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I finished my knitting project – “Upside-down Daisy” pattern found in Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson.  It’s probably been about a year since I last knitted anything, so I was a little bit rusty.  I’m not sure if I did something wonky or if it’s just that I was knitting in the round that the whole thing’s a tad slanty.  Regardless, I think it turned out cute and Arden has already been putting it to good use today, though the weather here in Michigan is surprisingly warm and she probably doesn’t really need a hat.

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If you’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting much for the last little bit (it’s okay if you didn’t miss me – really!), we took a long weekend trip to Chicago.  We take the train which makes it a lot easier on Arden since she can move around a bit more and take potty breaks.

We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast – The Wicker Park Inn in… you guessed it – Wicker Park.  A very nice stay, and they were very accommodating of tiny guests which turned out to be a bit of a rarity in my Chicago B&B search.  In addition to our lovely room with ensuite bathroom, they have a cute little courtyard for guests.  Arden took advantage of the courtyard for a snack of pumpkin bread from Red Hen and some playtime.  The little bug car is a toy from when I was a baby, we call them “gigglers”.

We went to Navy Pier and Arden went on both her first carousel ride and her first Ferris wheel ride.  She enjoyed both very much!  I’m not really afraid of heights; I just fear I’ll do something stupid and trip and fall over the railing – it’s called autophobia.  Needless to say I was happy to mostly concentrate on trying to get pictures of Arden.  The last picture is Arden at breakfast the next morning.

On Sunday we went to the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier.  We all had a blast!  She kept organizing the orange cones in the firefighters area and went down the fire pole about ten times.  I think I was enjoying the fossil dig more than she was – she took off before we could uncover our dinosaur skeleton!

On Monday morning we went to the playground at Wicker Park to let Arden run off some energy before we headed back to Union Station.  It was nice to talk with some other mothers while Arden played, though we received some envious comments when I started to describe our yard and the dogs running around the playset.  It seems there’s upsides and downsides to both city and suburban living…

I don’t have any fun projects completed to post, so I’ll just do a quick wrap up of what’s been going on.

We broke ground – literally – on our garage reconstruction.  On Thursday, they took out the old slab, dug for the footings, and put in the foundation walls.  We’re using a treated lumber foundation instead of block cement.  It’s pretty interesting to see.  My brother Jeff is taking a class that was discussing treated lumber foundations, so he came out and took some photos.  On Friday, they backfilled and compacted the fill sand.  The framing and concrete guys are working on other jobs right now, so they’re not expected for a week and a half or so.  But, great progress!

Also on Friday, Arden dissapeared into the breakfast nook and was awfully quiet for a minute, so I went to go find her.  We’ve learned that when things get quiet, somethings up!  Arden had taken all her soft toys out of one of the Tub Trugs we use to store her toys in and dragged it into the kitchen and climbed in.  Of course I grabbed the camera instead of helping her out!

Saturday was CMU’s homecoming, so I took Arden.  I got there just at the right time to get a tour of my sorority house and a cup of coffee before the parade started.  Arden’s favorites were the horse drawn carriages and floats with dogs.  That’s my girl!  I took some photos of her at the house – can I brag a bit about the shirt I made for her, and the sweater I knitted when I was pregnant?  That sweater has fit her (okay, it’s a little small now) for about a year – totally worth the time it took to knit!

After we got home from the parade, I got started on the chairs I showed you from the ReStore.  I got the seat off one and sanded it down.  I probably got a bit ambitious with the sander since I’m going to prime and paint them, but oh well.  I’ve also been working a bit each day on a cow costume for a friend’s son.  I’m pretty excited about how it’s turning out.  I had to use a devil costume pattern since I couldn’t find a toddler cow pattern, and I’m appliquéing (is there actually a verb for appliqué?) on the cow spots since the only cow fabric I found was novelty cotton and not thick enough to keep him warm.  So, I’m using fleece and getting creative with my scissors while watching chick flicks – my husband had started watching Step Up, it wasn’t my idea!  Yes, my husband has — um — varied taste in entertainment!  I guess it’s all fair, since I like to craft, sew, quilt, and knit and also am into marathons, adventure races, and Muay Thai kickboxing.

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I’m beginning to see a trend to what I’m working on…  It’s fall!  I love fall in Michigan, though today is a bit dreary.  All the better to stay inside and create cute things and post about them!   

My candy corn cutie!

 I’ve been making these pinafore tops all summer.  With the onset of fall and all things associated, I thought the shape of the top was a bit triangular and would be really cute done as a candy corn.  I measured the length of the front of my pattern and divided by three, added an extra 1/2″ for seam allowance, and cut and sewed them together like piecing a quilt.  Then I proceeded as usual to make the pinafore top, using a cute candy corn print for the reverse side.    

Before I sewed the front to the back, I added a blanket or Parisian stitch to the yellow and orange sections to make it look applique’d, and sewed on one of my new Jennuine Design labels, since I think this might be a sample for the Etsy shop I’m planning to open soon.   

Parisian stitch

Jennuine Design label

Pardon the rumpled appearance of the finished product.  My daughter had been wearing it all morning until I borrowed it during her nap to snap some quick photos.  Plus she’s teething, so therefore a drooling maniac and the top is a bit damp.   

Finished product

Super cute and super quick!

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