It’s been a long time!

8 11 2012

It’s been a long time since I blogged anything and boy, life is different for me now! We have introduced two Range kiddos to the family! Caleb was born June 2010 and sweet Jaelle just joined us this past August 30th! Eliana turned seven in October and is in second grade. David turned four last March. We are homeschooling and just started back this week. We are also in a co-op once a week, which is a lot of fun for all of us! And I’m still crafting away! I’m about to make some ornaments for a Jesse Tree ornament swap, as well as help Eliana and David make some things for a small Christmas swap.

It’s time to get kiddos down for naps and do more school with Eliana and feed Jaelle, and then I’ll come back and post some pictures from our fun trip to the Dallas Arboretum on Halloween. The kids were all dressed in costumes and got tons of compliments. A highlight for me was getting to see the Dale Chihuly glass statues all throughout the gardens. They were GORGEOUS and we had perfect weather, and the sunlight just radiated off each one!

I look forward to blogging again and documenting our fun adventures!


Tree of Life

30 09 2009

I was in a fun online doll quilt swap on TBW. Now that my partner has received her quilt, I can blog about it!

We organized the swap through Flickr so that we could look through quilts and click favorite quilts that we liked. It was really helpful to be able to look through our partner’s favorite list to see what style and colors of quilts they liked. We were able to make whatever we wanted, but it was nice to have some photos for inspiration.

My partner loves nature and especially loves tree quilts. She also loves shades of teals, blues and greens. She said that she was working on a tree quilt and would love to have a quilt made with similar fabrics. She had quite a few tree quilts in her favorite list that I thought were really fun. I’ve always wanted to make an art quilt and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity, since it’d be a smaller quilt to start with!

I wasn’t able to find the fabrics in my local quilt stores and decided to go a different route. I pulled out all the teal, blue and green fabrics from my stash. I did a search for tree leaves and found three that I liked and traced them. I began to trace them and cut them out of fusible webbing.

Fabrics for the Tree Art Quilt - 9-09

I had a brown batik fabric and a greenish/bluish fabric that I thought would be perfect for the tree bark and grass. Here was my first sneaky peak layout.

First Sneaky Peak layout for Tree Art Quilt - 9-09

First Sneaky Peak layout for Tree Art Quilt 2 - 9-09

I decided that I’d prefer the tree to have branches running up through the leaves. I found two photos for inspiration and sketched and cut out the fusible webbing for the trunk and branches.

Cutting out the fusible webbing for tree - 9-1-09

I sewed the “Grass” to the “Sky” and fused the tree trunk and branches down on to the fabric.

Fusing the brown Tree Trunk and Branches - 9-1-09

I ironed the fusible webbing onto the back of fabric and started cutting out the leaves and fused them onto the tree.

Fusing the leaves on the Tree Art Quilt - 9-1-09

I decided I wanted more leaves on the tree and cut out a bunch more. There are over 150 leaves on the tree!

Finished fusing the leaves onto Tree Art Quilt - 9-1-09

To save time, I decided to applique and quilt the tree at the same time. I dubbed it “appliquilting”. 🙂 I had several variegated threads that matched the quilt and decided to use them all when quilting the Tree Art Quilt and I used a stippling stitch on the leaves.

Close up of quilted leaves on Tree Art quilt - 9-09

Close up of quilted leaves on Tree Art quilt 2 - 9-09

I stitched around the main tree trunk and then decided to get creative with the “Grass” part of the quilt. I used a free motion to create “Tuffs” of grass and used three different variegated threads to make it look more interesting. Once it was all quilted, I cut strips from some of the different fabrics I used in the leaves and made a scrappy binding. I was wanting to hand stitch the front of the binding but ran out of time and used a decorative stitch instead.

Tuffs of Grass quilted on the Tree Art Quilt - 9-09

The finished Tree Art Quilt!!!

