Thursday, January 31, 2008


Yesterday I sold something from my Etsy shop! Now I've sold things before but never to someone who doesn't know me. So those previous sales don't really count because there is the connection and possibly a play on sympathy strings. Friends will always buy things from friends even if they don't need it. You can always count on your friends to buy things from you. They may not need whatever it is they are buying. But people can always rationalize who, or why they are buying the unneeded thing for.
So this why it's awesome, that someone out there bought something that I made without knowing me. They wanted it or are giving it someone they know without the pressure of knowing me. It was a great ending to a mediocre day.
I'm also trying to start a mailing list for those who are interested in getting updates when I post. I don't know if I did it properly but it's what came up when I googled mailing list. If it doesn't work I can always do more research and undo what I did. Then pretend it never happened! So if you are interested the link is on the right. You can always unjoin too. So there's no pressure.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Busiest Month

Everybody would probably say that December is the busiest month but for us it's February. It's my oldest birthday on the 6th, Valentine's Day, the 15th is my niece's birthday, our biggest show of the year, and then my husband's birthday.
This show usually forecasts how well our year will go sales wise. There are gallery owner's, antique collectors and sellers, then lover's of arts & crafts handmade work. Which is sort of stressful since we depend a lot on this one show. Last year was very unusual, maybe because of the big storm but on Sunday it was not busy at all.
Last year there was a terrible storm that came through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. We of course had to drive through it! So we left way early and drove through the middle of the storm. Can you say S-C-A-R-Y. I was on the edge of my seat until we drove out of the storm, which took like 4 hours! Some of our friends left after the storm and were stuck in traffic forever. It was so bad people were running out of gas because the cars weren't moving. We learned to follow the big rigs from the storm, they always know where to go! Some of the expressways were closed because of really bad accidents. The big rigs have all the connections so they never had to turn around like we did.
The plus side is, that it takes place at one of the awesomest hotels I have ever been to The Grove Park Inn! It's located on Sunset Mountain, and you get the best views of the sun setting. We don't stay there because it costs a lot and it's a courtesy to the people who are go to buy. We are pretty much there from 8am-1am or later. So it's like we're staying there! Plus they have 5-7 restaurants and this year we remembered to call for reservations for their seafood buffet. It books a few months in advance but this year I'm on top of things!
My mother in law who is great, is staying with the kids. I have to have meals pre-made and planned. I had my oldest make a chart of each meal (she's the pickiest) what they would eat, what choices they had etc... Last year they barely didn't touch anything I made. This year she knows what's going to be served and has to stick to it or no dessert for the kids.
I wish I didn't have to be so strict with food but my oldest is very hyper when she eats things that don't agree with her body. She will flap like an autistic child because of what she ate. She is unaware that she is doing this even though she is going to be ten. We've put her on the SCD in the last 2 months and she has been improving greatly. She has been flapping less and she has found her volume control. Usually she talks way to loud but over the holidays people couldn't believe how quiet she was. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the process of digestion and how it effects children/people with gut problems. It's called Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride. The book is expensive but she does recommend these sites and this if you are interested and would like to learn more. I do wish they would talk more about kefir, and other fermented foods. We make sauerkraut and will be fermenting other things over the summer when our food co-ops start up. Yogurt only has a few of the many strains of good bacteria found in the gut. While kefir has something like 28. Okay enough with all the nerdy health talk!
Looking forward to February. If I have time and remember to photograph it, I'm going to do a tutorial for a Valentine's Day wall hanging.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Murphy's Law At Work

