Monday, May 30, 2011

Yes, I am crazy.

Crazy for Otter Pops...And crazy busy, too. And though my sewing machine has been going clickety-clack like crazy, I'm not quite up to date on the documenting business. So, while I'm getting organized, I wanted to share a few things that have made me very, very happy while I've been very, very busy...

1. Best chocolate cream cheese frosting ever from Cupcake Project. On top of Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean cake mix that my sis recently turned me on to....bad news. Or good news, however you wanna look at it.

2. Best strawberry coffee cake from Smitten Kitchen. I recently fell in love with this blog, and this cake is seriously so easy and SO good. For some reason, though, neither of my kids were interested in it, which worked out very well for me and Benj...

3. Coconut mango rice. We are obsessed with anything coconut right now, and I've tried a few recipes for coconut rice, but Paula Dean's is most def the best.

Now get cooking and baking and check back later for some sharing of projects for small people...

PS: Otter pops in the dollar section at Target? What??? Hopefully some crazy person hasn't already cleaned them out of your Target like I did mine...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Boredom and strep throat...







Last month, both of my little sidekicks and I all caught strep throat. I have had it before, but I forgot how awful and painful it is! Josie had to miss a week of school, and was quarantined from interacting with any other kids for so long that she was going crazy. She is quite the social butterfly these days. To keep her occupied, we decided to do some planting. We were inspired by this idea, so we started with wheat grass. We also planted some herbs and veggies, too. I have to be honest that I didn't have much hope for the little seeds, since I am a notorious plant killer, but they are doing quite well. The best part was how the whole task kept J completely occupied and was super exciting to her 4-year-old self. She did everything: cut the cups, wrote the labels (could you DIE over her E's?), scooped the dirt, and planted those seeds. Every day she gets excited to check and water her plants and "give her grass a haircut." It grows SO fast!
We had one problem: How to Lily-proof our cups. We put them on the window ledge where she can't reach them, and taped them so they won't fall.

Basil only a week later...

The beans have already moved to their new home outside!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I love Park Slope

One of my favorite things about being a resident of Jersey, is the accessibility to so many cool places. My #1 favorite cool place is (duh) "the big city," as we call it around here. I love being able to take the train in for day trips and not feel s'touristy. I went there by myself a few weeks ago and spent hours wandering aimlessly...best day ever. Our new favorite place is a neighborhood in Brooklyn called Park Slope. We went there to check out a bike shop for B and found several gems that must be visited. And revisited. So, the other night when we were falling asleep, I said to B, "I'd really like to go to Brooklyn again sometime soon." "Yeah. Me, too," was all he said, but the next day he came home from work early and told us to get ready, 'cuz we're going to Brooklyn! (On a side note, this is one of a million reasons why I love B, he is spontaneous and adventurous.) Would you believe this is the "world's largest bike shop?" True story!

We visited all the baby shops that I'm in love with: Area Kids, Lulu's Cuts and Toys, and Lulu's Then and Now. Area kids has THE BEST sale section ever. A whole wall of adorable half price things, and they also have the best shoe selection evs. Lulu's Cuts and Toys is a dream come true if your kid needs a haircut/nightmare if you don't feel like buying your kid a toy. Josie got a much needed haircut/cleanup from a recent "friend cut" incident. They had the cutest clips, so we avoided buying a toy by letting her pick out new clips for her hair. Awesome. Lulu's Then and Now is definitely the best children's resale shop I've ever been to. I've found several treasures in those racks.

The highlight of our trip, though, was our new favorite restaurant...Miriam. It is Israeli/Mediterranean food to die for. A little family owned restaurant with super sweet service. My kids went nuts over the meatballs in pomegranate sauce, the Mediterranean salad was mine and B's favorite. We had kabobs, falafel, and many other tasty little dishes. I cannot wait to go back.

After dinner we had chocolate from the Chocolate Room. Since we had dessert at Miriam, we just bought chocolates out of their case, but B glanced at the sit-down dessert menu and almost went for a second dessert round. Can't wait to try it next time.

Flirt is really cute with only locally designed and sewn clothing for women. Their sewing classes sound like so much fun...

The moral of this long story is: Come visit me, and we'll go to Brooklyn. We'll shop for cute kids clothes, eat awesome food, then lots of chocolate. Also, I just read that Park Slope has two AMAZING yogurt shops...wanna go?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An anti-climatic ending...




