Thursday, September 29, 2011

tooth officer, tooth marshal, and frankentooth in the shop


Finally finished these guys that I started several weeks ago. Sorry for the low light pictures. I was determined to get them in the shop tonight. Three tooth pillows with pockets for mouths and handy hanging loops. See the shop for details!

They were all made with the new tooth pattern I've been monkeying around with. Similar to the old one but with improvements, like a free floating sewn pocket instead of a glued one. I really like coming up with new theme and color variations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

it really is magical.

2 Kids + 2 Parents + Minivan + Mickey Mouse = Big Fun.

Home again! Did you know it is still 1000 degrees in central Florida? We do. Holy smokes it was hot. But still very very fun. If you've never been to WDW with your kids, I highly recommend it. And we are ready to go again sometime. When it is cooler.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

sort of sneak peek

Prototype photos. I've gotten the face the way I want it now (after these were taken, sorry), and I'm so excited to finish her. I love this doll. Her hooded cape. Her looped braids. Her removable skirt. Her button jointed arms. Her dainty little shoes. Her woven basket. As soon as I have a final one sewn together I'll barrage you with photos. I'm writing the pattern as I go too, so hopefully that will not take long to finish that up. Almost out of the woods. Ha.

Monday, September 19, 2011

counting down and sewing

We've done the paper chain countdown many times. It's an easy way to build the excitement for an upcoming trip. Like they aren't excited enough.

Have the kids make a display with a sign and paper chains to count down the days. Make one link for each day that's left before the trip, plus the day of the trip. Each kid gets to tear off a link at bedtime for each day that passes. The last night before the trip there will be one link left to tear off, and the link that is for the day of the trip can be ceremonially taken down as you go out the door.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

things I bought in London

Of course I'm going to geek out about the fabric first. I experienced a reverent feeling as soon as we entered Liberty's fabric and craft floor. I think I heard angels singing, possibly. I wish I'd had the courage to snap a few pictures in the store, but I was afraid I'd get in trouble and I wanted to make sure I had a nice, long time to browse. They also have a fabulous yarn section that would make any knitter weep for joy. It made me misty and I don't have the first clue about knitting.

In the end, the entire wall of delicious Tana Lawn fabric on bolts were just overwhelming. I couldn't settle on one yardage that I wanted and the price makes it a big commitment (21 quid/meter, with translates into roughly $34/meter). So I ended up with this lovely bundle of lawns you see above, from which I plan to make...something.

Now I regret not purchasing some yardage, but that's what I get for being unable to focus at the time we were shopping. Blame it on the jet lag. I'm sure Robyn wanted to quietly slip about ten paces away from me as I kept up a constant litany of "Oooh, look at this one. I LOVE it. OOOH LOOK AT THIS ONE. Ooooooh..."

I commented to Robyn at the time that if you account for the unfavorable US/UK exchange rate, it might be about the same cost to just purchase some Tana Lawn online back in the states. That's not quite true in all cases, since you have to add in shipping and the online price varies by a few dollars. And of course, there's not nearly the selection as on the mothership.

So I was stingy with myself for nothing. But I award myself points for at least making an effort at restraint.

I do love the bundle I came home with, and I think it will be gorgeous together in a quilt or throw. If I ever make one. I'd throw in a bunch of creamy white or grey to complement it, possibly. The peacock and floral fabrics shown on their own above are my two favorites from the bundle. Makes me wish I had a few yards of that green/cream floral. Mm mm mmm. Wouldn't that be a stunning blouse or shift? Crud.

While I was at Liberty, I picked up some glass headed pins. I can't find them at my craft store. My pins are all in pitiful condition, hopefully these will last longer. (I can't type the word pins without thinking about Stanley in Going Postal. Book nerd moment.)

And here's the ubiquitous tourist magnet purchase, which will join the group of destination magnets on my refrigerator. I'm not much of a collector, but that is one thing I make sure to get from each place I go. And on the right some cute purse sized notebooks as souvenirs.

I wanted to get a Christmas ornament from Harrods, which I did after getting lost in the store (despite being given a map as I entered the door. Be quiet, Robyn). I had envisioned something really classic and British looking, like a blown glass union jack or double decker bus, but I was disappointed with the selection. They were mostly kind of cheap looking, plastic, gaudy and HUGE. So I just went with this frosted glass one I liked for it's design and I'll write "London" on the back myself.

