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More Upcycled Jackets — and a dress

As promised, here are three more projects that I completed for the fundraiser’s silent auction. I don’t know what people wound up paying for them because I wasn’t paying attention to the auction sheets at the end, but I doubt any of them went for less than it cost to make. In the end, I had three jackets and a baby dress. (See previous post for jacket #1, which turned out to be my favorite.) As usual, you can click on any image to enlarge it.

Floral Patch Jacket:

Floral Heart jacket

The graphic was originally off-white with a navy blue outline of the flowers, but I colored it in with fabric markers. The colors were pretty saturated at first, but I ran it through the wash to get this cool watercolor effect before the ink fully set. Yeah, I totally did that on purpose. Can’t you tell? Trust me — it looks way better now.

Frozen Jacket:

Frozen jacket

I found the t-shirt I used for the patch at one of our local Goodwill stores. There were about a dozen of the same shirt, and all of them had the same manufacturing defect: patchy lettering. The letters were originally a thick, sparkly turquoise. I embroidered over them with a satin stitch, and they look better than the original would have, I think. I also embroidered a large snowflake at the top of each sleeve. I’d purchased some snowflake iron-on patches from Hobby Lobby, but I decided that they didn’t really work after all. I think this jacket turned out great. There were a couple of moms in a bidding war over it — don’t know how heated. I heard the winner’s little girl wore it almost the entire next day. That made me happy.

Fairy Dress:

Fairy Wings dress

I found this dress at Hobby Lobby. On the front, I embroidered a pixie dust border graphic I found on the internet. On the back, I used the same colors to embroider wings. The outline of the wings and the stars from the pixie dust are in glow-in-the-dark thread. This dress was the most time consuming of all the projects, but it turned out pretty great. I used the top of a onesie to line the dress so the threads wouldn’t irritate the wearer’s skin. Sorry I didn’t get any pics of this one in the dark.

So those are my most recent, completed projects. Now I’m back to working on BratzBasher’s kimono. I’m using Simplicity 4080 for the pattern and some gorgeous brocade in a dragonfly pattern I found at JoAnn a couple of years ago. I’ll post pics when I’m done.


I’m thankful for…books!

reading is magicalYeah, I know it’s the day after Thanksgiving, but writing this post took longer than I thought it would. My inspiration came from my wardrobe. I didn’t have any Thanksgiving themed shirts when I was choosing what to wear yesterday, so I picked out my “Reading is Magical” t-shirt because Hey! I am thankful for books. Why not extend my love of reading to this post? In a previous year, I listed Foo4luv’s Illustrated Thanksgiving ABC’s, so this year I am giving you an alphabetical list related to books.



A is for Aslan

AslanI love C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. I can remember my dad reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to us when I was a kid. Aslan rocks.

B is for (the) Bard

The BardI enjoy a good Shakespeare play. Once we moved to Missouri and encountered Forest Park’s annual Shakespeare Festival, we were hooked on seeing them performed live. BB has seen over a dozen of them and loves watching different versions/interpretations. Her current favorite is also one of mine: Much Ado about Nothing. She can’t choose between the Kenneth Branagh version or the more recent one done by Joss Whedon. I can’t say that I blame her. My first exposure to Shakespeare, however, was through books.

C is for (The) Count of Monte Cristo

Count of Monte CristoThat is one meaty, kickbutt book — unabridged or not.

D is for Denouement

denouementThere is a wonderful feeling of satisfaction when you finish a really good book.

E is for Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan PoeThe man was a master. I’m currently leaning toward The Cask of Amontillado as my favorite.

F is for Fairy tale

Scott Gustafson fairy taleFor most of us, the first stories we heard were fairy tales. There’s something for everyone — whether you prefer Disney, Grimm, or something more modern like The Princess Bride. (The illustration is by Scott Gustafson.)

G is for Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham

This is the first book that BB read to us. Merkin had purchased a Latin copy, and BB had to get the English version and correct him. Yep. Worked like a charm.

H is for Humor

Hidden Magic

I have a deep admiration for writers who can make me laugh. You should always have at least one standby book guaranteed to make you chuckle when you need cheering up.

I is for Irony

ironyA good, ironic plot twist can be exciting.

J is for Jane Eyre

jane-eyreThis is one of my favorite books. I just adore Jane and how she handles Mr. Rochester.

K is for Kira

KiraThough not my favorite character in Tsugumi Ohba’s Death Note series, Kira (AKA Light Yagami) is the one I find most interesting. Given the power to kill simply by writing a person’s name in the death note, Kira believes his motives are pure enough to keep him from becoming corrupted by that power.

