Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peppermint Candy Pillow!

Last Christmas I started a project: Send my Mother in Law a handmade pillow for every season. I didn't know when I made the first pillow that it was the first in a series, it just kinda turned into one cause she just really seemed to like them. So far I have made her a pillow for Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween (sort of) and now another Christmas again, just cause I wanted to.


Isn't it just the cutest thing! I saw a picture of a pillow like this online and thought, I can do that! It was really easy to make, probably even easier if you buy the pattern, but I am rubbish with patterns so I just looked at the picture and winged it. I love the netting tied around it like a wrapper, so cute. It's about 12" diameter and just so soft and cuddly. K loves it and is having major gifting anxiety. I think I'll make her one for Christmas. Don't tell her. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can you guess who we were for Halloween?

We had a wonderful Halloween this year.
Mr Man was...


...Dilbert!

K was...

...Nudge from Maximum Ride. (Yup, jeans, a tshirt, windbreaker and wings. All I had to do was paint the wings like a tauwny owl. Least time I've spent on a costume this decade.)

And I was...
...Merope! I just wore my locket and had fun watchings peoples reactions. Several people understood at first sight, several thought it was cool after I explained, and several looked at me like I had really bad fashion sense. Pretty much a normal day then. :)

And even more Squeeee Mail!

Our dear friend Pren surprised us with Halloween Squeee mail! K and I literally danced when we saw who it was from.

The moment we opened the package we were met with the most wonderful aroma. She sent us a bar of handmade soap, made by her friend Libby (her etsy store is Maylees Garden.) The scent is Pumpkin Cider and it smells lovely, but not overpowering. And it leaves your hands soft, with just the most delicate hint of fragrance. It is really, really lovely. I have it by the kitchen sink and I am going to buy a pretty soap dish for it, because it is just that special.

Pren also sent us some Halloween erasers, K has an eraser obsession, and Halloween Pencils and Halloween straws. Fun!
Now Pren, don't make me get all over you AGAIN about being all kind, generous, sweet, and thoughtful woman!

You are here by forbidden to send us anything else, until we finish your housewarming surprise! Seriously, I mean it, save your pennies for your new house. Roofs and A/C cost big bucks Babe and die at a moments notice. Hail is no ones friend.

We will finish your presy before Christmas (fingers and toes crossed.) But till then,... *glaring with one eyebrow raised high*

P.S. K hit little Voldy. He's been buggin' her for a while now and yesturday he started poking her and she told him to stop and he didn't and she asked him to stop again and he didn't and she put up with it for as long as she could and she just hauled off and smacked him a good one. Teacher didn't see. He's leavin' her alone. I didn't punch the air,... while she was looking. Go K!

Swappity, Swap, Squeeee!

We participated in a Halloween Swap and did we get the goodies! Hermione_jean is a cheater pants and sent us a BIG box full of goodies, wrapped up in brown paper and strings:

We love glowey necklaces!

She made the dish Towels! Love Them! And the potholders are sooooooo cute! I put them out, but I wouldn't use the potholders or the towels, they might get messed up. The orange fuzzy yarn will soon become a fuzzy orange pumpkin.

K ate the pop rocks with a coke and lived to tell the tale. :D And Halloween Socks! We'll wear 'em till Christmas!
K put the ghosts together and hung them in our front tree. Yes, they're still there. We'll probably just put Santa hats on them and wave at the neighbors on Christmas.


Needless to say, we we're well pleased. Thank you Hermione_jean! We loved our Goodies!

We sent a goodie box to Dragonsinger954. It was regulation size *pointedly staring at hermione_jean* but we compression packed that little bugger with everything we love for Halloween.

Of course there were erasers and glow stick bracelets. And eyeballs! Can you see all the eyeballs? Googley eyeball glasses



A crocheted eyeball,


Bouncy Rubber eyeballs

Evil vampire eyeball dishcloth (that was Dragonsinger954's idea after all)

Why eyeballs, because I have a problem. But admitting a problem is the first step.

I love these crochet pumpkins. I made a bunch for gifts for Halloween and I'm making more for Thanksgiving. Quick and cute, just the thing.


And pom poms and cauldrons and ribbons and the loudest noisemaker on the planet and gel decorations and crochet candy corns and stickers and ironons,... Oh MY!

We had such fun putting dragonsinger954's goodie box together! Hope you liked it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And she didn't fall to her death because...

...An adorable little girl attempting to carry her big string bass down steep stairs in a long skirt and dress shoes, induces directors of symphonies, sound men and random daddies to RUN!

This is what happened. K wanted to carry her bass everywhere during the concert, because she was told that students should take responsibility for their instruments and K is Miss Responsible. Seriously, it's her middle name. I told her that yes, she is responsible for practicing, cleaning, and packing her bass, music, stand, rosin,... but that her bass weights 25lbs in its case, 20 out of its case and no one expects her to carry it for more than 20 feet. No, she said she had to do it.


