Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm waffling

between giving up and practice, practice, practice. You know, this whole making clothes bit.

Last night, I was wandering around the house feeling quite restless. I knew I should start on something able mabel related but didn't really feel like it. Then I remembered I still wanted to attempt a dress for my two year old.

I finished the skirt and started on the bodice last night and finished it all up this morning. I don't know. Part of me just wants to say, "been there, done that." and cross it off my list. The other part of me thinks I'd be giving up too easily. Apparently it looks like she was quite impressed with having to model for me. (I feel her pain. I felt like doing that at one point this morning!) The problem was it was lunchtime and I snagged her cheese crisp out of her little fingers, slipped the dress over her head and plopped her on the table. Not a smooth move on my part.In order to keep the peace in the family, I handed her gourmet lunch back to her and kept taking pictures. (I added soft focus to these so the imperfections on the dress would be less obvious. It's meant to trick your eyeballs but I won't tell you that!)

The bodice came out a little on the large side, I forgot when I was cutting it out that she is such a peanut. My biggest beef with the dress is that I have a hard time getting the gathering of the dress "just so" so that it hangs right. She looks like she has huge hips, which couldn't be further from the truth. I'm wondering if I put a solid color belt around that part if it would distract from the imperfections in that area. The rest of the dress is fine.

My guess is that the average joe wouldn't notice until they got up close and personal with it. I just know it'll bug me. Maybe I'll feel differently after I get it all "cleaned up", cut the hanging threads off and such.
Anyway, back to real life. I have three blankets to finish up for my order from yesterday. (oops, I mean I have to start the blankets.) Time for me to clean up one mess to start another! Back to familiar territory! Yes!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm addicted!

I can't help it. I need to join Addicted to Bullet Points Anonymous, or something. They're just so nice to use when I have to do a brain purge.

On that note...
  • I hate it when time gets away from me and I don't have time to blog, as was the case yesterday.
  • My goal was to able mabel all day today.
  • Not so fast...I guess now a few ladies are coming over to help me go thru fabric items for our craft sale.
  • It'll be fun anyway, if not more than a little bit chaotic.
  • My two year old is singing in her crib with her sleepy, raspy voice.
  • I'm sitting her enjoying her music, grinning to myself. The terrible twos have hit her full force. She's not always this cute anymore.
  • Blogging takes a bit longer when I keep pausing to edit pictures.
  • I screwed up on these coasters. The ink from the stems bled a bit when I was sealing them. It won't affect the functionality of the coaster. I'm selling them at $10 off the regular price. Have it 'em.
  • The coffee pot just beeped. Yum!
  • Sales are slowly but surely picking up. I got an order this morning off Etsy for 4 blankets. Sweetness!
  • I've been tip toeing around my house trying not to wake up the kids.
  • I've been busted. Now my two year old is demanding I get her out of bed. Shoot!
  • Instead of blogging, I should be straightening up the house.
  • I'm going to ignore it for a bit longer and enjoy my coffee.
  • All good things must come to an end.
  • Even blog posts that are strugglin' and kinda borin'!
  • My apologies!
  • Later! Be good!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I think I'll cross

a job at Smoothie King off my list of potential careers for when my kids are all grown up.

I spent about four hours snuggled up to a blender today making apricot jam and syrup.Last night I went with some friends to find some apricot trees. Together we picked about 7 grocery bags at least half full.
I went over to my friend's house to make the mess in her kitchen. ;) Thankfully there were many willing helping hands.First batch of syrup done, three to go. Not to mention 5 batches of jam. When I got home, I still had about two grocery bags full of apricots. I pulled out the blender and started chopping them up with the intention of putting them in the freezer for a later date. Hubby thought I was such a spoil sport for not running straight to the store to get more jars, sugar and sure-jel. He was ready to roll his sleeves and get to work but I was already tired of anything apricot. I dutifully kept cutting and chopping though.

