Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year kids!

It is time to reflect on the year that is coming to a close and look towards the new year ahead of us with hopes of making it the best year yet.  For me, this is never easy.  For some reason, I always look towards the new year with complete dread.  Well not this year Baby!  I'm going to do everything in my power this year to, in a nut shell, be the best Maddy I can be!  So here is to 2012 and being the best we can be!

Maddy =)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Long time...

Hi All!

I can't believe it has been over a month that I've blogged.  Time flies crazy fast as an adult.  Remember when we couldn't wait to be teenagers and then 21?  Now, there are just a couple of days left in 2011 and I'm wondering where the last 10 years went.  Actually, I don't even know where these last few days have gone.  The days leading up to Christmas were fun but hectic leaving very little time for sleep and this past week were days used to catch up on sleep and spend time with my son.  I've thoroughly enjoyed this time off and do not want it to end.  Since it inevitably will come to an end, I plan to spend every last minute enjoying relaxing time at home with my cookie.

I will try to pop in on January 1st with wishes of a Happy New Year for all of you in blog world, but in case I don't, please know that I'm thinking of you - especially you Jeanne!  I thought I would be up there ringing in the New Year with you and I'm so so so so sad that it didn't happen.  Before I start crying, I think it's best to change the subject!  I'll save my tears for New Years Day since I, no matter how hard I try, can not ever hold them back.

Anyway, Jeanne and I have big plans for 2012.  So after all the partying and crying is done, I'll be back blogging - filling you all in on my crazy, exciting life.  Well I guess that depends on who you ask, but hopefully one or two of you out there will find it interesting enough to keep reading.  :)  Oh, and better late than never, I will share photos of the Christmas projects I actually did complete.  Don't judge when I tell you that one or two were finished after Christmas!  hahaha

Exciting stuff I tell ya!

Talk soon!

 Maddy =)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

How was your holiday? Did you go full turkey or settle for something less insane? Luckily, since Chris' family celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend I had like half of the dinner already done and in the fridge. I spent the most money I've ever spent in my life on cheese to make a super fancy Martha Stewart Mac & Cheese that was delicious and made an absolute ton of food. I had also made some quick green beans and an apple pie so today I just had to throw together a pecan pie, mashed potatoes, a Stouffers breaded chicken breast and some biscuits. It took about an hour and a half so that wasn't so bad.

I was sort of on a baking streak today. This morning I whipped up some banana nut muffins since I had a few bananas turning a horrible shade of black on the kitchen counter anyway. I also made cornbread muffins from scratch for the first time and I actually really liked them. I've always used the mixes before and they come out so disgustingly dry. This time they were light and fluffy and pretty damn tasty if I may say so.

I've also been doing some crafting and some Christmas planning. I've got my list together and the time line is possible but really tight. The list is only five items so that's already a massive improvement over previous years when I tried making 50 Christmas ornaments to go into all of our Christmas cards or had a list of 25 gifts to knit that included friends I hadn't seen in years and kids of friends and friends of friends. So this year we have:

1. Scarf for my sister

2. Matching gloves to go with scarf for my sister (if anything needs to be cut it will be this)

3. Surprise gift for Maddy (it's kind of ambitious so there's a chance you'll get it sometime in January)

4. Hobbes for Chris

5. Knit Elephant for Chris' niece

See, how reasonable does that list look? Super reasonable! The wildcard is that I didn't want to use the Lion Brand yarn that I can get cheap and already have a lot of and the local yarn shop barely carries any lower priced yarn. They're more high end so I ordered the yarn online from Knit Picks. Their yarn is affordable, machine washable and, in reviews, is supposed to be super soft. I placed the order yesterday but I just have to cross my fingers that they'll get it out on Monday and I'll, hopefully, get it in around the end of next week so that I can jump into the work. On an unexpected high note though I've already finished the scarf! It's a very simple crochet scarf that I saw on Ravelry. I started it last night and finished a few hours ago. Here's a terrible photo from my phone. I'll have to take a better one tomorrow.

