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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23rd update

Well, the county fair went well (August) and the fall craft fair did well (November). Then December got all crazy. I've had so many hits on the Etsy store since Black Friday that I was starting to lose my mind. Fortunately, I was wise enough to update my shop so that any orders after 12/18 get the message that, due to the holidays, items will not be shipped until 12/28. So, while I still check daily, I'm not killing myself to get everything out to the Post Office - I;ll just make 1 big trip.

Today was amusing...somewhat. Both children had to have teeth pulled and today was the day for that. DS has now learned the value of actually brushing his teeth after seeing the tooth that got pulled. It was a baby tooth and our dentist refused to fill it and charge us for it since it is a tooth that will more than likely come out in the next year or so. Over half of 1 side of the tooth was nearly gone!! Needless to say, DS is grossed out and has promised to brush his teeth twice a day now. DD needed to have 2 teeth pulled out in order to make room for her adult teeth, which had started coming in behind the baby teeth. Tough little chickie that she is, she told the nurse and oral surgeon that they were NOT sticking a needle in her arm for general anesthesia!! Instead, they did the numbing gel followed by novacaine and nitrous, huh? But she did very well with it and wasn't as loopy or unbalanced as DS was (he apparently fell down twice, according to DH - we had to take 2 cars so that we could bring them home as soon as they were done).


Saturday, September 12, 2009

waaayyy too long

So, it's been over a month since the last post and that's mainly because I've been working out designs, specifically eye masks and hot/cold therapy packs. I have the basic shapes down that I want to do, but trying to get the sizes to where I want them is a bit more trying. I made the first mock up of the sleep masks last night - didn't get the layers of fabric in the right order, but at least I can see how large the finished product will be. I'm thinking that decreasing the seam allowance from 1/2" to 3/8", while small, might make it look a little better as well as fit better. So, since I have the figured out......

Not sure how I want to do the final therapy packs...with a removable cover?? With aromatherapy oils and such?? How large do I really want to make them??? I did decide to make some using the basic eye mask shape, for those people who suffer from both sinus headaches and migraines (like me!), so that's a start.

Aprons have been ignored, though the one I *did* manage to make got entered into the county fair and took 2nd place!! I just need to make the adult version of that apron then move on to the rest of the aprons...several different styles not to mention the crazy fabrics!!!

I have taken pictures of all the hair clippies and ponytail holders that I have made, but I need to upload all the pictures to Etsy. May make some more ponytail holders, but they aren't my favorite things to make....then again, I'm still playing with how to make them.

I did my first batch of recycled crayons and think they are kind of cute. Of course, the majority of the first batch is bagged and ready to go to DDs kindergarten class since it was her teacher that gave me all the old crayons to melt down. They are chunky, swirly crayons, made in muffin tins, but they are a good start. I may end up using cans and melting them by color, but for now, I need to find new molds.....need the money first.

I'm discontinuing the fleece sleeping bags, toddler bedding, and jewelry simply because there isn't as high a demand for them and it's time to revamp my inventory. Plus, the sleeping bags take up WAY too much room in my workspace.

Oh, almost forgot the flower Thanks to Amy and a tutorial that she pointed me to, I now have an entire flower basket full of everything from roses (including plain black and black with either purple or silver glitter) to mums, to daisies. Not sure how they will sell locally, but can give it a try.

Of course, the BooBoo Bunnies are back, this time with bunnies in different colors instead of just white. I think the colored ones are a bit cuter, but then again, I'm These will also be relisted with new pictures once I have the time to sit down and upload them.

Yes, it sounds like I've been busy, but some of these things don't take that much time to do, so when I have 30 minutes with nothing planned, I just dive in and make as many as I can.

Well, it's 730am on a Saturday, so I need to get dressed and get moving....have 2.5 hours until I have to leave for today's errand run.......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

storm then another storm coming?

So..Monday and Tuesday, the children basically treated me like paid help, not anyone deserving of their respect...not even listening to me at all and yelling at both me and each other. Today is almost a complete turn-around. Was it because I explained how it made me feel or was it that dad refused to sign off on their allowance papers, therefore they have NO allowance for last week, nor do they have poker chips to exchange for computer time????

