Although we traveled to Washington in August, it’s taken me awhile to review and edit the 600+ photos I snapped from our trip.  I wanted to share with you some of my favorite artistic shots.

Wooden staircase descending from the outdoor tower in my grandparents backyard in eastern Washington.

When a Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas closed their doors, my grandparents snatched up their outdoor pillar and globe lights adorned by dragons.  Several of these lights alight the stone area of their incredible backyard.

From the hill upon which the tower rests in the backyard, there is an incredible view of the backyard including the two-level fish pond, eight foot waterfall, pillar lights, and swimming pool.

Like a curtain of glass–the shimmery curtain as seen from behind the water fall.

My grandfather adorned the wooden tower with bits of nail, bolt, colored glass, and wire.  I love how the sun peeks into this view, along with the strong shadow from the nail.

Too bad y’all can’t see the top of the tower as it once was.  It’s currently under reconstruction since the wood on top began to rot.  The upper level (that can only be ascended by the attached ladder) was lit with a stained-glass jeweled crown and could be seen lit up at night from an aerial craft flying over the valley.

YOUR TURN: Will you share your link to photos from your summer adventures?

This is the appliqued t-shirt I made for my niece for her fourth birthday.I heard that when my niece unwrapped it, immediately, she threw it over her head and pushed her arms through the sleeves.  Then, she pranced around the room showing off her cool new shirt to everyone.  Sounds like it was a big birthday hit.

While I was working on it, Calvin called it, Libby’s birthday shirt (FYI, her name is Livia…Livy, for short).¬† He liked it so much that he wanted to put it on when it was done.

Guess I’ll have to make one for him, since he’s really into dragonflies and all…they’re one of the few bugs that don’t make him scared, according to the boy. Pill bugs are on the scary list.¬† But, he did pick one up and let it outside for me…once.

This post isn’t an appliqued t-shirt tutorial, but I’m happy to create one if there’s enough interest (ahem, specific requests by comments and e-mail, if you get what I’m sayin’).

I used an organic cotton shirt on sale at a local box store.¬† I found the cute green cotton print with dragonflies on clearance at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics.¬† The dragonfly pattern was from an online free coloring book link.¬† The only other additions included 2 white sequins and 2 clear beads for the eyes, and matching lime green thread.¬† So simple that if you have basic sewing skills (my skills do not range above basic), that you could make this, too.

Since I’ve been feeling rather crafty lately, I’ve decided to make my own quilted cards thanks to Dana’s tutorial at Made.¬† Then, I just purchased a pattern for a boy’s bow tie from Crab Apple Attic on Etsy–can’t wait to whip one together for Calvin just in time for Easter!

Yesterday was entirely spent indoors.  Except for my husband who shoveled the driveway and sidewalks every two hours or so.

I thought about taking Calvin outdoors to play, but we got sidetracked building dinosaurs out of Duplo¬Æ blocks, mixing pancake batter, playing “hiding” and other fun games.After I created a “Mickey Mouse” from buckwheat pancakes and frozen blueberries, Calvin asked about Doofy and Donald Duck…naturally.¬† He did have fun eating the eyes, nose, and ears, and announcing every part that he devoured like a dinosaur.¬† I’ll admit, the pancake mouse looks an awful lot like his breakfast bear.¬† Oh, and he refers to pancakes as birthday cake since his first taste was on his 2nd birthday…so sweet!

Meanwhile…

Calvin snuggled under a quilt on the living room floor with his Daddy.¬† While staring up at the ceiling, he pretended to star gaze….pointing at imaginary constellations.¬† I think he misses going camping.

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My stir-crazy son is sick and tired of being stuck inside.  All he wants to do is play outside with a soccer ball, build a snow boy, play with kids at the playground, and run around with his head thrown back while the beautiful ringing of giggles escapes from his mouth into the crisp air.

I can’t help him with everything on his wish list, except for the snow boy…and only then if the snow conditions are just right.

Today, while dusting off several inches of snow on my vehicle, Calvin “helped” his Daddy shovel snow off the driveway.¬† He tromped around the drive and the yard until his cheeks were rosy pink.¬† I don’t know if he’s gotten all of his pent-up two-year-old energy out of his system, but at least for the first round of the day, it was a great joy for him.

To warm up after getting wet and cold from the snow, we enjoyed  a fabulous tea party complete with blueberry lemon tea and raisins.  Joining us was Mr. Bear.

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If you’d love some great snowy day craft ideas for Valentine’s Day, check out these great ideas from SuzySaid. We’re going to make the conversation heart wreath.

YOUR TURN:  Are you experiencing some winter weather?  What are you doing on your snow day?

Stay warm,

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So, I started to put together the canvas for the pages for the quiet book I’m creating for Calvin.

I’d purchased the muslin and interface and a sweet rotary cutter, so I knew I’d better get started while I was still somewhat motivated.

The basic book pattern for a quiet book that I’m using is from Modest Maven.¬† However, I think I may want more than just 12 pages, or at least the liberty to add more down the road.

I may change my mind as I go through the process of putting this book together.

I’ve decided to make it a sort of fabric scrapbook/quilt of sorts.¬† I’ve asked 3 of his grandmothers to help with some of the pages.¬† They have the freedom to personalize them and use whatever scraps, buttons, or themes they want to use.¬† I know Calvin will truly treasure it.

That is, as long as I don’t botch up the muslin pages.

Guess what.¬† I followed the directions in purchasing fabric and medium weight interface.¬† However, I’ve never used either type of fabric before.¬† Once everything’s cut and squared up, you’re supposed to apply a warm iron to the interface and muslin so that they fuse.

Well guess what?¬† They didn’t fuse

I practically burned light brown iron marks on one of the pages trying to get the darned things to fuse.¬† I guess the interface wasn’t the fusable type…which kinda defeats the purpose of the interface.¬† I didn’t realize there was a special fabric code I was supposed to read to tell me this sort of thing.¬† I was just happy to identify medium weight interface from the heavyweight and lightweight versions.

Every 5 minutes, I was asking an employee at Jo-Ann’s fabrics for help in selecting muslin and a rotary cutter.¬† But darned if I didn’t ask for more specifics about the blasted interface.

So, I ended up sewing the muslin and interface together for six rectangular squares.

I think I messed up one of ‘em enough that I’ll have to re-do it.¬† Another day, perhaps.

Anyway, if Calvin’s grandmothers are reading this, I’ll do my best to get you something somewhat usable to create a beautiful quiet book page for him.

No, I don’t sew nearly as well, as precisely, or as beautifully as my mom or grandmother, but this is my attempt to contribute something to Calvin that he will cherish from the sewing women in his life.

FYI, the last sewing project I made were very basic curtains.¬† The hemlines aren’t exactly straight, but I don’t mind.

I’ll post results as I continue this domestic creativity project.

Peace.

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly