Spotlight: The Ruffle Halter

Wow, it has been a busy couple of months! I love the holidays. I love the shopping, the baking, the gift making... I love the time spent with family, reconnecting with old friends, and just really taking time to appreciate the important things in life. I was extremely busy this past holiday season, as I somehow managed to be involved in 5 craft shows in a 4 week period! All in a days work.

Now the holidays are over, and life has gently settled back into my "norm." This winter I've had the privilage of working from home 3 days a week, and that has made life around our house very nice. I have time to work on projects for Threadbands during the day now, instead of in the evenings and on weekends! I also have time for more cooking, baking, laundry, vacuuming... you know, the fun stuff...

Over the next few weeks I will be introducing new products that I've been able to develop for Spring/Summer 2012! What better way than doing a fun spotlight on the product, and with a contest?!

Meet the Ruffle Halter Dress. This is one of my faaaaavorites.

{Check out more pictures here.}

I absolutely love this dress. It is so girly, with just the right amount of fun and flair. The material is a sturdy, soft cotton in 1960's retro style prints. With three full, fluffy layers on the skirt, this is the ultimate twirl dress. I LOVE IT. Do you think I could get away with wearing one in my size?

Here is my delimma. I need a really cute, creative name for this dress! I will be picking the name next week Wednesday (on February 15). The winner will receive a 50% coupon code to my Etsy shop!

Let's get creative, ladies.

Ready, set, GO!

Why Buy Handmade?

I have mulled this question over in my mind over the past year, as I was developing my business. There are only a hand full of stores locally that sell handmade clothing items. So is there a demand for it? This topic came up briefly at a pool party I attended this weekend.

A friend of mine told me my prices started too low. I explained that I did that on purpose- that I wanted to get my name out there, and prove that my clothing is worth more.

But then another friend chimed in and said that she thought my prices were good. She said something I have been thinking about over and over this past year: She could run into Target and get a similar item for 3 times cheaper than most handmade clothes.

So... Why buy homemade?

Buying homemade clothing or other items is the same as buying a piece of art. Each piece has been carefully crafted by someone who is passionate about their work. All the fabrics, buttons, and ribbons have been purposefully picked. There is something so unique about buying handmade clothing. No two peices are the same, even if they are very similar. This makes it, in my mind, art.

Then there is the debate on the mass produced clothing lines. They are created by cold machines, or in many cases, by workers in sweatshops. The demand for cheap clothing has really created a cycle of consumerism controlling the work conditions for so many needy people around the world. I do know in many ways the third world country sweatshops have imporved, but there are still many poor conditions associated with it.

Many people who sell handmade clothing online or in local stores operate out of home-based businesses. So buying handmade clothing supports a persons personal, as well as local economical well being.

If you're one who buys homemade items, what is it that you look to purchase? Home decor, children's clothing, tote bags? There are so many WONDERFUL things available! Check out to support many amazing artisians.

Hold the Cereal, Please!

As I wrote in my post yesterday, my husband is out of town. One of my favorite things to do is cook him dinner any night that we are home- I love cooking! I just can't seem to get myself to cook for 1 (Any tips that will encourage me to cook for myself only?). So what have I been eating since he left Tuesday morning?

Cereal. Kashi cereal, to be more specific. I love it. I love every variation I've ever tried. I think what I love most is knowing that it's all natural, and most is even organic. (I like my cereal minus the chemical additives, thank you!)

As much as I love my cinnamon, vanilla, or honey sweetened morsels swimming in that cold milk (MMMmmm), after 6 meals in a row I've had enough. Whoever said you can never have enough of a good thing is wrong. I'd rewrite that statement to say:

You can never have enough of a good thing, if you eat it every now and then.

Last night I went in search of an interesting healthy, natural, and enticing breakfast food. And I love what I came across. I absolutely adore the blog Kath Eats. She has so many wonderful recipes and ideas on how to eat real food. I stumbled upon her recipe for Banana Baked Oatmeal, and I knew that was just the thing I was looking for! Head over there for the delicious recipe, and maybe to find a few more you might like.

Here is what mine looks like. I don't have in-progress pictures because I didn't realize I'd be posting about this until I tried it and realized just how delicious it really is. Check out the recipe blog for more pictures!

