Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Double Dose

My lovin'-on-the-grandkids tank was getting pretty low.  It was Cooper and Dexter to the rescue. We were blessed with two visits in less than two weeks.  Grandma's feeling better :)

A week and a half ago they came down (with Sarah and John in tow) and spent the weekend.  Old Settlers was going on so they took in the parade and enjoyed the rides.

It seems the park was as fun for the boys as the rides!

Monday of this week, they came down with just Sarah for an overnight visit, as soon they will be moving twice as far from us and visiting will be a bit harder.  I'm sooooo happy that John won't be driving four hours a day to get to and from work. Lots more family time for them.  Their new home will be less than a mile from his work! 

While they were here we painted some pictures. 
Well, Cooper did.  Dexter did some experimenting with different surfaces for his paint.

We held car races. 
Pretty nice of Grandpa to have that ramp put in for the toy cars.

A walk to the park for a picnic and some play, more outdoor play with bikes and bubbles and chalk.  Coloring, puzzles and Grandma is feeling MUCH better.

I learned again, as I learn everytime grandkids visit, that
- kids grow fast
- kids are pretty darn clever.... it's hard to stay one step ahead
- I don't appreciate all the free time I generally have
- my grandkids have great parents

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All About Nina - Project Project Runway #4

Project Runway designers were tasked with creating a look for PR judge and Fashion Director of Marie Claire magazine, Nina Garcia, that could be worn to work and then out in the evening for an industry event.  Nina was not bashful about her "don't wants" and listed loud patterns, loud colors, pleats and voluminous clothes as dislikes.  She does like tailored clothes, clean lines, classic with an edge.   A look at some of the clothes she has worn was provided to help start things.

Just Crafty Enough tasked the Project Project Runway designers with the same!


Here is my day look for Nina to wear to work.  A simple black and white skirt with a (hopefully) not too loud pattern.  And a sleek black tank top embellished with a bit of gold stitching along the top.
At the end of the day, Nina can just whip off those straps (they use velcro), add a gold necklace and she's ready for evening!

I don't know how close Nina and Heidi are, but if they like to share clothes, Nina can lend her top to Heidi, who will totally rock it as a short-enough-for-Heidi dress.  Hope that wins me some points with the judges!

Check out the rest of the runway at

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Go Big or Go Home - PPR Challenge #3

Project Runway designers had to create a look for a stilt-walking model.  For Just Crafty Enough's Project Project Runway we had to create a look for our stilt-walking dolls.  And we had to make the stilts.  I used dowel rods and fastened them to Summer's legs with bread ties. (She didn't want sticky tape on her legs.)

When I realized we were designing for really tall girls I thought of a men's tux with tails - they look best on someone that's tall.  So I started there and girled it up.  
I loved the striped pants that Julie and Josh made. They really had a lot of fun motion on the runway.  Not quite ready to get that flashy, I just added one wavy stripe to the side of the pants.
Summer is loving her outfit but is afraid to walk.  She insists that she'll fall.  I promised to catch her but she doesn't trust me.  She says I'll give priority to the camera.  (She may be right!)
Black buttons accent the short front of the jacket and the pleated back hangs past Summer's knees.
The outfit just screamed for something more, hence the glorified top hat. 

The judges could go either way.... "it looks sophisticated and stylish"  or (please, no!) it looks costume-y. 
Fingers crossed!

You can see the rest of the BIG designs at the Project Project Runway Flickr page

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another Weekend, Another Visit

This time it was Marylou (Scott's sister) that came to visit.  Her GPS took her to the farm. Oops.  At least it wasn't far to get to our house from there.  She brought D and Rachel and Bobbie.  It was great to see all of them. 

Part of the purpose of the visit was that she would test drive each of Scott's mobility vehicles and choose one to borrow. Somehow this doesn't quite look like the plan....
There were a few rides on the road and trips across the grass.  There were also a few attempts at races but with 5mph being the top speed that was kind of hard! Both girls decided that any one of the vehicles would work! But mom did get the final say.
D found a vehicle he liked.

D is so cute. He loved smiling for his picture and wanted to see it right away.  He's not afraid to show his emotions and he says what he is thinking.  We loved having him visit.
He has a pretty big surgery coming up so we'll be praying for him, and asking our Lord to help Marylou as she waits for it to be over and deals with the recovery.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pet Project - PPR Challenge #2

Challenge #2 for Project Project Runway was the unconventional challenge.  Not my favorite to watch and, now that I've done it, not my favorite to do!  The rules from Just Crafty EnoughUse anything from a pet store to make your design. (If you have pet stuff at home you can use it rather than buy something.) You can use a base fabric like muslin to build your outfit on. Tim reminds us, “The judges do not respond well to looks that come out of unconventional challenges that use a lot of fabric."

