I finally finished some of my unfinished business! Sean’s baby busy book is all done and all ready to be be used quietly. Yeah right!

Considering I did the entire book off the cuff and with nothing but scraps, I’m super happy with how it came out! (And oh! my! god! could I use any more exclamation! points?) The front cover is just machine appliqued letters that I blew up in Adobe Illustrator to something like a 500 point font. They’re not quite satin stitched down. I don’t have the patience for that, but I did use a very narrow and short zig zag. Pretty awesome for a first time if I do say so myself.

So that’s the cover — and you can see a little of the handle there too — but I agonized over what to put in the pages. I knew I would do a buckles and latches page. The boy is really into hooking and unhooking things. Well, more into the hooking and then screeching eh-eh-eh until one of us undoes the clasp and he can start again. I suspect rides in the grocery cart will be less than fun soon.

But I digress — again. I saw some neat ideas for an I-spy window and I already had the little clear pellet thingys — what are those called? — and the plastic sheeting, so Alexis and I scrounged up a pretty good pile of little odds and ends to include in the window. I finally settled on just a few buttons and “jewels” and I’m glad I did. I think this is one of those cases where less is more.

And I really wanted to put something on every single page including the front and back covers, so you can see the satin stitched rainbow rectangles on the front cover in the previous picture. Yes. I am that into rainbows.

Here’s a page for matching shapes and colors. I sort of wish I had done the shapes page in colors other than the movable parts to emphasize the shape matching, but oh well. I mean, the kid isn’t even 14 months old! He’s lucky if he can get the velcro to stick. Speaking of velcro, if I did this again, I would put velcro centers on both sides of the movable pieces, just to make it that much easier.

The latch page. The one I gave you a sneak preview of. This is the only part of the whole book where I bought something. I have tons of zippers, and a few catches, but they are all very hard to maneuver. Even more so for tiny fingers I’d think. I spent a small fortune picking out different clasps. Unfortunately, they’re all packaged in such a way that you can’t see how easy — or difficult — it is to use them until you get them home. So if you’re planning on making a whole bunch of backpacks or shopping cart covers or anything else you might need to buckle shut, let me know.

Alright. This page was my brain child. I spent hours rocking the baby and dreaming up just how I was going to make this work. Each of those HSTs, spins so that different patterns can be made. So far, Sean is just interested in trying to pull them off, so I guess all that time thinking of how to make them spin without tiny parts (read: buttons) coming off really paid off.

Wanna know how I did it? Actually, maybe I should patent the idea first… ok, no. You read it here first. My genius idea!

Each of the tiny quilted squares has a backing with a grommet in in. I sewed a button to the back page with the grommeted square underneath. Then I hand stitched (after ironing and cursing for burning my fingers a thousand and one times) each of the HST blocks to each grommeted back. I’m pretty sure that made no sense, but the idea was to have the square spin around a button hole, but if I used a button hole, the pieces would come off easily. with the grommet, even if the piece does eventually inevitably come off, the button will be trapped inside the square. Voila! No choking.

And the back cover. I’m not sure what inspired that page, but I thought it would be neat for our pictures to all be in there for Sean to look at. I think it’s his favorite page after the clasps and the page where he gets (to try) to rip the HSTs off.

I sort of forgot to take a picture of the pages of textures. Ok, I didn’t forget, I just couldn’t get a picture that portrayed the different fabrics I used. That and cuz it’s kind of an ugly page. You can see a tiny bit of the green minky that is one of the blocks up there in the bottom left corner.

The back of the back cover. I told you I wanted something on every page. So there’s mommy’s love. I thought about stitching “Love, Mom” or something equally cheesy on there, but decided against it. Mostly because I just wanted to be done with the damn thing.

The scrappy binding shows up pretty well in this picture, too. I was very disappointed to find that I did not, in fact, have any Kona coal left over from the firebird quilt. I had envisioned using that for the binding, but well, we like scrappy too. I doubt Sean cares at all. He was just screaming for me to give him the damn book while I was trying to furiously sew the binding on. He grabbed it so fast when I was done, that I about didn’t get all the pins out of it.

I think he likes it.


Ever since Chris showed me this:

I can’t do a google search and go past page one without feeling that I am somehow offending the gods. This had led to all manner of rearranging and redefining search terms in hopes that what I’m looking for will show up in the first 10 entries and therefore be legit.

Did I mention I’m not a geek?

