African Belle….




I was asked to sew something for a local  fundraiser that included a silent auction. Because Arukah is such a great support for our community, I myself go to yoga classes there, I was very happy to do so. Other than sewing for my Bella, sewing for a good cause is my favorite kind of sewing. I love one-of-a-kind items, it’s like a piece of art. It happens to fall right in with this week’s Project Run and Play theme. This is definitely my signature style. I love color, african fabric to represent my african heritage and the patchwork on the bodice brings in some part of artistic play on the dress. I used the bodice pattern I blocked a couple of years ago and used the lil luxe dress as inspiration for the skirt. Unfortunately Ankara fabric is very narrow and I had to wing a 1 and a half circle skirt with just two pleats on the front and back, added pockets with some gold bias trim as well as on the bodice between the patchwork pieces, invisible zipper in the back, two layers of tulle, horse hair braid in the top layer skirt and tada……. the African princess dress was born…








IMG_E4130Hopefully with the next round of Project Run and play , I can get my act together and sew along for all 4 weeks.

Till next time……..

The Graphite Trousers and Shorts….

Definitely time for me to fire up the old blog again. Instagram makes things so easy to share and find inspiration so I get a little lazy. Testing the new The Graphite Trousers and Shorts Pattern by Made by Toya was the perfect pattern to get back into blogging. I don’t test patterns often but if there is a call from certain designers I jump on it and Toya is one of a handful.

My girlie was also in desperate need of more pants – something stylish yet moveable and this patterns cover all of the bases. I have made 5 different versions already and have many more planned as well as modifications which this pants are perfect for.


This version is the long version and I made it in an Art gallery voile from my stash. I added a belt buckle to the ties for a different detail. My girlie falls right into the 5t size measurements for width and 7 for length and I had to make no adjustments for the fit to be perfect which is a sure sign of a well-drafted pattern.


This is the short version without ties and I added panda buttons.


The Graphite Shorts below was made in an ankara ( waxed cotton) zebra print. This version has cuffs and was one of the first versions.


The instructions are very clear and if you have the waist elastic method down you will be able to sew a well-fitted, stylish pair of trousers in a jiffy.


It has pockets – yay!!!!!! Who doesn’t  love pockets.

The panda pair is my latest and I tried it in a euro cotton knit and added ribbing for a cropped version. I sized one size down in the width and it came out perfect.



The Pattern is well laid out yet simple with not too many parts. Illustrations always perfect from Toya and you get the short,cropped and long version all in one which make printing and cutting out very easy.


The blue dotted version is probably my favorite and I can’t keep up with washing this pair or photographing it for that matter – if girl-child see it’s clean she pulls them on. It is full- length with a fold over for a cuff and the front tie.


so go grab a copy. It is so worth it. For this week only use code GRAPHITE10 for a 10 % discount.


I am looking forward to more patterns from Toya. If you don’t follow her yet on Instagram now would be a good time to start.



Till Next Time……

Sewing for Kindergarten


I haven’t blogged in a while 🙂 The intent is always there but the time escapes me. IG has definitely made it easier to follow and see what my favorite creators are up to so I have become lazy with blogging. Mie from  Sewing Like Mad is probably one of the first bloggers I started following years ago when I started sewing back up again, and was quite honored when she asked me to participate. Mie has this beautiful style and precision in sewing that attracts me to her work – go check out her beautiful work. She also has amazing tutorials.


Mie asked us the following questions – This might get long 🙂 Schooling has been THE topic  that has been taking over my head in the past 5 years for both the kids and definitely the thing that added a few grey hairs. We have only had great experiences in schools we have and are attending but it is the decision making that makes it so hard.

Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? If not, which number child is this?  No, This is my second and last child.
Do you feel like crying or celebrating? And what about your child?Both for me. I knew she would love school and it is great for our relationship. We both grow while she is in school and then when she gets home we love those precious times together and really talk about what she did and experienced. I do worry about her a lot – in a safety kind of way. She is the fearless child that does things that makes you tremble if you think about it, so for her I pray – A LOT.
What kind of school does your child attend? (Public, charter, private or homeschool) Ha , here’s the thing that gave me all the grey hair. She goes to Public and we absolutely love it. When my son went to Kindergarten we had full intention to send him to public school, but a couple of weeks before he should have started I panicked, visited a Classical education Christian school and he attended there, we moved a LOT in the past few years so by Grade 2  I decided to Homeschool, something I thought I would NEVER EVER do, but I did and for the past two years I have loved it for him for the moment. When time came to send Bella – again we looked into all options but there was no reason why I wouldn’t send her to public school. I did have SO many fears because it is our first experience with public school and those first ten days were rough for momma. I decided she will not be riding the bus ( we live 5 minutes from the school but because of the route she would be 1 hour on the bus before she gets dropped off) and on day 2 she got put on the bus – I full on panicked and it was  the longest hour of my life but we were warned that once in a while in the beginning of the year that might happen but there are systems in place that insures the child safety  – and there is and for that I am so grateful. Another lesson learned by me – She got off that bus and she absolutely loved it and has been riding that bus ever since. We love the bus driver, she made friends in the neighborhood on the bus.  I have to say I love, love, love public school , she goes to a wonderful school with loving and caring staff. She also goes to a school with very strict rules in a loving environment – She thrives there .
Question to your kindergartner: What have been the best and the worst part so far?

” PE!…and art….and music…..oh, and story time, Recess….FRY tests so I can get gum and I love the science stuff when we look through a microscope, not the one that you look in the sky, the one that you look in on the table ” 🙂

worst part: ” mmmmmm….. let me think about that…..Lunchtime…. except on Fridays when you give me money for an ice-cream. ”


On to the Kindergarten wardrobe for girl child. I started doing this last year for her for preschool. I try to pick a color scheme and use lots of neutrals and basic patterns so I can mix and match. I went for Blue and yellow and greys and denims this year. Yellow makes me think of Bella – She has this wonderful, brightening personality and you sure know when that girl enters a room. She loves to look “Beautiful “- She loves dresses (the longer the better) but she loves to run and climb and does not sit still. We love the same things so a lot of the things I make for me, she wants too. I love that she still wants to do that so mom sews if Bella says “sew”.


COVER YOUR BUTT Pants is and essential part of our wardrobe – The girl love dresses but she also loves to be upside down so I sewed many of these. It is a perfect use for all those scrap pieces of knit fabric that you have. I use the go-to-leggings pattern and just cut it short like bike shorts.


The pieces I have currently is a great base that I can build on. My favorite knits are european knits from Jumping June textiles. I love double gauze, denims and then my favorites are shwe shwe and Ankara fabrics for wovens. The patterns I use are usually basic ones from designers I adore and then I adjust them to different looks and then some are self drafted. I used the rowan tee and the small fry skinny jeans pattern from Titchy threads – can’t go wrong with any of Laura’s patterns – Love them. The Satya Romper and The Naples dress are both patterns from Jennifer of the  Jennuine design Pattern shop – another designer that you can not go wrong with. I used the romper pattern for both the pants too.


I have a few short sleeve shirts and then a lot of 3/4 sleeves for fall and winter. I am waiting on a denim woven to add a winter coat to this collection. I love to sew rompers in the fall a size up so she can wear a tight fitting long or 3/4 sleeve shirt underneath and by the time summer rolls in next year it fits perfect to wear without a shirt – that way I don’t need to sew a summer and winter wardrobe – we love to layer to keep things simple.


This is her at Open house in her Satya romper meeting her teacher and new classmates…..


This is her yesterday just before school, She couldn’t wait to wear this one. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays they have PE and she wears her favorite nike leggings for that but she assured me that she could run in this and she did – she says the skirt runs so fast 🙂


My favorite dress is the Naples dress from Jennuine design and I used this beautiful Ankara from  Reflektion design ( STUNNING- go check her out). She wore this for Picture day and apparently all the teachers were very jealous .


She was pretty happy to go to her school on a Sunday for some pictures……





” Look Mom, I think Mrs Adams is at school, can we go say Hi?”


Pop on over to Sewing Like Mad and go check out these amazing bloggers as they are sewing for their Kindergarteners.


Till next time………

21 day fix approved FRIED RICE


I am almost 4 months in and I am loving my new lifestyle. I am continuing eating the 21 day fix plan. Since the last time I posted I completed 2 cycles of the 21 day fix workouts, completed cize and am currently busy with PiYO and halfway done – Loving it.

The biggest struggle I hear about from people is the food of being on a diet. You think it is the working out but it is not – it is the food. You don’t want to feel like you are on a diet because you want to follow your plan for the rest of the plan. One month in and you are dying for some fried chicken and chick-fil-A fries. When I started this I knew it was going to be an issue for me so I am constantly trying new things, deciding what I like and what I don’t like and when I do make my favorite recipes I make sure that I put the best things in there – Ingredients that is going to give me the nutrition that I need and not harm my body as well as get me through my workouts and when I go to bed at night I know I did not feel deprived that day.


