Monday, December 27, 2010

December Delights..

Here's to hoping you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. We sure did!

Here are my three opening gifts at Grannie and Grandpa's.

The weather held out. While we are snowed in right now, the crazy blizzard held off until the festivities were over.

It was a very Handmade Holiday this year! Gifts for teachers, including handmade soaps, were all handmade and well received.

Some of the sewing I've done can be found below. Well, wait. Firstly, is Little Lady's dress which is seen above but not very well. Let's not talk about how I can't locate my camera the past couple of days. Can't be because the holidays were hectic, could it?


A top made for Little Lady as a back up for her Holiday Concert. Surprise, surprise. She wanted to wear her dress! (a little peer pressure maybe? I'm all for THAT kind!) This is from Ottobre magazine 1/2010.


A top for Little Lady's godsister who isn't much for girly outfits. This was for her Holiday Concert in her Kindergarten. This is my rendition of a top in Ottobre 4/2004. It's made with Chez Ami jersey fabric.






This drawstring bag was for Puppy Feet. He *loves* Legos!

Afraid? LOL Don't be! It's Little Lady's pillow pet made with the guidance of this tutorial. Thank you!
She loved it!

So those are a few of the highlights of our Handmade Holiday 2010. There were also grocery sacks, wool with flax seed handwarmers, and handmade soaps. I made a bamboo velour pillowcase and a double handed oven mitt.  AND I made myself a new top for Christmas. It was a GREAT Handmade Holiday!

May you have a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful November Summary

Well, if you made it this far-- Congratulations!

The main point I wanted to show is that every. day. we all have many things we can choose to be thankful for. Sure, one can choose to complain and be sour and bitter about what's going on in one's life or one can choose to look at the bright side and find a silver lining, no matter where you are at.

Face it, life is HARD. A lot harder than I ever thought, that's for sure. I reminisce of the days when I had all the freedom (was a young adult, owned a car, could drive, had a job, lived at home, etc). I remember deciding to take off to the beach-- fill up the cooler, pack a towel, maybe a chair and go. Now? To do that, I'd have to make sure no one had to be anywhere that day, make sure I had the groceries, fill the tank with gas, make sure I had money to park and quarters to shower, pack aaaaaaaaaaaalllll the stuff we needed, did I remember sunscreen? and on and on.

Boy, it's a reality check when you are a grown up! LOL

But, for all the skeletons lurking in my closet, for all the creative mail that comes to my house asking for money, and all the other things I care not to share on the net-- I still have 3 blessed children and a hard working husband who loves me. I have family-- the good and the bad-- but I have them. We're warm and fed and God loves and cares for us. It's a good life.

And on that note, today is my mom's birthday. Nine birthdays without her here to celebrate them with. Miss you, Mom. SOO much. <3

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful..

I am thankful for wonderful sewing friends. Yesterday, I had over a couple of my sewing mama friends and, with an empty house, had a lovely time! Great food (thanks to A. for brining Venda Ravioli! ~swoon~) great company and comraderie!

Even if the dress I worked all day on was too small---- ~faint~

And then, to be more thankful, my mother in law, daughter and I went to the Nutcracker ballet at the Hancock Theatre. It was a new experience for both me and Lil Lady! It was so sweet to see her wonder and excitement! :)

So, thank you-- to all the wonderful people in my life

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful..

We had a wonderful, easy Thanksgiving. Even if my bird was done early. Why does that always happen?? I didn't think my oven ran hot.. who knows.. it was good!

I made spiced whipped cream this year. Oh my--- tremendous!

Here's my 'recipe'-

Spiced Whipped Cream

1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

Follow your typical instructions for whipping cream (chilled bowl and beaters). While using the beaters, add sugar and spices. Whip until peaks form. Chill. Serve when ready.

Yes, it's THAT easy and you won't believe how delicious!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful..

I'm thankful that Thanksgiving is almost here. My favorite holiday. Why? Because it's about being gracious and thankful for all the blessings in our lives. It's time for DELICIOUS food. Time for warmth and family..

And.. the best part... no gift giving stress!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful..

Some days, the only thing you are thankful for is sunshiny weather and clear, crisp air.

Today, I'm thankful for peace and quiet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful..

Thankful for wonderful in laws who took Stan and I out to a delicious dinner in Boston and to a jazz concert!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful..

I'm thankful that I have sewing. To keep me sane. To save us money. To create beautiful things. To see my daugther wearing all my creations. To have an outlet..

Today, I'm thankful to be able to volunteer in my daughter's class a little.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful today..

.. Today I'm thankful for God's grace. God's grace is enough for today.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful..

