A very old intorweb friend of mine turned me onto this John Kenn guy. I gotta tell ya, these monsters INSPIRE ME. Maybe it's the change in the season. Maybe it's the cooler nights. Maybe it's that Halloween is just around the corner. Maybe it's all the Día de los Muertos stuff I am seeing shoot up around. Maybe it's because Miss Julie is hitting her busy season.

Either way, I'm really drawn to his work. I am normally not a big fan of the Gorey-esque stuff, but his lines and detail really make my heart all fluttery.

(And yes, this was a shameless plug post.)

I also need to figure out how to make some fabric sugar skulls. I need to sew something other then clothes. I am getting a little burned out on clothes. Really, how hard should the skulls be?

I am thinking we need to go to Detroit for Day of the Dead this year. I believe Mexciantown has a big celebration. Won't ever come close to being on Olvera Street, and someday I'll take her there. But it will suffice for the moment.


I've been trying to modify this tutorial for a peasant blouse into a dress. I think my choice of fabrics is all wrong, and clearly, I can't measure for beans. It ended up being the perfect length for a top, and the sleeves the perfect 3/4 sleeve, but was not what I was aiming for. None the less, still a cute project.



The elastic at the wrists is a little tight, so I may have modify that part of it, but over all, this was a ton of fun to make on my new machine. Really went fast.

I have some drapey gingham that I am going to make another attempt at the dress with. We will see if I can get the measurements down. The Husband will be home, and may be able to help keep her still enough to get some measurements out of.
So, I finally got around to making the second attempt at the Kingpod hat. (It's email order #4)


I still can't quite get the brim in there right, and it needs to be tacked down anyway. I used a pink felt for the lining and a flannel for the shell. The pink flower flannel was left over from a blanket my Mom had made for her, so perhaps this winter she will match? That is, if I can get the hat to stay on her head.


In other home made things news, the latest pair of socks Grandma made for her have arrived!


She's such a crafty lady. I love having a Mom that makes things for her!


I finally got around to uploading photos of the Halloween dress, which I finished over a week ago:



This was the first project sewn on my new machine, so yay! My stitching came out so straight and nice. Even if I did have to hand stitch the ribbon on.

I talked way back in this post about getting that little table from Ikea. It dawned on me the other day while I was laying in bed trying (and failing) to go to sleep, that I had a treasure trove of wood working stuff in my basement. Back in the day, I used to make boxes to store perfumes and trinkets (here and here and I bet if I looked in my boxes, I'd have at least 6 unfinished projects down there, ugh.) I spent a good 3 years making my wood working stash fairly sizeable, not to mention I have too much money dumped into ephemera (let's not go there, ok?)

After laying there and brainstorming, I realized that I knew exactly where most of the materials were, aside from my paints, but figured I could fudge that with a marker.

I started with this:

And stained it with Varathane wood stain in Cabernet:

used a stencil to put some flourishes on it:

Used some Sharpies to embellish it:

Sanded the daylights out of it:

Used General Finishes Glaze Effects in Van Dyke Brown to age it, then lacquered it with some old spray lacquer and sanded it with some really fine grit one last time. The, some Murphy's Wood Oil Soap and the final product:

I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out, but fairly pleased. My can of Glaze Effects was super old and was of a questionable texture, but it ended up working my favor in the end. I should've dug around to find my paints, but the markers worked okay. After all, is it just a play table for Reagan, it's probably going to get destroyed anyway. I just didn't like that plain old pine look, and I'm not one for simple colors. Eh. It's not like I can't just repaint it later on down the road.
Been cruising the blogs today getting ideas. I have a limited budget but a big imagination and a pretty empty canvas for a home. Aside from a few small items, and one rather large moose picture, I have little to hang on my walls.

The good thing is that the journey today led me to some fantastic ideas for the Ikea table. I made a booboo and decided to spray the lacquer at 1100pm INSIDE OF THE BASEMENT, so now my whole house smells gross. Beh.

I'm excited for it to finish drying so I can get to the next step. I forgot how much I love working with wood. It's been so long. I still don't know where the multitude of sandpaper has gone to. Someday, I really need to get into those 4 big tubs downstairs and see what I've got going on.

My husband keeps telling me to move my sewing stuff into the basement, and turn the basement into a craft room again. I would love to have such a huge space dedicated to nothing but ME, but really, I hate basements :( He was nice and rigged up the dehumidifier so it's runs constantly and keeps the air very arid down there, but still... there's something creepy and icky about basements. Maybe it's all the dead cricket carcasses or the ridiculous number of spider webs, I don't know.


I've been a little quiet lately, not that anyone but the crickets would notice.

I've been sewing like a bee lately on my new machine. I do love it. I made a little hat with the pattern from Angry Chicken. It was adorable, but way too small for the giant noggin my child has, so I ended up giving it away before I could get any photos of it taken. Plus, what did I have to take photos of it on? It was a test run anyway.

I've got another hat in the works right now, so hopefully, I'll get that finished soon.

As well, I snatched up some pretty awesome old decorating wall hanging things, I don't know what to call them. They aren't paintings, and they aren't art, so I dunno. Either way, I'm cruising the blogosphere to see what kind of ideas I can come up with, although I've already got some good ones of my own. I'll try to take photos of the progress, as well as noting what I've done. We'll see.


I'm excited to find a tutorial on how to make a Adult Size Peasant Blouse. I loved the one I made for Reagan, it looks so breezy and comfortable. I tried to get an easy pattern, but I think I may have wasted my money. Maybe not, since it's still an adorable top pattern I got, but wasn't really what I was looking for.

Anyway. Yay :) Now to attempt to measure myself alone. What fun this will be.


Using this Tutorial from IndieTutes, I managed to make a rather cute little top for Reagan. I'm rather proud of myself. I've learned a lot of little tips and tricks from cruising various sites and blogs, so I managed to really make this one look good.



I went to take my lovely elderly neighbors a sampling of the pickles I made, and included some of the onions from the bottom. The onions are equally as delicious, and Bob ate them up before Rita could have a second.

While I was there, I was given the chance to go through Rita's stash and take, literally, whatever I wanted. This is twice as awesome, since her daughter has a interior design company and gives her mother the remnants.

I walked away with some gorgeous stuff, including a full 2 x 1.5 yard piece of this beauty:


BE STILL MY HEART! So. So. So. So. So. Luxurious and beautiful. I can't say enough about my good fortune today.

We've been up since 423am. I am unsure why we keep repeating this dance of being wide awake when most sane people (who aren't going to work) are still fast asleep with sugar bunnies in their heads.

None the less, I decided that since she was already in a mood to begin with, I might as well capitalize on beating the intense sauna-like heat that is surely coming today and get what chores I could completed. We cleaned the kitchen, swept and mopped the floor, got all the trash out of the house and cleaned the fridge top to bottom.

I already informed my husband that I'll be napping with the baby today. Oh yes. Naps shall ensue.

Yesterday we made refrigerator pickles, from this recipe on Prudent Baby:


Today I'll be attempting Welsh Cookies. We attended the 161st St. Andrews Society Highland Games this last weekend, and Little Monkey was over the moon for these tasty little cakes.

She also was really fascinated by the stuff hanging off the pipers kilts:


In the mean time, I've got some ideas rattling around in my head.... first, however, is finishing up that table we got from Ikea:

I picked a nice Cabernet stain that I've had for a few years. I was really into wooden boxes for a while, so I have loads of woodworking stuff that probably is going to go to waste if I don't get to making use of it.


So, I made this Miss Molly dress (pattern from The Handmade Dress) the other day, and while it was my first attempt at a yoke, gathering and a ruffle, it wasn't nearly as daunting as I first assumed it would be.

Actually, it was a lot of fun to sew this, and even better when my daughter didn't hate it like she did the last one.

From mitten driving

So, given that I don't want to ruin my higher end corduroy screwing it up again, this is the selection for the next attempt. It's in the wash now, and I'm looking forward to finishing this tonight. It's such a simple, cute dress.


Wow, it's been a while.

Despite all our misgivings in our relationship, my husband is such a sweet and forgiving man. While he hates the clutter, he understands my drive to create things and will tolerate things like totes filled with fabric lining the living room...

Now if I can just convince him to let me leave the sewing machine on the table all the time....

I got it down to two tubs, at least.

Reagan looooves to play in the tubs. They have been living there for almost 2 months because it's her own little jungle gym (when the lids are on, of course.)