Four Foot Man Eating Chicken Close Up

And Then He Turned 10 (An Art of Homemaking Post)

My oldest (Simon) turns 10 this week.Four Foot Man Eating Chicken Close Up

A decade has gone by in the blink of an eye.  And I don’t want to blink again because when I open my eyes another decade will have passed and my baby boy will have become a man.

Our children are only children for such a short amount of time….it very much makes my heart ache to think about it…how will I ever let them grow up?

As Simon’s birthday approached this year my husband and I did a lot of talking.  We really wanted to make his birthday special…but as always money is tight…how were we going to celebrate and make him feel important and loved without being able to buy him things like ipads?  (Such things are a big deal to 10 year olds.)

So we thought and we talked and we thought and finally we came up with a plan.

We are calling this week “Simon Week”  (You know…like Shark Week…alright, anyways…) and everyday this week we are doing something special for Simon.

Here’s the plan:

MONDAY:  Let him stay up past bedtime and watch a show of his choice from Netflix.

TUESDAY:  He gets to choose what we have for dinner.

WEDNESDAY:  He gets to eat chocolate donuts for breakfast.

THURSDAY:  We will have a campfire in the fire pit in the back yard.  And play his favorite fire pit game…”Will it Burn?”

FRIDAY:  He gets to go camping with just his dad on an overnighter.


I know…it’s not extravagant or mind blowing…but it’s our plan none the less…and yesterday we put the plan into effect.  Simon got a card at dinner time with the plan written in it.  And guess what?  He loved it.

He loved it even more when his sisters had to go to bed and he got to stay up with my husband and I and watch one of his Tornado documentaries while we all ate chips and salsa.

It was a great night.  And he went to bed happy.

It’s no ipad, that’s for sure…but he went to bed happy.  And we had one on one time with our boy.  Tomorrow he gets to pick dinner and he already put in his order….spaghetti.  Again, it’s no ipad…but he’s happy.

This may be the last time we can do something like this with our Simon…he will be 11 next year after all….but until then we are going to enjoy the week…and save up for next year!


PS:  Two things so that you don’t think we are the worlds worst parents (even if we are)—-#1.  We watch Simon carefully while he conducts his “Will it Burn?” fire pit “game” and make sure he doesn’t put anything dangerous into the fire….and #2.  We are still getting Simon a few small gifts for his birthday…so he isn’t condemned to only just spaghetti and chocolate donuts….although I’d settle for spaghetti and chocolate donuts….yuuummmm…..chocolate donuts….

knit skirt tutorial

Easy Knit Skirt Tutorial

knit skirt tutorial

I shared this a couple of weeks ago at Riley Blake Designs but today I am sharing it again here.  I really am still living in these skirts.  And I think they will still be cute with tights and boots for fall and winter.

Hi everyone! I think this is my all-time favorite version of the knit pencil skirt for two reasons…. they are a cinch to make and they are as comfortable as wearing yoga pants or pajama pants…but are a bit more acceptable in public ;)

Here is what you need to make one:

skirt materials
Here’s what you do:

*Fold your fabric in half.  You should have a center fold line in your fabric.

*Measure you waist and divide that number by 4.  Mark that as a horizontal waistline on your FOLDED knit fabric.

* Measure your hips and divide that number by 4.  Mark that as a horizontal hipline onto your FOLDED fabric.

*Measure from your waist to your knees.  Put that line (measuring vertically) down from the waistline like shown below.step 2 copy
Now you are ready to cut out your skirt front.  Cut out one more for your skirt back.  You should have 2 skirt pieces—1 front and 1 back both cut on the fold.

sew side seams


sew waistband

hem skirt

Now put your skirt on and admire your work!

knit pencil skirt-end shot

We have lots more skirt tutorials over at Simple Simon and Company that are just as easy to make!  Head HERE to see more.

~Elizabeth and liZ


Pleated Skirt for JoAnn

A Pleated Skirt for #SewYourStyle

Today I get to share a skirt that I made for the JoAnn #SewYourStyle National Sewing Month Challenge.

Pleated Skirt for JoAnn

For this challenge I got to make a non-quilted item using quilting cottons and Pellon….um….awesome!  I love quilting cottons and Pellon and I wanted a new skirt for fall!  It was a perfect match.

So I was telling Elizabeth about this on the phone and she just happened to be at JoAnn…and saw this blue floral print which was exactly like the kind of fabric I was describing… she grabbed a yard and a half for me (along with some Pellon) and BAM!  Destiny.

Pleated Skirt Joann Full

 Its a simple pleated skirt with a 4 inch waistband (stabilized by some lightweight Pellon) that hits just below the knee and will be great to wear with sweaters and boots.

(And if you want to make one just like it come back here Thursday for the full step by step tutorial!  I promise it’s super easy….you don’t even need a pattern!)

Pleated Skirt JoAnns Sepia

I love projects like this!  So much fun to make and have to wear when you are finished!  If you want to join in on the #SewYourStyle challenge hop on over here to get all the details and to enter!

sew your style


It’s such a fun contest and the winner will get $1,000!

