I’ve been doing  a lot of creating, crafting, sewing these last few weeks.  I signed up for a holiday boutique at Ryder’s school about a month or so ago and then thought “holy crap” I better get some things together!  So began a frenzy of cutting, pinning, sewing, crocheting, etc…….. In my madness I finally made Ryder a banner for his room – he was so happy to hang it up. 

Now if I can only finish my skirt I’ve had sitting on my table for months 😉  But I’m glad my little man is happy – he’s been waiting so patiently.

As you can see we’ve been having some fun with tie dying. 

We’ve done two batches this summer.  Of course the first batch was to outfit our household and the second batch was to cloth our friends and family in Chicago. 

We recently headed back to Chicago for a visit and brought back a little Cali love in the form of tie dyes.  My kids LOVE their tie dyes – how can you not – groovy colors swirling around – just makes you want to smile 🙂

Our friend Kendra made a trip down to Dharma Trading Co. and unfortunately I couldn’t join her, but she came back with some tie dying goodies and made lots of fun gear for her kids and her new bambino.  Luckily our local art store had this lovely little kit that makes tie dying sooooo much easier than the good ‘ole bucket method.  It comes with 4 squeeze bottles with pointy nozzles and has the powdered dye already in the bottle – just add water.  It also comes with the soda ash and a fun little video showing all the different designs you can do.  The owner of the art store told me that he has all kinds of powdered dye to purchase so I can reuse the bottles.  It’s perfect.  I highly recommend the kit – it was only $19 and we ended up tie dying about 14 shirts, a pair of underwear and 2 pairs of socks and had left over.  The video was fun to watch too.  Ryder was all jazzed about the different designs to make.  And all in all it was not too messy.

While we were in Chicago we headed out to the Shedd Aquarium (one of my favorite places ever) and we took my nieces so we decided to all wear our tie dyes.  Let’s just say we really stood out in the crowd 😉

I’ve got some white sheets waiting for the next round of tie dying – Ryder really wants a set of tie dyed sheets.  He also wants to make Papa and Grandma some tie dyes (which is a hysterical thought if you knew my folks).  I think that will be on the christmas list this year 😉

I found this pillowcase at the thrift store the other day and had to buy it.  I had this dress in mind when I bought it.   I just love the colors and how summery it looks.  I had purchased some elastic thread a couple months back and have been wanting to try to sew with it (I’ve never used elastic thread).  I love the little smocked tops and dresses – they are so easy to just throw on and go.  So this was my first attempt with the elastic thread – and I think – not so bad 🙂  And I can’t help but LOVE that this is an old pillow case (no hemming needed).

I did add straps to the dress to help it stay on better.  I love the elastic thread.  Super easy to use and super easy to create a quick top or dress or skirt.

Give it a try and let’s see what you create.

I have been working on a class gift for Ryder’s preschool graduation.  I will post pictures soon.  So, this gift has gotten me back out into the cottage working and cleaning up so I’m inspired to do more. 

Saige had a birthday party for her BFF at school and the theme of the party was “pinkalicious” – in honor of the book (which the story goes, the little girl can’t eat more than 2 cupcakes or she’ll turn pink – too cute!).  So in honor of the party theme I wanted to make her a pink cupcake shirt.

I am sooooo loving this shirt.  I think Saige will be getting one soon.

I couldn’t stop with this, so I made Saige a little outfit for the party.  As some of you may already know, when I find fabric I like I buy it and sometimes I’ll use it right away, but usually it sits until something speaks to me and I make something out of it.  Well, this fabric has been sitting for about a year and it finally has found it’s way onto the table and under the presser foot and is now a darling little skirt and I used the scraps to make a little flower for a plain white tshirt. 

I want one for myself 🙂

I have been feeling so stiffled in my creativity with my “day job” so it felt so good to just get a little bit of “creating” in.  Oh, how I long to do this on a more regular basis.  It’s so hard to juggle family, day job, play time, gardening, cooking and creating.  If only I could get rid of “day job” and replace that with “creating”.  It will happen one of these days, but for now I’ll take it when I can.

