:: Mother's Day project for Pediatric Cancer ::

A little boy in our area, Sam Bish, who was the same age as my "two peas", passed away several years ago from pediatric cancer.  Cancer sucks enough as it is at any age but to strike a child - makes me weak in the knees and my heart ache.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy Bish, Sam's Mom, through a mutual friend at church while Sam was fighting his fight.  It profoundly touched us all.  Cancer is something that has surrounded our family and still rocks us to this day.  When we get a chance to lift up someone else who is in the fight, it is a gift to us to be God's hands at that time.

I'm asking today if you will help Cindy be God's hands.  Since Sam's passing, her family created The Sam Bish Foundation and they bless families going though pediatric cancer treatments at the hospital Sam was treated - Nationwide Children's Hospital here in Columbus, OH.  They bring meals to families, gift bags to the kids, pajamas, pillow cases - you name it, almost weekly, Cindy and her crew are there supporting other families.  She is truly, a saint, and a bright light in an otherwise dark day.  She posted about her next project she's organizing for Mother's Day...she writes,

Our next meal we will be providing at Children's is next month and at that time I hope to give mother's day bags to the mom's on H12 fighting cancer right alongside their child. Many of you said you would like to help with this project. Please message me through this page if you are able to make up some bags or donate items for the bags. Many of the items can be found in dollar bins at Target, Michael's, ect... Here are items we have put in the bags in the past- journals, note cards, chapstick/lip gloss, pens, tissues, hand sanitizer/hand lotion, body lotion, book marks, $5.00 gift cards (Starbucks/Tim Hortons/Hospital gift cards). If any of you are willing to help us pick up some of these items we would appreciate knowing that as well so we have enough products for the bags. We are planning to make up 30 bags. Thanks so much for your support. These bags have always been a blessing to the mother's that receive them.

Here's where YOU come in!  Can you help by making some Patchwork Wristlets for these Moms?  They require very little fabric - in fact, you probably have enough in your scrap basket to pull one of these together.  They require less than an hour of work.  These pretty little wristlets are a great bag for Mom's to put a put a few dollars in and run down to the cafeteria.  Hold some hand sanitizer and chapstick.  I think they would find a million uses for them while they are at the hospital.

Will you join me in making these for Sam's foundation?  Cindy would like these items by April 20th so they can organize for their April 30th delivery date.  She needs 30 of these.  Anything over that amount, she will use in future gift bags the following months since they are weekly, meeting and helping families.

Will you make a wristlet?  If so, please comment here that you are committing to making a wristlet.  Tell me how many you will be making and sending.  To save time, you can mail them directly to Cindy at : The Sam Bish Foundation - Mother's Day Project, P.O. Box 323, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.  If you are local to Columbus and want to pass your bag off to me, let me know and I'll get it to Cindy.  Let's see how many of these we can make and then Cindy will have a great stash of these sweet little bags to share with Moms...and even with the kids.  I know she has a hard time finding the right things to share with the teenagers receiving treatment and I think these would be fabulous.  Anything above the 30 quantity she needs for Mother's Day - she will put to great use with patients and their families.

Pass the word to your sewing friends and thanks so much for helping to be the hands of God.


: : scarf swap : :

I really don't want to admit to you how many scarves I own.  I like them.  A lot.  A lot.  So when one of my fav bloggers, Karen at Celebrate Life with Us announced a fun scarf swap - um, no brainer!  Of course I jumped in!  We were asked a few questions like our favorite colors, etc and right now, I love, love, love gray.  Just gray.  My swap partner sent me this luxurious gray scarf and I love it!  I paired it with a red dot tank, mustard jeans, red flats and a gray sweater.  Very comfy!

My swap partner was the lovely Haley...who blogs at "Just the Little Things" and has an adorable etsy shop of her hand knitted lovelies!  I know my sock monkey loving girls have their eyes on this hat in her shop!!  Adorable!

Thanks Haley for the lovely scarf and thank you Karen for hosting!  Such fun!!

: : fabric covered letters tutorial : :

...or otherwise titled, "How to keep a 4 year old busy while you clean your sewing room for hours on end".  Yes.  Hours.  It was that bad.  And I'm going to have a few interns starting with me after the first of the year so I had to make a sewing and work space for more people in here.  It's pretty tight.  But we make do with what we are blessed with. Some Mod Podge, fabric scraps and a few blank letters...Sprout was in heaven.  I'd say she did a pretty good job!  SEW super job!

fabric covered letters

fabric covered letters

fabric covered letters

fabric covered letters




: : Adding a new line to my resume : :

My bucket list includes not very many things but almost all of them have to do with sharing joys and lessons with my 3 daughters.  I want them to learn how to be strong, independent, self-reliant, creative, joyful, faithful, and gracious little ladies.  Sometimes, I set ideas on my bucket list and I think they are completely insane.