Double post today --

Yesterday, I was thankful for friends. Spent some time working with Judi and chilling with Jennifer. Very thankful I have them both.

Today, while I have a headache I can't seem to shake, I'm thankful that I don't have anything to do this morning and am laying in bed with my favorite girl, both of us in pjs, just watching tv and surfing the web.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Thankful" continues..

I wanted to take some time to experience the day to think of something to be thankful for yesterday and then forgot to come back and post :-) so today is another 'two for one'.

Yesterday I was thankful for a peaceful house.

Today I'm thankful to be able to go and volunteer at my daughter's school to help administer flouride for swishing. I remember how very much I loved seeing my mom at my school. She would just be in the hall, photocopying (sorry, carboncopying!), or in the library helping out. It made me feel safe and happy to see her there and I want to give that to my kids too.

Enjoy your thankful month!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful..

Today I'm thankful for dear friends- one in specific - who shares my Craft A.D.D.

We had her and her entire family (5 kids, one husband) over to help fix our sink and stay for dinner. In the meantime, our pipe got broken, The Oldest showed his "Fix it" prowess in getting tile off in one piece, and we made two batches of soap.

A great day overall.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankful..

Yesterday, I was thankful for a computer graphic video that shows me clearly and exactly how to thread my Pfaff 4852, that I'm also thankful for but working up to actually liking.

Today, whew.. I'm thankful that even though my 15 y/o is sitting at the kitchen table, breaking the rules with no shirt on, is at my table and I know where he is and that he's safe.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankful..

.. today I'm thankful for my chiropractor. And for the money to pay her. And for the woman that bought three weighted blankets so I could pay my chiropractor :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November Ramblings

I've been horribly neglectful of my blog. Keeping updated is one of the ways to keep alive, here on the 'net!

I'd like to join in on something that I heard mentioned in webland..

For the month of November, post something you are thankful for. Every day. Could be on Twitter or Facebook or on your blog but post.

I think of when I was younger and how I'd complain so much. Eek, embarassing to think about now! Complaining isn't good for your spirits. It just makes you feel worse. And then, if you have a friend who is the same way, it turns into a contest of who has the worst life. What???!! That's nonsense. There are so many things that are blessings in our lives. If you are a believer or not, there are wonderful things that happen each and every day that are reason to make us smile, raise our spirits and be more pleasant about.

So, give it a whirl. I'm already late but I'm going to start with four today since today is the fourth. And there are 4 easy ones :

I am thankful for

1. My husband--- ok, I'm not one of those who will tell you it's all peaches and roses but I will tell you
                              that I love how he'll make me tea at night. Or how he tries his very best to help out. Or
                               how he's NOT an alcoholic. (sounds lame but when you grew up with what I did, it's a                             wonderful thing )

                    
2. My Oldest--   The Challenge of a Lifetime. Boy, does that child fire me up! But he's shown me so much. From the day he was born. I never knew how very much my mother loved  me until I looked into his face. I could thank her from the bottom of my heart and know what it was like.
Beyond that, he's so smart and he's quick witted and can be the most gentle, charming old soul and I love that about him.

3. Puppy Feet--  "The baby who stayed" My baby after I'd lost 2 pregnancies. My saving grace from the moment he was born. He's a ray of light that never dims and SO flippin' funny!!!

4. Lil Lady--       The girl that Mom said I had to have. What an amazing girl-- affectionate, silly, clever,
and a great shopping pal! Our shining star.


Those are my top four things to be thankful for.

Fall is my favorite season. With it's crisp air and bright blue skies. My favorite holiday is in the fall. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to celebrate family and wonderful foods and to reflect how very thankful we are. Why not think about how thankful we are the whole month? Will you join in?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Best Smoothie Recipe Ever

We love smoothies around here. They truly are a staple of ours and one of the only way The Oldest gets any fruit!

Today, The Oldest said his homework assignment was to get his Mom to make his favorite breakfast. "Mom, would you make smoothie?" Aw....

Firstly, how easy, secondly, gotta help a boy with his homework! and thirdly, we have it half the week at least anyway.

If you want a tried and true Smoothie Recipe, this is the one. I don't really understand the ones with milk as we don't make it that way so if you do, give ours a try and maybe share yours!
 (note the exact measurements)

Best Smoothie Ever Recipe

1/2 the blender carafe with orange juice
1/2 a 32 oz container of vanilla yogurt (I have tried plain here or a mix, we just like it sweet)
1/2 a 16 oz bag of frozen strawberries
1-2 over ripe bananas

Blend. Pour. Enjoy!