And....does today's good behavior mean that tomorrow will be good or do I need to prepare for another storm of crappy attitudes and behavior from them?? I know they are getting excited about our upcoming trip and I know they are getting stressed about the school year that will be starting soon, but c'mon...I didn't make the laws that said they HAD to go to school and I am the one that is helping them get ready...both in practicing their math and in the more mundane things like....making sure they have clothes that fit, all supplies ready to go, etc.

Because of the last 2 days, NOTHING has gotten done around here. I have to finish the 2nd wall in the garage before I can even think about getting my freezer, but I've already be researching various meals that can be made ahead and frozen, how to make freezer jam, and all kinds of cool things (yes, sometimes I get ahead of myself). Sewing is on hold because there is too much other stuff going on, and today, my back is all tight and uncooperative, even though I just saw the chiropractor yesterday morning!!

What the heck is going on and when can I get a dang break???!!????

Monday, July 20, 2009

And *THIS* is calm???!!????

So, the last post was about all the chaos that has been going on around here. I'm happy to report that everyone seems to be feeling better and relatively back to normal. So.....that means that I'm back to my hyper, WAY-to-many-activities-going-on self. Here is what has been accomplished....but to me it doesn't look like much:
-1 wall in garage sealed and primed
-1/4 of second wall sealed and primed
-6 loads of laundry washed and dried (will be folded today)
-freezer inventory taken, meals tentatively planned out for the next week
-main body of patchwork jacket finished (lining still needs to be dealt with)

Today is shaping up to be a not-so-great day since both children are "moods" and the dominant theme is "annoy each other and see how mad we can make Mom." Well, at least they have both taken their vitamins and medicines, sigh.

After several hours of research and exploration, I have come up with some new, inexpensive ideas for products that I think (hope) will appeal to the masses and actually sell. I ran the entire list past my accountant (my husband) and we narrowed it down to those that I could actually make using items that I already have stashed away (as opposed to purchasing more supplies). I've put out a plea to other mom-friends, so hopefully I will get some feedback and "donations" for one of the products.

I jokingly told hubby that I would call these new items the "'P31" line (as in Proverbs 31) since they seem to least some of the verses, not all of them....he was amused. The only thing is that if I get started with that, I will feel challenged to make products that can at least be linked to the numerous verses. How interesting that would entire product line based on the Proverbs 31 woman....daunting, but not impossible.

Ok. Now that I have some direction with the business, I can "relax" a little more and get to work on the I *need* to finish the second wall (it's the one that the new freezer will be going up against) and I need to clean a bit inside. I suppose that I could get the laundry and vacuuming finished today, but who really wants to do that kind of work when there are creative ideas just floating around all over the place???

Well, the children have 20 minutes before I drag them in to do their schoolwork (yeah yeah, bad mommy making them do summer school, but at least they will be prepared for the upcoming school year!), then we have to do the weekly dump run, take Bek to the doc (followup from the pneumonia), run to the grocery store, and back home. That makes today a fairly calm day all in all. Of course, then there's trying to get dinner put together and eaten in time to get Tom to karate class tonight.....argh.

And I wonder why I thought this was a calm, typical life.....I suppose, in hindsight, this IS calm when compared to the sick, sick, surgery, sick time period....I want a nice long massage and a nap....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

sick, sick, surgery, sick

That pretty much wraps things up for the last 4 weeks. My son had pneumonia, then I had bronchitis, then my husband had shoulder surgery on Thursday, and now my daughter has pneumonia.

In the middle of all the chaos, there are swimming lessons, school lessons, housework, errands, and brainstorming to come up with new ideas for my Etsy shop. I'm more than likely going to be putting most of my things on sale in the near future because they aren't really selling. I'm going to try and come up with some more small and useful items instead of fancy things. The logic behind this is that, in the given economy, useful things, that are at least cute, would sell better than the rest of the items that I have made.

I don't know yet, what my new items are going to be, but I'm working on it. One thing that I might try are reversible over-all bibs. I may also make some flower pens that will be sold only at the local craft fairs...maybe with a journal or something. Another idea that I'm toying with are mother-daughter apron sets with either hot pads or dishcloths that coordinate...still toying wiht this thought right now.

And in the middle of all this, I'm working on clothing for the children and entries for the county I actually have any free time to do this, but still......