Finished Tree Art Quilt - Front - 9-09

Closer Look

Close up of the Tree Art Quilt - 9-09

I had this really fun batik Indian Paisley fabric that I decided to use for the backing fabric. I took a square and folded it in half diagonally and stitched it into the corner when I sewed on the binding and then hand tacked the edge down. I then used a acid free fabric pen and wrote a message on the label.

Back of the Finished Tree Art Quilt with label - 9-09

To give you an idea of the size, here is a picture of me holding up the quilt. This is my “It’s late and I’m exhausted but I’m thrilled my Tree Art Quilt is finished, but I keep blinking and can’t stop laughing” smile.

Jen holding up the finished Tree Art Quilt - 9-09

Jen holding up the back of the finished Tree Art Quilt - 9-09

It was so hard to mail this quilt off, as so much time and thought and creativity went into this quilt! My brain was working overtime as I slowly figured out what I wanted the quilt to look like and it was fun to come up with new ideas and try new techniques!

I have enough fabric to make myself a Tree Art Quilt. I plan to embroider a verse onto some fabric and sew it onto the fabric under the tree. I want it to say, “‘Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy’ – Psalm 96:12b” and on the label name it “Tree of Life”. I have the perfect spot in my hallway to hang it up! I have quite a few Christmas projects I’m going to work on this fall, but I look forward to making my own Tree Art quilt next spring! And I already have other new art quilt ideas bouncing around in my brain!

Eliana’s First Haircut!!

24 09 2009

I’ve been meaning to take Eliana in for a haircut for quite some time. Her hair on the back was starting to look scraggly. But I was waiting for her bangs to get longer so that I could get it cut it all one length into a shoulder-length bob and then grow it out long.

Well… a certain little girl took scissors to her hair… not just once, but TWICE! In the span of a week.

So that bumped up the haircut.

The part I was most upset about is that she cut her bangs. Thankfully, she did a nice job of layering them sideways. But you can tell on the back of her head where the hair was cut. I wasn’t willing to cut her hair that short, so I was hoping that a hair stylist would be able to work with it. A friend told me about a lady that cuts hair out of her home just down the street from us! She was able to work us in for an appointment. I took tons of pictures, of course, and Eliana was quite happy with the end result.

Here is the front of hair before the haircut. You can sort of see the cut bangs swept to the side. She was a little nervous about her haircut, and wanted to bring her special blanket and Eliana Bear with her to the appointment.

Eliana - Before haircut - front- 9-08-09

Back of her hair. You can see the cut hair up by her neck. I didn’t want it cut this short. Also, there are tuffs of hair about 1″ long on the top of her head. Yup, that’s another section that she cut.

Eliana - Before haircut - back - 9-08-09

Miss Karen and I talked about what should be done. We decided to go ahead and go for a shoulder length bob like I had originally intended and we’ll go back every few months for trims until the hair all grows out to one length, and then will let it grow out long. Eliana sat on a big cushion so that she’d be high enough for Miss Karen to cut her hair. I had her take a bath before we went to the appointment, so Miss Karen just had to wet it down. Here, she is combing it all out. And you can’t tell, but she’s holding her blanket under the pink haircut tarp.

Miss Karen combing out Elianas hair at 1st haircut - 9-08-09

Making the first cut!

Miss Karen making the first cut on Elianas hair - 9-08-09

Miss Karen cutting Elianas hair - 09-08-09

Tapering the bangs.

Miss Karen trimming the bangs - 09-08-09

Adding some layers.

Miss Karen adding some layers to Elianas hair - 09-08-09

It’s all cut! Time to blow dry Eliana’s hair!

Miss Karen blow drying Elianas hair after the haircut - 09-08-09

Miss Karen blow drying Elianas hair after the haircut 2 - 09-08-09
It’s all done! Eliana’s first photo of her finished hair cut!

Elianas 1st photo of finished haircut! - 09-08-09

Eliana admiring herself in the mirror after her 1st haircut!

