Saturday, October 31, 2009

Owl Costume Sneak Peek

I finally finished Ari's Halloween costume last night and thought I'd share it with you this morning since it will be awhile until I can actually put it on him. Here's the back story: I asked Ari what he wanted to be for Halloween about a month ago. A cow? A dog? Moo Moo? Woof? I asked my then 15 month old. "WHoo WHoo," he said. I asked him a few more times this month and each time he made an owl sound.

So my crafty mama, who is living with us while I go through chemo, bought a really inexpensive brown hoodie sweatshirt and sheets of felt in white, brown, yellow, orange, black, and a light tan. She made the eyes and beak, which she sewed onto the hood along with some cute feathered tufts to give the owl a little expression (she also added a dot in each eye for a twinkle--love her attention to detail). My mom than cut out a ton of feathers and put me on sewing duty. All I had to do is make an X with doubled up embroidery thread and tie it off in the back. Very easy for this beginner sewer and a perfect job for someone who has to sit around and get a lot of rest. If we want to, we can cut the Xs and take the feathers off to use the sweatshirt, but really, why would we want to do that! Here's the front view:

And here's the back view:

So, I'm off to a morning of chemo before Halloween festivities. Thankfully, I feel great on chemo days so I'll be able to enjoy the day. I also have this wonderful little pumpkin hat to keep me warm. My friend Meg's mom-in-law made it for me and I just love it (Meg sent a ton of goodies that got the whole family in the Halloween spirit--did I mention she had a baby 2 weeks before the care package arrived?!)

Friday, October 30, 2009

GreenCraft Magazine

So, there is a new mag on the rack called GreenCraft. I love it! It is chocked full of super ideas on how to upcycle and recycle all kinds of things. My favorite idea is using plastic grocery bags for plastic fusing. I had never heard of such a thing until this article, but basically, you use your iron to fuse together several sheets of plastic bag and then use it like fabric to make all sorts of neat things. Here is an article explaining it in detail and here another. So very green!

Though I have yet to be brave enough to try plastic fusing, the kids and I did try another idea from the magazine
This is an article by Charlotte Lyon all about recycling toilet paper rolls. This I can do. There were many incredible suggestions along with beautiful pictures on what to do with the left overs from tp, but the one that I have imminent need for is the napkin ring. I have never had napkin rings and these were right up my alley.

Aren't they pretty? Sort of vintage-y, sort of altered-y (like my made up words?)
The kids and I have been collecting said rolls for a few weeks now. It doesn't take long in a home of 10 for them to start to pile up. Here are a few pics of what we made.

First the kids...

Now mine...

So much fun! I even got to use some of my vintage fabric from Stephinie. I have two more to make, but I've been sidetracked by hedgehogs. There is no hurry though. I am happy with the way they turned out. I think they will look lovely on our Thanksgiving tables.

p.s. Rosetta is featured on matsutake today!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I love the blog matsutake! Katie is one of the most unbelievably creative people I have ever known. Not that I really know her, but you know what I mean. Anyway, she is always up to something interesting and is never stingy with her how-to!

Tuesday, she gifted her readers with this adorable little pattern for a hedgehog. And yesterday Rosetta was born...

She has a sibling in the works but I'll post her when she's done.

Okay, here's a sneak peak...

This is a very fun project. I can't decide if the little ones in my life are getting one of these or a bird this Christmas.

Kel, which one do you think Ari would want?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shoulder Cozy

I'm so glad Kandyce shared the wonderful gifts she and her family made for me. It was such an amazing, uplifting, and touching care package to get. And yes, I cried at each and every handmade gift in the box because Kandyce pinned little sweet notes notes to everything. One gift she didn't have a chance to take a picture of is this warm and adorable shoulder cozy:

Here's the angle from the back:

I'm going to let Kandie explain how she made this cozy herself. I love it. It keeps me warm without making me feel overheated or trapped under too many layers--it's pretty much become part of my chemotherapy day uniform. I get lots of compliments on the cozy and I think it's helping my healing. I like to feel Kandyce close by while I envision my tumors in my liver shrinking and the healthy liver regenerating.

I am feeling great these days and don't have any liver pain at all. My labs show that elevated liver function numbers have gone down after only two doses of chemo and my liver has shrunk--it was very enlarged from extensive tumor growth. We feel the love, support, and prayers of all of our friends and family--and even strangers I should add--are helping tremendously and we feel happy and lucky every day to live this wonderful life we have.

I am on a break from chemo right now to get my blood counts up (they look good and I should be back on track with my full doses by Halloween morning). During normal chemo weeks, I have very little energy and I take advantage of any moment I feel good to play or even just sit with my growing little boy while he has a snack, so I may not post as regularly as I would like to. Kandyce is becoming an amazing crafter/sewer and she's holding down the fort for both of us. I plan on sharing updates and other handmade gifts I have received that have really touched my heart as often as I can.

