Monday, August 30, 2010

worship notes for kiddos

Hey, everybody! I've had my head down and making a bunch of stuff, but nothing I can really share right now. I thought I'd share this though, if you would like it. It's a Christian worship activity page for your school-age kiddos that will keep them quietly occupied during worship while at the same time helping them to focus on what is going on.

I put it together recently for the congregation I worship with and it seems to work well, judging from all the quiet intentness from the little girls on our pew.

Click on the image above to see the full size version and right click to download it for yourself if you'd like to use it. Print it at full size on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

Please note: You are very welcome to download and share it, as is. Do not alter it in any way. If you'd like to customize it, please create your own unique version. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

brain goes click, ruffler goes stitch stitch stitch CLINK

Project Concept: Make two quickie elastic waist plain denim skirts for the girls to layer over leggings. Nothing fancy, need something basic.

End Product: One tiered and ruffled skirt, with one matching peasant top for the oldest.

Kinda sorta Modkid Nina, view C-ish

Ok, so there was some deviation from the original project concept. But I really like the result. I was cutting out the simple skirt found in my Modkid Nina pattern, and I wasn't even going to add the contrast band at the bottom, you know, KISS. My goal was to knock out two skirts in a short amount of time so I could get to some other stuff that needed doing.

Then I thought (hear small click of left brain disengaging here), wouldn't it look cute with a ruffle at the bottom? No big schmeal. Won't add much time. And it would be a great opportunity to use my ruffler gadget, which has been sitting idle for a long time.

Then I got the first ruffle done and attached on the bottom and then I thought, wow, that IS really cute, but it would be even BETTER with a second tier of ruffles above that one. Won't add much more time, really. Might as well, since I have my ruffler out already.

Then I got that one on and just loved it. Now the skirt was actually kinda special, not a plain layering piece. I thought, since I've spent so much time and effort on the skirt, I should really make a matching top so it would be a complete outfit. And looky there, I have the perfect fabrics already in my stash. How about that.

So then I made a Modkid Nina top to go with the skirt, adding more ruffles (stitch stitch stitch CLINK) to the placket, elastic and bias binding to the sleeves and also a band on the bottom for contrast. Ok, and because the top was too short.

Nice twirl factor, always a draw to the young ladies. It will look so cute with boots and maybe a long t-shirt layered underneath for the colder months.

As I view it on a twirling Thing 1 above, I'm thinking the skirt is a bit long/big, but I guess that leaves room to grow. At the rate she is eating, I expect some vertical progress over the winter.

So now of course I also need to make a similar (but not the same oh, no) outfit for Thing 2. I'm thinking the skirt will have a hem decorated with a series of horizontal tucks and a shirt with some tucks on the placket.

Yes, my time management methodology is a trainwreck, hard to look at really. But my creative side is certainly happy. My inability to focus on what needs to be done in favor of experimentation is all part of my charm. Right? Unless you live with me. Still need to make those two skirts, only now I have to buy more denim. I'm really in a fall clothes making mood, and looking forward to seeing what Meg decides about school clothes week.

Friday, August 20, 2010

feeling fallish

Still hot as the blue blazes around here, but can't help feeling all cozy and brownish somehow with all the back to school sale ads and new sweaters crowding the stores. I cashed in a gift certificate to Whipstitch for that yummy knit stripe on the left* and then I found the patterned cottons on sale at Hancocks in Huntsville recently. I really dig that chevron print. I can see it as a sweet dress or tunic for the girls, with the other cottons as accents.

I was also very glad to find a great selection of wide black elastic at Hancocks in HuntsVegas. I can't find that stuff anywhere online or here in my burb. I was completely mystified by that. Is there such a high demand that supplies are running low? Do you have a source online for it? Do share. Looking forward to experimenting with a t-shirt/elastic waist/gathered skirt type dress for the girls. And maybe moi.

*I'm getting quite a nice selection of knits while at the same time being incapable of turning on my serger and learn how to use it. Never thought it would be sitting for months untouched. Mental block. (banging head repeatedly on desk.) I keep thinking if I buy enough super cute knits it will force my hand out of sheer guilt. I did finally also buy some cones of thread, so I'm ready to jump when the block finally crumbles.

P.S. Unrelated but super cute: Did y'all see what Robyn sent my Thing 1 for her birthday? A beginner's embroidery kit, which she loves to death. I'm biding my time and waiting until she is distracted to steal it for myself.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

cell phone cozies

This one for niece Erin

So I immediately found something to do with my new stash of felt. I need a cell phone cozy in the worst way for my purse. Love the purse, but it has no easily accessible pocket for the cell phone, and I'm constantly finding it just as the caller hangs up. So naturally I made two cell phone cozies for gifts and none for me. But I'm planning to make one for myself soon.

