Monday, June 29, 2009

Last Weekend...

Last weekend was so fabulous!

Lots of Thanks to my mother-in-law, she took all the kids fishing on Friday and afterwards they had a SLEEP OVER at grandma and grandpa's!! Needless to say, they had a blast! My hubby and I don't even remember when we had all night to ourselves. We ate out and had nice conversations without any interruptions. Strolled around an open mall to just browse. We never ran out things to talk about and it is nice to remember what is like to be a "couple" once in a while. Not, a Daddy and a Mommy.

The next day, we spent sometime together, and then I went out with my friends to celebrate two of their birthdays. It was fun! We are all busy, but it is so nice to get together with girl friends to catch up. We ended up stay at the restaurant for almost 4 hours chatting and laughing.

I was also, able to make gifts for my sister. She and her husbund just bought their first home and I've been wanting to send a house warming gifts. It has been a while since I made her an apron so I decided to make an apron and eco bag for her.

My sister loves simple designs. She doesn't do bold colors and fussy designs. So, I just picked a simple plad fabric.

The eco bag is reversable. I tried to make two diffrent looks with the same fabrics.


The apron is actually my most favorite style. It's a very simple pattern and never goes out of style; I have been using it for years.

I hope she will love them.

Last weekend was so nice. I felt like I rested a lot(mentally), reconected with people I love and accomplished a lot. Thank you again Mom, I didn't know that I needed that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Letter For Future Rachel--Modesty & Fashion--

Dear Future Rachel,

I can't deny that I like clothes; I love them. I am not being materialistic or vein. Every morning I think about the possibilities; color combinations, mix and match, and stuff. It is one of the thing that makes me happy and I always have enjoyed this since I was a little girl. I enjoy the clothing in the same manner that I enjoy quilt making. It's another way to express myself.

Ever since you were born, the enjoyment has more than doubled. I love to dress you and I alike. We don't wear the same thing, but I pick out the same color theme or if I wear a brooch you wear the same flower hair bow. (Your brothers are forever thankful that you came along, because I did that with them too.) I am going to have fun with this until you enter the teenage years and tell me "Oh, mom, please!"

Speaking of the teenage years, I often wonder what kind of young lady you will become. There are many aspect of this, but I will write about modesty and fashion.

There are few things I know:
1. More skin doesn't mean more attractive.

2. Well if more skin get lots of attention from the opposite sex, that is the wrong kind of attention. Trust me you don't want that!

3. Just as important as 2, Don't sell yourself short.

4. Most of the time, people assume who you are with how you are dressed. If you are a nice, decent young lady, why would you make your life harder by wearing something that makes you look less than who you really are?

5. Treat yourself with respect. Dress accordingly.

6. There are many ways to be modest and at the same time accomplish a modern, cute, and stylish look.

I hope you will keep those things in mind as some advice from your mommy. Also, there is a story I want you to read, here goes...

Your daddy was talking to a friend at work, and he told daddy a true story about his friend that happened a while ago.(so, this is fourth hand story telling, details might be little off)
One day, he received a phone call from his neighbor telling him that his teenage daughter would leave the house in modest appropriate clothing and then change into immodest clothing at school. She would then change back before coming home.

He felt some embarrassment and anger but he decided wait a little while. A few days later, his daugther came home with a report card, and it was a good report card. So, to celebrate and reward her for her efforts he took his daughter to a populer hang out spot for her school. She was all excited. All the popular kids were there.

They were talking and having a good time and the father said, "Oh, this place is so hot! I'm sweating." Then he took off his shirt. Now picture this, an overweight hairy chested man wearing a wife-beater shirt a couple sizes too small.

The daughter was shocked and embarrassed and shouted under her breath, " Dad! What are you doing! You are embarrassing me!!"

Then, the father's face turned all serious and he leaned over to his daugther and said, "That's how your mother and I feel when you change at school!"

