{capturing birthday memories in photographs}

Once upon a time, long, long ago...I was once this small. And no, this is not me pictured above.

But that was many moons ago and this week as I celebrate my "37th" birthday - it's a fun time to reflect back on so many previous birthday memories.  My girls were talking about last year when they completely draped the driveway in crepe paper so I couldn't pull in when I got home from work.  Then there was the year my husband had them write Happy Birthday on my cake with my age and had them cross it out and correct it twice...oh, that was SO funny.  Not.

Capturing memories in photographs is really important to me.  It's one of the reasons why I love this blog because it gives me reasons to take and share casual snapshots and stories that I think my kids might enjoy reading someday when they are my age and looking back.  I wish I was a better photographer...like Britt who took all these awesome snaps on this post.

Well, my birthday surprise to you today is...a wonderful photography session from Britt Lakin Photography.  

If you are located in the Columbus Ohio area, or are willing to travel to Columbus, then you are eligible to enter!  (Sorry to our friends outside of Columbus but I promise to have some more amazing giveaways this week open to everyone!)

Here's the scoop:

Giveaway for a free custom photo session! -May be used for couples, maternity, family, and children (no extended family). -1 hour of shoot time on location, here in Columbus Ohio. -15-20 edited high resolution images on CD with a personal copyright release -Photo Shoot must occur before July 31, 2010.

Here Are The Giveaway Guidelines: -You have 1 week to enter this giveaway (closes March 31st at 8pm) - The winner will be chosen via random.org and then announced on April 1st.

Here is how to enter:

There are lots of chances to enter! For each item, leave a comment that you did it.

1) Go to Britt's Facebook fan page and become a fan.

2) Post this link as your facebook status.  (then have link to this blog post)

3) Become a follower of Britt Lakin Photography blog.

4) Tweet the giveaway!

5) Post about this giveaway and link back here on your blog.

6) Become a follower of Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs blog.

7) Become a fan of Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs on Facebook

To learn more about Britt, you can check out her website. {click on her blog and scroll down - you'll get to see a lot more from our Two Peas photo shoot a couple of weekends ago!}

What I LOVE about Britt is that she is very passionate about the environment.  At home she composts, recycles, reduces, reuses, shops for items with sustainable packaging, and drives a hybrid.

"I feel that it is very important for businesses, even small ones, to be sustainable.  It excites me that I can extend my efforts into my photography business."

As a consumer, I love supporting businesses that are green.  I know that my dollars are going towards supporting a green industry and that my demand for businesses to act in sustainable ways will put pressure on ALL businesses to act green in order to stay competitve.  Britt does it because it's just who she is and I love that!

So jump in the giveaway and good luck!

xoxo,

Trish

Oh Little Pea...

I say, Oh Little Pea, in exasperation. Let me just share a bit about the day I had with Little Pea last week with you, ok?

The gardener was enjoying another birthday last week.  The snow had been cleared away enough so that the twins could go to school.  Little pea and I were chilling at home with plans to bake a cake and make the gardeners favorite meal - sweet and sour chicken.  I was also going to do a little nap time sewing.  That my dear friends, did not happen.  (inhale.  deep breath.  and breathing out my nose.  ok...ready to go on)

Picture this.  I'm in the kitchen.  Baking.  I throw something away in the garbage can.  As I moved the garbage can, it magically talked to me.

Odd isn't it?  That's what I thought.  I start to dig.

And I find Little Pea's brand new talking Miss Manners teapot she got for Christmas, in the garbage.  In there.  In with all the coffee grounds.  The dirty diapers.  The packaging from the chicken we had eaten the night before.  Ohhh yuck.  {cover your eyes - what comes next is not very nice - the retired cop talk in me} Well, that's not exactly what I said but I can tell you that it rhymes with yuck and I only said it to myself under my breath.

Just a teapot you say?  Why get so upset.  Um...yeah, here's why.

It was not just a teapot.

There was her new Leap Frog cell phone.

Some blocks.

A horse.

A plastic play plate.

Some plastic play food.

And her SHOES!  Her Robeez cute adorable leather faux mary jane shoes were in the garbage!

Now you see the reason why the profane language came in.

Had it not been for Miss Manners the talking teapot who said, "more please" when I moved the garbage can - all those things would have been on their way to the city dump.

So as I'm cleaning all of this up - remember - I'm baking cakes for the gardener, right?!  Um, only I in fact forgot that little detail and burned his cakes.  OK...another fun photo coming your way.

Yeah, see his cakes came out of the pan like...well, let me rephrase that.  In fact, they did NOT come out of the pan.  That was the biggest problem.  That and the blackness of the brown that wasn't supposed to be black.

K...moving on.  I decide...in my infinite wisdom, it all tastes the same.  I'm gonna ice it anyway and we can still eat it.  Right?  This is the part you shake your head and say, "No Trish.  NO!  Not right!".  Dang!  NOW you tell me!

I go ahead and ice the cake.

It tasted kind of funny but then again, I'm not a cake girl so I don't really like the stuff.  Too sweet for me.

And the ideas I had for decorating couldn't be done because of the um, uneven surfaces I had to work with on the cake.  It kind of looked like it had been stepped on.  You ready for another fun photo?  Oh yeah...here it is.

Would you eat that?  The Gardener came home from work.  Looked at the table with his cake, sunk his finger into the icing, looked at me and says, "Did you taste this?".  Well, yes, why?  He says, the icing is awful.  Nice.  He digs the can - um, cuz I'm not Sandra Lee, out of the garbage - the same garbage where all the toys had been - and says, "This can says best if used by March...2009".  It did sort of have an odd yellow tinge to it.  So, he blew out his candles and no one ate cake.

