Monday, December 31


I couldn't believe my eyes today at Ross when I saw this wallet. Brown is a plus first off...even though there was a similar one in black that I hemmed and hahhed (is that really how you spell that word?) over. I loved the soft feel of this one and it didn't get smaller at the top.

also it being green inside was an added bonus. The price tag was $6.99. I almost yelled across the handbag section out of pure excitement to Tessa but contained myself til she was at least 15 feet from me.
I have already shown my trophy to my best friend...told her that now I feel like a *grown up*.
After looking at these next few pictures of my old wallet you will see why.

scrolling down to give you a chance to not look....hideous wallet warning.....

okay, i warned ya.... come I never seen it was this bad? This must be what they mean by really seeing something.
The other day I pulled Tessa and Aliss's pairs of fluffy slippers (which weren't fluffy anymore) out of the dryer.
Since they just got a new super fluffy pair from Suzanne for Christmas you wouldn't have thought it would be sooooo hard to part with the old pair....nope...there were almost tears.
I told them to look at them as if someone else had outgrown them and was trying to give them to them looking like that.....would they take them? ick. out they went.

So why didnt I see my wallet?
I dont know but I sure did when I saw the new one.....ahhhhhhh.

And don't ya love the chipped nails on my *grown up fingers* to go with my *grown up wallet*? ~snicker~ sometimes it takes awhile.

Friday, December 28

quiet night at home

after meeting a new online friend who crochets beautiful, timeless pieces of clothing I have decided to redo my blog to a calmer more peaceful template. I love chocolate brown, buttercream and barn red the most of all colors. Her blog is chocolate brown.....ahhhh soothing for me.
i thought i would try out the buttercream background.....i like it much better than my old one already.

when my oldest daughter Tessa is back home tomorrow I will have her do her magic with the banner size and a new picture in it too then it will fit much better.
I would much rather sew for 4 hours straight than to try and figure out how to get a picture out of hp pictures into a rectangle at the top of my computer screen.

i have been cleaning out the sewing/computer/kids craft room tonight.
i am at odds with myself and am not sure i am just being too uptight....the kids stuff is mutating and taking up more and more of the room....mostly the floor.
i had their Dad make a cubby space for each of them for crafting (because I like to encourage them that way--craziness) BUT there are five of them.

you get the drift.

if the floor could be kept cleared and at least their cubbies a little cleaned (you know how creative types are) i dont think i would feel so trapped in.
ANYWAY...i sit here feeling much better after clearing the floor, half of my sewing desk, cutting out a custom handbag that my massage therapist ordered and having built a castle out of foam alphabet pieces with my 5 year old daughter Sophie.

Air1 is cranked on the computer so the atmosphere is upbeat too.
you know how atmosphere is half the battle.

Monday, December 24

love and stuff

There are so many things to say all fluffy and lovey at Christmas Time isnt there?
I have just had my fill on some of my favorite blogs with beautiful pictures of food and crafts and thought boy, I havent had a Christmas post yet.
What a ham!
So to all of you who read my blog-

Merry Christmas

We have a beautiful tree all trimmed with childrens things, red and gold ornament balls and lights glistening.
The underneath of the tree is filled with some pristine wrapped gifts and lots of rumpled ones that little hands have wrapped in love.
We did our yearly trip to the Dollar Tree for each child to buy gifts for everyone else.
There are homemade gifts and gifts from relatives far away.

We made Sugar cookies for the first time in several years and the night before last we stayed up waaaaay too late for little people doing our huge amound of chocolate painted pretzel logs.....Sophie did some serious sprinkles on them this year. Wow!
The make a wonderfully quick breakfast for Mamas too. ~snicker~

All of that to say, I am hoping you have family around you this time of year or have some that you can have as family.
Relax and realize it isnt about presents and hurrying but instead about time....time well spent with a child and a book or a loved one over a cup of cocoa (better yet flavored coffee with whip cream and all) just spending time.

See you in the next few days!

