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……

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!


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…..