Thursday, December 13, 2007

Heard on High

These are some of my favorite ornaments. I made these little angels when I was in college. I think I had intended to use them as gifts, but I loved them so much that I kept them. And I'm so glad that I did - they definitely bring a smile to my face each year when they come out of the Christmas box.

We've been busy getting ready for Christmas here - finishing up the shopping, making yummy treats (chocolate dipped delicious things of all sorts that we plan to share with neighbors and friends if we haven't eaten them all before we get around to putting them in pretty packaging), and enjoying the white covered world outside. I'm still making gifts and probably will be until the last minute - stuffed monkeys for the boys, crayon rolls for nephews, and some things I can't mention because they are for people who read this blog. I'm getting excited just writing about it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Counting Down

The weather outside (yesterday) was frightful.

But, inside we have this delightful advent to keep us counting the days to Christmas. Mary put an amazing amount of work into this fun and adorable advent garland - I just about fell over when I opened her last swap package for Sweet Goodness Swaps. I had been wanting to make something just like this - thanks Mary for all the time and creativity you put into this! We love it - especially the Hershey's Kiss for each one of us inside each stocking or mitten. Yum!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Little More How To - Gift Tags

I think I just wasn't meant to do much blogging this week - I keep waiting for the sun to come out so I can take pictures of my Christmas decorations. It's just not happening. And if the sun does come out, I'm busy doing something for the boys - changing Ned's diaper or taking Peter to pre-school or getting lunch ready. I am determined to catch the sun this weekend - if it comes out, that is. I heard on the radio this morning that 4-8" of snow is predicted for tonight with a few more tomorrow. Something will work out, right?

In the meantime, I have this pic saved from last week. I sent these tags to Mary for the Sweet Goodness Swap. (I really need to show you the amazing garland Mary sent me - but alas, there are no good pics.) They were super easy to make and I love how they turned out. I used some of my vintage Christmas fabric and cut it out with pinking shears (you'll want to use pinking shears so your fabric doesn't fray) to my desired size (I think these are 1.5" h x 3" w). Then I cut the paper a little bit smaller (like 1" x 2.5"), centered and glued it onto the fabric
with tacky glue. After they were dry, I punched a hole and inserted string. Ta-da - gift tags! And you could make these for any occasion. So easy!

I'm off to do more sewing for the shop - it's a busy time of year and I'm having a lot of fun with it...hope you all are enjoying your holiday season!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Merry Days and Names in Felt

Happy December everyone! I finally got out a little bit of our Christmas decor yesterday (I'll share pics later) - our little tree, a few lights, a nativity. I must confess that I've been dreading getting out the Christmas decorations because I just imagine myself telling Peter and Ned to keep away from them all day long. And true to form, in the first two hours after they were up, decorations were taken off the tree, the tree skirt was pulled askew, and Ned even managed to pull the tree down on himself (it's very small - no harm done, just a bit startling for him). So, I just got out those few things and put the rest away. Call me a Scrooge, but pulling my kids off the Christmas things all day long doesn't really fill me with the holiday spirit! I promise I'm excited for Christmas and all of the loveliness it brings - just let me enjoy it and not have to spend it keeping my children from touching everything they shouldn't!

I've certainly been helping others prepare for the holiday season by making quite a few custom stockings, complete with personalization in the form of a name in felt on the stocking. I've been wanting to do a tutorial on here for quite some time and while working on this little project, I thought sharing with you how I do my felt names would be good. This technique could also use this technique for any sort of shape. And you can use the letters for monogramming, full names, or initials. So, here it goes.


1) Use a word processing program to type out your names. Choose a font that is wide enough that you will be able to sew around the outline easily. Use the rulers in your program to guide you in choosing your font size. You should be able to fit your letters to your desired size by playing with the font size until it matches the length and width of space on the item you want personalized.
2) Pin the paper letters to your felt. Cut the letters out with sharp scissors that have small blades that will easily navigate the detailed and small edges of your letters. To cut the inner circles of letters like “a” and “e”, insert your scissors into the middle of the circle and clip a hole. Using this hole as a starting point, cut to the edge of the inner circle and then cut around the circle.
3) Pin the letters securely on fabric, making sure that everything is positioned just how you want it.

