Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sacred Sunday--Day Twelve: He Lives!

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Happy Easter!  There are so many reasons I love this holiday.  Family, friends, neighbors, and communities get together for egg hunts and enjoy the time outside.  It starts to feel like it is truly spring.  The plants are budding and blooming, showing the gift of new life that comes every year.

It is that gift of new life that is such a blessing and the true reason for why we celebrate.  As a Mormon, I believe that Jesus Christ died and was resurrected on the third day.  His atonement makes it possible for us to live again after this life.  What a cause for rejoicing!  The Easter bunny and all the chocolate in the world can't hold a candle to that.

There is a song that expresses my feelings so very well that I thought it appropriate to put them here.  The hymn is called I Know That My Redeemer Lives.  It's message is wonderful and the promises in it are universal.  To see the notes and hear it to music, click on the picture to follow the link.  On the right side there is a link that says "Vocals and Music" that will download the song.  It is a very basic arrangement but the song is beautiful in every way.  Have a blessed Easter.

  1. 1. I know that my Redeemer lives.
    What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
    He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
    He lives, my ever-living Head.
    He lives to bless me with his love.
    He lives to plead for me above.
    He lives my hungry soul to feed.
    He lives to bless in time of need.
  2. 2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
    He lives to guide me with his eye.
    He lives to comfort me when faint.
    He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
    He lives to silence all my fears.
    He lives to wipe away my tears.
    He lives to calm my troubled heart.
    He lives all blessings to impart.
  3. 3. He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend.
    He lives and loves me to the end.
    He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
    He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
    He lives and grants me daily breath.
    He lives, and I shall conquer death.
    He lives my mansion to prepare.
    He lives to bring me safely there.
  4. 4. He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
    He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Service Saturday--Day Eleven

On Tuesday night there was an activity for the ladies at church.  Part of it was a service project to benefit a Veterans Home in our town that is set to open in May.  We were able to make and donate 24 pillowcases for the new home.  It feels so small when compared with the great service given by those who have defended our country.
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Veterans are dear to my heart.  My grandfather was in the Army in Korea.  I have cousins and spouses of cousins who have served or who are serving.  The Hubs served in the Air National Guard for ten years.  I am proud of all of them.  I admire all who have served and sacrificed for their country in any way.  I hope I can find more opportunities to give back to those willing to give of themselves for the benefit of others.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Family Friday--Day Ten: Easter Eggs!

I know that with Easter right around the corner this tip is a big time gimme, but I was pretty nasty sick yesterday and that was the best I could do.  Here are some alternatives to just dyeing eggs with the pack from the store...which is what will be happening at our house.  :)  Click the picture to go to the instructions.

Use a Sharpie to color boiled eggs.  Why haven't I used this idea before?  Easy cheesy.
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"Tie" dye eggs.  I think this is the most fabulous idea and I forget to try it every year.  Every. Year.  Maybe 2014 will be the magic Easter.
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Along with trying something new for dyeing eggs, you can also think a little outside the box for filling the Easter baskets.  My kids LOVE candy, but it's always nice to have other alternatives.

Here are some ideas for plastic egg fillers.  It's a slide show so you'll have to flip through rather than scroll down.
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Utah Deal Diva posted about basket stuffers for under $5.  Fun on a budget, woohoo!
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Have a fun Easter weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday--Day Nine

Today I am thankful for a word.  That word is also.  From Merriam-Webster:


 adverb \ˈȯl(t)-(ˌ)sō, ˈȯ-\

Definition of ALSO

: likewise 1
: in addition : besidestoo

I had two sewing teachers in high school and one of the best lessons I learned from them was one they didn't intend to teach:  there's more than one right way to do most things.  My first teacher was marvelous, but retired after that school year.  I also learned a lot from my second teacher, but she publicly berated me more than once for doing things differently than she did, despite the fact that the result was the same.  Maybe that part just didn't compute.  When I became a sewing teacher I encouraged my students to try a couple of different methods and find out what worked best for them.  I also briefly mentioned it in Tuesday's post.

One other reason I'm thankful for the word also is because of all the political things going on right now in the States.  There are such strong emotions on both sides of any issue and not always enough effort on either side to reach out and understand.  I think it's worthwhile to see that the other side of any debate also has merit.  Instead of starting by concentrating on differences it would be better to start with commonalities and then work from there to foster understanding and to see that there is also value in someone else's opinion.  A little more effort and a lot more also would go a long way for everyone...including me...

