Friday, April 30, 2010

Life is Good - Are you New Here?

So, I completely forgot that I had been running a facebook ad, and that about 30 new people a day have been checking out the blog! Holy moly!

HELLO to all you new readers who have stumbled in. The picture on the Facebook ad is a large painting I did about a year ago. As of tomorrow, there will be a small piece of mine hanging in a juried art show in my town (I think they are actually getting the pieces together later in the week for hanging.)

Today I feel normal after a 24ish hour bout with head cold - brought on by lugging dirt and popping dandilions and generally overworking my body to exhaustion. Silly Me.

However, I have a few new people who joined my team during my illness, and have decided to start a business with Watkins! (142 year old company - I've got links all over the place, if you're curious.) I marvel, sometimes, how a high-school educated mom of 3 (That would be ME.) is doing so well with this. I think it's drive. Where else would I have the ability to earn like this, and be home with the kids, and be able to do all the fun stuff I do?

So, the raised garden boxes from a few posts earlier still are half full, and I'm still babying the seeds, praying that everything comes up OK. Tomorrow after I drop off the art at the gallery, I'll probably continue lugging the soil into the boxes.

Then, I think I'm going to feel like sewing. I haven't made a sock doll in a while! I finished the scarf above a few days ago, and finally put it on etsy.

Be sure to "Follow" me if you are new! I'm gearing up to do a giveaway next week (for Canadians and US only!) and you don't want to miss it!!!

Happy Friday,

Say What You Need To Say

Dreamed I was at a party where the people who were there used to be my most trusted friends, but now they didn't really want me around. They were incredibly rude and uncaring, wouldn't speak to me and kept ditching me, and yet wouldn't let me leave.

I wandered into a livingroom, where one of their husbands lay sprawled on the couch. He said to me "I'd leave if I could. I envy you." I smiled at him, and left out a bathroom window. I was free! I got in the car and drove to a thrift store, and there were people there that I'm aquainted with but never really hung out with. They were engaging and kind and appreciated me. It was good to laugh with them. It was good to laugh.

I bought some jeans, and was going to go dancing.
I bought some princess toys for my daughters and couldn't wait to see their faces and play with them.


I woke and the dream left me feeling like I need to just move on from the real life silliness. I've had so many friends who'd like to hang out with me ask if I would lately. I'm taking them all up on the offer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Working in my Sleep!

I've been putting these little scarves together, and having a rather fun time doing it. I'm really tickled with how all the colours play with each other. I've got two more that are ready for photos and etsy. One with a multicolour edging, and one with a pink.
I can't read crochet patterns. Mind you, I've never tried terribly hard! I'm sure if I dusted off my "crochet and knitting for dummies" I'd be able to work my way through it. All the short forms and numbers frazzle my brain. Seriously. Bzzt Bzzt poof.

It's a beautiful day out. I opened the door a few moments ago to get the newspaper out of the mailbox. I slept all day. Yes, that's completely out of character. But, I worked my body too hard starting Monday morning. Shovelling dirt, doing the yard, laundry, dusting and cleaning and hauling out garbage, that by Wednesday morning, my body had had it.

"Here! Here's a head cold - maybe that'll slow you down a bit." It did.

While I napped today, I had a new Associate join my team, though. A nice lady from Newfoundland.

So, even though I napped, it still feels like I got something accomplished. hehe.

Happy... uh, what day is it again? Thursday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dirt. Yum.

Here we have some fancy fancy boxes that I drilled ALL BY MYSELF. What I lack in carpentry skills, I make up for in creativity. 3" wood screws, a borrowed drill, and a silent prayer.

My sweetheart bought us a pile 'o Black and Decker Bits and fiddly things. We borrowed a drill from his dad, when we realized ours didn't work. After getting over my initial fear of the drill (damn, that's fast. And loud. And I'm glad it's OUR bits I'm stripping.) I plunked them together in the side driveway, then called him away from WOW to help me carry them into the yard. And then he made us lunch. (These are the roles we are comfy with. I dig in the dirt and fix the yard, you make the food. I like the system.)

