Friday, February 27, 2009

I need a shoulder massage!

I was hunched over the dining room table cutting out fabric for blankets and pouches when JB called. She was calling to tell me not to get discouraged with sewing. She had read yesterday's blog post and thought I needed a little encouragement to keep sewing. Any encouragement is great, although I have no intention of giving up anytime soon. I have way too much I want to make first! Yesterday was just an "off" day.

It's all good. I ended up getting my house clean, although you'd never be able to tell today. Such is life.

I got quite a few blankets and pouches cut out today. Next week during naptime I'll work on getting them sewn up. My mom is also sending me a purse pattern that she designed. I'm excited to try it out!!

Now it's time to clean up my fabric mess and get ready to make dinner. Sigh...What to make??

Thursday, February 26, 2009


you just have to cut your losses and give up!

This morning when I woke up, I decided that today was going to be mostly an able mabel day. I was going to whip out a few things on my sewing machine, feed the kids lunch, clean and then go back and sew. Great in theory, not so in reality.

First off, my baby didn't cooperate. I finally got her settled for her morning nap and started in on this blanket. The flowers were originally from a panel of fabric. Each flower was framed by kelly green vines (the vines didn't do much for me). I cut the flowers out in squares and sewed the squares together. Simple, right?!? Right.

No sooner had I gotten them done, my baby woke up. Now what does she need?!? Figured that out and went to back the top of the blanket with black minky. I cut it exactly to match the top. What was I thinking?!? (This should have been clue #1) For those of you who have never sewn with minky, it's ultra slippery. I've usually cut the minky a tad bit bigger than the top fabric to allow for a bit of slippage. (Put that red pen away...I know slippage isn't a word in the normal dictionary, but it's in the able mabel one so I can use it.)

I fought with it for an hour (I'm not kidding. This should have been clue #2.), everything that could go wrong with my machine did. Finally, I was ready to top stitch it. I fed my kids an early lunch and went back to do the top stitching. I had already decided not to put the blanket on able mabel since it didn't pass quality control. Baby Doll was going to get herself a new blankie! Halfway thru top stitching, my bobbin ran out of thread. That was the last straw, I give up! Instead of ripping it apart with the seam ripper (I'd seen that little guy too much today.), I'll do it the "lazy man's way" and cut it along the edges.

A morning like this one keeps me humble I guess. It's not very fun though. Someone was obviously trying to tell me to get off my rump and get my cleaning done!

I love how the blanket looks, or the concept of it (the bright colors against the black background), so I'll try it again another day. Or maybe this afternoon, if I finish cleaning soon enough. It'll be the carrot dangling at the end of the rope...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Have you checked out my mom's shop lately?

I'm working on getting some magnets listed for her. Here's a quick sampling of them. Oops, I forgot that this collage is all unedited pictures. Oh well, you get the idea anyway.

For those of you who don't know my mom, she is a doll maker. She sculpts her dolls out of polymer clay staring with a tin foil ball for the brain and going from there. It's fascinating to watch her work. Their faces and little hands and feet coming to life! The only thing she doesn't make herself are the eyeballs, those are glass. She designs the wigs, clothes and all the props needed for each doll. Click here for her website and her blog. She sells her dolls to various galleries around the country and also does a few shows a year. Ones like IDEX and such.

I've gotta say, my new favorite of her dolls are the teal fairy girls. Aren't they just the cutest things around?!?

(looks like this one needs a little light shed on her!)

We're working on expanding her product line to the magnets and light switch covers, along with the cards. So far there are only a few of each listed, but that'll change over the next few weeks.

She's just one talented lady! (I'm not just saying that because she's my mom either!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

I spent the weekend

in warm, sunny Phoenix. I was going to warn you ahead of time that I wouldn't be updating over the weekend but I ran out of time on Thursday morning. It was a wonderful weekend. It was an amazing drive from here to there. The scenery was stunning yet so desolate. The towns were miles apart. Just lonely desert stretched as far as the eye could see.