SO...how's your day going?  Better now that you read that fiasco, huh?!

xoxo,

Trish

ps a gazillion thanks to Paige for creating a blog button for me - feel free to grab the code and add to your site.  I'd be mighty appreciative!  And visit Paige while you're at it...she is a peach!  And part of the wonderful staff at Where Women Create...a place I love to visit!

Fridays, Family and Food

Probably, my most favorite thing to do, besides sew...is eat.  Seriously, I LOVE eating.  Textures, taste, smells - love it.  Best entertainment.  For me at least. Food is often talked about in our house.  What are we having for breakfast...tomorrow?  While we are eating dinner..."what should we have for dinner...tomorrow?".  You'd think we'd all be as big as a house but we are kind of a skinny bunch - we just like to eat.

Well, a "food" tradition in our house started a few years back.  The gardener was totally busted, standing in the door of the frig, spraying leftover whipped cream from Thanksgiving directly into his mouth.  The kids jaws hit the floor.  They totally wanted to do the same thing!  That New Year's Eve - he surprised both girls with their very own can of whip cream.  To spray in their mouth whenever they wanted.  And thus - a new year's tradition was born.  Every New Year's Eve, the Preston family tradition includes Dad making an appetizer dinner and topping it off with s'mores in the fireplace and...whip cream.  Yep.  That about sums it up everyone.

And of course, the littlest pea HAD to do exactly what her sisters were doing.  Mind you, the twins - um, they were TWO YEARS OLD before I ever let them have sugar.  Seriously.  I was mean.  No cookies, no ice cream - nothing.  Even their birthday cakes - I sweetened them with applesauce.  Pathetic, I know.

Our littlest pea, totally ruined.  Before Christmas, she had chocolate chip cookies for the first time.  Last week, at 20 months old, I introduced her to chocolate milk via Ovaltine.  Let me just say the reaction...priceless.  We've taught her some sign language - after finishing the first cupful without taking a breath - she starts wildly signing "more! more!" and then pointing to the cupboard where I keep the ovaltine mix.  And now...her favorite word has become "cawk - it"...you know, chocolate.  Anyway, little pea had to get in on these New Year traditions...

Doesn't this break some kind of "good parenting" law or something?  Well, let's just say, I did not start this tradition I merely sit back and observe.  Ok, and take a few photos for "evidence".

This got me thinking about another yummy we enjoy around here and...

...a great way to start your weekend - a quick and easy delicious dessert.

My kids love this one and ask for it frequently.

All you need is a can of crescent roll dough or you can use those ready made pie crusts in the box, granny smith apples, butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Press out your dough on to a greased pan and give it a little edge for a crust.  Bake for about 5 minutes or so.  Remove from oven.

Slice up several apples and arrange on your dough.

Melt several tablespoons of butter and baste your apples and crust with butter.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake again for about 10-15 minutes about 350'.  Enjoy!

Do you have any "food" traditions in your house?  Anything as obnoxious as "your very own can of whip cream"?  Dish it up - I'd love to hear I'm not alone!

xoxo,

Trish

Etsy schmetsy!

Spent the better part of um, all day, loading new stuff in to the etsy shop.  Wanna sneak peek?

Hmmm...and did I happen to mention that if you find something you can't live without over in my etsy shop and you just happen to be a blog subscriber (it's easy to do - just look over in the sidebar =>) that you'll get a little something extra in your package?  What is it you say?  That's a "new year's surprise" but I promise - you'll love it!  ok...I'll give you a little hint...Gotta get back to making dinner - the hubs has already started without me and the baby is crying because she wants more "cawk-late" - chocolate milk.  I gave her Ovaltine yesterday - wow!  I've created a monster!  She comes in, pointing at the cabinets - "cawk-late! cawk-late!".  What have I done!?

Next post - a zip top wristlet tutorial!

xoxo,

Trish

...and all through the garden

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the garden Not a pea was stirring, Oh, I do beg your pardon.

The tools were all hung in the barn with care,

In hopes that a new harvest soon would be there.

Our little peas were napping all snug in their beds

while visions of tomatoes, beets and pumpkins danced in their heads.

And Mama in her apron and I in my straw hat,

had just settled down with an iced tea and sat,

When out in the garden there arose such a thud,

We both sprang to our feet and ran through the mud.

Away to the barn I flew like a flash,

Tore open the doors and made a mad dash.

The sun danced upon the glistening leaves,

we looked at each other and rolled up our sleeves.

When what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a buck and doe and two twin deer.

With a hush and wink, we stopped in our tracks,

knelt down low and and admired the bucks rack.

They were quiet and sweet

and walked softly on their feet.

They munched on some apples from the tree up above,

then the Mama gave each twin a nudge with such love.

We watched them disappear back to the forest,

and listened as the peepers sing a lovely chorus.

Our harvest has been grand, your friendship so bright,

We've been blessed beyond measure and give thanks this Christmas night.

For each of you, our dear friends far and near,

You've made 2009 such a wonderful year.

We wish you health

happiness

and much love

in the New Year!

From your friends at Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs!

The Gardener and Trish and all the little peas!

It's not about the stuff...

Sarah writes on her fiancee Gregs facebook Wall: Thank you for the best 2 years of my life. I have so many wonderful memories that i am thankful for. You were everything to me, I am lost, shattered without you to make my life complete. To say you were the love of my life doesnt even scratch the surface as you were my dream come true, my fairy tale in real life and i... loved telling you and everyone else that. I am so lucky to be loved by you. Thank you, my incredible, wonderful, gorgeous Greg, thank you. I love you and always will. Sarah

The next day, she writes on her own wall:

thank you to Greg for a wonderful nights sleep wrapped in his clothes.  I wake up in the morning and before I open my eyes I just hope that when I do, he will be right next to me but it's just his clothes.

