Time to admit, this has not been the best year. Things will never be the same without my mother-in-law around. She was the most amazing woman! And softball season has been especially difficult. She was our teams biggest fan. She just loved watching the girls play and was just as proud of her son for coaching them and me for helping as well.
Unfortunately, her death was not the only one my family had to face this year. On September 23rd, my father-in-law passed away.
I am convinced he was too heartbroken to go on any longer. Though they had been divorced for over 30 years, Rob's father still very much loved his mother. They still did holidays and birthdays, and just plain old family lunch days together. He was devastated when she passed. She definitely still loved him too. Though she did her best to jokingly hide it MOST of the time. One of the first laughs we had after was when Rob suddenly spoke the thought of his dad walking up to his mom in Heaven! And her yelling at him, What are you doing here?! You seriously couldn't leave me alone for longer than 3 months?!
He was one of the most hilarious men I have ever met, as well! To everyone in life, he was the definition of a simple man. In death, we've all found that alone, he was actually rather complex. He was a hoarder. Of many different things. Mostly, OLD things. We've found books over 100 years old. His massive collection of JFK papers, books, magazines, ect- all from when it happened. Old LP's and 45's, gorgeous antique furniture, instruments, old coins, and best of all, PICTURES! So many pictures! Looks like when Rob's mom and dad divorced, his dad took all the pictures with him! We founds some when his mom passed, but his dad had a massive collection. It's been very bitter sweet going through them with Rob and his siblings. Some very funny finds in those pics as well! The of just him is an old one of him we found there. None of us were quite as close to him as to Rob's mom, but it's still hard. I cannot imagine the pain in my husband's heart right now. To lose both his parents in only 3 months. He is definitely feeling it, though he's trying not to show it. He's struggling to sleep right now, and seems to be in a constant state of Cranky. I will keep praying and doing whatever I can to try and help him through this.
So our house is a disaster, garage filled with items from his mom, house filled with items from his dad. We've managed to clean out and sell his mom's house, but still have his dad's to finish up now. It's softball season, which has been a great blessing. We've taken on chalking the fields, making the schedules, running the website and facebook pages, and it's been a great distraction (though it's also keeping the house from being cleaned). I've hardly crafted at all. But I do have a couple items to show, so I'll end this somber post with happier things. I would have preferred to break this up into 3 different post, but I am not trusting that I would get the other 2 done anytime soon right now.
My little man turned 4 a couple weeks ago. All he wanted for his birthday was trains, and a real picnic basket. :) LOVE IT! So I searched for picnic baskets and discovered they aren't exactly cheap. Especially for one as big as we'd need for all 5 of us to go picnicking together. I mean, why bother getting the boy a real picnic basket if we can't use it as a family, right? I put a call out to my friends hoping someone could help me out with finding a cheap used one. Next thing I know, I've got a huge, free one in my hands! Hooray for awesome friends! So here's is the basket before.
In my mind, before I even started looking for a basket, I had thought I would make a liner out of Thomas (the train) fabric to make it more enjoyable for him right now. Once I got the basket, it took several days to decide what to do. I knew I wanted to paint it pretty early in, but I couldn't decide colors, or design. Eventually, I decided to use the favorite colors in our family, yellow, green, and blue, and then spotted a star fabric I had and the whole project suddenly just appeared completed in my head. So I got to painting.
I used stencils to paint our last name on the lid.
Once I made the liner (no pattern, I should have taken pics of it as I made it. Was very easy and would be a simple tutorial to put up...), and fit it in, it just didn't look finished to me.
I stared and thought for a while and then remembered these 2 little pine cones my lil man had found on one of our morning walks. He LOVES pine cones (many future pine cone projects to come as we've gathered quite a collection!)! I think they finished it off perfectly!
And finally... I am a wreathaholic. I spotted this wreath on Pinterest and knew I had to make it. It was very easy. And I also used the foam tubing for plumbing to make the actual wreath form. I cut it to the size I wanted, and hot glued the ends together (this took a minute, and extra hot glue.).
Next I wrapped it in orange duct tape. Not really necessary, but I thought I would just in case there were any spots showing.
I took a black feather boa and loosely wrapped it around the wreath so it when around the inside and outside, front and back and tied the ends together.
After that, I took an orange and black boa and hot glued it around the front towards the outside of the ring.
I thought about stopping here, but felt the eyes would blend it too much if I did. So I went ahead and glued an orange boa on the top center.
Then I grabbed some different size googly eyes and glued them in various spots. And to finish it off, I added some orange and black corker ribbons to add a little unexpected flare. Something about those dangling ribbons just makes it look even more "Halloween" to me. Are they legs? What is it???
I do just love this wreath! It's simple, and way fun!
The only advice I have, is use plenty of glue. After a couple storms, with some good winds, you can't see half the eyes on mine anymore. I need to grab my glue gun and head out to fix it up.
Well, that's all I have for now. I do miss my crafting. And I should have more soon as softball season is coming to an end in 2-3 weeks (depends on the weather) and I have a project planned for our team, as usual.