Words to live by:

Laugh often & laugh loud 

Whenever possible, make peace

Challenge EVERYTHING, you think you know

Sometimes you just got to get a little dirty

Always have fresh flowers in your house- it's like a little burst of sunshine

Never, ever forget the little guy


Made Monday

With the recent start of school, crafting time has slowed a little for now. [It's only temporary!!] With Dylan and Mia both in school and Julian napping several hours each afternoon, I'm finding myself alone.. with ONE kid for several hours a day. That hasn't happened in YEARS. I'm hoping to be able to get some "extra" work done in that block while he paints, or sews along next to me a couple times a week. Just the "idea" of being able to have a few more hours a week with the option of sewing or painting has me giggling with glee.

I made this pillow and chair cushion a few days before school started. I was in my glory-all super stressed about school starting, so cranking out sewing projects left & right. [I go crazy knitting & sewing when I'm anxious or stressed] I actually still need to finish the 2nd seat cushion, but one is better than none. I've had this Amy Butler fabric in my closet for a few years waiting to make it into a handbag, I thought it was time to actually use it.

We picked up these two chairs recently on a thrifting hunt. They were originally destined to be painted immediately. Once I got them home and cleaned them up, I realized they matched our dining table wood color-perfectly. Now I'm not so sure if I'll paint them or let them be. I had imagined a nice crisp white, or bold blue. For now, we are enjoying them in their natural wooden state.

The pillow was made with the leftover scraps from my living room curtains. I'm so into yellow right now. I find it particularly peculiar because I NEVER liked yellow-ever, even as a kid. About 2 years ago, all the sudden yellow was like the long long friend I hadn't even realized I was missing.

What will you be making this week?


A little Summer left

While the older two are off at school, and Baby Julian napping, Lucian and myself are soaking up every last bit of "summer" left. The days are still filled with sunny skies, but the mornings now have a touch of brisk, Autumn air. Tree's are still green, but just a few brown leaves have been making their way to our porch & yard. The squirrels have started hiding acorns in all my potted plants. Fall will be here before we know it.

Yesterday, Lucian found three of these little caterpillars. He decided they were a family and went to work reuniting them. A happy Mama, Daddy and baby were relocated together, under a large tree. "Now don't run away and go lost again", he gently tells them.


We made it

We made it through the first, and second days of school. I should say I made it. The kids are beyond thrilled- with their teachers, friends, studies. I'm getting used to a much quieter house with just the two little one's at home. It was so strange today to have the house absolutely quiet for about an hour while the baby was napping, and Lucian, resting in bed [aka- pretending to be a robot in his room, and making a mess. A quiet mess though and this mama couldn't ask for anything more!] I love him in the lat picture. His face says it all "NOOOOooooooo, don't go guys!!"

Tomorrow marks the end of the first week. So far, it's gone by so much smoother, less stressful and anxiety filled than last year. While I do really miss the kids all day, everyone seems happy, and that makes me happiest of all!


School starts

Today marks the end of many things, [at least for the school year].
It's the end of an almost eight year run spending EVERY day of Dylan's life with him. It's been bittersweet for me to send him off to school. The end of entire days spent in the yard. The end of our summer days, the unity of all the kids together in one place. The end of "official" homeschooling, {for now}. The end of staying up late for impromptu movie nights with the kids. The end of the "chance" of sleeping in {not that it happened all summer. sigh}

With the end of some things brings the beginning of many others.
The new daily rhythm of schools. A focused year on Lucian, helping him to build up his self esteem and work on his speech/language. Lots of time to spend with just the little boys.  Preparing for fall {my favorite season of all}, then the darkness of winter, with blankets, snuggles, hats & mittens.

Today will be filled with lots of hugs... and a few tears from mama. A few endings and a few fresh starts.


Made: Monday

Pillow for grandma. I can finally start showing off a few recent gifts I've made. I've had to wait until they were actually gifted to not ruin the surprise.

These are easy and really fun to make! All you have to do is trace your children's hands, {think grade school, thanksgiving turkey style} Depending on the number of children you have , design a layout that looks nice. Ant text would work: We Love Dad, Growing like a weed, 2011... whatever you like. After deciding, I traced the hand prints, and wrote the text to a piece of fabric, cut to the size needed for the pillow. Get to embroidering. That's the fun part! Choose all one color, rainbow, cool colors, warm colors.

Once finished stitch up the pillow, stuff or add pillow form and your done! These would also looked nice with the picture frame project I wrote about a few weeks ago here.


This week

Eating: This week, we are eating lots of tasty salsa, pretty much straight from our garden. This goes great with chips or homemade bread. yum! We've been able to do 90% of our weekly shopping at the Farmers Market & our backyard. I feel pretty great about that. Local tasty goodness!

lots! Baby Quilts for friends, pillows, coffee sleeves, seat cushions, book slings, baby pants. Plus the 101 creative projects that the kids have going on each & everyday.

Enjoying: We are enjoying playing with that little kitten up there. He seems to be incapable of holding still for more than 30 seconds. He's also driving out two older cats nuts, so the children try to entertain him, for their sake.
We are also relaxing! Oh how I love just hanging out! School starts in a few daysand the next few weeks will be anything, but relaxing. I'm carry so much anxiety around with me before school starts. This will be the first year Dylan will be going off to school. We've always homeschooled with him, so it's a big change for me [& him]. He's my first baby. He's the child that made me a mom, not just Jessica. I'm happy & sad all at the same time about sending him off to school. Rest, yes... I do  need some rest.


Coffee Sleeves

I made this fun coffee sleeve for my Dad. He's a HUGE old school, monster, movie buff. The [hard to find] print has all the classics, the Werewolf, Dracula, Creature, Frankenstein. I searched for months to find this fabric for him. [last year I made him a pillow in this print too]. These are really fun to make and useful! Wrap one around your coffee cup or disposable cup and save some tree's without using a paper sleeve.