Anyway, what reminded me of this image? I was viewing my pathetic website stats (really? 20 some hits yesterday… yip. ee.) and one of my favorite parts is checking out the search terms that people use to find me. Yeah, top terms? “Ribbon Storage Box“. Followed closely by any manner of those three words with the word “tutorial”. Second? “Simplicity 3835“. There are lots more. Several have had me raising my eyebrows. Seriously, who googles “www.jmday.com” instead of just going there? And I’m not sure who this other “Alexis in Texas” is, but I’m willing to bet the persons searching for that are not looking for pie.

But today… Today I got the weirdest search yet. “A”. Yeah, just the letter all by itself. No wait, it was actually “a”. Ok, I had to go try that one for myself. I clicked through 50 search result pages without finding even a hint of this blog. I mean, I knew I wasn’t going to be at the top of the list… or even near the middle, but how desperate was the guy who was doing that search? And what the hell was he looking for?*

And** just because we’re talking letters (ok, we’re not, I’m just rambling on as usual) I have to mention this awesome quilt over at Stitched In Color. This picture in particular just speaks to me. What does it say, you ask?

R is for Argyle“, of course.

*By the way, if you were the one who did this search, I’d love to hear about it… And if you aren’t a guy, my apologies.

**And don’t I start a lot of my sentences with “and”? I wonder what would happen if you googled “and”… Hmmm. Someone do it and report back. I don’t have time to click through 99 pages of search results.

I’m not sure what’s gotten into me lately. I’ve never been the kind to have a bunch of UFOs (that’s Unfinished Objects for my non-crafty readers) sitting around. In fact, I rarely have more than a couple of projects going at once. But as I was looking around the loft recently, I realized that I have no less than 5 projects on the blocks right now. And if that isn’t bad enough, I have at least another 4 waiting patiently for me to start them. And that doesn’t even include all the ones that I’ve sort of abandoned (socks, cross-stitch projects, etc).

The new quilt for Alex’s bed has been sitting in this state for weeks. I think such a large stack of squares is putting me off as far too daunting. How long exactly is that going to take me to not only make all those HSTs, but also then piece them together into blocks and then a twin sized quilt? Yikes. She’ll probably be 14 before I finish.

Another project sitting neglected in a pile on my chair. I started the quilting on the firebird quilt — I really like how it’s coming out — and it was going pretty quickly, so I told myself that I could put it aside as I have months before I would even need to think about finishing it for the spring auction.

Here’s one I haven’t showed you. I’ve been working on a busy book for the baby. He’s way into hooks and latches at the moment, but by the time I finish this project he may well be a world class lock picker… and I’m only slightly exaggerating. This is a project that I spend tons of time daydreaming about while rocking the boy to sleep, but then don’t have the energy to tackle it once he’s down.

Then there are the clothing projects. Chris and I got rather ruthless a couple of weeks ago and cleaned out our closet of most everything. So now, I have even less stuff to never wear. He was going to pitch these two shirts, and I snagged them with the hope of applying Simplicity 3835 to them.

I’ve cut the seersucker with no abandon, and now I might have a few issues on my hand…. like the sleeves are too small, and the hemlines don’t match up. Ahem, maybe I should have planned before wielding the scissors. Has anyone else successfully altered an old mens shirt in a similar fashion? What is the correct way to approach such a project?

Not shown are the first quilt, and the collage for Sean’s room. Both of those are collecting dust as well. Never mind that I haven’t touched ANY of my works in progress since, oh, hmmmm… last Friday. I suppose if I quit blabbing blogging about them, I could actually work on one or more of them… There’s a novel idea.

Oh who am I kidding? Is it time for bed yet?

Bonus points to the person who knows where these were taken!

I told you about my shoe shopping excursion that was inspired by the pictures on this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. Well, the goodness just doesn’t end there.

I was cleaning out Sean’s room to move my sewing stuff again when I found some left over jersey yardage from the disastrous eel costume. Oh yeah, who could resist? Especially someone who just bought cute little red shoes (sadly not pictured here).

I actually really love sewing without a real pattern, so the tutorial for this project was perfect. I am also surprised at how smoothly the whole process went. Maybe I am just getting better at this… haha no. It has to be the new machine. The only hiccup was on the second buttonhole in the front. I hate buttonholes, and if you don’t, too, well, then you’re lying.

Anyone who knows me knows I am totally a jeans a tee-shirt kinda girl… but at a high of 111 degrees this week, it’s too damned hot to wear jeans. Oh how I loved this skirt yesterday. It has to be the most comfortable piece of clothing I own!

Here’s hoping my clothing sewing mojo continues.

P.S. Please ignore my alarmingly pale legs and our lovely dead grass…

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