Thursday, April 30, 2009

I was a walking fashion statement

this morning! I was embarrassed to even look at myself in the rear view mirror.

I had an eye appointment this morning along with my oldest daughter. (Nothing like squeaking it in before our insurance runs out tomorrow.) We both got our eyes dilated and received an absolutely gorgeous pair of disposable sunglasses. Since I had my antique glasses on (they're only about 9 years old, horrible!!) I got the kind that slips behind the glasses. The minute I stepped outside into the bright sunshine, I knew I was in trouble. So I pulled my normal sunglasses out of my purse.

I started a new trend in layering. First the doc issued sunglasses, then my hideous "not-for-use-in-public glasses, followed by my own sunglasses with a little bit of bling on each ear piece. My nose almost wasn't large enough to hold such a production. When people do the "swivel the neck and gawk", you know you're in trouble. The combo worked though and I was able to make it home without too much trouble.

I was planning on swinging into Target after my appointment but since my pupils were as large as saucers, I beat it right on home to the safety of my own house, declining a meet-at-the-park invite on my way there.

On the able mabel front...
On Tuesday, I finished waterproofing 5 sets of coasters and left them on the garage floor to dry. Before they were completely dry, some yahoo decided to ride their bike over the whole lot of them. What a mess!! Dirt and tire tracks don't make for a very smooth finish. Sigh! That's what I get for leaving them there. Now that it's nicer out, I'll be able to seal them outside and then read the kids the riot act about leaving them alone!! I'm just thankful there were no custom orders in that batch.

Today, I started working on the next batch of coasters. I have two coaster giveaways coming up (I'll be sure to let you know where to find the giveaways when they happens) so I need to kick out a bunch of them. Fun!!

able mabel is being featured on this blog today. Buzz over there and check it out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I walked into the post office today

and some old godger nods at my ducklings trailing behind me and says, "How do you do it?" and "Looks like you brought the whole gang with you!" (from the lady behind the counter)

To the old geezer (I mean that in a nice way) I responded, "Just like everyone else does." and the postal lady got a big cheese from me. We all like her and she said her comment in a nice way. We don't see her as much since I've been using PayPal to print off my mailing labels. I had a package going to Saskatoon today so I had to bring it in.
We saw a blind man with his seeing-eye dog at the post office and now my four year old has been questioning me all day (I'm serious, it's constant) about blind people. Going to the post office can be an educational experience!
For a change of pace, we took the kids to the lake by our house last night. Our main goal was to let the dog run off some of her energy but the kids had a good time also. It was a gorgeous evening!! Our oldest two girls waded in the water and the dog thought is was great run to race in and splash them as they squealed with delight!!

Oh my! Look at the time! I better scoot! We're having an early supper tonight since our 2nd grader has a concert tonight. She's just giddy with excitement!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick update

while I wait for my baby to settle down for her long afternoon snooze. As soon as she's out, I'm going to do a Yoga workout and then I have to get started on another birdie blanket. This will be the third one for this particular customer.

For the past week, I've had written on my to-do list on the fridge "MAKE JAM!!!" Underlined and all. Written by our oldest. I kept putting it off so finally this morning I decided to make it.
Under the watchful eye (and sticky fingered) of Little Ms K. It's so easy and fast to do, I'm not sure why I get lazy to do it. It's best with homegrown strawberries but we don't have them around here so store bought will have to do.
For a few hours this morning, I was being seranaded by a yodeling pickle. I kid you not...This weekend when my husband was in MN, they threw a surprise party for him. This was one of the gifts. He totally deserves it, but I don't. I let the kids have a little bit of fun with it but then I took it away (I know, I'm a mean mom!) and it's now sitting in his lunch box.

Ohhh! Baby is out, I better get moving! Later!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm sitting down to a gourmet supper

of hard boiled eggs on top of toast. That's how we eat when Hubby is gone for the weekend. (We didn't just have eggs and toast. We also gnawed on pea pods, carrot sticks and cantaloupe. How does that combo strike you, JB?) One of the kids commented with a wrinkled nose, "but that's what we had last night!" I said, "Wrong. We had scrambled eggs. These are hard boiled." And here I thought they didn't appreciate my cooking!

Heading off to church tonight is out of the question. Our oldest threw up this morning at a friend's house, so it looks like we'll be hanging low and getting to bed early. My husband doesn't fly in until about 9pm so he won't be showing his smiling mug around here until about midnight.

I ended up socializing much more than I had planned on this weekend. I had had grand plans of getting a lot of able mabel stuff created this weekend but I played instead of working. It's all good! I introduced one of my friends to Etsy this weekend. Oh my! I almost feel like I should apologize to her husband...