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

tired, mindless ramblings

So, for a week DS has been sick, and yesterday, they finally said that he has walking pneumonia. Wow!! First, it was nothing but a virus and would go away in a week, and now it's pneumonia!! So, my 9yo is on zithromax, tussinex, and prednisone....wahoo! Needless to say, the past week has not seen much in the way of solid sleeping for me, hubby, or our son. His coughing has finally started calming down a little, so hopefully this stuff is on it's way out of here.

I was supposed to work on the garage again this week and I need to call the insurance company about hubby's surgery, we do schoolwork in the summer and are already behind because of DS being too sick to ge tout of bed. I have to figure out how to install a sheetrock ceiling most likely by myself, though I don't see how that is possible....have gotten word from the neighbor that he would help and a friend said she would help if needed....but don't even know when I'll actually get to it.

I'm supposed to be sewing clothing for myself but haven't been able to focus long enough to even get pattern pieces laid out correctly. I'm also supposed to be helping both children with entries for the county fair (DD has made a wodden frog model, a race car, and a decorated hat, DS has only made a race car, but he has been sick AND he's still deciding what else he wants to do), and I have made progress on that fact, I will be helping DD build a birdhouse today.

I'm too dang tired to do any of this, but hey, it's what you do as a mom, right?? I started crying last night and hubby said that it would all be okay....I told him that it wasn't crying about our son (though I was extremely worried when he got to 104.8), but out of total exhaustion and the need for uninterrupted sleep and maybe even a vacation...because the next thing coming up is DHs surgery and I'm not prepared for that either.

Ah well, maybe today I'll actually get something constructive done around here

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm In The Paper!!! Wahoo!!!!

Yep, that's the article where you can learn how I've cut the family budget! Complete with picture of me right on the main page, and several smaller shots of clothing that I've made for the family.

It's interesting to see how the savings add up, but then you have to subtract our charitable donations, karate classes, gas for the cars, money we put into savings. Really, when you take all that into account, the savings diminish quite a bit. However, we continue to put money aside for the children's college as well as for our retirement. Right now we are saving for our vacation at the end of July, not to mention the work that we want to finish up on the house this year (would be nice to have the garage sealed and insulated and possibly a start on hubby's office now that he's chosen how he wants it done).

I think I can cut even more out, but I'm not sure where......might actually end up destashing a bunch of my craft supplies and fabric because I'm just not using them anymore and that would bring in more money to put towards savings and such.....who knows....but it will be interesting to give it a try!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sheetrock dust, coughing, and 4 years going away

So, hubby is going to have surgery on July 2nd to (hopefully) repair his shoulder. His current status is that he can barely lift that arm, and definitely CAN'T do any work in finishing the garage. So.....

For the past few days, I've been pretty much covered in cobwebs, sheetrock dust, and spackling compund! I've moved around several piles to sort through and have actually managed to take a massive load to the dump - including 2 boxes of "stuff" that has been sitting untouched since we moved here back in 2005!!! There is still a lot to do, and an outsider would say that I was going about things sporadically, but there is a method to my madness!! See, when we moved in, the garage had no floor, just a too small dumping of gravel. SO we had the floor poured and then just piled things wherever. Now, it's time to kick it up and get things finished (I'm tired of having a building permit stuck to my garage door). Ok, so I started on the walls easily reached without having to move too much - some already have their second coat of spackling compund and just need to be sanded. Then, in the idst of clearing out boxes of "stuff" I thought that it would be best to get the corner area finished (spackling, primer, maybe even paint if I could be so lucky!) because that area will pretty much stay as the "Christmas storage area" and it makes no sense to me to stack the boxes there, then have to move them again to get the priming and painting done. I should have the second coat of compound up there today and possibly the primer done in that area....if I can get that far, I will go ahead and shove the boxes closer to the corner so that i can reach the other wall.

