Thursday, September 29, 2011


if you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, like me, then you're probably looking forward to this weekend! three cheers for general conference. last saturday i watched the general relief society meeting. if was amazing. i especially liked elder uchtdorf's talk (as always.) i really loved his 5 forget-me-not points.

i made up a little 5x7" printable for myself and the ladies i visit teach. i am excited to frame it and put it next to my bed. how easily i forget that i need to be happy with what i have right NOW and stop saying, "i can't wait for the day we________." i need to live in the moment. i also sometimes make sacrifices for things that are less important in the grand scheme of things.

ANYWAY, i spent too much time on this little flyer (ha ha!) and i would like to share it with you. click the link below the picture to download the PDF for yourself of a friend! thanks. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


penelope got married to a neighbor boy in a flurry of rose petals the other day.

i wasn't invited, but who wants their mom at their wedding anyway?

she'd told me several times that this little boy was going to marry her and i guess she wasn't fibbing.

it's all a little too cute to handle.

other tid bits on penelope:
she still loves to dress herself and pick out her clothes
she's a huge girly girl (maybe this is just a phase?)
her favorite color is pink
she's a loving big sister
she's pretty NOT cute (isla is cute)
she's obsessed with english muffins and pita chips (which she calls peter chips)
she likes to cook and clean with mom
she has a vivid imagination and cal play for hours with her dolls and babies
she's getting too old and it must stop
she will be a fairy for halloween (we talked her down from being a pink princess (avoided that one for another year... whew)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

art museum

we went down to the san diego museum of art last tuesday for residents free tuesday at balboa park. i haven't been to a real art museum in a long time and i truly enjoyed it. they have a good collection. it's small, but good. in each gallery i had p pick her favorite painting. the biggest challenge with her was getting her not to touch things... overall, she was very good and i was impressed. we only stayed a little over an hour and if it had been longer than that we might have lost our cool. balboa park is lovely and it was a great little outing.

 for some reason p always puts her hand on isla's head in pictures. she usually trys to put her arm behing isla's back and when that doesn't fly, she sticks her hand on her head... strange.


Monday, September 26, 2011

shop for sharlie open

everyone go check out the shop for sharlie. it's open now and you can go buy all the fun tutorials your heart desires, including these two i mentioned here.

i am thinking of buying this baby leg warmers tutorial for olive blue 

and this no sew jersey rose tutorial from allora handmade

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CMYK quilt

bryan asked me to make him a CMYK quilt. can you say nerd?

for those of you who don't know. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (or black.) i chose to use gray instead of black. it is a color model used for color printing documents.

he also requested that it be long enough that he could pull it over his head with his arms straight and it would still cover his feet. he's a pretty tall guy, so we figured that we would need it to be 9' + long. i decided to make it the dimensions of a tall queen sized quilt. 

anyway, i started this little number a while back, slowly collecting the kona cotton that i would need. it was a  quilt that i didn't feel a deadline for, so i worked on it here and there. i had hoped that it would be done for fathers' day, but no dice. he just had to wait for his gift this year. i finally finished it a couple of weeks ago. and i am really happy with it.

i decided to make it the same on the front as it is in the back. i also decided that since it was to be enormous, i would make it a very simple pattern. i did 9 strips of 13" X 60" and sewed them in this order (white, cyan, white, magenta, white, yellow, white, gray, white.) i bound quilted it with pearl cotton and bound it with white kona. all i can say is i love my husband:) and i'm glad it's done. he's already requesting another quilt out of his old t-shirts. i need to decide if i love him THAT much... ha ha! maybe in a few years.

i am thinking my next quilt will be one for our bed. i just put it on the bed for pictures and i really think our current bedspread needs an update. that or a quilt just for me.

here it is.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

preschool art: fall tree

we made a thumbprint tree for our art project this week in preschool. i drew the base and p put her little thumbprints all over for the leaves. we used fall colors and talked a little about the changing seasons. it was a blast. we will be using this same tree for winter, spring and summer.
penelope's fall tree: take one
penelope's fall tree: take two
here's a pdf if you want to use our tree base to replicate this project. i am sure you can draw a tree, but if you don't want to...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

new headband & belt tutorial

here's the project i mentioned yesterday.

photos by bryan sparks

i made 2 tutorials one for the belt and one for the head wrap. this project is my contribution to the shop for sharlie a mom who needs a lung and heart transplant! i am so happy that i am able to contribute and i am hoping that it will be a great success. the shop should be full of great tutorials (including mine) that will all be for sale for $5 each. i will remind you again on monday, so that you can go check it out! i am hoping to maybe pick up a tutorial or 2 for my christmas giving.

