Let’s get moving

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WOW – getting a house ready to sell is quite an undertaking !! The homestead is on the market now, so now the waiting game begins. This better not take too long as we are ready to GO and begin a new chapter of our lives with new experiences. What we will take with us is memories of 26 years in the pines.

Building our home – living with Granny & Gramps for 5 months until our house was finished – Chatsworth Elementary School – Rec soccer – t ball / baseball / softball – Girl Scouts – Cub Scouts – Boy scouts – camping trips with the kids – SWIMMING in the pool at G & G – parties at the big house – cousins – family – the Harris’ living with G&G – a REALLY BIG Christmas tree – Samadog – Spock – Guinea pigs – pet snake – bunnies (moving the cage & separating them) – pet rats – Killer Iguana – Denis & his bike rides to school (rain, snow, sleet & hail) – Matt & his Mustang – Project children kids (Lisa, Rachel, Thomas & Johnny) – lots of time spent with Granny & Gramps – Holy Cross High School – Ben – BON – Peaceful Pines canned goods – movie nights with friends – CAMPFIRES – weddings – REOONEYS – DiAntonio pig roast – Mustang planter – Cinco de Mayo parties – St. Patrick’s Day parties – Christmas dinners – Cranberry Festival Fun – 14 different employers between all 6 of us – Squirrel in the fireplace – bats in the house – no power St Pats party & cooking lamb stew in the turkey fryer – forest fire evacuation – Gramps walks on the highway – Granny’s bridge group – Lenape HS – Seneca HS – Girl Scout cookie mom time (and paying for all the ones that we consumed) – Proms – graduations – bridal showers (A&M, K&E, J&B, D&A) – baby showers – Christmas cookie baking with Ben – the path through the woods to G&G’s house – Evan and his rocket car – hide & seek with the grandkids @ G&G – Juniper trying to catch the squirrels -playing soccer in the back yard with Tedy – turkeys in the yard – deer in the yard EATING my plants – Morrills / Gravers – movie nights – wash on the clothesline – starry nights – and recently too many funerals………….

ANYONE OUT THERE want to buy our house????????

We’ll keep the memories.


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Upcycled Doggie dryer towel – Tutorial

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This is been a rough winter here in the north east – lots of snow and more to come.  Thankfully spring is right around the corner and with the warmer weather will come melting, mud and April showers. We humans wear rain coats and suitable footwear to keep ourselves dry, but our dogs can get pretty wet and dirty.  One solution to keep the mess from being tracked into your home is to have a doggie dryer towel.  Each end has a pocket for your hands and a tab for hanging (keep it on a hook by your door or hang it from the door knob).  It’s long enough to dry any size dog.


While I do not have a pooch, I am a grandma to 2 wonderful dogs.  They love to be outside not matter the weather is and the towels are a big hit with my kids.  When they come in from a walk, the dogs get a rub down & that keeps the water from being tracked throughout the house.

Ziggy and his drying towel

Ziggy and his drying towel

I use gently used beach towels for this project – they are just the right size to make several.  If you want to use new toweling by the yard you will need 1/2 yd of 56″ fabric.

Supplies needed:


Step 1: Cut out the towel and pocket pieces.

Cut one piece the width of the towel (my towel was 34″ wide) x 10″ high.

Cut 2 pieces 8″ wide x 10″ high.


Step 2: Round the corners of the towel.  Place a glass on the end, make sure it is centered and mark your curve with a piece of chalk or a fabric marker. Trim.  Repeat this step for all 4 corners.

Step 3:  Stitch a piece of bias tape to the open end of the pocket.  I sew it to the wrong side, fold over to the right side and topstitch.

Step 4:  Baste pockets to the ends of the towel.

Step 5:  Create hanging tab. Cut a piece of bias tape 11 inches long, fold in 1/2 and topstitch.


Step 6: Fold the tab in 1/2 and center on the wrong side of the towel.


Step 7: Sew bias tape to the wrong side around the outside of the towel. Fold the cut end in before you begin stitching.

Step 8:  Fold over to right side and topstitch all the way around.




Time to take a walk – I hear someone barking at the door 🙂

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TBT Funnies

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Yesterday morning I ventured into the “catch all” basket in our bedroom. It has been the repository of old photos and funnies that at one time graced the doors of our refrigerators. I sorta hate to admit this, but some of these comic strips moved with us from our home in Moorestown to the Pine Barrens over 26 years ago. They are old and yellowed BUT the humor in the comics is still relevant.

So all you moms, dads, kids have a few chuckles on me !!!

family circle 1 001


family circle #2 001

cathy 001




This one was on the powder room door !!

In loving memory of Spock our toilet bowl dog


spock 001

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My first Tutorial: Upcycled Birdseed /Pet food bag Tote

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Here in NJ we have had an exceptionally snowy winter and that makes it difficult for the birds to find food. So during the last few months, I have been especially vigilant filling our feeders. We have had lots and lots of visitors – morning doves, chickadees, red bellied woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatches and several other birds I couldn’t identify.


Those little guys sure can eat and we are going through about 40 lbs of seed a week !! This has left me with lots of empty birdseed sacks (and my family members have been providing me with theirs as well). The plastic weave material they are constructed of are perfect for tote bags. The fabric is super strong and durable – a perfect combo for hauling heavy items without any worry that your bag is gonna bust and send your contents everywhere.

I’ve been making these for several years as gifts & they’ve been pretty popular. Here are the ones I made yesterday during what I hope is the LAST snow of the season.


