December 17, 2010

Ice Wreath & Ornaments!

 I aged last week. By a whole year. Hubby bought me a bouqet; green roses, white daisies and pink carnations. E went with him and got rainbow carnations. I wasn't deligent about changeing the water, so they were fading fast. I wanted to find a way to make them last, but I didn't want to dry them or press them. Then I visited The Artful Parent and found the way to combine a winter activity and saving my birthday flowers!
The roses were to far gone to use, but most of the others were just right. 
 We used a bundt and jumbo cupcake pans, start with just a little bit of water.
 Put in the freezer for an hour or two
Add more water and a piece of ribbon or string to hang them with.

Put back into the freezer for a few more hours, then take them outside and hang them up!

November 24, 2010

Less than I wanted

I was really hoping to have $500 in products by now, but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and the Bazaar is Saturday, I'm going to have to settle for what I've got.  These are some miscellanous things I've finished, and I have close to $350, which isn't bad, just not as much as I'd like.  Ah, well, we'll see what happens, won't we?

Happy Thoughts!

November 16, 2010

My new friends, The Mouse Family

I'm feel like I'm doing okay getting ready for this craft bazaar.  It's the day after Black Friday, so time is short.  For those of you that are local, it's at Southport High School.  My Mom and I will be in the cafeteria, Booth 1.  Oh, yes, it's called "That Something Special"  Arts & Crafts Fair.  8am to 3pm.  On to what I've just finished, The Mouse Family.  I made them because they remind of a mouse family my mom made for me when I was a little girl.  I let E hep me with them, mostly holding them while I stitched or braided something, but she felt very important.  Here they are with their portable Swiss cheese house
 Daddy, Mama & the kids.
 Found out you have to be careful, the babies are small enough to tumble out of the front window!
Happy Thoughts!

November 14, 2010

Lord Of The Rings Costumes

You are your own worst critic.

So true.  My mom has always been very critical of her work.  It used to get on my nerves, b/c her work is so amazing, why can't she see it?  And now, I understand.  When you start a project, you have a vision in your mind of what it will look like when it's finished. 
 And usually it's a vision of the perfect finished project.  Really, how often do we start out saying, "I'm going for mediocre here"?  So, once finished, we inspect our work, and no matter how wonderful it is, it rarely exactly matches up with the vision we started out with.  Which is why my mom would respond with a "Thank you, it's just not quite the way I wanted it."  She can see all the things that aren't the way she wanted it-whether or not anyone else can.  And now I'm the same way. 
If I had two or three months to work on these dresses I would maybe have ended up with exactly what I had envisioned.  However, I had a couple of weeks to make them.  They did turn out very nicely, however, I still wish I had had more time to tweak them.  It helps that the girls wearing them are beautiful.  And tall.  Obnoxiously so. 
Happy Thoughts!

November 11, 2010

Stuff for sale

I mentioned before that I've been working on sewing things for a Craft Bazaar, it's coming up soon, wait, shouldn't I be sitting at my desk, working?  Nevermind. Well, so you know I'm not just saying that, here's some finished product.  My favorite is, well, all of it.  Call me biased, but I like them all. 

Happy Thoughts!

November 9, 2010

Here's what I've been doing in my absence

Of course, as usual, I had every intention of updating, b/c there are plenty of people who would like to know what I'm doing.  However, I took on way to much and had to give up all sorts of time consuming(but unnecessary) things, like grocery shopping, cleaning, showering, blogging, etc.  It started out making stuff for school and a Bazaar happening the day after Black Friday. 

