Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby Quilt

Inspired by the book, Bend the Rules Sewing, I decided to make a baby quilt for my new nephew. I found some spacey flannel for it(robots and spaceships). We used orange flannel for the back. I didn't want a "baby" quilt, as I hope he can use it for several years. It is an easy quilt to sew. E & A helped me lay out the strips and add the prints at random intervals. They enjoyed "helping" me pin and sew the quilt. Eamon was grateful when we used the scraps to make a scarf for him.It is packaged and ready to go to its new home.

Ornaments for the Babies

I made elf slippers for the youngest cousins this year. K's slipper was pink with her initial. W's elf slipper was blue with a pom-pom on the toe. The pattern is from a blog I read. It can be found here, however I shrunk it down a bit. I hope they like them when they get bigger.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

All Set

The final project for the holidays was matching pajamas pants for the family. We started a tradition last year of matching pjs. Last year they merely coordinated, but this year we all matched. Here is a picture of D & E on Christmas with their matching pants.

Monday, December 17, 2007


In between the holiday sewing and crafting, I noticed Aine needed some jeans patched. She picked out her colors, and we set to work. The patches work quite nicely on these play jeans even if it does look a bit Whiskey Tango.

Knitting Update

With all the sewing I was able to knit a few things: an orange for my new nephew's stocking and two pairs of baby booties for expectant mamas. I have a pair of socks as well as a doll waiting in the wings.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I made two aprons this year for family to go with some culinary treats. The basic pattern was fairly easy for both. Hopefully they like them, and they fit reasonably well. I tried to make them coordinating, so they could cook/entertain in fashion.

Happy Cooking!

Robe Mania

I made three robes this holiday season. I would have made four, but one of the recipients wants a hood, and the pattern I used was sans hood. She will have to wait. Thanks to a friend for the use of her pattern, I was able to whip them out a gifts. The pattern is McCalls 4726.

Here is a shot of E modeling his:I will try to get photos of the other two. Somehow in my sewing frenzy I forgot to take photos.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Healthy Eating

I struggle with eating local and organic. I love the idea of a CSA, but we have had some problems with it this year. The food has been plentiful and mostly in good shape. We just can't seem to get through the quantity of greens. I had previously checked out Bountiful Baskets online, but was disappointed by the lack of organic and local products. I have a good friend who signed up and is very pleased. She told me recently of the inclusion of local and organic products as well as the hope that more will come. We signed up. Hopefully this will work until I get our garden back into thriving condition.

Here is a shot of one of our "baskets."(all this for $15)


We have signed up for bi-weekly produce through a group called Bountiful Baskets. It is not always organic or local, but it is fresh and economical. We really like the idea of the CSA, but it was getting hard to eat through all the greens and turnips. We pay $15 for a basket of produce. It usually fills two small laundry baskets.

This week we received:
  • 1 pound Organic Baby Spring Mix
  • 1 bundle of Chard
  • 5 Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • 3# bag of gala apples
  • 3 large pears
  • a dozen clementines
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 3 heads of romaine
  • 5 bananas
  • 6 baking potatoes
  • 10 red potatoes

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My poor belly button

Here is a photo of my poor belly button. It used to be so cute. I always thought it would look good with a belly button ring. Now it is disfigured as a result of a hernia. I have been told it will go back to its glamorous days after a minor surgery. I have my doubts.

Monday, November 19, 2007


The light is a bit better - not much. Here are some photos.

Pattern: Clapotis from

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Watercolor

Needles: Size 8

I followed the pattern as written. I knit a bit too tightly, because I was worried about running out of yarn.

Sunday, November 18, 2007



(pictures tomorrow when there is better light)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Now that's Productivity

DH took the kiddos to a Veteran's Day Parade today. I elected to stay home to clean and craft. I spent three hours cleaning - mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, changing beds, washing clothes, wiping down walls, etc. The remaining time was spent sewing.

I finished 6 pairs of pajama pants. A finally got her Halloween pants, which have been waiting since last year. E got some Thomas pants from a thrifted Thomas curtain. Two of my nieces will receive their Halloween pants from last year as well as a warm pair of flannel ones for their new home.Now on to a few quilts, a skirt for A and two sweatshirts for the kids. In the meantime I need to finish the clapotis.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I love our dog. She is a good dog-gentle with the kids, relatively obedient and relaxed. She loves to be with her family. Ava is her name, and she is a St Bernard. We adopted her 6 months before E was born from a rescue group. Ava is a huge loveable dog even though she no longer gets the attention she loves with the addition of two children. She loves to be included on any family activity and yearns for daily walks.

