Little Pea...meet the ocean. Ocean, this is little pea.

20 AG doll aprons had to made the day before we left for our excursion I was working so hard so that our family could enjoy a little R&R.

...and loads of inventory for shows.  Come find this purse Sept 26-28 at the Tuttle Mall in Dublin, OH at a center kiosk.

If you are also a mompreneuer like me, you know that there really are very little days off.  I work at the university 3 days a week and then 4 days a week, into the wee wee hours, I'm sewing, designing, sketching, blogging, filling orders and on and on and on...

So, I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to go to the coast for some rest and fun.  AND I didn't even bring my sewing machine with me, can you believe it?!  A true break.  So rare.  I'll share more later from our little trip

I love this photo because if you look way out in the distance you can see the gardener with our two peas out in the water.

but here's some evening photos of our littlest pea meeting the ocean.

Sand...a whole new texture we haven't explored before.

The sun is almost gone...love the reflection in the water

{to be 8 and oh, so cute...}

Thanks for the emails and well wishes...I am on the mend.  Had to stop taking the antibiotics because the side effects were really bad.  Hives, heart stuff, dizzy - crazy.  But happy to say the infection is 85% or so better so I'm very happy about that.  What a disaster that whole thing has been. The fountain at the downtown park...the girls love to dip their toes in.  The flowers downtown everywhere are amazing.

The other day, I just wanted to get out a little and so we went for a walk in our downtown area.   We just live 2 minutes from our downtown and the girls love to hang out down there.    First, into Harvest Moon, the coffeehouse.  The day before, SafeAuto had been there filming a commercial.  Our downtown is very historic and cute and so they actually film a fair number of commercials down there and everybody loves the coffeehouse.  Anyway, if you are ever in our downtown , you must get a cup of their hot chocolate.  I don't know what they do to it but it is the BEST ever.  And Jane makes killer french toast bagesl.  All her bagels are great!

We walked over to the fountains.  And then waited for the new dollshop to open.  HannahGrace's Dollhouse .  The girls loved it!  You may just find some Two Peas little girl dresses and matching doll dresses coming there soon - I dropped off a sample with the new owners.  It's a fun stop in town.  Sidewalk chalk outside so they girls can draw and babies to hold.  Too fun.  Then we headed over to the thrift store.  We found an old working typewriter - as the girls said, "just like KIT's!".  Kit Kittredge of course, American Girl.  And an old style school desk.  Both a must for their playhouse.  And I found a green and blue compote dish to hold my bobbins while I'm switching out threads back and forth.  Our total purchase price, $10.  Not bad!

Too cute for their own good!

We sat a bit outside of the barbershop on the corner.  The girls were facinated to peek through the big window and watch the men getting haircuts.  The owner kept smiling at them and waved them inside and gave them each a sucker.  They were absolutely giddy!

I was pretty pooped after that since that was my first day I had been up in several days so we headed home.  Just kicking back and trying to let my body heal and do its thing.  Hope you are enjoying summer!  Don't forget, leave me a comment about your sewing mishaps - you know, skirts and that became shirts, etc.  I'm feeling kind of lonely in my demise - surely, you've had some funny stories to tell, right?  I have to find a photo of a shirt I made when I was 16.  My Mom thought it was wonderful - looking at it now, too funny!  And a dress I wore to Homecoming - classic funny stuff!  I need to find those and share...maybe later.  I feel a nap calling while baby sleeps.

