Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Weekly Reading Basket October 28 #kidlit

It's been a bit since I have shared weekly book favorites here on the blog, but if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some recent recommendations. Follow me @SevenLovelyThings to stay updated, if you like.
Today I am actually blogging! About books! Yay!
Three books we read in the past week really stood out, and here they are! 

1. Charley Harper's Count the Birds by Zoe Burke
I purchased this at the McNay museum shop here in San Antonio. I love their selection of both books and everything else. Whoever the buyer is does a great job of keeping things fresh.
This is a board book with bright, captivating colors- the illustrations are amazing...this is art, after all. Birds are something my toddler is obsessed with (probably because "bird" is part of her vocabulary). The book also features birds that are new to me and have fun to pronounce names. The counting makes the book last past the toddler stage and the rhymes are quick, upbeat and just wonderful.
2. Drive: A Look at Roadside Opposites by Kellen Hatanaka is a bright, fun book. Keep in mind this is an opposite book so think "in/out" on each page rather than a long story. This is more than 20 pages and my son loved the map at the back and the "hidden" dinosaur bones on a page pair. A stunning book, in my opinion. Great for a wide age range. 

3. The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown
This book perfect for this time of year. It was a little bit almost scary but not with my six-year-old enjoyed. A fun story about a fierce little pumpkin. This would be nice to own and bring out around Halloween.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Planning a Party? Go to Goodwill FIRST

With Halloween, Fall Parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas all right around the corner, we can all use great hostess tips NOW! I will share my big party planning secret with you today.  
There is something I do before every party or special event I host. 

I go to the thrift store.

Sounds easy right? Well. It is the easiest, best way for a host/hostess to save money. And who doesn't want to save money? Even millionaires want to save money! (At least I think so...)
Here are the top items you can find for cheap at Goodwill here in San Antonio:

Drinking glasses. I recently added 3 very nice iittalia brand glasses to my cabinet for only 49 cents each!! Quality glassware at an amazing price. There are always great, heavier weight glasses at the thrift store. Almost every drinking glass I own cost me less than $1. Thanks Goodwill. 

Serving trays are a big score at Goodwill, from metal to ceramic to glass, there are always great serving pieces. I like to scout out white or clear glass since they will match anything.

Candlesticks! These run, on average around $2.99, and my my what a can of spray paint can do. It's like magic! Check out the candlesticks I used in a centerpiece below. Makeover city! 

Cloth napkins and table linens. I always look out for these, as it's such a nice touch to use cloth rather than paper goods...and for almost the same price. I usually pay around 99 cents for cloth napkins. Cost per use is amazing and they really look special at any party. Once mine are ironed and neatly folded, they are party perfect! I often find them in new condition, as I think people are intimidated or think they are old fashioned. 

Those are just a few of the many treasures that await holiday hostesses at Goodwill. What do you look for? 

*Disclosure: I was given a Goodwill gift card in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own* 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Symphony + Rock: Live Music of Led Zeppelin in San Antonio

Do you have a favorite band? There are just certain artists and songs that take you to another place, or time, or feeling.
Led Zeppelin has been a favorite of mine since college, when I was introduced to the music via a vintage vinyl record. I will never forget the feeling. My choice of a child's name just might have been influenced by Led Zeppelin. 
Have you heard that the music of Led Zeppelin will be performed LIVE at the Majestic theater this Saturday, October 24 at 8 PM. That sounds great, right? Well, it gets even better. The San Antonio Symphony and a live rock band will be performing the wonderful music of Led Zeppelin. San Antonians are so fortunate to have an amazing symphony, and I can't wait to hear this performance. 


Here are the official details
San Antonio Symphony Brings Music Concert Series to the Majestic Theatre

70s Rock Legends Bring Audiences Electrifying Live Performances


SAN ANTONIO-- The San Antonio Symphony announces its POPs rock concert series with Windborne’s The Music of Queen on October 23 and The Music of Led Zeppelin on October 24, 2015.  Amplified by a full rock band and accompanied by two outstanding singers for each program, creator and arranger Brent Havens guest conducts the ensemble as they capture Led Zeppelin’s “sheer blast and power and the legendary sound and music of Queen.” Both performances will bring innovative interpretations across art mediums to San Antonio. 