The wood is untreated, and I bought them as 2"x10"x10' ... and had the wonderfully helpful shop-man (who made no secret that he wanted to escape for Friday Beers) cut 3' off the end of each and loaded them into my mothers vehicle.

Mom paid for $40 of it (this is the wood I requested for my birthday!), I made up the rest which was about $35.

Today, HER beloved is coming with the truck to take me to the transfer station, to buy dirt. The best, darkest soil - as our town has been running a green bin compost program for about a year (??) alongside the blue bin recycling program and they turn it into the nicest black stuff ever. For the fine fine price of $20 a truckload, you too could buy dirt.

The truckload, according to "Opa's" estimates, will fill my little circle under the maple tree, and 2 of the boxes. (The maple has nowhere to grow, as less than a foot under the soil is rock and garbage, so it's roots are exposed inside the circle. There are some hostas and lilies that try to make the best of it under there every year. This year I'm helping them all out a little with 3" of soil.

They just called to tell me the transfer station DOES indeed take debit card (amazing) and that he's bringing me coffee to boot!!!

Life is Good.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Life is Good - The Secret Box Edition

I've gotten about half way through the jewellery boxes I started ages ago! I've listed a few on etsy, the Vintage Witch store, although my intention was to take them to market with me! What ever hasn't sold on etsy by the May 24 weekend, I'll simply take off to bring to market with me! Here's one of the finished ones. The pic of what it USED to look like is below it.

It was all sort of a light pink. Cute pic and all, although it was really scratched - I've now just updated it to be happily taken through life by a girl of any age!

The rest that are finished are on etsy right now for you to peek at.

I love having the freedom to work on what I want, when I want. I do SO many different types of craft, it's really nice to wake up and decide what I'm going to work on today.

Right now, I'm working on a handfull of chocolate almonds.

Life is Good.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Frugal Life is FULL !

We live a fairly frugal life, although, we are crowded with abundance here!

For my birthday, my incredible friend Mag got me a new baby. She's bald, and we've named her Cecilia Amelia. Seriously. (Thanks random name generator!) (That's her, sitting beside Alex Ander.)

I bought these super fun appliques for my market bags and fun sewing from applique heaven . She's in Ontario, which made me happy. It's fun to get fun stuff, goo over it a while, then make it into something else and pass the happiness on!

About a week ago I was gifted with an abundance of goodies from a friend who has been purging her house! I got a bag of material scraps, half finished projects, TONS of ribbon and lace, a sewing box with cantilever trays (you know, the kind that open out into little steps) and all SORTS of crafty goodness. In it were a baggie of granny squares - about 40 of them. I'm crocheting them into scarves! (for my birthday, I also got a travelling bag from my sweethearts parents, that also have the cantilever trays. I take projects with me everywhere, and I'm so excited about the travelling box!)

My Cottage Gardener seeds arrived yesterday! I buy Heirloom and Organic seeds for my garden every year. It's about frugal living - growing one's own food. Plus, I just really really like farting around in the garden.

This year, as well as having the strawberries and the Boxcar Willie tomatoes (seeds left from last year) I got:
  • Heirloom Sunflower Mix,
  • Small Sugar Pumpkin (organic, for pies),
  • Black Beauty Summer Squash (organic)
  • Straight Eight Cucumber (organic),
  • Isis Candy Tomato (sustainably grown),
  • Little Finger carrots (organic),
  • Small shining light watermelon (organic) and
  • Bull's Bloot Beet (certified organic, you eat the greens like spinach, not so much the beet.)
and, as I was sitting here writing this, who should arrive, but my NEW Redheaded Cabbage Patch Girl! She's going to need a facewash before I get pics... tomorrow, I'll tell you all about her!

Anyway, I look around our home, and I feel blessed. We thrift, work from home, and are creative. I'm really proud when I see what we've accomplished and I'm really happy with life. It's good, when you know where to look.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tomorrow I've completed 36 years...

So, tomorrow I'll be 36. Which means I'll have finished 36 years, and be starting my 37th...

(Think on it... you're born, and when you finish your first year, they say you are "one." From the moment you are "one", you are living your second year... Mind blowing, I know.)

