Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fabric mail day!!

Yippee! My package from Japan arrived. Here is what I got:
Some green hedgehog print I've been dying to get my hands on, an adorable robot and rocket print, and two little red riding hood prints. I know it's kind of girlie fabric, but Mr E is obsessed with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, so I'm going to make him a pillowcase. And I got these two books. One is waldorf dolls with great pictures on how to make a wire frame body which I've always wanted to do, and the other is how to cut up gloves into dolls plus other dolls too like fairies and witches that are waldorf style.

Oh those boys are much to much....

Oh. My. God. You have to watch this commercial. It is the cutest thing EVER!! I saw it late tonight and went to find it on YouTube because it was so adorable. I just giggled myself to death. I've watched it about 10 times in a row and I still giggle.

It's from the ad council for fatherhood.gov. So cute!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dance Costumes on eBay

So I finally cleaned out Ms. Em's closet!! I spent all yesterday writing up these auctions and taking pictures. And they are going up on eBay during my work breaks right now. I have about 3 or 4 up so far, and quite a few more coming. It will be mostly dance and baton costumes, but I found some other things to put up there too like some cute ballerina sock monkey pjs and some Hanna Andersson clothing.

Click here to go to my listings.

Gotta get back to work.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I found out last night that Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer. He left behind 3 small children and a wife. If you don't know who he is, he was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who has been an inspiration to millions. Last night I watched the ABC news interview with him and cried through about half of it. He is/was truly an inspiration.

Watch his "The Last Lecture" and you will be inspired to live your life to the fullest and do what you want. It's truly amazing. The Last Lecture "began with one, age-old question: What would you say if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you?"

You can find the actual Last Lecture at the bottom of this link at ABC news.

I think this is my favorite quote from him:
"Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people. "

Off to spend a day playing with my family and beautiful children.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flea Market Fun

So I had my husband tell my MIL not to come this weekend as we had an awful stomach bug or food poisoning or something horrific. After swimming on Wednesday, we went to Burger King and 30 minutes after eating I was the first one hit. We all ate exactly the same thing, so I think it was food poisoning because my husband never got it. The three of us became intimately close with the bathroom. It will be a good long while before I go back to that Burger King. We finally got over it by Friday night, so we decided to go to Third Monday's in McKinney. It's a lot like Canton's First Monday, but not as HUGE and of course it's on the weekend of the third Monday.

My mom wants to do craft fairs with me, so she wanted me to scope out Third Monday's to see if it was something we could do. So we got there in the afternoon and it was HOT. Crap, I forget how hot it gets here in TX summer hell as I avoid anything that doesn't include air conditioning. It was 104 according to the car temperature. So we lasted about 2 hours. But I found some lovely vintage pillowcases that were embroidered, and a little teapot cozy or toaster cozy, I'm not sure which, but it was embroidered beautifully I had to get it. This lady had a pile of all kinds of vintage linens for $2.50 all you can stuff in a bag, so I filled a bag of lovely embroidered things. I'll post pictures in a little while. Right now I'm on a cleaning break. We are about to head in Ms. Em's room to clean.

After the flea market, we headed down to the giant asian supermarket. We love that place. It is the cheapest place to buy Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce. (We eat a lot of stir fry and mongolian bbq we fix at home.) And my children loves these marble soft drinks. They are called Ramune, and there is a marble at the top that you push down when you open it and it rolls around the neck. It can't come out and you can't swallow it. Our favorites so far are Pineapple and Orange, and the Orange flavor tastes like sweettarts. I was starving since I hadn't eaten much since I've been sick, so I found right outside the grocery store there is this Japanese crepe store called Crepes for U. I've had crepes in Paris, France, but this was wonderful. They make it fresh while you watch. So I got the Romeo - it was fresh sliced strawberries, cream, and chocolate sauce and then he wraps it up in a cone and you eat it. So yummy! We are definitely going back. You can even get ice cream in your crepe.

Then across the street was one of the few 3-D movie theaters in Dallas to see Journey to the Center of the Earth. It was sold out and we luckily got some of the last good seats. It was so good, a great family movie. You have to see it in 3-D, there are some parts where we jumped out of our seats.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Namesake

Late last night I finished The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

It's the life of Gogol Ganguli. It begins with a Bengali family who move from India to America and they have a son. The father, Ashoke, was in a horrible train derailment as a young man, and when he is found he is clutching part of the book he was reading by by Russian author Gogol. He was saved that day and from then on he changes his life. He moves to American, has an arranged marriage and then has his first child whom he names Gogol. Most of the story is about the life of Gogol. He is very awkward, absolutely hates his name, and this is story of his life growing up an American with immigrant parents. Eventually something tragic happens that makes he go back to his parents' culture he's been trying to avoid his entire life. Reading it was like a little window to a life I would never experience.

