Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dust Storms

The kitchen redo is well on its way. As with every home improvement project that graces this address, we are behind but not discouraged. The previous owners had some serious issues with doing thing right and because of their uber crappy tiling job the guys had to spend a few extra hours today knocking out tiles and cement board, which left a fine dust everywhere. It was pretty awful in the kitchen and back yard. Thank God no one has asthma troubles or it would have flared badly. I would post pics, but blogger won't let me tonight. @*&^@#&! Blogger! No worries, I'll post bunches tomorrow to make up for it.

Since I had kid-duty I got to take my monkey boy out for the afternoon while peanut slept. We went thrifting, where I got some great books including a vintage Singer Sewing book all about sewing everything you can think of. The pictures are pretty fab.

We also went to the library today and got monkey his first library card and borrowed his first book. They even gave him a certificate with his name, the date and the title of the first ever book he borrowed- Arnie the Doughnut. Thoroughly hilarious. We have read it 1 and a half times already (we only got halfway through at bedtime, monkey was tuckered out and asked to finish it tomorrow) and will surely read it many more times before we go back next week for more books.

When I was in elementary school we lived on Oahu and every week my parents would take us to the library where we could get as many books as we wanted. For a freaky bookworm like me that was like Christmas. Every week. How fabulous is that? We only stopped going to the library each week when my parents realised I was (and still am) a kid who liked to read her books over and over and over. Good books are my friends.

The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre - all my friends. I would read these books and just couldn't part with them. They became a part of me and how could I give that back to the community library? After that (and probably largely in part because of cheap books from Scholastic) my parents bought me books to my little hearts content.

Taking my little boy to the library was a momentous occasion for mom, if not for son. He thought it was cool and liked exploring the shelves, but was only as interested as a three year old could be. He was pretty impressed with his bookmark and certificate, though.

For Easter this year I have decided to make my kids library bags instead of Easter baskets, even before our little trip. I figured that library bags would be more useful than Easter baskets, anyway.

Friday, March 30, 2007

My Kitchen Died.

Actually it was brutally murdered today. And it was awesome. If I could dance and sing "I'm gettin' a new kitchen!!" and type at the same time, I would. I am a pretty talented gal, but we'll have to draw the line there. Aaron and a friend of his demo'd most of the kitchen today and we (and by "we", I mean "they") will be taking up our atrocious tile floor tomorrow. I cannot wait to see that stuff go. The previous owners did a horrible job of tiling and didn't even remove the base boards prior to putting the new tile in. The guys tried to take it up today, but blood was shed, so it was decided to get new tools and try again at 8 am tomorrow.

While they have kitchen duty I have kid duty. I have two veeeerrrry curious toddlers who would love nothing more than to yield a hammer with daddy, so we'll probably fly the coop tomorrow. Thrifting, maybe? I need to get some things for Handmade Parade, and tomorrow is as good a time as any, right? I tried to slip out today and go, but would you believe that at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon I couldn't get parking? Crazy.

Well, there it is, my naked cold kitchen. hee hee! I am giddy with future kitchen excitement! This wall was where the fridge, some cabinents and the stove used to reside. We aren't doing a major overhaul, we are putting a new stove and cabinets where the old ones were. Just younger, faster models. :) Couldn't get Aaron to go for a new fridge, though. Bummer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Softie Swap!

In honor of my friend Missy's double nomination to the Softie Awards I am going to do a Softie Swap! Sign ups for this swap will close April 8 and you'll have to send your partner your softie by May 15. This is a really long time! I am doing this because I know that softies are not something that you can just whip up in a day or two. Ok, maybe you can, but I can't!

Here's the lowdown:

Email me at lily_clairedesignsatyahoodotcom with your name, address, blog, and email.
Do this by April 8.
Mail your swap by May 15 or let your partner know if you'll be late.
Softies should be handmade, but they can also be vintage. NO NEW STOREBOUGHT SOFTIES. No matter how cute or vintage looking they are.
You may use a pattern from someone else, but if you are able to do an original design that would be fab, too.

But most importantly, go to the Softie Awards page and vote vote vote! It'll also have great ideas for your softie!

Oh and go over and sign up to do Missy's First Aid Kit Swap, how fun!

