Sunday, October 31, 2010


Edmund and Luke

My boys, Kind Edmund and Luke Skywalker. I have to admit I was pretty proud of these costumes, although in this picture Luke is missing his binoculars and lightsaber because they weren't allowed in the bounce house. I mean, a Jedi is supposed to take his lightsaber everywhere, what were those silly bounce house minders thinking? Anyway, I spent a long time looking at pictures from Prince Caspian and Star Wars to get these as close as possible, and I think I did a decent job. I kind of sort of glanced at a pattern for the tops. The rest was from my head. Edmunds pants are actually leggings of mine that I cut all up and altered to fit a five year old. His boots are last years slippers with some pleather added to the top to get that knightly look. Ha. I'm really into repurposing stuff.


My dandelion. Okay, so this costume plus his hair just made me laugh. We've been calling our youngest "dandelion" for quite some time now, because his hair stands up and waves back and forth just like a white dandelion blowing in the wind. So I thought, why not make that his costume? I sewed him some green pajamas sans pattern, and then cut the dandelion leaves out of felt to make a little shawl thingy for the top. At first I was going to sew the leaves right onto the pajamas, but then I thought, why ruin perfectly good jammies? At least he'll get some use out of them after dressing up! So I made the shawl and put velcro on it to attach it in the back. I have to say, although nobody at church could figure out what he was supposed to be (guesses included an elf, a troll, the green giant from the vegetable aisle, and Billy Idol. That was my favorite) he was super popular. Everyone kept touching his hair and laughing hysterically and taking pictures. My husband was the one who brought him and thus was the one who did his hair; he confessed that he'd hung him upside down and sprayed him with hairspray. Ha ha. I wonder if that could be construed as abuse? Although knowing this baby boy, he probably loved it. 

Mermaid, finished

Here is the mermaid painting my mom asked me to paint for her about a year ago. I finally finished it. I mostly did it all in two days, then totally got overwhelmed by birthdays and costume sewing and didn't finish the last little bit till last week. Now all I have to do is figure out a good way to mail a big painting all the way to California.

in good company

And here is a super lame picture of my little hoop collection, which now lives in the good company of the hoop I received from delightful disarray last week! Aaagghhh, I love it!! (In case you can't figure it out, it's the cute gray and orange star on the bottom. LOVE!) 

Tree skirt {WIP}

And last but not least, the Christmas tree skirt I'm working on. It's almost finished and I love it so much! I know it's pretty bright and garish, but that's my favorite kind of Christmas decor. Ha. My mother-in-law said it was "happy." Happy is good.

Happy Sunday.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

quilts and hoops and tree skirts, oh my!

Okay, so I might be a little over-zealous, but I already finished my hoop for the Scrappy Hoop Swap. I was so excited to get started and before I knew it I was done. I really hope my partner likes it, I know there's always a chance someone will get your masterpiece and think, " not my style." Hopefully this won't be the case.

This past weekend we celebrated our little friend Maren's first birthday. I had decided a while back that I wanted to make a ticker-tape quilt with my scraps, and figured this was the perfect opportunity!

Maren's ticker tape quilt

Since it was a big day, I figured it would be cool to put her name on it and everything, so I decided to bust out the gigantic ziploc of embroidery thread my friend Heather gave me and try my hand and some embroidery. I've been saying for ages that I hate sewing by hand, and I do. At least when we're talking about hems or sewing holes shut. But embroidery...I. Like. It. It's so fun. This was my first attempt--the squirrel came later. I think it turned out okay.

Ticker tape back

Now that Christmas is fast approaching, I've been giving a lot more thought about the Christmas quilt I want to make and still...nothing. My brain is totally out of ideas. However, I'm totally inspired to use my stack of Michael Miller Christmas fabrics to make this awesome tree skirt by thundymac:

8. The finished christmas tree skirt

In other news, the costumes are coming along, albeit slowly. My mother-in-law is visiting from Russia so my crafting time has been somewhat constrained. Plus, I'm out of eyelets. Alas.

Peace out. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a few things

Here's a picture taken from my sister-in-law's baby shower this past weekend. I didn't know about the shower till the last minute so my gift was likewise last-minute. But I thought it came out well. I'm definitely getting better at machine applique, although I still find the actual process a bit tedious. Something akin to binding a quilt. I like the finished result but doing it is boring.

I finished The Selfish Squirrel. I threw a doily on hoop and liked it. Now I want more doilies. 

I made this...thing...I guess it's like a mat to put a centerpiece on? Maybe? I'm not sure what do with it. Any suggestions?

Right now I'm working on costumes. Every year I find the picking out of patterns really fun, and the actual sewing really boring. I don't know why. I think I'm just in a funk.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Very Green Post (but not in a hippie way)

Somebody recently made a comment about my "green thumb", which elicited gales of laughter from my husband, and a chortle from me. Wait, strike that, reverse it. Either way it was funny because up until we moved into this house last year, I had what I despondently referred to as the "thumb of death."

