Monday, January 11, 2010

Back in October ....

... Charlotte decided that her sixth birthday party would be an homage to Spirit : Stallion of the Cimarron. I modified a simple fleece balaclava pattern from Anne-Mette Hermansen's so-useful book Happy Hats & Cool Caps: To Sew for the Whole Family by adding horse ears & inserting yarn along the back seam:

(There was a reason why the little horses were riding stick horses, but it only made sense if you were six.)

I made tails by making large, simple tassles & pinning them onto party guests' pants. These were less successful; several just fell apart. But they lasted through the party, at least.

I don't know what traditions are elsewhere, but around here when your child has a birthday party, they receive presents from the guests and hand out "goodie bags" full of edible treats and junky toys of dubious amusement value. I don't like to pass them out and I don't like to have my kids bring them home -- the contents are usually junky but the cost adds up surprisingly quickly. So whenever possible I like to make something that our party guests can take home & play with later. The horse hats seemed just right this year.

Charlotte's birthday is only a week before Halloween, so as soon as I finished the horse hats I moved right on to make George's mummy costume:

(This is his favorite lurching undead pose.)

Here it is with the headpiece:

It's made of strips of muslin, sewn and/or hot glued to a pair of pajamas. (My sister made a costume like this on a sweatsuit base, but she lives in a colder part of the country.) The headpiece is built on a balaclava with the nose bit cut out.

It was a hugely successful costume, and very durable, too -- George spent a lot of the evening hiding under one of the cars, then "rising from the dead" as trick or treaters passed by, and the costume showed hardly any wear & tear at all.

Given the amount of sewing her party had required, I was kind of pleased that Charlotte decided the PERFECT costume was a $6 Target witch outfit:

A New Year

Where does the time go? It slips by so quickly -- the hours, days, weeks, months. It's the same for all of us, I suppose.

I have been very busy with our remodeling, the holidays, daily life, and even fiber pursuits. I've actually gotten quite a bit of weaving, knitting & spinning done, but haven't taken the time to blog it in months.

The last time I wrote was just after the November art market, as I was planning the things I would weave for the December market. As it turned out, the December market was much like the November one --lots of interesting things for sale but not very many shoppers. It was held indoors, in a space that would be lovely for a wedding reception but which was too dark & too far off the beaten path to make a good marketplace. It didn't help that there was a big craft fair going on about half a mile away, just as there had been in November, AND a big arty/crafty market up in Oklahoma City. Too many venues for too few customers.

I sold two more scarves, several bookmarks, a couple of lavender sachets, and several tree ornaments. Again, it was enough to cover my costs but not much more than that. It was interesting, but I'm not sure whether I will do it again. On the other hand, I have more than 100 of these little tree ornaments on hand so perhaps I have a headstart on next year:

The big surprise for me was how much I loved the overshot that I turned into lavender sachets. I've never been particularly drawn to it in weaving books / mags, but I loved weaving it and loved the way it looked finished. I need to explore this more!

And now it's time to go pick up the children.