I was very excited to see it had already been made into a film a couple years ago. I watched it today on surfingthechannel.com. It starred Kal Penn. It was really good. I was surprised because movies from books are usually terrible, but this one stayed very close to the story. The only exceptions were they changed the place he grew up and a few things that happened in this life they changed to different ages to flow better. All in all I was very impressed with the movie. It was very sweet and as usual it made cry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nursing Apron Top - Pictures

I put the nursing apron top onto my newest dress form to give you a better idea of how it will fit. (I just love this iron dress form, I'm going to display it on my hearth, I have a very long heart that runs along the entire wall as sort of "seating" where my fireplace is). I will add the pics into the downloadable pattern in the next few days, but for now, you can view them here.

My MIL is coming on Friday morning and I have to get my rear in gear and clean this mess. In addition to that, I have to turn my vampire children into people who sleep at night and wake up in the day, ever since they were sick about 3 weeks ago, I have had a heck of time getting them to go to sleep before 6 AM and waking up before 3 PM....it's killing me. You probably think I'm a horrible mother for this, but I come from a long line of night owls.

When my mom and I took Ms Em as a toddler to Paris, Em and I had no problems switching time zones, and the entire time we were there, almost 3 weeks I think, I loved it because she and I could wake up at 9 AM and be ready to go and we fell asleep by 9 PM every night. I belong in Europe, European time zones are my friend.

Do you hate spending money?

I hate spending money on myself. We always have other things more important than me, but I just did it. I have been lusting after some Japanese fabrics and books at Saucylouise's (gotta love that name, lol), so I finally gave in and just bought them. It was all rather expensive because I figured since it was coming from Japan I might as well as get everything I wanted to get my shipping money's worth.

Now I have buyer's remorse.....ugh. It doesn't matter if I buy myself a pack of underwear, I still feel buyer's remorse. I am so weird.

Anyway, if you want cutesy Japanese fabrics like the ever popular and hard to find hedgehogs and the fairytale prints, Saucylouise is the place to go. And she is an American who ships out of a military PO, so you get USPS shipping prices. So there is my little secret - run fast because the hedgehogs were starting to sell out since they are on sale.

I got some adorable waldorf dollmaking books too. I can't wait to get my hands on them. And Mr. E loves the story of Little Red Riding Hood, so I picked up some Japanese prints of LRR so I can make him a quilt.

Tote Bag Contest at Craftstylish

If you sew, Craftstylish.com is having a contest for tote bags. It looks like fun. I have a great idea for one if I get a chance to create it. There are different categories and a grand prize winner in each category. I'm leaning toward the Omnicrafter category as I have several things I want to throw into my tote bag.

Have you heard of swap-bot?

Up until a couple of years ago I was a regular on a couple of message boards and participated in a ton of swaps, like for years. But when I went back to work, it was hard to keep up, even if I was working from home. I spent most of my time on the computer working so I didn't want to hang out on the internet anymore than I had to, and I just couldn't keep up with what was going on the message boards, and I felt so lost, like everybody had forgotten me, lol, so I slipped away and haven't been around those sites in quite some time. But recently I've been missing those swaps. I love to do swaps.

So I found this place - Swap-bot

I just signed up tonight for my first 2 swaps. I was really hoping for a journal swap, but none of them allow "noobs" dammit. Oh well, hopefully this will be fun and I don't end up with flakers and I"ll get enough ratings to join a journal swap, lol.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday Stuff

So yesterday we were headed out to the grand opening of a place called Amazing Jakes - it's a 2 story Chuck E Cheese kinda place but with an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. They were having a special for $8 a person instead of the regular price of $20. Well, it ain't that great, and I will never pay $20/person to go to a pizza place (and that doesn't even include games! sheesh!) So if you want to go to a good one, try Incredible Pizza. They have the same kind of pizza buffet, they are a tiny bit smaller, but still HUGE and they have more games. Incredible Pizza has great service, they are so helpful and nice, and...the tables are actually clean (I am not joking when I tell you at Amazing Jakes, half the lower floor was tables and we could not find one clean table, and there were hardly any people sitting at the tables). And Incredible Pizza has specials every day of the week, Amazing Jakes does not. We like the 99 cent kids price on Tuesday and the double the money game card on Thursdays.

