Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dresses for Fall

I've been trying to round out Sydney's Fall and Winter clothes with some handmade outfits. This is the first I've actually finished. It will be worn with a long sleeved t-shirt under it and leggings when things cool off. But it is actually 80 degrees here today, so there was no chance in getting her to model all that.

I'm debating shortening it up a little, since it will be worn with leggings of some sort. What do you think? It falls just below the knee right now.

I've been working on a brief overview/tutorial on bookmaking for those of you who asked. I'm absolutely no expert, but just wanted to share my experiences with you. Check back soon!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year, hands down. I love the colors, the weather, the decorations, the food. I love that crunchy noise when you walk through leaves. I love that fall decorations can hang in your house for months before you have to take them down. I love pumpkin everything (especially this and these are perfection.) I love wearing sweaters without a winter coat. I love collecting leaves. I love that when I asked Sydney what Fall means she said it's when the leaves turn colors and fall off the trees. (Who knew she was actually listening!)
Over the weekend I pulled out all my tweeds and wool fabrics to make this little leaf garland. It has literally been on my to do list for 2 years! I tried to find the easy way out though. Instead of using heat-n-bond and putting fabric on the back (which is what you should do) I cut out the leaves and used spray adhesive to glue them to some brown craft paper. They are a little curlier than I would have liked, but they work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book Making

I am crazy excited to share this project with you! As many of you know already, I love to re-purpose old stuff into new usable objects. I've had this one in mind for a while and am just a little shocked that it actually worked!

I bought this book last week at a thrift store for 10 cents. I cut out all the old pages and remade the book with fun end papers and blank pages for journaling. I learned a ton about bookbinding from several dozen websites - then pretty much just did it my own way and crossed my fingers it would work. It's certainly not perfect, but has that rustic handmade look!

My apologies to Anne Nichols for destroying her book - a lovely play, but she's been dead for several decades now so I think it will be okay. And of course, I saved the pages for some other project yet to be discovered. Waste not, want not, right?

And now, the possibilities are endless! Lots of gift ideas looming around here. If you have any desire to do a project like this be warned it's not a quick one! There is a lot of time consuming cutting, folding, hand sewing, gluing and drying involved here, but it is so worth it! Let me know if you need some more details before you get started.

Monday, September 15, 2008

clip to it

Another attempt to inspire me to plan meals around here. This decoupaged clipboard hangs on my fridge (it has a gigantic magnet on the back) and will hopefully hold my menu, recipes, etc. So far our plans include a lot of cereal and leftovers. Hard to just eat leftovers if you don't ever cook though!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

By Request

Sydney's request several days ago? A nest for her stuffed bird. Who am I to argue with such a cute request. After some brain storming (twigs, paper mache, batting??) I decided on yarn. Knitted in the shape of a mini hat out of wool yarn. Then Sydney helped me add in scraps from around my craft room; some yarn, thread (off the carpet no less!) and fabric scraps. We hand felted it and dried it over an appropriately sized bowl. I ended up spraying it with some starch and drying it with my blow dryer to help it keep its shape and speed up the process.
The result - Sydney loves it! She has already asked for a rug, pillow, blankets and an egg for it.
The sad part of this story? This was all for a sad little bird from a Burger King kid's meal that on closer inspection is actually a penguin. Oh well.
(Here's a view of the bottom. We poked the scraps through and left them long on the inside to create, in Sydney's words, "a cozy bed for him.")

Monday, September 8, 2008

Zipped Up Stripes

Inspired by a knitting book I browsed through at Barnes & Noble (but of course didn't buy...I am so cheap!) I made this little zippered pouch. It is a great way to use those small pieces of leftover yarn and a really simple design. If you think you are just a "scarf knitter" you could definitely make this!
I had big plans to write a tutorial for you on how to make it, but realized when I was 3/4 of the way through I really wasn't making it right. Who wants a tutorial on how to make a knitted pouch the WRONG way? Regardless of my stupidity today, it was very easy to make. Simply knit a rectangle in the shape and size you want your pouch to be. Sew up the sides to create the pouch. Measure lining fabric and cut out a pouch to fit inside your knitted piece. Sew in a zipper into your lining using this tutorial (so you don't screw it up like I did). Just remember you are only sewing it onto the lining. Then hand sew your lining to your knitted pouch. It is possible that you could actually sew this all together on your machine, but I wouldn't risk it.

(There, see how my zipper edge is sticking out for all the world to see? Yeah, don't make yours like that. )

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


September 2nd already. Wow. I was hoping Summer wouldn't have to be over for us just because school was starting, but it seems the weather has had other ideas. The high today was in the 60's. Fall is definitely on it's way. Seems like Summer just arrived, but whatever. I'm always game for pulling out the sweaters and covering up some skin.

[cool old building along the river. check out the river height marked on the side.]

I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to get my act together around here. You know the usual stuff...organized house that stays clean, a plan for meals (which includes buying the food and actually making it), creating more, working out, losing weight. I'm sure you all know the drill. I feel myself starting to lose it around here and it's time to refocus.

[Must three-year olds hop everywhere they go?]

Loved this post today. I think every month should be creative month, but you have to start somewhere, right? Her comments on not feeling creative made me think back to a kid's show Sydney was watching this morning on PBS. The guy on the show was painting a picture and when he finished he said "and remember, as long as it comes from the heart it's art!" Love it!!

[Our favorite little market. (That's Farmer Bill in the back in the grey sweatshirt!)]

To jump start my creativity a little I took my camera with today when we went to get veggies at the market. The farmer's market we go to is set up right beside the river that runs through town. It has been become tradition this summer that after we buy our food we head down to the river to throw rocks and possibly walk across the bridge (when the water is too high they remove it.) Spread throughout this post are some of my favorite shots from today.

[A grey day on the Red.]