Currently…

Currently

FEELING…

Exhausted — A recent trip involving a decent time change plus a few headache-inducing drizzly days has left me aching for a nap.  |  Excited — As I’ve mentioned (many times), fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and I’m so excited for all of the autumn-y things I get to enjoy living here in beautiful Kentucky.  |  Frustrated — Job hunting is hard, y’all.  |  Thankful — Despite all of the day-to-day irritations, my life is pretty sweet.  🙂

KNITTING…

Ritzy Mittens — This is actually a fingerless mitt pattern, but I have enough fingerless mitts.  I need MITTENS.  I’m halfway through the pair currently and have made quite a few mods, (which I’ll post on my project page once these are finished).  |  Dead Man’s Party Ribbed Socks — Gotta have at least one pair of socks OTN.  These are easy, no-nonsense 6×2 ribbed socks out of It’s a Dead Man’s Party Sparkle Sock yarn by Knitsomniac Designs.  On hindsight, this yarn may be too luxurious for socks…  |  Effortless Cardigan — Still slogging through…sweaters are BIG!  (Ha.)  |  Sanderson Sisters Vanilla Socks — This is a Halloween colorway that I dyed up a few weeks ago, inspired by Sarah, Mary, and Winefred Sanderson from my favorite movie ever, Hocus Pocus.  I only made two of these and don’t plan to make any more, (at least not this year).  And I just love it so much that I just had to snag one for myself.  🙂  (Unfortunately, this colorway is currently sold out, but there are several other Halloween options still available in my shop!)  |  Honey Cowl — Okay, not actually knitting this yet, but seriously planning to cast on ASAP.  Everyone else in the world has knit a Honey Cowl but me, and I have the most perfect yarn.  So yeah, it’s happening.

WATCHING…

Hocus Pocus — On repeat.  It’s that time of year folks!  My family seems baffled by my sheer dedication to this movie…but, hey, I’m a 90s kid.  They just don’t get me….. |  How to Get Away with Murder — Absolutely looooving this one right now.  Such an exciting, fast-paced drama…I’m hooked.  |  Doctor Who — Still not entirely on board with 12’s crotchety old man Doctor…but working on it.  |  Gracepoint — Umm, hello.  I know David Tennant’s American accent is kind of laughable, but is anyone going to mention his hair?!  Ha.

READING…

The Heretic’s Daughter — Just started this one, but seriously into it already.  Perfect fall reading.  |  The Maze Runner — I saw the movie of this book in theaters a few weeks ago & was blown away.  Can’t wait to see how much more detail there is in the book.  |  Stardust — Just started this one as well…  I’ve only read one other Neil Gaiman book before and I definitely need more experience with this classic author.  |  Voyager —  I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Voyager (the third in the Outlander series) for about 2.5 months now…which is way longer than I ever spend on any one book, (even hugely long ones like Voyager).  I do consider myself an Outlander fan, but there are a few parts of the series that just grate on my last nerve.  (Mostly how dramatic and irrational Claire can be and the tendency for these stories to drag in the middle.)  But I love the series as a whole so much, that I’m going to try and push through the last half of this monstrous novel because I know the ending will be great.  (Only 22 more hours of listening to go…oy…….)

DYEING…

Comfy DK base — Decided to add a new yarn base to my Etsy shop!  This time I’m branching out from sock yarn to include a new 4-ply DK base!  I’m having a great time playing around with colorways on this new squishy base, (including some Exploding TARDIS action!), so be on the lookout for DK additions to the shop soon!!

STALKING…

Flying Duchess Shawl — I’m such a sucker for multi-colored/striped shawls.  And navy.  And eyelets.  …just all of it.  |  Kaweah Hat — I’ve talked about my love for this pattern before, but seriously craving to cast this on ASAP.  Anyone have suggestions about the perfect forest green for this?  |  Hot Cider Pullover — Not even halfway through my first sweater and already stalking others…but this one looks so cozy.  WANT.  |  Caprio — Okay, I am fully aware that I would absolutely HATE knitting this as scarves make me want to scratch my eyes out from boredom…but it’s so pretty!  I will power through the monotony one of these days.  |  Freesia — I can’t tell you how many beautiful Freesia shawls I’ve been stalking recently as you would seriously judge me…  But if I didn’t have so many garter stitch shawls already, I would have already made three of these.  This pattern suits me to a T.

What are you up to currently?

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Halloween Hermiones

 

 

Whew!  Finally we have a new FO!  It feels like it’s been months…  Guess that’s what happens when you cast on ALL THE THINGS.  Ha!

