Saturday, September 30, 2006


Or crap-tacular? :D
Recent crafting
From the top L-R.
1. Baby gifts for my sister. I am going to go ahead and give her the stuff that I thought was too girly. I worked hard on it, dammit! Embroidered and freezer-paper-stenciled onesies and shirts, a quilted bib and a card I made from a kit.

2. Necklaces for a few people. The red heart one is made of resin embedded with glitter. The others are made of seaglass that I found in Sicily. It was my first try at wrapping stuff with wire. I like them a lot.

3. Wee Wonderfuls Kitty and an elephant purse. The purse was something I saw in a vintage craft book. I'll have to scan some of those wacky projects sometime! The kitty is for my neice and the purse is for my best friend. I love giving her weird stuff that I make.

4. Shirts for an older neice. One is embroidered and one is freezer paper stenciled.

2nd row:
1. Capri pants from a t-shirt. This is one of the easiest things in the world to make. I made it in under an hour. It's also for my neice.

2. (center) My friend is pregnant and not feeling too well. Her husband gets sent away a lot lately and so I know its kind of rough right now. So I made her a Feel Better Kit. I made lavender scented milk bath, a rice heat bag, lavender scented bath bombs, and a bag to keep candy in at work. Its the only thing that kept the nausea away for me.

3. A purse I made today. After seeing this, I knew I had to make one. It's a purse for embroidery tools. I made a few alterations though.

3rd Row:
1. The inside of the purse. I didn't do the clear vinyl because its such a pain to work with. And who really only has 15 things of thread? So I made a big pocket instead, a place for tracing tools, and my needle case is also a pocket.

2. Button detail. I had some of those really cool buttons that you can line with fabric so I used those.

Last row:
1. I made a passport case. (Although sadly it won't be used for this trip. We have tons of paperwork that needs to be shown all the time too.)

2. The inside. Patchwork pocket (can you tell I'm loving patchworks), lots of pockets. We have 2 sets of passports so I made 2 pockets to keep them seperate. I also included a notebook, because its so necessary for me to have something to write on.

3. Remember when I said that nothing I made with resin was too impressive yet? Well, it was kind of not true. The leaves are resin and the cherries are made of polymer clay. I painted them with nail polish so they would be nice and glittery too. I made one for myself and another for a friend who I hope to meet in Florida.

4. A quilted cuff. I have been admiring these all over the place, so I finally made my own. It's quite popular I guess, because my husband and son have kidnapped it.

PS. Sorry this is all "Look at me, Look at me, I make pretty stuff." I've had to to make time pass. And now it has. I'll miss all my blog friends. :D

Last Weekend

Yeah, I know, a little late. But we took really pretty pictures.
Although I had a ton to do, my husband bribed me to go with him. He promised we would go look at furniture. So I went.
Acitrezza Collage
And it was beautiful, despite the heat. Our camera's battery was dying so we didn't get many pictures. Kevin got to scuba dive and we played on the boat. Cale met a new friend. It was a pretty nice day.
Later that night, we went on a search for a furniture store that sells B & B Italia Furniture. I knew that it was really nice. I also knew that most of the time, stuff made in Italy is about half the price as what it goes for in the states. Not knowing the price of these couches, this logic told me that we could afford them. So we went looking. The first place we ran across was just the outlet. Nothing really caught our eye. But there was a sign showing where the showroom was. So we followed those directions and finally found it. We went in to what we assumed was the right place. And we found a couch that we really liked. But I noticed that it was a different brand, so I asked him where the B & B Italia furniture was. He told me that it was right beside his shop. So we went in, after finally figuring out where the entrance was.
I should have known what would happen when we were greeted by a host who asked if we wanted stuff to drink. He even offered granita! I also should have known when I looked around and saw my dream chair, the Kartell Ghost Chair. But I was in designer furniture heaven. I had furniture orgasms. Yes its true.
So we found a couch we liked and went and sat down to get the price. Okay, any time you have to ask for the price and it has to be calculated, it's too much, Emy!!! That eff-ing couch cost 6000 euro! For 4 18inch pillows, it was 500 euro! So every bit of furniture goodness that I had got kicked out of me when he told me the price.
Luckily we really do like the first couch better. And it will be ours soon.