The only pictures I took were some scenery ones on the way down, and those were thru the car window. Shame on me! (Pretend you don't see the refection of my pearly white arm in this picture!) Everytime I thought about taking pictures, I was either bouncing baby, my purse was out of reach or (I hate to admit it) I was too lazy. Double shame on me!

Today I spent the day catching up. Playing Suzy Homemaker. Laundry, making jam, cleaning, playing with the kids, etc. Great fun...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tired of all the pictures yet?

Too bad, because I usually prefer to look at pictures versus reading a long ole ramble. Since this is my blog, what I say goes ;) !

I spent the morning puttering around the house. Cleaned out my little girls' closet, doing laundry, finding Spring clothes (sandals, jackets, outfits, etc.), you know, all the necessary-but-not-super-exciting-stuff. I was careful not to accomplish too much because then "they" start to expect it. (I'm kidding...I think...) I was looking thru my wardrobe and decided my boring outfits needed a little sprucing up. Seems like all I've been buying lately are solid colors. Ho Hum. Yawn.

With a spring in my step (pardon the pun) I pulled out my jewelry making supplies and started in on a new necklace (or three) for myself.

I have a shirt that matches this color green, almost exactly, that I'm planning to wear with brown pants. I was debating whether or not I should stick to green and brown or go for a daring, bold accent color. I decided the shirt already makes me look like a pea who lost her pod (but I loved the color so I bought it anyway), so I chickened out on the bold part. There's nothing worse than someone pulling out their sunglasses when they're talking to you because your outfit is so bright and bold. The clincher was that I had all the necessary beads for this necklace. Maybe someday, if I can think of what other color to wear with this green, I'll do something different. But for today, this works. Fine. I'll admit it. I'm a chicken, what can I say?!?!
Hey Mom! Recognize this one? My mom, very graciously, gave me this necklace a few years ago. (maybe because I snuck into her closet on more than one occasion to "borrow" it.) It was one long strand and when I tried to double it up, it choked me. Talk about claustrophobic! If I wore it as one long strand, it came down to my belly button and my babies' feet, the diaper bag, my purse, etc. would get caught in it. Hassle-ish. I loved the randomness of it and the colors so I knew that someday I'd end up re-stringing it. Today, I turned it into a double strand necklace, one that doesn't choke me. Hopefully Mom doesn't care! (too bad if she does...)
Yes, I am stuck on green today. I made this necklace to go with a brown shirt/white skirt combo. Once again, kinda boring but I had everything for it. This necklace is actually made from three necklaces I found on clearance at Target last year. The only "new" part of it is the wire. Yes, I even re-used one of the adjustable clasps. So fun! The best part? I still have beads left to make a few more necklaces!

Now back to my regularly scheduled program...housecleaning! Had my fun for the day and now it's back to chores....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You can only expect so much

modeling out of a newborn! This afternoon the light was awesome so I put Dolly in her carseat and tried to retake some pictures of blankets, lovies and burp cloths.
It started like this...
"HaHa! This is GREAT fun! I could sit here all day! What's that? You want me to turn my head? Like this? How does my foot look? Cheese!!"

To..."Okay, Mom. This is getting kinda boring. When are you going to be done? You expect me to do what? Whatever. Here's my hand, gimme a boost outta here, will ya?"

To..."I've had it! Put that stinkin camera down Mom and take me out of the wretched carseat! And I mean NOW!"

She got her way and this was the last picture I took of her today. She did great though! I got quite a few shots that will work. Love the girl! (I think I've already established that point, right?!?!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring is in the Air!

