Thursday, April 30, 2009


This morning I was out running errands with my girls and Costco was on our list. I always think of my Grandpa when we go to Costco. Remembering buying bulk candy with him and being super embarrassed at the number of trips he'd take to the same free sample lady.

So, the usual sequence of thoughts happened and I ended up crying in the car. Thinking about him not getting to meet Matea. Thinking about how much fun he would have listening to Bella's crazy imagination. In general, wallowing in my sorrow.

It may sound weird, but I kept thinking to myself, "I need to feel him with me today". More than a year after he died, I accidentally called his cell phone number instead of Grandma's. Imagine my shock when I heard his voice on the outgoing message. I called back two more times and listened to it before I realized that Grandma would see how many times I had called. I really wanted to call again this morning but I exercised self restraint.

We made it home and I went about my day but still in a bit of a funk. Just a few minutes ago, I was cleaning up the play area, walking back and forth, carrying toys to their appropriate place. I looked over and saw it...

He was with me today. This picture is from a "Who Loves Baby Book?" my mom gave Bella when she was born. I think I'm going to leave him there for a few days because he makes me smile.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Itchin' to Quilt

I'm not really a big quilter but I keep daydreaming about making a small quilt for my living room. We have dark leather furniture and I think a quilt hanging over the back of the couch could brighten things up a bit and I also like to spend a sizable portion of my day cuddled up in the recliner with a blanket no matter how hot it is.

I have a few problems. First, I already have an unfinished quilt. And by "unfinished", I mean a quilt top that I started 8 years ago that has traveled with me now to three different homes. I was still newlywed-ish and childless when I made it and had no idea that once I had kids, all hope of completing anything that takes longer than an hour or two is gone. I have the fabric to finish it but honestly, I don't even remember how to make it anymore.

After pulling it out for pics, I realized it's the perfect size for my little baby ladies. I think I may just finish it and give it to them. Actually, I'll hold a contest. Whoever can go 5 minutes without asking me for something will be the winner.

My other problem is choosing fabric for my new quilt. I'm going with a really easy pattern in order to increase my odds of actually finishing it. My house is earthy colors with the livingroom and attached playroom being mostly brown, green, and blue.

So, these would coordinate well with the room...

But these are so fun an girly and calling my name.

Thoughts? Would it look weird to have a bright, funky, girly quilt right in the middle of my sad and boring living room? Should I be more realistic and not even start because I probably won't finish?

On a totally unrelated note, look at this handsome man I get to wake up to every morning. My boss was nice enough to give me this Saturday off for no reason at all and it was so nice to spend the day with him. The kids too, but mostly him. I get to see them all week long but I miss seeing Crafty Papa on the weekends so I really appreciated my time with him.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Favorites

I started this quite a while ago and haven't done it in a looooooong time. So here goes....

My new Lands End modal foldover skirt. Sorry, they won't let me steal their pics:(
You must buy it. Totally worth the money (but I had a great coupon). I want to wear it everyday and get it in brown and maybe the pink too. I really think it's the perfect skirt. Crafty Papa begs me to wear skirts more often and occasionally show my legs the light of day. I don't wear them often mostly because I'm tall and have trouble finding them long enough and they're just not always practical for my mommy life.
This one is perfect. Not too tight but not loose either (which just makes you look bigger). I wore it yesterday with a fitted 3/4 sleeve top and got compliments. I did my regular mommy thing....Walmart, trip to the movies, cleaning, telling the children to stop screaming at me...and it worked perfectly. Really, sell a kidney or something and buy it. Oh, and I'm a size 10 and got a medium. It fits perfectly.

Lands End Modern Fit T's. Again, perfect. I swear, I don't work for Lands End but now I feel like I should. They're heavier than the crappy quality you find at places like Old Navy these days but not so heavy that they're bulky or hot. My new mission in life is to own one in every color and style.

Avon beyond color eye shadow. Maybe this isn't new but I've never seen anything like it. I bought it in Iced Mocha and I love it. I wear it everyday now. I'm hoping they'll start making it in a few more colors.