L is for L

LA brilliant, socially awkward sugar addict with chronic bad posture, L is the biggest threat to Kira’s reign of terror. Despite his puzzling habits and his tendency to be blunt to the point of rudeness, he is the most likable character in the Death Note series.

M is for Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak

Sendak is one of my favorite illustrators. The above picture is from his book What Do You Say, Dear?: a book of manners for all occasions.

N is for Nom de Plume

Mark TwainSamuel L. Clemens’ pen name, Mark Twain, is a term used by riverboat crewmen to denote whether or not water is deep enough for safe passage.

O is for Oscar’s Book

Oscar's_BookThis is one of my favorite Little Golden Books. Oscar spends the entire book trying to find ways to get people to leave him alone. My favorite of his many tactics is pictured above.

P is for Percy Jackson

Percy JacksonPercy makes a very entertaining hero. He’s witty and genuine.

Q is for Quiet Books

quiet bookThey’re great for keeping kids occupied in the more adult oriented church meetings, and you can find/make all kinds.

R is for (A) Room with a View

Room with a ViewThis is one of my favorite romance novels. Will Lucy marry the proper (stuffy) Cecil, or will she defy convention and choose George?

S is for Satire

Screwtape lettersSatire can be a great teacher.

T is for (J.R.R.) Tolkein

jrr-tolkienHe’s the creator of Middle Earth. What more need I say?

U is for Umpteen

what was I scared ofWhich is the number of times I read this book to my daughter. Surprisingly, it never lost its charm. Go Seuss.

V is for Vocabulary

vocabularyYou’d be surprised how many new words you can learn just by reading a lot of books.

W is for Watership Down

watership-downMy absolute favorite book — and not just because it’s about bunnies.

X is for Xylophone

x is for xylophoneEven Uncle Shelby (Shel Silverstein) couldn’t come up with anything else.

Y is for YA books

YA sectionI get a lot of my books from the teen section of the library. In fact, on my Goodreads account, my YA shelf is far bigger than any of my other shelves.

Z is for Zoo

Good Night GorillaThere are lots of books that involve zoos. This picture book just happens to be my favorite. There are very few words, but the pictures that tell the actual story are fantastic.

“Since when…?” Update

Okay, so BB’s principal called me in response to my email (see previous post), and here’s the deal:

  • The school provides student directory information (name/parent name/phone number/address) to three companies/organizations: the companies that do the yearbooks and class rings, and the military.
  • Those who receive this information enter into an agreement that they will not sell/give the information to anyone else.
  • Parents can opt to remove their child’s name from the directory and avoid all of the marketing junk.

I pointed out that it would be nice of the school to provide this information to the parents at the beginning of the school year.  Then I had BB’s name and info removed from the directory for the remainder of her high school career.

So there you have it.  That’s the whole story.

Since when do they have the right?

Bratzbasher received a postcard the other day.  It was urging her to purchase a class ring.  In case you missed that subtle bit of information, I’ll rephrase: A private company sent a direct mailing to my daughter.  How did they get her name and address?  Easy.  They bought it from the school.  Need I say more, or are you equally outraged?  I’ve already sent an email to the school to voice my disapproval/concerns.  I’ll post an update when/if they respond.

They’re also holding an assembly today to promote the sales of class rings.  Obviously the school gets a cut from every sale.  Why else would they waste precious class time in this manner?  Well, assemblies are one thing.  Now my daughter’s information is being passed from mailing list to mailing list.  I’m expecting credit card offers in a couple of years.  Idiots.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

I probably won’t be posting anything until after Christmas, but I wanted to get in a little Christmas post.  In past years, I’ve done serious, and I’ve done silly.  This year, I’m leaving it to Linus Van Pelt to deliver a special message.

Enjoy a wonderful Christmas on Thursday!


Taking Time to be Thankful

I think it’s especially difficult around this time of year, when we’re so busy with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, to take a step back and reflect on all of the blessings in our lives.  Thanksgiving Day gives us a chance to do just that.  I could list all of the things I’m grateful for, but I understand that your time is limited.  I will simply say this: I thank God for family and friends; for our health, safety, and happiness; and for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has made it possible to enjoy these things in eternity.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

“…And when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God….”

-Alma 37:37 (The Book of Mormon)

I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor…

I finished a scarf for BratzBasher.  I asked her what animal she would like, and she said she wanted a snake.  That’s easy!


Ribbon tongue…button eyes…and it wraps around her neck three times.  I got a bit bored working in just the green for so long, but that’s what BB wanted.  Just green.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  She likes how warm and soft it is.  (For those of you interested in such things, I’ve been using Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Yarn!”)