Friday, February 26, 2010

Facing the facts

I've been realizing lately that my baby,
with the dimple in her elbow and still no hair, is no longer a baby. She is turning into a toddler.
She looks at books.

She walks. (Get a load of this legs! They are simply irresistable!! It's so much fun having a girl with rolly legs. I'm sure she'll appreciate them in years to come. :) )

She squats.
She babbles.
She signs a few signs in sign language.
She comprehends simple sentences.
She's a ham.
She's fiesty.
She has a screech like no other.
She's squishable.
She will let no one get in her way.
She will let no one bully her.
She has sparkle.
She has spunk.
She has personality.
She will not be left out.
She's huggable.
She's loveable.
She's the cat's meow.
She knows it.
She lights up our lives.
She's a keeper.
She's no longer a baby.
She's a toddler.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's a gal to do

when she has a hankerin' for brownies and ice cream but there isn't a box of brownie mix in the house? She makes them from scratch. (Novel idea, isn't it?)

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

3/4 cup cocoa

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13" pan.

Melt butter. Add sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add cocoa. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat well.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until brownies start to pull away from sides of pan.

Cut a generous piece and place in bowl. Top with vanilla ice cream.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going hog wild with ric rac!

By the time 8:15 a.m. (that's a.m., not p.m.) rolled around this morning, I had the washer humming, the kitchen/dining room floor washed and the main floor bathroom clean. I know, I know. Pick your jaws up off the floor. This is a rarity but I had an ulterior motive... Volia! Leaning Tower O' Burpies!! (You'd think I could at least straighten out the stack before I took the picture, but what fun would that be? I've already ruined my reputation by cleaning so early this morning, I'd hate to tarnish it further by folding and stacking them "just so".)

I ordered some new cloth diapers from this Etsy seller since the Gerber ones I bought at Target were too lumpy and refused to cooperate. I pulled them out this morning and went to town with fabric and ric rac.
I was going to give up on this style of burpies because it seemed like the ones we had in the shop were just sitting there. Just as I was about to do that though, they all sold. Amazing. I decided to give them another shot. As of this moment, I only have one listed in the shop. You can find it here.

I then had an "aha" moment as I was working on another "Not Your Average Patchwork Blanket" blanket. Pulling out my pink ric rac, I added it as a finishing detail.
I listed this blanket in the shop at lunchtime and it sold within the hour. I'm still holding my breath though waiting for payment. Looking at the clock, I decided I had enough time this afternoon to do one more but then realized I'm out of pink ric rac. Changing up the color means taking different pictures. (Lazy, aren't I?) Guess I need to take another trip to Wal-Mart. Two Wally trips in the same week? Ugh. Torture.

Not to leave out those baby boys, I did one up for them. Here is the listing. "Not Your Average Patchwork Blanket for Baby Boys"
Very original name, huh? :)
I like the finished look the ric rac gives the blankets so I'm sure I'll be using it more and more. I'll try not to go overboard. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Way back when

I first started this blog, I introduced you to my cousin Jason. Last week he opened an Etsy shop. Right now he only has prints listed but I'm sure he'll have more soon! This is one of my favs so far. We have a print that is similar to this one.

Check out the awesome detail.
This one won the MN Trout Stamp contest for 2007-2008. Amazing!
It'll be fun to see which other prints he gets listed. Make sure you wander over to his website.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've failed miserably

in 2010 with taking pictures that are non-able-mabel related. Part of it is laziness but most of it is not having a good camera for indoor/poor lighting shots. Here's about all I have so far this year... Baby Doll keeping herself entertained by pulling apart the cupboard housing the baking utensils. Lovely lighting.
My huge 3-almost-4 year old throwing a fit in the kitchen floor. Nothing new and different. He's like the "Girl with the Curl". When he is good, he is very very good but when he's bad, he's horrid! At least the floor looks semi clean.

A newel post from that arrived busted. It soon went back to where it came from with a full refund. Annoying. Superb over all picture.

