Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't Eat My Son, Please

Happy Belated Halloween, Folks!

This year, as Halloween approached, I questioned my children every day, several times a day, as to what they wanted to be this year. At first Kai wanted to be a lollipop, so I set out on a mission to find the things I would need to create such a costume. Good thing I didn't actually buy anything, because as we drove home from school one day he informed me that he no longer wanted to be a lollipop. The kids at school thought it would be weird, he explained, and he was starting to think so too, so he wanted to be a vampire instead. Our first case of peer pressure. Lovely. On the plus side, we already had most of what we would need for his costume hanging in his closet, but it was still hard to see him cave like that. I was hoping Zeke would come up with something fun for me!

Every day it was something new for Zeke. Every minute it was something new for Zeke. For days he was spouting off random things with no actual desire to be any of them. Driving home from school, "I want to be a stop sign. I want to be grass. I want to be a house. I want to be a tree..." At home, "I want to be a table. I want to be fork. I want to be a cup. I want to be pizza..." Wait! Stop! Pizza!!! I could do pizza!!! Since he told me he couldn't decide on anything else except for that he didn't want to be the banana I made for Kai when he was 4, we decided that he would be pizza.

Off to the fabric store I went, coupons in hand, to stock up on felt, interfacing, thread and glue gun sticks. I had a general idea of what I would be doing, though I still had to make the final pattern. I ended up tracing Zeke on some paper and then drew around it to make the pizza shape. It wasn't precise and it was hard to tell where his head and arms would go. I didn't want it to be uncomfortable or difficult to move in, so there was a lot to think about. I ended up with a pattern I thought would work, so I got to it. After cutting all my pieces, I ironed on extra-firm interfacing to sections to help keep the triangular shape and then I sewed the pieces together, a front, a back and two sides. I also attached some adjustable straps that I salvaged off a backpack our lovely dog decided to shred. These were a great way for his shoulders to support the costume and to keep his head free and mobile. After finishing the "bones," I was able to move on to the fun stuff!!!!

I used my pattern to make a cheese shape, put sauce under the edge and hot glued everything down. I cut a hole for Zeke's face and then large X's for his arms. I cut out all the toppings out of felt and slapped those on with the glue gun as well, with only two blisters as a result. Go me! I couldn't wait for Zeke to try it on! When he did, he laughed and laughed at himself in front of the mirror. It was so cute! He wore it to school the next day and then again trick or treating last night and almost everyone who saw him made a comment about how yummy he looked or how much they loved pizza. Only two people thought he was something made with strawberries. I'll take it. :)

Love it! And Kai wasn't half-bad either, for something "normal." :) At least I got to do his hair and make-up and, with three boys, that's not something I get to say often. They both had a great time and came home with a decent haul. Of course, it's too early to think about next year for them. They'll change their minds a million times before then. But maybe I'll start thinking about something fun for me... Hmm... ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It Was A "Hit"

This past weekend we celebrated my Grandma Schulz's 90th birthday with a family get-together. We had such a wonderful time, it was so good to see everyone. For the occasion, I made a pinata. I know, it needs a squiggle over the "n," but I don't know how to do that. Just know that I know that it goes there. Anyway, I spend a couple days making it and it only took mere moments to destroy, but it was totally worth it. Knitting or sewing, it isn't, but I still put it together and it's my blog, so really, I can post whatever I want. ;)

Making a pinata is relatively easy, but a bit time-consuming. It really isn't bad at all if you can watch some TV or a movie while you work. They really don't require too much intense concentration. I made this one with a jumbo balloon, newspaper, homemade paste (flour/water), tissue paper, Tacky Glue and twine. If you'd like more specific instructions, just ask! Otherwise there are directions all over the internet on the basic pinata.

Here is my work of "art" being smashed with a baseball bat by my niece. It made it through most of the kids before being ripped wide open. Overall, I would say it was a success.