4) With a coordinating thread, sew around the edge of each letter. Be prepared to lift the pressure foot (make sure to leave your needle down when you do this) several times as you change directions to make it around your letter. It is beneficial to remove the pin when you have sewn enough that the letter is attached enough to stay in place.

5) Clip the threads and admire your creation!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Give, Oh Give

I have been a lucky girl (again) lately. I must say that I love the giveaways in the blogging world - it's fun to have giveaways and receive from giveaways. Just last week I received my latest giveaway prize - a patchwork scarf from Katie. She made it just for me - I love the oranges and reds and it looks smashing with my gray peacoat. I've only been wearing it for a couple of days and already received many compliments on it. And she still has one left in her shop in brown and green - lovely! Thanks Katie!

And the winner of my little giveaway? Congratulations go to Darcy! I'm sure Elle will love all the little hair adornments!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Growing Up

Again, I didn't me to be gone for so long, but we had some trouble with internet access while out of town visiting family - it was out at my father-in-law's house. I had planned to keep things going at the shop while we were gone so it was a little bit of a necessary hassle to get internet access. I went to my grandparent's house a few more times than I would have normally and then we found that if we drove around the corner, there was an open wireless connection. So, I would camp out in the car doing only the essentials - answering convos, following up an order, etc. Luckily, it was in a cul de sac without any nosy passersby - I sure felt silly in the car with my computer parked in front of someone's house.

So, without further adieu, here is the long awaited first haircut of Baby N. After a week or two of having people call Baby N a girl, I decided it was time and I was ready for it. It took me a little while to find someone to do it, but when my friend Mandy found out I was looking for someone, she happily volunteered. So, here's the before (well, just the back, he was getting nervous about sitting in the chair, so we didn't take the time for anything other than a pic of the lovely back curls) and the after - looking like a big boy, but still not giving up the binky. Thank you Mandy for doing such a great job!

He's definitely growing up and I've decided to stop calling him Baby N on the blog. I gave the boys nicknames when I first started the blog because I didn't know how I felt about using their real names and I figured the most cautious route was the best one. So, I talked it over with Ryan and we decided it would be OK for me to use our boy's first names on the blog. So who are they? Baby N is Ned and Little P is Peter.

And since we're talking about growing up and it is the time of year that we take notice of all we are thankful for, I'm thankful that Peter is finally (after three months of solid potty training) using the toilet for all of his business! Hooray! Please do not ask me for advice on potty training - apparently I had no idea what I was doing!

One more thing and I promise I'm finished - this is my 100th post. And may I say that I love what I've started here - thank you so much for coming here to read, leave comments, and share in the fun! In honor of 100 posts, I do have a little giveaway up my sleeve. In honor of Ned's first haircut, I'll be giving away an assortment hair accessories - bobby pins and ponytail holders with fabric covered buttons. Just leave a comment before Wednesday.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Wow - where did the last week go? Oh, that's right - busy, busy, busy. We had Little P's pre-school Parent Night, we gave Baby N his first haircut (does this mean I have to think of another, more suitable online name for him? I'll share the new do soon - he hasn't been too cooperative about getting his picture taken.), I had a fun girls night out with some gals in my neighborhood, I got my hair done, and I have been crazy busy with sewing! And we're going out of town tomorrow for Thanksgiving. That means laundry and packing today and tomorrow. And I've got to keep sewing - I'm working on a few bags that I'm going to place on consignment in a boutique in the city where I grew up. Here's a few pics of things I've been working on lately:Aprons, purses, ponytail holders with fabric covered buttons, all which can be found in the shop now. I wasn't going to put the ponytail holders in the shop because there are already so many of them on Etsy, but I had already bought a boatload of buttons for the craft show that I didn't do, so I decided I would put some in anyway. It will probably be a temporary item - like just until I run out of buttons, which may take a while;). Oh, and I'm running a free shipping/$5 international shipping promotion in the the shop until Wednesday on all purchases over $30.

