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Busytown Fabric!

Richard Scarry gets a lot of snuggle-up-with-a-book time in our house. Now, what to make with this new yardage due out in October?

Busytown Fabric from Quilting Treasures.

Why you should buy local wool, from WhipUp.net

“Processing wool in Australia is fast becoming a dying art, and wool needs to stay in Australia for creation from sheep to skein in order to support small farmers and micro business.”

Kylie Gusset wants Australian wool to be processed in Australia. Most Australian merino is shipped to China to be cleaned and is then sent back to Australia for spinning.

Does American wool go to China for scouring? What about all the lovely wool from South America?

I’m curious to learn more about the process of making commercial yarn. Not to mention commercial ice cream (also mentioned in the article).

You can help fund Kylie’s project on Pozible, a crowdsourced funding platform similar to Kickstarter.

Why you should buy local wool — whip up.

A Rainy Sunday Project: Alien “Uglydoll”


Saturday morning we had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, where I tried the Oatmeal with Stone Fruits and Granola to see if it held a candle to my beloved Harvest Porridge. (It was tasty, but it’s no farro porridge.) After a trip to Hecksher Playground, via the most strange entrance to any public playground ever, we found ourselves at the mecca of all things toys, FAO Schwartz.

We followed an unfortunate employee sporting a giant life-size Uglydoll costume to the cars and trucks department. Apparently Jr was fascinated by the Uglydoll. I reminded him that he has one – it’s “out of rotation” in his closet. When we arrived home he was insistent that we immediately find the little green plushie, who was given a place of honor on his pillow.

Yesterday Mr A and I were informed that the Uglydoll was lonely and needed a friend. Because apparently the stuffed dinosaur, crayfish, dog, manatee, gnome, Totoro and robot plus the three plastic bugs that live on his bed are not enough? Regardless, supplies were gathered. Jr was very specific as to the number of eyes (3) and their location, as well as the number of legs (also 3). Mr Apparently made sketches. I was dispatched to the sewing machine, where an old pair of wool pants was dissected and emerged as the alien’s body.


Meet the newest member of the menagerie, Garblidge. He eats bug sandwiches.

Summer Stash

I once really enjoyed stashing yarn; now I tend to purchase it only by the project. Because seriously, unless you’re exclusively a sock knitter, how could you possibly just intuit how much of a particular yarn you’ll need for some undefined future sweater?

I break this rule regularly for gorgeous single skeins while on vacation.

Also, the one under-the-bed box I allow myself for storing yarn is completely full. Mostly of gorgeous single skeins purchased on vacations.

In the past couple of years, I’ve found much more enjoyment in stashing fabric. I’m still somewhat tame; I tend to make just one or two orders of unpremeditated – that is, not earmarked for a particular project – yardage orders each year. And I really do try to use up stash fabrics before buying new. Again, however, exceptions are easily made while traveling.

I love to knit, but rarely do I take out the box of yarn and gaze at its possibilities. Each of those single skeins will ultimately end up as a lace shawl or lovely scarf. I learned my lesson with the beret. But the fabric…it’s so delightful to dream up a project, or be inspired by a tutorial, and riff through the stash to select which fabrics to use.

Mr Apparently gave me a bias tape maker and Ellen Luckett Baker’s book 1-2-3 Sew for my birthday, and so clearly a little stash renewal was in order. Look at this restraint! Only 7 yards!

summer stash

That’s because I have a gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads pinned up over my desk, waiting patiently.


Summer’s Crafty Goodness

Why is it that I always find myself sewing – which by its nature means, turning on the iron – on the hottest days of the year? Apparently heat inspires me. Here are just a few of several projects I’ve completed lately.

magnolia hat

This sun hat was a commission from a lovely friend. The inside has a little secret – a contrasting fabric with a pretty picture that reminds me of her. I’m not going to show you what it is, but I’ll tell you it’s a Heather Ross fabric.

manly pincushions

A bride-to-be in California commissioned two Very Manly Pincushions for her wedding. I’m not entirely clear on the role they’ll play, but I love that she’s doing something very creative!

nesting hen pincushion

We made a trip to Fish’s Eddy, where we got some new egg cups. This means that the nesting hen egg cups I bought at Anthropologie a few years ago (and which really aren’t very good at holding eggs) – will be repurposed.

I couldn’t resist a piece of this Suzuko Koseki linen fabric printed with vintage sewing images, and so of course it became a potted pincushion.

The FedEx man just rang with a package I’d forgotten about – a fresh stack of fabric! Stay tuned for pix…

Renegade Craft Fair 2011: [Silence]

I’ve had quite a lot to say in the past regarding the Renegade Craft Fair. Last year I wrote a five-part series covering everything from my favorites and purchases to the sponsors and the economics of participating in craft fairs. I’ve spent many, many hours thinking about this stuff. So what do I have to say this year?

Nothing. I didn’t go to the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this year.


It didn’t really cross my radar. And by the time it did, I had other plans. Plus, thundershowers were predicted.

Seriously, I was not inundated with blog posts in my RSS reader as in years past. CRAFT Magazine didn’t send me emails about the fair, and I never saw a post on Facebook. I realized it was the weekend of Renegade just a day or two before, and my “hey, let’s go to the craft fair” date was out of town. MrApparently doesn’t really enjoy the craft fair, and Apparently Jr just wants to run around the field and eat whoopie pies. So we went to our local park, and I didn’t give it another thought.

