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

First thing’s first

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Today is sort of the official start of 2014. Back to school for the kids, back to the office for my husband. I feel like I have to set a lot of things in motion this month in order to lay a solid foundation for the months ahead. But despite the my mile-long to-do list I’ve decided today to take a step back. I’ve wrapped the kids up in their warmest clothes. Send them off with a huge yummy lunch & two snacks each and crawled right back into bed with my stuffy-nosed baby. Instead of driving myself crazy on the first day I chose to make a master plan but delay the execution to another day. I did make a couple of important phone calls, however, being completely lazy is just not my thing. But not being to hard on myself is also not going to be me – not this year!!!

I cancelled the baby’s doctor visit tomorrow. She is stuffed up and I don’t want to stress her out any more with shots etc. I found a new family dentist. I scheduled my husband’s vision exam. I made a couple more phone calls that were long overdue. Not personal ones. No. Just following up with places that charge us fees that we never approved. (Thanks Lifetime Fitness!)

Anyway, I feel that this is the tempo that I need to set for this week. Maybe even for this year.

As far as sewing goes, I feel I have a head start. Over the break I’ve fallen in love with two new sewing projects. One is the hair bow tie that I found on Oliver+S’s blog and made TONS! of ever since.

First set was for Seda:

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Next up, my neighbor’s three girls:

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And these I made for my friend MP’s daughter:

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And then I made some more – just because:

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The other one is for an infinity scarf. I found a short video on youtube (don’t ask me which one, there are literally thousands).I love scarves. I wear them all the time. I think scarves are the perfect accessory. All year long. Except maybe in the heat of the summer in Texas :-). I’ve already made three for myself (only have pics of two – sorry):

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one for my friend Jen who we spent NYE with:

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And last night in less than one hour I made two more. Both from the same fabric I’ve purchased at Joann’s over the weekend. Love their sales!!!

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One is for Seda’s Kindergarten teacher. She has a birthday coming up this week. The other one is for my friend Christiane in Germany. Her birthday is in February. I think they both are going to love & use them. These scarves are crazy fast  & super simple to make but I love the drama that the put around your neck.

Here’s to a year when ‘first things are first’!

Cheers,

Yasemin

Hello 2014!

I am ready to get this year started! 2013 ended on a really high note. Looking back it might have been one of the best years of my life! It didn’t start off too well. We returned from our Holiday trip to Kentucky in ice & snow AND with the flu!!! All of us. Even the baby. We were all miserable. I hated that Stella, 3 months old then, had to go through it too. Needless to say that the first days of 2013 are a blur .

But everything got better and better as the year got into motion. I loved having had the opportunity to visit my family in Europe in June & July. Also, visiting Copenhagen while in Germany was so much fun. The kids started at their new school and loved it! Stella started eating solids, learned to walk, talk, climb, jump! All three children had beautiful birthday parties in September. Each party was different. Each was so special and unique to them. We reconnected with lots of friends here in Dallas and really made it a home after being here only a year.

On New Year’s Eve this year when we were going around the table and ‘rating’ 2013 we all chose one word that described the year for us the best. My word is SETTLE! 2013 was the year when things settled into place. I really felt like we finally settled into our house. The furniture was in the right place, pictures were hung, we entertained at several occasions, etc. etc.

Now I am excited to see what 2014 will bring. I call it the year of decisions. We have one big decision to make: Are we going to move to Germany this summer or not? You heard me right. MOVE. Not visit. After our last visit I returned home to feeling really empty but determined. I felt like I finally had discovered what I’ve been missing in my life. I wanted to give Germany a chance. This time with the family. What an experience that would be. That’s the reason why I started paying for private German lessons for them back in October. At the end of this month I will be sending applications to the International School in Hamburg and see if my kids would be accepted there for next fall. Oh boy! What did I get myself into? This year will be the year of decisions. One way or another. I really hope that it will have the overall peaceful and loving vibe of 2013. I hope that my babies & my hubby stay healthy.  I hope that I stay healthy so that I can enjoy every minute of 2014 with my loves. By the way, I just did the math: There are 50.400 minutes in a year! Wow! I am planning on staying present in 50.000 of them! Life is truly precious. It’s even more so with small children. They grow up in a blink of an eye. I hope that we will have many ‘slow’ days this year to enjoy each others company. Just like we did over the holidays. Lazy days in PJ’s. Why wait until Christmas to do that?