I started making fried rice right from the beginning and I love this – it is versatile and quick to make if you prep like I do twice a week. I love that it is a one pan dish and you can really pack in a bunch of gooooooood stuff in there and make it flavorful. When I am in doubt I make Fried rice……


For Vegetables I would use pretty much anything I have prepped in my containers in the fridge. My favorites for fried rice is like above and you are going to fill

2 green containers with veggies

  • zucchini
  • broccoli
  • bell pepper
  • onion
  • carrots

You are going to need 1 egg (1/2 red container)

another protein to fill the other 1/2 of the red container ( in this instance I used salmon – I use whatever I have on hand. I will cook either some salmon/lean beef on my prep day and I always buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket and get all the good stuff in a container on prep day)

1 yellow container Rice ( I really like the whole grain sprouted brown rice but you can use your favorite rice/quinoa – This is another thing that I cook twice a week and have it ready in a container in the fridge.)

1 tsp of coconut oil/EVOO or any approved tsp to cook with

1/2 blue container of parmesan cheese(optional)

few drops of 21 day fix approved hot sauce ( check your labels for no added sugar and salt)

2 sprays of Brachs liquid aminos



  1. I like to cook my onions and red peppers in coconut oil for 5-7 minutes( I like it almost caramelized) then I add the rest of my veggies and cook for another 5 minutes(or however you like them done)

2. whisk the egg and move your veggies to the side and add the egg to the pan and cook just like an omelet, when you see it is started to cook through scramble it around till done.

4. Add your precooked rice and meat/fish/poultry.



5. Spray some liquid aminos, add some hot sauce and parmesan and ENJOY!


21 Day fix Results

I have had more than a few friends asking what I have been doing and because the answer is not quite just one thing I thought I would go ahead and do a blog post. And why wouldn’t I ? It is changing my life. a Lifestyle change is like a Perfect Storm – There needs to be a bunch of elements working together at the right time and place. If you are looking for a quick fix – this is not it. It is also not a miracle pill – It takes time and it is going to be very hard at first and it is going to take constant work. It does however give you the tools to succeed and make it a healthy lifestyle. And it WILL get easier the longer you do it.

These are my results so far.

21 day fix

Why did I decide to become Healthy and Fit?

Like many other people I just love to eat my feelings. It doesn’t have to be just bad – good,bad even just boredom has me running for sugar. Now if it had me running for vegetables – not a big problem ,but sugar – BIG problem. Up until a little over 4 years ago I was able to manage it just fine. If I gain lbs I would actively try and lose those lbs and succeed. We move around a lot with hubby’s job and 4 years ago when he told me we are moving again that was it. The change was too much- Life seemed too much – I stopped working out, semi-healthy eating went into a complete junk and sugar diet , add the stress and I gained  50lbs in a very short time. Got the move over with, settled down, made some new friends but my body rebelled – I found myself in a chronic state of self induced inflammation. Always in pain, any type of effort to get my health back on track failed. A little over a year ago (another move and 20lbs later) I decided to settle  and that I was going to live my life and accept how I look and feel and make the best of it.

Then I lost my dad in May of 2015. Nothing could have prepared me for the pain but I  took that pain and started to look into my life and what I make of it. I call 2015 my Perspective year. I didn’t want to settle anymore, I knew deep down in my heart I was not happy about my weight and I also knew that my dad would want me to live my life to the fullest just the way he showed me to.


I knew I had to find a program that would work for me. I will be 40 in October so I had to make sure I pick the right program. I want to be the healthiest and fittest version of me in October. I don’t want to be the mom that says she is older and can’t play with her kids. I have two young children and I want to play with them without feeling horrible.

A few of my friends has been successful on different programs and I started doing my research. I didn’t want to just jump into something. I believe all of the different programs out there have value – depending on what your goals are and if you are going for long or short term changes.. I knew

  • I didn’t want to use a bunch of products that when I stopped I would just go back to what I was before. (I also didn’t want to add to the inflammation with putting things into my body where I didn’t know how it would react.)
  • I wanted to eat healthy, learn portion control  and not cut out any food group ( I mean I’ve tried that before and it didn’t work)
  • I wanted to get active again in a safe environment.
  • I was looking for a program with support that would keep me accountable and help me through the hard days.

