Beaching it before school is out

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

Beaching it with Falafel and the Bee

My poor girl has had a rough go of her first few days with braces. She not only is in pain, but the entire inside of her mouth is shredded. We had to go to the Ortho for an adjustment so that her mouth could stop bleeding, so I kept her home from school (her class was going on a field trip, so she couldn’t join them). We ended up having a great day at the beach (with a friend who also missed out on the field trip).

The temps last week were in the 90’s, and today have dropped once again into the 50’s. It was so incredibly windy and cold on the beach, and it ended up raining on us, but we all had a blast. The kids were happy to dig in the sand the entire time (they were creating a shelter from the weather), and we saw a large seal (or sea lion- we just saw his head) not to mention that flock of seagulls (heh, 80’s reference).

I know that school is almost over, but this was such a great pause in our week to enjoy one of our favorite places, and just get out to play (before everyone else has that same idea). Sometimes it feels good to shake things up a bit, doesn’t it?

And that first photo, is my new favorite photo. Ever.

What have you done today?

Braces for Child #2

Our youngest has had as much dental trouble as our oldest (here and here). We are small-mouthed, big-footed people in this house, which means Orthodonture (and special ordering shoes).

Before Braces

She has started “Phase ONE” as our Orho calls it. Which means she had a palate expander for 3 months, and now partial braces for a year. Then she gets them off, the rest of her teeth can finally fall out and come in, and in a few years she gets full braces.

Before Braces

Yesterday, her palate expander was removed (YAY) and her partial braces were put on (UGH).

  Braces: or "phase One".

One day, and her teeth have shifted already, which means she is in a bit of pain.

Braces: or "phase One".

Ready or not, here we go (again)!

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Picture book

On our shelves this week is a picture book, with no words:

frog on his own

Frog on His Own

*affiliate link*

by mercer mayer

I know my kids are way past these books, but I cannot resist a beautifully illustrated picture book. Mercer Mayer manages to convey mini stories within the story with detailed drawings full of humor. Short and sweet.

What is on YOUR shelves this week?

30 Days of Sundresses: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial


I am so thrilled to be a part of 30 Days of Sundresses this year! This series has been going on since 2012 and it has always included such talented sewists. Tons of free patterns and tutorials, just for you! I am honored to share my fabric splatter paint tutorial with you today.

  30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

First, gather up your supplies:

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

acrylic paints (however many colors you would like to use)

empty spray bottles

white sheet/ or fabric


30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

To prepare the paint, you squirt some of the acrylic paint into the spray bottle. I did about a tablespoon. Then add about a cup of water to that. Shake to mix.Test it on scrap fabric. The more you dilute it, the better.

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

Hang your sheet up somewhere you don’t mind getting painty. Add one child/person who would love to get messy (wearing clothes you don’t care about getting messy). Spray!

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

My daughter went a little heavy in parts, which made the fabric stiff. If you can, limit how much spraying goes on. Letting the white shine through is a good thing. I also had her do a second piece, and I watered down the paint even more, which helps too (not shown).

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

Plan on getting covered in paint (which, according to her, is the best part!).

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

After it completely dries, throw the whole sheet in the dryer for a few minutes to heat set your paint. If you need to soften it up a bit, you can then machine wash it with a 1/2 cup of baking soda. Then dry again.

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

Sew up one of your favorite sundress patterns using your new fabric! For the bottom of this dress, I used the very watered down painted sheet. I like how it looks like the top is running.

  30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

Now your girl can sport fabric designs she actually made!

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

Thank you for stopping by! If you decide to give this a try, please show me what you make!

30 days of Sundresses Tour: Fabric Splatter Paint Tutorial

If you haven’t been, yet, head over to Melly Sews to check out some of the other tutorials.

Found Nest

Our youngest found a nest in our yard two days ago.

Junco Nest

Junco Nest

This tiny nest was just made in the grass. What a find! In fact, I am amazed that she saw it at all. Evidently, my husband even mowed over it, because it was hidden in plain sight. Brilliant, really.  After consulting our Facebook people, we have decided that they came from a  Junco.

Junco Nest

Our girl has been obsessing over it, worrying that the Mother has abandoned it. She is a step away from sitting on the eggs herself to get them to hatch.

Junco Nest

It is such a strange thing. One day, nothing. And then the next, there is a new nest that has come into focus, and causes worry. I suppose that is life, isn’t it?

Junco Nest

I have assured her that nature will worry about itself. We just need to give the nest some space (after photographing it, of course) to allow the Mama bird to do what she needs to do. Or not. For whatever reason.

Junco Nest

It is incredibly beautiful, this life. These eggs. Both delicate and strong. Robust and fragile. Intricate and simple. An incredible paradox that we get to be a part of.

I hope your weekend is full of exciting discoveries, both big and small, too.

Handmade Boots

Handmade Boots for problem feet

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen these already. If not, let me fill you in on the sheer size and girth of my feets. THEY ARE HUGE. A force, dare I say, to be reckoned with. I wear a women’s size 9, with a 6E width. That means there are exactly two styles of shoes they come in, and they are both made for diabetic men. I also have large extremely painful bunions which require me to wear toe separators. So there’s that.