A picture taken at the party of (left to right) me, my Grandma and my sister.
I also have one completed sock. It is waiting patiently to be blocked, but it is done! I'll post pictures when that part is done, because let's face it, there may never be another one.
Next on the agenda is Zeke's Halloween costume. I thought I had until October 31st, but then remembered about the school party almost a week earlier. ACK! So, guess what I'll be doing tonight...and the next few nights. I hope it turns out as nice in real life as it looks in my head! I'll get pictures up as soon as I can, regardless. Ok, maybe not regardless, because if it's really horrible, it'll be hidden away and Zekey will be a ghost with a sheet thrown over his head with holes cut out so he can see. I don't think we even have any white sheets, so let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Time to get busy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making Lemonade AKA The Packer Pixie

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Or, in this case, when Purewool sends you two skeins of yarn that clearly aren't from the same dyelot, you make a hat instead of a pair of pants. I have been looking forward to making these "Packer pants" for a while now, so I was pretty bummed and a little ticked when the yarn wasn't a match and I wasn't sure what I was going to do.
As if on cue, a good friend of mine pointed out an adorable pattern to me, the LTK Giving Pixie Hat. Oh, the cuteness!!! And I could still make my little guy something to go with the nifty Packer onsie my mom got for him. I wasn't sure how the sizing would be and while the pattern was telling me I should probably go for a Medium, I went with the Small. I mean, this kid's head isn't that big. I then proceeded to knit to a smaller gauge. Brilliant. Soooooo... As soon as I was done knitting hat #1, I began hat #2. You live, you learn, you follow the directions...sometimes. Regardless, it was a pretty quick knit and pretty darn simple. Moving the stitch markers in and out of the work to do the decreases was kind of a pain, so after a few rounds I just pulled them out altogether and remembered where to decrease instead. It turned out great!

If we could just get him to keep it on his head... Notice how his father is holding his arms down in the first two pictures? Yeah. All of my hopes and dreams of Phinny being a baby hat model have been shattered.
And you will all (yes, all 5 of you) be shocked to hear I have started to work on Josh's socks again. I'm not sure what came over me, but I was digging through the yarn I haven't looked at in months and saw that sad, lonely, incomplete sock looking all pitiful. I couldn't just leave it there like that, so I found my double-point needles (hate those things) and got to work. Since I haven't worked on it in ages, the gauge is different from when I started, but it's just a sock and can't say I care too much. I have the ankle and heel completed and the foot started. I'm hoping to finish one tonight and start on the next one, but we'll see. I decided I don't like socks, even ones that knit up "quickly" with a worsted weight yarn, but I might change my mind for a non-solid yarn that has some pattern to it. It's always more fun to see how that type of stuff turns out. Oh, and when Josh came home and saw me working on said sock, I was laughed at. Yes, folks, laughed at. With an apology yet to be received, ownership of said sock is still pending. I hate to take this public, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
Oh, and sorry to those who have been sitting here for a month, hitting the refresh button, waiting for me to post pictures of the art smocks. I would've if I would've thought to take a picture, but it got pretty busy around here and they really weren't all that interesting. Maybe I'll take a picture of them at the end of the school year when they're covered in whatever they use in 1st grade art class. That should jazz it up some.
Well, Folks, that's all for this addition! I'll be back soon...I hope.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Imcomplete Projects, It's What I Do

Whether my fault or just bad luck, I don't complete a good chunk of what I start. Most recently, I started a dress to wear to my brother's wedding. It was my first attempt at altering a pattern and *think* I did a pretty good job, but wouldn't know for sure because, big surprise, it didn't get finished. I made a muslin of the bodice and that turned out great, fit me well. Then I cut out all the pieces for the dress, 6 pieces for the bodice and 3 for the skirt. Got down to the 4th piece of the skirt and there was a HUGE flaw in the fabric. GAAH!!! I tried every way I could to fit the piece in the correct direction and miss the flaw or at least minimize it's impact on the length of the skirt, but it just wasn't doable.

Off I ran to the nearest Jo-Ann in hopes they still had the fabric. No luck. So then I go all the way across town to the next closest Jo-Ann, and they did have it, but a different dye lot so it didn't match mine. That would be the point where I gave up. With only days until the wedding, there was no way I could hunt down the fabric in a matching shade and have the dress made in time. Off to the mall I went. *sigh*

And as you may or may not be wondering, no, I didn't finish my dress form either. We moved and it got put on the back burner. Once I confirm that it is still my size, I will be assembling it. I almost posted the pictures of the actual form portion being created, but me wrapped in duct tape looks a heck of a lot like me, silver and naked, so I couldn't bring myself to do it. I may change my mind and post them once the project is completed and I post the rest of the pictures, I am totally covered after all, it's just a weird thing to see yourself like that.