By the numbers:
35lbs of sugar
70 cups of pureed apricots
8 boxes of sure jel
2 blenders blaring in our ears
4 extra large bowls for measuring
2 trusty spatulas for scraping
2 large pots for boiling
18 quarts of syrup
20 pints of jam
35 cups of pureed apricots still to use
2 tired moms
untold number of tired, cranky kids
2 drooling husbands waiting for anything apricot (willing to eat French Toast for supper just to have apricot syrup on top)
untold number of fingertips that look like dried apricots
1 cupboard stuffed full of filled jars
1 large bowl filled with unripened apricots
1 hubby willing to head out for more supplies to make more jam
Two big happy families!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Re-Visiting the Weekend

via a photo sneeze!

Both Hubby and I were looking forward to a "quiet" weekend at home, so we passed up an invite to go camping. Apparently we had different visions of "quiet".

I was totally picturing curling up on the couch with a good book or working on able mabel.

He had other ideas. Not that that was a bad thing. I think he was thinking of having some family time around town. No complaints from me.

Friday night we headed out for the lake. (a planned hike scrapped as soon as we stepped out into the "sauna".) The kids kept busy finding dried out crab shells. It was all fun and games until Dumb Puppy Dog came along and ate most of the shells before the kids' shrieks sent her skittering back to "Daddy".

While the kids frolicked on the rocks, Mr I've-Scratched-My-Fishing-Itch-But-I'll-Bring-My-Fishing-Rod-Along-"Just-In-Case" got his line wet. (I really didn't mind, I'm just giving him a hard time in the event he decides to "spy" on this blog.)
After a few casts, he took the hook off and put a bobber on. He'd cast it out into the water and the dog would swim out, get the bobber and doggie paddle (literally!) back to shore. It was pretty entertaining. I have a few videos of it but I'll spare you.

On Saturday, I had my perfect "quiet" day. He took off to get his hunting bow set up and the kids curled up with "brand new" library books.

I sewed all morning long and was even able to get photos of the blankets I completed. While the kids were napping in the afternoon, I got a workout in! Yay for me since I've been horrible about working out these past two weeks and could definitely feel it!

After an awesome workout, I pulled out the paper crafts.

You should have seen Hubby raise his eyebrows at me when he saw me bring this plaque home. I think he wondered if I went off the deep end. (Can any English pros out there tell me if that ' is suppose to be in the word "Mom's"? It doesn't look right.)

It was a cheap find at City Market. (Actually I found two of them.)
I'm going to put this on one of them. I was able to get three signs done before it was time to hit the town for dinner with Hubby's brother and his wife.

On Sunday, Hubby was pacing the floors like a caged animal so we decided to head out for a drive to the top of a nearby Mesa.
It wasn't the best day weather wise but we still were able to see some gorgeous scenery. The fields of wildflowers were to die for!

Our travels brought us to a town about an hour west of us. That town just happened to have a Chipolte so we just happened to end up there for an early dinner before heading home.

All in all, it was a much needed relaxing weekend! I'm refreshed and ready to tackle this coming week! (I think...)

Friday, July 24, 2009

She thinks

she's a hotshot because:

  1. She's sitting up like a big girl.

  2. She weasled her way out of her afternoon nap.

  3. She got blanket today that wasn't an able mabel reject.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm feeling a little

blah, tired and just worn out. Such is life. I know I just need to hit the sheets and get some sleep.
Thankfully tomorrow is a fresh day. This will be my motto...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I know

you're not suppose to wish your life away, but today I can't help it. I'm just dreaming of it being Thursday afternoon.

I am sooooooo sick of cleaning and trying to keep the house spotless. This showing bit is for the birds! I honestly don't mind cleaning in general but when you have to keep the entire house clean all at once is a whole 'nother story! I really wouldn't stress so much except that Hubby knows the person coming tonight. Someone from work. I don't want them to think we live like pigs. (no comments from the peanut gallery on that one!)

(Deep breath, deep breath.) We have a showing tonight at 6:30 and another one at 12:30 tomorrow. I'll make it thru...I think...

It's not all bad though! Hubby is wearing his "skirt" tonight and is at the stove brewing up a mean batch of eggs. (We haven't had time to go grocery shopping yet this week. We're down to Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards around here.) He's a way better cook than I am. I smell peppers and onions cooking. Yum!