Today was a sewing day for able mabel! I pulled out the machine this morning and worked on a mock up of a pouch. It has been so long since I've done one, I needed to do a practice one first. I ended up calling JB (finding her at Archiver's, no fair!!) because I couldn't remember a step. JB to the rescue! (via the cell phone anyway) Got that out of the way and after doing a workout DVD (much needed on my part. I was getting kind of cranky! Note to self: Don't try working on any projects the day after a busy, lack-of-sleep weekend until all kiddos are napping!), I pulled out some fun springy fabric! It was nice, easy, fun sewing. Bright colors, soft fabrics, quiet house. I didn't have very long to work at that point but I did get a matching lovie and burp cloth done. I cleaned up my mess in a much better mood! (who wouldn't with such a darling little baby to model!)

I'm not super crazy about how the pictures for the lovie turned out so I'll probably retake them tomorrow when the lighting is better. I may still list the burp cloth tonight. We'll see how the evening goes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I got hit by a truck

or at least it feels that way. We have a fever bug making it's way thru our house. Last night as I went to sleep, I could tell I was coming down with a cold. By the time I woke up this morning, a fever joined the cold. Great fun. I've spent this morning putting a sweatshirt on, taking it off, putting it on, taking it off. Exhausting! My sweet husband offered to stay home today but I told him to save his sick day for when he gets the bug. Supportive, aren't I? I've been trying not to kiss my baby too much so she doesn't get it. It's hard though because she's so scrumptious! Finally now my Advil has kicked in and I feel a tad bit better.

What a perfect day to spend on able mabel stuff! I'm serious about that. It doesn't require much physical energy...The coasters and blankets are calling!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's 10:00 am

and what is the able mabel household up to? Dolly is in her third favorite perch. Her first being my arms (she LOVES it there), second being the swing and now she's loving the Exersaucer. At least for a few minutes. She still pretty small for it, a whole 9 weeks, but if we prop her up with a blanket, she does just fine.
The kindergartner is home today (he goes Monday, Wednesday and Friday) so he's starting in on his jobs. Definitely takes some prodding from his Mother.

She slept in today. She's devouring a gourmet bowl of Froot Loops.

This little Pipsqueak is slobbering over a Starburst. (sounds like a sugar fix is happening over here!) Yikes! Someone grab the wipes! On the double!

A rice pudding is cooking in the oven. Hubby claims I'm addicted to the stuff. Hey, I can think of worse stuff to be addicted to! I love it after a workout. I don't eat eggs or drink milk when I'm nursing...ask the others in this house how Baby Doll behaves when I eat this is how I get my fix. Not the healthiest way but...

He has a nasty cold and spends a lot of time snuggled up with his blanket, laying wherever and however. He's not picky. This morning he picked the kitchen floor (can you say comfy?!?) and watched his older brother empty the dishwasher. He's waiting for him to finish so they can go play cars, or Legos, or trains, or pick-on-your-sister-until-she-screams-like-a-stuck-pig.

Two custom orders waiting to get started. The fabric for two blankets (can't get going on those until I get a down payment. I normally don't require one but these two are personalized. Kind of hard to resell a personalized blanket), and the cardstock for the coasters. As soon as I get Dolly settled down for a morning nap, I'm digging into the coasters.
Hubby is coming home for lunch today so that means I should probably get the breakfast dishes done this morning instead of waiting until it's almost suppertime. (wait, did I just admit to that in writing?!?!)

The timer is beeping, Dolly is screeching for a mid-morning feast, the boys are running Lego wheels down the "slide" in my bathtub (no water running though) and the girls are smearing lotion all over their hands, arms and face, someone smells suspiciously, well, stinky...never a dull moment in the able mabel house!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sweet Pea is pleased...

she scored on not one, not two, but three burp cloths today.

Two of them are slightly boy-ish, but she doesn't mind.

I had my sewing machine out today and was re-learning how to sew. It's been months since I've sat down (okay, hunched over) and used one. I started slow, working on some burp cloths. I was hoping to be able to use them for able mabel, but I don't think they'll quite cut it. I'm sure they look fine to some people, but I wouldn't feel good selling them as is. Most of it is a learning curve with my machine, figuring out it's little quirks, stitch settings and such. I'll just use them for Dolly and do some others for able mabel.

