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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just moved!

In case you were wondering, I just moved to a new address which this site should have automatically redirect you in a few seconds.  If you are still here, then please click on this link to see the new site. See you at the new site!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

pajamas into ruffled tote

These cozy pants were given to me (thanks Cindy!) and I liked them as pants.  They were soft, they were snazzy with the black and white print.  They were nice pants….except they were high waisted.  Now, I’m not one to really “dress to impress” when I’m headed to bed, but I just COULD NOT DEAL with them up so high on my tummy.  
I altered the crotch area so they fit low on my hips.  Better.
Except now they were a bit too tight around my hips.  I snipped the elastic and tried to wear them but it was basically just terrible.
I tried, but some alterations are just not meant to be.   I decided to do what I do best and started slicing the pants into strips with my rotary cutter.  
Ruffles….gorgeous soft ruffles….I can’t go wrong with ruffles glued onto something, right?
Another freebie canvas bag from some conference.   I’m sorry Apress spent so much money on this method of advertising because this bag is clearly not going to give them any business leads unless some crazy Goggle search lands people onto this page where they will be so confused with all the ruffle references.  
(This may be the last conference bag I have left, so I hope Brian gets sent somewhere soon!)
I layered a gazillion rows of ruffles, gluing them down with hot glue as I went until I ran out of ugly canvas to cover.

WP_20130302_006I sent this bag to my sister hoping that she can use it for library books or something.   (and think of me and ruffles each time, knowing that I love her and them, well…her more than them of course.)
The. End.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Large purple shirt


I found this purple shirt at a thrift store near my mom’s house for $1.99.

Love the color.

Love the price.

Love the bling along the neckline.

It was a size 2X, so I grabbed it, because I can *usually* alter things to fit me.WP_20130208_007

I cut about 4 inches off the bottom and didn’t bother to hem it because it rolled up and looks just fine!  Sweet….

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Then I pulled out the elastic thread and decided to try it on the scrap piece I cut off the length.  To my great surprise, it worked and gathered up the fabric just right.   I’ve tried elastic thread about 4 other times over the past year with zero success.  I’m not sure why it worked this time around…but makes me think, “If at first you don’t succeed, try  try again.”  There’s a reason that quote took off….huh?

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I love the rouching (is that the right word?  Spell checker has never heard of it…) on the sleeves, which turn them into the  right length so I don’t have to push them up all day long.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

waste management

Why, oh why don’t cars come with a built in trash can?   I don’t need anything fancy like the car from “Back to the Future 3” that runs on trash.  I just want someplace to collect it all in a neat and tidy fashion, you know?   My fancy SUV is loaded, I mean LOADED with all kinds of crazy things like air conditioned seats.  Really.   Keyless ignition, hands free parallel parking which I’m waaaay to scared to try….but a space to throw my trash?  Nah.   Just toss it all on the floor.



I saw this idea in the vast and never ending land of Pinterest and thought it was worth a shot to corral trash in my car.  It’s a plastic cereal container (that I previously used to hold my home made laundry detergent when I went through that little phase).  yah…I don’t miss that phase at all…..


I rolled up some extra plastic bags to keep in the bottom of the container.  Now this thing rolls around on the floor , but all least it’s contained I guess.   I was excited to show my mom this little contraption when she took a ride in my car.   “How’s that working for you?”  she asked.   “uh…not that great, I guess” I had to admit.  But at least I had a good reason to pull out my fancy little vinyl cutting machine to make a label, using the positive AND the negative cut out so that both sides are labeled.  

What do you do about trash in the car?  Any waste management tips for on the go?

Monday, March 11, 2013

walking in a winter wonderland

There’s nothing quite like a stunning winter day, bright warm coats and a really good camera.   These are just a few of my favorite pictures from our cold family photo shoot….

(February 2013)









“daddy will you carry me?”




“Daddy carry me?” she signed.  

Our family was trekking into a winter wonderland on campus for some photos.  We hadn’t gotten very far from our car when this request came.

His arms were full of camera equipment, and he shook his head no.   She wailed….."I want daddy to carry me!”  I ran to take the camera and the new fancy pants lenses so his arms could hold something even more precious.  As they walked ahead, I was able to snap some quick photos capturing this sweet little moment. 

She’s 5 and a half now…. How much longer she will want her daddy to carry her?   How many more times will she be able to close her eyes, throw her arms around his neck and enjoy a trek through the snow without getting her boots wet?  I don’t know….it’s one of those things that will stop happening at some point.  But on this day, on this snow covered trail, daddy picked her up and everything was right in her world. 



Little moments.

                  Source of picture

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thrifted wool coat


Do you notice anything wrong in this picture of me and the girls?


I’m not talking about how wrong it is that my pants were hastily shoved into my cowboy boots.  Or how wrong it is to wear cowboy boots in the first place with this outfit, in this location, in that snowy terrain. 

There’s something missing.

Shhhhhhh, (It’s the button.)


Winter is a slow season for estate sales, and the market is absolutely FROZEN for garage sales yard sales and general junk thrown out at the side of the road.   However a true treasure finder  (or “thing finder” as Pippi Longstocking would say) is not slowed down by the weather.

My estate sale buddy and I had some downtime in between our actual paying job of sign language interpreting so we headed straight to the best of the local thrift stores, Savers.

I always head for the linens first; she usually wanders through the coats.  Two minutes later, she ran over to me and said, “Look what I found!”  showing me a beautiful grey wool coat.  

“Oh, that’s nice!”  I said, keeping my tone neutral (although I was flipping out over the ruffle detail in my head).  We have very similar tastes in second hand junk, always eyeballing what the other has picked up.   LOL.  

“It’s for you!   It has ruffles!   Try it on!”  she encouraged me.  Now, I need another wool coat like I need to eat another Boston crème donut, but ruffles are hard to resist.   I tried it on, noting the 3/4 length, which I don’t own and apparently is the most flattering length for a “pear” shaped body like mine.   (Says some Kindle book I read recently) 

And I don’t own a gray coat.  

And it was $12.99.

And it looked brand spankin new.

As soon as I tried it on, I realized why it had been donated.  It was missing a button.   “Maybe I can take the top button off and move it to the missing spot.” I contemplated. I’m always willing to make adjustments to thrifted items.  Then,  reaching my hand into the pocket, I squealed and pulled out the missing button.    Could it be that someone donated a perfectly ruffled wool coat because the button fell off and they didn’t know how to sew it back on?   Oh my…it was my lucky day… and my lucky winter with a ruffled coat.

Best thrifted find of the winter, for sure!


Made by Brian Trager