Sunday, June 29, 2008

Embellished Onesies

Click the pics for a direct link to the applique tutorial.

I finished these in a couple of hours tonight. These were onesies I picked up at the Dollar Tree for a $1/ea. I had a big bag of yo yos I got on eBay for the purple one and appliqued the stems and grass. And for the cupcake, the fabrics were home dec samples I got at a local fabric outlet and I used hot fix swarovski crystals as "sprinkles". These are for my niece's first birthday.

Here is a close up of the cupcake, it came out so cute!

And I remembered to take pictures, so I'll have an applique tutorial soon.

Nursing Apron Top Tutorial

Yay!! It's here!! Here is the link to the Nursing Apron Top Tutorial. Just be warned, all I had to model was a child size mannequin, so I apologize for the full length shot, lol. I'm sorry it took so long to finally arrive. I'll be putting a direct link to this new tutorial right after this post over in the freebie list on the left.

I'm off to go sew some appliques, I'll have a S&S show sometime this week. I'll take pictures as I go along if anyone is interested in a tutorial for applique on a onesie - just let me know and post a comment.

A Sneak Peek!!

It has taken way too long for this. And this has been long awaited, and there has been much begging and bribing. But it is coming tonight!!! The long-awaited nursing apron top tutorial!! So here is a little sneak peek of a picture. Can you believe it?? I'm proofing the tutorial right now.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Embroidery Cuteness Overload

Just a warning if you embroider, you will be addicted to the absolute cuteness of these patterns. Just recently, I've started doing more embroidery and I love it. It's easy to do anywhere versus dragging a sewing machine around, lol. So...there is a new site opening soon called Pimp Stitch. This picture is one of their free patterns. Isn't is too cute!? My plan is finish 2 applique onesies and this pattern as a towel bib this week and send to my sister-in-law for her baby's first birthday party over July 4th.

Pimp Stitch have a few free embroidery patterns on their blog right now you can download via PDF And check out their flickr group for some sneak peeks at upcoming patterns for when they open - the jellyfish and octopus are definitely on my list of must haves.

And on a personal note, I have started swimming laps. I used to be an athlete, skating about 15 hours a week, and I hate how out of shape I've become. So the kids and I joined the YMCA earlier this year. Mr E has found his passion in life, and it's swimming. He has been taking lessons since February and he is amazing. He says as soon as he turns 5, he's trying out for the swim team. Miss Em is just as passionate but so shy, so she is still deciding if she wants to do the swim team or not. So, while they are in lessons, I've been heading over to the lap lanes and swimming laps. I'm just so excited I had to share!

I'm also getting my hair retouched this week. I ordered 2 bottles of Special Effects dye. They are supposed to be the best and longest lasting funky dye colors, so I'm crossing my fingers they last more than 4 weeks - none of the other brands I've tried have. I ordered Atomic Pink -- my typical color...and, I also ordered Blue Mayhem -- it's kinda purply blue. I can't decide if I should do the blue this time. I've been getting a little tired of pink lately. Hmmm...decisions, decisions.

And who watched Camp Rock? I don't know, the Jonai are cute and all, but I just like the music on HSM and HSM2 better. But not my daughter, she loved it. HSM is so not cool anymore apparently. Do you have a daughter who loves the Jonas brothers? Miss Em wants to do a tutorial on how to make your own Jonas brother earrings. After watching Camp Rock, she made her own Joe Jonas domino earrings - her favorite Jonas brother.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Make Her Own Earrings & Show

So I've been sort of teaching myself and Ms Em to make jewelry, and Ms Em just got to take out her earrings after 6 weeks ago getting them pierced. She's been wearing all kinds of earrings, so I bought a little package of wires and earring sets so she and I could make her some. She ended up doing most of the work herself afer I showed her what to do.

This is the book I picked up on clearance at Half Price Books for about $3.00. I thought a kid's book might have easier instructions with better pictures, and it's a great book with lots of ideas and clear instructions.

So without further delay, here are the pics she requested I take of her 2 new sets of earrings she made herself. I love the Eiffel tower ones, but pink is my favorite color as we all know, lol. I might have to make some for myself. I got these charms off of eBay, they are so cute!!

Sorry for giant pics, I used photobucket instead of blogger this time.



