Category Archives: hair bows

Cookies, a sweater…oh dear, I’m disorganized!



It’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged. I’m sort of getting out of the habit of remembering to photograph projects when I finish them. I don’t think I’m ready to quit this blog thing yet because I enjoy keeping this little record for myself, but I do need to put a note or something on my crafty table so I don’t completely get out of the habit. In any case, here’s a little bit of what”s been going on at my house this past month. Dorothy and I made hair bows. I made a few for her (including this one I glued to a headband) and she made some for her cousins. We used a Bowdabra, which is simple and gives good results. It makes puffy bows–not the tidy little twisted kind you can make with templates. sugar-cookies

I’ve used the season as an excuse to try a bunch of gluten-free cookie recipes I’d been wondering about. I’m not gluten-free but my mother is, so I’ve been enjoying experimenting with gluten-free baking on her behalf. These sugar cookies were from Carol Fenster’s 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes and they were terrific. I don’t think anyone would have noticed they were gluten-free if I hadn’t said something. I rolled them out between sheets of plastic wrap as suggested, but I found the dough just as easy to work with as regular cookie dough.


These gluten-free jam cookies were from The Wheat-Free Cook by Jacqueline Mallorca. I don’t care for this book overall as well as the one above, but these cookies were tasty. They were really great just-baked and were nice but crumbly once they had been sandwiched with the jam. The drawback to them came the next day, when they’d apparently soaked up all the moisture from the jam and almost fell apart when I touched them, so they really want to be eaten only on the day they are made. Still, they are tasty and light with a nice flavor and don’t scream “gluten free alternative!” when you taste them.


I finished knitting (knooking) myself this sweater a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the freakishly warm weather has prevented me from wearing it much. I ran into the difficulty once again of trying to get a decent photo of a project made for myself but this one will have to do. I’d like to show the neckline, which I particularly like, but I didn’t think to take off my scarf for the photo when I came in today from shopping. I used this Oatmeal Pullover pattern and the Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn the pattern suggests, but in the color Eggplant. I like the sweater and it didn’t take that long to knook since the yarn is so chunky, but if this warm-weather trend continues I may never get to wear it since it is such a bulky, warm garment. I made the pattern in size medium, but since the knitter controls the length and the sleeve length I think I could have gone down a size and cut down on some of the bulk.


Finally, this is what my kids made their instructors/nursery care providers/extracurricular teachers as holiday gifts this year. Last year we did jars of homemade granola and I was going to do that again, but when my kids got snotty and sick it felt like homemade gifts from my kitchen stirred by their germy little hands might not be the most appropriate displays of our affection. Instead I cut strips of cardstock and cut the recipients’ names out with paper punches, then let the kids paint their own designs on the strips. Each kid needed to make about five. After they were dry we wrote the children’s names on the back and laminated them to make sturdy personalized bookmarks.

Hope you have a very merry, crafty Christmas!

A cupcake birthday


My first baby turned six today! We’ve been celebrating for a week. We’d never before hosted a “friend” birthday party but we did this year. Such fun! I cut a cupcake shape from a cardboard box and Dorothy painted it. We staged this photo, then I used Photoshop to add words to the cupcake for her invitation. They looked sweet printed on metallic paper from Mpix and I made postcards from the same print with only the words “thank you” on the cupcake.

Dorothy chose a Michael Miller print with cupcakes for her birthday dress fabric and insisted that I use the same pattern (Simplicity 5704) I’d used for cousin Lila’s pony dress. I really was into the idea of making her birthday dress but I had computer problems two¬† weeks ago that prevented me from doing anything crafty since I basically spent all my free time for a week trying to buy a new hard drive, back up files, and act like I knew what I was doing. When the week of her birthday party arrived I hadn’t yet made her dress or the cupcake pajamas she also insisted she needed, given that the friend celebration was to occur in pajamas. I stayed up very late one night sewing the dress, was pleased with the result, then stayed up the next night making her pajamas based on a pair of pajama pants I took out of her drawer as I was tucking her in. The next morning she woke up and said, “oh mom, I forgot to tell you last night, but those pajama pants you took downstairs last night are way too big.” Oy. And the homemade pants were too, but I altered them a bit and they were still cute, if a bit bunchy.

The dress was darling on her but Dorothy may have been the most pleased with the new shoes her grandparents bought her. She fell in love with them on their birthday shopping trip and insisted that six was old enough to wear “high heels.” I’ll never tell her that I don’t really consider these girly little sandals to be high heels. She’s been clomping around the house in them like six-year-old royalty.

I purchased cupcake-themed goodies from Oriental Trading Company and the kids had a great time dividing the little rubber stamps, temporary tattoos and other cupcake ephemera into pink cellophane bags for the party. We invited nineteen children and all of them showed up. Dorothy declared herself a “party animal.” Indeed.

After surviving the adorable mob of small cupcake-eating girls in pastel pajamas on Friday night we hosted a more staid fete for our close family the next afternoon. Nana, at Dorothy’s request, made a sheet cake with a cupcake on it.

Many of our small party guests brought handmade cards. I hung some string on our mantel so we could display all her special birthday cards for a few days to fully appreciate them.

