Friday, April 30, 2010

A new shop!

i have been a busy busy girl this week. on top of other very exciting things, which will be made known soon my pretties...very soon...until then, be satisfied with this - a new etsy store! Sweet B Vintage - a place to put out all the cool things i find with no homes to go to. i have only added a few items...i have a lot more which hopefully will be posted soon - depending on models/mannequins i can get a hold of. so here it is- my new project -  check it out. spread the word. kthanks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

totally rad

i found this whilst thrifting this afternoon. how supremely awesome is this? he is a mini pseudo rebel now! the best part is that the thing is stinking brand new - no one has worn it. i am pretty sure it is vintage, but there are no tags to speak of, which is a shame, because if someone is making them i must have all of them!
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Monkey Zoodie

I made a monkey zoodie back in December for Christmas and didn't take any pictures of it, but I am so glad I received a special request for one because it forced me to revamp it and put it up in the shop! Available in the friendkidly shop now! Perfect for your crazy little monkey!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Madrona Marsh

I need to start this off with a little shout out. The author of Fun and Educational Places to go with Kids came and spoke at our MOPs and I happened to win the book as a door prize. I was super excited because i rarely win something i actually like or use. Because of various organizations i have belonged to i have been a constant raffle participant and won my fair share of things, i am not gunna lie, but crest tooth whitening strips are not nearly as exciting believe me. it is fun to win though...regardless. i anyway...i had to run to Torrance (secret secret, which deserves its own post entirely, believe me) and i HATE driving to Torrance...there is no easy way to get there, so i figured if i was going to drag my boys over there, i may as well take them somewhere fun also. so i just looked up the City of Torrance in her Index by City and found several things, but this place was just around the corner from where i was going and sounded right up my boys-who-like-to-run-and-explore-and-get-as-dirty-as-possible's alley...

we went to the Madrona Marsh in Torrance. a natural wetland. i have been to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands and also the one by Murrieta...i forget the name at the moment...but both of the other ones i have run at, and not taken the kidlets.

we stopped in first at the Nature Center. Very new, very clean - lots of hands-on things for the kiddos - bryson got to feel snake skin (very cool) and see the turtles and frogs and snakes and other critters. there was also a coloring table (boring, mom...okay whatever!) and there are also classes there i am told. i asked the lady if the terrain would be okay for my stroller and she said it would...which, yeah, okay i was able to kinda push my stroller, but a jogging stroller or none at all would have been better. i had thought my ergo was in the car, and it wasnt, so better for my back, but not so much fun pushing a stroller around there. i wouldnt recommend it. 

we then walked across the street to the actual marsh. we took the long route all the way around and i would say it took us about 45 minutes or so to do...we took our sweet time.

the most fun part was when we were away from the wet parts i let Bodie out....actually i should back up and say that i made the mistake of letting Bodie out around the wet part and he was off like a dart into the bog...which i got all over me and him and promptly strapped him back in the stroller and he was screaming for a good 5 after i learned my lesson and we were away from the nasty swampy water...i let Bodie out. he did such a good job of staying on the trail i was so blown away! i think i expect him to act like his big brother a lot of the times (bryson would have NEVER...i repeat in case you didnt hear, NEVER have stayed on a trail at his age). Bodie did awesome and followed his big brother and i and discovered ants and thorns and plants and it brought so much joy to watch both of them discover this little piece of land in the middle of  a very busy city.

it was a pretty overcast chilly day, which i think made it all the more beautiful there. it was fun to explore this natural wetland, however, i would say that i wouldnt personally drive out of my way to Torrance to visit only the Madrona Marsh. sorry...the time it takes to drive there and back is longer than you would spend there, which is my rule of thumb for driving somewhere.

(PS - i just am in love with that first pic. bryson is becoming such a tender and sweet older brother - most of the time - it is so fun to watch him show Bodie how to explore)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Surviving Feeling Scared

i heard this on the radio yesterday. it really spoke to me and i was thinking about it all day - i had to share!

"It's Sunday morning, I turned on the TV & found it tuned to the Sci-Fi Channel I was watching last night. It was a show in which a young girl, with Halloween coming up, had created a "haunted house" for her friends. Showing it off to a boy who hadn't seen it before, she explained that her friends WANTED to feel a little afraid there. "Why?" he asked.

"Well," she said, "if you can't survive feeling scared as a kid, how can you EVER survive feeling scared as an adult?"

This was so profound that it stunned me. I've watched our society change to one in which everyone must "FEEL safe" one in which kids can't be allowed to play dodgeball, kickball, or even to ride a bike without a helmet.

