Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm still here

Nope, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth. I've just gotten myself behind in schoolwork - again - and am playing catch-up.

I've gotten myself mired in details of the child's twill tape toolbelt that I promised. I'm still working on it, trying to find the balance between being specific and taking details to their most ridiculous conclusion.

I'm also excited to hear that people wanted to know how to make Groovy Girls clothes. I've got some patterns to share - I just have to find a scanner so I can convert my cutout pieces of paper into printable patterns and templates.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Groovy Girl got a new outfit

I had a few scraps of fabric hanging out on my sewing table, and it turns out they were just the things I needed to make a new outfit for Liv's Groovy Girl dolls.

A pink halter from hot pink t-shirt knit. It was actually a bit of a sleevecap left over from a t-shirt refashion. And the skirt is from a rectangle of fabric left over from my x-o-x-o-x tablerunner project.

I have a feeling that I like making the doll clothes more than Liv likes playing with them. Sometimes I get started and I just. can't. stop. making. them... It's a combination of the small size (uses up my scraps!) and the over-the-top girliness which means I don't have to worry so much about good taste. If it's hot pink and has ribbon or sparkles, it's hip for a Groovy Girl.

I've been toying around with the idea of sharing some of my Groovy Girl patterns online. Is this something anyone else would be interested in?


Sunday, February 21, 2010

$2 Sweater awesomeness

Several weeks ago I hit a rummage sale and grabbed up a fair-isle style cardigan for $2. It was too big, but a 10-minute fix had it fitting me like it was made for me. Technically, I guess it was kinda made for me...

I didn't take a "before" pic because there really wasn't that much of a change. Too large to just right.

What you can't see from the picture is that the sweater is soft and fuzzy - mostly angora with lambswool. And scattered in the pattern around the neck are little sparkly crystals.

And the silly photo.

Always at least one silly photo. Partly because I'm basically a silly person at heart. But mainly because when a 6-year-old is taking pictures of you, there's really no way to get a particularly flattering shot - best go for outright silly and then at least you're looking funny on purpose.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mama Kitty went to the park with us today

Mama Kitty went with us to the park today.

She did a little bit of hiking.

She got thirsty, so she had a drink of water.

She found a good spot to pitch a tent, then pulled out a good book.

When she got tired of sitting in her tent to read, she pulled out a camp chair.

Then she built a campfire and curled up for a good night's sleep. Night-night, Mama Kitty!

In case you're wondering what's up with all the stuffed animal photos, they're all part of a photo book project Liv and I are working on. The story will be about Mama Kitty, Liv's favorite little stuffed animal since she was a baby. (Can you see how much poor Mama Kitty has been loved over the years?) I'm fairly happy with how the photos turned out - now to weave a story around them!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I did over my bloggin' vacation (long post, pic heavy)

It's only been a little over a week since my last real blog post, but it feels like it's been ages. It's been a busy busy week with lots of weather, playtime, worktime, partytime, etc...

So what did I do for those 7 days? I feel like I should give one of those "What I did with my summer vacation" reports...

Snow Days

It's been a long time coming, but we finally got a real snow.

It came down hard, and fast, and in big flakes. There was even enough of it for us to make a snowman.

And of course with that snow came THREE DAYS off of school.

Created a D-Ring Play Toolbelt

I made this for my daughter's little play tool set.

I'll be writing up a tutorial for this in the next day or so.

Made a Sleepshirt

So I've been knowing for a long time that my sleepwear has been... umm... less than attractive. Old, worn-out, faded, stained t-shirts, YIKES! I like the idea of wearing cute clothes for sleeping, but the need for comfort always wins out. I like the idea of the cute little satin sleepies, but in reality I want to wear a soft knit shirt. And yet, the only soft knit sleepshirts I seem to be able to find in the stores have ridiculous pictures of Tweety Bird on them.

I finally had a dash of inspiration and realized that if I could piece two too-short cute tees together to make one longish tee, then I could piece three of them together to make a colorblocked sleepshirt.

It's not an earthshattering refashion by any means, but it does serve its purpose. It's comfortable, relatively fashionable, and at only 50 cents per shirt at a rummage sale it's also economical. I'll be making more of these.

