Wednesday, July 28


Just 3 basic colors of Model Magic, 1 hour, and we've got a meal fit for a pig!! (We did use a little black here and there.) the pig's eyes are google eyes - we don't have any white anyway.

You will see bananas, oranges, apples, corn on the cob, grapes, watermelon, and broccoli. There's also a "bale of hay" to the side. It's the same light tan color as the pig. It's been fun mixing colors to get what we want! Although I did most of them first, the broccoli is all Conner's inspiration.

Another naptime well-spent with the big kid! I'm looking forward to when it dries and we can really play with it.
(And as I've been writing this he's decided to make a bowl & plate for him to eat out of. Time to explain about slop buckets and troughs....)

What are you hungry for?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 22

vogue knit put to good use

I've been trying to get more practice with knits, so I got Dana's Warhol dress pattern and got busy.  You could easily use an adult tshirt, I wanted to use some more of my new knit fabric.
Once again, it was a new pattern and I just dug in rather than measuring my darling model.  So, lesson learned (for now at least).  Dana's pattern has a size 3/4 and a size 6-12 months, neither of which would fit Abby.  So I tried to just aim for somewhere in the middle.  I'm happy with the length and sizing overall, I just wish I had tried it on her before I sewed the yoke into place.  It's a little looser & lower cut than I would have liked.
She may not get much wear out of it this summer, however, it will transition easily to fall/winter with a tee or turtleneck underneath and to next summer as a tunic.  It would be easy enough to just cut it shorter for a tunic or shirt length if I was to make another one.  (which I probably will because I have a green striped knit and some other stuff to work with!)
As I'm looking at these pictures, I realized I need to do a better shoulder bow... next time.
I've been wanting to try some fabric paint, and Dana includes tips on how to do that, so we'll see what I can come up with!  Since it's such a simple pattern it's also easy to do an applique or something on it.

Wednesday, July 21

my growing girl & her latest photo shoot

We took some more pictures of her in her dresses now that they're finally fitting her!
Here she is in her "Peyton's Pinafore" from Olabelhe Designs. It was the first pattern I tested for her about a year ago.
It's a size 3 and has a little wiggle room, but not much.  Time to get her into some more of Dawn's dresses!!!!

Here she is in her Rodeo dress - it was one of my first serging attempts.  I'm happy with how it turned out.
It's such a great playdress - comfy knits from Daddy's old tshirts, and I don't care how dirty it gets!!!

Tuesday, July 20

patty young knits

I splurged and bought some knits from Patty Young's latest collection.  I went for turquoises of course!  They are a nice sturdy knit in bright beautiful colors and designs.  And I got her Abigail dress/shirt pattern.
This is a 3T - a little big on Abby maybe, but I'm sure the dress will last into the fall & maybe even early next spring.
I love how easily it came together with my serger.  Because of the numerous gores, I had to be organized when I laid it out and put it together.  It lends itself to so many different looks too because it comes in short and long sleeve, and dress and shirt length.
The neckband and sleeve bands didn't lay totally flat but that's more of my serger issues and still figuring it out. 
I had fun rolling the bottom hem - the lettuce look makes it so twirly!  It was a pretty windy day, so the dress was doing its own twirling.  (I think she looks so serious in these pictures - kind of funny.  It was about 90 degrees and 80% humidity though, so the breeze made it barely bearable.  She's probably thinking - seriously mommy, can't I just go sit in the shade and drink my water and eat M&Ms???)

I did get some pinks too so I might be making her a long-sleeved shirt for fall.  We'll see.  Right now the pile of knits is sitting on the shelf looking pretty.

Monday, July 19

towers up!

This is a fun math game that I used to play with my kids all the time when I taught 1st and 2nd grade.  I've been wanting to do a few more math-related things with Conner this summer, and when I saw foam cubes & dice at Target in the dollar section, I knew just what to do!
(If you want to play along - you'll need a piece of graph paper, 2 dot die, and 88 little cubes)
I glued some of the cubes together into stacks of 2-3-4 and 5.  I left some of the blocks single.  For my version, I used a total of 88 cubes.  I suppose if you just want to play with regular blocks that's fine, it's just easier if the blocks are stuck together.
Then I got out the graph paper and made a bunch of squares.  I then labeled the squares with 1-2-3-4-5.

