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Showing posts from 2020

Dashi Dog from Octonauts

  All my kids like Octonauts, but especially Jack and Rosemary! This year she wanted to be "Dashi Dog" who is the photographer for the Octonaut crew! I made the hat from a free pattern I found on pinterest, stuffed it, and attached it to a headband with safety pins. John 3-D printed the little Octonauts badge which I hot-glued a pin backing onto. I added some dark blue ribbon for trim.  The collar I drafted based on her measurements and added the arrows (rank? lol) with dark blue fabric marker. I actually messed up the first collar I tried because I wanted to use my machine to embroider the arrows...and it turned out terrible! The little tiny collar warped into a misshapen mess. Oops. It was easy enough to make a new one. It isn't attached to the shirt, it fastens with a snap in the front.  The skirt, hair clips, and boots we already had, and the shirt I ordered on Amazon. I put her hair into puppy ears and added a little brown puppy nose with my make-up to finish it off!

Minecraft Wither Boss Costume

 I made a Minecraft Steve Costume a few years ago for Jack and it was a big hit. Now, years later, we all are STILL obsessed with Minecraft at my house, and James decided that he wanted to be the Wither Boss for Halloween this year! It was a really simple to make. I used a few pieces of black foam-core board and cut it using an exacto-knife, cutting mat, and metal ruler. I hot glued them into cubes and mounted them on a long piece of the foam board, with a space for his head to pop up through the middle. The eyes and mouth are white duct tape, and so is the "skeleton" on his sweatshirt, which I bought at Wal-Mart!  I think I made it a bit bigger than I should have LOL. He did NOT end up wearing it for very long because it was so big, bulky, and hard to balance. (Which I warned him about, but he insisted!) Instead, it sat on my stroller and spooked people as we walked through the neighborhood. He also, in the picture above, ran through the grass in his sock-feet and got prick

Avatar: The Last Airbender Kid's Aang Costume

 Wohoo! Halloween was a success at our house--at least, the costumes were! You can really tell that I miss cosplay when I dive in to making the Halloween costumes for my kids with con-level attention to detail. I mean....I hand sewed the hem of Aang's cape and it took hours. Because I am just extra like that!  I made drafted the pattern based on his measurements, made a mockup out of an old sheet, and then dove in. The fabric is from Joaan's and it's a very flowy polyester that has great movement! Very airbendery!  The cape closes with snaps in the front, the shirt is tucked into the pants, and the belt closes in the back with hook-and-eyes. The wrist and elbow cuffs (elbows are attached to cape) Also close with snaps. We didn't paint his feet because he had to wear shoes for trick-or-treating!  I obviously did NOT let him shave his head (He didn't want to anyway LOL) so I ordered a bald cap online, cut it to his size, and attached it with spirit gum, then mixed up

Youtube Spotlight + Nanowrimo Prep!!

 I have decided, after having an incredible amount of fun writing a 53K word fanfiction last month, to go ahead and try Nanowrimo again! I have participated 9 times and won 5 times, and I'm even quoted in the official "No Plot No Problem" guidebook that they published. It is time to try again! Nano divides people into two distinct camps: Pantsers and Planners depending on what how you like your month to go. Pantsers write by-the-seat-of-their-pants and have a TON of fun. I've done this before and it can be incredibly relaxing to sit down at your computer and just let it all out. But...my novels at the end of my panster months are pretty much an incoherent jumbled mess. I've done Planner novels before and while they aren't quite as much in-the-moment fun, they do come out as more novel-ish. And since I did an incoherent mess of a fanfic last month, I'm going to Plan my way to a Novel for Nano!  In preparation I am:  1. Watching some of my favorite inspirat

Halloween Lethargy

      I had a lot of trouble early this month getting motivated for Halloween, and costume-making in general. Usually I'm bugging my kids by October 1st to get them to tell me what they want to be, and I strategically plan my trips to the fabric store to align with coupons and when the cutting line won't be too terribly long. Since I don't really cosplay anymore, Halloween is my chance to endulge in my inner cosplayer and shine! Last year I went a little crazy getting all the details right on Rosemary's Sailor Moon costume .  This year though... I could barely get my box of decorations out, and finally did about a week into October. I tried for weeks to plan each kid's costume, I avoided the fabric store, and I instead threw myself into hand-sewing my Catan hexies and fanfiction writing. I think it's jut the general mood of "everything is canceled" and "why bother" and "no one will see these anyway." However, I've slowly been ra

Another Patchwork Heart Wall Hanging

I made this much like my other quilted heart wall hanging , to go with Alli's Stargazer Quilt . It was much easier this time, and I quilted her name into it on the heart too! My lines of quilting are a little bit wonkier than I'd like, but from the front it still looks nice. I hope she can find a place for it in her beautiful new house! As soon as the pandemic is over I'm planning on having some craft-night sleepovers again.  Back before kids, I used to go over to her apartment with out friends pretty much every week for writing, drawing, sewing, and games. In the past few years we would still have the occasional craft night, but between babies and her roommates it was tough!  I miss doing those things! I mean, I miss a lot of things about life before quarantine, but craft nights and Mom's Nights In with the ladies at my church and Martial Arts Class are the biggest three now that my kids are back at school in-person. Someday, right?  