A pathetic attempt to capture the kids holding hands, twirling in circles. Wonderful composition, wouldn't you agree? Or not. Gag.

A baby who decides to toss half of her spaghetti and meatballs over the side of her tray before starting to eat. Love the look on her face along with her hands and feet going 90 mph. Delightful. Note the delightful backdrop of the underside of the card table. Totally makes this picture award winning, doesn't it?
(Note: the combo of kids and spaghetti is not for the faint of heart. If it wasn't a favorite meal around here, it would be banned. There's nothing worse than stepping on a wet noodle.)
So in the coming months, while I save my pennies for a new camera, I'm going to strive to do my best with the camera I have. Take more pictures, find betting lighting, etc. It's not too late for a New Year's Resolution, is it?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hey, it's me again!

This morning my Mom didn't do any cleaning, laundry or any house stuff. Hmm...wonder what Dad will say about that? While I toddled around, she sewed. She didn't even watch me walk a full circle around the house without falling down. Geez. I feel jipped.

I better not complain too much since I wasn't a very good baby in the middle of the night last night. I kept fussing and fussing. Hey, a girl has to let her presence be know no matter what time of the day it is! After the millionth time of fussing, she came in to give me some Tylenol. I managed to kick most of it off the spoon and onto my sheet. (She should have used a medicine dropper. Duh, Mom!) I had lost my pacifier, again, and my mom looked for it while she was in there. I sat in my bed and watched her root around on the floor, lifting up clothes I had already taken off the hangers. As she get grumpier and grumpier, I found my plug all by myself, but I didn't tell her that. Soon she looked up and saw me sitting there, calmly watching her, sucking on my plug. She sighed a really, really big sigh, covered me up with my blanket, turned the light off and went back to bed. She forgot to give me a kiss. What's this world coming to anyway? Figuring I had already pushed her to the limit, I didn't dare make another noise for the rest of the night. (Actually I think it was morning by then.)

Anyways, back on track here. Mom decided this morning to try get me to model a blanket for her. This is serious business. I was on my best behavior.

But while I have your attention, check this out! I can touch my toes! Sweet, huh? I learned that trick months ago.

I'm such a ham, especially when everyone is watching me! I make some of the best faces! Look at all my teeth! My Mom keeps telling me I'm "irresistible". I don't know what that big word means but she's smiling so it much be a good thing.

Everyone keeps laughing at me, I must be doing something right. Ahhh! See my tongue?! It's the same color of the blanket. Amazing!
Now it's pushing lunch time. I better go pull at Mom's pant legs and screech at the top of my lungs so she knows I want something. She keeps muttering something about needing ear plugs lately when I let out my loudest yells. I wonder what that's all about?
'Till next time!
Baby Doll