I grew up in a world where no kid wore a bike helmet (and we all lived through it) where many kids had a little scar where the swing had caught them on the chin (and everyone thought "So what?" We learned to stand BACK)... and where it WAS safe to wander in the woods all day without your folks worrying about where you were.

It was a world full of little risks, and we learned how to take them. I worry about the weakening of our culture the effeminization of American ideals, and boys and the triumph of the superficial ("FEELING" safe), over what is REAL providing a world in which it IS safe for our children to take risks, and survive them, and be applauded for it.

We are the descendants of brave adventurers, rebels, and survivors. We are not MEANT to be "victims" in a society which guarantees us that everything will be "SAFE." "

i really loved this letter. i grew up in such a safe explorable environment - although with all the black widows and rusty nails people might argue nowadays that it wasnt a safe environment for a child (with all our over-childproofing) - we were super fortunate to have a nice big backyard with all sorts of animals and our imaginations could run a little free. sure we got broken bones, rusty nails in the feet, scratches everywhere from racing bikes down our BIG hills, but its a part of childhood i feel. knowing and exploring your limits. i think EVERY generation feels their generation was safer than the current one, but I dont believe its all that different. we have just become a little too litigious a little too scared a little too....too much.

i think it is so vital to a child's well-being- to be given the freedom to explore. our Creator gave us that gift...doesn't it make sense as parents to model that as well? please dont misunderstand - a parent's role is to protect...of course...but to what extent?

i sometimes get that "One Step Ahead" catalog for kids...they have the most ridiculous stuff in there. Kneepads for a crawling baby? kneepads? come on people...really? kneepads? 

anyway...i am stepping down from the soapbox...i hope that the letter i mentioned spoke to someone else, or at least gave pause.

hot rod shirt

we had another t-shirt making round this sister and liz even got in on the fun. i love having a backyard to be able to craft - it makes clean-up all the more easier, which makes me want to do it, which makes bryson a happy boy - he loves to create as much as i do :)

so another car shirt for him...i really like how it turned out - the little red hot rod was a nice suggestion from B. i have already had 3 different guys ask for an adult version...maybe Sweet B should look into a men's line? funny...i used to work for a men's fashion magazine and always thought how boring men's fashion is...pants and shorts and shirts...snooze! now look at me...all knee-deep in little boys! and who knew it could be as fun as making dresses? well...quite nearly as fun anyway :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

making it matter...

so yesterday on the way to MOPS Bryson saw a shopping cart full of a homeless person's things. he asked me what a shopping cart was doing there with that stuff in it....which led to a very engaging discussion of homelessness with a 4 year old.

part of why i love living where we live is because there is such a need here - a need for charity and hope and the city is really striving to meet those needs. i love getting to know the people in power here - the people that sit on boards to try the hard way to make a difference - the people who write the grants to get the money to make a difference - the people who attend city council meetings to impact the way the city does things - the people who attend beach clean ups all the time, the people who organize events like the beach clean up, the community here is active folks, and truly making something of this town. i love the sense of community here and what people do to pitch in when tyranny steps up. i am thinking of an example most recently of a kooky Baptist (super funamentalist) church that came specifically to Long Beach to preach their hatred of homosexuals and Jews. i think they hated black people too...not sure. but they got ran out of town, literally - not by crazy gangsters or violence, but mainly by a group of Wilson High School students who peacefully held up signs next to their signs that read things like, "God hates figs" and "God loves toast" and more wonderfully random things as well as pointing out quite peacefully how silly they all seem in a city that boasts of its diversity and loves each other for it...on most days.

so my conversation with Bryson about homelessness went something like this:
"Why is that lady talking to herself"
"Because Bryson a lot of times people who dont have homes also have a sickness in their brain and sometimes that sickness makes them talk to themselves."
"why is she holding cardboard?"
"Because she is sick she can't work like mommy or daddy and so she asks other people for money and food. that is what her sign says"

i also explained to him that this is why mommy goes to all her try to help people like that lady.

its not a simple conversation, but its a conversation. i am always plagued with questions about how early to expose children to things - how early to start on social awareness - at what level should a child be involved and know where to begin to carve out their space in community and begin to be impacting. i would typically bring Bryson along to my events with the Jr League - he helped put the garden in at the PATH house in Long Beach - he has been to the Villages at Cabrillo probably more than a dozen times, but never realized the kids he played soccer with are homeless. i just didnt know how early to start this conversation. i think preserving innocence is part of my job as a mama...but where is the line between innocence and ignorance? this brings me to the speaker i heard last night.