So...that kind of explains the 4 years going away...we haven't even looked inside some of the boxes shoved in the garage since we moved in! So WHY are we keeping them?? Granted, it IS a good thing I'm going through each one because I found an antique quilt from my Dad's family shoved in the bottom of one, not to mention my Barbie collection (getting passed to my daughter), but also the collection of International dolls that my uncle sent to me when he worked in the travel industry (he passed away in 1995). Outstanding!! I thought these were things that, lilke our large extension ladder, never made the move from NY to VA!!! It was a happy day for me

Of course, all this work is helping keep me distracted from the fact that my son has been coughing since Monday night. ALL the docs we've seen or talked to (4 so far, all at the same practice) have said it's nothing more than a virus and they've seen LOTS of children with the same symptoms: high fevers, cough, sore throat. Well, that doesn't actually reassure me, but thanks for the info! Yesterday I called the office and practically begged for something to help with his cough since he has had 15 minutes coughing jags, usually around 1am....he now has Tussinex to take at night, so hopefully we will ALL get some sleep. I suppose I should be happy that it isn't whooping cough or croup or pneumonia, or bronchitis......though they didn'g check for whooping cough or bronchitis...but according to the professionals. it's "just a virus".....if the tussinex doesn't help calm the cough down, he'll be back at the office...which kind of stinks since he's supposed to be in gifted/talented classes next week - Civil War history....perfect for where we live.

Ah well...maybe all this manual labor will help me keep dropping pounds....not as much lost as I would like, but sweating and lifting has GOT to be doing something!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Guess who is going ot be in the newspaper??!!???

Yes! ME!!!! Sunday edition, June 14th. Article should be linked from the newspaper website at:

Not sure if it will be a link from the homepage, but it should be.

Ok, so WHY am I going to be in the paper?? Well, the News Leader has a column called "CheepSkates" and on the website, there is a blog that goes along with the column. I have offered some tips, hints, advice on the blog, and the author emailed to see if I was interested in being interviewed for an upcoming article. Well, I wasn't sure until hubby dear came home and told me that he already bragged on me at his office, so there really was no choice for me.

The interview was done over the phone on the 26th - author is supposed to be anonymous, hence the phone interview instead of face-to-face (I know who it is, but promised not to tell...caller ID is a wonderful We spoke for about an hour or so about how I cut my groceries in half (from $1000 a month to roughly $500 a month!), and other ways we save money (one of the big ones is sewing clothing, but I also cut the guys' hair, make meal plans, we've started a garden....etc.). While we were talking about the sewing, I happened to mention my business (hey, it's free promotion as far as I'm concerned) and she was really interested in it and asked what sort of things I make. Well, OF COURSE I told her, starting with the SNuggleBags and working right through the jewelry and bath products, giving her my Etsy site and mentioning the local craft fairs that I am at. It was a fun, sometimes hysterical (try being serious when a 35lb child is tugging a 117lb lab around because he wants his toy but doesn't want to hurt her!), and may even be the start of a cool friendship. At the end of the interview, she asked if I would be available the next day for a photo guess....

Now, the reason for my hesitation is because I really don't like having my picture taken, despite the yearly family themed pictures and such. But hey, if it helps get my name/face/business out there, then I'll do it. So the next day I was hoping for an email saying if I was to go to the office or if the photographer was coming to the email, until FINALLY, she sent one saying that she had to go into her children's school and would call me when she got back, sometime around 11am (photo shoot was scheduled for 130pm). No problem! On the off chance that they would be coming to the house, I became a cleaning room free of papers? CHECK, kitchen cabinets and counter scrubbed down??' socks and miscellaneous clothing bits tossed into their rooms?? CHECK!!! Then she calls and says she hasn't heard back from the photographer, so she was going to leave it up to me as to where the pictures were!!!! We chuckled over my response (hey, even if it was clean for me, I was afraid that "something" might have gotten missed), and then she told me what she had in mind for pictures and what she thought I should bring.

4 bags later, and I'm on the road. I took: Elizabethan court gown, DDs Civil War costume, DDs dressy coat, dress and pinafore, DSs 2 favorite shirts that i made for him (Asian print and Star Wars), the very first shirt I made for DH - yes, it's still holding up nicely, 2 blouses for myself and one of my of the bath gift sets, 2 padded bags, a reusable tote bag, some fabric, patterns, shears, pins, a pin cushion that I made, oh, and of course, I wore some of the jewelry that I've made. I think I covered all the bases, what do you think?? LOL It was pretty funny trying ot get everything organized and choosing my favorites from all the things that I've made...every bedroom was almost torn apart and my workroom was a disaster area, but I got everything together and made it to the studio 30 minutes early.

The only problem was that the photographer got there and really didn't know what the shoot was for - he hadn't checked his email or phone messages and had been gone the previous few days....ARGH!! SO I explained what it was for and what the article was about, and off we went. Suprisingly, it was fun and I was fairly relaxed - in fact the only complaint he seemed to have was that I wasn't smiling enough...which is fairly typical in photos of me. He took some candids while I was setting up the fabric and various little bits, and I was so into it that I didn't even notice until the flash had gone off a couple of times.

