Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Well I've been meaning to write this, and since I leave soon for vacation (that will probably not have internet access!) I thought I should post this now! LOL!


Last week we went to Make-A-Messterpiece in Glenview, IL. It was SO fun. I was invited to them via the blog since I sometimes post about crafting/creating with the kids. Here's where I say I don't get invited to things often - maybe 5-6 offers so far ever. This is the second I've responded positively too and I'm SO glad I did!

I was completely blown away by how fabulous this place is! My kids did NOT want to leave and constantly ask when we get to go back - all three of them were happy all day long! Amazing, and not always something that happens when we go places.

First of all, we were treated so well while we were there - so thanks for that! We were at the pre-grand opening, and were treated to yummy treats, lunch, and no lines LOL! =) We stuck around for the grand opening to the public because my kids had that much fun!

So, tons and tons of things to do there - creative kitchen, club m, drum roll, bubble-ology, little sprouts, experimentation station, and two (not one but two!) play areas!

Of course, we have to start with the rules


My kids did especially well at following make a mess rule ;-)

There was lots of painting to be done too!

(a bubble-ology creation!)

free painting

The area that looked the most fun to me was Drum Roll - where you go play drums that have paint on them, so it all splashes everywhere!

And I have to admit it, they all looked so cute just wearing their little suits to protect their clothes!


At Little Sprouts we made rice shakers and flower pots - very fun, and all but 1 of our pots are now sprouting! Yeah!




In the creative kitchen they made banana/graham cracker treats - and I sampled them - they were yummy, and we have plans to make them at home!


Experimentation Station had them sprouting some beans - fun! And something I remember doing as a kid!


Club M is where the moms can sit and hang out while the kids get creative!


And one of the play areas:


And when we got home, we had to hang up our new art on the art wall:


I so recommend taking a day/afternoon to head over there and let the kids have fun and get creative and explore. It's nice to have a spot where they can get a taste of so many ways to be creative - all while not having to worry about cleaning it up!

We will definitely go back again - I'm just not sure when =)

To see more pictures (yes, there are more LOL) you can click here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Busy as always!

We've been so busy over here - running to and fro, doing this and that and trying out some new activities!

However, today, today we got to go someplace very fun - a new place opening up in the Chicagoland area that we had such a blast about. And I want to tell you all about - and I have a lot of pictures to show LOL! But I don't have enough time to type it all out tonight - hopefully this weekend?

But in the meantime, I will show you pictures of some doll dresses I recently finished (these were my special sewing project!).


These dresses came to me with all the pieces cut out and some assembly started.


They are pretty simple dresses - which is good, because any more complicated, I might have had to pass them along to someone else!


But it was a good project to work on, and I'm glad I was able to finish them because I know there is a sweet girl who now has them to play with!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Need some help!

I've mentioned here before, but over at The Motherhood I have a group for Homemade Holidays.

Since today marks the 100 days until Christmas countdown, I'd like to every day post over there one idea to give people ideas of things to make.

So if you have a tutorial - it can be any craft - sewing, knitting, taping, cutting, or even baking or whatever idea you have, please oh please, link it in the comments section!

I promise to link back to you and give you all the credit you deserve, but I'd love to be able to post a new idea every single day! =)

Thanks all =)

A new journey ...

It seems lately I'm on a new journey around here, that is seriously messing with my crafting time.

I have been actively exercising (something I almost never ever do), eating healthy, and getting out of the house to take walks and explore nature with the kids.

I am a person who was averaging at least 4 cans of pop a day (yes, that means that some days I drank more!) It's so sad, but I needed all that caffeine to keep me going. Anyway, over the last 4 days I have only had 2. Might not seem like much, but even my husband is impressed with me.

And I've been sleeping more - not up so late at night.

I have to tell you. I feel great. I am loving this. I can't wait to do my exercise each day. Which, I am doing the EA Sports Active 30 day challenge. I wish I could say it was sponsored (then I wouldn't have had to buy it LOL) but alas, this is not. This is just me saying that I finally found something that has me so excited to work-out each day! And I've been so motivated by wanting to exercise, that I've been eating better and trying to be healthier in general.