I hope that your year will be full of special moments with your loves.

Happy New Year!

Yasemin

Merry Christmas – Frohe Weihnachten

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I thought this was so funny and fitting for our bi-lingual family. The German School of Dallas posted it on Facebook. I printed it out for the kids and made a list of the words that needed to be translated. The kids are out now with my husband to give me some time to myself get some fresh air:-). I could just put up my feet and enjoy the calm before the storm but instead I am using this time to prep a surprise bag for them. First I will this poem to them: A little Weihnachtsgedicht

When the snow falls wunderbar,

And the kinder happy are,
When the glatteis on the street
And we all the Glühwein need,
then you know, es ist soweit
She is there, the Weihnachtszeit

Every Parkhaus is besetzt
Weil die people fahren jetzt
All to Kaufhof, Mediamarkt,
kriegen nearly Herzinfarkt
Shopping hirnverbrannte things
And the christmas glocke klings

Mother in the kitchen bakes
Schoko Nuss und Mandelkeks
Daddy in the Nebenraum
Schmücks a riesen Weihnachtsbaum
He is hanging on the balls
When he from the leiter falls
Finally the kinderlein
To the Zimmer kommem rein
And it sings the family
Schauerlich “oh christmastree”
And a jeder in the house
Is packing the Geschenke aus

Mama finds unter the Tanne
A super neue teflon Pfanne
Papa gets schlips and socken
Everybody does frohlocken
President speaks in tv
All around is harmonie
Bis mother in the kitchen runs
Im Ofen burns the Weihnachtsgans

And so comes the Feuerwehr
With tatü tata daher
And they bring a long, long schlauch
And a long long leiter auch
And they schrei “Wasser Marsch”
CHRISTMAS NOW IS IN THE ARSCH!!!
Frohe Weihnachten!

Then the kids will find this surprise bag with a note that reads:

Mosby Christmas 2013

 Dear Isaiah, Seda & Stella,

It’s Christmas Eve! I know you have been really patient counting down the days since December 1st! I hope the Advent calendar has helped ease that long wait a bit. But to help you make it through the next 12 hours of waiting for Santa to come we have something special planned for tonight. Now look inside of the big ‘deer bag’ and see what’s next …

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Inside of the bag is another note with further instructions:

You can’t open your presents yet but to help practice your wrapping-paper-tearing-skills we wrapped up something for you that you are going to like – every night!

Go ahead and find your name and see what it is …

There is also popcorn & a chocolate Nikolaus in the bag.

Before you grab the remote & select a movie (that everyone would enjoy) let’s do a dance off and shake your sillies out…

Make sure to be kind to your brother / sister(s) J.

Before you go to bed place a cookie or two & a glass of milk on Santa’s plate! Also, REMEMBER to go to bed by 9 pm!

Let the merry times begin!

Love,

Mom & Dad

Hope you will have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Frohe Weihnachten!

Love,

Yasemin

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A quick hello!

I think I am going to have to take a little break from blogging for a week or so. Things are getting quite busy with last minute preparation for the holiday. Or as my husband would put it: It’s fourth quarter! Let’s get it!!

I am 90% done with everything but the last bit is proving to be very time consuming… Yesterday, I finally got one of the more important presents I had ordered in the mail. I was so happy until I found out that they send the wrong thing!!! Arghhhh! Got that taken care of this morning. At least I hope so. They promised to ship what I had actually ordered via express mail. This mysterious thing that I can’t say the name of (wink wink) could make or break Christmas morning for one of the two older children… That’s all I can say about it at this point. Keeping my fingers crossed that Monday morning the nice mailman brings me a small package directly to the door preferably before the kids come home from school!

In other news, I am done with my LOVE ART for our bedroom.

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So excited to get this off of my table and finally on the walls. It was actually really simple and quick. A few left-over felt pieces for the letters & the heart, the largest embroidery hoop I had at home, some embroidery floss & needle!

