Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I did sign up for Life Book 2015!  Crazy I know, like when am I going to have the time?  This will be an exploration of discipline and hopefully, (praying for willpower) to put some paint on paper to let the inner artist come through.

Here is a picture of my lovely girls with Santa.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Few Minutes of Sewing

I had the joy of sewing a few things over the weekend.  It felt good to hear the sewing machine whirling once again.  I like using my walking foot and a tiny zig-zag stitch when working with fleece. I used the fleece I had on hand and used Vanessa from Crafty Gemini's tutorial on You Tube and her free downloadable pattern from her blog to make a fleece hat.   I first made her beanie pattern but it did not cover my daughter's ears.  Her pattern for a hat with ear flaps worked like a charm. I hope to post pictures of my daughter wearing her hat later.  I also tried several headband patterns.  This one pictured below was cute but the 1/4 inch casing for the elastic was challenging. Will post link later.

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Ballerinas

The girls are starting to have to work hard in ballet.  They still like it but Audrey is wanting to quit.  This makes me sad as it is the only time I get to see her dressed up as a little girl.  Otherwise, it is superhero or Star Wars shirts.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Listening to the Silence of the Woods

Actually sounds like crunch, crunch, crunch. I love the sound of dried leaves beneath my feet. Happy Fall!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Great Finds

One day in June, my library had a book sale.  I had just dropped off my girls at their ballet class and on a whim, I thought to hang out at the library before picking them back up.  It was so relaxing and peaceful.  On the way out I noticed they were having a book sale in another room.  I went in to have a look.

Right on the first table with the SciFi books was Anatomy of a Doll by Susanna Oroyan.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I grabbed it.  It looked brand new! I'm not sure how much I paid for it, but I think it was less than a dollar.   I am into making dolls so this was a great find.  At the time, I thought this was a rare book to find so I was thanking the universe for this treasure and took it as a sign for me to continue making dolls. Now I see on Amazon you can get a used copy for less than $2.00.  I still am thankful. 

I mentioned I'm trying to organize my craft space.   I found this little cart at Savers for $5.00.  I also felt thankful for this find. The wheels are in great condition. The baskets can be adjusted to hang at different levels.  It measures 25.5 inches tall and 16 inches wide.  I'm imagining it right by sewing my machine so I  can clear my sewing desk area.

I hope you find some great recycled treasures in your neck of the woods! 

More Doodles - Practicing for LifeBook 2015

Life has been full of ups and downs this summer flowing into fall.  The only constant is my doodling in anticipation for LifeBook 2015.   Another constant is my trying to tackle my creative workspace, which I share with lots of my girls toys.  Dollar Tree store has inspired me with all their little baskets in this endeavor.  The paper for the drawing is also from the Dollar Tree.

In the meantime, here is where I'm at with trying to connect with my inner artist.  I will be posting them in the order I drew them to the best of my memory.  Six women and one man.  Six portrait poses and one first attempt at full body.

Drew her while listening to The Woman in White

She was influenced by listening to Children of Dune.

Are we really free? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Tote for my Sister-in-law

Last year I made an offer to my two sisters and sister-in-law that if they picked out the fabric, which I would purchase, I would make them a bag of their choice.  My sister-in-law was the only one to jump on this offer.  She picked out the butterfly fabric from the Cocoon line to match a coin purse she already had and loved.  I had several patterns for her to choose from and she picked the Super tote from Noodlehead because it had a zipper closure. There are so many wonderful Super totes on Noodlehead's flikr and I love looking at the variety of fabric choices people decide on. The bag has one big pocket on the outside.  Because my sister-in-law chose a solid fabric, I was trying to think of ways to dress it up on the side without the pocket.  My first thought was to applique some butterflies on it.  I was  crunched for time, so I decided to put another pocket on other side of the bag. The Super Tote has two big pockets.  This may be a terrible decision, I have no idea.  I figured a gal cannot have too many pockets.

She said this olive green from the Cross roads is her favorite color.  It is denim material.

Pocket #1

The pockets look the same on the outside, the lining is different.

I'm not sure if the I did good picking out fabric for the lining?   I do love the vibrant orange/red from the Cocoon line. And I also love my Bernina that never ceases to amaze me in its ability to plow through the thick double seams.  Yeah!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Amelie Purse

I really like the purse and tote bag patterns by Geta Grama here.  I have all of them but have only made the Amelie purse, which is my favorite so far.  I emailed her to see if she would ever come out with a bag that zipped on top.  She said she was thinking about it, but that the magnetic snaps are easier for people to make.  I really like her PDF patterns for a beginner bag maker like myself.   I made three mistakes in making the Amelie purse, which is big like a tote, and I appreciate the lessons learned in making these mistakes.

