Saturday, November 28, 2009

a very domo christmas

If you've been on the nets for any amount of time, you're most likely familiar with this little guy:

It's Domo Kun, originally a Japanese television mascot, now harbinger of cute on the internet.

Since I've had all that mute and lounge-y on the couch time (btw, I can actually speak today! Like, out loud and everything! This is the first day I've been able to really talk --hoarsely, but actually talk-- in 10 days.) I decided to borrow Domo's cuteness for an ornament tutorial. Cause Domo's love Christmas too!

Here he is hanging out on my tree with my blown glass Santa's:

Really? Does it get any cuter?? Let's get started!

You'll need to grab this pattern: A Very Domo Christmas pattern. It's a pdf, so make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to open it! You'll also need:
~Wool blend felt in tan/brown, red, and cream.
~3/8" black buttons for eyes **you could also use black felt for eyes!
~Matching embroidery floss or thread (tan & black)
~Optional: Fabric Glue like FabriTac

Domo is really simple to sew, and he's all hand-stitched, so perfect to whip up while watching those holiday movie marathons! You could have a whole army of Domos!

Cut all pieces from the felt as shown on the pattern. Domo's body is one pattern piece, except for the bottom.

Attach the teeth to the red mouth with a little FabriTac (or just baste them in place).

Trim away the opening for the mouth from the body piece as marked. Don't make this too large! Cut inside the markings, or the red mouth won't cover the opening from inside.

Center the mouth/teeth piece behind the open rectangle. Secure to the body with a small running stitch. You can see my running stitch in the photo below. Don't make this perfect! I think it has more charm if its a little crooked.

I dug around in my vintage button tins for 3/8" black buttons. They seem to be the perfect size for this pattern! Attach now, while the pattern is still flat!

Next, line up one side "arm" of the pattern with the body front. You're basically making a little box. Use matching embroidery floss and whip stitch the sides together. Repeat for all sides.

Attach the bottom piece (the extra rectangle) to the sides and the front using a whip stitch. You're domo should be looking similar to this now:

We're going to leave one section open to stuff though, in this case, the "back" edge:

Stuff with fiber fill, poly fill, or your favorite stuffing! Not tooo firm though. You don't want to lose the nice boxy shape Domo has. Make sure to get some in the corners at the top of his head before stuffing the body.

Finish whipstitching the back opening closed!


Now, he's pretty darn cute just sitting around all boxy. But to hang him on the tree, he needs a ribbon hanger. I used an 1/8" red satin ribbon, knotted in a loop. Attach the loop to Domo's head by placing 1 or 2 French Knots in the center of the loop, right smack in the middle of his head:

And that's it! He's ready to hang from your favorite spot on the tree!

Just not too near any kitty ornaments. ;)

Domo would be a great hand stitching project for your young stitching buddies too! It involves basic skills: running stitch, whip stitch, sewing on a button. It's also a quick fix project for those empty Saturday afternoons!

I get my wool blend felt in packages of assorted colors from Prairie Point Junction. They're a friendly, fast shipping company & I recommend them!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

giving thanks.

~I'm stupidly thankful for my children, G-man and Lu, who light up my life every single day. There were times I simply couldn't have gone on if it weren't for them.

~I'm thankful for my family who makes me fruit loopy crazy (but then, that's probably where my sense of snark came from!)

~I'm thankful for my amazing friends who astonish me all the time with their generosity.

~I'm thankful for my students, who break my heart when they grow up and go, but then do surprise visits on my birthday and make it all better.

~And I'm thankful for all of YOU! Who keep coming back, even though I'm almost never consistently on topic, and frequently breaking my own promised planned projects, and flit from one subject to another until my own head spins. But at least its never boring.

While this is more of an American holiday, it's never a bad thing to give gratitude! So I'm wishing all of you, near and far, a Happy Thanksgiving!! I'm smooshing you all together in a great big hug right now! (Even those who have a tiny bubble. Deal.)