This one for sister Lori, to match her bag

It attaches with a loop around a strap the same way you would attach a luggage tag. You can hang the cozy on the outside or on the inside of the purse. I plan to use mine on the inside, but the photos were prettier with it on the outside, right? If it stays on the outside of the purse, I'd add a little snap or something at the top for security.

Construction is pretty simple. The main pocket is made of wool felt, top stitched around the top edge for strength. The felt thistle applique was added before sewing the pocket together. I cut out the shapes, tacked them down with glue and then sewed them securely on with the machine. The loop is a length of bias binding that is sewn together, but ribbon would also do fine.

Now to pick out colors for mine...

Friday, August 13, 2010

happiness by the sheet

wool-blend felt sheets from here

I noticed the other day that my felt reserves were a bit low. I chose some different colors this time as well as my standbys. I love getting this stuff out of the package and just staring at it for a while. Endless possibilities.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

in which I splice elastic to avoid shaving my legs.

I was making a skirt for my girlie the other day and realized I only have bits and pieces of the size of elastic I needed for the waistband. After pondering a trip to the fabric store for about two seconds, I got out my Fabri-tac instead.

I cut the ends of both pieces of elastic at right angles. Then I dabbed just a bit of Fabri-tac on the straight edge of one piece, connected it with the next piece and held it for a few seconds to get a bond strong enough to hold it in place for sewing.

Last step, I sewed a strong zig zag bond between the two pieces. Went back and forth a few times. I also had to trim off some bits of rubbery elastic that were sticking out.

Voila. Trip to store avoided. Just thought this might be helpful to others that find themselves out of elastic 1) at 2 a.m., 2) while finishing a gift an hour before a birthday party, or 3) while unshowered and uncombed and don't want inflict themselves on the public. All scenarios that have happened to yours truly.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

ushered into Eightness

Modkid Nina, View A

More birthday making for my oldest girly girl this time. How can she be eight? She insists on getting older each year, despite my pleading. Eight sounds a lot older than seven to me, somehow. Right? Eight sounds very dangerously close to ten. And ten has double digits! ack ack ack! She's stepped through some invisible portal between 'little girl' and 'older girl' girl now.

I'll adjust.

I was relieved there were no requests for handmade stuffies this time, just wasn't in the mood. Instead, she is all about amassing zhu zhu pets and zhu zhu pet environments and zhu zhu pet outfits from the birthday money she is receiving. (We are also giving her a big package of Magic Treehouse books to offset the battery-operated hamster overload.)

But I did make her a special birthday outfit as planned, which is the same Modkid pattern as the one I made in May for Thing 2. Summer may be waning in the northern US but here in Georgia temperatures will stay in the 80s and 90s for the next two months, so she'll wear it a good bit.

I used the other colorway of the AMH Garden Party fabric I scored a while back for $3.50 a yard paired with red cotton polka dots. The photos don't really give the AMH colors a fair shake. They are really eye popping, so cheerful.

I actually made the 8 year old the same size top that I made for the 6 year old and the armholes are still a bit too large. I felt kinda dumb over that one, since I had noted that the first time around but I thought since she was 8 and the size is 5T that would make up the difference. It's not too bad, totally wearable because of the adjustable ties and looks very cute. Even more gratifying was that she wanted to put it on as soon as the last stitch was sewn.

And I put together another birthday mix tape since the one I did for Thing 2 back in May was such a stellar hit with both girls. It's really fun trolling through iTunes and handpicking the songs I know she loves and ones she doesn't know she will dig yet. And yes, I secretly enjoy the Miley Cyrus song. A lot. Don't tell anyone.

Her party is this weekend and I'm glad I can once again use the felt bunting I made in May. Decorations, done. I so love re-usable.

Monday, August 2, 2010

good stuff

Here are a couple of visual delights for you:

image by Adele Enersen, Mila's Daydreams

First up, Mila's Daydreams. A Finnish copywriter on maternity leave, Adele Enersen is capturing a series of whimsical photographs of her sleeping baby that are all quickly designed, set up, and shot while Mila dreams away. Amazing.

image by Elsa Mora, Dolls Have Feelings Too

Next, I had no clue that omni-talented Elsita had started making dolls again, but here is her lush blog devoted to the art of dollmaking. It is truly mesmerizingly wondrous, and if you are 1) fast 2) lucky you can purchase one in her etsy shop. Go feast your eyes on her paper clay creations like Amelia and Osvaldo (shown above) . Also, go to her main blog if you can and send her an encouraging word or two. Her dear brother is in a fight for his life with cancer right now.

Makes the small stuff in my life seem really really small.