Friday, December 29, 2006

Why I Must Resolve This Year...

I love all of my neighbors, I really do. But man - why did they want to give me 10 extra pounds for Christmas? Tis the season for too many treats, I guess (but... if you read my post below, you'll see I gave them sweets, too).

This was the worst thing of all, though. My sis got a Corn Dog fryer and of course we had to try it out.

Unfortunately, it didn't stop at corn dogs and chicken nuggets. We moved on to anything that was on the counter... chocolate covered cherries, nuts, ice cream. It was pretty much a 10,000 calorie experiment.

The worst part of it all was the Twinkies. Yes... we fried Twinkies. Do you want to know what was even worse than that? They were DELICIOUS! Normally, I don't really like them, but dipping them in some sweet batter and frying them up turns them into a completely different treat. After the initial bite, I vowed that I could never eat such a thing again. (It really is worth trying - it tastes like a doughnut)

So, I am back to crafting. I haven't done much this week except finish knitting some scarves, but as soon as I am done working today, I am back to the cutting table to get some project started for the January Jamboree (another swap).

I hope you all have a happy New Year celebration. We're laying low this year. I'm sure we'll let Cohen stay up a little late, then Mike and I will play Settlers of Catan and Yahtzee until midnight. Then, in my old agedness, I'll go to bed promptly at 12:01. What are you guys all doing?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Belated Christmas

I've been meaning to wish you all a Merry Christmas, but I just ran out of time. Oh well. I sure am having a good time reading all about the joyous times you had over the past week and hearing about how the celebrations are continuing. This year I am eager for life to get back to normal, although, I will miss my beloved decorations and the time spent with family.

We had a great celebration and Cohen can't wait for Christmas again. He LOVED Santa Claus (Uncle Paul) at Great-Grandma's party and is wondering if he'll be there again next time we go over. Ha! Silly boy. Watching him open his gifts was great and really brought back the magic of Christmas. Of course, he was excited most about his trains. I mean, look at this smile!

He loved everything he got and showed a lot of emotion with each gift opening. He was bummed when everything was opened and wondered if I could wrap more presents. The picture below is just a proud moment of Mommyness - he is signing Train as he is screaming for joy.

I hope you all had a great holiday and have a wonderful new year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

C is for Cookie

And that really is good enough for me... or so I initially think. Then I start second guessing myself and want to do more. MORE! MORE!

I had 20 neighbor gifts to make and deliver no later than Sunday. I decided I would make some of Genell's notorious Sweet Pepper Dip and hand it out to all of them. As I went shopping and started adding up the expense, I decided maybe I needed to just stick with the cookies. NOTE: All of my great neighbors are worth EVERY penny of what a jar of Sweet Pepper Dip costs, but I had a budget this year.

I did make a few jars of the dip, but most of the neighbors got some sweet cookies. In fact, I made six dozen, all while trying to get Cohen ready for church. I've had nothing but compliments, so I guess they were a hit. Thank you, Betty Crocker!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Let it Snow(man)

These are the custest of the snowman gourds. The rest turned out kind of lame. They look like clowns mostly. Oh well... It was a good experiment and continues to prove the fact that I really can't paint.

9 More Days

I've never been more eager to give a Christmas gift to anyone than I am this year. Cohen is getting a train track. We've purchased a little wooden train set at IKEA. We bought two trains and one expansion track set so our entire kitchen floor will become a train yard until we figure out where to permantly set it up. Grandma is buying him an electric car track that we'll have to figure out where to put, also.

In the meantime, the boy has turned everything into a road that he can find. His bedspread (a quilt with blocks between strait lines) has become a series of roads. He's lined up all of the books on the book shelf and wound them around the house. My legs and arms have also been launch ramps. The window seals, picture frames... I think you have the idea. He drives his little matchbox cars and trains on EVERYTHING.

Yesterday, I was trying to get our Christmas cards and neighbors gifts ready, he just kept bring me marbles to form into a road. We had a great idea. We turned the entire living room into "tape town" complete with block buildings and trees. He was in heaven for hours, which ment so was I. The kid is smart and has a great imagination.

Mike was a saint and played with him so I could get all of my little things done all afternoon. Let's just say, Tape Town is staying up while I cram all of my last minute Christmas crafts into one week. YIKES!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cold Body Warm Belly

I have been crafting lately. I really have. I've just been so busy in the evenings that I never see the light of day except out of my office window. So, I have no pictures. Last night Cohen and I had a great cup of marshmallows... Would you like some hot chocolate with that? Now he thinks it is all he needs. He woke me up this morning about 6:00 am with his sweet little voice whispering in my face..."Hot choco-lot" over and over. I think he is learning the lesson from me reading "The Little Engine that Could" to him every night before bed.

