Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I'm on vacation (not at the time of writing, but by the time this posts and is read, I will be). I've had blog postings scheduled to post for the days that we are gone. I have been saving up extra posts, apparently I have too much to share. I can't upload/post pictures while we are gone and won't have steady computer access, so this has worked out well. I'll be sure to share about our trip north to visit family. When the kids play airplane, they say they are going to Elawesko- that's what Bee used to call IL. We are between IL and IN this trip.

Some other blogs this past month have been talking about traveling with kiddos, a lovely summer thing to do. I have extensive experience in this area (plane travel anyway- This is Bee's 9 plane trip and Lou's 6th. They are 3 and 2 respectively) and I thought I'd share just a few thoughts. Today I'm going to talk about the airport itself. Tomorrow, I'll write about what we pack in the kid's carry ons, then I want to share our new luggage tags and fabric handles, etc.

I usually fly with the kids by myself... hubby is sneaky like that. He will be on one leg of the trip with us this time. The majority of my flight experience is by myself with both Bee and Lou.

First, note that the airline rules about liquids do not necessarily apply to families with little kiddos. I have always traveled with drinks and snacks, even yogurt, fruit, etc. My little people drink from our favorite cups, foogo. I fill each one full of water for them and place them in their own tub together when we go through security. When they ask about what's in them- and they don't always even ask- I say it is the children's water. I always add that I am happy to dump it out if needed. I have never (in 9 flights with the kids, that's 18 times through security) been asked to do so. I have twice had the water tested to be sure that it was in fact water.
I always have a small lunch sack with cold snacks; a yogurt for each, cheese sticks, grapes or other fruit, a banana each, maybe a PBJ sandwich, etc. I have never had anyone say anything about this either. It is better to be over prepared food wise! You don't want to have to buy airport food and you certainly don't want to have to buy the $3 bags of trail mix that are often sold once on the plane. I also always have candy with me. Many rules of parenting go out the window when traveling. One of those rules is that it is now OK to bribe children! I have also found that suckers are nice for take off and landing.

I make sure that we are all in easy to remove shoes- nothing is worse than fixing socks an fastening shoes while on the floor at the end of security while people behind you grumble. I also take our mei tai. It is especially nice to have Lou on my back while leaving the plane, getting through the crowd to get to the shuttle which takes you to luggage pick up, then scrambling around to get luggage. Much nicer to have one kid up and out of the way! (This isn't an airport picture, but it is Lou in the mei tai I made and used with Bee. He fell asleep while I was cleaning the house.)

I recommend not arriving too early! I always get to go through an 'express' line at security and end up being a bit early each time anyway. Don't sit and color while at the gate waiting to board the plane, there's plenty of time for that! Also, I prefer not to board too early. I don't do the kid boarding time... we keep walking around. I don't mind boarding last, gives the poor person that you are sitting by less time to get angry about their unfortunate seat assignment.

tomorrow I'm going to write about what we pack in our travel backpacks! The kids can't wait to see too!

Monday, June 29, 2009

t-shirt to a cover up

I saw this cool online tutorial for a swim suit cover up and I have been looking for a fun old shirt to use. Our concert tee days are gone and those shirts have been donated or turned to rags long ago. I have been keeping an eye out at garage sales the past few trips, but laterally found this cool shirt floating in the waves a the beach two nights ago.

You should never let yourself be photographed in you swim gear when everyone else in the pictured is already cleaned up. anyway, here is the finished cover up. next time I would not make the arm holes nearly so deep.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

tank to a skirt- a remake

I recently went through my closet and decided to pull the things I don't wear. I am challenging myself to repurpose as much as possible. You will be seeing many items as remakes here. I am embarrassed by a few outdated items (ok, I wasn't embarrassed until both my sister and hubby informed me that little house on the prairie wasn't 'in style' anymore). Here is the first item I worked on. This tank top never fit well. I've been wearing it as a swimsuit cover up, but thought it might look cute as a skirt.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Have you heard of this guy?

I'm usually the last to know about new musicians.... I just discovered Jack Johnson about three months ago. I was so excited and told a bunch of people about him only to hear that he's been around for years and has a number of CDs. I was disappointed in my music loven' friend Erin. We used to commute to work together and she was responsible for all of my musical influence for several years. She dropped the ball on that one! However, I think I may be onto someone 'new' here...

My church played this video on fathers day. Hubby and I both LOVED it and thought the artists had fantastic voices. It's Alain Clark and his dad singing Father and Friend. It's a new favorite! A lot of what he sings is in Dutch, but I found his UK website and a bunch of you tube videos. He has some really great music!

Maybe you are already familiar with him.... I wouldn't be surprised. Let's pretend that I discovered him though. thanks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

see ya friends

Our good friends Erin and Rob just left our house to return home to IN. We had to pack a weeks worth of vacation plans into just a handful of days. When family and friends visit from the midwest, they usually stay for a week at least and we have plans for them: favorite local spots, beaches, parks, favorite local restaurants, our favorite meals to make, and other fun things to do while staying with us. We couldn't do a lot, but we tried to show them in three days how much fun we have living here.

We took them to one of our beaches. It was pretty windy and there were high waves, but we got to see surfers. Lou found a hole and got in it. We kept going over to him and saying that he should come play with us, but he would mumble, "not done yet." I don't know what he was doing...but he wasn't done.

The wind almost ate out kite! Flying a kite at the beach is so fun because it usually goes up in a few seconds and flys so well. It was so windy that the kite came down ripped up. poor kite.

Kayaking is one of my favorite local things to do and Erin and Rob were happy to go with us. The kids love it too. Lou likes to help paddle. Bee got very upset because she got a little wet. Can you imagine. I was hoping that we would see the manatee but they must have been out at the ballgame, wearing Bee's hat.

We ate Cuban sandwiches and kettle corn and rainbow jello. We told lots of stories and really got caught up. Bee and Lou are so happy when we have company, especially their special Aunt E and Uncle Rob. We haven't hung out in over a year and it was long over due!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

dandelion prints

You actually don't see a lot of dandelions here in FL, we must have the largest lawn care industry in the whole country. Seriously, lawn care companies even take care of the medians in the road and every neighborhood has a company. Our neighborhood gets mowed, trimmed, and otherwise tended to at least twice a week. Bee spied some 'pretty yellow flowers' at the grocery store by the cart corral. She picked a bunch of them while I loaded the groceries. When we got home she said she wanted to do an art project so I grabbed the flowers. We painted the flower heads (with slightly watered down yellow paint) rather than dipping so there wouldn't be globs of paint. The stems were a little trickier, but we found that if you used both hands, you could get a stamp of the stem easily enough. We ended up with some really pretty dandelion prints.

I want to do something special with them, maybe framing them or using the scanner to help create some pretty note cards.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

do manatee wear hats?

I hope they do because Bee's favorite ball cap fell off at the bay today and fell right into the water. We were on the pier, too high to get it. It sank to the bottom before anybody could think of a way to reach it. The manatee were right next to it so we all joked that the manatee would be wearing it now. Daddy is taking her to the hat store tonight to order a new one. Oh, the crying!

(mama or papa)

It is not manatee season at all, but this little mama, papa, and baby have stuck around this year. We have been told that the natural underwater springs cool the water in the shallow (comparatively speaking) bay. Springs here are 72-74 degrees- ideal for manatee. When the summer heat warms the rest of the bay and gulf, most of the manatee move north for cooler water. They return in the winter when our water is the perfect temperature and the northern water is too cold. They eat seaweed from the bottom and breathe air from the top, so they stay in shallow water area. They also really like to drink freshwater, which the springs are. Our area of the bay is pretty brackish, a mix of salt and fresh water. Friends of our say that if you take jugs of fresh water out in your boat and slowly pour it into the bay, the mantee will come right up and drink your water. That's not legal at all, but now you know. There's your science lesson for the day (and a little criminal justice lesson).

cinnamon rolls

Bee has been asking all week for cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Lou and I got up a little early this morning so we could make some before church. I thought Bee would get up and help. She rolled out of bed just in time to eat the first finished roll. convenient, huh? I got this delish cinnamon roll recipe from taste of home magazine. It started as one of those potluck sized recipe and made 4 dozen. This is a half recipe and makes about 2 dozen depending on size. I make the larger recipe every time the youth group has a lock in. Teenagers eat so much!

Lou kept pinching at the dough to take 'bites'. He loves dough. blah.

We made one batch with raisins and one without. I don't know why you'd want them without, but to each their own.

I usually just slice with a knife but today I used a piece of string. I like the results.

They smelled so good.

We delivered a few to friends at church this morning and ate more than we should have ourselves. We sent a few off to my sister in IN. College may be the one time in your life that people send you food in the mail.

Cinnamon rolls
¼ t yeast
1 ¾ c water
3 T sugar
1 ½ t salt
½ c. oil
1 eggs
@6 c flour

1/8 c butter
½ c sugar
2 t cinnamon
½ c raisins
1/8 c butter
1 ¾ powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
2 T water
Knead- rise 1 hour
roll out, ad filling. roll up. slice.
bake 425° 15 min

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

super fast, super cute shirt

This cute shirt is not only versatile, but takes only minutes. honesty, it will take me more time to write about it than it takes to make. Find a shirt that has a little stain or just needs a little embellishment. Family Fun magazine featured this project this month with a fourth of July flare and a star share, but I was looking for something girly.

Draw the shape you want on the back side of the fabric. Turn the shirt inside out and pin the shape (backside up) to the shirt in the position you want. Sew along the line (sewing only the fabric and one side of the shirt).

Turn the shirt right side out. You will be able to see the sewn line. Carefully cut the shape out of the t-shirt, being careful not to cut the fabric layer. Don't get too close to the stitch line, leave 1/4 inch of t-shirt.

Monday, June 22, 2009

etsy love

One of my items is being featured on etsy's travel page today. This is my first bit of etsy love! It's the travel crayon roll. We will sure be traveling with these in a few days!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

there's some sewing ahead for me

I so did not intend to go to any garage sales this weekend, but I heard about a huge fundraiser yard sale for a local family adopting a little guy from China. I found three boxes of quilting materials and fabric. I picked out a whole sack of fabric. Some cuts were just a 1/2 yard, others were up to 4 or 5 yards. Happy new baby to our neighbors and happy sewing to me.

There's Lou holding the bus he bought with his 50 cents.

happy fathers day

I didn't get on the ball this year with father's day. I stink. I sent the kid's cards and little crafts to the grandpas late on Thursday, I don't think they'll arrive until Monday. We have two super grandpas (and a great grandpa) and they didn't get anything nearly as fun as the grandmas got for mothers day. Maybe the grandma's will share. The kids made daddy some cards, hand prints on wooden plaques and painted a picture that we attached a poem to at preschool -typical stuff. They excitedly gave those to daddy this morning, but maybe we should have picked up a book or something. I expected them to make something for daddy at church this morning, but they came home with the coloring sheet they had done the week before... I guess they dropped the ball there too. Sorry I stink. Happy Father's Day anyway.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

yummm.... bread

My friend Liz from my Natural Family group shared this recipe for a delicious milk bread. You can easily substitute different flours and fruits and nuts as you like. Today I used only spelt and white unbleached flour. I wanted to have a really soft bread for french toast the next morning.
I often roll it out and sprinkle it with raisins and cinnamon. This will make delicious french toast!

It makes enough for two medium sized loaves.

It smelled as good as it looks. That's a full jar of granola in the background!

Milk Bread
2 ¼ t yeast
2 T warm water
1 c warm milk
dissolve yeast in water and milk


5 T butter -melted
3 T sugar
1 egg
1 t salt
4 c flour (any combination)

Knead well, rise 1 hour
separate into 2 pieces, roll out and add goodies if desired.
Bake 350° for up to 35-40 min

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beer hat remake

Hubby put this hat in a pile of clothes for me to go through and then get rid of. He picked it up while getting ready for a mission trip to Mexico a few years ago. It was on clearance, so despite the corona label, he decided it would work. I have now taken it over. In the summer I need something to throw on since we are in and out of the pool and or beach all day long. It has that cute ball cap/Cuban hat fit and is super neutral. love it...

I don't drink beer and certainly don't want to be a walking advertisement for them. I thought about sewing something over the word corona but could not decide what to use. I tried to scratch it off with a nail file but that did not work very well. I decided to grab some black paint and mess around with the letters a little. I didn't have a plan, but now it reads "Gapolia". I think after I wash it a time or two and wear it in the sun and pool, it will look a little faded like it used to. I googled the word and gapolia seems to mean something in another language, I don't know what it is.... I probably now have a hat that says toothpaste or something silly.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

freezer paper stencil shirts for Bee

A little over a week ago, I wrote about the freezer paper stencil dinosaur shirt I made for Lou. Today, Bee got her shirt. She wanted a fairy, but when I started looking for images, she fell in love with a unicorn. I dug around in her drawers and found a second shirt to use so we could do both. Next she wants a mermaid. Last time I wrote about this, I did not include any photos of the process, so I am today. Here's the freezer paper (150 sq feet for $5.50), my sketch of the fairy on a piece of the freezer paper, and the blue tank top (garage sale for 50 cents).

Cut out the shape. I did trace this unicorn. I just found an image on google images, copied it to word, sized it up pretty big, and then put my paper right onto my computer screen.

Position your images and iron them onto the shirt.

Paint right over the shape. Be slightly careful at the edges that you paint in, not out to the edges. I mixed some colors together to get the paint color I used. When it was mostly dry, I painted over both with clear glitter paint. An older child could do this part.

