Friday, December 30, 2011


What's New Years without a little celebrating?!
Enjoy {40% off everything} in my etsy shop 
for a limited time.

Whether it's pillows you fancy...

Or fancy baby bibs and burp cloth sets...

Happy 2012! xo

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Ruffled Pillow for Christmas

Last year for Christmas, I gave my mom the coolest fringe purse ever. People are still complimenting her on it.

This year, as I contemplated what to give my mom, I realized I may never find another something that topped "The Fringe".

And since she's too important to give just any old thing, I decided to make her something extra special. Something lovely and beautiful like she is. And it had to be perfect. No pressure, right?

She had mentioned a while back that she wanted a 14" x 28" pillow to put on one of the beds. I'd never made a long pillow before, but decided now was the time to try. And you know how they say never serve your guests a meal you've never tried before? Yah, well, I ignored that and blew caution to the wind.

And I've got to say, my rolled hems have never been straighter. There were no stitches to unpick. And no swearing in the closet. I don't know whether it was the bump on the head or a Christmas miracle, but this ruffled pillow turned out just as lovely as I hoped it would. With lots and lots of love sewn in.

The trick to perfectly precise rolled hems? Along with using a hemmer foot, a taut hold on the fabric and a little guidance? Slow and steady wins the race my friends. I'll admit, I'm usually a hare, but for rolled hems? A tortoise I will be. More details to come in a new "using a hemmer foot" post. 

Only a few days left of 2011. 
I think I'm ready for a new year, hope you are too!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Let Christmas Begin!

This week, thankfully, has gotten a lot better, after Monday's fiasco.

We drove over to the shop today. Poor little Yaris. :( It actually looks a lot better now than it did at the accident site. Luckily there was no frame damage, so it won't be totaled.

The insurance and collision shop have been great to work with and we hope to have our little humpty dumpty put back together again within a couple weeks. Sigh.

Moving on...
It's Christmastime and my family is all in town! We've been having fun watching movies:



and are so excited for our annual traditions:

{Greasy, cheap burgers & fries} at Dick's (a Seattle must)


{A Christmas Carol} at Seattle's ACT Theater


Our first ever {Family Christmas Eve White Elephant Gift Exchange}
This ought to be interesting. I'll show you what we're bringing (and what we end up with) a little later!


And last, but certainly not least, the {Chocolate Fountain}, with all its creamy dripping/dipping goodness. Picture this, but with lots of kids and adults mobbed around it with chocolate dripping from their happy faces.


What will we dip this year?
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Oreos
  • Nutterbutters
  • Rice Krispie Treats
  • Cheese cake bites
  • Pretzel sticks

Oh yeah.

Happy Holidays everyone! 
May they be Merry and Bright!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Me and my hubcap

I've had better weeks, people. And it's only Tuesday. The 2nd day of my holiday break.

Yesterday's events swirl around in my head like a bad dream. Playing over and over and over again. Lost details rise up out of nowhere. Guilt weighs heavily.

"If only's" plague my mind...

  • If only I had left my house at a different time.
  • If only I had taken a different route.
  • If only I hadn't wondered if another lane would get there faster.
  • If only I had looked one more time.

If only, if only, if only.

And all that's left of our new car of only 9 months? A cracked, dirty hubcap. You don't even want to know what the car looked like. The tow truck guy said it might be totaled. The collision shop was surprised no one got hurt.

After 25 years of driving without one accident. It all happened in an instant.

What I'm grateful for:

  • The girl in the other car, along with her 2-year-old daughter, and dog, weren't injured.
  • That I didn't get more than a bump on the head.
  • The girl was gracious and forgiving and said we all make mistakes.
  • Her daughter sat content, watching a DVD without the slightest worry, while the dog wagged his tail and panted unknowingly, next to her.
  • The accident wasn't worse than it was.
  • That no one else was involved.
  • That the kind man with the lovely British accent waited with us as a witness and helped talk to 911 and police, even though he had his kids with him in the car and I'm sure had many things to do that day.
  • That the tow truck driver was so patient with me as I fumbled around trying to figure out where to have my car taken.
  • That my airbags didn't go off and cause more damage.
  • That she didn't hit me in the driver's side door which could have been so much worse.
  • That I didn't scream back at the man driving by in his car as he yelled in an angry voice, "Get your cars out of the road!" (p.s. Mr. Scrouge, they weren't drive-able) 
  • That my sister survived the birthday party I was on my way to help her with.
  • That my husband is so understanding and kind. All he cared about was that I was ok.
  • That my sweet family called, offering words of comfort.
  • For my loving husband letting us watch the "Whip It" roller derby movie, to make me feel better.

As I watched the tow truck slowly roll off with my sweet little Yaris on its back, and began the lonely walk of shame back to my apartment, something along the curb caught my eye. There tucked quietly along the side of the road, sat my poor little hubcap. I'm so sorry, I whispered (as if my car had feelings) and picked it up and took it home with me.

Bless the good people in this world who have patience, kindness and understanding during difficult circumstances! May we all be a little more patient & kind with each other, especially at this time of year. xo

{car update here}

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

{image credit: Time-LIFE: kids watching a puppet show 1963}

This week's featured funnies:

{What is Out of the Mouth Of Babes, you ask?}
Funny experiences and quotes from the kids I work with, in my "off-sewing time", while working for a district after-school program. Gotta love those kids!

2nd grade girl with a crush (yes, she's always in the top 3)
her: I need to talk to you about you-know-who (the crush in her class)
me: What's going on?
her: I have 3 words for you: Weird, Cute, Annoying. In that order.


2nd grade boy
He plops himself down next to me.
him: It's the hair, isn't it?
me: What?
him: I look like that guy, you know, the one everyone likes?
me: Uh, Tom Cruise? (Good one. He probably doesn't even know who Tom Cruise is)
him: No, Justin Beaver. Don't you know my hair cut looks just like Justin Beaver?

Do you know how many kids call him Justin Beaver? Cracks me up every time. Sorry Beebs.


A parent came in to pick up their child and realized he had a lunch sack that wasn't his.
me: (look inside bag and respond to parent) I know who's sack that is. Their mom always makes them homemade buns (that's what the kids call them. Buns).
[Do I stop there? No. Why, when it can get so much better??]
me: Yep, those kids sure like their buns.
{Awkward pause} {Take it back! Can't take it back.} {co-worker giggles} {father pretends to ignore it but, please.}
me: (trying to pull myself out of the massive hole I had just dug for myself) Yah, their mother makes these lovely rolls. She's quite a baker. She makes really delicious bread (don't say buns, don't say buns, don't say buns).

Good save Ms. Shannon. Yah, right.


Best sound of the week?  A group of 60 children giggling like crazy all at once. Cue: talking ponies and grown men slipping on banana peels.

Ah, those were the days.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ink blot t-shirts: part III

I asked my husband if he wanted to make an ink blot t-shirt with me.
He said no.
I asked him if he would wear one if I made it?
He said no.
When I asked him why, he said he doesn't like that it's the same design on both sides of the shirt. He likes more of a spattered paint look because it's random.
I happen to like the ink blot design look because it's symmetrical.

So here we black shirt's all ready to go.
Gotta see what Glacier White Paint will do.
(click this ink blot t-shirt post for specifics)

Splittery Splat

Fold and gently press; fingers crossed...

And wouldn't you know, I don't see animals in this one (like I do in this shirt and this t-shirt design).  
I see spattered paint.
Go figure.

Maybe my husband will actually like this one.

And as far as the glacier white paint? The white color appears a bit "grayed" against the background of the black t-shirt, which I happen to like. I'm guessing the appearance of the white may vary according to the color of the shirt.

This is so much fun! You seriously have to try it. And I need to stop or everything I own will be covered in ink-blots!

Related Posts: Ink blot t-shirt designs
                       Ink blot t-shirts II

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ink blot t-shirts II

I had so much crazy fun making ink blot t-shirts with light colored shirts, I had to see how they would turn out with darker material. You knew I couldn't stop, didn't you?

I was so excited to try this platinum metallic on a black t-shirt.

  • Plippity plop metallic style

  • Fold and gently press

  • Open to see what you've created. (My favorite part. That's why it's so addictive.)

What do you see?
I see a frog, so did my husband. Why do I always see animals in my designs? Do I have a secret animal phobia or something? Should I? Hmmm.

The thing I learned about metallic paint, is that it doesn't adhere like the flat paint. While it makes the look unique and "worn", I would have liked it to stick a little more evenly.

Check back tomorrow with yet another black t-shirt ink blot design. This time, with glacier white paint.

The obsession continues. Dun Dun Dun.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vanilla Hot Chocolate: not just a Starbucks delicacy

My mom and I have a guilty pleasure.
Starbucks Hot Chocolate.

We love to go to "The Bucks" (that's what she calls it and now I'm copying her), get our fave's (she loves the peppermint and I love the regular) and we grab a cozy seat by the fireplace, cup our steamy chocolate, and talk and laugh the way best friends do.

But with all the fuss over Starbucks, did you know you can make your own Hot Chocolate Delicacy?? I kid you not.