Well, it's wicked late and I have to be at work at 8:30am so it's definitely time for bed. I've got my fingers crossed that it'll be totally dead tomorrow and I can zone out all day. I was told that it was dead last year and everyone watched a movie on someones computer. Although I am notorious for falling asleep during movies and I don't really want to inflict my snoring and drooling on my co-workers.

One thing that I'm so thankful for is your friendship. Happy Thanksgiving!


I woke up yesterday morning feeling tired, rushed and overwhelmed. I have had a rough couple of weeks and surely we just celebrated Thanksgiving Day a few weeks ago, right? At least that is what it feels like. So as surprised as I was, I couldn't help but be upset with myself for not being better prepared for the holiday.  I mean, it's not like my life is calendar free (2 mac's, an iphone, work deadlines).  I totally should have seen this coming, but I didn't.  So Thanksgiving was here and my brownies were not baked yet, I didn't buy/make any hostess gifts AND I had no idea what I was going to wear (this last one is huge)!  Right at that moment, the feeling of dread set in.  It was 6am, Turkey Day, and I was wishing for a time machine.  If my wish had come true, my week prior would have looked a little something like this:

Friday - Finish Holiday Runner that I haven't even started for my momma
Saturday - Hit Marshalls for 2 frames
Sunday - Needlepoint and a 5x7piece of fabric with a statement of why I am thankful for the hostesses of the dinners I was attending.
Monday - Place fabric in frame and wrap them up
Wednesday - Bake Brownies

But it didn't.  It looked more like, work, work, work and more work.  And obviously, I didn't spend my time when I wasn't working very wisely either.  That looked more like The Good Wife, Two Broke Girls, Parenthood, etc.  I really didn't have much to do.  I think since I normally host dinner at my house and have a million things to do in order to prepare for it, I figured I could knock out the tiny list I had in a second.  I just didn't plan on being mentally exhausted from work and other things going on in my life.  So what to do when overwhelmed?  N.O.T.H.I.N.G!  :)  And boy, that is what I did.

So back to 6am on Turkey Day.  I'm starting to panic, frantically thinking about what I can do to make the plans I had a reality.  That's when it hit me.  I'm focusing on the wrong things.  I am lucky enough to have family and friends that would be happy if I just showed up.  So I decided I would take a chill pill and still bake my brownies as planned and buy a couple of bottles of wine as hostess gifts before hitting their houses.  Have you noticed that a bottle of wine is the answer more times than not?  heeheehee

So once over that minor set back, this is how my day for giving thanks went.
We started the day meeting up with our cub scout pack at Riviera Church for breakfast. They host a yearly breakfast for their church members and community. After the boys filled their tummies they went to work setting the tables, organizing the kitchen and then serving the guests a yummy breakfast. They also washed dishes and cleaned up the dining room as needed. I am so proud of those boys!  My boog did serving duty, dish duty and greeter duty.  He was happiest serving and washing dishes.  Greeting duty was a challenge but good practice for him since he is very shy around strangers.

We headed home about 11am.  Our next stop wasn't until 1:30 so that gave me plenty of time to baked the brownies and find something to wear.  The latter being more difficult than it should have been.  But finally Boog and I were dressed, brownies packed and ready to head to our next stop - grandma and grandpa's!  Still kind of weirded out that I have so little to do on what is normally such a busy, crazy holiday for me, I drove to my parents house chatting with cookie about how we plan to spend our Christmas break.

At my parents house, dinner was not ready but my father and sister had everything under control.  Again, I had nothing to do so I hung out with my nephews and caught up with their lives.  I'm thinking I can totally get used to this way of celebrating a holiday.  No work - all eat and socialize.  I'm afraid I may never go back to hosting a dinner at my house again.  :)  We finally ate and everything was delicious.  Went for a walk around the block with the nephew and then it was time to say our goodbyes and head out to our next stop...Silvia's.

