Sophie had a very specific request. She not only wanted to be a WITCH but she came to me with a design in hand and said (her words) "No ruffles. No sparkles. No frills!" She explained that she didn't want any pretty details or fancy fabrics... that she just wanted a plain ol' witch.
I headed out to our local fabric store to find the plainest black jersey I could find and resisted my urges to embellish. After all, this was her Halloween costume and I had to respect her wishes. She was really happy with the outcome... and so am I! :)
These are from the Halloween party at her school yesterday...
And the costume parade. Happy Sophie = Success!
When I approached Sydney about her Halloween costume, it was a totally different story. She said she wanted to be Tinkerbell. The rest of the conversation went something like this:
Me: "Do you want ruffles?"
Me: "Do you want sparkles?"
Me: "Do you want frills?"
Sydney: "Uhm. What are frills?"
Me: "Well, ya know, like lots of extra special things to make the costume extra pretty..."
So here's what I came up with: (excuse the dead flowers... although right now they kinda fit the Haunted House mood! haha)
Sydney is thrilled with her costume! (SUCCESS x 2!)
And before you ask, nope, I didn't make the wings (although I have made some before). These are old wings I bought at Gymbo several years back.
Sparkly fairy shoes from Target...
Now off to get ready for trick-or-treating. I'll probably post more pics tomorrow. But I'll definitely be blog-surfing to see what you all are doing! Feel free to post a link in the comments section if you have something extra special you'd like to share! I LOVE HALLOWEEN!
Feeling a tad lazy and sugar-logged on this Sunday afternoon so rather than writing a whole new blog post, I'll just add the trick-or-treating pics down here...
LOVE this one!
After a couple of houses, I lost my precious natural light so this is the only good one I got of the actual trick-or-treating action...
Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween!!!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Yup. It's definitely Autumn.
My favorite season of the year and it completely snuck up on me. I chaperoned a field trip for Sydney's pre-school class this morning to a local family-owned pumpkin farm. We all had a great time, despite the frustrating start of my day. If you follow me on Twitter you know that my SUV's keyless entry system decided to fail on me at the last minute and the car pretty much went on shut down mode. The alarm started blaring and all doors locked up. No matter what button I pushed, they would not open up. Finally it occurred to me to check the back/trunk door and it opened for me but that meant that I had to crawl through the back of the car while the alarm blared away in the parking lot of Sydney's school just to get to the ignition... good times!
After the field trip was over, I decided to drive straight to Jon's work to see if he could figure out what was the deal with this darn car but of course the car was at its best behavior in front of Jon. ARGH! Made me even more angry! Those of you who have ever worked in the corporate world will sympathize with me when I say that it was just like when your computer starts acting up and you call tech support but it acts perfectly fine when they show up. They always look at you like you're either dumb or crazy and mutter something under their breath like "user error"... blech!
But I digress, the field trip was such a wonderful experience for the kids. They got to watch a movie and munch on some popcorn...
We took a hay ride and saw a corn maze and a pumpkin field...
It cracks me up that every time I point the camera at Sydney she strikes a pose (I have her well trained, eh?!)
But actually my favorite pictures of her were the more candid ones...
They saw farm animals...
Played on the hay stacks...
And in the soy bean mounds...
Took a [very wind-blown] class picture...
And even got to take a pumpkin home... hmmm... which one should I choose?!
OK. This one!
Next up will be Halloween pictures. YIPPEE!! This year, after a very frustrating and unsuccessful trip to our local costume store where all we found was a bunch of poorly-made over-priced CRAP, I decided to make their costumes from scratch. Both girls had very specific and detailed requests (hmmm, I wonder who they get that from?) Sophie will be going as a witch and Sydney will be Tinkerbell. I didn't have time to make myself anything new so I'll just grab an old costume from the closet. Check back in a couple of days for pics!
What are you and/or your kids dressing up as this year?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
When the cat's away...
