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Sunday, December 18, 2011

orange juice and coconut oil!

  Winter reeks havic on me and my kids.  There seems to be a constant lingre of sickness (of the cold variety) that cycles through the house over and over again.  Dry skin is abundant, particularly with me and  my 4 yr old, but the other two suffer, too.  It's lame and I hate it!  After 5 weeks of coughing and snotting and grossness, I was done!  I decided to dose my family with orange juice.  We had oj smoothies, ate oranges, drank the juice and what do ya know?  No more sickies!! Ya, I know...this is not that amazing.  The sickies could have just run it's cycle and moved on to a different family.  And ofcourse, vitamin C has long been used preventatively, but for me, for now, orange juice is my hero :)
  As for dry skin:  A. gets such dry skin that she is itchy.  She scratches in her sleep and wakes with wounds!!!  That is not cool!  I have tried so many different lotions, from top national brands to the handmade variety. We've tried shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, avacado oil and combinaions of those, and more.  Then, I remembered reading about coconut oil when i was researching cloth diaper safe rash solutions.  There are tons of  people who swear by it.  I read that it has anti bacterial proporties which makes it perfect for both healing and  moisturising. It has been used in the tropics forever on the skin, in the hair, for cooking and there are people who ingest it regularly for health.  My family and I use it topically.  (You'll have to google it because I read so much info that I don't have just one or two sources to give you).
 Seriously, the results were near immediate and pretty darn unbelievable.  I used it on my feet before I started using it on my child(ren).  I wish I had taken pictures because the transformation was so unbelievable.  My feet were so dry and cracked (and abused, lol), but no more.  Virtually overnight, the worst problems were gone.  I apply at night and put my socks back on to protect my bed stuff.  Then the magic works.  I use virgin, unrefined, organic coconut oil.  It melts at 76 degrees, so when in the jar it is solid and as you put it on your skin it melts and it pretty messy.  You really have to cover it up if you are going to use it at night or it will ruin your linens.  I use this.  And, ofcourse, I love the idea that this is a natural product that has been around forever! no sneaky names or ingredients.  Just cocontut oil.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have you heard of the Toy society?

  I just learned about the Toy Society yesterday and I'm already signed up for the Christmas drop.  Such a fun idea!  The jist is that people make toys and drop them at random locations with a note explaining that the toy needs a caretaker.  Sometimes the finders write into the blog, but mostly they don't.  Either way, I love the idea of a child thinking they are the luckiest kid ever to have rescued an orphaned, handmade toy!

  Now, what do I make?  I am far from a toy maker.  I made my son a couple of dino's for his first birthday, but they leave alot to be desired.  Maybe I'll try a doll?  Oh, I am so excited!!!  I think I'm going to get my girls in on this, too. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The MOST used toy in our house (for years)

 I was going to write about the (not so) homemade chocolate croissants that my 4 years old made this morning, but I changed my mind.  It's the season for gift buying and I want to share the, hands down, most used toy in our house; The bilibo. (please, excuse the messy house.  It's how we roll.)

The girls got theirs from the Easter bunny (instead of baskets) in '08 or '09 and I found the green one at once upon a child when I was pregnant with O.  I really don't even know what they are, but they received the toy of the year award in 2010 (preschool division).  The idea is that if offers a medium for imagination. And, they do!

 My kids play with these EVERYDAY!  That is no exaggeration.  The Bilibo's live in our living room, under "Busia's chair", and are pulled out all the time.

They sit in them. They sit on them. They spin in them, put them on their heads, put things inside of them. They use them to transport toys from one room to another. The become beds for dolls, stones in the pretend river, astronaut helmets, swimming pools for barbies, the list goes on and on and on.

I believe that the age recommendation is 2-7, but even my 10yr old cousins play in them when they are over!  Basically, they're anything toys and they are awesome!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I think I'm a knitter!

 I have, several times over the coarse of my life, attempted to learn knitting.  I always stop before I really even get started.  A couple of weeks ago, I was at a craft show (selling) and a lady a few booths down from me was knitting.  I actually didn't even know if she was knitting or crochetting because I have no idea chochetting looks like, but I didn't recognize what she was doing as knitting, either. So, I asked her.  Turns out it was continetal/european knitting!  I sat with her for a short while and she showed my the jist.  When I got home I jumped on youtube and off I went.
 At first, i was doing well with one row knit, then one row purl, until I started to realize that I was making a tube, not the scarf I was aiming to create.  My sister suggested doing garter stitch (all knit, no purl) and I started over.

