Friday, October 30, 2009

At this moment...

As the older kids plod down the road to the bus stop, thru another fresh dusting of snow on the sidewalk, (Dear Mother Nature... it's October, not December. Could you please hold off on the snow for at least another month? I'm just not ready for this yet.)
this little pint sized Tyke (who, for one week now, was been throwing gallon sized fits at 4am every.single.morning. Yawn!!) is working her way thru a little pile of Froot Loops.

Her next oldest sister (a budding girly girly who now loves "ponies" in her three strands of hair and hauls around a purse all day long), joins her at the breakfast table.

Their older brother headed back to bed this morning, layered under quilts his Grandma made (how he ended up with three on his bed, I don't know.). He's not feeling so well. I plan to take full advantage (he's been a real pickle lately!) by,

tackling the "mess" on the window ledge in my dining room. (Yikes! I can't believe I posted this picture!)
We have one more week until our craft sale and I still feel like I have so much to do. I won't get it all done and I'm telling myself that I'm not going to stress about it.
If I go MIA for a few days, you know where I'll be....hunched over my sewing machine, trying to kick out some product!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tidbits from able mabel land

I had "promised" myself that tonight after I get my kids in bed, I was going to work on some paper crafts....magnets and light switch covers. Here I sit. Blogging. After flying around doing 90mph all day, it's the last thing I feel like doing. Guess I'll have to set aside one morning later this week.

I was feeling all bummed out today. My baby is just too old to model for me without it being a major headache. Our sessions have been going something like this...

  • Pose baby "just so"
  • pick up camera while holding baby in place with one hand
  • coo loudly in an attempt to distract her
  • heave a sigh as she rolls over and makes a mad dash for freedom, giggling at herself
  • drag her back onto blanket
  • plop her back into position
  • focus camera while trying to keep blanket in place
  • try to "settle down" kicking legs and pat-a-cake arms
  • finally give up
  • plant a noisy smooch on her cheek and send her off to play.

Now I have to go find myself another baby to use. Oh wait!! I just remembered! Our newest godchild is coming over sometime this week. Maybe I can sneak in a photo shoot with her. She's little enough that it should be easy peasy! What a hassle though to always have to go find a model. Such is life, I guess. I wouldn't have to use a "live" baby but I think it just makes the blankets feel more "real". I'm trying a new marketing scheme with our pouches. They get buried instantly in the purses section so I'm going to market them as a diaper pouch, with the option of using it for other things. I started a Project Wonderful campaign this morning, specifically targeting baby blogs and sites. I'll let you know how it all shakes out. (sorry for the small's the one I'm using for the ads and it has to be 125x125.

I think I just stumbled upon a new soon-to-be favorite snack. During my afternoon break from sewing, I dished myself a bowl of yogurt. I opened the silverware drawer to get a spoon and shockingly enough, there weren't any clean spoons. I spied a bag of pita chips on the counter (left here by a friend last night) and the light bulb went on. Don't knock it 'til you try it. Besides I can't imagine I'm the first one to try such a treat. I'm sure it's been around for years and I'm just finally being "enlightened" to it. Some of us are slower than others!
Shoot! There was one more thing I was going to spew but it escapes me at this moment! Guess I better hit the sheets then! See you all in the morning!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Someone is trying to tell me something

I was feeling downright efficient today (mistake #1). The washer and dryer were churning laundry out left and right, the bathrooms were clean, the pantry stocked...ahhh...glorious Saturday!!
Check Spelling
I got supper in the oven and opened the baking cupboard to put the salt and pepper away. (mistake #2) I couldn't find the shelves, it was so packed full of junk and very disorganized! Naturally, I decided to organize it (mistake #3). I started pulling chocolate chips and open bags of brown sugar off the top shelf. Not totally paying attention, I set a bag of sugar on the hot stove burner. (mistake #4) I quickly yanked it off, leaving a pile of sugar on the burner and spilling half the bag down my leg and onto the floor. (definitely an "oh crap" kind of moment!) The garage door opened and Hubby chose the moment to walk in the show me something from the 'Burb. He chuckled and I shot him a glare. Little Miss KyKy seeing fortune in my misfortune, wasted no time scooping up handfuls of sugar and stuffing them in her mouth as fast as she could. (Thankfully her hands aren't very big.) After brushing the sugar off my clothes, scraping it from between my toes (I knew I should have put tennis shoes on today! mistake #5), and shooing the two year old away, I got the mess cleaned up.

