Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and apologize for being absent the past couple of weeks.

I've been busy getting ready for Christmas and my parents arrival. My folks got here safe and sound on Sunday afternoon. It's been wonderful having them here. We've been baking and shopping and watching Christmas movies and laughing. I haven't spent Christmas (or any major holiday) with my parents in five years. It has already been a wonderful Christmas for me!!

I will resume blogging after the first of the year. I have lots of new things in store for my crafting business and I can't wait to share it with you. (Think Mother Goose and Kate Greenaway.)

So, that's all for now.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Look at this...

Look what my friend, Susan, brought me for a treat. There's chocolate mousse underneath all that pretty fruit. Thank you, Susan!

And, here is my pile of 'stuff' for the craft shoe on Saturday and Sunday. Our load-in time is 6:00 am Saturday morning. Ugh!

And, here is today's project. It is from The Sampler Girls book of Christmas cross stitch patterns. It is the first line of Longfellow's poem "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". I'm having lots of fun with this one.

It's an odd day here in Lansing. This morning was so dark I wondered if I'd ever be able to turn off the lights. Now, it is bright and sunny out. Michigan weather. Go figure!

I did some grocery shopping this morning. I also bought some more stocking stuffers. I think I have a problem. I've got to stop buying stocking stuffers. Anyone getting a stocking from me should stop eating anything sweet now! (Oh my gosh! I just bit into the pastry shell and it is lined in chocolate!) I know I come by my stocking issue naturally. Our Christmas stockings, when we were kids, over flowed with all sorts of treats. So much so that they were usually propped up against a paper grocery bag filled with the over-flow. (This pastry is DIVINE!!!!)

Okay, gotta focus here. I'm quickly headed for a sugar coma:) So, I'm going to sign off and clean myself up. My hands and face are covered with chocolate mousse.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December at last...

I'm sorry it's been so long since I have last written. Let me catch you up....

Thanksgiving was okay but our dog was sick. She threw up about 10 times in 6 1/2 hours. It was scary and upsetting while it was happening but she did stop and is now back to normal. Unfortunately she woke me at 4:30 am so it turned out to be a looong day! We had dinner at the in-laws which was uncharacteristically (what a long word!) uneventful. The best part of the day was watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with the kids.

I did a little shopping for the kids on Black Friday. I went out at about noon and I was all by myself. That's the way to do Black Friday- by yourself. I didn't have to keep an eye on kids or my husband, I could just shop. I got some good deals and I am done with the boys, except for stocking stuffers. I love stocking stuffer shopping. I could do that all year long.

I've got a big craft show on Saturday and Sunday. That has been pre-occupying me this week. I'm done sewing and inventory-ing and pricing and packing. I'm in pretty good shape, I now just have to wait.

I hung up the advent calendar yesterday and have provided some pictures as I said I would. I made this about three years ago. It is all my design and completely by hand. I don't know if I would ever make this kind of thing to sell. It was very time consuming and every time I think about it my price goes up:) However, I was thinking that this would be a good pattern to make. The wheels are spinning!

I've also been working on my cross stitch projects from the pattern book that I received from The Sampler Girl. I'm loving it! I'm at a point now that I'm tired of making things "anonymously"- for people I don't know to buy or not buy. I want to work on stuff for myself, my family and friends.

That's about all for now. I've got laundry to finish (don't I always?) and Christmas gifts to work on.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 23, 2009



Check this out for a $75.00 gift certificate drawing!

Weekend In Review

Thank goodness last weekend is over! Not that it was bad, just busy-busy! (This post will probably have a lot of !!! in it. Prepare yourself!:)

First of all, my husband's birthday "celebration" on Thursday night turned out really nice. We all had a lot of fun and great food. He loved his 'Snuggy'! He looked so cute!! After the kids went to bed he retreated to the recliner, slipped on his 'Snuggy' and fell right to sleep:) At one point he was snoring so loudly I had to turn the volume up on the TV. I kept looking at him and giggling. I even took a picture of him lying there, mouth agape:) (No you can't see it! Sorry!:)

On Friday, I began the day with a visit to the craft store for cross stitch supplies. I received the pattern book I ordered from The Sampler Girl on Thursday and I wanted to take some time 'off' on Friday to begin stitching. Oh, what fun! I've already finished 'Joy' and turned it into an ornie. I'm now working on the 'Christmas Eve' pocket. I have a link to her blog- check it out!

