Monthly Archives: August 2011

Tank to Skirt


I was at Target and found some men’s XXL tank tops on sale; so I bought a few and turned them into a skirt.  I cut the first one just below the armpit line and made a casing for the elastic.  It was almost the right length for me, but not quite, so I cut another tank and added it to the bottom of the first; turns out I don’t know how to measure, I think I made it too long now.  The length hits me between my calf and my ankle.  I think I want it to hit me just below the knee, so that when I sit, it’s not too short.  Oh, and I added some ribbon to make it look nice.

So, tell me, do you like the length, or does it need to be shortened?  Maybe it’s simply not flattering at all on me.  I thought I’d just give it a try anyway.  Let me know what you think.


This is what it started as (two of these).

A close up of the skirt.

The whole ensemble.

(Now that C1 is crawling, it’s hard to not get a picture without him and our pup.)

Lake Michigan


This summer we took C1 to the beach.  It was an overcast day; to me, perfect for going to the beach.  The sun was hiding behind clouds, but it didn’t rain on us at all.  Because of the lack of sun, the beach was pretty empty.  I don’t like being in the sun; I don’t go sun tanning or anything of that sort.  I try to protect my (blindingly white) skin.  My “tan” is a laughing matter and when I do get some sun, I turn red.  We also bought this floatie thing for C1, but hadn’t found a chance to use it, so I was determined to use it this summer; so we walked to the lake (we live about a mile or so from it).  The lake is kinda cold, so we didn’t stay long in the water; but once we were done we enjoyed out packed lunch.  Then dried off to walk home.  It was a fun little trip to the beach with the family.  It’s fun little outings like this that I enjoy as a family.  Being together making memories by spending time together.  I love when Hubby can take some time off of work to spend with C1 and me.

Crayon Roll Gift


We were invited to a birthday party and I’m not sure what a 3 year old like or want; so I decided to practice making crayon rolls (C1’s party favors for his 1st birthday).  I’m apparently not very good at making Ric-rack look good and I’m not a fan of working with iron on vinyl; I keep messing it up.  I’ll try some more to see if I get any better at it; but I also want C1’s party favors to look nice.  Hope our friend likes his new crayons.

Blue Man Group


We’re celebrating Husbands birthday all week end long.  It started yesterday by taking him out to lunch (no C1; he got to play with friends while we were out).  We went to Fiesta Mexicana Restaurants up in Lincoln Park area.  It was good food, great service and the decor was nice, but not over bearing.  During lunch I gave hubby his birthday card; with a surprise present in it.  Tickets to go see Blue Man Group; that day; right after lunch.  I’m not good at keeping secrets from Hubby and it was hard to keep this one.  I would tell him how excited I was for our date and he couldn’t figure out why, we were just going out to lunch; but I knew we were going to a show as well.  For the past two weeks, Hubby has been trying to guess what I got him for his birthday.Lunch didn’t take quite as long as I thought it would so we walked up the street a bit and found a Cookie Bar desert place.  We walked in and almost became diabetic, you could smell the sugar.  We made custom ice cream sandwiches.  I got peanut butter cup ice cream with a peanut butter cookie on one side and sugar cookie on the other.  Hubby got the chocolate ice cream with a mint flavor cookie and classic chocolate chip cookie on the other side.  Sugar overload, but it was so yummy.

I used a coupon code to get free tickets to the Sky Deck at Sears/Willis Tower; and ended up getting front row seats for only a few dollars more per person.  Score!  As we took our seats we put on our ponchos to protect us from paint splatters.  During the show they do 3 canvases of art with the splashed paint; as they went to hand out the first one, I kept yelling that it was Hubby’s birthday, so they handed me the first splatter of the night!  I’m not the type of person that wins things, so this was oober exciting to get.  During the show; two of the three men walk out into the audience by walking on the arm rests of the seats.  They grabbed our heads for stability and climbed their way back.  Blue Man Group is such an interactive type of show; and such a fun treat.  Hubby was able to bring out his inner child and as I looked over at him, he looked so happy and I just know this surprise gift was a HUGE success and that he loved every minute of it.

On our way out the door we saw some of the Blue Men out to take pictures with, and to make it quick, Hubby took one of me with the splatter painting with one of the Men.  The picture isn’t the best because we were trying to be fast about it.  Usually I’m the one to blink in a picture, but this time it was the other guy.  And depending on how you look at it, I’m holding the picture upside down.  We’re going to hang it in our house with the other side up.



This Mom took me (Hubby) to see the Blue Man Group for my birthday. I have wanted to see them for some time now, but not nearly as much as This Mom did. However, I must say that it was one of the greatest birthday presents ever.

For those who are unfamiliar, the conceit of the Blue Man Group is that they are three blue aliens interacting with the Human world for the first time. The show itself is actually a modern vaudeville show, with individual sketches and improvised music. There is a fair amount of social satire, and I was surprised at the wit that most of the audience did not get. Also, the show is incredibly interactive, in that the Blue Men would literally walk out into the audience, and the occasional announcements would request that the audience do things like cheer, stand up and so on. On the whole, it was one of the most immersive and entertaining things I have ever been to in my life. I would totally go again, and while the tickets were more expensive than a few movies, I doubt I have seen any sum of movies as worthwhile as this show.

