Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ta Da!

Hooray! I finished the Easter Dresses! I almost gave up on 'em! Getting a great, flattering picture of them... well my friends that is another story! In typical March fashion it is quite windy today. Yes. Very Marchy. I finished Isabel's dress during her nap today, so guess what I did when she woke up?I made her wear it! lol. She didn't mind TOO much. Really. I don't torture my dear children. But they torture me with their cuteness! And when I think about them being teenagers... eek! Torture x 100. lol.

So I am sure you will see 1000 more pictures of these dresses.... unless you can't take it and stop reading my blog! They look very medieval peasant to me. :) Very fitting for my little girls. And Anastasia HAD to wear hers all day... until she wiped chocolate on the very white apron! It is soaking in oxi clean now. Nothing melts my heart like my girls wearing their mama-made dresses... except maybe the fact that they LOVE wearing them because I made them. *sigh*

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blossom Blouses

I made the girls the "Blossom Blouses" from the Sew Liberated book during the girl's nap yesterday! It was such a simple, pleasant project with really lovely results!
Unfortunately the girls did not cooperate with me getting a nice shot... and it was a little chilly for going out doors. I actually used some beautiful, hand-embroidered pillowcases I found at a thrift store a couple years ago. I was going to make pillowcase dresses, but thought they would be perfect as little blouses! And was I ever right!

There is something meaningful and sweet about sewing something up in light, white cotton for little babies (or big babies). It was quite cathartic really! White just seems to bring out the innocent beauty of childhood despite being especially prone to stains.

The entire project took about 1 1/2 hours per shirt from start to finish! I can see several more of these being whipped up this summer... perhaps in some linen or floral cotton. Yes I feel another addiction coming on! OK, here is the best picture I could get!:

I love it! Next time, I might make Anastasia's a bit longer in length... so she can wear it a while longer. Next time. :)

For the record, I still miss my O'Mally dearly. And we did get a new computer (that I am not too fond of, but oh well.). But we are carrying on and grateful for our many other blessings. And in a couple weeks some baby chicks will be arriving at our local post office! And next week is an egg hunt, and Easter Sunday... with plenty of surprises for everyone I can assure you! :) Hope does not disappoint us...! (Romans 5:5)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I wish this were a happy post with lovely girls in Easter dresses. I wish I was further than the "cutting" stage of them. I wish a warm cat were in my lap. I wish he would ever be again. I wish he hadn't been in the street. I wish I didnt feel guilty keeping a cat indoors all the time. I wish it didn't hurt so bad to lose him. I wish a vase of flowers didn't fall on the laptop. I wish I didn't get mad at my 3 year old for it.

But overall I am glad. I am glad to have a healthy, safe, loving family. I am glad I only lost 3 months of pictures on the computer. I am glad for amazing friends who let me borrow their computer, their ears, and cheered me up. I am glad I sold so much on etsy so I can afford a new computer. I am glad I had and loved our wonderful cat. I am glad I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, and a warm bed to sleep in. I have more than many others...and though I wish things were different sometimes, God is good. Lent is closing in. Easter will be here soon.

Unfortunately it is very difficult to type on our borrowed computer... so until we order and recieve a new laptop... I may not be around much. I wish you all a reflective close of lent, some time for quiet and peace and some moments to count your blessings.

"The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks Him." Lamentations 3:25

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Every Time I Look Away

This little trouble-maker is on the table.I have to keep the chairs on top of the table.
But I usually have less wasted leftovers. After her 2 bowls of oatmeal, she climbs up on the table to finish whatever Anastasia didn't eat. Oh, and right now she just pushed a small chair to the utensil and knife drawer... Better go save her life again. :) Its almost Friday!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!!