**NOTE** Anyone and everyone is welcome to do this swap no matter their skill level. The point is to have fun and get to know other crafters. Also, a softie can be a doll, animal, animiguri, cozy (tea cozy, coffee pot, ipod etc), pin cushion, pillow etc...Check out Softies Central for more ideas. Join the fun!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thanks, Amanda!

I came home yesterday from a long day and found this from my dear friend, Amanda.

She has one of my favorite shops around, A. Bel Studio and now A. Bel Emporium for all my vintage needs. Gotta love that girl! She sent me some seeds from her garden, a pin and a cute little card made from a vintage illiustration. Love it all! She kills me with her cuteness most days.

Since I am going to the PO this week, expect some mail love back! And all you Swappers from my earlier swap, your thank you gifts are ready to go and will be on their way!! Finally. Geez.

Monday, March 26, 2007

postcard for May 5th Handmade Parade!

Mark your calendars!
Happy Birthday, Bro!

Yesterday was my middle brother Garret's 21st birthday and we took him out for dinner. I know, you are thinking "he just turned 21 and he went out with you and your kids?" Yup. He was a bit of a -ahem- rebel when he was younger, so the "usual" 21 bday party antics really weren't in order. Kind of a "been there, done that, puked on the t-shirt" sort of thing. So instead we went to a local gourmet pizza place that has lots of micro-brew beers on tap and had a great dinner with him and his wife.

I feel really lucky to have such a great brother. When we were kids he was a royal pain in my arse (right. what little brother isn't...). About the time he turned 12, when most brothers are at their height of buttheadedness, mine got totally cool. I was 19 and was a swim teacher. He volunteered his whole summer to help me out and all he wanted in return was a day at Six Flags. I know a good deal when I see one, so I took him up on his offer and we had a blast hanging out all summer, teaching little kids to swim and then at the end of the summer we whooped it up at Six Flags.
I took a lame pic below of a page in my scrapbook. Can you see us hamming it up all super tan with our bleach blonde hair? Good times, good times. I can always count on Garret to be dumb with me and have fun. He has become such a great man. When our dad died, he was the closest to him, so I was really worried about him for a bit, but he has really made a great life for himself and his darling wife, Kate. I am super proud of you, dude! Happy Birthday, I really hope you had a great night! I love you!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I think it's official...

I just might have crafter ADD. I am working on about three veeeerrry different projects right now and have about 10 more cooking in my brain, making it very difficult to concentrate on the projects in front of me. I have been making things for Handmade Parade and am working on a few contributions for Glitter and Grunge next month.
I am also feeling swappy again...I want to do another swap, but I won't let myself until I send out the thank yous for my last swap. That's right, I didn't forget, girls. I just started a project for each of you that was waaaaay too time consuming and didn't turn out as I hoped. So on to plan B! So to all you brooch swappers, thanks so much for playing last time, come again for another swap. I'm thinking dollhouse stuff this time, round. Who dosen't just love miniatures?
Anyway, the tree above is part of an applique I am doing, but I need some more details before I get to sewing it on anything. Thanks for your encouragement of the bird/whale. I had put on legs, but they weren't doing anything for me, so I cut them out. Maybe I'll revisit it, though.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Birdie - 0, Whale - 1

I made a few appliques yesterday (soooo fun!) and sewed one to an old tshirt I had. I have a feeling that all my clothes will be getting the treatment soon... Anyway, I asked hubs what he thought of my shirt and he said "Cute Whale!"

Humpf. Too bad we were going for bird, which I pointed out to him and he said "Oh yeah, I can tell its a bird." Lies. From a distance it really does look like a whale. Good thing it was an experiment. Bad thing I sewed a bird-whale to a perfectly good tshirt.

Monday, March 19, 2007

This week's Inspiration
Originally uploaded by littlelovelies.
Here are a few of the pictures that are inspiring me this week. I especially love the fabric candies and the little babushka dolls. Sigh. I love flickr.
Thanks for all your fun encouragement on our kitchen remodel and color picking. I am still having fun with it, and now that I have a good idea of the kitchen wall color I have moved on to curtain fabric, but that is soooo much harder than I had anticipated!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Colors of My Life...

