Life Lesssons


The evidence: half eaten box of chocolates.

The Suspect: a cute innocent looking 2 year old (if you look close enough you can see the smudge of chocolate around her mouth.)

The Conclusion: Dont leave a box of chocolates out in the open unless you want a half eaten box of chocolates.

We are off to celebrate the holidays, lots of crafting to show after the new year, I swear, I promise, girl scouts honor *smile*

Merry Christmas everyone and have some eggnog for me!

Oh to be 2

I love my daughter. I would do anything for her. She is my life. But boy oh boy is she making the two & half year old stage interesting. As one of the comments put it best yesterday I was having a Super Nanny type of day.

Leila has always been strong willed but she has been a pretty strong roller coaster lately. She is really happy for a few days just a normal goof ball that has me laughing non-stop. And then there are days like yesterday where she screams for no reason, throws toys, and hits me when I don’t respond to her tantrum the way she would like. Days like those are lots of timeouts, a few tears from us both, and pure exhaustion. I think a lot of it has to do with the language barrier, most days I can tell what she is asking for but more and more as her vocabulary tries to expand I still haven’t figured out all of her pronunciations for everything which leads to a frustrated baby and momma.

And this morning we woke up like last night never happen. I got my kiss good bye before work and a happy little girl that I hope is still in that mood when I get home this afternoon.

(These pictures were taken in September. She knew what she was doing wrong yet was angry at me for taking pictures for evidence. It’s like she knows I will use this against her when she gets older!)

How Many?

Timeouts can I give one toddler in one night. Nevermind dont even tell me, all I will say is this is going to be a long night.

My Nest

Samantha asked a few days ago what everyone's nest looks like out there. Well being 8 months pregnant now I have no doubt set up a nest per say. We just recently rearranged our living room and because of that I have now find my perfect perch while I start to slow down and wait for baby boy to arrive.

The couches now sit corner to corner so Leila likes to sit on the other couch next to me unless she of course is cuddling with me.

Baby boy's blanket is still in the works, it sat pretty much motionless for awhile as I was busy with prepping for my last craft show. Now? It has my full attention and I hope to have it done right before he arrives.
Decaffeinated chai or hot cocoa are never far away I promise.

Do you have a nest? Show it off!

What do you do?


When the wind is blowing so hard the windows are rattling, when your husband is snoring the loudest you can remember, your unborn baby boy wants to make sure you know he is enjoying his stay inside your uterus, and it is 4am and sleep is no longer an option? You finish the homemade marshmallows you had started earlier that day of course!

I used this recipe. (note this will pull up a PDF file) For never making any kind of candy or anything like it I am pretty happy with the results. I dont really like them by themselves but in hot cocoa , they are oh so good.

Here's hoping you are having a good early morning and getting plenty of Zzzzzs!

Help save small businesses

I am sure this will make its way around the blogsphere soon but it is really important to keep talking about it and speak with your congressman and senators.

Basically a new law has been passed and is to go into effect soon that will hurt the small business owners who make and produce toys and potential clothes to children. I am horrible with words lately so read about it all here.

For obvious reasons this is near and dear to my heart, just as the handmade movement is really starting to become mainstream it may grind to a hault for many people.

So please follow the above link and follow the links to speak up and do something, that is what I am doing today!

If you love handmade take a stand!

Since the finishing of the craft show life in general has slowed down at least a little bit. Which I have no issue with lately. We still have a lot to do before Baby Boy makes his big arrival.

I finally started putting up the tree this week, started because well I realized I had no hooks and those ornaments I have been able to put up Leila has already put on and taken off at least three times in the last two days. She is absolutely mesmerized by the tree and now pulls chairs up to it just to stare at it.

(Notice in the background, Ken has rearrange my NOEL stocking holders daily to spell out different words)

In hopes of slowing down Mother Nature is also in the mix and gave me a snow day on Tuesday where it was a lazy nap day, lots of snuggles, and giggles. A perfect snow day in my books.

