Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mia's Quilt

I was able to talk Abby into taking a quilt class with me in January and February. We've been having lots of fun together. It's nice to have a sewing buddy again.

We made pinwheel quilts, and mine is going to my friend Amber, who's expecting baby Mia sometime soon.

I chose pink and brown because they are the hip colors right now, and I think that'll be fun for her when she's older, to see what was popular when she was born. I used a sweet flower for the pink, because Amber loves sweet things. I'm shooting for a blend of modern and sweet.
The pattern was pretty fun and simple, and came together nicely.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Baby Card

I'm really happy about this new idea of scanning and posting the cards. Now I can send my beautiful cards to people who will love them, and I don't have to be sad about losing them forever. And I can share them with lots of people.

Here's a baby card I sent out last week.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Father Wesley's Saints

Here are the five Saints Father Wesley picked:

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

St. Manuel Morales

St. Gianna Molla

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Fr. Emil Kapaun (Not yet a Saint, but on the way. And he's from Kansas!)

I win! St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was on both of our lists, and I picked Juan Diego, a Mexican Saint, and Father Wesley picked St. Manuel Morales, a Mexican Saint, so surely that's half a point.

It was fun. I liked these Saints because they were just regular people who lived their faith.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My favorite saints

Matthew and I have been going to "Theology on Tap" once a month on Mondays. It's a group of youngish people who meet at Samy's for drinks and dinner and a theological presentation. This month Father Wesley is going to speak about 5 Saints, and Matthew and I decided to pick our 5 top saints and see if any of them match up. Here are mine, in the order that I thought of them. I discovered in doing this that I know woefully little about the saints.

St. Juan Diego


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Francis of Assisi

St. John Baptist de la Salle (patron of teachers)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Hero

The February Better Homes and Gardens was a great issue.
On the last page they feature Do-It-Yourselfers who send in their projects.
This lady is my hero, for sure.
She re-sided her house with rocks. Look!

(The little print you probably can't read)

If you look at a couple tons of stone veneer as a big jigsaw puzzle with a huge payoff in curb appeal, a re-siding project like this isn't that scary. Before getting to the "fun part." Amy removed the old siding around her Saginaw, Michigan, home's porch and garage, nailed up wire mesh, and applied a skim coat of concrete. "It was very physical work but entirely worth it in the end," she says.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cute cards

On Valentines Day Matthew went with me to Goodwill. Sweet, huh? He didn't think it was the most fun thing ever. I don't get that.

Look what we found!

Look at the bunny! And the bird! It's so sweet!

There were four designs in the box. I'll sprinkle them in here and there.


Friday, February 20, 2009

A Perfect Bow

One of my students gave me a little bag of chocolate kisses for Valentines Day, with this beautiful, charming, perfect bow on top.

I will be conferencing with that Mom for sure. I've got to learn how to do this.

And look how wonderful they looked in my candy dish!

I love red and pink.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brownie Treats

For Valentines Day, Anna and I made some brownies to play around with. First we cut out some hearts with cookie cutters. That was fun and easy and cute.

Then we took the rest of the brownie bits and rolled them into brownie balls, and then rolled them in powdered sugar. Anna really liked that part, and it was a good way to use up the rest of the brownies in a cute way.

When we were done, Anna pulled up her stool to the sink and washed the cookie cutters. All on her own! What a gem.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was so happy with the way this idea turned out.

We had lots of candy canes left over from Christmas-
Re-purposed for Valentines Day!

Five minutes and a glue gun later...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Daycare in Paris

My favorite NPR correspondent is Eleanor Beardsley. I love the Southern Accent mixed with the French. I like to think about how life took her to live in Paris. It's a fun daydream.

Monday morning Matthew pointed me to this story about her son and daycare in Paris.

Hear the Story (click "listen now" right above the picture of Maxime-it's worth it to listen, you won't have as much fun if you just read.)

Monday, February 16, 2009


My favorite magazine, that I subscribed to last year with some birthday money, is quitting. Or "going online exclusively".

Goodbye CRAFT:

I do like the blog, but I never go to the website. And I like getting a magazine in the mail and holding it and reading it and looking at the pictures. I like that I can take it with me in the car. None of that will work with a website.

Stupid future.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Short

Anna watches a video with Grammy Joan called Miss Pattycake. It is strange. She loves it. Here's something she learned.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"copy write" ??

Happy Valentines Day!

Anna and I did a photo shoot for Valentines on Saturday morning. I was thinking it had been awhile since we sat her down and tried to get a lovely photo, and I'm glad we took some time do do it.

The pictures turned out wonderfully! I tried three places-in her room by the window, in her room by the door, and by the front door with the door open. Following the advice in my favorite photography book ever ( How to Photograph Your Baby by Nick Kelsh), I was looking for natural light from the side. I filled the frame with Anna, had a neutral backdrop, and didn't always center her. When I went to pick them up-the envelope had this note on it!

I was so proud. I told the boy I took them myself.