At my parents house

my seat at Silvia's

Silvia's house looked as good as it smelled.  She worked hard on her table decor for weeks prior to the big day and it paid off.  It was absolutely beautiful.  A lot of finishing touches came together at the last minute and couldn't have looked better if she had planned it that way.  Oh and the food tasted as good as it smelled.  We ate, the kids played, adults had great conversation, cleaned up and then it was time to head home.

On the drive home, my boog fell asleep so I spent that time thinking about how silly I was to allow myself to feel so badly earlier that morning.  It was a great day spent with family and friends that loved us with or without extravagant brownies and handmade gifts.  Did I still feel bad about not doing what I set out to do?  YES!  But something I really need to work on getting through my thick skull is that things don't always go as planned.  And that is okay.  It's not the end of the world.  At least that is what I'm trying to convince myself of.  :)

Hope you all had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I had.

Maddy =)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hiking in South Florida

Here is just a recap as to what I've been up to this month.

Earlier this month, our cub scout pack had a pack meeting where the boys receive any patches and belt loops they have earned.  This is always exciting for my cookie, but this meeting was way, way, way more exciting!  He finally earned his hiking stick.  He had to complete 6 hikes in order to receive it and finally that great day had arrived.  Now, we need to sand it and then stain it to his liking.  And any other hikes completed will earn him pins and accessories for his stick.  Needless to say, I'm a very proud momma.  Not only did he earn his hiking stick, but he is the youngest scout in the pack to do so!


Soon after, our cub scout pack did a pre-hike on Key Biscayne.  This is a good hike to get the boys ready to do the Old Cutler Hike that is 12.6 miles.  It also is a great opportunity for them to learn about our native plants here in South Florida.

Beautiful Key Biscayne
Some of the plants we came across during the hike were the Sable Palm (state tree),  Poison Wood (more poisonous than Poison Ivy I've heard), Sea Grapes and the Palmetto Palm.  Lately, I've been very lazy when it comes to taking pictures.  I promise to be good and take pictures of the trees mentioned next time we do this hike.  

Boog obviously brought along his hiking stick.  I mean what 8 year old boy that has worked as hard as he has, hiking over 40 miles in just 6 hikes, wouldn't bring his well deserved hiking stick?  Even if the only mountain we have here in South Florida is Mount Trashmore. :)  However, as excited as he was, I was certain he wouldn't make it past the first 10 minutes with the stick.  So, I was pleasantly surprised that he didn't ask me to carry it for him until almost the end.  As you can see from the first picture, it is a big stick that he still has to grow into.  :)  


The picture below was taken during the Old Cutler Hike last weekend.  As mentioned before, it totals 12.6 miles, starting at Bayside in downtown Miami and ending at the old Parrot Jungle in Pinecrest.  We almost didn't participate since it was pouring down rain at 6:45 that morning.  I don't know about you but I wasn't looking forward to hiking over 12 miles in wet clothes and sneakers.  But at 7am the rain stopped and we decided to take a chance and go for it.  We did have a chase car so if the weather got too bad, we could always hop in the dry car.  
Walking by the water in Coconut Grove

Its hard to tell in the picture above, but it ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day!  Which meant there was no need to seek refuge in the chase car.  But if we are talking honestly, as much as I hate getting caught in the rain, I started to wish for some around mile 8.  Boy were my feet hurting!!!!  Anyway, we persevered and completed the hike (sans the hiking stick) in 6 hours and with a feeling of great accomplishment.  This is our second year participating in the hike.  woo hoo!!!!


Well that is pretty much what we have been up to recently... leaving very little energy left to do anything crafty unfortunately.  Here's to hoping I can squeeze in some quality time with my sewing machine this weekend.


Wait, before I check out, I'd like to ask for your help with something.  My friend's mom gave me a ziplock full of old spools.  I know...she's awesome right?!  I just love them and am dying to do something with them.  I've googled it to see what others have come up with and the only thing I somewhat liked was to frame them and hang them on the wall.  I mainly liked the idea because hanging them on the wall would allow me to appreciate them whenever I want, but I'm not sold on it either.  If you know of any other ways to display/use these cool spools let me know.  Thanks!

