Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shedding Stuff


One of my favorite past time hobbies is shedding stuff! It took me a long time to get to this point. But it is so rewarding! Oh ya, and one of my favorite shows right now is Clean House on my Netflix. I don't entirely agree with the show, but it has definitely challenged me. Piling things I don't need in a give away box, and on a weekly basis dropping it off to charity. Well now it is getting tuff once again. I have rid most  of what I don't use(deciphering if that's true). Good news is I don't miss anything I dropped off. Bad news is, our 745 sq ft bungalow is still crowded. Tendency of piling things is an every day occurrence still, and I don't have any place to store it. Oh ya... And Christmas is coming. Ahhhh!

I have developed three rules in my brain.
1. No piling
2. No shifting
3. No avoiding

I break these rules on a daily basis but they really make me think about how I spend my day, how frequently I use things, and how I value them. I pile things to clear a space to work and use it as a quick solution before guests come. When I need a different space I shift the pile. And avoiding, there are things I don't want to figure out if I giveaway or keep, find a place to put them, or simply take the time to put it away.

A good majority of the day requires cleaning. Now much makes sense since I have two children the age of two and under. And piling before guests come isn't entirely avoidable, but I get the sense that when I shed stuff I create for myself a less stressful and more functional  and efficient environment. So far I have had two people tell me, "don't go too crazy."  I hope I'm not. But it does concern me. But at the same time, the space that we have is what we have. And I know we will be cramped  until we do have a bigger place. (my sewing studio, office and living room are all in the same room for example) One website I cling too is Apartment Therapy.com and there post Top 10 Organizing tips.

My hope is to hone down my personal belongings to a point where I become more focused to the things that are important in my life and grow in such areas. Its kind of like picking and choosing a career. Now, this may not be permanent, but it allows you to devote your time and energy towards a few good things instead of being so far stretched you can hardly give one task an hour of your time.

"One path is greater than a million choices" oofta thats hard to live by.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saterday Browsing

Ok, I LOVE Etsy. I'm always shopping on Etsy. Selling on Etsy. And talking about Etsy. And now, I'm sharing what I find on Etsy. Here are a few things I dream about for my kitchen during the holiday season. Enjoy!
1. Melted Snowman 2. Holiday Decor Red Chalkboard 3. Holiday Tea Towel Snowflake 4. Christmas Apron 1950s Retro  5. Homemade Holiday Cookies Baking Tags 6. Vintage Silverware Garden Marker

Handsome Felt Snowman Ornament

Here is one of two little ornaments I made playing with felt for the first time. A medium I have avoided for over a year. Why? Because there are soooo many cool things you can do with felt! And I personally just had too many other projects my time was promised to. But anyhoo! I sat myself down and made two little ornaments for my family tree. My hopes are to make enough ornaments that we’ll have a handmade ornament tree. Phew! One down, more to go!

Here is a free handsome snowman pattern. It was fun learning how to fuse felt pieces with appliqué material. Let me know if you have any questions!

Supplies Needed:
5-6  felt colors
Light iron on appliqué
Permanent marker

1.       Cut out paper pattern pieces
2.       Select felt colors for perspective pieces, cut out relative size to pattern piece and fuse to light appliqué material.
3.       Pin paper pattern to fused felt and cut out shapes.
4.       Layer and iron felt pieces in noted order. 1>snowman body on to background 2>Scarf, and carrot on snowman body
5.       Apply a thin cut piece of appliquéd felt to hat for décor if you wish, then iron hat onto snowman body’s head.
6.       Spray snowman ornament or steam iron and rub with iron to get felted blend look.
7.       With permanent marker dot eyes.
8.       Carefully snip or poke a small hole and thread ribbon though for hanging ornament.

Please Note: This pattern is for personal use only. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning Lines

While the boy was down, Abigail and I drew a masterpiece. I laid out a giant piece of paper in the middle of our living room floor. With markers we learned how to draw FAST. We learned how to draw slowww. We learned to squiggle. We learned about jagged lines and rouuuuund lines.  We traced our hands. We traced our feet. Defiantly something I want to keep.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Operation Christmas

    Lately after the Christmas show I have been brainstorming on how to decorate our family apartment for Christmas. Well, actually, I've been brainstorming since last Christmas. We may submit to a mini tree because of the lack of space. But hey! Its easier to decorate with matching ornaments when you are building your new household's Christmas stock.
   This will be our third Christmas together, second at home. My husband and I both love blue. Here are some pics I gathered up for inspiration. And I love the homemade country cabin look too. I think we could pull it off here. Oh darn, I'll have to go shopping for the muslin and burlap.

