20 minute crafter. dressed up beach towel.

Need a cute summery gift?
I think this towel is cute enough to stand on its own...or pair it up with some cute flip-flops...or a sand pail with fun summer accessories.
Here is what you need:
A beach towel (this one is from Target for $6)
One strip of fabric that is 1 1/2in by the # of inches your towel is wide + one.
One strip of fabric that is 9in by the #of inches that your towel is wide + one.
First, fold in and sew down a 1/2in seam (on the 1 1/2in and 9in sides). 

Fold strips of fabrics length wise...line up the lengthwise raw edges and sew them together using a 1/4in seam.  You can iron...if you must.
This is another angle...so you can see what I am talking about a little better. :)
This is what you will end up with...
Line your fabric strips up with the end of your towel...use the hem on the end of the towel to line it up...you want to have the small fabric strip sandwiched in between the big on and the towel...sew down using a 1/4 in seam.
Another angle of the same step...
Then flip the fabric strips down...crease with fingers and sew down...using about 1/4in seam.
Another view...
And just one more...sew all the way across.  And you're done!
Your towel will officially be the first one stolen from the poolside.


why {bother} blogging. part 1.

It's always (internally)funny...and awkward and weird for me when having a blog comes up in a conversation with "real" people...as in people I see in the flesh.  

After I explain what my blog is about...and the connections and friends that I have made because of it or why I love it and do it...or sometimes what a blog IS...I get several reactions...either I am weird for having friends on the "internet" or they think that it's nice to have a place where I can write "whatever I want" or they don't get it or they sheepishly admit that actually read my blog...and sometimes they tell me they love it.

I love blogging.  And I feel like a nerd typing that.  And I want to tell you why I love it...but first...

Let's address a thought that drives me the most crazy.  This is NOT a place that I can write "whatever I want".  Yes, I can choose topics and photos and I can choose whatever creative direction that I want to go...I cannot DO whatever I want. 

What I mean...is that this blog has always got to be a reflection of my character and heart and who I REALLY am.  Not just what I want you or others to believe about me.  I share from my heart and learning and life.  Good or bad.  This blog is a reflection of the life of Christ in me...and I try hard to ensure that what I share makes you more curious or drawn to Christ and not led away.  I try to be a real, transparent, sinful and repentant Christian HERE and in REAL life.    

If you have been here long...you know me...once we met "in real life" and broke the ice and really got into our coffee and dessert you would find out that I am the same here as I am in the flesh.  There is no seam.

Do you know how this is possible?  Say hello to my accountability team...aka people who KNOW me in the flesh AND read my blog.  Who have been to my house...and know my phone number.  And who I am pretty sure would call me out...or cause me to be called out if I acted a fool here.  

Firstly there is my husband...who lets me know it if I so much as fail to give him credit on a photo he took.  There are my in laws...and not just random 3rd or 4th cousins (though there are a few of those too) but more like my mother in law, who I talk to nearly daily, my father in law, brother in laws, sister in laws...and in laws of in laws too.  And I see them all pretty regularly, I can't just hope they will forget by Christmas.  There is also my best friend in California...and my friends here in Charlottesville...MOPS girls and I am pretty sure my next door neighbor too.  There are people I go to church with...and people who Doug works with.     

I can't just write "whatever I want".  I have to be thoughtful and sensitive and loving and kind and real.  I have to know what I mean...and mean what I say.  I'm not saying that my accountability team is there to limit what I can say...or that I am writing to please them...but in the end I want to be proud and unashamed of every word.  I have to be able to back up what I say with how I am feeling or why I wrote it.  It really makes me think...or research...or slow down.  I don't want them to be ashamed to claim me. :) 
What I am saying...is that I can't go off on a rant...or fly off the handle or do or say anything that I would be ashamed of.  Because the people I love and respect the most read this...and one day my boys and their kids will read it too.  

Make sense?  What keeps you accountable on your blog?

      why {bother} blogging...to be continued.

what i'm reading...

Several of you lovelies have asked what I am reading...well here is my summer reading list...

Starting from the top is 
This is the book I am currently reading.  And honestly I am forcing myself to finish.  I don't get what all the craze over this book comes from...but maybe it will show up in the last couple of chapters?

Then there is one of my Bibles...
I read this one every morning before the boys are up...quiet time with coffee. :)
I like it because every day gives you a chunk of Old Testament, a chunk of New Testament, some Psalms and some Proverbs. 

Then some skirts I am working on.