Now I'm off to fix my sweet potato casserole and deviled eggs and broccoli salad...Wow. I'm super hungry. And finish watching the Macy's parade!! My favorite!!

Have a fabulous day! Safe travels for those of you on the road.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


If you do, it's because I'm making this one from Ree! I make a mean Texas Sheet Cake (a near clone of Ree's), and I'm gonna try out her recipe today. Because...

it's my birthday!!

Say...I look pretty good for my age.

Famous Last Words
My Chemical Romance

link via youtube

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Me, Lu and StickGirl have switched sides.

Team Jacob!

(We loved New Moon. What say you?)

Friday, November 20, 2009


It's been kinda quiet around here. You know, since I woke up yesterday and discovered I was mute.
I'm basically Marcel Marceau. Except less creepy. And a girl.

Now I'm on the good meds, and a strict "no voice use" mandate for at least 2 days. That means it will be quiet around here for most of the weekend. The opera singing while vacuuming will have to wait for another day.

Stickgirl & I have plans to go see this on Sunday!

Aunty Christy, if youre reading, you should come with us! (I'll text you!) Stickgirl thinks the mute thing is just Too. Damn. Funny. (She would.)

After I spend the next day or two lying around in my pj's, I hope to muster up the willpower to trace & cut out a BWOF project or two. And a HP tee I've been meaning to make for, oh, 4 months or more? --Sorry Dawn! ;)-- But mostly this weekend, I plan to sleep and watch Christmas movies.

And make obscene hand gestures when people pretend they don't know what I need/want/mean. (just kidding. I would never do that.)

“We need to find God,
and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun,
how they move in silence...
We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
--Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ick dos.

Thank you for the well wishes! You're all so sweet and motivating.

I'm still sick though.

Sooo....wish harder!
just kidding.
(sort of.)

Good news? I slept til 5:12 am this morning!

Bad news? My eye was swollen shut. Grrr. My flu/cold/thing has migrated into my ear/eye/and chest. Lovely.

Better news?? E.L.F. Cosmetics sent me a coupon for 50% off their mineral makeup! So I'm sharing it with you! I have just gotten my first order from them and I love my 2 mineral eye shadows! They are beautiful.

Be sure to check out their regular stuff too. Most of it is 99 cents, and everything I've tried is great quality. I love the lip glosses! They are creamy, smooth, not sticky, and have 15 SPF. That's pretty impressive for 99 cents! Here's their website, Eyes.Lips.Face.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This has been my companion the past few nights...

Just a little under the weather! Hopefully back to my bloggy self in a few days.
(and I really needed to bump that hideous Demi post down the page a bit. It creeps me out.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


There really are no better words for this...

or this...

But if there were words, you know Tom & Lorenzo have our backs.

My favorite quote from their amazingly spot on spout off:

"There's a certain class of Hollywood women who have dieted and surgically altered themselves to the point where they really don't look like people."


"Imagine what she sees when she looks in the mirror. Imagine the kind of stress and self-image that causes you to go to the extremes required to look like that."

My thoughts?? There's a reason I never have any (yes, I said ANY) fashion magazines in my house. BWOF is as close as you'll ever find here.

You see, I am the mother of a daughter. The less she is exposed to that crackpipe of reality above, the better.

(A big thanks to my girl Shannon for pointing me to the article today. I'm usually a day late and a dollar short on TLo's blog. )

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Dear Vee,

I remember my preteen, not-yet-geeky self falling for your sneaky ways. Marc Singer was so totally yummy in that floppy hair, post David Cassidy-era way.

But the gerbil gave me nightmares. Can the new V's be vee-gan? (teehee)



Monday, November 09, 2009

Favorite Things Prairie Girl

A fall/winter variation on a summery, cotton dress/top pattern. Sorry, it's a headless picture day. My hair is a MESS. Sadly, I'm wearing my new riding boots too, but you'll have to wait til later to see them I guess!

