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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sewing and......not

I had planned on having pictures of finished items to post....yeah, we all know the sayings about plans and good intentions....

Ah well.  I was able to get in to see a dear friend (whom I haven't seen in WAY too long, but have kept in contact with)....after an hour massage with the most delicious lavender oil, I felt more at peace with things....more able to focus on what needs to be done, not just for everybody else in the freaking world (so it seems lately), but specifically for ME.

As a result of all this, I've pared down the items I will be making for the fall craft fair.  I figure, if I'm not excited about making the items, nobody will be excited about buying them.  SO....the things that have been cut out since last year will sit for another year.  If they still don't excite me, then I will put the cut bits of fabric into a scrap bag to take to the elementary school, where either the art teacher or music teacher will use them.

I made some progress on one of the new items -  hanging dish towels - and have figured out that I really do NOT like making aprons, but DO like making the little kitchen things like the dish towels, oven mitts, etc.  That's what I will be working on for the next few days.  I've also got some microwave steamers for ears of corn, potatoes, and tortillas, though I think I'm only going to make 3 or 4 of each of them.  After that, I will re-evaluate again to see what needs to get done.

It may seem odd worrying about and working on things for a fall craft fair, but Ken's cousin is coming for a visit, and I would like to be able to let her stay in a reasonably cleaned up's not a pride thing, more of a "don't move my piles, I know exactly what's in them" kind of thing.  By reducing the piles, I'm less likely to have anything

I'm pretty sure that I'm done with both bath items and jewelry because they aren't selling....but we shall see this year....

Monday, July 11, 2011

baby steps of progress.....

SO....Brady now has his drain out, but still has to wear his collar and custom t-shirts.  He isn't allowed stairs until the staples come out next Monday, so I'll be sleeping downstairs all week.

On the hanging dish towel front, I was able to find single towels in different colors - at a reasonable price!!  So, in addition to the white towels with the single color stripe, I now have red, green, beige, blue, and black towels that I can work with.  I just need to decide on the fabric to make the hanging parts and all will be well.

But of course, as is typical in my life, I've already moved on to a different  This one is really one that can wait a bit, so once I finish the strip cutting, I will bundle it up and set it aside - it's going to be a quilt for DD.  Now that I've decided on how I want the blocks to be and have made 2 already, I just need to cut the sashing strips and then I can bundle it all up - want to try and keep it a surprise for her for as long as possible.

I also need to get my butt out of the recliner in the evenings and either get back to walking again or get back to working at night.  Got sucked into TV with hubby once's not a completely bad thing, but when there's work to be done....well, it kind of undermines everything to be in a different room, away from all of my

Off to get dinner prep work done....light meal tonight since it's so dang hot....then paperwork to handle, then sewing to get done...oh, but Warehouse 13 premiere is tonight....dang......maybe I'll have him record it for me.....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

pulling my hair out.....

So, I was working right along on the items that I need to get replenished for the upcoming craft fair....the hanging dishtowels....when hubby asked me if I was only going to use white towels because they'd get dirty rather clarify, I have white towels with single stripes of different colors (tan, blue, red, or green) and I was using different fabrics for the part that you use to hang it over the oven door bar.  So....while I thought that I was making progress, I'm now in a holding pattern because my business brain took over from my creative brain as I try to figure out if the ones I already have planned will sell or if I need to bag these and find colored dishtowels to use.

Crap and double, I decided to take a break and start cutting strips and squares for the quilt that DD requested I make her.  I have 2 squares done and enough cut out that I should be able to get most of the quilt top pieced.  When asked what her favorite color was (purple, pink, or turquoise), she had difficulty deciding between pink and purple....finally she decided that pink was her favorite.  So....the blocks have large squares of the floral print that we found, with small squares of turquoise, and strips of purple, and the sashing will be pink.  Hoping that I have enough of the pink for the backing, but if not....I can always piece together the  Not sure if I will tie it or take it to someone who can do long-arm quilting on it...not there yet since I just started piecing the blocks today.

I really shouldn't be taking this break, but until I can work out the issues between the business brain and the creative brain, I need to be working on something a bit simpler.....eventually it will all work out and I will get back on track - hoping no later than tomorrow because I've got quite a bit that I need to finish off....blah...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chaos....and Inventory

So....In preparation for the fall craft fair (yes, FALL, as in NOVEMBER), I decided to take inventory to see what I needed to focus my energies on. This is part of what the room looked like when I was in the middle of tallying everything.

Scary, huh?? And that's only 4 boxes of various items that I needed to go through!! I think, once I consolidated everything, I got it from 10 boxes down to 8....not a huge reduction, but it *does* free up a little more space in the storage closet.

