Category Archives: Handmade Projects

Fall catchup 3 – home projects

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Hubs, the best husband in the world, made me these glorious jewelry racks. They are on the wall leading to our master bath. So, so nice. I smile a little every time I walk by. And I’m wearing more of my jewelry and in different combinations than I was before. Buh bye dusty jewelry alcove!


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Fall Catchup 2 – decorations

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The family and I went on a gorgeous, autumn-day walk a few weeks ago and collected leaves. I pressed them between some heavy books for a few days then let the girls go to town with the modge podge and some paint brushes. After letting them dry for an hour or so I tied them with some hemp rope I’ve had in the craft supplies since the late 90′s and my small stint with macrame.
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I wanted to do a quick solo paper crafting project and I saw this tutorial with free template. If it seems like my mantle is covered in every thing that doesn’t have a home in my living room, that’s because it is!

My gal pal Anne and I crafted these origami stars for the holiday season. I’m not sure yet where they are going. I’ll figure it out this week. A garland maybe? I also want to doing a felt ball garland. I’ve got the roving all ready, now I just need to get to it!
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Fall catchup 1

So much to catch up on! First off, I never showed you our costumes. The girls were sick on Halloween, so we missed trick-or-treating. Bummer!! But luckily, we got to attend a neighborhood costume party before the big day, so we all got to wear the costumes I worked so hard on! Q went as Rapunzel and PZ was Pippi Longstocking. I used the following tutorials for Rapunzel’s dress, Pippi’s jumper, and their wigs.

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PZ and I tie-dyed her “long stockings”, which was fun.  We just used the legs from one of the pairs of tights I cut during wig production. And if you don’t know why Q is carrying a frying pan, you obviously haven’t seen the movie, Tangled, enough times.
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I got to do some fun make-up for myself, and these fake flowers in my hair were just held in with bobbi pins. So easy! I was by far the scariest face at the party! But I don’t think I scared too many toddlers. Boo!

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Hubs went as a pirate. PZ thought this was appropriate since Pippi’s dad was also a pirate. In case you are wondering what PZ is holding, she’s got Mr. Nilsson (Pippi’s monkey) around her neck and her horse, Old Man. She’s also got an umbrella, because it’s Portland.

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Did anyone else make a Rapunzel or Pippi. Feel free to link! Next I want to show you my DIY autumn decorations, but that’s a-whole-nother post!

October = Month of Sickness

So basically at least one if not both of my girls and myself have been sick every day this month. Yesterday was the first day in two weeks that I’d had both girls back in school. Today, Q is back on the couch. Boo!

Needless to say my Random Object Illustrations have been sidelined, but I do have some pictures from the month that I wanted to share from those rare moments of sun and health.

An ROI

A Foundry find

The Rapunzel Halloween costume I made for Quinby

Nana’s knit dress on Q

I chose the materials and my friend Yancey hand-knit this gorgeous sweater. Yay!

Emily Alexander’s shadow puppet theater

Nature walk find

PZ and I made Pippi’s “long stockings”

Everyday is Halloween when you have your favorite skeleton

I’ve finished Q’s Rapunzel wig and am almost done with PZ’s Pippi wig. Fingers crossed that we are all healthy in time for our friend’s Halloween party on Sunday and of course trick-or-treating on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Inspires Art

It has been a gorgeous September here in Portland, OR. Aside from being sick (for the second time this month!!), we’ve been trying to enjoy it to the fullest. Q and I have been going on nature walks every afternoon after her preschool lets out. I take the dog, she takes her little basket, and we walk and talk and collect whatever we spy as pretty or interesting. No picking from gardens allowed!

A friend in the neighborhood has a huge chestnut tree or conker tree across the street from her house. Q and I gathered as many as we could this early in the season. We especially like the ones still in the seed.

Before long, we started creating art with our findings. This brought an idea to my mind and I’ve decided to try it – Random Object Illustrations. For the whole month of October I’m going to try my hand at drawing on found objects. They don’t have to be from nature per say, just whatever item catches my fancy.

I’ve bought new pens for the project, talked my friend Anne into participating in it with me, and even had a trial run with this leaf. If any one else is interested in sharing their own Random Object Illustrations feel free to contact me and we can link up, or if there is enough interest I’ll make a Flickr group.

Flexing and improving my drawing abilities is something I’m always striving for. Having a project ensures that I’ll actually set aside some time everyday for practice. And as we all know, practice makes perfect. Anyone else a total failure at piano?

Speaking of practice, I’m trying to get the hang of dairy and egg free (vegan) pancakes. I made these pumpkin, apple cider, and chocolate chips ones last week and while they were okay I wouldn’t exactly recommend them. Any tips or recipes would be much appreciated! Happy Autumn! Happy drawing! And Happy eating!

