Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the Dyson Animal!

Okay, so it is rather expensive. I needed it. I have mentioned my enormous shedding dog, right? Well I had a really crappy vacuum cleaner to go along with her. On Friday it refused to turn off without unplugging it. It fixed itself the next day, but it was too late to save itself. I had already logged on to Amazon and ordered the Dyson Animal Ball for an incredibly low price. Because I am a sucker for Amazon Prime, it came two day delivery. After vacuuming half of my 10 x 14 rug the canister was full of crud. Why is that so satisfying? In addition to the joy I get from seeing all the crap that has been sucked out of my rug, it is also super easy to roll around and no big deal to switch from carpet to hard floor. The rest of my house may look like hell, but my floors will always be vacuumed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gift Making

I have been trying to make some homemade gifts for the holidays this year. I got a jump start in July when I made a set of the Wee Wonderfuls Sleepover Pals for a friend's daughter. But then I gave them to another friend's daughter for her fourth birthday in September. So, back to square one. I finally made a new set for the intended recipient. I probably would have scrapped the whole idea except that I had started making her older sister the Margot topsy turvy doll. It turned out to be pretty quick to whip up another set of Sleepover Pals. As for Margot, I just finished her this week. Monday they will be off in the mail.

For teacher's gifts, I made the Sew Liberated apron for my daughter's second grade teacher. She is the awesome rule-breaking teacher. She cooks with the kids in class. The Emmeline apron is perfectly sassy and goes together pretty easily. So then for my other daughter's kindergarten teacher I made the Hobby Apron from the last issue of Stitch. The pattern is by Erin Harris of House on Hill Road.

My big distraction was this: I made myself a Mischevious Gnome Messenger Bag, also by Sew Liberated. And I used suede! My husband was giving an old suede jacket to Goodwill and I decided to snatch it and cut it up. I was hesitant because if I wasn't able to sew with it I would be ruining a perfectly good jacket that someone might have loved. Instead I have an awesome bag. So then I made another one as a gift for my friend, Anne. I loved hers too, and was really tempted to keep it for myself. Now I want to make them for everyone I know.

One of my points, or maybe my only point, in this post, is that I'm amazed at how well all of these patterns were written and how great they looked finished. I have sewed using patterns and books by big name designers and had loads of trouble. I won't name names, but the errata on some patterns is longer than the patterns themselves. So, in case anyone is wondering, Sew Liberated makes really great patterns and the Wee Wonderfuls book is incredible!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Six months later...

So much for trying to post regularly...
We have a new(ish) addition to our house. Her name is Sam and she was a rescue from German Shepherd Rescue Orange County. She is super tall and long and skinny, but was extra skinny when we got her. Her blood tests were abnormal but the vet thought it was just parasites that weren't showing up on her fecal exam. Is this too much information? Anyway, after a deworming program and two months of overfeeding her, she has gained a whopping eight pounds. They did a full blood panel today, so I'll know tomorrow if she is in the clear for any major problems.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting another year out of 'em

The girls love their Far, Far Away double-gauze dresses too much to part with them. So I did the frugal mom thing and just added a band of contrasting fabric to each of the bottoms. I actually took the time to rip out the old hem seam before adding the bands, which makes me really pleased with myself. As is evidenced in the photo, I only ironed the parts I was sewing. Apparently it would have killed me to iron the rest of the dresses before photographing them. If I didn't cut some corners and do some lazy mom tricks I would never get anything posted to this blog. And I know how upsetting that would be to the two people who check in with me now and again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Heather Ross Keds from Zazzle!

