Author Archives: Michelle

Bear in the Square outtakes

When I photograph my girls, I always have tons that don’t make it into the posts (you’re welcome).

Most don’t make the cut for technical reasons (like a hair out of place, or the place I want focused, isn’t). But sometimes there are some fine photos that there just isn’t room for.

So I am sharing some fun ones today with you, that didn’t make the cut, yesterday.








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Sew Many Books: and a Giveaway!

If you are hopping over from Nap-Time Creations, WELCOME!

Today is my turn to share my creation for:

sew many books logo

Sew many books is a series where you sew kids clothing inspired by books!

When I was thinking of books we love, my mind wandered to the early years when our children were small. There were so very many beautiful picture books that we treasured and read over and over and over. And even though our girls are 8 and 14, and we read many many wonderful books now, I couldn’t shake the nostalgia I was feeling for all of those books that came before. The ones that reeled us in to reading in the first place. Our foundation books.


Bear in a Square by Stella Blackstone is one of those books. It is happy and colorful. Everything I have always thought childhood should be.


I was a little hesitant to put my 8 year old in this vibrant outfit, but she LOVES it. It seems to fit her personality rather well. She insists on wearing the pants and tunic together, but she could mix it up (and tone down the circus vibe) by wearing them separately if she wanted. I don’t think that will happen though.


Details: I did a lot of embellishing with this one. The front was made with basic shapes (just like the book). I thought the red outline with the two-triangle collar looked like a little house. The neckline is squared (get it? bear in a SQUARE). I used the Noelle Party Dress as a base (by Peek-a-boo pattern shop) and made my changes.


I added snaps to the back and stripey pieces to the shoulders.


And cut out shapes on the pockets. I used the same method I did for this pouch and this bag. One circle…


and one square.


This past year, I actually made this chair. As you can see, it is embedded in me. Subconsciously, this combination of colors came bubbling to the surface.


I have to tell you, this whole outfit was made using Riley Blake Fabrics (even the polka dotted lining!) that they generously supplied me with. HOW AWESOME IS THAT??!!


If you would like to enter the giveaway, you can do so on the Rafflecopter below!

Thanks so much, Emily, for including me in this series!!

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Webby time of year

And just like that, webs appear EVERYWHERE.


Occasionally, you have the opportunity to see what they are used for.




My husband and I often go for walks in the woods, where you can hear us each exclaim every few feet “Ack. I walked into another web!“.

At least we know they work.

What are YOU seeing today?

Refashioned Adult Jeans into Kid Overalls

My husband wears his jeans until they are scraps. Literally.


So when he handed me these two holey pairs, I knew I wanted to make something for Falafel, but just wasn’t sure there was enough whole material to do so.


Guess what? There was! I had to cut them strategically, and the legs are actually pieced together. I used my favorite overall pattern by Peek-a-boo pattern shop (like these and these).


I had enough to make a pocket on the leg and two on the back.


The only original top-stitching I could save was the side pocket which I made into the bib.



I used some scraps to make bias tape for the leg hems, because the seams were too thick to double up and hem.



I used actual denim top stitching thread for these. I had never used it before, and I really love the effect. There is less of it on each spool, though, so I went through 3 spools making this pair. overallclimbm

These overalls are sturdy for my girl who likes to really play…and pick apples.



What have YOU made today?

On-our-shelves Sunday

This week, Falafel is reading this to me:


The Tale of Despereaux

by Kate DiCamillo

The Bee read this one years ago, but I never have. She has always zoomed through books much faster than I could keep up. When Falafel told me that she chose this to read for homework, I asked if she could read it to me too! I am glad she is. So far, so good.

What have YOU read this week?

Day off

Yesterday, I gave myself permission for something that I do not do often. I allowed myself a day off from blogging.


For a few years now, I have made it a goal to post every single day. And up until now I have been successful. But I had a realization yesterday. Our lives are changing and our girls are growing and everyday is filled with new challenges. Busy has taken on new meaning. And while normally I can take time out to write here in this space, yesterday I knew it would cost me my sanity, and I skipped it.


Falafel has had some minor health challenges lately, one being dehydration (STILL). She is now required to intake 96 oz of liquid a day, and if you saw our girl that is only 46 inches tall, you would be wondering, like we are, how on earth that is possible?? Nevertheless, we have made a chart and she is a few days into it and is doing it. She is so responsive to this method of tracking what she drinks! She checks off 12 glasses during the day, and when she is done she can put a special sticker on that row. It works like a charm. I am hoping she can finally get the hydration her body so desperately needs.


