Thursday, October 29, 2009

NEW baby

You knew I couldn't resist embellishing all of AJ's onesies. Too bad
it's got to be covered up by other layers! (though
you won't catch me complaining about cool weather). ... More to come...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ice Cream, You scream

I told you I'd post a pic of the awesome tee Christy made for Mimi for her birthday.
There is a lot more work put into this than it looks. nicely done, Christy! (also, she made a point to use all scraps from my giveaway last April, that Mimi would recognize as "momma's skirt favrics")

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Whatcha think?

I've been really wanting to get back into purses, but to find a way to make them a little more affordable and accessible to people to buy.
What do you think of this REVERSIBLE number? Ain't it the cutest? (price $39)
Do you think I should have my seamstress make a few up? My current thoughts now are that I will list these two on etsy and see the interest - they could also be made in most of the fabrics that I have on hand, too...
any thoughts?

Nesting - sewing, really

What do you do when you are waiting for a baby to arrive? You nest.
Which is exactly what I have been doing. Organizing, sewing - trying to get through my to-do pile of things to sew, really...
here are some of the projects I've done recently for some lucky kiddos... (i.e. they're all custom orders for people)

PS - apparently, you also BLOG while nesting. I'm trying to get a few posts done tonight. We get AJ tomorrow!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Z Jayne

You know me and recycled or repurposed products... I love them! I'm constantly doing what I can to turn J's old shirts into clothes for the kids, I've turned old Hawaiian shirts into Father's Day gift bags, I reuse even the timiest scraps and I always try to support artists who reuse... Well, here is a great one! I cat even remember how I found her on etsy, but zJayne ( rocks!
She reuses old tshirts (she's sold over 1000 bags!) and makes them into little pouches and shopping bags. She gives you a billion choices and when it comes to personalization - you can choose your colors, etc.
I LOVE this bag! I'll be ordering more for sure. My kids are getting some cool kiddo mp3 players (link later ) for the holidays, maybe they need cool pouches like these to hold them...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Self Portrait - 2002

I found this tonight in one of my old sketchbooks. J and I spent the afternoon cleaning out the guest house and trying to continue our new organizational kick. (Somehow, I'm much less patient with him than with Tifanie when she's asking me questions about the crap I hang onto.)

Anyhow. I found a great old sketchbook back from before we had kids. This "self portrait" was in it and its fun to see even now. I've always been fascinated by the idea of a deconstructed self-portrait. Of pieces, rather than the whole. I'd completely forgotten about this sketch until today. And I have to say, for those of you who've seen me or seen pics of me - these are pretty true to form. I don't consider myself a great illustrator or even a great drawer - but I do like doing it...

Here are a few more of the random sketches in it... just for fun.

Martha's Pumpkins

Dear Martha. I so often get exasperated by your high standards and sometimes fussy decorating, but I have to say - this one was a winner. When Home Companion magazine went down and my subscription was transferred to Martha Stewart Living, I was pretty bummed. I didn't think I'd even be interested in reading this magazine (which I had enjoyed years ago, but found a little to uptight for my free-loving style). Martha likes to have everything PERFECT. I don't really care about "perfect".The past two issues have been pretty fun though, and as I was peeking through the November issue last night - Thanksgiving IS my favorite holiday, after all! - I stumbled onto these adorable pumpkins... which even Martha described as perfect for a novice seamstress. Which meant that even at 9.30pm I could start it. So I did. And other than the multiple needle pricks on my fingertips. (too lazy to wear a thimble, plus they scare my hubby... being the ultimate in craftiness) - look at how cute these are! I sense there are more coming. I think I may end up with a little pumpkin patch here in my living room.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I don't L-O-V-E licensed characters around here, but I understand that they are part of being a kid for a lot of us... ... My kids included. So on the night before Mimi's Hello Kitty themed birthday, I happened to find some HK fabric that someone had donated to me. (score! What to make now?) I set to work with some of that plastic furniture cover stuff that is on rolls outside of mom & pop hardware stores... I'd bought some once, thinking it would come in handy... So I made a super fast little placemat for her, which reversed into the fabric we'd used for the goodie bag napkins for the party. HUGE HIT.
Z immediately began campaigning. I remembered that I'd once bought some Superman fabric at SAS for a few bucks and I offered him a Superman placemat. (I was asked about it almost hourly for the next 2 days).
These are so easy to make! Trace your favorite sized placemat, leaving room for trimming (1/2") around the edges. Make a plastic sandwich over the two fabrics, and then sew a straight line (3/4" from edge). Then trim with pinking shears. easy peasy. (these would also be fun to make for seasonal decor)

