Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Real Life

No artsy photo to go with this one. Just a picture of what things look like around here lately. Me: no shower, baby on shoulder (along with baby barf in various levels of dryness), hair in bad pony tail, sitting on floor surrounded by unfolded laundry and toys, trying to get something - anything! accomplished with one arm. Moses: in an outfit of his own choosing (one of my favorites: red and blue striped polo shirt and brown and black camo pants with blue snow boots. Classic.), alternately running like a wild banshee through the house with his new Nerf gun and "helping Titus settle down" by telling him "I'm here, I'm here" in a high-pitched voice that mimicks my own. Titus: on my shoulder, either sleeping or crying himself to sleep. When not there, he can be found on my boob. And that's real life for ya.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Your Husband Probably Won't Like These...

At least, he won't if he's anything like my husband. It's not that they taste bad. They just taste... healthy. And I LOVE stuff that tastes healthy, so I'm sharing this super fast and easy (and low-fat) muffin recipe with you. (Wow, not a very great sell, was it?) I got the recipe from Women's Health but found their version to be a bit dry, so I changed it up a bit, and here's what I ended up with:



1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp apple sauce
1/4 cup sugar

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pan with non-stick spray
2.) Combine dry ingredients and whisk together.
3.) In separate bowl, combine eggs and oil, and beat till smooth. Add sugar and applesauce to egg mixture, stir together. Pour into dry ingredients and mix together.
4.) Put in muffin tin, bake about 17-22 minutes.
5.) Enjoy!

And I'm not the only one around here who likes these...that's right Daddy - more for us! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008


This little quilt has been waiting to be posted in the shop for a LONG time. Today I managed to sneak a few minutes to photograph it and get it up on etsy. Pretty cute. We also somehow found a home for all the new toys that made it into our house over the last week. Between Moses' birthday and Christmas, the number of battery operated items we live with doubled. Pretty scary when you have 4 people living in an 800 square foot house! I hope you all had as lovely a Christmas as I did!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

REALLY Easy Christmas Cooking

Everyone likes chocolate covered pretzels, right? Well this super easy "recipe" is a fun Christmas-style twist on that idea. We received a jar of these from my brother's girlfriend a few years ago as a Christmas gift, and this year I remembered to make them. It's a really easy, fast project, and kids love to participate because it involves opening candy!

1.) Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2.) Place a bunch of mini pretzels on a baking sheet. Unwrap Hershey's Kisses and place one in the middle of each pretzel. Place baking sheet in oven for about 4 minutes - you want the chocolate to be squishy but not melted.
3.) Remove baking sheet from oven and squish one M&M onto each Kiss, squishing the chocolate down. I used the red and green M&M's - you could use any color you like, customizing the candy to the time of year/holiday.
4.) Let the pretzels sit at room temp (or speed up the process in the fridge) until the chocolate hardens up again.
We're giving big jars of these as Christmas gifts this year. Just fill a large Mason jar and tie on a cute Christmas-colored ribbon, and you have a great hostess or teacher's gift. Have fun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally a use for all those lentils.

Yesterday the baby took a real nap, leaving Moses and I some time to play. I'd been meaning to make bean bags for some time and here was our chance! It turned out to be a really kid-friendly activity and Moses had a blast. I let him pick out the fabrics, help trace the squares, and even help pin the fabric together in preparation for sewing.
His favorite part was filling the bean bags (he was very excited about helping me make a funnel out of paper). I had TONS of left-over lentils from one of my many failed we're-going-to-eat-more-fiber campaigns, and those made great bean-bag guts. We also used rice in one of the bags, and that worked well too.
A quick last zip of the sewing machine, and the three new toys were stitched up and ready to go. We played with them all day yesterday - turns out bean bags are one of the best toys on earth.
I highly recommend doing this even if you have very rudimentary sewing skills - the entire process is super fun and easy, and the end result is new toys!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Can NOT Believe I Agreed to This.

This lovely photo may be finding its way to a mail box near you. That's right. I finally gave in to Brett's pleas to make a "funny" Christmas card, and this is how it turned out. Man, good thing we've had that stupid broken down truck sitting in the driveway for so long.

