Thursday, August 29, 2013

does this crown make me look fat?

"Dearest Ariana, does this crown make me look fat?"
"Um yes, Lorelei. I keep telling you it looks better on me. Black hair is very slimming, you know. Wow, this bed is super uncomfortable. What is the deal?"
Y'all. I'm having a lot of fun playing with dolls. The Wee Princess Pea pattern is almost finished. My biggest problem so far is reining myself in and not making it have a ridiculous number of tiny accessories so it can be 1) made in a reasonable amount of time 2) easily portable for playtime on the go. Even so, this pattern will call for two tins. You'll see why. My girls visit the sample dolls in my studio several times a day and I finally had to cave and give them each a princess of their choice so they would quit making big Puss-In-Boots eyes at me and scram.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

thank you, Rachel Shippy and Ladies' Home Journal!

I was very excited when Rachel Shippy, professional lovely person, contacted me about featuring my oft-pinned foyer plate wall in the September issue of Ladies' Home Journal. Understatement. And there it is! Our entryway on page 30. Things 1 & 2 were impressed. Michael said, "I think I see some dust on the plates." Thanks, Babe. (Probably true.)

And here is Rachel herself in the editor's letter on page 8, next to a wonder wall of her own making. Hi, Rachel! I'm loving your chevron wall.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

bloggy stuff

You may have noticed I've been monkeying around with my blog lately. I added a Kid Crafts! tab in the nav at the top to give easy access to my kid friendly projects. I reorganized my Tutorials page into Paper Craft, Sewing, and Alteration sections. I added some direct links to my patterns in the sidebar. I updated my profile shot (way overdue) and cleaned up the look with some nice social media icons at the top right instead of a mismatched list of links.

I also deleted a lot of the sidebar lists that were junking things up, including the blogs I follow. After the death of Google Reader I finally moved into Bloglovin'. Care to follow me there? It's so much nicer than a mere link list. It makes keeping up with all the blogs you follow a cinch, and even sends you a daily wrap up via email if you like. You can change your settings to customize how you receive notifications, if any. You can find and add blogs to your list very easily. If you are also a blogger, you can easily claim your blog and see how it's doing on Bloglovin'.

One thing I've noticed that I do not like is if you open a blog entry within the Bloglovin' frame, you can't comment and some links don't work. (?) Maybe it's just my browser that's the problem (Mac OS Firefox). However, you can easily get around that by having blogs open without the Bloglovin' frame. The button for that is found in the Settings tab under your account, then scroll down to Other.

I hope you like the changes! One of these days I'm going to update that header. Maybe something autumny. My favorite season is almost here! In other news, I'm working on the Princess Pea pattern and having a blast with all the tiny wild haired princesses and their lumpy beds. I still love to play with dolls. More on that soon.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

wee prototype

Oh, no! This pocket sized princess did not sleep well at all. What could be the problem? It's almost as though there is something small, annoying and legume-y under the mattresses.

This idea has been a sketch in my notebook for far too long and I'm enjoying bringing it to life. I'm still tweaking and thinking through accessories/construction, so you'll see more of her later. Soon, I hope. I'm waiting for more wooden beads to arrive. All the tiny mattresses I'm making are reminding me of this lovely gift my bestie gave the girls a few years ago. Still being used!

Every free minute I have lately I spend holed up in my craft studio just making stuff for fun because I can see the end of summer break coming. Too many ideas are competing for my attention right now and it's really hard to focus on one to completion. Crafting tangents abound. I also fit in a fun project for UK craft mag Mollie Makes, which I hope to tell you more about later.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

tooth pillow for Sally Roe

For a winsome little one year old who will not lose any toofs for a while yet. She just got them! But it's nice to Be Prepared.

I added a little messenger bag for quarters or half dollars. Sacajawea dollars. Whatever the tooth exchange rates are these days. I always loved getting coins when I was a kid. Paper money is all very well, but coins just seem more like treasure when you are a little person. Silver. Shiny. Historical embossings. With a nice heft. Not to mention the satisfying clinky clink in the pocket.

Make your own!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

thank you, Traci!

My beautiful crocheted coasters given to me by nice person extraordinaire and recent out of town visitor, Traci. Wow, Traci. They are so pretty and I feel like they must've taken forever by looking at them. The loops are so tiny. The colors are just right for my living room too. However, I confess I am busily trying to think of a way to use these pretties that doesn't involve someone putting a sweaty glass on top of them. That just seems wrong.