More time as art teacher...

I love being the art teacher for Mimi's class! The kids either call me " Mimi's mom" or "art teacher" (both of which I love!) the teacher asked if this week I would do something about apple trees or farms, so I (of course) "googled" that and found the cutest craft - which I modified, of course. The kids traced their hands with crayon, painted that in with brown paint to serve as the trunk and branches of the trees. Then we tore little pieces of paper to make leaves (note: tearing was a little hard for some of these kindergarteners), glued them onto the trees and then polkadotted some apples onto the trees for a final touch. I love how they came out! My favorite part was sewig the different artistic styles come out... Abstract vs. Literal... Minimalist vs. Extravagent...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More towels

We've got some big news to share which is making me scramble to get
things done around here. These towels are for a friend's kids... They
are 2 of 5 that were commissioned for Christmas gifts...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Princess Canopy: closeup

The Design Director's birthday present was an easy and fun project...
Tif (who was making an identical one for her step-daughter) and I started with store-bought IKEA canopies and "girlied" them up with adhesive rhinestones, ribbons, hanging fairies, and plastic butterflies. The hardest part was the "false ceiling" on the inside of the canopy - but it was more time consuming than difficult (I was able to use the machine for that, phew!)
We each used different fairies, I ended up with some of the Disney Princess little figurines, hanging by thread. They're sparkly, plastic and super cute.

I once was (collage)

I went to a church retreat this weekend and collaged this in some quiet and thoughtful moments. I don't often share my more personal artwork here, but thought today I would. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Designing Moms: What's In My Bag - Libby

Okay, so we all have to admit to being a little bit nosy... right?
I did this post for Designing Moms and thought you might want to see "what's in my bag"

My kids are finally out of diapers, which means that though I still carry an extra load of clothing for everyone in my overloaded minivan, my bags these days, look a little more sophisticated. This is my latest bag - one I picked up in the San Lorenzo Market when my hubby took me to Florence this summer. It is my favorite souvenir from the trip, in my very favorite color. (It's also quite grown up feeling, compared to the last 5 years of diaper bags!)

What's in my bag?
1 - my lovely yellow wallet. I bought it brand new from my across the street neighbor at her garage sale. We were out shopping once and she said, "I have a wallet just like that!" before realizing it was hers. It's big, fabulous, and my daughter's favorite color.

2 - my (also grown up) prescription sunglasses. I finally turned away from my cheapo glamour glasses that I was always losing and sitting on... and before my vacation this summer got some good prescription sunglasses, which must mean I am old for sure.

3 - my business card case - bought on Etsy from JMorrow, complete with my business cards

4 - my iPhone. I blog from it, I take photos, it's hard for me to even take the trash out without it. It's an addiction (cute leather brocade snap-on case that you can't see from Ultra Case.) While I'm at it, I'll mention that my favorite mommy app is the CameraBag app which makes regular iPhone pictures look fabulous.

5 - my journal. I made it. It's from reused board and fabrics, and has hand-carved (by me) stamp designs throughout the pages. I'm always writing or sketching something... i feel lost without paper on hand.

