Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Big Tidy!

“Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.”
~ Gustave Flaubert

Time to start the annual house purge...

Every year after Christmas it's nice to do a big "sort and tidy". Out with the tree and decorations, in with the organization. A place for everything and everything in its place.

When in doubt, throw it out... is my motto today.

My office is a disaster!

Wish me luck!



Making space so magic can happen.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snowman Counter Attack

At the last booksigning I did I showed kids how to make stamps out of craft foam. It was tons of fun and I was impressed how creative some of the kids were.

I also showed how to fold a piece of paper to make a little book so we could tell a story with our stamps....

Stories are awesome.



“Live, and be happy, and make others so.” ~ Mary Shelley

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cookie Avalanche!

In a fit of domestic mania that Martha Stewart and Snow White would envy, I made three batches of cookies this afternoon. 

I blame this book. I got it when I was five and learned to bake my first cookies from it.  The illustrations are really cute. It also shows boys cooking, and who doesn't love that?

Here we have Peanut Crispies, Fudge Crinkles (made from a fudge cake mix) and Sugar Cookies with chocolate chips. I did all the mixing in the food processor so it only took about an hour to make all three kinds.

 I wanted to take some to my mom's house so I turned the empty cake mix box inside out, taped the corners and stamped the cover with stars. Instant container!

 A sweet treat, don't you think. :-)

Here's a screenshot of the Fudge Crinkles recipe from the Betty Crocker webpage. Super easy. I didn't even mess with chilling the dough or rolling balls in powdered sugar. I just spooned the dough onto parchment paper and ten minutes later... yummers!

Now I have six batches of frozen cookie dough ready to bake. Bring it on, December!

Do you like to cook? Who taught you? How did you learn?

Warm thoughts,



Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~ Harriet Van Horne

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Japanese Market Bag Tutorial

I was wandering around the internet and saw these lovely lightweight cloth bags for sale in Japan.  They are called azuma bukuro. I stared at them and folded paper for about a half an hour and then came up with a pattern. Then I found out that there are lots of tutorials out there to make them if you look around.

The original bags are lightweight fabric and are tied at the top for handles. I wanted to try a heavyweight fabric. So here's my version...

Here's the finished bag made from an upholstery fabric remnant and some printed cotton for the lining.

Happy Sewing! 



bri·co·lage noun \ˌbrē-kō-ˈläzh, ˌbri-\

Definition of BRICOLAGE

: construction (as of a sculpture or a structure of ideas) achieved by using whatever comes to hand; also : something constructed in this way

French, from bricoler to putter about
First Known Use: 1964 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Two Vogue Patterns ~ The Curvy Closet Sewing Club

Things have been busy here at the Curvy Closet Sewing Club.

I made a sun hat which came out a little floppy. Kinda sporty, don't you think? I bought some heavier facing and will be making another one. ~ Vogue 8405

It's been inelegantly hot here this last week so I made this arctic fleece coat this morning because it was a cooling thought. I am ready for rain and cold mornings now. The fleece is wonderfully soft, it's like wearing a cashmere baby blanket. I'll most likely use it for an upscale slanket. It's the perfect thing for curling up with a cup of tea. The pattern was super simple. ~ Vogue 8930

It does look a little like a rhinoceros hide though.

In those days the Rhinoceros's skin fitted him quite tight. There were no wrinkles in it anywhere. He looked exactly like a Noah's Ark Rhinoceros, but of course much bigger. All the same, he had no manners then, and he has no manners now, and he never will have any manners.  

From How The Rhinoceros Got His Skin by Rudyard Kipling

So any chilly morning when I don't feel like having manners, I shall wear my coat and feel most sentimental.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Annie makes French Toast

My awesome friend Annie came over yesterday and made French Toast. It was perfect.

 She scraped a vanilla bean in to the egg mixture and then did the toast in cocoanut oil. She also brought maple infused balsamic vinegar which went well with the raspberries.

Food this lovely and company this delightful deserves the Bunnykins plates. 

 Coffee, cranberry juice, tea... practically perfect in every way.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? 
How did it exist? 
I am glad I was not born before tea.

~ Sydney Smith, 1855

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Handmade Pens for sale!

