Holiday Lady Skater

**Sorry about the late posting. I had this one already to schedule, and when I went to press the button, the power went out. Crazy wild wind and rain storm last night. Today all is calm**

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This year, The Bee asked if I would make her a holiday dress. Only she didn’t want it to be formal or kitschy (heh, I just realized I wrote that) like this one. She specifically asked for a dress like the one I made for the Challenge Create competition.

So I whipped out the Lady Skater Dress pattern by Kitschy Coo and traced her size.

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I just happened to have a few yards of this black jersey in my stash, and then I had a few pieces of the grey sparkle knit from Falafel’s Uptown/downtown dress.

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Then she had the brilliant idea of pairing it with this overlay we found thrifting last year.

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I love the science-fictiony feel of it.

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This is such a fun holiday outfit. It is dressed up without being too formal. And she can wear them separately if she wants.

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I can’t believe that tomorrow this girl will be 15. Time is flying for sure.

Every day princess

I recently won this pattern from Sew Straight and Gather: The Uptown/Downtown Dress !

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Oh. My. Word. Goodgolly I love this dress. I WANT ONE FOR ME!

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There are several extensions to this pattern that give you so many options to customize this dress. I chose the maxi length with long sleeves. My girl didn’t want to cowl neck (even though it is absolutely adorable).

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All I can think of is Princess Buttercup.

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I used a heavier grey knit fabric (that has sparkles in it) and love the weight of it. It flows when she walks like some medieval princess. Only for every day.

Actually I can envision this pattern making incredible princess costumes.

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The neck does run a little wide for my narrow-shouldered girl, so the next one, I probably will raise a few inches. Oh and there will be a next one for sure! She has already requested that her Christmas dress be made from this pattern, only out of red or green or shiny fabric instead.

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I told her that she could even wear THIS one for Christmas. She replied “No way. This is for every day“.

UGLY skirt Challenge

More than a month ago, Audrey from Skirt Fixation asked me to be the very first to take part in her new series The Ugly Skirt Challenge.

This is how it works: She mailed me an ugly skirt, and I had to make something with it. That is it!

 Here’s the Before:

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As you can see, this comes up to the armpits on my 5’5″ girl. Those ladies over at Skirt Fixation are TALL!

This is a fuchsia colored, snakeskin printed, very sheer skirt.

And I had NO IDEA what I was going to make with it!!?

But after weeks of marinating ideas, I came up with a great plan for this skirt. And although it looks like Halloween is back, I can assure you, this will be worn all times of the year!

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OK. Let me break it down. Since the skirt had two parts to it, (a lining and outer layer) and they were both sheer, I made the outer into wings, and the lining into an overlay for a skirt.

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I first cut down the side of the skirt to open it up, and cut off the elastic waist band. Then I lay it on it’s side. I hemmed the new sides and sewed a gathering stitch up the middle. I used FOE (also known as Fold Over Elastic) and made loops for the shoulders and sewed them in place. Next, I made a loop at the wrist, and folded the elastic over the top of the fabric. I sewed it straight across until I got to the other end, and then made another loop for the other wrist.

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And for the skirt, I had this taffeta that someone gifted me, in my stash, and it happened to be the same color as the lining!

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It is simple, but pretty.

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Then my girl flew around the yard in her new wings.

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Yes, it was raining.

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Thank you so much Audrey for inviting me to take this challenge~ it truly was challenging, but so much fun!

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Happy Birthday to my little darling

Today is my younger daughter’s 9th Birthday! To honor this, I am sharing part of a sponsored post I did this year about her. It completely sums up how I feel about my Falafel.

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 She is my youngest. The one that is quiet and few in her requests. She often feels overshadowed by her older sister’s dynamic presence. Our 8 year old (Now 9 year old) girl.

My Falafel.

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This girl of ours is really something. Many of you know that she has endocrine issues that hinder her growth. Even though she is small in size, it has never held her back. This child has plenty of personality to make up for it. Her boundless energy and need for adventure has helped her to try and ultimately fall in love with things like gymnastics, Irish step dancing, and rock climbing. She is fearless when it comes to touching bugs and critters. Her heart welcomes them all into it, warmly. Because of her curiosity and hands-on approach with any creature great and small, her teacher allowed her to catch and take care of classroom crickets.

