Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vintage Catalog

While visiting my favorite antique store, I found this fabulous Montgomery Ward's catalog from 1949.  I snapped some shots of it with my phone, so I apologize that some of them are blurry.  

I love the one with the big bow, 4th from the left.  

The chevron print on the one on the right is very on trend.  But, I really love the plaid one (3rd from the left).  Those pockets!

I think my favorite out of all of them is the one with the lacing detail at the waist (second from the right in the photo below). 

I love the waistline on the polka dot one.  And, the one with the bow at the neckline (um, which I guess is also a polka dot...oops...) is fantastic.  
I wish we could still order from old catalogs, as if there were some great warehouse somewhere that never went out of stock.  :)  Wouldn't that be fantastic!  I love these great vintage dresses!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Every time I lose a follower, I stress out a little bit. It happens when I go too long between posts, or I don't post about sewing often enough. I want to be liked. I want my blog to be a success. I look at other blogs, ones that were little when I first started, and see them with hundreds or thousands of followers and get a little stressed. I see their fancy layouts, their gorgeous pictures, their travel to blog conferences, and I get a little stressed.

Source: howjoyful.com via Nancy on Pinterest

But, I've decided not to let it bother me. I don't have time in my life to be a big blogger. I don't have family nearby to watch my kids, a maid to do my housework, a co-blogger to share the workload of blogging with, and I have things I'd rather do with my free time than sell ads or edit my html.

My kids are at a critical age. What they learn and do now will make a huge difference in what kind of teenagers they'll be, what kind of men they'll be. My kids are at a point in their lives where they need a Mom who listens to them and helps them with dioramas more than they need a Mom who is locked in the sewing room/computer room all day trying to have a good blog.

Why am I writing about this? Because I'm going to let go of the guilt and the pressure. I don't want to feel guilty that I didn't get a post written or have time to make a dress because I chose to go on a bike ride with my son.

Probably, not much on this blog will change.  I'm just going to stop feeling pressured or guilty if I don't have time to blog.  If I only get a post or two written in a month, I'm just going to let it go. If I lose followers because I'm not posting often enough, so be it. I would much rather that I have good kids who turn out right than have lots of followers and comments. (Though wouldn't it be nice to have both.  :)  )

I'm going to share and be proud of the projects that I do and I'm not going to force myself to create a project JUST so I have content for the blog (I already said that I hate craftiness for craftiness' sake anyway).  I'm striving for balance, and if the scales are going to be tipped too far one way, I'd rather it be toward my family.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trip Fun Binders

We took a family vacation this year for Spring Break. It was the perfect time to visit my hometown in Texas, before the sweltering heat of summer.  It's was a long drive, though, so I made up some activity books for my boys.

I was trying to do this trip on the cheap (isn't that what I say about all my projects?).  Let's face it, the way this economy is, we can all stand to save our pennies.  So, I didn't want to go out and buy a ton of stuff.  Free printables to the rescue!

I gathered up some old school supplies--binders, pencil bags, and various and sundry markers and colored pencils.   

I used Picasa and Google Image Search to put together a bingo card for things we might see on our trip (I saw everything except the roadrunner...).  I made a collage in Picasa, then shuffled the images to make a different card for each person.  I put the bingo cards in some plastic sleeves that I had laying around and included some dry erase markers in the pencil bag so that my boys could cross things off right on the plastic sleeve.  

I printed out a few mazes and coloring pages as well.  

The mazes came from mrprintables.com.  They have tons of great free printables for kids.  They're super cute.

We all had fun doing the State License Plate Bingo by The Dating Divas.

I got some fun travel games from Whimsical Fig.

And some from LilSugar, too.  

The printable Battleship game by Cathe Holden at Just Something I Made is so fun, and SO cute!

I also added some maps.  A good way to stave off "Are We There Yet?" is to give the kids a map with your route on it that they can follow along with.  Each kid got a map of all the states we drove through, plus a Google Maps printout of our route and directions.  
 Plus, since we were going to be traveling during my church's General Conference, I printed out some Conference Packets from Sugardoodle (oh how they love their conference packets every 6 months!) for them to work on as we drove as well.  
 And, of course, I added a bunch of notebook paper for each binder, as all of my boys love to draw and write.  

Though not in their binders, I also had some conversation starters with me (in MY binder--of course organized me has my own binder!) from iMom and Sissyprint.  A long road trip is a great time for great conversations.

Each boy had a backpack to put their binder in.  I added to each backpack a magazine (copies of The Friend and Boy's Life), Where's Waldo books (that I keep stored with the suitcases so they're still interesting every time we take a trip), a couple little snacks (Tic Tacs and Barnum's Animal Crackers are favorites), Kleenexes and a package of wipes (do you know how nice it was not to have to twist around and get my allergic boys Kleenexes every 10 minutes?), and a teeny tiny stuffed animal each.  
These binders and backpacks kept my three boys happy and interested for most of our 40+ hours of driving.  We didn't even have to break out the DVD player once.  I call that a Family Vacation Miracle.  :)

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