Monday, June 30, 2008

Etsy's best part five

This week's goodness was nominated by Kelley.  Enjoy!

If I had a time machine I know exactly how I would use it.  I would beam back to my six year old self and do everything in my power to stop my parents from selling their VW pop-top.  I would give anything to make Jiffy-pop on the stove with my girls right now.  At the beach.  Paradise.  Handgrown Pottery makes the most perfect little dishes.  It is no wonder why all of Etsy has a crush on her!
Usually our summers seem to be filled with a wedding every other weekend.  This year we only have one on the calendar.  I think these simple yet stunning vases would make a perfect present.  The most fun part about them is Bliss Home Goods makes them from Frappachino bottles.  Yum.
I am toying with the idea of having Halley and Lucy share a room.  They did while we were at the cabin and it went much better than I could have imagined.  I know that when they do, the first thing I am going to buy is one of these beautiful and classic prints from Sarah + Abraham.  It actually makes me want to move them right now.  Even before the bunk bed fairy comes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm back.... with free Starbucks.

Hi.
I am back from vacation.  Bet you didn't even know I was gone....
After a week in the mountains and the inevitable recovery that being away from home brings, I want to give away a pound of my favorite coffee from Starbucks for two reasons.
1.  I scheduled posts to appear while I was away to trick would be robbers from visiting my neighborhood.  The problem with planning posts ahead is I feel they weren't as crafty or purposeful as my normal daily ones.  I hope the coffee will make up for them.  Especially yesterday's.
2.  I have had three very traumatic coffee experiences in a row.  First I mistakenly thought an iced coffee from McDonald's would be a good idea.  It wasn't.  Second, on the 8th hour of sitting in the van with tired, grumpy, non-napping children, I miraculously found a drive-thru Starbucks, got my usual, foolishly got back on the freeway in hideous L.A. traffic before tasting it.  $3 poison.  Really wanted to throw it out the window.  Didn't want to get shot.  Lastly, I was literally falling asleep grocery shopping when I got home, went to the in-store Starbucks to wake myself up, was told:  "Our expresso machine is broken.  We have decaf drip if you would like."  No.  I would not like.  So, to redeem the previous not-awesomeness I will extend love in the form of free coffee.
Just leave me a comment.  About anything.  I will pick a winner on Tuesday.
P.S.  I would love to send you ice cream, but I don't think it would make it....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not quite right.

My sister in law lives overseas.  Her and her friends have a little inside saying that is "NQR".  It stands for Not Quite Right.  I think it started when she was craving some American-style food and the interpretation of it was a nice try, but "not quite right."  Jason and I have been known to whisper "NQR" to each other in awkward situations and we find ourselves seconds away from laughing fits every time.  I parked next to this truck and just had to take a picture.  I am sure that was not the meaning that Isuzu had in mind at their pitch meeting for this particular model.  So basically this post is probably only funny to me, but now I have given you a code word that nobody will know when you are stuck in a "not quite right" situation.

Friday, June 27, 2008

How many Targets do you have?

I guess it isn't normal to have six Targets within a 10 mile radius of your house.  But then again, not much is normal here.  But before you get jealous, we don't have any Target Greatlands.  I would gladly trade four regular Targets for one of those.  Two of them are small and horrible, two are average, one is really big and one is just fabulous.  Luckily enough, the fabulous one is the closest to my house.  I had to take a picture of this beautiful clearance rack.  Look closely at the hangers.  Every single one of them are mediums and every rack is sorted by size.  Yes, now you can be jealous, because my Target organizes their clearance racks with purpose and precision.  

Thursday, June 26, 2008

$2.80 can buy me happiness.