I have had SUCH a busy week, but it has been good in so many ways! I decided to take today, St. Patrick's Day off from my busy Etsy shop! I spent most of my day running errands because I have been in a little gnome-crafting cave! This evening, I had a little scavenger hunt for the girls, to find the lucky fairy treasure that had been stolen by the leprechauns. Perhaps my story line was a little more interesting than my 3 year old could handle, but we all had fun none the less!
Have you seen the Toymaker yet? She has the lovliest website of free printable toys! I have seen her site before, back before I had a printer, and now I have a whole new world of interesting boxes and paper toys to make! Check out the St. Patrick's Day items!! I pretty much printed off all of them and used the lucky fairy coins for writing the clues on and the little box to put them in!
So I didn't realize the little packs of rolos weren't individually wrapped... I just went for the goldness of them. They looked a little dumb in packs of 3, but the girls didn't mind. And the rainbow had a final clue that lead to the little fairy/acorn dolls:
The dolls are the Princess Nimble Thimble acorn dolls! I had every intention of trying to make some bendy dolls using the tutorial here but just didn't have time because I have been SO BUSY making gnomes. But I can't count it to the luck 'o the Irish, no, but by the generosity and kindness of others who have blogged about me this week! Check out Chasing Cheerios, and my friend Regina's blog for some lovely gnomey posts! :) I am so floored that these little guys are so popular!!! So if you are looking for some gnomes from my shop, don't hesitate to send me a message for a reserved listing because I can't keep things in stock!!!
And lastly, I leave you with Kitty O'Mally... the king of the (doll) house. My Irish cat, and my semi-Irish family wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day! I leave you with a lovely Irish Blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I really need that embroidered somewhere...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dressing Up!

So Easter is less than 3 weeks away! Yay! Above is the Portabello Pixie pattern I am using for the girl's dresses. I wanted to share some of my favorite dress tutorials that you can find for free on the Internet, in case you too want to be overambitious this lent and make your children's wardrobe! I found an apron knot dress tutorial, similar to the one I am using at Everyday Chaos. And can you picture this lovely dress made from a skirt in a lacy, Spring fabric?:The above dress made from a women's skirt tutorial can be found HERE at V and Company.And doesn't the above toddler dress look like an overpriced designer dress? It is a toddler dress made from a man's shirt tutorial by Luvin the Mommyhood. I think, again, in a pastel color, that dress could be completely ADORABLE for Easter. And I can totally see dolling up this dress for Easter Sunday as well!: It is the Raglan Sleeve Dress tutorial by Ikat Bag. I could picture doing just the raglan top, a big sash and a full skirt! It could be just darling for Easter Sunday! This dress is one of my favorite tutorials that I plan to spend an entire week making several of in the future:This dress by Dana from MADE is actually made from a men's shirt! It looks SO EASY I want to make 20 of them! The Tutorial is HERE.

And now something for the boys. Lets just be honest, there just aren't as many options for the little guys in our life! But that doesn't mean they need to suffer from a lack of handmade attire! Dana from MADE also has a great boys ensemble of tutorials and I could just see this in a more Springy color palette: I just love the Flat Front Pants and Sweater Vest (from Men's sweater!) combo! It actually makes me want a boy in the worst way! LOL. You could pair those with a boys button down shirt from men's shirt and a bow-tie to match, and top it off with a Newsboy cap and you will have the best dressed little guy in town!

So now lets get to work! If you make your own Easter dress or outfit this week (or at some point before Easter!), let me know! I would love to share your photos on my blog! And stay tuned for a new project next week! And hopefully, amid my Etsy chaos, I will find time to get my dresses finished too! :) Happy Crafting!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Etsy Easter Finds