LOVE this.
Via Pinterest

Christmas table runner?
Prints Charming

via Pinterest
christmas table
Dreamy Whites
Christmas Blue Tree Display
Wise Craft via Craft Gossip
Mmm and now for Pumpkin pie. I made two pies yesterday and we are already breaking into the second one. What's pie backwards? "EIP!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bandaging the House

Hello all!

Oh my! its been almost 2 months since I posted. In the mist of that I had overwhelming orders and preparing for a Christmas Show. During that time period my house fell apart. Laundry everywhere. Cheerio crumbs smushed into the living room carpet and the kitchen an ever shifting mess. Siiiiigh. So! My first order of business  after all of the chaos was to tend to my sanity and up-most my family's needs. Order is essential to contentment. Wonder why the kids don't play in their room with all the toys they have? Clean it in an organized fashion to set up for single subject focus and periodic rotation. It works wonders.

   Now to tend to my house. I am sourly disorganized and undisciplined to do chores. So I looked for a scheduled and or a list of to do tasks. I needed it to tend to three main problems I have. 1. Laundry 2. Simplicity, I run away from overwhelming list I'm not yet acquainted with. And 3. Beauty, I don't like ugly lists. I'm sure no one does.

 I found this basic cleaning  list via Pinterest and typed it up in my own word program altering it to the schedule that I do have "like cleaning the bathroom on Thursday" . Isn't it pretty! I printed it out and stuck it onto the side of my fridge. I pinned a few other lists under my Home Inspiration Board.

Here is another set  via Design Finch That I will be printing out these tend to other such needs like meal planning, blog posts and overall daily balance and wellness.
Blog Free Printable Calendar

Daily Pages from Life's a Journal            
Blog Weekly Calender from Living Locurto

So beautiful! Using the colored ink in my printer is totally worth it too! Be careful not to Overwhelm your self again. I promised myself to only add one formatted list a week or even two weeks just to get one routine under my belt. My cleaning calender this past week so far is proving productivity. Next I'm thinking about tackling my meal planner. Will update you how that goes.
Menu Planning Form from The Project Girl

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dessert Adventures

I have to tell you about a cooking victory I accomplished last Friday. Every Friday a friend of ours tries different recipes and cooks dinner for us. And he is a GOOD cook. Last Friday we had the opportunity to cook for him. For dinner, spinach and feta stuffed mini bell peppers, garlic rolls with butter and avocado spread and chicken quesadillas accented with cilantro.

For dessert, well, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do while shopping at the grocery store. Then I thought, "Oh! I have supplies for chocolate cake." Rosey Little Things has an absolutely wonderful recipe that I first saw here. Dark chocolate cake, fluffy white frosting, and berries! I figured I would do my mother's cake frosting recipe to plop on top of the cake.

I bake the cake, with a few minor adjustments, such as a bit less flour since all I had was wheat and it takes more moisture than white. Perhaps she uses wheat flour, the texture was so wonderful.

 For the frosting I figured I had enough Crisco. Not so much. I had a 1/3 cup to work with when I could have used 2 cups. I had just under a cup of powered sugar when I needed 3. To top that I couldn't find my mother's recipe. I worked off the top of my head adding vanilla and almond extract, (was out of butter extract). The consistency of the mixture was not working, so i recklessly poured a bit of brown sugar in, then more, and more. Tasting it, it was still a little to runny and I resulted to white sugar. It ran in my mixer for 15 minutes with the false hope of dissolving the sugar grains. Then "Oh! Eggs! My mother uses egg whites to fluff up her frosting.

Well, it became a fluffy, grainy, eggy, criscoy concoction. I didn't want to put it on the stove in fear of burning it and then having to go back to the store, but finally I headed to the mental suggestion. As I mixed like crazy I realized "oh yea! glaze, take off heat right before boiling point." And so that's what I did.
Yes, it has bubbles, but I can deal with that. I'm willing to have imperfection.  Having little time left, I gave it a ice bath. I even put salt in the ice water to keep it cold. I felt like a genius at this point. I tasted it and heaven hit. It was a smooth sugar with a hint of brown sugar spice and a soft aroma of vanilla and almond.

