Thursday, December 27, 2007

Self Portrait

I think I'll just rest here in the muck with my eyes closed for a while and try to ignore the mess around me. How about you...there's some room right there next to me? Maybe when we open our eyes, all of the decorations will have been packed away and some of those extra pounds will have melted off.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And To All A Good Night

I picked this quilt up a couple of months ago at the local thrift store for $2.

Added a little gingham for ties and now it's hanging in the entry of our home.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little Christmas Break

Some people hate having December birthdays, but having my birthday 8 days before Christmas has always been special to me. I do admit, it does make it a little hard on my family when it comes to finding that special something - twice! And, who wants to buy birthday wrapping paper when you have about 20 rolls of Christmas paper laying around. I do love the birthday wrapping paper though.

Yesterday, my hubby surprised me with a birthday do-over. My actual birthday was on Monday and we had way too much going on and while he didn't forget, it wasn't as special as he had planned. When he came home from work, he and the kids sang, "Happy day late birthday to you." It was cute. Then he gave me this wonderful gnome, which I was not expecting at all.

You have to understand, my hubby hates gnomes, they kind of freak him out. Not only that, but have you tried finding a garden gnome in the middle of December? Apparently they are seasonal and he looked far and wide before finding this one. I love this little guys back pack full of wood and the mushrooms by his feet. I didn't have the heart to stick him out in the snow, so he has currently taken up residence by the fire place.

We went to dinner at a Mexican place which again, I love and he hates. And finally, he took me to home depot to pick out some paint for two accent walls in the living room. He even provided feedback on colors without complaining, mumbling, rolling his eyes or even sighing. Now that was a great birthday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Harry Potter...have I gone too far?

Have I? I mean is there a line that you can cross when it comes to these sort of things?

Let me explain for those of you (are there any of you) that aren't completely obsessed with Harry Potter. In the last book, Harry, Ron, Fred and George are clearing the garden of those pesky gnomes and one of them bites, Fred or George (oh come on, even their mother can't tell them apart). They put a binding spell on the gnome, put wings on him, spray paint it gold and stick it on the top of the tree as an angel. Inside joke for the four of them - everyone else thinks its an angel.

Too far?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Presents - check

Two posts in one day...are you impressed or what? Actually, I've finished up a bunch of gifts and feel like I've just crossed the finish line -whew...

Let's share... First, are the lovely homemade candies. The peanut butter fudge is a staple, but the hand dipped chocolate covered caramels are a first for me this year thanks to my dear friend Amber who first let me try hers, then gave me the recipe and finally helped me figure out how to fix my way too hard caramels. Apparently I'm in a higher altitude and have to adjust things. They are sooo yummy!
Next there are the paper boxes that my son Josh made. He made a few for Amber, then me, then when I hit him up for some more he taught me how to make them. Give a mom a fish and you feed her for a day. Teach her to fish and you feed her for a lifetime - smart boy.

These are made out of 12 x 12 paper for the top and an 11 3/4 by 11 3/4 paper for the bottom. He learned how to make them on youtube. Oh yes, and a few homemade tags.

5 astronauts a leaping...the girls have lazy daisy embroidered bangs. These are from the weewonderfuls pattern -

3 fabric journals - from the sew mama sew tutorials -

And finally this huge and adorable fabric box filled with the rest of the homemade caramel. The fabric is actually a dark forest green, but with the crazy lighting conditions around here lately, it's showing up black. Won't those look nice on the table for grazing. Free tutorial at Melissa's blog - ok so I'm still figuring out HTML codes - any tips on making that link appear as the person's name only?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Happy Mail

A couple of days ago, I came home to find a box on my porch. Seeing the cute hand writing on the box with my name on it - as opposed to the type written name of hubby boxes - I new it had to be something good. I had to forge through the grabby hands that kept asking what it was and tore open the box to find this yummy Christmas goodness.