One of the wonderful Moms in my twins club sent that to me...and the story behind it that she shared with us follows below.  It moved me so and I asked her if I could share it with all of you.  At this moment, as a woman of faith, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, it means so much to me to be reminded what the coming of Christ is all about.  This holiday isn't about the perfect gift, just the right meal, the perfect decorations - it's about something so much greater that I have a hard time wrapping my head around it sometimes.  The gift we have been given in Christ Jesus amazes me - and this story from my friend, reminds me that our lives are about our relationships, our relationships with God and with each other, a reminder that those minutes turn into memories - and that this holiday is just not about "stuff".  May you make wonderful memories this Christmas and may you be blessed beyond measure.

Here's the original email I received from Julia, my wonderful twins mom friend...

Tony worked late tonight. One of the twins was in bed at 7:20, before he'd even gotten home. I watched a little Charlie Brown Christmas with my other twin daughter, put her in bed by 8:15.

As Tony was eating his dinner, I was dozing off (I've started to catch the girl's colds)...I still had paperwork to do before hitting the hay. So, I had to snap out of my snooze. I went into the kitchen to pack 3 lunches for tomorrow. One cell phone rang, I sent it to voicemail. My Blackberry rang, ignored it (just too tired to talk). Then the home phone rang. All 3 times, it was Gwen...my quasi sister, next door neighbor from where I grew up. I answered. Within minutes we were crying.

Her 29 year old daughter, Sarah, has been engaged for nearly a year and to be married Febuary 6, 2010. Sarah's 28 yr old fiancee, Greg, collapsed at work last Friday.  Coroner's report stated he died of natural causes, felt no pain, and was gone before he hit the floor.

Granted - none of this information means a hill of beans to any of you.

Except when a healthy 28 year old man, part-time farmer, volunteer fire fighter, full-time employee of a farming plant collapses suddenly with no previous health conditions; he is well known in his community for his never ending, giving efforts and is head over heels in love and will be married in less than 2 months....suddenly he is gone. There are many grieving hearts here on earth, Heaven has another Angel.

This gives me another reminder to express my love and gratitude for my family and my friends (many of which, who are my family in my heart). Thank you, I love you and wish you all a blessed Christmas. Thankfully, I will see and/or talk to most of you over Christmas and/or new Year's. If I don't get to talk to you...know you have a special place in my heart.

One favor - don't just mentally love. Emotionally love, physically love and verbally express daily to your God, your children, your soulmates, your closest. Personal grudges, judgements, anger are petty and toxic emotions that close the door on the light of the Spirit.

This is email is not meant to sadden, but to enlighten.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Much love, Julia

I loved this because every day, EVERY dang day, toxicity can creep in so easily and I love her gentle nudging to emotionally, physically and verbally express your love.  That's my wish for you - that you find the courage to do so each day.

xoxo,

Trish

Loving the Liverpool

Have I ever told you about my girls and their "twinspeak"?

Having identical twins - my first born(s) - I was clueless to language development.  What should be occurring when, etc.  They were communicating.  I understood them.  I thought all was fine.

But one day, while at a doctors appointment for me, my doc said, "Hey, you should have them evaluated.  They have a speech delay."  Huh?  What the heck!  There's nothing wrong with my kids.  Well, come to find out, they had actually developed their own language - twins speak - it was so intense that it began to interfere with their academic development.  It has hindered their ability to read and comprehend.  Their articulation has been very poor.  And still, in the 3rd grade, we are working so very hard, to get them where they need to be.  I mean, they would turn to each other, say something we couldn't began to understand, the other would run upstairs and bring her sister a pair of socks.  What?!  They look at me and go, "yeah, sissy asked me to get her socks".  Seriously, crazy.  Cute at first.  Now that we have baby number 3, her language development is a night and day difference.  Way more advanced than the twins.  Who knew?  We didn't.

We have been incredibly blessed - incredibly blessed this year, with a wonderful teacher who has made more strides with our girls than any teacher ever has.  She has reached out to them and to us in a way no other teacher has.  And we are so grateful for her.

Guess what?  She sews.

Yep.  I mean, am I little biased over my enthusiasm for her because she's a fellow "seamstress"?

OK, maybe just a little (tee hee!).  But she is the most dedicated, hands on, exciting, loving teacher my kids have ever had (and we've had some wonderful teachers).

She makes loads of cute things to wear to school.  Recently she sewed up the Liverpool shirt which is a new pattern from Amy Butler (our "neighbor" here in the next town over).  I asked if she would share her experiences with the pattern with you all and she took on the challenge.  So...if you've thought about sewing this up - here's her experience with it!  Enjoy!

I recently sewed the Liverpool by Amy Butler, and I was asked to write a quick review on the pattern for this blog.  Although I have enjoyed sewing since middle school, I still consider myself at a mid-beginner’s level and the amount of projects I have done with sleeves is very limited, so the Liverpool was a definite challenge.  I tried this project because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  :>)

There are several different options to the Liverpool, and I chose to sew the tunic with ¾ length sleeves.  I had a friend help me modify the pattern to ensure the proper fit, using two different sizes at different places on the tunic based on the measurements of my hips and chest.

Directions:

Most of the directions were clear, but I did have to read some of the steps through several times before I felt comfortable enough to execute that step.  For example, step 7 tells you to sew the two back panels together with a French seam.  It was the first time I had done a French seam and there were no pictures illustrating this step at all.  However, I proceeded with this step even though I was very unsure.  Despite my misgivings, I found the French seam to be quite lovely when I was finished!  I will try this seam again.

