Japanese Craft Books with ISBN - take one

As I had alluded to in earlier posts I hit the mother load of Japanese craft books while on my trip to San Diego. So not to overwhelm and overload everyone I will do a few at a time until they have all been listed.

For each book I have the cover and one of my favorite projects from in the book. With Japanese books especially it is hard to judge a cover of a book as to how many oh so great projects are inside. These first three are my absolute favorites!
I can not begin to describe how much I love this book, tons of inspiration on seriously every page. I love to that they take one design and show you tons of different alternatives. Besides these super cute totes there is a even cuter pillow as well as a teeny sewing kit that may be my next "mini" project. A must buy for Japanese craft book lovers!

This one had so many different items to make my favorite though was the make-up carrying case. They also had a super cute cut out circle curtain that I really liked.

And finally to round out my top three... I went in for sewing books and came out with a new project I wanted to try, fabric flowers! I absolutely love the two styles on the cover so it was hard to pick a favorite inside shot without duplicating the front. I am really excited to try this, I haver never really had the urge to create fabric flower, but boy is the urge here now!

That's it for now! More to be added later in the week.

So the freak out begins

I am starting to apply for my first few craft show. And I am starting to freak mostly about how I am going to set up my booth and that I need to start sewing like a mad women so I have enough product available.

Ken hasnt been extremely supportive when it comes to the craft shows mostly because frankly (and these are his words not mine) he doesnt like craft shows. Big whoop he doesnt like craft shows, he will like them if I can start to earn an amount that means he can work less. His dream is to ultimately be a stay at home dad which I would love but right now he makes the big bucks and has to work. If I can create a business that is profitable then I would love to be able to support us all but in order for me to support him financially I need his support emotionally and he doesnt really get that. Though he is a pessimistic at heart as well as skeptical of everything so for the most part he is taking this all very well, for him that is.

But I digress, I am freaking A LOT I am starting to search the internet (mostly flickr) to get ideas of different displays people have come up with I like this, this and this one. I also LOVE Alicia's display that she had in her once upon shop. I am also trying to pull inspiration from Heather's studio and vibe.

I am starting my list of things I need/want and have start going to my local thrift store and antique store on a weekly sometimes daily visit to start searching for accent pieces to make everything just right.

I am so determined to make this work and will do everything to help myself succeed!

9 months and 1 day


In the midst of a crabby teething baby, my little girl turned 9 months old. Wow has time flown I can not image 9 months ago how different but perfect my world would be. Leila, you amaze me everyday and no matter how hard of a day we have you make me smile effortlessly. I love you and I am grateful for each day that I get to watch you grow.

Teething baby

Sit, stand, lay down nothing makes her happy this weekend.
I am going to get nothing done this weekend.

I love swap meets


I was lucky enough to experience my first ever swap meet (flea market). In San Diego Ken and I attended the Kobey's Swap Meet which is the largest one in San Diego. It was in one word amazing. I am an avid garage sale/rummage sale/estate sale shopper though in Wisconsin the season for these is the spring and summer. Winter doesn't yield great turn outs for garage sales even though I would brave the weather for a good one!

At the swap meet I literally looked at Ken and said" this is my heaven you know" and it really is trash and treasure at ever turn and I love rummaging through it! The people you can meet at these are also amazing. There was the overly enthusiastic plant man who loved shouting about how crazy he was about his plants. There was the older photographer who wouldn't budge on his price, I wish he was a little friendlier on the approach I have a feeling he had a lot of stories to tell. And I even found a women from the Wisconsin area that said she thought I was admirable for liking the cold Wisconsin winters ( I really do like winter, call me crazy).
I didn't find a whole lot, I went in looking for vintage fabric and sewing notions. I came out with a collection of flower pins and a beautiful beaded purse for my best friend Katy. She like me is nuts about garage sales. We sometimes go out searching for the "its so ugly its cute" finds there are a lot of those out there! She collects purses and I have started collecting purses for her as well, vintage ones that is every time I go to an antique store I never seem to be able to leave with out a purse for Katy.
My love of thrift store shopping may have some pay back one day I just read this article I will have to show my husband that one day my hobby could actually pay off.

Recap of San Diego

Our vacation went really well. I got to meet more of Ken's family (even though we have been together for almost 7 years).

I love going to large diverse cities there is so much to do and such great food to eat!

Ken was such a great sport as well he basically drove me to where ever I wanted to go. I got to go to a Japanese book store, not once but twice. More on that most likely next week (stay tuned all you Japanese craft book lovers, I will have a huge amount of ISBNs and reviews for you!)
I also got to experience my first swap meet. It was literally my heaven. It was like a town garage all at one spot. There were also street performers and yummy yummy food! I didn’t have as much luck as I would have liked with finding treasures in the trash (seriously some of the stuff people are selling) but I do have a few goodies that I will post next week.

