Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yayas Go International!


Yes, this little family of Yayas is going to France!

I am just crazy about this little one! 

This is the child's size small (2-4).

Chinese lanterns for a Chinese princess!
This little beauty is a child's size medium (5-8).

Yummy Ice Cream Cones!
And for the big sister, a child's size large (10-14).

 I know this looks wonky, but it is actually because the apron
is being modeled by a too-small dress form. 

Maybe this is my excuse to get a larger child's size dress form, eh?

After all, one can never have too many dress forms, right? 
(Just smile and nod, OK?)

Can't you just imagine three sisters baking cookies
 together in these aprons?

And for the lovely mama?
We have this chic gray, black and white Yaya Apron.

The woman who ordered these aprons,  Keri Campbell, is 
someone whom I greatly admire.

Not only is she an amazing mama to her three beautiful daughters,
but she is a published author!

She wrote Lily 
a children's book about a baby girl adopted from China.

Like my Ahnalin, one of Keri's beautiful daughters was born in China.

I can't wait to see pictures of Keri and her daughters in their Yaya Aprons!!

Just a few more aprons to help you dream of baking cookies
with your girls, grandgirls, or little friends.

The lilac umbrella print apron on the left is a
size large (10-14).

And the pink floral is a small (2-4).

The pretty green apron in the back is in one 
of my favorite Mary Engelbreit prints and is 
a misses size.

And this one? 

Oh I love how very "vintagey" it is!

Oh wait, maybe it is because of the red and aqua combo? 

But this little lovely is in the misses size.

And I am crazy about it.

So, you may be asking yourselves, 

"When will we be able to get our hands on that pattern?"
The answer is "SOON!"

Yes, all sizes are drafted now and instructions are being written. 

I still have to get photographs done for the pattern, 

and then it will go out to the testers.

To recap:

The Yaya's Apron pattern will have
Child's size Small (2-4)
Child's size Medium (5-8)
 Child's size Large (10-14)
and  the Misses size (fits most people, including fluffy girls like me!)


Keep your ears to the ground and soon I will be announcing this pattern.


Oh, and one more little note.

The Hot Rockin' Hubby and I are taking our girls to San Francisco
tomorrow afternoon, for the weekend.
I will post pics of the Chinese New Year Parade when I get back!!!!!
So, if you email me, or place an order, it may be a few days
before I get it.
If you become inspired to sew a
Monkey Girl Bloomer Skirt this weekend,
your best bet is to purchase the pattern from YCMT,  as they are instant downloads.

Thank you all and have a beautiful weekend.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bright Star- A Review.....of sorts

Was there ever a movie that you desperately wanted to love,
yet ended up NOT LOVING it?

Yeah, I know I have not done movie reviews on here before.

But I was so sadly disappointed that I just had to say something.

was that movie for me. 

There had been a beautiful article in Victoria Magazine 
a few issues back showing many 
beautiful photos and descriptions of this story.

The story line is about the Romantic poet John Keats
and his fiancee Fanny Brawne,
and their ill-fated romance.

I won't spoil it for you, 


he dies. 

Well, okay, the story was set in 1818 London, so they both 
would have died a long time ago anyway.

So, why did I want to love this movie so much?

Well, Fanny Brawne was a plucky (don't you just love that word?)
opinionated, free spirit of a girl who 


Yes, Fanny designs and sews her own garments 
and revels in the joys of fabrics, pleats, ruffles,
fine stitching, etc.
And John Keats?

Well, his poetry is beautiful.

And he was a contemporary of my 
beloved Jane Austen.

And for the most part, the reviews were strong.

You see, I HAD to love this movie!

It truly was a beautiful film.



So, why did I NOT like this movie?

Well, let me tell you. I LOVE 
Jane Austen films, be they the old BBC versions,
or the newer, truncated versions of the stories.

Some may call them "slow".

I love other romantic period films. 

So, normally I love "slow".

But this film?

No words can adequately express how

SLOW(!!!!!!) this film is.

And shall I tell you about depressing?

Yes, the clothing is really beautiful and fun to see.

The countryside is lovely.

The poetry is flowery and very "Keats-y".

