Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolutions: Thursday Think Tank

Thursday Think Tank

Oh the shame...I am finally posting my TTT for the week after reading my good friend Erin's TTT post.  I am glad she motivated me and I am unhappy to report that I was absent because once again I was sick.  I KNOW!!!!  I feel like all I do these days is report illness from the MRL Household.  This time it was a full blown 48 hr all the fluids leave your body one way or another virus.  Was that an over-share?  I'm sorry...I wasn't even able to read my emails via smart phone I was feeling so dizzy.  Luckily, the virus has passed and I am on the mend.  Still sticking to a BRAT diet though (bananas, rice, apples and toast) and checking the girls' temperatures regularly for signs of ickiness.

Anyway, to more important things.  I loved Erin's idea of brainstorming some New Year's I'm going to jump on her bandwagon and Think Tank a few of my own!

I am pretty anti-makeup.  Anyone who knows me in real life will tell you that when it comes to make I just Don't.  Sure, I wear it for special occasions, girls night out, dates with the Mr., and when I need extra confidence for an important trial at work.  But for the most part I go without.  That's right, no foundation, no mascara, not even gloss.  AND when I do wear makeup I wear mascara and chap stick...basic basic basic.  I abhor foundation and coverup...bleh.  I just don't see the point of painting a whole bunch of nonsense I am just going to have to wash off later and quite frankly, I'd rather spend the extra time in bed sleeping than in front of the mirror each morning.  Hahahaha!

But, I have always been blessed with clear skin, what is known as peaches and cream complexion.  Sigh, and recent hormonal shifts have changed all that.  For the first time in my life I - Have - Acne.  Ugh.  Now each time I go to the bathroom I look in the mirror and cringe as I wash my hands.  I felt embarrassed looking like a teenager going through puberty!  I finally understand what inspires some women to refuse to leave the house without what I call "the works" on their face.


Now don't get me wrong.  I still don't think all women need to paint it on each and everyday (Mommy...) ...but I am going to be more open minded and start wearing makeup more regularly myself.  I will be wearing some primer, foundation, blush, eyeliner and mascara to work until the acne clears up.  It makes me feel so adult!

Fabric Buying
Well I've been pretty good about cutting back on my fabric purchases.  But, I need to make a strong commitment to continue this trend.  Why?  Hahhahahaa, I have So Much Fabric and So Many Projects that I need to finish!  Agh!  I need to Make More and Buy Less.  That said, here are some favs that I think will find their way into my stash in the year 2012...hey, a girl's gotta live a little right?

Melody Miller for Kokka - Ruby Star Shining

How about you?  Any must have fabric collections in 2012?  Oooh...maybe you shouldn't tell me...

Clean House
Lately it seems the Mr. and I keep sniping at each other about the state of our household.   There is always something to be cleaned and always something that can be cleaner.  I will never be a neat freak, I just can't spend my time that way...

...but we could try a little harder.  It seems that the source of our discontent is different priorities at conflicting moments.  I tend to go nuts about cleaning in the morning whereas the Mr. is more of a night cleaner.  I think we need to make a schedule and that will help us keep better track and snipe less. Hmmm if only the girls were big enough to take on chores...hahahahahaaa...

How about you?  Any New Year's Resolutions?  Do share...

- rebecca lynne

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011


Merry Christmas to All!

- rebecca lynne

p.s. learn how to make your tree glow here...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nobody touches fur once or cashmere once - Joshua Wesson [Thursday Think Tank]

Thursday Think Tank
I have been very MIA...I'd like to blame it on Christmas but that would be totally unfair to my favorite holiday!  To be completely honest I am under medical orders to "take it easy" so I've been doing just that.  [More on why in a post-holiday post...but for those of you who care don't worry I'm fine!]  Suffice it to say I took 3 days away from the computer.  Can you believe it?  That seems like a lifetime doesn't it?  Hahahahahaa...I promise not to faint on least not until after I'm done!

In fact, I am very excited to be back online and posting for Thursday Think Tank.  I recently had a major lusting over a new idea of mine involving...


