Yes, I'm back! Hopefully my bloggy and Etsy peeps are still around -- and I am so super happy to make new ones, too -- because after five years, I've opened up my Etsy shop again! This is all so super exciting for me, the hubbs and the kids too, of course! And after 4.5 years, I'm also back to blogging too...because somehow, somewhere, in the midst of homeschooling our 3 children, returning to college for a Bachelor's degree in Science, Mathematics and Technology with a concentration in Information Systems, coordinating a homeschool STEAM playgroup, and cooking, cleaning, and taking care of myself, husband, home, and family's needs (not in that order!), somehow I have carved out some time to sew and create designs, and post some of my handmade creations for my blog visitors to see. Woohoo!
A few sweet moments of quiet bloggy goodness in my sewing studio and makerspace is really good for the soul. So that's where I am right now, here in my home studio:
I have realized that I really miss writing and sharing my creations here on my blog, and also in my Etsy shop. The kids and I have been working on lots of new items, and bringing back some beloved classics too! So I'll be posting photos of handmade goodness that I create and sew, along with 3D printed designs straight from our 3D printer, which will all be available in my shop.
And if you're wondering where that baby of mine is, the one from my last post/last bloggy giveaway back in 2012, well...he's almost 4.5 years old now and that's him up there in a monster shirt that I made for his big brother Joey a bunch of years ago. Isn't he amazing?? :D
By the way, his big brother is now 10 years old. YES, TEN, and big sis is now 8, (*eight!*) and they are three of the most fantastic kiddos you could ever imagine. They continually amaze the hubbs and I on a daily basis, and we are so very thankful every day as we get to spend our days together and enjoy homeschooling. Nothing in the world compares to spending time with my babies, and I am thankful to God daily for this time together.
We have also added another few additions to our family over the past few years. Another German Shepherd Dog, who is so one beautiful, big awesome doggy. Then there's our uber fluffball, a French Angora Rabbit who is more like a kind little puppy than a bunny. She knows her name and comes running when she's called. It's very funny to see. I'll find a video of her to post someday soon. There's a photo of her way up there at the top of my blog's header image. Next to the throw back photo of me and the hubby.
And hmmm...I'm thinking pretty soon I'll have a Grand Re-Opening Monster Giveaway on my Facebook page! So be sure to go follow my Facebook page so that you'll be notified when the giveaway begins: https://www.facebook.com/handmade.childrens.clothing.by.joeyandaleethea
And just in case you've forgotten where my super cutesie shop is, it's okay, it's been 5 years since it was open! Joey & Aleethea is here: http://joeyandaleethea.com
Off to sew now, I have an order to fulfill for a super cool Mama and her baby girl in the Netherlands! How awesome is that? I'm so excited about making it, and need to go create some handmade goodness now, so I'll post a photo of the super fun dress when it's done.
The world today needs a whole lot of happy, colorful, fun, creative goodness, and this is my way of sharing some of mine with you. So come back and visit whenever you can. We'll be here!
Update: Well everyone, here I am...Tuesday 2/7/12 8:30pm EST and I'm officially 5 days past my due date! We're still awaiting our baby boy who is apparently on his own little schedule. :) In order to have a winner for this sweet giveaway, I want all of you to have another shot at guessing the birthday of our little guy! So come on back to my blog -- and just comment again with a different date. And if you haven't yet taken a guess, then stop on by and let's keep this party going! Here's some new info for you guys: As of this evening, I'm 2cm dilated and 95% effaced. Woohoo!!! :D
We're all anxiously waiting for our "Baby 2012" to arrive. I'm due in 5 days, and cannot wait to meet him.
The Hubbs Joe has spent many nights fixing up lots of things around the house, making it more comfy for us all. He's also gotten all of the remaining boxes unpacked from our move, thank goodness. Every room in our home is now box-free!! (umm...except for those dozen or so boxes that we're hiding upstairs in his office...but we won't talk about those, mmkayy?)
My wonderful Doula Helen is on call, and my awesome Midwife Barbara will be ready at the birthing center, along with the tub for our planned water birth. These area exciting times!
The baby's nursery awaits. Joey and Lily await their little brother's arrival. Our pup Souvlaki naps at my feet, and won't leave my side - even more so than usual. Gosh how I wish Aleethea were here too.
The super cutesie and tiny little newborn sized Ankle Biters lounge pants are hanging in his closet, the handmade newborn monster onesies and necktie shirts await, the sweet little colorful handpainted onesie from his patient big sister Lily, some art for his walls made by big brother Joey, a cozy little sleep sack for him to travel home in, and the crib bedding I made is (almost) all ready to be enjoyed. I keep sewing more and more things for him. Maybe if I stop sewing, then he'll get here already! :)
Wanna guess our baby's birthday? Cool, because it's giveaway time!!!!!!!!!
It's time for some FUN! If you can correctly guess what day my baby boy will arrive, then I'll make you a little something awesome; either a monster onesie or monster shirt, handmade by me, especially for you. Woohoo!!
Ready to guess? Need some more info?
- our son Joey was born 3 days past his due date
- our daughter Lily was born 4 days past her due date
- my official due date is Thursday 02/02/12
- I've had very strong Braxton Hicks contractions every night like clockwork for all of January
- as of three days ago, I'm 1cm dilated.
- Groundhog Day is also February 2nd...will we see my baby??? hehe.
- my beloved dog's birthday is February 3rd, the Hubbs Joe thinks the baby will be born on Aleethea's bday
- my nephew's birthday is also February 3rd
- Superbowl Sunday is February 5th...and I do NOT want to be anywhere but HOME to watch it...so I will need to do everything in my power to either have this baby on his due date in order to get back home in time for the Superbowl...or, hold my labor off until Monday, at least. haha.