The next morning his dive was canceled so we went home and worked around the house. Then we had dinner with friends. So it was a great weekend.

This one has been spent at my sewing machine so far. We leave tomorrow and I can't wait.
Another post will be coming after I make dinner.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

3 days to go

And the panic attacks started yesterday. Anxiety is a pretty new thing for me. I had my first attack in August and I thought I was dying. Which only made the attacks worse. Now that I know what it is, I can feel better but they still suck. I'm not consciously stressed. I'm not sitting here going ohmygod, ohmygod. But they're happening all the same. I've been keeping myself busy by making everyone gifts. Pictures will come later.
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This is why I miss trees. See those beautiful colored leaves? There are no trees here. And no Autumn colors. This was taken in 2004, about the time we found out we were coming here. We drove west to see Autumn. This was taken at a state park on Virginia. We stopped in a tiny town to buy a pumpkin and the accents became so thick, I couldn't understand people! That was why Virginia is considered Southern! Living in Norfolk, I had never come across such a southern drawl. Anyways, it was a wonderful trip and we will always have this picture to remind us. It came out so wonderful.
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This was my house. A part of me really wants to drive by and see it, but I know it will only hurt worse. Plus it would kill me if something has happened to Ruby or Mrs Bartlett. I really like to think of the Norfolk area as my home. I'm afraid I will get there and realize that its not and the feeling of homelessness will hit. And I'm afraid to realize that Sicily is home!

But even then, I know where everything is, so I think I will still enjoy my time there. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post everything I've made. To make time pass, I have crammed an impossible amount of crafting in. I'm almost done now, and I'm already thinking of more projects, but this time for myself.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I have done nothing lately. And now panic is starting to set in. I leave in about a week and there's still so much to do. But instead I blog.

I found a really great blog: Craft Apple. I'm sure its not new to other people, but it is to me. Her blog is filled with beautiful pictures of her beautiful projects and tutorials! Gotta love those. If you don't already have a full to-make list, check out her site.

And look what I found on Flickr. Another Emy in Europe! Why can't I meet more people in real life who I share so many interests with?

And one more link: Tortilla Soup. I must confess that I'm not really as good of a cook as people say. I owe everything to a few good cookbooks, my favorite being from Pampered Chef. I used to always think it sounded so snotty, but one party had me hooked. I found a ton of recipes online here, but its just not the same without the pictures.

Let's hope that time will slow down a little this weekend so I can finish everything that I hope to.

PS. I went to the air terminal yesterday to ask about my trip and get a schedule of flights and I am so excited!! I keep hyperventilating! :D

Did I mention that my sister is having a baby? My sister is having a baby! Its taken 9 months to sink in for me, but she's dilated and soon I will have a new nephew to visit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This n that

Today while doing research on my upcoming trip, I read a thread on a forum that indirectly said that my husband was "a little tyrant" and "a control freak." Haha. That made my day. I can't wait to tell him.

I haven't been feeling well lately. I think its part illness and part I-f***ed-up-my-latest-craft. So actually its pretty nice, but it was supposed to be a gift for my sister's new baby who is a boy. It turned out a tad girly though. So back to the drawing board. My "little tyrant" husband pointed this out to me last night as I finished. Is there anyway to do embroidery in a non girly way? I had printed out a beautiful vintage pattern and used it. My sister is more of a ghetto fabulous kind of girl than punker so Sublime Stitching is out. I may just stick to freezer paper stencils. I'll post pics after they are given to her. She looks at my flickr site regularly. Luckily, I have a friend who is pregnant with a girl who will be getting extra baby shirts. :D

Another project I have in mind is for another pregnant friend. She's really sick and tired all the time so I just want to cheer her up. So I decided to make her some bath bombs, a rice hot bag, and a bag to store candy in. If time permits, I may make her some capri pants from a t shirt as well. I love those and they're so easy.

I'm trying to get my house ready to go. I just want it clean and organized so that it's pleasant to come back to. I rearranged my living room and my bedroom (and broke my bed.) I was so proud of myself, until I woke up in a bed that was collapsed in the middle. Luckily my husband fixed it.

