Thursday, May 28, 2009

Butterfly Shirt

Leave it to me to squeeze a project into the middle of four other ongoing projects. This one, though, only took about 15 minutes.

Dana has a thing for butterflies, and this shirt had a stain that didn't budge after an overnight soak on Oxyclean. So...I remembered back to the May Craft: along projects and thought I would give this a try. I just traced a butterfly cookie cutter. I didn't even have to sew a single stitch!

And remember back in April when I turned a pair of Dana's jeans into fancy schmancy jean shorts? It made sense to me to make this stained shirt match the shorts for a complete ensemble: shorts, shirt and purse (not pictured here). I figured she might actually wear the whole outfit, despite having a dress-only policy 98% of the time.

I was pretty proud of myself because her comment when I showed her the shirt was, "Thank you, Mama! I'm going to only wear this now!" So I guess from now on, she will either be naked or in this outfit. At least, that's her story.

Now, back to scraping old varnish. Bleh.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Works in Progress

I am working on many things right now. I am not finishing much. But that's fine with me. I am (mostly) enjoying working on all of these things.

The paint is not exactly the hue I had envisioned. But after working with it for hours, it has really grown on me. Which is good, because I have so many hours left of working with it. It's the scraping that's doing me in. For one thing, I'm not very good at scraping, and for another, I am accident prone. The bloodshed has been minimal thus far, thankfully.

Yarn. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wool is self-striping! I've had this project on the needles for over a month and am itching to finish up.

Mending. Lots of it. Requires a functional sewing machine. Which is actually within grasp. But more on that tomorrow.

Fabric. Flannel fabric, to be precise. All washed and ready to be cut.

In the coming days, I hope to have photos of finished projects. They're all getting close!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Little Bit of Sewing and a Little Bit of Crazy

I am planning to use my sewing machine up until the bitter end. Just so you know.

Last night I cut out and started some pajama pants for Kevin. Dana selected some pretty wild shark fabric from Hancock.

Today I did the finishing, meaning the casing, elastic and hemming. In total, it may have taken two hours, but I think it was less. Pajamas are pretty easy, but I did spend a bit of time with the seam ripper: once because I messed up, once because the machine balked (I rethreaded it and was able to finish the pants without trouble), and once because I had to make the waist tighter. I rather like making pajama pants. I can use some pretty crazy fabric and it doesn't really matter because nobody sees them, except for the people who live in my house and the people who read this blog. That's all.

Kevin tells me he likes these pj pants, and that they are comfy. I choose to believe him.

In other news, my mom gave me her composter! Can I tell you that I have reached a new level of dorkiness by how excited I am about this?

Dana and I did our grocery shopping yesterday, and today I cut up the pineapple and watermelon so it's ready to eat. I filled my giant mixing bowl and happily toted it off to the composter behind the garage.

See how much rotten produce I already have? Isn't is so not interesting? I know it isn't, but I am excited. Excited by the fact that this stuff will be useful to me instead of going into the trash. There are husks from 16 ears of corn, plus my pineapple and watermelon peels, plus some stuff I pulled out of the fridge that was past its prime. According to what I have read on the World Wide Web, I will have some lovely, nourishing compost for my garden in 3-5 weeks! Yay for compost!

This is the outside of the composter, for anyone who is actually interested. It isn't as fun as one of those that you can spin, but it is gigantic and will serve my country living well.

Look at what I have become: one photo of something I sewed and three photos of compost.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blackberry Cupcakes

On Saturday evening, we attended our friend's belated annual Cinco de Mayo party. It's a potluck, and rather than making something Mexican, I, of course, made cupcakes.

I had been dreaming about this recipe for a week, and when I saw blackberries on sale at the grocery store near our house, it seemed meant to be.

Aren't they beautiful? The icing has butter, cream cheese, and blackberry preserves. It is a lovely color for sure.

But you know what? These were just okay. The cake was very heavy and tasted oddly like cornbread. The icing was delicious, but it had only a tiny hint of berry taste.

For the time this recipe took, and the quantity of ingredients required (6 eggs! 3 cups of sugar!), it wasn't worth it. But they sure are pretty!

And I may well try the icing again with a different type of preserves. Maybe blackberry isn't a strong enough flavor. But the party sure was fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Dress for Dana

I really love fabric.

I recently bought this lovely fabric on Etsy, with my Little D in mind. Her favorite color is purple, and my favorite color is green. Surely you can see why this trio was so appealing to both of us.

It's from Michael Miller. I think it comes in some different color schemes, too, if purple and green aren't your thing. The one in the middle is called Feeling Groovy. I can't remember what the other two are called.

Ever since I made Nora the ill-fated fairy dress, Dana has been asking me to sew one for her. And that's just what I did over the weekend.

I used the same pattern as Nora's dress, with the skirt from the pattern and the bodice traced from a different dress. As you can see, the bodice wasn't a perfect fit. It sort of slips off of her shoulder. But Dana doesn't seem to mind, so neither do I.

Here's the back view. My knitting group met last night, and I used Heidi's machine to sew buttonholes onto the dress. Dana picked some fancy lavender heart buttons, which are not really visible in the photo. But they look pretty sweet.

On a sad note, my machine started acting extra funky towards the end of this dress. I finished it without major problems. However, I went to take in the waist on a pair of shorts for Nora and wow-no dice! The top thread goes in just fine but the bobbin thread doesn't catch. Heidi, who knows a lot more about machines than I do, said it sounds like the tension is going, and there is no hope for it if that is the case. And since I have had it at the shop twice and he hasn't had success with it, I think its time is up. I knew this was coming. I just can't figure out why, when all I can think about is sewing, my machine decides it is done. Bad timing!