Handmade Boots for problem feet

The next natural step was to attempt to make my own shoes. I used a fabulous pattern by Shoelogy (one of her many), but had to alter it. This pair is the first I made, and I need to change a few things about my alterations. The first being the whole Muppet look. Not really working. This is not the pattern’s fault. At. All. I need to tweak the shape a bit to accomodate the duck-feet shaped appendages that I now have, without looking duck-feet shaped.


Handmade Boots for problem feet

The bright side: Look at that top-stitching!

Handmade Boots for problem feet

I will not be defeeted. Ha! There will be another pair in my future, so look out world. I will be stylin’.

*I did recieve a copy of this pattern, so graciously, but all my opinions are full of honest honesty. If you want to make your own shoes, check out shoeology!

Where you can find my tutorial today: Hemming a Circle Skirt


You can find me today over at Sew Mama Sew sharing my tutorial for hemming a circle skirt! I have it down, now, and actually enjoy hemming them!


Plus it gave me an excuse to make another one of these. I used the Amaryllis Dress (affiliate link) by Blank Slate Patterns (like the one I made here).


I love this pattern so much. And that fabric? I found it on clearance, for $5/yard! This pattern takes a surprising amount of fabric, so getting it at that price was so helpful. circlepreview4m

If you would like to learn how to hem a circle skirt (or curved hem), hop on over to Sew Mama Sew!


 Happy Tuesday!

I am going to be reminding myself what day it is all day today. Ha!


On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Harry Potter

This week, we are celebrating the fact that our youngest, our Falafel berry, read all seven of the Harry Potter books!


Harry Potter Books 1-7

(affiliate link)

by J.K. Rowling

Wahooooo! She flew through these, and loved each and every one. For our Warrior Cat loving girl, this is HUGE. I have tried to entice her to read so many other great series, and she would not turn away from those cats. It took the one and ony Harry Potter to lure her into the magical, wonderful, wizarding world.

I have read these books many times, each. And so has The Bee. Now I get to experience them all over again with my young girl, and somehow it all seems just as exciting and new as when I first began. We even watched the first three movies together, and there is something so special about seeing your child ooh and ahh at all the things you take for granted because you have seen these about a million times. “WOW! That train is amazing” and “Oooooh, imagine what it is like to play quidditch!”.

After she finished the seventh book, she of course, has gone back to the first to read it again. Plus, there is always one of the books on CD (also affiliate link) playing at all times of the day here.

We also love Jim Dale, who narrates them all. I had such the crush on him when I saw him in Pete’s Dragon (yes, it is another affiliate link). But that is another story.

Anyhow, I know this is Memorial Day weekend. I hope you are spending time with friends and family, whether they are real or in a book. Wizards or Muggles.

What is on YOUR shelves this week? And if it is Harry Potter, how many times have you read the books?

Adults making friendship bracelets


Making Friendship Bracelets Tutorial

Today I am teaching a class for adults on making friendship bracelets. I used to adore making these as a teen, and I still do. It is a great meditative exercise.


I truly love the simplicity of taking string, and knotting it to make something pretty.


I am teaching the class how to make three different kinds of bracelets.


This one is a fishtail braid, which is new to me, but so pretty.


I have been making this kind, forever.


Years ago, in my early 20’s, a friend of mine came over to my house, we watched The Doors movie (which you can get with my affiliate link, if you like that sort of thing), and she wrapped my hair using the same method as I used for this bracelet, pictured above. It took the entire length of the movie, because I had such long hair back then, but it was so worth it. I kept it in for about a month.

I created a tutorial over at Instructables for only one of the designs, so you can make one of these for yourself!

Talking and Doing at the same time

Did you ever try to talk at the same time you were doing something else?

I recently tried my hand at making a video tutorial, and came to the shocking conclusion that I cannot talk and demonstrate at the same time. At. All.

I actually ended up scrapping the whole video because, well, I sounded like an idiot. Anytime I moved my hands to do something, it was like someone hit my mouth’s pause button.

Now this is different than talking with my hands. I do that all the time. I am referring to intentional actions (ie: baking, sewing, ironing, drawing, etc) that require my brain’s whole power, evidently.

Anyhow, I realized that while this doesn’t seem like a huge problem that would affect my whole life, it actually does! If I am crafting, I have to only do that. I have a friend over every week for a sewing/creating day where I theoretically work on upcoming projects that are due. Notice I wrote “theoretically”.  Well, my friend comes over, and if I am sewing, I actually wind up ripping seams more than any progress being made. Or not sewing at all (we do like to chat, and eat cookies). Not to mention when I am driving and talking to a passenger. If I have to turn or switch lanes, or do anything different than going straight, I stop talking (most of the time mid sentence).

I am starting to wonder if this is just me.


Here is a sneak peek at what is coming next week (look how I can rhyme).

How about you? Can you talk AND be productive at the same time?