What are your latest creations?  How do you find balance?

here sits the Peace Crusader, The Environmental Warrior and The Green Warrior capes after a long day of fighting villains!

The Green Warrior in action

The Green Warrior and The Mini Peace Crusader take a well needed break to refuel for the next adventure.

Unfortunately The Peace Crusader and The Environmental Warrior (mama and dad) were very elusive and did not stop long enough for a photo 🙂

Ryder’s good buddy turned 5 and had a super hero birthday party – so mama spent a week putting together our alter egos – boy did we have fun.  A family that dresses in costume together stays together (I guess that’s not quite how the saying goes but you know what I mean).  I also made about 20 blank capes to have for the kiddos that didn’t have super hero capes so they could decorate their own.  I was a cape making machine. 

Super heroes unite!

I am officially addicted to youtube and crocheting!  Sounds like an odd combo but I have been using youtube to find all these patterns for crocheting.  My grandmother crocheted and always said she was going to teach me, but unfortunately I never learned from her (I was too “cool” to learn at the time and then she got sick and passed away around the time I would have LOVED to learn).  So I’ve always regretted not learning from her and one day about 6 years ago I decided I was going to figure it out.  My coworker, at the time, was an avid crocheter so I asked her to show me a few stitches (during a 10 minute break).  That was my lesson in crocheting.  So I bought a bunch of different size hooks and started to play around. 

Up until this point I’ve only been able to go in rows (so a lot of scarves have been made in the last 6 years).  But that gets boring.  So recently I decided to pick up my hooks again and try to figure out how to do more.  I am not really great with directions (this is why I am not a baker – I am a good cook – a little bit of this a little bit of that – tweak it so I like it) so reading some of the crochet books can be a bit intimidating.  So I’m not sure how or why I went to youtube, but I did, and I searched “how to crochet a hat” and tons of links came up.  Amazing!  So I just finished my second hat and even added a cute little flower to it!  I’m so jazzed about this – I’m ready to move on to a sleeveless sweater or something slightly easier like that.  Maybe I’m being a bit eager – but hey – why not?

So for right now, I’m really digging youtube and crocheting. 

Another “love” right now is Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  LOVE LOVE LOVE these patterns, and colors and combinations!  I wish I had more money and more time because I want to buy ALL the fabric and make dresses, skirts, pants, quilts, pillows, etc. with these beautiful fabrics.  For now I might just get some scraps for doing patchwork on my cousins’ new baby’s quilt. 

What are you drooling over these days?

So I have been collecting Doug’s old shirts and mine – that have fun patterns or good pockets.  You ask why?  Well, I have been saving them to make pants for the kids.  Soulemama has a technique she wrote about in her book The Creative Family.  I thought – what a great idea!  I love to re purpose something and give it new life. 

So I busted into my collection and began my project.  Amazingly it is super quick.  I think in total it may have taken 15 to 20 minutes – not too bad and in the end you get a cool new pair of pants.  


Here’s how it goes….. take your shirt, lay out a pair of pants that is the kids current size, trace around it (I actually just cut with the pant laying on the shirt – another way to save a step).  Add a little around the pant to allow for seam allowance, cut a piece of elastic to size, sew it up and you got yourself a new pair of pants.  You can read in detail in her book. 


I place the pants so that the pocket of the shirt becomes the back pocket of the pants.  I recently made Ryder a pair out of an old Ben Davis shirt of Doug’s (they are adorable) and also a pair of linen pants out of an old linen shirt (perfect for spring/summer). 


My shirts don’t work so well b/c of pleating (something to watch for).  I have some jersey shirts I will be using for shorts and leggings.  I did make a skirt out of an old shirt of mine for Saige – it’s now one of my favorite skirts for her.


(and her shirt is a new one I made yesterday – my little Peace baby!)


I love to see the little ones in their handmade garb – and they seem to like it too!  Nothing better than when your 4 1/2 year old says “mama, will you make me another pair of pants”.  I just LOVE it!!!!

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