Sunday, November 25, 2007

A pretty pie and an almost finished WIP

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with some friends here in town. Everyone brought a dish or two to accompany a delicious turkey. We took Maple-Glazed Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes, an Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Cake Roll.

Here's my little helper. He LOVES using my apple corer/peeler/slicer. He insists on doing it all himself! Just look at that concentration.

And the finished pie! It came out perfect. It didn't brown too much. And the filling didn't bubble over onto the oven floor!

The Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes were a big hit. The other adults at dinner had never had parsnips, so it was nice to be complimented on the dish. (The Pumpkin Cake Roll was delicious too!)

The WIP, beginning of Day Four.

Yes, Day Four of our 8 hour project! Of course, they only say 8 hours assembly. They don't tell you how many people it takes to do it in 8 hours.

But we persevered and.......Ta Da!!!

Four days and it is almost finished. There are decorative "suns" which should be mounted at the roof peak of the fort, but Nathan doesn't seem to want them installed. There is also a picnic table which will go under the fort. That we'll get to soon enough, but for now, Nathan is thrilled with his ginormous new play structure!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Last weekend, we started on a family project.

It started as four rather large, rather heavy boxes sitting on the garage floor.

And progressed to this:

Supervising the hardware:

My little carpenter:

After 3 hours of work:

The 50+ page instruction manual says 8 hours assembly time. I think they lied! We still need to do the roof of the fort and the entire swing section.

Even unfinished, Nathan seems to approve of his new play structure.

Kid tested:

Cat approved!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Winners and Good Mail

Thank you all for the nice comments on my Blogiversary and 100th post.

I put the names of all commenters into a turkey......>

Yes, a turkey. What do you use, a hat??? Where's the fun in that?
(BTW, the turkey is a part of my swap package from my Sweet Swap Sister Cindy. She made it for Nathan and filled it with Tootsie Rolls. Thanks Cindy!)

Anyway - I asked my trusty assistant to pull two names out of the turkey and the winners are......Jessi and Le Anne! I'll put some goodies together and get them on their way soon.

Now....on to the Good Mail I've received this week.

First, from my Swap Sister Cindy:

She made a beautiful Thanksgiving garland for me. (I "borrowed" this photo from her blog because mine didn't come out.) I've hung the garland across the curtains in my kitchen so I can see it throughout the day.

Here are some of the incredible details of the garland.

Felt fall leaves and tiny acorns. She used real acorn caps and made the body of the acorn by modifying a yo-yo. Isn't she clever?

There are three images on the garland. They're each mounted on felt and embellished with buttons and stitching.

Some more goodies from Cindy - a fall themed framed print, menu planning tablet, school notes, a miniature quilt pattern (rotary cutting & topstitching! I love topstitching!), fall spreaders, elastic and softie eyes. (The elastic and eyes are for some WIPs.)

Thank you so much Cindy!

Recently, I was the lucky winner of Rebecca's 200th Post Giveaway. Look at the goodness she sent me!

A copy of Adorn, some cherry fabric and trim, an embroidered table runner, a zipper, a vintage paper angel, a tin shabby chic rose ornament and a New York postcard. (Nathan thought it was funny to have so many yellow cars on the postcard. I had to explain taxis to him.) Thanks Rebecca!

And another swap package. I participated in a Sewing Notions swap hosted by Julie at Red Hen Studios. My swap partner was Lori from Simply Made Kay.
She sent me fabric, hankies, some pieced squares, CDs for collaging and some srapbooking papers.

Also a beautiful tie dyed scarf, buttons, beads, scalloped trim, paintbrushes, a cloth doll, a handmade pincushion and a pile of yo-yo's! Thanks so much Lori! (She doesn't have a blog, but you should definitely check out her etsy shop.)

Oh how I love Good Mail!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Big Day

Yes, it's a big day here at Mama Said Sew.

It's my one year Blogiversary. Care for a slice of cake?

And this is my 100th post!!

In honor of such an occassion, I've compiled a list of 100 things about me. It's probably way more than you'd ever want to know about me.