Why Beachbody? and why the 21 day fix?

I met Ashley from Losing it with Sam & Ash virtually in the beginning of 2015 on instagram. We had a few things in common like being a mom, she also home schools her kids and she also does Classical Conversations. I really liked her posts – It made sense  and it is “real” . I love that she is very honest and open about who she is and what she does and that she says what is on her mind without being afraid of what the “haters” might say. She would have a call to join the Busy Girl Challenge every month and finally by December I answered. I contacted her and she asked me a few questions about goals and where I am at fitness wise. She recommended the 21 day Fix challenge in the Busy Girl challenge group.

It means I would

  • Follow the 21 day fix Meal plan
  • work out 30 minutes a day at home
  • drink shakeology (superfood meal replacement shake)
  • check in daily in a facebook group where I will keep myself accountable and get support from other women just like me.

21 day fix Meal Plan:

So what is the meal plan?  You get  colored containers for different food groups and you are going to learn what to eat and how much . I really love the meal plan. It has taught me and showed me how badly I ate before. You might think the containers are small but I can promise you I am not starving.

Below is a typical day for me.

21 day fix day1

It is much easier than counting calories. After a few weeks on the program I do not use my containers anymore – you learn how much you can eat of certain food.

I am constantly trying new things and searching for different recipes. I hate “diet” food. One of the ladies in our challenge group posted a recipe from Jen Hatmaker and I share her sentiments about diet food….jen hatmaker quote

I have tried different 21-day fix “approved” recipes and even ones people have raved about, I absolutely hated  but that is ok because I am constantly trying and finding things that I REALLY love. There are plenty of great 21-day fix recipes on pinterest if you are not a big explorer in the kitchen. The great thing about the guide is that it has a wide range of foods for each container so you don’t have to stop eating your favorite recipes – you can just tweak it with the best possible ingredients from the food list. Another thing the program really encourage is meal prep on 1 or 2 days a week. I am not a big fan of meals that is cooked way in advance, I can do one day in advance but not more. That said Sundays and Wednesdays are still my pre- meal prep. I will cut up and clean veggies, cook some rice and make turkey chilli or something similar. That way they are ready for me when I do make my meals.

( I just ordered the Fixate book after hearing great things about it)


I am very much a check list person so I made a list with my containers that I have on the fridge and whenever I eat something or pack something for on the go – I check it off ( It is in a plastic sleeve with a dry erase marker) that way I keep track of what I have left. ( There is an app for this but I find it easier on my fridge) Tonight when I am done , I just wipe it off and it is ready for me for the next day.( If you are already a 21 day fix challenger and are reading this I am happy to share this with you on our board)


21 day Fix  workouts:

I have realized over the years that workouts and diet goes hand in hand. Yes, I know you can lose weight by just changing your diet but this program has really taught me to eat the right things and fuel my workout. If I do a workout and I can’t get through it , I know I didn’t eat enough of the right things.  The Yellow container is carbs ( and I love my carbs). Ashley my coach helped me by suggesting the right type of carbs at the right time of day to make them work for me during and after my workouts. Another thing the yellow container helps me with is my cravings – I believe if you spread it over the day – it is going to be easier to get past those cravings. There is 7 different workouts ( one for every day of the week) and then also a 10 minute ab workout. Every day hits  a different type of exercise. There is upper body, lower body, cardio, Pilates and Yoga which is all you need. It was a real challenge in the beginning and I am glad I was doing it in the comfort of my own home. ( no GYMTIMIDATION) On the very first day around minute 11 Autumn says  this…autumn

Right then and there I went from ” I want to” to “I will do this and I will succeed”. The best about this is that I found that I really love doing strength training. It helps me gain lean muscle and not lose it- like if you don’t do exercise, in return it helps me burn fat more efficient . I love Autumn as a trainer, she explains things really well. Her workouts are clearly working for me and she is not too in your face but also not too quiet.It also works for a long time. In the beginning I did a lot of modifications, after 8 weeks I do very few, you also get to keep on challenging yourself by upping your weights. All you need is two sets of weights(or a resistance band) and a mat. I will be moving on to 21 day fix EXTREME soon.