Maddy =)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Still in progress

Just sitting here working on this scarf while waiting for my son to get out of class. I should have been done a long time ago but I kind of stopped counting (shhhh...don't tell anyone) and had to take a bunch of rows out and start over. I'm hoping to finish it before 2012. Sheesh!

Here is a pic.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monkeys for a Good Cause!

I'm shocked that I was able to whip out a pirate monkey and a superhero monkey in just about a week! A co-worker let me know last week that she was pulling together an auction and dinner to raise money for her father's medical bills. She mentioned that she and her husband were planning to walk around the local shops and see if they could get some donations to auction off. 

I volunteered my limited crafting skills since I knew I couldn't afford to donate money and I went with my tried and true monkeys. They're a guaranteed crowd pleaser and I figured that they would appeal to people looking for cute Christmas gifts. This was the first time that I used the safety eyes that I got at Mary Jo's.  I've always used buttons before since they were the only thing I could find in New York. I was a little thrown with having to put the eyes on before I sewed the head to the body since the safety eyes have backing pieces that go on the inside. I'm so used to those details being the very last bit which allowed me to fuss and fidget with them more.

Sorry for the terrible camera phone photos but I snapped them quickly before running into work. 

Coming Soon: the Elvis monkey that I've been working on for about six months. I'm only a leg and a pompadour away from finishing him up.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finally Finished Pumpkins

After way too long I finally finished all of the pumpkins that I was working on. They were finished up just a few days after Halloween so I guess that still counts as timely. The large pumpkin has eight or nine different velcro faces to change out. While I definitely wish that I'd been able to finish these sooner I'm really happy with how they came out.

I'm thinking about sending the second largest one to Alex as part of his crazy belated birthday present. I've had a stack of stuff to send to him sitting on a bookshelf for about a month. I also realized today that I've only got a month and a half until Christmas and I haven't even bought the supplies I would need to make the ridiculous amount of stuff that I want to make. Yikes. I'm going to sit down today and make a list of what I want to make and then cut that list in half to maybe resemble what I'll have time to actually make. Have you started your Christmas crafting? Maybe next year will be the year that we finally make a list in January and make something each month so that come Christmas we're swimming with finished stuff to give and totally stress free. Just thinking of it sounds so nice and so totally impossible.

Paid to Watch TV!

Sorry that I've been out of touch for so long. It's been a combination of overwork and pulling a muscle in my back. Just saying that I pulled my back makes me feel so incredibly old. I wasn't even doing anything crazy. I picked up a stack of magazines and then like thirty seconds later felt like I had torn something extremely important in my lower back. I then proceeded to pretend it wasn't that bad when it totally was and pushed myself to help with the cleanup of Chris' step-sister's wedding reception and hung out with the family for hours and hours until I got in the car to head to dinner with everyone and just the act of getting in the car hurt so bad I burst into tears. We skipped dinner and I lathered myself in icy hot and downed a few doses of Tylenol. It's been a week and I'm finally getting back to where I don't groan every time I stand up.

So let's catch up. Chris and I got to be part of the Nielsen ratings which was pretty cool. We initially got something in the mail about a month ago with $2 and a survey. We filled it out, sent it back and then got a follow up phone call. I guess they liked our answers and the following week we received our TV Diary and $30! So Nielsen paid for our dinner. I was really surprised that the process was as old-fashioned as just keeping a diary. I made sure to watch some Vampire Diaries since I totally dig Damon and need to get my weekly fix. I was surprised by how little House Hunters International and Real Housewives ended up in the diary. I feel like I'm constantly watching House Hunters. It felt really good to be able to support the shows that we really enjoy watching so, hopefully, they'll stick around a little longer and we only needed to pull out the white out once so the people at Nielsen won't think we're total boobs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Like I mentioned the other day, I've started on handmade Christmas gift #2 - a crochet scarf.  I've been working on it during breaks from work, in the carpool line at Cookie's school and while I wait for my Cook to finish with his tutoring session.  While that may sound like it's in my hands pretty much at all times, I still wonder if my fingers should be hurting as much as they do.  I mean if this was the case for everyone, would there be as many crocheters or knitters out there working their magic? My fingers really do hurt so I'm guessing not.  Then what is the reason for my pain?  Old age?  Could be, but I'd like to think...NO.  Arthritis?  Man, I hope not.  Sprained finger?  I'd probably be having trouble typing up this post if that is what it is right?  Plus, what are the odds that I've sprained ALL 10 fingers???  :)  I'm thinking it's my form or technique.  Fortunately, unlike the other reasons mentioned, this I can resolve through learning to crochet properly.  Not to offend youtube and all its know how (it's my go to for everything!), but I may need to resort to taking an actual class where I am in the same room as the teacher.  