As a final add-on, I'm grateful for good health.  I don't have it right now.  When I was sick with whooping cough in high school I learned what does and doesn't come up well.  Ice cream and orange juice top the list as the easiest things to lose.  Today I learned that asparagus does not come up well.  The Hubs thought it was hilarious.  He doesn't like asparagus.  But I'm thankful he can take the day off so I can stay in bed and the kids don't need to fend for themselves.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wowzers Wednesday--Day Eight

Where to start?  Hmm...  I had a big time WOW yesterday at the last activity days with the 10 and 11 year old girls.  We're making skirts using the instruction sheets I posted here.  I knew it was ambitious to think we would have them done in two sessions of an hour and 15 minutes, but boy did I underestimate the time while overestimating their skills.  Sheesh!  I felt pretty confident about it all because I used to teach sewing to 30 students at a time.  "There are only eight girls and besides, I made a worksheet!"  Ha!  I forgot what it was actually like to teach kids to sew.  Ten and eleven year old girls aren't particularly successful with crash courses.  Nor do they actually read their instruction sheets when their leader is there to tell them what to do.  What they actually do is sit and stare blankly at the machine until I look up from the girl I am helping and notice they have become vegetables.  Here was my favorite exchange:
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Me:   How's it working?  Do you need help?
Girl:  Yeah.  The machine's not sewing.
Me:   That's no good.  What's it doing?
Girl:  Well it doesn't have a bobbin.
Me:   What happened to the bobbin?
Girl:   I took it out and then I lost it.

Seriously?  I never got an explanation as to WHY she took the bobbin out in the first place.  Not that it matters, but...seriously?  Anyhow, if someone were to ask me when I plan on doing more sewing with the girls the answer is never.  Ever.  Aside from the bobbin thing I also had more than one girl sew seam allowances that varied from one inch to running off the edge of the fabric.  Those seams don't iron very well.

So that was the bad wowzer.  There was also a really, really great one!  We had an activity at the church for the ladies that are 18 and older.  I was working away at the serger (we were making pillow cases for a veteren's home being uilt here in town) and one of the ladies there came over to me and said, "You look like you're just melting away."  At first I was confused and wondered if that meant she thought I needed to take a break from the serging.  The way she was looking at me didn't mix with that   conclusion.  Then it dawned on me: she noticed my weight loss!!!  I think that bumps her up to best friend status.  The kicker to add to it was that two of the other ladies around us were nodding their heads and asked how I was doing it.  They noticed too!  Woot!  Big, big, big, BIG encouragement and boost to the ol' self esteem.  It makes me think I can do this!  So exciting!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ta-da! Tuesday--Day Seven: Invisible Zipper Perfection

The picture of that seam is so beautiful. :)  Happy sigh.  It looks like it's a little bumpy around the seam allowances, but that's just a pressing issue.

After having been a sewing teacher, college sewing lab assistant, and just working with seamstresses in general, I've found that a lot of people are nervous to attempt invisible zippers.  I used to be one of those people.  My technique has changed a bit over the years, partly from a change in equipment and partly from simple preference.  I have now found my own favorite way to insert an invisible zipper.  If there's anything I've learned in my years of sewing and teaching it is that there are very few things that only have one "right way" to be done.  So try a few different ways, find what you like, and work it until you perfect it.

Before I get started just let me say that it isn't necessary to have a special presser foot for an invisible zipper.  I started off with a cheap, generic plastic foot that included a roller.  That was great as I was learning, but I don't use it anymore.  Too often it ended up sewing too far away from the teeth and showing tape when it was sewn or too close to the teeth and making it so I couldn't zip the zipper.  A regular, general purpose presser foot and a steady hand are all you really need.

Start off by opening up your zipper and lightly ironing the teeth open.  Don't set your iron too hot or you could melt the teeth.  I may or may not have found this out by sad experience.
Use the iron to uncurl the teeth so you get a little valley between the teeth and the tape.
I like to lay my zipper down along the seam line and mark where the zipper will end.  Mark about an inch up from the zipper stop, not the bottom of the zipper tape.  After I have that position marked I move the zipper out of the way and sew the rest seam from that point to the bottom of the garment. You'll need it for later.

