Pure Joy!

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It seems that every couple of months I have to remind myself of what is really important in this life…in this moment. For now, the most important thing in my life is my family.

My neighbor, Christina of www.beeskneesphotographync.com, captured this moment while my daughter and her son were running around in the backyard being silly. It’s one of those moments that you can step back and look at (after you’ve yelled at them to be careful) and you realize, this is it. This is what matters. Those moments of pure joy that make the rest of the worries, pains, complaints, and everyday stressors just melt away. It is moments like these that make me think, I choose to be a better mother. I choose to drop all the have-to’s and to-do’s of the day and enjoy these little moments of pure joy when they pop up. I choose to on occasion put down what I feel like I need to do and spend some quality time with my kids…make them smile, or if I’m lucky a full blown belly aching giggle-fest. Maybe, just maybe, if I do this more often I will start to notice that there are more of these moments of pure, God-given joy than there are worries. Maybe.

So thank you Christina for having your camera in hand and capturing this moment. It’s a much better reminder than my mental picture. And, quite frankly, sometimes I need a concrete reminder of what this life is all about 🙂

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New Twist on the Classics

I am a fan of vintage design. I love the way that the classics look and the way that I feel when I put them on. Over the weekend, my husband cleaned out some bins that had been stored away and found some of his old shirts from high school and his youth. I have adopted one of them as my own 🙂 It reminded me of those old baseball shirts, you know, the ones with the different colored 3/4 sleeves and collar? Love those. I remember having a few when I was young and loving them back then too. Now if I can just get my hands on some vintage tube socks (My Miami Dolphins colored ones were my favorite back then, what I wouldn’t do to have a pair of those right now!)…

So I started thinking about my crafts and the projects that I’ve done that I love the most. I realized that those projects that are the most fun are ones that have that vintage inspiration OR ones where I take a classic and add a little something to it. Here are a couple that I’ve recently done.

1. Classic Pillowcase Dress. Sooooooooo many of these are around these days. You can find them in stores, on etsy (or other handmade store sites), and pretty much everyone I know (that can sew) has made a pillowcase dress. It is simple and beautiful and–best of all–very versatile. A true classic. So I still love to make these, but what I like even more is adding just that little touch of unique by crocheting a simple trim embellishment. Here is one of my latest that was a custom order and I just love the way these 2 dresses (for sisters) turned out.

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Adding this trim is very simple. My only advice (if you want to try this on your own) is to make sure you crochet a length of trim slightly shorter than the length of the hem of the dress. The crochet trim does stretch and the last thing that you want to do is finish the entire trim, go to pin it and sew it on and find that you have an excess…trust me, getting to that point and having to start over is no fun! So about 1/2″ shorter than the hem is good.

2. Classic #2 and so simple to make is the dishcloth. In this day and age, people are starting to get back to being a little more earth friendly. I think for a while everyone just wanted easy and disposable and forgot that we had to take care of our earth (that is my very gentle tree-hugging reminder to everyone: reduce, reuse, recycle). So if you wash as many dishes as I do and are sick of throwing away those stinky old sponges every couple of weeks, consider making your own (or if you know me, asking me to make you some) dish cloths. I hope that the Red Heart Yarn people will forgive my next comment, but this is about the only thing that I will use their “super saver” yarn for (it is far too rough for me to ever use on a hat or anything else that someone will wear). It is cheap and just the right texture to do an absolutely wonderful job as a dish/pot scrubber. So thank you Red Heart for that 🙂 The best thing about these is that they last SO much longer than sponges. You just throw them in with your towels once a week and wash and dry on hot and you can reuse these things for months and months! I love to make these little scrubbies instead of “dishcloths”, but that is just a personal preference.

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So these are 2 of my favorite takes on the classics. What are some of yours? I would love to hear!

Kicking Butt…Joyfully

So last week I wrote about my “crafter’s ADD” affliction and I set a new goal for myself. To finish the projects that I had started prior to beginning any new ones. I am here to report that by Tuesday night of last week, I had finished the baby blanket that I had started! Here’s how it turned out.

As some of you may have noticed, my ADD kicked in just a tiny bit as I completed the blanket. It’s actually quite justified. I had just a little bit of yarn left after I finished the border of the blanket. It was just the right amount for a little matching newborn hat, sooo…

I couldn’t NOT make the matching hat! It’s like the yarn was calling out to me, “use me too! use me too!” (when yarn speaks, it doesn’t like to use proper capitalization). So even though I had not finished the pillow cushion yet, it was just a teeny tiny distraction. Barely took any time at all.

Good news is, the next day (Wednesday) was fully dedicated to finishing that pillow cushion. Thank you again Michelle of Royal Sisters for the pattern that keeps on giving (see prior post for a link to her pattern shop)!!!

So the pillow cushion being done, I decided to make my own pillow insert so that I could get pictures taken and post that onto my etsy shop. I have found my luck on etsy to be very touch and go–that could be a post all to itself. I think I might leave it on there for about a week or two and then if it doesn’t get much exposure or doesn’t sell by then, I might try it in another shop. We’ll see. For now, here’s the link for that  http://www.etsy.com/listing/99285121/crochet-pillow-case-in-teal-aqua-yellow

Mission accomplished. Since last week, I have moved on to preparing for Teacher Appreciation Week by creating some other little projects. I had really hoped to try my hand at making my own soap prior to this week (another diversion), but I ended up putting that on the back burner to finish up these last few projects…maybe soon. Until then, I did make these soap bags for my children’s teachers and for my neighbor to give as well.

This is a picture of one of our trial versions. I, of course, tested them out prior to making the 10 for the various teachers in our lives. I really do love these soap bags. They’re made from 100% cotton, they lather really well, they’re the perfect size for some of those beautiful handmade soaps that are out there right now, and best part is that I can just throw them in the wash with my towels. I really never have to buy another body poof again!

I truly hope the teachers love them. They do so much for our children on a daily basis. If I could afford to buy them each a spa package, I would. Until then, this will have to do 🙂 Not quite the same, but I can promise that the intent behind them is good.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week all you teachers out there!!!