Friday, April 30, 2010

What Has Made You Happy Lately?

I guess I am a pretty easy person to please. I can see something good in pretty much all situations. Also, the simplest things (for example, the cake I baked turned out well or I grabbed the last box of cookies at the store... things like that) make me smile.

Last week the package my sister sent arrived. It had some Japanese sewing books I wanted... That made me super happy!!

I have been really busy lately, so I haven't had a chance to sit down to truly enjoy them. Although even just skimming through them, I found so many pretty clothes I want to make.

Look how cute this is!

or this:

When I used to live in Japan, one of my favorite places to go was the book store. Can you guess which section I spent most of my time in? Yes, the sewing and craft sections. There are soo many nice sewing related books in Japan, I miss going to the book stores over there.

One time, I tried to order two books off of Amazon Japan, they were about $10 each(I wanted to order 2 books), with shipping, the cost came to over $60! That is insane!

Now you know why these books made me so happy.
Is there anything that has made you happy lately?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

TRH Visiting a Friend...

I have been reading all the comments on my last post "What I have learned from my Mom". Your comments are all so personal and sweet! Thank you so much for participating and sharing such special stories about your mothers and what you have learned from them.

The giveaway will go until the 5th, so if you haven't entered don't forget to do so!

I am also celebrating Moms at Ruffles and Stuff today... I have been given the opportunity to be a guest blogger and to share my newest tutorial there. It could be a gift idea for your mom!

Please head over to see what I came up with, and give me some love notes!

Have a nice day everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What I Learned from My Mom/Mother's Day Giveaway!

I have two special women that I call "Mom". I want to write a little bit about them and what I have learned from them.

The first person is my mother who lives in Japan. My mother married young and had me when she was 20 years old. Some of you know that because I was born with few rare conditions, I had to get my leg amputated when I was two. All my life, the hospital and I were inseparable, and we still are.

I just wanted you all to know that I don't want you to think that I write these things so people pity me or that I want to get more attention. It is just such a big part of my life that it is impossible not to write about it while telling you about me.

Anyways, going back to my mother... consider being so young, and having a child with a sickness that will last rest of her life. Now I am a mom of three, I can't imagine the worry and heartaces she felt while she was raising me. But, she never treated me any different then my sister.

There are so many things I learned from my mom, but two things come to my mind, the first one is "courage". I will tell you one incident that has stuck with me for a long time...

The prosthetic limb I had when I was little was a very simple primitive looking one. It was a pirate leg (peg-leg). The neighbor kids would always tease me and said very mean things. Sometimes they even got physical... I think I was 3, or 4 years old at the time; the kids were so mean I went home crying... guess what my mother did.

She gave me a broom and said, "I can't protect you all the time, you have to learn to stand up for yourself. Tell them that you don't like what they do and say. "Until you do something about it, I won't let you back in the house.", with that, she closed the door, and I heard it lock.

I cried and screamed for a while hoping that she would change her mind and open the door. I am pretty sure that I thought she was a devil. There were no signs of her coming to open the door, so I stood up and went to find those kids.

All I remember was I spotted them from far away, I mean real FAR AWAY, I screamed something and threw the broom at them. (it probably fell on the ground). Then I ran back home, my mom immediatly opened the door and hugged me tight and said with tears in her eyes, "Good job, good job."

I don't know if I can do the same thing to my kids, I would probably be smacking those other kids around with the broom myself.

I am not saying that, this method would work for all the children, but it definately helped me in my life. To have the knowledge that I can speak up and be courageous gave me the confidance that I needed. Later she told me that She didn't want me to grow up ashamed of myself and how I look. I am so grateful she gave me that gift.

Another thing I learned from her was "Compassion". I was probabley around 7 or 8 years old. My mother was packing our car with big bag of rice, potatoes, and other food items from our pantry and refrigerater, they were nearly empty. After that was done, she told me and my sister to get in the car and she started driving. I asked her, "where you taking these?" and she said, "to my friend."

My mom had this friend, she was divorced with three small children. Her ex-husband wasn't paying any kind of child support or alimony. Even though she was working two jobs, it was very difficult for her to support herself and her children. Sometimes, they went without electricity or phone connection and food. (My mother told me these details when I was much older).

Not knowing all these things, I was very confused and worried. My parents always had medical bills they had to pay, even though I was young, I knew, we weren't doing so well either. I asked my mom "Why are you giving those things away? What about us?"

She was quiet for a while, then said, "She is my dear friend, and she and her children are in trouble. I can't just let them starve. We are in a slightly better position then they are, so I want to help. Don't worry, we will be fine, we will get by."

I didn't ask any more questions. We were all quiet the rest of the ride there. My mom was right, we were fine, we didn't go without. I don't even remember what we ate till the next pay day, but I know we were always fed.