We also did the typical San Diego Zoo trip as well as going to the ocean. We basically took advantage of the beautiful weather and were outside as much as possible. The best part of the trip though, Leila and I got to take a few decent pictures because I was actually showered and clean when my husband brought out the camera!

I enjoyed the trip but I am so glad to be home, ask me if I am glad to be home though next week the forecast for this weekend is a possible blizzard, maybe I will get to sew a few things… we will have to see!

Black n' White fashion


I have found once again an awesome find at my local St. Vinnie's this time I came across a box full of black n white large fashion photos. The cost was a little more then what I usually pay at St. Vinnie's (you cant barter there I dont think) at $20 but once I got them home I knew I found a great thing. Now I just need to find more picture frames so I can get these lovelies on the wall. Otherwise I am thinking of making some "fabric matting" and hang them as is.

Giving up- for Lent that is...

Last year it was chocolate, 40 days with out the sweet taste of ANY sort of chocolate and I did it. The first time I was actually able to stick to my lent vow if you will. It felt great to be able to commit to something and actually complete it. So this year I wanted to challenge myself even more, I dont eat as much chocolate as I did last year so it is time to make my sacrafice harder and here it goes. No junk food. Vague and I made it that way. I am giving up all sweets and all the bad stuff. So for fat tuesday I ate as much junk as possible fast food, sweets (a whole lot of chocolate), topped off with a delicious strawberry milkshake. I am determined to eat healthier not just for lent but for life. It is time for me to take control and become healthier.

This was the hardest photo I have ever taken. We came back with a suitcase FULL (wish I was being overly dramatic but I am not, we have well over 10 boxes) of chocolate covered macadamias compliments of Ken's mom. The smell is so enticing, 40 days never felt so long!

Its so funny too that I want chocolate so much more right now because I cant have it and all healthy things seem so unappealing, grapes which are my normal go to fruit just aren't cutting it today and almost are repulsing me. It will get better I am sure and in 40 days I can eat these wonderful treats in moderation. Until then I will just salivate while looking at my computer screen.

Adios! For a whole week


We are off to sunny (right now we have -25 degree wind chills) San Diego for a week. I am super nervous, flying with an 8 month old scares me senseless, and a teething 8 month old well that is a terror in it self! I am also excited I get to meet more of my husbands family. For being together for over 6 years it is weird to most not to have met his extended family but to him that is how his family is. The complete opposite of mine really since I am rather close with my family.

I have over packed, WAY too much and Ken will freak when he goes to load the suitcase in the car but I am a nervous mom and prepared for ANY situation for Leila, not so much for me seriously this girl has WAY too much clothing and it is addictive buying her more cute clothes!

I am going to miss my little blog world for the week I am gone I will have a lot of catching up to do since I read a few blogs religiously. I am also going to miss posting everyday believe it or not, posting every day isnt nearly as bad as I thought it might.

Well I am off to make sure I didnt forget anything. In the mean time miss you all and TONS (and I mean TONS) of photos to be coming for a few weeks afterward I am sure.

Twirl baby!


I finished Leila's skirt. It is a great weekend project for any sewer. I downloaded the pattern from You Can Make This the price was pretty reasonable and comparable to your run of the mill tissue pattern. and the instructions are pretty straight forward. The best part is with these downloaded patterns the authors are extremely accessible and enjoy helping out those who have purchased the pattern. It is really a great service!

It didnt turn out perfect but she looks damn cute in it and for a first round try I am pretty happy with it. I now know for next time what mistakes I made to avoid next time.

A present for me

Well I am not a responsible adult that is for sure. I bought this today. I couldn't help it really I couldn't they bent the rules and gave me 20% off. I have NEVER had any kind of pretty stitch patterns. I think Ken is a little sad he bought me my sewing machine that I am using right now a year ago on Wed. (Yep he gave me a sewing machine for V-day what a man I have) It is a great little machine but I was ready to move up on the sewing scale though I wasn't ready to shell out everything I have but enough to get a decent new machine. I want to start learning to quilt. Pictures coming up soon I am sure after playing with my new machine for a few hours.

Speaking of quilting has anyone checked out this book?

I think I may get it before our trip it looks like it may be interesting for the plane ride. If I do get it I will keep you posted!

Off to play!

I think I am in love

I am surrounded by beautiful fabric and I am in love.

I am working on a few twirl skirts for Leila, they should be quick since she is still so tiny and I am hoping as she grows I can continue to make these oh so cute skirts. I am hoping too this will help me with learning to do some patch type work because I really want to dive into quilting soon and I think this may be the transition I need.

I am planning on making three skirts and coordinating peasant tops. If they turn out well I am planning to create a few for Katy's daughter as well since that little girl loves to twirl. According to Katy she absolutely loves to be dizzy which worries her some days. Oh to be two again.

