Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2013-1 Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!

     With Love,

The Kain Family

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sweater to Slipper Refashion

It seems that most of my projects these days are necessity projects. Today’s project is no exception.

Yesterday I debuted our new space (sewing space for Mama, and play space for the boys). Since our new space is in the basement, the floors tend to be cold (a bonus in the summer, but gives you shivers during a Michigan winter). Another problem with the floors….when in a sewing frenzy, Mama tends to drop pins. I’m getting better, but I still do not to risk one of my little guys stepping on one.

I had a solution.


Toddler Slippers Refashioned from SweaterMy husband had chucked a wool sweater into the donate box. I quickly pulled it out knowing I could do something with it, it was wool. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture because I cut into the sweater pre-blogging days.

Sweater Refashioned to SlippersI used this tutorial and template from Leafy Treetop Spot. The slippers in the tutorial are made with fleece. I have plenty of fleece, but I was envisioning something warmer and a little bit sturdier.

The outside upper slipper, and inside sole are cut from the felted sweater.

Slippers From Sweater and Blue JeansThe bottoms are made from Blue Jean Buttercup leftovers.

Sweater to SlippersI used some red fleece left from the boys’ Halloween costume to line the slipper uppers. The Velcro is also from my stash (which is why it doesn’t match).

Slippers from Wool Sweater

I made size 10/11. They are quite big on the boys right now, but they’ll grow into them. The tutorial is very easy to follow, and would make wonderful last minute Christmas gifts.

Do you dive for wool sweaters? If so, what are your favorite wool projects? That sweater barely touched the donation pile before I snagged it up. It seems like wool sweaters are a little harder to thrift these days.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My New Haven

Things have been productive around here. Well, maybe not whole house productive, but craft/sewing space productive.

It all started when I posted my 4 Simple Goals. Remember the state of the basement and my sewing space? Hmm, well take a moment and click back to that post because I am too embarrassed to post those pictures twice.

Sadly, it took me less than an hour to get both spaces back in tip-top shape. (And for the record, I am not talking about shoving everything to the side so I could take a blog picture. I mean everything in its place and a place for everything!)

A couple shots of the clean basement:

Clean Basement.1

Why yes, there are a few more appliances. We were given a “new to us” refrigerator and dryer. The old fridge is for our overflow, and hubby plans on fixing the dryer.

Clean Basement 2

Spacious enough for some toddler exercise! After cleaning the basement, I brought in the boys’ tricycles. Now they love doing laundry!

Lets check out my space. Drum roll please…. (just kidding, please don’t expect anything spectacular.)

Clean Sewing Space

Now before you scoff at my pride and joy, I fully understand that this is not anything to share with Martha (as in Stewart), pin to Pinterest under great spaces, or post to BHG fan page. But this is what I have to work with, and it works wonderfully for me.

Want to see my favorite part?

Let me give you a little back story first: Hubby came down and looked at our newly clean basement. He was impressed. Yet, he was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to use my space often, you know since I am the Mama of two and a half year old twin boys. Who.Destroy.Everything.

So he took action.

Boy's Corner in Sewing Space

We had an old television in the basement that just got shoved from corner to corner. It had not been turned on in at least ten years, and I may have occasionally begged my husband to take it out with the garbage.

Boy am I glad he didn’t take it to the road! He set up the television and a DVD player in the corner opposite my sewing table. I brought the art easel down, and a basket of toys. The boys can watch a movie, play, or create while Mama sews them up a new wardrobe. Win-win!

Including the Boys in Mama's Sewing Space

The chair was a more recent addition. We had to move it to put up the Christmas tree,and if the boys have anything to say about it; the chair is staying!

What challenges did/do you face with toddlers? I personally love this stage so much, all of the learning and imagination these little guys display. But sometimes it seems impossible to get anything done. This stage really helps us to stretch our parental creativity (like including a space for them in my space.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

31 by 31 Update, Halfway There!

This semester is coming to an end. I have to take the final exam on Monday, and then I get a bit of a reprieve. My 31 by 31 goals have been set on the backburner during this semester, so I thought it might be a good time to update them and make plans to bump a few out while on break. I only have six months left….

*For those of you perplexed right now, my 31 by 31 list is a list of things I would like to do before my thirty-first birthday. Nothing earth shattering, just a little list of fun things to accomplish.


