Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I won't say how shamefully long I went without making any new blocks for this quilt, but I know why. I was so bored with using the same teal and green fabrics from my stash and really felt that I wasn't even being creative anymore just randomly picking out different pieces from the pile to pair up.

I had already decided that I needed to go back on my "no pink" declaration I made when I started. I had a few pinks (still combined with an earthy green) that I was excited to start with. Then, my mother-in-law brought over a bag of her scraps. Nearly every piece was a green or yellow with pink flowers, all with earthy green leaves. I made eight new blocks, only six of them with pinks. The addition of one new color to the scheme has left me so much more excited to play with my other scraps. And seeing the finished blocks all laid out, I really like it better this way. The pink doesn't take away from the green and teal the way I thought it would.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Moments

This is the first year we actually let my step-daughter wield the saw to carve her own pumpkin. A huge change from last year when carving pumpkins meant scooping out the guts, then drawing a magic marker face on it for her daddy to cut out.

Of course, not everything has changed since last year. Gabe is still far too young to appreciate what is going on with the pumpkins. He just tried to say pumpkin a few times and had a blast taking the top off, then putting it back on.

And this year, instead of licking the scrapers he decided to actually try to take a bite out of the pumpkin. He doesn't quite understand the food as decoration concept.

Here is the end result of our messy activity. For her first time cutting (hers is the cat), my step-daughter did an awesome job!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm no Bakerella

My sister and I briefly considered a woodland theme to her baby shower before we settled on the puppy idea. In the few days we were thinking about it I plotted out making some Bakerella style cake pops as shower favors. I was going to combine the directions she gave for Hello Kitty cake pops with the all body Easter chicks and make cutesy little owls.

I thought I had this in the bag. I've covered a million things in chocolate, I've baked many cakes in my time and I love to decorate. It was much, much harder than I thought. I am ashamed to say how many times I ruined a cake pop, and had to get a whole new thing of chocolate because I got crumbs in it. But I did get a few that looked at least somewhat like I was imagining.

I decided since I finally ended up following through with my idea a week before Halloween that I'd make some more sinister looking owls. I used some red confetti sprinkles for the eyes and switched up the color of the beaks and feet. Then added a little V of chocolate over their eyes.

I actually like my afterthought owls way better than the cute ones, but I still think they need some work. I think I'm going to e-mail Bakerella and see if she'll tackle my idea sometime in the future.

The worst part of this whole experience...after all of my hard work they taste terrible! It has nothing to do with the cake pops recipe and everything to do with the cake and frosting I used (peanut butter and peanut butter). Good in theory, awful in practice.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Moments

It's official. I am no longer 28 as of today. We have a family tradition of going to the apple orchard every fall, and when the timing works itself out, it almost always seems to be my birthday weekend. Up there is my son enjoying his part of a birthday pumpkin spice donut. The closest there has been to cake in my house.

Lest you think that picking apples fresh off the tree was all we did for my birthday, I did get showered with gifts and dinner out (with no kids!) and I got to see the first movie I've seen in a year and a half in the theater. Very fun!

The orchard was fun too though, a completely different kind of fun where you get to watch the kids exploring things and learning about their world. Gabe has been coming to the orchard since he was in the womb, but I think this time was the first time he really realized what he was doing, and that apples were food. He mooed at every single tractor (a la Cars) and loved every minute of it. Which is always a good time for a mom who loves taking pictures as much as I do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I don't get it

I'll admit, I thought the new Care Bears were adorable. I went out and bought one for my sister for her birthday even though she's in her 20's. I thought the new My Little Pony was adorable, and I was thrilled to death when my niece fell in love with the remade Strawberry Shortcake...but this Rainbow Brite crap has got to go!

At least the other makeovers stuck to the spirit of the originals. The Hallmark makeover of Rainbow Brite looks more like it was based off of the adult Rainbow Brite Halloween costumes than the cutesy cartoon I loved as a kid.

Ironically, I just rediscovered this vintage fabric panel I bought at a church rummage sale almost ten years ago. I have Champ (shown here), OJ, IQ, Hammy, Lucky and Romeo. I tried sewing Spark together about ten years ago by hand. I wasn't very good at that point and I'm not sure whether or not he can be salvaged. I painted them all with fabric glitter way back then and after seeing my not-so-hot job of sewing Spark I left them in a bag in my craft tote to be forgotten for ten years.

