Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall is in the air

It's fall. The lawn is covered with leaves. We carved our pumpkin last night. In honor of Sarah's "gone tooth" I made our jack-o-lantern's smile mimic hers, with a gone tooth also.

On the etsy side of things, I had 2 sales yesterday! I sold the first pair of slocks I had listed and a fleece watch cap. I guess everyone else is feeling the nip in the air.

And, it's craft fair season. I've been sewing like a mad fool to get inventory built up for the Memorial High School Booster Club craft fair on November 8th. I have to get up very early to set up (I much prefer evening set up) but since this one is about 1/4 mile from the house, it's not so bad.

Off to the sewing machine.

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life Thoughts..Random Events or Master Plan?

It's a gray, damp, chilly fall day. Good for staying in bed, curling up on the couch with a good book and a cat. Not in this house! I had my daughter's first parent teacher conference for kindergarten. Some of you may know that the whole kid thing was a foreign concept to me until I had my own. I was a little apprehensive walking in-if there was something lacking in my daughter's school performance, of course I was going to look to myself as the cause.

I sat down and the teacher told me my daughter was intelligent, incredibly creative, very willing to learn, did her work very quickly and tended to I asked what I needed to be doing to help her in school. Imagine my suprise (and pleasure) when the teacher said, do not change a thing. You are doing an amazing job enriching her in things outside of school. You are keeping her creative spirit alive.

Then, I come home and see that I have had a comment on my blog about George, my "helper" from a woman who used to work at the animal shelter where he and Gracie came from. Yes, I still keep in touch 2 years later. The funny thing? I've never met this woman. We talked on the phone a few times. She and I have a connection. Gracie. She and I both saw Gracie for what she truly is, a very shy, timid yet incredibly loving and friendly cat. I couldn't leave her at the shelter, even though she didn't want to be touched and stayed in the back of the cage. Even though this woman has moved to the other side of the country, we will keep in touch through something as seemingling mundane as a black long haired cat picked off the street.

So, was it fate or was it the Master Plan that me, a somewhat disorganized, creative person had 2 creative, inquisitive children? Was it fate or was it the Master Plan that I walked into the Animal Shelter that day, 2 years ago, and the cat room we were supposed to go in was being cleaned, so we went into the smaller room? Either way, I have been incredibly blessed with 2 amazing children, the friendship of a woman 200 miles away and the love of a stocky little black cat.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Photographs are So Important

When listing items on etsy, the potential buyer cannot pick up the item, look at it from all sides. Their only visual is the photographs. I think the images used to represent an item are actually more important than the actual item. The most carefully created item with impeccable attention to detail will never show these qualities to anyone if the picture is mediocre.

I suffer from Mediocre at Best Photographic Syndrome. I am working very hard at overcoming this affliction. However, I don't have a super fancy camera or a great location or an elaborate light box set up. I also don't always have the luxury of photographing items outside in optimum light. I use what I can find, wherever I happen to be. Some of my shots are pretty darn good, but they were taken outside, or at a location I just happened to be short, not something I can use on a consistent basis.

So, what now? Getting creative is the key. I took pictures of my new smoosh hat inside, since when I had a few minutes it was 10:30 at night. Using 2 pieces of foamboard for the background, I got on the floor and moved this way and that way to show the hat but not the worn upholstery on the recliner that the foam board was leaning up against. I also wanted to avoid showing the shelf of coloring books and crayons next to the chair. As I was rolling around on the floor, I accidentally snapped a picture of the hat. It wasn't straight. It was tilted. It was pretty arty/creative looking. It was click worthy to me. It became the first photograph of my new hat.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Falling Leaves

The leaves have changed color and are now falling gently to the ground. My children have been waiting for this. They dug out their kid sized rakes and look out the window every morning. "Mummy, can we rake yet?" has been a familiar refrain in our house.

