Friday, March 28, 2014

mom doodles are brilliant

File this under, "why didn't I think of that?"

Amber Wheeler, mom to Ethan, has compiled a lovely collection of doodles surrounding her baby's photos. 

Too funny! I suppose I could still do this with my boys and let them draw their own backgrounds on the computer. I think they'd love it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

boomf photo marshmallows

What the what? You can print personal photos onto marshmallows?? I mean, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Why wasn't this around during the holidays??? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

rooted - vegetable inspired couture

Alyssa MacNamara has come up with quite a concept here inspired by the natural world. Aside from Halloween or perhaps a harvest festival, I'm not sure when I'd actually wear these exquisite frocks, but they are sure fun to look at! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

washi top review, take two

I love my new washi top!

I've made one once before and I wear it all the time!

I like the two-toned look of this top! (I took a gamble with this approach, but I think it worked!)

The only thing I don't love is the raw edges around the sleeves and underarms. I was thinking of making my own bias tape and working it around this area, otherwise I think it will fray each time I wash it. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

my new novel will arrive in May, 2015!

I'm thrilled to announce that the contract is signed and my new young adult novel will be published by Ashland Creek Press in May, 2015!! (My previous young adult novel, Urban Falcon, was published in 2009.)I am so excited about this project that I have been working on for the last few years. Here's a nice writeup of Ashland Creek press in the Huffington Post. This project was made, in part, thanks to a grant I received from the Center for Cultural Innovation in San Francisco. Stay tuned for more about my new book!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

managing an editorial calendar for your blog (or your life!)

I came across this post from Sew Mama Sew while she was guest posting on While She Naps and thought it might be helpful to pass along. I find, my two blogs run more smoothly when I have the month planned out it advance (which is almost never) and when I sit down and bang out three or four posts at a time. It seems to work for efficiency. But I often lose track of what kinds of posts I'm writing. Ideally, I'd like there to be variety and jump from things like, cooking tutorials, sewing tutorials, interesting finds, family life, etc. 

Hope you find it helpful!

Monday, March 17, 2014

the piggies took a bath!

The piggies took their first bath a few weeks ago. Who knew that all natural dog shampoo is a big no-no for piggy bath time? Instead, I was advised to use a no tears kitten shampoo. 

I filled a tub I purchased at the 99 cent store with warm water and placed a washcloth at the bottom so there wouldn't be any sliding. Gunther leaped straight out of the sink and onto the kitchen counter, but then she calmed down and enjoyed her rub down. 

Cleo LOVED the bath. He was so happy. 

I had read that pigs get hypothermia pretty easily, so it's important to dry them off well. I had read online to use a hairdryer on a low setting. Cleo was fine with it, but Gunther (surprise surprise) did some more leaping, so I stuck to towel drying her. 

Now I have two fresh piggies that smell like kittens. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

CLOSED -Veronica Mars Movie DVD Giveaway - closes March 29th 2014

On the eve of graduating law school, Veronica Mars has put Neptune and her amateur sleuthing days behind her. While interviewing at high-end New York law firms, Veronica Mars gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan who has been accused of murder. Veronica heads back to Neptune just to help Logan find an attorney, but when things don't seem right with how Logan's case is perceived and handled, Veronica finds herself being pulled back into a life she thought she had left behind.

You could see it In Theaters MARCH 14 
OR you could enter to win the move on DVD!!
The film has an interesting history:

Following a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that ended on April 12, 2013, Veronica Mars was shot over 23 days during June-July 2013. It will be released in selected theaters nationwide on March 14th, 2014.

Check out the Veronica Mars app!
To enter, simply take the 3 levels of “Purity Test Marshmallow Super-Fan Trivia” and post your results in the comments section below as a giveaway entry. This giveaway closes on March 29th at 11:59 pm et.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Veronica Mars DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

And here are director Rob Thomas' Top 10 Must See Episodes!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

custom car organizer

Remember this car organizer I made about a year ago?

Well, let's just say a year of car travel pretty much trashed it. It wasn't so much the dirt from the kids' feet that made me want to make new ones (I could have easily thrown them in the washer) but after time and children inserting their feet into the pockets instead of books of crayons, the stitching came undone. 

So I took Doodle to the fabric store with me to get some new material. I love this blue graphic design he choose. 

