Monday, September 15, 2014


The Goodwill around here has made friends with Craigslist.  Or should I say Good Will has become friends with Craig Slist.   Bah!  Anyway, because of this "friendship", the Goodwill has made an enemy out of me.  I mean, not an actual enemy, but they've thoroughly annoyed me.  You see, the Goodwill posts items on Craigslist, not as a "Hey! Come check these out at the store!" thing, but more of a "We're holding these items hostage" thing.  Seriously, you have to call ahead and tell them you want to look at the item, then they get it from the warehouse, and bring it out to you when you show up at the store.  Then they wheel it back to the bowels of their building if you reject it.  If you buy it, however, they have this crazy handwritten receipt system that takes at least five minutes to execute.  Insane.  I really don't understand why they are doing this.  Plus you have to have exact change.  Plus you can only go see the items M-F from 9:30am to 2:30pm.  Inconvenient!

Bah!  Anyway, I recently went through this process.  I'd been eyeballing some dollhouses over the last month or two on the local Craigslist site, but had never had time to get down there.  They wheeled out the three dollhouses that they had in their warehouse.  It was a little great, because I got to check them out all by myself.  I ended up getting two of them for $20.00 total.  

I am only going to renovate one, but I got the second one, because it had a bunch of furniture and other secret things in the bottom of the box and I wanted the things.

Ready for some dollhouse pictures??
The inside.
I'm going to keep this brown house.  It has no curb appeal at all (see that first photo), but it was handmade and dated:
And it is so sturdy.  I'm serious...this is really a solid piece of craftsmanship.

Here are some photos from the inside:

And then here's the second dollhouse:
It's got some crazy good curb appeal.  Gorgeous, right?  The other one looks like a sad shack in the woods up in Bonny Doon with rabid dogs chasing away strangers.  This one is all elegant with the columns and whatnot, but it's just not sturdy and I like the inside of the other one better:
And the windows were really beaten up...that's something I don't think I'd be able to fix:

But it came with stuff!  Of course, as it turns out, the scales of these two houses are completely different and I don't think I'll be able to use much with the other house, but if the girls play with Barbies, they can have some inflatable furniture:
Do you remember these?  Awesome!   I had them as a kid.  I can't wait to blow them up.  This alone was worth the ten bucks to me.  So cool.

I am going to throw out this Ken doll vest...that's some very dead animal skin right there.

More stuff:

And this little fridge is adorable, but the wrong scale:

I am going to keep this little doll and this Barbie lounge chair, though.  Fun.
So I've got a lot of work to do.  I don't anticipate giving it away to the kids for a few years, but I'm glad to have it as a long term project.  I've been pinning ideas.  Yay!  

Friday, September 12, 2014

Swim Coverups

I dunno, maybe a year ago, I decided to make my nephew a swim cover up using the Aegean Swim Cover pattern from Hey June.  I bought the pattern and downloaded it to my desktop.  Then I went to Target and got two beach towels, because I wanted to make one for his sister, too.  And then it sat there...and sat there...and sat there.  His birthday passed.  Christmas passed.  

A whole year passed, actually.  

So I found myself over Labor Day weekend thinking about this pattern again, because his birthday was coming up...

Then his birthday passed. 

And then, on the very next day, I printed the pdf and got to work.  It took me just over a week (with only about an hour of actual sewing) to get the two swim covers done.  So it's a week late.  I can deal with that.  

I had no idea what sizes to make.  The pattern ranges from 18 months to size 12 or something, so I chose a 4 for the girl and a 6 for the boy.  Who knows?  

I made one for my niece first.  You know, for my nephew's birthday.  I'm such a dunce.
That's my little miss modeling it for us.  She's two and a half and her cousin will be four this winter, so I hope it fits.  

I did a pretty good job of lining up the stripes on the hood, but the sides got wonky:
 The nifty thing about this pattern, though, is that it uses the existing hems of the beach towels for the hems of the coverups.  I didn't need to hem the bottom or the hood on the dress (or the sleeves on the tunic).  I did have one problem with the hem of the dress, because the pattern curved upward, so I cut up into the beach towel's hem.  When I sewed the sides together, there was a raw edge where that little curve was.   I fixed it by taking the serger to it:

It'll do.  And then I got excited about using my serger, so I serged anything I could!

I also forgot to clip the corners on the placket and ended up with some puckering:

As for the little boy's coverup, I did a pretty good job with those hood stripes, as well:
Nice!  But then the sides were on crack and one side ended up being too short:
That's like a whole inch.  I just serged it.  Whatever.

Here's my model again...

She ran to her little house each time I put her in these things.  She's such a nut.  She didn't want me to take her picture.  And then she wanted to go find her camera.  I had one of our old digital cameras, but I accidentally left the batteries in it.  They oozed and corroded the battery connectors.  Boo.  Now I don't have a little camera to give her.  Maybe I'll have to go see if anyone dumped any at the goodwill.  But here's a final shot of her in her little house (another project that I need to work on!):

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Someone Else's Crafting

Piggybacking on last week's post of the State Fair stuff, here's a gift from a neighbor for the new baby:
 It's big enough to fit the toddler, actually, so she may get to wear it first.  Oh, and check out these cute little buttons:

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Current State of Things

I had guests in from out of town over Labor Day weekend and I was compelled to clean my craft room.  I really should have taken a before photo, but it was really bonkers in there.  I got a new rug for the room and I really need to choose a new wall color.  Also, I'm paying an arm and a leg for a shipping company to bring me my childhood antique bed (it had been my mom's when she was a kid) and a trunk that my grandfather refinished when my mom was about 13.  The bed will go in here.  I'll have to sell the table and get something smaller.  It's a good table and has served me well.  I don't want to get an Ikea desk, but after months of scouring craigslist, I am no closer to finding a desk that would be suitable for this space.   Blah. it is:

Friday, September 5, 2014

State Fair

We made it out to the State Fair this weekend and breezed through the creative arts section mostly due to an irritable and hungry toddler.  So I was only able to snap a few pictures of my favorite things.  My goal is to someday submit something...someday.  

My sister-in-law's sharp eyes caught these little adorable superheroes:

The next thing that caught my eye was this bit of needlework:

I was only able to snap two photos of the next thing and I didn't get a chance to read about it, but it was really nifty.  They seemed to be quilt blocks with a monster theme. In fact, last year in the same display case there were similar quilt blocks, also displayed on paint stirrer sticks.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014


I planted coneflowers last summer and they never bloomed, but this summer they've gone bonkers.  And the best part?  Butterflies LOVE them!  We've had at least four different types of butterflies this summer.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mom's Blankets

Hello!  Yes, I'm still alive.  I've just been immersed in toddler/baby life.  Both kids are now in daycare, so I'm starting to shower on a more frequent basis...well, five out of seven days, at least.  Hopefully, now that things are more routine, I'll also be able to find a little bit of time to craft.  I am bursting with ideas, but lack the time.  In the meantime, I can share something from my mom who came for a visit last weekend.

Blankets!  Huge, gorgeous, heavy blankets!  She crocheted them out of leftover yarn.  This was yarn that was thrifted or donated to her.  My mom has arthritis in her hands, so crocheting helps provide some relief.  She said that it hurts like the dickens when she's making them at night, but the next morning her hands feel much better.

To help you understand the size, here's a baby for scale:

She just crocheted tons of tight, straight lines with various types of yarn:
Neon yarn!
Fuzzy yarn!
Glitter yarn!
They'll come in super handy if we have another polar vortex!  Thanks, Mom!  xoxo