Hey, wait!  Jeanne, what if we skype?  Do you think you could tell if the way I'm holding the yarn, the hook or my glass of wine is the problem?    See, its times like these that I wish you were my roomie again.  Miss you girl!

If I can figure out how to make a video of myself painfully at work, I will post it.  That way any of you in blogland can give me your two cents too.  No promises though.  I'm still very new to all of this.

Maddy =)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Handmade gifts and stuff

It is an absolutely beautiful day here in South Miami.  The temperature is a cool 68 degrees with a nice breeze which makes it feel even cooler.  Unfortunately, Boogie Boo and I are a bit under the weather.  We were actually supposed to be camping with our Cub Scout Pack in Lakeland for the Wings 'n Things big event, but since the temps were supposed to be in the 40's up there and I was feeling too achy to pack up the truck with all our gear, I made the executive decision to stay home.  Although I know it was the right decision, I can't help but feel bummed about missing out on all the fun.  Well, there is always next month's campout at Oleta River State Park in North Miami.  Hopefully it will warm back up for that one.  Cook isn't into riding bike trails all that much so we will probably spend our free time at their beach.  But for now, we will have to settle for relaxing on the sofa watching Rio and Despicable Me.

Can you believe November is here already???  I can't!  It seems like yesterday was the beginning of summer vacation and I was telling Jeanne how I wanted to start on my handmade Christmas gifts.  Mind you, I had the same idea for last Christmas and only ended up making 1 gift.  Okay, so how many have I completed for this Christmas?  One.  Yep, you heard me right.  One.  But I'm not worried in the slightest.  If I stay focused, I may be able to......ugh, who am I kidding?  I have 24 23 gifts to make by Christmas Eve.  I think what I need to do is revise my list.  There is no way, I can make all of these gifts, especially when 1/2 are quilts.  Ay mama!   Yes, I'm going to have to revise THE LIST! 

Okay, off to breakfast with Boog and the girls.  Don't worry.  I am taking gift #2 with me.  Its a crochet scarf that I can work on while we are waiting to be seated.  I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.

Maddy =)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good Advice for Christmas 2011 email

I received this email from my friend Wendy today.  I love the gift giving advice it has so I thought I would share it with you.  Let me know what you guys think.

Maddy =) 


Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigs List in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hi!  I hope everyone is having a Spooktacular Halloween.  I know we sure did.  Plus, it didn't rain.  Woo hoo!!!!  A group of us met at our friend Wendy's house and were all armed with our umbrellas just in case.  Thankfully we didn't have to use them.  

The boys (and one brave little girl) were dressed in their awesome costumes and ready to fill their bags with sugar candy.  They ran from house to house screaming "trick-or-treat, smell my feet", just having a great time.  And I had an even better time watching them all enjoy themselves so much.  

Here are some pics from tonight.

And in case you were wondering what I finally decided to dress up as, I was a nice witch.  Not the most exciting costume, but at least I dressed up.  Boog loved it!  But watch out for next year.  I'm definitely going to be a blue jedi or something considered totally cool by my son. 


