The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe


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


Anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t do yellow.  I don’t wear it, and I don’t choose it for anything, ever.  It doesn’t look good on me at all; I’m not the pretty, delicate china-doll type.  It might also have SOMETHING to do with the fact that in all the YEARS my mother was redecorating/remodeling the house, she finally got to MY room and refused to let me have pink.  (Okay, I know I just gave you the mini-speech about not being a china-doll, but I just wanted it, see?)  She said I could have yellow or white.  Being totally OVER her white obsession (and all the nurses in white I saw constantly because I was always sick and getting shots), I chose yellow.  She immediately amplified the yuck factor with deep green shag carpet.  She got the idea out of a Sears catalog model room.  ‘Nuff said?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But, yellow was one of the weapons in her arsenal that she used to annihilate any sense of style I was developing independently of her.  Not that I’m bitter, cause I’m not.

But doggone it, between Erica B. (Hook & Needles) and my wonderful and good friend who is putting some serious yellow in her gorgeous house, it’s beginning to get to me.  I still won’t wear it.  Still doesn’t look good on me.  And, I won’t decorate my house with it due to childhood trauma.  But…..

I bought some.  In fact, I bought a lot.  Since I made a lap blanket for my dad that seemed to really impress my mother, I decided to make one for her, too.  I don’t necessarily think she’s the crochet type, but she had a grandmother who could crochet and tat, and she didn’t get any of her beautiful work when she passed on.  I don’t claim to do beautiful work, but I’m going to do this for her.  I just have to choose a pattern from one of the best things I ever bought at Goodwill.

The only question is……which pattern?

I’ve been leaning towards this one, but……my guess is that it might be heavy.  My mama lives in Mississippi, and although we used to know what winter was down there, we don’t anymore!  I do not recall hearing her complain of being cold since she went through the change.  Hmmmmm.

This is totally my style.  But, I can’t say that it is close to hers.  I just don’t know.  She has surprised me within just the last few years.  Went out and bought herself satin sheets, for instance.  Said she’d always wanted them.  I never would have guessed that.  AND, she let Sissy make her pillows, a canopy and duvet with material that had……gasp…..palm trees on it!!!!!!!!   Come to think of it, this doesn’t seem nearly so much of a gamble in comparison.  What may be the deciding vote is the issue of weight.  This looks a little lighter than the other.  Still……I’m undecided.

In other news…….

A W*(#mart find.  Darn you, dollar table!  Seriously, once financial security is ours, we fully intend to shop local and independent…….absolutely!  For now, I have to do what I have to do.  I need new clothes, and I mean to learn to sew, so…….

I do have to be honest about my purchases.

But, I especially love this one.

I did find a site online of a local who provides fabric.  If we do well…sorry, when we do well financially, I’ll be giving her some business.  Take a look-see.  Maybe you can give her some now.

July 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments


If it ever got cool enough in Texas, I’d make something like the latest wrap/jacket that Erica Bunker has made. Her blog is one of my absolute favorites and was, if I remember correctly, the first one I ever bookmarked. Photography is great, and she has impeccable taste. Not perfectly matched with mine, of course. She’s tall like a model and I’m….not. I could never pull off some of the styles she favors and looks so good in. If you haven’t already, check it out.

July 25, 2008 Posted by | Austin, inspiration, patterns | , , , | Leave a comment

Birthday Madness

No Birthday Party This Year!


  1. STRESS! See news segment in my About Me section and documentary on algae below. Believe me, the stress and exhaustion does not remain in the lab. It comes home.
  2. STRESS! I’ve been sick for months and am finally coming out of it and sleeping at night. BUT, nothing waited! Laundry, dusting, organizing, etc. has all been piling up. Yikes.
  3. STRESS! My jewelry store is doing OKAY but not swimmingly. I noticed a big change when gas prices went up so high. I don’t even want to talk about tax preparation. The whole idea had to have been conceived in hell.
  4. STRESS! Two boys fighting constantly. Nuff said?
  5. MONEY/STRESS We gave up my income to homeschool. We don’t regret it for one second, BUT it certainly required a sacrifice. We’re feeling it now along with everyone else. Darn gas.
  6. We’d already gotten my son a Wii, anyway!

Still, you have to do SOMEthing to make your child’s tenth birthday special, right? Ten whole years since this…………….

So, we had a family birthday party after we went out to eat at our favorite diner here in Austin.

And, let me tell you, they have a tomato pie on their seasonal menu that will make you happy to be alive. FABULOUS!! Basil crust and olives and……oh my!

DS had ME bake a cake (I think he got a little too self-sacrificing in the hope that he MIGHT be getting a Wii) which turned out AWFUL!!! He picked something that was just a bit weird, and it wasn’t until a day or so later that I think I nailed the taste. Old lipstick. Uh-huh.

Looking at baby pictures (and weeping) reminded me of how idealistic (totally stupid) I was when I first became a mom. Everything was going to be perfect. There’d be no tv, no video games (ha HA), and I would make everything from scratch. Our birthday parties would be the envy of our hometown and eventually the world. Unrealistic expectations =pretty much my M.O. My penchant for old craft books and cookbooks doesn’t help. Regarde.

Mother’s Little Helper (alcoholism?) was probably invented just because of such notions as these.

Yeah, ha ha ha. After ten years, this was no longer my vision of how things were going to go at Kerbey Lane Diner. Reality was more like a) 4yo stealing 10yo’s crayons and putting them in his straw, b) 10yo’s growing panic/insanity with the idea that his birthday would be ruined by 4yo, c) both boys discovering the booth table would move and declaring boundary rights over the other, d) numerous threats from DH, e) 4yo declaring to the entire restaurant upon entering the restroom after waiting for a lady who took a very long time and exited with a newspaper under her arm that he “did NOT want to smell THAT!”

What’s equally funny to me is that one of these books is mostly full of party games. Do any of you bother with games at your parties? Oh my word, I’ve seen it attempted once, and you’re more likely to get a preacher to call his entire congregation back into the sanctuary upon dismissal for a second sermon. Ain’t goin’ to happen!

Funnier still, one of the games suggested for 6 year olds was….MURDER!!! I could say a lot about this, but I’ll just let you ponder for a while.

I have the feeling that this was supposed to represent chaos. It is for to laugh. Note the smiling faces on everyone? Maybe, it’s time for some Reality Publishing.

July 19, 2008 Posted by | Austin, thrifting, Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

The Power

There are times, especially like NOW, when I get kind of down.  Gas prices are making it more difficult to trek all over Austin,  and they’re driving the cost of everything else UP.  I spend most days wondering when algae is going to bring home the bacon.  (See post below.)  So, let me spread some good news.  If you’ve ever felt guilty for having a rich fantasy life, you can stop.   It is the one exercise in improving mental health that has not been explored nearly enough ( I’m not talking so much about visualization here), and it pulls me together more often than not.  Happily, it can be done anywhere, anytime and requires no special equipment.    For example, when I’m on the treadmill, I’m lead guitar for Weezer, Built to Spill, Radiohead, etc.  And, when I’m housecleaning in my husband’s old t-shirts and my yoga pants, I’m actually at an outdoor cafe, looking chic and wearing some laid-back but beautiful rings like the ones above.

I don’t know what you do to get through unhappy times, but when I’ve done my yoga, my deep-breathing, my moaning and going on, there’s one thing that never fails to lift me up….


July 16, 2008 Posted by | jewelry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment