Love is in the air

Today’s a pretty good day to sit back and reflect on love. I love:

  • Having Valentine’s Day fall on a Friday.

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  • Having a three-day weekend! Thanks American presidents!!
  • The warmest day of the year fall on Valentine’s day – a breezy 70 degrees and more to come! And then it’s a full moon too!

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  • Two classrooms full of excited faces at my kids school Friday morning.
  • My son’s classmates letting me know how much they liked their little stuffed felt hearts.

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  • My kindergartners’ teacher sending me this picture:

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So precious to see those little faces all dressed in Yasemin Tea skirts.

  • Chocolate!
  • Roses!
  • A husband to share a cup of tea with!

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  • Watching my kids play Just Dance on the Xbox.

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  • Playing at the park.
  • Watching my son play basketball!

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  • Teaching children how to sew!

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11-year old Katy learning the ropes of her brand new Singer. Today we only had time for the basics. Next time I’d like her to go home with a signature Yasemin Tea skirt :-). 

  • Making things! Latest project:

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A quilt for my Stella. I am so excited to see this one come together one triangle at a time! 

Hope you are having a wonderful extended Valentine’s-day-weekend!

Love,

Yasemin

I LOVE to read

My list of online inspiration gets longer each day. See for yourself here. Some of these bloggers have published books which I have devoured! It’s nice to keep up-to-date on their creative careers via their blogs & Instagram. Every time I come across a new blog that I love I feel like this is exactly where I belong, what I needed to be doing. It’s my space. I can relate to the authors. It’s really a great company to be in. I have to warn you, there is an endless list of people both in the US and elsewhere that blog in English, love crafting, take some really awesome pictures & have the cutest children to sew for. It’s kind of addictive. And VERY time consuming. I am afraid with temps finally – F I N A L L Y – creeping up into humanly endurable digits I won’t have as much time to read as I’ve had.

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I know my toddler will appreciate catching up on some outdoor time and so will my older two who are ‘stuck’ at school all day …

I can’t complain though. I have had enough reading time since November. Having said that, I think this was the longest winter I’ve experienced ever since I’ve lived in the US. Even the 2 winters back in 2003 & 2004 that my husband and I lived in Texas weren’t as long and cold… California had me spoiled there for about 7 years! I remember taken the most beautiful beach pictures around Christmas time in Southern Cal…

Like this one taken on Christmas Day in 2011.

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And how about this shot taken a few days before Christmas in 2010?

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 So bright & warm … Ahhh, those were the days. 

Oh well, as I said, I caught up on LOTS & LOTS of reading. See, I am looking at the bright side here – the other bright side :-). It feels so good to get inspired by a great book or blog. It a refuge but at the same time a nice way to feel connected to people that I would otherwise not have a chance to meet.

I’d like to compile a list of all my sewing books soon and post them here.

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If you are looking for some inspiration and love fabric & sewing, a good way to start is by checking out American designers such as Amy Butler & Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross. Also Liesl Gibson from Oliver + S is awesome. They all have books, fabric & blogs. Especially on the Oliver + S blog you can find links and mentions of some of the current blogger moms who sew for their children. For me these designers were like a gateway into the blogosphere of crafting. I hope you find inspiration here. I’d love to know what you are reading.

Love,

Yasemin

Valentine’s ‘treats’ that won’t cause cavities :-)

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You know Valentine’s Day is quickly becoming my second least favorite holiday ever since my kids started school. I thought only on Halloween it was ok to overindulge your kids in sugar. But apparently Valentine’s Day is trying hard to get the number one spot. Of course, I enjoy the dressing up for Halloween and the love that surrounds February 14th but at school these holidays mean that kids get to exchange CANDY!!! Lots and lots of candy. Teachers and any other adult that comes in contact with children get to do the same on those days. It’s not just the candy but the kind that my kids receive that I don’t like. All my efforts (and cash!) to feed my kids organic whenever possible and very little processed food in general are thrown out the window on those holidays !!! Grrrrrrr

Momma no likey. Not one bit.

I know what you are thinking: they are only young once and a little bit of everything is good for them and let them be kids…. but BECAUSE they are young and BECAUSE it’s important to instill the right habits in them NOW I am even more determined to break this tradition cycle.

Sooooooo, here is my solution: On Valentine’s Day show some REAL LOVE and make something! Give your friends handmade items! 🙂 Look here, aren’t those cute?

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And so much fun to make – for mom & kids! You can place a little note in them or an organic treat. They will hold a gift card just so perfectly!! 🙂 Or fill them with lavender to turn those stuffy drawers into fields of french freshness! Don’t get me wrong, I love gift giving just as much as the next one. I LOVE chocolate, and cookies & cake!! I let my kids have treats ALL the time. Really. I promise they don’t miss out on anything. Just recently the kids have been hooked to making rice crispy treats.