1. Paint, and decorate dining room. *I think I am focusing on the office and eat-in part of the kitchen this year. I picked out colors, and bought paint already.
2. Build a display shelf for hubby’s decoys. *Have some ideas.
3. Finish piano project.
4. Build a piece of furniture.
5. Plant garden. Can/preserve. *Garden is planted and looking great! I picked and froze berries in July. Made some refrigerator pickles. Froze zucchini and peppers. My father-in-law canned tomatoes for us.
6. Put together 31 meal binder.
7. Potty train boys. *What a job! 8. Go on a family vacation. *Not going to happen this summer, possibly during Christmas or spring break.
9. Make a new chore chart. *Been using last year’s, need to complete new one!
10. Mail Christmas cards. *Um, not going to happen this year.
11. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. *Not this year.
12. Have 12 date nights (at least one a month). *We did good up until September. We need a date night desperately!
13. Go on a mini-vacation with hubby.
14. Go to a Tiger game.
15. Read 12 books. *I have been reading, need to document my reads.
16. Start nursing clinical. *One more test, and first semester is done!
17. Get a 100 bowling average. (Don’t laugh! I have been working on this for five years now.) *My average has been over 100 for the last two months! (It has been dropping the last few weeks though.)
18. Whittle down debt. *Just paid off small credit card last week. Technically this isn’t whittling down debt though, because of the student loans we are accumulating.
19. C.N.A Recertification, start working part time.
20. Sell crafts (somehow; etsy/farmer’s market/craft fair). *Opened Theresa’s To-Dos on etsy in August. Need to spend some time in shop.  I also have been selling crocheted hats via word of mouth.
21. Clean out and organize garage.
22. Find a system for paper. Tackle paper clutter. *Seriously, I think I am going to go shred happy pretty soon!
23. Go through cookbooks.
24. Organize photos.
25. Work on blog organization.
26. Sew everyday for 31 days, only using stash.
27. Crochet a hat a day for 31 days. *I tried this one in August, and only made it halfway through (that was the same month we potty trained the boys).
28. Make a quilt.
29. Work on one photography skill a month. *I totally forgot about this goal. I had better make myself a list…
30. Complete 31 pins. *So, I have been trying some of the projects/recipes I have pinned, just haven’t taken pictures or blogged about them. I’ll catch up, its not like I have a shortage of pins or anything.
31. Do 31 refashions. *12 done, 19 to go. I have quite a few ideas. (Some started already!)

Whew! I’m exhausted just reading this list. This month I am going to print my list so I have a visual to keep me focused.

Do you have any grand plans and to-dos? We are heading into the new year, the time for resolutions.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Few Completed Christmas Gifts

Is it already a week into December? My, how time flies when you are drowning in schoolwork. There is less than two weeks left in this semester, then life around here may go back to normal for a few weeks.

One of my 31 by 31 goals was to have Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. That didn’t happen. I know a lot of people love shopping this time of year, but I despise it. I hate the crowds, the disgruntled store employees (no they are not all disgruntled, but it seems there is at least one), the rude shoppers, all of it. I would just rather stay out of the stores this time of year.

So instead of facing the holiday crowds, I have been busy trying to sneak in a few moments here and there making a few Christmas gifts. I thought I should share them with you guys, since they are all quick and easy this year.

Today is the crochet segment.

I highly recommend the Crochet Hipster Hat by Lorene of Cre8tion Crochet. This hat is a super cute and equally fast project. (I made two hats last night!)

Crochet Hipster Hat

I made the first one exactly as the pattern is written, bow and all. I used Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in Oatmeal, and a size I hook. I love that the stitch looks detailed, yet is so simple once you get the hang of it.

Crochet Hipster With Brim

This second hat is a request from my step-daughter….made last May. Oops! At least now I have a handmade Christmas gift for her. ;)

She had requested an orange hat with a brim. We went to a few different stores looking for yarn, and she choose Lily Sugar’n’Cream cotton in Hot Orange. Let me tell you, this stuff is magic for dishcloths. Horrendous for hats. I had crocheted and frogged three different hats from three different patterns before finding success.

This hat is also a Crocheted Hipster hat, with a twist.

