at what point did this become a crafting blog?

okay, new obsession time :: i'm like a year behind the trend, but i'm discovering the joy (and ease) of freezer paper t-shirt templates. i first read about the templates at the angry chicken and my little mochi blogs last year. but it took forever to find the freezer paper; i checked all my local supermarkets and target but couldn't find it. i jumped for joy when i spotted it a couple of weeks ago at the albertsons near ian's french class.

although i love the samples at angry chicken and my little mochi i needed a good tutorial on how to do it. a quick google search brought up a nicely detailed one at unwindknitting.net. i just followed each step and created this ::

i wanted a subtle design so i placed the stencil along the side of the shirt so a bit of the design shows on the front and back. i drew the branch/leaf design freehand directly on to the paper side of the freezer paper and cut it out with an exacto knife. after ironing the template onto the shirt i applied several heavy coats of white paint on to the shirt with a short-bristled brush. i let it dry for 24 hours, peeled off the stencil and heat set it. i thought using white paint on a dark colored shirt wouldn't be very successful but i'm really happy with the results. the paint dries soft on the shirt and the coverage is pretty good. [please read the tutorial if you plan to make a template because she goes over some things i don't mention here.]

ian is helping me design a shirt for him. it's a king penguin design with "king of them all" on the back. i think the colors are coming out great on his. i did this with a two-step process because i'm using two colors right next to each other. it should dry by tomorrow morning.

the supplies i used :: cotton/poly shirts from michaels by jerzees ($2.50 each on sale), freezer paper by reynolds, 2 oz. fabric paint by plaid. each shirt, in total, costs less than $5 and it's an original. i'm going to paint a few more shirts and some onesies for some friends' new baby girl.

rupert's 31st

my darling husband had his 31st birthday over the weekend :: mounds o' meat and singing without the kids on saturday and dinner with family on sunday. i don't think he was particularly looking forward to turning 31, but i think he had a pretty good birthday. [correct me if i'm wrong, rupert.]

we headed out to manna in koreatown with friends and some of rupert's coworkers. [apologies to the vegetarians out there for the meat picture.] we normally inhale quite a bit of meat (it's all-you-can-eat) but we only finished off two plates. very disappointing. not to place blame, but i think it was because we had two vegetarians at our table.

because the kids were with jiji + baba for the night i knew we would probably head out for some much-needed socializing after dinner. our friend H guided us to orchid, a karaoke place down the street from manna. four hours and $300+ later we emerged hoarse-voiced, slightly buzzed and tuckered out ... except for party-pooper me who had zero drinks and sang zero songs.

rupert satisfied some of his wannabe rock star urges by singing tons o' songs and bouncing around. we had some really good singing going on, including a lovely serenade of "happy birthday sweet sixteen" by the guys for rupert, too many (in my opinion) bon jovi songs, a hilarious pirate-version of "piano man," and rupert's and H's standard, "ebony and ivory."


understatement of the year :: i'm not a multitasker

on top of my laziness i have this thing about not being able to do more than one thing at once. it makes being a mom/housewife difficult sometimes; today should i do the laundry or wash the dishes? i can never do both.

the same is true for my hobbies. i have to be obsessed with just one at all times. for the last year and a half it's been the blogosphere, both reading and posting. i can, and will, sit in front of the laptop for hours on end each day hoping one of the blogs on my blogroll gets updated.

but then, out of the blue, i'll think to myself, "why am i wasting my time everyday reading posts when i can do it every other day?" so i'll switch over to reading real books.

i'll finish a couple of books and then i'll need a break. it's scrapbooking to the rescue! i'll spend a few days or a week struggling with a layout (or two, if i'm productive). you may have noticed that february has mostly been about reading books and scrapbooking.

but the last couple of days have been spent making these :: taggy blankets. i made one for maya and a friend's daughter awhile back, but i decided to make more as gifts and, hopefully, to sell.

i'm not sure what readership is like on this blog, but if possible i'd like some feedback about what people think of the blankets. i'll have more pictures and details at my other blog: sleepyheadpaperdesigns.blogspot.com.

the blankets measure approximately 18"x18" and have tags (satiny, grosgrain, velvety ribbons) running down the center and all the way around. the tags are different colors and textures to make it a fun, tactile and colorful blankie for babies to play with and be comforted by.

the back is fleece and the front has two panels each of flannel and chenille so it's very soft. i use the different fabrics to add even more texture to the blanket.

i'd like to sell each blanket for $16 + shipping. i'm wondering if people would be interested in purchasing something like this at that price. they make great baby shower gifts. i find that babies around 7~9 months really start showing an interest in the blanket, but the size is great for newborns and toddlers.

depending on the feedback i'd really like to concentrate on creating things to sell (over at etsy); besides the taggy blankets i'm hoping to get back into card making, custom scrapbooks, and baby items (like onesies and bibs). wish me luck!


