Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winging It...

I thought I was too tired to move last night.
But it appears I'm never too tired for some semi-conscious crafting.
I finally hot-glued that floral fabric applique to a headband I bought at my favorite dollar store.
Come to think of it, this would make a great little project for (still) one of my
newish favorite places for frugal craft projects.
This "spring scarf" is something I've been sewing in a state of exhaustion combined with excitement. My sweet crafty-angel friend Jenn over at Karma Button, was kind enough to share some images with me from the amazing RVA course she has been taking. Her generosity with
ideas and sources often sparks me into action and this time was no different.
(I hope noone minds I borrowed this project idea.)
I love the fact that it calls for using some of those old t-shirts that would normally
get donated to our local thrift shop. I found the basic instructions here, but really (I'm embarrassed to admit) besides cutting up the t-shirts into 8-inch widths, I just threw it together. No pins, no measuring, nothin'. Cool thing about this project; there is a lot of room for error. Yay! Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and can't wait to wear it
in the near future.

This morning we heard the birds outside our window. Spring is definitely right around the corner. Enjoy the weekend, All!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Postcards from Italy

...Just because I love this video and I am dreaming of far away places tonight.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Making Girls Happy

In the morning:
Maple-Cinnamon Oatmeal for her and an Earl Grey tea with honey and soy milk for me!


In the evening:
Talk about sinfully delicious! Well, I hardly ever buy ice-cream. I don't really buy non-nutritious snacks of the dessert variety EVER because 1) I don't believe in them 2) Most of them taste horrible and 3) I bake my own.
But one day in the supermarket I was caught off-guard. As we turned a corner, Cub squeeled, "Look Mama, birthday cake!" Yup. This is a weakness I share with this adorable gal.
Birthday Cake ice-cream from New York? Why, of course!
A total no-brainer.
Just take a look at that. It is as good as it looks. Really.

After hours:

I've been absolutely loving a cup of this tea with some honey.
Raspberry leaf is known to be very therapeutic for the female species.
I've tried many different varieties in the past, but this one is my favorite.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Love Cats

I've been on a crocheting kick for two days now. I've made three rosettes, soon to be
hair clips or headbands. Last night, I crocheted for a couple of hours while listening
to The Cure. I haven't sat down and given them some real attention for a while. It made my soul happy just to the sounds of my past, but still so much a part of me. Sigh.
I'm in the middle of making a really cute choker which I will show-off when finished. I had such a good time last night!!!
Here is part of a project that I may still finish someday. I was making the "Three Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens" for Cub. I wanted to make the punk-rock version, all tatters and safety pins. No pretty and perfect here. They've got to be freestyle! Anyway, never did find tiny safety pins, and grew tired of looking. Then it was on to a zillion other projects. is my Love Cat pincushion.

And just because there is noone I know who will appreciate this find, I'll share it here, hoping someone out there can appreciate this goodness.
Again, a Junior League find for Cub....and a whopping ONE DOLLAR!!!!!
Brand new with tags, too.

I didn't even know they made kids clothes.
I can't wait until this fits her.
This is one of my best find EVER.

Happy Tuesday to you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


My glorious one-week vacation is slowly slipping away.
This time alone during the day was cathartic for me in so many ways. Strange what some
real time to read, reflect, create, think, and feel can do for my soul.
I was in such need of that in my life (but didn't really know it) and am very sad to say goodbye to it this evening. I have however, recommitted to two yoga classes a week and to continue
carving out time to work out some underlying issues I'm dealing with. More to
come on that later...
Yesterday was wonderful from beginning to end. Nine of us piled into my friend's family van for a trip to St. John's College in Queens to see a play her nephew wrote, designed, and directed. He is so talented! Grimm, interweaves the tales Rose Red, Rumplestiltskin, and Hansel and Gretel into a brilliant musical that reminded me of both Sweeney Todd and Wicked.

After the play we had dinner at the great Sabatini's. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to Italian food, but the meal we shared was fresh and absolutely delicious. The girls had a great time together and I loved being able to spend time with my friends, too. As we were leaving, my friend, so brilliant and observant, went over to this hanging lamp(?)
and called me over to look at it. She was curious about how it was made. Interesting, yes?
I'm sure there are some talented people out there who are making light fixtures just like this.
There is probably even a tutorial or two somewhere out there!

Upon reaching home, Cub fell right to sleep. I was tired, too-but that didn't stop me from
having some crafty-time of my own. It will soon be Cheri's birthday! Looks like I need to practice those turns on my sewing machine some more, huh?

And thanks to my lovely and talented Jenn for sending over her crochet bug to bite me! You can only look at someone's awesome creations for so long before the spark strikes you, too! I probably did not need another crafty-obsession, but I have to admit, this is so, so, much fun. Great for listening to music, keeping your fingers and mind busy, and for the almost instant-gratification I crave in my crafting!
I can't believe I actually remembered how to do these stitches. Again, my great-grandmother, Johanna was a crochet-witch, so I'll give her the credit!
This was my first crochet creation done in over twenty years!

I'm so very appreciative of my beautiful and creative friends and all of their talents and abilities.
This blog/life/crafty world keeps me going, keeps me sane, inspired, and feeling alive and fulfilled!
Thank-you, Sweet Ones for everything...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Proud Mama

Cub broke into her brand new enormous set of glitter pens this morning and finished
up her ATC's. They were still drying when I took these photos. This proud mama
couldn't wait to share them. I think she did such a great job. I tried to do as little
"art directing" as possible. We used some old playing cards for the base because
they are already the perfect size. No cutting or fussing was necessary. She decided
which wrapping paper to use for each background and then composed the rest of the card on her own.

She wanted to keep this card below for sentimental reasons. She thought the
girl in this image looked just like my friend Jenn, who she adores.
I think she was right.

Here she used some wrapping paper I still remember from my 7th birthday.
Okay, I helped cut out that yellow tissue paper balloon!

I love how she placed that angel right next to the baby. I heard her say, "There Baby, now you have a doll," while she was gluing it down.
I feel like there is some mystical quality here. That little angel is the baby's
spirit guide or something like that.

We haven't titled any of these yet. I do know that one of them will be sent as far away as Australia, where one member of our group lives. We can't wait to send out the cards to the kids...and then the best part, we will be receiving one from each member (5) of our group!
I have to hand it to Blair and Erin who organized this swap.
Apparently, 900 kids signed-up to participate!
That alone makes me cry.
I'm so happy Cub had this opportunity.
Thank-you, good ladies.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lovely Little Book

Cub received this precious little book from her Daddy on Valentine's Day.
I am so smitten with its size and detail. I should have snapped a photo with a penny
next to it. It measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches and is just beautiful. There is one color illustration at the beginning of the book and the rest of the pages are blank for tiny sketches
drawn by tiny hands. Each page has a little pen and ink detail in the lower right hand corner; a sparrow, a teacup, a picnic basket, butterflies. Swoon!

"Happy Memories of Teardrop Island." That title just melts me...

While we are on the subject of 2.5 x 3.5...I let Cub stay up a bit later than usual to make those ATC's for the Kids Swap. How exciting! I brought out my vintage wrapping paper
collection, stickers, ribbons, and glue, and we went to town! Today, we just need to add
the finishing touches (glitter). She did such a good job.
I can't wait to share tomorrow!
On today's agenda is a yoga class. I am soooo excited! Then it will be back home
for a healthy lunch and sewing. I will finish my Black Apple doll today.
I will.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


While in my all time favorite thrift store on Long Island (Junior League, Roslyn)
Cub squeeled, "Look Mama, a globe! One for my room!"
How could I resist? Since childhood I've had a thing for globes and have many,
but what's one more for the collection? Maybe Cub will start her own now. We've been having a lot of fun learning our geography. I made sure she knows where Paris is, too!

Aprons are a secret love I don't talk about much. Who doesn't love aprons, anyway?
I only collect vintage and I really don't have that many. But the ones I do have are special.
I like to think that I can sense a story within each one. Sometimes it is just the fabric or a certain sweetness I pick up. My apron collecting is what I'd call "intuitive."
This one is waiting to be ironed.
I fell in love with the fabric, of course. Can you guess why?
Those are Blue Roses!
(Ignore my messy craft corner behind the door please.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

All Creatures Great and Small

Most people I know had the day off from work today in honor of "Presidents' Day."
Usually, I won't go anywhere on a day such as this for fear of the insane crowds.
But I have been itching to get off of this island and back into the city for a while now...So today it was off to The American Museum of Natural History for an outing with Cub and her daddy! It is rare that the three of us go anywhere together because of work schedules
and other factors, so this was a special treat for Cub.
Of course, I had to foget my camera. Daddy had a throw-away with him
so we did get some nice shots of each other in front of those awesome dioramas.
This is a stock photo of our favorite room in the place. I have loved it
since I was a child. The hanging blue whale is still pure magic.

