drawstring bag pattern

Organizing with Drawstring Bags


drawstring bag pattern


drawstring bag pattern

When there is a lot of ’round the house tasks to be done, I like to think that’s just all part of the quality time my family and I spend together when we all take part. (There are those here who would disagree.) Emma and I spent most of Saturday afternoon in her room, attempting to get it a little more organized. I really have to psyche myself up to take on that room. It easily overwhelms me, I look in there and want to turn and do something, anything else. There are a lot of teensy things in a 10 year old girl’s world…things the owner is usually unwilling to part with. I’m getting the sense that a 10 year old girl’s world seems to float between little girl and growing up girl. (That one would be the girl who made our dessert on Saturday night.) One side wants to have tea parties with stuffed animals, one side wants to get her ears pierced. Realizing this as I have has made me a little more sympathetic to the piles of stuff in Emma’s space. I realize that there’s hidden meaning there, even she doesn’t quite understand.


I took it as a sign when Betz talked about making some shoe bags, that I should make some storage pouches for Emma using what I have in my stash (still trying to more of that, and the beauty of starting a project at 9 pm is that you have no choice!). These bags are about 11″ x 14″ (I think they are same as the medium sized ones in Heather’s book), although I sort of made these up as I went along. They’re quite easy to sew yourself, so clever and useful. These can be used for just about anything. I pulled a page from a decorating magazine of a girl’s bedroom in a summer home that had pegs along one wall with simple bags like these hanging from them. I have something like a row of pegs I’m going to dig up and use to hang these. Then I am going to make some more for traveling, thinking ahead for when we head out to sunny Florida in a few weeks. Shoe bags… lingerie bags…electronic cord bags…anything bags…

drawstring bag pattern

But especially bags to keep those tiny, special things all together.

grow where you are planted

Grow Where You Are Planted

grow where you are planted

This simple pot on our front stoop has become somewhat symbolic to me, a sign of season’s change, reminding me there’s even beauty in snow covered dead plants when you look hard enough. Which, in a roundabout way, reminds me…

I have a little story to tell you. You may want a cup of something before you settle in.

Once upon a time, before school days, homework, taekwondo, hectic schedules, my kids and I spent a lot of time just being together here at home. Our days had a rhythm that was all ours, that usually involved parks, libraries, meetings with friends. At home, there were pots and pans to play with, ponies to build stables for, thomas trains to chug chug to their destinations. We were, each of us here, busy in our own ways. We liked the background noise of some kid-friendly music, or a good audio book, when we were whiling away an afternoon, busying ourselves with our tasks at hand. Around this time I believe I was flipping through a Chinaberry catalogue and read about an audio program for kids called Boomerang!. It was described as “NPR for kids” and, as a self-confessed news junkie (for better or worse), my interest was immediately peaked. I ordered the box of 4 cassette tapes. When they arrived I pushed play, and the kids and I listened. This was not simple an audio tape of a kid’s book being read to them. This was information…jokes…facts…and all told by kids. As a family, we were on board from the very beginning.

I started asking friends if they’d heard of Boomerang! and was surprised that none had. None! I clearly had stumbled onto a very well-hidden gem. Why didn’t teachers know about it? None I talked to did. Homeschoolers? Again, none around here. My family became the local authorities. We would grab a new one as a download whenever we could find them (not easy to find back then). I mentioned these programs in this space as a great summer activity back in 2006. These have been an amazing accompanyment to our daily lives. Many summer afternoons the kids have spent listening to Boomerang! in their treehouse (which is not really a treehouse, but a structure that seems to be up high in the trees, so, a treehouse). During a long summer day of being at home (or a long winter one, for that matter), a 70 minute long audio program the kids can play and relax while listening to, is pure bliss.

Emma and Ian recently listened to Dave’s episode of the “Money Mess” (issue 10-12)… again, keep in mind, the explained by kids, for kids is powerful. I think even I got a better understanding of it. Emma is doing a project on the French Revolution and went back to an old episode to listen to a kid “interview” Napoleon. The kids pulled out the segment on Henry Ford for yet another school project. I love the idea that they are not surfing the internet randomly looking for this info, that they have this available to them this way.  If we don’t have a particular episode, it is very easy to go back to the website and look through the back issues. I will never try to explain quantum physics to my kids, for fear of turning them off of the idea of ever wanting to know more. But Boomerang! will tell them.

Flash forward to just a couple of months ago. Peter and I got a phone call from the creator of Boomerang! (also known affectionately as “Dave Schmave the Elevator Man” by my kids and others). That voice was recognized by both of us immediately. The teller of our favorite stories! (And by the way Dave, I love that my daughter thinks you’re cooler than Hannah Montana.) Through a series of conversations, Peter and I partnered up with Dave, and Boomerang!. We all felt strongly that it was time to spread the word to a wider audience.

Well, I am very sure you’ve reached the end of your cup now. Thanks for reading along, and for your support, as always. You guys are the best.



Mary Tyler Moore

How It Goes Down Around Here

Melissa mentioned watching 4 seasons of Mary Tyler Moore while getting some solitary sewing done a few weeks ago and I gasped. “You can watch Mary Tyler Moore?” “On hulu.com“? “No kidding!” To which Peter did a little eye roll and the kids asked “what’s Marytylermoore?”READ MORE

Holiday Gifts We Made

We actually just finished giving our gifts, due to snow days, illness, and my forgetfulness. I thought I would share what holiday gifts we made this season.

holiday gifts

Front porch snow

Fun in the Snow


Front porch snow

Quite a contrast from the last time I looked at this pot.

Snowing like crazy out there. Part of me loves it, part of me starts to get a little claustrophobic. What about you?

I should be doing anything other than making felt ornaments, but that’s what I’m doing. (I did clean up my closet today, thank you.) I found these over on the Martha Stewart website and am gathering materials to start (its good for me to pick things that I have supplies on hand for, because I need to use up some of these supplies bad). In fact, I’m kind of picking through my ornaments this year and getting rid of some of those fillers from years past. I get in these moods every 3 years or so, like clockwork. Some years I’m looking for the sparkle, other years I’m looking for the wooly, handmade look. I waffle entirely too much. In fact, if I could teleport myself over to Anthro right now I’d buy up most of their ornaments because most are on sale. And they’ve got twinkle and wooly.


All holiday orders must be placed by December 16 Dismiss