So that's pretty much everything. Now your guess is as good as mine!
Sometime shortly after our new babe arrives, I'll let you know via my blog (which also updates my Facebook page), to annouce our baby boy's arrival. I will contact the winner directly for their address, and since we'll have a newborn in the house, I probably won't get to sewing the prize until March.
Here I am with my belly, so you can sort of see who needs to come out and have a birthday. And don't laugh at my funny hat!:
Here we are, this week I'm 6 months pregnant. Do you see that major roundness I've got going on?
I'm looking and feeling rather huge lately, and I'm just getting used to the belly's growth spurt over the past month - but loving every tiresome and interesting minute of it.The kids run over to me when I tell them the baby is kicking in there, and I ask them who wants to feel the belly and come say hello to their baby brother? "Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"
First time wearing that vintage dress, and the very first time trying it on in all year long. Got it last January from Etsy, of course - a sweet shop named Wunderbar vintage. Had I known how much I would love the dress, I would've at least put on some lipstick for the photo.
Adoring the looks on my kiddos faces - they did so great staying there for the photos - they're such troopers because they initially started out smiling - but this was an impromptu picture-taking moment, which turned into a super long 5 minutes...and do you know what 5 minutes is like with 2 kids and 2 dogs? More like 20 minutes. So this photo was after a dozen or so snapshots were already taken - all the while I'm saying under my breath and behind my smile to my pups "Aleethea, Souvlaki, ssstaaaaaaayyyyyy, good girrrrrrls, ssstayyyyyyyyy."
Joey could not wait til the picture-taking was over so he could go back to playing with his cardboard craft. Lily was taking it all so seriously, she was also saying "sstaaaaaaaaaayy" to the dogs. Do you see how Aleethea's ears are all pushed back? She is so sweet, she was patiently listening to and obeying Lily. Souvlaki isn't quite as patient yet - she was just waiting to pounce up and run once we were all done. Afterwards Lily was just so happy because the dogs listened to her. Ugh, so cute!
Missing in the photo is the Hubbs Joe - because he was taking the picture. And if he would've moved even just a bit, and attempted to turn on the auto-timer thingy on the camera in order to jump into the photo...well, forget about it...those 4 adorable sweeties next to me would've each started walking away in their own directions. So I've learned ya take what ya can get around here some mornings.
I think this one is going to get framed in black and white, and hung up in the new house once we move. That is, after I photoshop the Hubbs Joe into the picture too. :)
Not sure when I'll check-in here again since we're surrounded by boxes and moving this month. Sad times because I will miss the dear friends I made here in this small and quiet country town. But at the same time we are ecstatic to be moving back to our hometown of NYC.
Thank you to everyone who entered my recent giveaway and took a fun guess at our baby's gender! So are you ready to see what we're having? OK so you may need to imagine a baby sitting on a glass table, and you're underneath the glass table looking upwards. Wait for it...
We're having a BOY!!! And for the record, this is the only time you will ever see me post a photo of our offspring's private parts. I think at 18.5 weeks pregnant, the photo is still pretty much rated G. :)
I've known our baby's gender since Friday - and lemme tell ya, it has not been easy keeping this a secret online - I've had to keep it hush everywhere from Facebook to Pinterest to Twitter to Etsy...so I'm very happy this moment has finally arrived.
Of the 19 total guesses in my "boy or girl?" giveaway, 7 guesses were for a girl, and 12 of which guessed a boy. At first, everyone was guessing a girl! Then the boy guesses starting rolling in. It was lots of fun reading all of the comments and guesses.
And so, we have a winner! It's comment # 9 of the boy guesses.
Congratulations to Amanda Sue!! She commented "I'm gonna guess a boy!" - and she was not only right, but also the lucky winner!
Amanda Sue, I'll be emailing you momentarily to ask you which monster you'd like, also your preference of monster onesie or monster tee, and the size you'd like. Congrats again!
Thank you to everyone who played along!!!!!!
And now, I'll leave you with a much better image of our baby boy:
Isn't he awesome? omg...IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
This giveaway is over and comments are closed -- see the winner here!
Tomorrow is the day!! Tomorrow we find out if this baby in my belly is a baby boy, or a baby girl!!! Our kids Joey and Lily are both so excited to find out if they're having a little brother or sister, it's the cutest thing how they start jumping up and down when we talk about it.
Joey says he wants a baby brother because "if we bring any more girls in this house, then forget it. Just forget it!..." And he goes on and on...and at 5 years old, he means it! He's referring mostly to our German Shepherds Aleethea and Souvlaki, who are both females, and how he helps feed them and train them on a daily basis, which is alot of fun for him, even though they're super intelligent beasts and very stubborn...yet they listen to him of course, and it's also important and responsible work - even if it only takes 15 minutes per day. Joey is so smart and quite specific about what he says and wants. That "forget it" he speaks of also covers a wholelotta ground! He's also quite the listmaker, and that list of an answer gets longer and longer each time he's asked the question about the baby's gender. Joey has always been so great and kind and loving with his little sister, and with any younger kids or babies, so I know he'll be a fantastic big brother again.
Lily says she wants a baby girl so she can "help dress the baby, and give the baby a bath, and play with the baby, and tell the baby 'no, baby, that's not your doll, that's MINE." Nice, eh? Already so helpful, yet already fighting with the baby. All very good reasons, though. I know Lily will be such a wonderful big sister, and I think she will enjoy having more responsibilities around the house. She is always happy to offer her help, which really is so sweet. You should see her reinforcing training with Aleethea and Souvlaki, and how well they both listen to all 3 feet tall of her. She is so strong, and so adorable, and so amazing.
