Friday, December 11, 2009

Recycled Gift Bags

I thought I'd share one of my 'green' ideas. I recycle shopping bags as gift bags. I'm sure it's not a new idea, but I love some of the bags I get places and think it's a shame to just put them in the recycle bin. So, add some wrapping paper, mono adhesive, and off we go.
This one just has writing at the bottom, so I took a roll of $1 bin wrapping paper(last year at Target) and roughly measured a length. I folded the paper in half length wise, not quite making the sides meet and the long side to show. You can use a little adhesive to make the halves stick together. Then lay out the paper so your start will be on the short sides of the bag(not the front or back with writing). I then put adhesive on the front along the edges and where the top of the paper will be(using the paper laid out as a guide). Then carefully fold the paper over and adhere.

Do the same for the other sides, making sure to put adhesive along the crease lines on the sides to help the paper fold with the bag.

For the end, I folded the last edge over on itself, making sure to use adhesive to make it stick to itself and then again to make it stick to the rest of the paper.

Now, a perfectly generic gift bag. Just make sure to color in the name on the inside with marker. Or, if it's printed, use a piece of ribbon or scrap of paper to cover it up.

This one was printed across the middle. Used big scraps of a favorite paper from years ago.
The bag in the previous photo is the bottom left one. The beauty at the back is a Paper Source bag. Just LOVE that store. Their paper and paper ribbon to make it a fabulous gift bag.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress

This is the jump rope drees I made. I did the long sleeve version in a print from Fabric Finders(I think). It is such a sweet pattern. I love the clear, precise directions.

The details are just so great. The gathered pockets, the turned cuff on the sleeve, the top stitched placket just make the dress.

It is all the more special with the buttons from the stash I inherited from my grandmother. I am excited about making the short sleeved verison for the spring. Might just turn out to be an Easter dress.
Stay tuned for Christmas decor posts. It's all done, and I'll share it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Clothes I've sewed this year

Oliver + S swingset tunic made the largest size, added length to the straps, bottom and sides of top. It is now way too small. LOVE the pattern.
Applique on a clearance rack t-shirt. I made the dog design myself. it's a hit with Megan. I did learn to not cut out the fusible webbing first. bond to fabric, then cut out shapes.

Little Prairie girl top (My FavoriteLittle Things) in an Amy Butler fabric I've had for over a year. I made a size 7/8 and it has plenty of room still for my 7 year old. The 5/6 did not fit at age 6. It got way too tight around the chest and shoulders. Those pics are on the external hard drive and I'm not spending the time to get to them right now.
I really don't need to make much for her right now as the drawers are overflowing due to some awesome hand me downs from a friend. should give me time to finish some home sewing, huh?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

what we've been up to

Ren Fest entrance
Mother and Daughter witches

Is the goop that nasty, son?

Really, it's not that hard to get thru the maze.

I'm not sure he's going to get any milk from that cow.
ok, so really, that was October. But don't my kids make fabulous faces? Corn Maze, pumpkin carving, Halloween(I don't have a picture of the 11year old too cool to go to the neighborhood parade with us), and Renaissance Festival. Trying to pack in some fun activites around all the cold and wet weather has been difficult.
I'm up to my ears in projects to attempt to finish and have had a nasty hacky cough that has made me waaaaay less productive than I need to be. So off to finish a renaissance costume for the middle schooler for his project and then, well more work to do. I will post about some of my completed things very soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Calendar/Bulletin/Photo Frames

Here are the new and improved frames from before. The photo one has scrapbook paper backing, which allows the pictures to stick better. I just wrote the scripture with dry erase marker on the outside of the glass. I know it's not straight, but I'm too lazy to fix it.
This is the bulletin board. I took out the glass(well, in truthfulness, that glass broke when I was attempting to put together the calendar the first time. But I was planning on the bulletin board anyway) and used spray adhesive to apply cork roll to the back of the frame. Then spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to the cork.
The calendar is just floating between the glass and the fabric. I wrote the days of the week on the stencil blank that I used to make the grid on (artist's tape). I just fill in and around with dry erase marker. Now the calendar is easier to read and I have made a new valance and door curtain to match these fabrics. Some throw pillows for the den are next.