The first lesson was not buying enough fabric.  I originally intended to use the orange fabric I used in the lining to make the pockets and handle but changed my mind and used a blue batik, which I didn't have enough to make the two handles.  I went to buy more fabric but they had ran out of it.  I used a purple fabric for the handles hoping to match the violet on the mermaid's tail. It doesn't really match, but oh well. 

The second lesson learned was to be careful what ruler you are using to measure zipper openings.  I grabbed a June Tailor ruler that had a blue strip around the edges that added an additional 1/4 inch to any measurement.  It made the zipper opening 1/4 inch too big all around the zipper opening.  I fudged with it and made it work but it would have been easier if I noticed I was using the wrong ruler and used the correct ruler instead.

The third lesson I learned was to measure items intended for pockets.  The long orange pocket had three divided sections in the pattern, and like a wise guy I thought I would keep it all open to fit my iPad.  Not measuring how big my iPad was in relation to the measurement of the pocket, the pocket was too big and my iPad flopped right out of it.  The pocket might work for diapers or clothes, but I keep thinking how lovely it would be if it was dived by three.  I really regret this decision to not divide the pocket.

What I really like about this bag are the big pockets in the front.  A standard bottle of water on the left almost gets swallowed.  I will definitely make this bag again.  Thinking off all beautiful coordinated fabrics to make it with is dizzying.

Thanks Geta for a wonderful bag pattern.  I know I will do a better job next time with my lessons learned.  Your instructions were fantastic!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Backlighting and a Scruffy Little Bird

June in Minnesota this year is being noted for double the normal in rainfall.  I am one those people who can literally feel the differences in energy boost when the sun comes out.  One evening Audrey saw a little bunny dart across our yard.  Faster than a speeding bullet she was off trying to catch the bunny, but was too slow.  We both saw it go into the bed of irises, but for the life of us could not rustle it out.  It was then I noticed the beautiful backlighting that fell on the irises and went and grabbed my camera.

Towards the end of the school year the parents were encouraged to come to school and witness a presentation that the kids were showing that day.  Both my husband and I went and were charmed by our girls who did so well in kindergarten.  Audrey seemed antsy that day, she was in a big hurry to get home.  She kept saying she saw a little bird that must have fallen out of its nest.  Just coming from work I had no idea where this story came from or what happened to the bird.  When we got home she immediately found the bird, who had not ventured far and my heart went out to it.  After calling several environmental places and being told to leave it on the ground and that the mother would feed it, I told Audrey we had do that and because we didn't know how to feed it and leaving it for it's mother would be the best chance the little thing had of survival.  We never knew what happened to the bird, but on cold, rainy nights I pray it is safe and dry.

Dance Recital

The girls experienced their first dance recital on June 19th.  I was so proud of them.  Audrey has really gotten into Darth Vader and Star Wars.  She likes Darth's impressive outfit, not his dark side, I hope.  I noticed a boys t-shirt with Star Wars characters on it at Target on the clearance rack and gave it to her.  She fell in love with it. I think her kindergarten teacher who has boys also commented on how much she liked it.  I really had to encourage her to not wear it to school every day.  The girls were with me at Target another day to get some tennis shoes for Audrey, who is developing so rapidly and outgrowing everything.  Audrey saw a Bat Man shirt and wanted it along with matching baseball hat and sunglasses.  Some girls do ask her why she likes to wear boys clothes and some boys tell her they like what she is wearing.  Her hair is past the middle of her back so I don't think one can mistake her for a boy.  She loves to wear comfortable boys t-shirts most of the time.  So for me to see her in her ballet costume looking so girly was such rare treat!   In the last picture they are with a friend they met in class.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Some Photos of my Life

We are getting a lot of rain in my neck of the woods.  I love how green the grass is looking these days.  My creativity these days seems to be focused on cleaning, purging and organizing.  I am always grateful when cleaning feels creative instead of the biggest creativity-sucking drag that it usually is, especially when you have too much stuff and not enough room to house it.  What I really need to clean and organize is my sewing area, which is in the basement; along with tons toys that the girls have outgrown but are not willing to part with, and tend to drop on the floor making walking a hazard.  For Mother's day I asked my husband for the use of his organizational skills and brute strength. Oddly, my main objective is to get to my Pilates machine so I can actually use it.  There may be hope for my expanding thighs yet.

So where are the photos you ask?  They are of Easter weekend. Photo snippets of my life.


Audrey with her bunny ears and Star Wars t-shirt

A patriotic turkey.  This turkey bewitched me into falling in love with it.

Easter morning

Ignore the arrow in the middle. It does nothing.

May your creativity rain down and nourish your evergrowing talent.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I gave my hairdresser a scrubby one day and she called me asking me to make some to sell in her shop. So I whipped up some and hopefully someone will buy them.  The one on the top right would fit a man's hand.  It is huge!

The picture above is the front side, the picture below is the back side.  Notice the two lower middle ones.

I put two fronts together.  It is a little more work but I think they look better.

Some more doodling below.

The face to the left I did with my left hand.

Happy Spring!