Monday, March 30, 2015

Crafting with Courtney

Well, let's get back to business here. Thanks again to those of you who commented on my last post - I really, really, REALLY appreciate your encouragement! My plan for the time being is to just post whatever I have whenever I have time to do it. How's that sound? ;)

I've been making stuff... even have a couple of completed projects that unfortunately I can't show you yet (next week, okay?) and another one in the works. And then there'll be another pattern test that I'll need to get through as quickly as possible, so if I disappear it'll only mean that I'm busy, not that I've quit blogging.

Meanwhile, last Tuesday when Courtney came, she had another softie project in mind. That girl! She now even has a notebook dedicated to sketches of ideas for things we can make. :) I guess I... um... complained a wee bit about being kinda tired of making tiny softies. (REALLY, Grandma!) She insisted that since she had her sketch already drawn that we had to make it that day, but she also promised me she'd give me 3 weeks off from sewing itty-bitty softies before we had to do another one. What a sweetie! :)

Here's the sketch page from her notebook:

It was an owl... or actually a pair of owls. We decided to look up on the internet to maybe get a better idea of what owls looked like. Below is the revision, in the actual size pattern pieces.

Courtney did all the cutting this time, and she drew on the features before I sewed the felt pieces together. Drawing seemed to be much easier than sewing on teeny eyes, etc. Here's the finished project:

If you noticed on her original drawing, there was "velcrow" shown for fastening the little owl to the big one. Great idea!

She also wanted a strap so she could "wear" it. So the bigger owl has a piece of fold-over elastic attached to the back.

The strap was so she could wear it on her hand!

Here (in terrible lighting) is Courtney modeling the finished project.

I wonder what her designing mind will think up next! With 4 weeks to work on it, it could be quite a project! ;)

Update: Here I am updating the post before it even gets posted - ha. I was so proud of myself in that I had already written it up Friday evening to get auto-posted today. BUT... we went out to eat with Courtney and her parents Saturday night, and she had a gift for me, and I just must show you! She had made, on her own, with her very own Sew Cool sewing machine something "to thank you for helping me make all those little stuffed animals"! Awww.... how sweet is that?!! Here's my gift:

Wow! That tiny little critter... and stuffed, even! I guess she's been learning things in our crafting sessions. I am so proud of her!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I was informed the other night (very gently, mind you) that my blog has gotten somewhat boring lately. :) I readily agreed. I'm kind of bored with it, and I guess it shows. I sorta feel like it's become "same ol' same ol'" in some respects. I mean, how many times can you go through the same events, year after year, and keep them interesting?

Writing blog posts takes time... time I'd rather spend sewing. So do I give up blogging to have more time for other things? Maybe. But not yet. I still have to think about it.

Maybe it's just the time of year. This right now is about the most dreary time of year ever. The snow has all melted but it's left everything just a blah tan/brown. Not much new life out there yet.

BUT... it's coming! On the way back from shooting yesterday's squirrel, I noticed these pretty leaf buds on the maple trees. They're so tiny... yet so colorful! Just look and see what I mean:

I especially like this next one. Have you ever looked closely enough to notice all those teensy spears?

Against a blue sky, they look especially lovely.

Just so you know, my tulips are making good progress, too. The color's coming.

So who knows what will happen with the ol' blog. Maybe there'll be new life here, too, eventually. Or maybe not. Any input or suggestions for possible future posts would be appreciated. Or feel free to tell me to give it up 'cause it ain't worth the time to look at anymore. ;)

Monday, March 23, 2015

I shot a squirrel

A few days ago, from my sewing room window I noticed this little "bump" on a tree branch across the driveway. I figured out it was a squirrel, and it must've been taking a nap, because it stayed just the same for such a long time. Finally I decided since it was still there, I had to go out and try to get a picture.

I must've woken it up, because by the time I got close enough for a shot that wasn't obscured by branches, it had sat up just a little.

I kept sneaking closer, taking shots along the way, because I knew it could disappear at any time.

I was surprised at how long it waited, watching me.

Then it decided it was time to depart.

It started scurrying away, hoping I didn't see it, I guess...

