Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meaningful Christmas Gifts

My tree is still up. The flu has sidelined me on the couch while my family is skiing for the day. I'm thankful that my husband decided to take on the task of bringing the girls and packing up all the ski stuff. I'm reflecting on this past Christmas and some of the handmade gifts that were given to our family. My mom gave my brothers and myself, a recipe album. It's filled with the recipes that I remember my grandma making throughout the years. Her tried and true recipes written in her handwriting. I plan on baking my way page by page and posting the results here on this little blog. My grandma "MaGert" as we called her, would cook for friends and neighbors when someone was sick or when there was a death in th family. She was a remarkable woman. We also received an amazing cartoon matted in a frame of our family with our extended family. The original picture was taken on our yearly vacation at the beach. Each person is carefully drawn and the whole cartoon is in color. It is one of our favorite things and will be treasured forever. I purchased many handmade gifts on etsy this year. If I had planned a bit better, I would have purchased more. There is always next year....I'm thinking of doing a post of all the beautiful handcrafted goodies with links to the shops. If only I can figure it out how to do that!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Facebook, Blogs, and Martha Stewart

This past year my business grew more than I could have imagined. I am ever so grateful. By December I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed and still wanting to do fun crafty things with my daughters. So I decided that I needed to examine parts of my everyday life that were being wasted. I first started with our DVR. I had 65 Martha Stewart shows waiting to be watched. Yes, I did and it drove my husband crazy! I asked him to delete them all. He thought I was joking. I love Martha, but i knew that I didn't want to take the time to catch up on all those episodes. Next, was my google reader. I had 350 posts to read. I took 10 minutes and went over the blog list twice. Now I'm all caught up and I am left with just my absolute favorites. Now comes the touchy subject of Facebook. I know many people love it to communicate with family and friends. I enjoyed it too. I would check it each morning as I was making my coffee. Then whenever I had a chance throughout the day. It was getting to be too much. I started to think about if i really cared about much of what was being posted. I deleted all my friends. Gasp! My close friends know my email and guess what? That is enough. I kept my Facebook business page for shop updates. I feel like I have done a bit of mental spring cleaning. It's been a couple days and it feels great:)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Last Week


I set a goal of being ready for Christmas by December 1st. I did really well, but in the end didn't fully reach that goal. Here's what I did get done:

-Christmas cards made and sent out the day BEFORE Thanksgiving

-Tree up and decorated

-Almost all the presents purchased for my girls

-75% of other presents purchased

-Advent calendar ready

Next year I want to start earlier. My shop got really busy this past week. I want to be more prepared for the increase in sales. I ran out of tissue and am almost out of chalk. These are supplies I need for each order. I had some fun things happen too! My blog got a makeover from Life Made Lovely Designs. The wonderful Danielle set it all up and was soo easy to work with! I also received new business cards to include with each package that I send on it's way. Hope you all are having a wonderful Monday. As always, leave a comment and I'll pop over to visit your blog!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wreath Making


Elara had a sleepover for her 11th birthday. I knew I wanted the girls to make something to take home for Christmas. One advantage of being born near Christmas. I purchased the wreaths at Joann's, along with some yarn and felt. The rest of the supplies we already had:) I helped them with the hot gluing. I'm sure they could have handled it on their own but i didn't want to take any chances. I'm pleased with how they turned out. They crafted away for over an hour. Made this mama super happy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snow

Today the kids are off for Thanksgiving break.  We woke up to snow.  Hunter said, "We better go out for playtime today."  I had to remind her that there wasn't any school.  Her face was priceless!

 I changed out my scents in the Scentsy's.  I had pumpkin spice in but decided that since we are decorating our tree on Friday, it was time the house smelled like Christmas.  My Christmas favorite is Festival of Trees. 

My Christmas cards are now finished and in the mail.  I'm going to be one of "those" people this year.  I'm trying to get all that I can done before Dec. 1st.  I might actually achieve my goal. 

Here is a recent custom order I just completed.  I'm in love with it!  I love the ideas my customers come up with.  I can't wait for her to get it in the mail!

Here's hoping that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones :)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Super Quick DIY




I have been collecting 100% wool sweaters from the thrift shop.  Usually a bag of items is only $2.  Sometimes at the end of the season sweaters are FREE. I bring them home and wash them and then toss them in the dryer.  I knew I wanted a hat for the new jacket I just got.  Down to the basement I went in search of a sweater.  I keep them in a rubbermaid container out of sight.  This is such an easy craft.  All you need to do is find a hat you already own.  Trace around it leaving enough room for the seams.  I used the bottom of the sweater. I cut out both pieces at the same time.  Then turn the sweater pieces inside out and sew around the edges leaving the bottom opened.  Turn right sides out and you are done.  If you'd like to make leg warmers, all you need to do is cut off the arms and sew an edge around the top.  The bottom edge is already done since it is the cuff of the sweater.  This project took me a total of 10 minutes to complete.  I'm so happy with the results!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Childhood Treasures