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I just couldn’t dedicate too much time at once to it so it got pushed from dining table to sewing table to couch and back. I love where it hangs now. It complements the Nordic colors and decor we have going in our bedroom.

 

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The little pennant triangles are my favorites. AND: I got to use up don’t tiny left-over felt pieces from other projects.

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Of course, every bedroom needs some ‘love’!

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The letter are simple straight lines pinned directly onto the grey felt. No glue used here. I used embroidery floss and just whip stitched it on.

Oh, and one more update: Yesterday, I swooped the kids up from the school bus stop and zapped over to our little shopping center. After filling their always empty tummies with some yummy Belgian waffles we hit the stores and got daddy a present! One! Well, it’s a start. Let’s just see if the kids can keep quite and and tell him what we bought…

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I really gotta go. On my list:

  • 6 Christmas cloth napkins for the adults dinner table this Sunday!!! That’s super priority.

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  • One pretty pouch for my friend Jen using this cool fabric that she had commented on when I bought it in Germany and posted on Facebook back in July. She is coming to dinner this Sunday so this has some urgency as well.

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  • This embroidery loop art for the front door since I didn’t get to buy a wreath …

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  • Two pouches for the kids’ teachers for next Friday with matching tote to put the pouch & truffles in.
  • A quilt & pillow case for Seda’s friend by next Wednesday. Sorry, but it makes the perfect birthday gift I think. Plus, I get to practice my piecing skills for future projects. 
  • PJ’s for my big girl and a few smaller things sewn up for her doll Ciara but I got a little extra time for that.
  • And while I’m at it a cozy flannel pillow case for my son so he won’t feel left out. 🙂

I think, that’s about it. Gotta dash.

Talk soon I hope.

Love,

Yasemin

Update: By the time I had a minute to ‘publish’ this post I had already finished the FrontDoorEmboideryHoopChristmasFeltArt! Bam! Side note: Maybe it’s done so quickly because I ‘dropped’ the third frame. The one with the ornaments on it. Two look good together! Sometimes less is more!

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Now, my guests can come!

 

Getting things done!

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It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since Thanksgiving. First we had to cancel our long anticipated trip to California because of some bad weather on the road… And then we really got bad weather last weekend and were cooped up for 3 days with power outage and complete white out and all…

Even today, after two days of temps above 32 F for at least 6 hours a day there are traffic delays on highways, my drive way is still as slick as can be and makes parking in the garage super difficult … But the biggest upside to these change of plans is that I actually got a ton done at home! I mean A TON! Who said you had to hit the mall to do some Christmas shopping? I have everything in my studio, right here at home, surrounded by beautiful white roofs in our street and ever melting icicles on gutters, Christmas music in the background and enough water to make cups and cups of tea!

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It has been a dream. Not one dull moment indoors. This has got to be the perfect season to be cooped up. Much better than the annual obligatory summer months spent in air conditioned spaces. Having lived here in Texas the last two years I can sing a tune or two about that. Not much fun. You can’t open a window. No refreshing breeze, no break from the heat for almost 3 months straight!!!

I like this winter weather more and don’t mind parking my car, lighting the fire place & sipping on some chai for days … Granted you need electricity for that. We’ve never had a power outage in the summer. I can only immagine how miserable it would get indoors. But no power in freezing weather is no fun either. I know that from experience now. 🙂 So as long as we have power I am good to stay at home for days in the winter! Hibernating! Ahhhh… and rejuvenating from the stressful cross country move & the giving birth last year… Finally! Downtime! Momma needed that badly.

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The thing is though that I have been more productive in the last few days than ever. All my girlfriends’ gifts are made & shipped, some have already arrived at their destination. But I also got to make plenty gifts for my family. Especially my girls.

Starting with finally making the pattern for a circle skirt (following instructions by Dana from MADE).

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My first circle skirt ever was for Seda’s Red Riding Hood costume in October. For this polka dotted skirt I simple measured with a string tied to a pencil. Didn’t make a pattern for it. Just had no time then.