Yes, it was crowded today. But we had so much fun!
Cub's reaction upon walking in and viewing the massive dinosaur skeletons ("Woooooooooooah!") in the lobby was worth the entire trip. She had everyone within six feet
of us laughing with delight!
And at the end of the day, we returned home re-inspired by the
magnificent beauty of all life and creation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flower Frenzy

One of the many things I have in common with my grandmother is a love for flowers that borders on obsession. Lately, I have been overcome with a strange desire to make big bunches of the ribbon and paper variety. Last week I bought three rolls of beautiful crossgrain ribbon in shades of red and pink in hopes of making those lovely ribbon roses I posted about.

Maybe it is just me, but they were a bit impossible to make. Yes disappointed, but never defeated. Last night, I scanned one of my new favorite "how to" sources (Youtube) ane learned a much simpler version of the ribbon rose...from what sounded like a six year old!

Thank-you, little girl! By midnight, I was sufficiently satisfied and finally went to bed.
This week, I'm going to master those (Martha) coffee-filter roses and whip-up a big bouquet of
Then I'll bundle them all up and take them to my Grandmother on my next visit to the hospital.

I'm also excited by the many thrift stores that have seemed to sprout-up overnight in my area.
I've been trying to curb how much I buy these days. I will not become a hoarder!
So, I'm mostly focusing on vintage fabrics to craft with. Here are a couple of linen tablecloths that were in pretty good condition. They did have a few stains and some shredding around the edges but that is actually a good thing.
If they were in perfect condition I'd never be able to use them for projects.

Aside from the hayfever, I can't wait for spring this year.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love is...

Cub: "Mama, did I ever tell you how I found you?"
Mama: "No, honey...How did it happen"?
Cub: "First, I was riding on a carousel when I was a baby and I saw you and Daddy waving to me and I thought you were just perfect and I wanted you so badly. And I wanted you guys to be my parents. That's how I got you."
Happy St. Valentine's Day, Everyone.
Hope its a good one.
Mama and Cub

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crafting With Cub

I'm not a big fan of commercialism or Disney for that matter, but I am realistic.
We live in a world where exposure to media and other children is inevitable. Besides, there are many more important things to direct our energies toward!
With that said, what were we left to do on a recent Saturday afternoon, when Cub was so bored she was (literally) climbing the walls? We should have been getting ready for a trip to Long Island, instead we did some crafting for Cub.
Some old wrapping paper sorta jumped out at me and I had an idea:
Disney princesses inside hearts + Doilies = Valentine Banner!

We had a blast! (Always do crafting together.) When the banner was finished, Cub went ahead and cut out 8 more hearts from the wrapping paper and glued them to doilies. She made her very own valentines for her friends at school. Often, once we start a project together she will take off with her own variation. It's so much fun to watch her learn and create.

Tonight, we're making chocolate-dipped rice crispie treats for dessert!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I'm loving...
1. The fact that I made an appointment to rejoin my old gym. (Thanks for the inspiration, Kristin!)
2. Teaching and loving (and students loving, too) Arthur Miller's, A View From the Bridge.
3. Finding a friend to to go Philadelphia with us over the vacation to see the Cezanne retrospective at the art museum.
4. Napping in the car for 20 minutes before Cub's class finished. Ahhh.
5. Watching one of my favorite versions of Wind In The Willows (there are so many!)with Cub while simultaneously cooking a healthy version of Chili-Mac Casserole.
6. The fact that I could smell spring in the 59 degree air today!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Needle Book Love and Thanks

Thank you so much for your words of kindness and care and for your blessings and prayers. You don't know how much it meant to me to read all of your sweet comments. And all the prayer must have worked...
Miraculously, my grandmother was taken off the ventilator late yesterday afternoon. Last night, we even had a brief phone conversation and it was truly unbelievable. I feel so blessed and so does she!
Just thought I would share this needle book today. I started it on Saturday afternoon and had just about finished it, when I received the phone call from my brother. The only thing I need to add is the ribbon for a tie-closure. I did this entirely free hand. No measuring. I really need to work on developing more patience in life and in crafting.
I know that the lesson crafting has for me involves slowing down and taking time; being okay with taking baby steps towards accomplishing a goal. Oh, it's so hard for me to do!
Thank-you again, for your care and concern.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