Just dreams.  Unattainable.

Then I think about my girls, and I think about what I am modeling to them in my own life.  And then I close my eyes and take a giant leap of faith and know that in all things that I do - they come by the grace of God.  I hope that my girls will have the courage and faith to dream big someday too.

One of my dreams was to write a book.  Many, many months ago I designed and sewed and drew and resewed and redesigned a large group of projects.  And I packaged them all up and sent them away with a little prayer that God would bless our family with opportunity and help me to teach my girls about hard work and accomplishment.

And today, I am incredibly humbled and proud and excited and anxious to share that my dream is coming true.

I have just signed a contract to publish my very own book with C+T Publishing that is due out in 2014.  I can't wait to share this process with my daughters and with you in the coming months.

So that's it...I'll be adding a new line to my resume now.  It will say, Published Author.  And I'll have a book I can put in my daughters hands that they can share with their kids someday and say, "My Mom wrote a book" and I hope it inspires them to chase their dreams and know that they can do anything in the world that they set their mind to.

{scrapbooking our vacation}

In celebration of the Gardeners retirement and some exciting news in the Two Peas shop...and a whole lotta working and saving - we were able to take a nice vacation to our favorite beach in North Carolina.  We just got back last night and are full swing into prep for an at home family wedding this weekend.  Lots to share - be back soon with pictures and more.

I'm working on a digital scrapbook of our trip.  I'm loving it because there's no mess to clean up from this kind of scrapbooking...My Memories provided me with the software to try out AND to giveaway one software package.  sweet!!  I'll do that soon and share all of our beach "celebration" pictures.

(In the meantime, you can get $10 off this fun digital software using this coupon code:  STMMMS44183. There's a lot to choose from - I'm pretty partial to the vintage embellishments. I'll be making a book of our trip to print out and keep and I'm also using some of these pages to make bookmarks for Christmas gifts for the kids to give out.  So easy to do!)

Be back next week with more to share!

(this is a sponsored/affiliate linked post - please read our disclosure policy)

: : sunday lunch : :

You know how they say whatever you eat while you are pregnant, your baby will love?  I ate a TON of spaghetti while I was pregnant with my twins.  I pretty much ate spaghetti everyday.  When I went into labor, I requested my husband make me a huge spaghetti dinner before we went to the hospital because I knew they wouldn't let me after we arrived.  It was so good.  And now, my twins adore, crave, request spaghetti at least twice a week.

Rarely do I make a homemade sauce - typically it's boiled noodles and sauce from a jar.  But when I made this Shrimp Penne Pasta dish from Pioneer Woman recently, I learned that making a simple tomato cream sauce was, well, simple.  And now, I can't stop making it!

To adapt this to our Sunday lunch after church...it takes me all of 5 minutes or less to whip up this sauce that is 1000% better than from a jar.

One 15 oz. can of tomato sauce. 3 cloves of garlic. Salt and basil to taste. Add heavy whipping cream...I eyeball it but typically I add about 1/4 - 1/2 Cup.  Yes, heavy whipping cream.  Dr. Oz says it's actually very good for you and not to worry about the calories.  I gladly listen.

Last Sunday, I also added some garden tomatoes and a few meatballs.

Cook until warm and pour over your pasta.  The twins, (our two peas) and Sprout (the singleton) LOVED it.  So easy...(but you should try that shrimp dish from Pioneer Woman - my kids also love this alot!)

Zucchini is coming out of our ears at the moment.  Our garden is bursting with loads of zucchini's!  I bet yours is too, right?  The Gardener loves to make zucchini fries for our meals...I'd tell you how to make them but he won't tell me.  They are to die for!  He cuts them into long pieces like fries, there is olive oil and parmesan involved but he does something else to it that he says is his secret ingredient and then grills them.  Mouth watering!

But when it's my turn, I use this yummy recipe from Ina.  Onions, butter, zucchini, parmesan.  The kids can not get enough of it - serve in a cute little teacup from the thrift store with your spaghetti...easy peasy Sunday lunch.  The onions and the parmesan are absolutely delicious!

Eating is one of our favorite family things to do...while we eat, we usually are talking about what we are going to eat next.  Love good food.  Good whole healthy foods.  What easy lunch ideas do you serve your family on the weekend?

