Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cleaning up and zonked kid

We had another long day today. Esme actually slept in some this morning, until nearly nine! She is usually up by seven rearing to go. By eleven a.m. she wanted to go see Grandma. I finished the green outfit for Esme but have to take up the bottom hem of the skirt some, so it's back on the sewing machine. It was nearly warm enough today for her to need a tank top and shorts. After bopping around Grandma's house for several hours we came back home and Daddy was making breadcrust pizza in the kitchen. She hadn't completely finished eating that when Grandma came back down visiting to our house, and Esme showed her all of her toys and kitties and some of her books. I spent a few hours cleaning after that, including throwing her pillows in the washing machine. We made dinner and Esme was on the verge of having a giant fit when we served it up into dishes and went upstairs. Then she zonked fast asleep on her pillow, leaving her dinner mostly uneaten. That irked me a little as she did that last night, too! But she did eat quite a bit more at breakfast and lunch than usual for her - and lots of peanuts and jellybeans at Grandma's house. I think the last two days with Mom home from work she has been all OVER the place running outside and inside and hardly ever stopped!

NOTE: I saw this pojagi dress on someone else's blog -- but it looks like it could easily be made out of the pinnie pattern I made last year. Except for a few details it is nearly the exact same thing!

Got pictures put up on our USB drive to take in to be printed tomorrow. That includes a 5x7 print to send to a few relatives and lots of lake shots. Grandma, hope you would like an up-to-date for your clock picture :) Or we'll have to get you another frame!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fishing at the lake

A whole bucket of lake water!

Climbing on the paddle boat with Bunny 'babysitting.'

Sitting on the boat

Esme running with the dogs

Daddy caught a fish!

Talking to the fish

Pretending to fish with a big stick

We went fishing at the lake. I brought my camera, which is not as high-definition as Mark's but much lighter to carry.

This is a man-made lake and the fish are ones Mark's family stocked into the lake several years ago. Finally now, these fish are multiplying and the few we have caught and released seem fat, healthy and without parasites. Mark caught a large-mouthed bass and we put it in a bucket for Esme to talk to. Esme still says the fish are very pretty. There are catfish in the lake as well - but we haven't seen any of those. Mark says if we caught one in good condition he'd hope it wouldn't eat him! Esme helped Mommy release the fish off of the dock, although she was sad to see it go. She climbed on the overturned paddle boat some and got laughed at by the dogs. Esme is wearing the short sleeved dress I made the other day. After my camera battery died she began to play in the mud by the lakeshore and got herself thoroughly muddy and wet. Some time after that Daddy was done fishing and we went home to give Esme a bath and start dinner. Right now she is completely crashed on her pillow in her room -- didn't even eat much of her dinner, just zonked. I put in the fridge for her to eat later.

Earlier today I got her to eat her first bit of apple. She's always told me they are 'yuck' because she just licks the skin. I let her hug on the apple at the supermarket and bring it home with her in her carseat - then she watched me cut it into little squares (no skin) and then she enjoyed a little cup of apple 'cubes', chewing them up quite happily.

Feeling green coalesces

Little green dresses start to come together
can't you just tell the left side of the worktable is where Esme sits and plays?

I cut out the green dresses last night - and maybe will start sewing on them after we get back from town. Both of these dress tops (and unseen short sleeve pieces) came out of the fat quarters from the quilt shop in Huntingdon last time I visited. *yipe* I just didn't want to use them until I was sure the pattern was good. The green gingham was SO cute (it has little clovers in the middle of the squares) and I couldn't find any more of it :( It was an Aunt Grace reproduction fabric - and is now out of print. Lucky me to pick that one, huh? I had also bought a yard of the lighter green skirt fabric - and was able to squeak a pair of pants out of it as well. And I do mean 'squeak' - the pants pieces just barely came to the edges of the fabric that was left after cutting the back pieces and skirt out of the yard. Mark says if I dress Esme in these and let her outside we'll have to flag her with blaze orange or she'll get lost in the woods. Haha! Actually - I have a yard or so of bright orange fabric maybe I could make a coat with a tie sash around the middle so she could wear it through the woods and protect her arms from poison ivy/thorns etc...

I'll still have to look through what else I have and see what I'd like to make for two other little girls -- especially something lighter that won't be too hot to wear outside. I have fifty little zippers coming from Ebay sometime this next week (hopefully) as I'm down to mostly pink and orange ones from the last assortment of 50 I had ordered.