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Pet rats were her Birthday present this past year. And it couldn’t have made her happier.

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We have the most interesting conversations. I love hearing her special perspective on the world.

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The most cherished moments are those seemingly mundane ones. The every day ones that we could miss if we didn’t know better.

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Falafel came to me with a book that we have been reading at night together, before bed. Normally, I read and she draws. It is a great way to wind down our days. This particular night, we found that it was just us in the house, and it was past her bedtime. I could just skip reading and rush her off to bed to attend to a million things I needed to do. But if I did, I might be missing an opportune moment to show her that I do want to spend time with her. That she matters. School was out for the Summer. No plans. How could we make this more special? I had one of those lightbulb moments. What if we read it OUTSIDE in the hammock together??

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And that is exactly what we did. It was so quiet with the exception of some nighttime birds settling in too. It was just the two of us, reading, under a blanket in a hammock outside. It felt like one of those moments that I didn’t ever want to forget.

Our kids are only this age once. I am enjoying every phase and every aspect of their very different personalities.

Happy Birthday to our 9 year old girl!

Last year of single digits…AND it is her “Golden Birthday” (9 on the 9th). Can’t get more special than that!

Around the World Blog Hop

Stacy from The Land of K.A. invited me to join the Around the World Blog hop, so of course, I said Yes! Stacy is fabulous.

Here are the questions I was asked:

What am I working on?

The question should be What am I NOT working on right now?  I feel like I am working on EVERYTHING! Between Christmas and the myriad of Birthdays I have so much that is in progress. Both girls want Holiday dresses this year, and there are teacher gifts, and a request in for PJs, and all the crafting I do for friend gifts.  I am taking it day by day though. It is the only way to save my sanity.

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This is one that I will share with you this week.

How does my work differ from others?

Hmmmm. I suppose my work is quirkier than some. My aesthetic tends to be a tad, um… eccentric at times.

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Why do I create what I do?

 I suppose like most people that make things, I NEED to create. It is also how I show that I care about people. It is incredibly fulfilling to make something and give it away. I have always been drawn to the arts. Sewing and crafting combines my very practical side with art. Perfect.

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How does my creating process work?

 I think. A lot. At night I peruse Pinterest, and other blogs for inspiration, even if I don’t need it right now. My mind never shuts off that part. When I find something that moves me, I pin it, email it to myself, and log it down in my notebook (or on our white board on the fridge). Then when I come across materials that speak to me in some way, I match them with the project.

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That was fun! Thanks Stacy. Now it is my turn to pass the baton.

Be sure to check out Skirt Fixation. I tagged those lovely ladies next!

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On-Our-Shelves Sunday

Today I am sharing a sentimental book with you, since we are celebrating Falafel’s Birthday with friends today:

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Toot & Puddle: A Present for Toot

by Holly Hobbie

I just adore all of Holly Hobbie’s Toot and Puddle books. The illustrations are so incredibly sweet and beautiful. Every year on their Birthdays, I take this one off our shelves and give it a read.

Falafel’s Birthday is coming up on Tuesday (even though we are celebrating her today), and then The Bee is a few days after that!

It is our season of Birthdays!

What is on YOUR shelves?

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge

Today I am participating in Deanna’s (from Sew McCool) 12 days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge.

Each of us had to come up with a Christmas project tutorial, and at the end of the 12 days, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favorite project and THE WINNER GETS $100.00! How very cool is that?

Without further ado…..

My tutorial is:

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This is a utensil holder for a place setting, but it would also make a fantastic gift card/ small gift holder too!

Let’s get started.

You will need:

The free Elf Stocking pattern (download here)

2  different fabrics approx. 8×11 each (2 pieces each)

small amount of stuffing (optional)

bells and O rings (optional)

Sewing machine (or needle and thread and more power to ya!)

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OK. I made the pattern fit onto one page so there is less printing for you.

You can trace the different pieces on tracing paper, or just cut 4 of the curly toed pieces and then trim the lining to the inner line.

You need to add a seam allowance to your heel pocket pieces (I would add 3/8″ all around it).

When you have all your fabric cut, you should have this:

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Now, grab those heel pieces. With right sides together, sew across the top (the part that faces the inside of the stocking).

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Clip around curves (I like using pinking shears) and flip so the rights sides are facing out.