When I bought the Challenge pack I also got Beachbody on demand for 1 month free ( it’s like the  NETFLIX of fitness programs. I ended up trying a few other beachbody programs. Turbo fire’s 15 minute hiit is another favorite . Something that both me and my son really liked was cize by Shaun T. It is fun and you really sweat. Adding this the past month with my 21 day fix has upped my weight loss. My son lost 5 lbs in the past month  just by adding cize and he is much better at it than his mom 🙂 He does it just before we start our school day and it helps him being ready for the day.



This part was the hardest because I wanted to do it without any products. The challenge pack included 30-days supply of it and I decided to just give it a try for 30 days. I’ve done some research about it on my own – the positives and the negatives(which was all just based on personal opinion) and then Ashley posted some clips about ingredients etc. I have also used it 2 years ago so I was happy with how it made me feel. Shakeology is NOT a quick fix. On its own it will not help you lose weight, you need all of the above to really be successful. I also expected it to taste like a treat which it didn’t. Let’s face it there is a lot of plants in there 🙂 . I recommend starting simple and add different things. Here is another thing a coach is really helpful with. It is very easy to load this thing with a bunch of calories. I use it for what it is – It is a tool that will:

  • help you get great nutrition in
  • I add 2 green containers and a purple in my shake so it helps you get your veggies and fruit in.
  • it does help with cravings
  • it is easy and I especially do it right after my workout when I don’t feel like eating but need something for recovery.
  • Perfect for on the go
  • It replaces one meal/snack that you don’t have to think about
  • It definitely helps with detox ( I cut down in my first two weeks to half a serving)

I am a skeptic turned shakeology cheerleader. It is worth it for me and it definitely helps me reach and maintain my goals.


The Busy Girl Challenge group

I can’t say enough about these ladies. It is a no-judgement group of women all trying to get /stay healthy. There are young women, older women, wives, mothers, you name it. I very quickly made a few good friends with women I have things in common with. They will applaud every little, tiny victory that the outside world have no knowledge of and they will pick you up when you fall. Picking  my coach was an important part of my journey. I wanted a coach that is a “people” person with an active challenge group. I was very fortunate in finding just that.


Visual: I have lost 30 lbs so far and a total of 29 inches across my body over a 60 day period. When 21 days are done , I go straight back into the next challenge because I have no need to a “cheat” day. I feel fulfilled in what I eat. On days in my cycle where I feel I need something  sweet I don’t deny myself but I also don’t go overboard.I make smarter choices. This program has helped me eat enough while feeling satisfied. I do not feel deprived and I get to eat what I want.

Day 1

day 1 21 day fix (1)

I do not recognize the above person anymore. I was so unhealthy and am so happy I made the decision to not settle.

Day 56 (during)


I am  still a way from maintenance but I am so happy with what I gained so far: The weight loss is a bonus but the way I feel is EVERYTHING – Mentally and Physically. Am I feeling all perfect now? No , but close , I still have days where I have a flare up but it is manageable and few and far between. I don’t take any pain medication at all and don’t feel the need for it either. I have not had a headache in a very  looong time.

My body is changing for the BETTER. I will never be skinny, I am just not build that way – I also love the way I am built but because of my binge eating I became so out of proportion. The 21 day fix meal plan and workouts are shrinking my belly and  my proportions are getting back into place which in return makes it so much easier to buy clothes again and even better – Make clothes again for myself and not just for girl child – I LOVE THAT!!!! I also love that I feel stronger than I have ever been  in my life.

Another bonus is that I have not gotten really sick since I started in the beginning of January. I think that if you eat healthy and work out you still get the virus but your body fights it better.( I am not a doctor it is just my own 2 cents out of experience) While the kids have gotten their monthly winter bug, I might have had a little scratch in my throat but nothing to go lie down about. I have done 64 days of workouts in a row and am so proud about that ( I am actually too scared to miss one right now ,afraid of what it might do to my momentum)

I get up at 4 , do my devotional, drink my coffee with a pre-workout snack, check into the challenge group page ( on days I don’t feel like doing my workout there is always somebody already up and cheering me on and also vice versa) and start my workout around 6:30. Around that time the kids walk in and will either jump in and work out with me or watch me and it has become this wonderful family time we have every single day of the week.

Is it Easy:

No , not at all. It does get easier and you get stronger and before you know it – you love it and you can’t live without it.

If you decide to do this program I would strongly recommend you stick with it for 21 days – NO cheating. If you miss a day, or stumble on the meal plan – start counting again. You will not lose the results you already got but if you stick with it for 21 days you will see and feel the FULL results. After 21 days it also gets easier making this a lifestyle and not just a diet. I have fears but I take it day by day and enjoy the wins I have every day.