: : photographer wanna be? read this : :

I have the pleasure of calling Britt Lakin a friend.  She is also the exclusive commercial photographer for Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs.  (Yes, those are all of her shots across the top of my page here and along the sidebar - fabulous aren't they?!)  It all started HERE.  She has the ability to always get the shot exactly as I envisioned and most of the time, surprises me with how it is even more amazing than I dreamed.

Britt does portrait and wedding photography here in Columbus, Ohio but she has also travelled across the country to some pretty awesome places to photograph weddings and such for clients.  If you love photography, it is so worth following her on Facebook or following her blog.  Eye candy galore.

If you want to learn how to take fabulous pictures like Britt...or at least TRY then you will want to take a trip to visit her this August here in Ohio.  She is offering a fun interactive class that will teach you how to take pictures of your family like a super star!  Check out the course info below and have fun!

: : it's sew easy NOW : :

it's sew easy tvSo...I did this little TV thing awhile ago.  It was a ton of fun and I have been so incredibly blessed to be a part of it and thankful to be included.

If you click over there on the right where it says "It's Sew Easy TV" you can read more about it.  On their website you can check on your local listings to see when you can view the show in your area.  The nice thing they have going on RIGHT NOW is each week, a new episode is viewable on their website for the entire week.

For this week, it's an episode where I'm sharing a project you'll like for simple gift giving.  Summer is a great time to start getting your gift giving projects started for Christmas...right?  Finish by October and enjoy all the fun stuff during the fall season into Christmas.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I always wait until the last minute but I highly suggest not doing that!   Here is the info on this episode.  Click HERE to watch.

Today our experts show how it’s sew easy to bring your gift giving to new levels when you sew. Bring new meaning to “it’s the thought that counts” when you incorporate sewing into specialized gifts that reflect your techniques and your recipient’s interests.

Welcome to It’s Sew Easy where our many experts break sewing into manageable parts as they share their own unique style in projects and techniques. Whether you’re a novice or experienced sewer, It’s Sew Easy will enhance your sewing skills so you can create personalized apparel and home accents.

In our first segment, pattern designer Colbey Decker shows how to create a computer tablet cover featuring grommets and menswear fabrics. Next, Trish Preston demonstrates how to use bias tape for lanyards, purses, and flowers. Lastly, designer Nancy Odom demonstrates a tote pattern that can be personalized for all ages.


Super Sprout celebrated a super 4th Birthday recently...we vaporized villians, went to the bat cave, practiced our super hero skills - all great fun.  I'll be sharing the details coming soon right here including my pattern for our super hero capes!

(someone please tell me how on earth this sweet baby girl has turned 4 already!!  Now...if only I could talk the Gardener into adding one more sprout to our pea patch.  I keep telling him the 4th time around - will be a boy for sure!  But with 3 girls, I don't think I have him convinced!)

{sunday lunch}

In an effort to save money, we are trying to be more creative with Sunday supper after church and eat at home.  Used to be that most Sundays, we ate out.  Usually nothing fancy but fast food or...a little sit down place we found where kids eat free on Sunday.  But still...home cooked is always better all around.  More relaxing for the grownups and healthier.

Last Sunday, after church, we stopped at the grocery to get a few things for our meals for the week.  The kids asked if I'd make bruschetta for lunch (french baguettes were on sale for $1!) so I obliged.

Never, would I think a 3 year old would say, "Bah-chetta!  YES!".  Sprout loves it.

Here's how I make mine...

1) First TOMATOES.  Loads of fresh tomatoes.  I've used canned before...it works but fresh is BEST.  Grape tomatoes or cherry works but this week, they were $2.49/lb so we opted for the Roma's that were $1.49/lb.  For our family of 4 (The Gardener, my park ranger husband was at work...BIG winter hike day with several hundred hikers) I bought 6 Roma's.  Dice them into pretty small pieces to make them easy to load on your bread.

2) BALSALMIC VINEGAR.  My kids love this stuff.  It must be because I LOVE VINEGAR and ate a lot of it while pregnant?  Anyway, I cover my tomatoes in this vinegar.  Usually  about 1/4 to 1/2 Cup.  I don't measure it at all.  Just eyeball it.

3) BASIL.  Now last week, our fresh Basil was not on sale - $3.99.  $3.99?!?  Yes...since it comes in a big bunch, for us, 1/2 of it goes bad before I can use it all.  We have dried basil in a spice jar so we tried that this time.  Guess what?  Worked like a charm and WAY cheaper.  Fresh is great if you can do it but the dried also works.  Fresh basil, mince it - I usually take about a dozen or more leaves, roll them up together and dice it to smithereens.

