Friday, September 30, 2011


My beloved Brother sewing machine has called it quits. It would cost more to fix than buying a new machine. 

I'm SO sad! I love this machine! I don't want a new one that I have to learn all over again- but I must move on. I must.

I have a few special orders and custom items that need to get finished- so buying a new machine is in order. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

my new natural obsession

For awhile I have been looking into making my own laundry detergent and other natural cleaning products. I've been putting it off because even though the rewards were great, I don't want to make my own. So I have been looking into buying it, but everything I look at just has pretty labels, small bottles, and high price tags. 

When we moved we had no room in the trunk for all our bottles of cleaning supplies, so we had to leave them behind. Now that we're almost out of our regular laundry detergent, and I still haven't replaced the cleaning supplies- I was getting antsy to figure out a solution.

While at the Babes & Babies event on sunday, I met Sophia, a rep from H2O at home. It's french based, natural, organic, and green cleaning company. What caught my eye was the "laundry ball", a plastic ball filled with tiny ceramic balls that do magical scientific things to the water so it cleans better with less detergent. And their detergent? A huge bottle of super concentrated heavenly lavender scented liquid. And you use like one tablespoon for dirty loads. For not so dirty loads, just the laundry ball works fine.

So I continue asking what everything is, and she tells me about the "all in one" kit. It's a powdered clay based cleaner that cleans everything. And it's food safe, too. So you can polish your counters and then eat off of them. But then she said the magic words- that it "works wonders on shower doors." I hate, loathe and despise cleaning shower doors. I've tried everything, and nothing works. So I pretty much bought it just for that purpose.

I was giddy. Do you get giddy at the promise of natural super cleaners? So I bought a "package". In it was:

Laundry ball
Laundry detergent
Dishwashing liquid
a set of microfiber towels for various cleaning tasks
a bar of spot remover
the "all in one" powdered clay cleaner with towel and sponge

It's kinda embarrassing to admit that I haven't really "cleaned" our  new place yet. I've just made due with clorox wipes, shower spray, swiffer pads and windex. And toilet cleaner. Don't worry, I haven't totally lost my mind.

So with all the sewing craziness behind me, this week I'm gonna clean my house. Like for real. I don't mind cleaning most of the time- I find it soothing and I usually work out internal stuggles along the way.

Except for vacuuming. I hate doing that.

And I'll do a review after I use them for a bit and let you know just how awesome they really are!

If you wanna check them out- here is their website: H2O At Home

(photo via)

Monday, September 26, 2011

comfy pants are my BFF

I've been in a style rut ever since we moved. I did okay up until a few weeks ago- when I folded up my skinny jeans and shoved them deep into the closet. And have only been wearing comfy pants since.

Don't worry- they look alright. And Danny didn't even notice until a few days ago, so there. And the only public places I went was Target, Petsmart, Costco, etc... (where most people look like a hot mess compared to just plain old comfy pants)

But now that my sew-a-thon is over, I need to leave the house and re-join the real world before I forget how to act in public. And it's going to be fall soon- I need some new wardrobe pieces because I got rid of all the worn out stuff I have been wearing for years.

So I got on Pintrest and found a new blog to obsess over- Sweet Laundry Loves and went crazy finding great ideas. I will need a few things, the most expensive being some new boots, but I wear them so often it's silly to buy cheap ones that will only last a season. Anyway.

Here are a few of my ideas:

I am going to use this summer skirt tutorial... (from MADE) make a skirt like this. It looks so comfy- without being a pair of comfy pants. (See, I'm trying to ease into it.)

 I love this dress- but she got it in France, so. 

I'm going to try to pair a long sleeve tee with one of my sleeveless dresses and see how it goes.

 I have a grey lace dress and grey tights, all I need is the red cardigan. And I'd wear boots, cause saddle shoes ain't my thing.

I have like 3 plaid shirts that I never wear because I don't know how to wear them- so I love this look!

(all of the above looks are from my new fav blog- Sweet Laundry Loves. Photos from her website. And how cute is she?!)

 And I have a black dress like this, paired with the mustard tights and camel colored boots, I think it's SO cute!

(found this one on Pintrest, don't know the original link)

Yeah, so hopefully I will start leaving the house again to go on many fun and exciting adventures here in the big city so I can blog about them!