So I went out and called home. Wouldn't you know it, daughter #1 ends up being sick. Throwing up, fever. Ugh. I didn't go home because well, I called at a not so good time I couldn't tell if my husband was joking or not. So the more I ask, if she's really sick, the more pissed off and short with me he gets. I felt it was okay to stay out.
We went to a martini bar, which was fun and had a few martini's. There was a drag contest that night, so we had entertainment too. Not bad for never going out! Unfortunately I didn't sleep that night. For me (I don't know if other mom's have this problem) I can't sleep a good sleep when a child is sick. It's like my mom spidey sense going into light sleep mode. So even though it feels like I could be sleeping, I'm not. Which is great because my daughter ended up having an accident in the bathroom an hour after I was home. So yeah, me! I got to clean at 2am!
The next day she pretty much didn't leave her room but decided to run the waiter. She'd sleep and then yell for me. It was a beautiful sunny day and the lighting was perfect to take new pictures of everything that hadn't been working out.
Here's some pictures of robot pincushions I had made a while ago. I was inspired by other robot toys that I had seen, to make these robot pincushions. I figured if there were boy sewer's out there, this was what they needed.
Then the cake pincushions that have been so much trouble photographing. They need day light to look good. The color was way off on the photos before these or they weren't in focus. I put the one robot and one cake in my etsy shop.
Then bird ornaments that have been rattling around in my brain for a while. With these ornaments the new camera want's to only focus on a small section of this. So the head would be perfect and everything else blurry. It takes some getting used to how far away you have to be and not moving. Which is hard because my youngest wanted to help. So she would be adding things to the shot and I would click and jerk the camera. Not the best photographing session I ever had, certainly the most interesting. It took a good 4-8 hours. I had to re-shoot somethings 3 times.
I don't know why but I don't I don't have a picture of this heart pincushion I did. It's in my etsy shop but I guess I forgot to add it to flcker. What are you going to do? Murphy's Law, at least I feel like I got a lot done.
Also, exciting news! I finished one of my socks today! Then I went to work on the second one and I lost the sheet of pattern with all my pattern notes! So these socks may not be identical but I think I can figure out the pattern by looking at the first sock. I'm keeping my finger's crossed on this one!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Leaving... My House!! Wooo Hooo

For those who don't know me, I never go anywhere.  I'm not antisocial, or ahh afraid of leaving the house but I can think of a gazillion reasons not to do it.  Having 2 children means I'm the last person to get anything new.  (Also they are eating me out of house and home!)  So what's the point of torturing myself at a clothing store.  Even my husband gets new clothes each year.  He's a teacher and well he teaches art.  Which means his clothes get dirty all the time.  Plus he has high school students and they critique what he wears.  So he has to look somewhat fashionable.  (rolls eyes)  Please... he couldn't dress himself to save his life.  So guess who gets to pick out his clothes.  I guess I should be happy at least someone is getting new cool clothes.  
Funny story...  One day he was teaching ceramics and he went to shake up a jar of glaze and one of his students didn't put the glaze top back on properly, so when he went to shake up a color to use it splashed all over his shirt.  That was priceless!  He's not a prepared man, so he had to walk around with glaze all over himself.  LOL!  I still get a good laugh when I think about it.  Those glaze containers aren't small either.   
I've had this long kimono shirt I bought a few years ago.  It's cool and artsy and I really like it.  Problem is I couldn't figure out what pants went with it.  I didn't have the right colored jeans and only green khakis.  They didn't go either.  So my mission is to find jeans or pants that work!  I'm wearing it on our business trip in February so I need something!  
Also does anyone else have zipper problems on jeans or pants of a certain age?  I've bought 2nd hand jeans and within the first month the zipper will not stay up!  The jeans look new but the darn zipper thinks it's job is to show off my underwear!  So another reason why I need new pants.  Nothing says please buy something from the studio, when your zipper won't stay up.  I may get more offers than for what is in the booth.  

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beautiful Winter

It finally stopped snowing and I couldn't resist taking a walk this morning. We didn't go that far because snow was really high. At least for my three year old. The snow was hanging on like icing and I love when it looks like this. rhododendron reminds me of a Dr Seuss tree, maybe the Lorax trees? I almost deleted this picture. If you look to the left of the bird feeder it looks like an angel, a ghost, a face? Everything is so monochromatic, I liked the vividness of my fence. I thought is was so cool how the snow was mirroring the fence. Yeah, it doesn't take much to make me happy.
I'm working on socks for myself! After the first sock disaster, that I couldn't take pictures of. This pair seems to be working out. Of course I can't do anything the easy way. I'm using left over wool yarn that uses a size 6 needle. I'm knitting with size 3 and decided I had to have stripes. I highly recommend this starting method for starting socks. It's a little hard at first but it looks great and I can try my sock on as I knit it! Pictures will hopefully be posted in the future.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Environment

I was sent this e-mail this morning.  It's about creation, consumption, and the life of stuff we buy everyday.  It very very eye opening.  So please watch it and pass it on.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Goodbye Friend...