I have been lied to.  I was mislead by a Starbucks employee that you cannot use Starbucks gift cards at the ones in Target.  I guess the Starbucks employees have some secret feud with the Target and grocery Starbucks employees.  The stand alone Starbucks feel like they are better trained and more "legit".  I say who in the heck cares!  I only treat myself to Starbucks when I have a giftcard, since I can make them at home with my Barista for free.  I can't tell you how many countless times I have been desperate for one while grocery shopping or on a Target run.  Today it is 105 degrees and I was beyond hot, tired and exhausted.  I decided to bend my rule and buy myself a treat with actual cash.  As I was waiting in line I noticed that they sell giftcards and thought... they must take them too, right?  So I asked and THEY DO!  All these times I have walked away empty and sad, for nothing!  So, I tried a Double Shot on ice (I normally get boring Iced Coffee... only 15 cents cheaper) and I am in paradise!  Just enough creaminess, sweetness and kick.  I had to take a picture of it in the parking lot because I knew it wouldn't last the 4 minute drive home.  Thank you Target!  Boo on you lying employee!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunny Days

How cute is this scrapbook?  I bet you want one of your own!
I got it at a craft fair where you shop at the booths (most of which are un-manned) and then pay for all of your purchases at the check out line.  This booth had the most amazing albums, I could have bought one of each.
But you know what she didn't have?  A card, a tag or any other information on who she was, or where you could contact her to get more of her creations.  I practically had to fight my friend for this one.  I am hoping someone recognizes this and can tell me how to find the creator!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You can make this!

I could not have survived nursing without one of these.  Lucy was convinced that the world needed to be graced with the sight of my muffin top.  My nursing cover was the only thing that spared stranger's eyes from that lovely sight.  She could swat and tug at it, but it remained stationary thanks to the strap that at times strangled me.  I survived church, high school graduations and even a wedding with my modesty intact.  I decided to try to make one as a gift for my sweet friend (who gave me a Coach purse...) and if you can use an iron and sew a straight line you can make one too.  Here is the tutorial that helped me.  Amen for hidden tummies!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Celebrate swap

After much diversion from the United States Post office, this sweet sign arrived at my doorstep.  Sweet Ashley sent it to me as part of the Celebrate Banner Swap.  I love that it is so carefully handpainted and the buttons are just perfection.  She even included a fantastic bracelet in matching colors.  The best part of the bracelet is the magnetic closure.  I cannot tell you how hard it is to put on my bracelets by myself.  This one is foolproof.  You can find more of her creations here at her Etsy shop  Thanks so much!  I am off to celebrate my life.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Sunday.

I came across this random verse and actually used it for my girls...  See, even God is concerned about what we eat, and busting out scripture at mealtime when they would rather lick the honey off of their plates instead of eat the chicken intended to be dipped in it, packs a lot of power.

"Do you like honey?  Don't eat too much of it, or it will make you sick!"
Proverbs 25:16

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Treats

I am so spoiled.  I won two giveaways the other week, all chock full of fun crafty awesomeness.

This one hurts a bit, I won it basically because gas is the most expensive where I live.  I would rather win because I only have to pay $2.00 a gallon instead of well over $4.69!  Thanks Trish, for making my trips to the money pit (a.k.a. gas station) a bit less stinging.
C from Little Bit Funky sent me these goodies for guessing where she was born.  I picked the most random major U.S. city and was rewarded handsomely.  Halley found this bag of girly craftyness and tried to claim it as her own.  I might share a bit, but  most of it is for mama.  Sorry girl.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm putting myself on restriction

Don't get me wrong...  I absolutely love participating in swaps.  I just got a bit too ambitious and signed up for more than I was prepared to take on.  I had to step back and realize that there are orders in the shop that were getting behind.  Don't even get me started on how much laundry and housekeeping duties have been slipping!  So here is the 50 cards I just sent off in the mail for the last swap I committed to.  I hope they find  nice homes.  The hardest part is, Little Bit Funky is having a super fun swap where you send your partner items from your state.  The sheer volume of California goodness I could share is staggering!  So pop on over there and sign up.  I will live vicariously through you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Etsy's best part four

No real theme today, just goodies that I really, really like as nominated by you, sweet readers.  Enjoy!


Save The Date has a brilliant way to save money on postage as well as save trees.  Their Save the Date cards are stunning and meant to be sent by email.  If only I had this option 10 years ago!

HarmonyWear is defined by fun and whimsy.  Who doesn't love a garden gnome?  A certain house in my neighborhood has an obsession with them... perhaps another post.
  
Arfeiniel is full of simple yet funky designs.  What little one wouldn't love a sweet gnome hat?  I can just imagine Lulu's funny face in one right now.

