Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New Blog name or old?

Hello everyone out there!

So I am trying to think of a new blog title, and I keep coming up against a dead end. I would like to have my own little place where I can post ALL of the things I am working on (Sewing, crafting, cooking, maybe even prose!) not just the stuff I make for kids. I also have this grand idea ... to not buy a single piece of clothing all year long but instead make everything i need! (that needs some re-wording) Then hopefully by the end of the year next year I will have a whole new wardrobe made by yours truly! Do you think I can do it? Its a lofty goal I know but I really think it would be so wonderful for me.

Anyway, I am trying to learn this whole blogging thing too. How you you post pictures? How do you make it awesome? This is all very complicated for me....I think some webinars are in store.

The list of names I have so far are...

1) Darbalena and herBernina
2) Darb-a-dreaming

er...That's actually it. Not a lot of selection I know.  I am so imaginative.
But then again, Lou (my husband) suggested that i just use the Darbalou Dress Up Blog. Its not a bad idea. After all, what am I doing besides playing dress up?!?

Do you have any ideas? Should I just keep my blog tittle as it is? (I know there are not many people reading this, but a little insight would be nice!) :)


Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Imagination

    The various works, imperial queen, we see,
    How bright their forms! how deck'd with pomp by thee!
    The wond'rous acts in beauteous order stand,
    And all attest how potent is thine hand.
    From Helicon's refulgent heights attend,
    Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
    To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
    Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
    Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
    Till some lov'd object strikes her wand'ring eyes,
    Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
    And soft captivity involves the mind.
    Imagination! who can sing thy force?
    Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
    Soaring through the air to find the bright abode,
    Th' empyreal palace of the thund'ring God,
    We on thy pinions can surpass the wind,
    And leave the rolling universe behind:
    From star to star the mental optics rove,
    Measure the skies, and range the realms above.
    There in one view we grasp the mighty whole,
    Or with new worlds amaze th' unbounded soul.
    Though Winter frowns to Fancy's raptur'd eyes
    The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
    The frozen deeps may bleak their iron bands,
    And bid their waters murmur o'er the sands.
    Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
    And with her flow'ry riches deck the plain;
    Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
    And all the forest may with leaves be crown'd:
    Show'rs may descend, and dew their gems disclose,
    And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose.
    Such is thy pow'r, nor are thine orders vain,
    O thou the leaders of the mental train:
    In full perfection all thy works are wrought
    And thine the sceptre o'er the realms of thought.
    Before thy throne the subject-passions bow,
    Of subject-passions sov'reign ruler Thou,
    At thy command joy rushes on the heart,
    And through the glowing veins the spirits dart.
    Fancy might now her silken pinions try
    To rise from earth, and sweep th' expanse on high;
    From Tithon's bed now might Aurora rise,
    Her cheeks all glowing with celestial dies,
    While a pure stream of light o'erflows the skies.
    The monarch of the day I might behold,
    And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,
    But I reluctant leave the pleasing views,
    Which Fancy dresses to delight the Muse;
    Winter austere forbids me aspire,
    And northern tempests damp the rising fire;
    They chill the tides of Fancy's flowing sea,
    Cease then, my song, cease the unequal lay.
    Phillis Weatley

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I made this basket today! I was walking back to the train from my doctors apt. I stopped in CB2 to see if they had any baskets I liked. I have a gift card you see and I have been craving beautiful baskets. They remind me of my grandma, she loves them for everything. There are some baskets on amazon I am dreaming about (made in Ghana) but I can't justify the cost. And in CB2 there was nothing under $79!!!! OK, fine, I said. And left. But as I was walking out of the door one of those FLASH ideas came to me (as they do) and I realized I should just f-ing make one! I remember seeing a handmade basket at a flea market in Pennsylvania made of fabric and clothes line. It was zig-zag sewn and I thought no way. That is to much finagling.  But...I bought 33 yards of cotton clothes line from my local 99 cent store, and tried to sew it by hand, thinking it would be so much easier. Well, not so. But I did find a terrific tutorial on  ( and decided to just go for it! I love want i made. I used all of the cord, so I want to get some more but the basket is perfect for my yarn. And I'm thinking of additional ways to make them...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pretend Play: The Magical Benefits of Role Play

I was doing some research about children's play clothes earlier when I stubbed upon this article on the website (the link it posted at the bottom) and I though it was appropriate and confirms all my beliefs about the importance of make-believe.  Though I am not coming to these conclusions as a mother, but rather as the product of a very make-believe filled childhood. I can remember vividly the moment when the real word faded away and my imagination took over. I could "be" anywhere or anything. I think that is why I feel so strongly about making magical (and washable) play clothes that inspire and grow with children.

