Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our weekend thru pictures

As always, click on the pictures for a larger image.
We surprised our kids with a night away at a cabin in the mountains on Saturday night.
It was a lovely and much needed break from the hubbub of life.
Christmas Eve.
Making gingerbread houses out of graham crackers.
Pretty creative. :)
My husband giving it a try.
He puts me to shame when it comes to a finished product in the kitchen.
Not that I mind.
Christmas Eve before.
So peaceful and serene.
Baby Loves checking out the new bikes.
Christmas Eve after.
My baby echos my thoughts exactly.
Christmas Morning.
Way less mess.
My 2 yr old must have been too busy with gifts.
She forgot to plug in the "Mistmas" lights,
something she has done every morning since we set up our tree.
Santa always brings games for the kids.
It helps the parents stay sane thru Christmas break!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

No Sew Tree Skirt

As we were eating dinner last night,
my husband asked why there weren't any gifts under the tree yet.
I replied, "I'm not wrapping any until I get the new tree skirt done."
He gave me a raised eye brow.
"I'm going to do it tonight", I said.
His eye brow went a stitch higher.
(He knows me quite well.)
I proved him wrong and with the help of my 10 yr old son,
we got the tree skirt made!
 I followed this tutorial.
My son was pleased to be able to use the glue gun.
It was a low temp one so I felt comfortable letting him use it.
When his hand got tired, we switched and he pinched the fabric into ruffles
while I put down the glue.
I did make several changes.
Instead of using a drop cloth, I used this fabric.
I used my pinking rotary blade when I cut the cotton fabric.
I don't care for fraying edges.
You can use fray check instead of a pinking blade.
 I like the little decorative edge the pinking blade gives though.
The cotton prints can be found here and here.
I have to smile when I look at this picture.
This tree screams "little kids live in this house!!".
Lights half mast, ornaments clumped all in one spot, bare spots with no ornaments. :)
The best thing about this tree skirt?
It was cheap, quick and easy to make.
If I decide next year I don't care for it, I can make a new one easily enough.
(My husband was quite impressed when I put it around the tree last night!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's all about the last minute

Last week I posted this picture on Facebook (or was it two weeks ago?).
Supplies I gathered to complete a few DIY Christmas decor projects for my house.
So far, I've completed one and have all the pieces cut out for the second.
As the rest of my supplies arrive in the mail, I'm getting anxious to get cracking.
But first I have more important things waiting for me to complete.
Things with deadlines like Etsy orders and
shepherd costumes for the Sunday School Program (which is this coming Saturday).
(I got this picture from this site, this is the tutorial I am to follow.
Except I'm not using fleece.)
How does that saying go?
"If it weren't for the last minute, how would I ever get anything done?"
Some days it feels like that is my motto. :)
In all fairness to me, I just received the fabric on Sunday.
In all fairness to the one in charge,
she was just given the task of head a week or so ago (long story.).
So shepherd costumes it is.
 They will be quick and easy (or should be).
I only 10 of them to do, then I can start on my new tree skirt. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the $30 to able mabel is:
BloggerHenrietta said...
I think I would get this blanket

and maybe a bib or pouch! So cute!
December 4, 2012 7:51 PM
I will contact you shortly with instructions on redeeming your gift certificate.
Thank you to all who entered the giveaway!
Also thank you for all your kind comments, I enjoyed reading them!
I had a blast and will most definitely be doing another giveaway with Sew Mama Sew.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giveaway Day!

I've been meaning to revive this blog for a while but just haven't made it a priority.
How about a giveaway to get it going?
Sew Mama Sew is hosting another giveaway day so I thought I'd take part.
How would you like to win a $30 gift certificate to able mabel?
Choose from:

and a whole lot more!
- Just leave a comment below letting me know what you would choose.
- For a second entry, "like" able mabel on Facebook. Click here to for the Facebook page.
If you already "like" able mabel, let me know in your comment.

-Giveaway ends Friday, Dec 7th at 11:59 pm.

-Winner will be announced next week.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Oh!! What a Mess!!

It seems like only a few days ago,
I posted something on Facebook about how clean my craft room was.
I had decluttered the whole room, washed all the surfaces and vacuumed.
Here is what it looked like yesterday at the end of the afternoon...
It looked like all my fabric bins opened their tops and spewed all over!
It's hard for me to be neat when I'm trying to put different fabric combos together.
On the bright side, here is what I have ready to photograph and list in the shop:
(with strings to be cut first)

The best part of storing fabrics in a tote is clean up is so easy!
Fold them up, toss them in the tote and throw the cover on.
The room looks put back together and organized in a jiffy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Artist or Not An Artist

My husband and I have had this little discussion on and off over the years about
whether or not I'm an artist.