Tuesday, December 18

since the storm

Since the storm-
got my laundry and a good friends laundry all caught up.
:then the washer broke

got a loaner washer while mine is being looked at and almost got all the laundry caught up again (washer had been broke for a week)
:then the dryer broke

two children have cut their heads, one had the flu.
dog decided that the arthritis could have its way ( looked up natural treatments) who would have known that fish oil supplements could work so quickly for him?

went to the college and took placement tests for admissions.
:was at college level for reading comprehension, one level lower for sentence structuring and a level lower than that for math. Not too bad for not being in a classroom for almost 20 years.
Although I am in an unstructured classroom with my babies every day here at our house.

Got some really neat gifts for my children for Christmas because of my church being so wonderful and giving me a gift certificate. I hadnt said anything about the hardships we have been through recently. ..the whole area we live in has been through financial difficulties from this storm.

We are expecting another storm tonight and through the rest of this week at around 65 mph winds.
They say we could have more power outages because of the soaked ground from the last storm and trees being susceptible from it for falling.
soooo we could be without power again...good thing we know what to do from the last one.
I feel so badly for the folks in Kansas who had freezing weather in the middle of their extended power outage.

Wednesday, December 5


my children and myself just made it through a very scary event.
we in the pacific northwest thought we were facing 50mph winds ...we have had those before.
we ended up with a nightmare.

i am still digesting it.
the power came on about 20 minutes ago.
i fear i am a bit traumatized.
to be a woman alone watching your carport roof flapping in the breeze like a piece of paper in front of a fan and know your children are upstairs sleeping.
very scary...very scary.

we made it and found out we are stronger than we thought.
in the next few days my daughter will upload some of the photos she took and i will share them with you.

at this moment i am overwhelmed at the time lost for our finances from my sewing.
i dont know about our bills coming and how that will play into how much of a Christmas my children will experience this year.
time will tell...

photos to come...

thankful for electricity...
thankful for woodstoves that work...
thankful for neighbors and friendly conversation...
thankful for no trees crashing through my house or floods forcing me to evacuate....

so very thankful.

Tuesday, November 27

wonky camera

boy, have i been trying to get a new post out to you.
the camera has been acting wonky...we tried to take pictures of these Christmas Stockings out of upholstery fabrics and pillow trims to show you that we were trying to put in the shop but the camera distorted the fabrics...weird.
anyway, we will try again today as the pacific northwest has given us a surprise of sunshine for a bit. ~grin~

we did manage to get two semi decent pictures of little girls strawberry shortcake aprons that are so cute. the fabric really is white and not cream colored. ~snicker~
i found the sheets from the original strawberry shortcake and all of her gang and made some vintage aprons out of them.
my girls already have one for each of them except Tes-she's 16.

i have been making all different colors of giddy-up horses on skirts though. that has been so much fun...i had forgotten how much i love designing things for little girls.
they are so colorful and cute!

anyway, there are still a few custom order spots for giddy-up skirts still in the shop and also two vintage Strawberry Shortcake aprons that would be great unique Christmas gifts for a little girl in your life.

Wednesday, November 21

old to new...

Tessa thought she would give it a whirl with patchworking a pair of her jeans.

turned out pretty cute...two of these fabrics are in my favorite stash...the black with tiny white flowers I only use as an accent on things because I love it so and the flower I still have a couple yards of but see it disappearing too quickly for my likings in the spring on pinafores and bags and such.

Sunday, November 18

child's turkey craft....

this weekend was a very full one.
the kids went to a magic show with their dad. the guy is world renowned.....we were all surprised he made a stop in our tiny town but the kids said the place was packed out.
Andre' Kole is the name and he is the one that made the disappearing Statue of Liberty famous.
the kids had a blast and are still talking about it!

The two younger girls and I also went to Hannah's soccer coaches house for an end of the season party....we were the only ones to show so we had a great visit. coffee, conversation (the mom is an acquaintance of mine I hardly get to see), home baked pizza and a craft for the girls.