The thing I learned about Starbucks' hot chocolate, is that they use vanilla syrup. I'm crazy about vanilla, so I decided to try a little hot chocolate magic of my own and see how it turned out.

Enter Vanilla Syrup.

Just get your favorite hot chocolate mix and a bottle of Vanilla syrup (*not vanilla extract - much too bitter). I've often found the syrups in the coffee section of most grocery stores.

I like to mix my hot chocolate with hot milk (for a creamier taste), but you can also use water with most mixes; and add a Tbsp or two of the Vanilla syrup. Start out small and add to meet your taste.

And what's a cup of hot cocoa without marshmallows?? You've gotta have some marshmallows. And while you're getting all fancy, you might as well drink it in your favorite fancy mug (it really does taste better in a fancy mug).

Hope you love it like I do! It sure sweetens the sting of that cold December air.

*Makes a great gift basket idea too!  Here's my address: (hahaha) J/K
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

This Out of the mouth of babes thing has kind of become a weekend round-up of sorts for me. I try to recount all the funny things the kids say to me at school throughout the week (as an asst. manager of an after-school program); because believe me, there's always something!

First, I have to show you this poster that one of the kids hung up all over the school.

In case you can't read it, it says, "LOST stuffed animal"  speech bubble: "I'm lost help me" with a few descriptions.  And I kid you not, one of the kids asked me if I was taking a picture so I could put it on facebook. All for the love of a stuffed animal.


And while we're on the subject of animals...
1st grader: I have a real cat fur ball at home
me: I hope it's not a fur ball he coughed up (I know, real classy)
1st grader: Yes, it is. He choked it up, we washed it, and died it pink.
me: (speechless)                            

Remember the 2nd grade cutie pie who wrote up a list of how to get her 2nd grade hunk?  It seems she has some competition (sitting next to her crush in class). That she plans to eliminate. She even wrote out specific directions.

"Poshun to get Makayla expelled"
Rosemary, salt, lemon joos, butter, pepper, shuger
meWhat are you going to do with your potion?
her: I'm going to sprinkle it on her desk and then when she gets to class, she'll see that her desk disappeared.
me: Then what?
her: I'm going to rub it on her chair so that when she sits on it, she disappears. Wouldn't that be funny? Especially if it was during math algorithms! (hahaha)
me: hahaha (too bad I don't really get the math humor...& I'd better never get on her bad side)


And one more about my clothes. Why?
2nd grade girl: Ms. Shannon, you're wearing a man's shirt today.
me: No, it's a ladies shirt. (show her the feminine sleeves)
her: Oh, cuz I was going to ask you if you bought it in the men's department.
me: (Dang, does this really look like a man's shirt??)

P.S. My shirt kind of looked like this. I was even wearing a belt with it. I thought I was looking pretty fashionable. I guess I didn't make 2nd graders best dressed.

{image credit}
Gotta love these kids! :)

I'm liking up with E Tells Tales. If you have a weekend round-up sort of post, you can enter yours too! She's a clever writer and her blog is always fun to read.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I need a snow day

{image credit}
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.
Or at least just one snow day?

But alas, at the moment, we are shivvery cold, but snow-less in Seattle.
The flakes without the snow
The fight without the snowball
The out without the white

Last year around Thanksgiving, we had a couple of snow days. It was exciting. It was quiet. It was beautiful.

But the thing about snow days, is you're borrowing from the future. 
Snow days now, equal a shorter summer vacation later.
But for now?  I'll take that gamble.
Santa, if you're listening? That's what I want for Christmas.

(If this were a Hallmark movie it would totally start snowing right now)

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Beans in my ears

Want a really weird song stuck in your head? Listen to this one. Whoever wrote this song must have put beans in their ears one too many times.

My childhood BFF Melissa and I used to dance around to this song back in, what, 5th grade? They bought an old Juke Box with a bunch of old tunes in it. This one has been bouncing around in my head all morning. For a really dumb reason.

Ok, ready for a little science lesson? Did you know that we all have something called calcium crystals (a.k.a ear rocks) in our inner ear? And that if these "rocks" get dislodged they can really mess with our equilibrium? Result? Dizziness. Blah.

Too bad I know it well. The technical term: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It's the pits. I've been dealing with slight bouts of it all weekend and it's still lingering.

Anywho, there are some head movement exercises that are supposed to help return those sneaky little crystals back where they belong. As I worked through the exercises, and my thoughts had nowhere to go, they quickly went from ear rocks to ear beans, to beans in my ears, and Oh yeah, I remember that song...and round and round it goes, much like my head.

