Tuesday, March 30

Ribbon Bunny Costume

Sophie’s been busy again. This time, she pulled some ribbons from our gift wrap baggie, used all her might to put some staples here and there, and ended up with a minimalist Bunny costume, just in time for Easter.

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She did come to me near the end, for help with attaching the pink parts of the ears. But the rest was all her. Wonder what happened to make Bunny so mad… : )

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Monday, March 29

Blue-Dress-Turned-Into-Bag is Done!

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Big enough to hold a laptop, hanging low at the hips, and with lots of little pockets inside and out, the bag is done and delivered. (Not sure why it took me eight months!)

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I started off by unpicking all the seams. Then I ironed the pieces flat, as needed, and figured out how to add them back together.

The bust of the dress…

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…became the top of the bag. I sewed the neck straps together near their ends to form a shoulder strap, with the neckline area in between forming one side (the “front”) of the bag.

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The rest of the bust piece wasn’t wide enough to meet up around back. So, using some extra fabric from the skirt, I sewed another piece with the same curve as the front and sewed it on as the “back.”

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And those short extra bits that weren’t wide enough to meet became two little exterior pockets. Not sure what you’d put in them. Certainly not a great spot for a flat little wallet, even if it does fit.

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The bodice, which included a see-through white mesh (one reason Jenny didn’t want to actually wear the dress)…

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…was turned upside-down and added to the top front of the bag, forming two more pockets.

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I added the little bow to hide a black mark showing the original dressmaker where the center of the neckline was. In its former life, the bow was a small piece of the ribbon edging on the skirt.

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Speaking of the skirt, essentially a “plus sign” with a hole it in, I first changed the circular hole to more of an oval shape, then attached the skirt to the top of the bag…

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…to become the pleated bottom of the bag.

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Finally it was time for the inside. One side got a bound pocket and a little “made by k” label.

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On the other side, the shirred back of the dress…

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…became two pockets that can hold small stuff—like a flat little wallet—nice and snug, but could also stretch to hold something bigger. A cell phone or tissue packet. Or two. Or five!

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There wasn’t too much of the dress leftover once I was done (though after taking the photo below, I found some more pieces, including one big uncut rectangle from the skirt).

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And it sure was a lot of fun, figuring out where to put all the pieces. May it be a nice addition to your bag collection, Jenny.

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Saturday, March 20

Snaps and Hats

Pocket now stays closed with the addition of a snap on the inside.

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Pounded the first part of the snap into place, no problem, over on the hard wooden ledge that runs the length of my wall. But, in another late night lapse of judgment, I decided to pound the second piece of the snap into place right there at my sewing desk…

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…my new sewing desk from IKEA, which is inexpensive compared to other desks because it’s essentially hollow. Oops.

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So now that I’ve got my pocket opening dilemma figured out, it’s time to start brainstorming how to cover up the rough hole in my desk that I’m afraid is going to start flaking off bits of bits of laminate as I try to get work done.

In happier news, I got the girls’ hats done*. It might be the first official day of Spring today, but we still have plenty of cold days ahead of us before Spring is really here!  (*not really “done” since I intended to add Hello Kitty appliqu├ęs, but at least they’re “done enough” to be wearable)

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And in even happier news, after trying on their hats, they

  1. kept them on (I wasn’t sure Lucy would),
  2. sat peacefully together on the couch, reading  (or “reading” in Lucy and Sophie’s case) and pointing things out to each other and just plain being loving to one another for way longer than usual.

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P.S. Earlier this week, basked in the sunshine on the deck with some friends and had ample time to test out various grey border techniques. In the end, decided to go for one that made the edges flare out ever so slightly. (Original pattern for hat found here on Ravelry.)

Thursday, March 18

Blue Bag Lining and Bound Pocket

I think I’m almost done with the blue-dress-turned-bag.

For the lining, I used Alice’s great tutorial at futuregirl.com to guide me. I’d used it once before to line the starling bag I crocheted, but it’s great for figuring out the size to line any (somewhat rectangular) bag.  She even provides a little one-page worksheet to help with all the math. And yet even with all that help, I still managed to cut my lining 1” too narrow! Ack!

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That’s what I get for cutting late at night!

Used another great tutorial to make a bound pocket. But I forgot to take a photo of the finished pocket. I did do a trial run first – and took a photo of that. Nice fabric combination, eh? The part I cropped off the photo shows the “I’m so glad I tried this on scrap fabric first” end.

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Actually, I’m not sure the pocket is “finished.” To keep the pocket closed, I was going to add a button and elasticized loop (even found a matching aqua one, formerly a girl’s hairband) but then thought a button might snag stuff going in and out of the bag.

Then I saw this photo at the end of another tutorial. I wonder if a flap would keep the pocket closed…

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A zipper would perhaps have been the best choice, but would require a trip to the store. With small children in tow.

Wednesday, March 17

Craft Night #1: Success!

For ages, I’ve been meaning to organize a craft/project night. Last night, it finally happened!

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(I didn’t ask their permission to post photos of them;
I hope they don’t mind if I show just their hands—or feet.)