You may notice that I changed my header and that a cat is missing. She died sometime this morning. We weren't surprised because she had been sick and we had been doing the best to keep her comfortable. She was a sweet cat and my oldest picked her out when she was three years old. Dad can't say no to a sweet begging smile. We didn't name her, she was named Gabbie because she constantly meowed. She came from a home with 30 other cats. The conditions weren't the best and it sounds like she had been abused. We thought she may have had a broken nose at one time. She could snore so loud, it would wake my husband. May she find happiness in her new home.
To keep my melancholy daughter busy today, we took hat pictures. Did I mention I have a goofy 9, soon to be 10 year old. Here are pictures of the hats. The grey one is mine and the blueish one my husband's. Then here are the modified ones, without arms and in stripes. It was really easy to do either one. The stripes one was super easy because I didn't have to follow the pattern. Which is really nice when you have to put it down and then resume a lot. I should have had the flash on but I thought there was enough light. So they look super grainy and I tweeked the color levels in Photoshop.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Hat To Be? and the trip...

We made it back safe and sound from the birthday party! We didn't get any snow, it just blew around from the horrific wind. Which made it hard to stay on the road, seriously it was a constant battle.
It was a good birthday party, I guess. It was for my husband's grandmother so it wasn't all out crazy with decorations and stuff that. We mostly sat around and talked and everyone else watched football. The kids played and played, ate before dinner, whined when dinner was, and then played some more. I do not care for football and neither does my husband. So when we found out dinner would be late, we broke out the iPod to watch Eurotrip. Totally immature movie but it makes me laugh! Plus I love the song, Scotty Doesn't know!
One of the grandson's made up a cool calendar that had pictures of all the family members for my grandmother in law. On the day of their birthday, they put a picture of that person, so she would remember who the person was. Kind of a great idea for the elderly who are a little forgetful. The only problem is the picture of me, my MIL sent to the calendar coordinator was absolutely terrible! I was holding my youngest 2 years ago, the wind was blowing and the picture is super grainy! Ugh! I don't want to be remembered like it's a picture from the 1970's. I didn't know about this until Christmas and it was,do you have a current picture of yourself? Well I needed one. So we are all set for next year because my husband was taking lots of pictures. My youngest and my MIL have the same birthday and their will be a picture of both of them.
Here's also a picture of the sweater hat that the scarf design is based off of. Everyone agreed that my brother just isn't the sweater hat type of guy!It's cute but not very manly, a little goofy. My husband asked for a custom hat that had super long sleeves. You could say he's very goofy, so it works for him. I'm going to see if he will even wear it. He may not. Even though we live in super cold weather, tons of people do not wear hats!! Why?? You lose most of your heat through your head. It's not like the paparazzi are going to snap pictures of these people and they have to look their best. They insist on freezing their ears off, for what, fashion police that doesn't exist?
I also got to borrow my MIL super cool Martha Stewart Homekeeping Handbook. This is a serious look at everything in the house. I browsed through it and was excited when she tolded me I could borrow it! Even if you buy it and get nothing out of it, the book is so freaking heavy you can use it as a weapon. You don't need a baseball bat next to the bed at night. Put this sucker on the nightstand and you are all set. You can throw it or swing it. It will do damage! I guess Martha is always thinking when it comes to design and use.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let It Snow!