I think we are going to have to get some other charms and make some more earrings. I have some fertility goddess charms I got off eBay that I must make into some earrings for me. I love fertility goddess jewelry. I already have a necklace and braclet from a swap with a friend a few years ago. But first our next project is an earring holder for all of Ms Em's new earring. Otherwise very soon, we will no longer have pairs of earrings. Stay tuned for a make and show this weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FYI - Dollar Tree and cheap t-shirts and homeschooling

So if you got a Dollar Tree, I highly suggest going. Today mine had some really nice t-shirts for $1, like Hane's Just My Size and some nice Beefy Ts with several different styles from sleeveless to regular t's to even long sleeve. I got some cute pink ones for $1/ea. And if you live near Rockwall, TX, the manager told me he was putting out 5 more boxes full of t-shirts tomorrow. All sizes, all kinds. I grabbed a few for me and the kids to applique. I also picked up some onesies for my niece who is turning 1 yrs old. I'm going to applique something adorable for her and hopefully I can remember to take pictures and sew and show.

And I finally chose my curriculum for each child. I was originally wanting to do a packaged curriculum, but I didn't like the constrictiveness of it, so I created my own, lol. I'm such a control freak (that's my big secret, lol).

Anyway, so here is what we are going to do for the school year:

Ms Em will be a 4/5th grader -

Spelling - - this one is $38.88/yr for 1 child for 12 months

Math - Teaching Textbooks - - this starts in 5th grade math, I think they are starting a 4th grade soon though, but Ms Em passed the entrance exam to take 5th grade math. This one goes all the way up to precalculus.

Handwriting without Tears -

Wordly Wise - vocabulary workbooks (unless I like the new vocabulary website that the spellingtime people are launching this summer called -

Grammer - Easy Grammer - workbooks for grammer/english -

Reading - Book Adventures - This is FREE - - you chose your grade level, if you want easy , medium, or hard, and what kind of books interest you and then it gives you a giant list of books. After you have read the book, you come back and they have a quizz to take for your book.

History - Story of the World - - I love this series of books. It's made to read history to your child.

Science - Young Scientist Club - - this can come monthly or bimonthly and kits build upon each other.

Art - - they are moving to a completely online curriculum this summer

Mr E. - He is supposed to be PreK 4, but we are going to do kindergarten

Click n' Read Phonics -

Handwriting Without Tears

Singapore Math - Kindergarten -

Meet the Masters

Young Scientists Club

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yep it's that time again...

Time to push that sewing machine aside and gather in a circle so I can tell you about my newest book obsessions. Ok right off the bat, I'm not even going to go grab a picture of it, but I had heard recommenadations about the Giant's House. It's about a librarian and a giant -- or a guy who has some pituitary gland disorder or something and ends up being 8 ft tall or something. Anyway, I hated it, I quit reading it midway which is very rare for my bookworm self. The narrator of the book is the librarian and she is so nasty and mean and it just drove me crazy. I did not like it all. Now onto the good books.

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. This is told through the eyes of the daughter of a midwife who ends up being put on trial for murder/manslaughter for killing a patient. She thought the woman had died in a homebirth and performed a C-section to save the baby. This is the story of the time when the narrator was a teen and her family was going through the trial. It's very good. I did put it down midway through because it takes awhile to get to the good part, but then it gets really good, and the ending is the best. The very end just gives you chills. Homebirth and midwifery are very close to my heart so I was excited to read this. This is the first book I read by this author and after I read it, I had to read more from him. He's very good.

The Double Bind - This is the second book I've read by Chris Bohjalian. And I think this one is even better than Midwives. This is about a young woman who works at a homeless shelter. In her college years, she was attacked by 2 men when she out biking some trails, and her life is changed by it. One of the clients of the homeless shelter dies and they find tons of photographs. This girl is a photographer by hobby and they give them to her to sort out to have an art type of show for his photos, and she finds pictures of herself on that day of her attack that he apparently took. So she's is off on a mission to find out more about him and his pictures. The homeless guy was mentally ill, so in part the book is about mental illness. The ending is great - you do not expect it. I admit, I suddenly realized some of what was going to happen at the end when I was about 80% through the book, but I tend to notice odd things and piece things together in my head without even realizing it, lol. Really good. At the end you are thinking "Oh. My. God!"

The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue. So this book intrigued me, I had been looking for it at all the used book stores, but didn't find it until I went to the big Half Price Books. It is a story about the changeling myth that has been in Europe for centuries. The myth of fairies who kidnap a child and then replace the child with a fairy to look just like the child, but parents know there is something "off" or wrong with their child. In real life, parents have been known to suspect this and kill their children. So because of this myth I was very intrigued. It's very good, I read it in 2 days, I could not put it down, and it gave me the creepies, lol. I love it when a book scares me. One night I stayed up all night reading half the book. I was a little disappointed with the ending, but it was still very good. This is the story about the boy who is stolen and how his life among the hobgoblins is, and the hobgoblin/fairy who becomes him and grows up. Eventually their paths cross.