Hope you have a happy Monday! Keep those beans out of your ears!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

Did this feel like an incredibly long week to anyone else?? This is so me and my husband right now. Major couch potatoes.

Glad it's Saturday tomorrow. I need a bit of a breather.


Always a funny story or two to tell hanging out with the kiddies at school.

This weeks funnies:

While doing a baking activity with the kids, I was asking one of the 2nd graders if she baked at home with her mom. A little while later she looked up at me and asked, "Ms. Shannon, do you bake at home with Mr. Shannon?"   I couldn't help but laugh. Mr. Shannon? I guess the whole Ms/Miss/first name/last name thing can be tricky at that age.

I asked a 2nd grader to run something over to one of our substitutes, "Miss Pearl", so off he ran. A few minutes later Miss Pearl came over to me and said he had run up to her and said, "Miss Squirrel? Ms. Shannon told me to bring this to you."
Her: "Miss Squirrel?"
Him: "Yes."
Her: "My name is Miss Pearl."
Him: "Yah, that's what I said."
Funny thing is, she said it's happened a few times with other kids. I guess they figure, why couldn't her name be Miss Squirrel?

While playing in the play kitchen area/turned vet's office where kitties were having baby kittens (go figure), I turned to one of the 1st grade boys and asked him if he would be the Dr. I then handed him a small plastic ketchup bottle and asked him to give the patient a shot with it. He looked up at me with a confused look and asked in his adorable little lispy voice, "with the thauthe?"   ...I guess he wasn't tuning in to my inner-child.

Happy Weekend everyone!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ink blot t-shirt designs

Remember when I thought Sharpie t-shirt designs were the next best thing to sliced bread? Well, at the moment (sorry Sharpies, I'm so finicky that way) I'm head-over-heels for something else. Ink Blot T-shirt Designs. You have no idea.

At first I thought I had come up with the idea myself. haha. ha. Yah, no.

Of course when I searched the all-knowing internet, someone had come up with it first.

But lucky for me, I found a couple of great ink blot t-shirt tutorials: DIY Projects and Instructables. They were fantastic. Simple and concise. So I followed their lead.

Ink Blot T-shirt take I:

Start with a shirt

Use a piece of cardboard that is the same width of your shirt, to put in-between your shirt layers

Fold the cardboard in half and make a strong crease

Put the creased cardboard inside your shirt

Make sure the creased cardboard is in the center of the shirt and secure it. Some use tacks or tape, I used binder clips.

Pull out your fabric paint. Some use acrylic, but I like the softer feel of fabric paint.

Apply your paint. Don't try to make a design, just drip, drop randomly.

Carefully fold your shirt in half along the cardboard crease. (*In my 2nd attempt I found that pressing gently, especially along the crease, helped to disperse the paint.)

Tada! My first "ink blot" t-shirt. Kind of a fun design.

Add caption
This is when it got tricky. There were a couple of spots with thick excess paint (if you look closely you'll see). I should have left it alone. 

But I don't often leave things alone when I should, so I pulled out my little sponge to try and soak up some of the paint. Wah, wah. Don't do that. The more I dabbed, the worse it got and I ended up running to the sink to try and rinse out the paint entirely. Do do that either. It didn't come out, it just bled. 

See, I'm teaching you how NOT to do things so you can avoid these mistakes! :)

In the end, as my shirt hung to dry in its sad, blotchy state, my husband said it looked cool that way. Like it was supposed to be like that. I guess I'll believe him even though I know he may just be saying that to be nice. It does sort of have that I-wore-this-in-the-garage-and-got-grease-on-it sort of appeal.

***And by the way, the last real step (instead of running to the sink to un-do your design) is letting the paint dry with the cardboard still in tact. After it's dry, remove the cardboard and use a dry hot iron (with a cloth on top of your design) to set the paint for about 3 minutes. Don't wash your shirt for at least 72 hours.

::Ink Blot T-shirt Take II - {Much, much better!}::(#II)

Now that I had that mistake under my belt, I thought I'd give it another try. It worked SO much better.

This time I decided to try two different colors together

Drip, drop, splat

Fold and tada!

Make sure to heat-set your design with a dry iron for at least 3 minutes, after your design is dry. You can either turn your shirt inside-out and iron on the wrong side of the design, or use a cloth between your iron and paint. I just used a scrap of muslin.

Wow. Pretty cool. Looks like an angry bull. Couldn't have planned it if I tried.

That's the crazy/intriguing/exciting part of ink blot design. You never really know what you're going to get. It's a roll of the dice, baby. And that's what makes it so addictive. Trust me and warn my husband to hide all of his shirts.

Related PostsInk blot t-shirts II and Ink blot t-shirts III

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