Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wax The Thread

I love LOVE finding new tips on how to do stuff -- the right way. So when I found this one site, I was really pleased with the simple details and especially the tip on waxing the thread in order to preserve then integrity and strength of the thread as well as prevent knotting. Oh, it really worked. I just happened to have my Nan's little beeswax teddy bear on hand, since she had passed me most of what she had left of sewing things.

I thought it turned out pretty nice. they took about an hour each, but I was quickly getting better and I found it gratifying, although a bit of an overkill. I would probably like to have done each one in 2 minutes with a machine, but I do like the look of the handmade buttonhole.

To Top It Off...

The coordinating fabric.

Isabel loved this and immediately decided she wanted to wear it - glad it was a beautiful and warm day today.

Now, to start quilting... I am rather excited.

I will try to take pics to post progress.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hi My Name is Amy...

And I am addicted to fabric.

It is a good thing I have a little kiddle to dress, otherwise I am not sure what my excuse would be. I know, I already thought of it: I would be an avid quilter. I plan on doing that anyway, but here is my latest little kiddle skirt. I am tickled that Isabel loves skirts so much; they are so easy to make, and take up very little fabric compared to other things. The cost of this skirt was about $10 taking into account shipping, excluding notions and time.

It totally satisfies my want for fabrics.

Next, I am making a 1950s baby "bra" out of the coordinating mushroom fabrics. I may even finish it today, while we wait for the car to come back from the shop.

Damn it! Martha!

Now I want to make these. The think is, though, that they will go perfectly in Isabel's new "circus theme" room, so I guess it is acceptable that I get sucked into one of her crafty ideas. Well, we all know they are not all her idea, and that she is a marketing guru, but I suppose that is fine. But I do feel a bit like a sucker. Sometimes I wonder if crafting is really a waste of time. I have never done a themed room before, or even fully decorated a room for that matter, but I am finding the process a bit fun and rewarding.

So pom poms, here I come.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Holy Carp These Are Cute

Jennifer Murphy is one of those artists that make really great old-looking teddy bears and other animals. Hers are some of the best I have seen; simply yet perfectly detailed. Much like her site, which is well-worth poking around in.

"Holland" Happening

Although I wish there was more than a shoe carver at the street fair, there were some pretty cool "non-Dutch" things at Oak Harbor's annual Scandinavian festival. I probably rolled my eyes at the Guatemalan pan flute people, who are at EVERY event (I do like them, they are just EVERYWHERE), the diversity was nice. Lots of Lumpia and fried noodles, too.

The best part, was seeing Isabel delight in the carnival rides, and her first taste of cotton candy. "I wanna pink one!" You got it! Two rides was enough, as she is scared of even the smallest of roller coasters, and it was plenty fun just walking around. I think I particularly liked checking out the "carnies"; my favorite was the big-bellied old man at the "fishing pond," with a cigarette hanging from his mouth while he shouted in his booming gruff voice, "EVERYONE'S A WINNER!"

That, the old rides I recognize (and some I hate, like the zipper, which seems to be held together by bobby pins), the smells of cotton candy and onion rings and hay, the teens buying wristbands so they can go on every ride fifteen times, and the ladies who are grossly overdressed in their 6" open-toe ankle boots and hot pants.

But seeing it through Isabel's eyes for the first time... priceless.

Teaching Myself Something New

I love learning new things.

What makes this especially gratifying is that I have tried this before and failed miserably. Then, recently, I ran across a great quilting blog and got inspired by the great instructions on "stippling." (A form of free-hand quilting with the machine.) I glossed over it (usually too impatient to read things thoroughly the first time) and decided to try my hand at it; this time the correct way. I think my problem before was that I did not attach the right foot (I think it was the photo attached to the instructions that made the bell go off in my head), use the right thread and adjustments, and go for it. It was amazingly easy.

I think I mentioned I am a little impatient -- this is my main excuse for this not looking better, However, I was so impressed with how easy it was, that I sort of rushed through he job, just to get it done and be amazed that I could hold my very own quilted hot pad. I promised myself I would take more care, so that the stitches were more even and there wouldn't be any sharp corners.

This really is what was holding me up on continuing my learning how to make quilts. Real quilts. I am really ready to start to put together all those little squares I have cut out, a long time ago, in preparing to teach myself this very thing.

I should say, though, that I am not really teaching myself: I should give credit where deserved: to all those great "bloggers" and other people who graciously take the time to post beautiful photos and detailed instruction for all of us to use and enjoy, and otherwise be delighted by.

Finally... Sunshine and a Bit of Warmth

Now it is easy to remember what I like about this area.

As long as we aren't in a housing development, this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. All sorts of colorful singing birds, cows on the way to the grocery store, and some of the most beautiful views anywhere. We were so lucky to get this house - the nicest view I have ever had, hands-down. The rent is so cheap here; an added bonus.

Apparently this place was settled largely by Scandinavian (Dutch) peoples, and so tulips abound. The yards have provided so many surprise treats to delight, from Hellebores (the first to peek), red pink and yellow tulips, and much to my delight, bulbs I can't yet identify. One of my favorite things is creating tiny bouquets out of lawn flowers and other tiny pretties. I can't name the pale purple flowers, although I think it may be something like a pale version of Blue Eyed Grass. If anyone knows, please let me know... it will save me the trouble of wanting to go through my boxes of books that haven't yet been unpacked.

Head Banger

My poor baby has a shiner.

This is not the first time she hit her head, but probably the worse, She has walked into a pole and hit her eyebrow, walked into the edge of a sliding glass door and put a permanent dimple in her check before. But this time we were having a fabulous time at Bowman Bay near the Pass, me kayaking and taking turns watching Isabel and her friend Banjo play in the sunshine, and she fell about 4 feet off a log onto huge rocks. By the time I got to her she was just lying there, not even crying; it scared the bajeebers out of me.

All I wanted to do is hold her. Everyone was asking about her fingers and legs, but I think it was more scary than anything. The worst part was her asking what happened. So, indeed, I drove straight to the E-room in Coupeville. It was a comforting three hours; well-spent knowing that she would be thoroughly checked out. She kept asking where she was, too -- that was a bit freaky.

Well, not much humor in this entry. I think I just have to remind myself that these things happen. You can't prevent everything, so you just count your blessings when it "could have been worse." Besides, we now have an excuse to slack around the house and just watch TV and sew. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I see I am starting to get hits. This means I should probably update my blog with a post newer than 2 months old.

I just haven't had much to say lately.

I have been busy with the move, the kid, selling patterns on Etsy and trying to take about 2 acres of landscaping as well as organize the 4 tons of crap we have. How did being a homemaker get to be so hard? Well, I suppose "2 + 2 doesn't equal 4" explains it. That, and the realization that someone was really upset about an entry I wrote. I had no intention of making them feel bad -- really -- and on top of that I just never thought they would even know it was written. I guess search engines really do the job.

See? ::yawn::

Anyway, I am promising to craft more, take more pictures (my lovely Canon Rebel bit the dust, went "tits up," etc.), and do more searches for cool things. Maybe even stuff that isn't children's clothing, but no promises - I have one really cool clothing site in mind already.

So, here is a beautiful bowl of strawberries - better than being hit in the head with a hamster.