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Finally I taped 4 sheets of printer paper together, took Seda’s & Stella’s waist measurements and marked and cut my two patterns! Now, I can use it for many more skirts to come. All it needs it very slight modifications as the girls grow. Actually, I tend to make my pattern at least a size too large. Then I can make the finished skirt as small as possible especially around the waist. Stella’s mini-circle skirt turned out too big around the waistband. But that doesn’t bother me at all. She has the diaper bum holding everything up still :-). I will keep this pattern for the future skirt and make a slightly smaller one that she can wear right now. It’s so easy. That’s future work done today!

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For Seda’s circle skirt I used this corduroy that I had in my stash from the spring and highlighted the hem with this store bought bias tape. Boy, these circle skirts have huge circumferences which makes them perfect for twirling of course but they use up A LOT of bias tape!! It goes around and around forever!

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For Stella’s first circle skirt ever I used this fabric I purchased in Germany in the summer. It was kind of pricey so I only purchased half a meter which is almost 20 inches. I figured since my girls are still small I’ll be able to make something cute from it. I had no idea I could make 2 cute things from half a meter! Yeah! Money well spent! Love that. Stella got a holiday circle skirt and Seda get a slightly A-line skirt with a pocket! She loves her details that girl.

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I’d been looking forward to using this beautiful, woven fabric for a while now. I especially love that the roses look like antique embroideries. The fabric is warm & festive and ideal for this time of year. I can’t wait for the two girls to wear them on Christmas. First, Seda gets to wear hers to her Holiday party at school on the last day of school this year! This reminds me:  There are only 9 days left until winter break! And only one Monday in 2013 at school! Where did this year go! After losing two days of school due to ice the kids finally went back to school yesterday. All wrapped up like burritos they went on their way. With an empty house after five days of family time I finally had a chance to start wrapping presents.

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Oh, that was so much fun. Especially, with the baby fast asleep at 10:30 am! Wrapping presents is therapeutical. Perfect to slowly get into gear for the week and finish the year strong! Another bonus: All is wrapped up & one less thing on my to-do list this season. A few more things are still due to arrive on our door step any day now but other than that the majority is done. Now we can admire on our mantel for 2 more weeks. No tree for us this year. I already know that with the baby it is bound to be a disaster. She’ll step on the boxes, tear the paper (eat it!!!), take them to other rooms! throw them in the bathtub (which is my favorite – not!) etc. etc.

Talking about my miscevious 15 months old baby: She got to experience the joy of snow & ice yesterday too! I hadn’t taken her out yet. It was just too slick plus she didn’t have any boots. Thanks Old Navy for taking care of that! So yesterday when the older kids came back from school I took them to the park. We skipped German tutoring. I wanted the kids to enjoy this left-over ice & snow for another day. They didn’t get any recess at school which is sad. I wished they’d let the kids go out at pretty much any weather. I remember that recess was the best part of school – in the rain and in the snow, too. Just running around … Getting all dirty and muddy, and wet …

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Seeing the baby’s delight with new strange thing covering all the grass was priceless. I also loved that little Rudolph-red-nose that she’s got immediately. As usual, she thought she could manage walking on ice by herself. She didn’t want me to hold her hand.  It was so nice to see the kids all just play on patches of ice. No balls, no play structure, no instructions … Just slip & slide and fall and giggle. That’s how I grew up with my 3 siblings. Outdoors no matter what! Bliss!

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Anyway, I better get off the computer and keep making – things. It truly is one of the greatest joys of my life!

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What have you made for Christmas?

Love,

Yasemin

Winter Wonderland!

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Today is Friday. A school day. But with all the bad weather coming into the region last night, the school district cancelled classes today. Wise decision! It was nice to get the closure notice before we went to bed last night. I didn’t want to have to set my alarm just to find out that I could go right back to bed this morning.

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Last night, I couldn’t have even imagined how serious this storm would be. It wasn’t just freezing rain & snow as forecasted but a POWER OUTAGE!!! This time it hit only our neighborhood. Other parts of our little town weren’t affected. (Later on other parts of Dallas were affected as well :-() According to my little girl it was 2 am when we lost power. She knows because she has a night light in her room and if that thing goes out she has a free ride straight to our bed!! My poor hubby got a little crowded in the bed and slept laid on the couch instead. I was sure all would be back to normal by 7 am when everyone naturally awakens around here. But no. We weren’t that lucky. It took until 10:40 am this morning to restore power to our neighborhood.