I used a size J hook, and worked the pattern through the eighth row. Then I crocheted the brim from Lorene’s Newsboy Slouch pattern. *For more info, see my project page on Ravelry, or leave a comment below.

crocheted teal earwarmer with flower

Next up is from Frayed Knot Crochet Patterns, Easiest Head Wrap EVER!!!

If you haven’t noticed, I am all about easy this year. And this pattern did not disappoint. I used Red Heart Soft yarn in Turquoise, and a size H hook.

The neighbor girls have been hinting about ear warmers, so I know I will be making a few more of these before Christmas.

What handmade gifts are you making this year? Please share any links! I will do all I can to avoid the Christmas crowds.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Four Simple Tasks by 2014

I have decided to join the end of the year goal-setting bandwagon….not that I need to put more on my plate.

The idea comes from the girls at A Beautiful Mess.

The rules are pretty easy; choose four simple goals to reach by 2014. These goals need to be positive, activity-oriented goals that will make your life richer.

Now, I’m going to admit…I tend to be a rule breaker. My goals are not going to infuse a joyful spirit deep within my soul. But they are simple goals, things I have been putting off for too long, and will enrich our lives (somewhat).

Here they are (with horrendous before pictures to boot!):


1. Clean the basement. This picture is embarrassing. And if I’m being all honest here; I had taken care of four baskets of clean clothes before taking this photo. Sadly, this room in the basement had become a dumping ground.

My goal is to clean it up. I think the boys would love to ride their tricycles around in here this winter. This would mean that Mama can spend a little time in her sewing room, which is right through that door…..

Sewing Room
                              What the???

2. Get my sewing/crafting space back in shape. I am so lucky to have all of this space, I need to pick it up so I can use it.

*This room isn’t always like this. Lately I have had to sew while the boys are awake, which means on the kitchen table. So I would have to run downstairs, find my material(s), run back upstairs, realize I needed to iron, run downstairs, you get the picture.

3. Winterize the windows. (Sorry, no photo.) Winters in Michigan are cold, especially when you live off of the bay. The windows in this house are old. To save a little money and keep the house draft free I try to put plastic up on the windows. Its that time…

Boys' Chothes

4. Switch over the boys’ clothes. This is pretty simple. The boys have grown too tall for their pants. It is time to switch out the summer clothes, and move the next size in. (I started already, the pile above is the pile that needs a home in their dresser.)

Like I said, not exactly following the rules. But will benefit the family nonetheless.

Do you have any end-of-the-year goals?

Friday, November 1, 2013

DIY Thing 1 and Thing 2 Costumes

Lately I have been feeling spread thin. There have been so many demands, but not enough me. It is so weird to hear myself complain about this, in my younger days I strived on being busy all the time.

Now, as a thirty year old wife and mama I long for a slower pace.

Enough whining.

Growing up, my mom always made our Halloween costumes. (She did a pretty darn good job, too.) She was amazing, we would tell her what we wanted to be, and she would fabricate the perfect costume. (You should see the Ninja Turtle costume she made for my brother, AMAZING!)

Making my kids’ costumes is something I also look forward to every year (even if some years they are simple).

This year the holiday sort of crept up on me. I have been busy with school and other areas of life, I just forgot how close the holiday was. Sunday night I had a mini-breakdown, “I am a horrible mother…I don’t even know what my kids are going to be for Halloween…”

The hubby suggested going to the store and buying a costume. GASP! Can you believe it! What was that man thinking?

DIY Thing 1 Costume DIY Thing 2 Costume

Monday I stopped at Wal-Mart on my way home from school. I had to figure a costume out now! (Thinking about it, I bet my family would have appreciated it if I had also figured something out for dinner.)

I found a pattern (I have looked and looked, I cannot find a link to this pattern anywhere) Simplicity Sew Simple 0892 ($0.97). It is actually a bear costume, I just omitted the hood, bow, and footies.

I grabbed three yards of red fleece (at 2.97/yard), two blue hats ($0.87 each) four skeins of blue yarn ($2.97 each) and two pair of red gloves ($0.87 each). I had the notions in my stash. For about $25 this is what I came up with:

Halloween 2013 Thing 1 and Thing 2

I used this tutorial as inspiration for the wig. My sewing machine was not very fond of this method. Instead I looped and stitched (by hand). So sorry I didn’t take pictures along the way, maybe in the future…

I downloaded the logos from here. I printed them on printable fabric (because I had it in my stash), and sewed them on.