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Entertaining the In Laws

We've had an enjoyable time with Hubby's parents in town. They stayed with us for three nights and then headed over to his brother's house. They'll take off for AZ tomorrow sometime.
  • They were so easy to have here. I do have the best In Laws in the whole world. I got lucky. Granted, my own Mom and Dad take the cake, but my In Laws are a close second. (Do I get brownie points for that one Mom, after that one posting where I forgot you?)
  • Hubby was pleased they stayed with us because that meant I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom (or as much as I could) on Saturday. He thinks we should always have company over. (What a brat, huh? I think he was kidding...kind of.)
  • We're going out to dinner with them tonight. Should be fun.
  • (I'm ignoring my almost 4 year old at my elbow, begging to play Starfall)
  • I was sewing on Monday when they got back to our house in the afternoon. I'll was a bit nerve-wracking to have my MIL sitting there watching me sew. She worked as a tailor at Dayton's/Marshall Fields/Macy's for years. Had it been my own Mom, it would have been a different story.
  • We were chatting with them on Sunday, going over their schedule for the week. Hubby's mom told him "You better get to bed early on Monday night since you'll have late nights the rest of the week." She meant well and it was very true, but I still got the giggles. Once a Mom, always a Mom.
  • So on Monday night, the time was pushing 10 bells. Hubby looked at the clock and said, "I better get to bed before Mom and Dad get home." I got the giggles again. (and am still getting them thinking about it.)
  • We might not have seen the last of them. They're thinking they'll swing back thru on their way home. No complaints from me. They're welcome anytime.
  • My FIL kept commenting about different things our baby was doing. I think he was quite impressed with her. (Not that I blame him :) ) I couldn't help thinking that they see a whole different side of our kids when we're all under the same roof for days rather than just visiting for an afternoon as we did when we lived in MN. Whether or not that is a good thing is debatable...I like to think it's good, but they may beg to differ.
  • They brought along frozen baked goods and bread from the family bakery back home. I wonder if they realize how many brownie points they got for that. (No hints here, Mom. I'm just saying.)
  • I'm sure they'll go home and never want to play another game of UNO again. Our kids have been fascinated with the game lately. Our kindergartner pulled it out every time Grandma sat down. Grandma was a good sport and played game after game. Thankfully she felt free to tell Al when enough was enough.
  • I couldn't help but wonder what my FIL thought as our 4 year old kept talking about "The other Grandpa, the one that lives in MN." Minor detail. Both Grandpas live in MN. :)

Mom and Dad, now it's your turn to come visit!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Out with the old,

in with the new.

I have been wanting to retake pictures of our Red Birdie Blanket forever. For one reason or another, it hadn't worked out. I cringe every time I relist it but it keeps selling so I make a new one, cringe and relist it.

This morning a friend came over for a few hours. Since she has a fairly fresh baby, I decided to take advantage and do an impromptu photo shoot. {I better be careful or friends with babies will start avoiding me like a plague! :) }
Here is the original picture. Blech.

Here is one of the new pictures. Much "cleaner", clearer and all of the above. You can see more from the session here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Captured on Camera

As I was making breakfast on Sunday morning, I heard Baby Doll wake up. I sent my 7 year old son up to get her out of her crib. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him bring her into the kitchen but then leave with her still on his hip. I didn't dare acknowledge them for fear that my peaceful breakfast making would end.

When breakfast was ready and still no sign of Baby Doll at my feet, I gingerly peered around the wall into the living room. I spied this scene... How could you not love a boy, holding his baby sister so lovingly and without complaint, engrossed in a game of UNO with his buddy and little brother? It melts my heart.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Baby Shower Project

A friend came over on Tuesday to sew. Our goal was to start and hopefully finish two baby gifts for a double baby shower tonight.

She took one home to finish and I finished up this one. It's a swaddler.

Basically a big rectangle with a hood that you wrap baby up in and ties in the front. (Looks like I forgot to smooth it all out before I took this picture. Details, details.)
Tired of the red birdie theme yet?! :) We had decided to use whatever we had in our fabric stashes and since this Mom-to-be doesn't yet know the sex of here baby, this was about as neutral as we could get.
The bird wasn't part of the patterns, (duh) so it only took me three times to get the placement of it down just right. I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, okay?!

I even happened to have some jumbo iron on ric rac to complete the hood. I had purchased it a while back from this shop on Etsy. It was super slick to use!
My fun for the day is done. Now I need to scurry and get come organizing done. Not as fun as sewing, but totally necessary.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I don't get it.

I know I stayed up way too late last night reading so maybe my thinking is fuzzy but help me out here...

I was on a mission this am to buy a new vacuum cleaner. Ours, well, doesn't suck. Not very well at least. You see, my in-laws are coming this weekend to spend a few days with us. I've known that we've needed a new vac for ages but there's nothing like a out of town guests to light a fire under my rear. (Hubby was a tad bit puzzled that I'd buy a new vac for his mother but not for us Heehee.)

