Monday, August 31, 2009

So Not Cool

UPDATED: I posted this, turned to feed my girls dinner & came back to see that the listings had been removed. Thanks for your help. Links to this seller's shop have been removed. However, let's continue the conversation. I'd love to hear what you have to say about it.

Hello Internet. We need your help.

Last summer we introduced some posters to our Sparkle Power shop and it's really been a blessing for our family. Our biggest seller's been the La La Love You poster. It's been featured on a ton of great blogs like ohdeedoh (Apartment Therapy's parenting blog), Babygadget, Tangled and True, Creature Comforts and c jane. We've literally sold reams of the things. Like I said, it's been a boon to our family and has gotten a lot of eyeballs directed toward our fledgling enterprise.

So I guess it was only a matter of time until we were ripped off. We were checking the Etsy front page before bed last night and had a little déjà vu hit us in the "Recently Listed" section there. How we managed to hit the front page at the exact right time to catch it is beyond me, but we did. Seems that a seller has produced a series of prints called "Oooh La La Love" that bear more than a passing resemblance to our beloved and popular posters.

But, like the man says, you don't have to take our word for it:

Reeeeeally sketchy, right?

Imitation's the sincerest form of flattery and all, but this is just ridiculous. If you look at either of her shops - the other prints aren't even close to the simple, bold and elegant design of our original. And to add insult to injury, she's got the gall to copyright her posters in their descriptions. Seriously?

Plus, she's asking more than double what we're asking for a letter-sized print. (Ours are $8 for letter-sized, $10 for tabloid ... buy yours today!)

Last night we sent a friendly but firm e-mail asking that she remove the listings. As of this evening, the listings still stand. We ask that if you believe these posters to be knock-offs of our posters, that you take the few minutes it will take to set up a free Etsy account (if you don't already have one) and send an e-mail to the operator of the shop, letting her know that stuff like this isn't cool. And if you'd like to go further, you can link to this on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or Flickr. Solidarity, people.

We really hate to do this. It feels mean. But at the same time, these posters represent a lot of hard work and to see them blatantly plagiarized is really heartbreaking, insulting and infuriating.

We love Etsy. We believe in Etsy. It's a culture made up of people - like us - who love to create. We have made a lot of friends through our work there. Please do what you can to make sure that this kind of stuff is not tolerated.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Team Sparkle Power

Saturday, August 29, 2009

3 Good Things

1. Go right now & check out Dana's version of my ruffle sleeve top. She has a way of making clothes for her daughter that look super cool & not super homely homemade (like I do). She also shares the measurements she used for a size 2T/3T. Thanks Dana!

2. My sister-in-law Lilia has just added some really amazing flag banners to her shop. They are made from vintage hankies! I love the delicate white ones, but this colorful one really gets me with all the interesting individual handkerchief designs.

3. Jenn's Happy Tickets have me really intrigued. I'm thinking that this sounds like a discipline system that could work well with my children.

I hope you're having a super weekend! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day

She picked out what she was going to wear & she was all smiles & excited as can be until we got into the classroom. There was quite a bit of commotion with parents everywhere & everybody trying to figure out what was going on. I think it was all a bit overwhelming for Sadie. When I gave her a hug goodbye, she held on for a looooong time. I don't think that my teary eyes were helping the situation at all. I could see in her face that she was not comfortable. Her lips were straight & tight like they were pulling down into a frown but she was trying to force them back up into a smile & they just met half way. Her eyes were open wide & she kept nodding her head but not saying a word when I'd ask if she was okay.

I took Claire down to the school basement where the PTA had donuts for the parents. I told Sadie that I'd come back up & check on her before we left. When we peeked back into her classroom & she made eye contact with me, I gave her a thumbs up & a wave goodbye. But she did not give me a thumbs up back. She started pouting & hid her face in her arms on her desk. Ooh, that did not feel good. But I think my hanging around was making it all worse, so Claire & I just took off.

When I put Claire back in the stroller to head home she asked, "Where's Sadie?" I wanted to just bawl my eyes out on the way home. Sadie is usually so independent & that helps me to get through these things. I wasn't prepared for her to be a little hesitant.

The day actually flew by & when we picked her up she was happy. She said her favorite part was recess. I guess this school thing may work out after all. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rest Time Floor Mat

When Sadie's kindergarten teacher informed us at orientation that the kids would have a rest period each day & that we needed to provide a towel with their names written on it in sharpie marker, I thought to myself, "Now that just won't do!" So I started this little towel size quilt last night. I needed to get it done quick, so I just threw it together. I didn't do so good at basting it neatly & I didn't even mark my stitching lines. I just went for it. And it shows! But I don't care. It will do the job.

I'm wondering if the teacher is going to be annoyed with me because this quilt is a bit bulkier than a towel. I used 4 layers of the lightweight cotton batting that I had on hand. It's not going to fold up as compact as a towel. Is she going to think I'm crazy from the get go? Oh well. And I just couldn't bring myself to take a sharpie marker to my wonky little creation, so I'll be spending a little time this evening embroidering her name on it.

Hopefully, when Sadie is struggling to slow her little body down to rest & trying with all her might to stop her mouth from talking (Oh, I am so curious to hear how she does with this daily resting time), she will look at this pretty, pink quilt & feel it's coziness & know that her mama loves her so very much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Turkey Burgers

We love this turkey burger recipe from the Everyday Food Great Food Fast cookbook. Turkey & green onions are a really good combination in my book.

Favorite Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey (preferably 93 percent lean)
1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese (I use whatever I have on hand, usually cheddar)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced

1. Heat the grill to high. In a medium bowl, use fork to gently combine the turkey with the cheese, scallions, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Dividing the mixture evenly, gently form into four 1-inch-thick patties.

2. Lightly oil the grill. Place the patties on the hottest part of the grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move the patties to the cooler part of the grill; continue grilling until cooked through; 5 to 10 minutes per side.

3. Split the hamburger buns and toast on the grill if you like; place a burger on each bun and serve with desired accompaniments.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Puppet Theater Day

Starting to get down on myself because I'm getting absolutely nothing done today. I have valid excuses for that though, Claire has been sick. Although I've been holding the house together really well for the past two sick days, that just wasn't happening today. And, that's okay.

But, I couldn't help but feel happy & blessed & free to let it all go when the doorway puppet theater came out this morning. I adore my children. They make me laugh & they are seriously the cutest.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ruffle Sleeve Top Tutorial

Thanks for all the lovely comments on the ruffle sleeve tunic top. I decided to put together a tutorial, so that you all could make one of your own. A few notes: I am giving directions for the top that I made in a size 4T/5T. If you are making it smaller or larger, you will need to adjust the measurements accordingly. ***Measurements for 2T/3T now listed at the bottom of this post*** Also, choose a lightweight fabric like a cotton or cotton blend. Anything thicker will just not work for the sleeves. Alright! Here's how I did it:

Cut a piece of fabric measuring 36" by 17". The 36" length is the one that goes around the chest. Sadie's chest measures 23" so adjust accordingly for a smaller or bigger size. The 17" length is for the length of the top. Again, adjust accordingly for a different size. Or add a bit more length to make this into a dress.

Also, cut two pieces of fabric to 7" by 16" for the sleeve.

You're going to need some elastic as well. I used 1/2 inch elastic.

Take the larger piece of fabric & sew right sides together along the shorter (17") side. Finish your edge with a zig zag stitch.

Make a casing along the top end of this tube. Fold down 1/4 inch & iron.

Then fold down & iron again 1/2 inch, or slightly bigger then the width of your elastic.

Staring at one side of your back seam, stitch along the edge of your casing, leaving a 1" opening for the elastic.

Below are examples of elastic. The top is regular elastic & the bottom is non-roll elastic. I would recommend using the non-roll elastic.

Cut a piece of elastic that is one inch longer than the chest measurement. Sadie's chest measurement is 23" so I used a 24" piece of elastic. Using a safety pin, thread your elastic all the way through the casing.

Overlap your elastic ends & stitch together.

Position your elastic inside the casing. If you want to attach a tag to your shirt now is the time to do that. I use a small piece of bias tape. Ribbon could also be used. Fold it over & tuck the ends into the casing. Pin in place & stitch your casing closed.

Now, take your sleeve pieces & fold them in half length wise, right sides together & iron.

Next, you need to cut rounded corners, like shown below. I just freehand on one end. Then fold the piece in half at the center to use that end as a guide for cutting the other half. Then place this piece on top of the other sleeve piece & use it as a template for cutting the rounded corners on that one.

Pin in place & stitch around the rounded side, leaving the bottom open.

Remove the pins, snip your seams around the corners on both sleeve pieces. This makes it easier to turn those corners out.

Turn the sleeve pieces out, iron flat & then top stitch around the rounded edges of both sleeve pieces.

Next, make a casing for the elastic on the sleeve pieces. Fold up the bottom hem 1/4" & iron.

Fold up another 1/2", or slightly larger than the width of your elastic & iron. Pin into place & stitch along the top folded edge.

Using a safety pin, thread elastic through the casing. At this point I like to measure the sleeve against my child to make sure I'm getting the length right. Then stitch the elastic in place at the openings.