Ava does have few drawbacks. She is a slobber queen. My walls are covered with Ava drool. She is a hair machine - shedding despite repeated brushing. She is the main reason that my floor moves with dust bunnies and my walls are darker the last few feet by the floor.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Great Movie

I was able to attend a screening of the film The Business of Being Born tonight. It was previewed by the Arizona Birth Network as a fundraiser for their organization. I went with some friends and ended up being on the discussion panel at the end. It was a tremendous movie depicting the scary state of birth in the United States. It is likened to Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.

The movie raises some startling issues. Although we are a large developed nation, we rank high in infant and maternal mortality. The maternal death rate has actually risen. It is theorized that this is due in a large part to the many interventions common in most births as well as the startling cesarean rate. Cesarean are becoming elective with the Unite States having a rate above 30% (the World Health Organization suggests a rate of no more than 10-15%). Some states and cities have rates around 45-50%. This is amazing to me. Cesareans are a major abdominal surgery. It is not something to be taken lightly. The movie discussed the issue of bonding with an intervention laden birth. It is harder for the natural "love cocktail" to be released with the normal birth process is disrupted. With the absence of these hormones, breastfeeding can be harder as well as basic maternal/baby bonding.

I really recommend additional reading for anyone pregnant or planning to have children. Some good websites are,, an article on avoiding c-sections, and loads others I can provide if you are interested.

The movie will be released in the beginning of 2008. It will also be available on Netflix. I really urge everyone to see this film. Regardless of where you choose to birth your baby, be informed of your choices and their implications.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Little Monkeys

This is what I found in the kids' room after cleaning the bathroom.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Halfway There

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant - halfway there theoretically. The baby is doing well - growing with a solid heartbeat. It is so amazing the changes that take place to foster such life. I am wearing more maternity clothes. Truthfully this wardrobe transition began earlier as my roomy uterus stretches early to accomodate #3. I have begun exercising again now that the cold seems to hve disapated. I have been using the ellipticl at home, but hope to make it to the gym soon (just need the kiddos to be healthy). The weather is beautiful, so our walks will return as well.

With a little help from dh or kiddos, I should have a 20week picture posted soon.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I have been thinking about our gift giving this holiday season. I am trying to buy local for our family and avoid the big box stores. It is much easier than said! I came across the handmade pledge, and I think I am going to try to do it this holiday.
I Took The Handmade Pledge!

There are so many places to buy handmade as well as crafting my own. If you haven't heard of Etsy, you must check it out. I have been shopping there for a couple years and LOVE it!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cranberry Relish

I am not sure when it started, but my mom has made cranberry relish for holidays for a long time. I have always disliked it. It was too sour for me. My sister, however, showed me how good it is. The recipe is simple - 1# cranberries, 1 apple and 1 orange. Mix this in the food processor and add sugar to taste (up to 1 cup). I have decided that my mom never used enough sugar. With a few tries, I have settled on 1/2 cup. The stuff is delicious. The kids like it, which is an added bonus. Now that cranberries have hit Costco, we are going to have to stock up.


Sunday, November 04, 2007


I am trying desperately to clean up our house a bit. Two little people seem to sense it and are trying to thwart it at every turn. They are currently winning. Today I tried a bit in the den/craft room. I was able to repair a rash guard, stuffed animal and sewn my old Raggedy nn's eyes back on(her legs are still amputated below the knee). Perhaps tonight I will make some progress on the clapotis, so I can start sewing again. I am getting a bit itchy...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Post-Halloween Party

I am not a fan of Halloween. It is okay, but it isn't my favorite holiday. Truth be told, I prefer a good gift-giving holiday anytime. We were invited to two parties this year. Only the kids dressed for the first one. Here is my costume for the second.

It was my Grandmother's Raggedy Ann costume. Here is a photo of her in it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Clapotis Update

with all the sickness and then niece watching, I am WAY behind on my mother's birthday gift. Yes, her birthday is in two days, and she is leaving on a cruise. I HAVE to have it done by tomorrow if I want her to have it by her birthday.

So, what do you think? Not a chance, huh!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I think I'm in LOVE

Ahhhh...we finally bought an umbrella clothesline. Our HOA is not very supportive of this environmental endeavor. Hopefully a letter is not forthcoming. If so, they may get an earful. How can anyone not use a clothesline?? Now to figure out how to avoid crunchy clothes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nothing like the last minute

We celebrated Halloween today with skeleton costumes and a run through the neighborhood. Aine wore a costume handed down by a friend, but we had to improvise a bit for Eamon. He had a skeleton shirt already. We bought black sweatpants and true to form I painted them this afternoon. I also decided at 4pm that Aine needed a new bag for her candy. Eamon has used an embroidered one with Frankenstein's monster on it. So under her careful direction, I sewed a quick bag from felt with a moon and bat. We made it dressed with make-up and out the door for plenty of Halloween fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Almost three months

Sorry for the LLLOOOOONNNNNGGGG hiatus. I have quite a few works in progress right now. My biggest has slowed me down exponentially. I am currently pregnant, so I have been tired. As soon as the first trimester fog started to lift, I became sick. Hopefully that fog will pass soon. Right now I have a second sock for Dave on the needles and a birthday surprise. I have a lot of projects in the plan - just looking for time and energy.


