Saturday, March 29, 2008

This weeks sewalong project is......

the CRAYON ROLL! It seems everybody wants to make one of these so let's get this one out of the way.

A great tutorial for this can be found at Skip to my Lou.

If you want to participate in the sewalong but don't want to do a crayon roll, you could do a pencil roll or a crochet hook holder instead. The only difference is that you would make it taller obviously but then also make it tall enough that it can flap down so the needles and pencils don't fall out. Hope that makes sense.

A notebook and pencil holder tutorial can be found at One Red Robin.

The possibities are endless with these! Next week will be bibs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Look what I won over at Handi Dandi's blog.

I already have a plan for this (i think...must see contents first). I never win anything so how fun it will be to go through this surprise package. I never get surprise packages either so double fun. :-)

Her sister has a fun blog too!

Thanks Mandi!

Monday, March 24, 2008

LD's spring clothes

I made all of these in about 2-3 hours. Love making these. It's just like the pant tutorial i posted in the previous entry but shortening the length since he needs spring and summer clothes more than winter right now (well not yet but if spring ever gets here!). The boat ones are from feedsack material i believe. The two top plaid are from mens shirts, the bottom plaid is new fabric so is the camo. The blue and white striped are a mens shirt and the blue and the white striped pj's are from an old shirt of mine. There's a green and white striped pair from a maternity shirt lol that are pj's too. He grabbed that one right up and wanted to wear it yesterday and today (!). So he can jump like a frog lol.

I kept the scraps and will applique t-shirts to match them. So fun!

I wish we could get some warmish weather over here so he could wear them now! I have two more pairs i want to make. And a hat too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

flickr group for sew along

Here's the group i just created for the sewalong. I'm so glad i have two of my favorite people with me! Any others want to join in? If you don't have a blog or use flickr just email me your picture and i'll include it there. Next week is easy kids pants. Now for this one you can get really creative and make as many as you want. When i do these i find myself making 3 or 4 at once. In fact, right now i'm working on ld's spring/summer clothes. You can makes shorts the same way.

You can use men's shirts, jersey knits (i really like striped ones made from my shirts).

Here's a few links:

pants from a t-shirt. Also here.

Pants from fabric (or shirts).

The pants from a button down shirt are a tad bit different because the front usually has a button down. I haven't seen a tutorial on doing them this way so i think i'll be posting my first tutorial for that style.

I love these. They are so easy and so fun. I like to take my husbands nice work shirts that have a stain or whatever and use them for these. Business shirts have good nice soft fabric. Especially the name brands. I really like the plaids of polo shirts.

Have fun and post your pictures next weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stitchery for Children

Stitchery for Children
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

This is the embroidery book for kids. It's old but has lots of fun ideas if you can find it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring activities

So here's my crafting/activity list for me and LD for the next month or so. Gulnari wanted some crafty ideas so i figured i'd just start posting my lists since some others may like them too.

I hit the kid craft books every time i run out of ideas and make a list. Some may not be so crafty and are more activity based but that's how my brain organizes time. This is our special time every day...uninterrupted hour together. So.... here's the list for early spring (it sure as heck doesn't feel like spring here so i'm waiting for the real springy stuff for another month or so). Here goes:

Food: Let him put all the fruit and yogurt into blender to make a smoothy. Let him add the wheat germ etc. Have tea party with it (let him serve). Same thing with carrot cake and we'll invite bunny to tea party and read a book about bunnies.

Nature: Bird watching, filling bird feeders (we have pine cones filled with bird seed hanging but they are empty), turkey watching (we have visitors daily again). Bird chart to track birds. We'll spot them together and i found a bird magazine at the library in the free stack so i'll cut out the ones we see and then we'll stick them on the chart as we see them.

Indoor quiet time: Embroidery - i just got a book from that estate sale on how to teach kids embroidery as young as 2 1/2 so i bought some large grid plastic canvas, a blunt yarn needle and yarn for ld to embroider on. Interested to see how this goes.

