• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me

Craft Your Own Christmas Cards

(Since I’ve skipped blogging for so long, my posts might be skipping all over the place too!)

My personal philosophy with Christmas cards is that I like to send something with a religious message because, well, I am celebrating a religious holiday and wishing people all the good and promise that that religious holiday entails.  So, to this point, I’ve always bought Christmas cards – generally Hallmark – and enclose within a picture of my girls.  Two birds with one stone!  It would certainly be easier to make a simple picture card, and I’ve definitely considered doing just that, but have still done my store-bought cards to this point.
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The picture of my girls enclosed in the cards this year — obviously I cut it in 2!

This year, though, it had reached mid-December and I had yet to buy the Christmas cards, and the store cards I really loved tended to be on the pricier side.  And while I’m not a paper-crafter at all, paper-crafting came to the rescue!

My girls were already off school for Christmas break, so I set them down at the kitchen table with a bunch of paper and crayons and instructed them to draw something Christmasy!  The results were…not blog-worthy.

I regrouped and instead pulled out a bunch of construction paper, scissors, markers and glue and this time instructed them to make Nativity scenes.  I had to exert some control!  And my goodness, the results could not have been better.

Elena went after this project with no instruction from me at all.  Well, I did mention to her that Mary often wore a head-covering.  But that was it!  I LOVE what she did:

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Elena is especially proud of her manger made with the hole in the middle.  I think it must be a new trick she just learned.

Julia also did fabulous work although she needed a little more help.  I gave her pieces of construction paper in the general size that she needed and she’d finish cutting them into shape.  She also looked to her sister’s artwork for guidance.  I also LOVE hers:

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Now, there’s no way were were sending Christmas cards out the size of construction paper, nor were we going to craft up 70 of these!  So, we then took their Nativity scenes to the copy store, shrunk them, and printed 2-to-a-page.  I had intended on printing them at the proper location on cardstock so I’d just have to fold them, sign them and mail them, but the copy-worker and I were having some communication issues.  At any rate, we then headed to a friend’s house and used her paper cutters and tape rollers and fashioned up our cards.  They were in the mail a few days later in time for Christmas!

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The finished cards — the color copies were awesome!

I must admit here that at least one of our recipients didn’t quite understand Julia’s picture and what I thought was a nice religious Christmas card.  He brought it with him to visit us and was asking Julia all about the kitty she made and pointing to the kitty’s eyes and mouth?  I don’t quite see it, but art is in the eye of the beholder?

Those on our Christmas card list can definitely expect to see more hand-crafted cards like this in the future.  I mean, doesn’t everybody want my childrens’ artwork for eternity?  I know *I’m* holding onto it forever!

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Design-Your-Own-Fabric Dresses

All the rage everywhere in sewing land is designing your own fabric.  And for good reason — it is fun to have complete control over the design process and get *exactly* what you are looking for.  Most of the time people are talking about designing their fabric with the likes of Spoonflower, but I decided to go old school with the girls this summer.  I busted out some watered-down fabric paints (to make the painting easier) and about 2 yards of solid white fabric and let the girls have at it.  (You might remember that I briefly mentioned this when we did it in July.)

They started out with a bunch of sprinkling:
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And then moved on to painting some spots:
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And finished with a great piece of fabric:
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I’ll admit I had trouble giving up control on this fabric, and wished at times that I didn’t put the green or purple fabric paints out, or that I made them only paint instead of sprinkling, or that I made them only sprinkle instead of painting, or or or.  Ultimately I was happy enough with the finished product.

In August I tried to make them dresses out of the fabric, but my machine did *not* like working with elastic thread and died on me.  After being repaired, I finally brought the dresses back out and finished them in October.

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I used Izzy and Ivy’s Ava Tie Top pattern.

For Julia’s, I thought it looked good without a bow and therefore didn’t add the tie loops or make a bow.  I also cut off some of the length and didn’t do the pintucks on the bottom of the dress.  The dress fit well and I really liked it.  For Julia.