The clip board is even cuter in person. It's only half the size of a regular clip board and everything is layered with pieces popping up...mmm. The little band-aid sized box holds the numbers that clip onto the mini clothes pins on the clip board. And...if that wasn't enough, this adorable little snowman box packed full of handmade gift tags. The little sign on the box says "Some of my best friends are flakes." - Amy, you know me too well! Thank you!

Monday, December 10, 2007

White Wind

Can't blog... too busy making presents.

Here are some pictures from this weekend and a poem that beautiful, 7 and 11/12ths year old Sara wrote.

White Wind
by Sara

When we put up our tree
You know we’re ready
For the night of the light
It is royal to the king
It is royal to the queen
It is royal to everybody
Can you see the snow about to fall
Will it be hard to get presents from the olden days
Can you see the houses so bright
Brighter than the stars

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Weather Outside...

This morning we awoke to our first full day of snow. All was quiet, the quiet that comes with snow. A quiet that must be experienced rather than explained. Slowly neighbors emerged and shoveled their walk ways pausing now and then to listen to the quiet or to shout a friendly hello. Children were pulling their sleds behind them as the headed out for the first sledding day of the season. Our house was filled by the wonderful smells of firewood, wet gloves, hot cocoa and homemade doughnuts. Winter.

Friday, November 30, 2007

There Was An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe...

She had so many projects she didn't know what to do. So....she side tracked herself with a fun project that had nothing to do with her kids or Christmas.

I actually started this project several weeks ago, but have put it down then picked it up several times. Some little dolls were floating around in my imagination, but after setting my mind on some little wooden painted dolls, they were no where to be found. I went to several craft stores, but apparently everyone is making little wooden dolls this year. Rather than wait, and seeing that there are millions of dolls in toy boxes everywhere, I decided to put the doll house up on Etsy as it stands - which I might add is very adorable. If someone doesn't snatch it up, I may just use it for my Smurf collection - from when I was little. I have about 74-100 and even a little mushroom house or two. Smurf village for Christmas on the Piano - maybe?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's Begun!

Winter, Christmas and the present making. Last night we had our first dusting of snow. We woke up to a wonderful gingerbread village dusted with powdered sugar. Yum...maybe there's some baking in my future.
The changing of the seasons can be represented by so many things. Today it was the fresh dusting of snow washing away the last of the sidewalk chalk drawings.
Also in my front yard this morning was my little tree gnome that my Dad and I stuck up there a couple of weeks ago. The sun hits him just right every morning and you can't help but laugh a little when you see him.

We've pulled out all of the warm blankets and have had a couple of cozy nights by the fire, hunkering down for our second winter in the snow. My project list seems to be getting longer and longer, while the supply pile keeps getting higher and higher. I need to get in there and knock out a few projects. This little doll blanket was a fun distraction last night when I should have been working on Christmas presents. I've grown to love the quality of moda fabric, it is so nice to work with. These were a few scrap squares that were already cut. With pre-cut squares and those fun sock monkeys and dots, I just couldn't help myself. It's going up on Etsy later today - maybe some one else will have one less project to make.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving Thanks

I love Thanksgiving! It's that time of year to reflect on all of the blessing in our lives. For me, the best part of that reflecting is the realization that most of the things on that list include people and the ways in which they have touched my life. That makes me happy.

The highlights of this last year: Diego broke both of his feet, we moved to another state and further away from our family and friends, Aaron's foot was run over, Josh got hit by a car, I broke my toe, Josh's bike was stolen, Diego lost his job and we had no paycheck for 8 weeks, and we didn't have insurance for months.

