June 15, 2009

It’s 2:30 and guess where I’m not? I’m not headed out to do school pick up. Oh yeah, summer is here. The leap from 2nd to 3rd has been made …


… the kitchen has been cleaned of all remnants of last week’s flour flying, butter mixing, bear cookie decorating marathon (I only did 90 … Donna, how the heck did you do over 300?)

… the fabric bits and packaging detritus that resulted from 3 baseball coach gifts, 1 teacher gift and 2 principal/secretary gifts has been removed

… the piles of schoolwork have been sorted and filed; the backpack tucked away

… the first day of camp is underway, right along with the celebration of no lunches to pack

… the sun is peaking out and warmer weather around the corner

Time already seems to be going slower. I’ll take it. Every last, long minute.


Hello? Summer?

June 5, 2009

It’s June 5. And it’s cold, grey, drizzly. The forecast predicts more of the same for the next week. Really? Did Summer take a wrong turn on the way to Northern California? We’re the state of sun and fun. So come on already. We’re tired of sitting and waiting …



May 28, 2009

More sewing stories

May 26, 2009

The weekend was long, quiet and chilly! Perfect for a marathon sewing session. The run down in numbers:

:: items cut out – 9

:: items made — 6

:: ideas cut from the list — 1 (handmade napkins for Open House at K’s school. Don’t know where that idea came from but happy that I cut it before getting too far in!)

:: zippers put in — 1 (in an actual skirt that I can actually wear!)

:: bobbins wound — 4

:: trips to the fabric store — 2

:: seams ripped out — 3 (tricky waistbands!)

:: hems pressed — 4

:: things made that I like — 5 (there is one unfortunate skirt, made without pattern, that looks more like a drawstring bag and that is this close to being taken apart so the fabric and elastic can be reused)

:: lessons learned — a lot! A sampling …

… I do not know enough yet to make clothes for myself without a pattern

… zippers are not scary

… between all the jumping around from cutting to pressing to sewing, you get quite a workout and may actually wake up sore the next day

And because no Sparkly post is complete without a picture, here is my favorite tote bag for summer. After trying several, I have to say this Amy Butler pattern is my hands-down favorite. Easy to make, fun to use.

market tote 1

Now it’s off to write brilliant things for clients while slogging through the mountain of laundry that collected during the All Sewing, All the Time weekend.


May 25, 2009

I had an old tablecloth in the giveaway pile (because it was too short for the table and had an unfortunate wine stain) when Miss K mentioned that she liked the stripe. Hmmm. Wheels turning. More hmmmm.


First thought: pj pants. Taking full advantage of the tablecloth hem, I had these done speedy quick. There was enough fabric to make a skirt, even working around that unfortunate wine stain. So I did.


And now that tablecloth has new life as two different garments. I’m feeling a bit like Scarlet O’Hara in her dress made out of the drawing room curtains. Hmmm, what else do I have around here?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

May 22, 2009

Every since I decided to do the little giveaway, that rhyme has been on a continual loop inside my head. And while we have no chicken dinner, we do have two apron winners who can make chicken dinner in style!

:: Miss Paper Doll

:: The second H

These girls are practically family and the only ones to leave a comment. And if you have only 2, it’s hard to pick 1. So 2 winners it is! And quite the interesting wrap-up to my giveaway experiment.

In other news …

We’re headed into the last weeks of school. Since K began grade school, it’s been quite a surprise to experience the near insane level of activities and to-dos that come along with the last few weeks. Even though this is my 3rd year, I’m still surprised.

On the flip side, the waning days of the school year means that I’m that much closer to the annual reprieve from making lunch at 6:30 a.m. Speaking of lunches (not that we really were but I am now) … it often happens that some of the carefully and lovingly packed lunch comes home uneaten with claims of being too busy or not hungry. I prefer not to throw usable leftovers out but apple slices after sitting in tupperware for hours are not the freshest.