So on the way to the pizza place, we stopped off at my favorite antique place - Alston's Old Home Place He advertises on craig's list and I saw a few days ago he had wrought iron dress forms, so I had to go down there and picked one up. And while we were there, they were having 50% off all their knack kinda stuff, so I found these cute little mini dress forms (I have a weakness for dress forms). I don't think they are antiques, so I'm going to decoupage them into some kind of altered art look.

My husband is getting into photography and he found an old camera for $10 and when we got home, he checked it and it's worth about $75. He was very excited. Then, my dear daughter discovered these spoons. I am not sure if they are silver or just silver plated, but I've been looking for old spoons to alter for a decoration for my kitchen walls. So I was thrilled to get them.

Last night Ms Em wanted to do some crafty stuff, so we decided to decorate and decoupage those journals I picked up. Here is one I just finished. I call it "The Book of Found Things". I love to keep a journal of things I see in magazines or books, or print off the internet, just to get inspiration, and I always need a journal to quickly jot down ideas I don't have to time to make. I have this fear, I'll forget them. Ms. Em made her journal into an ode to the Jonas Brothers. I'll get a pic when it dries.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dollar Tree Jackpot!

I took my kids to The Dollar Tree because...well, who doesn't like crap for a $1? I know I can't pass it up either, call it a weakness of mine. Technically, we were going to look for one of those long back scrubber things for me and some more art supplies as my children can use up all construction paper, pens, tape, markers, etc. in this house, but as usual we end up finding about $20 more of "must have" stuff.

My first great find was those black and white journals for $1, I picked up half a dozen to alter. And my children have been mesmorized for hours now as little archeologists (Mr E gave his "this is hard work" face for the picture). They found these eggs with dinosaur bones inside in the toy aisle. As you find the bones, you dust them and take them out, then when you are all done, the bones fit together to make a little miniature dino skeleton. Mr. E has already decided he is adding archeologist to his planned resume when he grows up. Be warned, if you happen to be a clean freak (which I am most certainly not) watch out, these are serious dust and dirt makers.

So, while going through the little crafting aisle that is usally crappity crap, I discovered they had Blue Moon beads. You know those adorable glass beads that are like $3.99 at Michael's and JoAnn's? A $1!! I bought $40 worth of beads for only $10. And they had all kinds of colors and designs. It wasn't much and I cleaned out about half the packages for them, but go check out your local Dollar Tree if you are as addicted to those beads as I am. The clerk told me they get them in all the time, but I think she's nuts because I have never seen them and I go there fairly regularly.

Also, next to the beads, they had these odd little fabric embellishments, some were crap, but others were nice and very intricate -- like crocheted and beaded embellishments to sew on. They were perfect for altered art clothing. I didn't pick up any because I couldn't figure out what I would do with them and I already had $40 worth of stuff in my shopping cart, but I they were adorable. Oh and another cool thing I picked up, little unpainted shadow boxes next to the craft stuff, about 4 x 4 inches in size. I'm going to see what of kind altered art project I can come up with for it. I really want to create a collection of vintage sewing shadow box for my new sewing studio, so I'm experimenting with one.

And that my dear friends was my trip to the Dollar Tree....the end!

Attn: Homeschooling Mamas - Mardel is having a sale

I was at Mardel last night picking up some of my kid's homeschooling curriculum and they had signs all over the store. Next Thursday, July 17th, they are having special hours 8 AM to 10 PM with 20% of all the education stuff. They carry a lot of HS books I was looking for like Handwriting without Tears and Wordly Wise and Easy Grammar. They had others like Saxon math. Lots of other stuff too. If anybody knows if they carry Singapore Math, post in the comments. I did not find it and they were closing so I didn't have time to ask, but I'm thinking of trying another one to see if they carry it, I had heard they did carry it.

I'm not sure what's not included in the sale, but it's all education and office stuff on sale. They do have an ad on their website for this sale.

Also, I don't know if it is a well known thing, but Homeschool Buyer's Coop is a great place to buy discount programs in a co-op. I purchased a subscription for Mr. E for Click n Read phonics. He LOVES it. He just started and he's already learning to read his very first words. He's 4 yrs old and has been dying to read for quite some time, but was not into doing phonics with me. He wanted something he could do himself, and this program is wonderful for that. At the co-op, it is only $29.99 for a lifetime subscription for 1 child. Additional children are cheaper to add.

Anyway Homeschool Buyer's Coop is free to join. You can even print off a homeschool teacher ID for yourself so you can get discounts where educators get discounts. They don't charge a membership, just fees for when you buy products. So far I am really impressed.