Under those skirts is 
I love his blog.  It is a rare post that doesn't make me laugh out loud.  Though I am not technically reading this book at the moment I do sneak a chapter here and there because I can't wait to read it.
Under that is
This is Doug's book.  But I want to read it because he did. :)

Then is a box of vintage thread. 

Then is 
I love Francine Rivers writing.  I just finished reading her new one Her Mother's Hope.
And I can't wait for the sequel to come out in the Fall.  The Son's of Encouragement series are the only books of hers that I have not read. 

Sent to me by a blog reader who loved it so much that she bought me my own copy.  I can't wait to read a book that someone loves that much. :)

Under that
Another Doug book that I want to read because he did.

And then
My first Beth Moore book.  She scares me. A little.  But I am looking forward to it.

My mother in law passed it along to me...and we usually like most of the same books...so I added it to the list. :)

Because I like the patterns.

A Doug book that I have no intention of opening.  He is doing a great job of teaching himself guitar...I'm so proud of him. And the boys love it...Aaron will walk to where it is hanging on the wall and point to it to tell Doug to play.  :)

And finally...is a CARS magazine.  That belongs to Moses. 


the second one...

i finally have the second one in the series done...cuteness...if you want it reserved for you be the first to email me...otherwise it goes in the shop in the next couple of days. : )
($15 plus shipping and hangs with a sweet yellow ribbon)


first he's sour...

first he's sour...
then he's sweet.
first he is sour.
so sour, in fact...
...that I had to remove all of my dining room chairs because it was either that or push chairs in all. day. long.  because now, it's not enough to keep them pushed in to keep him from climbing on the table.  nope, NOW he knows how to pull that chair out first.  then climb on the table.

he has had a fever for the last 48 hours...it finally broke this morning...and he spent all day making up for all the naughty he missed out on while being pitiful.

have you ever seen the sour patch kids commercials?  first he is sour, then he is sweet.  that is hoho.  
he is the naughtiest baby I have ever known...and also one of the sweetest. 

he uses his cute to make naughty.  

he will lure you in with a kiss...then steal your food.  he's the best fake crier.  he knows how to get his way...not that is works, but he knows how to try.
lucky for him he is mostly sweet...or at least enough so to make up for the naughty.

fyi-if you ask me a question in the comments...be sure there is an email addressed attached to your comment somehow so I can get back to you. :)

critter containing.

So, forever and a day ago a friend told me about this thing she saw...a bean bag chair but instead of being filled with beans...you fill it with stuffed animals. :) She never gave me a link or website or anything like that...but when she told me about it I thought...

"Hmmm sounds cool but I could never sew a round thing AND we don't have nearly that many stuffed animals."  
I was apparently wrong on both accounts.  But I swear it's not my fault...the population of stuffed animals, that is.  It's like you close the door on two of them...and open it the next day to find 12...and so it continues until you have an army of cuddly little creatures.  Which, for me are among the hardest things to part with. 

So a few days ago I decided to contain these critters...and give us a nice little seat to boot.  
     All's it took was a couple of yards of fabrics, a mesh laundry bag and some velcro.  And my mad math skillz. (If you know me don't laugh...I have just enough to be dangerous). 

Now I don't know the formula for figuring out how to make a circular object...or angles...or whatever.  But just like I have always done with math...I got the same result...just did it my own backwards way.

And now we have some cute storage for all those furry critters...and it makes a pretty comfy chair to boot.  And I was shocked at just how many animals we had...

I won't be adding them to the shop...but I would be happy to make one for you...you just have to send me the supplies and a small fee for the time to make it.  Just send me an email. :) 


ten things for you. :)

1.  At long last...I would like you to meet the fabric sponsor of our Nothing But Net quilt. 
Say hello to sweet Jody.  She blogs over at Everyday Beautiful and sells a gorgeous selection of fabrics at the Fabric Shoppe.  Yummy goodness all over there. :) I have a prayed a lot over this quilt already...as I am hoping you are doing too. :) Each and every step...including who I was to ask for fabric...little did I know that Jody had a heart for Africa...what a coincidence (wink wink), right? 

She is a lover of fabric and creating, has and works towards a beautiful life, and has two sweet girls under two, and a wonderful supportive husband.  Her heart for Africa comes from a hope to adopt from there someday.  Who knows...one of the nets that come from making this quilt could directly effect her life? Gives me chills to think about it. 

Jody in all of her wonderfulness insisted on donating all of the fabric needed for the quilt.  I was floored.  Crying happy, thankful tears.  God is in this quilt.  You better believe it. 

