Monthly Archives: June 2014



tara-bag1tara-bag2I’ve been into zippered pouches lately. It all started with the purchase of a colorful zipper assortment from an seller, and then kind of took off. I’ve made medium-sized bags for my mother and mother-in-law, cute little boyish belt packs for a couple of Worth’s friends, a beach coin purse for myself, and this little zippered purse for a friend’s one-year-old. Somehow I only managed to snap a photo of this one. It’s fully lined with the same fabrics as the exterior and should be just right for stashing all her toddler sundries. Babies love bags, and zippers too.

notebookI made another composition book cover like the ones I did as favors for Worth’s birthday party, this time covered in exterior decorator fabric and embellished with the recipient’s name. I like this as a gift idea because most anyone of any age could use a pretty composition book cover, whether they are headed to third grade or to a meeting.

gift-bagI also got a little crafty with the idea of reusable gift bags. I saw these hefty vinyl bags at the Dollar Tree. They are the size of small gift bags, but made out of the same stuff as the reusable shopping bags. I laminated a gift tag and tied it to the bag with ribbon, then wrote the appropriate names in dry-erase marker on the tag. I’m hoping it can be regifted many times.

paintingpotFor Mother’s Day we used this Pinterest idea and decorated pots for the grandmothers. The big kids painted the sky and clouds, then Daphne lent her wee little footprints as the butterfly wings. I thought these turned out to be quite charming gifts and I liked that they involved all three kids.

When in Kentucky


derby derby2Daphne has really been on the baby social circuit this spring. While I may not be any sort of homeschool mom socialite, I do at least leave the house dressed as a grown-up sometimes, to go to the Kentucky Oaks or out with girlfriends, or my 20th (eek!) high school reunion. Daphne doesn’t really like it when I leave the room she’s in, and I don’t really like to hook my breasts up to machinery, so my third child/path-of-least-resistance parenting strategy is to just bring her with me everywhere. It’s kind of fun–I’ve become like the Crazy Cat Lady of Babies. And Daphne has been lots of interesting places. These pictures were taken at the Oaks, which is the day of racing that happens on the day before the Kentucky Derby. Daphne and I both wore hats, in keeping with tradition, and I made a little overdress for her with her name and “Little Winner” embroidered on the front. It might be the ultimate one-use outfit, but I justified that it was made with hand-me-down fabric.

easter-skirtThis picture was taken on Easter. I might have made dresses for the girls, but when Costco put out cute dresses in both their sizes for $15.99 each I knew that sewing their outfits would not give me as much of a thrill as jumping on that deal. It’s so hard to find store-bought matching clothes for girls so far apart! I did make my own skirt, from the “Flirty Skirt” pattern in the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders, which is a companion book to the other One-Yard Wonders book I’ve blogged about before. The skirt was the first project I’ve tried from the book and I was pleased with it. It was a little hard to find 3-inch elastic, and I think if I make the skirt again I’ll just use stretchy knit for the waistband, but I was impressed that I got a whole skirt that covered my butt decently and used only one yard of fabric.

My 8-year-old needed her party to be out of this world



Dorothy was on an “I want to be an astronaut” kick this winter that lasted only slightly past her realization that astronauts need to study lots of math. But before it ended we read lots of cool books about planets and space, stalked the International Space Station, read a biography of Sally Ride, and had a fun solar system birthday party.

IMG_1200I made her a planet-printed skirt from fabric we found on We bought a set of inflatable planets online that served as teaching tool and party decoration in one. It also occupied a couple hours of my big kids’ time as they experimented with the pedal air pump. I took birthday portraits of Dorothy in her party clothes, mostly at her artistic direction. (Her enthusiasm for choreographing photos exceeds her zest for math, at least at this point.)


Nana supplied the fabulous cake, as usual.

planetsI hung the planets from the ceiling in our dining room. Sticking easy-peel hooks to the ceiling to hang the planets seemed like a great idea until I realized about halfway through that I’d not be able to raise my arms above my head again for days, because each surface has to be prepped with alcohol and then the hook has to be pressed firmly to the surface for a minute before it is set. Oh well, it’s like cheap CrossFit, right?

mini-moonsWe handed out mini Moon Pies to our guests.

cheeseAnd we used cookie cutters to make star and moon cheese shapes for our snacks. I had the cheese sliced extra thick to make better shapes, but seriously over-estimated the number of cheese shapes our (mostly adult) guests would eat. The week after the party involved cheesy chicken and broccoli, cheese enchiladas, cheese-stuffed chicken breasts, and lots of cheese sandwiches in my kitchen.

gameDorothy’s friends played a bean-toss planet game on our stairs. This game probably would have worked better outside on the driveway, but it was raining. All our little guests were winners; Dorothy made the prizes herself on her new sewing machine.