Friday, July 23, 2010

The Empty Pot--Today's Skirting

What a fun week it has been unveiling these twirly-skirts! I can hardly believe it's Friday already.
Today's skirting features the first skirt I made in the "split-side-seam" series. And I instantly fell in love with it!!

There are so many reasons why of course, the fabric, the colors, the pattern, and Chloe does a beautiful job showing it's fullness and beauty. (This particular skirt is a little bit long on her but she models it with grace. And there's plenty of time to get a lot of good wear out of it!)

The fabric on the top layer reminds me of the story, "The Empty Pot." In case you don't know this story or would like a little refresher here's the scoop:

"Ping is a Chinese boy with an emerald green thumb; he can make anything grow "as if by magic." One day the Emperor announces that he needs a successor, someone who can carry on after he is gone with the ruling of the kingdom and the growing of the flowers. He gives each child one seed, and the one who grows the best flower will take over after him. Competition is fierce, and Ping is heartbroken that nothing comes up, despite his careful tending. On the day of the competition, he is the only child with an empty pot; all the others brings lush plants. But the Emperor has tricked everyone by distributing cooked seeds, unable to grow; and Ping, with his empty pot, is the only honest gardener--and the winner."--synopsis taken from

These beautiful Asian Pots would surely bring a prize all on their own I'm thinking! The bottom fabric layer matches in coordinating flowers set on a field of black with a subtle "fingerprint" design meandering throughout. It's reminiscent of the patterns found in a zen garden!

(And the same zen pattern is also found on the top layer but in a subtle off white tone.) The edges are smartly accented by a red-thread of piping.

If you like this or any of the other skirts/dresses that I've posted about, just email me or leave me a comment. The skirts during this "Season of Giving" this summer will have the proceeds split 3 ways, between Cost, The Rippee Fundraiser & our church's basement flood-restoration project.
At $21.00 a twirl, it is quite a sweet deal! -- (Also sweet, The Apron Dresses are $35.00)

The Asian fabrics for this skirt, like so many of the other fabrics I feature, 
is limited in quantity, when it's gone, it's gone!

P.S. Hopefully my husband will work on his Sunday School lesson tonight and I'll be able to participate in the Friday Night Sew In and hopefully I'll get lots accomplished. Want to join in? Click on the blue link to get the scoop from Homemade by Heidi. What a cool idea!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today's Skirting--Lilac Whisper

Today's skirting is another design featuring the side-split pattern. Its delicate soft floral top layer fabric whispers like the work from the Impressionistic painter Monet, in a song of whispering flowers overlaying a lilac purple polka-dot base layer. The trim fabric is a muted-chartreuse with rose and pink accents.
Thank you Chloe for bringing a beautiful spunk to this skirt! You make it sing girl!
(I love that hat too!)

The colors are so delicate and soft it's hard to photograph what the eye is naturally able to perceive and enjoy. This shot captures the whispers a little bit louder and more true in intensity--I tell you it's about as loud as a butterfly screaming.)

Isn't Chloe a doll?! She is a natural lead model! And many thanks to the art direction and photography by her mom Angie!  It's gorgeous!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today's skirting--My China

I had a lunch date in town today with Jeff, the boys and some friends (one of whom is here from China for work!) ... and since I try to group as many things as humanly possible into one day "in town," the kids and I drove out of the driveway a bit before 10am and spent. the. entire. day. running. errands.--Yes, until 6pm tonight.
Me and three boys.
Doing things like going to the fabric store.
The bank.
The Christian bookstore ... both of them.
And finally ... much to their relief, the splash pad!
Ahhhhh--bliss for them. (I however just watched from the sidelines and read the first chapter in my newest book, Have a New Kid By Friday, by Dr. Kevin Leman. (ie: the same kids ... improved attitude--much to Brayden's relief. He originally read just the first 5 words "Have a New Kid" and I think he was getting a bit worried about his future--ha!)

