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

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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January Recap

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Is it really time to recap January already? I usually don’t do this but I was somewhat surprised to see that today was the last day of the first month of the year. My birthday month, the month to break resolutions, the month with a wide variety of weather: warm, icy, mild, windy, wet, foggy, etc. etc. But for me the attribute that stands out the most this month is: PRODUCTIVE! Yes, January has been a very productive time in my sewing studio. I’ve come across this post and started buying up all the long & short sleeved tees for both my girls to pimp refashion into easy, breezy, beautiful dresses. What’s so awesome about this project was that not only could I knock out several of these in a week but also the fact that I could use up larger fabric scraps from my stash. Especially for my 16-months-old all I needed was a seven inches!!! That makes room in my stash and gives me an incentive to start shopping the newest spring fabrics that are out there. Also, I am way ahead of spring & summer clothes shopping for both girls. All my six-year-old ever wants to wear are dresses & skirts anyway so this project is a match made in heaven.

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So far this is what I’ve finished.

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Matching Liberty London dresses, one with a collar! My first time ever sewing a collar on a dress, the little one with a placket & three bottons (also something I don’t typically do!) I especially love the pleats on the baby’s dress. I think they are so preppy.

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Here is another view of the navy t-shirt dress with Liberty fabric. My husband preferred it without a collar and although I like it simple and clean as well I wanted to push myself and draft & sew a collar – just once.

I’ve decided to not let the girls wear their dresses before the end of winter. They have too many cute clothes that need some wear this season. One exception will be the Valentines Day dress I’ve already finished for Seda.

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I’ve used this turquoise and red Hamburger Liebe fabric from Germany.

This pair of matching dresses has already been worn and washed multiple times since I made them two weeks ago for our MLK day photo appointment at JC PENNEY.  They wear easy, wash easy, no ironing, no nothing! Easy, breezy, … you get the  point.

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And how about these two peasant dresses for Stella I’ve whipped up this month?

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This polka-dotted cuteness she’s worn several times already. It’s the softest denim I’ve ever sewn with.

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And this above version is so light & sheer. My favorite from Anna Maria Horner’s 2013 Field Study line. I’ve made a dress for Seda from it last year. She’s worn it all over Europe. Hoping she’ll still fit it this summer. She loves ‘being twins’ with her little sis’. 🙂

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I love dressing up my girls and taking hundreds of pictures. Unfortunately, the little one couldn’t care less about having her picture taken. Needless to say this picture below is not making it on the family wall. Who wants to look back in 20 years and say: WOW! That’s a HUGE cell phone!! She didn’t smile ONCE in this hour-long shoot.

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Good thing I purchased the photo session on Groupon. The $25 bucks I’ve spent still yielded ONE decent shot of all three kids:

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We got the above printed on canvas (On the final version they managed to cover up the phone in the corner.) :- Also we got a bunch of super cute individual shots of the older two:

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The baby wanted to be ‘behind’ the camera if you know what I mean. I think she believes the camera, iPad, iPhone, AND the remote are all hers! 🙂 That little thing got us ALL wrapped around her finger. But who can say no to this?

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I’ve tried to get a cute picture of the girls with daddy this past weekend but managed only ONE so-so shot.

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The baby preferred running around and terrorizing playing with the ducks. Oh well…

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This one is a tom boy I am certain of it. She competes with her big brother in activity level and dribbles the ball down the field like no other! Seda at this age was perfectly content watching the happenings from her beloved stroller with snack in hand. No need to get out climb, run, etc. etc. She had barely a scratch until she turned three. This baby is already completely scratched up, bruised up, banged up … It’s crazy. I thought it was going to get easier with the third one….

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Anyway, in other news I’ve now decided on the final fabric combo for Stella’s first quilt. I am staying with the coral hues but added this mustardy yellow to it. It’s Anna Maria Horner’s XO’s – how could I resist.

