Saturday, December 29, 2007

Musical Rooms

We've been moving rooms around again. I should probably start this, by explaining when we bought our house it had an apartment in the bottom half of the house. All unenjoyable things must come to an end and this year we evicted our tenant. It wasn't pretty but it had to be done.
We've opened up the walls to the apartment and taken over. Realized we don't like the layout of the house on the bottom half. But those weren't the rooms that we were moving around this week.
We moved my oldest daughter's room to the top of the stairs, which was the office. The office is going to be downstairs but part of it remains in the upstairs family room. I have a layout, I'll scan it some other time.
For those with any OCD tendencies please do not look at the clutter I'm about to show you! This is all my clutter (actually there is more but I didn't want to cause a rash of 911 calls), not my husband's or daughter's clutter.
This was taking up space in our living room because my daughter's old room was where my crafting room is now. I've cleared all the boxes out, so the top is the only clutter left. Now where I put the clutter is scarier. I should also tell you when we bought this house the people who lived in it loved animals. They had a 6' pink fiberglass kangaroo in their living room, with plants in the pouch. Elephants painted on the floors, jungle wall paper in the foyer and living room. Then this back bedroom continues the animal theme. My daughter's didn't like the wall paper so they started tearing it down. I can't say I blame them.
It's like a mishmosh of ugliness! Plaid wallpaper with a jungle themed border again. That gross pink/purple trim and butterfly wallpaper! We tore out the carpet because it was soaked with animal pee. It doesn't smell but the feng shui of this room is terrible. We do plan on moving walls, making the room bigger and moving the entrance. Which will greatly improve the creepiness of this room. So my clutter will sit in here, keeping this creepy room company. I don't enjoy working in this room. If the phone rings or someone knocks on the door, I can't hear it. The acoustics get lost in the hallway you have to walk down to get here.
My daughter loves her new room and so far it's been kept very clutter free. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Belated Christmas!

I know it's a day late but we just finished our Christmas celebrations with family! Look what my daughter did for Christmas at school. I love it! It's her first public school Christmas art work. At her other school they didn't do stuff like this. I really like this and it's so bright, cheerful and reminds me of a card.
I also finished the tea cozy and I think it came out really cute!

I stitched it together using my sewing machine. Since the sweater blocks are different thicknesses they like to part while being sewn. The red hearts are hiding the gaps. Bet you wouldn't have guessed that! It's true and my MIL will never know either! So shh!
I always feel like we get to much for Christmas! Anyone else feel that way? I know my oldest certainly did! Holy Cow! She received an American Girl doll, horse, dog, clothes, and various other doll crap. My MIL went wayyyyyyyyy overboard. She swears this is the last year and next year there will only be one gift for each child. I sure hope so!
My husband and I received a cool charitable gift to Heifer International. I actually wanted to give a gift like this but wasn't sure how it would go over. I'm so happy that someone else thinks like us. So thanks Aunt Dottie! She always gives awesome gifts. Like this Christmas book for the adults and then my oldest received this one this year and this ladybug one went to my youngest. Can you tell she's a school teacher?
I maybe reviewing the books we received if I think they are worth buying. We have lots to read. It will take time.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Two Gifts And Then Some!

Whew it's been busy here! I finished the snail today! It was tough, my finger is swollen and painful but I think it looks good (the snail that is not the finger)! I also made this fairy today! She's kind of a gothic fairy or a very fashionable fairy. Her hair needs a little combing but that will have to wait for the glue to dry. She is going to a good friend who I've know FOREVER, so I know she'll love this.
I'm also going to make my MIL a tea cozy. She mentioned she wanted one and my in laws are so good to us. I felt like we didn't make enough to show how much we appreciate them! So I need that for the day after Christmas. It's hopefully going to be a quilted sweater tea cozy. I like usually have NO clue what I'm doing. How big does it need to be? How am I going to sew the squares together. Damn the movie Nanny McPhee for giving her the idea. It's okay. It will be done!
So yesterday there was a war at my house! No one died but someone was hurt. Who, I don't know. All I know is the cats were fighting! Luna doesn't get that not everyone wants to play with her. So she's gets really Hobbes like and attacks the other cats. Which leads to lots of screeching, hissing, and cats running through the house. After it calmed down I went to do some work. Well there was a blood trail going up stairs. Through the hallway, ending on my CREAM colored carpet in the office! I concluded that one of the cats is hurt majorly. Have you ever tried finding a wound on an animal that is covered in fur? It's like trying to find Where's Waldo among fake Waldo's. Needless to say all the cats were intact. No one was missing a limb, ear, or tail. My husband's only other thought is that they found a mouse and were fighting over the body and tore it apart. EWW! I like to think they are super fast healers and the fur is cover this wound.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Things That Make Me Go UGH!

