Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coping Strategies

So, ol' Lefty is broken. Poor Lefty.

But we're working hard to maintain a positive outlook around here.

I mean, how could you not?

Here are a few of our coping strategies:
Strategy 1: Popsicles. They're yummy. They make great ice packs.

Strategy 2: The crutch pockets Christa made for me. The carry my phone, snacks, tissues and toys - all the necessities. And they're so cute they make me smile.

Strategy 3: One cute shoe.

Strategy 4: The sit and stitch. It worked beautifully the other night while I was sewing checkered flag favors for Dizzle's 3rd (3rd!?) racecar birthday party on Saturday.

Strategy 5: Props. This is the scene behind my sewing table and it's working pretty well. Poor Ruby Right Foot is feeling overworked and underpaid.

I'll know more Monday when I see the orthopedist and get my cast. I'm hoping I can get an orange one for Halloween!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The fella came back across the pond. Thank the baby Jesus.

We picked him up this afternoon after preschool which means, yes, my broken foot and I left the apartment. I booty slid down three flights of stairs with Boogie, and used his milk cup as a carrot to coax him to crawl to the car.

Was it worth it? Oh yes.

He brought me British fabric!

A flirty British girl with pink hair and piercings helped him pick out the perfect fabrics for his wife.
She did a beautiful job! I have four British cottons and this beautiful hand painted silk the color of warm sunshine.

And they smell stuffy and damp, just as I imagine London to smell.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wreaths Around Here Come in Twos

After completing our first wreath on Saturday (see yesterday's post), we took a two hour walk. We went back to the tree with the fantastic frilly acorns and collected a bunch more.
This second wreath required a lot of hot gluing, so I put the boys down for naps and went to work solo.

Following my "don't buy anything to make these wreaths" rule, I reused the smaller spring wreath as the starter for my acorn wreath.

Nothing scientific here. Just glue glue glue.

By this point I was half way through my bucket o' acorns and little critters were crawling all over the place.

I love this wreath. I wish I had a prettier door. It's so bland and white. It needs a window or a burst of color, but I think our landlord would frown upon that. And since she's already a little over us, what with the chalk drawings all over the brick (can't even blame the boys for that one) and the sandbox we lugged up to the third floor patio. So I'll just have to jazz up these boring doors with super seasonal decor!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Wrench.

So this evening two lovely friends stopped by to visit. One of them whipped up a delicious stir fry. The gals, the boys and I sat down to eat. Then I came around the table to help Dizzle with something. My ankle turned over and I went with it.

It was hysterical! My friend Christa rushed to me and I screamed, " I heard a pop. It's broken. Don't touch it. Really. Don't TOUCH IT!" Then about 15 seconds passed. Upon second assessment I decided I was fine. I apologized, confessing that my first response always tends toward the dramatic.

We continued our lovely dinner, and I re-re-assessed. Things started to hurt. There was never any major bruising or swelling. Some, but not a lot. But I couldn't bend it in all the ways I usedtocould, and to put my weight on it hurt pretty bad.

But I hobbled around, got the boys to bed with my friends' help. They bathed my children and cleaned up after dinner for goodness sakes. These ladies are gems.

Once the boys were in bed I decided to have it looked at. So Christa took me to the hospital and Laura stayed with the boys.

Long story, well.....long - it's broke.

I have multiple fractures in my left foot, with fragments that are in danger of detaching! No wonder it hurts so bad. So they gave me a boot because I can not put any weight on it, and a set of youth sized crutches (talk about adding insult to injury. but I laughed it off). In a day or two I'll see an orthopedist and get a cast. Good times.

