On our shelves this week, is a book that a friend borrowed from us, and recently returned:
by Jaqueline Kelly
I read this one a long time ago, when my oldest read it. And now my youngest just read it too. I would call this book thick and meaty in the best possible way. Full of a wonderful story about a young girl coming into her own. It takes place in the late 1800’s, when girls were expected to marry, sew, and cook. 11 year old Calpurnia is the only girl among 6 brothers, and she loves science. Her cantankerous grandfather shares her passion, and they strike a bond.
A great story about finding who you are, opposed to being who people think you should be.
What is on YOUR shelves this week?
It is amazing what a beautiful garden bouquet full of lilacs and mint will do for a room! I love this time of year for the same reason I despise it: the amazing blooms (and the dreaded pollen)! I just went around and cut everything that looked like it needed to come inside with me. I really cannot wait for all the produce we planted to come up! For now, I will enjoy the bounty that is all around. And sneeze a whole bunch too. The Bee, actually, is the one that has been hit hardest by pesky allergies this year, and is finding it difficult to even find any beauty in it at all.
I am trying my best to look past how it all makes me feel, and instead soak in all the incredible color and texture. This week went by incredibly fast, so I thought I would leave you for the weekend wtih this bouquet that has been causing me to smile every time I come into the room. It’s really the little things, isn’t it?
Oh, an don’t forget to look to your inboxes today! I actually got the newsletter out this week and it has some of what has been keeping us so busy in it! I promise to share something I sewed soon. Lots of sewing going on behind the scenes (which is really saving my sanity right now. Well, I suppose it always does that)!
What is causing YOU to smile?
A friend of ours runs a non-profit program for kids, teaching them music (regardless of income), called Kids in Concert. She asked me if I would donate a sewn garment to their auction, and of course I said yes! I came up with a musical Magrath dress just for the occassion.
I had Falafel model it, of course.
I used the Magrath dress pattern like I used for her Mermaid dress, only this time I used musical note fabric along with a black bedsheet. And I whipped up a mustard colored denim belt to add a pop of color.
I love this pattern. I wanted it to look a bit more special than the average dress, and I think it does!
I hope it brings in some much needed money for this fantastic program.
What have you sewn lately?
Our friend turned 11 this weekend, and the one thing she had was a birthday dress wish from me. Although my plate has been full to the brim, I have babysat this girl since she was 4. She is most definitely like family. And when she saw my Falafel’s Alice in Wonderland dress a few months ago, she has asked me for one ever since! How could I refuse that?!
I did this one slightly different than the original, starting with the fabric (that my Falafel is modeling before we gave it to the birthday girl). I knew our friend would like a silky light purple instead of the blue gauze.
The ruffles are a little wider on this one. I have no idea why. I think I just got a little carried away. Ha! I did still use the Noelle Party dress by the Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop *affiliate link*, only this time I made a size 10 (which is slightly too big for my girl, but perfect for the Birthday girl) and cut it up into different panels. I always start with this bodice pattern because I like how it fits.
I also added puffy sleeves with elastic because I didn’t have her upper arm measurement.
We gave it to her, and she LOVED it. I can’t wait to see it on her.
On our shelves this week is a craft book review!
by Marisa Edghill
This book is full of paper crafts, and most use washi tape. My Falafel happened to go on a washi tape binge last week, and used up all four rolls I had, so we improvised. I got out the blue painter’s tape (I have no idea why we have an entire roll of this since I never tape when I paint- ha!) and some card stock, and we made one of our favorite projects from the book.
Paper Pyramid Pouches
She made this orange one all by herself.
Using the recommended materials (origami paper and washi tape) make them much cuter, but I think ours are just as sweet. And I love that they still worked, even though we used what we had.
There are so many projects in this book! Everything from Paper Puppets to Washi Tape and Paper Beads. My 10 year old was so into this one, even though the crafts are geared toward adults. We did the pouch project together, and once we did one, she made a whole army of them on her own. Luckily, she stuffed them and gave them as gifts.
If you like working with paper, this book is a fun addition to any paper craft library.
::Even though I received this book to review, as always all my opinions are mine, mine, mine::
Today I am bringing home the Amaryllis dress I posted about over at Melly Sews for Blank Slate Patterns(affiliate links).
Can I just tell you, I LOVE THIS PATTERN??!!