100 Things About Me
1. I like to make lists.
2. Hubby thinks I should make a list of my lists!
3. I’m a thrifter.
4. I could (and sometimes do) spend hours treasure hunting in a thrift shop.
5. I like garage sales too.
6. My mom started me on thrifting many, many years ago.
7. She wouldn’t buy me new Chemin de Fer jeans, so we hit the thrift in search of some.
8. I also wanted a pair of Dittos.
9. We still go thrifting together whenever we can.
10. My love of thrifting is rubbing off on my husband.
11. Having said all that, I recently bought myself a $100 pair of jeans.
12. I’ve finished 1 page in Nathan’s baby book. (He’s 5 now.)
13. My favorite color is pink. Any shade.
14. I have a pink wallet.
15. I’m a Diet Coke fanatic.
16. When a restaurant only serves Pepsi and the waitress asks if that’s okay, I usually cringe.
17. I don’t like to drink water.
18/ I do not have a green thumb. (I forget to water things.)
19. I was born on Easter Sunday.
20. I can wiggle my nose.
21. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. (Okay, more than a bit!)
22. I could eat Nachos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Hold the jalapenos please.)
23. I like to cook.
24. I have a hard time making a recipe without “adjusting” it.
25. I have a cookbook collection that collects dust.
26. I like to try new recipes from the internet.
27. I’m afraid of falling down. Tripping while walking. Tumbling down stairs. Running into a
tree while snow skiing.
28. I rarely wear makeup.
29. I wear very little jewelry.
30. I’ve always wanted a Movado watch.
31. I got one for my 40th birthday.
32. I wear it every day.
33. I listen to many different kinds of music, but prefer Country or Celtic Bluegrass.
34. I listen to Celtic Woman – A New Journey while crafting.
35. I love bagpipes. Especially playing “Amazing Grace” and “Scotland The Brave”.
36. I’d love to learn to dance the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance.
37. My favorite current TV show is Gray’s Anatomy.
38. My favorite childhood TV show was Little House On The Prairie.
39. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.
40. My favorite movie is The Cutting Edge.
41. I love books. Not just to read, but to have around.
42. My favorite book is “Where The Red Fern Grows”, by Wilson Rawls.
43. I’ve read it at least a dozen times and it still makes me cry.
44. I’ve love to own a book/fabric/coffee shop.
45. I once threw my brother into a fireplace.
46. It was about 25 years ago.
47. There was no fire in it, but he still brings it up to this day!
48. In high school, I drove a green VW Fastback.
49. Her name was Fraby.
50. I ignored the oil light and blew the engine.
51. I now drive a mini van.
52. With Stow N Go seating. (How did I manage for so long without it?)
53. I LOVE my mini van.
54. I got my first (and only) speeding ticket this year.
55. I’ve never broken a bone in my body.
56. I tend to take care of others before taking care of myself.
57. I have a hard time saying no to others.
58. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at pottery.
59. I don’t like scary movies or gory movies.
60. I love doing word search puzzles.
61. I like pedicures.
62. I don’t do manicures. They last about 2 minutes on me.
63. I’m not very good at making decisions. (That’s why this was so appropriate.)
64. The beach is one of my favorite places.
65. England is another.
66. I’ve been there 5 or 6 times.
67. My husband is English.
68. I love a good cup of tea. Specifically PG Tips, with milk and sweetener.
69. My dream destination is Paris.
70. I’d also like to visit Scotland.
71. I like cream cheese on my bagels. LOTS of cream cheese.
72. I like my bacon and hash browns extra crispy.
73. My first job was at Bread of France Bakery.
74. I took French for 3 years in high school, but can’t speak the language now.
75. I’ve picked up enough Spanish to get by when traveling to Spanish speaking locales, but not
enough to hold a conversation.
76. I was born and raised in Southern California.
77. I’ve lived here all but 5 years of my life.
78. I lived in Oregon for those 5 years.
79. I miss the seasons (and snow) of Central Oregon.
80. I can’t go to sleep with the closet door open.
81. I can’t go to sleep with socks on.
82. I have a degree in Biology
83. I am a registered Democrat (don’t tell my Dad), but vote for the person, not the party.
84. My first pet was a three legged dog, named Sandy.
85. As a puppy, she got hit by a car and lost her leg.
86. She was part of our family for 17 years.
87. When I was 6, I saw Santa Claus in the kitchen at my Grandpa’s house on Christmas Eve.
88. My Aunt Julie gave me a stuffed frog that year.
89. Daisies are my favorite flower.
90. I love having a bouquet of fresh flowers in the house.
91. Unfortunately, my cat likes to eat them.
92. My cat also likes to pull pins out of my pincushion as a form of entertainment.
93. I don’t let my husband do the laundry.
94. I’ve been called a tyrant when it comes to packing a suitcase.
95. I firmly believe in “A place for everything and everything in it’s place”.
96. My husband does not.
97. I love my husband dearly.
98. I also love my son dearly.
99. I can’t imagine my life without them.
100. I love bloggy giveaways!