I obviously thought they needed a little jazzing up too, but not that much! This one is for the folks at Hallmark.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The doll body is finished. Initially, I had thought she was going to be a young girl all dressed up for trick-or-treating. Now that she is done I definitely see why the vintage doll making book I was basing her off of called her a lady. I think now that she is an actual vampire, which flushes all of my costume ideas down the drain.

I don't like her neck. It's way too long. She looks almost alien. I have decided that she needs a high collared dress to hide this particular flaw. I found this site while searching for inspiration. Gorgeous, gorgeous dresses. I am quite sure I can't pull off something so dramatic, but I think I can maybe pull easier elements from some of these dresses and simplify them for my doll.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Moments

I sent my husband and son out yesterday with the orders to be gone all day so I could get some housework done. They came home right around dinner time and I fully expected my son to be estatic to see me. After all, he has never been away from me more than twelve hours his entire life. I opened up the bathroom door and continued with my chores, waiting to hear little footsteps on the stairs. It never happened.

After a few minutes I went downstairs to see him. He grabbed my hand and drug me to the kitchen door, asking to go outside. I picked up the camera and let him make his way to the sandbox. I got him to smile for me once, saying, "CHEEE!" After that he pushed the camera away with his hand as if he were a celebrity and I was the paparazzi. Not even two years old and done with me already. I'm in for a lifetime of heartbreak with this boy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sneak preview

I picked up a novelty bundle of Halloween fabrics and was totally inspired to do a Halloween doll. Here she is as far as I've worked on her. The fabric paint and glitter around her eyes is drying and once it's done she's going into the embroidery hoop to get the rest of her facial features.

I am thinking that I'll make her a little hooded cape out of the fabric behind her so that the green monster eyes rest right above her head.

Here are her legs so far. Another little bit of inspiration provided by a costume lace. I layered it over top of the muslin before I sewed her legs together. I am having a lot of fun working on her and already have plans for a second Halloween doll.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Better late

I said I would post the pictures of Grandma's birthday gift yesterday, but I got sick. Again. It is getting to be way too regular of an occurrence for me.

Anyway, I asked for advice on what to make for her and got a whole lot of lavender scented options from Allison. All of which reminded me that I had a Cotton Ginny's pattern for a lavender scented kitty that drapes over a chair or sits on a shelf. It wasn't a practical gift, unless you count the air freshening, insect repelling properties of lavender, but Grandma has a stuffed cat in every room of her house. It seemed perfect and she thought it was just darling.

It turned out much cuter than I expected it to. (I am just not a cat person and my mother-in-law bought the pattern for me.) I really loved the satin stitched whiskers with the variegated thread leftover from my purse. It looked much cuter in person. I really need a better way to take indoor photos now that the weather has turned.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Moments

Yesterday was the long awaited visit with my husband's grandmother. I'll post about her birthday gift tomorrow, but for now I wanted to bring you this picture of her sitting at the piano with the kids.

She has arthritis in her fingers and hasn't played in years, so she stumbled a bit and the piano was out of tune. The kids didn't know the difference though and their faces just lit up while she hammered away at it. Gabe especially loved it...and quacking at the swans from grandma's dock...and pushing her footstool around the living room...and picking the grout out from the ceramic tile around her must be fun being two.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heads Up

Just wanted to give you all the heads up that Lila Tueller (designer of the fabrics I used on my patchwork bag) is hosting a giveaway for her new fabric line. It isn't even due in stores until spring and she's giving away a jelly roll, a layer cake and at least two patterns!

No idea what a jelly roll or layer cake is? She explains it on her blog along with how to enter!

I don't normally post about things outside of crafts on this blog (aside from my Monday Moments anyway), but the past 12 or so hours have just

Let me start with last night. My step-daughter has been begging and begging to go shopping for a Halloween costume and we were in need of some diapers, so we told her we'd head out to Target.