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Julia was really into posing that night…

As for Elena’s, it didn’t turn out as well.  It ended up being too narrow/thin for her frame and I decided to go forward with the tie loops and the bow to hopefully hide the fact that the dress is too narrow.  Instead, the bow pretty much takes over the dress.  (FYI: The bow was this size on the pattern I got.  The newest cover of this pattern appears to have a smaller tie/bow.)  I cut the length and didn’t do the bottom pintucks on this one either. Since this outing, I don’t think Elena has taken this dress out even once to wear.

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At least she had fun painting! And eating her candy necklace!
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And I’ll definitely consider having them paint fabric again.  It really was a lot of fun!

Elation

I jumped right back onto the quilting train, and this time met success!  SO HAPPY!

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Our new craft, shown in its natural habitat:  surrounded by other crafts!  We just received the bookshelf on the right and it has become our kids’ craft shelf and resides in the kitchen, as you can see.  It was filled within 2.67 seconds of being named Craft Shelf.

This is a little project that my girls and I made for my husband’s birthday.  I totally stole the idea from here.  (I originally found it on Pinterest through a friend but thought I’d source the original location.)  The girls chose the fabric for their handprints — they  both chose blues since that is Daddy’s favorite color.

We gave it a little late to my husband because I was, once again, avoiding the quilting part of the project.  (Do we see a theme here???)

But I needed to do it, and this time I went with a bit of a plan.  I decided to…PRACTICE.  Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
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I started with deciding how to quilt it.  I wanted the same echoing around the hands as the original, but I wanted to do something else in the remaining space.  I did practice free-motion quilting around the hands on some scraps, but that ended up too inconsistent for my liking still.  Echoing takes a lot of precision! and skill! and even more practice than I was willing to do!  So I simply sewed it normally, which was really easy, even with lots of curves, on this little piece.

As for the remaining space, I poked around a website that has some good tips and designs for free motion quilting, A Few Scraps, and found a cute little heart idea.  Perfect.  I practiced drawing it on paper first, and then practiced sewing it on scraps.  And then it really was just perfect when I quilted it on my little piece.
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I’m swooning over my hearts!  Even up close they look Fab!

Thank goodness this isn’t a real quilt though and instead framed up — the back of the piece is a bit, um, knotty.

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The girls were thrilled with the final product, and their Daddy liked it too.  As he told Julia, “now you really will be 3 forever!”  (He often asks the girls to not grow up and stay 3 or 5 or whatever age they are forever.  Julia insists that she *has* to grow up!)

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Yup, she’s 3 forever…

My Mooshy Belly Bunnies

I’m apparently a slower worker than many of you I’m reading — not much seems to happen in just 1-hour-a-day of sewing!  I’m working on a dress for the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, but I need a different color thread for some top-stitching so I am stalled out for a moment.


Hopefully, a better update soon!

But, in other news, I made my girls more bunnies for Easter this year!  (My 1st real blog post was also about Easter bunnies I made the girls!)  Please meet my Mooshy Belly Bunnies:
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Hee, both girls have the same fly-away hair!

Now, these bunnies are a little sad — they still don’t have tails.  Oops.  Maybe when I go out and buy some thread for the dress I’ll also buy some pompoms for their tails.

They were a little scary for me because I don’t do embroidery.  Luckily it wasn’t as bad as I feared, and just maybe I’ll now do some of the dolls I’ve been pining after but fearing because of their embroidered faces.

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You can make your own too — it’s a free tutorial/pattern found here.  The only complaint I’ve heard about the pattern is that the bunnies are really small.  I personally, though, love their size — so easy to carry along!

And the girls enjoyed the bunnies thoroughly on Easter Sunday.  They’ve gotten a little lost since then, but I was thrilled with all the hugs and cuddles they got that one day while they carried the bunnies with them everywhere.

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Oh, and the pink & white striped fabric is from some pajamas the girls wore as babies.  So fun to see it in use again!  I have a great picture of Elena in these pajamas, but it’s on the other computer.  Maybe I’ll dig it up for ya soon.

