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June 2007
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August 2007

Happy Halloween Piñata

Pumpkinpinata1_2 I know, I know, Summer isn't over yet - well if you're here in England you'd be forgiven thinking it has. This piñata is just one of the little items keeping me busy these days. It's going off to Creative Steps magazine -they've asked me to do a Halloween piñata article and tutorial for their Autumn issue. I make them for every one of my children's birthday parties, now a tradition. We've had pigs, a world with Superman flying around it, Thomas the Tank, a hot air balloon and loads more.

Growing up in California with it's close proximity to Mexico, we had them for parties and festivals all the time, there you can easily buy all sorts of designs. Here in England I started making them because you've only been able to buy them here for the last couple of years and they are small with very few designs.

The best part of making these is that the children can do the layers of papier mache themselves, no need to be tidy with it - keeps them busy for ages. Do it outside and you can just hose down the mess and the children.

At the moment I'm making a guitar piñata for my son's birthday this weekend - once that's out of the way I must really get back to some baby gifts. I got some great fabric while back home, can't wait to get making!

California Dreamin...

Tribe_16It's the season for holidays and weddings or both. Just returned from a long overdue break back home in Northern California for my cousin Joe and his new bride Bridget's wedding. The wedding was lovely, as was the bride, the setting fabulous -  ranch by the sea, but being with family and friends, magic.

Seeing my children with their cousins: comparing heights, sports prowess, holding new babies, learning new dirty jokes, giggling, camping out at Grandpa and Grandma's, more giggling, climbing trees and picking peaches, eating peaches, sparkling swimming pools, driving tractors, west coast rock, early morning dough-nut runs with Grandpa, giggling again, running down a sandy beach... these things they'll remember, like I do with my cousins.


Getting a glimpse of the bride.


Our family weddings always last the whole weekend, probably because we're all so d*** bad at saying goodbye.

Dragonflies, must be summer right?

Dragonflies_3It's very English to talk about weather, especially when it's horrible. Our summer has turned decidedly nasty, so instead of talking any further about it I'm going home for a good dose of the Northern California treatment - sunshine, exceptional wines and lots and lots of family (sometimes referred to as the tribe) I can't wait!

I'm skiving off of school a week early for a family wedding back home and have been busy finishing off everything with my classes, like these little beauties. Not terribly easy for six and seven year olds to make, but their frustration is worth it when they glitter up their last wing. I like to do a couple of dragonfly projects each summer term, they are easy to draw, colourful and interesting to learn about.

Bucket_bag Just managed to finish a quick bucket bag for my friend Jo's birthday. She and her family sail all summer so I thought this fabric fit the bill. It was the most rushed job I think I've ever done, but quite good for getting me to resist the need for perfection. It will definitely hold things so at least it's useful - no marks for my sewing skills on this one.

Hope to have some nice photos from the trip when I return.