Phew! That was harder than I thought it would be, but still a fun exercise.

Wait a minute....did someone say giveaway?

Yes, I did say giveaway.

Of course, I'm having a giveaway!

Actually, two giveaways. One for my Blogiversary and one for my 100th post.

I have no idea yet what the winners will get. And they may not get it 'til after Christmas, but it will be something handmade by me.

Just leave a comment on this post and I'll put your name in the hat. I'll pick winners on Monday, around noon. If you're a lurker, I'd love to hear from you too. What better time to delurk?

Thank you to all my blog buddies who've read and commented throughout the year. I've met some wonderful people and enjoy sharing this little glimpse into my life with you.

Looking forward to the next 100 posts!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Because I just can't help myself!

This morning, I was taking photos and packing up the goodies for my Swap Sister Cindy and thought.....hmmmmm, maybe I should take one more obscure photo....

Hee, Hee, Hee!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thrifty Thursday

Taking a little break from crafting for a quick thrifting post.

I went to the Goodwill Clearance Center again today.

I spent 85 cents! And look at all the goodies.....

A Rubber Stamp book; 4 packs of initial notecards (for gifts); a package of new Mickey Mouse napkins for Nathan's lunchbox; vintage rick rack (black, ivory & blue); and 2 cards of vintage buttons.

The striped tea towel underneath is from Williams-Sonoma, thrifted a while ago.

Oh, I do love the Goodwill Clearance Center!

America Recycles Day - November 15th

Are you doing all you can?

Find out here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thrifty Finds

I've got photos for you!

This is most of what I thrifted over the weekend. Some items are gifts or for swaps, so I had to be a little sneaky with the photos.

I can't figure out why the angle of this one is so funny. It looks like I took it upside down, which I can guarantee you, I didn't. The hippo fabric came in handy as a backdrop, although lime green may not be the best at showing off some of my treasures. I found a nice (fake suede) blouse for myself, two cute cherry pillowcases (quilt backs?), some other "fabric" items, the book French Women Don't Get Fat, and a sewing angel that will someday hand in my sewing room. For now, the sewing angel is overseeing my scrap basket, which is full and probably very comfy for her.

Some of the Christmas haul: cute Christmas-y tin serving tray, glittery ornaments made in Germany and a few craft kits for Nathan.

A VW van and Roley, the steam roller. The van was supposed to be mine, but I think I've already lost that battle. Oh, and a cute dish underneath.

The gift bags.....17 of them! I prefer to use wrapping paper, but between work gifts and school gifts, I thought $1.50 for all these bags was a good investment.

There was also a large stack of paperbacks thrifted this weekend. I think there were 11 of them. Probably not photo-worthy.

And this is for Cindy! Is this sneak peek any better than the last one?

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Aftermath and A New Cat Toy

Nathan and I have just returned home from a long weekend visiting my Mom. And visiting my Mom means we've been thrifting.

This is most of what I just unloaded from the van.