“We are focusing on a time period of incredible artistic output in the world of rock–n-roll, and are excited about continuing our relationship with the Majestic Theatre to bring these fantastic performances to San Antonio,” said David Gross, San Antonio Symphony President. “These live performances from your San Antonio Symphony will bring a new appreciation for the artistry of these rock bands and their wonderful compositions.”  


According to Mike Rilley, Majestic & Empire Theatres General Manager, these internationally touring concerts enable music lovers the opportunity to experience a live performance with incredible local talent.  “The Majestic is a wonderful venue for these programs, as it provides concertgoers with an acoustic sensory experience unlike any other.  We are thrilled to host the Symphony again to bring San Antonio the best in live concert music.”   


“The Music of Queen”

Bridging the gulf between rock n’ roll and classical music, conductor/arranger Brent Havens takes the podium on October 23, 2015 at 8 p.m., as he channels the music of Freddy Mercury and Queen into a symphonic experience unlike any other.  According to Havens, “The band is reproducing what Queen did live, as closely as possible within the constraints of personnel, and then having an orchestra behind the band gives the music richness, a whole new feel, a whole different sense of color but still preserving the wonderful music that they originally produced.”  Familiar songs will entice rock fans to the Symphony for a new appreciation of Queen’s arrangements and Mercury’s vocal style. 


“The Music of Led Zeppelin”

Havens’ magic continues on October 24, 2015 at 8 p.m., to present The Music of Led Zeppelin, a program he scored to extend the listening experience of Led Zeppelin’s timeless tunes. Performed by the San Antonio Symphony and amplified with a full rock band and screaming vocals, Havens and his ensemble capture Led Zeppelin’s “sheer blast and power” riff for riff in classics such as Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker, Black Dog and Immigrant Song.  It’s a night not to miss for Led Zeppelin fans and aficionados of complex compositions.


Tickets On Sale

Tickets start from $25. You can purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com (use code ROCK for a 20% web discount ) or by calling (800) 745-3000, or by visiting the Majestic Theatre Box Office.  

Disclosure: I will receive 2 tickets to a performance in exchange for this post, and all opinions are my own. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Works in Progress

In case you wondered what happened to this blog, I have had the biggest writer's block, combined with my computer not working yet again. (Writing this on the iPad)
But I wanted to show yall what I am working on, and some sewing goodies.

I finished the top of my first Jellyroll quilt! (I can't find a picture of it al, together, just use your imagination)

But I decided to wait to quilt it after I finish some more seasonally appropriate projects, like this Cat City quilt.

I am almost done with the top, but need to pop into Mesquite Bean (the fabric store where I bought everything in this post, actually), they are super helpful and can help me troubleshoot. My kids are excited to see my progress on this project. If I finish this week, I want to buy some fun fall fabric and make the girls (and I) matching skirts! Wouldn't that be fun? 
I am finding the process of making a quilt a learning curve for me. I am used to quick little projects that require minimal patience. A quilt is a different animal! But it is oh so very happiness inducing. It's just sewing straight lines, really. I thought I could never "be" a quilter because my math skills are a bit slow, but if I take my time and pay attention, I can definitely be a quilter. Paying attention is perhaps the biggest lesson for me here. And all the fabrics that don't look like they would come together well, they just DO. 

I bought what I needed for hand quilting my cats, but I think I want to machine quilt this one. I don't know, I keep changing my mind. 

