Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Today is Friday."

Well, not really, it is Wednesday. But, on school days, Jack always says "Today is Friday" in the car on the way to school. (The days of the week train has obviously helped lessen his anxiety about when he is going to school, but he hasn't quite memorized the days of the week yet.)

He seems to be doing very well now that the first few weeks are behind us. He doesn't cry when I leave him there, and he comes with tales of big fish every Wednesday. He is really at a great age. He was running around the house yesterday chasing the cat yelling "Wait for me! Wait for me!"

Of course, no Jack means I am out junking. I went to an estate sale this morning for the first time in ages. The woman was a school teacher, and there were 1,000s of old Holiday decorations. It was really hard to choose which ones to bring home with the small amount of cash in my pocket. This HUGE Halloween cat is my favorite. And no way is he going on Ebay, even though he would bring $$$$$.

Last week my husband called and said he was going to a book sale, did I want anything? Old Martha magazines, I said. And he delivered! Look at them all.

And look at the lovely box that Leigh Ann from The Pink Kitchen sent us to celebrate her 100th post! Thank you Leigh Ann. I left the paper on the candies so that Jack can have a little surprise after school. :-)

We will draw a name for the tablecloths on Friday, so get your name on there if you want in!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Road tripping loot

(Edited: removed the rock you slide show which had been replaced with someone else's photos!)

I have been trying forever to get Blogger to do a mouseover HTML thing. I know it *can* be done on Blogger, because I have seen it on a blog, but she used Photoshop, and I don't own photoshop. There are directions here , in case anyone else wants to try and give it a go.

In the meantime, I will have to stick with the slideshows! Here is my haul from the trip to Springfield. Obviously there was no holy grail down there, but it was still fun. (Right now for me the Holy Grail is a great armoire for our bedroom to hold the television.)

Monday, January 29, 2007


On Saturday, my husband and I took a little road trip to the Springfield City Wide Garage Sale . It took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there, and it really was more like a very* crowded flea market than a garage sale, but, we did find some interesting treasures. I picked up a box of these awesome little tissue paper fans, there are 60+ in the box! We also went to many a thrift store, and I have more to show you coming tomorrow. (The pictures are a little crooked, it was snowing like crazy outside.)

*Remember that sucking up my oxygen thing? It was horrible in there.

Because he was with Oma all day Saturday, Jack is a little off kilter and was a bit crabby this morning. Thrifting will cure that right? We found this beautiful bunny candy holder. She isn't vintage, and I am not sure I love her ears, but everytime I look at her on the counter I love her more and more. Jack is particularly fond of her soft tail.

This is my version of the Valentine pocket from Angie at Norththreads . It is currently lying on the kitchen table because I need to find a way to hang it so it doesn't flop over! Getting the ruffle on the back made the stitching line on the front a bit dodgy for my liking, but with a 100 pins holding the ruffle in place, I didn't have much choice. When Jack saw it he said, "Buttons! Making project mama? That's a nice project mama, I love it."

You can still sign up for the tablecloth drawing, and be sure to leave an email or some way for me to find you!

P.S. Speaking of tablecloths, Heidi, the best way I know to remove those stains is with Oxi. If they don't come out, I live with them. I am not bothered by small holes or stains for the most part. I have one right now I am trying something different on, I will add to the get on the blog list if it works out.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Linen fairies, part two

So, remember this tablecloth? As luck would have it, I thrifted a second one this past week. I have it sitting in a pile with a few others that have been waiting to be spot treated or that I took out of my drawer to make room for new ones.

And, because it TOTALLY rocks my world to receive packages from you, I want to pass them along to someone else.

So, if you need/want a linen fairy, leave a comment! In a few days I will let Jack draw a winner and we will send you a special box just for visiting me here.

Friday, January 26, 2007

"Berry" obsessed

When we lived in Florida, I used to go to the Florida Strawberry Festival with my students every year. When I was in college, I was the manager of a candy store. For Valentine's Day I would spend many, many hours making a million pounds of chocolate covered strawberries.

Clearly, strawberries still hold a place in my heart. The wire tree is decorated for Valentine's Day with the glass chocolate covered strawberry ornaments my husband gave me last year for Valentine's Day.

