Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Isn't this pretty?

This is from Jennifersquires Etsy shop. Jennifer opened her shop in February of this year. Her photographs are absolutely stunning! I love her style...simple, elegant, eye-catching!

This particular photo is titled...Purple Flower. I love the fact that she captures items from everyday life (beans, rice, shopping carts) and make them look so glamorous!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


finding a chance to sit down and blog today. I went to JB's at 9 am this morning. I didn't get back until about 4, then it was time for supper, etc.

JB and I dusted off the sewing machine today. It's a little hard switching gears from paper to fabric. We had a lot of ideas and couldn't decide where to start. Then we realized that fabric we bought hadn't been washed yet. Our "creative process" came to a screeching halt! As the washer hummed, we had to rethink and brainstorm what we should work on.

We started some little zippered pouches. When we got to the lining and realized we'd have to hand-stitch it in, we decided it wasn't worth our time. Those got pushed to the side (it was lunch time anyway).

JB must have had her washer on "turbo mode" because by the time we got lunch done, the fabric was washed and dried. (or maybe it was the fact that between the two of us, we have so many kids to feed it takes a while) We decided to try our hand at an apron....

It wasn't quite done by the time I left (you see, my baby was not very happy today, refusing to nap and crying to be held, sigh...) JB was sewing the ruffle onto the bottom hem as I dragged my screaming children out of her house. (I thought the sound I heard as I was leaving was from the wind blowing thru the door but the more I think about it, it was probaby JB sighing with relief that we were leaving)

The apron is darling! I would love to list it on Etsy but we need it for the March 15th sale. It took us a while but next time we can work on a couple at a time and get it done so much faster! One of us at the sewing machine and one of us at the iron...we'd be done in no time!

Monday, February 25, 2008


An appropiate title for today, I think. School is two hours late due to fog that is slow to burn off. The Internet thinks it's a snail and is acting that way. My brain is kind of tired and can't think very quickly.
Pictured is a paper pieced collage that JB made and is working on making it's way south east to Ohio! Once again, the picture doesn't do it justice. We've been mixing up our "raw materials" and instead of using only wood, we've been throwing in some glass frameless collages. I personally prefer the glass ones, because I like the more "modern" look of them. They are more tricky to photograph, ship and require much more care. We haven't brought any of the glass into Dunn Brothers because of the fear of them breaking. The wood is so much more sturdy (stating the obvious there!). If one happened to fall off the wall (never know how people act when loaded with caffeine) there's nothing on them that will break.
Rumor has it that we're going to switch gears this week and work on some sewing! I'm excited although I don't know how to sew. I wield the iron and can iron a mean seam!! JB bought me a sewing book for my birthday that has me drooling! Now I just need a sewing machine...
I've narrowed down my choice of camera (unfortunately money is an issue so I can't get the SLR that I want) and it's just a matter of ordering it. I think I'll do that this afternoon or evening.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The day is passing quickly

and I have a ton of stuff to get done. I was able to get a workout in this morning and that was my number 1 priority today! Hubby comes back this evening (yeah!!!) and I'd like to have the house clean by the time he gets home. More for myself than for him. I'd also like to get down to the "studio" and organize a bit.

Some of the sisters came over last night and we had a magnet making party for our March 15th sale! It was tons of fun! I was just getting on a roll when it was time to put the kiddos to bed. By the time I got them all settled, the sisters were packing up to go home. Oh well. We planned to get together again next week. Hopefully I'll be more organized by then.

Earlier in the day I was able to get downstairs and got a few more signs done! It was an "on" day so I was pleased as punch! Watch, I'll be the only one who likes them. If that's the case, I'll just hang them in my house somewhere!

My camera never showed up. I'm just itching to take some pictures of the things JB made while I was in Dallas. I might have to stroll over to her house and borrow her camera. I would like to get something listed in our shop today. It feels like we need some "fresh" product. We have three places to sell our stuff nowadays so it's always a big guess what to put where (Etsy, Dunn Brothers or save for the March 15th sale).

My laundry pile awaits! Have a delightful day!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Okay, so I'm lazy

I couldn't think of what I wanted to blog about today so I decided to do a feature. I like to get permission from the artist before I feature them. That requires contacting them, waiting for a response, etc. Instead of doing that I decided to post a "feature wanted" on the message boards. I got 8 artists wanting to be featured within minutes of my posting. It was so slick! After today's feature I'll have 7 more to choose from for next time! Plus those still posting as we speak, er, write.

