Friday, October 28, 2011

Robbie's Haunted Village is Finished!!

Well almost......I picked up some other stuff at the dollar store this morning that I thought would look way cool, plus we didn't find the werewolf, mummy or the skeletons he wanted.  The mummy is lying on the hearth to the right.  I'll have to find a sarcophagus for him.  Then I can add him.

This is it's final resting place, but it's hard to see especially with my floral arrangement right behind it.  The picture below was taken outside on my front porch, but I hadn't put the cats and pumpkins on it yet.

This picture is Robbie's favorite part of the whole village - Dracula's Castle.  You can see his little legs in the background!  He actually helped paint it.  Not bad for a 7 year old.  I think we'll have to move that big spider to another place, because it covers Dracula. and his coffin.

This is a close up of Dracula and his castle & coffin.  If you look closely, you can see a big bat on the corner of the castle.

  But here is a really good close up if you can't  Look at those red eyes!

 This is a close up of the ghosts and black birds hanging from Dracula's tree.

If you look at the back left side in this picture, you'll see a hump.  That is the spot for Robbie's werewolf when we find one.  Eventually, we'll have him up there howling at a moon.  I'll either hang a moon from wire or paint it on a backdrop.  Right in front of that will be our graveyard.  We only have a couple of markers right now (not pictured here), but I found another today at the dollar store.  We'll keep adding to it, then put a spooky fence around that section.

This idea originally came from here.  Robbie didn't think it was scary enough, so he designed his own using the original as a guide.  He literally sat down and sketched out his design in great detail.  At some point, we'll add some spooky moss to the trees.  Incidentally, these are branches we gathered from outside and painted black, then I simply hot glued them to holes that I drilled in the board.  There is one on the left that has a real spider web!  I left it on and it actually looks great painted black.  It's just really small, so it's hard to see.  Robbie was very pleased with that!  Woohoo.

Thank Heavens it is finally complete - at least for now.  But you know I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'm sure he'll keep wanting to add things NOW, RIGHT NOW rather than wait and add a little every year.  He is so impatient.  I have no idea where he gets that from!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

I don't know why I do this to myself!!!

So, I was reading the newest blog post at craftysisters about their witch shoes.  While I was there, I saw a post from last year about a Halloween village that I thought was fabulous.  So, of course, I thought this would be a great project for Robbie.  I just knew he would love the idea and would have plenty of opinions on exactly how he'd like to do it.  Boy, did he ever.  In fact, he sat down and sketched out his design with perfect detail on how it would look and what would go on it right down to the color specs.  I kid you not.  I spent 2 hours yesterday going from Michaels to Joannes to Party City and Home Goods looking for all the stuff he wanted for his village, because it had to be just right.  He wanted a scary village, so we were on the hunt for scary creatures and dark colors.  Well obviously this late in the game, we were limited on what we found.  We would find the right skeleton for example, but it wasn't to scale.  He didn't care at all, but I sure did.  And we argued about it right in the middle of the store.  So, I told him this would be like our Christmas village we do every year.  We would add to it every year which would give us plenty of time to find the things he wanted and mom approved.  Whew!!  I dodged a bullet.  We managed to get 2 of the houses decorated last night.  I went to Lowes today to pick up some other supplies, because he left me this morning with very strict instructions to have these things so we could work on it when he got home from school.  I'll have pics posted in a day or so, because little man will not let me rest until we get it finished.  You think I'm kidding.  I am so serious.  He will wear me out.  Why do I do this to myself?  I know how he is, and yet I do it anyway.  It's not like I have a lot of time on my hands with a hundred other projects waiting for their turn.  Dear Lord, give me strength.  I will seriously need it!  But I will be excited to see the look on his face when it's completed, since he already thinks what we've done so far is "awesome"!!  I guess that's why I do it..........  He really knows how to work me, huh?  I am such a sucker!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost done!

I had a horrible time trying to find little pearls small enough to look like fish bubbles, so I could finish this bishop.  I tried to "eyeball" the first two attempts then thought I'd be better served actually taking the dress with me to get the right size.  Voila!  It worked.  Imagine that! (lol)  Perhaps that should have been my first thought.  Anyway, I finally got the right size, but these little jokers are tiny!  I don't have a single needle in my stash that will go through the opening.  So I thread my needle, make a satin stitch, unthread the needle, manually thread the bead, then re-thread my needle to make my finishing cable stitch - on every single pearl!  It's very time consuming.  I'd have finished this thing in no time yesterday if I had the right needle.  I still would have had to thread and re-thread needles, but that would have been much easier than trying to thread the little bead.  So guess what's next on my list of things to have on hand - you got it - a collapsible needle!!  Then to make matters worse, I spilled the entire container in my lap in my car yesterday as I was sitting in carpool when the bottom fell out.  Who in the world makes a container with a top and bottom that are removable???  Especially when the bottom piece just sort of fits into the bottom with no reinforcement whatsoever.  Really??  Really??  You know I was thinking some ugly, ugly words.  I don't remember saying any........but I was surely thinking them.  I thought I would die trying to pick them all up.  I still have a mess of them in my seat.  I'm surprised they weren't sticking to my butt when I got out of my car.  And with the comedians I live with, I would never, ever have lived it down.  I was so mad yesterday when I got home, I just didn't want to go out there to mess with it.  I will not buy that brand of beads again -EVER. 

