Monday, January 31, 2011

Reusable Sandwich Bags, Tote, and Clutch

The reusable sandwich bags are so fun - and earth friendly. My girls use them in their lunchboxes every single day for things like sandwiches, grapes, and crackers. We just wipe out the inside with a soapy washcloth. They can also be thrown in the washing machine and air dried if needed.

This is a new pattern that required a learning curve. I really like the combination of fabrics and details.

This clutch is from combination of different patterns which I altered until it was just right. It holds a diaper and small container of wipes perfectly- or - paintbrushes and markers for on the go projects.

Sewing lately has been very slow. I injured my arm and had to take it easy... something about scar tissue developing from over use. Now I have to stretch my arm before sewing and other projects. Ah, the perils of the crafty American housewife. It feels good to be healthy again.

Sihouette Fun

I gifted myself a Silhouette as an early Christmas present (thanks to an awesome Cyber Monday deal). I have been having so much fun with it. Here are a few examples...

This sign was made out of scrap stuff I had lying around... probably purchased for a project that was cast aside when a more exciting idea came along.

The shirt was saved from the trash. I have what Gene lovingly calls the "Drop Zone." After a few wears most of my shirts develop a stain right below the neckline on my... well you can picture it. With the Silhouette I can remake my t-shirt into something cool and stainless (and save a few pennies).

Note: I have worn my shirt a couple of times and realized that the dryer is not my friend. The heat causes the letters to peel off a bit - but they are quickly ironed back on.

Did I mention that I am really enjoying this new toy?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Birdhouses and Kittens

I have been plagued with this personal issue for years... about 15 years to be exact. That is when I became a Big Girl. Growing up I always struggled with and managed to avoid the Big Girl status and was just a little bigger than most of my friends. My first move with the Army and the stress of working full time and going to graduate school ended that fight.

Now I am a beautiful, creative, and funny Big Girl (who feels little a lot of the time - but not physically). Oh ya' I also want to set the record straight that I am also a hard worker and clean. Larger folks often get the stereo type that we are lazy and stinky. I admit... on occasion I do stay in my pj's and don't shower for a day but I promise that I don't even go to Casey's to get a Diet Coke. I stay home with the curtains closed just like I should.

I am not on a rant about how the world should change to fit me. I'm not complaining about how small airplane seats are... in fact I would love to be small enough to fit comfortably in an airplane seat or not spill over onto Gene's folding chair at church. He thinks I just want to be close to him but the truth is that those darn chairs are too small and I would rather snuggle with him than with the total stranger beside me.

What is this post about? (you might be asking this question if you actually made it this far) It is about clothing. Clothing that is either BRIGHT obscene colors or has some sort of cute baby animal on the front. Oh wait, I almost forgot about the fact (I could probably prove it in court) that a lot of Big Girl clothes showcase a delightful Looney Tunes character as the latest and most current style. For some reason I occasionally get a Victoria Secrets catalog in the mail... how in the H.E. double hockey sticks did I get on their mailer? Maybe that is a question I should save for Gene.

Anyhoo - Fossil was kind enough to send me one of their catalogs. I poured over the styles. It is that beautiful vintage, classy, grunge look. I loved them all... until... I noticed that NOTHING came even close to my size. Hold on, that is a lie. The handbags and scarves would probably fit. My neighbor gets this clothing catalog called Downeast that has lovely clothes in it. I normally lift if from her house and hide it in my sewing room. I can sew. So, I try to alter some of my clothes or mimic the styles. What about my Big Girl sisters out there who can't sew? Where do they get cool clothes? I am telling you, there is a gigantic market out there that hasn't been tapped. How about Lane Bryant open up a creative vintage grungy sister store? It could be called Back Alley Bryant .

I am going to express my personal angst of not having access to cool clothes on my next art journal page. But this is what I want to say... Big Girls Do Cry!!!... and we are crying out for some cool clothes!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

whole wheat chocolate cookies

We are cutting back on desserts and sugar but... sometimes a cold snowy day requires a cookie. Here is a healthier alternative to the traditional chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.
Preheat oven to 350

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 Cup Oatmeal

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup butter

3/4 Cup Splenda brown sugar blend (...this requires less brown sugar. If you are using regular brown sugar then use 1 1/2 cups.)

2 large eggs or egg substitute

1 tsp of vanilla

1 1/2 Cups of chocolate chips

Beat softened butter until creamy; Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, until fully mixed; add vanilla and beat until fluffy; add flour mixture a little at a time; add chocolate chips

drop onto un-greased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes

makes about 36 cookies

* next time I am going to add some ground flax seed, reduce the butter, and add some walnuts

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gift Card Holder

Happy Birthday! or Happy Anything!

Here is a cute little gift card holder I made for a friend on her birthday. I think the yellow polka-dots are my favorite part. However, I'll have to wait a few days to post... don't want to ruin the surprise.

It was quick and only took two 6"X7" pieces of material, some Velcro, and ribbon for a bit of pizazz. I think I want one for myself to hold change... or lipstick... or my cell phone... or gum... or anything else that is little and easy to loose.

Leaf Origami

I stumbled across this picture and loved it. Greta had collected fallen leaves at the Thanksgiving Day parade and made an origami flower. I really liked the way the flower looked... it was one of the highlights of the parade for me. Don't judge! Some people don't like clowns and I don't care for parades... especially parades with clowns.


Gigi entered Event Iowa with... Warmzerz - Eco friendly warmers that help keep your legs and bum warm when you play in the snow.
It was a lot of work but she was so happy to have the experience.

Be Warmer

Play Longer

Use Warmzerz

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Here is the first page of my art journal. The prompt word for the first two weeks of January was "vision". I really enjoyed getting out my Sharpies and water color pencils after the girls went to bed. Several weeks ago during a sermon at church the youth pastor made the comment about Being Extraordinary in Love... it stuck and I think about daily. I decided to make it my mantra for 2011.

I struggled in my head for several days - to share or not to share. An art journal is so personal and quick - the outcome is uncertain. It is the process that is the focus for me. The final results are important also but it is really what I get out of the journaling... the development of my creativty, the therapeutic side of the personal exploration of a word, and how I translate that word into the picture.

I decided to share my journal pages because I believe it will help me get over the "what if someone doesn't like it" anxiety. Maybe it will be more like... hey, that person left a great comment. If I get a negative comment - DELETE.

Hey, it's my vision!