They made the cutest turkeys that they actually designed as they went along.
all you need is:
a Styrofoam ball
brown paint
chenille stems of your choice (traditional colors are red, orange, yellow, and brown)
sharp knife
art smock LOL!
glitter optional

cut the ball in half and paint it. (if you want sparkly stuff sprinkle it on the wet paint at this time.)
take a full piece of chenille stem and make a circle with the ends twisted together.,
stick the twisted stem 3/4 back on the half-ball
cut *turkey feathers*-
snip turkey feathers chenille stems into three pieces twist into small tear drop shapes with the ends sticking out.
attach feathers by clamping the feathers on the tail piece
make another teardrop piece for the head and insert it in the front...attach another small tear drop piece for the beak.
take two small pieces and twist the middle part so the two prongs are sticking out and insert them for the feet.
voila! a turkey fit to grace the Thanksgiving table.

it is really easier than the amount of instructions took to tell about it.

my second oldest daughter and I spent a chunk of time up at the emergency room last night.
she had an earache that just wouldnt stop.
i tried-
lavender oil
hot washcloth
cold washcloth
tylenol-couldnt find the childrens liquid tylenol so i used a prescription childrens tylenol with codeine for her. just our luck it made her legs to fidgety. poor, poor girl.

we ended up with this great doctor who believes the same as i in ear infections usually heal themselves and was actually thinking of becoming a naturopath.
great conversation....then they gave Aliss some numbing ear drops. finally pain relief for my girl.

she is enjoying chicken broth as we speak.

Friday, November 16

Trunk Show

blurry picture warning...

my 13 year old daughter Aliss made the mother load of brownies and my 16 year old Tessa packed the cloth and decorations and decorated the table.
martenilli's chillin', chips & dip and brownies.....mmmmmmmmmmmm

my girls also helped lay things out on the tables....what a team.
those big things on the table really arent pillows, they are purses with the handles down..giddy up skirt in the front...I love purple and red together..this skirt is wide wale corduroy. boy, i wish the pictures turned out better...sorry.

two purses i made this past week...

table full of some fabric samples to *build your own* purse...the girls said it was like *build a bear*. ~grina surprise that came in the mail today from the local City Government for a thank you for contributing to the *shows its best* auction benefiting the city. what a treat to have a bona fide certificate hanging on my wall.

Thursday, November 15

can bearly sit still...

the time is drawing nearer and nearer for the Trunk Show tonight.
My 13 year old daughter Aliss just finished the big dish of brownies cooking. After the brownies cooked she tossed on heath toffee bits to melt onto the top.
We are going to cut those up into 1 inch pieces and arrange them prettily on a platter.
I found a sale on martinellis' sparking cider in the flavor of apple-grape and apple-cranberry.
I am going to fill my fluted punch bowl halfway with ice and use it as an ice bucket for the martenillis.
for a savory i am mixing three packages of cream cheese with a thing of salsa, putting it into a pretty bowl and arranging chips around it.

so exciting, so exciting.
this is the first trunk show *I* have hostessed....I have had two other parties and one was in an office lunch room at an orthopedic surgeons office and another in home of a friend.

we will share pictures tomorrow...Tessa promised to take a few before people start showing up.

Tuesday, November 13

sewin, sewin, sewin....

wow...that turned out blurry but I wanted to share a w.i.p to ya for my Fall Trunk Show and dont have any more time to have Tes take another and all that entails so bear with me and pretend its beautiful will ya?
Dont ya love the decor too? ~grin~

phew its been full swing around here.
so far i have had orders for 4 of the Giddy-Up skirt...well sorta, one of them was actually a kitty skirt with a sweet little mouse on the back instead of the horseshoe.
I cant wait to make that will be so much fun.

When a friend at church said that she had some fabrics from the high end furniture show room she was an interior decorator at to give me I would have never guessed the journey I would have been on these past two years with the handbags.
People are telling me now *I saw one of your handbags at so and so on a ladies arm*.
What a thrill!

In the making of handbags however, I had forgotten how much I love to make little girls things.
I have been making little girls clothes for around 16 years now.....started when my oldest was a few months old out of pure need. Easter was coming and I couldnt afford one of the kind of dresses I wanted at the store so I started there.

My oldest daughter (Tessa) is now making things...she makes wallets, credit card holders, sunglass cases and mp3 player holders out of the recycled upholstery pieces too.
Last night she was hammering away at a snap on one of her creations and was fussing and fuming about one of the snap prongs going the wrong way...I hate it when you get in a groove and have to redo something too.