I’m pretty much an inexplicable sock knitter.  Based on my knitting personality, I should hate knitting socks.  (i.e., I am generally a product-knitter, and socks are on such teeny-tiny needles so they take foreeeeeever…)  But I’m addicted…go figure.

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Hand-made teapot sock blockers from Purrfectly Catchy Designs — purchased at Stitches Midwest 2013

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard more than enough about these socks…  They’re knit out of my own hand-dyed yarn — Wanderer Sock in the ‘Sweet Treat’ candy corn colorway.  A few weeks ago I was Jones-ing for a pair of Halloween socks, and this yarn fit the bill perfectly.

This pair, as you may be able to tell, was knit using the Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern.  (Hence the name Halloween Hermiones.)  I’ve made three pairs so far and would recommend this pattern to any sock knitter (newbie or otherwise) that doesn’t want to have to think too much while knitting…they’re quick and easy, yet still interesting.  (Plus I love Harry Potter, so…  😛 )  I was so excited about finishing these that I didn’t even get any FO objects before they were worn…(these photos were taken after washing/drying.)

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Photo from Instagram

They’ve been finished for about five days and I’ve already worn them several times and washed/dryed them.  (I was thrilled with how well the color held in the washer — I’m paranoid when it comes to machine washing knits…even if they’re super wash.)

(P.S. A quick little plug for my TLMYC Etsy shop — if you’re interested in making some Halloween Hermiones for yourself, my Wanderer Sock ‘Sweet Treat’ yarn is on sale until October 31.  No coupon necessary!)

I can tell already that these are going to get a looooot of love this fall and winter.  🙂  Onto the next pair!

What’s your favorite sock pattern?

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Fall Reading List

In my reading life, autumn is really the only time of year where I have a preference regarding the type of book I want to read.  Spring, summer, and winter, anything goes..but in fall, I want to read spooky books.  Books about witches, New England, and creepy crawlies are where it’s at in this season.

For over a month now, I’ve been knee-deep in these Halloween reads, and I’m already planning for next year.  If you’re a Halloween reader like me, here are some suggestions from the books I’m most looking forward to:

Halloween TBR List

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
    I’m so awful about reading classic novels…but what a more perfect time to read Bram Stoker’s quintessential Halloween novel than now?
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    Though this is a children’s book, this vibrant read about ghosts adopting orphaned Bod sounds like the peeeerfect Halloween read.  Plus, it’s Neil Gaiman, so…  😛
  3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    Another classic Gaiman book that I should have read already.  Behind the times…that’s me!  Ha.
  4. The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
    This witchy novel is next up on my TBR list for this year.  Written by a descendent of one of the first women accused, tried, and hanged as a witch in Salem, this haunting story of Martha Carrier is sure to be a fascinating look into history.
  5. The Afflicted Girls by Suzy Witten
    Anything about Salem and/or witch trials screams fall reading to me.  This supernatural spin on a tragically fascinating era of history is perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit.
  6. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
    I’ve been jonesing to read this one for years, but never actually gotten around to it.  This lighthearted classic Halloween read about orphaned sisters and their crazy aunts would be perfect for snuggling up under a blanket with on a chilly October evening.  (Must locate my long-lost copy…)
  7. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
    This classic horror/thriller novel is a must-read for me…eventually.  I’ve heard amazing things about this spooky read, but I may have to work myself up to this haunted story.

My favorite autumn read (as of now) is The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.  But I’m always looking for my new favorite spooky book…

What’s your favorite thing to read in the fall?

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PS: Connect with me on Goodreads here!  🙂

Creative Overload…and a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

Well…it looks like the creative fire I’ve been burning for the past few weeks is down to a mere smolder.  As you all have seen a hint of, I’ve been pretty much *killing it* creatively over the past few weeks.  But it looks like I’ve reached my limit and crashed…hard.  *think roller coaster racing to the top of large hill, running out of track, and plummeting toward the ground*  (Okay, that might be a liiiiiittle bit extreme…but does this creative burn-out ever happen to you?  It’s a bummer.)

Anyway, on that front, I’m taking a bit of a break from any hard-core “making” endeavors in order to let my creative brain re-charge.  But goodness knows I can’t let a day of this lovely fall season go to waste, so I’m striving to indulge in the autumn weather in other ways…like a trip to the pumpkin patch!  🙂

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*Pumpkins as far as the eye can see….bliss.*

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Crappy iPhone shot of me & my favorite pumpkin…ha!

Have I mentioned I love fall??  🙂

What’s your favorite fall activity?

