Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun Pencil Pouch

I used this awesome tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew to make this cute pencil pouch for a special girl! She is very into owls this year and since I am also very into owls I was most excited to break out my fun owl flannel and make something special for her.

It was my first time making my own piping and that went surprisingly well. The zipper gave me a little grief, but I have come to expect that from zippers. They are trouble makers.

Enjoy Anna! I miss seeing you and your mom everyday as I do car circle.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Projects Projects & More Projects

I have been behind on blogging. Partly because I've been lazy and partly because several of my projects where wedding gifts and I could not post them until the wedding actually occurred. So here is what I've been working on:

Here is a birthday cake party dress. It includes a bonnet and undies that match. 

 I used this pattern to make Hannah the PJs she is pictured in below. It's not the world's greatest pattern. It's a little tricky to follow. 

 Hannah in her new PJs. She really likes them. She says "woof woof" when she wears them. Too cute. :) 

The entire doll outfit collection. I made two sets. One set for the North Carolina LLL Conference Silence Auction and one for the girls for Christmas. The first is an all satin princess gown with lots of fun, fancy stitching. The second is a dolphin beach outfit with a wrap around top and shorts. (It's a Cabbage Patch Kids pattern that my mom used to make clothes for my dolls!) There are two diapers. And then the cupcake party dress pictures above. They were fun but a ton of work! Doll clothing is pretty much the same as kids clothing but a million times smaller. I am done with itty bitty arms holes for a while. I hope they go for a lot at the auction and raise money for the LLL. I sure wish I could be there! 

I made this skirt for myself with the Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt Pattern. It's hard to see the layers in this picture because I have not washed it yet. But you can see them in the link. It was really fun and rather easy! I think I'll do the apron skirt next. 

I got these at a great clearance price at Target. They are kitchen towels.

I made this reversible tote bag with them! I used this tote for Ella and Pete's wedding gift. I titled it "Oh Sweet Pea." I also made a round cloth basket and towel with a sweet pea applique on it. They turned out super cute but I forgot to get a picture. Missy filled the basket with her wonderful Naked Beauty products. 

 The inside of the tote bag. I think it turned out really well. It's a great size for the Farmer's Market. I have several of the towels left so perhaps I'll make my own bag.

Ella and Pete's wedding quilt. I had grand plans of doing a fancy bed sized quilt, but life got in the way of those plans. Instead I made this simple throw quilt. It's a rag quilt made of very soft flannel. I picked the colors because they reminded me of the beautiful blue skies we backpacked under in Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. (Both Ella and Pete attended Widjiwagan with me.) Their wedding was absolutely beautiful. I could not imagine a better celebration of their love for each other. Everything was so personalized and very Ella and Pete -ish. I also got to see many old friends from camp. It was such a blessing to celebrate with Ella and Pete and catch up with dear friends!

So those are my recent projects. Next up is a couple dressed for the girls. I purchased some really fun fabric at Jo Ann's the other day. I have Ella's dress half done. I'll finish them up tomorrow. I got a great deal on black t-shirts at Target today and I plan to do some fun Halloween applique on them. 

I am in Christmas mode as well! I've got the doll dressed for the girls done already. Their big gifts will be bean bag chairs and I can't wait to get started on those! Of course I have other special projects for friends and family as well, but I can't say what they are, because unlike my girl's they can read this blog! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The girls and I spent the morning "camping" in the living room. Ella clearly is not a minimalist when it comes to camping. She will learn so much when she attends Widjiwagan!

Here is Ella's tent:
(Two pillows, microphone, two blankets, bear, Pinkalicious doll, several books, & pull along dog.)

Hannah's Tent:
(Finger puppet, tissue box cover, book, & small box)

Clearly Hannah is not too traumatized by her lack of "camping" supplies, as she all smiles. (On another note - It may be time for her first hair cut! She's kind of a shaggy beast!)
And Ella was happy too!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Books Reports - Catching Up!

I have been reading a ton, but I have not been reporting on my reading. So here is my quick list of books and reviews:

1. Blink-ThePower of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell - A super interesting read! Non-fiction and really intriguing book about how our minds work and make decions/come to conclusions.
2. The Tall Pines Polka by Lorna Landvik - She wrote one of my favorite books, Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons. Since reading that I have read several of her other books. This one was not as good as Angry Housewives, but much better then Welcome to the Great Mysterious. It was on par with Patty Jean's House of Curls. The characters were likable and memorable, but the story line was pretty out there. It was a good summer read.

3. Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon - Creepy book about a missing girl, but a GOOD creepy book. It will keep you up until 4 AM reading because you'll want to figure it out. And right when you think you have figured it all out it twists again.

4. Do Tampons Take Your Virginity: A Catholic Girl's Memoir by Marie Simas - Meh, it was 99 cents for my Kindle. It was recommended because I liked Tina Feys' Bossypants. It did not change my life. I am not sure it is worth 99 cents.

Currently I am reading At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. It's super interesting and I am learning a ton! I am loving it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kato & Park Adventures

The girls and I went down to Mankato this past week for three days to help my mom out. She had surgery on her foot and needs to be off her feet for two weeks while it heals. Asking my mother to be off her feet is like asking a bird not to fly, it's trouble! But she has done a pretty good job so far. I know exactly where I get my stubbornness from though. :)

Today we went on an adventure to one of the Minneapolis wadding pools. They are grand! They are clean, fun, and FREE. There are over 60 wading pools in Minneapolis, so clearly we had several to choose from. We went to the one at Waban Picnic area at Minnehaha Park. We had a picnic and then the girls got to play in the water. Ella enjoyed running around, but Hannah was the happiest sitting on the edge scooping water. Luckily there was even shade, so we didn't have to worry too much about the girls and the sun. I even visited with a mom who was nursing her little guy, who lives in the neighborhood we want to buy in. Perhaps we'll run into her and family again. She was very nice. After our trip to the wadding pool we went up to see Philip's dad in Lino Lakes. We had a good time visiting with him and eating hot dogs for dinner. (The girls were of course thrilled as they love playing trucks with Grandpa and eating hotdogs! Two great things at once!)

The girls playing at the wadding pool. They were too cute!

The girls keeping Oma company while she rested her foot. Ella Bean loved watching movies with Oma on the iPad. Hannah enjoyed cuddles.

My parent's dog, Maura, is one persistant beast. I don't know how many times I pushed her to the other side of the bed so that I could actually have room to sleep. Oh Maura, she likes to cuddle as well. Just like Hannah.

Bean is a super hero, watch out world!

Ella Bean's Vintage Flour Sack Apron Dress

I was sewing at my parent's house a couple weeks ago and eyed up a beautiful, vintage, hand embroidered flour sack my mom had hanging in her sewing room. Since she didn't have any particular plans for it, she let me use it to make Ella Bean a splendid dress! I used the Portabellopixie - Claire pattern. The patterns are not necessarily easy to sew, but the directions are very well written. I had to modify the pattern a wee bit to make the skirt longer, due to the size of the embroidery.

I found the skirt and bodice fabric at Firefly Quilt Shop in Mankato, MN. When I saw it I knew it would be a perfect match with the flowers on the flour sack. It was meant to be.

I used another part of the flour sack for the back of the apron, so there is even a little special touch on the backside.

The sash was fun and sort of unique.

Well there it is. I am so excited for Ella Bean to see it in the morning! I hope she loves it. Thank you mom for the flour sack. I am glad you and Oma have a good eye for estate sale treasures!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tutti Fruitti Fun!

Here is a skirt I made for Hannah with the Tutti Fruitti fabric from Joanna's. I made a very similar one for Ella Bean. (I just reversed the fabrics.) I believe all the Tutti Fruitti fabric is on sale right now. I added a fun lace trim as well. (It's hard to see in the picture.)

Up-Cycling Part I - Sweater to Backpack

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to do some up-cycling with my sewing projects. So here is one project I have done.

Philbert had a grey Eddie Bauer sweater a lot like this. (I forgot to take a picture before I cut it up... oops.) It didn't fit him well. So I commandeered it and felted it in the dryer.

I saw this in People Magazine while waiting at the doctor's office. Suri Cruise has one cool backpack. I would argue the shoes are over the top for a small child, but that is another story. The backpack costs $50 and then some. I will not spend that. I am glad Miss Cruise's parents would... clearly they love her a lot. ;)

Here is my version of the backpack, using the up-cycled sweater. I loved sewing with wool. It still does not have eyes. I am not sure what to use for eyes. Applique eyes? Button eyes? What do you think?

Bean loves her new backpack. I think it looks a little more like a bunny then a dog, but that's ok. My next backpack will be made with an up cycled blazer/sport coat. I am thinking brown corduroy. I'll change a few things on attempt number two, but I am excited to hunt for the blazer. Perhaps I'll make a trip to the Shakopee Goodwill tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dear Dogs & Cats

Our Little Family - before our human kiddos came along.

