Sunday, July 31, 2011

Steampunk Explorer

I didn't get many photos of the Rivertown Revival this year which is really too bad because it was AMAZING!!!  I felt like I had stepped into a turn-of-the-century circus/sideshow.  So many people decided to dress up.
Here I am:

You can't really see my bustle skirt which is too bad.  It's quite nice. They had all sorts of wonderful vendors and food plus a great kids area.  The kids could make clothespin dolls, watercraft made from toothpicks and wine corks or ribbon wands/bindle sticks.   Here is Noodlebug waving his ribbon wand:

There were giant boxes of fabric strips. You just grabbed a pole and started tying the strips on. It was wonderful seeing all the children running through the event waving their ribbon wands.  I'm sorry to say that Noodlebug wasn't in the mood to wear his costume.  Perhaps next year I can get him in a Huck Finn outfit. 
See more information and photos here. Next up.....September's Handcar Regatta in Santa Rosa.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Soul Restoration Book Cover

I am a very uptight crafter. In fact, when I first learned how to knit, my teacher looked at me knitting and said, "You're a very tightly wound person, aren't you?"  I guess I knit very intensely.

I am not very free-form in my aesthetic.  I seem to unconsciously seek out right angles and straight edges.  I am a terrible collage-maker because I can't let go and just place things willy-nilly. When I paint, I get nervous if things don't have well-defined edges.  I'm sure there is lots of fodder for therapy in all of this. Probably reveals something about my need for control.

Anyway, I needed to make a cover for my Soul Restoration book. Here it is:

I visualized my soul house as a painting that is closed for restoration/refurbishment.
I hope this course will get me to loosen up a bit in my creativity.  We'll see.

Pick Your Plum---Personalized Stamps

Love the offering at Pick Your Plum today! Personalized stamps!!!

I ordered one for all Noodlebug's close friends. I think they'll make perfect holiday gifts/stocking stuffers. Especially for $6.50 a piece!   Less than 500 remain so hurry and get yours!!!  SOLD OUT!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Soul Restoration 1

I'm starting this class today:

Wanna join me?  Go here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Because

My little tiger---July 23, 2011

5 a Day Books--Eric Carle

Linking up again with the wonderful Imagination Tree for 5 a Day Books!  This week, Noodlebug and I picked out several books by Eric Carle. For his 2nd birthday, we did a complete VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR birthday party. And one of my favorite books as a child was THE VERY GROUCHY LADYBUG. 

Here are the books we picked:

So far, his favorite is the 10 LITTLE RUBBER DUCKS.  Eric Carle always has the most wonderful colorful illustrations.  I'm hoping we can find time to do a few art projects surrounding these books.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wanna Hear a Secret?

Okay, here it is.....

I love dressing up.  I am the girl that used to go to local Renaissance festivals and dress up in a corset and chemise or a gypsy girl costume.  Back when the "Tomb Raider" movies came out, I meticulously pieced together a costume and wore it to every costume-themed event for the next year.  I also had a "Matrix" costume but it was hard to wear because that latex was so darn hot! 

I'm a bit older now and a bit (well....a lot) heavier so I am more conservative in my costumes these days.  A few years ago, I joined the local Woman's Club.  We have themed events once a month that always have an opportunity for costumes. This year, we have a Depression-era event in September, a "Mad Men" themed event in November and a Mad Hatter's Tea Party in March. I am already scheming and I have started hitting my local vintage shop searching for plus-sized period dresses. 

Before all of that, however, there is a big event coming to my little town in two weeks. The Rivertown Revival.  This fundraiser was new last year and brought out all the costume groupies in town.  The theme was a sort of Victorian carnie/Steampunk style. I have been wanting to try my hand at a Steampunk costume for awhile so I have been slowy collecting pieces over the last year.

Here is the corset I got on Etsy from Damsel in this Dress:

(photo borrowed from and owned by Damsel in this Dress)

Obviously, I am doing the plus-size version.  I also have a simple brown bustle-skirt coming from Clockwork Couture:

(photo borrowed from and owned by Clockwork Couture)

I already have a simple tie-neck blouse and a pith helmet along with some Victorian looking boots.  I plan to be a Victorian-era explorer.  I am dressing Noodlebug up in an old-fashioned newsboy outfit.  Hopefully, I can pull this all together by July 30!  I wish I could say that I am making my outfit but this requires a degree of skill that I just don't have.  Thank goodness for Etsy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back to School with MasterLock

I can't believe the new school year is almost upon us!!!  I just love Fall and I used to love buying school supplies and back to school clothes.

Master Lock is asking bloggers for the best piece of advice that one can offer to students and fellow parents for surviving the new school year.

My personal favorite bit of advice is to help your kids plan out their weekly wardrobe the weekend before.  You can use those hanging fabric cubbies or rod dividers to put together complete outfits.  That way, kids can grab the appropriate outfit for each day and save time.  No fumbling around each morning and wasting time deciding what to wear!!! It's also helpful to get everything that will be needed each day packed up and by the front door the night before.

I have used Master Locks since middle school but they have gotten really fancy! Check out these new styles!!!!

