Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Promised A Skirt, And A Skirt You Shall Have.

I am going to get to see my cousin and Uncle for the first time in many many MANY years.  And coincidentally, they day we have planned to meet will be his little girl's 7th birthday.  Now how could I meet this little one for the first time without having the best birthday outfit ever in here is part 1, a paper bag skirt.  You can make this for any size, adult or child and here is how.

I thought I would show you the finished project so you would know what you were working for.  I wish I had a model for this part but when I made Revel try it on (yes I made him) he wasn't going to dare let me take his

I started with a pair of pants that I borrowed from a neighbor that was the size I was told she wears.  I laid them on top of the fabric I was going to use.  And yes this is the same fabric as the dress and you're probably tired of looking at it, but it was already hemmed (bc it was a sheet) and I love the color.

Cut around making sure to leave plenty of room.  Make sure to leave room at the top for the ruffle too.  Remember, it will be gathered at the waist so it doesnt have to be SUPER accurate.  Then you sew the front and back together (which are matching rectangles).  Make sure to sew them right side together if you have a right and wrong side which I do not.

I used a half inch seam allowance.
You can't really tell in the pic but I just sewed straight down each side.  I used the top hem of the sheet as the bottom hem of the skirt...cuts down on the steps huh.  So now this is totally optional and completely for detail only.  I like to sew the seams down using a differing thread color for a little splash of color.  I also find it finishes the seam a bit more and won't unravel.  I was told the birthday girl's fave color was pink so I chose pink to do my topstitch in.  Here's how I did it.
This picture is a little fuzzy but you can tell I ironed open the seam and stitched with the pink at about a quarter of an inch.

This is the finished huh?  it looks great on fabric with patterns...I try to pick the most obscure color in the pattern and use it to topstitch with.
Now you're going to get your hem gauge out and your iron and we're going to work on the top.  First I iron a hem at about a half an inch.
When you get that done all the way around, we're going to hem it again at an inch so the raw edges won't show like this.
You can go ahead and stitch it as close to the ironed edge as possible, mine was about 1/8 of an inch.  So next we are going to make the casing for the elastic. As for the length just make sure you cut it plenty long.   You need to measure your elastic width and add a half an inch on each side (so 1 inch total) for the hem.  Now I always make this mistake so trust me when I tell you that you need an extra 1/4 of an inch for ease.  Just trust me.  So the equation goes like this:

elastic width (mine was 1 inch) + 1 inch ( for hem) + 1/4 inch for ease = total casing width (mine is 2 1/4)

So Next you're going to iron 1/2 inch on both sides for the hem.  Trust me, it will work out.
We're getting to the end people...stay with me here...stay with me.
Okay now we're goign to sew that bad boy on and we're going to start with the top seam.
When you're done, go ahead and sew the bottom as well leaving a small opening to insert the elastic.  I then cut the elastic about the same length as waist of the jeans I started with and using a safety pin, threaded it through the casing. Close up the opening and WALA!  You've got a paper bag skirt!

Hope someone finds this the least bit useful or inspiring.  Happy sewing!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I LLLOOOVVVEEE your shirt.  I love the colors and the details you've added.  Most of all I love the little cuff you added with the contrasting fabric.  You are very right about the buttons, they do leave much to be desired.  Your pearl idea would be wonderful.  It would be whimsical and unexpected for such a shirt but feminine and classic at the same time.  I know you'll come up with something always do.

As for replacing buttons, I do it all the time.  I have bought really cheap blazers from Walmart and replaced the buttons and I have been known to buy things at the Goodwill just for the buttons.  (yes I have a problem!)

Now lets address the collar.  Okay hear me out here.  What about making a casing and putting like a drawstring tie in it, just for detail.  Or I don't know how much you have but what about braiding the fabric and hand stitching it around your collar with your contrasting fabric...I'm super into braiding fabric right now. 

Just a couple of ideas.  Can't wait to see what you come up with.  I am going to work on a skirt for a 7 year old tomorrow.  SUPER EASY with no pattern.  I'll take more pictures than usual and show exactly how to do it.  You can do it for any size.  Check with me tomorrow.