I am thinking that going with bright colors is the best especially with spring fast approaching, even though it is only February all the spring and summer clothes are already out in the store. Its amazing it is below zero and all you see are rows and rows of swimsuits in some of the stores. You have to love big retail.

Besides the super summery fabrics for Leilas soon to be skirts (which by the way took me a good hour to hour and half to pick out. There are so many choices!) I came home to find a box of fabric I had ordered from Fashionable Fabric
They have absolutely GORGEOUS fabric and I have to say this was my first ordered and they are wonderful. Their prices are very competitive and shipping was extremely reasonable. I couldn't be happier, oh and their packaging is so cute! I was blown away and will be ordering from them again soon.

Now to figure out what to do with all of this oh so pretty fabric!

Great Vintage Magazine Find

Here is my latest fluff win on eBay, I love that site though I will never sell on it again. I only sold a few clothes of mine that I doubt my body will ever be able to fit into again.

On to the great find, this will be picture heavy. I won a lot of McCall Needlework & Craft Magazines. They are in the 60's and early 70's. The pictures are hilarious and I thought I would share some of my favorites. Sorry before hand for the shoddy camera work I was rushed and had poor lighting. I will get some more pictures up eventually for your viewing pleasure.

And it continues

Posting everyday is starting to wear on me. Boy is this hard, I live a boring life and I feel like I am pulling straws especially on the days that I dont get to sew which yesterday was a day like that.

"This is the Year" According to Oprah, to do all those things you have meant to do every other year. It has hit home with me at least a little regarding clutter. I know that everyone has clutter somewhere in their home. Me, my clutter is in my bedroom. I dont have pictures to prove it since I am embarrassed but I will describe it the best I can. My downfall is laundry, not doing the laundry my downfall is folding and putting away the laundry.

True story: Ken had given a tour recently of our home (we just moved this summer and a lot of our family has yet to see the apartment) and he took the tour into our bedroom to say the least I was mortified when my aunt came up to me afterward and said, someone has a lot of laundry to do, in which I replied "HE SHOWED YOU THE BEDROOM!?!?!" I then explained oh that is all CLEAN laundry in which she replied, "oh my."

Yesterday I started to fold but I also sorted while I folded there is plenty of clothes that I no longer wear so we sorted out those to be donated also I tossed out things that have seen there day and cant go to St. Vinnie's like socks with holes in them. I also sorted Leila's clothes that she has grown out of to either be, donated, sold at a garage sale this summer, or kept for the future. I also started getting my maternity clothes separated (I love some of the sweaters and they are so roomy I still wear them on the weekends) to give to my sister who is expecting her baby in early June.

This weekend amidst the packing for San Diego I am determined to clean out our closet right now we have boxes in there from the move that we havent sorted, most of the stuff we dont need since well we havent used it for over 6 months.

Before and after pictures to be shown next week.

Its a thrilling life I lead I know.

Totes, totes, the wonderful purse


I love making totes. I admit I might have a slight obsession, I am refusing to seek help.

Baby Woes


Leila has been mommy's little helper lately. She likes to flatten out my fabric. She likes to help with the sewing, yes I have learned how to thread a needle with one hand as well as sewing with her in my lap.

Lately however my little helper has been rather crabby and the culprit has finally reveled itself. Leila will soon have her top two front teeth to accompany her bottom two.

I am excited for them to pop through and my happy baby to reappear but I am also having a slight "my baby is growing up too fast" freak out since she will be a year way too soon, it's a huge milestone and the time has flown. She will be nine months in a few weeks and that alone is freaking me out. I have a feeling I will be a wreak at her birthday.

My mom was a comfort though, she told me " I could say the same to you." That woman sure knows how to make her baby girl cry.

I love Valentines

But I love making Valentine gifts even more. I love making Valentine's day gifts for little girls the most. Leila at 8 months is a little too young to appreciate Valentine's day and we are flying that day anyway so we wont celebrate it properly besides her wearing a super cute outfit (pictures to come I am sure).

Izzy is a little over two and has grasp the concept of presents so it was fun to make a few things for her. She loves pink, coloring , and purses so I made a cute set for her. I have found crayon totes (aka caddies) floating around the web and decided to give it a whirl and then made a tote to match so she can carry her ponies, dolls, or whatever her little heart contents in it.

Oh and I threw in some chocolate too (after getting the ok from her mom) since a girl is never too young to enjoy a good piece of chocolate.

It's in the bag

I recently created a purse for my best friend Katy. She has two little ones and with that comes a lot of baggage (pun completely intended) and she wanted a larger purse when she goes out.