Next up on the top shelf was a Tupperware of cocoa. On the bottom shelf was an unopened jar of cocoa. Makes sense to combine the two, right? (mistake #6) Not wanting to repeat the mess I just cleaned up and noticing the cover was bulging, I took it over to the sink to open it. I gingerly pulled back the lid. (mistake #7) The cocoa "burped" covering; the wall, the window, the decorative-robin's-egg-blue duck, the fruit bowl, the over-ripe bananas, the tomatoes, the counter behind the sink, the cord for the blinds and the faucet with a fine layer of cocoa. I think I yelled something like, "Grrr!!! I'm going to run away!!" Of course, the whole house (except Hubby, he knew better) came racing to see what got Mom's undies in the bundle. They took one look at the mess and scattered like mice spying a cat, leaving Baby sitting on the floor staring at me with longing eyes. (feeding time at the zoo)

My counter is now sparkling (there's a silver lining in everything, right?), Baby is fed and happy, my baking cupboard is organized(another silver lining), the front burner on the stove says "GAR" (gotta wait for it to cool down a bit more before I scrape the melted plastic bag off) and I am not doing any more organizing! I'm not pushing my luck! Who know's what could happen next?!?!

(quit laughing!!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's all about the

visual progress today. I spent most of the day at my sewing machine, trying to kick out projects for the craft sale. It's only two weeks away! Yikes!! I worked on covers for the rice packs. (or hot packs, whatever you want to call them)

Started in on some decked out towels. We'll probably sell these both as burp cloths for babies as well as kitchen/bathroom towels. (You like that? Using the same prints on various products!)
And threw in a random plastic bag holder and pillow cover.
(Is is just my computer or are these pictures horribly washed out?!?! Ish.)
Nothing like a bit of stress off my shoulders. It felt wonderful to get so much done. Thankfully all the kids cooperated and played quite well!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I stole

a few hours today to work on some blankets for able mabel. Our stash is getting kind of low. It was so relaxing and fun.

I pulled out some of the fabric I bought in New York. (Baby Doll wasn't too impressed with modeling today so this is about the only shot I was able to get.) There's nothing like fresh fabric to get the creative juices flowing!

As I was cleaning up, I put all my new fabric into the "raw fabric" tote (I had a box from waiting for me when I got home) and declared, (as I jammed the cover on the tote, needing to sit on it to close it) "No more buying fabric until I get some more product made!" Heehee. Looks like I better keep sewing like mad!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm ready

to head back home and get back to "real" life. Enough of this vacation stuff. Let me at my sewing machine!!

We had a blast in New York! I felt like we were there the perfect amount of time. Not too long, not too short. We saw most everything we wanted to see (except for the fact that none of us researched too deeply where the boutique type shops are and ended up going to the wrong area.). We had a weekend filled with awesome food, fun times and great stories. I'll blog about the food and shops in more detail later.

Enough is enough though. Our craft sale is about two weeks away and I'm starting to feel the pressure. It's about time to get home and kick out some serious work!! (Hubby and kids, beware!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

I ran out of time

last night to blog. I was too tuckered out. A day of walking in the rain, browsing museums and shopping will do that to a person. (or people)

(This laptop is frustrating to type one. I'll be typing merrily away and all of a sudden the curor will move to a different location. Grrr...)

Today our little group broke up. I went with Mom fabric and trim shopping while the others went and did the "tourist" thing. (Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, etc)

It was pretty interesting to see all the different groups of people in each of the areas we went. The "shoppers" in SOHO. The "museum lovers" at the Metropolitan Museum. The "fashion designers" in the Garment District. Each group had it's own "style". It was fascinating!!

I'm beat...I'll post more tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Check out this blog feature! Sweet! A huge thanks to thelostearring for putting this together!