Wanted: Advice on shirt project

Ok here are a few quick peeks at my shirt project. I'm not entirely finished because I have a few unresolved issues and I need some advice.

I used one of Reid's cowboy shirts that we were sending to Goodwill. By cowboy shirt I mean a shirt that has been starched to within an inch of its life. When Reid puts on his cowboy jeans, he literally has to shove his foot down the leg to separate the two sides because they have been glued together by starch. I'm talking these jeans could stand on their own if given the chance. But this shirt was nice and soft because he had washed it at home a few times since he had clearly bleached the front of it somehow.

I'm including a couple of close up details of the shirt.  (Sorry for the terrible lighting but I'm still shooting from my iPhone.) I'm bummed that I chose the shirt of Reid's that had a big bleach stain on the front but I didn't see it until I was too far in to turn back. I liked the white/baby blue/yellow combo because it seemed summery to me. Working with the plaid was an excellent choice because it helped me line stuff up and keep things symmetrical. One of the things I'm going to change to make it look a little more feminine is the buttons. Any suggestions? I was thinking of doing something in an antique brass to give it a vintage look. Or maybe pearl? Baby blue or yellow?

Here are a few other close ups.

That is a picture of the back yoke (the part at the very top with the black/white seersucker stripe) which was actually the inside yoke (you can tell because the pleat is inverted) but I liked the stripe contrast so I cut up the sides of the shirt and used it inside out. The next little bit with the inverted pleat is the front of the shoulder seam. I did another inverted pleat to help give a little shape to the front to accommodate my bust and keep it from looking boxy. The bottom part with the black/white stripe is the cuff of the sleeve. It is 3/4 and gathered at the shoulder and cuff. I had very little of that striped fabric to work with so it's sort of pieced together on both sleeves and I actually used some scraps of the plaid on the inside of the cuff so you could see more of the striped part.

Part of the problem with using Reid's cowboy shirts is they have pockets on both sides so you have to work around that. I put in bust darts to help ease some of the fullness but I also did small elastic gathers under each pocket and in the back. 

The place I really feel the shirt is lacking is the collar which you can see a peek of at the top of that last picture. I would have liked to do the same thing as the cuff treatment and use the stripe but I have very little of it left and I would really need it on the bias to get it to curve nicely and that definitely isn't happening. We'll see what happens once I change the buttons. Maybe it'll turn it all around. 

So, what do you think? Any button suggestions? Have you ever swapped buttons on a cheap garment to make it look more sophisticated? I got the idea from Darby here

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I love the Goodwill or any thrift store for that matter.  Looks like you did well my friend.  I usually do better at yard sales for children's clothing but that's just me.  The older children get the harder it is to find things that aren't too worn for them.  I always look for things they don't wear too much such as winter coats/ boots, things like that.  Great job though! 


( not the greatest photo...but hey)  Okay so I bought this shirt which was a men's dress shirt from a yard sale for $1.  it was a regular XL men's collared shirt nothing special.  I realize looking back that I should have taken a pic but hey, hind site is 20/20.  So I cut my pieces using a tshirt I have that that fits pretty good and doesn't stretch anywhere on me.  I cut 1/2 inch around for seam allowance.'s the kicker...these things always happen to I'm cutting, somehow I accidently cut a big slice into the middle of the back of the shirt.  UGH!  REALLY?  So here's what I did.

I used chalk ot draw th leaves.

I then cut the leaves out.

Then I took a piece fo scrap fabric and pinned it to the inside or wrong side of the fabric like this.

Then I stitched around the leaves.  And this is what I came up with.
I then repeated a similar pattern on the front for continuity.
Next I sewed the pieces together as normal and added a piece around the neck for the tie.  It's very kimonoesque don't ya think.

Pictures of the detail.

And so there it is!  I LOVE IT!  And I hope you find it inspiring at the least.  Can't wait to see what you come up with.

That's Yonanas!

I'm almost finished with my men's shirt re-do. I'm probably making things a little difficult for myself by trying to reuse some of the striped interior accent fabric from the shirt but I liked the contrast so I'm just going to stick with it. Hopefully I can finish it today and get it posted this evening. How is yours coming along?