It's been awhile since I posted about one of my childhood treasures.  When we were little we had a Mickey Mouse record player.  I wish we still had it but for some reason we never kept it.  I would listen to "Bedtime For Frances" time after time.  It is still one of my favorite children's books.  I even wrote in my book what grade I was in and my phone number.  On the back cover I answered the question too.  The girls find this all very amusing!  I think that I might have gotten this set from a book order.  The other night I got it out and snuggled up the with the younger two, listening and turning each page.  I couldn't help but smile.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Custom Order

I love working on custom orders, especially for brides.  This weekend I got a sweet email requesting two ring bearer pillows in I think my most favorite color combinations yet.  It truly makes me happy to think that these will be carried down the aisle on such an important day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Freezer Cooking

I know, another post about freezer cooking.  I'm getting really into this cooking ahead concept.  I have weird feelings about purchasing boxed food for my family.  I have bought so much of it and it is starting to get to me.  I want to know what goes into their bellies.  Sometimes though, I feel like it is such a huge task to make homemade food.  Freezer cooking has been great for our family.  When I have a few spare moments I tackle my freezer cooking list.  I know if I did it for a big chunck of time I'd get tired and not bother.  Today I spent a couple of hours tackling my list.  I ended up with:

1 loaf of chocolate banana bread
24 oatmeal muffins
10 waffles
1 batch of rice krispies
1 chicken in the crockpot (for soup and extra chicken for another meal)
spaghetti noodles (for soup and extra for this week)
I made one huge pot of chicken soup

A few things:


The chocolate banana bread was found on the http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ website.  It is so good.  I will definitely cook my chicken in the crockpot again. It turned out very moist.   I didn't take a picture of the cooked chicken.  It really didn't look that appealing!     

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday craft


It's been awhile since I crafted with the girls. I hate to admit this. My cutting mat was under a pile of fabric and I just couldn't imagine doing a project like this without it. First we made braided necklaces out of t-shirts. This is one of the easiest crafts and so very inexpensive! Just my kind of craft. I cut strips of t- shirts that were thin and 100 percent cotton. Next we pulled the strips so they started to curl a bit in on the sides. Then we just braided them and tied a knot. Elara's turned out beautifully! Since I had the mat and rotary cutter out, I decided why don't I make an even bigger mess and get out some fabric scraps. Yes, if you look closely, that is a punch bowl with all my fabric in it. This is when I knew I had a fabric problem! Anyways, we saw this on www.ashleyannphotography.com. I will definitely be making more. I love how both of these turned out. Again, cheap and it kept us all busy for a couple of hours:)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

5 Things About Me

Hello!  Happy Saturday:)

I thought today I'd share 5 random things about me:

1) my hair was never curly until I had our third girl.  I used to get spiral perms to get my hair like this when I was growing up!

2) I used to live in Quebec, Canada.

3) I love coffee and seriously look forward to it each and every day, sometimes twice a day!

4) Our house is over 100 years old.  We have original tin ceilings in three rooms. Love them!

5) I play street hockey.

What are some random facts about you?  Leave your link in the comments and I'll come visit:) 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Christmas Ornaments


We have the day off today!  I got up early and made some ornaments to add to the shop.  I've had them stuck in my head for the past month.  It feels good to finally see them in the shop! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Favorite Accessories

Today I'm linking up my favorite accessories with Gussy, from http://www.gussysews.com/.  These are my grab to and out the door items that I wear most of the time.   In no particular order:

- a sterling silver cuff (with my grandma's initials) from my grandma
- pearl strand necklace, again use to belong to my grandma
- cuff made from a Popsicle stick made especially for me from Elara, love it! Awesome teacher helped the kids make these!  
- My Lisa Leonard necklace, I get so many compliments when I wear it!
- Sterling charm bracelet 
-goldenrod headband from my shop

So there you have it.  What are your favorite accessories? 

When you are checking Gussy's blog, click on the holiday gift guide and you'll find my shop!:)) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bits and Pieces

my new coat

my second cup
It's only a little after 8 a.m.  I have already made two trips to school.  My oldest has band practice early.  Then I made a second trip with the younger two.  I was noticing how different our town was on the second trip.   I really liked the peacefulness earlier in the morning.  It's been crazy here lately.  I think you might be able to tell.  When I get super busy, I find it harder to blog.  Yesterday, I sat at the kitchen table when everyone was gone and got really emotional.  Don't worry, it was the happy kind.  My shop is getting busier each day.  I'm so thankful for all the sweet people that buy handmade items from me.  Each one means so much.  My house is starting to show for all the orders I have been getting.  Laundry is so hard to keep up.  Halloween costumes need to be made.  At least now, all three know what they want!  I know this post is kind of random.  This is what my brain feels like right now.   What have you done so far today?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vintage