The first one to respond was ImperialEnamelArt. I didn't just choose her because she was first.

In order to feature someone on this blog, I have to like the products they sell and the pictures they take. I thought this pendant was pretty darn neat! ImperialEnamelArt just opened her shop on Valentine's Day, so she's a brand-spanking-new-undiscovered artist!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good News and Not-So-Good News

The good news? I made it back from Dallas, TX in one piece. I left on Friday and came back on Tuesday. My husband is down there for two weeks doing some training for work. I took baby and went for a long weekend. The weather could have been better but the relaxation was wonderful!

The not-so-good news? I left with my camera and came back without it. I am soooo irritated at myself for losing it! I usually keep it in my purse and have my purse on me at all times. I have always been extremely careful not to lose my camera. I use it every-single-day and am feeling very lost without it!! The last time I remember using it was on Saturday night. I was taking a video of my husband playing with our baby. I put it on top of my suitcase (which was open) when I was done, intending to put it in my purse after I had gotten babes settled for the night. I realized on the way to the airport that it wasn't in my purse but didn't panic because I figured it was still in my suitcase. I called my husband and had him do a quick check of the hotel room. When I emptied my suitcase at home it wasn't in there (also missing a brand-new-tags-still-on shirt that was way at the bottom of my suitcase). I had him do another check of the room and he didn't find it! I'm trying very hard, but not succeeding very well, not to panic and am hoping it will show up as he packs his stuff up to come home. He asked at the front desk, just in case, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. It's a good lesson for me to always put stuff back when it belongs and to never, never, never leave anything of value in hotel rooms.

Sigh...........I hate when stuff like this happens!

Friday, February 15, 2008

She is truly amazing!

I'd like you to meet Paige and Phoebe. They are two of the dolls created by our very talented mother! (major understatement!) They happen to be my favorite at this given moment. Aren't they just absolutely adorable?!?!

I'm not exactly sure how Mom goes about making these even though I've watched her many, many times as she's been scultping. I do know that she sculpts everything, (face, hands, feet) and designs their clothes. I'd try to give you a rundown but I know I'd screw it all up. Instead I'll tell her to put it on her blog and then link it here.

Her website was designed by sister K. You can meet some of the other dolls she has made. Also you'll find some greeting cards that sister K designed for her. We're currently working on getting a PayPal Storefront on Mom's blog so you can buy those cards from her blog. For now, you'll have to purchase them via e-mail or phone. Remember those cards that JB and I were working on? I'm going to try get a few listed in our store next week. Probably Thursday or Friday. I can't wait to see what kind of reception they'll get.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm kind of partial

to this one. JB was on a roll a few months ago, kicking out light switch covers left and right. This is one of them that she came up with.

I listed it in the store today and the more I stare at it, the move I love it. I was debating what spin I should put on the description...

Is Mr. Goose mad, sad or otherwise? What does he think of his feathers being made into a blanket/pillow?

I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for the guy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My first

Etsy purchase was from SimpleSweetcakes.
It looks very similar to this picture except it doesn't have the ribbon detail and it's a little bigger. I was looking for something that I could use in place of my purse when I'm traveling with baby. It had to be big enough to fit all my necessary junk in but small enough to fit into a diaper bag. I don't like traveling with a baby and needing to juggle baby (my babies have all refused to sit in the stoller/carseat when out and about. if I don't carry them, they throw a big fuss and I'm sweating, flustered, irritated, cranky) diaper bag, purse, stroller, carseat, blankets....You get the picture. I try to minimize my baggage. SimpleSweetcakes didn't have the exact size I wanted listed in her store but after I sent her a convo asking if she had something for me, she promptly listed this! Talk about service (and with a smile, I'm sure)!
Sisters L and H are working on something along the same lines, yet quite different. Sister L drew up her own pattern and is just working out the details on it. They will be "debuted" at the March 15 sale. I needed mine sooner than later and SimpleSweetcakes was there to help me out! Thanks!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I have no clue where this...

post is going to go!
A little plug for some of our blankets.

This jungle print blanket sold on Sunday, despite the not-so-very-good pictures. As I was boxing it up yesterday JB and I had to both give it a good-bye hug. Sounds corny, but it was so, so, so incredibly soft! It's hard to put it into word and pictures. We were both (kind of) hoping it wouldn't sell because it was such nice fabric. I know, I know, there's more out there...

