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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thrifty remake

So, before Easter I went to the Salvation Army thrift store close to me. (Usually even thrift stores are too expensive for me, but they have half price clothing on Wednesday.) I purchased dresses for myself and my three daughters. I posted the remakes I did on my daughters' dresses on Facebook, but didn't post mine because I wasn't happy with the fit even after alteration. So, today I tackled it and made a skirt I can love.

So here is my frumpy dress. It was about 4 sizes too big for me, but only 2.50 so I bought it. It originally had a floppy crepe fabric bow at the neck. I removed it and put a lace insert (to make it a little more modest). I put in a plethora of darts to take it in without having to completely disassemble the whole thing. I wore it on Easter with a nice cardigan and brown shoes. It was ok, but still felt like a Mumu dress. I still love the fabric! It's a cotton and linen blend. The pattern was a bit too busy for a dress, so I decided to chop it off and make a nice skirt. I love skirts and wear them all summer. So here is my final product!
Now that is a skirt I will wear with a brown t-shirt or yellow. Cute! So that is my remake for today. I had intended to do a skirt from a pair of jeans and a super cool jean skirt that I have outgrown. Alas, I am too efficient and had already donated the jeans to charity. Sometimes I am a little too organized!

Ok! Some big news! I just started the process today to self publish my first Jane Austen genre novel on Amazon! I will post as soon as it is made available!

Have a blessed day knowing that Jesus loves you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


This week has thus far been occupied with sewing items for our two Etsy shops. In our 3anniemouse3 shop we sell eco friendly market totes and several things related to essential oil. When I first began sewing essential oil cases, there were not that many available. They were pretty on the outside, but made with elastic bands on the inside to hold the bottles. Not such a great idea as the elastic will degrade if it comes in contact with oil. I developed (through tons of trial and error) a design with fabric pockets that hold the bottle beautifully. My heart sank this week when I did a little search on Etsy for essential oil bags. Literally dozens of shops are now making this or a similar design. The kicker is they are charging less than I do. I have no idea how they can do that! Please tell me how to, well actually, I know. They are not charging for labor. Tis ever the dilemma with home made products. Anyway, I am now looking for new products to make so I can once again be unusual instead of usual.

Would you like to see pictures now instead of reading my rant? Why yes, of course! I think I will show you the bag I use for my oils first.

When we travel, I can carry all the oils I need, plus blends and the oils I have mixed with coconut oil in jars.

Ok, on to this weeks' projects!
Here is one of my new essential oil scarves. Lots of people like the essential oil necklaces for diffusing a scent close to you all day. I put a pocket with a special bead that can be saturated with oil. I think this turned out pretty cute. I also made two with cotton knit fabric.

Now to things for our Grapecake shop! I am always planning new Modest Barbie outfits in my head. This week I made a couple, plus a bedding set.

I like the jeans set because it is super easy to get on and off the doll. Great for smaller children! The white and black outfit is something I would wear!! So pretty. And of course, most girls love Paris, so I made a black and pink set complete with a cat bed.

So, I hope you enjoyed those pictures. The rest of the week will be playing catch up. I have two summer skirts with busted zippers. Oh joy. I really need them in my wardrobe, so they will be fixed. I'm also dreaming of making some more skirts. I'm a skirt kind of gal. I like to be comfy.

I think I'll go nurse my sore abs with some wintergreen oil. I started a rigorous pilates regimen yesterday. OW!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Hi! Surprised? I am back with some cheery pictures of my garden and a fabulous Pinterest success (for once). We live in South Texas and although I love gardening and have lots of experience, I find it so difficult to keep my garden alive down here. The summer heat zaps it like lightning and fries it before my eyes even as early as May. So for now, I am relishing the sight of my verdant garden and the sugar snap peas that I am harvesting.

I love Nasturtiums! They are so bright and happy. And edible! They fall victim to the heat every year, but in early spring they pop back up. I have gorgeous spearmint in early spring, also. I think this year I will build it a shade in an attempt to keep it longer. I have a self-propagated acorn squash, some cilantro, rosemary, sugar snap peas, German stripe tomato, small yellow pear tomato, and some really old periwinkles! I use rabbit, um, stuff to fertilize my garden, with an extra boost of Epsom salts every now and then. I am going to try to grow green beans as well. Ok, that is my garden. Sorry to all the folks up north who were hit with snow today......

On to Pinterest success! I absolutely hate pinning dozens of luscious looking recipes on my "recipes to try" board and have them turn out to be complete flops! Sometimes I think people who post recipes on their fancy blogs have done something different to the recipe to set us up for a fail. Probably not, but it makes me feel a little better to think that way. ha. Especially healthy recipes, don't get me started! Anyway, this one was NOT healthy! The recipe is found here. I whipped up fresh cream and slice some nice strawberries to top this lovely cake. I kept telling myself that this cake had lots of good fats in it, so it's ok to eat. hmm. It was a wonderful treat since I had company yesterday for lunch. I suppose lunch itself was a Pinterest success as well. I had searched for a good avocado chicken salad recipe and sort of frankensteined a few of them together. I can put that here if you are interested.
5 chicken tenderloin roasted and then cooled
1 large ripe avocado cubed
1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon sour cream
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon herb seasoning
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Chop the chicken into small cubes and then dump everything into a bowl! Stir! I served the salad in hollowed out croissants on a platter. It was so yummy!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

how long?

  Having recently been hooked on reading certain types of blogs, I've become eager to write on my own. I know, probably no one reads them, but I enjoy posting. First, I'll tell you about my reading curiosities. My hubby is a huge history buff and is constantly watching documentaries on WWII and such. I do admit to enjoying them as well, but I have also developed a love for all things 30s and 40s. Specifically, fashions and sewing styles. So, I have searched about on the blogosphere and found a few gems. My favorite by far is . These three sisters sing music from the 40s for special events. They also sew their own dresses for these events in period correct patterns and fabrics. My own daughters roll their eyes and sigh when I talk about the Boyer blog, but I get tickled when a new post comes to my inbox.
  For those who follow me on facebook or have seen our Grapecake shop on Etsy, you know I have begun to sew 40s style dresses for Barbie. I had no patterns, so the whole process was so frustrating! I made three models without patterns. I will show them here:
This one a dress with belt, bows at the shoulders, and a pearl necklace.

The last one is a dress with belt, tiny black buttons, and Minnie applique. I made the iconic ear beanie as well.

So finally, a local fabric shop had patterns on sale for 1.99. I stocked up on all their vintage patterns for doll dresses. I hope this will cut down on my stress level!
  I am still sewing for my 3annimouse3 Etsy shop as well. I have been sewing more small size zippered pouches and trying to come up with new designs for my large pouches. Hand made scallop trim on the fronts of my bags take a lot of time. Time that I do not get paid for. The Etsy world is highly competitive and difficult to conquer.
I still love the whole process of being creative and blending fabrics, I just wish it paid better! I know my accountant hubby would love it if I charged a lot more for my creations, but the truth is ugly. People expect the same cost for handcrafted as store-bought. I suppose each person goes through the dilemma of supporting a family in Bangladesh or paying more to support a family here in the USA. Or not. Ah, here I step off of my soapbox.
   On the book front, I am chicken. I admit it. Rejection by more than 30 literary agents has made me thus. I still consider daily the option of self publishing my 4 novels. Courage! Pray for that!
And here I stop rambling.
I am hoping if anyone reads this that they are blessed and encouraged. God's loving kindness was new and fresh this morning when you woke up!