 And I poured the glaze over the cake (after dealing with cracks and holes missing in the layers) and garnished it with berries. I wanted leaves just like Rosy Little Things Blog so I went to the garden to pick some Basil. Wasn't sure if basil was desert herb. Later our friend told us was. And here was the result.

The glaze was a nice non overwhelming compliment to the cake. I love the roughness of the cake. It tells a great story for the process of which it was made.

Special thanks to husband for taking the pictures.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Nail Painting

I decided to try instant drying nail polish instead of the expensive stuff. Drying time is not sutible other wise. So far my nails still look pretty! My daughter was interested in what I was doing. Attempting to trim her own nails I plopped her into my lap, trimmed her nails, and asked if she wanted them painted. "ya" her sweet little response.

He he. Painting her nails was easier than taking the picture. :)

Now to pick up and vacuum a spilled bowl of cheerios!

Monday, August 27, 2012


Had a neighbor said hello to me this afternoon.

 She belongs to our land lord. Some days she gets to roam around the yard. Just scratching and digging on her lazy Monday.
Laying in the durt until she heard my camera :)

My husband texted me and asked how my Monday afternoon was going. Here is my response. "Sewing away, kids asleep, watching Cosby. A chicken is scratching outside the window. Life is good." Hope your Monday was just as peaceful.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Unplanned Saterday Fun

Generally, I briefly play with sewing and then go strait to the sewing that needs to be done. But today I made a conscious effort to do something I've been wanting to do for a while. Learn to make my own clothes. It's the thing I fear the most really. I picked up a yard remnant of blue satin material. (it's cheep, not plain muslin cloth, and I won't cry if I mess up).

I decided to make a halter shirt out of it. I don't have to work with sleeves, or shoulder's for that matter. Woohoo! I cut two 17" x 17" squares and folded a triangle to create a fold suitable to the with of my front and back right under the armpits.

 Next, trim the adjacent corners, sew together, add hem and sash for the neck right? Well, one weakness I have is not having a strict planned  road and keeping things simple. So! I decided to sew it by hand! Yup this project is going to take a while.
But I'm determined to take my time with the detail. Meditating on the running stitch, following the stitches where ever they lead me. Yes, unplanned, not quite the way to learn how to make clothes. But it's Saturday. I need a slow, relaxing project to work on. Something different than the usual "send it through the sewing machine real quick and bam!" Believe me, such a thing has developed stressful construction and unhappy outcomes.

Speaking of unplanned, I see I desperately need to have my posts planned out.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hello and good morning!
I wanted to give you a preview of the fabrics I selected for my Christmas Line. Why in August you might ask? Well, by the time I get to it, it will be "prepare for Christmas season." Perhaps it already is. But I feel good about myself working on it already. Forgive the blue overtone in the photos, it's morning and I got myself out of bed before the kids rise :)

Here it is!

I LOVE the modern holiday leaves and the retro Christmas patterns
 And Pink? Um yes please! Need to have an option for the little ladies and for any little mister that wants to stand out!

And with a dark green

I know, I know. Too many color choices can be a bad thing. But I had a hard time deciding between the dark green, and the light green. Any counseling or ideas?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oh Happy Day

I can't believe its Friday. Or rather. Saturday in one hour! Wonderful week. I'm finally getting spring cleaning done. Woohoo! Anyways I feel good about what I've accomplished. Cleaning out the pantry, scrubbing the shower, cleaning the fridge out, four boxes to good Sam second hand. reopening my Etsy store, starting my daughter's 2nd birthday gift. I need a picture to post. Ooof. Alas I have non, my camera isn't near by for it's memory card. I need to buy a pretty hook to hang it on the wall by my desk. Alrighty, I'm going to sleep. Goodnight ya all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sun Tea

One of my favorite memories growing up is my mom making her sun tea. Instructions: Fill a large jar with water, place 6 tea bags into the water, place it in the sunniest place in the yard and then let the sun do its work.  