And I'm saving my scraps for something later on -- maybe a patchwork taken in little pieces to work.

I was cruising Crafting Japanese just now - and found these wonderful pages to save for another time:
Japanese clothing book pictures @ icewerks
Crafty Dogma's gray tunic <-- looks like I could make this for me!
some cute kid's Japanese clothes at wee wonderfuls

I was planning on going to Huntingdon again today -- but Esme needed miso soup and that is in Paris. Mark also wanted a porkchop - and that is also in Paris. So I just stopped at the WM and picked up a yard and a half of coordinating fabrics to start out my projects for the other girls. If one of them doesn't like frogs I know Esme will love to have one. So either way - someone will be wearing frogs. Esme saw my dental hygienist at the WM buying fabric for her little boy's room. Tami wanted to see Esme's teeth and Esme said 'NO WAY'. Of course she is counting down the months until she says Esme should come become a patient of theirs.. Mark is scared of dentists so he's unsure of it all. Tami said she hasn't seen my things on Etsy lately and she's right... I feel like I should make some things for the shop but then I barely have time to do what I want to do to keep (or give away specifically)... and am always worried what I make without that spark might never get a home etc.. It is a tough feeling. So mostly, the shop stays empty for the moment until that spark is true.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

fabric love

I love this new collection of fabrics from Alexander Henry, called Willow Grove. Here is a link to their search field on Etsy. There are birds and fruits and mushrooms and little villages. So cute! I can't decide if I like the browns or red ones better! And then there is this blue set, too!

This other one is yellow with giraffes - not quite as lovely up close but the thumbnails keep drawing me to it - so there is something there. Another yellow one with little kissing love birds and hearts from Michael Miller's 'Hedgehog and the big E' line.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sharing patterns

My sister-in-law called today - at the same time I was talking to my mom on the other cell phone - and Mark caught a picture. Yeep. Me on two cell phones at once when I'm usually biased against even talking on the one! She had problems with a dress pattern she is working on, but didn't know where to start or how to read the pattern. She wasn't sure what 'cut 1 on fold' meant (fold the fabric halfway, lay pattern on fold line and cut one that is twice the distance and identical on both sides. She also wanted to know what 'cut 2' was - and why it wasn't turning out right after she cut two out (she forgot to reverse one on the print fabric). I hope I straightened her out a little - she needs to go buy some more fabric tomorrow.

Mark suggested instead of just making a dress for her daughter Elizabeth - I also cut out the pieces for another one and send them together with some instructions. She will probably also need a 'in between' dress basted and tacked together so if she has any questions as to how things attach to each other she can refer to the 'model', but also take the 'model' apart easily. Between her and my mom - if there is a visual model to work with (both of them have some issues with written directions) they can figure it out. A long time ago my mom used to be a fair seamstress - learning some from my grandmother who was an excellent seamstress. I hate it the same night I offer to send her a dress because 'I just made a lot of them' is the day she has been tormenting over this pattern and her own mother wouldn't help her with it. It felt like bragging -- so I hope making her up a kit to get with my mother will make it better for them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Homemade Reminiscing

I look about at our house often and count the number of things in plain sight that I have made or recycled out of something else. Sometimes I hardly realize I'm doing it - but it always brings a nice feeling. The number of washcloths, clothing, pillows, toys, containers - every item says something about who lives here. Other items that were made by people I have known in my life...

I also think back to things that still resonate in my memory from my childhood home. I walk to those places in my memory, see them as if they were right before my eyes. The house itself was made by my grandfather - right down to the built-in cabinetry, small little doors in the walls where one would usually not expect them - a broom closet, a linen closet, a closet for garden tools by the basement door etc... Many of our household items there were handmade - curtains and couch cushions, macrame wall hangings, handpainted animal pillows on our beds, quilts made by grandma, drawings made by Mom, handcrafted benches and clothes chests and bookcases, flower pots and placemats...

Sometimes I wonder if Esme will live in a world like that as the future continues.. or if everything will become 'stock'. I hope we can give her that empowerment to alter and create. I hope to teach her to dream of what she can make her world be - using her hands and eyes, time and space...