The pink feather tree is decorated with homemade strawberry ornaments, bought at a yard sale this summer. She has painted walnuts, added white glass seed beads for the seeds, and made green felt tops.

And, I am eating these beauties, courtesy of Costco. Yummmy.

The light this morning is really beautiful. Even Jack is feeling a bit more serene.

I am going on a little road trip tomorrow, but, starting on Sunday, there will be a "berry" special giveaway on my little blog here! Until then, have a "berry" good weekend!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I changed my mind.

I had a big post written after a long sleepless night last night. But, I changed my mind about posting it because, well, I feel better this evening. The long and short of it is that I ended up putting Jack back into his crib temporarily. This is mainly because he is tired and cranky, and I was getting angry about the whole mess and I could not sort out how to fix it until I had some space to breathe. I thought he would be upset about the crib, but he isn't at all. In fact, when I was putting it together, he kept saying, "that's a nice bed mama!" He was asleep less than 12 minutes after I put him in it yesterday.

So, in order to get us back on good footing, I restarted us at the beginning. I made this pocket calendar while he was at school today. A friend suggested using a sticker chart as a reward for having a good nap in the toddler bed, and I think it is a fine idea, but, I needed him to sleep first to get him excited about the reward system to begin with! So, for a week or so while he sleeps in the crib, he will find a little reward in one of the pockets when he wakes up. He really liked the advent calendars at Halloween and Christmas ("Number 2!" he calls them) and this plays off that idea. And, this way, I can give him little buttons and things in addition to stickers.

I wanted that Japanese linen patchwork feeling, so I used a rough linen for the background, put some batting in between the 2 pieces of linen, sewed the edges and then just used the pinking shears around the outside. The pinking shears idea is not perfect, but I am ok with that. I wanted it sort of rough.

The squares are 1930's reproductions bought this morning at a great little quilting shop. I made them 3x3, because that is the size of a post it note, and it was easy to lay out the pattern using post-it notes. Clever aren't I? LOL I just used a zig zag stitch around the edges, since I have no serger, and again, I wanted it a little shaggy/rough around the edges. The top tabs are holding vintage bakelite belt buckles that the twill tape is attached to.

I really like how it turned out, and once it's life as a sticker holder is over, I will use it in my sewing room to hold notions, needles, tape measures, etc.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...

About the only thing I have been making right now are more Valentines. I think this idea started with something like this heart wreath, but I am not sure that was the website I saw it at. I took at least 30 pictures before settling on this one, because they look really washed out in all of them. Oh well, you get the idea.

I have some great ideas boiling over in my brain, but they require wool felt, and apparently Joanns doesn't carry pink. Pffft. Not even for special order. So, I have to wait while the internet purchased felt is in the mail on it's way here. (I should have planned ahead a bit more I think.)

The not very crafty streak is because there is precious little of this happening around here right now. In fact, right now Jack is supposed to be sleeping, but he is in his room tearing apart everything. (There was a loud crash about 10 seconds ago.) For some reason, I have an incredibly hard time dealing with him not sleeping, and I always have. It makes me act like a crazy person. Is it Wednesday yet? (Wednesday is his preschool day. LOL)

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Remember these shoes? They started a fetish. The cherry ones above are from Old Navy. They were here, but it looks like they are totally sold out online.

Target gift cards, now hanging on my inspiration board from curtain clips. The skunk is scratch-and-sniff and smells like roses!

It snowed, and I sewed. But shhhh! it's a surprise for my pink & brown swap partner .

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rock, Paper, Scissors

After Clarice put out a call for Valentine Exchange, I thought I had better figure out what kind of Valentines to make! I wanted something that used either Jack's handprints or footprints, since they make nice keepsakes that way. Originally, I was going to go with something like these feet hearts , but, eh, I didn't really love them.

So, I made Jack cupids instead!

His footprints are the wings, and I made photocopies of a photobooth photo I had of all of us, which turned out to be the perfect size for the little faces. I think they could use a little glitter somewhere, but, they are my favorite paper project so far.