Easter is only 3 weeks away and what better way to fill a basket than with some handmade goodies from Etsy!! Check out my new Egg playsets in my shop! I have 2 fairy playsets and intend to list 4 gnome playsets by the end of the day!! But, my shop is not the only one out there worth a good look for Easter goodies!
My dear friend Jen, recently opened a beautiful Etsy shop, St. Anne's Pixies. Her items are just AMAZING! She has such an eye for detail and gives her dolls such realistic expressions and models them off of real Saints. Above is the St. Zita Playset! Isn't her doll just lovely as can be? And you must check out her St. George in her shop as well! I am in awe of anyone who can make lovely bendy dolls! Above is a picture of a few of her fairies (that are more amazing in person if you can believe that) and a Birthday Playset! I have tried to make fairies like hers, and well, lets just say it was an embroidery floss disaster! For Anastasia, I picked up some of these darling bunnies from Imagination Kids on Etsy. And some cute hedgies from the same shop as well for my little Isabel:
Won't they look lovely with my gnomes? I am also in love with these bird and nest sets from Green Mountain Wee Woolies also on Etsy:
I of course needed some tweet-tweets for our bird enthusiast's basket, so I actually just ordered a few birds since we have a nest, and some wooden eggs already and she isn't quite ready for them. I also intend to pick up some art supplies, some chocolate bunnies and some more small items for sticking in Easter Eggs for a small pint-sized Easter egg hunt. Any ideas? I was thinking some stickers, some beads and strings for making necklaces, pompoms, buttons, and other art supplies. I am trying to deviate away from the chocolate and candy because we STILL have Christmas candy on a shelf in the pantry... and chocolate bunnies in the freezer from last Easter! I just hate giving out candy ALL the time, and when it is readily available, it becomes less special. Right now, candy is highly coveted, and therefore a complete, flawless treat, and an amazing bribe. So, that's my shtick.
I hope my ideas were somewhat helpful! What will be in your child's Easter basket this year?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


We finally got outside today! The girls were finally feeling better, although they still have noses that never stop running. They enjoyed playing in the dirt with sticks and rocks. All those good kiddie things. I made them the skirts they are wearing last year. Its funny because I rarely put them on the girls but now every time they are clean, they are being worn! I also appliqued some birds onto these cute ruffly sweatshirts from Target! Isabel, of course got some birds on her sweatshirt:
She always has such a goofy look when I get her picture! She loves stairs right now! It was hard for her walking on our unlevel grass! She falls a lot, but doesn't seem to mind! And she spots "tweet-tweets" from a mile away! Its so cute! As grown-ups, we forget the wonder in simple things like birds. And then our kids point them out to remind us how amazing nature really is.
Anastasia got some swing-time in! I put a hedgehog and mushrooms on her sweatshirt. Its cute, but I kind of wish I put the hedgehog at the bottom edge. Oh well! She loves it! And she loves to swing! Its really neat to see her mix dirt and plants into "flower cake" and how imaginative she is this year, compared to last spring. I actually enjoy watching her grow up, and blossom into such a darling little girl (with attitude and a temper mind you!) I set up a few logs and branches, some flower pots and rocks to make a little outdoor play space:
I plan on doing more, but to the right is a little kitchen of sorts... or whatever the girls want it to be! And I made a little rock garden as well:
I surrounded it with bark and moss. Not sure what I am exactly going for... but I have some ideas! There are some small, 1 1/2 by 2 feet boulders in our yard that I kind of want to move over to the play area. It would be a perfect thing to climb or sit on for the girls. But a lot of work. Just carrying the fat round long started me into a coughing fit.

Spring makes me want to sew little kids clothes. I was thinking of doing a little kids clothes craft-a-long and make 1 or 2 items a week for the next couple of months. So by Summer I will have a whole wardrobe of handmades for the girls. On Monday I will post a couple tutorials or so (and *try* to include something boyish as well) and if anyone wants to craft some kid clothes along with me, I will gladly post some of your pictures on my blog (and link to yours if you like)! So that's it... maybe I will be doing this alone, which is fine, but this way, I have some sort of goal going on! Next week is going to be Easter Attire because I need to get these dresses made! I will look around for some tutes even though I am using the Portobello Pixie "Claire" pattern for the petal knot dress.

Well I have new ideas in my head, and hopefully they will become real life this weekend! I will keep you posted! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sick Day at the Gnome Factory

It is so very good that I was very productive on Friday. I made all these gnomes, and mushroom tables and stools while the kids played so well together all afternoon (the morning was a different story...)!
Because then I woke up Saturday with the EVIL COLD OF DOOM. I didn't get anything done all weekend because on top of being sick the girls were sick too! I pretty much didn't leave the couch on Sunday because moving hurt, I could hardly breathe, and I really just wanted to curl into a ball and hibernate until the sickness was over! Bleh.

