Everyone Loves Thomas


Thomas the train is everyone’s favorite engine! Well, actually my niece really loves Percy. That surprises me because her favorite color is blue, and Thomas is blue. Either way, Thomas and Percy were coming to town.

My sister asked me if I would make something for my Tater-Tot and her friend to wear to see the trains. I had a lot of stuff going on and I said I will do it if it’s really, really simple. I wanted her to buy a Thomas t-shirt so we could “girl-y” it up by adding a skirt to the bottom and maybe some bows. A little time passed and there was now less than a week before they were headed to Thomas when I accidentally invited her to the fabric store. I really just wanted to hang out, but she still wanted dresses for the girls. I can’t believe I forgot about this little detail. While we were there she suckered me into making something from scratch. It’s so hard to say no to a little blonde headed blue eyed girl when she says, “Please make me a dress, Aunt Sammie?” How do I get myself into these rushed predicaments?

We needed a plan, now that I had gotten suckered into this. It needed to be a quick and easy plan because I had one week to make 2 dresses. Those weren’t the only special orders I had to finish that week. I wanted it to be Thomas inspired, but not look just like Thomas. We chose a blue and white striped fabric for the top so it would look similar to conductor overalls, a red polkadot for the bottom, navy for straps and ties, and yellow to match the #1 that Thomas wears. I had to get to work immediately!

The top is almost like an apron. It was basically just a square with 2 straps that tie around the neck. Under this panel was a row of navy that will be the sash around the waist. And then of course, my favorite, polka dots scrunched together with elastic in the back to form the bottom of the dress. A dress this shape could probably be warn in the middle of summer with nothing under it, but it was chilly and rainy on this particular Saturday, so they layered.

The last extra special detail was the “1” on the top of the dress. I used iron on appliqué stuff to make this. I used 2 pieces of yellow fabric and the iron on stuff to bind them together. I cut out the “1” and then stitch around the edges with red thread in a zig-zag pattern. This made a red outline, just like on Thomas. I strategically hand tacked the number onto the bib of the dress so that it could be removed at a later date. They might like these dresses to be more than just Thomas appropriate.

Since it was a chilly day, the girls wore their dresses with a peter pan collar shirt and navy leggings. I think they look adorable. What about you?

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Beautiful girls with a front view of the dresses!

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Those bows sure look cute in the back.

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Riding Thomas!

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I wish I could have been there for all this fun!

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Why is Tater-Tot at the wheel? Let’s hope she doesn’t drive like her mommy.

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These three amigos are going to be best friends for a long time!


Another Year


Today I turn 28. Where has the time gone? It feels like it was just last week that I was writing my last birthday post. You know I have to say something about another year wiser and growing and learning and all that kind of stuff blah, blah blah… Which I guess all of that stuff is true but I really am in a very similar place to last year. I haven’t moved or changed jobs or done anything crazy. I mean, a lot of stuff happens in a year, but looking back it doesn’t feel like that much is different.

A big part of my life is my dog. We celebrated our one year anniversary not too long ago. I am still so thankful that I brought her home. She is a big crazy mess of energy, and she really would like to catch a bunny one day, but I love her anyways. I wouldn’t trade her for the world.




Another big part of my life is my family. They’ve always been super important and always will be. It was actually really fun celebrating my birthday last Friday night with my dad, step-mom, mom, step-dad, sister, brother-in-law, and niece. My niece has stolen my heart. I love that little girl more than I could have ever imagined. She is so beautiful and special and perfect!



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I’ve also realized this year that I’ve made some pretty cool friends along the way. I’m not always great at keeping up with people when we don’t live close by, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t made lasting impressions. I’ve had friends getting married and having babies and it’s been beautiful to see their lives grow and change. I have other friends that will always make sure I have a beer if I need one. And I even have one pretty awesome friend who took me flying in his airplane a few times. All these people are so wonderful and different and special to me.

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So here I am ready to take on the next year. Maybe the next 12 months will be more exciting than the past 12 months. I’m not denying that there were ups and downs, because they definitely existed. I don’t mind it not being too crazy of a year. Sometimes it’s nice to not feel too chaotic. Overall I am very blessed and have a great life (even if I do complain sometimes). I know I have a wonderful support system and I am very lucky for the opportunities I have been given. I know God is watching over me and will lead me through another great year, whatever it may bring!


I hope everyone has a great day….And Happy Earth Day too!