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I am hoping to start that once the Valentines heart hangers (see inspiration here) for the kid’s classmates are done. I’ve also got another birthday present to sew. It’s a shame I can’t sew anything for one of my son’s friend’s birthdays but for my daughter I have endless ideas. I am definetely sticking to matching doll & girl outfit. Seda told me I didn’t have to make a doll quilt. She said correctly that it would take too long. She is so sweet. And thoughtful. I wonder who she got that from? Oh yes, her daddy of course!! 🙂

Love,

Yasemin

Reading, Sewing and a year older!

I love how reading blogs takes you all over the world. You get to peek into other mom’s lifes. See how they live with their children, how they create … I love looking through their lenses. They take breath-taking pictures. It’s so interesting to see how winter is so different in different parts of the county. From snow storms to beach days, from fog to rain to dry, sunny Texas-like weather. It’s all happening this month in the blogesphere. It’s gorgeous. I also enjoy seeing the cozy, candy-lit homes of European bloggers. I keep adding to my blogroll everyday. (See full list here.) What’s great is how supportive bloggers are of eachother. Today I’ve discovered Rosy Little Things on Probably Actuallys blog. I love the foggy winter pictures of Oregon with all the beautiful hand-knit baby sweaters & the floral print Alicia’s little girl is wearing. So beautiful. I’ve also been reading Whitney Deal’s blog: Darling Dexter ever since I saw it mentioned on Oliver+S. Again beautiful pictures & really exceptional eye for kid’s clothes. Again on the Oliver + S blog I’ve come across My Cakies last month. I love bloggers from California. You and Mie is another new favorite of mine from Cali! Their pictures remind me of my home of 7 years… Oh California dreamin’… I miss the beach SO MUCH!!! In other news, yesterday was my birthday.  I gave myself a little break from everything. I slowed down. It was perfect! Outside it was cold cold cold and grey! I can handle the cold with blue skies but that deary grey makes me just want to cuddle up on the couch … Naturally we couldn’t go to the park in the morning. But half way through the morning it dawned on me that this is exactly what I needed. Once the baby was napping I realized how great the gift of quite is. I could actually THINK! I could BREATHE deeply. So nice for a change. Even after the older kids came home from school we took it easy. I can’t remember the last time we build these block towers together …

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All of us. Priceless! We are on-the-go and active way too often. It’s the simple quite that I am enjoying these days. I hope that’s not a sign of me getting old – or is it? 🙂 I don’t feel old. Actually, I feel very energetic & healthy! Thank goodness for that. This is me last year on my birthday:

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Seda took this picture of me when we were feeding the ducks after school. It was a cool but sunny and bright day last year. This year’s pic is taken inside. In our cozy living room in front of the fireplace.

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I just love how Seda takes pictures. It’s and art really. Not everyone can do it. I love her patience with it too. Taking better pictures is on my list of improvements this year. First I’d like to trade in my old Canon for a newer model. And then I am going to READ the manual!! I hear that there are a few simple steps like shutter speed etc. that can improve the quality of the picture dramatically. More research to be done here still! Anyway, I better head over to my sewing table and hop onto the turn-a-t-shirt-into-a-dress train that I am on this week. 🙂 After all baby has just under another hour of sleep left … Have fun, stay healthy! Love, Yasemin photo 3 (23) photo 1 (27) P.S. These piles of new solid tees are awaiting me today. One is for Seda in size 7-8 y and the other is for Stella in 24 m. I purchased them all at the Children’s Place Outlet for less than $4 each! Score!! They are super soft & long-sleeved. I usually cut the sleeves to 3/4 length which I prefer. My original idea inspired by this post was to turn the girl’s old tees into dresses but let’s be honest: Who wants to spend time & use beautiful new fabric to turn and old t-shirt into a dress? I prefer these crisp – not too expensive – ones. At least the precious time I spent in my sewing room will be well worth it afterwards. Plus the baby’s worn t-shirts and onesies are so gross from food stains … Yuck! … January 27th: Update Here’s one of the many t-shirt dresses coming out of the oven these days :-): LibertyDressWithCollar I considered keeping it simple – at first – but went with a collar and fabric covered button addition in the end. TshirtDressLiberty   Well, my muse liked the details and can’t wait to wear it. As you can probably see I haven’t even hemmed it yet. Just wanted to get the picture out of the way while the weather was pleasant. This has truly been a roller-coaster-winter. SedaNewLibertyDress

