Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Care Bears Pumpkin

Aww yeah! My Care Bears fascination has been well documented on this blog. Paintings, quilts, crib bumpers.. Tenderheart was my favorite as a kid, and as an added bonus for carving, he has quite possibly the simplest belly badge. 

A lot of work for one night, but I have always loved carving pumpkins. I remember doing Betty Boop and the cover of my favorite horror novel in my early teens. I tend to just use the patterns these days, because as Mom, I get to carve everyone else's pumpkins along with my own. I had a vision this year, though! This is all for me, and maybe a little for Caroline. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Moments & Free printable child's party hat!

Available for free download here
Available for free download here
Available for free download here
Are you aware that Miss Caroline is one? One whole year ago I was in the hospital meeting that tiny little girl for the first time. I am in shock! 

And very nearly on cue, My Memories offered these party hats as a free printable (or as a completely customizeable template for My Memories software owners...and if you don't own the software and would like to, there is a discount code in my sidebar!)

These are free for one week only! After that they will be available for purchase in the My Memories Store under the "craftables" category along with some of the past freebies like birthday crowns, coffin shaped treat boxes and gift bags

Look at how cute they are in the All the Pretty Ponies kit I featured here! Not as cute as the first time birthday girl, but pretty adorable all the same! 

Of course, her hat was pretty quickly ripped off and covered in rainbow icing, but I'm thinking of printing a second one for her keepsake box!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Work in progress: applique flowers

I finished the applique on the panel I'm adding to my zigzag table runner/topper. I really envisioned this as hand applique, but when it came down to it, raw edge was just quicker and I want this project finished and on my desk! 

I should have shortened the stitch on my machine for these, but failed to realize that before completely sewing one flower, and I didn't want them to look different, so there are a few wonky spots when you look real close like this. 

You probably won't see this project again until it's complete. I'm attempting to be more monogamous in my quilting (do you just love that term? I can't even tell you where I heard it, but it tickles me to no end!), I really like juggling six projects at once, but it can feel like I never finish anything when there is so much going on. So I'm trying very hard.

That being said, though, Halloween is in six days and my costume is not complete...no quilting for me until that is finished! Then, I will quilt my topper before doing any more work on the Holiday Lane pillow up in my sidebar. So hard! I have such a vision and I can't  wait to see it come together! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting organized: week two

Last Monday I chronicled my plan to get organized with my sewing, a plan I am still trying to implement. 

So, what worked? Having project(s) prepped and cut was definitely helpful! It was exactly as I thought, and if there was something simple for me to work on, I worked on it! 

What I didn't expect, however, was that I found a lot of motivation to do other things. It was like my projects were energizing me, because I got so much more laundry, cleaning, and cooking done when I was sewing every day. Awesome!  

What I also didn't expect was to be gifted a Kindle for my birthday and getting to curl up and read an entire book this weekend! I haven't read a whole book in...I don't know how long! (I chose Water for Elephants for those of you wondering. Very good, but not very different from the movie, so I didn't much feel like I was gaining anything by having read it.  Though, the vintage circus photos at the beginning of every chapter were pretty cool!)

There are still some things that are not working with my sewing schedule. I'm still having trouble fitting in shopping on Saturdays and enough time on Sundays to cut everything I need for the week. As I predicted, when I ran out of easy to sew, prepped and cut projects I did not have time to prep and cut more (minus the super-simple hip holster for Victoria's Halloween costume, anyway). I have to do some thinking on this...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hunger Games Clove DIY Costume Vest

Earlier in the week I posted that Victoria had decided to be Clove from the Hunger Games for Halloween. She looks like this:

Source: google.com via Melinda on Pinterest

We were able to find clothes to approximate a lot of this look, but the knife vest was a little trickier. I briefly considered sewing a vest from scratch, but, for less than the cost of a zipper at the fabric store I was able to get an old winter coat to turn into a vest. The coat part was important, because I was able to use perfectly matching fabric from the sleeves and hood I cut off to make knife pockets. 

The knife handles could be a little shorter, but these were available at the dollar store and stood out way better against the black vest than the $2 black handled knives at the party store, even if they were a better length. 

We tried hard to find a hunting type knife to put on her hip, but that's just not popular for Halloween costumes, so we ended up with an old looking dagger with a skull on the handle. I made a sheath for it from some embossed felt I found at the Hobby Lobby that looks just like tooled leather. 

It should be interesting to see how it all comes together on Halloween...and if anyone has any idea who she is! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Zigzag table topper, almost finished!

On Monday I showed you a picture of a small stack of 4 1/2 inch squares on my sewing machine. Look at what I turned them into! 

This is going to be a topper for my sewing machine desk when it's done! I love how clean and modern it seems, even with all of the vintage looking fabrics I used! I really think this is going to inspire a lot of sewing projects having something I made, and love in my space. 

I have an idea of how I will be finishing it, but I need to work out a few specifics. Pictures of a completed topper soon! Along with pictures of the knife vest I made for my step-daughter Victoria's Halloween costume

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hunger Games Clove Halloween Costume for Girls

Source: google.com via Melinda on Pinterest

Has Hunger Games fever hit your house? It actually seems to be dying down here a little bit, but it was still first choice for Victoria's Halloween costume this year. Initially, she wanted to be Katniss, and I'm not sure what changed her mind, but by the time we went shopping she was all about Clove. I've spent a lot of time and dedicated a few Pinterest boards to this idea, so I thought I'd share what I've come up with and a couple ideas that may come in handy at your house, too! 

The basis of Clove's arena outfit are some basics that you may already have on hand, or that may not be unreasonable to buy if your daughter is the type who will wear these clothes regularly. 

