Monday, April 30, 2012

The Question Was, "Will I Clean the Fish"

Andrea says, "You know how Daddy always talks about catching fish?  How the boys are going to catch fish, and then they'll bring it to us girls, and we're going to do something with it?" 

LL Bean catalog cover man fishing holding sleeping child wants woman to clean the fish

I said, "Yeah.  I'm waiting for that moment, when I have to face the ultimate question." 

Andrea said, "I'm waiting for that moment when they have to face the ultimate downer."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Spiral Skirt Finished

Finished, she said? It's not hemmed yet. I serged around the edges and wore it to town like that. 

I wanted a really ruffly skirt this time. Phooey on convention, I want ruffles. So I used five gores of skirt 4B, the 6" width (which I don't think is on the site yet but I'll put it up soon, I'm redoing the whole thing)

This was really, really the end on some of those fabrics. For instance, here's how one of the blue gore pieces went together... in slivers! 


Five gores of skirt 4B produced this. Very much what I had in mind! Super ruffly! But too short for me, only 24" long. 

spiral-blue-green-4 spiral-blue-green-1

It would be great for a little girl. For a while I put it away, pondering whether I should finish it and list it on ebay for some lucky little girl, or try to pick out the whole thing. 

Secret weapon! Mikey to the rescue. I paid Mike $5 to pick out all those gores for me. I only had him pick the actual seams, then used the rotary cutter to trim the zigzagging off the edges. 


Then I made six more gore sections from Skirt 3, which is a gentler curve, attached those above the others, and sewed the whole thing together again. 
I didn't have enough of some of the fabrics, so I used something just close. It's not too obvious, is it? 

 spiral-Janel-2795 spiral-Janel-2793

And there we are, all done. I like it! 

New Barbie Pattern: One-Shoulder Dress

A lady wrote to request an off-the-shoulder pattern.  I only glanced at the email and got a great idea how to do that!  And produced this! 
No, no, she said "off the shoulder"  :-) 

I guess it was time for me to make Barbie a One-Shoulder Dress, that's all. 

Pattern coming soon to the website! 


This is one of my favorite Barbie dolls.  I found her in the FREE box at the thrift shop.  What, nobody wanted her just because she's purple and sparkly??  And that makes me love her!  I love things that are different and flawed, yet uniquely beautiful  :-) 

She should have had wings, but they're gone.  Poor wounded fairy!  The least I can do is make her a pretty dress. 

I changed the white balance so this picture wouldn't come out all yellow (from the desk lamp) and inadvertently made her look pink.  She's really very purple. 

There, I just took her to several different locations in my house and outside, and my poor little cam couldn't get a decent shot of her.   So I swiped a couple photos from ebay auctions...

THIS is how purple she is. 

Barbie Fairytopia Barbie Fairytopia ebay

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Retail Therapy

$40 for happiness from Shopko.  I bought something totally unnecessary, and what do you know, it did cheer me up! 
Gold plated over silver, earrings and necklace made in Italy, and that neat four-square white design (that looks medieval to me) made in USA, of all things. 
Shopko is where I found the made in USA running shoes last time. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dave's First Fiction, age 11!


"Mom, how do you spell 'crash'?"

"Mom, how do you spell 'marines'?"

"Mom, how do you spell 'yeti'?"

Eventually Andrea came to help him, and for a couple hours they were in the corner cackling evilly over the computer.

They didn't finish that day, and the next day I was enlisted to help. It was about the time the marines got to the woods, and were about to set up camp.  If the ending seems a bit rushed, it's because Dave had a list of marines and was crossing them off one by one, and my suggestions were based on trying to have a few names left to rescue by the time the helicopter got there. Typical Mom move?

Wait until Dave's old enough to spell everything himself, and see how many marines survive the night.


* * *

The Crash To Home

September 10th 2011

The radio started crackling: "This is Doctor Ronald Panettiere of the Himalayan Lab! We are under attack by hundreds--"

There was a fierce ROAR heard, then, "AHHHH!!!"

And then the communication was lost!

Lots of Army officers sat around a huge table for a top level meeting, with General Clarkson attending.

"I am Captain Hoskins of Washington DC military base. I have just received a distress call from Doctor Panettiere of the lab in the Himalayas. They are under attack by an unknown enemy and we are requesting permission to send scouts to the airbase."

"Permission granted, Captain Hoskins!" said General Clarkson.

"Thank you, Sir, we will have jet pilot Sanders scout the area. No further actions will be taken till the report has been received."

Circling above the Himalayas, Pilot Sanders made his report. "I see broken windows and busted doors. This place is a mess! But there are no bodies visible."

"I will send off six marines to the Himalayan lab," said Captain Hoskins.

The helicopter took off three minutes later, and they were off to the Himalayan lab. When then got there the eight marines slid down by cable onto the lab roof.

They immediately start climbing down the ladder, when they touched ground they entered the lab with extreme caution. Just as the pilot had reported, there were broken windows and busted doors, and debris scattered everywhere. After checking around, they signaled the helicopter that it was safe.

So the helicopter began to land, but all the sudden there appeared one great white beast that rushed from around a corner, and jumped onto the nose of the helicopter causing it to drive downwards. The blades were still running and came dangerously close to the marines. The marines all started shooting like crazy. They killed the creature, but now the helicopter was flipping around and coming straight for them. They dodged out of the way of the helicopter, which rammed into the hill behind them and exploded.

