Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It was hardly a sliver.

Oh corduroy, oh corduroy, how I love you corduroy!  I've learned all about you from a short Wikipedia article.  I found almost 3 yards of you at the PTA thrift store in Chapel Hill.  You were so very affordable at just $1.50 but you were in no way "cheap".   Thank you for making it possible for me to make these incredibly fun projects.

Farmers' Market Bag - Sew Liberated

Farmers' Market Bag

Portable Book Nook Pad (my own design)

Portable book nook - many homemade items to surround him (see notes))

Basic Pocket Pants  - Growing Up Sew Liberated

Basic Pocket Pants - Growing Up Sew Liberated


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The lemonade.

Not being able to knit without pain has really kicked my crafting ass.  I have a project in the works but it doesn't take very long before I start to feel the dreaded throb in my shoulder start rearing it's hideous head.   I NEED to make things.  Cooking is ok and I've been having some fun with it lately but I need the fiber art.  You know what? Losing my ability to knit and crochet for hours was a bummer but it doesn't matter much anymore because now, I can sew.  Seriously.  I just have to say that out loud.  Hold on..............ok, I'm back.  I can really sew.  I still make some ridiculous mistakes but I usually have a toddler sitting on my lap or trying to push my chair on wheels around or desperately attempting to spin my seat.  I must acquire a stationary sewing chair.  
I know I blog randomly and that every once in a while I decide to have a focus and then two days later decide to delete that post and focus on something else but you knew what you were getting into.  You know how fickle I can be.  

Without further delay, I've made some things.

Ottoman cover!  I used a fantastic tutorial from Sew Much Ado.

New-old ottoman and me-made cover!

This great floor cushion for Benjamin to lug around.  Another wonderful tutorial from Living With Punks.
Single seater by Momma.

I've made some things from Sew Liberated

Sweet Pea Pilot Caps

Sweet Pea Pilot Cap take 3 and 4!  

Sweet Pea Pilot Cap

All By Myself Bibs from Growing Up Sew Liberated.

All By Myself Bibs (with a few minor beginner mistakes).

This incredibly adorable play tent, also from Growing Up Sew Liberated.

Hideaway play tent - Peeping climber

I've refashioned some old t-shirts using the Envelope Tee pattern, also from Growing Up Sew Liberated.  Seriously, get this book!  


From Daddy's Old T-shirts

Refashioning Daddy's Old T-shirts -(back)

Refashioning Daddy's Old T-shirts (Front)

I've made the Emmeline Apron from, you guessed it, Sew Liberated.

Emmeline Apron.. a few beginner be cont.
This is not my final version of the Emmeline.  Unfortunately, the bodice didn't work for me.  Whenever I stood at the sink and looked down to wash dishes it would sort of "buckle" and block my view of what I was doing.  I changed it to a v-neck sort of bodice and it's working out really well that way.  Photos soon!

Finally, another project I can now check off my "I have GOT to make that" list is a refashioned vintage suitcase that I worked on for Benjamin.   I found the suitcase at our local Durham Rescue Mission thrift store for $3.99 (it's RED!) and the fabric is left over from some curtains that I shortened.  I used Super 77 spray adhesive to glue the fabric and it got very messy.  Glue in a spray can + clumsy mother who is always in a hurry = super adhered arm hairs, desk chair, sewing machine, floor, etc. etc.  I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.  I love the red, black and white color combination.  It reminds me of a goofy joke I knew as a kid.  "What's black and white and 'read' all over?"  A newspaper!  Don't make me tell you my favorite corny joke about a string.   Suitcase redo!

Dress-up suitcase redo - after!

Thanks for wasting your time here with me!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I have become so interested in scouring the interworld for early childhood education (mostly Montessori) resources and ideas. It all started when I was searching for sewing patterns and came across the Sew Liberated blog. I made Benjamin some truly adorable hats using her free pattern. I'd always wondered about the Montessori method of education and how it truly follows the child and encourages them to become independent thinkers.
I've been spending most of my "free" time making our home friendly, safe, inviting, engaging and fun for Benjamin. The joy he gets from being able to do things for himself and be included in my daily homemaking activities is enough to make me realize that my time is being well spent. When I was employed outside the home I always loved the part of my job that allowed me to assist people in becoming independent.  Now that I'm not employed in a "job" where I can let that creative energy flow I feel that my son should benefit from my enthusiasm. He even sometimes thanks me for my efforts, no joke..
I don't find much time to be able to blog about our daily activities but I upload photos of our journey every few days on my flickr site. I guess I'm going to try and transition to being more of a "photo-blogger" and use flickr to record and share our journey through Benjamin's childhood and our parenthood.  It makes it much easier for the Grandparents as well.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sweet Pea Pilot Cap

Sweet Pea Pilot Cap made by Momma.
Originally uploaded by Saunch09

I made some really adorable hats for Benjamin with some old sweatshirts. I used the pattern and tutorial from Meg McElwee's blog. She's from Durham!

