Make it Perfect- Sprout

 The dress I finished last night. My first NON Oliver and S. Here it is in the strange 11pm sewing room light:
The company is Make it Perfect and the pattern in Sprout. The dress is advertised as a winter dress- lined with flannel, long sleeves, hood. Just what we needed around here.
 Notes about the pattern:
1) Make it Perfect is Australian based, so the sizing is different. I had to poke around online to guess which size translated to baby's size. I went with size four.
2) This pattern is an easier one- but I'm still glad I spent the last two years on Oliver and S. Those directions are full of hints and EVERY step needed for a professional finish. This pattern didn't have all that- but it was easy to learn what I used from my past experience.

So, the thing that had me on pins and needles all night- would the dress fit? Did I guess correctly?
 YES!! I did! It fit really well! And she wore it all day with comfort and ease. Played in it, ran it in, napped in it. Lovely.
 I've only been using fabric from my stash. It's time to make a real dent in that fabric stash. It feels great. The floral was a Liberty cotton on sale at Bolt Fabrics and the blue lining was a flannel I bought tons of at Mill End for the back of her baby quilt. I adjusted the hemming so to blue would poke out at the sleeve and the bottom hem.
 I knew pigtails would be just the thing for this dress. With a little lunch to distract her, we managed to wrangle a few hair ties in.
I would change a few things in the next go around. 1) I would either make the sleeve longer or just go up a size in the bodice. With the flannel lining, I'm worried she'll outgrow it quickly. 2) I would use the hood pattern from the school days Oliver and S jacket. It has three pieces instead of two and I like the finish of it.
I just find it amazing I can even think about veering from a pattern at ALL to make something work better for me. This sewing thing has really been a journey.... and I have so much more to learn!

So much running in the new dress meant a little time with Dada was needed. I think we'll see a lot of the dress this winter.


Ice Cream in October

Eighteen luscious, scrumptious flavors
Chocolate, lime and cherry,
Coffee, pumpkin, fudge banana
Caramel cream and boysenberry.
Rocky road and toasted almond,
Butterscotch, vanilla dip,
Butter brickle, apple ripple,
Coconut and mocha chip,
Brandy peach and lemon custard,
Each scoop lovely, smooth and round,
Tallest ice cream cone in town,
Lying there (sniff) on the ground.

-Shel Silverstein

Oliver and S. How I love! And the Ice Cream dress pattern? The best. I've made the dress four times now and the shirt version once. Maybe not 18 luscious flavors- but I'm on my way!

 This particular version is a size four. FOUR! I held it up to the six month size I first made- unreal. That thing about babies growing up fast? True. All true. (Wrinkles in the picture? Because she wore it before I did the photo shoot)
Check the adorable bunny fabric. Perfect.
I made the dress one size bigger than I thought I needed because I didn't want to work and work... then have it not fit. But, I forgot, Oliver and S does a little of that for you. So, it's a little big.

Even a little big, it's perfect for some bunny I know. She wore it all day, put toys in the pocket (is there any other reason to have a pocket?)

 Had to get the the Star Wars shot in all this. She used it as a suitcase, and went on a journey to a galaxy far far away.
Another success. Seeing her in clothes I made... worth it all.
I have another finished, she'll try it on in the morning, fingers crossed it fits. It's not an Oliver and S pattern. Still though, it turned out. Ha! Flannel lined and long sleeves- something for these winter months.


Late night

"Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me?"

I don't know. I just found myself in THAT situation. You know, the situation where I'm in a one week professional development class for graduate credit, homework to do, a baby to get to bed, and a sewing project that just HAD to be finished.
So, with most {some} of my homework behind me, I jumped in to the project. And, with a husband out of town I had nobody to hold me accountable to my bed time...well, except myself... and myself kept saying, "one more letter, one more letter"

 For this project I used a tutorial I found through pinterest- it led me to Chez Beeper Bebe and her tutorial. I changed her letter template- I realized (I think) that she was just using Arial black on an outline setting, and I wanted bigger letters... so I made my own templates. Also, this set does not have magnets in them, but magnets are ordered and another set will be made this weekend.
I found the "scrap busting" aspect of the project delightful. Fun to watch that pile shrink a little, while reliving memories of the original projects the scraps came from. And, since I dream of getting my craft room organized this summer, it's probably important I reduce my fabric supply to make the task easier, right? 


