Bad Attitude

I know, it's the Christmas season and I should be grateful for the gifts I receive. I should be grateful anyone would want to give me a gift, any gift at all. But instead, I got some gifts that were not to my liking and I feel like a greedy, non appreciative person. But really, see the clock? Why would anyone see this and think of me? Maybe my neighbors whose husband works for a winery would like it.

And this purse? Really? I don't even know what to say. My neighbor brought me these gifts on Christmas Eve. Closely followed by going to my parents house and receiving cartridges for my Cricut. Yes, the cricut I did not want and don't use. My mom picked out some nice floral cartridges for me. So I can add flowers to my sons' scrapbook pages? Pages I haven't worked on in years? Ungrateful ? That is me. My mom said she looked at the books on my wish list and thought they were boring. Well, she wasn't going to be the one reading them!
Christmas hysteria starts at Halloween with my family getting onto each other about gift lists and wish lists and such. And ever year someone pronounces someones lists lame and buys off of the list. Not me. I shop from the list and do my best to make people happy and I would simply appreciate the cooperation of others. It should not so hard to get everyone on the same page.
Christmas was not a total bust, I got a great book from my sister in law and a book from Scott, alog with the weaving loom I wanted. We are leaving for a bit, but i will be busting out the loom as son as I return and can get back into my happy crafting place again.

Homemade Christmas

Once again it was time to celebrate Christmas with my best girlfriends with our annual exchange of homemade presents. I scored the necklace (above) from my friend Rebecca. I also got a dozen tamales and some lip gloss, but don't have photos of either because they were immediately pressed into service. The necklace is made from sculpey, stamped and baked and glossed. I love it. the pattern on it reminds me of something from nature, and fairly African in look. I have got to learn how to do this!
My friend Stephenie P. made me a homemade pillow. I love this, it will match great on our guest bed. It is very fun and funky and has a great style to it.

My friend Stephanie B made felted items for us. I really had no idea what i would get from her, because we were together when we saw felted items we loved. I knew she was working with felt this year, but had no idea what she would come up with. This is already on my table.

A friend of Rebecca's knew we had a homemade exchange and contributed carved wooden pieces for all of us. I got a door stopper but have it on my bookshelves right now. It looks like a beautiful piece of sculptural art to me.
What did I give? Well, of course I don't have a photo to share! I went with an office theme and made everyone a lunch bag made from oil cloth, monogrammed notecards and a frame with flowers on them. I used felt and card making type flowers for decorations on the frame. Next year I'll have to take photos of my own gifts, too.
As for the Lemon Cookie recipe:
1 box Lemon Cake Mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs.
Mix together and drop cookies onto a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes. Cooking time varies based on the size of the dough balls. Mine were fairly big so I baked them for 13 minutes. I added a bag of white choc chips to stretch the dough and made a double batch. You can use this recipe with any kind of cake mix. Imagine Red Velvet cookies rolled in powdered sugar before baking. Next for me will be chocolate fudge cookies with butterscotch chips. It is not an original recipe, but one found on the internet. God Bless the internet. I do love it.

Not Much, That's What I Got

I have not felt terribly crafty since I finished up the mittens and stockings. So, there isn't much to report on the Crafting front. I did make an ornament for a friend who is a wicked game player. She will be horrified that I used Scrabble tiles, thinking I broke up a perfectly good game. But the truth is that I ordered the tiles from ebay a while back, thus rescuing what might have otherwise been seen as (gasp) trash. I found out some time later that you an also buy fake scrabble tiles in the section of the local; craft store that sells wooden pieces, making it much easier to craft with them since you won't need to purchase a game, or search for tile parts on the internet.
Our next door neighbors moved away recently and I went to meet the new neighbors yesterday, taking homemade cinnamon hot cocoa mix and homemade granola with me. The wife came over last night with some homemade cookies warm from the oven. Oh, I think I really like these people! I made lemon cookies for a cookie exchange Friday. Now, I make a decent size thick cookie, right? My neighbors toffee cookies are next to my lemon cookies in this photo. Yep. She can kick my cookie baking butt. I hope she shares her secrets. They tasted yummy, too.
I am meeting my friend Maria today. She is moving to Brazil on Friday and I cannot even tell you how much I am going to miss her. But I will be every happy to see her in Brazil soon! When? I don't know, but I know I am visiting as soon as I can.

Wintery Wonderland

I can't resist taking pictures of my house in the snow. I don't know why. I think my house is very pretty and I like it year round, but in the winter it really calls to me. No doubt when the kids are old and they are parents themselves they will want to show their own kids what the home they were raised in looked like. Then they will think Global Warming has really taken effect as all the pictures will show snow on the ground. Noah even wore shorts to school yesterday, most likely compounding his memory problems as an adult. He'll tell his kids we were so poor we couldn't afford pants.
In an effort to make homemade Christmas presents I am on a mission to make hats. The school colors are really green and White but no one believes this as the school tends to use Green and Gold all the time. Gold is supposed to be an accent color, but has become a main color. I made my first hat in Green and White much to the dismay of my children, so now I am making Green and Gold hats. The pattern is called Zportz and is available free on Ravelry if you are inclined to knit these yourself.