Button Boutique creates magic with covered buttons.  You know I love me a covered button.  Here is a fun bit of flair for your wrist.

Fuzzy Me takes a simple tutu to another level.  How magical is this heart filled fluff?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Things.

As inspired by C at Little Bit Funky here are some really good things that I am happy about today.
Sunny days playing with water in the backyard,  catching Halley smiling for the camera (rare), the two of them playing together, my new camera lens, Halley's curls...
the hope that someday Lulu will have the same curls,
my super cheap smoothie maker that produces the best smoothies ever, every time, and Trader Joe's for their yummy and affordable juices and frozen fruits,
my glorious Mac and all that it helps me do, my One to One training at the Apple store for teaching me exactly what I want to learn, the girls watching their favorite "movie", a slideshow I made of their baby cousin with Jack Johnson as the soundtrack,
the fact that I sent my husband to a Laker's finals game that they actually won and didn't fall apart in a hideous disaster.  He will remember being at that game more than what ultimately happened in Boston last night.

Happy good things to you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day... Ebay... Take Away

My husband is hard to buy for.  Hard to surprise.  He is the ultimate gift-giver... so I have a lot to live up too.  Hooray for Ebay!  Bib Fortuna is his favorite Star Wars character and I found, and finally won these vintage guys.  Add in a Lakers' Finals tickets and you get one happy man.  Father's day was amazing.  We started off the day at breakfast with my dad, brother, sis-in-law, and niece, went to church, out to lunch, saw Indiana Jones, grabbed dinner at the beach and then came home to watch the Lakers win.  But I think the highlight for him was opening his package of old-school Star Wars nerdy-ness. 
Another reason I love Ebay is their favorite search feature.  I have been on the hunt for this pattern for over a year.  Ebay emails me if it is ever listed.  Sadly, a really ugly early 1990's dress comes under the same number, so most of the emails disappoint.  This one was the first one that was what I actually wanted.  It is bigger than I would have hoped, but I bid myself silly to win it.  I am going to have to alter it a bit, but look at how simple the one piece design looks.  I am so not a pattern person, but I think this one is an exception.  I am also going to bail on the bias tape, it is a hassle to put on... too much patience and precision required.  I have plans to make it reversible, no inside seams to finish.  Can't wait to try it out.
Here is little miss culinary adventures.  We grabbed clam chowder bowls at the pier and sat down on the sand to eat.  The girls had their own dinner from home, but Lucy was eyeing my chowder.  I always let them try whatever they are interested in.  It only took one sip of a latte to turn them away from begging for my Starbucks.  I figured she wouldn't be into it, but one spoonful later I was left with an empty bread bowl and she took ownership of my soup.  Mind you, this child could eat a burrito with lots of hot sauce every single meal. There however was no bribery on earth that would convince Halley to try it... she is the typical toddler who likes about 5 foods.  Chowder bowls are going to have to remain date night dinners when Lulu is around. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Parade of pink.

I made this sign for Tangee's Pinkalicious swap.  Her blog is titled Sparkly Messy Life, and I think pink, oodles of ribbon, glitter and this Bible verse are so fitting.
I have a problem with holding on to fabric.  Sometimes it is really hard to use my last pieces.  But if I don't make something with them, what is the point of even having them?  I have been hanging on to these Amy Butler prints for a while, and had just enough to make her a sassy apron and hobo bag big enough to tote scrapbook supplies in.
I added flip flops, scrapbook supplies, a crazy patchwork fabric journal, pink funky frame and one of my favorite sewing books to the mix.  Happy crafting Tangee!  I look forward to seeing you put your sewing machine to good use.
I have been making mainly collage signs lately and I loved changing it up a bit to make this birth announcement sign for a sweet baby girl's homecoming.  I am hooked on adding vintage prints to signs now.  If only Google Image search didn't pull up such random and unrelated (even creepy)  junk!
I am also hooked on Savannah Lane Designs.  I just ordered this sweet beanie for a certain little niece to wear during our upcoming lake vacation.  I am just imagining the pictures of the cousins right now.  Edible!
Enjoy your weekend... I suppose pink is a weird theme for father's day....  tomorrow will be blue and very manly.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Etsy's best part three

