Thursday, September 30, 2010

happy birthday, bob

My bestest bosom buddy just had a birthday. I've always been a little jealous of her September birthday, to be honest. Fall's my favorite season, and my mid-December birthday is right in the middle of my inevitable Christmas Making Mania. I imagine a September birthday would be one you could relax and enjoy while sipping a pumpkin spice latte, wearing a great pair of boots, and watching the leaves turn. sigh.

Her cell cozy has a button tab closure in back, and the addition of a little pocket for small whatnots, like ear buds if it becomes an iPod cozy. I enlarged it a bit to accommodate her ginormous phone jacket. I hope it is big enough, Robyn!

I tried out a different design for the front this time. I'm not sure if it all comes off as too zig zaggy. But I like it. As I look at it, maybe I should have done something different with the stitching, like round and scribbly, for the yellow tree.

I also sent along some (hopefully) great reads for her. We share similar taste in books, and I just finished this Hunger Games series myself and was cah-razy for it. Wow. Edge of my seat type of reading. Then came the let-down that happens when you finish an exceptional series. Thanks for recommending it, Angela. Sigh. So now I'm reading all her Gregor the Overlander books and so far I'm really diggin' those too.

Closeup of the back and button. I love that carved wooden button. It seemed just right for this. I got several of them in a big mish mash grab bag of buttons a while back on ebay, and I hadn't found a good use for them yet.

And as part of her gift (at least I hope she views it as a gift!), my husband, the coolest, awesomest and sweetest husband in all the world, surprised me with a ticket to fly down and visit Robyn in a few days, so I can wish her happy birthday in person. So I'm really truly lucky and blessed, even with the whole December birthday thing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

happy birthday, mom

Mom and me at Epcot. I love you, Mom!

I guess they are not destined to be kings of England.

Ginormous crane = new princess-related construction going on

The whole gang, minus me, the photographer

Me and Schmoopie dear in Mexico (via Epcot)

My lovely mom had never been to DisneyWorld, and last Tuesday was a BIG birthday for her. And they were running the free meal plan deal again. Free food. So, duh.

My sister Lita, her husband Mark and her comedian son, Andrew came too. And it was his 17th birthday on Friday too. So it was double the fun this time! My awesome Schmoopie planned our itinerary and we all had a fabulous time. He has missed his calling as a trip planner.

One thing I apparently did not remember was how bad the coffee was at Disney hotels. Blech. Undrinkable brown water, both the in-room kind and at the restaurant. My mom, sister and I would wordlessly roll our eyes at each other in coffee deprivation camaraderie every morning as we dragged ourselves to another park sans a morning infusion. If we go again, I'm stuffing my purse full of Via packets.

A couple of highlights were the 3 minutes of fame we enjoyed. My husband was 'that guy' on the Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland, and my oldest daughter and I got to speak with Crush in Turtle Talk. We even shared a turtle dad/human mom moment together. Totally sweet.

I did make my mom a booklet card with photos of her gorgeous self through the years, but it was late on the night before we left so I didn't take photos of it. Same thing for Andrew's card. But I like the booklet format so I may do a tutorial on it one day.

As a parting souvenir from Disney, I took home a nasty virus. I feel like poo. Just thankful it is me this time and not the girls. Praying the rest of us are spared...

(Hey, Melissa at Hatchalah Kalah, since you had trouble finding the guest post on T-shirt alterations, I re-posted the full tutorial on my blog for you. Hope that helps!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

wip, interrupted

This is the duvet cover WIP for Thing 1's twin bed. Construction is currently stalled. I was in such a fever to finish it several weeks ago, did too much sewing and then my back went bad. And I haven't been able to get back into it, even though my back is better. It's a mental thing.

I really love how the colors have turned out. I'm glad I didn't stick with my original idea. This photo is not current, it was actually taken before any of the squares were sewn together. Now they are all sewn together except for sewing the two halves of the whole top together.

I'm stalled also because I'm not sure how to do the backside. I want to be able to flip it over and have a whole new look for the bed. I think I'll use a patterned fabric that will work for winter since this is so summery looking and bright, but keep the patchwork to a minimum. Ideally, I will find a fabulous and beautiful coordinating flat sheet that I can use as one whole piece for the back. Yeah, you know it. I can dream.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

birthday card for Marina

Spontaneous card for a sweet little friend whose turned nine over the weekend. I just adore making these. I was actually supposed to be doing laundry and packing at the time. That's so shocking, right.

