Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Rock and Roll Lifestyle

Field Trip to fire station with a gaggle of preschoolers.

Crazy play date across town.

Instill valuable life skills.

Cornish Pasty and baby green salad with the new fancy balsamic vinegar dressing.

Design chicken coop.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From The Scrap Lab: Experiment #2 It's a Give Away!!

For an upcoming project I needed to sew a test sample for a bear. I don't often work in 3D, so I was excited to give this a run through. Of course I pulled from the scrap box, and I found this soft and foresty (my own word) quilters flannel that was left over from a baby quilt I made for my girl before she was born.
Oh lord yes, - I have scraps of fabric from long before I was even born.

He turned out so sweetly. He is a little skwooshy (my daughters word), in the good way, he's got just enough flop to make him interesting, he's a wee cockeyed (because he's an optimist), he has been told that he bears a slight resemblance to a Mr. W. Pooh - especially in the belly area, and he needs a new home.

I've been wanting to do a give away for ages and I thought this would be a great opportunity to do so. So...

All you have to do is leave a comment for this post and you will have a shot at the bear. Oh, that didn't sound right. What I mean is, you comment - I put your name in a hat - my lovely assistant will randomly select the recipient of little bear. I will check posts through Sunday, April 5th, 7:00 PM (my lovely assistant goes to bed at 8). I will announce who gets little bear on Monday the 6th. Tell your friends.

Details: Bear is about 15", made from 100% cotton quilters flannel, stuffed with poly, and his eyes are embroidered on so he's safe for the babies.

When my daughter saw little bear she said, "Oh, it's for me?"
I told her that the bear was for someone else.
Then, in her best Clint Eastwood, she looked me up and down and said, "Just who is this someone else?"

It could be you!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Felt Egg

Just a quick post as a follow up to the egg pattern. I have to thank Feltorama for reminding me that I had wanted to test out my pattern on felt. I am excited to say it worked great! In the photo you can see that I'm not done yet. I think I might add some embroidery decoration.

A couple of tips using the egg pattern with felt:

Because felt is thicker, I definitely recommend clipping your curves (making sure not to clip though your stitches).

Also, leave as big an opening as you can, making it easier to turn right side out.

I will show you more when I finish.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Us Girls

With my husband away on business, it's been just us girls here in the cottage. We are both down with the ick and the weather is keeping us in our comfy clothes and slippers. Today was a rainy day dream, all about blankets and imagination. We dutifully drank our tea (pinkies out of course) from the good china, worked puzzles, made up our own rules to Candy Land and whispered secrets into each others ears. We only left the warmth and safety of our lair to venture out to the "movie store" to rent fairy epics and animal adventures.

After the popcorn and final credits, we began building. First, we had an old fashioned barn raising, a town sprang up around us, soon the railroad came - we captured wild horses, then set them free again. There was peace in the valley until...Godzilla and Rodan reduced the town to rubble. After the monsters were banished, we celebrated with a wild dance party 'till our stomachs growled. We ordered pizza and then desserted on fresh peeled oranges while on the couch (oh yes we did!) We stayed up late telling "real stories," cuddled up in bed. As I sang the last how I wonder what you are, my girl said to me, "Today was awesome!."

...and I whispered in her ear, "Yes, it was."

Monday, March 23, 2009

From the Scrap Lab: Experiment #1 Fabric Eggs - Free Pattern!

Remember when I said I was gonna have a make-fest out of my scrap box? Well, this was experiment #1. I have been thinking about fabric eggs, actually eggs in general, a lot lately. So I conjured up a pattern and commenced to sewing some up. I thought I would share this pattern with you all. What better timing with Easter hopping down the bunny trail? I didn't quite make it to the pdf so, just click on the picture below and print the page. You can enlarge as you see fit but, this should be pretty close to the original size.

Funny thing about this is, after I did all the work with the pattern and then the sewing up and the instructions (and was rather pleased with myself), it finally occurred to me to look up such a thing on the www. Turns out there are a couple of similar eggy things floating about. Not eggsactly (groan) the same though, so feel free to whip some up.

