Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thank you, everyone, for your great ideas and leads! And for feeling my pain. You make a stupendous think tank. And as a bonus, I now have links to a lot of cool kid's books that I didn't have before. But I finally found The One! After searching with about twenty different text strings, all variations on Year Round, All Year, Around the Year, etc... here it is. I have already purchased it off ebay and am waiting for it to arrive so I can relive my childhood. And possibly share it with the girls.

Do you see why I thought it might be Richard Scarry? Apparently, J.P. Miller had a very similar style.

Monday, November 29, 2010

help please?

Hi, I'm going to use this blog as a think tank. I'm on the lookout for a book my sister Lita got when we were kids, c. 1974, give or take a few years. And I can't remember the title or the author. But I do remember loving it so much. And I'd love to find a copy.

Here's what I remember:
  • Large red picture book.
  • It was about all the seasons and holidays throughout the year. Maybe had Year Round in the title?
  • It had animals as the characters, very much like Richard Scarry's, but I have looked and looked at Richard Scarry books and can't find it. So it may not be his. Or maybe it is and I just can't find it.
  • There were stories about the animals to go along with each season/holiday.
  • There was a song/poem in it that went like this: The year is like a rolling wheel that never makes a sound, but changes seasons as it goes a rolling rolling round. With winter days and springtime days and summer days and fall. The year brings lots of holidays, the best days of them all! (Why can I remember that word for word, but not the title of the stinkety book?)
Ring any bells out there?

dress fail.

Siggghhhhhh. You know that easy dress I was going to make to wear over Thanksgiving weekend? The super simple one made from an existing T-shirt, wide elastic, and a straightforward gathered skirt that seemingly couldn't go wrong?

Yep. Fail.
Oh well. I did get it mostly sewn together with the helpful assistance of my mom, but it just didn't look great on me so I gave it up as a bad job and watched a movie instead.

Here's what I learned: Adding an elastic waist skirt that is a gathered rectangle may not be the way to go with my physique. It looks really poofy at the top, like I'm wearing an upside down brandy snifter. I refuse to wear a super short length skirt, so this may contribute to the weird lines because my skirt reaches to the top of my knees. As I searched for solutions online, I saw Ruffles and Roses made hers an A-line shape instead to counteract that whole thing, so that might be the way to go on Attempt No. 2., however my fabric has a horizontal stripe so I may have to go with another fabric. Also, I could try having less fabric to gather to reduce the poofiness.

Also, the really wide 3 inch elastic that I love is also a problem because I'm a bit short waisted. If I sew it straight together, it fits great on the hip edge but too loose on the rib edge. If I angle it as I sew it together, it fits much better, but it makes the back of the waistband look a bit odd, like a downward pointing arrow. I can solve that one by using thinner elastic and sewing it straight across, I think, but it will look less fabulous.

Why can't these things turn out exactly like my shining visions? So on Thanksgiving morning I had a clothes crisis in the absence of my intended dress and ended up wearing an unfortunate outfit that made me look like a bloated manatee in annual family photos. Stay tuned for Attempt No. 2. This is not going to beat me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

feeling thankful.

my crepe myrtle. crape myrtle? cloudy day today, but still so bright.

So thankful for God's blessings always, and the gorgeous colors of fall. Sigh. Just so so so my favorite time of year. There's an automatic lift to be had by just looking around at these eyeball-socking trees. My mom and I have been exclaiming over them for the last three weeks every time we drive around my town. They look like they are on fire. I'm not sure what kind of year it was for tree peeping in the northeast US, but down here in the south it was a banner year for color.

I've also been enjoying the company of my wonderful mom for the last three charmed weeks and we're reluctantly taking her home to Huntsville this weekend. I'm thankful she agreed to come, but why does she want to go off and leave us like that? She's great to have around. Now who am I going to drink coffee with in the morning? Huh? And who's going to make afternoon tea and watch Gilmore Girls with me? And read those torturously long Disney books to the kids? And do laundry? What about my needs? I'm plotting her next visit.

I'm also feeling grateful that all the food prep for Thanksgiving with my delightful in-laws is done. Our smoked turkey is in the fridge, and the overnight pea salad is too. Love pea salad. A southern staple. Don't let the words 'pea salad' fool you into assigning it any nutritional value. I think the mayonnaise, cheese and bacon piled on top cancels any vitamins out. We are looking forward to being part of the crowd of 25 folks gathered there tomorrow, giving thanks to God and eating everything in sight.