This is the one Brett wanted to use. Seriously. Brett's just pretending to scold the dog - I promise. He's actually a really nice guy. With great fashion sense. Seriously. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Today is the day Titus was supposed to have born. Instead we've had the little guy with us for a month. I'm so grateful and amazed by how healthy and perfect he is - not to mention thrilled that I haven't had to be pregnant for the last month! Hiking through the Christmas tree farm a few days ago with a tiny baby bundle strapped to my front, I found myself imagining having to do the tree thing while 9-months pregnant, and I almost clicked my non-swollen ankles together with joy. I have to say that I do not do pregnancy well and it is a relief to have received our little night-time-screaming Christmas present early.
Getting the tree was loads of fun, as usual. Moses loved running between the trees and ended the day covered in sap and candy cane residue. The house feels super festive with a tree in it and I'm getting inspired to start holiday baking. Of course, first there is a very important three-year-old birthday party to host, so I can't go 100% Christmassy until we figure out how to entertain 30 toddlers at our tiny house in the dead of winter. Any suggested activities for a "camping party" would be much appreciated!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quilted Goodness

There are a few new quilts in the shop. For the kiddos:

And for the big kiddos:

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Look What My Man Can Do... Part 2

I haven't bragged about my husband for a while, so I figured this earned him some blog time. Look what he built!!! We desperately needed a better way to store toys - the three overflowing baskets in the middle of the living room weren't cutting it any more. So he built this awesome toy chest out of REAL wood - it's nice and solid and sure to stand up to years and years in the boys' room.

We couldn't decide whether to stain it or paint it, so Brett came up with the idea of staining the top piece of wood and painting the rest. I LOVE the way it looks! He definitely gave Pottery Barn a run for their money on this one. The best part is that he built it entirely out of wood that has been lying around in the barn. The only thing he bought was the paint.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Second Time Around

This time I really DO know how fast the tiny baby phase goes by.
This time I'm less focused on how little sleep I'm getting and more focused on enjoying those quiet night time hours of snuggling.
This time I know that in the blink of an eye these tiny little fingers will be big and have dirt under the nails (no matter how often I wash them!).
The second time around is different because you are already a mom. You are used to not coming first any more, used to thinking of a shower as a luxury, used to spending your days playing trains and singing Raffi songs...
And while I know that having two kids will be a challenge, I'm really enjoying myself the second time around.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cheap Thrills

It took us a while to perfect this shot last night, but practice makes perfect. Super Moses!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Photo Shoot

Today I got the chance to take pictures of more coaster sets. I've really started to enjoy the photography aspect of running an online shop - it requires a different type of creativity than sewing, and I've enjoyed the process of learning to take better shots.

All the fabrics used in these coasters remind me of a different project from which they were left over. Funny how a tiny bit of cotton can hold so many memories.

All the patchwork coasters can be found here - and there are a few more sets yet to be listed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coasters in the Shop!

Ah, it feels good to finally get these listed in the shop. I made these coasters a few months ago when I decided I needed to do something about my overflowing scrap stash. It was so fun that I ended up making 12 sets! Each one is like a tiny little quilt. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I get them all up for sale.

That tiny floral print is one of my favorite fabrics of all time... Can't you just picture one of these under a steaming cup of tea? Yum. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Proud "Big Brudder"

Oh boy, Moses is so excited to be a big brother! These guys are going to be pretty good buddies, we can already tell.

As for me, I'm starting to get the itch to make something... not sure what it will be or if I'll be able to find the time between nursing and... nursing. But I've definitely missed the thrill of turning a flat piece of fabric into something useful and beautiful.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome Home

Baby Titus - you are an amazing, beautiful miracle. We love you!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I know. Imaginating is not a real word. My brother Michael invented it when he was a little boy and could often be found sitting in a sunny corner completely oblivious to what was going on around him, lost in his own mind.

Lately, Moses and I have been doing a lot of imaginating together. It's one of the few activities I can fully engage in while laying on the couch. The latest trend is "making pretend blackberry cobbler." I have literally spent hours over the last few days making pretend cobbler. As it turns out, making pretend cobbler can be a very difficult and dangerous task, as seen in the following excerpt from one of today's cobbler-making experiences:

Mom: "Ok, go pick some blackberries for the cobbler"
Moses: "Oh - I don't see any blackberry bushes!"
Mom: (pointing to the corner of the room) "They're over there."
Moses: (While walking to the corner) "Oh - I can't reach them! They're too high!"
Mom: "Stand on this stool to reach them." (hands Moses a pretend stool.)
Moses: "Oh - it broke!"
Mom: "Here - I made you a new stool"
Moses: "No, you don't have a hammer!"
Mom: "OK, then you'd better jump up high to reach them."
Moses: "Oh - OK. (Jumping) Now we need eggs!"
Mom: "Here are some eggs."
Moses: "No mom. That's not eggs! That's sugar!"
Mom: "OK - you get the eggs."
Moses: "We don't have any"
Mom: "Well, go get some from the chickens."
Moses: "OK. AH!!! (diving to the ground)- A polar bear got me!"
Mom: "I'll save you!" (pretends to pick up Moses)
Moses: "You can't reach me!"
Mom: "Well then run away from him!"
Moses: "He ate off my legs!"
Mom: "then you'd better crawl"
Moses: "He ate off my arms too!"
Mom: "OK - I'll scare him away!"
Moses: "He can't hear you!"

