Happy Birthday to my Husband: Birthdayman

We have lots of traditions in our house that center around each of our birthdays. My husband’s birthday was yesterday. He always gets a handmade crown from our youngest, gets a special meal, and poses with our girls in the yard. Every. Year. Very simple in his requests.  He used to even lift them both up (you can see past years : 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). And have us call him “Birthdayman” all day.

2006 was the first year he started this, and 2015 was the last year for him to be able to lift our oldest, The Bee. She is now almost 17, and taller than I am, so it is for the best…for all involved. I did not fancy a trip to Urgent care on his Birthday.


That is one strong man.


Such goofs.


He can still lift this one just fine.


We still had all of our regular running around activities to do with our girls, in seperate directions, but I didn’t want his birthday to go uncelebrated. We managed to fit all of his favorite things in and even sing “Happy Birthday”.

I promise to share more sewing/ creating projects this week (if I manage to finish The Bee’s costume before Halloween). Make sure you “like” the Falafel and the Bee  FB page, to catch up on the latest story, in the meantime.

Wish me luck!

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Singer Curtain book review

On our shelves this week, is a book for me!

Singer sewing custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments book review


sewing custom curtains, shades, and top treatments

by Susan Woodcock

affiliate link

I was sent a copy of this book to review (as always my opinions are mine, mine, mine), and I just had to give a project a try! Our kitchen window has been naked for years now, because I just couldn’t decide what to put on it. True story. I really love lots of light, especially being out here in the PNW where light is a hot commodity. I also like privacy. So what to do?

Singer sewing custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments book review

I had purchased this fabric a while ago, with no purpose in mind. When I saw the curtain design in the book, I thought it would be perfect. I had the white piping in my stash (as I always try to have, because you never know when you will need white piping- amIright?).

Singer sewing custom Curtains, Shades, and Top Treatments book review

I never would have thought to add the curve at the bottom, and I love it. It lets in the perfect amount of light. This book has oh so many more designs and ideas in it that can help a beginner to an advanced sewist make some beautiful window treatments. It is a great resource to have in my sewing library.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

Love Notions Spectacular

Welcome to this stop on the Love Notions Spectacular tour!

When Kelly from Handmade Boy asked me to join, I jumped on it. For one reason, Kelly is awesome, but the other reason is I wanted a chance to sew up the li’l LDT pattern for my daughter’s Halloween costume.

Love Notions Spectacular: Kiki's Delvery Service Costume using the Li'l LDT pattern

Since she had her hair cut short, my Falafel has been listing different costumes that she would like to be. Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service (affiliate link) was on top of her list. And really, why wouldn’t she be? We are constantly telling her she looks like she fell out of a Miyasaki film.

Love Notions Spectacular: Kiki's Delvery Service Costume using the Li'l LDT pattern

Although I am new to Love Notions patterns, I took a leap and dove right in. I didn’t even do a muslin! I sewed it up based on her measurements which turned out to be a size 7 and it fits her perfectly. The only changes I made were to raise the neckline up (to look more like Kiki’s dress), and made sleeves 3/4 length. Both things were quick and incredibly easy to do. There are so many options with this pattern! AND it goes up to girls size 16!! That is going to take this petite nut a long way.

Love Notions Spectacular: Kiki's Delvery Service Costume using the Li'l LDT pattern

A friend of mine sent me a whole bunch of this dreamy thick organic black knit awhile ago. It is super soft and has lovely movement. I didn’t even have to hem the sleeves or bottom.

Perfect for flying!

Love Notions Spectacular: Kiki's Delvery Service Costume using the Li'l LDT pattern

That bow was done on the fly (pun intended), without a pattern. I seriously just threw it together, and thankfully it worked! Similar to this bow tie tutorial, only bigger. Like over-the-top bigger. And because the headband is knit, there is no need for hook and loop closures. To make it stand on it’s own, I fused iron-on batting to the red knit fabric.