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Colorful Quilting

Well hello again!  We’re at another Wednesday!  Halfway through the week and to our first “official” fall weekend!  I hope you all have hay rides, corn mazes, and apple picking fun planned for this weekend.  I know I do.  🙂

I did take a little bit of a blogging break this week…  I meant to post on Monday after I got back from Orlando, but — other than a few hours at my day job — I pretty much slept the whole day.  Man, I don’t know how you all do it!  One full day at Disney had me wiped, let alone multiple days in a row!  Plus, whew, I forgot how hot it is there…I’m not cut out for high-intensity Disney vacationing.  Ha!  I did have a great time, though.  Like I mentioned, as a former Cast Member, Disney World will always have a special place in my heart.  Just maybe next time I’ll visit in the winter…  😉

So, I do have a very exciting sort-of, kind-of FO to share with you today.  The almost chilly weather we’ve been getting here in Kentucky has got me in hyperdrive thinking about all of the things I need to prepare for what is bound to be a cold, snowy winter.  (We’ve already had the mitten discussion…)

A couple of weeks ago — on a whim — I bought fabric to make a Halloween quilt, thanks to the enabling of my fellow crafty Instagrammers.  I chose a super easy non-pattern to ensure that I would actually have this done in time for Halloween.  (You’ll never believe this, but sometimes I procrastinate…  *gasp*)  And wouldn’t you know, my sewing mojo kicked in full force, and I made this quilt top start-to-finish in about 3 days.  (It’s only a throw size, though…so this is probably only impressive speed to me.)

Have a look-see:

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It’s a pretty simple 8-piece rectangle pattern, with no real rhyme or reason to the patch placement.  Let’s just say I let my creative juices decide the layout.  As you can see, it’s just the quilt top as of now.  I don’t have the skill or equipment to quilt it myself currently, so I’m going to take it to the local fabric store for quilting.  I’m really excited about how it turned out!  It’s random, fun, colorful, and spooky.  Can’t wait to cuddle up in it this fall!  🙂

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Had a little sneaky friend trying to spy on my photo shoot.  Cutie.  😛

Lastly, I want to send out a big thank you to the wonderful Danie and Susie of the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin Podcast for their lovely compliments about my yarn on their most recent episode!  It’s always such a treat to hear that people truly enjoy what I make.  🙂  Also, if you’re a listener of their podcast, you can be on the look-out for a skein of my ‘Police Box’ Glitter Sock yarn as a prize in their Legend-Prairie Contest soon!  (PS, Legend-Prairie…how cute is that?!)

How is your week going?

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Things I’m Loving This Week

Weekends are a great time for mindless Internet browsing, don’t you think?  For me, it’s the one time of the week where I can just veg in front of the computer, not doing anything productive, and not caring.  (Not that I don’t do this at other times of the week, but at least I don’t feel as guilty on weekends.)

Currently, I’m likely out lounging by the pool at my Disney resort…..and browsing Pinterest or Etsy on my phone.  (This is a scheduled post and I can’t tell the future [yet]…but that’s probably what’s happening).  But, hey, it’s Saturday, and Saturdays are not meant to be heavy thinking days.  So go ahead and give your brain a rest too, and take this opportunity to browse through some of the newest pretty wonders of the Internet with me.  🙂

Here’s some of the things I’m loving this week:

HocusPocusPillow

We’ve talked before about my love for Hocus Pocus…so obviously I’m obsessed with this Sarah Sanderson quote pillow.  It’d be perfect for use, mmmm…all year round.  😛  Now how can I make this for myself…..

CandyCornMousse

I just can‘t wait to try out this Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse!  A combination of my favorite stuff: cheesecake, halloween, and cute things.  AND IT LOOKS SO EASY.  Nom.

Police Box Mitts

I don’t knit nearly enough mittens…this becomes a severe problem every winter, and though I always vow to make more “next year”, I never do…  I guess I just don’t find knitting mittens “fun” enough.  But I’m just smitten with these Police Box Mitts — (surprise, surprise…) — so maybe mittens will actually happen this year.  (Though, being honest…probably not.  Ha!)

Flannel

I am just fascinated by this unique, dressy way of wearing flannel in the fall.  Flannel is one of my favorite fall go-tos, but it always seems way to casual for anything except the grocery store…  But this look is classic, comfy, and chic enough to wear even to work.  Bliss.  🙂

The Heretic's Daughter

This time of year always makes me crave a good read about the Salem Witch Trials.  This book — The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent — is a definite must-read for the season.  Based on a true story (and written by a descendant), this tale is about a young girl and her mother fighting for their lives at the beginning of one of the most fascinating, devastating times in American history.

What are you loving this week?