The way I see it after reflecting...Diego's feet have both healed and he'll never jump off of a ladder bare foot again. We own our own home! Our children can walk to school or play in a creek. We're further away physically from our family and friends but it has only made us closer and we've made wonderful new friends. After fear of broken bones and surgery, Aaron limped away from the hospital with a bandage and a sore foot - and we had insurance at the time. When Josh was hit by the car (actually a mini van) he and his bike were fine, just a few scratches. My broken toe taught me patients with myself and empathy for others. Diego found Josh's bike! Seriously about 3 months later he saw someone riding it and got it back. Without a paycheck for 8 weeks? We survived on savings and our food storage, how thankful we are that we had it. We were forced to be thrifty and less wasteful - how awesome is that! No major accidents happened while we didn't have insurance.
So, while I look at this picture of a beautiful and thrifted leaf, what I really see are the hands that are holding it.

I am truly thankful in all things - even my trials. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Great Times - Great Finds

This week my parents came for a visit. It was so nice to see them and spend time with them. While the kids were in school and the hubby was at work, we hit all of the local fabric shops and the local thrift store. These are some of my thrift store finds. The larger nesting doll only had two pieces inside that don't fit together, but such a steal for $1. The skier nesting dolls were $2 and every piece is in tact. The largest one has a nose that sticks out. Finally, a pair of mushroom S&P shakers, which I love not just for their cuteness, but because they remind me of my mom -she collects S&P shakers and has hundreds. I also found a picture/painting of a little girl that no one seems to like as much as I do, a garden gnome which is now resting in my tree outside, and a Peanuts thermos from the 70's. Josh asked if was to keep peanuts in? The juicebox generation.

The fabric stores were...well, they were fabric stores! A couple of them are in these really cool old buildings, with basements and second stories. Ah, and all of the yummy quilts on the walls and I even saw an Amy Butler Nappy Bag made up - that was my first Amy Butler experience. I'm finally catching up with you all! I only bought one fat quarter. I know, I know, but I've been trying to use up what I have and have specific christmas presents in mind for that fabric. Plus, my mom came bearing a wonderful gift bag of fabric that she had thinned out of her supply - thanks Mom! Here's where I should thank my Dad too, for letting us drag him around and being such a good sport about it - thanks Dad!

Well off to start the afternoon. I think I might just have Mexican Train withdraws!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm Coming Out of the Closet!

I've been busy stocking up my Etsy store for the holidays. There are some new magnet sets and a few sanitary pads -I'm thinking people may wait until after the holidays to buy these, but who knows maybe some of you will get them in your stockings! Ha!

So with that said...I'm coming out of the closet. After many days of research and pondering, asking other people and getting past the ewww factor, I tried the cloth sanitary pads and *love em*! And to be honest, it was quite fun! So there you go, I'm out...

Be the first person to post a comment and I'll send you a free panty liner of your very own!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Have you met Tomaso?

Tomaso is, let's see, how would you put it...our ginormous cat. I tried getting a good picture of him while he was laying in the sun, but he saw the camera and got a little camera shy. He may have been a little self conscious...does this picture make me look fat?

For being so big, he sure can move when being followed by the paparazzi. The other day Sara was bored and I told her she could go play with Tomaso. She said, "I can't. Whenever I try to play with him, he just waddles away."

I tried to get a picture with a frame of reference for size, but he was on the move. The best I could do was get a picture of him in the doorway of Sara's room. I measured him from nose to rear (not including his tail) and he was 24 inches long. Then I decided to weigh him. First I got on the scale and weighed myself...ahhhm...and then I got on the scales with him. I nearly fell and hit the scale and it said E, not a good sign. I finally got on the scale with him and could barely see over him to read the scale. He weighed 20 pounds - is that still considered a cat?

He may be a 20 pound cat, but he's our little Tomassie.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Ahh... Halloween morning. All across the neighborhood, in the wee hours of the morning, the beginings of Halloween could be heard from children everywhere....Mom, where's my hat...Mom, I need help...Mom, does this look right? But in the end, when they are all dressed and ready to go, it was all worth it.

Being a teenager, Aaron went for the not really dressed up, but cool dead look as "Morgue."

