Archive for July, 2009

Tourist in My Own Town

I’ve lived in this city for over 8 years. Last weekend, for the first time, I went on a riverboat ride. It was cooler than I could have imagined. There was a park ranger who gave lots of details about the riverfront and history of the river. He was great. Even better, was the view.


Just when I think I’ve done it all here, I get thrilled and amazed by a new attraction. St Louis, I love you, your history and look forward to even fun discoveries.


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Bigger Kid

We explored another new park. This park was large and fun and did not have an endless list of rules.


It’s no surprise that the biggest kid there was having as much fun as everyone else. He’s a rockin’ dad for sure!

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Eat Cake

I lost a pound or two recently. I know just where to find them.


Almond cake with chocolate icing drizzle. Fortunately, my children seem to love it as much as I do. It will look better on their bones than on mine.

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Big Kid

Yes, my child is growing up and growing up BIG. He now wears the same shoe size as me. This is startling because I do not have dainty little feet. No, my feet tend toward the gigantic being a women’s size 10. And he’s wearing my brother’s fire station shirt — my 6ft, 3″ brother. And it’s not absurdly huge on him.
Yes, this child is growing. At least my long-neglected roller blades now have someone to use them……temporarily……until his next growth spurt.

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Dog Food Bag Recycled

John was refilling the dog food tin yesterday morning. I noticed that the bag the food came in was made out of some thick, waterproof, plastic-like fabric. It seemed a waste to throw it away. I decided to repurpose it into a messenger bag. This is one quick and easy project and only requires basic sewing skills.

First, get a nice durable dog food bag. I’m partial to Purina dog food mainly because it’s affordable, my dog loves it, and they are a local company.

I cut the top off the bag, and then cut the remaining bag in half. This one was about 20 inches long, leaving me with a bottom that was 10″ high and a top piece 10″ high. The bottom will be the “body” of the messenger bag. Decide which part looks more attractive and keep that for the back since the front of the bag will be partially covered by the flap.

Examine your top piece and decide which portion will look best as a front for your bag. Cut this panel out. Flip the panel over and use a drinking glass to draw a curve to the bottom edges. Cut along curve.

This curved piece will be the flap of your messenger bag. It would look nice if the edge were finished with bias tape. Since I had no bias tape on hand and was too lazy to make my own, I cheated and just serged around it.

Pin this flap to the back of your bag and sew it on. Just for reference, I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn under a small hem all along the bag edge (1/4 inch is fine) and stitch in place. Now it’s time to make the strap.

Using the remaining portion of the top of the bag to make strap. I cut the remaining piece width-wise in half and then sewed them together to make one long 5″ wide piece.

I turned under a small seam allowance on each edge, then folded the piece in half and sewed the seam shut. This made a strap that was about 2.25 inches wide. This seemed like a good width to me. Alternatively, you could also use belt webbing to make this look more professional.

Sew the strap firmly (I triple stitched) to the sides of the bag.

Voila! You have saved a bag from the trash bin and created a very cute and useful carrier for leashes, frisbees and tennis balls.
Off to the park we go!

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Renaissance Faire — at last!

In early May, we went to the Renaissance Faire. The Faire is a yearly tradition for our family. Each and every one of us LOVES wearing costumes and stepping back in time for the day. We brought along two extra boys — my nephew, B, and DNA’s friend, also in costume. It took a while but I have finally uploaded the photos.
Yes, I know that isn’t the best photo ever……but it’s the only one I had of the entire group of us.

The boys bought wooden swords and let loose on each other.

They ate turkey legs.

We were lucky with the weather this year. It was mild and we did not swelter like last year. We stayed all day but had many breaks.

Since we have been doing this for several years, I now have quite a range of boy costume sizes. I had some pants to make and a new shirt for John. My costume was pretty much the same as last year.

I made a new cap and re-made my bodice. This time I added even more boning to the bodice and bigger grommets for closure — the kind that are applied with a hammer and much pain since I kept getting my thumb in the way. I added a large embroidered rooster to John’s tunic. He was teased repeatedly about his big, errrrr, cockerel. I was much amused.

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Trash Picked Treasures

I see lots of mattresses on the curb when driving around. Thrown away mattresses have no appeal to me unless, like this one I saw last week, they are NEW.


Yes, it is brand new and still sealed in plastic and had a free sign on it. We popped it in the van immediately. I’ve been dreaming about a daybed for my screened porch for a while. Perhaps it’s time for my daybed. I’ll let you know when I find the rest of it out there.

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