But I do have to often explain to my little monster babes that just because they tell me that they want a baby brother or a baby sister, it doesn't actually mean that they will get what they ask for. That's still a grey area around here. We tell them it's all in God's hands. But at their age, they think if they ask for a baby boy or a baby girl, then that's what I'll deliver! You know, like any other typical choice I give them such as "What do you want for lunch? Peanut butter n' jelly...or...macaroni and cheese?" So I give them a choice, they answer, and I deliver! Yeah...not quite the same situation here.
So I told my sweet, smart, and overall just so awesome children that they should add "baby brother" or "baby sister" to their Christmas Lists and prayers. :)))
OK so getting back to this baby...as for me, for a while I was on the fence about finding out the gender of this baby, and almost wanted to leave it all up to be a surprise. The Hubbs Joe has never been indecisive about it, he's always wanted to know the gender. It's really just more practical with our hectic lives these days. The Hubbs Joe wants to find out also because he says he knows it'll just be so much easier on me since I can pace myself and start sewing up the baby's 1st year wardrobe and get it done before he or she arrives. Which pretty much was the deciding factor for me, because that definitely does sound like a whole lot of fun!! :D
When I was preggers with our son Joey, we didn't find out what gender Joey was until moments after his birth. Does anyone even do that anymore? Joey was our surprise gender, and the Hubbs Joe and I loved the whole mystery of it all, throughout my pregnancy. Months and months of contemplating the gender, talking about what if's, hearing all about how patient we were from other people when we told them we weren't finding out, and decor and clothing in lots of neutral colors like sage, yellow, and orange filling the nursery...until the baby blue gifts starting pouring in once our bouncing baby boy arrived. Good times.
When I was pregnant with Lily, we wanted to find out what gender she was since we had a toddler at home and not as much time on our hands - so we wanted to ensure we could prepare everything for her arrival. If she would've been a boy, easy peasy, we'd have all the hand me downs and no need for anything new. But then we found out a sweet baby girl was on the way! So I had to get to sewing, and make her the most lovely dresses and the most pretty little things, yet as non-uber-girly as could be. No frilly frills around here, yet I had lots of time to start thinking like the Mama of a girl, and not just a little boy's Mama. It was quite a transition in thinking, and I was glad to have that time to prepare and research some of the girly stuff I needed to know. Which, of course, is never really accurate because the day arrives and then your daughter tells you and shows you the way it really is, and not what you've read! :)
So...what do I think we're having? That's the question I hear alot. I think...based upon the amount of morning sickness I've had these past few months, I think we're having a boy...only because when I was preggers with Lily I was sick all day long for months and months...and this time around although I've been sick here and there, and for a few weeks it was kinda bad...but still, it just hasn't been as awful as before.
At my last OB visit, the baby's heartrate was 140 bpm. They say a faster heartrate could mean a girl, a slower heartrate could mean a boy...but I'm told this heartrate is right in the middle. So...who knows!
So what do you think? Are we having a boy or a girl?
And you know I love sewing and giving things away...and wow it's been so long...so how about we have a fun little G I V E A W A Yto make this even more fun (as if that's possible!), and to celebrate!!!
How would you like one of those super cutesie monster onesies in the photo? For freeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Your prize is one of my signature items from my Etsy shop, Joey & Aleethea. So it will be custom made by me, just for you! You could have either Vasilis, Limoni, Or Daphne...on either a onesie or a tee shirt if you prefer! It will be handmade by me especially for your baby or big kiddo, or a present for your friend or family!
The GIVEAWAY is open starting right now, and all you need to do is leave a comment with what you think I'm having! From the correct guesses, a random number generator will then select the winner!
Giveaway ends on Labor Day (hehe), Monday night 9/5//11 just before midnite, at 11:59pm EST.
The winner - and my baby's gender - will be announced...ummm...when this pregnant Mama feels like it, darnit! Or...on Tuesday 9/6/11 before midnite...whichever comes first. :P
Be sure to leave your size and monster preference in your comment (Vasilis, Limoni, or Daphne, in any size, newborn thru 10yrs), because you know you're gonna win!
This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere! You only need an email address and a mailing address in order for me to contact you and mail out your awesome monster onesie or shirt. Please note: it will take a couple of weeks for me to get your super cutesie monster onesie/tee out to you. Just sayin...I'm kinda busy building life here!
Oh and only one entry per person.
Isn't it neat for you that you have a friend who is pregnant...and who also sews? haha. :D
Good luck, peeps!! And I can't wait to tell you guys what we're having!!!!!!!!!!!!
"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." ~ Hal Borland
In between making stuff for my super awesome customers, (from January/February orders) we are also enjoying the fresh Spring air. We've enjoyed some days in the mid 70's and today was a beautiful and very breezy high 60's.
I've been sewing soooooo much lately, too. Even though my shop is closed, there are dozens of items that I am getting done for some very wonderful people across the globe. Thank goodness that I design my dresses to last for a very long time, because Lily is wearing lots of things I made her last year, and really doesn't need anything new this season -- or next!
And I am so happy this little Books and Elephants dress finally fits Lily!! I had made it for her last year, and I made it a couple of sizes too big - so that it would fit her for Easter. But she had such a growth spurt over the winter that it already fits her, and just perfectly too. Here are my kiddos taking a stroll together in their coordinating outfits:
I think I'm going to make one of these for myself, as soon as I have the time:
Here's Lily wearing her sugary sweet bows which she ADORES!! And keeps in her hair ALL DAY LONG!!!
