{ holiday } anthropologie inspired crochet garland

When I was in Austin, Jade and I made a stop downtown at Anthropologie before heading on to the airport.  The window dressing is always something to ooh and aah over, and this time was no exception. 

And what to my wondering eyes did appear, but crochet in the form of garland!  Garland itself!  Brilliant.

anthro garland

Without haste (and certainly without any know-how) I took my seat on the aisle, whipped out my hook and started making some mantel garland of my own.  I'm quite sure the girl next to me thought I was about to start the widest blanket ever.  I kept her guessing.

crochet chain garland

I never got any fancier than a simple loose chain on a 5.5mm hook, but I like them all the same.  I think they'd be lovely in all sorts of colors, draping a tree. 

crochet chain garland

{ love this! } things I'd like to try + a baby blanket

blanket for ella

As if a mile-high stack of clothing projects in the sewing room, kitchen makeover planning, that etsy shop that keeps staring with sad doggy eyes, and a new workout regime weren't already fighting for every spare minute of my time... I keep finding little projects here and there and adding them to my list.


This tiny little play house at house wren studio

Alicia's wrist cuff tutorial

Dyeing trim and what not a la Beki

Crochet a flowered baby beanie cap once I have figured out how to crochet.

The Japanese coin purse at Purl Bee

the nursery is red and black and white

And I have been terrible about reading up on everything these days, so I'm sure there are more fun projects out there.  What are you wanting to try???


Photos are of a baby blanket made for Fidget's former teacher, Miss Andrea.  Fidge was so excited to attend her very first baby shower.  

Like the blanket that Jade made for Wonderbaby, this one is backed with a fuzzy minky fabric, turned inside out and topstitched around the edge for closure.  There must be something to it, because WB kept wanting to snuggle it, too.

Happy Weekending! xoxo

{ sewing } mini boden challenge: party skirt

We're plugging along here at the Fence, chipping away at the Mini Boden Challenge tear-out stack that is taunting me from the corner of my studio.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

Is it ever so fun.   And some of you have joined in!  Woohoo!

I went ahead and set up a flickr group, so we can all post our knock-offs and pat each other on the back and talk about how clever we are, over coffee.  Won't it be exciting to see how productive we've been? 


Today's inspiration was regretfully left out of the initial post.  It is a "bubble/balloon" skirt with a fun print that could easily get dressed up or down.  I didn't use a yoga-style knit waist like boden did, and I think that it would be a nice way to relieve some bulk at the top.  However, I did some pleating before running my elastic casing through the waist, so it isn't nearly as bulky as it could have been.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

I think this would drape and swish better if done in a rayon or washable silky blend.  I do have some of that, so we might just have another go-round.  This was pretty quick, once I had my head around the logistics of it!

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

[ Fabric: Caitlin Blooms in Spice from Alexander Henry.]

There is a little removable rosette for the front for some texture.  It matches the quick hair bows I made for the pony tails.  After our little photo shoot, Fidget told me she "just loves looking beautiful.  Like this, mommy.  I love it when I get to dress up in pretty clothes you make for me."

Well then.  Okay.  How could I ever resist that? 

Moreover, Why would I want to?!

Happy Weekending, peeps!  xoxo
~miss chris

{ sewing } boden challenge dress 1

Isn't it funny to hear how many of us look through the mini Boden catalog for inspiration?!


Since announcing my obsession with the catalog on Sunday, I have completed my first attempt. 

Don't be too impressed,though.  It wasn't much of a challenge because I am a Butterick Sew Easy B5119  veteran and have made this enough times to know exactly how to modify it to get what I wanted. 
My biggest complaint with that original pattern is that the recommended allowance for neckline elastic is crazy long.  I almost cut mine down by a half. 

Anyway, take a gander at the inspiration photo:


And the B5119/ 1 hour result:


A fair comparison, in my book.  :) 


  • Fine Whale Corduroy from Joann's, marked down 50%.  I used about a yard.
  • Butterick, Sew-Easy, B5119 (it's a nightgown pattern)
  • Omitted ruffles
  • shortened sleeve length to the gather line + turned fabric for casing and elastic.
  • length is approx between the A and B views.
  • I always mark the back with some ribbon.  This one is easy to get turned around while dressing a squirmer!
  • That is my old jewelry box.  When I was 5, I wrote my name on the bottom.  The ballerina still works.  I love this photo of Rachel's.