The dog has outgrown her puppy cage, and her previous owner had told us, "I have a large dog cage waiting for her, when you need it, let me know." This was a free cage of course, because the previous owner was moving to a place where he couldn't have pets. In the month and a half that we have had her, she has grown much bigger. And of course, the free cage has not materialized. "It can't fit in my car." Well then tell us where it is, and we'll pick it up. "I'm storing it at a friend's house and I can't get ahold of him." We need a cage for this dog. This was part of the agreement for us taking her in. The previous owner even comes to visit from time to time and tells us how he cannot believe how huge she has gotten. To which we usually reply, "Yes, and she needs a cage."

Anyway, ever the frugal family we hate to go out and buy a cage when we know that there is a free one, just her size, perpetually around the corner. This has led to some pretty creative caging on our part. Yesterday, the caging method was shutting all of the doors upstairs and putting the baby gate up, leaving the dog free to roam the hallway. There was a load of laundry waiting to be taken to the basement and my husband said to me, "What are we going to do with that pile?" I told him that since the pile was some towels and a blanket that it wasn't a big deal, but that I guessed we could put it in the bedroom for the short time we'd be gone. He said, "I would prefer that. At least the stuff that isn't replaceable." (The dog has a chewing habit we have not been able to break, but she usually reserves this for clothing items.) So I moved the whole pile into the room and shut the door. Problem solved.

We came home an hour or so later and everything was fine.

We went to bed last night and of course, the load of laundry hadn't been taken care of, so, not even thinking I pushed it out into the hallway. My husband came to bed, brought the dog upstairs and gated the stairway off. I immediately fell asleep.

At midnight I was woke up by my husband scolding the dog. He came back to bed after letting her out and I asked him, "What did she do?" He told me that she was getting him up every few minutes to go outside and wouldn't go once she was out there. At 12:22 the dog started whining again. This time, my husband was sleeping hard. I climbed out of bed, took down the gate, and went downstairs to chain up the dog. She sat there.

I told her to go, repeatedly, but all she did was sit on the steps, like this was a completely normal thing to do in the middle of the night. She barked to be let in without ever doing her business. I was not happy.

I went back to bed and was just falling asleep when she started whimpering again, standing in the doorway, wagging her tail. I thought, "No way am I doing this every 20 minutes all night. I am going to fix her." I ushered her out into the hallway and shut the bedroom door so she couldn't wake me up.

2:49 AM, my son woke up. Just for a minute, but it was enough to wake me, particularly my bladder, up. I went out into the hallway, dreading the confrontation with the over excited dog. Only I wasn't greeted by the dog. I was greeted by the smell of poop. Nasty, army green, watery poop. Oh and where was this poop? Why, all over one of the two irreplaceable items in that laundry pile. All over the very first thing we ever bought my son, before we even knew he was a boy. All over his baby quilt...the quilt that I hand painted an entire dresser to match.

I was grossed out and completely upset, and praying, that since the dog had figured out how to knock down the baby gate (it doesn't latch properly on the stairs because of the hand rails), that this was the last of it I had to deal with.

Of course, as I took the laundry downstairs I realized that the gate we block the upstairs off with at night, is the gate that blocks my sewing room off during the day. Anyone who has a dog probably knows what was waiting for me in the sewing room.

See, dogs are wired to be outside. And outside, anywhere that you don't eat or sleep is a great place to go to the bathroom. Every dog training book we checked out of the library said, don't let the dog in the basement, don't let the dog in any "unused" rooms in the house. Since I am the only one who ever goes in my sewing room, of course there was another huge army green puddle waiting for me, along with a puddle of pee.

I started the washer and got out the cleaning supplies. For an hour I scrubbed carpets. As I was on my hands and knees in the hallway by my sewing room, nearing 4:00 AM, I found myself thinking of the movie Marley & Me, and that scene where Jennifer Aniston's character is obviously suffering from Postpartum Depression. Where she turns to Owen Wilson and says, "I want that dog out of here!"

I remember seeing that scene (and reading about it in the book) and thinking, "Gosh, she's such a witch! Why doesn't she realize the problem is with her not the dog?" At 3:49, I forgave Jennifer Aniston, and the woman she was playing. I went upstairs, nudged my husband awake and said, "Honey, I know what I want for my birthday..."