... the mice (and their grandma) will play! Check out these adorable Halloween crafts my mom made with the kids while Jon and I were down in Houston for Quilt Market!
1 medium-size pumpkin
1 can of gloss black spray paint
1 package of pipe cleaners (extra fuzzy black pipe cleaners found at Hobby Lobby)
2 large googly eyes (also found at Hobby Lobby)
Small piece of red cardboard, felt or fabric for mouth
Spray your pumpkin black and let it dry overnight. Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke 4 little holes on each side of the pumpkin near the bottom. Insert one end of a pipe cleaner in each hole and shape the "legs," as seen in the picture. Dab a little glue on the back of each googly eye and place on the pumpkin. Cut out a funny mouth shape and glue to the pumpkin. Let eyes and mouth dry overnight.
1 medium-size pumpkin
1 can of gloss green spray paint
1 mini witch hat (found at Hobby Lobby in the craft department)
2 large googly eyes (also found at Hobby Lobby)
Black sharpie marker or black tempera paint
Pumpkin carving knife
Spray your pumpkin green and let it dry overnight. Dab a line of glue on top of the pumpkin and lay the black yarn over the pumpkin's top. Shape and trim "hair" around face. Place mini-witch's hat over hair and glue in place. Dab a little glue on the back of each googly eye and place on the pumpkin. Using a pumpkin carving knife, carve out a funny mouth shape and fill in the negative space with a black marker or paint. Let eyes, hair and hat dry overnight.
And my personal favorite...
3 latex balloons
3 plastic cups
1 package white cheesecloth
6 large googly eyes (found at Hobby Lobby)
Blow up your 3 balloons in different sizes. Place each balloon on top of a plastic cup for added height. Layer the cheesecloth over the balloons and trim to size at the bottom. You'll need at least 6 layers of cheesecloth for each ghost. Prepare a mixture of half white glue and half water in a large bowl (it should look like skim milk). Dip each layer of cheesecloth in the glue mixture, squeeze out excess liquid and drape over your balloon, shaping as needed. Repeat for each layer of cheesecloth. Alternate sides, as seen in the picture, so that the corners of the cheesecloth cover the bottom of the ghost. After all ghosts are draped, dab a little white glue to the back of your googly eyes and place on the face. Let ghosts dry overnight. The balloon will peel off easily the next day and the cheesecloth will be stiff enough for your ghosts to stand on their own!
For an added spooky effect, use clear fishing wire to hang the ghosts from light fixtures around the house. :)
ENJOY! And... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
(pssst... in case you're interested, my mom just listed some Flora & Fauna goodies in her Etsy shop!)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Our website has been updated with all the new Flora & Fauna information and graphics...
And we've also loaded up our 4 newest sewing patterns in the Patterns page:
I strongly encourage you to support your favorite independent online retailer and purchase your Ava, Isabel, Julia and Nina from them. There is a full list of retailers at the bottom of this page. Lots of them already have the new patterns in stock or will have them very, very soon... based on the looks of this:
(pssst... this is only a small fraction of what we boxed up this weekend!)
RETAILERS: you can now place wholesale orders for the new sewing patterns right on our website. If you prefer to purchase through a distributor, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of US and International distributors. If your store link is not at the bottom of this page, please email us and we'll get you up there right away!
Thank you all for your support!
(stay tuned for some fun Halloween crafts a la "grandma" coming up in a couple of days...)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Market Report -
Fall International Quilt Market 2009
We're baaaaack! We drove (actually, Jon drove) a total of 1,700 miles round trip, which translated into 17 hours there and 17 hours back in a rented cargo van filled to the brim with booth walls, furniture, patterns and sewn goodies. Those of you who follow me on Twitter, already know that I got a bit car sick on the way down, almost ended up with eight Mochas at a Starbucks in Texarkana, and miraculously got rid of my headache the minute I saw signs for downtown Houston. The following pictures illustrate what our next 5 days were like...