Three crocheters (one first-time),
three knitters (one first-time),
one beader,
one self-described “non-crafter” who brought her laptop instead (which made the first-time knitter wish she’d brought her laptop instead too),
and one spinner (making yarn out of recycled jeans fiber)!

Equals nine of us gathered around a table to chat and laugh and do.

My work for the evening included finishing the edging on the purple hat and starting in on the pink.

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The white edging seems too stark to me. I mentioned I might add grey as a border on the white (like the grey border on the kitty); someone else suggested adding grey between the color and the white. And as the ideas were coming in, there was also laughing. And heckling.

“You know what Karin is going to do next, right? She’s going to try it all… Single crochets and double crochets… Using an I hook, and a J, and an H, and a G… ”

They know me so well. I’ll try to keep my “testing” in check. After all, I’d like the hats to be done while it’s still cool enough to wear them. : )

Monday, March 15

What I’ve Been Up To…

One week I post almost every day. The next, not at all. Not sure why that happens, since I’m not really more or less busy either week.

Spent most of tonight* watching TV with Ken on the couch and looking through flickr for some inspiration. Hmm, can you tell what my search term was?

FlickrMosaic

Center Photo: Small World WIP Finished Sun! (detail on this project is AMAZING!); Small Photos – Row 1: ♥ embroidery bib | wip... *Bird Quilt * love birds ornament * Cheeky bird for shop; Row 2: modern retro birds * Bird on a branch; Row 3: bird applique * Bird on a branch; Row 4: Birds * ♥ the singer - part one * ♥ the singers | part four * Bird and mushroom mini quilt

This week, I’ve also made more progress on the blue dress. Then ripped it out and did it a totally different way. Then ripped that out and went back to a slightly modified first version. But I’m still having fun!

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*“most of tonight” meaning that smallish space of time after: cleaning up dinner, putting kids to bed, prepping for tomorrow, etc.

Monday, March 8

These Shoes Were Made for Eating…

My sweet cousins turned 20 today! It was their first birthday apart – Julia over in Germany and Jana here with us. They are both such fashion mavens, so I knew what kind of cake I had to make – shoes! With high high heels!

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OK, so the “Happy Birthday” only mentions Jana, but I did give a shout-out to Jana and Julia in the shoe label.

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Here’s where I started, with some inspiration and two loaves of chocolate cake.

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And here’s where I almost gave up, after trying who knows how many approaches, and cutting up the loaves more and more with each idea, and not being able to make any more cake because I was all out of eggs.

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Called it a night, woke up the next morning with fresh eyes, remembered that the wedding cupcakes were made with no eggs, called the early-rising baker friend for the recipe, and we were back in the game. Covered the cardboard with fondant and made a cake for the shoes to sit on, so there would be more than just four servings of shoe cake to eat!

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Happy birthday, my cuties. Wish you were here too, Julia!

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Saturday, March 6

Hush, Little Softies

The project I started the other night is done. Those little white pyramids became the innards for more softies, which needed to be finished in time for a baby shower this morning. Now that I got going on these again, I hate to stop. Not only is there the mental exercise of thinking of how to represent an animal as simply as possible, I also love the added challenge of using only whatever I can find amongst my supplies.

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(Though if I do another zebra, I think I’ll pick up some zebra print fabric – the patchwork method was quite laborious.)

Instead of pictures, I decided to make a little video, since most of the softies make noise and some do stuff. The book that inspired me to make these is one of our favorites, especially at bedtime: John Butler’s Hush, Little Ones.

Friday, March 5

And the (Dodgeball/Crown) Winner Is…

So, I finally determined who is getting the extra crown. I looked up the comments on the crown post and included everyone who didn’t specifically say they didn’t want it. I wrote the nine names on little slips of paper, fully intending to just have Sophie pick one out of a hat.

But one thing led to another, and soon the slips were snipped into crowns, and the crowns were affixed to toilet paper tubes, and smiling faces were glued on, and we had nine happy contestants ready for a fierce game of Dodgeball. Last one standing would get the crown…

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They lined up in the order they had left their comments. But it probably didn’t really matter all that much since the person on the opposing team can not yet read and had no idea who was where.

Poor Susan, smack dab in the middle, was the first one out. Hmm, not really “dodgeball” when you have no arms with which to catch… More like “bowling” really. But Susan was still smiling! What a good sport!

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Next out was OmiZaza. I was beginning to wonder whether the people lined up nearer to the middle were at a disadvantage. But on the very next shot, it was “the end of the line” for the end of the line. For two people, in fact. Karee and Chris were out.

Next to fall was JDaire. The four remaining contestants started to get a little cocky as a number of balls rolled right past them…

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…but the 5-year-old soon got her groove back and Dianne was out.

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The three that were left moved to the center of the table for the final show-down. Jessica soon went flying.

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Down to the Final Two. Balls were rolling left, right and center, literally…

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…until one finally found a target. Ezeldabeth was out, leaving LiEr the last one standing. Congratulations, you win the crown.IMG_4638

“Mommy, I want to be in the picture with her.” I think Sophie wants me to do another giveaway soon.  : )

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