Friday night my family and I went to 'Silver Bells in the City'- Lansing's Christmas parade. Chilly but fun... until I got run over by a woman on a scooter!!!!! I'm okay!
I guess it was new to the woman and she couldn't get it to stop. All I knew was that someone was trying to push me into the parade (and poor Nathanael who was in front of me)!!! Apparently, Dave and her husband were trying to hold her back while I was yelling, 'Hey, stop it!'. The scooter was eventually stopped and I turned around to find out what on earth was going on. The poor woman spent the rest of the evening apologizing. Then we noticed that a horse had gone #2 in the middle of the road just as a high school marching band was coming along. Oh, the anticipation! It was painful to watch!! Everyone seemed to be missing the 'pile' and then.... Some poor girl did a fancy little spin, set her foot in the pooh and kept spinning. She didn't fall but she screamed through the whole spin. I know this makes me a horrible person but I laughed so hard I actually started crying! I think the stress of knowing nothing good could come from this equine indiscretion and my run in with the scooter made this emotional release necessary. Pathetic, I know!

Saturday. Christmas tree. Decorations. Twenty three month old red-head. Need I say more?

Sunday was pretty good. I finished the rest of the Thanksgiving dinners shopping. We'll deliver the meals today. I worked on some new craft product for the MSU show. It's less than two weeks away!!!!!

Today. Sewing, washing sheets, delivering turkeys. Maybe dinner out?

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another busy day...

Go check out my Etsy shop. I just put my ornies and 'cookies' on for sale. They are on my website, too. Now I need to focus on my husband. It's his birthday today so I need to bake his cake. The boys and I are going to throw him a little party tonight with homemade blueberry pancakes and hot chocolate for dinner. Yum!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boy, have my fingers been busy! Not sewing, mind you, but working on the computer. (This will be a short post because I can't take much more of this key board!)

I finished my Christmas 'cookies' and I have added them to my website. They turned out really cute and now my wee brain is cooking up the idea of a Christmas 'cookie' pattern book for next year. We'll see....

I've also figured out a bit more about my web site and how to set up different things in different ways. I've been doing a lot of that today, too. I am sure that I am doing all of this computer/web site stuff the long way around. It's a bit frustrating but I am happy with what I've been able to do.

Now for the rest of the laundry. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy, Busy

My fingers have been very busy! I've been stitching up a storm! With the MSU show looming I'm getting a bit panic-y about having enough stuff. I always end up having too much stuff. The problem is not knowing what will sell, what will I wish I had more of, what will I wish I didn't make so much of. It seems like every time is different, the results are up in the air. Maybe the longer I do this the better I'll be at 'forecasting'.

Anyway, I've almost finished the mats. I'm sewing on the backs while I watch TV at night. During the day I'm working on 'cookies' as promised. I'm almost finished as a matter of fact. I'm trying to stay focused and not get too scattered with my thoughts and ideas. There is no time for that! So I'm making six kinds of cookies, six of each. They are turning out really cute. I only have two styles left and my goal is to finish them this afternoon and get them on my website tomorrow. Oy! Hopefully the mats will be joining them.

Next project will be more cookie/gift boxes. They sold out last year so I want to get more made in hopes that I can sell even more this year. I've also got some more make-do's I could make and a few more jar-lid ornies.

On top of that, I've got my husbands birthday on Thursday, Thanksgiving meals to shop for and a Christmas tree calling to me from the basement, begging to be put up.

I don't know why I just wrote my 'to-dos' out. It's kind of making me want to hyper ventilate. So I'm gonna go now and put my head between my knees:) Actually, I don't have time for that, do I?

Enjoy your day!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sunny Days

Another beautiful and sunny day in Michigan. As a matter of fact, November has been mild, sunny and downright delightful! In Michigan. In Lansing, Michigan. Oh, well, I'm not complaining. I'm a little baffled but... whatever! Bring on the sunshine! I can handle it! (I'm sitting in a patch of sunlight now and it's warming my back.)

Anyway, back to the sewing table. I'm still working on those little candle mats. I need to get those finished and out of my to-do basket so I can move on to some 'cookies'. (Alright, I'm committed now. You're my witnesses. The next project is Christmas 'cookies'.)

