Saturday, August 30, 2008

If 3rd Try Doesn't Work... Send Hubby

Cute little birdie-guy, isn't he? I thought so, too! I first saw this cute little wood/rubber stamp at Hobby Lobby awhile back. I didn't buy it because EVERYTHING goes on sale at H.L. eventually. So, on two seperate occasions I did take him up to the cash register. I intended to take him home with me both times. But on both occasions, the cashier tried to tell me that the WOODEN stamps were not 50% off that week, just the rest. (And both times, I knew I was right... H.L is a 45 minute drive, and I study that ad before I leave!). Each time, I didn't have the energy to argue, so I just said keep it.

Finally, this week was my chance! Definitely, 100% sure was I that the wooden stamps were on sale! So I get up to the cash register on Wednesday, with my frames, safety eyes, Sculpey clay... and with my little Bella holding the elusive rubber stamp. She had it at the checkout counter. I swear she put it up on the counter... and I would have SWORE I paid for it! But yesterday when I went to get it, it wasn't in my bag...nor was it on my receipt! The slippery little bugger escaped again!

The last laugh is mine... I made hubby stop by H.L. today on his way home and get it for me! Apparently, his grip is much better than mine ☺


My eyes are literally crossing right now, as I have been wading through my digital pictures for the longest time. Walgreens is having a special through Aug 30 (50 prints for $5, use coupon code GETFIFTY). I was behind with printing my pics, so I ended up ordering 150... beats printing them myself!

I apologize for this long/rambling post. I had the urge to post something before I went to bed, and I feel like my brains are scrambled.

{{Good Night}}

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pumpkin Head & the Vintage Mother-load!

Getting on this new schedule of getting up early and going outside (to take Bri to school), I have been reminded how balmy and beautiful mornings can be! There is definitely a taste of Autumn in the air, and I love it. It is just warm enough to be comfortable, but a nice breeze reminds you to enjoy it while it is still here...before a foot of snow lies on the ground! With all of the Fall/Halloween decor hitting the stores, I have been inspired to finish a project I started a while back. I am quite pleased with it, and hope to have her (plus the kitties and some other goodies) in my etsy store soon!

Without further ado, I now introduce you to Ms. Pumpkin Head!

She is kind of a big girl, at about 2 feet tall. Her bottom is weighted with rice, and I sewed her some "knees" so that her legs can dangle. I have some cute pumkin fabric to make her an apron from, but I was so happy with the way she turned out, I didn't want to wait to share her!

Ms. Pumpkin Head is made from a variety of techniques, mainly sewed. However, her eyes are needle felted with wool roving, and the other details on her face are embroidered ☺ She will make a wonderful Autumnal friend and decoration for someone!


As I had mentioned a while back, my husband's 90 year old great-aunt is moving from the family home she has lived in her entire life to an assisted living community. Imagine...100+ years of accumulated treasure! She was quite a crafty lady in her day, mainly crocheting, I believe. So yesterday, I was giving a black garbage bag full of 'stuff' of hers. There was no fabric in it, and I will shamefully admit, I almost chucked the bag. BUT I decided to wade through it... boy, am I glad I did! I hit the mother-load on vintage patterns! You name it... doll books, crocheting books, old Simplicity patterns and embroidery patterns.

There was a decent-size stack of these "The Workbasket" magazines, dating from 1962 to the 80's. I can't wait until I get the time to read them! Flipping through them, I found several cute patterns for toys...which is obviously what I enjoy making ☺

Here is an example of a cute toy duck pattern. Obviously, this was in the time before photocopies and printers... they give you a chart at the bottom of the paper, and you have to redraw an enlarged pattern yourself on special "blocked" paper. I remember doing something similar to that in jr high art class!

Here are some animals from a crochet book. My goal really is to learn to crochet SOON! (Bunzi sent me the link of some good tutorials, plus there are some how-to books in this vintage stash.. and if all else fails, I will ask my mom!). There was also an entire set of photocopied instructions to make crocheted, anthropomorphic veggie potholders (celery, onion, carrots, cabbage, etc. etc. etc.). And I believe I also saw a pattern for crocheted hamburgers, hotdogs, and pieces of cake!

Have a great "hump" day!


Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Monday again

(Bella, with her Brobee toys!)