Wow... what a story... now Rachel, your father is the kind of man that if he really has to go all that way to teach you guys something, he would. Such a self sacrificing and humiliating method, but an effective way to teach. And, trust me on this I am the kind of mother that will support him 100%. I will be behind him.

I hope you will make the right choices. I will always be there for you if you need help on this. We will have a mother and daughter day out and go shopping or go through my closet and be creative so that you can accomplish number 6 on the list. It will be so much fun!!

You don't want a dark spot on your teenage memories do you?



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tutorial---Amy Butler Scarf Headband---

It all started when I found this headband at the dollar store. Well, I don't care for the gigantic fake gemstones but I saw the potential. I tore off the covering to to work with the plain headband.

You will need:
. One plastic headband.

. Little more then 1/3 yd of your favorite fabric (13"x 28"to be percise, but if you want to make your scarfs wider and longer, you might need more).

. Two kinds of glue.

. Ribbon the length of the inside of the headband.

1. Cut out one 13" x 13" square from the fabric. Cut that square fabric in half diagonally, then cut a 4" wide bias.(This piece is to cover the head band)

2. Cut the scarves. Using the rest of the fabric, fold in half length wise and cut 2 3/4" wide x 15" long strips (you should have 4 pieces). Cut the ends off of one side at a 45 degree angle. I'll call the angle end, the bottom.

3. Leaving the top of the strip open, sew the other three sides together.

4. Cut the bottom corner to have a clean fininsh. Then, turn the strip inside out and iron.

5. Using the glue (the green labled one), cover the headband with bias fabric. Put the glue on the inside of the headband only. Since the fabric is cut in bias, you should be able to stretch and pull the fabric to fit onto the the headband better. It is kind of tricky, it needs to go on smooth, no wrinkles. (Good luck!)
Then, using the fabric glue, attach the ribbon to hide the seams.


6. Cut the excess (1/2" below the plastic ends).

7. Make three pleats on the edges of the scarfs, then sew them onto the edges of the headband.

8.Cut 2 1" x 2" ractangles. Fold them in half and fold them again. Use these to hide where the headband and the scarf were sewn together.


9. Enjoy! It is ready to be worn.

Usually, my head shape doesn't agree with headbands. They move around and come off easily; that is why I don't wear them that often. This scarf headband is sooo nice! I wore it all day today and it actually stayed on pretty much stayed in place until evening. I love it! The scarf I made is not very long so if you like a more dramatic look, just cut longer and wider scarfs. I hope whoever tries to make this will have fun and that the headband will spice up your summer wardrobe!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Gifts

On Sunday morning, I was still in bed snoozing, my husband woke me up and said, "Hey, do you want to see what I got from Michael?" It is still pretty early in the morning, I guess Michael couldn't wait to give his gift to his daddy.

"Sure." I got up. There were three presents. I thought it was so cute and generous of him to give those up. Because I knew, how much they meant to him. I will share them with you all.

First, a gift card fot wal-mart. He receved it for Christmas from his Grandma and already spent it, but the card still had 26 cents left. To Michael, using the card and shopping made him feel like such a grown up. I knew he was looking forward to using it again.

Another gift was a small sea shell. We took a vacation last summer to San Diego. We went to Sea World, Lego Land and the beach. That was thier first time at the beach, we had a blast. The sea shell was something he collected and it held special memories.

The last one was a "Star Wars Catalog". When he recieved a Star Wars toy, for some occacion a while ago, it came with a small catalog. He obviously kept the catalog for future reference. I know it was one of his important things.

My husband was happy and we smiled at each other. How cute and such a nice gesture to show how much he loves his daddy. He gave three present to his daddy. What he doesn't realize is, he gave much more then he thinks, a very sweet and special memory that my husband and I will talk about for years to come.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Moda Scrap Bag Quilt

I finished piecing this quilt top! Again it is a simple design but since I love these fabrics I am very happy with the result. This was a scrap bag project and I don't know if all the scrap bag contains the exact same thing, I am not going to do a complete tutorial on this. Still some of you might want to make something like this, I will give a few mesurements and tips. Note: The light green and ivory fabrics for the sashing and the border were not in the scrap bag. I added them from my own stash.

