Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Sewing

As soon as the October calendar goes up in the front of the classroom, the children are squealing with delight.  Halloween is almost here!  The 31 days to wait is nearly torture for them!  The fun little Halloween shirts and outfits have been showing up in my kindergarten classroom for the last two weeks.  The children delight in wearing clothing featuring ghosts and spiders, pumpkins and witches.  This week my class will be making tie-dyed Halloween pumpkin shirts to wear to school on THE BIG DAY next week.

This year I am making a couple of little dresses using a pattern that is new to me but I am not ready to share those with you yet.  So I went through my files and found some things I have made over the years that I don't think that I have shared here.

The large candy totes above were made for a friend's daughters.  Each one was a little different with pictures I cut from a Halloween panel appliqued on each side.  The lining was another Halloween print.  (You will see that lining fabric again later this week as I finish these two new dresses.)

The dress below has that same print as an attached apron paired with a blue plaid and some ribbon trim.  The doll's outfit was made to coordinate.  I used my 'go-to' pattern "Annie's Sundress and Jumper" by Primrose Lane and made a little lacy peasant blouse to wear under it.
 The dress below is made with the same pattern but  trimmed differently.  I made this one for my godchild Cassidy.  For her sister Ashlyn, I made the patchwork skirt below the dress.

 Here the girls model the dresses.  They aren't this little anymore!  Ashlyn is now in middle school.  Time moves on whether we want it to or not!

 This purple skirt was made for Marietta, another friend's daughter and a former student of mine.  The favorite color for both mama and daughter is purple.
 This one was made for another teacher-friend's granddaugther.  I do love that bright fabric!  You will see that fabric again later this week in another dress, too.
Here is a little ditty I sing to my students every year.  I have no idea where it came from!  Sung to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush":

Sometimes I like to walk in the dark.
I like to shout and scream.
I sneak behind somebody I know.
"BOO!"  It's Halloween!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Costumes for Girls and Dolls

 What adorable witches!  September was in my kindergarten class two years ago and her little sister Jannon was in my class last year.  Their grandmother, a friend of mine and a very frequent volunteer in my classroom, asked me to help with the costuming  when September was in kindergarten.  She made Jannon's costume and both hats. I made September's skirt, vest, and blouse.  September won a local costume contest that year!
 After making the costume I was inspired to make an outfit for another friend's daughter's American Girl doll.  I winged the skirt pattern and used patterns from for the corset, hat, and blouse.  Fun!  I've always liked making doll clothes!

A teaching friend shared the following song with me and we sing it in our classroom.  It is sung to the tune:   "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians".

Three Little Witches

One little, two little, three little witches. (Hold up 1,2,3 fingers)
Fly over haystacks, fly over ditches. (Make flying motion with hands)
Fly over moonbeams without any hitches. (Make flying motion with opposite hand.)
Hey, Ho, Halloween Night! (Clap)

One little, two little, three little witches. (Hold up 1,2,3 fingers)
 Flew over barbed wire and tore their britches. (Make flying motion with one hand, then turn and show your "torn britches")
Had to go home and get some stitches. (Pretend to sew)
Hey, Ho, Halloween Night! (Clap)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pink Tea Party

"Enjoy life sip by sip, not gulp by gulp"  The Minister of Leaves

 My sweet daughter has enjoyed tea parties all her life.  When she was in preschool she had them every day.  She'd set up one of her little tea sets and then get whoever was around to sit and enjoy a cup with her.  She would carefully and very seriously hold the lid of her teapot and pour a cup of pretend tea all the while chatting away.  It always made me smile when it would be her daddy sitting on the floor and holding a tiny cup in his hand.  Sometimes her younger brother would be the one sharing tea but it was usually the result of a trade:  when the tea party was over she would have to play cars with him.  It used to frustrate him, though, because her idea of  'playing cars' didn't match his.  She would turn the cars into mommy, daddy, and baby cars.  Poor Logan wanted to line them up and race them!

Victoria-Rose hosts at least two tea parties a year at our home.  One is her birthday tea party that is Christmas holiday inspired and the other is just before school begins so that the girls can get together one more time before they leave.                                                  She often hosts small tea parties at college, too.  She recently wanted to make scones in her little dorm kitchen but didn't have a mixer.  That didn't stop her!  She mixed it all with her hands!  Needless to say, I sent her back with a mixer the next time she was home.
This time Victoria-Rose asked her friend Lyda to spend a few days with us and they prepared most of the savories for this party together.  Both girls enjoyed working in the kitchen.  They made curried chicken salad sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, and strawberry sandwiches with herbed cheese.   I had pinned a picture of cheese filled tomato 'tulips' and Lyda was anxious to make those.  She also made the most beautiful strawberry 'roses' to decorate the strawberry sandwich platter.

 The girls filled little pink bags with candies for small party favors.  Each guest also received a fun pink or white feather boa.
The brass bell in the background of this picture was my grandmother's.  She used to use it as a secret signaling device.  (She was too much of a lady to call us to come in from play.)  One ring out her window meant 'look at me', two rings meant 'throw kisses', three rings meant 'come in now'.

 Each guest was asked to pick a tea cup to use for the party.  I set out the ones from my collection that were the pinkest onto the kitchen table.  The tablecloth is a vintage one from the 40's and has a pale pink background.

Victoria-Rose's favorite cup is the white one with little pink roses.  It is Duchess bone china, made in England, and found in a Hospice resale shop.
The girls thought it would be fun to use different pretty sterling spoons from my collection for each place setting.  The other sterling is Delacourt by Lunt and was chosen by me in high school.  I received my first place settings as a graduation gift from my mother.  The gold rimmed china was my dear stepmother's.  The lace trimmed and hand embroidered top tablecloth was found in an antique store.  The pink one underneath is one I bought about 20 years ago.
Lyda did the beautiful calligraphy on the place cards.
 The lovely hand embroidered and lace trimmed napkins were a recent find in another antique store here in St. Petersburg.
 The pink glass tea cups and goblets were found at the Hospice resale shop.  I filled the cups with baby pink roses and baby's breath and the goblets with pink tea lights.  The pink glass candlestick holders are depression glass with etched flowers, another antique find.

 The 'tulips' were made using Marzano tomatoes from Village Farms and are grown in Texas.  Delicious!  Their 'stems' are just chives inserted into holes poked into the top of the tomatoes.

 I made several sweets for the party.  The (out of focus...sorry!) tray below displays the pink iced cranberry and white chocolate cookies and the raspberry cream filled chocolate cups.
This next photo (again, out of focus) is the almond cream and berry parfait that was the last course served.  Victoria-Rose and I chose three different teas to serve to the girls:  Teavana's Blackberry Mojito (green), Adagio's Apricot (black), and Teavana's Strawberry Pu-Erh (black).

 “The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation. The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation. Even the tea itself–warm and comforting-inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.”
Emilie Barnes, If Teacups Could Talk

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