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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Christmas Star


I was recently asked to share my favorite holiday decorating tip. I thought and thought and all I could come up with was a story to explain why we think a Christmas star belongs on top of the tree instead of an angel.
When my daughter was 2.5 years old, her daddy passed away. It was a sad time and happened right before the holidays. So, trying to keep everything the same and happy, I put up a Christmas tree one day while my daugther was at daycare. I put the most beautiful angel on the top. Of course my thought was not just about beauty, I truly thought we needed an angel looking out for us.
Well, I was excited to pick her up and bring her home. When we finally got home I lit the tree, and showed her the pretty site. When I asked her if she liked the tree she said it was very pretty but that "daddy could not see it". We will skip the tears that started to fall and move on to the moment that made all the difference in our future holidays. When I asked her if she thought the angel was beautiful, she explained that is was, but that the tree needed a star on top so that daddy could see it. The angel needed to go somewhere else.
Of course I went out and bought a star, one that lit up, and put it on the tree the next day. I bravely asked her that night what she thought of the tree. Her response was totally different. She told me it was beautiful and that now daddy could see if from heaven. AND that he liked it too.
These comments still bring tears to my eyes 12 years later and, of course we ALWAYS put a star on top of the tree. It doesn't have to be lit and lately we use one that she made with popsicle sticks, but it must be a star.
So this year's decorating tip is to use a star on top of your tree so that loved ones who have passed can see the tree. This was for the post on Flirtyapronswap.blogspot.com Go visit to see other tips.

As a little aside to this story I will add that for the first year or so after her daddy passed she was somehow connected to him. Out of the blue she would tell me that daddy liked or didn't like something or she would explain what he would do. Once when I painted the bedroom green in an attempt to "move on", she commented that she thought it looked pretty, but that daddy hated it because he did not like the green. She was totally correct! I still say that she was connected to him in ways that only the very young can be and my experiences made me a true believer.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Shawnee is having a giveaway for an adorable apron. To get another chance at winning, I am supposed to post information about D-Lux 57 website. Cynthia Berman at D-lux 57 is the creative genius who designs the wonderful aprons on her site. Check it out at http://www.dlux57.com .

In addition to having some of the cutest aprons, she has a wonderful idea for all of the moms and grandmoms (maybe dads and grandpas too) who cook with their little ones. She encourages you to take lots of photos of the kids cooking in their apron with their special helpers (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) When they outgrow the apron, fold it up with the photos and their favorite recipes, then store everything in the keepsake envelope she provides. And voila, you have a wonderful heirloom to share when the little ones are grown. I love this idea!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Splat Catchers Save Your Clothing!

We all love aprons. Vintage, modern, frilly, simple, colorful, humorous, or sexy...we covet them all. But sometimes we need a quick and dirty (pun intended) clothing protector.....hence the "splat catcher"! They are quick to make and perfect for: saving your clothes from the dreaded mascara drop; covering up that expensive dance costume so your child can eat after spending 8 hours in the gym; protecting school or work clothes while you eat a burger in the car; and lots of other situations.
My daughter made these for the autistic classroom so the teachers could quickly cover the kids during lunch and art projects. Basically they are a towel with a fun fabric top and they attach quickly with velcro.
If anyone is interested, I will prepare a tutorial. Just let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Carols in Latin?

Okay, maybe you HAD to take it, but some of us actually enjoyed Latin. Really! Now my daughter is taking it and she loves it. Of course, the teacher makes all the difference, and hers is truly inspiring. They even got to go to Rome to see all the things they had been studying.
We found a fun site that posts Christmas Carols in Latin. For any of you die hards who might be interested, here is the site....

http://gaudium-mundo.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Frosted Flurries Tuck-Ins...All Sent

My package has been sent. This is almost the way it actually went. There was a last minute change from cookies to candy canes for the "C". The "H" was the hand towel. Of course there were snowflakes everywhere on it.
The "I" was tough, but I thought of doing something with the word imagination. I remembered a wonderful birthday party we did for my daughter. We invited (read that paid) a storyteller to come. She was terrific and used scarves to make herself into the characters. Then afterwards she passed out scarves to the kids and had them pretend to be characters.....an old lady or man, their favorite animal, and she even had them pretend they were parts of the scenery...green scarf for grass or trees, blue for sky or water, red for flowers or fire, you get the idea. Anyway, back to my tuck-ins. Since my partner has 6+1 children, I got 7 scarves and sent them with a few ideas. Soooooo....."I" was for imaginative play.
The "D" was covered by decorative snowflake package toppers/ornaments. You can see them scattered about. The "L" is a little angel that was attached to the corner of the apron pocket in a way that would allow it to be in or out of the pocket. So my partner will always have "an angel in her pocket" when she wears this apron! You can see the angel on the green trim of the hand towel if you look real close. (The idea for using and adjective came from Amy F. Thanks Amy!)
The "R" was covered with the Reused/recycled snowflake pin that accents the center of the apron. I found this at a local thrift store and thought it was perfect. All stones were present and accounted for, the shape was a snowflake, the color was perfect so I hope it does not break any rules. The "E" is for the sparkly snowflake earrings. And the "N" is for the "neatening" thread catcher that my wonderful mother made. (Maybe she would do a giveaway if my blog gets more followers!)
What does that spell? CHILDREN. And I am sure they are the focus of her holiday!
One more little thing is included in the package, but I cannot share because my partner might figure out that this is for her. I hope she really likes it. She missed the delivery on Saturday, so hopefully she will get it today.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We did. Good food, good shopping, and a great family! What more could I ask for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our New Logo ... Ta Dah!!


