Family time for the holidays

December 28, 2006 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Family, Sewing/Crafts | 7 Comments

How was everyone’s Christmas? I hope you had a chance to spend some time with family, some time to reflect on the year’s triumphs, challenges and blessings, and some time to yourself :o)

MIke's family

My brother and his family were in town for a week over Christmas! It’s not often that I can see my family for the holidays. My sister lives in Louisiana and my parents and brothers live north of Austin, TX. Though they were staying about 30 miles north of here with my sister-in-law’s family, I was able to see them every day. The kids, 3 and 6, were all geared up and prepared for snow, but somehow in Illinois, in December, we were unable to provide any?! We had some rain, some overcast days, and a sunny day or two, but none of the white stuff.

Don’t worry, we still had plenty of things to keep us occupied. Like gingerbread houses. Mmmm.

morgan gingerbread garrett gingerbread

And taking Metra into Chicago to visit the Field Museum. The train ride was a novelty for them. This photo is of my husband Ryan with our nephew and his cousin. It reminds me of this photo of the cast of “The Honeymooners” for some reason.

Ry Garrett Bella train

The kiddies were fascinated by the exhibits at the Field Museum. Dinosaurs, animals, archaeology – what’s not to love?

Alligator? Crocodile?

I made a doll for our niece for Christmas, my first one from Wee Wonderfuls’ Make-along story. She is really into Snow White, and while I didn’t want to make it totally Disney-fied, I borrowed the bright colors and love how the dress and headband ended up. I also included a matching hand mirror so she could practice pronouncing letters and words with her new little friend (she had surgery in late Nov. to close a cleft palette). Plus there’s that whole “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall” tie-in.

olive morgan olive

I made some of my favorite owls as a gift for my sis-in-law. The white one represents our nephew, who just got that blue/yellow belt in taekwondo. His sister is the aqua princess, and their late sister Lorraine is the periwinkle one. She has little angel wings on her back.


Now I have to buckle down and get packages off for the color-iffic swap-o-rama and Heels (sorry, S., the box has been sitting here for a week! I’m running it to the P.O. tomorrow, I promise), as well as some last projects of the year/first projects of 2007.

  • Sister’s quilt and apron
  • Brother-in-law’s (brother’s-in-law?!) Sister’s husband’s Saints wall hanging
  • Nieces’ and nephew’s peas
  • Nephew’s duck puppet

Antibacterial apron?

December 21, 2006 at 12:37 am | Posted in Sewing/Crafts | 1 Comment

Dish soap apron

I was momentarily exasperated with my husband for plopping a ginormous bottle of liquid hand sanitizer in the middle of the living room. Then I remembered super eggplant’s dish soap aprons.

Here are some templates and tutorials to dress up your bottles:

Peas be with you

December 20, 2006 at 6:24 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts | 4 Comments

Little Peas

I bought a stack of these adorable books from Amazon to give as gifts for Christmas. And I’d seen Blair’s stuffed pea and been enchanted by him. So when Heels wished for a pea, I thought it was time for me to make some pea stuffies of my own, as companions to the books.

In this photo, their little mouths aren’t stitched on yet, but they’re turning out so, so cute. I just want to eat them up. One’s for Heels, one’s for our nephew, one’s for a little cousin and I have 3 left to make. I’m running a little late on this project, but the big party for my husband’s family isn’t until the 30th, so I still have some time.

More soft boxes

December 16, 2006 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts | 4 Comments

Wool boxes and candle tins

Wool box and candle tin for Maravic

Detail of wool box

Chef An-ette Recipe box for MIL Annette

December 15, 2006 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Family | 6 Comments

Don’t you love finding the perfect gift for someone? It almost makes up for all the rushing around and agonizing you do over the holidays.

At our family Thanksgiving party, Cousin Elli showed me my husband’s grandma’s recipe box: the cutest little set of hollow metal “cookbooks” that held recipe cards. The brand name printed on them was “Chef An-ette,” and my mother-in-law’s name is Annette. Hm, doesn’t take a genius to figure out that she’d probably love to have something like that to remind her of her mom. With three daughters and lots of granddaughters, Grandma’s items are spread out far and wide among lots of family members.

chef an-ette recipe box closed

Each “book” holds different types of recipes…

chef an-ette recipe box open

…and tilts out out to allow access to the cards. The cutest thing, no?

I found it on eBay, and it’s in remarkable condition for its age. And I got it for a song, which makes me love it all the more. I just know she’ll love it.

I wanna be a banshee

December 14, 2006 at 7:56 pm | Posted in Sewing/Crafts | 6 Comments

I’ve long admired the softies made by Kate of Two Little Banshees, especially her charming giraffes. So when I found a soft giraffe pattern in a thrifted craft book*, I knew I had to make one of my own.

I happened to have some Kaffee Fassett fabric on hand, so I was able make one that I think looks rather like its Aussie cousins.

giraffe body shot

I haven’t decided whether I’ll add eyes, but if you look closely, I did mark where they’re supposed to go. Her mane is aqua rickrack, and her tail and horns are bias binding, tied in knots (something I borrowed from Kate).

giraffe closeup

Love the big, floppy ears. 

*Scrap Saver’s 101 Great Little Gifts by Sandra Lounsbury Foose, ISBN 0848711270

Latest craftiness

December 9, 2006 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Papercrafts, Sewing/Crafts | 3 Comments

It’s cold outside, so everyone’s spending a lot of time indoors around Chicagoland. Lots of time to think and craft. I’ve been saying little prayers for the Kim family and everyone who’s missing a loved one, especially around the holidays.

whole family

I was lucky enough to spend some time with my entire immediate family last weekend! Ryan and I met everyone in my hometown in Louisiana to attend my sister’s baby shower. I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in years. Our neighbor Gloria and her daughters threw a beautiful party for Jenny. What a great time. We laughed a lot and ate a lot – had a big crawfish boil and even collected some of the last pecans from the trees in my sister’s yard. Our three-year-old niece insisted that my Dad shake the limbs of the trees to get down evey last nut, but when that didn’t work, I grabbed a handful or two from her bucket and tossed them over her head from behind. She was none the wiser :0)

strippy ball and soft box 12

Since we’ve returned home, I’ve been crafting away. Sally posted about these super simple, gorgeous paper globes, and I immediately ran to my craft supplies and made up a bunch in various sizes. Instant gratification! The little origami star is a Sonobe icosahedron.

strippy ball and soft box 03

I also checked a long-standing to-do off my list and sewed this soft box based on the felt box tutorial by applehead. I still have some work to do on figuring out the measurements of the template, since I added seam allowances to sew it on the machine, but since I didn’t have a specific size in mind, the result suits me just fine.

strippy ball and soft box 06

I did define the corners a bit by sewing along the edge. It was a little too round-y for my taste. I have 3 other boxes cut out and ready to go. They’re so so cute. I think I’ll make some sets as Christmas presents.

 Enjoy your weekend!

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