Apron Love

It’s midnight and while I should be snoring away in my bed I’m sitting here typing and letting some thoughts loose. I’ve been thinking  about how summer will be here before soon. It’s all about the kids and hanging together, going to and fro, meeting with friends, late bedtimes and fresh fruit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve been trying to carve some time for moi behind the sewing machine. Slow going…but it still feels good to thread it and push the pedal.

apron

I’ve made an apron a while back  for a sweet friend’s daughter and I was glad to give it for her birthday. I’ve made a few changes from my usual aprons. I gave it wider straps and top stitched all the way around. I was please with the results. Did I say it’s reversible? Ya-haa… I was thinking maybe I should add some to the shop. Thoughts?

PicMonkey Collage

So anyway, it was fast and feminine and cute if I do say so myself. It makes me laugh because her mom likes to wear it too (she’s petite) even if it’s a bit short for her.

apron5.jpg

In other news, I’ve been thinking about a million things lately. Our pace of life is cray-zay which put me in a bit of overdrive, which proved to be stressful, which made me ponder. But I’ll put the brakes on the flood gates before I talk your ears off.

So, back to aprons. Thoughts?

Gifted

Last month I went to a baby shower for a friend and I kinda went all out with the handmade gifts. I usually don’t do that but there were so many people at the shower that I knew they would receive the necessities either way. Do you want to see what I made? A quilt+bibs and tiny baby booties for their sweet little girl. I’ll show you the quilt. I went for simple contrast: grey+Amy Butler.

draped

It’s a bluish grey with a simple pink/white polka dot backing from J0-Ann’s, hand bound in more Amy Butler. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out  and I was so excited to give it away to such a neat couple!!

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It will be fun to meet the baby! :)

Still Here

Howdy, hey, howdy ho…I’m still here. Life is so full!! I’m striving to fight the good fight although I must say I’ve felt weary and tired but my husband and I are trying our best to keep things in line. Some days we are more successful than others. :)

Let’s see, lately I’ve changed my eating, cooked  a lot, washed lots of dishes, read a lot and managed to squeezed in some sewing. I’ve given up grains and sugar and most dairy (Paleo) and really striving to avoid even natural sugar and it’s been amazing! I lost 10 pounds just like that, the tendonitis in my shoulders is gone, and I feel so much better! It’s been revolutionizing, really, but it made me more flustered in the kitchen since the boys are not with me on this one.

I’ve done some quilting and managed to sew a short sleeve shirt for myself (!) from  a remnant I bought at the fabric store. So proud of that one! I just might have to model it for y’all. I gotta work up the courage though.

stack

I have a new stack of fabrics for a new baby quilt I’d like to make. There’s so many babies being born around me! And hey, I’ve even opened up an Etsy store. It was bound to happen, I suppose.

So, still here, still at it. Be back soon with some show and tell. Cheers!

It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To

laundry

I know the song mentions a party and some crying but there is no party here. Not right now, anyway. I thought it might be fun to document my day as things unfolded.

I heard my husbands alarm go off at 6 a.m. as he was waking up for a 24 hour work shift and I managed to fall back asleep until 6:32 a.m. when Sprout (who is in a toddler bed now) came out of his room and so we start our day.

Super cold today but sunny. The expected high is 29 with a supersized portion of wind.

By 7:30 a.m all the kids are awake and sitting at the table for breakfast. Everyone got fed and I clean up, make lunch for Mr. A and now it’s my turn to eat. As I sit down with food and coffee, Mr. A needs help with his cursive so we write together and somehow I spill my entire, FULL cup of coffee on the floor. I held back tears.

9:00 a.m. hits and the two littles are asking for screen time  which is reserved for early evening but today I allow it early on. “Did you say we can play the Wii, Mom?” they ask again in disbelief. Yes, kids, yes you can.

I clean up the kitchen, the stove and the hall closet, and decide to tackle the mound of laundry that’s patiently waiting for me.

I should feel thankful for all I have and yet frustration keeps resurfacing and then guilt. The older kids are at school and I chug along trying to prepare everything for a little outing which I was invited to. I debated if I should tell the girls it’s my birthday but I did. And I’m glad.

Glad that my sister is watching my kids, glad that my husband has a job, glad that someone else is making my dinner tonight, glad for adult conversation, glad to have people in my life to share things with. And just like that things shift around. All I needed was a little celebration.

Skulls And Happy Boys

My boys and I  have an ongoing conversation about things that I like (cute or beautiful) vs things that they like (ugly or scary). The conversation is especially reserved for the fabric store, and they have pointed out many times camouflage fabric, something with skulls and almost always Star Wars or cartoonish looking stuff. They ask me to buy some and I usually decline.

pj_shirt

The other day, however, I went to JoAnn’s by myself and had time to gawk around and I stumbled upon this clearance knit. It was a bit cam0, a lot skull with teeny hearts in place of their nose/mouth. At $3.50/yard I grabbed it and sewed the boys pajamas because I knew it was a win win. They thought they looked tough but I just saw little hearts. ;)  Shhh, don’t tell them I said that.