Love Notions Spectacular: Kiki's Delvery Service Costume using the Li'l LDT pattern

Of course, after I made her this, she decided she wants to be a cat, and wear this one as a regular everyday dress….which (witch-ha!) is fine by me!

Love Notions Spectacular: Kiki's Delvery Service Costume using the Li'l LDT pattern

Thank you so much for including me on tour!

Now for some fun! If you hop on over to the Love Notions blog every day this week, you will find a different game to play for a chance to win some pretty great stuff. This is what is going on today.


Love Notions would like to thank all of the amazing bloggers on the tour. Please be sure to stop by and see what awesomeness was created! And don’t forget to check out the guest bloggers participating each day on the Love Notions Blog!


Simple Tool Wrap Case

It is that time again. Time for my husband to carve a giant pumpkin (to see past pumpkins click here)! For those of you who don’t know, every year my husband gets to carve a 300+ pound pumpkin for work. Usually, in the past, he has used only his knife. This year, he is stepping it up a notch, and bought some carving tools. Of course he needed a case for them, so I whipped him up this simple tool wrap case.

Quick and Easy: Simple Tool Wrap case

I had a bunch of this vegan leather left over from the boots I made myself (you can see the results of that first endeavor here). I thought the thickness and the fact that I didn’t need to hem it really fit this project well.

Quick and Easy: Simple Tool Wrap case

I just used a straight stitch to make channels (2″ apart) for each of the tools. I cut a super slim strip of the faux leather to make the ties, and inserted it into the side seam. And then I trimmed the flap.

Quick and Easy: Simple Tool Wrap case

Seriously THAT easy.

Quick and Easy: Simple Tool Wrap case

If you can sew a straight line, then you can make one!


These are wood carving tools, but it would be great for any sharp tools you would like to tote around. Sculpting, painting, drawing, etc!

  Quick and Easy: Simple Tool Wrap case

What have YOU made today?

Shibori Table Runner

Last week I took my Bee to the Asian Art museum to see the Indigo exhibit.

Indigo exhibit

This child’s kimono was on display and just swept me and my imagination away

We were so inspired by the sashiko and the shibori that I decided to give it a try and make my own shibori table runner.

shibori table runner

Instead of cassava paste like they used, I used glue (like I did for this project) for my paint resist to draw the bunny and grass and moon.

shibori table runner

I backed it with this beautiful embroidered piece of cotton that I have had in my stash forever.

shibori table runner

Instead of Indigo dye, I used acrylic paint. I love the way it came out.

 It was raining when I took these photos, so this is best I got. The bright side, is the storm we were expecting, passed us by with minimal damage. I am looking forward to getting better photos this week, as well as starting on The Bee’s Halloween costume!

What are you working on this week?

20 things to do with school-aged kids in a blackout

With the start of “storm season” here in the Pacific Northwest, we often lose power due to high winds. I thought I would make a handy-dandy printable list before it happened, to help when it inevitably does.

20 activities to do with your school- aged kids in blackout

20 things to do with school-aged kids in a blackout

First, please make sure all your basic needs are met, and you are in a safe place. Food, water, and warmth are essential in a autumn/winter storm. This list is all about having things to do, unplugged. Once all the batteries have drained from the electronics, then what do you do with your kids/ teens?