And Miss Em wanted to go ahead and start school, so I was going to sign her up for Big Spelling Time, but they now are called Big IQ Kids and have spelling, vocabulary, math, and states and a special price of $59.99 for a 1 yr subscription to all 4 and I think I read that was a limited time price. She loves it, everything but math. The math is hard without writing stuff down, so we are going to do math in workbooks, but the vocabulary and spelling are fun, and when you finish a lesson, you get tokens to go play games. I had Em do the demo lessons and she really enjoyed them before we purchased it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sewing Chick's Book Club

Yes it is that boring time when I switch from sewing stuff to books. There are days I wish I had become a librarian. I love books so much and feel the incredible urge to share them with the world. Seriously, there are times I'm in a bookstore and I feel like pulling people over and handing them books, crazy I know. There is nothing better than coming home with a giant bag of fabric full of project ideas, and I feel the same way when I come home with a bag of books just waiting to be read. I savor the time until I can crawl under the covers and read, and if it's cold and raining outside, it makes it that much more perfect. I know most people prefer nice sunny days, but give me a cold dark thunderstorm and I can't wait to crawl in bed and read all afternoon.

So here are a couple of books I just finished, both by Jennifer McMahon. It was quite the task to find Island of Lost Girls. Of all places, it showed up at Target when I checking their itty bitty book section.
This is her first book called Promise Not To Tell. It's not a very long book, but I loved that I could not guess the ending. I had suspicions of who was the murder but kept questioning myself, and I really enjoy a book I can't completely guess the ending. This book is about a school nurse named Kate. She is called to go back home across the country because her mother has developed Alzhemier's. She grew up in a hippie commune with her mom, and as a child her best friend, Del, was murdered and it was never solved. She left Vermont as soon as she could after that. The day she comes back to town, another little girl is murdered exactly like Del. So suspicions are all around including about Kate, and it seems her mother is somehow channeling Del in her Alzheimer state to help Kate find the killer. It's a very good story. I devoured it. I really liked how chapters would flip flop, one in the present and one in the past when Kate and Del were children.

This book is Jennifer McMahon's second book called Island of Lost Girls. McMahon does the same flip flopping of chapters with one in the past and one in the present. This book is about a girl who just graduated college and she witnesses the abduction of a little girl at a gas station by a giant white rabbit. It is a small town so people are pissed she didn't do anything when she witnessed the kidnapping. So her guilt forces her to volunteer with the efforts to find the girl. Soon she and another volunteer begin their own investigation into the abduction because she wants to prove the police wrong because they are suspecting her childhood friend, Peter. Soon she starts to believe it is him too, and this leads her back into her past because she remembers a white rabbit from her past too and she and her friends have some odd things happen. She remembers Peter and his sister Lizze, her best friend -- their dad just disappears one day back when they are kids, then Lizzie also disappears a few years later on the way to school one day. And with this abduction, she starts to examine her childhood with these friends. The ending is a big surprise. I was trying to figure it out in my head, but the story takes a complete twist and the kidnapper is not who you think they are. The way McMahon wraps everything up at the end is very good because secrets coming spilling out of her childhood. This one was a short read as well, but I couldn't put it down. I read it in 2 afternoons.

I love period books, and I absolutely love reading fiction on Asian cultures from the past, so I happened upon this book (at Target too!) called The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrzavani and thought I might love it as much as the Asian period books, and it's really good. I think it is her first novel. It's a period novel about a Muslim girl's life from 17th century Persia. I just started it yesterday and had to peel myself away. It is getting very interesting. Her father dies and she and her mother are so poor they ask their only relative, her father's rich distant half-brother to live with him, so they move to this huge city from their small village, and life is so different. They become servants to his half-brother's family. I am only 100 pages into the book and it's pretty thick, but from other reviews, I have read she decideds to free herself and her mother from this family and I can't wait to get back to it tonight to see how this plays out.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nursing Cover/Apron is now downloadable

I had a sec, so I went ahead and did it. The link is over in the Freebies or you can go to it right now if you click on this picture below:

Just to clarify if anyone is not sure. The Nursing Apron Top is a shirt to wear. The Nursing Cover/Apron is the cover up for nursing with boning. I had seen it called a nursing apron and a nursing cover, so that is why I had both names for the cover. I hope that is not too confusing.

Dallas area fabric addicts!! Golden D'or Sale

I forgot to mention this til today. If you live in the Dallas area -- Golden D'or is having a sale in their clearance room fabrics. Their clearance room is HUGE.

