Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just a little post. Nothing huge.
I wanted to share a picture of my recent thrift outting:

Thrift Christmas

There's a couple of shiny brites in there, a scary faced Santa from Austria, and a couple of handmade ones from broken jewelry bits. Not bad for $3.
I also picked up some lovely vintage pillowcases for a project, and lucky for me the new dryer arrived this weekend so that I could wash them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging here much in the last two months. A couple of days after my last post Bean was admitted into Children's Hospital and diagonised with T1D. It's life changing. I started a second blog that is devoted to it and our family which is currently where all my energy is going. If you are interested in reading about our life please feel free to check it out here:
There will be no dolly pictures over there. There will be dolly pictures here however.

Here's some eye candy from our recent trip to San Fran.

Harry's Hash House

Golden Gate

Charlotte at the window

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

My newest doll. She is a Ichigo Heaven who has had her scalp switched out. I rechipped her eyes and now she feels like mine.

Charlotte Back to School Green 2

The orange mesh wall in the background is all over our front yard. It's been fun for pictures but I'm ready for them to take it down and put in the new fence so that the dogs can play in the yard again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I found these beautiful Kokeshi at my local thrift store in a baggie for $2. I love their hand painted faces and delicate cheerfulness. But my favorite is the pepper shaker. There was no salt shaker in the baggie, and how tragic that the pepper will live out it's live alone with out it's mate. Forever searching, but never finding it's other half.
When I find things at thrift stores I like to google and learn the items history. What it is, who made it, where it came from. At times it's a bit like being a detective. In my googling I ran a crossed this site and it's very touching story:

Trio Kokeshi 2

Bobble Kokeshi

Large Kokeshi

Pepper Kokeshi

Sunday at the Beach

We went up to see R's Aunt/Uncle/Mom/Stepdad/and little brother again. It was a wonderful relaxing time. And as it was the reunion of my parents death it was exactly what I needed. We had amazing hamburgers on the grill then headed to the beach with the kids to look for sea glass. Bean has started a little collection and I've given her a couple of glass jars to keep them in.

Looking for sea glass

Someone's goldie

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I discovered a new blog that makes me feel good and all warm and fuzzy. It's full of beautiful quotes and pictures including the following link to this video that made me weepy.

My Favourite Things from kidswithcrayons on Vimeo.

Monday, August 10, 2009

LittleFee Skirt Tutorial & Bodice Pattern

Evie Skirt and Top
Here's a pattern & tutorial for a simple LittleFee skirt. I've also included a link to the Bodice pattern though I haven't created a tutorial for it.
Patterns can be found here:
Skirt Tutorail 1
1. Put two pieces of cotton fabric right sides together. You could use two different fabrics to make the skirt reversible.
2. Pin the pieces of fabric together so they don’t slide.
3. Using a Mark-Be-Gone pen trace the pattern onto the fabric.
4. With your machine on a short stitch length (I like 2 or 3) do a straight stitch along the waist and hem of the skirt.
NOTE: On the pattern this is the red lines. I used white thread on the fabric so that it would show up for the tutorial.
Skirt Tutorail 2
5. Cut out your skirt leaving seam allowences along the edges you sewed (The waist and hem).
6. Clip along the curve of the waist and hem.
7. Turn inside out.
8. Press or iron.You should now how a 'tube'.
9. Tuck in the outside open edges so that the raw edges are hidden in the tube.
10. Press again.
Skirt Tutorial 3
12. Stitch up the open edges of the skirt.
13. Attach either a snap or velcro to the ends on opposite sides so they over lap.
14. Embelish or decorate to your hearts content.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Little Fee Sock Tutorial and Pattern
Spent some time sewing this weekend and wanted to share a simple tutorial and pattern for making LittleFee socks. I like to make doll clothes such as T-Shirts and socks from human shirts. I can never find the correct fabric and scale at the fabric store. But I can easily find stripped shirts on sale at Old Navy. The pink shirt in the tutorial was $2 - far cheaper than what I can find at the fabric store.
Sock Tutorial 1
This pattern is easy peasy when you use fabric from a shirt as you can use the hemmed edging for the top of the sock. You can adjust the height of the sock to be below or above the knee.
1. Using the hem of a shirt fold over right sides against each other.
2. Pin so that the fabric doesn't slip and the pattern lines up correctly.
3. Using a Mark-Be-Gone pen trace the pattern onto the fabric.
4. With your machine on a short stitch setting (I usually use 2 or 3) stitch on the line you drew.
Sock Tutorial 2
5. Cut out the sock leaving enough room on the edge for a seam allowence.
6. Repeat all the steps so that you have 2 socks.
7. Run the sock under water so the 'mark be gone' lines disappear.
7. Allow to dry then turn inside out.
Little Fee Sock Tutorial and Pattern

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Our Lazy Sunday Morning
Sunday Morning
I made baked Brie! It looks a bit like something served at Whooville. The recipe came from a good friend and it's so very yummy.
Baked Brie

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer And Hamming It Up

Behind the door
Bean loves the camera. She'll twirl and jump, make funny faces just to see what kind of pictures I'll take. She adores being the center of attention.
Summer has been flying by fast, I've been working a lot which makes me appreciate every second all the more. We've started to play a new game - One Lie One Truth. Where each person tells two stories or facts about themselves. One must be a lie, the other true and the other players. It's a great way to learn more about each other.

Bean made this candy airplane at the Arlington Fly in and was so proud she wanted me to share a picture of it.
Candy plane

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A few weekends ago

I am behind on blogging as I'm currently working crunch time. But in between the long hours I'm getting a few things done around the house. I cleaned up the top of the china case, and have started work on sorting the linen closet. In an effort to simplify things we are getting rid of all the sheet sets but 2 per bed. It's not neccessary for a family of 3 to have 7 sheet sets. It's an excessive waste of space. So off to the thrift store they'll go. I'm using those vacume bags to hold blankets and fabric bins to organize the remaining items.
Two weekends ago we went to the Highland Festival in Anacortes. We saw family, boffer fighting, cattle dogs, pony riding and rain. Lots and lots of rain. But before we were rained out Bean participated in throwing a stuffed sheep over a pole winning a medal she was very proud of and made a shield and clan flag in the children's art tent. After the festivities we headed over to R's aunt and uncles house for some amazing home made chili and smoked salmon.


Bean riding the pony

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Some Thrifting
I wanted to share some recent thrift store and doll show finds. We went to the doll show a few weeks back and had an absolute blast. Bean and I spent time together digging through boxes of old doll clothing and beanie babies - the later of which was for her. Then we followed it up with dinner at the Rainforest Cafe - and it really sucks. The decor might be fun but the food is just over priced, tasteless and nasty. Even the children's burger was burned so badly that Bean wouldn't eat it. I don't think we'll ever be going back.

Vintage doll dress, the cutest pink vintage jewelry box ever (I really love this find), 2 small watches, a clip, some hand made embrodiered napkins, a pin and my favorite - a vintage goody swan hair clip that I only paid $2 for. The doll show was really empty this time which allowed me some good finds.

My pippos 'Amelia' in a vintage doll dress and a cameo necklace. The quality of the dress is amazing. I almost think someone made it out of their wedding gown.

A vintage Norcrest swan. I want to put pearl necklaces in it.

And finally some vintage pillowcases. They are so soft, light and airy. And their new home is on my sewing room futon.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 03, 2009

4th of July Weekend

My lovely 3 day weekend started with this:

Banana Muffins with peanut butter chocolate chips! So very yummy. The recipe comes from this wonderful site that has the greatest music:
Then Bean and I headed off to do this:

Berry Picking at Stocker Farms. It's the last weekend for strawberries. We had a race to see who could fill up their bucket the most and Bean beat me by a pound. Such a good price we ended up with almost 6lbs of strawberries for $10. After picking we went to their store and bought a couple of ice creams, lemons, honey and some wonderful honey sticks.

We have so many strawberries. Most are very tiny but oh so sweet. I washed them, sliced them and made a pie, enough strawberry shortcake for 2 desserts, put some in the freezer and saved the large ones to dip in chocolate.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some recent thrifting. The vintage train case I'm going to repurpose to hold some craft supplies. I don't know what I'll do with the patterns. But I love the vintage styles. The first has an old black rotary phone, the second is a sack style dress with a tie - I can't imagine it looking all that flattering but love that they are all wearing pearls. The last is a simple Jackie O coat pattern.
Please excuse our poor deck. I had repainted it less than 6 months ago with Behr. And it peeled in the winter cold. It's under warrenty but I've been to busy to pursue it. It'll have to be sanded and repainted again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Ren!

No matter how old we get - we'll always stay young at heart.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Portland - father's day, birthdays, cooking and Rock Band

It's R's 40th birthday so we drove down to Portland for the weekend to see our good friends Chad and Bree who were also celebrating Chad's birthday and throwing a party. We took my new picnic basket from Target and stopped along the way at a rest stop for a small picnic and some dog walking. The traffic was absolutely horrid and the goodies in the basket really helped. Although I adore the basket as it's woven with a red check lining the handles are absolute crap and can't support the weight of a full basket.