I am still working to perfect the pattern for the raglan dress. I think I've made six now and still working to tweak a few things (haha!). I'm hoping to post it to BurdaStyle soon, a website where sewers share their patterns and projects with each other. I've posted a more complete set of instructions (with more pictures) at this link.

UPDATE: I think I did it! I made a few small alterations to the last pattern and tried it out - and it fit perfectly the first time with no fixes! YAYAYAYAYAY! I even made it a short-sleeve with no changes to the rest of the bodice. I think this pattern is ready to go 'all out', ie: make a few for other toddlers this age and see how it fits them. Plus - I'm going to make another one for Esme with the green fat quarter I was saving!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Excerpts from a handmade toddler's raglan sleeve dress

Instead of gathering the front skirt I always make a few pleats to either side of the center of the front skirt.

folding it over and putting a pin in the center of each piece

Pinning the outer edges together. This leaves a lot of skirt to be made up in between the center and the outer edge.

Make two pleats in the center of the excess, one going each direction - I guess they call this an inverted pleat? I'm not sure, but it's what I do every time.

In the end, the pleats look like this

After this I attached the arms to either side of the bodice - and then also to the back pieces. I didn't catch pictures of these steps. Next is to spread out the neckline and trace a facing for the entire neckline and back zipper area. Zigzag along the bottom edge of the facing to keep it from unraveling, then attach the facing, right sides together, to the bodice of the dress.

In this picture the blue outline is the shape of the facing I cut out of a plain fabric. The green line is where I sew when attaching the facing to the neck and back. Then I turn it right-sides out and topstitch where the dashed lines are.

I like the raglan sleeve pattern because it can be sewn all the way down the sleeve from wrist to the bottom of the skirt. Just be sure to clip out the armpit with the pinking shears before zig-zagging over the seam.

After all of that - it is just putting in the back zipper, hemming the sleeves and the bottom skirt.

And then, it's finished ;)

More complete instructions, with pictures of every step - can be found at my BurdaStyle project page :

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lots of pictures outside in the woods and at the lake

We took a walk down to our lake today, and through the woods, to Grandma's house and back. Mark was a shutterbug all the way. He also caught beautiful flower, moss, mushroom and insect pictures. We tried to feed some fish at the lake but they were off sleeping somewhere.

I have a daffodil

Oh, Hi Daddy!

walking through the woods

Our little scientist, digging in trees with sticks and uncovering rocks etc etc...

tossing rocks into the puddle while dogs eagerly watch

trying to say 'bye bye grandma' and 'have day!'
Esme loves her new purple boots, too!

A blue fungus found growing on a downed tree... very odd color!

Hyacinths in Grandma's yard

Moss: a forest in miniature

Monday, March 22, 2010

Frog Saga

Esme found a frog yesterday in the kitchen while I was at work. She told Daddy 'Ewwww!' and pointed it out to him. Mark thought it was too cold outside (40s) for a tree frog to go back outside - so he put him in a glass jar with holes punched through the top and a bunch of half-wilted daffodils with a little water at the bottom. Esme thought it was better than any other 'show' she had ever seen - she watched him and told us every time he moved and told us he had fingers and eyes and said 'ribbit.'

Today Mark let the frog outside during the warm part of the day. Esme found the jar again (empty) after I got home from work. She asked me where the froggie was - and I said he went home to be with his mom and dad. She wanted outside to look for him, wanted Daddy to go find him etc... but finally she decided she could put her plastic frog in the jar. So I washed the jar (thoroughly) and then she decided a second time that the frog didn't need to go in the jar after all - he was just as froglike as he'll ever be without being in a jar (or maybe she didn't want to lose him too?)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eating soup

Esme standing on her stepstool in the kitchen eating miso soup and loving it. She points to the kitchen cupboard and says 'eat foop peez!' 'Foop' eating gets very messy - so since she likes to stand at the counter I encourage it there until she wants to sit at the table.

We went to another local quilt shop for Camden, TN - the Quilting Bee. I've been there before - but since it took so long to find out where to buy fabric in West Tennessee that I post about them often to keep the word out. It is located on the 641 Hwy between the Bank of Camden and the Wal-Mart. They have the cutest bee shaped mailbox and with the large FABRIC sign on the roof, it's hard to miss! I was looking for some Aunt Grace fabric, but ended up buying some Aunt Martha's hot iron transfers instead.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fake counting and colors

Last night during her bath Esme 'fake' counted to six while pouring cups of water into another container. It went like this: 'Three... three... three... feer... ive.. sees!' She's got the idea down ;) Often I hear counting to three by 'three, two, three' still. I'm not sure what she has against the number one!