Here are my thoughts as I sit here with my fries, frosty, and friend.
  • I'm so thankful. I feel so lucky that my foot is broken and that is the biggest struggle I have in my life at the moment. I came into the ER behind a 6 month pregnant woman having pains. The fear in her eyes was heart-wrenching and I couldn't imagine being in her position (I saw her as we were leaving. She and babe are a-ok. So thankful). This is nothing.
  • I kinda love hospitals. Did you know it was art school or med school for me? I chose art school because way fewer people die there. But med school is not out of the question someday.
  • This was really fun and I'm really glad Christa was with me. We cracked each other up. And some other people too.
  • The fella can never leave the country again.
  • The third floor walk-up is unfortunate. When the nurse was fitting me for the (youth) crutches I asked, "So...where does the baby go?"
  • I love how the Universe prepares me before it throws me a wrench. I was actually telling the girls how ahead of the game I felt for the coming week. That'll teach me.
  • I also love these facebook comments about the broken foot: "Were you extreme sewing?" and "Oh no! It's not your pedal foot is it?"
  • It's pretty remarkable in this tiny and always toy-covered apartment, that I didn't hit my head or land on Thomas the Train and break a rib. Again...thankful.
And most importantly - I love my village. People have already come out of the wood work to help me navigate the logistics on this (ok, I also love facebook). I have lovely neighbors on either side of us that can carry the babes up and down the stairs. Friends are volunteering to drive Dizzle to school. It's gonna be alright. Thank you my villagers. I'm so glad you're here.

The fella is in London until Wednesday. Christa's staying with me tonight and we're vegging on the couch, watching Project Runway and eating junk. That's the best medicine.

Dizzle: "The leaves are falling on the ground. That means it's fall!"

There's something full circle, or partial circle, about this entry. You see, I began this blog in the Spring, with a post about making Spring wreaths with the boys.

As soon as one blossom burst onto the scene around here, we celebrated with new door decor.

Well, a leaf has fallen. A change of season is upon us.

With the fella across the pond, presenting a paper tomorrow at Oxford (good luck Mr. Smarty Britches), we had a completely crafty Saturday, just me and the boys.

I had a loose idea of the wreaths I wanted to make, but more importantly, I had a few don'ts in mind when conceiving the project.

1)I don't want to change out of my pajamas
2)I don't want to leave the house
3)I don't want to spend any money
4)I don't want it to take three days (like the spring wreaths did)

I had some Dos too:
1)I do want the boys to get to help
2)I do want to use some fabric
3)I do want to use stuff I have on hand
4)I do not need these to be keepable forever. I'd be happy to disassemble one or both of them at the next change of season.

I didn't have a wreath form on hand. But going to buy one would break don'ts one, two, and three. After 10 minutes or so of pondering, I had a plan:
Wreaths don't have to be circles.

Fabric? Check. I used the quilting loops to hold the fabric (love this pattern!).

I stuffed in grocery bags and stitched the fabric closed (very inexactly).

A bit lumpy, but that'll be covered up.

Next step: leaves. I drew up some quick leaves and let Dizzle go to painting. He did a beautiful job.

cut cut pin pin.

Add a few of those fabulous frilly acorns (I knew I'd find something fun to do with these cuties).

Nothing around here is complete without a sassy owl friend. He's hiding a really ugly ringer/peep hole box.

Ta Da! Love it!

I love how the creative process worked today. As we worked, new ideas came to me. I thought of different supplies to use and additions to make. After making this first wreath we took a two hour walk (yeah, I got out of my jammies) and lunch break. We gathered more acorns to make our second wreath. More on that tomorrow.

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sad little puddle...

Where we live is pitifully devoid of weather. Unless you count inch upon inch of snow we can expect to trudge through ridiculously soon.

It is always sunny. It is always clear.

Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful, but since variety is the spice of life, things can get pretty bland around here.

So when it thundered and a few raindrops fell two days in a row this week, well that was call for a full dress performance of Little Boy Loves a Puddle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Something Old and New Revealed

Most days the best laid plans of this harried Mama are folly, but yesterday I cooked up a plan to make these pants with the new cutout pockets, and then to get the boys photographed in them. And whadyaknow. It worked.

So, something old - the time tested Britches and Bloomers kiddo pants pattern I have used to make a jillion pairs of crazy britches (side note - I had to stop calling them crazy britches, because Eli started calling them crazy britches. And in his cute little kiddo speak it came out, well...wrong).

And something new - 1)sewing with wool felt (delicious!) and 2)this fun new cutout design detail I learned from my fall 2010 edition of Stitch magazine.

The wool is so soft and structured and will keep them all cozy as the cold is upon us.
Boogie loves them! If you do too, you can buy them here.

