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!

April 22, 2010

An Eco-friendly sewing day with The Quilter

I'm such a visual person I almost didn't post this because I don't have very many pictures. The Quilter lives in a beautiful neighborhood, and with the weather supposedly getting wet and yucky, I packed up my little ones and we went to her house. While the kiddos played in the backyard, the Quilter and I set up our sewing machines on the screened in porch and made a few things.

She called me last week and asked if I had seen any good tutorials for reusable lunch bags. What a co-inky-dink, I had a long list of lunch bag, sandwich, and snack bag tutorials to pick from. I got my most of my list from Whipup.net. I printed out my favorites, packed up some of my sewing room and lots of fabric scraps to take with me. We decided to do Betz White's reusable sandwich wrap, and purlbee's fabric lunch bag.

As I said, there aren't many pictures, I forgot my camera and The Quilter's camera was in the same room as a sleeping baby, so we went without.

We started with the lunch bag, which we thought would be more difficult. Honestly, it's a project a beginning sewer can do. It was fun, and probably the hardest part was choosing the button. I will say that my bag turned out better, simple because I used canvas fabric(per the instructions) and The Quilter used a lightweight cotton(ignoring the instructions, as usual) And yes, that's some sisterly one-up manship. She has since decided to take hers apart and line it with some iron-on vinyl. We also accidentally changed the pattern, which happens with us. Instead of using two 9 ½ by 13 inch pieces of fabric, ours were cut to 9 by 13 inches. It was my fault, I was the one umm, more perusing than reading the instructions. It didn’t really make a difference, and we decided we would try a few variations, longer, wider, bias tape lining, etc.
The sandwich wraps were also a lot of fun and very easy to make. It took us a little longer since we ironed vinyl onto the wrong side of some fabric, rather than buying PUL, as it recommends. We had another pattern alteration, again kind of my fault. I printed the template, but didn’t enlarge it as I was supposed to; we did it by hand, so our template was about a ½ inch bigger. Again, it really didn’t make a difference. This was a fun project, mostly because the vinyl made ironing the small seam allowances very easy. I thought the directions took the securing of the Velcro a little far until I unhooked my wrap and the Velcro came right off. In that respect, go ahead and follow the directions exactly. Even with all the interruptions from children and life in general, we had a great time and I’m, definitely going to make a lot more of both of these. The Quilter is thinking of using the lunch bag as party favor bags for G-Man’s upcoming birthday.  They are a great way to use scrap pieces of fabric, and they are quick aand easy to do.

Happy Thoughts!

Living an organized life-part 4

What more can there be to say about having a routine, you ask? Haven’t I drilled it into your head enough already? For the most part yes, I have said all there is to say. This will be mostly tips and tricks to help get things running smoothly. In material organization, there are two rules you should follow that also apply to a routine.

Rule #1- Put things where you will use them

Rule #2-Put like items with like items

This applies to routine in this way; when you finish your shower, wipe down the shower stall. When you’ve finished at the bathroom sink, wipe the counter and sink. I do mean every day. I know many people have a “cleaning day” where they do everything, and this drives me crazy. Don’t shower for a week and then time how long it takes you to get clean when you do shower, and how much harder you have to scrub as well. It’s the same thing with your home, if you only wash it once a week, it will take longer, and you will work harder when you do it. There are some housecleaning asks that should be done daily, that won’t take hardly any time, especially if you do them daily. Dusting, cleaning floors, and wiping countertops. I don’t mean you do all of these things together; wipe the kitchen countertops when you’re finished with the dishes. In the beginning, if there is clutter on the counter, wipe around it, and put 1 thing away, in its place-don’t just make a big pile, or spend extra time putting it up, just commit to putting one thing away every day. I can hear some whining voice saying, “But that takes so long!” It took time for it to get the way it is, it will take time to get it cleaned up. Dusting and cleaning the floors-well, when you have five minutes to run around and dust, do it. Once a week, take things and wipe them off appropriately-Martha Stewart has the answer for how to wipe/clean anything. As for cleaning floors, if you have carpet, just vacuum the main walkways, where it’s worn down the most. Floors that must be swept and mopped I’ve found the best time for me is before bed. With two dogs and two children, I find myself cleaning the floors after lunch most days as well. Vacuum main walkways daily, edges and corners weekly-ish, and once to twice a month move furniture and get behind and under. Honestly, I have yet to meet someone that does this daily, no matter what size the house, and reports that it takes them more than 15 minutes for any individual task.

