Monday, February 21, 2011

Mittens & Playdough

Cora and I both have been pursuing projects the past couple of days. I tackled my first pair of mittens, which went well. I think they are a little loose, but I haven't blocked them. The mittens have a peasant thumb, or "sore thumb" - it just kind of sticks out on the side. For years I did not understand how to pick up stitches, and had a number of ways of doing it, all wrong and awkward. But, I finally got it figured out and with each thumb I improved.

Then, of course, someone wanted me to knit her some mittens, too. I guessed at the modifications for sizing, and went to work. I finished the first after she went to bed, so I wanted to wait and make sure it fit before I started the other mitten. I also thought this would be a good opportunity to try some basic colorwork, and let her choose two colors for her mittens.

Meanwhile, Cora has alternated between two main activities. One is intensive doll play involving either tea parties or covering a doll with marker so she can be an alien - luckily, washable marker! Then she rubs teh marker off with a wet paper towel, and then creates gowns out of the damp, colored paper towels. The effect is actually remarkably beautiful, as the paper towel takes on a hand-dyed fabric look. But the tea parties has been my favorite, because every once in a while I stumble upon some dolls having a secret tea party in a quiet corner.

She has also been creating playdough scenes.  First it was a sun, flower, and worm. Then this morning while I picked up an extra hour of sleep and Chris did some reading, she made a Halloween scene. She's very precise about what she wants and works with great concentration to make her scene match her idea.

Of course, a girl can only take so much activity before it is time to take a break.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! (photo essay edition)

I made Cora a lion.

I think he's pretty awesome.

Cora and I made a cake. With sea-life sprinkles.
Because we love fish and dolphins and turtles and sharks and cake.

New motto. Working out okay so far.

Barettes for Cora, from Purl Soho's craft blog.

One of my Valentines.
The other one.

Friday, February 11, 2011

FFF: Kisses

At first, I didn't think I had anything to post for Nora's theme this week. But, hey, I do:

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Last January, at the end of the month, I made Cora a little stuffed dog, who she named Rose. Like all the stuffed animals in this house, Rose ahs had to endure the roller coaster ride that is Cora's love: played with intensely for a few weeks, forgotten for a few weeks, repeat for 12 months. Rose has been back in favor the past few weeks, but sad. She has been sad, I am told by her interpreter, because she doesn't have a friend. A boyfriend. Who is also a dog. Just like her.

Yesterday, as I was finishing up my own sewing projects, she asked again about a friend for Rose. I was feeling very good about getting things done and agreed that it was time to make Rose a friend. Once again, I wish I had thought to go get the camera to take more process pictures. I thought of it as I was stuffing the legs, but didn't want to leave my project.

As it happened, I didn't get the dog finished until nearly midnight, so Cora had only seen him in pieces. So last night, I finished him up, complete with a pair of pants, took some pictures, and set him and Rose on the table for her to find this morning. She did, she loves him, she named him Albert, and then he and Rose swapped clothes.

Then she told me that they need Halloween costumes.

Albert himself

Albert standing. The pants are not a great fit.

Albert and Rose

They seem to like each other.

Yes, I think they do like each other.

I also made this rabbit. Because I wanted to.

The eyes are a little beady, but he's still cute.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A good afternoon

This afternoon I
  • finished putting a quilt top together,
  • made binding for the quilt,
  • made a cover for a pillow form I bought three months ago, and
  • started a new stuffy for Cora, one she has been requesting for two weeks.

It felt good to make so much, and for it all to go so well. While I sewing in my little nook, Cora played with her dollhouse and watched some NickJr shows, and Chris made pizza for dinner. I'm looking forward to finishing the stuffy tomorrow, and posting a picture, and to hunting through my bins to find a backing for the quilt. It is wallhanging size, so I believe I also already have batting.

A very good afternoon, indeed!

Friday, February 4, 2011

FFF: Hugs

The Favorite Foto Friday theme this week is HUGS. And while I think a lot of people will post adorable pictures of kids hugging each other or hugging friends or hugging a parent, let's just remember who I live with.

In November we were Cabela's, and Cora caught sight of a barrel of large, long, stuffed fish. Not taxidermy (though Cabela's fuels her fascination with that, too), but stuffies. There was quite a terrible scene when it became clear we would be leaving without one of these fish.

Luckily, Old Man Santa came through and left one under the tree. This fish is fondly known as Trout and Cora loves him dearly. As you can tell.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Arts and Crafts

While I have been working on the circle quilt, Cora has been very interested in my progress. I thought it might be fun to give her a project sort of like mine. On Saturday, while Chris was running errands, I asked him to stop by the craft store and pick me up some fusible interfacing (I forgot to say "double-sided," though, so this was not quite as easy as I planned, but that's okay). I fused it to fabric scraps and cut out shapes. Then I cut squares from muslin.

Then, while I sewed my circles, Chris and Cora played with the scraps and squares. When they  had a square done, I sewed the pieces down to the muslin for them. These first two were Chris's, though he had considerable input on what he could and could not do. The pinwheel one is probably the most his.

As you can see, after the sewing down there was some additional decorating done with fabric markers.

This was Cora's first one. In some places there are four layers of fabric! She was especially thrilled with the spiral/maze stitching I did on it. While this one is fairly abstract, her next one was a scene:

Her restaurant, with a table and chair. My favorite part of the restaurant one is actually the back.

Where she drew us, labeled with our initials.

Once this cold spell breaks, I plan to get the other kind of interfacing and try this again. But this time I'll trace seam allowances on the muslin, and maybe make them larger. Like placemat size. We still have a lot of winter left, and it feels good to have some cabin-fever projects lined up!

I am finally posting some socks I made (actually, "Turkish bed socks" from a Churchmouse Classics pattern) that I finished in the first week of the new year. That makes them the first thing I made in 2011, a year that came with the resolution to "Make More"!

Finally, here is my 2011 poster. There's a make-your-own-keep-calm widget out there on the web that I used for this. I have it hanging in a prominent place, of course!