Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Few for Friday - #22

As far as I'm concerned, May can go kick rocks, go scratch, go slap itself, or just go away. From day two (because day one was my birthday and quite delightful) it has been one thing after another. It would have to be a doozy of month for me to wish it behind me, as it puts us closer to summer which many love, but which I equate with discomfort and headaches. Give me cozy sweaters anytime. I won't give you the somber rundown now, as some of it is quite sad, but I will tell you that it ended with me shipping my almost brand new sewing machine to Janome as it's kerplooey. I'll give you the story when I get more info on it. This has consumed my psyche this week, and as such have a literal few pictures to share.

We had our Memorial Day picnic on Sunday, and this (well, several just like this) was/were the only shots I took. Vegetables. That's it. They looked so pretty in the bowl I had to grab my camera. I'm standing on a chair over them, getting really close and looking very odd while my mother stands there with her hands full of seasonings waiting for me to get out of the way. She was very patient, and then she finally said "Are you done yet? You better eat those later."

 I've been teaching my sister to sew. We started off with basic hand-sewing. Last week she got a machine intro, and this week she hemmed a skirt she hasn't worn as it's way too long but still cute. She marked, cut, measured, pinned, pressed, and stitched. And then pressed again. When I took a picture she said "I don't wanna be on your blog. And don't say anything cute about me." If Z-man was over he'd say "I guess Aunt Leesha is the boss of sewing, too." She's the boss of arts and crafts, and the boss of chocolate-covered-pretzel making, according to him. 

On Sunday we were wearing sweatshirts and jeans and deciding if it was too chilly to leave the windows open. Today we're up to 96. It was down to 94 at about 6:30. I'm not ready for that yet...

As I've got two of the bags sewn for the June Zip-Along I think I'll go write up the instructions. Because if I don't I assure you I will forget. Happy Friday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hexie Runner Ta-dah!!!

Well, she's done. After almost a whole year (which my dad even noticed--"You've been working on that a long time, haven't you?") it's all done. Much of that time has found this project sitting and waiting--it surely is not a one-year project in the hands of someone more consistent (or with less time spent at the sewing machine). But it's done. It feels anti-climactic. I don't know if I thought angels would gather to sing, or a troupe of tap dancers would rise up and regale my efforts with a kicky tune or what. But it was more of a much quiet "Well...there it is" moment. No matter. It's done and it's perfectly crinkly and that's what matters.

Looking at this now I would have extended that center row a little more on each side so the color extended to the edges, but with it staggered like this I don't know that it ever would have met the end I may have achieved if I had, oh I don't know, planned this out. Or measured. It should be a little longer for where I have it but it's finicky-ness and not true aesthetics that drives that opinion.

It's funny how in some spaces you can see my stitches and in others they're almost invisible. I quilted the colored fabrics only--I did the perimeter of the hexagon and a matching line just over the seam, and the perimeter of the flower. My back ached after working on this--so many twists and turns and stops and starts and quilt wrestling. Sooooo glad this wasn't larger.

I used a piece of plain white for the back (you can see the seam in the extreme right of the photo) and it shows the quilting very well. There are so many shapes and geometricalities (made that word up just now, BTW) that it's quite fun to look at on the back side too.

I was so happy that I had just the right amount of strips cut from when I was cutting the fabric for the hexies that I forgot they weren't bias-cut. I always cut my bindings on the bias, and I do notice a difference when I don't. But I couldn't bring myself to hack into the remaining fabrics for a few bias strips, so here it is. I thought I had cut just enough for the perfect amount, but I forgot about mitered corners and a little extra for finishing it off, and then I goofed it and needed an extra strip so the green checks are in there twice. I do love a scrappy binding, though.

I hand-stitched the binding down on this one. I felt like it was only right, since it started as a hand-sewing project, after all. I forgot how much I dislike doing that, but I made the binding extra wide so machine stitching it on wouldn't have looked too good.

When I was folding this up the sun came through in just such a way to make it look like it's underwater. My mom is holding it up for me--she threatened me if any part of her showed up on this blog, so just imagine her standing to the right with a very intimidating look on her face.

I ended up using my own method to get my binding just perfect, but a lovely reader alerted me to a video that shows how to use the binding tool that messed me up when I tried to use it, so I'll be giving that method another try. I was watching it the other night and "talking" to it: "That's not very clear in the directions! How would you expect people to know that? Yeah, you'd better have put a tutorial together!" and all sorts of things like that. I get so adamant about strange things.