With no pet store close by, and a limited selection in the pet department at the hardware store, I chose to use items from home.

Dog fod bag and vet office leash.

I was pleasantly suprised at the way the bag handled.  It was easy to cut and easy to stitch.  It was NOT easy to turn right side out.  And it did not drape well (surprise, surprise).  I got just a tad frustrated and decided to forego traditional closure.  Out came the scotch tape.  I don't think the judges will notice.

By the time I was finished, the work room was a mess.  Scraps and discarded attempts littered the floor.  The Pepperlove Accessory Wall arrived and was installed, but it still needs to be stocked. 

As I mentioned after the first challenge, my first model needed to be replaced. Lizbeth is doing well and rather relieved that her secret is out.  It was a pleasure to work with my new model, Summer.  She was good natured about all the fittings - there were LOTS! - and was very reassuring whenever I expressed doubts about my design.  I knew she was just being kind, but it helped nonetheless.

The dog food bag was fussy cut to make use of the colors.  The diamond design was cut and stitched to the bottom of the shorts.  The top is a simple sleeveless blouse.  The leash is made from, um, well, er, the leash.

When I told the judges my client was heading to the dog park, Michael said, "Well, that's a good thing, because she isn't fit style-wise to be seen anywhere else!"  Ouch!  That's okay.  I finished and at least all the important parts were covered. 

I'm so looking forward to using fabric.  Those little seams and darts and closures will now seem so much easier.  And rumor has it we'll be working in a larger scale for the next challenge ;)

You can see all the work from the other designers at the Project Project Runway Flickr page.  Some of them are pretty impressive.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thanks for Visiting!

We had a couple surprise visitors today. 

They just came walking right out of the field.

You have to look very closely....
way out at the end of the line of brush....
where the hay field meets the corn....

There was time for a short chat, a sandwich and drink.  It's always nice to have a bit of company.  And we haven't see Payton in a long time... my, he's grown!  

Soon it was time for a little re-fueling, and then off they went again.

  Have a safe trip home.  Come again!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Come As You Are - PPR Challenge #1

Challenge #1 – “Come As You Are”

The first challenge of this season's Project Runway had the designers creating an outfit using their pajames and a bed sheet. 
Modified for Project Project Runway the designers' rules from Just Crafty Enough:

"You can use either the clothes your model is currently wearing OR a 10″ x 10″ square of fabric similar to your own pajamas. On top of that, you can use a handkerchief worth of white cotton or cotton-ploy blend fabric. The standard woman’s handkerchief is 10″ x 10″. You can manipulate the fabric anyway you want with dye, fabric paint, etc… You can also add things like buttons, velcro, and trims."

Since my model was, at that time, wearing a layer of PlayDoh (trying to make a mold for a dress I was glad we had the option of using our pajamas for inspiration!

my pajama top

 similiar fabric square and square of white cotton

I used colored pencils to draw a plaid design on the white cotton for the bodice.  It shows up better here on this discarded piece that it does on the dress.

The skirt of the dress is from the pajama design fabric.  The back closes with velcro. Embroidery floss creates the strap design and waist embellishment.

Heidi will say "It's ok. A bit boring. It could be shorter"
Michael... "Where is she going?"   My answer... "Sunday brunch at the shore with girlfriends"
Nina..."what is that mess in the back?"

There was a bit of a learning curve as I've made less than a dozen garments in my lifetime, and never clothes this small.  Darts, waist adjustments, hems.... yikes!  But it turned out okay.  I think I'll make it to the next round. 

Lizbeth, on the other hand, may not.  There was not full disclosure during the contract negotiations.  Turns out she is bald . . . . not that there's anything wrong with that . . . . but it kind of makes her one note in the styling department.  I feel bad with the tough current economic environment that she no longer has the Dollar Store opportunity so I'll keep her on.  She can help in the workroom, and she has expressed an interest in child development.... when the grandkids come she can try her hand at entertaining them.

This week I'll be making a trip to the model casting department. 
And I'm expecting delivery of the Pepperlove Accessory wall. 
(So excited!)

Can't wait to see what the next challenge is!