With all the parties over we’re getting back to our routine. Soon it will be time to make decisions about schooling for next year. Our homeschool routine is so cozy and laid back I think it might be hard to make a choice for “away” school (Dorothy’s term), no matter how fond we are of the options we’ve applied to. She’s begging to stay home, probably because she hates setting the alarm. (She gets that from me.) We’ll see. In the meantime my kindergartener is getting in plenty of relaxed time with our little cast of characters at home in the mornings and many great experiences in our afternoon activities out and about. She does Girl Scouts, soccer, gymnastics, Sunday School, ballet, and church choir. I always giggle a little inside when people express concern about homeschoolers getting enough socialization.

On a different subject, I made more new accent pillows for the sofa. I just can’t stop. I’m keeping all the old ones, of course, but changing them seasonally really seems to give great impact for little effort. This green and white Ikat print makes the whole room feel springy. Like cupcakes, you know, but without all that sugar.

Some summer accessories


For the last couple years I have been sewing this pattern when I feel like I need a new wallet.  I’ve made it at least a half dozen times. It’s an awesome wallet because it has the right compartments for all my necessities, is a perfect size, and is straightforward and simple to make. I usually prefer the look of a snap closure to the velcro but this time I was sewing in the middle of the night (yes, that is reality with kids; sometimes a girl just needs a new wallet, and sometimes she’s already been rudely awakened in the middle of the the night…) and I didn’t want to wake anyone else up by my hammering in snaps. I sewed a decorative button on the front to make up for the velcro.

The fabric is scraps from my living room. I have no idea where I got the fusible fabric stiffener I used but it was awful. It didn’t provide much structure and it wrinkled the fabric. I’m tossing it out and hoping to not accidentally buy that brand again–who knew there was so much difference? I should keep better track of where I get stuff like that so I know not to waste money on it again. Still, I like my punchy new wallet.

(Aside: notice there is no wallpaper on the wall behind me? The family room is the last wallpaper-removal frontier! It will hopefully be painted yellow this time next week.)
In a break from this most recent home renovation push I stitched up a new skirt and matching headband. I’ve sewn this same skirt pattern over and over and over and over, but it’s so great. It’s just the skirt and waistband pieces from Simplicity 2758. I sew it in knits and leave out the zipper, making it super fast and comfortable. I’ve sewn it in varying lengths and with various embellishments around the hem so it doesn’t feel like I have six or so of the same skirt. This time I made it long, in a swishy and slightly shiny polyester knit.

I used scraps from the bottom ruffle to make little rosettes, which I glued onto a plain black headband. Of course now Dorothy wants one too. Rob took me to some sort of business dinner tonight that we interpreted as more of a social event (hence the long swishy skirt and floral headband, and we dropped off the kids with their grandparents) but it turned out to be more of a business event where exactly zero other participants brought a spouse, and everyone was dressed as if they’d come straight from work. Oops!  I felt like some sort of chubby trophy wife. But actually the event turned out to be rather fun, with an interesting speaker and yummy food.

And finally, some happy news regarding my car-related teeny tiny sorry ass first world problem. It’s over! I turned back in my unlovable rental and was reunited with my family car today. I managed not to make out with it in the parking lot but it was tough. (LOL, please.)

Fifth Birthday


Another birthday!  We joke in my family that we have birthday season in February and March.  Both nieces, my father, father-in-law and two children all have birthdays in those months.  We eat cake.  Lots of cake.  Here is Dorothy’s birthday dress, which features a yellow Volkswagen Beetle patch.  She wanted a pinch buggy birthday so that is what she got. She declared that her dress should not be constructed of pinch buggy fabric (although I did find that, see below), but should be a pretty dress with just one pinch buggy on the front.  I found the patch on eBay, the fabric and Joann, and the pattern is Simplicity 5695, which I think I’ve made a zillion times now but she asked for that style specifically.  (She wanted it to be like this dress of the same basic pattern.)

I don’t often make hair bows for Dorothy because she won’t keep them on, but I did make one for this event and she did keep it on just for the duration of the party. Hair bows are so easy–I have no idea why they cost so much.  Yet there is something about just dragging out the glue gun that has made me an Etsy hair bow purchaser myself, back before my kid started refusing to wear them. This one is made from ribbon left over from another project with flowers cut out of the dress fabric (raw edges and all) and one purple button that came as an extra with a store-bought sweater.  Now she’ll probably never wear it again but who knows, I might.

I found this Volkswagen fabric on Etsy.  (Or was it eBay?  I find novelty fabric in both places.) This is the third time I’ve made an accent tablecloth for her birthday table.  It’s just one yard of fabric, squared off and hemmed all around on the serger. In the past I think I layered them over other tablecloths, but since Worth likes to yank at tablecloths I skipped the layered look this time.  The small homemade tablecloths set off the theme for her parties by decorating the table, then they find a more permanent home in our playroom housekeeping area where they perfectly fit the small play table.  As usual, we have Nana to thank for the beautiful cake, and the theme was inspired by Rob, who drives a pinch buggy convertible.