Christmas + Mouse Tags font + Quilting


Some of our stockings didn’t really coordinate with the new Christmas tree skirt and we had a little fabric left over, so, with a little help from a free fun font called “Mouse Tags“, we were able to make new stockings!

DIY Disney graphics Christmas stocking

We took a basic stocking pattern and cut it out.  Then printed off icons from the Mouse Tags font at about a 400 pt. size.  With a light box underneath, we laid the stocking on top of the printed icons and used disappearing ink to trace the design.  We quilted it in matching grey thread and then assembled the stockings using the Cluck Cluck Sew Stocking Tutorial.

DIY Disney graphics Christmas stocking

One stocking has the Polynesian Resort icon.

DIY Disney graphics Christmas stocking

The other has the sorcerer’s hat.

Disney Knits are Here!


It doesn’t take much to find Disney fabrics in every substrate from fleece to quilting cotton, but the one thing that has been missing has been cotton knits.  FINALLY, they are available, but so far, we’ve only seen them online.   Disney knit fabric

These knits are a light to medium weight cotton knit that is substantial enough that it is not see through, but are light enough knits that the fabric edges curl up after washing.  They are a good weight for t-shirts, but not leggings, etc.

This shirt is the Oliver and S Field Trip Raglan pattern sewn with the Many Faces of Mickey fabric we purchased from and black cotton jersey from Hancocks Fabrics.

Disney knit fabric

This shirt is a basic t-shirt pattern split diagonally in the front and back so we could use both the Anna Sketch fabric and Elsa Sketch fabric together.  This fabric was also ordered from

The fabrics are 58″ wide and were listed at $12.98/yard.  They are made by Springs Creative who is the manufacturer of the Disney fabrics at Joanns/Hancocks, etc., so hopefully, those stores will start to carry some of the knits in the near future.


Disney Viewfinder Christmas Tree Skirt


Disney Viewfinder Christmas Tree skirt

It’s beginning to look and feel like Christmas and this year, we have a new Christmas tree skirt.  The idea was to make one that looked kind of like a Disney viewfinder reel.

The pictures in the viewfinder reel are all paper pieced quilt blocks sized to 10″ square.  Most of the patterns are available free on the fabulous Fandom in Stitches website.   It is a treasure trove of paper piecing and embroidery patterns for fans of everything from Harry Potter to the Muppets to Disney characters.  Alice in Wonderland was a previously untested pattern from the very generous and talented Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting.  In addition to her patterns, she has held a year long “Stretch Your Skills” series that has been really fun to learn from.

Here are what some of the blocks that Alida designed look like closer up:

Pluto paper pieced quilt block

Pluto was a relatively easy block to make if you have any paper piecing experience.

Mickey Mouse paper pieced quilt block

I didn’t do a good job picking a background for Mickey because his white gloves don’t show up well enough, but it seemed like a lot of work to go back and remake it, so it is staying put.

Alice in Wonderland paper pieced quilt block

Alice was a challenge to say the least.  The pieces are TINY and there are so many of them that this was the most difficult block of them all.  But, Isabella had such a fun experience with Alice in Wonderland on our last visit to Disney World, so I persevered.

Here’s hoping that it looks good under the Christmas tree with the Monorail running around it!


Mickey Mouse Pumpkin Carving!


Check out our Mickey Mouse pumpkin for Halloween this year!

Mickey Mouse pumpkin

We created this Mickey pumpkin out of three different pumpkins, one big one for the head and two small for the ears.  We soaked all the pumpkins in a bleach solution before carving and soaked the big pumpkin again after carving.

Mickey Mouse pumpkin

We used a pumpkin surface carving kit by Pumpkin Masters (found at Hobby Lobby) to carve the Mickey Mouse face.  We then drilled two holes in the side of the big pumpkin and one hole each in the two small pumpkins.  We inserted a dowel in each hole on the big pumpkin and stuck the small pumpkins on the dowel to hold everything in place.

Happy Halloween!

A Disney Photographic Timeline


The other day, our family was talking about how many times each of us had been to Disney parks.  For my husband, whose 1st visit was in 1955, the only record of it is a notation in his baby book saying that he had his first train ride there.  As a southern Californian, he went many times as a child, but there are no photographs of the visits.

Before our daughter was born, I had been to Disney World 2 times previously, but there is only 1 picture that I am in since I am usually the person behind the camera.

Most of our daughter’s Disney experiences have at least SOME record of her having been there, but looking at HOW I recorded her park visits is a little cringe-inducing now.

scrapbook page

Take a look at this page for instance.  Remember cutting photos into shapes and using decorative scissors?  It screams 1995 which is exactly when it was made.  At least I remembered to save the $22 Disneyland paper ticket!  That said, it might be time to make a new album of her Disney visits with just a little more modern look.  Perhaps, say, keeping the photographs square or rectangles?!  And maybe no decorative scissors?!

Fortunately, I still have all of my negatives safely stored in archival sleeves in binders.


I don’t have a film scanner, but, as an Android user, there is a great free app called the Helmut Film Scanner that works simply and effectively with reasonable photo quality.  Take for instance, this photo of our dog meeting Mickey at a relay race.  This is a 35 mm scan with no sharpening, color correction, etc. done prior to or after the scan.

