Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yoohoo! I have been MIA AGAIN! I was asked to have a booth at our fall bazaar on base but unfortunately we are going to be out of town that weekend. But then I was notified that if I "donate" all my items to the Spouses Club Ways N Means table that they would sell for me - 3 days straight - and I don't have to pay a booth fee, I don't have to be there to help sell everything and they keep a small percentage of the profits. What an opportunity! I only had a few weeks to sew like crazy and get everything organized but I did it! I made bibs, burp cloths, tote bags, mini wallets, children's belts, blankets, taggies and more! Unfortunately JoAnns has taken a ridiculous amount of time to get an order to me - I desperately need more white Velcro and pearlized snaps and I ordered them over a month ago. If they don't arrive tomorrow, then I have 6 bib sets that won't get finished and over 20 mini wallets that won't be ready. Oh well - I am pretty pleased with the quantity of items I have and I hope everything is well received and successfully sold. I have to hand over everything tomorrow so today I am tying up loose ends and hoping to crank out a couple more tote bags. Here's your preview!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just for fun - A little bit of Italy

Hubby, little man and I went on a trip to northern Italy this weekend. We traveled to Trieste, to Venice and to Nove, the ceramics capital of Italy (of Europe? of the world?). Nove was amazing - ceramic store after ceramic store and I stopped to browse through a lot of them. The colors and designs were so beautiful and so captivating. I was drawn to everything full of color (although they had much, much more as well) and ended up leaving with some new bowls and a couple fun decor items. Enjoy a taste of Nove!

My rooster bowls (and Chianti) that we brought home with us. :)
And a rooster pitcher (to protect and defend our home), a mosaic trivet and a small container

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The blankie is done! The blankie is done!

I finished it! Okay, well the order of events is...I taught myself a new crochet stitch (the mesh stitch, which results in a trellis pattern), I crocheted like crazy, I got carpal tunnel in my pinkie, I crocheted some more, and more, after 4 days the blanket finally was a decent size for a baby so I ended my stitch and decided to add tassel fringe to finish it up. And you know what? I like it! It turned out really cute and ended up being about 22" by 28". I used 2 yarns at once so it is a heavier blanket and the effect looks great. I think it is the perfect sized blanket to lay over a little one while they are sleeping. I'm working on a new blanket for my son, who has been in love with crocheted blankets since he was an infant and I have some of the same yarn in lavender so I'll try a lavender and white one after that and make it a little larger than the green one, and who knows, maybe I'll use a different stitch.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Trick or Treat!

I have started my trick or treat bags and have begun listing them in my Etsy shop. I have 2 sizes available. One for kids 5 and older - it measures approximately 15 1/2" tall by 10" wide (at the base) and 3" deep. It has 2 straps that are approximately 15" long apiece. The smaller size is for children under 5 and is approximately 12" tall by 10" wide by 3" deep. It also has 2 straps and it's straps are approximately 13" long. The bags are being listed in my shop and range in price from $10 to $15.

These bags are $15 a piece - they are both size large. The top one is made of gorgeous Alexander Henry fabrics in Trick or Treat and Pumpkin Dots. The second bag is made of Michael Miller fabric - turquoise skulls and is lined with a Sis Boom geometric fabric.

This bag is $12 - it is a size small

These bags are $10 a piece - they are both size small and are lined with flannel fabrics

Check my shop (http://fraybabybibsandmore.etsy.com/) throughout the coming weeks. I'll be making more of these bags in BOTH sizes and I have Aleander Henry Trick or Treat kids (see picture of the first bag) in cream as well as the black pictured. If you would like to place a custom order, please contact me through my Etsy shop or email me at fraybaby@live.com.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Guest Appearance...

My mom is making a guest appearance in my Etsy shop! She is talented and creative enough to have her own Etsy store but right now she is working full time at her doggie food job and she sews in her free time to de-stress and try to downsize her fabric stash. She sent me 2 receiving blankets with matching burp cloths and 2 sets of matching burp cloths - all are adorable and I want to keep all of them for myself! But alas, I told her I would list them and as of today, there is 1 receiving blanket/burp cloth combo in pink and 1 burp cloth set in greens and yellows for sale in my shop. The other 2 will be listed this week. Well, maybe...I can't seem to let myself part with this awesome and crazy turquoise, orange, green, pink, red, happy flower set but I'll post a picture here so you can see how cool it is and maybe covet it for yourself. My mom "claims" to have another one of these blankets cut out but I can't be sure it is an exact replica. You know how these crafty types are, never want to make the same thing twice. :) Anyways - here are a few pictures of the new items and make sure you stop by my shop to check out not only the cool pieces that my mom has made but the new things that I have been listing. Isn't now a good as time as any to start thinking about Christmas or about all those pregnant and new mommies that you know that you need to get gifts for? Hope you enjoy looking at everything and check back often!