Fourth Grade is the year you learn about Indiana History in school. They have a day called "Wax Museum". The kids pick their favorite Hoosier off of a list and research them. Then on Wax Museum Day the kids all go to the auditorium, dressed like their person and wait for people to come press their "button". Once "turned on" the kids come to life and recite a speech about their famous Hoosier. Seth is Michael Jackson. He held his pose so I could get a photo of him.
If you look closely you will see a bit of my dog in the picture. She was fully in the picture but one eye was illuminated green and the other was illuminated blue. The red eye control on my photo program could not eradicate the glow nor the colors of her eyes.. Thus proving once again my dog is weird.

The Bounty of the Season

My friend Maria is moving soon (way too soon if you ask me, too bad no one did!) to Brazil and I am collecting some of the bounty from her home. I feel like the luckiest person alive. Not only did I receive some gorgeous couches that look great in my basement, I also got some pillows from her. I am always looking at pillows when I am at the store. You know how it is, they would really freshen up a room, but to buy them? It hurts the wallet and it is not an item that you absolutely need to have. It's just an item that I lust over. Well, I got some pillows from Maria! This is my favorite pillow. The green one in the back is my saggy old pillow, the pretty one in front is from Maria.
I would love to promise you that there will be no more pictures of mittens, but I am still working on them. Today I added cuffs to the mitten bottoms. I made some of them so that they would not need to have cuffs, but they look better cuffed, so I am cuffing them all. You will see this is not a prettily posed photo, but a photo of real life in my home. Now that I see the picture I wish I had set the scene better. I do now have hope that I can get everything finished up soon. The mittens may or may not get little buttons added on for decorations, It all depends on how tired I become from looking at them.

Seth has the most christmas spirit of all of us in the house. He loves to put up and decorate the Christmas tree, and we love to let him do as much of it as he can. He opened the tree box and pulled out the Christmas tree skirt that I made years ago. He put it on like a dress and began to dance around and sing a few Christmas choruses. He hates when I tell about him on my blog, but he is the most fun to chat about. The tree will be up soon and I have a few presents to put under it. I do not like an empty tree. Not one bit.

Oh No, Not Again!

If you are tired of looking a my mittens, imagine how tired I am of making them. After starting this mitten craft with sweaters from the Goodwill store, I quickly realized I had a whole lot of wool and needed to make something else. So, I started making Christmas stockings. I made 13 of them and they are completely made and complete. Mittens? I am still fussing around with them. Some (read most) still need an edging around the bottom and I am trying to add edging while keeping the mittens stretchable. A harder task than you might think.
I went to a card class in Nashville In a few weeks ago taught by Michelle Zindorf. she uses brayers on her cards and they are quite different from what you would usually find. I thought I would show you what I made, but I can't find my cards. That is the story of my life right now. I am not very well organized and I try to keep things picked up. So, I pick up things and put them away, then forget where I put them *sigh*
I need the holidays to be over so I can do a good cleaning around here. You know, tidy up the craft stuff, toss out scraps I don't need and get everything squared away. Of course, I don't want to wish the holidays away before they are even here. Maybe Santa will bring me some organization skills this year.

Making Necklaces from Hardware

I am not having a lot of luck moving my pictures around today, so these are not in the order I would like for them to be in.
I'll have to wait until Scott comes home to help me straighten out my problems. I like to have text between the pictures so I can exlain things better, but Blogger isn't going to let me do that right now.
I got this idea from the blog of Shelly Katzung, Accentuate 'N Ink. She posted a tutorial on how to make necklaces from washers, like you would find at Lowe's. Some of her washers have scrapbook paper on them and look very cute. She traced around the paper and cut it out so it was the size of the washer and she glued it on. Then she covered the top of it with Glossy Accents so it would protect the paper and have some shine.
Shelly also had a tutorial on covering washers with ranger Inks. You just dab it on and let it dry. That is what I used to make my necklace.
The top photo is what the washers look like at lowe's, if you'd like to try this on your own. Shelly used clips she found at Joanns to attach the washer to the necklace. I went to Joanns and bought the only four clips I saw, and I think they add a great professionally finished look to the piece. I included a picture on the clip in its packaging so you know what to look for.
The bottom photo is my finished necklace. I used a red color, maybe Plum. I have only a few colors and could only play around with what I had onhand.I also used some silver additive, which seemed to help intensify the color and attch it to the washer. Next time I try this, I'll be wearing gloves as my ranger ink skills are messy and my hands were dyed after this project. The silver circular item I added to the encklace is a donut from Stamping Bella. She has a line of plastic pieces called Donuts and Dots. But, you could wire wrap a small bead or pearl or crystal if you'd like.
Scott will not be so happy when he sees me going through his tool cabinets looking for items to color! Now I can color coordinate screws and nails if I want!