He says I am because I make things using fabric, paper, paint, etc.

I say I'm not because I'm not talented enough to consider myself to be an artist.
In my book, an artist is one of those amazing people who can make
something incredible out of nothing.
I'm a sewer and a partial dabbler in other mediums
 but I'm not an artist.

By now, he knows if he can catch me off-guard with
an "I told you you're an artist" comment,
it's sure to get some sort of rise out of me.

This past Sunday, as we were racing out the door to church,
I asked one of the kids to grab my sandals from the closet and bring them to the car.

As we pulled away, I looked at my shoes....

scuffs on the toes. UGH!

We have this mystery person named "IDon'tKnow" who floats around our house.
No one has seen them, no one has heard them and no one has smelled them.
It's the oddest thing ever.

Apparently "IDon'tKnow" was clomping around in my shoes one day
while everyone else was occupied and nobody noticed.

As I launched into a rant about my scuffed shoes,
my husband looked at me and said, "They are just shoes. Relax. Who cares."

"You're right", I told him. "I'll just paint the white spots this week and you'll never notice."

"You don't have the right color paint", he said.

"I'll just mix up a few colors", was my answer.

Giving me his sly grin, he replied, "See, you're an artist."

"No, I'm not. Anyone can
 mix paint colors together.", I huffed back at him.

He wisely kept his mouth shut and we continued on our way.

This morning, while the kids ate breakfast, I painted my shoes.

I grabbed two browns (one light and one dark) and mixed them together.

If I was an artist, I'd get an exact match
and know exactly which colors to mix to get the color I want.

But I didn't because I don't know how to do that. So the brown I used is close enough
and just perfect for what I need it for.

You can't see any more white and that is all I care about.

I am not an artist. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pinterest Recipe

Pinterest is full of fun and yummy looking recipes.
I find myself pinning them all the time but I never try them at home.

Last night when looking for something to make for dinner,
I checked out my Food Board and found this...

For the sake of my kids, I called them Scrambled Egg Cupcakes.
It sent them into a fit of giggles.

While I cut up the mix-ins
(red pepper, susage, green onion, mushrooms, broccoli and tomatoes)
my son whipped the eggs, milk and salt.

I added cheese and susage to each "cupcake"
but I let each kid choose whatever else they wanted in it.
Some were boring and plain, while other chose everything possible to add.

They were a hit!
My 6 year old who hates eggs ate 4 of them.
He kept coming back for more with a huge grin on his face.
"These are the best, Mom!", he told me.

You can find the recipe here.
It's very, very easy to make.
The hardest part was trying to remember which cupcake belonged to which kid. :)
When paired with a fruit smoothie, it's a perfect kid friendly meal!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 7 Assignment

I really struggled with whether or not I should upload the pictures for this assignment. I just felt like I didn't get any that were "good enough" and they all feel less than stellar. However, I didn't want to not do the assignment because of that silly reason. So here they are. Gulp.

I took my kids to the Spray Park one day. It was pretty much a flop of a day.
The park was full of kids/people.
My kids were more interested in the food I brought instead of playing in the water.
The park was in full direct, harsh daylight.
An all around disaster for trying to get good pictures.

Being that there were so many people, I set my depth of field as shallow as I could so I could focus mostly on my kids. 
 On this picture, I like how the composition ended up with the sprayer on the left and water droplets in focus but you can still see him turning it on with his foot.
All the other chaos swirling behind him is out of focus.

This is one of my favorite shots of the day.
Probably because it was a "gimmie" without a shot of someone's face.
However, I feel like it tells the story. The kids spent more time seeing if they could spray the sprinkler in all different directions using their feet.
I love how the circle on the outer edge guides your eye throughout the whole picture. 

I love the body language on this one. They were running thru this part of the park when someone turned the sprayers on. They were taken by surprise. :)
I would have liked to get a picture from the front to get all of their faces.
I feel a bit like the composition of this picture is a bit boring, but it's hard to get good picture with constantly moving subjects, a fixed lens of 35mm and water spraying all over.
Yikes! It was a dangerous place to bring my camera. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Model

I had a new model yesterday.

Can you tell the difference between 21 month old feet...

and 3 year old feet?

She'll sit long enough for me to do only a few blankets.
I need to snap fast and move quickly.

I have to be willing to deal with pictures like this. 

And sometimes in my haste,
 I forget  to make sure the print of the blanket is going the right way.