1. First I made 24 nine-patch pieces. Most of the strips from the bag were 3 3/4" wide X 33 1/2" long. A finished nine-patch was 10 1/4" x 10 1/4".

2. You will need 12 pieces of 4" x 4" squares (light green fabric), and 38 pieces of 4" X 10 1/4" strips (ivory color) for the sashings.

3. Assemble 1 and 2 together and attach borders. For the borders, I didn't have enough light green fabric, so what I decided to do was to use leftover peices from the nine patch and made scrappy borders. I actually like it this way.

It is fun to make a quilt without a complete plan sometimes. I just went with the flow and decided on the design as I made the quilt. If I see another scrap bag that has cute colors (well, of course they will all be cute, they are from Moda!) I will buy it in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Simple Is Best

I was going through my old magazines and found a recipe for citrus salad. Basically, you peel and slice a grapefruit and an orange and drizzle it with honey and then refrigerate. The picture looked so good and it was such a simple recipe, I tried it...

Well, the grapefruit was good, but the orange tasted funny. I don't think orange and honey go well together. I didn't say anything at first, hoping that my family's taste buds weren't as delicate as mine and that they would eat it up. (Hey, I don't want to waste food. It was part of an experiment!)
Right away, my hubby said "The orange taste funny." and stopped eating it. Then the others followed. Dang it!

Well, eventhough the recipe was simple, sometimes the simplest form is the best way to eat food.

Today, I simply peeled the orange and the grapefruit and placed them on a plate. They loved it.

By the way, I finished the quilt top from the Moda scrap bag tonight. When there is nice sunlight, I will take a picture and post it here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Smart Bookmarks

I found this neat idea at Ucreate. You can find the tutorial here. This is a magnetic bookmark and it won't fall out of the book.

I thought it was such a clever and fun idea! I wanted to make some for me (since I started reading "Twilight" for the second time, I needed it really bad. No more random objects between the pages!)

Also, Father's Day is coming up. I made some for my book reading father-in-law too, this will be part of the gift for him!

I made several bookmarks from different papers and color coordinated them for gifts.
Like it was mentioned in her blog, this will be perfect stocking stuffers and book club gifts.

I gave one to my husband and my boys too, since it is so easy and inexpensive to make, I can't stop! I can think of a lot more people who would love these bookmarks. With a find like this I had to share with everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Earthly Angel Visited My Home

Yesterday afternoon, I heard a knock on my door. I was not expecting anybody, so I was wondering who could that be? I opened the door and there stood one of my neighbor friend, with some fabrics in her hand.

She said, "I found these at a garage sale and noticed that these are moda fabrics and thought of you!"

She handed me the fabrics.

"Really?! Wow, thanks! How much was it?", I exclaimed excitedly.

Also thinking that, wow there are actually people out there who sell MODA fabrics at a garage sale?! Bring it on! One of the fabrics I had bought a few years ago and really liked it; you can always use simple red like that one. The other one was a pattern that I have never seen before and I FELL IN LOVE with it!!

I was eager to pay and claim them as mine. Then she said, "Oh no, it's a gift!"
I asked her a couple times but she insisted that I needn't pay to recive a gift.

I was very touched by her kindness and the fact that she thought of me while she was out having fun at the garage sales. She not only gave me fabrics, she also showed me how to be kind and make someone feel so special.

Thank you! You totally made my day, and I want you to know that you are one of my earthly Angels. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun day at the Carnival and Scrap bag project

I am not really good at planning activities, but this year I made a special calendar for the whole summer. The calendar contains kids activities and many attractions going on where we live.

Yesterday, we went to a carnival and it was lots of fun.

Eventhough it rained a little, we still had a blast! After the rain, we saw a gorgeous rainbow in the sky!

