Yay!  It’s October…one of my favorite months!  I love the weather in Kansas this time of year…cool mornings, warm days, lots of sunshine, changing colors, grass stops growing, sweaters & boots out.  And, it’s the month I’m usually home (I need to change that & find places to go camping & hiking in the fall!) & the month I Make Stuff.  The name of this article is mt2…since my last entry was titled ‘making things’ & since that’s all I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. Since landing back at home from my South Dakota trip, my sewing machine has been going non-stop & it looks like a fabric store threw up in my red room (my living room/dining room).

I’ve made more trips to the fabric stores than I like, spent more money, made a bunch of mistakes, but in the end, it’s all good & all done!  I started with a long list of stuff to make, then added in a couple more projects when insomnia got the better of me in the middle of the night & the brain was in over-create mode.

So, here they are…cool, funny, quirky, & messy!

Sara & her family are taking us on a Disney Cruise in late October!  Wow!  I’m not sure there are any kids half as excited as we are!  It’s super generous of them & we can’t wait to spend time with the girls & having a magical time.  The other awesome thing about this cruise is that it’s a Halloween (my favorite holiday!!!) cruise.  We have Pirate night & a costume contest.  Also, once we’re back in Orlando, we get to spend Halloween night with the family.  In Sara’s neighborhood, a ton of the families all dress up…sometimes having the same theme.  This year, Claire picked out Jesse for her Halloween costume, a character from Toy Story 2…a movie she loves!  So, that’s the theme & we all chose a character from the movie.  Sara will be Buzz LightYear; Kevin will be Woody; Emma will be one of the aliens; & Danny & I will be Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head.  Once back in Orlando, joining us will also be Danny’s Mom as Wheezy the Penguin & Rose, their Nanny, will be Bo Peep.  It should be a blast!

IMG 4523.jpg

These pictures of Danny are not only hysterical but so sweet & perfect!  He would never ever ever before dress up in a costume for me (all these years of trying!), but said “YES!!!” in a heartbeat when it came to doing it for Claire & Emma…so great!

IMG 4815.jpgIMG 4829.jpg

Since I took the initial photo of Mr. Potato head, I’ve altered his teeth & added lips…Danny didn’t like his ‘buck teeth’ & wanted him to look happier.

And, yes, all the parts move around…I thought Claire would get a kick out of that! (This is actually the second Mr. Potato Head costume I’ve made.  I made one years ago when the kids were little & wore it a couple of times after they were done with it.  Luke requested it a few years back to wear to a party, so it was shipped to California…& there it lives or most likely has died but gone out having a great time!)

IMG 4816.jpg

Here’s Wheezy the Penguin…looks pretty cute & comfortable (unlike the potato costumes which broke a couple of my ‘costume rules’).  While they’re easy to move around in, it’s tricky with the eye holes being in the hat…a little limited visibility.  When the kids were little & I made their costumes, one rule was that you had to be able to wear a coat under it because you never knew if it was going to be 70 degrees or 40 degrees.  But, I’ve warned Danny how hot it can be in Orlando during Halloween…I fear we will become “baked potatoes” in their heat!

IMG 4865.jpg

I’ve also been ‘collecting’ stuff for the girls for Halloween…little treats that aren’t candy.  They have tons of toys, but I couldn’t resist buying this…it will be a gift to Claire from her Grandpa!  And, I couldn’t leave sweet baby Emma out, so I made her a Potato Head Doll…all sewed tight since she’s so into putting everything in her mouth these days.

IMG 4892.jpg

The big projects were next!  I’m making three flannel rag quilts for Christmas gifts & wanted to get them done early.  I can’t say who they’re for…because it’s a SURPRISE.  But, it’s safe to show them on here, because the receivers never read this blog.  I already had all the fabric chosen & bought before I left for South Dakota, & knew I had to get the costumes done first.  But, after they were done, I went in to quilt-frenzy mode!

IMG 4864.jpg

These are the fastest, most forgiving quilts you can make…& oh so cuddly & warm!  

IMG 4863.jpg

But I swear you can give yourself tendinitis clipping these seams.

IMG 4868.jpg

It’s funny where your mind wanders when you can’t sleep; mine seems to go all over the board, seeking out every subject, place, color & design, always with some music playing in the background….it’s no wonder sleep evades me.  But sometimes, I get great ideas.  I’ve been trying to think of something I could do with Claire…interactive…in the mail.  While this idea didn’t really fill that desire, a new one popped into my brain.  I’d make & send her Holiday pillow cases…it’s not a book, not a toy, not candy, not a project (with a million pieces), etc.  I decided I’d send her one for Halloween, Christmas, her Birthday, Valentines Day, Springtime & Summer (not included is Thanksgiving, Easter & 4th of July).  I could make two at a time & send them a couple of weeks before the holiday.  Emma will get her own set when she’s old enough to sleep with a pillow.  So, back to my favorite fabric store!  And I loved loved loved this fabric!  I shipped her Halloween case just a couple of days ago…I can’t wait till she gets it!

IMG 4861.jpg

I also chose some Christmas fabric & went ahead & made that one to be mailed in early December.

IMG 4862.jpg

And, speaking of Christmas….it’s been on my list to make Emma a stocking.  I don’t know when Claire & Emma will ever get to be at our house on Christmas (it’s always crappy weather!), but I’d made Claire & Kevin a stocking a couple of years ago & wanted to be prepared & ready for when/if they come for Christmas someday.