Stupid me. Here I thought the kids really were into helping with yard work. Ah, no. We go outside yesterday, with rakes in hand. Sarah runs around, drops her rake on my foot and says, I'm going on the swingset. Let me know when you've gotten a pile of leaves big enough for me to jump in.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I consider myself to be somewhat of a hermit...I am very outgoing and social when I want to be, but when I'm home, I don't like to be bothered. I'm not one for calling friends to get together to do this or that, if there is something I want to do, I will go and do it by myself and have a great time. I even say I really don't have a lot of friends.

That changed the other night. I was on Facebook and sleep deprived (always entertaining) and making silly, inane comments on people's walls. Some of these people are fellow etsy sellers I've never ever met. Some were passing acquaintances, some were friends, but most of them I have not seen in at least a year or more. However, we were all silly and having a good time and laughing at the same things. It made me realize what friends really are. They aren't the people who live nearby, the ones you see in your day to day life. They don't need to be called or seen face to face. They are the ones that you may not see for years and years and years, or, in the case of my etsy friends, people I have never met. But, they are there when you need them, they appreciate your unique qualities and most of all, have fun and lots of laughs when you get together, whether in real life or on line.

I didn't realize it, but I have lots and lots and lots of friends, and even more importantly, I realized I am a friend to lots and lots and lots of other people.

So, to my friends...whether near or far, on line or in real life...thank you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No Wonder it Takes Me Forever to Accomplish Things

So, I've made some new items. In order to list them, they need to be photographed. Pretty self explanatory. Not a HUGE amount of time involved.....but, the bulb was broken on my "location" lamp, there was just a little bit of glass left, my husband was actually home, so I sent him off in search of the appropriate tools to remove the remains of the old bulb. I replaced the bulb, set up my white box and prepared to take some photographs.

All of a sudden, there was more than I anticipated in the shot. I removed my helper and he came back. Again. And again. And again. Finally, I said what the heck and shot the picture with him in it. Once I stopped asking him to leave, it was no longer a game and he went off to wreak havoc elsewhere.

Better than Winning a Prize

My friend is having a GREAT raffle in her shop. No, I didn't win the prize....she asked me if I would provide a beer quilt as a runner up prize. How totally cool is that? I was very honored! I always feel really good when someone purchases one of my items, but to have been asked to provide an item for her raffle was wonderful.

Of course, if you are interested in mineral makeup, her product is THE ONLY way to go. I have very dry, sensitive skin and was told by everyone mineral makeup would accentuate my fine wrinkles. Yeah, maybe, but not pinkquartzminerals makeup. After sending some close up pictures of my face, I received samples of the products that would be best for my skin tone. Not only did I receive detailed directions, I also was able to ask many questions-and got answers very quickly.

Interested in trying mineral makeup? Check out You may win $200 in free makeup, you may win a beer quilt....but you will DEFINITLELY win smoother, healthier skin and a look that doesn't scream I'M WEARING MAKEUP.

Okay, I've HAD it!

I hate laundry. It's a never ending chore, you lug it to the washer, sort it, wash it, dry it, fold it, put it away....and it's NEVER done. Ever.

so, I'm proposing National Nudity. Now, I know it could get a little chilly around here in the winter, so yeah, clothing would be necessary. But, on those temperate days, going au naturel would really make the laundry problem so much easier to deal with! And, think of all the time you'd save in the morning by not having to waste time staring at your closet!

Anyone else with me on this?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Manic Monday!

So, I blogged twice on Saturday, so I took yesterday off! We went to put the Star away, the one I sail is already tucked away for the winter, the one Michael sails needed to be put away. I realized that a sailboat is not just for's a GREAT prop for new product pictures.

This morning, I held a sign for a candidate at a predebate rally. It was chilly, breezy and I was in the shade. Without my mittens. They were on the kitchen counter. My fingers have finally warmed up.

I realized a few things. When you are standing with people holding signs of the opposing candidate, it's obvious we aren't all going to agree on politics, so don't bring it up. I had fun chatting and playing word games with everyone.

I also saw someone start grilling the supporters about their candidate. Um.....not cool. The candidates are debating, not the supporters. To me, it was tacky, crass and totally not necessary.