We'll make pipe cleaner bugs. I'll let him do the all important task of cutting pipe cleaners and i'll glue together. He'll add the eyes. We'll read a book about bugs and spiders.

We'll update the "season wall". Right now there's a cotton ball snowman and snowflakes on there. We'll change that to a tree and will eventually add buds when we see them and then flowers. Around that will be cutouts of flowers, rain boots, umbrellas, birds. Will do a mobile for the window of rain cloud and rain drops.

Spongepainting. He already does water colors and easel painting on his own so this will be something new for him.

Books: "my umbrella", spring books, insect books, bird books, "a year of birds"

We're also going to have a friend of his over to paint equinox eggs. Well that's what his friends mom is calling them but i just think decorating eggs is fun and i think egg salad is tasty and i think deviled eggs is really tasty and decorated eggs gives me a chance to make both. :-) We don't do easter obviously.

You'll see there isn't 30 things here because some days are just too busy or he's not interested. I don't push things with him. If decent weather is around, we go for walks and pick up stuff. Library program is starting up again too. On those days we usually go for walks and to lunch so we don't do anything that day. This is just what works for me. I find he appreciates locked in time for him.

Japanese goods

This weekend i think i'll talk my husband into making a trek to the Japanese shopping center. Anybody want anything Japanese? I'm going for a Bento box and supplies for spring/summer picnics for me and little dude, a few craft books, candy!, pocky's, and i'm hoping i find a fabric/sewing notion store there too. And of course some yummy sushi! Let me know because i won't be making this trip often. It's kinda far-ish. NY is far to me lol even though it's only 30 miles it feels like forever because of the bridge and traffic. I'm not brave enough to go the subway on my own with little dude yet. The thought gives me spasms. Little Dude in the City is not a movie i want to see. We can take the train there and back but that's fine because it's just a train ride but the go solo.

My store is going to open i've just been sick and ld has been grumpy. No crafting, no nada this week. Oh, but i did read the manual for the bernina, got it all cleaned up and oiled it and tried out all the stitches and oh dear me, i had no idea how much i'd really love and appreciate this machine. It does embroidery! It's smooth, quiet and instead of the clunk clunk clunk every time the needle goes down like my old one, this one just trucks along. Didn't jam once. I thought it was me the way my old one always jammed but it wasn't. Love.this.machine.lots. I can't wait to really get going on it!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kid Crafts

Gulnari asked me to do a post on crafts to do with kids. I wouldn't call myself a pro on this subject and am still learning a lot. The things we do consistently together are finger painting, sponge painting, stamping (he loves rubber stamps!), and anything with glue. Instead of coming up with a list i am just going to do a post each week of what craft/s we are going to attempt that week. I'll include links and/or directions if possible. I think this will be a funner way to do it. Each week (lately it's more like a month) i pull out my crafty kids books. I have a bunch. I'll pick a few i like and a few projects for myself too from my own books. Sometimes it'll merge like i just made him train cutouts for his playroom and an art display for there too. I need to post a picture of his playroom sometime but right now it's in "need to organize mode" - that's my next project after all these ebay auctions are done. I'm sure that'll be a whole nother load for the charity shops. This'll start next week. This should put me at some regular blogging. One day for the sewalong, one for the crafting, and i may start showing my works in progress too. Whatchu think?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Learning to sew sewalong.

For the sew along. Only two people are interested but that's okay. I know more of you say you want to sew too so what i'm going to do is this. Weekly i'll list a project and at the end of the week, if you did it, you post a pic. I'm glad the two of you (gulnari and ummadam) signed up. For your support i want to send you a little surprise and starter gift. Send me your addy's please!

Okay, so for the first project let's do a very simple, fast but cute project. Tissue holders. Here are a few tutorial's for it.

Craftapalooza has one.

Here's one for a little different style.

Here's one that has a printable pattern.

Here's a whole bunch to give you ideas...