I guess I did get a lot of computer work done. Networking, ramping up my following on Twitter (my hip teenage brothers were pretty impressed when they found out that I, their older almost-fossilized sister, actually Twitters, or Tweets, or whatever you call it!), marketing, blog hopping, etc.
Here are a few of the "spoils" from this week...
I still love the saying on this sign! Most of us can relate!

A pouch made from a hand towel. These always look so dorky when I photograph them. Anyone have any ideas for these?

I love these toes and the baby that comes with them, but you already know that. This fabric is from Amy Butler's Garden Maze line. I love that it's modern but still girly.

I suppose I'll wander into the kitchen to see if there are any more dribbles left in the bottom of the coffee pot. You all be good!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My machine wasn't the only thing

humming today.

My husband called earlier to let me know that things are looking better job-wise. On Monday, he was informed that the company they're doing business under is no longer a company, leaving the operations in Colorado without a parent company. We had a stressful few days, not sure what was going to happen. We were told that he'd get paid thru this week and then that was it. Today another company flew into town to look at taking over and they'd like him to work for them. While we're not out of the woods yet (details still have to get figured out), we're at least less stressed.

That news kicked off some cost cutting measures around the house. First off, I started hang drying the laundry. In doing so I discovered a shortcut of sorts. When you towel off with a crunchy line-dried towel, you can exfoliate your body at the same time! I'm not a fan of the "crunch" so before now, I've avoided line drying.

Contrary what my mother thinks, I have been working on able mabel stuff this week. Coasters on Monday and Tuesday, signs yesterday, sewing today, pictures tomorrow....I just haven't blogged about it yet.

I've also been trying to convince my baby that sleeping isn't just for newborns. Big four-and-a-half month old girls can, and should, sleep too. In fact, it's highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, something this mother agrees with! There's not much worse than waking up at 2am, fumbling in the dark to find her pacifier, hop back into bed and realize that once again, Hubby has done the "Burrito". You know, rolled up in all the covers and I have to unroll him so I can have even a little corner of them. Oh well. I still love them both.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spending the day outside...

Today dawned bright and beautiful. As we open the blinds on a sunny day we all say "Another beautiful day in Colorado!" After doing a bit around the house, the kids and I walked to a park a few blocks away. We took our puppy along for the walk. Whew! What a workout! She loves kids but get too excited when she sees them, jumping and knocking them over.

At one point, I lost sight of the almost two year old. Never fear, she was just sitting down doing her stripping routine. First she makes a standing attempt with her pants, then she realizes her shoes are stopping the progress. Down she sits, off comes the shoes and then she shimmies out of her pants, leaving them in a puddle at her feet. Off she hops, gleefully bare legged and bare footed.

This picture was snapped when we got home. This after I had put her pants back on her three times already. I'm sure the neighbors really wonder. When we're at home, I don't even bother trying to keep pants on her. In's a whole 'nother story. A onesie is a must though, no ifs ands or buts about it!
This little pumpkin was positively bouncing with delight at being outside. I had her on the front porch, out of the sun and she was loving every moment of it. She's started a new little game with us. When we lay her down for her nap, she promptly rolls over, we roll her back putting her pacifier back in her mouth, she rolls over again, we roll her back putting the pacifier back in her mouth, she rolls over again....until she finally tires herself out and falls asleep.

She had a fabulous time picking dandelions from the neighbor's yard with her little brother. I decided not to stress too much about them being in their yard. If they have problems with them picking weeds...She's putting them in water so they "grow big and bigger". She tossed them in the garbage at dinnertime. So much for that idea.

I missed the photo op of my son wearing his tank top. He kept admiring himself in all the windows and mirrors. Better luck next time!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back into the swing of life....

or the roller coaster, as our life has been lately. My brain isn't firing on all cylinders today. Baby Doll decided that sleeping at night is totally optional. I woke up every hour with her last night, except for the midnight hour. Even after I gave her a dose of medicine... I spent 5 days in Seattle last week, attending the funeral of my grandfather. While it was sad reason to be there, it was nice to see family and friends who gathered there. Most of my family made it to Seattle except for two of my sisters. Some of us stayed with our aunt and were spoiled by her. She is such a sweet lady!
We managed to sneak in a few hours at Pike Place Market on Friday. The weather was, shockingly, cloudy and slightly drizzly. :) Three of us had babies along so it was a quick trip in and out. We came to an unanimous agreement that when we take our next Sisters Trip, it will be without our babies along.
On the way back home, I sat next to a lady who had her cat with her. I was somewhat shocked she had it in under her seat. I thought they were suppose to be down below in the cargo area. Her "baby" ended up crying almost the whole way to Salt Lake City while my baby slept the entire time. Go figure.