I've had a pretty boring uneventful days!  It's like the days know Christmas is coming and are just dragging to torture me.  I had a sick child home on Monday.  That's enough to bring anyone down.  
I still haven't finished the snail toy.  It's not as easy as the others.  It has strips of fabric you braid together.  Then you roll them into a spiral and sew 2 coils together.  Well I did all that and the middles kept popping out.  This toy is for a 1 year old, it had to withhold the abuse it is going to get.  So I've been sewing the inner coils together so they won't pop.  Boring and painful.  My fingers have holes in them.  It's not an easy thing to do.  I need a needle that is curved, it would be so much easier.  
My 9 year old bought my husband and I gifts today (from a toy store).  I was happy that she came up with a great idea to recycle the bag the gifts came in.  I'm not happy that she didn't separate the gifts.  Now who opens the gift?  Me or my husband?  I don't think individual gifts should be allowed to share the same packaging to become one gift.  There has to be a law out there.  I bet Miss Manners has a whole column about this.  I may have to look it up.  I wrapped her gifts separate from her sister's , she should have the same courtesy!  
I'm also running out of yarn for my husband's socks!  He wanted socks and of course he didn't want me to buy sock yarn.  Just wanted  socks from yarn lying around.  Well of course I don't have enough because he needed soft yarn.  Wool makes him itch and he can't handle itchy socks!  It doesn't help that his shoe size is like a size 12!  Did you know the national average shoe size for men is like a 10!  I find that hard to believe.  So he's going to get shorty socks and like them!  If not!  I'm rip them and make myself a pair!  
I hope to have the snail done tomorrow.  With pictures.  I may take a picture of the wrap job my daughter did!  

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yankee Gift Exchange!

So last night was handworks and the Yankee gift exchange. I'm kind of disappointed because they changed the rules so an opened a gift could only be exchanged 3 times. So if you opened a gift that you didn't like and no one else did, you were stuck with that gift. Many people didn't get to participate and all the really cool items were taken out quickly. I ended up with yarn and that's fine with me.