I've also begun a personal project (because I'm not happy if I don't have at least three different sewing projects going at one time). My folks are going to be with us for Christmas so I want to do some little things to make this Christmas special. They live in Florida so I don't get to see them as often as I'd like! Since we will be having Christmas dinner at our house I thought I'd make some keepsake name place decorations. They are all going to be on a black wool felt background with everyones name cross-stitched in red on white fabric. I'll also applique something Christmas-y in red or white on the front. The back will be a bright red and white check. I'm going to stuff them so they'll be like little pillows. I don't know if I'm going to make them so that they can hang or maybe I'll toss them in a basket with some greenery until they are ready to be used.

That's all for now. Gotta check out the blogs that I follow and get back to stitching! Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So, what have I been up to? Well, along with trying to nix this head cold, I've been decorating my house for Christmas, installing a new kitchen floor (not me personally, but you know what I mean) and stitching up some sweet little candle mats to sell for Christmas.

My progress?

The cold lingers but today is the first day that I feel like it's getting better. Yea!!!

The house looks festive, to say the least. Every room of the house is decorated and Christmas carols are playing. I love to decorate and I love Christmas so I look forward to this every year. I don't even mind crawling through the attic and reviving my fear of heights to retrieve all of my red and green totes full of goodies. I don't have the advent calendar that I made a couple of years ago up yet. That will wait 'til November 30th. When I get it hanging I'll take a picture for you. The tree isn't up yet either but it'll probably go up this weekend. I' don't think I can wait any longer than that. I know I'll get some guff from my husband but it is a small price to pay.

The floor looks beautiful. We put a cork floor in our kitchen and I love it! We are in the process of sealing it now so hopefully that will be done tonight and I can get the fridge out of the dining room!:)

The Christmas mats are coming along. What I do is cut out circles and rectangles from a bunch of different wool that I have lying around. Then I grab a mat-to-be and envision what should be on it. I applique or needle felt wool images and do some stitching and... voila! A mat!! They're fun to do because it's kind of like stream-of-consciousness stitching. They're quick and small and pressure-free. I'll sell them at our MSU show next month for about $8-$10 each.

So, there is your next Christmas Project. A quick, simple and small candle mat. Gather some bits and pieces of fabrics you have lying around. Take a bigger piece and trace a dessert plate on it and cut it out. This will be your base fabric. Now add one or two festive touches: mittens, stockings, snowman, presents, tree, star, etc. Applique with a blanket stitch or simply tack it down. Stitch a word or two: Noel, Joy, Snow, Winter, Christmas, etc. Back the mat with felt and blanket stitch the base and back together. Done!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just Checking In...

I've got a bit of a head cold. Nothing much (and I'm not surprised since I've been surrounded by sick people) but I'm feeling pretty worn out. On the flip side, I've also been feeling pretty creative. Lots of ideas flitting about my stuffy head. Tis the season I guess. Anyway, I've been using this cold as an excuse to just sit and think, make lists and sketches. I don't spend enough time doing this so it has been kind of fun. I've been thinking about the holidays and what I want to make for people. I've already finished something as a matter of fact but I can't write about it here. (It's for my mom and she reads my blog:)

So, now that my little one is down for his nap I think I'll put on 'Pride and Prejudice' (Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson) and fold some laundry.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Okay! Here is your first project for the Christmas season. I did this one many years ago and I continue to use it every year. It is a Christmas lamp shade and it's super simple!

First, pick out the lamp or lamps whose shades you'll want to change out. This is an easy project but it will require switching shades, not covering what is already there. Next, buy your shade or shades. You'll need to get self-sticking decorator shades- Joann's or Micheal's should have them. They come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you get one that will look right on your lamp. (Take measurements of your usual lampshade with you if you need to.) The paper on the outside of the shade will be your template so do not throw it away!

Now, pick out the fabric you want to use. Do you want to use the same fabric all around or do you want to mix coordinating prints? Do you want to applique a Christmas image on the fabric, leave it plain or wrap pretty ribbon around the middle? Do you want to finish off the edges with ric rac, cotton ball fringe or leave it plain? Do you want it to look over-the-top Christmas or would a wintery look suit you better? It's all up to you, make it as simple or complex as you feel comfortable with.

I chose a 4-sided shade and a red and cream color theme. I used a ticking stripe on two opposing side and a cream cotton base for the other two sides. On the cream cotton fabric I appliqued a red stocking filled with presents on one side and a red Christmas tree trimmed in cream ribbons and star on the other before adhering them to the shade.