I packed up the troops and headed to Sears. (Quite a few of my friends own Kenmore Canisters Vacs and love them. There's nothing like glowing testimonials to make my decision on what to purchase easier.) I chatted with the sales lady about my options, settled on a vac only to told they were out of that particular one. Go figure. She was willing to sell me the floor model though. I asked what sort of discount she was willing to give me. Her reply, "Full price. There's nothing wrong with it." I raised my eyebrows at her. I was tempted to answer, "Nothing except the fact that there have been many people pawing at it, checking it over, testing it out and busting who knows what." I held my tongue though. I could either pay $50 more for the exact same one but in a different color or wait until the 19th when they'd get more in. Sorry lady, no can do. I need it like yesterday. I left empty handed.

I've already established the fact that I'm a Tight Finn so maybe my thinking is flawed but why would a store sell a store model of anything at full price when who knows what's been done to it? And why would anyone buy a floor model at full price? I don't get it.

As I was pulling onto the freeway, on my way to Sears, my phone rang. It was the school. My son had thrown up and could I please come get him. Hauling a sick kid along would really hamper my errand running so I asked if he could just lie down until I got there. Selfish of me, I know. I figured it would take me a bit less than an hour. The nurse was fine with that.

I walked into her office to claim my child. He was no where to be found. She told me he was at lunch. My jaw about hit the floor. My sick kid. At lunch. With all the rest of the kids. Check that. He had escaped out to the playground by that time.

She told me to head out to the playground, have a little chat with him and see whether he wanted to come home or stay at school. By this time I was feeling like my eyebrows would become one with my hairline. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. All my experiences with school nurses have been the exact opposite...they tend to be overly cautious.

There was no way I could, in good conscience, leave him at school even if he was feeling better. I understand her decision to let him eat. But to send him back out into the swirling masses of kids to further circulate his germs and then give me the option of leaving him at school? I don't get it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A quick photo share

I spent the day doing "administrative tasks" related to able mabel. Figuring out my numbers for taxes, running to Glenwood to drop product off for that shop there, taking pictures and so on.

Speaking of the Glenwood shop, she took most of what I brought her but not everything. No complaints from me. I managed to get two "leftovers" photographed and listed in the shop. Best Wishes Poppy Card

This was originally part of a set of 6. I'll be listing them individually but if anyone is interested in a set, let me know.
She took all the bird signs except two. Rumor has it JB is sending me four more to list in our Etsy shop. I can't wait to see them!
I also tried to narrow down what I'm sending to the shop in Breckenridge. I had forgotten that President's Day is a huge ski weekend, so that lit a fire under my rump to get product to her before this weekend.

As I spread out the them out on the living room floor to try to decide which ones to send, I was struck by;
a) how ugly the carpet is. It's days are numbered though. Hardwood flooring is in our near future! :) (Near, as in the next year or so)
b) how few we actually have. My goal is to get more than a few more made and listed this week.
In the past few days, I've gotten inquiries from two different shops elsewhere that are interested in light switch covers. I'm crossing my fingers at least one of them works out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Finds

Check out this amazing shop! Brokeglass

His work, which is blown glass, is absolutely amazing! Fishes
Green with lapis wrap vase

Centerpiece 2
Very few words are needed. Just drink in all the gorgeous works of art!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On the agenda for the day...

(Along with a few bad pictures)

Racing the clock daily doesn't leave much time for updating blogs. Even something as simple as Wordless Wednesday. Such is life this week.

Today, I again raced the clock. Some of this busyness is self induced so no sympathy is required. :)
I had procrastinated long enough on this light switch cover. I was absolutely dreading it. My customer wanted a peacock feather to match the pillows in her bedroom. I told her I'd have it done by this afternoon. I got started on it at 1:30 pm. Good one.

When I first saw the picture she sent, my heart sank when I saw how feathery the feather was. (Hence the procrastination.) I racked my brain, trying to decide how best to tackle it. I browsed online for ideas.