We were also reading her Big Bird colors book, something I had grabbed at library or rummage sale long ago when I saw it. I had the exact same book when I was a kid! (wow) and this one was in perfect condition. On every page the items are a different color and in the text Big Bird asks the child to find something, then he is holding it on the next page. We haven't actually read it 'together' in many months - because Esme has been in an 'I do it myself' phase about reading. But last night she was willing to try it again. I asked her to tell me what the items were and she got more of them correct than I expected, including the kite and yo-yo which look different than her Starfall or Kindersay games that have those words in them.

Also our PeanutNinja kitten caught a mouse downstairs by the garage door. I've seen Pogo catch one there before, about six months ago. Good kitten, but we had to chase her around the house to get her to take it outside. I'm so glad they're diligent about getting those woods mice when they come in (dog feeding, watering and letting in/out for outside happens near there) - just wish they wouldn't run around the house with it dangling from their mouth and refuse to give it up and/or take it outside! sheesh.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stash addition and cool starched fabric link

These are the fabrics I added to the stash for Esme's clothing. The red-orange flowered fabric Esme picked out, and the solid was something I chose to go with it. The green is very very thin and would make a nice cool summer shirt. Mark calls it 'tablecloth' fabric. There are also three brown/grey fabrics for me that are not yet washed and not really that interesting to photograph until they are made into something.. anyway.

I found these wonderful links for making wall decorations and blocking windows with starched fabric. I get questions about this kind of thing at work! It would be an interesting project if we had any painted walls in our house.

The McCalls jacket pattern I made the grey jacket out of - M5298

My jacket doesn't look much like the picture - as I changed several elements to fit ME in the sleeves. The collar is also quite different - but that is probably an error on my part.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dragon eat Esme and jacket

The finished jacket. I used the same grey fabric I did on Esme's dress, and some brown Joel Dewberry fabric I had been keeping in reserve for the collar, facings and cuffs. There are things to be improved upon, as always. The size of the pattern was a 14-20 (I'm usually a size 10 to 12 depending on the cut, way up from size 6 before Esme was thought of, but I was underweight then!) I cut the size 14 and then did some creative tailoring (some of it with scissors purely by eye alone) to size down the shoulders and etc to my size while keeping the sleeves larger. I really needed the larger sleeve size for the biceps I've earned at this new job moving heavy plumbing fixtures and operating the cherry picker at work. I still could have used to alter the waistline down even more... but it is very casual and easy to wear, even while moving such items -- so for handmade that is a good accomplishment!

Also I splurged for a dragon toy Esme hugged. Usually that is a lot more than I would get for her (she might not keep affection for it once we get home) and I would instead try to make one for her... just after this picture the dragon was offered two cars to eat and a cup full of toys later as well.

This is at the top of our staircase where the dogs sleep on an old blanket. I bought some more stash fabric (yes I know.. I know!) including something in the wash for another dress for Esme. I did a lot of laundry the other day and somehow she has ended up wearing the exact same outfit as the other day... what are the chances of that? I tend to put the clothes on her I think fit best at the time.. so as soon as it is washed it's likely to go on at the next change. In fact, it's also almost time to get rid or or alter the dresses I made in November. Mark suggested I change the sleeves on them (the part that is getting too short) and get the summer out of them before they go into a box for the future. I could very very easily make them short sleeve dresses instead of 3/4 which they are at the moment.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

trying harder : pattern for a jacket

I bought a simple pattern for a jacket last night on my grocery stop. A jacket for me - which is not so simple. With my job including heavy lifting I have very large biceps for a woman. I have a hard time fitting even ready made sleeved shirts unless it is several sizes larger than the rest of me.

We have a dress code at work that does not allow sleeves shorter than mid bicep, but most of my light jackets or sleeved shirts get too hot as summer comes on, or are too light to wear without a second shirt underneath etc... I had a hard time last year striking a temperature balance while working in the rafters, then hours later sitting in the air-conditioned office and then to working outside etc.. a lightweight cotton shirt jacket with or without closures would be a good thing to add to my wardrobe skills.

