Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm going to do it!

A refashioned / reconstructed hoodie, made by my sister, and modeled by Monkey 3

My sister sent me a link yesterday to Wardrobe Refashion, and dared me to take "the pledge." The pledge is where you promise not to purchase any new, manufactured clothing for a certain period of time. You can pledge for 2, 4 or 6 months, or for life. I almost had an anxiety attack, imagining having to sew myself an entirely new wardrobe. (Apparently, I didn't read the rules correctly.) My sister calmed me down a bit, and explained to me that we already do this, since you can even purchase thrifted clothing! Right up my alley.

I'm going to sign up for the 4-month pledge (and so is my sister!) How about you? Are you with me? Leave a comment if you're going to take the jump! Sign-ups don't start until June 15th, so you have a little bit of time to convince yourself that you can do this. I'll try to remind us all later to sign-up, too!

If you need a little inspiration, be sure to browse the blog section that showcases all the lovely things people are refashioning! Can't wait!


And how fabulous is the lining fabric in that hoodie my sister made? Um, yeah -- a thrift store find! I'm so jealous of her thrift stores.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

These should be outlawed

These Oreo Truffles are dangerous.

Yes, they taste more amazing than you could imagine. They are so good, that when my hubby took some to work, one of his employees offered to buy them from him.

And they are so simple to make. My daughters made them for us without any supervision. For dipping the truffles, they used the chocolate and white almond bark. They melted the bark right in the microwave --- easy! I imagine these would be really good with a few drops of peppermint extract in them, too.

I think these just won a spot on our Must-Make list for Christmas this year!

Many thanks to SwellDesigner for sharing this fantastic recipe on her blog!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I don't need my umbrella today

Last night, I really needed an umbrella. You know -- when it rains, it pours.

Monkey 6 (my 5 year-old ball of energy) broke out in the most horrendous rash, out of the blue. I, being the tough veteran mommy, rolled my eyes at the hives. No biggie. Benadryl will save the day.

Wrong.

The rash laughed at the Benadryl, so Matthew had a quick trip to our pediatrician's office. (We really can't get enough of doctors these days!) The quick trip turned into a 2-hour event. . . . the rash wasn't hives. Bloodwork, a prescription to help with the itching, and we're home.

I'd post a picture of the rash, but it's really gross. But if you're brave, you can see a picture of it here. His looks like the photo that's in the middle row, far right. UGH.

Neither of us slept much, as he was itchy, had chills and ran fever most of the night. Poor little guy.

And as for today. . . .

We do have some good news to share today!

Monkey 6 did get a diagnosis today -- erythema multiforme (minor), and some sample medications (yay for free!) and is doing much better already.

And there's more!
All of Christine's tests came back negative for the autoimmune disorders the specialists thought could have caused her eye problem. Also, one of her doctors did more research on her condition. He found that while posterior scleritis is extremely rare, there have been otherwise healthy children present with this same condition, have all of their labwork come back negative, and everything still turn out well for them. Her steroid dosage was also reduced (yay!) and she is tolerating her medications well.

God is good. He's the only umbrella I need.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blessings and good news

I cannot thank you enough for the loving support and prayers you have bestowed upon my family, and especially upon my daughter, Christine. Your kind words, emails, comments -- all buoy us up when we start to feel down. Thank you. You are truly blessings.

More blessings. . . .

Christine's case was chosen for grand rounds tomorrow morning! HUGE blessing. There will be about 40 doctors there (at Children's in Dallas) to examine her, ask questions, and to review and research her case. Perhaps we're getting closer to an answer. . . ?

Mostly good news from her ophthalmologist visit yesterday. . . the fluid behind her retina has gone down quite a bit, and many of her lab tests came back yesterday -- all negatives! Praise God! She does still have some inflammation behind her eye, and the eye pain returned yesterday, so she was given another medication for this, which she is tolerating well so far.

Christine is quite a strong young lady. Very strong-willed. (We learned that very early in her young life!) But during this trial, she has revealed a quiet determination, a firm resolve, a grace, that I didn't know she had. I have been pleasantly surprised by this, and admire her for it. Another blessing.

I think this is a blessing, too. . . .

A virtual stranger chose me for an unusual swap on Craftster. She created this awesome package for me. . . .

My favorite! I just love this shirt.

A reversible coffee cozy, and a needle book. . . .

How cute is this needle book! Check out those petal-pages!


Totally brightened my day! Thank you so much, Kayleigh! :)

And thanks, again, for all the prayers. . . . please keep 'em coming!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A request

Please pray for my sweet Monkey 2. Early last week, she started having terrible headaches again, with pain behind her eye (doesn't this sound familiar?) On Thursday, she awoke with her right eye swollen shut, in excrutiating pain -- and unable to see at all from that eye.

That day, she was admitted to Children's Medical Center in Dallas, and was seen by scores of doctors and specialists. They classified her eye problem as posterior scleritis, with a serous retinal detachment. But what caused the eye problems in the first place? No one can tell us. The doctors just don't know yet. Several blood tests are still pending, and we're hoping for an answer soon.

