Friday, December 23, 2011

In the midst of the Holiday Rush

I managed to find time to add two new products to the shop.

With cold season upon us, it's time to start carrying tissues.  Why not dress them up/hide/camoflauge them with a tissue cover?  
Tissue covers aren't just for grandmas anymore (as one person told me recently).  They help keep your tissue clean and all in one piece.  They are small enough to keep in your purse, backpack, pocket, in your car or wherever you may need to blow your nose.  They are cheap enough to give one to everyone in your family! 
I also added some diaper pouches with a zipper.  I love these things!!  As with the tissue covers, these keep the diapers in my purse free of "gunk and grime". 

Talk about fun and functional!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Passing the time

At least once a month (but more often like a few times a month), Hubby has a meeting in the evening during the week.  I've usually used that night to take the kids to the library.  Last night was Meeting Night.  The thought of taking Lou to the library again made my head spin.  I'm still scarred from last time and I'm quite positive the Library Ladies are too.  What a disaster. :)

I decided then that Meeting Nights will become Work on a Crafty Project Night.  On my to-do list for last night was Pleated Headbands for my girls and a new ironing board cover for me.

While the kids were still awake, I tackled the clothes in their closet.  Ugh.  It's not a job for the faint of heart.  In my 7 yr olds mess, I found this shirt.
It had a smocked top and the rest of it was A-line "white" cotton.  There was a huge stain on the front of it so I never let her wear it, unless she snuck out the door without me noticing.  Apparently she never followed my instructions to toss it. :)

I had an ah-ha moment to put ruffles down the front and maybe get a little more life out of it.  If you know me well enough, you know I have a ton of ah-ha moments, but hardly ever follow thru with any of them.

Determined to accomplish something different I attacked the shirt.
Using the bottom line of the colorful zig zag on the top part of the shirt, I started adding a pink and white polka dot ruffle.  (needing to rip out the first attempt and start over.  Story of my life with projects like this.)

For the next ruffles, I dug thru my scrap bin and found other polka dots that were already cut 4" wide.  I sewed the strips together until it was longer than the width of the shirt I wanted to cover.  I then hemmed one edge and pinned it on, hand gathering it as I went.  I simply zig zagged it to the shirt, leaving a raw edge on top. (note the stain on the shirt in the picture.  hideous.)

  Yep, not very pretty, scientific or complex.  But since I have a history of not finishing projects like this, I didn't want to invest a lot of time or material into it.

Wonders never cease.  I actually finished it.  It's not perfect but it's done.  My 7 yr old hasn't seen it yet as I had run out of thread on my bobbin when I was about 6" from being completely done, so I finished it fully this morning. (I take that back, I still have strings to cut.)

When I held it up, it looked like it'll hang well when she wears it but I'm curious to see what it looks like when it's actually on her.

Now that I know I actually can do something like this, I just might try some skirts or something on the next Meeting Night. :)  Good one, right?!?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Patchwork Blanket

I was going on evening # 8 of being a single mother.  My nerves were fraying quickly.  A teething 15 month old, a cranky 5 yr old, a glum 10 yr old and everyone else in between.  Sensing we needed a distraction, we walked down to the neighborhood park to burn off some energy.  It had been a week of late nights and early mornings, so I tucked the kids in early.

Now what to do with myself?  Sit online browsing aimlessly?  Read my scary books and dream scary dreams?  Work in my craftroom?  I was feeling pretty lazy and a bit glum myself, but not yet ready to go to bed.

A few years back I had bought a bunch of already cut squares from an Etsy seller but never did much with them.  Earlier in the day, I had started sewing strips of fabric squares together, but was interrupted by boogers being smeared across my pant leg.

I looked at those strips that were already sewn, while it looked a bit overwhelming, I knew if I didn't do something with them right then, they'd sit for a few more years.

I started in on the rest of the stack, not bothering to see which squares I was sewing together.  Once I got started, it was so much fun.  Mindless, easy sewing.  The only thought involved was making sure the seams were sewn right.  In the back of my mind, I was remembering a quilt Kim had done.

Once the strips were done, I cut some strips of white cotton and sewed them between the printed fabric.

It helped the colors stand out.  I then zig zagged some of the strips, leaving some to do when the minky was attached.  All that zig zagging may have been overkill but sometimes overkill is a good thing.

At this point I debated between a border or no border.  I was worried a border would make it look too busy, plus it was extra time and fabric and I wanted to keep the price down.