This weekend is time to work on Christmas gifts. Luckily I am done with the shopping part (which I am happy to say were bought all at small businesses or by handmade artists) now it is just up to me to finish some handmade gifts. All which shouldn’t take long as long as I just buckle down and do them.

So how is everyone out there? Christmas shopping almost done? Still in the holiday spirit?



The craftacular went great. I couldnt have asked for a better show and a chance to finally feel like my sewing/crafting is appreciated and worth people spending their hard earned money on.

It was a long day but thanks to my friend Rose I got all of the bathroom breaks I needed! I also got to meet some great new artists and reconnect with some great ones I have met along already through this journey.

I found this great post about why you should handmade. Still on the fence? Here is the push you may need.

Normal posting to begin again. Hopefully I will have decent photos to share I dont think I have ever missed the sun as I do now when I cant take a picture after 3 pm everyday!

Photo stole from Naomi the mastermind behind Craftacular.

Three Years Ago Today

I married my perfect match. Its fitting that it is forecasted to snow today since we had an unplanned big snow fall on our big day. Love you baby!

Busy Bees


Life around here has been hectic but good. My health is back on track, blood sugars normal, blood pressure is slowly going down, and baby boy is growing as he should. My only must do is drink plenty of water since my fluid levels are still on the low end but dont seem to be the concern they were earlier on (whew!)
The upcoming holiday craft show is fast approaching, Dec. 6 is D-Day for me so I have been working my tush off. And as you can see above I have a great little helper. She "irons" while I am cutting, piecing together, and sewing. While I normally enjoying sewing by myself she has been a great source of company these last few weeks! This weekend everything has been cut out so it is just me working on becoming a one woman sewing factory and cranking out (hopefully) 30+ bags.
What are your plans this weekend?

More giveaways

Since I have no pictures of my own to share here are some great quilt giveaways going on around the blog world.

First up is Old Red Barn Co. This is her second giveaway this year for amazing quilts and this time around she is not giving away one but THREE (yes you read that right) three different beautiful quilts. Head over there fast sign-up ends today!
Second up is the amazing blogger who creates Thimble Blossoms quilt patterns. She will take your favorite pattern of hers and create a quilt just for you! I love her patterns.
Now scoot and go enter!

Baby steps

I have a confession to make. One that I havent been able to say out loud so this will be as good as it gets. I havent made a thing for baby boy since all of our "speed bumps" came up. Mostly because I am afraid that anything I make or buy before he comes may become a reminder if something goes terribly wrong. My heart is saying one thing and my head says another. Today though I told myself to get over it and enjoy this pregnancy for all that it is and to just keep my mantra, happy and healthy, going strong in my mind.

Today as I had to stay at my doctors office for three hours for another glucose test I cast on what will become baby boys first blanket. And today I took a giant leap of faith, happy and healthy he will be.


Geez. A week since my last post! Things are ok. Baby’s fluids are still low, I now have semi-high (just below the cut off of normal readings) blood pressure, and yesterday I got the call that I may also have a high sugar count and possibly have gestational diabetes.

I still feel alright so while I whine about ALL of the health speed bumps it could be A LOT worse so I am staying as optimistic as possible as well as cutting out salt in my diet *ugh*

Leila is also breaking in her two year old molars so we have been having good and bad days which take up most of my time.

I am less then 30 days away from the craft show and I really don’t have much to show yet. Right now I need to sew 5-10 bags a weekend up until the night of the show which is doable but it means most of my time will be spent away from the internet.

I will hopefully have updates to show in the next few days but with the sun basically gone by the time I get home at work the pictures will be less then stellar for awhile.

Thanks for all of your support and stopping by I miss you all!

In a heart beat...

I would stand in line for 40 minutes so I can honor my right to be voter 1300 in my ward. (Thank god it wasnt a typical Wisconsin November day! Otherwise I would be a frozen voter.)

