Wednesday, October 29, 2008


If you don't know Grosgrain, go meet there. She does such lovely work and has incredible giveaways. You'll love her birdie skirts for your little girl.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Boys of Summer Give Away Winner

Congratulations to #3 Alison Coyle. The random integer creator is such a nifty device. I will get your little package on the way to you. Thanks for all the comments and entries!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boy's Christmas Sweater Pattern Dilemma

The pattern is in this house--somewhere. It is here, unless the dog ate it, the baby shredded it or I threw it out by mistake. So here I am with the front, back and one sleeve of the boy child's Christmas sweater complete and no pattern to finish it. I know I can noodle the second sleeve using the first as my guide, but then there is the collar. hmmm. I don't remember the name of the pattern. I didn't find it on Ravelry. I think it was a Debbie Bliss Freebie from a Canadian magazine. Hmm. So knitters, I may need some help once I get to the collar. It was a modified rolled collar--4 row rib followed by 6 rows of stockinette. I'll muddle through if I don't find it. The mommy brain thing is wearing thin this Sunday morning.
If he had not asked me to make it (what a sweet little boy, and only 3) if I were not so close, I'd move on to another something fun to make him like:
If you find you love any of these and need to make them for your kiddos--remember to save the link so you do not find yourself in a scramble. Lesson learned.

Praise for Seattle Adventure Boot Camp

When I told my husband I wanted to do a 5:30 am, bootcamp class three days a week for a month, he was a little surprised. Since the boy was born (3 1/2 years ago) the only exercise I've engaged in is walking and since the girl was born, that got harder because the boy doesn't want to stroll. His big boy status makes his reasoning obvious. My sweet husband encouraged me to do it, but after he did the math, he said, "You know for the value, you might as well go five days a week." I gulped, and then I signed up--send the money and dug out the running shoes.
The cloak of darkness definitely helped. Nobody had to see the pain in my face as I did rills, ran laps, or wore out on repetitions. I learned some great things that encouraged me the first week.

1. I am stronger than I thought. Though slow, I could still run a mile.

2. Though I have the mama "jelly belly" it is strong enough to do all the ab work required.

3. Such an early workout gave me energy all day long.

4. The women in the group were fun and great support as we all struggled with different aspects of the training.

5. Trainer John had a great approach. He was firm. He was challenging, but he was alway guiding us to do our best for ourselves. "Don't quit on yourself" is a line he used that really worked for me. Thanks Trainer John.

Some things that encouraged me to keep going--

1. My balance was horrible. Seriously, standing on one foot to stretch out the other ankle was a true test and I wobbled, I failed. A month later I am so much more stable!

2. My legs are weak. Somehow they manage to carry my body around and my kids around, but they are weak and I want them to be strong.

3. I could no longer do 20 push-ups at a shot. Time to get after it.

4. The '80s music that helped me channel my young and fit self.

The Seattle Boot Camp does before and after measurements (I didn't ask about these because I just wanted to get stronger.) What I can tell you is that in a month, I lost five pounds (not so much you might think), but my body changed and I can wear clothes I haven't worn in over a year. I know I am leaner and stronger--muscle weighs more than fat.

I thought I would do one session of this and then just get to the gym and see what I could maintain. Now, I'm thinking I need another session. I know I have a ways to go to get back to myself. The time alone working on me was a real gift. I have to thank my friend Nancy for encouraging me to sign up for camp, the ladies of the Shoreline 5:30 am class for their hard work that pushed me, Trainer John for helping us all hang in there and my sweet husband who provided the freedom to go and the extra encouragement when my old ankles and knees let me know I'm not 20 anymore. After a month, I'm in a new place. Please don't think I didn't ache the first week or struggle with sore ankles and knees. I did, but it was worth it. I feel better--stronger. . . maybe even younger. If you want to check it out, here is the link: They have testimonials, calendars, locations, trainer contact info--good luck and get after it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Enjoy the Moment--Every, Every One

While searching for the perfect gift for my sister-in-law who is an amazing graphic designer at Gartner Studios, I stumbled across this Emily Dickenson quote and it has stayed with me for over a month.

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."

