Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Mail

To whoever it was that sent the surprise package addressed to Sadie & Claire with the super cool Strawberry Shortcake book inside...Thank you! You made our day. As you can see, the girls love the book. :)

I know that I haven't posted photos of the girls in a while & yes, they are growing like weeds.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hooded Doll Blanket Tutorial

I've been meaning to make one of these for a really long time. Claire likes to have her baby wrapped in a blanket, but it's difficult for her to keep the blanket on the baby & she gets frustrated. This little blanket has a hood & a velcro closure to keep it from falling off.

To make the blanket you'll need 2 - 15" square pieces of fabric. One triangle piece of fabric (When cutting, line this fabric up with one corner of your square piece, measure 8" on each side & then draw a line to connect them making the bottom line of the triangle). Double fold bias tape & some velcro.

I am giving you measurements for a larger triangle piece than I used. I think it will stay on the baby's head a bit better. :) Pin bias tape to the long edge of the triangle.

Sew the bias tape on & trim it flush with the triangle edges.

Arrange your fabric pieces like so...Outside piece right side down, lining piece right side up, triangle piece in one corner facing right side up. Pin the pieces together.

Using a bowl & fabric marker, draw rounded corners on all four corners.

Cut the rounded corners.

Starting at an edge opposite the triangle piece, start pinning bias tape all the way around.

Where the ends meet, cut the top piece just a little bit longer, fold it under & overlap it on the starting end & pin.

Sew all the way around to attach the seam binding. Pin velcro in place as shown below. You may want to test the blanket out on your doll at this point. You can place the velcro further in from the corners for a more snug fit if you'd like. Sew around the velcro pieces & trim your threads.

And there you have it! A quick little hooded baby doll blanket your kids are sure to love. I couldn't even get a photo of the doll before Sadie grabbed her up. :)

Etsy Finds Friday

1. fiesta inspired cups on tray by clayswan
2. Jar of Love No. 9 - watercolor painting by Golly Bard
3. Crazy Quilt Makeup Clutch by Superb Kitsch
4. three little birds SET by sarah ahearn
5. scalloped mirror in natural wood by uncommon
6. Spring Sun Little Quilt by shelece

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

5 Things

* Dylan has a new super awesome mix guaranteed to make your summer da bomb. Download it here.

* I have a new calling at church. I am now the enrichment leader & I'm super excited about it. Have any fabulous enrichment ideas? I'd love to hear them.

* Yesterday I got some Huggies reward codes from Freebies 4 Mom & played them on an instant win game. I won a $25 gas card!! I never win. It made my day. :)

* I enjoyed this post by Jena over at Modish: 6 Things You Can do to Stay Cool During the Summer Slump. We've definitely noticed a drop in sales & it's good to know that there are more factors involved than people just hating me & my stuff. Please tell me that you read the Modish Biz Tips. If not, you must go back & read them all now. It's a great source of information & may motivate you to take control & guide your business to be more successful.

* I don't think that I ever told you about my recent super blonde hair color change. How I saved up my Mother's Day money from my sweet mother-in-law to go get my hair professionally colored, you know so it would look pretty. I went for an all over hair color....I was thinking a medium blonde, so that I could continue to do my own highlights later. Well it ended up WAY lighter than I was hoping for & kinda orangeish. I cried & cried about it. I didn't go to church the next day. I looked in the mirror every 15 minutes to decide how I felt about it. I washed it in purple shampoo. I paid a lot for it but didn't feel that I had the money to get it fixed....and then I decided that I kinda liked it & I could rock it. And now that my face is a bit more tan, I like it a lot more. Silly, dramatic girls, right? I don't think I'll do an all over blonde hair color again in the future, though. Pardon my dirty mirror in these photos.

Shop Update

I've added some great new stuff to the shop this week. Go check it out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Peacock Shop Winner

Congratulations to Stephanie! She won the cute little teacup. And thank you so very much to The Peacock Shop! I loved reading all of your comments about what makes summer so wonderful. I'll try to remember them when I get sweaty & grumpy. :)

Going Meatless - Pierogies

For years now....like before we even had kids...Dylan & I have been trying to make a conscious effort to eat less meat. We try. Sometimes we do great & sometimes it's just easier for us to revert back to what we know best. What we were raised on. What is comfortable to us & easy.

Recently Dylan & I talked about our efforts with this issue again. We decided that we need to eat WAY less. That even in being aware of it & trying we are still consuming too much meat. We have many reasons for wanting to do this. For our health, for our religion & for the environment. I will be sharing some of the recipes that we find work for us & our family & hope that it helps any of you out there that are aiming for the same goal. Also, if you have any super fabulous family friendly meatless recipes, I'd love to see them.