Anyway, it took me back to *the day* when I didnt know how to put in a button hole so I would hammer snaps in the seam and on the outside sew on a decorative button. ~grin~ Do what ya gotta do, right?

Right now I feel like I live in my sewing/computer room getting ready for my Fall Trunk Show in the fellowship hall of our church.
Its this Thursday, EEK!!
I keep thinking of new things that *have to be made*. You know how that is dont you? When you are getting closer to the date of something and keep remembering forgotten things.

Also, 5 kids still need schooling everyday and.....ahem..... to be fed and loved on.

phew! will update after Thursday about the Trunk Show.
I am hoping to make some fancy snacky foods and special drink like martinellis...Tessa has a classical cd we will play softly in the background too.....hopefully it all comes together. I am trying for the environment of a ladies getaway where you can have something yummy to eat, something relaxing to hear along with friendly conversation and pretty things to look at without having to brave a high end boutique clerk. ~grin~

Friday, November 9

my girl is so sweet....

Did ya see the Etsy shop little picture thingies in the sidebar?
Tessa did that for me.
She is also the one who made the banner so fall like and pretty.

I dont know a bit about technical stuff....and right now there aren't any braincells to learn something new if I wanted to.
I envy the gals who can draw, paint and make their own banners that are soooo cutesy. Tessa now figured out how to take a picture or a few pictures and make a banner for me.

Doesn't this newer generation come by it much easier? Were they born with more techno cells or something?
I dont know.

edited the *deep* stuff that was here.

Wednesday, November 7


Ooooooh, I am so excited to show you this skirt. Can ya tell by the title? One morning my daughter Hannah (8) woke up and asked for a horsey skirt. well, I wasn't too sure about putting a whole horse on a skirt and told her so but said I would give it a go on putting a head on one. we sat down and drew and drew horsey heads until we landed on this one.

This skirt gets heads turning where-ever we go....seems to be picking up speed on heading out the door as soon as i get em made.
i am still so surprised and tickled with the response.
when we came back from NY there was two local auction that i put one skirt in each.
one auction was for local businesses to show off their stuff and one was an auction to benefit a local mommies club.
the skirt pictured here is a style of the skirt i have for sale in my etsy shop for custom order. there will be two styles of lightweight with side panels like this one and one out of corduroy or other similar thickness of fabric without side panels.

Giddy-Up! heeheehee

Saturday, November 3

Niagara Falls area

water before it hits the falls....this whole area is breathtaking...especially this time of year...imagine walking paths lined with beautiful colors of trees, people milling around, and the roar of the falls.

my youngest daughter thought i would never let go of the vice grip i had on her seems the realness of a large mass of water only feet from us caused a bit of worry for this mama's heart.
one of the bridges to cross to see the falls on the American side...
more pictures of our beautiful trip daughter (16yo) is the taker and keeper of the photos so I need to sift through her collection for the ones I would like to share with you.
Has anyone here been to the Canadian or American side of Niagara Falls before?
Did you know there are actually elevator shafts that take you to spots near the falls in the side of the cliff? Heavy raincoats and special sandals are required....I wonder why? ~grin~

Friday, October 26

back from vacation

We are back from visiting my family in New York state.
So much to talk many beautiful pictures to share.

I am feeling so fragmented being back home and trying to slip back into
routine, getting caught up around here, digging the house out from under drifts of kitty hair.....
I will share a couple pictures and be back in a couple days with more and tell about our wonderful trip!