It is finally snowing, with gusto here. Of course we have to drive in the snow tomorrow to attend a birthday party an hour and a half away. In good weather, it maybe longer since we are getting weather advisories.
I am working on a scarf for my other brother like this one. I made for my brother who lives in NYC. He really seemed to like it and if he didn't he shouldn't have gone on and on like he did. So he's getting a green one. I think if I make the matching hat, it will have to be with out the arms, he's a little too serious for that kind of hat. The matching hat is a sweater hat that was in Knitter's Magazine Winter 2000 Issue # 61. The magazine issue is out of print of course! I have enough sweater hats lying around, I'll just have to pick one out. I did make an funky striped version for my daughter, who now says it's too itchy. I do line the hats with fleece because my family doesn't seem to be able to handle the yarn. The yarn is Wool East by Lion Brand. So I can understand their complaints. Not top of the line but I'm not good in figuring out compatible yarns that are nicer.
I went to a local yarn store (without children) and it was just my luck that the woman who owns the shop had off that day. I had a very nice woman who knew nothing about yarn. I ended up buying twice what I needed. I haven't been back. It's hard to go without children, they are constantly wanting to be with me. Seriously, they make me want to drink yell cry but they still want to be with me!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Things Bought and Finished

So here's what I bought from Joann's at their Christmas sale.Lots of poinsettia garland's, holly and ribbons for Fairies. Mostly skirt and wing material but you never know what I will come up with. Even I don't know and sometimes I surprise myself.
Next things I've worked on and I have pictures of, that will give you an idea. Not happy with the pictures but it's a borrowed camera.
First the fairies, which had been hanging around half finished. Spring and fall and only 1 1/2 inches tall. I love to recycle anything and everything. These little cakes have bottle caps in the bottom of them. I haven't measured them but they are small. Then to top them off tiny little birthday candles. They are made from steel pins and shrinky dinks. I will be posting the cakes with candles in my Etsy shop. When the camera gets here. I don't like the details I'm getting.
I received my Free People catalog in the mail and really like the back of this. I do not like what they did with the front.
I don't even mind the stripes. What bothers me visually is the elastic on the bottom. It ruins the shirt for me. I may try to make my own version of this. The rose is like the glasgow rose which I really like. Which is one of the few Arts & Crafts things I do like. So if it has a rose like that on it, I have to have it! I do love these variations of the rose.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Movies, Movies, Movies

Since the new camera is not here and I can't take pictures, I thought I'd tell you about the movies I received for Christmas. My husband and I never go to the movies. It's hard to find a good babysitter and then to pay for the movies, it can end up being $50-75 by the end of the night. That's not even having dinner. I'd rather buy 5-10 movies and enjoying them at home.
The funniest out of the bunch is probably Super Bad and the most inappropriate. This is a perverse inappropriate movie but super funny. My husband was lent this movie by one of his students and we both didn't know how off the humor would be. He gave it back to the student and couldn't even talk about it because it's not the thing you talk about with your students. I wouldn't let my mother borrow this movie even though she has a good sense of humor. I think she would be in shocked, it's that sick. But sick in a good funny way. It goes over American Pie in the pervert department. If you don't like those type of movies don't watch.
The next funniest was Knocked Up, it was funny in a different way. It wasn't off the wall like Super Bad and it did have good moments. Moments where you can say to yourself, "I know how that person feels". It does have a scene that I really could have done without seeing. So when you get to the delivery, start diverting your eyes. If you're squeamish or just not sure if you ever want kids, don't look!
Still going with the funny movies, Blades of Glory. I haven't seen a Will Ferrell movie I didn't like. He is so freaking funny and with Jon Heder from Napoleon Dynamite, it's another great movie. I don't know if those guys can't skate but some of the moves are unbelievable. I know they had help with trick photography and all that but wow! I can't skate, so even if they laced up their skates and stood there without falling I would have been impressed.
The Ex with Zach Braff is next on the list of funny things. I really like how this was done and I can see why it didn't do well in the theaters. It couldn't have ended any other way than it did. It was funny and had a lot of real scenes that people could relate to. Especially when Amanda Peet is taking care of the baby. I don't know any mom who hasn't felt like she did.
Catch & Release, I know this had really bad reviews but I liked it. You can't do movies that are number 1 all the time but I didn't think this was totally terrible. It was a good story line and I know some people didn't like how Kevin Smith's character was portrayed. To those people who didn't like his character, What else could they have done to go from point A to B? I think if you went to off with it, it wouldn't have made sense. It's also nice to see Jennifer Garner doing movies after Alias.
This movie threw me for a loop, it wasn't at all what I expected but I still like it. Marie Antoinette was set with a pop music for the soundtrack. The sets and props were amazing, and the detail to the details awesome. The scenes when the two went bed were weren't portrayed that well. My husband had to go online to find out that Marie and her husband just didn't know what they were doing! Which was funnier after hearing what they thought was involved in making a baby! I'm glad it ended where it did, it would have been a real downer for such a well done movie. This movie isn't for everyone but if you like period set movies this is for you.
The last movie is The Pursuit of Happyness and I had a really hard time watching this movie. I had to keep telling myself it has a happy ending. The scenes with the mother and deciding to leave her son with his dad was really hard for me. My children drive me crazy but I don't want to move away from them. Then all the scenes when they had no place to stay really hit me hard. I know there are people in those situations and it is hard to watch the watered down version of it. I can't imagine living like that and I know people do but it just doesn't seem right. This was a good movie and had great acting.
I may have a camera by the end of today. So I can show what I've been working on and what will be making this year.
I enjoyed the movies we received for Christmas. I know I'm not a great movie reviewer but if you are looking for something to watch and have tastes like mine you should enjoy these movies.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Of All The Things...