(Best Friends, Grandma and Cub)
I am a firm believer in collective prayer.
So it is in the spirit of this belief that I ask
if you could please send a prayer, good energy, a thought, blessings-
to my Grandmother, Ann.
Last night, she was taken to the hospital and placed on a ventilator.
My Grandmother raised my brother and I from the time I was seven.
She is my grandmother, my mother, and best-friend all in one.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More In Love With Love

Please indulge my infatuation with everything that is Valentine for one more week or so.
I am just so smitten with these recent finds and I think you will be, too.
Tonight's wine tasting was interesting...A straightforward Italian white, followed by a smooth Malbec, and finished off with a "Greek communion wine," he said.
I ended up wondering off as per usual, just looking at all of the lovely labels, when I spied a bottle of Tomasello Red Raspberry fruit wine. I ended up taking that bottle home after reading how it was "the perfect compliment to chocolate and chocolate desserts." Yup. Sold! You see, I have a plan for next weekend that involves flourless chocolate cupcakes and this wine will be the cherry on top of that sundae.
I am a purist in many ways. (Whatever that means!) But since I am a self-confessed walking contradiction, I find many things much more charming in the form of their artistic imitation; jewelry and flowers for sure...and let's not forget about hair color!
These red ribbon roses take my breath away. I love them as much as I love those newspaper roses...maybe even a bit more. I will be making some of these tomorrow, after a trip to JoAnn's.

I wonder if I am the only one that LOVES melt-a-way mint candies? They are just soooooo good.
I can't believe there is an actual recipe, too! They seem so simple to make. We are going to have so much fun squishing this sweet dough around. Toooo much! Can you tell I am just a little excited to make these? Just looking at the plate of these lovelies makes me smile. Thank-you, Florence. Making things makes me HAPPY!!!
I'm easy like that.

And then there are these yummies. A classic, yes? I know my daughter will go crazy for them. Oh, how she loves her Rice Krispie treats! Joy the Baker knows what she's doing.

(Photo courtesy of Joy.)

I think it's going to be a busy but fun weekend. I'm now off to watch Season One of Battlestar Gallactica, thanks to my friend Adam...and to start making a long-overdue felt needlebook.

Happy Weekend, All!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In Love With Love

Here is another stuffie I made for Cub, to be given to her on the 14th. I wanted to participate in "Wordless Wednesdays," but it got away from me this time! Next week, for sure. Just want to say thank you for all the great responses to our postcard giveaway. We are excited to go to the post office on Saturday morning to mail them out together!
And while I'm on the subject of giveaways--Tessa, a favorite crafter-blogger is having a giveaway over at The Milkshake. Check-out all of her sweet creations. I love them all.
I think I am going to have to treat myself to her Cherry Tree pillow!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Will You Be Our Valentine?

It's my first postcard giveaway!!!!
There are eight homemade valentines waiting to be mailed to you with love
from me and my girl cub.
Postcards are made from scalloped-edge cardstock, acrylic paints, (bubble-wrap and sponge prints), glitter, and doilies...A real hodge-podge!
(They really don't look like spaghetti sauce, either! They are vibrant pinks and reds...I don't know what's up with my camera!)
If you would like one, please drop a note to my email address: with your name and (snail) mail address and we'll send you one!
Happy Monday, All!

Getting Ready

I have to admit I was never really into Valentine's Day until I had my daughter. When she was a baby, the presents weren't handmade. I was too tired! I did start a vintage charm bracelet for her one year. Then there were the vintage stamps I thought we could start collecting together (someday). This year I've been making her a lot of fun little things. But first I'd like to show-off the batch of cookies I "baked" for Kristin and her girls. I sent them to her as part of an informal swap that just sorta happened after she was kind enough to send me some of her lovely beads.

This little bean bag was suppossed to be part of Cub's present, but she saw me making it and begged to have a catch. So, here it is, blurry photo and all! These were all a lot of fun to make. I love working with felt. It's so easy and forgiving to work with.
My little one and I have whipped up some Valentines for everyone. I'd like to post them by tomorrow. If you'd like one, (and we hope you do) stay tuned...