Here’s my tutorial for sewing these eco friendly totes.

Supplies needed:

  • One plastic weave pet feed or bird seed bag (14 to 40 lb bags all work fine).
  • 2 – 24″ pieces of polypropylene webbing.
  • Size 14 or 16 sewing needle
  • Thread – you can use a top stitching thread if you want.  I chose to use a regular polyester thread and then overlock the seams for added strength.
  • Large paper clips or binder clips to hold the seams together while stitching

These instructions are for a 40lb birdseed bag with a finished size of 16″ tall x 15″ wide x 6″ deep.  You can use any size empty feed bag and modify the height and width based on what you plan to use the tote for.

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Sleeping dollies & other softies

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I love my grand kids.  They are my inspiration for a lot of my current sewing projects.  After the first 2 were born almost 7 years ago, I went full throttle making quilts, clothes, toys, etc.  The BEST part is they love everything I make for them – and I get lots of hugs and kisses as thank yous 🙂

They are my best advertising as their Made by Mamo garments and accessories happen to be their favorites (warms my heart). All the comments I have received from other moms, my own kids and friends is why I’ve begun my business.

Here’s a little sample of the recent garments I’ve made.

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Ice Ice Baby

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It looks like a scene from Frozen outside this morning. The ground and trees are glistening with a layer of ice. Once the sun comes out and the temps warm it will all be gone (hopefully), so I ventured out with the phone and took some photos.

I will miss the beauty of the pines when we move to VT, but I will trade it for the mountains and the lake of “Champ”. More & different photo ops await me.

Enjoy these images and drive carefully !!!

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Old jeans and superheros

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I can’t bear to through out old jeans.  I love how the denim softens after many washes yet still remains so durable.  Guess that’s why I have a GIANT tub of jeans in various sizes, colors and pieces.  I have been stashing these away for years, so it’s time to use them for some upcycle projects.

I decided to make a small zippered pouch – this choice was based on using another vintage metal zipper from my collection.

1/2 of a leg was all I needed for the outer fabric. I picked a superhero cotton print for the lining – from another tub in my collection.  Superheros are a BIG favorite with the grandkids & I’ve got lots of Supermans, Spidermans, Batmans roaming throughout my fabric collection.


Here is the finished product.

20150224_151207 20150224_15123820150226_191053 (1)


Only one more day of the challenge – tomorrow I’ll be keeping the dolls warm !!!


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Destash continues……..”Granny bags” Mamo style

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My mother-in-law, Granny to all who knew her, was an amazing woman.  Everyone was welcome in the home she shared with my father-in-law Gramps.  She was a woman of many talents, one of which was her sewing ability.  As a product of the depression, she would use every scrap of fabric.  Her 17 grandchildren were happy recipients of her creativity.  I remember Granny telling us that her mother used to say that she could make a blouse out of a handkerchief.

One item she made over and over in various sizes was the “Granny bag” which is a modification of a duffle bag. The one pictured here she made from the left over pieces of corduroy that I used for a pair of toddler overalls (that toddler is now 35 years old).  I currently use it to carry my small knitting projects.


In honor of Granny, my destash project on Monday was “Mamo’s version” of the Granny Bag.  I modified her pattern by adding a lining and using fusible fleece on the round ends to add a bit more stability.

I used a scrap of red corduroy for the main body and a Michael Miller print for the ends, handle and lining. The metal zipper is vintage – pre 1980s.


Here is the final product.  Like my mother-in-law I have made many of these in all sizes. (Please pardon the lighting in my photos).



What a great lady – I miss her everyday.


Granny & Kezia






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Baby it’s cold outside !!! – Destash challenge continues

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BRRRR – good day to stay inside!! Here in NJ today the real feel windchill will be in the negative digits. Guess I better get used to these kinds of temps since VT is even colder.

With that in mind, I have been sewing some warm fleecy items with pieces of fabric from my “stash”.


Wearing fleece in winter is so comfy and soft against your skin while adding an insulating layer against the cold. My FAVORITE fleece item for the past month has been my socks.  They keep my tootsies warm.  I wear them as slippers inside the house and with my boots when I venture out into the cold.  The socks are mid calf with a soft cotton rib at the top which helps keep them nice and snug on your legs, but they are not constricting.

I have made these for many years as Christmas gifts and they are a fan favorite with the Looney clan.





I really dislike having a cold neck when I go out in this frigid weather. While having a bulky and stylish scarf is nice, so is a snug gaitor that tucks right into the collar of your jacket. The length is perfect for pulling up around your mouth and nose if needed. They are bound in soft cotton rib at the top and bottom of the gaiter.



If you like anything you see here and would like to purchase, send me an email (FYI the socks fit a woman sizes 6 – 8, but I would be happy to make a custom pair for you).  I have some print and solid colors in my collection that are available to choose from.

OR you can go on to my Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadebyMamo to purchase.

STAY WARM. Only 27 days until spring




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Keeping the kiddos warm with fleecy hats – Destash item #1 & #2

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My decision to choose pieces from my fleece collection came from the -1 temperature on my thermometer on day #1 of my destash challenge.


Since we were heading to VT and would be seeing the grandkids I thought funky fleece hats would be fun to make. (I will be posting a tutorial if you would like to make these yourself). I will also be adding a few to my Etsy shop, https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadebyMamo for purchase.

The kids LOVED them and they are nice and warm for the cold Vermont days.



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