If you havent already, no matter who your candidate may be, get out there and rock the vote!

There is a process

I have a process to creating a new bag. I am sure every crafter has a process for anything they create. Today I would like to show how inspiration turns into prototypes which turns into an actual usable pattern.

So here we go:

First I find inspiration, this is normally done for me by going on to Flickr and streaming through the numerous handbag groups I am a member of. There is an infanite source of inspiration on Flickr, you just have to go out and look for it. I also like looking and seeing what people are selling on Etsy, I am bummed that you can no longer look at which items have been looked at the most, this always gave me idea at least which items where grabbing peoples attention. So I found this image on Flickr a few days ago:

Photo found here.

I loved the shape of the purse but the selling point for me was that the handle came up from the body of the purse with no seam line, something I hadnt done before but this bag gave me the drive to try.

So I went about drafting a pattern (sorry no pictures of this) I basically drafted the pattern using concepts I have learned from doing tutorials online and purse patterns that I have bought. If anyone is interested I will show you the silly way I draft my patterns, trust me it isnt very technical in ANY way.

I created two prototypes from this first pattern. I didnt take a photo of the first because it was a disaster, the bag shape was fine, it was the sewing that left me stumped, I searched online everywhere to try and find a tutorial for what I was trying to accomplish to no sucess. For some reason I was having a hard time wrapping around how I was suppose to turn out the bag. So I took out my hand dandy Japanesse craft books. I have a large collection of these thanks to trips I have taken to see Ken's family (San Diego & Hawaii) so I knew there had to be SOMETHING in there that could help me out and lucky for me there was. So prototype 2 was born (prototype #1 had been seam ripped so many times it was a lost cause to finish, poor prototype).

The bag turned out alright, but on a person it was way to skinny in the body. So I went back to the draft board (read my living room floor) and got to work drawing a new pattern. Make the body taller and a little less wide. Which led me to prototype 3 (drum roll please)

Ta-Da! It is a medium/large bag with the shape that I wanted. Plus thanks to the trials I have got a new skill done. Now I just need to crank out 20 or so of these bags in various vintage fabrics. (wish me luck!)

No post of course around here couldnt be without Leila so she volunteered to model while sharing in my joys of sucess.

And what better way to celebrate then an inpromptu picnic on the bedroom floor.

Happy Tuesday everyone, hopefully you made it to the end of this LONG post!!!

Because I am greedy


Two great giveaways in one week, yep its true!! Katie is celebrating her 2 year blogiversary with a flat rate box STUFFED with fabric, and we arent talking unknown fabrics we are talking top of the line well known lines. So go over there and enter in, and if you would be so kind mention I sent you over there and it not only will enter me in more times it will help boost your good karma!
Have a great weekend everyone!!!

I want!

Have you heard of JC handmade blog? No? Then you are missing out! Yes? Well then you know how ubber talented she is and she is giving away a custom made baby blanket/playmat.

If I was to win, I would love it for the baby boy. (Since I have had no time to craft for the little guy) so colors I am thinking (though I am flexiable) would be some sort of blue (teal, aqua, baby blue) orange and tan/brown.

Now go over and check out her blog!

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who voted on my poll. This will help me tremendously as I start to create stock for the show that is coming up in about a month (eek!). Medium across the board won out and I tend to agree so lots of "medium" bags will be made with a few small and larger bags thrown in there.

Enough shop talk on to the winner:

#10 Congrats! I will be sending you an email today.

Thanks again everyone all of your input was a big help!



A crafty update! Took me long enough I know. Between baby issues and a sewing machine that kept having issues it took me almost 2 months to get these babies cranked out. They are actually pretty tiny purses but oh so cute. I am sending them out into the world this weekend I hope the store in Madison will like them. I plan on making a few more in this size for the upcoming craft show as well as creating a medium size purse from this pattern. Now I just have to get my "large" size purse pattern settled. I have a feeling this will be a weekend of prototypes!
Oh and remember to vote and let me know that you voted in this post to be entered into my still undecided giveaway *smile*

Advice Needed

I just got the heads up that I will be doing a major craft show here in Madison (Post about that later) and I need everyones help! I am starting to create my stock and I need to know what my consumers really want.