In the meantime, after dropping the kiddies at camp this morning I swung into one of the local Goodwill's and did a little searching. I found this frozen banana dessert maker thing which I thought was funny after our Banana Ice Cream posting from earlier.

Too funny right? But, alas, I was not willing to spend the $15 they were asking for it so someone else will get to take this one home.

I also picked up two pairs of Gap jeans for myself which I plan to cut off into shorts. My post-pregnancy body is still morphing so I'm trying not to spend a lot of money on clothes but now that summer is in full force I'm probably going to need more than the one pair of khaki shorts I currently own. They were $3.99 each so you can't beat that.

You can also see one of the jumpers I got for Sam. The baby section is really hit or miss and filled with dirty onesies that should probably just have been thrown away. BUT every baby item is marked $1.75 regardless of what it is. So that means if you look hard you'll occasionally come up with a cute outfit or two. This is the second time I've gone through it and you can see I did pretty good. 

I got the romper with the airplane plus the pinstripe overalls and a cute little romper for a friend who has an 18-month-old daughter. 

Pretty good, huh? All five items came to a total of $13.23. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Every Mother's Struggle

This is every mother's inner struggle and honestly, I would be worried about you if you DIDN'T worry about such things.  We all worry about whether we're doing right by our children, whether or not we give them enough attention or give them the opportunities they need.  And believe me, from experience, if you think it's bad now....the worry and the self only gets worse.  I have adopted a mantra and you are more than welcome to it.  I adopted it when I was preggo with Revel because as you know I'm sure...everyone wants to tell you a horror story they heard about their dog's sister's cousin's uncle who was pregnant and soemthing TERRIBLE happened.  Or they want to tell you what you should or should not be eating or doing.  So I started telling myself and others:

Women in third world countries have happy, healthy children everyday. 

and in turn, being an educated and well grounded modern mother, your children will be fine.
So to answer your question.....YES you are completely ridiculous and totally irrational....and completely NORMAL!  Sam knows who his momma is...and in the next year or so, you will see evidence of it more and more.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm his favorite lady, right?

I'm very excited about the men's shirt ideas you posted. I did a little more searching and I am seeing some really cute stuff out there. I'm going to dig a few of Reid's other shirts out of the Goodwill bag so I'll have something I can practice on. 

I'm not going to get around to posting any projects today. We just had company the last two days and I am now cleaning up the guest room for my 13-year-old niece who is staying with us for the next week. 

But I will leave you with something to ponder. I don't think your kids went to daycare, am I right? Anyway, I give Sam a bath every evening. It's part of his bedtime routine and I feel like it washes away all the germs he might pick up while at daycare. He's a pretty healthy kid so far so I have to think it's working. 

One of the other reasons he gets a bath every day is that when I pick him up from daycare he always smells like women's perfume. It just lingers on his clothes and skin. I can appreciate that he's being held and played with a good bit individually and so it's not something that really bothers me. But I can't help but feel like he's cheating on me. Is that weird? It's like your husband coming home smelling like another woman. 

Is that completely ridiculous and totally irrational? Wait, don't answer that. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hi My Name Is Sheila, And I Am A Habitual Upcycler.

FIRST OF ALL!  Besides my past wardrobe choices, what about that hair!  What was my mother thinking?  I hope all never goes through whatever phase that was.  Now for the luau outfit, I am super proud of that because I spent all night making that bad boy and even sewed the pattern to the garment a few times on  Common mistake...RIGHT?..LOL. 

So here is the answer to your question and the quilt would be a SUPER cute idea.  And if you needed more shirts...the Thrift Store is always a great resource.  But this is what I found and I am now in love and don't have a button down shirt to use so I am going yard saling first thing in the morning for exactly that.

Upcycled man's shirt pink tunic - SMALL

The one above is SUPER cute however....the one below TOTALLY inspires me.  They had other pics on the blog of it worn the other way with the bow in the creative!!!  So I am going to try my hand at this bad boy with a little flair, you know I can't help myself.  So here's my challenge:  Lets both take a men's button down shirt, and make something for ourselves out of it.  I know you have company so you name the deadline. Then we can both post what we've done on the deadline day. You can make anything under the sun, top, bottom, and anything in between.

You have to check out this site even if you aren't impressed with this top (which how could you not  It has all kinds of great upcycled ideas.

And last but not least, this tutorial below is one I used to make Ollie a basic shirt pattern which I have used to make everything from cardigans to dresses to tank tops for her.  So this is the general concept for how I plan to make a pattern (or cut out) my shirt for this project.  It's super simple to follow and I'm pretty sure you took Patternmaking 101 so it is a good refresher for that.  I've tried the concept with shorts and pants for the little ones too and it works by the way.  But this pattern obviously won't have any darts so it won't be fitted at all and if that's what you want you'll have to get your patternmaking book out or get a pattern you can manipulate.  Mine won't have darts guaranteed. I am an instant gratification kinda gal.  Darts would be too much

Now having said all of this, I have just recently delved into the world of upcycling.  I have been using Josh's (my husband) old tshirts which are quite plentiful in this house.  I made Revel a pair of play shorts, Ollie a shirt and a cardigan (pic above).  The great thing about tshirts is...they don't fray so no hems...AND...they have such great graphics that they are always cute repurposed.  They are comfy and plentiful...who can beat that right?


The dress is cute and all but it's got nothing on these snazzy little numbers...

What on earth were we thinking with some of our outfits? Anywho, yes, I definitely like the pockets and the ruffle and I like how you styled it with the red sweater. I wish I could get away with stuff like that. You make it look so easy with your cute little haircut and adorable blond children. :)

What am I working on you ask? Well my mother-in-law and her mother are here at the house today for a short visit. I have some of Reid's baby outfits that Sam should be fitting into soon but they need new elastic in the legs? Have you ever tried to replace elastic in something? Any tips or advice? I almost wish the elastic wasn't enclosed because I'm going to have to rip a few seams to get to it and I'm worried I will damage the fabric. 

I do have something I could use your advice on seeing as you are more of the clothing seamstress while I tend to stick to home decor. Reid has replaced a bunch of his dress shirts and was planning to donate a bunch to Goodwill. I kept five of them because I actually wore them with leggings toward the end of my pregnancy when nothing else would fit. They're super soft and nice chambray type material. So my question is this: What should I do with them? Sew something for Sam? Or try to pull together something for myself? Ideally, I'd like to do both and obviously I can easily make it work for Sam but my dilemma comes in making something to wear for myself. What do you think?

Here's a pic of the colors so you can see what I'm working with.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One more thing! THEN I PROMISE I'M DONE!

Check this out!  I would like to try for Ollie first then of course myself.  I am determined to beef up my wardrobe.

In maybe a jersey or ....wait for about flannel for cool fall evenings.  I know it's hard to think about fall now when it's 90 out, but it will be here before ya know it.

THE dress!

NICE DRESS!  Why thank you, I made it!  Yep..finally complete and I love it.  it is exactly what I would make Ollie if it were her size and everytime I make sure something I think, "Why can't I ever come up with these super cute ideas for myself."  Well....WALA!  I love a dress with pockets so I decided to go in that direction.  A momma of two has a LOT of things to carry, Ollie carries alot of chapstick (I"m not kidding, she is obsessed)  But the ruffle was tough thoughh so here's the skinny on it.  All I did was take two different widths of fabric and baste them together.  Then gathered as normal.  BUT when sewing it...ease the tension on your presser foot and it will make it alot easier.

PS I loved the links for the ideas.  What a great site!  Will def keep bookmarked for the future.  This is why I love you, I ask a question and you give a million different answers...just up my ally.

While I am on the topic of sewing...I would like to rant about two things....FIRST OF ALL...why can't Joann's fabrics tear cotton fabric on the grain?  By the time I get it tear it on grain I have lost a good portion of the annoying.  SECOND OF ALL....I hate when I work with fabrics and I think I am working on the grain and when I go to tear something such as the hem (as with this dress)  It doesn't come out annoying!  It makes it even harder to get things even.  This is one of the many reasons I like to work with natural fabrics, because they are easy to find the grain and easier to work why can't it always be that easy..I don't get it.

Because I Know You Care
Some pics of the garden that I am literally watching grow. These are only from the yard not even close to what is  brewing at the community garden...but enjoy.