More experiments are on the way!

Edited: I fixed the instructions a little, they still aren't very detailed but at least they have less typos. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Thanks

Friday, March 20, 2009


I was inpired by Claire, who was inspired by Diane, to take some snaps of the signs of Spring.
So here is what I found in my own back yard.

Daphne: My husband thinks it smells like fruit loops.




Garlic and Shallots in the vegie garden.

Lambs Ears

Black Elderberry

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ill Communication


I wish I could just crawl under a quilt on the couch and watch an Ann Of Green Gables marathon, or The Hell Raiser movies 1-3. O.K., I just realized that those two options reveal totally separate but equally questionable things about me.

Just hand me a tissue and say Gesundheit!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tales From the Scrap Heap

Check out this sweet little doll quilt The Lovely Miss K made for my girl. I especially love it because many of the squares were from my grandmother's scrap box. I gave them to Miss K for another project but, they ended up in this vibrant quilt that is ready to make any dolly comfy and cozy.

Speaking of Scrap Boxes...

Here is mine. Once upon a time it was a well organized, neatly folded, color coded, not filled to the top box of pleasant. Now...well, I am on a mission to re-configure and gussy up my work space, which means I must organize and deal with some of the detritus of my crafty world.

So, I have given myself the challenge of creating my next project entirely out of this box. I don't have any ideas yet, no direction known - chances are an experiment in improvisation may be afoot. Think scrappy thoughts for me and I will keep you posted on the progress.

P.S. Thanks for all the kind words and encouragement during The Big PINK. I think I have actually aquired a new appreciation for my daughter's favorite color.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Party's Over

So, she partied like a Rock Star, blew kisses to her adoring fans, got totally wasted on frosting and came home and trashed her room. Awesome!

Happy 4 my sweet pea (officially tomorrow). You Rock!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Half A Bubble Off Plumb

I saw this great tutorial here and remembered that my girl had asked for a PINK crown for her birthday...

...at 10 pm, the night before the party, recovering from the flu...yup - that's just crazy.

I swear, the birthday stuff is almost over. Pretty soon no more pink...
for a little while anyway.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Still in the Pink & Something to Crow About

Yes, it's dress #2 in the world series of PINK. Here you can see the closeup of the wool felt flower charm I made to go with the dress.
...and the dress in it's entirety

No, it isn't all pink all the time but, it is pink enough to make the qualifying round.
I used a pattern for this one. Onion 20026 with of course, some alterations. I loved putting this together, a great pattern! I will have to get some other Onion patterns and try them out as well. I used a Michael Miller print for the bulk of the dress and a Kaffe Fassett cotton for the cuffs and hem.

Now, in other news...

The Lovely Miss K and I finally had our Tuesday Craft Date. Last week's was cancelled due to illness. The craft du jour was freezer paper stencils.

This is a very satisfying and simple craft. There is a great how to here. Miss K painted poppies on a T-shirt and I chose some crows for a piece of cotton calico. We used Jacquard fabric paint and paint brushes to apply it. Miss K took hers home to dry so, I don't know what the finished result looked like. I am hoping she will sport her new shirt soon so I can check it out. Here are my crows (I have a little thing for crows), they will be used in an upcoming project.

I love that a group of crows is called A Murder of Crows!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Side Of The Bed

I recently had a brief flirtation with a piece of property. I came across it's enchantment via craigslist. Was it love at first sight? 5 acres and a 1918 farmhouse with a shop, extra outbuildings, and fields - fields people, come on! I felt the quickening pulse, the shallowness of breath, the palpable longing and a desire awakened. Resistance was futile, I was hooked. I imagined a future idyllic, this property and I, oh the magic we would make. So caught up was I, that I called the owners and crafted a meeting. As the appointment drew closer, my family and I discussed the pros and cons, the lifestyle differences and the realities of taking on such a fantasy. As we drove into the country, winding our way along the river, I wondered to myself, "What do I really know about this land?". "I don't know you at all. Are you good? Are you a heart breaker? How will I feel when we meet?"
The moment of truth before me, I stepped out onto the gravel drive in my rain boots, as the crunch reached my ears I realized, I don't believe in love at first sight. This was a clear case, pure and simple, of lust. I had me a little bit of land lust for a spell. It was a fun rush for a minute but, I was glad to come home.