Sunday, October 14

loose ends...

ever the procrastinator i am.....
we have known we were going on the family vacation back east to visit my dad, step mom and his side of the family for at least two months.
why then am i sitting here thinking of all of the things i need to accomplish tomorrow?
we leave to an overnight hotel tuesday so that leaves monday (tomorrow) to finish washing loads of laundry, fold them and have the kids put them away.
same with dishes.....
i know it is extra work to finish up the house before you leave on a trip but it sure makes the coming home easier....especially when it will be 6 of us coming home.

animals have caretakers
mail will be held
new shirt made for my oldest daughter
rides to the overnight hotel lined up
cleaning out the fridge of perishables tomorrow
yard cleaned up for winter so we dont have to do it in the rain when we come back

church was awesome sure dont know how much you miss something or someone until you havent seen it or them for awhile.
it has been at least 6 sundays since i have seen my church sick kid after another and when you are the only parent this can make for a loooooong stretch.
anyway, good to see everyone again.

the weather has been sooooo beautiful for the past three days....seems like real fall weather.
crisp air, sunshine, people hurrying up the last minute yard work or house painting before the rains come.
i have immense respect for paint ~grin~
we werent able to get the house painted this year (it seriously needs it) but i finally got my picket fence all white. at least this winter when it is all rainy and blustery outside i will have a pretty white fence to look at....exactly the reason i painted it now instead of next summer when the house will be that i will have something cheerful to look at outside.
i will post before and after pictures when we come back Oct 26th.
it is a MAJOR difference.

have a GREAT week!
Lori xo

Wednesday, October 10

book give away

wow...I just got an email from Biblical Womanhood talking about a homekeeping book give away.
Sounds like a wonderful book and I hope I am one of the lucky winners.

When I was a younger mama I took for granted being able to stay at home with my children and got sidetracked too much with other matters. I still get sidetracked quite a bit but not as much as then....a little too much involvement in church activities and helping friends out back then and not too much emphasis on things like the husbands work uniforms or making sure the clean clothing actually made it to the drawers.
I digress....
Now that this past year has brought me into single parenthood of the bustling bunch of kids I no longer take staying at home for granted because I make soooo many sacrifices to do it and work many an odd job for people to make ends meet to be able to continue to stay home.

Some day I would love to be as organized as most women who choose to stay at home but I know my family loves me in all of my quirky homemaking ways.

Hopefully as soon as we come back from our family vacation (my dad and step mom paid for us to visit them...woohoo!) I will update my etsy shop which is supposed to help keep me at home with my kids too... Etsy shops really dont work well if they aren't updated. ~grin~
I am working on some super cute skirts for little girls with an appliquéd horse head with pillow trim for the mane called the *Giddy Up* skirt that I need to get some pictures of in case anyone who reads here has a little girl in their life that is a horsey lover... they are in sizes 2T, 4 and 6. They will be $38 with shipping included.

This picture is a WIP because of the button eye and little mirror medallion from the bridle missing. On the back of these skirts will be an appliquéd horse shoe with *giddy-up* embroidered on it. They are all wide wale corduroy except the tan is regular curduroy.
Anyway, if you are a woman who is a homemaker at heart you may be interested in the give away....go leave a comment in the link at the top of this post!

Friday, October 5

peeping chicken....

See anything that doesn't fit in this picture? Look closely.....
Usually we have a cat peeping in our kitchen window at us but imagine the surprise to walk into the kitchen and see this beauty.
This is one of our *girls*.
She must have flown the coop and thought this was the closest thing to a roost.

silly bird.....

Sophie lost her first and second *official* teeth this past week. The top one had to be taken out because of one to many run ins with the floor...the floor won.
when did my baby start looking so grown up? gotta love those freckles.

Sophie has been on an ornament kick this week. you cant tell from the photo but each one was hand drawn to perfection and then a thin strip of paper was cut for the hanger and stapled on.
many hours of fun for the little crafter. she would love to sell them but i dont know where to encourage her to do do they start this at the age of 5? wow....already a craft diva.
oh...the one on the far right is actually a puppet with a recycled limb from a tree that was laying in the yard....ever the recycler is that girl.

Thursday, September 27

autumn in the air...

It seems everywhere you look in blogland this week (in the northern hemisphere anyway)
that fall is upon us. we can certainly feel it here in the Pacific Northwest...actually raining tonight.
My oldest daughter Tessa took down the fall box of decorating stuff from the attic and went to decorating the house this past week.
The dollar tree had the great glass plate kind of candle holder so we splurged on one of those. ~grin~

This is a mirror that is actually by the inside of my front door and the table and chairs is in the next room over. Tessa takes all of the pictures that go on my blog...she is getting pretty good if I do say so myself getting that view from the mirror.
No toys in the dirty fingerprints on the folded towers of laundry waiting for little fingers to take them upstairs to put away.
We are settling into fall real nicely here.....
What tradition or decorating do you do at your house to ready for fall?