I didn’t use a particular pattern for this. I just made a rub off. (A rub off is when you use an existing garment to trace its shape on a piece of paper and add seam allowance. An insta pattern if you will). I cut up the pieces, serged them but you can just use a regular sewing machine (knits don’t fray), I added cuffs and gave them to Mr. A and Mancub. They were stoked!! I really need to sew more for my kids!

PicMonkey Collage

It took me one evening because I had to make the rub offs too. If I had them prior to this it would have been faster and easier. It’s a good project if you’re starting to sew because the fabric is forgiving and they are PJ’s. You wear them in bed not on the runway.  ;)

mra

paint

New Year, New Color

I didn’t think I would be taking such a long break from here. This is my first post since the New Year. Whaat?!? Are you the type who makes resolutions or have  a word for the year? Is it still cool to have a word for the year? I wouldn’t know because these things scare me…the pressure is too much. Eeeek!

One thing I know is that the year is full of possibilities and opportunities! It’s a clean slate and that’s all I need to know. Who’s with me?

Anyway, did you know there’s a new color of the year? Yep. The big wigs at Pantone declared Emerald Green to be it. Goodness, even that scares me. It’s a bold, electrifying color and puts this neutral loving girl at a stand still but I looked around and found some ways to incorporate it. It’s an accent color in my book. Little goes a long way. Look at these examples of all green, all the way.

Source: adelightfuldesign.com via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: merrimentevents.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

And I think this is my favorite picture. I can sport those peep toes.

What do you think about the color of the year? Do u think you will adopt it?

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Yes, It Happened, It Truly Did

I finally wrote this post about the trip that I finally took back to the motherland.

I was born in Romania and then moved to Chicago in the mid ’90s and after 16 years I went back to visit my aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces. It was a blast!!! I had forgotten how hospitable Romanians are, how sociable and welcoming! I had good desserts, excellent coffee and out-of-this world pastries, good sarmale, home made preserves and honey that my kids rave about (given to me by my uncle who has 25 hives in his garden).

This was huge for me and I came back feeling like a new person. I’m very grateful to have been able to go especially since one of my uncles passed away 3 weeks later. My hubs held down the fort and I’m so grateful for him and to all that pitched in and helped in different ways. You wanna see some pictures?

Just some shots of condo buildings…

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…and some old downtown buildings. I think they are beautiful.

RoArad

The big white building is the theatre which is in downtown Arad (my home town).

RoTheatre

This is what a typical breakfast looks like. Actually, it’s on the fancy side. Sweet or salty. Take your pick.

RoBreakfast

Public transportation is by tram.

RoTram

And I got carried away eating a langos (pronounced lun-gawsh). It was deep fried and topped with cheese and dill…and delicious!

RoLangos

RoBread

The Greek-Orthdox Cathedral in downtown Arad. Hansdome building!

RoChurch

And this  is the same place I stood on my first day of school in uniform, holding flowers for my teacher. Do you like the graffiti and rusted signs?

Romania

Romania had lots of fortresses. The ruins can be visited today.

RoFortressRuins

This is a picture of a village taken from my train window. The haystacks bring nostalgia.

CountrySide

Romania

Blaj

As I went to visit my aunt and uncle and the cows were coming home. :)

Cows

Aunt and uncle.

tisa

chickens

…and then the sheep going out to pasture the next morning. We had to pull over for them.

sheep

Another village…

RomanianVillage

It was a fantastic trip and I hope to take my husband and kids one day. Romania is a beautiful country. It has hills, mountains, seaside, a delta, world famous monasteries, palaces and castles and it’s about the size of Oregon. Unfortunately, it was under communism for 40+ years and that has had a strong negative impact. The people, however, would give you the shirt off their backs. Go visit if the opportunity ever presents itself.

A Few Things

1. We are recovering from Sprout’s surgery for strabismus.

His left eye was crossed pretty badly and last week we had that corrected. Here is the aftermath of it (looking like he was in a bar fight is normal for a couple of weeks). I’m praying his healing will continue to make good progress.

redeye

2. This year I don’t feel very festive.

The tree is up and very few other decorations but I haven’t bought any presents. I’ve got two  weeks left. :0

3. I’ve been sewing and haven’t showed any of it here.

Nor pictures of my trip to Romania. I still have hope it will get done…although not by itself. Correction – that I will get it done.

4. I have all the ingredients to make this.

Actually I have enough to make 3 of them. Also, I have a feeling I will make a few batches of this super quick, super easy fudge and add some peppermint extract to make it more Christmas-y. It makes an excellent treat and it just takes a snap. I can’t encourage you enough to try it and wrap it in parchment paper, tie it with some twine and it’s good to go.

So that’s about all for now. See you soon.