  • Cheesecake in New York is a complete rip off but oh so yummy!
  • People pay riduclious amounts of money and stand in line for ridiculous amounts of time for ordinary things. (But hey! It's New York so it must be special!)
  • Recession? Try wading thru the masses of people in Macy's...
  • I win three awards this weekend....having the biggest carry on suitcase, having the largest appetite (I admit, I'm a pig) and insisting on carrying all my valuables on me at all times (laptop, camera, wallet, etc. I learned a valuable lesson in Dallas when my camera got stolen out of the bottom of my suitcase in my hotel room.)
  • Butternut Squash Ravoli was absolutely divine from Spring Street something something in SOHO. (Hubby would not approve. His taste buds are very "refined".)
  • City Quilter Fabric Shop is nothing to write home about. We missed out on the boutiques in the Meatpacker District all for a lame fabric store. (JB did find a few yards to buy though)
  • The city is absolutely gorgeous at night. I love the look of all the buildings lit up!!
  • We had a surpise visitor last night. Our sister that lives in Upper Michigan showed up at our hotel. Mom and I both knew she was coming but the other two didn't. (tricky isn't she?)
  • As we stood on the street corner waiting for JB and Mom to finish gawking inside Dean and Doluce, the rest of us stood a gawked at all the people walking past. We wondered who were tourists and who actually lives here. Such a mix of people!!
  • I've started saying "Ei kiitos!" (no thanks in Finn) to all the street vendors who try to push their wares on us. Heehee!
  • We are all wonderfully exhausted after a full day of being outdoors and walking many miles.
  • Life is good.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Details, details

Sigh. I’ve been snapping pictures left and right, dutifully recording our day. I was so excited to share them and then my bubble burst. This microscopic laptop doesn’t have a memory card reader. It didn’t even cross my fuzzy brain to grab the necessary cords to upload pictures. So much for that grand idea….

After an uneventful flight, we landed in JFK. Getting off the plane, we because very aware of our pale skin and light hair. Not another Scandinavian to be seen! It was awesome to, once again, be in the midst of so many other nationalities and languages. It felt funny to be speaking English… We almost broke out the Finn but JH is the only one who knows a lick of Finn. (minor detail) Before hitting the subway, we paused for a cup of coffee where Mom got her first mushy text of the day from Dad. (some things never change and that‘s a good thing!)

Once we arrived in the city, we shivered our way thru the streets, dodging bodies of the lunch crowd, finding a little pizzeria called Tramonti. Delicious!! We then dropped JH off at the hotel to snag some ZZZZ’s while the rest of us pounded the pavement once again to find some fabric and trim shops in the Garment District. (I tried to be discreet with my picture taking in the shops so I wouldn‘t get yelled at. Just doing my part to keep the peace in the City.)

We’re still hammering out the details of what to do tomorrow. It might come down to an arm wrestling match…may the strongest sister win!! (I’m kidding!) I’m staying out the planning. After all, we’d hate to have too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. I’m only going to put up a stink if we spend more than one day in a museum. It’s not that I don’t appreciate them, I just like them in moderation.

JB wants me to take a sauna with her tonight but the thought of a public sauna in a hotel locker room (females only at least) is setting off a serious case of the heebie jeebies!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Notes from Day 1

Well, we made it. A few hours later than planned, but that's beside the point.

We ended up leaving Aspen an hour later than planned (thanks to the rain and clouds) which, in turn made us miss our connecting flight in Denver. We had about three hours to burn at the airport, instead of only one hour.Babes and I found a window to sit by and she kept herself occupied watching the comings and goings. She was an A+ baby on each flight, sleeping most of the way from Denver to Mpls. I'm still claiming that flying with a baby is both a workout in arm strength (she does not adore her carseat by any stretch of the imagination.) and patience. Still, I can't really complain.

I had our flights timed "just perfectly" for her, but then the weather interfered. It just goes to show that ultimately I'm not in control.

Babes awoke this morning to a living room full of adorning fans. (My mom, my SIL, my two youngest sisters and their friends) She didn't know what to do with herself until I pulled out the camera...then she broke out the grins!
I bummed a ride from my SIL to the outlets in Albertville to help her get her Retail Therapy in. We met up with another SIL in Gap and got to meet her latest and greatest. Dolly thought he was great and went straight for the eyeballs, squealing with delight. He begged to differ. Sigh. She's already picking on her younger cousins.

