Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy New Year's Eve everybody!!!!! Yesterday (New Year's Eve eve .... i.e. the day before New Year's Eve) was the day we (Yours Truly, Mom, and my sis Boop) took New York City by storm! Here we are in Times Square where the crowds were already starting to gather for ......

....the big New Year's Eve ball drop (that's it WAY up there on top of that building) ......

......and here we are touching it for good luck in the New Year !!!! (WOW that was quite a hike to get up there to touch that ball !!!! ...... just kidding .... this is the replica they have in a visitors center )

We had a GREAT time and are still POOPED !!! (So I'll post the rest of our NYC pictures next year after I rest up !)

So, have a fun and safe New Year's Eve and all of us here at MBIAJ Headquarters wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Look out New York City we come !!!

Well look what the MBIAJ Matriarch got for Christmas !!! Something she has been dropping not so subtle hints about for the past few years .... a day trip to NYC to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (aka the Rockettes !) sister Boop and I will be taking Mom this Friday .... so look out New York City .... here we come ! Do you think those Rockettes will let us jump up there on the stage and do a kick or two with them ? after all ......

.....just look how GOOD we look in those outfits !!! (we could be 2nd or 3rd string backup Rockettes even !)

That's Rockette Mare, Rockette Mom , and Rockette Boop (left -> right)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas !!!!!

Merry Merry Christmas from all of us here at MoonBeams in a Jar !!!! Have a wonderful safe and cozy holiday with your friends and family !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa's helpers needed ASAP !!!!

YIKES !!! Christmas is less than a week away !!!! We here at MBIAJ Headquarters are NOT READY !!!! In addition to the MBIAJ Christmas Shopping Dept NOT being finished our Christmas shopping, the MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept is also only partially finished sewing 4 gifts, and of course the Wrapping Dept can't get started wrapping anything until they have SOMETHING to wrap! Then the MBIAJ Christmas Card Writing Dept seems to have taken a permanent vacation .... AND on top of all that, we have 2 birthdays to celebrate (and clean and prepare for ) this week ...... so, unless some of those Santa's helpers show up on our doorstep, we're gonna need more time to get everything done !!! How about you ?

P.S. this is a picture from the "I Love Lucy" facebook page .... from the Christmas special they had during season 6 ... I think)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

and the WINNER is ...........

Good morning everybody! Well, Kitty's helper has gathered up all of our Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day entries and dumped them in this sleigh .... and now it's time for Kitty Claus to pick our winner ......

.....and ..... there goes Kitty Claus .... diving in ....with Elf keeping a close eye on her (to make sure she doesn't get lost in there .... or cheat)....

......oh .. here she comes ..... fighting her way out of the sleigh .... she has picked our winning entry ....

......and the winner is .....

LINDSAY !!!!! CONGRATULATIONS LINDSAY !!!!! (email me your address so Kitty Claus can mail out your prize !!!)

Thanks again everybody for entering our give away and thanks so very much for all of your nice comments !

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day !!!!

Tis the season for PRESENTS !!!! (that is if you're on the "Good List" AND if you win one of the gajillion giveaways listed over at Sew Mama Sew and their Giveaway Day Event. They have organized and coordinated lots of shops and blogs to have a giveaway that will last all of this week ! (Dec. 12 -> Dec. 16th). There are a bunch of different categories such as "Handmade for the Home", "Handmade Bags", "Handmade Baby + Kids Items", "Sewing Supplies", "Other Craft Supplies", and "Handmade Accessories". Something for everyone !!!! So, we here at MBIAJ Headquarters decided to join in on the Giveaway palooza with ......

....this Hot Pack/Cold Pack Cover !! This is made out of a terry cloth wash cloth (so you can throw it in the wash)...and included with the Hot Pack/Cold Pack Cover is ....

... this gel Hot Pack / or Cold Pack !

..... see, here they are together ..... don't they look nice together? Anyhow, the gel hot pack/ cold pack can be put in the freezer for a cold pack, or zapped in the microwave (or put in a pot of boiling water on the stove ) for a moist hot pack (better than dry heat says my physical therapy self).

.......and here is one being put to use as a cold pack by Moonbeams Boy Matt as a result of the knee injury caused by dirtbike race incident a couple of summers ago. (one of the many times a cold pack or hot pack has been needed around here !). AND, as an extra added bonus , in case you have a bunch of dare devils/ and or some creeking joints/aching muscles .... and you want to be stylish while you take care of your boo boos, here is a Hot Pack/ Cold Pack Cover tutorial from the MBIAJ Archives .

