Welcome to Once Upon a Thread!! It's been far too long since the last one, so I'm glad it's finally here. Our first guest is Delia of Delia Creates. I've never actually met her, though we've tried. Our attempts have always fallen through (between funerals and new babies, it just never happened!) but I'm determined to meet this creative mastermind in person one day because I feel like we've known each other forever. Please welcome Delia!
I am so excited to be here for Once Upon A Thread!
Today, I am going to sew through a few of the tales or...tails? of Skippy Jon Jones by Judy Schachner. Skippy Jon is a lovable little Siamese cat with unusually large ears who thinks he's a Chihuahua, and takes wild imaginative adventures in his bedroom closet to Mexico, to school, to Egypt, to the age of the dinosaurs and even to Mars.
It's mostly written in English but with smatterings of Spanish and Spanglish woven into the dialogue and it is Funny with a capital F. Funny for me and funny to my kids, on different levels. We love these books so much that when I saw them on sale as Kohl's Care books last year, I bought a copy of each book they had without batting and eye.
They are hands down my favorite books to read to my kids because they are so fun to read aloud. So, when Katy asked if I wanted to take part in Once Upon A Thread this year, I said, "Yes, indeed-o!" and immediately thought of Skippy Jon Jones as one of my top book ideas.
The writing is a witty whirlwind of fun, fast- paced, and even tongue twisting entertainment. Judy Schachner has a few audio book versions (make sure it's the one read by her and not another narrator) that are incredibly hilarious. Hearing her audio books are a must because you can get a feel for how she meant for her stories to be told. Whenever I read the books I try to channel her cadence and inflections and my kids love it. It is directed to the early elementary school aged child, but to be honest Reid, who is four, loves it as much or even more than Owen (age 8). I would say it's slightly boy directed as well, but not totally. I mean...I love them. :)
As we were taking pictures, Reid relished in reenacting each scene. Especially defeating the Great Bumble-beet-o.
Which is actually supposed to happen more like this...
For the Great Bumble-beet-o, I made a bumble bee back pack. I used the Oliver+S penguin back pack pattern from Liesl Gibson's book Little Things to Sew ...added some pieced stripes to the front, quilted white wings to the sides and ta da!
It was such a fun project, although time consuming. There are a lot of little pieces, but Liesl's attention to detail with each step is what makes your project such a rewarding finished piece. I think I will add extra interfacing to the bottom panel next time for extra body and strength. I also won't quilt bumble bee wings again. ;)
I used black twill and yellow duck cloth. The bottom panel was a home dec fabric. I think that is where I went wrong. More duck cloth reinforced with more interfacing would have been better. The back pack strap slides are actually from a camping/rock climbing store and were pretty inexpensive (it's been a while but I think $3 for a bag of 6?)
Now that guy next to him, is Skippy Jon's favorite stuffed animal. When he goes to Mars, he meets his martian twin who tries to fight him for it with a little game of tug-of-war...
But he does not let that Sock Monkit-o go to anyone else.
So, I did this project partially because it's apart of the books and partially because I just wanted to make one! :) I made one years ago but the poor thing is wearing out. It got it's start from worn out socks after all. So, I got legit sock monkey socks from The Ribbon Retreat (sponsor) last year, and finally made time to make one. It was surprisingly refreshing to do some hand sewing. There are a lot of tutorials online, but the socks also come with a brief how to in the tag, so I just used that. The pack comes with two pairs of socks, so I think I might make another one a little more girlified for my daughter, Natalie.
Other Skippy Jon necessities, aside from his mochila and his sock monkey, are his mask and cape,
and his plantano which he uses to pacify the grumbling tummy of the wooly bully on his first day of "school."
The mask I just quickly cut out of felt and sewed elastic onto. The eyes are a bit wide, but also look a bit cat like so I went with it.
The cape looks like it's knotted in the front, but it's not! It has a knot in one side that passes through the other. Curious to know more? I just posted about it yesterday and shared a FREE pattern. Go HERE.
My favorite material to use for capes is clearance fabric with a bit of drape. I got this mystery polyester knit-ish fabric from the $1 bolts at Wal-mart.
Skippy has a silver sword, which Reid insisted on substituting with a plastic screw driver. :) Hey...handymen are heroes too.
Oh and this post wouldn't be complete without some bouncing! If you know Skippy Jon, then you know he loves to bounce...
Thanks for letting us bounce over to your blog to share our favorite book series Katy!
And remember to bounce over to my blog for a free "Knot-Knotted" Cape pattern - HERE.
Happy Once Upon a Threading!
Delia, you seem like the most fun mom a little boy (or girl!) could have, and if you'd like me to be your witness, I'll happily volunteer ;). Thank you for your creative ideas and soaringly fun photos (as usual!)
19 June 2013
18 June 2013
My kids had an extra month of school with the move from our old house. They began 2 weeks before most schools, and then we moved mid school year, so they had the extra 2 weeks on the end. Surprisingly, they took it pretty well, and most were sad to leave their teachers they had grown so close to. But summer is finally here for us! Our first official day school-free came at the perfect time, as it turns out. We got to fill it with a few rounds from "Minute to Win It"!
I hadn't heard of "Minute to Win It" until I caught a sneak peek on the Game Show Network (GSN). These are alll new episodes hosted by Apolo Anton Ohno, yes, the famous American speed skater with the well-known goatee, and will premiere on June 25 at 8/7c only on GSN. The object of the game is for a couple to advance through each level by accomplishing a specific task within a minute in order to win a certain amount of money.
