Painted Mandala Stone in the dark


The other night, there was a wind storm that knocked out our power for about 9 hours. I didn’t get the urge to paint until it was dark out (sheesh). So I took out my acrylics, got another big rock, lit a candle, and began.

Definitely trickier to do without bright light, but I think I may be getting better at it. Painting lends itself to meditation much better (for me at least) than sewing. I am constantly problem solving when I sew, which feels good to do, but it isn’t the same as dabbing dots on a stone.

What do you do to quiet your mind and be still?

Cleaning and purging and watching

I took an entire afternoon, this weekend, and cleaned out my sewing closet. I organized and purged until it all was in order.

PicMonkey Collage

Then I listed a few fabrics (like the ones above) on my local Buy Nothing Project group (including a HUGE garbage bag FULL of scraps). My closet was filled with things that I just won’t ever use. Raunchy biker babes? Virgin(s) of Guadalupe? Thankfully they have gone to other people who will put them to good use.

Now there is room for more. That is the whole point, right?

Then I watched the first episode of the second season of The Great British Sewing Bee (on YouTube). I really dislike reality shows, but this one is great. They are all so kind to each other and supportive. It is refreshing with all the informative content and lovely sewing people. You know where to find me for the next few nights, as I binge watch this entire season (and then there is a  whole other season to go!).

What have you done this weekend?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

Today we have a book in a series that we had to wait for because our library didn’t have it:


Unicorns of Balinor #5

by Mary Stanton

Oh my girl is so hooked on this series, but when she got up to the fifth book, the library didn’t have it or the 6th and could not even order them because they were out of print.

So they have something called “Inter library loans” where you can get something from another library around the country, if they have it. The books finally came in! SO much excitement.

What are YOU reading?

We went to the Animal Fair




















We went to the County Fair yesterday! There were animals and archery, food and shows, rides and games, vegetables and exhibitions.

By far, the best thing I saw was in a bathroom.

It was that sign above. “Beautiful Definition: A person who is reading this.” And underneath, a very helpful someone corrected it “The person reading this“. I think that should have won a ribbon.

Have you been to the Fair?

Mandala Ocean Stone

While we were at the coast, we found these huge, beautiful, round, smooth, flat, stones.

They reminded me of something I saw a while ago, that I have wanted to try out. These incredible Mandala Stones by Elspeth McLean. If you haven’t seen them, you must. Go and check them out. She is incredible.

I wanted to make my own with one of the stones I found.

This is my very first attempt.


Not perfect by any means, and I am feeling my way through the process. I have some things figured out for the next one.


And Falafel brought back this largest long (about 10 inches long!) rock to paint.


She came up with this idea all on her own, and painted it all by herself. She loves her new baby.


I just coated them with some clear varnish, after they were dry, and called it good.

I will be trying this again, as soon as I find some more round rocks! It was a great meditative process, that forced me to be still…which, honestly, I could use more of.

What have YOU tried today?

Coasting it

Over this past weekend, we still didn’t have our running water back, so we decided this was a good time to go somewhere there was a different type of running water.


The Pacific Ocean.


*Brace yourselves for a ton of photos as I am  trying to hold on to the Summer a little longer*


Our oldest really does not like camping. At all. In fact, last year, after our annual camping trip, I told her that she didn’t have to come with us anymore. Really, she complained about it the whole time, so I figured she would be happier staying with a friend.


This year I honored my word, and she stayed with her friend and her lovely gracious family. And had a blast.


On the contrary, our youngest LOVES camping. She has wanted someone to teach her how to fish since she was 2. She still hadn’t. So this was our opportunity.


We took our Falafel and headed out, for the first time ever, to camp at the coast with just the three of us.


We got there and the wind was intense. It was blowing so hard that we had a lot of trouble setting our tent up. It took us about an hour and we finally had that sucker weighted down with every large rock we could find.