I paid around $140 for a challenge pack that included a month supply of shakeology, containers and whole meal plan, 9 workouts and the support group. The biggest cost is definitely the shakeology and I recommend getting a challenge pack in the beginning so you can save and try the whole beachbody experience. There are ways to save on shakeology too that you will find out. In the beginning the cost of it for me was quite high but after two months using it, I see in so many places where I am saving money living this way. I save an insane amount of money on take out. I cook so much more for us and when we do take out once a week , I just do it for the kids and either order a healthy option without fries or I just prefer and come home and make something for me. We also save on groceries – Before I would buy a bunch of junk AND a bunch of healthy stuff and end up throwing the healthy stuff away when it spoils. Now I don’t buy junk anymore and use all of my greens and fruits. Peels etc goes into my compost pile and come spring it is ready to go into my vegetable garden.

I also cancelled my gym membership that I have not been using. I never liked working out at home but somehow it has become my new normal that I love. I am also excited to try classes with friends now that I am more comfortable with my body and fitness outside of my home.

I always said I will be the worst salesperson in the world but because my coach and challenge group are changing my life , I jumped at the opportunity to become an apprentice coach. If I can help just one woman getting started on the journey and help her through feeling how I did to how I feel now – Oh man that would be awesome. I have a bunch of women walking with me and there is always place for more. If you are not ready to join yet but are looking into getting healthier I strongly suggest following Ashley over at Losing it with Sam and Ash just like me it might take you some time to be ready. I truly believe 100% commitment is needed for success. You can also follow my journey over on Instagram

If you are ready to join me or want some more info  you can send me an email at

send me a message on facebook

or join me on my coach page

(you will find a lot of information about programs and shakeology at the above link)

Dry-erase Magnetic Maps

First of all if you are following my blog you are probably doing it because it is sewing related. Today is going to be about creating but nothing sewing related. I started home-schooling my oldest a year and a half ago and am spending a lot of time making our home school room a fun environment to learn in.  It is definetely a learning curve. I’ve tried lots of things that doesn’t work as great and then there are things that I really love just like the maps I will be showing you today.


I made a world map to use at home and in my classroom a few months ago and love it so much that I hope  this tutorial will inspire you and help you make your very own. If you have older kids this is a great project they can completely do themselves and if you have younger ones they can help

Supply List:

  • Magnetic Dry Erase Board ( I bought mine at Hobby Lobby and it  is 23″ by 35″ – I used it with their 40%off coupon and paid around $16 for it. I love the look of the black but you can use the white and just use a black marker for your map instead of the white marker)
  • White Paint Marker (Black if you do a white board) I got mine at Amazon – make sure it is an opaque marker.
  • Graphite Transfer paper in white (black if you do it on a white board) The first map I made I used Saral paper that I had in my stash. It is standard paper size so you have to move it after tracing a part of your map. The second map I made I bought Royal Brush Graphite paper in white and this was much easier – it is bigger and you just have to move it once.
  • Enlarged Map. I will explain in the next picture how you do this
  • Magnet strip or circles with adhesive. ( I like the long strip I bought at Walmart , you can cut it in small pieces for the tiny pieces)
  • Card Stock
  • Scotch tape and scissors
  • Dry Erase Markers ( for the Black board I use Neon Chalk Markers – they do claim these are dry erase but they are not. They do come off with wet wipes. I like it this way if I transport my board it doesn’t wipe off easily)


The first thing you need is your enlarged map. You can just search World Black line Map/ United States Black line Map and save whatever image you want to use . Make sure that whatever image you use that it is jpeg. Go to and upload your image. This is a free website that will allow you to enlarge any picture into a poster. For the board I have I picked 4 pages wide/portrait/letter and it worked out perfect to cover my board. Download your poster and print it out.


Now take your pages, lay it out in order and tape them together so you have one big poster.


Take your board (make sure it is clean and dry) and lay your graphite transfer paper on it with the chalky side down.


Now you are going to lay your map over the your board with the graphite paper sandwiched in between your map and board. Tape it at a few places on top into position. ( This is very important so your map doesn’t move around when you are tracing) You can even tape a few on the left side.


This is how my World map looked after I enlarged it.