As for the two other containers of pearls that didn't fit, I plan to use those for little necklaces or bracelets if time permits.  I can't wait to tackle yet another project.  I am a glutton for punishment!


Monday, October 17, 2011

The Finished Room

I absolutely need a new camera.  These are the pics, but they aren't as good as I had hoped.  You really can't see the detail in the bed skirt's main fabric.  It's just looks like plain blue, but there really is a subtle pattern.  We made the bed skirt, shams, the hourglass pillow from Amy Butler, and the headboard.  I'll address the details of the headboard in another post.  I originally made the bed skirt 14" long (that's a long story).  Anyway, when I got to Athens to put it on the bed, Britt told me she wanted to elevate the bed, so she could store things under it.  Her closet and storage space is very limited.  I half expected that, so I had incorporated a 1" hem in the skirt - just in case. That's why if you look closely, you can see the hem line and you can see those stupid bed risers - I hate those.  I was pressed for time and didn't have enough time to iron the skirt really well.  At least you can see what I was trying to accomplish with the box pleats.  The next pic shows the little upholstery nails we used to keep the skirt in place. (Don't look at the lint from her blanket!) It's hard to see, but I used a 3" band at the top of the bed skirt on all 3 pieces (2 sides and bottom).  Then I simply nailed a piece of floral fabric at the corners already hemmed on 3 sides.  We used covered buttons and stitched those to the pleats to keep them open.  I opted not to use button holes in case she wanted to change it later. The third pic is a close up of the pleat. The rest of the pics are close ups of the headboard and pillows.  I did not have the right hangers to hang the head board while I was there, so she had her dad hang it when he came up the following week.  Unfortunately, they hung it too high.  In addition, I made it too wide.  The edge should not be seen.  It should be tucked in behind the pillows and mattress.  Or I should have brought the molding all the way to the floor.  We also decided we didn't like our fabric choice for the center piece.  So we will change it to the green checked fabric on the hourglass pillow.  Also, there are 3 fabric covered buttons that are right in the middle of the headboard that are covered by the shams.  So, I'll need to put a few more at the top where they'll be seen.  She'll be moving in a few months to another house, so we'll fix everything then.  All in all, for the money we spent, I was quite pleased with the overall results.  I'm just not super happy about some of the details.  At least now, I know how to do it again should I choose to.  Other than the hourglass pillow, I did everything from scratch without a pattern.  BTW, we found the secretary at an estate sale.  It's over 100 years old.  We took a swatch of the fabric and matched the paint color which is the same color on the headboard.  Her TV fit quite nicely on the bottom shelf.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sneak Peak!

 This is just sneak preview of the bed skirt and pillow shams I made for Britt's bed in her new house.  The photo to the left isn't that great (I need a new camera), but it'll do for now.  My little guy wanted to help me with the pic of the sham.  He loves to help me when I'm sewing.  Anyway, I digress.  Britt wanted the Amy Butler fabric for the bed skirt, but at $9 a yard, I thought we could do something a little different.  Many years ago, I came across a picture in some magazine of a small table skirt.  This would have been a bed side table.  Anyway, it had this pleat right in the front and was buttoned back to reveal more of the coordinating fabric.  It was just precious.  I had kept that in the back of my mind, because I knew it would look equally as good as a bed skirt.  And I thought this was the perfect time to attempt it.  I had my own bed skirt done professionally, so I used it as a guide.  It is 3 pieces and attached to the box springs using these.  They are fantastic unless the box springs are wooden which her's was.  Crap!  I wound up going to Lowes and getting upholstery nails, and they worked beautifully.  Although, they were difficult to hold in place while nailing.  I smacked my fingers quite a few times.  I think next time, I'll try a little adhesive on the nail to help hold it in place while hammering. 
I am going to Athens for the weekend, so I'll get pics of the skirt actually on the bed which I've been screaming for from my daughter for weeks.  I guess I'll just have to do it myself!  Sheesh!  We also made her headboard and an adorable throw pillow that's an Amy Butler design.  Oh and some wall art also an Amy Butler design; although, we used Britt's initials instead.  I'll be sure a snap pics of everything.  I hope I don't forget my camera this time.  When I made a trip up there to put everything together, I forgot my camera. :(  Maybe I'll put it in the car when I get home so I don't forget again.  Better yet, best to call home and leave a message on my own voice mail.  hahahaha  Yes, I have done that!