It's really a hot mess.  I preferred the stockinette stitch much more, but this garter stitch is growing on me.  You can see that I was all over the place when i started and my tention was wacky, but I've calmed down.
Since this is a practice, i was throwing in some experiemental stuff (you can see a row of k1 p1 in the above picture).  Well, it's experimental for me, anyway.  I kinda want to knit all the time, now.  But, i do have a little business to take care of (you know, kids, house, etsy shop).

Next order of business: replace my 'project bag' with something a little cuter :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I need a studio make over!

  Today, I had my last (and only my third ever) craft show of the season.  I had a ton of fun and I really can't wait to do some more next year.  I have been working everyday to crank out enough wallets and what not to fill my table that I now feel a little bit of freedom! True, I do have orders to complete, Thanksgiving shirts to make for my girls and, of course, Christmas, but somewhere in there, I plan on fitting sewing freedom :)
 I also, really need HGTV to come to my house and do something awesome with my sewing studio/room. 

 So, normally, I would never share the embarassing mess that is my sewing room, but I am fairly certain that nobody reads this, so here goes.... 

This is my sewing table covered in random stuff that should be put away (and probably maybe would be if everything had a spot). 

This is my awesome cutting table to my dad made.  It is perfect height for me and has eliminated the back pain that I was getting from bending to cut.  I love it, but i rarely clear it off.  no excuses here, I just need to get it done!
Here, I keep all my fabric.  My dad also made the yellow shelf unit.  I painted yellow, and thought it would be great color with the wallpaper that I found super discounted at Lowes.  The containers were where I first stored my fabric, but then the quantity out grew the space, so then the piles traveled to the shelves and then onto and into the white cabinent in the bottom left corner of this picture.  I need to get control of this room!  Funny thing....I know where everything is :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

why don't quilts finish themselves?

So, I've been freezing! I usually freeze from about late September until June. I hate it. blah!  So, I thought, I am going to quickly throw together a 1600 quilt (info here) for me to use in the living room during my freezing seasons.  After all, I may as well love what is keeping me warm, if I am going to hate what is making me cold (non-summer).

It took me 4 days (about 30-40 minutes each day) to crank this bad boy out (the pro's do it in 30 minutes!), 2 week ago!!!!  Yeah, that's right, it has been up on my wall begging to be quilted, or even basted for 2 weeks.  I used fabric from Amy Butler's lotus.  Next time I will use more variety, but it was inexpensive and I had it on hand.

It will be bound with the orange full moon polka dot (amy bulter) and backed with some super cheap and on sale flannel from Joanns.  I hope to finish this in the next week or two.  I have to do it at night, so that I can make things for orders, my shop and my craft shows during daylight nap time. We'll see...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

So, the kids haven't been out to trick or treat yet, so I don't have many pictures, just a few of my two younger kiddos from when we went to pick up my oldest from school.

With all the craziness that is Halloween when you have kids, I did manage to finish the bag that I was making with the fabric I posted yesterday.  I really need to get bettter pictures, but I was so excited to post is that this is what you get, lol.  I ♥ it!!! and I almost don't want to put it in my shop, but alas, I will, because honestly, I'll abuse it anyway :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

pretty fabric

I just love fabric.  I am sure that the reason I started sewing and especially quilting, is because I needed something to do with all the fabric that I was falling in love with. I make attempts to control my addictive personality and to only buy what I need for the things I have to make, but mostly that is a fail. It could be way way way worse, though (patting myself on the back).
I bought this fabric combo several weeks ago (or more).  I really love it and I have been sitting on it waiting for the perfect idea to come about.  In reality, I knew it would be a bag, possibly a wallet, but I wanted it to be a great bag.
Well, the time has come. I don't know that it is a great bag, but it is shaping into something kinda cool.  I started it yesterday and will hopefully finish today, during nap time.  My 4 yr old thinks it looks like a top, lol.
Don't mind her creepy eyes.  She thinks she looks fierce!
More tomorrow (hopefully, a finished bag/tote)