I hope to get back here tomorrow with pics of Baby N's hair, but if I don't....Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thursday's Dinner

I want to rewind to last Thursday so I can share our yummy family dinner with you. Last week I was trying to use things I already had in the house and not go shopping - a little cleaning out. I was surprised by some of the things I managed to pull off, but Thursday's nights dinner definitely topped them all. We had Kelly's Chicken Noodle Soup with her grandma's egg noodles and butternut squash pizza. It was a fabulous combination - yummy!

This was my first time making egg noodles - I must admit they turned out a bit chewy. I'm assuming I didn't let them dry long enough (I didn't realize I should have made them ahead of time and we were all getting grumbly tummies so they only got dried for 10 minutes)- can anyone shed some light on this? I have absolutely no talent when it comes to making anything from any sort of dough that involves mainly flour and water, yet I keep trying.
Add yeast and we complicate things a thousand-fold. It is just not something I have a knack for, but I keep banging my head against the wall with it because I love eating anything made from a dough that is mainly flour and water.

The butternut squash pizza is one of the few recipes that I have made more than just a couple of times. I like to try new recipes and this sometimes means that ones we have tried that we like don't get made again simply because we are trying new recipes. So, if we've eaten a particular recipe time after time, it's really good in our book! This pizza is fairly easy to put together too. Just chop up an onion and a small butternut squash, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast at 425 until tender (usually about 15 minutes). Get your pizza dough rolled into your favorite shape (you could use ready made or homemade) while the squash and onions are cooking. Drizzle the dough with a little olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan or asiago cheese. Then add the onions and squash and sprinkle on a little more cheese. Put it back in the 425 oven to bake for another 10-15 minutes (until crust is golden and crispy - this really is best on a thin crispy crust). Then enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Dots Revealed

Well, I was surprised that so many of you were so intrigued by my dots. I had thought about posting the recipes from our fabulous dinner last night, but I decided to end the suspense and let you in on my little project. I had a couple of close guesses with a tree skirt. You were all on the right track with a Christmas item, but you aimed too big because I tricked you by piling them up. So go a little smaller and you get stockings - fun, retro, yet modern Christmas stockings with two of my favorite trims - ric rac and pom pom trim. They were so much fun to put together and watching all the pieces come together. I first talked about here - remember the trip for the white cotton velveteen? I shopped here for the fabric on the cuffs. I bought the wool felt when our local Hancocks went out of business. The ric rac is mostly from my stash and the pom pom trim was from the town fabric shop. I haven't talked about it much, but this project has been in the works for a while and it just took it a while to get to the final product. And now that it's here, I'm so pleased with them. They're for the shop and I'm hoping to have them all listed in the next few days.

And I have to thank my friend Phoebe, for sparking all of this Christmas creativity. She sent me an e-mail a month or so ago asking for Christmas stockings that were fun, but a little different, but not so different that they couldn't be a timeless heirloom. So, here is the set I made for her three little ones. If you're into something more like this, I'll be making a special custom listing for the shop.

And I have to thank Sandi for the photos! And her daughter Eliza for being our model up there in that first shot - thanks so much!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Seeing Dots...

Curious? Stay Tuned.....

