Old sweaters (I used the sleeves of 2 sweaters)
Small scrap of wool felt
Seam allowance: 1/2″
1. Create your snake body from the sweaters. I used the sleeves on both sweaters and cut them open to create my snake body. Cut the head out with a large round shape, and cut other rectangle-ish shapes from the sweaters (work your way down towards the tail), tapering each piece until you get to the end of the snake body. Remember, you’ll want to taper the body down towards the tail to get that snake shape. I alternated between the two different sweaters to give the snake body some variety. Our snake ended up being about 4.5′ long.
2. If alternating sweaters for the body, pin one section with the coordinating next section, with their right sides together and sew. Continue until you have created one side of the snake and repeat for the other side. Once both sides of the body have been sewn, cut out a small tongue shape from the wool felt. Place the tongue at the top of the snake, between the front and back head section, with the V towards the snake body. Place the right sides of the snake together, pin around the entire snake, and sew. Don’t forget to leave a 4″ opening for turning.
3. Turn the snake right side out, stuff with poly-fil, and slip stitch the opening closed. It takes bit of time to make the body smooth with the poly-fil, otherwise if it looks too lumpy, it may look like your snake just had lunch. Lastly, sew eyes on the snake head.
Of course, the snake softie is for Glow, our stuffed animal hoarder. She barely has any room on her bed to sleep because it’s filled with stuffed animals! I thought about adding a little jingle inside the end of the tail, but I wanted to throw the snake in the wash, so I just left the jingle out. A rattle would be kind of fun to put in there though, and would make a sweet gift for a baby (not that I’m trying to freak a baby out or anything). I like how cute a snake looks around a changing table in this room.
If you’re looking for sewing projects, my book, Let’s Sew Together, has plenty to choose from!
We go to Texas once a year, and (almost) every time, Ben and I sneak away for a day trip to Austin. It usually consists of checking out their local vintage clothing shops to find some shirts for Ben, a walk through Uncommon Objects, lunch with one of Ben’s buddies (this time at South Congress Cafe), and then dinner with just the two of us. This time we also visited Austin City Life (we wanted to check out a local church in case we moved), meandered through some local antique malls, and had dinner at Uchiko.
First off, if you’re ever in Austin, get the crab enchiladas at South Congress Cafe. They were absolutely delicious. While we mostly just go to look at the curiosities at Uncommon Objects, I did get a little wooden cheese box for a project. The highlight of the day though, besides getting some one on one time with Ben, was feasting at Uchiko. Ben’s friend had told us about this place a few years ago, but our first thought, “Sushi?! In Texas?! We live in California, I think we’ll pass.” But man oh man, nothing could prepare us for the amazing culinary experience that awaited us at Uchiko.
We weren’t sure if we wanted to go there for dinner, so we didn’t make reservations (reservations are a must at this place). Last minute, we say, “Why not?!” and head there soon after they opened for dinner. There was an hour+ wait, but the bar was open, and we still would be served the full menu there, so that’s what we opted for. Plus, we got a cozy little spot on the corner, so it felt quite intimate.
The bartenders were so attentive, considering we weren’t at a regular table, it still felt like we had their complete attention when we needed. We weren’t sure what we wanted, but we decided to order a few things from their “sake social” menu (happy hour) and then almost everything from their sushi menu (except one or two). We kind of went to town, and each dish they brought out was absolutely delectable. Ben was feeling intoxicated, and we didn’t even have any alcohol! Seriously. He swore they put drugs in the food or something. Each slice of fish was like butter and there was such creativity in each of the dishes. Things you wouldn’t think to pair together, blended so well, and was like a party in your mouth. Ben and I stuffed ourselves silly! And even though I was as full as can be, I still ordered dessert and ate the whole thing by myself because dessert was just that amazing too. If you ever make it there, get their brussels sprouts and try everything on that sushi menu (and get dessert too)!