Enough of my whining, I'll go back to cleaning. Only the kitchen left and the diggy cleaning is already done. Yay!!

Guess what I'm doing on Friday??!? Nothing remotely resembling cleaning!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's 7 bells

and I'm up and at 'em, a rare site this whole summer. Gotta get an early start when the to do list is three miles long!

Just because...

  • The people who own the house we're renting are coming to town on Thursday and are stopping by.
  • Talk about needing to do some organizing before then.
  • There is a showing on this house on Wednesday.
  • Talk about needing to do some cleaning before then.
  • My in-laws are in town for the week.
  • Talk about doing some visiting all week.
  • We spent the day with them yesterday. It was so fun to see them.
  • They are "passing thru" on their way home from WA to MN. Just a short little scenic route for them. ;)
  • They brought along my BIL, who happens to have Down Syndrome. He cleaned my whole toy room yesterday.
  • I didn't even ask or suggest it.
  • He got my 6 year old to help him. Willingly, no less.
  • He must be getting bored after being on vacation for almost a month.
  • I didn't complain.
  • I can't spoon these pre-soggified Cheerios into Baby's mouth fast enough this morning.
  • My MIL brought along a package of goodies from my sister.
  • An apron and bag for able mabel.
  • A purse my mom made and a stack of fabrics for me!
  • Oh Happy Day!!
  • I'm slurping coffee out of my second favorite coffee cup. I'll post a picture some day.
  • We've been enjoying our favorite summer meal lately. Fish, fresh green beans, fresh beets and potato salad. Sometimes we add corn on the cob for variety. Yum!
  • I still have 8 sets of coasters to finish up.
  • On Saturday, while our Husbands were fishing with the older kids, my friend came over and watched me work. (Great friend, aren't I?)
  • Actually she did all the ironing for me.
  • She was the one who wanted to start on the next project when we finished one up.
  • We worked on key fobs for ArtFire, got a patchwork pillow cover done and laid out a patchwork blanket.
  • I sewed the blanket together after she left. I just have the quilting to finish.
  • It was quite an accomplishment since we had the toddlers and babies swirling about our feet all day.
  • I found pillow forms on sale at for 50% off. I've been putting off making pillows because I didn't want to pay full price for forms. Cheapskate.
  • My three year old is up and running around the house in his pullup, hat on his head and banana sticker on his forehead. Whatever.
  • The rest of the house is peaceful. Bliss.
  • Which closet should I tackle first?
  • I think it's time to change up my featured items in my Etsy shop. I'll do it next time I have to feed Baby.
  • Now it's 8 bells. Time to hit it!
  • Babes is starting to feel the effects of her 7 am wake up. Perfect timing!!
  • Later!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I've never walked out of the grocery store giddy before until today!

A few years ago, I was involved in a scrapbooking site (which happens to be going out of business so get on over there and scoop up some deals!). On the message boards one day the gals were talking about a site called The Grocery Game. (I know I've blogged about it before but it's been a while.)

Basically The Grocery Game involves using a list given to you on the site, combined with in store savings and coupons in the paper to receive maximum amounts of savings on groceries.

In MN, the only store on the list in my area was Walgreens. Yay. However, when we moved to CO, I checked into it again and lo and behold, City Market right here in town was on the list! Sweetness!!

I got all inspired and started getting the Sunday paper, saving coupons and following the list. I noticed a savings of about 30% but I didn't have a stash of coupons built up yet. Not great but not too shabby either. Then Baby was born and Hubby started doing the grocery shopping. He was not at all thrilled with the List, but then again, he's not thrilled with grocery shopping either. (I don't blame the guy one bit!!) The Grocery Game fell by the wayside.

I took a look a few weeks ago at our grocery bills and just about hurled. Ouch! Time to fire the Grocery Game back up!

I spent about 30 minutes this afternoon reorganizing my coupons and going thru the list, checking it twice.

