Happy Halloween


Let's talk about Halloween, shall we?

I'm not a huge Halloween fan.  In fact, when I was in college and all the girls spent weeks looking for the perfect (sexy) cat, (sexy) witch, or (sexy) vampire costume, I usually ended up wearing the same costume year after year.  And for the record, it happened to be the least sexy Halloween costume that you could imagine.  It was a huge pumpkin costume that my mom sewed circa 1980-something and I would always wear it with jeans and a turtleneck underneath (and if I was feeling really ambitious, I would stuff the pumpkin with newspaper for extra fullness.  Yeah, I know.  Totally attractive).

So needless to say, it's probably not a huge surprise that I'm not all that into making Halloween costumes and fortunately we've lucked out for the past three years in that O has been able to wear hand-me-down costumes from her cousins.  But this year when she decided that she wanted to be the Wicked Witch of the West, I figured that I should probably put my "good mommy" hat on and sew the dress for her.

I started the whole process by finding a pattern (Simplicity 4139), because let's be honest, I'm not one of those awesome ladies who can whip up amazing things up without a pattern.  The pattern ended up being great except that it recommenced taffeta fabric for the project and as I soon learned, polyester taffeta is the devil's fabric (appropriate for Halloween I guess).  The skirt on this dress is super-gathered but my gathering strings kept breaking because of the thickness of the fabric.  Plus, getting such thick fabric to gather well/evenly/or at all was a total pain in the butt.  I can't tell you how many times I resewed that stupid skirt to the bodice!  In the end my mantra was "it's just a freaking Halloween costume.  Let it go."  So yes, the back pieces on the bodice totally don't match up to each other, but I figure that it'll be dark when she's trick or treating and she'll be wearing a cape.  And if worse comes to worse, we all know that she's completely capable of distracting people with just her cuteness.

As for the other parts of the costume, we're just reusing this cape that I had already made (yes, I know that the Wicked Witch does not sport a red-lined cape, but let's just call this a creative liberty, okay?).  And as for the hat, I just bought that sucker.

But for all my whining about this costume, it's actually quite simple and it was really just the fabric that was a total pain in the booty.  Want to see an amazingly elaborate homemade Halloween costume?  Check out this one.

Seven Months


First of all, watch out world - baby girl's got a tooth!  If I were a more ambitious mom I'd stick my finger in her mouth and try to get a picture of it but since I'm generally against sticking my finger in other people's mouths you'll just have to take my word for it.

Baby girl's also got an appetite!  We started giving her rice cereal shortly after she turned 6 months and she took right to it.  Unfortunately that seems to be about the only food that she likes right about now.  You would have thought that we were trying to poison her by the look on her face when we gave her bananas and plums.

But best of all, baby girl's got a big sister who is incredibly sweet to her.  I have to say that I didn't have the highest of hopes when it came to O caring for her little sister simply because I knew that the presence of a baby around the house was going to rock her world.  But I have to say that I've never been more happy to be wrong about something.  O looks out for C and makes sure that she's not getting into toys that she's not supposed to.  She sings her songs and plays with her and brings her toys and books to look at.  And best of all, she wakes her up in the morning in the sweetest, most gentle way.

It may be getting cold around here lately, but I know that there will be at least one thing warming my heart.

Blogger's Quilt Festival


First off, welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  It's been far too long since I've participated in this awesome event...it feels good to be back and I'm so excited to see what everyone else has made!

When it comes to picking fabrics for most of the quilts that I've made, the one word that comes to mind is safe (and possibly boring).

I tend to be drawn to more muted, complementary colors and while they're incredibly soothing, they're not what one would call bold or exciting.  I often find myself looking longingly at other people's quilts and thinking "wow, I would never have thought to put those fabric together!  That looks amazing!"  And so when I decided to make a postage stamp quilt I knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to get out of my comfort zone of safe (and boring) fabric combinations.

Look!  She's almost crawling!
There's no better way of doing that after all than by literally using a piece of every fabric that is sitting on your shelf.  I used scraps from fabrics that I love and I used scraps from fabrics that I probably once loved, but now loathe.  I used pieces from fabrics that seem to go with everything and I used pieces from fabrics that seem to go with nothing.  It's an absolutely crazy combination of fabrics and yet it works.  And no one can call it boring.

In keeping with the idea of venturing outside of my comfort zone, I chose a bright and vibrant fabric for my backing, thinking that in addition to going well with the colorful quilt top, it'll pop when thrown on our gray couch (which is exactly where it's going to end up since it's a nice size for a throw - 58" x 54").

The binding is made from leftover binding bits from a number of other projects (I knew that I would eventually find a use for all those leftovers!)  And as for the quilting, I just went with straight line quilting through every row.  Yes, it's a bit boring but a girl can only change so much, right?

(And because it's almost Halloween - hey look, I'm a quilt ghost!  Or is my husband the only one who found this picture to be hilarious?  Yeah, don't answer that question.)

If You're Looking For Me...


...just know that I'm currently in Halloween costume sewing hell.

Damn you, polyester taffeta!  Damn you!

You are officially my sewing nemesis.

Looking On The Bright Side


Yes, I made something recently.

 No, you will not be seeing it as it is hideously ugly.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

But in an attempt to be an eternal optimist, let's focus on those things that have been going well, shall we?

Like the fact that we picked over a hundred pounds of plums from our plum tree this year and we have been eating plums in every form for the past three weeks.

Fresh plums?  Check.
Dehydrated plums? Check.
Plum ice cream? Check.
Plum applesauce? Check.
Plum cake?  Not yet.  But there's probably one in our not too distant future.

Or let's talk about how after a year of not quilting, I'm currently in the midst of sewing a postage stamp quilt...and loving it.

Or let's talk about how C finally fits into this little Oliver & S play suit that I made for O back in the day.  And if you wouldn't mind, please pretend that you don't notice that the apples on the bottom are upside down... and I'll pretend that I didn't remind myself five times while cutting out the pattern to make sure that the apples were going in the right direction only to mess it up in the end.  Ughh!

Or let's talk about how five years after buying the high heat spray paint to paint over our brass fireplace cover, we finally got around to finishing the project.  The project literally took all of twenty minutes, which makes me wonder "why the hell didn't we do this earlier?"

Oh yeah - I have two kids that's why (and I'm lazy).