Then, to continue to boys pants making trend, I tried the new technique with a leafy flair.
I think I'm in love with these pants...

and he who wears them. You can get the pants (but not he who wears them, sorry) here!

It was completely unbelievable actually - that these plans all came together. In fact, after naps, I embarked on a 4 part errand with the boys. Thankfully all 4 parts could be accomplished in the same shopping "village" (ah, gentrification).

Stop one: Library - to right a motherly wrong. The day before we also went to the library, and when we were checking out our books I secretly spirited the Bob the Builder book back into the bin from whence it came, hoping Dizzle would forget it existed. Oh no. Big tears at bedtime. Big Mama guilt. So, another trip to the library was requisite.

Stop two required a wardrobe change. I put the boys in their freshly sewn britches and clean (ish) shirts and took them out to the village fountain. Photo shoot - a go go. They were so cute and so cooperative. I had great shots in a jiffy. Which was good because my iphone got full pretty quick.

Stop three: dinner.

Stop four: Whole foods for snacks for Dizzle's class tomorrow.

And home before bed. Kudos to the harried Mama and her merry cohorts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Something old...something new.

Not getting married, just working on a new project that fits both those descriptors.

Hopefully naptime will see this project finished and shortly after that I'll catch some good photos.

That sounds like much to concrete a plan for one with two toddlers in her care, so don't hold your breath.

But soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Owl Gets a Name!

You know when you have to do something in teams and step one is to pick a team name? I hate step one. I never come up with anything clever and I start off the event feeling lame. So, next time I am roped into a team activity, I'm bringing you all with me because you are ALL SO CLEVER!

Thank you so much for the fabulous name suggestions! You gave me whimsical, funny, ironic, clever, and well researched names! I tried to avoid seeing who submitted each suggestions as they began flowing in. I have to admit, I knew the winner as soon as I read it. But I gave all the suggestions that came before and after it lots of consideration, to see if any more jumped out at me. It was so hard!

Here were the front runners:

Radar - sounded robotic and cool.

Dizzy - doubly appropriate for the head spinning and being close to "Dizzle".

Button - very cute! Buttons is also pretty cute.

Clementine - oh sweet Clementine. She's sassy and vintage and delicious. I've always seen this owl as a boy though, otherwise this might have been our winner.

Chandler or Ross - an homage to my Friends obsession. This suggestion lead me straight to another good one: GUNTHER!

Doogie or Bizzle - Fabulous idea! A combo of my Dizzle and Boogie - love it!

Fuzzhead - Fisher, you're a creative genius.

Thimble - Fabulous sewing reference and cute name.

But the winner, well...I knew it when I saw it, and even after extensive consideration I'm still smitten. It's precious (in a good way), references my craft, is reminiscent of owl physicality, and is something dear to my heart since it's one of Dizzle's favorite objects.

My friends, I'd like to introduce you to...


Jenean - you're a genius! If you're the Jenean I think you are, or even if you're not, I'm not sure how to contact you. Could you contact me by leaving a comment, or emailing me, or messaging me on fb? We need to pow wow about your owl-y prize!

And now for the random winner!

Congratulations Carlo! I'll be in touch!

Many thanks to all who participated!!! Look for the continued antics of Bobbin in coming posts!


Some cool cape orders have come in lately. I love it when people have ideas we can collaborate on and make something totally original.

An etsy order came in from a woman who's family is being super heroes for Halloween, so she talked with her kiddos about the super hero they each wanted to be.

Her son had the brilliant idea to choose his 3 faves - Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. Genius.
Ta Da! This kid's going to be unstoppable!

Her little girl wants to be Super Snow White.

A lovely friend requested a cape for a little girl whose Mama was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. What a wonderful way to help bolster this family in such a heavy, scary part of their journey.
I'm so honored to be asked to help brighten things up in this small way for this family I've never met.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Love Fest in Calico

It would be impossible to list all the things I love about this picture. But let's try shall we:

1)That Dear Dear Dizzle and That Baby Boogie. I burst. I melt. I swoon. Those boys are the peaches and the cream.

