In fact, my mom loved all my lame attempts at making stuff. My Etsy shop was a thrilling endeavor in her eyes and she'd patiently been waiting for me to hurry up and finish a damn novel since I was ten. For my 35th birthday in October she and my siblings bought me (a sure to be awesome) serger that ought to arrive in the next week. I'll be posting my enthusiastic attempts at creation with that machine too, so watch out Internet.
I haven't made anything yet this year, still working things out in my mind and haven't had the focus or drive, so in the meantime, here is a rundown of the sewing and craft projects that didn't make the blog in 2011 because I couldn't get my act together to get them up:
1. Abby's mermaid costume: made for a winter-time "Mermaids & Pirates" themed birthday party thrown by one of her best little friends. The dress is a simple pinafore in crushed panne velvet. It is unlined because I figured she'd only wear it once anyway. I used an iron on mermaid patch that Abby fell in love with at the fabric store on the front and used Velcro down that back instead of buttons. I had many things going on at the time so pictures are what the are:
|Best full length photo I took, sadly.|
|Poor Ariel had to field a lot of questions about how she can live underwater.|
|Abigail the Angry Mermaid: Nap time!|
2. My Cleopatra costume: made for Halloween, I didn't finish it in time because Abby got sick and I went instead as the Statue of Liberty, a homemade costume I purchased the year before. The Cleopatra dress is made with crepe back gold satin (very pretty and high quality), lined in bleached muslin and absolutely festooned with tacky rhinestones.
|I used a fantastic product called "Jewel It!" to attach the sparklies. It worked great and is completely washable.|
The weird cape/wrap thing wasn't easy to sew. The material is terrible. The Greek key ribbon looks okay now, but it was an absolute pain in the ass to attach properly, both at the bodice and along the edge of the skirt lining. Fitting it was ridiculous because I don't have a dress form. I'd have to mock it up in muslin and then try it on and awkwardly pin and mark myself using the mirror in the bathroom. Eventually I found it easier to take photos of myself in it so that I could see the how it fit without contorting my body and messing it up. A dress form is definitely on my list of things to look into in 2012.
|Tip for beginners: The least effective way of fitting a garment is to do it on yourself with a cellphone.|
3. Canvas chalkboards: I have a joke of a number of standing appointments each day- kids to school and back, gym classes, lessons (piano, dance), sports (soccer, t-ball), personal training, therapy, doctor's visits, vitamin shots, etc. Oh yeah, and work! I realized at some point that my husband had NO IDEA what I was doing everyday or why I was always running out the door again. I bought a set of pre-stretched canvas squares at Michael's and painted them with chalkboard paint leftover from the Library Book Box.
|They've gone crooked a bit, haven't they?|
|Abby is my Cleverbucket and Henry is my Smartypants. FYI.|
I used a sponge brush to cut down on brush marks, but if you look real close you can see them. It took a couple of coats. Writing on them was not as easy as I'd hoped since there is no backing to press down on in the middle, but the chalk pens worked okay. These serve as a basic template to each day of the week. There are always changes and things come up but this is the outline of my life.
The list of rules for what needs to be done when we get home from school each day has worked especially well with the kids. I just point to it when I get any fuss about changing out of uniforms or getting snack before lunchboxes are cleaned out. For whatever reason the fact that the rules are posted makes it harder for my kids to argue a point, despite the fact that they can barely read. Rules on chalkboards work well in the playroom too. These were made reusing the Dollar Store chalkboards from Abby's birthday party.
4. Kid's chore charts: same goes with the chore charts, having them posted makes getting them to do it way easier! I made these with my Cricut and a laminating machine. I've had this set up close to a full year now and it's stood up pretty well. They are velcroed to the file folders and then hung on clipboards in the kitchen. I made a few blank ones so I could write down any special tasks or things they don't need to do regularly with a dry erase pen. At the end of the week they get a coin (penny or quarter whatever I have on hand) for each star on their chart.
|Mostly pictures because I made these before Henry could read at all.|
|The book and pencil used to be for writing practice but Henry now interprets it as homework. Which he has everyday so I need to make more. I never had homework in Kindergarten!|
|Clorox wiping the door knobs is probably her most serious "job".|
|Stars! I should earn some stars for making them do their chores- that's the hard part after all.|
5. More Doodle Stitching: I worked on these while at the hospital with my mom. They were already traced out originally for Abby's mermaid costume. As a person who has spent a lot of time in hospitals (and I have in the last several years, way more then I'd wish on anyone) I will tell you that eventually you find yourself bored out of your mind. It is a particularly draining kind of boredom since it festers beneath worry and helplessness whether you are the patient or not and I have been both. Embroidery is the perfect task in that it is portable and easy to start and stop. It is both mindless and focused.
|I have no idea what to do with these now. More nautical hair clips for Abby?|
|I should organize this drawer. This looks like we are hardcore gamblers.|
He was... confuzzled. I thought it was a fun gift! Who doesn't like dice? I still need to throw a Farkle party.