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But do we need a holiday to pass out the WORST thing a lap has produced? Artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup… oh and COLORS!! And did I mention artificial flavors? Who in the world enjoys those?

Well, not this mother! This year all of my daughter’s girlfriends are getting a Yasemin Tea-Skirt!

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Luckily, I already had this fabric in my stash from a few years ago.  Don’t you love when holiday fabrics go on sale for 70% off at JoAnns the day after a holiday? I had about three yards of this fun pink & red heart fabric waiting to be turned into something!

The boys in my daughter’s class will all receive the aforementioned felt heart hanger with some bubble gum! So will my son’s whole class (boys & girls). The felt hangers were so easy to make. And felt is super affordable. $4.99 / yard at JoAnn’s (plus you can always find a 40% off coupon!!). I made a template heart on paper and traced it onto my felt. I needed two two pieces (front&back, mine are about 5.5″ across) and another half piece for the pocket.

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I added a little leaf machine stitching to the pocket for some extra cuteness. And a cute little ribbon loop in case kids would like to hang them on their backpacks. I filled each heart with Polyfil. You can use cotton balls too.  Note: You don’t need a sewing machine for this project. Felt doesn’t fray and is really fun to sew by hand and super cute when you use a contrasting color thread. Embroidery floss works great. See here. But since I had to make 40 of these I opted for the quick machine version. I am sure you understand. 🙂 After all, the baby only naps an hour or two each morning.

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Love,

Yasemin

P.S. After I was done with my heart hangers I had some scraps of felt left-over. I used it to make a banner of 100 little hearts.  My daughter got to take the banner to school last week for their 100th day of Kindergarten celebration. What better way to celebrate a milestone than to show some love? 🙂

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And the winner is…

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Here it is! The new YaseminTea look! Do you like it? I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! My absolute final edit was to change the color from aqua

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to coral! It’s so warm and inviting yet strong, wouldn’t you agree? This whole logo-thing is a full-time job let me tell you. I am grateful to my friends who helped finalize this look via Facebook. Now I am off to getting these printed on labels. So far I am shopping here but also am looking on Etsy for smaller shops. After all I only need a hundred or two…  This might take a while so bare with me. Until then I might just print them onto fabric transfers like I did here. We will see. Now excuse me while I go finish my daughter’s friends Valentine’s day skirts…

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and heart hangers for the boys in her class PLUS 20 additional felt heart hangers for my son’s classmates…

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Love,

YaseminTea! 🙂

Finally a facelift!

Finally! I’ve been dreaming about this day since August 2013 when I started visualizing what my blog would look like. At the time, I didn’t want to spend too much time on the look but rather focus on content and concept of the blog. Although through WordPress you get a pretty cookie cutter, simplified way of creating an online presence but after several months of ‘playing’ around with buttons I still have NO CLUE how to add widgets, plugins, change the apperance to where I really really like it etc. etc. Boy, I have my work cut out for me.

For that exact reason I had to reach out in things LOGO. It feels so good to not have to do EVERYTHING myself. Long story short, a good friend of mine’s daughter has recently graduated with a graphic design degree (I know – I am very LUCKY!!). This was the perfect opportunity for me to give this logo thing a go. Toni has been working on my look for a few weeks now and after only 2 or three short email exchanges it looks as if we have finalized three different looks. YEAH!!

Option A:

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Option B:

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Option C:

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And although I have a favorite right of the bet I wanted to have my friends involved in the final decision. I posted all three looks on Facebook last night and got some really nice pointers and opinions. (It’s good to have ‘opinionated’ friends :-))

I  have to say that I was very intriqued by the ‘stitched’ look of Option B although I felt immediately that the heart was too generic. Option C appeals to me the most simply because I’ve been looking for a ‘symbol’ to place onto the outside of my hand-made garments that would be pretty on it’s own and didn’t have to be ‘hidden’ like clothing labels typically are. I think it still needs some tweaking. For example the yasemintea inside of the circle is too small. Should I even have that inside? Also the color. I wanted aqua – yes, but is it too ‘cold’ on its own. Should I go with my other favorite: coral instead??? I am so torn and wished I was more knowledgable in how colors affect our mood etc. See, I told you these things take up so much time. I’d rather be behind my sewing machine stitching away yards & yards of fabric. It’s theraphetical to me. But instead I have to think, rethink, than overthink this whole logo! Argghhh. I just want it done already. AND I want it perfect!

Don’t even get me started on the whole ordering labels thing. There are SO MANY options. It’s worse than a typical American supermarket isle!!! I need a boutique version! Ideally, I would like to walk into a brick & mortar building and talk to an actual person and touch and feel different labels: woven, printed, ironable, sew on, center fold, end fold etc. etc. But first thing’s first. Let’s nail this look and move to step 2. Thank you friends for your help! And thank you TONI for your time & creativity. I really need & appreciate it!! 🙂

Hope you are having a great week.

Love,

Yasemin