Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smoke and Freckles

Smoke is my favorite horse on this fabric I special ordered through Etsy for my only niece. A lover of everything horse, I made a simple square tube, and added two large pleats in the front. The elastic waist was the hardest part of this skirt - that and the fear it wouldn't fit. I then added brown twill tape to the hem - so much easier than an actual hem. I will do this again, where ever I can. A cute bow at the top and wa-la...a horse skirt.

I hope she enjoys it.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Eve of The Eve

Boys are finally asleep.
Last batch of gluten free ginger snaps in the oven.
Rugelach dough ready for rolling and coating with a delicious spread of nutella.
and thinking about this piece of furniture.

This is my favorite Christmasy place in my house this year. Yes, we have the tree and the lights and the decorations, but this year, this place holds the most meaning for me.

My Grandma Ruth passed away this year and this was her dry sink. I always loved it when she had it in her kitchen. When she moved to a retirement home, I was the lucky one to hold it until I pass it on to one of my boys.

But for now, it holds my dish towel stockings (something I made myself and actually kept), red straw garland from my sister in law, a pine wreath and the most beautiful bowl (from my mother in law) of clementines. The scarf is from my very good friend Linda, always with an open ear. And what you can't see, is my Blossombabies Doll in the stocking (she missed this photo shoot) from a friend I made over a year ago on Twitter. Yes, I met a friend on Twitter.

So you see, this little piece of furniture tells a lot about me and the friends and family I keep.

I hope that you have a little piece of something in your home that reminds you of how lucky you are to be alive this day and this Christmas.

Thanks for being a part of this blog.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Goodies

Super Mario fan I am not. But I know someone that is. A slightly obsessed fan, that is.

After my diligent research with some pals on Twitter and the love of bags for my giftee...I came up with this.

I hope he likes it because if he doesn't, I'd use it! (I may have made it a bit large for his size, but now he can hold ALL his stuff.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Love the colors.

Love the yarn.

Love the pattern (for me).

Not so sure the pattern is right for the recipient.

What to do? Pull a Chelsea Handler and say, "suck it" if they don't like the gift? Or don't give at all?

Well, give to myself, of course!

These are inspired (aka copied) from here...what do you think?
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Christmas Tree Hunt

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meander through Past Projects

I have been absent, but I've been busy. Working on some custom bags, some not even shown here (still figuring out the new camera and which file folder photos are going to).

Right now, concentrating on a couple handmade projects for Christmas. I can't let a Christmas go by without at least one homemade gift. I wish I could make more, but times a ticking.

(If you know me, that last sentence doesn't mean a thing...there is always time!)

Please stop by the shop for last minute gifts or something to spend your Christmas money on!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sam through the Nikon

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Little Man through the Nikon

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Chicken Wing Dip

Chicken Wing Dip

2 bars cream cheese

4 celery stalks, chopped

4-6 oz Frank's Hot Sauce

1-2 cups cooked shredded chix (I used 3 breasts)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Microwave cream cheese on high in Large bowl for 1 minute. Stir. Add celery and hot sauce. Microwave 3 minutes. Add chicken and cheese, stir. Bake 20 min. @ 350 degrees.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cottage Button

An entire year ago, I requested some custom buttons from my pal Lisa at Polka Dot Cottage. Perhaps 'requested' was less than accurate, 'challenged' fits much better.

I like to use magnetic snaps on my purses and since I don't need to line the purses due to their wool density, the back of the snap has to be covered. Usually, I make a couple small swatches of the same yarn to use as a backing to hide the snap. My challenge to Lisa was to create a button big enough to cover the snap. But, the holes have to be on the outer edges, beyond the metal snap.

She did it. She engineered the perfect camouflage.


This little guy (so cute!) will be added to the shop tonight or tomorrow, depending on how I'm digging my first try on product shots with my father's new SLR.

There are three other purses to be added soon, as well.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Mean

My friend has a phrase that can portray many different feelings.

This picture, for me anyway, is an "I mean...(insert: cute, pathetic, adorable, sad, get that lip out farther kid)"

Camera on loan from my super cool Dad. I had fun with it.

Holding out all hope that I will win my dream camera from here!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I did it. I have successfully ingested all that is gluten free. It was a struggle, but someone had to do it. All that is left is a bunch of gluten infused-belly swelling-bad for you candy.
Back on the modified Weight Watcher plan for me.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Going Dark

The camera is ca put.