So........get the word all about my oddball lifestyle at: on or after 6/14/2009!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kids, gardens, and water balloons

So....we now have 4 kids least until tomorrow night. Yep, I went from 1 9yo boy and a 5yo girl up to 2 9yo boys, a 7yo boy, and a 5yo girl....either my heart is too big or I've completely lost my mind. Actually, the boys aren't that bad, but it's obvious that they have had a different up bringing than my children have had - how they speak to my husband, their table manners (or lack of), etc. In the course of the 5 hours that they have been with us, they have managed to understand that children do NOT call either me or my husband by our first names. They call me Mrs Vann and my husband Mr. Ken...which is fine and definitely a LOT better than calling him Krn as if he were one of their buddies.

They were impressed with the garden and everything that is growing, though the carrots leave a lot to be desired. The corn is going crazy as are the radishes and tomato plants....we had to actually purchase pepper plants because the ones we started didn't make it.

Now...water balloons....we had the sprinkler going for a while and they were playing with the water bombs that we had for the pool (which we set up and forgot to turn the hose off before quiet time, so it's a little on the full side) but they couldn't seem to avoid hitting me or hubby....those got taken away. Then I remembered that we had a stash of water balloons from last year!! BINGO!! I loaded up one bucket-full and took it out, but not before some ground rules were laid down. NO throwing at the person at the bucket, no head shots, no throwing when you are right next to the target person. Three buckets later and we are completely out of water balloons and all 4 children had a blast. The only real injury was to my daughter who got hit in the face when the "no throwing at the person at the bucket" rule was forgotten....Mom got revenge for the munchkin, but not in the face....just enough to remind the boys that she is younger than they are and Mom will ALWAYS stick up for the children.

No sewing going on as usual, but.....I may be interviewed for a local paper about frugality and cost cutting measures that I practice at cool is that??

Off to get ready for grill night.........

Monday, May 4, 2009

Entire shop on sale

So...I'm an only child, and have been trying to deal with my mother potentially losing her house, and most likely moving in with my family. Now, it's not like we don't have enough room, but still...this is MY house, and I don't know how things would work having another "mom" in the house with me, at least not for an extended time. So what does this have to do with the topic?? try and help her out, I've put the entire shop on sale (25% discount) for the month of May, with the possibility of more discounts in June. Any sales that I make will go towards helping pay this month's mortgage so that she has another month in the house. Of course, that doesn't include shipping costs, but you get the idea.

Hubby and I are trying to get our children to understand about respecting your elders and honoring your mother and father....this is how I'm trying to illustrate those ideals.

I know there has been some interest because Google Analytics shows some activity, but still....activity doesn't always equal I'm asking my followers to mention my sale to whoever they think might be interested...there is jewelry, crib sheets, SnuggleBags, etc. and I'd really like to move some of them to help my Mother out.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

rain, church, dust and critters's yet another rainy weekend here, which is great for the garden and flowers, not so great for my sanity or emotional stability (yes, actually diagnosed with S.A.D. and supposed to take antidepressants). It also drives me bonkers that the children can't find something to do that doesn't involve yelling at each other or hitting each's not like they don't have any toys to play with......of course, that sort of leads into the next is where we are supposed to be heading in the next 6 minutes. But, again, it's raining...and hubby is trying to finish his college course on time or before the deadline (his exam proctor is going on vacation and he needs to get the test done before then because the proctor will be gone until after the deadline) once again it seems as if we will be looking for another church because it is apparent that nobody is actually enthused about the one we started going to.....argh.......

Now, again, tying back to the rainy weekend, the critters in the household are being miserable and because, even though he's a lab, he hates rain, and the cats because the rain keeps the birds away which means no "cat TV" for them. Sheesh....

I'm still working on new ideas for the shop, and debating about completely clearing some items out, working on new things for my MOPS group, and trying to refocus on where I want this whole business thing to go...or if I even want it to go anywhere.....would be nice to have some feedback from others......

