Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fabric First: My Jellyroll and a New Fabric Store!

When I first moved to San Antonio, there was a locally owned fabric store going out of business nearby. It was an exciting/disappointing time, as I loved the sale prices but was so sad to see a shop close its doors. Fast forward to NOW, and what popped up right before my eyes, in almost the same location...a fabric shop!! As much as I can, I avoid large chains, as sometimes they can be not so efficient, plus they don't carry fabrics from Michael Miller, Moda, etc.

Whooohoo! I was so excited. The same day I saw the shop, I stopped inside...and said "oops!"
The shop was so new it was not actually open for business yet! But the owners were super kind and let me look around, which was awesome but painful because I knew I couldn't buy any of the goodies I saw. So I went back in two days, after they had officially opened and bought some things I had previously scoped out.
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I was pleasantly surprised with the assortment at Mesquite Bean Fabrics (and no, this is not a sponsored post, I'm just a really excited fabric shopper), the space is great, and the customer service is excellent. The care with how they cut and fold the fabric is apparent (and appreciated). I felt like my purchase was special to them.

Keep in mind that I am not (yet) a quilter, but was totally ready to jump in on the Row by Row quilt after they explained what it was.
I got the sweetest fabrics, a couple of which are going to be made into pillowcases for Conkerr San Antonio, the rest apparel for my little people.
Also, I bought a jellyroll. Did I mention I am not a quilter? But the way the sweet lady at Mesquite Bean explained it, and showed me the books about working with jelly rolls, if I can sew I can make a jelly roll quilt. The fabrics are "30's Playtime Favorites" by moda. I am sooo excited to get stitching. Oh, and the jelly roll got unrolled by one of my "helpers".



Mesquite Bean Fabrics

6708 N New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio, Texas 78209
210-281-1256
Monday-Friday    9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Thursday 9:30 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Sunday Closed

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Favorite Poetry Books For Children

It's been a little over a year that I have made a conscious effort to increase the amount of poetry read aloud in our home. It's going well, although we could always read more. Having books of poems easily accessible really helps with our goal. I was fortunate to buy a few poetry books used, but others will be purchased new. One book at a time, one poem at a time, we will come together and laugh, sigh or jump for joy. Poetry does not have to be too serious, stuffy or painful. Instead, it can be easy, fun, and very accessible for both caregiver and child.


Tied for first place in my home, these first two books both have amazing illustrations, as well as a wide variety of poems to fit various themes.

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has a wide selection, is divided by subject, selected by Jack Prelutsky and is illustrated by Arnold Lobel. And who doesn't love Mr. Lobel's illustrations?

Stunning watercolor illustrations throughout, and produced by indie children's book publisher Barefoot Books, The Barefoot Book of Poems is a must have for any home library. This book captivates not only children, but has such a well rounded selection of poems, that I recommend it for anyone, regardless of age.

My next picks are the poetry books by A.A Milne. These dear, sweet, slim volumes have been requested to be read on repeat in my house. There is a set that includes all three titles,  Pooh's Library: Winnie-The-Pooh, The House At Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six (Pooh Original Edition).

Third is The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum, a wonderful book even if you aren't homeschooling classically. Definitely a book that will grow with you and your children.

We love the Shel Silverstein Books, as well as the newly discovered and ordered Eric Carle's Animals Animals, a collection of poems about, well, animals.

Do you have any favorite poetry books in your home? Have you read them aloud? I would love to hear your favorites!

Disclosure: I may be an affiliate for certain products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Digging Deep For a Great Deal: How To

Have you ever shopped at an outlet? Yeah, me too. It's always a little crazy. But great deals are worth a bit of legwork right?
If you want the ultimate bargain, the ultimate BEST DEAL ever chance, the ultimate adventure in thrifting,  go to the Goodwill Clearance Store! I decided to brave traffic and take a little trip to 4861 W Commerce Street.
 At the outlet, HUGE boxes that are as big as my closet are dumped into HUGE tables. All merchandise is assorted, so wear gloves! Books are mixed with dishes, electronics, etc, etc. Most of the clothing is separate, but you never know when another customer might place a glass vase in the clothing tables...under 50 items of clothing. The seasoned treasure hunters had gloves, and even sticks to help poke around the tables.
Grab a cart, and get ready. At the Goodwill Outlet here in San Antonio, different parts of the store are prepared (and thus blocked off) while other parts are open. Customers line up behind a barrier and try to preview potential treasures. When it's time to GO, an employee gives a warning...No pushing! And more. I couldn't hear everything because I was a bit far away from her. Then the barriers are removed and you need to get in there! Get moving. Dig! I didn't take gloves and had a stroller with me, so things were a bit tricky.

 But I did find some lovely items: a framed print of St. Paul's Cathedral, vintage linens and books, all for a grand total of $4.16!!       

All of this embroidery is hand done!






  .
I will definitely go back, you never know what you might find and it is always an adventure! And the prices are AMAZING!