I have mostly been knitting and painting my gourds. I am just about done with one of the wrist warmers I am making for Babs, aka TeamWang from Mwah Creations. This project has been a bit of a challenge because I've never knit in the round before. But, it is working. Kim informed me that I am knitting backwards... Of course I am. I can't ever get it completely right. But they look cute, and I might need to make some for myself. Babs made me some felt germs that are sooooo much cuter in real life. They are for my younger sis, Lyndsey, because she looks under a microscope all day and is OBSESSED with microbiology.

Aren't they great? She made a great felt pouch and some cherry earrings, too. I love all of my great Crafty friends.

I am forcing myself to shampoo the living room carpet before I do anything. I am going to a great little boutique this afternoon, but... I. Must. Get. The. Carpet. Clean. FIRST!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sew Trendy

See... I'm not crazy! I'm trendy. Which is worse? Regardless, I enjoyed this article and I think you will, too.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's All About ME!!

Well, the boutique is over. It was bittersweet. While I was so glad that I was done for the season, I was not glad that I was done forever. It is such a great atmosphere. I will be sendingChristy (the organizer) a thanks note because she has put a lot of work into it... AND... this last weekend she did it all with strep throat, too. I did well. I sold most of my table and was able to make a pretty hefty deposit in my account. But that isn't what it is all about. I was able to hang out with Melanie and Hillary. I love those sisters. They make the most wonderful stuff and they are just soCOOOL. Melanie and I did a little swappy swapping and I got one of her beautiful crochet hats. I've worn the one I swapped with her 2 years ago almost to death. ;-) They also make the most amazing scented lotions. I love Hydrogen the best. I wish I could smear it all over this post you could smell how wonderful it truly is.

I also got some great throw pillows that were made of the same upholstery fabric that my grandma's old velvety flower gold couch that now sits in my mom's living room. Whew... hello run-on! I hope these ladies continue to boutique together. I do love them all. They are such wonderful, talented women and they all make such amazing stuff.

I started painting my gourds last night. Mike is, of course, helping me because he is the "more art, less craft" half of our marriage. He is adding the real style to all of them. We didn't get very far on them.

After a quick trip to the yarnstore and a less quick trip around the valley with Kim looking for the correct size needles, I started a neck warmer for another friend for Christmas. I HAVE to finish some arm warmers for a swap. I've already received from my partner and I have not even finished one of the warmers. I've had issues because it is my first time knitting in the round. I'm learning and Kim is a very good helper.

Oh, I love crafting what I want to! It is such a welcome change to the mass production mode I've been in getting ready for boutiques. Our next project is making big picture frames out of Mike's parents old fence. YEAH! The wood is just sitting there waiting for me and it is aged to perfection. That will be this weekend's project.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I'll get them up. Our high speed Internet connection moved, and we're back to dial-up. All I want for Christmas is high speed Internet. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Okay... It is Winter

It is hard to let go of Fall. I love it. I love the colors and the smells and the weather. I honestly think I could live in a continual state of Fall. That is one of the things that makes Utah so wonderful. We have four very distinct seasons. Winter used to be my absolute favorite. I mean... Winter is why I initially moved to Utah. The lisence plates even say "Ski Utah" and "The best snow on Earth" on them. But, that is when I only made money to snowboard. That is all I did and wanted to do. Now, it just means I have to leave for work 10 minutes earlier, shovel the walk, scrape my windows, warm up the car... you know the routine. See, Fall is good because you can wear your fancy new boots and that lovely cable knit scarf, but you don't have to worry about ruining them with the salt and sand that they put on the road, or, the dreaded falling in the parking lot on your way into the office.

But, Winter brings many great things, too. CHRISTMAS... CHRISTMAS SHOPPING... CHRISTMAS MUSIC... CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUES... CHRISTMAS CRAFTING... oh, wonderful Christmas. Cohen is pretty excited about all of the snow, too. We need to get him some boots so he can go play in it. In fact, we all need better shoes this year. Our canvas Vans just don't cut it in the snow.