I love color. When we bought our house the thing I was most excited about was getting to paint. We painted deep, dark, rich colors in our front room, bedroom and our son's room. They are gorgeous colors, but they are not my colors. I think maybe I thought they were, but after three years of living with them and one pregnancy where the darkness of our front room practicaly drove me nuts (below) I realise that light, bright and fun is what I need.

Army Green, Ralph Lauren Paint

We are going to be remodeling our kitchen in the next couple of weeks, and I am absolutely ecstatic about new colors, cabinents, curtains. Right now it is a bright white, but we'll be painting the walls a new color. We were thinking the green, but now a pale yellow is speaking to me, but we'll see when the time comes what I pick.

Smokey Plum, Behr Paints

Our bedroom is the picture above and it is the one room where the dark color dosen't bother me. I think it is because the windows in there provide so much light and all our bedding is white, so the color dosen't overpower. If we ever move, though I'll be working off the color palete above.
I got this little stack of fabric today to make coasters from, but I am thinking I might be using a few in future curtain and or pillow projects. They are so yummy. I am not a huge orange fan, but I am really liking the paisly today. No worries-I'll never paint the walls orange!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Girl Scout Cookie Trifecta

Yes, I realise that there are only two boxes of cookies pictured, and that "tri" means three. Thin Mints are not pictured. Because I ate them all. Or at least I ate most of them. I shared... A little. Aaron had 3 or so and the kids had a few... Ok, I pretty much ate them all.

Thank goodness that Girl Scout cookie time is only once a year. I have looked forward to March ever since I was a Girl Scout. I hated February, because that was when we had to go door to door selling the cookies, but I loved getting the cookies. I loved going to our leaders house and seeing cases and cases of cookies lined up in her living room. My troop was frequently a top selling cookie troop, I think partly because many of the girls came from large families who would buy dozens of boxes. We were unlucky in that our family was all out here in California and we lived in Missouri at the time, making it neccesary for me to hoof it to the neighbors houses each February.
Rarely did you see Girl Scouts in front of the supermarkets the way you do now. I think that is a new development in Girl Scouting, probably because sending your kid out to sell in the neighborhood isn't as safe as it once was. I actually used to go by myself for blocks and blocks. I don't think I would even consider letting my kids do that now. The supermarket scouts is where I have gotten my cookies for the last several years, and not once since we moved into our house has a Girl Scout, Boy Scout or Campfire girl ever come to our door selling their stuff.

It is probably a good thing, really. I am a sucker for little kids selling stuff. Entertainment Books, wrapping paper, candy, bad gift items - you name it I bought it. As long as it was a kid selling it, I was wrapped around their little fundraising fingers. The last time I remember being hit up for all these things was before I was married and I lived with two girls in an apartment. I think the kids of that complex had our number because we bought from everyone. We had so much over priced wrapping paper and candy it was ridiculous. We must have really put a dent in their fundraising efforts when we moved out.

But for now, I need to be content with my once a year Girl Scout cookie overload, and be thankful that the neighborhood kids don't know that a sucker is living down the street.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Back to Life, Back to Reality...

Anyone else hear this song in their head when they read the post title? No? Oh well, it's a good one for getting stuck in your head alright. At any rate, back to reality for me. I got to spend tons of time in the craft room last night and made or finished or started several projects. I made some magnets, cards and pincushions, finished cutting out my pattern ladies, so they are all ready to go on whatever my heart desires this week. I'm thinking trays and picture frames, but I am known to change my mind only eighty bajillion times, so we'll see what comes to fruition. I also started work on mini notebooks, but haven't finished them yet. I think I need to stare at them awhile before I really know what to do with them.

I did just look around my desk and count all the WIP (sounds so much nicer than "abandoned", no? But that is what they are...) and I have about eight. That I can see anyway. Some of them are pending trips to JoAnns for missing parts and pieces, and some I got bored with and needed a break from. All of them need to get finished soon, though. I just need them done so I can move on to bigger and better things.
Like getting ready for Handmade Parade, May 5. We are going to be busy between now and then! It really is just around the corner. Missy and I are also hoping to have a booth at Baz Biz May 25, for the Maker Faire, so we'll see if that works out. It would be so cool to be there. If HP isn't there Missy and I will go with the Sacramento Craft Mafia, who is also hoping to have a booth. In June I'll be at Sellout Buyout as a part of Second Saturday's Artwalk in Midtown and Downtown Sac.
So there will be lots of craftin' going down here. It is good that the youth group at church is partaking in a Media Fast during the month of April. It is just a really cool time to focus on our relationships with God and each other and really think about the things we watch and listen to. At the end of the 30 days we come away feeling refreshed and excited to serve our church and community anyway we can. I love that this is something a group of teenagers are choosing to be a part of! How cool is that?