Stargazer Friendship Quilt: For Alli

  For Alli's quilt I picked these Lemon Grass batiks in a fat quarter bundle for the background, and a nice bright pack of yellows from Lunn Fabrics on etsy for the stars. I love the bright colors and the contrast! These colors remind me of Alli and her beautiful sunny personality and vibrant artwork. After messing up on my previous version using this pattern (from Villa Rosa Designs), I did much better on the second go! It went together really quickly with pretty much no problem.  For the quilting, I used a free motion quilting foot on my home machine, a Singer CG (Heavy Duty) and it worked awesome. I did a meandering design in golden yellow thread on all of the stars, and used a yellow/green variegated thread in long wavy lines that alternate directions along the length of the quilt between the stars.  For the back, I didn't have enough of the green that I bought for the background, so I used the blue that I had intended for the binding and added a strip of flying geese mad

What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing

 Reading The Dresden Files   Since Jim Butcher has two new Dresden Files books coming out this year ( Peace Talks #16 & Battle Ground #17) after a several-year hiatus on the series, Gunnar, John, Diana, and I are all rereading the series. John started his reread with Changes (#12), but Gunnar and I both started with Storm Front (#1). Currently I'm on Ghost Story (#13) (admittedly one of my least favorites) and then a few more till I hit the new books! I hope to post a review of the new books and the series soon. I'm glad that I didn't finish in time to read Peace Talks before Battle Ground hits, because according to John it was a major cliffhanger...almost as if it was too long and the publishers forced Jim Butcher to cut it in half...hmmm.  In case you don't know, The Dresden Files follows wizard and private detective Harry Dresden as he fights bad guys and makes enemies (and very occasionally friends) in the supernatural modern world of Chicago. James saw

Patchwork Hearts Quilted Wall Hanging

I saw this on pinterest and immediately wanted to make it! I used scraps from my stargazer quilt project including the treacherous little half square triangles that gave me so much trouble, trimmed up some more squares from the leftovers, and put it together in one afternoon. It was very fiddly with all the little tiny squares, but I'm very pleased with how it came out! I want to make some sort of extra pillow or something out of the scraps from the other Stargazer quilts too!  The back is just some leftover minky but you can see the quilting:  It's hanging up in my office and I like that it's visible in the background when I make zoom calls. The Quarantine has me feeling pretty gloomy this week...it's the little things that help! 

Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #4

 IT IS TIME to start sewing my giant land-hexes into a quilt!  I have spent the last several months sewing a ring of water hexes around the outside of each land continent.  Pictured here are 513 Land Hexes and 216 Water Hexes for a total of 729 hexes (so far!) Here is the diagram of how I want to sew them together. Pink outline is the lands and orange is the waters already attached to each land. I am MUCH happier with these bright blue water hexes compared the the gray-blue ones I had made previously.  Trying to figure out the best order to sew things together...left to right or center outwards?? I've been safety pinning notes to each edge of the big hexes to remind me of which side to connect to what! Plus filling in all the little gaps.  This project really feels like it's moving along!  Previous Installments: Starting My Dream Quilt Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #1 Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #2 Catan Hexagon Quilt Update #3

Spaceships Hexie Quilt

I have 5 cousins expecting babies in the next 6 months! The soonest is baby Beckett, who is due in October. I let my cousin Alexa pick out the fabric from my stash, and then finished this just in time for her baby shower last weekend.  It took me a long time to decide on a design, but ended up going with my Lori Holt Half-Hex template, then the boys helped me try out a bunch of different designs. I really liked James' idea for this gradation of blues, but I felt like it needed something more for interest. I appliqued some tiny fussy-cut hexagons onto the middle of middle hexes and echoed the hexes in the quilting. I ordered navy blue minky for the back, added a navy blue satin blanket binding, and here it is!   

