Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So, what do you want to hear about today?

  • How every single kid woke up fighting and crabbing this morning, causing me to burn thru almost all my daily allotted patience by 9 am?

  • How I was feeling like this but instead did a half hearted "workout" with the help of my second oldest daughter? I got out my shape magazine, turned to the workout section and had her read me the instructions while I did the exercise. Everyone forgot about being crabby and joined me on the living room rug. I had to play "dodge kid" while I finished the exercises.

  • How, after months of trying, we finally convinced our three year old that since he's a boy, he can (in the event of an emergency) pee outside standing up instead of sitting down on a toilet? Minor detail....he forgot about the "emergency" part and now drops his drawers whenever he feels the need, even if it's in front of a crowd of people. I have a lot of "evidence" of his goofiness for any future girlfriends! (This was taken at the beach today. As he pulled down his drawers, some lady whipped out her camera phone. She saw me coming, immediately put it away looking very sheepish. She said she couldn't resist and that he looked like the Coopertone Kid.)

  • How he still thinks it's winter and comes down every morning dressed in long sleeves and pants? I think I need to hide his "cold" clothes.

  • How we spent a few hours at the beach today? (I'll claim only one out of this bunch.) It was a perfect day, not too hot or cold. Baby Doll wasn't perfect though and caused me to pack up and head for home before the other kids were ready. She doesn't like the beach very much.

  • How yesterday the Birthday Girl decided after supper was too long to wait and helped herself to her cake? She managed to get several handfuls before I caught on and moved the cake to higher ground. "It yummy!", she proclaimed wiping the crumbs off her hands onto the floor.

  • How my computer is so slow, I could wring it's....errr....hard drive?

  • How today is the last day to enter the giveaway?

  • How I had a customer yesterday who bought not one, not two but three lovies from me and she doesn't have any kids and isn't expecting yet? Love her!

  • How I'm trying to work in an evening of volleyball but Hubster is working late?

  • How the spacing on this wonderful Blogger is going to cause me to use the rest of my patience, requiring me to dig into the very little bit of reserves I have stored up? (I'm kidding, I won't lose it over something this dumb. At least not today anyway! It's just frustrating to get it set just so and then when you click on publish, it goes haywire!)

  • How I "copied" a friend's idea and bought a darling personalized necklace for our new godchild? I got it in the mail today (not this exact one but similar)...now if I can get it mailed to her before she starts walking! (She's about three months so I have 9 months to get it to her.)

  • How I read a good joke on Twitter yesterday? My dad would appreciate this one..."My cat swallowed a whole bunch of yarn. After a few months she gave birth to mittens!" I know, it's bad but I still got the giggles from it. Simple pleasures for simple people!

  • How I should get off this wretched computer and make supper for the starving children of Western CO?

Monday, June 29, 2009


Yesterday we were on our way to a picnic when our ever-thoughtful 8 year old pipes up, "What's the date tomorrow?" I answered, "The 28th." She announced, "Sweet, it's Little Miss K's birthday tomorrow." I gasped and Hubby and I looked at each other and burst out in a sheepish "oops" sort of giggle.

I had totally forgotten! For some reason I always have a hard time remembering the date of her birthday. I'll blame it on the busyness of summer. ;) At least she's only 2 so I have years a head of me to get used to the date!
My kids would love it if we went all out for birthdays, but alas, we don't.

They get a cake or cupcakes of their choosing,

but no banners. (As I'm typing this, I all of a sudden thought how easy it would be to have the kid make a banner for their own birthday. It might be a good activity and it would be something to make it a little more special.)

On their birthday, they get to choose what to have for dinner. More often than not....pizza...at least for the younger kids.

They also get a day off from any jobs they may have that day. Something they can't resist rubbing in when it's time for the other to do their jobs.

Now about that birthday cake still to be made...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

She's got it made in the shade!

How often do you get to eat grapes with lunch in your "fwin soup" (inside out and backwards no less), clutching your Dolly, with not only one but two "pluggas" on your tray? She's got it rough, man!
But wait! I forgot to peel the grapes for her! ;)
She is the cat's meow and she knows it. (The "cat" around here has a lot of "meows".)
We had round two with the blankets this morning. This session went much better. Sweetie Pie, of course, did her usual rolling over... but we made it thru all 8 blankets.
I sometimes have to remind myself that it's the blankets I'm selling, not the baby. So while I got some fun, candid shots of her, they did nothing for the blanket.
Instead I tried to get the two-for-one (cute baby plus showcasing the blanket).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Win Some and Lose Some

Today was a "lose some" day as far as photography goes. I knew I was pushing my luck in terms of lighting since it's a dreary, cloudy day. Since I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to give it a try anyway.