Got them from a very awesome Mama, SugarBearsBows on Etsy. Picked up a whole bunch of "colitas" aka pigtail thingies, and some velvety soft hair clips too. Lily is sooooo picky when it comes to her hair. But she loves her some SugarBearsBows!! She chose Buzz Lightyear bows, and Lightning McQueen, and all sorts of non-uber-girly bows, and she actually lets me put them in her hair. WOWWWWWW. :O We now have an entire bow collection. I never thought I would say those words. I am thrilled that Lily will let me put pigtails in her hair now!!! Her hair is so super curly, and unless we wash it everyday (which would dry it out), it gets all crazy and unruly-like. So the bows are not all overdone, or over-girly - they're small and super cute, just what we needed! Oh and we picked up some bow-holders too, of course. A robot, an owl, and a princess castle - ya know, to mix things up a bit. Such fun. Love that shop!!
Lily loves lots of girly-things...just not so much in her hair...but she ADORES her handmade dollhouse!!
Got that little bit of wonderful from a super fab Etsy shop named AHigherPlaneDesigns -- whose wife just happens to be my BFFOL...hehe. Lily asked Santa for a dollhouse, and it arrived all packaged up nice and safe and secure...and the thing is complete AWESOMENESS.
It's made of wood, it's super sturdy (and I often have to tell Joey to stop climbing in it!) -- and he built it for Lily and he even painted it for us too! Who knew Chicago Lawyers were so crafty? Yes, a Lawyer built that. I find that part just a wee bit funny...hehe - but in an awesome way! :D
Cool Vespa Scooters dress by her Mama. But my shop is now closed. Just sayin'. :)
Having fun breaking the slide rules with big bro. "No Mama, it's okay, not one at a time, we'll go down the slide togedderrrrrr."
Joey sharing the plot of his next adventure with his little sis...and looking all cool doing so, too:
Joey is quite the thinker...here's my future Engineer busy at work, building another one of his everyday structures:
He spends 10 or 15 minutes, quietly by himself, and comes up with something like that every single day. Amazing, isn't it? :) My little Architect. Those are just wonderfully plain blocks, all the same size, and the incredible buildings he creates in such a short amount of time truly amaze us. He explains them as airplane towers or sometimes rooftop-garages, or launching pads.
As for the pups...our little furry one is now 6 mos old, and the big furry one just turned 7yrs:
Yep, of course I had to get them to sit and pose for that photo...because usually they're doing this:
Apparently they're practicing for the Easter bunny. They don't know he doesn't really exist. sshhh.
okay, back to sewing for me. I'm going for a record amount of orders to ship out this weekend...fingers crossed!! Along with some free Springtime gift goodness, as a thanks to my patient customers. :D
The kids are asleep, the Hubbs Joe will arrive for movie time in a few minutes, (probably 2 or 3 movies in a row, actually) and lots of fabric all ready to be sewn awaits!
After Valentine's Day, my handmade children's boutique Joey & Aleethea will be closed indefinitely. As some of you already know, over the past four years I had closed up shop for 6 months, then re-opened again for a couple of months...and then I closed up shop again for an entire year. And this time? Who knows what the future will bring...I hope to return someday...but we'll see. It is definitely time for me, Joey & Aleethea to close up shop...and say goodbye, my loves.
In the meantime, please enjoy the SHOP CLOSING SALE!!!!
❤ ❤ ❤ EVERYTHING IS 15% OFF!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
From Saturday 2/12/11 @ 3pm EST
thru Valentine's Day 2/14/11 @ 11:59pm EST
please enjoy 15% OFF all items in our shop!
Thank you so very much to all of my super awesome customers and fantastic Etsy friends for your wonderful patronage and continual support!! I am of course still here, and always available via Etsy convo/eMail/my blog/etc, so if you have any questions please do contact me.
update 02/18/11: thank you all for entering my OWOH giveaway!!!!! The winner of my handmade Vespa Scooters Pillow was selected via random number generator and I am happy to annouce that the winner is...NoodleBubblefrom the UK!!! Her comment was "Lovely to meet you - we have a kitten the same age as your pup - HARD WORK! Having a whistle top tour of the OWOH Blogs today...will pop back again for a longer stay...look forward to see you soon - #728 http://noodlebubble.blogspot.com" Congrats NoodleBubble!! I hope you love your Vespa Scooters pillow!! I'm off to eMail you now. I had plenty of fun visiting blogs and participating in this OWOH, hope you all did too! Thanks again everyone for all your super lovely comments!! Stay tuned for more giveaways this Spring!!
Have you heard of the fantastic mega bloggy giveaway event called "One World One Heart"? It's where bloggers all over the world connect to meet other bloggers and make some new friends - and also offer a giveaway, absolutley free to their blog visitors...how fun!! Here's what I'm giving away...the pillow on the right side of the photo -- a handmade Cool Vespa Scooters linen pillow + pillow insert!
The main point of the One World One Heart bloggy event (other than the fun and free stuff) is for the online peeps to get to know the bloggers a bit more...and so, for anyone who hasn't ever visited my wee little blog before, (and for those returning) -- welcome to Joey & Aleethea's blog! I'm "Mamaaaaa!!!!!", but you can call me Sandra. I have two super awesome kiddos - a 4yo son Joey, and a 2yo daughter Lily.
Where did the name Joey & Aleethea originate? Well, when Joey was newborn babe and I was just launching my clothing line, I already had a furry baby named Aleethea, our loyal loving pet...who keeps me on my toes and tries daily to be the boss. :)
Here's Joey & Aleethea on a stroll in our yard:
I'll tell you a bit about me...but for those who are my regular (not that you're regular!) but my usual bloggy friends, you'll already know most of this, but do try to stay awake, k? :) I'm a wife of 6 wonderful and adventurous years to 1 amazing man whom I refer to as The Hubbs Joe, with whom I've been with for 10 years. I'm also a packleader to 2 crazy fun and well trained, loving, yet simultaneously ferocious German Shepherds named Aleethea and our new puppy Souvlaki, who is an adorable 6 mos old:
This picture sums up my days with them:
You can always find me with a camera in my hands as I adore photography.