Thankfully, I felt much better when I woke up yesterday. But I had a very Charlie Brownie Day. I woke up overwhelmed with a sink full of dishes, a disastrous house, piles of dirty laundry (and 3 clean loads of unfolded laundry), 2 restless, cranky, coughy kids and our coffee filters I ordered over a week ago still hadn't arrived. Nick went to Starbucks to help fuel my caffeine dependency. But, the tasks at hand were still like Mt. Everest in my mind. I ran a few errands since we were out of everything, but Isabel had emptied the entire contents of my purse! My list never made it back in so when I went to Michael's I forgot the single most important thing I went there for! Grrr. But I did come home to a few surprises to cheer me:

I ordered Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee, from Amazon on Friday and it came so very fast!!! Meg's blog, now titled Sew Liberated was the first blog I started reading regularly! I ordered the book to make the blossom blouses for the girls to wear under their sleeveless Easter dresses (that are still only a figment of my imagination! LOL!!!) and I just love it! Honestly, I like craft books but usually only LOVE a few projects out of each. I think I LOVE EVERYTHING in this one. There are so many neat little applique ideas, and a perfect little children's smock, and some delightful bags... and even a no-sew, appliqued clock that I NEED to make for my kitchen (unless a cuckoo clock falls out of the sky of course!). Actually, I think I need to make one of everything out of this book! Have you seen Julie and Julia yet? I am going to be like Julie, and make everything out of this book in 1 year (or realistically 5). And if I blog about it, I can write a book called Clare and Meg. I would be famous, my gnomes would be on Martha Stewart and we could build our addition (with a roof deck overlooking the mountains and a hot tub) and hire a maid to clean my house once a week. Wouldn't that be nice?

Nice in theory, but I find that the reality of being rich and famous is that you will live your life never having enough wealth and fame. Simplicity is what I long for. Like Anastasia and her ladybug friend. He has come to visit several times and delights my girls to no end. See, this ladybug usually comes into our living room, and gets played with, and I usually let him go when he looks a little worse for wear, and he always seems to come back a few days later. (Ok, it isn't really the same bug, but Anastasia doesn't know that).

One lesson I think I am learning this lent, is how much joy there is in simplicity and not to take myself or my life TOO seriously. I think it is amazing how so many people in the world don't have enough food, or clean water or clothes and couldn't even dream of owning many toys or useless things. Here in the US we have too much of everything. It is like a plague. Too many toys, too many clothes, we eat too much, drink too much, have too much stress and never have enough time to enjoy the simple things because we are so busy taking care of and cleaning up our stuff! Well, I really want to live a simpler life, and when I figure out how to do that, I will let you know! lol.

Well, I think I have made up for my lack of posting, with this very long post. :) Hopefully as every one's illnesses finish running their course I will be back to regular posting! Until next time... I hope you have a lovely week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring... so close... but so far away

It was warm-ish yesterday. My mom came over and watched the girls while I got a little bit of work completed for my shop. It was nice out with a chilly breeze, but close enough to Spring that we had to go to a park!
The wind wasn't blowing at the park, maybe thanks to the mountains. I realized how much I needed a little time outdoors. *sigh*

Isabel is our little leprechaun. Her red hair, her tricky personality, her Irish temper... the scrunch of her chubby cheeks when she is being silly. She likes being silly, and making us laugh. And she pulls a few tricks on us now and again. Oh, and she has an attraction to gold! I am thinking she needs a leprechaun hat!

Monie read several books, several times to the girls. Anastasia has been reading on her own a lot, or at least retelling stories to her animals, the cat, Isabel, or herself. We are beginning to learn our letters. Each week we will learn a new letter, do crafts, bake, and all kinds of other activities. I will try and post them here, as my other blog is a little defunct. I can only keep up with so many things! Sometimes I just have to let things go. That is just the way it goes with kids!
Speaking of letting things go, Nick has almost sold his mustang! A 4-Door vehicle is getting closer to my possession. And, me and the 'stang, we just never got along. I haven't driven it in years, and it looks like I might not have to drive it again. That being said, it was the escort of our first date, driving off on our wedding day, and many other memories. I guess I don't get that attached to cars. I do love my Jeep. But I am ready for something a little more family friendly! :) Well, off to doing more Spring dances.... and maybe strangling a groundhog. LOL. I. Need. Spring. NOW.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Seamstress Bliss