 This is Sonny my sunflower and he is staked with a broom stick and as you can tell, he is almost taller than the stake.
Why hello green bean!
So Ms. Em what are you working on since you've given up hope on the curtains for now?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sewers block? Never heard of it ;)

That picture frame is a great idea. I'm actually thinking of doing something similar down our main hallway once Sam is of drawing age. I'm also contemplating a chalkboard wall on the long stretch of wall down that same hallway. Maybe do the clothesline thing above it. How is Revel's chalkboard wall faring? Is it a dusty mess? I've always wondered these things. Does your house have plaster walls or drywall?

So nobody was feeling the ice cream, huh? We haven't tried it yet but the bananas are in the freezer just waiting for us. It's hard to eat desert when you don't eat dinner until close to 9:30 p.m. Ah, life with a baby.

At first I read your title and thought "Sewers? Now we're talking about plumbing. I know a little something about taking apart a sink." And then I realized you meant SEWers of the stitching variety and realized I know a little something about that also.

The T-Shirt Dress Embellishment Extravaganza
Now you know I'm nothing if not full of ideas. It's part of my downfall. I have a hard time making a decision, focusing and sticking with it. I start off in one direction and inevitably wind up some place completely different. Okay, that being said I have a few ideas on what you can do. I will say that I agree that I rarely, if ever, make anything for myself. I don't have the luxury of a dress form and pinning on yourself is just a little more than I can manage. So here goes...

Freezer Paper Stencils. I've had a roll of freezer paper in my kitchen drawer for years just for this purpose but have yet to give it a whirl. What about stenciling something on a scrap from the bottom of the shirt and either hand stitching it decoratively as a patch near the shoulder (on the back would be cool) or waist seam? You could also do a reverse patch (I just made that up. I have no idea what it's technically called) and cut a hole in the garment and put the patch on from the inside.

Check out this crafty chica's DIY Fashion link. She can do some completely ridiculous things with stuff she has laying around or found at the thrift store and dollar store. Maybe you can find something in there to give you a little umph.

See anything that tickles your fancy?

Monday, June 20, 2011

HELP! I have sewers block!

Okay so we tried the banana ice cream tonight with peanut butter mixed in and I was the only one who liked it...BOO!  I thought it was wonderful.  I am planning on trying it again with the chocolate, chocolate makes everything better, right?

Curtains Curtains and More Curtains
I completely condone putting a project away for later...that's what I like to call it, sounds much better than procrastination don't ya think.  It took me 3 months to get started on Revel's and I only got one done because I cut the fabric in the wrong direction and now don't have enough to finish.  So until I get back to Walmart (my most dreaded of places) I can't finish.  Story of my life!  So you putting your curtains down for a bit means once again that we are one and the same.  Besides, sewing for the little ones is WAY more fun. Speaking of which, brings me to my new project, which I have put away until I get inspiration.  And without further ado...
I was at Target wondering around in the clothing section.  I literally have to check every clothing dpt (except preteen girls) because someone in my house wears every other size.  So I was looking in the mens dpt seeing what was new and they had these tops for $7, and I thought "can't beat that".  I make clothes for Ollie all the time similar to this, why wouldn't it work for here we go.
First I took the shirt and tried it on and put in a pin at around the natural waist.  You can see my pin in the picture.  I then cut about a half and inch below that point for seam allowance.  (I already have a project for the bottom section when I get this done (if I ever do).  I then measured the bottom of the shirt and doubled the measurement  for the waist of the skirt.  I then used the leftover sheet that I used for Revel's curtains last week and cut a huge rectangle using the doubled measurement from the skirt opening.  I then sewed the back seam to make a circle and gathered the top to fit the shirt top.  Putting right sides together I sewed the skirt to the shirt and this is what I got.
Pay no attention to the length, it ended up WWAAYY too long and a quick hem is in the works.  So my question is...what next?  I mean it needs flair.  And for some reason if this was Ollie's dress I would have some fabulous idea and would have finished it and she would have worn it 12 times by and everyone would have raved about it.  But when it comes to my own clothes, no such luck.  So any ideas?  