The no border thinking won and I grabbed the nearest pink minky, which happened to be hot pink.

Those who have worked with minky know it can be finicky to work with.  As I was topstitching, I was worried I would have ripples on the backside, which is pretty common no matter how much you pin and how careful you are.

I was pretty impressed, I ended up with one little ripple.  Hardly noticeable.

The final product.  As I was sewing the squares together, part of me was wondering why I was even bothering to do it.  It seemed like it would be pretty ugly because some of the fabrics were not my style.  I do have to say, I like how it turned out.  If it doesn't sell in 4 months, I am keeping it.  Someone, somewhere will have a baby girl. :)

The listing can be found here.

Another view.

If I think of the time that went into this blanket, it was not "worth my time".  However, for how much fun it was and how it filled my evening it was worth every minute.  Sometimes I need that sort of project.  Who knows if/when I'll do more of these, although I do have some charm packs (bigger fabric squares) waiting to be used. :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun with Zipper Pouches

I hate to admit this but in all the years that I've been sewing (which isn't that many), I've never taken the time to figure out how to do a zipper.

As my piles of fabric scraps grows, I knew I needed to figure it out.  So following an easy tutorial over at Skip to My Lou, I did it!  I had ordered up a set of 25 multicolored pack of zippers from zipit and had a blast digging thru my scraps.  Talk about addicting!! 
I did them all different sizes; from coin purse/credit card size up to a small cosmetic bag size.  It all depended on the size of the scrap and zipper.

These will all go into our church craft sale.  I do plan to add some to able mabel but am going to change up the design a bit. (tease, tease)  I am still waiting for the supplies I need to arrive.

In the meantime, I will keep working on the ones for the church sale since I know once my supplies come, it'll be hard to focus on the church ones.  (sad, but true. shame on me.)

The best part?!  My pile of scraps is still huge!!  I can a whole lot more zipper pouches! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tic Toc

In 2 more days our friends from AZ will be rolling into town.  My house is in less than steller shape, no surprise there.  But instead of cleaning and sorting piles, what did I do this morning?
I played in my craft room.  It was way more fun!!! 
I had forgotten about these fabrics until I started sorting my fabric bin.  All good intentions flew out the window as I started cutting into it. :)

Remember that saying that goes, "If it weren't for the last minute, how would I get anything done?"  That's me.  I still have 2 days.

This listing can be found here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Repeat Customers

As a seller of primarily baby items, it can be tough to have repeat customers.  Mostly because as babies grow older they need bibs and blankets less and less.  Therefore, I try to get those customers who are always on the look out for baby gifts.  I worked on a blanket this morning for one such customer.

This is the 6th blanket I've done for her.  The first two she ordered, back in 2009, were for her boys and now she comes back whenever she needs another baby gift.  How cool is that?!

{is it just me or does that pacifier clip look like a dog's tongue?  How appropriate considering the fabric is a dog print. ;)}

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Vacation

Why is it that when summer comes, it so hard to find time to work in my craft room?
 Between camping and hiking,
 Hanging out with good friends,
 Swim lessons and the beach,
and Sprinkler Parks, it sure is hard to carve out work time. :)

I've been (making an attempt) waking up at 6 am so I have a few hours of quiet time in my day.  It's amazing how much I can accomplish when no one is around to "pester" me.  Then when the kids wake up, I'm back in full "Mom" mode.

Speaking of kids and summer, I am putting able mabel on vacation mode tomorrow morning so I can spend some quality time with my family.  Any orders placed today will be shipped out tomorrow morning.  The shop will be open again on July 4th.  Watch for aprons to be restocked!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

What's new in able mabel land?

What has able mabel been up to since I last blogged in February? 
Create your own set of baby bibs.  I also have a new bib model.  Isn't she just the cutest??!
Limited quantity blankets.
I bit the bullet and am now buying my fabrics wholesale. I have some of the prints listed in my shop for anyone to buy.
(Seriously Blogger?  Must you always be difficult?!?  It won't let me link the last word.  Sorry.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Squeals of Delight

Last week a deadline loomed to get a huge order made, packaged and shipped. As the week progressed, my craft room got messier and messier. On Friday afternoon, the toddlers were napping leaving Baby Lou awake. I took advantage of the fact that she wanted to play on the floor and started in on the next blanket. It wasn't long before I heard her squeals of delight. I turned around to find... an impromptu game of Peek-a-Boo with herself amongst the yards of minky. So sweet.

