Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This set of bibs is for my friend Rabecca's adorable new baby, Samuel.

Rabecca is a librarian, and I knew she loved Eric Carle's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. My initial plan was to applique a onesie similar to this one I've seen around. But when I stopped to buy a pack of onesies, I couldn't find any plain ones. I'd already exhausted my 2-year-old's patience with errands that day, so I decided to just make do with whatever I had at home. As it turned out, I ended up completing this project 100% from the stash. In fact, some of those scraps have been in my pile for over a decade! There's something really satisfying in that.

Throughout the process of making these bibs, I fell in and out of love with them several times. There are many flaws. I spent way too much time fighting with the snaps. I should have done ties. And I'm not sure how I feel about the the zig zag borders. But I love how the appliques themselves turned out. I do wish I'd been able to do a full set of seven bibs for each of the hungry caterpillar's hungry days. But abundant as my stash is, I didn't have any purple fabric for plums. And I'll admit it was laziness that kept me from tackling the day when the caterpillar eats chocolate cake, a cupcake, sausage, a pickle, cheese, salami, and a whole watermelon. (Among other things.) Maybe next time.

I used a bib template I found here, and based the apples, pears and leaves on some clip art from here.

Edited to correct my spelling of "caterpillar" every single time I typed it. And to join Kimba's DIY party. Go see some seriously cool stuff
right here. Go. Go!

The Amber Collection

My friend Amber had a birthday several weeks ago. She tried to keep it a secret, but I have my ways of collecting information. (That is, I overheard someone else telling her "happy birthday.") But even if I'd know about her birthday months ago, her gift would probably still be several weeks late, cause that's how I roll.

Anyway, I'm all about interchangeable jewels these days, so I wanted to make an amber-themed set of mix and match earrings and pendants. I think I pushed the bounds of Amber's style with the long green dangles, but I bet she'll wear them anyway just to humor me. She's great that way. (For example, I photographed these in Amber's own back yard while she was inside making me dinner.) I do like the bicone cluster set especially though, and I think that suits Amber's personality. Plus, I bought the beads for the baby bracelets for her sweet little girls a couple months ago, but didn't end up using them. It seems fitting that they end up in Amber's jewelry box somehow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I want it

I'm not really blog stalking, because I know her and she knows me and all that. But she doesn't necessarily know that I read her blog every single day even though it means I have to wipe up puddles of envious drool afterward. She's just so freaking fabulous, funny, and creative.

That's Cally.

And this is the bag I want.
What's that? You want it too? Then maybe you should go over there and tell her so. (Even though for my sake I'd prefer you don't. Because I want it.)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


It's an earring wardrobe! Rozannah's new to the world of pierced earrings, so I thought she might appreciate a variety pack.

I only had ear wires in one size, so I had to do some creative bending to give the set more variety. Again, my wire work is not perfect, but good enough. But it's the dangles that are the most fun. I really had a good time coming up with baubles to dangle, and ran out of time before I ran out of ideas. Expect more interchangeable sets to come.

(Also, for some reason this photo looks out of focus when it's small, but is just fine full size. Why is that? I have no idea.)

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It's one thing to declare a moratorium on gift buying when your gift list includes mostly trendy young moms and their soon-to-be born babies. Five-year-old boys are a little trickier, however, as they don't have quite the same appreciation for buttons, ruffles and beads. Which is why I almost took Sam to the store and let him pick out a toy to take to Orion's fifth birthday party. But I just couldn't do it. Moratorium or not, as a mom, I'm sick of toys toys toys everywhere, just lying around waiting to get stepped on and broken. And I didn't think Orion needed one more piece of flimsy plastic any more than Sam does.

So I enlarged the pattern for the tie applique I found here, sewed it to an inexpensive kids' undershirt, and added a pair of matching pj pants. This set will never make Amazon's "Ultimate Gift List for a Five-Year-Old Boy," and I'm sure a Shrek 2 Rotten Root Canal Play-Doh Play Set would have been more fun to open. But Orion's mom was happy. So I am too.

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Friday, April 03, 2009


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Stephanie II

Another attempt at bending my own earwires. They're not perfect, but I think Steph likes them anyway. And I resisted the urge to slip in a note reminding her "it's the thought that counts." It's true, of course. It is the thought that counts. (The thought I was going for: You'll be missed.)

Once Coach wrote me a love essay. He quoted R.W. Emerson, who said: "Jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself... it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy me something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith’s."*

I'll admit I kind of like the irony of turning Emerson's statement on its head by giving jewels that are a portion of myself. But more than that, I like the underlying sentiment, that something from me is better than something from a store, even though that something from me is not ever perfect. It's fitting, really, because neither am I.

*From Essays and English Traits, XIII Gifts, quoted here.

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