A Full Weekend

First.  Don't you just love it when you notice the kid-silence is actually not trouble, but this:

Next, we have a couple of family birthdays in this next week, so I made this cake for the festivities. 

And I painted my nails to blend in.  Silly, yes?

This cake was simple Raspberry Layer, Vanilla Layer, Lemon Layer with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  And I tried  a new technique with Marshmallow Fondant.  Need to tinker with that a bit more...

Then we took some beautiful flowers over to my little sister, Layla's grave.  My parents worked SO hard on this design and it was installed recently. It's full of lovely engravings of  her photographs and favorite quotes and is different on each side. It is beautiful!

I hope your weekend was a good one!

To see where the Linky parties I participated in, please check out the right side-bar!



Guess what? Tonight I received and email from Tere over at Pony Tails & Fish Scales.  She was informing me that she was going to Feature my Maxi and Mini-Maxi Dresses! I am super excited! And extremely honored!  And now I get to display this Fabulous button on my blog.  YAY!

PonyTails and FishScales

Tere holds a Linky Party on Thursdays called It's Party Time! 

PonyTails and FishScales

Lots of fun and extremely talented people go there to inspire each other! But I don't really have to explain this to you all.  But I would encourage ll of you to check out her link party.  Click on a few of the links and leave the a nice note, as you all have so nicely done for me.  Link up to her Linky Party and share your ideas! And grab her button and stick it on your blog! And check out Tere's fun blog too! It's awesome!  I'm going to add her site button to my blog too!

PonyTails and FishScales

Thanks Tere!


Maxi and Mini-maxi

I whipped up these maxi dresses for AuBrynne and myself last night. They came out pretty cute! And they are uber-comfortable!

I think they would work well for a day at the beach or picnic or at the outdoor shopping mall or even to a nice casual summer wedding.

 However, this dress is yet to be named.  I had one of those moments where I thought of the right name but, but between driving and the three year old mini-me telling me something random and cute, it is totally gone!

I had a few ideas:
1: On the soap opera I watch, The Young and the Restless (yes, I watch it...), the character, Ashley would wear it. 
2: The actress on the show that would wear it in real life would be Michelle Stafford.  She plays Phyllis on the show.
3: The character Melinda on Ghost Whisperer could be seen in this one.

 But maybe none of those are right and it needs to be something else?

So, folks, give me some suggestions of what to name this pretty lady, please!

And to see where I linked this, check out the Friday Link Parties section over on the right sidebar!


Do you remember this dress? I posted it here.

Well, I liked the pattern I came up with so much, I decided that AuBrynne needed one too! The style is called "Lainey". 

 This one is slightly different. Mostly because I didn't have enough fabric.  But it works nicely without the sleeve cuffs.

So, here it is, in AuBrynne's favorite color -Shrek green (and white)
And some sass for our friend Lori:
Check out the lovely Link parties I linked this to; over on the Right sidebar under Thursday Link Parties!



This is the dress AuBrynne has named "Ruby".  I made it to test a technique out.  It was a fail.  So, I fixed it and she LOVES it now.  It looks very reminiscent of the little dresses that Ruby on Max&Ruby where.  I think it needs a bright turquoise sash and/or a hot pink flower, but she told me that she doesn't like it when she looks in the mirror.  Goodness sakes she has her own fashion sense!

And yes, she is wearing two different slippahs. . .

And a few that are too funny.  All models are the same: cranky and demanding. However, rather than imported spring water, she was demanding a trip to the pool with a slide. Models...

And for those who have seen the hysterical Kung Fu Hustle, doesn't this last picture remind you of Landlady?  Sometimes, I think she is channeling her and her Secret Lion's Roar and Super-human speed.

See where I'm linking this over to the right side-bar under "Wednesday Link Parties" and "Thursday Link Parties"


I little Love from an old T-shirt

I had this old red t-shirt.  It was a good one and it served valiantly until it was time to be retired for re-purposing. 

I had a few scraps of some fun knit prints. It worked out perfect for play clothes. 

AuBrynne loves to wear this one because it is already so soft and broken in.
 This one was pretty simple:
Cut off the bottom 5 inches and add a gather.
Cut bodice down to correct size.
Cut off sleeves.
Assemble the heart applique and sew to bodice.
Ruffle a long piece of sheer fabric and sew on in the shape of a heart.
Attach new pink sleeves.
Sew up sides of bodice and sleeves.
Attach bottom ruffle.
If the neck is too large, stitch with elastic thread in your bobbin around the neck line.

Want to know where I have linked this? Check out the Link Parties in the right Side-bar!

The Weekend. It's a Start

Well, yesterday, I seasoned up a pork butt (which is actually a shoulder cut, but I didn't make up the name...) with a marinade and sent it to the fridge to tenderize the meat. And then started outside to work on the front flower bed closest to the front doorway. This has become my project in the summer ever since I got a little too ambitious and decided to eliminate the icky witchy-prickly creepy stuff. I don't recall what it is called. All I know is that it took days because the roots were like a tangled web and about 3 inches in diameter in lots of spots. And I still come upon some of it in different places each summer. This year was no different, except this year there were mushrooms growing on the piece of root that hat worked its way up 12 inches to the surface. I will be a neurotic mess if it makes its way out and starts to bud...

