Monday, July 01, 2013

New Clothes for Vacation

As a kid, my mom would always buy us a few new cute outfits before we went on vacation. Her logic was that you will enjoy yourself more if you feel great in the clothes you wear. It was usually money she had already set aside for summer clothes, so it never seemed like a big deal. Now that I have kids, I try to do the same thing. I still like to have a few threads to wear on holiday; however, I don't often buy new clothes for myself. We are heading to Crete this summer, so I decided to sew myself a few nice things.

I bought a single issue of Burda Fashion magazine, which is a fashion magazine that includes patterns. The above tank top was made with fabric I've had in my stash using one of those patterns.

This is a Hot Patterns shirt that I started awhile ago but never managed to finish - thus the wrinkles :/ I got the pattern and fabric from

I downloaded this pattern free off the internet from, and got got this fabric free. London is really big on reducing what goes in landfills, so there a heavy emphasis on recycling even at a corporate and manufacturing level. Our local council has a place called the Watford Recycling Arts Project ( WRAP) where companies drop off industrial waste that could be reused. I find loads of fabric there that I am allowed to take for free! 

Here is a bathing suit top and matching board shorts that I made from fabric I got from the WRAP as well. I drafted these patterns myself, so I am pretty proud of them.

Here is a closer look at the swim suit and board shorts.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Paper Birthday Pouches for Class Party

In my daughter's nursery/preschool class there is a birthday almost once a week. Most parents pass out some sort of treat to all the kids as they leave school that day. Other parents go all out and buy a birthday cake. Since my little one is lactose intolerant, she can't enjoy the cake with others. So, I decided for her birthday I'd do something a little special. I made these cute paper pouches that are filled with a small bit of candy.

I started off with some label paper that I wrote Happy Birthday and stamped.

Then I took some construction paper and cut it in half.

This is the goodies, just some fruit snacks and a small piece of taffy.

I used the labels to make paper tubes.

Then I sewed up one side of the tube with my serger. 
After I filled it with the goodies, I sewed up the other side. I just hope the kids like the treats inside ;)

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Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter 2013

I thought I'd share with you our wonderful Easter celebrations this year. 

We started off with decorating cookies. My little one here is lactose intolerant, so I baked a bunch of goodies for her to eat so she wouldn't be without sweets.

The we dyed Easter eggs.

I was too cheap to buy the white eggs (which would have cost about $4.50 for half a dozen), so we used brown eggs. I must say I like the more rich tones of the eggs. We got some sort of pearl effect kit which made them shimmer a bit.

Then the kids went off to find the eggs. 

For Easter dinner we got our table top grill out and everyone made their own yummy creations. The kids prefer this to a traditional ham roast or feast, and it is a better way for us to spend quality time together. 

A friend of mine challenged me to make this bunny bread. She found a pic of it somewhere on the internet and wanted to see if I could do it. I made it with an Italian bread recipe.

I think it turned out pretty awesome!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Virtual Summer Camp

Over the summer my kids get very bored. If you look throughout this blog there are tons of ideas of what to do with kids over the summer. As my kids got older, entertaining them has become more challenging. My husband found a virtual summer camp that has got the kids all excited.

It is from the makers of Make magazine, and they have created what they call "Maker Camp." Basically they have recruited the interns to produce this virtual summer camp. The kids log into Google+ in the morning to see their project. They have details and videos on how to do the project. Then the kids post on Google+ pictures of their results. The projects range from arts and crafts, science,  computers, and really try to reach a broad range of interests.

Yesterday my daughter made the above gif animation of us having a pillow fight. I was quite impressed she was able to put it all together herself. Click on the image if you don't see the animation.

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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Coupon Spreadsheet Update

A number of you have been commenting on the issue of sales tax with the original coupon spread sheet. I had not realized that the taxes were calculated based on the original price, so I made some adjustments to the spreadsheet to reflect that.

For those of you who did not read the first post, I do not use this worksheet because I live in London where they do not do grocery coupons. I made this sheet for my sister, and I thought it would be nice to share with others that wanted a very detailed coupon spreadsheet.

Here is a closer screen shot of the sales tax fix for those of you where were asking for this change. 

I hope this spreadsheet proves useful for someone out there. If you see any more errors let me know. I am not the quickest at fixing problems, but I will eventually get around to it.

To access the spreadsheet, all you need is the link Coupon Spreadsheet v2. You are welcome to direct people to the site, but I ask that you do not mass distribute the spreadsheet without permission.

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

More Ceramics

My husband and I have finished some more ceramic pieces from our date night pottery workshops. We have been having so much fun with these workshops, and as you can see we are learning how to do some many different kinds of pottery techniques.

These are some jewelry pendant pieces I simple rolled out and cut with cookie cutter shapes. Then I took some various textures and added some detail. My favorite is the blue flower that has a nice speckled blue paint on the inside and a pewter colored outer rim. I had another lovely piece, but it broke on me. I was told there is a 30% failure rate for professional potters, so you shouldn't get discouraged if something doesn't turn out. It just so happened that the piece had an air pocket in it, so it shattered.

This is a bowl that I spun on a potter's wheel. It was the first piece that I successfully made on the wheel, so I am quite proud of it. I love the speckled paint job, but honestly I thought it was going to be a different color. The label and picture made it look more like a tea color with coffee colored specks, but instead it turned out robin's egg. Perhaps the paint labels got mixed up, but I still love it. The speckles are actually blobs in the paint, and when the piece goes into the kilm to cure the blobs explode into the speckled pattern you see here.

I finished the bottom with a nice brown color. 

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pottery Plate

I am so proud of this plate! I made it all by myself. When I say I made it, I don't mean I just painted it in some Paint Your Own Pottery place. I actually made it with wet clay, created the polka dots, drew the cool food, and then later painted it.

My husband and I have been going to a ceramics open studio at the local community center for our date nights. Tonight I got my first piece back, this awesome plate! We also got to try our hand at the potter's wheel. I made an awesome bowl, which I can't wait to see how it turns out. It will be awhile before it is done, but I will post a picture when it is done too :)
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