Baby Doll decided to be silly and play peek-a-boo

and kept trying to roll over. So I decided to try some shots with her on her belly.That didn't work so hot as we played "Catch the Baby Sitting Still so We Can Get a Picture That's in Focus and the Table Covering All in One Piece".She thought it was great. I didn't. Back to her back but this time with a helper.That worked to keep her still, but then she lost all her expression and "pulse".Hello? Anyone home?While I did get a few decent shots, it's not enough to list the blankets.Better luck next time.

For her efforts, Babes got a few noisy smooches and squeezes of her sweet chubby legs. (To which she responded with purrs of delight and a slobber on my cheek.)

Believe it or not, life does go on even if we "wasted" a bit of our time today. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Since bullet style is so cool...

I'll use it again today!
  • We spent a few hours at the beach today with my apron model and her kids, along with other friends. They are moving out of state this weekend so we're trying to see them as much as we can. It'll be sad to see them go!

  • As we were waiting for Dolly Do to wake up from her nap, I started in on the stack of blankets I had cut out yesterday.
  • I used up the last of this fabric, among a few others. This one will go on ArtFire sometime tonight.
  • I'm going to try sneak in some more sewing time this evening. (Yeah right, who am I fooling?!?)
  • I wish I would have taken my camera out to get some shots of the kids gathered around my machine. It kept them entertained (you know, who got to pick the pins out and sloop them up with the magnetic pin cushion.) while they were pacing the floor, w-a-i-t-i-n-g for baby to wake up.
  • My oldest two girls got fried at the beach. I was the one who put sunscreen on them this morning. I'm feeling like a bad mom for not remembering to reapply it after a few hours. They're sitting in the tub as I type.
  • When we got home, I sat down for a bit to work some more on these blankets. As I was topstitching, I felt like I was being watched.
  • Sure enough, I was.
  • My daughter was playing house and left her baby on the table. I'll have to give her the "no child left behind" schpeal. You could get reported for that kind of thing! ;)
  • Chicken Pot Pie is on the menu for tonight. The kids love it. Hubby? Not so much. He's a bit tired of eating it. Sorry Hubs, the kids taste buds win tonight.
  • I've been trying to follow the advice of a friend when it comes to laundry. She folds the clean clothes right out of the dryer. It's working today, so far. I do find that I haven't gotten very many loads washed but at least I don't have piles all over my living room.
  • I spent about an hour yesterday morning browsing Fabric.com looking for fabric for the church craft sale. All their quilting cotton was an additional 30% off. Can't wait for that package to arrive!! Yummy, yummy, yummy!
  • Our trip to WA is off again for a variety of excuses, I mean, reasons. Stay tuned, the status seems to change daily.
  • My three year old has a new "line". When I ask him to stop doing something, he says "Dat annoying, Mom?"
  • I better step outside and see if it's cooled off yet. We just got some rain showers. I would love to be able to turn off the air conditioning and open the windows.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taking a peek at


Her story...

"My parents were both Art Majors in college when I was born. I was encouraged to really 'see' things, to look at the different layers of what our eyes process everyday. That is why I think I love photography so much. As a self taught photographer I have learned by playing and experimenting. I love the infinite possibilities that can be found in a finite space."

Dew Drop

"By looking at different angles or from varying distances, by using different techniques or equipment- you can create many worlds from one or represent what everyone sees but with your intent or mood. You can freeze those wonderful moments we all have that pass us too quickly, unnoticed or forgotten."


"I see the world in details and colors and textures, it makes me a terrible walking companion unless you are in no hurry to get where you are going!"

Currant Offering

Follow her on Twitter.

tooktothesky has very generously offered to give away one of her 8x10 photographs.

Here's how the giveaway will work...

You will receive an entry for each of the following:

  • Visit tooktothesky's shop and tell us what your favorite picture is.
  • Blog about this giveaway on your own blog .
  • Follow this blog (if you already follow, you'll get an entry for that just make sure you let me know).
  • Twitter about this giveaway.
  • Follow tooktothesky or able mabel on Twitter.
  • Link this giveaway to your Facebook.
  • Become a fan of able mabel on Facebook.

Whew! Got all that?!?

Now you don't need to do them all but for each one you do, you'll receive one entry. (That's a total of 8 entries per person.)

Make sure when you're leaving your comment, you let me know which bullet you've done add the link to your blog, twitter, facebook or whatever. (Gotta keep the honest people honest!)

The winner will be randomly drawn in June 30th. Good luck to you all!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lizzie wants to know

if I've made any progress on my list yet.


#1 & #2: Nope, nada, haven't touched them yet.

#3: I ordered him some Teva sandals off of REI outlet. They were less than $5! Couldn't pass them up!! I was going to have them shipped to a store (free shipping) but I saw that it would be a few weeks before they'd get there so I decided to have them shipped here. I was pleased that there happened to be a promo where if you bought Teva brand you got free shipping! Yay!