But I digress. Each year we watch the Azalea plant bloom and fade very quickly and then get the bug to plant the area with lots of color. This usually leads to Annuals. This is usually very time consuming. But the color payoff is beautiful. But its also kind of expensive. So, a couple of summers ago, I decided to put some dianthus in. What I didn't notice, was that I actually grabbed the perennial dianthus instead of the annual. So the next summer it came back bigger and better. So, I divided it and it flourished even more! We decided that we would add more perennials to the existing flowers this year and divide and replant until it looked like we wanted. This would save us both time and money.
This year, the great growing dianthus has exploded. And gotten thick and tangled and LEGGY! Ugh. Well, it had to be done so I set out to do it. Ugh. Can't I play in the sprinkler with AuBrynne? She's having A LOT of fun. And on this 92 degree day, I'm actually breaking a sweat. This is rare for me. I'm the lucky one in the family... Ask me later... I actually got ALL of the old dead dry stuff removed and the bed was ready to be divided and planted. But I got a nice reprieve when the baby told me she was shutting off the water, and that it was time to go inside -we did. Three hours later.
So, today, I popped the meat in the oven for a few hours and went to finish the planting. Eegads! The temp seems hotter today! And given that it's the Chicagoland area, its really humid too. But I got everything divided and planted. In a few weeks, all of the dianthus will spring back and bloom again. I can't wait!  Now, the other 90% of the yard...

And I got the fountain going. Yay! Me... See, I don't need my little brother to do it...

And my mother even got into it and did the bed that surrounds the mailbox.  It looks great!

And I even had enough energy to make the barbecue sauce and some fresh cole slaw too!  It was pretty yummy!  And it was all soy free! Gotta love when your food doesn't make you sick.  You just have to make every  bit of it yourself. This is not a new concept to me, just reminding myself how satisfying it is to help me to be happy about doing it all again... Anyways It was a good weekend.


FNLF- Friday Night Lights Fanatic

OK. So, I know this will be a surprise to some of you. But not to others. I love NBC's Friday Night Lights. L. O.V. E. It! Seriously, if the phone rings between 7 and 8pm on Friday, I'm annoyed. And if it's my cell phone going off... Anyways, I love it so much I watch each episode a few times each week after it airs. I love each and every character. OK, I don't love each character, but I love how well it's written and how they all interact.

I LOVE Tami Taylor, played by the magnificent Connie Britton. She is absolutely phenomenal in this role! I strive to be this strong woman.
I LOVE Coach Taylor, played by the ever handsome and charming Kyle Chandler. Again, phenomenal! Seriously. These actors are amazing! This would be the husband I would chose in that fantasy world. Especially if I were Tammy Taylor, ha ha.
I Love others but this blog is about Making. And with that thought... I love those campy t-shirts you find in the younger set's clothing stores... Sometimes they are sassy. Sometimes crass (I don't like those). Sometimes just plain funny. I love the "collegiate" ones. They look like worn high school football shirts. In fact, I have been known to "borrow" a t-shirt from my little brother... Because they are cuter on me...
Anyways, I have been toying with the idea of making my own t-shirts that would be flattering for the female group. Then I did a quick FNL search for colors and what-not. And I came upon this site from NBC. And look what I found there:

But the question is: Do you get your ever loved Panther Football shirt, Or go for an East Dillon shirt?
Where does your allegiance lie? With the hardworking handsome Coach Taylor at East Dillon, or with the hardworking fabulous Principal Taylor at Dillon (West)?
I'm leaning towards making a Panther top because I can see those awful men at Dillon (West) failing miserably.


Strawberry Trifle

It's not what you think. I'm in the midst of making Aubrynne some fun girly play clothes. When I finished this one, she grabbed a play strawberry and raced outside for pictures. She called it her Strawberry dress. I have to admit, it does kind of look like the Strawberry Trifle she likes so much. She is my little genius. In between messes... I might have to make one tomorrow.

This one is several layers of (un)coordinating jersey knit prints. But they ended up to be pretty cute all together.

To see the link parties I participated in, please look to the right side-bar section!


Like a Sister...

Today I want to introduce you to a BFF in my life.  She is one of those women that you audibly envy.  And privately try to emulate without being completely obvious about it.  Her name is Hollie Nielsen Williams.  Hollie is a Super-Woman!  She owns her own very successful business.  People wait on a waiting list for EVER.  She is going through school right ow to become a nurse. And it's a breeze to her.  Hollie has been through an eventful life and still has a positive outlook.  And she is a fabulous mother to 5 kids! Three of her own and 2 step-children. And they all love her.
Hollie came out to Chicago in March for a week to visit. She helped me prepare the 60th Surprise Birthday party for my mother and she did our hair color and cuts.  Hollie and I talked about making some Easter dresses for the girls.  We got her handy husband Brian to Skype with us and he measured all of the girls.  I designed the dresses and had her girls sign off on the designs.  I decided to make Hollie a dress also but it would be a surprise for her. Then constructed them then popped them into the mail to Lovely-Logan. 
Hollie had her EXTREMELY talented sister Ginger Nielsen Voth to take photographs of them all in their dresses.  I had seen some of Ginger's work, but I was stunned at how fabulous they came out!  I don't know how I'm gonna be able to get Ginger to photograph all my stuff now... Seriously!  She makes my stuff look REALLY good! Not that the models weren't stunning to begin with... Everything just came together very nicely with the whole set of dresses. 
Thank You Hollie, Sami, Sophi, Lainey, Brian, Ashlyn, Brock and Ginger! I love You! 
Here is a little video of the photos they sent me!



I have been working on a little project. It took longer than I expected. Mostly because I dyed the fabrics. If our local fabric super store would carry a larger array of knits, it would have been a simple 1 day project. But it was fun to dye the fabrics with the procion dyes. I am happy with the outcome of this one.

My daughter names each one of the dresses that I make for her. It's amazing that she comes up with names of people she doesn't even know! So, I decided I would call this one Valentina. Its a combination of cotton spandex knit with nylon stretch mesh. I love working with mesh. You can come up with really fun effects with different colors.
Here she is:

If you would like to see which linky-parties I participated in, please check out the right side-bar!