The point of staying in town all day, besides trying to get a lot done, was to avoid a second trip back into town for Easton's hockey practice at 5:30. Just doing my little part to same the planet ya know. But you know those best laid plans and what happens to them ... Wouldn't you know, as I drove up to the arena at 5:30 (yes, I was late if you consider it takes at least 15 minutes to get hockey equipment all on! which I hate being late!) I noticed the parking lot was empty ... and you guessed it ... no hockey practice today.
ahahahahahahaha! I almost expected the cameras to pop out of the bushes and say, "you're on candid camera!" Yes, after all day in town specifically because we needed to get to hockey practice.
I got a lot done I guess. And lots of quality time with the kids in a hot car.
And I wasn't late ... since there wasn't anything to be late for I guess.
But. I didn't get a post of a NEW skirting in today...
It does give me the opportunity to bring this skirt back to light however. I posted about it HERE under the name "Dare to Dream."
I had a sweet one call it her "My China" skirt ... and I like that better, so I'm stickin' with that.

"My China" skirt is a light cotton ruffle skirt and is perfect for summer--or cooler temperatures if paired with leggings or tights. It's a beautiful China Blue ... the color of my rice bowls ... and white. The ruffle is gathered in a matching paisley print in the same gorgeous blue that almost makes you feel the wind in the willows blowing gently.

I also want to mention that my model Chloe has taken a few more skirts home for modeling!  I can't wait! Hopefully she'll have fun putting the little girl into them and making them look FUN! Stay tuned :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Everything is Coming Up Pink Roses--Today's Skirting

If you checked out yesterday's post you know that I have a week full of "Skirtings" that I'm going to reveal each day this week. Hopefully, you'll enjoy them as much as I am creating them! I have 3 skirt fabric combinations in this style right now, which is a side split 2-layer skirt. It has just enough "poof" to twirl out, but not too much to be too ruffley. It would be perfect over shorts or leggins, or just on its own.

I haven't decided on a naming technique for these dresses and skirts. So in the mean time I'm calling this one "Pink Roses." The top layer of fabric has pink and peach roses growing on a rich pink background. The accenting piping is a swirly pink and cream fabric which overlays the underlayer in a complimentary seagrass green and ivory scroll design. I also have fabric in the same pattern with a blue background ... so maybe that will be an upcoming design choice?

Hmmm, coming up with a price for these little skirts. Seems like there should be an introductory incentive or something ... Here's an incentive, the proceeds through the summer will be split 3 ways between the cost of my materials, our church basement flooding restoration and The Rippee's Adoption Fundraiser. I'm hoping that this venture extends into the Fall and onward, but babysteps right now, right? You can reserve this skirt in your favorite size, or any of the other ones yet to be revealed this week for only $21 (easily divisible by 3.) You can leave me a comment or email me if you are interested in one ... or even if you'd just like to leave me an encouraging comment. Those are always welcome! :-)

Remember to keep checking back this week for the next "skirting."

Click any of the images to see them larger.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Apron Dress--Another Skirtings from Ruffled Feathers

Remember my post about the skirts that I was working on under the name Ruffled Feathers? Here and Here and Here.Well, I have not forgotten them. Summer has been flying by ... with trips to see family and time outdoors ... and also getting Lyme disease at the tail end of our vacation ... that took me out of the picture for a good long week and a half. I am finally feeling much better again! (whew!)

I find so much joy in sewing these little skirts and dresses, I'm hoping something good will come from it. Maybe you'll see something that calls out to you, especially with the upcoming school year approaching?! This is the perfect time to plan ahead. I also have two skirts that I have been working on as well as this apron dress design.

Today I am featuring the Apron Dress that I posted about in June. It came at the perfect time for my friend Angie's Fourth of July parades that her family participated in for her husband's County Supervisor Compaign. Very cool. It is modeled by her daughter Chloe--much to Nolan's relief!-- I think he was going to draw the line pretty soon on the modeling gig. Thank you SO much Chloe for bringing some grins, twirls and fun to this dress! And thank you Angie for photo-ing it!