Hahahahhaaa blame it on the weather, the ridiculous snow/rain we've been having, or the fact that my favorite pair of cashmere sweatpants have a huge rent in them.   Whatever the reason there it is.  Yes, you read that right, cashmere sweatpants.  Doesn't everyone have a pair???  Well you should.

Recycled Cashmere Blanket

Sun Moon Lake Recycled Cashmere Blanket via Apartment Therapy
I've drooled over the idea of a recycled cashmere blanket since 2008 when I first came across Sun Moon Lake Cashmere Quilts.  At the time these gorgy quilts cost $900 for the largest size.  Excuse me - WHAT?  Unfortunately, now in 2011 in the hopes that these prices have grown more reasonable, I cannot find hide nor hair of Sun Moon Lake Goods.  If you should find them please do let me know!

What I DID find is this article by none other than Moonching Wu, the creator of Sun Moon Lake Goods!  Hollah!  The article instructs you how to create a Cashmere Patchwork, is anyone else as excited as I am?  So of course now I am in a mad frenzy to collect old cashmere sweaters from friends and loved ones.  I'm also thinking of popping into the local thrift shops...who knows I might get lucky.

Taking Cashmere Trades/Donations!
Have an old cashmere sweater you'd like to donate to my cause?  I'll happily trade you some fabric if you'd like!!!

Cashmere Hooded Scarf
Now come on...once I'm thinking of cashmere I couldn't just stop at one project.  I've been in the middle of creating a few hooded scarves for friends and am close to finishing up a knitted Christmas gift.  So it makes sense that knitting is the next connection when it comes to cashmere (said in sing songy voice).  

What I want to use is THIS...

Jade Sapphire's Genghis Cashmere Yarn in La Nuit

To create another one of THESE...

The Mr. MRL - a big thanks
MRL Hooded Scarf
 Interested in the Pattern? Email me.  
For me...not for him.  I just couldn't help using this photo again!  Hahahahhaaaa!

Any projects you can think of with cashmere?  Do share...I'm in lust.  If it is getting cold and snowy near you (no, I do not mean you Aussies obviously...) do wear something warm...cashmere perhaps?

- rebecca lynne

Feel free to rattle off anything that has been brewing in your creative heads.  It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  Have a blog?  Grab the Thursday Think Tank button displayed on the right.  

Please leave a link to your T.T.T. on your blog in the linky party below or leave a comment with your Thursday Think Tank ideas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

No, this kind of stocking isn't for your feet love... [TGIFF]

Confession...I finished this stocking way earlier in the week.  But, ya know, it is just not easy to take photos around here with two little ones running around!  I do hope you'll enjoy these (I especially like the reflection of the tree's lights in the glass...snicker...then again you can see my reflection too...ha).

Miss E's Christmas Stocking: Finished!


Here is a lovely detail shot of the upholstery embellishment I used.  I think next time I'll use contrasting trim to the color of the stocking but I just loved this red trim so much I couldn't pass it up!


Last, a shot of the family of stockings (minus 2).  I think it fits in fairly well don't you?


And what did Miss E have to say about her New Stocking?  "Ooooooh"  and then without drawing breath "Mommy, where's Vina's?" she asked oh so innocently.  Hmmph. Well, I am the one who insists that she look out for her sister!  I suppose I should be tickled pink that she's actually doing it!

Linking up to TGIFF hosted by none other than the Lovely Lucy this week...  Go check it out...

- rebecca lynne

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Have yourself a little bit of pampering...

Thursday Think Tank

I literally JUST finished all of my Christmas Gift shopping.  Whew hew!!!  Of course, I don't subject myself to the mobs.  I buy everything from the sanctity of my computer.  

Now that this is done I think it is time for some pampering.  We could all use a little TLC for ourselves around this time of year too.  As a few of you have mentioned drama, buying presents, decorating, the countdown to those big holiday parties...well it all adds up doesn't it?  So what are you doing to take care of you?