So that's one more thing checked off the list. I do love making checks on that list. I don't like having more than one hand-work piece in progress at a time as it makes me feel overwhelmed, so right now I can work on my afghan and not feel like I neglected something else in doing so (yes, crafty projects do come to feel like children or chores after a while :)

I'm off to chill--our picnic yesterday has left me tired. Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Few for Friday - #21

A few more hours until the long weekend starts (here in the US...maybe elsewhere...I don't know for sure). I'm so ready for it. Sometimes you just need that day. I'm deciding if I want to work on a few orders, sew up one of the bags for the June zip-along (I've already got two done--woot!), or sew a few shirts for myself. Maybe I should do the shirts, as the others will happen no matter where I place them in the line-up, but if I don't do the shirts right away they might not get done. Decisions, decisions. Life should always be this hard.

So let's see what was up this week, shall we?

Sunday evening one of my brother's friends came over for dinner with his little girl. They came in afterwards wanting to get my brother to see 'a bird flopping around out there' as my brother thinks of birds as I do spiders. There was a branch of sorts stuck into this bird, and not knowing what else to do, we pulled it out. There was no blood, or wound, or anything, and it was one of the strangest things ever. I thought a neighborhood cat would grab it so I made him bring it closer to the house. It just sat there, seemingly in shock, in the grass for a while, while it's little mourning dove spouse sat in a tree watching. We went inside as what else are you going to do? A few minutes later my sisters went to check and called on me. The bird had moved a few feet away and looked alert and OK. Where it had been sitting was this...

 A teeny egg and a weird wet feather. After a while the bird was completely gone, and we didn't find anything that indicated that it had met its demise at any point. So we have no idea if it was injured with that branch in it, or if it was in labor of some sorts and we were just bugging the hell out of it. Very strange... I have no knowledge of birds other than they make my brother scream and run.

 My upper back ached for two days after I finished quilting this. I forgot how many twists and turns there would be. So many... This teeny little thing is going to be a bugger to the end.

 They're baaa-accck! Honestly these little geese make me smile as much as they make my co-workers groan. There are (I think) three or four adults training their kiddos how to hunt for worms and such. Absolute fuzzy adorableness. And so focused!! They just kept staring at the ground and toddling along. 

 I decided to switch all my bobbins from metal to plastic in a strange bout of executive decision-making. I was having an issue with Ophelia and when I googled things I saw that EVERYone recommended the plastic. Though that was NOT my issue (my thread was actually catching on a rough spot on the spool) I made the switch anyway, gathering the metals like a flock of penguins as I rewrapped a rainbow of thread.

So there you have it. Kind of eclectic and weird. Just how I like it. I'm hoping that by tomorrow night I'll have the binding on my hexie runner (I'm doing it by hand) and then I'll show you the final bit. After months and months of rambling you deserve it :)

Witty Repartee

You guys know my number one fear, right? Maybe not. If you've been here a while you might know that it's spiders, followed closely by snakes. So this morning I get an email from my sister Rachel. Here's the conversation that followed. It's nice when you, your sisters, and your mother are all on the very same freak-out page.

Rachel: So I had a horrifying experience last night. When Matt came home last night, as he came up the steps (I was sitting on the couch) he says “Rachel, do not move. Stay calm.” Of course I can’t stay calm and I start asking him what’s up. He takes his phone out and takes some pics. At the top of our steps was the biggest spider I’d ever seen. He said it was a Wolf Spider. Google it (if you dare). It looks like a tarantula. They are in PA but are kind of rare. He had to use a shovel to kill it. You can see it’s eyes glow in the flash of his camera. Can you say nightmare?

Me: First of all—never tell me stories like that. Second of all—holy mother-freaking crap. Third of all—I will NOT be googling that.

Alicia: Don’t google it. I immediately regretted it.

Rachel: He thought I was playing a practical joke on him and that it was fake, that’s how big it was.

Me: Did you helpfully run up the steps, put your fingers in your ears, and scream murderously “Kill it!! Effing kill it!” That’s how I handle situations like that.

Rachel: I think I was in shock. Mostly just stood there. Matt will tell you he wasn’t scared but he was hesitating and stuff. He had to plot how to kill it. But afterward I couldn’t sit down. I followed Matt around wherever he went and he said “Why are you hanging around me?” I didn’t realize I was doing it, LOL.