There was a burn ban in effect because of all of the devastating wildfires that are raging throughout our state. That AND the drought which has caused said wildfires. What this meant for us was no campfire. Which was fine. I really didn’t even miss it.


There were a few people that didn’t think this rule applied to them, and they lit one anyway. It really made a difference in air quality! We instantly started to choke and felt the effects of those seemingly small fires. Luckily, they didn’t stay lit for long.


Do you know another downside to a drought? THERE WAS A FISHING BAN TOO. *sigh*


Ironically, that night, our tent got soaked.


Not quite sure if it was rain or spray (most likely the latter since there is a drought). But all of our gear and bedding was soaked. Falafel’s hair was wet since she was sleeping under one of the drips, and her mattress completely deflated.


We had planned (and payed) for camping two nights. The girl still wanted to stay another night. My husband and I did not.


With all of our clothing and bedding wet, one mattress deflated, the other not fully inflated, and having spent a 46 degree night sore and cold, we just simply did not have it in us.


We stayed the day on the beach and ate smoked salmon (which was a first and a highlight for her).


Then headed to Marymere Falls for a hike after being in the car for quite some time.


It was nice to give our 9 year old all of our attention. That doesn’t happen a lot. I also know that our oldest is only going to be in High school 3 more years, so this may become the new norm.


I feel like time is passing so quickly, and even though we really didn’t need to go to yet another place we couldn’t take showers; we did need to.


I do always feel refreshed in some way. Dirty? Yes. Tired? Yes. But definitely renewed in my soul. And the best part was seeing her absolutely ecstatic the entire time.


It was really dry and slippery on the trails and the water levels were noticeably low at the falls.


It was still beautiful but also made me sad to see this area so depleted.


We made dinner at a little picnic site there and got back on the road.


When we arrived home, the well was being fixed.


Our beds never feel as good as when we get home from camping.


My husband found a place (right near our home) that there wasn’t a ban, and finally took her fishing. Now that is ALL she wants to do..and she didn’t even catch a fish.


School is beginning next week. I am so grateful for having taken this time to be out with our soon-to-be Fourth grader in the wilds.

How are you spending the last few days of Summer?

Not Just a Sunsuit Tour and a Giveaway!


The lovely, Ajaire, of Call Ajaire invited me to be a part of her paneled Sunsuit tour, and of course I said I would! PLUS, the whole point of the tour is to show you how you can adapt this pattern and make it wearable in the Fall and Winter (which is coming rapidly), and you know how I love a challenge!

Honestly, I didn’t have to do much to it. AND what’s more, I made TWO.


First, let me tell you, this is a hefty pattern. There are multiple views to make. Everything from pants, to maxi skirt, to sunsuits! You get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.


I chose to do the paneled sunsuit view for a few reasons. One is that my youngest LOVES overalls and these really fit that bill nicely. The second reason is they are great for doing this:


…which she does all the time. AND they don’t ride up when she does!


No buckles, no closures. Really great fit. I added the patch pocket to the front (not part of the pattern).


Double top stitching and faux piping too! That feather cotton fabric was my birthday present from The Bee. I love it so.


I found the outer heavier fabric (feels like a bottomweight) at Goodwill. I thought it was black when I bought it, but in different light it looks blue. Either way, it works so well for this outfit!


She shoved that entire apple into that pocket…


and thought it was hilarious.


Sometimes it is all too easy.


Anyhow, moving on to the second sunsuit I made.


*BTW; that face is in genuine awe. A plane was flying low over the trees. I told you. Sometimes it is too easy to amuse her.

This one, she requested to have a lower waistline (because she likes her pants to be under her bellybutton) AND be lined in flannel.


Easy. I just didn’t fold up the waistband channel. Instead, I connected the top two layers with the bottom two layers. I also had to sew two lines of stitching for the channel instead of just one. I could have taken a little bit off of the top of the pants, but now she has a little room to grow.