6 - two things here... the one is my second "key ring" that I use to keep all of those grocery store discount cards, etc, so they don't clutter my already cluttered key ring and the second is my cute little makeup bag that my friend, Amy sent me from Thailand. I love it

7 - my little baggie of "unmentionables"

8 - gum (which I now have to carry in two different flavors for my 2 different kids)

9 - toy cars - never leave home without them

10 - rubber bands - between myself and my daughter, there's always a need

11 - a small sampling of my pen addiction. This is not ALL of the pens I carry around. Usually I also have a Sharpie on hand - often in brown, my favorite color for pens.

12 - lip gloss, mascara, nail clipper... just the basics. I don't primp a lot, but my days are long and if I can get a minute to freshen up, I really should be prepared.

The one thing that I forgot to include here is an image of my keys! I swear that every mom needs a key fob and my favorites are found on etsy - try here. I keep a bunch on hand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sneak peek

It's still not done, but you must join the Tifanie fan club with me... If you'd seen the studio before, you'd know what a leap this is... We still have the last (scary) corner to get to, but can you believe how pretty those stack of color-coordinated fabric are? (oh, and the fact that there is room for my legs under my sewing table? Too much!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

The big office clean up

a pic of a sweet tree my sister's girls made at camp this summer... because...

I am NOT posting photos of how the studio looks halfway organized, but suffice it to say that I nearly cried a few times and was sweating bullets all day as Tif and I worked on getting it organized. It's not far. We're going to try and finish it on Thursday. (but I can't leave it like this in the meantime and am torturing myself by slowly going through it over and over trying to find places for things.)
Tif has given me hope that this is going to work, though.
The one outcropping of today's cleaning is that there is a lot of purging happening too. Which means that I am for sure going to have my "First Ever Upscale Backyard Yard Sale". It will be in Los Angeles on November 21. (if you want an invitation, send me an email.) Anyhow... I already have 5 boxes of $2 grab bags... and then I have a pile of half finished projects that I am going to finish and plan on selling at the sale. There will be my entire inventory of skirts (for the first time ever!), my spinny skirts, baby slings, jewelry closeouts from my handmade jewelry days, journals, doorstops, candles, baby onesies, swaddle blankets, tea cozies, embellished tees... and yes... COFFEE and SCONES!
I'm planning on making it a cute and sweet experience for everyone to come and be a part of. And even if it's outside in November - Los Angeles rarely has bad weather, so we'll just bank on some sunshine, or at least haze - and then prepare for the worst as well.
so now I have an almost organized studio AND a party to plan! (I asked Tif for her help on that too)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Initial Sweatshirts

After seeing Ze Artiste's hoodie the other day, the Design Director asked for one, and since it was her birthday week, OF COURSE she got one.
At her request, instead of an "M" on the back and front, we opted for an "M" on the front and a number "5" on the back. Which I actually replicated in boy colors for a classmate of hers who also just turned 5 this week as well. Cute, eh?

Tomorrow's project? oh goodness... my lovely friend, Tifanie, has offered to come organize my insanely overstuffed and under-organized office/sewing room. I told her that I am swallowing my pride big-time by simply allowing someone to help me - that involved admitting I have a problem, right? (argh) wish me luck. I'll post finished project images... If I don't die of embarressment tomorrow first.

The Design Director's Hello Kitty Party

When my daughter picked "Hello Kitty" as the theme for her 5th birthday party, I was almost angry. Hello Kitty? It's cute, but she doesn't even know anything about Hello Kitty! It's not even a toy! It's just marketing! (of course, I said none of this to her...) I had just hoped for something that offered a little more of a chance at creativity with party planning... fairies, ballerinas, tea parties... ANYTHING but a marketing ploy! Alas, but a princess must have her wish when it comes to her 5th birthday. (It's the first birthday I had that I remember, so it carries a lot of weight with me)I immediately went over to - which is not the prettiest or sleekest site for users, but it has a lot of information and lots of ideas. After checking out the Hello Kitty section for ideas, I settled on making big bowed headbands for the girls (by attaching pinched felt rectangles to headbands with glue) and some coloring sheets. Nothing glamorous, though they loved the headbands and wore them the whole party... M even wore hers to church today.
I found some of the standard issue HK plates and decor items and then found some HK-esque fabric to sew into little goodies for the girls. Last year's princess party included yoyo headbands for every girl in their goodie-bags. I like to put something handmade each time... so this year it was cloth napkins for their lunchboxes, all wrapped up with a cute little tag that explained what they were.