Border Collie meets Mickey Mouse

As I scanned negatives, I started keeping a tally of how many photographs were taken during each Disney visit.  The increase is staggering.

1992 – 9  (daughter’s first visit to Disneyland.)

1993 – 8

1994 – 22

1995 – 6 (birthday trip to DL with friend)

1996 – 3

1998 – 26 (first trip to WDW)

1999 – 2

2001 – 16

2003 – 59 (film + digital)

2010 – 513 (all digital from here on)

2012 – 76 (half marathon only)

2013 – 769

2014 – 1242

The ease of digital photography now means that everyone in our family has a way to capture memories and the quality of most of the images is really excellent.  The job of sorting through, editing, and laying out pages for scrapbooks and photo books is a lot more daunting though than the years where 4 or 5 pictures per trip was all you came home with.

Wonderful World of Disney Sewing – Experimenting


When you are out on a run and your mind is wandering, it is easy to come up with some crazy ideas that you can’t wait to get home to try out.  That is the genesis of this next top.


When we purchased the letter buttons for the corduroy jacket, they came with a set of colored buttons with the same letters.    We had some fabric at home that looked ok with the button colors so decided to try the free Izzy top pattern from Climbing the Willow.  But, we wanted to add a little twist to the bodice to tie it in with the MICKEY buttons.

The crazy running idea was to see if it was possible to make a Mickey head with honeycomb smocking.  I drew dots in a circle at 2 points along the radius for a Mickey head and Mickey ears.  Then, I did honeycomb smocking of the head first and then ears.  I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but the fabrics were leftover pieces from some old quilt projects, so it was no cost if it didn’t work.


The dots for the outer perimeter of the circles were 1/4 inch apart.  If I were doing it again, I would place them closer together.

After the honeycomb smocking was done, I basted around the shape of the Izzy pattern top to hold the fabric in place and then cut it out.  The bodice is lined, so the back of the smocking is covered.

Free pattern, leftover fabric, and an idea that kind of worked!  Guess that means we better lace up our running shoes and head back out.

Wonderful World of Disney Sewing – Winter Jacket



You know how it is . . . you go into the fabric store just for a zipper and another cute Disney fabric lures you in!  This time it was at Hancock’s where we spotted this Mickey and Friends Cupcakes fine wale corduroy fabric.

We already had a pattern at home – Simplicity 1477 which is an adorable fox or raccoon jacket pattern that I bought last year.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 9.08.03 AM

It only took a little modification to make the pattern suit the cupcake fabric.


Instead of fox or raccoon ears, we made Mickey ears for the hood!

The jacket is lined and interfaced with fusible fleece, so should be plenty warm for southern winters.  Choosing the lining was a dilemma.  All the typical lining materials were too dull looking for such a whimsical jacket.  So, when we spotted some wonderfully soft brushed back princess themed satin in the perfect shade of pink, we went for it.


It does kind of look like an explosion of pink and Disney, but that sounds like just the kind of thing that a 3 year old would love to wear!

Wonderful World of Disney Sewing – Princesses


This has been a good year for finding Disney fabrics that are a little more artistic and subtle than the usual cartoonish fabrics that have always been available.


The first top is made from the Children’s Corner Abbie pattern.  It is a lined tunic that sewed together very quickly.  The fabric is called Fashionable Princesses Word Badge and was from Joann’s Fabrics.  This kind of fabric seems to show up randomly there and disappears pretty quickly. 0817151439

The second top is the Oliver and S Puppet Show Tunic made with another Joann’s find.  The Disney fabric this time is Disney Watercolor Princess Patch.  Again, I only saw this fabric one time at Joann’s and haven’t seen it since.

It’s great to see Disney licensing different styles of fabric, but now, it would be nice to see the manufacturer/distributors branch out and offer a greater variety of substrates other than fleece and quilting weight cotton.

Disney Envelope Art – Anna


Another little “happy” headed out in the mail for Isabella.  This time the manila envelope is decorated with Anna from Frozen.

Disney envelope art - Anna

There are some great video tutorials for drawing Disney characters on the Disney Parks blog.  This sketch was from that series of tutorials.

Another Gift for the Minimalist Disney Lover


It’s always a challenge to find gifts for people who don’t like to accumulate more possessions, so, as we shared in the last post, we like to give each other the gift of an experience.

We thought it would be hard to top the fun we had sampling our way through Epcot, but our daughter came up with yet another great gift idea for our last Disney trip – our very own “Magical” app!

Now, it does help if your daughter is in the midst of getting a PhD in computer science for this gift.  But, it also helps that she knows a lot about Disney.  This year, she made an Android app that led us on a scavenger hunt through Epcot so we could experience things we might not usually notice.

Magical Disney Android app

We have been to Epcot many times, but never even noticed the first stop on the scavenger hunt – the Coca Cola tasting area where you could sample sodas from around the world.  Let’s just say, the Beverly was unique.

Fiesta de Navidad Epcot

Other stops included everything from participating in the Fiesta de Navidad in Mexico to guessing which of the totem poles in Canada was wood.

Magical Disney Android app

The coordinates were all programmed in for each stop (including to the wooden totem pole) and all we had to do was follow the arrow.

Looks like the signal is strong in the back yard.  That must mean we need another trip!