July 5th, 2010 | 3 Comments »


BB lost another tooth yesterday.  He’s seems to be good at losing teeth on memorable days.  He lost his first tooth on his fifth birthday.  And now, his third tooth came out on Independence Day.  Lucky for the tooth fairy, the fireworks and general mayhem were sufficient excuse to postpone for another day the ritual of leaving the tooth under the pillow in the hopes that the tooth fairy would visit.

We didn’t have a proper tooth fairy pillow or pouch, and I had a day off from work, so it was a good opportunity for a family project!

inspiration waiting to burst forth

I have plenty of scraps on hand, and of course the services of a very capable and prolific artist at my beck and call.


He kept telling me it wasn’t going to work, as he watched me cut pieces out.  He needs to work on his visionary skills.

tooth fairy monster pillow

Now that I compare pictures, I can see that I didn’t get it quite right.  I was originally planning to use the sewing machine, and the body would have turned out more circular, but I ended up changing my mind and using hand stitching, and I see that I forgot to gather the base to give it more of a circular look.  The artist, however, is quite pleased.  The tooth is placed safely in the pouch (on the back side), ready for the tooth fairy to visit.

toothless artist

Look at this wide eyed food faced grubby toothless monster boy!  We must now hope that the tooth fairy has cash on hand so she won’t have to leave an IOU note.

August 24th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I did a wild and adventurous thing (for me) early this year, and traveled across the globe to Australia, to see dear friends, and meet new ones face to face. All in the first trimester. I’ve spent quite some time in first trimester, and have only gone beyond it twice.

I tried to remain hopeful and positive and not allow stress and worry to take too much hold, and I allowed myself to buy something for the baby. A kit for a beautiful hand-felted rainbow woolen dragon. Months passed, the pregnancy progressed, and all along I intended to make the dragon. I made other dragons. Even one for the baby. But not the dragon. Until now.


And now that it’s finished, I think that it is more for me, than for the baby. It symbolizes this journey, from beginning to end, and that we have made it! That we are ready! I dared to hope and my dreams have come true. I am about to be the mother of two. Two beautiful boys. Two beautiful children. Two amazing people whose mere being adds much joy and love to this earth.


For perspective. It’s a wee little dragon, this. BB is snuggled next to me as I write, and says, “That’s my dragon, and that’s your dragon!” He’s been such a love lately, and I’ve been trying to snuggle and nuzzle and spend time with him as much as possible, hoping to fill him with security in knowing how important he is to me, and that even though priorities will soon change with LB’s arrival, there is enough Mommy and enough LOVE to share all around (even though it may seem that LB will be getting most of the attention for a while).

I may yet write a letter to LB, before he’s born. I want to tell him about our journey. His journey. I want him to know how much he is wanted, and how blessed we are to have him, how our family is that much more beautiful, because of him.

August 16th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

That’s one of BB’s favorite phrases, spoken with much drama and inflection. Hey, wait a second, you forgot to make me my dragon! Spoken less than a day after making it known that he’d like a dragon, too, just like LB’s. (Which I hadn’t actually made, yet.)


Silly goose, I didn’t forget. I just haven’t had time yet! As if I could whip one up with a wave of my magical wand. I did manage to produce it that day, though, and BB was quite pleased. I followed up last night with LB’s, which didn’t turn out as well, in some respects, but turned out better in others. It’s all a learning experience. I used the serger on LB’s and the seams, when turned, aren’t as pretty. But I also used it to connect as many of the pieces as possible prior to stuffing, so it came out much stronger. LB’s has the white belly, and BB’s is all blue cloud. They’re sweet. I enlarged the pattern as much as I could with my printer, and this is the result.


All in a day’s work. Well, an afternoon and evening. I also made a hedgehog pincussion from a pattern I got while visiting Suse earlier this year, and using some of that scrumptious hand dyed wool felt from Winterwood Toys.


I think it’s adorable!


I do enjoy the hand stitching and small feltwork much more than the machine work. I also think I’m finished sewing for a while. I’ve been on a maniacal roll with it of late. I think it’s a form of nesting. I’ve taken all the sewing and craft doodads that have been cluttering my office and organized them and filed them away neatly. My office is looking a bit tidier, and this gives me comfort.