You will also need 2 dice.  I just play it with one game board, and we take turns rolling the die.  Whatever number you get is how many blocks you take away.  So - say you roll a 3 and a 5.  You can take away a tower with 5 blocks and another one with 3 blocks.  OR you can take away two towers that are 4 blocks high.  Just whatever you do, you can't take the towers apart.  The goal is to not end up with a single cube left on the board!  When you have cleared the board, you can play it in reverse by rolling the dice to get all the pieces set back up.

He was playing with a friend the other day, and it evolved into a stacking/building game when they were done counting and playing.  They came up with some interesting towers and buildings!  When they were all done, it all stores easily in a shoebox! (I can't really explain the napkin bandana.  It's his thing lately.  He's 5. whatever.)

If you have any questions about how to play, let me know - otherwise - happy counting and building!

Friday, July 16

sewing for a growing girl!

I sewed this outfit a LONG time ago - it's the outfit I photographed for my header.  She finally fits in it!  Yay! (ignore the weeds)
The top's straps were a little long, so I just folded them up with a button at the shoulder.  Other than that, a perfect fit!  There's a little ricrac at the hem of the skirt too.

Thursday, July 15

i am sewing... honest!

I've been definitely going into withdrawal this summer... my crafting time has significantly changed without my son being in school!  I did take a small altering job too - so time has been taken with that, but it's not exactly blogworthy.
However - a girl's gotta sew!!!  So I figured where better to start than another Olabelhe dress.  This is Sabrina - a short sleeved dress with a two-layer skirt.
I just thought this was such a beautiful bright floral fabric so I went for it.  I'm not sure it's totally working with this style dress - but I had fun with it.  It also has ties at the waist, but with this busy fabric the green and blue almost blends in.  The bodice lining, waist ties, armbands, and bottom skirt are all a green and blue swirly leafy fabric.

Also - my hard-to-photograph 3 year old niece finally let herself get photographed (thanks E!).  Isn't she cute?

Wednesday, July 14


The kids and I went on a field trip of sorts on Tuesday.  You may remember our summer list - pretty much full of stuff that is perfect for the kids.  Well, I might have just had to sneak in one activity for Mommy on the list.  hee hee.... a trip to a *special* fabric store.  It's about an hour away from us so we packed our lunches, a bag of books and toys, and hit the road.
Vogue Fabrics is HUGE.  This is just part of one of their 4 aisles in the cotton/ voile/ knit room.  They have a bridal/fancy fabric (menswear, taffeta, etc) room, a home dec room, a sewing machine room, a notions room - and one other small room that I don't even remember what exactly was in there.  I was like a kid in a candy store, except I had two kids who WEREN'T in a candy store, and technically weren't supposed to eat or drink anything in there.  Hadn't thought of that when I packed water bottles and pretzels to occupy them in the store.  ahem.  I think it's obvious I would have enjoyed a more leisurely stroll through the store.
Check out a few of their beautiful trims!  (sorry - these are iPhone pics so they're not the greatest.  Go to their website if you want a better tour.)
I ended up with a piece of oilcloth, a few cute canvas pieces for bags, and a couple striped knits that I have plans for... now if only I had time to actually get busy!  OH, best of all - that was the store in a suburb on the north side of Chicago.  I guess there's another one on the south side, sort of near where my dad works.  Hmmm.....  I think I've got plans for another day!  They'll have different knits and goodies, right?

What's your dream summer field trip for YOU?

