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August 2007
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October 2007

September 2007

barcelona skirts

I already know this skirt set will be an all-time favorite. Kind of like that dress my mom bought me when I was twelve that I still wear. Often. Well, world ... get used to seeing me in this skirt/apron get-up!
barcelona skirts front view
barcelona skirts back view
barcelona skirts reversed
The apron overlay is completely reversible! Did I mention that I've fallen in love with this skirt? The sewing was simple enough, if you know how to sew in a zipper. Even if you don't - no need to despair. Amy explains it all in layman's terms.

You can get the pattern over at Sew, Mama, Sew.


recreational entomology and other news

tap dancing moth 2
First off in today's news, a tap dancing moth has been spotted through an (embarrassingly) dirty window. "The moth continued its little jig for several glorious minutes," stated a big, fat cat who was located on the other side of the window. To which a little cat responded, "I didn't know that you knew what 'glorious' meant. I'm flabbergasted."
tobacco hornworm 2
Also in entomology, the Tobacco Hornworm, a notoriously gluttonous grub, has made an appearance in Creel, Mexico. While wooing young children and their teacher with its flashy, green garb and extreme obesity, the Tobacco Hornworm surreptitiously and single-handedly destroyed a potato plant.

And in crafting news ...

Superbuzzy is having a sale! 20-40 % off awesome Japanese prints, including canvas for your reading pillows!

Amanda of Soulemama has launched her new website, which features excerpts of her book, The Creative Family, which is coming out in March.

Karla, a good friend and fellow Montessori teacher, has published an excellent tutorial for a wallet-sized fold-up fabric shopping bag on Whip Up.

And if you hadn't already heard, My Half of the Brain is a blog that collects crafting tutorials from all over cyberspace and directs you to them. Brilliant! Be sure to add it to your reader.

Finally, in blogging news, yours truly has given her blog a much needed make-over.

"I was feeling frumpy," stated Miss Montessori By Hand. "And I was feeling frustrated that none of the medium-sized flickr photos fit me. I just wasn't wide enough."

After listening to Miss Hand's needs, yours truly fiddled with her HTML code, gave her a new banner, and added a google site search bar so that Miss Hand's visitors can easily find what they are looking for.

"I feel like a new blog!" beamed Miss Hand.

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something's up my sleeve

child's art smock
I've been working on a child's art smock pattern for the last week or so. Wonder what this teacher does with little bits and pieces of her spare moments? Here's a peek:
Montessori By Hand Child's Art Smock
I'll be working on writing up the pattern this weekend. Lately I've been able to get a good deal of pattern design on the time card because my husband is spending all of his "leisure time" applying to grad school. Maybe, just maybe, the child's art smock will be available in a fortnight or so ... a blink of an eye and a few twirls of the hourglass!

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adios warmth

hand washing laundry
The days of having the children's washing table outside are numbered, I fear. Yesterday I came home to Mr. Montessori By Hand who was donning a fleece ski hat and a jacket. (And this was inside! I guess it's his Florida upbringing.)

Like many of you, the earlier sunset and the occasional cool wind have made me itch to get out the knitting needles. Crafting priorities change around this time of year. Here's what I have twirling about in my mental clockwork:

scarf and hat set : quilted throw a la Amy Karol : hand sewn quilt for my bed : set of holiday stockings : over-the-knee socks from this book : lots of embroidery and appliqué.

All of these endeavors are best accompanied by a warm mug of piloncillo tea, which wins my vote for one of the 7 wonders of Mexico.

To make two servings, add about 1/4 cone of piloncillo, 5 cloves, and a stick of cinnamon to a tea kettle filled with 3 cups of water. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and continue until the piloncillo has dissolved. Pour yourself a hot mug-full.

I'll be making some tonight as we wait for hurricane Henrietta to pass over us.



pocket/stuff sack tutorial

Once again, fat cat was cajoled into this whole baby carrier photo shoot thing ... this time with a heavenly chin scratch. Little cat would have nothing to do with it.
cajoled cat sporting new mei tai
The Heather Ross fabric was looking at me while batting its Russian doll eyelashes, so I made another mei tai for this tutorial. However, you can add this kind of a pocket/stuff sack onto just about anything, from your already-made mei tai carriers to picnic blankets and outerwear - anything that you want to make portable and easily stowed away in a purse. Thanks to Katharine for the inspiration - check out the link to see her version of the mei tai pocket/stuff sack.

While Katharine used a zippered pocket, the one in this tutorial is zipper-free and really easy to add on to your mei tai. It shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes max.

final pocket stuff sack 3
1.) Cut out two rectangles of fabric 11 in. x 15 in. Place them with their right sides facing together (if you have a directional print like my fabric, place one "upside down.")
mei tai pocket pouch 001
2.) Sew around all edges, leaving an opening on one of the 11 inch sides for turning. Turn right side out and press. Now fold the top 5 inches and pin. Flip over the entire pocket and pin in place on the carrier. (The folded part will be sandwiched between the pocket and the carrier, and not visible until it turns into the stuff sack.)
mei tai pocket pouch 002
mei tai pocket pouch 003
3.) Topstitch around the three edges of the pocket. In doing so, you will close the opening at the bottom that you left for turning. Be sure to reinforce these seams, especially towards the top edges of the pocket.

*Notice here that I made another variation to the original pattern with this Russian doll mei tai ... I removed the nursing shield in favor of a more rectangular look, while still maintaining a slight curve and headrest at the top. That's the great thing about this pattern - once you get the general idea, you can modify it to fit your needs! (My need this time being making the mei tai body out of a measly half-yard of this precious fabric!)

Here's how to covert the pocket into a stuff sack:

Turn the pocket inside out.
final pocket stuff sack
mei tai pocket pouch 031
Flip over the top.
final pocket stuff sack 2
Place in your purse or use as a mini pillow!

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giveaway winners and a 3-day sale!

admiring a flower
Comments closed at 11:50 a.m. mountain time, and here's what the random number generator conjured up:
46 82 114
Congratulations fiberfairy, sharon, and lynn in tucson! Please email me your choice of pattern and I will send you the file lickety-split. (montessorirevolution(at)

Truth be told, I just couldn't restrict myself to three giveaways. Your comments were so lovely and uplifting that I've decided to give everyone a little post-giveaway gift! Visit the pattern store and enter the following discount code (at checkout) to receive 30% off of your purchase!


The sale will close on Tuesday evening, September 4th.

And really, don't you think the world would be a better place if everyone had their own reading pillow? :)

If you are one of the awesome people who have already purchased all three of my patterns, not to worry! You will be able to receive my upcoming pattern designs at a discounted price. Expect more patterns within the month, such as a child's painting smock and the Montessori classroom pattern kit.

Add your email to my mailing list (in the sidebar) to be notified of future sales, giveaways, and new patterns.

I'm off to do some pattern designing, as Mr. Montessori By Hand is gone fishin'.

Thanks for your kindness and support,