Other big news for us.. We will be at Craftin Outlaws 2011!  woo-hoo. This will be Kunklebaby's 5th year at the show. It's one of my favorite of the year, with an awesome fun crowd, and so many talented vendors. If your local, or wanna travel that weekend, come down & see us! Sneak peak for the blog readers: I'll have coffee sleeves with me this year at the show. These make great stocking stuffer, and gifts for friends and family.

Mark your calendars early for October 15th, and stop by and say hello.


Made: Monday

New slipper socks. I made these for my kid sister's birthday. [well, she's all of 26 years old this year, but she'll always be my kid sis], I used the pattern for the Broken Rib Socks from the book, 101 Designer one-skein wonders.

I really like how they turned out- color and texture. The pattern was pretty easy to follow, which was important to me because they are the FIRST pair if adult socks I've ever finished. yay! I totally want to make a pair for myself now. 

Happy Monday!


tip of the day

To keep fabric from unraveling and making a crazy, string web in your washer {and losing less of the fabric, esp. on short cuts} serge the cut ends before washing. Only takes a few extra minutes, but the result is oh so nice. I think I love my serger more than my husband today.



Right now I am loving:
  • all the yummy goodness coming out of the garden
  • warm sunshine
  • Kunklebaby sewing {working on some new products for Craftin Outlaws this year, as well as old favorites}
  • watching the kids snuggle & love the new kitten. worth his weight in gold
  • that little boy up there. Yep, his shirt says it all! He is also the worlds best unripe tomato picker. He holds the title & everything. 
  • having my computer all fixed finally
  • pilates
  • watching sleeping beauty & the little mermaid in the same week~ and the boys love it as much as me
  • ironing piles of new fabric


the end

Summer is quickly speeding away. Only 15 days left until the start of school. I feel anxiety tighten in my throat and each breathe harder to take than the last as I type that! Last year was so difficult for us, and this summer was such a welcome retreat, break, blessing! I never wanted it to end.

As the days, weeks, then months passed on the calender, I tried to ignore the feeling of sudden doom. {I tend to be a little over dramatic... can you tell? } If I spent my time worrying about when it would end, I would never enjoy any of it.

So that just what I did. I turned a blind eye to the end of June. I cautiously noted the middle of July being awfully close to August {without freaking out}. Now, all the sudden, yes the anxiety & stress has all surfaced. The city schools site had a ticking countdown on their website. I was looking for some info and as I saw it the blood drained from my face. no.. so soon.... where did the summer go? Back to the hustle & bustle of school, packed lunches, germs, OMG the germs & sickness, lost jackets, shoes, books. Most of all, being separated from my children. That's the part that really gets me. I feel like part of my soul is cut away when they are gone. It's not a welcoming feeling!

We will be salvaging every last minute to enjoy each others company and the beautiful end of summer days we have left. I'll even "try" to stay calm.


Made: Monday

Have you seen Pottery Barn's new Eric Carle line? My kids want all of it, and well... it's just not in the budget right now. I've had this Hungry Caterpillar fabric for a few years. My favorite dress Mia ever owned was made with it. I had told the kids I would stretch some of the fabric I had leftover on stretcher strips and hang them for awhile {till they get bored, or their mama does}. I told them with a promise that I would do it as soon as I picked up some stretcher strips at the store.

In a family of six, with pets, well... things break. often. I have a pile of frames that somehow or other, the glass broke. For about two years now, my husband " was going to buy new glass at the hardware store this weekend". I was looking at them today and decided that's never going to happen! I could make them some new  "artwork" without investing a dime.

To create these you need:

  • old frame
  • fabric slightly larger than frame size
  • (optional) spray paint to change frame color

The first thing to do is decide on the fabric. This is the most fun step. This project would be great for expensive Japanese imports because it uses so little, fat quarters, and anything you might have lying around.
Remove the cardboard backer from the frame and cut the fabric about an inch larger than this piece.

Now carefully tape, or staple the fabric around the backer board. You want to do alternating sides, not one's next to each other. So top first, then bottom, etc with sides. I used tape because it was next to me and I didn't want to go searching for the staple gun {and find out we were outta staples. lol} You want to hold fabric firmly, but don't pull too hard or it will pucker on front.

 Make sure the corners are nice & tidy or it will not fit back in the frame. Add the frame.... and YOUR DONE! See wasn't that easy! Hang up and vacuum every so often if you feel inclined.

I am so in love with the latest Heather Ross line!!Anyone else?  My heart smiles a little every time I see it!



Have you ever read this book? I cry... EVERY TIME. Yes, every single one. I tear up just thinking about the end. It's a must read for every mama out there.

Here's a short list of someday's:

  • Someday, I want to finish school ... so I can be a "real" artist. lol
  • Someday, I want to have one more baby
  • Someday, I want to take my family on a nice, long vacation-outta Ohio
  • Someday, I want to have a [slightly] larger house
  • Someday, I want to hold my grandchildren for the first time, and remember what it was like to hold their parents 
  • Someday, I want to have the time to devote to my art, full time. 
  • Someday, I will miss the noise & chaos of daily life in a family of six
  • Someday, I hope my kids say- While their Mom wasn't perfect, I did a good job raising them 

Hug your babies and enjoy the day!


FLASHBACK: superhero party

Scenes from the little boys Superhero Birthday party a few months back. I've had this sitting in my draft file for two months now and wanted to share. I had so much fun getting ready for the party. The handmade capes really made the "theme" fun for the kids. Hope this may inspire some of you mama's out there.