Asymmetrical obi belt

Now, I'm not usually one for making fashion statements, let alone making my own clothes or accessories, but this dress only had a small very thin elastic gathered waistline, and it needed a little something more. In order to make it a bit more interesting and waist-defining, I altered a DIY pattern I found online and made this asymmetrical (and reversible!) obi belt using two different fabrics. (Reminds me of the collection of fabrics from this post.)

I am working on creating a pattern and instructions for this belt. Stay tuned.


Mermaid card

My daughter turned six last week. Yes, six.

We are planning a birthday party for her that will take place this coming weekend. And let me tell you, my little O knew what she wanted— a mermaid party. And so obviously the card had to be a mermaid card.

I did look around at the usual places for a pre-made mermaid invitation, just to save time amidst the end-of-the-school-year activities and ongoing house projects happening here, but alas, found none. So, after a quick trip to the local craft store for some blank cards, and some inspiration— small sheets of vinyl in a sparkly green!— I was convinced I could somehow create a mermaid card on my own.

The first step was to create a watery home for the mermaid. So with the kids' watercolors I loosely painted the blank cards with green and blue and let them dry on paper towels.

Next, I sketched a mermaid, and eventually created pattern pieces for the three vinyl colors I had purchased.

After much tracing and cutting, I peeled each piece and placed them on the cards, layering the hair on top of the torso and the tail beneath.

After the mermaids were all assembled on the front of the cards, I simply handwrote the party information on the inside and dropped them in the mail.

Now on to planning the rest of the party!


Watercolor paper eggs

Since unpacking and painting and reorganizing is taking up most of our time here, I thought I would post some pictures of some Easter decorations we made a few years ago. We simply cut some watercolored paper into egg shapes, punched a small hole and strung them up with some white thread and clear tape. 

Lovely to watch—constantly turning and changing (shadows, too) in the slight breeze from the drafty windows and air stirred when we walk past.


Spectrum mini-quilt or two

I have had plans to make a quilt for the kids for a while now, but have lacked the confidence to embark on such a big project without any prior quilting experience. So I decided to make a mini-quilt as a test-run; to figure out how to sandwich and pin and quilt and bind on a small scale.

Ok, so I made two.....

I made the first one (above) with the leftover already-pieced cool fabric spectrum from the apron I made for Q's kindergarten teacher a few years ago. For this version, I decided to both attach and finish the binding by machine.

For the second one, I decided to use a warm color spectrum for the pieced center stripe and a very slight peachy-blush solid. I machine-attached the binding in the same way as in the first one, but then finished the binding by hand. Although this method takes a bit more time, I definitely prefer the look of this end result. It also somehow is more satisfying to end with the hand. There are just some things that cannot be replicated by machine.

As a comparison I washed the warm one once completed to see how it would look and to see how much it would shrink: 

And yes, if you have been visiting this blog frequently, you may remember a sneak-peek of these mini-quilts (and a pillow cover in the same warm spectrum) in a post over a year ago when I had a table at a local festival... Needless to say, I have gotten a little behind in my plans. Big surprise? Well, no. This is what happens when one packs up the family and moves abroad for a time and then packs up the family upon returning stateside in order to put one's house on the market and then packs up the family to move to a temporary home during a few months of renovation in the new house. Oh, yes, and then once again packs up the family and finally moves into the new house just days before Christmas.

Now must get back to the unpacking.


Old and young

The web is a funny place.

A few months ago, I got an email from a woman in Germany, who had come across my blog while doing some image research. She was looking for the perfect cover picture for the inaugural issue of the Heidelberg University magazine titled Ruperto Carola, which comes from the Latin name for the university, Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis.

The main theme of the first issue is Old & Young or Alt & Jung in German, and she thought the images of my son, Q, in his dinosaur costume from a few years ago evoked just the right combination of old and young. I'm sure it didn't hurt that there was a scattering of leaves on the grass — perfect for the Fall publication.

Recently, I received a few copies of the magazine...

They decided to use one on the cover and one on the opening spread.