17 October 2008

WIP: cricket costume, 4

Costume completion! After sizing the smock on Zoe last night, I sewed hook and loop dots on the sides, stitched joints into and attached the legs, and sewed the wings on the back. Before coming down to Irvine, I stuffed the abdomen with a bit of polyfill at Eric's suggestion (spot on, Eric, thank you!). Here's the documentary picture of the completed project, the back of it, draped over the futon.....

Much as we adults might, Zoe does not love the costume. She seemed to enjoy the parts of it before they were all assembled. She grabbed the sparkly pipecleaners Emily got for antennae and took to holding them onto her head as "tenna", and she clasped the wings to herself and hopped around the living room for a bit. She even took the stuffed fabric tubes, held them next to her own legs, and then mama's legs and identified them as such, but when it was all together, she wanted not much to do with it. She seems semi-interested in it when it's on mama, who tried valiantly to convince Zoe to don the outfit at a playgroup halloween party today, but Zoe was more interested in going sans costume. She accepted the "tenna" though, which Emily wound into her pigtails. After the third or fourth try at getting Zoe to wear the costume, she was sufficiently distracted long enough to get used to it, and played on the wooden climbing structure long enough for a few photos. If I may say so myself, it's even cuter on her than I had even hoped.

edited to add a few more photos:

16 October 2008

WIP: cricket costume, 3

Crickets have wings, and on a real live cricket, they're covered by plate-like forewing, but in the interest of giving Zoe a pair of pretty, shiny wings (and also lack of time to be entymologically accurate), I skipped the forewings and went straight to the pretty ones. Using the instructions I found here, I fused together four layers of the plastic, folded this sheet over once more and creased it. I used an image of "typical insect wing venation" from the internet to freehand the template onto a piece of tissue paper. I copied the wing template onto a second piece of tissue, since I knew that the template itself would be consumed in the process.

I pinned the tissue paper to the plastic and using the holoshimmer thread and a narrow zig-zag stitch, I traced the outline and venation pattern. I pulled the excess tissue paper away and trimmed the plastic, revealing what I think is an awesome looking wing. Repeat with second template and you've got a pair!

edited to add: completed wings

12 October 2008

canning tomatoes, take one

I like canning.
I like canning.
I like canning.
I like canning.

I don't mind that home canning takes (way) more time and (way, way) more energy than going to the store and buying canned tomatoes (even nice organic ones). I don't mind that nearly 15 pounds of homegrown tomatoes literally boils down to a mere four quarts....

but I do begin to mind when this happens....

Halfway through the 45 minute hot water process, the jar broke. I opened the canner to take a peek and saw a rouge tomato floating around.... I knew I had canning FAIL.

I like canning.
I like canning.

Edited to add: I was able to salvage the tomatoes from the broken jar by adding them to the cooked down leftover tomato bits and some roasted small and cherry tomatoes, plus a homegrown walla walla onion for what smelled like an awesome tomato sauce. Nice save.

WIP: cricket costume, 2

I finished piecing the segmented abdomen -- totally winging it the entire way. That was fun, and not something I was used to.

I then sewed the front and the back, along with some white lining pieces, together and turned right side out. I'll have to hand stitch the neck hole closed, but first I am going to rip the seam that goes around the segmented part so I can add a little sparkle, via Sulky "holoshimmer" thread.

I also experimented with fusing together layers of "basket wrap" (transparent, irridecent plastic "wrapping paper"). Four layers fused ok (with a dry iron on medium heat, between two sheets of white paper), but doubling that over for a thicker, eight-layer sheet didn't stick too well. But that's where the sewing machine and more sparkly thread come into play. I am so excited about these wings that I can hardly stand still. I know Zoe will be too young to understand, but I hope her mom likes the costume -- I'm quite proud of it, so far.

10 October 2008

WIP: cricket costume, 1

While on the beach, Emily and I discussed Zoe's halloween costume. Being nicknamed Cricket, and knowing that in a few years, she likely wouldn't go for this idea on her own, we decided to dress her up as a cricket. Now, as any sewist knows, there might be a Jimminy Cricket (TM) costume pattern out there, but that's not exactly what we're going with this. So, starting with a pair of light green pajamas (with feet, naturally), I traced the shape and developed a little pattern to make a little smock.
The front will be light green and will hang to about her waist, and the back will be darker green and will feature a multi-colored segmented abdomen (tail). That's about as far as I've gotten.
Will keep you posted!

go figure

Just when I swore off buying new fabric until I make some progress on my current projects, this happens. Lookit all those great finds!

happy friday!

08 October 2008

ask and ye shall receive

Back in August and September, we were practically begging the green tomatos to "get red!" Lo and behold, even after the blustery weather and rain started in, we harvested 12 pounds of tomatoes, three pounds of yukon gold potatoes, as well as carrots, broccoli, hops and zuchini.

zozo sighting

I went to Irvine last week on one of my "business trips" where really my goal is to snag some time with Zoe and her parents, whose names I used to know....

We went to the beach

We went to the "punkun patch"

We went to the Irvine Global Village Festival

I think my favorite moment of all though, was when she and I were playing at her house and she hauled out her doctor's kit toys. There was a tiny thermometer, a plastic syringe, a plastic cuff bandage, a blood pressure cuff (I tried to get her to say sphygmomanometer, but she didn't bite), and of course, a stethescope. She would put the ear pieces in, then hold the cup against anything around and say "doot-doot....doot-doot". It truly amazed me.

in-law visit

Eric's parents were here for a visit and took us along for a weekend outing to Vancouver, BC.

We went to the Vancouver Aquarium

ok, where do I apply for the baby-beluga-tongue-rubbing-job?

We went to Stanley Park

And we went to the Capsilano Suspension Bridge