The dress is created using a floral and flag design printed on a light peach background. The bodice and hem line are accented by a gorgeous blue fabric with a whispy vine paisley in fine ivory-white. The straps and bodice interior feature a dainty peach print. If anyone is interested in this apron dress, or an apron dress using another combination of fabrics (I have MANY) please leave me a comment or email me. The apron dresses are currently priced at $35 but I'm open to suggestions and bartering.  ;-)

More "Ruffled Feathers" to follow this week ...
And hopefully a true full-featured website in time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blessed Baby!

Another blessing is being added to the bounty of the give-away at BlessingsAHundredFold!
And how perfect for a fundraiser for the adoption of a little girl--a gift certificate for a doll! But not just any doll. This is a doll from BabyBeBlessedDolls and if you are not already familiar with them, hold onto your heart because they are SO adorable!

Look at the personalize Scripture on their tummy!

Isn't your heart all floppy and full now?!

The folks at BabyBeBlessed have generously donated a gift certificate of $56! Enough to cover a PERSONALIZED doll including s/h! 
I am already so excited for all the winners. Can this fundraiser get any better?! 
Check out the Blessings blog to read more about this and the MANY other wonderful items that have been so generously donated! Spread the Word and Help to Grow a Family after God's Own Heart!

And check out their site HERE:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who's That Coming Down the Track?!

... It's Thomas. 
Ni Hao Thomas!
Thank you to ALL of you who donated to this idea of sending a Thomas the Train Track to the sweethearts at New Day! 

We have an incredible set on its way to them RIGHT now ... complete with Cranky the Crane, The Quarry Tunnel, a working water tower and a boxed set of Thomas DVD's IN Mandarin. The folks at, where I purchased the DVD's, were SO nice to work with too ... they had a monthly special going on that threw in a free Dora DVD (which I highly recommend for anyone adopting an older child especially as it does a great job of both English and Chinese much like the English/Spanish version we enjoy here in the States. AND they also included a FREE Hello Kitty DVD when they heard who would be receiving it! (I highly recommend PoppingPandas if you are looking for Mandarin DVD's and other learning resources.)

I am looking forward to hearing if the kids enjoy the track and the Thomas and other stories in the months ahead--or should I say which children enjoy the track--sure it's not everybody's favorite, but for many it sure is right up there with one of the best fun things around. Hopefully it will be something that many will look forward to when it's "Thomas the Train Day" and it's pulled out from the storage cupboard. (THAT is another huge bonus of the Thomas stuff ... it's so storable!) And who knows the creative and engineering minds that might bloom from this fun "play!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And the Winner of the Apron Is ...

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this site as well as on the BlessingsAHundredFold site.
It was definitely a blessing to hear from each one of you! And it is wonderful to know a few more ultra neat people too.

And now for the BIG reveal ...
As tabulated by Random.Org

The winner of this fantabulous apron ... for baking, grilling, tossing, toasting, sauteing, frying or just for looking plain sassy while in the kitchen is ...



Remember that if you didn't win you can still have a Scarlet Threads Apron of your VERY own by visiting their site and choosing something from their wonderful selection!

ALSO: There were SO many great recipe suggestions in the comments that you left. It would be great if you could drop by the Scarlet Threads website and leave a copy of the recipe for their Tasty Tuesday section. I'll make it easy, here's the link Scarlet Threads Tasty Tuesday
and  if you have a photo that would be extra good ... although not required--I am looking forward to seeing tll those recipes! (*Please feel free to leave a recipe at the Scarlet Threads website regardless of whether you entered the apron contest or not!)
Blessings to each of you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Milestones: Thank Heaven for Little Boys

This week after starting the antibiotics to kill the Lyme Disease that so quickly set to work wrecking havoc on my body ... my two year old decided he was definitely TWO and ready for a big-boy-bed.

Never mind that mom wasn't ready. Never mind that we just returned from 10 days away and had a TON of laundry. Never mind that I was really, really sick. Never mind any of that. Because he was ready. And after 2 nights of rescuing him from literally, "riding the rails," as he straddled the bed rail in a desperate attempt to escape, only to find the only ways down (either way) were REALLY far! I decided I had better rescue the toddler bed from being a hockey goal in the basement (sorry boys,) and put it into it's real intended use.