Stargazer Friendship Quilting Project

Everyone needs another quarantine project, right? Because crafters live in a constant state of wanting to start another project and procrastinating on the ones that actually have due dates, right? (*cougbabyquiltgiftscough*) And even during quarantine, when my out-of-the-house responsibilities have been reduced to nothing, I crave the feeling of having too much on my plate.  Actually, I have nothing to spend my fun money on except fabric right now. Why do I need clothes or makeup if I never go anywhere? And if I never go anywhere, I'm not using my money for movies and dates and restaurants. So instead, I'm buying ALL THE FABRIC. I am a fabric buying machine. Like, I'm scared that all the good fabric will get used up for masks and there won't be any good fabric left for crafting. And also I'm bored and I fill my boredom with online fabric shopping. Quarantine is doing strange things to my head. Today I went for a run and it was 78% humidity and I stepped (ge

Youtube Spotlight: The Chateau Diaries

As a lover of fantasy, historical, and DIY, the youtube genre of Chateau bloggers is a goldmine. My favorites are  The Chateau Diaries  and Doing it Ourselves , which feature English families who move to France, buy a run-down Chateau, and fix it up. It is AMAZING escapism, extremely charming, and so gratifying to see these old buildings explored and renovated. They are obviously labors of love, and I love to watch them. Maybe someday I can visit one! 

Using a Thimble

I have tried a LOT of thimbles over the years, and until recently, just wished that my middle right finger would just be thick and leathery and calloused forever so I wouldn't have to deal with re-callousing it whenever I had to do a bunch of hand sewing! I hate metal thimbles because I can't feel my needle and they are slippery. I tried a leather thimble but had a similar problem--it was either too thin and didn't protect me, or it was too thick and I couldn't feel the needle. I also had a problem with sizing--even a tiny bit too tight and my finger goes numb. Too loose and it just falls off and is lost forever.  This changed a few months ago when I went in to Honey Bee Quilt Shop in Austin to see if they had any good batiks for my Catan Quilt ocean hexes. When I was at the checkout, I saw this display and was amazed because I had never seen plastic thimbles before, nor had the ability to try on a variety of sizes. They were only 50 cents anyway, so I got bought a yell

Doll School Uniform from an too-small Real Uniform

My friend asked if I could turn her daughter's school too-small school uniform into a uniform outfit for her doll. I was excited by the challenge and got to work! I think it looks perfect!  I used the collar and patch from the original shirt, and a thrifted cotton jersey dress and some buttons from my stash for the rest of the shirt. I used the free Liberty Jane Polo Shirt pattern from Pixie Faire, which was excellent and super easy!  For the skirt, I used the already pleated portions of the original skirt, trimmed down to be doll-sized. The waistband was difficult because the fabric was so bulky--not a problem in a girl's waistband, but not great in a doll waistband! It took a few tries and some finagling, but I managed to make it look nice.  Ta-da! 

Gradient Catan Pillow

I needed a quick win a few weeks ago when I was feeling down, so I grabbed some scrap strips from my Catan quilt fabric bag and arranged them in a gradient pattern to make this quick pillow! It matches the other Catan pillow and will eventually match my Catan Quilt as well when it is done. I think it turned out great and everyone is always glad to have another pillow on the couch! I quilted large hexagon outlines onto the front to help tie it in with the theme, which I think works great! 

The Witcher Books Review (Spoiler Free)

I started reading The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski back in February, and last night I finally finished the last one! Overall I really enjoyed them. Lots of fantasy and adventure, lots of fun twists on traditional fantasy tropes, and absolutely excellent writing. They are definitely more literary than a lot of current genre fantasy, which made me love them even more. The gore is more intense than say Wheel of Time but less frequent than in any of the Game of Thrones books and usually serves a specific purpose so it doesn't feel gratuitous. It is definitely a series for mature readers. I probably wouldn't let my kids read them until they were in their upper teens like 16 or older. (Watch me look back at this review when Jack is 15 and asking to read them LOL.) I'd give these an 9/10 as a whole work and I would definitely reread them. I also hope that they make lots and lots and lots of seasons of the Netflix show so that I can see some of these amazing adventures come

Jack's Twin Sized Stars Quilt

A loooong time ago I made my very first baby quilt . It was for Jack, and it was space themed. I bought a whole bunch of the same fabric from Joann's and used it for his quilt, boppy cover, curtain, and crib skirt. It was my first time decorating a nursery, my first time making a "real" quilt, and my first baby. (Even though I didn't finish it until he was almost 2!) And now that first baby is 8 years old and wears the same size shoe as me! When I asked him what kind of quilt he wanted for his upgraded, twin-sized quilt, he said he wanted another star-themed quilt. I knew I wanted to do pinwheels and that I wanted black to be a prominent color, and I searched long and hard for some good space-themed fabric that wouldn't look too babyish for my big kid and ended up using 2 packs of Windham Fabrics "Out of this World" fat eighths plus 2 yards of the black with stars for the sashing and one yard for the binding. I also documented how I made each pinw