Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back to Reality

Well, we survived our Disneyland vacation. My kids are tired, but happy. They are now in the midst of “Disney Detox.” Back to picking up after themselves (in theory, of course), eating decent food, and entertaining themselves when mom needs to get things done.

Disneyland is magical, no matter what your age. I couldn’t help but get excited seeing my kids caught up in all the magic and wonder of the place. And another thing I like about Disneyland….I do believe it is the cleanest public place on Earth. I never saw a piece of trash sit on the ground for longer than a second before someone came along and casually swept it up. The bathrooms were immaculate, and I could take my kids in there without wanting to run them through a complete decontamination afterward. Everything runs like a well-oiled machine at Disneyland, with everyone having their specific job and doing it without any inconvenience to the people enjoying the park.

We tried to save money on this trip, and figured the best and easiest way was by being smart our meals. We stayed at an off-site hotel with free breakfast every morning, hauled our own snacks and water into the park, and then ate a late lunch/early dinner at nearby restaurants. Bringing in food meant I needed something handy to carry it in….which leads me to another recent sewing project!

I’ve been keeping my eye out for something cute but practical to lug stuff around in. I prefer a backpack because it leaves my hands free, but I don’t want to look like a student or backwoods hiker. So while digging around on the internet one day, I found this great tutorial for a backpack. I got some nice, medium-weight, cotton decorator fabrics in fun summer colors and went to work. This pattern was so easy and it turned out great.

I added two pockets to the inside, which were perfect for carrying my phone and camera. I was able to carry everything we could possibly need during the day, from snacks to first-aid kit, as well as my usual wallet and other everyday items. Here’s a picture of the backpack being put to use in California Adventure:

My kids see how much I love my new backpack, and they have started to pester me about making one for them. I think I’m going to take the pattern and adapt it to something just right for them….a little smaller, more pockets, etc. I’ll let you know how that turns out!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

This year we will be joining thousands (millions, maybe?) of other middle class American families and spending our economic stimulus check on a Disneyland vacation. We're just doing our part to help fuel the economy, right? That's what we're telling ourselves anyway.

We have taken our kids to Disneyland once before, when my son was 3 1/2 and my daughter was barely 1. Last time they were too young to really want to spend time stalking all the characters for autographs. Well, this time they are 6 1/2 and almost four, and want to do it.

I thought it would be nice to have autograph books before we get there, that way we are ready to collect signatures as soon as we hit the park without having to purchase a book first. After looking around on the Internet, I found that different books were available anywhere from $10 to $20, depending on how nice of a book you wanted. Being the cheap crafty mom that I am, I thought: "I can make them!"

I hit the craft store, and after picking up two small artist sketchbooks, some ribbon, and a few stickers, this is what I managed to come up with:

I think they turned out great! They are the perfect size, they are one-of-a-kind, and best of all, they only ended up costing about $6 each!

Hopefully my kids will enjoy filling them with autographs....I know I will enjoy all the great memories that go along with each one!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jumping in Head First

Well, here it is. My first blog post. My friend Tracey (who totally rocks, by the way) has been not-so-gently nudging me about starting this for awhile now. What will I be writing about? My plan is to use this as a way to document my sewing and crafting projects. And whatever else may strike my fancy.

I've started my own "shop" on Etsy: http://www.itssewsweet.etsy.com/ It's been a few months now, and I've made some sales, mainly to friends and family. But yesterday I receive my first "stranger" order! Excitement! She is ordering one of my custom "4th of July Picnic" dresses, shown here on my daughter:

It is a great halter-style dress and has a cute, vintage-inspired "4th of July Picnic" print as accents. And an outfit is just not complete without matching accessories:

The other bonus about this order...she has twin girls, so she is ordering two dresses! Since she doesn't like to dress them identically, the main fabric of the other dress will be a light-weight denim, with the 4th of July Picnic fabric accents. This will be too cute!