So, amid my fever and pounding headache, I dragged it upstairs, tried unsuccessfully to tighten the screws  but was rescued by my husband's steadier hand and less pounding head and Nolan was beyond excited! I couldn't even get a "one last photo" of him in his crib ... even though I explained to him that it was just for mom ... couldn't he "pretend a smile ... just for a picture?" (Yes, reasoning with a two year old. um-hmmm ... whatever!)

So I packed away the hand embroidered crib bumpers that took me 8 months to design and make ... the matching hand-made crib-skirt that I made 7.5 years ago ...

I peeled off the bear-themed wallies that I also purchased 7.5 years ago and that I have rearranged with each new little one and the changing configuration of the nursery/boys' bedroom/nursery-guest bedroom.

But this time ... they went into the round-bin instead of the closet.

The last three nights as I have gone to bed I've check the boys and tucked them in ... all in ONE bedroom! In making my rounds I've never failed to stop in that bedroom that used to be the "nursery"--kinda catching my breath as I look around and realize that somehow in the blink of an eye my babies have grown up and that it is now empty.

Maybe God coordinated this all to happen at this time because He knows my heart deeper than anyone and He knows how sentimental I can be ... what a big deal this is on so many levels to me. It doesn't seem all that big of a deal to anyone else unfortunately ... but I guess that's just the way it is with moms. We see things from a different perspective. Always knowing that there is a part of our hearts that walk around outside our bodies. It's scary knowing that another little one is inching a little further away.

We have an extra bedroom in our house ... and in my heart.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Last Chance!--Don't Miss Out!

I am SO excited!!! My first give-away is SO close!
Monday, July 12th is the last day. Have you entered?
It is SO easy ... and so good.

To win this gorgeous apron:
1 • leave me a comment on this post (maybe with the name of your favorite recipe.)
2 • Visit the fundraising site and leave The Rippee Family an uplifting comment. 

Several MORE ways to earn entries are.
3 • Donate to the Chip-In fund on the site and you'll earn even MORE entries when you donate!!! (yes, entries here AND there!) 1 entry=$10 & 4 entries=$25

4 • Spread the word! Put our button on your blog, tell your chat group about The Rippee's story or make a special post asking folks to visit our sites. Truly this will only be a success if YOU help. Your hands and voice will be the difference for this little girl (who we'll all learn more about when they can officially tell us more when they receive P.A.!)

5 • And a third way to get an extra entry is if you purchase an apron on the Scarlet Threads website for your own giveaway OR purchase one for yourself! (please leave me a comment to let me know you did!)

Remember to leave me a comment letting me know what entries you qualify for so I can get you in the drawing the appropriate number of times.

I am SO excited!
And while you are here, have you checked out the Blessings A Hundred Fold site? The give-away fundraiser for The Rippee Family on has been rescheduled for Sept. 10th because of shifting paperwork. But the anticipation ... oh, it is incredible!  I am praying that we can blow the top off of that small-goal thermometer on the sidebar and make a big mark on the big one by then so the next set of fees are covered for The Rippees to proceed full-steam ahead once they receive their next approval. By donating not only are you granting a huge blessing on this family and this precious child, but you will be registered for this apron AND also that HUMONGOUS list of prizes on the "blessings a hundred fold" site! (May 23rd and June 9th posts)

Don't Miss Out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm becoming a "not so out-doorsy" kinda girl real fast!

I was hopeful to return home from vacation to Northern Minnesota and post some beautiful photos of our trip ... We spent 8 days at the Jeff's family's "rustic (ie: no running water, and no electricity) cabin on a beautiful lake. It was the boys paradise ... and I found beautiful rocks to pick up and enjoy everywhere I turned! (I love rocks.) And then Friday came, and as we packed up our totes and bags I started feeling sick ... and then felt a little worse ... and a little worse ... and somehow, even though Moms are NOT allowed to ever be sick I was quite sick by Saturday night and even worse by Sunday when we returned home on the Fourth of July after the 8 hour car ride back home.