I am so glad I decided to use fleece. It was a cold and rainy night for trick-or-treating. The fleece helped keep my little guys dry.

This year was so fun watching the boys figure out Halloween. They were very polite saying, “Trick or treat,” “Thank you,” and “Happy Halloween costume.” Yup, you read that right. Happy Halloween costume, we may need to work on that one…

Happy Halloween

Anyways, so sorry for being MIA lately. (I still cannot promise regularity.) I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I’m Still Here…

I'm Still Here...

Hi folks! Its Theresa checking in. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words on my “I need a break” post!

I wasn’t intending on being away for well over a month. But I am glad I took some time.

On that particular day (August 21), we were well into potty training. The boys were doing pretty good actually, peeing in the potty the majority of the time. Number 2 was a different story.

I had been putting them in their room for “quiet time” (because they decided that naps aren’t ‘cool’). I had put a pull-up on the boys, tucked them in, and closed the door. I took a shower (because on this particular day the boys also decided to wake up two hours earlier than normal).

When I stepped out of the shower I heard laughing, giggling, and “POO-POO! POO-POO! POO-POO!”

Upon hearing chants of POO-POO, I dressed as quickly as possible, and ran into their room.

Standing there were my two angelic boys. Proud faces.

Pant-less. No pull-ups. Bare bottom except for chocolate like smears coating their chubby legs. (I’m so sorry. I didn’t react the way a blogger would, I didn’t take a picture.) Winking smile

Yup. First they had decided to pull every piece of clothing from their dresser. In the meantime they pooped. Then took off their poopy pull-ups. And smeared fecal matter EVERYWHERE.

Take a few days like this (not the same, but similar) + our upcoming life changes (mama being away from home) x fear of ‘how the heck are we going to do this’ = one stressed Mama that needed a break.

Anyways, I am happy to say we are adjusting fairly well. The boys prefer to use the potty (inside, outside is a whole ‘nother story). School is going great. And the hubby has been tremendous, helping with housework, dinners, and giving Mama an empty house to study in.

As you can see, most of our life is settling into place. There is one aspect of my life that is lacking. My sewing machine has been neglected, as well as any other creative hobby I enjoy. I want to need to reconnect with my creative outlets. I’m just not sure how to fit it in. Do I stay up late or get up earlier? Do I set a timer? Write it on a schedule? Wait until an empty slot of time opens up? HELP!

What are your tips, tricks, or methods for fitting your creative outlet into a busy schedule? Please share your secrets!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Need a Little Break

Things are busy again. Life is about to become even busier.

The last couple of weeks have drained me. The boys not taking naps and potty training have wiped me out. On top of these parenting changes I have been trying to get everything ready for school.

My creative outlet has suffered immensely. I have learned that I have to/want to/need to create.

While I love writing here and interacting with you all, I feel like lately I have just been posting crap for the sake of posting.

I have decided that we would all benefit from a little break. I plan to re-bond with my sewing machine, spend time with my family, and get acclimated to my new workload.

I won’t be gone forever. I may even pop in sooner than planned. My goal is to recharge.

Thank you so much for understanding. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mama Carries Lunch In Style

Something glorious happened today. Right now, as we speak I write.
I would climb our rooftop and sing praises to the heavens, if I wasn’t afraid of violating the peace. (One thing this mama should never do in public is sing!)

So what is all this celebration for?

My sweet little boys are taking a nap! (They are sweet right now, because they are sleeping.) They haven’t napped in over a week. This mama was getting tired.

Anyways, wish me luck that they are back into the groove. In the meantime, I have some hats to catch up on. So to hold you over, I wanted to share a sewing project I finished last month.

Mama’s Lunch Tote

Back to School, Mama's Lunch Tote

As you know, I start school soon. Buying lunch is out of the question. Not only does our budget love when we take our lunch, so does my waistline and energy level.

The fabric, a corduroy, is from my stash, and has been in my stash for at least seven years. Oops. The lining is made from a vinyl tablecloth (bought on clearance from Target last summer). The Insul-Bright is also from my stash. I bought a zipper and webbing for the handles.

Bright Stripes Inside Mama's Lunch Tote
Isn’t it so bright and cheery in there?

I used this tutorial from Zaaberry. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. It would be really easy to change the dimensions to fit your needs.