Friday, September 23, 2011

rolling on the floor laughing my ass off

You'll have to click it to properly read it, then pee your pants 'cause it's so funny because it's so true!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

juniper and laurel kittens

See these BFF's?

Read all about them here. (P.S. I totally hate it when bloggers do that. But...)

Did you read Monday's post?

I'm gonna be a little busy this week. Also, I'm trying to be a better blogger/business woman so I've been updating and posting a lot on my rag-a-muffin blog- so if you want more delicious photos of all the new fantastic things I have been making, pop on over and have a gander!

Monday, September 19, 2011

babes & babies

I am so excited to announce that I (rag-a-muffin) will be a part of:

Appel & Frank's Babes & Babies event!
September 25th
at the JCC of San Francisco

I will have pretty much my whole Etsy shop set up at a table. I am planning on making a whole bunch of new stuff just for the event, dolls and aprons and more dolls!

A little bit about Appel & Frank (from their website)

Modern moms and moms-to-be are invited for a day of shopping, education and information! Shop from 55 designers and companies offering baby and toddler clothing, accessories, gear, toys, resources and much more...all at discounted prices. Enjoy speakers and seminars, activities for kids, lush gift bags and a raffle with incredible prizes!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Here it is- my Hushabye quilt!

I'm in awe of how pretty this quilt turned out! I love staring at it, poring over the details. The only thing missing is a chunky baby rolling around on it!

Here it is in the "laying out" stage. Such an exciting stage, when all your hard work comes together!

The obsession with Tula Pink began with her "Neptune" collection that I used for Van's quilt.

It continued when my mom and I stepped into the last shop in the Shop Hop last summer, we saw this fabric on the back of a quilt hanging in the shop.

We just about died.

Aqua and brown damask, my fav? With chocolate bunnies? Oh yes. Yes!

We quickly loaded up our arms with every bolt of fabric they had left. You see, it was an out-of-print line of fabric that we had never seen. There were a few color ways- we got some of each. We decided to make matching baby quilts- one for my house, one for grandma's house- cause my mom will be a grandma someday, right?

Tula Pink is famous for "hiding" images in her designs. I absolutely love it!

When we finally found a quilt pattern that we thought was just perfect for our project, we began sorting our patchy collection of fabrics. We were each going to make a baby quilt, using everything we could. We quickly realized that it mixing what we had wouldn't work unless we bought a whole bunch more fabric. So we divvied up our stock- I picked the aqua & brown, my mom took the pink & brown.

The pattern is called "Sweet Petals" by Riley Blake. And it's free! Despite using the same fabrics, and the same pattern- my mom and I laid out or quilts differently. And at some point- I'll get some good photos of hers to share with you!

I never plan on piecing the backs of my quilts, but I always end up doing it anyway.

Making quilts "on point" or turning the squares diagonal instead of horizontal is trickier than it looks. But I love switching it up sometimes.

And in case you haven't noticed...

...we love pinwheels!

And the quilting? So gorgeous. As always. I really need to send Holly a thank you gift for all the hard work she's done on all my quilts!

That brown/blue dot has hidden ducks floating around...

Teardrops are a recurring design of Tula's- definitely a favorite of mine!

The brown lace has butterflies...

And this simple scroll has dragonflies.

We bought the fabric in June '10, found a pattern in April '11, cut, sewed, and pieced them in May '11, had them quilted in July '11.

I have the latest Tula Pink collection "Prince Charming" on it's way to me as we speak, because I was smitten with it the instant I saw it. As my mom and I have somewhat painfully learned in working with Tula Pink's collections- you cannot find any other fabric to match it. Anything. So this time, I'm not fooling around. I'm just buying the whole damn collection! I have no idea what I'll do with it- but when I do, it will be fabulous!

(and HOORAY! I had enough money to buy a new and improved lens! Hence the photos!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the great mayo vs. miracle whip debate

Are you a mayo or a miracle whip fan? Usually it's a love/hate it kinda thing. For me?

I hate/loathe miracle whip.

Moving on.

The other day I went to make myself a sandwich. A tuna one, but that's besides the point. I put some mayo and mustard into a small bowl and went to get the tuna from the cupboard. I noticed that I had a bit of mayo on my finger, so I licked it off.