  1. Read Books: Remember those? You can each read individually, or take this opportunity to read together aloud as a family. When was the last time you read to your teenager? Give it a try! You may be surprised.
  2. Tell Stories: We have a woodstove that we light when the power goes off. We gather around the warmth, and tell each other stories. Make them up, make up prompts, make it a game. Start a story, then have someone else finish it. Tell stories from your childhood. Tell stories from their childhood. See who can make up the most outrageous story. Really your imagination is the limit.
  3. Board Games/ Card Games: Break out those old board games and play them as a family. We are so busy running around daily, that we rarely get the chance to play. Blackouts are a perfect time to sit down with a warm drink, and get to having some fun. This is one of our favorites.
  4. Shadow Puppets :  Take those flashlights and put them to good use! Get a sheet out or a blank wall, and have someone put on a shadow show. You can get creative with paper puppets, or just use your hands.
  5. Draw: Grab a pencil and paper, and create. You can even draw while someone reads a story aloud, or while you are telling stories.
  6. Beading:  Cathartic and easy while keeping those hands busy. You can even get started on making Holiday gifts.
  7.  Knitting/ Crochetting: Got needles or hooks and some yarn? If you know how to, this is a great activity to do while sitting together. And it is the perfect opportunity to teach someone how.
  8. Play Music: Anyone play an instrument? Or sing? As Pa Ingalls used to, play them a song. There is nothing like music to soothe the savage beast kid.
  9. Handsewing: Get out a needle and thread. You can hem clothes that have been sitting in your mending pile, or start a new project. We recently went to see the Indigo art exhibit, where the art of Japanese Sashiko sewing was displayed. Even my husband is hooked!
  10. Paint: Assuming you have water available (we usually are limited because we are on a well), this is a great option. Last blackout we had, I got out the paints and some large rocks we collected, and we painted rocks! Thankfully, with older kids, this isn’t as messy as it is with littles.
  11. Paint your nails: We get out our piggy paint, and dress up our piggies. Let your kids paint your nails. Mine love it.
  12. Get your do did: Braiding, styling, and just brushing. This is a lot of fun for our tween who likes to brush my hair. Try out new things. It’s dark, so no one will see how *ahem* unconventional your hair looks, anyway.
  13. Snuggle up and sit in silence: Embrace the quiet! Get a large blanket and just sit together. When do we ever get to do just that?
  14. Charades: This is one of those games that requires so little. Just you and your imagination. It has the potential to get very silly.
  15. Write:  A letter, A story, A song. Just write. See where it takes you.
  16. Practice Tying knots: I know you must be thinking “what the heck?” with this one, but seriously. There are books about tying all sorts of knots (like this one), and it is a great  (and practical) way to keep those hands moving.
  17. Look through Old Photos: Assuming you have printed photos, this can be a lot of fun to do with your kids. Go through old albums, and take a visual walk down memory lane with them.
  18. Coloring: Even adults like to color! All you need are crayons or colored pencils. Print out some coloring sheets ahead of time (or buy a book), and keep with your emergency supplies. You will be thankful you did.
  19. Origami: The art of folding paper is a perfect activity for when the lights go out. Create a whole menagerie or maybe 1000 cranes for good luck.
  20. (ironically)20 Questions: You can even make them themed. We often play “20 Questions Animals” or “20 Questions Cities”.

 Grab your FREE PDF printable list here.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and then buy, I earn a few pennies, from the company, too. All opinions are mine mine mine.


What do YOU do with your kids when the power is out?

Welcome to the Twig and Tale Blog tour

Welcome if you are coming over from the new (formerly known as Big Little) Twig + Tale site! And welcome back to all those who have been here before!


I am in love with this name. I think it perfectly represents the fairytale kind of magic that these patterns have the potential for.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

I had the pleasure of sewing up a Wild Things cape for my cat-loving girl.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

Using fur for the outer, and two different beautiful Art Gallery fabrics for the lining, it is one cozy cape.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

My Falafel chose Cheshire feathers pastry fabric by Wonderland for the main lining, and her reasoning was that cats would eat birds, so the feathers would be in the belly. I just thought it was pretty with the soft colors and metallic flecks, not to mention that feathers are one of my favorite things. Really it is a win/win. She gets to pretend she has a belly full of birds, and I get to look at something lovely.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

I chose this pale pink fabric called Rosewater Tears by Wonderland for the ears and lining the hood. The color picks up the same color in the feather fabric, to tie it all together.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

The only change I made to the pattern (albeit a weird one) was the tail placement. I sewed it in the middle of the cape as per the request of my persnickety 10 year old. I really wanted her to get lots of wear out of this, so I encouraged any input she had. She is never short on opinions, this one.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

And you know what? She has worn it every day since I photographed it, and has asked to wear it for Halloween. I call that a raging success!

