Thursday, April 22, 2010

Works In Progress and Easter Dresses

I think I might be the worst person in the world at finishing projects. People who know me are probably shocked by that statement, but that's because I keep my unfinished projects tightly under wraps, and I never talk about them. They're like my shameful secret. Here's the life cycle of most of my projects: I get an idea, either straight from the ol' noggin or inspired by something (a photo, some fabric, etc.); I immediately go out and buy all of the materials for the project; I hang the shopping bag full of materials on the back of the chair at my desk. That's it. That's where it ends.

I've been thinking that if I put a list of my works in progress out into the universe, it might make me a little more accountable as far as project completion goes. So here's my list, which I will be updating regularly--hopefully.
  • master bedroom quilt--started in January, 2009
  • embroidery hoop wall art--materials bought in Fall, 2009/COMPLETED Summer, 2010!
  • pocket bag--no clue on this one; maybe 2008???
  • fabric butterfly mobiles for the girls' bedrooms--started in January, 2010
  • pink monster t-shirts for a birthday party that happened 6 months ago!
  • baby's 1st year keepsake cards--started in Summer, 2009
Now, just to show you that I'm starting off on the right foot, here are some pictures of the Easter dresses I made for our girls. They turned out beautifully, better than I even imagined them. The fabrics are Martini in Mustard and Optic Blossom in Linen, both from the Midwest Modern line from Amy Butler. The fabrics were a joy to work with. Sewing is such a pleasure when the fabric you are staring at is gorgeous.
I used the Gracie dress pattern from Portabellopixie by Sandi Henderson. It was mostly easy, but there were a few major problems. First, when you are sewing the yoke onto the bodice, it tells you to sew it backwards. Instead of sewing the inside of the yoke to the top of the bodice, you should be sewing the outside of the yoke to the top of the bodice. Just trust me on that one. Next, I could tell they weren't going to be long enough, so I sewed an extra tier onto the skirt before attaching it to the bodice. I didn't trust myself enough to wing it, so I used the pattern piecs for the top tier of the skirt, piece number 6 (which you aren't supposed to use if you are attaching the skirt to a bodice). Lastly, and most importantly, you are supposed to finish off the yoke with bias tape. After literally days of trying to make it work, I took all of my carefully made bias tape off, stuffed it in a bag, and just finished off the inside of the yoke without it. I folded the two raw edges inside and topstitched around the whole yoke, which is what I wanted to do in the first place. All's well that ends well!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!

Today is a fun day. Today, Monday, April 12th, is National Drop Everything And Read day, and it is also Beverly Cleary's birthday! My oldest is in preschool, so I think this "holiday" might have gone unnoticed in our household if it weren't for Ramona Quimby. A few months ago, I spotted a box set of the first four Ramona books at T.J. Maxx for mere pennies. I figured they were probably going to have to wait a few years to be read, but I went ahead and bought them because I love Ramona so much. But one night, I decided that my daughter would probably get a kick out of Ramona (she is very much a Ramona type), and so we started reading. And now we're on the fourth book, Ramona and Her Father, and my daughter won't let a night go by without reading a few pages about Ramona!

If you'd like to celebrate today, here are a few links:

--D.E.A.R homepage
--D.E.A.R. resources
--The World of Beverly Cleary--a bright, fun website with lots of info and GAMES!
--Ramona and Beezus, the movie trailer

--Ramona on YouTube--No one will ever match Sarah Polley as Ramona. She was perfect! If I ever find this series for sale, I'm buying every copy!
--Bake a Ramona Cake--Bake any cake, and stick a doll pick (the kind you use to make a Barbie cake) in after baking. That was our favorite part of Beezus and Ramona: when Ramona stuck her rubber doll, Bendix, in Beezus' birthday cake while it baked.
--Make Paprika Chicken for dinner--Another classic Ramona move from Ramona Quimby, Age 8: trying to make paprika chicken for dinner, and completely flubbing it, as only Ramona can. Make sure you serve it with applesauce, made memorable by several chapters of Beezus and Ramona.

And now, for the winner of our beautiful blocks give-away: comment #30, Jaime! Jamie, I will email you shortly about how to collect your prize. A huge thank you to for donating our fabulous prize, and thanks to everyone who entered!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Beautiful Blocks Give-Away!

The give-away is now closed. Thanks for participating!!

I love to shop, and I love to get packages in the mail. So combine the two, and I'm practically in heaven! Online shopping really is terrific. It makes a world of items (literally) available to everyone, regardless of the size of town they live in. I recently discovered a most amazing online shopping spot: CSN Stores has over 200 different online stores that stock everything from kids beds to handpainted canvas art to le creuset cookware to pool tables. All of the items at CSN Stores are offered at low prices, and lots of them offer free shipping!

CSN Stores is generously sponsoring our give-away today! One lucky winner will receive this beautiful wood block set from notNeutral. The blocks feature the alphabet in a mix of vintage and contemporary fonts, as well as numbers and graphics, all printed in black and red on a natural wood background. And they come cutely stacked in a little wood tray. These are pretty much the chicest blocks we've ever seen! And they can be yours! To enter the give-away, simply leave a comment on this post that includes your email address. You can enter the give-away a second time by blogging about our little give-away, then leaving a comment with a link to your post. The give-away is open to US and Canadian readers only. Next Monday, April 12th, we'll choose a winner! Good Luck!