Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Courtney's enterprise

Yesterday I showed you the Christmas ornaments Courtney and Auntie Jess made during their long crafting session. Today you get to see what they did with them next!

Courtney came home with us Monday night for a sleepover after we'd all gone out for supper. She was quite happy to show us the 2¢ she'd "earned" before coming. She had told Mommy and Daddy they could each spank her if they paid her a penny (or something like that)! I guess she liked making money, because she decided to sell the ornaments she and Jess had made. So they set up a little "booth" for her sales:

They made a little box to hold the ornaments...

... and Courtney made a sign for her customers:

Those ornaments sold out REALLY fast! Come back tomorrow and see what happened to them next! (I didn't take many photos over the holiday, so I have to stretch this out as long as I can, okay? ;) )

Monday, December 30, 2013

Crafting with Courtney...

...AND Auntie Jess! Courtney spent Christmas Eve day with us (after all, it was a Tuesday), so since Jess and Alex were here, she and Jess spent a long time making some special crafty things.

They worked really hard cutting, folding, and hot gluing.

Here's what they made:

They turned out so cute! Yes, they're Christmas ornaments. I'll show you more photos tomorrow and tell you what they did with them. Courtney was quite enterprising. ;)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Oooohhh.... look what I did! I guess I bought myself a Christmas present!

A deal popped up in front of me that I couldn't refuse! Not quite as good a deal as the $30 I paid for my other camera. That's been a good camera... good for learning on. But I was ready for something better. This came with two lenses and even a bag!

Now I just have to learn how to use it! I haven't even had time to give it much studying since I got it. I think that's going to have to be an after-Christmas project when things slow down to normal again (whatever that is). Then you can expect to see some really GREAT photos! I hope. Or at least see the results of my practicing. ;)

Meanwhile, I have much to do yet to get ready for Christmas, and then I plan to just have some fun family time, so this is it for me until after Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and please take time to remember what we're really celebrating... the birth of Jesus, our Savior!

See you in a week or so!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Caution: This post may make you sleepy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter full moon

I took these pics Monday evening. I was disappointed, though, because the moon didn't really look like this at all. It was actually quite yellow. And it was darker out than it appears in the photos. But it was also too cold to stand out there and experiment with camera settings!

I edited this next one to try and get the moon a little more yellow, but it still doesn't look right.

At least the moon looks round, which means I must've held the camera pretty steady. I wasn't using a tripod this time.

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

It still made for some pretty photos, even though not very realistic.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter sunset

Monday, December 16, 2013

Anyplace will do

After a week's worth of sewing posts, I'm sure (some of) you are missing Annabelle! Sure you are! I just KNOW you are!!! :) Well, miss her no more... here she is!

When you're tired, any comfy spot works.

That was the inside of my coat, which is fleece. The warmth of that, plus the electric heat radiating down on it from above, made it just irresistible!

That'll teach me to hang up my coat, right?! Actually, I'd hung it there, inside out, on purpose. I'd been to someone else's house where there are a lot of cats, and my coat was full of cat hair. I wanted to clean it off before I hung it up, so I turned the hairy side in so the hair wouldn't get everywhere. I had to delay the cleaning for a while. ;)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pattern testing projects, Part 5 (final)

To whom it may concern: Please do not let Courtney see these posts! We wouldn't want her surprise to be ruined! ;)

This is the last of my pattern testing projects, shown by some hastily taken and poorly edited photos. I also can't show you the size of the bag as modeled by a child, because my model can't see it yet. But here goes....

This is the bag that holds the doll and all of her outfits that I made.

By folding back the flap on the front of the bag, it converts into a sleeping bag for the doll:

The strap is attached by a pair of swivel snap hooks and D-rings, so is easily removable. (In the pattern, there are also instructions for making a permanently attached strap, for which you don't need hardware.)

The back of the bag has a zippered pocket that holds the clothes:

The bag instructions were pretty straight-forward and easy to follow, and it all came together very nicely. I was kind of lazy in a hurry when I put on the bias binding... I sewed it on all in one step, but I ended up missing a few bits on the other side and had to go back and do a second row of stitching in order to catch it all. I don't recommend using that method. ;) Although it worked easily for the strap, the numerous layers on the rest of the bag make it more challenging.

Here's the entire group of projects I made from LiEr's pattern:

I had a lot of fun making everything. The hardest part for me, as always, was deciding which fabrics to use. As for the pattern itself, I will say it's definitely a winner! There are so many more possibilities for hairdos and shoes, and the outfits can be varied in many ways. I would say some sewing experience is required for making these items, but you will also learn things like putting in a zipper (super easy!) and making a reversible strap. The instructions are very detailed, and there are a bazillion photos to help make them even clearer. For all you get with this pattern, it's well worth the price! If you're interested in purchasing it, head over to LiEr's blog! And enjoy the sewing!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pattern testing projects, Part 4

To whom it may concern: Please do not let Courtney see these posts! We wouldn't want her surprise to be ruined! ;)

Good news! After all the writing, editing, testing and re-editing, LiEr's Fairytale Doll Set pattern is now available to purchase - hurray! See her blog post here

The project from that pattern I'll show you today is the Fairy Dress:

Super cute, huh?