Josh's costume is a little hard to name, but we found the idea on the Family Fun website. It's a baby attacking a granny. Tonight we'll have to add long sleeves under the dress. Try making a baby bonnet for an 11 year old boy - that was a tough one. At first it kept coming out like a prairie hat, but I think we pulled it off. He used my old dress, a hand me down baby oufit and these old lady slippers and rolled down nylon socks that you can't see in the picture.

When Sara announced that she wanted to be Hermione, I tried to contain my excitement lest I scare her off with my uncool momish Harry Potter fanaticism. I did do a little cartwheel on the inside. Halloween costumes with Sara have not always been my favorite. Her first year she was a store bought Eeyore, after I realized that I wasn't going to be able to start let alone finish a piglet outfit. Next it was the Statue of Liberty - right after 9/11, we dressed the kids up as a solider, a firefighter, and the Statue of Liberty. Then it was Bob the Builder, yes, after many years of boys costumes, my daughter ended up being a boy. She wanted to be a witch but when we got her costume on and she looked in the mirror, it freaked her out and she wouldn't wear it. Last minute all I could pull together was overall and a flannel with that yellow plastic hat. The next couple of years were Belle, then this pink haired cheerleader from some children's show that I can't remember. At least she was happy. But this year....Hermione...(sniff) I couldn't be more pleased. At first I just bought some black fabric from Wal-mart for $1 a yard and I was going to drape it over her, but then my fanaticism and a 99 cent pattern kicked in and I went for the full blown cape with lining. The whole thing including the pattern still only cost $7. Not bad...a borrowed shirt and tie from her brother and we were set.

I love the way her hair turned out too! I have never been a good hair person and Sara's hair is a lot thicker and more unruly than my thin straight stuff. I found this great tutorial on rag curls using freezer bags at Day to Day , so I tried it. Love it! I used the plastic bags that you get at the grocery store and it came out a little frizzy so I slicked it down a little and it was perfect.

The Griffindor patch on her cape turned out cute too, but you can't see it here.'s nice to take pictures in the morning to see what I've missed in the process. I'll be snapping some more tonight.

Have a great Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sick Pumpkin

I've already posted this on our family blog, but I just had to post it for my crafty friends too. We had to carve a pumpkin for a teen Halloween party and since we were in charge of the fear factor booth, I thought a puking pumpkin only appropriate. The kids thought it great and it one "The Sickest Pumpkin" award. It's now sitting out on the front porch. One nice thing about cold fall weather is that the pumpkins don't get moldy right away.

Oh, I almost could I forget! The brown scrapbag from the last post sold already! Thank you, thank you dear customer!

Off to finish Hermione's robes.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Scrap Bag

Here is the latest scrap bag, finished and up on Etsy. I love the colors of this one...I think I said the same thing about the last one, but I love the browns in this one and it is my new favorite. This one has a running stitch along the scalloped edge - it just needed that finishing touch. There are more pictures of it on Etsy if you want to check it out.
Off to carve a pumpkin...

Friday, October 26, 2007

First Etsy Sale!

Can I just tell you how excited I am? Some one, a very dear someone whom I have never met, liked my scrap bag enough to buy it! I'm excited, I'm in awe, I'm sooo grateful. Another scrap bag is in the works and it should be up soon, I've just been sidetracked with Halloween costumes. Have you ever tried to sew a baby bonnet for an 11 year old boy? It kept looking like a prairie girl had. It's finally at a point that it's passable - not up to my craft standards, but hey it's for one day. An 11 year old baby boy? Well, sort of. It's more like a baby attacking an old lady. His head is the baby's head, but his body is the old ladies body. I will definitely post picture when we get it all put together. Anyway, another Etsy shop update is coming soon, stay posted. Thank you dear shopper!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Monkey Love and a Hot Pad