And so on and so on. Who knew imaginating could be such hard work!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This Time Last Year...

... I had an almost-two-year-old, was still changing diapers, and was wondering where to go out to dinner for my birthday. Today, I haven't changed a diaper for almost a year, haven't fit into THAT outfit for a long time, and am getting ready to have my second son. Pretty crazy how much can happen in a year! What were you doing this time last year?

Monday, November 3, 2008

In Which I Realize that One of the Up Sides of Bed Rest is that Strangers Can't Talk to Me

Many apologies for having no picture to go with this post. In 9 days (and believe me, I'm counting every hour at this point) I will be off bed rest, have my new baby in my arms, and be well on my way back to creating decent blog posts.

In the meantime, however, I thought I'd entertain you with some of my favorite quotes from this pregnancy. While my pregnancy with Moses was full of people telling me how "cute" I looked, this one has been full of people murmuring to each other and pointing as I walked by, slowing down in their cars as they passed me for a better look, and saying all SORTS of ridiculous things to me about my "condition." Before bed rest (aha - I have stumbled upon a wonderful reason to be locked up in the house!) I had to reassure every stranger I passed that no, I was not about to give birth, no I was not pregnant with twins, and yes, I was sure. It got old. Here are a few of the best ones:

1.) "Wow, you look really uncomfortable." Well, sheesh, if we all went around telling people in line at the fabric store what they looked like (punctuated by a genuine "wow," no less), we would all hate each other.

2.) "How do you sleep at night?" Isn't this something you say to axe murderers? Seriously.

3.) And now for my all-time favorite quote. I still can't believe this one. Brace yourself:
"Are you pretending to be pregnant?" Yep. That's what she asked me. I know because the only response I could muster up was "Did you just say 'are you pretending to be pregnant?'?" She confirmed that she had, in fact, asked me that question and continued to look at me quizzically. When I realized that my non-verbal response of complete shock wasn't answer enough to her question I managed to get out a "No." I mean, who in their right mind would go to the craft store dressed as a pregnant person? And if a person was for some reason to do that, why would they dress as an "uncomfortable looking" pregnant person who looks as if it is hard to sleep at night? Very strange.

I guess the lessons to be learned here are never to talk to a pregnant woman about how she looks, and don't try to guess how far along she it. You will be wrong and she will feel weird. Unless the comment comes from her 2 year old son, in which case it is just funny, no matter how mean it is:

4.) "Mommy, how your shoulder got so big?" *sigh*

And, though it is somewhat unrelated to the previous quotes, I will conclude with this gem I received at the doctor's office, from an actual doctor:

5.) "Take this while you're dry heaving." This was said as a bottle of some weird medicine was shoved into my hands. The woman has obviously never dry heaved. I'm still trying to envision how one could possibly take anything WHILE dry heaving, and how that substance could possibly do them any good. I never opened the bottle.

So thanks to all those strangers I have a reason to be glad for bed rest - I mean, if they thought I looked weird a month ago, what in the world would they be saying to me now?!?!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Currently Drooling Over:

These spats by Ashes and Empires are some of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. I can't wait until I can walk in heels again ... I'm totally going to get some of these.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Craft Show... Lessons Learned

Back in September, when I didn't have internet access to keep you all updated on Junie None news, I participated in the Saratoga Art and Wine Festival. It was my first craft show and I was super nervous - so nervous that I forgot to bring my camera. So this picture is (again) from my friend Jen of some of the products I had on display.

Now, I will be honest and confess that I had what those in my professional field call "delusions of grandeur"; in the days leading up to the event I imagined selling out of everything, being mobbed by adorable mommies snatching up blankets and bibs, and even dreamed of the new sewing machine I would buy with my earnings. Well, by the end of the event I had experienced another psychological phenomenon: reality. I sold a few things, but in the end I broke even financially and DEFINITELY put more into the show than I got out of it. Several lessons learned:

1.) People generally don't go to art and wine festivals for the art. They are there for the wine. If I ever do a craft show again, I will do one that is strictly craft oriented, as I think it will attract more people in the market for hand-made goods.