Nap-nap!

xoxo, Trish

Happy Little Chefs Birthday Party 101

I know it’s taken me awhile to get back to sharing all the details from the girls party. I have had a lot going on. Dealing with a husband who has been in training a lot lately and our crazy schedules. I mean, seriously, he came home with band-aids on his wrists because they got cut up while they were in defensive tactics practicing handcuffing. Playing a bit rough aren’t we boys? I’ve been working like mad on fabric designs and trying to decide on what to present for my first line, planning for Quilt Market including things like little giveaways, booth design, and of course, product! I have an appointment with one of the fabric companies on the first day of Market to present my designs so I’m super excited that truly, this Fall, I may have my very own line! That would be a dream come true! And the baby, well, she finally got up and crawled this week and started to pull herself up to a stand all within days of each other. So, keeping up with her just got a whole lot harder. So, as I do all day while I’m working either on campus or in my studio, I’m usually listening to music on my iphone. Quite frankly, as my husband says, I’m addicted to it. My iphone is never far from my hand – I do love it. And I like to share what I’m listening to because it inspires me and keeps me focused through the day. Lately it’s been Mercy Me and one of my favorites of the week has been a song called “Bring the Rain”.   I love this song, especially when I have had an especially trying week, and it just makes me feel stronger. You’ll love it, check it out.

Little Chefs…oh yes! The twins had a great 8th birthday party. I’ll give you my “Party 101” details on what we did and maybe you’ll find some ideas to use for the next party you host. First, we sent out invitations on little note cards that looked like recipe cards and said something about good food, add friends, mix well for a great birthday celebration. We added 3D cupcake stickers to them.

The party roomFor each girl, I made them an apron and an apron for their American Girl doll.  (You can find your own on my etsy site).   I just used up scraps from my scrap basket and other old fabrics. I added a pocket for each girl and appliquéd their initial on the front panel. As each girl arrived, my girls gave them their aprons to put on.

Once everyone was here, we got started on making our lunch. I used little Dixie cups to put each serving of ingredient for each girl. We made chicken enchiladas and I just brought out each ingredient one at a time and had them add, mix and then stuff their tortillas. We put them in one big casserole and then left them to bake.

While lunch was cooking, we decorated cupcakes. I had purchased treat boxes that held 4 cupcakes per box. We had mounds of different types of candies and frostings so they could decorate their treats. I must say, a lot of candy did not make it to the cupcakes but got eaten instead! They loved getting to be creative. I gave them a few ideas and they were off and running. I had set the table with 2 sets of tablecloths. The bottom layer was a vinyl tablecloth we keep. The top was a plastic disposable table covering. When they were all done with the baking and cupcake decorating…I left the entire mess on the table and just wrapped it up in the table covering and tossed the whole thing. It was great! Then, underneath, I had a nice clean table ready for lunch. The girls went off and played for about 10 minutes while I set the table and got the rest of the food out.

I had just a simple centerpiece which consisted of wooden spoons with the chicken enchilada recipe attached. This was one of the favors the girls took home. I also had playdough thinking we would make mini treats for the dolls but we ran out of time so they just took that home with them. I had treat bags to pack their aprons in as well that had cupcakes on them and pretty much their favors were their apron sets.

After lunch, we did an egg relay race. They had to balance a plastic easter egg on a spoon and go on a course through our house. They were nuts doing this and had a lot of fun. We opened gifts and then they played out in the girls playhouse for a bit and that was it. 2 ½ hours went by really fast and my girls said they had a great time.

So as I sit here trying to write this I can hear the baby up in her bed, NOT sleeping because she has just learned to stand and so guess what she’s doing besides sleeping…oh yes, standing in bed and talking. I can’t even lay her down, she instantly rolls over and grabs the rails to pull up. Any suggestions? This is short lived right because it’s a new trick? The other two are running around this afternoon avoiding chores. Of course, they are grounded today for being sassy yesterday and so today they have no privileges and have to clean all day. I’ve never seen anyone procrastinate or drag out a task longer than these two – their little “craft” area looks like a bomb went off. And when I told my little pea this, she said to me, “So! SO does your room!” Man! This is why they are in trouble for the sassing! Actually mine is quite clean right now for once…but I do need to get back down there.

stroller-quilt-and-blockHere’s a quilt I made this morning and a purse being sent out tomorrow for orders. I’m working next on one my patterns – cute little kitty cat thing. I’ll show you that sometime soon! Within 3 weeks, I’ll have 3 patterns ready to go out to testers and I have only a few bodies to edit and test for me. If anybody else is interested in being a pattern tester for me, let me know asap! Ciao, Trisholivia-in-kiwi-floral

Seriously? Could my life BE a bit crazier...really? Really.