Believe it or not it actually snowed this weekend. Yes, that's right snow. Not just falling from the sky but actually sticking to the ground. Seeing is believing, and I would love to show you a picture, but for some reason (could have been that trip to the mall with the kids to buy much needed winter pants) I suffered another bought of this bronchitis thing and didn't dare step outside for a picture. By the time I felt up to it, the sun was out and the snow was melting. We couldn't even enjoy a nice fire in the fireplace because every little scent or dust mite brings on another coughing fit. From what I've read online, this thing could last up to 8-12 weeks. I'm about 4 weeks into it. As for remedies...use a vaporizer, avoid irritants, drink a lot of water and have patients - hmm. I am happy to report that today finds me much better.

Being "grounded" and avoiding the cold air does have it's benefits. Got the vaporizer, now to get rid of the irritants :) - I'm new to this whole electric stove top thing - really prefer gas, but since that would involve running a gas line through cement floors, I'm sticking to the electric. Anyway, you can't leave your pans on the stove top when you've finished cooking something or the ceramic top could crack. This has created the need for hot pads. Tired of using oven mitts, then not having any left to pull the hot items out of the oven, I pulled out my scraps and set to work on this place mat sized hot pad.

Hand stitching on a hot pad? Yes, I know it's just going to get all gunked up, but it gave me a chance to practice hand stitching and I was able to do it from the comfort of the couch.

Yesterday, I finished up these monkey pj bottoms for Sara and used some of the scraps to make an applique for the front of a hand me down shirt from Josh. Josh's pants just need to be hemmed and Aaron's are still waiting to be cut. Have you ever made these? When I moved her, a friend showed me an easy way to use a pair of pants for the pattern, two sews for the crotch area, and one long one across the inner leg seem, hem each leg and waist, add draw string. It's super easy. I did take the extra time to wash the fabric first and to serge the seems, since that always seems to bite me in the bottom later.

Those bare feet in this cold weather drive me nuts! Crochet some slippers? hmm....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lasagna and An Adorable Scrap Bag

I just popped this baby out of the oven! The cheese is still bubbeling - emmm. So as you can see I'm feeling a little better. I made dinner, cleaned the neglected kitchen and finished up a project. All this and yesterday I went grocery shopping - I know, I know, hard to believe, but yes, it's true.

I spent about 3 hours at the grocery store. Don't you hate that? First you get dressed and go to the store which is a huge accomplishment in itself. Then you shop for what seems like hours going over every little thing, watching for bargains, and filling up your cart just right so that everything fits and the heavy stuff is on the bottom, the whole time trying to keep a running tally in your mind. You excitedly rush to the check out only to find that there are at least 3 people with a basket as big as yours waiting in line. After scoping out all of the lines you end up in the first one that you saw, but now there are 4 people in front of you. You make it through the line and show tremendous will power while smelling all of those candy bars. Now you have to unload cart and throw everything onto that conveyer belt counter thingy. You finish just in time to throw up the little divider and run to the other end of the cashier, racing to keep up with her as you reload the cart. As your loading your cart with eggs and bread trying to figure out how everything fit in it in the first place, you realize that all of heavy things that were at the bottom of the cart are now at the other end of the conveyor belt and are going to end up on your eggs, bread or both. $150 later, you thank the cashier, even though you're the one that has done most of the work and head to the car thinking about all of the things that you forgot and dreaming about all of the fabric and yarn you could have bought for $150. You get to the car start unloading the cart (again) and loading the car, where did I put those eggs. You get home, unload the car, drag it all into the kitchen, load up the pantry and fridge (of course this only happens after you spend 20 minutes cleaning out the fridge) and finally crash into a heap on the couch just as the kids walk in from school go to the kitchen and you get what you've worked so hard for....(whining) there's nothing good to eat. And....the best part is you get to do it all again next week.