Of all the things that could happen yesterday, it did, my camera died! Well it didn't die, it was blurring the picture and making everything blue and red. Not pretty because it was red and green that I was trying to photograph! I was going to take a picture of what I bought from Joann's at their after Christmas sale. That will have to wait!
We do have another camera coming because my husband uses it everyday at school and for his business. So we had to get one right away. After he ordered a new one, he found out his camera had been recalled. Which is kind of funny because, I thought you were supposed to see if things are recalled before you purchase a new one. So we did it backwards. Our camera will be fixed and we will have a raw format camera too. I don't know what that means but it's something he wants to use.
I also just finished two cake pin cushions, which I wanted to put up on Etsy. That's going to have to wait too now.
I've been kind of sad lately. My grandfather died last Christmas Eve. So this year we had a moment of silence to remember him. Also in conversation later on, it came up that my life and my brother's life would be so different if our biological grandmother had lived. Which got me thinking, our lives would be totally different if our biological mother had lived too.
I didn't find out until I was in 3rd grade that my mother wasn't the woman who gave birth to my brother and I. Kind of shocking if you ask me. I always have felt that my life has been one big cover up. Secrets and lies, that sometimes are still being uncovered. So it's hard not to be sad because will I find out something else now that I'm older? I sure hope not. It's hard enough to have children but to encompass them in lies and untruths, just blows my mind. I know it's not my mother's fault. My father is just a good con artist and led her to believe that my grandparent's were out to hurt us.
I've tried to keep in contact with him because you only have one father but I can never believe what he says. I know guys are kind of dumb when it comes to holidays but no card or phone call happened this year. I received an e-mail saying he would call after the new year. Well it's day 11 and thankfully I'm not holding my breathe.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Will There Ever Be Privacy Again?