Friday, September 17, 2010

found in the flat file

I was rooting around in the compressed strata of my overstuffed flat file looking for watercolor paper and I ran across this pen drawing from college.

I wish I could remember where I saw the medieval image. Probably a woodcut? I vaguely remember the project rules. You had to pick an everday object laying around your dorm room (in this case I chose my ancient Columbiana Elementary school t-shirt*) and then interpret that object in as many ways as you possibly could on paper.

As I paged through the old sketchbook, I found all kinds of really lame, contrived still lifes and compositions featuring the T-shirt, but this one made me smile.

It always makes me cringe to look through sketchbooks from high school and college, but I always look anyway. I can't help myself. Where is that younger mystery person? Some of her stuff makes the Liger drawing look pretty sophisticated.

*That's Columbiana, Alabama, if you know where that is.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've been working so hard on some cool projects but can't show you anything much about them until all is revealed next fall. Yes. A year from now. And that is a huge bummer for me because I'm really excited about it! I've been asked to contribute to a couple of books that are being put together by some really cool folks for publishing next year.

So instead of forbidden crafts, I'll show you my big 3rd and 1st grader on their first day of school at our house this past Sept 1st. It's a little anticlimactic when you just slouch down the hall and into the school room. Which also doubles as the playroom.

I really enjoy other blogger's pictures of their squeaky clean kids headed for the bus with their new haircuts, new clothes, new shoes and bookbags full of new supplies. It brings on feelings of nostalgia for those first school days of my youth. So this photo must look pretty sad compared to those, but both the girls wanted to pick their own outfits and do their own hair.

I do love my little students so. (hugs photo) Here's to another great year at the Holland Academy for Young Ladies!

P.S. From some of the comments, I feel the need to clarify: I'm not one who thinks home schooling is the only right choice. The county we live in is known for its excellent schools, and I know there are so many dedicated and wonderful teachers in our public schools. We home school because it is right for our family, but we also know it is not right for every family! We are just happy to have the option and the freedom to choose. Very thankful for that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

more with the cozies

Still working on the cozy pattern. I'm having my husband bring home all kinds of phones from work to test out. He also brought home one of these because I didn't get what they are for. So now I'm hooked on it and so are the kids, of course. I loved using it in place of my paper Bible in worship. So easy to get to all the passages without all the page rustling. We'll be sad when it has to go back to the office.

I made these cozies as gifts with an added a button closure at the top for security, so these could hang outside the purse too. I'm trying out different leaf patterns and colors. I love playing with color combinations, so having a formidable felt stash is coming in handy.

You could also use it as a wristlet or hang it from a belt loop.

I sent the dark grey one to my sister Leigh Ann who just had a BIG birthday, along with a quilting mag, a stack of fat quarters, a pretty bird card I got ages ago at ICE Atlanta, and this version of Jane Eyre, which is my favorite ever ever Ever. Leigh, looking forward to getting some shortbread, making a pot of PG Tips (with cream not milk), and watching this with you soon. You are going to looooooove it! Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

cell cozy for me

Here's mine (and earlier ones if you'd like to see). I got the two leaves at the bottom a bit too big, but I don't care enough to rip them off and redo. I tried some decorative stitching across the background this time, and I like the way it looks. Plus it can't hurt that it also makes the felt sturdier. I have been using it inside my purse for a couple of days and I LOVE IT. Not having to dig for my phone is golden.

I'm working on making this available as a gadget cozy pattern. This size fits my phone, my husband's Blackberry and his iPod. Maybe a choice of two designs for the front, a larger and smaller size, an optional pocket in the back for those earbuds, and a button closure at the top. It would be make an easy and useful handmade gift to anyone who has gadgets to keep up with. Stay tuned.

I hope all the US citizens had a lovely and not laborious Labor Day. I'm getting that squirmy feeling that comes when the air and the light changes ever so slightly -- fall is coming. My favorite time of year! (Thanks, Kaye, I didn't know Canadians celebrate Labour Day on the same day as our Labor Day (minus the u)! Learn sump'n new every day.)