And a couple more Easter snapshots:

The girls with their baskets, having their picture taken while having their picture taken by Daddy!
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Some fun with confetti eggs:
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I in particular like how Daddy stood still to be egged:
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A happier picture of swinging out in the country:
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A good reason to have 2 kids: the older one can push the little one around, in a good way:

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Sick Day Crafty Fun

Elena has already had a couple sick days this year.  How the heck do some kids go through school *never* missing a day from kinder to graduation day??  I remember a couple kids getting those awards and they really must have great immune systems!

Anyway, one of the days I held Elena out she didn’t feel that bad.  She’d had a fever the day before so I kept her home per the rules.  She was BORED at home all day though, so I broke out some sewing for all of us girls to do!  What’s better for a sick day than Strawberry Shortcake panel dolls?!?

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Thanks to a good friend C, I had this panel of Strawberry Shortcake dolls.  I asked my Mom if we had these panel dolls when we were growing up because they were very familiar.  She reminded me that instead she had made a little quilt for my sister out of a big panel of 4 Strawberry Shortcakes.  I was close!

Elena helped me cut them out, and both girls helped me do *some* of the sewing and *some* of the stuffing:

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I did have them sit on my lap for all actual sewing.  I haven’t been brave enough to let the girls have at it herself yet.  Julia actually took this picture of Elena on my lap!

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Julia begs to push the needle-down button every time I sew. (Picture by Elena!)

Soon enough, we  had Strawberry Shortcake with her kitty Custard, the baby Apple Dumpling and finally Huckleberry Pie:

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Let me remind you while you peruse these pictures:  my children dress themselves.  Thank you.

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OH NO!  They fell!  (Julia cracks me up!)  Oh, and one more aside.  Julia is not super-accident prone or anything.  She just loves being BANDAID GIRL.  (Yes, you have to shout BANDAID GIRL when you say it.)

Overall, a great day of crafting fun.  Hopefully all sick days can be this good!

What is Orange and Green…

and really kind of freaky???
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OOMPA LOOMPAS!  EEK!

We had a birthday party to attend recently, and the little just-turning-3-year-old LOVES Oompa Loompas.  Yeah, I think the kid just has to be a little strange… (Kidding!)
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Since I know only too well how much kids love to hold and play with their beloved characters, and since you can’t really find Willa Wonka & The Chocolate Factory toys anywhere, I made him an Oompa Loompa of his very own.
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I used the pattern here as my base for the doll.  I added a neck in order to do the necessary (and extremely time-sucking) stripes and added the funky pants and dressed the doll completely, down to it’s little swirly shoes.  Since that pattern is from Dolly Donations but I used it for my own purposes, it is now on my list to make some dolls for donation.  Although I don’t think I’ll do another SCARY Oompa Loompa!

It is not constructed the best — I had some (obvious) issues attaching the arms and legs — but the boy was T.H.R.I.L.L.E.D.  I’ve heard it’s his favorite toy from the party. He dances and sings with it and takes it to daycare.

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Just look at that pure blurry shock and joy!

So, even though *I* even think the doll is kinda ugly, and I’m now a bit worried what Oompa Loompa lovers will google and find me, it was the best kind of success: a happy kid.

More slithery invaders

Serves me right.  I laughed and joked about slithery invaders in my yard a couple months ago.  Ha Ha Ha, I had snakes in a tree.  SOoooo funny.

Um, yeah, it was all funny until I found a *real* snake on my back porch a couple weeks ago.  And it looked like a rattler.  And my husband was out of town for 5 days…
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I ended up taking my girls down the street and played “damsel in distress” to one of our neighbors who came and rescued me.  Yeah, I’ll admit, I’m not brave when it comes to a potential rattler.

At the end of the day, it was a 4-foot long snake that did vibrate it’s tail – without noise – and did strike at the shovel A LOT.  After more Internet research, we think it was a rat snake trying to trick us.  *whew*

It’s long gone and definitely won’t be coming back, but in the meantime we’ve had some more slithery invaders come on our back porch
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…and some of these ones have obviously eaten a full-mouse meal!!!  EEK!

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🙂  These snakes were made for a birthday party — look at the awesome eyes I found for one of them!
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I love the mouse meal.  I think my next ones will also have some bells put in their tails to be true rattlesnakes.  I think these will continue to be a fun birthday gift.