I've been tossing and turning these days...unable to just relax peacefully into sleep.  But I'm thinking an eye mask might help a little bit.  Or at least make me feel glamorous!  So this is definitely top on the list.

minkee eye mask pattern from Prudent Baby

Yes I'm sure we'd all love to leisurely pop out the door and head to our favorite salon for a nice mani & pedi.  Hahahahaha...I'd love to figure out what to do with my two little ones while that happens!  And imagining them waiting patiently while I get a pedicure done?  Ha!  Instead...I think I'll just have to lock myself into the bathroom and take matters into my own hands.  For tips on how to prettily pamper your piggies head over to Real Simple.

Easy-at-home Pedicure

When in doubt, and when feeling a bit blue, or challenged by some snippy comment from some not so well meaning family member... SMILE.  Studies show that there are definite health benefits to smiling, and did you know that if you hold your smile long enough (a few minutes) it actually works towards making you feel happier?  No joke jake.  

Personally...I like the following saying about smiling and I smile just remembering it...

Perhaps when we all have time to do so we can start a Smile Pillow Crusade.  I know we all have someone in our lives suffering from depression - perhaps even ourselves.  It is time to acknowledge, embrace, and stand strong for those with depression and let them know they are not alone.  Think about making a smile pillow for someone you love...hey, in the very least they can take their aggression out on it when they have the impetus to hit something! [I know I would.  ;)]

Honey Pie Designs

My Point?  Take care of you too. 

- rebecca lynne

Feel free to rattle off anything that has been brewing in your creative heads.  It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  Have a blog?  Grab the Thursday Think Tank button displayed on the right.  

Please leave a link to your T.T.T. on your blog in the linky party below or leave a comment with your Thursday Think Tank ideas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holly's Molly

Holly's Molly

Holly's Molly
A simple pasta recipe that is all about the most basic of ingredients and amazing flavor!  The key with this recipe is timing and the order of adding your ingredients.  This is a dish served best Right As you sit be sure to time it carefully.

- package of pasta (bow tie or penne work best)
- fresh mozzarella
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh basil
- virgin olive oil

- pot to boil pasta
- sharp knife for cutting
- cutting board
- spoon for tossing
- large serving bowl

Holly's Molly

While your pasta is cooking prepare you will prepare your other ingredients.  Slice up your tomatoes into edible pieces - I prefer mine to be sliced narrowly.  Chiffonade your basil which basically means stack some of the leaves on top of one another, roll them up, and slice up roll so that you are left with slender long slices of basil.  Slice up the mozzarella and set aside (it will melt in pasta so don't worry about how it looks!). 

When pasta is done cooking drain.  Place the pasta in the bowl you would like to serve.  You will want to add the next ingredients quickly because the pasta should be steaming to melt the cheese...follow the order carefully to get the best flavor and texture.  1) Add the tomatoes to pasta and mix, the tomatoes should lend some juice to the pasta.  2) Next add your basil...stir together.  3) Add a bit of olive oil (this is best done by should slicken the pasta but not drown it) you can always add more so start with a light hand...  4) Add your cheese.  If you've got your timing down correctly the cheese will melt in the pasta and become a bit stringy.  Be sure to serve soon otherwise cheese will congeal and clump.  Best served hot and fresh!  Feel free to add more olive oil by taste.

Serve with Bread, Fresh Parmesan, and Salad and your good to go!

Holly's Molly

Easy peasy comfort food that is so delicious.  Let me know if you whip some up!!!  For more deliciousness head over to A Quilter's Table to check out what other quilter's are eating...

- rebecca lynne

Monday, December 12, 2011

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care... I've said time and time again math is NOT my strong suit.  No big surprise then that I woke up in a panic the other night as I realized that we would have 6 at Christmas...and I only have 5 stockings.  Imagine deer in the headlights look NOW.

Here are my five stockings in all their unhung glory.  Not your traditional stockings by any means...
5 Stockings

They are made with upholstery fabric with lots of tassels and beaded embellishments.  And each one is lined with a quilted satin fabric.  Yum! Talk about decadent.  They complement the Antique and Vintage furniture I love so much. I bought them long before the idea of children had ever entered my mind and in recent years I have been feeling that they are a tad stuffy for my squishes.  I grew up with hand knit stockings in traditional red, white, green with Santa Claus theme.  The best thing about them was that because they were knit they kind of grew as things were stuffed inside!  The Mr.'s family stockings are made of felt with cute little symbols on them to differentiate each person's personality (drum, teddy bear, kitten, mine has a sewing machine on it...)