So, we arrive at dress rehearsal and everything goes fine. She's carrying her bass, and her bow and her music all over the place: down this long hall, up stairs, onto the stage, back down the stairs, back down this long hall. The sound man, who is a really nice guy, tried to help her, and we tried to help her, but no, she's got it. The sound guy joked about how he would be there to catch her just in case and we all laughed. Mr. man and I take our seats, in the middle of an aisle a few rows back.


So, it comes time for her group to play in the concert. The hall is quiet and she's carrying her bass up these steep stairs to the stage, and she bobbles,... and there's this resounding sound of expensive wood hitting hard floor, and she totters,... but there's a wall to lean on and she recovers. She makes it to her place and all is well.


Her group plays, they do a wonderful job, and we all clap. So, now she has to get back down those stairs. She tucks her music under her arm, hoists her bass and bow, takes a step, starts to teeter,... and the sound man and half the front row are out of their seats. The director of the youth symphony was the first to her aid, I think he started moving before we stopped clapping, so he grabbed her bass, and I believe the sound man held her hand on the stairs. One daddy just kinda took up a catch position.


Needless to say, we all learned something. K now understands that if the director of the symphony feels he needs to carry her bass, he can't possibly think she should carry it. And Mr. Man and I are going to sit in the front row and carry the bass up and down the stairs until she's at least 5 feet tall. Or 13, whichever comes first.

Concert number 2 is this Saturday, same stage, different orchestra. Prayers gratefully accepted.

"Mom, there's another bass player, and she's a GIRL!!!!"

K's concert went really well. She had a great time, played very well and looked lovely.

But best of all, she got to meet a another GIRL who plays bass! Yes, in the youth orchestra system there are somewhere around 200 kids, but only three bass players and two are girls! K was over the moon! The other girl is in high school, we have seen her playing the electric bass in the drum line at the local high school and she is so much like K it's astounding. I guess it takes that kinda girl to say, I want to play that big thing. Too cool!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What the young lady bassist is wearing this season.




K has two concerts coming up, one this Sunday and one next Saturday. K needs a white blouse, a longish black skirt and dress shoes for her concert on Sunday. She has to be able to carry and play her double bass while wearing said shirt, skirt, and dress shoes.

The skirt was easy, she can fit into one of mine and it looks great. We found some shoes that I think will work, or at least not hurt too much. We couldn't find a single blouse that fit, looked nice and allowed for movement. Not surprising, she's really hard to fit. So we ran to Hancock's, found a pattern, some crepe back satin she liked and I have successfully altered it to fit. *happy dance*

Here's the pattern: Kwik Sew 3319





She liked view C because of the pretty flair on the sleeves, but she wanted a Peter Pan collar. I was a bit worried but, it went pretty well actually. I made the collar flat, added a back facing to the neck and it worked.



I like the buttons she chose, so sweet.



I widened the sleeves and they ended up more 3/4 length which keeps them out of the way when she plays and gives her room to move. The crepe back satin she picked was a bit heavy, but not too bad to work with really, except on the sleeve edge. (Redid that a few times.) The size 14 fit in the shoulders and the length is perfect, it looks so nice not tucked in, so all I had to do was increase the waist and hips so it flairs nicely and add some ease in the shoulders so she could bow. The back pleat worked, thank you Pren, and looks quite nice. K didn't want the under bust tie, I think that was just a bit too fancy for her, but it really doesn't need it.

I made up a muslin first, the satin was $7.99 a yard, and it worked ,so I crossed my fingers and started to cut. (I am such a fearful cutter, I have to measure a thousand times, have a cup of coffee, think, make notes, measure again,... pathetic, but did I mention the satin was 7.99 a yard!)

And Tada!



K loves it, she can play in it comfortable and it looks so cute on her. Win!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Princess Leaf, there you are again!

Oh my giddy aunt!

Mr. Man just called and told me to check out the October issue of Initiatives put out by the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, and look what I found!



So the images that define our fair city are, the Japanese Bridge in Big Spring Park, the Saturn 5 Rocket at the Space and Rocket Center, the Antebellum homes in the Twickenham District and...... Princess Leaf!


Princess Leaf is our scarecrow, the one K and I designed and built when she was in kindergarten for a Scarecrow Trail at the Botanical Garden!!!!!


Isnt she cute! Princess Leaf was pretty cute too.

Over the past 5 years, our Leaf has appeared on TV and in print so many times we can't keep count. The year Leaf was entered in the Scarecrow trail, the director of the Gardens took her to all the morning news stations as part of their advertizement campaign. She's been featured on the Scarecrow Trail flyer ever since, I saw one in the mall last week. She pops up on the Gardens TV commercials and web site every now and then. And we got a phone call from friends in Illinois a few years ago when they found her in Family Fun Magazine accompanying an article about the garden.