Whew! I am back after a nutty weekend. On Friday evening, we ended up having a picnic supper in the front yard for 2 year old Bella's actual bday. She was too busy watching the neighbors play with their RC car that she didn't eat much. Saturday's party went great, and the girls had a wonderful time and received a bunch of cute presents (including YGG!). My friend April gave my older daughter a CuttlebugKids thing that cuts out shapes from paper. I am going to help her use it to make some thank you cards, hopefully tonight. I want to teach her to do things like "thank yous" at an early age. It is just a good thing to do when people are kind enough to give you a gift, don't you think?

The evening of the party, we ended up going to a small, nearby town to their Watermelon Festival. The girls rode a couple of rides, then we came home. It sure is hard to get a good pic of a moving carousel!


Today, Brianna started her first day of preschool. It was a blast for her!! In the 3 hours she was there, Bella and I holed up in the toy room... she played and watched Spongebob, while I embroidered the features on 3 more gray kitten dolls. Then at naptime, I worked on sewing them together. These dolls are causing me tons of grief today... not cooperating like I had hoped! Maybe by tomorrow, I will be at a point where I can ask my crafty readers for some ADVICE!

(On the frontside, they are cute... but flip 'em over, and they look like zombies!)

Lastly, check out this FREE YGG Muno amigurumi pattern!! It is the same lady who sells the YGG patterns on etsy... they are so realistic!Free Muno Amigurumi Pattern

PS: PLEASE take my poll this week on the lefthand side of the page. The question is something that has been bugging me for awhile, and I want to know the general consensus on this issue! Thanks ☺

Friday, August 22, 2008

Oh, I need to learn crochet!!

Quick break in the midst of party-central... I have to say the coolest thing in the world is getting snail-mail! I think that is one of the best parts of buying things from etsy, looking forward to getting a nice package. And buying from a community of really creative people, even the packaging is often a treat!

What a nice surprise to get my little amigurumi set I ordered from MushroomMeadows today! ♥Thanks for the little surprise ♥ Now I am more determined than ever to learn crochet! I first found them after Bunzi commented on my blog, and they have the beginnings of a really cute etsy shop! I am super-curious, though, how Bunzi and MushroomMeadows are connected... are you sisters, roommates, friends, etc.? Maybe I just need to go through the archives of your blogs and figure it out for myself☺

Just a note to should start drawing little doodles and sell them in your shop! The hand-drawn tag was sooo perfect and cute and just made my day ☺

Alright... enough chit-chat! I better commence to cleaning while the napping is still good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One down, two to go!

Yesterday was Brianna's 4th bday! I think she had a good day. She received lots of phone calls wishing her a happy birthday, and she got to have her water balloon fight with daddy that she asked for! We went to Pizza Hut for supper, and she just LOVES "dippin bread". After 4 days in a row of going to Walmart at 5 am, they finally got all of the toys out this morning. No Gabba, though :-( Oh well, I am sure we will find them in time for Christmas!

My baby turns 2 tomorrow! Half of the cupcakes have been reserved for her special day. Not sure what to do, since she can't tell us what she wants. BUT... if it is warm and not rainy (like today), maybe I will let them play in the sprinklers. She LOVES that!
I will be spending a deal of time tomorrow getting food ready for the big, joint-party on Saturday. I am making a big pot of the BEST sloppy joes, and another big pot of green beans with bacon and potatoes right from the garden! That way, I can stick these things in crockpots first thing Sat morning, and not have to worry about it. Other than that, there will be hotdogs, chips, Chinese coleslaw, and meat/cheese/veggies. Just inviting our parents and brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews, we end up with around 30+ people. Even a "small" family get-together turns into a big event!
Lots of cleaning (and re-cleaning) have gone on this week, so not a lot of time for craftiness. I did complete my entry into Bunny Creates' "Monthly Makings" contest.
It was fun, and I am loving the finished result! I will wait to post any pics of my entry, so that I don't spoil anything she has planned for her site ☺

This little guy is a prototype of an idea I had after looking at some vintage doo-dads on ebay. Does he look like a hedgehog? I hope so, because that was the intent! LOL Anyway, I whipped him up fairly quickly today, and have changes in mind for the future project in which I plan to use him in!

Good-night, and if I don't post again until after the party... well, just have a good weekend!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Okay, you got me started!