last night i had a Jr. League meeting and sometimes during our general meetings we have guest speakers - not always, but they are usually pretty good. i think the speaker last night was pretty positive and deserved a shout out. we heard from Matthew Emerzian of Every Monday Matters. he has kind of a cool story - he was a very successful music manager working under Robert Kardashian and after a few panic attacks and a visit to a very wise therapist who gave him a book called "Its not about you" he had a change of career and set off to write a book and start a campaign to make a difference every Monday.

his book is Every Monday Matters and it is 52 ways to make a difference. some of the days are very active - like to volunteer somewhere, or pick up trash that isn't yours. some mondays are inward changes - like meditate or be active today, but every Monday is a chance to make an active difference. They are working on curriculum for schools, prisons and corporations to include this concept in a practical hands-on way.

i ordered the book and i think it is a great way to incorporate social awareness with kids in a practical way. sometimes we need a guide...this is a great way to get started. if anyone wants to do this along with us - awesome! we can start a little monday matters group of our own!

once i get the book and depending on how much i need to tailor it to fit our family, i want to start a series here on my little space every monday with perhaps a challenge from the book and maybe pics from how we have made Mondays matter. i would love to share in this with a group of people - let me know if you are interested and get the book! here (or here for way cheap)!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

zoodies for the girls...

its funny cause recently i have had 3 or 4 different mamas tell me i need to make more girl zoodies...i think the problem is that 1) i do make them for girls, but i havent posted them in the shop because i am horrible at taking pictures and B) in an effort to stretch myself and sew more for my boys i went overboard and left out some of the girls in my life. ya know some girls dont want to be kitty cats...or sharks or dinos for that after stretching a bit more and a great idea from Becks, here i introduce the mouse and ladybug...

modeled by boyz...2 very hesitant boys may i just throw that in there. i am accepting orders now for these, however they will take a while to post in the shop, since the mannequin won't work for these guys seeing how my mannequin lacks a head to display the hood....soooo...until i get real creative and fashion a head for a mannequin, i will need to find some female models to post better pics of them in the shop.

so if you are interested, please email me at carleekajsa (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, April 19, 2010

crafting shirts

the boys and i took a nice long walk this morning and afternoon- stopping at the beach to play - along our local main street to shop and sight see and at the nearby park to run around and have a picnic - even big B joined us at the park for lunch. the weather was amazing and Bodie even waited till we got back to nap...which meant i could even rest - not nap, but rest...i rarely get to sit for longer than 10 minutes, so this is excitement. this was a pretty close to perfect morning for us.

i realize that bryson needs to be active early and focused on something, or else our day sees more chaos and fights and bad attitudes than is warranted. but if i get him out of the house and active and on a mission, we can have a seamless day. i think i have known this about him since he was 18 months and we started going to the park every day...every 9:30...every day....or else. it hasnt changed.

anyway - i was also thinking to myself how easy it was with just much we could do in one day and still enjoy the i used to have a regular craft time with him every afternoon. now it is more like once a week. granted, i am working in the office more, but with 2 - there is rarely a day like today. and soon there will be 3...and schedules will be adjusted again...and less will get done in a day....and i am still trying to mentally prep myself for that. i switch between anxiety and excitement approximately 346 times each day. but given it all, my day is filled with more love and excitement with my 2 boys. i am so so blessed to have each of them and wouldnt change it for the world and i know this little soul will change our lives, but it will ultimately be for the better and i do look forward to that.

so today was a pretty amazing day - i got to clear my head and mind and also create with BOTH my boys. how fun! Bryson was experimenting with mixing colors and creating his own names for them and Bodie experimented with tasting paint and getting marker everywhere. fun times.

the bike shirt is Bodie's and the ant shirt is Bryson's. this is Bryson saying..."i think the ants are looking for dirt. they like to eat dirt." i told him they like sweet things, "no, i think they like dirt" whatever!

these are my favorite tees at the moment - American Apparel's tri-blend tee (polyester, cotton & rayon) - it is so super a thrifted them...

i guess he is saluting here? not sure...but at least you can see the little strawberry on the sleeve the ants are going for? i thought this shirt would be so BOY, but it kinda looks girly to me too? its transgender...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

gender neutral curtains

not knowing the gender of the unborn baby...and also preferring more gender neutral design in general...and also being quite let down in the kids' decorating scene...i decided to fashion my own curtains for the boys' room. i am in love with this linen. i used some in the comforter/quilt i am making and i had to get more. it was 50% off at Joann's and i should really get more...i would love a skirt of my own in it...making something for myself - what a novel idea :) anyway...i love this color combo of gray and orange...just neutral enough i think.

even with the 50% off i dont think i saved too much making these, but it makes me so happy to see things that i have made in use around the house.

what surprised me even more was that Bryson loves them! he told me so. he came in while i was putting Bodie to bed and said that he loves the spots. then he asked me how to make them. then he told me they were like the spots on my face (i am guessing he means freckles) that makes me even happier - when stuff i make is also appreciated...which is a rarity these days...dern opinionated boys :)

Shop Update! Dresses Galore!

