Thursday, November 4

fall coat

This is my newest creation - "Brooke's Coat" from Olabelhe Designs.

A couple details - flannel button loops, covered buttons (my son thought that was the coolest project!), and flannel lined bodice.  The outside of the coat is cream chenille.

Check out more at Olabelhe!

Wednesday, November 3

pleated skirts

I tried out a new (to me) pattern for a pleated skirt.
It was a lot of fun to play with my fabric stash!!!
Check out Little Lizard King for this skirt and some of her other cute patterns!

Monday, November 1

70 Miles West

You don't need to pull out a map, just check out my sister-in-law's blog here.

She is a kindred spirit and full of creativity!!!  Her "what's in a name" post says it all.  She is starting an adventure of jewelry, hair clips, and card making and I hope you'll join me in wishing her luck.

Check out her Flickr photostream too - she has some really great decorating ideas.  Her playroom is so much fun! (for some reason I can't get the picture to link here)

{hope your first craft show went well, E!}

Sunday, October 31

boo!!!! {don't be scared!}

Introducing Sully & Boo {from Monsters Inc.}

The pictures of both kids were taken on Friday before the school party.
The pictures of Conner alone were taken a little earlier in the week before I shortened the horns and added the claws on the hands and feet.

Her outfit is just a large tee & pants from Old Navy.  I knew she wouldn't put up with the whole expanded Boo costume (when she is being smuggled around the factory) so we just went with the Boo pajamas, put her hair in pigtails & called her Boo.  It's her favorite word to say right now!

Conner's costume was a little more work.  I took turquoise fuzzy fleece and appliqued purple fuzzy fleece spots all over it.  I used the wrong side of the fabric for the contrast tummy panel.  It was a "simple" monster pattern that I adapted for our purposes (added the horns, changed the tail shape, added extra scales on the back).

His gray felt scales went down the hood, down the back seam, and tail.  I also added some claws on the feet and hands (which you can see better in the last picture).  The pattern didn't call for it, but I added elastic straps to go under his feet as well.

The sweetest Monster I know...

Happy Halloween to everyone!

Wednesday, October 13

indian corn

I have a couple beaded Indian corns in my fall box (craft project from when I taught), and Conner wanted to try making his own.  We grabbed some beads, pipe cleaners, and corn husks from the uncle's farm.  When I taught I used raffia instead of corn husks and they turn out just as cute!

Thread the beads on the pipe cleaner.  Make sure to twist a little extra around the first one so they don't all slide off.

Take a few pieces of corn husk and twist them on top.  Then enjoy being a scarecrow or making silly faces at your mom!

Tuesday, October 12

sorting apples

We got busy with some Sculpey clay and made ourselves a bunch of mini-apples.  The red and yellow clay blocks were a lot harder than the green.  Not having had a lot of experience with Sculpey, I was a little disappointed!  It made it much more difficult to make the apples - that's why there's less yellow and red ones.  I mixed together red, yellow and green bits until I got a brown I liked for the stem.

We baked them.  I love the swirl one!!!

Then we sorted, counted, arranged, improved our math skills and played!
{Thanks Roots & Wings for the idea.}

Tuesday, October 5

tool quilt

I realized I never showed off my mom's handiwork!  She made this fun quilt for Conner using a kit she bought while on vacation.  Each square is a different tool.  She even embroidered his name on the toolbox square.

Isn't it fun and bright and colorful?
Just a little close-up of the borders.
Thanks again, Mom!  You know Conner loves it!!!  He rotates between the tool quilt and the rock star quilt, sometimes even uses both at the same time.

Monday, October 4

caramel apple cupcakes

Have you ever had Caramel Apple Hershey's Kisses?  Have you ever tried Duncan Hines Caramel Cake?  They're the special ingredients for my latest experiment!
Grab some of your own and make something delicious...

There are so many reasons I'm not a food blogger.  Here's one.
If I was a fancy baker or food blogger, I would know you should put your batter in first before you put something in your cupcake.  Even if unwrapping the kisses and putting them in their spots keeps the kids occupied while you mix the batter.

I would know not to cut the tip quite so large, and that way I would make skinnier, more realistic looking trees that didn't fall over two seconds after I took the picture. (got the tree idea from here)
I did find a great Caramel Buttercream Icing though - and was pretty happy with how it turned out!