#4: As I was finding his sandals, I looked at the Womens section and bought myself a pair of Reef flip flops for less than $10. Piggybacked on his free shipping and I was a happy camper. Now if I could only find myself some dress sandals. Ditto for him.

#5: I'm two for two in the exercise department. I'm still trying to decide if I count my 20 minute walk yesterday as exercise...

#6: Got the pile of clothes on the chair folded and put away. Haven't started to wash any new loads yet. Tomorrow, tomorrow, there's always tomorrow! :)

#7: Magnets? Done, photographed but not yet listed. I'm still working on editing them.

Two done, 8 to go.

#8: Haven't touched this area either. It's only Tuesday after all!

I did take the kids to the lake today. We only had about an hour to swim before we had to get back home. As I was leaving to come home, I decided that I either have to start going weekly or stop going altogether. My three youngest were pretty cranky.

Monday, June 22, 2009

If I write it down

then maybe, just maybe I'll get around to it!

This week, I am determined to:
  1. Spend one whole day sewing.
  2. Get my daughter's dress cut out and hopefully sewn.
  3. Find some sandals that fit my three year old.
  4. Find some summer sandals for myself.
  5. Workout at least 4 days.
  6. Keep up on laundry.
  7. Finish these magnets, photograph and list them.
  8. Put winter clothes away.

Whew! Looks like quite the list...who am I fooling anyway? :)

The Perfect Way

to end a weekend!
Laying in the grass, playing with toes while
watching the rafts and kayaks go by on the river below.
Life doesn't get much better!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Daily Report

As I sat out on the front porch this morning in my workout clothes and bedhead, talking on the phone to JB, sewing buttons on a few

I couldn't help but wonder what the neighbors were thinking. (at least I didn't still have my fogs (aka glasses) on) If they're going to look anyway, might as well give them something "good" to look at, right?!?!
It was a gorgeous morning! As I went out back to spray the backs of the light switch covers...

I felt sorry for our pooch sitting in her kennel and decided we'd pack a picnic lunch and head to the lake.

Off we went! Our poor dog wasn't able to run around as much as she liked because there were other people there fishing. Bummer!! Maybe tomorrow we'll try to go on a hike and take her along.

After we got home and got the kids for naps, took out my camera to take pictures of the pouches and light switch covers. I made it thru the pouches before my camera battery went dead. Shoot. (errr...I guess I couldn't shoot.)

It's probably better that it died because I really should get some housework done. Funny how it piles up so quickly! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Which end is up?

You ever feel like that? I do, more often than not.

Help me out on this one...

Should this go this way?

Or this way? I really can't decide.

Our power went out for a bit this afternoon, just as I was going to blog. No, that's not my lame excuse. It really did go out.

  • I figure it's a great opportunity to put a coat of sealer on the light switch covers I had started the other day.
  • Ooop...it's actually not a very smart idea.
  • No water to rinse out brushes=ruined brushes.
  • I pick up my book to start reading.
  • Then I remember I should be finding paper for a custom order.
  • I started digging thru my paper, only to get sidetracked by some that would be perfect for coasters.
  • (Every time I decide I'm done doing coasters, a set of them sells and I'm fired up to make more.)
  • I spread those out on the floor with my drawer of embellishments only to remember that,
  • I need to pay bills.
  • I get the bills into mailbox.
  • The power comes back on.
  • I e-mail customer paper options.
  • I start blogging.
  • The power goes out again. (I hope my blog post is saved!!)
  • The power comes back on.
  • While waiting for my computer to fire up, I put a coat of sealer on the light switch covers.
  • Log into my blog.
  • Phew, blog post was saved.
  • I sit here and look at my mess of uncompleted projects surrounding me.
  • I need to start supper.
  • I listen to the thunder rumble outside the bedroom window.
  • I need a nap.

Which way is up again?!? ;)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Note to Self:

If you would like to fall asleep before 1 am, do not have a cup of coffee at 8 pm and/or do a tae bo workout at 10 pm. It just doesn't work. (The workout was totally worth it though!!)

I will be entertaining friends all day today so hopefully they don't take my yawning personally. I wonder what they'd think if I handed them a pair of blinders when they walked the door so they won't notice the mess? Sigh!! It's the story of my life!! As soon as I'm done here, I'll do the mad scramble.

After all...

Once I did fall asleep, my dreams were filled with magnets and light switch covers. Talk about sweet dreams!! I have a stack of each sitting on my desk waiting to be completed.

I woke up to find that these babies need to be sent on their way to Iowa.

I'm just about done slurping down a cup of coffee (with too much creamer, blech!) so I better sign off, lace up my tennies and hit the floor running!

