June 27, 2012

Rough and tumble boys

My two grandsons are now 4 and 5. They are happy little boys full of pee and vinegar as my mom would say. They make me laugh out loud, and in life, that's what I treasure most... my laugh out loud moments. Mostly innocent still, as innocent as this generation can be with all its exposure to the ugliness of the world around them. We were blessed to be protected from all that. Never once had a "stranger danger" conversation with my parents, or for that matter ever even knew that there were people around us, the Sandusky's of the world, that we should be afraid of. Not that they weren't there, they were, maybe in fewer numbers, we just didn't know. 

The boys love anything to do with vehicles, cars, trucks of all kinds, and pretty much anything that has wheels. Their dad works on a pumper truck, and they are exposed to all kinds of other working trucks at his house. I wanted to make them special car pillows for their beds, and found an idea on Pinterest that caught my eye. It was actually one of those fleece blankets you cut fringe and tie around the edges to put the 2 sides together (a no-sew project), like this:

but I thought it would be cute and easy to put a pillow in the middle and quick as a bunny come up with a custom pillow. Plans are always easier in my head.

I shopped JoAnn's - our only source for material here besides Walmart - and found a TON of awesome fleece with awesome boy designs. They have every Super Hero you can imagine and cars :) The dilemma here is which 2 do I pick? No matter what I choose, they are each going to want what I gave to the other. So my solution was to buy the same print and make a custom felt letter of their first name and sew that on each pillow.

 This is the red felt M for Mason. You can see the fleece above it has 50's cars on it with a black background.

Next dilemma... I hate to do math, so I guessed at how much material I needed. Yes, I know, "how clever she is" I can hear you say.  I bought a yard and a half of 60" wide material, and thought surely that was enough. Well, technically it was, but not for this project! The fringe would have been too short to tie. Solution... sew the pillow into the middle of the material and then cut a 5" fringe and just not tie them, let them hang loose.

OK, so now I have to sew, which I loathe.  First I sewed the handcut letters to the material...

Then I was ready to sew the first pillow, which was Braydon's. The first 3 sides were easy peasy because there was no pillow in the middle at that point. After the 3 sides were done I put the pillow in and tried to sew the 4th side: not so easy peasy. I hemmed and hawed, finally walking away from it until the next day. I have found walking away from it beats sticking with it, only to end up slinging the entire project across the room out of complete frustration. Plus throwing in a few of my very colorful words I learned from my mama. Every once in a blue moon, my dad's quick temper shows up inside me. I am usually a pretty even keeled person, but out of I mean nowhere, I'm slinging something or stomping on something. I digress...  so next day, I have a fresh attitude, and just go for it. It is adorable! I cut the 5" extra cloth on each side into fringe.  You see my tootsies in the bottom of the picture, which gives you an idea of the size of the pillow.

As it turned out, my boys came over the second day I was sewing, and Mason saw what I was doing. He figured out that his was not quite done and announced that he didn't want his to be "cut up", he wanted his to be soft on the ends. Yessir! Coming right up.

So there are my two finished pillows for my boys. One cut up one and one soft on the edges. :)

If you look closely at the stitching you can see why I hate sewing, I kinda suck at it. I should mention that I giggle while I sew those crooked seams: thinking of what my home-ec teacher, Mrs. Ruby Raymer would say if she could see me now. I know she had to be on her 50's when I was a teenager, so that makes her about... dead. right? Rude!

If nothing else, I entertain myself. And my grandsons think I'm pretty funny.

June 04, 2012


I'm a big purse girl. None of those tiny little purses for me that only hold a credit card and a tissue. I want to put lots of crap in mine, because a gal just never knows when she's gonna need a nail clipper, an emery board, emergency toilet paper (yes, emergency toilet paper - get it in the travel supplies at CVS), a bottle of Immodium (I'm sensing a trend here), 5 tubes of lipstick, a tube of hand lotion, 3 flashdrives, a wallet, a coin purse, a cell phone, sunglasses, a couple of toys just in case I have the boys with me, paycheck stubs for the last 2 pay periods, ads/coupons from Michael's and Kohl's, an extra straw for the times they don't give me one in the drive thru, and my big ass set of keys. If you dig down to the bottom, you're gonna find loose change, maybe a few beads, some paper clips, and some dental floss. Yes, ma'am, I need a big purse. And it's gonna weigh a ton. And I'm gonna have to shift it from shoulder to shoulder while I'm shopping. But I'm not complaining. Wouldn't want it any other way. By the way, I do not call it a handbag or a pocket book. Not sure who does, but I know I've heard those terms... are they regional words? Nope, it's a purse to me.

Here are a few pictures of purses I'd love to own. They may never make it into my closet if they cost more than I'm willing to spend.

Love a leather purse!

Louis Vuitton, yeah, right, like that's gonna happen, but holy geez, look at that color.

Dooney & Bourke. Awesome, but too pricey for me too.

Love a pop of color in a purse.
I usually find my purses at TJ Maxx. They have the best selection and the best prices. A lot of designer stuff like Michael Kohrs too.

I also like to switch purses with the seasons. Mostly I like metallics for the fall/winter and bright pops of color in the spring/summer.

I bought one recently that is adorable, but it has no pockets or compartments, kind of a sling design. Everything falls to the bottom in one big pile and I have to dig around blindly to find something like I'm playing that baby shower game. You know the one, where they put baby items in a bag and you feel around inside and try to identify what's in there. Fun game, but OMG, not what I want to do while I'm driving. Or not driving. That little cutie lasted about 2 weeks, until today. I had to remove every single thing in my purse to get to my sunglasses. That was the deal breaker for me. So I stopped into our Super Walmart to pick up some mascara and decided to find a new purse. Spur of the moment purchases are my favorites.

This is it:

Awesome color, kind of a sagey green. It has pockets galore for all of my ap-cray. I love it. And the best part of the purse is the price - $18! I switched everything out and am a happy camper once again.

The incredible black rosey thing is a coin purse my friend Terri gave me for my birthday. I have people stop me and ask about it all the time. It's made of buttery smooth black leather. Thanks, Terri.

Here is another fabulous purse accessory I found at a local art show in May. It is a little purse, but I use it inside my big purse. It holds my cell phone and my debit cards and folding money. I have taken it inside the stores and left my big purse in the car occasionally.

A collaborative effort by a couple of artisans, and they call themselves RoBe. I believe they have an Etsy shop. Very well made, and adorable.



... love it!