MLK Day weekend

First off, Thank you Dr. King for your contributions to humanity!

Friday started our fun-filled weekend. It was a weekend custom made for my sport-loving family: back-to-back soccer, basketball & futsol games! Friday night through Sunday night! Also, some great football watching on Sunday as well! But as much as I enjoyed the athletic part of the weekend I also enjoyed getting haircuts with Seda, shopping for kid’s outfits for the studio visit on Monday, topped off by a visit to the Dallas Zoo yesterday!

Friday afternoon: First haircut of 2014:

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Then off to a sunset-soccer game:

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Saturday morning basketball:

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Sunday shopping with only the girls:

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And, since when does Restoration Hardware look like this? Wow! I think I need to get out more often :-).

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Monday morning photo studio: Kids are ready to get their pictures taken.

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Well, not everyone is ready or HAPPY!

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And this one is always ready for the camera even if the camera man isn’t …

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Right after the studio a quick visit to Whole Foods Market to get re-energized. See, how happy the baby is now? 🙂

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And then off south to the Dallas Zoo! 

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The colors were gorgeous on this perfect holiday with temps in the upper 60’s and a clear blue sky!

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Stella loved her first visit to the zoo. The bigger the animals the better. Those giraffes were so cool! She kept calling them: doooogs … We’ll have to come back more often so she can get that straightened out. With $5 entrance until the end of February that should be doable!

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The giraffes were very friendly. We didn’t pay an extra $5 to feed them but they were happy to just reach for whatever else we had in our hands and came really really close anyway.

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All in all, we had a great weekend! So today, Tuesday, feels like a Monday to me with the kids off to school, and the baby napping already. The house is extremely quite and my PC decided to work for now …. Thanks Windows. 

Late last night, I’ve done some advance-cleaning in order to have more sewing / creative time at day light this morning. These days I am into turning simple tees into dresses & tunics for my girls. I was so pleased with the way these dresses turned out I started ‘shopping’ my stash for for fabric options for the next project.

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The options are endless. The next dress is going to have a circle skirt instead of the above bubble skirt.

I (heart) sewing! 🙂

Yasemin

 

 

This week in pictures

I’ve been following blogs from overseas for a while now. One thing that I notice that they all do is a post about their typical day / week in pictures. Not too much text. Just simple captions. No lengthy tutorials, descriptions, paragraphs, just pictures. They mostly use Instagram as a means to communicate with their followers on a regular basis and do post online weekly, bi-monthly or some even just one a month. They also do a lot of guest blogging. Hmmm? That has me thinking …

I use Instagram as well (mosbyfamily). I love how you can edit the pics there. You get a glimpse. Love that. Even the most mundane things look cool on Instagram. Like this selfie Stella took of her shoes! She used some filter… don’t ask me… I didn’t do it! 🙂

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I’ve been trying to remember to take pictures of things we do on a daily  basis. Most of us have a certain routine that we do (with small exceptions – of course). For us this week was sort of busy but only once the older kids came home from school. My mornings with the baby were pretty relaxed & nothing out of the ordinary. The weather was pleasant. A little too cool for the park early in the morning, a little too windy later on but still we could keep our routine going this week.

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Stella and I took many walks and realized how brown all the grass around us has gotten, how bare the trees are but how beautiful the winter sky still is and so bright & blue!

