The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe

Back When I Was Pretty and Other More Important Observations

Visited Sissie this weekend and had a marvelous time.    She took me out to eat and out shopping–all her treat.  We were talking about sewing and decorating.  She has made her apartment look like something fit for a design magazine with mostly items from Big Lots.   That’s right.  You read correctly.  She makes everything look beautiful.  I don’t think I saw one thing she made herself or even painted.  Very unusual.  BUT, she’s got a much more demanding job now and is enjoying some instant gratification here and there.

Shopping for clothes!  Yes!  We went to Ross and a few other places that had super-cute blouses (because I just can’t find pants to fit anymore) at ridiculous prices.  She was thinking that sewing to save money is an idea long past, and I had to agree.  I want to sew for the fun of it and the control of design and fabric.  Problem–when you’ve gained a good bit of weight, it’s much harder to find clothes that fit and look nice.  So, discovering that a finished piece of your own sewing just doesn’t fit the bill, then what?  Tears?

Sissie turned  me on to I Can Make You Thin’s Paul McKenna.  Now, this is the same Sissie who “encouraged” me many years ago to join Weight Watchers.  I blew her off for at least a year.  But, when I finally went to Weight Watchers, I lost 20 pounds and stayed skinny for years.  So, although I was skeptical of Paul McKenna, I watched.  Well, she also told me to watch, so I was scared not to.  It’s a sister thing.

Well, I watched two of his videos that she had recorded, and I have to say…it makes sense.  It makes a whole lotta sense.  And, frankly?  After listening  with a semi-open mind, I’m not thinking about my day in terms of food and how to fit my day around eating.  Part of his technique is something like aversion therapy.  He asked people to imagine some gross things associated with food.  What yucks most people out doesn’t do much for me, but to tell you what I pictured might make you never want to eat again.  For those of you who are curious, I may reveal my image in another post.  But, boy, it is super-sick.

What does this have to do with the title of my post?  Back when I was thin and took a great deal more pride in my appearance…..let’s just say it–BEFORE CHILDREN…..I remember reminding myself to pull back from the table and leave food on my plate.  I actually did.  Now that I’ve let my weight stay on for so long, I’ve forgotten the mind-set.  While Sissie and I were out, we saw a couple of ladies behind us with their children.  They absolutely defined CUTE.  Darling.  And, they were all slim and well-dressed.  Hard not to sigh and think of yesteryear, you know?  One of the women was wearing a printed blouse with a rather unique though not unfamiliar trim, and I couldn’t help pointing it out to Sissie.

Today, I’m back at home in front of my computer perusing my favorite sewing blogs and what do I find?  The same trim on a little girl’s dress.  The red pom poms.  Ta da.

But, it was the post that stopped me in my tracks today.  The author’s mother is in ICU and not doing well at all.  Judging from the number of people who responded, it shook more than a few other people up as well.  It certainly put things in perspective for me.  My own mother called me just a little while ago to see how I was doing.  She, herself, has been very ill for a while now.  I’ve never thought crafting or pretty clothes were frivolous any more than images of nature that please the eye, but I am always aware, especially on days like today, that beauty doesn’t exist in a vacuum.   It is ever-present in the people we see it in and the people we share it with.

I truly hope Jennifer’s mother recovers, and I am so thankful that my own mother was able to call me today and laugh about my children’s latest shenanigans.  She may not know it or believe it, but she is truly beautiful.


August 23, 2008 Posted by | inspiration, sister | , , , , , | 15 Comments


I’ve been going through my kids’ old clothes and culling out what I could stand to part with.   As time goes by, it is becoming clear to me that I won’t be having any more, which means I’m having to give up on my dream of having a daughter.  Obviously, I can’t keep all the children’s toys and clothes and shoes.  BUT, there are some things I absolutely cannot part with.  This is one of them.

Try to ignore the hideous background.  This is a little suit my mother bought for my older son when he was a baby.   Since we live in Austin and it’s always hot, winter clothes are handed down in almost perfect condition.  It’s my favorite color–red!  The elephants make the whole outfit for me.  I’ve always loved them and looking around my house, I notice I tend to favor decor items that feature them.

Soooo, while I’m still not tossing this little suit out,  I was thinking that some new project with darling elephants might be in order.  First I was thinking another suit.  Right?  Again, since it’s always hot here, do I really want to bother making another one?    (I’m saying track suit, but what would you call this ensemble?  A lounge suit? Jogging suit? Play suit?  Ew, maybe not.)  On one hand my ds is 4 and is still not such a big guy that he can’t wear really cute clothes.  On the other hand, my ds is 4 and is such a guy that all clothes must be able to withstand his habit of using his shirt as a napkin.  Interesting.  Pajamas, maybe?

Or, I could make a tote bag for him, which he needs anyway, for MDO and the library.

OR, I could make something for ME.  Maybe a cute bag?

Sissie says I can always use coloring books to search for possible applique subjects.  Bingo!  Internet turned up NOTHING I wanted!

And, then I found this…..

Now, really.  Is there any better way to transition?

August 18, 2008 Posted by | inspiration | , , , , , | 7 Comments


I love watching things grow.  Trash-to-Treasure, kitchen garbage to plants…..well, I just couldn’t resist.  DH makes a fabulous cold avocado soup with fat free yogurt, so it’s Weight Watchers Core friendly.  Very filling and wonderful on hot days.  He saves the pits for me so that I can do this….

I peel the dried outer layer and then….

After watching these for several days, I realized something was wrong.  Can you guess what it is?  That’s right.  They’re upside down!  So, I restuck them and am praying this pays off.  I’ve done it successfully before, and I recall the pits taking forever to sprout a little root.

In the meantime…..

Once planted, these grow into plants in as little as a day.  No kidding, you can practically watch them grow.    Guess that’s why Jack grew a beanstalk instead of an avocado plant.

August 16, 2008 Posted by | gardening | , , , , | 4 Comments

YES! YES! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve STILL got chills.  I’ve been up all week losing precious sleep watching the girls, and it was absolutely worth it!   To me, our gold medal champion is THE most graceful gymnast we’ve had.  Her routines were absolutely beautiful.  USA, USA, USA, USA, (yawn), USA, USA, USA………………

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Sports | , , , | 2 Comments

Little Things

I set out some little cantaloupe seeds I’d sprouted, and look what I saw the very next day.

Look what I saw two days later.

Should I give up sewing and farm?

August 8, 2008 Posted by | gardening | , , , , | 3 Comments

Inspiration After Posting

Inspiration hit after I hit the PUBLISH button. Introducing…..Peanutbutter Cheeks. To give you any sense of the bag’s size, Mr. Peanutbutter Cheeks, who is 4 and weighs over 40 pounds, offered to pose inside the bag. I did not, however, try to pick the bag up with him in it. Gave me an uneasy feeling after watching all those episodes of Gilligan’s island and the spinning hammock!

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Finished Crochet Projects | , , , , | 7 Comments

Going Green

Everybody knows my photography skills are undeveloped (ptp). Underdeveloped? Sonia, help! Couldn’t we take a little vacation together so you could show me everything I need to know about digital photography? You could do it in a weekend, right? haha

Once this bag is in use, I hope to get a shot of it full of grocery items. Then, you’ll be able to see how truly mammoth it is. Oh, and I accidentally crocheted what appears to be a budding breast close to the handle. You can’t see it, so don’t even try. I’m blaming my poor photography skills. Or, maybe I’m trying to salvage some pride. Who knows?

Anyway, feast your eyes.

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Finished Crochet Projects | , , | 6 Comments