Eliana admiring herself in the mirror after her 1st haircut - 09-08-09

Eliana’s hair after the 1st haircut!

Eliana - after haircut - front - 09-08-09

Eliana - after haircut - back - 09-08-09

Elianas hair after the 1st haircut - back - 09-08-09

She really likes it!

Elianas hair after the 1st haircut - front - She likes it - 09-08-09

And so does her mommy! I think it really makes her look more grown up! She’s becoming such a cute little girl!

Miss Karen picked up the longer chunks of hair and gave them to me for her scrap book. I’m going to miss her baby blond locks, as her hair is turning brown like her mommy and daddy. But her hair looks and feels healthier, and I love her new grown up look!

Lots of fun at the Mom’s Take Home Craft Night!

21 09 2009

I recently joined a local crafting group that meets in my city. Last week, I went to my first Mom’s Take Home Craft Night. I didn’t get home until almost midnight and had a blast!

I made two items. The first was a Limestone rock Welcome sign. Jake really likes it, which is nice! I have it by our front door right now. But once I pull weeds in our flower bed, I’ll put it there.

Welcome sign on Limestone Rock

I also made a Range Originals Art Display board. I plan to hang it up in the hallway so that we can display Eliana and David’s art work.

Range Originals Art Work Board

I really enjoyed meeting the other women in the group and had a lot of fun crafting and eating yummy desserts. I look forward to future meetings and making other fun craft items for our home or for gifts!!

Camp E.D.G.E.

17 08 2009

August has been a busy month for the Range family! I’ll have to work on getting some more pictures posted of all our adventures!.

The first thing we did was go to a fun VBS program at a local church. The theme was Camp E.D.G.E. which stood for “Experience and Discover God Everywhere”. Since it was a camping theme, there were lots of trees (real, fake and paper) up all over the place. I was a teacher’s assistant for a three-year old classroom and I had a lot of fun helping decorate our room! I brought in my tents, camping chairs, sleeping bags, lanterns and water jugs, and borrowed some bear themed blankets from my mom.

We had 20 three-year olds in our classroom and 16 of them were boys! It was a lot of work keeping those boys on task, but it sure was a fun week! After the first day, one of the boy’s mom’s asked him what he learned that day. He said, “I learned about God but I didn’t want to learn about God. I wanted to learn about garbage trucks!” We all had a great laugh!

Eliana was in a different classroom, but it was so nice to know what lessons, verses and songs she was learning. We got a CD with all the songs on it and we have had a lot of fun listening to it every day.

Since there was a camping theme, she got to see the tents and really wanted to sleep in one. So I went ahead and set up my three-man tent in the living room. Both kids had a blast playing in the tent! Eliana took her afternoon naps in the tent and slept in it several times at night.

We came home each afternoon and crashed and took three hour naps. It was an exhausting week, but it was also extremely rewarding!

Here are a few pictures from our week.

Eliana posing in front of the tent in her VBS classroom.

Eliana at Camp E.D.G.E. 8-6-09

Jen handing out playdough. Meghan (center) was the teacher of the class and Monica (right) was another teacher’s assistant.

Jen handing out the playdough at Camp E.D.G.E. - 8-5-09

The playdough was extra sticky and ended up being a messy craft project. The kids still had fun though!

Kids playing with the playdough - 08-05-09

Pond in our classroom where we went “fishing”

Pond in the VBS classroom - 8-5-09

Sandbox where the kids got to play in it and find hearts to remind them of God’s love and also how He created all the animals, including all the creepy crawly bugs. This was a huge hit for the boys. LOL!

Sandbox in the VBS classroom - 8-5-09

The kids really enjoyed the worship time and had fun learning the motions to the songs. We’d play the CD in our room afterwards and the four girls really liked having a dance time and doing the motions to the song. Even some of the boys joined in! It was especially fun to come home and hear Eliana singing the songs and trying to do the motions. We’ve now incorporated some of the songs into our family devotion time. This past weekend, even David joined in and tried to do some of the hand motions!