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I am glad she discovered the camera app on my phone. Usually she calls people or just deletes my apps which can be very frustrating for me. She is also getting better at giving me my phone back once we are ready to get back in the car or whenever I feel like she’s wipes her little finger across my screen enough. Also, today is her 16 months birthday!! (Pictured here in the new bubble-skirt-dress that I am making for both girls this week. I got the inspiration to turn a simple tee into a dress here.)

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I can only snap a really quick pic before she reaches for my phone! 🙂 It’s too funny!!

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She is getting so fast on her feet now & so talkative too. We even noticed she likes to imitate the songs on the radio. Super out of tune. No wonder. She got that from me :-). Sorry Butch!

Oh, have I shown you my newest fabric treasures? What a steal these were and how cute are the polka dots!!!

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I purchased only very little of each  but I already know I am going back for more of the top one (thin denim with tiny white dots). I can turn another t-shirt into a dress adding the denim. Oh, my girls would love that!

All in all, a very nice week for our family.

Happy weekend everyone!

Yasemin

P.S. I’ve updated my list of daily online reading here. I’ve come across new European bloggers that I LOVE!

 

 

 

What a week

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Last week was packed. Back to school, back to EVERYTHING! It included lots of cleaning the house – 2 weeks of all five of us here took a toll on my obsessive organizing & cleaning. Well, time was better spent enjoying each other’s company and exploring our town, eating out, shopping, having company over etc. I can truly say that I felt like the cleaning lady of the house once everyone was out of the house Monday morning. It was hours and hours of sweeping, scrubbing, wiping, mopping, vacuuming, folding a DOZEN loads of laundry!!! I almost passed out.

 

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(Who needs a gym when you have two thousand square feet of wooden floors to mop?)

Baby Stella was under the weather and instead of sleeping more she whined more and wanted to be held – more! We couldn’t even do our morning walks to the park because of the bitter cold and wet weather. So no distraction here. I felt especially sad for my older two who didn’t get any recess ALL week. That’s got to suck big time. Couped up at school for seven hours! The weather didn’t improve until the weekend which didn’t really make a difference on Saturday because we had an early basketball game and friends over at 2 pm. No park time. Just more cleaning for me! 4 hours non-stop post game & before company arrived!!! Carpel tunnel syndrome is no joke!!

I prepared a classic three course afternoon tea with my all-time favorite finger sandwiches, homemade chai, fresh minty iced tea and scones with whipped cream (didn’t want to make another trip to the store for clotted cream- sorry). Good company & good food almost justified all the work ahead but not quite … By the time our company had left I was cleaning again and opted for a taco take-out for dinner. Had I cooked that night it would have been the straw that broke the camels back. No kiddin’!

This week had everything g in it from house work (see above pictures), errands – lots of errands!, cooking, tutoring (kids’s started German lessons back up! Yeah for that!!), lots of indoor sports (basketball & futsal):

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We had a teacher’s birthday on Wednesday who I made this infinity scarf for:

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Seda told me she wore it immediately and didn’t take it off all day!!! 🙂

And our neighbor’s daughter turned 11 on Friday. I made her this gift:

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Seda had been waiting for some clothes for her new doll since Christmas so I started on those:

Exhibit one is an everyday skirt with adorable ribbon sewn to the lower part of skirt. Polka dots for extra fun.

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Exhibit two is my first attempt to make a coat! No collar, no belt, but a cute golden bottom! Made from a left-over Henry Miller fabric I had in my stash’photo 1 (13)

And while I was at the sewing table I felt like making more of these just to have in my stash for last-minute birthday gifts:

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And these little hair bow ties inspired me to start my own flickr page. I posted & tagged the oliver+s group there. I love how easy these are to make & that the instructions are free. Thanks Oliver + S! 

