October Goal Update

Happy Halloween! I am super excited about trick-or-treating with Emma — I mean mini Mary Poppins — this morning at daycare. I’ll be back with my November goals next week but in the meantime, here’s how I did in October!

Have some fall fun! 110% done. We did Emma’s first kid’s k, spent an afternoon at Froberg’s Farm’s fall festival, went to Zoo Boo with friends, and even went to Froberg’s a second time with daycare friends (after the group’s original plans had to be scrapped because of thunderstorms). We also had fun with my family in North Carolina and visited the little local pumpkin patch.

In short, October was AWESOME.

Run 50 miles. After running Sunday, Monday, and last night, my total stands at 50.5 miles for the month! Check mark for me!

Focus on some non-sewing creative work.

I did a lot of cross stitching, and also tackled the three things I mentioned at the beginning of October:


1) I completed the pattern design class I signed up for months ago on Skillshare and made the hand-drawn repeating arrow pattern you see above. Not bad for a first-timer? (My one-sentence course review: it was an underwhelming class, and not exactly what I was hoping for. I think this one or this one will be better.)

2) My Offset Stripe quilt pattern is ~75% finished and I plan to post it on Craftsy soon. Writing a pattern is harder than I thought!

3) Enter one of Spoonflower’s weekly design contests. I played around with some sketches for both the calaveras and calligraphy challenges, but ultimately neither one really inspired me to get all the way to finished product. I’m going to keep this goal on the list for November, in hopes that I see a theme that agrees with me.

All in all, I think I accomplished this goal for the month!

Clean up the home office. I made fantastic progress in this department thanks to the bits of extra free time afforded during Jose’s mom’s long visit earlier in the month. Jose pitched in as well by cleaning up his side. The whole room looks better than it has in years — and that is not an exaggeration. (Also, to be fair, Jose’s side was not nearly as messy as mine so I’m to blame for the bulk of the clutter in this particular room.)

Mary Poppins Costume

Ta da! Here’s my totally adorable mini Mary Poppins, just in time for trick-or-treating at daycare tomorrow! I’m so in love with this outfit, and the best part is that Emma loves it too. The past two nights, we’ve watched “Spoonful of Sugar” with her in full costume.


Ready for the breakdown of what I bought and what I made to make this all come together? The shoes came from Zappos and the tights came from Amazon. (This is her second pair of black tights, since she wore the first pair to my Grandmother’s service while we were in North Carolina…and then tore holes in both knees after falling on my aunt’s driveway. She scraped the toes of the shoes too, but nothing a black sharpie couldn’t fix!)

I was puzzling over where to find a toddler-sized white dress shirt, but it turns out they’re readily available from several places thanks to the school uniform market! This one came from Amazon, but Old Navy has them too.

And the umbrella? I had been puzzling over how to make a parrot-head umbrella until I found out there’s a Mary Poppins Broadway show — and you can buy a child-sized Mary Poppins parrot-heat umbrella! So did I spend $40 on an umbrella? Yes. Yes I did. (It’s a functional umbrella — she can use it for years.)


I made everything else! The elastic waist skirt is really simple, and I didn’t use a pattern. I just measured Emma’s waist, and then measured from her waist down to figure out how long I wanted it to be. I sewed a strip of red fabric to the larger navy fabric so that the waistband casing would be red. (It seemed easier than making or buying a red belt.) Easy peasy.


I considered several options for the hat. My original plan was to buy one online, spray paint it, and attach some flowers, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. At that point, I decided to try a different tactic and looked at several tutorials online about making felt hats, but those were all super complicated and way more than what I needed.

Undaunted, I bought black felt and a few sprigs of fake flowers from Joann’s and decided to just wing it! I measured around Emma’s head to figure out how big the opening needed to be, and made the brim of the hat first using two identical rings of black felt with a piece of heavy interfacing between them to keep it stiff rather than floppy. Then I sewed a strip of felt around the inside to form the sides, and sewed a circle on top to finish it off. I cut several blooms off my fake flower stems and attached them with hot glue and voila!


And finally: the carpet bag. I bought the exterior fabric a month ago and originally planned to just throw together something quick and dirty — in other words, I wasn’t going to mess around with hardware or make it structured. But then I saw the Blanche Barrel Bag pattern from Swoon featured on Sew Sweetness last week…and I knew it would be perfect. (Plus, Emma had been wearing the hat on a regular basis in the two weeks since I made it, and I knew she’d love using this bag long after Halloween is over.)

The bag turned out great, and really deserves its own post, so I’ll write more about it next week.


Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious indeed.

Space Is Hard


Last night, an unmanned cargo ship on its way to the International Space Station malfunctioned ~10 seconds after launch. The Orbital Sciences rocket and spacecraft were both destroyed. The NASA launch site on the coast of Virginia was certainly damaged, although the extent of the damage is unclear. The single piece of good news is that no one was injured or killed because, as is the case with all rocket launches, extensive safety precautions were taken.

Rocket launches occur with such regularity these days that they seem common, uneventful, routine. They don’t even make the news most of the time. The general public isn’t interested. But then we are reminded that spaceflight is anything but common, anything but uneventful, anything but routine.

Space is hard. Really HARD.

It is heartbreaking to see something you’ve worked so hard on go up, literally, in smoke. This morning I’m thinking about the Orbital team, and all the NASA people who support them. And I know they will all come back stronger than ever.

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