So.. I bought a pattern for a jacket several sizes up - and then have used newspaper to trace out the smallest size in the pattern to test the sleeve. That sleeve fit. Hmmm. Now to trace out the same size of the front and back of the jacket, try it on in some cheap flannel I have and adjust it down so it fits the rest of me. That is where the hard task comes in, adjusting that sleeve size to the front and back after I get them to where they fit. Definitely brain exercise.

Other Notes: I just watched Esme take her two elephant toys and have an entire 'conversation' back and forth between them. She was holding each by one ear and they were kissing, fighting and talking, although I didn't understand all of the words she used. At the end each one said 'bye bye!' to the other and then she threw one over each shoulder, stood up and went to find a book without one look back to see where they landed. Now this kid cracks ME up ;) heehehehehe She also was fairly good eating her own miso soup this morning from a bowl and spoon. She LIKES miso and begs me to have some 'foop' as she calls it. Eventually though she felt the need to dump the last lump of banana in the half-empty bowl and watch it go kersplash over and over... so all the food went away. Banana in miso.. yuck!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shirt de buzz buzz

Esme wearing the second raglan shirt. I still need to make more alterations to the pattern - some of the ones I made to it worked and some didn't. The sleeves don't require the little pin darts at the top anymore, but now the front bodice and back are reversed with the 'gappiness' of last time! She did find it comfortable to wear and climb around with her toys etc.. She was cracking up at the cats playing with the edge of the blanket on the bed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

'industrious' progress

My father-in-law commented on the stack of fabric on the blog 'You're sure planning on being industrious with all those dresses.' etc... Well, not being industrious just isn't that interesting ;)

I've had some time issues lately with work - late nights and early mornings etc. But today I got into the fabric. After I got home from work I took Esme down to the lake while talking to my mom on the phone. She was tired out and played a bit in her K'nex box while I made her a top to match her bumblebee pants. I'll have to get a picture of it later, as she is asleep in her bed with her arms wrapped around Mr.Frog.

The dark grey fabric was a little difficult to work with, it didn't want to be 'straight' in the grain while cutting, but with some extra care it worked out just the same size as the red raglan shirt. I made the sleeves white muslin again - it's bound to get dirty anyway.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Pants de Buzz Buzz

Fabrics, including 'buzz'

Esme asked for some bumblebee fabric again at the store the other day. I gave in this time. I've been thinking of using that fabric for a while, because she always says 'de buzz buzz buzz' when she sees it on the shelf. A half yard was EXACTLY enough to make one pair of pants. Then I caved again and went back and bought another yard - so I could put some on a top to go with the pants.

I also purchased a total of about 8 yards for 13 dollars at the clearance table. I think that was a great buy. They are mostly fall colors: plum squaress, raspberry plaid and a gray solid that also has a tinge of raspberry to it (thanks to washing). I am thinking of throwing some of the gray with the buzz fabric and some white sleeves to make a top. I have a full week of work - so things might not go as quickly.

I also bought the bunny puppet pattern from Fuzzy Mitten. I doubt that I'll knit one very soon - or even to the pattern, but it is such a very cool idea. One of her pictures reminds me some of my favorite toy as a child. The most knitting I've been doing lately is some dishcloths out of the spool I keep in my locker for 'slow lunch hours.'

I attempted to create an account at '' today but they were having technical difficulties and kept spitting back 'page not found' errors.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Picture updates, dresses, pizzas and dinosaurs

'Green size 5' 1960s Simplicity dress pattern with 'different' sleeves and a closely tucked skirt. The color was off on this picture, but it does show the progress I've made so far

Esme and I playing dinos early this morning - Mark snapped several pictures as the dinosaurs went from fighting to jumping on the pillow to kissing and then my dinosaur tried to go to sleep but the other one kept attacking him while he slept etc etc...

I feel happily satisfied that I can count six items in this picture that I have made for the house - my pants, Esme's pants and dress, the pillow she is sitting on and two elephant toys tossed about near us.

A rework of the raglan sleeve pattern

It is still gappy in the front, but the back worked out perfectly and no need to draw the sleeves up with ribbons

Fabric Note: This dress was made with 1772 Spirit of the West fabric by Maywood Studio (red with black chrysanthemum bandana print). Fabric bought from a local quilting store: The Quilting Bee of Camden, TN.