And unfortunately a computer crash!!!! That’s also the reason why I am using my son’s kindle to write this post. But on a positive note – a very very positive note: I finally had an email exchange with the graphic designer who is going to be doing a logo for YaseminTea!!! This feels like a late Christmas gift to me or better yet an early birthday present. It was a long time coming … say since September 2013! Two unexpected set-backs from two different designers later we got a line of communication!!! I am over the moon about this recent progress and cannot wait to add a professional look to my site and a cute label to everything I sew. Fingers crossed I’ll have a working computer soon and a fresh look to my online appearance. 🙂 Stay tuned.

Love – always,

Yasemin

Kids & Christmas

I have to say, I miss sitting in front of my PC to write down what’s happening around here… It’s been five days and I’ve been super busy – as expected. But not taking at least a few minutes to ‘reflect’ on the last few days makes me feel unorganized. Boy, but this week was packed! With my husband travelling one more time before the end of the year it’s been extra busy for me. It meant I had to be dressed and out the house with ALL kids by 7:30 am! I hadn’t taken the kids to school in a few weeks and didn’t realize how bad the construction on this relatively short drive had gotten. Oh, I so hope that everything will be fixed by the time school starts in January. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with traffic, construction etc. etc. on the road EVERY DAY! That can take a toll on a person.

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Once back home from dropping off the children, I had to tie all loose ends around here before they are off for the year tomorrow! All little packages have to arrive – now!!! Starting tomorrow afternoon I won’t have the freedom to spread out on the dining table and take my time wrapping gifts. Kids will be around and nosy!!! Last year I had to wrap the last packages inside of my closet. Trying not to let it get there this time. Talking about last minute gifts though, last night Seda’s present arrived in the mail.

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I ordered a photo book for her that I am so excited about. It’s pictures from six years of SEDA! All the cute faces she makes, all the fun places she’s already been to, all of the fun clothes she wears!!! Priceless. So far, my favorite gift under the tree this year. ‘The world according to Seda’. One page has all of the pictures she has ‘edited’ on my husbands Ipad. They are so funny. Makes me smile to look at them.

In other news, I am weaning off the baby. She’s 15 months now and that’s about the time I weaned her big brother & sis off as well. I really need to prioritize my sleep in the new year. 15 months of interrupted sleep cycles is wearing me down. The kids need me to be well rested in the mornings. I can’t justify coasting through the day. It’s been a couple of rough nights & nap times around here. But once this little munchkin finally settles down, she is so peaceful & I am so peaceful & PRODUCTIVE!! I just love my children – especially when they are asleep :-).

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Although, she is pretty darned adorable ‘awake’ as well! 🙂

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Oh, and here is the pouch I’ve made my friend Jen on Saturday. They came over for dinner on Sunday. It was so good to hang out. It’s nice that all our children like to play together as well. PLUS: The men get along really well, too!!! Yeah!

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And this is the present we gave Seda’s friend Chloe for her 6th birthday yesterday. I had no idea how many birthday gifts I would be making this month. Foolishly, I had been focusing on Christmas only instead. Next year I need to take into account how many birthday gifts I have to make / buy for December friends, too.

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Chloe has gotten a violet & yellow combo doll quilt & pillow. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for the ‘standard’ Yasemin Tea doll skirt. Instead I made the quilt extra large and also the pillow is huge & fluffy. Perfect for her American Girl doll.

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Unlike the other doll quilts I’ve made, this one does not consist of equal squares. I changed it up a bit. Each time I construct one of these little doll quilts the picture in my head of my king-sized dream quilt is becoming clearer & clearer… One day soon I wish to tackle this grand task of making a huge quilt pieced together only of my favorite fabric scraps. Some day in 2014…

On today’s to-do list: TEACHER’S GIFTS! I better get to them before my baby decides she has napped enough. Otherwise, I’ll be doing more of this:

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Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone. It’s almost Christmas!!