I complain a lot here don't I?  I am SO glad you all are out there and just let me unload my woes.  Yeah, seriously.  I'm taking the day off of work tomorrow to clean house.  The MIL is coming to hang with the little one so I can zoom around and sort through junk that has been deposited...well, everywhere in my house so I can put some order in place.  And quite frankly, I'm looking forward to it.  Really.  I mean it.  I have a lot to look forward to this Spring and a good place to start is an organized house.  I have 4 bins of clothes and 2 bins of junk to go through and I can say...I am done.  I have gone through every closet, corner, nook and all of our house.  Started when I was pregnant...ah, in the fall of 2007.  Sprout is 9 months...I'd say I was fairly efficient, right? Don't laugh!  I hear you snickering out there...you got junk laying around too, don't you?  Come on,  you all email me on the sly and nobody ever wants to comment out in the open but hey, don't be shy.  You can own up to it.  Makes us all feel better to know we are not, gasp, perfect.

Anyway, still have some major cabin fever going on.  The kids are back in school..and guess what, they have Friday off!  Let's see, snow day, snow day, snow day...oh yes, let's have another day off.  I don't even know why they have it off but I for one, am headed off to our local science museum where we have a membership with the girls.  I can't take not even ONE more day in the house with them and their - oh I hate to admit this - crafting everywhere.

What have I done?  My little designers...they each made a quilt this week.  With scraps.  And a lot of glue.  A LOT of glue.   Once they dried, cute...and they put their new quilts on their sock monkeys (see sock monkey post) you should see the mess they left behind.  Now, they'll clean it as best they can but really, right now, my nerves are just frayed.  I'm crazy anxious about this whole - sewing industry leap - I'm about to take and...I don't know.  Is it just me?  Am I over sensitive?  Oh whatever!  :>)

I did get out on Sunday. 

Sprout took her first whirl around the park in the backpack.  Check out the thumb in the mouth.  Her top tooth just cut through that day.  We all enjoyed the sun although the trails were covered in ice so not so good for hiking.  It just felt good to get out.  And who would have guessed that it would 45' and everybody would be running around town with their car windows down and no coats.  Does that tell you how much we've become accustomed to subzero temperatures.  The 40's and we are all..."it's like Spring!".

And Thursday, I'm off to a meet and greet with Amy Butler. Like a stupid starstruck fan, I'm packing my camera along for sure.  My husbands aunt invited me - she's a buyer with the Limited brands.  She travels ALL the time to Paris, Rome, New York, Milan, etc for Limited in the textile industry and she's been trying to find me some connections to get my fabric line looked at.  So, she invited me to this little event and I'm really very excited and also nervous.  Will I get to talk to her?  If I do, what do I say?  "Ahh, hi.  I wanna be just like you."   No, that's stupid.  True, but stupid.  I'll just carry my bag I designed made with her fabrics and stare, I'm sure.  Listen, hope to glean off some secrets that will help motivate me to move MOVE MOVE these fabric patterns off to the testers and off the printers.  I just feel like I'm paralyzed though.  As long as I don't move, nobody has said no yet.  This is the whole anxiety thing.  See what I mean?

I'll end with this - there are much greater things in this life to fret over than a messy house and my nerves over my artwork.  My dear friend Kris, from LivyMarie handbags - you hear me chat about her once in awhile with her 5 kids she homeschools?  Well, her husband is having some heart issues and having surgery tomorrow morning.  Please lift them up in prayer as you read this.

Along with that, we have a local twins family who had their sweet peas born much too early.  They have been in the NICU and I made some quilts and hats for them last week.  My peas will deliver them next week and I'll share a photo later.  Please lift them in prayer.  Visit their journal and send them warm happy thoughts of the life to come for their family.