SO, leave a comment here on my blog to enter my giveaway to win the Hot Pack/ Cold Pack Cover and the gel hot/cold pack . The giveaway will be open until Dec 16th at 5 PM PST (guess that's 8 PM EST). Winner will will be announced on December 18th. AND, zip on over to Sew Mama Sew's blog to see all of the other fun giveaways! (my giveaway is listed in the Handmade for the Home category.)

P.S. I would be happy to ship internationally !

Saturday morning update: Comments are now closed. Winner will be picked as soon as Kitty can drag herself out of bed to do the picking. THANKS SO MUCH for all of your very nice comments about the Hot Pack/Cold Pack Cover ! So happy to hear you all thought it was a good idea! And for anyone who decides to make one using the tutorial, hope the directions are clear (if not, just email any questions you might have). As for appliqueing on a terry cloth wash cloth ..... I didn't have any trouble with it at all.

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mittens for the Mitten Tree

In our pretty little town of Jim Thorpe, Pa there is an old train station all decorated up for the Olde Time Christmas Celebration......and in that train station is....

....a Mitten Tree where the local Lioness ladies are collecting mittens for kids in need.....and on that Mitten Tree is ......

... a pair of pink polar fleece mittens that the MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept made using .....

......this The Green Pepper pattern.

The MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept really likes this pattern because it's a multi size pattern (kids -> adults) and it makes double thickness mittens or handwarmers/fingerless mittens that are a little longer than standard mittens so they are REALLY warm !!! The pattern is just a basic pattern with no embelishments, but we just couldn't let that alone ..... just had to add polar fleece pink flower appliques. Have to admit, though that the polar fleece wasn't as easy to work with as we would have thought .... probably because of the double thickness . The plan is to make a couple more pair of these cozy warm mittens in big girl sizes ..... so back to the sweat shop ..... er ....MBIAJ Christmas Workshop .

(P.S found the pattern at JoAnn Fabrics)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Better than the Leg Lamp !!!!!

It's here !! It's here!!! and it's better than the Leg Lamp !!!!'s the Panasonic Concept 360 Degree Freestyle Iron we won from Monica's give away !!!

It was delivered on Saturday and Kitty has been admiring it's shiny sleek design ever since ! .......and no wonder because ......

....just look at the sad iron the MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept has been using until now !!!! SHEESH !!!!!

THANKS AGAIN to Monica !!!!

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

MBIAJ Christmas Workshop (aka Kitty's Sweatshop !)

Happy December Blogland Neighborhood! Yes, here we are again.... crunch time for those Handmade Christmas projects. Well, when the going gets tough, the tough get going as they say .... and who better to crack the whip and get things done around here than our own Director of MBIAJ Headquarters ..... Kitty. Take it away Kitty .

"Well people..... this is how I see it .....

......we have lots of ideas and projects for Christmas ..... alot to get done ..... may involve working into the wee hours of many mornings ...... today is already December 1st and......

.....our deadline is quickly approaching .....

 consulting the MBIAJ Accounting Dept AND waiting for Black Friday, I have made a schrewd business purchase of ........

.....a new piece of equipment that will stream line operations around here .....

....that's right people ..... an Accuquilt Go ! This little baby should at least double our productivity ...

AND ..... this just in ..... got a memo late this afternoon from our esteemed colleague Monica of The Happy Zombie fame that we are the lucky winners of her blog give away ......

.....a Panasonic Concept 360 Degree Freestyle Iron !!!! WOW !!!! How GREAT is THAT !!!

.......OK , enough of the sentimental stuff ..... no more excuses .... two, count 'em TWO brand new pieces of equipment ......

.....I better see some fabric flying and some sewing machines spitting fire .... let's go people .......

SPEED IT UP !!!!!"

Well, there you have it .... Kitty is taking the bull by the horns! Thank you Kitty for your "take charge" attitude (I think....) AND a HUGE THANK YOU to Monica and Panasonic for the iron ..... I mean REALLY !!! DID YOU SEE THE IRON I WON ?!?!?!?!!! It's GREAT !!!!

OK, gotta go .... Kitty is blowing her stinkin' whistle .... break time is over .

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving !!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody !!! Have a safe and happy holiday !!! (and don't forget to wear your expandable pants ! )

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving - the overlooked holiday !

Happy Day before Thanksgiving everybody ! We here at MBIAJ Headquarters feel that Thanksgiving gets pretty much overlooked in general. Halloween stuff is out in the stores on the 4th of July, and Christmas stuff is out in time for Halloween !... But just try and find a Pilgrim or turkey decoration ! Yes, maybe you'll find a few little doo dads here or there on the back of some shelf in some store next to the miles and piles of Christmas stuff ! So, we here at MBIAJ Headquarters have been on a little online hunt for Thanksgiving stuff .... specifically something to round out our Thanksgiving outfit to wear over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house ..... a turkey !!!


