Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Where the Wild Things Are

It's Halloween! Scary things can happen on Halloween and the pictures below prove it.

Let's take a walk down memory lane and look at some of the costumes I've created for Halloweens past.

Two years ago I was quite the busy seamstress (emphasis on stress) just before Halloween. Two wizard costumes, and a fish!
Doesn't that little girl in the pink hat look mature for a 2nd grader?

I included this picture to show that the stars are reflective. I bought reflective iron on tape, and found out I could cut it with paper punches.
Here's the matching green wizard costume, with another celebrity guest head.

The year I made these costumes my youngest child was not quite two. He looooved the fish costume! Here he is trying it on just before I finished making it. (He ran around the house two times before I caught him.)
When the costume was finished he refused to put it back on, and we had to go with the backup (store bought) cow costume. (The cow costume is the scariest one we've ever had, in that no child has ever been seen to smile while wearing it - it's a mystery.) The fish eyes are also that reflective tape.
My little fish reluctantly waiting for his brothers to parade by at school today. Note the dejected posture - I think he's coming down with something.

Look at this dragon/dinosaur/Stegosaurus? We've gotten lots of wear out of this costume, made 6 six years ago. The fish is going to stay inside on ice, while the dinosaur (hopefully) goes out trick-or-treating once again.

OK, time for a wild life update! Red fox spotted in the yard, Sunday morning, 7:20 am. Sorry for the (lack of) picture quality - he was about 125 feet away, through a window, and I was sitting in the bay window with a three year old while taking it.

And you thought the skunks were gone? This one was caught climbing a wall the other day at Centennial Park. (Costume courtesy Halloween 2001, but still getting good use.)

And this one was just taking pictures
Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Farm Fresh

Today was the big Pumpkin Patch Field Trip. We took a looong drive in the car (four minutes) to the farm.
(All these pictures are better if you click them to see the bigger version.)
We walked through a corn maze.

The pumpkin picking was a little slim, but just fine for the three year old crowd. The real draw was the animals, and the corn pit.

Our county fair has a corn pit, and I can barely get my children to leave it. The leaper in the picture above accumulated at least a half cup of dried corn in his clothing, which was distributed in his car seat, the dentist's office, and our kitchen.
The local leaves are peaking. I'm very envious of this maple down the street.

Birthday party #2 was, as one of my children would say, fun, fun, fun!!!!
I won't bore you with the details. I will say that if you make a good enough cake, the guest will bow in thanks. (Except your sister, who will laugh at you.)
OK, they're not really bowing in thanks. They're playing a game where you try to put the face on the jack-o-lantern by picking up the (paper) features with a straw.

After observing how a bunch of hay bales kept 20 children occupied for 45 minutes at a party on Saturday, and seeing the corn pit today, I have a new strategy for party #3. I think I'm just going to get some hay bales and make a corn pit, get cake and ice cream, and call it a day.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In Progress

It seems like everything I'm doing is in progress. Quilt: definitely in progress. Socks: here are two (of many) in progress.

Discontinued Knitpicks yarn

Yarn obtained from Elann at some indeterminate date in the past

They're both second socks, and my Socktoberfest goal is to finish them both by the end of the month. I feel like I'm a very slow knitter, but I think it would help if I actually put in some time working on the socks. I realize that sometimes entire weeks go by and I haven't knit at all, and maybe that's contributing to my slowness - hmmmm. It's getting too cold and dark to knit at soccer practices, so I've lost some time there.

Birthday party prep: in progress. Wouldn't this be a lovely area to have about 10 six and seven year olds carousing for a Halloween themed birthday party this weekend?

Except that it's supposed to rain. I'm working hard to come up with indoor activities to keep them occupied. Today I've printed Halloween themed Bingo cards from this site that have pictures instead of words. We're also doing a foamie craft project (yeah foamies!), bobbing for apples, and an eyeball on a spoon race. If it rains all day we're also going to maybe need to decorate some mini pumpkins and come up with some witches' brew classes. Any other bright ideas are welcome!

I got some good news yesterday evening. I'm very excited that my quilt Grotto was accepted for the C&T Publishing Book (and exhibit) Innovative Fabric Imagery. Yeah!!! The book will be published in 2007, and the exhibit will be at the 2007 International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mystical State

Thanks to everyone for their nice remarks about my "party pics"! One down, two to go.

I've been keeping pretty busy, and a fair amount of that has been quilt related.

I prepared entries for two shows/contests. I'm very accustomed to the whole slide taking process for entries, but haven't sent many digital entries yet. Both these shows required digital pictures. I wasn't happy with the digital pictures I already had for one of my quilts, so I decided to take more. Unfortunately, the only assistant available at the time is three years old. I thought about Emily's post about taking pictures in the shade on a sunny day (as opposed to an overcast day), and had what I thought was a great idea. I'd lay the quilt flat on the ground, and take the picture from the balcony. This would also get around the fact that it was windy that day. Here's a fabulous photo of my setup.

This might have worked, except that it's very difficult to take a sharp picture of something when you're hanging halfway off of a balcony. No tripod means no go! I guess I'll have to stick to hanging up quilts for photography.

I've been noting the onset of fall.

(Backlit leaves in my front yard)

Mostly I haven't been posting because I'm in that mystical state where you're working on a quilt and that's pretty much all you can think about. In the last few years this mystical state has been quite rare, so I'm going with the flow. Here's a very exciting shot of the washout of some purple fabric.

I dyed a 10 step gradation of purple for this quilt about 5 years ago. I was sure I'd washed it out quite thoroughly. When I went to cut out the deeper shades I decided to wash the fabric one more time, just in case, and I'm glad I did. I don't get what happened here, because I know I washed the fabric quite a few times the first go round. I know the dye is no longer reactive here, but I didn't want it to bleed into some of the surrounding colors when I block it.

This picture sort of sums up my inspiration for the quilt - lavender asters in the fall. It's a traditional quilt, but one I just need to get out of my system. Don't look for pictures of the quilt anytime soon, as it's the biggest quilt I've ever made, and will take several more months to finish.

And of course, it's time for Socktoberfest!

I've got quite the collection of socks on the needles, so I'll try to take a picture of them and post details later this week. (Lolly took a picture of them at Knit Nite that shows how many there are.) I'm going to try and finish two socks this month, so that I'll have a total of three finished pairs.