Now is the time to bring up the rest of your household occupants. They should help. If you have kids, they need to learn to do this so that when they move out, they know how. Anyone remember Jessica Simpson’s attempt at cleaning? I’m sure her mother had her reasons for never teaching the girl to do laundry, but unless you know for certain that your children will have maid when they are grown, give them the opportunity to learn these essential life skills. If you’ve never had the family help, start small, and work into a full blown chore list that’s based on age and ability. I don’t recommend a reward system because they aren’t going to get a reward when they do the dishes in their first apartment, or put up their laundry when they live in a dorm.

The other two household chores are revolving; dishes and laundry. Do whatever you can to have an empty sink and dishwasher when you go to bed. Same thing for washer and dryer, don’t have clothes waiting to be folded or put up. This gives you the sense that things are done, when, in reality, these are two areas of life that are never truly done. To stay on top of laundry, take the number of people in your house and divide by two. So, 2 adults, 2 children, equals 4 people. Divide by 2, and you have 2. Do 2 loads of laundry in what I call dirty to the drawer daily, and you will never have a mountain of clothes waiting to be cleaned. These are also areas where the family should be helping.

Tips for making shopping easier:

Have one day that you run errands, and not Saturday. We do a lot of unnecessary running around, and after exhausting yourself by trying to do it in a very short amount of time, you’ll see what is and isn’t important. You can also get a lot of things done faster if you use the internet for research. Check for product availability and best price in advance; you may have to make a few phone calls as well, but these are things that save time and effort in the long run.

Organizedhome.com has pantry, larder and freezer lists you can printout for free. Where ever you store food, or things you buy from the store, put one of these lists, and when it’s time to shop, check the lists to make sure you have everything down that you need.

Keep a list of family shoe and clothing sizes and measurements with you. If you’re a thrift shopper, carry a tape measure with you, and use this to measure clothing to see if it’s the right size-some people donate/yard sell things because they’ve shrunk, so a tag that says large may not measure as a large.

If you know that you want a piece of furniture or accessory in a certain size, carry the measurement with you. Looking for something in the just right color, carry a swatch or paint chip with you so you can match it.

To finish, apply the rules I listed at the beginning when you are planning your routine, think about how things will flow the best. What order do you need to do things in? Sometimes, that is what’s stopping you from getting things done, perhaps you’re trying to vacuum before you leave for work, and it never seems to get done-pick a different time. Routines can and often need to be tweaked and changed, either because circumstances change, or because it’s just not working. A routine is supposed to make your life easier, not stress you out more. Take it slow, and remember, something is better than nothing, always aim for more.

Happy Thoughts!

April 20, 2010

Sweet little DVD case

On a long trip, we take the portable DVD Player, but not the case it comes with, so I made a cute little DVD case.  Want one?  Here's how to make it-
2 colors of cotton fabric-1/2 to 3/4 a yard is plenty-I don't recomend using a patterned fabric until you've done this a few times
Embriodery floss-can be contrasting or matching one of the fabrics
1 5/8 button, 1 1/2 button
Cover decor- whatever you want, applique, embriodery
Template-download and print here

DVD holder:
After you've downloaded the template, print and cut it out.
Cut out template in both fabrics
Starting at bottom below curve, sew fabric pieces together with a 1/4" seam.  Leave opening to turn.
Clip corners and curve, turn rightside out and use pen or chopstick on corners.  You can slipstich the opening closed, or iron it(my shortcut for something that may not get washed)
Line up edges and sew along open side, again with a 1/4" seam.  
Sew across bottom open edge with a 3/4" seam. 

Repeat until you have as many as you want!
You can, of course, make one and use it as a gift case for a homemade DVD.

