Roll-Up Organizer Sewing Tutorial

Roll-Up Organizer Sewing Tutorial

My newest Youtube video features this adorable roll-up organizer!  I used mine to for bathroom supplies for my girls going to camp but the possibilities are endless!  I know you will love it!  Here is a sneak peak of the organizer… Click below to watch the video and make your own!  All the supplies needed are in the video description.  You can make this in about an hour 🙂  Enjoy! While you...

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Boho Beach Bag Tutorial

Boho Beach Bag Tutorial

I love summer and going to the pool, beach and lake with the kids.  They splash around and I relax (sorta) and it is really nice.  But, I admit that sometimes I feel  a bit like a pack mule lugging all the towels and chairs and snacks etc.  Yes, the older ones carry their own towels and chairs.  Yes, my husband helps me when he comes along!  But, I am often the one doing the majority of the carrying.  THUS, a new beach BAG! This one was made using very lightweight fabrics and wide handles so I can just fold it up and put away without having it take up too much space.  Bonus!  I like making video tutorials nowadays :).  So watch below to see the movie magic and make yourself a new boho beach bag too…   You will need a yard for the exterior and almost a yard for the lining too.  I didn’t use any interfacing but you are welcome to add for a sturdier version.  Here are a few more...

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Go WEST- young family of SIX

Go WEST- young family of SIX

As a young woman I traveled quite a bit- to France in high school, to Italy in College, and after college I spent a few wonderful years out west in Colorada and Montana.  Not to mention short trips to other places like Jamaica.  In Colorado,  I met my wonderful husband.  His work brought us to his hometown near Pittsburgh PA.   But now, we are finally going to make our way back west- at least temporarily! I love our life in Pennsylvania, but we have been hatching a plan for a few years that we are finally going to make come true.  Not one week back in Colorado, but EIGHT WEEKS!  With our 4 kids! If you are thinking this is crazy to travel cross country with 4 kids in the middle of winter, you might be right.  Here is the story of how this trip came to be… I love to travel!  But it is expensive and frankly I married a man who would rather stay home.  He will come along on trips and be totally pleasant, but he is happiest at home with the kids and me, our dog, and  going a job that he loves.  He just can’t get excited about going anywhere and I just can’t get excited to go if he is uninterested.  His ONE weakness is skiing. Alas, skiing is super expensive.  But we have managed to go locally as a family to some small resorts and have had a good time.  But to bring our kids out west where we met and where we were so happy, seemed unattainable financially.  A couple of years ago we priced it out and jokingly said to each other “We could get ski passes and live out there all winter for less than this!!”   This was an AH HA moment my friends!  We started to do a little research… So, with 2 years of careful planning behind it, this adventure is going into action this Saturday.  We are driving across the country to our favorite Ski resort in Colorado.  We have a cute in town condo booked for 2 months.  We have ski passes for the whole family.  We have jackets, pants, boots, helmets, mittens, goggles, warm socks, and long underwear already packed.  We have lots of new movies for the kids the watch on the TWENTY TWO hour car ride!  We have wonderful old friends to visit on the way… Do you know what I am most nervous about?  I have to withdrawl the kids from public school and homeschool since we will be gone so long.  No fear of weather or boredom or anything else!  I am so worried about pulling off this homeschooling thing.  My homeschooling friends...

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Taking Beach Vacation Photos- Simple Strategies!

Taking Beach Vacation Photos- Simple Strategies!

This past week, we went to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  My husband’s family has gone there for years and love the beautiful beaches and familiarity.  Going through my photos, I thought it might be helpful if I shared some easy beach trip photo taking tips.   Don’t worry!  Nothing technical!  Just some simple strategies to get nice photos of your vacation. My first and most important tip is to get your family down to the beach after dinner and take your photos in the hour before the sun sets.  The light is lovely and the refelctions on the water are beautiful. I took photos on 2 different nights and the one above was from a truly beautiful sunset and the light and reflections made everyone and everything look wonderful.  Second- less sand and more water/ sky.  In all the photos above, I cropped sand and went for more sky/ water.  It is simply more beautiful! Unless you are getting close ups, try to get the entire body of your subject in the photo.  Cropping out sides of limbs makes the photo less whole looking.  My son played in the ocean but his favorite past time was digging, digging, digging!  I’m glad I documented him with his favorite shovel on this trip. Try to capture some adults too!  The kids are so darn cute but the whole family will appreciate seeing grown ups and remember what Dad looked like back then (we are getting old so fast!).  Also, in the above photo, I cropped it for more water/ sky AND I made the fish and my husband is not in the center like the original photo that I took.  This makes the ocean/ waves and fish also important subjects in the photo.   Capture special frendships!  These 2 cousins were great buddies on the trip!  Again, I cropped the photo a little off center so the beach is also part of the photo and it looks more spontaneous. I debated wether or not to include this one, but years from now, I think she will appreciate being part of the story!  Her sad face and cropped limbs are not ideal but this is real, baby!  She hated the sand and the threat of the water.  Poor little one! All pictures except the one above were taken the hour before sunset with my nice DSLR camera and a 50mm lens.  The above photo was taken mid day with an iPhone.   In my PSE program on my computer, I cropped out the ugly cement surround of the pool and the photo turned into this gem!  Sometimes those iphone shot can be just as wonderful as the fancy camera, right? SEE?  no...