There are two polls right over there ---->

I need your opinion, once you voted leave me a comment that you voted, the polls close Monday night and Tuesday I will pick a random voter and will send you a little thank you for you time. Havent decided what yet, I may make it your choice, maybe fabric, vintage patterns, maybe even a purse if I have the motivation *smile*

(Oh and everyone is eligable I will ship the prize anywhere so international readers feel free to vote!)

An even better update

So today was the big day. Seeing the baby in 3D and checking everything out. I am happy beyond belief to report everything checked out fine. My levels have gone up and I was sent out of the office with the instructions of keep drinking lots of water and rest whenever I can.

Sorry I wanted to get a picture of the baby BOY. Yep! We are having a baby boy (sorry Ria I didn’t call you before posting it for the whole world to read!) and we are over the moon with the news. I had no time to take a picture OF the picture plus we have a wedding this weekend that will take up most of the rest of the weekend.

I want to thank everyone from the deepest of my heart for all of your thoughts, prayers and positive energy I truly believe every bit helped and I could feel it in my soul as days passed during those uncertain days. I will never be able to repay you what you are worth but I can promise I can pray with the best of them now that I have had a lot of practice this last week and a half.

Love you all and have a great weekend!


I saw my doctor today and my water has not broken or torn which is really good. I have an ultrasound on Friday to see if they can find any other reason as to the low fluid levels. My doctor seems optimistic. He reassured me that just because I am below "normal" doesnt mean we are in danger some people have to be above normal and others below normal so you can get a normal.

I want to thank everyone for all their thoughts and prayers. It has truly gotten me through this first hurdle. We are still not out of the woods yet but so far so good. I just keep sucking down water and trying to take it as easy as a mom of a toddler can.

I cant express my gratitude for all of the notes of thoughts and emails I will be in debt to you all for the rest of my life.

More Information

After multiple calls and emails from worried friends and family to know what the heck is going on I am sorry I left so little details yesterday I wasnt in a clear state of mind. Here is what I know of so far:

I had an ultrasound on Tuesday. Yesterday my doctor called, they are concerned that my fluids (amniotic) are low. I needed to come in and see him within the week to check for any sort of tear or leaking of my water. I will see my doctor late Monday (the 13th). I also needed to schecdule a new ultrasound at the actual hospital in the prenatal care unit because they have the 3D/4D ultrasound machine and should be able to see a little bit better just how low my levels are (the earliest appointment is next Friday 10/17).

I made the mistake of instantly looking up what low fluids meant and came to this website and all of my worries were brought right up in front of me. I am thankful for the internet but somedays there is too much information. There is a truth to be had about too much info at a time like this it just makes it that much worse!

I am not sure if everyone who reads my blog knows this, I had a miscarriage about a year and a half ago and even as time has past the fear of it happening again is so fresh in my mind that I went straight to a scared dark place that I knew I needed to get out of as fast as possible for the sake of my well being as well as the baby. I am a firm believer in positive thinking and what better way to get as much as I can to help my baby then to ask for prayer and strength from everyone and anyone who would offer it.

The baby from what I can tell is still ok, at the ultrasound on Tuesday the heart beat was there and our little baby all day yesterday kicked up a storm (more so than normal) as a way I think to say I am still here have faith! He/She hasnt kicked as much today but I still am feeling him/her and I am trying to be as optomistic as I can. But as many know it is easier said then done.

As soon as I know more I will share, please keep baby in your thoughts to stay strong, healthy and to keep growing.