My Neighbor Pete's Birthday

There is s mall group of us in my neighborhood who have birthdays on repetitive dates. It's hard to explain so follow along, My birthday is 10-10, (Oct 10) Jen was born on 7-7 (July 7) and Pete's birthday is Nov 11th (11-11). We exchange presents in out little group. Pete happens to work for Berringer Wines and I had a collection of wine corks that he gave me last summer. He thought they were trash, but I made him birthday presents with them.

The picture above shows me holding a cork trivet. I used pre cut pieces of cork I bought at Michaels (with a coupon, of course). I glued the corks on, trying to use completely different corks. I had to cut one cork in order to make the pattern work, but I just got out a kitchen knife and cut part of it off. Easy Peasy. Hot glue was a great thing. Lay out your pattern and glue the corks on. I used two layers of cork for the bottom as one layer semed too thin. I covered the edges with a band of ribbon.

I found a thin fall wreath at Michaels on sale for 75% off so I bought a big bunch of plastic grapes in a coordinating color and cut the group apart with scissors at home. I then glued on the grapes and only Berringer corks to the wreath. I wasn't sure about it, but Pete seemed to really like it. The rumor is that he took it to his office and has it hanging there. Apparently his office is full of Berringer memorabilia.
I also gave Pete pictures of his kids which I had punched out with a 1 inch circle punch and put in pop bottle lids. I tied a ribbon to the top and put a magnet on the back. Pete is a frugal man and his wife is a discount shopper like I am. I think they were pretty happy that I used their wine corks in such a creative way. It makes me happy to give gifts that people love.
The weather is rainy and cold here. I don't like the rain part of it most of all. It makes it hard to go out and get errands done. I did put chicken in the crock pot this morning and I went out to use my Kohl's cash that I earned last week. My mom wants hand towels for her bathroom and I got that taken care of for Christmas. I also finished sewing tops and hangers on all my sweater stockings. I need to finish up making mittens and then I can get rid of all the odds and ends of sweater pieces. Seth is dying to put up the tree but Scott says no. Seth never seems to get what he wants, poor little guy.

Cookie Day

Every year our church youth group spends a day making bazillions of Chocolate Chip Cookies as a fundraiser. Someone at the church works at a local high school and they use the kitchen there for baking the massive amount of cookies. People order the cookies as Christmas presents for office staff (and whoever) and it turns out to be lots of work for one day, but a huge fundraiser. This year I was asked to make cookies as samples to cut up and give away on ordering days. I made almost 8 dozen cookies this weekend and when I left the room for a minute I returned to find the above scene. My kids are so funny!
This pile is what has been keeping me busy. I decided I might never use up all my sweater pieces for mittend and decided to move on to stockings. I can get two stockings out of each sweater and still have smaller pieces left for mittens. I took a picture of the carnage on the floor. I now have about 12 or 13 stockings made but I need to complete the top part of them with some trim, so they are mostly done but not quite finished.
The wool is thick enough that it takes up more room than an average craft so I am eager to finish it all and throw away the scraps. Then I have to find someone who wants a wool scrap stocking for the holidays! I swear, I should have thought about that first before I got carried away with this. It seems though that the closer I get to the holidays, the more people I find that I'd like to have a present for, single parents, youth group volunteers, people away from home or family who otherwise might not wake up to presents under their tree. I love surprising people with the gifts of the season, the greatest of these being love. I even have a few gifts wrapped already. Once we put the tree up, I have to have presents under it. I can't stand having an empty tree.

Putting Away for Winter

Whenever I have an activity going on, Seth wants to help, so I put him to good use helping me make freezer jam. I went to a jam making demonstration at Sur La Table a while back and they suggest adding 2 teaspoons of grated orange peel to the jam, so Seth is grating for me. We are not measuring accurately because the lady at Sur La Table said 2 t is equivalent to about grating half an orange, so I just take her word for it grate right into the bowl.
I feel like a squirrel putting away for the winter. I made 21 jars of strawberry jam which will go to the Sunday school teachers at church. I gave everyone stamped tiles last year, and they were a HUGE hit. What can I say? Scott teaches 2nd and 3rd grade kids and I am an adult class leader, so I appreciate everyone who works hard to keep things running smoothly.
I finished a pair of mittens for myself. I know I am keeping them because I found some pretty felted flowers on a sweater at Goodwill and cut them off the sweater and sewed them onto the mittens. I love them! Of course, I bought the sweater, I didn't swipe the flowers right there in the store. :)
Scott spent last night painting the bathroom for me. The bathroom is one of those endless projects you can work on bit by bit with no "due" date. At least now we can put up towel bars again, which is my goal. I hate painting projects and everywhere I turn I see some other room that needs painted or trim to be painted or a touch up spot that needs help. I should set aside an hour or two a day and paint before I go crazy, but I just can't seem to find the time. Scott is a God to me and I never love him more than when he is painting for me.

