This is why I do it!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that showed these dresses after I had first completed them. While I love the way the dresses turned out (I am definitely going to start making the majority of my pillowcase dresses with the crochet trim), I have to say, this is why I still make them for others. I LOVE seeing the children actually wearing them! A dress can only be so much on a hanger.

I have been told repeatedly that I don’t charge enough for the things that I make. Here’s where I stand on that: I don’t want to charge too much because I want everyone to be able to enjoy them. It’s just me. I’m not paying any employees; I don’t see this business of mine becoming huge (because I’m the only one making things and I can only do so much!). So why not?!  Anyway, just thought I would share this photo. So cute!

The Versatile Blogger–thank you, thank you!

A huge thank you to  www.crayonsandmilk.wordpress.com for nominating my blog for The Versatile Blogger Award!!! You know how much I love your work, so it means even more that you thought of my page 🙂

7 Random Things About Myself:

  1. I used to be an elementary school teacher prior to having my own kids and I absolutely LOVED my job…even the challenging days (and there were a lot of them where I taught!)
  2. I love to meditate. I feel so much peace when I do and I truly believe that it has changed my life.
  3. My secret dream (not so much after this) is to some day own a yarn and craft store that stocks items from other crafty people…almost like an etsy shop, but not virtual (make sense?).
  4. I have never sewn anything using a pattern…sadly, I’m not really sure how to!
  5. I was born on Christmas day but don’t remember ever feeling like that was a bad thing. Thanks mom 😉
  6. My family is Greek and we did have a big fat Greek wedding, but not like the movie.
  7. I have realized that I am a sucker for well-written, witty, creative blogs and I’m discovering new ones every day!

I would like to award 15 more bloggers (in no particular order):

I know I am supposed to have 15, but I am so new to this! I have only just begun to discover some of the other amazing bloggers out there. Please forgive me for this. If I am ever nominated for another award, I promise to have a list of 15! 🙂

Thank you again crayons and milk!

Maria

Super Simple Crochet Ice Pop Holders

Image

If you have children and you let them have those little flavor ice pops or you freeze yogurt sticks for them, then this is the thing for you! These are soooooo easy to make if you have a basic knowledge of crochet. School ended for my children on Friday and as a little end of year gift for my daughter’s preschool classmates, I put these little treats together and attached a card with our contact information in case anyone wanted to set up a playdate during the summer break.

I never would have thought to make these, but my husband actually requested them (and then kept gently “reminding” me) so that the kids would stop wasting paper towels 🙂

Ok, so here’s where I learned from my mistakes. On all of the holders that I made for her class, I left about a 10 inch length of yarn in the beginning which I used to sew the bottom of the holder when I finished crocheting. You can choose to do this too, but what we discovered after she used hers for the first time is that it probably would have been better if I had left the bottom open. That way, as she pushed the ice pop up, she didn’t have to take it out and fold over the plastic; she could have just slid it up as needed. Like I said, you learn from your mistakes 🙂 Sorry to all of her classmates who are finding this out!

Update:

After many requests and orders, I decided to add this super simple pattern to my etsy shop for a very reasonable $0.99. Since this post, I have made dozens more of these. They are great for summer birthday parties too! Here it is and you can see in the listing how nice they are in cotton yarn as well.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/151609089/pattern-for-crochet-ice-pop-holder

Happy crocheting!

The Beauty of Friendship

I have been so very blessed in this life to have made some really amazing friends. This is a process that I think we take for granted throughout our childhoods as our days are filled with possibilities. I don’t think we truly appreciate the friendships that we have until we reach a point in our lives when we have to make new friends. I think this is one of the most difficult transitions that a person makes when they become a mom, and even more difficult if they choose to become a stay-at-home mom (or dad, dad’s are certainly not excluded from this). I remember going through a phase after my son was born and the novelty of having a new baby had worn off. People stopped checking in with you on a daily basis, the visits had ended, and the husband had gone back to work. Now what? It was just me and my baby boy (a very demanding and exhausting baby boy) for nearly 7 months. Finally I enrolled in a “Little Gym” class. Well, technically, he enrolled, but let’s face it, it was more for me 🙂 I relished the weekly adult interaction and began to depend on it for my mental well-being. I will never forget the day when, after one of our last classes, another mom came up to me and asked me for my phone number so that we could get together outside of class. It was like…honestly, I can’t describe it! I immediately called my husband to tell him about it, and then felt a little weird for being so transparently excited.