There's always music playing in my background wherever and whenever possible, as it feeds my soul and allows my children and I to dance and sing together. We try to instill in them a true love for music and the arts, and incorporate that into our daily lives as much as possible:
This is me with my baby girl at the park, doing what she loves...singing and saying higher, higher:
And here's my son and I, doing what he loves...being a super hero:
Yes I am a lucky Mama of a super hero, for sure. I was born in New York City to Greek and Latin parents and into a big and loving family. I lived in the amazing and multi-cultural NYC 'til I was 30 - for a decade of which I lived most days in Manahattan as a workaholic in the corporate world. I've also lived in Athens, Greece and can still see my beautiful home there when I close my eyes. My college degree says I'm a Computer Programmer, but my Website and Application Development days have of late been overtaken by my creative side who likes to sketch and sew, run a handmade business, raise kiddos, train the dogs, go out and play, and sometimes cook and clean.
The Hubbs Joe and I were married on a beach wedding in Jamaica, West Indies while the waves crashed into the sand and our flip flops imprinted "Just Married" on the sandy shore.
Before we were blessed with children, The Hubbs Joe and I spent many hours each week playing sports together, and were usually found on the handball courts in NYC on weekends til the sun went down. Awesome days. Then when our babies were born and I started sewing much more than programming and building websites, we were living in Orlando Florida just a few minutes from Disneyworld, which was a very touristy few years for us, filled with many trips to famous destinations, busy theme parks and very busy beaches. After 5 years of forceful hurricaines, and days where the sidewalk was too hot to walk my dog, we decided to relocate where the trees were not all palm, and where our chances of getting struck by lightning were quite lower. :) Now our little family currently resides in Durham, North Carolina, I'm a stay at home mom to my kiddos (although for clarification, we don't just stay at home) and we're pretty much living a small town life. It's very, very quiet here. We live amongst the tall trees on a quiet block and there's not much noise here at all...oh, except for us of course. We bring the noise. Yep, we're those neighbors. :D
In my free time (haha, "free time") I love love love to design handmade clothing, touch textiles, and feed fabric to my sewing machine. We're the ones at the local playgrounds wearing the coordinating outfits in designer fabrics, handmade by me. Good times:
So, with a toddler and preschooler and two rather big and active doggies, my days tend to be very, very busy. Even if we just spend a day lounging at home or in the backyard, if you have kids you'll know what I mean - there is always a whole lot going on with the little ones, and always something to be done. In addition to raising my kiddos, I also run a handmade business where I make everything myself - and somehow, I actually get a whole lot of sewing and business tasks accomplished during the week. Not as much as I'd like to...but, alot.
But when I'm with my children, I actually focus on not multi-tasking, and so I don't usually have time to crank up my sewing machine and sew up any fun handmade goodness during the daytime...although I would really, really, love to be able to. But my children are very young, and I do know that it won't always be like this, and so I cherish this time in their lives and we spend as much time together as possible, because they won't be little forever. I adore being a stay at home mom, waking up with them, taking my children out to explore nature, museums, fun places, etc -- and watching my kids play and learn and grow (and fight, and nag, and yell, and scratch, and throw things and...I digress).
But after the day is done, and while they're all tucked into their beds and asleep, I'm a bit of a nite owl...and I really enjoy sneaking away to the other room for a few hours - to my little studio here to sew some super fun clothing.
And then...ocassionally...I get to make something just for myself, or for our home.
Something that keeps me up even after I finish it because now I have to stare at it :) and then photograph it, over and over again...something that keeps me awake, and makes it necessary for me to have to repeatedly slap my eyelids to keep them open the next morning...yet something oh so worth it.
I adore sewing. I really, really do. And if a little piece of yummy couch happiness comes out of an extra late nite of sewing...then I am all the happier!
And what's better than that pillow on my couch? How about that pillow on your couch? That's right, I am giving it away!!!!!!! This super fab piece of lovely can be yours!!! Since I am participating in the "One World One Heart" event, I am giving away that incredibly delicious "Cool Vespa Scooters" designer pillow cover, and the pillow insert too! It's 18" x 18" (45cm x 45xcm) and it's made from a gorgeous and now out-of-print and super rare linen fabric, and it will be handmade by me, especially for you. It'll go out to someone, somewhere in the world, and it just might be you!!
How can you enter to win that lovely Vespa Scooters pillow? Just leave a comment right here on this post. So simple! The winner will be announced here on my blog on February 17th - via a random number generator. I'll also eMail you - so be sure to leave an eMail address and your blog address/Facebook with your comment. Good luck to you!! Hope you win!! :D
And I promise to have more giveaways in 2011...just because!
I really appreciate you stopping by my blog, and thanks especially if you didn't fall asleep while reading all the boring stuff about me and mine...and last but not least, your comments most definitley, really truly mean so very much to me.
This giveaway is part of the wonderful and mega bloggy giveaway event entitled One World One Heart - and if you're a blogger and want to participate by giving something away, then see info via this link.
Brrrr...it has been c-c-c-coooooold here in NC lately. We've spent evenings cozying ourselves up to the fireplace, and outside it's been a nice-wintery-layer-yourself-up kind of cold. And Saturday afternoon even brought a couple of inches of beautiful snow!! LOVE!!!!!!!!
Joey had no idea it was snowing...he woke up from his nap to see this beautiful winter wonderland...
Then he said "Mama can we eat the snow? We can make snow angels, and go sledding, and have snowball fights!"...
There was just enough snow covering the ground to enjoy it, without the need to shovel. The kids really enjoyed sledding down the hills...
