Monday, June 23, 2014

guitars and other things with strings.

I've been mulling over ideas for decorating our bedroom. I have a hard time with bedrooms, I don't know why! The colors we had in our Colorado house weren't working with the white walls in our past two houses. Plus, our bedspread was worn out. So I started there, found a bedspread I love and all of a sudden, know exactly what I want to do in there! I't already looking really pretty.

I've found myself moving away from florals and anything cutesy and really liking more geometric prints with sort of 60's colors (as evidenced by the new look of my blog, I just realized, ha!)

Anyway, I don't have room pictures to show you yet, but I did get some great wall art inspiration today! We have a blank wall in there that needs a statement and today the Bishop Museum that we are members of had a guitar exhibit. It was REALLY cool and I learned a ton and the kids had a blast.  They had some black and white photos of close up guitar details in there that I thought were really cool so when I got home, I pulled out Casey's stringed instruments one at a time and went to work. We bought him a ukelele for Father's Day and he has a horse hair fiddle from Mongolio, along with an electric and acoustic guitar.

Here's what I came up with:

 I think I'm going to choose four to print 11x14 and frame them for that empty wall in our room. I can't wait!!!

By the way, Casey has already started to play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the uke. He will not let me record that (yet), but I was thinking of you and took note of these videos at the exhibit today for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome, homeschool moms who have a kid who loves guitars :)

This very 8-neck guitar was behind glass at the museum.

Equally cool, could this animation be the future of guitar?

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I've been doing quite a bit of scrapbooking this week. It's a mistake to scrapbook over a year after your photos were taken--it will make you sad and homesick, ha! I start to long for the littleness of my children and for the house we left in Aurora and for the friends and the life we had there.

I know it's just a huge material item, but jeez, I loved that house! It was the only house we'd every picked out ourselves. Together. And we owned it (still own it) and we poured our time and energy into it and it fit our family so beautifully. So I'm not saying that I'm not happy where I am or where we were in Virginia, but it's okay to miss it there, right? The house only represents in my mind the life we had there. Life is good here too! But I sometimes need reminding. 

Occassionally I grab my camera and take some simple shots to remind myself that my life is beautiful. The camera misses the mess that's happening in the rest of the room and zeros in on the pieces that I find lovely and the little bits that make it home here. And a year or two from now, I know I'll be scrapbooking these photos and remembering this life as lovingly as I'm remembering that one :)

Cheers :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cabana Stripes

What's the criteria for making a pattern a "tried and true" one? This is my fourth make of this pattern (McCall's 6744) and I still really love all the previous versions, so I'm thinking that qualifies :)

Although it's a pattern for knits, I've made it twice now out of a woven fabric and I actually think it works better for wovens. My knit versions ended up having waaaaay too much ease and I took them in quite a bit.

This rayon is the other fabric I got from with the deer print and I love these stripes so much! The colors really won me over. The stripes were printed really wonky and I was afraid it wouldn't even be usable, but once I laid it out to cut, it was a non-issue. Whew!

My sewing machine is taking a hiatus while I do some scrapbooking. I realized I wasn't feeling very inspired to sew anything this last week. Maybe it's because I don't really feel like I have any holes in my wardrobe right now? Ordinarily, I'd have the changing seasons to look forward to sewing for, but that's not really going to be so much of an issue here. So, hmmmmmm.... What to sew, what to sew?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

North Shore Turtle Bay

Here are a few pics I took on our little trip up to North Shore a few weeks ago. Even though it's only an hour's drive from the North coast to the South coast, it felt nice to get out of the city for the day. It was a much calmer atmosphere up there than in Waikiki and the drive alone was totally worth the trip. So beautiful. And, we found three more place we'd like to visit soon :)

We had lunch at a really yummy place, but I couldn't convince the fam that we needed to try the Octopus appetizer! Party poopers. Next time, we are doing it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Perfect Pattern Parcel: Jorna Dress

This is the first time I've bought one of these pattern parcels. It's a name your own price thing, but I really wanted the bonus pattern so I went ahead and paid the $28.50 to get all six patterns, of which there's only one that I probably won't use. Still not a bad price for five patterns! After waiting a week to actually print one (because the printer I've been hoping would die finally did and I ordered a new one), I got started on the Jorna Dress first.

I had a knit that I picked up a huge chunk of in the remnant section of my fabric store here that was perfect for this.
 I was very leery of this pattern while cutting, I'm not gonna lie. The pattern piece is the same for the front and back and I don't know about you, but I don't have a bust on my back, ha! So I was pleasantly surprised at how this funny looking pattern piece came together into a super cute and really comfortable dress!!
I love how the hem comes up on the sides creating a shirt tail effect. I made the "jumper" length. The dress length would have been too long for me, but I do think next time I'll add a little length to this version.