And speaking of Valentine exchanges, is there anyone out there who like to swap Valentine's cards with us? If so, you can email me at

Friday, January 19, 2007

"I am going to call up my home economics teacher right now"

Has everyone seen Pattern for Smartness? It bills itself as "A 1948 film showing home-sewed clothes as high fashion." (It is in color though, so I don't know about the date.) This is my favorite line, "Naturally, you don't want your skirt so much shorter or longer than the average that you will be conspicious." LOL It is interesting, you should have peek, but be warned, it does take about 10 or 15 minutes to watch. If you have a 2 year old running about that equates to roughly 5 hours.

Sadly, this is STILL what my current sewing project looks like. It has been sitting on the kitchen counter for 4 days like that! We are supposed to get snow this weekend, and as long as we have electricity, I will be sewing.

Cute thrifted sheet, destined to be cut up into something.

Thrifted jug. This beauty is hard to get a good photo of because of the curve. It has a big chip on the side, and smaller chips around the top, but even Jack decided we couldn't leave it there. "Mama! Give it to me, give it to me, give me the cup for milk!"

The back is as cute as the front. No markings on the bottom other than some numbers.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Do you believe in magic?

One day last week I opened the front door and there was a plastic grocery sack sitting there. I yell to my husband, "What is this bag of stuff here?" He says he doesn't know, he thought it was stuff for freecycle. I bring it inside, open it up and it is filled with old linens.

Again, I ask my husband what it is. (I thought maybe he was trying to be sneaky.) He says, "I have no idea." Me: "Well where did it come from?" Him: "I don't know, I told you I thought it was freecyle. Maybe a freecycler brought it over?" Me: "Dear, freecycle is for giving stuff away. Stuff doesn't magically appear at your house from freecycle." Him: "Maybe one of your blog friends?" Me: "Dear, do people usually mail stuff in unmarked plastic bags?"

I call my Dad. "Dad, did you leave some stuff here for me?" He is notoriously bad at remembering things, and he is always collecting little things here and there for me when he is rehabing houses. Dad says, "I do have some stuff for you, but that didn't come from me."

I try my Grandpa. (This is a long shot). He says not from him either, but, "it might be dangerous, don't mess with it!" Uh huh, Grandpa, dangerous embroidery! LOL

I try my Mother. "Not me, it must have come from the linen fairy." Uh huh, because random people leave nice things on the porch all the time. (Not. They steal from me instead.)

So, I shove it all in the laundry room thinking that certainly one of the neighbors will come to claim it.

A few days ago I was checking the voicemail. "Hi Sarah, it's your Aunt Mary, I left some things on the porch for you last week. I was cleaning out some of my mom's stuff and thought you might like them."

Right, fairies! And I do like them. Thanks Aunt Mary.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tag! I'm it

Almost a year later and I finished that bedskirt! Ignore the extreme wrinkles, I am far too lazy for ironing that thing. It just adds to the shabby chic feel anyway, right? I love it, it is like a pretty, ruffly dress for the bed.

I've been tagged by Kirsten for the 6 weird things meme, so here it goes, 6 weird things about me.

1. I absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, eat meat of any kind that is on a bone. I do not want to be reminded where meat comes from, and any sort of dark bits (like blood vessels, gag gag, even writing that makes me gag) will cause me to immediately stop eating whatever it is.
2. Speaking of bones, I do not like for me people (especially my husband!) to touch me where my bones are prominent. Like my wrists, my collarbone, my hip bone, etc. It gives me the heebie jeebies.
3. I have never colored my hair. (I am considering it now because I am starting to go pretty grey.)
4. I will not drink water that does not have ice in it.
5. I have a thing about "people sucking up my oxygen." I think I am a little claustrophobic, and if other people are too close to me (or the blankets get over my head), I swear that I cannot breathe.
6. I read somewhere as a teenager that the average woman kisses like 120 something men before she finds "Mr. Right." So, I used to keep a list of everyone I had kissed. I stopped keeping track somewhere around 80 something. Gasp! LOL

Anyone else want to play? Heidi? , Rebecca? , Laura? , Lucy?

Jack is in school again today, so, of course I went thrifting. I found another chenille bedspread. (2 in 2 weeks? Highly unusual.)

And wallpaper! that matches Jack's curtains.

