Friday, May 29, 2009

Randoms from the life of able mabel

It's her favorite cereal. It's also the first thing she asks for in the morning, except when her daddy is home. When he's home, she first skips across the room to say good morning to him. (shows how I rate! :)) I love that dimple in her elbow! So sweet!!

The first thing he did this morning was scribble on the magna doodle. His older sister drew those stick figures and now he's scribbling all over them. (Check it out! The stool is actually reflecting on the tile and not a crumb in sight!! Must be a fluke.)

The line-up from last night's work. Got the backs painted this afternoon and one listed. This morning, I started in on three signs getting the edges painted. Hopefully this evening I'll be able to do the lettering...not holding my breath there.

Brewing up a jug of iced tea. The kids love to have

picnics whenever possible. Why they decided to have it on the sidewalk today instead of in the grass is beyond me! I'm sure there will be a lot more of these during summer vacation!!

What happened in your day today?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I scored today at the

grocery store. I was cruising thru the frozen foods and came upon a few carts of discounted items. Heaped in one of the carts were a bunch of...

Absolutely perfect for heading to the beach or to sauna at a friend's house. The tag on the carts said "Bags $3.49". The tight Finn in me scooped it up faster than you could say "Sold"!!

The other out-and-about bag I had been using is lacking a working zipper. Not good when you're carrying around sauna duds. You have to strategically place all undergarments at the very bottom of the bag, in the quite-likely event they spill out on the foyer floor causing great embarrassment to all those present. I never remembered to look for a new bag until I go to put stuff in the old bag. Obviously it wasn't a priority.

My girls were so proud of my purchase (I can't ever get anything new without all my kids excitedly telling everyone who enters our house about it. I have to teach them that Dad doesn't have to know everything!! ;)), they immediately showed it to my husband's niece when she came over this afternoon. I happened to check my receipt to make sure it rang up correctly since my oldest pointed out to her that, "The tag says $40 but my Mom said she only paid $3.49." Lo and behold it wasn't even on the receipt. Looks like I got it for free dollars.

I have some errands to run tomorrow so I'll buzz back into the store with the tote and my receipt and tell them about their error. There is a part of me that thinks, "Blech. It's their mistake so don't bother." But not only is it the right thing to go back to pay for it, it's also a good opportunity to teach my kids firsthand about honesty.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today I feel like doing this

at my lingering laundry piles, dirty bathrooms, sticky floors.

When I walk into my bedroom I need to
so I won't be tempted by my workspace.

Instead I'll move thru the day withand flair, going about my chores without complaint.

I'll work like a dog today so tomorrow I can start the day
fresh and ready to able mabel to my hearts content!!!!

(Illustrations can be found in cindyandmindy's shop. To read more about her and her lovely artwork, click here.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Digging out again

from under the camping mess. We spent a wet, muddy, cold, yet super relaxing weekend at Chapman Dam with a group of other families. What's Memorial Day Weekend camping without rain and cold?It was extremely hard to get good scenery shots since it was so dreary. The sun came out on Saturday evening so I was able to get this shot. I would love to go back there when the weather is a bit nicer. There are a lot of neat places to explore.

The group site there is just perfect for a big group. Lots of room for the kiddos to run,
splash in mud puddles, (The ground dried pretty quickly when it rained, so the kids had to splash fast!!)

and throw a few games of Bocee Ball. (I can't remember if Bocee is spelled with one or two "c's", oh well.)

The weather wasn't exactly ideal, but we did rig up a tarp over the campfire so we could at least do our cooking, mist-free. Most of us have campers with heat, so we are pretty spoiled during the cold nights.
It felt wonderful to go to a friend's house to take a sauna after we got home. Sweat off all the mud and grime and came back home squeaky clean.

Time for me to continue digging thru my piles of laundry and muddy duds. Have a happy day!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm not feeling very chatty today so

how about another artist feature?

