Friday, April 26, 2013

Learning new techniques on my Babylock Evolution Serger

Here is an overlock stitch with a chain stitch.

Pictured is the reverse side of the overlock fabric with a chain stitch.

My new serger can stitch with 8 threads simultaneously.  It took a bit to get the hang of it.

Pictured is the reverse side of the fabric.

This is a technique called serger lace that I read about some time ago.  My old serger was not capable of doing this pretty intricate edging.  This is fun to do and looks delicate and pretty on the edge of fabric.
Making serger lace with rainbow colors is fun and decorative for fancy fabrics. I can't wait to try it on something other than white cotton fabric which I used here.  It took me a few tries to get the hang of this but the end result is colorful and fun. I look forward to trying it with some bulky/woolly nylon or pearl crown thread. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baby Lock Evolution Serger - my new baby

I have a new baby baby baby. I have a new baby Baby Lock Evolution Serger.

I was trying out some stitches on my brand new Baby Lock Evolution Serger and accidentally made a tiny apron for my daughter's doll.  I was just trying all the neat features and looked down and realized the fabric looked like an apron with a little detail pink threading at the bottom.  We randomly tried it on Cookie Crumbles her Lalaloopsy doll and it fit.

Here she is with another doll's dress on and the tiny apron with a couple fancy stitches displayed.  I can't wait to see what other fancy stitches I can make with this amazing machine.

The delicate ties for the apron are serger chains woven and knotted off.

Here is my new Baby.  I cannot wait to sew all the fabric I have been collecting in my sewing room with this new Baby Lock Evolution Serger.

Here is my 136 page guide I have been reading very slowly to learn everything.  As I read I am dreaming of all the posibilites of what I can make.

Reading instruction manuals has never been my favorite activity, but I always read the manuals so that I don't miss any important cool features that a new toy can do.  (Yes, I am the kid who reads the car manuals, directions on every toy that comes into this house.  I have always done it and probably always will.)  This instruction manual came in the Babylock Serger and is 89 pages.  I am only on page 38 as of now but the next few pages look really interesting. I am starting to read about features this new serger can do that my old beloved Protege serger couldn't do. My old machine has been loved to death.  I received it as a college graduation gift from my family.  Although it cannot be repaired due to worn out obsolete parts, I may never be able to part with it.  It has been my loyal companion for 17 years.   It is the second machine I have owned and I have learned so much on it.
I am very excited about all the potential fun items I can make with my new serger.  It is so much faster than a sewing machine and has 5 thread needles, 3 loopers.  This means it takes eight cones of thread and can sew eight threads simultaneously.  I am stunned by this.  Really?  How do they not get tangled up at such a fast sewing rate?  It is amazing what one can dream up when given new tools and a piece of fabric.   I can't wait to explore the possibilities.

P.S. Stay tuned for fun new items I make while learning all the new features.  My serger class starts in May.  I just can't wait to see what I will learn. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My sweet girls checking out their seedlings

Sophia and Kaylee planted carrot seeds, beans, peas, and radish seeds. They were very excited to see these stouts for our garden today.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Avocado trees - just add water and sunlight

I thought since my girls have been interested in gardening and growing food,  I thought we would try something fun. The other night I made fresh guacamole from avocados to go with our chicken fajitas.

I thought instead of throwing away the large avocado seeds, why not make a fun science lesson out of it and teach my girls where the food on their table originates. They think everything starts at the grocery store.  If you ask them where does food come from, they will say mom buys it at the store.

After dinner I washed the avocado seeds and dried them so no residue was left from the avocado. Then, I soaked the seeds to keep them soft and fresh for two days.

Today I gave each of my daughters an empty baby food jar filled with toothpicks and an avocado seed. I told them that we ate the avocados the other day. We discussed where avocados come from and how they grow on trees. We also talked about what is necessary to make plants and trees grow. They told me water, soil, sun, and a place to grow were needed.  So we are creating a place for them to grow.

I showed them that all of the plants / vegetables we recently planted have roots and that is how the water is drawn into the plants from the soil because they don't have hands like us. I explained we were going to help the seeds start to make roots so they can grow plants. We are using jars so that they can watch the roots emerge from the seed. Then, they will transplant the rooted plants into pots of soil.

"Yeah, I can't wait to grow an avocado tree."
"What do we do mommy?"

Push the toothpicks into the avocado like a cross.  Sophia happily took charge of showing her sister what I was saying.

Here they are so happy to each have their own tree to grow.

Patience is very important when growing trees.  Avocado trees can take from 4 to 7 years to produce actual avocados.

Just add water

Kaylee watching Sophia add the water to the jar very carefully.  Next add sunshine and have lots of patience.
Last, add love and care.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easter Bunny 2013


Before our trip to the Zoo we ate at Pi in the Central West End. This is best Chicago style pizza we have in St. Louis. Yummy!

Kaylee had a teddy bear picnic on her favorite pinky blanket

I love to watch my girls play. Kaylee got all her bears together for a teddy near picnic with her tiny picnic basket of food. So cute.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Riding the elephants and other fun at the STL Zoo 4/5/2013

My husband took a vacation day and we went to the Zoo as a family. The girls rode the carousel. In the carousel photo, Sophia is riding a cheetah. If you look closely you can see Kaylee looking at the camera in the background. I find it ironic that Sophia didn't like carousels at all for the longest time and now she begs to ride them.

We saw the sea lion exhibit for the first time.  It wasn't completed last year when we were there yet. So, we had fun walking through the underwater tunnel.

Another highlight of our trip was the hippopotamus exhibit. Kaylee was so excited to see the hippo swim that she stayed at the habit for a long while. She kept telling us in the car on the way there, "I can't wait to see the hippopotamus."

During the River's Edge exploration we stopped by the elephants' habitat. Upon arrival Kaylee said to me, "Mommy, can I go ride the elephants?"

The surrounding moms and dads giggled out loud as they heard my reply of, "Honey, as fun as that sounds I don't think the elephants would like that very much."

So, Kaylee being a polite little individual walked up to the end of the elephant cage and looked straight at the elephant asking, "Elephant may I ride you, please?"

The people around me laughed again when they heard her as one uttered gently, "This isn't a carnival with a friendly smile on his face."

I gently told her that I didn't think the elephant wanted to give piggy back rides right now, but offered to put her on my shoulders so she could see the elephant better. She loved that idea and laughed with delight as I hoisted my little girl up for a better view of her new friend Raja.

We had a great day as a family and look forward to future zoo adventures.

Look Kaylee is actually looking at the camera.

Kaylee, on the right, at the ape house telling me about the monkeys.  A little girl walked right into my photo. I don't know the girl in the peace symbol shirt.

The Sea Lions

Daddy lifting his little monkey up to see the Sea Lions.
Kaylee and Sophia watching the hippos and fish.

Sophia looking bored and sassy.

Kaylee giving directions on where to go with the map.
In the Insectarium watching butterflies.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five-year-olds know everything

Yesterday was a lovely day so we met up with Grandpa and played at the park. While at the park I told Sophia, flying high on the swing, "I am going to push the swing so high and let's see if you can fly off the earth", playfully of course.

She replied, "Mommy, there is no way you could do that! I am too heavy."

I inquired, "Oh, why do you say that?"

Her answer was, "Well gravity holds us on the earth.  I learned that from 'The Cat in the Hat' TV show."

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Planning garden and planting some seeds

We are anxious for Spring around here so we started a garden. Sophia and I drew up plans and she planted some seeds that can be transferred into our garden lot when the last freeze ends.