Even if I still have a lot to learn, I do know that the kitchen smelled wonderful, the cupcakes tasted delicious, and the kids and I had fun baking together!
What are you making this fall for a special treat?

Monday, September 27

go team!!!!

Conner is on a soccer team this fall.  It means one or two nights a week at a practice and a Saturday morning game.  It gives the little siblings and parents lots of time to chat on the sidelines!
Abby made a new friend - and they played together happily for a while.
I was using my husband's camera which I'm not used to yet.  Sorry it's a little out of focus.
Her little friend E was just the right size for the GO TEAM soccer dress.  She's concentrating so hard in this picture - too cute!

Nevermind that the game was behind her, she was still cheering for her big brother - I'm sure.

Here's mom's picture taken at home.  What a doll.
Thanks A for sharing your adorable daughter!  Thanks E for modeling!

Friday, September 24


MaryAnne had some fun questions to answer... here's what I came up with.
  1. What does your child/children want to be for Halloween?  - right now we're discussing Sully, Batman (NOT my favorite choice), and the Beast (from Beauty & the Beast).  I'm hoping we can narrow it down soon - I'm personally rallying for Sully.  Then Abby can be Boo :)
  2. What’s your favorite color?
    Blue!!!! turquoise, cobalt, bright blues, pastel blues - love them all.  Even the funky bright blue you get on your dashboard panel when you put on your brights in the car.
  3. What’s your favorite website?
    I think I agree with MaryAnne on this one - Google reader.  It's definitely the most visited. :)
  4. Has your child/children started their Christmas list yet?
    Not really, but I'm sure relatives will start asking soon.  Especially since my son sees things when we're out and about, and I often tell him "put it on your wish list".  It shouldn't be hard to make a real wish list instead of just the hypothetical/ stop asking me in the store list!
  5. What do you worry most about (that is, if you are a worrier like myself)?
    I just want my family and friends to be healthy and happy.  Lately that's been a little hard to come by for some of them, so I just want things to turn around for them!
  6. What is the one food you could not give up (and yes, chocolate is a food group)?
    Chocolate.  And probably cheese.  And bread.  Basically any carbs that are bad for me.
  7. What is something that you do not like doing on a daily basis, but you do anyway?
    cleaning. dishes. turning off my sewing machine.
  8. What meal do you cook most for dinner?
    Sadly, lately it seems anything that can be cooked in 20 minutes or less.  Mac & cheese, hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets.... our evening schedules are busier than I want them to be right now (can't wait for soccer to be done!)
  9. Do you have a tattoo? No - and no plans or wishes to get one!!
  10. Who is your favorite children’s author?
    so many great choices!  I would most love to meet Tomie dePaola.  I most love reading Laura Ingalls Wilder.  But even those two choices seem so limiting...  Eric Carle. Eve Bunting. Patricia Polacco. Sharon Creech. Kevin Henkes. ok. I'll stop now.
  11. What is your favorite fragrance, ie, perfume, body splash, lotion?
    Lily of the Valley or Honeysuckle.  I rarely use them, but enjoy sweet flower smells.
  12. What is your favorite nice place to eat out without kids?
    Barones - our favorite pizza restaurant!  We love some of the chains too though - Chili's, Red Robin.
  13. What is your favorite childhood memory? summer vacations with the family - we took so many special trips around the United States.  My favorite vacations are probably to Lake Michigan & the family cottage in South Haven.
  14. If you could travel anywhere instantly, for a single afternoon, where would you go?  probably to see my brother, or someplace in the Appalachian mountains.  Although - I've always wanted to go to Hawaii......
  15. What’s something quirky or funny that you remember doing as a child?  I'm sure if I thought long enough I could come up with a long list of funny things I did - and I'm sure my brother would be happy to help.  I know I loved goofing around with my cousins.  As far as quirky - I used to eat my candy (like M&Ms, skittles, valentine's hearts) in rainbow order.
Do any of these questions trigger funny stories - or great answers?  Share in the comments or link to your blog post full of answers!

Thursday, September 23

my new purse

Check out my new purse - guess what?  It's blue!  If it looks familiar, I made a smaller version for my mom here.  It's fully lined with white dotted fabric & the darker blue floral.

It has lots of pockets.  The pattern calls for two large pockets on the inside.  I chose to sew one pocket into three sections and the other pocket into two sections.  They're perfect for pens, chocolate bars, sunglasses, notepads, Matchbox cars and numerous other goodies.