Then I added a Dorothy costume for one of E's friends, as well as E & A's Halloween costumes.  After that my little sister, The Nurse, set her wedding date for Oct 30, this year.  The Quilter took on making the 3 Bridesmaid dresses, and since I have a gathering foot, I took on making the 6(later changed to 4) Flowergirl tutus. 
That's alot to do, right?  Well then two girls that babysit for me asked me to make them Lord of the Rings dresses for Halloween.  In the midst of all this I added a serger to my arsenal, as well as a new/used sewing machine.  I did get the costumes(except for A's) and flower girl outfits finished on time, but it was a challenge.  A challenge I hope I never forget when accepting projects.  Have lots to get done for the Bazaar, and I still haven't given up my goal of a totally handmade Christmas, so we'll see how I do. 

July 24, 2010

I hemmed a shark!

My neighbor, Jeff, is an entertainer.  He puts on educational shows for pre-school aged children.  His newest show is about Great White Sharks.    He bought some black fabric and with a little help from me turned it into an actual size shadow/outline of a Great White.  He had come to me at first about how to keep it from fraying.  I offered to hem it for him, however he had enough shows that it took awhile to get it to me.  I'll get a picture of it all rolled out and post it for you. This was by far the most indepth hem job I've ever had. Not even Gramma could top it. There was lots of fold, iron in place, fold, iron in place, sew in place, Pick really big piece of fabric up and turn. Find sewing machine, figure out where the heck the I left off.  If I forgot to gather the excess fabric up it pulled, and when I turned it, it didn't always end up where I thought it would.  If he asks me about an elephant I'm going to move.

  WOW.  They are BIG.  Like, really big.  My sewing room is 15X10, and it's not big enough to open the whole thing up!  22 feet long is very long.
Sorry I didn't take more pictures, it was a big black wad of fabric most of the time to make it easier to move 
around.  The tail fin is the width of my sewing desk!  As I was sewing, I kept looking at the size of this thing and finally came to the conculsion, I'm no longer comfortable with the idea of swimming the ocean.

July 12, 2010

My Thread stash

Sew Mama Sew is doing a "survey" about thread, and since I have way more thread than any woman should, I 'm going to fill out the survey and hope it justifies my thread collection.

* How did you select colors for your personal thread collection?
I inherited most of my thread, but what I choose for myself I did by project.

*Do you always match the color perfectly to your project?

Depends on the project.  Sometimes seeing the thread won't look good, and sometimes the stitches won't be visable.

*Do you ever use contrasting thread?

Yes!  That can really step up a project!

*Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread?

Usually, but that's another thing that depends on the project.  Some projects have contrasting fabrics, and matching thread to those looks nicer.  Sometimes it doesn't matter.

*What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors?

Either try to match the background color or one of the colors in the fabric.

*Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread?

Know your fabric type, and what kind of thread to use with it-this makes or breaks alot of projects. 

*Can you show us a picture(s) of your thread collection?

 The wooden rack is all my thread, most of the wooden spools were my Great-grandmother's, but I think some of it was also my Grandmother's.  This is what happens when you have a grandmother seamstress that grew up during the Depression, and therefore, cannot throw anything out.
Remember the good ol' days when thread was 15 cents?  Yeah, me niether.  The variety of spools my Gramma had.  There's the tatting spool, a metallic spool, styrofoam spool, and of course, the beloved wooden spools.

*Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)?

Who have you been talking to?!  Don't tell anyone!

*Do you “invest” in thread?

Yes, I spend way to much for thread for some projects, mostly special occasion.

*What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.)

Yes, to the above, plus metallic, and the mystery thread.

June 29, 2010

Sewing room issues

As I focus obsessively on other things, the sewing/playroom just gets worse and worse.  I'm posting these pictures in the hopes that things will get better, now that people know about it.
Sewing side
Playing side.

I honestly can't believe that there is a room in my house that looks like this...Ick.

June 25, 2010

'Tis Done(finally)

Though not a difficult or intricate pattern, this was time consuming simply b/c of it's size.  This has been my On-The-Go project for a couple of months, which is probably another reason why it took so long; I rarely worked on it at home. 
The pattern was originally vertical, but I needed it horizontal, so I switched it.  Also the color of the threads were very 70's orange, brown, yellow and green.  I changed the colors to match the new colors coming into the house, next up to sew the fabric to it and make it into a backpillow for the bench in the foyer.  I also need to find a new On-The-Go project, any suggestions?

