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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Today marks day four of  “spring break” for the institution where I teach.  This year I have been reveling in a number of projects at a relaxing pace.  Yesterday L4 was sorely disappointed because I wouldn’t let her go play in the fickle, yet harsh weather.  To distract her I said, “Do you want to paint with me?”  This is almost universally greeted with shouts of joy and yesterday was no exception.

Box of Paints

She pulled out a canvas, brushes and her old paint smock.  Then she went to town squeezing out colors into her little paint tray while I pulled out a few muted shades and squirted a bit onto my tray and rolled the brayer through them.

L4's Pallete

L4 began dabbing colors about and painting the word “love” on her canvas.

L4's full canvas

I pulled out my canvas prepped from the day before with a symbolic-to-me collage.

Growth in progress

Side by side we sunk into our respective projects.  It was just plain good.  All too soon it was time to stop and put away our materials and get my girl out to her bus.  Just a day in a life, but it a happy one.

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After Many (More) Days

Last spring I wrote about finally carving a stamp after wanting to for so long.  I actually carved a couple of other things since then, and have 1 little project which I starting embroidering, much like I did on this one. But honestly, I haven’t touched any of it since November.  On Friday morning I was catching up on blogs and read this post by Melissa at Tiny Happy.  That was all it took, despite not feeling my best due to impending cold virus of some sort, I hopped up off the couch and pulled out my carving materials and journal with sketches.  L4 sat across from me with her own journal and creative material and we both happily passed the morning.

Bird carving 1

Bird Carving 2

That afternoon I was set to take a friend out for her birthday and had been waiting for inspiration to strike for wrapping up her hand knit gift.

Bird Carving 3

I feel a little silly to admit that I was more excited about the stamp I created and used than the socks on which I had spent countless hours creating tiny, tiny stitches. I loved knitting the socks and was happy with how they came out (see them here, here, and here).  But that little birdie (my mother’s nickname for me!) reminded me of the other creative pursuits which I love and all the new skills to learn.  A gift to me, then, too.

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Last fall I bought this book amidst all of my holiday handmade frenzy because L4 is starting to get too big for the patterns in some of my other Japanese sewing books:

Stylish Clothes for GirlsI want this dress for me!

Some of the Patterns InsideHow cute are those kids and their clothes?  Any wonder I bought this book?

After having her peruse it for patterns she liked, it promptly was put aside in order to finish all of the gifts I was making.  January came and I actually traced and cut a pattern and even cut the fabric for it:

Dress Beginnings

Then it sat, again, going “nah-nah, nah-nah” at me on my sewing desk.  Why?  Usually the lack of directions in English doesn’t bother me, I’ve sewn enough that I can blaze ahead and figure things out.  One step of this dress simply confounded me, so I ignored it for many weeks.  I finally had at it again and ignored the directions and just made it sort of look like the picture without doing all that I was supposed to for it.

Guess what?

Dancing in the New Dress

Come closer so I can tell you…

Dress G, Front

*** She didn’t care!***

As soon as I showed her the finished dress she said, “Mama, I love it!” Then L4 hugged it to her body and found jeans to wear with it to school that very day.  She was also very obliging in allowing me to photograph her in it before school, dancing all about and posing as she pleased.

New Dress Happiness

Her favorite part about the dress isn’t the colors (some of her favorites) or polka dots (again, a favorite of hers) or even the large pockets on the front of it (who doesn’t like pockets on a dress?).  “Mama, it’s such a good twirling dress!”

Dress G, Back

Yes, yes it is, my love.

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Hearts and Crafts

Brownie Hearts

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s brownies, the valentine day treat L1 & I made for our family to have tonight. We all had the “edges” of them last night. You know, so they wouldn’t go to waste!

This year both kids made their valentines. One of them reveled in it, made it all after seeing some fun examples online. The other was excited at first, then it was like pulling teeth every step of the way to get them finished on Sunday evening to take to school the next day. Can you guess which was which?

Valentine MakingLook, the iPad is open to the Smitten Kitchen recipe while the kids crafted away

Regardless, they both got them done and it was fun for me to see how they each decided to do theirs. This year we attached some yummy organic lollipops to each and the leftovers were hidden in a cabinet.

Now it’s Monday and I’ve ignored my grading since last Wednesday.  It’s going to wait a bit longer this morning, too, while I catch a ride on the trainer and take the dog out.  It seems we’re back to gray skies here again today after multiple days of sunshine in a row.

Wishing you all an easeful transition to Monday and the week ahead.

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Sewing for Me & More

ipad cover 1

I have in an ipad in my life now and I wanted to protect it so that it would last a long, long while and to make it a bit less industrial modern, to boot. So I went in search of a case and came up flat. Either there was the plain black from Apple or a sleeve could have been had in many patterns. I did not, however, want a sleeve. I wanted something to protect the ipad while I was using it. I searched Etsy and found this pattern from seller Sewspoiled.

ipad cover 3

I am so happy with the final product as it does just what I wanted it to do. I shared it with friends who also have ipads. And now I’ve made a cover for one of them so far, too:

Amy Jo Case 1

I have fabric to make some for other lovely people in my life. And now I’m extending the offer to my readers and beyond. If you aren’t a sewist or don’t have time to make one for yourself or you know someone who might like one, drop me a line or send me a request. I will be making them for $30 US, plus shipping as the designer has given permission in the pattern rights to make and sell these covers.  I’d love to make one for you!

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L3 Solstice PJs & Socks

Handmade PJs for solstice? Check. This year with some new fleece socks, too, because it’s been a couple of years and guess what? Their feet have grown! 🙂

L4 Solstice PJs & Socks

The kids weren’t the only ones happy with their gifts this year. . .

Solstice Moose

We never knew Jasper would like a stuffed chew toy so much! He stands over it when he eats and sleeps with it, too. Maybe it will ease his neurotic tendencies?

As for the cats, we were pretty sure that Loki and Piper enjoy catnip. We weren’t disappointed!

Solstice Catnip

Holiday sweaters to be photographed sometime in the future. I’m happy to report, though, that they were well-received by both kiddos. Oh, how I love my boy in a sweater vest!

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It’s the season for go, Go, GO!  Much as I’d like to protect my family from the chaotic energy of it all, I can’t.  Sometimes I don’t want to because their excitement is contagious!

Village Frock 1

I’ve been absent here because our commitments for both family and work began before Thanksgiving, then we had a lovely visit away for the holiday, to return home to all that needed doing after our absence.

Village Frock 3

I’m looking forward to sinking into the cold season, anticipating the coming solstice and the visiting with friends and family that will continue during the coming weeks.  As the intensity of the winter holiday season ratchets ever higher, I’m going to be looking for the cute and funny to ground us all.

Village Frock 2Village Frock Dress Pattern from Sugar City Journal

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