Friday, November 21, 2014

I'm still here!

Hi Friends!

I haven't abandoned you, I promise!

Random pick of my little dinosaur still loving his hoodie!
We sold our house in September and had to be out by mid-November so starting November 1 we were in full on packing mode! I haven't had any of my sewing or crafting gadgets for close to three weeks! Usually I would be getting a bit itchy with no creative outlet, but I have been so exhausted by the time I had some time to craft that usually I just go to bed!

We moved into our new home this past Tuesday and we have been furiously unpacking. I'm trying to get at least my kitchen and my own bedroom in some semblance of normalcy before tackling getting the rest of the house organized and in some working order before I start decorating for Christmas.

Oh yes, I WILL decorate for Christmas.

What will be the living room one day.....
I was hoping to maybe get my sewing/crafting area up and going this weekend but I have had a minor snafu: while bringing the kids home from school this afternoon we were involved in a very minor car accident. The kids and I are fine, thank God, but I am a little sore.  Either way, I want to take it a little easy this weekend to rest up and get healthy before the Thanksgiving (I'm hoping for Tacosgiving in my family!) fun begins.


Found this little guy in the new garage! Why do I love it so much?
I'm hoping I can get the house up and rolling again and we can start December off with a BANG!

Take care,

Kate

Friday, October 31, 2014

CraftBusters Winners!

Man, it has been busy these last few days! Packing, finishing costumes, Halloween parties, field trips to pumpkin patches. This whole week has flown by but I haven't forgotten about all of you!

First,  we had a couple of entries for October's CraftBusters Project.





Edith sent in a purple trivet she made for a friend and Robin finished a Christmas stocking! They are both great. I used a random number generator and the winner is Edith! Congratulations Edith! You win a $25 gift certificate to JoAnns. 

We will do a CraftBusters again for November. The last day for submissions will be November 29! 

Halloween has been fun tonight! We hit about a dozen houses and maybe because my kids looked particularly cute (I'm not biased or anything), but they got handed handfuls of candy. As I write this, Ben (who has only had a lollipop) is running around in circles yelling, "I need more candy! I need more candy!" 

He cried with the tail on; refused to wear it!

The only one where they all sat still!

The tail did get some use: Daddy wore it to work!

It was a really great Halloween! Hope you all enjoyed it.

Kate

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween and Christmas!

Christmas?!?! Christmas!?! No, not Christmas!

I know. Christmas has been shoved down our throats since mid-Septmeber. But, as a crafter, you gotta think ahead. In fact, October is too late in some ways to start Christmas projects. Every year, at the end of October, I start thinking about Christmas and what Christmas project I want to get done when, really,  I should start thinking about Christmas in July.  Or, let's be honest, January.

I know every year is busy for everybody but this year we are moving in less than three weeks. I know from Christmas' past that if I start a Christmas project in mid-NOvember, I will make myself miserable. In fact, I had to say no to a friend who asked if I wanted to make Jesse Tree ornaments with her this year. It's just not gonna happen.

But-I do have to find a way to keep myself happy and sane in the midst of real estate negotiations and packing.  One of the ways I do that is to cross stitch. Making little ornaments means everything is pretty small and compartmentalized. I mean look at this little bag: everything fits.

Thank you PhotoBooth!


So, for the past few nights after the kids have gone to bed and I've packed one more box for the day (just hoping I don't need anything out of it for the next month), I've been binge watching old stuffy British cinema and television while I stitch away.

So far I have made these:




I like the train but I don't particularly like the angel. That bright orange you see is not your screen---it's the actual angel's dress and I don't like it. Call me traditional but bright orange does not belong at Christmas. I'm working on another ornament with candy canes and the bright orange is in there as well. I'm thinking I need to substitute with another color. 

However, I'm not putting the pressure on myself to have them ready to hang on the tree by Christmas-if it happens, great. If not, there's always next year!

As for Halloween, I finished my oldest daughter's costume. She wants to be a FlutterFly. This is her description of a FlutterFly:

A FlutterFly has yellow stars on one sleeve and moons on the other with rainbow polka dots on the front of the shirt. A FlutterFly has wings with Hello Kitty stickers, a pink tutu and tights with green stars. And antenna. A FlutterFly has to have antenna. 

What is a FlutterFly?  I couldn't tell you.


I had her pick out an old shirt and I used that as the basis for her FlutterFly costume. I used felt and Steam-A-Seam to adhere the stars, moons and polka dots to the shirt. Luckily, I had some fabric leftover from the Pennant Quilt that had rainbow polka dots on it.  Here's her shirt:



I just love five-year-olds and their sense of style. I hope she keeps her fantastic sense of fashion and individuality forever!  She won't try it on until I put the whole outfit together so we all can wait with baited breath for how it will turn out. Awesome, for sure! 