We started the next day with breakfast at a cute little place called Old Wives Tales. They had a little painted room that the kids could play in and the menu had all kinds of unusual but yummy foods.

Acrossed the street was a cool old building with a retro looking 7-up sign. Portland has some of the best buildings, so much quirk and history.

Later in the day Bree, Bean and I spent time in the kitchen. Bree's kitchen is beautiful, sunny with a vintage style that inspires and comforts. I now understand all those chick flicks about cooking in Tuscany. It was such an amazing experience. I'm not the most skilled person in the kitchen and I learned so much from her. And I watch Bean thrive as she did things she'd never tried. I felt reconnected with things I feel I missed out on when my parents died - skills in the kitchen and a sense of self. I'm now commited to spending more time with Bean in the kitchen. Making food that takes time which rewards us with time to connect to each other.

We made a wonderful salad and Bree made the cake of awsomeness. Her cake was amazing and all the food was a huge hit at the party. We drank, ate and played some Rock Band. Even Bean got in on the action wowing all the adults with her vocals. I think we're going to have to spring for the Beatles Rock Band when it comes out. Bean and I left the party early leaving the adults to continue the merry making. But it was a very enjoyable weekend.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Petite Ai and Pippos Sundress Pattern & Tutorial

Sundress pattern - Tools
1/4 or 1/2 a yard of fabric - depends on the print of the fabric.
Sewing Machine ruffler foot
Mark-B-Gone Pen
One of those tube turner things - I forget it's official name.
1 Snap
Patterns for Petite AI, Pippos and MSD:
Note: The pink edges of the pattern do not have seam allowences. You will do some sewing on the bodice before you cut the pieces out of the fabric. The stitch length should be small - 2 or 3.
Step 1: The skirt
1. There is no pattern for the skirt as it is just a rectangle. You will want to figure out how long you want the skirt to be then add in seam allowences. Take into consideration the length of any trim added to the hem. You will want the rectangle to be as wide as possible. I usually cut it 5 1/2 inches long by 45 inches wide - running it the whole length of a piece of fabric. When using the ruffler foot it is better for it to be to long than to short. You can also hand gather the skirt but the ruffler will give you consistent and neat little pleats - plus it makes it so much easier.
2. Hem the bottom of the skirt. Iron or press the hem. Add any desired trim to the hem. Gather the top of the skirt - either by hand or run it through the ruffler. Iron the top of the skirt so the pleats lie flat. If using the ruffler I would recommend sewing at the top of the skirt again, following the line from the ruffler. This will stop the pleats from sliding when attaching the skirt.
Step 2: The bodice
Sundress pattern step 1
1. Put two pieces of fabric right sides together. This will be the bodice and the lining.
2. Use the washable end of the Mark B Gone pen, outline the pattern on the fabric. When using prints watch the placement so that the print is straight.
3. Pin the fabric together.
4. Sew the arm holes, neck holes and back seams. On the pattern these are the lines drawn in pink.
Step 3: Cut and Wash
Sundress pattern step 2
1. Cut out the bodice. On the unsewed lines cut along the Mark-B-Gone pen. On the edges you sewed you will need to leave a seam allowence.
2. Clip the fabric along the curve of the arm holes and neck noles.
3. Wash and let the fabric dry. The Mark-B-Gone pen lines will now have disapeared.
Step 4: Turn the bodice inside out.
Sundress patter step 4
1. Insert the tool from the bottom hole of the front and through the bottom of the back.
2. Using the little hook - grasp the fabric and pull the back section in to and through the shoulder and front of the bodice. Turing it inside out. Repeat for the other side.
Step 5: The finish
sundress pattern step 5
1. Iron the bodice flat. Don't worry if it wrinkles a bit on the shoulders as this section will be on a curve.
2. Add any trims or decorative elements such as ribbons, buttons, or lace.
3. Sew up the sides under the arm hole. Do a fitting on the doll before attaching skirt. That way you can adjust the side seams if they are to large or small.
4. Attach skirt to bodice. I fold over the edge so the raw hem is not exposed.
5. Trim off the skirt if it's too long and turn over the other edge.
6. Sew up the back of the skirt.
7. Add the snap.
If you'd like some inspiration I have some other dresses in my flickr account using this pattern:
Bean's Play: Hard Knock Life, Junie B Jones, & Jigsaw Jones

Bean's spring acting and musical theater classes are over. For her final class the kids put on a play for the parents. First they did an act from Junie B Jones and Bean played Junie's friend Herb. Then they did an act they created on their own of Jigsaw Jones and Bean played a kid bouncing a ball. For the final class they sung two songs from Annie. We loved seeing how she interacted with the other kids. She fit in so well with them, and they gave each other hugs good bye. It was everything we could have wanted out of the class.