I should probably mention that the film 
was made by Jane Campion.

She is known for her beautiful yet depressing films.

Bright Star is another beautiful yet depressing film. 

And I found that I did not like the characters very much.

It did not grab my attention at any point.

So, is the film worth seeing? 

Yeah, probably.

There is value in this film. 

Just make sure you are not watching it when you are wanting to be cheered up.

Now.....back to my regularly scheduled sewing.

I am working on the child and toddler sizes of the Yaya Apron.
Really, I hope to have it done soon!


And tomorrow, I am heading back to Melissa's house to work more
on her sofa slipcover. 

More pics coming tomorrow!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chinese New Years at Kindergarten

was a big day for Ahnalin!!!

She got to celebrate Chinese New Year
with her kindergarten class!

We got to bring snack for the class.
We brought Mandarin Oranges, which are actually grown locally, and so delicious.
We also brought locally baked Fortune Cookies
Of course, Fortune Cookies were originally made in San Francisco,
not China. But we had to include them anyway.
Another kindergarten mom picked up rice and chopsticks that were
donated by a local Chinese restaurant.
She also brought those yummy almond cookies, but since they have
both corn syrup and red dye, Ahnalin could not have them.
Instead, her friend Reagan shared some of her sesame candy.

Notice Ahnalin's hair.
We tried to make it look like Kai Lan's hair but it looks wonky now.

It was fun watching the kids try chopsticks.
Ahnalin used to handle chopsticks like a pro, 
but we do not eat Chinese food often enough anymore for her
to stay in practice.

We got to share about Ahnalin's name.
This is a calligraphy that Ahnalin's grandfather had made
for her in San Francisco. She is very proud of it.
Ahnalin loves the doll that we bought for her at the Forbidden City.
You can really see it, but the doll's jacket is the same
fabric as that of Ahnalin's "Qipao". 
We bought the doll before we adopted Ahnalin, but had
the dress made a few days later, in a different city.
This dress us a size 2 and still fits her around.
But the slits in the side are way too high up now and the 
dress is no longer full length.
So I had to make her some new black leggings to wear underneath it.
 The children cut out red paper lanterns and covered them with

Later, Ahnalin passed out Lai See, which are
the traditional red envelopes with 
lucky pennies inside. 
And to finish out a lovely day at kindergarten
I read our favorite "China Book" to the class.
If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it.

Ahnalin was very proud to share with class. 

So proud that I discovered this yesterday when I downloaded the pics from the camera.

She had hijacked the camera while her sister was baby sitting her.
Don and I were at rehearsal and had no idea what was happening at home.
I actually found 5 different takes of this, so Ahnalin must have 
done it several times. In each one, she is stuffing her mouth with fortune cookies!
I truly wonder what India was doing at the time since Ahnalin was busy with the camera
for quite a while. Hilarious!!!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Steak and Artichokes Kind of Day

Happy Anniversary India!!!

 Yes, that would be grilled London Broil.


On the grill!

Well, it is February and there is not currently snow on the ground, so we grilled it.

And artichokes?

Well, that spells "Celebration" in our house.

Nothing fancy, just trimmed, steamed and ready to eat. 


Yes, yesterday was India's 7th anniversary of her diagnosis of
Type 1 diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes.

Seven years ago, India was told how different her life would be.

And it was hard. 

Really, really hard. 

But India decided to meet the challenge head on.

She refused to let this disease define who she was to become.

Well.......maybe a little bit, but not in a bad way.

India fights her disease every day.

And she fights for those with the disease.

We were, and are, so proud that she successfully pulled off

She raised awareness of Juvenile Diabetes and raised nearly
$1000.00 to give to the Diabetic Youth Foundation.

She is currently in the interview process to work as a counselor at
Bearskin Meadows Camp, the DYF camp for young people
growing up with Diabetes.

Diabetes is a struggle.

A challenge.

But we choose to celebrate her anniversary,
almost as an Old Testament "Ebenezer".
The word Ebenezer means
"Thus far hath the Lord brought us.

And the Lord is bringing us through this daily.

We are so grateful that God has given us our beautiful daughter.
And we are so grateful that even with this disease, in spite of it,
she is thriving.