I came up with this as the proto-type but I am not 100% sure about it. We are going to add pockets as well as a closure. I just recently won a few "vintage" purse patterns from e-Bay and I am going to take a look at them.

Otherwise I think a hobo bag would be better for her, looks small but really will hold everything that she needs to take with her when they go out.

I love this purse though it looks like something people would use to take a picnic to the park, and well, looking at it makes me feel warmer especially with our zero degree weather lately.

Superbowl, not so super...

This is how we spent our superbowl night. No big to dos and all out parties just me and Leila cuddling on the couch. Boy was she a crab most of the day. Actually boy has she been a crab most of last week. Can babies get the February funk too????

If they can my husband is the biggest baby of all, our household in general yesterday was crabby with bouts of laughter when Leila would see the cat or dog and squeal with delight. They would run away and her crabbiness would reappear. I am glad the day and week are over, heres to a happier less crabby week. A girl can at least dream right?

So congrats to all the Colts fans, empathy for the Bears fans (as much as I can muster being a Packer fan and all) and to all those who watch it for the commercials, in my opinion boy did they suck the big one this year. Ah well here's to next years season may the best team win!

Music time

There has been a challenge presented in blog land recently to post each day in February and I am up to the challenge, well, sort of. We are going to San Diego for a week to visit family and during that time I doubt I will be able to get to a computer (unless I magically get a laptop *praying to the digital gods) and if I get to a computer I wont be able to up load my photos until after we get home. I dont know about everyone else but I dont like all text and no pretty photos to look at! so I am giving myself a revised challenge to post each day that I am in Wisconsin.

I have to say I really do love winter growing up in Wisconsin it grows on you (how I dont know since everything is dead outside) I love the snow, and I dont really mind the cold to a degree I hate the bitter cold, the type of cold that when you step outside it takes your breath away. We are right now getting hit with some EXTREMELY cold weather, the take your breath away type, today the low is -11 and with the wind chill we could get to -50, brrr baby its cold. I wouldnt go outside except to let Kelly out and the poor puppy has learned to alternate feet on the ice cold snow, she does like to play in this kind of weather she is an out and in sort of gal.

Because of the cold we are holed up in the apartment, I think this is the first weekend that we havent gone out to eat or run errands it is really nice. Yesterday we introduced Leila to the keyboard and the guitar. Music was always a big thing in my life in high school I sang, played the flute, saxophone(first chair) and tried to learn the guitar. Ken was more on the classical side he played the violin, cello, and piano. While we arent going to cram music down her throat it is nice to know it is there if she wants to learn. I am also hoping to pick back up the guitar and take some lessons shortly just to get back into the swing of things. After 5 years I dont think I can read music anymore which to me is really sad, I really miss playing.

Great finds at St. Vincent de Paul

I love St. Vincent de Paul (St. Vinny's) I have never been able to leave this thrift store without something in my hands. Today was an actually extra good day and I feel compelled to share the goodies that I found.
I bought this Chinese cd for Ken though I wasnt sure if it was Chinese or Japanese until he confirmed that it was Chinese. We live in a small city of less then 12000 how the heck a Chinese cd got into the doors of St. Vinny's I wont ever know.

I love how Chinese cds are packaged there are always little goodies attached and the packaging is always so pretty and artsy. I love looking through this cd book.

I have a weakness for older craft books this one has a few cute projects to try but the kicker for me to spend my hard earned dollar was this photo:
I can only hope that Leila never looks THAT happy about anything I sew for her. This girl looks utterly miserable which made me laugh out loud when I came across the photo. Who said YEP that is a great photo lets use that one to show how much kids love these projects!

I also found this great planner book that I absolutely love. My favorite part is the appointment listings: who, when, where

I also snag a Martha Stewart book copy write '95, a old school decal with a donkey and flowers, and a baby photo album with some vintage looking babies gracing the cover. For $8 I think it was all a worth wild investment.

Additional decorating to be done

For my workroom that is. As I have noted before I love to collect things and this is my newest thing that I have collected. Old fashion drawings. From what I can tell some of them are original hand drawings and some are hand drawings copied on to other paper. I love these drawings I was only able to get my hands on 6 frames that I plan on painting black this weekend (thank goodness for St. Vincents). I have such a huge stack of photos it was hard to find just 6. I am hoping that by this summer I will be able to have a wall full of these sketches to add as decoration to the sewing room.

This week has been rather disappointing as far as sewing has gone I havent been able to sew anything and have only cut out one purse. Leila has been in a terror of teething lately and is having a hard time taking naps lately. I love her to death but really cant wait for this phase to pass. In the mean time she is crawling up a storm and I am trying to keep two steps ahead of her vacuuming up a storm. If only we could replace the carpet with hardwood floors I would be in heaven.
Here is a fun contest that Kelly has started. I think this would be a great way for me to get into the valentine's day spirit.


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