Monday, October 19, 2009


Though our new trees are still young, small, and not making fruit, we had the opportunity to pick a few bins of apples at the orchard which our friends Terry and Sarah tend. Another perfect autumn day and would you get a load of them apples!
Pick me!

You've met the cookie monster, well, here is our apple monster (and cookie monster).

Pay no attention to the state of her ragged fingers! Maybe you can't see it with the picture this small. Oy!

They are Empires and they are perfect and sweet and juicy. In a moment of pork-on-the-mind, Jonny actually thought we might give some of these to our pigs. Uh-uh, they can eat the drops, I want to press these babes. I want to drink them sweet and hard.

Apples seem to make me happy in a way that no other piece of fruit does. How did they get so dang pretty!

Friday, October 9, 2009

another happy birthday

We are heading out tomorrow for a birthday party "camping" trip for my almost 5 year old lad. Despite how he is at least a full head taller than any other kid in his class, his asking me if I was "desperately tired" today when we were leaving the food store, or his beautiful new letter making skills, he is still my babe. Cliche, I know, I know. But when he laughs, it is still that toddler laugh that he is probably going to lose any minute now, and when he sleeps he seems so small and soft. Oooh, I love him! He actually turns 5 on Sunday, but I am having a moment now while the cake is in the oven (same cake that Ava had, only he wants his to say "If it weren't for you meddling kids..." on top) so I'll share.

Unlike Ava's full week of prep work and fun before her birthday, I only even started making lists today for Harry's. We are going to a State forest to run around in the woods, canoe in the lake, pretend we are in a Scooby Doo story (apparently), hit a pinata, then build ourselves a campfire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows. It will be great. I am hoping to have some sort of great woodsy game inspiration before noon tomorrow, so if anyone has a killer idea, let me know. He only wanted a few kids, which I was totally pleased about (but strangely had to keep biting my tongue about asking if he wanted to invite this or that friend).

Last week we gathered acorns and made these, and I thought it would be a great party craft- simple and super cute.

They are very easy to make. Simply gather some acorns, draw on a sweet face (Harry's is on the right) and knot a necklace string to the stem and secure with a dot of craft glue. I took off the cap on the above girl with hair, glued a bit of wool roving to the acorn top, then glued the cap back on. I even got to give her a haircut, which was very satisfying.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

bird print

If you are a certain friend coming for a birthday dinner tonight, please read this tomorrow. Really, Catherine, go look at Red Bird Crafts or something, because I'm posting your present. Bye!

Last night I finished the silk screen that I wanted to use on a table runner for my friend's lovely new table- it's too pretty for a table cloth. The design is so pretty and though I would love to take full artistic credit for it, I must admit I sort of lifted the idea from a children's book. In fact, if you can tell me which book it came from, I will silk screen it on a t-shirt for you. It's not obscure, so someone should come across it sooner or later.

I swear it wrinkled from the time I ironed it to when I carried it down the stairs to photograph it.

Since the silk screen was out and ready, I grabbed a couple other things to print. This is a girl's upcycled skirt I made last night:

And this is on the edge of a wool scarf cut from the extra wool knit I made a woman's skirt out of last night- more on that later, because I am in love with this new wool fabric I picked up yesterday at this warehouse fabric place called Osgoods near me in Springfield.

Subtle. Maybe too subtle?

Monday, October 5, 2009

more on silk screening

I have been sewing up a storm lately, Twist Fair being a little more than a month away. Last week I had a great run of upcycled children's clothing that I will reverse applique, silk screen, or use decorative stitching to adorn. Here is a tunic I made that has decorative stitches around the edges in a contrasting thread. The shirt was originally a large men's shirt.

I'm thinking a well placed panda would make this Ava's dream shirt. So, with her help, one was designed.

Now, my opinion about silk screening. There are several ways to make a screen, but I have been having the most fun using drawing fluid with original art. All that you need to do is draw your design on the screen fabric with a pencil then use a fine paint brush to apply the drawing fluid. In the panda image above, the black ink shows where that drawing fluid was applied. After that dries, you apply screen filler with a squeegee. After that dries, you run cold water over the screen to wash away the drawing fluid which will then be your screen design- easy! The process is super satisfying.

Like I said in my last post about silk screening, I like to do this on the cheap, so I experimented with using organza fabric from the fabric store and an embroidery hoop. It worked great and was WAY less expensive. I do like using the speedball drawing fluid and the screen filler, though I have heard of people using mod podge for screen filler before. Maybe another time.

These are the bottles of stuff to use.

This is the screen after the drawing fluid is washed away. I will probably tape it where the white is visible so no ink goes through.

And this is some teeny tiny writing I made on a wee embroidery hooped screen that I may use to make clothing labels.