DVD Case:
Disclaimer- This was my first ever venture into applique.  I have never read or had any instructions on applique, I've only seen The Quilter doing it and the end result.  But now I know, you apply it before you sew things together, and you put some sort of backing onto the fabric before sewing it down.  That said, decorate your case cover before you sew it together, probably even before you cut the fabric into strips.  That's just my advice, though.
Cut two pieces of fabric strips, 6 1/2 inches by 14 1/4 inches-these can be contrasting or the same-let your creativity run free!
Sew these together with a 1/4 inch seam, leave an opening to turn.  Clip corners and turn, use chopstick on corners.  Again, you can slipstitch the opening closed or just iron it.

Place your DVD holders inside case, with a 1/2 inch space from short edge.  Fold case together, and stitch across bottom edge machine stitches, back stitching for a continuous line.
Sew 5/8" button on cover, I used 3 strands of floss.
To make button closure, knot end of floss, sew down from inside of case, then up again, and knot floss, but do not cut.
Thread 1/2" button onto floss, and place next to cover button to check length.
Sew back through holes of button to secure, being careful not to let floss get any longer.
Sew down from the inside to back of case, again, careful with the length
Knot on back side, cut floss.
Yay, you did it!  Now fill it with DVDs and carry it with pride!
Happy Thoughts!

April 15, 2010

Living an organized life, part 3

Recap- We covered how important a routine is, what your priorities should be and why, and the first steps of establishing a routine. And, yes, I know its Thursday when I said I would post this on Wednesday-let that be a lesson to you all to check your calendars before you commit yourself to something! Moving on! Rule #3 deals specifically with setting up a routine-

Rule #3- Work on no more than 3 habits, for at least 30 days. Set yourself up for success by having realistic expectations. Your life didn’t get where it is in a day, a week or a month-it’s taken a lifetime. Changing anything in it is going to take more than a day, a week, or a month. Unfortunately, some things may even take a lifetime to change, just don’t get discouraged and quit! Pick three things to change, not three areas, three things, such as-getting to bed at a set time, brushing teeth before bed, and getting up at a set time. After 30 days, it will be a habit-even if you sometimes didn’t do what you said you would do. You don’t necessarily have to choose three things that go together, you can choose fixing lunch instead of buying lunch, charging your phone and putting your shoes in the closet-it doesn’t matter, as long as you only work on three things at a time.

The most efficient way to change your routine is to work in sections of time, starting with your evening, then your morning, next your afternoon. Once these areas have a basic structure, you will have seen a change in not just the flow of your day but the material organization in your home. I’m not someone who tells you a general idea then leaves it at that, I’m a detail person, so I’m going to give you lots of applications.

To begin, get a daily calendar that is by the hour. Outlook is a great option, but plenty of day planners come with these pages. You can make this yourself, writing the time (6 am, 7 am) down one side of the paper, leaving space to write next to the time what your activities are. This is going to sound like I’m having you make a schedule, but I’m not, this is to keep you from putting too much pressure on yourself. You must plan a full week at a time, because most days are different, and sometimes, each week is different. When you write something on the calendar, consider how long it should take and how long it does take. At this point you will be figuring out what is possible for you to do in a single day, so block out the time for each activity-showering and dressing, eating, driving somewhere, etc.

Begin with the time that you will get out of bed. End with the time you will go to sleep-not get in bed and read for a while, what time will you go to sleep? You have now established your sleeping schedule, next put in meals. You cannot live for very long without sleeping or eating, so they go in first. After that, put in showering and dressing, if you do those things(those around you will appreciate it). Now it’s time to check the things you have to work around-if you’re a SAHM, or a WAHM and you have a child that naps on a schedule, put that in. If you work outside the house, put that on there. Do you or anyone else in your household have weekly/monthly lessons? Do you drive your children to school during the week? As I said, these are the things you have to work around; they aren’t flexible to what will work for you. Once those things are on the calendar, it’s time to look at your priorities. I’ll remind you that you are your first priority, so have you put on there taking care of yourself? Not just showering and dressing, but giving to yourself; time to pray, meditate, journal. Separate from that is being selfish in a good way. These are two separate endeavors, one gives you focus and purpose, the other revitalizes and refreshes you. They can be similar activities, but I would recommend branching out and trying new things in the selfish in a good way category. I’m not suggesting you go online and shop ‘til you drop, but trying a new activity that you’ve always been interested in, reading a good book if you don’t usually take time for that, those are what you can consider selfish in a good way.