Snow and Stuff


I’ve been on a roll lately, though you wouldn’t be able to tell from my blog because, once again, I’m slacking. Perhaps I shouldn’t say once again. It’s basically been a really long slack fest for the blog. When I signed up for WordPress my goal was only 2 blogs a month, so maybe I’m not doing too horrible if that’s my goal.

Today in NC it was a snow day. Well it was a snow morning that turned into a very slushy gross afternoon, and will turn into an ice skating rink tonight. That’s how it happens in the South ya’ll. But, I really need to let you know that my roll started about 2 weeks ago and today was just an opportunity to keep rolling. I decided to clean up and clean out. I did a little extra decorating, but essentially just made my home neater and cleaner. (There will be another blog post about all the cute stuff I added.) This organization made it easier to work. I’ve been trying to put away projects instead of leaving them all scattered all over my house.

The snow started falling last night and was projected to fall all night long. I was 99.9% positive it would be a snow day and I wouldn’t have work, so I started thinking about what I wanted to work on. I have a few projects going, but one big one that I’ve been a little intimidated by. I knew a snow day would be the kick I needed.

snow 5I woke up at about 7:30 and snuck out of the house before I got Petoddy up. I wanted to explore outside before puppy foot prints covered the yard and before it melted. Here is the gorgeous house I live in covered with a beautiful white blanket. In my dreams this whole house is mine and the entire upstairs is dedicated to sewing/crafts and the downstairs is living quarters and a dance studio. In reality it has 6 apartments and I only get to enjoy a little slice of this beauty.

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I drank coffee. I drank a lot of coffee today. Here are a few of the delightful cups waiting to be washed. It will happen before bed tonight. I needed coffee, courage, a few prayers, and a whole bunch of deep breaths before I could cut. The project I’m working on is a very special one and I don’t want to screw it up. Actually I can’t screw it up because I have very limited materials and I can’t get more if I mess up. My friend Kat is getting married. I’m using her mom’s wedding gown to create an after party dress for her wedding. See…it’s a big freaking deal. I’ve spent the past month, little by little, seam ripping all the details off the dress and stripping it down to a blank canvas. I won’t show you any of the goods. You’ll have to wait until after the wedding for that blog post to happen. It was time…

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I don’t usually use a pattern. I actually don’t really like patterns that much, but I knew I would feel more confident in this particular project using a pattern. I cut out all the pieces today and basted the edges down where the needed to be. Slippery fabric might be the death of me. The pieces I was most worried about were the skirt. They required a lot of fabric and it was like a puzzle trying to figure out where to cut from. Just the 2 pieces for the skirt took me almost all morning. I know that sounds like forever, but I was extremely nervous and working very meticulously.

I usually keep the t.v. on channel 9 because I only have a few channels and that seems to be a pretty basic one. It’s mainly just back ground noise. I had the t.v. on this morning as I was working, but when The View came on, I had to turn it off. I just don’t like it. Basically I’m admitting that I do enjoy Wendy Williams that comes on right before. Don’t judge me too hard. So I headed to my computer for some music. Whatever Pandora station I picked played “Brown Eyed Girl” right after “Sir Duke” and I knew it was going to be a good day. I calmed myself down and worked on the dress and some other stuff too.

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I did some doodling that might potentially be part of a project for my sister and me. And then I decided to go to my job for a little bit. I’m not just lucky to live in this beautiful house, I’m lucky because my job is only 4 blocks away. By about 1 o’clock Petoddy was driving me a little crazy. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be inside or outside so I took a little break. I went and worked a few hours at the store even though we were closed today.

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After I came home and took Petoddy on a long walk I decided that I didn’t want to cook. I called the Mexican restaurant down the street to check if they were open. I finally changed out of pjs and headed out the door. I’m thankful that Kat made me this awesome scarf for Christmas to keep me warm. I look a little like a lumber jack with a blanket wrapped around my neck in this picture, but I don’t care. I’m sure I’m not the only person who didn’t want to “get ready” for the day today.

After dinner I came home and worked some more. I began sewing the pieces of the dress together. I’m still a little nervous, but I think it’s going to be a-okay. I have finished most of the sewing for the bodice. I still have to cut the lining for the skirt which is almost like being in the same place I started this morning. I’ll get there eventually. The wedding isn’t until May. Keep checking back to see projects as the get finished. I hope everyone had a great snow/slush/ice day! I know I enjoyed the extra time today!

In other news…It’s been just over a year since I started my blog. I just celebrated a year with my dog, and it’s been almost 2 years since I moved into this apartment. Maybe I should continue to make changes in February and March. They seem to be good months for me!



My most recent fortune cookie said, “If you want to win anything – a race, your self, your life – you have to go a little berserk.” I’ve felt pretty crazy the past few weeks, so perhaps that means I will be winning at something soon. I’m not saying that I think horrible things are happening and I’m waiting on the good stuff. Actually a lot of good stuff has been happening, but for a pretty un-organized person it can make you feel quite berserk!

I’ve been horrible at blog posts lately. I have 2 “real” jobs and kind of a side business with my sister. I work 7 days a week every week with my “real” jobs and in my free time craft. Many people might not categorize teaching dance as a “real” job, but I have set hours, I take time to plan every week, and I get paid….so it’s a real job, just not a 9-5 one. So basically, I’m busy. Lately I’ve been doing plenty of projects, but not ones that I’ve really wanted to blog about. And I haven’t wanted to stop working on stuff long enough to type. I typically blog about personal projects that I do for myself on the side, but I haven’t done any projects for myself lately. (sad day, right?)

My sister and I rent space at an antique mall and we sell some things that we make. Every since Tater-Tot was born, we have been slacking off. How can you possibly want to spend your free time crafting, when the cutest, sweetest baby ever is tugging on your heart strings. Now that she is a little bit older, it’s been a little bit easier to get projects completed. We decided to totally revamp everything we’ve done. We wiped out everything in our booth. All the old stuff gone, and totally turned it into a Christmas booth. Our thoughts were that it would be like a little Christmas store, and almost everything in it is wood. Here are a few pictures. This includes stuff made by me, my sister, and a few things made by our mom.








I’ve also started making hair bows. I think I kind of got suckered into this one with out even realizing that I was being suckered. I think this was a sneaky move by my sister so she could have bows to match all of Tater-Tot’s clothes, even though she is refusing to wear bows at the moment. It’s actually been kind of fun, but I never really thought I would stay up late at night wrapping ribbon into bows. Here is a picture so show some of the most recent Christmas bows I’ve been working on. The sewing machine makes for a great bow shelf.


I also let Tater help me sew some lace ruffles on gloves. It takes so much longer with an almost 15 month old, but I think it will totally be worth it if she loves crafting as much as the rest of the girls in the family. Plus now she has learned how to say “please.” It sounds more like “peas,” and if she says “peas” I can’t not pick her up and put her in my lap. Here we are sewing, and a picture of the girly gloves.

Charley Sews


So you see, I have actually been working and creating. I’m sorry I’ve spent so much time away from my blog. I promise to try to be more timely with my next post. Notice…I said I would try. Not making any guarantees here. I also have a few big projects that are in the works, but I can’t spill the beans for some of them until after Christmas, and one even has to wait untill May. There is also a Halloween blog just waiting to be written, but we can all see how that is going.

Until next time…I hope your life is filled with lovely berserk days!

Hello Lovely Fall


It’s officially fall! I could feel the chill in my bones the past 2 days. We’ll just pretend that it’s not going to get warm again this weekend. Fall is my favorite season by far. And no it’s not because of all the pumpkin spice crap. I don’t even like that stuff. It’s because fall has the best clothing ever!

It is just about the right time to dig out all my boots. Combat boots, and cowboy boots, and my brand new moccasin boots! And then there are tights in all colors. And funky leggings! I can pull out sweaters and scarves too. I also have 2 pretty awesome faux leather jackets. One mauve pink and one dark purple. It’s not quite time for them, but maybe by the end of October. Perhaps I’m a crazy person…actually I’m pretty positive I’m crazy, but I cannot help but love layers of clothes and how it’s acceptable to wear them in the fall. I just want to get all cozy and cuddly in my warm clothes.

I don’t however want to be the person who throws on a parka when it hits 60 degrees, but my goodness it was so hard not to put on all my favorites new and old. I tried to not go overboard.

fall collageMaybe I did have on a little more clothing than necessary today. I think I did alright, but tomorrow it will be difficult to not put on a big cozy sweater dress with my favorite mustard yellow tights. I hope I have enough will power to not be the crazily out of season dressed lady.


Oh and guess what? I have new hair color. A few people have told me the color looked just like fall. Perfect!

Unfinished Projects


I’m not sure this is a good way to explain it, but I’m usually better with movement and sounds than words. I feel like I’m floating along on a river, not in a dangerous way, but in a swift way. There are lots of banks and little islands, but I have no way to get totally on them so I just keep floating along. The river is life and the land is all of the projects I’m working on. I feel like I have a million things going on, but I haven’t been able to pin myself down to one island and conquer it. There is a list on my refrigerator of all the projects I’m working on. I actually am working on list, just not marking anything off. And lets get real…It feels good to mark something off  a to-do list.