I seem to think that I need to do things almost perfectly the first time. As if...this is a new machine to me and I can't expect to sit down and know exactly how it works the first time. I'm trying not to be too frustrated with myself at what could be considered a lack of production today. Feels a little bit like a wasted day.

I'm going to put the sewing machine away for the day and this evening work on some cupcake coasters a customer ordered. This will be a new challenge for me since she only wants me to use solid colors and I'm so used to using patterned paper. A challenge is usually a good thing!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Three down, one to go...

and then a few hours to myself. (You know, naptime.) What should I work on? Pillows, pouches, blankets, signs, light switch covers, coasters...?!?!? Geez! The possibilities are endless!

Oh! I forgot to tell you. I got my sewing machine yesterday! As I mentioned before, a friend of mine got a new one for Christmas and so kindly gave me her old one. She came over for lunch yesterday to deliver it. As soon as she shut the door, I pulled out my fabric squares and started in on a patchwork belt for myself. I got the patches all sewn up and now am washing some light weight denim to use for the backside.

I already know I'm going to have a love/hate relationship with this thing. I won't tell you how much thread I went thru trying to load the bobbin, or how I was ready to hurl the thing out the window at one point. I stayed calm though, put it away for a bit to tend to my kids (that is my first priority anyway. My kids and my husband.) and by the time I came back to it, it worked like a charm. I forgot to buy bobbins the other day, so I haven't been able to play with it much.

Ohhhh sweet! Now there's four down, zero to go! Later!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

  • Sunny and 40 some degrees outside, feels like 60 at least
  • Kids are sleeping
  • I'm cleaning
  • The washer and dryer are humming
  • Brown Circles No Cash Wallet is in the gift guides. (don't ask me why it's in the Children's Section...doesn't matter, at least it's in something!)
  • The blinds are up
  • Windows are open
  • The mountains are gorgeous
  • I love this state
  • Hubby is thrilled with the prognosis he got from the physical therapist
  • I actually know what I'm making for dinner tonight
  • Got a package of oh-so-inspiring-goodness in the mail
  • There is spring in my step
  • Life is good!

I turn heads when I'm in public

and it's not because of my looks. It's because I always have so many bodies with me. Today I ventured out to Wal-Mart with my five little ducklings. This was our second attempt this week. It was on the game plan for yesterday but after Baby Doll started having one of her "moments" at the post office, I decided we better cut our losses and head for home. Sometimes you can't do it all at once!

We've kept the UPS man busy delivering packages of fabric to our door step. Today I washed all the minky. As I was folding it up, my kids were fighting over who got which pattern for their blanket. I had to break it to them that it wasn't for them but for able mabel. Bummer for them!

Now I have to get the kiddos down for naps and decide which I want to tackle up this office or hopping on the exercise bike. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Today's session

I'm crossing thing off my to-do list this morning, it's a great feeling!
I finished up my coasters on Saturday and found time this morning to photograph them. Here what my humble set up looked like today. I had a 20 month old on one side trying to give me kisses as I'm trying to hold the camera steady, a 4 year old handing me the next set to photograph and a three year old behind me on a stool singing "Noogie, noogie, and a noogie!" "You like dat song, Mom?" (in case you're wondering a Noogie is when you take your fist and rub is really quickly across the top of someone's head. Obviously he likes the way the word sounds because I'm not sure he even knows what a "noogie" is.) Thankfully the baby was peacefully sleeping.

Here is a photo collage of the coasters. One from each set. I'll be listing them over the next week or so. It's called a sneak'll have to watch my shop to see what they look like close up! ;)

I have a lot of pictures to edit over the next few days. Not only these coasters but also all the pictures of the signs I took the other day...let's not talk about the pictures of the baby blankets, aprons, light switch covers, magnets... It's a great project to work on when I'm nursing the baby.
Now back to that to-do list...