Monday, September 19, 2011

weekend in pictures

this weekend was a good one. we did and still do have a sick baby. she has a cold, which is such a bummer. she is such a good sport about it. i made 2 different kinds of bread from my peter reinhart book. i made the rustic bread and the chocolate babka. we ate up our rustic bread with meats, cheeses and bruschetta. delish...maybe too many carbs, but hey, when it rains it pours at our house. the chocolate babka was rich and heavenly. i am pretty sure p and were the only ones to eat this bread (i ended up tossing a bit, to get rid of the temptation. ha ha!) i think i will try this bread with a cinnamon/brown sugar mix next time and drizzle a glaze over it. mmmm!

besides eating tons of bread and nursing a little sicky, i was working on a little project, i will tell you more about later, on friday and saturday. it was so good to get it done and i am excited to show it to you! 

i also got a jump start on the girls' halloween costumes. they aren't going to be really time intensive, but the sooner we can get them done the better.

we went on a little outing on saturday evening, because i didn't want to cook. we went to the pb fish shop. it's a winner. we got mahi mauhi tacos with fish shop seasoning. i just love this place. it was first recommended to us by ashlee.

now for some pictures...


Friday, September 16, 2011

this week in pre school

we're off to the zoo this morning for a little field trip. YAY! this week we did preschool at home mon, tues and wed. yesterday we took the day off so that i could get a little work done, but most thursdays will be library day. it was fun and penelope is really enjoying it. we do exercises for usually 1 -1 1/2 hrs and then we read at least 30min. we do singing, dancing and play activities for another hour. it's been pretty easy so far, but i'm not sure how long this organization will last! only time can tell.

this week (and probably next week too) we are using the under the sea preschool pack from here. it is cute and has some really fun activities. i think we will take a trip to the beach or aquarium next week.

 using lima beans to help count.

 "o" is for ocean

copying patterns

Thursday, September 15, 2011

new menu board

bryan and i made this chalk board this past weekend. i wanted a menu board to help in my organization. i also really need to make my kitchen cuter. i spend too much time in this room for it to be as ugly as it currently is...
i have some fun plans and i will keep you all posted. 

i got this vintage frame way back when i took my framing class at BYU. the BYU MOA (Museum Of Art) re-frames a lot of pieces that come into a new exhibition. the old frames get tossed. i salvaged a few of them and bryan and i used them to decorate our first apartment, but i've not used them since. i was thinking of painting it yellow or turquoise, but bryan recommended we keep the vintage gold. i think it turned out cute. my handwriting needs a little works, but hey NBD.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

rolling baby

miss isla is rolling. from front to back and back to front. it is so crazy. i know that these things (like growing things) happen, but this mobility is really freaking me out. i'm not ready! here's to soaking up every moment, because they will all be just memories soon enough.

ps the hat i'm wearing above is going to be in my shop soon! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

preschool play: bean bags

i made up these bean bags for miss p to play with while doing preschool activities. i love bean bag toss games and they can be used for other things as well (e.i. i think i will eventually make more and use them to represent the planets in the solar system when we talk about that...)

p loves them (isla loves them too, but we can't let her play with them, because they would probably start to sprout given the way she plays with things.) p even helped me fill the bags with black beans. it was messier, but fun to involve her.

for the pattern i simply used a cereal bowl and traced around it onto my selected fabrics. i put right sides together and stitched around the edges, leaving open a 2 in. opening to flip the bag and then fill them through. i hand stitched the opening and they were done! they all took maybe 20 min.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

sleeping dress

penelope's been a little jealous of isla's nightgowns. p has turned into a big time girly girl and all she wants to wear is dresses and skirts. when p saw these dresses that could be worn to bed, she immediatly asked me to make her one. that was a couple of months ago, but i've been busy and my sewing machine's been in the shop for a month. i was going to put it together yesterday after i picked up my machine, BUT the power went out...all over san diego (more about this after the pictures.) so, i made her one this morning.

penelope was really cheesing up this photo shoot! she's too cute. 

ANYWAY, we were without power from 3:30 pm to 1:00AM. as soon as the power went out we headed down to the pool. our house doesn't have A/C and doesn't need it most of the time, but we've been having a hot spell and it was like 98 degrees outside when our fans turned off! i could feel it getting hotter by the minute, so we were out o' there. many people in our complex had the same idea, to head to the pool, and so we got to visit with our neighbors. it was nice.

the main thing i was worried about was all my food going bad and my nice neighbors went and stood in line to get me a bag of ice. thank you garret an elizabeth!

we had a little pizza party at the pool and then at bed time we headed home. p was a little freaked out with the lights out, but we had flashlights and candles to make the bedtime routine happen.

the whole experience made bryan and i assess our preparedness level. if this outage had gone longer than it did, would we have been ok? we've been making a list of things that we need to get together for emergencies. bry and i have 72 hour kits, but we don't have them for the girls here's the list i am using to get them together. we have enough water for a while, but we need more food storage.  although this experience was short and no harm was done, it was a good learning experience for us.

i hope you all have a great weekend. do you have any fun plans? give me some good ideas