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Boy, was I grouchy. No heat, no tea or any other form of caffeine, warm breakfast, light, etc. Kids were not too happy either. Their precious extra TV time that they would usually get on a day like today was cut. I am sure a grouchy mother was not much fun either. I had no idea how this power outage would effect our mood. The gas fireplace worked so we weren’t too cold. At least not right in front of it. But with outside temps in the 20’s it was COLD! I had been looking forward to a cozy day with the kids since last night. But without tea!!, hot chocolate, toast!! it’s not cozy…

My husband was upbeat as always. He showered with whatever hot water was left and thought he was going to head to Starbucks to get some breakfast. I just laughed. No way he was going to get his little bug free of inches and inches of ice… Yep! I was right. No such luck. Actually by the time he deiced his car the power came back on.

Then, energized by a hot cup of tea, he went on his merry way. Got some work done at Starbucks, had a hot breakfast and came back home by 2 pm. Only because the Starbucks employees kicked him out. All stores in the neighborhood closed early today. Thank goodness he made it back home safe & sound. Oh, and thank you Starbucks for the free pumpkin loaf. Since they were closing early they sent some home with my husband :-). So sweet. Tomorrow the forecast is actually looking even worse. We shall see what happens overnight. As long as we have power I am ok with that and at this time I like to take a moment to thank the power line men who fixed whatever was broken. I gotta say I never appreciated their jobs like today. Thank you for working on the coldest days of the year.

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THANK YOU POWER LINE PEOPLE FOR WORKING IN 19 DEGREES AND BRINGING US WARMTH! I hope they paid you extra today!!

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Now back to today’s sewing project:

With the power back on and nothing else to do I dedicated the afternoon to making a birthday gift for one of Seda’s friends. Unlike the many Christmas gifts I am sewing up in my studio this month I can post about this one. Sometimes I forget there are many birthday’s to celebrate before December 25th…

This little birthday girl is turning 6. She has an American Girl doll which makes it easy for me to sew for ’cause I just love making things for those dolls. Tomorrow they are planning on going to see the movie ‘Frozen’ together … only if it is not still FROZEN here at home of course :-).

I chose these fabrics:

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I used my super duper 6.5″ square quilting ruler and cut out 9 squares of three different fabrics. I think she is going to like it. I love how this one turned out. I was determined not to use Disney character fabrics although her family loves Disney with a passion. It would have been too predictable. But I didn’t want to go the pink & purple route either. Too typical girly. Instead I chose coral combined with these playful prints.

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The polka dots are my favorite. If I remember correctly from the selvage it’s organic cotton! Bam! It checks all the boxes. A perfect blanket for a little doll in frosty December. I am so excited about the binding. I hand stitched it. I could have just used store bought inexpensive bias tape. It would have been faster but I love making these gifts thinking that this girl might actually keep this one and hand it down maybe? I know I know. I am reaching here… But a girl’s gotta dream right?

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The best part about this project? I used fabric that I had at home, made the binding myself, used batting & backing, elastic and ribbon for the skirt … all from my stash. I didn’t have to go to the store for this present at all. I feel like this is the kind of gift that deserves the HANDMADE WITH LOVE stamp ribbon!

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Happy Birthday Megan!

And since it was so much fun to make a tiny pillow to match the quilt I went ahead and made one for my little girl as well. Now she can play dolls with her friend with quilt & pillow and all!

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Before I forget, here’s one more upside to this ice storm: Tomorrow’s back-to-back basketball games early in the morning are cancelled!!!!! Don’t tell the boys I am excited about this but I really really am! 🙂 It will be much more fun to make up these games when we are back in the upper 60’s. I’m just sayin’. It’s Texas. You never put away your flip-flops ’cause you never know. One day it storms the next day you are back to sweatin’.

Talking about tomorrow’s plans: We were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. We’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. It looks like it’s going to be too dangerous to drive though… We’ll decide in the morning.

This is what I’ve sewn up for our hostess:

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I think I am going to have to make one for myself as well. I love the size and how it lays flat unlike my stand up pretty pouches.