It makes enough to barely satiate this crowd but it does refrigerate well for a day or so (never had it last more than that)

Leave a comment if you try it and let me know your thoughts!

Friday, September 17, 2010

DMK Unisex Warm Hooded Jacket

I had the thrill and honor to test a pattern for a dear woman, Karen, who designs Dear My Kids clothing patterns. I'd made another one of her creations -- Stylish Double Breasted Jacket-- and struggled with it a little. Karen helped me and was so kind. (most of my issues were due to the fit of the sleeve and my slap happy cutting which wasn't a good combo. )

Here is that one:

The Warm Hooded Jacket was another winner. I love the tips that Karen adds and the versatility of her patterns. The Warm Hooded Jacket just looks fantastic!

Ok ok, you be the judge!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School

     It's a long story but I'll try to make it shorter.


     I never thought I would homeschool my children. I had the two boys and they went to preschool, kindergarten and all that. I was The Oldest's biggest advocate for services and try to find some answers for so many things that just didn't 'feel right'. Then, 4th grade hit (sink or swim year, I claim), he got more and more miserable. The school did nothing to protect him from a bully IN. HIS. CLASS. and he, in the end, was suicidal at age 9.

Oh yes, I'm pretty sure I can do better than that so I chose to homeschool. And if I was going to homeschool one, let's have them all stay home. At that time, Puppy Feet had just finished Kindergarten and Lil Lady was only, well, little.

It was a huge journey. Where to begin? What style to use? How do we make this work? What support systems can we find? How can we make a wintry holiday season of this stuck at home? All of that and much, much more. We found a grove and, most days, it was neat. Kind of a lack luster word, I know but it was. Watching my kids learn, right from the start, seeing concepts click, sharing wonderful experiences with friends.. honestly, motherhood doesn't get better than that.

The Oldest still had his struggles. In the 4 1/2 years he was home he was diagnosed with so many things. Medically and emotionally. The poor guy can't catch a break. Really. But having him home, knowing him so closely and *not* giving him up for 6+ hours a day to someone else helped. Sure, we butted heads. That's not ever going to change, we're too much alike but seeing him soften and getting hugs from him when I'd lost him by 4th grade.. Well, I'm sure you can understand.

Puppy Feet-- what can't I tell you about this boy. He was the "Baby who stayed" after 2 miscarriages and I didn't put him down for a year, I tell you. My slice of sanity when there was none left. My playful little crazy guy that can always make me smile. I get to keep him?! He can stay home and I can enjoy him MYSELF? It was terrific. Letting him learn things on his *own* timetable, when he was ready and when it was so easy for him.. what a gift to give him.

Yet now, going back to school at 11 years old when he never really did before is a little daunting. For both him and me. It didn't matter than he didn't learn to tie his shoes until his sister almost learned before him. But schools don't understand that. So now, he's a bit behind, jumping to catch up and the schools think we sat around and drooled on ourselves for 5 years. Ask me how hard *that* pill was to swallow. They'll see. They'll see that Puppy Feet is brilliant socially. People *want* to be around him, *want* to please him and *want* to be his friend. No, just because we homeschooled doesn't mean he needs afterschool care to 'socialize', thanks anyway. And, let them see how my wonderful boy is ready and will snap up all that information they have for him and show all doubters (family and 'friends' included) that being homeschooled didn't hold him back but RAISED. HIM. UP. You show them, R!

And my Lil Lady. My Little Princess who isn't so much a princess anymore. (not with tutus and crowns anyway but still the expectations of one!) What does she think of all this? At 7, she really didn't 'miss much' school by entering now. Is she happy that she gets to go to school and not have the stigma my second son has? Or does she look at how brilliantly my oldest has done and say "I can do that too!"? I don't get the chance to guide her like I did with Puppy Feet when it comes to catty girls or exclusive groups or learning too much about adult things too young. I had a chance to stop all that with The Oldest and it never started with Puppy Feet. What happens to her?

So all in all, I'll miss the wonderful opportunities I had to learn with my children. Seeing a hermit crab change shells one day with them was outstanding! Moments like that are too many to number. But I am trying to keep my chin up. The Oldest has done fantastic. I know the choice with him was right and it was easier but he's in high school now.  I need to have faith that the foundation I've laid with my two younger will always remain. Even when they are out of the home 6 hours a day.

I keep trying to tell myself that anyway. I miss you two already. <3

Sunday, August 29, 2010

DMK Stylish Double Breasted Coat

Hi Everyone,

Long time, no post! Well, been busy but let me update you on the latest good news!