Unofficial poll results.....equal amounts of Democrats and Republicans drink tea. Who makes the best tea for drive-thru venues? It was a landslide. Dunkin Donuts. Absolutely NO coffee taste in the tea.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Potluck Brownies

It's 3:30, we are going to 4:00 Mass, they are blessing the Catechists. I'm teaching Little Lambs this's the little kids that go downstairs for age appropriate readings and activities during the readings, gospel and homily. I figure my kids are holy terrors, so I'd be a teacher and have to deal with them myself.

Anyway, I am sewing, Michael comes home and says, what happened to the brownies....I come flying down the stairs and see that my darling daughter, who was angry that I wouldn't let her eat the brownies...poked holes in them with a wooden spoon, as they were cooling. There was no time to do anything about it, so I packaged them up and took them. Holey brownies or holy brownies...they were going to a church function, after all.

Everyone laughed about them, said they were delicious and they were all eaten. She was all smiles..however, I told her if she did it again she was in HUGE trouble.

Sunny Saturday

My headache, dizziness and nausea are GONE! But, I have a major muscle spasm going down my back. I really think the cause was the other day when my son jumped on my neck. So, I've done some hot packs, Advil (not as frequent) and am going to be careful today.

The plan for today:
1. Make brownies for potluck dinner
2. Go to preschool bookfair at Barnes and Noble at 10:30 AM (leaving credit card at home, taking cash only
3. Try to have both kids and me out of Barnes and Noble by 3:00 PM
4. Sew for a bit, if time allows, but ONLY in 15 minute increments....don't need to aggravate neck.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finally Friday!

And I had my migraine come back last night with dizziness and nausea. Slept on the couch a la college foot on the floor, to counteract the spins. It's better today....I remembered Griffin jumped on my neck the other day at the playground and I stopped taking Advil yesterday because my migraine was going away and now my neck really hurts, so I think this is related to the neck thing.

Not getting any sewing done, but that's okay. Hopefully tomorrow. Michael is cutting wood and the kids and I are going to Barnes and Noble for a fundraiser for preschool.

Here are the bets
1. How many books am I going to buy (remember, I'm on a tight budget)
2. How long is it going to take and how loud is it going to get when I have to pry Griffin away from the Thomas the Tank Engine corner?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


is a rainy, gray, lazy kind of day. We didn't do too much, read stories, watched TV, played, colored and now I'm thinking about dinner.

I did get a pair of slipper socks for me made last night...LOVE them. I used thin fleece and I had them on this morning...popped my rain boots on to walk Sarah to school...they weren't too big and bulky, and then, when I took off my boots, I had something to walk around the house in already. Tried a pair in kids size today, tried to modify it....why don't I just leave things alone that are working?

Oh, and I joined twitter last night. Still not really sure what I am doing with it, but something new and exciting to check out on my sidebar...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It's the middle of the week. I've kept up with the major purging of crap I did over the weekend..I think because I got rid of so much, there isn't much left to spread about. I'm going to try and sew today, but I have a migraine simmering....and it's a gorgeous bright sunny warm fall day..the kids want to go outside, but the light, even with sunglasses and a hat, is very painful. I want to be outside enjoying this beautiful day myself......

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What did I get done?

My 3 days are done. I got absolutely ZERO sewing done, in fact, I think I broke my machine trying to fix one little seam. That will be tackled later.

Yesterday, I ran some errands, got a start on birthday and Christmas shopping and could not believe all the traffic! I went to my parents house at the's so pretty on the water with the leaves changing. The kids were very happy to see me. Mom was nice enough to model for some updated pictures for my shop. I helped them with some winterizing-putting the patio furniture away, covering the planters with plastic (and, in case you are wondering, string DOES float) and cutting back the perennials and little trees growing in the garden. That was interesting. Mom said don't worry about the stuff on the rock wall. But, I thought I could get some of it. The rock wall is the edge of the garden. The rock wall doesn't go up, the rock wall goes about 4 feet down into the lake. Another little tidbit of info that I will share-pine needles are VERY slippery. I stayed dry, but I bruised my bum.