This time from PetalbyPetal. Being that my mother uses polymer clay to make her dolls, I find myself being partial to artists who also use it. PetalbyPetal is one of those artists.

Her thoughts...
"As a small child I loved two things, making things with my hands and flowers. Well I‘m all grown up now (although I am sure that there are those who beg to differ) but I still love flowers and making things, so now I make flowers out of clay, air dry polymer clay to be exact. I guess some things never change! Living in Hawaii, I’m constantly surrounded by the most beautiful tropical flowers with the most enticing scents. But there are always the memories of flowers that I’ve seen on trips to Europe or other States that just don’t survive in our tropical weather, flowers like the peony or lily of the valley. So what better way to bring them home than to recreate them out of clay?

All my flowers are made entirely by hand, Petal by Petal, no molds or cutters are used. I use white clay, mix it with the primary colors in order to achieve all the different hues and shades. Some flowers get some accent painting as well, just enough to make them look as realistic as possible. The flowers are great keepsakes as they never wilt, don’t need watering and you can have out of season flowers all year round! I guess that’s why they are so popular for weddings and gifts.

I started working with Claycraft clay in 2000, when it had first arrived here from Japan. The founders’ daughter had just started teaching here and I became one of her first students, a mere year later becoming an instructor and teaching there for a few years. Today I teach at my own studio and make custom order floral designs, mostly for weddings and home d├ęcor.

My students and clients had often urged me to open a shop on Etsy and to start a blog. Somehow I just never took the internet leap, preferring to interact with people face to face. Well, now the shop is up and I’m working on a blog so I can show some of the beautiful custom orders that didn’t go through Etsy."

I think her work is absolutely amazing and the detail is incredible!!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It was just one teeny tiny project!

I woke up this morning determined to plow thru this stack of paperwork on my desk and de-clutter the counters in the kitchen. It's amazing how fast it all piles up! I wasn't going to do anything able mabel related until I was done with it. (heeheee! We all know better than to believe that one!) I started emptying the Wal-Mart bag and found this dress I bought on clearance for Baby Doll. It was a whole $4.

I knew when I bought it that the neckline would be an issue. I'm not a fan of off-the-shoulder dresses/shirts, especially for kids and this looked like it had potential to be one. I started rummaging around my scrap bin and found...

these pieces. I decided to add them to the straps. (relax, I did iron them before I began.) It was a nice, fast, easy process. I also though it needed a little bit of pink ric rac along the edge of the strap. (The dress has white ric rac on the skirt part.)

Viola! I'm not wild about the pink ric rac but she never sits still long enough for anyone to notice it.

(You have no idea how hard it is to get a sitting up picture of a squirmy 5 and a half month old. Pardon the afghan in the background. It was the only thing I could find to cover the pillows I have propping her up.)

Oops! I just got busted by the Tupperware lady. I worked out this morning and I'm still in my workout clothes, sweaty hair and all. She stopped by to drop off some new pots and pans for me. I had sent mine in a month ago to be warrantied out. I forgot she was going to stop by today. Sigh!! Story of my life!

My paperwork awaits. I need to get it done before I head off to our son's kindergarten graduation this afternoon. (His older sisters are green with envy. They never got one in MN!) What were the teachers thinking, scheduling it at 2pm? Smack dab in the middle of nap time! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's been many moons

since I've featured another Etsy artist/shop. Today I started a thread in the forums looking for people who want to be featured. The first one to respond was melker. I lucked out and got an awesome shop to feature on the first try!! Seriously, check this out!!It's a boot made out of an origami napkin. Unbelievable!!

I asked melker if she'd share a few thought with us.

"I am quite new to etsy, I started with handmade jewelry in my shop just over a month ago and two weeks ago I started adding what I call my Wonderland Decorations , for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. It was when I started listing my wonderland stars that more people begun to contact me."

