Friday, May 30, 2008

Carnival Night

We took the children to our local firemen's carnival last night. A good time was had by all.

At the end of the night Mason lost his first tooth. He was very excited to have the tooth fairy visit last night.

And, speaking of the tooth fairy, a few weeks ago we noticed that Taylor (our eldest) had lost a few teeth without telling us. He decided to put each one under his pillow to see what would happen. Well ... you can guess what happened. Nothing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Goodies and Thrifting

Last week I had the privilege of receiving a sweet package from Miss Chris. It included an adorable embroidered cherry flour sack towel (already in use), some vintage strawberry eyelet, and a cute bunny tag with some red vintage buttons attached. I am thinking the strawberry eyelet would make the cutest bloomers for Spenser. I need to get right on that. (Thanks, again, Chris.)

I also popped into the two local thrift stores as I waited for a prescription to be filled. I found the above sheets (love the yellows and oranges),

about a yard of vintage printed dotted swiss (that looked like it was trying to be a curtain), a striped pillowcase, the crib sheet that I used on Sawyer's outfit, and the piece de resistance ...

a set of four vintage sandwich plates.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All-American Baby

Okay, Sawyer is not a baby anymore, but we still call him that. A bad habit we need to break. Soon. Poor guy.

Anyway, Emily was right. Sawyer did get a new outfit. Although his wasn't red, white and blue. His was more "all-American-sports" outfit. I thrifted a 100% cotton baby crib sheet last week and made some long shorts and a matching tee.

I have learned that onesies for big boys like Sawyer are hard to find. Harder than in the past. I would like him to wear a onesie for two reasons. One -- he's still my baby (sorry, but he is) and I think it would be nice for him to wear a onesie for the rest of his life. Okay, maybe not that long, but I'm trying to hold onto my baby as long as I can. Soon, one day, he'll be 11 1/2, and well ... there's no time for mom then.

Two -- he tries to remove his diaper if left to his own devices for a few minutes.

So, since I can't find large onesies for him, I resorted to boys' undershirts, size 2T/3T. I think I am fine with it. Really. ::sniff::

He also wore a red, white and blue jacket that I thrifted when Jackson was a baby.
And he was so sleepy on the way home from the parade, that he fell asleep in the car with a mouthful of churro. Silly baby big boy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Red, White & Blue Dress

It occurred to me that Spenser didn't have a patriotic dress to wear on Memorial Day. And since I look for any excuse to sew, I decided she needed one. Immediately.

This is the same dress I've been sewing (Simplicity 4206) with the exception that I have lengthened it from a shirt to a dress. I used some blue vintage gingham for the body and red vintage gingham for the sleeves. I wanted to add a little more red bling towards the middle/bottom, so I added a gingham star to the front.

And the back is plain. She watched the parade and waved her flag like a good little all-American girl. (I wore my Memorial Day skirt from last year.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You

to our military. Past. Present. Future.

And Happy Memorial Day to you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Green Gingham Girls

My niece, Olivia, thinks that nearly everything she has comes from 'ra (me). And the truth is, she is the same size as Spenser so she never gets any hand-me-downs from us. With this in mind, and my love of matchiness, I decided that she and Spenser needed matching dresses. Matching green gingham dresses. And maybe matching bloomers in the near future...

The dresses are both size three (even though the one on the right looks shorter, it's just blowing in the breeze) and I think they are going to look adorable together. Since Spenser's chance of having a sister are zero to none, Olivia is probably the closest she's ever gonna get.

(Oh, Carter ended up running the mile yesterday and Taylor ran the 800 meter. It was a long but fun day. We spent six hours in the cold, very windy, damp weather. By 2:30 p.m., I was done. More so than Spenser and Sawyer. And my back is not good today from all that standing and unsupported sitting and carrying kids and bags. I start physical therapy on Wednesday. Thank goodness.)

Edited to add: The tags in the dresses are iron-on from here. (I think.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Go, Team, Go!