Even better, I found something pink and brown for the swap. Whew! It only took SIX, yes, six, thrift stores today to find something. I will be cursing pink and brown for many months to come. LOL

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Now I know my ABC's

I am so excited about this! Jack has recently been showing a lot of interest in learning about the alphabet. So I have been spending a lot of time with him lately talking, singing and otherwise learning about letters. This morning he made it all the way through the alphabet from letters A-K, then picked up a few more around R & S, and his favorite, Y & Z. We are almost halfway there! For a former schoolteacher, this feels like a real accomplishment, since it seems like the very first thing I have really set out to "teach" Jack.

Along the way we have been listening to Sesame Street Sing the Alphabet (thrifted, of course) and They Might Be Giants Here Come the ABC's (Jack's favorite is Go for G). We also have TMBG on DVD. As you can see from the fridge in the background, we have plenty of magnetic letters, and we get a fair amount of use out of Leap Pad Fridge Phonics also.

There is currently a little "commercial" running on PBS in the morning that features TMBG singing something entirely different from the ABC stuff, and this morning when Jack saw/heard that he yelled out "go, go, go, go for G!" Amazing that at only a little over 2 years old, his recognition of a particular band is already kicking in.

"Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me..."

P.S. I have gone back through the last month or so worth of posts and answered questions in the comments section, in case there is something you have asked me and I haven't answered it yet!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Drive through

This is going to be a drive through blog post, since we were indeed without power most of the weekend, and that means I have loads of laundry, dishes, tidying, etc. to get accomplished today.

I saw a Christmas Card wreath in an old issue of Martha Stewart Living that looks a little like this . (Martha's had cards to the inside also, but my hoop is way too small for that.)

Since I needed more ways to display those vintage school valentines I bought at the antique mall last week, and the only crafts you can do in the dark involve glue, I made one for Valentine's Day instead. I had to wrap mine with ribbon, because I could only find a blue plastic hoop lying around the house. (Don't ask me! I do embroidery, but I don't usually use a hoop.) I actually like it a lot better with the ribbon anyway, it is a beautiful bright pink ribbon. Those little flower clothespins came from IKEA on our last voyage there in May.

Cute, eh?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Up all night

Thank you for all of the thoughts and comments about Jack. After I wrote my entry yesterday, we went for a ride to a thrift store, and wouldn't you know it, he fell asleep in the car at 10 30 am. I realized then that part of the problem is that he is overtired. I think he has been getting out of the firetruck bed in the middle of the night to play/wander his room/turn the lights off and on, and it is making him very grumpy. He is in better spirits today, after much arguing about sleeping.

Speaking of sleeping, we are having really severe ice storms, and we were without power all night last night. Jack was up and down crying, because the power was surging (making his air filter surge), and I was up worrying because trees were falling all around us and it was getting damn cold in the house. As I write this, more is headed our way, and I am hoping we don't lose the power for a long period of time.

Considering all of that, I finished sewing the crib sized duvet above just in time for the cold/no heat issues. I picked up duvet at the thrift on Weds when he was at school, because it had this cover on it:

I loved the print, and figured I would use the fabric to make a pillow for Valentine's Day and just redonate the duvet inside. I got it home, took it apart to wash and discovered that inside was a down duvet from Pottery Barn Kids, and that cover was PBK also. So, I washed it up, and made a cover using a thrifted Land of Nod bedsheet I picked up ages ago.

Speaking of thrifting, I have been going several times a week trying to find something for the Pink & Brown Swap (we still need one more swapper if anyone wants to sneak in at the last minute!). I swear, I am finding everything BUT something for the swap. Above is a great chenille bedspread, below another tablecloth for the ever growing collection.

With that, I am off to take a pill for this headache. Wish us luck riding out the weather.

Friday, January 12, 2007

This post is totally not about crafting.

And there are no pretty pictures either. (Both literally and figuratively.)

Something happens when Jack goes to school. (It happened with the last school too.) Going to school seems to trigger some sort insecurity, and Jack will spend the entirety of the week in between school days clinging to both Dandy and I like a passenger on the Titantic. He will not allow me out of his sight for even a brief moment, and he spends the better part of the week screaming and crying and writhing on the floor because, well, Mama has to go to the bathroom at some point in the day.