I couldn't resist ordering some of the custom Heather Ross Keds from Zazzle. For one thing, my oldest daughter never wears sneakers. And she needs to. At least sometimes. So I figured if the prospect of purple unicorn shoes wouldn't get her to start wearing them, nothing would. I let the girls customize them. Let's just say that the choices they made wouldn't necessarily have been my choices, but that's okay. I'm letting go a little. It's hard to walk the line of wanting to instill good taste (meaning, of course, what I consider to be my own good taste) in the kids and letting them develop their own creative little minds. They know that nothing bearing the name or likeness of a TV or movie character will be worn in our house or on our backpacks and they can live with that. But I let them cut their hair the way they want and I even let them walk around in their cheap sparkly Target mary janes that were purchased solely for the purpose of wearing with Halloween costumes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I just cut into some of my Anna Maria Horner voile to make a dress for my daughter. Using one of my Japanese pattern books. Which don't include seam allowances. Guess what I forgot to do?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Purl Soho Booty!

On Friday morning I snuck off to the Purl Soho warehouse in Tustin rather than helping at my daughter's school Jog-a-thon. I seriously spent two hours touching everything and having a minor freak-out. I kept changing my mind about what to buy--like I would never be back there again, even though it is fifteen minutes from my house. I narrowed it down to two fabrics each for my daughters and two for me. The girls got some great Kokka double-gauze that I think I will probably use for shirts.

I also bought the girls some great mermaid fabric that the Purl website describes as Soft Upholstery. I would describe it as heavier weight double-gauze. It's amazing. I think I'll try to make skirts out of it. I have been trying to stay away from pastels more lately, but this fabric was so great I couldn't resist.

Finally, for me, I bought some Nani Iro. The first I have ever purchased. If I can successfully make a summer sleeveless top for me I will be back for more. I also got some of the Globalweave linen/cotton but I forgot to photograph it. That stuff is not cheap, but it is wide, about 55". I got the hourglass pattern in light brown and orange. I'm going to try to just make a simple elastic-waistband skirt. Hopefully I'll post what I make. Because I'm so good at posting regularly.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sample Size Blocks & Stripes

Last week I saw a great tutorial by Ashley at http://www.filminthefridge.com (If I were at all web savvy I would have just written Film in the Fridge in some magical way that would allow you to click on the link) for a quilt she calls Blocks & Stripes. At some point in the tutorial she laid out the fabric on white and I loved the way it looked. I want to make a quilt that way using some of my painfully and sometimes pointlessly acquired out of print Heather Ross/Munki prints. While waiting for more solid fabrics to arrive in my mail box, I made this little 20" x 30" quilt using some of my scraps. The proportions aren't exactly the same as they will be on the larger one, but it gives me some idea. My oldest daughter keeps calling the quilt hers, but I'm putting it on etsy instead. Those girls of mine would take everything I make if I let them. I would find it flattering if they didn't also hoard every little plastic crap toy they get in various "treasure boxes" and gumball machines.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Munki Alien Quilt

Okay, I'm just going to start throwing things up here. This is the most recent quilt I made. I kind of had the intention of giving it to a mere acquaintance who had a baby boy, but then I thought I'd throw it up on etsy and see what happens. I did manage to sell a mini quilt on etsy and I donated one to CraftHope, which sold in about a minute. So now I am apparently too big for my britches--thinking I can sell bigger, more expensive quilts!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lovin' the ShakeIt Photo App

Since I can't seem to keep up with blogging--partly due to the laborious process of taking photos, uploading photos, editing photos, etc.--I'm just going to show you some lovely photos taken at Trail 5 (San Onofre) with my iphone. If you are unfamiliar with this part of Southern California, it straddles the beach area between Orange and San Diego counties. When people refer to San Onofre they usually mean the beach part of the state park that is just north of the nuclear power plant. Trails (1-6) is just south of the nuclear power plant. While that may sound horrifying if you haven't been there, it's actually pretty incredible. And then to the east and south there is Camp Pendleton, so it is a stretch of amazing coastline with native scrub and beautiful cliffs to the ocean. And no tract homes. Turns out Trail 5 has the most rugged hike down to the beach, but if you wear flip flops 10 months of the year, hiking it in your Rainbows is not a problem.