to the fathers!

my father moved through dooms of love 
through sames of am through haves of give, 
singing each morning out of each night 
my father moved through depths of height 

-e.e. cummings 

 So, I'll admit it. I'm a groupie. An e.e. cummings groupie. Like so many before me and so many after... I just love reading his words. i carry your heart with me has long been my definition of love, my love theme of life. I once wrote a lesson plan designed to teach some of his less erotic poetry to 3-5th graders. 

So, as I planned a father's day gift, sifting through the myriad of weird stuff out there in pintrest/Internet land, I came across e.e. cumming's poem that he wrote after his father died. How have I missed this poem? Every word of it made me want to meet this man, this father, this person. 

I found one stanza that particularly made me think of my husband and combined it with hand prints- baby's first painting!- and I think the end result is perfection. I stuck it in a frame (and then took a not so great picture) and it's a treasure for always. So sweet.

The stanza I went with was:
My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)
singing in spring for a very new daughter

 Getting into the paint with baby just got me excited to get some more messy arts and crafts going this summer. There is freedom in knowing I can turn on the sprinkler and get a clean baby through more "play time". 

So, father's day to all. I'm so thankful that my daughter has such a sweet, caring, thoughtful, smart, interesting, loving man to be her father.
my father moved through dooms of love through sames of am through haves of give, singing each morning out of each night my father moved through depths of height - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15405#sthash.vpq1CazO.dp
my father moved through dooms of love through sames of am through haves of give, singing each morning out of each night my father moved through depths of height - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15405#sthash.vpq1CazO.dpuf
my father moved through dooms of love through sames of am through haves of give, singing each morning out of each night my father moved through depths of height - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15405#sthash.vpq1CazO.dpuf


Fiesta time!

Cinco de Mayo is holiday time,
holiday time
in Mexico!

-From some song I sang in a first grade class recital. It's never left my brain.

I had a little fun for Cinco de Mayo. I justified it by saying I would put her in this outfit again... but truly... this was a one time outfit. And it rocked.
Once I saw the tutorial for the skirt on Dana Made it I couldn't turn back. She makes it all look so easy and fun. And it was. I see more fiesta style twirly skirts in our future. It was a great way to use up some of the random trim I've had around- lace, ric rac... I actually had to hold back a little.
Of course, once I had the skirt, she needed a little shirt. Using freezer paper, I cut out the stencil, ironed it on, painted and waited for it to dry. So sweet. I've used the same technique for another outfit I made for her, it's a fun way to dress up a simple onsie or t-shirt.
This Bunny outfit was done a few weeks before the Cinco de Mayo outfit. I think it's pretty much the greatest onsie ever.

 A little burro, a little fiesta, a little skirt, a little fun.


Hitchhiker's Guide to a Birthday

 "All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..."

"Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought.

"Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused.
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” 
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My husband loves birthdays. In general. All birthdays. And so, as his birthday approaches the excitment builds. Always. And, when we can pull it off, we go for a big party with a theme, friends, food and drink. And this year, we pulled it off. 
Sign on the front door
Yes, this year my husband turned 42. Being an amazingly awesome nerd, this meant only one thing. He needed to have Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy birthday party. We weren't sure what that meant, exactly, but it had to happen. So I got to work. There is really not much out there in internet land on Hitchhiker birthdays. (Weird, right? Ha.). So, I got creative and got to work. 
Of course, there had to be dolphins. Dolphins leaving the earth right before it's destroyed by Volgons.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

 So, we had Dolphins. I found a party supply store that shipped FOR FREE and then I got them filled at Dollar Tree. Speech bubble added by us, of course. 
"So Long, and thanks for all the fish!"

Who doesn't love a dolphin?

Dolphin Kisses to the Birthday boy.
You'll notice the 42 towel. A towel is an essential part of galaxy travel. 

