Monday, August 30, 2010

The child clearly needed another dress.... she needs a hole in her head.

And yet I keep making her dresses! If it weren't so much fun, I suppose I could stop. But when a couple of hours will yield a special new something for my girl, I just can't control myself.

It was supposed to have a peace sign on it, but when I got the applique shaped layed out on the tie-dye it just didn't look right. So I changed it to say "SWEET" instead.

I think it suits her.

Check out the sparkly kitty mask that her Aunt Catherine found for her.

Little girl LOVES her new dress! She tried it on Friday night and insisted that she sleep in it. She wore it all day Saturday and Sunday as well.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

I don't know why I didn't think of this before

Lately - as in the last several years - I've been on a sewing kick. But I also like papercrafts, whether it's scrapbooking or collage or cardmaking. I was even a Stampin Up! demonstrator back in the day. And just like sewists hoard fabric, papercrafters hoard paper. Lots of it.

I have a good sized studio. But when you have to find space to store sewing machines, sewing notions, scrapbooking supplies, ribbons, yarns, collage materials, rubber stamps, ink pads, and lots and lots of paper, the space becomes quite a bit smaller. Every nook and cranny is used for storage. Take my 8 1/2" x 11" paper, for example. It's stored in milk crates underneath my craft table.


The hanging files are a great way to hold my paper. They keep the paper from getting bent, but they're also easy to flip through. But under the table?

Every time I want some paper I have to either lean over really really far, or clear out enough space on the floor in front of the table to sit. Not exactly convenient.

I would have moved the paper, but there wasn't another surface in my room large enough to hold the crates.

And then it hit me. What if my paper wasn't craft paper, but important files that I needed to access? I'd keep it in a filing cabinet.

Of course!

The file cabinet takes up very little floor space. And it's soooo much easier to get to than on the floor! And better protected from the boxes that usually end up getting stacked on top of the paper crates.

I have no idea why I didn't think of this before.


Friday, August 27, 2010

More Livvie art

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I pick Liv up from school. That happy grin on her face as she recognizes her mama standing at the top of the steps. That excited look as she runs up the steps to meet me. And then when I get home I dig through her backpack for the artifacts of her day.

Being a first grader (can't believe I'm typing those words already!), the backs of all of her worksheets are covered with artwork. Her pictures are joy to me. They're a peek at the world through her eyes. What is the thing in her mind at that moment? Her perspective, her color choice, the details she chooses.

Here are a couple of my joys from yesterday.

A mama kitty nursing a kitten. She has a stuffed kitty with that has places for three little stuffed kittens to nurse. Notice the "pink magnets" that she included. hehehe...

And a "rainbow land of kitties."

What a happy, colorful, feline world my little girl lives in.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

If you do nothing else in the next week... MUST go see Hubble 3D. Trust me.

photo by NASA, retrieved from

It was probably the most amazing film I've ever seen, and I'm not even a space geek. I don't know how to describe the impact that this movie had on me. It was only a 45-minute film, but I left the theater feeling like I had been part of something historical, like I'd been out there in space with the astronauts on their spacewalk. It was so.... real.

If, at like our theater, the movie only plays during the day, check your kid out of school for "an appointment" so you can take them to see it. They'll think you're super cool for letting them watch a movie instead of sit in class, and it will be far more educational than anything they'd do in the classroom.

Do it.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Layered hoodie for Liv and a dress for her doll

The first few weeks of school are always my most productive. I have the house to myself during the day, and my own responsibilities as an instructor (online course) are fairly light. Once the semester gets further underway, I have to spend more time actually working. But for now, I get to play.
This weekend I made a hoodie for Liv.

It's from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love. It takes a lot to get me to purchase a sewing book, but the photos in this book had me weak in the knees. And the patterns in the book are super versatile. The t-shirt pattern includes several sleeve options, two bodice options, and two optional hoods. You can mix and match to get the style you want.

I chose a long-sleeve with a gathered cap layer on top, along with a rounded hood. The knit for the body of the shirt came from a man's polo shirt. The flowered knit on the sleeve is yardage from the fabric store.