Despite my weekend trials, my day was made yesterday by FABRIC in my MAILBOX!!!!!! The above it called Frolic by Wendy Slotboom (who also designed the fabric I used in last years Easter dresses!)! (ANNIE- Check out the possum fabric in the same line!) I ordered it from Hawthorne Threads who used to be Fabric Supplies on Etsy. They have cheap, fast shipping and I spend hours looking through their lovely selection. Ordering online always makes me nervous with the color combinations, but it is pure bliss in real life! I am pairing it with some Ikea fabric I have from a comforter for this years Easter dresses. And if I have time, I will make an extra for my shop!!!
And this is Gnomesome Traveller by Michael Miller that I bought from Lucky Kaeru fabric on Etsy (who made me a special order and shipped so fast!!! I highly recommend!!!). How insanely cute? It is for something coming new to my shop next week! And more My Folklore:

I ordered a bunch of this (in other color combinations) last year from Hawthorne Threads, and started to panic when I used most of it up. So I bought a bunch more. I have some dresses in mind... and who knows what else? I don't think there is anything as exciting than getting fabric in the mail, fully funded from my Etsy shop! It just so happens that I am frustrated with our local Joanns, their disorganization, terrible customer service, messy store, and mislabeled sale items and prices. I always come out feeling ripped off, wasting too much time standing in line TWICE with 2 small, bored, screeching children. And no public restroom to boot!! I don't always have a choice, but you can be sure when I do, I will buy my fabric from the comfort of my own computer... with a cup of coffee, kids playing peacefully (yeah, right!) and a bathroom down the hall. End rant.
So yeah... lots of fun projects, so little time! but looking at all my lovely fabrics inspires me beyond measure. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

From the Fog

I meant to post something last night, but life took a different course. After selling out my entire shop almost on Friday, I spent the weekend making multiples of things, and getting packages together. We celebrated Little Red Whimsy's success with a trip to Sonic for milkshakes. Yay and yum!

3 hours later I tried to put Isabel to bed. She started crying... moaning... crying louder... and before long she was all out screaming and shrieking in pain! She would lunge forward and arch backwards and scream louder if I touched her tummy. Her hands were shaking. Something was wrong. I loaded her in the Jeep and headed towards the hospital. She then fell asleep on our way so, thinking she must have gotten over the problem I headed home. And when I tried to lay her down, it all began again... lasted about an hour on and off. The severity of the symptoms seemed to indicate something serious after a google search, so we headed back to the ER. She fell asleep AGAIN. But I was determined not to have it happen again.

I woke her up, half expecting her to start screaming. She was fine. She was happy as a clam in the waiting room, and completely cooperative and cheerful during the entire exam. I assumed the Dr. would think I was crazy and overreactive... but instead he thought it could be something called intussusception which could be really serious and require immediate attention, so he sent me to the larger Winchester hospital for an Ultrasound and X-Rays. He offered to have me take an ambulance, but I wanted to drive.

I was told to go STRAIGHT to Winchester, and that they were waiting for me. HA!!! I waited almost 2 hours to get in, while Isabel slept like a rock. We waited in a room for an hour, had a 40 minute long ultrasound, a quick X Ray, and were sent to wait in a room for the Doctor. 40 minutes later I took a nap with Isabel (who slept through almost everything) until the doctor came and woke me up and let me know Isabel was fine. Perhaps it was really bad cramps or a reaction to something she ate (maybe the strawberries in the shake?). I woke her to drink some juice and they let me leave at around 5am. What a long, long night. Isabel was such a trooper though! She was curious about everything and slept through everything else! lol.

I am so thankful she is fine. It was a little freaky seeing her in so much pain. And today I am in a total, sleep deprivation fog. I don't think we will be having strawberries for a while.

BUT on a lighter note, I did receive a couple orders of fabric that I ordered on Friday. It really made my day... along with a sweet note I received about my shop! :) Oh, happy day, to be followed by a very long sleep, I do hope!