Now match the top of the fabric with the top of the zipper tape and pin in place.  If you place the zipper tape along the edge of a serging line it will usually give pretty close to a 5/8 inch seam.  The single pin at the top is all I use on the first half.  Stitch in the little valley between the teeth and the tape.  The presser foot will hold the zipper open.

Here's the part that kind of rocked my world.  I happened to be looking at my extra presser feet and took a better look at my satin stitch foot.  It has a little notch in the middle that creates a groove on either side.  Perfect for an invisible zipper.  It made the tape lay flatter and the needle go perfectly into the valley, all while avoiding the shifting of the zipper, which is the only downfall of using the general purpose foot.  Dude.  It's totally my new invisible zipper foot.  But the regular one still works great too.
L-O-V-E the foot!
Sew from the top down until you get to the seam by the zipper stop.  You can sew until the needle touches the seam but don't go past that.

Now comes one of the more critical parts: matching sides.  Close the zipper and pin the zipper tape at the top of the other side.  Flip the fabric to be right side up.  Move the fabric as necessary so it lays flat where the zipper meets the seam.  Hold it in place with your thumb and flip it back over so the wrong side is up again.
Make sure it doesn't pull in one direction or the other.
Pin the zipper to the seam allowance where you've held it in place.  It'll be a lot easier to pin it parallel to the zipper at this point.  Trust me.  If you have any other seams or things to match along the length of the zipper (waist seam, yoke, etc.) repeat the process you used to line up the bottom of the zipper.

Pin the rest of the length of the zipper by matching the centers between any unpinned portions.  Eyeballing it usually works just fine.
You'll replace the parallel pins with perpendicular ones after everything lays smooth.
Open up the zipper all the way to the bottom, taking it down past the original seam.  Once it's open you can put in your perpendicular pins and remove the parallel ones for easier sewing.  Be careful with the pin and the first stitch at the bottom of the zipper.  That's the one that determines whether or not it puckers at the end of the seam.  It's the trickiest part of the whole process.  Match the valley with the seam line and insert the needle as close as possible to the top of the first seam.  Lower the presser foot and sew the seam all the way to the top of the zipper.

If everything has gone well, the stitches on the zipper and the rest of the seam will match up perfectly...or at least pretty darn close.  Feed the zipper pull through the itty bitty space still left from leaving that inch of zipper unsewn.  Pull the zipper up to close it and admire your results.

No hole and no pucker.  Ta da!
Invisible zippers really are my favorite to put in.  I use them for everything except a fly on pants or for bulkier projects (like wedding dresses) where an invisible zipper would just break open.  Give this method a try, practice, and let me know if you like it!
Now I just need a sharp needle that doesn't pull the threads while I sew...

What things do you have to show off?  Today is the seventh day of my challenge week down!  Ta da!

Linking up:
Creative Sewing Blog BWS tips button
I Heart Nap Time
Skip To My Lou

Monday, March 25, 2013

Move it Monday--Day Six

There are two big goals I've got right now.  The first (and easiest) is to finish y Easter dress.  No problem.  At this point I just need to insert the sleeves and hem it up.  There is another finishing touch I need to add, but that's on order.  I doubt it will come before Easter.  Thankfully the dress can be worn without the addition so I will still have an Easter dress.  The girls' dresses were purchased at Costco.  Is that cheating?  :P
Easter dress sneak peek.  I'm LOVING this dress!
The second goal is to get a structured schedule set up for the kids.  I've tried it before without success but it's something I really need and want to get done.  After reading something I wrote in my journal nine years ago I was forced into some soul searching.  The result was a realization that I'm not doing my best to be a good mom.  I'm not looking for perfection, but I am looking for improvement.  Having structure to the day is a step in the right direction.  Any suggestions for how you implement a schedule for your kids without being too rigid?  Not an easy task for me.  I just want the kids's schedule to be dictated by something other than the TV.
Oh, television, how we seem to worship thee.
Back to the first goal...there's a second half.  If I work hard and try my best then I can be down to the goal weight for which the Easter dress pattern was originally the reward.  It's just a matter of remembering to keep the eating under control.
She'll be watching me...
 These goals WILL HAPPEN this week.  What are your goals?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sacred Sunday--Day Five

Several days ago a friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook.

