Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ta Dah!

Pretty Lady

I am done with my first Molly Monkey!
Monkey Parts

Didn't follow all the directions exactly.

Here are the changes I made:
1. Larger ears and a longer tail.
2. I used Wonder Under to fuse on the shoes and then sewed them right onto the feet. No loose pieces.
3. Didn't read the directions where it said to leave a spot in the back as the opening, so I have all sorts of wonkey stitches by the legs. Next time I will read all the directions first.
4. I am really trying to stick with the stash, so I used felt for the face and hate it! I wish I had used something else. Acrylic felt is so yucky and pilly.
5. I didn't make a patchwork skirt because I loved the ruffle on this vintage dress sleeve.
Old & New

Look'n Good!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sometimes Laziness is the Mother of Invention

Valentine Tree

After the Christmas decorations were packed away just so...
after the boxes were hoisted up to the top shelf of the overflowing closet...
when I thought I was all done...

I found that this lowly bottle brush tree was left out.

I knew I wasn't going to get those heavy boxes down again! A few heart stickers and it can stay out for another month.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lady in Waiting

Lady in <span class=
My beloved Lady Monkey. I know, I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She is my Velveteen Rabbit. To me she is very "real."
Pants Today
These are the perfect old man pants I got just for a buck at Jet Rag.
New Girl In Town

The beginnings of Lady Monkey 2.0. Cliff can not stand how Lady Monkey's eyes don't face forward like a real monkey. Over the years people have tried to convince me that she was a mouse for this very reason. They must be blind!

This pattern caught my and so far has been really easy to follow!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Salt & Pepper Message

Praying Kids S&P
On the eve of the inauguration, I am filled with hope for tomorrow. I am praying for our new president. Here are a few symbolic salt and pepper shakers from my collection.
Owls S&P
May the new administration have wisdom.
Gavels S&P
May justice prevail for all people.
Patirotic Colonial Couple S&P
I hope the freedoms we have are treated as both a privilege and a responsibility.
Pretty Piggies S&P
May we begin in earnest to rebuild our economy.
Irons S&P
May we iron out our disputes in peaceful ways.
I hope we can learn from our past.
Duck S&P
And may we celebrate our future.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Not a Chance...

of passing these off as homemade! I was in a rush to prepare for my church book group and these snickerdoodle slice and bake cookies caught my eye. The perfectly square cinnamon cracks me up! Must admit they were tasty.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Matryoshka Story

A few years ago my in-laws went to Russia. When they returned, they gifted me with a beautiful matryoshka doll. While visiting, my mother -in-law lamented that she had not bought one for herself.
Matryoshka in the Making
It just so happens that we live mere blocks from the Russian neighborhood here in LA. So we set out to find her a matryoshka there. We went in every store with Russian writing on the door along Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. Inside each market she would say, "This is just like in Russia."
Matryoshkas in the Making
Finally, in a small woman's clothing store we found a beautiful set that had an incredibly detailed scenes from the story of Peter and the Wolf on each doll. It was really expensive, but it did have all the markings of a real matryoshka. It wasn't an easy decision, but she did buy it.
Circle of Friends
A few months later a good friend and one of their traveling companions called to set up dinner plans. "We really must get together! I still have your doll!"

Turns out my mother-in-law's suitcase had been too full and she had asked her friend to stow her matryoshka doll. She had forgotten all about it! Now she has two beautiful Russian nesting dolls!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Spy Tote Bag

I Spy Tote Bag
Last year I made a "Champagne List" around New Years. Looking back now, I see it was a total bust! I didn't do a single thing on the list. Seems that life got in the way of my caviar dreams.

Actually, the only thing on the list that bothers me was the Linus Project. I still really want to contribute to that worthy charity. I even feel a bit guilty that it didn't happen this year.
Patchwork Close Up
So, when my pastor informed us of Marissa's surgery I figured I could sort of make amends. A quilt is out of my range, but I am still crazy for I Spy. So this is what I came up with.

I don't actually know Marissa, but I have seen her around church quite a bit and I think she's a bit of a girly-girl. She kinda looks like the girl in that patch.

I added some stickers and a package of Crayola modeling magic clay stuff and sent the bag with my pastor. The latest report is that she did really well during the surgery, but is now in quite a bit of pain. Ugg.

I love how this bag came out. I hope it brings some measure of cheer. Goodness knows playing with these prints makes me happy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Heels & Hardwood Floors

Shoe Pads in action

Do you see what I see? These are the beautiful hardwood floors in my in-law's new kitchen. And, those are felt furniture pads on the bottom of Sister-In-Law's heels.
Heel Pads Closeup
They worked like a charm to protect the floors from stiletto sized nicks.

More WFMW Tips here!

Praying for Marissa

I have mentioned a few times that I love my awesome church. One of the things I love is the children's choir. I love the earnest elementary kids who sing without reservation and the toddlers who sometimes sing and sometimes wander. Every performance fills my heart with joy.

Another thing that warms my heart is the father love. Many of the children at my church come with their dads. The dad's are super involved in the children's programs. The altar steps are filled with men holding their babes in their laps for the children's story.

Marissa and her dad have caught my eye many times. She is a beautiful eight year old who sings with all her heart. Her father hides behind her, holding her up so that she can stand with the other children in the choir. There is so much theology in their example that it leaves a lump in my throat.

Today everyone at my church is pausing at 8:00 to pray for Marissa as surgeons at the Children's Hospital of LA operate to strengthen her legs and hips so that she can walk without crutches. I pray that her father's days in the children's choir are numbered and that he soon will be able to enjoy Marissa's performance from a seat in the audience.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Knit 'Till Dawn

Three Scarves By Dawn

The other day I got a relative request on facebook from my sister-in-law's sister, Dawn. I was so touched to be "family." Bonus! Two sisters for the price of one brother!

We had become friends in real life while planning the bridal shower. We bonded over a love for crafting. Dawn is a industrious knitter who not only makes and sells her beautiful scarves, she also teaches knitting lessons! Isn't Knit 'Til Dawn the best business name?!

I am so delighted to have been gifted with three of her creations. The white is called The Boa and the green is a Ruffle Scarf. I am not sure what the pattern is for the pink one, but it is kitten soft and I love it!

I wear scarves a lot more in LA than I ever did in NJ. Weird right? Well, it's just cold enough to get a chill, but not so cold you need a full on coat. Voila! The scarf is perfect!

Thank you so much Dawn! I love my new scarf wardrobe!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Silly String

Nest of Thread

Happy New Year!

This morning I went to the Joanne's in Glendale to spend more than I should on fabric and stuff that I do not really need. I had the whole store to myself. Bad economy? It was a little strange, but I didn't let that hold me back.

What's more fun than new fabric? Apparently, the nest of threads that comes out after the wash! I took about twenty pictures. Remember when we had to pay for developing film? My digital camera has provided hours playtime.

Cliff said I should show these pictures to Rocks in My Dryer because they use both of those elements. He cracks me up.

Here's to another year of creativity!

To see how others are playing with creativity, check out the Creative Everyday Challenge.