4:17pm.  I was going to leave the office today at 2:30 so I could work on some orders.  4:17pm.  Ugh.  Aprons are the hit lately...here's some more on their way to Morroco (is that how you spell it) to travelinmama who bought these on my etsy site.   She does some seriously cute paper crafts!  And I hope her little one likes the american girl set.

NOW I'm really, seriously, really...no I mean really, going home.  Really. Seriously.

Slan Leat, (a new one for me - goodbye in gaelic - a little nod to my Irish father)

Trish

The race is on...American Girl "closet makeover" contest!

So we are off and running on this idea of inspiring you to clean those closets and convert them into a great play space. I had to add new photos of ours. You know my kids didn't have school last week because of the snow and ice...missed 4 days of school. (deep breath. finding my happy place...hot cocoa in hand, ok...I'm there). My girls were hard at work rearranging things. We have new beds (don't ask where all the stuff is that was on the shelves - most of it is in the babies room. They said they don't need those other toys anymore. Shocking, I know.) 100_2659

We have new bedroom spaces complete with their dog house and cat house100_2661

100_2656

and a new kitchen space. Looks good doesn't it?

100_2651 100_2648

Well, I started on making the aprons for their party. These are the doll favors and then the big girls get matching aprons. I'll post those later.

Not only will the super Mom who posts a comment / photo of your makeover get that cute little bag, we are adding in a special little apron with a Valentine theme. Hurry though because the "closet makeover" contest will end on February 7th.  (See our last few posting for our "closet makeover" contest)

I can't believe they are turning 8 years old already...rodeo-2this was taken when they were 2. They are still just as adorable and sweet and the greatest miracle we could have ever wished for. Thank you God for entrusting their lives into my hands and for these days we have to share and delight in all that they are. They bring such much happiness to our lives. (especially when they are in school - I'm just kidding...sort of! :>) !

SO...that's it! Get to work!!! And hey...if you want to buy your own set of party favor aprons, you're in luck! I have a listing on my etsy site. You can buy individual aprons or the whole set for a discounted price! Have fun with your makeovers. The "two peas" can't wait to see the results!

Snowed in, going "snow" crazy!

Ok, seriously. I adore my children. I do. (I mean look at little pea dressed in my coat and hat and purse - what's not to love?) I know it seems like I complain about them here and there but that's just the oh, so tired, me wishing for a break from motherhood Emma dressed as Mommajibber jabber.

However, my little ladies have been to school - by my calculations, only like 11 days this month. Early dismissal, late start, holiday, in service, snow, ice, more snow, snow, snow. And our district is half rural so buses just don't operate well out here. Plus, my husband was sick last week with strep throat. Didn't get out of bed for 3 days. He's also been working tons - my little park ranger has been very busy this season and we've not seen a lot of him lately. On top of that, I...oops, wrecked my car in the snow squall last week. Minor damage, very traumatic for the twins - we were all just fine. But, me, Miss "Oh, I'm a professional. I've had over 70 hours of defensive driving training in law enforcement and been involved in high speed pursuits" and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, I went left when I should have gone right - the whole steer into the skid thing - and around we went into a ditch. Bummer.

What have the the girls been doing? Well, playing in the snow for one. Eating snow. Knocking down icicles off of their playhouse. winter-2009-006

Finding who knows what in the snow and exploring. winter-2009-007

We live on 5 acres so there is always something to explore in our woods, etc. Check out this view from my studio window. winter-2009-009I could not resist a photo of the sun hitting the ice. Isn't this amazing? Be thankful for the little things God gives us. Simple pleasures.

The girls have also added on to the American Girl "closet" room. Now, it includes "3 floors". They've cleared off shelves and added more beds, a kitchen area AND an elevator. Oh yes, they rigged up a cowboy hat over their closet rod tied off to a knob on their dresser. Dolls can sit in the hat and be raised to the various levels. Their fraccessory-bag-in-nigella-vines1iends love it and have been inspired to clean out their own closets for their very own american girl closet bedroom. (See my last post) If your little one has been so inspired - LET US KNOW! I have a pretty little accessory bag for the super Mom who sends us a comment and photo of your special american girl closet room. I'll let the "Two Peas" pick their fav and we'll mail you out this sweet little bag.