You'll notice several bags from various thrift shops. Some of my favorite thrifts are near my Mom's and I think we hit them all. Also in that pile, there are a few things my Mom had stashed for us to bring home and our bags (full of dirty clothes, yuck!). Oh, and a piece of lime green fabric with white hippos, that I picked up at IKEA on the way home. It's about 4 yards and I found it in the "As Is" section for $2! (BTW, I think I'm the only person in the world who can spend an hour shopping at IKEA and spend a grand total of $2, plus tax!

Nathan said he wanted to help unload the van, which, I should have known meant he wanted to get his new treasures out of the van and into the house as quickly as possible.

He got 2 large bags of miscellaneous wooden train track, buildings, vehicles, trees and people. He needs them like he needs a hole in his head, but what could I do? Grandma bought them for him and he's already having a great time with them.

And onto the new cat toy.....

We headed out in a bit of a hurry on Friday and I neglected to clean up my crafting stufff. Remember this wonky pincushion? Well, evidently, when such an item is left on the kitchen table, within reach of a bored house-cat, it becomes quite an entertaining toy....

Here's a close-up for you....

He pulleld 75 79 pins out of my pincushion!! I don't know what that cat was thinking. He left 10 pins in the cushion. And he managed to do all this without dropping any with only 4 pins hitting the floor.

I thought I only had to worry about Nathan getting into my sewing stuff! Guess I'll be more careful about cleaning up now.

I'm off to tackle that pile on the couch.

Wish me luck!

Hopefully, there will be some photos of my thrifty finds tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some good stuff, but no photos

Is anyone else havin difficulty adjusting to the recent time change? I don't remember "falling back" as being this hard before. It gets dark way too early. I run out of daylight WAY before I finish all the things I'd like to do.

For example - Today, I went thrifting with my Mom. I got some good stuff, but no photos. It got dark way before I even thought of taking photos.

I was going to list some of the items I bought, but realized that I really shouldn't. Those would be the gifts for blogland friends and swap partners.

Then there's the stack of Christmas gift bags.....about 14 of them, brand new, for $1.50 total. You probably don't want to see photos of those.

And the paperbacks for hubby.....not too exciting.

Oh well. I guess you'll get to see some of my loot at a later date.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Got Gnomes?

My Swap Sister Cindy posted about this today and it made me laugh!

Thought I'd pass is along too.

You can read the whole story here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I've seen a few other bloggers giving sneak peek photos today. Looks like some fun, interesting projects underway.

Here's a sneak peek photo for my Swap Sister, Cindy:

Hmmmmm......very interesting.

Whatever will it be?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tonight's entertainment

I drug persuaded Nathan to go into Michael's with me this afternoon so that I could pick up some cardstock and glitter. He was not very happy to be in a craft store with me. Something about me wondering aimlessly, oohing and aahing at all the stuff just doesn't suit him.

Then, we found the Halloween clearance area. It was all 70% off. (I got a cute Wilton candy mold for .59!)

Nathan found a bin full of Halloween Cookie House Kits. They were $2.99 and since we had no plans for this evening, I bought one for him.

It was his first attempt at decorating a cookie house. And, being 5 years old, he wasn't exactly patient waiting for me to mix the icing. Or waiting again for me to assemble the walls. Or waiting again for the icing to harden so the walls and roof wouldn't fall off.

Luckily, I was able to distract him by requesting a drawing of his house design. An architect can build a house, but it takes a designer to really add the sparkle! He had a great time figuring out where all the candies would go.

And finally......the Master at work!

The finished abode. (Yes, he designed an orange house with Candy Corn peaks and Jawbreaker polka dotted walls.)

Now he thinks he's going to eat it!

I did manage to keep him from taking a bite out of it. He got to eat the unused candy Orange Slices instead.

A good evening's worth of fun for under $3!

Handmade for the Holidays

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Have you taken the Handmade Pledge?

Click on the button.

Take the Pledge.

Give your friends and family a wonderful Handmade Holiday!