(My Christmas present to myself... "cuz there's a party in my tummy!")
First off, I want to thank you for your kind comments on the last post. If ever there was a day that warm-fuzzies were needed, it was definitely today! Up at 4:50 am again, and still empty toy shelves at Walmart... then I got the kids ready for pictures, only to have Bella nab a dark brown eyeliner and color all over her legs and bits of her WHITE outfit. It got even better after that, but I will not bore you with the details. So... thanks for the 'pick me up'. ♥♥♥
I am so HAPPY about all of the YGG love! I will admit, I didn't know any of those bands in the pre-YGG time... but I am now totally in love with all the songs from the show. I cannot wait for some kind of season 1 soundtrack. Tomorrow is Bri's bday, and I think the show actually premiered on her bday last year. I was sad that there were no YGG toys out in time for Christmas, so I ended up making them some from fleece and felt:
Funny thing, I submitted this photo to the Nick Jr. YGG photo gallery, and to my knowledge it was never used. Guess they didn't want me giving other crafty-mamas any ideas ;-)
Here is a clock I made for the playroom using a unfinished wooden plate and a clock mechanism (both from Hobby Lobby), the clock template from Nick Jr website, and some cutout letters from my friend's Cricut. Notice the tiny Brobee on the second hand. I ♥ Brobee.

So, thanks for letting me indulge in my YGG obsession with you all! Here's to a better day tomorrow, and some luck in the toy dept at 5 a.m.

This song has been in my head the last two days

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time to smell the flowers

(Some lovely, fragrant flowers that sprung out of my yard this past week... does anyone know what they are called?)

Well, I am back after a tiring weekend. The class reunion was pretty fun and it was good to see 99% of the people there (that 1% of a person acted childish and petty, but I am so beyond that!). My BFF April and her husband and my husband and I rode to the cocktail party on what I refer to as the "phat hoggz". The guys thought they were hot stuff, let me tell ya!

Matt and I on his Harley

April and I on "Reunion Day" (she is wearing higher heels, dang it!)
This is officially "Birthday Week" in this house. Brianna turns 4 on Wed, Bella turns 2 on Friday, and the joint party is on Saturday. It is like a week-long celebration every year! The cake for the party is Wall-E, who the girls are obsessed with right now. I ordered some cupcakes to eat on their actual b-days, as well. SO... basically, an entire week of cake-eating. And to top off the cleaning, planning, cooking, etc., I have been getting up at 4:50 am to go to Walmart to see if the Yo Gabba Gabba toys are on the shelf yet. Walmart is revamping the toy dept for the upcoming Christmas season, and they told me they have pallets-full of new toys they haven't put out yet. They restock during the night hours, and I have to go super-early so I can get home before Matt has to leave for work. *SIGH* And top it off with pictures tomorrow.... I hope I can wrangle them by myself!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mmmm... tacos!

Tomorrow is my class reunion (10 years!) and I will probably be busy the majority of the weekend. SO... I thought I would share with you a really easy and tasty recipe, perfect for having friends over. A lot of the "mom 'n' pop" diners around here sell homemade fried soft tacos, and they are always a hit. Not sure if it is a regional thing. Does anyone else enjoy these type of tacos? They look hard to make, but they are super-duper easy! Recipe courtesy of my SIL, who gave it to me during my bridal shower recipe drive :-)

Homemade Soft Tacos
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp shortening
1 1/2 cups warm water

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a knife or pastry blender into in small pieces. Knead in warm water. Once a dough has formed, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
Prepare your favorite seasoned taco meat. (For a whole recipe, you will need about 2 lbs of meat. For our family of 2 adults/2 kids, I usually halve the recipe and use 1 lb of taco meat, and there is plenty for all!).
Roll pieces of the dough into circles approx. 5-6 inches in diameter (or whatever size you want, really). Heap some of the taco meat down the center of the dough circle. Moisten the edges of the dough, fold in half over the meat, and seal. The tines of a fork or your fingers work well for this.
Gently transfer to a pan hot vegetable oil, and fry on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.... then enjoy! Gently pry the taco open where you sealed it shut, and stuff in cheese, veggies, sauce, etc!
I went out to Wal-Mart today for a quick second, and accidentally found that they had put these adorable mini-frames on clearance! I have always loved the oval ones, but never bought any. So, at $1 I bought all 7 of them. I think they would make a cute little cluster of family photos, or they would be nice to frame an embroidered or felted do-dad. Even though super tiny, they have the little "leg" to sit on a table, or the flappy thing to hang them on the wall.