Now we're back at Mom and Dad's for an afternoon siesta. Mom is muttering something about heading to Ridgedale to meet Dad for supper. I suppose I can be talked into that. (Big Bowl? Delicious! No arm twisting required.) Hmmm...maybe I can sweet talk my little sisters into watching Baby Doll... ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I can't believe

I'm actually outta here today! Craziness!

I fly to MN this afternoon (holding my breath that it's not snowing in Aspen, so I can actually leave...) then to NY on Friday for a long weekend away with my mom and a few of my sisters. I am so looking forward to it!

Baby Doll is staying in MN while I go to NY and I have the rest of the kids farmed out here in CO. That has to be the hardest part..."begging" people to watch the kids. Thankfully we have an awesome group of friends who are willing to help out.

I've been fairly overwhelmed this week, wondering how I'm going to get everything done before I leave. Hubby could obviously tell because he informed me yesterday that I don't have to worry about it, he'll do it when I'm gone. (cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) What a guy! (I'm actually already lonesome for him, knowing I won't be seeing him until next Wednesday evening...)

He also offered to ship out any items that sell while I'm gone, that way I don't have to put able mabel on vacation mode. Whew! I was dreading having to go on vacation mode. It feels like it stops any momentum that has built up. I'm taking the micro laptop along so I'll be able to update each day with lots of stories and pictures!

The whole house seems to agree that Mom really needs a vacation (ideally it would be awesome to go with Hubby but this one comes in a close second)!! I've already promised myself that I'll try not to stress about the kids (especially Babes) or Hubby and enjoy my time away to the fullest!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How sweet are these?

Check out this shop!!
How fun would having these toys around be?
Here are a few words from SSWoodcraft.
"I have spent the last 40 years working with wood, as a hobbyist, carpenter, cabinet maker, and independent remodeling contractor. Over the years I have hand-crafted numerous, one-of-a-kind, high quality wooden projects, for profit and as gifts for friends and family. Now, due to an injury, I find myself unable to do any heavy work. Therefore, I have decided to put my skills and experience to work on smaller, light-weight projects."

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm taking a quick

breather. I leave for MN on Wednesday afternoon and I have a million things I'd like to accomplish before I go.

This morning I dashed off on a "turbo" shopping/returns trip. I was getting mighty close to the 30 day return mark. Of course, I found a few treasures in the process.

A busy weekend+late nights+no naps=cranky kids. As I arrived to pick up my toddlers from the sitter's house, my three year old had an absolute hairy canary over whether he had to share a water glass with his sister. He ended up being unceremoniously buckled into his carseat while I got the rest of the kids ready to come home. He continued his fit as we got home. I unbuckled him and made my way in with the other two, leaving him to get himself out of the 'Burb. I got the baby settled into her bed and realized there was no more moaning from outside. I snuck out to check on him and had to chuckle to myself when I saw where he was. Curled up on the floor, snoozing away! Super comf! One of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard was "never wake a sleeping lion". I quietly opened the windows and softly closed the doors.

My to-do list calls! I'll catch you all tomorrow!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Fav

Let me blow the dust off the Featured Artists series. I'll admit, I'm lazy. I ran out of shops to feature and I was too lazy to go find more, get permissions, blurbs, etc. I posted both on Etsy and Facebook this morning looking for shops and I got 'em! So fun!

First up is Becky with spiritofgiving
"I am Becky, stay at home mom of three. I mostly make hooded towels but love to sew and embroider and crochet just about anything. I LOVE Etsy and I love to blog. I read tons of blog everyday and love ""how-to's" and "this is what I did's. " (I am not really that interesting:) just love to create!"
Wouldn't these towels make the perfect gift? She also carries kitchen towels, baby items and magnets.
Head on over and check it out!

No rest for the weary!

(I'm kidding about the weary part.)

I took a field trip yesterday to the boutique shop I blogged about the other day. I came home bouncing on air! She wants able mabel to create whole series of bird products for her Spring line. That means come January and February, we'll be busy little beavers!! She wants some of our products now but the bulk of it will be in February. She was the sweetest shop owner you'll ever find!!

