November 30, 2011

Thankful for Turkey

Thanksgiving has come and gone - I took six days off to prepare, enjoy and clean up. We spent the time surrounded by family and food. We relaxed plenty, crafted some, and shopped a little. It was perfect (except that Sara and Bobby weren't here - that would have been perfect).

Mike and I hosted the holiday meal in Portland this year for one very important reason - we wanted to meet our new niece!

Remi and Andrew welcomed their daughter Freya on the 22nd, but were unable to leave the hospital until the 26th. With the family in town we were all able to get up to the hospital repeatedly for visits, and even bring them turkey dinner (courtesy of New Seasons).

For those of us not at the hospital, we gathered at our house on Thursday afternoon for some hanging out, football and food.

We ended up with a Yam dish, a Potato dish and two Sweet Potato dishes. We also had Pumpkin Fondue and two Pumpkin pies. There was a cranberry relish and a cranberry jelly roll. Not least were the Bread and the Bread Pudding. In the center of it all was our 22-pound Turkey. Simply cooked, and simply delicious.

Post-dinner, Pre-pie


 Aidan & Mike played endless games of Xbox football.

I asked Papa & Sharon to cut shapes out of re-positionable vinyl for use in marking glasses. I only asked for simple shapes, but they went above and beyond...

We got the hot tub wired up and completed in time for Thanksgiving (check that one off the list).

Aidan got an early Christmas present from Mike and I - tickets for he and Mike to go to the Civil War game at UO. In preparation, Susanna and I decorated masks for them to wear to the game (and one for me, for next year). We used Sharpie oil-based paint pens (awesome) and glow-in-the-dark hockey masks.

Mike said they had a great time, and that it was so much fun to see the excitement on Aidan's face. After the game they were able to go down on the field and toss the football around. Something we've never done before, and Aidan was pretty thrilled. It made the 8 hours in traffic all worth it.

November 21, 2011

Sewing Machine Cover

I've been giving my old Pfaff Sewing Machine a workout lately with so many Christmas presents in the making. I decided to return the love and make the machine a cover.

With a yard of apple oilcloth and some aqua bias tape, this project took about 40 minutes. I measured the dimensions of the machine and cut out three pieces (2 end pieces and one long piece that stretched from front to back). I added the bias tape last because I wasn't sure if all the edges would properly align once sewn together (they didn't). After trimming off half an inch, I added the bias tape and it was finished.

Of course the presser foot needed a home too. Using one rectangle, I sewed up the bottom and side, gusseted the bottom corners (see here for a tutorial) and added bias tape to the open top. I couldn't figure out my "snap" tool, so I found some black velcro and sewed that in.


Since I still had plenty of oilcloth left, I decided to make a sewing scrap/trash bag as well. I followed the same method as with the presser foot bag, just minus the velcro closure. And to avoid being too matchy-matchy, I used orange bias tape instead of aqua.

November 18, 2011

Coffee Table

Mike and I have been searching for a coffee table for years. We have a small living room, but we do a lot of living in it. We wanted a coffee table that matched our aesthetic, our lifestyle and our budget. Unfortunately we couldn't find the trifecta. Our solution was to have Mike build something.

So while I was sewing with friends Mike enrolled in a weekend class at The Joinery to make us the Hotchberg Coffee Table. Handcrafted from Cherry, with Walnut risers and end pegs, it fits perfectly in our living room.


Mike's class took place over a Tuesday evening, followed by two full days on Saturday and Sunday. He had a great time working in the shop and had wonderful things to say about the instructor (Ariel) and the incredible tools that they had to use.

 Clamps and a planing sander 

 A multitude of routers

Part of our "living experience" in our house includes entertaining and sometimes eating dinner in the living room. While we have these awesome handmade coasters from my Mom, there are times where we don't want to worry that everybody is using a coaster.

For those times, I made a fitted cover for the coffee table out of laminated cotton (coated cotton).

I simply traced the table top onto the back-side of the fabric and cut it out with an 1/8" bleed. The edges are 2" strips of fabric, trimmed with orange bias tape, then sewn onto the top cover. I sewed the corners so that they slightly angle in, which results in a snug fit. Luckily I got a little too much of this fabric, so tomorrow I'll be finding some additional projects to use it on!

November 12, 2011

Nailed It!

Sweet Max, of the round cheeks and red curls, turned 2 this month!
And within days of that event, Momma Kate and Papa Jamie bought a house!

Knowing that Max would have to help Mom and Dad out with the new place, I made him this set of tools for his birthday.

The hammer and saw patterns are from the book Big Little Felt Universe (same place I found the patterns for Lilly's fruit & veggie basket). To complete the set I sewed two blocks of "wood" and some felt nails. The blocks have lined holes in them that the nails can be hammered into. The blocks also have magnets in them so that they can be stuck together and then "sawn" apart. I only had 1/8" neodymium magnets so the hold is not that strong. I've order some larger ones though, so I'll be prepared for next time!

November 7, 2011

Ducks & Cougars

Last weekend we took our annual trip to Eugene for some University of Oregon football.
And this year we were joined by Alan and his nephew, Adam.

While we came prepared with rain jackets, ponchos and down jackets, it turned out to be a fabulous Fall day - sweatshirt weather!
The ducks warm up

We partook of hot dogs, salmon sandwiches, popcorn and soft pretzels. It's not a real game unless copious amounts of nitrates are consumed.

UO beat Washington State 43 - 23

After the game we headed to our rental house and tossed the football around in the front yard (I was told that while very good at pushing, I lack a little knowledge on the rules of the game). After we burned off the football game food, we headed to Ninkasi for more soft pretzels (best ever) and beer, then to La Perla Pizzeria for some excellent Napoleonic Pizza. I highly recommend the Bianca al Prosciutto.

Another great trip to Eugene - Happy Anniversary Mike!
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