Tuesday, May 24, 2011

{tip Tuesday}: the sewing tool that's not a sewing tool

Have you ever seen one of these?

cleaning rod

It's not really a sewing tool. It's for cleaning out a musical instrument, namely a flute. Like so:

cleaning rod

Naturally, I had this thing already hanging around, because I use it to clean my flute.  Indispensable.

As a sewing tool, though, it's a luxury I no longer can live without. I abhor using a safety pin to thread something through a casing. Ugh! Takes forever. This takes a few seconds.

Also handy for threading a camera strap through a cover. :)

cleaning rod

Your local music store will stock a metal cleaning rod for a few bucks, or a wooden one like mine for a few more. Metal rods are skinnier. Find one online here.

Trust me on this one. You'll wonder how you lived without it, especially if you make a lot of elastic waistbands or aprons with really long casings!!

linked up:

Tip Junkie handmade projects
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Friday, May 20, 2011

{fave friday}: limes

Limes.  I am in love with limes.  Not lime flavoring, that I can't stand.  Actual, real, fresh, juicy, tart limes.  Summertime in a cute little green package.  The ubiquitous summer fruit.

In my water.


On a tree in my backyard.  (the cutest, tiniest limes you've ever seen!)

lime tree

I didn't consider iced tea to be drinkable until I discovered the magic potion that is a Sonic large unsweet tea with EXTRA lime.  Maybe one packet of truvia, maybe not.

iced tea

In a Corona.  And in some guac, of course.


Best margarita in the world, made by my hubby.


Tex-mex just isn't quite right without a squeeze.

tex mex

Can't live without 'em!
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a new look!

Hooray!  The blog finally has a new look, designed by someone who knows what they are doing!!

...the fabulous Jeannette from Crafty Hippo Designs!

Jeannette is fabulous not only because her name is Jeannette, which is my middle name with an extra "N", but also because she is so easy to work with.

We met on Twitter via the Ultimate Blog Party, which has been a fabulous opportunity to connect with other bloggers and crafters. 

I was going for something pretty and practical, which should come as no surprise.  That's my motto.

I really wanted something simple that wouldn't compete with pictures and stuff in the sidebars.  It seems that I am so easily visually overwhelmed these days when I read blogs that are full of blinkies and videos and swirlies and flourishes and doodads, so much so that I can't concentrate on the posts.  Didn't want that to happen on my own blog!
Do you like the font choice?  That would be "Socially Awkward" from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/, where you can find a staggering amount of free scrapbook fonts.  I think the name is quite appropriate, of course...

In other news, I have been super focused on family stuff the last few weeks, as we wrap up school, and as I am helping my mom hunt for a house.  I like to blog, and I like to craft, but social media is absolutely the first thing to take a backseat to family stuff, and the blog was being renovated anyways.  Looking forward to summer and all of the downtime!
And, I have updated the Etsy shop lately with a few things I really like and am not entirely sure I want to sell, but what the heck:

kindle cover

I lurrrrrrve this Kindle cover.  I almost kept it for myself...It was upcycled from a sweater the girls had that they just loved.  The sweater got a big, unfixable, frogging hole in the front.  (Frogging is actually a knitting term, seriously!!  You know, when you're ripping something out - rip it, rip it - it's so corny you know I didn't make this one up!) 

I may keep if for myself if it does not sell, but somehow I think it will.  Just too cute.

camera strap cover

This camera strap cover has the happiest summery colors. I could spend all day playing in these fabrics.  These were all from a big Lily Bella Fabrics scrap bag, which is almost better than chocolate, and certainly lower calorie.  An hour in that scrap bag will cure what ails ya, believe me.

So...what do you think of the new blog look?
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

summer is coming...moms, are you ready?

Hey, friends!  The days are flying by, aren't they?  I have been trying so hard to get things done around here, because it is only a few weeks until school is out!

16 more days of kindergarten.

6 more days of preschool.


The summer looms before me...what on earth am I going to do to keep my excessively bright, creative, and energetic children engaged all summer?

Sure, we've got camps scheduled, a family vacation, Backyard Bible Clubs, and there's always the pool.

But it's those days here and there when you hear...


Now, my mom's favorite answer to this problem was to hand my brother and me a mop or a toilet brush, once we were old enough to use them properly.  Oh, I firmly believe in lots of chores, yes I do.  But my kids are merely 6 and 4, so there are only so many chores they can be expected to do.

A couple of years ago, I started doing themed weeks or days during the summer.  For example, "Princess Day" required costumes, pink pancakes (made with beets instead of food coloring, of course), and we used royal titles for each other all day long.  (I really liked being called "Queen Mother.")

This year, I've got an awesome idea in my "Summer Box," thanks again to my mom, the Retired Teacher Extraordinaire.


(I don't have any pictures of us actually doing the activities yet, because I am keeping it a surprise from the kids for now.)

We've got bones!! These are those very cool wooden dino skeleton puzzles. I'm gonna hide them in the sandbox and have the kids dig them up and attempt to put them back together.  Some of these are incomplete skeletons, which actually makes it more realistic when you think about it.   


Activity books - how to draw, word search, etc.  I also expect that my girls will need to make dinosaur models out of pipe cleaners, their current favorite sculpture medium.

My 6 year old probably knows all of these guys by sight already, but maybe these flash cards will help me keep up with her.


Let's not forget a bunch of random fossil pictures, labels, etc.  Perhaps we will use the labels to organize our drawings, or create "learning centers."

So, if you are wondering what to do with your kids this summer, send them to my house for Dino Week, or hit up your favorite retired teacher for some cool stuff.  And check out the Save Our Summer series on the Brassy Apple blog, one of my favorite bloggy haunts - just click this big button!

Do you have any theme ideas to share? 

P.S. a new look for the blog is on the way, keep your eyes peeled!
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