click together

patterned paper: ek success (floral), treehouse designs (stars), sandylion (dots)
letter stickers: sei ("s"), ki memories ("lick"), ek success ("pals," "fun")
phrase stickers: ek success
letter stamps: fontwerks
stamp: jenni bowlin ("date")
other: photo corners, acrylic stars, rhinestones, ribbon, date stamp, mini index card, foam tape, decorative scissors

i was going to scrap these pictures anyway but i decided to do this week's dare (#58) over at the dares site. i used to have a ton of decorative scissors but i pared it down to the essentials -- pinking, scallop, deckle -- which are quite useful.

the journaling is on the mini index card (which i got in japan) and it reads: you know how some people just "click"? that's chloe and ian. they don't see each other for months but when they do they're inseperable. they were meant to be friends!


patterned paper: american crafts
letter stickers: ki memories ("f"), american crafts ("o")
foam letter stickers: american crafts
epoxy phrase stickers: k&co
label: target
bracket stamps: technique tuesday, autumn leaves (with lines)
letter stamps: purple onion designs ("'fro"), provo craft
stamp: jenni bowlin (dotted line)
other: dymo label maker, date stamp, foam tape


m & i

there was definitely something missing from the original layout (see below) so i thought about it and came up with a few embellishments. i think the addition of the embellishments makes the layout more textured, complete, and trendy. "trendy" 'cause i'm using some popular techniques like the faux-silk flowers in maya's hair (a la elsie flannigan) and the stapled transparency (a la kristina contes) with the rhinestones.

patterned paper: my mind's eye
letter stickers: sei
stamps: fun expressions (ampersand), purple onion (everything else
date stamp: heidi swapp

this one definitely doesn't feel complete to me. i feel like i could do a bit more in the lavender area on the bottom right. maybe do a stitch stamp across horizontally, overlapping the photo and the cardstock?


and as long as we're talking about love ...

because i *love* brownies ...

and i *love* the edge pieces ...

someone who *loves* me should get me this ...

and then i would *love* them forever!

love day

happy valentine's day!

to be truthful i'm not particularly fond of this holiday ... but come to think of it there are very few holidays i actually am fond of. i know, i'm a party-pooper.

anyway, it's not that this holiday isn't special to me and rupert. in fact, this time of year is significant to us in many ways.

13 years ago we started "dating" on february 12. this is actually a date we chose after the fact, rather arbitrarily, because we never started our relationship formally. we just sort of transitioned into it effortlessly from our friendship.

exactly a year later rupert unofficially proposed to me with a promise ring in his dorm room at cornell, tom waits playing in the background.

five years later, right around this time, we conceived ian ... on accident.

and five years after that maya was conceived ... on purpose. (i'm sorry, was that more information than you needed?) but i don't know what we were thinking with that one!

so it really is a special time of year for us. valentine's day kinda heightens the mood because everywhere around you are hearts and reminders of love. but we never do anything on v-day because every restaurant is crowded, flowers are overpriced (i insisted to rupert that he not buy me flowers because of the outrageous cost; i mean, really, imagine all i could buy for myself with that money!), and the 12th is more important to me.

this year, rupert surprised me and got me this, which he loaded with a bunch of songs. i totally love it! it is amazingly tiny: 1"x1.5" and only a quarter inch thick. it holds just enough songs for me and i can hide it away so maya doesn't grab for it. i'm listening to it right now, in fact. thanks honey!
and what did i get rupert, you ask? a $6.99 pair of slippers from cvs. romantic, huh?


15 months.