Keep your craft glue and iron handy and follow the directions on the shade. Once you've done one, maybe you'll get up the courage to do another. You can even make new covers for your chandelier and wall-sconce shades and some stores even carry night-light kits. Have fun with it!

Keep crafting and enjoy your day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

November is here!

Ten months down, two to go! Can you believe it is already November???

We had a fabulous Halloween weekend. The kids looked adorable and they got lots of candy. It was very cold but at least it wasn't raining. Nathanael got lots of great compliments on his costume and, at one point, he turned to me and said that he was lucky to have such a creative mom. I almost cried! Here we are trick or treating and I'm getting teary-eyed! Well, I'm the lucky one! Both my boys are truly blessings to me! Then, the next day at church, I got to hear about what Heaven and the after-life for believers is going to be like. Talk about "WOO-HOO"!!! Again, it was a fabulous weekend!:)

Now it's November. Christmas is in our sights. I've already cleared away the Halloween decorations and I am just chomping at the bit to get at the Christmas stuff. I've already been working on Christmas decorations for my craft business. Now that October has passed I feel that I can start showing you my goodies. I'll give you a little taste today and tomorrow I'll fill you in on more of what I am working on. Lot's of fun decorating ideas are also on their way so keep a look out!

Enjoy your day (and this cute little ornie)!

Friday, October 30, 2009

One More Day !!

Well, it's almost here! And look at all of the rain- blah! Oh, well. It is fall after all. Fall in Michigan, at that! In my kitchen it is nice and warm and bright. Asher is napping and Nathanael and I are making sugar cookies. They are in the shape of pumpkins, of course, and we are going to frost them in an orange buttercream frosting. I'm sure that I made to much frosting. Hmm... what to do?:) We all have pumpkin seeds that I roasted last night after carving a pumpkin. Yum! I forget how addictive they are.

Time to frost some cookies. Enjoy your Halloween Eve!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two More Days!

Halloween is almost here!

Nathanael had his class party yesterday and got to dress up. He only got a few pieces of candy from the party so he is really chomping at the bit for Saturday night. Unfortunately, it looks like it's supposed to be a stormy Halloween for us. What to do then? I get to take the kids trick-or-treating this year ( my husband's recovering from the flu) and I don't relish the thought of having to trudge around in the wind and rain and cold. (I love October. I love October.) Oh, well, it is Michigan after all. It could end up being 75 and sunny on Halloween!

Anyway, in spite of the weather, the festivities must go on. Between tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, we have pumpkins to carve, pumpkin seeds to roast and cookies to bake. That will be lots of fun! Now that Nathanael is in first grade and going to school full-time I find myself missing his company.

Enough of this Halloween talk! I have to go sew Christmas trees!:)

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009


Halloween week begins!

The day we've all been waiting for is just around the corner. I spent the weekend making my son's Halloween costume- he is going to be a knight- and gathering pumpkins. This morning I made an apple pie. It's cooling on the counter now and it smells so good! I think there might be snickerdoodles in our future, too. We'll see.

The sun is shining, the leaves on the trees and ground are glowing, what a beautiful fall day! I know I've said this before but I just love this time of year! All that nature provides in autumn- the colors, the smells, the sounds, even the crisp cool air- makes me feel more alive than any other time of the year. I look out my window at my back yard, covered in gold leaves and I feel blessed. Just generally blessed!

May God bless you this beautiful day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Back!

Okay, I'm back!

It's been a while since I've had a chance to write anything. I had a big show last weekend, two sick kids and a sick husband. Also, since I had been so focused on prepping for the show, I had a neglected house to deal with, too. But I am caught up now have have been thinking of my fledgling blog a lot. So, here's the update...

The Show. It was at the high school in Haslett, Mi., not far from where I live. It's a rather big show; lots of vendors and lots of customers. It's just one day, 9 a.m. to 4- doesn't seem like it'd be that big of a deal but it is. It was a good show for me. We were down a little bit from last year but we still did real good considering the economy, etc. Anyway, it was lots of fun. I got to spend the whole day with my best friend and crafting partner and we got to visit with lots of familiar faces from our retail past.