Hard to believe, but it took me 1.5 days to go through all of the boxes, count everything, and figure out what I had enough of and what needed replenishing...phew!!

This is one of the piles of fabric that I had to go front of the closet door are 2 more boxes - they have fabrics that I need for some of my projects, projects that are all cut out and just need to be sewn together, and patterns for even more projects....maybe I have too much fabric.....naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!

Oh, also in the picture (the bright, glowing stripe to the left side) are the kiddos' backpacks for the upcoming school year - already loaded with everything that was on their supply lists! Yes, I know, it's only the beginning of July, but less thing for me to worry about, right??

Yet even more inventory that I had to go through! However...the white box was actually filled with packaging supplies (boxes, bags, tags, etc.), and the little Christmas tree box really DOES have a 2' tall Christmas tree in it!!

The other boxes on the futon are holding all the Christmas ornaments that i would REALLY like to sell this year - various sizes of "cupcake" ornaments as well as "stained glass" looking ornaments with scenes from the nativity on them, and some with script lettering on them. I think the prices were too high for a local craft fair, so I will be adjusting them a bit for this year. Hopefully, having a tree to display them on will help with the sales, though I *did* sell some last year - just not as many as I was hoping to sell.

Finally....this was a box of "baby sock cupcakes." I really don't need to make any more of these, but I *did* need to change the packaging and tidy them up a bit. I also made a few more "washcloth/spoon lollipops" (rolled baby washcloth with a plastic feeding spoon) and repacked the box. Phew.....this was actually not too taxing, so I was able to relax a little bit while I cahnged up the boxes....the clear ones just didn't look good to me anymore, and since Michael's carries boxes designed to hold 4 cupcakes...well, I just swapped everything over (with a little tidying up of the sock "cupcakes" to make the look a little nicer).

Now, the room is mostly back in order. I had really wanted to get some sewing done, but this was MUCH more important. I know how many and which items I need to make between now and November, so I can plan it out, and mix in the kids' clothes as well as my DOES all have a purpose...even if some people may think that starting in July for a November craft fair is a little me...if you knew me, you'd understand completely!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

resolution check-up....had to see how I was are YOU doing?

So, back in December, I made these resolutions for 2011:
  • 1-get back to daily workouts

    2-learn more frugal recipes and cook double batches of meals so that we have them ready for nights when things are really crazy

    3-work through the stashed fabric and actually finish outfits for myself and the children (DS just wants more cargo pants, but DD and I have enough outfits for whole new wardrobes....but all still in the flat-fold fabric

    4-learn how to do more than make pickles

and from another group (still my responses):
  • 1- to do better at planning so that we don't get caught between paychecks with little money in the bank

    2-to spend less on spur-of-the-moment purchases

    3-to go to the store without the children when I can

    4-to make the clothes that I bought supplies for (mostly me and DD) instead of purchasing cheaply made things from mass-market stores

    5-to learn how to make pet treats because store-bought ones are WAY too expensive

    6-to learn how to can more things (though apparently the pickles are a HUGE hit) and how to do other preserving

    7-to make double batches of certain meals so that we have them ready for those nights when things are just too crazy

    8-to NOT have fast food in the house more than once a month

Now that it's July 2011, I thought I should do a little check-in with myself to see what still needs improving....

Part A, #1...daily workouts....yes, I'm getting back to them, even if it's mostly just cardio and Wii fit since my wrists are still sore and I still have no explanation for the pain.

#2 have tested probably a dozen or so new recipes.....1 was a total bomb, the others weren't too bad, and are getting added to the meal rotation list

#3 yeah, *SO* not there yet and #4 just waiting on the tomatoes to start making sauce....have 2 batches of pickles already done for the next year...might make more, depends on the verdict of the main pickle eaters in the house.

Part B, #1 have done pretty well with this one...only one time did things get really tight, but that was due more to unexpected issues that arose than my poor planning

#2 definitely doing better on this. It was hard when it was business-related purchases, so now I take the time to research the supplies and prices, figure out what I could actually charge for the finished product, then decicde if I can actually afford to do it....definitely saving $$ and stress this way

#3 so-so on this goal. When I have to do my *major* shopping trips, I tend to do them on the weekends or at night when my husband can be home with the kids. For quick trips, I take them with me, but we have the talk about WHAT we are going to the store for and that NO, they can't get toys/candy/etc. since we are ONLY going for specific's working fairly well so far

#4 working on this...she's getting pickier about her clothing, so it might be that she needs her sewing lessons SOON so that she can see the time and such it takes to get things done properly.