"There's no way the pilot could have survived!" shouted Danny, the medical officer. He ran towards the body of the beast, but when he got there he looked very confused. "I have no idea what this thing is!"

Danny rolled the body over and looked at the face. Mark ran up to Danny, and they all gathered around and looked.

"It's a-- it's a--" Mark stammered in horror. "It's a yeti!"

Frederick just started laughing, while Davis stood by frowning.

Louis, the commanding marine, didn't know what to think. "It isn't a bear and isn't human! But it's impossible to be a yeti! They don't exist!"

William, the radio officer, called for emergency backup.

Louis shouted, "Marines! Check the perimeter!"

Before they could move, they all turned at the sound of loud tumbling coming towards them. They saw one yeti and started shooting, but ten more came up from behind.

Louis shouted, "Retreat down the slope!!!"

Mark was the first to jump, Danny right behind him, then Davis and William, and Louis himself. Frederick got snatched by a yeti and ripped to pieces.

Seven yetis were still in pursuit, while four of them stopped to fight over Frederick's body. Mark rolled to the bottom of the slope, jumped up and fired in a hurry, killing one yeti. Danny tumbled down beside him, got up and fired his guns for all he was worth. Davis, William and Louis were down as well. Over the sound of everyone shooting, Davis yelled, "Take cover!!" and he pulled the pin out of a grenade and threw it.

The grenade exploded, taking out three yetis. There were three left, but they immediately turned on each other, killing two.

Now there was only one yeti, and he sprang with his claws out on top of Danny. His friends all fired, and they killed it quickly, but still Danny didn't make it. Mark crouched by Danny to take his dog tag.

They looked up the slope at the four yetis still eating Frederick, and saw more yetis come up behind those four.

Louis yelled, "There's no time! Look!" Mark stood up and shouted, "How many of these stinking freaks are there?"

They all sprinted towards the woods. As soon as they made it to the forest line, the roaring yetis had already reached the bottom of the slope and were chasing them. William gasped, "We can't outrun them!"

Louis yelled, "Shoot them!" and they all opened fire from the forest line into the pack of howling beasts.

But the last one jumped onto William and killed him and utterly crunched the radio. The other marines immediately killed the yeti. Then they sadly took William's dog tags.

Mark said, "The radio is broken! How are we ever going to make it back?"

Louis said, "We'll just have to figure something out. We have to stay alive until the reinforcements arrive."

Moving cautiously, they went back up the slope. They found where Frederick had been killed, but he was gone now, along with the yetis. A hideous trail of blood led away up the mountain.

"We don't even have his dog tags to bring back to his family!" Louis said angrily.

The surviving marines tried again to enter the lab. Going deep inside the building, they found where the scientists had all died. But they also discovered some advanced weaponry and explosives. Louis, Mark and Davis all armed themselves with huge guns and filled up their belts and backpacks with bombs and ammo and grenades.

Mark said, "Why don't we go and find where the yetis are and kill them all?"

Louis said, "Good idea! Let's follow them back to their cave and destroy them all!"

They all came out the door, and walked about two miles following the trail the yetis had left. Eventually they came to the cave. They could hear noises inside it going chomp, chomp, chomp.

"Those hideous beasts are not going to survive to kill any more!" muttered Louis.

With a huge yell, Louis, Mark and Davis leaped inside the cave. They started throwing grenades and bombs all over the place until the inside of the cave was lit up like the 4th of July. There were yetis roaring and trying to jump to attack them but the yetis all died.

After the massacre was over, they looked around for what was left of Frederick and found his dog tags. "Buddy, you are not going to be forgotten!" they vowed.

They went outside that bloody dark cave, ate MREs and walked back to the lab about the time they heard another helicopter coming to pick them up. Then they went home.


Andrea's Paper Doll Dresses

They are from a few years ago, and not as good as the current ones, but she supposes I can post them  :-) 

Andrea_paperdolls01 Andrea_paperdolls02 Andrea_paperdolls03 Andrea_paperdolls04 Andrea_paperdolls05 Andrea_paperdolls06 Andrea_paperdolls07 Andrea_paperdolls08

More From My Fruitful Recycle Bin

Who knows how old they are.  They got sorted out of Karen's pile of sketches and TRASHED.  I saved them! 

Karen-purple-pegasus Karen-white-horse-rearing Karen-dresses-designing Karen-carousel-sketch

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Planting Flowers Outside

On the fourth nice day of 2012, I planted a bunch of pansies outside. 

planting-flowers-1204-1 planting-flowers-1204-2 planting-flowers-1204-3 planting-flowers-1204-5

Of course my concrete is that beautiful.  No, I didn't Photoshop that at all!   What are you implying?


The trilliums grow by themselves. 

planting-flowers-1204-8 planting-flowers-1204-9

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chadwicks Again

The latest catalog had a lot of things I really like! 

I won't buy it, not only because it's all "imported" from origin unspecified.  But I'll save the pictures for inspiration   :-) 

 ch_50014_multi ch_50020_blue  ch_86732_royal-multi ch_40011_purple2patchwork-print ch_00810_multichadwicks-crinkle-skirt-2 

Even if that last isn't a spiral skirt, the hemline sure resembles one!