I sent this picture to my husband, and I think he's just as excited to try this as I was!

The Finished Product

How sweet it is!

There is nothing like a freshley organized workspace. There is still a bit more work to be done...I'm using the same bolting technique, but on a smaller scale to accomodate smaller swatches of fabric.

Is there a space in your home or office that you just HAVE to have organized?

My Work-cation

I have been looking forward to this week for


This is the week that (every summer) my hubby goes to Northern Michigan to play hours upon hours of golf. I miss him when he goes, but I am always able to get so much done around home! It just so happened that this year, his golf trip fell on the same week as my nanny job's family vacation.

No work? And no wifely duties?

For a whole week?! Yippy!

I've been so excited to have all the hours of my day to devote to developing my business. I have some fun changes to share about all that... but I'll save that for another day.

I thought I'd share my first project of the week. ORGANIZING. I decided to clean up the closet and storage shelves in my sewing room, and it turns out I'm a bit of a fabric hoarder. Who knew?! I mean...besides the ladies behind the fabric counter at the craft store ;-)

I had no idea how much fabric I have! I set out to organize in a way where I can see what I have, and have it easily accessible. I found this tutorial on Little Green Bean for homemade fabric bolts: Brilliant! I bought 6 sheets of foam poster board, and cut them into 10" x 7.5" sections.

I love how it's all coming together... but the first 48 bolts I cut weren't enough. I'm on my way to the store now for more of the wonderful foam poster board. Tune in later for the finished product!

Summer Favorites

After weeks of rain, rain, and yes- more rain, I'm thrilled to see that bright yellow ball in the sky. Everyone has a list of their favorite things to do in the summer, and I thought I would share a few of my own (new and old!).

1. Be outside.
2. Use our grill to cook dinner almost every night.
3. Harvest small batches of fruits and vegetables in my small garden.
4. Visit the farmers market on the weekends to pick up lots of local fresh produce.
5. Go to my husbands softball games (where I also get to hang out with girlfriends!).
6. Drive with the windows down early in the morning.
7. Eat corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake.
8. Talk to my mom on the phone any time of day- Yay for teachers having summers off!
9. Sitting out on my patio, soaking in the sun. While listening to Pandora on my iPhone.
10. Heading to Michigan to visit with family, and to spend a week at our summer camp.
11. Swimming in the pool.
12. Planting flowers and watching them thrive!
13. Cooking with the herbs from my potted herb garden.
14. Wearing flip flops so much that tan lines form on my feet.
15. Homemade lemonade.

And my newest favorite thing....

The newest little swimwear coming to Threadbands, LLC in the next couple of weeks!

What are some of your favorite summer things?!

Grandma Ruby's Crazy Crust

Summer is here, and fruits are in season! I tried my hand in gardening last summer (in my humble 4'x6' plot of dirt that my husband prepared for me), and it was a bit unsuccessful... But I chalked it up to the fact that the drout we went through strangled my thirsty plants, and this summer I'm determined to keep them well watered (and hoping to have a more successful crop).

So far, so good! My strawberries are booming. The peas have pods. There are the cutest little green tomatoes forming. But the one thing that I'm the most excited for, is my blueberry bush. I can't wait for all these green berries to turn into plump, blue morsals.

I have specific plans for the berries you see in this picture. I grew up spending a lot of time with my mom's grandmother. Grandma Ruby was a good ol' gal, born and raised in the southern state of Arkansas. My most vivid memories of spending time at their house revolve around food. Tasty, rich, Southern food. Peach cobbler was one of my favorite things that Grandma made. While baking in the oven, it smells like pure summer Heaven. I'm sharing this recipe with you in hopes that you, too, can enjoy a little "summer heaven" in your own home.

Grandma Ruby's "Crazy Crust" Cobbler
1/2 cup butter (REAL butter)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cups fresh fruit, any kind (OR 28 oz. can pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in 11 x 13" baking dish, and place in the oven to melt. In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir in milk (a little at a time). Once butter is melted, pour batter into center of the dish, on top of the butter. Add your fruit on top of the batter. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until it is puffy and browned on the edges.