OK.  That's it.  On to my next challenge.

I'm curious.  How many of you are doing this same thing?  From the sound of the comments for my last post, there are quite a few.  I'd love to start a mini Boden rip-off flickr group.  :)  hee.

Pink. It's PINK!

Can you hear that thumping noise?  It's little old me, banging my head against my kitchen wall.  Yes, the red one that needs repainting.

Why?  Because I was totally ready to jump into my WHITE settee slipcover project this weekend. And then I happened to cull through my old magazines last night, ripping and saving, so I could send some to school with Big Sis for a class project. 

And I came across THIS in an old Domino issue: 

gutsy in pink, from Domino Mag...

Yes.  The pink looks super cool.  (And she knows it, too.  She is sitting there, on her pretty little pink couch, thinking I'm totally going to make chris change her mind about the white.

So the question is, do I (gulp) dye my white twill (as laeroport suggested) and go for it?  Run out and buy some new pink fabric and start from there?  Or, tuck this inspiration photo away for a few years from now, when we move and I can start from scratch in a new house where my sweet little settee doesn't have to be so prim and proper, across the hall from a very buttoned-up brown and cream dining room? 

I don't have all that wood trim on mine and I do think that sets it off in this picture. I suppose that could be fixed with some thick white piping, which is also a little more work than I had anticipated... 

I've never even tried dyeing 5 yards of heavyweight twill before.  That alone could be a disaster.  But seriously, the pink?  I love it.


Happy Friday.  I'm going to ponder this.  What would YOU do?      

Sew inspired these days...

Work is very busy this week... something not completely unexpected after the impromptu break we took last week...


But I'm so ready to CREATE!  DO!  MAKE!  I'll have to placate myself with the pretty stuff on flickr and around blogland, I suppose.  So... in no particular order,

Can you tell where my mind is wandering these days?  :)

Oh, and lest I forget.  No, I did not make the sweet little granny square blanket pictured in the doll cradle above.  Ha ha ha!  Remember how my last crochet project turned out??  No, this isn't my handiwork, dear friends.    It was a lucky thrift find a few weeks ago.  I love the daring use of color!

A little bit organized

Well, it wasn't, to start.  This is pretty much what my recipe bin/folder/cookbook stack in my desk cubby looked like before yesterday morning's burst of energy.


See that manila folder under everything?  That housed it all.  And boy was it ever handy hard to sort through.  Actually, it wasn't that bad. Things that I tend to make more than others had floated to the top, and other things (like a group of dishes I make for a holiday) ended up stacked together.  Maybe that was a good thing.

So.  I finally remembered to buy a 3-hole punch worth it's salt on one of my daily weekly trips to Target. And now...


Wow.  I don't have my dividers going yet -- and honestly, I can't decide how I want to break them up.  By meals?  Occasions?  Food groups???  I need to think on that some more.  Obviously, putting all my food prep stuff into a 3 ring binder isn't an earth shattering, original idea.   But it's something that I have PUT OFF for how long?  And it took what, 15 minutes???

It's funny how I prioritize.  Because my Home Ideas binder has been put to steady use since we bought this place 4 years ago.

See?  I have everything, and I mean EVERYTHING (inspiration, ideas, receipts, whatever) in this binder, organized by room.


(Like the tattered kitchen towel on the right?  Who's in charge of this photo shoot???)Paint

Original paint chips and other random things are in sleeves.

And other stuff gets thrown in there, too:


Which really works.  I even used that mounted butterfly pin idea on the left for my Grammy's brooches

We throw all sorts of stuff in it -- fabric swatches, room and furniture dimensions, etc  -- and take it shopping.  Or I flip through it on occasion, when my scattered brain cannot focus on what part of my home needs attention next -- or where to go with it.  It's getting time, though, to go through my stack of beloved magazines for a good rip-and-toss.

How do you keep it -- whatever It is -- together?   

piling up

I have all these attainable lofty ideas for projects this year, like

Pc....the ripple afghan I have started (oh yes, my dear sweet and talented mother in law taught me the art of deciphering crochet! Turns out you need patience.  Hmph.)

...really truly finishing and decorating the play room.  Right now it looks like all of the scattered toys are being sucked to the floor by super gravity.  Those poor, bare walls. 

