Hello Kitty Costume

October is costume time - and this year Clara asked to be Hello Kitty.

Just in case you aren't up on Kindergarten costume selection ... this costume doesn't exist. Well, it does. It's just not exactly what we were hoping for. And it's sold out.

Enter: Mom and a sewing machine.

There were a few guidelines that Clara requested. First, it needed to look like the Hello Kitty doll she got from Build-a-Bear with her Noni. Second, the costume needed to have a pink dress with white polka-dots.


I started with white fleece. Using a super easy Simplicity Pattern, I made her a pair of white pants and a white long-sleeved T-shirt. Not too tough. And outside in MN friendly.

Then I found another easy (read: cheap) pattern for a jumper, and
I happened to have some left over pink silky material. I made the little jumper with some extra room to fit over the fleece top and bottom. On the bottom hem of the jumper, I put a band of 2 inches wide stabilizer to give it that cartoony feel. Then I added some white dots using the leftover white fleece and some fusible webbing.

A Mason Jar lid served well for the big circles and the small circles (inside and outside of lid). I should have stitched the circles on after fusing them on the dress - but I was out of time and not feeling too hot.

After the outfit was complete I covered a headband with white fleece.

For the ears, I made little 4 inch squares, cut on the
diagonal to make triangles, then rounded them off, sewed them together, and placed them between two strips of fleece. Sounds more complicated than it is. Maybe I'll try a tutorial of this. :) Maybe. Anyway, finished covering the headband using a glue gun and maybe a few burned fingertips.

The Build-a-Bear Kitty that Clara has actually has a velcro attached bow. Amen. Amen. Amen. I just sewed a piece of velcro backing to the headband and it was done!

We used the bow from her kitty on her headband - adding to the validity of the costume for Clara.

To finish the ensemble, we got some Hello Kitty slippers at Target and she's set! I think it turned out pretty fun. The only thing we'll have to add is some yellow face paint on her nose.

Voila! She's SO cute. :) Here she is at her school costume parade and fall party.

Up next: Abbie as Maid Miriam.

Bronchitis Boredom

Since being diagnosed with bronchitis on Friday I've been on a sort of bed rest. Moving and talking (hollering) to the kids seems to make my cough worse, which means my breathing becomes labored, and then it's all down hill. So sweet hubby has taken on the role of mom and dad hoping I'll be ready to slowly start back into life on Monday.

He even scrubbed the bathrooms and the floors.

Settle down ladies - he's taken. :)

Anyway, while in bed it's driving me crazy just sitting here. I've totally caught up on episodes of "The Closer" and "The Office," read a Ted Dekker book, and am halfway through Jeannette Walls new book (which is fabulous, by the way), "Half Broke Horses." So what's a girl to do?

Back to the sewing roots I went. Basic embroidery. I got the idea from this post a while ago and wanted to try it but didn't have the time. Now I have the time.

I had an iron on transfer pencil and found various designs I like online. I found that stamps have great outlines and some of the pics were easy to outline and transfer, then to stitch.

This one turned out pretty cute.

I think I'll put a few of these as little pockets
on totes. Cute little gifts for teachers and friends.

Speaking of teachers, I made two for Abbie's mom's day out teachers. Her class is called blue whales. You can probably guess what I made. :)

I did find that with designs this simple, you can just cut it out stencil style and use a marking pen (that washes out with water) to trace it, then stitch.

Now I have until Christmas to make the bags ... :)

ps - the pic at the top is of a piece of wheat I stitched to a notebook cover for a friend.


An Autobiography

In church our preacher asked us to text in a two or three word title for an autobiography. The only rule - couldn't be "Jesus-y." :) Awesome.

My title was: Honestly Trying.

And I am. I combined a strong value of mine with my struggle. For a second I almost put "honestly disobedient."

Because that's true too.

But it seemed a little too harsh.

Because I do obey sometimes.

I struggle with following those little nudges that the Holy Spirit gives me. And it's an interesting struggle because it is always about me and wanting to do it my way. About my selfish desires taking precedent over a work God wants to do. As Paul says, I do what I don't want to do and I don't do what I do want to do (Romans 7:19).

Best example: The nudge pushing me to talk to a neighbor across the street. To just introduce myself. To give a smile. My response was to smile politely and go inside. Good enough, right God?

I found out several months later that the neighbors daughter had been raped in my house. That my neighbor's hurt was so raw and so fresh that she couldn't even look at my house.

I realized that Jesus wanted me to be a very small part of her healing and I had chosen to ignore that - as if my desire to get on with my day was more important.

And that's why I almost wrote "honestly disobedient." Because I still ignore those pulls and whispers. And even sometimes when I respond in obedience my heart is irritated.

And do you want to know the true paradox? I'm terrified to my core that some day those nudges will go away. That God will move on to find someone who is more obedient. I'll still be His - but I'll have stamped a big "no, I won't do it" on my forehead.

So then I make effort to be more obedient. To listen better. And the challenges come. And the frustration. And then - the thing I most desire happens.

I change.

A little bitty part of me gets cleaner. Clearer. I let Him wash it and allow His holiness into the dirtiest parts of me. And I thought I was doing something for Him. Turns out the blessing runs both ways.

Honestly Trying.

I think it fits.


Classic Moment

I'm getting to the point in my life where my house can be cluttered when company comes. Even a little dirty.

Today while we had a neighbor and her baby over, I looked over into my den and saw the way the beautiful fall light was flowing into the room. The baby was laying on the floor and sweetly cooing to the light and making shadows with her hands. I was feeling peaceful. Even content. My neighbor and I chatted over homemade pumpkin rolls and coffee.


Until Abbie noticed the beautiful light. And the way it fell on the coffee table. More specifically on the dust on the coffee table. The dust was so appealing that while I was watching the beautiful baby play, my artistic daughter walked to the table and began making drawing out of the dust. The rather thick dust.

Nice. I guess I'm not as far along as I hoped I was. :)