I used that periwinkle fabric from this project and lined them with sock monkey flannel. That trim is from the sewing expo. I had been saving it for something special. I am so glad I used it for these! My girl looks like she walked out of a Jan Brett (*A.L.) book.


Ajaire’s detailed instructions have everything inside looking as pretty as it does on the outside.


*It was 80 degrees outside when we took these. At least I know they are really warm!


I bet they would also make great ski bibs if you had the right material!

Now the fun part for you… Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of 4 copies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ajaire will also be offering the Paneled Sunsuit pattern at a 15% discount during the tour – from August 24th through September 4th. In addition…Anyone that joins the Designs by Call Ajaire Facebook group will have access to a coupon code for an extra 5% off (so a total of 20% off)!

Be sure to check out the other ladies on tour!

Tuesday August 25th: Skirt Fixation | Gracious Threads | Kimmie Sew Crazy | Shaffer Sisters

Wednesday August 26th: Kid Approved | Pinkel | Falafel and the Bee | Once Upon a Sewing Machine

Thursday August 27th: Buzzmills | Pattern Revolution | Sprouting JubeJube | Handmade Martini

Friday August 28th: That’s Sew Kari | Lulu & Celeste | Paisley Roots | Modern Handmade

Monday August 31st: Sew Cool for the Tween Scene | Kadiddlehopper | Imagine Gnats | Nap Time Creations

Tuesday September 1st: My Sweet Sunshine | Straight Stitch Designs | Handmade Boy | That’s What She Crafted

Wednesday September 2nd: Climbing the Willow | Rebel & Malice | GYCT Designs | Two-Many

Thursday September 3rd: The Crazy Tailor | sewVery | Just Add Fabric | Delia Creates

Friday September 4th: A Jennuine Life | Conversas de Hermanas | Made by Sara | Not Sew Fast


Simple recycled Back- to-School Pencil cup

Back-to-School time is approaching!! I repeat: BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME IS APPROACHING!!

We are trying to squeeze a little more Summer out of this year, at the same time, trying to prepare for the kids going back to school. Shoe shopping, and supply lists, and brand new lunch bags.

As always, I like to do at least one quick project to get the school year off on the right foot.

We had this empty square Vegan Butter container that I just rinsed out the night before that looked perfect for me to use. I quickly gathered up some materials we have on hand, and got to work making a very quick, very large pencil/pen/marker container for Falafel’s desk.


Gather Supplies


Mix water and glue in a small container. It should be slightly thinner than yogurt. Then paint it all over the container you want to cover.


I used strips of fabric to cover mine. Strips of paper also work well (magazine pages, book pages, colored paper, scrap book paper, etc). Just paint the glue mixture all over the scraps and smooth them out as you go.


Allow to dry. Insert favorite school supplies!




*Tip: If you are going to try this, and your fabric or paper is lighter weight, you may want to paint the container white first.

What are you making to help your kids go back to school?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: School Lunch edition

Today I am preparing for the kids to go back to school (in a week) by gathering up ideas for lunches! lunchbox

Beating the Lunch Box blues

*affiliate link*

by J.M. Hirsch

I cannot remember where I saw this book online originally, but I am so glad I did! It is amazing. I love the photographs (it is all in the presentation, you know), and the ideas are fantastic! My Falafel and I went through it together and she pointed out lunches she was excited about (we probably shouldn’t have done it at bedtime, because she was hungry afterward-ha). I  feel like we now have some jumping off points to start off the school year strong. Lunches are always a problem in our house. Either the kids get stuck in a rut of the same thing everyday (which sometimes doesn’t get eaten-grrrrrr) or we try something new that no one likes (which, again doesn’t get eaten, plus gets me upset about wasting all the time/money/food on it).

I am hoping some of these ideas heave us up from that lunchtime rut, and get my kids nourished creatively (without waste) at school.

*PS- no one asked me to review this book…but I do have an affiliate link up there. If you click it, I earn a wee bit o’ lunch money…which we are clearly going to need.