You don't need much for these. I have made several and find that it's kind of fun to make a bunch at once. All you need is some scraps and some trim if you want to use it.

Make it, post it and we'll have a new project next week. This week i'll get a flikr group together and update here with the addy. Have fun!

Friday, March 14, 2008

vanilla bean

Did you know that vanilla bean comes from orchid plants??? I didn't! No wonder it's so expensive. In Atlanta it's easy to get vanilla bean whole, here not so much. But i always wondered why it was so expensive for one bean. I'm kinda lucky and my mom brings me vanilla from mexico whenever she goes. Good vanilla too. Yum! I think i have to make some extra vanilla-y chocolate chip cookies when LD wakes up. Book review is almost done. I have a horrible cold that won't go away and i think i just may need to give in and go to the doctor for meds but am fighting it thus far. Estate sale was okay. All five boxes of buttons were gone by the time i got there. Sigh. Sucks but i found some nice quilt scraps and a bunch of vintage knitting books and mags.

I finally responded to comments too!

Estate sale ad:

Sale Description:1940s mahogany dining room set, desk, small dresser, Wurlitzer spinet piano. 50s dinette set, bedroom set, Dumont TV, Grundig radios, lamps, pair of Victorian chairs, 1930s sofa and 2 chairs with great carved wood trim, but needs reupholstering, salt and pepper collection, Blue Ridge and other pottery, elegant Depression glass, milk glass, porcelain, tons of knick knacks, silver tea service, old sewing machines and tons of buttons, sewing, knitting, crochetting and craft supplies, linens, costume jewelry, Longaberger basket, cookbooks, glider, tons more! Bring boxes!
Guess where i'll be today?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cool mosque blocks

How cool are these blocks? We love blocks around here and these rock! I just ordered a set.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Getting time.

I'm always asked 'how do you get the time to do this and that?'. But it comes down to this - i don't get time, i make time and that's that. If my house is a mess for a week because no one is picking up after themselves and I'm busy, then it stays a mess. I've said before i don't clean house while LD naps (well i occassionally do housework then but only if it's really needed) but that's when I do my book reviews, online stuff, treadmill, sewing - not all in a day of course but that's the only time i can get this stuff done.

Another thing i do is cut corners whenever i can. I just spent 8 hours cooking this weeks meals. Here is what i made:

- haleem
- sweet and sour balti chicken
- dopiaza
- chicken with fenugreek
- key lime pie

and whatnot. I won't cook all week now except for LD's meals which are easy.

I use all the time i got. If i'm watching something on tv i'm probably reading, crocheting, knitting or taking out stitches of something i screwed up sewing. I'm not a neat freak, and i've converted my husband from being one. I like a clean house, who doesn't, but i don't spend all my time keeping it clean. As long as it is a healthy house, i'm satisfied with every other day spot cleanings.

Another thing i do every day is pick up after LD and organize his play area so that he goes from one activity to another. Each activity will last about 15 minutes. This helps a lot. Focused playing. That gives me an hour, after that we do something together, play or craft or just sit and talk or read. Then he does his own thing for a little while again and i get online for a few minutes and then we eat. Evenings are filled with two dinners and bedtime routines.

