Happy Halloween!

I've always enjoyed Halloween, but it's never been that big a deal for me - until the baby grands came along. They get soooooo excited about dressing up and about PUMPKINS!
Addy, as Princess Tiana

 Leia has talked about pumpkins! since the first of August.
She's been to the pumpkin patch twice - once with us and again with her dad - so after taking her to see Brave (again) this afternoon,
we made a quick stop at her favorite patch to pick up a little something for her and Naia to decorate tonight. Naia created a scary vampire face

while Leia's was a little more free-form - and she signed her name below her design. Not bad for 4 years old!
Leia, complete with curly red hair and make-up left over from her ballet recital, 
will be trick-or-treating as Merida. She already had the dress, courtesy of PopPop; dad just added a bow and arrow to complete the look. 
And Naia is a vampire (she's practicing her 'look' in the pic above). I thought the red streak in her hair was a nice added touch.
Can't wait to see what candy the girls bring home tonight. Not that I'd steal borrow sneak any treats out of their baskets. But if I did, it would only be to help them stay healthy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 


It's Not Pajamas

Addy requested monkey pj's, but since I don't have those finished yet, I sent her the next best thing -
 monkeys AND penguins. 

The pillowcase pattern is one I got in a kit from The Creation Station in Buellton (remember Leia's carrot pillowcase?) 
It's pretty much the same as the one (with video) found on the One Million Pillowcase Challenge page. I love how easy it is to make and how "fancy" it turns out.
Hope Addy likes her substitute present and I promise to stop monkeying around and get her pj's finished.   


Magic Carpet

This wasn't on the ground more than 10 seconds before Leanne made herself at home, dead center in the picture I was trying to take.Please pardon our binky; we weren't feeling very good today.

I've been collecting Halloween fabric and remnants for the past few months - ever since it appeared in stores around July 4th (no joke) - and had enough that I only needed to double up 2 prints for the 15 pieces I needed.  And I have enough left over to make at least 2 more runners. After Halloween, unfortunately. 
This goes in the mail to Rachel tomorrow. And since I'm just a tad late getting it done, she might get one day's use out of it before Halloween is over.
Which is why there are pumpkins and fall foliage on the reverse. Double the pleasure, double the fun seasonal use, right?  
Leanne is going to be upset when her magical play mat disappears in the morning.

Details: size before washing - 20.5 x 51". After washing - 19.5 x 49.25".
Quilt as you go tutorial here, courtesy of FairyFace Designs and Canadian Abroad.  


Minky Monkey

Leia spotted a crocheted sock monkey while we were browsing through Ravelry, and the begging was on.
This little guy took me two evenings to finish, including the purple butt Leia requested. Free pattern, stash yarn, and happy granddaughter. It doesn't get much better.
Minky's* a little smaller than I wanted, so I may have to make another one. Maybe for Addy . . . . .  

*Hubby has called this "Minky" since the minute he saw it, in tribute to the Peter Sellers character (here) in the Pink Panther movies.



I felt the need for something fast and fun, quick and easy, after the afghan marathon so look what I whipped up in the past 24 hours. 
A super-soft blankie for Leanne, with a satin binding and a ballerina fairy for luck.
I did mention this was for Leanne, right? Not Leia, who has spent the day trying to claim it as her own.
She's going to be a tad upset when the blankie goes home with Leanne tonight.

This pillowcase kit has been in my stash for probably six months.  
The fabric was pre-cut, the instructions were easy - I just needed a few minutes where I could concentrate to get it done.
My first ever pillowcase -  
and first ever French seam -

I used the super-easy roll-up, or tube, method (shown here and video tutorial here.) Trust me, if I can figure this out, anybody can do it!
So fast and fun. I'll be going through the fabric stash this weekend so I can make more.


8-Day Marathon

Look what I've been doing - almost exclusively - for the past week.
When I was asked to do this, I thought 'sure, no problem.' 12 squares in 10 days? I can do that. 
But then there was a delay in getting the yarn to me. And there were 6 different patterns - 2 blocks per pattern - none of which were written for the size block I was making. Lots of swatching and making it up on the fly creativity required.   
All of which took time. Lots and lots of time.
I wove in the last tail at 12:30 last night. This morning I packed everything up and shipped it off overnight express.
So, what did I learn from all this? I learned I can make a complete afghan in a week(ish).
Did I enjoy the experience? Not much. I don't like being project monogamous; don't like having to work on a specific project for that long a period; and definitely dislike not having the time to make every block perfect.
Would I do this again? H*ll no Probably. 'Cause I never could pass up a challenge.


Making Spring Flowers

I love iris. They are hands-down my favorite flower. When we moved into this house 20+ years ago, we inherited several varieties - including one gorgeous brown that was the first non-traditional iris I'd ever seen. But over the years they've all died out except one hardy specimen that comes back year after year. 
I don't remember how I found them, but about a month ago I spotted info on Pleasants Valley Iris Farm in Vacaville, California. One look at their online catalog and I was hooked. Or should that be 'sunk'?
The box of goodies arrived earlier this week. Hubby did a bit of rearranging in the yard - cutting down two dead trees and replanting a flowering garlic plant or three -

 with supervision help,
here and there, from the little girls.
And today we got busy planting spring flowers. I ordered 9 iris but 2 additional bulbs were sent as free gifts; I love little things like that - and it pretty much guarantees I'll be shopping with Pleasants Valley again next year.
As there is absolutely no chance I'll remember what I bought - or which iris went where - I'm listing them here - with pictures; iris bling! - for reference. Hubby and I both selected our favorites for this order. Anybody want to guess which one of us picked all the brown dark non-traditional iris?
 1. Full Figured -

2 & 7. Copper Classic -  (one purchased, one gift)
3. Goldfinger - (gift)
4. Rock Star - (rebloomer; may bloom more than once each year)
5. Violet Tiger -
6. Wonderful World - 
8. Fanfaron -
9. Epicenter -
10. First Interstate - 
11. Makes Scents - 

I bought more! Couldn't resist....

American Maid


Rustic Royalty (gift)