I have always loved all things double breasted. It's probably the guido Cranston (RI) girl in me! I saw this pattern and just couldn't say no. It was a bear for me to accomplish (bit of slap happy user error on my part) but I did finish it! Lil Lady loves it and I was able to enter it into a contest that DMK (dear my kids) was having.

I won the '4th prize' because I entered but hey, look at the nice badge I have now! And I get to pick pattern for free.. Thanks for a wonderful contest and a very kind pattern designer! And, if you hurry, you can vote for your favorite in the finalist competition here.


Lil Lady is on the upper left corner and I'll put more pictures of the coat below. Super cute! Next time I'll make sure the sleeves are longer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Families.

Families.

Gotta love 'em.

Well, this was a big weekend at our home. Saturday was the Kids' Family Party where we combine all three kids into one big party. Usually a fun time. We had a great cookout, beautiful weather, squirt guns, you know-- good kid stuff.

Then there's Father's Day.  Well, there's a juggling act. It's my father's birthday and then it's Father's Day. But not just for him. There's my father in law and my good ole husband's Father's Day too. What's a chickie to do? Why, have everyone over again for brunch! Yippee!

Watermelon balled by Puppy Feet, kiwi sliced for Little Lady and, sheesh, did The Oldest even eat anything? Double batch of scones, four different omlets, egg salad for sandwiches, tomato juice (complete with celery), orange juice and hot, strong coffee. Yum!

After all that, I brought out the brownies with candles, we sang to Dad and wallowed in the humid heat. Wow.. that was a LOT of work! We all had a nice enough time until.. bum bum bum.... The Bomb.

Well, not to air too much dirty laundry but DH and I were informed that the "surprise" anniversary party we were planning for his parents was not welcomed and don't have it. Don't have it early, don't have it at our house, don't have it in the heat, don't have it a surprise. Oh, but if we want, we can arrange it at their house later if we want. Um, ya, no, thanks. All set.

So needless to say, we're a bit partied out for a good long time.
Where are the pics and all the fun? Well, my camera took a bath in the sink (by mistake) and I've no pics :( But I do have this GREAT one from my friend's blog and it makes us laugh out loud just *thinking*about how funny this is. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Great Long Weekends



 
Wow--

What an amazing long weekend. It was a mini-reunion (of sorts), a glorious wedding, a feast to be had, time away with the hubby, and an excursion of fabric shopping! Honestly, does it get better than that?
Here are a couple of pictures to document the weekend--

First, fabric shopping in Fabric Row in Philadelphia (South 4th St)
This pic here is for my good friend. LOL

The fabric stores were loaded ceiling to floor.

Narrow rows too!
Then-- the wedding! Yes, we took a school bus from the hotel (after the church) to the reception hall. If you'd like to see the bride and groom, you *have* to visit the photographer's site (a family member of theirs) at http://blog.kmcmenamin.com/. They are Samantha and Brad. Just beautiful!
Hey, it was no Batmobile and Catwoman and Batman (like our cake!) but it was sweet and charming (and a little naughty!)
We sat with Santa! Ok ok, that's my cousin, Pam, on the right and we met her husband, Brian.(who does play Santa, btw!) Sooo nice to meet him and to see Pam!




We don't have many pictures. My camera was acting up, AGAIN, but here's one of Stan and I having just a wonderful time!



Thanks for looking--

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

It's kind of a funny holiday if you think about it. If you are a child, you are "on" to treat your mother really well this day and behave yourself. If you are an adult and a mother, you have to try to balance between celebrating your *own* mother's day and your Mother's mother's day. When my mother was alive, it was this battle of wills for me. Guilt if I wanted to celebrate being a mother and pressure to make it all about my mom. There's another category too. The mother without a mother. Then, this holiday takes on a whole new dynamic. Wanting to celebrate your own mother's day but then sadness because your mother is gone. Sheesh! You can't win. You understand that, right? LOL I totally think Mother's Day was brought about by a Hallmark company marketing strategy. It's all about the economy--gift buying, restaurants, cards, etc. Ok ok, no one wants to hear my tirade on *that* subject so let me continue to

My Mother's Day--

We visited Galilee beach in RI, where my mother's ashes are spread.
Puppy Feet was on his way with his grandparents. He'd spent the week with them. So here are my oldest and youngest.
And me. Cold LOL
He adores her.

We write messages to Grandma.


And collect shells. And play with the rolling waves. (I didn't get pictures of the kids laughing hysterically after dinner and playing 'tag' with the waves. It was wonderful)

We had a nice dinner and celebrated my and my mother-in-law's mother's day at George's of Galilee. It was a great day. The ocean is a very cathartic place.

Hope you had a nice Mother's Day. Wherever you are.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"You are what you eat."