Either way, I am happy to have today off, no games tomorrow & enough food & craft supplies to make it through the weekend. My only prayer: Please power please stay ON! It sucks to be cold! There I said it! I am spoiled that way.

Stay warm people.

Yasemin

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Gratitude & Gifts

 

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It’s been 2 weeks since my last post. Some days I have so much to write about and nothing new to make. Some days I have so much to make and not enough time to write about it. Sometimes it’s like that.

In a moment of insanity my husband and I decided to spend Thanksgiving with friends in Southern California. That decision led to two weeks of planning, organizing and lots and lots of last-minute sewing for me. My goal was to have all Christmas gifts ready to mail overseas. Very ambitious goal given that I only have 2 free hours in the morning each day during baby’s nap to be productive in any way.

Our plan was to leave town on Friday just as soon as the kid’s were done with their holiday performances at school. We would check them out early and drive to California via Amarillo, Flagstaff and whatever lays en route. This would take us 2 days with one night stay in a hotel. Once in California, we would spend 3 days visiting with all our friends and then spend Thanksgiving day with dear friends in San Diego just like in years past. Well, we never left. Just as we were supposed to hit the road a winter storm was appoaching Texas. Temps were already below 20 in Amarillo – our first stop. It started raining and was so cold here at home on Friday that as we headed to the kid’s school to watch them perform ‘Where the wild things are’ we could tell that it was going to start freezing pretty soon. We literally got cold feet and decided right then and there that Thanksgiving at the beach wasn’t going to happen this year 🙁 With three smallish children every extra hour spend on the road is torture for everyone. We didn’t need to drive into a storm …

We looked at the bright side of this unexpected change of plans and started looking forward to some downtime. My husband had taken the whole week off. This was going to be a nice change of pace for us. No driving, no sleeping in hotels, no eating yucky food on the road, just us in our cozy home. So instead of filling up the gas tank quickly filled the fridge with groceries for the week and braced ourselves for the storm to come… We had enough electronic entertainment, books, craft supplies, etc. etc. Well, first day came and went, then another day and finally on the third day we decided we had enough of being cozy and bundled up and did this instead:

  • We went Christmas tree hopping which provided many family photo opportunities!

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  • My little girl and I did some sewing & finishing up projects! She had started this little quilt for her doll Ciara weeks ago. She did such an amazing job cutting the 9 squares from coordinating fabric. She pieced them together. I just sewed the binding. And just like that her little American Girl Doll has a new blanket!

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  • We decided to spend one day in Austin! We visited the Capitol, ate some yummy food and drove back home the same day.

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  • I put the finishing touches on the DOZEN or so pouches that I sewed for my girl friends in California.

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  • I also got to mail my international holiday gifts before December 1! So excited that everyone will receive their mail way before Christmas this year!!

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  • I did LOTS of crocheting – while watching TV, in the car on our 4 hour drive to Austin and back! That’s almost 8 hours of crocheting in ONE DAY! Yay for crochet! Such a mobile, easy & fun craft to do on the road!

 

  • I finally started working on the ‘Love’ art that’s intended for the wall behind our bed. This rich gray felt is so pretty and I finally get to use up some of my scrap felt pieces for the letters and bunting! Super easy & fun to make.

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  • I did some fabric shopping.

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  • Found the prettiest Washi tape at JoAnn’s!

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  • I quickly made 2 more pouches. One for our generous Thanksgiving hostess & one for her daughter. Oops, I didn’t remember to take pictures of these 🙁

Overall, this week was exactly what we all needed. Super cozy & lazy times spent in front of the fire place, reading, crafting, napping… followed by leisurely walks in crisp winter air! I can get used to this.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. Now on to the next one.

Stay cozy,

Yasemin

P.S. Girls, I hope you like your pouches :-)!