Here's to old friends and healing handmade gifts from the heart!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Snow is on the ground...

and Autumn seems to have fled, but I had to post this picture of the
branch all decked out for the season

I love the fall!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lulu's Birthday

So, little Lulu turned 3 this month. Where has the time gone? I have been wanting to get her one of those wooden play kitchens, but having taken the Handmade pledge and all, I opted not to spend an arm and a leg on a handmade one and had DH hand make one himself. Really, we did it together which makes it all the more special.

It was a real learning experience. I especially like the way we used wood scraps and items from the recycling bin for the finishing touches. I need better photos, so i'll post about those details later. If we ever make another we will do a few things differently, but over all it is beautiful. Lulu couldn't be happier which is what really matters. I also whipped up the apron she is wearing right before my machine went on the fritz. Nice that we can't find it now... life in a house of 10.

I really wish Ben and I could do things like this together full time. We have such fun planning and creating with one another. I told him we should make a few kitchens to sell for Christmas. A friend of a friend has an Artisan Consignment store near by. Hmmm, could be the start of something...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More things Vintage...

My Vintage partner received her package, so it is safe to post on what I sent.

Two of these things I inherited and two I purchased. I bought the tin and the pattern at a thrift store. Isn't that the best feeling? So serendipitous, to find the perfect thing in a store like that. Really. When you think about all the things that had to happen to get you and the item at the store at the same's pretty wonderful.

My Great Uncle was an upholsterer in WWII. Those spools are from a large collection of thread he had accumulated. Though to him it wasn't a collection, but his sewing kit. He just passed away last year. He was very cute.

The handkerchief was given to me, along with about 30 others, by my husbands Grandmother. Many she embroidered herself. KT and I often pull them out and just admire them. One day I may get up the courage to make something with them. Perhaps when my sewing skills are up to par. Maybe not.

Both the spoons and the hankies are treasures that I am so glad to share with Stephinie. This Swap was a great experience. I think I'm addicted because I just signed up for a button swap that Stephinie directed me to. More goodies to come.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vintage Swap

So I participated in my first Swap. It was any and all things Vintage. I don't want to post what I sent yet but here are the lovelies I received.

Fun stuff!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I hope you all know what it is to have a friend who you have known over half your life. I hope you know what it is to have friend who knows you better than anyone else, even your husband. I hope you know what it is to have a friend whom you are so close to she has dreams about your fourth child before he's born and accurately "see" that this little one will be blond and blue eyed, despite the first three being dark with dark eyes and you both laugh at her dream because it's just soooo funny.

I really hope that everyone in this world has what Kelly has been to me these 23 (can that be right!!) years. And I hope you never have to know what it is to have this precious friend to be so sick that you have to face the wisp of a possibility of your life without this friend. That is where we are. Facing and fighting Cancer. So very far away, I feel so helpless. I imagine this is a little like what Kelly must have felt when my Dad died earlier this year. Wanting so much to be there and be supportive. Feeling like your place is right next to her on the couch providing the shoulder to lean on. But, I have come to accept that is not where I belong and rather, this is my role in this journey. I am ready to go at the drop of a hat, but until I am needed this is where I stay and I offer up all I can and pray like there is no tomorrow.

The kids and I put together a gift box to send to Kel in Kentucky. I asked the boys, if they were sick what would make them feel better. Three agreed that they would like a pillow. So their collaborative effort resulted in this...

pretty cute.

Jo and Li Li designed their pictures on paper and then I cut out each little, itty bitty, teeny weeny, small, tiny (you get the picture) piece, pinned it to felt, cut out little, itty bitty,
teeny weeny, small, tiny (okay, okay) pieces in felt and appliqued them to the pillow. Li Li (6) designed the turtle and Jo (9) the butterfly and the rose. Pooh bear (8) stuffed and sewed the pillow.

KT made Kelly a necklace.

Gabe (11) drew her a "Cancer Eating" Dragon (that I forgot to take a pic of, oops) and I made Kel a shoulder cozy. There were also some books and other goodies. We loved making things for our dear friend though they were just small symbols of the love we are truly sending her.

So, in this month of Breast Cancer Awareness with pink ribbons everywhere you turn, please use them to remember to say some prayers for Kelly and her family and everyone else fighting this disease. If you are blessed enough to be near your dearest friend, give them a big hug. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
And live.

P.S. Here is a link to an incredible dance choreographed for the Choreographer's friend fighting breast cancer.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garden Mama

Garden Mama has the cutest fall giveaway that ends today on her site. Get over there asap!