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Pirate Birthday Gift

My twins were invited to a birthday party of a friend recently and since I have challenged myself to create gifts as much as possible rather than purchase them I set out to make a travel bag and an I spy bags for the birthday boy, he was turning 8.

I am pretty happy with the way everything turned out and the birthday boy was very excited. We all had fun playing with the I Spy bag, I will be making more soon.


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I am from…

I have been away from my blog for a while just being mom and busy with the kids. I saw this done on a post I enjoy so I decided to do it for myself

I am from….

I am from a small town and a large family, the middle of nine. Constant playmates and built in babysitters. I am from a white church with stain glass windows, sitting next to Grandma. From youth group, VBS summer camp and Royal Rangers.

I am from Hot, Hot summers and mild winters, from the land of earth shaking earthquakes and long summer nights. I am September reunions in the park and Thanksgivings in the desert. From sleeping in the yard, listening to crickets with a multitude of starts overhead

I am from walking past Grandma’s house everyday and long car trips to visit Grammie. From hours of waiting and watching the road for Grandad’s orange van. And hugs with every visit.

I am from 1 TV, two TV channels and “The Wonderful World of Disney”. Playing outside until it got dark and bedtime was 9. I am from friday night football games and the occasional Drive In movie.

I am from school (k-12) all on one long block, attended by brothers, sisters and cousins with a past that included parents, grandparents Aunts and Uncles. I am from homework at the dining room table and chores on Saturday.

I am from football fields for games, graduations and 4th of July fireworks.

I am from church bells chiming 8-12-5 and dinner at six. I am from 11 at the table and taking turns washing dishes. From Mom cooking dinner and Dad barbecuing. I am from home made ice cream and growing watermelons.

I am from friends in the neighborhood and just across town. From walking almost everywhere and always being some ones sibling.

I am from Don and Jill, Walt and Coy and KC and Leota, from Germans, English, Irish and French. I am from a long line of hard working Americans. Baby sitting for money and the expectation that you will always do your best.

I am from family and love, responsibilities, expectations and discipline.

Here is a template you can you to do your own, I am fromm.


I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description… adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name) and _______ (family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I’m from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

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Helping Others / Craft Hope Project 12

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I am once again joining Craft Hope to reach out to others This project is making bracelets for orphans in Russia.

How easy is it to make a bracelet? I had some visitors over and put them to work helping out. We made these with the many beads I have, hopefully we will be able to make several more before these get mailed. I am even looking at other types to make.

You can join in as well.

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Coraline Gifts

I help a young man organize and decorate for his 11th birthday. He loves Coraline and chose the movie as the base for his party. Along with the decorations which I will post later I made a few gifts for him.

I made him a small messenger tote with images from the movie printed on it. I found the images online and printed them on fabric from JoAnn’s that you can run through your printer ( ). I than used this fabric and sew it on the bag as pockets, I even made a small pocket for this electronics.

Along with the bag I made him two notes books, one was a composition book and the other a smaller note-book. Once again I found images online and this time I printed the on cardstock and used them along with coordinating scrapbook paper to create the notebooks. I was very pleased with how the gifts came out. I added an aluminum water bottle in Coraline blue to the bag to complete the gift.

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BDU Tote Tutorial

I will attempt my first tutorial, I made a tote using one of my brothers old BDU’s for his wife. I hope the steps are clear enough for a novice to follow.

1.Cut the shirt apart along all of the seams you will now have 4 usable pieces a front, a back and two sleeves. For this bag I only used the top of the front and back, for a larger tote or diaper bag you could add in part of the sleeves and use more from the front and back of the shirt.

2. Remove the buttons from the shirt front and pockets, this will allow everything to lay flatter and the pocket buttons are a bear to open and close.

3. Trim the front of the shirt to a rectangle 16 1/2 x 12 1/2 leaving the top two pockets. This will be the front of you bag. Cut another rectangle of the same size from the shirt back.

4. Sew the front button flap closed.

5. Sew sides and bottom together ,right sides facing inside using a 1/2 ” seam. This will place your seams on the inside of the completed bag.

6. Cut a 1″ square from the two bottom corners.

7. pin and sew bottom corners matching seams.

8. Turn bag right side out. You have now completed the outside of your bag.

9. Cut lining Two 16 1/2″ x 12 1/2″

Cut Pockets Two 16 1/2 x 18″

reinforce the pocket with a 16 1/2″ x 9″ pieces of medium weight interfacing.

10. Fold pocket piece over the interfacing and you will have a two 9″ x 16 1/2″ pieces.

11.Sew the pocket pieced across the bottom 1 1/2″ up from the bottom of each lining piece.

12. Mark off 5″ from the right and left of each pocket, make a vertical seam on this line. This will divide your pockets into 3 parts.

13 Repeat steps 5,6 and 7. You have now completed the inside lining with pockets.

14. Cut two 36″ long piece of nylon webbing ( these will be your handles).

15. Pin the handles in 2″ from each side.

15. Pin inside and outside together and sew leaving a 6″ opening for tuning the bag.

16. Turn the bag right side out and stitch the opening closed. You have now completed your bag. You can add a zipper or velcro across the top to close if desired.

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Hoo-o-o’s Birthday

Complete set
Complete set

Mary is going to a birthday party and we were at a loss as to what to give as a gift, when I mentioned an art bag Mary got very excited so here is what I created. I found this great fabric with owls. The pattern is bright green and pink very girly. I made a bag with outside pockets for color pencils and then I altered a composition book with scrapbook paper and a larger version of the same owl for a journal. Once I got started on this I could not seem to stop. I fabric appliqued the larger owl onto a felt pocket and we inserted watercolors, then I made a sleeve with the print fabric on the outside and bright pink on the inside to slide over a sketch pad and as a finishing touch I made a crayon holder. I have had so much fun making this I sure hope Joelle enjoys it.

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Valentine’s Day Butterflies

Mary's Valentine Butterflies

Mary's Valentine Butterflies


Mary has chosen to give her classmates Valentine butterflies we saw in the Family Fun Magazine, We made our own template then cut the butterflies from scrapbook paper after cutting the shape out we made four slits in the center of the butterfly and threaded a pencil through each butterfly. We than added googly eyes , everything is cuter with the googly eyes. I think this is a great idea the kids are always losing their pencils and the last thing they need is another piece of candy.

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Pumpkin Bread and Brownies and IEP’s

This time of year I get the opportunity to thank Marc’s Resource Specialist and all the school staff which have dedicated so much time to his success. With both Marc and Mary having ADHD I have annual IEP’s to review their progress and set new goals. Both Marc and Mary have shown tremendous growth over the last 5 years and I credit much of this success to their Resource Specialist and the school staff all who work diligently to assist them. When I meet for the IEP’s I take the opportunity to say thank you for the job they do. This year I am making brownies and pumpkin bars. I hope they enjoy them.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 1/2 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 -15oz can Pumpkin
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup water

Combine all dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl mix eggs, pumpkin, oil and water; add dry ingredients and stir. pour into 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I made these in the “Perfect Brownie Pan” that Sheila gave me for Christmas, the pan ia a pain to clean but the desserts look very cute.

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