Upholstery Closeup


BUT...the Mr. really likes our current stockings so I haven't found support in my attempts to replace them with more child friendly stockings.  Hmmph.

Since it doesn't seem like I am going to get very far in this argument with the person who happens to hold the purse strings...I've decided to work around the problem.  :p  Instead of replacing ALL of my old stockings (which will happen eventually, mark my words) I've decided to make a few new stockings in this upholstery vintage style for the girls that will be more child friendly instead.  For the first stocking I've chosen classic Christmas Colors - Red and White.  

Sneak Peak...

Stayed tuned for later this week when I'll have Miss E's stocking finished!  

Linking up to Rainbow Hare Quilt's Making Christmas!  What kind of stockings, if any, do you use?  Any family traditions?

- rebecca lynne

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

I have been so lucky to have met so many wonderful people via blogging.  Isn't it crazy how cool people are from halfway around the world?  How you can relate with someone from another city, state, or country just through the internet?  You may never have the opportunity to sit down and lunch with them in person...and yet...they may be the person that you lean on (via email for example) when you have this or that thing going on in your life.  

Well, I definitely have a this or that thing going at the moment on as a few of my close blogging friends know and I am so grateful that I have you to understand and support me on my not 100% days...or weeks...ahem...

Anyway, today I'd like to thank my amazing British Friend Lucy!  If you don't know her you should visit Lucy over at her blog Charm About You.  She is one of the warmest people out there and I love reading her blog because it isn't just about is also about the realities of raising little ones too.

Lucy just sent me this wonderful package below...with treats!  [Treats which I had to convince the Mr. not to eat until I had taken a photo.]


Now yes yes yes the pouch is adorable and I am so putting it to use this week as I venture on my next 8hr road-trip to the Northeast but really let's not lose perspective here.  This is really all about the MARMITE!  HELLO!  Marmite anyone?  I know this is so lost on my American friends...but pretty much owe Lucy f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  Hahhahahahahaa!


Here is to Lucy!  Chica you Rock My World!  Thank you sooooo much!!!!  
xoxoxoxoxo Becca

Friday, December 9, 2011

DIY Gift Giving [Thursday Think Tank...late]

There is a serious battle waging over here...a serious battle with our internet service that is.  Each time I have sat down to write, edit, post this week's TTT I have major internet connection issues.  Since Wednesday night EST I've been struggling to get my email loaded let alone read and answered!  Trying to write anything on blogger has been completely futile.  Hopefully the issue has resolved itself and I at least seem to be able to work off our laptop...I'm boycotting the desktop until I get my blood pressure back down.

Thursday Think Tank

Anyway...that is why this week's Thursday Think Tank is being posted on Friday, late Friday.  :p  At least it has given me additional time to brainstorm.  And what have I been thinking about?

Always a big risk aren't they?  You have to be careful about who you make a gift for, what you make them, and how much time you will spend doing it.  In the majority of cases DIY gift receivers will not have the same gratitude that store bought gift givers have.  After all, no returns eh?

With that in mind I am very wary about who I make gifts for.  Plus, I'm very thoughtful about what I make.  Here are some things I have been debating recently for the adult gift receivers in our life...

Makeup Brush Roll
After my success with the crayon roll I thought wow, making a crayon roll for the makeup crazed ladies in my life wouldn't be difficult at all!  My biggest obstacle with this idea is knowing how many, and what sized pockets to create.  I'm useless when it comes to makeup so I really have no idea...any suggestions ladies?


Yoga Mat Carrier
While this project would take a large amount of is also very simple.  And since the few true Yogis I know also place value on DIY gifts it would be worth the fabric and the time it would take to create a few of these.  Sounds like a happy solution right?