This one is also super duper soft. This is a burp diaper size and if my little lovey was younger, I'd buy it from able mabel. I absolutely love the print. It would make my shoulder look stunning ;)!

We are starting to turn our attention to the craft sale we are doing in March in St. Michael. Still trying to list at least one thing everyday on Etsy so our store has a small chance of getting noticed. We have some ideas up our sleeves when the sale is done!!

Last night I took the kids to the library (I was brave, took all 6 by myself and I actually survived to tell about it!), and stopped to get some more coffee beans. My favorite blend is Wuollet blend from the Bakery, but since I wasn't able to get it last night I decided to try the Mahogany blend from Caribou (the only coffee shop in town with a drive thru, I was not about to drag all 6 kids in with me!). It's decent, but I do prefer the Wuollet blend. (and not just because the business is owned by family members!) I am a true 100% coffee snob! Why I felt the need to tell you that....

I'm outta here! My almost-two year old is having one of those days...He's digging into everything! He discovered if he pushes a chair into the kitchen, he can reach all sorts of fun things!

Monday, February 11, 2008

You put your kids in the tub...

wash them up and they come out smelling like...chocolate?!?!? Wow, how fun is that! Bath time is already a hit around this house, I can't imagine how popular it would be if we had this duck soap with the hot chocolate scent from CozyMoments. I'm marking it as one of my favorites....These would be awesome addition to any birthday gift.
You have to check out her shop. She has been open less than 1 year and has sold over 800 items! You know she's doing something right! Her pictures are fabulous! They make you feel like you're getting something special (which you would be!)!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Same old, same old?

As I have been trying to put props into the pictures I take, I find myself turning time and time again to this vase (is that what it's called?) I just love how it looks with certain items. I love the color, the texture, the height, etc. I try to pick other props but for some reason...
Today I have spent most of the day taking pictures. The lighting is absolutely perfect! It seems like it's been so cloudy lately it doesn't make sense to try take pictures. (I'm listing this right now while my camera battery charges.)
All right, back behind the lens I go!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Staying away!

Today my goal is to whip out some projects. I decided that I would update our blog, check out our Etsy store and then try to spend as much time as I can downstairs. I'm sure I'll check in a few times throughout the day...

I'm trying not to think about how much fun my my mom and sisters are going to have on their field trip tomorrow. I'm staying home. My husband is in the middle of finishing the upstairs (how long have we lived here?). If I go he can't/won't work up there. I really, really, really want him to get it done, so I'll stay home. Sister C is going to school in the U.P. and she just e-mailed saying she can't come down this weekend. We'll plan another weekend in March when we can hopefully go.

Here is a picture of our (myself and JB*) humble "studio". It's just two pieces of plywood on top of three sawhorses. We covered it with a plastic tablecloth. Not the most classy set up, but it works for us. We each have a side and our necessary supplies are in the middle with arms reach. We have two card tables set up with boxes for all our paper, scraps, etc. At the stage of life we are both in, this is the best it'll be for a while. The picture is kind of dark because I took it on a cloudy day, late in the afternoon. You get the idea...

*JB and I live three houses apart. We set the table up in my basement because it's unfinished and we don't need the space right now. When she wants to work, she'll drive/walk over, usually with toddlers in tow. Our kids play together as we work. It's a pretty good gig.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Okay, that wasn't nice

to call JB a Fossil. She isn't even that old. I was just struggling to come up with my 7th thing and my kids were hollering (like that's anything new and different). So, let's all be really nice to her and buy something that she made.

I'll have to figure out how to make it up to her...hmmmm...any ideas? (please, please, please don't say to do her dishes for a week!)

Now on another note..Mom sent an e-mail out yesterday asking if any of us wanted to go with her to the Mall of America, IKEA and a place called Digs (a very yummy fabric store) on Saturday. She then proceeded to say she didn't want to drive and would anyone else like to. Here are two of the responses...

I could probably arrange something with wheels...nothing as classy as a Town and Country...the Olds wagon is coming home from WI on a trailer today, so that would be unavailable (darn!) grocery getter is a bit small, and the radio doesn't work...We would be able to ride in style with the scrap heap on wheels (ol' blue and white). The heater in front works great. It's clean inside. It always starts! ALWAYS! And whoever is sitting by the sliding door can watch the ground whizzing by for entertainment on the long drive to MOA! Otherwise, we could take the "new" van, which, my hunch is, would be the most logical choice of the B's Used Car Lot. Oh, I forgot to mention the Stranger...but there would only be room for 3 skinny passengers in the cab. And whoever sat in the middle would have to coordinate gear shifting with the driver. Any takers?