Here's a quick sample of what I bought:
  • Marie's Salad Dressing~ $1.50 (reg $4.29, savings of 65%)
  • Betty Crocker Brownie Mix~ $.88 (reg $2.99, savings of 71%)
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese~ $.79 (reg $1.80, savings of 56%)
  • Sunny D Smoothie Drink~ $0.00 (reg $1.99, savings of 100%) We don't normally buy this but, it was free. How could a Tight Finn like me pass it up?
  • Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt~ $.43 each (reg $.89 each, savings of 52%)
  • L'Oreal Kids Shampoo~ $.59 (reg $3.19, savings of 82%)
  • Colgate Toothpaste~ $.25 a tube (reg $2.75, savings of 91%)
  • Brawny 8 pk Paper Towel~ $4.49 (reg $10.99, savings of 59%)

and on and on.

Basically whatever you can buy at City Market is on the list at one point or another. I try to stick only to items we normally buy, unless they're dirt cheap or free (as in the Smoothie Drink).

When the cashier handed me my extra long receipt, she said in a slightly bored voice, "You saved a total of....HOLY CRAP (her words, not mine!)....$146 (or 49%)!! Whoa, man, that's like, so cool!" I felt like I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat! Ain't bad, ain't bad!

I know a person could make the argument that the savings isn't totally accurate when you factor in the Shopper's Card discounts because those are a "hoax". My feeling on that is if I need a card to feed my family for cheaper, hand it over. It doesn't bother me in the least that "they" know what I'm buying. It's a pretty smart marketing gimmick on their part. If you don't have a card, you don't get the savings and they get more of your money.

Oh! The Grocery Game costs $5 a month to get the list. My newspaper subscription runs about $32 a year for just Sundays. The savings is well worth the cost.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Going for the feet!

I spent a few hours last night working on blankets. Hubby had a meeting and the kids were happily playing outside in the mud. I only got interrupted about 274.5 times, but who's counting?!? I was able to get about 7 blankets done. (I wonder how much time I actually spent sewing? Maybe I'd rather not know.)

I've been making two of the exact same blankets lately. One for ArtFire and one for Etsy. That way I only have to take one set of pictures and come up with one description. Super slick!!

This morning I set up Babes in her "favorite" spot and started in on the photographs. When I uploaded them to the computer, I realized my camera was set wrong. What else is new?!? Obviously I was so worried about getting her to sit "nicely" that I didn't think to check one of the settings. Oh well, these will be good enough.
I had a great time getting some shots of her feet!

Brown and red are the hardest colors for me to photograph. It takes me forever to come close to the true color!Okay, maybe I should rephrase that..."I attempted to get some cute shots of her feet, but Babes didn't always cooperate."Her feet had a mind of their own. Still very kissable though.

Oh great. There goes the three year old running thru the house with the end of a spool of ribbon clutched in his chubby little hand, giggling as the spool is unwinding behind him. Time to get back at it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm dreaming...

We sold and closed on our house in MN. Now we're looking at houses here in CO. We have our eye on one particular house. When we went to look at it again for the second time, I found myself looking at the blank walls determined to decorate my house this time. (It's kind of like the mechanic's car that needs fixing but he just limps along instead of fixing it. That's me when it comes to decorating my own house.)

As I was gnawing on my lunch, I found myself browsing Etsy for decorating ideas. I think I found myself a new favorite wall decal shop. (I'm in love with wall decals lately.)

I thought this one would be super neat to hang above (or below) pictures of the kids. I'd love to take black and white pictures of each of them, put them in simple black frames and hang them in a grouping. They'd be darling on a wall above our black piano. I'm not usually into the sappy phrases but this line says it all!I paused at these for the kitchen because I thought the designs on the cups was neat. Then I realized the stack hit too close to home. I don't need to be reminded of the stack of dishes in the sink.Maybe this one would keep me from groaning at the size of my laundry pile. Instead of doing laundry, I'll be "sorting out life one load at a time". :)I kept stopping at this one. I would love to do a more modern decorating theme but I don't think Hubby would go for it. (He thinks we should hang an elk mount in our living room. Gag! Like I need some critter staring at me all day! Maybe I should suggest he hang one above his tool box at work.) I think I can get away with doing one room, possibly a bathroom. It would be cheap enough to change around if I get tired of it.