I am in continual awe over the mysteries of crochet. I consider those who crochet and knit to be in some higher echelon of crafting excellence. It looks like magic. I did try to learn once or twice upon a time, but kept messing up with the turning the row thing and then gave up.

(Late Note: Traci tells me she found the coaster pattern here in case you would like to make some.)  

Friday, August 9, 2013

birthday mixtapes

Our traditional birthday mix of handpicked songs that do not make the mommy want to poke her eye out with a stick. I was a bit tardy with Thing 2's CD. It was due in May. It's only August.

The mix for the new(ish) nine year old:

She's pretty into flamenco right now so I put in two of those (track 5 and 11). A word about the Song for Ten. I heard it on Doctor Who, Series 2, Episode 1 and fell in love. (It's the showy song that is playing while David Tennant is choosing his signature skinny suit and tie from the multilevel TARDIS wardrobe in the ending scenes.) The version available on iTunes = lame rerecording that sounds really Lawrence Welk. Supa shout out to my friend Tad for helping me to find the real one on YouTube and convert it to MP3.  *snapping fingers and pointing to awesome person*

Aaaand the mix for the new eleven year old: 

We've been listening to a lot of the 80s on 8 station, so she's kinda into some of that. I first heard Julee Cruise's creepy ethereal songs on Twin Peaks circa 1989 and immediately went out and bought the cassette tape. I still love them.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

simple pom-pom marionettes

What do you do when you are nine and ten and have a bagful of dollar store pom-poms and googly eyes? You make pony marionettes. All morning.


A whole loudly colored herd.

You congratulate yourself when you add wooden beads for the feet, because they make a fun clickety click sound on hard floors.

You learn that what you don't do is lay them down! Their threads can get mighty tangled. You hang them instead on drawer knobs and hooks when you are done playing.

Oh! You are nine? And you are also going to make some? Here's what you'll do:

1) Use Fabri-Tac with your mom's supervision to glue colorful pom-poms together to make your favorite four legged animal. "Yes," you will tell your mother, "it would be nicer to sew them together instead of gluing them, but I don't have time for that because I want to play." See below for a suggested schematic. (When you are running out of pom-poms it's OK to improvise.)

2) You'll add googly eyes and a pipe cleaner tail with more glue because it's cute. You'll pick up really big googly eyes from the box and use them as monocles because it is wildly funny.

3) You'll glue plastic or wood beads on for feet, so they clickety click.

4) You'll thread a needle with a long piece of quilting thread and tie a big knot in one end. Then you'll do brain surgery on the marionette's head starting at the bottom, so that there is a thread coming out the top. Now you'll do the same for its tushy tush.

5) You will remember not to leave the needle on the table. You will put it back in the needle cushion so it doesn't fall on the carpet and wait for your mother's foot to come visit. 

6) You'll wrap the ends of the threads several times around opposite ends of a popsicle stick and secure them with more glue.

7) You'll clickety click with your new marionettes all around the kitchen.

8) Then you'll make more until almost the whole bag of pom-poms is gone because it is still summer and you can do that!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

lining your woven tank

Woven tanks look great in lightweight fabrics. However, lightweight fabric combined with a light color can be a bit too revealing. Solution: Add a lining!

It's an easy mod for a woven tank pattern:

1) When cutting out the front and back of your tank, also cut out a front and back in a featherweight cotton muslin (or you could use a polyester lining material if you want it to feel cool and slippery).

2) Trim about .75 inch to 1 inch off of the hem of the lining front and back. You want your finished lining to end up a bit shorter than your tank. (If your tank pattern calls for french seams, trim the extra seam allowance off of your tank and lining pieces and just go with regular overlocked seams since your lining will hide your seams on the inside)

3) Proceed to follow the pattern instructions to sew your tank together. Whatever you do to sew the tank, do the same to the lining, including finishing the seams. Then hem the lining in just the same way you hem your tank. Now you have two identical tank WIPs, one in your real fabric and one in the lining fabric that is slightly shorter at the hem.

4) Turn your tank wrong side out and your lining right side out. Slip the tank inside the lining so that the wrong side of the tank is against the wrong side of the lining.

5) Pin them together at the neck and armholes, lining up the shoulder and side seams. The raw edges should be aligned. If the lining overlaps in some spots give it a little trim.

6) Machine baste them together at the neck and armholes within the seam allowance.

7) Now you can turn the whole thing right side out and continue on with the pattern instructions to add the bias binding. This photo shows a finished armhole:

The finished hems will be offset by just enough to keep your lining from peeking out:

Now you can wear your lined tank with confidence, and keep your underwear color to yourself.