Back to School, Lunch Tote

I have been using this tote daily for over a month, and it is holding up great. I absolutely love how much this tote can carry. I easily fit four Sippy cups, a sandwich, applesauce, and a couple of ice packs.

I do need to make a couple more lunch bags this month, so stay tuned.

Are you doing any back to school crafting? Lunch bags are my top concern right now. Having a child with a food allergy means that I have to pack the boys’ lunch every morning too. (It gives me a good excuse to try out some other tutorials I have pinned.)

Sharing here:
Whatever Goes Wednesday

Monday, August 12, 2013

31 by 31 Three Month Update



It is that time again, another month closer to thirty-one.

The last couple weeks have been crazy. Our routine is out of order, and looks like it will never be the same again. The boys still aren’t napping. We just started trying to potty train. I have many final details to work out before school starts. And the list continues.

Anyways, here is a 31 by 31 update:

1. Paint, and decorate dining room. *I think I am focusing on the office and eat-in part of the kitchen this year. I picked out colors, and bought paint already.
2. Build a display shelf for hubby’s decoys. *Have some ideas.
3. Finish piano project.
4. Build a piece of furniture.
5. Plant garden. Can/preserve. *Garden is planted and looking great! I picked and froze berries in July. The zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers are in full swing. Made some refrigerator pickles.
6. Put together 31 meal binder.
7. Potty train boys. *Oh my gosh…we started this last week…what a job!
8. Go on a family vacation. *Not going to happen this summer, possibly during Christmas or spring break.
9. Make a new chore chart. *Been using last year’s, need to complete new one now!
10. Mail Christmas cards.
11. Have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. *I just realized I only have three months!
12. Have 12 date nights (at least one a month). *June we went to see a friend’s band play. July we picked blackberries in the rain, and are had a golf date tonight (I golf almost as good as a bowl…). August- went to local beer tent after hubby’s softball tournament, and we were so graciously surprised with an awesome gift- a babysitter and gift certificate for dinner tonight!
13. Go on a mini-vacation with hubby.
14. Go to a Tiger game.
15. Read 12 books. *I have been reading, need to document my reads.
16. Start nursing clinicals. *Start in less than three weeks!
17. Get a 100 bowling average. (Don’t laugh! I have been working on this for five years now. This IS my year!) Winking smile
18. Whittle down debt.
19. C.N.A Recertification, start working part time.
20. Sell crafts (somehow; etsy/farmer’s market/craft fair). *Opened Theresa’s To-Dos on etsy at beginning of this month. Need to spend some time in shop.  I also have been selling crocheted hats via word of mouth.
21. Clean out and organize garage.
22. Find a system for paper. Tackle paper clutter.
23. Go through cookbooks.
24. Organize photos.
25. Work on blog organization.
26. Sew everyday for 31 days, only using stash.
27. Crochet a hat a day for 31 days. *This is my challenge for August. I am a little behind- but I am giving myself grace.
28. Make a quilt.
29. Work on one photography skill a month. *I have some catching up to do!
30. Complete 31 pins. *Started planning…So many pins, not enough time.
31. Do 31 refashions. *11 done, 20 to go

Your turn, are you working on anything special, big or small? I love reading/hearing about your latest projects! This last week has been so trying. The lack of ‘me’ time due to vanishing naptime syndrome combined with potty training twin (boys!) has got me worn down.

*Maybe I can  muster up a twin tip for tomorrow….Toilet Nightmares… Winking smile

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Crocheting 31 Hats in 31 Days, Week 1 Update

We have been experiencing naptime refusal around here. There hasn’t been a nap since Saturday. To add to (or contribute to) the nap-less-ness Zeke has learned how to escape his cell crib. His favorite place to escape is right into his brother’s crib. Xander would like a nap.


I know most two year olds are in toddler beds, but we have been prolonging the transition. It is so nice putting the boys down for a nap/bedtime and knowing that they are safe (and the potential for them to get into mischief is greatly reduced). Yet we knew this day would come.

Needless to say, my routine has been out of whack.

Here’s a quick update on my 31 hat project:

Crocheted Detroit Tiger Beanie

I used this pattern from A Crocheted Simplicity. The hat was crocheted with Red Heart Super Saver yarn. *Pattern comes with crochet pattern for Old English D. I choose to use felt like these ones.

