Friday, May 29, 2009

sewing for a sweet little girl

A small person I know recently had a birthday. Her sweet little self is just as effervescent as the pattern on this shirt. I still love the Katie Jump Rope fabric so much, and I was delighted to see it come available again. This pattern = Simplicity 3743, but I made so many little adjustments it almost isn't. I've made it a few times before, but the shirt pattern is too short and too wide, and it is the same deal with the pants.

Sizewise I was shooting for Slightly-Too-Big-But-Not-So-Huge-She-Can't-Wear-It-Now-However-Still-Big-Enough-To-Also-Wear-Next-Year-If-Possible. Which is tricky when the small person in question lives two states away. I'm told the package has now arrived, and I hope I got close.

(If I didn't, go on and pretend I did.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


My husband installed the kickin new hugemongous hard drive this morning, and I'm currently slogging through the endless number of installations and updates to bring my Precioussss back to life.

I'm also crossing my fingers as I look at the unplugged external drive and wonder "oh valuable backup, how old art thou?"

see you soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Hey, buds. My mac threw a proverbial rod on Monday, so I am writing this from the laptop downstairs. I don't think it is fatal, just needs a new HD. I miss my little friend, though.

Also, because I am a huge eedgit and haven't backed it up in the last few weeks, I have probably lost a bunch of recent stuff. (pause to mentally kick myself some more). I surely hope some professional geek can rescue some things from the old drive. For a nominal fee of course. (more kicking, with some flogging thrown in)

So. No access to my (probably gone forever anyway) photos = no new posts until next week. Thanks for checking in, I'll see ya again soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

more mitts

Two more No-They-Aren't-Potholders-They're-For-Cleaning Mitts. Can you tell it is (was) overcast here? Can't figure out how to add sun to my gloomy photos.

I changed them up a bit to include more chenille and be a tad smaller, and no loops on these. And to answer a comment, I tested them with glass cleaner and they did a bang-up job on my mirrors. Not anymore linty than paper towels and much better to clean with, more 'toothy' to get off the toothpaste and whatnot. Might get even less linty with washing, perhaps.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

loud skirts and major awards

the really professional fashion shoot.
wrinkles and clothespins as a bonus.

So what do you do when you have only five hours to pack yourself and your children for a week-long trip? Well, in my world the obvious answer is to enter a state of catatonic denial and make yourself a skirt to take on the trip.

When I saw this fabric in Ikea I fell in love. I bought some with no idea of what I was going to make with it. I don't think 'skirt' would have been at the top of the list though. Not only is it the wrong weight for a skirt (heavyish canvas), but also this print may be better taken in small doses. But as the full-on Packing Panic numbed my cortex, I happened to see this fabric in the stack and then I don't remember much after that.

The skirt in situ.
My intrepid six-year-old photographer (who graciously
paused an episode of WordGirl to shoot this) will thank
you to keep any comments about blurriness to yourself.

I don't know. It's pret-ty loud. And a bit too big. I have worn it a couple of times, but both times with an almost apologetic manner, as if to say, 'Yeah, I know, obnoxious, sorry'. I'm just going to have to decide to like that about it, or admit I can't pull it off and let it be reborn as a purse.

Also I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge two blog awards I was very graciously nominated for. I really appreciate the kind thoughts and support behind the nominations, and will reciprocate by nominating two blogs (among the many) I like to check regularly.

1) Viola & Pearl -- new blog from my BFF who is a creative genius, foodie and a swell person (well, swelling anyhow, as she is entering the last month of her third pregnancy).
2) doe-c-doe -- I'm addicted to her macro photos of tiny thrifted items, embroidery Thursdays and great stash of free vintagey doodad downloads.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

experimenting with mitts

(Thanks for all the swell Mother's Day wishes. I hope your weekends were full of love and sticky hugs.)

I made some mitts that look like potholders but are really for cleaning. I think they will work well for things like glass cleaning, dusting and counter wiping, but my first set was given as a gift (along with some earth friendly cleaners) so I guess she will have to be my guinea pig. One side is for cleaning (cotton chenille) and the other side is a prettied up pocket for your hand. I added a loop for hanging too.

I hate cleaning, so maybe having something pretty to use instead of a roll of paper towels will sweeten the deal for me. Plus less paper in the garbage. Shiny!*

*Browncoats unite!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

make a flower card for mom

Nothing says Happy Mother's Day like a flower, right? That's what I'm going with anyway. I guess I just love flowers. If you'd like to make a similar card for your mom, download the flower template here.

Here's what you do:

Cut an 8.5 x 11 piece of cardstock in half so you have two 8.5 x 5.5 in. pieces. Score and fold each piece in half and you now have two 4.25 x 5.5 in. blank cards ready for flowers. This size card fits in a standard invitation sized envelope, available at your local office supply or humongous-everything-store. I get mine at Target or Wal-mart.

Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon for the stem and glue it down to the center of the card, putting the top end behind where the flower will be, and letting the bottom end hang off for trimming.

Before the glue dries, cut two leaves out of fabric or paper. Glue them on, tucking the ends under the ribbon. After the glue dries, trim the ribbon flush with the edge of the card.

Use the template to cut out flowers from fabric or paper or both. Any colorful combo works. Use a one-inch flower or starburst punch to make the middle piece. Add a button on top and maybe some sequins for sparkle.

You can skip the card part and just make mom a brooch from a fabric or felt flower, gluing two leaves behind the flower and adding a safety pin or a brooch fastener.

Send it to a mom you know and brighten their day. See y'all next week.

P.S. In a transparent bid to win some of my favorite fabric, 2D Zoo in Pool, I'm including a link to a great fabric (and pattern) giveaway by Candice at Daffodil Hill Too. Be sure to enter by May 12. She has a sweet fabric shop on etsy too, if you are interested in beefing up your stash.

Monday, May 4, 2009

easy littles

Two easy little things to make by the dozen and stash in purses. Good for gifting to moms and girlfriends. These two were for my big sister, Lita.

The tissue holder was made from my own measurements, but I got the tutorial for free from clever Bella Dia. Her tissue holder is sized for the Puffs-To-Go type of tissue, so I adjusted the size for the portable Kleenex tissue size (which is more narrow) and also added an overlap.

If you'd like to make one for Kleenex sized tissues also, cut her pattern down from 6.5 inches x 9 inches to 6.5 inches by 7.5 inches. Then follow her excellent tutorial, only be sure to add the .75 inch overlap on top. Making one of these things only takes about 15 minutes, seriously.

The free coffee cozy tute is at House On Hill Road. I opted to stitch it closed instead of adding a loop and button. It's really easy to put together, another one you can do in about 15 minutes. And you can earn approving smiles from your earth-conscious barista. This fun fabric is part of Erin McMorris's Park Slope collection.

P.S. It's my 13th anniversary with my Schmoopy today. He's so dreamy. sigh.

Friday, May 1, 2009

etsy = happiness

I have been going a bit etsy crazy lately and I wanted to share. Elsa Mora's papercuts take that artform to a higher and more surreal level, and I'm happy to have these gorgeous prints of them in my greedy little hands. My photos just don't do the details justice. The paper is so rich and heavy, and she just couldn't be nicer to order from. Now I need to find some frames!

Also giving me joy are these cards from Herzensart. I can't really purchase one of her beautiful art toys right now, but I can (and will) absolutely enjoy having these great notecards, all produced from her original handmade paper collages. I love how you can fill in your own greetings. All came in a pretty little bag with matching envelopes. Now, can I make myself actually part with any of these by dropping them in the mail? It's looking iffy. They may just hang around to make me smile.