Sunday, July 26, 2009


Every bottle of dishwashing liquid needs an apron.

And growing out my gray is requiring even more hair accessories!

I'm enjoying quiet, late summer nights just sitting back with my crochet.
This past week, I've been choosing projects that can be completed in one session.
So far, so good. Last night, one just wasn't enough, so I went for a new dishtowel, too.
Luckily, Cub has been sleeping until 9am every morning!
Yes, we're loving summer-living.
In related news, I'm taking my love of this craft to the next level.
I've joined a local crochet group!

PS: If your name is JOYCE...Yes, it's me! Please leave me your email so I can contact you!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not So Lazy Summer Days

Now that the hoopla of Cub's first play has ended, we're indulging in some summer fun.

Of course, there has to be some crochet.
I'm loving the way she luuuuvs her new purse!

I'm still having fun upcycling t-shirts in a million ways...this time, a necklace!

Gettin' ready for some serious TtV photography.
Meet the latest addition to our family!

Hope you are keeping it cool and crafty!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


My child's first (almost) handmade costume!
Yes, I'm one excited Mama.
The show, High School Musical ("One") will be performed tomorrow and Saturday night at a local theater. My girl is floating on air.
For the past three weeks, she has been attending a children's theater company summer program. She has loved every minute of it. There have been many hours spent learning songs and choreography. She has worked hard, enjoying it all...especially working with such a large group of kids, who range from age 5 (she is the youngest!) through 16.
I'm very proud of her.

As you may remember, I became instantly inspired after seeing and falling in love with this dress earlier in the week. Such a great idea for little girls, who seem to just love fluff and ruffle.
I told you my Cub would have one of those dresses soon.
I had no idea what I was doing, I just did it, if that makes any sense.
I did stay awake until 3am on two evenings working on it.
You know how it can be when you get busy with something you love and just can't put it down.
I made a ton of mistakes along the way that had me at times, both laughing and crying.
In spite of the sleep deprivation, it was a wonderful learning experience and confidence builder.
Did I mention I now have three sewing WIP's waiting to be put together on my ironing board?!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet & Simple

Turns out the crochet book I purchased at Michael's a while back has been worth every penny.
It's fun and adorable and the projects are super cute and do-able. It has that little touch of 70's crochet-kitsch that I find so appealing, too!
Yesterday, while Cub and her cuz were in rehearsal, I sat and made some lovely daisies- a pattern from the book. These make me happy and the possibilites are endless. Not to mention all the potential color-combos make me dizzy with joy!
Potential: Hair clips, appliques, bookmarks, and all sorts of embellishments, really.
I turned these two into hairclips for the girls. I hand-sewed one of those metal snap-clips (you can find in most craft stores) on to the back of the flowers. Done.

Miss Fly-Away Hair loved hers and wore it for about an hour...which is a lot for my girl!

If anyone is interested in this pattern, I will gladly pass on the sweetness!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


With my two favorite girls...

The crowd made it difficult to see the Can-Can dancers...but they walked right passed us on their way off stage. Unfortunately, I was digging through my bag for something and missed the shot. Poo.

The highlight of my day, believe it or not. I am a macaron freak! They are absolutely impossible to find on Staten spite of three french bakeries and one gourmet cafe/bakery/restaurant. Shame on all of them, really!
Besides the dancers, this was the other (REAL) reason we came to the festival. They were selling straight from being Fed Ex-ed from France! Wow. The line was insane. There were so many cool varieties it was so difficult to choose: Green tea, Vanilla Bourbon, Creme Brulee, Figue, Pastachio, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Violette, Lime, Rose...and many others.
I wanted to try one of each...but their inflated price tag made that impossible...almost $2.00 per cookie. My sweetest friend treated me to a half dozen and I felt spoiled beyond belief.
I think Cub is now hooked on 'em, too. Uh-oh.

Thought I'd show off one of my new "no-sew" cardigans. Already received two compliments today. Hee, hee. I love being able to say, "I made it," even though it's kinda cheating with the no-sewing and all. I bought all the material to make my daughter's costume for her performance this weekend. Instead of sewing it at 2am, I was making shrugs and necklaces out of t-shirts.
I'm addicted.

I'm afraid to say it...the t-shirt panties may be on their way.
But this girl does not show her undies...not even on the hanger!
Hope you are having fun during these blessed days, as well!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Motivated by Envy

Loving these skirts so much, I've dusted off the sewing machine and pulled out my stash of muslin. A trip to JoAnn's later will provide the tulle. Now, I'm off to find some old onesies or tank tops. My Cub MUST have one of these by the end of the week.
Just awesome, Ladies. Here's to the motivation I've been needing and one of two new crafty hobbies I've been obsessing over this summer: Wardrobe refashioning is awesome. Plain and simple.
Here's the first from MADE, a new fave bloggie.