Something Actually Completed
Another project that I actually completed was this lovely little area to display the kids artwork.  Ollie LOVES to color.  She could do it for hours and has literally painted almost every wall in my house, luckily crayola paint washes off...but here it is anyway....FLAIR and ALL! 

It is just a picture frame from Hobby Lobby that I found a while ago on SUPER SALE (I'm such a sucker for SUPER SALE)  with wire ran through the back of it.  I made the clothes pins by first spray painting them with an olive green.   Then took out the scrap bin and felt and started hot gluing.  Super fun and somewhere to put that pile of artwork other than the refrigerator.

My Favorite Time of Year
I love love love to grow things.  Did I mention LOVE IT?  It is totally an obsession.  So this year I took a plot at the community garden and things are  ablooming.  Today was the first day we were able to harvest anything and Revel and I were so excited.  It's not much, but it's the beginning of a beautiful summer crop...
Make that 3 Cayenne peppers!!  I know it's sad that I am so excited about this but...can't help myself. 
In another week there will be much more.  There will be many more posts to come about this so I'll go ahead and apologize  

"Banana" Ice Cream

I love using frozen bananas as the 'ice' element in my smoothies but this takes it to a whole different level. Adding bananas to the grocery list RIGHT NOW.

"Banana" Ice Cream

Guest Room Curtain Dilemma


That dinner sounds delish. Being big beef eaters in this household we're always a little cautious when cooking with chicken but we made some skewers the other day on the grill and they were pretty tasty. I also whipped up some beans and rice that I'll have to post on here some day. That recipe reminds me a little of these Pineapple Meatballs (this site is full of great recipes) which are also super easy if you are feeling lazy and use frozen meatballs which I'll admit we've been know to do around these parts. We should do a series of posts one week about our favorite recipe sites. Inquiring minds want to know what we feed our families. Seriously. But, alas, this post is about CURTAINS!!!

So, I did some measurement taking and realized I'm kind of screwed. My original plan was to do the one long continuous rod thing. (I hope that doesn't send us a bunch of porn spam. Maybe I should rephrase that?) But unfortunately the wall is 13 ft. 4 in. long and the longest curtain rod I could find at Home Depot was a Martha Stewart 12 footer (144 inches). Martha never lets me down but with this curtain rod business she finally did. There is such a thing as a 160 inch curtain rod which would be EXACTLY the right length but it's online only and I don't have that kind of time. Plus, I would have to construct some curtains to go with the rod. 

Did I mention not only is my niece coming on Saturday but my mother-in-law and her mother are coming for two nights on Wednesday? Now I'm really in a pickle. 

I used simple vinyl roller shades in Sam's room and embellished with a crotched ring pull and some ribbon so I'm thinking that's where I'll go with these windows. But honestly I'm starting to feel like all signs are pointing to scrapping this project for now and moving on to something a little more manageable. 

Do you ever feel like the stars are aligning against you on a project? Maybe I'm meant to just take the next few days and clean the house and sew some cute stuff for Sam?

We have a new patio project brewing. And since I haven't posted a single picture I'll leave you with a little teaser...

Doesn't Sue look so excited?

I realize we are not following Proper Patio Prep Procedures but we're diy-ing it and as long as it looks like it's intended then I'm not terribly worried how we get there. I get excited every time I look out the back door these days.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To My Dear Emily,

Where to start, okay first off, I love love love love the tutorial you posted on the bibs.  What a great idea!  Wish I had had those in my baby days.  I will love to see what you come up with as far as that goes.

 The Question At Hand:
Your shutters aren't the worst thing I've ever seen (like the red mini blinds in Revel's room).  However I know you are just like me in that things like that just drive me crazy until I get them replaced.  I also have three windows very similar to the ones in your guest room in my living room.  They only have a cloth blind at the moment, which was there when we moved in because I haven't attempted that room yet.  However I have tossed around many ideas as far as window coverings are concerned.  Have you considered one long curtain rod with several panels that hang between the windows when open?  You could even get a double rod and include a sheer behind it.  OR what about roman shades?  I've never attempted them but I will try anything once.  They would be nice because you could show off your beautiful molding around your windows (I'm such a sucker for great molding....a sick obsession I know).  OR if privacy isn't a huge issue, cafe curtains are always cute and I found these towels ( almost like dish towels or something of that sort but bigger) at our local farm & feed store that are just white and would work perfect.  Whatever their real purpose is, yours probably has them too.  I love cafe curtains because they are somewhat dainty and feminine but not overly so.  AND if you get clips for the hooks, you might be able to manage a no-sew solution.