I took my oldest to Girl Scouts this evening and left the youngest with my husband.  No nap, I wanted to avoid any tantrums and I thought she would be in bed when we came back.  Not true.
On the way home, I realized I have to go to the bathroom!  I don't know what it is about cars but I never have the urge until I am away from every possible bathroom stop and have to complete my trip or explode.  I casually mention this to my daughter who has been talking about the upcoming event in Girl Scouts.  After a few minutes she tells me now she has to go to and could I please hurry up she's not going to make it!  I frantically ask her if she wants me to pull over!  I know we paid extra for having the seats sprayed with something to make them resist stains and if the stain doesn't come out they'll replace the seat.  I don't know if children having accidents on the seat, when I could pull over to the side of the road is covered or not under the contract.  She gets all embarrassed and tells me no she can hold it.  We were on a busy road way so that's enough to scary any kid into not having to go.
We get home and run to our already staked out bathrooms, mine of course is downstairs away from the youngest.  I drop everything and head off.  Quickly followed by a small voice calling mom, mom.  Great she's up!  I barely sit down and she's there.  MOM, you're home, you're going potty, mom I'm in my PJ's, mom, I'm going to climb into the tub (I don't know why but she wants to), mom here's toilet paper for you, mom I'm hungary, mom, mom.  You see where this is headed right?!  So I couldn't pee fast enough for her and refuse the toilet paper and if she wasn't so darn cute, I would have yelled.  Leave me alone to PEE In Peace!  Needless to say, that time away made her extra clingy.  Next time I'm bringing a tired child to GS.  Then she can say a million things to the girls and I can use the bathroom in peace!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Evening Walks

My youngest wanted to go for a walk right before nap. I just couldn't do it because she so needed to sleep. I promised her we would go after dinner.
This time of year, it is quite dark at 6pm. So I got my flashlight and we went for a walk. Since we are in the country, it's easy to see the stars. It was really cool and there were tons of planes flying by. We couldn't find the moon but it was cloudy one side of the sky. Also I couldn't find the big dipper. Usually I can but my oldest kept pointing out things that weren't and I couldn't find where it was after she kept saying "There it is"! I kept explaining to her what it consisted of but it didn't click. Then I couldn't find it! She convinced my brain that it didn't exist. We need a star map.
I wasn't able to find the big dipper but I found a golf ball one of our neighbors hit and couldn't locate. Hey, I may not find things in the sky but on the ground, I'm golf ball queen. I can't help it, it's like I'm drawn to them! It was really lovely and if this warm weather keeps up, we may get to do it again.
We scared our neighbor, she saw the reflective strips on the jackets and thought we were hunters. I thought it was kind of funny. Very short deer hunters. I know kids can and do go hunting but not my girls. Too noisy, animals in a 100 mile radius are thankful for their nonstop chatter.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winter Weather???

Usually by now Mother Nature has blessed us with 3-15 feet of snow. Well maybe not 15' but it sure feels like it when you have to shovel. The forecast for this weekend are temperatures in the 50's not the 20's. The 50's!!
Our winter has been off and on with the snow and the warm weather. It's like MN can't decide what she wants. Warm, cold, warm, cold. Is she having hot flashes? Then cold chills? Or is it global warming. I do not know but I wish it would stay with one or the other. When the snow melts it's gross and muddy. The chickens love it because they can run around and scratch till sunset. I don't like it because there should be snow.
I'm worried that my children will not enjoy the snow like I did growing up. The 5 feet of beautiful untouched snow that my brothers and I crafted into whatever our imaginations desired. A playground of fun, with snow angels, forts, sledding hills, snow people, etc... Mud just isn't the same and it sticks to you. Then you have to take a bath and wash everything because it follows you into the house. With snow, it will melt away when you bring it in.
Now that it's a new year, we've been talking about home improvement projects that we would like to get done over the course of the summer. A new energy efficient furnace, a door off the reading room, maybe 3 new windows in the kitchen to be, new lighting for the studio, insulating the basement, etc... Out of this list I can see maybe 2-3 getting done. That maybe pushing it but you have to have goals to reach for, right? It is to early to be think about stuff like this?
The new furnace will help cut down on the clutter of the current furnace. It's huge! The one we are looking at getting is 2 times smaller than the one we have. It's like a monster furnace that no one wanted and was tossed in our basement. At least we were able to get rid of the original coal burning furnace that was in the basement last summer. That was actually bigger than the thing we use now! It could have fit 4-5 people in it. When the house was built, they had to put the furnace in the basement first and then built around it. It was seriously that enormous and probably not that energy efficient!! Summer is still 6 months away, still lots of things to add to the to do list.