Me: There was a big spider in the dining room once but nothing like this. Mom killed it. Alicia did a run-by to cover it with a red solo cup until dad came home and picked it up. I, as stated before, stood on the steps and screamed helpfully. I. Cannot. Do spiders.


I mean...just...ugh. I should have written this earlier. Now I'LL have nightmares.


On a men are from Mars women are from Earth note.....

Last night I was putting the binding on my table runner. I had bought this 'nifty' tool to help with the final seam. No matter what I couldn't get it as the directions were really weird and I ended up cutting things too short and I had to sew on a new binding strip while the whole thing was already sewn to the quilt. I then used my regular method, which took two minutes and fit perfectly. So while I'm pressing things into place I'm muttering and cursing about this stupid tool (because I wasted about an hour and was super annoyed). My dad walks into the room...

Dad: What is the problem in here?

Me: (See above).

Dad: Hmmm...sounds like you need to learn to use your tool better.

I relayed this to my mother this afternoon. She gave the appropriate response, which was "Uhhh, I think it sounds like you don't need the tool." Exactly. See? Women just get it.'s like they're not even listening when you're talking about sewing and quilting :)


Just feeling chatty. Hope your week is going along swimmingly.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hexies: The Hard Part is Over

Guess whaaaaaaat? I put my last few piecing stitches into my hexie table runner. All the shapes are joined and the papers removed. It's only been ten months and twenty hexie flowers. It's about time, right?

It looks like nothing, but there are a lot of stitches in there. And a lot of tails wagging on the back:

I didn't quite know what to do with the edges. There were folds and loose bits that weren't sewn as they had originally been tacked to the piecing papers. I was going to fuse some interfacing to just the edges to tame them, but that didn't feel right, mentally. Plus it seemed like a lot more work. So I simply trimmed them straight.

This was very make-it-up-as-you-go for me, so certain aspects aren't as great as if they might be if I had thought to plan things out. But I thought instead of trying to stabilize the edges from fraying, and then getting the binding on just perfect to hit where I wanted (and it still might be a problem as it would be right near the unsewn tails that might fray) I just decided to square it off and be done with it.

I certainly went through stages with this quilt top. When I was wrapping papers and basting them in place I was in love. When I was sewing the flowers together I wanted to marry the project. Then my excitement waned. And the project sat. It was rough on the fingertips and it was hard to find time to work on it. But I finally just finished it off. I still love the vintage feel of the fabric, and the colors. I'm just...a little tired of it.

So I've made an executive decision. I'm going to machine quilt this. If I were to choose to hand-quilt this it would truly sit for another year, and quite possibly never be finished. So I'm going to do some simple quilting and a scrappy binding and call it a day. Or a year. Well, almost a year. I want this out and about where I can see it and enjoy it, not folded up in a box waiting to be finished.

I don't know that I could make something like this again. I've seen some truly beautiful pieces and have no idea where people got their patience, especially those who make entire bed quilts out of hand-sewn hexies. The precision is great, and simple hand sewing can be quite soothing. But I like things I can make in a few days or a week. I get too excited to get onto the next thing. So maybe to get my hand-sewing fix I'll start stitching the linings in my bags closed by hand. They'll look  better and I'll get to slow down for a few minutes. And then I can jump to the next thing.

Hopefully I'll have this completely finished this week. And hopefully it's not now so old that it disintegrates when I make my quilt sandwich :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Arc Angel Tote

Wanna see my new handbag? I was using the blue and pink one from this post, and loving it! But then I bought a new phone, and the thing is a lot bigger than my old phone. It stuck so far out of the pocket that it interfered with the zipper--crazy big-ass phone, eh? Remember when it was a big deal when they got teeny, and now they're trying to make them larger again? Anyway, I could have just not used the pocket, but I don't like my phone rattling around in the bottom of my bag--I can barely get to it in time as it is, if it's at the bottom of the bag forget it! Luckily for me, u-handbag just published their latest pattern--the Arc Angel Tote.

I was smitten from the start with the pleats and the curves. I'm only slightly ashamed to admit I kind of stalked the site waiting for it to appear. I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use, too, so I could get straight to work. So what was the first thing I did? Messed up, of course. The big old words that said 'tape together on the dotted line' escaped my view, and so I had a few pieces that were a bit smaller, and no yardage left to cut new ones. My first instinct was to scrap it, but then I thought "No, dang it! I really want this bag!" So I modified it. The measurements sounded too large anyway, but I wanted to make the bag as written first, and then modify it. This way I skipped a step and have a bag that I totally love off the bat. I would like it a little bit wider, but the yoke part with the overlapping pieces is the part I had cut small, and would dictate the width of the bag. I didn't want to try to eke a little more out of it and then really have issues inserting the magnetic snap.