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You can press it flat, and top stitch (optional).

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Now pin in place on the right side  of one of the outer elf fabrics and baste or stitch in place (close to the edge).

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Lay the other elf piece on top (right sides facing), and sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn.

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Clip curves and turn right sides out (not pictured). Make sure that toe is completely turned out. I like using a chopstick and gently push.

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Grab your lining pieces, with right sides together sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn along with a space on the toe.

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With right sides facing, slip the outer piece inside the lining. Make sure to line up the points on the top AND make sure the toes are facing the same way.

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Sew around completely. It should look like this. Make sure you clip or pink the edges to make those points nice and crisp when you turn them.

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Now pull everything out through the toe of the lining. This is the time you would take a small amount of batting or stuffing and stuff your curly toe if you wanted. I didn’t for mine, but I have for others. Either way they look pretty cute. You also want to get inside and turn those top points out with that chopstick. Once everything is facing out, tuck the raw edges in on the toe, and sew the toe closed (either hand sew, or machine- no one will see it).

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 Push the lining inside the Elf stocking. You can top stitch around the points (optional). Fold the top down.

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That little pocket is perfect for place cards, or even a note. Maybe a sprig of evergreen? Really, put your creativity to work!

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This one I did with no pocket, but added jingle bells using jewelry O rings. I just pierced the O rings through the fabric and hung a bell on each. Easy peasy. *Although, if using where small children will be, I would leave these off because they are most definitely a choking hazard.

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Place some silverware and a napkin inside and lay on a plate. Your table just got whimsical!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and will come back to vote.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with sewmccool.com large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on www.sewmccool.com on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

COLD

My husband and I cleaned out the garage the other day because that is what you do in 28 degree weather right???!!

Anyhow, usually we walk quickly (or run) from car to house and house to car without paying much attention to anything outside. I even had a dead geranium plant hanging right outside the door because it is so incredibly cold and I just couldn’t bring myself to deal with it.

You can call me Weather Wimp from now on. I have earned it.

The whole point of this is to say no one even noticed that the hose (which is also right outside the front door) had a leak and was frozen over, until that day.

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It was so cold that my camera lens fogged up when I went to photograph it, hence the fuzzy ethereal look of our common garden hose.

What have you NOT noticed until now?

Ralphie the deranged lamb bunny

A few weeks ago, I came across this tutorial for a Faux Fur Hood by Lemon Squeezy Home. I could not stop thinking about how adorable this is. Did I need to make one? No. But did I NEED TO MAKE ONE??!! Absolutely.

So I did.

I happened to have this shaggy white fur in my stash, given to me by a close friend of ours. I started by washing it. Then I threw it into the dryer, and something interesting happened. It turned from shaggy fur to this balled up soft lamb-like fur. I guess that is what you call a “happy mistake”, because I love it so much more now. Plus, it didn’t get tangled in my machine (which the longer fur normally does). It did, however, shed as much. I looked like a yeti when I was done.

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All I see when I look at her wearing this is Ralphie from A Christmas Story. She looks like “A deranged Easter bunny“. Of course it isn’t pink. I have no idea why this reminds me of that. Also. my girl thought it was a lamb. So maybe a deranged hybrid Easter lamb bunny?

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Anyhow, the pattern does not include bunny ears. I just took the dog ears and lengthened them. It has an element of ridiculous about it, and yet my daughter LOVES it. Maybe even because of the ridiculous.

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She has been cooped up in the house with the flu, and this was the first day she got to go outside and touch the snow. She was thrilled!

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Well, this is a fantastically whimsical project that Falafel refused to take off. Even in the house. I call  that a huge success!

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And it makes me giggle to see her fangs with this. Let’s add Bunnicula to the list.

What have YOU made today?

A little snow goes a long way

Our landscape, usually drenched and soggy, is all dressed in white.

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Literally, a dusting of snow. Not even an inch. It is making me giggle with joy to see my Facebook feed bursting with locals all snapping photos of their families enjoying this unusual treat.

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Poor Falafel has been sick, so she hasn’t been able to romp around in it at all. I am actually hoping it sticks around so she can, at least, touch it.

The Jersey girl in me is laughing just a little bit. But to an area that just doesn’t get snow, a little goes a long way.