The 3 striped yarns on top were not part of the gift. The girl who's house we were at, was going through her attic and need to get rid of stuff. So I grabbed these. It's sock yarn weight, so I see gifts to me in my future.
I talked my daughter into possibly making gifts for her Aunt, Cousin and Grandmother. First she picked the heavy purple varegated yarn and was going to make a headband for her cousin. I really like the yarn and was dying to tell her no. I didn't but after it became a more elaborate gift and would use all the yarn up... I had to say NO! She moved to the blue yarn to make a headband for her Aunt. Will see if she can keep it up. It's a tough yarn because it has globs of thick yarn and then thin yarn. So it's kind of hard to work with. I've been knitting a row or two so she doesn't get discouraged! I would like her to make gifts this year. She always starts off with good intentions and then it dies. Never to be rekindled. This year, I'm going to keep after her to complete something!
The pink yarn is mohair. The orangish brown is a nylon combination. The green is scratchy and not to nice to touch.
We were supposed to have 3 days of blizzard like weather this weekend. It of course hit last night after the party started! I didn't leave till midnight and even if I wanted to leave earlier it would have never happened. I was blocked in by at least 4 cars!
I live in a valley and the party was 2 hills over. 12 miles as the crow flies and many more by car. I had to drive across 2 major route numbers. They both require you to stop and look before you go up these steep hills. I'm driving my cute, light weight Prius. I made it half way up the unplowed, snow and ice covered hill. The Prius comes to a complete stop and starts slowly inching it's way backwards!
After I finish mentally cursing myself out and trying to figure out how to not totally ruin the car. I back up a little and do a K turn. Not a ton of sliding is happening, so I know I can make it down the hill and stop. If you never ridden/drove a Prius before, it has B on the stick shift. Which puts drag on the engine to charge the battery. I put B on and slowly make my way down the hill. I wasn't 100 percent sure where I was but I knew if I turned right, I would be heading towards my mom's. I frantically try to call home to have someone else figure out how I can get home without going up hill. No answer, call the party, and thankfully the hostess was still up and told me what was coming up and where to turn! Whew, glad someone know where I needed to go. Needless to say, the 20 minute trip there, took over an hour getting back home! My husband was still up, wrestling with plumbing problems. He kept my spirits up while I slipped and slided home! Love hands free phone! I still had to go up 2 smaller hills but I didn't have to come to a complete stop before I tackled them! Thanks honey for being there when I really needed someone to talk to!
The storm stopped by this morning! It was still slick and his truck was going sideways down part of street when he had to venture out. He luckily has 4 wheel drive and regained control quickly! Winter weather, I do enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I went to Girl Scout's last night and at the end of the meeting I received a CD of songs that are sung at encampment. So I popped it on the way home and ahh yuck! Some of the songs were good but some of the songs were so embarrassing that I had to skip through them. Girl Scout's I thought was about helping girls become strong women. Plus helping out in the local communities. Some of these songs didn't convey any of that spirit. They were a way to make a fast buck. No thought or musical talent went into them.
Well these songs didn't motivate me at all. They kind of killed my soul. They were an attempt to make a catchy but repetitively mindless song. The grammar jumped around and I couldn't figure out how a surfer girl could get around a block. Plus their solution to make it sound like a song was to have a woman sing a line or a word and then have girls repeat it for one of the songs. We skipped that song. Some of the songs were just good fun songs, that are sung at camps everywhere. My daughter will not be happy by singing some of these crappy songs. I can't say I blame her. If it makes you feel unmotivated then hum something else to yourself honey or maybe I should tell her to stand and tell the adults this song stinks.
Songs I really like right now are The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
and Feist 1234. Simple songs with nice instrumentals that don't over power the singer's voice. Cute catchy lyrics with emotion and feeling.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Butterfly Is Done!

I finished the butterfly and wasn't sure if I was going to post it. Since I've been blogging for 1 month today, I thought I should make an effort to get it up today. Next and finally is the snail. One more gift and Christmas may be done. Well I do have to wrap gifts next.
Since Christmas is around the corner and the clutter around here is out of control. I'm going to be ebaying off unplayed with toys. My oldest is having a problem keeping the playroom clean. I'm not going to tell her because like any child, she will dig in her heels, cry about and tell me she can't live without them. If I get rid of them slowly, she'll never know. Then I won't feel like she is forever picking up after herself and never getting the job done!
I've also realized if anyone decided to rob us at night, they would kill themselves from the clutter. I have a hard time navigating the clutter in the dark. Well plus the cats. The youngest doesn't like moving even if you are about to step on her. She'd rather trip you and watch you go down. So she can pounce on you and declare victory! She just doesn't realize I can never be defeated! I now walk with a shuffling kicking motion. So if my foot does make contact with her, she will be pushed out of my way.