Keep on Crafting!

Kate


Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Costume: Dinosaur Part II

We all remember this ferocious beast, right?





Well, if you are going to be a dinosaur, you really need a tail! 

I've said it once and I will say it again:  I'm pretty sure I'm here in order to guide you to easy tutorials. This tail I had done before the sweatshirt--except for the stuffing part. 

The tutorial I followed can be found over here at Running with Scissors. She really walks you through the whole process and has great pictures showing you how to cut the fabric so it tapers down the end of the tail.

The only real issue I had was of my own doing: I attached the straps to the wrong side of the fabric, so when I flipped the whole tail inside out, you could see my seam allowance. I just folded it over and tacked it down and no one is the wiser.  
Duh!
I took her advice and made the scales out of felt-the same that matched the sweatshirt-but if I were to do it again I might have doubled the felt and sewn the triangles together in order to give them a little more heft. 


Unfortunately, MasterMind won't pose with the tail on for a picture. He keeps on saying, "after Halloween" and sometimes you just can't argue with a three-year-old. So here it is on my kitchen table. 

I also used snaps instead of velcro because that's what I had on hand. 




I like how the scales go from largest to smallest; I'm especially proud of that part. 


So, MasterMind's costume is done. Now it's on to Missy's!

Happy Sewing!
Kate



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Costumes: Dinosaur

I am all set to quilt my CraftHope quilt for We are Kenya but the quilting foot for my sewing machine is in storage at my in-laws' house an hour away.
This is the state the quilt is in right now; shameful on so many levels, I know!


In the meantime, I have started working on one of my favorite things to do each year: Halloween costumes! The silly thing is: I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I don't like the gore and the sexualization of every female costume over the age of 12. The neighbor across the street hangs decapitated heads from her eaves from October 1 until about December 10 of each year and I hate looking at it.

What I think I really like is the making of costumes part of Halloween. I have yet to follow a pattern-although I do follow instructions, that does make it easier-but I like being fairly creative. That creative part is tumbling down to the kids. While today's post is about my son's costume , my oldest daughter's costume is completely her own. She has designed the whole thing....but we will get to that in a later post.

I wanted to post this first part of his costume so if you are kind of in a bind as to what to make, this is really easy to make and really fast!

What's he going to be? A dinosaur! This is the first part of his costume:





I saw the directions to make this originally on Just Another Day in Paradise. Making the hoodie today, I did make some slight changes to her instructions. These were purely made because of my lack of all the tools I normally have at my disposal for sewing (i.e. a basic walking foot for a sewing machine). 

The main instruction I didn't follow was to add interfacing to the diamonds to make them a little stiffer. 


I take that back. This is the second set of diamonds I made. The first set DID have the interfacing on them but my 1/4 inch foot kept on getting stuck on the interfacing making it pretty impossible to move the sweatshirt along the feed dogs. 



As you can see, the diamonds weren't perfect so when I matched them up to make triangles there was some overlap. I just trimmed off the excess. 


Once the diamonds are sewn onto the hoodie, you just sew the triangles together. 

The only foot I have right now is my 1/4" foot. It does not make life easy on projects where it isn't needed.
Duh!



I used the edge of foot as a guide to sew the triangles together. 



Looking at this picture again, while the spikes are standing up pretty well on their own, I think the stabilizer would probably help them be spikier in the long run.


One of the greatest parts of this project is I had all the materials for the hoodie already at home! I used green felt because it wouldn't fray (and I have two yards of it for some reason) and the child has 12 billion hoodies. His was a 3T hoodie and I ended up making 8 spikes-keep in mind the spike at the front of the hoodie and the spike on the bottom of his back are about half the size than the rest of the spikes. I did that to make sure they all fit. 

Looking at these pictures, I should have used my pinking shears to cut the spikes. What was I thinking??? Well, I just passed that smart little tidbit onto you!

As I said, this was a pretty fast costume (part 1) to put together. This would make a cute gift for a birthday or Christmas or, if you are feeling super awesome, you could make these for a dinosaur-themed birthday party. 

Again, if you want to follow the tutorial, head on over to Just Another Day in Paradise for the full, and very easy-to-follow, instructions!

I'm hoping to finish the second part of his costume tomorrow. There's not much left to it. I'll leave you with a pic of him looking his most ferocious!

The kid doesn't have a mean bone in his body; this is about as ferocious as he gets!

Happy costume making!

Kate