While the styles in the book are cute cute cute, it turns out that the pattern sizing for the hoodie was too broad through the shoulders and too big through the sleevecaps. I spent yesterday morning recutting and refitting the sleeves and I think we've got something that will work.

I'm super excited about this hoodie pattern now.

Here's a full-on view so you can see the way it's all put together.

And Liv wasn't the only one who got some new clothes.

So did Dolly Rachel. Check out her new dress!


make it wear it

Monday, August 23, 2010

Make last minute wrapping cute with scrapbook paper

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. Even though we had planned in advance for a little birthday cookie/coffee time, it totally slipped my mind until that morning that I hadn't addressed the issue of a birthday present.

And of course, when you run around town all morning looking for a last-minute birthday present that doesn't suck, then you're also left with last-minute birthday present wrapping. Keep in mind that my sister always has the most beautifully packaged presents for people, usually wrapped in vintage wrapping paper and embellished with cute-as-a-button vintage tags or ribbons.

So how to make my last-minute gift and my last-minute wrapping not look like the pitiful stepchild?

Easy! Just bust out the scrapbook paper scraps, your Sharpie, and your gluestick. Oh, and a pair of scissors, too.

Instead of seeing the present as a 3D object, look at it as a blank canvas.

Draw and cut out a fun kitty cat. And maybe a thought bubble. And a cupcake, of course. It IS a birthday after all.

Don't worry if you "can't draw". I "can't draw" either. But somehow "can't draw"-ing always looks cute when done in a Sharpie on patterned paper.

Glue your picture down, and add some happy words. Voila!

Liv was so excited when I showed her how I had wrapped her present for her Nan. On the way to Nan's house, she asked me, "Mom.... Will Nan be careful when she unwraps the present?"

Donut hole drama

photo from Orange County Register

Yesterday we had little girl drama at church, and it was all over donut holes. I'll spare you the details, but sufffice it to say that there were tears and two little girls who left church early very very sad. Okay, that's a little bit too vague. I'll give a little detail. We grabbed the last donut holes out of the foyer before the service started, but there was some misunderstanding about sharing and one girl ended up having gotten more donut holes than the other. And since we had grabbed the last ones, there was no running back and grabbing a few extra to even things up.

My attempts to help Liv help the other little girl feel better only resulted in Liv feeling worse. I suggested that she give the little girl on the Silly Bandz on her wrist, or perhaps her treat from Children's Time. I didn't realize that Liv already felt rotten about unintentionally making the other little girl sad, so she took my suggestions as me giving her a punishment. So then she was reduced to tears, and then we have to make our own exit.

Eventually we talked it all through. In the hallway, in the bathroom, and in the car. What I realized through the whole discussion is that my little girl is me made over. I've always known that she is intense and has sensitive emotions, but I didn't realize until then exactly how much. Just like me, she's quick to feel guilt and to feel it strongly. She felt so bad about the donut incident that her stomach was tied up in knots. And because she already blamed herself, my attempts at helping her achieve a happy ending were turned inside out and back on herself as even more blame. My poor girl!

The happy side of this whole thing going down is that I now know better how to handle my daughter's feelings and protect her gentle spirit from her own inward-facing assaults. Of course, the guilt-ridden side of me is thinking back to every time in her 6 years that I've lost my temper, or sighed audibly at the thought of getting up "one more time" to help her with something, or any other time I may have inadvertantly hurt her feelings. Like mother, like daughter, right??

Oh, and the donut drama? It ended up with a trip to the bakery and two sugar-iced flower cookies, and the girls sharing them over a little kid-sized table in the playroom. And an impromptu playdate with baby dolls and girl time.

Happy children. Healed feelings. Sugar rushes all around.

All is good.


Summer vacation is over!

So I had a bit of an unintended summer vacation from the blog. WHY WHY WHY did I think that my life would be simpler with little girl home from school? Ah well, we had a great time this summer, me and my girl... But she's back at school and I'm getting back to my routine and that includes no longer neglecting the casserole blog.