The Plaid Post

I'm Serging!

Monday, 27 October 2008 09:32 by sara

Mr. Plaid got me a serger last week for my birthday! I'm crazy excited about it. I remember reading a couple of articles about all of the wonderful things one can do with a serger, but now that I have it, I'm absolutey stumped.  And I can't find the article, which I think was in an issue of Sew News...

Anyone have any idea where to start? I've got it all set up, just waiting to be used.  I practiced on some scraps, but I'm itching to do something productive.  I'm also waiting on The Complete Serger Handbook to arrive (Amazon prime...should be here any day now!)

But until then, I need projects, people! I'd love your recommendations.

Clearance makes me giddy...

Thursday, 11 September 2008 21:12 by sara

I'm a frequent Target shopper.  Too frequent. Creepy frequent.

I stalk the clearance sections. I refuse to buy something at a 30% markdown. If it's meant to be, I know it will still be there for me when it goes to 50 percent.  And chances are, it will be there for me, because I check every other day. Pathetic? Maybe. But there are serious bargains to be had.

Tonight these recipe cards were finally at 75 percent. They were less than $2 a box! A pack of 48 uber-classy recipe cards! It's craziness.  I bought every box they had.  You'll notice they're still going for $7.99 on the website.  

I have big plans for these guys come Christmas. Go. Now. Buy some!

(It just dawned on me this post is going to ruin my Christmas gift plan.  If potential recipients read this post, they're going to find out I'm cheap.)

Incidentally, school supplies, lunch boxes and backpacks were finally marked down to 50% this week. Of course, the cute thermos I'd been stalking was already gone. But see, I'm okay with that. Clearly wasn't meant to be mine. 

Bargain stalking, it's all very zen.

Categories:   Shopping
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It's Time...

Tuesday, 26 August 2008 19:18 by sara

Yes, September is nearly upon us, and the stores have begun the transformation...time to start thinking about Christmas.  Before I was a crafty person, I rejected the notion that we had to think about Christmas before fall even arrived.  I groaned as the stores moved in Christmas decorations earlier and earlier each year. I was appalled at the idea of Christmas music in November (yes, even November was too early for me).

But now, I get it.  This is a crazy holiday, friends.  Last year, I waited until December to start working on my handmade holiday gifts. Frankly, I just wasn't in the Christmas mood during November. I hosted Thanksgiving, and I was busy!  By the time I was in the Christmas mood, I didn't want to engaged in a frantic sewing marathon.  I wanted to enjoy the softer, traditional Christmas activities.

I wanted to see the Way of Lights, ride the camels, drink hot cocoa and eat kettle corn. 

I wanted to hunt for the perfect Christmas tree,  


Haul out the decorations (you thought I was going to say holly), light up the house.


I wanted to stroll around the mall and window shop. I wanted to watch Christmas movies. I wanted to bake cookies and decorate gingerbread houses.


I wanted to sew, too, but in a leisurely way. I didn't enjoy the stress to "just get it done."  I wanted to mosey, while watching Christmas memories unfold outside my window.


In order to make time for such things, I am beginning the Christmas crafting early this year. Do it with me!

I won't pretend I've thought of this on my own.  A few days ago, I stumbled upon Organized Christmas.  It's an amazing site, with all sorts of tips to walk you through getting ready for the holidays.  You can find some great tools--I've only just started exploring the site, but have already downloaded the "Gifts to Make" planning sheet and the "What's in the Gift Closet" list. 

Over the next few weeks, I'll share my Christmas ideas and reveal the things on my list.  I'm hoping there will even be some sneak peeks as things get finished (fingers crossed that things get finished).  I might have to be a bit secretive, because some of the recipients might occassionally read my blog (*cough* mom, dad *cough*).  

Of course, I won't be handcrafting it all myself.  The wonderful world of Etsy will most certainly supply a gift or two.  

Categories:   Family | General | Shopping
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Birthday shopping

Wednesday, 20 August 2008 16:07 by sara

The youngest turns two in just under a month, so my online idea shopping is in full swing!  Unlike the Kindergartner, the two-year old loves baby dolls.  I'm over the moon with excitement, because I love buying baby dolls.

The current plan is to have Mr. Plaid make a doll cradle, and I'll make some bedding for it. I really like this cradle from Posie's Boutique, but it's vintage and that freaks me out just a little. For playthings, anyway. 

I'm hoping to make a little doll quilt. I've seen them all over the place, and I absolutely love them! 

I love this quilt from Becka Rahn.  I'm thinking, though, that I would appreciate the quilt more than the birthday girl would...

You wouldn't believe the number of Cookie Monster diapers that get wasted around here because they wind up on baby dolls. I love these little doll diapers with the velcro closures, available from Beaded Socks. Easy for the Two Year Old to do it herself, instead of yelling "I do it!!" at me a million times.

In a perfect world, I'd buy one of Hillary's patterns and make Olive and Archie.   As evidenced by the last few weeks, I'm clearly not living in a perfect world!

These dolls from Lil Sprinkles are the next best thing.