on a side note:
Word on the street, is that my husband might be going out of town in the next week or so and for those of you who don't know what that means, let me let you in on my little secret.  First of all, that means my satin sheets on the bed, whatever I want on the tv, AND I am going to paint the stuffins out of my living room.  So stay tuned for that promises to be a doozy.

time for dinner:
Okay last but not least, then I'll leave you alone.  I tried a new recipe for dinner tonight and it was fabulous so I thought I'd share.  I love to try new recipes because it keeps my family on their toes.  I've been doing it long enough now to not have to read the recipe verbatum and can add here and there what will compliment well.  So to this recipe I added garlic and red pepper and served it over rice it was AMAZING!  The only thing I would do different is set some marinade aside before putting raw chicken in it to use as sauce for the rice.  That marinade is the BESTEST part.  Give it a try sometime and let me know what you come up with for your add-ins.

Pineapple Chicken Tenders Recipe


  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins or strips
  • skewers


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. They cook quickly, so watch them closely

On a sidenote...

I totally want to make some of these.

What a great idea.

Response for Sheila...

Okay, Sheila. Super cute curtains. I, too, have some bedsheet curtains hanging in my guest bathroom at the moment. They were in the master bedroom at our old rental house and since they are cotton and so easily washable I thought they would do great in our guest bath at the new house. Here are some pics.

Bedsheet curtains from old master bedroom.

Fabulously frumpy in the new guest bath. Ignore the mess. Sam is the only one who uses this bathroom right now.
Anywho, on to your question at the bottom of your post. Here it is again in case you missed it.

NOW!!!  Mrs. Emily!!  While we were stamping the curtains I got out the fabric markers and cut a white piece of cotton out into a rectangle and let them go at it.  (this project was originally to keep Ollie, the two year old, busy while we stamped, but Revel wanted to join)  What are some fun ideas I can make for them with these lovely pictures.  For Revel I thought it would be fun to make something he could carry to school next year as he starts kindergarten and will remind him of us when he thinks he's too big for  All ideas are welcomed....

I was thinking of something like this for Revel. 

Rainbow Pencil Roll
Obviously it doesn't have to be rainbow but I just really like all the colors. I think you should make him something he can be proud of but also something that won't embarrass him completely. I remember reading a blog post online somewhere about a crafty mom who made her son a pencil case for his first day of school. He was so excited and got to pick the fabric himself and was really proud of this fancy new pencil case. Then the first day of school came. All the other kids had shiny new plastic-box-style pencil cases and he wasn't so proud of his 'homemade' case anymore. Her post was more about how she was handling the fact that all the little things she used to enjoy making for her kids won't be valuable to them any longer because now there is the addition of peer pressure from kids at school. But I digress. Maybe if he had a little bag for Matchbox Cars or a wallet for his lunch money that would get him into less trouble on the playground?

As for little Miss Ollie. You could use it as an accent piece of fabric for an apron or dress. You could also laminate it and make a placemat. If she has a favorite doll you could make a little dress for that. Girls seem so much easier than boys when it comes to making things. Am I right about that, Sheila?

Now here is a question for you. Today is my first day of summer vacation and I have about a week and a half to get the guest room together before my 13 year old niece comes to stay with us for a week while she attends camp at the Shakespeare Festival. Our guest room is our catch-all right now and the thing that perturbs me the most is these horrible shutters.

You can see that the shutters are in various stages of opened or closed and that's because the geniuses who did the painting before we moved in actually painted the shutters in whatever position they were in. So I can't exactly open or close them without breaking them completely. Obviously, they need to go regardless of how quaint they might be.

Soooooo, I have 3 windows that fill up an entire wall and I need to remove the shutters and put up something in it's place that is aesthetically pleasing, cheap, and cheerful. I have some things in mind but it's always nice to hear another point of view. Any suggestions?