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I Take it Back

Well, after overwhelming opposition to my negative opinion of my “oops” skein (from last post as well as Instagram), I decided not to over-dye.  Looking at it Sunday morning with fresh eyes…I may have been wrong to judge it so harshly initially.  I broke my own rule — appreciate it for what it is.

So now, my ‘Oops’ color-way has been re-skeined, and has a new name…say hello to ‘Celestial‘.

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Upon second glance, I can see what everyone is talking about.  The weird mix of jewel-tone colors over-layed with black does give this yarn a beautiful, space-like appearance — an effect that is enhanced even more by the sparkle in the yarn, (difficult to see in photo…).

I now officially renounce and retract my initial criticism…this is a gorgeous yarn.  🙂

In addition to this new one-of-a-kind beauty, I’ve also got several other new color-way experiments from this weekend that went waaaay right.

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Anna‘ — Wanderer Sock

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Sanderson Sisters‘ — Glitter Sock

I have to say, as much as I love Frozen, I’m just giddy about how ‘Sanderson Sisters’ turned out.  I’m a 90s kid fo sho, and Hocus Pocus remains to this day one of my favorite Halloween movies.  (I’ve watched it three times already this year.  Shhh….)

Every once in a while, I get a little burdened by hand-dyeing yarn…  It is a pretty high-maintenance process.  But this past weekend, I had so much fun with it.  I can’t wait to dye another batch.  🙂

What have you made recently?

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Sometimes You Get it Wrong…

Remember when I said that dyeing is an art form you almost can’t mess up?  Yeah, that ‘almost’ kicked me right in the pants this week…..

I really like experimenting with dyeing.  Trying interesting combinations often comes out with beautiful, interesting results.  But experimenting is not without risks…  Case in point:

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This yarn was dyed with the leftover bits from yesterday’s dyeing session.  It’s made up of various jewel tones, mixed with black and pops of white, and is dyed on my Glitter Sock base.  (I won’t even tell you what I was going for…you’d laugh.  Ha!)  It’s definitely very interesting, and part of me kinda likes it.  But, let’s be honest…it ain’t cute.  I’m calling this my ‘Oops’ color way.  😛  (Thankfully, the other seven skeins I dyed yesterday turned out beautifully, with some *new* color-ways in the mix!)

Weird as it sounds, I’m kind of glad for this result.  Hey, if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t learning…right?  This will be a great lesson in over-dyeing and expanding my “color vision.”  I’m gonna toss this one back in the pot today and over-dye with black.  With the sparkle of the yarn, I actually have high hopes for the ultimate result.  We’ll see!


So, now that we’ve discussed my newest “oops”, let’s talk about some things I’m loving this week.

What I’m stalking/buying…

  • Really enjoying seeing all of the posts on the Commuter Knitter TLMYC Giveaway thread on Ravelry!  It’s very informative to see the opinions of my (potential) buyers.  [If you’re a CK listener and haven’t entered the giveaway yet, make sure to get your entry in before October 7!]
  • Drooling over Bethany’s new Lopapeysa cardigan!  (Bethany blogs over at prettylittlefiberco and always has the most amazing photos of her FOs.)  I have anxiety just thinking about steeking, though, so a sweater like this will not be happening in my life anytime soon….
  • Itching to cast on with my newest sock stash acquisition: It’s a Dead Man’s Party.  (Yes, I have a separate stash for sock yarn…what of it?)  Halloween, come to me.
  • Thanks to the enabling of Ashley of NomadicYarns (ashiepoo22 on Instagram), this awesome Hocus Pocus t-shirt is now making its way to my house!

What I’m watching:

  • CRIMINAL MINDS!  How did I not know about this show before?!  I’m hooked.  Thank you, Netflix!  (9 seasons streaming now!)
  • Doctor Who — who else is SUPER terrified/excited for tonight’s episode?!
  • Outlander…’nough said.

What I’m reading:

  • Switching Time by Richard Baer.  This is the thrilling, touching story of a woman who was abused so terribly as a child that she created 17 different personalities in order to cope.  It’s entirely fascinating and I can’t put it down…

What have you been loving this week?

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WIP Wednesday

So, for a knitting blog, it’s kinda been a while since I’ve really talked about knitting…  Let’s fix that.  

But before we get into what I’ve got on the needles, I want to say a quick thank you to Jen of the Commuter Knitter Podcast!  A couple of weeks ago, I sent Jen some of my Wanderer Sock yarn in my Exploding TARDIS color-way for her to try out, and she has given me a lovely review on her newest episode!