And I have a 30% off coupon for 1 regular price fabric. Email me and I can email it to you. Email link over there ----->


The Semi-Annual Clearance Room Sale is Back!
July 7-12 ONLY

For one week only we will have unbelievable prices throughout the store! Save 30% off any regular priced item in the store with your coupon and save BIG in the already reduced clearance room!

Prices in the clearance room will be as follows...

*All bolts marked up to $7 will be $0.99 per yard!

*All bolts marked from $7+ to $10 will be $1.99 per yard!

*All bolts marked from $10+ to $15 will be $2.99 per yard!

*All bolts marked from $15+ to $18 will be $3.99 per yard!

*All bolts marked over $18 will be $4.99 per yard!

This is so COOL!!

I just discovered the most adorable hair clips on Etsy. Have you seen these? Thought bubble barrettes!! Is that not the cutest idea? I love the Star Trek ones - Resistance is Futile and I Love Data (Brent Spiner) - I'm such a Trekkie. That is such a creative idea!

I'm seriously thinking about getting one, my mother is already embarassed by the pink hair, I can't imaging what she would think if I added a thought bubble clip.

Go check out the Etsy store by clicking on the banner.

P.S. I'm updating the nursing cover/apron tutorial so it's a PDF download with some real live pictures. My sister-in-law offered to model while nursing her youngest if I cut off her head in the pictures, I compromised and cut off half her face, lol. I thought a total headless picture would be kinda strange. So it'll be up in a couple of days.

The Toy Society

I'm not sure how I happened upon this blog, but they just started up a Softies Drop. Where you leave a Softie doll somewhere for someone to take home with them. It just started just a few days ago and they're having a contest to win a bag of softies to drop off, and soon they will post details for doing the softie drop in your own town. So if you're interested, click the button below. It's really adorable!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Applique Tutorial - Cupcakes and flowers

Last weekend I took pics of the appliqued onesies I made my niece and I turned it into a tutorial. In a bit, I'll stick it over on the left in the Freebies section, but for now, just click below and it will take you to the PDF download.

I'm swamped finishing my school work right now, so I'll be back in a couple of days to tell you about the latest books I've devoured and they were good.

Happy Independence Day!! I hope you got to see lots of fireworks!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bubbles, bubbles, and lots of bubbles

I saw this on a blog yesterday and I've been sitting here for 30 minutes going through my history and I cannot find the blog I found this project on. Argh!! Ok, well if I figure out who it is, I will come back and add a link to give them props for it.

My kids have had great fun and spent most of the day outside blowing giant foam tubes of bubbles.

2 Water bottles
Old washcloth
shallow bowl/pan
Dishwashing liquid

So here is what I did. I took 2 water bottles out of the recycling box and cut off about half of fit because all I had were the larger size bottles, not the kid ones. Then I found an old yucky washcloth and cut two large squares and fastened one square at the end of each water bottle with a rubberband (ok technically I used hair bands since I couldn't find a single rubberband, lol).

Then I made up a pie plate of 2 pumps of the foaming Dawn dish detergent and about 1/2 inch of water and mixed it up. Then you set the bottle into the pie plate, washcloth side down, lol, and let it soak up some bubble solution. Then you pull it out and wrap your lips around it and just blow (oops, that sounds kinda pornographic, doesn't it? I have such a dirty mind, lol). The lighter you blow the longer you can keep your tube of foam going.

Here's some pics of Ms Em and Mr E doing it:

Currently my children are still outside making foam bubble hairstyles on each other.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


We just go back from seeing a sneak preview of Hancock. Totally awesome movie, very funny. Definitely go see it!! It's very funny and very good. But I can't say much more because I'll end up giving it away. It's nice to go a movie and you don't figure out the ending. Big Willie is still king of the 4th of July!

And one more thing - don't leave when the credits role, there is more movie.

Wordle is making me crazy

I discovered this earlier today and I can't quit. My blog happened to be open at the time because I was editing something so I was listening to the music and started typing the lyrics as I heard them. I've done like a million of these today, lol.

So here is my current fave Jason Mraz song - Details in the Fabric written in Wordle. It takes out all the basic little tiny words. You can make your own or use someone else's.

supercool new 'zine - Mankind Mag

I saw this on kirtsy.com and wanted to share after sitting here for an hour reading the entire thing and completely mesmerzied. Mankind Mag from Design for Mankind. It's such a cool magazine. I really love the day planner at the end. You can order a print copy or download a pdf for FREE!! Check it out!