Thoughts Please

I know that there is a lot going on with everyone's lives and we all have a lot of stress right now with the way the world is. Can you please keep my family in your thoughts right now? We recieved some distressing news about our little baby right now that I dont have enough information or answers to right now but it could be pretty bad pretty fast.

Please just send a prayer or 100 his/her way please.

I am going to take a few days while we get through this and get more information sometime next week.

Apple picking goodness

I finally got to cross off a new item on my life list. Going to an apple orchard. BFF and I took our girls out to a nearby orchard and spent a good portion of the mid morning there.

The orchard is up on a high hill they have a nice grassy knoll that invites you to sit around hang out and let the kids run in the sun.

Looks of roaming was done while we were there. They actually have a historic landmark on the property. An old log cabin that if I remember correctly was built in the 1800's and was actually used as a home up into the mid 1920's. Needless to say it was a good education oppurtunity with BFFs 4 year old daughter. We got to teach her about outhouses *smile*

Oh and the leaves have started to fall so lots of leaves were thrown to recreate the falling leaves. This is one of my new favorite pictures of Leila.

And to end the trip, what better way than with carmel apples. I cant wait to go back next year!


So I write this nice post about the love of our dog, Kelly. How does she thank me? By getting sick and having diarrhea in Leila's room.
No post for today, I am busy searching google for cleaning tips and airing out her room!
It just goes to prove no good deed goes unpunished *smile* Have a great day, tips for cleaning are welcomed.



I grew up with a pet dog named Buddy. He was amazing and the best pet a family could ask for hands down. When he died I was right around 13, we never got a new dog. Looking back I think it was because my parents knew that no dog could ever replace Buddy and our hearts were so broken by the lost of our “brother” that I don’t think my parents wanted to put my sister and I through that again.

I have always wanted another dog, in entered Kelly our rescued beagle. She has been in our family now for about 4 years and we finally have started to really understand what makes her tick. She had a whole list of issues and she still has skittish tendencies towards strangers but every year she seems to get a little bit better.

Leila has known nothing else then having a pet in her life and boy is that bond strong. Leila treats Kelly like her sibling. When she is angry at anyone she takes it out on poor Kelly, she plays dress up with her, and their favorite game is chase. And Kelly is so gentle about it all, she allows Leila to dress her up all while giving me sad beagle puppy eyes. The happiest for both of them though is up at my parent’s home out in the country running around the property.

Since Kelly is a rescue dog we aren’t really sure of her age, she was full size when we got her but we think she was only a year or two old at that time. If our calculations are right she is close to 6 years old. I am just hoping we have another 6 good years with her, since as hard as I wish I know a lifetime isn’t possible. But I do know that the memories will and can last a lifetime for Leila.

weekends lately

I have been absent a lot lately. Mostly it was due to stress. Stupid stress I will admit. Car stress. The engine on my semi-old (2002) decided to stop working and was basically deemed un-fixable. To replace the engine and have the work done on it at a mechanic's shop it was going to be in the $4000 range. A lot of money we didnt & don't have. In enters my mechanically inclined dad. He bought the engine for us (which we are paying him back for) and he and my uncle got to work.
Dad in the plaid, my uncle in the blue. It took them a day to get my engine ready and back in the car.
This little piece, dont ask me what is it, but basically it came loose and fell into my engine screwing the whole thing up! As sucky as this whole situation was I am glad it wasnt my fault and no maintenance would have helped even though we do routine maintenance on the car!