Pretend Play: The Magical Benefits of Role Play
"Let's play castle! I'll be the princess—you be the knight!"
"Mommy, can I help wash the dishes?"
"When I grow up, I want to be fireman."
Sound familiar? If you have a child, you probably hear these things all the time. Children are naturally drawn to role play—the magical art of imitation and make believe.
But role play is more than's a key component of learning. According to child development experts, role play helps children acquire all kinds of skills and knowledge, encouraging them to:
  • Explore imagination
  • Think in the abstract
  • Acquire language skills
  • Build social skills
  • Problem solve
  • Understand someone else's perspective
  • Learn essential life skills from adults
  • Discover leadership skills
  • Safely explore the world beyond
  • Acquire confidence and a sense of self
If that isn't amazing enough, consider this: because role play engages emotion, cognition, language, and sensory motor skills, scientists theorize it actually creates synaptic connections between parts of the brain. And the more synapses, the greater a child's intelligence! There are different types of role play, and they help serve different purposes. Encourage them all...and nurture your child's natural gifts.
Imitating Mom and Dad
For most kids, this is one of the first forms of role play. You vacuum; your child wants to, too. You go to the ATM; your child wants to push the machine's buttons.
Imitative role play helps kids understand who their parents are and what grown-ups do. It also helps them acquire important life skills that will help them become independent adults.
Encourage your child to help you with chores and errands, like setting the table and selecting groceries. Choose toys that trigger imitative play, like "playing house," driving a battery-operated car, or taking care of a doll.

Playing Dress-Up
In the wink of an eye, most kids can turn a towel into a superhero cape...a royal robe...or a cloak of invisibility. Playing dress up instantly transports kids into the role of someone else—real or imaginary.
Most small fry love dressing up in grown-up clothes, and this is terrific (as long as you clearly communicate what clothing is and isn't available for play). In addition, providing your child with dress-up quality costumes is a great way to encourage these role play adventures. When shopping for Halloween costumes, get the most from them—choose characters your child will enjoy "being" all year long.

Acting Out Real-Life Situations
What child doesn't enjoy playing school, store, or doctor? One way kids learn about the people in their world is by recreating real-life people, places and situations. As they play, they reinforce what they've learned about appropriate behavior in different situation.
More likely than not, when kids explore this type of role play, they're not alone—they're playing with a pal or two. And that's even better! Cooperative role play teaches kids how to negotiate, take turns, work as part of a team, and play leader—all necessary to developing social skills.

Reenacting Stories
When children reenact stories, it helps them appreciate other people's perspectives and feelings. How did Cinderella feel about missing the ball? Was Harry Potter afraid before he opened the secret door? This encourages feelings of empathy.
In addition, repeating dialogue— whether written in a book or spoken in a movie—helps kids build language skills and vocabulary. There is some evidence to suggest it may even encourage children to enjoy reading.

Creating a Make-Believe Space
Whether it's a big empty box, a tent, or a tree house, designated "pretend" spaces encourage kids to create make-believe worlds. Indoors or out, playhouses never lose their universal appeal.
In these magical spaces, children feel free to be anyone—to leave the everyday world behind and let imagination soar.

Performing for an Audience
Does your child love performing in front of the family? Encourage it! Acting out skits, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, performing a comedy routine—all these activities help kids develop talent and self-esteem.
There are many benefits to "putting on a show"—writing a script requires creativity, working with a "troupe" calls on cooperative skills, and facing an audience builds public speaking skills.
And the sweet sound of applause that follows a successful production is a terrific confidence-builder. What child doesn't benefit from that?

Notions tower

Right now I am working in the art room (yes we have an art room...although now it is more of a sewing room...sorry Lou) trying to clean it up some after the round of holiday visitors we had (the art room is also synonymous with guest room). After much contemplation about a new way of organizing my "at hand" notions (all of the stuff I like to have beside me while I sew) I decided on a cheep but effective stacking tower from the Target dollar aisle. It stacks vertically but you can twist each section to see what is inside. I wrote the names of all the sections on the outside in sharpie. Bobbins, Markings (chalk and tailors wax), Tools, Feet, Snips and Measuring were some of the categories. This notions tower will not be very easy to transport when I go on my sewing sojourns but I think I will be able to cut down on the clutter this way. And if I do take a little trip with my sewing machine, I can still use my decoupaged toolbox. Or maybe I will troll amazon for something a little better...

Working Logo

So this is the working logo for Darbalou Dress Up. Louis is going to work on another version which I am sure will be better and I can't wait to see it. I whipped his one up on Photoshop because hey, why not? I needed something right?