Friday, December 7, 2007

O' Christmas Tree

I finally put up my Christmas tree! Yeah! My youngest helped me along with Luna (aka the luntic). We have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, it's been through many, many Christmas's. The tree is older than I am. I suspect it may have been the very 1st artifical tree.
I also found Christmas will be at my mom's house this year. I would prefer it being here but my house is old. What's wrong with an old house, you may wonder. Nothing but my mother doesn't like old things. We were going to go to my brother's house but they won't be moved in by Christmas. His house is only 12 years old. Compared to our house which was built in 1840. It's 167 years old.
Which makes no sense to me but my mother rarely visits. Which surprises me because she has 2 grandchildren. Who live in this old house. They love this old huge, almost Queen Anne house. Even with our wood stove, keeping everyone toasty. It's not enough to have Christmas here. sigh
It's just how my mother is. She is a retailer's dream. I on the other hand, am the complete opposite. I don't mind my old Picasso house. With the East Lake hardware, pocket doors, and the windows that are painted white. Well I do mind the white windows. This house has freaking awesome dark stained woodwork! Some one ruined some of rooms by painting the wood white! That does bother me. Take a look at the picture of the Christmas tree. That dark wood is the framing for the pocket doors. Gorgeous color, isn't it? Other room right next to it, they painted it white! Looks terrible. Don't even mention the jungle wall paper. Not one of my favorite either. It can be taken down.
Until this house is remodel, Christmas will not happen here. One day it will be, remodeled and then it maybe new enough for Christmas.
Oh well, means I don't have to clean the clutter! haha The clutter has gotten worse. The foyer is now full of wood. Our wood was delayed because of the weather. It rained, it froze, it snowed. Our wood is covered in ice, plus some snow. So it has to come in to be thawed and dried before it gets put in the stove. It's a little extra work but it's worth it!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This That And 10 Cord Of Wood

So my days have been really off this week. I'm a day and a week ahead of time. I think it's because I really want to go to the handworks party. I think my gift came out better than I had hoped for. Even after all my missteps.
I've come to the realization that I need to go back to work. It would have been 2 years without having a job in February. Unfortunately it's been a very odd sales year. I don't if other artist's or business owners have the same thoughts. We've had barely any gallery sales this year. We've had very small sales all December. Which we are very grateful for. So I will be filling an application tomorrow. I keeping my fingers crossed. It's only part time but every little bit helps. Plus I still get to spend days with my youngest. She's not too keen on me leaving to go any where. Want to go downstairs, she thinks I'm leaving her alone forever!
Today we finally received our wood delivery. 10 cords of wood. Which is a lot of wood. I spent dinner time helping my husband stack wood on the porch. I love having a wood burning stove! It's magical. I love starting the fire, getting wood, stacking wood, etc... It makes me feel like I have a purpose and I get to enjoy the benefits of it. Plus it's a work out!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just Finished!

The turtle came out looking great! I was worried that the batik fabric wouldn't go with the green felt but I think everything pulled together. Hopefully it will be well played with!

There are no small parts, so it's safe for young children. Hand washable too!
The butterfly is next!

What Part Of, I Will Never Do Business With You Again,

Did You Not Understand?  I don't like to say that often but today I had to tell someone that very thing.
Going back in time, (3 years) my husband decided to try to have employees.  He thought it would help his production and make his life easier!  
So he went to a company to help him.  He wanted to do it right and make sure he had all the insurance coverage he needed.  All he would have to do is give weekly updates of the hours they had worked.  Sounds simple right?
It's not!  So a schedule was set up by his employees but it never worked out that they were never on time.  Then he got a fine for not having worker's compensation insurance!  
He's was so upset because he had gone to this company to help him make sure he had everything! This company doesn't do worker's comp and he was supposed to look for yet another company to do that!  That was last year. 
He was furious because the guy who came over and showed him all the stuff he had to have never made it clear that they didn't cover that one insurance!  So he paid the fine and the employees kind of faded in the wind around that time.  So it worked out.
I had many phone conversations and so has my husband with this company.  Telling them we would never ever have employees and would never do business with them again.  (Sorry employees)  It wasn't worth all the work and money he had to spend. Nor did his production improve.
So today, we received a call from this company again!   This guy left his name, number, etc...  Before he hung up I had to ask him why he was calling.  The woman we dealt with before went on maternity leave.  He was just updating all her clients on the change until she came back.  (December of 06' was the last time we were billed for anything.)  So even after a year of telling them we won't ever do business with you again, they still had his account as active!  So I gave him the story and told this guy we will never have Employees again!  
I  hope he gets it and marks it in the file.  Don't ever, call again!
But who we kidding, he'll leave the account as is and I'll be receiving a call in 3 months or so!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Why does creativity only strike, when the house is calm?
I had to do tags for the fairies that I put in the gallery. I should have done them first thing but everything in this gallery is usually hand made. Not this time. My beautiful Christmas Fairies were put next to ornaments made in China. Which are very, very cheap. So it looks like they are way overpriced when they aren't. People probably think they were made in China too.
I'm a little upset but hey what can you do. It kind of makes me snort because the place where they are... ahh prides themselves on having hand made artisan items. So I was very shocked and repulsed that they went with something so cheap and cheesy just to decorate a tree/sell.
I may ask if I can decorate the tree myself next year with all my different handmade items. If I know I can, I'll get started right away!
With all the lead scares, I wonder if the paint on those ornaments doesn't contain lead. I just read that PVC plastic has lead in it too! Yikes! I thought lead hadn't been used in anything since the 1970's. I guess it must have been house paint that I was thinking of. Very shocking!
So I hope those tags push those fairies to sell. I hate to think that the ornaments from China will be a big hit this winter!
I maybe posting pics of my first stuffed animal tomorrow. I hope, I'll have time to finish it up.