Priority #2 and #3 are spouse and children, and if you don’t have either of those, it’s the family and friends you choose to be your #2 and #3 priorities. Put them on the calendar. Yes, I mean it, pick a time and put these beautiful people in there.

I must interject something here. We all have biological clocks, which make us “morning” or “night” or “afternoon” people. What that means is that we all have a time that is our “best” time. It’s a time of day where we are just predisposed to getting it right, handling crisis better, frustrations and life in general. When is that time for you, and the individuals in your house? Once you know what your best time is, there are some things that you should do during that time. Do things that you don’t like to do-you will have better attitude in general if you do them during your best time. Give to other people in your best time-especially your family and anyone you may be upset with. Giving to someone you are upset with leads to reconciliation, and you will be more sincere if you’re in a good mood. If you and your spouse and children are all at your best at the same time of day, that’s when you should be spending time together, if not, work it out so that someone is at their best when you have quality time with your family.

Now you have what can be called a basic routine. Look at the gaps you have in there. If after going this far you have no gaps, some things must go, and not necessarily from your routine, but maybe people in your house need to contribute or give up things that may not be necessary. Here’s why-you haven’t put in there time for taking care of your house-not just cleaning, but regular maintenance. Nor have you put in there buying food, and the other miscellaneous errands that are a must in everyday life. A busy life does not equal a satisfying life. The people I know that are truly satisfied usually have very little on their calendars outside of the basic schedule. Cut back and give yourself room to live.

There are a few more things I’d like to share with you, so in the next couple of days I’ll finish.

Happy Thoughts!

April 12, 2010

Living an organized life, Part 2

Priorities are central to establishing a routine. For those of you that may not know what your priorities are, don’t worry, I’m bossy enough to tell you. The first priority is you. Yes, you are to be your first concern, not anyone or anything else. You might be thinking, that can’t be right, that is so selfish! Hear me out before you decide I’m way off. You are your first priority for these reasons-

1. You are an example to those around you. Everyone you encounter is watching, and you have the power to influence those people-will you influence them for the better, or the worse? I once stood in line at the bank behind a woman who was so full of negativity that by the time I was leaving, I had nothing positive to say to anyone-and before entering the building I had been my normal happy and upbeat self. Also, you have probably heard “Do as I say, not as I do”-has that ever worked well for anyone? If you want your spouse, and children to eat healthy and you never eat veggies, do you really think they will listen to you? This of course, has a very wide spectrum. At work, if you do personal things during company time-check personal emails for example, you have no grounds to tell someone else, don’t text your sister when you should be finishing that report! Take care of yourself first, and set the right example.

2. No one else is going to take care of you. As children, someone else was always doing for us, and as adults, we all long for that treatment still. We all want someone to do the laundry, pay the bills and get spending money for us. But the truth is, no one is going to do that because we’re not their priority. As adults, we’re the ones that must take care of ourselves, and in many cases, other people. Often we get upset and resentful because there isn’t someone telling us, “I’ll do that for you” or “Here take a rest, you’ve been working hard”. Sometimes we wait for our spouse or friend to take care of us, and become angry when they don’t-they don’t have to! We must accept that if we don’t do for ourselves, no one else will. And that doesn’t make the people around us cruel, mean or bad. Remember, they have to take care of themselves as well. This is where being selfish in a good way comes in. I know I’m just full of contradictions, aren’t I! I learned this term years ago from a wonderful life coach. She explained selfish in a good way as this-something you do for yourself, and only yourself, that makes you a better person to the people around you, without harming them either. A woman I know has 5 kids and homeschools them; she takes a nap every day. When people balk at this, she states, “They know I’m better with it”. You must find something you can do daily, just for yourself that revitalizes you, and gives you energy for the rest of your day. For me it’s 15 minutes of reading some of my favorite craft blogs. I turn off the computer after that and I’m excited to go through the rest of the day. 
3. You cannot give what you do not have. This is a more emotional and spiritual rule. Taking the time to focus and connect yourself, to meditate and bring yourself to the center gives you the kindness it takes to deal with the irritating aspects of life. You have the focus to help other people without feeling drained, and you have an easier time setting the example when you’ve taken the time for yourself daily to connect with God.