And would you believe Leaf did not win the scarecrow contest.


In the long run, I guess she really did.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I got Bored Again...



Miss. Kitty likes big eyeball.





Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lil Pumpkin


Made a little pumpkin for the Harry Potter Knit and crochet house cup on Ravelry. I kinda sorta followed Armina's Ami-Nals Crochet Pumpkin Pincushion pattern, but I made a lot of modifications. The stem is totally different. Mainly because I am not good at reading patterns. I might submit it as homework in Transfiguation or perhaps in Charms, since I made two, one large and one small.
Can you submit the same project for more than one class? Hum... probably not.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Twirly!

K and I went shopping the other day and it was not fun. She is hard to fit and it is so frustrating for her. We just wanted to get her a skirt to wear to the Daddy Daughter Square Dance her school was sponsoring. We found a brown hoodie sweater she loves, but very few skirts and none that fit. She was especially fond of one denim skirt she found, but it was just too small. No problem, I can make that!


So she wanted a denim skirt, that would be twirly, but not too twirly, would not show her shorts underneath when she spun, and would be easy to sit in. This is what I came up with.



The skirt has 6 gores and 6 short godets, a side zipper and a bit of elastic at the back for ease. I pressed the godets, as requested, so you can only see them when she twirls!



You also can't see that I cut it too big, based on measurements from the summer, before she started to shoot up a bit, and I had to cut 4 inches out of the back gore. It looks a little funky, but she doesn't care, so neither do I.

She loved it and had a great time at the dance.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cool and scary,... Mission Accomplished.

I finished two classes for the Harry Potter House Cup over on Ravelry.

For years, literally years, since 2003, I have been trying to knit a house book scarf, the tiny ones with pearl cotton, knitted in the round. I've started several times and have completely and utterly failed every time. Then I discovered Tunisian Crochet, Allelulia! It's easier, faster and almost as cute as the knitted ones. This is the one I just finished for Transformation Homework. The theme was blocking and tunisian crochet rolls like crazy. But it blocked like a dream.




For Care of Magical Creatures we were each "given" a niffler and had several options for homework. I chose to make something that my niffler found.





I'd been thinking about making a horcrux for a while, and then I saw Dragonsingers Slytherin's Locket and just had to give it a try. Thank you for the inspiration!

My first version had the eyeball lenses from a pair of googly eye glasses crocheted inside the locket, but they just wouldn't sit right, were too thick and looked too small. So I just crocheted the eyes. The S on the front was a bit of a challenge, I tried beads and different shaped S's, but I liked the sparkly green floss the best. I might add a tongue and maybe a bit of thickness to the body on the next one, maybe crystal eyes, I don't know, I'm still thinking. I'm rather happy with the result though.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fun with food!


My dear friend Theresa is not only a fabulous mother, true friend, and all around wonderful human being, she is my local authority on all things green. I've been a conserving kinda person since forever, I recycle, have a diesel truck, compost, try to grow a garden (though this year, not workin' out), shop at thrift stores, make new sweaters/shirts/pants out of old... But Theresa is on a whole nother plane. She uses reusable cup insulators, fabric shopping bags, reusable plastic baggies, washable hankies,... you name it. And she is big into Bento.

Don't know what Bento is,... well in a nut shell, a Bento box is a compact, portion controlled, reusable lunch box originating in Japan. There was a recent article in the New York Times that caused all the bento box online stores to sell out within hours. I've been minldly interested in the concept for a few years, but Theresa finally got me to give it a try. Theresa has given K three cute boxes and a bunch of little accessories and we both just love them. They are cute and tiny and just such fun! And they save all those plastic bags and twist ties. Very green.
She just started a blog, I Love the Bento that you should really pop over and check out. Loads of cute pics of boxes full of fun food. Makes me hungry just looking at them. And I was her first guest contributor! I'm a real newbie to the whole process, so my boxes are nothing to write home about, but I really enjoy it. And I bugged her till she started a bento blog, so when she asked for pics, I sent pics.
Now, go play with your food.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is Lola...



This is Lola when you say "Boo!"




Is she cute or what!

Lola belongs to some friends of ours who have a herd of five Himis, of which Lola is the baby. She is technically part Himalayan, part rag doll, and totally adorable. Follows them around like a puppy. If they don't see her for a minute or two, they start checking closets and drawers just in case she went exploring and got locked in.

I understand she dusts those hard to reach places as well. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Want to know why everyone is in a tizzy over N1H1 Novel?