On April 1, I will take a 30 day break from blogging and Flickr, but I will be updating the HP blog with our crafter profiles and returning emails and posting to the Media Fast journal. You'll still be able to get the info you need on HP from me or Missy. But, there are still 2 weeks before my fast!
Oh, and I drew a name for a pink pin from my post the other day and it was Heidi at Everyday Cookies! Yay! I'll drop it in the mail for ya!

Friday, March 09, 2007

No More Coma
Well, the camera is out of its coma. I finally remembered to get new batteries, so I can now post my own pics. I have been crafty lately, I made myself a little shop apron, which I am in love with. I put it on to take some pics and I haven't taken it off yet. I used a vintage fabric that was in my husband's grandma's stash that my MIL passed on to me (or maybe it was in her stash...) and a bunch of scraps I had in my own stash. It turned out pretty cute, I think. Very bright and a teeny tiny bit garish, but hey, that's me!

Yesterday I whipped up monkey boy a little totebag to take his baby Bible and an emergency clothes change in for when we go to church. Was that a run on sentence? I can't get it to sound right...anyway, he likes it and immediately filled it with trains and cars. We'll see if we ever get his church stuff into it.

And today I have been crafting with a cause! I made little welcome kits for the people who sign up to be on my team for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk. Which has a name now-Team G.I.R.L.S - Griping Is Really Lame Stuff. We are not great at coming up with catchy names and really aren't the type to have 'hooters', 'knockers', or 'boobs' in the name, so we came up with that. It's cute and catchy and should remind up not to whine no matter how much our feet get torn up. Or at least to whine under our breath. The welc0me kits have little water bottles and mini-first aid kits from the dollar store. I just added my own little touches to them. After I finish this entry I'll be making log books to track our walks in and make sure we are on the right track.

Tonight, after the munchkins are asleep, Aaron and I are going to be working on some things for a church toothbrush drive we are doing for people in Romania. We have a friend who goes there on a mission trip each year and he brought it to the church's attention that there is a great need for toothbrushes and toothpaste there. In the poor parts of Romania oral hygene is not of great importance and as a result people are getting very sick. They are hoping to collect 10,000 toothbrushes and toothpastes by May 1st. They will then be boxed up and shipped out to Romania to be distributed. A tall order, but we think it can be done, especially since you can get 4 toothbrushes for a dollar at the dollar store (Who knew!).

We are placing a toothbrush and a little write up on the needs in the service packets for the Bible Study Groups that meet each week at church. My high school girls bible study has also decided to do that for their service project this semester and have some really cute ideas on how to get their fellow students to contribute. I am pretty excited to see how the girls get the other students involved in this.

I love crafting, but I am really jazzed about doing my crafty stuff for a good cause. I know that I am planning on making some special items to sell to benefit Team G.I.R.L.S. and am really looking forward to showing the stuff to everyone!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The 3 Day plunge, that is. In November the Susan G Komen for the Cure 3 Day Walk will be in San Diego and I am going to be there! A girlfriend and I decided a few weeks ago that we would do this walk.

Now we are up to a team of 4 and a half (one girl is still thinkink about it, but I think she'll do it) with a goal to make a team of 15. I have never done anything like this before. 60 miles over 3 days! But I really can't think of a better cause to tear up my feet for, so I am doing it!

Each walker needs to raise $2200, but I really feel like that will be the easy part. The 3 day website has such helpful and fun ideas for raising money, that I know we can do it and have fun at the same time.

Missy and I had also discussed having a charity aspect to Handmade Parade, and I am so excited to say that my 3 Day team is it! We'll be taking donations during HP to benefit our walkers and to even sign up some new ones. (I am officially a charity case, lol!!)