These little fancy silver, scrolly frames were also $1... I picked up a couple for a nerdy purpose.
More about that later ☺

Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!
Ps to Nikki...I hope you mean you got the bear print you wanted!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tweet Lil' Birdies

Again, I am going to indulge myself by talking about the loverly artform that is wall decals. How freakin easy are they (very!), and you have an instant effect. Although I ♥ the decals from the company UpperCase Living, there are several etsy people selling their own, similar creations for a LOT cheaper. And I am all about supporting the etsians, whenever possible.
Here are some pics of the dark-brown birdies that I purchased from enoughsaid on etsy. I scattered them around soffet about my kitchen cabinets, to make them look like they are standing in the leaf garland I have up there.
(Ps... avert your eyes from the naked window. We just put in a new window, and hubby hasn't got the trim around it yet... therefore, the beautiful curtains I made are sitting in the pantry, impatiently waiting to be rehung)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bloggin'... in general

Wow... it is getting so late already, and I just finished making a late-night grocery store run, ALONE. I had to get Brianna's school supplies for preschool... the only thing on the list actually for her was a folder. The rest of the stuff (crap) is for the classroom, like tissues, hand soap, paper towels, and construction paper. (We are paying good money for school, so not sure why we also have to supply the basic needs...) Also, this Sat is my 10 year class reunion, so I had to get some fixin's to make some food for the carry-in lunch at the park. It is family style, but there is cocktail hour at the country club that night...the kids will be at grandma's!

This world of blogging is so much fun, and I love reading other people's thoughts and making new e-friends. Being a stay-home mom, sometimes I feel a bit isolated... the blogosphere really makes me feel connected. It is fun to take pictures, talk about things, and have people read and comment on them. I guess what is bringing this up today is what happened over at The Black Apple blog today (and a few other times, from what I gather). For those of you who don't know, the blogstress Emily just moved cross-country, and shortly after reaching her destination her beloved cat became very ill. After vet visits/emergency surgery, he is recovering but she is left with a hefty bill. When I read the blog this am, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she is running a 2 day sale, in effort to increase sales/raise money to help with all of the vet bills. Finally, a very good excuse to purchase a few prints I have been coveting for as long as I can remember! BUT... of course, a few people had to make some nasty posts on her blog, saying she was tacky and taking advantage of people by using her cat's illness as reason to boost sales, basic bashing and name-calling. I suppose that is the down-side to the blogworld, and the anonymity of the Internet allows some people to say some pretty nasty things to and about people that they really don't know. I have been lucky enough, that so far every single comment I have received has been kind, encouraging, and thoughtful.

A big good-night hug to all of the great blog-readers and bloggers out there... keep it real!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cute Kitty-Boy and Pixelated PopArt

Okay, I couldn't help but show off my finished gray kitty from last post. I finished him yesterday, and made his outfit today. I did embellish it a bit from the pattern, with the little pocket and pearl-snap buttons for his suspenders... I am totally lovin' him ♥! I have surprised myself, because he nearly looks store-bought. Now I have to crank out his twin sister (and hopefully several sets of the pair) and get them in my shop during this anticipated revamp.

So soft and huggable!

Apparently, he is a manx kitty, because the pattern does not call for a tail. Don't you love the overalls?

My cat (who lives at my parent's house) Coaly... after my daughter decorated him with Mardi gras beads. He is the same deep, smokey gray that I love!

Okay, this is going to make for a long, picture-filled blog, but as promised, I will show off the Perler projects I just completed! I have always passed by these beads at the hobby stores because I thought they were a "kiddie kraft". THEN... I happened to see the awesome projects that are being done with them to make replicas of Nintendo characters. They are perfect to achieve that pixelated look! Check out Lost Mittens etsy shop, and you will see what I mean! It was her creations, which I first saw on, that made me say WHOA!

My first Mario, in the magical shoe

One I am working on now, but ran out of black, tan, etc. beads!

Word of Advice!: It you want to try doing these pics, I would highly suggest you go to ebay and buy the colors in bulk per color. I have found out the hard way that buying the mixed beads from Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc. is a huge pain in the but because:

A) You have to sort through a big wad of multicolored beads to find what you want

B) There just aren't enough of one color to do much of a project!

Happy Crafting, everyone!