This week's Etsy Love has been nominated by Bethany of Graham Cracker Crumbs.  Thanks for sharing such great shops!
Any given minute of any given day, odds are one of my girls is having a tea party.  I adore this sweet pink print from Sarah Jane.
Some of my best childhood memories involve camping in the woods.  Oh, how I wish I had found a friendly bear to share adventures with.  Hide N Seek has dreamy and whimsical drawings, and hails from the U.K.
Each time I finish a spool of thread I keep it in a jar as proof of how much I have been sewing.  Sadly my plastic spools just don't have the charm of these vintage ones from Erica Daley.  I could swear this is an exact portrait of my Lulu.
What is a tea party without birds, bunnies, cupcakes and bunting?  I want to recreate this scene under the oak trees at our nearby park.  Thanks for the inspiration Sarah Jane.
Another talented Brit, Paperfish has festive bunting perfect for my oak tree tea party.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bad Mom.

About a thousand times a day I try to fight the feeling that I am not exactly being the best mom that I could be.  I know I am doing so many things right, but sometimes I am a glass half empty type of girl.  One thing I know I have completely blown it on in keeping up baby books for my girls.
I have a four year old and a two year old and neither one has a baby book.  I kept meaning to get to it, but life flies by and memories start fading.  Thankfully I found these little yummies from Chic Memories.  They are completely personalized inside and out.  Every detail is gorgeous.  They are beyond what I could ever hoped to create on my own.
They are a fantastic size, the pages inside are 8 1/2 by 11.  Each page has tons of room to jot down the things you never want to forget.  This is not your fabric covered album from the early 1990's.  Remember, the kind that was super puffy and lacy with the oval picture frame on the front.  You know you made them.  I sure did.  I thought they were pretty awesome too.  But then so were scrunchies and pegged jeans.
Anyway, back from that digression.  Kerri works with you every step of the way making each book perfect for your child.  She incorporates nicknames, bible verses and lets you add or change pages.
If only she could reach in my brain and retrieve the memories that I have lost by not starting earlier!  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Desert Island Swap Goodies

Here are a few of the treats I sent over to Lori as part of the Desert Island Swap she held.  It was such a fun swap to participate in, especially considering she loves the beach as much as I do, and also has two sweet daughters.
I found a fun vinyl tablecloth at Target and was able to make three beach bags out of it using this tutorial.  They are durable, waterproof and wipeable.  Perfect for that bottle of sunscreen that is destined to leak.
I do not have the precision or patience to be a quilter.  But if I could make a blanket out of crazy layers of weird shaped scraps and then attack them with my sewing machine I just might change my mind.  I combined many of my most favorite fabrics into a journal cover.
These letters from Joann's remind me of the ones from Land Of Nod.  Oh, the ways I love that catalog.... I got one for each of her girls and made them headbands using this helpful tutorial.
Another great use for covered buttons.  A super simple and very practical bookmark.
In general I am not really into popcorn.  By accident my husband bought this new kind and there has been no turning back.  Inside you will find the chunkiest pieces of pepper you could ever imagine.  Perfect for a side snack with yummy tomatoes.  How sad is the scary tomato recall!  I am so glad I can drive over to my parents house, sneak in the backyard and get as many as I want without thinking "maybe these will make me die".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better than candy.

My dad is an amazing gardener.  As soon as I could walk I would toddle out to the backyard and pretty much clear the cherry tomato plants.  Something about warm, sunshine ripened, homegrown produce just can't be matched.  There are few treats that can compete for my affection like a plate of flavorful tomatoes, sea salt and cracked pepper.  My husband and kids think I am crazy when I prepare my nightly "dessert".  Secretly I am glad that they don't like them, it would be really hard for me to share!
Roxi sent me this fun, hand painted glittery sugar starfish for the Not Too Shabby Summer Swap.  It fits in just perfectly with my house.  Thanks so much! 
This is what I sent to her.  I found this funky vintage children's book illustration and had to use it.  I am not sure what language it is, but the colors and the children's faces are just perfect.  I copied a fun idea from my sister in law Beth, and used a shell necklace for a hanger.  Thanks for hosting such a fun swap!