Funny New Blog – Mom Interviews Celebrities at her Home

So I just discovered a new blog by this woman who interviews celebrities in her apartment, with her kids present.  Ilana Wiles sets the celebrities up in the “green room” with one of her two kids to begin with and it is really funny seeing how they react to this unexpected encounter.  Then she does an interview.  After a short talk, Wiles challenges the celebrity to an everyday parenting task (matching baby socks, collapsing a stroller, etc), usually while timing them.  She throws a craft in there as well, to entertain her daughter and add another challenge to the person she is interviewing.  So, check out The Mommy Show and her blog, Mommy Shorts.

Discloser: I have only watched some of the videos so far, but I am excited to read the blogs and continue with the videos and am sure they will be great as well.



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A brief glance at some new superheroes and one bumblebee from my year so far…

I just wanted to show you some of the fun that I get to have while working the markets.  I sell a lot of capes and if I remember and the parent does not mind (most do not, which is very generous), I take pictures of the kids modeling their new superhero gear.  I included one new bumblebee in the mix modeling her new tutu and flowers from Billy at the farmers market.  I may not be quite as good as Edna on The Incredibles and I know she does not agree with capes, but they are pretty cute.  So here are some of the pictures.  IMG_1200IMG_2239 IMG_1782b IMG_1426 IMG_1422

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Hanging Plant Shelf


Hanging Plant Shelf

When looking at a book about window treatments trying to find a style I like for my living room, I found this planter idea for your window.  I showed it to my friend and she also liked it so we talked about making one for each of us.  Usually when Katy and I find things we want to make, they do not happen (unless it is sewing, then I get around to it eventually).  However, this weekend we were both free so we went to the hardware store, bought what we needed and got to work. We had the wood cut to size at the store, but when we arrived home, we marked where we wanted the clay pots and traced circles for their positions.

Drilled holes

Drilled holes

During halftime of the OSU game, we dragged Patrick and Ben out to help us so they drilled a hole on the inside edge of the circle.  After drilling the holes, they used a jigsaw to cut four circles in each plank of wood.  They also drilled two holes on each end of the board to loop the supporting rope through.


Cutting holes for the pots

 The little ice cream cone and Buckeye fan get to work painting pictures.  And meanwhile, Katy starts mixing and opening the paint can…


Girls hard at work painting

and here is what happens when she does.  For those of you who do not know Katy, which most of you who read this so far do, she is a bit of a clutz.  That is why we had to have the guys use the drill and jigsaw.  We were worried for Katy’s well-being, which was apparently warranted considering this incident.


Katy opening the paint can

Somehow she did not get anything on her.  Amazing.  So we painted the boards and let them dry.  Then we flipped them and painted the other side.

My Eagle Scout husband tied double overhand knots in the ends of the rope after he slipped them through the board holes.


Double overhand knot



Bottom of the board with ropes attached

Patrick hung the plank and it was magically level on the first attempt, though tilting backwards so there were a few adjustments needed.


Patrick hanging window garden

So now, here is the finished product, minus the plants.  I may make a slight adjustment by angling the holes so that the pots can sit lower.  I am also pondering painting the board the same color as the walls in the kitchen, but I am waiting until I decide what type of valence and fabric I will use in the space between the curtain rod and the window frame.


Finished Product



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Getting Crafty

I do not know how many of you have crafty mothers, but my mom is pretty crafty.  Not crafty like Pinterest style crafty where she would feel inclined to do twenty crafts for every holiday, but she sewed/constructed most of our Halloween costumes, she helped with school dioramas, she was a big contributor to our high school’s huge after-Prom event when my siblings or I were involved.  I still remember a slightly disastrous salt dough map that took forever to dry and almost did not make it to school after all that hard work.  She is very clever about puzzling how to make projects and uses many creative items to construct them.  For example, the year before my husband and I got married, we were going to a music festival and we wanted to hang a lot of windsocks from a flagpole one of our friends was bringing.  For some reason, I have a lot of windsocks (maybe had, not sure where they are now), but Patrick and I decided that our moms should have a “mompetition” to see who could make the best windsock.  Patrick’s mom is a great weaver (see the little woven handbags in the shop section) and pretty crafty herself, so we thought it would be great.  The results were really funny.  My mom took it very seriously and went all out, sewing nylon together, finding markers that would write on the nylon and figuring out how to spell the name of the festival, and lastly buying cheap toy instruments to dangle from the windsock.  Patrick’s mom, maybe the smarter and less ridiculous of the two in this instance, thought we were joking and did not make one.  The whole situation was quite funny.