Yesterday Jack started crying at about 11 am. He didn't stop until sometime after 6 pm, except for a small respite when he had cried so much he simply fell asleep in the firetruck bed.

Today, Jack started crying sometime after 6 am.

At the suggestion of a friend, I made a train with 7 boxcars for his room. Each boxcar is one day of the week, and there is a little felt Jack riding in the cars. We moved the little felt Jack along, reciting the days of the week, and talking about which day would be the school day. (I made that boxcar a different color.) We started this morning with "Today is Friday, a gray boxcar day, no school today." Jack repeated "Friday, no other children today."

But, still he cries. This might be a very long week for us both. And, if there are 11 more hours of crying today, this Mama will also be crying very, very soon.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I always have so much to say.

Sometimes I could blog every day and still have so much to say that it never *all* gets said here. I seem to be in one of those modes at the moment actually...

The Valentine Wreath. This is still maybe a work in progress. I think I need to add some more of the crepe paper doodads, and some more of the red berry things near the center, where it is still too white. The idea started when I saw this Christmas wreath at Everyday is a Holiday, made by Jennifer Paganelli, of Sis Boom Day Dreams. I really admire people who can put together those scrappy, glittery, vintage creations. (But, I sincerely doubt that I am one of those people, particularly after this wreath experience!)

A bit of a close up. I started with a wire wreath form, wrapped it with a 50 cent garland from the thrift store, and just started piling things on there. Vintage ornaments, vintage plastic stars, my totally awesome glass bead butterflies, vintage valentines, some pearly and glittery floral picks from the craft store, pieces of vintage crepe paper, you name it, I have probably stuck it on there. The letters came from Allsorts. I added glitter to the edges and hung them with the softest vintage silk ribbon.

Ages ago, I bought two of these really beautiful old dust ruffles at an estate sale. They were filthy dirty and SMELLY, SMELLY, SMELLY when I dug them out of a box in the basement. (I think maybe they were destined for the trash.) There are 2 of them, twin sized, and I want to make them into one queen sized ruffle for our bed.

Except, I have no brilliant ideas on how to easily do this. They are really heavy, and it is a LOT of fabric. Ideas?

P.S. Sorry for the lack of natural light, it is still windy, windy here!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

B is for buttons, and oh so much more.

Jack went to his first day of school at the new school today. This letter "B" is the only project he ever made in his 4 short weeks at the last school. At the last school Jack would not eat or sleep or participate in anything. He just stood there terrified and upset. So, we took him out, took 10 steps backwards and started again.

He has been on the waiting list for the school he is at today for almost 4 months. I was terribly nervous (and so was he!) when I left him there this morning, because I just wanted it to go better than last time. I went back at noontime to have a peek at him through the infant room window, and imagine my surprise when his teacher reported that he has been "one very bright happy camper all morning!" (All they ever told me were bad things about Jack at the last school, how he didn't transition well, how he didn't play with the other children, how he wouldn't let go of the Dandy and on and on.)

I am cautiously optimistic because last time he was ok the first day, but not when he realized he would have to return. So, for today, B is for:
Buddy Bear (who we have been watching every day for weeks now),
Breaks for mama (5 whole hours a week to myself!),
and, blossoming, which Jack is clearly doing.

Let's look at him being silly for a moment to remind me that everything always works out o.k., o.k.?

Of course, to soothe my broken hearted mama spirit, I went thrifting and to the antique mall. These valentines are destined for my second work in progress at the moment, a Valentine wreath. Excuse the poor photo, it is REALLY windy outside today!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Messes are a good thing

Perhaps this will sound crazy, but the house is suddenly TOO organized. I feel like it is so organized that I have to spend all day keeping it that way, and I am starting to resent it. I told you it would sound crazy! Either way, Jack and I have spent some time today making messes. I feel better now, like I can breathe again. Messes are good.

I found this cute little potholder at the thrift for 50 cents the other day. I hung it up on my inspiration board for a few days, and today, this was born:

Clearly still a work-in-progress (that top piece of trim is crooked and making me crazy!), as I have only gotten as far as cutting it out and putting it together. And, because people often ask me, I use lite Steam-A-Seam II to do my applique with. I find it is a lot easier to sew or embroider through once you have it pieced together.