Most of the difficulties that I did have would have been easier had there been a few more illustrations.  The illustrations that are in the pattern are excellent – with labels indicating sides of fabric and more.

Amount of Time

This project was definitely time consuming for me, but this may not be the case for more experienced seamstresses.  I spent about 4 days on it – working when I could on the weekends and in the evenings after work.

Fabric Choice

Upon completing my project, I was not happy with my choice of fabric. I had chosen a solid color of relatively cheap fabric for the simple fact that I wasn’t sure I would be able to complete the project.  I did not want to spend the money on designer fabric when I wasn’t sure if it would turn out.  Next time, I will chose a nicer more colorful print, which would have led a little excitement to the piece, which has simple lines and a loose fit.

Finishing Touches

Finally, I want to point out that this pattern, like other Amy Butler patterns, included some finishing touches that I have not seen in other patterns, such as the French seam mentioned earlier, and sewing the edges of the darts.  I like these additions, as I feel they make the garment more stylish and more complete.

Thanks so much Mrs. R for the review!  I love it!

xoxo,

Trish

Don't be shy...come on in and welcome to Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs

I'm so glad you stopped in with us today.  We've been expecting you! Today is start of the the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day.  I'm so excited to participate in such a fun event.  All over blogland, you'll find loads of super talented women and lots of fantastic goodies.  Just hop over to the Sew, Mama, Sew blog to find the complete list of who is participating.  WAIT!  Not yet!  Don't go just yet...let me introduce myself first.

In anticipation of lots of new visitors - I wanted to say hello properly.  My name is Trish Preston and I'm the designer and owner of Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs.

Our name is derived from our two sweet peas, our identical twin girls.  (although recently we've added a third pea whom we all love on constantly!)

Back BC (Before Children), I worked as a Park Ranger.  And spent several years as a Deputy Sheriff.  Now, I spend my days working at one of the largest universities in the country working in student services helping these talented kids find green careers.  And I sew a whole heck of a lot on the side plus design patterns and textile prints, paint, and...whew!

The Gardener, aka, my husband, is a Park Ranger and we have the pleasure of living out in the country with the view of the ridgeline of the park he works at visible from our back porch.  (as I type this however, he is out sitting in his tree stand just beyond our pasture - it's hunting season here).

I've been crafting most of my life and am lucky to come from a family full of artists and crafters.  My two girls have a true natural talent in art and I'm enjoying watching them develop their talents with each passing day.

Well, that's us in a nutshell.  How about you?  Please do introduce yourselves as well.

So...on to this giveaway stuff!  I am offering up this holiday season, a cute little zip top accessory bag with a rhinestone buckle

AND one of my new patterns, the Hazel Hipster pattern.  She makes a cute little bag that would be a great gift for someone on your list.  (if you're feeling anxious about having a copy of this pattern - you can find them here.

To win these two items, all you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me, what is the most unexpected thing we might find currently in YOUR purse. Keep in mind of course, this is a family blog so keep it clean everyone!  I am happy to ship internationally so all our Aussie, UK, and friends from all around the world - do join us!

I went and looked in mine and I found...a Littlest Pet Shop horse and a spoon from our kitchen.  Don't ask.

Want more fun giveaways?  The wonderful ladies over at the Where Women Create magazine are featuring a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway.  

They are featuring 12 different artists for each of the 12 Days of Christmas.  I was so honored to be asked to be a part of their promotion.  You'll find Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs being featured on Day 4.

I love the holiday season, don't you?!  Too much fun stuff going on!

Hope you enjoyed your visit here and I sure do appreciate you stopping in.  It was a pleasure to meet you.  Hope you'll bookmark us, subscribe, and come back often.  :>)

Good Luck and Happy Blog Hopping!

xoxo,

Trish

UPDATE: 12/6/2009 - 7:49pm EST - THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS - THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.  BE SURE TO VISIT WHERE WOMEN CREATE FOR ANOTHER GIVEAWAY FROM US PLUS MORE COMING FROM THE TWO PEAS VERY SOON!

Sewin' with my hands tied...

...well, not exactly tied, but let's say very full.  Here's where being a twins Mom comes in handy.  I have a plethora of experience of doing things one handed or no handed and gettin' stuff done.

I'm often asked, "How on earth do you do all that you do?!".  And my answer is...I do not know.  For serious.  For one, I have a super helpful husband who cooks dinner without being asked, cleans my kitchen, um, quite frequently, and spends a whole heck of a lot of time with our kids.  The rest of my house...yeah, that...not so much organized, or clean.  As my Mother said last week when she was here helping, "your house is clean...underneath all the stuff that's laying around".  You know, the 7...oh yes ladies, SEVEN tubs of clean laundry in my bedroom that are folded but not put away.  Yeah, that's "how on earth I do all that I do" (wink! wink!).  It's called, just shut the door when company comes and hide the messes.

SOOOOO....I was prepping for this "craft show" on Sunday...one of my first.  And prepping lots of product and conferring with SuAnn, a fellow crafter who teams up with me frequently on events, and giving myself a serious ulcer in trying to get EVERYTHING done.  Let me backtrack...

Thursday before this event, I had the GREAT idea that we should go to the Zoo for the Wildlights preview night for zoo members.  (I HEART our Columbus Zoo!)  It was a school night, sort of raining and I thought, nobody will be there.  This will be great!  Um, apparently, EVERYONE else had this exact same thought because it was wall to wall people.  Kind of a bummer.  We got our photo taken with Santa.  Well, little pea is barely in the frame as she has this terrified look on her face and is trying to escape.  You can see my hands in the picture holding her back trying to get her to stay next to her sister for a quick photo.  I love it!  It's so funny!  Traumatic for her?  Oh, maybe slightly :>)  No!!  I'm just kidding!  She was fine so long as Santa was a good 10' away or so...close up, not so much.