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

taking a break from work for a little while

Of course, it's only temporary, but I am not sewing anything new for the shop for a bit. I'm behind in the sewing for the family and HAVE to get a move on! DSs birthday is Saturday and I finally got his shirt cut out and started pinning it together. It will be done tonight before I go to bed. I also cut out the coordinating shirt for hubby (was supposed to be identical, but I didn't have enough fabric). Once I finish with their shirts, I have a nightgown that I promised DD (Power Puff Girls), and *then* I can get to sew some things for myself. I'm looking at a mini wardrobe builder as part of a contest on I have 3 tops, all different colors (deep red, bright turquoise, and a lovely plum) that I don't really have anything to wear with. I'm hoping that I can make bottoms to go with at least one of those tops and be able to incorporate other pieces that I have in my closet. I'm not getting my hopes up too high...right now I haven't even gone through the fabric stash to see what I might be able to use!!!

Of course, there are the various knit tops that are waiting for me to get to, the blankets for the nursery at the local hospital, the overall bibs that I want to finish up...oh wait, that's business stuff...oh yes, the costumes for this year's family picture (Alice in Wonderland theme), and another shirt for DH for *his* birthday next month.....lots of sewing that needs my attention before I get back into work sewing.

I may post pictures here of what I manage to finish up in the next few months....all depends on if anybody give me any feedback

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bragging Rights

OK, a little history here....I have 2 children, a boy and a girl. My son (oldest) was labeled early on as having ADHD and anxiety disorder, not to mention sensory integration dysfunction....lovely way to go through life, huh?? My youngest was diagnosed last year with ADD combined type, but so far, it's not really getting in the way of her schooling. Back to my son....he has ALWAYS been a deconstruction expert and LOVES science, so it just seems natural that he would try different experiments, right??

In kindergarten, he wanted to do something for the science fair, and that project came about after hearing him whine one too many times, "WHY do I have to brush my teeth????!!!???" Yep, that was his project/experiement. I did a similar project - in 5TH GRADE!!!! SO he came up with different things to soak teeth in, a wonderful oral surgeon in Harrisonburg had teeth we could use (gross), and off he went.....right to first place for his grade (go figure).

In first grade, he decided he didn't want to do a project, and second grade was already filled with enough stress (long and completely separate story), so by the time he finally chose a topic, it was too late to get started. Ok....this year, as SOON as we got notification of the Science Fair, I made he make the decision about entering. He opted to do an experiment, and I told him he had until the end of the week to come up with what he wanted to test/prove.

Ok, so he wanted to do "something" with bacteria, and "something" with cleaners, so those ideas got combined into "What cleaner kills the most common household bacteria?" Off I went to order petri dishes and agar so that we had testing supplies....first round literally got eaten by the dog because we hadn't put them in a place that was safe from his over-active nose and stomach....second order placed and shipped immediately...started all over again. He wanted to test places that the most people touch...the door knob, tv remotes, telephone,toilet in the main bathroom, and then he decided to test his hands as well. The picture in this post is the bacteria that grew from the swabs of his hands....pretty gross, huh??
Well, flash forward to yesterday: EVERYONE is home because they are all feeling sick...lovely. My son's teacher called me last night when she got home to let me know that there was a PTA meeting and they would be announcing the Science Fair winners at the meeting. SHe also said that if my son didn't at least place, there was something wrong with the judges because his project was outstanding!! Talk about making me feel like a proud
So, I go to the meeting, which is really a presentation from the Cougar Chorus (school chorus, cougars being the mascot for the school), and the first thing they do is announce the Science Fair winners. I jokingly told a friend that I needed to sit up front because I knew my son was going to win...JOKINGLY.....well, joke was on me because they announced that he was the first place winner for the entire 3rd grade!!! Whoa!!! Really, I thought his experiment was cool, but there were others there that were good as well. Since he was home sick, I asked if I could get his medal for him...the entire audience "awwwwed" when I told them he was home sick. We had to bring the experiments home last night, and parents were coming up to me telling me how impressed they were with his project and asking how he came up with it.
Everyone thought it was funny that the only place we came up with to store is was my workroom, so I had to work in the stink for several weeks....yeah, real funny...NOT!!
So...he's entered twice and he's won twice....last night he said he wanted to keep entering every year until he had a whole wall of medals from science fairs....gotta love that attitude!!
So, there's my brag on my boy. My daughter, well, she's still sick, but she just blew me away as well - she was reading "The Gingerbread Man" to herself in a different room....she's 5...only 5...still in preschool....and she's also doing addition already!! I think I'm in for a LOT of trouble when they are older...if they are this smart now, .....oy!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

what's a mom to do......

