Sunday, March 28, 2010

Feeling springy

Oh yes! The snow is gone, the temperature is supposed to go above 70 this week, these things are growing in my yard and I'm wearing this on my shoulder!

I am finally finished with the bag from the pattern I've been drafting for a couple weeks now. I love it! It was definitely a pain to put together versus some of the other bags I have made, but I have some ideas about how to curb that for the next one. What do you think?

Is it worth making a few more?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Heads Up!

I am working my butt off on the first new pattern I have designed myself in what feels like a million years. So far, I absolutely love it and everything has just come together perfectly, or near perfect. Big thanks to Allison for suggesting to me many times over that I first make my pattern in cheap muslin. There were a few measurements where I was off by about a half an inch and I am SO glad that I made those mistakes out of $2.47 a yard fabric and not $8.99 a yard fabric.

Anyway, I have a bunch of projects up my sleeve for the near future, including one (or more) made from a layer cake. If you'd like to win a layer cake of your own(pre-cut 10" fabric squares, useful for a large variety of things) head over to the Adventures In Dressmaking blog to enter before March 28th.

A word of warning though, my recently purchased layer cake was the Chirp! one that is among your choices if you win. Layer cakes are usually 40 fabrics, sometimes there are a few repeats if the particular fabric line you choose did not have 40 fabrics. Chirp! has 22 fabrics in its line. There are 18 repeats in that cake! Something I wish I would have known before I bought mine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I forgot

One more thing happened yesterday that added to the amazing feeling I had going, I finally finished and shipped off all of my dolls to Haiti. These were my last six.

I thought I would not single out my favorite doll this time and show you my son's favorite. My husband loves Hawaiian shirts and Gabe officially dubbed this the "Daddy doll!" It was very cute and will probably lead to me making him his own little Hawaiian shirted boy.

Here are all 16 of my dolls together. After this photo I folded and twisted them all into a 12X12X12 box and sent them off to the Abundant Ground Foundation in New York, where they will be combined with all of the other Dolly Donations dolls and sent to Haiti. I'm very excited to tell you that seven days before the deadline, the goal of 181 dollies have already been shipped to New York! I can't wait to find out what the final total ends up being and I just can't imagine the joy they are all going to bring to the Haitian children.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Moments

I sent a message to a friend of mine this morning saying, "Happy Monday!" She kind of did what I imagine (it's hard to tell over instant messenger) was a little huff of, "Uh-huh, sure Mondays are happy." Can I say what a truly happy Monday I had? It was deliciously sunny and maybe a touch too windy, but I didn't mind a bit because it was better than the snow we had Saturday and Sunday morning.

I went to the car wash and discovered that what I thought was a big mechanical problem in my car was just some dirt built up in the brakes making them squeak.

I went to my son's doctor with a handfull of money expecting to pay a bill that the insurance told me they weren't going to cover, and the receptionist cheerily told me that payment was already pending on it.

I took the unexpected money and went out to lunch with my husband.

I spent some money on myself (or maybe more like my hobbies!) for the first time in a long time and the package of lovely fabrics arrived in the mail today.

I found out that I won a giveaway I entered for a gorgeous quilt pattern from Kim Sherrod Studios along with a charm pack to help make the pretty pattern.

And I got to end the whole day playing outside with the kids. I love me some Mondays.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Drumroll, please!

The contest is now officially closed and according to the winner is...

Comment number 110! I counted twice and I am pretty sure that the toy box goes to Mom On the Edge! Congratulations to you and your Dora loving niece!

And a pinch for the rest of least those not wearing green!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

I took the day yesterday to relax and it was lovely! My husband found a coupon for a free cookie from an out of the way bakery, so we loaded everyone into the car and went for a little drive. We bought a cookie for each of us and had them packed in a cute little baker box for the road.

Then we went to a fabric shop that is supposed to be bigger and have a much better selection than my usual hang out. It was bigger, but the selection left something to be desired, and I read the address wrong, so my ever patient husband actually had to drive all over looking for it.

It just ended up being a nice day all around, even if I didn't find what I was looking for. I'm so eager for nearly every day to be a nice day, but this is Michigan and snow is in the forecast for Sunday. I have been loving the sunshine and natural light, scouting my new home for interesting places to take pictures, and watching my son, who is finally tall enough to ride the trike he got for his second birthday, figure out the mechanics of a bike. Spring is such a tease.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Inspiration found

It has only taken me nine months, but I have finally found the quilt I want to make with this Rrribbet fabric I posted about back in June.

My inspiration came straight off of the pages of the April/May 2010 issue of Quick Quilts that came in the mail yesterday. I am SO in love with this pattern, Ruff Around the Edges. You can't tell from the tiny photo on the website but the quilt actually has a tiny little ruffle bordering the blocks in the middle. Incredibly cute!

I just need two more fabrics to be able to make this little lap quilt. I want this blue dot to act as the dark brown, for the ruffle and center square and this orange dot to act as the tone on tone for the background. I got both of those fabrics in a charm pack I ordered awhile ago and marveled at how well the dots matched the dots in my frog fabric, but until I saw the above pattern I didn't lust for yardage.