The flower set I just don't want to give up:

The pink blankie/burp cloth set - they are GORGEOUS:

The raw edge green and yellow burp cloth set:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My latest obsession

Crocheted hats!! No, not for me, well, maybe for me, but honestly my focus has been on little baby #2. And it all started when my fellow Homefronter's starting crocheting their hearts out and coming up with amazing and adorable hats. Little beanie hats, brimmed hats, ear flap hats...the list goes on and on and each and every one is gorgeous. I want to buy them all (okay, not all, but at least 90% of them!) but I am waiting to find out the sex of this sweet little baby and then game on! I not only plan on buying for baby #2 but for my 2 1/2 year old son and shoot, now that I thought of it, for me too! And the places to buy from? Well, the options are endless. Looking for furry and ear flapped? TwoSeasideBabes has you covered. Looking for cotton and classic? bethjt (remember her?)is all over it. Whimsical and themed? MooseThreads can make a firetruck hat, butterfly hat or even a helicopter hat. Knitted with a pom pom or tail? MayRaeCrochetnKnit is the expert. And those are just the Homefront shops I have to choose from! One of my favorite crocheted hats that I have stumbled upon outside of my Homefront search is the mini monkey hat flap by CiteFuzz. You better believe that I am going to get my little monkey one of these hats - they are too adorable to pass up and let's not forget my baby is due in January, in Germany so I'm thinking I'll need a nice little stock or warms hats for his or her head. I'm off to keep on searching for more and more hats and I think I'll even look for one for my 2 1/2 year old and maybe even one (or two) for me! Make sure you check out these great shops. I leave you with pictures from each of these shops - listed in order featured. Happy shopping!

Two Seaside Babes newborn ear flap hat

bethjt's 3-6 month brimmed hat

MooseThread's airplane appliqued beanie

MayRae's Knitted Curly Tail Hat

CiteFuzz's Mini Monkey Ear Flap Hat

Friday, May 30, 2008

Delicious Banana Bread Recipe

What you need:
3 medium ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs (if you do not want to use eggs, substitute 3 TBSP milk - it won't rise as high but tastes just as good)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

What you do:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas, add softened butter, sugar and eggs, beat just until mixed. Add all dry ingredients (except nuts) - beat for 2 minutes on medium speed OR 300 strokes by hand. Stir in walnuts by hand. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (5 1/4 by 9 1/2). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. I put a foil "tent" over my banana bread after 35 minutes of baking. I then removed it when there were 10 minutes left on the bake time. I didn't want the top to get too dark.

Let bread cool, slice and ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Vodka, Peroxide and WD40?

While browsing MSN.com this morning I stumbled upon 10 crazy "green" uses for vokda! Which made me think about all those emails I receive about old fashioned ways to use hydrogen peroxide or other uses for WD-40 so I went on a hunt through my inbox and found those crazy tips and I thought I'd share my favorites with you.

-Touch poison ivy or get a jelly fish sting? For those of you who take vodka in hikes through the forest or to the beach, pour some on your sting or where you touched the ivy! The vodka just might wash away those ivy oils that make you break out in an awful rash or take away some of that awful jelly fish sting. (Some say it has to be 100 proof to work and it's a lot better than being pee-ed on, a la Chandler and Monica)
-Shine your chrome, porcelain or glass fixtures with vodka and elbow grease!
-A few drops along with a teaspoon of sugar can help your cut flowers last longer.
-It's a bug repellent! Just put some vodka in a spray bottle and spritz your arms and legs while outside, or spray directly at bugs - and it's DEET free!
-It can get rid of pesky harmful mold. Just spray vodka on mold, let sit 15 minutes and scrub

Hydrogen Peroxide?
-Soak your toothbrush in it to kill germs!
-Rinse your wooden cutting boards with it to get rid of salmonella and other bacteria.
-Fill a spray bottle 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide to use as a disinfectant spray in your bathroom and shower stall!
-If you have a cold or plugged sinuses, use that same 50/50 mixture to pour in your nostrils, let bubble, blow nose - it should help you breathe easier (just don't use the exact same mixture as your bathroom cleaner - I don't want you spraying it up your nose!)
-Use peroxide to clean mirrors with no smudging or smearing!

