Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Butterfly Mini-Mod

I felt like sewing this weekend and even found myself with a nice bit of nap time to do it.  I made another Butterfly Kitschy Coo Mini-Mod Dress. (Since the lovely Amanda is on holiday I can't link directly to the pattern in her Etsy shop, but it's one of my FAVORITE dresses to make for sun dresses or layering.)

It was only after I cut it out that I realized this would be Rylee's second in the butterfly genre. But the first one was black with jewel tones. So.

This one is pink, lavender and brown. And has ladybugs. And I did the middle panel as an outtie rather than an innie. So am I boring and repetitive? Perhaps. But oh well.

I wanted to try something new, so I did the facings right way out just to see what it would look like. It looks cute!

And since a) I'm spatially challenged and b) I only had naptime I didn't try to puzzle out beforehand a new way to do the back since the facings would now be "inside out" in back. So there's just a teeny, not-very-professional twist in back where I folded the back slit over to hide the raw, serged edge. You can't see it and I think it looks fine.

A little girl's sundress. Not for the Grammies red carpet or anything. :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Birthday Model in motion

We finally had Rylee's postponed birthday party and it was a blast! And I even got a few pictures of her birthday outfit before she spent the rest of the party in a bathing suit. I should probably quit making special outfits for her party since they're always pool parties.

Mommy got the gift of catching her playing with her handmade tea set. We've had a few impromptu parties with it and she will seek it out on her own. Score!

Although I love to bake and even showoff by creating the fanciest desserts my skills can muster, this year's cake was made with the guest of honor in mind. Behold, the cake that love baked.

And here's the good side of having her in her bathing suit instead of her fancy birthday clothing by the time cake rolls around.

Alas, she had a 2nd piece after being changed into dry clothing and in spite of mommy's careful pre-treating the new top came out of the washer with mysterious blue dye stains. :-(  I washed it once and it came out with no stains but some ground in dirt, so I tossed it back in with a second load. I'm not sure if there was frosting left over from the Backyardigans cake or something in the second load that stained it. Bummer!

So far the stain treating is promising, so maybe this won't be the last picture I have of it unstained.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Purple Funks and tiny lumps

I haven't felt like blogging because I've been in a deep blue funk. So deep it's purple. I'm not sure if I can even blog about it, but it concerns the loss of self, identity and life that comes from having a baby, quitting your job and moving thousands of miles all at once.

Anyway. I did have something nice to blog about but couldn't get a picture.

Faith and patience have paid off for mommy hummingbird. Eric had the ladder out so I carefully climbed up and took a peek into the nest. It contains an egg the size of a jellybean and a little brown lump, softly dusted with feathers and breathing lightly.

The lump is much larger than the egg so it's either the empty shell or one that sadly won't hatch.

I'll keep trying to get better pictures.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Guest Blogging

The lovely Daisie asked for birth stories over on her breastfeeding blog. She was looking for stories to inspire mothers who might have a hard time getting started, particularly after a traumatic delivery.

So I poured out my guts in a story that she was kind enough to post. It's all the words I have for awhile.

If you read it and want to see how far Rylee and I actually came in breastfeeding, check out my little piggy at about 10 months old.

Raising a toddler, a parable

Once upon a time there was a lovely castle in a magical kingdom. And in this castle lived a scullery maid. She didn't dream of being a princess or finding a knight in shining armor. She was just a scullery maid and pretty happy and content.

Because this lovely castle was in a magical kingdom there were the usual comings and goings of fairy godmothers, eccentric sorcerers and the like. One day a visiting fairy wandered into the kitchen to see if there was any pudding left over after dinner. She started chatting with the scullery maid and asked her if there was anything in her life she would like changed.

The scullery maid thought for awhile - she was pretty happy - and then said "You know, there never seems to be enough chocolate around. I'd really like to have more chocolate." The fairy grinned a mischievous grin and said "I can certainly do that for you." and she offered the scullery maid a deal.

For three years the scullery maid could have chocolate in any quantity and variety she desired. There would be milk chocolate, dark chocolate, some bittersweet, even white chocolate (which some people say is not chocolate at all). The only catch was, chocolate was all the maid could eat.  "And," the fairy added, "I'll even make it nutritious. You won't get fat." The scullery maid considered the deal and eventually accepted.