... and this is the last I did see:

They sure have a way of managing to stay on the opposite side of a tree from you! I gave up and went back to the house, knowing it was a waste of time to try and get any more shots.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Gifts from Courtney

I realized that I took pictures but forgot to show you something that Courtney made and brought for Grandpa and me a couple of weeks ago. She had gotten her own "sewing machine" as a gift, and she'd been busy making projects.

Her machine is a Sew Cool, and it looks like this:

Photo by

It doesn't use any thread but has a special needle that somehow attaches pieces of felt together. I haven't seen Courtney's machine in person yet, but it seems to work pretty well, and she likes it a lot.

She made this cute little pouch (about 2½ inches square) for me (Mommy helped sew on the button):

Sweet, huh? Inside the pouch was this cute little dress!

For Grandpa, Courtney made this special pouch:

It's for holding pens or pencils, and since Grandpa likes fancy pens, it was a perfect choice for him!

What cool gifts! I still need to get to Courtney's house to see this machine in action. It sounds like a lot of fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

So elusive

We have bluejays that come to our back yard probably every day. They sure are hard to get photos of, though. They like to stay in the shadows and amongst the branches, plus they seldom sit still long enough to even focus the camera.

They seem to have a sort of routine... they start on the ground at the west end of the evergreen trees, and from there they hop and fly from tree to tree, heading east, till they're past the house. I saw them coming a few days ago, so I quickly got the camera ready, took the screen off the window and waited. I got a few shots, but certainly nothing like I'd hoped for. Here ya go.....

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sign of spring

As I mentioned before, it got up to 74° on Sunday! I stepped outside at one point and heard LOTS of honking in the sky. The geese were heading north, flock after flock after flock. There was seemingly no end to them! I've never seen so many flocks of geese at one time. I think they all decided at once that it's spring and time to fly. Here's a very small portion of what I saw. Click any photo to enlarge.

I got to thinking later... I wonder where they landed for the night. It could've gotten rather crowded, I would think!

(Note to self: MUST clean fibers out of camera!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crafting with Courtney

Courtney had something different in mind to make yesterday. It was not a stuffed animal, but a bag instead! Hurray... she's designing bags now! Only the beginning..... ;)

She was excited about having just signed up to go to Bible camp this summer, and she thought a bag to carry little things in might be a necessity. She thought about the details she would need, and here's the little "wristlet" she came up with:

Yes, the fabric is Auntie Jess's Time Warp design. I happened to have a scrap big enough and shaped just right for the little bag. Above is the front, with a little pocket, and below is the back. Believe it or not, the way the design turned out on the strap was totally, 100% accidental! But perfect, huh?

The bag isn't lined, so I serged the seams to prevent fraying. There's velcro at the top to keep it closed, and inside is a pocket made of another Time Warp fabric which you can't really see, but it has a pencil slot and a small slip pocket for holding her teeny notebook that she's going to use to keep track of all the camp details. Here's a peek inside:

Just so you know how big/little the wristlet and pockets are, here's a photo of Courtney holding it for you.

It didn't take long to sew, so we even had time to go out and visit the kitties before Daddy came to pick her up. A very successful day! :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sign of spring

I saw this lovely robin last Thursday - when it was 66°!

C'mon, Robin... show us your pretty "red" breast....

Oh, you can do better than that... let us see....

Yes... how lovely you are!

Yesterday it got up to 74°!!! More spring photos to come....

Friday, March 13, 2015

My babies are growing up

The main reason I had the camera out last Saturday morning was to get new pictures of Rainbow's kittens. It was finally warm enough to not freeze my fingers, and it was a cloudy-bright day, perfect for photos.

Here's Cottonball:

They're almost as big as their mama now!

This is Mia:

Such gorgeous markings she has! But I'm going to have to study them carefully in order to tell her apart from Serendipity, because they look an awful lot alike!

And last but certainly not least, as she's the heaviest of the three, is Haily:

She was trying to tell me something there... "Enough photos already!!"...

... because their food pan was EMPTY!

So I made them happy. :)

Aren't they wonderful? Especially for fall-born kittens that I never thought would survive the winter!