who lives deep in the forest w his family in a tall oak tree
near a bubbling stream. Once I say the beginning, the next parts just

I actually did two already today, because I'm finding that they help w
Yoav's total lack of self-reliance in some situations when he yells at
me to fix things that aren't fixable.

So today, the first situation was when Yoav spilled some Kombucha on a
blanket and wanted me to get it out of the blanket back into his cup.
The story was about Sammy - he went down to the stream and all of a
sudden, the water diverted down a little hill. He followed the water
down the hill and saw that it was going into a hole in the ground near
a family of ants who lived too far from the stream to walk there and
were really thirsty. Anyway, so basic story is about animals where
there's a simple problem/issue similar to Yoav's problem and it resolves.

The second story was after Yoav got pen on his finger and wanted me to
get it off but didn't want me to help him wash it off (he just wanted
it to disappear). So the story was that Sammy was playing w his
friend Sara and a bird pooped on his head. He cried when he saw that
he had bird poop on his head and ran home to his mom for help. She
said she could take him to the stream to wash his hair but he cried
and said he didn't want to wash his hair. All of a sudden, it started
to rain and the rain washed away the poop and he ran back to keep
playing w Sara.

It works really well. After the first one, Yoav started babbling
about how his animal friends could drink the Kombucha. After the
second one, he just said to me, "Ima could you get me a towel with water?"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sheldon's Bday Party & Elie Tooth #8

Originally uploaded by jmilikow

Today is Cousin Sheldon's Birthday Party. Yoav woke today at 4:30 and Elie at 5:30, so we've already eaten french toast (with the challah we ate yesterday) and I finished the bday crown (he's also getting a crayon roll filled w Stockmar stick crayons). I still had to put the ribbon on. It's my worst one because it was all done with the kids awake and Yoav helped with the machine sewing - it's not quite sewn perfectly straight, so it's a little lumpy and I'm not thrilled with the star. On the upside, Yoav had fun and now says he wants his own sewing machine.

And Elie's tooth #8 cut through - second on bottom right.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Elie - Tooth #7

Elie got tooth 7 today - the second one on the bottom left.

We're slowly recovering from jetlag - Yoav fell asleep yesterday at 6:15 and Elie at 6:45. Then they both woke up at about 4:30.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crayon Roll

I made another crayon roll tonight for a nephew having a birthday party this weekend. The crayons are an 8-pack of Stockmar sticks. I used the same fabric as before - the white Cosmo "Hello My Friends" with plain red cotton where the crayons slip into.

The measurements are:

Large fabric pieces are 9 1/4" x 5"
Inner sections are 1" apart; Outer two spots are 1.5 + 1/8"
Ribbon is 100% linen and is 20" long

Came out pretty perfect - for someone who expects to replace the crayons with Stockmar sticks, I'd do a little more than 1" - maybe 1 1/8". In this case, I think the crayons will be replaced with Crayola, which are a little thinner and I didn't want to make it wider for fear the thinner crayons might slip out. With the Stockmar, though, it's a bit tight at 1" apart.