Today is Play Day at the boys' school. Jackson's class (1st grade) is representing Ireland; Carter's class (3rd grade) is representing the U.S.A.; and Taylor's class (5th grade) is representing Japan. Their teachers asked them to wear the colors of their country's flag. We don't have a bunch of kelly green or orange shirts hanging around the house, so this was my compromise. Appliqued flag shirts. (Carter's class decorated white tees in class with red and blue hand prints of each class member.)

So all day today (and I do mean all day) you will hear me yelling "Go Ireland!" and "Go Japan!" and lots of "U.S.A! U.S.A!" And lots more of "Go, Jackson!" (who is running the 400 meter) and "Go, Carter!" (who is also running the 400 meter, why do they do this to me?!?) and "Go, Taylor!" (who doesn't know what he is running but wants to run the 800 meter). It's all good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Take #1

Remember last week when I said I was trying to recreate the vintage apron pattern? Well, here is take #1. And, maybe the last take. What a pain in the neck to sew on all that trim! And the pocket? It wasn't supposed to be angled quite so much, but it's on! And there's something to be said about enduring to the end.

This is a view of the back, which I don't think I showed last week. I love the back. Really, it's a very cute apron, just not sewn perfectly. And I'd like to make more. I really would. Rather, I'd like to own more, maybe not sew them myself.

Note: This vintage apron was sewn from some vintage fabric that was gifted to me last year. I think the fabric in lower right of the top photo might be what I used on this apron.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Twist on The Dress

So, yeah, it's another Simplicity 3835 dress. This time I tried something different to The Dress. I added a little keyhole and tie to the front. It also looks like I made the hem uneven. On purpose, of course. ::wink::

I used a recently thrifted vintage sheet with yellow and rust flowers (that was barely dry from the dryer before I cut it up). Summery and autumnal. A two-season dress, if you will.

The keyhole was an experiment. Now I think I know what not to do next time. For the tie, I made two handmade, narrow bias tape strips and sewed them to a piece of elastic that was 14" long, I think. The ties might be a tad too long, but we'll have to see once it's on and evenly distributed around my neck.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thrifted Treasures

I was actually a teensy bit crafty this weekend, but I can't show you just yet. I just didn't have time to finish because I became suddenly ill on Saturday evening and had to go straight to bed. (And I have a small school project that is due tomorrow for the boys, so I need to do that first. Priorities, I tell ya.)

Instead, I'll show you a couple more thrifted treasures. I love the colors in the old tin above. Red and aqua. And the drawings are so sweet. Unfortunately, the lid is too large for the tin. It doesn't matter though, I might force it on (it was on when I bought it). The bottom of the tin says "Bachman Bakeries Corp., Reading, PA," and there is an imprint of a pretzel.

And then I found this:

This book, Art of Dressmaking, by Butterick was published in 1927. It has some very useful information on shirring, facings, altering, etc., I found a short chapter on "Maternity Clothes" and had a good laugh. It says, "Maternity clothes have two objects: One is to make your condition unnoticeable, the other is to give you every physical advantage possible." Really? To conceal your "condition?" Too funny. So, I guess that means that T-shirts that say "BABY" with an arrow pointing to your belly are out? Darn! (And, just for the record, I did not own or wear such a shirt) And a useful tip on brassieres: "You should wear a brassiere that supports your figure and keeps it neat and trim." Neat and trim? Who wrote this book? They are hilarious!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to show you something crafty. I can't make any promises though.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I'm sure you are wondering if Lera sews anymore. The truth is, I've been sick most of this week and sewing has just not happened. Sadly. Even with prime sewing night opportunities (Joe is out of town), I just can't do it.

How about I show you a few things I picked up at a rummage sale last week instead?

While we were out a few weeks ago, we passed a sign that a church was having a rummage sale the following week. (It was never listed in the newspaper, which surprised me. That teaches me to keep my eyes open more often.)

Anyway, I had not been to a church rummage sale in say, what, uh, 20 years. Seriously. And that was one that our youth group had at our church to raise money for a trip to Kings Dominion. I just don't see rummage sales advertised often, so when I saw "the sign," I knew I had to go.