It spoke to me on a couple of different levels.  The word "deny" jumped out at me in a way it never has before.  When I've read this verse before and seen "deny yourselves of all ungodliness" I thought no more of it than simply avoiding doing ungodly things.  I'm a pretty straight arrow so it hasn't been a big problem.
image via
But that word deny.  It made me think of cookies.  I know.  Weird.  Off topic.  But not so much as you might think.  I have weight loss goals.  In order to achieve them I must deny myself the cookies I crave.  I know that once I slip and have one I have a terror of a time trying to get myself under control and back on track.

If the goal is to be perfected in Christ (and that is my greatest personal goal), then giving up the ungodly things is how to achieve it.  Sometimes the things that are ungodly are the things that call to us.  They are hard to give up because they can be so pleasant.  The ungodly things may not seem wrong and we may even have the world around us screaming in our ears that they can't be wrong because we feel good doing them.

But when did denying ourselves become a bad thing?  Put in the context of dieting, denying myself of the things that stand in the way of my goal (cookies) is the best thing to do.

The wonderful thing about denying ourselves of all ungodliness is that we receive the grace of God to make up the difference on our way to perfection.  We can't do it alone.  Christ suffered for us so that, after we've done our best, we can achieve the unachievable.  We give up the ungodly things that hold us back from becoming like Christ and, in return, we are lifted up by Him.  And His grace is sufficient for us no matter how hard we struggle with the ungodly things and no matter how far we may have fallen into them, so long as we are truly seeking to become better and deny ourselves of the things that stand between us and godliness.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

(Out of) Service Saturday--Day Four

Do you ever try to keep from getting sick by denying that you are?  That usually works for me.  It hasn't for the past couple of days.  My head is aching, my throat is sore, the lymph nodes on my neck are as tender as I remember feeling them, and I'm just generally run down.  If I weren't a mom I'd take the day off and be completely out of commission.

Despite the sickness, there was an easy opportunity for service today.  Our ward got together for a pancake breakfast then everyone pitched in to clean the church.  I spent most of my time chasing after the children, but I did empty a few garbage cans.  Every little bit helps, right?  There were so many people there that my little family sort of ended up without an assignment.  We did what we could and then headed home again.  I also figured I should try to avoid contact with others as much as possible.
Getting gloves to help out was the highlight of church cleaning for Blue Eyes.
The big "Out of Service" moment we had was when the main bathroom door got locked, in a manner of speaking.  I heard Blue Eyes getting frustrated as she tried to get out of the bathroom, but I thought nothing of it because she occasionally locks herself in and it takes a minute before she gets herself out. I should have paid more attention.  A half hour or so later, the Hubs tried to open the door and found that something blocked it. We could peek in just enough to see that there was an open drawer that prevented the door from opening.  The drawer had one towel too many and was stuck open.  We had no idea how on EARTH were we supposed to get access to the bathroom.  The door opens into the bathroom rather than the hall, so the hinges were on the inside and we couldn't take those off.  The tiny slit of an opening we could get was too narrow even for a wire hanger to fit through.
Diagrams are super helpful
So what did we do?  The Hubs got his MacGyver on while I stood there in an illness-induced fog wondering how we would go about smashing the door in and how much a replacement would cost.  I did my part by fetching the screwdriver and holding the screws while my husband took off the doorknob.  Duh.  I should have thought of that.  He threaded the bent hanger through the opening and used it to push out the extra towel and close the drawer.  Way cheaper and less risk of injury than smashing the door into splinters.  Yay!  The Hubs had to jimmy everything a bit to get the flimsy wire to cooperate but he succeeded.  Now we're just left to wonder how the heck Blue Eyes get out in the first place.  I've decided her super power is teleportation.  But that could be sickness brain fog talking.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Family Friday--Day Three