It’s a really nice place, and while it’s probably not practical to be ordering sushi there every week (at least not for us), it’s definitely worth the splurge. Plus, Ben and I aren’t ones to go out for date nights weekly or even monthly, so we are okay splurging on special dates like this once in awhile. Sometimes our motto is “Go big or go home,” only sometimes though (like once a year). That motto for sure gets applied to our gardening projects. Anyhow, it’s good to be able to have some time to enjoy each other and treat ourselves out! We loved it so much that we left with a Uchi cookbook and I’m definitely going to try to recreate some of the dishes.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Herb Stuffed Meatballs. This is always a winner in our house. My friend, Reese, even jokingly refers to it as the “Bratcher Meatballs.” HA! We usually use the Trader Joe’s marinara sauce, but since it doesn’t use organic tomatoes, I think we are going to try something else. Anyone have an easy marinara recipe you can share?
Week of 1/19 – 1/23
Monday: Garlic Cheese Balls
Tuesday: Steamed Tilapia with Garlic and Ginger
Thursday: Mushroom Burgers
I’ve been craving a Red Robin mushroom burger, and it’s been years since I had one. I just looked up the calories, since I used to eat that burger all the time back in high school and college, and my oh my, it’s a whoppin’ 961 calories! That doesn’t even include the fries and honey mustard I use to guzzle down with it. I’m definitely going to attempt to make my own (much healthier) version of it.
First off, another one of my sister’s post brings me to tears, and it goes against everything our culture tells us. It rebuked my heart in realizing that I am weak and can’t do it all. It’s supposed to be that way, so that in my weakness the power of Christ can work.
Second, Ben’s cousin is co-creator of the new show Bella and the Bulldogs premiering tonight on Nickelodeon, so check it out. It’s about kids at some school in Texas, and the football team is kind of bad, but then the ball happens to get in the hands of one of the cheerleaders. She throws it back to the team, and they realize she’s got a mean arm. Thus, she becomes the quarterback of the football team. We are so proud of Ben’s cousin and can’t wait to watch it!
I’ve always liked this sweater when Nicole Richie teamed up with Piperlime, so I’ve been keeping my eye out at the thrift store for one, and I finally came across one this week. I wear it here, but you can’t tell much about it, but it’s perfectly cropped and cozy! Most of the styles out these days can easily be found at the thrift stores, if you have the patience (and luck), and at a much affordable price!
I really want to make this dangerous looking cake.
I think the girls would have a lot of fun if we made this.
And I want to make this garlic & herb cheese bombs soon too! Maybe today!
Ben’s work has been strike this week (for the whole week). We’ve been anticipating it for a couple months now, so we were ready for it. We are thankful that Ben has a job, and he enjoys his job, but the neglect that Kaiser gives their patients and employees isn’t right.
I want to make a chair like this for my creative space!
How cute is this 1960′s heart cut out swimsuit. If I didn’t have a tattoo of fire on my belly, I might consider it.
And while blogs are fun, there are more serious (and important) things in life past the internet. To all those affected by the attacks overseas, I’ve been praying for you.
Lately, this parenting gig has been real hard. Not that it was ever super easy, but it seems we’ve hit a bump in the road, especially with our oldest. She has a real strong desire to control and wants her way or the highway. Actually, now that I type this out, it sounds a lot like me. Her way isn’t always best, and usually it’s quite selfish, so we’ve been really trying to steer her heart toward choosing selflessness and obedience.
I’m a sinner who birthed sinners, so it’s funny that I get surprised (and angry) when they are not following directions. Argh! Ben and I have been seeing how much growing and grace our parenting needs. The tantrums though have left me feeling exhausted and numb. I went to Target this week to pick up a couple things, and I remember just walking and feeling so zombie-like (minus all the grunting). All joy in parenting was gone that day.
I realized all my trying to be a good parent was kind of failing and it’s cause it was just me trying (and Ben), but kind of leaving God out of it. Not that God is a magic genie who magically makes things happen when you want, but I realized I needed to pray and surrender myself. I haven’t been dealing with this whole thing with the best perspective and my heart in all the wrong places, so I need to refocus.
I’ve been waking up at 5am to pray, read, and think, and enjoy the peace and quiet before all the chaos starts. And True and I went on a date this week, and I spoke with her about heart issues. I told her about how most of the time it’s hard for me to be selfless too, and that even I struggle with being too angry about something dumb. That’s not news to her though as she witness my selfishness firsthand. It was nice to have some one on one time with her, and while I know that won’t magically solve our issues either, it’s good to take as many moments possible to let them know we love them no matter what.