I rarely use cotton webbing unless it's for totes, so this is a first for me. I couldn't find the recommended one inch size in a color I liked, so I bought 1.25 inch webbing and hooks that were a little wider. I was pleased with how neatly I stitched it--doesn't that sound smug? But straps tend to be a bit slippy anyway and these are no fun to pick stitches out of. I took my time and went sloowwwlly and they come out nice and neat. The webbing was pretty stiff, but I smashed the folds as flat as I could and held them in place with clips.

I added some top-stitching that shouldn't be there because I didn't read the directions all the way through first. I always tell you guys to do that on tutorials and then didn't do it myself. There's a reason I can't pick the stitches out, but I can't think of what it is right now. I love the colors of those stripes. Now if the weather would get sunny and let the flowers bloom I could feel right seasonable carrying this around.

One of the reasons I love my grommet and eyelet pliers so is that you can get a nice even smash when inserting hardware. Plus, you have to give them a nice big squeeze to get them in just right, but then you feel the metal give and know that it's really in there. It's really good if you've had a rough day and need to get rid of some stress. And I don't bug everyone by using the hammer and anvil method which is equally useful but far more noisy.

It has a nice flat bottom, too. Perfect for holding all my stuff. I found the lining by chance when I was looking for something else in Joann's one day--it's a bit twee, but it's the lining and only for my eyes (other than yours right now :) and it makes me smile.

Now my pockets are plenty deep for my kitchen table sized cell phone. I really dig how this one came out--it reminds me of summer and bright beach umbrellas and popsicles. I'm not saying I want to jump into the triple digit temps we seem wont to receive in the summer months, but I'd like to see the sun and flowers and drive with my windows down.

Well, enjoy your Monday! I'll always hate them, but you might like them :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Few for Friday - #20

Do you realize in six more weeks we'll be halfway through the year already? That's crazy town. That can't be real. That also means my youngest nephew will have been here for a year. I mean....geez. What the hell?

This was a bit of an off week. Mentally I was very preoccupied. Nutritionally I ate a lot of doughnuts. Emotionally I fired off an angry email to a web-store that I have finally had it with. And creatively I made a bag. But I mucked it up from the get-go and had to finagle a work-around. I'll show you as soon as I get some pictures. Speaking of pictures, I have one photo for you this week. Skimpy, I know. But it's a good one.

The fake swans they have in the retention pond at work are meant to scare off the geese. It's been working for the most part, except for these two. My boss figured they must have laid some eggs they weren't going to leave behind, and it turns out he was right. I think the little orange flag marks where a sprinkler head is, but from this angle I like that the third gosling looks like he's carrying it.

I'm hoping next week is a bit more inspiring, and that my eyes are more focused outward instead of moodily dwelling on things that one cannot change. Cheerio!

That's Not How Your Grandmother Does It

I was digging through my pattern drawer looking for something (duh, right? Why else would I be digging through it?) when I happened upon something from several years ago that I kept only because my mother said I should. I'm glad I did as I do like looking back at things I made when I was learning and seeing how much more I know now. Anyway, it was the very first quilty thing I had made ever. A very sad quilty thing.

My grandma makes all her quilts by hand, and makes it look quite easy. You go visit her and she's all "Oh, I did this, and I needle-turn appliqued that, and I made six of these for gifts" and she's quite amazing for a gal in her eighties. About six months after I had my very first sewing lesson, we were out her way for a visit and I decided I was going to home and make a quilt, by hand. Just like that. Because, you know, I had made a t-shirt and a skirt so I was obviously armed to the gills in knowledge and experience. I scouted around online and found a pattern for this candle mat, which was going to be one of many blocks, harharhar:

Somehow I managed to cobble this thing together. I had a bag of fabric scraps and pulled out the pieces that had maroon (because that would be all that mattered, obviously). I ignored the fact that sometimes triangles take convincing, and that y-seams might exist. I somehow made things fit, but how I did so is not in my memory. I'm sure I cursed, because I don't do much without doing that, but I don't remember what would have been frustrating to me and how so. When you look at the piecing, it doesn't look awful for a first crack. I have now come to know that pressing is essential to quilting, so let's just ignore that aspect of it.