Worship time during VBS - 08-05-09

Worship time during VBS 2 - 08-05-09

Waterfall in the church lobby.

Waterfall in the lobby at VBS - 8-5-09

The tent set up in our living room.

Tent set up in our living room - 08-05-09

Eliana sleeping in the tent at nap time.

Eliana sleeping in the tent in our living room - 08-05-09

Caught on Camera

24 07 2009

Eliana was telling me she saw David trying to climb out of the crib. I hadn’t seen him do it yet.

So I decided to be super sneaky. During nap time I pretended to fall asleep on the floor next to the crib. David was lying down, but crawled over and watched me for a few minutes.

When he decided I must really be asleep, then he actually tried to climb out! I snagged a few quick pictures as proof.

David climbing out of the crib


Busted! David climbing out of the crib

“Uh Oh. Mom caught me. I bet I’m in BIG trouble.” *pout*

Pouting David after getting caught climbing out of his crib

Pouty David 2

“Ok. Fine. I’ll just lie down and take my nap.”

David decides to finally take a nap after trying to climb out of crib

Tonight hubby went ahead and put the crib down on the lowest setting to prevent any escaping babies. But I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before he’s climbing out of the crib again! This boy LOVES climbing stuff.

David takes back his masculinity.

20 07 2009

David and I have thrush and we’ve been using Gentian Violet to help clear it up. The first time I put it in his mouth, he just started wailing. Gentian Violet is VERY purple and it takes a few days to wash away. I just giggle every time I look at him. Jake says he looks like a purple vampire when he smiles real big, since even his teeth are purple right after he gets a dose.

One day in particular, the poor guy was wearing a pink diaper, had a purple mouth, and had a sticker on his back that he couldn’t reach and take off by himself. He was not a happy camper.

So he took things into his own hands so he could prove to his mommy, sister, the world, and more importantly, to himself that he is a strong handsome little man.

Here is his journey. 😉

Step One – Acknowledge how unhappy you are.

“I’m wearing a pink diaper and now my mouth is purple, I have a sticker on my back that I can’t get off, and I DON’T like it.”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 2

Step Two – Realize that you can take your future into your own hands and change.

“Huh. You mean I don’t just have to sit here and cry about it? I can actually DO something about it?”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 3

Step Three – Make a written plan with small goals.

“I found some paper. But now I can’t find my pen. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 1

Step Four – Begin to express masculinity.

“I am David! I found my pen! Now hear me ROAR!!!

Hmmm…. I still have a pink diaper and a purple mouth. I think I need a little more testosterone.”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 3.5

“Ok, second try. I am David!! I found my pen! And now I’m going to read my Diego book! Hear me ROAR!!

Hmmmm…. well, that was better. But I’m still wearing a pink diaper and have a purple mouth. What can I do about that? MOMMMMM!”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 4

Step Five – Dress to express your inner attitude and masculinity.

“All right! Pink diaper is GONE! I think this brown diaper reflects my inner Tarzan SO much better! My mouth is still purple, but it’s fading and should be all gone soon. Let me adjust my blue hat a little bit more before I sit down and have a drink while and reading my Diego book.

Wait a second!!! This sippy cup is PINK! Yeah, yeah, yeah, I see it has an orange lid. But the cup is PINK!! This won’t do AT ALL! Time for some drastic changes.”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 5

Step Six – Bask in all your glory and enjoy the new person you have become.

“Awwww Yeah! I ditched the hat and figured out how to take off my diaper. I’m holding not just one, but TWO sticks, and I’m free and nekid as can be. I’m showing off my goods and I’m proud of it! It’s feels GREAT to be a man and show how strong and masculine I am!!”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 6

“Now how do I unlock the door? I want to get outside and show the world what a manly man I am!!”

David takes back his masculinity - 7-09 - 7

I love my handsome little man! Even if he occasionally wears a pink diaper and has a purple mouth. 🙂