It reminds me of another quote by an ancient, but that is in the forward of one of my favorite books, A Thousand Days in Tuscany, by Marlena Di Blasi. I'll find that and post it, too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scrap Challenge--Finished Mine

Jennifer over at created the Scrap Challenge (she makes lovely quilts and piece-work handies). As a member of group 7, I'm finally done with my piece and getting it on Flickr. My little boy loves the yo-yos and they reminded me of morning glories. . . so a yarn trellis and some rickrack vines later, here is his new pillow. Just a little fun. Hope you're having some today, too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boys of Summer Give-Away

In October of 1977, my grandfather and I watched the Yankees win the World Series. I know, you say Yankees, really. . . but please understand, my grandpa's mother read the baseball news to him when he was a boy and much of it was about Babe Ruth as a Yankee. He brainwashed his grandchildren. I recall my cousin explaining to his son that he could root for any team he liked while at Grandpa's house, but he could not talk badly about the Yankees.
The present series and my baseball memories with Grandpa inspired the burp cloth set and pair of newborn slipper shoes, that are the give-away for this week. Please leave a comment by the evening of October 25th and I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner and announce on October 27th. These are great for your own little guy or girl and a fun gift, too. I can't wait to see who gets them.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Holiday Star Ornament

Oh, I love this. The linen with the stamped print and unfinished edges remind me of an book I have with The Shaker Hymn, Tis a Gift to be Simple. These work up so quickly and would be lovely of felt, holiday cotton, or wool. If you'd rather purchase, just check my etsy store. . . I'll have some of these there. If you don't own stamps, you could embroider the words that you adore--noel, love, joy.

Now I'm thinking I could make little circle ornaments in bright colors with the names of my son's friends from pre-school for their little holiday goody bags. This season is so much fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sew Craft Blog

The new button on my side bar is for a new Blog to create community among crafting bloggers. What a darling the woman who started this is--and such a pretty dog she has, too. Just click the button to view that Blog and join the fun.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Harvest Bird Ornament

Throwing scraps away makes me feel icky, so I've been looking for some fun little things to make with bits of my "left-overs". I know there are other little birdie ornament patterns out there--a lovely little one is in Last Minute Quilted Gifts, but I wanted mine to be more bluebirdish, which is to say, plumper. I did some sketching and some drafting and this little birdie is what I came up with. It would be great in holiday colors for a tree, but I was thinking of harvest time when I created it--thus the orange and brown. I'll get a little pattern together to share. I'm also thinking the birdie would be cute made of just two pieces--maybe linen or felt--easier to make, too. I'll get the pattern on a link soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Das Kaput

My trusty Sears sewing machine decided to take a break today. The motor revs, but nothing happens. If I wanted to manually stitch by using my hand to work the mechanism, I could make some very slow progress, but hand sewing would be faster. And now the dilemma. . . obviously, I should have it repaired, and have been putting that off since the button-holer hasn't worked in over a year, but it gives me the reasonable excuse to look at a better sewing machine. I would love to have some input on what I should test. The sewing I do is mostly garments, toys, bags and small quilts. Having some bells and would be nice, but I'm such a practical girl, that it seems silly to even dream about anything really fancy. What type of machine do you use in your craft time? Oh I hope I get some helpful advice!

Here are some review links that I am noodling:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kid Birthday Ideas

Hmmm. This weekend, we have a double kid birthday party. . . a 4 year old girl and a 1 year old boy. Books are always on my list so that will be easy, but I'm plotting some crafty ideas for them, too. For the little girl, I was thinking of a mini-purse and a set of headbands or barrettes in some of her signature colors. For the little boy, I was thinking a softie toy, though I've never made one and I'm finding designing one without a pattern is quite a task. If any one has suggestions, please share them. I'm assuming bigger is easier, but I could be wrong. I'd like it to be no more than three or four pieces. First I thought a set of bean bags might be fun for him, but then when I saw my 1 year old discover her stuffed animals this week, I thought something of fleece might be fun for him. I'll get to work and share what I make and come up with for these little people.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Etsy Banner

Thank you to Sherry at She does seriously stylish graphic design. If you're looking for a banner, avatar or even a whole shop makeover, she is super-fast and very kind. I love the new look at my store!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wristlet Winner!

Thanks to all who visited and commented on the blue wristlet. I used the following site for a random number generation:

Number 24, Elizabeth is the winner. Congratulations to Elizabeth. You package will ship as soon as you e-mail me your mailing address.

Please stop back for more giveaways and tutorials.