Trim your threads & an excess elastic. Position your sleeve pieces on the shirt. I go about 3 inches from the back center seam & then line it up with the front. You may need to measure this on your child before your attach the sleeves.

Sew each of the sleeves into place.

Now you just need to hem up the bottom. Fold down the bottom hem 1/4" and iron flat. Then fold down another 1/2" & iron flat. I like to place pins in the hem as I'm ironing it, to keep the hem nice & flat.

Starting & ending at the back seam, stitch your hem into place.

And there you have it! You've finished your top!

As you can see, Sadie was not very happy to be modeling for me once again.

But then her foot rubbed against the chalkboard & it sounded like a toot & that got her laughing. :)

So, I've given you the basic top here. You could add pockets, a contrasting band of fabric along the bottom, lengthen it into a dress, and add a ruffle at the bottom. They are really comfy & the sleeve works nicely as a cool summer top, but goes over a t-shirt well for use in the winter too!

Please let me know if you make one. I'd loooove to see it!!!

***Measurements for a 2T-3T:
Shirt body: 30 in x 13 1/2 in (76 cm x 34 1/2 cm)
Sleeves: 14 in x 3 1/2 in (35 1/2 cm x 9 cm)
1 inch Elastic for body: 21 inches (53 1/2 cm)
1/4 inch Elastic for sleeves: 9 1/2 inches (24 cm)
Measurements via Dana of MADE ***

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fabric Button Hair Clips

We are growing Sadie's bangs out & clips are a necessity these days. We've been running low on them however. You know how easily these little fellas can get lost. So a batch of new fabric covered button hair clips was in order. In fact it was on my back-to-school prep list.

Want to make some of your own? Learn how to here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Love The Stacks

Here's what happened when I went to the thrift store this morning:

There was a bit of an explosion of vintage floral sheets in my cart. And a few ginghams & stripes as well. It was a good thing. I like to get a big haul on one trip rather than make lots of trips where I only find a few good ones. And, this means that I don't have to go back for another month or so. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Going Meatless - Egg & Veggie Burritos

We had a lot of vegetables in the fridge that we needed to use up so I diced them up & sauteed them all together. I used red potatoes, patty pan squash, zucchini, bell pepper & onion. Added some garlic, half a jar of salsa & some fresh cilantro.

I didn't have beans on hand but thought that eggs might work in burritos with the vegetables, so I scrambled those & put them all together in burritos. We topped them with cheese only, but I wished I had some avocado or guacamole to add on top. They were good & very filling, but we felt like they needed something a bit more salty added in. Any suggestions?

I was happy with the vegetable/salsa mixture. I think it could work nicely with tacos & even taco salad.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Guess It's Time

Wanting to be like big sister today, she asked to wear panties. Not the training underwear though, she wanted Belle underwear. So we started off the day with a pair of training pants under a pair of her sister's princess panties. She had one little accident right off the bat. Then trips to sit on the toilet every 15 minutes, but nothing. She stayed dry all the way until nap time & then back into a diaper she went.

This kid LOVES dum dum suckers. So it was made known that she & Sadie would both get a sucker if Claire could go potty on the toilet. So I kept asking all morning if she needed to go potty & she kept asking is she could have a sucker. We'll get it together, I'm sure.

I've been holding off on potty training this one. Call me lazy. I just was having trouble getting excited about it. But, I'm loving these signs of readiness & training underwear has been added to my shopping list.

Plus, looking at this cute little body in big girl undies & striped socks has really helped cheer me up after I had a really bad mommy moment yelling at my kids for completely recking the cleaning job I spent so much time on this morning. I'll never get ahead with my housework & that just depresses me sometimes. Still, I love my kids like crazy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mama Made Kindergarten Wardrobe Part 3

I'm super happy with how this tunic top tuned out. How cute are ruffle sleeves? Again, no pattern used. I tried this one out in this gray floral print fabric because I have a lot of it & in case the shirt didn't turn out well, then I didn't waste any of my good fabric. Luckily I really like this fabric a lot & I think it looks great made into this shirt.

See that rolled elastic there on the back, on the right side? This happens to me all the time & I think buying the no-roll elastic from now on may be worth it.

This is an easy top for Sadie to out on & take off because it's all elastic. I'm a little upset with myself that I forgot to put a little tag in the back of this one. It could definitely use one.

I considered putting pockets on this shirt. Couldn't decide on using the same fabric for them or using contrasting fabric. Decided to go without for now. Any thoughts on pockets for this style shirt? Yay or nay?

I love that this can be worn as is for warmer weather & with a shirt underneath for colder weather. I'm thinking that it should be able to fit her for a few years.

I will definitely be making another one of these. Or maybe two...
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