I got the kids all organized and we came home. Of course, they slept the entire ride home and were totally recharged when we got home at 5:30. Hopefully tonight they will go to bed much earlier-and easier!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 2 Update, Day 3 Plan

Okay, so yesterday....I thought I could clean out the file cabinet, clean off the desk and floor in the den and it would take about 2 hours. Yeah, right.

First off, the filing cabinet was broken so I had to break it to open it. I never cleaned out 2007 to file 2008. However, the filing cabinet was purchased before we got married in 2001, so there was A LOT in there. I tossed manuals from items we don't own anymore, product registration cards I never sent in...and, please, tell me WHY I still have the printout from my bridal registries AND baby registry? Yeah, are you getting the picture?

So, after 5 1/2 hours of work, everything is sorted and put away. Remember all of my efforts in the nice clean organized trash room? Well, you really can't walk through there again, but only because of the paper grocery bags of recyclables, the broken file cabinet and 4 smooshed cardboard boxes!

I also cleaned out the den closet, the "just cram it in there" closet. Now, the kids card table and chairs and their easel is in there, neatly, along with the vaccuum cleaner and carpet shampooer. My desk is clutter free (it needs to be cleaned but I only have so much energy/motivation in a day) and right now, I'm using the keyboard, on the tray, and nothing fell when I pulled it out. I also pushed my chair back and pulled it back in, just because I could do it. There is nothing on the floor to hamper it's movement!!!!!!

Now, I'm off to the lake to get my children. No sewing got done this weekend, but a lot of work was accomplished and I feel much more calm, organized and focused. I'll sew tonight as I watch Dancing with the Stars.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Day 2

I had grandiose plans for is what happened
1. Was out of mailers, so didn't package order. Drove by PO, line was HUGE. Will deal with that on Tuesday.
2. Already listed item
3. Made it to fabric store, and, (drumroll please) KEPT TO THE LIST
4. Took pictures of hat and 2 earbands, however, Bogart the Lion wasn't here and he has already left for the night, so I will need to think of something else. Hat pictures need to be redone.
5. Did not tweak shawl
6. Cut out couch sack, had to rewash and dry ribbing (THANKS GEORGE)
7. Did 3 1/2 loads of laundry-washed, dried, folded and put away
8. Went to grocery store, skipped CVS-realized I didn't need anything and the $4 off any purchase of $20 or more really was going to be more of a waste of time, gas, etc.
9. Had lunch at home, saving more time and $$.
10. Never made the walk..

I spent 3 1/2 hours cleaning/straightening the work room/trash room AND the cellar. We come in through the garage into the work room, then into the cellar where we (In theory) hang up coats, bags, stow shoes in cubbies, sort laundry, store excess food, chest freezer is there, along with the woodstove and woodbox. So, you can imagine the magnitude of dirt, dust, clutter, trash and just CRAP I had to deal with. Then, it took me 45 minutes to put away everything that was downstairs that belonged on the other 2 floors.

So, did I get my list done? No. But, I got more done that wasn't on the list. Instead of doing things for ME, I did things that made me happy but also was a benefit to the rest of the family, so I feel like I made way more progress that if I had done my list.

Today's list...
Swamp out the den...
1. Clean out 2007 from filing cabinet, make room to file 2008
2. Excavate pile of crap that is supporting computer-I know there is a desk under there somewhere
3. Put books back on bookshelf, clean crap out of closet to put kids card table and chairs and easel, so they can be OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR.
4. Read the Sunday paper
5. Try this time for myself I've heard so much about......

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My 3 Day Plan (Day 1)

My husband just took my children to his mother's house. He is going to be cutting wood all day. It's 8:45 AM..they will probably be home AFTER dinner. Tomorrow, we got to church in the morning, then in the afternoon, he is cutting wood again, but taking my children to my parents spend the night. I will be going up to get them on Monday, not sure when yet.