Thursday, July 8

science experiment

Conner got a Totally Funky Science kit for Christmas, and it's been sitting on the shelf waiting for the right opportunity.  This summer has been the time!  Since we all know I haven't been sewing much in the afternoons (with him not being at school) that leaves some great one-on-one time for us.
ok... maybe not always great.  But we're trying!
The kit is full of a lot of basic stuff (flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt) and a few fun things like red cabbage juice powder, citric acid and polyacrylamide crystals.  It also has some little measuring spoons, mixing cups, and a dropper.
We've been playing with it according to their directions and made some beautiful crystals in a test tube.  Today he had a friend over and we adapted their directions a little so as not to use the special supplies all up.
It's baking soda, lemon juice, and a bunch of different food coloring.  Conner calls it "Fireworks" because it's fizzy and has so many colors.  It was a lot of fun!!!  All we did was pour a pile of baking soda on the plate, put drops of food coloring around the pile, and then dropped lemon juice on it.

Wednesday, July 7

baseball... a family tradition

We don't spend a lot of our time watching TV.  That means the kids haven't really watched many baseball, soccer or football games.  However, my brother- that's a different story!  He LOVES baseball above all others, but will watch anything he can.  Even better if it's in person.  In fact, he loves baseball so much that he spends some of his vacation time each year road-tripping it to as many different minor and major league games as he can.  Earlier this year he traveled around the southern US - and this week he's traveling around Michigan.  We spent the weekend with him (and numerous other family members) and had the opportunity to go to a baseball game in Kalamazoo.  It was the kid's first baseball game and they loved it for a little while!  Conner took his baseball glove, hoping for a foul ball of course (and because Uncle Matt had his).  He got his glove signed by the mascot, and I think that was the highlight of the game for him.  There was a home run, but he was in the bathroom then.  The game was on the 4th, so we enjoyed music & fireworks after the game too!
If you want to check out his blog it's kind of an interesting tour of the baseball fields and some of the little slices of Americana he's found along the way.  He gets a baseball hat at every park too - his collection is getting pretty impressive!
Since my brother lives so far away, we don't get to see him as often as I would like - and we were talking a lot about how we were going to see him on this trip and go to the baseball game.  We've been following his blog of course, and talking about all the places my brother goes.  Conner decided he wanted to write a book for Uncle Matt.  We took some computer paper, folded it in half, stapled it, and he started dictating.  I only changed one or two little phrases so they would make sense to my brother.  Otherwise, it's all his language.  I'm sure he could have written some of it, but I knew we had a short amount of time to get it done before we were leaving, and I was more concerned about him enjoying the process and putting his effort into pictures.  Writing isn't quite relaxing for him yet.
The book is titled "Cubs Fans" and talks about how the two of them are Cubs fans, how they talk about baseball, and have Cubs hats.  I just love how hard he was concentrating as he was illustrating it!

Do you have any special baseball memories?

Thursday, July 1

deacon ordination

The Minister of Christian Education at our church recently became ordained as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.  I was commissioned to make her a Deacon stole.

She is *a bit* on the petite side, so a store-bought stole doesn't fit her.  (Like so petite I'm probably going to end up taking 10 inches off the one she bought!)  She wanted a green "everyday" stole for the longest season of the Christian year, but loved the idea of having the whole rainbow showing.  So we decided on a patchwork style, with a majority of it being green.  It was also important to her that the Deacon symbol - the black cross with red flame - was included.  You can see it just below the hip.

 She was ok with a little "bling" so I included some shimmery fabrics and cottons with a little sparkle on them.  I included numerous textured fabrics (home dec weight, velveteens, polyesters, whatever I could find!) to add even more to this beautiful rainbow patchwork.  She didn't want anything dangling off because she was worried kids would be grabbing at it during Children's Time.  Unfortunately for her my son was pretty interested in touching all the fabrics as I was making it! ;)

You can see a little green strap at her hip that holds the front and back pieces together.  There are many ways to do that part (snaps, clips, buttons, ropes/tassels) but we decided that just a permanent fabric piece would do the job.  It can even hold her microphone clip if necessary!
Each square started off at 1-1/2" so the finished stole is approximately 4" across.  I used a light suede-y feeling fabric for the back, interfacing to help it keep its shape, and piping at the edges.  The back is an exact replica of the front except for the way the angle was cut at the hip.  Ha...ask me how I know that.  ahem.  The deacon cross is appliqued on the front and the back.
Congratulations, B!  May the stole serve you well for many years of ministry!