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Softie Sunday: Getting Things Done

Scheduling this month is tricky, as usual. Since Peapod is beginning to care a little more about these things, we'll have a little get-together the Sunday before her birthday. Really low-key: hot dogs, borrowed kiddie pools.

Of course that means I'm going to have to bust my hump to get everything clean and together. Trouble is that I've been front-loading Saturday shifts in preparation for a 60 day deployment, so weekends have been a little abbreviated.

I also have to work the evening shift on her birthday. ::sad face::

But as of tonight, her prezzies are wrapped, including this scarlet macaw puppet.

Finished a Red Riding Hood topsy-turvy doll for my precious girl's upcoming birthday. Still looking for the right book to go with it.

Red Riding Hood Big Bad Wolf Topsy Turvy

I can hardly believe my girl is going to be 4! In the past year, she's made some amazing milestones, not the least of which is being completely weaned and potty-training. Thankfully, I don't have any baby fever, but I do get wistful now and again that she's growing up so fast.

I'm trying to keep the birthday itself simple (I have evening shift that day--of course). I have another prezzie that I'm finishing up, but something I had on sale that I've tucked away. We still have to do a pre-birthday purge of toys and books.

Next week will be our 14th wedding anniversary. And I still really, really like the guy.

Every now and again, I have to stop and remind myself that I have been given a really great life. And more is still to come.

Softie Sunday: No Finished Product

I haven't had as much time as I'd like to craft this week, as HeToWhomIAmMarried has been gone for the week. Just keeping my head above water feels like all I can manage.

I can show progress on my Rodney.

Rodney 50%

For some reason, the stomach spot was harder to get the right shape than I anticipated. I'm also not entirely sure the body is long enough. I have a feeling this may be Rodney Mark 1.

Next challenge will be the limbs. Not so worried about the hands, as I'm going to crib a technique I learned from an early amigurumi for making fingers; my only alteration from the original sketch will be to give him thumbs, as I think he will look weird without them. I've changed my tactic in my head for handling the hind legs. It's not really a portable project, as I frequently have to think through the steps and how to write them. But all in all, I've found the process enjoyable.

You know how when you start to play Tetris, your brain starts placing pieces in everyday life--between cars, text in books, etc.? That's how this has been changing my brain. I can't read books with Peapod without thinking how I can change one of the characters into a toy.

I wonder if I can get a sponsorship from Mo Willems ...

Softie Sunday: Baptism Gift

A quickie baptism gift.

EllieKate"s butterfly

That is all.

Read to Me Challenge: Mudkin

Mudkin (Carolrhoda Picture Books)Mudkin by Stephen Gammell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We got this from the library after Little Miss had her mud day. We then read it repeatedly over the next week.

Since Mudkin speaks in muddy squiggles, we made guesses as to what she sounds like (Peapod deemed Mudkin a girl; no basis other than she's three, and she wants most things to be girls like she is). I would make the muddiest, squishiest sounds I could think of. Then we would try to guess what Mudkin had said.

This was a great "conversation" book, as it wasn't just me reading to my daughter; she had to make up part of the story too.

View all my reviews

Muddy Kate

Behind on blog posts, but reading is a mainstay. I'll try to catch up a bit this week (and log in my books for Summer Reading too).

Softie Saturday: They Can't All Be Winners

Did this for a game. Wasn't fond of the pattern to begin with. I think I muddled the face trying to embroider the glasses. Maybe I'll go back and try to fix that.


Then again, maybe not.

Just watch this instead:

Or maybe not.

Softie Sunday: Another Birthday Party Gift

Whipped up this little duo for a birthday party.

Bunnies for Bedtime

So here's a little oddity. I tried to include Peapod in the process by having her choose one of the three animals from the pattern I showed her. When she saw I was putting the bunny in purple jammies instead of the pink in the picture, she was upset. When I ran out of cream and decided to put the baby bunny in jammies too, we had a full blown tantrum.


I know developmentally she hasn't mastered transference yet; it's too soon to even expect it. But I've been trying to gently show her that the joy of making something yourself means that you get to decide how YOU want it to look--colors, style, etc. Again, I know her brain just isn't chemically in the right place to take it in, but I don't want a fight about it either.

So I may be doing a potentially disastrous thing by starting a Cinderella topsy-turvy doll for her birthday. She's glanced at the pictures from the pattern a couple times, but I've tried to hide it from her for the most part (if only she didn't have an amazing memory). I've been asking nebulous things like asking her what color dress Cinderella wore to the ball, what color hair she has. The answers are based more on her favorite pop-up book that she received at Christmas rather than the Disney version, which is okay by me. But will I be facing another meltdown if Cinderella is slightly different from the book?

A moment in time, and I know someday we'll probably laugh. Then again, this is a lot of effort if tears are the result. Maybe I should just buy her another My Little Pony and be done with it.

The birthday party invitations are beginning to come in again. I finished up a dolly that I had started but was sitting in my WiP pile.

DSCF0022 DSCF0023

I feel kind of bad that we have no real birthday plans for Peapod. There will be a trip to visit Daddy (and grandparents ... and Mommy's friends) in Monterey around Labor Day. We just don't have the money (nor I the energy) for a bigger do. I might concede to a couple friends for a play date; I have been wanting to learn to make cake pops. I wouldn't mind just going to a park (I know a couple of really good ones), but in July? Ugh.

I'll have to turn this one over some more.
I didn't post last week, but I have been making my softies as planned.

Another fascinator with a Twitter theme:


A dragon for my desk to hold pencils:


I have ideas for both of these that I hope to be marketable, although I will have to work out arrangements with various pattern designers.

Speaking of which, I've actually been working on creating my own pattern, namely for a character I've been doodling for 20+ years.

Rodney head

The process has been interesting--namely me grumbing, "Why on earth did I draw it *that* way?" But I want to stay true to the original concepts rather than adjust to what would be easier to crochet.

I'm not sure what I will do with the pattern when I am done. I don't think it's terribly easy to follow. More than that, I don't know what would be more painful--the adaption of this creation that has been a part of me for so long by another person ... or total disinterest. When I am finished, I may make the pattern available for free for a limited time and then make decisions as to selling it (the pattern, not the toy).

The toy itself, other than being my own object d'art, I will probably use for branding purposes if I can ever get a reasonable inventory for selling. I am encouraged, however, that I am able to translate my doodles to three-dimensional objects. I am drawing more, as well as scrutinizing the characters in Peapod's books for possible translation. I just need to find my own voice in terms of design.

Softie Sunday: Thank You, Teachers

With all that's been going on, I have been aware that this past week was Teacher Appreciation Week.


Long ago and far away, when the world was young (or maybe it was just me), I was a teacher. I did it for almost seven years. I've been doing the library gig for almost ten years now. Yes, I now have a graduate degree so I can work retail hours, and yet I still work less than I did as a teacher (planning, grading, conferences, extra-curricular ...).

I used to say that teaching was a daily practice of getting one's heart broken. At least if it was done correctly.

So, teachers--my former teachers, my daughter's teachers, my friends who are teachers--thank you for your heart.

Really. Thank you.