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photo: Robyn Lee,

My newest project: embroidery

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It's all the Church Ladies' fault. Ever since I read their post last fall on monogrammed handkerchiefs,I've had embroidery and monogramming on the brain.

Today, I couldn't stand it any longer. I'd found some men's handkerchiefs on Etsy and had picked up some embroidery needles. I've gathered together my floss and hoop. I've printed out some possible monogram patterns. Now, I'm off to let Hambet choose one and I'll be off!

Kids and Winter

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A couple of years ago, my husband and I learned to start buying mittens, hats and gloves at the dollar store. Why? Because they lose them. Incessantly. They just disappear. I don't know how many times I ask them to stuff them in their coat sleeves or whatever. Just >poof< into thin air. (Same goes for socks too, by the way).

Yesterday, Berylla had a doctor's appointment. The temps this week are frigid (although it turned out not to be so bad yesterday) and I didn't want to bring her out unless she resembled a slightly fashionable Eskimo. Surprise, no pair of mittens in sight. I found this tutorial online and some scraps of fleece leftover from the coat I made her and other fabric, and viola-45 minutes later-new mittens:

Fifi needed mittens

Gorbulas was most impressed!

Gorbulas: Mommy! Can you make me mittens like that?

Me: Sure, but I have to go to the fabric store and get fabric to make mittens for you. I just happened to have some scraps to make these for Berylla.

Gorbulas: Well, they don't have to be special, you can use scraps for me too.

Me: Well, all I have right now is scraps with flowers all over them.

Gorbulas: Oh no! You're right! I don't want flower mittens at all!

Homemade Christmas Presents

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I want to say "it's that time of the year again", but in truth, I should have been on the ball a few months ago. I was just to busy feeling miserable. So as usual, I am trying to plan a Christmas list, that falls within a budget, that contains more objects that will last a bit of time and have sort of creative benefit, that won't break that day, and after all that, the kids will actually like.

Yesterday I stumbled on these patterns:

Felt lunch patterns
Chinese Take-out felt pattern
Felt tea set

I am not sure how many of these sets I can churn out by Christmas (probably like one), but they are just darling! I think that and perhaps a little taffeta, princess dress-up dress, and the 2-year old girl is covered. Boys are not as easy.

Warning: Don't Try This At Home

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Trying to be fun and creative while pregnant. I am almost sure my morning sickness is starting to abate...finally! I no longer experience sea sickness from trying to concentrate on things like books, or sewing. I have been able to do my daily minimum of three loads each day. Although don't ask me to plan a decent meal just yet that doesn't involve something frozen. Let's not push it.

But the absent mindedness-this is ridiculous! I tried to sew the simplest top for my daughter today, and what a fiasco I got myself into! It was going to be a nice Sunday project and a surprise for my daughter. I think the stupid thing had like 7 steps total or something like that. First I couldn't thread my serger. I just sat there staring at the dang thing looking at the arrows wondering what to do next. Then the instructions might as well have been in Greek or upside down. I kept getting the steps wrong. Normally, I have been sewing long enough that I've seen the steps so many times before, so they need not be scrutinized too carefully. For example, I don't have to read how to hem a skirt, or even need the instructions to tell me that is the last step. But I made the dumbest mistakes. I kept sewing the wrong pieces together when I totally knew better and wonder "why on earth did I do that?" Then I went to press the interfacing onto a piece of fabric, but had it upside down, so I only succeeded in getting it stuck to the ironing board. I was like in this perpetual state of dysfunction.

At the time it was frustrating, now it is almost comical.Today I learned a valuable lesson: if I am going to sew for fun these days, realize that is all it is going to amount to: fun , but don't expect anything to be worn...unless it is out of revenge.

Another Cute Tutorial

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This one is called The Eddie Cap. With summer coming up, the boys needed hats. But I wanted something a bit more individual that the usual baseball cap. I actually saw hats just like this here and there, but they were pricey, so I was quite relieved when I found the above-linked tutorial.

Who's That Girl?

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Why it's our very own Berylla modeling another new outfit sewn at home. (I know, there's a lot of them).


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A few months ago (or maybe a year?) they opened a Goodwill Superstore in my town. I had never been, but always intended to check it out. I was pleasantly surpised. For $19, I left with two new pairs of boys shorts (still with original tags), two button down boy's shirts, one new Osh Kosh 24 months dress (still with a tag) and one size small men's dress shirt.

Actually, all I wanted to get was the men's shirt because I had been itching for some time to use this tutorial on making a toddler dress from a button down shirt. If I were smart, I would have taken a picture of the shirt before I started sewing. I apologize, you will just have to settle for pictures of the end result:

Practically Fun

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16 months ago the Upstate Mosses welcomed their first girl after a succession of four boys. This meant the house had to restocked with cute pink clothes, ribbons, earrings barrettes and all things girly. It was a necessity. (Now this part is really a post that should have been written a year ago, and if it was, I apologize.) I desperately, desperately wanted pink Robeez sandals for my baby girl. But $27? I could not justify it. Too much. I started combing the Internet for patterns. That was when I stumbled on Make Them Yourself. The site owner, Misty, has tons of patterns for practical baby items (not just shoes). Although "practical" might be in the eye of the beholder if you call having tons of homemade baby shoes with various colors and styles practical I fell into a trap when I was able to buy a box of suede scraps of various shades of pink for $2 on eBay. Score

Yesterday, I made these as a gift for a family friend:

Baby shoes I made for a gift

I think next time I should stuff the shoes with cotton or something before I take a picture of them.

Check it Out

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Four pictures down are shoes I made for Berylla using the pattern on this site.

Two small delights

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Regina Doman has an entry up about cake stands. I love cakes. I love baking them, I love eating them, and I love displaying them on the cake stand I inherited from my grandmother. And just reading that short entry about cake stands makes me want to drop what I'm doing and make a white cake with lemon filling and coconut seven-minute frosting. And when it was done, I would put it on my cake stand, take a picture, brew some coffee, get out the china, and yummmm.

Regina also mentions that Victoria magazine is coming back this fall. Sweet articles about gracious living, recipes, and lots and lots and lots of pretty pictures. It helped me keep my sanity while I was in school, and I still have my clip file of some of my favorite articles (including the one that introduced me to commonplace books) and pictures. It ceased publication in 2003 and I've missed it, so I'm really happy to see that it's coming back again.

Well, I'm not hungry


I don't think I'll need to eat for a couple of days, actually. I just got back from the wedding. The reception was held at a very nice restaurant in Georgetown.

While I was getting my stuff together to go to the wedding, I went looking for a current picture of Hambet to carry with me. First of all, I am a bad mommy indeed to not have a recent picture in my wallet. The thing that really has me on a tear, though, is that I am missing the last three rolls of developed pictures. (I have this little system where I scan them onto a CD-ROM archive, send prints to the grandmas, number the little envelope with its number, and then put them in a box for "when I have time to put them in a scrapbook", which will be in Purgatory, at the rate I'm going.)

Yikes. Is there a Purgatory for procrastinators where we have to finish all the stuff we put off, including all the crafts projects we abandoned? Pray for the Poor Souls, bent over their sewing machines, embroidery hoops, and woodworking tables....

Di Fattura Caslinga: Pansy's Etsy Shop
The Sleepy Mommy Shoppe: Stuff we Like
(Disclaimer: We aren't being compensated to like this stuff.
Any loose change in referral fees goes to the Feed Pansy's Ravenous Teens Fund.)

Pansy and Peony: The Two Sleepy Mommies