Your second priority is your spouse, if you have one, followed by your children, if you have them. Relationships are vital, and therefore take precedence over all other endeavors- I have heard several successful people state at their retirement that they would give all the success up for better relationships. Set aside time daily for these special people in your life. When you are with your other half, don’t talk about kids, work or finances. If you can’t think of anything outside of those subjects, get some ice breaker questions (online or buy a box at the store), and remember why you stayed with them in the beginning. With children, give them set aside time daily-15 minutes is great-and do what they want to do. Even if you don’t like it, or are not interested, this is a time where it’s not about you, it’s about them. A beautiful saying to train yourself to say is, “Something is better than nothing, always aim for more.” I read it in a book by my favorite author, Elizabeth George. When you think the small amount of time you have maybe isn’t enough to matter, imagine saying to someone you love, “We have 5 minutes, would you like to spend some time together?” And their response is, “It’s only five minutes, it’s not really worth it.” How heart breaking. Something is better than nothing, always aim for more. This is another rule that has many far reaching applications.

Priorities dictate when and how we do things. There are some things that we cannot avoid doing, which you might not think of-eating, sleeping, showering. Also, appointments (doctor, hairstylist), lessons, classes, and homecare are all things we must do. When you are ready to plan a routine, you must take into account these types of priorities as well.

Now that we’ve covered priorities, let’s begin with the actual establishing of a routine. Paramount to a successful routine is taking small steps. Begin with one part, or section of your day, and spend a month establishing that part of the routine before adding anything else. This takes us to rule #2-

Rule #2-Your day starts the night before. I originally read this in a book about direct sales success. I loaned the book to someone and have never gotten it back. If I find it, I’ll give the correct reference and all the other wonderful life advice in it. Flylady is also an advocate of starting the night before. Much of our morning craziness comes from a lack of an evening routine. To begin, your evening routine should consist of these things, and only these things-

1. Check the weather and check your calendar. What are you doing tomorrow, what do you need for tomorrow, and how will the weather affect that? If you had planned on working outside the next day and now the weather forecast is for all day rain, you should make new plans. If you have children, what do they need for the next day? How is the weather going to affect them?

2. This is an extension of #1-Get everything ready. Whatever is going out of the house with you tomorrow put it in your car the night before. Have everything that should stay inside the house by the door you leave from. This goes for children as well.

3. Pick out your clothes for the next day. This saves you time, and if you had planned on wearing something specific, it will save you the trouble of realizing to late that the shirt you wanted to wear didn’t get washed(or dried). Also, you don’t have to start the morning with an argument over appropriate outfits; you can get it out of the way the night before. Once you wake up, you can be over it, and get on with the day. On that subject, it’s best to have kids pick out outfits a week in advance, that way they are ready and you don’t have to think too much about it-they can grab a pre-chosen outfit and put it on. Any day of the week that you have time to go through clothes and put together outfits is great. Have place to put them, a hanging cubbies, or even a small set of seven drawers will do the trick.

Remember that it is generally agreed that establishing a new habit takes 30 days, so allow for 35, because sometimes life hits us in the face and we get off track. More on the next step on Wednesday!

Happy Thoughts!

April 8, 2010

How to live an organized life-part 1

I spoke at my MOPs group about organization, and due to the response, I thought I’d put it all on here. I’m surprised I haven’t posted anything about organization, since it’s one of my top five favorite things. I wish I could say that everything I tell you I came up with on my own, but the truth is, I’ve spent years researching organization; I learned most of what I know from my mother, at the end of this I’ll list people I’ve found that support what she taught me. My mother ingrained in me what I consider to be the rules of organization.

