Thursday, October 29, 2009


Where did flipping October go?? Holy cow.

SUNDAY is November. NOVEMBER. As in turkey and Christmas shopping and cold weather and Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade NOVEMBER. Crazy times.

I've been quiet lately, just busy! Our "block" rolls over mid-October at school, so I get all new classes and I'm usually swamped in the beginning, as you well know if you've followed me for any length of time! I'm thinking sewing, if that counts.

I did something crazy insane last week for my new classes. I opened a wordpress blog (blogger is blocked at school) to use as a "newsletter" format for my kids & their parents. Now I just have to find time to update it regularly! I know I've got lots of teachers out there in the audience, so if you happen to teach Business Ed or FACS like me, feel free to pop over and see if there's anything usable to you & your classes!

(Oh, and its just a page right now, I was serious when I said I haven't posted yet! HA! That's on today's agenda.) Wordpress was pretty easy to setup, too. If you're a teacher and looking for a way to keep parents & kids involved, I'd recommend giving Wordpress a try! Our admin encourages those types of connections with home. I thought being a veteran of the blogworld, a blog was my best option.

Let's see...what else have you missed this month?? OH! Have you ever heard of Coastal Scents? If you're a youtube video junkie like me (Trudy started it all) you may have seen makeup tutorials videos. Well, one of my favorites, makeupbytiffanyd, did a review of eyeshadow palettes that Coastal Scents sells. I know it sounds like a candle company, but this place gets GREAT reviews all over the net on their makeup AND their makeup brushes. Their prices are spectacular! I just ordered several brushes and this palette:

It's the 88 Warm Palette. LOVE the colors and I can't wait for it to get here! I'm a little sad I didn't see the gel eyeliners before I purchased, because those are my favorite formula (Smashbox being my favorite brand) and I'd love to try a few. Darn.

Lastly (because I'm going to be late if I don't get wrap this up!) I got my November BWOF Wednesday! Woot! I LOVE this. I love a few other things too, but this is my favorite:

Line drawing:

Might forgo the shoulder ruffles, but who knows. I've been known to throw caution to the wind before! Again, as you well know. Toodles!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

late bloomer.

Look what was waiting for me in my (currently) bare patch of flowerbed this afternoon when I got home:

She's beautiful, especially against the gorgeous fall colors in my front yard.

This is the tree in all its glory (not even fully turned yet!)

These colors are amazing.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Can't help myself. Played with charm packs.

and fat quarters.

Not enough of any to do much with...possible table runner or wall hanging ahead!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

witchy-poo shoes.

It's that time of year again! You know, when my inner craft geek comes to life and wants to MAKE and stuff.

And just in time for some Halloween decorating, I bring you a witchy-poo shoes pattern and tutorial. Enjoy!

You'll need 2-3 coordinating, witchy fabrics; 8 eyelets (& the insertion tool); thread; polyfill for stuffing; and the Witchy Poo Shoe Pattern. This is just a preview. Make sure you visit my flickr HERE to download the full size pattern!
Cut 4 shoe pieces from your body fabric. Also cut one strip 1.5" x 10" for the hanging loop. Tear one 1" strip the full width of the fabric (45") for the ties. You'll want to tear each side instead of cutting so you have nicely frayed ties! Cut this strip in half.

Use your eyelet tool and a hammer to insert 2 eyelets on each shoe piece. I completely forgot to mark the eyelet placement on the pattern! I hope you can guesstimate using the photos below. Just remember that you have 1/4" seam allowances, and your sewing machine foot needs to clear the eyelet when stitching the shoe together too. Place your eyelet at least 5/8" away from the cut edge.

To insert the eyelet, carefully poke a hole through your mark with the point of your scissors. I turn my scissor point back and forth too, to make a little "circle".

Insert the eyelet with the prongs to the wrong side of the fabric. You'll place the tool over the prongs and tap with a hammer until it lies flat.

Repeat for all 8 eyelets (4 per shoe)!

Now you're ready to sew! Start stitching at the top front of the shoe, right sides together, leaving the opening for the hanging loop. Stitch down and around the toe point. I stopped after getting the pointy toe all stitched, but before I started on the bottom of the shoe.

You have to insert the ties now, before stitching the rest of the shoe! Or you'll kick yourself later. (You'll see that I did just that on one of the shoes. Kicking ensued.)

Spread the two halves flat, and roll the end of one of the ties into a point like so:

Insert it into a bottom eyelet from the right side, and thread like you would shoes. The ties go IN at the bottom outlet and OUT at the top. Cross on the wrong side or just go straight up to the top eyelet, it will never show, so doesn't matter!

Place the shoes right-sides-together again and continue stitching around the bottom and heel portion of the shoe on your sewing machine. Trim your corners and clip all of the curves so you will have a nice smooth seam when you turn right side out!

Fold in the long edges of the hanging loop (the 1.5" x 10" piece) and press. Fold again so that the folded edges meet, and you've created a long tube. Stitch close to the folded edge. I used contrasting thread so you could see better, and because I'm lazy. ;)

Now we're going to insert the hanging loop. Below, I've stitched all the way around, leaving an opening for stuffing on the back of the shoe (above the heel), and a smaller opening at the top of the shoe, near the back seam for the loop.

Thread the loop through the stuffing opening and then through the loop opening like so:

Stitch across, catching the loop in the seam! Trim off the excess loop.

Turn your shoe right side out and admire how cute it already is:

Begin to stuff! I use a bamboo skewer (if I can find it) like you use for shish kabobs to poke out tiny places like the pointy toe of this shoe. But you can also sub in anything narrow, like a pencil. Just be careful not to poke a hole in the point! Use the skewer to poke your stuffing all the way into the point. You'll want it nice and firm. Continue stuffing until full!

I used a plain jane whipstitch to close the stuffing opening.

Repeat all of the above steps to create your second shoe (obviously you can wait and stuff at the same time too. I'm impatient to see the finished product so I stuffed as I went.)

To insert the hanging loop in the second shoe, just follow the same procedure, threading the loop through the stuffing opening and up through the loop opening. It should be plenty long enough, even a stuffed shoe pair won't be in your way to stitch it closed!

The last little bit of crafty fun includes my favorite, glitter. I painted a translucent fabric paint randomly over the stars on each shoe, and sprinkled super fine glitter over the paint before it dried. Just to give it an extra punch of pretty!

Tie your raggedy ties in a cheeky bow:

And if you have some (I didn't have any handy) stitch a jingle bell on the point of the toe...preferably one that's been painted black (or whatever color matches your fabric). Now hang your witchy poo shoes from a door knob, on a Halloween wreath, from a dresser pull...wherever you might like to spot a touch of whimsy during the spooky season.

Don't forget to let me know if you used the pattern! I'd love to see! Flickr group pool HERE!!

ps...Don't you think these would be uber adorable as ELF shoes for the holidays too??!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

safari saturday.

A couple of miles from my house, live a few (hundred) of my favorite animals. We went over for a visit this afternoon because...

a) The weather was spectacular.


b) I have a new camera/lens kit! (Nikon D40). Still waiting for my longer zoom to arrive, but it doesn't matter for the safari, because the animals come to YOU. Case(s) in point to follow:

Not close enough? How about here:

Positively the closest I've ever been to a zebra.

So...even though I refused to roll down the window, he still agreed to walk away and pose pretty for the camera.


Camel's never fail to crack me up.

And look at this sweet baby:

And there's no deer season in this park. Beautiful animal.

My little shutterbug, practicing her skills (we took two cameras, my Canon Powershot S3 IS and the Nikon D40).
Lu is really interested in photography, and since you really can't fail with natural light, I thought it a great day to teach her some of the basics.

My girl is gorgeous. Just sayin.

I hope you had a spectacular Saturday too! You can see more safari Saturday pictures on my flickr, HERE.

Friday, October 09, 2009


NASA sent a rocket (or possibly 2 rockets) into this spot on the moon this morning to look for water:

I'm watching live at 6:30 a.m. on NASA's website. Impact in 3 minutes! I'm sure the video will be ready later to watch too.

Is there anything cooler than a NASA systems check?


"Go flight."

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Smocking for grownups over at anthro:

Super in love with the bleeding red and clashy magenta living together on the same top.

Which calls for a song...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

a thank you...and a project

Thanks so much for the sweet condolences on my uncle's passing. He had a full life and that's what matters most I think. Something I didn't know until I read his funeral announcement...he had served in the Navy during WWII.

Today I'm bouncing around my project to-do list again! I have this cut out in the dress version (b&w below):

in this red & black poly-rayon burnout:

Note the super crappy picture. Yeah, my camera settings are screwed up and I can't find the manual to revert to the defaults and start over! Likewise, I can't figure out which setting it is, so I'm having trouble figuring out where to start. (It won't auto-focus, and it continuous shoots, even though its not in continuous shooting mode. Grrr.)

Although, the above shot is sorta 'arty'.

I'm hoping the burnout section isn't see-through, so I don't have to wear a full-length of something under it. I was planning on my leggings and maybe a black lightweight turtleneck!

Of course if I don't get off the internets I'll never get it finished (and it's SO simple to make, that would just be plain wrong.)