Tuesday, October 6, 2015

KCCO For Halloween

I am sure that most of you saw these amazing masks on Sew Mama Sew already, but here is a link in case you missed it.
Since I have a felt class coming up, I decided to whip up a couple of these owls along with some other things as models.
The Youngest was a willing model, and here we have
Hoot -
So fun and fiddly.
The Owl mask is from the above link, but the fox I improvised.
The basic shape of the owl is so fluffy-looking, I just modified the edges a little and changed the ear feathers to regular ears.
The snout is a rounded trapezoid with a little triangle of nose at the tip.
Joining Nicole today for KCCO

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Random Wednesday

These past two weeks in our new house have been relatively great. The workers have all finished their projects: 
 We have a new boiler, a new window after the sattelite guy broke it installing our tv service and now we also have tv.
The big kids have settled in to their respective schools, and we had our traditional first week of school ice cream trip.
The weather has been alternatively rainy and gorgeous and we were able to soak up a perfect day on Monday at the river. 

The next thing on my agenda is to unpack my sewing/knitting studio. 
Hopefully I can get in some dedicated time tomorrow to that end. 
I hope to get back into the swing of regular posting soon, this is the most consistent I have ever been at any journaling and I miss coming to this space when I'm away.

Friday, September 11, 2015

New House

Last Friday we made the big shift to our new house.
On Thursday we filled up our moving truck and also had a school goal-setting conference for The Elder who is Middle School bound. Then on Friday we finished up clearing out, closed the sale of our house and then closed the sale on our new house!
We had a little time in between for some decompressing by one of Minneapolis' beautiful lakefronts,
and then afterwards we went to the new house and got to work.
For the next three days we rose at 5 and worked on unpacking until 10-12 PM.
The Hubby and I are still quite sore, and I have crazy bruises from bonking into unfamiliar walls and furniture placement.
It's been a few days now and we're settling into our preferred spaces.
The sewing room is a total disaster, but the rest of the spaces are pretty much as I envisioned them.
The sun room/play room -

Kitchen -
Living Room -

Yard -

The other day my Mom came over and we attended to the back end of the garden.
We're up on a hill, and the yard slopes down to the alleyway.
There are a bunch of trees and shrubs and vines and retaining wall pieces; it's all quite a jumble.
Mom suggested that the best thing was to build a little barrier so that The Youngest and her friends aren't tempted to do any impromptu exploring.
We also have an adorable shed, which isn't very child-friendly at the moment, that I can see becoming a perfect little play house, or dare I hope to dream of a she-shed?

Our house is on a nice, quiet street (which will be nicer and quieter after the major road construction a block south is finished...) and there are lots of kids and some lovely families that I have met already.
In fact, The Elder was finished with her screen quotient yesterday and was borderline moping in the living room. I asked her to go spend some time outside, see if any kids were out.
She told me that you can't just make friends by knocking on doors, and not one minute later there was a knock on the front door and a group of neighborhood kids were there asking to play.
What a dream.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pie for Breakfast!

Two years ago we planted a plum tree. Then last year we added another, for polination purposes. Last fall we had 2 plums, and this year we got close to three dozen. 
The Elder and Younger were very excited, and demanded that we make plum pie.
I used this recipe from Epicurious, and, since pie crust is my nemesis, I bought pre-made frozen dough. 
I had to make a couple of substitutions what with our getting ready to move pantry, but it turned out very tasty. Tart, sweet, flaky crust, mmmmm.
My very, very favorite thing is to have pie for breakfast.
And, really how much different is a slice of pie from jelly on toast? Don't answer that...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

One More Try

I wasn't able to resist pulling out the sweater. It was going to hang on The Youngest like a potato sack. Yesterday I measured the girl, a novel idea indeed, and now I have a better idea of how I want the dress to look. After ripping the yarn I realized that I only had 2 balls of it. At the time I got a ball of white and a lighter shade of this berry color to do stripes. However, since almost everything is packed up I don't really know where those other balls are. It's just therapy at this stage, really, and if I get something wearable out of it that's a bonus.
I got in some good knitting time last night during an awesome outdoor movie night viewing of The Iron Giant. What a great flick.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sweater Dress for the Youngest

In an effort to tidy the house we packed away the bulk of my yarn and fabric. In the limited supply that remained to me when I was looking for something to do with my hands yesterday I found an unfinished project for The Youngest.
I started this little dress last year, and then the yarn got into a terrific tangle (probably helped along by the tiny recipient).
I honestly can't remember what yarn I used for it. Maybe Pediboo? Whatever it was, it was getting discontinued at The Yarnery.
Last night at a knitting gathering I spent about two and a half hours straightening out the mess, and was able to get going again.
The dress was for last Christmas but now it'll be for this Christmas and probably as more of a tunic, since she will just keep on growing...
I was inspired by a Dale of Norway dress that I saw made up at Steven Be in Minneapolis, but I'm cheap, so I winged the pattern. I was casting about for a border for the hem and found Cinderella Dress from Fairy Tale Knits, which has a garter and eyelet border. Love it.
So, now I am knitting that border, and it should be finished within the week. (hopefully, since I am almost out of yarn)
As I am looking at it, I wish the skirt was a lot fuller, and the bodice was a little smaller.
Also, the original dress had a reverse stockinette bodice and then switched to stockinette for the body which is what I did, but I'm not loving how it looks. It's too roll-y up-y.
Hrm, now I think I want to rip it and start again.
It would certainly extend the usefulness of the yarn as a tool to keep my hands and mind off the last few weeks of house sale stuff. I'll see how the mood strikes me.
This has been your visit with the hemming and hawing side of Jess' inner thoughts.
Are you all more decisive when it comes to knitting projects? or are you like me and go back and forth about plans and modifications?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Thank you for your patience while I posted non-stop about my house renovations.
After three days on the market we accepted an offer, and now we just have a few details to nail down and we can say goodbye to this home we have loved for the past eleven years.
After our month long painting extravaganza I was having difficulty slowing down. So, I threw myself into a few sewing projects since I had some free time.
For Christmas or a birthday last year The Youngest received this adorable sleepy bee toy from her aunt. It's such an adorable, simple design I've been using it as an example for my sewing students. For the last few classes I have been winging it (so to speak) but I decided to make up a pattern that the kids could use.

I didn't want to copy someone else's work exactly, but I was definitely highly inspired by the original when I designed patterns for a cat, a dog, a rabbit and a slightly different bug.

I made these toys with a combination of hand and machine sewing, which makes them extremely portable. Perfect for bringing along to the playground on a perfect August day.
Joining Nicole for KCCO