Hosted a Valentine's Tea Party

Every year at Christmas we host a Cookie Decorating Party for all of Liv's friends. This year we decided to simplify things and invite only school friends to the annual cookie party, and then have a Valentine's Tea Party for her other friends. Of course, by the time the tea party rolled around, the guest list had expanded to include school friends as well. I suppose I should have seen that coming, right?

So after the snow days and the sewing projects and the getting caught up with schoolwork, we cleaned and baked and cleaned and baked and put together Liv's tea party.

Think there was enough food?

And the seating. We didn't have enough room around our dining table for the food and the kids, so we made little tables from boards and upturned 5-gallon drums. The kids sat on the floor.

And of course after the desserts (and before, too) there was a lot of running and playing and general mayhem. Here they all are playing inside the big tent we put up in the den.

The kids all had so much fun, I'm afraid this will also become an annual event. :)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

I disappeared for a week, didn't I?

Yeah... sorry about that. Snow days, school work, prepping for two Valentine's parties. Will blog again tomorrow with some of my recent projects, and later this week with a how-to.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Get out of my head!!

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day who was describing how the characters in her books demand her attention. They rattle around in her head, demanding that she give written words to their thoughts and histories and actions.

What she describes about her writing is very similar to what happens to me with craft projects. Instead of characters, it's an idea that demands that I bring it to fruition. I suppose that's inspiration. I've got plenty of it, folks. Granted, there are times when I sit down to make something and find the well has gone dry, but by and large I suffer from idea after idea after idea all waiting to just be created.

I swear, sometimes they multiply like bunnies, these ideas. A thought flashes through my head and the next thing I know, there's one more voice added to the chorus. Take this morning, for instance. I'm sitting in church, and my mind drifts for just a few seconds to the sweater I bought at a rummage sale yesterday. What it needs is a ruffle down the center placket. No, what it needs is a REMOVABLE ruffle down the center placket. And so now my mind is whirring in the background working out the logistics.

At some point there just gets to be too many voices, too many potential projects and I start to lose focus. "Get out of my head!" I want to say. But really, I like them in my head. I just wish they'd quiet down just long enough to get some of my responsible-person tasks out of the way. Does this ever happen to you? If so, how do you get the projects out of your head - or at least using their inside voices?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lookie who posted over at UCreate!

Yep, it's me!!

I was so super excited when Kari from UCreate asked if I'd like to guest blog over at her site. Go check out my tutorial for this XOXO table runner.

Don't sew? Not a problem. This puppy is a n0-sew project. Just get some fusible webbing and a temporary marker. (The tutorial says to use a rotary cutter and a quilting grid, but they're not necessary. They just help keep everything lined up straight.)

Oh, and it's reversible, too. One side of mine is fancy with black & hot pink polka dots. The other is shabby chic with a retro coral heart design. All I have to do to change the look is just flip it over.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Never the same game twice...

One of the things I love about Liv being a big ole' 6-year-old is that we've moved into the world of board games. And not just Candyland or Chutes and Ladders, but games that the whole family can actually get into. Games like checkers that require strategy. Or games like Battleship that requires logic. Or good old-fashioned backstabbing games like Sorry.

When I was a kid, one of our favorite games was Bonkers. Anyone else remember that game? You built the gameboard as you went with little cardboard tiles that told you to move forward 10 or back 3 or go to Roll Again. It was "never the same game twice."

Our Bonkers game is long gone, the victim of a house-purging and subsequent yardsale. Sadly, they don't make Bonkers anymore. But that doesn't mean they're not still available. After a fit of nostalgia one night, I hit Ebay and grabbed one from an auction. A week later it arrived in the mail. One game, and Liv was hooked.

She loves the "make it up as you go along" and the crazy graphics (1970's, anyone?), and the fact that she can really smoke us at the game. I love that we're partaking together of one of my childhood memories, moving together back in time to when I was also a 6-year-old girl who loved the "make it up as you go along" and the crazy graphics and the chance to outsmart my opponent. And though it truly is never the same game twice, I think it's better this second time around.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baby shoes, oh my!

So a good friend mine recently had a baby. A sweet, sweet little baby girl. And what every girl needs is shoes, right??

So I made her a couple of pairs of shoes. A pair of white vinyl Mary Janes...

...and gray wool kitty cat shoes.

These were made with patterns from Precious Patterns. There are a lot of shoe patterns and tutorials out there, but I was struck with how absolutely CUTE their designs all are. The instructions were easy to follow and the sizing seemed to be just about spot on.