"I am from Sweden in the north of Europe where Etsy is not that well known. I read about the site for the first time in a handicraft magazine in December last year and I was truly amazed and now I am hooked on it :) You can read more about my background in my shop profile if you want to. I try to make unique items for my shop. I have come up with the techniques that I use my self and most of my jewelry is made out of wire, just like my wire trees that I am extra proud of. Some of my paper decorations like my wonderland boots, my small kimono shirts and the origami peacocks I have learnt from reading origami books over the years, whilst other decorations like my once upon a time place cards, my sweet hearts and my dream feathers are entirely my own creation. As you might notice I take a lot of my inspiration from fairytales and nature, but I want my jewelry and decorations to appeal to a wide range of people."
Head on over to her shop and have a looksie! It's absolutely amazing!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I thumbed my nose

at my piles of laundry and any housework to be done today, and instead took out my sewing machine. Housework never goes away, so today was "playtime"! I talked about it all last week and today I finally got a chance to do it! Yeah!!

This is what I had to deal with...(I'm not complaining, just sayin'...)

Since it had been a while since I pulled out the machine, I had to deal with the peanut gallery for a few minutes. It didn't take them long before they got bored and went to play. I kept checking on them every so often since they were outside. (Our two year old loves to take off down the street. Not good when you live in a neighborhood.) Here is part of the scene I found on the back patio...

Heeeheee! Sometimes I wonder! She obviously takes after her goofy father! Hat and mitts on (it was over 70 degrees), one shoe on, one shoe off, apron tied around the stroller, her big sister's socks on (each a different color). At least her pants are on this time. She was happy as a clam, so I snuck back inside without a word to continue sewing.

(Holy Cow! My baby is slowly but surely pulling herself across the room. Help! She's way too little!!!)

I was able to get 3 burpies and 3 blankets done. (a red birdie one in the bunch, surprise surprise!) Granted, I wasn't able to sew constantly.

  1. Iron the fabric.
  2. Help put a shoe on someone.
  3. Pin right sides together.
  4. Snag ruler out of little hands and put in safe place.
  5. Sew right sides together.
  6. Check on kids playing outside.
  7. Turn right side out and iron.
  8. Stop and feed baby.
  9. Topstitch blanket.
  10. Wipe up water cascading down front of the fridge.
  11. Cut threads, iron blanket one last time.
  12. Check on kids playing outside.
  13. Iron fabric for next blanket

You get the idea. It's what I get for working when the kids are awake. When they're napping, I can get a lot more done. That's life and I love it!

The school kids walked in the door so now it's time to clean up my mess and get supper going. Later!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Playing catch up

today on all my social networks. I belong to a team on Etsy called Fabulous Artistic Moms. I used to be quite active in the group but have dropped off the face of the earth. I decided it's time to poke my nose in there again.

I've also decided to start adding buttons and/or link lists to all the places able mabel has been featured. First off is IndieSpotting. I snagged their button off their site. It's a very cute button. Next up is the FAM button. I'll add that when I'm done here.

I started adding tags to my blog posts. I probably did about 5 or 6 days worth and then gave up. I'll just try to remember to do it going forward.

Who wants to come over right now? My house is spotless, except for the older girls' room and the kids' bathroom. Quick, you better hurry! It won't last long! (I'm not going to need to proof read this post before publishing it. My oldest is curled up next to me, reading every word I'm typing. I better be good!) I asked my husband today how many years of housecleaning I had to put in before I could quit. His response..."100 years." Geez. Supportive isn't he?!? ;)

I'm off to do some more marketing! My sales have come to almost a complete halt. Hmmmph. Such is life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Apparently the way to my 6 year old's heart

is thru his stomach by way of ice cream.

On my Mother's Day card (which he "forgot" to give me until yesterday) it read "Dear Mom, I love you because you buy me ice cream cones." Be still my heart! (I saved the card in a safe place!)

Part of his homework assignment this week was to write a letter to someone special and tell them why they're special. Here's his letter:

"Dear Grampa

I thinck you are special becus you gif me ice crem."