I recently read a blog written by a new “virtual” friend here on WordPress. If you haven’t heard of Momentum Of Joy, please go check her page out. She is an amazing and insightful writer. But recently she wrote a post about friendships http://momentumofjoy.com/2012/06/05/day-6-getting-my-way/ that struck a cord with me. What I realized, and hope she realizes too, is that yes, our children might be our primary link when making new friends these days, but there is so much more to it. Our children will go to different schools, meet new kids every year through being in different classes, grow up a little, discover new things about themselves along the way, change some of their friends, and continue to do this until adulthood. I, on the other hand, don’t choose to do that anymore. I am too old (not “old”, just too old for that). So what my small, but very close group of friends and I just realized (prompted by our children not getting along one day) is that our children may have been our reason for meeting, but they are not our reason for being and remaining friends. If they were, next year when they went to different schools, and different classes yet again, what would happen to us?

I have worked hard to surround myself with like-minded people who bring me joy (not drama) and I am not willing to give that up. So here’s my response to that post. I don’t think it matters where the children go to school or if they remain close friends. If you have been lucky enough to find some friends that bring that joy into your life, then be friends with them. I assure you that even when the kids fight, make new friends, go to different schools…when you decide to hang out with your friends and their families, the kids will play. They will have fun and they will get along. Why? Because their parents have friendships that matter. Children are flexible and loving by nature. They will be ok. I promise. So take care of you and cherish the friendships that you have. And if you feel like expanding that circle, then take a chance. You never know…maybe your “best” friend, the one that you will pick up the phone to call when you’re 80-something, is waiting just around the corner for you 🙂

Maria

I know I love you because of this toilet paper…

I can’t say that I came from an outragously wealthy family or anything, but growing up, we always had really nice toilet paper. I never realized this until I started dating my husband (well, now he’s my husband, then he was just a guy that used bad TP). Anyway, when people first start dating–I can generalize here because I know everyone does it–we adopt certain things that our partners like. Sometimes it’s music, sometimes clothing…but for some reason, for me, it was toilet paper. It was a gradual adoption. After we moved in together, I resisted. I still bought good paper for the bathrooms that I used and his less reliable brand for him. At some point though, I lost all hope for him. In his head, he had put this thin, falling apart toilet paper on a pedestal (probably one shaped like a golden toilet). It was the best, and no amount of brainwashing would change his mind. I gave in. I’ve now been using that brand for nearly 10 years. I’m not proud of this. And don’t worry, this post is going somewhere crafty. Soooo, as I restocked the paper the other day, I looked on the back of our toilet where there was a stack of magazines piled up. I thought to myself, “I will use this paper, but gosh darnnit, I am going to have a magazine rack!”

A few years ago, I bought this little “ball holder” from Target’s dollar spot (love that part of the store!) and we used it for a long time in my old house. Eventually it made its way out to the back porch, the fabric got moldy, and then when we moved this past fall, it found a permanent home in our new garage…until yesterday.

Before. Just a plain old ball holder.

I cut off the old fabric. Not neatly, but neatly enough to use this as a rough pattern.

I used the old fabric as a “pattern” and cut 2 coordinating pieces of some extra duck cloth that I had from another project.

Next, I covered the table (warning: don’t do this when you’re hungry or you will be craving Hardee’s ice cream sandwiches during the whole rest of the project) and cleaned off the old rack with a clorox wipe.

I used some paint that my neighbor gave to me to try out and painted the old frame a “bluish” white. Thanks Christina!

My little squirrel helpers.

I pinned the 2 pieces of duck cloth together (right sides facing) and sewed about 1/4″ around 3 of the sides leaving one short side open so that I can turn it inside out.

I folded the ends in, ironed them flat, and pinned them. I then sewed that end together.

I, being a crazy smart person who doesn’t fully think out projects ahead of time, sewed one side on to the rack itself then got stuck with the other side. I ended up making 2 button holes and attaching buttons to the other side. Save yourself the trouble. Do buttons on both sides!

AND…THE FINAL PROJECT IN IT’S NEW HOME!!!! It almost makes the toilet paper tolerable 🙂

New rack in the bathroom. It’s also reversible (and yes, I’ve already switched sides so that the buttons show on the outside).