Some cargo pants in any shade of brown or olive. Victoria is strictly a leggings and jeggings girl, so ours were purchased for $1.49 at the thrift store, but these are way cute and totally reasonable! 

A maroon, deep red, or burgundy tee. Victoria says this has to be a v neck, but I am finding that pretty darn impossible. They don't make many plain tees for girls, let alone plain tees in red. Purple, pink, neon green? Sure. Red, maroon or burgundy, not so much. The best thing I have found so far are the unisex tees on Hanes.com. They come in both maroon and deep red and short and long sleeved. 

A matching windbreaker. Yeah, this one is hard too, again, not something they really make for girls and the reason I listed so many colors for the tee. I really think maroon is the best match to the movie look, but I dare you to try to find a maroon windbreaker! The best I have found is this deep red at LL Bean. 

Source: llbean.com via Melinda on Pinterest

That jacket is $35, though, and like the cute little cargo pants, probably totally worth it if your child would get a lot of wear out of it, but mine is picky about her clothes. I personally think the jacket is optional, especially for Clove who has the awesome vest of knives! 

Last, but not least we have the boots! I pinned quite a few under $30 that I thought walked a nice line between Hunger Games movie feel and everyday wear-ability. My number one pic is this $19.99 pair from e-Bay.

Source: ebay.com via Melinda on Pinterest

But, when I showed the board to Victoria she picked a similar pair in a faux suede as the ones she would actually wear to school after Halloween. So, as cute as I think they are, I'll be leaving these ones on e-Bay for your kids! 

This pretty much covers the stuff you can buy, now, what to do about that wicked knife vest? Stay tuned to see our solution! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Learning to stipple

I have been trying hard to learn the basics of free motion quilting. I am still very, very new at it, but after I finished up this latest practice sandwich I realized that, as flawed as it was, I'd actually  be able to live with it on a quilt. Not love it, but live with it, especially on a real project where I'd take the time to baste! 

I think that I might possibly be ready to attempt a stipple on a quilt. Preferably one that I'm giving away so I don't sit and obsess over the flaws! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting organized...I hope!

I have been reading other blogs and gathering ideas for awhile now, because I just don't feel productive. The baby is older, nursing less and entertaining herself more, yet sometimes I feel as overwhelmed with projects as I did when she was a newborn! 

My grand plan was to institute a schedule. It was a good plan made with work schedules and local business hours in mind. Friday was to be project planning day, where I would decide what I would do for the week and pull fabrics. Saturday was to be shopping day. If my particular project needed any fabric, thread, interfacing, etc. that I didn't have on hand, I would go shopping. Sunday was to be project prep day, where I would magically iron and cut all of my projects for the entire week on the day that the fabric stores were all closed. 

It is still a decent plan, but here's how it worked out. I planned out which projects to do last week early, as I was already past the cutting day when anyone was home to keep the kids occupied while I played with rotary blades. So I dreamed and plotted, just knowing how awesomely productive I was going to be. 

I already knew that I didn't need anything other than template plastic, so I decided not to go shopping Saturday. Sunday I realized that I hadn't pulled fabric to iron and cut, and that somewhere in the few days since I had compiled my project list, I had lost it. Nice! 

I fail completely at being organized. I still can't find that list! 

So it's Monday and a sewing day. I was supposed to have the fabric cut for a panda, two test quilt blocks, my table runner and part of my Holiday Lane pillow that's in the sidebar there. 

My table runner is cut, as are two houses for the pillow. The panda fabric, and the fabric for the test quilt blocks is ironed and will probably be wrinkled by the time I get back to it. But I'm not discouraged! I just need to find the schedule that works for me...hopefully sooner than later! 

Any tips for me? I'd love to hear them! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

I took the kids on a walk on what was probably the last 70 degree day we'll see in awhile. The wind has been blowing, the leaves are turning and the winter coats have been pulled from the closets. Tomorrow's high is 47!

The upside to the cooler temperatures (other than the gorgeous fall color) is that it's oven weather again! Hello comfort food! Today I will be roasting and shredding chicken for soup and alfredo. Yum! It's always a big pain on the day of, but so worth it when I'm able to pull bags of shredded frozen chicken from the freezer and put together a great homemade dinner in a quarter of the time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A First

I tried my hand at dyeing fabric for the first time ever last night. That is, unless you count tie dyeing, which I think is a whole different experience than dyeing one thing all the same color. So these socks are now Rit Sunshine Orange. Kind of loving them and wondering why I didn't throw more items into the dye bath, this color makes me really happy! 

The box says that items that aren't 100% cotton won't reach full color, but I concentrated it a little bit by removing one gallon of water and these turned out awesome! Very Velma, I think! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Moments: Scrapbook Edition

Yesterday was Sunday, which meant another Speed Scrap on the My Memories Facebook page. These things are so fun, and I almost always come away with a great page! 

I haven't found myself with a ton of time to scrapbook lately, but I loved getting back into it last night! Caroline is now 11 months old (plus a few days) and I am in shock! How did this happen? I wrote not that long ago about how she was still able to fit into 3-6 month clothes, and all of the sudden everything in her closet is 12 or 18 months stuff, and it all fits!

She's coming up fast on her first birthday, and though I knew everything about Gabe's birthday at this point (theme, cake, gift), I know almost nothing about Caroline's right now! I want to celebrate it for sure, I just can't decide how! And it doesn't help that this economy has hit some of my extended family pretty hard, and I'm not sure how many people are going to be willing or able to make the trip here to party with us...

But like I said, we will for sure do something, and this digital scrapbook kit has me really leaning toward a My Little Pony party! 

How cute is this thing? I could see all but the pony elements working for a Care Bears party too, which if you've seen my daughter's crib, you know is right up my alley! So much planning to do!