life, craft, kids, crap…

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Wordle: la le Style's Etsy shop


Someone is stealing my cups.

Ok, let me back up. I drink iced tea like it’s going out of style. One of my top Christmas presents of all time was the Iced Tea Pot I got this past year.

I use it every day. When we come back from being out of town, I walk in, put down my first armload of stuff, and make a pitcher of tea. I drink at least 1 liter a day. (Partly because drinking tea w/ Sweet & Low is better than grabbing that candy bar. A swig of tea helps me with my cravings.)

The perfect way to fix iced tea (according to mab): A plastic cup (preferably from Dickey’s BBQ or some other free plastic cup) stuffed full of ice and full of fresh iced tea. Yum.

But, my glasses are gone. (Can I still call them glasses if they’re really plastic cups?) I know that one of them is dirty. One got left in my van. But, the other 15 of them — GONE. I’ve looked in every cabinet. I’ve searched the house. Nowhere.

WHERE ARE MY CUPS? It’s a mystery. One I felt compelled to share on my oh-so-fascinating blog.

Now, you may return to your day.


The day after I got this cool package from Krista, another awesome package arrived in the mail for me. It was a giveaway I had won from Scott Hansen over at Blue Nickel Studios. I was sooooo pumped to win this giveaway — and aparently my use of the phrase “hep cat” sealed the deal.

In case you haven’t noticed, I tend to talk funny.

Here’s the goods I scored:

Scott, I think hep cats rock. And, you can be King of the Hep Cats for adding this doodle to the packaging. My 2 year old thought it was really awesome.

Look at all of these goodies! The awesome mini gift bag is super cute. I think some of my scraps will become gift bags in the future. And, the bookmark… I put it to use right away.

Love love this. I’m thinking it might become the center of a pillow. Or I’ll just hang it on the wall.

But this…. this is my favorite of all. These two scraps aren’t really meant to go together, but I really like how they look together. Now… to figure out what to make.

Scott, thanks for the infusion to my creativity! Oh, and the fact that you included an actual Blue Nickel…. that was hep, man, real hep.


Did you know I have a stash of vintage fabric? And a stash of new fabric? Shoot, I have a 950 square foot apartment that houses 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 preschools worth of toys, and 200 square feet of fabric.

But, I can stop any time…. really, I can. This isn’t a problem. No, it isn’t. I could give it all away tomorrow and not miss it one bit. For real.

Well, except that beautiful Heather Bailey Freshcut I’m hoarding saving for just the right project. I should keep it.

And the fabric I bought for the Paintbox quilt I’m working on. It would be a shame to get rid of it.

The cool (not dorky) hippo prints I have — well, Bean likes them, so I should keep them.

And, you never know when I’ll need more of that striped fabric.

And some of it came from my Grandma’s stash, so I’ll keep it.

And, you know, there’s the new fabric I bought for Britty’s baby quilt. Can’t get rid of that until Sweet Pea comes and her quilt is finished.

Sigh.

Ahem. My name is mab and I’m a fabric addict.

(Phew. That feels better. Now, take a look at some of my vintage stash!)

This piece of fabric inspired a little project I’m working on. More in a bit….

Then, check this out. It’s pre-Elmo Sesame Street fabric! Grover is my fave.

So, what is this post and this current post all about? I have decided to share some of my retro and vintage fabrics, great vintage finds, and random randomness with the world in a second Etsy shop. Ruby’s Retro City is slated to open in early April. My other shop, la*le Style, will stay open and will continue to have all of my handmade, non-vintagey items in it. But, the focus on opening Ruby’s Retro City strongly has kept me from working on la*le as much as I’d like. That’s why it’s been a bit neglected!

But now, I shall reveal the real reason I’m opening a shop with a major focus of vintage fabric . . . the more I sell, the more new lovelies I can buy.


Yesterday when Ray Ray came home for lunch, he saw the smoke detector that we had taken down in the girls room. A few months ago at 2 a.m. it began beeping. When your smoke detector beeps, you change the batteries, right? Not at 2 a.m. when its in the room with your two sleeping toddlers. Instead, you rip it out of the wall. Seeing it on the counter, he was moved to action. He dug out a new battery and put the detector back up in their room. “I don’t know why that took me so long!” he exclaimed.