Oh, BTW, you can find a tutorial on a bed skirt much like this one here at Crafty Sisters.  This is not exactly how I did mine, but it's close enough, and there are instructions.  I don't know when I'll make another skirt to post a tutorial.  I'll be happy to answer any questions though.  Just shoot me an email.


Friday, October 7, 2011


My daughter is a Junior at UGA - Go Dawgs!  Yeah, I'm a proud mom and a huge fan of college football.  Could you tell?  Anyway, my little guy, who thinks his sister hung the moon, likes all things Georgia - and I mean ALL things.  You'd think HE was the UGA student.  I recently took a class on making boxers (you've seen my prior post), and he didn't want to be left out.  He wanted a pair but was insistent on having UGA fabric.  And not just any UGA fabric - it had to be THE right fabric.  He had to go with me to the fabric store to choose it himself!  I've created a monster.  lol  After a painfully long time searching Joannes' many shelves of fabrics, this pattern was his choice.  I bought enough to make 6 pair (for Christmas gifts) and ran for the door in case he decided to change his mind.  Once I had them finished, they were entirely too big and nearly fell off.  He is sooooo skinny.  Poor little guy.  So I put my favorite tool to use again - my seam ripper.  I had to take out just enough to pull the elastic a smidge tighter.  He confiscated them the minute I had them completed, so I couldn't get a picture.  I had to wait until I completed these.  He wanted me to make a pair for his best friend, Lincoln, too.  His mom sent me a pic of him wearing his, but I don't think he'd want me posting it for all the world to see.  But they were cute!  I have one more pair to make in this fabric, then I'll probably make a few more for the older guys on my list - no fabric yet.  I've also had requests from my girls.  I'm thinking if Britt is buying for college friends, these would be perfect.  I can picture these in a cute UGA pink flannel or even something along the lines of big polka dots or even something retro.  That's half the fun for me - choosing the right fabric.  OTOH, is there really a wrong fabric for boxers?  I think not.  Oh, and since these have 6 sections, they are really cute with coordinating fabrics.  They can also be lengthened to make sleep pants.  The ideas are endless.  This will probably wind up being one of my favorite patterns, since it's so versatile. 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another one bites the dust.

 Another Christmas gift is finished.  Woohoo!!!  I made these matching kitchen towels and hot pads for Rob's Aunt Marian.  She is so sweet.  We really love her.  Anyway, her kitchen colors are cranberry and green, so I searched and searched for the perfect fabric.  The towel tutorial can be found here.  I'll have to find the link for the pot holders.  I thought it was on my computer at the office, but alas, it must be on my computer at home.  Time for a laptop perhaps?  The potholders have a pocket on one end.  I've tried making them with two pockets, in fact, that's what I use at home. hands are really small, so it's hard to grasp a pot while trying to remove it from the oven.  So I thought it best to make just one pocket for Aunt Marian,

since her hands are really small too.  The pot holder on the right in the picture above is the flip side of the one in the photo to the right.  Basically, the pocket fabric is the same as the fabric on the back.  I bought the waffle towels from Wal-mart for about $3.00.  The fabric for the pot holders and towels were 2 fat quarters I picked up from Colonial Quilts in Savannah.  I don't like waffle weave for every day clean up kitchen towels especially on granite counter tops, but they make wonderful decorative towels.  I may even make some for my own kitchen one day, but for now, I have an unfinished stack of projects for Christmas that have to get done.  It's getting harder to find time for these between shuttling kids to/from school, karate, and church.  But I always seem to find time to sew even if it's just for an hour or so.  It keeps me sane!  Plus I've thought of a new idea of putting silhouettes on pillows; I don't know who would get them yet.  But I'm going to make them for someone!  So I finish one project and add two more.  No wonder my pile never seems to get smaller!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Heart Smocking!

This is the first bishop dress I ever made.  In fact, it's the one I started in my bishop class many moons ago.  This smocking plate is a Creative Keepsakes pattern "Heart o' my Heart."  I am so surprised the ribbon has held up so well.  This dress is nearly 20 years old.  The bishop pattern is Ellen McCarn's "The Ultimate Bishop."  I also have her yoke pattern and both are quite easy to construct.  And using the techniques I learned in my bishop class, I get the perfect neckline every time. The one item I cannot live without is a smock and block guide like this.  This is not the one I use, but it's pretty close.  Once you have your dress pleated, you'll use this guide to lay out your neck line. If anyone would like a tutorial on this, let me know.  I'll post one.