Many people that night left their manners at home.  That was a bummer too.  Case in point.  We went in to sit with our little ones and eat some packed dinner as well as a couple of things we bought there.  No tables.  Packed.  One table was getting up to leave and we went over and asked to have their table.  They were very nice, said yes, and we sat our two older kids down and then some grown adult, his wife, and their 3 teenage children came over and LITERALLY took the seat out from under me and my husband and said they were sitting there.  I was dumbfounded.  What do you say?  This guy was clearly a jerk.  He's teenage daughter said, Ma'am, would you like this seat?  She saw what her Dad had done but I was too ticked.  I said no thank you and we stood behind our kids and just took care of them.  I can only imagine what must be going on in this guys life for him to think that he would bully some woman with a baby in stroller and two small children for a table.  Really?  But you know what?  Coming home in the car, for as much as my husband and I were "not happy" about our experience, our kids were talking about how they got to touch a sea star, see a shark, and they loved the "real" toy soldier that was marching around and posing for photos.  They didn't even notice it was crowded or the bad manners from others.

They just knew they got to go to the zoo on a school night and see the lights.  That made all my anger go away...they are such good kids.  With no prompting they both said, "thank you for taking us to the zoo".

Spending time with family comes first but that also meant my window for prepping was smaller.  But get it done, we did!  And here it is...

Well...that's pretty much it for this post.  I'm mush brain with thoughts of turkey and family all coming here for four days and...did I mention my house is a mess?  Oh, I must go start loading up bins and hiding my mess!  Happy Turkey week...

ps Up for a giveaway?  Kaye over at Miss Print is giving away a Hazel Hipster pattern...and her blog is fabulous.  Go check her out and follow her adventures.  You'll be glad you did!

xoxo,

Trish

Don't sneeze when you're hiding

1) Spy on people who are acting weird and looking suspishise.  (I love the spelling here!)

2) Don't sneeze when you're hiding.

3) If criminals are being nice to you, stop walking and run away.

4) If you're moving, pick a house with a mystery.

5) If you want to know about someone, go on the internet.

I found of all of those things written on a piece of paper lying in a heap of toys and other junk.  Written in colored pencil by one of the Two Peas.  I'm sure it was copied from a book - I think.  But it totally made me giggle when I found it.

Don't sneeze when you're hiding.

You know, because, then you'll be found out.  This really struck me because one of the things I've been wanting to do with this blog is to get some of YOU out of hiding.  I have found so many new and fun blogs through my readers and I'd love to highlight some of the fun and wonderful things you are creating.  Would you like to be included here on my blog roll?  Start sneezing!

I have a new link section called "Crafty Friends".  I'd love to include your blog there.  Leave me a comment with a link to your blog and a short description about your blog.  Once in awhile, I'm going to highlight some of you right here!  That way, we can all find new blogs to visit and enjoy.  Sound good?

 

Alrighty then...would you like to come and visit with me in person?  I have some craft shows coming up and I'd love for you to visit.  Print off a page from the blog or pull it up on your phone and bring it to any of the shows.  I'll extend to you 10% off any one item!

 

Go here to see where I'll be in November and December.  I'll have some kids shirts and skirts.  Upcycled jeans too.  Key fobs, pocket tissue covers, wallets, accessory bags, scarves, lanyards and of course, purses.

What are you making for Christmas gifts?  Do share your ideas...we could all use a little inspiration.

xoxo,

Trish

You will have to speak up...

What's that you say?  I'm sorry.  Can't hear you over the whir of the sewing machine.  The giggles and screams of three kids.  The washing machine and dryer.  You will have to speak up... I've been a bit busy lately.  You know, the usual.  Filling orders like these and oh, yes, 18 aprons!  (Sorry no photos on those yet - they are off getting finished with Nova, my super accomplished wonderful seamstress helper).  Just the usual ho hum chaotic noise around here.....

WAIT!  No!  Not the usual!  I have some exciting news!

Hazel Hipster PatternSPROUTS!  Sprouts is finally here!

After a full year or so of designing pattern covers and kicking around which projects to pattern first - we have finally completed our first draft pattern from the Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs pattern line aptly called, "Sprouts".  (Sticking with the whole garden theme here...the gardener actually developed this name.  He's pretty good, isn't he?)

Sprouts, Pea sized projects you can complete in 3 hours or less.

Because really, who has more time than that?  And even at that - it'll take days, right?  As I type this now...I'm listening to the baby NOT take a nap and I'm thinking, there goes my tiny 2 hour block of time to do anything.  (she's quite skilled at pushing my sewing machine foot pedal while I'm not looking).

The Hazel Hipster.  Yep.  Here she is, in all her glory.

One of my friends from my twins club served as my "model" for the cover.  (Her Dad is also my accountant - he'll find some creative write off for me on this one I'm sure!)

I love, love, love this pattern because it is the FIRST purse I ever designed.  First purse I ever made.  And it is oh, so very simple.  The pattern is chock full of real life photos so you don't have to guess what I'm talking about - you can see it for yourself.  No line drawings or anything.  And the price.  Ya can't beat it.  Affordable.  And just think of all the bags you could make just in time for Christmas!  (Oh I see you out there rubbing your hands together!)

And you know what else is cool about it?  I made up a mini version so you can have matching Mommy and me bags.  The cute factor is just too much here!

Go quick before they are gone. And if you have any questions along the way as you sew - drop me a line at twopeasinapoddesigns at gmail.com.