When the paint is dry, or mostly dry if you are impatient like me, carefully pull the paper away from the shirt. Be careful not to smear the paint or drag the paper through the image (if you could wait). Apply some heat with your iron to set the paint, if your paint bottle recommends that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

show time

I finished up a larger order today. Included was a puppet curtain. I love to make the puppet curtains because I know how much my own kids love theirs. I first made a fleece puppet curtain for Lou's first Christmas. I wanted a fun 'share' gift for the kids. I looked around online and did not see much available, so I decided to just make my own. My mom gave the kids a few puppets for Christmas that year, so we were ready. The kids have had numerous puppets show, many starring Lisa the cowgirl. We took our curtain to preschool a few times and our friends had a super good time too.

If you want to make your own, it's pretty easy (or, I sell them in my etsy shop). You will need 1 3/4 yard fleece for the length of the curtain, 1/2 yard fleece for the curtains, and 1/4 yd of fleece for the fringe. Two tension rods are also needed. Approximately 16 inches is cut off the width of the long curtain piece. That can be used to make a little drawstring bag to hold your curtain. Lay out your long curtain piece and cut a hole for the show. You will need to create a place for the lower tension rod to slip into just below the window hole. You will also need to sew a loop at the top for the top tension rod. Attach you fringe and curtains and then some tiebacks.

Over the past year, I've had several special requests from customers that have led to some really fun 'optional' features: a draw sting bag to hold the gear, some pockets on the inside to hold the puppets for quick changes during the show, and even some personalization to the front of the curtain.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

what just happened?

That's right, things are looking a little different here! This is the best prize I could have hoped to win! I won a head-to-toe make over for my blog. The fine folks over at Knuckleheaders sponsored a giveaway at give away today and I won (cause the first winner didn't respond, but none the less!)

Megan really worked with my comments and my blog to get a real feel for what I wanted. We talked about what I like and needed and came up with a great new header. She makes these things called skinnies too, but I rather like the plumpness of my blog. She also made me this great button. I don't know exactly how I'm going to use it yet, but I will for sure... You should totally go check out her cute designs.

The header you see today is what she came up with for me. I told her I liked the old retro girl with a broom and her little girl and she gave me an updated version of that. I think she did a great job! She also was so kind and installed and made all of the setting changes, etc for me. I love how she incorporated a bee and some gingham which I would have picked for myself but did not even think to mention that to her.

If you blog needs some love, in the design area, talk to Megan!

out to the garage sales

I have mentioned it before, but my kids love to garage sale. They love looking through other peoples stuff and getting junk for free because they are cute. We found some fun things today. The woman at one house had free kittens, we almost fell into her trap! There was crying on the way home when we left without one of those precious little guys!

I paid $2.50 for this old singer. It's rusty in some areas, I bet it sat in someones garage here, that happens in FL. I contacted singer and because it had a serial number, they were able to tell me some information about it: Our records show that serial # K18462 belongs to Singer model 27 manufactured on Jan 16, 1902 in Elizabeth New Jersey. I should have asked the seller what she knew about it. She was pushing the kitten thing pretty hard though and I was hard pressed to leave. It is a treadle machine which means that it was powered by a foot pressing motion and a leather belt. It also means that it was at one time housed in a wooden cabinet. I think this old machine has seen hundreds of yards of fabric. My only clue to that is that the worn parts in the painted design are right where your hands would had held onto the fabric to guide it and on the wheel where you would have turned it to position your needle. I'm going to work on the rust part. I have a friend who may know just what to do.

The kids have been wanting some Barbies, but I refuse at this point. Our friend has one and my kids- both of them- play with it like crazy when we see them. I told them that if they found some in very good condition for a good price at a garage sale, I'd buy them each one. Bee and Lou spied this set of princess dancer barbies and they were only 50 cents a piece. The 13 year old selling them said that she only ever had them on display. They are super clean and still had all of the little rubber bands holding the ribbons in place, etc. No 4 year old has been playing with these. I bought all 8.

The woman with the sewing machine sold me this box of cloth napkins for $2.00. I was hoping to pick up just a few more napkins. When I got home and counted them, there were 75! I will be giving most away.

I couldn't resist this jar. It's really big, I don't know why anyone would need that much mayo. I don't know what I'll use it for yet....

Monday, June 15, 2009

ideas from the Montessori catalogue

I love when the Montessori catalogue comes, not because I order from it, but it reminds me to get some old favorite activities out and give me some ideas of things to try.

Here is a bead activity that I thought I could replicate. Bee is good about following the pattern, Lou is a rebel.

Here are a few others activities that we forget about, but were happy to rediscover.

Here's our spool bag, it contains some 65ish empty spools and a few plastic laces. They often turn into dog leashes for the little stuffed toy dogs.

Hanging up laundry... that's fun that no one can beat.

Bee had so much fun hanging up laundry (already dry) that she said she could do it everyday. We will see.

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