4)  GARLIC.  Yum.  Oh, we love garlic.  And it's good for you.  I use 2 cloves, minced and add to the mixture.

5)  SALT AND PEPPER.  Salt and Pepper make a huge difference in the taste.  So, add each to your liking.  The salt really brings up the flavor.

You can let this sit for awhile but my kids usually can't wait.  We cut up our baguette, added monterey jack cheese and butter and toasted.  Then heaped loads of the tomato mixture on top.  The Two Peas each ate 7 pieces!  Sprout ate 3 and THEN ate 2 more huge spoonfuls of just the tomato mixture without bread.

It was delicious, a great light supper for Sunday afternoon, and

{sew inspiring - karen davis}

One thing that I wish I had more time to do is to blog hop.  My days are so incredibly busy that I rarely ever get to sit and just relax let alone read for pleasure.  But one of the blogs that I try to visit at least every few weeks is one that always brings a smile to my face.

My "sew inspiring" friend I want to introduce you to this week is Karen Davis and her blog Celebrate Life.  Karen is a military wife and mom living in Korea.  She is a photographer, sewer and faithful servant of God - and truly, every time I open up her page, I leave there with a true smile on my heart.

Her husband has recently deployed and before going, she made him this amazing photo book full of scripture and loving words...such a touching momento that I really wanted to share it all with you.  I think it makes such a great gift for so many different purposes.  When I was on bedrest with Sprout, one of my twins Moms friends sent me a package full of index cards with verses on them that really lifted me up.  This is that same concept done so, sew, beautifully.

As is everything with Karen, and all that she does.  Beautiful.

She and her husband adopted a sweet girl 7 months ago and watching her journey from the pre-adoption phase to her "gotcha day" to her girls amazing development because of the love and care of Karen and her husband, is a joyful thing.

Her photos are always so colorful and tell amazing stories.

And she sews...sweet things most often for her daughter.  But she has an etsy shop too.

I know you will fall in love with her story as much as I have.  She is...sew inspiring...in so, sew many ways.  Be sure to hop over to her blog and say hello - tell her I sent you.  She doesn't even know yet that I'm featuring her today!


{on celebrating life}

There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under the heavens:

A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to throw away and to time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace

This is from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8.

This was recited today, in remembrance for the father of a dear friend of ours who passed away on Sunday. I think about how there are seasons to my life, and I say it aloud often.

This season, its a blessed one.  It's full of delight. It's full of gifts of love, of friendship, of creative joy. And I am thankful.

In every way, on every day, there is a reason and a season for celebrating life.

Thanks be to God.

{monday mornings inspiration}

What inspires you?  To create and craft and sew.  Each week, I'd love for you link up on Monday Morning for some inspiration.  I am not one of those that hates Mondays.  I love Mondays.  I'm ready to get my work done for the week and anxious to jump in.  What a great way to start the week, sharing what each of us finds inspiration in and in turn, inspiring each other.

This week, I was inspired by FAMILY. My sewing included making a stash of these for my niece. (well, something like these - I changed up the pattern a bit from this first one)

She was married on Saturday and I made a stack of these for her bridesmaids.  They were a hit with the girls. At the reception, they had a dance for all of the married couples.  They would call out, "If you've been married 4 hours and 10 minutes or less, leave the floor."  Or 10 years or less, etc.  Until they had one couple remaining who had been married the longest.  The one couple still on the dance floor...my parents.

My parents have been married for 54 years.  They are in their late 70's and they were dancing it up.  (My parents still work out at the gym 2 days a week!)  They asked my Mom first what advice she had for a lasting marriage.  She said, "Communication and Cooperation".  Then they asked my Dad.  He said, "She communicates, I cooperate".  Good answer Dad!  Additionally, I have video of my Dad from that evening dancing with all of my nieces, my nephews girlfriend and all the "young college kids" hooping and hollering my Dad's name and cheering him on.  He seriously has still got the moves!   He and my Mom both really inspire me.

When I think about most often why I sew, it does always come back to one theme, family.  And friends. Which is why over the weekend, I shared THIS Mystery Sew Along with my friends.  Did you play along?  If you didn't, you can still go back and follow the tutorial.  I'd love to see all of your pumpkins!  It would be really cute to make these in different sizes and stack them all around your house this season.  I love the pumpkins because you display these clear through Thanksgiving!

So it's your turn to share.  Share what inspires you.  Share your sew along pumpkins.  Share your crafty goodies! You can link back here using this button   - here's the code: <a href=”http://twopeasinapoddesigns.com/2011/09/monday-mornings-inspiration-2/”><img src=”http://i486.photobucket.com/albums/rr225/2peasinapoddesigns/inspiration-button.jpg/”></a>

I'm sponsoring the linky party today and that pretty bridesmaid clutch pictured above...I'm giving that away to one of you!  Just link up your posts and we will draw a random winner from the linky participants.