Yesterday was a day for celebration.  My husband finished writing his book.  Yes, I said book!  Book, book, book, book, BOOK!!!  He's been working on it for about a year now, writing some almost every day.  What I've read (the first eight chapters) is really good and a very engaging story.  Bad wife of the year award goes to me for not having read it all the way through yet.  My excuse is that it's not in a tangible form that I can put a bookmark in and I haven't figured out how to find my place in less than ten minutes in the electronic format.  But I do know the basics of the story, as the Hubs has kept me up to date with the basic story line.  He's got great ideas.
My husband, the author.  I'm so proud of him.
We decided to celebrate the completion of his novel by going out to dinner.  Going out to dinner with the kids requires something a little more casual.  The Hubs decided we should try a pizza place in the next town over where we had a great a deal from his work.  We were surprised at how small it was.  Four little booths and three little tables made up the entire serving area.  It may not have been a fancy celebration, but it was a tasty one.
The girls are enjoying the celebratory dinner.
Q-ball got to try his first soda.  He wasn't sure what to think about the fizz at first.  He got over that quickly.  Blue Eyes ate the cheesy bread and had her drink.  She showed no interest in the pizza.  The Pink Blur ate a little bit and then tried to escape.  I was just glad she asked to go to the bathroom when she felt the urge.  Potty training regression is not awesome.  Cleaning the carpet after potty training regression is even less awesome.  After she dropped a bomb I told her if she kept going on the carpet she would have to start wearing diapers again.  She thought about it for a moment and said, "Okay. I wear diapers."  I shouldn't have made it sound like an option.  Rookie mistake.  Lucky for me I was able to tell her that we wouldn't be able to go for pizza if she didn't put her peepee in the toilet and that was adequate motivation.
He's starting to get his daddy's curly hair.  So cute.
Anyway, it was great to celebrate my husband's accomplishment together as a family and I'm glad that's how he wanted to do it.  You can't always know before you get married if your husband will be a good father.  I lucked out BIG TIME with the Hubs.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday--Day Two

image via  In a few weeks it should look like this around the base of our flowering cherry tree. :D
Today I'm thankful for Spring.  I'm so ready for it!  Our first winter in our new home has been particularly cold and snowy.  The past few days have been gorgeous and we've enjoyed spending time outside.  Until now I've never known the great pleasure of watching a garden come back to life after the winter.  I'm a very (VERY) inexperienced gardener and I've been so pleased to see new leaves and sprouts on plants I was sure I had killed stone dead.  It's amazing to see the life cycle start over again.  Weeding and clearing the flower beds and strawberry patch was such a joy.  I got a jolt of excitement every time I pulled up a bunch of dead leaves or stems and found new growth hiding underneath.
Taken from my daughters' bedroom window, hence the difference in color on the street. I'm not going outside in that. ;)
The picture above shows our actual flowering cherry tree with tulip flowers peeking out from the snow that was blowing sideways a few minutes ago.  I know it will soon (perhaps this afternoon?) give way to full blown spring and just that little thought makes me smile.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Fresh Challenge--Day One

I've been blogging a little more frequently (blogging at all is more frequent than it was) and I've been enjoying it.  I've been enjoying it so much, in fact, that I decided to issue myself a little challenge: themed blogging every day for the next four weeks.  It's a tall order, but I feel good about the themes I've chosen. There's one for every day of the week and it gives enough of a variety that I'll be able to see what sort of topic I have the most fun with.  I'm looking forward to it.
Posts should always have pictures.  Here are random selections.  This is my sixth grade class picture. I'm in the red dress.
Move It Monday--This is a place to introduce new goals, projects, and stuff like that.  A goal isn't a goal until you write it down, right?  Make a goal and get a move on it!

Ta-da! Tuesday--Show off finished projects!  It's a follow up to Move It Monday.

Wowzers Wednesday--Accomplishments, confessional (I'm all about honesty, even if it embarrasses me...), or anything else I find really cool.

Thankful Thursday--Happy people are grateful people.  When you look for happy things, you will find them.

Family Friday--Ideas for family togetherness or things my family has been enjoying.

Service Saturday--Helping others in various ways.

Sacred Sunday--Food for the soul.  Sunday IS sacred to me, so I'll write these on Saturdays.  :)
The day the Hubs and I got engaged, sitting at the same table where we had our first date.  The restaurant has since been demolished.  :( I up for it?  I guess we'll see.  Anyone want to join me?  It's always fun to have friends join in.
Me and my best girls at our Senior Ball.  We all made our dresses.  We're awesome that way.
I'll jump right in and do the first Wowzers Wednesday.  They won't all be like this one, but everything here was so connected.

Accomplishment: I was fully dressed (including a bra) and had my hair done this morning before taking Blue Eyes to school.

Confession:  I got myself all ready so I could blog it.  I'm usually in a set of grubbies with the last remnants of yesterday's makeup.

Cool thing:  Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup setting spray.  It keeps my makeup on for sooo much longer.  I still look like a living person by the time the Hubs gets home from work.

My girls liked wearing Pull-Ups as helmets while Blue Eyes was potty training.
Do you guys have any other ideas for the challenge?  Things you would change?  Feel free to add your Wowzers Wednesdays stuff in the comments.  And I hope you enjoyed the random picture collection.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Psst...Your Irish is Showing

I could kiss this little leprechaun all day (and I do), Irish or not.