The other night Mark tried to register for online pizza ordering - and was so upset by how long the process took (how much info they wanted) that he decided to pull out a frozen pizza and put 'real' ingredients on it. He chopped up fresh ball mozzarella and real red wheel cheddar cheese and deli pepperoni meat and spices onto the pizza and cooked it until it bubbled. It was a heavy but very good pizza, and worth the wait for the oven (which would have been about the same to go pick one up, where we live).

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Squirrel embroidery and trial and error raglan dress

Hand-drawn squirrel with acorn for embroidery on dress

I put two patterns together last night to design this raglan sleeve dress. However, when I got to the neckline part I realized the pattern I had referenced for the neck required a drawstring to make the right size. ARGH! Well - it was too late by then to do much except try to take up something so she wouldn't "swim" in the dress. I don't like elastic or strings around my neck - so I won't do that to Esme either. Instead, I took up the distance with separate drawstrings across the sleeves that tie at the shoulders. It looks kind of pretty, actually... It still ended up a little large in the neck, but considering it all, I'd call this trial and error dress mostly a success.

To boot, the way it looks 'large' is the same way the first white toddler shirt I made her looked large. She grew into that and it fit her well in a few months. So, I have further hope that this isn't a wasted effort. The ribbons are going to fray - but the way I made them they are easily replaceable into the 'casings' on the sleeve.

The green size 5 dress just needs the bottom hem and the sleeve hems done. I've been procrastinating on it because again - it won't look right on her until she grows a little.

Out of the bath and eating breakfast, watching her favorite show.

This picture shows what 'neck gap' there still is in the dress

It's "The Muppet Show" Mama!

1 yard plain tan fabric 'weaver's cloth' (2.50/yd)
1 yard white muslin fabric (sleeves and inside facings) (1.25/yd)
spools of brown, yellow and red thread
spool of twill ribbon (would use grosgrain next time)
1 neck zipper about 7 inches long
pins, sewing needle for embroidery

How to alter a pattern:
Find a pattern that looks the way you want, and a pattern that is the right size for what you want. Use the measurements from the correct size to alter the widths of sleeve, bodice etc.. on the pattern that has the right details. It's always trial-and-error. Use large drawing paper, newspaper or taped together notebook pages to cut out a third 'in-between' pattern. Test all the pieces against each other and then use cheap cloth (like muslin or plain cotton or clearance cotton) to try out your new design. Always wash the cloth in hot water before you cut and sew - get all the shrinking it might do done before sewing! Once you are finished alter the paper pattern to fix any problems. If necessary - try again! The fabric for this dress cost about 5.00 to try, when many design or character fabrics can cost 5.00 per yard or more.

Other tips : Learn from your mistakes! But, making something a little too big is never as bad as making something a little too small!

//Sewing Notes//

Remade Esme's crib mattress again today while I had time off. It was a lot easier than the first time I had made one, because I already knew what materials I was going to use, what size and how to put it together. I think the first time I spent five hours and this time just about one. I used a few yards of fabric that Esme thought was pretty. I had been avoiding making clothes out of that fabric because the color is 'off' against her skin tone.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Esme at 28 months

She is such a big girl now! She is very interested in reading, but hardly at all in toilet training. Her current obsession is with trains, 'choo-choo' etc. There is a train in one of her computer programs she likes. She also is getting to understand waiting a bit better. She can put her favorite pants in the washer and understand we have to come back when it is done - and then they are wet so they can't be worn yet - and have to go in the dryer etc... Her favorite foods are oranges, carrots, corn, chicken and fish. Her favorite book is 'Go Dog Go.' She loves the Electric Company dvds and 'reads' along with the characters. She asks for 'the Muppet Show' and identifies several characters now (chef, pig, doggie, frog). She attempts to give her frog toy a diaper change or have her horse toy 'eat' the soap in the bathtub or need to be rescued when its feet get stuck in playdough (help help! stuck!). She knows several colors and remembers all of the alphabet letters most of the time, but not the song - she knows the individual letters but could care less about singing a song. I think she is very visually oriented - because she likes songs but won't repeat them unless there is some picture to go with it. The other night she was 'reading' letters off of her Magnadoodle and then came back and wrote an 'O' and tried an 'A'. When she was drawing with her crayons she made a 'Y' and came to me so happy saying 'I did it - This a Y!'