Monday, December 30, 2013

Champagne and a Pearl

I was a middle schooler when I became a hamster mom. He was the most adorable chubby bundle of fluff that ever was. He was pale peachy tan and white striped teddy bear hamster. I named him Champagne. It sounded fancy and his coloring resembled a glass of bubbly and then there was his bubbly personality.....I could go on and on and on about him but I'll just tell this one story......

When I was 14 we made the most dreaded move ever: Denver to Idaho. My dad was already there along with our big Old English Sheep dog, named Sherlock Bones. That just left my mom and myself along with our huge white fluffy cat, Fuzzball, and Champagne. By this time Champagne was already two and had a well established relationship with Fuzzball.

We loaded up the station wagon. Champagne rode comfortably in his cage in the backseat and Fuzzball, free to roam, placed himself on top of the hamster cage for the duration of the drive. About halfway between Denver and Idaho is a small Wyoming town called Rock Springs. This is where we spent the night.

After checking into the hotel, we unloaded the pets. Champagne was placed in his "travel" cage which was quite a bit smaller than his normal cage and placed on top the room's dresser. Fuzzball was free to roam the room. We settled in and went to sleep. Fuzzball burrowed himself under the covers and slept at my feet.

Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up in the darkness to tugging of my hair. I thought Fuzzball had come out of hiding and was snuggling up.

I didn't hear a purr.

I reached over to pet him and discovered Champagne was making a nest in my hair. The dresser was at the far side of the room and his "travel" cage was on top of it. Somehow, this chubby ball of fluff escaped his cage, climbed down the dresser then waddled over to the far bed, climbed up the bed, over the cat, and decided to settle in my hair.

I was wide awake after that! I placed him back in his "travel" cage and placed the room's Bible and Book of Mormon on top to prevent another escape lest he decide to go on an adventure and leave us behind. Champagne went on to live 3 or 4 more years after that. He died a fat and happy hamster whose best friend was a big white fluffy cat named Fuzzball. We buried him under a rose bush in a box with his food dish and wrapped in a washcloth.

Now it is P's turn to be a hamster mom. She picked out Pearl this week. She is over the moon. She watches Pearl all hours of the day and somehow manages to sleep soundly through Pearl's night time workouts on the wheel.

Bringing home Pearl.

P gives Pearl treats and we have made several trips to various pet stores gathering the perfect accessories and chew goodies for her cage. Pearl rolls around the house in a ball. J's excitement over this has dulled only slightly.

When we are out and about P is in a constant state of wonder as to how Pearl is getting along without her being there. There is still a week left before school is back in session. Plenty of Pearl watching will be happening until then. Oh, we also have two cats..... either of whom is likely to befriend a hamster only to have her for dinner.....


Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Ethereal Dress {a pattern review}

Living in a tiny town far far away from everything it is difficult to find hip and age appropriate clothing for P. Also, we do not have a child's clothing store in this town and have to drive roughly 30 minutes to shop at a not so great quality or selection big box store. I know, I know, horrible. So, I rely heavily on either mail order from my favorite places or making clothes. 

Figgy's Studio has released their latest children's pattern line and it is stunning! 

I made the Ethereal Dress for P. Wow! The dress sewed up just splendidly and looks fantastic on P. My favorite part is the little detail on the back.

P and I chose the Echino aqua birds fabric I had in my stash. P was sized for the 8/9 pattern and it took all of the two yards of fabric I had. The Ethereal Dress pattern comes in 18months - 8/9 size and has the option to have long sleeves or sleeveless. There is also options for length which include the full length dress, knee length dress, tunic, or blouse. P loves her dresses and we opted for sleeveless and knee length. I do think I will make her a few tunic length tops for the warmer weather. 

 P is modeling for our family Christmas photo shoot.

The Echino fabric really works well with this pattern, it has just the right amount of fluidity without being sheer. The Ethereal Dress could work in a variety of fabrics and would make a beautiful special occasion dress or a simple go to the beach tunic. There is a sweet ruffle on the bodice and the bird print lined up perfect. 

Check out the complete pattern line and the purchase your own copy of the Ethereal Dress click here: Figgy's Studio  

(Figgy's is located in Portland, OR! I was so excited about that since at times I feel I am living in exile on the south coast of Oregon. So, please support Oregon makers!)

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