...sewing for my girls.  More of it, anyway.  I do pretty well in this category, generally.Sweaters

...making one Christmas gift per month, so that by December I will already have 11 done.  Sounds possible.  Right?

...painting the powder room everyone uses but I have sadly neglected.

...making cardigans for Fidget out of Daddy's discarded sweaters.

...and more.

You know how it goes.

Unfortunately, I get derailed by terribly un-sexy projects like this one:


Fashioning a big fireplace snake to nip the draft that has occurred now that our house is 'settling' and the fireplace insert no longer fits tightly.   (5" high density foam, wrapped with batting + Joann's courduroy.)  You can even see the blue foam insulation still poking out of the fireplace screen.  Nice.

I have a couple other little things I am working on.  Fun things.  Another apron, for my eldest's teacher (a Christmas prezzie that did not happen) and something kinda little and special for a certain get-together this weekend.   I'd better get busy.



Decs1After a couple weeks of feeling like I, things are starting to look up.

Decs are making there way into the house...

See those pillows on the chair?  The one in back is from that wool I bought back in November and I loooove how soft it is.  The floral is from the new Loft 1800 moda line, which I also adore.  Both are heave feather/down pillow forms -- they only kind I like, because they are heavy enough to stay where you put them and they're so mushy soft.

Yes, the dog has her own stocking.  And I am embarrassed to say we have stockings that are not handmade -- just those LandsEnd needlepoint ones that you can have embroidered.  But I love them anyway.  Not as much as I love this one, though.

I also picked up my paintbrushes and tried so very hard to do Alicia's Saint Lucia Kit justice.


I loved how they turned out.  I didn't have the right scissors so I made use of my scallop stitch on my machine.  Which takes a while (all that snipping around the edges...yikes!), but it was the perfect thing to do while watching the game.  (A totally okay loss in my book.  OU is a great team and they beat us fair and square.  Am thrilled we got this far!  Go MIZZOU!)

Yesterday I took a little trip over to Joann's and picked up some pom-poms (or is it pom-pons??? That way never looks right to me and it looks like 'tampons'.) because I was totally inspired by this gal.* Seriously.  I think everyone should do this.

Pom pom garland

It was really nice to sit, watch tv and randomly string these along.  Easy-peasy.  And so darned cute.  I'm thinking I might put this in the girls' bathroom with a little pink tree.  :)

Stove_2My stove is decked, too. >>>  I love the simplicity of ornaments in a bowl/basket/whatever.  It's instant cheer and takes so little effort!   My stove is such a boring old gal, so I think she likes a little sparkle at the holidays.

I did buy fabric yesterday, too.  Going to make those pj pants after all.  Soooo right now it appears I am off my rear and in motion.  What a relief. 

Happy Monday. 


*via Kirsten ;)

Also have just re-read this and decided it was a major 'love-fest' this afternoon.  Ha.


Pieboxes_lHosting parties this holiday season like I am?  Don't want to get left with tons pies and stuff stacked haphazardly on top of your butter dish and salsa jars in the fridge?  I saw this cool make-your-own to-go box at Martha last week and I'm going to keep it in mind for other sweet leftovers as well this December...

(I wasn't quite on the ball with Thanksgiving, so I still have two cheesecakes, a pumpkin pecan pie, gravy and some cornbread dressing in my fridge.  But I'm going to cut myself some slack considering the coughing-pneumonia-asthma-baby-er-trip and everything...)

Of course, being Martha, there are templates and instructions over there.  But I'm thinking you could also make some cute square ones for cookies or fudge and you don' t have to mess with cellobags or tins or whatever.   You could even get fancy and decorate the sides with holiday messages or original art by the little ones....

I'm going to put it on my gosh-I-really-wish-I-had-time-to-do-list and see what happens. 

CookiesThis weekend might kick off my holiday cookie bonanza.  We like to make sugar cookies every year and this might  be a good weekend for that.  (This picture is from a couple years ago...) Could be a good thing to do while watching the game. 

I might also tackle some vintage-sheet pajama bottoms.  I have several sheets that would work, and since I missed out on Joann's big 99cent/yard flannel sale last weekend, I figure 'free-because-it's-in-my-cupboard' is an even better deal.  Added bonus: this could be a perfect opportunity to use some more of that velvet ribbon trim I bought on a whim a few weeks ago...