(The only camera within reach was my old one. Sigh. Not the greatest of shots, but you get the idea.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Laugh or cry?

A little background. When we have out of town guests, I like to try have my mainfloor in tip top shape when they walk in the door. It's fun for me to try see if I can do it because my house is rarely all clean at the same time. I clean daily but not for hours at a a time. I have my reasons for that but I won't get into it now.

My in-laws are coming to town today. I had my day all planned out; sew until noon, clean for a hour or so while the toddlers napped, sew again until my in-laws arrived.

It was 10 bells and I decided to give my MIL a call to see if they'd be here for dinner. "We just left Denver", she said. WHAT? Denver? Oh boy, they were only about 6 hours ahead of schedule. This'll be interesting.

Dashing downstairs, I grabbed my cleaning rag and started in on the mess, thankful Louise was asleep. In record time I had the floor washed, bathrooms cleaned and stairs vacuumed. Out the door we zoomed to the grocery store.

Returning home, I was feeling great. House clean, groceries bought. I was on a roll. Now all I had left was to feed the kids lunch, put them for naps, straighten up a tad and then I'd be able to sew until they arrived. Perfect.

As I sat down to eat my lunch, I heard my two year old say, "come here Lou, come and get it." and Lou giggle. I turned around to find an entire roll of toilet paper unrolled and what pieces Lou could get, she shredded into pulp after first smearing them in her boogers. Before I could blink, the 2 yr old passed the Tupperware cupboard opened it and swiped half of it onto the floor. Lou plowed thru it, scattering it in all directions.

Continuing their terrorizing onward, they overturned the baby toy bucket, yanked out a few diapers and tossed a couple books before I could stop them. As I reached down to scoop up Lou I realized "someone" had slipped her a piece of banana during lunch, which she promptly devoured, leaving her hands full of banana-ish. That banana-ish was now all over every surface she had just crawled across.

Laugh or cry? Cry or laugh? Not saying a word, I tossed my cleaning rag in the wash and decided I was done. Done cleaning. Done straightening. Done with it all.

Grandpa and Grandma will be welcomed by a tornado, one that was lovingly and happily created by their granddaughters. I refuse to stress about it. It's just a house. One that will get messy again anyway.


in the foothills of the mountains,on a Sunday afternoon.

What an awesome way to spend a winter day with family and friends.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Deal of the Week

How about free shipping on any able mabel order? Enter "midfeb2011" at checkout.

Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, nestled in the mountains of Western Colorado, lived a happy little family on a pretty flat piece of land.

Early in February of 2011, it snowed a decent amount of snow for the first time that winter.
That afternoon, while the Mom was out shoveling the driveway, she had a brilliant idea. "I'm going to build my kids a sledding ramp. Maybe now they'll play out in the snow for longer than 2 minutes." So that is what she did.After school, the two boys tried out the ramp and the Mom was quite pleased with her creation.

As the boys came in for dinner, they told the Mom, "The ramp doesn't work. It's not high enough." The Mom replied, "See if you can talk Dad into making it bigger for you."

So that is what he did.
While Dad flung snow, the children

amused themselves by running and sliding across what little bit of ice was left on the ice rink in the backyard.

They laughed, giggled and had great fun!!
Soon, with the daylight rapidly fading, the new and improved ramp was ready for use. Over and over they slid, making certain their ski goggles were over their eyes as a whitewash was inevitable.
Meanwhile, indoors the Mom went about her evening activities. After a while, she realized the Dad and two sons were still outdoors. Peering out the window into the dark of the night she saw,
the ramp had grown and was still being improved. A grand time was had by all! And they all lived happily ever after.
Moral of the story: The Dad can build a much better sledding ramp than the Mom and the Mom very thankful for that. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oh what a view!!

While I'm turning a blanket right side out or threading elastic thru a bag holder, I can look out my craft room window in one direction and see this. Then I look the other direction
to view this. Unbelievable!
I am one lucky dog!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A quick shout out

Man, do I have some talented friends! Every so often I hear of another one who has opened an Etsy shop. Here are two I just "found". leaandlars
I've already told you about these others, but just in case you forgot, here they are again:
Who did I forget? Kim? Have you opened shop yet? ;)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The idea for this post came to me last night as I was washing my floor with my Norwex microfiber cloth.

Norwex cleaning products are all the rage in my peer group right now. Here's their blurb taken from their website: "All Norwex products support our company mission to improve the quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning. With a commitment to effective cleaning, responsible care for the earth, and the power of information, together we can become a generation to leave behind a legacy of improved quality of life."