The beanie above, and the three below are for customer orders.

31 Crocheted Hats in 31 DaysPink Crocheted Visor Hat

These three are waiting for their “D” appliques. I used this pattern from Posh Patterns. The pink hat, and bottom blue hat is made using Caron Simply Soft, top blue hat is made with Red Heart Super Saver.

31 Hats in 31 Days

This is the Big Girl Bonnet by Karla Rae (free Ravelry download). I used Caron Simply Soft and size G hook. This hat did end up smaller than I had anticipated, but that always happens to me. (I never check my gauge.) This pattern was easy to work up, and is very cute. The pattern was a little confusing while working the brim. I believe this was due to our naptime quandaries. It was clear once I re-read the pattern a few times.

*I am short a couple of hats (five hats in seven days). I had figured this would happen, so I sourced a few patterns for ‘quick’ hats in case I had to play catch up.

Signing off, praying for naptime….

Friday, August 2, 2013

Egg-Free Friday; Muffins, Muffins, and More Muffins

Just when I thought I was done with berries for a little bit, the U-Pick blueberry signs went up. This past month I have been busy picking, cleaning, and freezing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. And now blueberries.

My stepson requested blueberry muffins. Since I am a huge fan, I set out to find a decent good egg-free recipe. I tried a few, but they were just ho-hum.

This morning the sweet little baking angels prodded me to try Google one more time. I stumbled upon Art of Dessert.

This blueberry muffin recipe is mind blowing! I don’t think I have ever tasted muffins this good.

Egg-Free Blueberry Muffins

If you have an abundance of blueberries, you have to make these muffins. *If you don’t have an abundance of blueberries, stock up when they are on sale!

Okay, I’ll stop with the blueberry muffins. Lets talk zucchini.

For those of you with a garden, you know that once the zucchini is ripe its hard to keep up with. We picked our first zucchini less than a week ago. We have ate the lovely vegetable for dinner almost every night for the past week. We have given it away. I have been baking like a fool. (Seriously, I am a fool. It is August!)

Well the boys have voted on their favorite zucchini muffin recipe.

Egg Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Yup, you read that right. Egg free chocolate chip zucchini muffins. (Say that three times fast.) The recipe is adapted from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking, and can be found here. I did make a few adjustments, but I’m sure the muffins would be perfect following the recipe (if you haven’t noticed, I tend to use recipes loosely). I’ll share my adjustments later.

*This recipe made 24 mini muffins, and 12 regular muffins. While I was washing up the dishes, my sneaky boys were pulling muffins off the counter behind me. There were six muffins of each size left by the time I caught on, so I guess this recipe is a keeper!

What are your favorite zucchini recipes? I have a feeling we are going to need all the recipes we can get!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Theresa’s To-Dos Open for Business, and My Newest Challenge

So I finally did it. I have had enough of the self doubt and procrastination.

I finally opened my Etsy shop. It still needs work, and I don’t have everything listed, but I had to put an end to the excuses. If you would like to take a peek, click over here.

Right now I have my personalized bibs/burp cloths and gift card coffee cozies listed:


I hope to list more by the end of this weekend. Realistically, it may not happen until next week. I also have plans to list some crocheted hats.

*If any of my projects here caught your eye, and you would like them listed, please let me know!*

Oh yeah, I was supposed to tell you about my latest crazy challenge. #27 on my 31 by 31 list is to crochet a hat a day for 31 days. I have decided to attempt this challenge in August for three reasons. 1) I had a few more hat orders to complete (and more requests from the family). 2) I start school next month (and a hat a day may not be possible after that). and 3) There is a local craft fair in November that I would like to participate in.

I plan to post my progress weekly, so stay tuned!

Finally, I would like to thank all you guys for keeping me accountable. I love and appreciate your encouragement!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ending Refashion Month with Tanks, a Tote, and a Wristlet

Today is the last day of July Refashion Month. I didn’t finish 31 refashions like I had intended (one of my 31 by 31 goals, but I still have 10 more months). I did manage to whip out a few more projects. Today I want to show you a couple refashions I finished, but haven’t posted yet.

First is two more muscle shirts for my boys.