I'm sewing along with the Sew-vivor contest and the first challenge was to use the color emerald.  I had wanted to be creative and avoid the gimme of a St. Patrick's day theme to go with the emerald, but I just couldn't help it.  Besides, we really are Irish.  My great-grandfather was born in Belfast and immigrated as an adult.  I'm a full 1/8th Irish and that's just on my mom's side.  The leprechaun thing was inevitable.
Simplicity 0602 (the costume pattern) has been used for no fewer than three different patterns. No joke. They don't even list it in the "out of print" section online.
Lucky to be me! 
To make the costume I used three different patterns from my mom's collection (no need to reinvent the wheel) and this online bow tie tutorial, as well as referencing these instructions to make the top hat.  Learning to tie a real bow tie was a nice bonus.  I bought the fabric at my local JoAnn's.  The buttons came from my mom's button jar.  Someday I will have a nice fabric, pattern, and button stash of my own.  Until that day I will happy raid my mother's as often as she allows.  Which is pretty much always.  The buckles were quickly slapped together with extra gold bias tape..  I attached the buckles to the shoes with regular paper tape, as those are to be his church shoes.  We already had the shirt and I bought the shoes and tights right before taking pictures.
FYI, I made the quilt in high school as a Personal Progress project.  I call it my parachute quilt, but it doubles well as a rainbow.  Those ribbon ties never would stay in place the original bows I tied.
Yes, my son, I did dress you in tights.  I promise I'll never show anyone. Except the internet. And probably your prom date.
I made modifications to all the patterns even though I didn't plan on it.  For the vest I cut out the original pattern but then decided I wanted it shorter in the body.  Easy cheesy.  I added piping around the edges of the jacket to really make it stand out.  The shorts had to come from a different pattern than the vest because the pants pattern simply wasn't there in the envelope when I looked for it.  That's one risk of just reusing someone else's pattern.  The jacket pattern had overalls rather than pants and I didn't want to make that.  The pants were wider than I figured I would want around Q-ball's little knees so I added a band at the bottom.  It made them look more like pantaloons than little leprechaun man-pri pants, but I'm good with it.

They don't make metallic gold piping so I had to make my own.  To make it easy on myself I just bought some white piping and some double fold gold bias tape.  I slit the bias tape up the middle and wrapped that around the piping.  Ta da!  I love the look it gives.  I used the leftover bias tape to make the shoe buckles.

I'm all the pot of gold you need at the end of any rainbow!
The buttons were a lucky find.  I planned on just using gold buttons.  Then I saw these.  They made me think of King Brian's crown from Darby O'Gill and the Little People.  Which, by the way, I watched while I was making the bow tie.  The freaky color flashing horse will forever scare me, though the banshee no longer gives me nightmares like it did when I was a child.  Anyhow, a gold "crown" with dark green velvet just screamed to be used.
"Vintage" buttons from my mom's button jar  
I see something shiny!
What's this stuff?  Money?
Hmm...better put it away for a rainy day.
Wait!  I want it back!
Just inside there, you say?
Maybe if I can
Got it!  Now where can a guy go to get some green milk?
And then the beard.  Oh, that beard!  It may be the silliest thing I've ever sewn.  And the kid won't wear it.  Uh-uh, no way, forget about it, will NOT have anything to do with it.  Pity.  It's so hilarious.  But Q-ball isn't amused by it.  I took a garishly orange fabric paint and painted it onto dark brown fur and prayed the brown would tone down the orange.  Success!  I love how it turned out.  I guess I'll just have to wear it if he won't.  Maybe next year.
A beard at bedtime is a good look for me, no?
ETA 3/20:  I finally got him to wear the beard!  Not with the costume, of course, but he did wear the beard!  Just imagine it with the top hat.  :)  If there's any interest in seeing how I made it let me know and I'll put up a little tutorial.
MO-OM!!!  How dare you ambush me with the beard while I sleep!?!
I still don't trust you, but at least I have my thumb and my hair.
Peek-a-boo is my weakness.
Okay, Mom; you're right.  This beard is hi-freakin'-larious!
Q-ball also doesn't prefer to keep the hat on.  At least he's good-natured about taking that off instead of the screaming fit I get whenever I try to put his beard on.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

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