This was Souvlaki's first time seeing snow!! She ate alot of it, and pranced all around in it, just like Aleethea - who was completely thrilled with it...
Here's Souvlaki exploring. This week she'll be 16 weeks old! A puppy milestone. :D
And we had the best and most fun snowball fight...wow does my kid have good aim! Can you see that snowball? Headed right for my camera? hehe...missed me!
By the time the weekend ended, the snow had all melted. But boy we sure did enjoy it while it lasted!
Back inside, Lily is fascinated by the ornaments on the Christmas tree. Every hour or so she says to me "Mama...I'm just going to LOOK at these Mama, but I WON't touch them, I won't take them off the tree"...and then? She takes one off the tree. And then another...and then, she puts them back.
That adorably classic white vintage nightgown dress is from Bombshell Bettie's Vintage shop. I adore that on Lily! She looks like such a little big girl in it. :)
I made a bunch of these sweet little stocking stuffers...this Baby Cuff fabric bracelet is for a friend...which I had to pry out of Lily's hands...haha...
And my festive little monster kiddos are loving their new favorite movie, the classic Christmas TV movie from the 60's - Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer...remember those awesome stop-animation shows from when you were little? I first watched this in the late 70's when I was a kid, and it's such fun to watch them again with my own kids...
We've been taking the kids out to explore and enjoy some wonderful winter wonderland events these days in the Triangle area. They have lovely little Christmas displays here in NC, some are over looking lakes while on hayrides...this one was so great for the kids - they sat right next to Santa Claus for the whole hayride! They talked to him about their Christmas list, told him exactly what they wanted, and had absolutely the very best time...
They ate way too much chocolate, drank way too much hot cocoa, and had way so much fun. Look at these silly kids, with their amazingly cheesy smiles...and very Christmassy cool outfits by me. :) This was their face when I asked them how excited they were, and how they were going to smile for Yiayia (their Grandma) when she arrives for the holidays...
Pretty excited, right? :D
Here are the kids taking in all the brightness, neon, and 3-D textile art at one of the local holiday event...WOW...was that place bright! Can you see my babes wearing their 3-D glasses? Such fun!!
This particular wall looked just like the brownstones in Manhattan...
This holiday season is also especially exciting for our family because two weeks ago The Hubbs Joe's nephew welcomed a fresh new baby boy!!!! So I made him a whole bunch of super fun and adorable outfits, and a handful of these newborn baby kimono shirts. I'll just show you a few here...this one has cute little toy soldiers stitched onto it...
And to top it all off...we had this amazing little cable knit hat stitched up and custom made especially for our new nephew:
Is that not the most awesome little baby boy hat you've ever seen?! Siobhan at Cozy Knits For You made it for us. She also made some super cute and super cozy ear flap hats for Joey and Lily, and they are fantastic!!! I am so in love with them - they're soft and warm, totally adorable, and my kiddos adore their hats too.
Here's another gorgeous holiday little item adorning our home - it's from LittlePutBooks:
And a pair of plush little handmade slipper-booties for a certain little girl's feet. These are from Lilac's Lovables and they're keeping Lily's feet nice and warm while in the house. Complete with non-slip soles!...
Didn't the Hubbs Joe do such a sweet job of putting up these lights on our front porch?...
I think Santa can see our house it from the North Pole! And don't you just love how the lights are reflecting onto the house, making it all look extra festive? I can almost hear the Christmas club music now. hehe...
OK everyone, back to sewing for me! I've been writing this blog post since Sunday, little by little...but I've still got so many orders to fill...all handmade super coolness going out for the holidays to some lucky little kids, and just in time for Christmas! A huge thanks to all of my holiday shoppers!!!!! Extra gifts are coming your way! :D
So from our home to yours, hope you're enjoying a beautiful December, full of merry and bright!!
On our way back home from a show in Fayetteville NC two weeks ago, I fell in love with a 10 week old puppy who needed a home. The Hubbs Joe and I had been talking about getting another German Shepherd for a while now, and this pup came along at just the right time, as an early Christmas present for our little family to love. Sweet little pup...she didn't have a name, or a family with little kids to snuggle up with...and so...fast forward to today...here we are...introducing our new puppy!!!!!!!
See photos for:
1. Me with our ridiculously cute new German Shepherd puppy, Souvlaki! :D
2. Aleethea and Souvlaki, as Aleethea wonders what the day will bring with this sweet n' feisty little pup.
3. Souvlaki in the sunlight.
4. Souvlaki's Mom Keyna with her adorable puppies. Keyna weighs 80lbs, she's a black and tan purebreed GSD.
5. Souvlaki's Dad Moses playing ball. Moses weighs 98lbs, he's a black and red purebreed GSD.
6. Souvlaki's Dad, Moses.
7. Aleethea and Souvlaki playing ball in our backyard.
A German Shepherd is a working dog, and Souvlaki's parents are from showlines. Her breeder Julia breeds impressive GSD dogs for K-9 police, military, and DEA. Souvlaki will ultimately be black and tan with strong red tones.
Aleethea is enjoying having a puppy around to play and run around with outside, and she's also staying entertained with the challenge of Souvlaki trying to take her place in the pack. Ever see a 12wk old puppy try to intimidate and control a 6yr old dog? Hilarious. This puppy is no joke!
The kiddos adore their new puppy, and the Hubbs Joe and I are busy training our new furry babe. We've only had her for one week so far, but Souvlaki's official obedience training has already begun. At 13 weeks old, she already knows some commands in both English and Greek. Spanish will be next. :) She knows some basic commands such as sit, lay down, come, leave it, easy (no grabbing), and "where is it?".
We're having fun socializing her, and taking Souvlaki along with us on our family adventures.