Insofar as we have been to several shows this year, starting with the Lion King, and including the Million Dollar Quartet, The Nutcracker, and of course Blue Man Group I am really enjoying live entertainment much more than anything else that I have habitually enjoyed. In fact, some of the shows have really reawakened in me an enjoyment of life that I had feared I had lost to the cynicism of the monastic scholastic life. I really hope that we can continue to attend these productions. It is a blast.


Back To This Mom Speaking:

Tonight (Sunday evening); we had some friends over for dinner and enjoyed their company.  Then my cousin and his roommate stopped by on his way back up to Wisconsin.  We all endulged in some cake (that I decorated) and ice cream (both mint chocolate, hubby’s favorite).  Thank you all for coming by.  Cousin, it was great to see you again, hope you do well in school this semester.

Once the guests had gone we decided to open presents tonight instead of tomorrow (his actual birthday).  His Mom got him a nice book “One to Sing, One to Haul” (sailor duets); a sweet card from my Mom, and I made him some pj pants that he picked out the fabric for.  I plan to make C1 some matching pants for when he’s 1, 2 or 3 (I might have enough fabric to make for each age).  None for me thanks, I think they look like clown pants.

My dear, I hope you had a wonderful birthday and know how glad I am to be your wife.  Happy Birthday.

Pacifier Orginization


How do you organize your pacifiers so you don’t loose them?  I have a friend who keeps them in a bowl in the kitchen and gathers them up every night.  Me; I use what I make and hang them on C1’s crib.  So far he hasn’t been able to pull them off; which may or may not be a good thing.  He’s actually sort of indifferent about pacifiers.  Sometimes he can’t sleep without them, and sometimes he could care less.  I guess it’s good he’s weened himself off pacifiers so we don’t have to go through the drama of doing it later.  I keep one in my diaper bag, just in case; and one in the stroller, but we rarely use them at all anymore.

What in the…?


So, I pulled out my bleached muslin that I bought this summer so I could make a skirt; when I find….

a HUGE mess.  I’m not quite sure what to do.  Do I take it back to the chain I bought it from?  Do I say; ‘oh well’, and cut past it?  This is the first time I’ve bought a bolt of fabric, and maybe I won’t do it again.  Has this ever happened to you?  What would you do if you found your fabric like this?

Tutorial: Padded camera bag


A friend of mine wanted to learn how to sew and since she’s a photographer she wanted to make her own camera bag.  She purchased a way cute bag and we made the padding for her gear.  A great project because you can have a personalized bag just for your gear, and way cuter for carrying around town than most camera bags.  Some sewing experience is required, but not too difficult of a project.  I use 1/4″ seam allowance, because I’m use to quilting with that.  If you want to use larger seam, you’ll need to add to the pattern.

* You will see two different projects here in the pictures.  I sort of forgot to take good pictures of the first project, so I made another; however, I didn’t have a lot of foam left, so my second one is more of a pencil cup; but I was able to get some more explanatory pictures for you.

You’ll need:

1.5 inch foam

fabric of your choice


Gather Your Supplies

First measure your bag or your gear you want padded to see what size your bag insert needs to be.  We’ll be cutting two pieces of foam; one for the base and one for all four walls (plus any additional you may want for dividers).  Our base measured 5 inches by 11 inches.

Cut Your Pieces

Next we cut the foam.  For the base we cut the foam to the exact measurements 5×11 inches. Then for the walls we cut it the height we wanted 4 inches by 32 inches (all four sides added together: 5+5+11+11=32).

Cut your fabric 2 inches larger than the foam.  We’ll need the full 2 inches for seam allowance and for connecting our pieces together.  Cut two of each; the bottom and the walls.

We’ll start with the bottom piece.  Take your fabric and sew right sides together leave an opening to turn right side out.  Trim your corners and turn.  Iron flat tucking in your opening . Insert your foam into the pouch.  Sew around the edge 1/4″ all the way around.  Then move your needle so you can sew right up next to the foam all the ay around.  Set aside for now.

Sew Twice Aroudn the Bottom Piece

Next we’ll work on the walls.  If you want to attach your velcro now, you can do so, but I like to wait.  Sew right sides together; leaving a large opening on the bottom side.  Because we’re working with foam, it will take more space to insert the foam.  Once you’ve sewn your fabric, trimmed your corners and turned it right side out and ironed; insert your foam and only top stitch the bottom opening.  Push your foam all the way to the top of the fabric and center from side to side.

Sew Wall Piece Shut

Now mark your walls  the measurements of the base; since mine was 5×11″ I marked my walls at 5″ then 11″ then 5″ then the end should be 11″.  We’re going to sew a line from bottom to top  to create our corner crease.

Mark Your Corners

Sew From Bottom to Top

Now comes the tricky part.  Pressing the foam down line up your wall with the base and pin right sides together.  I work with one side at a time.  Sew one side down; leave my needle down holding my spot as I flatten the foam turn the bottom piece and line up side two; squishing and lining up each side to sew it down.

Carefully Sew the Wall to the Bottom

Once you have all four sides sewn down to the base you’ll have something that looks a little like this. Then hand stitch up the side to close it.  And turn it right sides out so you hide all of those ugly corners.

Get This, Sew Up Side; Turn Right Side Out

Sew your velcro onto the walls of your newly created box and the flaps of the inserts and you’re done.  Put your gear in to make sure it fits, then put it all in your new camera bag.  A comfy new home for you camera and lens.

Insert Divider

All Done

Please let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial.  If you make one of your own, I’d love to see how it turned out.  Enjoy