-Have a spotty shower door that nothing will clean? Try using WD-40!
-It protects silver from tarnishing.
-Keeps flies off cows (what??? okay - for those of you who have cows who hate those pesky flies, spray away!)
-Untangles jewelry chains (oooo, handy!)
-Removes stubborn dirt and grime from your BBQ grill.
-Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
-Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
-It takes away the sting from fire ant burns!
-Removed crayon marks from the wall (did you know that mommies out there?)

Hope you found these tips handy, helpful or at least a little bit funny. Have any other uses or fun tips for basic household products? Happy cleaning, breathing, untangling and de-flying everyone!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chicken Parmesan with a kick

I feel like chicken tonight, like chicken tonight, like chicken tonight. (That was from some commercial a long time ago - for the life of me I can't remember whose commercial it was).
The other night I made Chicken Parmesan and I'm going to share the recipe!

Grocery list -
1 -2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts (depending on how many mouths you are feeding)
breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
Parmesan cheese
2 large cans crushed tomatoes (see picture)
olive oil
crushed red pepper (ooo - the kick!)
spaghetti noodles (or whatever type you prefer)
mozzarella cheese

Got everything? Let's begin!

First let's make the chicken. Clean off your chicken breasts and pound the heck out of them with a mallet. (This makes them so tender!). Heat a couple TBSP of olive oil in large skillet. Put 1/4 cup of flour in a gallon sized bag and add chicken breasts, shake to coat. Now we need an egg wash bowl and a breadcrumb bowl. Beat 2 eggs in bowl (add a little splash of milk) for your egg wash bowl. And add 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese in other bowl. Take chicken breast out of flour bag - dip in egg mixture, coat with breadcrumb mixture, and throw in heated skillet. Brown both sides, turn heat off and cover with lid to keep warm and tender.

In the meantime, let's make the sauce. Heat saucepan (at least 2 quart saucepan) on medium high. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (this gives the sauce a nice kick - for a bigger and yummier kick, make it 2 tsp but only if you like spice!). Let that garlic mix sizzle for 1 minute. Add 2 cans crushed tomatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer.

Time to assemble! Preheat your oven to 350. Put chicken breasts in 9x13 glass pan, put a mound of shredded mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast. Add the tomato sauce (I scoop it out with a large spoon so it doesn't splash everywhere).
Then add more mozzarella to the top of each chicken breast (I do that so I know where to find them - and who doesn't like extra cheese?) Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until edges are bubbling and cheese is browning.

While chicken is baking, boil some water and make your noodles. When everything is finished - put a scoop of noodles on your plate and add a chicken breast with a heaping scoop of sauce. Yum! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens...

It is Friday again and I decided to give you a few more of my favorite things. Maybe this will become a weekly installment!

LittlePinkPosies - this adorable shop is run by a mom with 2 kiddos. Her shop's name was a play off her daughter's nickname, Little Pink Princess, since as she says "the child was born to wear pink!" The shop carried gorgeous hair clips, for both big and little girls, but what caught my attention were the posy girl(TM) pendants. Each pendant is 2 inches tall, hand painted and finished with varnish. You can even customize your own posy girl and choose her hair color, color of her dress and the letter on her little necklace! Adorable for those little girls on your gift list - check out LittlePinkPosies and happy shopping!

Ulljas - COOKIES! Need I say more? Well, how about we let the picture speak for itself? These are Ulljas personal trademark shortbread cookies that are shaped like ice cream scoops. They taste thick and almost fudgey.

Ulljas is run by a professional pastry chef who has a European Pastry and Bakery Shop in central Texas. There were so many requests for online orders, Ulljas.etsy.com was born! I ordered the Raspberry Margarita package for my mom for Mother's Day - 4 delicious raspberry chocolate chip shortbread cookies and 4 key lime cooler shortbread cookies. Mmmmm....Now wipe up that drool and visit Ulljas!