The other day, I decided to try reusing them and borrowed an idea I got from my friends Donna and Carrie. I took those leftover slides and sauteed them in a teeny bit of butter and brown sugar until they were super soft, and then ate them with some non-fat vanilla yogurt. Absolutely delicious! And the house smelled yummy too. Another fine thing to make in a cute apron.


Fashionista spring report

May 15, 2009


Oversize T-shirt (preferably decorated with fabric paint so everyone knows your favorite expression is “I like pie”)

+ Pair of Dad’s boxer shorts

+ Snow boots

+ Snow gloves

+ A huge LOL expression

… It’s what all the girls are wearing for Spring.


May 14, 2009


I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it many more times. School field trips take superhero levels of energy and patience. Except, it turns out, when you take 40 2nd graders on a hike to the beach. A hike that is nearly 2 miles one way but quite easy with a wide trail. You see, they can’t go anywhere but the trail. No where to get lost. Very few opportunities to get into mischief. And they get out all their pent-up scooty juice on the way.

Then they get to the beach and the surf, sand and sun do their magic. Of course, the teachers are anxious about rogue waves and a few kids end up drenched. But there are plenty of parents around and, after a line in the sand is drawn (literally) to create a safe boundary, much to the kids’ dismay, everyone relaxes. Picnic lunches are opened, sandwiches get some extra crunch from the sand, which you tell the kids is the best way to have a sandwich. And all too soon it’s time to pack up and hike back.

It takes longer going back. It’s hotter. You marvel at how much sand lands in the cars, in the classrooms and even back at the house.  Faces are flushed, feet are tired. But you can’t wait to do it again, and feel ever so lucky that this place is practically in your backyard.

300 and a giveaway

May 13, 2009

Hard to believe but this is my 300th blog post. Turns out they do add up even when you fall off the blogging bandwagon. Of course, 300 isn’t much when you compare to those daily bloggers for whom I have endless admiration and count on for a happy diversion during the workday. Still, 300 is 300 and I think we should celebrate with aprons.

Aprons you ask? Yup. I’ve made 8 so far this year and show no signs of stopping. They’re cute, fun to make and, the best part, offer endless color combination opportunities (and you know I love a good color story).


Want one? I’m giving one away. And not just any old one that’s already been made. One just for you. In whatever colors you like best. Just leave a comment (obviously, it can’t be annoynmous) and I’ll do a little drawing on Monday. I’ve never done a giveaway but I figure why not give it a shot? After all, if my “use those 42 cent stamps quick” post got over 350 hits (and I am so not the USPS expert), then surely “giveaway” will get a few more visitors. Let’s consider it a social experiement and all around snappy way to celebrate 300.

Snacks for 20 (aka the way I roll)

May 6, 2009

It’s state-mandated test week at all the schools in our district. Sounds like, in 2nd grade at least, the first goal is to keep the kids energized and feeling positive about marathon sessions with their #2 pencil. Doling out snacks during the test seems to do the trick. Kinda like a fuel source on IV drip with the added fun of being able to eat at your desk.

The snacks are, of course, brought by parent volunteers. I signed up for Tuesday, which meant Cinco de Mayo, which meant I was making cheese quesadillas at 6:30 a.m. Carrot sticks and a shiny apple rounded out the snack.

The food was the easy part. The packaging was a whole other story. Sure, the snacks didn’t really need to be packaged. But they presented a packaging opportunity and, as you may know already, or may have guessed, I [heart] packaging stuff.

First I thought of little bento boxes. How cute. But completely over the top and expensive. OK, so what about takeout containers with handles all tied up with a tag? Possible, but still pricey and wasteful (you know those containers would go right into the trash).

I ended up going basic. Paper lunch bag (recyclable) embellished with a row of stamped owls (cuz owls are smart and so are the kids) + tag (just printed the text onto colored card stock and punched out). The snacks were tucked into the bags, which were stapled shut with the tag. Simple. And the kids were so excited when the snacks arrived, which just goes to show that simple can = special.