Wednesday, April 29, 2009

woken up bunny

Here's the belated picture of an awake Baby Binky Bunny, instructions for which are included with the pattern. No binky for him, though. He says he's not sleepy.

Bought a pattern but don't have this version of the face? Download it here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

bibs and burps

Now that the baby boy shower for my friend Beth's daughter is over and the cat's out of the bag, I can show these. What fun it is to make cute and simple baby things! I used the excellent bib pattern provided for free by Chick Pea Sewing Studio, thank you very much! The burp cloths need no pattern, they are just 9.5 x 18.5 inch rectangles of terry cloth and cotton fabric sewn right sides together with a quarter inch seam and turned.

Because of limited attic space I have to really pare down what I keep forever in the special keepsake boxes for my girls. But the gorgeous bibs and burp cloths made by my bosom friend when my girls were wee babes definitely made the cut. It was so nice to have not only practical but beautiful things in my life just when I felt the most bedraggled, and I wanted to pass a little of that feeling on to someone else.

Friday, April 24, 2009

amazing helen dardik

Images by Helen Dardik

Can't remember how I got to Helen Dardik's blog, Orange You Lucky, but was immediately smitten with EVERYTHING she creates. Especially her repeating pattern designs, examples shown above. If you are unfamiliar with her stuff, go jog through her blog and also her website to drool over some great design.

Dare I hope for Helen Dardik fabrics in the future? Please oh please...fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

silhouette shots

The Youngest

Which do you like of The Eldest?
This one or the one below? Or the one below that? Can't decide.

Finally I remembered to get some profile shots of my girls for their future silhouettes. I wish I'd thought to do that a couple years ago when they had baby cheeks and double chins, but this is good too.

And oh, yeah, the several unlikely things came together, including the six year old wielding my Canon SLR, so here's me with a kinder, gentler headband on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

a kinder, gentler headband

DIY fabric headband covers

I've posted before about my headband saga. I love the look of ready made headbands (on other people) but they rarely work on me. When they are not giving me a splitting headache, they are falling off the back of my head.

The cheap, narrow, dime-a-dozen flexible plastic headbands that I have found are ideal for my head alas offer no fashion pizazz, so I came up with a pattern to cover them with fabric a while back. The pattern has instructions included if you would like to make one. Just measure your headband first to be sure it will fit, then adjust accordingly if needed.

I have worn the blue polka dotted headband so often since then it's getting a bit worn looking, so I recently dug that pattern back out to make more headbands for spring and summer. I made a set for my niece Raven for her birthday too while I was at it.

Pretty fast/easy to make with a sewing machine, and you can throw in a layer of interfacing if your fabric is too flimsy. I don't bother finishing the slit for the headband much, I just cut a slit and seal the edges with Fraycheck. But you could do a buttonhole instead if you want to be an overachiever like that. You really only need one plastic headband since the covers are interchangeable. (View the older post if you want to see more pics and more tips)

I thought about having getting a head shot of myself sporting one, but that would need to wait until these all these conditions coexist:
1) skinny day
2) great hair day
3) makeup on
4) real clothes
5) six year old learning to wield my Canon SLR

So don't hold your breath. If you have a drawer full of cheap plastic headbands and you'd like the headband cover pattern, get it here. (PS, if you already had it, get it again if you want the New and Improved set of directions)

Postscript: So. As unlikely as it seems, conditions 1-5 did actually come together:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

a bit of shopping

(softly playing strains of Peaches n' Herb's Reunited in background)

Back with my little friend upstairs.

The whole fam at Arlington National Cemetery.
This is the view from Kennedy's grave site. It. Was. Freezing.

Here are some finds from our recent family truckster trip to Washington DC to visit our friends Mike and Judy. We had a lovely time. We walked our cotton pickin' feets off. By the end of the week I was tired of hoofing it to national monuments. I just wanted some retail therapy.

So we indulged in a jaunt to Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown for sightseeing, macaroons, coffee, and girly time. Meanwhile the boys went off to take 1000 pictures of airplanes at the aviation museum. I can't understand why guys feel the need to clinically document ALL the sights, while at the same time leaving any human we know out of the pictures. It must be a guy thing.

I'm the only silly person you probably know who is just now buying a 2009 calendar for my craft cave (on sale, huge shocker). This one was at the Paper Source in Alexandria. What's cool about it is:
a) it's huge
b) it's purty
c) it has printed templates on the back of each page to make paper projects with.

As a bonus for being so calendar tardy: no waiting to rip off Jan-Mar pages (above) and make something neato.

Napkin from Anthro that will become a couch pillow in its new life. It's pretty big, not sure if I'm going to cut it down some or fold it or make patchwork or what.