(I just googled "turkey hats" and these are some of the gems that popped up)

I think any one of these would make a striking addition to any outfit !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Project Linus Quilts in time for Christmas

I KNOW , I KNOW ...... start another quilt? ..... NOW? BUT, just like those Quilts of Valor quilts, I have also always wanted to make a Project Linus Quilt. AND, I just happened to come across a call for Project Linus quilts/blankets by December 15th (of THIS year that is .....) on Craftsy Blog. YIKES ..... December 15th OF THIS YEAR !!!!! Well..... MAYBE ..... IF the "MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept" can pull a few tricks out of their sleeves and use a few short cuts like ......

......this stack of charm packs. Really, what could be easier ? These are already cut! ... and add a charm pack of solid white to any one of these charm packs = instant simple patchwork quilt !!! (and as you can see, the "MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept" has quite the love affair with charm packs ..... AND jelly rolls , so I'm sure we can spare a few !)

Now, I'm guessing most of the quilts that are made for Project Linus are probably for babies and toddlers. Unfortunately, big kids also get sick. The teenager population (especially teenage boys) are probably kind of overlooked. SO, the "MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept" has decided their Project Linus Quilt or Quilts (hoping to make more than one in the future) will be made for teenage boys. But, darn if precut charm packs and jelly rolls don't really seem to be made with teenage dudes in mind ..... although I did buy some solid jelly rolls in red, blue, gray, green, black , and white ...... which can be matched up with .....

...maybe some of this fabric

...or this cool stuff or ....

.....or this .... DUDE !!!!

Well, better get moving .... that fabric isn't gonna cut itself ! Think I'll start a campaign for precut fabrics (charm packs and jelly rolls)to be designed with teenage DUDES in mind !!!!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Valor Quilt Bee in honor of Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day to all service men and women ! The MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept has always wanted to honor veteran's by making a Quilt of Valor ...... however, knowing our track record of UFO's we knew not to start yet ANOTHER project that would most likely wind up in the "best of intentions" and "bright ideas" pile. Well, recently I stumbled across the Valor Quilt Bee blog . This is an online quilting bee that is " a low-maintainance, NO PRESSURE group!
Each person participates WHEN and TO WHAT EXTENT they feel like.
Each person sews whatever style they like best!" You can contribute a few blocks a year or a few blocks a month or just once and done. Blocks should measure 6", 9", or 12" in "Americana" colors. How PERFECT is THAT ?!?!?!!!!!! NO PRESSURE !!! NO complete quilt .... just a quilt block here and there ... or just here ..... I'm telling you, this is the PERFECT set up ! So, I rustled up some of my red , whites, and blues and .....

..stitched up Valor Quilt Bee block #1 (with hopefully many more to follow .... but no pressure .... isn't that GREAT!!)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Late Night Sewing Therapy (Zentangle Circles)

AHHHhhhhhhhh.......late night sewing therapy !!!! It's the only way to fly ...or sew least here at MBIAJ Headquarters. It seems if I can get my second wind (and zillionth cup of caffeine) after 10 PM I can get my best, uninterrupted zen sewing rhythm / therapy going . Speaking of "zen", how about ....

Moonbeams Boy Evan's notebook, book cover and binder doodling (which he has been doing for the past few years)

.....his way of "zoning out" during a boring (to him ) class....

... anyway turns out this style of doodling that comes naturally to Evan has a name : Zentangle. I read somewhere that it means "yoga for the mind". I've even found a quilter / zentangler (is that a word?) who has combined the two and blogs about it . This quiltangler (that is definately NOT a word) is Suzanne McNeill. SHEESH !!! Who knew that Evan's "not paying attention in political science class" doodling is actually an art form that other people are paying money for books to learn the technique !! (all Evan needs is a class that has him bored out of his mind .... instant doodling!)

Anyway, I slipped a few white fabric circles under his doodling pen (and switched his pen to a fabric marker) to get some Zentangle Fabric Circles (unique and one of a kind) to ....



.....and stitch onto his ...

....wild and crazy graduation quilt ! Ta da !! So, now this quilt TOP is finished, has been taken down from our cheapo design wall and rolled up to join .....

....three of it's cousin quilt tops ....

......also waiting (and waiting) to be quilted ....

.....hopefully before the turn of the next century and/or when I win the lottery and can quit my day job - you know, whichever comes first ! :)

Oh and P.S. I'm linking up with this month's
Small Blog Meet
(you can too - to meet more bloggers just zip on over there)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)