You all be good today. Do something today that makes you happy!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My head swimmith

(who cares if that isn't a word in "real life". It is in "able mabel life".)

All this talk about SEOs is making my head ache!! I'll try to see if I can explain it...I'll probably biff it quite badly!

When you list a product on any site, the search engines pick up key words in the title of your item, tags and descriptions. Most important is your title. (Am I right so far?) Search engines pick up on key words in the title first. Those sellers that have it all figured out know which words to put into their titles, tags and descriptions so when someone types, say "baby blanket" into a search engines, their items will show up before those of us who are completely clueless!!! (Ummm...that would be me...the completely clueless one.)

Lately the forum board on Etsy has been on full of posts about how Etsy is ruining their shops because they've added in some words to their titles. (For example the title will have something like Handmade Baby on Etsy before the title.) It's quite interesting to read, especially when tempers start flying.

I've stayed out of the whole mess and have begun to "smarten" up my titles. Whew! It's a lot of work!! ArtFire has some great guides that explain it all quite well. I'm thankful for those. I've learned a ton since I've started able mabel in many areas!!

Alright! Who's still awake?!? I'm not, my face hurts from yawning...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I suppose I should

quit kissing my baby for a bit and blog. You should see her though. Just the sweetest baby around!

Told you she is irresistible! She's being a bit of a stinker today though. I keep trying to put her for a nap but when I go check on her, she's laying there kicking her chubby legs, a gleam in her big blue eyes, grinning at me with the dimple in her cheek. She's no dummy, she knows how to get me to pick her up!

I sold all the humor magnets I had listed on ArtFire yesterday. Don't worry, I have more in the works. Some are the same quotes but some are new ones. I had to order more chipboard. I found some from this seller.

I think I'll like ArtFire. My biggest complaint upfront is the lack of views. Looks like I'll have to work it!! I'm going to start some PW ads, directing traffic there. JB and I have talked about adding various items to our shop but have held off because of one reason or another. Now we won't have to. There aren't as many sellers on ArtFire so I think it'll be easier to be noticed.

What? You mean this isn't a typical morning scene at your house? :)

I'm not sure where this critter came from. He's on the couch, winter hat and all, "playing" Tetris. At one point he looked at me with his big toothy grin and said "Watch Mom, no hands!" Guess he likes to just watch the pieces fall. He's a goofball and a keeper, this one. If this is as daring as his "no hands!" gets, I'm cool with it.

This weekend I only had the three little girls home. Talk about easy street! Hubby had the rest camping with our church's youth group. I was able to sew most of the day on Saturday. I've had this fabric forever but nothing to match it until about a week ago. It's upholstery weight so I'm sure you'll be seeing it again. I made two pouches out of this fabric. One for Etsy and one for ArtFire.

Now back to kissing Babes before I try lay her down again...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm debating

about what I should do.

For a while now, I've felt that our Etsy shop is too "cluttered" yet I haven't wanted to open a second shop. Too much work to market two shops. I've liked having all our product in one spot so people can easily see what we have to offer. On the other hand, we've been able to kick out so much product that we're ending up with pages upon pages to search thru.

There has been much hubbub on Etsy about their new changes. I felt like we were on a roll thru March and April, sales-wise, only to have them nearly stop in May. Looks like we're not the only ones experiencing the sudden drop and some are blaming the changes Etsy has been making. (Something about how the listings are being submitted to search engines.)

Last night I decided to "bite the bullet" and I opened an ArtFire shop. I'm still fairly torn about the whole thing. ArtFire is an "up and coming" site with high hopes.

My swirling thoughts:

  • How should I divide up our stuff between the two shops since most of what we make is a one of a kind? Some things can be duplicated but not all.
  • What if someone wants something from both shops, then what?
  • Do I put some kind of announcement in the shops regarding combined shipping?
  • I like that ArtFire lets you have a cart on your blog.
  • ArtFire is super easy to list product on.
  • ArtFire has a flat fee every month. It makes more sense to list magnets on there than it does to list them on Etsy.
  • I feel like I've "sort of" figured out a bit of a marketing strategy so two shops doesn't really scare me anymore.
  • Should each shop have a different "personality"?
  • Should we stick to paper products in one shop and fabric items in the other, or mix them all up?
  • Was I nuts to open the ArtFire shop?
  • It's easier to organize an ArtFire shop.
  • Etsy has more traffic, for now.
  • You can buy from ArtFire without opening an account.

Definately food for thought. My solution? Go sew some more....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's kind of lame, but it's all I could come up with!

I just never know what time of the day a blog

inspiration is going to hit me. Sometimes it'll be in the
and quiet of naptime. Sometimes it's in the

I have days like


nothing comes to me.

Other days, I have

too much to say.

Oh well, it all evens out.
a few days.