So now, Aleethea has her own "baby" to help train and raise. As soon as she stops growling at her, I'm sure they will both agree with me. :) As a lifelong German Shepherd enthusiast, we are so happy to have found the right GSD pup to add to our family, whose pedigree and temperament was of utmost importance to us. Welcome Souvlaki, to our little world filled with family and fabric, love and laughter, and handmade super coolness.
If you're looking for a German Shepherd dog or puppy, please read this first to possibly help you decide if a German Shepherd Dog is the right breed of dog for you and your family:
"The German Shepherd is an extraordinarily versatile dog. When bred correctly his role in your life can be anything your heart desires. Whether it be a top show or obedience dog, family companion, sheepherder, police search & rescue or even a helpful seeing eye dog. Sounds like the perfect dog right? In our eyes yes they are...but they are not for everyone. A dog such as this demands daily minded nourishment (such as training or interactive play), craves companionship, and MUST be part of your family. If left on his own to hang out in the kennel or backyard for days, he will become destructive, willful and an utter nuisance, not to mention a waste of a perfect dog.These things must be seriously considered if purchasing this breed of dog." - Newmanhaus Kennels
"Newmanhaus Kennel is a small family oriented operation breeding German Shepherds in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Our goal is to provide showlines with rich pigmentations and impeccable temperaments or working lines with high drive for protection and working skills.The qualities our shepherds retain are suitable for a family oriented atmosphere, as well as a law enforcement structured environment."
Also be sure to visit Cesar Millan's website (The Dog Whisperer) and spend some time there, follow the blog, read the articles, and get answers to your questions. There's even a neat little search box to ask Cesar any dog-related questions. You can also pick up some wonderful and must have books (either there or at your library) for your new adventures with your puppy or dog. The book entitled Cesar's Way is an excellent read. The #1 New York Times Bestseller is "The natural everyday guide to understanding and correcting common dog problems. Cesar helps you see the world through your dogs eyes so you can finally eliminate problem behaviors, and develop a positive, fulfilling relationship with your canine companion."
Regarding dog behavior, dog psychology, dog ownership, and dog training, I think you can find everything you need at Cesar Millan's website and blog. However, if you're interested in more than that - such as competition, then have I got a book for you. A wonderful read if you are interested in German Shepherds and their intelligence and history especially in the arena of dog shows, is a book that I've read over and over again, by a world-famous Dog Obedience competitor: Expert Obedience Training for Dogs by Winifred G. Strickland
"...Expert Obedience Training for Dogs covers all aspects of obedience, from housebreaking a puppy to handling a dog in competition, and offers detailed guidance for each level of the AKC Obedience trials–Novice, Open, and Utility–as well as Tracking. A special section addresses questions that constantly crop up during the training process."
When I first bought that book 6 years ago just before bringing Aleethea home as a puppy, I already loved German Shepherds, but had no idea of some of their amazing qualities. After reading that book, I gained a whole new insight into the breed, and a deeper affection for my own dog and her vast capabilities.
Please note: this is my blog and I want to be sure you know that I only ever provide links and review for things that I use for myself and my family, and things or services that I like, love, and/or truly believe in! I am never paid for any of these links or informational posts...they are just fun for me, and also a knowledge dump whenever I need one. :) So, that being said - please note - I do love that above mentioned book by Winifred Strickland, and I highly recommend it for various reasons - but I do want to also mention that some of the author's methods are a bit out-dated, and I don't agree with any negative doggy discipline of any kind. The only dog training methods I believe in and agree with are positive ones. So if you're thinking of getting this book, you should ignore those areas of the book as needed. Otherwise, it's a wonderful book. And again, please do refer to Cesar Millan's website for information about the modern day training methods for your dog.
In my opinion - no matter what you do, regardless of breed or age of dog or pup, please be sure to socialize your puppy as soon as you bring him her home (after the first set of puppy shots). The crucial time for socialization is the first three months of a pup's life - but of course can also be done after this point. Training a puppy should also begin right away with socialization training, and even further training is ideal - starting with obedience classes. It's just all around better, safe, and healthier for you, and for the dog!
ok peeps, I'm all out of dog tips for now. Off to take the pups out to play!
This is so exciting!!!!!! For those of you who have asked, (and for those of you who didn't -- hehehe) here's Lily in the current issue of My Child Magazine, Australia. Yes, my baby girl is in PRINT!! It's such a wonderful feeling to see her in magazines, I wonder if some day she'll care. LOL Because I certainly do!! I tried to psyche her up about it, but she was just like "can you give me my cup, please Mama?" Yes, my sweet little bossy girl.
Anyway, so you can see Lily's feature on page 48 in her handmade and Super Chic Books and Elephants Dress. (there's also a discount code on that page!)
Special thanks to Heather Niciak for the feature and great write-up!Get your issue of My Child Magazine here, it's filled with lots of Aussie goodness.
in addition to being in print today, Joey & Aleethea (well, Lily actually - haha) also has a spread in the My Style bog too! Check her out in some of her handmade toddler dresses:
Oh the super cuteness! I don't know if I can handle all this excitement today!!!!!! :D
p.s. want a dress from my shop? cool! just say you saw this on my blog, and i'll hook you up with a 10% discount...today and tomorrow only (Nov 16th and 17th.) Happy shopping!
The best thing about potty training? Lily gets so excited when she goes #1 in the potty, she's just so happy when she hears the sound of the tinkling! :) And she runs around the house all day wearing nothing but a little t-shirt. It's the cutest thing because her adorable suntan lines are still so visible, so her cute little beige bottom bounces all around the house, while her little brown legs are running. She really loves getting stickers, sometimes hearts are her favorite, sometimes VeggieTales - and she runs up to her potty chart and takes a few minutes to decide where she wants to carefully place her new sticker. Then she asks if it's time to "do the potty dance, Mama?" :)
So here are the details...because I know you are just on the edge of your seat! hehe.