I had a list of the challenges and chose several from the first level, since my kids are young. We also learned that we needed to be very lenient on the youngest ones in order for them to have fun, and even change the challenge a bit for them to be able to feel successful. The first one was "This Blows," which is played by placing several cups on a raised surface and using an inflated balloon to knock them off.
Everyone had a turn and then Aunt Ashley (my oldest sister who was visiting, and who is always up for a challenge!) asked if she could have a turn. She showed. Them. How. It. Was. Done. Too bad she wasn't playing for money.
Our next challenge was "Wet Ball" and a bit of a flop because we did it outside and the wind started to kick up, but they were supposed to get a balloon in a bucket using a spray bottle of water. I think we'll try this one a gain with an actual ball and the hose so the wind doesn't blow it everywhere.
I loved watching the next one, "Face the Cookie". I had everyone pair up with a partner and placed a cookie between their foreheads. They had to work the cookie down to their mouths and each take a bite, and there was a whole lot of giggling along the way!
They all did it, though!
Their favorite was probably "Jingle in the Trunk": a tissue box belted on and filled with bells and beads that they needed to shake out. I let them decide if they wanted the box in the front or the back. Or on the side, in Olive's case, who always wants something else.
They could all do this challenge under a minute, and got in a little dance exercise while they were at it.
After we went through the challenge, we watched an episode of Minute to Win It and the oldest three were glued and watched to the very end. That Apolo. Such a charmer (maybe that's why they were so enthralled?)
The next day Olive asked "if we were going to play those really fun games again?" I think we will be whipping these out all summer long. They would also be fun to play at parties with adults or children.
Catch all new episodes of Minute to Win It with new host Apolo Ohno all summer long on GSN. I know this will be one my girls will want to watch.
What Minute to Win It game would your family enjoy playing? Answer in the comments section for a chance to win a $100 Visa giftcard!
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 6/18/13 - 7/17/13.
Also, don't forget to enter my other giveaway for an LG double oven!!
14 June 2013
This post was timed with precision. All of my kids need shorts, and the plans were to make them each a pair, but 2/6 is almost half, and half rounds up to a whole, right?
But, now that I realize how quickly I can whip these up, we might have a shorts overload from my enthusiasm and assembly line type of production.
Carla and Rachel are hosting the perfectly timed Shorts on the Line, perfect because it seems like shorts never make it through to the next Dill daughter in line.This also coincided with Dana asking me to test her shorts pattern that is coming out soon! When the stars align like that, I make star shorts. And checkerboard, because they're friends.
I couldn't find my 8 stamp for the tag, but I've never drawn my eights properly anyway. Even my kids tell me I'm not supposed to do 2 circles. But I do anyway.
These are both from the same pattern, just different options. They're a nice simple pattern that I will be using all summer long. Olive's has a gathered waist all around, Pearl's is just gathered in the back with a flat front, both options on Dana's pattern.
Divine has already requested a pair like Olive's.
Most anything that uses bias tape is a friend of mine.
Plus, they matched my nails, which is always fortuitous.I've also decided that I should always sew in pairs. They began to offer suggestions of what to do for our photo shoot.
Like the horses. Of course. The horses. And then Pearl thanked me afterward for letting them use them in our shoot.
Then they just got crazy (it's how most things conclude in this house) and we had a little photo bomber who is all about the balls.
Check out what else Carla and Rachel have planned:
13 June 2013
It's been an embarrassingly amount of time since Andrea from The Train to Crazy sent me a box. She calls it The Mystery Box (dun, dun, dunnnnn) that she fills with fun fabrics and sends to different sewing bloggers to see what they do with it.
One fabric was this charcoal sequin fabric. I decided I could use it for a Sunday dress for one of my girls and a coordinating dress for another one of my girls. Kill two birds with one sequin. Or a few hundred thousand. I made a sequin collar for Clover's dress, but there was something not quite right. It needed something...
...more. I was at Hobby Lobby and spied some trim that turned out to be just what I needed.
And of course a headpiece that can be worn by either girl. Whoever gets up first in the morning ;)I used a vintage pattern that I've used several times before, like on Clover's Vote Dress. It's been good to me, that pattern.
I included an inverted pleat on the center front of Azure's and left the sleeves without the elastic and casing. Clover's I pretty much followed straight up.Her collar doesn't lay perfectly flat, probably the only thing I'd change on it. I guess they hadn't intended sequins to be used. ;)
I may draft some of my own and change them, as I just sewed them along the edge of the dress neck, they're easily removed. But for now, they're fine.Doing a photo shoot with these two monkeys is not as easy as it looks. Or maybe it doesn't look easy, which would be accurate.
I tell them to turn around and they turn the wrong direction or in an entire circle, sneeze, or simply give me a goofy look.
I tell them to step left and they step right (or maybe my directions are backwards?)
But I kind of like the candid nature of little kids. They are rarely stiff and just show their personality naturally. Also, I love the juxtaposition of the sequins and scraped knees.As I was sewing these, I had the harsh realization that sewing for little girls is rapidly coming to a close, as they turn into tweens and then teenagers and then onto wedding dresses! But, I'm getting ahead of myself. They're still just 4 and 6. All the more reason enjoy these monkey years of silliness.