We sat down to eat.

While we were in the middle of a riveting conversation discussing potty training and Peanut’s recent boogery sniffles, we heard it.

beep.

At first I thought it was maybe just my mind playing tricks on me.

beep.

We were also confused because we couldn’t tell exactly where the sounds were coming from.

beep.

Each time we heard it, it was different.

beep.

Because we live in an apartment building, they have all of the smoke detectors hooked into a sprinkler system. If there’s a fire in any apartment, everyone’s sprinklers go off.

beep.

I am afraid that some yo-ho will burn their biscuits, set off their fire alarm, and make my sprinklers go off. That would ruin untold amounts of stuff.

beep.

But, I’ve heard that the sprinklers have to detect heat for that to happen. So, the yo-ho would have to really burn those biscuits.

beep.

Back to the story… the hub got up, went to the girls room and ripped the smoke detector out of the wall once again. Then, he had to go off to work. I got the girls ready for bed, sure in the knowledge that they would sleep peacefully, without any smoke detector diversions.

beep.

What the…..

beep.

I knew it couldn’t be coming from the girls’ room. That smoke detector was ripped from the wall. Apparently, virus-like, the beepity-beep-beep smoke detector had influenced the smoke detector in the hallway.

beep.

It was now going off. I quickly, unforgivingly, and sharply ripped it from the wall. Ahh. Silence at last. I could now go to my napping spot — the couch — and snuggle up under my new napping quilt.

beep.

Ok, final straw. Where the *#&# was this coming from? Apparently, before being ripped from the wall, the smoke detectors in the bedroom and the hallway made an alliance with the one in the living room. It was now going off.

beep.

I ripped it from the wall and threw it on the kitchen counter. Now we were completely smoke detector-less. (The one in our room has been ripped out for months. It also made the mistake of beeping in the middle of the night.) I called the hub and he said he’d contact maintenance about the problem. It must have been in the wiring in the wall. Problem solved. Reading and then nap time.

beep.

I looked around for a detector I had missed. Nowhere.

beep.

But, the sound was coming from the kitchen. There, like headless chickens still running around the yard…. like a glam band rocker past his prime still trying to perform in concert…. like the neighbor’s dog who just won’t shut up no matter what you do…. the smoke detectors were still beeping. I made sure the batteries were out and then I did the only sensible thing to do.

I put the bleepin’ beepers in the refrigerator.


The other day I was trying to organize my stuff. I have one tote bag that I keep permanently packed for my MOPS meetings. (No, we don’t go to mop. We are Mothers of Preschoolers. We crave adult interaction and toddler-free zones. Therefore, we can get kind of crazy. You need a tote bag for that.) However, this meant that my tote bag was taken up. I decided I needed to make me a new tote bag.

The dilemma — I couldn’t pick out just the right fabric. I  couldn’t find something I wanted that mixed vintage-y, fun, funky, and cool. I couldn’t find the time to sew, either. Sigh…. I spent a week wishing for a tote.

Then, as if she read my mind, this arrived in the mail from krista….

It’s a cool tote! And, I love ticking! (That’s what those stripes are called.) I especially LOVE red ticking! (Are you creepy stalking me, Krista? Is that how you knew that?) That gives the vintage-y look I like.

But, add in the kick o’ lime green — AWESOME. And, the pocket that’s turned so the stripes run the other way — PERFECT! I totally love this bag. The next day was when we left town for a week and I lugged this everywhere. It has become my everything bag.

Krista, you ROCK! But, I am still wondering how you knew I needed a tote and liked ticking…. I’m wondering about you…. I also wonder if you’ll laugh when you hear that this is the tote I use to keep my Bible study stuff together. :)



Lots of my friends are having babies. New, sweet, tiny, little babies.

I miss my babies.

Weren’t they both beautiful?