And while we are on the subject of JoAnn….

Their fall Look Book has just been released and we were lucky enough to have been able to contribute a few of our projects!  So if you want to take a peek just head on over here and check it out:  JoAnn Fall 2014


PS:  This post was sponsored by Pellon but all the words, opinions, projects, and ramblings were all my own.


Sewing Saturdays is moving this week….and there’s a giveaway!

This week Sewing Saturday is moving to Instagram and Facebook!


We had an idea last week and wanted to try something new….So, this week we want to see your projects either on facebook or on instagram using the hashtag #simplesimonsewalong.

Simply put that hashtag on Facebook or on Instagram along with a photo of your current project and you’re in!   And, why do you want to be in?   Well, besides the fact it will be fun to see what everyone is working on, we are going to pool everyone’s link-ups that are in the hashtag and then choose a random winner!

This week the prize is a Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle


So…now that you know what’s going on let’s get to it!  We are excited to see what you’ve been working on!


Sew Ready To Play: Domino Inspired

Hello Everybody!

Today we are over at I’m Feelin’ Crafty taking part in her “Sew Ready to Play” series.



For our project Grace and I put together a Domino inspired look for her to wear to school.  To see what we made pop on over to Louise’s blog and check it out.

Happy Friday everyone!

(And check back in with us later tonight to see how we are changing up our weekly Sewing Saturday Linky Party!)


7 fun projects for fall

7 Fun Fall Projects (To Help Me Stop Crying Over the Disappearance of Summer)


I’ve been trying to fight it….I really have…this ending of summer business…

I tried to pretend that it wasn’t happening…and then I was in denial…but last week as I was running down the canyon and saw the leaves beginning to change color I knew I would have to accept the facts:  Summer is over…and the autumn season is upon us.

So instead of mourning the loss of late nights and sprinkler filled days with my kids I’m going to change my mind set and look forward to the holidays, crafts, and parties that I can enjoy with my family during the upcoming season.

And….to get me in the mood I’ve put together a short roundup of some of my favorite fall projects from seasons past…

7 fun projects for fall

The link under each picture will take you directly to the post that will give you all the directions to make each of the projects.  So let’s get started!

Fleece Scarf TutorialAn Easy No Sew Scarf Tutorial

Pumpkin Surprise Collage 2
A Pumpkin Carving Surprise that will Amaze your Kids

Spooky Smoking Bubbles
How to Make Spooky Smoking Bubbles

Spider Web Skirt Tutorial
Spider Web Skirt Tutorial

Thankful Book Title
 I’m Thankful For You Because Books

Turkey Photo Prop
Printable Thanksgiving (and Christmas) Photobooth Props

Thanksgiving tablescape--Simplesimonandcompany
A Thanksgiving Tablescape for Kids

Ok!  That helped.

I really do love this time of year…the smells, colors, and feelings…and summer will always come again…so I’m ready to say goodbye to our swimsuits and hello to the holidays.  Let’s get this party started!


My family is my strength quote

My Family is My Strength…

My family is my strength quote

This isn’t the post that I had planned for today…I had planned a sewing project…but plans changed…this week has been a whirlwind.

Starting with last Tuesday I’ve run Simon’s Boy Scout den meeting, gone to back to school night, held a meeting with the principal, been to the doctors office twice, attended a business meeting, had an interview for the national nightly news here in my family room, gone to a family reunion, taken Ruth to her first day of preschool, run a half marathon, and wrapped everything up by driving back and forth across two states with Elizabeth to work on an upcoming project with Craft Daily.

Its been busy.  And honestly I’m a little tired.

But today I get to stay home…and make homemade spaghetti for Simon…and update chore charts…and do nightly reading with Grace…and snuggle on the couch with Ruth…and catch up on laundry…and watch Magnum PI with my husband….and just BE HOME.   (And it feels like heaven on earth.)

You know, that Dorothy was right…there is no place like home.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some fun projects for fall.  But until then…baby Ruth is calling and there is no other call I’d rather answer…

See you tomorrow.


target sponsored post

Back to School Gifts…and a $100 Target giveaway!

target sponsored post

This time of year makes me miss teaching. I loved my years as a First Grade teacher. The fresh classrooms, the new pencils and seeing all of the kids with their new backpacks and new shoes and unused erasers — I really do get a bit nostalgic for the new beginning of a school year. And now that I am on the other side of the coin, sending my kiddos off to new classrooms I always reminisce about my teaching days. Yes, they were hard. But they were also some of my most rewarding experiences in life. I do so love teaching and teachers!

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Sewing Saturday with Simple Simon and Company


Hi everyone!  Hope you had a fantastic week.  It’s certainly been a busy one around here….and homework and after school things are in full gear.  But the thing I do love about September is the crisp mornings, they do make me happy.

And now it’s time to see what you have been sewing!  Please link up one or two projects so we can all see what you have had going on in your sewing room.   Are you doing any sewing for Project Run and Play?  We can’t wait to show you the couple of sneak peeks we’ve had over there….this season is going to be extraordinary!

So, let’s get linking….