I found this to be the most challenging of all the projects to make. So much so, in fact, that I did a little grumbling about it... both while I was sewing it, and then in an email to LiEr. :) There were parts that just didn't come together very easily, and I thought people would struggle with it. (For one thing, I had a hard time sewing on my waistband trim, and it looks messy to me.) I thought there had to be a better way, and my grumbling resulted in LiEr's making a couple more of the dresses herself and coming up with an easier way of assembling them. Hey, that's what pattern testing is for, right? I've read through the final pattern, and it looks like a big improvement. So, a nice result for all of you that purchase the pattern.

As I was selecting fabrics for all the outfits, I kept in mind that there would only be the one pair of shoes, so I tried to coordinate all of the outfits with the shoes. I think they worked out quite well without being sickeningly matching. :)

There is one project left, which I will show you tomorrow, and that's the storage bag for carrying around the doll and all the outfits. It also converts into a sleeping bag for the doll. Being a bag lady, I of course enjoyed making it a lot. It's a fun little bag! Come back tomorrow and see it!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pattern testing projects, Part 3

To whom it may concern: Please do not let Courtney see these posts! We wouldn't want her surprise to be ruined! ;)

Today I get to show you my favorite outfit in the pattern... a ball gown!

Isn't it elegant? I love how it's so poofy! And strapless, even.

LiEr sent me the sparkly satin for the skirt, and I had ribbing from 30 years or so ago for the bodice. :) It seemed rather plain with all the white, so I decided to embelish it a little. I used a technique I learned all those 30 years ago when I made T-shirts for Jess. All you have to do is stretch the doubled ribbing as you zigzag it, and you end up with that lovely ruffly effect.

The pink flower was from a set of many little fun trims that I was gifted with last Christmas. I fastened it onto the bodice with a couple of hand stitches, and then I glued on a circle of sparkly felt for the center.

On the bottom of the skirt, I just did a couple of rounds of scalloped stitch for trim. I did a little practicing on a scrap first, but I still kind of held my breath while sewing it, for fear I'd mess up the dress. Luckily it went smoothly (except for one tiny spot where I let my attention drift for a split second).

Here it is on little No-Name (as yet):

She's all set to head to a ball and find her Prince Charming!

I'm not sure Mary Janes are appropriate to wear to a ball, but since this was my only doll, and her shoes are attached to her feet, that's what she wears. The pattern, however, does also include templates and instructions for making ballet slippers or strappy sandals that might go well with a ball gown. There are flip-flops, too, which I've seen worn with prom dresses, so maybe even they would work for a ball, right? Lots of possibilities!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pattern testing projects, Part 2

To whom it may concern: Please do not let Courtney see these posts! We wouldn't want her surprise to be ruined! ;)

As I said yesterday, I'll be posting a different Fairytale Doll Pattern project each day this week. Here's today's project, a mermaid!

Actually, it's the same doll as yesterday, but she's wearing a mermaid tail and a reversible bra.

This is the last outfit I made, but because it was still on the doll when I went to take pics of her, it got photographed, too. I still have to take pics of the rest of the items today. Anyway, it was the easiest of the outfits to make. It went together very quickly. And thanks to LiEr, I had fish-scale fabric to make it out of. I think it's sooo cute! Can't you just imagine her swimming around in the sea?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pattern testing projects, Part 1

To whom it may concern: Please do not let Courtney see these posts! We wouldn't want her surprise to be ruined! ;)

As most of you know, I've been testing a pattern again for LiEr. I am almost finished, finally... just a couple of seams left! She posted a Fairytale Doll Pattern preview, if you want to take a look and see what all is in the pattern. It includes 16 projects! I didn't test them all, because it would've involved making quite a number more of the dolls, due to all the different hairstyle and shoe possibilities. I did, however, make one more doll besides my first one and its outfits, which were from her free tutorials (links are in those posts). This doll is different in that it has yarn hair, plus one of the shoe options, Mary Janes.

Isn't she cute? I love that mop of hair! Here's the back:

I'll be posting a different project each day this week, except today you get two. :) Besides the doll here's the first outfit I made:

It's a reversible pinafore. The other side:

And on my little model:

Gee, she needs a name! I guess I'll leave that up to Courtney when the time comes. Remember, don't show her these posts, though!

The pattern will be released this week, as soon as LiEr has had a chance to edit a few items. In the meantime, if you've been chomping at the bit to get started sewing once the pattern is available for purchase, she has posted a materials list, so you can get your supplies ready!

I'll give more of a review on the last project post, but suffice it to say for now that the pattern is well worth its cost!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter WONDERland

I took this photo moments ago. The temperature was -12° when I got up this morning.  It's all the way up to -9° now. Yes, those are little frost formations on the glass on the right side of the pic. Looks like a flock of mini-birds taking flight, doesn't it? :) I didn't take the time for close-ups.

(Click photo to enlarge.)

I WONDER how long this winter is gonna be.....

For those of you waiting for pattern test results, check back on Monday! I have all but one thing finished, but just haven't taken pics yet. Soon!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Progress - I love it!

As of Monday...

All is well.