Now comes the tracing. 1.Grab a pen/pencil with a soft tip and start tracing. I recommend starting at the right top and work to the left , page by page and then do the bottom. Try not to press too much down on your arm so that there is no movement of the paper.2. When you are done with the top row lift your map gently and move your carbon/graphite paper down and do the bottom row. When you are sure you traced all places take your map off. 3.Take your opaque paint marker and trace over graphite lines. Again work from top right corner to left and then down. Make sure the marker is dry before using a wet wipe to wipe off all the carbon/graphite lines.

tracing the map

Now that that is done you can use your map so many different ways.

  1. I use card stock and make puzzle pieces so the kids can put it together  (explained in the next picture) or I give them a chalk marker to outline different regions/states to get them comfortable with drawing a map. They can also fill in states, countries, capitals, oceans, hemispheres etc.
  2. For Classical Conversations I will have my weekly Geography marked on my map for the week so my son can put the puzzle pieces together and familiarize himself with the region and where it is on the map.
  3. With CC we also review the current week and the past 6 weeks. I found these colored push pin magnets at Walmart and will pin my regions to the side and use the corresponding marker color and mark that week on my map with the color for review.

use your map

If you want to make cardstock puzzle pieces:

  1. I take a letter size paper and trace my states/countries.
  2. when making puzzle pieces I always use Peel and stick laminate paper on my cardstock before cutting it out.(if you want to mark it permanently or have something printed do that first and then laminate it.)
  3. Now I am going to take my traced paper and lay it face down on the back  of the card stock , glue it and cut it out.
  4. Add your magnet pieces to the back and you have a laminated puzzle piece.


I also print out my CC weeks and Oceans on cardstock, laminate it, cut it out and put a magnet on them. I use Library envelopes to keep all my oceans/weeks seperated so I know where to find them if not in use.

You can use these printable below ( Just click on the link and print out) I have some blank ones if I want my son to fill something in that we can just erase.

Oceans and Seas

Cycle 1 Geography Week 1-14 tags

Clear Map Labels



Below is a picture of how we like to use it. I have it on an Easel and can change maps out and the kids can sit on a chair and fill in/puzzle whatever we are currently working on.

how we use it

I hope this was helpful and would love to see some pictures if you’ve made your own Dry-Erase Magnetic Map. You can email pictures or any questions to

Till next time……

Free Motion Applique – Free design

This post was a long time coming.( I hope you find it helpful Courtney 😉 ) I’ve always loved and enjoyed doing applique. The art of it really is to incorporate it in a way that makes it wearable and beautiful at the same time. The sewing machine applique I knew was the straight stitch kind where it makes it difficult to do curves and even straight line designs you have to let up your sewing foot and down again around corners. With free motion applique it is a smooth process once you get the hang of it.

There are a lot of resources to help if you are not comfortable with drawing. If you do want to draw you can follow my Pinterest drawing board for some inspiration and go ahead and make an inspiration board of your own. You can find mine HERE. Coloring books are another great resource if you are not quite ready to draw your own. Simple things like fruit or flowers and simple animals are great to start with also. My son has always enjoyed drawing and bought a bunch of the “how to draw animals,etc..” books which is another great help to get started. Keep it simple in the beginning and grow on that. I love “Let’s draw Happy People” by sachiko umoto.

Draw or print a design. When sketching I start with pencil so I can erase and when ready go over it with a thin black marker.

MY Start:


After you draw your design the next steps are up to you. You can decide how you want to transfer your design to your fabric. I will find and list as many free resources as I can find to be helpful.

If you are not comfortable drawing you can download mine below

Download it HERE (Image)

Download it HERE(Parts)

My Finished Projects….

DSC_0550 - Copy

DSC_0548 - Copy



Project Run and Play August !


I managed my Project Run and Play outfit for August with plenty of time to spare – Hooray. I think this is my favorite month so far this year. Why? We get to choose what pattern we want to use and do any type of handwork. Two of my favorite bloggers are visiting  this month. I’ve got a lot of respect for these ladies. They have made some amazing outfits with Handwork and it is their signature style – Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne. If You don’t know their work – go visit their website and click through all the outfits that has been made over the past few years.  It was one of the first blogs I followed for their amazing handwork. I love beautiful handwork – it makes an outfit personal and sentimental and when done right it is a piece of art. No price can be put on a garment with handwork in my opinion.


I am dusting off my pattern making and draping skills from College and try to draft Bella’s outfits from scratch. I can recommend Pattern making for Kids Clothes as well as Metric pattern cutting for Children’s wear and babywear. I have used the first one a lot over the past year and just got the latter about a month ago. The latter is all from scratch and I am currently drawing my own blocks by using the instructions.