maya @ 15 months :: february 4, 2007

  • new tooth: 01.22.07, bottom right molar
  • mid-month she figured out she could push her red folding chair to the couch and climb onto the couch. so i took the red chair away. then she discovered her legs are now long enough to get on to the stools we have around the coffee table for ian (before she would always try to get on them but couldn't quite get her foot up). and if she can get on the stool, then of course she can get onto the coffee table. before i could take the stools (and the coffee table away), she realized that if she's tall enough to get on to the stools unassisted, she can climb on to the couch without the red chair. i warned her that if she gets up there unsupervised she could fall down and get hurt. sure enough she fell off the couch the first day and cried. but she's been more careful since then and hasn't fallen off; she can slowly slide herself off the couch. and i've been more careful by putting floor cushions on the floor to break her fall.
  • she jumps on the couch. well, not really jumps, but she tries to jump by gaining momentum from the springiness of the couch cushions.
  • because she's still quite skinny she can wriggle out of lap belts (it doesn't help that a lot of our baby stuff was ian's and they don't have shoulder harnesses). she fell out of her stroller while walking home from the park because she likes to stand up in her stroller. i predict the next thing she'll fall out of is her high chair.
  • eats anything and everything, especially if it comes from our plate. lately i've been making dishes ian isn't too fond of (like korean bibimbap) but maya will eat it all up.
  • kinda gross but here's a funny story: she ate some shimeji mushrooms and as i was changing her diaper i noticed one had gone through undigested (and unchewed). unfortunately, she hadn't completely passed it and only the cap was sticking out of her tush. i had to pull the rest of it out!
  • understands more japanese. i can ask her, "mou gochisousama?" (are you all done eating?) and she'll either smile (yes) or shake her head and keep eating. i think i've finally gotten her to stop eating on my lap; i insist she eat in her high chair and she must be sitting before i'll give her her food ("osuwari shitechoudai"). of course, she sits so i'll put food in her mouth but then she stands right back up.
  • she waves hello and good-bye at people and dogs.
  • she rubs her nose and blows out a lot when her nose is stuffed up. it seems like she'd be good at actually blowing her nose into a kleenex, something ian couldn't do forever.
  • scared of the vacuum.
  • can go down the big slide at the park.
  • really started walking on 02.01.2007 at my parents' house ... the carpet does seem to help.
  • 02.02.2007: discovered another tooth on the bottom left, between her front teeth and her newish molar.
  • when she sits with me at the computer she likes to try to type on the keyboard.
  • she's learned to say, "uh oh" at pretty much the appropriate times, like when she drops stuff.
  • part of her bedtime routine is a bottle. she and rupert microwave the bottle and do a countdown. when the microwave beeps she automatically says, "nai-nai" (night-night). she's also gotten super good at slamming the microwave door shut.
  • she is definitely a part of our tv-watching family, bad as that is. she likes sesame street, blue's clues, wonder pets, the backyardigans ... she doesn't watch the entire episode but if there's music playing she'll pay attention for a bit.
  • i'm starting to let her feed herself (it's more of a neatness, control issue for me than anything else): i'll skewer a piece of food on her baby fork and hand it to her to eat.
  • as a sign of her generosity she often offers the other babies in her rie class toys ... except that she often insists that the toy should go in their mouths. baby A has gotten used to her shoving balls into his mouth; he just opens his mouth when she goes near him.


the funniest thing i read today ...

even though i do have kids and i probably should be able to figure it out, i don't get it 100%. but it still made me laugh out loud ... what molly chicken's mum said to her and her six siblings when they were young:
you bloody kids give my ass a headache.
then scroll down to the bottom two pictures and maybe you'll crack up as much as i did.

the 8 nights of hanukkah

patterned paper: cactus pink (red), anna griffin (gifts),
punches: ek success (tag), fiskars (arrow), marvy uchida (circle)
stamps: purple onion, paper source, psx, fontwerks, ek success, cavallini, hero arts, fun expressions, catslife press, inkadinkadoo, all night media, kodomo no kao, 7 gypsies, date stamps
letter stickers: making memories (small), ki memories ("h")
rubons: heidi swapp, 7 gypsies
other: brads, eyelets, rhinestone, mini clip, various japanese stickers, photo corner, digital swirl element

this one was time-consuming and i will probably not attempt to repeat the endeavor again. each of the date squares are pockets that hold tags with what we received as gifts written on them. sorry about the poor scan.

you know you're getting older when ...

what's your favorite food? it's one of those questions you get asked a lot, even as a little kid. and your answer changes, right? but one of my answers has never changed, ever since i could utter the words in english: fried chicken. i absolutely looooooooove fried chicken.

but when i hit 30 something unimagineable happened. my stomach started rejecting the greasy, crunchy glory that is fried chicken. i could enjoy a few pieces but, without fail, 12 hours later i would get an upset stomach. at first i brushed it off but i can deny it no longer -- i'm getting too old for fried chicken.

last night ian and i bought fried chicken because rupert was out for the evening (he's not too fond of the stuff). we took it over to my parents' house to eat. i managed two pieces before i had to admit it wasn't as tasty as the (homemade) leftovers my parents were eating. honestly, i was in shock. i had supreme confidence in my ability to love -- above all else -- and eat fried chicken until the day i die, but i'm not so sure anymore. adding insult to injury, i had to curse my stomach when it disagreed with the chicken the next morning.

and that's why it sucks to get old.


patterned paper: sei
letter stamps: ek success ("exhibit" "fig."), paper source ("A" "B"), provo craft ("hippity" "hop"), purple onion ("no"), cavallini ("1")
date stamp: jenni bowlin
rectangle stamp: fontwerks
dotted line stamp: purple onion
letter stickers: ki memories, sei, american crafts, daisy hill
bunny stickers: source unknown, bought in japan
other: white pen (american crafts), dymo label maker, eyelets, copper wire, foam tape
punches: square label (mcgill), tag (ek success)