Now. On the agenda for today: prune the front yard shrubbery, pull the weeds, and trim the grass (all very long overdue – the approach to our house is frankly embarrassing). Set up the baby hammock. Retrieve the infant sized car seat and base from storage. Get groceries and fuel the car. Wash sheets and towels. Pack my hospital bag. Give BB lots of opportunities to earn Good Boy Stars so that he can possibly get a ‘prize’ today (Gadget happened upon the coveted Batman costume and it’s hidden away for the next Good Boy milestone). Not a bad list for a Saturday. Maybe tomorrow I’ll update my blog software. Or not. I keep getting these notices of important security updates. BORING. No more sewing, though.

August 9th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I’ve been on a roll.


I’ve had some sewing projects on my mind for some time, and have finally tackled them. This dragon pattern is from Winterwood Toys in Australia, and I fell in love with it when I first saw it. I bought the kit, which is a divine rainbow hand dyed wool felt, but I wanted to try it with plain fabric as well. Also, I only get one chance with that wonderful wool, so I wanted to do a practice run anyway. When I do the wool, it will be for my new little one. But big brother has announced that he wants one too. My fingers will be quite sore from stitching!

I had visions of using fun fabrics and the rolled edge serger stitch to make all sorts of fast and fabulous toys, but learned quickly, during my recent foray into the land of piggies, that that wasn’t to be. I didn’t even attempt to use the serger on this dragon. The pattern, when I opened it, seemed so small. The display that I thought I remembered in the store was much larger. My memory is probably off. I enlarged the pattern by quite a bit, and the end product is still smaller than I’d imagined it would be, but I think it’s delightful. I made some modifications, in that I stuffed the wings and didn’t quilt them, and I made my own mane pattern, since the original pattern was missing that detail. Also, I stuffed it. It looks like a pompadour in the photo!

I was planning on making two, but all this detail work is more than I imagined, so I’m not ready to take on another. Except the wool versions. And then I’ll be hand-stitching. I’m finding that I enjoy the wool and the hand-stitching.

All in all, I love the look of these small toys, but the execution is excrutiating. My fingers are sore from stitching and turning and stuffing such tiny pieces. I don’t know how toy makers do it. It’s a fun project to tackle once in a blue moon though!

Posted in Artsy Craftsy, sewing
August 9th, 2008 | 1 Comment »


I’ve been meaning to make these for quite some time. I had the pattern squirreled away for over twenty years, but couldn’t find it. Then my grandmother relinquished the coveted heirloom set to my mother, who passed it to me, and I was able to make a new pattern from them.

The beginnings.


I also wanted to try toy making with my serger, using the rolled edge stitch, which I LOVE. Sadly, I’m learning that sergers don’t do well with small things or curves. They work great for long straight things. It could very well be me, though. I’m new to sergers.


I used the serger on the mother, but went back to the old fashioned tried and true sewing machine for the piglets. Even so, I find that making such small things is quite difficult with a machine. It would have helped if I’d chosen friendlier fabrics, but I had my heart set on these fun prints.


Some of the piglets are a bit wonky, but isn’t that the way siblings are? Some have different characteristics than others, but they all have their finer points (siblings, not stuffed piglets). All in all, I think they exhibit personality. Not the best workmanship, but they’re cute, and I’m not displeased.

Posted in Artsy Craftsy, sewing
May 19th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

Behold the eco-friendly swim towel. One hundred percent bamboo french terry. Note the swirly rolled edge hem. Only thirteen hundred dollars.* Look out Etsy.

Actually, I’m thinking of making bibs and various baby things with the rest of that fabric. I haven’t fully decided what I think of bamboo fabric, yet. I have bamboo/cotton sheets and they’re nice, but not swish. This french terry is nice. It’s soft and light. I also made a pouch baby carrier with it. Which I don’t/won’t need, as I’ve already made two, in addition to the several ABC carriers, wraps, and slings that I obsessed over making during Mr. Peebody’s early days. Even so, I’ve just made yet another two wraps. Why? Because I’m obsessed. Still. This time I used plain white cotton crinkle gauze.

Lightweight but strong, for late summer. (Okay, so I really just wanted to try out my swanky new coverstitch function. Which is DEEEEELUXE, I have to say.)

