Wednesday, April 29, 2009

and baby makes five...

'Cause we got a kitten. Meet Gertie.

One might question the wisdom of entering the world of pet ownership at this stage in our lives, but my mother-guilt finally made me succumb. If you saw my kids dragging around a ribbon with a loop tied in the end (like a leash) and pretending it's attached to their invisible pet, you might understand. Then again maybe I'm just a sucker. Either way, the deed is done and it's been a little like a trial run for having a newborn in the house.

The cat was originally named Gerta by the Humane Society employees. Rich nixed that one right away. Then when names like "Ook" (courtesy of Gage) and "Lovey" (Audrey) started being batted around, the need for quick and decisive action became apparent. So Gertie it is.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A few finished projects...

N'kay. So I owe you documentation that I am indeed finishing some of the projects I've mentioned starting lately.

First, the crocheted scarflette. I'm not sure I'll ever wear this one. But the process of making it scratched an itch for a day or two, so I suppose it's done it's duty. Any scarflette opinions out there? They look cute in photos, but I'm not sure how well they translate in "real life", you know?

Next, a patchwork scarf, inspired by the one in Denyse Schmidt Quilts. I love hers in the book. All brown wools and tweeds interspersed with bits of red and peach accented print, backed with a soft, peachy silk. But, alas. I had a black coat to match. So there you go.

And, finally, a pair of cozy wristlets made from a wool sweater of Rich's that I felted and hacked (thanks, hon!). My favorite kind of project - simply made with what I had on hand and, start to finish, only took about an hour. And I actually wore something I made! Perfect.

In fact, here's proof - a shot of me wearing both the wristlets and the scarf (you can see bits of them, right?). I'm the one in black sitting next to the gorgeous girl in green (my sis-in-law, Cindy) on the subway.

Not a very timely post, I guess, what with the cold weather accessories and all. Ah, well. The scarf and wristlets were great to have in NYC. I love wristlets! So practical. And it was kind of nice being one of the only tourists not sporting a $5 souvenir pashmina around my neck. (Not that I didn't totally succumb to the pressure and come home with six of them anyway. )

I should learn not to make promises of future posts, but I hope to show you some of the maternity clothes I've put together some time this week. And maybe, just maybe, a quilt. Or, at the very least, a quilt top. I mean it this time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

see you next week...

Well, I made it through and accomplished almost all of my goals this weekend. I finished Audrey's Easter dress, supported the husband and got him off on his trip, had a great day of worship and fellowship with friends yesterday, and supplied Easter baskets that, if not filled with gourmet confections and handmade stuffies, more than satisfied the kids. As any collection of sugar-laden, mega-processed, spare-yourself-the-mommy-guilt-and-ignore-the-ingredients food products will.

I did not, however, make Gage's tie. Poor kid. At least he's blissfully unaware of my neglect. The kid really couldn't care less about what he wears to church. Especially since we've established that the Storm Trooper costume is definitely out of the question.

What I failed to realize in my planning for this week was that, of course, Rich would want to take the camera to Brazil with him. So, no pictures of Easter, or anything else this week, for that matter.

I'm using my camera-less state as a good excuse to take a short blogging break. My sewing goals for the week: work on (and perhaps finish?) this, make some of these, and, yes, still try to get around to the tie.

Wish me luck and catch you next week!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Okay, so the plan was to finish the dress and have pictures up for you by this morning, but that fell by the wayside when I ended up having to spend last night in the hospital. Nothing too scary, just some strange pregnancy related stuff going on that keeps all of my pregnancies exciting and eventful.

I'm good now - and most importantly, home - but definitely not up for a photo shoot. I figured out the buttonhole issue and finished the dress, though. So that's moving in the right direction. Except that, true to form, I'm not happy with it and am trying to figure out how to squeeze in some alteration time tomorrow between watching Rich run this in the morning and helping him get off to Brazil in the afternoon. Oh, and Gage is still expecting his tie by Sunday morning.

I think I'll go take a nap.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

learning curve

Have I mentioned that Blogger is making me INSANE??? Just had to say that. And ask for your patience. And a blind eye to annoying formatting mistakes.

progress, bit by aching bit

Okay, so this picture isn't the best, but I had to document that I am, indeed, making progress on Audrey's new dress. I was rocking along yesterday, thinking to myself, "Wow. I think this is actually going to be the first project that I haven't screwed up in some small step along the way. My seam ripper is happily resting in it's little cubby, unneeded by me, Master Seamstress. La la la..."


This is what I call "Sewing Karma". Just as soon as I go getting prideful, I trip over some totally avoidable flub up. This time it wasn't terrible - I just have one seam to rip out. The real problem is that I'm ripping a seam to make a buttonhole (that I forgot I needed) and my machine is not cooperating on buttonholes these days. And I am so close to finishing this dress.

I'm considering handsewing the buttonhole. I've only done that once before and it worked out well for me. But that was a much heavier fabric and on a garment I felt fine experimenting with. Hm.

Anyone out there with brilliant troubleshooting skills and a detailed understanding of Bernina's automatic buttonhole program? Surely, among my vast following of readers (snort), there's got to be someone!

See you Friday, hopefully, with good news.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I've got nothing. (Okay, well, maybe a little something.)

photo courtesy of

My goal for every single day of last week was to at least get a dress cut out for Audrey. The farthest I got was washing the fabric and futzing around with pattern ideas, finally deciding to draft my own. Which terrified me when I thought of cutting into Liberty fabric with an untested, self-drafted pattern (even if it is a really simple one), so I, of course, will have to make a trial run dress before I start the actual new spring dress. The self-imposed deadine for which is this coming Sunday.

So, since I have nothing to show you on that front, no decent pictures yet of this, I leave you with drool-worthy inspiration in the form of Bonpoint.

Rich and I stumbled upon this treasure trove of impeccably styled and crafted children's clothing last year in Paris. I spent as long as I could perusing, scrutinizing and memorizing the tiny, smocked, Liberty (of course) rompers, too-chic-for-kids t-shirts, and understated, yet luxurious frocks. That visit was far too short. (Rich, too, found it drool-worthy, in an entirely different way.)

In case you're wondering why I didn't bring home any of these confections for my own little prima donna, the price of one tee was right around 60 euros. But, hey, if that sounds good to you and you don't live in New York, Paris, or Rome, you now have the option of shopping Bonpoint's e-boutique. At the very least, the entire site is great for inspiration, complete with its own little pint-sized look books for the stylistically challenged.

New York was a dream trip last week, but my one regret was not getting to the Upper East Side to idea shop Bonpoint one more time. I wasn't too upset about it at the time, being exhausted and full up with girly fun, but writing this post brings it all back. I better go now before I get too worked up. Besides the fact that I totally could have had a dress cut out by now.

Oh, wait, I just remembered one more thing about my visit to the Parisian Bonpoint. While I was there, I met a fellow New Orleanian. She was drawling loudly to her adult daughter that she (the daughter) should seriously consider opening up a Bonpoint in her own hometown, London. As she was busily buying up one of everything in the store. Funny, chatting there with her halfway around the world from our common home, and yet still worlds apart...

Hope you have a productive day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

What I picked up in NYC...Part 2

Okay, I admit it. The thought of hitting Kinokuniya and Purl Soho played no small part in helping me decide where my sister-in-law Cindy and I should take my mom for her 60th birthday.

So when we arrived in Soho on Thursday, I wasted no time heading (oh, so casually and unselfishly) straight for Purl. Where I then spent an hour poring methodically over every bolt of fabric, giddy with the knowledge that I was actually going to choose my fabric in person rather than via the internet, while Mom and Cindy hit the streets seeking out their own shopping inspiration.

I feel pretty good about how I came out. I actually had projects in mind this time - which kept me from losing all control and buying up random bits that I would later regret not purchasing more of, since I only bought the minimum amount because I loved the print, but wasn't thinking ahead as to how I would actually use it. Not that that's ever happened. I'm just sayin'.

Okay, on to the projects. A new spring dress for Audrey,

(By the way, do you have any idea how difficult it was to choose just one Liberty print? Purl's online selection seems to be just a sampling of what they actually have in stock. In the end, I basically had to close my eyes and point to make the final decision...)

a tie for Gage,

and a patchwork quilt for the soon-to-debut Third. Who's a boy, by the way.

Okay, so I did go a little nuts over the Kokka fabrics. I went in planning to buy some of the Flying Machines fabric, couldn't decide between two colorways, and ended up with a yard of each. Cut. After which I found the robot fabric and fell immediately in obsessive love. So it seems that Gage and the baby are going to share a plane/race car/robot room. Sort of an All Things Mechanical theme.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some sewing to do...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Score! or What I picked up in NYC...Part 1

image from

I'm back from my super girly getaway to New York City - exhausted, broke and full of inspiration for new projects this spring.

No comment from those of you who know about the ridiculous, ever-growing list of things I want to make, not to mention the towering pile of unfinished projects threatening to swallow up my craft room. Like you could say anything anyway.

Fueling the insanity was a trip to Kinokuniya, a humongous Japanese bookstore across from Bryant Park that's packed with great paper goods, unique toys and gifts, and - most importantly - row upon row of beautiful books brimming with crafty inspiration and, best of all, the patterns.
Here are a couple I picked up, along with some of the projects that sold me on them. I don't know the name of the first book (sorry - I don't read Japanese), but it's full of unusual projects using wool felt. The second is Machine Made Patchwork.

Oh, and I just might have picked up an extra Machine Made Patchwork for a certain super crafter who's looking to get into quilting... I'm sure you'll be seeing her completed projects from this book long before I actually get around to finishing one myself.

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