On Friday, the doctors started her on steroids and antibiotics, and within half a day, her eye swelling was almost gone, and she can now see light and color again. She was able to come home yesterday!

Here she is after 36 hours of medication -- no swelling! And she's smiling.... A very good Mother's Day gift, indeed.

Her vision is still blurred -- she can see the doctor's fingers about 6 inches in front of her face, but it's an improvement over what it was. The fluid behind her retina will take time to reabsorb, and she will hopefully be able to see normally once that's gone.

Monkey 2 has a visit with the ophthamologists tomorrow, so we're hoping for more good news, and maybe reduced medications. So, please keep my sweet daughter in your prayers, and ask for blessings for the wonderful doctors at Children's. We truly appreciate it.

I'll keep you posted, and to hopefully get back to fun, crafty, fabric-inspired posts again very soon. And I hope all my sweet mom-friends a had a lovely Mother's Day!

OK -- ONE fabric mention. . . .

And I'm only mentioning this because I received this email today (or was it yesterday? or. . . ?) and I HAVE to tell you about this! Craftersvision, that fabulous online fabric/craft store, said in its email that the Heather Ross Mendocino line has been discontinued (GASP!) and if you love it (like I do) then you'd better order it now. Once it's gone, it's gone! (And their prices on this line are really good, too. Trust me, I've looked!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

One of my favorite Etsy shops

It's no secret that I love old, well-worn things. These things receive marks, dents, scratches, holes, stains. . . from their interactions with people. People leave their impressions and shadows on things without realizing it. Maybe that's what intrigues me about old things. . . the previous owners. Who were they? What was going on in their lives? Why did they want this thing to begin with?

I am especially drawn to old photographs. It's a peek inside someone's life, from a safe distance. But there are so many questions, moods, emotions that surround an instant -- the instant caught on film.

One of my favorite Etsy shops is Bullbone. He sells old, original photographs for an insanely low price -- $5. Not only do you get the original photograph, with free shipping, I might add, but he will then email you a high-resolution scan of your photos. With this scan, you can then incorporate your photographs into artwork, websites, whatever you want -- without damaging the original.

Here's one of the photos I have purchased:

I was just so drawn to this precious child. I can easily imagine any one of my children being fascinated with that umbrella. It almost makes me sad, this photo. Who is this baby? Who is s/he now? Where was this photo taken? So many questions. I bought an old frame at the thrift store recently, and removed the glass. I plan to mount this photo very simply by pinning it to some vintage fabric with a straight pin, and then putting that in the frame.

Bullbone does offer some photo sets, like this one I snagged, again -- $5 for the set. These uploaded small (sorry!) but check out the massive amount of diapers on the clothes line! I had to laugh. . . I can identify, for sure!

He has lots of vintage bathing beauties, cars and odd parties. This one it just too freaky -- I can't even look at it. It seriously gives me the creeps.

If you aren't that interested in old photos, at least visit Bullbone for the snort-worthy stories he pens for each and every photo. Just don't do that while sipping coffee. Believe me, I learned that the hard way.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A knock-out punch, a few more baby shirts and a big sale

OK, I was waaaaayyy wrong about that whole sickness thing. For me, it was not a 48-hour bug. More like a 144-hour (and counting) bug. So I apologize for not posting lately -- I had a legitimate excuse this time! And I even had some pics and stuff to blog about. . . .

A few more baby shirts. . . .

I recently swapped 10 baby shirts with my amazing partner, arimethia (see the post below for the awesome shirts she made Owen!) She received the shirts I sent her last week, so I'll post a few of them here. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos, as we've had lots of dark, rainy days lately (for which I'm very thankful -- we really needed the rain.) Links to tutorials for all of these techniques can be found in the Tutorials section on the left.

This shirt is a freezer paper stencil of Orion, with the stars embroidered. I'm hoping that with washing, the white will fade a bit, and look almost vintage-y.


This little sailboat was done with a reverse applique technique. I do like how this one turned out.


Little squirt! A rough applique, and some embroidery.


Hand-stitched felt applique, with a rough applique on top, and some machine embroidery thrown in for good measure.


More freezer paper stencilling, and a bit of embroidery.


Stencil. . . this goes with some lounge pants I made from the Simplicity 2734 pattern, using the Michael Miller Seafarer fabric.


Some reverse applique, and more embroidery.

The rest of the shirts I made (and a couple pairs of those lounge pants) can be seen here. See, I told you I got the better end of this swap! Thanks again, arimethia! :)

Since I already had everything out (read: a huge mess) I made Owen a pair of pants and a matching tee (applique, with machine satin stitch.) So comfy!

Oh, and a Texas-sized sale!

Our street team, Etsy Texas Crafters, is holding our monthly First Monday Sale! Over 90 shops are participating by offering special discounts, deals, freebies or free shipping! Be sure to drop by and see all the sales!

Pssst. . . 20% off everything in my shop today!