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 If you’re a knitter and podcast listener and haven’t listened to Commuter Knitter yet, I HIGHLY suggest that you do.  It’s one of my most favorites.  I especially suggest you listen to Episode 78 though…there may be a giveaway and TLMYC coupon code as well!  🙂


 

Now let’s get into knitting…

Last I updated you on my own personal knitting, I had just finished my Imagine When shawl.  But what have I been working on since then?  Not surprisingly…too many things…  

Project #1:  My main project right now, which I’ve mentioned only briefly, is the Essential Cardigan by Hannah Fettig.  Having such a quantity of luscious alpaca yarn from my trip to Peru, (highlighted in this post), I knew I had to get a sweater on the needles.

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Even though I’ve been a serious knitter for about 5 years, this is actually my first adult sweater project.  (Eek!!)  I’ve always felt that sweaters were too big of a commitment…  “What if I mess up?  What if it doesn’t fit??  Plus, buying that much yarn at one time is super expensive…  No thanks, I’ll stick to socks.”  However, I’ve taken the plunge…and as anxious as I had been about the process, it seems to be going pretty well.  Not really much more complex than any other project…  (All of you seasoned sweater knitters say it together: DUH!  :P)

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At this point, I’m past the raglan increases and dividing for the sleeves, and now I’m just knitting down the body with minimal waist shaping.  Easy peasy.  I can’t wait for this to be finished so I can cuddle in it!

Project #2: For those of you who are already Outlander fans, this is not news…  (For those that aren’t (yet) fans of the series…get on that.)  Currently, to celebrate the premiere of the Outlander TV series on Starz, several podcasters have gotten together to host an Outlander KAL (aka #kiltmenowKAL).  Being a huge Jamie Fraser fan myself, I knew I had to participate in this one…so, I cast on another Outlander Cowl by Andee Fagan.

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Outlander Cowl project in its cozy Halloweenie bag.  (PS: it’s twin is listed in my Etsy shop!)

I’ve made this cowl once before a few months ago but this pattern is so potato-chippy, that as soon as I cast off the first one, I wanted to cast on another.  (THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME.)  Though I didn’t cast another one of these cozy cowls on immediately, I jumped at this KAL as a reason to make another.

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As you can see, I’m not very far into it yet…I pretty much only work on it when I watch Outlander.  But I definitely like how it’s turning out.  This one is being made from one skein of KnitPicks Stroll Fingering in the color way Inkwell Tonal, (but I call it Wicked Stepmother).

Project #3 & #4: Lastly in the rotation are these two pairs of socks, which I’m knitting out of two different colors of my own hand-dyed yarn.

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Top: Hermione’s Everyday Socks in SweetTreat (Wanderer Sock)

Bottom: Vanilla socks in Police Box (Essential Sock)

Both of these yarns are currently available in my Etsy shop as well, if you’re interested…but I wanted to see for myself how they knit up.  So far, I’m a fan.  🙂

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Close up of Sweet Treat, Wanderer Sock (available on Etsy here)

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Close up of Police Box, Essential Sock (available on Etsy here — PS: only one left in stock!!)

These photos actually portray SweetTreat as a little too “orange-ish”…it’s really a lighter blend of yellow, orange, and white.  Very Halloween-y.  🙂  These are going slowly right now, actually, because I’ve misplaced my circular sock needles…  But there are more on the way, so hopefully I can get these going again soon.

FO:  Last, but not least, I have a finished object to share!  Not knitting — but knitting related.

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If you’re a fellow Disney maniac, you may just recognize these patterns….  

Welcome Foolish Mortals to the Haunted Mansion!  Mwahahaha!

For four months following my graduation from undergrad, before I headed off to grad school, I participated in the Disney College Program, and got the incredible honor of working at one of Walt Disney’s most classic attractions: The Haunted Mansion.  When I came across these Haunted Mansion fabrics on Spoonflower, I knew they must be mine.

So far, these have been sitting in my fabric stash waiting for the perfect project for over a year…but I finally decided it was time to make something.  So, what did I make?  A project bag, of course!  (Can’t have too many, amiright?)

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This spooky bag utilizes fabric matching the “bats” wallpaper from the Haunted Mansion ride, and the green/black fabric of the Mansion Cast Member’s costumes.  Safe to say, I’m in love.

This one will not be listed in my Etsy shop, as I only had enough fabric for one…  But there are lots of others in my shop if this sparks your Halloween spirit!


 

Well, that’s all the projects I have to share today.  If I’m being honest…that’s not all the WIPs I have.  But I won’t bore you with the snoozer projects, and there may be a couple of design ideas going that I need to keep secret.  😉  

What are your current WIPs?

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