Monday, July 26

Ha, it worked!

The horse and rider token for the monopoly board…


Here’s what under all that foil – can you tell ours is a house full of girls?!? I also used a spare My Little Pony shoe and a ring of cardstock for the hat. Sadly, MLP’s crown was not removable, but who’s really gonna notice that weird protrusion on top of the horses head in the finished deal.


The girls have been assured they will get Prancing Pony and Bendy Cat back when this is all done.

Sunday, July 25

MongoMonopoly Progress

The VBS prop I mentioned in this post is coming along nicely. It has to be large enough to be seen up on a stage in front of a few hundred kids. So hence the name, MongoMonopoly!


Here it is with the original board for comparison. The boot, up near jail and meant to be the “shoe” token, is one of Sophie’s, covered in foil. And the “thimble” is a sippy cup, also covered in foil.


I made the dice yesterday out of white and black felt covering 5” foam cubes. They’re so fun to throw! I think when this is over, I’ll store them near our games so we can sometimes use them instead of their tinier cousins.

For the property names, I brainstormed all sorts of ways to add them, and finally decided on what I thought was the easiest. But after getting about six names into it, I realized even my “easiest” method (which was still quite time-consuming) wasn’t worth the intended end result. Kids would know it was a Monopoly board even without the names, so I painted over the few I’d done already and was proud of myself for choosing an even easier way to add the words, by not adding them! Even though it went against every perfectionistic bone in my body. : )

Some things I still want to finish up before it’s needed on Wednesday:

  • making some houses and hotels (Cathe Holden’s Little Paper Houses—so cute!!!—will give me a great starting point for making foldable templates)


  • adding the center logo and card stack outlines (the cards are about the size of a piece of paper, so I’ll maybe stick a few yellow and orange sheets of copy paper in the appropriate spot)
  • figuring out a display system (That’s what all the piles of scrap wood in my garage are for, honey! See, Ken, I need them!)
  • finishing the border, probably with paint
  • oh, and making a few more tokens if I can think of easy, quick ways to accomplish that… (instead of the silver painted papier mache sculptures I’d originally dreamed of making when I said Yes to the project in March! Ha!)

I’ve got the thimble and boot done. I ask around and see if I can borrow a Pinewood Derby or Awana Grand Prix car. The iron shouldn’t be too hard to make quick out of cardboard. Not sure about the rest. Any ideas?


Hmm, we do have a My Little Pony in that jumping position. Well, more like “prancing” actually, but close enough, right?

Saturday, July 24


As seen in yesterday’s post, photos are back! : )

I think my charger is a 150 miles away from me, but as luck would have it, I discovered that Jana’s friend has the same camera as me and she let me borrow hers for now, european cord plus adapter and all. (She’s Belgian!)


And since I should maybe post something other than just some electronics that make me smile, here’s something else that makes me smile, a little start of something for my niece, Anna, who is just 8 days old today. Onesie found during errands with the girls the other day, fabrics selected by Sophie who seems to think she’s in charge of this project. : )


So now I have something sweet to distract me during hem-sewing breaks.


Friday, July 23

Slightly Altered Starling Handbag

Happy birthday, Jenna!


This bag started out as a small Starling Handbag, from futuregirl’s pattern that I crocheted (and photographed) months ago…


…and in which I again substituted a few rows of double-crochet so I could thread some ribbon through, like on the bag I made a year ago.


Next sewed in a bright orange lining, and thought I was done. A brown-and-orange bag for Jenna whose favorite colors are… Guess...


But something didn’t seem right. It finally dawned on me that I couldn’t picture Jenna actually carrying this cute little purse. She’s more of a “I need both hands free so I can embrace life with gusto” kinda gal.

So after a few deep breaths and some frantic whispers of This will be OK, this will be OK, I started frogging. That’s crochet-speak for pulling out your stitches (which I didn’t know until this year). Also known as watching all your hard work disappear into a pile of twirly swirly yarn.


I tried to channel Alice (the pattern creator) while making one looooooooong “handle” instead of the two called for in the pattern.

…I just realized now I could have made it easier on myself by crocheting a separate handle and sewing it onto each end, but I wanted to keep the seamlessness of the original – perhaps that’s why the easier solution didn’t cross my mind. That, and the easier solution seems to never cross my mind first…

Anyway, here’s the strappy seamlessness I was aiming for. Yay! (Camera would not take photos showing true colors no matter how much I fiddled with the settings. Boo!)


I’m happy with how it turned out but am not sure I could pull it off again, even though I tried to take notes as I went. Those notes say things like “single crochet two, stick hook in wherever looks right, skip two or so, single crochet again (or half double maybe)” etc. Not the model of precision that I usually like to follow.

Since crochet tends to stretch, I added a fabric strip on the inside of the strap. Hopefully, that’ll keep the bag up where it belongs instead of dangling down near Jenna’s knees after a few weeks.


Sophie, eager to be involved in the gift for her beloved former preschool teacher, came to help me while I was gift-bagging it. I let her pick the bag – she can’t quite read yet, just went for pink. I figured Jenna would be understanding about receiving her birthday gift in a lingerie bag.


Then Lucy joined us and wanted to contribute. She started tossing our IKEA finger puppets into the bag for Mrs. D, which I thought was a cute idea considering what’s arriving in another five weeks or so.


So happy birthday, dear friend. You amaze me in so many ways!

Thursday, July 22

Hurrah for Rolled Hem Foots!

OK, I lied yesterday. My battery camera wasn’t totally dead, just practically so. The icon that was flashing red with no bars left, which doesn’t fit with my propensity to take 30 photos to get three I’ll use.

But yesterday, a friend brought over her sewing machine because it has a rolled hem foot and I have 24 yards of brown organza waiting to be made into table runners for my brother’s wedding. And having testing it out last night, I wanted to snap some photos to send to my future sis-in-law and was able to eek out a few using the barely-there battery.

I am now in love with making teeny tiny hems.

rolled hem edge

Which is good since I have about … [opening up Excel] … 160 yards of teeny tiny hems to sew.

I should not have just calculated that.

I think I’ll head downstairs now to my sewing corner…

Wednesday, July 21

If My Camera Battery Weren’t Dead…

…or, more specifically, if I knew where in the world my camera battery charger ran off to, I’d post a photo of the new playhouse interior (a cool grey, thanks to free paint from the reclamation center, instead of pressed wood with random white splotches that it used to be)…

…or perhaps, one showing my progress on the MongoMonopoly board I’m making as a prop for the Vacation Bible School at our church next week (a project that has reignited my love of acrylic paints and inspired Sophie to dream of what else we could enlarge and project using a borrowed “Projecta Scope”)…

…or maybe some photo showing some other glimpse of my summer.

I miss using my camera. But can’t see myself shelling out the cash for a new charger when I know it must be around here (or Wisconsin or my parents’ house or…) somewhere! What to do, what to do…


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