While I was snoop shopping the other day, I ran across this Nanette Lepore:

and noted that the bodice shaping was very similar to this Favorite Things Prairie Girl pattern:

Remember, I made this one before this year, in a cotton print:

I'm always excited to get to make a pattern again, especially in a very different fabric choice or look! That gives me more bang for my buck! Why don't I do more of this??

For my plaid version, I made the dress length and kept the sleeve frills. I didn't have enough fabric to try to duplicate the very cool drape on the Lepore dress, so I thought another little 'extra' oomph would be nice. I actually like the little frills, even if I feel just a tad Daughter Judy.

I got the fabric at Hobby Lobby last fall, and it's a poly blend. It didn't press easily, but it wasn't impossible to get a crease eithier. I like it because that "red" stripe is actually hot pink! And the coloring of the plaid is such that I can go black OR brown with boots/tights/etc.

The bodice shaping is just a dead ringer for the Lepore dress though:

Construction was easy since I've made it before. The only snag I ran into was that the sizing was off. The first time I tried it on (only needing hems. OF COURSE.), it was about 2 sizes too big! I didn't realize I'd lost that much weight since summer, but apparently I've lost a little. I had to basically take the dress apart at the shoulder seams & side seams, and also take up the bodice seam in front too. I shortened at the hem about 2.5" too, since I prefer knee length and this is below-knee as drafted.

Now, back in the summer I did have some sizing issues, especially with the bustline being too low (no FBA for this, not even lowering the empire seam!) but I had adjusted the pattern at that time, and thought the next one would be perfect. I'm just writing down all my changes on the instruction sheet before I forget, so maybe the NEXT one will be perfect!

Here's one more peek!

My grass is still really green in the back yard, but all my pretty leaves are gone. Sniff. Next thing we know it will be snowing! Eek!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I hesitate to say need. :P But...I SERIOUSLY WANT THIS:

Back view:

And it's even by one of my favorite Project Runway alums, Jillian Lewis.

Beyonce first sported it in May:

And I found another view online (from Celebrity Fashion Tips) that has a good view of the lining & ruffle construction. Yay! The trench is fully lined, and the "peplum" has the ruffle sandwiched between outer/inner coat. The ruffle appears to be of the circular flounce variety (I think if you click the image you'll get a large enough view to see this):

With all the trench patterns BWOF cranks out, there has to be one with a peplum, or at least a seam...right? It's almost trench meets riding jacket in the back. Hmmm. This one will require some thought.

Meanwhile I'll keep lusting.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Simplicity 2863

I've been trying to get home early enough to snap a photo of this all week! Remember my first post about this Built By Wendy dress?

Well, a whole month later, I finally finished it! Click for a really big picture! Note how the camera couldn't focus on those crazy stripes!

So two things I should say now that you've seen it.
1. I have a neck. I must have misplaced it for this photo shoot.
2. This dress doesn't have a black banded hem. It's just the shadow from the flash.

Anywho...I wore it Monday with black leggings, my black turtleneck, & a pair of cute black ankle boots (which I cut off here. Still haven't quite got the hang of my new tripod and completely FORGOT I have a remote for the Nikon, so was using the 10 second timer. Doh.)

But back to the's the back view (which I rarely show on the net! So enjoy! But no need to click for the super size version. Really.)

And here's an up close view of the ruching at the back waist, the only thing providing shape to this dress:

I especially like this cropped picture because my butt looks rather small. This photo should have that rearview mirror disclaimer: Objects in these photos are larger than they appear...

About the pattern (because who knows if I'll ever get around to reviewing it!) It was super easy to construct because it has cut on sleeves (making it a 4 seam dress!) And the hardest part of construction is the ruching back. You could definitely do elastic thread in the bobbin for this, but the pattern has you sew a strip of fabric to the back, stitch channels, then run elastic through the channels.