I could, feasibly, open an Etsy store for my silly baby wraps and bibs. I even tried an experiment with painting with food dye, inspired by the yarn dying mania witnessed of late. I was thinking that minimalist sketches made with eco-friendly dyes on eco-friendly fabric bibs and baby accessories would appeal to the eco-artsy-mamas of the world. However, my colors didn’t set (I didn’t add vinegar). Note to self: must review proven techniques, and try, try again.

*Serger, $1200 (and that’s after an $800 discount, holy heavens above), 10 yds organic bamboo fabric, $100. Okay, so I used a little over a yard, so the price is inflated. My time, free.

Posted in Artsy Craftsy, sewing
April 14th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

I’m feeling excited about the prospect of a snuggly little tiny baby to add to my family. I’m not even half-way there yet (but close!) and I find myself fast-forwarding my life. I spent far too much time looking at baby wrap styles again. I even ordered 10 yards of bamboo french terry material today. It’s supposed to be great for diapers, but I’m thinking of making towels and wraps. We’re not quite cut out for the cloth diapering experience.

As Two of Nine, I’ve cleaned many a nasty diaper in years gone by. I can hardly fathom Gadget sharing in such a task. It’s a stretch to get him to show enthusiasm for diaper patrol at all. So we will be doing our share of adding to the local landfill. Again.

Now, I don’t need any wraps! I made MANY in BamBam’s early days. I will be getting them back from my sister, soon. I might make one native type pouch. I made a couple for my sister, but they might not fit me, so we’ll see. It’s just… …I’m so easily addicted to making baby things!

The house rearranging is coming along. The sleeping room now sports a king sized bed. HUGE! The queen consumes most of the guest room. We had two queen memory foam toppers. I left one on the guest bed, and cut the other into a twin and added it to BamBam’s bed. As if he’ll ever sleep in it. It’s comfy, though. I’m thinking of using the extra foam to make some specialty pillows, or perhaps a small comfy sleeping mat for BamBam to use in our room. He’s using a toddler mattress now, and it’s heavy and hard. Considering how often I have to dissemble and launder the bedding, the sleeping mat might be a good thing.

I boxed up the entire VHS video collection to donate somewhere, except my 4-minute wedding video and my 4-d ultrasound. I don’t even know if our VCR is hooked up or works. I think it does, but it’s been so long. I need to move the old taped stuff to DVD. Future project. Tedious. It can wait.

I sure would like to paint and get some fresh new colors going on in here, but will have to wait until Baby is several months old, and by then, will probably be far too exhausted to consider anything on the lines of home improvement. Maybe I can tackle one or two rooms, when we can open up the windows and get plenty of ventilation. Of course, ventilation is only part of the equation. I need to enlist the efforts of one Mister Gadget, and that is the more daunting task, I’m afraid.

Once I have things settled and arranged on the home front, I think I will start into a little sewing. It’s been a long time! I have a gorgeous felt dragon kit that I brought home from Winterwood. I also copied several of Suse’s fabulous felt animal patterns, and hope to make some of them too.

December 27th, 2006 | 8 Comments »

I’ve been stumbling through the last few days in a fog of sorts, and I realize that the experience is most likely the manifestation of depression. Real, hardcore depression. Or maybe a form of postpartum depression The awareness leaves me a bit concerned, but I’m confident I’ll come through it without medication and therapy. I know it’s there and I know I need to work through it. Then I’ll be back to my normal ups and downs. There is deep exhaustion, first thing in the morning after a full night’s sleep, continuing on through the day. There is the weight of the facial muscles pulling my expression into a grim frown, where conscious effort is necessary to compose any other expression. There is a sort of dizziness or vertigo — a general feeling of imbalance. There is a void in my mind, where thoughts might normally be. Only quiet and darkness. And there is sorrow, welling from deep within, that washes over me every now and then, that brings forth the sobbing tears. Tears and sobs are good, because they bring release. I can feel myself getting better –a little more so with each passing day.

