Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pink Cherry Saturn Harlequin Pants

For days 6 and 7 of KCWC, I worked on the ever popular "quick change trousers" from Anna Maria Horner's "Handmade Beginnings" craft book. They're reversible which means two pants in one! I made Oona a flannel pair back in December, and wanted her to have some lighter weight ones for the Spring. You can only get away with wearing two different color legs for so long, so I went for it!

And why not planets and cherries while we're at it!

The kiddo was happy! The pants were happy! The mama was happy!

I had fun doing this challenge, but I'm a little glad it's over because there's always the unseen pressure of a challenge... even one with no consequences! Unfortunately, making kids clothes just makes me think about making more kids clothes... so I might have to get a few more projects out of my system before I get back to work.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tie Dress

I made this sundress for Oona yesterday for day five of the "Kids Clothes Week Challenge". Thursday was sort of a bust... I did some pattern making, some of which was entirely unfruitful. It's actually been a difficult week to participate in this challenge because the whole family has been so sick. We are hopefully on the road to recovery, except for little Oona who has been fighting off the sickness so well, but now is starting to get it more intense with the awful cough and drippy nose. We've been pretty much housebound besides visiting the doctor. It's been darn cold outside, so playing outside hasn't been much of an option with these colds.

About the dress: super soft navy blue knit top, Japanese cotton fabric called "Paris Apartment" by Bari J. le jardin for the skirt and ties

I made the pattern. There are two button holes in the front that the straps go through and tie into knots so that it's adjustable. I also gathered and fanned the straps so they have more dimension and so that when you tie the knot there would be little fans on the bodice.

Cute thing: Oona is now willing to stand in one place to get her photo taken if I ask... for about 2 seconds... and only if I let her look at the camera to see the photo.

If only it would get warm out so she could actually wear these summer outfits I've been making her.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Felt Flower Ring Pillows

It may be dreadful grey outside, but there's always color in the studio. I made these zinnia felt flower ring pillows and popped them in the shop today. Have a peekaboo!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Summer Outfit

So, I did it.. I made her a tank to go with those magical bloomers. She doesn't look all that excited about it in the picture above, but believe me, she was would have been turning cart wheels if she could. She was busting out dance moves like you wouldn't believe. I just put it on her to see if it fit because it was actually a pretty dreary dismal day. But when I tried to change her back into her long sleeve clothes she firmly protested.

I started it yesterday... I got in my required hour for the KCWC challenge, but I had too many errands to run so I finished it today. Both the top and bloomers are made from McCall's pattern 5947. Here's some process photos.

And here's my wild child kicking up her legs in her matching get up.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Bloomers

It's the first day of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at the Elsie Marley blog, and I managed to squeeze in enough time to make a pair of these funny bloomer shorts for my girl. There's a cute little tank top that goes with this pattern that I might make if I have enough fabric left.

Oona was more than willing to try them on over her pants... And yes, she's wearing water shoes... a size too big because I got them for the summer, and she insisted on putting them on as soon as she saw them. Wacko.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Be good to your mama! Look at what a beautiful place we all have to live and raise our children, and honor it by working to make it better. I do believe little acts made by many can make a difference. Thinking of my little one on this day and how I want to continue to strive to make this Earth better for her and for all that come after in my own small way. We all can. I internalized this mantra when I was younger, "Be responsible for what you create and destroy." We will each inevitably do both, for good and for ill, but if we think consciously about what we are doing, we can reduce the harmful impact we have on everything.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Little Cabin in the Woods

We've been a bit sick lately with a sore throat/ cold thing again. Nasty business... But, while I'm stuck inside wasting away, I'll share some more pleasant photos of last Monday when we hit a favorite nature spot, the Frost cabin and trail. It was a beautiful day. We had a picnic, took a walk, and listened to Daddy (and Oona) play the ukulele. I'm hoping when this miserable sickness is through with us we can have some more fun days like this out in nature.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Keep on Pushing

Keep on pushing! Sometimes the work is more fun than it feels at the time, sometimes the work is fun and you know it, and sometimes it is hard work but the reward is so worth it. I've got a lot to learn from my little one on dealing with challenges. Don't over think it, enjoy it, and dive on in! Have a good cry sometimes, but keep on going and have fun when you can because this is it... your life and you're living it. Wooohaa!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

I'm looking forward to participating in the Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at the Elsie Marley blog (1hr each day of sewing kids clothes!).

Here are some projects I'm hoping make:
- Cute baby bloomers shorts
- Owl dress
- Sun hat(s)

Ok, I know I don't need to take the challenge because I already spend disproportionate amounts of time making things for Oona, but it sounded like too much fun.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Virgin of Guadalupe Pillowcases

I made these Guadalupe pillowcases for my mother-in-law's birthday recently. They're folded in the photo above. She collects Guadalupe's so when I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for her. I had originally intended on making oven mitts with it, but Virgin Mary was way bigger than expected, so I needed to make something where large chunks of the fabric remained intact.

I made the pillowcases with an overlapping back flap, so the pillowcases would stay on better. I also used a french seam so that they won't fray on the inside when they get washed. It reminds me that I should make a new set for us soon. It will be fun to make some for Oona when she's in a big girl bed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Parade: Scenes from Easter Weekend

Easter morning this year was like Christmas with a very overfull Easter basket from the Easter Bunny and even more goodies from Grandma and Grandpa Gnome! The little one was so excited to be staying at her grandparents she hardly noticed anything, though there was a look of awe on her face when she first saw the kitchen table!
We have a funny little Easter tradition in our family of going to the local flea market Easter morning. Oona led Grandma and Grandpa Gnome around while this wolf in sheep's clothing got a ride in her carriage. (He was my great flea market find for the day.)