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Space of My Own

As part of my desire to prioritize my life, we did a little furniture rearranging this weekend. We moved Baby N's crib in to Little P's room, so they are now sharing. We had tried to have them share when we first moved in here a year ago, but it just wasn't working out. The last two nights it went fairly well with just a few times putting Little P back in bed.
So, what did we do with Baby N's room? Well, it's my new workspace/studio/sewing room (not sure what I will call it yet)! As you can see in the pics, still terribly unorganized , but mine nonetheless. Hooray! I think I had mentioned that previously my workspace had been in the kitchen. This worked out well in some ways - it was easy to work because I was often in the kitchen. But, on the other hand, I found myself feeling like I was paying way too much attention to it. Other negatives? The kids, their curiosity, and my sewing supplies were not such a great combo. And it was impossible to keep the kitchen clean - my stuff was always out or always being moved around so we could use different surfaces in the kitchen that were being occupied by my things. It is going to be so nice to be able to leave my things out and just shut the door on it, where little hands can't get to it. Already I notice I am feeling more balanced. I am hoping that my sewing time will be more productive because I am not burned out by having it always around me. And we are planning to put some play things in the extra space in the kitchen - things that I will love as much as the kids so I will want to play with them more. There's also going to be a small table just for them and the cupboard that used to hold my sewing supplies (well, it still does - the new room is not even close to being organized yet) will hold art and creativity supplies for the boys. I can't wait!

p.s. for more pictures of the quilt I made for Sandi, check here (and be amazed by the gorgeous fabric once again;)!)

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I couldn't decide on which picture or two to post, so I ended up with six. All in all I think they turned out well. People knew who they were and they had a lot of fun, especially Little P who got really into it by casting spells on us all. Baby N didn't collect much candy - losing the binky might have helped him project a more grown-up, ready for candy appearance, but it wasn't worth the sacrifice for him. Little P faired better in the candy department, but was more interested in eating it than collecting more. In his defense, it was quite cold and I think he just wanted to warm up while enjoying some sweet things.

The component of the costumes are from various sources.

1) The scarves -My best friend, Cayenne, knitter and spinner extraordinaire, knitted the Gryffindor scarves. They are so great! Thanks Cayenne!

2) The pets - The crochet rat pattern (really it is a mouse, but I figured Baby N is a small kid, he needed a small rat) came from here. The owl pattern came from here. If I get really ambitious, I'll make those Harry, Ron, and Hermione softies. This was my first try at crocheting amigurimi. I liked it just fine until I got to the tiny parts - like the owl's feet! Yuck! So, I fashioned some feet out of heavy interfacing and fabric. I really like how they turned out.

3) The wands - Wand instructions came from here. E-mail me for tips if you decide to make these. They were slightly tricky.

4) The glasses - store bought crazy eyes glasses (you know the ones with the lenses that make your eyes look crazy?) with the lenses popped out.

All in all, it was so much fun to see these come together and even more fun to see how much the boys enjoyed them. Little P is just now getting into dressing up and such, so I think this will be the start of our dress-up box. I can't wait to see pics of all of your Halloween adventures. Happy November to all!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mail's Here!

Just a quick post to show some of the great mail I got this week.My Sweet Goodness Swaps package arrived from Mary. In it I found a fun Halloween pillowcase, a Halloween brag book and some great chocolate! Thanks Mary!
And my buttons from the Embroidered Button Swap. Aren't they all just fabulous? I'm especially in love with that the one that has a button embroidered on the button. What a fun little idea!

Hopefully I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with some fun pics of the kids in their Harry Potter get-up! Happy Halloweeen!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween WIP

I'm still finishing up on the boy's Halloween costumes. This is how some of the different parts look today:Any guesses yet? There is a dead giveaway in one of the pics.

There's not much left to do one these. I would have been in trouble if we had had any pre-Halloween activities, but I think everything will be finished in plenty of time for tomorrow. Hopefully the boys will cooperate and we will get some good pics of the finished product. Happy Haunting everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the past few days

Have I been a little absent lately? I've had a pretty big project going the past few days - this quilt! These new fabrics from my friend Sandi are debuting at Quilt Market this weekend. Aren't they fabulous? I'm loving how they look in the golden morning light. But, I can truthfully say they look amazing in any sort of light. Go tell your local quilt shop to get some!

And if this quilt combined with more quality time with my chicos has made me be here a little less, I apologize. But, making this quilt is putting a big smile on my face and my boys are smiling too, so I suppose that's what really matters. I hope you're finding something to make you smile too.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day Trip

Today the boys and I headed south to meet my Mom in a city halfway between us.