More Mittens

I'd show you the photos, but they really just look like more of the same. I keep on making mittens. I don't know if it is the cheap deals you can get on a sweater that I love or the sewing. Time will tell when I can se if I accomplish anything with all this felted wool. I ntend to use up every last scrap of it.

Since I was last here, I vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells with friends over Fall Break. Wisconsin does not have a drinking age if you are with your parents and the restaurant permits it. Sort of funny, and odd for me who lives in Indiana where you can't even buy alcohol on Sundays. Seth did no drinking, but it was odd to think he could. I had a great time vacationing with my BFF Steph and her family. Who knew how much fun it could be? I never want to vacation with my own family again. (Just kidding, Honey)

We ate our way through Beer/Cheese/Brat soup except for Scott who doesn't care for brats. He tried one cup of it on our last night and immediately knew he was sorry for all that he'd missed. Maybe next time he'll listen to me when I tell him what is good. I guess I could have offered him a bite of mine earlier on, but apparently I didn't fell like sharing.

Here in town we have a research place that has people come in and do studies. I am on the calling list so every once in a while I go taste breakfast bars or use acne wash or whatever they want. they pay well, too. Today I got called in on a study to taste test pies. I sampled three apple pies and then they gave me the pies to take home. Score! We will all be happy pie eaters tonight. Now I just gotta stock up on my French Vanilla Edy's ice cream to go with it. Mmmmm Edy's.


So this is pretty much how crafts happen. At least at my house. I was at the fabric store looking for some fabric for a sewing idea I had. I spotted a bin of wool sweaters and a pattern about how to make a bag out of old sweaters. You just get a wool sweater, felt it in your washer (wash in hot water so the fibers shrink) and cut it according to the pattern. Voila, you have a bag.

So, I got a sweater at Goodwill and washed it, cut it, and made a bag. Only it was too big and really not pretty. So, I searched the internet and found a mitten pattern, like the mittens I saw in the store for $40.00 last week. So now I am cutting up felted wool pieces and making mittens.

The two photos are of different mitten sets, even if the colors are the same, I put them in different places on the mittens. You are supposed to sew the cuffs of the sweaters onto the bottoms of the mittens for edging, but I noticed if you use the sweater band you don't need to do the edging. And I am all about cutting out a step or two if I can.
So, I have cut up sweater pieces around the house. The problem is that they are bulky to have around. I have only made a couple of pairs so far, but Noah and Seth each took a pair right away that they claim to love, so I can call this craft a success since it is kid tested and approved.


I have been in a baking mood lately. Maybe it is because we have not yet turned our furnace on. I think I am trying to stay warm by oven power! I made cupcake bites again, and Seth helped decorate. If you want to know what these are, go to Bakerella and see her recipe and designs. Her site is very cool with lots of variations on the theme.

My neighbor Jen brought me a birthday basket with the supplies to make her famous Tomato Basil soup. Seth has wanted the recipe for a year and she has always been meaning to get to it for me. So for my birthday I got all I need to make my own soup. My conclusion? It was good but it's one of those things, food always tastes better when someone else makes it. It was goodthough and probably has very few calories as it is so full of veggies. It was great on a cold winter night but I really needed some grilled cheese to complete the meal.
I went to a little gift shop today and found some cute mittens for $40.00. Yep, you know I didn't buy them at that price! But i cannot stop longing for them. I wish I'd had my camera, I would have photographed them. They were made from "reclaimed" fleece and wool. This means the lady either cut up her husband's old clothes or shops at Goodwill. She got her supplies on the cheap and there is no way you can convince me that there was enough labor in them to justify the forty bucks. I do need to find a thin warm additive to put between fleece or fabric layers to keep your hands warm when you wear the mittens. Maybe if they are two layers of wool/fleece they will be warm enough.
I am on a mission to make my own now. I'll have to make a prototype and see how it goes. I stopped at Goodwill and got a sweater today for $1.99. I am going to cut it up and turn it into a bag. Any leftovers will be saved for the mitten scrap pile. I'll let you know if any of this works out. Until Later, Happy Crafting!

It's My Birthday

Yes, today is my birthday! There probably isn't another day in the year that I like more than my birthday. I think it is because we never did much for my birthday when I was growing up. I got a store bought cake and a small present. Later on we could pick whether we wanted a present or $25.00. I always took the money so I got a card with money in it, and no presents.
I know it might sound greedy, but as an adult I am all about the presents, both in gving them for other people's special days receiving them on my own. I had lunch with friends this week and got some Swedish Fish. Mmmm, I love them so. They were from my friend Nana who also made me a carrot cake for my birthday. One of my favorite cakes! There is no better way to get a serving of vegetables.
Last night I had a little party with my best girlfriends and I got flowers, a gift card, a travel case and a bag in my favorite color (lime green) and a collage made just for me. I love my birthday celebrations with friends. I have no idea what my family may or may not do today. We all slept in and are having a very quiet day and I am satisfied so far.
I went to a fancy tea store this week and bought some loose leaf tea, which I promptly handed over to Scott for my birthday. He didn't do anything with it, just left it sitting out. When I woke up today I thought I would make myself a cup of teas, but I couldn't find the tea. He must have taken it and wrapped it!
My friend Steph gave me the flowers, which gave her quite a conumdrum. She couldn't decide if I liked flowers or not. Seriously? What girl doesn't want flowers?! She wondered if in my frugality I would find them wasteful. Heck, no! Of course, I would never want a big expensive bouquet from a flower store, knowing I would rather have that kind of money spent on something else. But a tasteful arrangement? Perfect! I love it! I never get flowers, so this is extra special to me.