I just make time but i will be the first to admit, i am not a homemaker all day. I feed my kid and do the dishes daily and laundry and stuff but i can admit that there is always a pile of laundry somewhere in this house...waiting by the washer, on the couch ready to be folded, in a basket by the closet waiting to be put away, etc. And it's a rare day the dishdrainer is emptied of dishes. I'm a horrible housekeeper and that is probably why i have time. Secret's out! I get it all done but i do things in waves. Like for two days I don't do much housework and then i clean the heck out of it. I find if i keep it up to par all the time, i don't have any time for myself, i get irritable, that makes ld and dh irritable and me more irritable so why do that. I prefer to clean in one shot and spend the whole day doing it rather than a little here and a little there. This way, only dh is a little bit irritable. Seriously though, it's just the way it is. I like to have fun with my kid and i find for me to be at my best i need an outlet to the world. I live in uptight new jersey and it's been hard to make friends in the winter time - i need my time. I don't budge on this.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I'm not opening it up this weekend after all. I just haven't been able to sew! I think i'll finish up all my ebay listings and shipments - i've seriously decluttered and have a ton listed, sold and ready to list. Then i need to actually get my pay it forward packages into the mail. I finally got them all done and now I can't wait to see what Surviving sends me! She's so talented. I need to finish up a book review too and get my Amazon bookstore organized too. I want to go through and take everything that's not selling fast to the thrift store. Spring cleaning in March. I'm hoping that'll bring Spring a little faster! Sooooo, it looks like two weekends from now i'll open it. I will be opening it this weekend but it's only for crafty related products that i want to declutter and don't want to list on ebay. Ebay can be a real headache sometimes. People on there can be so obnoxious! You can run into really nice people too though like i did this week. I have so much going on these days and have a few presents to get together too and then the inlaws will be coming for a month or so. I want the store up and running and everything decluttered and presents made by then. My boy's quilt is itching for my stitching too!

Friday, March 07, 2008

free time

Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I desperately needed a few minutes to get some stuff done. I came up with this to occupy LD. A big tupperware container, some sand and rocks from a zen candle set i've had forever but haven't been able to use since LD stood up and a thrifted miniature tonka truck. He's been begging to go back outside and play with his trucks and excavator (excavator was like his 20th spoken worth lol - he loves them) but it's been too cold. Here was our compromise. It provided hours of play. He did good at keeping the sand in the pit. I told him if he didn't he wouldn't be able to play with it again because this kid loves a mess. He did good only getting a little outside. A quick vacuum and we had a happy mom and an extremely happy boy.

Try it!

Okay, i'm real busy today getting stuff listed on ebay, managing payments and sending stuff out but did take pictures of some of the finds and will do a proper post later explaining some of it but if you are impatient and want to see now, you can go over here - they are the ones after the bag of buttons.

Flickr isn't working right now....will update later.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


does no one want to take me up on the simple sewing project lesson thing a ma jig?

I need a few more to do it...

Robbing little old ladies.

Today Little Dude and I rushed to the library for story time, but there was no story time today so we mosied over to a great little deli and had lunch, walked hand in hand through the little town center area and hopped in the car happy and fed. I hoped he'd fall asleep on the way home and then i could do a little work and we could craft together this afternoon. Wellllllll, instead on the way home i robbed 5 little ladies from a church with my wallet. You know how i was complaining about having no thrift stores here, well lo and behold, there's one 5 minutes from my house. They just don't advertise and they are only open one day a week. Unbelievable place with unbelievable prices. Sigh. I've been wanting to drive the 30 minutes to go to good will to get some vintage kids books. I have a project in the works for them. I'm making a mobile so i need them cheap to cut up. Well dear friends, i hit the motherload. They weren't vintage, mostly new and very good books for 10 cents a piece. Then a motherload of sewing and quilt books and patterns. They just said "$4.50 for allunem." Some of those books sell for over $10 a piece on ebay! Not that i'm selling them. I'm just saying. Heart beating. "Is there a fabric area here?" "Yes, up the stairs and down the hall." Well not really because they just had a bag sale on it but it will be full again one day and i'll be there! But they had buttons, buttons, buttons, and more buttons for super duper cheap and cutesy vintage ones.

I also got some nice china, a pyrex glass teapot to sell because these sell well. I know all the desi's out there are shaking their heads right now. They so hate thrifting. They'll buy any toxic thing from the dollar store but don't ever try to get them to buy something used. My husband still doesn't like it but he does appreciate my ability to find gold amongst the rubble when i sell things and make a pretty penny to buy fabric with. I seriously felt guilty walking out the door will four boxes of stuff for $25. I'm dropping off a few boxes of donations this weekend to make up for it. :-) Oh, let's quit talking and let's see it. Right? Pictures of all my thrifting adventures over the last few weeks coming up!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The To-Do List Meme

Gulnari kindly tagged me on the before 18 To-Do List Meme. Here is my contribution. If a youth does all these before 18, that would be excellent, but it can really be done at all ages.