Big flower rings. I'm not sure why I like these so much since they're probably not compatible with my mommy life. I just had a thought though...I could claim the ring is stuck on my finger and I don't want to damage it by doing the dishes or snag clothing on it by folding laundry so I'll have to give up all household duties other than cooking.

Swap News

Today is the last day to sign up for the "anything crafty" swap if you haven't done so already (please remember to leave your email address with your comment or email me at Below is a list of the people who have contacted me so far. Let me know if you're missing from the list.

Angie H.
Cindy C
Jen P.

I will be emailing out a short questionnaire later today with questions that will help your swap partner get to know you a little better. Please email that back to me within the next few days. I'll close sign ups tonight and assign swap partners. For this swap, the person you receive from will be the same person you're sending too.

I know lots of us are really excited about this swap. We had great success with the last one and I hope this swap will be even better! Check your email later today for a questionnaire!

ETA: Sign ups are officially closed. I'm emailing out partners now. Traci and Jen, I added you guys to the list:)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friends are the Best!

I just got home from preschool run and saw a package on my front porch. At first I thought it was my Lands End order (yeppers, I ordered most of my faux cart with a 30% off code!) but I realized the box was too small. Then I thought it was the beads I bought on Etsy last week but the box was too big.

Even better than the package you expect is the package you don't expect. My sweet and fun friend, Texas Kristi, sent me some of the Pink Sugar perfume I had on my Friday Favorites a few months ago! Thank you so much Kristi! I immediately over-applied so I'm sure I'll go into work tonight smelling like a cheap hooker. And I owe it all to you, Kristi:)

I've known Kristi online for a few years now and finally got to meet her in person in January. She was exactly how I expected her to be and I spent the weeks following the retreat telling Steve how much I wished she lived here (I think she wishes that too!). I could totally see myself hanging out with her every weekend and taking my girlies to her boys' football games to cheer for them.

Getting a surprise package totally made my day and reminded me how good it feels to be part of a random act of kindness. So, during the next week or so, I'm going to send out a few RAOK's that will hopefully brighten someone's day. If you get one from me, share the love and do a RAOK for someone else.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Any interest in doing another "anything crafty" swap like we did last year? $30-40 value, due June 15th, anything handmade (sewing, scrapbooking, crochet, jewelry...anything as long as it's made by YOU).

I'll email a questionnaire to participants so you'll be able to find a little bit more about the person you're creating for. Sign up by leaving a comment here along with your email address or contact me at Sign ups close Friday, April 24th.

And the winner is...

True Random Number Generator 21 9

Blogger Shanna (aka sjl202) said...

Still got the runs?

(Hey . . you said anything!!!) :)

Hmmm, I bet she's wishing she left a nicer comment! And for the record, I'm now spending the appropriate amount of time in the bathroom, nothing extra.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Last Day to Enter

for the beautiful owl earrings giveaway. You can do it on this post.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The View this Afternoon...

from my lap.

Perfect weather. Kids splashing. Cake pan full of new beads. Moderately sexy black dress for my hubs.

Have I said how much fun I'm having with beads? What, I've already mentioned that a few hundred times? It's so relaxing and I love that I can work on it anywhere. Like in the backyard with my bathing beauties.

I present to you, The Mermaid Set. Named by Bella. She's dying for me to keep this set. I tried on the necklace to make sure I liked the length and she begged me to put on the earrings and keep everything. Don't worry, I didn't - I think respecting rules of hygiene is a big part of customer service so I won't pre-wear your jewelry for you.

I sent off my first jewelry purchase today and decided that it should be a gift in a gift. So, I packaged it all pretty-like and will definitely do this for every order. I have a few thousand or so of these scrapbooking flowers so I guess I could spare a few in the name of pretty packaging.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fresh Listings

Anna Maria Horner Good Folks purse. Love the colors, love the shape, love the size. Shorter straps so it sits nicely in your armpit. Who knew the words "nicely" and "armpit" could be used together in a sentence?

The owl set. My first jewelry listing. I heart this set. With a big heart colored in with red glitter. I would really like to keep it but I'm trying to earn some money to turn my Lands End faux shopping into some real shopping. I'm loving beading and already have my Etsy cart loaded up with beads in purples and pinks and greens and blues and every shape you can imagine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crafty Mama Giveaway

Yeah, so it's only been about an hour since I posted that I would be doing a giveaway later this week. I guess technically it is later this week now, right? Anyway, I'm terrible about getting overly excited about surprises and gifts that I'm giving so what the hell, lets get the show on the road.