Our new logo was designed by Lauren Hostetter. We told her what we wanted and gave her a mock up, then she made it so much better. I think we officially have our new colors...Salmony Pink, Orange, Mint Green, and Tan. What do you think?
I'm not sure that this is the final version, but we just had to share. I left her card at my office, but I'll post her particulars in an upcoming post.
Thanks Lauren. We love it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reader's Delight: Paperbackswap.com

Almost Free Books! Really! And no, it is not just paperbacks!
I love books. Not just a certain type of book, but every type of book. Kids books, craft books, quilting books, reference books, text books, classics, new releases.... I guess I made my point. The problem is that it can get really expensive. But my friend Sandy told me about this great website: Paperbackswap.com . I love this site. You list the books that you are ready to part with. If you list 10 then you get 2 credits immediately. After that, you earn credits by sending your books when they are requested. Shipping is usually $2.38 or less and you have to pay that cost. But the credits are awesome because you use them to pick books from other people. And they pay the shipping when the book comes to you. Just think, if you are hoping to buy the next Ranger's Apprentice book for your son (Amy S.!), then you could get it with one of your credits and you won't have to pay anything. It sounds a bit daunting while I am writing this, but it really is easy and almost every book that I have received has been in pristine condition. I love this site.
If you think it looks good, and if you do sign up, please use the following link so that I get credit for referring you: http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php?r_by=cshopping@att.net

I've referred several friends and they all love it. You can get hard backs, large print, and audio books as well as paperbacks...so have fun shopping.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Amazing Mosaics


My brother owns a mosaic tile store. He sells tile at great prices to artists, crafters, pool builders, & architects. Lately, he has become creative & artistic himself. You have to see his latest project. He actually figured out the colors and put togehter some gorgeous outdoor displays for Southern California. Take a look at these panels & I think you will be as impressed as I was. I love my little brother!

Check out this site to see more on this project.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Mom is THE BEST


I have to share the adorable thread catcher that my mom made for my swap partner. She is so talented and has a great sense of color and design. She is also the most perfect seamstress! (I am not a chip off the old block...everything I do is by the seat of my pants). This one has adorable spools on the bag and the pin cushion also has fabric with pins. Cute, Cute, Cute.



For my Frosted Flurries apron swap I needed an "n" tuck-in to go with my word "children". My mom came to the rescue with this "needle, pin, and thread catcher" - I took some good advice and got creative with my naming conventions. She was selling them at craft fairs, but donated this one to my partner. Yay for us!

Thanks to Amy I also have my "l" solved. Somewhere I have a "little" angel charm. If I can find it I am going to sew it into the pocket or onto the shoulder of my apron. Then my swap partner will have an angel in her pocket or an angel on her shoulder when she wears the apron.

Thank you Amy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My First Swap Apron


Here it is. It's my first apron from a pattern! And I only made one modification. My mom and ii used to go round and round because i just cannot follow a pattern. Sadly, nothing has changed. But, I think it turned out really cute. The back has an adorable chris-cross strap. The center fabric has a gold background with Chrismas items on it. The white is a bunch of stars that complement the center. I included a "vintage" snowflake brooch. The apron was supposed to include a snowflake and the star fabric has little flakes, but they are not obvious so there is no doubt with the brooch.

I'm supposed to include tuck ins related to a holiday word. I think my word will be "children" since my swap partner has young kids and she is making the holiday special for more than just her own children.

My thoughts for the letters are:

c - caroler cookies or cup
h - hand towel or maybe home grown honey
i - imagination which I will create by including large colorful scarves for each of the kids to use in dress up, plays, etc
l - I'm lost on this one, but it will come
d - decoration,
r - still don't know
e - eco bag, embellished something,
n - ???

If you have any suggestions, I'd really appreciate them!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking forward to an apron swap!

We have wanted to start posting a website or at least a blog in support of my daughter's Girl Scout project, but we put it off until today. What finally got me us to take the big step? AN APRON SWAP! It just looked like it would be such fun and the only way I could join was if we got this blog up and running.

I'm looking forward to the sewing, the packaging, the giving, and (yes, really!) the getting!

So...Shawnee, I hope this is enough to meet your requirements.

Who are we?


This blog site is dedicated to sewing and craft projects that make people feel good. We make weighted blankets for autistic children whose families cannot afford the cost. We also sell these blankets to fund the ones we make for charitable causes. Currently, my daughter is finalizing her Girl Scout Silver award project. She is working with the local sewing guild to make weighted blankets, weighted lap pads, and "splat catchers" for the local autistic classroom. She is hoping to expand her project to earn her Gold Award. For that award she will make the blankets for the local hospitals to use and distribute to families who cannot afford them.