Maddy =) 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Faces in the Works

I've made some progress on the pumpkin faces. I totally love the big, angry mouth on this one. Since taking these photos I did finish the stems on all three of them and got the felt faces glued down on two of them. I'm hoping to finish these up and get the pumpkin with the Velcro, interchangeable faces done this week. Craft Blog is having an Halloween Contest so I'd like to enter that into it. The stuff on their blog blows me away so I doubt that I'll win anything but it would be pretty exciting to get something finished and entered. Maddy, you should totally enter the Gohan costume that you made!!

The tiniest pumpkin is only about 3 inches wide and maybe 2 inches tall and I think it may be my favorite. I carried it around in the pocket of my hoodie the other day just because I could.

I'm also making this strange little bat. The eyes are felt ones from Michael's and right now it just has a paper template for a mouth but it's going to be cut from white felt.  It has little black felt ears and black felt wings. For some reason I really liked the sad bat face. I tried making it a happy bat but it just wasn't nearly as cute to me.

Now that Halloween is almost past it's that stressful time when I have to sit down and think about Christmas. I've got a couple of ideas floating around for things to make but I need to get it all written out and face the truth of whether or not I have time to make all the things that I want to make.

Adorable Halloween Pillow Covers

I just saw these awesome pillows over at Craft Blog and had to share them. They are soooo cute! Plus there's a full on instructional on how to make them. I love the mix of cotton and felt for the designs and the bright, fun colors. Maddy, you have to teach me how to sew!! I would totally make these, especially that owl.

Happy Halloween Eve

It is the night before Halloween and I still do not have a costume!  Yes, it is true.  I made my son a costume and made a Minnie Mouse skirt for my friend Christie, but have put together nothing for myself.  I'll figure something out I suppose.  I purchased a really ugly house coat at our semi annual cub scout yard sale last weekend in case I was desperate.  I'll let you know tomorrow what I end up dressed up as.  

Here are a couple of pictures of Christie in the Minnie Mouse skirt.  Doesn't she look cute?!  It actually came out really darling and I was so happy to hear that it didn't fall apart on her while she was at a Halloween party last weekend.  What would I do different next time?  I'd make it a tad shorter and use stiffer tulle for sure. 


Boog and I carved two pumpkins today.  I printed out two templates we found online and spent an hour or so carving.  Of course I forgot to take pictures during the process but here is a picture of one of our completed masterpieces.  For some reason the other pumpkin isn't coming out right in the picture.  He must be camera shy.

Hey Jeanne...Can you guess who this is supposed to be?

I'm excited about tomorrow.  Wish me luck that I end up in a cool costume.  Oh and that it STOPS RAINING!

Maddy =)

More Pics of Gohan

WARNING...It's Sunday morning and I'm really tired from a long day out and about yesterday so there may be lots of rambling and not a whole lot of sense going on below. Read at your own risk and please don't judge! :)

I haven't figured out how to add more pics to a post in the spots that I want them. So I'm making a separate post with pics of the finished Gohan costume. While doing so I might as well chat a bit. I'm happy to report that my Cookie wore his costume to Disney's Not So Scary and it survived! Also, he wore it to Miami's Metro Zoo last night (which, by the way, is where we live) and again, it survived. We were only there for about an hour since it started to pour down on us and my boog does not like being caught in the rain. But if it wasn't raining, we wouldn't have had to find cover under the bike rental tent. and if we wouldn't have had to find cover, we would have never had an employee of the zoo creepily call for "Goku" on the microphone. I'm a little slow so it took me a while to figure out that the zoo guy was talking to US! It made Cookie's night and mine. :) He may have been wrong about the actual character Boog was dressed up as, but at least he was in the ballpark which means I had done good. :) And once again, my boog was an original. He was the only Gohan at both parks. And last year he dressed up as a dead husband. A costume he put together himself. It got lots of attention from the Disney employees and he won a costume contest with it too.

I just love my boogie boo and all his originality!!!

Maddy =)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

You want me to make what?