Oh, and I got my hands on the amazing Tula Pink coloring book. Omygosh! I can't wait to share this with my daughter, the Coloring Queen. 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sweet Baby Sewing

I finished another project! Yeah! I am on a roll. Something my husband told me really made an impression. I was pretty much hyperventilating because there is SO MUCH I want to do but not enough time, so I try to do all the things and it just aint pretty. So he suggested I do one thing, have a goal, and then move to the next thing. Well, I certainly wasn't thinking THAT when I bought fabric and supplies for one million projects.... Ha! But his practical advice helped. I was trying to finish this little baby dress in time for the Sew and Show Linkup! (the button is on the right hand side of the page here)
Being a model is so tiring

This baby top was sewn from a pattern in the book Boutique Casual for Boys and Girls by Sue Kim. While I thought the book was beautiful, I kept having to flip between 3 different patterns to get the instructions for this top. I wasn't too clear on a few of the instructions, so I winged it. This was the first time in recent memory that I used bias strips to finish the neck and arm edges. I used french seams throughout, but it is quite bulky on the front and back where the gathers are.
The fabric has been in my stash for a while now, I previously made the bloomers from Anna Maria Horner's free Knick Knack Knickers baby pattern.
What do you think?

Some of my construction is a bit wonky. And I lost my buttons, so that part will have to wait.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Upcycled: Bed Sheet to Apron

I found this toddler sized bed sheet at a thrift store for less than $1
If I were to describe my fabric/textile collection, I would say that I'm very prepared. Other people might say "hoarder." I am just someone who will be extremely prepared in the event that fabric ceases to exist and is needed to save the world. I have also been a bit preoccupied with thinking about the many lives that an item can have before its actually useless. The bedsheet I used in this project has been in my arsenal for a few months, and I was originally going to make something babyish with it. But then I saw Maker Mama's gorgeous apron post, and I was inspired to make an apron for my daughter.
We have two aprons for my girl, one came with a kid's kitchen set (she never wears it for some reason) and another was found at a garage sale, is vintage and has tiny elephants on it. She ends up wearing the elephant one quite a bit. Half aprons are a favorite in our house. I had a couple of hours to myself and decided to go for it, even though I didn't have a pattern, and even though everything wasn't perfect in my house. Sometimes I block myself from creating because there is just so much to do around the house. But I pushed through, because I really, really needed to make something.
And here it is. A new apron for my girl.

I was careful to cut the fabric so I didn't cut any animals in half.

I was sure to make an extra big pocket, and it came in handy right away

We love pockets   

I can't wait to share my plans for fall sewing with you next week (hopefully).
Happy stitching!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Thrifted Men's Shirt to Baby Bib Under $5!

Aren't bibs irresistible? There is something precious about all those perfect bibs on the shelves at the BIG box stores. The price tags make me cringe though, because the product will be used for the messiest eaters (but the cutest).

Needed supplies: Huge shirt, towel of some sort, velcro, and a sewing machine
I finally found the solution to not only make a cheap bib, but a cute one too! I thrifted this men's shirt when its tag color was half off at Goodwill San Antonio, the regular price of $3.99 is a total steal anyway, but half off was even better! (THRIFT PRO TIP: If you are looking for items to upcycle, shop ONLY for the Goodwill San Antonio Color of the Week, as these items are HALF OFF the already amazing prices - they update weekly colors on their Goodwill San Antonio Facebook page, so give them a Like to stay in the know). I also scored this washcloth for .49 cents at the Goodwill on Bitters and 281.

 I used a bib I already had as a pattern and started cutting. Remember I told you this shirt was large? So much awesome fabric! The bigger the better.

 Pin and sew the 2 pieces together.

 Don't forget to leave an opening to flip right side out.
 Cut small squares of velcro and sew on opposite sides.

 Now you have the cutest, cheapest, easiest to make reversible bib!!

Project cost:
Shirt 1.99
Washcloth .49
Velcro - I already had
So for around $2.50 I made a bib and have TONS of extra shirting fabric left.
Shop at your nearest Goodwill San Antonio store today, you never know what might inspire you! *This sponsored post made possible by Goodwill San Antonio. Shop local!*