Now, had my brain been functioning when I was sewing this, I would have done this FIRST, before sewing the side seams. Instead, I read the instructions and they have you do this AFTER you sew the side seams and I blithely followed along. Um, that's 10 times harder to maneuver. I perservered though, and it's pretty straight. Honest. (Next time I'll be doing the channel thing first though.)

I used a really drapey rayon/poly/lycra knit in flaming red, with a black burnout stripe. It seems really see-through until you put it on and then it's actually not. I can't explain it, but I did wear it to school, and I didn't get arrested.

Next up is that Nanette Lepore plaid dress knock off with my Favorite Things dress pattern. Scroll down to the snoop post to view it, I'm too lazy to go find the link. Happy Friday!!

Monday, November 02, 2009


A funny word for a fun month of words. NanoWriMo kicked off yesterday! It stands for National Novel Writing Month. I've never participated but I'm interested enough to give it a go!

Basically, you write a 50,000 word (really rough) draft of a novel in 30 days. Like hard and fast, no holds barred, furiously writing without editing, FUN. Or at least it sounds fun to me! I used to be the worst about stopping and reading and rewriting and editing that I never got anywhere. I'm better now, but this could be a real test of my fortitude.

Anyone want to join me??

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Ok, so I forgot to turn back my clocks, and I've been sitting here thinking the morning has flown by when...woot! No, it hasn't!

What was sucking up the morning hours you ask?? Sephora. And Old Navy. And Just some snoop shoppin that turned into some Christmas shoppin and a little bit of just because shoppin.
Use this code to get 20% off your order at Sephora through tomorrow!


Use this code to get 30% off your order at Old Navy through 11/8:


And try this one if you're an shopper for 25% off (I got some super cute boots for my wide calves for $31! ps...Silly calves.)

I'm actually a regular Sephora shopper (online and in the store) and I didn't get this coupon emailed to me. I ran across it online this morning, and since I'm out of foundation (and I have expensive taste) I went ahead and ordered. I'm trying the Smashbox liquid foundation. I've heard good things.

Smashbox is pricey, but my favorite primer is their PhotoFinish Primer (I usually just pick up the travel size for $17, it lasts forever):

and my favorite cream gel eyeliners are theirs too. I really, really like Image, a dark metallic green:

and Process was my favorite brown (but is no longer available unless you can find an old palette that has it. Sad.) Putty looks like a close match though:My very favorite cream eyeliner they made was called Crop, and it was a gorgeous dark gold, but when you put it on, it was almost "black". Really pretty.

I'm a Bare Minerals girl as a rule, but in the winter I'm just too dry for the mineral powder foundation. Last year I switched to a couple of drug store brands (Loreal True Match is my favorite, but Revlon Colorstay works well too if you can stand the thick formula--especially after wearing Bare Minerals! I typically can't, so I'm interested to see if I like the Smashbox liquid foundation.)

Then I ventured over to ON where I did a bit of Christmas shopping for a girl I know, and picked up a pair of (gasp) skinny leg jeans for me. Ok, not really skinny leg (which would be a horrible DON'T on me, but skinny-er leg so I can tuck them into boots if I feel the urge.)

THEN I ventured over to because I love the no-brainerness of their outfit shopping experience. I heart Betsey Johnson, which can't really be that surprising to you, can it?

Also feeling the love for this Nanette Lepore:And it features a surprisingly easy to recreate bodice shaping/neckline in this pattern by Favorite Things (Prairie Girl):

Bonus...I've already made it and loved it!

Other things that struck my fancy on the myShape site...(and I'm not even a vest person):

As long as we're doing vests, I love this. Hate on me if you dare, it's calling my name.

Love the seaming on the dress, love the military styling of the time consuming. Sigh.

I'm pretty sure I have half a dozen BWOF's to dupe this coat.

Wow, I just realized how colorless all of these are (save the one Betsey Johnson dress). I should probably go snoop some more, huh?

We haven't had a song in a while, and this one's been stuck in my head for 4 days. Now it will be stuck in yours. Enjoy!