I had the community market/fair at Fremont Elementary today to help raise money for the school's tech/science lab. what a great school...what a great community. this will be Bryson's school if he goes to Public school and what a great introduction to the school i had today. We met the principal (who happens to attend the same church as we do...hurrah) and a lot of the parents and their kiddos as well. these are some of the only pics we took, but i love it because this is so what happens during a craft show - one or more of the kiddos running around, some in the booth, some out. it was a great day, but mainly because i shared a booth with Angie. Angie used to have a little shop called The Outfit. Sadly, they are closing, but for a good cause - Angie became a mommy to her third child 6 weeks ago (her and her sweet baby girl Esme shown here) and is putting her efforts there - where they belong. And guess what? you can benefit! She is having a huge sale over go here and check out her store!!

I scored this sweet little hat for the Bode-ster from her...he loves it for seconds at a time...hopefully we can keep reminding him how cool it is!

So if you have been paying attention, i have been making a slurry of little wee girls' dresses and no models to speak of to post decent pics up in the shop, but thanks to dear Angie i was able to purchase a wee mannequin from her. by far the easiest model to work with ;) however, this model only fits 2T and up, so my smaller dresses still need a little bod until they can go as well.

i was able to post some things up in the shop today - a bunch of stuff for 2T! so if you were looking...i'm just sayin!

Friday, April 16, 2010

peter fernandez and the mediator bird

if anyone can tell me exactly what a mediator bird is i think i will be slightly less confused.

Monday, April 12, 2010

another craft fair...

i am such a good little blogger when it comes to really random and mostly unimportant things...but when it comes to the shop and bizness i get all lame...

i am in a craft fair this weekend...sorry for the late notice...its at Fremont Elementary on 4th and Termino this Saturday from 8am - 1pm...its to raise money for the elementary school's science lab, which is in danger of leaving the school due to the never-ending budget cuts.

if you are around - stop by! it should be a cute little community market.

i haven't been whipping up too much new stuff because i have been making actual sales! can you believe it? after about 6 months of silence, i have had 7 orders in the past 2 weeks - 4 of those being zoodies...good stuff! i have had some friends and family also place some orders, which i am always more than happy to do.  its so fun to create something together with someone.

part of my new years resolution was to use up my fabric before i went off and bought new stuff (the exception being if i was out of a type of fabric - like flannel for baby blankets, etc). so i ruined all that when i stopped at M&L Fabrics in Anaheim because a certain "friend" told me about how great it is...(thanks a lot i dream about that store!). but i am slowly using all the gingham i bought there...havent finished the quilt yet, but once i have a good 5 or 6 hours to kill i am totally on it :)

so my sister ordered a dress for a 1 year old birthday girl and i whipped up 2 - one for her and one for the shop, whichever she doesn't choose will be for sale on saturday. so let me know which one is about 12-18 months i would say...the blue and orange one is super duper soft and the pear one is a bit fuller.

i am planning on doing more craft fairs in the upcoming months so stay tuned and hopefully i will get better at announcing and giving people actual planning time :)

no girl babies...

bryson just told me..."no girl babies are allowed in here!"

"what girl babies?" i asked...

"the one in your tummy mom!" he replied

"how do you know its a girl, it could be a boy."

"well...only boys are allowed in this house. no girls are allowed. only boys. like bodie. girls poop a lot."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

oh candis

my mom sent me this pic of herself at my i am assuming this is sara-britt she is holding (her third)? she thought our hair choices were oddly similar...i see so much of myself in this picture its a little scary...first of all she is carrying a diaper bag she made - gotta love that 80s quilted fabric! and she probably made that bonnet too.

so many instances my sister or husband will look at me as i scold bryson, or spend an extra 5 minutes to make a matching hair ribbon, or laugh at the dumbest thing, or forget to finish a sentence or add baking soda in the cookies and just say, "hello candis" its true and its inevitable and i am totally at peace with it...

except for that braces and perm period she had in her 30s...dont want to go there...sorry ya!
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the hunting of the eggs...

meet the Westmont babies...that is babies due to the coupling of Westmont-ers...this is, by the way, also an ad for Westmont College since they apparently produce the most darling children around...if you need an excuse like that to go there...i guess...