On to the outfit. Bella has been loving  rompers lately. Me too – I just don,t look good in them so I live vicariously through her 🙂  I’ve had one with a fitted bodice and some embroidery in my head for quite some while, so when they announced the Guests and theme for this month I was quite excited. I made a long baggy romper with navy double gauze.( double gauze from Imagine Gnats – no surprise there, Am I right?) It is fitted in the bodice with elastic in the back so  she can also wear it in the winter with a fitted long sleeve shirt underneath. I used red DMC floss to embroider free-hand poppies using a loose straight stitch, chain stitch as well as white french knots. As always lots of pictures (Paducah has some wonderful buildings to take pictures and I ended up at this old Texaco gas station that is used now as a visitor center for the LowerTown Arts district ) so Enjoy!




PicMonkey Collage2

PicMonkey Collage1



Verona dress with Free- motion applique

To all of you following my blog by now you realized that I have taken a bit of a break from blogging.  3 Months ago the most important man in my life passed away.  (The man who together with my mom meant everything to me, they made me , they loved me , they taught me about everything and in my eyes they are the perfect parents and perfect couple)…..


and suddenly I found myself re-evaluating my life – what is important, what is not and trying to spend my time wisely – as realistic as possible. Let’s face it, as a mom of two human – and one furry child, wife of one – life just never goes as planned and I don’t get nearly as much done in a day as I hope or plan. I added homeschooling to our schedule last fall so I try to balance my creative life around that (domestic work has taken a back seat  to the extent that if it isn’t needed for that moment or that day it doesn’t have to be done right now- some people have a hard time living with it – I however do not ) Blogging fell a bit wayside on the way after thinking how much time it takes to edit pictures, write a blog post etc. etc.

I have realized that it doesn’t matter how many people read or looks at the blog, (although I really, really, really love that you do and even more if you take the time to comment) it really is more for me – as a type of a journal of my work. How far I’ve come over the past few months and years, what I’ve done, what I’ve tried, what works, what doesn’t, what I want to do more of and what I should do less of…….

I am looking forward to continue blogging. Forewarning – it will be mostly pictures and if I’ve done something that I can teach you or help you with some words attached to that :). I have never and don’t claim to be a writer at all- but I do love sharing my work and read your comments leading me to your work and see what you are up to.


My newest love is free motion applique. I have seen some amazing ones from Ric-Rac and Retro and bought her down-the-rabbit hole design to give it a try. It is like drawing with my sewing machine. Since then I have started to draw my own designs and adding them to the kids clothing. I hope that on of my next posts will be a free design for you and some tips on how to include it on clothing.


I chose the Verona dress to add the free motion applique onto. It is my go-to dress for Bella and when she chose this Art Gallery fabric I knew that just a black and white applique will work perfect on the fabric and the skirt part of the Verona lends itself nicely to an applique.


I added buttons to the front so that it is easier for her to get it off by herself. She likes to dress herself multiple times a day.  She is my vivacious child and loves to look like a princess but behave like a monkey.


We took pictures early Sunday morning before church so that she doesn’t get dirty by the time I get to snap some pictures of her in the dress. Hubby was on his way to a golf match and I was able to get this pretty picture of the two of them.


Thank you for reading and looking. I will soon be back with my Project Run and Play outfit for August.

Till next time…..

Swimsuit cover-up with the Summer Chevron Shirt….

I try to do my Project Run and Play each month but I have to say sometimes life just gets in the way, but I am hanging in there and haven’t missed a month yet so why would this month be different.


This month is the  Summer chevron shirt. Please excuse the fact that there is very few link backs for now. I am on vacation and trying to do this post on My 8 year olds tiny laptop before deadline and things are not going well 🙂


I love a lot about this pattern especially the neckline as well as the cinched waistline.


With Project Run and Play I like to design my own outfit while still maintaining the essential parts of the pattern by featured designer.


Bella needed a swim cover-up for this week that is easy to pull on and off at the beach.


I extended the sides so that is a rectangle. I cut out the rectangle neckline in the biggest size so that there is no closures and we can just throw it over the head.DSC_0102 The sides were sewed a couple of inches in from the side to create “flutter” sleeves. I added a bias binding casing in the middle on the inside and added piping so it maintains the cinched waist.


I used a denim cotton and double gauze I got from miss matatabi a while back.


Till next time…..