On Thursday, we set up the booth. It was a long, arduous day but we had lots of help from some dear, dear friends!
On Friday, I presented a Schoolhouse Session sponsored by one of our U.S. distributors, Brewer Sewing & Quilting. I was so nervous in the hours and minutes leading up to my speech that I almost threw up, but once I got up there and saw so many smiling, familiar faces in the audience all the tension just fluttered away and I felt like I was just talking to a group of friends. Thank you to all who attended!
I don't know what I was doing here, but it must've caused a few of you to break out the cameras... hahaha
More booth set-up followed on Friday, but by the end of the day we were ready to par-tay and what better place that the Fabric 2.0 Lite, sponsored by the ever so lively Caroline Devoy, of J. Caroline Creative fame.
I got to visit with some of my favorite girls... Here I am with Caroline:
Traci Butler, of Hip Fabric, who made me and Jon the awesome Flora & Fauna badge holders for the show...
Anna Garner, of Sweet Dreams Designs:
Melanie Thornton, of Above All Fabric:
Mary Abreu, of Flourishes and InTown Quilters
Jenean Morrison, of Free Spirit
Jill Mead of BH&G's Quilts And More:
(boy, I just realized what a lush I look like... I have a Mojito in every picture!)
And of course, the notorious Jay McCarroll:
Jay actually convinced Jon to go with him to Sample Spree... an event that I had sworn never to attend again, after I nearly suffocated to death the first time I went! So, believe it or not, I tagged along (mainly because I didn't want to be left behind without a ride!) Here is a "Jon's-eye-view" photo of Sample Spree:
Fighting the crowds was definitely worth it once I spotted my pals at Fat Quarter Shop and got to spend some QT with them:
The next day was the first day of Quilt Market. Here are a few shots of my booth... not too shabby, eh?
Adding to this here, because so many have asked, YES, there will be a pattern for this hummingbird quilt! YAY! The actual quilt is currently en route to Australia with our distributor, Mac's Crafts, but it shall return in mid-November (hopefully with lots of stories to tell!) Pattern should be available in January if all goes well. Thank you all!!
Standing in one spot for 9 hours isn't so bad when I get great visitors at my booth. Here I am with Kathy Miller:
Tira Schulteis of Brewer Sewing:
Kay Whitt, of Serendipity Studios, wore a skirt made from Flora & Fauna! She was so cute & tiny I could've just picked her up and put her up on display with the other mannequins!
Patricia Bravo of Art Gallery Fabrics:
The Michael Miller Fabrics booth was soooo cool! They made it up like the most awesome and whimsical campground...
Complete with life-size gnomes...
This gnome was Patty-sized!
Cynthia, of Fabric Worm, was more than happy to spin the wheel to see what she won...
And the best part... Camp Michael Miller won the Creativity Award!!!
And as if that wasn't cool enough, my pal Sandi Henderson, won the Merchandising Award. WOOOHOO!
Here she is in her adorable dress she made from her new fabric collection, Meadowsweet:
Sunday night, Michael Miller Fabrics celebrated their 10-Year-Anniversary in style with a rocking party on the top floor of the Hilton hotel...
Michael & Kathy cutting the cake...
No detail was spared... not even the life-sized K&M bobbleheads...
We had an amazing time... well, some of us more than others.
And again, I got to spend some great QT with the Fat Quarter Shop team... I just adore these guys!
Here I am with our Australian distributor, John Clegg of Mac's Crafts...
And with an amazing art quilter, Rob Appell
And I want to end up with this photo of two of my favorite people... Jean & Tom Meacham. Jean is Kathy Miller's sister and these two are about the most hardworking, dedicated and selfless duo I have ever met. Tom helped us out so much that I ended up giving him Jon's famous bee tie as a thank you gift (he had been ogling it the whole time we were there!) We'll miss you!
OK, that's it, folks! Thanks for staying with me. Now on to prepare for the next one...