So, I'll be "36", but beginning my 37th year. And, damn, I'm pretty pleased with how I'm holding up. Hahaha.
I've had my short hair for about a month now.. and I STILL like it. Hehe. So much of how I defined myself was wrapped up in all that hair. (For those of you just joining me, I cut about 20 inches off, although there were some layers.) I ALWAYS had long hair, except for when my son was born (cut it all off!) and then when my daughter was born (again, something about the giving birth thing..) Other than that, it grows to waist length in about 2 years.

But, I like the definition of me, even without all the hair. I fit in my pants, and feel good in my skin, and feel excited about life everyday. The 30's have been very very good to me.

My step mom tells me it just gets better and better, and that if I'm impressed by my 30's, just wait to see how awesome the 40's are!

Life is Good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Introducing ALEX ANDER

Lookie Lookie who's arrived!!!

I want to name him Alejandro... But, I think he's more an Alex Ander. Plus, that's easier for the girls to say! (I'll still call him Alejandro, quietly when no one's listening. lol.)

In the pic I bought him from, it wasn't apparent that he had a "soother-mouth" or Pacifier face, but that's just ok with me! This is the #4 head mould.

Now, the poor punkin DOES have a few "pox".. they are difficult to see, in the pic AND in real life. Again, not too terribly worried about them. This doll is going to be loved as well as being a clothing model.

The P on the tag indicates this little fella was made in china, and IS from one of the factories that is known to develop the pox.

The Green signature on his bottom indicates he was manufactured in 1984. some of the '84 ones had signatures, some did not. This guy doesn't!

And here he is, dressed in the outfit that arrived before him! I'm working on the second shirt, and am going to make him a full sized jumper. Now, we're just waiting on his little red headed sister to arrive!

Sweet. The mail delivery fellah must have been so confused about my bouncing around in the door, and eye-glistening "Thank you!!!"

Life is Good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In The Mailbox - Cabbage Patch Goodness!!

Mail box goodies! Yesterday, I got a few more packages that I've been waiting for! A packet of Cabbage Patch Kid iron on transfers! These will be used on some special clothing and other sewing items. They were packed SO well, I had to cafefully use scissors to get through the tape. Sweet!
Plus, The clothing I ordered arrived today. I bought them from a woman who I've "met" on Facebook. We tried to pick them up in person, but got lost, and then ran out of time, so she mailed them to me. What a sweetie!! As soon as I unwrapped them, however, my littlest pixies promptly brought me HER kid, and it's now wearing them. (She's been warned however, that I'll be taking them back when my new boy-child arrives!)

I'm SO hoping that they get here TODAY! I'm awaiting on the Brown loopy haired boy, and the corn silk red headed girl. I'm so ANXIOUS! I've got a few outfits made, but none that I'm happy enough with to sell. The first time I do a pattern, there are always learning curves.

In other news, my back is ALMOST better. What was, for the last month, a nearly paralizing pain by the end of the night (my whole right side from shoulder to foot would be in pain!) has all but dissappeared. My step mom called me, after reading about my need for xrays and bloodwork to see if I were ok...I chatted with her while in bed on my back at 8:30 to tell Dad not to worry, I just have to take it easy. The next morning, the pain has been reduced to a "quarter sized" pain in my back.. no more up to the shoulder, no more down to the toes... So, now the plan is to continue to take it easy, but do some gentle quiet yoga and knee strengthening exercises, and wait to see what the rest of the tests say..

But, my point is, my step mom has some SERIOUS magic going on. I know she says her prayers every night for all of us kids, but she must have put a little extra sumpin-sumpin in there for me after we talked.

Littlest pixie is home today with coughs and runny nose. Yesterday, the Elder pixie was home too, (not because she was sick, but that the logistics of keeping one and delivering one were impossible.) We worked on the doll house yesterday, and we're going to continue on with their rooms today.

Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Fifty Dollar Doll Shirt.

It should NOT take 5 hours to sew a DOLL shirt. It just should NOT.

Granted, an hour of that was probably me trying to figure out the pattern, and fishing out elastics that just KEPT getting stuck in the casings, and ripping stitches... but, still... TOO LONG!