My next books I'm starting are Promise Not to Tell and Island of Lost Girls - both are by Jennifer McMahon. I can't wait to start them. Gotta go back to work!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is it difficult to work "sewing machine" into a song?

So as from previous posts, I am known to be obsessed with Jason Mraz music. I just love his lyrics, they are so different and refreshing from the typical pop music. Anyway, I got his new album a couple weeks ago off iTunes and I love it. I think it is his best one yet and its feels totally different from his other 2. And it has a lot of the songs he's only performed live before - if you buy the one with the bonus tracks - which I can't recommend enough, songs I love you can never find except on bad recordings on YouTube, lol.

Seriously, how many songs have you heard sewing machine worked into it? When I first heard this song, my ears perked at those words, lol.

Anyway, this one is called Details in the Fabric. I think previously it had been called Sewing Machine years ago. It's really good, mellow, and makes me feel better when I'm having a crappy day kinda song. The album version has it beginning and ending with answering machine messages from a friend of his. I think the best quote I've heard in a long time is the last message at the end of the song where his friend tells him he's an "island of reality in an ocean of diarrhea".

And this one, Make It Mine, is my other absolute favorite song. I have an incredible urge to dance everytime I hear it, lol. This acoustical version is great, but I love the album version a little more. It helps that my kids love it too and request it 50 million times in the car. I love this quote from the beginning of the song, "Wake up everyone. How can you sleep at a time like this, unless the dreamer is the real you."

Part 2 of The Hippie Cookbook or Who know what Truck Farm is?

So in the last couple days I've finally had a chance to delve into The Hippie Cookbook. My oh my, is this an odd little book. I really love it though, and I can't wait to try some of the recipes. Helter Skelter Stew, Psychedelic Hamburgers, Earth Mother's Bread - the bread recipe looks nice because it has several variations of bread.

And I am going to try Rose Petal Jam very, very soon, as soon as I can find an organic source for roses. Check out this Rose Petal Jam - she made thumbprint cookies with it. And here is the recipe from the picture, along with a yummy bread recipe.

Do you know what a truck farm is? Me neither. It is essentially a wooden box you construct and then put on the roof of your car add black dirt and chicken coop scrapings, then plant your seeds, but make sure you plant high wind resistant seeds. And....if it doesn't rain, you can water them by going through a car wash. Does this not sound like something the global warming people would do? I can just see new hybrid cars coming with a farm box on top.

And it gets better...

There is also an entire section on how to cook on the engine of your car while you are traveling cross country. One of the recipes is called Piston Lickin Chicken. I have a strange desire to see if this works, lol.

Another interesting section is the one about cooking naked. Apparently it is good for your food and your body, and you should get all your friends to come on over and do it too.

And also did you know that those old wood stoves are the best way to cook? The gas and electric stoves don't import the "groovy vibrations" into your food like an old wood stove can.

Holy Tex-Mex!

Hey Dallasites! Did you know? I just found out. I just read my favorite mexican restaurant chain was sold. El Fenix has been a staple of Dallas since 1918. They have the best Tex-Mex around these parts. I am totally addicted to their cheese enchiladas, there is nothing like them. I compare any cheese enchiladas I try to theirs and have found none compared. I hope the new owner leaves the menu alone. I did read the new owners wanted to expand and that Grand Prairie and Rockwall and some other cities were lacking an El Fenix, which I've been saying for years, lol.

My family has a small personal history with them from a long, long time ago. My grandfather and grandmother knew the Martinez boys. My aunt swears she is the child of an affair my grandmother had with one of them, though my grandmother claimed she is a lunatic and that never happened, but who knows, that side of my family has some weird history.