I have made progress on some of my sewing to do and knitting/crocheting. Will be back with more of that later. School is going well and we are well into scouts and Wed. night church begins again tomorrow. Busy, busy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School's Back in Session


Now, I can begin on some home projects again.

I am still working on Craig's room, which will be revealed when all is complete.

But, I want to redo these:

The picture is not the greatest, but you can see my dry-erase calendar/message board on the left and corkboard to the right. In the middle I have photos. That have not stayed put on the fabric backing. The fabric needs to be lighter so it's easier to read. I need to have paper backing for the photo one and the corkboard needs help(let's just say the spray adhesive isn't too great). Also, the hooks you see in the wall....not going to stay there much longer. The backpacks are too heavy to hang and have made them loose and the wall will need repairing. I found a great shelf/hook unit for $15 at Target this summer and plan to hang it where the dry erase board is. The photo frame will move to the hallway and I'll have the 2 frames over the desk area. I also have a great bench that has a custom cushion(by me) that is just a little too long for the space and I'd like something that can hide the shoes, not just hold them. And maybe some cubbies for the backpacks. This is in my breakfast room. The door to the garage is just ot the left of the picture. The kitchen is on the left of the door. No entryway, mudroom. Just come right in to where we live. So, I've been hunting for fabric and new curtains. Pottery Barn has the perfect ones, but when you need 6 panels and an extra to make the door cover....have to see if bonuses happen next year. I do love the light I have in the house, but with 34's hard to have them beautifully covered. so, stay tuned for the new boards...just don't hold your breath!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beach Vacation

We had a wonderful visit to Fripp Island, SC last weekend. The beach is lovely with soft sand and waves that weren't too big. It wasn't too hot either, which was a blessing. Lots of time spent relaxing, walking along the beach and playing in the water with the kids.

Just one shot from the photo session(by mom) on the beach.

At the Cabana Club pool. It was fabulous with the island in the middle and waterfalls. It also sits on the edge of the marsh looking over the ocean. We all enjoyed that pool.

Sandcastle competition. Yeah, we only had a bucket each.

The native "wildlife". These small deer are very comfortable around people and have fairly free reign all over the island. They just have to watch out for the real wildlife...alligators.

The view from our balcony. I love watching the tide coming in and going back out.
A really great trip and we do want to return again. It's nice to find somewhere we like visiting enough to return again. I really just wish I wasn't so sensitive to the sun. I have to use 70+ and reapply regularly and still I get plenty of sun. I haven't been this tan in decades.
Now, back in the real world, my desk is piled high with paperwork from the kids' schools and I'm wading through the laundry while I attempt to finish cleaning the house and get Craig's "middleschooler" room finished. I guess I need a new project to do list!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One week to go

School starts again in one week. Thank goodness. I need time to work on so many things around the house. We came home a little early from our last minute trip to the beach for a band meeting. My son, the now 6th grader, is going to be in band this year, learning an instrument. His first choice is the trumpet, 2nd is baritone, 3rd is french horn. We will see on the 25th what he gets to play. I think quiet won't exist in my house again for a long time. I suppose I should warn the neighbors.

I have lots of great pictures from the beach, which Iwill show in another post. Today is only about meal planning, grocery shopping, and cleaning. Tomorrow is open house at middle school and Friday is open house at the elementary school. We missed the assignment letter pickup for the elementary school, so we are awaiting the mail. In the meantime, Megan can ride her new bike. She learned to ride without training wheels this summer and now has a bike the right size. The ridiculous part is that the bike is named Misty. seriously.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


div>Almost a month ago, we went on vacation to Freeport, Maine. We'd rented a house on the water and spent lots of time watching it rain.

View from the deck of the house we stayed at
We did lots of shopping both at LL Bean and other outlets. (North Face sample sale rocks!)
The boys did the kayaking walk-0n-adventure at LLBean and Craig and I did fly casting...learning to fly fish, albeit on grass.