Happy  Monday!

{is this my calling}

I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Is this my calling?

Why do I sew and share my craft?  Is it what I'm supposed to be doing?  Am I honoring God with all that I do?

Those are some of the questions I battle with and I'll share a few of my random thoughts that have been bouncing around.  Because I think in a way, that this is my calling and that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.  But I guess I feel like at times, I need that "justification" as to where I am, today, here, now.

Alright, let's start a few steps back.  When I started my career in law enforcement (yes...I was a police officer for 12 years.  A federal park ranger, state and municipal as well as a deputy sheriff) I knew that THAT career was my calling.  And it was.  At the time.  I knew, as I still feel now, that I did make a difference.  I know that I was put into the path, into situations, for a purpose.  That my presence, my actions, my words made a difference.  At that time - they told a child that it wasn't her fault that her parents were hurting each other and that she had to stay with other family members while they worked out their problems.  They comforted family who had lost a loved one in a car crash.  They told drug addicts and theives that doing something bad was different than being a bad person.  That just because you did something bad didn't make you a bad person and you always had a chance to start doing right, right now.  I prayed a lot then.  And now.  But I remember saying a lot of silent prayers back then, hopeful that the bad I saw would somehow come back around to good.  I knew that what I was doing at that time was my calling.

And I felt the time my calling started to change.  For my family.  When my kids kissed me goodnight one night as I headed out the door to work a midnight shift and they told me, "Don't let the bad guys shoot you Mom", I knew I was done.  Because I knew that my calling to be their Mother was stronger than "saving the world" and I knew that I was ready to let somebody else take a turn at getting all the bad guys.  I felt God molding me from one step of my life's journey to the next.

I now work in higher education for environmental studies at a HUGE university.  And it's my job to help students figure out just what they can achieve and what is available to them.  It is highly rewarding that my job involves "lightbulb" moments.  You can literally see the excitement brewing and the passion rising when a student hits on just the right niche and starts to grow, and they start seeing the difference they will make in the world.

But even that, I don't think is all I'm called to do.  From the time I was big enough to hold a crayon in my hand, I loved art.  Before I even knew what art was.  I loved color.  And lines.  And textures made from paints.  And the ability to just create.  And to cut up pieces of paper.  And glue them back together into something new.  I have watched my own children have just that very same experience with art and I can see, that it is a God thing.

So, art doesn't save lives.

It doesn't mend broken families.

It doesn't change people from bad to good.

Not like working in law enforcement or for the environment or in higher education.

But it sorta does.

I guess I look at it this way.  There is so much love in art, in sewing, in crafting.  It's spiritual and peaceful.  It makes you think.  It makes you feel.  It makes you use your imagination.  It makes you stop and slow down.  It expresses emotion.  It says so much without using a single uttered word.  I love that about handmade.

Inspiring others in their own art, in sewing, in crafting.  To find peace.  To think.  To feel.  To use their imagination.  To stop and slow down.  To express emotion.  Finding that in yourself, can save a life, can help to mend a broken heart, it can change something bad to something good.

That encouraging others in creativity brings us all closer, to each other and to God.

I think that sharing something we make with our own two hands, telling a story, our story, in paint, in fabric and in thread, in paper and so much more, honors God.  It honors each other.  It shows love.  I think it's a calling we all have within us.  It's part of the beauty that makes our lives so much more valuable.

At least that's what's been rattling around in my head this week...


Check out our new space here on the web!  Ya like?

You know how your hair can get really long and shaggy and you just can't wait to get a fresh new look?  Yeah, me too!  And that includes this blog...it just needed a little cleaning up and freshening up.

Let me show you around...over there to the right, you will find links to fun things like my tutorials or information about my sewing pattern line or a list of stockists who carry the Sprouts line of sewing patterns.

Up at the top right, you can link up with me on Facebook or Twitter or add this blog to your reader.

You'll find ways to share posts.  If you are a retailer, you can subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest about new pattern releases and other Two Peas news.

I'll be tinkering here and there as I have time doing a few more polishing to some pages.  Have I mentioned?  Busiest.  Summer.  Ever.  Kids will be back to school before I know it and I'll have more free time to spend in this space but for now...I'm soaking in the summer innocence that is ages 3 and 10 and loving every most minute of it.

To celebrate the blogs new "hair-do", I have a super cool giveaway coming very soon sponsored by Simplicity!