Friday, September 24, 2010

You Know You're Loved When.....

Your mailbox contains a nice squishy, unexpected package from a friend.....and you find these in it. Two doll "robes" in fabric that has a Flea Market Fancy kind of feel to it (at least to me).

As well as a good bit of yardage of the two prints on the left, an awesome "Cowboys and Indians" print (totally not PC, but look at the colors!) and an apron in the prettiest little pink print. I was lucky enough to be home alone when the mail came and was able to open my package all by myself and then pour over the fabrics, take pictures of them and admire them some more without being interrupted or having them taken away from me. What a way to start the weekend! Wishing you an unexpected (and good!) surprise this weekend as well!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

For Me

It's hard to believe, but I made something just for pillow covers for the couch. And if I'd measured, they might have even fit properly. Instead, they are a bit tightly stuffed, but when you realize that at the very end, when the only step left is to insert pillows into their new covers, well then it's really a bit too late, isn't it? These blocks were inspired by this quilt by urban.patchwork. I don't love mine nearly as much as I love this quilt, but they will do for now. They have an envelope back on them because zippers....well, yeah, like I've said before, they elude me. One day though, watch out! I also thought that plain ol' muslin would be the perfect thing to sash these with. A quick perusal of my flickr favorites makes me think that a background and finish like this would have been better (don't you love these?!?). Oh well, there can always be more, can't there?

I actually made several smaller squares like these a while ago in the hopes of making a quilt for our bed. For a while I fell out of love with my blocks and several became potholders. I really like the way they look as potholders, but as of late I'm back to thinking about them in a quilt again as well. I even had the nerve to wonder if I could finish such a quilt by Christmas and call it my husband's Christmas present. (Probably not). But in the interest of trying, I think I'll go work on a block. I've got a whole hour ahead of me, as it's taken two and a half hours to put two little girls to bed tonight. Something must be in the air - I just hope it's not an illness!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Craft Hope Project 9

Craft Hope's Project 9 is about to wrap up. The deadline for sending in pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer is Wednesday. I was holding off on mailing mine until the last minute, so that I could send as many as possible. I was off to a strong start on making pillowcases and then school started for Rachel...and then school started for Sarah....and hey, whoa, where'd those last few weeks go? In the past week I picked up steam again and was able to send 21 pillowcases. All the main fabrics came from my stash and I only about a few small pieces to use as the trim when I couldn't find anything in my stash that would work. Since it was mentioned that they are often running short on selections for boys, I concentrated mainly on making boyish pillowcases. This was a good way to use up an unusually large boyish stash of fabric for a person with two girls.

I got everything packed up per the organizations requests and popped them in the mail this afternoon. And while the deadline for the Craft Hope project is the 15th., ConKerr Cancer is always taking donations. This page will take you to a state listing, where you can search for organizers in your area, hospitals they work with, brick and mortar stores that serve as drop off locations as well as mailing addresses where you can send pillowcases. These really work up super fast and are such a good way to share a smile.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Little Red Part Two

So here's my real life Little Red Riding Hood. She was so excited for today and it was so much fun to see all the kids dressed up - almost entirely in homemade costumes. It gives me a sort of Hallmark movie choked up kind of feeling - in a good way. Which might be a strange way to describe it, as I can't recall seeing a Hallmark movie ...... ever? Yeah, so maybe way better than a Hallmark movie!

I made cape number one following this tutorial. Sometimes, when directions aren't coming to me clearly, I don't do such a great job. That's not to say that this tutorial isn't clear, more that I wasn't clear. And I made a crappy cape with a hood that was really too small. And even if the hood was purely for Momma's photo shoot, I needed it to be good. And then suddenly I needed it lined as well. Cape number two followed the same tutorial with larger pieces except that I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to line the hood without a seam showing on the inside. For a visual person, sometimes I'm not very visual. I kid you not, I tore that hood apart no less than four times. I was getting cranky. That's when I found this tutorial and skipped down to the part where she makes the hood. And you know what....the first time I'd done it, I'd done it right (and ripped it out and then proceeded to do it incorrectly three times). So there we go.... lined hooded cape.