This was the re-created fort at Colonial Pemaquid, which was a fun excursion before we headed down to the lighthouse.
The boys enjoyed their lobster dinners. Eating right on the dock is so fun, even if it was still cool when we visited.

AT the boot. The $ spent is cushioned by the fact that it was all cashback award $.

At the Maritime Museum in Bath. the kids got to launch the boat, learning in the process of how the tall ships were built on frames that would help them launch into the water. A very good musuem with lots of room for the kids to play and run around. Bath is also home to Halcyon Yarn, which got an hour's worth of attention from me and plenty of $ too. Hope to turn that into a nice project one day!
All in all a restful vacation spent in weather that is not hot and humid!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My son, the graduate

My son, the graduate(of ELE)
The family...with the principal standing behind us...

I still don't understand why they have a graduation for fifth-grade. Oh, they call it a recognition ceremony, but you know what that means. It was very sweet to see all the kids in their fancy clothes and sad to know they are no longer in elementary school. The big, bad world of middle school is upon us. In other news, vacation was nice, more on that later. The kids are in day camp this week, so I've got loads of alone time. Just me and the laundry. Which I must go do now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Way too long

The new patio. And it wasn't installed by me!

Yes, it's been a while. I've been crazy busy, and truthfully, don't have time to write this now. Yet, here I am.

The crocheted bunny. hideous, in my opinion. I don't think the pictured one in the mag was made with the same directions given. The head is way too large and I'm not showing it. ick.

I'm working on a hat and squares for an afghan. The knitted pillow-to-be is still on the needles.

And we're off to Maine in 2days for vacation.

My son is now a middle-schooler.

I'm feeling old and stressed that I have so much to do!

well, hopefully this will get rectified when we are on vacation.....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


So, my knitting has been going slowly. I'm frustrated at how long it takes me and how uncoordinated I feel while knitting. I broke down and bought crochet hooks and a book. With help from , I figured it out. It goes so much faster. Maybe it's just me, but I'm enjoying it. This is my first granny square. Not too fab, not too horrid either. I have made another, and a whole dishrag, which isn't going to be pictured. I'm currently working on a "softie" for Megan. A crocheted bunny with dress. Amigurumi is the term for these funky, fun stuffed toys. I will post when completed. Of course, this just adds to my project list!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Yard Work

Landscaping in front of the house. Looks soooo much better than nothing. See, the drought the previous 2 years killed our shrubbery. So we had the dead removed and I tried to figure out what to do there. Now, there's Japanese Boxwood, Bleeding Hearts, Nandina, hostas, ferns and coral bell. Also, there's one rhododendron. Still more work to be done in the rest of the front yard and we are getting an estimate for a stone patio in the back. Love to be able to work in the yard!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Working on Projects

I am working on the long list of projects I blogged about earlier. I can check off :
Master bathroom painted
Landscape plan(for the front)
installing landscaping is underway
Easter dress for Megan
matching dress for doll
and am cutting out pink shirt for megan

ah. progress. slow but sure.
And new ones:
getting the garden ready and growing(is happening now!)
upload pics to snapfish and do the digital scrapbook.
updated email account for new address. (I didn't change anything...they did...ugh)

I also completed a painting earlier this year. One of the few I've done just because.

I'm off to plant some more and hope to take some pics later today of what is new!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter pictures

So, it's been a while. I've been busy. With, you know, the normal stuff. Clean the house, do the laundry, and now that it's that season, mowing the lawn. oh, and spring break was last week, not to mention Easter. I did not decorate at all for it. Usually I'll bring out my few things, but they just didn't make it out. We are never home on Easter, so it isn't high on my priority list. Enjoy some pictures from Easter!

Megan's dress and matching dress for Am. Girl doll I started last year, but was too big, so finished it for this year. It had a matching coat, which is always good with our unpredictable spring weather.