There are a few giveaways going on with these patterns - you'll find them scattered about in blog land.  Keep checking back here - I'll keep updating the page at the top of my blog titled "Sprouts" - you'll find a growing list of blogs to visit where you might be able to win one of these Hazel Hipster patterns.

I have more SUPER exciting (ok, well for ME it's super exciting) news to share but I'll save that for next time.  I did mention, things were starting to go wonderfully around here.  I got into my first juried show.  Cool but that's not the big news.  Kind of bigger.  You'll just have to wander on back here later to find out!  (wink! and a head nod)

See ya soon,

xoxo,

Trish

Whoo goes there? Whoo? Whoo?

So many projects on the horizon my head is spinning.  Small steps.  Dreams starting to come true.  I'm very hopeful for the future.  Headed into a busy season.  A season of...craft shows.

Craft shows...never done 'em.  Going to do 3 this holiday season.  Yikes!  Any tips for me?

I was painting these last weekend in my attempts to start prepping for these shows.

I made one of these back when I was like 17, 18, 19 something like that.  Way long ago anyway.  Funny - owls are totally hot right now.

So, I started to paint some.  I haven't painted in ages.  Since before the peas were born I think.  I forgot what it felt like to have a brush in my hand.  Note to self - paint more often. I miss it.

As usual, whatever I'm doing, the peas must follow suit.  And so, I set them up with some paints and a few rocks.

Now, it's been said, artistic ability is hereditary.  My great-grandparents were artistic, my grandparents, my parents...ok my parents, not so much.  My Dad can build furniture and I guess that's kind of artsy but it's really the engineer in him.  My Mom can't even hardly draw a stick figure.

My husband, artsy.  My mother in law, beautiful painter.  Great aunt, sculptor.  Sister in law, sculptor (must check out her link!).  Anyway...so it doesn't surprise me that the peas are pretty artistic.

I just didn't know how much.

They copied my work beautifully.  And then created their own.

Flowers and strawberries and just abstract designs.  Incredibly beautiful.

And we talked about God.  And gifts.  And blessings.

And boys.  And popularity.  And other topics that I hate are coming up this early in life.  Not fair.

And we talked about these upcoming craft shows.  One is at Childrens Hospital.  So we decided that 50% of the proceeds from their "rocks" would go back to the hospital.  10% of my total proceeds from that show will go back too.  The rocks will have magnets and pins attached so you can wear them or use them on your fridge.

And...a bargain at $2.  Would you like to buy an original piece of art from THE Two Peas themselves?  They would be so thrilled.

Place your "order" in the comment section and be sure you leave an accurate email address.  We will invoice you via paypal and ship you a lovely little pin or magnet, only $1.00 for shipping.  You can choose an owl or "surprise".  Because, who knows what they will create.

It's a wonderful lesson for them about art, about life, about giving, about caring for others.

This goes along with our "I want to be like Oprah - philanthropically speaking" theme of late.  Giving is good.  Thanks for what YOU do to give where YOU are...

Whoo...will have a Happy Halloween?  YOU will!  Thanks for stopping by today...

xoxo,

Trish

Halloween Hoopla

 

And so it begins.

The Halloween hoopla.

 

Last Friday, the peas were out of school.  We decided that would be a good day to host a Halloween party at our house - like we do every year.

For the kids of course!  It IS my favorite holiday, yes.  And yes, I have said, at my wake, bring out all my Halloween decorations, dress in costume and have fun because, I do love it ...that much.  It's just fun!

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All the monster movies I saw as a kid - Frankenstein and Dracula and Mummies - I love all that stuff!

(Love VINTAGE halloween too - let me know if you have a good resource - hard to come by, affordably!)

 

 

We had mummy races.

 

 

We had "Boo Am I" charades where you had to pop  the "ghost" balloon to get your clue inside and then act out your monster.

 

 

 

We ate edible eyeballs because um, hello?  Like, who wouldn't want to eat monster eyeballs from the mad scientist laboratory?  Ahh...dontcha know - they are SO good!  Tastes just like a powdered donut hole!  Amazing, isn't it?!

 

 

And we had Frankensteins Lab all set up...I'll have to add those photos later.  Brains, cyclops eyes, veins, tongues, and heart...and of course, wrinkly old toes.  The kids were totally freaked out.  I LOVED it!  muhhaahahhaa!

 

The peas were pirates.  Total thrift store costume.  Pants, thrift store - and then shreded.  Shirt, thrift store - perfect!  Sash, thrift store - old tie.  Accessories, found those on vacation.  Costume total cost - $8.  Not bad.

 

 

Now...how do I dress the baby up like a pirate?  Any ideas?

 

 

Hipster pattern...coming soon. Pattern tester(s) needed.

What is this? I don't know why looking at this makes me want to say "PUSH!"

It's like having a baby.  All this preparation.  And decisions to make.  And finding props and the sort just the way you want them.  It's not as easy as it looks.  Writing a pattern.   Sheeshzz!

I wanted to write this as a PDF pattern that would be super easy for you to follow.  Step by step.  Loads of actual photos.  Not a single line drawing.  That way, you get the idea of what it looks like in real life.

I have it out to a few pattern testers and I could use one or two more.  Interested?  You have to supply all your own materials but you'll have a super cute little bag in the end.  Anybody interested?  Let me know.

Voila!  Hipster!

Joel Dewberry prints

Disco dot

Paris?

Ok...I could go on and on with hipster photos!  Enough already!

And for the masses waiting to hear about the Halloween giveaway...the whopping two of you that submitted - well, missprint, it's you.  A little treat bag will be on it's way to you shortly.  Thanks to you both for giving us some ideas for our party this Friday.