Monday, August 11, 2008

New camera... and crafty stuffs

Finally... my ☼new☼ camera is now in hand and in use! I finally got to put it to work over the weekend, and I am sooo happy! I am not a photographer, by any means, but it takes such good pics. I am hoping it will be the key to getting me my first etsy sale! My goal is to make up a bunch of stuff and update the shop top to bottom for the fall!

I could have never taken a photo like this with my old camera!

My husband's 90-year-old great aunt is getting ready to move to assisted living, and they are cleaning out her house. My MIL brought me a load of vintage crafty-stuff! A lot of it went into the garbage (polyester or macrame, anyone), but I found a few shreds of goodies. The above pic is of a couple of scraps of adorable vintage fabric. I hope they find more stuff like this!

A few weeks ago, I found a ziplock baggie of vintage toy patterns at a garage sale. There was an adorable, and pretty easy, pattern for these "kitten twins" in there. Being such an old pattern, it called for terry cloth to be used. Thank goodness we have such an array of fabrics we can use today! I found this really pretty gray micro-velvety stuff on clearance at Jo-Ann, and it is perfect! I haven't stuffed him/her yet, or made the clothes yet, but here it is so far. Hand-embroidering all of the features is probably the most time consuming part of it. Maybe you will see these guys in my shop soon!

I have so much to show you all, and so little time! I received more wall decals in the mail today, so I need to go get them up before hubby gets home... it's a surprise!

Hint about next post... two words... PERLER BEADS!!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Too dang hot!

Last night, I let the girls play in the sprinkler for the first time. I am not sure why I hadn't thought of it sooner, but with grandparents here in town that have a pool...well, that's usually what we do. Anyway, they had an absolute BLAST! It was a definite scorcher, and even at about 7 pm, those sprinkles of flying water felt super-nice.

It was so hot that my camera, straight out of the lovely 72 degree air-conditioned home, wouldn't stop fogging up. Oh well. Guess what the DH was doing while we were messing outside? He was ordering my NEW camera!! I hope to have it by this weekend, when I take Brianna to a b-day party in Quincy. She will see most of her daycare friends for the first time in over a year. I wonder if she will remember them?

Backtracking to a blog-entry from a couple of days ago... here is my new little birdie, which I received today. I think he looks adorable over one of the many doorways into my kitchen. I am afraid I am now going to turn my house into a sticker-book, of sorts, with all of these loverly decals that I am now obsessing over!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Brianna & the Dragon

(Lil Miss Thang and her dragon. Watching a particularly intriguing episode of Spongebob, her latest ensemble consists of her Wall-E tshirt, shorts, a Christmas sweater, and snowboots. Tres Chic!)

I have been sketching some pics lately based on my almost-4 year old daughter, and her big Ikea stuffed dragon. Last night, I decided to try my hand at painting such a picture. Inspired by the recent paintings of the mucho-talented Emily Martin, my canvas was an old R.D. condensed book I found at a garage sale for a quarter. Although not even in the same universe as a Black Apple original, I think I pretty much accomplished what I set out to do with it. And my sweet little recipient is all kinds of happy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just Stick It!

Today is the end of a week full of stomach-related misery for myself, and which I have unwittingly passed on to my dear husband. Maybe this week I will have the energy to share some of the great things I have been promising! I have not been a very reliable blogstress as of late.
A while back, my friend introduced me to "Upper Case." Basically, it is like a Tupperware/Pampered Chef kind of party thing, but the product is these wonderful wall decals. They are super-adorable. There are pictures, sayings, etc. I bought a few during this party, but haven't been able to place them the painting isn't DONE yet...(ahem, too bad hubby doesn't read this). Regardless and moving right along, I stumbled onto some similar wall decals on etsy a couple of days ago while looking through the PIF listings. I purchased an adorable bird from decalmonograms:

I can't wait to see what this looks like somewhere in my house! Now I am totally down with the fake trees with birds on them... and I think I can talk hubster into one if I can find one with a cardinal/red bird on it (darn those STL fans!). Here is great set from Elephannie that I am in love with:

And one last shot from lewasdesigns... this one blows my mind beyond words! I am thinking this one may have to go in my bedroom one of these days!

So, do a search for wall decals on etsy, and croon over these lovelies (and many more) as I did. I am ALL about instant gratification! Let us decorate our walls with giant, beautiful adult-stickers.