Yesterday, I got to hold a friend’s little baby. I gave her a bottle, I burped her, I rocked her, and she fell asleep on my shoulder. I kept up the Mama Dance — that sway we instinctively do to keep the little ones soothed and asleep.

My back began to hurt.

I remembered pregnancy.

And interrupted sleep.

And I decided that it’s not the time for a new baby. It’s just the time to hold my friends’ babies.

Peanut is relieved. She doesn’t want to hear any talk of new babies.

**UPDATED** Yes, these pictures are all of Peanut and Bean. There’s a pretty equal mix of the two (counting the one en utero). Can you tell who is who? Dude, they look alike! Dude, neither looks like me! **


The task falls to me and my husband to explain life to our young daughters. What is thunder? Where do dinosaurs live? Why can’t I eat cake for lunch? Will a bear come and get me? These are questions I’ve answered in the past few weeks. I can handle these questions. I can figure out a way to answer them. Sure, the concepts of lightning, sound waves, and everything that goes into producing thunder is difficult to explain to a 2 year old. Trying to convey the idea of extinction was also really difficult. The last two questions were the easiest of all.

But, in the last two weeks I’ve had a series of questions and explanations that were the hardest yet. See, we lost my hub’s beloved uncle last weekend. He was 89 and had been given 6 months to live …. two years ago. We do not view the blessing of that extra time lightly. Uncle James was a grandfather to my hub and became one for me. We would go see him and play dominoes or sit and talk. I loved his laugh and I respected him deeply. In his last weeks, he moved in with my in-laws so he could receive better round-the-clock care. We made several trips up to see him and the girls became familiar with his presence in their home. They knew he was sick and had to stay in his bed. The sweetest thing was when Bean would say, “I’m going to say hi to Uncle James!” and she’d run to his room. She’d pop her head in and wave, holler “hi!” and leave. She wouldn’t wait to see if he was awake, and wouldn’t stick around for an answer.

After we got home, she frequently drew pictures for us to give him or would fix him food in her play kitchen. We prayed for him and talked about him. We tried to prepare her, but how do you explain death to a 2 1/2 year old? When Uncle James did pass away and we were packing up to go back to my hub’s hometown for the services, both my hubby and I explained to her that he died and was in heaven. We believe in an afterlife and in God, but how do you explain these concepts? Even the idea of God or Jesus is pretty scary — some invisible person hears you when you pray and then people go to live with them in their house called heaven when they are sick? She got the concept that he was with Jesus in heaven. Well… as much as she could.

After the funeral, I stayed behind with the girls for the rest of the week. Days later, Beanie was coloring and she finished a picture. “This is for Poppy to give Uncle James when he gets better and isn’t sick,” she said. I started crying. I explained that he wasn’t sick anymore. She looked confused. I told her that he wasn’t sick, but was well and was happy. We were sad because we wouldn’t see him again for a while, but he was in heaven with Jesus and we could all be there again some day. “Oh,” she said. “He’s happy?” “Yes, he’s happy,” I replied. She thought for a minute and then told me: “Uncle James is laughing!” I think she is right.

I’m not sure what we’ll do when we go to visit and he isn’t there. He was an amazing man — my feeble words can’t explain the depth of his humble generosity, patience, and compassion. I will miss his stories and his propensity to watch westerns. I will miss sitting on that uncomfortable couch under the picture of John Wayne, watching him pet his dog, and listening to the news. I am incredibly grateful to have known him. I am most grateful for the love he poured out on my husband as he grew up. The imprint he left behind is deep indeed.

Thanks to those of you who knew about our sorrow and communicated through e-mails and phone calls. I’m sorry I’ve been so terrible about replying. I know many of you may comment — I’ll be terrible about replying to those as well. Still, comments are like gold. Love ‘em. But, remember that a variety of people with a variety of beliefs read this little blog. Share your beliefs! Go for it! But, be respectful of others, pretty please.

In other news, I mailed off forms to the gub’ment to form an LLC for my new little business. Big step. Of course, more to come. For now, it’s late and I’m tired. Peace out.



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