That part's not the terrible part. It's the quilting part that's very funny. I had no idea how you quilted anything --the only hand-stitching I had ever done was to sew on a button or fix a hem. Running stitches sounded like a jogging ailment, and burying the knot was a phrase I had never heard. I just thought sewing was sewing, so I threaded my needle and went up-down-up-down-up-down in the ditches of my patchwork masterpiece. It took me a few nights, and fingertips worn away enough that I could have committed a crime and touched everything and they wouldn't get a print.

When I finished, and was turning it over and over to examine it, my mom said "Did you finish? Let me see it!" I had a major WTF look on my face, because this was not my grandma's quilting, but I meekly handed over my square thing. And she said "This can't be right. What did you do to it?" So I told her. And she said "I was wondering what you were doing over there stitching like that. When your grandma stitches you barely see her hands move." Thanks for saying something three days ago, Ma. But she was right. This is definitely not how you quilt:

So I spent a few hours with Google (is there anything you can't find there?) and came away armed with the knowledge necessary to not do this:

Normally I would have quit. Why bother? I was obviously terrible at it. But I love(d) quilts. I loved seeing what my grandmother created, and imagining pretty color combinations of endless bolts of fabric. So I had to keep on. I researched, I practiced, and maybe a month or two later I had finished a fall table runner for my mom (which I cannot find the picture of right now, so here's the Christmas one that followed):

I prefer to do all my quilting bits by machine now, when I can eek out the time to do so. I'm much too impatient to piece and quilt by hand (except for the binding...sometimes) but I didn't learn to do any of that until after I had a very bad go at hand quilting. But one must start somewhere, right?

What about you? Have you saved any early bits that you look back on now and chuckle?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Join Me In June!

Ahoy ahoy! Happy Sunday to you all! In the past month or so, I've posted a few zip pouches I've made (see here and here). I was asked about tutorials for them, so instead of telling you "Yeah, sure!" and then making you wait forever (which we know will happen :) I decided to dedicate each Sunday in June to a different style zip pouch (kind of like how last year we made four different totes). Zippers aren't as scary as you may think they are, and you'll be able to modify the sizes of the patterns to make whatever size you want. So what are we going to make?

A straight-sided, flat-bottomed makeup pouch.

A double-zip wristlet. And, I don't have a picture as I haven't made it yet :) but a pouch just like this only with a single zipper across the front and nothing across the top.

And a 3-D boxy pouch (EXCELLENT for makeup and travel bits).

Zips aren't scary, though I get why people are nervous about them. Little purses and bags like the above are a great way to bone up on your skills without needing huge amounts of fabric. I buy my zippers in bulk from ZipperStop, but ZipIt on Etsy is a great shop as well. To complicate matters, when I use zippers I buy these so I can replace the original pull with one a little larger (that I can also put a piece of ribbon through if I feel like it). This also enables me to get a couple zippers from one big one--you cut off the ends, pull the old pull off, and put the new one on (it's a little tricky of a process to get used to, but I can do it with my eyes closed now). This doesn't work with Coats & Clark brand zips, but it works a treat for YKK brand. Just something to consider. Otherwise you can buy zips and use them without changing a thing. Lots of rambling there, just in case you were wondering why my pulls don't match my zips.

For all the pouches I'd recommend twelve-inch zippers, except for the 3-D boxy pouch for which I'd get sixteen inches. They'll be a liiiiiiitle long, but I find zippers easier to work with when they're a little longer than necessary. Hope to see you in June!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

"A Bag for All Reasons" Review and Project

I have had this book for a year. For reals. I should be ashamed that I haven't had the chance to use it until now, considering that I have a mad, crazy crafty-crush on its author, Lisa Lam (of u-handbag fame). As tends to happen, I had put it on my shelf, and then experienced a case of out of site-out of mind. A few other delightful books have been suffering the same fate, so my goal is to sew something from each book and then review that book and show you my project.

I reviewed Lisa's first book here. It is chock-full of tips and techniques for sewing and designing your own bags, but also comes with patterns in case you're feeling timid on the design front. I still highly recommend it. While that one is more technique-oriented with projects interspersed throughout to practice what each section covers, this one is definitely more project-oriented. Let's start at the very beginning, then. A very good place to start :)

This book is spiral-bound, so it lays nice and flat on your table so you can easily follow along. Instead of holding down the corners with anything heavy enough that's laying nearby,

 The book is divided into three sections, as shown above. I'll be honest on this part--the techniques sections are much beefier in the first book, whereas here it's enough to get you through the patterns. This is probably more of a publishing limitation, though. If you're looking to have the directions all laid out, go with this book. If you want to learn techniques to design your own, go with her first book.