I did some baking this week, and made a big pile of cookies, which my family managed to quickly eat down. I never meant to put off blogging this long, but the kids won't let me have access to the computer once they are home. Maybe I should distract them with more baked goods and make a run for rthe computer when they aren't looking.

Little People

The possibility that I need psychological help gets closer everyday. I am quite addicted to making these little people. Dangerusly addicted if the truth is known. I have a little assembly line on the breakfast table and everyday I am thinking to myself "Maybe I can get one more coat of paint on before I leave " or " I should give them just one more coat of sealant spray before I go to bed." I just can't stop fussing with them.

I have a few for Halloween and Christmas and birthdays that are going to a store on Monday. There is a little gift shop in indy that is going to sell some for me, along with some jewelry. It will be fun to see if they sell well.
I am never good at coming up with a price point on things. Who knows what people will pay? I am always thinking " I can make that myself" pus I am too cheap to part with money so I shop frugally. If you have any thoughts on their pricing, I'd love to know. They really do take some time to make.
Seth wants to make the characters from the Wizard of Oz. He has made Dorothy and the Wicked Witch so far. he is so cute! He shares well, too, so it is easy to craft with him.

Mad Men

As much as I am interested in the show Mad Men I do not watch it much because I never remember when it is on. On my favorite knitting site, Ravelery, a new craze has his the avatar world, you can google "Mad Men Yourself" and find a place to make a cute little caricature. I made one for myself. I don't know that it is the best, but it's what I have for now. I had the desire to add a cigarette to my profile, but I was afraid I'd frighten my small children. Hey, it's not my fault that I was raised by chain smokers and still occasionally love the mist of smoke as it wafts by me. It reminds me of my childhood, what can I say? Ypu make a bigger picture, but I chose to crop mine down to avatar size.

And I did create something lately. I hope I didn't post it already. I forget totaly who made the stamps, but the background paper is from Basic Grey. I brayered the background and Scott used the word "Gradient" to describe it. He's a smart guy full of big words. I never would have come up with that on my own.
Seth asked me to bring him McDonald's for lunch. I really don't want to, but I will. Why couldn't he want something good, like Arby's or Taco Bell? Tomorrow the kids don't have school, so I have to plan something to do. seth wants to go to the Indianapolis Art Museum. Not to see the inside though, he likes to walk the grounds outside. They have a gorgeous garden that is in bloom through the summer. I think Noah will go along, he loves to be outside. It won't be his idea of a great day, but he'll run and hike and have fun.


Scott said he has noticed I am not updating so much anymore. Hmmm It's not as if I have throngs of readers begging for more information about my crafting life. I was going to distract everyone with a photo of a card this morning, but blogger won't cooperate with uploading. Darn thing. That's what it was made for and now it won't perform its duty.

In truth I have been painting with Seth a lot this week and not card making so much. We just can't seem to stop making those little clothes pin people. I took one out in public with me this week and I believe that I left her behind at Joann fabrics in Castleton. I know I had her in my hands at check out, so maybe she stayed at the register. I hope she likes her new life because I did not notice she was missing until I got home and I am not interested in going back for her anytime soon. Though I do miss her sweet face.

Life is pretty much the same. The boys both want to go to Barnes and Noble and I am trying to sidetrack them with a trip to the library. I am having lunch with my friend Tina today and my no longer a friend, ex neighbor M. And I really want to nap but I have to be at school to volunteer this morning. I wish I was a hot room mom, but a good volunteer is all I am. Nothing sexy about it, just dedictaed.

Craft Days

If you have followed along so far you know that I lack impulse control when it come to crafts. If I see it and I like it, I want to make it right now. I saw a sweet little site on the internet where the most amazing things are made and I thought "Oh, I can do that!" I was so very very wrong! My stuff just pales in comparison. I will happily tell you the name of the site if you ask me, but I hate to post it here as I am clearly borrowing someone else's idea and not even doing it justice.
I have spent the past two days collecting all sorts of wooded balls and golf tees to glue the balls onto. I have wooden blocks, and wooden balls that are tiny and all sorts of acrylic paints (that are on sale at Michael's for 3 for $1.00 Thank God.) The kids are also helping me craft, and even a neighbor girl came to craft. It is addicting, I tell you! And Noah was having way more fun that he looks. We are painting the wood to be little candle holders.

