Saturday, September 29, 2012

Some time outside, and a couple of sewing projects

Hi everybody!  It's been awhile since I've posted anything on here.  Let's see . . . it's mostly been pretty smoky here still from all the fires, and most days the air quality is still in the "very unhealthy" or "hazardous" range so we still can't usually go outside for any length of time without our trusty masks.  We've been trying to do a lot of fun things indoors.  TongJie loves to sit at the table and play with his little cars or sometimes use crayons and markers.

The other day, we made a blanket canopy in TongJie's room and he had fun playing in there for awhile.

Sometimes, though, TongJie gets his bag and grabs my hand, trying to tell me that he's ready to go somewhere.  I know the following photo is a little blurry, but TongJie was walking around the house with his bag, his backpack, and his hat, as well as his clapper necklace thing that he uses as a microphone.  He was REALLY ready to get out and do something important!

Jeff and I were so excited to get up on Tuesday and see clear skies and a real sunrise, then later we saw blue sky and the sun!  The air quality was good enough to be outside that day, so TongJie and I (and Albert) took full advantage by playing in the backyard pretty much all morning.  In the evening, Jeff pushed TongJie for a long time in his swing.  Here's a picture of me and TongJie just chillin' in the backyard that morning:

But the clear air was not to last, because Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were back to the same old smoke that we seem to be growing so accustomed to, so it was back to being inside or wearing the masks.  Today, however, was nice again by the afternoon, and we went for a walk for the first time in a long time.  Poor Albert doesn't understand why we never go for walks anymore, and he had a great time.  TongJie was happy to get into the stroller, too.  Jeff pointed out, as we were walking, that TongJie looks bigger in the stroller now, since we haven't seen him in there in weeks!  We're hoping for more of these clear-aired days - it's sad to have such (what would be) beautiful fall weather when we can't be out enjoying it or even see the sun.  It makes us realize how much we take for granted, and appreciate the clean air more than we did before.

I've also been working on a couple of sewing projects.  I finally decided, a few weeks ago, to leave my sewing machine set up in the corner of the living room.  TongJie pretty much leaves it alone, and it's always off when he sees it anyway so he's not too interested in it.  It sure makes it a lot easier to work on projects when he's napping when I don't have to lug out my sewing machine and set it up, and then put it all back again every time.  So I finally finished several more tote bags for our Awana T&T kids:
(The "AWANA" is stamped on with fabric paint using a homemade rubber stamp I made from a huge eraser and an exacto knife - that was a pretty cool project in itself)

Also, I've been saving some tee shirts that I bought from yard sales this summer because I wanted to try making some shirts for TongJie.  I used a combination of this tutorial and a 99-cent McCall's pattern that I've had to make him a cute long-sleeved shirt.  I don't particularly care for the envelope style of neck openings on baby clothes, because they tend to not lay very well.  However, this style looked way easier to sew than a traditional tee shirt collar, so I gave it a shot.  Sure enough, I wasn't very happy with the collar, especially since it's a bit big for TongJie and the front flaps kept rolling back over his shoulders.  But I found a simple solution - I added two snaps to each side of the collar to hold it down and now I like it a lot better.  Here's the finished shirt, made from a 50-cent yard sale find of a very ugly (in my opinion) women's tee shirt, and the trim and cuffs made from part of an old shirt we had laying around in our rag bin:
Here's the new shirt on the model:

Here's TongJie signing "daddy" with two hands:

And apparently he got tired of modeling just the shirt:

Here's hoping for more days of nice, clear air!


  1. Crystal you never cease to amaze me! You are soooo talented! You are my new role model! And I love how you are so creatively thrifty! So glad it has been nice this week so you and TongJie can get out! He is getting so big! What a cutie!

  2. I'm impressed. That is pretty awesome!