Ok. If you've never seen a Pylones shop, you won't understand the brightly colored and powerful tractor beam that draws you in off the streets of Oxford and pries open your wallet and makes you want to buy every blasted adorable thing in the store. I was very proud that I came away with only this pepper grinder. It could have gotten very ugly for my bank account in there.

And lastly, this very wrinkly shot of the coolest tea towel ever. I super love it. I bought it from a great shop we both loved called pod. I will not be using it to wipe up milk spills. I think it would look great mounted in a frame, but not sure yet if that is its final destination. I love how each of the sights of London are so cleverly represented. 

And that sums up the retail therapy portion of the trip! If you missed the stuff I learned or the stuff I did, you can jump to those.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

things I did in London

 Ate really good food. Often. We had our priorities.
(Everybody, this is my oft-mentioned friend Robyn. Robyn, meet everybody.)

 Walked almost off the plane into Liberty. We ain't crazy.

Took an open topped bus tour of the city. Hilarious...

 ...because of our lovely and very witty guide, Samantha from Scotland. Now I know the gruesome history of why we say "God bless you" when someone sneezes.

 Went to Portobello Market in Notting Hill. Very good. I recommend browsing with a Belgian waffle in one hand and a big ol' coffee in the other.


 Walked around town and saw random cool stuff. Discussed how much we'd insure our legs for.

 Notice the strange quality about this photo? Yes, that's sunlight in London.

 This is the future me and Robyn on our 45th girl trip. Aren't we cute?

 Took a tour of the Tower of London. Lucked into another guide who continually cracked us up. Perhaps there's a secret Guild of Her Majesty's Larking Tour Guides they belong to. We saw the crown jewels and found out that the golden spoon is in fact not for a pre-coronation bowl of Wheaties.

 Took a lovely Thames River cruise and saw the highlights from the water. Sights of London were once again upstaged by the stand up comedian who was posing as our ship's captain.

 Caught the last part of Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Beautiful house of worship, beautiful music. Beautiful reminder to be still and know that He is God.

 Took the bus to Oxford. Wowee. Gorgeous town.

 Took pictures of my toilet in Jamie's Italian. It's a Crapper. (snicker) It's a Venerable Crapper. (explosive snorting behind hand) Oh, yeah, the food was great too.

 Toured the grounds and tried to imagine what it would be like to actually attend Oxford. Lucky, that's what.

 Saw some really cute handmade crafts for sale there, by Wawaya. Look, their hands are in their pockets. Love the stripey tails. Robyn adopted a couple for her kiddos.

Met a kind woman from Phoenix who was serious about getting just the right shot of us in front of the Radcliffe Camera. (If you read The Historian, you'll know I'm this close to seeing crucial documents about Vlad the Impaler. So close. But still about 5000 pages away from the climax. I seriously thought that book was never going to end.)

 Went to the site of the first coffee house in England and had...yes, tea! It was very very good tea, with hot fruit scones and lots of clotted cream and jam. It was just what we needed on a chilly day. Here's me trying to get a trick shot in the mirror. Fail.

And yes, another shot of the toilet. But, see, it was funny. Flood. ha.

 Laughter that ensued after Robyn's hair caught fire. You'll have to ask her about that one. I think she is actually saying in this shot "Thanks for saving my life."

 Luminaries greeted us each evening along the halls at the Charing Cross Hotel. We couldn't have asked for a better location in central London. Well done, Robyn! I bow to you. Thanks for all the research and legwork.

 No, the wind and rain is NOT getting us down as we cross the Millennium Bridge. That's the Tate Modern in the background there. What an...interesting collection. Great fun to browse.

 This is me as I almost expire before getting to the galleries in St. Paul's. It is not for the feeble or for anyone who gets claustrophobia or vertigo.

 Here's me attempting to take my own picture at Buckingham Palace. I made several botched attempts. Gah. Look kinda tired.

 And this is the picture taken by the Bobby you see in the first picture above. Yes, I was so pathetic that he stepped over the metal car bomb barrier and volunteered. Wasn't that sweet?

 Aw, look at him on the right there. What a nice guy. Thanks, Mr. Policeman!

 Then as I was standing there, I dumb lucked into the changing of the guard. How 'bout that for my last few moments of sightseeing in London? Brilliant!

Not pictured:
British Museum (the whirlwind tour),
St. Paul's (no pictures allowed, besides the one I snuck on the stairs of death),
The 39 Steps (Great show).