I'm not going to go overboard with decals because I'd still like to do other things with fabric and paper. This is just a start.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I have not fallen off the face of the earth!

We spent a relaxing (well, as relaxing as camping with babies and toddler can be!) long weekend camping in the mountains! I didn't want to "advertise" that we were leaving so I didn't post an "out of the office" message on here.
I absolutely love this gorgeous state of Colorado! Every where we've been, looks just like a postcard, only better!! My pictures don't even begin to do the scenery justice.

The wildflowers were in full bloom this weekend. What is normally a quiet campground because a regular ol' highway of wildflower seekers. We didn't mind too much.

Thursday was a crystal clear day. I have never seen the sky such a deep shade of blue! It was incredible!!We drove to the nearby town of Crested Butte. What a lovely town!! There were three different festivals all happening this weekend so I'm sure that added quite a bit more people to the area. This is a town I'd like to come explore sometime when I don't have to take the kids along.The area we went to had three different lakes around it. From the campground, you can hike a three mile loop and hit each lake plus a waterfall. It felt awesome to get out to stretch the legs and breathe the clear mountain air! Our kids are troopers when it comes to hiking. The only one we have to coax along is our almost five year old. She's not a huge fan of hiking unless she gets a snack at the end.

Hubby, of course, managed to sneak in a bit of fly fishing. He didn't catch much using a fly called "angel voices" (aka the shrieking of our children splashing in the water) but he had fun trying.

Now the worst part of it all...unpacking and cleaning up. Doesn't help that we did have power all morning. What up with that? It was perfectly clear and sunny outside. It's happened quite often since we moved here. Whatever.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I have a sister

who has her own Etsy shop that she's been slowly but surely stocking. I've been trying for months to encourage her to get cracking but I must be too bossy!

The five items in her shop so far do not even come close to showing the scope of her talent.

She is the one who designed our banner and logo for us. She has designed Christmas cards for some of us and also helped with our mother's website (Just to name a few.) I asked her the other day to designs some tile pendants for our church craft sale this fall. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

If you've ever had the urge

to sweep the floor on your knees, don't bother making the attempt unless you have an in-house massage therapist!

I was sweeping the floor today (The vacuum got tired of us telling it that it sucked and is on strike. Sensitive little bugger. Vacuums are suppose to suck!) and my broom broke. I suppose that's what happens when you use a WalMart special to break open a pinata. Because I failed Duct Taping 101 in school, my little itty piece of duct tape allowed the broom to stay upright but it was oh so floppy. I had to hold it down by my knees. Ouch! My aching back!! Hubby rescued me when he got home and taped it like a man! Whew! Saved once again!

July is all about out of town company. We waved one carload down the road yesterday and are going to welcome another batch this evening and one more tomorrow night. (Hubby's brother and fam tonight and tomorrow night is his niece and her family.) Next week my sister comes to town and the week after that Hubs parents will roll in. One of these weeks friends are going to "pit stop" for a night on their way thru. I think I need a nap! (not to mention a new broom! I'll settle for a house cleaner though!)

Hmmm...wonder how I'll carve out some able mabel time. I tried this morning experimenting with a new pillow design. I ended up getting a bit frustrated with my lack of progress and then had to do 90 mph to get the house ready for tonight.

Now I know why some people won't/don't try new designs. I'd try one way, hold it up squinting my eyes, tilting my head one way then the other and decide it just won't do. Out came the seam ripper. I'd try another way... I'm determined to keep trying though since I think the idea in my head will work, it's just a matter of the best way to do it.

Time to get the java brewing and dessert finished up! Later!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

100% bonus

and here I thought I wasn't going to get any able mabeling done this weekend!

Our friends rolled into town last night from Flagstaff, AZ. So fun to see them! They moved from MN about the same time we did last fall. We saw them very briefly this Feb when we were in Phoenix. It's awesome to be able to have the whole weekend to catch up!!

