Stylish Clothes for My Girl

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.


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.

{this moment}

Super-Sized Peasy

From Soulemama: “{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

A few weeks ago as I was drifting off to sleep a vision of a new dress design floated before my eyes.  As sleep took hold I grasped at the idea and how to execute it.  The next day I sketched it quickly and then it just sat for awhile.  I worked on the dress here and there, drafting a sleeve, cutting fabric, gathering the bodice pieces, step by step until it was done.

Dress in Progress 2

All I’ve managed to capture were these two images of it before I added a bright red rolled hem to match the cuffs and neckline.

Dress in Progress

In those night visions I saw slashes of color and that’s just what I now have. When I slid the dress over my head for the first time I gave a little squeal of delight. I’m looking forward to doing a real photo shoot with it and listing it in the shop. As for the sample which I now have, I might be adding embroidery to it at some point. I’ll definitely be wearing it, and not just to dance in front of the mirror in my bedroom.

Most winter mornings are gray, without much color where I live, especially in February.  Sunshine and blue skies are a gift and make even the bitter cold seem warm.  On this gray morning I sat eating a bowl of steel cut oats across from L4, looking out the window into the backyard.  What was different today wasn’t the color or the snow, we’ve been seeing that for months now (and I don’t mind, really!).  It was that our seed starting bench was sitting there, Loki perched upon it studying the squirrels and birds in the yard.


As I watched him watch the outdoors I also looked at that blank white surface.  It’s much like an artist’s canvas because it holds the potential of the beauty and bounty to come in the growing seasons of this year.  Sipping tea, munching the oats with my girl, I felt anticipation welling up inside of me.  Soon our seeds will arrive in the mail (maybe today?) and we will begin planting and tending.  The seed stalking will begin, as I wrote about last year.  As soon as those thoughts came I realized that this anticipation is part of my winter ritual.  Oh how I hope the mail carrier brings me a package from Fedco today!

{this moment}

Boarding at the Park

From Soulemama: “{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

Creekbed Cowl

riverbed cowl hanging

riverbed cowl in action

I finished this cowl on Friday and have been wearing it almost constantly since. I made it from the leftover wool I had from my mittens knit up last winter.

take two mitten in the snow

When I finished the cowl and put it on I wasn’t sure I would like it at first. While I can wrap it around twice so it is snug next to my neck, it’s almost too snug. I didn’t think that having it hanging long would keep me so warm. But it does! I am so, so happy with it and the fact that I used up some yarn sitting on my shelf. I think my girl is going to be requesting a new cowl for herself soon, too.

*** Edited to Add***

Ravelry pattern information here.