Drum roll please....

A pair of owl earrings.

Czech glass beads in earthy shades of yellow and brown with a touch of red.

Just leave a comment here and say anything you want. Really, anything at all. You could tell me I'm almost as perfect as I think I am (someone really did say that). Or request that I stop posting pics of myself showing off clothing I've made. You could tell me that "Tatey" is a stupid nickname for Matea (and then I'd just refer to her as "Tates" so really, you'll lose either way). You could say that if you win, you'll send me a lifetime supply of Diet Pepsi and Mint Chip Thrifty's ice cream.

I'll use one of those random winner pickers on Saturday to select the recipient of these fun yet classy earrings. Or, I might just forget to pick a winner and keep them for myself.

Wednesday Steals & Deals

Red and Brown Damask Bag, $28

Red and Brown Funky Flowers Set, $20 (I LOVE this picture of Tatey)
P.S. I think I feel a giveaway coming on. Or is it just the after effects of this stomach virus? No, it's definitely a give away. Make sure to check back in the next few days for details.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sick Mama

Yesterday the house was clean, the girls were happily playing, and I was planning the bag I was going to make during our afternoon movie time. Then, sickness hit. I've spent all afternoon, night, and this morning either laying back in the recliner or in quality time in the bathroom. My mom is really sick too so we chatted yesterday, comparing symptoms and commiserating. I'm parenting from my chair and throwing out Easter jelly beans to bribe the children into letting me rest.

As much as I like tv and relaxing, one can only spend so many consecutive hours doing those activities. So last night, I threw some of my new Czech glass beads into my small round metal cake pan and went to work in the recliner. Not sure why it had never occurred to me before to work this way. Anyway, I made a necklace and set of earrings that I'm very pleased with. Even Crafty Papa thinks they're pretty.

The pictures are a different story though. I think in general, it's really hard to photograph jewelry. I spent some of last night's immobile couch time looking at jewelry listings on Etsy to get some picture ideas but it seems like every single person has a different take. The Czech glass beads are really gorgeous in person. I mean, really, really pretty. I wish there was someway to truly capture all of the color and sparkle in pictures. Anyway, here's what I took last night. I may list the set soon or keep working on pictures. My stomach hurts too bad to think about it today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Cleaning Savings

Effective Saturday, April 11th through Friday, April 17th
30% off any one item in my shop, including items already on sale.

A great time to do your early Mother's Day or Teacher Appreciation Week shopping. Or just buy a new bag for yourself to coordinate with your spring wardrobe.

*Enter "springsavings" in the notes to seller field during paypal checkout and I'll promptly refund your discount.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Addiction

Beading. I loves it. I've played a little with jewelry making in the past but always just used cheapo Walmart and Michael's beads. I decided to try out some of the good stuff this week and now I'll never go back. I bought a bunch of Czech glass beads from an Etsyer and am super pleased with my purchase. They're gorgeous in person and so colorful. And they just have so much more weight and presence than the cheap stuff.

Don't you love the owl beads? I bought them in the blue and a butter yellow and got some greens and browns to coordinate with the yellow. Thoughts? Should I list them in my shop or is that too much of a hodge podge of stuff to have in one shop?

ETA: The beads came from mountainshadowdesign on Etsy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Day

Another Crafty Mama top. Another pair of cheap but cute Walmart jeans. Another set of bathroom self portraits. By the way, I totally want to paint my bathroom and fix it up since it's becoming my new photography studio but I swear, Crafty Papa is against anything colorful or cute. Apparently, we have to constantly be thinking about the resale factor even though I think we have several years before we could sell our house. Dude, let a girl have some decorating fun while the economy is tanking. Maybe I should share his email address and you could all send him hate mail for me. Hmmm. I digress.