No more feeling bad that Anna's never had professional pictures taken. Here are the four that I'm sending out with her valentines.

Not homemade this year because she wanted some from the bookstore. I'll have to be on my guard next year and start talking up the homemade valentines early.

This one is my favorite. This one is Anna's favorite.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Last weekend when Susan was home, the three Alsop girls decided to try out one of Garden City's new restaurants (6 since Christmas!)

Here are the girls thoughtfully perusing the menu, and tolerating their weird sister, taking pictures in the restaurant. I have very tolerant sisters.
Here I am, choosing carefully my breakfast for dinner. I love breakfast for dinner.

I had buttermilk pancakes with chocolate chips inside. You have to ask for that specially, because the regular choc. chip pancakes are made with chocolate batter-yick!Susan had harvest grain and nut pancakes which were very tasty. Abby stuck with Chicken Strips and fries, and was happy with it as usual. We had a good time. I love my sisters.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Not just for girls and Mamas!

Dad Craft talks about why and what Dads can do to craft with their kids

The larger site, DudeCraft, is just for crafty boys in general.

There, equal opportunity blogging

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flower placemats

This was the last project I did, and the one I am the most excited about. I have so many things I want to try using this idea.

Matthew pointed out that they are very impractical placemats, as you can't wash them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Flower garland

Our second idea for the contest was to make a flower garland or curtain by stitching fake flowers together somehow. I decided to use green rickrack and just stitch over the little plastic stems.
I like how it twists a little. I think this could be fun, if you made bunches of them to make a beaded curtain-y sort of thing. Only took 10 minutes or so.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I was so excited about the Singer Sewing with Nature Contest. Abby and Susan and I came up with three lovely ideas to try. I was thinking we'd enter all three, one for each of us, but then as I was making things I started to feel like that was cheating.

Didn't matter...

Contest ended at 11:59 pm ET on the 4th, not the 5th. I was pretty cranky about it for a little while, but Susan reminded me that I had the fun of making them, and Dad said the memories of making things with Anna far outweigh any dress form, and that there would be many contests to enter.

Also I looked at the entries and thought that probably I didn't have a chance anyway. That always helps. :)

Here's our first project, claimed immediately by Anna for her own.

It was my first attempt at using rick rack around the edges, that technique definitely needs some work. Also my first time doing free hand decorative stitching/applique on the machine, and I think that leaf looks SUPER!

Sunday, February 08, 2009


I saw some chocolates at Target in the Christmas Clearance, and since they were 75% off, decided to try them. I've been intrigued with the "sea salt caramel" since I heard about it a couple of months ago.

I don't know if I got a duddy box, or if I just had high expectations for $10 chocolate, but I was very surprised to open the box. There were 8 chocolates, and they were all much flatter than anticipated. And not shiny and smooth. And the caramel wasn't gooey.

The picture on the top was this:

And the candy inside was this:
(sorry, still working on the macro shots)

See the difference in depth? Suppose they melted? In December?

And they didn't taste spectacular either. Certainly not better than Russell Stover. Is that because they were a month old? They were dry, so I suppose that could be the problem. I sent a box to Sarah, the pastry chef and chocolatier (Is it OK if I call you that? The chocolates you gave us for Christmas were MUCH better) to get her opinion.

Has anyone else tried Choxie? Got an opinion?

Saturday, February 07, 2009


When Matthew and I were in Wichita in January, Bath and Body Works was having a Clearance, and so I got a little Bubble Bath. I don't remember it being green then. The dyes on the back clearly list "red" in a couple of varieties... Do you suppose it froze in the trunk, or WHAT?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Reusable Wrapping

I've been wanting to try to make some reusable fabric wrapping since I saw it a year or so ago on Craftster, (I wish I could find it again, but I can't! Sorry about that) but hadn't gotten around to it yet. Finally last week, I was looking through my idea file, and decided to give it a shot. The first one I made out of an old sweater, and it's pretty rough.

For the second I used a placemat, and it looked nice, but I did something wrong with the measuring or figuring or something, because it doesn't come together quite right.

Anyhoo, I wrapped Jeanette's gift in it, since she's all into the earth and stuff now. :)

I'll be trying again, for sure.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cheater Wrapping

After we made Anna's heart, I thought about those soft sleeves, perfect for more little bags. So I snipped them off and sewed them up and there you go! More reusable wrapping. The cuffs can be more or less depending on the size of the gift. I think they're cute.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sweater Heart

Wanting desperately to do something quick and crafty last week, Anna and I cut a heart out of an old sweater and sewed it up and stuffed it together. Here it is on her door. Not perfect, but it'll be hers forever, and we did it together.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Anna's weekend

Anna got to go with Daddy and Jonathan and everybody to her favorite place in the world-Margaret's house.

See here for the adorable evidence.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Holiday Specific Craftster

I don't know that I'm going to have time do do anything this year, but there are tons of fun ideas in this article from the newly redesigned Craftster.

Valentines Day Crafts