So, I am a little tardy in wrapping up my big year - but here goes...I started to type a list of all 52 projects, but I decided that it was much too boring to read, and a tally isn't the point. Not all 52 projects were sewing or craft projects. Some were simple things I had planned on doing forever and ever...and finally got them done!
I think what I've taken away from this experience is
1. The weekly deadline jump started my motivation, but in the end I was able to find my own rhythm for getting things done. My #1 priorities in life are not my own projects, but two short, blonde, and unpredictable little things. Sometimes my free time comes in spits and starts, so my vision of having a timely post every week was thwarted by this fact!
2. I don't hate quilting. My very wise aunt and idol Sis pointed out: "Oh dang........you need to learn to love quilting...Quilting is getting to be a lost art. This from a pioneer womans journal....I QUILT AS BEAUTIFULLY AS I CAN SO MY HEART WON'T BREAK AND AS FAST AS I CAN SO MY CHILDREN WON'T FREEZE......" Her post brought tears to my eyes as I thought of pioneer women quilting out of necessity, but finding the beauty and joy in it. So, I think it's perfectly fitting that my final project was another (bigger!) quilt. The quilts that I've made have become beloved things in our home and it makes me so happy to see my family using them and loving them, too. I have quilts floating in my head...I'm excited to get them out!
3. I like to blog, and while I'd like to have a pretty, glossy blog that is updated in a timely manner...it just might not happen that way while my babies are babies.
My list of projects from last year has only generated more projects and I have so many things sitting in my little sewing area (if you can call it that). I am excited to continue sharing things that I make or things that inspire me...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stay tuned...

52 weeks are up! My 52 week project due date has arrived and I'm just tying a few loose ends....Stay tuned for the year in review... xoxo

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bubble guppy



Little sister was dying for a mermaid dress. She begged and begged and I had lots of fabric left, so I sewed one while she was sleeping the other day. She was very happy to wake up to this little number...
PS: If you have been around my tiny mermaid for more than 10 seconds you know that she is quite possibly the most difficult human being in the universe to catch for a photo...

Clippies




I saw these clips on Etsy, but when I went to order one, they weren't available anymore. When I learned to crochet I decided I'd try to make one and it was the easiest thing in the uni. Crochet a couple rows and wrap yarn around the middle and add a clip...so easy, but oh, so cute!
A little credit where credit is due: She doesn't sell the clippies here anymore, but her shop is really cute.

Stop motion

When I was in college I took a film making class, and I really became obsessed with it. I sat in the editing room for hours upon hours upon hours. Lately, my girl and I have been having fun making little movies with her drawings. It's been super fun getting back into it and trying to remember how to do any of this editing action. Here is our first stop motion, I think there will be many many more to come!
PS: This is REALLY easy, and a fun rainy day activity for you and your kiddos...All you need is a digital camera (still not video), a computer with any video editing software (I use iMovie), and a little artist (you can also use toys instead of drawings). This link helped me a lot...
video

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I hate quilting...#1


I really do hate quilting. I signed up for quilting classes a few years ago...Bought all the fabric and everything, and a few lessons into it I dropped out. I think if I were more patient I would love it. That's why I wanted to sew a quilt - as part of this whole patience and persistence mission I'm on. Anyway, I have wanted a beach blanket forever, so this is the most simple quilt in the universe - patchwork squares with no binding. I machine quilted it which turned out surprisingly well and now I think I hate quilting a little bit less...Now we are ready for summer and the beach! Unfortunately, when I woke up to finish this yesterday, there was a blizzard hovering over our house. So, for now we are laying on our beach blanket in our living room, imagining warm rays of sun on our faces and cool breeze in our hair....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Too hot...



My dad has 5 sisters and every single one of them is overflowing with artistic talent. I'm currently obsessed with my Aunt Trice's new book 101 Tea Towels. There are SOOO many cute embroidery patterns in it, I've just finished the first in the three bears set, and I can't wait to start on the days of the week towels. Buy this book on Amazon, and check out her other books while you're there...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

So, a new year's confession....Duh, I'm not a good blogger. But that's still okay because my excuse is that my whole experience isn't about the blog, but about the outcome and the tangible things that I make with my own two hands. The only problem is that I'd love to have a record of all the things I've learned, so I'm really going to try to be better....So, here goes!
My favorite things from December....

I loved this idea from December's MS Living - hers was a little fancier with a big Christmas bow, but I like our simpler version. I don't think I'll be able to take the Christmas cards down 'til next Christmas...So many beautiful cards from beautiful friends!!

I got some pretty yarn and made this simplest wreath of the century - just wrapped yarn around a foam wreath blank. The sequin yarn is SO awesome and actually very soft. Trying to think of something else to make with the leftover....


I was so happy when I found this fabric for my girls' Christmas dresses. Another Simplicity so easy (really easy) pattern. My favorite part are the little red leather bows I found at Martha Stewart's Craft Sale...It was a lucky miracle that I got to go to her office in the big city with Angela and Paigie - we had so much fun and the people watching was pretty unreal. Picture a tiny set of twin men dressed in ultra-tailored suits and bowties...A guy wearing a sequin eye patch...Only it was non-functional and had a hole in the middle. The ultimate fashion statement.



We made some easy elastic thread scarves for gifts - the serger was my best friend...

Sometimes you have to let the little cooperative model call the shots...I swear on my life she comes up with those poses all on her own. Best ever.