Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

wishing you and yours a merry and bright holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not Really A Tutorial...

My middle son asked for THIS for Christmas - a Venom, full zip, hoodie. It was only made in men's sizes, as far as we can tell, and it's been out of stock for years, as far as we can tell - but he saw it on someone and that was that. I told him we could not find one. The face crumpled.

and then I said it.

"Well, we could try to make one..."

oh boy.

So. I used McCalls pattern 6158 (don't tell him it's a girl pattern) because it has the thumb hole that the other sweater has. Anti-pill fleece was on sale, so I used that.

First, I made the template for the Spider front.

I laid it on the fold of the white fleece and cut it, then cut the fleece in half on the fold. Then I pinned it to the front of the sweater, leaving a little room for the seam.

I drew a shape for the mouth and cut out the tongue, then the little bitty annoying teeth.

I sewed those on to the lower part of the hood.

I had to fudge the instructions just a little - the hood is supposed to go on after the zipper but since this is a full-zip hoodie the zipper needed to go on later.
I also cut out eye holes and sewed a thick tulle in their place.

The instructions said to sew the zipper on to the front, right sides together. It was later turned to the inside, and a facing applied to the other side. The fleece was bulky for that - I would use a different fabric if I were to do this again (which, I won't).

You can see I managed to make the mouth uneven. Am I going to fix it, you ask?



I DID have to add about 4 inches of width to the center back of the hood, narrowing at forehead and neck, so it would wrap around his face without suffocating him.

After sewing on the waistband and cuffs, the last step was to sew the spider leg shapes into the white front.
Ta Da! It's definitely not perfect, and I used the longest zipper I could find that was open on both ends - without using a 36 incher, you know. The zipper was still a couple of inches short and the zip ends right as the waistband starts. So it's open at the bottom.

Still, I'm fairly certain he's going to love it.

.....he'd better.

Update - he loves it. Success. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Evite dreaded by every crafter, ever.

Several weeks ago, I received an evite for a "Handmade Christmas Party" which was hosted by 4 ladies up in the Santa Clarita area. One of them I have known since college, and rarely get an opportunity to see. The invitation informed me that there would be lots of food and a White Elephant style gift exchange - with the catch being that the gift each person brought had to be handmade. By them.

Enter Stress. Enter dozens of ideas being thought up and then discarded as lame or "too easy". Then I thought - I've never made a purse. It would be fun to try to make a purse. And lots of late nights on Pinterest ensued. I bought a book; The Bag Making Bible, and figured I would make something smallish from the patterns inside.

The bag I ended up making is not small. It is a carry-on sized weekend bag. How could I not? It was the cutest one in the book! I spent one day cutting the fabrics and then fusing them to the interfacings - the outside fabric to a woven interfacing and the lining fabric to a wool/fleece interfacing.
There is an outside flat pocket with a magnetic snap closure. That snap was incredibly easy to install. I'm addicted.

A flat zip pocket on one side of the inside. This was one of the more difficult things to put in. My fabric didn't want to press flat so there was a lot of pinning to be done. I broke 3 needles on this project!

3 row pockets on the other side. The bottom is hard - made so by inserting a plastic grid base which I bought at JoAnns. (I got all of the materials there. I had wanted so badly to make it out of oilcloth but the fabric is just too darn expensive and as it was this was not a cheap project by any stretch of the imagination)

In the end, I get so say, "I made a bag!!" and I didn't even have any major catastrophes during the construction! I omitted the long shoulder strap because I did not like the way it was attached to the bag (looked lazy) AND I could not find a sliding strap ring to save my life.

I came home with something which I will say was definitely equally awesome. My children think I more than came home with the better deal! Behold:

3 giant pillows. You can guess who they are. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Kids' Thanksgiving

This year, Hannah and Tyler hosted Thanksgiving at their new diggs, and she set up an awesome table for the kids! There was playdough for everyone, and a game on each plate, and they could draw on the tablecloth with provided crayons. Also, props for the plates being big enough for foods to "not touch". :)

The Harveys were here for a week, as per usual; and I planned a few fun activities for the big kids to do while there was some down time. The most popular (although NOT the most successful - teach me to buy the most expensive plaster gauze thinking it will be the best - ) was mask making. The kids had tons of fun taking pictures of each other being "mummified".

Friday, November 11, 2011

On Wednesday I had my 20 week ultrasound. We found out the sex of our little bean! Would you like to guess what we're having?

Just a few clues. :)
Big, puffy pillows

My mother in law snagged some green fur from another lady in her building, and held on to it for me. She suggested some big pillows for the boys room (this was back in July) and I finally got around to it. They love them, of course - and I need to get another zipper so I can make one more.