Please continue to pray that we find out how to keep her healthy.
Next week, we see an immunologist at U.C. and we are praying that she is
able to get to the bottom of India's immune system issues.
The last month has been filled with so many different doctors.
I am tired of it all, but then so is India.

Thank you all for your prayers. 
They mean more than you could know.

Much love to you all.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Miss Mary Valentine

Today was the Valentine party at Kindergarten.
So, of course, Ahnalin NEEDED a new dress. 


 You see,

I love vintage valentines.

A lot!

And I fell in love with this fabric "With Love" by Sharon Evans Yenter
for In The Beginning Fabrics.

 It reminds me of those sweet valentines.

And I bought it at my favorite local fabric store,
Fabrics on Mill Street.

And I was thrilled to be a pattern tester for Samantha Caffee of the Handmade Dress.
This is my test of her new pattern "Miss Mary".

Isn't it darling?

Ahnalin thought so.
But because it was pretty darn cold here this morning,
she wore it with a long sleeved top and tights.

What a sweet little valentine!

And on a different topic,
I just passed my one year Blogiversary on Sunday.

I forgot to post!

And even though I did not start my hit counter until last May,
I am almost at 25,000 hits since then.

So, that means I need to come up with a fabulous giveaway to celebrate!

Stay tuned!

As soon as I decide what it is, I will do another giveaway post!

Love to you all.


Saturday update!!
The Miss Mary pattern in PDF format is now available
from The Handmade Dress.
Samantha said that if you want the printed version, it will be
available for shipment on Monday, Feb. 22nd.
You can purchase it here.

You will love this beautiful pattern.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ahnalin's Dolls And A New Outfit

Chinese New Year is approaching,
and all self respecting Chinese Princesses must have a new outfit, right?
Ahnalin wants to wear dresses every day but prefers leggings to tights 
due to her Sensory Processing stuff. The seams on the toes of tights drive her batty.
But she is super skinny and finding leggings to fit her is nearly impossible.

Mama To The Rescue!
I make her leggings in a tiny size and just lengthen them to fit her.
Both the leggings and long sleeve top are from older Ottobre magazine patterns.

The dress is from an older New Look pattern, number 6689.
I have sewn up this pattern so many times. I love it!
And for a skinny kid, it has a really nice fit. 
I am not sure if this pattern is still for sale, 
but you can purchase it as a PDF download
For the record, Ahnalin is 5 1/2 and she fits the size 3.

See how cute the Chinese girls are?
This is "Chinese Kids" from Michael Miller. 
I love how the foldover elastic matches the pink eyelet trim and the daisy buttons.
I bought the pink and orange knit from Myrinda at Fabric Hound a while ago, 
and the pink foldover elastic even before that. And I am so glad to tie 
them all together in one outfit.
So, what does the princess think of this outfit?
Well, for some reason she went into warrior princess mode.
Now, demure and sweet.
Drama Queen
My sweet little one.

Her face is cracking me up! She is stuffing rag dolls to send to 
She told me "Mama, my hand is too big to fit all the way in her head!" 
Ahnalin and I have completed 2 dolls and are almost done
with the 3rd. We have two more cut out to start sewing tomorrow.
It is going a bit slower than we would like due to a super busy schedule.

Why am I so busy, you ask?
Well, just this week I have had my oldest daughter, India, at 3 different doctor appointments. 
And we do have several more to go. 
But I do believe that we will really learn answers soon as to why she gets so sick.
On Wednesday after school, she had allergy testing to determine 
if that was playing a part in her repeated illnesses.

Guess what! 
India is not allergic to anything other than the glue used in most medical tapes, and penicillin.
She is also allergic to walnuts and pecans but we already knew that.
So, she does not have any tree, hay, grass, animal, etc allergies.
But she has chronic sinus and ear infections. 
So, the next step there is meeting with the ear, nose and throat doctor,
which will happen in a week.

She also saw the orthopedist about her ankle which has a growth on it. 
She will be having an MRI very soon to determine what is growing there, and why
her ankle sprains so often........other than her lack of inherent grace!
(Shall we talk about her issues with gravity??)
Yeah, I am a mean mom, but I made her spaghetti tonight and 
she is loving me big right now because of it!