Looks like we may be spending the weekend looking at The rocks of the Cyclops while my husband does some diving. It will be kind of annoying because although we're on the coast, there's no beach. And that lady instructor with the perfect body who has a daughter Cale's age and speaks 3 languages fluently. :D But there's always capo's and wine. Maybe I'll take some knitting or something.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Current and recently finished crafts

So I have been waiting forever for the paper mentioned in this project by Crafty Chica to be for sale. It seems that it will never be, so I am working on my own. This is mainly done by image searching on google and copying images I like, plus I am working on a few linoleum cut stamps to add to it. All this work for a few sheets of paper to use for decoupaging a tissue box. My images are all black and white though.
It seems that me and Kathy have more in common that just the paper. I have been dying to work with resin for so long. I bought some in the states but after reading all of the warnings about the fumes and skin contact, I chickened out. So after much searching, I finally found a site who would ship it to me. Shhhh! Nothing so far is amazing, just some glitter imbedded, so no pics. But I do have so much more planned for it. I have been searching to no avail for information on making molds out of polymer clay for resin. It seems that all I can do is go ahead and try it out. I have very special plans for this though, very much inspired by Tarina Tarantino.

Now for some pics. A few weeks ago, I hosted a caffeine kicker for MOMS Club. I only owned 2 mugs at the time, so this was a great excuse to buy some more. However, the selection here is less than stellar, so I bought plain white ones and painted them with glass paint. I screwed a few up and I just scrubbed the design off and repainted them, then baked them to a permanent finish that's dishwasher safe. (Psst. mmy husband's favorite one is the one of the far left, the flower-y one!! This cracks me up.) They have really inspired me to do the same for baby shower favors for a friend. No clue on a pattern yet though.
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I also made a heating pad cover. I based it on the one in Denyse Schmidt Quilts. I say based, because I just kind of winged (wung?) the pattern. There's no nearby Kinko's to go copy the pattern at 400% so I improvised with a newspaper.
I love my heating pad. It is a permanent resident on my couch due to frequent back aches (and sometimes I use it when I'm cold, okay!) The old cover was soooooo ugly. Now it's so pretty that it makes me want all new throw pillows in similar happy colors (and a new couch too....)
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So this is kind of silly, but...
Cale kept asking where his watch was. He sees me wearing one, and his dad has one that Cale kept trying to swipe. I'm sure someone makes kid's watches, but with a 2 inch diameter wrist, I doubt any would fit. Plus, its not like he can read it, or tell time for that matter. So I made him a fake one. Its a reversible cuff. The look on his face when I showed him was worth it. So worth it.
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His hand is covered in paint in the first picture (not filth.) :D

PS. Does anyone else read Bust magazine? Amy Karol, aka Angry Chicken has an article on how to make aprons, and Hillary's lovely pattern book is also featured! I felt all warm and fuzzy like I know them in real life or something. ;)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Funny Bunny

Cale has this friend who is not quite real, but too real to be imaginary. He's visible anyways. Bunny has surpassed Monkey George, Pooh, Doggie and Roars to be Cale's new bestest friend.
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Bunny is apparently very mischievous because Cale is constantly putting him in Time Out. They snuggle, Cale rocks Bunny (because he is also a baby), he asks Bunny if he is okay. Cale makes me hold Bunny a certain way. Cale comforts Bunny when he is afraid (usually of Monsters.) He feeds him and shares his juice with Bunny.
At this point I'm more amused than worried. I know that Cale wants a sister. He tells me all the time. I think this is his way of showing me that he would be a great brother (or he's a very lonely kid with a big imagination.) I wish I could be so sure that I want another baby though. Even though I have names picked out and nurseries designed in my mind, I'm just not sure if I'm ready to make my life hard again. Its so easy now. One of my close friends is pregnant and we had always planned to have our second children around the same time. But I see how sick she is and how tired she it and I'm more confused than ever.
For now, we've decided to wait to decide. We have a ton of traveling coming up and maybe after we see Europe (and Egypt, please please please) we will know more.

Wow, I turned what was supposed to be a cute post about my cute kid into something really serious. Maybe I got high from the E6000 glue I was using earlier. :D

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

This is really starting to become a travel journal! I guess its good to see that I'm not a crafting robot. Nothing crafty was done all weekend.