Of all the Blank Slate patterns I have sewn up, it is my favorite. And that is saying something. You can see others I have sewn here, here, here, here, and here. And that is not even all of them!
Firstly, it is reversible!! Essentially, this means two dresses in one. How awesome is that?!
BTW: please excuse my daughter’s pinky finger. It was broken, but we unwrapped it for the photos, and it just stuck out like that.
The fabric I used is from the Birch Organics Mod Basics 3 collection. The Navy is called Firefly Dots Dusk, and the mustard colored one is called Wink Marigold. Dreamy fabric to go with this dreamy pattern.
The pattern goes from18m-size 8. I hope one day Melissa will make this in MY size. But for now, you can make one for your little girl to twirl in. And twirl she will! The dress has great twirl-ability.
The back closes with a button, so no zips to install or even buttonholes!
The whole dress goes on like a secured wrap dress. There really is no danger of being exposed. This one has you covered.
The only difficult thing is choosing which side to wear.
The one time consuming (but completely worth it) component to this pattern is hemming the circle skirt portion of the dress. I just followed the instructions, and went slowly. It came out beautifully. No wrinkles or anything! I was impressed.
I did not deviate from this pattern because there wasn’t anything I would do differently!
Thank you, Melissa. I cannot wait to sew up another.
My daughter had the pleasure of attending a prom with her boyfriend, that her best friend invited them to, given by her friend’s church. For her outfit, I made The Bee a floral head garland, since the theme was “Enchanted Forest”.
It was super simple to do with silk flowers, and I think it added a little bit of whimsy to her outfit.
Did you know that I was a floral designer for many, many years? It’s true! So glad to be able to use my skills for my kids.
More details on that stunning dress here.
I kept it fairly sparse, so that the brown covered wire would show through, and give it more of a foresty fairy look.
Their attempt at a Charlie’s Angels type pose. I love these two silly girls.
Her first corsage.
Ack! When did my baby get all grown up?!
Anyhow, please leave a comment below to let me know if you want a tutorial on how to make this simple head garland, and like magic, I will!
What have YOU made today?
Those tulips are from when we went to the Tulip Festival the beginning of the month. I love how long lasting they are. They embody Spring, as well as planting seeds, which we finally got around to. I cannot wait until we have fresh garden produce again! I found this old patio umbrella skeleton in our shed that was left over from this project oh so long ago. I read on my friend Liesl’s blog (which is really brilliant if you are interested in recycling) about using them for garden trellises, a while ago, and kept it in my mind. I am so glad to save this one from the landfill.
The last new thing is a simple rope. Yup. That is it. My Falafel has been drawing up a storm. Her subject, which is not all that surprising, has been The Warrior Cats. Only she made so many, they couldn’t fit on the fridge (our normal place of honor for art). So I had the incredibly smart idea to string up a rope in her closet, gave her some clothespins, and she had a new place to hang her masterpieces (or should I say mewsterpieces- Ok it is late as I am typing this)! It is amazing how happy that simple little rope makes her.
So much is keeping me busy behind the scenes. But I am happy to be able to share at least a small part of what is going on in our world with you.
What is happening where you live?
On our shelves today is a magic book for my book review!
Any time, Any place
by Bryan Miles
My youngest LOVES doing magic tricks. Maybe it is the age. I remember loving them too, when I was 10. I handed her this book, and she was instantly hooked.
It is written very clearly with wonderful step-by-step photographs that even my tween can navigate by herself. In fact, she didn’t want me to read it and learn her magician secrets!
There are tricks using cards and coins, but also paper napkins, balloons, rubber bands, and oh so much more. She really had a blast with it, and even asked to keep it. When I said she could, you would have thought it was Christmas.
Pick a card, any card!
Was this the one you chose?
This is a fantastic fun book that teaches you a few secrets of the trade. Not just for kids, but mine sure loves it. I am sure we will be guessing which hand, and picking many cards in the future.
*Disclaimer: Even though I did receive the book for review, as always, all my opinions are mine, mine, mine!
It happened! I finally made my way over, and created my very first Instructable!
If you are here from there: Welcome!
I am so excited about it. I just entered it into the DIY dress contest that is going on. Here are a few photos of what I made.
Many of you have asked how I refashion. Now you can find out! Head over to Instructables, and make one for yourself.