What I remember is the face of the youngest boy, and the words my mother said, that night. "I can't afford not to help".

What's great about her is, she doesn't even mention any of these things to anybody. She would quietly help and forget. I am so blessed to have her as my mother, and she taught me life's important things through her actions.

Another special person is my mother-in-law. I call her "mom". As I was born and raised in Japan by strict parents, It was just very awkward for me to call her by her first name. I felt like I was disrespecting her. After thinking it over sometime, I decided to call her mom.

That's exactly what she was. One thing I learned from her was "acceptance". She helped me to get used to living in America, and accepted me as her daughter-in-law.

I don't know how she felt, when her son told them that he wants to marry someone rather average looking who is from a different country, who doesn't speak their language well AND, who has many medical problems. She was always nice and kind towards me. She was the one who took me around to find my wedding dress, taught me some American cooking and we watched many chick flicks together.

I hope I can be as nice and as graceful as she is, when my children bring someone to introduce to us as their future spouce.

Another thing I learned from her is "Love for her family". She is a devoted mother, who has raised five children. Her love for God and her family is always inspiring to me. She is also a wonderful grandmother to our children. Last summer, she took my children and their cousins to museums, movies, and many fishing trips. They loved it! It is great to see that they are building a special relationship. I am so grateful that she is taking the time to do that.

More importantly, I am grateful she raised such a wonderful man like my husband who is fun, loving and loyal. I know he is who he is, because of her. I am eternally grateful for that.

I am nowhere near being the perfect mom, but it is my deepest desire that my children will learn something from me that will enrich their lives. I think it is so important to teach and take care of our children spiritually, as well as physically. I take that very seriously as a mom.

I know there are MANY, MANY wonderful mothers out there, I just wanted to do some "Tea Rose Home" style celebration of Mother's day! That's where the giveaway comes in!

I am giving away up to $20 worth of items to two people from my etsy shop!

This will run from now til the end of day, May 5th.

Now ladies, it is your turn. Here are the rules and how to enter to the giveaway:

1. Let me know what you have learned from your mom. (you will get one entry)

2. Become a follower of my blog and show me your beautiful face on my side bar (second entry)

3. Blog about this post and giveaway on your blog and link back (third entry)

I will be looking forward to reading what you have learned from your moms.
Moms, mothers, and mommies...You all are wonderful! Everyone Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Link Party Love and Little Announcement

Let me just say this...You guys are amazing! I feel so lucky to see what all of you are doing, and being a part of craft/sewing blogosphere. Thank you all so much for participating!

I want to spotlight some of you today, that not only caught my eye but I also wanted them for myself!

House of Smith's shared her thrift find table transformation with us. Isn't it amazing how much paint can do to an old piece of furniture? I love how she decorated the table afterwards too!

Another funiture transformation I loved was linked by Along for the Ride. she took an old desk and did her magic to turn the desk in to this: Wow!

Mom's got a glue gun also had a great idea for a sewing table, but what cought my eye was the beautiful sewing machine cozy. I love the fabric she used and the ruffles! You can't go wrong with ruffles.

Have you seen these pretty cup cakes? Bird Craft has an eye when it comes to colors, those cup cakes are soo pretty I would want to look at them all day; I think I would have a hard time eating them!

Aren't they gorgeous? There are so many talented people out there, I want to keep meeting you all! So, help me to spread the word about my link party by posting my grab button on your side bar! If you have been featured, please grab my I've been featured button.

By the way, Wednesday the 28th I am taking a break from the link party. Instead, I am doing a special post for Mother's day... with a Giveaway! Don't worry, I still need you to participate in a different way. I will let you know what it is, in the post.

Happy creating!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple Pleasures

I want to write about my life lately...what happend and what I learned.

My husband left the country on a bussiness trip on April 10th. He was supposed to be back on the 16th but that didn't happen. Guess why... (he was in Oslo, Norway.)

He called me few days before his return date and said

"Hey, I don't think I will be home on Friday."

I saw the news that morning, and I had a bad feeling about it when he said that, but I had to ask, "why?"

Those of you who didn't hear what happend in Iceland... a volcano erupted and the wind was blowing so much ash and particles in the air. They are harmful to airplanes. All the airports were closed, and thousands of people were stranded. They had no idea when the sky wwould be clear enough to fly. Everyday, he would call me and told me the latest, but because they were dealing with nature, no one could predict what was going to happen for sure.

At one phone call, he told me that earliest he might be able to come home will be in May! I was so worried about him, also, I was really thinking about how much he helps me day to day around the house and with raising our children. Doing everything alone can be very tiring sometimes.

On the 17th, I took the kids to the park and lost my cell phone. That did it. I was officially one very sad person.

Loosing my cell phone seems like it's not such a big deal, but I had my contacts in the cell, also I thougt there is one less way that he can reach me. I had a good cry that night.

