Thursday, June 28, 2012

ReFabulous is FIVE!

Can you believe it?!  It really doesn't seem that long ago that I nervously typed in my shop name, and began my new Etsy venture.  Some thought it was a dumb idea, others were skeptical.  And still others were amazing, fantastic and awesome cheerleaders.  I'm so grateful to them, to my lovely customers, and even grateful for the naysayers, who unknowingly pushed me to test my creative wings.  Many, many thanks!

two days after opening, I had my first sale. . . .  my, how things have changed!  haha!

. . . and my second sale, on the same day as my first!

I'm going to have a fabulous giveaway to celebrate ReFabulous' birthday, and I'd love your input!  What would you like to receive as a prize?  Leave your ideas in the comments below, and I'll announce the giveaway details next week!

(For now, I'm having a little celebratory sale for my blog readers... 10% off your order by using coupon code HAPPY5 at checkout!  Be sure to share the code with your friends and family, too!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebration time!

The streamers and balloons are being hung, the cake cools and the tablecloth is spread.  Excitement builds, and the little ones just know something fun is about to commence!

Tangible cues. . .  decorations. They mark our senses, our memories.  They set moods and serve as backdrops for our stories.  They matter.

Sure, they're "just" decorations, but they're also the trappings of milestones remembered, achievements celebrated, and loved ones gathered.  Just as a favorite Christmas ornament elicits exclamations of "Hey! Remember that time the tree tipped over," a particular party decoration can trigger such fond (and notable) memories.

Many months ago, I decided to make something reusable, memorable, and versatile for our family to use for family get-togethers, birthday parties, bingo games.  Little achievements, big milestones.  So my daughters and I spent a weekend cutting and pressing brightly colored fabrics and sewing them onto handmade bias tape.

making bias tape. . . .

 can you believe how BIG this tape-maker is?!

up next for the machine. . . .

We loved how they turned out!  So colorful, so happy!

We first used the buntings at a triple birthday celebration for my son, my sister and my father-in-law.  It was a chilly, breezy March afternoon in the park.  The trees were still fairly bare, and the buntings brought a bright punch of color to the picnic site.  The flags remained perfectly intact in spite of the breezes, the trees, and the kiddos!

I think they're too pretty to sit in a drawer, so in between parties, we hang them in our homeschool classroom as a colorful decoration.

When it's time for a party or special occasion, we take them down and relocate the buntings to the party location.  So far, they've survived many moves and decoratings, and I believe they'll hold up for many more.

I want to share these fun, colorful buntings with others, so they are now available in my shop.  I hope they will bring smiles to lots of faces, and frame many a happy gathering, for years to come.

How about you?  Does your family have a favorite decoration or item that has special meaning or significance for your celebrations?  I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

P.S.  Tomorrow - a special celebration, and I want YOU to join me!  See you then!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A post about babies.

I can't resist.  Cuteness must be shared.


Eight -- EIGHT -- months old.  Already!

He's so sweet, so perfect.  And completely spoiled.

Baby onesie withdrawal. . . .

Made for my most adorable new nephew.  Lots of stencils, with a little applique thrown in for good measure.  (Shamefully, I have yet to make any for my own little Monkey!)  Check out that fab Jack Sparrow onesie -- stencilled by my talented teen Monkey 3!

And baby cats. . . .

Remember Pippi?  Welllll, she ran away.  Again.  And sadly, never came home.  We took in a rescue cat named Lola. . .  

. . . and she gave birth about a week ago. . . .

the Monkeys found Lola giving birth... what a biology lesson!

. . . to some sweet baby kitties.

2 of the 3 surviving kittens, Rigby and Cupcake

And then there's Charlie.

I think that's enough cuteness for one day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


These 100-degree afternoons are keeping my fair-skinned kids indoors, and that gets booorrring fast.  (for all of us)  For most of the day, we read books, work some algebra, and diagram plant cells -- no summer vacation for us this year!  But there's only so much grammar and long division we can do before our brains begin to melt like the ice cubes in our sweet tea.  A bit of outdoor, cooler temp fun is in order.  Now, we're looking forward to nightfall. . .

You can download your own free Sky Map here.

. . . for some stargazing!  One of the perks of living in west Texas (and on a spot outside the city) is the wiiiiide open spaces.  The night sky is breathtaking!  My boys especially love stargazing, and they always make sure they have a current Sky Map on hand to locate different celestial bodies. 

Also necessary -

~ a comfy place to lay (or sit, if you prefer.)

~ a soft glow (for Sky Map reading).

~ a dark location.  The farther away from city glare / light pollution, the better.  Observatories are an excellent option if you don't live in the country or have access to a safe place to gaze.  (I can't wait to visit the McDonald Observatory!)

~ items for your comfort, such as a blanket or jacket to keep warm, and some kid-safe bug repellent.

~ great viewing weather.  You'll want to pick a clear, calm night for the most enjoyable experience.  Tonight is a new moon, so the stars will be twinkling in all their glory.  For an extra-special treat, plan your stargazing during a meteor shower(Yay for the upcoming Perseids!)  We LOVE watching and counting meteors, and wishing on falling stars!

And of incredible importance -

~ Patience.  Lots and lots of patience.  Oh, and low expectations.  There's only so long a kid-staying-up-past-bedtime can stay still and look at the heavens above. 

Nice to have, but certainly not necessary -

~ tasty beverages and snacks.  (Homemade moon pies, perhaps?  YUM.)

~ a telescope or binoculars (neither of which my boys use.)

So a nice, cool, FREE and (dare I whisper?) educational activity is planned for tonight.  And I bet more than a few fun summer memories will be made to boot!

(These are just some super-basic tips (and how we do it) and I am in no way an expert on stargazing.  Try an awesome website like Sky & Telescope for the real expert stargazing scoop.)