2)Brotherly love. When I posted this picture on fb the fella commented, "Awwwwwwwww. Tell the Eli trying to choke him out?" But he wasn't. That is genuine affection, not remotely goaded on by the Mama. I was firmly engaged in picking out fabric for Christmas jammies when I looked up to discover this little love fest.

3)Fabric. Clearly.

4)My new joann's and their full sized carts. They recently remolded in a new space in the same slightly shady shopping center. The new store is big and bright and well stocked and the staff (at least temporarily) is chipper (why are joann's employees always so grumpy? Being surrounded by all that fabric? euphoria!), but none of that compares to the bliss of coming in the door on opening day and finding full. sized. carts! Finally they realize that trying to tote two children and 14 bolts of fabric in a shoebox cart is folly.

5)Boogie's overalls and how cute-elicious he is in them.

6)My orange blossom bag with the rainy day girl cell phone pocket. That was a stroke of brilliance.

7)How my boys feel about Joann's. Dizzle can spot one a mile away and often requests to go there out of the blue. He helps me choose fabrics, talks about designs he sees, picks a number for us at the cut counter and reminds Boogie not to eat it, and always tells our cut counter person, "Be careful not to cut your fingers." He's a gem and joann's usually brings out his shine.

8)How these boys crack each other up.

9)Boogie's circus shoes.
10) Brother antics that only they get.

11)Anything sealed with a kiss.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Name that Owl! Contest/Giveaway

Remember this guy?
He's not just "John Q. Owl off the internet." He's my own little owl and I forgot to reveal his purpose! I created this little hooter to put on the promo item I now include in every shipment!

(Maybe I shouldn't tell you - just require you order from the shop to find out...hmmmm...sneaky. Nah - that's not what HHS is about)

Ok, so here it is. Now, sweetly nestled in every package from Happily Home Sewn is a teeny tape measure featuring Owl-Not-So-John. I really gotta figure out a name for this little guy.

I could not be happier. I am my mother's daughter. My mother taught me never to leave home without a tape measure. She was a crafty type, prone to fits of sewing and makeshiftery. But she also dabbled in carpentry and side-of-the-road furniture procurement (click back to that post - it's a good one).

She was well served by always having something handy with which to measure to see if that crab trap will fit in the staircase to make a chandelier or how tall the sides of the South African Spur Thighed Tortoise enclosure need to be to prevent escape (true and true).

I've had many a clever little tape measure swimming around in the depths of my purse. One was a cow whose tail you pulled to get the tape out. Another was Pinocchio. But I think this one is oh so sweet, and a fitting representative of Happily Home Sewn.

Dizzle thinks they are for him. All 250 of them.

Here's a thought. Let's name this smart brown owl. Give me name suggestions. If I choose your name I'll send a tape measure your way, enclosed with a Happily Home Sewn treat of your very own (something owl-y - if you're the winner, we'll talk).

There will be two prizes. One will be picked randomly and one will go to the wordsmith who comes up with the cleverest name for Owl-not-so-John. Get creative...and good luck!

To Enter (clarified since first posting this - sorry for the confusion - chalk it up to excitement!):
  • 1 entry: Comment with your name suggestions (you can offer lots of suggestions (please do), but suggesting names only gets you one entry).
For more entries:
  • Post this contest on your blog, or facebook page (and tell me you've done so in a comment) and you'll get an extra shot (per posting) at the prize.
  • Become a follower by clicking Follow on the google followers box on the side bar (tell me you've done so in a comment).

Winners will be chosen - yup - you guessed it - Monday morning, September 20, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I read a great blog called SouleMama. She has a Friday ritual post called "This Moment. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

What a great idea. This photo is my moment from today.

In related news - I have signed up for an online photography course called Momtography. And I'm getting a new snazzy camera, and hopefully the skills to seriously knock your photographic socks up (confession - I currently photograph everything - my products, my children - with my iPhone - not too shabby eh?). Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


After I picked Diz up from preschool, he and Boog and I took a walk all over campus. Well - in all fairness - I took them on a walk to Ben and Jerrys. After that we meandered all over the campus near where we live.

When we were wrapping up, we came across these sassy little acorns.
So much personality!

I've never see acorns with fringed tops like this. They definitely got their winter hats on etsy.

I'm so inspired...but to do what with them?