And I am already mentally planning our NEXT quilt...yep, I am that crazy.  But right now I LOVE the idea of collecting quilted squares from bloggers all over to make one big happy quilt. :)
So go say hi to her and thank her for being awesome...go buy some fabric from her lovely shop, too.
2.  Speaking of that lovely fabric.  I finally got it all cut. :) Done and done.  Now to get the paper ready for the squares...then to start those squares! :) I'm excited...are you?

3.  Hoho says not to worry...he finally got his own ice cream cone. :)
4.  And did you happen to notice that this cutie is sitting on something cute and fun? I know, I know, his cuteness IS distracting...but focus and look at what he is sitting on?  Know what it is?  More about that soon. 
5.  By far my best seller.  Do you have one for your kiddos yet? :)  I am also taking orders for Happy Scrappy Skirts...email me for details. :)

7.  A peek at a photo shoot that I did this weekend...more of these coming, too.
8.  A post soon on "why bother blogging?"
9.  Summer is already making me lazy...sweet tea and a good book anyone?
10.  A summer timely twenty minute crafter coming soon.

Hang in there we have a lot to talk about. :)

if this doesn't make you smile...

...then i'm not sure we can be friends. 



pretty much ever since we got back from Florida it has been rainy, and cloudy and dreary.  that does not make for an easy return to real life. 

but finally...it feels like the end of May, almost June. 
Moses had his first ever ice cream cone...you can see Aaron glaring at him through the window.

and we pulled out the sprinkler...as much for the grass as for the boys.
much fun was had by all...hopefully we can get these boys to the pool soon.

and is it just me, or does Aaron look like a full fledged little boy here? :/
and this is the first of a new little series that I am working on...
...my grandmother sent me a box of these frames and they all got a perfectly imperfect coat of paint...some limey and some aqua.  there are only about 8 of the frames so once they are gone, they are gone.

my goal this weekend is to get all the fabric cut up for the Nothing but Net quilt and get a post written about the lovely sponsor...stay tuned. 

Happy weekend to you!

do me a favor...

next time you think of sad, think of this photo.  and in some weird way...be happy. :)

and here is a peek for you of something i am working on...

some advice for you.

i love this.  i think it needs to be framed and hang in my future craft room. 
i stole it from HER  who stole it from HER.

20 minute crafter. make a funky dry erase board.

ok. ready.  this is more like a 10 minute craft.  super cute and super easy.
to make a super cute and easy dry erase board you will need:
a frame with glass...any shape and size and color that your little heart desires.
the mat that came with the frame...or a piece of cardboard that fits inside.
a piece of fabric that will cover the mat or cardboard that fits in your frame.
lighter colored fabric works better.
scotch tape.
wrap your frame with your fabric.  like a present.  pull it nice and tight. 
put it back in the frame...with the glass on top...just like you would with a photo.
there you have it...cute, customizable dry erase board.  the glass acts just like one...you can just wipe it clean. :)  and yes, i changed fabrics at the end...i just didn't think the other was light enough.  even with the switch...this craft didn't take but ten minutes. 

 wouldn't these make great teacher gifts? you could get thrifted frames and paint them. and give them with a pack of dry erase markers. :)

have fun! :)

some days.

some days I just sit and read while the boys play in the back yard.  
currently I am the last person reading "The Shack". 
there are eight other books on my pile...I'll share those in another post.
some days dinners here are less than awesome.
doug and I ate pizza.  moses had cereal (in his bike helmet and rain boots) and aaron had waffle.
but we were eating together.  and that is the most important part to me.
some days I see a recipe that I HAVE to make immediately.  
this is one.  and I will have to make it again, soon.

strawberry tomato salsa
a pint and a half of strawberries coarsely chopped.
an equal share of tomatoes coarsely chopped.
(i used what was on sale)
a heaping tablespoon of chopped cilantro
2 tbl sugar
6 tbl olive oil
3tbl balsalmic vinegar (i used a pomagranate infused one)
1/2tsp salt
8 green onions finely chopped

mix together all ingredients.  chill and serve with chips. 
i ate it for lunch three days in a row.  and Doug liked it. :) 

 some days you come up with a design that is finally shop worthy. :)

some days you stay up way too late watching the finale of your favorite show ever...LOST. 
thankfully your darling husband gets the coffee pot ready for you faithfully each day so all you have to do is push the button.  

and some days...you wake up to find out that you were featured on one of your all time favorite blogs...

and I nearly did pee my pants.  What a great way to start a week...
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