Wednesday, December 31, 2008

They are trying to make us do WHAT?!

Happy Holidays everyone! I'll get to the main subject of my post in a minute- just first want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR! a few hours early and to thank everyone who has stopped by to read my blog in the past year. I haven't posted as much as I'd like.... sorry about that. Things have been pretty busy here with the little ones, the business, and life in general :)

Christmas here was fun! The kitchen was a BIG hit with the kids and they love all of the fun accessories that Grandma, Grandpa, and my brother's family bought for them. I think the pizza and cookie sets are Sydney's favorites right now- she loves to serve us all day long! She also likes to make "zebra soup" - a little disturbing, but harmless (I think...).

Ben's favorite toy is the Cow Wheely Bug that Santa brought - check out how cute this thing is! I am tempted to get another one for Baby #3 coming in April... have to see though b/c 2 boys chasing eachother on wheeled wooden toys could get really ugly, really fast!

Speaking of toys... let's talk about the CPSIA... Have you heard of this fantastic (snicker) piece of legislature that Congress passed in August '08? If you haven't heard of it, I highly recommend that you google it and check out THIS LINK on cafemom. In a nutshell, all products that are intended to be used by kids under the age of 12 have to go through rigorous and EXPENSIVE lead testing, effective Feb 10, 2009. Sounds like something that would be good, right? I mean, we all want the best for our kids - remember the big scare last year from all of the lead found in paint on the toys from China? We all freaked out! But this law... this law has good intentions, but is not well thought out. It will make HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of home crafters have to shut down their businesses - I personally can't afford to have each fabric choice and size of my bags tested (~ $200-$500 per bag) and most small business owners like myself are in the same boat.

I honestly haven't figured out a plan of how to attack this yet - I am still in complete disbelief, even though it's a mere 40 days away. My optimistic side is holding out hope that small businesses will be excluded from this act, but from what I've read, that's not the plan. I don't mind showing proof that the components that I use are lead free (which is why I chose them...) - I get that. What I don't get is that they are requiring that the final products be tested - just can't do it. Unless of course they want to foot the bill :)

And what if you aren't someone who has a business making kids goodies? Well, you probably buy them now and again as gifts, or maybe you even have kids yourself. It is anticipated that prices could go up 50% after 2/10 due to the cost of the testing (for those companies that can afford it) and due to the increased demand of things (there will be a lot less available on the shelves - check out THIS LINK on National Bankruptcy Day, aka Feb 10, 2008). There will also be a lot less variety out there. Fun...

Please do read up on this and sign petitions, contact your congressman, ask questions.... WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Please have a save and Happy New Year's everyone!
~ Kris

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy belated Turkey Day everyone! We had a really fun day - hope you all did too :) Leftovers are basically gone... back to cooking I guess!

I did some shopping over the weekend and of course had to pop into Joanne's - this trip was with purpose though (for once!). I needed to get some fabric to fix the stocking - ended up finding this:

And of course got sucked into a little bit more. Their corduroy's were 50% off, and with another coupon on top of that, it was hard to pass these cuties up! The magazines are also great reads - I'll write more about them later.

I finished up the stocking tonight and am pretty pleased with how it turned out - the red stuff was really stretchy, so I used double-sided fusible interfacing and fused it to some thick twill scraps. Worked pretty well :)

Off to bed now, but can you believe that we're already getting lots of this stuff?! I'm not ready!

Friday, November 21, 2008

November Greetings!

Hi all! Wow... it's been a while since my last post - sorry about that! I'll make this one short and sweet though :) Things are great here - just busy (as I am sure is the case with everyone this time of the year). I'm committed to not get stressed about the holidays this year and so far, so good! I just don't have the energy!

Just spent the better part of 2 hours (time flies...) looking at wooden kitchens online for the kids for x-mas. Boy there are a ton of options! Space is somewhat of an issue for us, so I think I'll have to opt for one without a hutch. This one is looking like the winner so far - just need to measure the spot that I want it to go in tomorrow. The company is also local-ish (~ a hour from us), so I like knowing that (1) we'd be supporting local folks and (2) we might be able to save some $ on shipping.

As for crafty stuff, last month saw a few kid's birthdays, so I made some odds and ends:

A Thomas Tote for my friend's son who loves trains as much as Sydney loves Nemo and penguins

A Ravens outfit for another little boy (born 18 hours after Ben!)

Another twirl skirt set (love the fall colors!!!!) for the daughter of a friend - hopefully I'll get to make a set for Sydney and Jordan (my niece) next week.

Also made a bunch of these shirts for a friend to give to her nieces and nephews - I love how the baseball ones turned out!

This week I'm hoping to get my wholesale wet bag orders all done and shipped, and figure out a good fix for this stocking, sent to me by a customer & friend in CA:

I drew a red line to show the damaged area - a critter got into their Christmas box and had a little snack :( Any creative ideas for a fix? We were thinking of making the whole toe area a red velvety fabric, or possibly just the damaged part. Her daughter loves this stocking, so it has to be saved!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We're going to get snow at some point I think... My how I miss this already! It was gorgeous while it lasted!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

From Kris, Baby Turtle (SQUIRT) and NEMO :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pigtails or Puppy Dog Tails?

Hi all!!!! Yep... we're pregnant again!!!! The final (trust me....) Baby Valenti will join us in early April of next year and we find out next month whether we're having a little girl or boy. I'm ~ 15 weeks along now and am *very* happy to be out of the icky first trimester. In general I do really well when pregnant, but the first trimester is always the hardest - tired, and just generally off my game. I'm starting to feel like my old self again - perfect timing for the upcoming holidays!!!

We found out the big news on Frank's actual 40th birthday in late July- it'll be a birthday that he'll never forget!

Not much else new is really happening around here. Fall is everywhere, so we're grabbing at every opportunity to be outside while we still can. Our eldest dog, Higgins, turned 12 this month - Happy Birthday Higgy!

Also have been working on the front yard a bit here and there - am pretty much done planting bulbs (irises, daffodils and tulips ) - 90 down and ~ 40 more to go. Talk about tedious.... The toughest part of planting them is that our land is incredibly rocky, so I can get a few inches and then need to either extract HUGENORMOUS rocks (with the help of Frank if he's around), skip the area, or just plant and hope for the best. I'll be interested to see what actually comes up next spring...

We've been doing a lot of rock and leaf hunting / gathering lately - Sydney seems to be pretty smitten with the red and gold ones :) It takes us an hour to walk our 1/4 mile neighborhood loop, but she loves every minute of it, so it's worth it!

Off to start the day! Brother Ben's first birthday was yesterday and we're having a birthday party for him and 2 other little boys this morning - the kids get to wear their Halloween costumes, so it should be a fun time! I'll take pics of the gifts later and post them next time :) Happy fall everyone!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Feeling so *International*!

How neat is this?! Just got an email from a customer (Hippe Hippo) who sells my bags in Norway - she's at a diaper show this weekend and took some pics: (I added the little text blurb at the top left). So fun :)

Off to make another one of these outfits for a birthday party tomorrow - how cute would this look with some tights and brown boots?!

Friday, October 03, 2008


We love PlayDoh around here - I'm talking about up to 3-4 hours some days of PlayDoh love...

I finally decided that our first 2 packs need to be retired - one is filled with ~ 6 containers of nasty gray, gummy, yucky PlayDoh (from when Sydney decided early-on to combine all of the colors). The other pack still has it's original colors intact, but they crumble pretty easily and are very hard to work with.

Out with the old, in with the new... BUT.... did you know that the PlayDoh brand containers aren't recyclable?! Hubby thought I was nuts when I told him that I am boycotting buying any more of that particular brand anymore (given Sydney's PlayDoh love), but seriously - there's got to be other options out there that are more eco-friendly.

So the search begins...

I can make my own playdough:
- recipe on
- recipe on

Or can get some of the ecofriendly playdough that's out there:


"Eco play-dough is delivered to your door using recycled pails and air tight tamper-proof lids. On collection day simply leave your pail and old eco-dough out for collection and one of our team will pick up and replace with fresh, hygenic Eco Play-dough. EPDF will then recycle your used Eco-dough to create a by-product you can use in your Garden -Eco Fertiliser. "

- Over the Rainbow

- Mary's SoftDough

I'm thinking scented playdough is a nice idea, but given that kids already like to eat the regular stuff, I'll stay clear of the "flavors" for a few years :)

I will give making it a try, but I've heard from several friends that it's pretty messy (which could be fun....) and doesn't really work that well. Would love to hear ideas / feedback from any of you guys that have tackled this issue already. Thanks! ~ Kris

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some green talk

Don't know how many of you subscribe / buy Real Simple, but I've been loving their articles on "How to Recycle Anything". Here's the link to September's entry (items starting with the letters A to M). This month's entries are N through Z and I learned a ton! As I've mentioned here before, I'm a bit of a recycling freak...

Did you know that these:

aren't recyclable?! Turns out that goldenrod paper (and dark and fluorescent paper) aren't recyclable because they have hard-to-remove dyes.

Also didn't know that you can just throw envelopes with plastic windows in with your regular office paper - the filters remove the plastic! Same thing w/ spiral bound notebooks (we don't have many of these around the house any more, but it's good for you folks w/ school-aged kids to know!). I used to rip out the plastic part of the envelopes, but no more- there's a few more minutes added to my day :)

Hope their tips help you out too! PS: Did you know that you can recycle used Crocs? Check out the Real Simple site for more info.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A long time coming...

Hubby and I have waited patiently for 3 years to demolish our driveway and front yard... and we finally did it! Not that we really had a choice - when you have 4+ cars/trucks get stuck in your driveway over the winter, are refused delivery of your propane too many times to keep track (because of your driveway), and you need 4WD to get to the street on a clear day, you get the hint that something needs to be done.

Here's some before pics - the first 2 are from Oct '05 when we first moved in. Don't be smitten by the fall colors - it usually looked like a bunch of overzealous weeds and scrappy trees.

View from the porch

After we had construction done on the inside of the house, the little path that is shown above looked like this (pic from Oct of last year) because we used the front lawn as a place to park while the guys were there:

This big guy stayed with us for about a week and was a constant source of entertainment for Sydney - I think she's loving trucks as much as Nemo these days...

Day 1 brought the falling of all of the trees that were on the left side of our front yard - talk about a change!
The guys also fixed up the back yard (we had some water drainage issues that they kindly tended to - it's amazing what they can do with those trucks!)

Voila! About a week later and this is how we look - we're having the front hydro-seeded on Thursday and then hubby and I can get to the fun stuff. Plants, rock borders, pumpkins... whatever strikes our fancy! The best part of this project is that now we have a parking pad in the front of the house - easy in and easy out. Love it!

PS: Stacy and I are still gathering ideas for the next sew-along, so if you have any please drop us a line! :) Kris

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And the winner is.....

Hi all! We had 15 entries in the Skirt Sew-Along and the winner (using the random number generator) is....


Congratulations! A new copy of Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics will be on it's way to you this week!

Wendy actually entered 2 skirts and this entry was the winning selection:
She also wrote up a review of the pattern she used (BWOF 01-2008-127b; Princess Seamed Pencil Skirt) on Pattern You can read her excellent review HERE.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! We're planning on starting our next one soon, but need some project ideas. We were thinking of something that could be made for Holiday gifts (a bag? patchwork scarf?). Please submit your ideas to either me or Stacy - can't wait to see what you come up with!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! ~ Kris

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Podcast Help Needed!

Hi all! Mom and Dad bought me an IPOD

for my birthday a few months back and I'm finally adding a few things aside from what hubby had on his IPOD. I'd like to subscribe to some crafty Podcasts, but need some recommendations. TIA! : )Kris

Friday, August 29, 2008

Baby Carrier Sale!

Just a quick note to tell you all about a great sale I just found on my all-time favorite baby carrier, the Beco Butterfly: this isn't a picture of me :)
I'm a big fan of baby wearing and needed something super sturdy that I could carry Ben in - in the front AND the back. This one fits the bill! I've had mine (in Amy Butler's Spinach Imperial Fans fabric) for a few months now and use it almost daily. It's incredibly comfortable, and most importantly, Ben likes it :)

Euphoria Baby is having a sale on their Beco's until 8/31 - check 'em out!

Hope you all have a fun and safe holiday weekend! :) Kris

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hello my crafty friends! Hope you're outside a bunch trying to squeeze out the last bits of summer like we are! I finally broke down and got some Crocs and I have to say that I *love* them. They are abnoxiously pink and I think that's what I love most!

Truth be told, we haven't had much time out on the boat in the past month - NH has seen it's share of almost-daily storms and the lakes are up ~ 15 inches! They are saying that a wet fall and winter are to follow... AGH!!!!! I'm trying to stay positive :)

Anyways, I don't have any new creations to share - hopefully with the fall weather will come earlier bed times and later rise times for the kiddos... which naturally translates to more time for mommy fun at night.