My husband did a wonderful job of holding down the fort in my absence. I walked into a spotless (well, cleaned up) house and all the laundry done. Once again, I'm spoiled! He's a keeper!
This week, I'm throwing myself full force into able mabel. I need the distraction from every day life right now. Stay tuned to see the latest!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm running around like a chicken

with it's head chopped off.

I woke up yesterday morning to several texts from my mom saying that my dad's dad had a massive heart attack and wasn't expected to live much longer. It came no surprise being that he's been ailing for quite some time. When I told my husband, he suggested immediately that I start working on plans to travel to Seattle for the (possible) funeral.

My mom called while we were sitting in church to tell me that he had, in fact, passed away. When we got home, I started looking for tickets and was pretty bummed out when the cheapest I found was $502, plus taxes and fees. That's how it goes when you try to fly last minute.

I decided to give Priceline a try. Lo and behold, my price of $250 was accepted for the days I wanted to fly! Yay!

I fly out tomorrow mid afternoon. Yikes!! My brain is swimming with all the details I have to figure out and things I have to get done before I leave.

While the occasion for getting together isn't a good one, I'm excited to be able to see my family. All my MN family will make it to Seattle except for two sisters.

If you don't hear from me for the next 5 days, you'll know why. I may be able to sneak online using my dad's laptop....we'll see!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poor Birdie!

This little birdie is feeling very blue. (Oh wait! He is always blue!) He has been bought and then "rejected" (never paid for) two times now. Maybe the third time will be the charm for him!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I've been busy the last two days

working on a skirt for my daughter. Why is it taking me so long? I'm totally winging it as I go. I don't have tracing paper and I don't want to cut apart the pattern, so I'm getting the dimensions as close as I can.

I'm not sure if I'm done with it yet. I keep having her try it on, taking it off, fixing something, having her put it back on, taking it off, fixing again...the seam ripper has been my best friend over the past two days. I've learned a ton as I've gone along.

Here is the first attempt. I decided I wasn't super wild about how the satin trim went on, or should I say, came together in the back. It looked a little sloppy. I like the overall look as opposed to this one...I was using pink thread and don't like how it shows, so glaringly, across the green square. I think I'll go back to the satin or maybe try a ruffle next. I'm also not super thrilled how it hangs on her. I guess that's what I get for not following a pattern to the T. I also fixed the gathering on the top light blue square. Yikes, I missed that the first time around!

I suppose I have to take into consideration that this is the first time I've ever attempted a piece of clothing. I'll get right someday, just for sure not on my first, or second, or third attempt.

Let's just say, able mabel won't be adding a clothing line anytime soon. I would die of embarassment if a sewer looked closely at this skirt! I've been having fun though! It's been worth all the time I've spent on it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm not feeling very wordy today...

I didn't get a chance to update yesterday. It was my husband's birthday so we went on a supper date (with baby in tow...not always fun to drag a baby along, but I'm not complaining!).

I was able to get some pictures taken in the morning. It's always a disappointment when you upload your pictures, only to find that your setting was all wrong and the picture isn't clear enough. Oh well, there's always tomorrow to try again!

This little dolly get so excited when I'm taking pictures. Her little feet are doing ninety, she lifting her legs and squealing with delight.

Note to self...when trying to focus on detail, do it without baby in the picture.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Today ~ Production

Tomorrow ~ Pictures

Or that's how I had it planned out in my head. This morning I set up my sewing machine on the dining room table. (I wish I would have had my camera nearby because my three kids were lined up on the opposite side of the machine with their heads propped in their hands watching my every move.)

My goal was to do blankets in the morning and pouches or purses in the evening. I pulled the blanket part of the day off without a hitch. The pouches....not so much. It's been about a month since I've done a pouch and I was having a major blonde moment (because I'm a "sandy blonde", I only get them every so often! ;) Haha...I crack myself up!) and sewed it inside out. Duh! My next one didn't go much better as the bobbin thread was having an attitude problem. I put those two aside because they need to be taken apart and went to put the interfacing on a third pouch. It totally rippled on me. (What up with that?) I got the hint and put all the pouches away. I knew I should have read my book instead.

