Borrower’s House

I managed to snap some pics of my daughter’s Borrower’s house. She and I crafted this glorious borrowed mansion 9 years ago for a school project after reading the book. It was a lot of fun. This one is decorated for Christmas, and we displayed it seasonally for several years. Sadly it was damaged during our last move, and with another move imminent it was relinquished to the trash bin. The bitty abode had three floors. The parlor on the main floor, kitchen on the second floor, and bedroom & bathroom sharing the third floor. (Click a picture to make them larger.)
The parlor is furnished with Altoid tin sofas, a rock fireplace, and velvet curtains.

The spacious kitchen is wallpapered with a delectable menu and sports a band aid tin stove, checkerboard floor, and sand dollar table.


The quaint bathroom has a large shell bathtub and daisy rug. Unfortunately, this room took the most damage and lost it’s other fixtures.And finally, the cute bedroom boasts two comfy kitchen sponge mattress beds, a matches chest of drawers, and a real plastic mirror.
And the tour is complete. Isn’t imagining fun!

Posted in 2012, Decorating | 1 Comment

Just Shoot Me Now!

This is a confession.

I’m sure I’m not alone in committing such a sewing faux pas. Just thought you’d get a chuckle out of my folly whilst I put “pen to paper” to document this so as to remember not to do it again!

Sewing Lesson #1:
DON’T SEW WHEN YOU’RE TIRED! You WILL make stupid mistakes, causing you to befriend your seam ripper. You’d think I would have learned this lesson well over the years. Apparently, I’m either quite dense or in need of a refresher coarse.

Sewing Lesson #2:
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR PROJECT BEFORE FIXING THE MISTAKES FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE! ‘Nuff said.

On to the inevitable confession….I’m whipping up a basic 3 gore walking skirt for my daughter’s friend before she goes home to Germany. Simple project, right? You’d think so. I’ve made this exact pattern about 10 times. Suffice it to say, sewing on a zipper (which I’ve done a thousand times) doesn’t go well at 2am. I managed to sew it in backwards, with the zipper pull toward the inside of the skirt. Duh. I was at least wise enough to give up and go to bed.

This morning, I ripped the zipper out and put it in correctly. Again, simple. It was beautiful. A perfectly executed installation. And, I used a regular presser foot instead of a zipper foot so I could show her how it’s done. *Sigh* The only problem this time? I didn’t double check my seams from the late night stitchery and managed to put the zipper into the seam at the hem instead of the waist….both times! Double Duh!

So, out comes Mr. Seam Ripper…it really should be permanently attached to my hand.  You’ll be relieved to know (I certainly was) that the zipper went in correctly on the third try.

Annie, get your gun and get me away from the sewing machine!

Posted in 2012, Sewing | 1 Comment

Fabric Rose Tutorials

Good morning blog friends! I’m working on yet another dress and needed a fabric rose for the hair accessory. So, a-searching I have gone. There are several tutorials out there in the aether. I liked these best and there’s one for just about any look you want.

Neat and tidy rose tutorial from Portabellopixie

Crinkle edged rose tutorial from DuhBe

Velvet rose tutorial from A Gilded Life

Shabby rose
tutorial from Create & Delegate

Tattered layered rose tutorial from Katie’s Rose Cottage

Stacked petals flower tutorial from Wise Craft

Teacup flower tutorial from Spincushion

Posted in 2012, Tutorials | 3 Comments

A&G Ohio

In March, we zipped over to a great con we’ve been going to for 4 years. Shiho, our first of 6 Japanese exchange students, came back to visit and we dragged her a long. I don’t think she was prepared for American Otaku! (Otaku in Japanese is an over the top fan of Japanese comics(called manga) and cartoons(called anime). The difference between here and there is that otaku nerds in America brandish the term like a medal of honor. Where as, Japanese use it as an insult. Funny how things get lost in translation!