If only some of the parents showed that same kindness.

Before each class all the parents lined up outside the class studio. For the second class this one family - you can see the old red haired woman in my picture, charged up to the front of the line demanding to get in first. Her second niece was playing one of the 'Annies'. One of the dads stepped up and told them to go back and wait in line. So she went storming to the back giving us all the pig eye. To my families misfortune she sat in front of us. Bean was directly in front of us and we had a perfect view. This woman's kid was on the right side of the room. We were in the back row by choice so that R could stand in the isle and record as they requested. So in the middle of the song this old broad got out of her chair, crossed over a few seats to stand directly in front of R as he's recording and starts taking pictures of her kid. I suspect she was intentionally trying to get in his way as she had a perfect view from her front row seat of her child. I traded places with R so he could continue filming and she completely blocked his camera. After the first song she went back to her seat. But on the second song she got up and did it again this time crowding into my space while I was taking pictures. So I flipped my camera to flash and started timing my pictures to screw up her's. I couldn't make a bigger scene - but man did I want to.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lazy Sunday

We're all suffering from some sort of illness today. I suspect the food we ate at the bowling alley did not agree with any of us. So I spent a good chunk of the day in the sewing room. As I sewed Bean was curled up on the futon playing her DS making for a very nice overcast day.

I found this vintage cameo brooch at the thrift store for $1. I don't think it's that old, but the buttery yellow woman is very pretty with the delicate pink painted flowers. My sewing room is full of pretty fabrics, girlie dolls and lovely vintage things.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bean's Bully

R picks Bean up from daycare after work. I usually make it home a couple of hours later - although lately i've been in crunch mode and have been getting home late. Friday after he picked her up he noticed she was acting very odd. After a bit he finally got her to open up about what happened. There's a girl named Serena in her daycare that's been bullying her. We've been working with her to deal with the girl who has a very 'Nellie Olsen' attitude. Friday though it escalated. It was Serena's birthday and she had declared that everyone should do what she says as it's her special day. She then asked who wanted to play with her. Bean offered and Serena says 'No. Not YOU.' Bean has another friend in her daycare that she adores named Kyle. He is closer to age to her, they play pokemon together, we've had playdates and he's what she considered one of his best friends. His mom also works there in the classroom.

Kyle tells Bean to come along and play anyways and be a 'spy'. Serena then tells Bean that she can't play with them because she's a cry baby, Bean tells her that she's not that way any more - she has made huge changes to her maturity this year and is better at handling her emotions. I'm proud of her for understanding that.

Serena then takes Kyle aside and shortly after that Kyle and Serena walk up and Kyle slaps Bean a crossed the face. Bean pushes him away then Serena comes up and shoves Bean hard. Bean push her away from her and at this point Kyle's mom notices what is going on. She breaks it up and tries to get Bean to tell her what happened - but she won't talk because she's Kyle's mom. Instead she's absolutely heart broken that the one friend she thought she could trust betrays her and humiliates her in front of her bully. She spends the rest of the day quitely by herself. Later Kyle asks her if she wants to play and she (thank god) tells him no.

It was so hard for her to tell her Daddy what happened. When I came home she couldn't say it again - he told me and I told her how very wrong it was. How it's not her fault. How what they did wasn't acceptable, cruel, heartless and stupid. She opened up and was able to talk to me about it. I took her out for ice cream and we talked - I depowered Serena by comparing her to Nellie Olsen and told her how stupid Kyle was. I got her to laugh. This morning she woke up in tears again, heart breaking sobs that he had betrayed her and hit her.

I'm pissed as all hell. I can barely hide it.

The daycare is closed over the weekend. I'm taking her into school on Monday then going in to the daycare and talking to the director. I don't blame Kyle's mom - we know her and know that she'll do what a good parent will and in a way I feel for her that this affects her job. But there had better be a bully policy in their handbook.

On a lighter side. We took Bean to a birthday party and she had so much fun. It was for a girl from school . It was good to see Bean amoung friends who were kind and fun to each other. The girls even have a secret handshake that they do with a chant they made up. Bean asked me to make her a doll and I made a poppet and small felt fairy doll to go with her that I had to finish in the car. It was a hit at the party and I had another mom ask if I would make one for her. She's a quilter and we might do a swap. I was just relieved to see Bean connect with people who were nice people.