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

The things I appreciate about this pattern are all in the unique details.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

I had never made button loops the way this pattern suggests before, and have vowed to never do it another way. They came out so proffessional looking and neat. AND they hold the cape closed incredibly well. No gaps, or movement.

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

The pocket detail was the other thing that struck me as uncommon and special. Look at those tiny claws peeking out. Such a fun addition. I made mine out of cotton, and lined them, so they would hold up to many washings (which I know this will get because my girl plays hard).

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

What if you child doesn’t like cats? No problem. Animals included are: Fox, Unicorn, Lion, Bear, Bunny, Dino, Mouse, Giraffe, Zebra, Horse, Donkey, Ladybird, Panda and Puppy.  AND by modifying the pattern pieces you can make almost any animal you can think of!

Twig+Tale blog tour : Wild Things Cape Pattern

Big thank you to Twig + Tale for having me as part of the tour, and to Art Gallery Fabrics for providing the fabulous fabric to do so.

But that isn’t all….

What would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway?!

Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.
International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.
Enter using the rafflecopter below.
(The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND as a bonus, there is something FREE for you, if you already have the Wild Things cape pattern:

Click Here to Download Free Wild Things Dragon Add-on

Be sure to check out the bloggers on this tour!

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: an old favorite

I know I have recommended this book before because it is one of my all time favorite picture books, ever. The Bee put it on hold from the library because she was thinking about it, and I have to say that I love that my 16 year old thinks about picture books…especially this old favorite.

An old favorite: The Quilt Maker's Gift book review

The Quilt Maker’s Gift

*affiliate link*

by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken

Not only do I adore this story of a generous quilt maker who only makes them for the poor and homeless, and when asked to make one by a greedy king,  gives him a condition that ends up being the greatest gift of all, BUT I LOVE the illustrations. Seriously LOVE. I remember when I first read this book to my girls, years ago, it inspired me to actually try to quilt. I made a few, always with this amazing book in the back of my head, cheering me on, and influencing my daydreams in brilliant colors of the rainbow. What’s more is it also inspried generosity, and in those years, I ended up donating quite a few of my quilts to charity.

I call that a pretty powerful children’s story.

What is on YOUR shelves?

DIY wooden buttons

About six years ago, I made my first DIY wooden buttons. It was rough and far from perfect and I forgot all about it, that is until this week, when I was reminded of this fun endeavor by a post over at the new Twig + Tale.

DIY wooden buttons

It was one of those projects that got stuck in my head, and would not leave until I actually completed it.

DIY wooden buttons

So yesterday, I went out to our shed, and found a dry branch (doesn’t everyone have dried branches in their sheds??!) and sliced it up with my single bevel compound miter saw. The branch I had was fairly large in diameter (approx. 3″), so these are giant buttons, which make them even more fun.

DIY wooden buttons

I drilled a couple of holes in each.

DIY wooden buttons

Then I sanded the heck out of them. This is the part that took the longest out of the whole process.

  DIY wooden buttons

After they were silky smooth, I rubbed some beeswax into them. This is the first time I used any kind of wax to finish wood. Not sure if I like the tacky finish, opposed to the smooth one of the varnish I usually use. I am hoping the beeswax will be absorbed enough so that the surface will dry a little more.

DIY wooden buttons

Aaaaand done.

DIY wooden buttons

Overall, a quick and satisfying project. I was thinking these would make such a great gift for someone who sews! Picture them wrapped up with some embroidery floss, and a huge embroidery needle (like the one in the photo above). Super cute.

DIY wooden buttons

Have you made buttons before? How do you finish them?