Where I am going with this is that my mom sometimes goes overboard while trying to accomplish something and she focuses on her goal, ridiculous as it is, until she finds what she is looking for.  While sometimes this is frustrating to others (and me), it is also useful.  When I call her and tell her that I do not really like how my booth is set-up or that I need some way to display the hats that we make or something like that, she then spends the next several weeks searching for the perfect thing to fit my needs.  She will even go buy something, test it out and return it if she does not think it satisfies the solution.  All in all, I am just so happy to have my mom working with me on Mindys Makes.  She makes beautiful clothing and is so helpful to my process.  I hope you get to enjoy a Debbie’s Make from Mindys Makes too!

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Meeting and Greeting

I would like to continue to discuss places where I sell.  Well, not really the places, but the act of selling.  Before going to any markets, I thought I would not like the selling part of the business.  I mean, I started with the idea of selling online, where I would not have to promote my creations in person.  Also, when I was teaching, I was always nervous before the first day of school and I was teaching high school students.  Once I knew them a little, I was fine, but that always took a couple of classes.  The night before my first street festival (the first event that I tried), I was quite nervous: Did I have enough products made? Would people like the products? Were the prices right? Would I be able to talk to people about my items? And so on.  After we finished setting up, and people started coming by our booth (I was sharing with one of my friends), I realized how fun it is to just say hi to people and talk to them.  It did not matter whether they were shopping or not, just seeing them walk by and talking to them was fun.  I tend to be an introvert, with my husband dragging me anywhere where there are more than just a couple of close friends, so it was a big surprise to both of us that I enjoyed meeting all these new people and talking to them.  I especially love when I have repeat customers come by and check out my stuff.  It is great to hear how much they like their purchases and seeing them trying to find something new.  I also like it when I see a little girl come by with a dress that either my mom or I made, or I catch a little boy “flying” by in a Mindys Makes superhero cape.  My regular market has been closed since the end of November, so I look forward to seeing these families in May, and I can see how much the kids have grown (hopefully they still fit into my clothes).Boy in Spider Cape2012-07-22_10-46-45_522

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Welcome to my new webpage!!!  It may have taken a while, but it is here!  I am very excited and hope you find it easier and more enjoyable to use.  I think our products are displayed much better, I think the pictures are clearer, and I think it is easier to check out with exactly what you need.  Many thanks to Linda Tieu at for the amazing work. Please let me know what you think.

For those of you who have visited me before, welcome back.  Sorry it took so long to get the new page up and running, but the holidays and seasonal colds got the best of me, preventing me from doing my side of the work for the page (plus, you guys kept me busy with capes and other orders).  For those of you who are new, let me introduce the company:

Mindys Makes began in September 2010 after many suggestions from friends who liked the items I was creating for my son, my daughter and myself.  After my son was born six years ago, I used my mom’s sewing machine with my very basic knowledge of sewing (I could sew a mostly straight line) to make a baby blanket for my son.  It was fun so I made blankets for my friends’ new children.  Then I made burp cloths, took some lessons and received a new machine for Christmas.  From there I explored and expanded.

Mindys Makes began with just me, Mindy.  But my mom, Debbie, could not stay away.  She loves to make things for her grandchildren and has been sewing for most of her life, so she gladly joined me and now we work together to make unique, fun and colorful items for young children.  In addition to children’s items, I love taking a couple of pieces of fabric, playing around with them to shape them into purses.

Aside from creating and designing items to sell, I spend most of my time playing with my two children.  I have a son who is six and my daughter is three and a half (she would be very upset if I left off the half).  Before children, I spent my days educating high school students about the mysteries of the world, using physics.

Everything I make is something that I want to put on my daughter or son, or use myself.  One of the hardest things about this business is not keeping the dresses, aprons and flannel pants for my own children.  Often times, they come to visit me at the market and see something that they claim is “mine!”

Mindys Makes started as an online business with little direction of where to sell, but as the year progressed and summer came along, I discovered the farmer’s market.  It is a venue that I really enjoy and where I have found a little niche.  My most frequent farmers’ market is in Alexandria, Virginia at Ben Brenman Park, but I have also sold at the Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring, Maryland and at other craft shows, bazaars and street festivals in the area as well.   I will keep you updated as to where you can find me.  You can stay up to date by liking Mindys Makes on Facebook!

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