SheerWhimsy - I entered a giveaway contest on the Downtown Boutique's blog and I won!! How great is that? And this is what I won - the mushroom gadget garb! These tiny little pouches are just big enough for your cell phone, ipod, or small digital camera. They are made with the utmost attention to detail - there is a layer of ultra thick batting to protect your little tiny technology, beautiful coordinating material, a vintage inspired button on the flap, a hand appliqued mushroom (or blow dryer, tree, cupcake, paw print, etc...) AND a tiny little sheerwhimsy label on the inside. I am in love with my gadget garb - it holds my cell phone, keeps it safe, makes it easy to find at the bottom of my purse and it is just so cute!! Check out SheerWhimsy's shop and you'll agree, the shop name fits.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Did Ya Know?

I just learned 2 new things today and both surprised me. One - that most of the flowers that we send out moms on Mother's Day are imported from Columbia, Ecuador and the Netherlands. And two - charging your cell phone battery overnight is bad for your battery! I know these are two totally separate and random facts and you are probably wondering where I got them. I signed up for The Green Guide to Go, a newsletter from National Geographic's magazine, The Green Guide, and I received a link to The Tip of the Week.
Did you know that the flowers from the countries I mentioned above can spray their crops with pesticides that are banned in the United States? These pesticides are banned here because of links to respiratory illness and cancer. The pesticides not only effect the workers who harvest the crops but residue can linger on the petals and leaves. A much safer, healthier and locally supportive option is to go to your local farmer's market to pick up an arrangement or you can order from an organic delivery service like Diamond Organics.
My second tidbit of knowledge came from reading a blurb written where the author was woefully talking about her dying cell phone battery and how she has been toting her charger along with her wherever she goes and asking to plug it in at shoe stores and restaurants. She wondered why the battery wasn't holding a charge very long and she did some research. And one of the surprising recommendations it to not charge your battery over night! The longer a battery is subjected to a heat source, the quicker it can wear down. And than includes leaving your cell phone in a hot car or sitting in the sun next to you while you are at the pool! There are a few other common sense recommendations (power saving feature, turn off phone at night or while at a movie) but I was surprised when I read the charging recommendations. Who knew?
Now maybe you can say that you learned two new things today. Unless you already are full of wisdom and knew these factoids and in that case, I urge you to go to The Green Guide and learn something new. Now unplug those cell phones and go get your mom some pesticide free flowers! Oh, and sign up for The Green Guide's newsletter, The Green Guide to Go - just go to the website and send in your email address.

Monday, May 5, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things....

I've had bloggers block and haven't been sure what to write about lately. Today while browsing through my favorites on Etsy I realized my favorite shops and items are so colorful and so fun that I wanted to share them. You'll probably get a little glimpse of my personality through these shops. I hope you like them as well. And if you have any colorful and funky favorites, send them my way!

TheFlashBulb - this shop is SO COOL! The artist behind this shop lives in Austin Texas and has her items in a couple of stores. She specializes in sewn art! Her shop is full of some of her originals along with prints and notecards of her originals. What a fun and funky shop! If I ever have another little one I might have to get some sewn art for the nursery.

Gracie Designs - the shop owner behind this store is married to an etsy artist and her sister is on etsy too. She makes the neatest mini wallets, check book covers, business card holders, coffee cup cuddlers and ice cream cuddlers as well! She also makes aprons and headbands and hair clips but my favorites are the "organizers" like the business card holder, mini wallet and checkbook cover, Plus they make your purse insides really pretty. :)

CurlyQCuties - okay, how cool is a shop filled with fun and funky plush toys and monsters? These cuties are made by a mom in central Texas who started making cuties for her kids and has branched out and started offering them on Etsy! She has all sorts of monsters and cuties AND tooth fairy pillows that you hang on the bedroom door at night with the tooth in the pillow's back pocket and the tooth fairy can easily access the tooth and put a couple quarters in it's place.

I'll leave you with these 3 shops to check out. There are so many wonderful shops on Etsy and such talented artists. I am always browsing to see what new shops I stumble upon. It's wonderful being an Etsy artist but sometimes it is even more fun being an Etsy shopper. :)