I lowered the neckline and I skipped the facings and did a regular bound neckline and arm holes with strips of my fabric. I also added the tie belt. I think if I make this again and do not intend to include a tie belt, I'll add a center back seam so I can contour it to the curve of my back.

Can't wait to make some more of these patterns!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

doll hair makeovers

I got Natalie's 18" doll a couple years ago for her birthday. She LOVES this doll. It matters not that she's not an American Girl Doll. She is the Target brand, but I got her at Tuesday Morning, a discount/overstock kind of store, for $15.

I really love all the great doll stuff at Target! The brand is awesome, they have cheap shoes and accessories and even the big stuff for the dolls is affordable. Except ... the hair. Such a bummer because the dolls are so pretty and it's really unfortunate that they have the worst hair out there. It was time to remedy that. We had tried the fabric softener, we tried a trim, nothing helped. So I finally got online (right before we moved) and ordered her a new wig. I knew when I bought the doll that if her hair went to pot, I could replace the wig. I read up before buying anything. The wig came the day before we moved so I had in my suitcase for two months!

I ordered this wig from Ruby Red Galleria for $30. That included shipping, so I still only have $45 into this doll, which is still less the HALF the cost of an American Girl doll!

We went to work. Here's Victoria's before hair: (Natalie got her all ready on her salon chair with the beauty apron I'm made her for Christmas :)
 Here are the before and after hairs, side by side:
And here she is with her new wig!
 She looks AMAZING! I couldn't stop looking at her, haha! The difference in how this wig feels compared to her original hair is profound. Even new, her hair never felt or looked this pretty and I can tell this is the quality hair that will stay pretty. Natalie's already played with it tons and it still looks perfect.

If you're wondering about the process, it was pretty simple. The original doll hair was plugged, so I just cut the hair off as close as possible. Natalie couldn't look, lol. For glue, I just bought permanent fabric glue. People suggest anywhere from Elmer's to Super glue. I took the middle road and bought the fabric glue (Tacky glue brand, I think) and it's holding beautifully. I knew that super glue would be really hard to get off if we need to ever do this again or if I made a mistake so I started with something less *super*, knowing I could always go up to that if this didn't hold.
I know there are other places to buy the wigs too, but I know for sure that I can recommend this site!

For the record, I bought Layla's doll at the thrift store in perfect condition. She's the Toy's R Us brand and after I gave her a fabric softener/curlers makeover when I first got her, her hair was super soft and pretty and still is.
Here are some pics I took of that process:

 I soaked her hair in a bowl with 1 part fabric softener and 2 parts water. Then rinsed and combed each section with a little brush with thin plastic bristles.
 Then I used foam curlers and left her to dry overnight.

Ack, I can't find an after picture! But this was taken last Christmas in her new coat I'd made her :)
Still pretty! Still easy to brush through too, which was not the case with Victoria's hair.

So there ya go, if you're still deciding which brand to buy! I think the new prices for either brand are similar, around $40.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

yes, deer

I was able to sweep aside the Lego Mixels and snag a few minutes on the computer. Maybe I should have a computer time schedule posted or something. And everyone would have to sign up for time slots. As if I'm good at sticking to schedules, haaahahahaha!

I was also able to snag some sewing time yesterday!  I ordered two fabrics from and they arrived in just a few days! To Hawaii! I've used a Girl Charlee exclusive knit before and that top is showing zero signs of wear, even though I wear it pretty often. When I spotted this deer print knit, I just couldn't resist. I could use a little whimsy in my closet ;) I bought three yards and I only used about half for this dress:
 This is a mash-up of The Lady Skater pattern and New Look 6210, which I made just recently. I just like the top of that pattern a lot (you know how I love a racerback!) and this time I really perfected the fit by adding darts at the arm holes, which you can see in the next pic, along with a close up of the cute deer print :)
 Now that I've perfected this pattern on me, I will be making this over and over, I think! I could mix it up and use a gathered skirt or embellish the bodice, maybe. These kind of dresses are my thing in the Summer!

Yes, my views are this pretty from all three of my lanais, one of my favorite reasons we took this house! and no, my legs are not quite as abnormally tan as this picture portrays, ha!

I think I'll make a cute sleep set (I have this Gertie pattern I'm wanting to try) with the rest of the fabric and I'll probably still have enough to make Layla something cute. Although, this is more Natalie's color. But, that's okay because Girl Charlee also has this cute horse print and Layla loves horses.

Maybe it's time to place another order.

I've linked this post up at Simple Simon and Company. Pretty fun seeing others' creations, so I decided to share my own this time :) Welcome, if that's how you found me!