And relieved. Did I mention I'm feeling relieved? Because all my book submissions are done, baby. Done! yeeeeeeeeeee (Doing a dance of joy - picture Elaine Benes only less coordinated.)

Four different projects designed, obsessed over, tested, tutorialed, sampled, and sent. I just cannot cannot cannot wait to see the books coming out next year, and to show and tell. But for now, huge sigh of relief over here. Because now it is time to play!

Here's some material for a dress for tomorrow. Yep, tomorrow. So, yeah, guess I need to start on that. I'm hoping it will go quickly, it's just a black knit shirt up top from my closet with the wide elastic waist and a skirt from one of the fabrics pictured. Easy, right? Fingers crossed.

It's almost winter and a crafty girl's heart turns to Christmas ornaments. I actually bought some kits this year I couldn't resist from here and here. I will be working on these this weekend. Also looking forward to coming up with some new felt ornament designs of my own.

And I couldn't resist buying this one from PetiteHouse. I just love her little dwellings and I finally have one for my tree this year.

And lo and behold, the thrift store had all its fabric for 50% off! I ask you. I ended up with (from L to R) grey knit ribbing because one day me and that serger are going to formally meet, plain blue cotton, royal blue with a raised pattern (so pretty), green poplin, fabulous orangey corduroy (this one is destined for girls dress of some kind), cozy plaid flannel for some jammie pants, and some plain red. I'm in a winter clothes making mood, folks. 'Cause I can. Yeeeeeeeeee! (more dancing, sorry)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gadget Cozy patterns in the shop!

Finally the cozy pattern is in the shop. (If you go to the shop and can't find it, it may have sold out, but I'll reload it as soon as I'm able. Just convo me if that's the case!)

They are extra fun for handmade gift giving! There are four different applique designs to choose from. I've provided the source and colors of the felt for those who want to make a cozy exactly as pictured. Two pattern sizes are included to accommodate most gadgets, and it is easily customizable to fit the non-average gadget.

There are several options for closure: Tab with button, tab with snap, tab with magnetic snap, or elastic loop with button.

Optional pocket holds ear buds or gum or ticket stubs.

Make Thistle or

Berry or

Poppy or

Or go crazy, make them all.

Hangs from belt loop, purse strap, wrist or whatever else you can think of.

Or use it inside your purse so you can always find your gadget before the last ring.

The 12 page pattern is in PDF format, with color photos, clear diagrams, and step-by-step instructions. More details can be found in my shop!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

sooo close.

little sneak peak.

Crunching crunching crunching on the last details of the gadget cozy pattern amidst several other deadlines. I'm excited about it! I went a little crazy and developed four different applique designs to choose from. Hoping to have it in the shop later this week...

Monday, November 8, 2010

more scrap cards. you make one!

The birthday card was for my sister Libby, and the other one is for whatever I need a card for in the near future. Usually when I find I need a special card I don't have time to make one. I'm starting to realize the value of making extras.

Super easy for you to do if you have a huge scrap drawer like me:

1) Cut a white 8.5 x 11 in. piece of cardstock into two 8.5 x 5.5 in. pieces.

2) Fold those over to make two blank cards.

3) Glue a darker piece of 4 x 5.25 in. card stock to the front of the cards. I use Fabri-Tac. Dries quickly, doesn't wrinkle the paper.

4) Then start cutting leaves from your scraps with pinking shears. I just do this freehand, but you could make a card stock pattern to cut around if you like. After you are happy with the colors, glue them on. I used Elmer's gel glue for that, but the key is SMALL dots of glue. You don't want glue seeping through the fabric.

5) Greetings are written on the front in white gel pen. Voila!

This would be an easy gift idea for Christmas too. Make 8 or so scrap cards, with no messages or generic messages on the fronts, and use coordinating ribbon to tie them up with 8 invitation sized envelopes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

couple of cards

a thank you for Robyn

1st birthday card for wee Tucker

Monday, November 1, 2010

and yes, another simplicity 3835

Simplicity 3835

This peasant blouse was the result of a packing panic for my recent trip to New Orleans. Like usual, first the pressure, then the brain freeze, and then the urge to sew myself a whole new wardrobe to take with me. Ending with the compromise to sew one simple shirt that I still didn't have time to make. The panic was much more focused this time, because I was trying to fit shoes, toiletries, and all my clothes for the long weekend in a small carry-on bag.

So it can really all be laid (layed? I guess I should know that) at the door of Delta Airlines, which now charges a hefty fee for any bag you check. Southwest Airlines, can you please come to Atlanta?