Not for a lack of trying, I managed to kill off things that were supposedly simple to grow like cacti, herbs, and daisies. Every once in awhile I'd get lucky, like the poinsettia I threw in a big pot after Christmas one year that turned into something verging on scary it was so big. Until Hurricane Wilma tore it up. I had some moderate success with basil one year. That was about it. 

 Here, though, it's different. I feel like most things just flourish without my having to do too much. And the more success I have the more obsessed with plants I become. This is a really long intro for essentially me saying that today we got to go to the USF Botanical Gardens fall plant festival. It was hot, and crowded, and my youngest did protest loudly and lingeringly at being carted around in a stroller. BUT we walked away with quite a fun assortment of plants. First of all, I got a pitcher plant, which is something I've been wanting for ages now. I don't know why. Probably because it looks vaguely menacing, like something that might--just MIGHT--grow up really big one day and eat you. 

I got a Brown Turkey Fig. I don't know why. To my knowledge I've never eaten a fig (unless you count Fig Newtons, and most people probably don't) so I don't have a clue what I'll do with them. Mostly it was nostalgia for fig tree smell, as we had one at the museum where I lived as a kid. And it was five bucks. Why not?

Raspberries. Yum. Hopefully they'll do good here. My blueberries did well so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

This is one of the things I'm most happy about--my Meyer Lemon tree!! Citrus trees are not cheap, especially at Home Depot or other nurseries. I got this puppy for fifteen bucks, and as you can see it's already loaded with baby lemons! I'm really excited about this. I use lemons constantly, and they're so expensive. So hopefully this little guy will keep me lemoned up for a good while.

A passion fruit vine. My husbands choice. I think passion fruit smells like cat pee, so I wasn't that into it. But we went as a family, so.....

Mangoes! I have to keep this tree indoors for the first year apparently, as they don't tolerate the cold well at all. That's fine. It can be a natural air filter for us. The real dilemma is how to keep mister grabby-pants (aka Malcolm) from denuding the thing while it lives inside with us. 

I also got a Brazilian Cherry tree but it looks just like the mango so I didn't take a picture.

Now, does anybody remember my sweet potato disappointment a few months back? Y'know, how the whole bed was full of nothing but roots? Well today I walked out my front door and noticed a vine growing next to my elephant ears. I pulled it up because here in Florida vines are the worst weeds ever. Turns out it was a sweet potato plant! I have no idea how it got there. Weird, eh? I replanted it in an empty useless bed, just for the heck of it. We'll see what happens.

Now for the real shocker--here's a picture of my sweet potato bed. The one that had nothing but roots. The one we ripped all the vines out of to let our resident wild bunny eat them.  Almost the whole bed is full of vines again. Back in August we tore up all the soil and mixed in a bunch of peat to lighten up the soil (since sweet potatoes apparently don't make tubers when the soil is too dense) and this is what happened. I'm leaving it alone for a good while to see if sweet potatoes will magically appear. Maybe this Thanksgiving we'll have a bounty of orangey goodness! Or, at the very least, the bunny will have more food. 

My hardworking husband, resting after the Herculean effort of uprooting a bunch of palm trees (I hate palm trees!) so we'd have a good place for my lemon tree to reside. Thanks, babe!

And lastly, the aloe and vining spinach my good friend Jenn gave me. Because every garden needs some aloe.

Keep your green thumbs crossed for me, will ya?
Happy Saturday

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

scrappy {hoops} swap

Scrappy {Hoops} Inspiration

I've been playing with embroidery a bit lately, and for awhile now I've been secretly coveting a place in all those fun modern swaps on Flickr. I've been a bit of a stalker, actually, checking back on groups to see if they're doing anything new, hoping maybe somebody will invite me to join (since most groups are invite-only), sitting around singing "nobody likes me everybody hates me I'm gonna eat a worm"....okay, okay. I didn't do that last part. But I have been a bit of a lurker. ANYWAY, I saw that Heather from {House} of A La Mode had posted about a new round of swapping, and I decided to just beg my way in to this one. It worked! I get to swap! YAY!!

The above are some of my favorites from others on Flickr. I can't wait to see who I get partnered with, I have so many ideas!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


 Today was weird. Nothing I would usually do was working out for me, so instead I occupied myself with doodling. I woke up this morning at 4am with a hankering to draw fun little embroidery patterns. I came up with several, but this squirrel guy was my favorite.I started to embroider him today, but my neck was killing me so I quit. He'll be waiting for me when I'm up to it.

Then I did another little drawing with pen and watercolor. Nothing fancy, just...well...doodling.
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.