At first it was wonderful! The scullery maid never imagined anything as delicious as that magical chocolate. It could be creamy and sweet or dark and rich. She even enjoyed the bitterest of the bittersweet. But some days she felt weary at the thought of eating nothing but chocolate, day in and day out. The other kitchen workers told her not to complain. Not the king, nor the princess nor even the conniving wicked stepmother ate such sumptuous fare. And, they pointed out, in three years it would all be over and she would be back to the non-magical beans and potatoes eaten by the castle servants.

Deep down the scullery maid knew they were right. And most days she thoroughly enjoyed the lovely, if limited, menu. But in other moments she thought to herself "I'd kill for a piece of cheese or a popsicle."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Well, for what it's worth I re-opened my Etsy shop.

How much do I (heart) these birds? A lot.

I want to move away from the ready-to-ship model to the sell-it-then-sew-it model. So I listed my two new dresses and a few of the (MANY) things I have hanging around from last year's craft fair season. I still need a lot of work on photos, but it's a start.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


We're having a BBQ today and it's gorgeous. Relatively cool for Tucson (high of 87 predicted which is almost cold in June).

Mommy hummingbird is right outside the door and she flies away whenever we open the door. She's getting braver and I really hope she screws her courage to the sticking place today. With the relative cool and the high traffic I'm fretting.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Modeled dresses

Rylee has croup. It's the sickest she's ever been and what's really crummy is her birthday party was supposed to be tomorrow. Postponing is the pits!

We got to the doctor yesterday and the steroids they gave her are making her feel much better. Before she was struck down with fever and wheezing I was able to persuade her to model the two dresses I made to sell.

The monkey is my favorite. The kind of print I would buy five times before I bought ladybugs. I have a bunch of it. But I already sold a ladybug one just from my blog post and I predict it will sell much better.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Outside my windows

We live quite near a large park, but I'm still occasionally stunned by the amount of wildlife we enjoy in our yard.

Outside one window today, a mommy hummingbird on a nest. I'm so excited!

Outside the other window, within minutes of noticing the mommy, I saw a hawk having breakfast. It's kind of hard to see in the picture. I didn't want to go outside and disturb it. Whatever it was eating is in the tree down and to the right of it.

It wasn't the hummingbird. I checked.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Monkeys, and dots and bugs

Oh, my!

I made two dresses for Rylee, both sample dresses of items I intend to post to Etsy. It's a simple contrast yoke dress, but I made the back a little wider and sewed in some elastic. Buttons and the way stupid CPSIA don't mix. So this goes over a little round head and still fits nicely in the back.

Between you and me, the elastic looks a little wonky on the monkey dress (first attempt) and better on the ladybug dress (second attempt). I sewed clear elastic inside the yoke as I was finishing it and I like the result. I need to practice to get it even so the ones I sell are PERFECT.

I sewed one with elastic sleeves.

And one with flutter sleeves.

And I *really* need to re-take pictures of the ladybug dress in the morning light. Cause even with Photoshop...yeesh. And yellow is pretty unforgiving.

I'm also going to really try to get my favorite model to cooperate, too.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tea and festivities

For your 2nd birthday you absolutely need a fancy new dress.  Bonus points if it includes your brand-new BFF.

Cheesy, pre-shirred Dora fabric? Check. Five inches magically cut from the middle and re-sewn? Check. Fit through the chest? Check. Toddler proof?


Ok. I'll re-try the ribbon straps I made initially.  At least I got the tea set done. In addition to the scrumptious Strawberry Lemon Cake there are some lovely chocolate tea cakes available.


And a choice of lemon or herbal tea. Great!

What a fancy party we can have!

I know she'll love some of her other presents, too. Like the Backyardigans sticker book.

And the DORA!!!! coloring book.

(Twenty Minute Interlude. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.)

Rylee's teeth: 0. Mommy's sewing skills: 1

Or as my two-year old has been saying for months now...."Mmmmm! Tasty!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

Tonight your youngest grandchild is going to go to bed one and wake up two. I've had two years to get to know this amazing little person.

She is joy, mischief, wonder, temper, dependence and independence.

She's so fearless sometimes my heart stops and so brave it skips a beat.

She loves birds, berries, cheese, swimming, shoes, purses and raw flour.

She'll take calls from the Backyardigans, but not a real person.

Sometimes I don't know which is harder to fathom: how long she's been here or how long you've been gone. I'm so sad that you haven't met her, because you would love her. And I know she would love you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I bet you didn't know... super into Chuc Tet Dau Xuan I am.  Don't believe me? Check out my latest receipt from iTunes.

Oh, wait. No I'm not. And these aren't my games, either.

Got hacked. People suck! :(