Love the colors and streamlining!!!! Find out more about Master Lock on their Facebook page.

I only wish Master Lock could help me come up with a way to remember my locker combination. I always forget when I'm at the gym standing in front of my locker in a towel.

(I am posting about Master Lock as part of the Mom Bloggers Club Master Lock back-to-school prize pack giveaway)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Holly Abston Bag----DONE

Remember that cute Holly Abston fabric?  Meet Noodlebug's new swim tote!!!

I ordered the fabric in a canvas-like material and lined the inside with iron-on vinyl.  I chose some cotton blue webbing for the handles and just did a very basic tote. There are dozens of good tote tutorials online.  My one recommendation is to make sure and do the great square corners to make the bottom nice and flat.  It looks a little wrinkled because the downside of iron-on vinyl is that it tends to wrinkle when you turn your project inside out. Still, I think it will make a great swim bag for our next round of swim lessons that start tomorrow.  And maybe we'll take it to the beach on Friday!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

5 a Day Books: Steven Kellogg

Today, I am linking up with Imagination Tree's 5 a Day Books scheme.  Each week, you decide on a five books to read with your child every single day that week.  When I am organized, I actually have a theme.  I loved author Steven  Kellogg as a child and I tested the waters with Noodlebug with his book THE MYSTERIOUS TADPOLE a week ago.  Noodlebug loved it so much that we filled his library bag with Steven Kellogg books for this week.

So far, Noodlebug's favorite is PINKERTON, BEHAVE!  He is fascinated by the bad guy robber in the book.  I am always captivated by the detail in Kellogg's illustrations.  So wonderful!!!

I encourage you to check out the Imagination Tree blog.  Anna is a former early education teacher and lists wonderful preschool activities every single day. I always find so much inspiration on her blog!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Holly Abston Inspiration

I love Holly's work. She creates the sweetest prints and can customize them to look like your own little one.  I was tempted to get one of her latest Summer Boys prints until she posted that she has added her own fabric to Spoonflower.  Look at this!!!

(borrowed from and owned by Holly Abston)

I ordered some right away and I already know what I'm going to do with it!!!  For more information on the fabric and how to order it, go here.  I'm going to keep anxiously checking my mailbox to see if it has arrived.  If I only had more money, I think there would be a package from Spoonflower on my doorstep every day of the week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sew Liberated's Reversible Cape--DONE

I just finished the Reversible Cape from GROWING UP SEW LIBERATED.  The hardest part was piecing together the pattern!

I headed to Joann's armed with coupons and bought a nice linen-like red cotton for one side and a silky black for the other side.  I was thinking he could do lots of pretend play with this combo:  a boy version of Little Red Riding Hood, a magician, a prince, a Jedi knight (even though he knows nothing of Star Wars right now).  I used a hair elastic and button from one of my old coats to finish it off.

I used the small size of the pattern but added four inches to the length and I rounded the hood a little bit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's Next?

For my birthday back in May, I treated myself to two books that I have had my eye on.  The first one is Sew Liberated's GROWING UP SEW LIBERATED:

I salivate over all the wonderful ideas every time I open this book and it is difficult to decide what I will make first. After seeing Dana's success with the pattern, I am contempating making Noodlebug a hooded cape.  I have been slowly adding to Noodlebug's dress-up collection and I think this would make a perfect addition to the Pirate vest and Cowboy vest I made from Dana's tutorials and the Superhero cape I made from Jenny's tutorial.  There is also a wonderful Explorer bag in the new book that I have on my Creative To Do list.

I also bought this book:

So many lovely things to make in here!!!  Noodlebug's little girlfriend turns 4 this Fall and I'm thinking I need to make her a tutu along with a crown and wand.  These patterns intimidate a little bit because they seem so complex in their construction but I've heard wonderful things about these patterns and I can't wait to try them!!!

I also need to start thinking about Noodlebug's Halloween costume. I am thinking about doing a costume for Max from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE but I need a good pattern idea.

What are YOU working on?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fifth is Wood

Today is our 5th wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe.  I never thought I would get married much less have children and now, only five years later, everything has changed.

My husband and I always enjoy trying to come up with creative gifts that go along with the traditional anniversary gifts.  The traditional gift for a fifth anniversary is wood.

I knew exactly what I had to get. One of Heidi's beautiful signs:

Heidi has been a blogging friend for many years and it makes me happy to look at this sign and think of the care and good wishes that she put into making it.  Get your own here.

My husband loves to cook and grill. In fact, I hardly ever get to cook!  I decided to get him a personalized cutting board to use out by the grill and I found this great one at Red Envelope.

He REALLY surprised me this year with his creativity and thoughtfulness.  When I was growing up in Texas, it was still the tradition to sit outside on your porch or in your yard in the Summer months and watch the sun go down while you visited with your neighbors.  I don't have my dream house with the wraparound porch yet but I still love to rock.  When I went in our backyard, I found this:

Isn't it lovely?!  What a nice surprise!!!  And tomorrow, we will get to have fireworks in celebration of our anniversary.  Well.....and the anniversary of our country of course!

Have a wonderful Fourth!!!