Please check out for more info on the walks, they are taking place all over the country starting in late August. If you have a friend you can walk with, please get together find or start a team and get out there! Oh and watch the Inspirational video with tissue, I cried buckets, but I am a bit of an emo freak.

And all you local yokels who see me regularly, beware, I am going to ask you to play along with me!

*I am adding this for fun - leave a comment on this post and I will donate a dollar for each comment to out team effort. Also, I'll draw a name to will a pink Brooch, so comment away!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Flickr Love

My creation
Originally uploaded by littlelovelies.
My camera died. Well. The batteries died, anyway. The camera can be revived, but I keep forgetting to buy batteries when I go to the store. I guess we can say my camera is in a coma. Poor camera.

In the meantime I'm posting my daily inspirations. Fun stuff! I heart these pictures! They make me happy. Thank goodnedd for Flickr and the ability to "borrow" other people's pics in a crisis.

When I do have a camera again, I have TONS to shoot. I have three fun packages of goodies to photograph, more granny squares (post to the flickr group if you have any, kids!), a granny square purse, I have been working on, and some super fun magnents I made yesterday.

It's all stuff I am making to get ready for Handmade Parade and some other shows in the area. I might even update my etsy shop with some of it, but I haven't decided quite yet.

Have a lovely day! Is the sun out where you are? It is out in full force here and it almost makes me want to go out and clean our yard. Almost...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

My creation
Originally uploaded by littlelovelies.
I have been wanting to play with the flickr toys for awhile and finally found the time! These are some of my red, yellow, green, blue inspirations!

I think I have the flickr toy bug now! I'm going to go put more goodies into my faves so I can make you all lots and lots more of these!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Crochet Parade
I'm still working away on my granny squares. I'll probably be traveling with them for the next little while. If we have plans to see each other in the next few weeks, I'll likely have yarn, hook and squares in tow. I had told myself that I would make five squares a day, but I am averaging three a day. A bit below my goal, but the day is young, I still could make 5 for today at least.

Missy and I have been busy preparing for Handmade Parade. We are getting a blog up and we'll be adding profiles of our crafter/artists and other cool information as time goes on. Be sure to check it often and leave comments. We'll have suprise drawings for cool stuff every once in awhile so comment away, kids.

I wish I could stay and chat longer, but one of my munchkins is deciding to have a meltdown, so duty calls!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy Hooking

I have always liked the granny square. There is something modern in its simplicity. I think anyway. I'm certainly not that last word (or any word...) on what is cool or modern, but it is something that seems to translate well in all sorts of styles. I was never a huge Rosanne fan as a kid, I wouldn't even say I am a fan now, but one thing I always thought was cool was the granny square blanket on the back of their couch. It was so homey and normal, but not really something that I thought would work in my world. It wasn't till I noticed the granny square blanket on the couch in Rory's dorm room, on Gilmore Girls (yes, I watch too much TV, shut up) that I realized I could totally make granny squares work for me. Hers was done in rainbow yarn, which was a major 'duh' moment. Most of the blankets I had seen had the colored squares, bordered in black. While cool, not quite for me. Fun, bright colors-totally for me!
I am not always one to follow the rules for my crafts, but for some reason it just never occured to me to make a GS blanket in anything other than bright colors, bordered by black. Probably because part of me really does like that look, I'm just not sure that I want to live with it. The photo above is the yarn I am using, all from my stash. I wasn't sure that I would like the way they came together, but as you can see below, they are darling and completely fun!

I forgot how long it takes to make a granny square. I made these three last night while watching Tivo'd tv with the hubs. I made three more this morning and now my Monkey boy wants to learn how to make a blankie. I had started out this project thinking I'm make a blanket for the back of the couches in our living room, but now I'm thinking maybe I'll try to make little coverlets for each of the kids beds in their room. The colors are pretty much exactly what I am doing their room in when we get to it. Won't they be darling with one bordered in pink and one in blue on each of their little beds? And I'll make them each little Stichette pillows...

Oh and check out all the granny square love...

Alicia - hers is all minty and lovely.

Posy - explore her whole blog, she has several granny square blankets and all are gorgeous!

Flickr - Join us if you want to Crochet along! Or if you have made a granny square in the past and want to show off your work.