So basically I’m feeling kind of frazzled because I have about 500 projects going on without any reward of actually finishing any. And I hate that I don’t have some super cool new thing to post on my blog for you to read about, but hopefully there will be something soon. (I am planning on finishing something today, but I can’t post it quite yet because it’s a present.)

So today I will leave you with a picture so you can see that I actually have been working. Stay safe with those safety goggles. You never know what I might be doing with power tools.




On Turning 27 and Some Other Junk


I’ve been 27 for one week now. I transitioned from a someone in their mid twenties to a someone in their mid-late twenties. As I’m writing, it seems like a silly little thing, but it’s made me very aware of how old I am and feel. When I think back to being 20, I realize my life is nothing like I thought it would be at this age. It’s absolutely nothing like I would have imagined it to be. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a great life though.

I never really thought I would move back to my home town after college, but I did. The economy was not good and I was terrified I wouldn’t find a job, so I came home. I lived at my mom and step dad’s house for a while, but have been living own my own for a little over a year. I think moving back home strengthened my relationships with my family. I think if I had moved half way across the country like I originally thought, I would not be so close with everyone. I think I would miss out on seeing my sister basically everyday and the rest of my family all the time.

Over the past few years I developed stronger bonds with my family, but there is one relationship that I was sure I would have on lock down by age 27. I just knew I would be married by now. It’s obviously not happened, but that’s okay (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself). Actually I really would rather wait and be married to the right person than just to rush and find someone to marry for the sake of being married. I do believe it is a difficult age to be navigating and dating. It’s very difficult to look at your newsfeed on Facebook and see so many weddings and babies and feel like all the good guys are gone. When others try to set you up on dates you are of course grateful, but there is also a little piece inside that makes you think that they feel sorry for you because you are missing out on what they have.

Thinking back to age 20 again, I thought I would never want kids of my own. That’s changed too. My sister has a beautiful 8 month old daughter, and ever since she popped out, I’ve wanted one for myself. Now, I know it’s possible to have a baby without an actually man, but I cannot afford that or afford to take care of a baby all on my own. This too will just have to wait until Mr. Wonderful fall from the sky. Maybe he won’t fall from the sky, but at this point I’m not really sure where they come from so maybe he will appear soon.

As far as a job is concerned, I never really had a clue what I would be doing. A career is something adults have, but not me. Sometimes I think I should have one because it’s what all good adults have, but then again I’m not really a normal adult. Most of the time I don’t even feel like an adult at all. I feel like I’m just faking it until I get by. Maybe when all of the pieces fall into place I will feel like a real adult. I have jobs. I have multiple jobs. It makes for a crazy schedule, but I like what I do. I’ve always told myself that I would rather go to work and like what I do than make tons of money and be miserable at my job. I make enough to support myself and even put a little back for savings, and so I will keep my crazy schedule for now and not worry about a “career”.

And then there is my body. I have this wrinkle in my forehead that seems to get bigger each day, and I keep thinking, “What am I supposed to do about that?” It is gross and shouldn’t be there yet. I’m not old enough to have wrinkles, but it’s there and not going anywhere. I also have a ton of gray hair, but that doesn’t bother me as much. It started appearing when I was in high school, so I don’t feel like it’s really apart of my transition into be old. I’m also sore all the time. I think surely this is not what 27 should feel like. I am a fairly healthy and active person. If this is what aches and pains feel like at 27, I’m not sure I want to get too much older. It’s just a little frustrating.

So I’ve complained for a while now, but let me tell you how wonderful my life is and how blessed I am. I have an amazing family. I have some great friends. I love going to work. I love my dog. My body hurts because I’ve spent my life dancing and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I will get some wrinkle cream soon and it probably won’t make my wrinkle go away, but at least I will feel proactive. I’ve been lucky to always have what I’ve needed in life, and a lot of the time had what I wanted too. And ultimately God has a plan for me. He might not want me to get married at all, and if that’s the case then I will just have to do as he pleases. It’s hard for us to not compare our lives to each other, but we are all different and on different journeys. I just have to remember that my life is for me, not for everyone else. I don’t have to be the same as them.


Here I am at age 27. Sometimes I feel a little frustrated with life and getting “old,” but it’s okay. It’s a part of life and it’s a part of God’s plan. I am a lucky girl!

As far as crafting is concerned…I apologize for not having any completed projects to show recently. I’ve been working on multiple things, but just haven’t finished. I will share when things become complete.