IMG 4869.jpg

When I’d arrived back home after my wonderful, almost-perfect, fantastic summer road trip, one of the first things I did was to clean out our attic.  I was in the mood to get rid of stuff.  As, it turned out there wasn’t a ton to get rid of, but a few things made their way gone!  One of the things that stayed, but not up but down & into the house, was an old youth chair that came from Danny’s family.  Our kids used it when they were growing up.  It’s perfect to sit at the kitchen table, when one is too old to use a high chair, but too short to sit in a regular chair.  So, I decided to paint it (with leftover paint from my kitchen walls) & get it ready for when Claire & Emma come to visit!  And, I added a few polka dots, because they’re my favorite!

IMG 4891.jpg

As a Mother’s Day gift to self this year, I joined the Sister On The Fly…over 10,000 women to love to camp & be outside. Most have cute vintage trailers.  They’re nationwide with a ton of subgroups…Sisters that Paddle (I’m on the lookout for a kayak); Grandma’s on the Loose (they take their grandkids camping & fishing with them on special outings); Sister’s on the Curb (shout out if you’re traveling through a certain place to see if someone will let you park on their curb or on their property), etc.  They also do some philanthropy work but mostly a huge source of good times & new friends.  Here are their rules:  No Men, No Kids, Be Nice & Have Fun.  I’m not a rule lover, but these I can follow.

My first event with the Sisters & a group called Girl Camper was last April in Waxahacie Texas & it was a blast!  I felt so included even though I don’t own (& don’t plan on it) a trailer or all kinds of stuff to decorate it with.  These were awesome women whom I’d never have met if I had gone to the event.  I can’t wait to go next year!

In April, my only “Glamping” addition, was a chair cover for my cheap camp chair & an extra set of twinkle lights. (project from March, 2018)

IMG 1713.jpg

One new addition I wanted for future events, was something that showed my name & member number (the numbers seem to be a big deal…low numbers have been in the group for years).  Sisters have all kinds of cool ways to display their numbers, but mine had to be cheap, light, small to pack & easy to display.  I made a number banner for my friend Jill’s camper, but I wanted something that fit the 4Runner.  I’d had on my list of future projects something I ran across called a “wooly totem”.  I love totem poles…there are so many cool art poles out there, but this one hung inside, made of wool felt.  It’s still on my someday list, but it gave me the idea for my Sister project.  It was fun to create, cost me less than $5, will be easy to pack & I’ll hang from the loop on the inside of my hatch door which stays open when I’m at an event.  I wanted something to reflect me…so it’s a peace symbol, heart, tree, map, mountains, name, number, oceans & a little brass bell that should ring in the wind!

IMG 4899.jpg

My last project but was both the most frustrating & the most fun…well, not exactly fun, but I love to design!  The problem is that it never turns out quite like I want it…some parts are always a little disappointing, & some are luckily better than I’d planned.  I never use a pattern…I’m math-stupid & patterns never have made sense to me.  All those arrows!  I’ve always been better at just making my own patterns & writing out my own directions, following those, sometimes re-ordering the steps…whatever…it’s always an interesting process.

My goal for this crazy project was to make a robe (sounds simple, right?) that I could wear to my Sister On the Fly events.  While some of the women costume up for activities, I was interested in the morning coffee in camp, where women just wear their jammies & robes & sit around visiting & laughing. I’d bought a pair of pj bottoms for $8 & added some pom trim around the base…I have black pj tops that will work for chilly or hot weather, but wanted a funky, quirky robe to wear.  I also needed it easy to pack, since I don’t want to be packing a lot of stuff.  I can’t remember ever lining anything before & collars are always so. much. fun…but in spite of doing both of those things, I like how it turned out.

So after a weekend of lots of cussing & growling & a little use of the seam ripper, here’s the finished product..

IMG 4889.jpg

Two other —non-creative, non-making, no sew projects that happened during this time were awesome fun!

While I’d been on my summer road trip, I’d met my favorite travel blogger, Sherry Ott, & actually got to go hiking with her & a couple of her friends.  We became fast friends & I enjoyed her company a lot!  She asked me to write a guest blog post for her blog & she published it in September on her website called Otts World .  What fun!  I can’t wait to meet up with her again sometime in the future & will always continue to follow her travels around the world!

IMG E3378.jpg

One of the women I met at the Waxahachie event, was Janine Pettit creator of Girl Camper Podcast, which was like meeting a movie star (since I never watch TV & rarely go to the movies, I get ‘starstruck’ when I meet one of my favorite bloggers or podcasters).  We’ve kept in touch since then & the week before Labor Day I received an email from Janine asking me if I’d like to be on one of her podcasts…I said YES!  We talked on a Saturday morning for over an hour just chatting & getting to know more about each other.  Then Monday morning, she called & we recorded the podcast.  It was a blast & she makes it all so comfortable…& traveling is my favorite subject so it’s easy to talk about.  Here is the link to the Girl Camper Podcast & my interview! (Pic below from the April event.  Janine on the far left; new friend JoLynn in the middle & my life long best friend & travel buddy, Jill on the right.)

IMG 1734.jpg

I have a couple of weeks before I leave for Orlando…I’m going to end up road tripping down there, since airfare is so expensive.  The new twist for this trip, will be that my Mother in Law will be joining me on the way down.  I think she’s kind of excited at the prospect of a road trip…she hasn’t done too many in her life & doesn’t really enjoy air travel that well. So, we’ll see how it goes, but I always look forward to hitting the road, especially to see Claire & Emma.  And then, because I’m driving & will be solo (or maybe Jill will join me???)  after our Orlando fun, I’ll be planning some  S L O W  route home, hopefully beautiful, maybe walk some beaches, see the Gulf or the Atlantic…cram in all that I can before winter hits & keeps me home bound.                                                                                                                                                    © Vicki Hill 2022