A tiny LEGO sewing machine

Lex wanted to make this post himself, but I’m tired of waiting for him so I’m going to do it. He likes to talk about blogging, but so far he shows very little interest anything that involves much typing. I’m thinking about teaching him to touch-type. Do they still teach that in school? I was taught in high school, but I know kids these days are learning computer skills much earlier… but I digress…

Last week when my sewing machine was out and on the table, Lex started wondering if it would be possible to make a real working Lego sewing machine. We decided probably yes, but it would be hard. He decided he wanted to make a Lego model sewing machine instead, non-working. The next day, completely unprompted (great minds think alike!) Anna sent me a link to a Lego sewing machine tutorial. How timely! Lex was thrilled!

A day or two later Lex got to it on his mental to-do list and off he went. He made a few modifications, some he explained to me, others he didn’t. He was very proud of his final product and his personal touches. I was very proud of him and his excitement for even the littlest things in life!


A proud Lego builder!


The red disks off the end is a spool of thread. The other colored things in front are extra spools of thread. He thought it would be good to keep a few extras on the machine.


The tutorial says to use a “tiny hammer or a pick axe from a mini-figure” to make the foot. Lex was so excited to find an axe, but when he started building he said, “Oh, this is from a regular figure, not a mini-figure.” The axe was too tall. Never fear though, he just made the sewing machine taller to compensate! Nothing stops him!


The yellow squares are lights. His addition.

The whole time Lex was working on this, Eve and I were also playing with Legos. Eve had a continuing narrative that she and Lex were workers in the Lego Genius factory and I was trying to be a worker. I worked hard on a building (I’m not real creative with Legos!) to prove to her that I am also a Lego genius and should be allowed to work in the factory. I eventually convinced her and we all worked happily in the Lego Genius factory for awhile… until I got bored!

I don’t think I really qualify as a Lego Genius. I get bored too quickly. :)

Doggie pillows

We finally finished our first embroidery projects (started here and here). The kids made pillows for their doggies!  Each pillow has a design on the front and the doggie’s name on the back.  Mema and I helped Eve with the name side of her pillow, but she did the front and Lex did all of the embroidering on his.  We sewed them together with the sewing machine, stuffed them with old quilt batting from a previous project, and I hand-stitched them closed.  Don’t look to closely!


A proud crafter shows off his handiwork.


Yes, their doggies names are Alex and Jesus. Can you guess whose is whose?


The designs are kind of vague. Eve’s pillow, in the back, is a flower and some sky, I think. Lex’s is a flower, a sun, blue sky, and green grass at the bottom. Not too bad for design-on-the-fly by first timers! (sorry for the terrible photo quality!)

Lex wanted to rush right upstairs and give the doggies their pillows, but I said, “Wait! What do we always do first when we finish a craft project?” Lex stopped and replied, “Oh yes, we need to take pictures first!” Then he brought the camera upstairs to take pictures of the pillows in use. :)


Alex was “happy and surprised” with the gift.


Jesus thinks her new pillow is very comfortable.

A skirt!

With more Anna inspiration, I found this simple skirt tutorial and made Eve a skirt! I am so excited and it was SO easy! Eve insisted I make one for doggie as well. Of course.

I started it yesterday afternoon while the kids worked on their embroidered pillow projects (more on those later) and bounced around. I did a bit more after they went to bed. I left it with the hem pinned up and the waistband elastic pinned together so I could try it on Eve this morning and make sure it fits. It did. This afternoon I finished the hem and closed up the waistband and voila! A cute skirt!


A cute skirt.


A fancy waistband.


A snazzy hem.

skirt on eve

A shy model.


A silly girl and her doll. (Apparently doggie wasn’t in the mood to wear a skirt today so Kristin volunteered instead.)

Embroidery and other awesome things

Around two o’clock this afternoon I was writing a cranky blog post in my head. All about how tired I am these days, how I keep making myself ill with the food I shovel in, how I’m living life in a fog, and dreading my WW meeting tomorrow… do you sense a theme here?

Instead I chose to go sit with Lex for the remainder of his quiet time and listen to him practice the piano. Then he and I came downstairs and I got him started on embroidering! I picked up five different hoops from a woman on Freecycle (freecycle rocks, btw!) this morning and the kids loved them! I used some old green fabric with a large-ish weave. Lex drew his picture with white crayon and then started embroidering. Shortly thereafter he declared embroidering to be awesome and sewing as his new favorite craft. :)


He has big plans for this project. I hope they work out. It will be awesome! :)

Then I woke Eve up from her two hour nap (swimming wears her out!) and she came down to join us. She wasn’t gung ho on the embroidering at first. We had snack (popcorn, their favorite) and she washed dishes for awhile (or played in the water under the guise of washing dishes!) and then decided to try her hand at embroidering.


She had a little less patience with the project, but I think she had fun overall and she said she wants to keep working on it. I’m so proud of them both!

Meanwhile, between helping them with the crafts I was able to make zucchini cheddar bread, two loaves of whole wheat sandwich bread, AND fried tofu with pesto, rice pilaf, and squash for dinner! What a productive afternoon!

Bedtime ran a little late of course, but everyone was happy (particularly me!) so all is good. I just got Lex in bed and Alan is reading a bit longer with Eve. Hopefully she’s not up all night!

Here are a few other highlights from the day:

  • I finally saw a chiropractor after 4+ years of dealing with carpal tunnel like symptoms.
  • Lex swam in the deep pool at Swim Camp.
  • Lex found a chalk rock at camp and wrote “Hello” on another rock. He was quite excited about this.
  • Lex went around the current pool four times, against the current! Talk about big muscle exercise!
  • Eve took a two hour nap for the first time in forever and did not wet her bed!
  • We found two more pianos, though they were for a different part of the Quest and not decorated, therefore a little less exciting to find.
  • While discussing eye color with Eve this evening I noticed for the first time ever my different colored eyes! I have been told many times that they are slightly different colors but I have never really seen it myself. The lighting was just right this evening and it was very obvious. :)

In summary, my kids are awesome crafters, and just plain awesome kids, and just because part of the day is crappy doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around and wind up calling it a pretty awesome day!


sewing collage

I’m super excited about our afternoon activities. I’m actually ridiculously tired and ready for bed at 7:30pm, but first, a blog post!

I have been thinking about teaching the kids to sew this summer. Ever since Eve separated the petals from an entire bouquet of flower, into her hat, telling me all the while about how she’s going to sew them into a flower petal quilt as soon as we get home. This was two months ago! I’ve been thinking about it, googling “how to sew with kids,” bugging my poor over worked friend Anna who sews her own kids’ clothes, and I’ve probably mentioned it once or twice to the kids. As it usually goes around here, I think about something until the kids push me into actually doing it. Anna showed me an adorable skirt project that I thought Eve would love to do with me. Eve, however, came down from quiet time with her own plan in mind – to sew a quilt for her doggy! I tried to talk her into the skirt, but no deal. I tried to get her to do an introductory project (sewing on a paper plate) but no way. She was focused on a quilt! So we dug out the fabric scraps I have and she went to work. I had to encourage her to draw it out first (a few scribbles on a scrap of paper) and then lay it out on the floor. Meanwhile I cut out the “pattern” (ie: large rectangle) for the skirt I want to make for her and Lex joined the party and happily started the paper plate project. He wrote his name in block letters and then we/he poked holes around it, then he stitched with the holes. Once I had him on a roll and gave up on trying to convince Eve to work with me on the skirt project, I agreed to let her start sewing. I did not agree to the sewing machine though! I thought hand stitching would be a better way to start. :) I held the fabric pieces together and she stitched. It went really, really well. She got three pieces together, he got one and a half letters done, and I felt really relaxed and happy.

Then we moved to the kitchen so I could get dinner ready. Of course by “get dinner ready” I mean cook a few bowls of oatmeal for them and reheat some soup for me. At that point they just lost it. They are super tired these days from Splash Camp. Eve started crying about everything, Lex went a little spastic, and I got a major headache. Oh well. The good afternoon was worth it. We skipped bath and they were both in bed my 7pm! I’m next! :)

PS. I was too lazy to put up all the individual pictures in full size, but it you click on the collage above it will get bigger and you can see more details.