Back to the top. I don't love it. I don't really know what happened. I really liked the fabric but I swear that when I washed it, it turned less red and more tomato. Maybe I should use some of Lindsey Lohan's self tanner and match my top. Haha! I'm cracking myself up. Anyway, I do like the print. Lots of fun stuff like mushrooms hidden in there. I decided to do regular sleeves instead of gathering them because a few people have made me aware of my jiggly upper arms and I thought this might be more flattering.

Overall, something just went wrong, The gathering on the neckline looks weird to me, different from the others I've made. And it's not scoopy enough. And it just feels weird. Like the sleeve holes feel too tight or something. I drew up a revised pattern for this one and maybe I screwed up? Anyway, it's cold and rainy so I'm workin' it with this cropped brown sweater. Again, from Walmart. I have it in a few colors and think it's been a great clothing investment. If you consider $12 each an investment:)

I swear I'll stop posting pics of myself soon. I'm just really having a good time sewing for myself and having some successes here and there. If I had $100, I would bet it on my friend Lena telling several people how self-absorbed I am. Does it make it less bad if I admit to the self-absorbtion?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pattern Review: Simplicty 4176, View B

I'm finding sewing for myself to be quite enjoyable. In fact, I got so confident, I actually ordered myself some full price fabric from Jona! As much as I like the simple peasant top I've been making (did two more), I know it's not super flattering and kind of blah so I wanted to make something with a little more shape.

Jona recommended this pattern on her blog several months ago but she did view D. I really like that view but stumbled across a review of view B this morning and decided to give it a go since it may be more do-able for my work dress code than view D. That was really boring. I should just delete the first half of this paragraph but I won't.

Anyway, I LOVE it. It was super easy, only took about an hour or so. And I absolutely love this fabric. I know I'm a little pale for it but I'll start beefing up on the Avon spray tanner. I had no problem at all understanding the directions which is a huge feat for me.

My only negative comment is the sizing issue. I wear a size 10 in regular clothing which according to Simplicity, equates to size 18 in patterns. The first pattern I bought only went up to 12 or 14 so I had to exchange it for the bigger sizes. Even though the pattern called for an 18, I made a size 16 because in my very limited pattern experience, the finished garment always comes out far too big. And even at a size smaller than recommended, it still came out too big. I took in 3-4 inches from the hem all the way up through the bodice. The neck is still a little too big/scoopy so I'll adjust that next time (if I can figure out how).

Anyway, overall, I highly recommend the pattern and I'll definitely be making it again. I'm pretty sure I can wear it to work which is a huge bonus and I have a few different colored cropped sweaters that will work really well with this style.

How terrible are the pictures? It's raining so I can't do them outside, Crafty Papa's asleep in the recliner, and Bella could only get half of me in every shot she took. So, I had to resort to self timer in my bedroom with the little lady posing with me. And wouldn't you agree that you would never try this pattern based on those ugly pics on the packaging? Big thanks to Jona for reviewing the pattern and convincing me to give it a try!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The best advertising

This is Simone. She's the daughter of one of my sister's best high school friends who recently found me on Facebook. She's ridiculously cute and has the most squeezable cheeks that I've ever seen. She's modeling her Crafty Mama peasant top, accessorizing with leggings and big cheeks. Your baby could look this cute (but honestly, maybe not - she really seems to be extra adorable) in one of these outfits.

(If you're a Lemoore HS alum reading this, that's Jennifer Harris' cutie)

I did it!

It took me 8 days, but I got refocused and I finally listed another bag in my shop. And let me tell you how hard it was. I worked 25 hours last week on top of my stay at home mom gig and my butt has been dragging all day today. Then, the mail came and I had a box of fabric from Jona with prints I ordered for tops for me. My choices were to relax in the leather recliner and spend my afternoon making sure the internet didn't miss me, sew another shirt for myself, or make a bag for you guys. The sacrifices I make. :)

I think it turned out rather nicely, don't you? Perfect colors for spring and enough variation in color that it can coordinate with a lot of different outfits (if you feel like your purse needs to match your clothes - I don't). And I think it's a great size, kind of a larger purse or small tote. I think you should buy it and then go get yourself an Easter outfit to match.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday Steals & Deals

Heather Bailey Pop Garden Bag, $22

Anna Maria Horner Zippered Purse, $20