Homemade Cookies
I am not one for giving comestibles as gifts.  At our wedding I insisted on giving a tangible gift because I feel that food is a given.  Perhaps it is the Cuban in me but I believe offering food is a matter of course, good manners, a no know, like providing a decent bathroom for guests, you just have to.  A gift is a step above that as it requires thought and heart and therefore comestibles as gifts is a cheat.  So, it is a rare thing for me to think of giving food as a gift.  But...there are times and certain people for whom it applies such as work colleagues you barely know or your children's teachers.  I just don't know these people as well and cookies are just a cute thing to give if you've done it yourself - or with the help of a small child!

cookie wrapping
Wine Bottle Wrapping is one thing.  Booze is another.  I do heartily support the idea of giving a very nice bottle of something or other to friends who would appreciate it.  These days it is getting harder to do that as I find that the older we get the more refined, and therefore expensive, our taste is getting.  But still...I do enjoy the Mr. gifting a Good Bottle of Scotch and then watching him enjoying it with friends!  I suppose when you have young children as we do your alcohol intake becomes selective and therefore better appreciated.  So...why not decorate your bottled gifts?  I found a great DIY Wine Bottle Wrapping post to peruse, if you like this idea check it out!


WOW!  I think I am actually going to be able to Post this T.T.T.!  Agh!  I have a lot of catching up to do...still...  With any luck I'll have internet this weekend and can play blog catch up.  If you have any diy gift giving ideas of your own please share...I still have some adults I need presents for and I'd love the inspiration!

Feel free to rattle off anything that has been brewing in your creative heads.  It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  Have a blog?  Grab the Thursday Think Tank button displayed on the right.  

Please leave a link to your T.T.T. on your blog in the linky party below or leave a comment with your Thursday Think Tank ideas!  

-rebecca lynne

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Start to wrap it up!

I had a very productive Christmas Making end to last week...motivated as I was by my extended family that was visiting over the weekend!  I've actually been getting a lot done around here, but with family visiting and children going to bed late I haven't had the time to document my doings with photos.  Tsk tsk...such a hard balance isn't it?  Anyway, here are some shots I managed to take to update you with.

I finally experimented with wrapping!  As I mentioned here I really wanted to do the plain brown paper with fabric rosette wrapping.  I love how it turned out!  What do you think?  A bit I might want to have make different fabric color choices to create a more elegant look but these gifts were for some young ones in my family.


And what is inside these lovely packages?  Crayon rolls!  But silly distracted has too much on her plate ME forgot to take formal photos for the blog.  Ooops!  Not to fear though...these were the first of a few I have to make and I am going to revise my design.   Luckily I snapped a few photos of the crayon roll being opened by my sister-cousin's daughter.



I really wanted to do rainbow pockets with the DS Quilts fabric I collected over this year and I really do love the result of it.  But...the fabric doesn't hold down the crayons well...they seem to slip and slide a tad.  So...I think what I am going to do in my future rolls is have the backing (the black in this photo) be fleece to secure the crayons from slipping as much.  Also, I might make my pockets less wide...but this roll was for my youngest crayon roll receiver and I wanted her to be able to get the crayons in and out easily.  The older kids have more dexterity and I think more narrow pockets are appropriate.

Well the time has come for me to really create a list and stick to it.  It is, after all, December.  The clock is ticking.

MRL Christmas List
- decorate tree
- hang garland
- hang advent calendar(s)
- create christmas cards
- MAIL christmas cards (need to buy envelope labels)
- sew crayon roll [1 done, 3 to go...]
- silver ball chandelier
- rosettes for presents [need more]
- brown paper for presents 
- sew stockings
- cookies
- hang outside lights [Mr.'s Job]
- sew table runners (started)

Actually not that bad all considered!  I just need to get going and FINISH MORE MORE MORE!  I'll have more photos soon of a new gingerbread house, the silver ball chandelier, and my latest acquisitions from a antique shop run!   (<-- I'm not even going to edit this instead I'll just share my embarassment.  I'd just like to point out that that was three ! in a row.  I haven't even had coffee.  What is going on over here?)  How are your holiday preps going?