*I was given a $25 Goodwill gift card for this post. All opinions are my own*
For more pictures of my trip to the outlet, check out my Instagram @sevenlovelythings

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Baby Bloomers on a Wednesday

I believe I truly embody everything anybody ever meant when they coined the phrase "slow sewing". Literally. S L O W sewing here. Finally, months after I started them, these knick-knack Knickers by Anna Maria Horner (free pattern here)are done! It is a super easy pattern, the only thing I get stuck on is the casings, I almost always sew them closed (ahem, rushed sewing problems).

I previously stitched up another pair with piggy fabric, you can find those on my Instagram @SevenLovelyThings I used Dena Rutter's "Roots and Wings" fabric from Fabricworm (direct link here, this is NOT an affiliate link)


 The handmade tag is from a freebie I got long ago with an issue of Mollie Makes magazine


 I try to sew insides as pretty as outsides, so I used French seams. I can't wait to get these on my squishy baby!

Now, I'm off to supervise block building and read alouds!
Also linking up with Straight Grain today! www.straight-grain.com/blog

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mini Upcycled Dollhouse

My daughter and I are fascinated with dollhouses. I wanted to make something really special for her but miniatures are expensive. Inspired by the miniature dollhouse furniture in a book I found at Goodwill, I kept my eyes out for little things that were affordable to go in a dollhouse.
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Recipe for one upcycled, homemade with love dollhouse (or mouse house...we are actually working on a lil mouse to go in these rooms): find bits and pieces and put together any way you like. 



From Goodwill, I found a huge bag of wooden pieces for $2.99, the stacking block set for $3.99 (some were torn), tons of glues and a couple of glitters for $3.99, and the inspirational Play with Paper book for 99 cents.



 Other bits and pieces were the eggs (I didn't end up using) for 99 cents, the napkins for .49, and the metal pieces for $1.99.



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For the top floor, I sewed the pillowcase and bedskirt from scraps, and stuck fabric on the walls. The light fixture is a button, and the wall art is a Monet art sticker. The handpainted tiny dollhouse was in the wooden pieces bag from Goodwill. What a treasure!


 The middle floor, the powder room has a silver basin (from the thrift bag) with a foil "mirror" on the gold glitter painted wall. The "wooden" floor is cut from a shopping bag and the curtain is sewn from scraps and hung on wire...and can be moved along the wire. The cabinet in back is a tiny gift box I found in a random bits and pieces bag at Goodwill a while back.





The bottom floor features flooring made from the paper napkins, as well as wall art from the napkins. The metal table sits on wire legs (and holds button plates), not to mention the mini Central Market shopping bag resting on the left. Isn't the table just so sweet?

I was given a Goodwill gift card for the items used in this post. I'm already scouting supplies for the next project...a cozy home library. What will you thrift today?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shopping Local: Bambinos Giveaway!




Supporting locally owned and stellar businesses is something that I make a point to do. From indie bookstores to clothing stores, I make sure to patronize these businesses as much as I am able. If you feel that shopping local is important, then this is for you!

Waaaay back in 2002, I went to Bambinos children's boutique (when it was on Broadway) and purchased a charm bracelet...remember the kind with the slide on rhinestone charms? It might have been odd for a college student to shop at a children's store, and at the time I remember walking in and noticing now beautiful everything was.
Fast forward to today, and Bambinos is not only still around (21 years in business), they have a great new location and space.
The merchandise assortment was expertly curated, displayed meticulously (every item had been pressed or steamed before hung out for sale), and the customer service was great. Bambinos has a beautiful selection of christening and formal wear (they can even special order sizes and colors for you), and has beautiful layette from kissy kissy, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Zutano and more. I was especially excited about the baby moccasins and the Piggy Paint that are so hard to find locally. Their assortment changes daily, there will be new goods regularly (huge for me as a shopper!) and the lines they carry are wonderful quality. The christening section was a bigger size than most other stores have and the items were stunning. 
Gift wrap is FREE, they offer gift registry, room design and more. The customer service is so great that I can call them up, "One silver baby rattle please" pay, and then they will even bring it out to my car for me (sometimes taking 3 kids into a store to pick up one thing is a little daunting for me). Their new location in Lincoln Heights (in the HEB parking lot, hello, what could be more convenient?!) is super accessible, not only from the surrounding neighborhoods but from the highways as well.

Highlights:
Rabbit Moon
Zutano
Saltwater sandals
Formal Wear Colletion (sizes and quality usually hard to find- but not here!)
Kantik bedding...block printed by hand, this high quality cotton bedding is perfect for a nursery or a teen's room. This line is designed by Karen, the owner!
Baby Moccasins
Hape Wooden Toys
Exceptional service

*I was not compensated for writing this post. I was given a $25 gift card to give to you! I was given the time of the owners to talk about their store and given their patience with my fussy 3 year old =)*

Bambinos has given me a $25 gift card to give away to one lucky reader!! See the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Join Conkerr Cancer San Antonio THIS Saturday

In case you missed it, I recently wrote a post about a wonderful organization I am now a part of. Read it here. I wanted to put a reminder to my readers out there that our monthly meeting is this Saturday, May 2. Even if you don't sew, you can help!
This weekend we will be measuring and cutting fabric...no sewing necessary. Please consider joining us, and/or helping get the word out.

I will be taking my trusty fabric scissors, some awesome boy print fabrics, and myself. Join us for one hour, or two.

See you there!