All plans for today got put on hold when Hubby realized he had to work. (No complaints from me. I'm just thankful he has a job!) That didn't stop the folks from Flag. We're not the only ones they know in these parts so they spent the day with other friends.

As their van roared down the road this morning, I wandered around in a few circles trying to decide what I should do.

Housework? Naw. I've been doing that all week.

Read my book? Hmmm...quite tempting but...

Laundry? Why bother...the kids all had a few clean pairs of grunders. Enough to make it thru the weekend.

Pack the kids up and head to the beach by ourselves? Blech. Sounds like work. Plus rainclouds were moving in.

able mabel? Now you're talking!!

Out came my stuff and I was as happy as a clam! (So were the kids, thanks to a Magic Tree House book on tape they got from the library yesterday.) Granted, I'd rather have been hanging out with friends, but this was second best! (at least for today)

I didn't get much done, but enough to satisify the itch. (Obviously these light switch covers are quite done yet. I still have to cut out the openings and seal them off.)

Believe it or not, I actually cleaned up my mess when I was done! Wonders never cease!

Everyone have a safe and fun holiday weekend!! Be good! ;)

Psstt...I'm sure I'll have many more stories to share about my two year old and her wheelings. Today she "discovered" that if she pushes a chair up to the counter, she can dig in all sorts of fun stuff. I found her working her way thru a sticky bag of gummy worms and "reorganizing" my spice cupboard. Time to start putting the chairs up on the table!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

He takes after his father!

The kids were watching me put the finishing touches on this sign this morning. Of course, all those that could read had to read it out loud at least once. They got to the "Desmond Tutu" part and for some reason his name tickled my 6 year old son's funny bone.

Every time one of his sisters would ask me something, he'd jump in with a response before I could answer.

"Mom, what are we having for supper?"
"Desmond Tutu!"

"Mom, who's coming over again tonight?
"Desmond Tutu!"

"Mom, who was that one person who...?"
"Desmond Tutu!"

"Mo-o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m! He keeps saying..."
"Desmond Tutu!"

By this point, he's doubled over with laughter because he keeps cracking himself up with his "wisecracks". Meanwhile, his sisters' ears are billowing steam they're so furious at him.

I'm sure they're wishing they could choose their own family right about now.

(Tired of hearing about my kids by now?)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

She's quite the dickins!

I hopped in the shower about noon today, whistling Dixie. I was on top of my game! I had gotten the stuff together for a blanket custom order, paid bills, worked out on the bike and started laundry. Quite an accomplishment for me!

I was still whistling as I opened the door leading into our bedroom from the bathroom. I stopped mid-whistle when I saw scene #1...

Princess, complete with PB&J face and chocolate covered hands, had my pins out and was sticking them into the side of the Pack-n-Play. (Thankfully no baby was inside.) She looked at me with her saucer eyes and said "Put away, Mom?". As I followed her over to my desk, I saw scene #2...She had performed "surgery" on my stack of bills, totally destroying the blue envelope and extracting the check from another. (I did reconstructive surgery on the blue envelope before I took this picture.) I'm sure the Qwest is going to wonder why their check is covered in chocolate fingerprints, but hey, at least they got paid!

I buried my face in my hands when I saw the scribbled on chair and took a few deep breaths. Meanwhile, Princess fled the scene, her hair flapping in the breeze.

I only have myself to blame. It's totally par for me to start something and not complete it all the way. Or if I complete it, I don't always clean up my mess. I mean, what busy Mom can? I'm constantly being interrupted in the midst of doing something. (or at least that's my excuse :)! ) I tend to make a huge mess in my office and then clean it up all at once. (No wonder where my kids get it from. Here I thought it was from their father!)

When I do that, I try to keep my office door shut to prevent this type of thing. When I went to take a shower, the kids were outside having a picnic and I obviously didn't shut my door completely.

Oh well. At least I helped prevent the onslaught of Alzheimer's when I put the blue envelope back together, it was a puzzle of sorts! ;)

(Sorry if you're tired of hearing about her antics. This posting is more for me to have a record of her shenanigans since I'm not always good about writing things down on paper.)