When I went to look up the pattern I used for the orange car organizer, I was horrified to learn that that blogger is no longer operating, so all of her great tutorials are no longer online. (I worry about this with Pinterest sometimes….I use it so often for recipes that if it ever disappeared, I'd be lost and hungry.)

So, I took things into my own hands and decided to custom make my own car organizer. 

Obviously the dimensions mentioned below are for my car seat dimensions…but you can use what I've done as a guide to custom make your own back of the seat car organizer / save your seat from dirty footprints. 

Custom Car Organizer

Step One: measure your car seat. 

Mine is 23" x 17" however, I had to add in the space right below my head rest (See image below) which was 4". Then I need to add 2 inches for seam allowance, so my finished tally is 25" x 19 "

Step Two: cut main material

In my case, I cut a 19" x 25" rectangle 

Step Three: cut pockets

In my case, I wanted four pockets. In this picture, the highlighted section represents the pockets. The blue line is the pocket seams. So, my top row of pockets are equal size, but on the bottom row, you'll notice that I left the right hand side a bit wider (to fit books and magazine) and the right hand side is narrow to fit pencils and markers. 

My pocket dimension are 19" x 6.75" and 19" x 9".

The 19" is in keeping with the width of the car seat, so if you're custom making your own, make sure the width of the pockets is equal to the car seat you are covering. 

Step Four: Iron pocket.

Now you'll want to iron the LONG sides of your pockets (so the 19 " sides) 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch for a total of one inch. Do this with both sides and both pockets. 

Step Five: Sew these ironed seams.

Step Six: Iron the very top of your BIG material (so the large 19" inch top) 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch. 

Step Seven: Sew this seam. 

Step Eight: Place and pin the pockets where you want them onto the big material. 

I places the lower pocket first, lining it up with the base of that 19" x 25" rectangle. Then I measure about two inches from the top of the bottom pocket and that's where I placed the base of the second pocket. 

Don't panic that there is TONS of material on the top end of your rectangle. Remember, that material ends up being hidden under your head rest. If you put your pockets too high, the kids won't be able to reach them. 

Step Nine: Once your pockets are pinned in place, sew your pockets the long way to the big rectangle. (see the red line below)

Step Ten: Flip the whole thing over so the wrong side is facing you and iron the perpendicular seams (so the 29") towards you twice. First 1/2 inch then another 1/2 inch. 

Step Eleven: sew these two seams. 

Step Twelve: Decide where you want your pocket seams to go. 
In the picture below, you can see where my pocket seams were sewn in blue. You just mark where you want the pockets to divide and then sew that line in your sewing machine. 

Step Thirteen: Cut any excess threads. 
You're almost done!!

Step Fourteen: Attach the material to your seat. 
In my car, I pulled up the driver's head rest. I them poked two holes in my material to match up to where the two poles of my head rest get inserted (I know everyone's head rest is different). I placed my material where it should rest in the car and then inserted my head rest back into my seat, thus holding the material up and in place. 

Step Fifteen: Measure from the bottom right of your rectangle AROUND THE BASE OF YOUR CAR SEAT and back to the bottom left of the triangle. (see arrows in green). 

I did this holding the elastic I was going to be using. The elastic will go all the way around the driver's seat (don't worry, the driver won't even notice it's there because it will be taut.)

In my case, I needed 49" of elastic. 

Step Sixteen: sew elastic.

Starting with the bottom right hand side, sew the elastic to the car cover. Sew the other end to the bottom left hand side. 

Step Seventeen: place cover on seat. 

Place elastic up and over driver's car seat. Shimmy it all the way down til it's in place. Then remove driver's head rest and place top of material over seat, returning head rest to its normal position, holding the material in place. 

Fill your car organizer with entertaining things and let the kids go crazy!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

short story, "Plush" is out!

Booth Journal released its sixth literary magazine, this time focusing solely on short fiction and featuring my short story, "Plush". This story was a finalist for the 2013 Short Story Prize judged by Roxanne Gay. 

You can purchase the literary magazine here

The story is also being featured exclusively this week on Booth's website. Read it online here!

Monday, March 3, 2014


The winner of the Warner Bros. Valentine's DVD giveaway is Kelly who wrote:

"scooby doo…..thank you!"

Thanks for playing, everyone!