This stuff is too good not to share. Offray felt rick rack. I bought these microspools at Wal-Mart. It will be great for baby booties and loads of other projects I am sure.

P.S. I am still using the Old Blogger and they are having issues today. If you can't leave a comment or see photos or what-have-you, please come back later and try again!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Thrift Serendipity

I had a moment to spare, so I was busy trolling blogs. Imagine my surprise when I saw the most recent post at Vaxgirl . In that second photo there is the thrift shop I bought my big white vintage Christmas tree at!

It is a rather funny story actually. I was in Daytona for Bike Week , and while we were riding by on the motorcycle, I saw the tree in the window of the thrift store and shouted that we had to turn around now!

It was only $15, so I bought it immediately. Except, that, umm, well, how is one supposed to get a huge Christmas tree back home to Clearwater on a motorcycle??? We wrapped it in trash bags, went to the nearest UPS store, and mailed it home. (It cost $50 to mail the darn thing!)

Ahh, those were the days. Bike week is awesome. (And I bet that more than one of you is thinking, "Sarah at Bike Week? Like on the back of a motorcycle?" and trying to reconcile that with all of my sparkly pink fluffiness. LOL)

In other blog news, it is National De-Lurking week, at least according to The Paper Napkin. Come on, you know you wanna do it. Click on that leave a comment link wherever you go this week!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I'm still here. I am still swamped with trying to put away all this Christmas stuff. It is taking forever and making me feel quite disheartened at the moment. Will I ever see the sewing room floor again???

I did get new kitchen curtains made yesterday, that is something I suppose.

Christmas with Jack was great this year. He loved "taking the paper off" all the presents! He kept shouting out things like "this is fantastic!"

After every gift was opened, we stopped and spent 10 minutes playing with it. It took almost 2 hours to open all the presents, but oh what fun it was!

He isn't wearing his Christmas jammies in the photos because they, along with everything else in his bed, got soaking wet from a diaper leak that night. Since his regular Thomas blanket was in the wash, I tried to cover him up at naptime with a vintage chenille blanket I have thrown over the ottoman in his room. Several times he said to me "mama, where is Thomas?" and, then, the funniest of all, "mama, this is a towel!" I tried to tell him it was a blanket, but he insisted, "mama, this is a TOWEL!" LOL, kids.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Old College Try

Ok, I have given it the old college try, and attempted to resolve all the template issues (and finally remembered to add my email address to my profile). I hope that the font problem is fixed for everyone who needed it to be! And, this goes without saying I hope, but don't be shy about telling me there is a problem. Part of blogging is feedback, good or bad, right?

Christmas presents from my husband. When I put one of these barrettes in my hair after taking the photo Jack says, "mama! Flower pretty!" and then he touched it ever so gently. (Insert melting mama here.)

More presents from Dave, Japanese fabric from Superbuzzy . (It was a good Christmas, my husband chose some really thoughtful gifts for me.)

Japanese needle felting book, also from Superbuzzy, and wool roving. Finally, I can try out those needle felting skills I learned at the Round Bobbin.

Jack and I were at Goodwill this morning, when I saw a sheet set in the bottom of the bin. I dug it out, and it was Rachel Ashwell from Target, in a pattern I don't have yet. It was in the package still, but marked King sized, and we have a queen bed. Never mind, I opened it up to see what was inside, and it was only missing one pillowcase, so I bought it thinking I could alter it to fit the bed, or cut it up and use it for other things.

For some reason her sheet size is not marked on the tags, but, when I get it home I notice it smells like fabric softener, so they have been washed once already, despite still being in the package. It is apparently a Queen size after all, as it fits the bed perfectly. Wooohooo! I am totally psyched about that.

Speaking of beds, did anyone watch Oprah yesterday? She had on the How often do you...? show that never fails to freak me out when I see it, even though I have seen it at least 4 times already. I was already on the cleaning/organizing binge from hell, but after seeing that show I have spent the morning vacuuming the mattress, putting all the pillows in the dryer on hot, etc. I had been way too long since I had done all that.

That bed will be heavenly tonight!