Last night Lyndsey and I went to the Festival of Trees. I forgot my camera because I was so eager to get there. They had great treats and great choirs singing in the background. The trees were all beautiful and the memorials were very touching. I was a bit disappointed in the Gift Boutique portion. First off, they marked my bags to sell for $5 and $8. :-( Oh well, they know what sells. Those place mat totes were all the rage and they were going from $20. Lyndsey's bags were priced higher so that is good. I was also very saddened to see the piles and piles of crochet afghans selling for only $20. I wish I had enough money to buy them all up just so those hours and hours of crocheting would be rewarded. Oh well, the trees are what makes the money. Most of the bids I saw on the individual trees were over $1000. I think it is wonderful that Primary Children's Hospital can raise so much money in only days.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Festival of Trees

This year I have the great opportunity of donating six bags to the boutique portion of the Festival of Trees. My sister Lyndsey was roommates with one of the group leaders and few years back. She knew we made stuff so asked if we would be interested. HECK YES!

We got invitations to the "Donators" preview for tonight and I cannot wait. I hear it is a pretty magical place. I'm sure I'll cry when I see the tribute trees because I always do. Tonight I'll take my camera to take my own pictures of all of the wonderful things.

*images borrowed from

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, I was on my way out the door to meet my trainer at the gym this morning (6:30) and he called to say he slept in. Woo Hoo! I know I should go anyway, but I am going to skip it today. What the heck... It is not like I plan on doing much dieting today anyway. But, I'm all dressed and ready.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Make ourselves feel guilty for not doing the things we're supposed to enjoy...

I know what I can do for a happy compromise. When Cohen wakes up, we'll go on a nice walk. It is supposed to snow this weekend so this might be our last chance anyway. Good thinkin' Lori!

Anyway, I hope you can forgive yourselves tomorrow morning and not feel horrible about yourselves because you stuffed your gut a little too full of rich foods. Just start Friday as if Thursday was a regular day and go on your happy normal way. Let's stop feeling guilty for a little self indulgence. It's okay every once in awhile.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fall Is Not Gone Yet

Look what I got in the mail! These eleven unwashed gourds will turn into happy little snowmen ornaments for our tree. I think they look so pretty sitting on my tomato tablecloth. I'm hanging on the last bits of fall before the weather turns cold and all I can hear is Christmas music.

Ducks in a Row

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have had quite a difficult time getting ready for this boutique. I usually love it. The atmosphere is wonderful. The mansion we hold it in is all done in old post and beam style with hand stamped plaster walls. It is georgeous. I cannot wait to take pictures of my booth when I am all set up so you all can really see how wonderful it is.

With only 10 days of crafting left, I forced myself to stay awake until these bags were done. After work I went to the gym for a good workout, had a great healthy dinner, and a quick Family Night activity and I was feeling good. I drank my 20 ounces of diet Dr. Pepper (counteracting all of the healthy stuff from the earlier portion of the evening), read a few books to Cohen before bedtime, and turned on my iPod for hours of crafting pleasure. I did it and was all done by midnight. I congratulated myself by watching reruns of Little People, Big World on TLC for a few moments before I could no longer keep my eyes open.

It makes all of the insanity worth it to see all of these sweet bags lined up ready to be given to their new owners.

This one is my favorite and I won't be dissapointed if no one purchases it. :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

12 Days of Crafting

The invitations have been picked up and the Boutique on Brentwood is only 2 weeks away. Last night I just cut out more and more bags. I am very excited about the designs I am using this time around. I was so sick of mass producing totes so I found a great pattern I liked, altered it, and I'm coming up with some pretty cute stuff. They are taking a lot longer than I had hoped, but all I can do is get done what I can.

Last night while I was cutting out the bags and doing the applique, I watched this and I totally loved it. Tonight I'll be watching TLC and HGTV reruns as I continue to cut, cut, cut. I found the last time around, it was easier to get everything cut out at the very beginning. Then, I could match like colors so I didn't have to change the thread so often. I was also able to put all of the fabric away so I didn't have that added clutter around the sewing machine.

This stocking garland is an advent calendar that I made for Stacy for the Christmas Stocking Swap. It was a lot of fun to do. I actually decided that I'd make a few of them for my boutique, but I'll only do 12 days instead of 25. I made a quick trip to Deseret Industries to look for wool sweaters to cut up. I found some great stuff that I am eager to start butchering! Sometimes I feel so bad cutting up sweaters because they are so wonderful, but then I see what comes out of them and it is even better. So, I'll be making 12 Day Sweater Stocking Advent Calendars in the next few weeks. I better get crafting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Christmas Already??