I have a fun tutorial for a hair barrette I did...and more fun things...saving up for the new Typepad blog when I'm ready...slowly but surely.  I need an assistant.  Need to get those peas internet savvy quick!

xoxo,

Trish

Some days we just step over random blessings

I'm not really sure why most days, I don't take full advantage of what I've been given. I seem to just over look all these random blessings in my path. Are they really that random? I mean, God knows what He wants for us, right? I just seem to trip over them from time to time and mostly, pay no attention. I'm too busy packing lunches, making dinners, washing clothes, signing homework, responding to email, trying to pick up the house, running here, running there and I just don't see it.

Today, on my way to work, I was just daydreaming really. Staring off into the red taillights in front of me as we were stopped to get on the highway and this is what I saw reflected back.

Funny, huh?!

See, I was daydreaming about the things that I sometimes move too fast to really enjoy. Like this morning.

One of the peas lost a tooth last night. This photo is actually an old one. But the tooth fairy last night dropped a load of fairy dust all over her bedside stand. And her bed pillow. And her sheets. And all over her hair and  some on her nose even.

Pea squealed with delight when she saw all of that and a pack of gum in her tooth bag.

Only it was 8am. And the bus comes at 8:20am.

And I had to get orders packaged. And I had to finish sewing 2 shirts. And I had to go to the post office. And then to work.

And I don't think I enjoyed the moment as much as I wished I had.

Random blessings. A delightful little girl losing her tooth - still delightfully believing in the tooth fairy. What a...delight. Truly.

So I was daydreaming on my way to work. Lost in those taillights. Thinking about what had transpired at home. And wishing I had a little more time to savor it.

xoxo,

Trish

T-shirts, t-shirts, t-shirts

Do you sew?  These are so cute!  And easy.  Use some stitch witchery, or steam a seam, etc and cut it out just a bit smaller than your applique.  Apply to your -shirt.  Stitch.  That's it.  With each washing, the edges will fray and create this cute vintage look.  I'm having fun designing new things all the time...here's a few that are now at Harvest Moon Coffeehouse in Canal Winchester.  Grab one while you can! Happy little pumpkin

Boo!

Bats in the belfrey

Tweet!  Tweet!

My owls have been really popular.  Expect to see more of this one - I have always had a thing for owls.  I'll be doing this on a quilt pattern I"m working on...

Gotta have a cupcake in there!

And I'm so happy to report...I know have INTERNET access!!  Yeah!  Yeah in that I have access.  Boo, in that it is expensive so please, go to my etsy site, buy a few shirts so I can keep blogging!  My dial up just wasn't doing it and it was getting really old running into town all the time to use the wifi.

And because I know have internet, I have very slowly started to get my dot.com working.  So, pop over and take a peek.  I don't have a lot going on over there but I do have some things loaded in the shop.  I hope to work on it more later, ahem, this year.

Don't forget, I'm still looking for ideas for our Frankenstein's Laboratory.  (see previous post).  I have some goodies for someone - we'll choose a random person from the comments and mail out our Halloween package to you.  Comments will close Oct 21st so bring 'em on!

Happy Hump day!

xoxo,

Trish

Mooahhhhahahah! (insert evil laugh here)

Rats!  On top of my pantry... Did that spook ya?  My evil laugh and all?  It's a pretty good imitation, right?  I mean, I totally had ya thinking that like Count Dracula was right behind you didn't I?   OOooo!  I so love Halloween.  It is my FAV.OR.ITE holiday.  I just love it.  Love that it happens in the fall.  Love to think about Halloween costumes and what we'll put together.  Love the parties we have every year.  Love, LOVE, love LOVE LOVE it!!!

As a matter of fact, the day after halloween, I go out and scurry up anything that is left over in the store Plates, napkins, cute little trinkets for goodie bags and the like and I load them all up into my "Halloween Party" bin and put it back into storage.  Each year, I am all set with loads of fun stuff for our party and purchased at usually 75% off or more!  Mooahhhahahah (rubs hands together)  Love bargain shopping!

I love Frank and his springy legs

I have an entire Haunted Village.  You know how some people have Christmas Villages (ok, I confess.  I have one of those too - complete with skiers and snowboarders that move - you'll have to wait until Christmas for that post).  I have these villages that all make sound and have motion.  Well before the girls get home from school, I have those things cranked on.  And enjoy them I do - ohh!  So much fun!

And I love decorating around my antiques.  My old clock works perfect for Halloween decor don't ya think?  Complete with owl, black leaves, and rat of course!

A few years ago, I crafted some pillow covers for my couch.  I found some adorable festive fabrics.  Searched for this fringe trim in black over in the home dec section.

Love bats...I did some shirts like this too!

And then out of felt, I cut the shapes, used stitch witchery on them (because what else would you use at this time of year for applique with a name like that), and then did some decorative stitching on top.  Hello?!  Cute and so easy.  They are an envelope style.

Boo!  Can you see all the ghosts on this fabric?

That couldn't be easier.  Measure your pillow form size.  I add usually about an 1.5" to 2" to each side measurement.  Your front panel is one piece obviously.  Your back panel will be in two pieces.  You won't those pieces to overlap by about 3-4" so cut two pieces, accounting for seam allowances so you can create a nice clean hem on the edges, and cut them to fit for your rear panel.  Make sense.   That's all there is to it.  With right sides together, make sure your rear panel has your edges finished that will be exposed, and that they are overlapping enough, and stitch all the way around.

If you want to add trim like I did, you'll want to sandwich that inbetween your layers.  It will lay in this order, panel one, trim, and then panel two.