There she is back as one whole piece. After a month of not having my car I am so glad to have her back.
We have been back up to my parent two weekends in the last three weekends. Just this last weekend we got to go back home to pick up Ken's car. A car that we haven't been able to drive since Leila was born. Bless my dad so not only did he fix my car he also towed Ken's car over 2.5 hours so he could fix his too. Needless to say my parents are going to be spoiled for Christmas this year!

how to keep a creative momma from going crazy

Leila has always done her own thing. Walked when she wanted to. Started to talk when she felt good and ready (each day more and more words are coming out its thrilling to me!), the only thing I have really pushed on her (and that is the wrong way to word it) is creative outlets. Now at 2 she needs constant stimulation, she loves her telletubies but we are severely cutting back the TV time (which means my computer/sewing time has been cut back as well) and I need to come up with new activities to keep her busy while I don’t go out of my mind with boredom.
So the other day I brought out the watercolors. The best craft activity to date if I do say so myself. She was content painting for a good hour and most of that time was painting with mostly water and a little paint (her choice not mine). And the clean-up? Spic and Span no issues what-so-ever. With the growing need of independence Leila has been playing more and more dress up, as well as changing her clothes sometimes three times daily. She is a pretty clean kid in general so it doesn’t worry me. I love seeing her layering her clothes, and backwards/inside style cracks me up everytime!

We also made some homemade play dough for a birthday present that Leila had so much fun making and playing with before I sent it off that I think that will be in order next week. Now I just need to stock up on cookie cutters!

What I have been up to

I know I have been touch and go these last few weeks. And for awhile it was mostly personal stress and such keeping me back. Lately though I have finally gotten my sewing grove back (as well as a sewing machine that works!). I have been sorely behind on purses and totes for two stores I sell on consignment to in Wisconsin so this past few weekends have been spent cutting and sewing.

This top photo might not show it very well but I am working on more fallish fabrics as well as a whole bunch of purses with corduroy (I love that stuff!) . I am also trying to get even more adventurous with my applique totes.

I know most seamstress have a system of how they get work done. When I am doing large orders I prefer to work like a factory line. I cut every piece at the same time. Sew all of the same parts in groups (outsides, lining, pockets). I always save the straps for last (I hate that part the most). And I finish all of the bags at once. The process is tedious but I like to get instant satisfaction in large amounts so when I finish 20 bags in a day it feels better than doing each one by one and finishing one or two in a day.
So here is hoping by the end of the week I will have large mosaics to share with all of my finished bags as well as shipping them off to the stores that really need them right now. (BTW if my vendors are reading this, thank you so much for all of your understanding, I appreciate it more then I will ever be able to express!)

Enjoy the change

I have always been the type of person to rush things. When I get something in my head I want it now, I want it finished, I want the end result end of story. I dive head first without any reserves and have blinders on. I am the same when it comes to the season changes. Being in Wisconsin we get to experience all of the seasons to my dismay though in Wisconsin in a week you can experience all four seasons and it is rather normal. This is not good for my I have to have it now mentality.

Every year I battle with I cant wait for (enter in season) to be here. Only problem is once I am in that season for awhile I long for the season that just passed. I caught myself the other day going I cant wait for fall. Not the cold wet fall that it turns into but the transition fall the cool, need a light jacket, weather.

I had to stop myself, to tell myself while the calendar is saying it is now fall we are still getting temps in the high 70’s. Perfect weather for summer dresses, lots of bubbles, and tricycle riding. Weather perfect for Leila to play for hours and hours.

So this weekend I kicked myself hard, said enjoy it whiles it here, by next summer she will be so much bigger, I only get this last summer with her, just her as her perfect 2 year old self (tantrums included) so I need to stop rushing.

Fall will be here before I know it and I will be missing warm summer nights.

Pictures in my mind


1. kidlet wall pocket - version 20, 2. Story Time Kidlet Tote, 3. IMG_1620, 4. sentimental patchwork

Someone on my blogroll today posted a picture of what you would see if you looked into her brain. While hers was rather dark and sober, mine was that way still yesterday, today though I am now in full kids birthday crafting mode. And as usual I only give myself a day to make everything when I had MONTHS to get it done and just let it go. I am planning to create an arts 'n' craft type of gift. I am sure the kids will love them, as long as I get them out the door tomorrow (for their weekend combined birthday party)! After these I have a feeling my mind will remain crafty I have a large amount of purses to get out to various stores and then it is count down to Christmas (eek).


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