This blue one is delicious. I think my girl will have bright pink or green...or maybe I'll just let her pick it out! Here, from the gal who started this all for me:

And because we always need something for the big girls...Did you check out
the Chicken's sweet and simple cardigan yesterday? I've already made two!
Refashioning t-shirts has been all the rage this summer
and is making me very happy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Girls Night Out (In Lots of Photos)

My girl and I have been making special dates for our summer months to get out and do things that are fun for the both of the evening. Whoo-hoo!
We had the best time going to Brooklyn the other night.
I discovered a place that I really want to keep just our secret, but since we fell in love with it, and desperately want it to be around for a while...I think share it with y'all!
The "famous" Staten Island Ferry terminal...from our (SI) side!

We pass two icons in the water. Cub took this. That blurry thing in the water is another ferry heading towards SI.

Every time I'm in Brooklyn, I realize how much I love it. I spent three very special years there, and it still has a home in my heart. I love the sights, sounds, and colors of lower Atlantic Avenue.
Check out this fabulous couch. How gorgeous is that color?
We found a fabric thrift store on the way to our destination.

Finally inside The Moxey Spot...
One of the coolest places I've found since becoming a mama and living in NYC.

This is more than a restaurant, really. I've never seen anything quite like it. Some very smart, creative, and loving, person or people had an excellent idea: To create a two-level space where adults with children of any age, could come to chill out, eat, drink, and make merry while simultaneously providing children with so many fun and engaging things to do...Too many to list. If you live in the area, you must check it out for yourself. There is an extensive library, arts and crafts section, puzzles, dolls, dress-up, trains, cars, games, music and free movies on Friday night! The place is filled with lots of cool stuff for the young and old to appreciate. Before the actual movie, they screened a ten minute "short," from the Peter Rabbit films.

Cub instantly made friends with all the other kids that were there and they ate together on the rug, then played together while the moms and dads were left watching most of the film. Oh, well. No problem. I had my crochet bag with me and drank lots of yummy coffee while chatting with some interesting grown-ups.
May I add they have a yummy, healthy, affordable and wine, too!
I enjoyed taking in all the creations on this art wall.
That wooden dollhouse is pretty sweet, too.

I had to practically drag Cub out of there kicking and screaming...and it was getting "late" for us.
We still had to make our way back to the ferry and cross the river to get home.
Boy, do I miss being able to buy (and receive) flowers from these 24 hour flower stands in front of the bodegas...What a convenience for boyfriends past! These exist mostly in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Nothing like this in Staten Island. Boo.

And as late as it was...How could this Mama pass-up a run through this place? Another "Boo" to Staten Island! What's up with not having one of these in our borough?
I was happy I brought that backpack with me after all!
It ended up being a late but wonderful night of adventure for us.
Can't wait for our next Girls Night Out...A concert in Battery Park next week!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Ten Things I Am Loving and Thankful For Right Now
1. Long, leisurely mornings; not having to rush anywhere.
2. Having enough friends and family to share meals with almost on a daily basis.
3. My naturopathic doctor- one of the most kind, caring, and knowledgeable health professionals I have encountered in my life. A real healer; she is changing my life. Really.
4. This unusual summer weather with its crisp air and gentle breezes.
5. Daily afternoon cat naps.
6. My latest and awesomest sewing inspiration. She's going to get me back on my machine any day now.
7. All of my daughter's enthusiasm and gratitude for her summer theater camp, which will wrap-up with two exciting productions next weekend. ("Mama, thank you so much for taking me to this camp. I love it!")
7. Favorite safe and fairly healthy treats: Ralph's refreshing lemon ice and carob chips straight from the freezer.
8. All the plans we are making for the coming weeks: camping, staying with my aunt and family out East (LI) , a couple of days in Philly, apartment sitting in NYC while my BF travels to Spain, and day trips out and about.
9. The opportunity to watch my daughter blossom and grow daily during these summer days.
10. Knowing that I have a loving, heavenly Father-who knows all of my needs before I do, never leaves me, answers prayers, and loves me in spite of my human weakness.
What are some things you are thankful for lately?