I did finish the final touches on a project today. An adorable trash/scrap bag. It hangs on your sewing table or the arm of your couch and catches all of those little threads, yarn bits or trimmed fabric. I just love mine, so I decided to make a couple for Etsy. This one is going to be hard to part with, I love the colors. Well, off to finish up the dishes and the evening. Apparently in a moment of weakness I signed up to go on a field trip with Sara's 2nd grade class. Actually I do remember signing up but had no idea I would still be feeling out of breath. I was going to back out but when I mentioned the field trip she got so excited and reminded me that I was going. She excitedly told me that it is supposed to rain, but I shouldn't worry because she will share her umbrella. How can I pass up an offer like that?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Book Bag

Just catching up with a few projects and a few pictures. This bag was inspired by Melissa's quilt over at soulemama's typepad. I just loved the chick.

Fall Vests

Believe it or not, I'm still not feeling well and am trying to push through this cold turned bronchial thing. For the most part I've been staying indoors, breathing steam and taking hits off of my hubby's inhaler.

Today I did jump back in the saddle and finished up two fall vests that were half done. I love the first one that I made, but since I don't have anyone in the house small enough to model it, I did make one for Sara. The material was already quilted and the pattern is super easy. It's basically one piece of material (plus lining on the gray one) and binding. I seriously only had to sew two seams. I'm thinking about adding two ties on the front to keep it closed and to just add a little more detail. Don't you just love the embroidered bunny?

Sara's is a just the bare bones, but it is still warm and fuzzy. This fabric was was already quilted and had purple on the reverse side so I didn't even have to line it. I finished this one in about 2 hours. Again, most of the work was just listening to an audio book and hand stitching the binding. After modeling it for the photo shoot, she wouldn't (and still hasn't) take it off. The options on this vest are endless, patchwork, stripes of various fabrics, more animals, ribbon, buttons...hmm, maybe one in an adult size? I did take some additional tutorial pics and am hoping to post the tutorial on my blog soon.

We (Sara & I) did manage to make a tutorial on the spinning button toy. It's super easy and so much fun. Don't you just love homemade toys! It's posted top right of the bog - check it out!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mommy, What's a Gay Dog?

Here is a fun thrift store find. It is a vintage pack of miniature Animal Rummy Cards. There is no date on the package or the cards, but the do have a Whitman logo and say made in the USA by Western Publishing Company. I'll have to do a little research to see if I can find a date on line.

Sara and I were playing a game of rummy (more like go fish) with the cards today and the pictures are adorable and they have cute litte names. We did run into one little snag when Sara wanted to know what a Gay Dog was. Of course I explained the dictionary definition of gay.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My New Shop

I'm so excited! I just opened my new shop at Etsy. The items that are now available are posted on the right hand side of my blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sock Monkey - or Sick Monkey

First let me explain that I have a wonderful head cold and I make no promises to the clarity or quality of this post. That being said...what an adorable sock monkey! I picked up this free crochet pattern the other day along with the brown and cream yarn to make up a couple of monkeys as christmas presents for the boys. My first mistake was showing them the pattern. After all, why go to the trouble if they are not interested. Who knows what preteen and teen boys like from one day to the next. Sometimes pink is bad, sometimes its good, sometimes its "sick" whatever that means. But I digress...I started with the cream color at the top of the head and it was huge. Doesn't it look like a cute little monkey? I looked at the pattern again, and the finished size is about 22 inches! That's two feet of monkey! The cream color was the size of a baby beanie. I also struggled with the increases. Add 6 stitches evenly around. Now on a normal day with a normal brain, that might not be so bad. Doped up on cold medicine, my fuzzy brain couldn't handle the math. Just tell me where to add the extra stitches and I'll be fine.

I finally gave up and took a nap. Now, while I can still appreciate the cuteness of the monkey and feel the monkey love, I'm over wanting to make it. The problem is that I've shown the monkey to the boys and they really want one. When I explained the problem...two feet of monkey... their reply..."awesome...tight...sick". thoughts exactly. I think it's time for another nap.