Although our plans to go to San Capo Lo Vito were ruined by toxic algae, we decided to not let that stop us from having fun. So Sunday, we packed up and headed to Cefalu. We also ended up seeing Caccamo, Patti, Tyndiri, and Isole Bella.

Highlights from our trip:
*Leaving home
*Pretty stress free driving for most of the way
*Beautiful beaches
*Sandy beaches - so soft on my feet. As a bonus it exfoliated my dry skin as well!
*Having a shower at the hotel with a removable shower head to wash away sand from unmentionable parts of the body...
*Italian mentality about the body- I love it in a way, because no matter what size you are, or how old you are, its perfectly acceptable to wear bikinis.
*Hibiscus plants. I've never seen them grow to tree proportions.
*Pasta alla norma. I love eggplant so much.
*Gelato. We had watermelon. It tasted more like peaches, but had watermelon seeds and stained Cale's face.
*Yummy panini's from gas stations.
*Getting to go to Patti to the Caleca factory and buy pottery.
*Getting home with said pottery and finding out that a few pieces were made for Williams and Sonoma and I only paid 5 euro for each piece.
*Visiting Isole Bella. I love this beach the most. Its a pebble beach though. Which is both good and bad. Bad for the feet, good because you feel cleaner. And pebbles are pretty.
*Coming home.

Lower points of the trip:
*Going to the castle, but it was closed.
*Sandy beaches- leave you feeling dirty.
*Stevie No Pants - My name for this little boy who ran up to us with his little peepee flapping in the wind. Cale was very confused why this little boy had no pants on. So was I....
*An awful night of sleep. We slept in a double bed with Cale... who snores, kicks, hits and bed hogs.
*A million tolls.
*Even more tunnels, some very long.
*Trying not to puke as we drove through all those tunnels and down windy roads with my dear husband driving a million miles an hour.
*Not being able to find a bancomat (ATM) in Isole Bella or Giardini Naxos.
*20 euro for a lido! (A lido is a private beach where you pay for 2 chairs and un umbrella. We normally pay 10 euro or less.)
*Unpacking. And the laundry that will come from it.
*Knowing that Summer is almost over. Just when I started enjoying it.

Today I started watching my friend's 2 children. It is so much harder than I thought. I'm hoping it gets easier though. I thought it would be my kid who was the hardest. Turns out its the baby. It seems that I forgot everything I used to know. Cale has been great with her. It makes me so proud.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Welcome September!

Every morning I wake up and hope that the sun won't shine. As negative as that sounds, its not. It never rains here during the summer. I love rainy summer days. I never ever get them here. I miss Norfolk so much. It rained so much there that my grass was always a beautiful green; it almost glowed in the dark!
So today I woke up hoping for the same thing. It was dark outside too so I got real excited. But then I realized that the sun wasn't up yet. And sure enough, it turned out to be another sunny day. They don't call it Sunny Sicily for nothing.

But somehow, as I was avoiding being outside all month, nice weather has snuck up on me, making me realize that Autumn is coming. It has been in the 80s lately. A nice change from the 100+ weather. I love Spring and Autumn the most. Fresh cool air makes me want to do so much. I cleaned my upstairs today for the first time in much too long. My thoughts are turning to other home projects. A garden expansion (and revamp) is in order, plus painting a few things. When we lived in Norfolk, I painted rooms constantly. Paint was cheap and we owned our home so we could do whatever we wanted. I can't paint here (paint costs too much, plus I would have to paint it back white when we moved) so that need for change manifests itself elsewhere. Like the garden.

It looks like we won't be making a big trip this weekend after all, so I'm hoping for a beach day, a trip to the market, and maybe a trip to Castorama (Home Depot type store) for some supplies.

PS. I got the new Pottery Barn Kids catalog and was looking at it with Cale. How freaking cute is this spider?
But I think I like this skeleton even more because Cale thinks its scary. But for $49, I think I will be making it myself. They have really cute trick or treat bags too. Last year Cale wore his costume about 4 times so its worth it. Anyone else thinking about Halloween yet?