Do visit Making Christmas over at Rainbow Hare Quilts...perhaps everyone's projects will inspire you to start playing Jingle Bells too...

- rebecca lynne

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Style TTT [Thursday December 1, 2011]

Thursday Think Tank
Anyone who reads MRL regularly knows that I have been preparing for Christmas since Halloween.  Actually...before Halloween...  In the very least I began fantasizing about Christmas in September, okay, maybe in August after my birthday.  It is, after all, my favorite holiday!!!

Confession.  I bought Christmas Music before Thanksgiving.  To be fair it was to help me decorate the tree which I did early anyway...  But still.  Christmas Music before Thanksgiving?  I mean...even I usually have very strict rules about those sorts of things.  The funniest part about this though is that Miss E is literally addicted to the song Silver and Gold and demands to hear it in repeat.  Hahahahahaaa, awesome.  The Mr.'s worst nightmare.

As the Christmas Making Spirit is not going anywhere fast in this house I thought I'd share some of the cool ideas I have found on Pinterest and Other Places with you...  Here we go...

DIY Ornament Chandelier
I'm just a tad obsessed with chandeliers.  A tad.  If I could be married over again, renewed vows, not new Mr., I would totally insist on chandeliers.  I want them in my daughters' rooms, in my room, in every room of my house.  Love them!!!  So when I saw this cool idea on Pinterest I had to go to the source.

I've already hunted for the plain silver balls and have had no success finding them...but I haven't given up yet.  Going to look some more tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!  I plan on hanging this above my dining room table this year.


Gingerbread House I am a bit mean about my gingerbread house decor.  I like it to look matchy matchy and well...beautiful.  You know, like this one below which I totally cannot take credit for.  Wow isn't it awesome?
But I am a Mommy...and last year I had to walk away and collect myself when my husband and Miss E were making her gingerbread house.  The artist in me wanted to be organized, let's make a plan and execute it.  I was not thrilled with my husband's whatever the two year old wants to throw on it is cool with me approach. I was trying to negotiate with Miss E about how to best utilize our limited candy resources, where to put colors, how all the snow should absolutely no avail.  Did I wince when her older cousin told her his gingerbread house looked better?  Absolutely.  Luckily she was too young at the time to be offended and said "oh weally?"  Ha, children!

In the end I was proud of her for being so decisive and creative and after my initial frustration I successfully kept my mouth shut during her process.  Since then I've decided that I will simply document her gingerbread progress each year and we'll see how the artist blossoms!

Miss Es Gingerbread House
Handprint Baby Ornament
I am so not a baby ornament person.  I know that is mean.  I know I should want to commemorate each year of my darling daughters' lives and growth...and I do...I just do not want it on my tree.  Wince.  I know, even as I write it I feel heartless.  Ah (throwing up my arms) I'm honest to a fault.  

Anyway...I did stop when I saw these though.  How freaking simple and cute?  And totally goes with my glass ornament obsession.  These would reflect light beautifully, especially if you did that adorable handprint in silver instead of color.  Gorgeous, simple, classic.  Will I follow through on still...I'm trying...

Crepe Gate (for older kids)
Someday when my girls are walking and sleeping in beds I am SO DOING THIS!  A crepe gate for them to break through Christmas morning!  How cool?  Hahahahah...go check out Secrets of a Super Mommy to see how she did it...

Cookie Pinwheels
It wouldn't be Christmas without cookies.  Although cookies (and cooking in general) fall under the purview of the Mr. I might have to intercede this year to try these out.  I mean, hello, YUM???


So as always...

Feel free to rattle off anything that has been brewing in your creative heads.  It can be anything, quilting, home improvement, fashion, crafting, DIY gifts, cooking...whatever you have recently thought "hmmm, you know what I should create" is perfectly appropriate for the Think Tank.  Have a blog?  Grab the Thursday Think Tank button displayed on the right.  

Please leave a link to your T.T.T. on your blog in the linky party below or leave a comment with your Thursday Think Tank ideas!  

- rebecca lynne