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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