Sounds simple right? You would not believe how much the taste varies from one batch to the next. My first batch was perfect. Smooth and crisp. Not too heavy in tea taste to dry your pallet. Haven't had it since. I suppose everyone has their own way of liking sun tea. But for me it's either weak or to much of a bite. And to think, it can all be caused by a single cloud shading for a half hour, or the sky speckled in little clouds. 

Oh well, :) Its a non guilty pleasure of mine for the summer. I don't have to worry about sugar or being caught on caffeine. Its a wonderful journey to figure out my mothers perfect sun tea recipe. 


Like a proud parent, I proudly show a small bit of harvest from our two garden plots. Hooray!!!
The zucchini is growing marvelous, perhaps because its a dominate plant and like a monster it is taking over the plot. I thought these onions were the prettiest I have ever seen. And oh my these peppers are hot. Tasted a bit and almost lost myself in the flames. I don't take spice very well and I'm used to the more mild peppers from the grocery market.

Carrots and Parsley. My project yesterday was to dry the sprigs of these plants for spices. They turned out pretty well. I added them to a Bean Concoction (new name for my chili when I decided not to cook burger and then found out I had no tomato after I had started the process). I'll post a pretty picture of that as soon as I make some honey tortillas. A new invention of mine :)
Any recent garden meals you've put together lately?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lovely Package Exchange

Today I have been brain storming on a gift exchange hosted by Oh Hello Friend You Are Loved. It is a lovely package exchange. Click on the pretty button on the side of the blog to find out more!

It is a gift exchange like you would expect except you not only put thought and effort in the gift, but in the wrapping of the gift as well. I like making things pretty in and out. My exchange buddy know is a fan of scrap booking and a lover of books and history.

Here are a few packaging ideas that remind me of the summer time!
 mam for gift blog gavethat gift wrap ideas

map gift wrap Frugal Gift Wrapping Ideas
                              gift wrap ideas by mable 
                                Gift wrap. by megan 

Monday, July 9, 2012


Part of running the business is to fund self study. What am I studying you might ask? Drawing, something I've put down for the past five years. I love art. In the mist of that I have always wanted to study graphics design and become a Surface Artist. I have especially been drawn to fabric design. But before we get there, I need to pursue organized study, I never took a formal class in college, Now I shall create a course for myself!

Starting here, I have two books. One Drawing on the Left Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. This book contains a full course of exercises and readings. The author has released several editions of this book one building from the other adding to the bases and her theory behind how our minds learn to draw. More on this later!

And Two Color Theory by Jose Maria Parramon. It took me a bit of shopping before I ordered this book. I wanted something that would explain the basics of the color wheel but also include clarity on different color wheels. For instance, the differences between additive and subtractive color methods. More on that later as well!!!

Is there any good study books you know of?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Quick Draw

I decided to stay up late making a repeat pattern. I haven't made one for awhile. Here's the result. Cherries!

Have a happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, July 6, 2012

My First Quilt

Yaeee! I finished by first quilt!!! The Patchwork Prism Quilt by Anna Maria Horner for Janome.  I actually had a total of three weeks to work on this quilt.
Just three weeks before my sister's wedding I decide to go for it as a present to her and her new husband. I shut down my shop for the month in order just to work on it. "Hey! I've got kids. I can only do so much" I'm glad I could tell myself this instead of thinking "I can do it all." Anyhoo, I really enjoyed making this quilt. in fact, i was crawling on the ground for three hours basting the three layers together realizing and saying to myself  "I LOVE THIS!" Crazy I know.

I never do projects in the allotted time frame that they are introduce with special events and contests. But with the motivation of my sister's wedding I was able to enter the sew along for this quilt hosted by Sweet Diesel Designs.

Hello Friends!

 I've always wanted to write my own blog. A simple place to collect ideas and share what I love and what I have been up too. A way of journalism. I've never kept one, but I take thousands of pictures with my camera. Now I just need to add a bit of narration to explain the goings on. To start this blog will include projects I'm working on, personal, or for the shop Lil' Ladies & Gentlemen. I explore new sights and love to share what they have to offer. Family goings on. After all... they are my inspiration. Such as my daughter is sitting on my lap right now as I type. Sounds like a twitter phrase. I have to admit. I don't yet have a twitter account. It may happen sooner than later finding that I do in fact have ramblings that I want to share. I also have a Facebook. So thank you for scanning over my page. I hope to share more with you in the near future.