Everytime I try to do a little doll shopping on Etsy, I'm freaked out. I seriously just cannot get behind the Reborn Dolls.  Maybe it's because I'm not a doll collector or an artist. I can appreciate the art behind them, and it sounds like a fun project. But the dolls are eerily real, yet with old man creepy hair. 


Categories:   Shopping
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The one in which I apologize profusely

Friday, 15 August 2008 17:32 by sara

I'm officially late on at least three gifts (sorry loved ones!), there are at least four phone calls I was supposed to return a week ago, I'm behind schedule planning our MOPS Kick-Off Carnival, and several other areas of my Mom world have fallen into disrepair.  And you, too, have been neglected.  Big apologies! Thanks for hanging in there, though, and I think we're officially back to normal. Or as close to normal as it gets around here. 

School is officially underway.  No tears were shed by the Kindergartener, and I wish I could say the same of myself.  I've found that the few morning hours provided by kindergarten actually leave little time for anything productive to happen around the house.  We'll be working on that over the next week or so.  I'm thinking some quiet reading time will be instituted, just to give everyone a chance to think.

I did have a chance to make more bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. They're not kidding about this bread. It really is nearly artisan, and it really does take only five minutes (of hands-on time) each day. I read the amazon reviews, and I think some of the comments are funny.  People seemed to quarrel with the "five minute" aspect of the title.  Really?! Obviously that figure doesn't include rising time, but it was pretty true that I mixed up a batch super quickly, kept it in the fridge, and on baking day was able to shape it and have it ready for the oven--usually in less than five minutes.

I heart warm bread. 

I'm so hooked on the book, that my sister-in-law (one of the overdue gifts that is no longer overdue) received a copy of the book for her birthday this week.

I still owe Grandma a birthday gift (can you imagine the guilt?!) and a return phone call. 

Turns out that Grandma is not easy to shop for, not even on Etsy.  What do you buy a practical 85 year old?  Melamine divided plates

Who doesn't need a good robe? I like the colors on this one from Disrobe. And the big flower is fun.

When Mr. Plaid and I first met, he liked to mock my habit of giving candles for most occassions.  What can I say, it's an easy, practical gift.

Seriously...what do you give the grandma who has everything?! 

 A set of vintage garden water faucet knobs?

Categories:   Shopping
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Delayed again...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:54 by sara

Sorry for the vanishing act. Serious back to school preparation is going on around here, including a last minute decision to change schools.  The new school begins next week (!!), which is two weeks earlier than our old school.  I'm having to cram three weeks of summer into one short week, which is proving to be exhausting.

Monday night was the Oldest Child's final karate class, in which she finally received her colored belt. She was thrilled. I managed to take two pictures before the camera battery died. It wasn't until an hour ago, when I decided to photograph the Criss Cross Coasters, that I realized I still hadn't charged the battery (um, missed photos of the final gymnastics class today, too).  Thus, no photos of the coasters just yet.  So, we'll delay Win-It Wednesday until Thursday, since you probably don't want to enter to win coasters sight unseen.

In other random news:

I've been eying the baked goods on Etsy for some time now.  This is a rather delicious looking Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie from The Wave Break. I'm a sucker for chocolate peanut butter anything. Like, Oberweis Ice Cream, or those brownies I made a little while back (see here).

This one has no peanut butter, but I also happen to love chocolate.  This Red Velvet Revolution cupcake from Bangerang Bake Shop actually comes in a jar.  The cupcake in a jar concept is one I've been wanting to try.

Aren't these cute?!  I made some back in December for my sister's baby shower, but didn't make enough to keep one for myself.  I'm thinking of ordering some from Etsy.  

But the thought of buying food from random home bakers on Etsy sort of freaks me out. Has anyone tried it? Good? Bad? Poisoned?

Categories:   Food | Other Fun Stuff | Shopping
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Tax Free!!

Sunday, 3 August 2008 22:39 by sara

About three years ago, a glorious thing happened here in the Heartland.  The fine folks in our state legislature declared the first weekend in August to be Tax Free. That's right friends, here in Missouri, certain back to school items may be purchased for the actual sticker price. No state sales tax is charged! (Some not-so-friendly areas still charge their own local sales tax...)

I know it sounds crazy, but I get pretty giddy over the thought of pulling one over on the government. I think our tax rate is around 7% which probably doesn't add up to all that much, but the idea of stocking my closet (clothing and shoes are tax free), my art cabinet (school supplies--aka paints, markers, glue, paper--are tax free), and upgrading the computer (which sadly, I had to do before the holiday this year) tax free is appealing.

So, this weekend, we shopped.


I found this really cute dress at H&M for the Kindergartener. It seems very European, which it probably is, and I just love it. It was on their clearance rack for $10.  I like it because it's simple, and if you didn't know it was from H&M, you might think it wasn't mass-produced. 

We picked up lots of other great bargains and cute clothes for the girls, but they tend to be your more typical back to school choices.  And no, all this shopping does not mean that I've abandoned my fall clothing goals.  I'll be sewing dresses and skirts for the girls, so our purchases this weekend were more of the jeans/pants/shirts type.  As soon as I get the summer stuff finished (um, started), I'll start revealing my fall creations.

Now, if only we can convince the state legislature to lift the tax on groceries...

Categories:   Clothing | Shopping
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