They look like this when they are done. We used wooden beads that are 1 inch big and the holes are already in them. The monkey in the front is my favorite. The lady who makes these also makes full bodies people and they are super cute. I am trying to work my way up to that level of creativity.

What good is it to have cute little candle holders unless you have some cupcakes to put them on? Sorry these are not homemade, but that's why God gave us Kroger, right? Noah is working on making gorillas, but they were too dark to get a good picture of. I gotta run, the paint is dry and I have more little faces to paint.


I love this card! Mainly because I love the image on it, I think. The image is from Penny Black and the materials are from Papertrey Ink. The challenge the other day was to use red to make your image really pop. I attempted. I achieved!
Not much is going on here. I have a friend whose hubby is in the hospital with leukemia and will get a bone marrow transplant within the next few weeks, so I have devoted Tuesdays to doing her laundry. I pick it up in the morning before she starts teaching and return it to her at the end of the day. She lives way out in BFE so it works better this way, since I can avoid the drive to and from her home a couple times.
I have volunteered at school, driven car pool, taken Seth fast food for lunch, celebrated a friends' birthday with a Girls Night Out, just the usual stuff. I got a few Christmas presents on line already and now need to find a place to hide them. It's just more of the same old, same old, with a little sewing thrown in for good measure. I'll have to post my sewing pictures next. I nearly flunked home ec in school and never learned to read patterns, so my sewing is wonky, but it is made with love and it all works out in the end, I guess.

It's Warm Where I Am

Yes indeed, these little guys indicate what I am feeling today, warm. The stamp and quote are sold separately, and as well as they go together, they are from two different companies. I got these last year at Papertrix and the boys used them throughout the fall. This year I brought them out for the color challenge on SCS, to use Old Olive, Elegant Eggplant and Basic Black. I added a little orange just because I felt like it.
We took a weekend trip to Cincinnati and spent hours and hours at the Great Wolf Lodge while the kids ran the halls and played MagiQuest, a wizard and wands style game. We also went toJungle Jim's a grocery store that specializes in foreign foods. Good thing we went to the grocery first because the kids were in no hurry to leave their game. We have played it in South Carolina and there it is played one hour at a time.I guess you can pay for more time, but we never have. In Cincinnati, you can play for as long as you want, up to 4 days in the hotel. They were worn out on the way home and slept great that night at least.
School and Karate and laundry and dinner sems to be in full swing so ther just really isn't anything much going on in my life. And that's a good thing!

This Week In Sewing

I know, you are wondering, "Sewing? Again?" Well, yes. See the photos above and below? I don't know what it is called, but it is a re-useable sandwich wrapper that I bought at least five years ago at a craft fair. I thought it was a genius idea and bought it as soon as I saw it.
My favorite craft blog, Skip To My Lou, has asked us to upload easy sewing projects to share, so I thought this project would be perfect. I knew as soon as I saw this wrapper that I would make my own. That I would, in fact, make lots and lots of them. But I guess I got busy since I never actually made any, I just think about it everyday as I am packing kids' lunches.

I finally bought some fabric and started to make my own this week. The sandwich wrapper I bought has different fabrics for the front and the back, but you can use the same fabric if you want. Here is what you do:
1) Cut 2 pieces of fabric into 14 inch squares. Also cut a piece of clear vinyl this size.
2) Cut the corners off the fabric and vinyl.
3)Sew on Velcro tab to the bottom of one of the fabric pieces, maybe 3 inches from the bottom.
4) Lay fabric face to face with piece of vinyl in the middle of fabric.
5)At the top of the fabric sew in opposite piece of velcro, making sure velcro will line up to wrap the sandwich when you are done sewing.
6) Sew around all the edges of the fabric except for the bottom edge.
7)Turn fabric in side out and fold under bottom raw edge.
8) Sew bottom edge shut.

Here is some of the fabric I bought and cut down to make more sandwich wrappers with. When you fold them up, the sandwich is on the inside/vinyl side and it will stay fresh till lunchtime. You just wipe it clean for the next day's use.
Happy September! According to Skip To My Lou it is National Sewing Month, so maybe I'll have more inspiration to share before the month is over. Okay, I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.
Head on over to the Starving Artistamps web site, too. They have a new release of Halloween stamps and you can win a set! Gotta go check it out, though. You know how excited I am about Starving Artistamps and their Creatures. I really love all their stamps,the Creatures just hold a special place in my heart. I do love Halloween, so some new stamps would be so much fun!

It's A Pity

Well, once again, I have things to show you. but I can't. I tried to upload a photo a minute ago and just can't seem to get it done. Since I blog in the daytime and my husband is at work, I really do have to wait till he comes home to help me. He's a great guy and I can call him for help now and then, but I can tell diagnosing and solving my problems over the phone might not be what he lives to do.