Let's just say it was an experience to be remembered. I had Spenser and Sawyer with me and they were excellent. I couldn't ask for better thrifting partners. Sawyer was in his stroller and, when my arms were too full, Spenser pushed him for me. The rummage sale was a little stinky. Literally. I had to breathe through my mouth most of the time, which made my nose and ears clog up.

Anyway, I found some fun things, like the produce apron and the blue polka-dotted sheet. I also found the above vintage punch bowl set. Ladle included. The set has twelve cups, with one handle being broken off (but included). Sadly, I have broken off another handle since then. The set was a mere $4.

And then I found these "ovenwares." The one in the back in an unmarked casserole dish/mixing bowl thing with the coolest trees on it. The front one looks like a vase, but it is by Fire King and says "ovenware" on the bottom. I have no clue what it could be used for. Any ideas?

Oh, and the strawberry tablecloth underneath? Found in a pile of linens. I think it was a sheet in its former life. I bought a ton of stuff and my total bill was $10.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The One About Aprons

I love aprons. And I love finding handmade vintage aprons while I'm thrifting. I squeal with glee when I find one. Seriously. I thought I would share some of the aprons I have found within the past few months.

The floral one on the left was found at a thrift store about two months ago or so. It's thinning from use, but the colors are still just wonderful and fun.

The food one on the left was picked up at a rummage sale last week. It has all kinds of produce on it. It has some stains on it that didn't come out at, so it's going to need a little more work. (Sarah always gives helpful hints on her blog for cleaning vintage finds. And go wish her a happy birthday while you're there. She's having some cool giveaways this week.)

This apron wasn't in the best of shape, but I bought it anyway. I thought I can repair it and also trace the pattern, if I am so adventurous.

But this apron is my favorite find. It, too, is in need of repair, but I am already trying to make one of my own.

This one, honestly, I didn't love. It is made of linen with all of this amazing embroidery. I felt bad leaving it behind when I found it thrifting recently. And when it rang up for less than 40 cents, I realized it was an inexpensive addition to my growing collection.

Now this is not an apron. Or it wasn't at the time of purchase. It was a vintage kitchen curtain panel which I repurposed and ...
made into an apron for my mother for Mother's Day. I used some vintage green gingham for the tie and there it is ... an apron.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

He Never Learns

Or maybe I should say I never learn ...

Sawyer dropped the lotion-covered ball and it bounced all over my clean hardwood floors. Fun. I was vacuuming the family room when I realized Sawyer and Spenser were just too quiet. They tried to clean up their mess with tissues, thereby smearing it into the carpet further.

The lotion is in the trash now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Security Pouch

So last week when I received my invitation from the White House, the invitation clearly stated that purses were not allowed. Panic set in. What woman can be out and about without a bag of some sort?? (Still cameras were allowed, but I was afraid to even take my camera bag.)

I came up with a solution: a clear vinyl bag with all of my contents visible. It would be like a glorified sandwich baggie.

I sewed a vinyl zippered pouch using my walking foot and the vintage bias tape with black loopy loops trim.

And then I got an email from the Army stating we could take purses ...

Just in case, I filled my zippered pouch with everything I would need (cell phone, Lip Shimmer, a tissue pouch and vintage hanky, and some cash that my FIL insisted I would need as he handed me some) and stuck it in a small brown purse. I decided ahead of time that, if needed, I would ditch the brown purse at the security checkpoint. (I didn't need to do that, by the way.) And you know what? It made passing through security a breeze. The man took out the bag, looked at it, put it back in and let me pass through the metal detectors.

(And it turns out I did need money. At the end of the White House tour as we were leaving, I needed a drink of water and bought a $2 bottle of water from a snack vendor.)

Monday, May 12, 2008


There are so many wonderful mom-moments when your heart is so full you feel it will burst. I have been blessed time and time again with my six children and the many mom-moments which have flowed freely.

There's the first soccer goal and winning first place (or any placement) in a karate competition and a clarinet soli. There are moments of tender, sweet sibling love. I watch Sawyer extend his hand to Spenser as she tries to get out of the car. It makes my heart melt.

And then there are the moments when you find out what your children really think about you:

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Mom from Carter. #10 says it all: "I love my Mom because she reads me skriptures/bible."