This kid obviously loves ice cream! He does know how to spell better than that but he was lazy today. (His older sister is the one who started scrawling below "today was".)

I have a "confession" to make....

I was going to spend the day cleaning but I found myself being distracted quite easily by yoga and able mabel. I kept sneaking back into my office (that was clean yesterday and now is quite messy today.) to add this or that to some light switch covers, check my e-mail and so on. My procrastination got even worse when I got a call about a showing on this place on Saturday. As if I feel like doing it all twice in such a short amount of time.

I did get the floors and windows washed. My 6 and 4 year olds still think it's a treat to help me wash the floors. It requires much patience on my end. I'm quite picky about them walking on wet floors and such. I watched, groaning inwardly but not wanting to dampen his enthusiam, my 6 year old spinning in circles on his knees, swishing the rag aound like a dog chasing it's tail. Soon his was an island in the middle of the "sea". (so much for my mini lesson on floor washing before we even started) He was so impressed with the job he did that I merely thanked him for his hard work and dumped the bucket of water out. He sauntered outside to play, grinning over his good deed for the day.

Sigh....all good things must come to an end. I can't put off cleaning any longer. Now I'll have to fly. Guess I work better under pressure (wait! that's not what I said a few days ago!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well, there goes my day tomorrow!

I had planned on able mabeling it all day tomorrow until I was informed this evening that two of my husband's nephews are going to come over for supper. Hmmmph...what to make for dinner? I'm thinking along the meatball line. Either Swedish meatballs or spaghetti and meatballs. I suppose that means I better get my house straightened up and the floor washed, at the very least. I'd hate to have the walk in the front door and not be able to take another step because their feet are stuck to the floor. I know I don't have to fuss too much but how clean our house is still reflects on me. Who knows if they'd even notice but still I will.

I was reading in the forums tonight about how important it is to add tags to your blog posts. It's how the search engines find you. The thought of going back in and adding tags makes me tired. It sounds like work.

I got busted for blogging the other day about hubby hovering over my shoulder. He read it and then gave me grief. Guess I deserved it!

Tonight he hovered, watching me put together some magnets and light switch covers. This time I didn't get writers block (maybe it was because I wasn't writing anything.). I don't mind that kind of hovering.

I still get a chuckle every time I read this sign that JB made a while back. Me and my dry sense of humor.

Speaking of weight, it's time to go feed my husband his "fat pills" (the guy is skinnier than a rail!). A cup of ice cream with milk before bed. It's my turn to dish.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ready for a spew of


My friend came over today to model some aprons for me. I think I ended up with mixed results...

We started off with the half aprons. The lighting was okay, not great, but not horrible. My original thought was to go outside but is was so windy I thought the house was going to blow over! I was having a hard time picking up some of the dark colors so I changed the focus setting on my camera. Only to have the full aprons come out a little too dark. Sigh! Will I ever learn?
I've tried monkeying with this one but I think I'll have to do it a little more. It's such a bummer when I was using a model other than someone in my household. I may just have to call them "good enough". ugh.This one wasn't so bad...

Then we moved onto some towels. I'm not sure if I'll use this one. I feel like I'm falling off a cliff and the towel is the last thing I'll ever seeeeee...

This morning I finally took some coaster pictures. I even got this set listed, imagine that!

Then I dug into the stack of magnets JB sent along with the aprons. She had them all backed on some pretty paper. I still have to try find the time to get them listed as well. (can you tell we love birds! ;) )

So much to list, so little time. I'm kidding, kind of. I'm still craving a chance to sit down to sew again. Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow.

My household is full of screeching kids at this moment. The 6 year old tickled the 4 year old so much she peed her pants (and is screeching about it), the 3 year old can't get his shoes on (and is screeching about it), the 2 year old want to go in the tub with her sister (and is screeching about it), the baby is overtired (and is screeching about it)....if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? I think it's about time for their father to make his grand entrance, don't you? Hopefully he's not screeching too.