Meanwhile, we continue to wonder where our dog is. When I left on Wednesday morning, she was in her kennel with the door shut and latched. When the kids got home from school, the door was open and she was gone. I've called the local animal shelter and she's not there...yet... We're really starting to wonder if someone helped themselves to her. She's a lab and doesn't wander far if she's let out so it seems like if she got out on her own, she'd stick around. I can't imagine her being able to get her kennel door open though. The latch is pretty tricky...Yesterday when the phone rang, our three year old asked, "Oh, is it Bella?" (the dog) I just hope wherever she is, she's okay...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Redeeming myself

after a non-productivve afternoon yesterday. (no visual progress anyway)

I hauled all my sewing junk over to a friend's house today. We sewed and sewed until our shoulders ached. We gleefully watched as our finished pile grew and grew. I was wishing I had thought to bring along my camera, but alas, it was left at home.

I am happily exhausted and sore...A hot shower and a comfy bed sounds absolutely blissful right about now!!

Good night! I'll see you in the morning...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm trying to talk myself

out of feeling like I wasted this afternoon away.

(Please excuse all the typos today. I'm typing on a laptop the size of my big toe. Anyone have a magnifying glass I can borrow? My baby is also crawling all over my lap. Don't ask why I don't just move...that would make too much sense!!)

My morning started out just lovely. My baby slept all morning, we got our wireless internet hooked up, I sold 5 lovies to someone here local, a local boutique wants to see samples of our stuff, my house is clean, kids are happy...what more could a gal ask for?

A friend was suppose to come over this afternoon to work on some craft sale stuff but her little girl got sick and so she cancelled. I was left feeling like I had a "free" afternoon. I pulled out my fabric stash and started experimenting with some hot pad holders for the sale.

My standard line goes something like this..."Oh, that looks easy. I'm sure it won't be hard at all!" In reality, most often it takes a few screwups to figure it all out. That was the case this afternoon. The only thing I'm left with is a pile of threads, a few more grey hairs and a rumbling tummy (it's almost supper time afterall!!).

On the bright side, the next time I pull out the hot pad holders, I'll be able to get right on them with no experimenting! Now that would be wonderful!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Who's the boss around here anyway?

It sure isn't me! Some days, no matter how you plan otherwise, the kids really do run the show.

Yep. She already had it figured out this morning. A "be-a-little-stinker-refusing-to-sleep-and-demand-to-be-held-all-day-long-so-there-Mom" kind of day was on tap. As long as she was held, she was as happy as a clam. It's a darn good thing she's so sweet...

My sewing machine did make an appearance at the kitchen table this afternoon but all I was able to get done was some machine quilting on two blankets. This happened during nap attempt #6546237. (trust. I did let her try cry herself to sleep, but seriously, how long can you let a baby cry before you feel like dirt?) I can't complain though because Babes and I got a lot of snuggle time in today. There's something to be said for that!

I also managed to sneak out for a "real" haircut. My first one in over a year. (I've had several others over the past year but they were done somewhere other than a salon.) What a treat! I walked out of there with a cloud of stink around my head that smelled like century old moth balls. Yuck! What do they put in those hair products anyway? Plus I looked like I had aged about 40 years or so with the style job she gave me. Not good. I washed my hair as soon as I got home and all is well.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I've hit panic mode

as the Church craft sale is now 1 month away! Yikes!! Can we pull it off?

Thankfully we have a ton of willing and hard workers. Today I hosted a "sewing bee" at my house. Okay, so it was only my machine and one other machine going but we were like busy beavers, keeping them humming all afternoon. We both felt super spoiled as our babies napped and the toddlers played outside. A few others neighbors popped in to check on us throughout the day and give a little moral support.

I'm starting to feel like I have this huge stack of "almost done, but still needs..." product, yet I don't feel like taking the time to finish it all. The solution? When I get back from my trip to NY in a few weeks, I'm going to set aside one whole day for finishing my projects. Efficient? Probably not, but who's really cares? ;)

The two of us hunched over our machines would have loved to keep sewing, but alas, life happens. Supper to make, babies to feed, messes to clean...We dragged ourselves away from our fun to attend to the needs of the rest of the crew.

It was awesome while it lasted and we'll do again soon! Sweet!