So Boogie Boo decides he wants to be Gohan of Dragonball Z Kai for Halloween. I think to myself - Wow, how did I get so lucky? This is going to be easy peasy. I mean, how hard can it be? It's just a top and pants. Plus, Halloween was a whole 5 weeks away. I would have plenty of time to figure this out. Until he dropped the bomb that he wanted to wear it to Disney's Not So Scary Halloween Party in Orlando as well. That trip was only 1 week away. And for someone that hasn't sewn clothing since high school, I wasn't feeling so lucky anymore.

The first thing I did was search online for a Gohan costume tutorial or something similar to it. As you may suspect, I found very little. Plan B was to go to Joann's and find a pattern I can use to make the costume. I struck out on that as well. So what did I do once I realized this was not going to be as easy peasy as I thought it was going to be? I called my sewing sensai Silvia. And as always, she knew exactly what to do. My instructions were to go to her house with the fabric and one of Cookie's t-shirts. I rushed over there like no ones business with materials in hand. In no time at all, she made a pattern using Cook's shirt, making adjustments in order to have the swooping, v neck look you see in the picture. I really wish I had taken pictures of her at work. It really was something special to see.

So now it was back in my hands. Together we decided what I needed to do to get the effect needed but I was the one to do the actual sewing. With only a few days until we were off to Disney Worlds Fort Wilderness (we were camping with the cub scouts as well), I had to get busy. And busy I got! There was lots of sewing, lots of fittings and unfortunately lots of one on one time with my beloved seam ripper. But to my pleasant surprise, I finished it the night before we were to leave for Disney. WOW...What a great feeling that was! Was it perfect? Absolutely NOT, but my little man LOVED it and said it was the best costume EVER! That was more than enough to help me look past the flaws I saw and be content with the fact that my son was happy.

Now if only I could figure out how to post more than one picture and put it where I want it. Jeanne, H.E.L.P!

Maddy =)

Garden Zombies

Before we moved from Brooklyn some friends gave us a crazy zombie lawn ornament as a going away present. We've been so caught up with trying to make the inside of the house livable that we haven't spent much time on the outside so the zombie has been boxed since we got here. If I'm being honest, I also didn't want to have our first impression in a new place be that we're the kind of crazy people who have a zombie in the yard in July. Although we're totally those people.

Anyway, now that it's Halloween we can bring out the zombie without feeling weird. Maybe we just won't put it away afterward. I'll stick a Santa hat on it next week and it'll still be appropriate. So here is our badass zombie. Ready to scare the trick or treaters who won't be coming since we live in the sticks. Oh, and please disregard the filthy fence. Pretend that it didn't always look that way and, instead, we took our pristine white fence and aged it just for the holiday. Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Introductions

Hi, I'm Maddy, the sister-n-law. =) I'm so happy that Jeanne started this blog. Until now, we had only talked about it. Thanks Jeanne for getting us going.

Okay, so I guess I should tell you a little bit about myself. Not an easy task apparently. Who knew that my stage fright would transfer over into blog world. Well it appears that it has, but I’m going to work through it and hopefully along with accomplishing some projects, keeping in touch with the SIL and making some friends, I will get better at public speaking/blogging. Besides having stage and blog fright, I’m also a rambler and procrastinator. All these qualities just add to my bubbly personality don’t you think? Well maybe not. It probably depends on whom you ask.

Lets see. What else? I have an 8 year old son (usually referred to as My Cookie, Boogs, Boogie Woogie, Boo – nicknames are endless so try to keep up) who is the apple of my eye. When I’m not working, I’m involved in my cookie’s extremely active cub scout pack, training to do my first 5k, hanging out with my friends and thinking about more projects that I want to do and usually don’t get around to. I’m a procrastinator, remember?