To top it off, the phone is ringing. (the 6 year old answered it and brought it over to me. He said, with a gleam in his eye, "It's someone who is already talking, can I just hit the end button?" I nodded my approval and with a huge cheese on his face, he hit the button with great gusto and sauntered back to the kitchen.)

Time to throw my hat in for the day. Sounds like my family needs me about now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

When life get too stressful...

We run away! I'm kidding, but we did go camping in Moah, UT this past weekend. It was absolutely perfect! Perfect weather, gorgeous scenery, well behaved kids, etc. We went with three other families so the kids had a ball playing and getting grubby all weekend long.
Our campsite was up the road from Slickrock Bike Trail. There were sites tucked in among the rocks all along the road. Some of our crew went biking but we don't have bikes so we hung out and relaxed. Our oldest daughter and her friend surveying the lay of the land from our campsite.

The boys were trying to catch these little lizards that darted across our site. They never did catch one but I found on basking in the sun on a rock.

(It's really hard to write with Hubby standing behind my shoulder. Guess I can't perform under pressure! Now he's gone...phew!)

We took the kids hiking on Saturday morning. I brought up the rear with the toddlers and Babes, in a borrowed backpack, on my back. She loved it for the way up, smearing her boogers in my hair and drooling down my neck. Lovely feeling. I had to carry her on the way down. Guess she didn't like the Human Roller Coaster!
This is not my husband...this picture looks scarier than it really was. One of our friends climbed higher for a better look. We didn't let the kids up that way.
It was awesome to get away from life and have a change of scenery. It was just what the doctor ordered!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I better get in here now

before I run out of time today. I'm slurping on my coffee, wasting time on the computer like I have nothing else I should be doing today.

Earlier this week, in the midst of my flitting around the house, I couldn't focus on any one thing so I grabbed my book and headed out to the back patio. The kids were napping and it was absolutely gorgeous out. I stripped down to my tank top (I still had my pants on, silly!) and read for about 45 minutes. I came back inside and my chest was as red as a lobster. Oops, not good! Today I'm scratching at it like a dog with fleas. I hate sunburn! I usually try to only spend a little bit of time in the sun so I don't burn, but the time got away from me that day.

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with an insurance guy getting quotes for temporary health insurance. He was an easy going kind of guy with a sense of humor similar to mine. It was actually kind of fun, believe it or not. We got to the point where he was going to e-mail me the quotes and I started giving him my email address..."ablemabel..." he stopped and gave this big deep belly laugh. "That's a good one!", he said, gasping for breath. I'm glad I made someone's day!

I keep having to change my avatar on Etsy because it keeps selling. I was browsing thru my pictures yesterday and saw this picture. Who can resist baby feet?!?!

As I'm typing this, she's trying to fall asleep for a short morning nap. She has the "double-barrel-snot-gun" action going on (to borrow a phrase often used by my dad!) and can't breathe thru her nose. It makes it pretty difficult to suck on a pacifier.

Now Miss K has slipped out the back door still in her pj's. Time for me to hang it up here and get my day going!!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The thought just

occurred to me that it's Thursday. Duh!! The weekend is fast approaching and there is a good chance that there may be a showing on this house this weekend. I've been working on "essential-head-swimming-very boring" details in our life this week. (temporary insurance, search for rentals, etc) Floating from room to room, not getting very much done around the house.

The light finally turned on as far as what day it is today and now I'm thundering thru the house, whirling in a slight panic, trying to get the mini-messes under control.

On a positive note, I got the coasters done that I was working on this week. Here they are, safely roosting under the baby swing, away from bike tires. Just waiting for the final coat of waterproofing to set. Not the greatest picture but beggars can't be choosers! (just kidding!)

Now back to my regularly schedule dinner making!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It was 10:15 pm,

I was humming merrily to myself as I was putting some finishing details on a few set of coasters. I was going to finish them up, update my blog, do some cost of living research (hubby may get a raise here shortly, yay!!) all before hubby got home from his meeting. I figured I had about a half hour or 45 minutes before he got home. Suddenly I see a blue blur thru the front door, the door swings open and there is his smiling mug. Shoot. I mean, great that he got home early but I wasn't done yet! No, seriously, it's all good! I love it when he walks in the door!

I'm ticked! I can't find my pictures from March 2009. I have a bunch of unedited, unlisted pictures in that month. Now I'll have to retake them all!

Knock, knock!
Who's there?
Banana who?
Knock, knock!
Who's there?

Okay, I'll spare you but you have to check out this super cool sign I got in a package of goodness from JB on Saturday.

Isn't it so neat!! There were two others that are similar in there also.

All the kids were squealing with delight when they saw JB's address on the package. A chorus of disappointed "awwwwwww!!!!!!'s" arose when they realized it was all for able mabel. I continued to squeal as I pawed thru the package.

She sent some yummy aprons along too. After I make a mad dash to WalMart for some dog food this morning, a friend is going to come over and model them for me. Before she comes, I'll have to snuggle up to the iron and get the "travel lines" out of them.

Now I'm off the glaze the coasters...they'll be dried well before any of those obnoxious bike tracks make their appearance! You'd think I'd learn one of these days to keep my works-in-progress out of harms way. (all completed product that passes the QC test is tucked safely away in totes.) But no, I continue to be a bonehead. Yesterday I had all the coasters all lined up on the kitchen counter waiting for their top coat of sealer. I usually seal them at the same time that I'm adhering the paper to the tile. Yesterday I decided to do it in two different steps. My daughter was doing the dishes last night and managed to splatter coffee across three of them. If they had been sealed, I could have just wiped them off. Instead, I had to "re-create" them to hide the coffee splatters. Not a big deal because you'd never know looking at them now. Guess I like to make my life more challenging than it needs to be.

Monday, May 4, 2009

When life gets busy

able mabel takes the back seat, unfortunately!

It was another busy weekend in able mabel land. Well, kind of. On Saturday morning, we all cleaned like mad since there was a showing on the house that we're renting (the owners surprised us by putting the house back on the market without telling us). As I was applying elbow grease to the kitchen sink, I was muttering something like, "they better show up after all this work." To which my hubby replied, as he's hovering over the mop bucket scrubbing the living room floor "hey, it's not all bad to have a clean house." Very true. About 15 minutes before the showing, I'm shooing kids out the door, doing some final straightening, he's hopping out of the shower....and they pull up to look at the house. Ooops! Granted they were early but it's still a little awkward to be there while they were there.

My husband's job has been up in the air (pardon the pun) for a few weeks now. We've been riding a major roller coaster around here, not sure what's going to happen. A company from New Mexico flew up about two weeks ago to look at taking over and they wanted my husband to stay on with them. On Saturday he was offered a job but at a significant pay cut. We were expecting a pay cut, but not that much. We spent many hours this weekend hashing it out, going around and around in circles, looking at it from all angles . In his line of work, there are more employment opportunities down here than in MN right now. He's going to take the job for now and continue to keep his eyes open for other possibilities. In this day and age, one has to be thankful they have a job that will pay the bills. He flew down to New Mexico this morning to be "formally hired" and get his drug testing done.

Our realtor that we've been working with here saw my able mabel address in my signature line on an e-mail I sent to her. She called me and told me about a shop in town that she thought would like our stuff. Exciting! I'll have to go there and check it out.

My kids are breathing down my neck wanting me to be done with the computer so they can watch their DVD I checked out for them at the library on Saturday. It's Baby Einstein My First Signs. We've checked it out one other time and the kids loved it. Our almost-two-year old picked up about 8 signs from the first go around. I was pretty surprised when she came up to me, signing "eat" when she wanted lunch.

Guess I'll clear off my table and get working on some coasters or signs.