The Sick. A cold, an ear infection and the flu- oh my! My boys are both on the mend and doing fine. My husband, on the other hand, looks and sounds like death warmed over! He's got the flu, just your regular, run-of-the-mill, piggy-free, flu. He never gets sick, though, maybe just once a year, so when he does get sick- look out! He's been hit pretty hard and he isn't very good at resting so it has been a bit of a struggle. This too shall pass- I just hope it doesn't get passed to

The Sewing. Well, I am working exclusively on Christmas and Winter right now. I have a big holiday show at Michigan State University on December 5 & 6. Needless to say, we will be selling only Christmas: ornies, gifts, decorations, mats, etc. I love Christmas so I certainly don't mind stitching up snowmen, Santa's and reindeer in October. I've also been working on my website uploading new holiday product for sale. That takes a lot of time and patience which can be hard to come by with a 21 month old on the loose. I'm getting there, though, and learning lots along the way.

This will have to do for now. I've got to get back to making more cookie/gift boxes. My goal is 40 by December 1. Eeek!!!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I know it has been a while since I last blogged. I'm going to take a few minutes now to get caught up. I've been neglectful for a good reason, though. The creative juices have been a-flowin' and I know better than to ignore that!

What have I been up to? Well, first of all I have been truly enjoying the onset of autumn. It's chilly and rainy but the leaves are starting to turn so there is this glow about the outdoors that only October can produce. I love to take a walk through my neighborhood in the evening, just before the sun sets. The crisp, cool air, the warm glow of lights in windows, the crunch of leaves under foot inspire me and make me feel blessed.

What else have I been up to? Stichin' of course! And what have I been stitchin'? Well, you might find this a bit surprising after reading the paragraph above, but I have been working on... Christmas! That's right, Christmas! 'Cause if there is one thing I like more than fall it's Christmas. I've just taken a break from working on some reindeer head make-do's, as a matter of fact. I'll post a picture of my little herd when finished.

Well, time to get back to work. I've got a show in two weeks to prepare for. Eeek!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I have been on the computer a lot the past couple of days updating my website and my etsy shop. Check them out- there are some fun, new Halloween treats to make you smile.

That is what I love most about being a crafter. Not only does it make me happy to see my customers get a tickle out of seeing my work but I, too, get a laugh out of these little faces! What fun to make these treats! And it's even more fun to uncover them for a show after they've been packed away for a while.

My hope is to, at the very least, make you smile and make your heart feel glad when you look at my creations. And it fuels my creativity when I hear your giggles!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a show!

What a great weekend! I had so much fun at the Uncle John's Cider Mill Arts and Crafts Show. The weather was perfect, our location was wonderful and sales were record-breaking! We always get to meet such great people- and this weekend was no exception. The other crafters are always so nice and helpful. They give great advice and much-needed encouragement. The customers are wonderful, too. I love to hear their laughter and joy at seeing my work. Their appreciation means a lot to me. And, I got to spend two days with my best friend, Susan, talking and laughing (sometimes 'til we cried). It's a lot of hard work- I'm exhausted and suffering from a whopper of a head cold- but it was so much fun and very inspiring.

That's all for now. I've got lots to do to get ready for Haslett. Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Show Time

Well, time to get ready for the Uncle John's Cider Mill craft show this weekend. Actually, I'm doing pretty good. I've done these shows enough now that I've got a good routine going- basically price, inventory and pack as I go. This evening I'll get together with Susan, my partner-in-craft, to load the minivan and head out to the cider mill to set-up our tent and merchandise. Last year, it rained non-stop and hard, the wind blew, the ground was a soupy mess- I'll never forget it! Praise God, the sun is shining and it looks like it will be a beautiful weekend! I'm really looking forward to experiencing this show the way it is meant to be.

In the mean time, to keep my fingers busy, I'm whipping up a autumn-themed jacket to show off this weekend. I took a dark green sweatshirt, cut off the cuffs and band around the bottom, and cut open the front so that I can wear it like a jacket. Now, I'm blanket-stitching pumpkins and sunflowers to the front and back. Later, I'll roll the bottom of both sleeves, the bottom of the jacket and both sides of the opening and blanket-stitch them in place with a coordinating floss.
Voila! A quick, cute, pumpkin-y jacket to wear at my shows and keep me warm this fall.

I won't blog anymore this weekend because of the show but I'll check in on Monday to fill you in on all the details. Have a beautiful weekend and, if you happen to be in St. John's, Michigan, come and see me!
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