I also have been having issues. One in particular, actually. I have been carrying around this extreme pain in my shoulder for about a month now, and decided that this was the week to address it. I had a few dislocated ribs that were contributing to it, and they have been properly returned to their respective positions. OUCH.

To further add to the mayhem, we had parent night yesterday. I was upset because both parent nights for both kids were on the same night….

Or so I thought.

After picking children up, making food, and taking Falafel to the doctor, I ran home and Jim and I got all ready and rushed out the door to make The Bee’s High school Parent night. I printed out the schedule, had my questions ready, and even put on some lipstick. I was ready to go to High school.

We find parking and walk all the way to the building it was going to be held at.



We walk around for a few minutes thinking we got the place wrong, and then I called The Bee so she could check the website for me. She informed us that it is indeed NEXT WEEK, and politely asked if she could laugh at me now. My husband turned to me and said “Let’s never speak of this again”.

Sheesh. We quickly walk to the car and get back in time to make the OTHER parent night at Falafel’s school.


I have so many balls in the air right now that there are some that are bound to drop every once in a while. So I gave myself that little leniency to take some time to regroup yesterday.

I am glad to be back, although I cannot promise that I will be consistent, because after all, I am human. And I am finally at a place where I can admit that.

What is going on in your world?

And then we went to the Hoh

After our amazing experience at Ruby beach, we decided to show our girls the Hoh Rainforest.


It is full of beauty…and moss, and well, beautiful moss.


And incredible webs.



At one point, I asked the girls what they saw. Falafel looked around and said “Nothing special. It looks exactly like home”.


Well, I guess she has a point. It does look exactly like where we live. Only, we traveled 4 hours to get there. *sigh*


I still think it is lovely.



The Bee was less than thrilled on this trip. You can see the look of “I am humoring you” on her face.






There were moments of joy for our teen.


We walked through to the Hoh river, and it was certainly different from where we live, and incredible to be near.






Overall, it was a trip full of adventure, family-time, and beauty…whether they wanted it or not.

What beauty have you seen today?

Wordless Wednesday: Something for me

::Wordless{ish} Wednesday is when I share a wordless image (or at least I try to make it wordless) with you, and now you can link up your image too! Click on the link below to show off your photo this week::


I sewed up another LBD for myself. This time I used a new pattern (to me) Carrollton Avenue Dress

by Seamingly Smitten. It makes me feel like a movie star.

Now it is YOUR turn! What has inspired you this week?

Ruby Beach

If you read yesterday’s post, then you know that before school began, we traveled out to the Pacific Coast and camped (read here).


The next morning, we woke up at 6:30am, freezing, so we jumped up and packed all our gear in record time. Jim had read on the reader board the night before that there was going to be a Ranger-led hike down to Ruby beach to look at the tide pools. *warning: photo-heavy post!


We drove down the road a few minutes and actually made the talk at 7:30am.


The sun was rising as we walked onto the beach, through the trees.


It was breathtaking.


When we finally pulled our eyes away from that rising orb, we saw that we were standing on beautiful smooth round stones. The Ranger explained to us that they were once, actually, the top of Mount Olympus.


Apparently, the tide going out so far is a rare occurrence. Only about once a month. We were so lucky to get to see all that we did.


There were amazingly beautiful things everywhere we turned.


















Come back tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday….and then I will show you where our trip took us next, on Thursday.

Camping at the Coast

I have been waiting until we were back in the swing of things at school to share our only camping trip this year with you.

We all got in the car and drove about 4 hours to the Pacific coast. The girls have never seen the Pacific Ocean, and we wanted take them there before they are completely grown.

Nevertheless, The Bee (who will be 15 this year) was less than thrilled to be (and I quote) “stuck in the car for 4 hours only to go camping” with us.

And to make things more interesting, when we got to the campsite we were planning on, it was full.

The lovely Rangers directed us to another spot down the road a few miles, and we found a place to pitch our tent there.


It was not very private, and almost all full, but it was just a few steps away from the ocean! Consequently, we were all completely soaked from the constant spray all night (and so was our tent). It also dropped down to 40 degrees or so (we could see our breath) at night and early in the morning. This really shouldn’t surprise us after all the camping we have done out here, but every time it does. No one ever dresses warm enough, and we only have ONE sleeping bag that is ultra warm.


The fog was so thick it was like looking through milk.


This beach was just feet from our tent, though.







The one person who had the most fun, was our Falafel. She was super excited to just be there.

Come back tomorrow for what we did the next morning!