Tea towel from Anthro that will also be reborn as a couch pillow. Who could use this to mop up a counter? This one I'll fold in half and sew the edges, so the back will be just as pretty as the front. Project list just got longer!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

random act of bunny-ness

I have not been able to post in a timely manner due to a power supply problem upstairs with my beloved Mac. Me and my Precioussss have been separated involuntarily by cruel fate now for a week (pause to bite knuckle) and I'm in deep, deep withdrawal. I am currently banging this post out on the tiny cramp-inducing 'keyboard' of the Windows laptop downstairs, and wishing fervently I was upstairs with my little friendly silver Apple friend and my photo library, wacom, iTunes, widgets and other whatnots.

But enough about me and my strange symbiotic relationship with my computer. I received a happy email from Holly Keller of Chez Beeper Bebe to share that she not only made a BBB and its binky, she also generously donated it for a Toy Society Drop at Minneapolis Childrens Hospital (see her blog post to read details). I can't tell you what a kick it is to me to imagine the meeting of this bunny and the unknown random person it will bring sleepy blessings to.

I have been inspired by Holly to become a member and make a future drop for The Toy Society too, and I'll be sure to share details of it when I do. If you'd like to read more about The Toy Society and see more photos of secret acts of toy kindness as well as follow-up posts from the happy toy recipients, visit their blog.

Friday, April 10, 2009

happy easter

hoppity hoppity hop. 
I hope you all get some good chocolate to eat and some peaceful time with God and family.
I'll be back to posting on Monday!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

and here's the follow through

To this. I bought it at Target in their closet organizing section, and I'm really happy with it. No more felt being trampled underfoot or piled in corners and laundry baskets, where I can't see what I have. The smaller scraps that I couldn't bear to throw away got squirreled away in an old coke bottle crate which sits on top of the organizer. There are cubby holes left empty, so clearly that indicates I need to buy more felt. Yes.

Try to ignore the beige walls, the clutter, the dust and the very non-craft-bloggy look of my crafting studio. One day I will have a prettied up space to create in. Not today.

Monday, April 6, 2009

wake up, bunny!

I promised pictures of an awake bunny when I launched the BBB pattern recently, and I've been having a bit of a quandary. Yeaaaaahh...I have tried the eyes embroidered like I envisioned for the pattern, but I just gotta tell ya. I no likey.

See above, blue bunny. Perhaps it is my non-expert skill as an embroiderer, but it just falls flat somehow. I don't prefer the shiny-ness factor of the satin stitch, and the shape is not as wide and cute as I'd hoped on an actual stuffed bunny. It looks. Well. Kinda weird, no? Is it me? Like she's squinting. Poor blue bunny.

So, nothing for it but to swallow my pride, admit I'm a doofus, and provide an alternative. See above. I've redone the eyes with a slightly different shape, and instead of completely embroidering the eye with a satin stitch, I opted to cut the basic shape from felt, stitch it on, then add an outline around the eye with more stitching. Last step, add a french knot highlight in each eye.

I like this much better. Sorry for the hard to see colors -- I adore this chocolate brown for the bunny's eyes, but it is not real easy to see the stitches, duh, shoulda used a lighter color. I lightened the photo quite a bit to increase the visibility, sorry if it looks blown out.

If you've bought a pattern and you prefer this New And Improved! method of the awake bunny, then just click on this link to download a new template and instructions for the eyes. If you prefer, I will very happily e-mail you a whole updated pattern with this change incorporated, just e-mail me to let me know.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I recently ordered some fabric from SewMamaSew which I'm so excited about (yay for Katie Jump Rope being available again! and on sale! shazam) and at the risk of sounding like a paid endorsement (which it isn't), I'd like to say how impressed I was with the presentation of the fabric.

Opening the package from SMS was an unexpected pleasure. Look how nicely folded and tied! Sigh. So pretty.

A+ for style, SMS.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

chelsea's bird bag

(I've just realized it is April Fool's Day, so I guess I'm supposed to do something jokey. Let's pretend I did some elaborate ruse and move on.)

My sweet and beautiful niece Chelsea, who also towers over me, has just turned eighteen. Eighteen! I ask you. I felt it was Momentous and needed marking with some handmade something. So I made her a messenger bag with a bird on it. Wow that blue is like a turquoise supernova on the photo. It is bright, but doesn't hurt the eyes like the photos.

I've tried before in vain to find a link to the free messenger bag pattern I used, modified a bit of course. It is no longer available, but it is fairly simple. Just a bunch of rectangles really. Might do a write-up of my own version for a future tutorial.

The body and strap of the bag is more dark denim I had leftover from these. I came up with the flap design on my own, used midweight cottons I had in my stash, and just three pieces for the basic shape. Stabilized with some fusible interfacing. Then some machine applique for the branch, bird and leaves. Man, I dig applique! I've missed it. Heat n bond, how I love thee.

In my opinion, the more pockets a bag has, the better, so I added a pocket on the back of the bag and also two pockets on the inside.

Now I have the itch to make one for myself, and my sister (no. 2 of four) requested one for her birthday in July. Also I have another niece, Jamie, who recently turned eighteen (and who is also lovely and towers over me, what is the DEAL?). I'll have fun thinking of some other simple applique design for those.