Here's why:


See that second increase in deaths this year, the pink bit at the end of the graph. Notice there hasn't been anything like that in previous years. Not normal. Kinda scary.
Stay home if you're sick people.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The New Boy.


K started school a few weeks ago. On back to school night she met the new boy in her class. She asked him his name and he said "He who shall not be named."
Hero!


She then asked him if he liked Harry Potter. He said "No, I hate that series."
Zero.


Hero to zero in less than 10 seconds.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I can't wait for the house cup to start again! Seriously people, I'm losin' it!

I absolutely loved the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup! I came late to the party, just a few days after the last round of signups closed, but they so kindly invited me to join a house and play in June and July. I was a proud though rather silent Hufflepuff. Go Badgers! We didn't win, those crafty Slytherins were amazingly creative, productive and downright enthusiastic. Congrats Snakes, you did a marvelous job!


K and I had so much fun looking through all the classes, admiring everyones homework, planning our projects and sitting, watching Harry Potter, of course, and playing with our sticks and string.

Here's everything we submitted:
In May, as a not quite first year, I submitted my tiny crocheted Mandrake to Herbology. Just for fun, it didn't count or points.


Same for my Mad Eye Moody dishcloth scrubbie. This was for DADA, to protect one from baked on food.


After I was sorted into Hufflepuff in June, I crocheted Professor Trelawney's favorite tea cup for Divination,


Knitted a cell phone cozy for Muggle Studies,



And some slub yarn for Herboblogy,


In July, I knitted some very simple wristies for Quiddich.

And then K got in on the act. She designed and crocheted a Wheeping willow belt for Herbology as representative of my wand: weeping willow, very flexible, 14 inches long, kneazle whisker core. Wonderful for charms and casts extremely good guiding spells. I helped weave in all the ends.

And we both finger knitted house scarves for Charms as demonstration of our skill with Geminio. Got 25 points for them!


I hope the lovely people how worked so hard to create and run this wonderful group, know how much we appreciate their time and talents and how much fun we had. Thanks guys! It was great fun!



September can't come soon enough.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grammies Holiday Pillow Collection: Fourth of July

This summer we went to visit Grammie and spend a week in Mr. Man's hometown. We had a wonderful time relaxing with Grammie and visiting with a few old friends. We swam in Lake Michigan (actually, only K swam in the lake, it was too darn cold!) , visited the Museum of Science and Industry and spent three hours in the Harry Potter Exhibit, and spent the Fourth of July on Grammies back porch eating smores, playing with sparklers and watching the neighbors shoot off some of the most amazingly huge fireworks. It was so wonderful.

This year I have been making Grammie a holiday pillow collection. She really seems to like them, always has one in the big chair, and I've had a lot of fun making them. For the Fourth of July, I made her a Paper Pieced Star Pillow.





I couldn't find the exact star pattern I wanted so, I designed my own. It is of course, very simple and very much like many I found, so I won't pretend to call it original. But I could make it the exact size I needed and it really didn't take much time to design it. I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. K picked the background material and the bobble fringe. I just love how it turned out and Grammie loved it so. success all around.

One problem: Grammie still had her Easter pillow on display, in July! I now see I need to make her some generic seasonal pillows, you know, winter spring,... just so she can have a little more variety. And I think I've been making them too small, only 12" square. They look tiny in that big chair. I'm thinking maybe 18" square would be better. So I'm going to buy two 18" pillow forms, and make the rest of the pillows 18" pillow covers. I've already started thinking about the Halloween one. *grin*

So that makes, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, and Fourth of July done. Only Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, St. Patrick's Day, Spring and Summer to go. Heaven's have I missed any? Hum... Better get to work!

Squeeeee!



Jennifer, of Sewhooked, and HP Paper Piecing, and crafty therapy, started handing out Sew Awesome Awards last May. She's featured three fabulous crafters and their absolutely wonderful creations. This morning I found this in my comments:

sewhooked said...

Hey you! I'm proud to present you & K with the sewhooked Sew Awesome Craft award for both K's Adipose stencil and your TARIS stencil.You can find the post here. Feel free to nab the award graphic for your own use. And THANK YOU for sharing your awesome stencils! Jennifer

K and I emitted such high pitched noises, Miss. Kitty ran for her life!

Thank You Jennifer! We are so thrilled to be included in a totally awesome group of crafters. We had fun making our shirts and have loved sharing them.

If you don't know what all the squeeing is about, K and I made Tardis t-shirt from a stencil that was once offered on the BBC website.


The stencil is no longer available from the BBC, but you can download it from my Flickr account here, Tardis Stencil.

K's designed and painted her Adipose shirt and it has been such a hit!



You can down load the Adipose Stencil and make your own. We know our friend Pren (who we hope is OK after her brush with hit and run death this morning) has made one and it turned out really cute.


Thanks again Jennifer, you really made our day!