Friday, August 30, 2013

For The Birds

My plan was to write about house-hunting, how we're getting ready to move from northeastern Massachusetts to southeastern New Hampshire (which is not a big move, obviously).  I was going to talk about some of the cool houses we've seen, features we like, etc.  Then I took a picture of the birds at some of my bird feeders, planning to illustration how important the outdoors is for us, and the direction of my thinking went totally off track.

Here are the bird feeders on our second-story deck.

We've had feeders here for a while, and I always get so much enjoyment out of them.  The slider to the deck is in our dining room, and there's nothing like watching the birds and squirrels eating while we're eating, too.  Watching and caring for the birds always makes me feel connected to my grandmother, and I find that so soothing.

Of course, we have some other family members who also love watching the birds, but probably not for the same reasons.  Here's our 11 year old lab mix, Madison.  She doesn't care too much about the birds, but she loves the squirrels.  And with her is Moxie, who's about a year and a half old.

I tried to get a picture of Moxie's brother, Milky Way, but he was not cooperative.  This was the best I could do.

The 'older' cat is Indy, he's four and Colwyn's 'son' - and he's such a grouch.  But we still love him.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Print Wall Art

In my quest to update my decor - which hasn't been updated in at least ten years (...I feel old) - I stumbled upon this picture on Pinterest:

It's from Blue Cricket Design and she gives a great tutorial on how to make it.  I loved the idea and naturally had to try it - with my own modifications.

First, I found an old damaged book.  In this case, it was a Pippi Longstocking book that Niall had ripped the cover off of.  I pulled out a bunch of pages and made sure all the straight edges were interestingly torn.

Then I mod-podged them to my canvas.  Spread a bunch of glue in one area, put down a page, and mod-podge over that.  Rinse and repeat until the canvas is totally covered.

In the tutorial, she used some magazine cutouts of birds and drew the branches and leaves by hand, then colored over it all with sharpie.  Obviously it looked great, but I wanted to use my Silhouette craft cutter instead.  I got to mess around with the design a lot without drawing all over my canvas, and then once it was cut, I just had to glue it down, and seal it with more mod podge.  I made sure to include a cardinal, as a nod to my grandmother.

I think it came out really well.  Unfortunately, I can't take a nicely staged picture of it because my house is a mess.. but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sewing Fun

Last year, I sewed a bunch of nightgowns for Fiona as one of her Christmas gifts.  She loves nightgowns but only had a few old pill-y fleece ones.  I found an awesome and incredibly easy tutorial for a raglan dress at Ikatbag.  When I say it's easy.. it's really, really incredibly easy.  I did modify the pattern a bit for her nightgowns - made the sleeves full length, and shirred the neck instead of using an elastic casing.  She loves them, though, and they're so cute!

Well, for her birthday (yes, back in June), she got Bitty Twins but the clothing - oy!  American Girl Doll stuff is incredibly expensive.  She got an extra outfit for each doll, but no pajamas.  I promised I'd make her some.. and finally, three months later, I got around to it.  Well, for the girl doll.. I haven't done the boy's yet.

I used the same pattern and just trimmed it a bit.  Well, a lot.  But anyway, I got it done in about 45 minutes.  Not bad, huh?

Then I happened to find some fabric I bought for her last fall, planning to make a dress.  I'd forgotten all about it!  She's grown a fair bit so I didn't have enough to make a dress, but I was able to make an adorable tunic using the same raglan dress pattern.  It took me about an hour this time.  She's been wearing it all day - with a skirt, which looks a little goofy - I meant for her to wear it with leggings, but it's pretty warm out.

Here's a close-up of the shirring.

It's just so damn cute!  I get the feeling she's going to have many more of these dresses in her fall wardrobe.  I love the raglan style and the option of doing different colors for the sleeves.  I also want to try doing some different sections of fabric on the skirt, sort of like her princess twirly dress.