This is nothing short of amazing. A week ago I couldn't even do 10 squats without wanting to cry, now I can do 16 jumping squats!

Today is only day 5 - but the worst soreness has already worn off. I can walk up the stairs without wanting to cry ;-) It's an amazing feeling. I've never pushed through that pain of starting a new work out program.

Anyway, I'm learning how to juggle all of this into my list of things I need to do each day and so there's a learning curve to figure out what things stay in each day and what needs to go and what needs to be added.

But, I think I'm on a good journey, one I needed to do for a while just to get myself healthier. Of course, my favorite pair of jeans deciding to not fit anymore is what finally got me up off my butt, but I'm glad I finally did! =)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A few handmade goodies!

So, the big sewing projects (that weren't even that big) were the one's I was making for my daughter's birthday (which was yesterday!). Thankfully, those were finished on time.

First I made her a pencil pouch. She has been wanting one since I made it for another birthday present a month-ish ago.


Second I made her a bag/purse thingy. Her main birthday present this year from us was a fairy house. I wanted to give her something to put the fairies in should she want to carry them around. I was inspired by a pouch I saw one craft earlier this week. And what I created, well, I had thought it would be smaller when I envisioned it, but it works and she loves it.

The view when all folded:

Completely opened:

Some other random shots:
IMG_4898 IMG_4900 IMG_4902

Then last minute, I decided to whip up some fabric wrappers for her gifts. I've been meaning to make some since last Christmas, but hadn't actually done it yet!


And on the gifts:

I admit it. I'm in love. I love them. I will most certainly be making a bunch more. I need some more bigger ones and maybe some more smaller ones. But I'm in love. These, I just made in squares and rectangles and then did a rolled hem on them. Simple, easy, and so great.

I also finished the blanket I promised my son for vacation (now 19 days away!)


I quilted it (or is it fake quilted since there was no piecing?) in stripes. I had intended to do lines both vertically and horizontally, except even with the quilt guide, I didn't keep the lines perfectly straight. And I knew if I went both ways, it would show even more than it already does. But you know what, he loved it. He didn't care the lines weren't straight. And so, therefore neither do I!

See, I told you that I've been busy! Next up on my list a top I'm making my oldest that I promised she could wear to vacation if it fit. Then on to Halloween costumes. And I have another birthday child at the end of October (no, I have no idea what, if anything I'm making her!) And I want to make a bunch more fabric wrappers to have for Christmas!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy Bee!

Well since my last oh whoa is me post, I've been quite busy over here working on things.
Yes, working, with renewed energy.

Saturday night I touched nothing. I took a break. I walked away. I figured one night of doing nothing wasn't going to end the world. And since we are all still here, I was right LOL!

Anyway, Sunday I found joy in working again, mostly by doing a mind shift and switching to some knitting projects that allowed me to come out of the sewing room and hang with the kids. Which, was very nice. I also brought out the i-pod and caught up on a couple podcasts I enjoy listening too. There is nothing like sitting on the front porch, listening to some great stuff, knitting away on a beautiful day, while watching the kids play around you. It's hard to feel overwhelmed then because it all feels fun and relaxing.

And then after the kids went to bed, I hung out in the sewing room - and also brought down a portable dvd player so I was able to watch some great movies as well. The good news is that I've finished quite a few projects. Both of the things I was making for my daughter's birthday (it's today! I can't believe it ... time always feels like it's flying in the blink of an eye when a birthday rolls around. Because I swear she was just born yesterday and now she's 7!!!). I finished the blanket I promised my son for the train trip (20 more days until then!). I've started two of the knitting projects that need to be worked on. I have cut out all the pieces for the halloween costumes - which doesn't sound like much, but anyone who has done it knows that's about half the project! And I finished a blanket that is going to someone else.

Tomorrow I hope to have pictures of the things that are remaining in this house. Since last time I showed pictures of a gift, the person it went to figured it out before receiving it - I won't post pictures until after they are given! Even if it is for my own child =)

Tomorrow, hopefully some pictures.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Right now I am exhausted. You might not guess that seeing as I'm writing this post at 1:30 am in the morning instead of sleeping, but I am.