Double Feature and a Pie Recipe

I guess after that Mexican feast we had last night, I found it difficult to sleep.
So I stayed up much too late watching two movies back to back: Waitress and Little Children. (A free monthly trial of HBO and Cinemax cable channels made this possible.)
It was so nice to just zone out (with a little crochet, of course) and relax while watching two films back to back. I really enjoyed both, but for the sake of time and space I will just write about Waitress for now. There was so much about this film I adored. It is a sweet and simple romance; a genre of film I don't usually go for. It also has a special spot in my heart because it was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who died tragically before the film was released. I first fell in love with this talented and adorable woman (a while back) as an actress in two of my favorite Hal Hartley films.
Not to spoil the ending, but it really spoke to me personally- about all the feelings I had about pregnancy and the fears and anticipation of becoming a mother...and the ultimate inner transformation I experienced after my daughter was born.
Besides all that stuff, I am a sucker for all-American diners and pie -which there was plenty of in this movie!
The main character, Jenna is an expert pie baker. To me, all of the pies she makes in the film looked mouth-wateringly delicious and original. I wanted to try them all. I became especially fixated on her "Marshmallow Mermaid Pie" and this morning was delighted to find the recipe:
Marshmallow Mermaid Pie
9 graham crackers
1/2 C. sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted
5 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted
34 lg. marshmallows
(8 oz.)
1/2 C. whole milk
1 1/2 C. heavy or whipping cream
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, grated

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine coconut and graham crackers in food processor until coarse crumbs form.
2. Combine crumbs and butter with fork. Press to bottom and side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.
3. Heat marshmallows and milk in 3-qt. saucepan over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat. Cool completely (30 minutes.)
4. In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream with grated chocolate. Spoon filling into cooled crust. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours or overnight.
5. Top with mini marshmallows, maraschino cherries and rainbow sprinkles.
Serves 8.
Don't 'cha think this would make a festive summer party/picnic pie?
Can't wait to try it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Loving and Learning

For my beautiful Grandma's 93rd birthday I decided I'm going to give her a great big bouquet of live flowers- which she adores...AND some handmade crocheted gifts.
Making this super-fun cupcake gift container gave me the opportunity I needed to finally learn how to master crocheting in rounds. Now I can clearly see hats and berets in our near future!
Believe it or not, I could not find a yogurt container that had a traditional plastic lid. They all have aluminum pull-off tops now. Ugh. But I did have a small sour cream container from making the Ambrosia salad on the 4th!
This reminds me more of a rainbow Italian ice than a cupcake but I'm still smitten.
I think I'll put some of Grandma's favorite hard candies inside and top it off with a pink ribbon around the edge.
Cub has also requested one for her kitchen, so I'll have another chance to learn and practice.

I've already finished crocheting this peony brooch. I just need to add the leaves and fancy button center. May I add this is a GREAT tutorial. So clear and instructive. I loved it. I promise to share when it's complete.
And to continue with my recent theme of summertime light...

I saw this plant in the window at Cub's theater-camp studio and it caught my eye.
Hope you are all enjoying these days of summer.
They have been unfolding beautifully.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 5th of July

This weekend really marked the beginning of summer for me.
We finally had some beautiful weather. It was such a lovely, relaxing summery-style weekend.
Yesterday was spent bbq-ing with family until sundown with lots of great food and company.
This was the first year we did not watch the firworks "in person." By the time we returned home it was all about watching the hoopla unfold via television with the lights out.
It was quite the extravaganza and Cub clapped after each song/display. Today, we just enjoyed
the gorgeous day in the comfort of our own backyard with the best neighbors anyone could ask for. I love all the nuances of summertime light and shadows.

This pool is just perfect for the kids.

Are they cute or what?

And of course Mama has been steadily crocheting throughout these early, lazy days of summer.

I've made several tawashis for family and friends the past few days. They take just a few hours and are so much fun to make...not to mention quite addictive!
Next up, this adorable crocheted cupcake gift box.
I'm loving every minute of these days spent with Cub, unwinding, creating, and just being.
Summer, we welcome you with open arms!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hope however you spend the day it will be a blast!
We have a family barbecue later this afternoon. I'm bringing my favorite Ambrosia Salad.
If you're looking for an easy dish to whip-up for today, here's the recipe.
(This makes a lot. If you want less, half the recipe.)
Southern-Style Ambrosia Salad
2 11oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 20 oz. cans pineapple chunks, drained
2 bananas sliced
1/2 cup marachino cherries, optional
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
1. Mix the sour cream and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
3. Chill for an hour or two before serving.
Other variations: Some people use fresh whipped cream instead of sour cream. You may use plain yogurt, too- if you so desire. And some people (gasp!) like Cool Whip.
I'm partial to the sour cream. But use whatever strikes your fancy.
Either way, it's a delicious and refreshing dessert salad for a picnic or barbecue.
Enjoy the day, Everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Love...

Look what I found over at my new favorite craft blog...
this denim bowl crocheted from recyled jeans!
What an excellent gift idea.
Miko strikes again.