“A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. "

I made "42" towels for decor- and guests were encouraged to take one home (I mean, what would we do with 20 towels decorated with the number 42?)
I used the freezer paper stencil method that's been floating around internet craft land. My sister had already tried it and confirmed it as an awesome technique. To make it easier, I used a Cricut machine (but I'm still pining for a Silhouette, if it must be known). The freezer paper worked in the machine wonderfully. I ironed the stencil down, painted with fabric paint, and let it dry. Then I peeled off the freezer paper and I had a fantastic little towel. 

I hung them around as part of the decor. 
42 towels and dolphins
The weather held for the day and we had a perfect back deck party and BBQ.  We had galactic lights strung and ready for the evening. 

 It seemed almost too convenient that petunias are part of a great scene in the book AND are currently being sold at every garden center right now.

"Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now."

 We had pots of flowers all over the deck... nice to have decor that isn't thrown away when we are done with the party.
Petunias falling to the ground
The petunia scene came up in a couple of outfits people wore. Not only did this friend have a pot of petunias he wore the entire party- he had a tiny whale pin that looked like it was falling with the petunias. 
bathrobe, towel, petunias and whale!

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more."

And, one particularly fun (and camera shy) 13 year old wore this shirt:
From "ThinkGeek.com"
And what did we serve for food and drink?... well, along with normal BBQ fare we had goldfish and Swedish fish ("So long, and thanks for all the fish."). A friend brought homemade chips and salsa with custom signs in it.

 And of course, our own take on the Pan Galactic Garble Blaster.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. The effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."

We decided best to make the drink family friendly and allow for adults to add brain smashing ingredients as they saw fit. Basically I mixed containers of limeade, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and 7up. I sliced up lemons and limes and let them float in it. We put this sign next to it:
An amazing graphic from internet land...
For a take on the infinite improbability drive, husband covered the alcohol choices in paper. Adding it to your drink was a hit of the improbability button- anything might happen!

"Side effects of using the Infinite Improbability Drive include temporary (and sometimes permanent,) changes to environment and morphological structure, hallucinations, and the calling into being of large marine mammals. An incredible range of highly improbable things can happen."

Infinite improbability drive
Of course, we had cake. The cake. was. awesome. I bought a cake from the greatest place in town- they wrote on it for me- then I made mice.

"These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vastly huperintelligent pandimensional beings."

 I melted white chocolate in the microwave, dipped maraschino cherries in it, attached a Hershey's Hug and used sliced almonds for ears. I put them ALL over the cake. Delightful. 

Ack! There are mice on that cake!

ready to blow out the candles

white mice- the smartest life form on earth. Kind of. 

It was a general, smashing, wonderful time. So great to see friends, so great to be able to include our daughter. Fun to enjoy some unusually nice weather for April. Glad to toast another year with a great guy!

The lemon hat, to get his brain going

Our real answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Relaxing together


At the zoo

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo! How about you, you, you? You can come too, too too, we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.
-Going to the Zoo by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Today we took the new jacket out for a run at the zoo. A long trip to the zoo. It was a delightful, rainy day-the bright jacket served us perfectly.

I love the bright fabric. Just love. In the past, I don't think I would have picked it- but the bright colors match baby's bright personality. And the jacket turned out beautifully. What a sweet pattern. We couldn't use the flash in with the elephants- the baby elephant was running and playing- so this one turned out a little blurry, but it shows the hood. 
Such a sweet little thing. The hood of the jacket is so sweet, but it will never get worn. Even in the rain, baby pushes that hood back and puts her face up to the sky. She's a little outside girl. 
The 2T size proved to be a little big- meaning I get to roll the sleeves back and show of the lining fabric. I love the blue lining, I think it tempers the bright jacket a bit. 

It worked well for hippo rides:

 And elephant rides:
 And camel rides:

I love seeing her ride the same statues I did as a kid. 

The process for making the jacket went well. The sleeves were the hardest part. Working with the larger pieces proved easier. Using the lighter weight fabric probably made it easier too. 

Lovely lovely. Something sweet for such a happy girl. It doesn't get better.