So on my updated, short-term agenda, I will be finishing my dress form, but before that I will be doing a couple art smocks for Kai and his cousin Malia, just like the ones my mom made for me and my siblings when we were kids. These shouldn't be too difficult, just dress shirts with shortened/elasticized sleeves so the kiddos have something to wear for Art class at school. We have a deadline though, so I know they will get done. I'll post pictures when I'm done because while they won't be anything exciting, at least they'll be finished. :)

Until then...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Should've Seen It Coming...

Here it is! My wonderful hooded scarf! It's hard to get a good picture of something when you aren't doing it yourself, but my husband isn't nearly as cute as I am in it, so this will have to do. :) I have another of it wrapped, but I can only stand so many pictures of myself, so use your imagination. It really is cute, so I'm almost sad that Spring is on it's way. Almost.

As for seeing it coming...the dress. I really should've expected this... I searched high and low for a sleeve that refused to be found and then I lucked out by finding the same fabric at the store I purchased from a year ago. Even they said I lucked out since it's a closeout shop. So, I was thrilled and set to work on my dress. I finished the sleeves and the band around the waist, just needed to hem it. I was too excited to wait, so I tried it on... and it didn't fit and never will. I have measured myself and I'm about back to my normal size everywhere, but the band that is supposed to run under the bust makes it's way directly across mine. Awesome. I'm not surprised, really, I have had this problem with shirts and dresses in similar styles, so I don't know what I was thinking. It's beyond any alterations I can do, so It's now back on my desk, waiting to be hemmed, but I can't bring myself to put the work into something I can't even use. But this brings me to my next project...

A dressform. I will not be buying a dressform. One of the reasons I like to make things is because it's fun, another is because I can make something unique, but another is that I don't have a lot of money to buy a wardrobe. Dressforms, if you haven't looked into buying one, are expensive. So I, with the help of my husband, will be making a dressform. I found directions on the internet and will be getting most of my supplies today, so I'll be sure to post the results soon. I'm excited about this one! Not only will I get a clone of myself (there really should be more of me around :P), I will be able to alter my patterns to fit ME, thus wasting less of my time and money and stuff that ends up not fitting. Brilliant!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mini Update

I really could've waited for this, but why would I want to? :) I finished my hooded scarf!!! I actually finished it a few days ago, but it is finished, wearable, wonderful and I'm so happy to have finally finished something for myself. I have a bad habit of starting and not finishing those projects for Me. I'll be sure to get pictures up soon, I really don't know why I haven't taken one already.
Next up on the agenda is to finish the dress I started for Easter last year. When I realized it wasn't going to fit my quickly expanding, pregnant frame, I put it on hold for other projects and just left it there. I started hand-stitching the inside of the waist, have a little machine sewing to do before I can finish up by hand, but in order to do that I have to find me a sleeve. I have no idea where it went or how, but I either have to find it or dig out the fabric and hope I can find the pattern piece. This is what I get for not finishing in the first place. I'm just hoping after all this that it will actually fit. I'm almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but still nursing, so my size isn't quite what it normally is, if you know what I mean. :)
Well, that's what we have to expect in the next week or so, a picture of a scarf and a dress that could very possible be way to tight in the chest to actually wear. Back to searching for a sleeve!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well, I tried...

I really did... One project a month. Doesn't sound hard at all...unless you have a baby that just looooooves being held. :) I did manage to get the hood portion and well over half of the scarf done for my hooded scarf and I bet I can have it done by the end of the week. As long as I get something else completed by the end of the month, I'm hoping to stay on track. So until then I'll have to make up for my lack of projects with a picture of a finished one from a month or so ago. A close friend of mine had her beautiful baby girl, Jillian, months ago and being me, it took me way too long to send along the gift. I wanted to make her a hooded towel and it was actually why I decided to go ahead and make some for the boys. I figured that while I was at it, I might as well. Jillian's was a little more fun though...

Isn't she a cutie? And making something pink is always a nice change of pace. :) I hope she gets a lot of use out of it.