What really took the cake - okay, it WAS the cake - were these cakeypops that my buddy Kellie (whom you've met here before on sewing nights... aprons, SEWING SEEDS, crafty nights) made. I'd simply told her that I would love to commision her to make some of her cute cakeypops - READ... these are cake and frosting on the inside, not ice cream... in pink with sprinkles, or something that would match the HK theme. oh no... this girl went to town and found a recipe to make the HIT of the party. I'm not kidding, even my dad was eating one with much glee.
Kel outdid herself and now I am trying to convince her that she's got a side business if she wants one. Mimi and her friends were over the moon about the pops. (okay, I was too) And my sis-in-law was overheard on the birthday video already making plans to hire Kellie this January.
The party was low-key (even though the sugar content was a little high for me) and I ended the evening so happy - even if I am still sick - finishing up a scarf I've been knitting for a few months while watching Glee with J. Overall, that makes a great day and I know that Mimi just loved it.
I just loved seeing her surrounded by her most favorite special friends... She was truly loved yesterday and she just glowed from it.
(special thanks to my sis-in-law Jen for awesome photography, as usual!!!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Leaf rubbing garland

I was inspired again by to make these great garlands with The Design Director's kindergarten class (see the post here). We tried the newspaper, but the kids had a hard time not tearing it up... And we ended up using white paper. Some of the kids really took to this and the teacher told me she had a real "aha" moment when one of the more rambunctious kids in the class really connected with this
craft... She'd not seem him sit still in the first 3 weeks of kindergarten, and suddenly he spent an hour making leaf rubbings, cutting them out and running them over to me. (I found that SO
exciting!). I've committed to come to class bi-weekly (maybe even weekly) to do art with the kids. Visiting for Mimi's birthday, I was told again and again how much they'd loved the craft and having the garland up in the room.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Holiday thinking....

For those of you who are in LA.... if I were to host a Libby Dibby holiday "backyard" sale at my place, would you be interested?
just a fun pic from a party last year...

Happy Birthday, 5 year old!

Our princess is 5 today. Here's her present from us... An IKEA canopy all "girlied" up by mommy and Tifanie (butterflies, fairies, ribbons, "diamonds", the works...)... She's so excited to be 5 and we adore her. Happy Birthday, Mimi!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Make: your own font

This was posted here on Designing Moms today, but I thought I'd post it on Libby Dibby too. since I am so excited about it...
I just learned from this great blog about fontcapture. I learned about it late at night and ended up making two fonts of my own handwriting in the middle of the night... (when else would I do it?) and when the kids woke up in the morning, I had them fill out the cool templates (it was very similar to what they call "homework" - which is anything that has a task to be done on paper) to make their own handwritten fonts. My kids are 3 1/2 and 5, and the 5 year old found it easier than the 3 year old, but after some cutting and pasting, I was able to assemble for my 3 year old son a font of his own with his own letters (it just took a few tries).

I'm just bubbling over with ideas now for how to use our new fonts... thank you cards, iron on transfers, scrapbooking, card making, printing big signs, labeling... the possibilities are just endless and I am really loving having their little handwriting samples preserved and USABLE! After I got the fonts loaded (did I forget to mention this is all free?), my kids fought over who could sit down at the computer and type in their own handwriting. There is something so magic for them to see their handwriting showing up on the screen in front of them. I foresee hours of fun with this.

Buy this stuff (homeopathic flu meds)

I feel the need to tell everyone about these (found them at Whole Foods)... These amazing little dissolving pills have made my life livable with the kids this flu season. We've been battling being sick since school started and this is the first thing to help. It's homeopathic and not just pumping your kids full of chemicals. I am so pleased with it that I bought 2 more bottles today and 1 of the adult kind.
There. Now you know.



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