Boys Muscle Shirt Refashioned From Men's ShirtRefashioning Men's T-Shirt into Boy's Muscle Shirt

These were made from two men’s 2XL t-shirts. I was able to cut two tanks from each shirt. I had completed the first two shirts in June, and mailed them off to Sewing to Rebuild. The other two sat on my sewing table cut out and ready to sew for way too long.

The next one was a super quick project.

Wristlet From Shirt Sleeve Cuffs

The boys’ preppy shorts left me with two sleeve cuffs. (Which had adorable pearl snaps.) I kept looking at the cuffs, trying to decide what to make of them.

I stitched the cuffs together using a wide but short zigzag stitch. Then I covered up the stitching with ribbon. The ribbon also helped the project look a little less masculine (the ribbon has sparkles!). I cut a piece of ribbon for a strap. Then I folded the rectangle into a pouch, tucked in the ribbon, and topstitched along the original seam.

This last project is also one that has been sitting on my sewing table, cut out, for way too long!

Reversible Tote From Repurposed Bed Sheets

I have made so many of these bags. They are made from bed sheets, and can be made in any size.

I use these as my reusable shopping totes, beach bag, overnight bag, and just about anything you can think of bag. These totes are my favorite for three reasons. 1. They hold so much stuff. 2. No need worrying about getting them dirty. Just toss in the washer. 3. They fold (or in my case roll) up super small.

Roll-up Reversible Tote From Repurposed Bed Sheets

*I know it is hard to tell, but the bag rolled up is smaller than a soup can.

Did you participate in Refashion Month? If so, share a link. I would love to see your creations.

Do you have projects that have been sitting in your to-do pile for a long time? Seriously the tote has been cut out and waiting to be sewn for a couple of years. I know the reason this project sat so long (my machine was acting up and I gave up and packed her away for a few months), but I have quite a few other projects that I do not have an excuse for.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Detroit Hat Update, and Weekly To-Dos

Happy Monday folks! We had such a wonderful weekend finishing little projects that have been patiently waiting on our to-do list.
I have two of the six crocheted Detroit Tiger hats finished. (Two more are just waiting to be appliqued.) I thought I’d share those today since 1. They are so stinking cute. and 2. I am so stinking proud of them.
Boy Detroit Hat Detroit Hat (with flower)
I used the Newsboy hat beanie pattern (108) from Posh Patterns on Etsy. These two hats are worked up in Caron Simply Soft. The D is cut from felt, and hand stitched on. The flower is a basic crocheted five petal flower.
The pattern is very clear and easy to understand. The method used to stiffen the brim was new to me, yet still easy to understand (even for a left handed, backwards, non-gauge checking crocheter like myself). Overall, this pattern was worth the investment (and I usually cringe at buying patterns).
Here are a couple more shots:
Crocheted Detroit Tiger Hat with flowerCrochet Detroit Tiger Brimmed Beanie
(I think Zeke may be a bit annoyed that I put a girl hat on his brother.) Winking smile
Okay, lets get to business, my to-dos for this week:
  • Write up a menu for this week.
  • Finish other 4 Detroit hats.
  • Finish gift sets. (I cannot wait to share these!)
  • Use/freeze zucchini.
  • Trim bushes around house.
  • Spread mulch.
  • Tweak Etsy shop policies, and open shop. (figure I should follow my just sew mantra, and tweak things afterwards)
What are you working on this week? As always, I love reading your comments!

Sharing here:
Quartered Heart Crochet

Friday, July 26, 2013

Egg-Free Friday, Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

I haven’t done an egg-free post in a while. I have been in a little bit of a cooking slump lately. Somehow my boys became finicky eaters, and frankly I am tired of throwing food away.

Desperate to get them to eat breakfast (and needing to use up some ripe bananas), I searched for a banana bread recipe. I found a winner!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread adapted from

Egg-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup flour *I used 3/4 whole wheat, and 3/4 all purpose
  • 2 small handfuls of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bread pan.

Combine bananas and butter. Mix in milk and vanilla.

Add in brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Add in flour, mix until just combined. *Don’t over mix, your bread will be rubbery!* Gently mix in chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared bread pan and bake for one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.


I am happy to say, the boys love this bread! I am planning on trying it with zucchini as soon as it is ready to pick.

How do you deal with finicky eaters? If you have any tips, please share! I am at wits end trying to get them to eat good food. They used to be such good eaters, so maybe (hopefully) this is just a stage two year olds go through….