They have a cow-skin rug in their room, so these pillows add some welcome softy-softness to a relatively hard floor.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Death eaters trick-or-treat on trikes.

the bubbles were back again this year, and just as popular

the front walk
mr. death eater
mrs. death eater

Monday, October 31, 2011

3 Dark Marks
10 acrylic nails
2 cans of black hair paint
1 tube of black and of white face paint
37 yards of polyester, suede cloth, gauze, tulle, chiffon, and lace
1 pair dementor hands

Death Eater, Harry Potter, Dementor

I'm going to do my best to get some pics tonight of just craig and I. We looked fairly awesome!
smallest one, of course, will not wear his mask or face paint; and will not keep his robes on for more than an hour.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Finger Puppets, in progress.

A few months ago my 11 year old started talking about how he wanted to make some puppets similar to the Harry Potter Puppet Pals guys, only with Zelda characters. I said sure, we could do that. And then I forgot about it.

But then the other day he came to me with a drawing and also a bunch of felt that he had found in my stash, said he'd decided he wanted finger puppets instead, and asked me to get to work.

Just as I finished cutting out all of the pieces for Link, my 7 year old walked by and said, "Oh, are you making our Link puppets now?"



As in, "I want my own set?"

yep. Of course. OF COURSE! duh, mom.

So I'm hand stitching TWO Link finger puppets. Then we move on to Princess Zelda herself. Then, I get to do 6 more Link characters (two each, mind you) in red, blue and purple. From some game called Four Swords. (4 swords, 4 costumes. Naturally)

And though I'm feeling all, "I'm such a nice mom" about the whole thing, it really is nice to be crafting again after a crazy long hiatus. The last thing I did was my comic con dress in July. ... just before I found out I was pregnant and started spending my days on the couch and bathroom floor. So yes, lots of reasons to be glad that is over!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Keeping up with the neighbors.

The other day my kids asked me why we didn't have any Halloween decorations up, since our neighbor does. (her son and my middle son are attached at the hip). She, let it be known, has a LOT of decorations up.

We don't really have many, because of living the apartment life for so long.

Hence, a quick trip to Michaels to drop a few bucks. Happily, this fantastic wreath which I saw last month was there for half price, and I snagged it. Love that wreath!

Happy October!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So no, this is not my CSA box, because I was mostly through organizing mine before I thought "oh, I should have taken a photo."


We got our first box this week from our new CSA folks (it's been just over a year since we've done it) and we got green beans, bok choy, basil, tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, potatoes, radishes, grapes, honey dew, squash, and eggplant (that last one is considered the devil by my dh, so we ever so kindly gave them to friends).

I am excited to 1) begin to actually learn what grows in what seasons, and eat appropriately, 2) eat fruits and veggies that I know are local and organic and 3) introduce my children to things they may not otherwise eat and find with them fun recipes to use.

I have already cut up the basket of cherry tomatoes and roasted them slowly with olive oil and salt. (smell. so. good.) They are in the fridge awaiting a tomato/basil/pasta dish that will be made this week!

And tonight - we make SALSA! yay!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I don't think it's cravings, I think it's just that it's September and I love Autumn (I really insist that we change the rules of grammar so that the seasons get capitalized. Who's with me?!) so much - I cannot seem to think about ANYTHING ELSE right now...

And I keep reading blogs where people are so close to farms and orchards
( ; ) and I'm heinously jealous because our Pick Your Own farms here are a little bit pathetic and I haven't been blackberry picking since I left my hometown in 1997!

Anyway, Apple Pie.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wouldn't it be nice if I updated my blog more often than once a month? Yeah, I think so too. However, it is difficult to

1) think of anything interesting or profound
2) craft anything fun or creative

When all you feel like doing is camping out in the bathroom with a towel on the floor in case you can't make it to the toilet in time.

Now, that isn't how it's BEEN, just how I've FELT. And thankfully, the sickness seems to be abating rapidly at this point. I'm still tired a lot, and I can't eat much. But I'm not clutching my stomach while I moan in bed any more so that's a plus!

My due date is April 4 - which means we're looking at around March 21 unless this baby is The Great Anomaly. We probably won't find out what it is (a baby!) until Thanksgiving.

So please put up with my absence for a couple more weeks! In the mean time, I thank Dream Dinners for allowing my family to be fed more than cereal and ice cream while I am busy with food aversions. Also my husband, who has stepped up to the plate while also teaching early morning Seminary classes at 5:50 a.m. He's the best.

Monday, August 15, 2011

still decorating.

when we moved in, the plan was that Craig would paint a birch forest silhouette on this wall of our living room. Eight months later it was still not started, with no available weekend in sight. So I found some vinyl stencils online and approached him with the idea and voila! .... except then it took us another 4 months to actually Put Them Up. Now, a year after moving in, we have got it done!

I'm already looking forward to sticking paper ornaments on them at Christmas time... heh