Tuesday, September 25


I keep these three outfits hanging on my studio wall to get the creative juices flowing.
The outfit on the far left is my favorite of all time.....i refashioned it from a babies jumper. wacked off the legs from the crotch down and added huge pockets and everything that isnt pink...the gold fringe around the neckline is supposed to be pillow fringe.
the original piece was a pink now five year old LOVED that dress...i always put a long sleeved orange shirt under it.
the middle dress i made while going through a very emotional seperation from my now ex husband...very colorful....probably to cheer me up.
it was for my second youngest daughter ..she adored the dress.
so hence they hang on the wall awaiting me to make the new and larger version of each for the girls who miss them so.
the baby jumper is there just because it is so darned cute.

we got our littlest kitten back from getting her no babies operation this past week...nice to have that out of the way and nice to have her back home where she belongs.
it still amazes me how we bond with our pets (babies).....she belongs to my daughter Hannah (who I seem to have in every post as of late) and you should have seen the emotion this little kitty (Pixie) showed when she saw her mama come to pick her up.
We were blessed because PAWS helped us to keep our fees down in getting her spayed....otherwise it would have been $100 more than the amount we had to pay (which was enough...youch!)
Anyway, glad to have little Pixie home.

Sunday, September 23

fall soccer

this is Hannah's first year of soccer...she thoroughly enjoys every minute of it and we are sooo very proud of watching her running around out there the whole time with a smile on her face.

it's so cute to watch the girls at the age...they are competitive but not so much that it clouds their feel for the game or the opposing players...more in the sense of *give me that ball*.
the players that are on the sideline waiting for their turn play soccer with a miniature ball and this stuffed soccer teddy bear....adorable.

this is my sons 4th year with the same coach...most of the players have stayed the same also on the team with some new players being added in. watching this coach these past several years has shown me what a great coach looks like.
he isn't overly easy on the boys but also doesn't take things personally with the boys either...when the boys do something wrong he corrects them and on with the personal stuff in there.
I love this picture because Zack's coach looks genuinely happy with Zack...he is subbing off and the other player is going in.
This was Zack's first game he made it to after all of the illness in our family and me not being able to take him to his practice.

Zack has enjoyed his community soccer years and next year chooses if he wants to play for the local jr. high or not as his team wont be a team anymore as the boys will all play for their middle schools in the local area....i know it will be different for him as we home school and he doesn't have ties to the school.
we sure have enjoyed watching these years and i am proud of his good sportsmanship and overall love of the game.

Monday, September 10


Breakfast in bed anyone? a tradition at our house is the person whose birthday it is gets breakfast in bed. they are allowed to come downstairs only to go potty then back up to bed with them while others scurry around making the different parts of their special breakfast.
this breakfast belonged to my sweet Hannah who turned 8 on Saturday. Hannah is the one who is recovering very nicely from Strep throat from me treating her with natural things.
She got a ham and cheese omelet...eggs supplied from our very own girls (chickens..they lay better for me when I call them my girls), grape juice in the punch bowl cup, blueberry brown cow yogurt with sprinkles on top.

Sophie (5) went outside and picked the little purple pansies and fuschia violets for the little wicker basket arrangement for her sister. I always have fun making the breakfast trays for my children...even when the cupboards are almost bare (during momentous growth spurts in the kids) there is always something to serve up on silver platter.
Even a fun shaped piece of toast would taste good on a silver platter, right?
A large celebration in our town is Loggers Playday. As you can tell from the title we are (or were) a logging community. There is a whole bunch of logging pride in this area...we go to the parade every year as it is only about 7 blocks from our house.
this is a fun time to walk in the middle of the street without getting yelled at by your mom.

the log trucks are all polished and armor-alled to the hilt.

lots of fun....
perfect end to a perfect day is always hanging out in the tree in the crisp night air isnt it?