Remember I said I was working on a baby bag set for my MIL who ordered for her niece, my husbands cousin? Well, little Laura Jane is about to receive this uber cool set. sophie-bag-interior-19A mix of pinks and browns. Yum-o!

A bag, sophie-bag-interior-32diaper wipes wristlet,

sophie-bag-interior-2

nursing coversophie-bag-interior-7and changing pad.sophie-bag-interior-5

sophie-bag-interior-6

I want to keep it for myself but I can make another...and another! Because I have this whole set on sale on my etsy site right now! You can buy the whole set or pieces of it. I love the birds especially on it...and I can do this whole set in an orange and brown combo too - great for a boy! I added some other fun things to etsy today as well. Almost everything is ready to go so you'll get your goodies super quick!

So, wish me luck! Here's to hoping we have school tomorrow! Momma needs a break...and I have too TOO many projects I want to get to! Look forward to some aprons and matching doll aprons to come soon for thier upcoming birthday party. I'm working on some design samples now. Fun!

Enjoy the snow! I'll be sewing away...

Ciao, TRP

Big Mac Attacks and American Girls

OK…so you know how some days are like a roller coaster? That’s the day I had yesterday. Up. Down. Up. Down. Exhausting because I’m Irish and I typically have a short fuse so I was really tired at the end of the day. Tired anyway because ah…hello?! The baby, still waking a lot at night. Whole other story. big-macLet’s begin. I have a special place in my heart for Big Macs, Big and Tasty’s…burgers and fries in general. And of course, Coca Cola. Fountain. I can do canned drinks but will drive out of my way to get a fountain drink. So, baby(s) #1 and #2, the twins. I gained 36# while pregnant with them. A week after they arrived, I had lost 31#. I thought, THIS is great! Baby #3, the singleton, I gained a “gulp”, 45ish#. Whateva. A week after she arrived I had lost…10#. And gradually I lost 3# here, 2# there…really slow. Mind you, I didn’t lift a finger to exercise. Not watching what I eat so I was content to think that eventually, when I was through this baby stage, I’d get back to my mountain biking and hiking regime. At 16# over prepregnancy weight – I stalled out. Stayed there for months.

Then 7 weeks ago, the baby starts teething and revs up her nursing demands greatly. My appetite goes crazy. I’m eatin’ big macs and whatever other garbage I can find…love cheese, breads…just eating in general. Favorite entertainment. I get on the scale yesterday. GASP! Prepregnancy weight on the nose! Bingo baby! I’m lovin’ this. I can eat whatever I want, do nothing AND lose weight. This may possibly be the greatest moment in my life. Seriously, you’re jealous, aren’t you? (smirk! Wink! Wink!) This was one of the up’s of the day’s roller coaster.

I decide to pop over to campus and work for a few hours. I have an event coming up next week. I wanted to clean off my desk which had a mountain of mail on it and I needed to make 2 phone calls. I decide to take the baby. I have my office all set with nursery stuff so off we go. She does great the first 30 minutes and then decides, um, today, I must be held by Mom or I will scream and annoy everyone in the office. Ugh! She never acts like this. Truly. She’s an angel. This was quite rare. Do you know how hard it is to type on a computer with a baby in your lap? It looks likoljlkjsfdk like thisdkjlkjda. Looks like that. Yep. Then crisis. An invoice unpaid. Who ordered what when where’s the PO? Dang, spent 30+ minutes figuring out the company double billed us and they were at fault. And then, a bank statement for a student organization – they had charged over the course of several years, $560 in “service fees” and we now owed them $4. Seriously?! Theft I cry and call the bank to straighten this out on behalf of our students. Baby still demanding Momma, desk still piled high with mail. Phone calls not yet made. After 2 hours and 40 minutes, I get my phone calls made and leave my desk a mess and leave. This was the down.