June 24, 2010

Turning my house into a Casa dei Bambini...

That's what I've been doing for the last month or so.  I've done very little else, other than sew a very simple and quick dress.  Since we don't have a room available for school, I've had to get creative with my storage.
The pantry has sensorial-on the floor-A box with towels for folding(will be adding clothes and hangers next week), Geometric Cabinet, well, I plan on making a cabinet for the drawers, which are made from 1/8" plywood and the inserts and frames are painted foamboard, pink tower(bought), Red Rods-square dowel rods cut and painted.  On the shelf, knobless cylinders-round dowel rods cut and painted, color tablets-cut foamboard with paint chips glued on them, and top pieces for the pink tower.  The shipping price for the knobbed cylinders and the brown stair are killer, but since Lex will be ready to use them soon, I'll have to break down and buy them.
More sensorial in an upper kitchen cabinet-Open and close box, pouring, polishing, touch boards, tactile tablets, tasting, smelling, and sound boxes, all homemade.  The lower left shelf has Childsized Masterpieces, origami, lacing, and music stuff.  I'm sure I'll have to move things around to get the best use of the space.
Even more sensorial in a lower kitchen cabinet-Constructive Triangles and Geometric solids.
My buffet has two largte lower cabinets, and two drawers for school storage.  One of the lower cabinet has cultural, seems I have more books for this than for anything else!
Math drawer, once I get the Bead Material we'll be using a section of the cabinet below for math.  Again, most of this was homemade.
Language, most of this was homemade, and I think all of the language will fit in this drawer.
So, I've been making and preparing school materials with a single minded focus, because that's the only way I know how to do things, work on one thing until it's done.  Even tho I have so much done, there is still so much left to do.  As well as the knoweldge that E is going to be moving on from 3-6 to 6-9 in the next year, so I may as well just keep moving with the material prep.  It's comforting to know that A will be able to use these things as well. 
Oh, and the sewing room has been demolished, as you can see.
This happened b/c as I was cleaning the rest of the house, I broke the cardinal rule-instead of putting things away, in the proper place, I just tossed them into the room and kept moving.  So now I have avery big clean up job in front of me, if I ever want to sew again.
Seriously, never thought I'd have a room this chaotic.

April 27, 2010

While the children sleep,

The dogs will get comfortable on the reading pillows!

April 26, 2010

E's ongoing DIY project

As a child I loved the Calico Critters.  I had a friend that had a bunch of them, and I remember playing with them inside, outside, and in the car.  Everytime we've been to Imagination Station, she plays with the demo house and critters.  I have a rule, however, that I never offer to buy her a toy, she has to ask for it(she doesn't know this).  The last time we were at the store, she asked for the Fisher cat family.  Of course I got them for her.  At first they lived in a drawer, then we got a cardboard box to keep them in, which has since become a house. 
E works on the house nearly everyday, decorating, playing and there are some things that she has me help her with. 

Currently I'm in charge of covering the family beds-they have to be sewn on, tape won't hold the fabric. 

I'm impressed with how much she does on her own, from cutting the foam to glueing down the carpet.  The sequins are the rug, so she told me.
I've been giving her various empty boxes, and so far my favorite thing she's done is tear the top off an animal cracker box and use it as the family car.

 I find it interesting that they have a TV, which we don't.  I kind of expected her to give them a computer or a small DVD player, but no, they have a very big TV.  Her Dad might get jealous. 

The little details also amaze me, the yellow pom pom is the light, and there's a family portrait that she drew and glued to the wall.
She also insisted the couch needed a cover so it would be comfortable.
I'm looking forward to seeing what else she decides to do with this.  And if we go back adn get more animals, well, then that's probably going to mean another house to decorate!

Happy Thoughts!