Rule #1-Organization is a lifestyle, not a product. Most of the ways to become organized are daily habits, not shelves, hooks and storage. I like to explain it this way-there are two types of organization; material and task. Material organization is of course, where and how our possessions are placed. Task organization is erroneously called time management, a term I despise with a passion. Time management is impossible-how many of us can make a minute longer? An hour shorter? Time management is like gravity management (think Superman)-not humanly possible. Off my soapbox and back to the point. Task management is what we do all day long; eating, filing, gardening, driving. Task management is more important than material, though most people don’t realize this. Material organization is what we can see, so we focus on that, believing that if we have the right filing system, coat rack, and shelving, we will be able to achieve the elusive “organization” we hear about on TV, radio, and read about everywhere. This is just not true. Your habits decide whether that filing system, coat rack or shelves will do what you bought them for. If you set up the latest and greatest filing system, but your habit is to leave all your papers in a pile on top of the kitchen counter, that filing system is worthless. If your children’s habit is to come in and leave their coats hanging on the back of the dining room chairs, their backpacks in their room and their shoes in the living room, that coatrack/shoe cubby/hook system isn’t going to make your foyer look like the catalog picture.

So what will make your house look like your dream home? A routine, not a schedule, is what you need to flow through your hectic days. Why not a schedule? A schedule will only set you up for disappointment and feelings of failure. If you decide that your schedule will be to get up at 6:00 and be showered and dressed by 6:45, but the power goes out because of a storm or something else beyond your control, when you wake up after 6:00, you are starting your day behind schedule. In your mind, you feel bad, because to your mind, you have failed-you didn’t hold up your end of the deal-you said you would be up and showered and dressed, yet you are not. The better way is to decide that you will get up, shower, dress, eat breakfast, feed the pets, and then walk out the door for work. I’m not saying that deciding to leave your house at a specific time is bad, but you should know what you can do in a set amount of time. Thus, when you wake up after your alarm should have gone off, you can cut out things in your routine if needed to still get where you need to be on time. The flexibility of a routine allows for the interruptions of life without feeling rushed, behind or as though we’ve failed at something.

As an example I’d like to offer up a woman most everyone has heard of-Martha Stewart. As many things as she does, she must have a routine you can set your watch by. Each month in the front of Martha Stewart Living is Martha’s monthly calendar. If you were to look in her day planner, you will find a basic routine to each of her days. The people working with her don’t need to check their watches to see what time it is, as she flows from one task to another. She’s had this routine long enough that she probably innately knows how long each task will take and can plan for the other things she would like to do. The people we meet that get so much done, without neglecting any major area of life-family, sleep, business, fun, are examples of people that have a routine. Find someone that seems to get it all done, and ask them about their life; you’ll hear things like, ‘In the evening…’ and ‘Each morning…’, all phrases that indicate a set routine.

How do you do this in your life? I guarantee you have a routine, whether it’s intentional or not. Set a timer for 10:30 each day, I’m sure you will be beginning, in the middle of, or finishing the same thing each day when the timer goes off. To set a routine, you have to know what your priorities are, as well as what do you want to accomplish in a day, a week, a month. I’ll explain setting up a routine on Monday. For now, begin to think about what your priorities are-do you know? Do you know what you’d like to get done in day? Do you know what you do in day now? If you’re not sure, find out-check the clock every so often and write down what you’re doing, so that you get a good idea of what you do, and how long it takes you to do it.

***Forgot to tell you who else believes this-flylady.net is a great site, and she is another advocate of a routine is the be all end all of organization.***

Happy Thoughts!

April 6, 2010

An Easter Dress

This year, E got to pick out her fabric and the pattern for her Easter dress.  I was impressed with her choice.
She wanted the pink dress, probably b/c the picture was pink.  I have yet to make her understand that I can make it in any color.  Unfortunately, the only pattern piece I had was the skirt.
I did, however, have all the pieces for this dress, which is about the same dress.  She kept saying she wanted the bunny in the picture.  I'm all for accessorizing, but not with live animals.

It was super easy to do, and thanks to my wonderful gathering foot, the skirt took maybe ten minutes to do.  The hardest part is figuring out what setting to have the foot on. 

I asked her to smile, and that's what she did for each picture.  Little booger.

Happy Thoughts!