Now I just have to cross my fingers that by the time I have $30 or so to blow on fabric that somewhere still has two yards of the orange and one yard of the blue.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I finished three boy dolls for Dolly Donations this week. These were going to be my last three dolls, but my awesome friend Keli would hear none of it and sent me a whole yard of brown fabric so I could keep creating. Thanks, so much, Keli!

As a result of my limited fabric, my boys could not be bare legged, like I made them previously. But now that I have more I am certainly planning on making more brown legs wrapped up in little shorts.

Okay, enough blabbing, are you ready to see their feet?!

I LOVE these little shoes. They turned out almost exactly as they were in my mind. I would love to make them just a little larger so I could do a white/black/white layered felt bottom and have them look like real Converse, but I was really going for something easy and quick. And I think they do the job nicely!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Moments

You know it's time to cut your son's hair when his big sister starts treating him like her own personal Barbie doll. After this happens, you just can't avoid it any longer, even if the thought of getting rid of all of those baby fine locks just kills you.

There is no mistaking him for a girl now. He thinks that he is one cool dude with his hair cut and flat out refuses to take his sunglasses off. If he is not wearing them on his face, he is either propping them on top of his head or crying and screaming because I took them away. Ahhh...the joys of the terrible twos.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I made one new girl doll for Dolly Donations this past week. It was my intent from the beginning to have shoes on all of my dolls before they were shipped off to New York, but for awhile there it was way more fun to sit in the sewing room constructing the dolls themselves.

This weekend, though, was perfectly relaxing and I found myself just wanting to sit in the living room and hang out with the family. The absolute best time to bust out a little hand sewing!

I can now say that all of my finished dolls (with the exception of the boys in shorts, because I think they should remain barefoot) have shoes. These are the girls. Two black, one brown, one purple and one blue pair of shoes, all hand sewn with a chunky, cute running stitch or a thin, pretty blanket stitch.

I made something equally cute for the three boys I finished this past week, but I am going to make you all wait until Tuesday for those.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clean up with a Giveaway!

When we moved here we set up my step-daughter's room with a new Jonas Brothers bedding set (I wish I would have known about this kids bedding site! That hot pink and zebra striped set would have way outlasted the preteen Jonas Brothers obsession!) and a toy organizer. We bought a rug and yet another toy organizer for my son. Can I say how ridiculously priced and generic the toy organizers were? And that we bought them both on sale at local stores? And that if I learned anything during this move it's that us moms don't have anywhere near as much stuff as our kids!?

So when CSN stores contacted me and offered me the chance to host a giveaway of one of their products, I just knew it had to be something to help you get them organized and make being a mommy that much easier!

Comment here for your chance to clean up with a choice of a free Dora

or Toy Story toy box from!

Want to earn more entries into the giveaway? It's easy!

Followers of my blog (old or new) leave one extra comment saying you're a follower for one extra entry.

Have your own blog? Post a link to my giveaway there and comment again here linking back to your post for another extra entry!

One comment per method of entry, please! Entries limited to residents of the United States and Canada 18 yrs or older, sorry!

I will draw the lucky winner on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just something I picked up

Bear with me here, this is not just another Dolly Donations post, though these unfinished dolls are for the orphans in Haiti. This is a little something I figured out when I was making my still unfinished vampire doll.

You see, shoving those fairly firmly stuffed, gangly limbs into what was definitely not a very large doll body sucked. I wish I knew of a less crude word that truly describes that experience, but that one just seems to fit. Anyway, I finished with her and found that after all of the straining to get everything right, both of the legs and one arm still ended up pulling away and not getting caught in the seams...not completely.

That's when the idea struck to not stuff the limbs! Wow! I cannot believe that it took me so much pulling and fighting with my sewing machine to realize the way things should be done. Now, doing it this way does require more hand sewing, which I know a lot of people despise, but I find it way less irritating than wasting my effort on a technique that doesn't always work.

So here's what you do, leave a small opening in the underside of the arm (or leg), similar to what you would leave for turning out a project. Simple, right? You can keep everything nice and flat while you're sewing, and when you're done you have just a tiny hole to put your stuffing through and sew up by hand. Leaving the opening on the underside of the limb means that your stitching is well hidden and you still get the polished look of machine sewing without all of the struggle! I can't see a reason to ever follow pattern directions again!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Moments

I had a very rare opportunity to hit the mall with some friends from a few hours away...the mall near my house! I absolutely love it when I can see my great friends from up north without the long drive and costly trip to the gas station.

While shopping I picked up a couple of size 4T shirts for my son...a boy who back in August, the last time I saw these particular friends, was wearing a 24 months shirt. How did that happen? In less than a year he is nearly twice his size and so independent.

Now that there aren't gates blocking off half of our home I'm frequently finding him in the refrigerator. I'll go to the bathroom and come out to find him munching on an apple, or waiting for me with a block of cheese so I can slice him off a snack. If he's thirsty, he carries a gallon of milk to wherever I am. Even, a few times, if he's tired we find him in his bed with a blanket. When he inevitably gets up at about 2:00 in the morning, I think that just for today, I might not be too upset at the cry of, "Mommy!" dragging me from bed. I have the feeling it won't be happening too much longer.