We couldn't pass up a quick ride on the swings before heading home for more serious business...

dying Easter eggs. As mentioned in a recent post, I had made some natural dyes in yellow, pink, and purple... but, we couldn't resist using some food coloring for the blue and green. Unfortunately, the natural dyes weren't taken to the eggs very well, so we did end up mixing in some food coloring. I'll have to do more research and find out where I went wrong.

It was a little chilly, but nice enough to go sit on the porch with a banjo.

Oona was the grand champion of the Easter hunt (also the only participant).

We had it in a stone circle in my parent's field. Oona caught on quickly, and was tossing, sometimes rather hardly, both the real and plastic Easter eggs into the basket like a pro.

There were many wagon rides that weekend. And we had a trip to see the animals at the university farm.

(Above: sheep in sheep's clothing)

Hope everyone had lovely holiday weekend for those who celebrate Easter or Passover and a lovely weekend in general even if you don't! It was nice to see family and friends and share the traditions with the little one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


We just got back from a long weekend visiting family and friends for the Easter holiday. I'll post some photos when I locate the camera cord. It was, of course, a lot of fun, but we are so tired... Oona even fell asleep at a decent baby bed time (fingers crossed... she could still wake up and decide to have a party!). Now that we're back home, thoughts about real life are creeping in... taxes to finish asap, bills that need to get paid, extensional questions about what we're doing, where we're going, and how we're ever going to save a bit of something to have the gas to get "there". Solar powered thoughts might help. Like many out there, we are just trying to stay a float in a tough economy... but also trying to swim a little closer to our dreams. It's hard not to take it a little personally when the things you put your sweat and tears into are not only not working out, but not recognized or appreciated. I don't know where I'm going with this. Baby sleeping... mama brain starts to spin in strange directions... no longer making sure daredevil doesn't jump off rocking horse, couch, chair, etc.

- for a home of our own
- to improve the one we're in at the moment, since the first thought will take sometime
- to get rid of this sore throat/cold
- less stuff... need to say good bye to some things
- Jake to get home from his practice
- less money stress in life
- a cup of peppermint tea

Friday, April 6, 2012

Baby Best Buds

(These photos were taken by my friend Kate, but they were too cute not to share!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Free Easter Coloring Page

To go with the handmade beeswax crayons I posted about below, I made this freebie Easter coloring page for you and yours! Follow this link for the printable PDF version. This, of course, is for personal in home fun time use only! Enjoy!

Beeswax Crayons

No... these aren't chocolates or soap! They're beeswax crayons for my little one. They contain one part beeswax to one part vegetable glycerine soap plus food coloring. The beeswax and soap are first grated and then melted down in a double boiler with the dye and then put into molds. I tried one batch using white soap as there was some discrepancy in the recipes out there, but it was a flop so I'd stick to the glycerine. They are a bit softer than regular crayons... closer to pastels. I used a silicon ice cube tray for these heart shaped molds. I also used some hard plastic molds, but they proved much harder to get the crayons out. If you make these, you should wait a couple days to remove them from the molds as they need to dry thoroughly.

I made natural dyes that I plan on using for Easter eggs and other art projects as well. Ithink I used between 1-2 tbsp each color. The big surprise was that when the colors mixed with the yellow beeswax they of course came out different than the color I thought they would. The red cabbage dye... which is somewhere between purple and blue, came out green! Makes sense... yellow+blue= green. The lavender color crayon was from a red raspberry dye... that one was a bit perplexing. The only color that came out right was the one with the turmeric dye... yellow+yellow= yellow, of course!

My homemade dyes were boiled with water first with the plant or spice and allowed to steep overnight for stronger colors. I used red cabbage (blue- purple), turmeric(yellow) and raspberries(red-pink). When I use these for Easter eggs I'll need to boil them again with a couple of tbsp of vinegar. There's a nice post about naturally dyed Easter eggs over at "Lavender and Limes".

If you're wondering, I made these crayons last weekend... I am still as much a slug today as I was yesterday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chocolate and Play Dough

It's been an off sort of day for me creatively. My energy has felt totally zapped. I really want a cup of coffee even though I gave it up two years ago. When I can't seem to accomplish much else I tend to retreat to the kitchen. I made some Easter treats (Homemade Cream Eggs), but I didn't have egg molds so I just used a muffin tin. I skipped the "stevia extract" because I don't have it and don't know what it is. I also used a simpler chocolate recipe (one bag choc. chips + 6 TBSP heavy cream). Okay, the recipe claims to be "healthy" but I think what they mean is "healthier" than the alternatives which use high fructose corn syrup or refined sugar. I do not recommend eating a pan of these on your own! The link above also gives some Vegan alternatives if you are Vegan or lactose intolerant.

While I was in the kitchen I also made Oona her first ball of play dough. It was super simple... literally took two minutes to mix up. I used this no-cook recipe I found on "Sew Liberated". Oona loved it! She had fun chopping it with cookie cutters. I used homemade dye too... a little bit of raspberry juice. I put it in a jar, and she'll be able to play with it again. It's a simple enough recipe that older kids can make it themselves with a little supervision.
Well, if I didn't accomplish much today, at least we made some good messes!