Translation: Stranger = Ford Ranger

The response to this...

Let's take the van with the hole in the floor! That sounds fun. We can drop M&M's down and find our way back home!

Sigh...see what I have to put up with!?!

Help! I've been tagged

Crafty Mama tagged me this morning. I've never been tagged before (I was a very, very fast runner ;)!). I'm suppose to post the rules and tag 7 other people at the end of this post.

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I am child number 4 out of 14.
2. I am a true and honest coffee snob. I drink "name brands" like Starbucks and Caribou. Folgers isn't coffee, it's sludge.
3. All 6 of our kids have meaningful middle names. They are all named after my husband, myself or a family member.
4. Growing up I preferred sports and activities to dolls and Barbies (yuck!).
5. I like cleaning my house because it feels like a "new beginning" even though it only stays clean for 5 minutes max after I clean it.
6. I only read books when my husband is out of town or I just had a baby. I tend to get into books and neglect everything else, including sleep.
7. JB is so old we call her Fossil. (named coined by sister LD)


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The word of the day is...

Staging! I've been trying to add props when I take pictures of our stuff.
So...what do you think?
(psst..high desert diva, good idea {your comment from yesterday}. I'll go take pictures and post them.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

So far it's been worth it.

Last night we made our way to Dunn Brothers Coffee to hang some of our artwork on their walls. As I said in a previous post, Dunn Brothers will let local artists sell their art right from their walls. Everyone benefits ~ they don't have to decorate and we hopefully get more exposure.

In December we had gone to Dunn Brothers to check the place out and we're a bit discouraged at the set up. We had decided not to do it. Last week I told JB that it was feeling like we were putting all our eggs in one basket by just having our stuff on Etsy. Even if we didn't sell anything at Dunn Brothers, you never know who would take our business card and buy something off Etsy.

Just as we were finishing hanging up our artwork, some lady walked up and asked what we were doing. We started chatting about Etsy and able mabel. She asked what she need to do if she wanted to buy a picture! She sat down and wrote us out a check right then and there. As she was leaving she said "Happy Birthday to me!"

Even if that's all we was all worth it!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Miss me?

Did you wonder what happened to me today? Usually I update in the morning but from the minute I woke up this morning I've been racing!

Today JB and I took off to IKEA. It's about an hour from where we live. It is snowing today so the trip down there took longer than normal. We left our toddlers behind, checked our 5 year olds into the daycare there and shopped in peace! (well relatively speaking..I had my hip ornament on baby) We got what we needed there, swung thru Archivers and broke for home. Our babysitters were very pleased at how fast we were. We didn't have much choice because we still had to get ready for Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop tonight. As I sit here (I'm listing a 2008 planner, multi-tasking!) JB is downstairs finishing a few things up.

One thing I didn't anticipate when we started able mabel was the amount of custom orders we'd get. It's absolutely wonderful! We now have 4 in the works. Busy, busy, busy!

That's all for now...Supper prep awaits!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

That's what I get!

This morning my baby woke up at 7:00, happy as a lark. I had no choice but to get out of my nice warm bed and get her ready for the day. By 8:00 husband and son were on their way out the door to the skating rink and I was whipping up a batch of blueberry muffins. As I was putting them into the muffin pan, feeling very pleased with myself for being so "with-it", amibitious, domestic, energetic, etc, I realized I forgot to grease the muffin pan! Oh no! There was nothing I could do at that point. I caught my mistake before I did the last 6. So now I have 6 muffins and 12 mushins. (or as my 3 year old told me "6 fixed and the rest broken")

Note to self: As soon as you feeling/acting smug, something will bring you back to reality.

able mabel is taking another weekend off. I'm just going to blog today (okay and check out the store every once in a while). I'm playing catch up around the house today. Cleaning, baking, laundry, etc. It actually sounds fun because it all needs to be done so bad!

I love this newest listing in our store! JB cranked it out when she was on a roll this week!

Be good and have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Today we have...

Annie Howes! Annie's shop is striking. Her banner is awesome, her pictures are crisp and clear and her stuff is so darn cute! I know a few little girls who would love a necklace like this! Plus Annie is all over the Etsy forum boards, featuring other's shops, offering encouraging, etc. (We especially love her because she featured us in her treasury and the item that she picked from our shop sold!)