The Wonderhub has been making a lot of beautiful things on the lathe this summer. They are really lovely and feel good in your hand when you use them.


iPad Stylus

  iPad stylus made out of Black Limba = $ 30 plus five dollars shipping in the US



Corian Ballpoint Pen and Pencil

  Ballpoint Pen made out of Corian = $ 30 plus five dollars shipping in the US
  Matching Corian Pencil = $30




Seam Ripper


Lovely Seam ripper = $ 35 plus five dollars shipping in the US




Cuban Pens

"Cuban" Ballpoint Pen made out of Spalted Cherry = $ 40 plus five dollars shipping in the US

"Cuban" Ballpoint Pen made out of Spalted Maple = $ 40 plus five dollars shipping in the US

"Cuban" Ballpoint Pen made out of Tortoiseshell Acrylic = $ 40 plus five dollars shipping in the US

"Cuban" Ballpoint Pen made out of African Blackwood = $ 40 plus five dollars shipping in the US

Cuban Options!


Coronado Pens

"Coronado" Ballpoint Pen made out of Maple Burl = $ 40 plus five dollars shipping in the US = SOLD

"Coronado" Ballpoint Pen made out of Spalted Maple = $ 40 plus five dollars shipping in the US

Coronado Options!


Carefully packed and shipped from Casa Del Aguas in California. Let me know if I can answer any questions.



 In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people's lives.  ~ Anatole Broyard


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lavender Tote Bag

Yesterday I slipped over to the Dorell Fabric Outlet and picked up this bit of lovely... for free.

They have two big bins filled with free fabric remnants. The first one is free, others are two bucks a piece. I also bought a piece of fake suede.

I was inspired by this pattern on "Weekend Designer" an awesome blog with all kinds of free lovely patterns and advice. Go check it out. I'll wait. (Though it may take you an hour or two, there is so much glorious stuff there.)

Once I got home I started cutting and we were off to the races...

 The fabric was a lovely light purple, the color Arwen might wear.

The bag came out okay. The overall shape is a little big and boxy, great for carrying books or art supplies but incongruous for such a feminine fabric. I may add a few outside pockets for cell phones and pens and sew on some foofy bits like lace or something. I don't know. What I was most experimenting with was how the thick and thin fabrics worked together.

I did the lining in matching plum colored linen.

Dorell also had a remnant of this strange fabric that I really liked for five dollars. I just don't know what I'd do with it. I may go back a snag it if I can think of something. There was about a yard and a half. Suggestions, anyone?

Sewing mania continues. What's next? Time will tell.... Marilyn

In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running.  ~Jeff Bezos

Monday, August 5, 2013

M&L Fabric Superstore

Thread is flying in the Toymaker's Workshop. I'm working on my first sewn toy pattern, something simple for kids to make.

Yesterday I went to M&L fabric warehouse in Anaheim. It's a supermaket of fabric.

I could have gone crazy but I like to have a pattern in mind before I start loading up on material.

I thought this strange bird fabric was cool but didn't buy it because I couldn't think of anything to make with it. Maybe the lining of a jacket? What do you think? Suggestions?

I also liked this teal print  too, but again, wasn't sure what to make with it so I put it back.

These are the three fabrics that I ended up buying teal knit for a top, pink satin to make my mom a pillowcase and a yard of paprika colored lace to use for trim.

I made this yesterday, a long knit lightweight jacket in cranberry with plum voile trim. Snazzy! Bring on the cold weather.

May your seams be straight!



I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~  Unknown

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Curvy Closet Sewing Club.

We are all about the manias here at Casa Del Aguas. The boy is out in the garage working on a giant orc axe. The Wonderhub has been practicing surf guitar and building ukuleles. I've been learning to sew clothes.

 Burda patterns are kind of cryptic but worth the extra effort. The ones that I've done have nice quirky touches that make it worth sorting through the scattered instructions and lack of little triangles to match pieces up.

I know this is monochromatic. I'd normally pair the grey top with a bright scarf and jewelry. And the pants are just flannel PJs that I'll wear with a teeshirt.

I have ten to twelve more yards of this purple color in linen and cotton.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it all yet. And below is some of the things that I'm working on. The scoop neck top is don. I'm going to try the knit pants next.

 Here's a page listening what fabric I have left. I have tons of patterns that I get on sale for a buck or two. I've found that Simplicity patterns live up to their names. I've also been hacking each pattern a little bit to adjust the fit. The peasant top that I made was voluminous so I sewed a stretch of elastic in the back to nip in a waist. The thing that I would like to learn is what makes larger size clothing look good. I'm on a mission!

Do you sew? Anyone have any tips? Is there a trick to folding patterns back up? To me they seem like the devil. Anyone have a really fancy machine that they love? Tell me your story.

Sew on! Marilyn.


"One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it." ~ Gabourey Sidibe