There are three large sections in the back that pull out to open up to full-sized pattern pieces that you can cut apart and use right away--no tracing because they overlap, no enlarging. It's ready to go. I love this feature.

 And these are the projects--pretty, purposeful things for carrying things. There are simple totes, a tech case, a kiddie version and a grown-up version of a backpack, a wallet, a bicycle bag, a train case, and more.

And if you buy from her shop she'll even sign it for you :)

So what do I think of this one? It's put together well. The pictures are good. The directions are clear. I personally would have liked more pictures. I'm a visual learner, so I love pictures and videos, but the directions are clear enough to get you through the project (even though you may have to read one or two a few times). Again, I think that comes down to limitations from the publisher--you only have so many pages to fill and it's a fine line between too many directions/not enough projects and vice versa. As a stand-alone bag book it might be a little difficult to follow if you've never sewn bags before. But if you've made a few you should be quite all right with this one. I think both are worthy of having in your library. 

I skipped right to the end and chose what is probably the hardest pattern in the book, but it's something I've wanted to make for a long time so it seemed a natural choice--The Train-Style Vanity Case. I made it in sewing-themed fabrics as I was making it as a sewing case instead of a cosmetics case. I think it came out pretty good for a first crack:

The top and bottom are rigid, but the sides aren't. I'd like to figure out how to make the whole thing rigid without driving myself too insane in the process.

 The handle is a super cute knotted bow--you'd see it better if I had used a different fabric, but I think it's my favorite part of the whole thing.

 You're looking at the two things I would change (that I did--not that were in the directions). I used a dual-direction purse zipper, and it did save some time in making one out of two regular zippers, but it's wider than a normal zip and makes things a bit stiffer. Also, I would use thinner piping cord as I think it would be easier going around the curves.

 The directions for this hinge were crazy. Not crazy to figure out, but in seeing where she's going with it. And then poof! All is well.

I hate when black fabrics are completely different shades of black. Anyway, where the lid and base attach to the body there are raw edges exposed that are hidden with bias tape. My preference is for seams and not bound edges, but I suppose there is no way around some things. I sewed this on as if I were binding a quilt--I stitched it down by machine, and then tacked it down by hand for a neater appearance. 

This pic makes it look like the lid is too small for the giant case, but it's just the angle it's taken at. I've been giving my sister some sewing lessons, and it holds the stuff she practices on perfectly. Much better than the Ziploc bag she's been stuffing things into.

So that's that. I've had a flip-through the other patterns, and I can guarantee they're all easier than this one. Of course I'm going to make another one. Red and yellow popped into my head so we'll have to see what I can dig up. See you tomorrow when I tell you what's in store for June! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Few for Friday - #19

What a long week. We had some training we were doing at work all week, along with the regular stuff, so my brain never settled into work mode but was more in a here-and-there sort of mode. I had a few sewing projects lined up that I wanted to do, but only got two of them done--one was this zippy wristlet, and the other I'll show you on Saturday as I've got a book review I'm going to do with it. That one took me three evenings. Three!! But when it's a first-time project with lots of bits I've never done before it usually takes me longer anyway. It turned out really cute or else I'd be annoyed at all the time invested. But that's for another day. I need to trot to bed so I'm going to pop these pics up here and mosey on :)

Things are no longer so much like this--the blossoms have all started on their 'snowfall' to the sidewalks below. I do love the flowers--I wish that was the ordinary state of trees, but I do suppose I might appreciate them less if their presence wasn't so fleeting.

 The weekend had beautiful blue skies and sunshine glinting off the leaves. It was warm in the sun (almost too warm) but quite cool in the shade.

 When you make Babycakes smile he likes to show all his teeth, of which there are eight. 

 The eyes. Just...the eyes. 
Side note: Lest you think I only have one nephew, the other one is now of the age where, when the camera is pointed at him, he says "Could you not?"

 My mom's boss gave her staff trays of cookies. My mother does not like frosted novelties, so she went for the chocolate chips and I went for the iced frog. And the iced flower the next night. They were quite delicious and, in retrospect, I wish I had shown a little more discretion as I really want one right now.

Pop back Saturday so I can show you my latest project that has my fingers sore for the hand-stitching I did on it. And then I'm going to share my June sewing plans with you. Remember how last June I did a month of easy tote tutorials? It might be something like that...

Happy Friday!


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