This entire weekend has been spent on Christmas crafting. Again, I am working on a swap on Craftster. This time I'm swapping with an amazing seamstress, so I feel a little pressure. I'm pleased, though. I needed to get going on the holiday crafting to get me excited about the Boutique on Brentwood.

I've been in a bit of a crafting rut, but I've made a list and I think all is well. I am ready to start getting ready. Good thing... it is only 3 weeks away. I'm excited. Yeah... I was starting to feel dread and I didn't like it. I usually look forward to this boutique every year.

After Brentwood, I am going to probably open an Etsy shop. I think I've proven to myself that I can sell things. I need to take a stabbity stab at doing it online.

So, this is the last bit of stuff I am sending Stacy. I feel really great about this package and I hope she feels great about it, too. I also included an ornament painting kit for her daughter.

Oh... one more thing... a beautiful wool scarf. It is about six feet long and only two inches wide. I love it. I do have one other gift I am sending, but in case she reads this before she receives, I'll save her one surprise.

Enjoy Stacy!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My First ATC

According to Sister Diane's Crafty Pod interview, Artist Trading Cards have been around for quite a long time. It really is a great way to get a lot of original art for no cost at all. It is very easy to do via email. This is my first attempt at the ATC, let alone calling myself an artist. I think I did okay.

I just received the card in trade but I can't find it. I don't think I'm really into this, but I had to at least give it a shot.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


This is why I love Halloween:

AND...This is why I don't love Halloween:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nothing to Light on Fire

I received these beautiful matchboxes from Lori for the Wist Swap on Craftster. I don't know what to do with them, but they look so beautiful sitting in a little bowl together. I cannot wait until I have a room in my home that I can put all of my stuff in. I will just sit in there and be inspired.



Friday, October 27, 2006

My Porch

Apartment living doesn't give the best options for showing off your holiday decorations to neighbors and folks passing by. Seeing that we are now on year four of aparment dwelling, I've had to get a little more creative. I'm glad I have a banister to hang stuff on. Mike keeps asking me why I buy outside decorations. My simple reply, "We won't be here forever." Am I turning myself into a liar?

I made these banners because I HAD to use this fabric. I went into Elaine's Quilt Block and these little Fats Quarters were all neatly stacked on the display table. I'll take one of each, Thank You! I made 8 or 9 of these bad boys. I am so pleased to go to my sister's and mother's house, and see these sweet little banners hanging up in their homes.

Now this little beauty has turned out to be one my biggest letdowns in decor purchases. I was at the Avenues Street Fair working in the University of Utah Printmaking booth, when from across the way, the sun hit this thing so beautifully. I went to take a closer look. Shocked by the $25 sticker price, I asked them their techniques of glass and metal cutting. "Oh yes, everything is made in our workshop. We salvage sheet metal, clean it, and cut it to our shapes. Then we treat it so it won't rust. Then we do the mosaic last."

Wowzers... that is a lot of work. I could justify paying that much for it. I pulled out my wad of cash and handed over the money. We talked about local boutiques and farmers markets. We exchanged cards. I thought I had found new best friends.

When I got home, I so proudly hung my little cut glass "BOO" hanging outside of my door so all visiters could partake in its simple beauty.

A week or so later... I made a stop at the local dollar store for something fabulous, I'm sure. As I walked in the door, my heart broke into a million pieces. There, hanging in the halloween section was my "BOO", without the cut glass of course, but it was still my BOO. Why did these sweet, hip, crafty ladies lie to me? I felt like buying them all up so they couldn't deceive any other suckers like me. When I got home, sure enough. I pulled back their sticker price tag (it was so cute, so I left it on) and there was the gold "Made in China" label underneath it. :( Ladies, CYA on this type of thing!

I still see those ladies at markets and boutiques around town. I've never told them that I know they lied to me, but their work is definatly less magical to me. Anyway, that wasn't supposed to turn into a crazy rant. I just wanted to show you my cute little decorations.

I love when Halloween is in the earlier part of the week, because then we get to celebrate it all weekend! Tonight I have costumes to make and a party to go to. Tomorrow is the party at church, where I am in charge of the cake walk... gotta do that, too. Mike entered the chili contest, and Cohen has to live up to his title of "Scariest Costume Award". Although, he is going to be Charlie Brown, he has got to win something.