And you'll be surprised to know that it isn't due to the battery drama.

It fell off the table.

Tom blames me.

I blame him.

The boys blame everyone but themselves.

It was an accident. The lens was open and it landed on the open lens, jamming it into itself in a crooked fashion.

Dun dun done!

When I proceeded to tell Tom my long standing wish of a Digital SLR, he thought I was nuts. Out of the blue, now I want a big camera. How did he not know I'd been dreaming of one for a long time? His mom knows, my parents know. My sister in law knows. Couldn't he see my drool when friends whipped out their fancy cameras? Couldn't he see me eyeing them with complete jealousy. How did he not know? You all probably know, too.

Anyway...I've found the one I would like. Nikon D3000.

I've checked eBay, Amazon, Target (tried it out in store), black Friday ads,, Ritz camera. You name it, I've researched it. Amazon has the best price at this time, in fact, it just dropped under $500 yesterday.

I can totally justify the purchase. Now I need to convince Tom that not only do I want it for Christmas, but I want it NOW! (just think, no new product shots till Christmas??? No kiddo pictures till Christmas??? no blog pictures??? any help is appreciated! ;))

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the Boardwalk

There is a hidden treasure in Williamsville.

The Boardwalk. I first learned of it when Tom's parents would go there for walks. Flat footing for people with difficulty, yet immersed in the swamp as if you were 20 miles from a road. Until you look the other way and see Hopkins Road. Tom's father used to see Emily the Monkey on this same Boardwalk. I often look for her (and her owner) when I take my boys. I haven't seen Emily, but...
There is a monkey named Big Boy that brings along...

his little monkey brother Little Man.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Say It Isn't So, Sammy

Sosa: Cosmetic cream caused lighter skin tone

This is very disappointing to me.

When Tom and I moved to Chicago, Sammy Sosa was a great ball player on the Cubs. For me, he represented the true passion of baseball. I constantly told Tom's father how great Sammy Sosa was.

When I was pregnant with our first, Tom's father said in an elementary rhythmic tone, "What, are you going to name your baby Sammy Sosa?"

Kind of. Sam was born on June 26, 2003. Five months after Tom's dad passed away.

Say it isn't so Sammy. Your old self held more passion for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baa Baa Baby Shower

On Saturday, we celebrated pending birth of a very lucky baby. Great parents, a super cool sister and a room full of lambs. I made the bag with Gretchen's superior cutting skills late one night. With some spare fabric, I made the changing pad and it was begging for something adorable on it. I tried my hand at applique. It was a lot of fun. Surely it could have turned horrible, but apparently, I do my best work after a 9:30 pm nap.

The amazing thing about this was the first one we picked up. The floral on the outside was perfect for Katie (maybe not so much for Mark). It took us a very long time to find a liner fabric and so settled on gray. We grabbed the matching stripe for the inner pockets and the changing pad.
I hope she likes it and more importantly, I hope she uses it.

Up next...commission purses and perhaps a Christmas stocking or two.

Monday, November 9, 2009


The Battery Saga continues...


Huh? Seriously? An eraser?

I emailed Canon for assistance on my failing battery power in my camera. They very kindly suggested I use a new eraser and rub the elements that touch the battery.

Eraser? To humor them (and save me money and heartache) I tried it. Then put in fully recharged batteries.

Guess what? It worked. I had no flashing low battery. So exciting. I was taking random pictures of my messy house just to see if the battery would get low. It was fine.

I turned off the camera, made lunch and decided to take this photo of my savior.

Except, the low battery light was flashing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Shopping - Super Speed

I re-listed this today and like to watch it show up on the Recently Listed Items on Etsy. It speeds through all the new and renewed items.

And when I say speed...I mean speed. I suppose your connection has something to do with it and the fact that my new work computer is incredibly fast, but even if it were'd be just as much fun.

Try this link

Did you? What are you waiting for?

It's Thursday night...this is what I found:

Cool Wall graphics, no paint necessary, just peel them off when you are done.

Make your own moss terrarium ornament!

Looking for a little boy present? Check out these Space Adventure Felt Board

Dragonfly place cards that sit on the edge of a CUTE!

How about a papier mache Bee Skep? (who knew?)

Check it out for yourself and I'd like to encourage each of you to buy at least one Holiday Gift from this year. Support the starving artists.