I did pick up a few things though to read sometime soon (don't you hate how sucks you in with that free shipping over $25 deal?! Get's me every time!!)

The top book is something that I've been wanting for a while, and as it was one of the oldest items on my "Wish List", I figured it was time. I want to make Sydney some knit clothes for the fall and have been a bit apprehensive - hopefully this book will help.

Want your own FREE copy? Stacy and I are giving away a copy at the start of Sept to one lucky contestant in our SKIRT SEW-ALONG! The sew-along ends on August 31, so you still have time!!!

The second book (a fabulous baby gift making book by Amy Butler) is chock full of fun gift ideas that span from beginner to advanced sewing levels. I doubt that I'll ever attempt to make a whole crib set, but I really do like the stuffies, cloth blocks and baby clothes. I definitely recommend checking this one out - who doesn't love handmade baby goodies?

Also broke down and picked up some of Heather Bailey's *GORGEOUS* Pop Garden fabric. I really wish I had the time to whip up a quilt with this stuff - it would be gorgeous! I'm not really sure what I'll do with it all - definitely will make some fun wet bags with many of the prints. Maybe a skirt for Sydney? (I'd actually love a skirt for me in the diagonal fabric which is the second one from the left...). And the jelly bean dots? Too stinkin' cute!

That's about it - my days are mostly filled with chasing the little ones around, and defending my finished goods from the littlest one :) He's fast!

Good night! :) Kris

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy August!

Hi folks! Long time no blogging. Sorry! These past 2 weeks have been crazy, but fun. Hubby celebrated the big 4-0 last week and it's been what seems like party after party! When the actual day came, I think he was pretty much over it :)

Party #1 was a surprise party (CLAMBAKE!) down in MA that I organized with some old friend's of Frank's. Had a great time, despite the 98 degree day - thankfully they had a pool!
(picture courtesy of Sue)

Party #2 was the next day - hosted by our NH friends. The best part of this all was that he really didn't have a clue! I think it'll rank up there as one as his favorite birthdays.... it better! After that w/e of partying, my mom and sister-in-law (with her kids) came to visit for a few days, then we headed down to the Jersey shore for a bit to visit with my high school friends. Phew.... Busy!

I've also been working a bit around the house when I can - it's REALLY hard these days to get anything done when Ben is awake - he's almost 10 months old and a maniac. The non-stop kind of maniac that I've heard boys can be. Keeps me on my toes!

Here's my older helper (I repainted the front door and the door sides from dark green to black - muuuuuuch better).

Have also been working on Syd and Ben's room a little to help define their areas. They share the room - Syd in a bed and Ben in a crib. So far, so good.

I saw the idea for the bird mural in the book LAST- MINUTE PATCHWORK and QUILTED GIFTS (if you haven't checked it out, you really should - it's fantastic). The pattern for the birds calls for it to be hand appliqued. Okay - I'm a mom with 2 little kids and I don't have enough time to get my hair cut let alone applique. So, I just used double-sided fusible webbing and top-stitched it. I had an old corkboard and remnant fleece that I used to mount it. Pretty easy project. I think I will go back and make the birds all one color though... I think the silhouette effect would look better. Hindsight...

Speaking of birds, check these cuties out!!!

My crafty sister-in-law Sue made these (she made them for Ben's baptism in June - what a fantastic gift!) and I'm in love . I want them all over the house. Seriously.
If you'd like to make them, CLICK HERE for the tutorial by SPOOL SEWING. Beware - I've heard they are pretty addictive!

Have you tried Sandi Henderson's adorable Mariposa Applique pattern (the PDF link can be found at her right side-bar)? I finally did (a quick and easy birthday gift) and really enjoyed it - so much that I cut out 10 more sets to make for all of my little girl friends out there. Just need to find the time to make them all...

Hmm... What else... AH! I got a new toy! A snap setter! Been eyeing one of those bad boys for a while, and after having enough customer requests for things that would be perfect with snaps, I decided to bite the bullet and get one. So happy that I did! I now add snaps to my wet bag straps (so you can hang them off the stroller, etc), and was able to make a double wet-bag. Pretty cool. Also looking to make a new wet bag / changing pad combo.... stay tuned!

More news on the way - don't want to bore you all too much :) Stacy and I did decide to extend the skirt-sew along to the end of August (8/31), so if you wanted to participate, you still can! Check out the entries so far - there's some cute ones!

Before I go... I did find this funny ad in the paper the other day - if only my nails were a serious daily concern...