Happy Haunting!

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Embroidery is something that I am learning to love. The more I do, the better and faster I get... IMAGINE THAT!

I found this wonderful Aunt Martha's embroidery pattern for $.50 somewhere. I became immediately obsessed and started ironing the vintage fruit on anything light enough to show the fading transfer ink. The fruit is cute enough to eat.

Although extremely hard to part with, I just recently sent them off to Canada where I know they will have a good home with Sally. Enjoy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

This is Halloween

Aside from all of the wonderful miniature candy bars in orange and black wrapping, there is nothing I love more than Halloween fabric. Every year I buy it, and stack it, and look at it, and then stash it. I can't bear the thought of cutting through one of these cute little ghost's faces.

This year is different. I have laid out all of my fat quarters and ironed on fusible webbing to the backs. I created a pattern for banners. Now, I am cutting out the triangles one by one. This fabric looks SO GOOD together. I'll get a picture of the finished halloween banners soon. I am making one for everyone because I love them that much!

Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl

My friend Kim is so enthusiastic about knitting, that she made me want to start up again. I can just knit and purl. Nothing exciting. I can make scarfs and probably a pot holder. Like I said... NOTHING fancy.

I finished up two scrafs last week and was very proud to tell Kim that I even figured how to bind off the edges. I also made my first visit to a real yarn store, and I think it is worse than candy. I couldn't stop touching everything.

Anyway, I think I'm a little addicted to it and I can't even read a knitting pattern. Kim helped me buy my first set of circular needles and is teaching me how to do a bag. Wahoo! I didn't realize that I needed more than needles and yarn, but Kim gifted me the most beautifully handcrafted stitch markers to help me keep track of what I am doing.

So far, I haven't figured out what do do with them, but they sure look pretty sitting in a pile next to my yarn basket.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fun With Pincushions

Yes my friends, that is a pincushion... and the little mushrooms are pins. My swap partner said she obsessivly collects garden gnomes, and I knew I needed to theme my pincushion after that.

I asked Mike, being the trained artist he is, to help me with the gnome because my first attempts were not looking so hot. After all, his hobby is building and painting miniature figurines (see, we all have our quirks). Anyway, little gnomey turned out fantastic and one million times better than I could have ever done it.

I stuck with the easy stuff. I sculpted and made the little mushrooms and made the fabric flowers.

This is the great pin cushion I got in return. I'll never look at trucker's mud flaps the same way again.

Swapping...NOT Swinging

Last fall, I browsed onto a website that I could not believe existed. Not only does it exist, I am a complete addict. In fact, I think the term Crackster has been coined is a completely acceptable term use, if not a compliment. Yes, this site is Craftster. For over a year, I have checked the boards and blogs religiously looking for new ideas and random crafty goodness.

One of the areas that I am most intrigued by is the Swap sections. Who would have thought that crafty people all over the world would be willing to make me stuff, FOR FREE, and ship it to me? I sure didn't.

I know, I know . . . I KNOW, it all sounds so bizarre, but it is my new hobby. I mean, some people meet in Liberty Park bright and early on Saturday morning, dressed as goblins and wizards, while they imaginary fight with fake swords and bowstaffs. I could be doing that. Sheesh. I just wanted to introduce you swapping, as I know several of my posts will be swap related.

Yes, I have a husband and we only sleep together... this is not that kind of swapping.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Every Girl Needs a New Bag

A few months ago I decided I wanted the Amy Butler Nappy Sack to use as a diaper bag. After buying the pattern, I saved it for a few months while I searched for just the right fabric to make it. I found this amazing fabric at Wal-Mart on their bargain table for $.50 a yard. I bought the entire bolt.

Ever since I began carrying this bag, my MIL has been dropping hints that she could really use a bag like this for school. She is a teacher's aid without a desk and is forced to carry all of her materials from classroom to classroom. Being the fashion concious gal that she is, a plastic tote that she can pull would just be unacceptable. She finally just asked me if she could borrow my pattern so she could make one. I told her that I would send it with Mike the next day when he dropped Cohen off.

She is such a great MIL. She is always so willing to watch Cohen and help us in anyway possible so that we can get ahead in life. I decided that I would just make her the bag so she would have it ready to carry on her first day of school this year. What a surprise she'll get when Mike shows up with the bag tomorrow instead of just the pattern.

Cohen was very also very happy to deliver the bag to Nannies (as he calls her). Thank you Nannies for all of your help!

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