And then yesterday, we met with a hormone specialist, not her diabetes 
endocrinologist, but someone to help her with her Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder.
This doctor tied together a whole bunch of loose ends for us and we feel like
she may have hit on some major things. 

So, at her suggestion, India will be making some major dietary changes.
And because I know I need to do the same thing, I will be joining my daughter on this new
adventure to health. And then Don decided to hop on the bandwagon.
Meanwhile, Ahnalin gloated that she does not have to give up milk and pasta like we do.
Good thing she is cute because she was being a stinker!

Still to come are visits to the immunologist at U.C. Davis, the E.N&T doctor, and some more bloodwork and other tests.
We are going to help India regain our health if it kills us!! 
Ok, that was a bit dramatic, but you parents of "special" kids know what I mean.

Thank you all for your prayers. Please keep them coming!

Now, back to sewing dolls for me!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Doll Project Sneak Peak

Remember this?

When Ahnalin told me she wanted to make her own doll, I went in search of a free rag doll pattern online and I found this!

This ministry was started by a lovely woman who saw precious children hurting through war, disease and natural disasters. She realized that while these children needed many things she could not provide, they also needed something to cuddle. This she could do!

She designed a simple rag doll design that was easy to sew and used small amounts of fabric and a little bit of batting or fiberfill.

I downloaded the free pattern so that I could use it to teach Ahnalin some simple sewing techniques, while giving her a sense of accomplishment in creating an item she loved.
Truly, this doll pattern is so simple. 
Ahnalin did almost all of the work on this doll by herself.
And see that smile on her face?
She named her doll Sally and she sleeps with her every night.
She has loads of other dolls, but Sally is her favorite because she is soft and cozy.

Here is the deal.........
While we do not let Ahnalin watch the news or really do not talk about a lot of scary stuff around here, she has heard quite a bit about the tragedy in Haiti. 
She knows that many people we know have adopted from Haiti, or have been there on missions trips,
or are waiting to hear about a child they are in process to adopt.

Ahnalin understands about orphans.

Even though she was a year old when she came to us, she very clearly remembers wanting a mommy. 

When she heard about orphans in Haiti who have already lost parents, and are now sleeping on the streets, she told me that she wanted to make dolls for them.
She wanted them to have something to hug until their mommies or daddies could get to them. 
She has prayed for them and cried for them. 

So I contacted Elizabeth Winters, the director of Rag Dolls 2 Love, and asked if she was planning on sending rag dolls to Haiti. She said YES!

So Ahnalin picked out some fabric and we started making dolls. 
Each doll requires 1/2 yard of quilting fabric and some stuffing.
You do not need to be skilled in embroidery to make the faces. 
You can just draw the face on with a sharpie!
I will embroider these because I like that look.
The heart is just a red scrap of velvet stitched on.

Rag Dolls 2 Love requests that the fabric be a simple print in colors that are not skin tones. The fabric should not have any specific religious symbols, words or animals or people, as the dolls go to children of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

As shipping these dolls to foreign countries is costly, she requests a donation of $2.00 for each doll to defray those expenses.
Money is very tight around our house, but I have loads of fabric! I put out the call on Facebook for more fiberfill and a local friend, Kathleen, filled that need in minutes!
These are doll arms and legs that Ahnalin and I sewed last night.
We hope to have some finished dolls to show off today!

I realize that the need in Haiti is great. 
I can not send large amounts of money.
But each of us can do something to reach out. 
I am so glad that God is building empathy in my beautiful girl.

She does not want any other child to hurt the way she hurt. 
She asked me if it was ok to pray for the orphans while we sew the dolls.
You see, when I was a little girl, my mom used to make "Prayer Pillows" for people.
She would pray for the recipient while she sewed for them.
I learned from her, and I pray for the recipients of my creations as I sew for them.
And now Ahnalin prays for the children of Haiti as we sew these dolls.
I praise God for the giving heart He is creating in my little one.

More pics to come. 
And if you have fabric, time, and fiberfill, please consider making some dolls to send.

Love to you all from "Rag Doll Land".