I put two key fobs on one side, and two circular key rings on the other side.  You can never have too many ways to organize!

Because I'm dorky like that, I made myself a little cell phone cozy.  I just wanted to something to keep it from getting scratched in the big cavern.  I suppose I could have just used one of the side pockets, but I wanted to keep those open for something else!

The top has a zipper - it's kind of a pain to attach it to the lining, but I'm glad it's there.  If I get sick of it, I can always rip it out and put in magnetic snaps.

There are two outside pockets as well (one on each side).

One more shot against my bedroom wall.  {Have I mentioned I like blue?}
{edited to add.... the original pattern is McCalls 5822}
{entered in Lemon Squeezy Home's Purse Week Contest - go check out all the great entries, get inspired, and vote if you would like!}

Wednesday, September 22

three sisters

Three sisters enjoying their sibling shirts (originally blogged about here).

I made the older sisters matching pinafores, and the baby got a matching onesie dress.

Aren't they adorable?

so sweet.

Thanks to Megan for her photography skills, and to Lisa for sharing her kids!  (Lisa also makes bows so check her out!)

Tuesday, September 21

pouches and bags

I know I've been missing for a little while here in blog land.  There are lots of reasons, none of them blog-worthy.  So let's just see if I can become more regular again!!!

Here are a couple little things I've been working on....

This little ruffled clutch from a Noodlehead tutorial came together so quickly and easily... even though there was a zipper involved!!!  It's a birthday present for a friend.  I think a few more may be in the works.

I also made a couple more pencil cases from Lier's Sew Mama Sew tutorial.

Do I dare say I'm getting comfortable with zippers?  Yikes!  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this one yet, but Christmas is coming...I'm sure it will find a good home!

My son's already claimed this for some of his treasures, but then he saw some guitar fabric so that may be next in line!

I've got a bunch of fabrics picked out and in the wings waiting to be sewn together.  They'll be making an appearance (hopefully) in the next week or two as clutches or cases.  I've got to stock up on more zippers now!!!

Friday, September 3

featured and FALL!

Quick note - check out my feature on Little Lizard King.  She featured my pink & purple pinafore amidst some of her other customer creations.  I am in the midst of some great company - there's some other really cute outfits there.  She has a lot of patterns that I'm excited to try out!

I told you I would get busy with some fall clothes - so here we go!
We did a little photo shoot outside because the weather was finally cooperating with fall clothing!!!  It's been so hot, humid and rainy that we haven't been able to get anything good outside!
This first one is an upcycled knit project using the Little Blue Boo Sienna Dress, long sleeved version.  I don't really love it like I thought I would, so I'm trying to figure out what to do.  I am pretty sure the big sleeves have to go - I like skinnier sleeves better.  The whole top just looks so bulky and the bottom so skinny.  I think I need to tighten up the top a little.  (Not every dress is a success!)  Maybe I'll try some freezer paper stencil pumpkin face on the orange and a ruffle on the bottom?

This is another "Annikka's Dress" by Olabelhe designs.  The first time I sewed this pattern it was (surprisingly) blue.  However, I am actually kind of enjoying the fall colors on this one!
I chose a dark brown with black swirls for the arms & underskirt, a printed orange on orange for the bodice & cuffs, and a leafy print for the overskirt.
She had been looking at the pumpkins in our garden/weed patch and was ready to go back inside!  It was windy this morning!
As she was walking up the steps I realized I'm going to have to teach her long dress on steps etiquette - she stepped on it a couple times!  I also realized I'm going to have to find her some more tights that fit!!!

Another dress I finished up this week was a long-sleeved version of Patty Young's "Abigail" dress.  I've gotten a lot of compliments on the short-sleeved version, and wanted her to have one for fall/winter too.
Her knits are a little pricey (worth it, but still pricey) so for this long-sleeved dress I used her dots & a black floral knit from Joann's.  I'm really happy with how they went together.
Abby's getting quite good at posing by the tree in the front yard.  Today she was a less somber model - she happily spun around numerous times and grinned her cheesy little had off.

Hope you all have a relaxing Labor Day weekend!  I've got a couple not-as-exciting things to finish up, but hopefully will have a little time for fun sewing too in the midst of family time!  What are you doing with your weekend?