Detail...love the fringe - perfect halloween touch

I know, I know.  Not really the best instructions.  Go here for a real tutorial on how to make these style covers.  They could not be easier, seriously!

Got any good ideas for our "Frankensteins Laboratory"?  We did one a few years back and the girls have requested we do it again.  I set it up on the kitchen counter and use a big black garbage bag that is shredded to hide what is behind the bags.  We did grapes for eyeballs.  Spaghetti for brains.  And a wig for hair.  But I need some new ideas this year.  Help me out!

And for helping me out...drum roll please...I'm gonna send you one of Halloween treat bags!  Just a lightweight little tote a little one could use to collect their candy in or you could put a cute Halloween gift in it for someone, like me, who loves Halloween better than their birthday.  (hint! hint! I know my husband reads this and if you are reading this right now, I sure would love that new Wacom tablet we talked about....what a lovely Halloween gift that would be for your dear sweet hard working wife who adores you - is this thing on?  hello?  Did ya catch all that?)  Sorry about that diversion...he does secretly read.  He says he doesn't ever read my blog but then he'll blurt something out that I shared and I'll say, "ahh, so you DO read my blog".

Just a quick photo from my table top...but it's all yours and a few surprises inside.  Just help us out with Frankensteins Laboratory

Where was I?  Oh yes, help me out with some ideas for Franks Laboratory and the two peas will pick a favorite idea and we'll send you a bag - heck, maybe a few other goodies too.  Ya never know.  We'll pick a favorite on the 21st of October and mail out your package on the 22nd so you'll have it in time for Halloween!

Can't wait to hear your ideas!

Last but not least, my September giveaway...lucky name out of the hat was Lise from inthepurplehouse.blogspot.com.  Send me your mailing address and a key fob and lanyard is headed your way.

xoxo,

Trish

The best days...

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No words to express how wonderful it is to enjoy your family...watch them laugh, play, sing, splash, explore, stand in amazement, in awe, in gratitude...having the best days...

My mother with our littlest pea sneaking watermelon before dinner

Going for a quick bike ride along the shoreline...

All three peas are the center of the gardeners world - they are crazy about him and he is the best father ever!

My Dad and his grandbaby

Best friends forever these two - the best sisters ever to each other

enjoying the best days...

Our sweet little Olivia...used up the last of her nine lives

Olivia This is a repost from July 2008.  Our sweet little kitty, who I have had since I was 21 years old, passed away yesterday.  I know, who wants to read about that but hey, this is my blog, my place to journal my thoughts so bare with me through this one.  Let me unload a little sorrow for a moment for a dear friend.

A little background before the repost.

When I was in college, I had a job working at a store called Wild Birds Unlimited.  Olivia was the store cat.  She was a princess.  Slept most days on top of the binocular case.  Would stand next to the TV while the Buckeyes played football and bat at the screen or make wierd little chirping noises when we played videos with squirrels getting into bird feeders.  She was known by all the customers and they often brought her treats.

One day, she snuck out the front door and killed a goldfinch.  She came in that door proud as could be carrying this bird in her mouth.  Now mind you, we sold bird feeders and bird food so you could enjoy and watch the birds.  Having her walk in having just hunted down one of these pretty birds was not a very good selling point.

One day she was sitting next to the cash register and an old man came in and was petting her kind of rough.  She hissed, growled, turned her head, cocked her ears back and I said to him, "She's not happy with you.  Be careful.  She might bite" and sure enough she gave him a real quick nip.  His hand bled and he walked out saying he was suing, yadda, yadda, yadda.  He never did but Olivia was "relieved" of her mousing duties in the store that day.  That day, she came home to live with me.  Retired from the store, she lived a good life with me and was very spoiled.

One of the peas and Olivia Summer 2008

When we brought the twins home, she very slinkily tiptoed on our bed and peered over into the bassinet.  So curious what was in there.  Later, she learned to be totally ignorant of the girls and I have photos of them as babies literally laying on top of her.

One day, while the girls were running to catch the school bus, Olivia ran behind them and actually jumped onto the bus with them.  They had to chase her down the aisle to catch her.  Most days, the girls had to try to outrun her because she tried that trick 3 out of 5 days a week.  Clear up to the end.  Last Friday, she almost made it to the bus and I had to run after her.

She was a good kitty as kitties go.  She loved Taco Bell, something she learned while she worked at the store.  We often had that for lunch and we would find her in the trash licking the wrappers.  It's always hard to say goodbye but it was time.  She was almost 18 years old and was down to nothing.  She quit bathing herself months ago and was losing her sight and hearing.  She really lived her life fully to the very end.

Here's the repost from last summer...a story about a blue jay who was eating the cats food for weeks before the barn cat caught him.

Here's innocent Olivia, who mostly laid on the porch within 4 feet of the bluejay while he ate for hours at a time. She's 16, just bones and fur, and could care less about anything unless of course it's on our dinner table. Turn your back for 2 seconds and she is either on the table or in the trash digging out whatever leftovers were tossed.

Trash kitty as we call her. We grilled out chickens one day and tossed the bones outside in the garbage. Late that night, thinking raccoons were getting into the garbage, my husband chased off whatever was making noise around the can. The next day, we head off for the afternoon and return around dinner time. I notice that Olivia is not doing her usual meow in the front window, go to the back, meow from the back porch, repeat every 3 minutes for an hour, nap, start over, routine. So, about 7pm, I go looking for Olivia. My instincts said, start with the trash can. I open up the lid, and inside was a bag in shreds, contents everywhere, and the greasiest, nastiest, looking gray cat you ever saw. Trash kitty...that's what we call her.

Rest in peace dear sweet Olivia.  We loved you and we will see you again someday.

xoxo,

Trish