Me and kids after the church egg hunt. Craig tied for most eggs found and won a chocolate cross.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New York City for Valentine's weekend

In Central Park

Me in Times Square

I went to NYC for Valentine's weekend to stay with my hubby who is working there during the week. He had an apartment then, so we took advantage of the free place to stay and frequent flier miles to have a romantic weekend in the city. His mom came to stay with the kids, which was nice. We started out with the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday night. That is my kind of entertainment! Saw lots of great works, and some that weren't. We ate at a small French restaurant nearby for dinner and I had the best scallops I've ever had. YUM. Wonderful boullaibase too. Saturday we did the tourist things, saw Times Square, the lions at the library, Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station, and a long walk thru Central Park. We had an early reservation at Del Posto for Valentine's and had the most expensive meal of our lives. It was very good, but wow, fancy. In that understated kind of way. We also went to the movies and had a nice Valentine's together. Sure beats last year's apart.

Sunday we walked by the World Trade center site and then on to brunch at Bubby's before heading back to leave. We did detour thru Century 21 which was interesting, but I would need a full day alone to do shopping there. All in all, an enjoyable trip. And best of all, Jonathan came home with me for the week. yay. But then the kids were sick and we both got it too. boo.

A cold weekend in the city which was not overly crowded. Good for me. There's still lots to do and I know we'll take the kids back one day.

Snow Days and Sickness

More snow, 2 more days missed of school since the last post. Now the kids will be going to school on Memorial Day. Honestly, I am not so enamoured of the snow day thing any longer. Once a year is enough. I don't mind the snow, just the missing school and feeling like we're trapped at home because of it.

Also, the kids have been sick. Almost 2 weeks of just fighting a flu-like thing. They would be well enough to go back to school, then have to stay home again. ick.

But to cheer things up, here's a picture of the snowman Jonathan helped Megan make. Back soon with more interesting posts..

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snow Day

We finally had a snow day! One that actually had snow, not ice. It has been years since the fun, fluffy stuff had been enough to play in. And, it was my son's birthday...what a great present, huh? Here's my now 11 year old.... My daughter doesn't actually remember the last time we had a real snow. That time she was not yet 2 and the snow came up to her belly. This year, it was all fun.

Yes, finally a picture of me....I figure once or twice a year I have to be in one...just for the kids' sake. We enjoyed the snow, and amazingly, 3 days later, we still have patches on the will be gone this afternoon though. Snow in the South is a rare occurence indeed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year, New List

My resolution for this year is to finish all outstanding projects. My hope is this translates to a finishing of all projects I start. But as I need some goes the unfinished lists:
List 1: House/Yard Projects
Repaint master bath(have to do trim on one window and repaint the 3 doors)
Install crown moulding in a:Megan's room, b: new hall, c: laundry room, d: figure out whether it needs to be in stairwell, bonus and master bedroom(funky ceilings in all 3)
Landscape plan for yard,
install landscaping
patio for back yard
Hang new curtain rod in dining room
get rods and hang them for curtains already purchased for office
repaint all trim inside house(dining room, office, foyer, half bath, hall, Megan's room)
Sewing Projects
starting with the oldest project waiting:
re-bind craig's baby blanket
sew jacket for me already cut out
size 4 dress for Megan already cut out (who is now a size 6...guess it will go to someone else!)
finish 2 other dresses already cut out for gifts
finish Megan's easter dress and coat
finish matching easter dress for Elizabeth(AM. girl doll)
Cut off shorts for M and J
pillows for den
coasters for den
Bonus room curtain(we won't discuss that 2 of 3 are finished and HANGING!!!!!)
finish black pull on shorts for under skirts for Megan
megan shirt with pink material
blue polka dot dress me
xmas material aprons
new dress for spring/summer Megan(fabric is sooo already purchased)
2 jumpers for Megan brown and one aqua.
new shirt
oh, and some tapestry panels that are waiting to be made into xmas pillows. I've only moved them 3 times. One day. I've also started knitting...a lot to accomplish this year.
and we won't discuss the scrapbooking that I'm years behind on.
2009 begins the all pics will be put in snappy. Not me.
I will mention that the list was longer...but I did check 2 things completely off the list, and am close to being done with the bathroom paint job!
Happy New Year!