Being able to put it off any longer, I opened up my scrap paper drawer to search for some tan paper. I was delighted to see dark tan paper with lighter tan swirls right on top of the pile. Viola!! It couldn't get any easier!! I channeled my inner Kindergartner and started cutting out the swirls, needing to customize them a bit to fit the size I needed to do. It all came together much easier and faster than I thought it would. Sweetness!

My friend and I brought our troops to Costco this morning where I purchased my latest obsession. Edamame. I've been boiling it in water and then lightly salting and putting a dab of soy sauce on top. (You just eat the beans, not the shell.) Delicious!! I'm going to make it along with our dinner tonight. I have a feeling this box won't last long. I tried some earlier on the toddlers and they gobbled it up. I can only imagine how much the older kids will love it. This sort of veggie is totally up their alley.

I also couldn't resist getting a few new water bottles. Aren't these designs just the coolest? The purple one isn't shown. There's something about drinking out of a neat container, whether it be a coffee cup, glass or water bottle.
Dinner prep awaits. See you tomorrow for Friday Finds!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Have you ever stopped to

calculate how much a specific supper costs to make? As I was deboning my chicken for tonight's soup, I realized how cheap of a meal chicken noodle soup is.

Here's how I make it: (I tried taking pictures but the soup looked horrendous!!)

1-whole fryer chicken
carrots, cut up
celery, cut up
onion, cut up
chicken broth
bay leaves
egg noodles
(Note: the quantity of ingredients depends on how big your chicken is. Roughly about 2 tsp of each spice {except pepper} and 4-6 cups of broth to start.)

In a crockpot combine all ingredients except the noodles. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, until chicken is falling off the bone. Leaving veggies in the broth, remove chicken and debone. Return chicken to crockpot. Add noodles. Add more chicken broth if needed. Cook, on high, until noodles are tender about an hour to an hour and a half.

Easy peasy! Okay, so deboning the chicken takes a bit but the flavor is well worth it.

We always eat this soup with popovers and honey butter. Delicious!

Here's my cost breakdown:

Chicken: $2.50 (I only used half and froze the other half for another meal. This price might be a little deceptive since I got the chicken on sale at City Market.)
Noodles: $1.50 (or thereabouts. I only used half of a bag.)
Carrots: $1.50 (half of a $3 bag)
Celery: $.09 (one stock was $.99 and I used about 3 pcs.)
Onion: $.10 max. (forgot what a bag costs)
Spices: $ priceless (sorry, couldn't resist)

Total price: Let's just round it up to $7.00. Add the popovers into that and it's max a $10 meal give or take a few bucks. Not bad for a family our size. (I didn't factor in the leftovers. There will be at least enough left to feed half our family for another meal.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

A few weeks ago I begged

sister JB to do up some bird signs for a local shop that carries our products. She, being the nice big sister that she is, agreed and got down to business.

I was chatting with her on the phone this morning, catching up with how life is going on that end of the world. I asked how the signs were coming along. She said she had shipped them out to me on Friday! Hooray!!

Sometimes the mail service around here takes to heart the term "snail mail" and it takes forever to get mail. I figured I'd have them by Wednesday at the latest even though she shipped them Priority. I was delighted to find this box in my mail box today... (Just think, had she shipped it to me via Parcel Post, it would have been over twice as expensive as Flat Rate Priority. No, I don't get paid by the USPS to tell you that.)

Feeling like a kid in the candy store, I eagerly ripped open the box. Actually it was taped shut so well, I had to rummage around the kitchen for a pair of scissors to make it thru all that tape.
Unbelievable! I know she's my sister so maybe I'm a bit biased, but I'm constantly being blown away by her talent!!!

I just laid these out on my kitchen table for some quick snapshots...

The shop owner wants a set of 10 bird signs featuring birds found in Colorado. Along with it she wants matching light switch covers and possibly some coasters.

I just love how they turned out! The local shop will get first dibs on these but whatever she doesn't take will show up on Etsy.
Of course, JB would be more than happy to make any one of these for anyone! There is currently one bird picture listed in our shop. You can find it here.