Disclaimer #1: I am not trying to sell you anything, nor am I getting paid to write this. No body has asked me to write this post.

The reason I bought Norwex is because with kids starting to clean bathrooms and floors, we were going thru cleaning products like crazy. 1 capful of Lysol quickly turned into "oops, I just dumped in half the bottle". If they could clean using just water, I was willing to try it to save a few bucks.

My Norwex products and I have gotten along great. I am one of those goofy people who like a nice cleaning rag. When I find a favorite rag, I use it all the time. Just trying to make a necessary, but sometimes unpleasant, task a bit more enjoyable.

However, I've noticed a drawback of cleaning with Norwex. There's no smell involved.

Scene #1: The kids walking in the door from school.
Pre-Norwex: First kid thru the doors, smelling the lingering Lysol, yells to the other "Take your shoes off, Mom just washed the floor." Or else "Hey Mom, I can tell you cleaned today cuz I can smell it."

Post-Norwex: Kids fly thru the door from school, drop their backpacks, race into the kitchen and hear me say, "Shut-the-door-and-take-your-shoes-off-can't-you-tell-I-just-washed-the-floor-ugh!!!"

Scene #2 Hubby walking in the door late at night after his monthly Board Meeting to a freshly cleaned house.
Pre-Norwex: "It looks nice in here!"

Post-Norwex: "Yawn, I should really hit the sheets!"

Now that I use Norwex, no one knows when I clean or that I even do it. There's no smell to alert them that I do more around here than hibernate in my craft room or wash an occasional load of clothes.

Disclaimer #2: I do not expect to be complimented, thanked or patted on the back for cleaning. The above statements were completely tongue-in-cheek.

My two other favorite Norwex products are;

the dish rags. These work awesome on my granite tile counter tops. They don't leave streaks. The kids can get the counter tops clean and shiny when using these rags.the de scaler spray. When we bought our house, it had sat empty for a couple of years. There were hard water spots on both shower doors and around the faucets. I sprayed this on there, let it sit for a bit, wiped with my rag and they're shiny as new. Mom, you need this for your house!

If you're looking for a consultant call; Brenda K in MN, Jenny K in AZ or Joan J in CO.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We have a winner!!

The winner of the CSN gift certificate is....

"Caroline said...
I'd love to win!!
January 20, 2011 3:17 PM"
Congratulations! I'll send you your gift certificate and you can shop the day away!

Monday, January 31, 2011

2 yr old love

Love it when they can do things by themselves.
Determined and triumphant when she can do it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deal of the Week

How about a discount to able mabel for this week's Deal of the Week? A discount of 25% for my lovely blog readers. Take a peek at the key fobs.
Looking for a baby gift? Buzz over to the Lovies and Security Blankets section.

Or add a pop of color to your organization with a plastic grocery bag holder.
For the real bargain seekers, check out the Deal of the Week section of the shop.
To receive your discount, you must enter "BLOG012011" at checkout. The 25% will automatically be deducted from your purchase. This code will be good for only one week.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A little iffy

I got slammed with orders, both on and off Etsy, this week. I didn't see it coming so I haven't had a chance to schedule posts for this week. I apologize. I do have a lot to blog about, including a birthday surprise, but it'll have to wait a week or two.

Had I been on the ball, I would have scheduled all my posts ahead of time. But alas, I didn't. We'll see how the rest of the week goes. We have out of town guests coming today so they do take priority.

Today is the last day to enter the CSN Giveaway. Click here to enter. I haven't been very good about marketing it so you have a great chance of winning. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

A better way to toss

Poor fabric scraps, threads, label stickers and other able mabel trash. They are sad because they are being tossed carelessly into an ice cream bucket. I mean, they have rights too, don't they? They'd be so much happier if they were being tossed into more "dignified" trash can.

I turned to the world wide web to look for ideas (for a quick 10 minutes this morning). By Googling "modern trash cans", here's what I found...
How about one that leave no doubt what it's for? Just look at the picture on the outside. Duh. ;)

Sleek, shiny and pretty cheap.

I love this idea. Just add a plastic grocery bag.

This one is such a fun modern shape. It makes me smile. I found it at stylehive.
I did find a few at Target that I also liked but I couldn't post the pictures. It didn't work to do it my usual way because they have the magnifying feature on the picture. Oh well.
Now the hard part will be trying to decide which one to get. Maybe I should ask the scraps. ;)