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Just when you think …

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Last week was an unusually busy week for us. Until this week! Suddenly, starting Saturday we were crazy busy. Hope that doesn’t mean next week will be even busier?!! Here’s a recap:

Last Saturday, my nine-year old played his first-ever soccer playoff game. The moment the game started the atmosphere along the sidelines became heated and hostile. My son has been playing recreational soccer ever since he turned five. We’ve spent every Saturday in the fall & spring on the soccer field – first in Southern California and now in North Texas. Some teams we played against were friendly others not so much. But this past Saturday with this being the first playoff game for eight & nine-year olds it looked like people came to win! That is at any price!! Long story short we somehow made it to the semi-finals! Yeah! We had one day to rest  before we faced off the best team in the league. Half of this team trains 2 or three times a week with professional coaches. I guess they call that pre-select soccer … It’s no understatement that we were the underdogs and as it happens a lot in life we did really well – that is until half-time. Then the tides turned and this super duper team beat us 5:2… We were out of the playoffs just like that … 🙁

That should have meant the end of soccer for us for the remainder of the year. But not so fast!! Right after the game my husband got approached by the winning team’s ‘manager’. They wanted our son to play a tournament with their exclusive select team this weekend. They wanted him at practice twice this week in order to prep for Saturday’s THREE tournament games!!!  Just when I thought we could retire the cleats & shin guards for the year we had to get back in gear – again? I tell you these sports are really a family affair. They are all-consuming even on a recreational level. The time & energy you dedicate as a family is mind blowing!

Also, these kids have to go to school too! Hello?? Especially this week when Isaiah had three benchmark tests scheduled! First time for third grade. Needless to say I cancelled this week’s German lesson to give ALL of us a little break in the afternoons at least one day this week! With the temps finally dropping to low 40’s it is so nice to have an afternoon at home with the kids.

In terms of sewing & crafting or even holiday shopping I didn’t get as much done this week as I wished. However, I finally finished my first QUILT TOP!!!! 

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My teacher was right. The most time consuming part of this quilt top was piecing the nine rows together. All I had left to do was to sew together eight 32.5″ strips and voila! I have a finished quilt top! Now, I have to find time to go to JoAnn’s to purchase the batting!

The other progress I made this week in my sewing room was finally printing out yasemintea.com labels. I used Avery (#8938) Light Fabric transfers and printed www.yasemintea.com and YaseminTea.com labels in sizes 12, 14, & 16 (mirrow imaged) and ironed them on the inside of my pretty pouches! I’ll be giving those as gifts this season!!!

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(I couldn’t decide which I liked better: www.yasemintea.com or simply: YaseminTea.com??)

I gave the chevron pouch to my son’s classroom teacher for her birthday this week. She got a little gift card in the pouch as well. You know, a Target gift card never hurt nobody :-)).

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The second person on my list this week: Our wonderful, super-organized soccer manager mom. I filled a pretty floral pouch with some of my favorite things from Whole Foods. Hope she’ll enjoy all the little organic goodness!

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Talking about soccer again, we have a fun little party planned tomorrow evening. We are going to have a end of season party and make s’mores with the team! I decided last-minute to print some of the gorgeous pictures that one of the dads takes at all our games. I am also printing the scores of each game.  After all, we scored over 70 goals this season!!! Wow! What a season! Go STARS!

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I am planning on hanging this poster in my son’s room after the party.

The ‘photographer’ dad is getting this t-shirt from us. I found it on Etsy. The perfect place for unique gifts!

Photography Camera Smile T-Shirt  Digital Camera Tshirt Photographers Tee Shirt Mens Womens Ladies Youth Kids Geek Funny

Well friends, that’s all the time I have while my baby is taking her long morning nap. It’s chilly outside and supposed to rain tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that we still get to play in this tournament. Would be sad after all the practice my boy put into it this week. Also, we would hate to cancel the team party. My daughter and I are especially excited about the s’mores tomorrow night!! So rain rain go away … 🙂

Love & Peace

Yasemin

A week in review

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Sometimes when I look back at our week I am in disbelief of all the action around here. This week feels like a typical crazy busy week in December: Frequent visits to the post office, shopping for the perfect gifts, wrapping gifts, printing pictures, eating holiday spiced goodies, receiving pretty packages from family in Germany … This all happened this week and it’s only the first week of November!

First off, the children received a huge box in the mail from my sister-in-law, Julia.