....when everyone else in the house is sick??

If you are me, you keep busy getting as much done as you can because as soon as one of the sick people sees that you aren't doing anything, they invade your space. Ok, doesn't sound like the nicest thing, but think about it - YOU are the only one *not* sick, and the sick ones are invading YOUR space (if you are lucky enough to have your own work space), now what do you think the result will be...of course, you'll get sick again! keep busy, never letting them see you inactive for more than a few minutes (say like when you are eating lunch or in the bathroom).

That's what today has been like. I'm tired, cranky, and I still have WAY too much stuff to get done, but at least I wasn't overly exposed to the sick ones.

But it gave me time to think about other things that I can be making for the Etsy shop and such, which is always a bonus. I'm probably going to introduce more infant items once I get the first few knocked out of the way for a dear friend who is expecting (surprise!) her 3rd child. She's my test subject so I'll use her feedback to determine if I continue to make the items and try to sell them.

Well, the sick ones are otherwise occupied, so I'm thinking now might be a good time to try and sneak in a quick 20 minute nap.........

Monday, April 13, 2009

Life lessons learned over Easter vacation

So, we went to my mother's house for Easter vacation, planning to help her get things taken care of to get the house on the market. The plan was to take care of some basic repairs - minor wiring, installing new light fixtures, replacing a door for her, etc. lesson #1: nothing basic is EVER basic so always be prepared for screw ups and such.

life lesson #2: regardless of what anyone says, never take their word that they measured everything and that everything matches up. Doors made for today's houses will not always fit door frames in houses built in the earlier part of the 20th century. Today's doors are roughly 30" wide...mother's door frame is 29 3/4" wide....yet she said that she measured everything and that they fit perfectly. yeah, right

life lesson #3: STOP eating if you discover that the chicken is still pink inside, regardless of how long it was supposedly cooked. Well, this should have been the first since this is what happened to me - supposedly, the chicken was parboiled then baked for 30 minutes with barbecue sauce, yet in the middle of eating it, I discovered that it was still pink inside. Yes, I stopped eating. Now, there may have very well have been something else going on, but regardless, I ended up being sick Friday night through Saturday, meaning that hubby was working on his own and trying to watch the children as well.

life lesson #4: ALWAYS carry some of your business cards with you and be ready to promote your Etsy shop!!! My godmother came over for dinner on Sunday, and since she's still employed in the corporate world, she often purchases gifts for clients, etc. Well, we started talking about my Etsy shop and the various things that I have listed there, then she asked if I had any of the jewelry that I had made....coincidentally enough, I had a bracelet and earrings stashed in the suitcase (forgot about them until after church). SO I showed her those and we started talking about the other things in the shop, which led me to get on mother's computer and bring the shop up so that she could take a look. Well.....she absolutely loved the bath sets and such, so she said that she was going to probably buy a bunch of them from me because she likes them as gifts for the clients. I just have to let her know the different fragrances and such that I have in stock and what all I can make up with them. WooHoo!!!

SO, even though I might have been sick this weekend and working instead of actually having fun with the kiddos, I did still learn stuff!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Life changes

Ok, so it's spring (or at least it's supposed to be, though we had snow on the ground this morning), so I guess change is just in the air. I didn't expect it to hit me so hard that, at 36, I've actually outgrown one of my "support groups" and it's time for me to move on. See, I've been a member of MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) since my oldest was a newborn - that means I'm currently in my 9th year of membership. My group now allows moms to stay through the kindergarten year of the youngest - that would be next year, making total years of membership - 10!!! It dawned on me today, as I was spending time with my discussion group and other MOPS members (just a morning get together, and the first I've actually been able to go to) that I am *SO* disconnected from them. Yes, we are all moms, and yes, we are all members of the same MOPS group, but that's pretty much where it ends.