Completely exhausted and worn out. I've been feeling this way for the second half of the week, as my to do list continues to grow despite the fact that I'm crossing things off as fast as I can.

Today, at work I said to someone "I've just got too much to do!" And her reply "No, you just try to do to much for your family." Okay, well, she might have a point there. And on the other hand, isn't that my job? To do things for my family and for the people I care about? I suppose it is ... but does making the Halloween costumes fall under that category (yes, we've already started working on costumes. Because I want them done before we go on vacation. And my younger two, will both actually end up with two costumes). Okay, so I might have to scratch that goal. How about I just try to have them done the day before they have to wear them? Or maybe next year we buy them. And yet, my kids always talk about how I make them - how they get to pick whatever they want and help me shop for fabric.

Sigh. It's those things that add up. And oh yeah, because I'm an idiot, I promised my son I'd make him a blanket to take on vacation. Because the ones we own already just wouldn't be good enough (okay, really, he was have a complete melt down and somehow in tryin to talk him through it those words popped out of my mouth.)

And oh yeah, I need to make 8 aprons in the next two weeks. And knit a blanket (okay, really I need to finish the first and then knit the second, and no, that doesn't include the one I'm sewing for my son). And I want to do some freezer corn. And we all really need a few more clean clothes. And I'm supposed to pack up things I can pre-mail for vacation. And my daughter's birthday is Thursday and I need to sew up two things for her. And, well, you don't want to hear my whole list.

Somehow, I need to sit down and take a few things off the list. Because otherwise, it looks like I won't get a chance to sleep until we go on vacation!! And yes, it's the same cycle I end up stuck in far too often - trying to cram in too much in too little time. Getting completely burned out so that I don't want to do anything for a while except the necessities, and then feeling like I need to do a million things all over.

If anyone has any tips to help me get out of this cycle, it would be much appreciated.

And on a good note, I finished the special sewing project this week. Which felt so good, because this was (in my mind) a must finish ASAP project! Pictures coming soon, I hope!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Still sewing away ...

Still sewing away on my special project.

But for a bit this morning, I took a break from it to work on a spur of the moment craft project (aren't those sometimes the best kind?!)

I present to you a train:

But not just any train, a special countdown train. We can't wait until just these numbers are showing:

But right now we are at

Okay, okay, by the time I publish it, there will be 27 days left. Left until what you ask? Left until I officially go crazy. Okay, well, that might be a side effect. 27 days until the 3 children and I board a train in Chicago and travel to Boston, where my in-laws will pick us up and take us to their house in New Hampshire!

I can NOT wait. Although, bummed hubby couldn't go - but he has no vacation left. There is a sad backstory to how all of this happened, but it will have a happy ending. (and yes, I will share all the details with you even if you don't want to read them!)

My middle daughter's birthday is soon - next week soon! This weekend I called to talk to my MIL about what to get her. She said she thought about shopping but realized she had no idea what to get Miss M because she hasn't seen the kids in so long (since last summer people!!). And I admit it, my heart broke. In 1,000 pieces. I felt horrible and then I felt guilty and I thought about how I would feel if I only saw my grandkids less than once a year, and I felt doubly guilty. And the thing is in our house and in their house money is tight. And living half-way across the country from each other makes it hard to see each other with tight budgets, ya know?

So last night hubby and I decided we would make it happen. I called to find out what dates would be okay, and I'm pretty sure I completely made their night - which totally made my night and all three of the kids are going out of their minds they are so excited about this trip. So we are all happy - well, except for husband, who is happy, but sad he can't go. Well, we couldn't make it perfect but we tried.

Of course, now I'm scrambling to finish all sorts of projects in the works before we board that train. And we will be out of the house for a full 10 days and arrive home early morning the 11th day - that's a long time (but when you factor in that's 27 hours each way in travel time, well, it doesn't seem that long really.

Anyway, I'm so excited I could burst. And I had to share with all of you. And to make it even more fun, we made the countdown trains this am. And my kids now think I'm the coolest mom who makes them the coolest things ever. =)