But do you want to know a secret? In the first tutorial the cape is closed with a button.....Yeah, well, I have never sewn a button hole. Save from Mrs. Koch in seventh grade, my sewing skills are self taught and so far I've not gotten around to teaching myself button holes (......or zippers). It's sort of like Algebra and I ... I can always can always find a way around it. My detour this time took me via this cool hook and eye closure that is kind of hard to appreciate in the picture. My Aunt picked up several cards of these from the most awesome Goodwill thrifting opportunity near her - "the bins". They are from Norway and are pewter - very pretty, heavy duty and just what I needed!

So the costume worked, the day was a blast and I won't go on about how the icing on the cupcakes was too runny and most of my cupcakes had their faces slide off before they made it to school. Nope, not going to dwell on that. Instead, I'm going to get the rest of my pillowcases wrapped up for Craft Hope's Project 9. The deadline is almost here and I've got a few more to make.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Little Red

Tomorrow is a big day in Kindergarten...... it's the Fairytale Festival. The 7th grade buddies organize all sorts of games for the kindergartners, who come to school dressed as a fairytale character and then everyone celebrates with lots of fairytale treats in the cafeteria. Sarah has had a long list of the characters she wanted to be - Humpty Dumpty seemed to make it to the top of the list more than once, but I knew that I would get carried away with that as a costume (I was envisioning a paper mache/hat attached to a box that she would wear and would serve as the wall) so I was thankful when Little Red Riding Hood started making it onto her list. The cape is finished, but photos will have to wait until it can be modeled. The snacks are ready now too. I got my inspiration from the book Hello, Cupcake! . I had so many ideas after going through the book, but finally settled on cupcakes to match her character.

First I melted red candy wafers in a baggie. I trimmed the tip off the baggie and piped the melted candy onto wax paper under which I had copies of my hood design. The hoods aren't as smooth as I'd hoped for, but I'm pretty sure that the kindergartners aren't going to be too critical. I chilled the hood shapes in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then went back with yellow melted wafers and piped in a bit of hair peeking out from the hood.

When the hair had chilled, I gently peeled the hoods off the wax paper and placed them on the iced cupcakes. I got lucky in the fact that the shape of the hood was pretty much equal to width of the cupcake, as I hadn't paid any attention to that when sketching out my design.

Facial details were provided courtesy of mini M&Ms for eyes, half a pink Jelly Belly for the nose and a bit of red licorice rope for the mouth. Rachel's hoping there will be some left so that she can have when. I'm thinking I may have to set one aside for her or else she might not get a chance to bite Little Red's head off.

Costume pictures to follow in the next day or so!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Birthday Cake

Someone had a birthday yesterday. How lucky to time your birthday for gorgeous weather, the likes of which we haven't seen in months and months, and three day weekend! I guess some kudos go to my mother-in-law as well. I am so lucky and grateful that she raised such a wonder son who turned into an incredible husband and father (and she did this with three other boys as a single mother!)

We had a great day as a family, hanging out, eating eat, going out and having fun. Part of the fun included cake, of course. Sarah and I made this cake. It's Chocolate Cake with Almond Buttercream and Toasted Coconut and you can find the recipe right here. It is tasty. So tasty that I was tempted to have cake for breakfast, but because I am the kind of Momma that is inclined not to let her kids do such things, I too abstained. Don't think some won't find its way to my belly today though!

No more fire though. My girls are kind of insistent on a candle for each year, although I think Sarah threw in at least one extra this time. What was the saying, "One to grow on"? Perhaps that's what she was thinking. Rachel was thinking that she'd stay in the living room until the fire had been extinguished. We may soon have to limit this tradition to the birthdays that have spanned less than two decades!

We've got exciting plans for this Labor Day holiday. Clean up and clean out! So far I think only the adults are on board, but maybe with the promise of cake after they clean up, the girls will join in too. Wishing you a lovely holiday as well.