Monday, December 5, 2016

Bathroom Fixtures

I haven't forgotten about that dollhouse.  It's still a work in progress, but I recently found some very cheap bathroom fixtures for two bucks a piece...a toilet, a bathtub, and a sink.  Progress.

All three fixtures in the bathroom space in the dollhouse proved to be a tight fit:

I never know if things will be the right size when I am out and about, but my little model doll demonstrates that these are to scale.
The toilet has a lid and a seat, but they fell off, so this gal just sat on a cold rim.  Yuck!
The bathtub is missing a fixture, but for $2.00, I did not mind.  It's a nice little set and will work nicely when the house is finished.  

I would also like to point out that my ironing board (blue dot fabric) is looking pretty nasty.  Sorry about that -- I did not mean to assault your eyeballs.  I should probably learn to just make a new cover.  You know...just add that to my list of junk to do.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Belated Marbling Post

Hello!  In early October (I think -- it's been so long!) I took another marbling class at the Textile Center.  The last time I took it, I was pregnant and couldn't do the alum spray, so this time I had the full participation experience.  I seriously love marbling...most things come out so nice.  Anyway, here are the end results...


There was some map paper to marble and that turned out kind of interesting:

But my absolute favorite thing to marble is sheet music:

There was one piece of fabric that came out well:
Of course there was some green sludge in my tray and that appeared on the fabric.  Another piece of cotton had some air bubbles, so it's not perfect:

I have a bunch of other stuff that came out kind of ugly:

Meh.  I don't know.  I also marble a piece of ribbon and a piece of leather, but I haven't taken pictures of them yet.  I would love to set up my own marbling station in my house, but I have a feeling that I would make a major mess.

So what should I make with all of this?  I was thinking some more bookmarks for my little free library.  I don't know what else.

Monday, October 24, 2016


So this year, we have Jessie from Toy Story and a dinosaur.
Jessie was pretty easy.  The white shirt was painted yellow, edged with ric-rac, and then a little sequin loopty-loo.  The red hat was from the dollar store.  I punched holes all around the edge and then wove cording through them.
The red braid was first attached to the hat with tape, but that caught her hair, so I attached it to her real ponytail.  She wore it to a birthday party for two hours straight and it held up, so that's good.  Of course, in this photo I forgot to put a little yellow ribbon at the end of the braid.

As for the dinosaur, she wanted to be an orange dino, so I ordered matching pants and sweatshirt.  She wears a size 2 and they were a size 2-3, but they were way too big, so I had to hem the bottoms.  I just folded the cuffs up and tacked them down, but I was crunched for time and that was a bit of a pain.  

I found the pattern from this website.  
She was a little bit scared of it and was pretty reluctant to wear it for more than 10 minutes.  We'll see how she does on Halloween night.  Candy is a pretty big motivator.

And from the back:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rainbow Dancing Skirt

I mentioned earlier this week that I have some rainbow fabric.  There's one piece that I'm thinking of making into the skirt part of a long dress and then I had another 19" piece.  I decided to make that smaller piece into a long skirt for Z.  I didn't bother trimming it any shorter and it's super long, which makes me wonder how long the skirt of the dress will be??  We'll see.
Like I said, it's super long.  I used a free Oliver and S pattern called the Lazy Days Skirt.    The only thing I changed was the hem.  Instead of sticking a ribbon on it, I serged the edge, turned it to the inside, and gave it a narrow hem.  
I may chop off about two inches...or three?  It seems just a tad long.  
I love her little dances and this is my favorite photo from our little morning photo shoot:
It was a very quick sew.  It probably took way less than an hour, perhaps even 30 minutes.  Time tends to get lost in my craft room when I sit and ponder ribbons and threads and fabrics.

Did I mention that it's long?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


My craft room acts as the repository for all things that are broken.  It's so sad.  Things go in there and they never get fixed.  They just get moved in, piled up, and then hidden by half-made projects.  I had a few hours to myself on Saturday so I decided to gather some things up and fixed them.  There's no after picture.  Just the before.  Three broken things.  A fourth went undocumented, but it was a pink bunny with a busted neck.
The umbrella broke like five years ago.  It was an easy fix, so I'm glad I didn't throw that out.  I hate throwing things out.  The broom broke around May.  I lost the handle for a bit, but it all worked out - just a bit of hot glue in the hole.  And that little bear was my husband's bear when he was a small boy. Miss Trix loves it and she started pulling the stuffing out of his head when he got a tear.  He was looking a little like Sloth before I sewed him up.
As I was repairing him, I thought he kind of looks like Corduroy and that I should make him some green overalls.  Ugh.  As if I need another project.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Maxi Dress

Most of the dresses I had for Miss Z at the start of the summer were standard 4T dresses that were sort of baby-dollish and just to the knee, which caused her to throw a fit every time we tried to get her to wear one.  Not because she doesn't like to wear dresses, but because the dresses were not long enough.  She wanted them down to the floor.  She likes to feel fancy and to dance around in long flowing dresses.  She also likes to feel like a princess and princesses wear long dresses, don't cha know.*

So I've been on the lookout for long dresses all summer.  I found a bunch at yard sales, but they tended to be size 5 or higher.  They're a little big, but they do the job.  And then I bought two patterns by The Simple Life Company.  I bought Mia's Tieback Dress and Molly's Scoop Collar and Pintuck Dress.  I bought them both in early July, I think, and I just finished one of them last night.  I'm so slow lately.