So, I thought I would do a post about my little house. There are so many things I love about it. Today's post is about a small slice of my home. My side of the bed. I love this intimate corner of my universe, it makes me happy.

I dare you to post about your side of the bed, include a picture. If not your side of the bed, then another little snap shot of what makes where you live Home. Come on all you bloggers, I dare ya!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rock and Roll

Today it will be eight years since my Dad passed away. I was thinking of him and decided I would share something kind of fun and entertaining. This video is from The Ed Sullivan Show 1967. That's my Dad "Smitty" on the drums.

Nice Tights!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Preponderance of Pink

It's Fuchsia, actually.

It's done, The Pink Dress! I was going off a dress my girl fell for in a store. A proper party dress indeed. Not my usual fare. In fact, I find it well...altogether too precious. Still, this is about her, it's not about me (it isn't right?).

Some detail

And just to prove that I am completely off my nut, there is a pink dress #2 in the works. Perhaps a little different.

One more pic to show it's true colors

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dream Big

So, I was down in my creative space this morning to do some good work but, after cursing for the umpteenth time as I tripped on a pile, something crashed to the floor, or not finding what I needed, I gave up and took a look around. Sheesh! This place is a mess. I haven't really cleaned up or organized since the whole holiday frenzy and it kinda looks like a craft bomb went off in there. I am a person who does not tolerate clutter and mess well in my home. In fact, I am a bit of a neat and clean freak (Don't get me wrong, I do like to make a mess and get muddy and such outside) As you can imagine, I have had to do some letting go since my child arrived. It remains a struggle that I continually deal with, especially since I have the feeling that I am cleaning constantly but, there seems to be a perpetual hurricane in my house tearing up the joint. Anyway...

I went upstairs, made myself a cuppa tea and daydreamed of beautiful sewing studios with lots of light and well organized work stations. Like the ones pictured above. To give you an idea of what I am working with: Our house is a little 800 square foot cottage, a constant work in progress. We have an unfinished half basement which holds the washer/dryer, camping gear, bicycles, my husbands tools, bookshelves, sports equipment, firewood, the canning shelf, bits of furniture and heaps of boxes filled with...well I couldn't honestly tell you. My sewing room/nook/corner/cave/area is in one 5x9 corner of the basement partitioned off with hanging sheets. I share it with some quiet but industrious spiders and a clover that grows through the crack in the tiny light-less window. (and no, I will not be showing you a picture of it until it's cleaned up) I will not even tell you what all is in this sewing area, let's just say it all fits together like a wonky Chinese puzzle. There isn't any heat down there and the lighting is pretty dismal, I work under a florescent shop light. I know, it sounds like I am complaining but I'm not (O.k. maybe just a little), the truth is I feel incredibly fortunate to have this little space and overwhelmingly blessed to have our sweet little house. Owning a home was not something I would have believed could ever happen in my life so, I count my lucky stars. I will feel much better once I get in and organize the place.

Still, it is fun to dream. I dream of sewing studios, my husband dreams of a woodworking shop and my girl dreams of pink ponies. What do you dream of?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let Me Introduce You

This is Elsie.
She is a present for my girl for her 4th Birthday. I find it's hard to wait to give this dolly to her but, wait I will. Though I have made my share of softies, I haven't made up many dollies. Elsie is sweet. I think she could have done with a bit more stuffing, I had to use poly quilt batting which was what I had on hand so, she is a tad lumpy in spots. Still, I am a bit fond of her. I hope my girl is as well.

Now it's back to the pink mess in my sewing nook. The dress is taking shape slowly, how it will turn out I can not say. The mad scientist in me will be experimenting with zipper placement today and ruffles. Egads ruffles and zippers, best to have a seam ripper at the ready.

Edited to give credit: oops, I forgot to mention that Elsie was inspired by these dolls, I saw these and created my own version. Hers are lovely.