#5-7 not so much...just haven't taken the time

#8 This is probably the hardest one.....we ALL have those days when we just don't want to cook, everybody is tired, but crochety about what they want to eat...blah blah blah.....I think we are down to no more than twice a month...and that has to be when things are really's aren't exactly happy about it, but it IS a money saver (not having fast food all the time).

So.....where are YOU in your resolutions???

sleep?? what's that???

So, Brady is home, and we are all happy. Got grossed out when they showed us the lump they removed...he should be about 2 lbs lighter now.

I didn't get any sewing done because of the high stress in the house and trying to keep the children from going at each other....but I'm hopeful that maybe today I will at least get some things cut out.

Hopeful because...well...there wasn't a lot of sleep happening last night. DD is extremely upset at the vet for what was done to Brady (she says they made him ugly), DS only wants to love on him, but we won't let him because we don't want Brady getting too excited and such. DH slept downstairs with Brady last night, using the couch cushions as his mattress. Apparently, Brady decided to lay down in the kitchen, and when he woke up from a dream, couldn't figure out where he was and started howling until DH called him back into the living room. Alarm went off at 5am, so downstairs I wake DH up so he could get ready for work, and to take over his place on the couch cushions......2 hours later I was awakened by a big dog head pushing into my side.

Not a lot of sleep.....even though I started upstairs, in my own bed, I was tossing and turning....waking up every few minutes it seemed....who'd have thought a dog would cause this much worry....odd, isn't it?

So....we are only going out of the house for the kids' swim lessons, then will be back home for the rest of the day - means no karate at all this week, but better no karate then a stressed out pup who might injure himself.

PROMISE to get some pictures of the current and upcoming projects so that this blog can go back to what it's original purpose is....after I take a nap.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Surgery day for Brady

Took my goofy pup (he's only 7 so yes, he gets referred to as a puppy) to the Vet yesterday on the way to DSs appointment. At some point this morning, he will be having surgery to remove a lump on his had started as a loose fatty lump in the middle of his chest and over the past year or so, has migrated to under his left front leg AND it has gotten larger and

It was very quiet in the house last night, and both DH and I almost called Brady to go outside before remembering that he was spending the night at the vet's office....argh, we are so used to the big dope being right behind us whenever we go outside. of an hour ago, he was happily wagging his tail and looking around at everyone, but the surgery schedule hadn't been decided yet. I verified that they would call me if they needed to and reminded them that there was only 1 hour or so that I wouldn't be at home, and to PLEASE try the cell phone if there was no answer at home...they said no problem.

I'm going to be moving all of Brady's toys and bedding downstairs because we don't want him to go up and down the stairs for a while....definitely not while wearing a big plastic cone around his neck. Now I'm thinking that I should make him a little lovey...yeah, I know spoiled

But, there you have it....that's my morning so far.....time to go be domestic. With any luck, I can get some more postings done since it's summer time....will have lots of patterns and such to review, I hope....and since the kiddos want to do Home Ec lessons, I will probably use their lessons as blog posts as well....have a great's rainy here, but we still have swim lessons to go to

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So, it's July got out of school practically a month ago and will go back to school on August 23rd. What to do with ALL that make it productive and prepare them for the next school year, here's what we do in our house:

Using "Summer Bridges" (since our local education supply store closed, I order them from, the kids do a page or 2 a day....not that long at all, to review what they should have learned during the school year they just finished, and to prepare them for the upcoming school year. They also have requested that we start with Home Ec lessons.....they are learning how to cook with minimal supervision and are having a blast. So far, their favorites are the cinnamon toast and scrambled They are really looking forward to the sewing lessons because they have been BEGGING to use my sewing machine for months. Of course, we will be starting with simple straight stitches.....most likely making napkins for the first projects. DD wants to make skirts...DS isn't sure what he wants to make, but he wants to use the machine.

We also do weekly Bible study, particularly since we seem to be unable to make it to our church due to some behavior issues associated with having a child on the Autism Spectrum.

All total, this work should take no more than 30 minutes - an hour if they are having trouble with the work they are supposed to do. So....that leaves basically the entire day for them.....we have done exercises and weight training, they have been taking swim lessons, and we are learning about SHARING RESPONSIBILITY....something you would think that a 7yo and 11yo would have already figured out. Oy!! So far, we have covered folding clothes and putting them away have also figured out how to work together to get their chores done faster....yes, they both have chores that they are responsible for.

No real vacation planned during the summer because we have bigger family plans later in the year. However, they seem to be having a blast swinging in the hammock or playing in the backyard pool (temporary one that we set up every year). The progress that they are making in swimming is astounding.....can't wait to see what the end result is from these lessons.

SO....what do you do with your kids during the summer??? Do you work with them to prepare them for the upcoming school year?? Do you send them to camp? relatives?? just let them goof off??? Would really like some feedback on this.....