2.) Things you never thought you'd need: white duct tape, tiny safety pins, a change of clothes to put on after you set up, and WATER - who would have thought that an art and wine festival could sell out of water. Hmm... In order to be completely prepared, in the weeks leading up to the event you will also need a toddler who naps at least 2 hours per day; a husband who is willing to take endless requests to build things, hang things, and paint things; and a personal chef, housekeeper, and chauffeur because you won't have time to do ANY of the things you are supposed to be doing.

3.) Bottom line: don't do a craft show when you are 7 months pregnant. It's really not a very good idea for a multitude of reasons, not the least of these being the frequency with which you will need to use the one bathroom which is three blocks away from where your booth is set up. Also, you will cry. Being pregnant adds this hazard to pretty much any occasion, but doing a craft show is really stressful and tiring, so there is just no avoiding it.

To sum up, I will think long and hard before agreeing to do a craft show again. It was a humbling and exhausting experience, but I DID learn how much my family and friends are dedicated to supporting me in this Junie None endeavor. So many people (namely my husband, dad, and mother-in-law) helped me, and even more showed up to support me, and that was really touching. And at the end of the day when I was a weeping, humbled mess, nobody said anything about how few blankets I had sold. They just fed me a nice italian dinner, drove me home, and put me to bed, happy to have me back and hoping I would wake up with enough energy to run a load or two of laundry.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Street Smarts

A few weeks ago I was driving "down the hill" to run some errands with Moses the chatterbox in his car seat. We passed the above sign and he announced "Mom - that sign says 'Watch out for deer!'"
"That's right, honey!" I said, impressed that he had figured this out on his own.

We then passed this sign, and Moses immediately shouted "And that sign says 'Watch out for horses!'"
"Great job, Moses! You sure are smart" said his proud mommy.
We continued driving for a few miles and passed this sign:

A confident little voice in the back seat piped up again: "And that sign says 'Watch out for letters!'"

Aren't kids great? :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Last Taste of Freedom

My wonderful friend Jen just sent me some pictures of the trip we took a few weeks ago to Twain Harte - little did I know it would be my last trip before being imprisoned by my placenta. We had a blast - her son and mine get along REALLY well. We very rarely have to interfere on the "we don't hit our friends" and the "we always share our toys" levels, which, as you moms know, is VERY nice. The husbands get along very well too - both love cooking things over and/or in fire, and there was a lot of that going on. This left Jen and I, along with the delightful "baby Elle" to do girl things, like NOT cooking things over fire, and going to my favorite fabric store of all time, the Twain Harte drug store.

It is so weird that this drug store has a HUGE selection of designer fabrics, but they do, and every time I go there I meet quilters from all over California. I actually managed this trip without buying ANY fabric, but I did my fair share of drooling.

A great trip with great friends and a bit of adventure sprinkled in. Shortly after that first picture was taken poor little Moses fell into the river (in 37 degree weather, which, for us Californians, is REALLY cold) and of course, there were no clothes to change him into. Jen and I managed to jerry-rig up a new outfit out of diapers, dirty socks, plastic bags, and a tiny pair of pants Brett purchased at a local fishing shop, but the entire thing left Moses saying "I don't like to do that adventure, Mom."

Thanks for the pictures, Jen, and I think I still have your socks! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just kidding...

Well, between the last post and today I've been sentenced to bed rest. The diagnosis: placenta previa - complete. Something about the "complete" part seems to be extra concerning for the doctors... so I'm on the couch for the next 3 weeks. Seems like the perfect opportunity to update my blog regularly, right? I'll try, but I don't have all my camera stuff available and I HATE doing posts wtihout pretty pictures. I'll just have to get creative. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm Back!