* Read everything and never trust anyone/thing 100% except God. Reading will open your eyes to the world and teach you many things, many of which will contradict each other and make you a pessimist. Understand that nothing is perfect except God and smile with that knowledge when you see people trying to outsmart each other. Realize their quest is futile and a waste of time.

* Believe in yourself. If your parents don't, your siblings don't, your teachers don't, do it yourself. Life can hand out some pretty bad hands but if you believe in yourself, truly believe in yourself, you can - and will - overcome it all.

* Be kind to your parents and your grandparents and anyone older than you. Listen to what they have to say. You don't have to believe it, or even act on it, or even like it, but listen. Twenty years down the road, you may realize that your parents are pretty cool under all the geekiness. You will be a parent one day too.

* On this note, always be a good houseguest and help out. Remember it is charity for a person to invite you into their home and be part of their family for a set amount of time. Appreciate that and respect their home.

* Try new things like arts, crafts, something creative. You may not be good at it, but it will teach you something and provide usefullness. Even if it's something like changing the oil on a car. Learn useful things. Be innovative.

* Never forget God. Wake up knowing that God gave you another day and go to bed thanking Him.

* Do random acts of kindness. Help women with children and older women with their groceries or whatever it is they need help with. Many men prey on these women now. Be different and help them. Protect them. When a stranger drops something, pick it up and give it to them. Open the door for someone, or wait the extra minute to hold it for someone coming through. Don't push in line. Be polite. Know what you deserve but partake humbly. Do these things even if you get rude remarks. 9 out of 10 will appreciate it and if they don't, you still did good. There are many angry people in the world and selfish ones too. Don't be one of them.

* Love yourself, love your family, and love God. Not in the order.

I don't know how many I was supposed to list but this seems like a good place to end. :-)

I'm not going to tag anyone but i'd love for others to do this. If you do please leave a comment and let me know so i can read it!
*** Funny, i just noticed i wrote this as though i was talking to my son/or a muse i guess. I think girls should do the same things protectors of their mothers, sisters etc. I am fiercely protective of my mother.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Favorite sayings of the day

- "Look ami, a princess." (pointing to a little girl with a headband). All girls with long blond hair are princesses. Oh dear me. It's just too cute and out of nowhere.

- While cuddling he puts his forehead into my chin and smiles and calls me "cutie pie". I heard my heart go flutter flutter. And once he saw my reaction, he does it again and again.

This kid will melt your heart in two minutes flat. He can also drive you crazy in half that time but always, just when you could throttle the little person, he says something crazy cute. I love 2 year olds.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who is this kid?

Yesterday in Princeton LD ordered from a waitress on his own. "Juice please." she said "apple or orange?" He thought pensively... "apple" and then nodded his head like 'yes, that is indeed what i want.'

Today he got up from his nap and yelled down to me, "blueberries and a bowl please!"

(a bowl means yogurt. It's a given if he gets fruit like that he gets it on top of plain yogurt because it's so healthy for him). I told him okay but then a few minutes later i guess he decided he needed more than a snack because he then yelled down -

"Chicken please. And veg-ta-dables please. And mango. Mango with juice!"
I say "you want mango juice?"
"Yes please. Thank youuuuu."
"and a bitamin!" (a vitamin)

LOL. He's growing up on me too dang fast! That's one good thing about only having one kid right now. You get to notice everything they are doing. This age is so cute!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

LD's quilt top!

LD's quilt top!
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Almost ready to open the shop!

I'm working on some smocks. Got the fabric. I'll be doing spring summer ones first (linen and fabric) and will do some corduroy and fabric too like the other one i made. Some of you expressed interest already. Is there a certain theme you would like? Anyway, i should have the shop up and running next weekend. It'll only be a few things to start but that's a beginning right.