"Bah!" I exclaimed to myself, "that tastes funny!" Wait, I'm remembering something. I had a sandwich a few days ago, and it tasted strange too. I thought it was the chicken that I used. I stopped eating a quarter the way in, thinking I should stop 'cause it didn't taste right. But then I remembered the goat cheese incident, and forced my lame ass self to finish the sandwich. I wasn't going to let my imagination run away with my taste buds this time. Ha!

Ok, back to the present. By funny, I meant it kinda tasted like miracle whip. Not full on, but just enough to warrant suspicion. It's a brand new bottle. "Holy crap" I thought to myself, "they put it in the wrong bottle! Those morons!"

Just out of curiosity, I checked the expiration date. Jan '11. "It's still '11 so it's fine!......OH SHIT!"

Meet the dangers of buying from costco. And not paying attention whilst rotating stock. As I tried to not throw up in my mouth and figure out just how expired that mayo was, I came to a conclusion:

Miracle Whip tastes exactly like waaaay expired mayo.

And then another, more important thought came to me:

I fed my husband a sandwich using that mayo last night! Oh dear!

When Danny got home I told him what happened and apologized profusely. He laughed it off, like he always does. He's easygoing that way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

glass beach a place about 3 hours up the coast from us. It's a whole beach made up of sea glass, created from years of irresponsible people dumping their garbage in an area of coastline in the northern part of Fort Bragg, CA.

Someday, I plan on a little weekend getaway for the Mr. and me. There is a fantastic sounding B&B nearby, although I don't know if it will hold to the B&B standard the The Old Hen has set for us.

Crazy yet amazing, right?

Uniquely human, and as far as consequences go- rarely a positive one. Ok, maybe not positive, but neat!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a european vacation for your living room

Oh goodness.

I just found this little etsy shop called ArtisanieEurope. I'm totally smitten. I want her sculptures all over my house right now.

Monday, September 5, 2011

pretty pretties

I'm constantly inspired by Heather Bailey- and I've been thinking about these cute little bobbins ever since I read this blog post forever ago.

I went out and bought some supplies (dowels and finials) right away. Then I looked at my embroidery floss collection and laughed- haha so not the best way to store and catalogue all that floss!

I recently found some baker's twine in a rainbow of colors- and no way to store it. Oh wait- I think I remember something...


These were SO fun and easy to make! 12 inch dowels, cut in half. The finials were glued on the ends with elmers glue. Painted with regular acrylic paint, and finished with a satin polyurethane coating.

One of my faves...

I've been using it to attach my rag-a-muffin tags to the items in my etsy shop.

I love it when beautiful notions can double as colorful decorations! (and still be functional!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

broken lenses = no blogging

I mentioned that I broke not one but two lenses recently, and it happens to be my most favorite lens.

I broke one moving, and then had to beg Danny for days to buy me a new one so that I could take photos of the dolls I made for my etsy shop a few weeks ago. In a wild cat moment courtesy of Matilda the camera toppled onto the floor- and buh-bye cheap lens.

I have to save up my money (the money I make in my etsy shop) in order to buy a new one. But this time I'm going for the mid-price option- hopefully it will be sturdier than the low end plastic model.

So I didn't take my camera to Utah, didn't take photos (good ones anyway) of Van's birthday party, or my trip, Danny's birthday, or of anything I have been making these past few weeks.

I was sitting here the other night wondering why the hell I haven't been sharing all of my goodies and writing blog posts, I've been so consistent and have so much to blog about...and then I remembered- duh. No camera to take photos of what I have been making!

I have other lenses. They just aren't that great for this specific purpose. But today I had had it, so I busted out the 100mm macro and got really far away and snapped some photos of one of the many projects I have completed.

I tried to use it to take photos of the gorgeous Hushabye quilt that I just finished- but I couldn't get far enough away to get the whole thing. (100mm macro lens is a fixed length made for super close-up shots, so you can't zoom in or out- you gotta zoom by moving yourself closer or further away from your subject.)

I'm getting closer to saving enough!

Until then- I'll be blogging with images that I can steal! And link back to of course!

And here's the little lens busting shit- looking so sweet and cute rolling around on the floor. Oh boy do I love her!