Wow - I can't believe the last time I posted here was in July!!! Nothing bad happened to me (thanks to those of you who asked). We just "lost" our internet connection, and it is apparently much more difficult than the commercials make it sound to provide internet access to those of us living in the boonies. I have missed this blog, and the blogs I have come to love reading daily. I will say, though, that having no internet connection did make me much more productive on several other fronts - housework being one of them, and napping being the other. :)

I'm looking forward to listing many new items in the shop over the next few weeks - I have been sewing, although that is slowing down a bit as I reach the HUGE phase of pregnancy. Happily, life as a pregnant lady with an almost-3-year-old has provided me with many blog-worthy moments over the last few months, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of them with you. However, nap time calls, so for now I'll just leave you with this picture of the latest quilt in my shop.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, Ashland is as wonderful as it ever was. I had a SUPER relaxing weekend with my aunts and cousins and took full advantage of the fact that I had NO responsibilities! We stayed at the Siskiyou House, which is an old and gorgeous brick home that the owners have decorated perfectly and filled with all kinds of comfy chairs, extra fluffy white towels, and huge white feather beds. It was so cozy and perfect. We did all the things I love to do - work on our sewing projects together, sing old songs, play board games, walk around the park, tell funny stories... it was very therapeutic and I feel totally refreshed.I definitely recommend renting this house if you are in the market for a vacation home in southern Oregon. This is the third house we've rented in Ashland and it was by far the best. The owners were SO nice and even encouraged us to use the fresh basil from their garden!
The house was located within walking distance of all the downtown shops as well as the park, so I'm hoping that I did enough physical activity to walk off all the fudge I kept eating (yeah right!). I did a lot of shopping and found a wonderful little fabric store, where I bought myself a big project... more on that later.

I did miss my boys, though, and it is very nice to be back. Moses seems so much taller since I left and I was only gone for 4 days!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Going out of town... again.

It seems like we just returned from our fabulous weekend in the mountains, and I am repacking my bags for a mommy-only trip to Ashland, OR. Every summer all the girls on my mom's side of the family rent a house up there and spend the weekend sitting around talking and sewing, walking in the park, browsing the shops, and attending Shakespeare plays. It is WONDERFUL! Brett and Moses are taking advantage of my absence by going on a "boys only" camping trip with some friends. It's probably just as well that they've left me out, since sleeping on the ground at 20 weeks pregnant doesn't sound too appealing to me! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and once I return I promise to be better about updating my blog (and posting new items in my shop!).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Polka Dots and Swirls

I just listed this play mat in the shop. In fact, that's about all I got done today. We enjoyed a fabulous weekend at our friends' cabin in Twain Harte and got home late last night. Luckily, Moses let us sleep in this morning, which got the day off to a nice, non-productive start. I should have finished sewing a blanket for the shop, done about 3 loads of laundry, and vacuumed the house, but I didn't. I did, however, build an awesome tower out of blocks this afternoon... that counts for something, right? :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday Brett and I celebrated our 8 year anniversary. We had a really nice time going to a "fancy" restaurant, browsing around Santana Row, and then finishing the evening off with a stop by our favorite candy shop. It's pretty crazy to realize how young we were when we got married - 19 & 22! But getting married to Brett never felt like a crazy decision, and it's been one of the best decisions of my life.

SO... to celebrate a little bit more, I'm having a short sale in the shop for my blog readers. Just type "8 years" in the "notes to seller" section of check-out, and you will get 15% off your purchase of anything in the shop. (Don't pay until I send you a revised invoice!) Sale ends at midnight tomorrow (Thurs. the 17th). Have fun!

Monday, July 14, 2008


We're having a garage sale this upcoming weekend, so I've been rummaging around in some of my mom's old unfinished crafting projects. She was notorious for starting crafts and never finishing them, and I have to admit a bit of that has rubbed of on me!
Well, amidst the cross-stitch instructions, embroidery hoops, ribbons, yarn, fabric, and other crafting items, I found this lovely, FINISHED piece of handsewing. I think it is absolutely gorgeous! I had a bit of trouble photographing the entire piece, but the close-up pictures give an idea of the detail involved.
I'm so excited to have found this! I'm going to frame it, and, someday when I have an available wall, hang it up - hopefully in my future sewing room!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I should have been a pioneer

These scraps fell out of the scrap basket in a big heap and I immediately realized that they had to be sewn together into ... something. They were really tiny scraps - I can never bring myself to throw even the smallest scrap of fabric away. I always start thinking about the Little House on the Prairie books, where the women would remake their dresses inside-out to mask the wearing out of the "calico" and then, after the other side of the fabric wore out, would make the old dress into a quilt. Fabric is precious!
So I did a lot of cutting, sewing, and ironing, and this is what those scraps turned into:

They smell so good!!! I just finished listing them in the shop.

Also, if you are looking for a quick and fantastic sewing project, hop on over to sewmommysew's blog for a great maternity skirt tutorial. I definitely plan on making one of these for myself... I'm in major need of some cute warm-weather maternity clothes!