Cuckoo for Applesauce

Want to know how to turn this…

into this?

Get your husband to do it! Hah! Sorry Hubs!!

That’s 50 quarts of homemade applesauce. The family and I went up to Hood River Gorge this past weekend. It was gorgeous! We didn’t pick our own, but we did go to one of the farms on the Fruit Loop, and scored a box of Tokyo Rose, a box of Crimson Crisps, and 2 boxes of Elstars. Delish! The girls also nabbed 14lbs of Stark Crimson pears.

Hubs ended up being the lucky one to get to make and can all that lovely applesauce. (I did it last year!) Thanks Hubs! With the 1/2 a box or so that was left over, I’ve been making soups with apples out the wazoo and tonight I’m planning on pumpkin and apple cider pancakes. Yay!

We also got a little creative with some apple science. More on this one later. Who else is loving apple season?

Beginning of Fall – Tuesday Thinking

This soup looks great! I’ve already made this and this in the last few days. I’m so happy to be making soup again! Yay fall!! Family Fun isn’t a site I frequent, but I found these great soup recipes on Pinterest and am delighted I gave them a try. 

I have a friend who swears by drinking ACV everyday, so I thought I’d try it. This recipe was WOW! something else. If you can get past the vinegar taste and the burning lips from the cinnamon not mixing in, it’s actually not so bad. 

We’re all back to school now and the kids both have several extra curricular activities. I realized last week while waiting through gymnastics that sitting and playing Trivie on my iphone was only going to be fun for so long. I needed something to help me feel productive. I’m easing in with this creative project. Yes, I am now that crazy woman with yarn sitting poolside during swim class.

What projects are you thinking about this week with the first sights and scents of autumn in the air?

Hula Hoops!

My friend Anne and her lovely family moved into the neighborhood back in June and this is just one of the many reasons I’m so happy they did. A crafting buddy! Anne and I made a total of 7 hula hoops on Sunday using this tutorial.

Two adult sized ones and 5 kid sized ones. All while our 4 girls aged 3-6 ran around her front yard like a three ring circus. Sorry! I couldn’t help myself. What I mean to see is they were hassling, ahem, encouraging us to hurry up so we could all get down to the fun stuff. Hula hooping! This is the hoop I made for Quinby. All the kid’s hoops we did using duct tape. Mistake! On ours we used electric tape. Much easier! And there you have it. Ta da!

Baby Goth, Party Girls, and Rusty Garden Art

One of our little friends had a birthday party tonight. This is what I made for the newly 6 year old with the instructions from her mom that she liked anything morbidly beautiful. Monster High was suggested and we did score a Monster High puzzle at the Dollar Tree.

But I wanted to make something for her, too. Going into my studio this morning, this vinage plaid struck me as perfect and black and blue were like a uniform for me in high school. Very Veronica from Heathers. You know. “Corn chips!” Anyway…

I had this little vampire from some fabric I got last Halloween. There was a really cute mummy and Frankenstein on the fabric too, but the girl said vampires are her favorite, so there ya go. It is lined with the blue pocket fabric as well because the plaid is fairly thin.

I think the sweet lace at the bottom really takes this skirt to the next level. Baby Goth! It was really fun to make and I’m totally happy with it. I wish more off the cuff projects of mine turned out so well!

The girls were giddy with excitement at getting to go to a night-time party. I even did PZ’s hair. I saw this tutorial on Pinterest, but I didn’t curl it first or use any product. Other than needing some blonde bobbi pins, I loved how it turned out and really easy!

Hubs and I were pretty excited about getting 2 hours to ourself this evening without having to pay for a babysitter. Yay! We took a long walk and had a late dinner at the SE Division food carts. Anyone tried that Gonzo place? It looks pretty yummy. This is a sunflower garden art piece I got during Plucky Maidens last week. I didn’t get the artist’s name. The man mannequin I got back in my Buffalo days. It’s been out front forever, but I think the sunflower compliments him. And, of course, our bucket tomatoes! We picked our first red one today!

The weather here has been so beautiful the last few days. Yesterday my friend Jenn Finn and I trekked out to Sauvie Island and spent the day with the girls at the beach. Simply gorgeous! The girls had a grand time playing in the sand while Jenn and I gabbed. It’s been a wonderful week and am looking forward to the weekend.

Less than two more weeks until school is back. Shew!

Local Awesomeness

Portland-area Mama, author, pattern maker, teacher, and now hopeful studio owner Shelly Dean Figuero of Figgy’s Patterns fame, needs help. Through indiegogo.com you can contribute in helping fulfill her dream of opening a sewing studio for children. I absolutely love this idea and contributed right away. I hope you do to!

 

Go here and contribute today!