(P.S. I'm #4269 on the pledge roll. There will be a LOT of Handmade Love spread during the Hokidays! Be a part of it.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thrifted Fabric and Some Other Stuff

I hit the Goodwill Clearance Center yesterday and got pretty lucky.

Obviously, the black fabric is for Halloween (sorry it's upside down). There's about a yard of it and I plan to make Nathan a new treat bag with it. I'm not sure what the fabrics underneath were meant to be. There are four different fabrics pieced together, but I don't know if it's a quilt top. The pieces are big rectangles and are two different sizes (16X30 & 16x45). Whatever it was going to be, it isn't anymore. I plan on taking it apart and using the fabrics in other projects.

Here's a closeup of one of the fabrics. You should be able to click on it to enlarge the photo.

And the other stuff......

That's a Pampered Chef Measure All Cup and Deluxe Cheese Grater (missing the large grating drum). Together, they retail for just under $30.

I got all the stuff you see in the photos, plus a bag for my laptop and three dresses. I paid $5.01 for all of it!!

I tell ya, the Clearance Center is spoiling me for regular thrift shops. I never know what I'll find, but I know it'll be cheap.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Most Expensive, Best Fitting Jeans I've Ever Owned

I'm definitely not a fashion plate.

My standard outfit is a pair of jeans and a tee shirt (hopefully a clean one).

I love wearing jeans, but have always had trouble finding any that fit well. I'm one of those curvy women, who's been followed by an ample behind all her life. My favorite uncle used to greet me with, "Hi Cristo, who's that following you?". Not sure why he's my favorite uncle.........but I digress.

After years of searching, I have found the perfect pair of jeans.

I had heard of the Not Your Daughter's Jeans brand, but had dismissed them because of their price. I couldn't see myself paying upwards of $100 for a pair of jeans. The last jeans I bought were from a thrift shop and I paid somewhere around $5 for them.

Funnily enough, my MIL called to ask about the selling price of NYD Jeans here in the states. They are made in the USA and have found their way to England. Now, you have to understand that my MIL has never owned a pair of jeans before. She found the Tummy Tuck Jeans, liked the feel of the fabric (Butter Wash), tried them on and had to buy them. They were marked up considerably from the prices here, but she made the investment and encouraged me to find a pair of my own. (She was here visiting during one of my prior multi-hour shopping searches for jeans. I bought a pair then, that I still haven't worn!)

Well, I had to at least find them and try them on, right?

I'll spare you the details of my shopping trip. Suffice it to say that I owe my MIL a great deal for pointing my in the direction of Tummy Tuck Jeans.

They are true to their claims. They flatten your tummy and lift your bottom, allowing you to wear one size smaller than normal. They don't gap at the back. And they don't stretch out when you wear them.

I am SO in love with my new jeans!! I've even gone to their website, signed up for their "club" and given my testimonial.

You have got to go try a pair for yourself.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Family Game Night

I managed a bit of crafting today, mostly cutting out. I trying to make a few Christmas presents this year and have started on a set of napkins and napkin rings for my SIL. Hopefully they'll be photo ready in a few days.

In the meantime....a few Family Game Night photos.


Such concentration

All that and I still won!!!

(And yes, this technically is my second post for today. I'm on a mission.....if I keep to the plan, something BIG will be happening here on the 17th! Make sure you come back to see what it is.)


Tonight, we took Nathan and one of his friends to see some Monster Trucks in action.

It was a learning experience.

We learned that if you want one of the free toy trucks they're giving away, you have to be there when the gates open.

We learned that you should eat before you go and bring extra bottled drinks. Or be prepared to stand in really l.....o.....n.....g lines.

We learned that the line for the ladies room at these events is generally shorter than the line for the gents. (Yippee!!)

We learned that, after an hour, Nathan loses interest in watching big trucks drive over crushed cars and hills of dirt.


pump 'em full of candy....

and we're good to go!!

Nathan's friend is spending the night, which makes this Nathan's first sleep over. They actually quieted down quickly, considering the large amount of Dr. Pepper that was consumed tonight.

All in all, it's been a great evening.

How was your Saturday night?