See, they are still in the "breeding years" - there have been a lot of babies born to group members lately, and even more are currently pregnant - and that time is behind me. No, I'm not really too old (at 36), but I have a son and a daughter and I'm good with that. I also have a rather large dog, 2 cats and a tank full of fish (plus 1 snail), not to mention the house, yard, cars, etc. that I take care of. I don't NEED or WANT another child in my life at this point, and I'm happy with my decision. However, it almost seems like I'm the odd one out because of not wanting anymore children. Don't get me wrong, I love the ladies in this group and have some great friendships because of the group, but it's just not me anymore. Why does this have to hit me now....I'm already under enough stress with planning a visit to my Mother's house, I don't need to be hit with the realization that, once again, I'm the odd one out in my group...argh...

Now, to bring this somewhat back to relate to Etsy and my items....why am I consistently drawn to make items for children, especially since mine are growing up and we aren't going to be adding to the family (at least not with 2 leggers that come from my body...4 leggers from the shelter are ALWAYS an option)?? I think I may hold off on the overall bibs for a while as I try to sort everything out in my head. Maybe it's that I fully acknowledge my lack of desire for more children, but still like making things that are useful to other mothers, who knows...definitely not me at this point. sigh

One of the things that I do have in my Etsy shop went over extremely well with my MOPS froends this morning, and I may make more of them based on their interest - the bath sets with the soaps, shower gels, lotions, bath salts, and scrubbies.....the moms that I hung out with this morning went totally nuts over them - not just the available fragrances, but the whole set, how cute they were, and the fact that the price is within range for nearly all of the moms that they could think of. SO maybe they will start selling....hey, as long as they are being bought by somebody, I'm not going to complain if it's the entire MOPS group that is buying

In my confusion over my revelation that I no longer belong to this group, I turned to my husband to vent and rant for a bit. He pointed out that, while my daughter is still a preschooler, she goes to school-based preschool, which means she's gone 5 days a week for the same time as our son....basically, it's a year of preparation for when she goes to kindergarten. We talked for a while, and I said it seemed as if God was giving me a tangible sign that it was time for me to move on to different things - in the form of a book called "The 10-Year Nap". It's a book about SAHMs - who have been SAHMs for 10 years.....what really got me was the very last line of the book: "One day you just woke up, and there was somewhere that you needed to be." I guess this is my wakeup call and it's time for me to move on. I'm not making plans, but letting things fall as they will....I'm not going to stand idly by either....I WANT to be on the preschool policy council for another 2 years and I WANT to be active in the PTA at the children's school, so I will take what steps I can to see that I accomplish these things. If it doesn't happen, I won't be overly upset, but will stay open to other possibilities. Maybe it's that my business will take off more and I will have to devote more time to production...who knows.

Whatever it is, change is in the air, and while I'm not 100% comfortable with it, I will go along with it, if for no reason than the fact that I really have no choice.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Possible new item

So, while I sit here waiting for some sales on Etsy (only 6 since I started..ah well), I've been toying with an idea of a new item, that MAY go over well with the "parents of toddlers" group - or any parent newly introducing foods to their children. The "overall bib" is something that I received as a gift when I had my first child, and while I was originally skeptical, it actually worked. My oldest is now approaching his 9th birthday and I only *just* found a pattern to make these wonderful clothing-savers!!

The picture above is a sample of one I've made. I have 2 completed at this time, both are reversible, amde for different holidays. I was thinking about making ALL of them reversible, and maybe even making some with some ruffles and lace so that they would be more girly. These aren't currently listed in my Etsy shop because I'd like some more feedback - family is nearly ALWAYS supportive, so in this case, their opinions are not really helpful.
Right now, the 2 I have are: 4th of july, which reveres to Christmas, and St. Patrick's Day, which reverses to Valentine's Day. If Y'all like the idea behind these, I'd love to hear it, and any suggestions you might have. They can be made in small, medium, and large, but of course, it's been so long since I've had children this small, that I am unsure as to the exact ages/weights to go with the different sizes. This is something that I will be looking into.
Thanks everyone!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Blog, bear with me.....

Ok, so people have been after me to get a blog up and running, which only makes sense since I have an Etsy shop and no way to really promote it. SO.....this is where I will be trying to remember to update everything...Etsy, life, etc.

My Etsy shop can be found at: There are a bunch of different things there because I can't seem to settle down on any one thing. Granted, sewing is my primary joy and creative outlet, but sometimes I stress-bead, and sometimes I like to play with pretty smelling yes, there are sewn items, beaded jewelry, and bath sets.

I guess that's enough for the time being.....I'll try to be more creative in future posts