Tuesday: In the middle of the night Lily went # 1 in the bed, so when she woke up at 7am she didn't have to go potty first thing in the morning, but finally went at 10am...in the potty! Hooray! Throughout the day she only had one accident in the afternoon. Something I realized - is Lily just doesn't need to go to the potty as often as big brother did. He went every 30 minutes, but she goes every 2 hours, sometimes 2.5hrs! Oh and she stayed dry during her 2 hour naptime. How wonderful is that?!
Wednesday:Last nite at 4am'ish Lily went #1 in the bed. She woke up at 8am and right away did #1 in the potty. Yaay! Throughout the day she went #1 twice in the potty, and also did #2 in the potty this evening. A few accidents today while too busy playing with big bro to stop and visit the bathroom. :) Again dry during her 2 hour naptime, which is great!
Hope they fall in love with their new outfit. I know I have! :)
And if you want a pair of those super fab Vespa Scooters Ankle Biters, or if you want the super cool Vespa Scooters Jumper Dress, then go pick 'em up in my shop...and just let me know you "saw it on your blog" upon checkout, and after payment I'll send you a refund...a 15% discount via paypal off your purchase!! :D
(exclusive offer is valid for the next 3 days only...Oct. 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2010)
So be sure to get 'em at my shop, Joey & Aleethea while I still have that ridiculously awesome limited edition and out of print fabric in stock!!
We were happy to find an apple-picking orchard just approx an hour drive from Durham, located in Ramseur NC. Here's my lovely little 2 year old Lily, checking out all the leaves on the ground, and all the butterflies as she walked thru an apple orchard for the very first time. Wearing her apple denim dress, to match her big brother:
My silly sweet Joey, of course with the bucket on his head, cracking up like it was just the most clever thing in the whole world. Isn't he a cutie?:
My big boy, starting out on his very first apple-picking venture:
And sitting on Mama's shoulders to reach up high:
Counting his apples as we went along...
After all that work, it was time for some serious play! We headed to the picnic area where a bunch of tire swings awaited us. I swung Joey so high and so hard on this tire swing, he giggled all the way, and thought it was just the best thing. I agreed:
Here's a close-up of the apple pants I made for Joey. They're denim, comfy, with huge pockets, and so cute on him!
My baby girl Lily would've stayed on this tire-swing all day!She is quite the adventurous little one:
And having fun doing what they love doing in open fields...running free and far away from Mama and Dada! :)
After the Apple Orchard, we invited some friends over and made an Apple Danish Pizza with the fresh apples. The kids picked apples called "Pink Ladies", also known as the brand name for Cripps Pink apples. See? I am just a wealth of knowledge today. Something else I know is that when the farmer said we had picked apples which are called "Pink Ladies", my mind went directly to this:
Anyways...back to kid-friendly stuff now...we did however enjoy a few of these at the apple orchard...super yummy apple-cider slushies. We're in the Raleigh-Durham area of NC, so it was in the high 80's that first day of October:
And getting back to the apples we picked...if you do try the Apple Danish Pizza recipe, it's lots of fun to make with kids as they're plenty of steps that they can assist with. It is really a delicious (fattening) recipe - but it did taste more like a cheescake than a danish or a pizza. I'd suggest using more apples than the recipe calls for...maybe 3 x as many. And a less-tart apple than we picked.
We had made a very big deal of Joey starting preschool for the very first time. We baked him a cake, we sang "Happy Preschool to youuuuu", and we talked it up for months.
This is what was going on in the above photo...we were just about to get into the car to drop off my big boy, my 4yr old kiddo for his first day of school.
Me: "Who's ready for the 1st day of pre-school?"
Joey: me! me! me! I am!
Lily: me! me! me! Mama, I want to go with Joey to happy pre-school!"
When we dropped him off at school that very first day, Lily turned to the empty car seat next to her, then started crying, and saying "I miss my friend!" Ugh, the sweet little tears were flowing.
And now, it's been 3 weeks into the school year...and what does Lily yell everyday when Joey gets home from preschool? "Happy preschool, Joey! Happy preschool!!"
The sweetest thing.
Now that Joey goes to preschool, it's very quiet around here. Lily and I get to spend plenty of Mommy and Me time together. It's so different around here when Joey is at school for 4 days per week. So. very. different. We miss him of course, but Lily and I are also enjoying our new time together. Her personality is shining these days, she's more outspoken, and she gets to sing whenever she wants to, dance whenever she feels like it, play with whatever toy she wants to, and talk to Mama whenever she feels like it. Her new found freedom is doing wonders for her.
And oh my goodness is she bossy. She tells me where we're going, and when, and why, and how she wants to go, and what she wants to eat, and how much, and it is the funniest thing. I love it.
Many times my handmade clothing line is a relection of my atmosphere, my surroundings in nature, the weather, the adventures with my kids, the places we go, or the crayon colors my children are selecting that day. And sometimes, my handmade designs reflect the online locations I've been frequenting! For example, check out the below blog post I wrote about a fun International Culture website...see the colors there? Turquoise and Red. And now? Take a look at one of my recent designs, and new in my shop! A gorgeous little Retro Turquoise Linen Dress, for your super gorgeous little girl. That's my babe up there. :) A wonderful dress for layering when it gets chilly out, or for sitting and eating ice-cream on any day.
Made from a premium quality turquoise linen, it features a sweet little teacup-shaped pocket in the front. Also with an easy on-easy off design which ties at the neckline, a unique design by Joey & Aleethea! A gorgeous red, turquoise, and gold retro floral fabric will secure your baby girl's dress in ultra cuteness.