The next day, he called and told me that he and his co-workers are flying to Iceland and coming home. I know, why Iceland?! That is the place that caused all of the problems! He told me that they will fly north over the volcano and be on the opposite side of where the wind was blowing all the ash and spend the night in Iceland.

Long story short, he finally came home on the 21st safe and well. I was so relieved and happy. There were still more people stuck there and couln't come home by the time he got back. I heard that some people even ran out of money and were struggling too. I hope the ash will disperse soon and everyone can go home to their loved ones.

My mini crisis was only 11 days total. Since he called me to tell me that he doesn't know when he will be coming back, my thoughts went out to those who are single mothers or their husbands are serving our country overseas. If you are one of those women, I want to ask, "How do you do it?" I gained tremendous respect for those of you who stay strong and keep going. I pray for all of you...

The evenig he got back, the sun was still out, the kids were playing in the back yard. Michael and Rachel found some flowers and gave them to me.

"Here mommy!"

I put them in the water and took some pictures to remember how happy I felt. The kids were so excited to see thier daddy. They were all over him and basically I had to get in line to talk to him.

We may not be rich and famous, but everyone is well and happy. The moment was just so... perfect. The 11 days reminded me that you never know what will happen tomorrow, so I need to cherish today and let them know how much I love them. I guess sometimes we easily forget that those everyday simple moments are the most precious gifts that we possess.

Tutorial ~Little Girl's Tunic with Tank Top~

A couple of weeks ago, I scored these for $1 each at a thrift store. Two of them were brand new and still had the original tags, and the lime green one was used, but in nearly mint condition!

I thought that to make a tunic top using a tank top would be so easy and fast; not to mention FUN too! I will show you how I did it.

{How To}

1. Cut the tank top (I cut mine about 1 1/2" below the arm pit area). I also cut two 1 1/2" strips.

2. Cut off the seams and connect the two 1 1/2" strips together to make a long strip for the ruffle around the neck.

3. Cut two different fabrics to make the main skirt and bottom ruffles. The shirt is for 4 or 5 year olds, and I cut out 2 - 9" X 21" for the main skirt, 2 - 3" X 36" for the bottom ruffles.

Sew the sides and use a serger or zig-zag to finish the edges.

4. Put fusible interfacing on the edge of the tank top. (This will help from getting too wavy, when you sew).

5. Pin the ruffles and the skirt together. Sew all around it, then pull out the bottom thread (the bottom thread is there to stablize the gather better, so the results of the gather will be much prettier).

6. Repeat the same thing to attach the skirt to the top. For hemming, I used a narrow hem.

Attached, turned, and stitched...

7. To make the ruffles for the neck line, sew slightly off to the side from the middle. Pull one thread to gather the fabric.

8. Pin the ruffle all around the neck line. Sew it on.

9. I used the leftover fabric to make a corsarge. I think it gives a more boutique look to the tunic.

I love how it turned out!

So, I wanted to do the same with the other two and experiment with colors and patterns...

Hot pink...

Then, lime green...

I love them all, but I think I am going to keep the green one for my little girl, and put the other two in my etsy store. She loves the new top, she even strikes a pose or two for the camera.

After taking some pictures, she was off to play at the park with her new found favorite top.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wednesday at Tea Rose Home Link Party No. 5!

Hi, it has already been a week and I am having another link party!

Before we start, I want to share one of the projects I did last week.
Sometime last week, while the boys were in school, I was cleaning the house, I realized; where's Rachel? She was being all independent, got the paint out (the kind that you paint ceramics with) and started painting...

You know what happens when little kids play with paint unattended, right? When I came down stairs, the table was a mess! She looked fine though, so I just cleaned the table and didn't think much of it.

Then, that night, I realized there were paint splashed all over the right side of her dress and splashed and smeared on both of her sleeves (they were in the back of the sleeves, so I didn't see it first).

I tried many different methods, but the paints didn't come off. Not only that, the color of the fabric around the paint started to fade! I was soo sad, because it was one of my...I mean Rachel's favorite dresses.

Then, an idea hit me...

Just cut off the sleeves!

I did some stitching to give it character and added a corsage. I made a corsage out of the sleeves where the paint hadn't splashed.

For the side, I did some stitching to make vine designs. Then added some leaves and flowers to hide the paint splash.

Sorry folks, she was not in the mood to have her picture taken...

I am pretty happy how it turned out. I didn't think about taking a before picture, but basiclly, the dress had long sleeves and no flowers on the side. I feel like she gave me a lemon and I made lemonade with it. The dress is one size too big for Rachel. If she doesn't put paint on it again (knock on wood) she should be able to wear it for a while.

What have you been working on? Are there recipes that are sooo good you need to share with us? Link up and visit each other and have fun!