This Little Boy

This little boy can drive me crazy with frustration all the while stealing my heart.

He currently meows like a cat, which sounds like a 3 year old whining. He likes to play on the computer, but when I tell him time is up, he groans like an old man getting up from his recliner. He loves to dance while I make dinner in the kitchen, making dinner take a bit longer than it should. And he talks. He talks constantly, but always seems to have something to say.

Last night, we went for a 'night walk'. That's what happens in the Fall at 6:30 pm.

It was dark and quiet and lovely.

He wore his new hat and gloves (how stinking cute!).

The moon was lighting the clouds like a high beam. The leaves crunching under our feet.

I was thinking about how still everything was and how wonderfully calm and silent he was.

And then he spoke, "Mom, you know why I'm walking next to you?"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I love you."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Crisis Services

Two weeks ago, I participated in the Crisis Services Benefit.

Here is the link to their website listing the other vendors (8 exquisite artists) and people and companies that donated to the event: Crisis Services

There is no picture of my table, but if you squint your eyes really well, you can see the white bags at the very top of the first photo. Those are the bags of the illustrious GG's Cookies, Yum!

It was a nice time!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Red Tipped Finger = Costume Making

Here they are...the 2009 installment of Halloween Costumes.

Big Boy as Radioactive Man (no, Simpson viewers, not that one) that is Hulk's nemesis and Little Man as a venomous snake that isn't mean. LM picked out all the fabric for this one, I think he did a great job.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


:: loving this picture of Sam

Ah, pumpkin gutting and carving. You would assume that getting that goopey, slimey, stringy, cold guck out of the pumpkin would be great for two young boys. Nope, not in this house. Last night, Tom and I had two girls.

Ewww, gross, 'I'm gonna puke' is what was heard.
I gutted three pumpkins, while Tom did his own and roasted the seeds. Which no one ate, but him. The boys and I had cheese least the color was right for Halloween.

Hope you have a safe and spooky Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Technology Woes

No pictures.

No office computer.

The virus won. My computer is dead. Fried. Toast.

My camera, I can't get a battery to last more than 4 pictures. I am on my third rechargeable unit and multiple batteries, none of which are working. Even a brand new non-rechargeable battery lasts maybe 8 pictures. Perhaps it is time to look at the camera and not the battery. I just figured out how to use this one and am not ready to purchase a new camera because I want a nice SLR, which isn't going to be at the price point I can afford.

Better get making more goods.

As the calendar shows, it is Halloween costume making time. I have a standard base that I try to use for every costume, and that is the zipper hoodie. The warmth of the sweatshirt is usually enough to keep my goblins warm, and super easy for them to put on themselves at school or parties. They also tend to last longer through dress up time for years to come. At any given day, you may see a slug, skunk or multiple bats flying through our home.

So, just as I figure out how to make an easy wearable costume, Big Boy changes it up and wants to be Radioactive Man (not from the Simpson's, but a nemesis of Hulk). Basically a day glow green Hulk. There goes my sweatshirt idea. It ended up okay, not my best, most creative, but I guess that is what happens when you teach your children to think for themselves and make their own decisions.

Little Man was going to be a squirrel, Mr. Octopus from Spiderman, and many other random people and animals. We went to Target to get the zipper hoodie for the squirrel (with an acorn loot bag) and he told me he wasn't going to be a squirrel. He was going to be a snake. I couldn't be happier. Easy. That is tonight.

He can't change his mind again.

Well, he can. But in this house, you get what you get.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Real Farm

I lived on a farm for two years when I was in first and second grades. I loved living on that farm.
We didn't have a large variety of animals. Chickens, ducks, maybe a rabbit or two. The chickens for sure, I was the egg collector. I loved that job.

Every Autumn, I gather the kids to take them to a pumpkin farm. This year, we went to a real farm, instead of the overpriced suck-you-and-your-money-in farm. I'm so glad I did.

If I only knew that the Kelkenberg farm, just a couple miles away, had two angora goats, I would have used them as my reference for the two goat bags I did. Love this picture with the rooster.

My boys love animals. And I can see the wheels and eyelashes getting ready to spin and bat for a pet other than our bad luck fish.
The Chicago City girl of years past is slowly fading and the Farm girl is inching back. I felt so at home on the farm.
Maybe, someday.