So, I have quite a chunk of child free plan for today is
1. Package and mail an order
2. List a new scarf in Griffin Gear (done already)
3. Go to the fabric store and KEEP TO THE LIST
4. Take pictures of an adult fleece hat, adult earband and children's earband
5. Redo pictures of pillow/throw
6. Tweak Hot Chocolate Scarf (I've decided I am not thrilled with the pockets)
7. Make a couch sack
8. Fold all laundry that's dry, wash and dry at least 2 loads
9. Go to CVS and grocery store
10. Get lunch at favorite sub shop
11. Go for a walk

The plan for Day 2 and 3 directly hinges upon the things that get accomplished today. Stay tuned-I'll try and update this evening so we can all track my progress (or lack thereof)

I think I'm going to go brush my teeth and get dressed and head out the door. I don't want to lose track of time and be rushing to make the Post Office before it closes...and have fleece scraps stuck to my butt, measuring tape around my neck, pins stuck in my shirt hem....and a marking pencil as a hair stick....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh, ick

so, I did a new listing for my shop, and in my head and in my living room, it's a GREAT item...a fleece throw that you can fold into a pillow. (I call it the Secret Stash Pillow/Throw) Keeps the couch neat. Well, trying to take pictures that showed what it was proved to be quite challenging. In fact, almost impossible!!!!! I am going to try again tomorrow to take pictures outside. It's supposed to be a nice, crisp, sunny fall day in New Hampshire.

So, the question of the day is do you make oatmeal colored fleece look exciting and vibrant? Yeah. Tough question.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My First Garbage Picking Expedition

Okay, so, this is blog post number 3 in as many days. If that isn't enough to make you feel an attack of the vapors coming, this will. I garbage picked. Yup, I did. I have never, ever done that before. However, I was walking home from dropping the kids off at school yesterday. It was garbage day and there was this thing that kind of looked like really small parallel bars, on wheels. I need a rack to hang the clothing for my craft fair booth.....this thing is about 3 feet long, about a foot wide and the 2 bars are probably boob height on me, so less than 4 feet from the ground. Perfect to hang clothing for their level.

So, here I am walking over 1/2 mile home, pushing this contraption. Normally, I see no one on my way home. Not yesterday! Three different people were doing yardwork, 2people were walking (and dogs DO NOT like this thing coming at them) and then, as I went to cross the last road to my street, 2 of the other preschool moms went jogging by. I was stopped to let cars go, of course they saw me....they just looked and laughed, as did I.

We shall see how this works...if it doesn't work, well, I'll just put it at the end of my driveway next Wednesday. Who knows where it will end up next!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Two Days in a Row?

Yup. This makes 2 days in a row of updating my blog. And, I have also listed new items in each shop. I love the lime green ear band I listed in GriffinGear. I love the Hot Chocolate Shawl I listed in pandys, however, I was the model and I'm not a fan of using myself. I don't like pictures of me...and as a model, well, how do you stand, what do you do with your hands, where do you look, do you smile, do you keep a straight face? Too many options.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Okay, so it's October. Where did September go? After Labor Day, I was going to be updating my blog daily, with pictures. (great idea on paper....) so, school is going well for the kids, I walk 19 miles a week, they each walk 9.5.

My son has already had his first bout of asthma/persistent croup. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I was able to keep on top of it and avoid an ER visit and hospital admission.

We entered things in the Deerfield Fair. I got a blue ribbon for a bag and a quilt, and a blue ribbon for a loaf of white bread. The kids got third place for their gourds (it was a wet summer) Griffin got a blue for his drawing and Sarah got a red. They both got first prize for their painted pumpkins.

We ripped out the stinky living room rug, sanded the plywood subfloor, painted the walls and ceiling a rich dark brown, the trim a cream color and the floor somewhere between the two, and got an area rug. Living room looks much more clean, less cluttered...and best of all..NO MORE STINKY, STAINED RUG.

So, I guess I have been busy, so neglecting my blog doesn't seem so bad. I'll try to keep up more often.......