I've got some secret projects in the works for Christmas and one of them even involves something knitted!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


My baby is one year old today!!! We plan to celebrate with some gingerbread cake later this evening when Daddy gets home from work. We are also going to celebrate at Grandma and Grandpa's house this weekend. Benjamin shares his birth week with Thom so it is the perfect time to take a weekend to relax and visit with his parents. We bought him a few little musical instruments, a wooden xylophone and recorder and a cute little thing that you hum into called a hum-a-zoo. His best gift of all, in my opinion, was a membership to Marbles. We can't get enough of that place!
Benjamin has recently transitioned to one long nap a day. By long, I mean 2-3 hrs! Yesterday I decided to try and get some sewing done. We bought some new curtains for the living room at Ikea but they needed to be shortened by a foot. It took me a long time to get it done and unfortunately they are uneven at the bottom. It happened that I didn't know the rule about measuring from the top instead of the factory-cut bottom and apparently Ikea didn't make the bottom hem very straight so I just shortened (unevenly) some already wonkity curtains. Oh well, I live and learn. I also made some washcloths from a baby towel since we have a million baby towels and for some reason our baby washcloths and bibs keep mildewing. I blame NC humidity. After finishing both of those things and still having some Momma time to do as I wished, I had the idea to use an old shirt that Thom decided to give to the thrift store and make Benjamin some romping around pants. I saw a link to this tutorial on the Wardrobe Refashion blog that looked so easy and creative. It took all of about 10 minutes work (spread out over an hour since I had someone wake up and pull at my ankles for most of it). I plan on making some more of these. They are so adorable and were so much fun to make. Here is the shirt before, well....not actually before but I put it back together after I realized I had forgotten to take a "before".
Instead of measuring Benjamin, I used a pair of pants that fit him now. I added 1" to the original size for seam allowance. See here:
I used the first cut out as a template for the other sleeve and sewed them together, right sides facing. I then turned down the waist 1", added some elastic and sewed it all together. I went over the seams with a zig-zag stitch to keep them from fraying. Here is the finished product:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sewing class and the unexpected vicodin slip-up.

** This will now be my only blog because Typepad won't let me sign into my other blog without reactivacting my FB account. (My own fault for using FB to sign into EVERYTHING).

I've been taking a sewing class at Durham Tech. I want to be able to say that the teacher is fantastic and I've been learning so much but all I can say so far is that she has been helpful a few times and for the most part we have been teaching ourselves by reading the pattern. First off, we are all making the same dress. I hate it. It is so not right for my body and I would never choosethis style for myself. After being bummed about that I decided that her job was going to be to teach me to make this style of dress fit my style of body. We finished putting most of it together yesterday and I was right, it's terrible. My dress is black cotton. It looks like I am making myself a habit. Possibly I can use it for a Halloween costume? I think most people use the nun costume to either be a pregnant one or a slutty one and my Halloween costume standards are just way too high for that.

Besides the horrible pattern, our teacher showed up about 50 minutes late for class last week and without even apologizing she gave this explanation. "Oh, I'm such a dummy today, my doctor gave me vicodin and I forgot which campus I was teaching at." Holy hell woman! She could have just used the "family emergency" excuse. I guess I have to give her some credit for not being a liar.

I have done a few refashions. I cut the feet out of Benjamin's pajamas all of the time because of my own sensory issues concerning feet (that counts, right?). Today I shortened a curtain intended for a french door so that we could use it on the small window in our living room door. So much sun comes in through that window that our living room is unbearable in the late afternoon. I turned a dress from H&M that was incredibly unflattering on the top into a skirt by cutting it and attaching an elastic waist. I used this tutorial for help. Unfortunately (for you, not me), I forgot to take a before picture. Here is the lovely after. Thom was nice enough to catch me professionally getting rid of a loose thread during our photo shoot. It's too funny not too include. 4968815170_e08795b42b


Now that I've gotten rid of that nasty facebook I will most likely have more time to sew, take pictures and possibly finish knitting a hat for my sweetie. I miss knitting, specifically while watching football. I also miss watching football. We decided to get rid of cable a while back and it's been so great but now that football is back, I miss me some Tom Brady.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Freddie & Ben
Originally uploaded by dogs & music

I think I've decided to keep this blog. If you know me at all you know that making decisions without going back and forth a million times is not one of my strong points.
I should be saying that as of this moment, I've decided to keep this blog. I like having a place to talk about being a Momma and sharing family news. I'll keep the other blog for my crafting disasters.
Just a quick little update on what we've been up to:
We spent the 4th of July at Thom's parents' house in VA and we had so much fun watching Benjamin get to know his Uncle Freddie and Aunt Denise and be loved immensely by the rest of his family. I'm so happy that Thom's parents live relatively close since my family is much farther away. We plan on going to PA in August after my niece has a baby. I'm going to be a GREAT AUNT!
Benjamin is crawling and climbing and standing and moving around like crazy! He is starting to reject me feeding him with a spoon and wants to do it all by himself. We've been giving him little finger foods like Cheerios and cut up banana. I'm going to make him some sweet potato fries in the oven tonight. Sweet potatoes are one of his favorites. We are pretty lucky that he hasn't rejected many foods and if he does, I just mix them in with sweet potatoes and he gobbles them up.
While we were in VA Benjamin went on his first boat ride. He was pretty tired, the lifejacket got on his nerves and I started to get motion sick so it was a short but fun ride. We didn't take him swimming in the lake because there were so many boats in the water that weekend and the waves were pretty rough against the dock. He has been swimming at Jordan Lake a few times and at the pool here in our neighborhood and much to my delight, he loves the water!
We also ventured out to Natural Bridge but when we got there we realized it is horribly commercial and they charge $18 a person to see it. You have to pay to go through the wax and toy museums and you don't get the choice of just seeing the bridge. Needless to say, we were pretty disappointed and ended up just taking a beautiful ride through the VA woods, some of it on the Blue Ridge Pkwy. Thom and I both love rural areas and we hope to some day live in the middle of nowhere, or at least somewhere that you can't see a neighbor out of every window.
Summer has been awesome so far, naps are plenty and the summer veggies from the farmer's market have been keeping us all happy!