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One for the Boy…

One for the Boy…

My poor boy.  His sisters get new stuff from Mom all the time but the last time we went somewhere, he had to pack his stuff in a reusable grocery bag!  If you have a boy, you will know that they just don't seem to care about that kind of stuff.  At all.  They care a lot if their sisters get more bacon than them on their breakfast plate, but not so much about sisters getting new handmade clothes or duffle bags.  He needed this one though-  Our lake trip is only a week away and now he can pack his bathing suits in a duffle bag instead of a grocery tote!   The fabric is  AnnKelle's new funbots in royal.  It is so so so cute and fun.  Kelle's fabric makes everything adorable and the kids are always so happy.  I swear, all the favorite kid things are made from AnnKelle fabric.  AND- Cal loves the new bag!...

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Another Spring Break Adventure

Another Spring Break Adventure

Last year we went down to the Smokey Mountains but this year we stayed a little closer to home and took the educational route.  Washington DC is only about 5 hours away from us and we have friends that live close to the city.  We had a great time!  I will admit that parking is tough and the METRO is super expensive for a subway, but once you get on the Mall, the DC experience is fantastic. Our ambitions we pretty toned down- Travis and I aimed for only a couple of spots on each of the 2 days we were there.  This strategy made everything less stressful.  It was hard to see all those big and beautiful museums and not even attempt to go inside (we did brave the air and space museum but it was super crowded and we only stayed about an hour), but it would have been a nightmare to try and drag them through the lines and crowds. One of the reasons for the crowds was it is cherrry blossom season.  Due to the cold weather, the trees were only in bud but we did get to see these beautiful Japanese magnolias in bloom.  They looked like heaven after such a long winter! When asked what their favorite thing about DC was, the kids all agreed that they loved playing in the reflecting pond at the national scuplture garden.  Travis loved the Lincoln Memorial and although I loved it all, I think my favorite part was watching the kids crawl around on Albert Einstein… And what about the baby?  It turns out almost 5 months is a great time to travel with a baby!  She was content in her stroller and loved all the sound and action.  I admit I was pretty nervous about how she would fare, but she did really well inspite of the interuption in her routine. We spent 2 days in DC and then traveled back up to Pennsylvania and went to Hershey Park.  What a great park! I can't handle roller coasters so I was happy to stroll the baby around while Travis and the "big" kids went on the rides.  Hershey park is only open on the weekends right now and have special springtime rates.  The weather was great and the crowds were pretty minimal.   Did you go anywhere for Spring break?  Do you have any recommendations for next year?  The kids are hoping we take a little trip each year and I am game!  Hope you all are finally enjoying...

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Beachy Tunic in Voile

Beachy Tunic in Voile

Remember when I made this pretty golden tunic for Anne?  While I was at the beach a few weeks ago, I got some pictures of her wearing it.  I love the color on her and she looked so pretty with all her sun kissed freckles (you wouldn't believe the sunscreen we go though with her!) We had a lovely time in South Carolina.  Lots of time in the pool and just exploring the beach.  We went into Charleston once during the week but it was the rainy day and I didn't get much time to explore.  The beach was much easier for the kids to play in than the Outer Banks, NC beaches we usually go to although not quite as pretty. While on the beach we found some treasures… How is your summer vacation?  Hard to believe it is half way over!!  Although I admit the adjustment to summer vacation is hard for me at first, at this point I love having all the kids home and just relaxing into our easy schedule.  The pregnancy is making me less productive but we all seem to like our slow pace!...

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Beachy Days

Beachy Days

We have had a busy last few weeks.  School is done, Elsie had her 8th birthday (for which I made a pretty dress but still haven't taken pictures!) and now we are at the beach.  Phew! This guy is loving his new shovel and not sharing it with anyone… My husband's youngest brother is here from San Francisco with his beautiful girlfriend and all the little girls are in love… My husband is persistant in his attempts to catch bluefish in the surf… and these 2 oldest cousins fight and makeup even better friends than they were...

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The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah

We just got back from the beach last night.  I am happy to be home- back to our lazy summer routine and relaxed schedule.  Oh wait- school starts the day after tomorrow!!!!  I feel happy and sad about it like most mom's do- more time to yourself but back to the rush of school, preschool, after school sports, etc.  No more swinging on the back porch and playing uno all afternoon. I made the girls a couple of last minute summery/ beachy items before I left.   I used the indie tutes peasant blouse tutorial.  The sleeves are left open and shortened almost to the arm hole seam.  I added a few inches in length to make it a bathing suit cover up.  I also used a fabric from the garment fabric section at Joanns.  Remember my pledge not to use my quilting cottons for clothing anymore?  This type of cotton just flows so much better. The girls knew this was a "photo shoot".  I asked Elsie to go down toward the water and run toward me.  She makes that cute smile and always looks so well arranged.  Here is the picture i got when i asked Anne to do the same thing… She's hilarious.  I just kinda winged this skirt with fabric that i had left over from this shirt.  I was inspired though by MADE's cute skirt.  I Love how the doily pocket and crocheted lace trim look together on the yellow.  The shirt is just a cute hand me down from Old Navy! Here they are together.  As soon as this picture was over they tore off these clothes (bathing suits were underneath!), and trampled them into the sand on their way down to the water. We had a great time at the beach.  We went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the week was full of lazy beachy days, playing with cousins, reading, and some nature walks mixed in.  Travis and I took Anne on a short walk early one morning. The light was so beautiful and she was happy to be alone with both of us. The live oaks were so beautiful on this walk over to the bay side of the islands. We found a cicada shell and Anne brought it back to the house to show her cousins.   Ewww.  But cool too. We also took a guided trip up to the north end of the islands to see the wild horses.  WE have come to this beach for several years, and I always see the ATV tours heading up the road to the off road beaches.  It was fun to finally go up there ourselves to see these horses....

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