I cleaned out one of the built in cabinets in our bedroom on the weekend to make room for some of our extra blankets. I had been storing picture frames in a huge box in there. I came across this handmade picture of a baby. The details amaze me! So many elements were used to create this picture: beads, yarn, ribbon, handkerchief's, embroidery, etc. This would look beautiful hanging in a nursery. I might end up hanging it up in my sewing room. What a lovely gift this must have made!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Nesting




The weather has been unseasonably warm. I didn't let the warm weather get in the way. Around here the weather can change rapidly. One day we can be in the 80's, the next a killing frost. I got the wool blankets out for all the beds. This year, I decided to put the red with black stripe Hudson Bay blanket on our bed. Yesterday, we carved pumpkins. Thankfully, hubby suggested we carve out the pumpkins on the porch-not in the houses like in years past! When we were all done, I threw some garlic, salt and a dash of oil then roasted them. They were enjoyed by all except the littlest. Jumping in the leaves came next. Raking up the same pile over and over again. We love good old fashioned traditions. The leaves have been breath taking. I love them early in the morning as the sun shines on them for the first time. The colors are so vibrant. I keep reminding the girls that trees don't change color everywhere. We are so used to this change. Sometimes we all take it for granted.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello October



It's a dull day here.  I LOVE it!  Lately, I've been craving the crisp weather and cozy blankets.  I wish fall would last longer than it does.  Today is a great day to decorate with the kids and bake (another) apple pie.  We also have a birthday girl in our family today.  She is turning 3.  I picked up this gift for her at one of the craft fairs this spring.  Absolutely one of my favorite gifts.  It's also in her favorite color.  I hope she loves it as much as I do!

Friday, September 30, 2011


Last evening it poured.  It was just what we have been waiting for.  The sound of the rain hitting our tin roof was soothing.  I was in the kitchen fixing fried rice watching the rain jump off the ground as it hit.  Water was flowing down our dirt road.   Then I realized I needed carrots and that we were out of eggs.  I found my garden shoes and quickly put my jacket on and went out the door.  Pulling carrots in the rain was actually kinda fun.  Thankfully, when I made my way to the coup I found 2 eggs.  Exactly what I needed.  This is why I love where we live.  For moments like this.  Walking back in the door with food for our family from our backyard.  As a mom, it made me feel very thankful.  The fried rice was excellent as usual.  If you'd like to make it, hop over to http://www.digthischickmt.com/.   She has a lovely blog.  One of my daily must reads! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shop Changes


It has taken me a few months to get my shop to where it is today.  I've been working at improving the color choices for my flowers.  Finally, I'm at a happy place with the way it looks.  I think my favorite is golden rod?  What color do you like best? 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Item

So....I don't usually post pictures of me on my blog, but I really like how my new hair clips turned out.  I have to thank the middle child for being patient with her mama.  She did a good job and made me laugh!  I attached an alligator clip and pinback so that it can be worn as a hair clip or pinned on a blouse, purse, pillow, etc.  I think I need to make some for me :)

Apple Orchard

Yesterday we went to the apple orchard.  We came home with 3 huge bags of apples.  Two bags of Macintosh apples will be used to make pies and apple sauce.  I'm hoping to have lots to enjoy over the winter.  We picked one bags of Cortland apples to eat now.  I made one pie for the freezer and one pie that we had last night.  I would have made more, but I ran out of flour.   Have any of you ever canned apple sauce.  What recipe do you use?   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another




So the table that I got this past weekend has ended up in my sewing room.  It was like it was meant to be.  Really.  I now have a place that is big enough for my cutting mat.  I can already feel my head swarming of ideas.  Since I was up there, I felt the need to clean the room.  Burlap makes a huge mess.  It gets everywhere.  While it was tidy I decided to take some new pictures.   

Vintage Formica Table

We went to visit my grandparents this weekend.  I ended up coming home with a few treasures that I'm in love with :)  This formica table was actually in my apartment when I was little.  To bring it home today was such a great feeling.  I'm having a hard time deciding where to put it.  I know I could really use it in my sewing room but it's too pretty to have up there out of the way.  I think some furniture rearranging might be in store this week.  I'll wait until I'm alone and can take my time and think.  Hope you are all having a lovely Thursday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Here and There

The kids are back in school and I'm figuring out a new routine.  I substitute at our local school.  It's a job that I love.  It's hard to plan out my days since I don't always know ahead of time if I'm working.  On mornings that I don't go to work, I have tried to establish a routine.  After dropping the kids off at school, I try and squeeze in my run.  It is my favorite time to run.  I love feeling the cool breeze on my face.  Then  I come home and take care of laundry and start my to do list for the shop.  I get butterflies when I think about my etsy business.  It makes me so happy!

Our yard is quickly changing.  The leaves are already turning and falling off the trees.  The black walnuts are dropping to the ground.  Pumpkins are ready to be picked.  Now, I need to find a safe place to put them away from the chickens!