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.

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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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Destash challenge

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I love fabric – all kinds.  And I have been collecting / buying for many years. One of my favorite parts in the creative process is picking fabrics for a project.  For the most part I use pieces I have on hand, but I have decided to really challenge myself to make 5 items a week using only what I have on hand.



This is just a portion of what I will be using. I know it doesn’t look “pretty”, but I assure you it’s organized and I know what is in each of those tubs !!  What you don’t see here is the closet full of tshirts ready for upcycling.

This will be fun !!  The hardest part will be deciding what I want to make.

FYI, many will be available for purchase on my Etsy site https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadebyMamo.



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Bye bye handpainted wallpaper

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At the advice of our real estate agent all our interior walls will be painted in a neutral color – prospective buyers prefer a neutral palette.

Currently we have a vibrant color scheme on our walls as well as some stenciling that took me DAYS to complete many moons ago. But the walls that will be hardest to let go of are in our laundry room.

The red, yellow and blue fingers and palms of our 4 children created this “handpainted” design. I remember putting them all in smocks, lining them up in the hallway, covering their hands with paint and sending them into the laundry room to “stamp the walls”. We repeated this process over and over again until we had it just right.

As I look at the size of the little hands that grace these walls, I am brought back to an earlier time when this house was noisy with the sounds of 4 kids, their friends, 2 dogs, and assorted pets that we had over time (guinea pigs, lizards, bunnies and a snake). Those memories are so precious to me. I miss the clatter of backpacks thrown on the floor as they arrive home from school, the conversations at dinnertime. As a matter of fact I miss it all, the good, the bad and at times the ugly.

So before those hands disappear behind a wall of tan paint, I took pictures. This is my way of preserving these walls forever.

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Patience, Patience, Patience – some things take time.

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My new job as “downsizer in chief” has certainly tested my patience.  I would like everything done NOW, but I know that is a fantasy.  The reality is that it takes time to adjust to a new normal in your day, and this is a journey.

Today I decided to bake some bread.  This process is an exercise in patience.  If any step is rushed, you run the risk of your bread not rising.  I used the following recipe from the King Arthur site


Guess I passed my patience test for the day – look at the final product – I can’t wait to try it.



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Some things just make you cry

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Last Saturday I gave my husband the task of cleaning out the hallway closet.  I did this mainly because it is full of DVDs that he has been collecting and I needed him to “let go” of some of movies that he will never watch again.  I’ll sell those unwanted DVDs on decluttr.com.  The cool thing about this site is they take everything.  It may not be alot of $, but the idea of trying to sell them individually on Cragslist or Ebay makes my head hurt.

Another group of items in the closet were our oldest photo albums (think wedding, photos of the kids as babies).  THIS is what made him cry.  I found my hubby sitting in the living room with a stack of albums in front of him reminiscing as he turned the pages in those books.


It’s going to be bittersweet leaving this home and letting go of items that invoke memories of our past.  And at this moment in time I am SO thankful that I was the crazy mom who took lots of photos – those images are irreplaceable.


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Day 3 – Get up and Get moving !!!

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So part of my daily goal is to exercise, which during the winter months means hitting the treadmill.  I have always had a tough time sticking to a plan, but I need to DOWNSIZE me as well 🙂

Today I walked 3 miles in one hour.  For some that may seem whimpy but it’s a great first start.

GO ME !!!!!

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Day 2 – Getting my Etsy & Craiglist going

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Wow what a learning curve I have for this new challenge!

Having NEVER sold anything on line (even though my kids have been after me for YEARS to sell my sewing creations), this has and will be quite a challenge.

I decided to break down day 2 into two segments.  The morning was devoted to Craigslist which is pretty easy as long as you remember a few rules.

#1 – Post clear images so the buyer can see exactly what you are selling.

#2 – I live in a rural area and DO NOT want the folks shopping on Craigslist to know my location.  Make sure the “Show on Maps” is not checked.  I would also suggest you don’t check the “ok for others to contact you…..”  because you will get a LOT of spam.

#3 – I noted in all my “for sale” posts that my transactions will take place in a public area.  This is much safer than having the buyer come to your home.  Most of the items I plan to sell will fit in the back of a truck or car.

#4 – I am taking CASH only – then there are no issues with bounced checks.

Here’s a link to a good site to get you started:


Now ETSY is a different story – a lot more complex.  I have quite a few smaller vintage items that I think will sell better on Etsy.  I am keeping to lighter weight items so my shipping won’t get prohibitive.

Check me out !!! Only have a few items there now, but I will be adding more.




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