The first quote in this video is my all-time favorite. It speaks volumes to me.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pisces Link?

I have started swimming at the YMCA. I really, truly enjoy it. I swam as kid and on and off through the years. Before kids, I went to the gym regularly, but swimming was always tough. For some reason, it is coming together for me now. I enjoy the cool water and the solitude - just me and the water. I swim about a mile - sometimes more, sometimes less. I am even getting better at my strokes. I have always loved the breaststroke, but freestyle tires me out. Freestyle is even getting easier. I notice some small changes, but the bigger draw is that I really like it. I am toying with the idea of doing a triathlon (sprint version). The big drawback isn't the running with which I have a love/hate relationship. The part that scares the beejesus out of me is swimming in TEMPE TOWN LAKE - BLECH.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I admit it, I shamelessly steal. If I find a good idea, I will use and adapt it. My sister is a great source of ideas as well as my friends. Most of the stealing is kid ideas, but it stretches to crafting as well. I found some great blogs and a flikr site that has all kinds of kid ideas. I really like browsing the Creative Summer flikr group for ideas. One idea I really liked was the frogs and lily pads. I made a set of frogs for us, my nieces and a friend for her birthday. The first two set of lily pads were okay, but then I had an epiphany - felt. I made the gift lily pads out of felt and embroidered the numbers on them. It looks amazing.
Off in search of more stealable ideas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The wall-hanging/memory quilt is done.

I just finished the binding tonight. I am so pleased with the final product. As a child, I helped my mom and grandmother cut and piece the quilt for my bed. I didn't do any of the quilting or binding, so this is a first for me.

Here is my first quilt. Finished size is approx 20"L X 15'H. The quilt is meant to signify various natural elements - sky, sun, grass, trees, water, air. These seem to be areas where the recipient most feels her lost child. The elemental portion was hand-quilted. The white "frame" was machine quilted.

Please excuse the poor photo quality. I was too eager to get the finished quilt photographed and proof posted!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A whole lotta crafting has been happening, although there hasn't been much blogging. After finishing the kids' aprons, I made two yoga tops for me. The pattern is McCalls M4664, and it is super easy. It fits pretty well, although with swimming lessons, I haven't had a chance to test it in a yoga class.I have also sewn a few pairs of pajama bottoms. Another easy pattern and very popular around our house. The bottom pair is out of some thrifted material. I also made a yoga top from the piece of fabric which was only $1.

My niece's birthday required the making of a couple gifts. I knit her the Monica shirt from Knitty. Since it is the second one I have made, I had some modifications. I knit it in the round and I used longer straps which you can tie. I also made an apron and matching bag for her art supplies. A good gift I think.

My knitting has been a bit slow due to the sewing. I was able to knit and felt a bag. I have done quite a few bags, so I didn't really follow a pattern. Here is a picture of it drying. I like the size and shape. I am trying to decide if I want to line it and create a fastener.

Finally I started my first quilt. I am making it for a friend of a friend. She is amazingly strong during a very hard time in her life. I wanted to make something for her to remember her baby who just died. The pictures below are the pieces and the pieced quilt. I have finished hand-quilting the middle and machine quilting the border. I just need to sit down and do the binding. I think it will be finished today.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Keeping Clean

I am making a few aprons for the kids and as gifts. They are pretty cute. They are each different as far as pockets and embellishments. I am pleased with the look.

Next an apron for me and as a housewarming gift.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Corner of my Home

I have read many blogs that have pictures of corners of their homes. It may seem odd, but it is really interesting to contemplate and see.

I decided to take a picture of my kitchen corner. It is usually a clean space. I also wanted to show off my new rug. A friend of mine made it for me.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Twirling Dress

Another Ottobre creation for Aine. I picked up the fabric at the Memorial Day sale from JoAnn's. It was clearance fabric for $1/yd. Woo Hoo! Aine loves the dress. It was easy to put together. It only took a few hours while watching the end of 24: Season 2. It has a few spots where I had woobly stitching. I will probably make it again as it is a fun dress to make and wear. It is view #16 from 3/2007.

Friday, June 01, 2007