Last week I made these Pierogies. Oh my goodness. They are so creamy & so yummy. I used frozen Potato & Onion Pierogies from Aldi. They are $1.79/lb.

garlic scapes
shredded cheese
taco sauce
sour cream

Saute the frozen pierogies in a little butter along with chopped vegetables until golden brown. I used garlic scapes, zucchini & kale from our local CSA delivery.

We mixed some taco sauce & salsa to top these with along with shredded cheese, sour cream & guacamole.

Yummy, yummy, yummy. Let me know it you try them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Giveaway - The Peacock Shop

The Peacock Shop is so kindly offering this cute peacock teacup valued at $10.00 as a prize for one lucky Sparkle Power reader! Be sure to take a look at The Peacock Shop. I really adore the personalized name mugs. Leave me a comment answering my question below & I will choose one winner on Monday, June 22nd.

Be sure to leave your e-mail address. If I can't contact you via e-mail I will choose another winner.

What is your favorite thing about summer?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pajama Shorts, Total Cost $0

It's gotten a bit warmer around here & I found myself wearing Dylan's shorts around the house in an attempt to stay cooler. Dyl suggested that I cut off some of my pajama pants & turn them into sleeping shorts. I guess he wanted his back. :)

I've accumulated a lot of pajama pants over the years. On Monday, I took a couple pairs of cotton pants, cut them off at the knee & then hemmed them up. Ta da! 20 minutes, no money spent & my legs are cooler & happier.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coaster Swap Sent

These are the coasters that I made for the Kindred Crafters Coaster Swap. I'm only 2 weeks late in finishing these & getting them mailed off to my partner. I totally blame my sewing machine being in the shop for a week, although my procrastination probably has more to do with it.

They are pretty simple. Bright colorful print on one side. Linen with a little embroidery detail on the other side. I hope my partner likes them. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Heads Up

I just had to direct you all to the cute new stuff in my sister & sister-in-law's shops.

Just Be Jewelry has the most adorable Grape Soda Bottle Cap pins inspired by the movie Up. They're only $5.00! They even have ones that are a little dirty. So cute!

Lilia also updated her shop LiliaRose with tons of awesome vintage patterns. Most running for
only $2.00! There's some really great patterns there. Go check it!

What Are You Waiting For?

My new prints are up in the shop! Made by piecing together yellow floral vintage sheetings to make a backdrop & then machine stitching on my hand embroidered letters. Scanned into the computer & then printed out all nice & lovely. They are available in two sizes: 4 x 6 and 8.5 x 11.

I ask myself this question all the time. There are so many things I put off doing & I have so many excuses for it. Once my kids are older.... When we have more money... This is a reminder to me to live my life! And to work hard on being the person I've always wanted to be.

Let me know what you think. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

5 Things

* I have officially declared the new Phoenix album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix our album for this summer. It is perfect & fun & I love it with all my heart. Go listen.

* We are participating in our local CSA program. I feel strongly about it in so many ways. I am happy to be bringing fresh, local produce home every week. I am excited to be getting new vegetables that we've never had before to try for the first time. I am happy to be supporting local farms.

* Claire has been having some issues starting with constipation & now stomach cramping. We are trying a no dairy diet to see if this improves things. I am keeping notes daily & hope to see improvements over a couple weeks.

* I'm a bit down. I need a pick me up. Anybody want to deposit some money in my bank account, or pay off my credit cards, or buy me plane tickets to take my kids home to visit my family, or magically plant a baby boy in my belly? I should be happy. I am blessed in so many ways. And I will quit feeling these poor pitiful me feelings...soon...hopefully. :)

* I am super excited about a new product coming to the shop very soon. It's a new print. This time designed by me! We are getting ready to test the printing. If all works out well it should be in the shop in a few days. Yay!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yo Momma! Interviewing Creative Work At Home Moms

I'm excited to bring you a new feature here on the Sparkle Power blog. It's called Yo Momma! We have Dylan to thank for that wonderful title. :) Anyway, I plan to do regular interviews with other creative work at home moms out there. I'm excited to learn how other women are successfully balancing caring for their children & running their own creative businesses. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know if there are any questions you'd like asked in these interviews or if there are any wonderfully inspiring creative women that you think I should interview. Do share!

Katherine introduced herself to me a few weeks ago in an e-mail. I was immediately drawn to her style. How could I not like a girl that seems to have the same crazy love for doilies that I do? Katherine blogs over at Making Chicken Salad. It was super fun to interview her & I thank her so much for being willing to go first. Here she is...

Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where you live, how many kids & pets you have? What your business is & what you are making?

**I live in Napa, California with my son, Henry; my boyfriend, Josh; our pug, Pokie; our kitty, Lucy; and three chickens, Miss Chick, Chickie, and Mr. Rooster. I have two shops on etsy.com. At Home With Henry carries vintage items; and my new shop, Katherine Handmade, carries handmade items of all sorts. I wanted a place to be able to sell whatever I felt like making that week, whether it was tote bags, gocco prints, lace bowls, or WHATEVER. I have some crazy ideas sometimes, and it has been really fun to have an outlet for them. I have also had a lot of fun documenting everything on my blog and am planning to offer some craft classes in the very near future.

Moms are super busy. When & how do you find time to create?

**It is tough! The hardest part of being a mom for me is feeling like I am never able to complete a thought (or a sleep cycle!) without being interrupted. It is really hard to concentrate when I am always thinking about what Henry is doing. He is a very creative, resourceful little boy, and sometimes his projects are pretty ambitious (and MESSY)! I am not good at night, so right now I try to get as much done while he is at preschool. I am gearing up to participate in my very first Poppytalk Handmade Market, so have been trying to work as much as I can. Henry will start kindergarten in the fall and his school day will almost double. I plan to use the extra time to really focus on pushing my business to a new level.

Do you feel that your creative nature comes at all from the example of your own mother?

**Sure! My mom was always painting, drawing, & sewing and my sister and I had access to good art supplies growing up. She didn't limit our creativity because she was afraid of us making messes (I am STILL making messes with projects) and it is something that I do for Henry now, too. My mom is also a very "made from scratch" person, and so am I. The general attitude around here when it comes to cooking, baking, projects, etc. is "If someone else can do it, so can I!"

How does your boyfriend support or help you with your creative ventures?

**Josh is very supportive of my creative ventures. In fact, he reads every comment left on my blog and really likes to see what people have to say. I think he knows that I am not a person who could be chained to a cubicle all day, and that it is very important for me to be able to be home with Henry. Josh is super creative, as well, and understands what it is like to have an idea/vision in mind and see it come to life.

What is your favorite album right now, or what are you listening to while you work?

**Yikes--I'm kind of out of the loop when it comes to current music. I have been listening to some of the same albums for ten years or more! On current rotation in my work room is The Supersuckers, Ben Harper, Stevie Wonder, K.T. Tunstall, The Cult, and The Clash. How is that for a mix?!?!

Where online do you look for inspiration?

**OH, boy. There are so many places to find inspiration and it can be creative overload sometimes! The very first blogs I found were sfgirlbybay and design*sponge, and I still read them daily. Sometimes I realize that I have spent so much time online looking at beautiful things that I have not made anything myself. That's when I need a kick in the pants to be productive and I go to Elsie Flannigan's A Beautiful Mess--that girl is a creative machine! I also really like to see how other moms do it. I love Bling on My Sewing Machine!; An Inspired Mess; Hey, Jen Renee!; and Cakies.

What is your favorite household chore?

**Making dinner

You least favorite household chore?

**Scrubbing the floor and the baseboards

How do you take time for yourself? Do you buy yourself a special treat or go to the gym?

**At this point I really consider all of the crafting and making I do a special treat and I love to go to thrift stores to find new supplies. I also love to have coffee or go to the farmer's market with my sister. We live in the same town, but she works a LOT and we don't have the chance to see each other very often!

Thanks Katherine! Isn't she adorable?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Vintage Kitchen Shop Update

All this vintage goodness has been added to the shop today. :)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Quilt Love For the Preschool Teachers

I apologize for going missing around these parts. I was off having fun with my sister-in-law, Haley visiting & the last week of school festivities for Sadie.

Check out the lap quilts that I made for Sadie's preschool teachers as a thank you gift. With the 3/50 Project on my mind, we took a little trip to Stitch Cleveland & Sadie helped me pick out the fabrics. Using Katie's tutorial, I put together these whole cloth quilts & it took just a couple days to make each of them.

The cute little apple note cards that we attached are a free download from Ez of Creature Comforts.

You know that I really like you if I make you a quilt. It's so true because I really, really wanted to keep these once they were finished. We so loved Sadie's teachers this year & are so appreciative of how wonderful they were to Sadie. We are going to miss them for sure. And they deserved a little quilty love from us. I can't believe it's over & summer is here! Sadie is having a hard time grasping just how long it will be until Kindergarten starts & she is very concerned about getting a lunch box. :)
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