I know.  Another skirt.
It’s so easy!
But seriously, whenever Lucy’s invited to a friend’s birthday party I spend the week stewing over what to buy them as a gift.  And then I have that “duh” moment when I pull a yard of fabric from my stash, start cutting and sewing….and 20 minutes later, the gift is done.

One of these days I’ll need to tween them up a bit….maybe leather pockets and a faux flat front?

Everybody loves a little handmade love!

Especially when it’s made from good quality cotton.
And this pretty print reminded me of tulips….which Casey brought home on Valentine’s day.
Everybody loves flowers too!
(Thank you Casey).

If you’re making a skirt as a gift and you’re not sure on their waist-size, look online at a standard child’s sizing chart, or simply ask their mom to measure their waist.  And lately, I’ve been making my girls’ skirts 3 times their waist (rather than 2 times)….just to get it nice and full.  There are so many options.  So if you want to mix it up a bit, here are some other skirt tutorials for you:


And don’t forget you can watch the simple skirt video here:

Then let your kids create the wrapping paper, and your gift is ready to go.

I love watching these two together.  Lucy is so patient with Clara, letting her play and tag along with whatever she’s doing.  She’s such a good sister.

Happy sewing and gifting friends!


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RECIPE: Crockpot Beef Stew

by Dana on February 11, 2015

I can never decide which one I like more: Pot Roast or Beef Stew?
They both make me happy….and my family happy.
And all that good stuff.
Cause they’re both full of good stuff!

I guess beef stew is like pot roast in a bowl, with a little bit of kick (it’s that tomato paste, I tell ya).  And it’s super easy to make!—well, they’re both easy to make.
But this is like really, really easy to make.
And if you’re not a meat person….just omit the beef and turn it into vegetable stew. Yum!
So here you go.

I’ve got dinner planned for you.


2-3 lbs of beef chuck
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
3 Tbl balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl flour
3 cups water

6 small white potatoes
1 yellow onion
4-5 carrots
salt + pepper

• In a crockpot (or slow cooker) mix together the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, flour, and water.
• Trim excess fat from the beef and cut it into 1 or 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Add to the crockpot.
• Scrub and clean the potatoes and carrots.  I prefer to leave the skins on both but you can peel them if desired.  Cut them both into bite size pieces—I cut each potato into 4ths.  Add them to the crockpot.
• Peel and cut the onion into large chunks and add to the crockpot.
• Mix it all together, place the lid on the pot, and let the slow cooker do it’s magic!

Cook on high heat for about 5 hours, or low for 8 hours.
Salt and pepper to desired taste.
And of course, serve with SWEET CORN BREAD.  Oh yum.

I’ll try not to play favorites here….but maybe stew is just a vehicle for making cornbread (with melty butter and honey).
That might be the answer to life.

Check out other recipes here (or click a button below for details)



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Yarn pom poms might be the cutest thing….since babies, that is.
Which I guess means that cave women were making them out of grass and straw?
(Omg….that’s a fantastic idea….)

I’m sure you’ve been making them since the beginning of time as well.
So you know that they’re easy…and addictive!
And you don’t need a fancy pom pom maker to make them.
(You know I like to keep it simple.)
You just need to your hands and some scissors!  And some yarn of course.

So come watch a few minutes of fun!….and see it all in action.  I’ll show you how to quickly make a pom pom; then ‘ll show you a variety of ways to use them—like this.

Just hit the play button below and enjoy!

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items  you will love and use.
To watch other episodes:
• Click the VIDEO tab at the top or….
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.


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TUTORIAL: Heart Conversation House

by Dana on February 3, 2015

This project is so simple.
Yet it makes me smile every time I walk by it.
And I wonder why I’ve never done this before??
Maybe you’ve been doing it for years….

…because you probably love conversation hearts too!

Actually, I love the look and idea of them.
I don’t like to eat them.
And I’ve often wondered if anyone really does eat them….till I met my husband and kids.
Chalky 1950′s necco candy?
Bring it.

So whether you like to eat them, read them, adore them, or juggle them?…Let’s decorate! And start a conversation!

I have a hunch that the paper business is in cahoots with the candy factory….because it never dawned on me till now, that basic colored printer paper is the same color as conversation hearts!

This means two things.
1.  I have everything I need for this project.
2.  I can make this project every year till my kids are 20, because I have solid-colored paper and card stock oozing from my Billy Bookcases.
But that’s another conversation…..

To turn your Wall, Door, Bedroom, or Workspace into a Conversation House, it’s easy….and obvious, but here are some tips:

• Make the largest size heart you can on a piece of cardstock. Use this as your template.
• Trace and cut out paper hearts from solid-colored printer paper (which you can buy at an office supply store for much cheaper than at a craft store).
• Use a pink or red marker to handwrite block letters on each heart (markers are better than Sharpies here).  You can always print from a printer as well….but using your hands is fun!  And the trick to hand-lettering is to write it once and then go over it again to improve the font.  Always add to it, rather than take-away.   This is something we also learned at the Disney Animators class last month at Disneyland—which made me smile.  If you make a mistake when illustrating a picture, don’t erase your lines, just keep adding to them till you get it just right.  In other words, Make it work!
• Make the conversation unique to your house.  I created a list of things we say around our house, and the people that live in our house, and used each person’s favorite color, etc.

When you’re done, you’ve got a whole bunch of (non-edible) conversation hearts!
All ready to decorate your house.

And you know what I really loved most about this project?….using my hands, rather than the computer.
It reminded me so much of being kid and making valentine’s for my brother’s and sisters.  So get your kids make these with you!

Then hang them up somewhere in your house (using basic transparent tape, in small rolls on the back of each heart) and you will LOVE the look!
I promise.

And remember to make the conversation unique to YOUR house.   Our favorite thing that Clara has been saying for a year now is “Dee Dee Dee!” We have no idea what it means, and she’s actually stopped saying it as much, but the kids laughed when they saw that among the hearts.  Even Clara laughs at it when she walks up the stairs.

So there you go, simple heart decor from above and below.

And now this gives me an idea for school Valentine’s as well……
Happy Monday friends!

(info on the Turquoise Coral-Chandelier here)

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