Here is Shiho on the left, with Miss H dressed in her Suu costume, The Doctor (11th)(he was an impressive character…always on the ball with the right lines), and Miss G on the right. She offered to be a companion, but Amy and Rory were already waiting in the TARDIS. 😉I went in my travel outfit on Friday and didn’t feel like wearing the hat, so I just plopped the goggles on my head.Shiho went shopping with our neighbor on Saturday, and we went back to the con. Miss H wore her Sakura costume from Tsubasa River Chronicles, and Miss G wore her cherry Lolita dress.The girls love mochi…which is a rubbery, slightly sweet, rice flour blob stuffed with a slightly sweet red bean paste. I don’t mind the mochi, but the red bean paste is kinda disgusting. They love the melon flavored mochi and always get a big box in the dealer’s room to share. It’s their con tradition.I completely forgot to take pictures as we roamed around the con! Finally, I forced the girls to do a mini photo shoot just so I’d have something to post. First up, is Miss G in her black cherry Lolita dress…Next is Miss H in her Sakura outfit. She made this herself and won first prize in her division at Sugoicon. Unfortunately, we missed costume judging for this one but it’s still a great costume!The girls decided it wasn’t fair if I didn’t get in on the fashion show, so here we go. This is my purple and brown Steampunk costume.There are tiny keys and clocks stitched all over the bustle.They insisted I had to get a “twirl” picture too.Thought I’d throw in a couple of hair pictures too. This started as a ponytail in the center back of my head. I made several pin curls and plopped them all over my head. Since I was going for am elegant messy look, I left an end poking out here and there. I wove in a silver necklace, a large medallion, small jeweled barrettes & hair pins, and a feather pick to finish it off.Miss G couldn’t join us on Sunday and Master G had never been to a con. He isn’t allowed to go until he turns 14. I made an exception because he’s die hard Brony and there was a My Little Pony panel that day. (Guys who are fans of MLP are called Bronys and girls are called Pegasisters in the fandom at large…goofy kids.) We loaded up Shiho, Miss H, and Master G and headed to the con.I gave Master G my pass and went to lunch with Lord McCormick while they attended the Pony panel. Miss H is big fan of MLP too. Lord McCormick and I snuck into the panel near the middle and I was amazed that the guy to girl ratio was about 50/50.They watched the new episode, talked about the evolution of the series, gave away pony related prizes, and discussed pony traits. Master G LOVED the con. He dressed in his Steampunk attire. I think Shiho had a good time overall and thinks Americans are waaay too excitable when it comes to anime!Coincidentally, McDonalds has MLP prizes in their happy meals at the time…so of course, we had to stop there for lunch…and dinner!

Posted in 2012, Con Panels, Costumes, Lolita, Steampunk | Leave a comment

The Masquerade That Wasn’t

I made a mask for Mr. Wonderful for a masquerade ball we were to attend…but alas, we’re getting a little fuddy duddy in our old age and decided to skip it since it didn’t even start until midnight!



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Scarlett’s Hat

May I present the photographic evolution of the Scarlett’s Gone Steampunk hat. It started with a 25 cent straw hat.
The back brim is shallower than the front.This particular hat was problematic from the start. The crown was awkwardly tall for the size of the brim, and a little too small to sit down on my head where it should. I thought about steaming and stretching it but it was much easier to cut the crown off, leaving about 1/4″ of straw and the ribbon hat band in tact.I fashioned a new crown out of the green fabric in similar fashion to Regency era poke bonnets. There isn’t any interfacing. It just bunches up lightly. The perfectionist in me said it should all be hand sewn. The procrastinator in me won out and this was done the evening before I was to debut the dress at the Steampunk Symposium. So, it is mostly hot glued. I glued on the crown, then hand pleated and glued the green fabric, and added the green hat band.The next step was finishing the underside by gluing in a pink crown piece, hand pleating the pink on the brim, and adding a ruffled hat band. The small ruffled hat band was sewn together before being glued in.The last step for the base of the hat was giving the shallow back brim a nice upturn. I did this by stitching it to the crown, and the original hat band.Now for the fun embellishing! A bow seemed appropriate for the back. The gears are embroidered in gold, silver, and copper metallic thread to match the gears on the dress.I tea dyed the pink flowers, added the downy wisps of a peacock feather, grape leaves, and various clock parts.And, Voila!, Scarlett’s hat…

Posted in 2012, Costumes, Steampunk | 1 Comment

Steampunk Symposium 2012

We headed up town to the Steampunk Symposium last weekend. Alas…I didn’t take a camera. 😦 Lord McCormick accompanied me and managed to snap a photo or two with his phone…which isn’t the best. There were workshops, airship races, shopping, and dancing. Not to mention all the mingling and photo ops! There are a ton of photos out there, which I can’t put on my blog because I don’t own them. Here is a link to see more.

So, without further ado, Friday’s festivities.
1. We were on the balcony overlooking the ballroom…
2. Lord McCormick wearing his mask, complete with cyborg monacle and earpiece…
3. Lady McCormick in her traveling attire…
On to Saturday’s long and eventful day, and the debut of the Scarlett’s Gone Steampunk dress. I actually won an award at the costume contest for the most elaborate costume! I suspect it was because of the large amount of embroidery and massive double bustle. I was pleasantly surprised…(not really, I was actually giddy with excitement)!
1. Lord and Lady McCormick…
2. Lady McCormick helping the Great Zalikir with an illusion most fascinating…
3. Lord McCormick and Steampunk Boba Fett…
We staggered back on Sunday for a while. Lady McCormick managed to corner Captain Reynolds (who hails from the Firefly class ship, Serenity).Whew! It was a very fun weekend! Miss H joined us on Saturday afternoon and a lovely time was had by all.

Posted in 2012, Steampunk | 1 Comment