Monday, December 3, 2007

One More Gift

finished a knit scarf for my brother a few days ago. Decided I should wash it and then take a picture. Still came out of the dryer with cat hair and lint. So feel free to overlook that little distraction.
You can't even see the cat hair, this is not how it looks in Adobe. It's a nice cable knit pattern and I lined it with fleece. He lives in NYC and does a lot of walking. I wanted him to stay extra warm. It matches a hat I made but I'm sure it got stolen. Most of his stuff does. So next year I can make him the hat again.
The next set a gifts I'm making are for my best friend's children. I'm make the turtle, snail, and butterfly from Wee Wonderfuls! I've been itching to make these and haven't found time until now! The patterns are so cute and easy to follow! Also a great safe gift for the holiday season! Hopefully I'll be done in a day or two!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Silly Conversations

So last night it was almost midnight when my husband got around to apply patina.  Since I didn't want to lay in bed all alone and wonder when he was going to be up, I decided to help.  Even though all I wanted to do is go to bed.  
My part in the patination process is booorriiinggg.  I dry and to stay awake I verbally spar with my husband.  So I pace around the kitchen, while he's doing his part and we start our go around conversation.  Keep in mind he had mentioned earlier that we were invited to a secret party.
Me:  So who's invited to the secret party?
Him:  I don't know it's a secret party!
M:  Well are you sure you were invited to the party, if it's soooo secret?
H:  Yes, I talked to H.
M:  So... he cuts me off
H:   You can't mention this party to anyone.  Not person A,B, or C. 
M:  Well then who's going to this party if they aren't going?
H:  Everyone who was at the summer party.
M:  Well A,B, and C were at the summer party!
H:  Well, I don't know he didn't tell me!
M:  So do I get to ask the babysitter to babysit for this secret party?  Or am I not allowed to let her know either?
H:  Of course you can let the babysitter know!
M:  Well you  just jumped down my throat before and cut me off! 
H:  I didn't jump down your throat!
M:  Yes you did, why don't you jump down my throat again, I know you want to.  Jump down my throat, (I keep taunting him over and over, getting all giggly!)
H: Well, well, well, if you'd let me get a word in I would jump down your throat!  

Both of are laughing because we've lost our minds!  

Another conversation I had today was about Grey's Anatomy.  My friend was a die hard fan but because of life hasn't been able to keep up.  So I caught her up and started giving my opinions on everyone.
I don't like George and Izzy, they are so going to break up.  McDreamy and Merideth, I just don't like what is going on with them.  It's like they are friends with benefits but it's not like they have benefits.  One of them always wants more than the other one.  It's like sexefits.  Not as good as benefits because you know it's going to end sadly.  Someone will be disappointed or both of them will.  Sexefits.  My new word for what happens on Grey's.