Love,

Yasemin

It’s beginning to look …

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We are only three days into December and I have decided that this is going to be a great finish to an already amazing year. I feel ahead of schedule in terms of gifts & Christmas related stuff in general. I decided that this year’s motto is going to be: Simply Christmas! Nothing too elaborate nothing too time-consuming or expensive, nothing that costs a lot of stress … Simply Christmas! I even purchased the kid’s advent calendar this year! I’ve never done that before. Usually these are the welcome opportunities for crafters like me to go overboard. But not this year. Not when Playmobil makes these cute boxes. At a price of $19.99 who has time & energy to make one? I don’t!

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Behind each door is a piece of the castle setting including princess bride & groom, king, armoire, a chest of gold etc. etc.

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And how about this little thing for a buck from Trader Joe’s? A tiny square of milk chocolate to sweeten each morning. Perfect!

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Oh, there is more: My friend Elke sent this cute card from Germany just in time to open the first door. Behind each door is a cute gingerbread ornament.

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I am liking the idea of keeping it simple this year very much. At first, my Christmas to-do list was long. I intended to make a whole set of fabric & felt ornaments. That’s why these guys have been hanging on my wall for weeks as a reminder.

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I even planned on purchasing some ornaments in the jazzy new colors that have been displayed in stores since October! But why? That’s not going to make our holiday any better. Not mine, not my husband’s (he is always happy to not have to buy anything anyway :-)). As for the kids? They don’t know the difference when it comes to old or new home decor in the first place. It saves me another long wait in line at the store which baby Stella is thankful for too! All around a good decision!! Pat pat pat …

This year I am using as much fresh seasonal greenery as possible.  Add a couple of candles and voila! Done! The post-holiday clean-up at the end of the month will be so easy. Plus, I don’t have to store anything else which means less clutter!!! Amen to that! SIMPLY CHRISTMAS!

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As far as holiday cards? Done in 30 minutes at home! I used this picture below that a kind stranger volunteered to take of us last week, put a little app magic to it (I used the free app Pic Collage & Over) and printed on photo paper at home! Sorry Shutterfly. You ain’t getting my money this year. I have places to go, people to see …

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Alternative card option:

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Regarding kid’s visit with Santa? We’ve already gotten that out of the way after Thanksgiving, too. We went to Watters Creek. No lines. No hassle. Kid’s had extra time to bond with Santa. So sweet. Isaiah asked for a LeBron James jersey. Santa couldn’t hide his dislike … he he he. After all, we are in Texas and he had to rub it in that he prefers the San Antonia Spurs. Dang Santa! What happened to being bias??? He almost blew his cover. I wonder how long my son will believe in the magic of Christmas anyway. Seda asked for an American Girl doll. So far she has (only) a bitty twin – Ciara. She had an unusually happy smile on her face – first time for her. Of course, if you get to ask this man in red for an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL you better smile ear to ear.

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Not surprisingly the baby screamed on all but one picture. You can still see the little tears. I love this look though. It’s a classic one-year old meats the big guy kind of look. Precious.

In other news, I have absolutely NO IDEA what to give my hubby for Christmas. He is better at this than me. He always thinks of something that I don’t even dream of but really really love all the more. This year I got NOTHING! I know what I am not doing: clothes, perfume, hat, socks, books … I do that every Father’s Day, birthday & Christmas, too. He loves technology. But he is up to date on those. He doesn’t wear a watch and thinks those are obsolete which I don’t agree with but anyway. So what’s left? He doesn’t wear jewelry – obviously. He doesn’t craft or have any other handy hobbies. He could use a pair of designer glasses. Hmmm?? I am thinking… still thinking… I’ve done photo books which he loved. I’ve done a personal horoscope & analysis which he LOVED! Now what? Golf? Still thinking … Well, this might be THE ONE challenge for me this season.

I’ll keep thinking and leave you as usual with LOVE! This one’s in form of a banana peel courtesy of my 6-year old.

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She sees beauty & love everywhere. On that note:

Love,

Yasemin