I've made 2 of the overalls, and they were just fine. Smooth sailin'... This little shirt is giving me headaches. Plus, it doesn't have real button holes for the buttons. You sew the buttons on, then hand stitch VELCRO bits to the inside of the shirt, under the buttons. I think I'm going to do REAL BUTTON HOLES on the next one, because I swear it would be easer than hand stitching itty bitty velcro bits.

I'm sure the next one I do will be easier. There's always a period of learning when facing a new pattern, and then you have to throw in the itty bitty seam allowances when doing doll clothes.. but really..

5 hours??

I tend to think of hours in terms of wages... That would make this doll shirt a $50 dollar doll shirt.

I need a nap.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Good Stuff in my Mail box - and all around my Work Table...

Oh, sweet yummyness. TWO packages in the mail for me today, which made me very very happy.

I order my craft tags from a wonderful lady with a wonderful etsy shop, MommieMadeIt . Look how this package arrived. The plastic is biodegradable... and look the cute paper doll and clothing included. WICKED.

Sheets of Little Scotia tags for my doll clothing and soft dollies... and some NEW Vintage Witch ones for the bags and aprons, and what ever else I want to use them for!!! I got a lower rate, as they aren't cut. Sweetness.

I'm super excited about the Vintage Witch ones, as I've been making bags like mad, but putting off the aprons, waiting for these tags to arrive!

The other package is a Cabbage Patch Kid clothing pattern I've been dying to get. I quickly finished up the pixies dresses so I could start cutting and working on these items. There's SO much potential for creativity with these basic pieces! Woot!

I'm also waiting on another pattern, some CPK official clothing, and two babies!

By the way, this is what creativity looks like in my life. It's dark, but it's an accurate representation... I work in front of the window, because it's dark in here! I need to dig out a light. I'll never have one of those neat Ikea-like work spaces... I like to see it ALL at once! hehe.

Yes, under the table is STUFFED with stuff, too.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Last Hour is ALWAYS Wasted.

The kidlings are hand delivered to school and sent off with a smooch. I arrive back home and decide what I'm working on for the day.

Sewing, Watkins, painting, fart around on Facebook at lunch, pick a room to tidy (they're never all clean at once, and you'll always be able to tell which room was "today's" room.) embroidery, go for a walk, dolls, miniatures...

But, the last hour before picking up kidlings is ALWAYS wasted. I get weird about time, and am always worried that if I get immersed in something, I'll miss the pick up time. So, the last hour is almost always spent dancing around to playlist favourites, eating things I shouldn't (Today's "I shouldn't" was the last Drumstick Icecream cone in the freezer. At least the kids won't be fighting over it!) and pretty much puttering around watching the clock. I do this almost every day, and I'm really annoying myself. I have a thing about being late.

Perhaps I should start setting the alarm on the microwave, because there's so much I could accomplish in this last hour.

But, then I would forget to do things like seek chocolate out and dance around the kitchen. And those things are pretty important, after all...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Giveaway - I'm in, are you??

I was browsing around the blogs I subscribe to, to see another blogger doing a wonderful giveaway! If you've never tried reusable pads or liners, this could be a great little one for you to win. Oh yes, I entered. I find them easy peasy to use, and so much nicer than chemically drenched throw-aways.

Wanna see some pics, and get the details?? She's got 2 giveaways on the go...

Check it out Here!

I Feel It In My Bones.

Today... I am happy. Light and giddy and ageless. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever been there? Life is simple and blessed in so many ways. I wish my sweetheart were home so we could dance around the livingroom together. I wish the kids were home so we could dance around the kitchen...

It's a grey day out there, and I'm ok with that. It's a perfect day for feeling poetic and listening to loud music and wait for the mail man to bring all the things I've recently ordered on etsy and my new cabbage patch kid...

Simplicity. Simplicity in life and simplicity in love and no worries. No worries about money or the future or who I am or where I'm going... Because it's all figured out.

This must be heaven. Life is abundant. Life is Good.

I appreciate everything little thing. I feel it in my bones.