My grandmother would tell me this story that way back when, my grandfather would open the door to the downtown Dallas El Fenix and throw his hat inside. If they kept his hat, they wanted him to come eat, if they threw it out, they didn't want him, lol.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No sew jean apron tutorial

This is totally cool -- I had to share this cool tutorial I found. Check out this tutorial for making an apron out of the butt of a pair of jeans and there is no sewing. I think Miss Em and I will have to make one of these with some of her too small jeans.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Hippie Cookbook or Don't Eat Your Food Stamps

I found the coolest cookbooks at the giant Half Price books the other day. We ended up in the cookbook section on the way to checkout because Roberto wanted a cookbook to make something "new". We make boring stuff according to him. We ended up with a cookbook for the crockpot - cuz I love crockpot cooking, lol. Fix it and forget it. My favorite is my Beefy Onion Pot Roast - and here's the recipe. My children devour this meal.

Beefy Onion Pot Roast
2 lb chuck roast
Large bag of baby carrots
4-5 potatos, peeled and cut
1 package of Lipton's Beefy Onion soup mix
1 heaping spoonful of cornstarch
4-5 cups of water
Optional: Spoonful of Garlic

Put the roast (defrosted) in first, then throw in the carrots and potatoes around, then mix Beefy onion soup mix in 2 cups of hot water and pour around the roast and veggies. Mix 2 cups of hot water with a heaping spoonful of cornstarch and then pour around the roast and veggies. Add some more water if you think it needs it (but the more liquid, the longer it takes to cook). If you love garlic like we do, I add a regular spoonful of minced garlic. Turn crockpot to high.

To be done by around 6 PM, you need to do put this in the crockpot by 11 AM or 12 PM at the latest. You can make this even earlier, like before work if needed and it will still be perfect when you get home. The cornstarch thickens the soup mix and makes the juices like a gravy, you can skip the cornstarch and the juices will be watery if you prefer.

So I found the vintage cookbook sections, and I loved it. You know those spiral bound cookbooks from organizations or churchs, I have tons of them, mostly stolen from my mother, lol. As we were looking, I found an autographed little vintage cookbook by Jacques Pepin, signed to a Lizette, and we picked up a 1971 vintage copy of the 1934 recipe Hershey's cookbook. My mother-in-law swears by the Hershey's original chocolate cake recipe they used to print on the cocoa tin way back when, she had to call them and request a copy of it a few years ago since they quit printing it on the tin. She's going to be thrilled with that cookbook.

And then tucked out of the way, I picked up this strange little cookbook with a very odd front cover. It's called The Hippie Cookbook or Don't Eat Your Foodstamps. It seemed very intriguing with lots of neat recipes. It's the size of a book of postcards. I paid about $5 for it and looked it up online and most are for sale for between $40-$50. I read it has a great cheesecake recipe.

What a loser am I

Sorry I've been ignoring this little place o'fun. I have been so busy. I swear the last month of school for my kids, they rev it up to overdrive. We had to go to stuff every week - sports banquet, preschool party, field day, a field trip to the zoo...AHHH!

Then I am on the last sections of my school work, so they expect like perfect since you are so close to graduating and the amount of work has literally quadrupled, like from 15 assignments to 65!!

Ugh, so that's where I've been, working, driving kidlets around, and my new crafty obsession (read below). That and reading. I have some wonderful new books to share in a post later this week. I need to get a job at Half Price Books - that or buy stock in them.

Ok, ok, so I finally remember to take a picture of my pink hair. I have totally cropped this picture because #1 my hair looked like crap that day, and #2 I had not bathed when I took the picture, so you get to a see a small section of my pink hair. Enjoy, lol! I'm thinking of changing colors when I get my hair done in a couple weeks, for some reason blue has been calling my name...I'm not sure why.


So my mother, the craft ADHD lady that she is, taught me a new craft. She learns all these totally awesome crafts, buys all the supplies, then she quits making the stuff and I steal all her supplies. It's a great thing for moi, her - not so much, lol. Or maybe she quits making them because I steal her supplies....hmm? I'm not sure. Though I do have a little story about being 3 months pregnant, and my mom wanted to sew the entire nursery for my first born, and so we bought TONS of fabric and what happened? Well, let's just child was 5 yrs old when my mom finally finished the crib quilt. The one and only thing that came from all the fabric. Then she gave me the rest to sell on eBay.

Anyway, so she taught me how to make Altered Domino's with alcohol inks and I've become obsessed. Forget sewing...I LOVE making these things. So here are a couple of my faves. Sorry it's kinda dark, my dear husband has lost my Corel Suite software - though he told me he was putting them somewhere for safekeeping when we got new carpet, he now has no idea where that was.




When I have about a dozen made up in the next week or so, I am going to finally open up my Etsy store.

Oh and yes I am not a total loser, I swear to the flying spaghetti monster that the nursing apron top is coming very, very, very soon.