Head over to Ann Taylor LOFT. My favorite store. I was meeting up with my friend Jill. Jill had tried on a pair of pants I was going to return to LOFT and she loved them and wanted to buy them. They were more on sale than when I bought them so we were meeting at the store for me to return and Jill to buy them at the reduced price. Ladies, do you love deals?! Ok, brace yourself. I bought them on clearance for like $23. Jill paid…drum roll please…$4.88 PLUS 25% off that price. Oh yes…you heard correctly. We both start digging through the clearance section and doing a happy dance. I find THE deal of the day. A gorgeous deep blue with bell sleeved suit jacket. Originally, $119. On sale for….$7.41. Are you kidding me?! This was the big top of the hill coming down the roller coaster thrill of the day. A little retail therapy does wonders, doesn’t it? Insane good deals over there. This was the Whoo hoo of the day! I know, you are all giving me virtual high fives right now, I feel the vibe. It’s a good thing.

Then, I get home, get an email from my graphic designer with the cover options for my pattern line. An up moment. I heart them. They are perfect. My husband named the line (top secret for now! :>) and we both love the designs. The down side, to get started, the initial run of these will actually put us in the hole. It will take 3 prints before we break even and start to see a profit. Down down down. We decide to stop on the tracks and take a break to figure this one out. Anybody got any good business advice for us? It’s gonna happen…we just need to do a bit more planning.

Problem is, Quilt Market is right around the corner. May. We may not make it. The next market to try and get signed by a distributor is in the Fall in Houston. Way more expensive to go to. Hmmm…we’ve said it before, please pray for us as we figure out where we are being led and what to do with this business. I feel like we’ve hit a wall at full speed. End of roller coaster. That was the “Big Mac attack” of my day.

American GirlsThe “American Girl” part of my day…this is a long post, sorry. I have a lot to get off my chest (heave a sigh). My girls have been saving money from birthdays, first communion and Christmas plus allowance. They decided they wanted to buy themselves a new American Girl doll. Ok, so if you have kids into this you know, this is not cheap. The doll they want is $95. I have a $10 coupon to use. And we offer to give them $10 for their birthday in February. That puts one peas within $2 of having enough money and the other pea within $4. They beg to do laundry. I pay them 50 cents per basket. american girlThe dolls they picked out arrived yesterday and I put them in my closet. They are super excited.  The peas share a bedroom and they each have a ton of American Girl stuff already. We talked them into giving up some of the million toys they had outgrown and to clear off the bottom of their closet and they could “build” a “bedroom” for their dolls, hang pictures on the wall, etc. So here’s the result. My husband added some Christmas lights we were going to throw out to light it all up. They LOVE it. And now, several of their friends have decided to do the same. Cool idea, eh? Anyway, the jist is, I’m proud of them for saving their money to buy their own doll. Proud of them for doing such a super job at earning their allowance by working around the house. Proud of them for respecting and taking such good care of what they own. They are really good girls. I don’t know how that happened but they are surely, super special little things. I heart them big time :>)

And now, today…is the first morning in a LONG LONG LONG time I have had no real pressure to do anything. Of course, I have an order to do an entire baby set.  Large bag, nursing cover, diaper wipes case, changing pad. No biggie…I’ll get it done this weekend. It’s for my husbands cousin. I can’t wait to show it off to you later. I picked pretty little pink French wallpaper and stripes print with birds for their brand new Laura Jane. AND I just sent out a few things from some older orders…here’s a peek at one of them. Chloe with accessory bagI’ll get the rest loaded over on my portfolio later. Dial up…stinks. Can’t wait until someday we actually get internet service out here “in the country”…ohh, puulease!

Gonna also load a few "ready to go" items over in my etsy shop later. Check it out!

Ciao, TRP