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

* My dad sent this to me and I though it was pretty funny. :)

Escaping the Heat

Well, we tried to escape the heat by heading North to Duluth, MN and Ely, MN. We made a valiant effort, but it was still toasty. We had a great time in Duluth visiting my Oma, aunt Cathy, uncle Bob, and cousin Kyle. It's such a blessing to be close to everyone again. The girls had a great time. I enjoyed several late night conversations with Oma. It's one of my favorite parts about visits to Duluth. I think that Bode enjoyed himself the most of all. Oma spoiled him with treats and took him on walks. He didn't really want to leave. I think she enjoyed his company as well.

We spent a day up in Ely, MN as well. One of former campers, Helena, had her AE banquet at camp and it was an honor to attend. We spent several hours at Widjiwagan, just walking around and exploring with the girls. I love that everything is pretty much the same. I can't wait for the girls to attend Widjiwagan and I am already excited to hear about their trips. (I better start saving money now!)

The girls coloring with Oma. :)

Hannie beats the heat by being cute. It's easy for her.

Bode had a grand time in Duluth. Oma spoiled him rotten with treats and brought him on walks early in the morning when it was not so hot. Aunt Cathy also loved on him. It's good to be Bode.

The highlight of Ella's weekend was throwing rocks. She threw rocks in Lake Burnside and Lake Superior. It made her very happy.

Ella read to a giant moose in Ely, MN.

Oma threw rocks with Ella. Oma is very good at skipping rocks. Ella just likes to throw rocks. The bigger the better. Oma founds some grand, BIG, rocks for Bean to throw. I am so glad we get to visit Oma now. It makes my heart happy.

Life is good! (Please note that there were NO waves on lake Superior. It was crazy calm, and crazy hot.)

My former camper and I at Widji. It was so great to see her and see her with her AE campers! I love Widji so much. I especially love that it does not change all that much. I had not been back in about 7 years, but it was all pretty much the same*. I even saw several familiar faces. Kathy, the cook. (Who still remembers my love for her food, especially her ice cream.) Patty, another former camper. I was her intro counselor and now she is leading an Explorer trip! Kurt, who I worked with, and is now admin. It was grand.

Ella Bean at Chapel Point. She'll attend Widji in 9 years. :)

Hannie sitting in front of Kirby waiting for dinner. She'll attend Widji in 11 years.

* One change I am not thrilled about is the no skinny dipping rule. That makes me sad for many reasons, but that is post for another day. A post that I am pretty sure most folks would not be all that interested in.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Life In Minnesota Thus Far...

We have been very busy since arriving in Minnesota. Really too busy to realize that we are living here. It still feels like summer vacation and that we are only here for a few weeks. It does not help that the town home and suburb we are currently living in is temporary, only for a year. Anywho, we are making the best of it and getting settled. Here are some photos of our latest adventures.

How can you not love this goof ball?! I think she is getting a little shaggy. There may be a haircut in her future. Although I am waiting because after I got Bean's 1st haircut she didn't look like a baby anymore and it made me sad. :(

Bean, Hannah (she's on my back), and I on the carousel at Como Zoo. Ella really enjoyed the ride.

Hannah has a love for shoes. She digs my shoes out of the closet and tries to wear them around the house. She's a hoot.

The covered buttons I made for Bean's Dr. Suess dress. She helped me with them, but only because it was too "buggy" to play outside. She did tell me that when she grows up she'll be a sewer like mommy. It was very sweet.

Bean wearing the Dr. Suess dress I sewed for her, while holding her Urtle the Turtle. She wanted to hold Hop on Pop, Horten, and Fox in Socks as well, but could not balance them all.

We continued the tradition of watching the North Mankato Fun Days parade from the Johnson's house. Bean found the treat table quickly. :)

Hannah spent most of the parade running between Oma, Opa, Dad, and Mom. She only tried to run away to a new family once. We caught her. :)

Bean was thrilled with her candy collection from the parade.

We've been hanging out with Lisa and Pete and it's been grand. I can't tell you how thrilled we are to be close to them again. They are great friends and we always have a wonderful time with them!

We went to Como Zoo and the girls had a great time Hannah saw the zebras and said "doggie, woof, woof." What a goofball.

We had a fanastic time being part of Seth and Laura's wedding! (Yes, we are wearing clothes, they got cut off in the picture... it wasn't that kind of party! Get your head out of the gutter Seth Boyd.)
The happy couple! Their wedding was a beautiful celebration of their love for each other and their love for their family and friends.

(We also attended Renee and Dustin's wedding. It was a beautiful garden wedding and fit them perfectly! In true Megan form I brought the camera and left it in the car. Oh dear.)