I was bummed out for about 3.5 seconds and then I remembered the stack of blankets I got done this morning. It was still a fun and productive day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I still want to know

who in their right mind would put smooth shiny tile on the floors in their house? Probably someone who has it made in the shade and has a maid. :)

We're currently renting a house and they used "imported tile from Italy" as a selling point for it. (that's not the reason we liked this house.) Italy Schmitaly. I don't care where the tile is from, it's nearly impossible to keep looking clean! I wash it and as soon as someone walks on it, it looks dusty again. Plus it's very slippery even when dry. Maybe I'm just being too practical and not appreciating the "finer" things in life. (That and the fact that I'm tired of cleaning.)

As Hubby walked out the door with the oldest three this afternoon for a visit to Sportsman's Warehouse (I yelled after him to buy himself a birthday present since his birthday is on Tuesday. He wrinkled his nose at me so we'll see if he does.), I was so very tempted to pull out the sewing machine. I think my non-creative week was getting the best of me, I was feeling a little cranky earlier today. I did the next best thing and popped in a workout DVD. There's nothing like a good workout to change one's outlook on life.

Now back to the scrub bucket. The end of my cleaning is in sight!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Maybe the theme of the week

should be "laziness", because that's exactly how it's been. There is very little "visual" progress this week. And you know what? I really don't give a darn. After weeks straight of pedal-to-the-metal, it feels great just to putter around the house.
I already have my to do list started for next week. (heehee)

Sew up Birdie Blanket #5. JB did the first one, I did the other three and I'll be doing this one. It's proved to be a pretty popular design. It remains to be seen how many more of these we'll do. The fabric is an Alexander Henry design from a few years back. It's no longer being made, although I'm told another designer makes a pattern very similar to this one.

Mom's blog really made me want to make myself a new purse. I still have that pattern that she sent me to try out.

I bought a Sandi Henderson pattern last week and I'm dying to rip it open. (sorry about the distorted image. I couldn't get it to shrink down correctly.) I want to make some skirts/dresses for the girls for summer. When I showed it to my husband, he smirked and raised his eyebrows at me but wisely kept his mouth shut. I remember, not that many years ago, saying "I have zero interest in sewing up clothes for our kids." These words don't taste so bad to eat...

The fabric I bought to make one of them with is in the washer right now. One slight mistake on my part. I thought this pattern called for all the same size patches, but it doesn't. This will require a slight "fudge factor" on my part! Good thing I have a box of scraps!

I'm sure I'll share pictures when I'm done with them.

I still have those coasters to finish up, photograph and list. I had temporarily "misplaced" one of them, but found it again while I was cleaning up my workspace the other day. I hadn't even noticed but my oldest daughter pointed it out to me as I was sealing up the rest of them. See? It pays to clean!

The list goes on and on....

I'll stop now since it's time to make supper. The kids are jumping with joy because it's their favorite...chicken pot pie. They'd love it if I made it weekly! It's one of the few meals everyone inhales before it had time to cool!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Got any great tricks?

It's April Fool's Day (duh!) and I still haven't thought of a good trick to play on my husband.

Last year, I texted him and told him I was pregnant. I thought it would be funny to see what his reaction would be. (Okay, so that was a lame joke, but it was all I could come up with at the time.) Turned out the joke was on me because I really was pregnant and just didn't realize it at the time.

Got any good tricks up your sleeve?

Want a cookie?

I was almost done with my workout today when our three year old woke up from his nap. (Okay, I confess, I didn't quite finish the whole thing. It's divided into three different sections, you can choose to do one or all of them. I choose to do them all but I petered out on the last two minutes of the last section. My "abs" were killing me!)

As I posted yesterday, we're having problems with him deciding that he doesn't want to be potty trained anymore. Figuring he needed some positive attention, I asked him if he wanted to help me make cookies. I couldn't resist adding in "...after you go potty..." His eyes lit up and he asked, "Help you, not just watch you?" (Depending on my mood that day, my kids either get to help or watch. More often they watch instead of help. We call it "helping by watching".) It was his lucky day since his sisters were both still napping. He had Mom all to himself.I let him measure a few of the ingredient and then he was on mixer duty. Win, win for both of us. "Power tool" for him, less mess for me! His favorite part was eating the chocolate chips off the counter. Or maybe it was that he got to lick off the beaters. I don't always let them do it because there is usually more than one kid hovering at my elbows. If I'm not in the mood for the fight over who's turn it is, I use the excuse of "It has raw eggs in it, it'll make you sick.", then I take a big ole lick. It's one of the many perks of being a mom!

I'm still slacking able mabel wise this week. It feels good to take a little break from creating. Maybe tomorrow....(I think I said that yesterday.)

The school kids are almost home and as soon as they walk in the door they hear the usual Wednesday refrain "Job, homework, showers. Pronto!" They just roll their eyes at me and mutter almost under their breath "We know, we know." :)

See you all tomorrow!