Meet Hank (Henry Willard Bartel - son of Jon and Paige): he is the youngest of the group (by about a week) - he is so smart and advanced for his age. he is so good at communicating what he wants - (and his momma is even better at reading him before he needs to). he has a sweet sweet heart - if he really likes something he tries to give it to you...and doesnt take it back...which i thought was amazing! he is content to people watch - or more accurately Bryson watch...but is also quick to join in on the fun and explore it all himself too! he looks just like his mama, but i can tell a lot of his papa's sweet disposition is coming through.

and this little doll is Signy...she is the daughter of Andy and Monica Hansen and is the only girl of the far...we shall see if she is joined by any other little females soon enough! She is a little talker and definitely the mama-ish type of the group. very concerned about the other boys. at one point she was sitting down and looked at them and just told her mama, "boys..." get used to it can come pull a seat up next to me and we'll talk! she is also very concerned if you cough - she will ask if you are okay. She knows what she wants and is not fearful of expressing that, but she is also very concerned about the others too. she is so precious!

and finally Declan Oliver Hurley - the adorable son of Jeff and Solera. Declan is so sweet. he and Bryson played so well it was so sweet to watch. He was so excited about our Easter egg hunt and part of the excitement included dumping his bucket of eggs out. He also sat through the entire church service and barely made a peep...only an occasional "bryson!" amazed me...i didnt know boys like that existed! he is a little Jeff makes me laugh just looking at him!

it was so fun to spend some quality time with them and to watch our friends of 10+ years interact with their kids too! what amazing parents they all are...which isn't surprising since they are all pretty amazing people in my opinion, but so fun to see them start to raise their families and continue on this crazy journey.

Easter 2010

we had a lovely say it simply and Santa Barbara with some old college buddies. Here we are after Easter service at All Saints by the Sea. it was a wonderful service and we had an amazing time re-connecting with our dear dear friends. here is the very rare group shot...missing, of course, the Hansens, who were able to join us for the annual Brunch-a-Que afterward, of which this was our first we attended.

you will not see pics of the actual Que portion of the day since we happened to eat the Que at approximately 9:30 that evening. which happens often if Bryan is anywhere near the Que...which i rarely complain because he is, indeed, my favorite Que-er.

We feel very blessed to have been able to spend the day in such a gorgeous place, with such amazing people to celebrate such a wondrous event! i hope your Easter was just as joyous!

let's talk Christmas / Jesse Tree

i know we just got through with Easter, but I came home from our lovely trip to Santa Barbara - (pics and post to come...dont worry mom) - and i found these sweet little guys waiting for me! how exciting! last year one of the associate pastors at our church spoke to our MOPs group about The Jesse Tree. apparently a lot of people already knew about this concept...i had not...he spoke a little into the Advent season, so it was probably a little late for it last year, but it was perfect to plan for 2010.

Basically the Jesse Tree is a way to celebrate every day in the advent - a way to teach your kids the story of the Bible through Advent that starts at creation and ends with Christ's birth and death on the cross. What i love about it is that it can be as long or as short as your family needs- it can be as simple as hanging one ornament a day and reading a Bible verse that goes along with it, or it can be a 30 minute long Bible study and family sing-a-long special Advent time. You can read more about it here and here.

a mom in our group told about this family that hand makes all the ornaments (there are usually 25 of them) for the tree and i knew that A) i would not be making them myself because holidays are nutzoid craft time for me and B) i needed to order them then because they take a while for them to do and C) i want to support any family handmade cute is that! but...i just got them and i believe i ordered them on December 10th and they just became ready on March 26th.

so hopefully some of you will be thankful for this very early Christmas post if you are interested in doing it because it does take a bit of preparation. You can either order these handmade ornaments...Here is their website (it also explains the concept of the Jesse Tree). or you can pick up the ornaments that correlate with the Jesse Tree story throughout the year.

i think Bryson is at the perfect age (4) to start something like this, although no age is probably too young to start making this a habit in your house!

i hadn't told Bryson about the Easter Bunny until the night before Easter because i didn't want Easter to become about eggs and candy...and it did become that...its hard to overshadow that...which is why with Christmas i think this is a great daily way to celebrate Advent and start that discussion and carve that time out so that hopefully the amazing story of the Bible overshadows presents and stockings...yes? one can hope anyway...we do our best...

**UPDATE: The family that makes the ornaments is not taking orders at this time due to the death of their father. Please send prayers up to this family (he has 8 children) especially during the holiday season.

I have found another handmade source for Jesse Tree ornaments - you can find it by clicking here