The goal was to make one of them out of this rainbow fabric from the Textile Center's 2016 Garage Sale.
Unfortunately, according to the pattern directions, the pieces of it did not really work for the maxi dress.  Balls.  So I went rooting around in my stash and found a perfect piece of fabric.  The bottom one with the blue/green circles.  I bought that at the 2015 Textile Center Garage Sale.  I have a lot of fabric.
I had enough white to make bias strips and the waist band and some light aqua for the bodice and lining.  The white and aqua are pure cotton, but the circle fabric is a blend of some kind.  Makes ironing after a wash a little bit easier.**

Here are the three colors up close.
 And here is the finished Tie Back dress:
It seems to be less puffy if you compare it to the pictures on the website.  A lot of those pictures are for the banded dress, though, and I opted not to do that because a.) I hate gathering and b.) that much sewing would take me two years instead of two months.

That being said, her range of motion did not seem to be limited by the lack of puffiness, as demonstrated by her dance moves:

You can see a bit of the back in the above photo, but here's a better view:
The whole thing was rather easy to piece together.  I had a hiccup on two pieces of bias tape (I sewed them together, when they needed to be separate) and another hiccup on the elastic (the pattern said it was 5.5 inches, but that made it impossible to work with, so I just marked 5.5 on a longer piece, sewed it in place, then trimmed the excess).  I had a big fat belch when I sewed the skirt to the bodice because I lined up the wrong seams and all the gathers were in the butt area when the pattern clearly said that the butt area would have no gathers.  Did I notice that before I sewed it?  No.  Blah.  Other than those issues, the pattern was really easy.

As for fit, it's perfect.  I'd almost say it's nearly a bit snug, but she's been wearing size 5's and 6's for a month.  I remeasured her after I made it (thinking maybe she'd grown in two months), but I made the right size.  I'm going to make a five next AND I'm going to make a dress with the rainbow fabric.  As it turned out, I chopped off five inches before I sewed the hem.  I really don't think I measured incorrectly (I checked), so The Simple Life Pattern obviously caters to a race of giants.  I don't know if it will be as long -- maybe a midi instead of a maxi -- but she will crap her pants for a rainbow dress.  

I hope she won't take a literal crap in her pants.  Fingers crossed.

*I don't know what possessed me to use the phrase "don't cha know," but I got curious and was informed by Urban Dictionary that this is a Minnesota thing.  Hey!  Look at that!  Does that mean that I am now an official Minnesotan for incorporating that into my language?  Probably not, because I can't quite bring myself to use "you betcha" or "uff da."

**I don't really like to iron kids clothes and tend to stick insanely wrinkled things into the donation bag because I just can't deal with that, but I'll make an exception for things that I have handcrafted.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

More Bookmarks

I had the day off today and I would have gone up into my craft room, but we are having a heat wave and I don't have air conditioning in that room.  I decided to try my hand at making some more laminated bookmarks. on the level with the AC.  I really do love that thing.

I used my broken Little Women book as source material.

I loved this book, so it was a little sad to cut it up, but that binding is shot.

But then I also had a bit of a hard time cutting up the Fireside Cookbook that I have, so maybe I just don't like to cut up books (not a bad issue to have, I'm sure).
It's such a pretty book with gorgeous full-page, color illustrations throughout, like this creature:
In case you were wondering what this creature's sign said.

In addition to the full-page illustrations, there are little illustrations that are also pretty great:

But the binding is broken and the book is stained:

I don't know.  One page was loose, so I just cut that one up.  

I love this new batch of bookmarks, but those marbled ones are still my favorite.

Trivia Q:  Name the four March sisters from Little Women.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I decided to offer free bookmarks with my little free library, so I ordered a laminator and 500 (!) bookmark-sized lamination sheets.  They both arrived the day before the grand opening (phew!), so I spent two hours whipping up about 50 bookmarks.

Do you remember when I took that marbling class at the Textile Center?  (Refreshers here, here, here, and here.)   I still had a lot of marbled sheets of paper left over, because I've only made cards and stockings (with the fabric).  I grabbed a bunch of sheets, started slicing, and laminated.

They went from just plain sheets:

To bookmarks:
I just placed them in front of the books for people to grab when they open the library.  Until the library's architect and I come up with a better solution, I think this will work well:

What else should I laminate?  I have a broken copy of Little Women so maybe some book pages?  And then I have an old cookbook with adorable illustrations that I've been thinking of cutting up.  I've had it for five (or more) years and every time I go to cut it up, I have second thoughts.  It's sort of wonderful just all together, but the spine is busted and the cover is grody.  Maybe some bookmarks then?  My mom spends lots of time coloring, so perhaps some of her completed sheets can be laminated, too.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Little Free Library!

On Saturday we had the grand opening for our Little Free Library.  About thirty friends came (thank you!) from my neighborhood, my book club, and my kids' school.  We had a ribbon cutting, book-themed refreshments, free bookmarks, and lots and lots of donations (more thank yous!).

My neighbor hand-crafted this beauty and I painted it.  It's pretty adorable!

Open for business!
These hinges are pretty cool, but after about an hour of repetitive opening and shutting, they got a bit loose.  The architect says we may need to exchange these decorative ones for some more industrial strength ones.

We spread the donations out on a table.  I have a whole extra box of books to keep the library fully stocked.
We had fun coming up with literature-themed snacks.  I found little chalk place cards/markers at the store.  They were pretty cheap and fell down a lot, but they served their purpose.  Unfortunately, the words are hard to read in photos, but we served:  Goodnight Gorilla animal crackers, One Fish Two Fish Gold Fish, Lemonade Snickets, Mouse's Cookies, Moose's Muffins, Raisins in the Sun, and Sticks and Scones.  That last one was a bit hard.  My neighbor-architect made the most delicious scones on the planet, so I just googled book titles with scones and that's a real book name.  

As of this afternoon, two books have been taken (yay!).  I'm going to wait a bit before shoving more books in, in case anyone wants to donate any.  I realized that I had stuffed it quite full, so there was no room for random donations.