Tomorrow we plan to go see hot air baloons in the morning and fire works at night. I use to miss how I spend summers growing up in Japan, but I have been here long enough that there are things I look forward to doing in the summer. Fire works, barbeque, picnics, etc...

I also started working on a new quilt top. Do you remember this scrap bag from Moda?

A design idea came to my mind a couple days ago, so I started this. I might be able to post the complete quilt top next week.

Part of me is wanting to sew all night, but I also rented a movie for my hubby and I to watch. There are so many things I want to do and sometimes I am torn between them. I might relax a little tonight...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Very Special Salad

A while ago, I posted that I did not inherit my grandfather's green thumb. The sad thing is that my husband is the same way. We want to learn and be good at it, so we have been trying over the past five years. The only thing we have successfully harvested in the past was tomatoes, but this year is little different...

I don't know if we are improving or if this is just a fluke, so far our plants are growing and yesterday I was able to harvest a lot of buttercrunch lettuce!!


I was so excited about that, that I decided the main dish for the night would be SALAD!! I made some bacon flakes, diced some tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers. The salad was a big hit. If things continue to go well, we should have tomatoes and cucumbers from our garden too, that would be so awesome!

If you have any good tips about herbs, please let me know. I would love to have an herb garden, but I have a knack for killing mint, basil, thyme, you name it... HELP!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tutorial--Colorful Flip Flops--

This green caught my eye at a doller store last week. I always wanted to try something with flip flops but I didn't want to spend that much on them. I know I am cheap, and usually the cheap ones don't come in the colors I want. This was perfect!

Back in December I went to American Crafts' warehouse sale, so I had tons of ribbons. The fun part was picking out the right combination of ribbons.

For this project you will need:

Flip flops
Ribbons(I chose four but you can pick more or less)
fray check or a lighter

First, cut the ribbons diagonaly. These are small flip flops so I cut the ribbons 6" long. Then, to prevent the ribbon from fraying, use fray check or a lighter to seal the ends.

Tie the ribbons to the flip flops.

That's it! It was super easy and a fun project to do. I have some left over from the jelly roll, they might be so cute to tie it on to flip flops too! the whole time I was working on this, my daughter kept asking, "Is this mine?" or "Is it done yet?"

Here you go, honey. They are all yours, I just wanted to make them. Now my curiosity is satisfied.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What makes you happy?

It has been one week since the kids have finished school. I spend less driving, but I feel like I am always worrying about the next meal, cleaning, and doing stuff with the kids. I don't have much time to sew, but I've been having fun!

I have been working on few projects here and there. One thing I have done and I am very happy about is this:

Michael out grew these pants a couple month ago. It still fits perfectly around his waist but it is too short. I love the color, I wanted the pants to last a bit longer. So, I made it into a pair of shorts! It is such a simple thing but I can't help thinking that I am such a frugul, resourceful, GOOD wife!! (I'm not going to mention the money spent at fabric stores)

Also, I have been working on this quilt.

I did the embroidery, piecing, and started quilting several years ago. These Santa designs came from a book called "37 Sweet Santa Appliques" by Kari Pearson. It was an applique pattern, but I decided to use it as a stitchery pattern instead. I wanted to make this quilt for part of the Christmas decorations and I thought that my children would like it. It has been so long since I started this quilt; this is the year, I will finish it before the kids get too old and don't care about Santa!

I started quilting this again about two weeks ago. I can't take a big chunk of time but a little bit here and a little bit there is actually helping. Oh, I hope this quilt will be on the wall this Christmas. Wish me luck!

I have more small projects that I want to do, and the list never shrinks, eventhough I finish one, two new ones pop up! But, I love it. I love it all!! I mean, sewing, drawing, designing, quilting, cutting, pasting, beading, and knitting; I mean anything to do with creating makes me happy.

I will post more small projects and hopefully some big ones too.

Every one have a Happy Summer!! ;)
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