Let me tell you I was not very patriotic when I realized that all the doctor's offices would be closed on Monday due to the weekend holiday. So I waited (not thinking it was serious enough to visit the ER) and watched my temperature rise ... my headaches and body aches increase ... my use of Ibuprofin and Excedrin incredible ... I think my temp topped out at 104 (which I now have come to learn is pretty high--sure I would be concerned if my kids were above 102 ... but for some reason I didn't feel the same levels would be for me as well.) It was definitely miserable.

Anyway, I found out on Tuesday that I was infected by Lyme Disease from one of "generous" ticks up North during our camping or hiking adventures. Ack.

(photo courtesy of Web MD-I never saw the actual tick that bit my belly!!)

Of course not all ticks have the disease ... and I'm not sure why this particular one picked me to bite, but I AM thankful it chose me because Jeff isn't one to go to the doctor and I would NOT want the kids to feel this horrible or be exposed to the potential nasty side-effects if not detected and treated! It is treatable especially in the early stages with antibiotics-THANKFULLY--but if not treated it can be very serious to overall health. And the scary part ... as sick as I was/am, had it been fall and more influenza season or not directly after having come home from up-North where I KNEW I had been around lots of ticks, I may have thought it was a just nasty influenza bug that I would eventually beat. 

At first I thought I was having some problems with some female stuff because I had a strange lump and tenderness in my groin area--that was the first sign to me that something was definitely wrong! Now on the other side of knowing I've learned that it was my body filtering my blood and pouring all that into the lymph node very close to the infected bite site. The body is AMAZING! And it fights SO hard! 

I am thankful also that while I was IN the waiting room the "Bulls-eye" rash appeared at the site. I kid you not, I left home thinking I would mention Lyme Disease as a possibility but that I hadn't found any rash. I got to the appointment and the dr. gets to the exam part, she takes a 1 second look at my belly and says, "well, there is clearly a bulls-eye rash and there's where the tick bit you!" I was like, "What?!" It had not been there a half hour before hand (well, the bite had been, but I didn't think much of it thinking it was a mosquito bite or scratch or something.) And had it not been there I don't know what the diagnoses would have been?
(again photo courtesy of Web MD-you don't want to see photos of my belly!!)

So, I'm hopefully on the mend soon and will post photos of our vacation when I'm feeling better. It was a fun trip before we left the cabin ... I'm just not so sure I'm going to be such an out-doorsy kind of a girl from here on out!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Two weeks ago Brayden started swimming lessons. Of course being a Monday morning we were running a bit behind getting out the door and into this new routine. I was buckling Nolan into his carseat when the other 2 boys came screamin' into the garage begging me to, "come see this, mom, come see this!) I was insistant, "No, we have to get in the car and go or we'll be late!" But for some reason I stopped. I changed my mind (which I often don't do.) I unbuckled Nolan, I grabbed my camera and followed them to the front yard. And boy am I glad I stopped and took the time ... to be a mom ... to enjoy their joy ... to see the new "trick" they had taught their "pet" toad (that they had found the day before.)

That toad hung around a few days and truthfully, by the look on his face, I think he enjoyed the toad habitat they made for him in our pool. The trips down the toddler slide into the pool. Not to mention all the handling by the boys. He was one adventuresome toad. Oh yes, and the trick that they taught him?
To jump off of the soccer ball.

He now has many stories to share with his toady-friends!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Three Sons

It's has happened again.
The photo I had taken of the boys for a Father's Day present for their dad turned out great. Yay! Love that ... that makes all those gray hairs I'm getting well worth it. Gray hairs? Well, you see, it's always a challenge for me to make the photo appointment--when they are all in a cooperative mood, have matching outfits for them AND keep them free from a boo-boo or bug bite in order to capture them ALL looking at the camera smiling for real all at the same time and hopefully have a coupon in hand.

But the part that is truly hard to believe ... these boys certainly cannot be mine. They look so much older than the boys I thought I had taken into the photo place. When did they grow up so fast?!

Love them to pieces ... but oh my goodness ... the days fly by so fast!

The family

The family