Jackson knows my favorite "recipe" for salad. (I could take or leave Ranch dressing, but oh well. He knows my favorite food.)

And Mason. We love this funny guy. First, he compliments saying that I weigh 5 pounds. And moments later he brags that "My Mom can skreem better than anyone else!" Hmm. I practiced that already this morning: "Time for shoes and socks. ... Time for shoes and socks. ... Time for shoes and socks! ... TIME. FOR. SHOES. AND. SOCKS!!!!!!" and "It's raining this morning, you need a jacket and umbrella. ... You need a jacket. ... You need a jacket! ... YOU. NEED. A. JACKET!! And where's your umbrella?????"

But at least I cook his favorite food. I guess it all balances.

(And my sweetest Mother's Day gesture yesterday came from sweet Sawyer. As I was getting my usual glass of water with lemon, he ran over to the drawer and brought me a straw. That is so much my routine and I am surprised that, at only 19 months, he knows that. Sweetness, I tell ya.)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Thrifty Finds

On Saturday we headed out to another flea market. We had intentions of going back to the same one we have visited the past two Saturdays, but I did an online search and found another kind of in our area. (I'm discovering that, if I find a flea market in an area where we can go geocaching, everyone wins.)

I found a table with odds and ends and two or three boxes of doilies. They were 25 cents each, so I dug through and picked out a few.

And I think it was at the same table that I found a tin of old wooden spools. The tin also has some needles and end papers (what are they??) and a musty smelling newspaper on the bottom. The price? $3. What a steal. I found the vintage bias tapes and rickrack from a different vendor. I love the one on the bottom row in the middle. The white with black trim. In fact, I already used it. Maybe I'll share it next week. Besides, it gives me another reason to talk about my trip to the White House! ;-)

I noticed these adorable plastic, vintage pegs (or clothespins if you live in Maryland) and had to scoop them up and ...

a vintage kitchen valance. I love it so. It's very tiny, so I don't know if I will be able to rework it or not.

And, last but not least, Pyrex. I really love the white and aqua (Butterprint) pattern. I found another mixing bowl in a larger size. And, be still my heart, pink Pyrex. I have been wanting pink Pyrex for awhile now. This is the Gooseberry pattern, but I really, really, really love and covet the Pink Daisy pattern. Oh well, it's pink and it's Pyrex, so I snatched it up. (Jenneen, I found some!)

And I will leave you with a photo of Sawyer. The other night at bedtime, he disappeared. Jackson and Mason had just gotten into bed and I was getting ready to put Spenser and Sawyer in bed. Sawyer went missing. I thought he went into Jack and Mason's room (which he does frequently at bedtime and tries to climb in bed with them). Jackson came running downstairs exclaiming, "Sawyer's in your white stuff!" I had no idea what he meant. I had just folded some white laundry, but that the basket of laundry was sitting in the family room. I ran upstairs and discovered the "white stuff" was hand lotion. Gobs and gobs of hand lotion. Not only was Sawyer covered it in. So was my bedroom wall and carpet. Fun stuff. I love being a mother. I really, really do.

I hope each of you enjoys your Mother's Day weekend, however you celebrate it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Dress and a What?!

So I finished another dress. It, too, is from a thrifted sheet. I think the print is very summery and fun in a 70's kind of way. I really think I am in love with the idea of dresses. This is the first time in many (many) years that I've been able to wear them. I've been pregnant and/or nursing for over twelve years and, since Sawyer decided to wean himself (yes, he never nursed again after "the ear incident"), I feel like I have a newfound freedom. I can wear dresses! I'm sure this phase will pass soon. Just bear with me ...

And look who's on the rooftop! I did get a photo of a sniper. (In fact, I have two photos.) I was looking through my 200+ photos from my trip and, lo and behold, I see a familiar black dot atop the White House. I zoomed in, cropped the photo and there he is! (There were more than one up there. We saw two together at one point, that's when I photographed the tip of a rifle.)

And thank you for all of your kind and supportive comments over the past two days. It's so nice to have others as excited and happy for me as I was. You guys are great.

Edited to add: information on the dress can be found here.