Seth has been begging me to bring him food at lunch time. I finally gave in to his request and was hoping he would want Taco Bell or Wendy's. No, he wanted Subway. He eats turkey sandwiches every day for lunch and then he says he is tired of them and wants me to bring him in some food. So what does he want? A turkey sandwich! I gave in and got the kid what he wanted and shared half the sandwich with him. He likes to eat a footlong all by himself, but today I made him share. I have been trying to save money and cutting back on lunches out is part of that, but my budget isn't any happier yet.

I did go to Kohl's and scored five shirts for $25.00. You gotta love it when everything you want is 80% off. One shirt cost a whopping $9.60, so that means I got four more shirts for under $15.00. At least my husband knows I try to be frugal. I am so pleased with my score, too! What I really need is a hot pink shirt to match a skirt I have. I should have bought a white shirt and dyed it pink with my tie dye dyes. Now that is thinking! If only I had thought about it when I was at the store!

My Favorite Day

Yes, it is that time of the year again! The landscaping company across the street from us had their Annual Customer Appreciation lunch. Not only are we so frugal, that we go have free lunch every year, but they serve brats. I love brats! Scott doesn't like them because of the high fat content, so I never buy them. I could, I suppose, but I just don't. The only kind of side they had out when we arrived was cheetos. Mmmm. I love a nice crunchy pack of cheetos too! I thought it was an all around great day.

Today is the 50th anniversary of Scott's parents' wedding. All Scott's mom wanted from us was to have all her family with her in church. I thought it was an oddball request since 99 percent of the family attends somewhere every weekend, whether they be Catholic or Protestant. But we all put on our smiley faces and showed up. Afterwards we had a big dinner with family and friends.

A note about their was strange. As Scott put it, it was all production and little worship. They started off okay, they are one of those modern churches that big screens up front and white people filling the pews. On the screen they showed some videotaped announcements for the week and then there was singing up front by a few ladies and the church band. I think the ladies were supposed to sing the main parts of the song and the people were supposed to sing the chorus, but it wasn't explained anywhere. The songs did not seem contemporary and were hard to sing along with. Then the minister took the podium. He had a sermon in four parts encompassing the seasons of the year. Between seasons the lights would g out and people who appeared to be production assistants moved furnishings around to make a little scene to showcase each season. A beach chair and towel for summer, a chair with a sweater on it and a fake snowman for winter. you get the idea.

I had to wonder if anyone didn't know what items symbolized the seasons. it was really pretty pointless and a big time waster, but i guess the people who attend this church like the elements of the show. I just didn't get it and it wasn't interactive at all, as I think worship should be. Of course, at the end, you can't forget to send around the offering plates! We had been there before about 10 years ago and their church was as boring as I remembered, but I think we made Scott's mom very happy and in the end that is all that matters today.

Not a Floral Bouquet

I got this image from someone kind enough to send it to me. You know, one of the online friends who lives in my computer. They are some of my favorite people. Possible because they don't drink my Diet Rite and lie about it or keep me up with their snoring at night. The image is from a company called Gina K. I made the card for a sketch challenge on Splitcoast this morning and sent it out right away to a friend who is in the hospital with cancer. It should be easy cancer (leukemia, caught early) to beat, but he has a cyst on his lung and he doesn't feel well, and he is having delusional conversations with people who aren't there. His ife says he likes my crazy cards with comments like " by the time you get this the hair on my legs will be longer than the hair on your head."
The kids are dying to go to the State Fair this year. Anyone want to take them? I should put on my happy face and think about all the great childhood memeories we are making with them, but all I think about is the money we don't have being spent on worthless crap like rides and games and not on steak sandwiches, elephant ears and lemon shake ups for me. They eat their share of junk food,but it isn't the junk food I want to eat and I don't always have the temperment for standing in any more lines to get what I really want. I did not make anything to enter into the State Fair either. I thought it would get easier to compete when the kids got a little older, but instead of staying home with me in the summer and relaxing they are constantly demanding cooked food and excursions in the van. Little boogers.

For What It's Worth

Well, I am sorry it takes me so long to update sometimes. Scott took my camera and loaded a bunch of pictures on the computer for me last week and now I have taken new photos but can't figure out how to load them myself. Things just aren't working out and Scott isn't by my side when I need him for things like this.

Noah's hard first day of school seems to have evened out and we are back into a routine of sorts.

I had a problem at our neighborhood pool last week and ended up calling the police because I am very tired of seeing the same mischief makers again and again in the neighborhood and knowing that no one wants to rock the boat. I have spoken to their parents in the past, but is clear the parents have little control, and left alone, the kids continually make bad choices. The unfortunate side effect is that now I am nervous about being out in the neighborhood as I don't want the parents to see me and confront me on the street. Thankfully they don't live close to me, or even on my street, but still, I think twice about walking to a neighbor's house or taking my kids back to the pool. I am sure I will feel better about it soon.

Seth is pleased with his teacher and I am trying to do the usual things, laundry, dishes, dinner. There isn't much to report as I generally have a nice quiet life with few surprises.

School Days Again

Ah, the lovely return to school. What you don't see in this photo is the box of Dunkin Donuts that Seth carried in for his teacher. We know what it takes to get ahead! Seth went off to school in a good mood since he got the teacher he had been hoping for and knew that he would have some friends in his classroom.
Noah's school starts so early that if he rode the bus he would be out in the near dark of the morning waiting for it to arrive, since it comes before 7 AM. I had that happen to me, too. Lucky for him it would be a 20 minute ride on the bus. For me, it was an hour each way. And no, I am not telling stories about how hard life was when I was a kid, we lived far away from the school, and made lots of stops, that's the truth! Noah will pose for one picture on the first day of school, any more than that and I am pushing my luck. We car pool Noah to and from school so he gets some extra time in the morning.
Noah had a hard first day. One of his main teachers sent him home with 200 math problems for homework and she went through his pencil pouch and edited out what she did not want him to have. She also won't let him sit with his foot tucked up under him, the way he finds comfortable. All his previous teachers have been fine with the way he sits. I called around to a few people who know this lady and was told she was a total control freak. Uh, maybe someone could have mentioned that at his IEP in the spring? When you hear stories from other kids that she threw a stapler at one of them and slammed another into the wall, and none of her colleagues know if the stories are true or not and say "well, they might be, I hear a lot of stuff about her." That's a sign. I called her this morning and asked if we could come meet her, but she hasn't called back. I struggle not to be a helicopter parent and not being too involved with my kids' business. I would like to hear her view of things, because Noah's isn't pretty.

I made paper dividers for these little metal cases I had on hand. They previously help Build A Brad sets from Stampin Up! I put Sweedish fish and gummy worms into my little tackle boxes and printed out "Hooked on Learning." Seth is taking these in today for his teacher and the music teacher. They'll enjoy them. I love to send in gifts for the kids to take to school, but now that Noah is in Middle School that kind of frivolity stops. It makes me sad, but that's the way it is.

Do These Pleats make My Card Look Wide?

Today's challenge was to add pleats to your card. I added some ribbon and tried to add pleats to it. Big Mistake. One should pleat the ribbon, then add it to the card. The quote says "Better Living through Denial" and is from Too Much Fun Rubber Stamps. The people are from Amuse and the background is from Starving Artistamps.
Sorry for the absence from blogging, I never meant to be gone so long, but so many of you have abandoned me for facebook, I don't know why I am worrying. We had a fun weekend in Chicago and have been trying to squeeze in a last bit of fun before school starts next week. The kids have also taken over the computer, which leaves me less time to blog. Man, I hate when I can't get to the computer, all my friends are in here!
Chicago was so pricey! Museum admissions kill me and then to add parking ($19.oo) and special museum shows on top of that..Wowza. The Museum of Science and Industry had a special Harry Potter exhibit and the Field Museum had a special exhibit on the slave/pirate ship Whydah. It was a slave ship that was taken over by pirates after the ship off loaded the human cargo. It eventually crashed in a storm. I found it fascinating to learn about how pirate ships worked in the 1700's. I recommend both museums and special exhibits, but bring lots of money with you. We were very lucky to keep the gift shop costs low. I don't know how it happened, but it was a miracle we are thankful for.
The kids have friends visiting today and we made a trek to one of the larger parks in our area, Forest Park. Now everybody is chillin' with chocolate chip cookies and apple juice. Life is good.

I See Dumb People

I got this image from my friend Rebecca recently when she was clearing out more of her craft stuff. I am guessing it is from the mid 1990's, given the subject matter, but the sentiment holds true everyday.

Especially right now, I see dumb people. My neighbor was supposed to pick up a car load of kids after day camp today but got held up trying to shuttle family members around who are in town for a wedding and found their hotel had overbooked the rooms because a golf tournament is also in town. I had to stop trying to move laundry around and go get the kids, all the while hoping my eldest would not burn down the house while he tries to make pancakes for the second time today. Previously today he made a solution of bubble soap, hoping to sell it to neighbor kids, but didn't have any small containers to put it in. He's not exactly one to get hung up on the details.

He made pancakes twice yesterday, too, and what really bothers me is that he always makes a much larger batch than he can eat, but he won't eat leftovers, he likes his pancakes "fresh". While I hate the waste that i see and the mess I get to continually clean up. Then he and all the campers went out to the sidewalk to see if they could light a napkin on fire with a magnifying glass. Don't worry, they had a bucket of water balloons nearby in case anyone caught fire. I couldn't even stand to watch them thinking that if someone catches fire, well, the best lessons are learned the hard way.

We are trying to go to Chicago for the weekend again. I have a neighbor kid looking after the dog and the laundry is nearly done. I have packed for myself and two kids and started dishes, too. I fed the guinea pigs, washed bath towels, grabbed swim know the drill. I don't know when we are leaving because Scott does not know what time he'll be leaving work. Let's just say, 10 days till school start. Is that about 240 hours plus or minus a few? Not that I am counting, (ha!) but I am still praying for the strength to survive this summer. So close, but it feels so far.