"So, where are we off to Mom?" they say with muffins in hand.

Good tunes are essential for a good road trip. We started out with a little Feist, then a bit of Sarah, and on the way home? Mana, of course. Luckily, my kids like my music.

First stop? An emergency pit stop at the po-dunkville mercantile because I forgot to go before we left home and drank a Diet Dr. Pepper in the first 15 minutes on the road.

And a landmark sighting for all of you Napoleon Dynamite fans - the Cuttin Curral really does exist! We have been fans for a while (Little P can do the Napoleon dance), but now that we live in Napoleon's neck of the woods, we find it more entertaining than ever .

After a bit of shopping and lunch, we had to get ice cream. As you can see, the boys loved it!

It was a good day!

And the reason for our little jaunt, besides some quality time with Grandma? Could the motivation for this trip really be that innocent and wholesome? OK, I admit it - there is fabric involved! I needed some white cotton velveteen for a little Christmas project I'm working on and I couldn't find it anywhere in our town or online. So, I did what any girl with a fabric loving mama that lives in a bigger city would do - I called her up and asked her to find some for me. She came through right away. Thanks Mom! For the fabric and for such a fun day!

Friday, October 19, 2007

a few things

1) Thanks so much for all of your encouraging and supportive comments on my last post. The boys and I have been laughing and playing a little more in the last couple of days. I have some plans for moving things around in the house to help us be more balanced in our days. More on that later.

2) Want another chance to win one of my bags? Leave a comment here.

3)I was flattered to be seen here.

4) Many of you asked about the jacket. Well, it's on hold, while I help a friend sew some of her new fabric into something pretty. It's not hard with such lovely fabric. And I'll get back to the jacket just as soon as I can. The weather next week looks perfect for jacket wearing.

5) Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Real Me

I started working on that jacket last night. It's coming together nicely. And the reason why I had time to start on it? I decided to drop that craft show. I have been working non-stop trying to get ready for it and trying to sell things on Etsy so I can pay for the supplies I needed for the show. And what did I have to show for it? Six purses - yes, that's it! Six purses. That's why I dropped the show. I've sewn a lot more than that in the last few weeks, it's just that the rest needed to go on Etsy. I really wanted to do it, but I just didn't think it was going to happen and I wanted to give the organizer time to find someone else to fill my spot.

When I started this whole crafty, sewing, selling things on Etsy adventure, I didn't want to give up sewing for myself or my family and I didn't want it to take over my life. The last couple of weeks, it's been taking over my life. I so enjoy what I've started here on the blog and on Etsy, but really, I'm a full-time Mom and a part-time crafter. So, in the spirit of remembering who I really am, I might be talking a bit more about my Mom adventures here. You can still expect lots of sewing and crafty goodness, because that's who I really am too, just with a little more of this, this, and this thrown in.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday WIP

1) Accessories for the boys' Halloween costumes. Yes, I'm being a tease and not telling you what they're going to be be. This is a pretty good clue though.
2) The eleven purses. They're half finished. They would've been finished, but I got side tracked by some new fabric and two custom orders.
3) A new jacket for me with fabric from this pile. I don't usually make time to sew for myself - cut them out? Yes. But actually sew them? I'm going to have to change that!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Remember, Part 2

Do you remember this? I have had this name stitched for a while now. But I have been putting off this post because I knew there was no way I could adequately express how I feel about this. I am grateful to have been a part of this project and I look forward to carrying the tote when it is my turn. I hope it will give me a chance to tell people about Alicia.

Alicia A. Birchett

She was my same age.

She died on my anniversary.

She left three sons and a husband.

She joined the military so she could see the world and contribute.

She died from injuries sustained when the brakes failed while she changed a tire on a truck.

I wish she were still here.

While searching for information about Alicia, I came across a page that listed pictures and names of the one hundred and forty-one men and women my age who have died in this war. This war that never should have happened. I weep for them. I still have so much life ahead of me and while I am grateful for these men and women who have sacrificed, I can't help thinking that they should all still have so much life ahead of them too.