It's an interesting quote and, I'm finding more and more, very true. I have a Kinesthesiologist that I've recommended to many and have had my children go to for different issues (that's another post all together!) and she's a remarkable woman. Through strength testing, she can find what ails you. It's a site to be seen, honestly, and very difficult to describe.

Through watching my children and friends follow her recommendations, I've noticed some findings of my own.

When I'm not eating right, I feel awful. Ok, big shock, right? But indulge me a bit. I've found that eating too much dairy can make my thought process cloudy. I've found that eating chinese food, even 'without msg', makes me feel fuzzy headed, too. Eating a big breakfast out? I'm exhausted most of the day.

So, I'm saying that not only does the obvious candy bar make me feel icky but even a yogurt or a batch of pancakes can cloud my thinking. Enough to make me tired, heavy headed and unmotivated.

Take note of yourself. Watch how you feel after certain meals. I have a friend who truly acts a little drunk after eating pork of any kind! You can guarantee that after a slab of bacon, she can't sew straight. So, watch your eating. Drink more water. Try to eat more balanced. You may find that it's certain foods that are ailing you and nothing more.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prepping for Craft Fairs--

I do enjoy to participate in Craft Fairs. Many times, they are for fundraising. Someone's crusade to save a loved one or to help find a cure.

This Saturday, May 1, I'm participating in a fundraiser for Hemophilia. The Ducasse family has endured quite a bit. Especially their son, Daniel. Consider coming to St Louis' Church 15 Lake Ave in Webster, MA

But, in participating in Craft Fairs, so does the scramble to figure out what to make, bring and try to sell. I'm planning on bringing camera wristlets, my bibs and wooden teethers, shirred sundresses--- I have craft A.D.D.! What else to bring----

And then, to find the time to make it all :0)

Update:: so far -- Camera Wristlets!( sheesh what a horrible picture!)

Update: Better picture and now available in my store

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

*~*FREE*~*

That got your attention, didn't it?

I am paired with Best Finds From Etsy in a promotional giveaway. Have a baby? Pregnant friend? Baby shower to attend? Looking for the perfect gift for your friend's busy baby?

Post over at Best Finds From Etsy and be entered to win one of these beauties! Wood too keep your sweet one from sucking on plastic, ribbons to keep your baby interested, different textures to become her favorite toy, bright colors to catch his eye, modern fabrics to show how chic you are! ;-)

As an added bonus, mention the BFFE blog at checkout and 15 % off is yours in my store www.tonyastemptations.etsy.com ! A great deal all around~

Monday, April 5, 2010

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Ever since we moved into this house, we've had an Annual Easter Egg hunt the Saturday before Easter. Every child is responsible for supplying their 12 eggs, their parents are to bring food to share and we're off! (Just mentioning that because I'm busting on my friend)

Eleven kids-- including my three and my one nephew-- off and running! We video taped it so I don't have pictures but I do have pictures of the festivities after.

I simply love this yearly event!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sanity....

 On Friday, I woke, as usual, and got my oldest off to school. He was *super* late, lolly gaggy and dragging his feet at every turn. I had my coffee and surfed the net a little then woke the two younger chitlins. And it began, again. The nonsense, bickering and mind numbing behavior that I'd just attempted to recover from the day before.

  I called my trusty friend and asked "how am I going to get through another day of this?" In the meantime, my husband beeped in. Twice. So I told her "I'll call you back" and took the call. He was calling to see if I wanted a muffin or something decadent on his way home. Way home??! at 9:10 am?! Well, his truck was still needing repairs, he'd done all the busy work they had for him the day before and he had 40 hrs so he was coming home! "Oh, please, tend to the kids today so I can sew?!"

Thank. You. Lord.

I sewed the day away. Making sure I made Lil Lady her spring wardrobe. In a style she'll wear and something I can be happy with and it mixes and matches. Somewhat.

Here're are couple of the outfits. The other is in the wash already.
Swing top with side zip capris( gaming pose)--
All knit with cotton lycra waistband. The neckline gave me FITS:


Also, I got some sewing done for a "Mama Swap" I'm involved with. I took these two terrific patterns from
One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!

"Smock of All Ages" made with Michael Miller's Ginger Blossom.
and "Beach-Time Towel Tote". The pictures do it no justice. This is one cool bag and towel in one!

I hope the recipients like these as much as I do! LOL The instructions were terrific, too. The apron took a tiny bit more than a yard (maybe because I washed and dried the fabric first?) but that was ok. I had it.
And you can find out more from the author of the tote here! She pictures it better than I did.

So, all in all, did I retain my sanity? Well, that's up for debate but I did feel *much* better after.
 Blessings counted.