That seems weird to me, and I’m sure says something about the evolution of the Renegade Craft Fair and my relationship to the selling of artisan goods in general. But you know what? I don’t really want to analyze that. Maybe next year.

When It Rains

That’s proverbial, as in…it pours. Suddenly I’m working on three custom hats and sent off two pincushions in one day. I also delivered a stack of summer hats to our local children’s boutique and am trying to plan three summer trips.

owl hat

swirls hat

Every year I make my son a new sun hat. This year he chose the fabrics himself, and so he’ll spend his summer topped with butterflies. He just got some boyish blue sunglasses and several pairs of plaid shorts, so he’ll be rocking the prints this season.

The lining of this reversible hat is the white butterfly print. He likes to turn it inside-out. I find it so sweet that my four-year old loves butterflies and can’t be bothered with superheroes. Yet.



Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to #29, Maureen!

sew, mama, sew!

Welcome visitors from Sew, Mama, Sew! Today is one of my favorite days in the blogosphere, because I discover new-to-me crafty people from around the world. I’m looking forward to spending a few hours this week exploring all sorts of endeavors, from sewing and knitting to pursuits I know much less about, like dyeing and upholstery.

emma's star

I’m giving away this lovely hand-knit beret. I must confess that I originally intended it as a present for myself. I carefully selected the pattern from Rocket Boy Knits and the superwash merino wool yarn from Black Sheep Dyeworks with plans to knit myself a three-season hat. And I truly enjoyed both the pattern and the luscious variegated yarn. But it turns out that I’m not a beret person.

If you can stylishly sport a beret, and you’d like a chance to win this one, please leave a comment below. You can comment on anything: your latest project, where you’re from, thoughts on my Etsy shop…whatever you like as long as it’s fun for me to read. I read all the comments, and a plain old “enter me” is no fun on my end. I may even send a second prize to the most delightful/entertaining comment. The giveaway will close at 10pm EST on May 25, and a winner will be chosen at random.

As a thank-you for stopping by, I’ve set up a special offer for free shipping on any item in my Etsy shop, Petite Legume. Use coupon code SEWMAMAMAY for free shipping within the U.S. through the end of May.

(The giveaway is open internationally. If you’ve been to my local post office you’ll understand why I simply can’t offer free shipping around the world for my shop. It would mean hours in line at the post office, which is staffed by a gaggle of slow-moving, cranky individuals. I’m extremely thankful for online methods of shipping packages!)

Thanks for visiting the land of Apparently. Come back anytime – I usually blog about making stuff, but occasionally I diverge to such topics as growing butterflies, visiting museums, other cool stuff I’ve found online, and falling in love.

Now go check out some more blogs!

A Rainy Day Project: Felt Butterfly

munchie prep

Another rainy day in the Northeast. Apparently Jr’s latest issue of Your Big Backyard arrived yesterday, and it features both a story about a little caterpillar named Munchie and a craft project about the caterpillar-to-butterfly process. The cruel irony of my parenting life is that little Apparently isn’t very interested in art projects, but I can occasionally drum up some enthusiasm if the art is secondary to a greater theme of space, insects or dinosaurs.


You may not be surprised to learn that I have a drawer full of felt, and so when he said, “Let’s make Munchie!” I leapt at the opportunity.

This was a super-fast project, and it would have taken even less time if we’d used glue. But we found that glue seeped through the felt and was generally messy and gross. (Also, we have no hot water today thanks to some boiler repair, and so minimal clean-up was not such a bad idea.)


We agreed to glue only the googly eyes and sew the rest on the sewing machine. (Apparently Jr and I have an agreement at the sewing machine; he gets to press the reverse button.) Using thread rather than adhesive made the toy stronger, and we were able to play with it sooner.


Completed just an hour ago, this little guy has emerged from his chrysalis at least seven times and an entire play has been performed in his honor. I need more science-based art projects, as they keep us both very happy!


You can download the instructions and templates from the National Wildlife Federation’s website. Let me know if you make one, too!

Mark Your Calendars

SMS Giveaway Day

Sew Mama Sew’s May Giveaway Day will be on May 23! If you haven’t experienced this sort of crafty love before, now’s your chance to discover some interesting new (and old) blogs and perhaps even win some fabric, washi tape, handmade goods and/or other cool stuff that various artisans around the world will be offering. The event is organized by the lovely people at Sew Mama Sew!, an online fabric shop (that isn’t just for the mamas).

This will be my third time participating in Giveaway Day…but I can’t decide what to give away. Options include one of several handknit items that really need a home, a sweet bundle of fat quarters (that’s cotton fabric for you non-sewists), several skeins of mercerized cotton yarn or, of course, a pincushion. There’s also the boy doll, who still needs a home. And a whole lot of Italian buttons.

What would you most like the chance to win from Apparently Craft Headquarters, a.k.a. the corner of my bedroom, provenance of Petite Legume, purveyors of fine sewn stuff? Feel free to mention something I haven’t listed. I have just a few days to decide if it’s something handmade, supplies or both, so I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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