But really, who can resist little chubby baby feet?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Beating summer boredom,
one stack of books at a time.

(Also allowing this Mom some uninterrupted work time.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 6 Assignment

This week was all about lighting. Direct lighting, indirect lighting and indoor lighting.

We had to upload a picture of the scene of our photo shoot and then one picture we liked and one we didn't. I'll spare you by not posting the ones I didn't like. :)

First up, direct lighting.
 I did this on in the roundabout of our neighborhood.
This was a tough one for me.
I much prefer indirect lighting.
I think I did and redid this at least 4 different times.

 Here is what I turned in.
Luckily for me, I can get a lot of practice in this type of lighting.
We have many, many gorgeous evenings where I live.

Next, indirect lighting.
 I took these ones outside under the shade of our porch roof.

 I brought her up to the edge of the shade to take this picture.

Lastly, indoor lighting.
 Our bedroom in the early afternoon, in front of our big window.

My dreamer child. She has a huge imagination and is often lost in her own little world. :)
Had I been able to crop this picture, I would have taken out the edge of the bed on the left.
I used a 35mm lens on this picture.
Sometimes I get more than I bargained for in the final picture with this lens. Like the bed.
It was not showing in my view finder when I took the picture.
Oh well. That is where photo editing comes in handy. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012


On of the biggest challenges of selling online is trying to get good photographs.
It was one of the main reasons I signed up for the photography class I'm taking.
I have wanted to retake the pictures I have of my bibs forever,
but struggled with exactly how to do it.
I wanted to make them stand out from the crowd but still be clear, sharp and not cluttered.

When I was out garage sale-ing one Saturday (the one time a year I go),
I picked up this frame that I thought would be perfect.
I'm not sure I like it.
For sure the white fabric background has got to go.
I've always used white tagboard but I didn't have enough on hand for a full background.

This is what I've had before.
While I loved having a baby pose for me, it is about impossible to get my toddler to cooperate.
As you can see, my coloring is slightly off here.
As soon as I get my act together, I'm going to send some bibs down to a friend of mine.
I'm going to have her take some stock photos to use as the last picture in all the bib listings.
I like being able to show what they look like when worn.

After a few hours of trying different photos, this is what I ended up using.
Not my fav, but it'll do the trick until I figure something else out.
Some day, I'll get it right.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The winner of the giveaway is...

Amy said...
Definitely the bib set... with my messy little one you can never have enough of those! Thanks!
May 25, 2012 9:08 AM

Contact me here to claim your prize.

Thanks to all who entered.
It was fun!
I'll definitely be doing it again,
but next time, I'll increase the amount of the gift certificate. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Giveaway Day

It's Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama Sew.
able mabel is giving away a $20 gift certificate for my Etsy shop.
If you win, what will you use it for?

To enter, leave me a comment.
If you'd like an additional entry, "like" able mabel on Facebook.

This giveaway ends on March 25th at 5pm PST.
Open to US residents and International residents as well.
I'm getting in on this giveaway a bit late, so your chances of winning are much better than usual! :)

Week 5 Assignment

It was another two part lesson this week.

Part 1 was White Balance.
With a cooperative subject, we took a picture in each of our white balance settings.

I'm not sure a 3 1/2 month old with her arms flailing 90 mph
can be considered cooperative but she sure is a cutie!!
This picture was taken when I set a custom white balance.
(I didn't have anyone around to make her smile so she's be grinning at me but as soon as I put my camera up to my face, her eyes would get huge like she was trying to figure out what it was. :) )
 To do get a custom white balance reading, I set a grey card on her belly and took a picture.
That caused her arms to go even faster! :)

We had to post two pictures. Our favorite and our least favorite.
 My least favorite. Need I say anymore?
Judging by the look on her face, she agrees.
It's downright scary!
(Tungsten lighting is what my white balance was set to.)

Part 2 was In Camera Processing.
Basically changing the coloring of the picture using the settings on your camera.

 Neutral setting.

 Vivid setting.
I'm still not sure which one I like better.
Each has it's pros and cons.
I like how her eye color show thru on the top one.
Yet, I like how she "pops" in the second one.
Maybe if I had set my exposure a bit lighter while in vivid,
 I could have gotten her eye color.
What do you think?!

When I was taking these, I was writing down which pictures went with what setting.
When I was done, my model said to me,
"Oh! I know why you are writing down all those numbers!
It's your speed shutter!!"
Apparently the whole family is taking the class with me.
Or at least picking up on some of the terms,
even if they can't get the words in the right order.