Sorry for the funky post. I don't get down very often but it's been a very trying week and few months. Anyway, i responded to previous comments and am excited to open shop!

Oh, and look what i got done yesterday! LD's quilt top. Gulnari - notice i used to fabric you sent. Thank you! I loved using the fabric you sent because now you will always have a little presense in our home. :-) Makes everything that much sweeter.


Many of you have expressed an interest in sewing and how to start. I didn't know a thing about it. I found a machine on sale for $68 and bought it because i had been wanting to do some crafting with LD that required one. I wanted to make a pop up clown (which turned out horribly) but the clothing for it turned out good. Then i made simple square napkins because i wanted to quit using paper towels and napkins to be a little more earth friendly. Then Gulnari told me about a book on sale on amazon (it was $4 at the time). And i made a few easy things from it and then she told me about another and i was hooked. If you want to start sewing I suggest getting a kids book about it from the library or buying a simple one like bend the rules sewing. I like kids books though because they talk to you like you are five years old and well that's how i like it when learning something. Besides there's fun kids projects that are quick, not timeconsuming and your little ones will like them.

A great first project if you want to get into sewing is kids pants. They don't require any shaping at this age so even if you screw up, it's easy to adjust them or make another pair. I used my husband's old shirts that had stains on them. They are still our favorite pajamas of his because it was one of my husbands favorite shirts too. I used the good parts (and messed up twice before) and then made 2 perfect pairs. I make all my sons pajamas now unless i see a pair out there i really like.

When you begin sewing i suggest going to walmart for fabric. It is soooo cheap there. They have a section with dollar a yard bolts. It's perfect to practice with. I don't have a cheap fabric store here except that choice or a really expensive quilt store which i do use for quilting material. Once you get into sewing (because you will) here is an excellent resource for fabric on line. I recently finally used z & s and it was every bit as good as i've heard around the net. I couldn't believe what i got for my money, and they have items that are long sold out elsewhere. Ebay is occassionally a good source for new fabric but i don't use it much for that. I do buy most of my vintage stuff on there and in antique stores and i can't wait for this years rummage sale. I seriously scored last year. I sold most of what i bought on ebay after i was done with it and made more than what i paid.

If you want other cheap material to use at first, buy sheets. You get a ton of fabric, it's usually soft and there are some great prints. I used a few of our mismatched sheets at first to practice on. Don't the fitted sheets always wear out and you are left with a mismatched top? I bought some sheets from IKEA for $1.99 (over 2 yards of fabric and nice woven cotton) to use for totes. Ikea has cool fabric btw.

Most of all - don't be intimidated. Read your manual, use it. I had mine at my side until just recently. Start with small easy projects that make you feel like you accomplished something fast and then move on up from there. Have fun with it! Don't expect to do everything well. To this day, i can't follow a pattern from an envelope. Every.single.time they end up way screwed up. I have given up on them and the idea of making clothes for myself that way. I have however made a tunic using the same method as the pajamas above. I trace one i have onto paper, add seam allowance and sew it together. I don't do envelope patterns. I will one day but for now, they frustrate me and make me feel stupid so i don't. Kids clothes are faster and funner (more fun?) anyhow. Now dig that machine out and let's go!

I want to learn a few things that have been intimidating me - zippers, buttonholes, elastic and piping. Anyone interested in doing a few simple sewing projects along with me and take pictures to post? If you don't have a blog, you can email the picture to me and i'll post them. They'll be simple functionable things. Here's what i have in mind:

1. Kids pants.
2. Tissue keeper.
3. Tote bag.
4. Patchwork pin cushion.

We'll do one a week. Leave a comment if you are interested and we'll start in two weeks. That's time to get the machine out and get some fabric. I need 5 people to agree to do it with me. Any takers? If i get 5, i'll list the supplies you need for all projects in an email. After these four projects we'll learn how to do the things i mentioned above that intimidate me.