My dear friends, Silvia and Sally, taught me how to quilt and my other dear friend, youtube, taught me how to crochet. I have yet to crochet anything more than a few scarves but I’m optimistic that I will eventually figure out how to do this baby sweater that I’m currently working on. Not only do I want to be a better quilter and crocheter, there are so many more things that I want to learn how to do. What is the very next thing on my list to learn? Mosaic stepping stones!!! Wendy, one of my bestest friends, has promised to teach me. She has even added mosaics to the walls inside her house! I just love her work and can’t wait to learn. I also love home remodeling shows/blogs and I love to watch cooking shows. If only I loved to cook, too, because i definitely love to eat.

Well I guess I should probably stop there for now. I mean why would I tell you what a Twilight Series and Vampire Diaries fan I am on my first post EVER? That is definitely 2nd post material.

Maddy =)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkins in Progress


A few years ago I made a housewarming present for some family who moved into their new home in October.  Since I love Halloween I crocheted a pumpkin and gave it a variety of interchangeable faces.  I loved the project so much that I made another one for a friends' birthday the following year.  I've thought about the project a lot since I first made it and have always wanted to make another for myself and so I finally sat down to make one and ended up making four.  I started with the largest one and then once I'd finished I thought it might be cute to make a smaller one with a fixed face instead of the velcro faces.  And then when that was done I thought it would be cute if it were even smaller and then when that one was done it happened again and I made the fourth punpkin and now I don't think I can get any smaller than that.  I just need to add stems and faces and get these little guys set up around the house.

I'm also trying to make some little bats to go along with these so I've got one of those in progress but there's no photos because it's not very photogenic right now.  It's just a stuffed black ball.  I found some cool felt eyes at Michael's that I'm going to add and maybe some little white felt fangs and then some large felt wings attached to the back.

Ideally, I'd like to start making stuff like this for my Etsy shop but it's so hard to find time.  Anyone have any advice on how to work a crafting business in with a full-time job?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unfinished Objects

Well, now that I've introduced myself I figure I should pull out some of the stuff that I've been working on.  I've been caught up these past few months with a new home, a new job and all in a new state so my works in progress have been stuck in progress longer than I'm proud of.  I love making toys so first up is my little Elvis monkey.  I've really enjoyed adapting this monkey pattern from Ana Paola Rimoli's Seriously Cute Crochet into a Pirate and a Superhero and now Elvis.  I'm not sure why these things all seem cuter as monkeys but they totally do.

My second unfinished object is this cute pair of socks.  It's only my third pair ever and my first that's not just a plain vanilla sock.  The pattern is Kai Mei from Cookie A's fantastic Sock Innovation.  I've only got the toe left on the first sock but I know that there's a mythical second sock hump that's hard to get past.  Hopefully, I'll finish these soon since it's getting chilly and a nice pair of socks would be useful right about now.

Lastly, I've got some fabric that I just purchased from Mary Jo's in Charlotte.  Coming from Brooklyn where space is a premium and the craft/fabric shops are the size of a studio apartment this place was insane.  It's the size of a warehouse with just fabric.  There was an overwhelming amount of options especially for someone like me with no clue what to look for.  I will say though that they had the best selection of toy eyes I've ever seen.  I think I bought one of everything in every color and size.  I've been reading Casey's Elegant Musings and she started a sew along recently for a circle skirt.  It seems like a good, simple project to cut my teeth on so the red fabric is intended for that.  I would like for the paisley fabric to become an A-line skirt.  I love the soft creams and oranges in it and it was the first fabric to catch my eye in Mary Jo's.  The orange fabric is a wool blend and I have no idea what to do with it.  I was thinking it might work for another skirt but I really don't know.   I bought two yards and it's about 60" wide so any ideas?

Monday, October 10, 2011


Hey, I'm Jeanne.  I'm starting this blog, in part, as a way to stay connected to my sister-in-law and co-author here across the 800 miles that separate us.  I also hope that it will push me to create more, learn more and make some friends along the way.  I learned to knit about four years ago and a few years later taught myself crochet through the wonderful world of youtube.  I've now got a second hand sewing machine but most days it takes me an hour to remember how to even turn it on.  I hope you'll drop in and leave comments, advice, stories of your own or whatever else and I'll try to do my part by keeping the crafting coming!