dizzyapron.jpgfabricdetail.jpgTwo more aprons have joined my collection (one, an artist’s smock style, which I think I like best so far, is in the wash, so no picture; the other is sort of a basic style with a huge pocket and a slightly scalloped hem), and an arsenal of pumpkin pies have made their way from my kitchen to the MIL’s for Christmas Eve dessert. I spent an entire day on those pies, cooking the pumpkin (formerly Halloween decorations, and already cooked once, then frozen for future use). I followed the America’s Test Kitchen recipe to the letter, froze then shredded the butter and cut in the flour, kneaded the dough, chilled it again, rolled it out, formed various and sundry pastry and pie shells, chilled them again, pre-baked them, cooked the spices into the filling on the stovetop, and finally loaded the warmed pie shells with the hot filling for the final bake. ATK didn’t disappoint. The resulting pies had a rich, smooth and creamy filling in a nice flaky crust. Of course, MIL, fully aware that I was bringing and preparing all the food for the family get-together, made 5 pies of her own. All told, there were nine pies at the Christmas Eve meal. Couple that with the no-shows, and there was approximately one full pie per person. At least she didn’t have a meal prepared when we got there. It’s just the kind of thing she would do. She wasn’t happy with the spiral cut ham, because the slices were too thin. She wasn’t happy with the cauliflower, because it didn’t have the family fake Hollandaise sauce that she expected. They mix mayonnaise with mustard and call it Hollandaise. I can’t bear it! At the last gathering, the green beans were criticized, so I prepared them differently this time. Some of the family members are lactose intolerant, so I used milk substitute in the mashed potatoes, and the resulting texture was far from fluffy and altogether disappointing. I made two kinds of gravy, in case people preferred one over another, and I made a special apple cider shallot sauce for the ham, which nobody tried but me (and it was delicious, I might add). I made it clear that we were NOT taking any pumpkin pies back home with us, so everybody had to take a heaping plate of leftover pie home with them. I’m developing a thick skin for dealing with the MIL. She can be abrasive and generally unkind. At least all the cooking, chaos, and general discontent kept my mind off of my broken heart, and helped me get a few steps further from my sorrow.

December 19th, 2006 | 2 Comments »

Little tidbits of domesticity help me feel happy.’ Surgery is tomorrow, and after that, closure.’ Sigh.’ But I don’t want to write about miscarriage, or rather missed miscarriage.’ It’s as though my mind wants so terribly to be and stay pregnant, that it won’t allow my body to give up the remains, even though it’s the necessary thing to do.’ Either that, or it’s just another quirk of this old jalopy of a reproductive system.” So.’ Tomorrow, closure.’ In the mean time, a little bit of domesticity and creative release.
All the wee one’s in daycare will be receiving these bibs for Christmas, as a gift from my son. He’s such a thoughtful little boy, isn’t he I wanted him to give his friends something, but not just anything. And it had to be age-appropriate. There are two boys and a girl, around 6 months old. The age-appropriate concern helped me narrow down the choices, and I decided that something useful would be best. A baby can not have too many bibs. It’s simply not possible.

Look, they’re reversible.


And they have food catcher pockets!


The boys get trucks, rockets, and stars.’ Two bibs each.’ Oops, looks like the yellow bib has a crooked pocket.’ C’est la vie.

The girl gets flowers, bugs, and dancers.’ The other two (I made two of each fabric) go to my sister-in-law who is having a girl in April.

Is this not adorable fabric ‘ (I should have made some of these for my boo boy, when he was a little snugglebug, but the inspiration escaped me at the time.)
Now, the babies have older sisters who have moved on to preschool and are not in the daycare any longer.’ My son, the ever-considerate lad, has little token gifts for them as well, so that all the children will get a little something, and there will be a happy few seconds of paper shredding and package opening. It will be a sweet moment.

Posted in pregnancy, sewing
May 20th, 2006 | 3 Comments »


Target has these new colorful across the body totes that I thought were kinda swell, but they were $17 or $18 and my body is more buxom than the average she.  Across my body, the bag part rode way too high, so I decided to try and make my own, instead.

It’s cute.  Not perfect.  But I like the blue fabrics I found.  And it only cost $5.  For the materials, that is.  Add another plenty for my time.  I probably should have just bought the Target version, after all.  And lost 50 lbs.

The joy is in the journey, though.  I do love a new project.  It’s so refreshing!

Posted in sewing