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Although it was meant as a late birthday package it felt more like Christmas to us. With temperatures dipping and the evenings getting longer we turned on the fire place and had a gift opening ceremony in front of it! I wanted to be sure that we enjoyed every inch of gift wrap and every pretty bow and detail that my sister-in-law had lovingly put together for us.

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My sister-in-law is the best. She always puts so much thought and love into her gifts. Each kid got an absolutely age appropriate and fun gift that appealed to their interest at the moment. She always knows and understands. A mom herself she is also a preschool teacher. For me she is the PERFECT mom. Patient, knowledgeable, kind. I just love her. The way she is able to spoil my children from such a long distance is a talent on its own. I  feel so fortunate to have her in our family.

But back to the package. It contained not only the treats my kids like but also an educational book for each child which is perfect since my two older ones are taking Germany lessons at the moment. The baby got this cute picture book. She sent Seda a friendship bracelet kit and Isaiah a paper airplane set. She couldn’t have picked better gifts for them! Oh, she even thought about me. She knows how much I love these crunchy chocolate covered rice crispy squares called: Nippon! Yumm! And it is no secret that I LOVE tea! She sent me this Yogi-tea called: Gluecks Tee (Happy Tea). And happy I was as I brewed a cup of this delicious herbal blend of organic cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, orange peels & hops. Ahhhhh…

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This tea is perfect to get you in the Holiday spirit. It’s also ideal to warm you up after a walk in the cold, wet fall weather. The baby and I have been taking morning walks rain or shine. Coming back inside to a hot cup of tea is instant HAPPINESS! Thank you my dear Julia! You are a gem within our family! We love you so much!

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In other news, I have spent every free minute this week trying to finish these rows for my final class this Sunday. Boy oh boy! I could have never imagined how tedious quilt-making would be. The measuring, cutting, sewing, pressing, remeasuring, RIPPING SEAMS! and finally sewing it back together!!!

Here is how far I’ve gotten as of last night.

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Of course, I should be sewing right now while baby naps but I felt like writing instead. Oh well, sometimes it’s best to step away from a project of this magnitude in order to see the wood for the trees. Instead of trees it’s: Tilt-a-Whirl, Candy Cane Triangles, Rick Racks, Half Square Triangles and don’t even get me started on those Flying Geese! Although they are my favorite once finished they are a lot of work! You mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2.5″ square, position the marked square on a rectangle, stitch on the line, trim seams to 1/4″, walk over to your ironing board, press open and repeat on the adjacent corner … Now you have only made ONE! You have to make 16! of these to yield 32.5″!!! This is seriously a test for my patience!

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Enough of quilt-making. This morning the baby and I drove to Trader Joe’s to get some grocery shopping done. I had skipped last week so you can imagine how long my wish list shopping list was … There are a few things there that no other store sells. For example: COOKIE BUTTER! Like it says on the label: All you have to do is taste it to understand! 🙂

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While there, I was also to purchase my daughter’s coaches gift. Tomorrow will be her last game of the season. We never get them anything as a team but I like to show them our gratitude with a little something sweet. Last season we gave them gift cards to our local cupcake store. Cupcakes make great gifts but who can say no to Belgian chocolates? I also loved the packaging. Hope they’ll like them, too.

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Oh, and while there I bought my all-time favorite Christmas cookie from Germany. Sugar glazed gingerbread cookies. They are not your average gingerbread cookie. To me they taste more like a pumpkin-spiced muffin! So lecker! 🙂photo 1 (2)That’s how great Trader Joe’s is! They are stocked for the holidays with the best from around the world. Perfect for gift giving and enjoying yourself!

While at Trader Joe’s I couldn’t help but stop by Half Priced Books. They emailed coupons for 20%, 30% & 40% off this week. I already took advantage of the 40% coupon on Tuesday and purchased this book:

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Today, I couldn’t find another craft/sewing book and instead got started on my Christmas shopping 2013 ! And this is what I used my 30% coupon for:

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Good for Seda! She loves to make things and loves Fancy Nancy. She is sort of a Fancy Nancy herself.

Now, I have exactly five minutes left to ‘tackle’ these Flying Geese before my baby decides she has given her mommy enough of a break napped long enough.

Of to another fun-filled, productive weekend!

Love,

Yasemin