Here are the rules:

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it!

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

4. One more thing, please DO NOT link anything inappropriate or any kind of advertisement.

I can't wait to see all your creations! Thank you for participating everyone!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Link Party Love

I love doing the link party. I get to discover beautiful blogs and creations without leaving my blog! I know everyone has a busy life, so I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to link up. I really appreciate it.

Well, I wanted to spotlight some of my favorites:

Camera Case Wristlet ~ The Sweet Life
I have seen the camera case wristlet before, but looking at the fabric combination made me wanna make one for myself! I just bought a new camera, this will be a perfect Mother's Day gift for me!

Fabric flower lamp shade makeover ~ One Talented Family
This is so pretty... It looks easy to do, I think I have a lamp shade I can try this with.

Whimsical Recycled Paper Flower Wreath ~ Let's Go Fly A Kite
I must say, I love the colors she has chosen! Also, this will be a perfect summer project for my children to do.

Shabby Coastal Cottage Lantern ~ Design Fanatic
The way she decorated this lantern is very beautiful, I love everything she put in to the lantern.

Vintage Wallet Re-Mix ~ For the Love
She found this vintage purse for a $1 at a thrift store. The little details she added made it personal and more up-to-date, very cute!

My attempt at Jean Corsages ~ Beansie Babbles
She saw my Jean Corsage Tutorial and put her own twist and style on it. It's very pretty and you can use the flowers as embelishment for almost anything.


Thank you so much for participating. Happy creating and comeback next link party!

Note: An "I was featured" grab button is coming soon! I promise! If you are one of those blogs that was spotlighted, you could use my "link party" button for now. Thanks!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vintage Fabric Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much for entering the vintage fabric giveaway. I know what it's like to see fabric you like, and start thinking about what you are going to make...

I would love to cut the fabric in to 83 pieces (that's how many of you entered to this giveaway) and give one to everyone... but then each piece will be so tiny, it would be useless!

So, I have a winner. The winner of the vintage fabric is:


Congratulations! I would love to see what you do with the fabric (no pressure), if you do something with it, please share the project with us! :)

Please email me your shipping info, I will ship the fabric to you soon.

Those of you who didn't win, don't be discouraged! I have been think about somthing special for Mother's day...

This week I have been busier than normal. I won't go in to details, but I am pretty worn out. Consequently, progress on my projects has been very slow. I don't have a picture of the finished item, but I will share the pictures of the fabrics I am using on this project.

Light blue

creamy green and pink

...and some roses?

Are they all in a same project or separate ones? I will share the results sometime next week. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday at Tea Rose Home Link Party No.4!

Welcome back to "Wednesday at Tea Rose Home Link party"!! It is so exciting to see new blogs and talents. I hope you all are having as much fun as I am.

A while ago, I was invited to be a guest blogger at Blue Cricket Design. I shared my tutorial there, it has been several weeks now, and I realized I haven't posted the tutorial here on my blog. If you are new to this blog or haven't seen it, here is the tutorial for Stretchy blacelets. Enjoy!

It is a very easy and inexpensive project. I found the lace at Joann's, it was $7.99/yd. I used about 6" for mine, that is less then $1.40 + whatever the cost of the beads etc. The bracelet will be perfect for the up coming season!

{You will need}

Stretchy Lace
Beads, pearls
Small Silk Flowers(you can buy silk flowers on the stem and take them off)
Thread that matches the lace

{How to}

1. Put the lace around your wrist to see how long it should be.

2. Cut and sew the edges. I used a setting on my regular sewing machine that made the stitches look like they were done by a serger, so the edges won't fray.



3. Hand sew the silk flowers and pearls together two to three times to secure it. Tie the knot and cut the thread. I sewed each bead and pearl separately (the thread is not connected inbetween) so that when the elastic stretches, you don't have to worry about breaking the thread.

4. I sewed four flowers, and four big pearls, alternating between each. You can always add more if you would like.

5. Time to enjoy! I used the same bead and stretchy cord to make a matching bracelet. I feel like Spring is near. :)

I got carried away and made two more, one with brown lace and the other with black lace.

With those two, I didn't do flowers. I love how they turned out. What I love about these bracelets is first, it is so easy to wear and remove. Second, it fits my wrists nicely and doesn't slide up and down. It doesn't get in the way when I am doing things around the house. In other words, this is a perfect mommy and house wife blacelet!

Well, it is your turn to show what you have been working on.

Here are the rules:

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it!

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

4. One more thing, please DO NOT link anything inappropriate or any kind of advertisement.

I have been visiting each one of the links. If I don't see my grab button, it makes me a little sad. Please support my blog by posting my grab button, when you link to the party. Remember, when more people come, your blog gets more exposure too!

Link up, visit each other and have fun!

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