Friday, December 10, 2010

Today's a Good Day


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I used to be so happy to see Fridays arrive. Now, it's just like any other day, except that I get to get out of the bed in the morning without dreading the day and what some boss will throw at me. I stagger to the bathroom, douse myself in the sink until I am awake, then shiver over the heater until I warm up. Then I very quietly try to get a few things done before Sammy or Anna wake up. Some days, I manage to get a few ideas on paper or a bit of promoting done before one of them starts to stir, but most days, I barely have enough time to get out the clean diaper for each, the bottle for him, sippy cup of water for her, and a fresh change of clothes for each before someone is rolling over and ready to start their day.

Today, I barely made it out of the bathroom before he was getting antsy, but I knew it wasn't time for him to eat yet. My husband had just crawled back into the bed from feeding him at 3:30, so I knew he had at least another two hours in him before he had to eat again. So I quickly wrapped him up in his blanket, grabbed the pacifier, and spent the rest of the morning before Anna woke up rocking him in the rocking chair. It was a good morning.

And today, I cleaned. I don't have a set day to clean, but felt like it today, so I gathered all her toys up, grabbed the night's collection of spit-upped clothing and blankets and proceeded to take them down to the washer. I came back upstairs, picked up all her toys again, and swept up the floor (stopping intermittently to pick up her toys three more times). It is now 2:12 in the afternoon, and I'm about to start going through items for a destash sale on Artfire. I have a ton of beads that I no longer need, and I may have some yarn and fabrics coming soon. I'm only able to clean out my studio every few days because it does not have heat.

I will probably be scanning the beads in via my PSC printer because my digital camera is being...well...odd. I think it has a short in it somewhere. Sometimes it takes the pictures perfectly, other times, there is a picture on the video screen when I click the button, but the pictures come out black. I really need to get a new one, but with it being the Christmas season, all of our extra cash is going towards groceries for the dinner and presents for the babies. And since I have SO many beads to destash, I will just be scanning them in.

Going to scoot for now and get busy. Need to put on Veggie Tales or Dora the Explorer to keep Anna entertained anyway.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Promise I Didn't Get Lost....Honest


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I swear, I really didn't get lost. Slightly bewildered for a month, but not lost. Who doesn't feel lost when they suddenly have a newborn child in their home and the 20 month old sister isn't exactly thrilled about the new crier. It's been a rough month, but I think we have now weathered the worst of it. He was refusing food in the hospital, so once we got him home, we had to slowly get him up to drinking 2 ounces every 2 hours. Our first night home, we went through every change of clothing and blanket that we had for 0-6 month old. When I woke up the next morning, my husband had him in one of his sister's 2T shirts. Looking back now, it was funny, but at the moment, with the exhaustion from having him and hormonal lunacy, I was close to tears.

Today, though, he chugs his bottle like a champion, and still has massive spit up moments occasionally, but not as often. He still has his days and nights mixed up. We are slowly rotating them, but we are trying to be careful to make sure we don't mess up his meal routine.

On the business front, I'm trying to get myself back into the routine. I did really good for about two weeks, then pregnancy complications and pure exhaustion set me back. Today is the beginning of my clean slate. I'll be listing items in my shop every day. My blog will be cleaning up backlog that didn't post like it was meant to (all my Tuesday Top Tens are still "Scheduled" but not Posted), and I will be introducing a couple of new columns that will appear during the week.

But for today, I will be closing this post, listing my newest item in my shop, and cleaning up the path of destruction my little lass has left throughout the room before my husband gets home.

Night all!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

He's Here!


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Here he is! Robert Samuel, Jr. was born October 28, 2010 at 7:42 PM. He was 6 pounds and 4 ounces, and he was 19 1/2 inches long.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12: Tuesday's Top Ten


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A good picture is worth a thousand words, and these artists take some amazing photos.


1) Erin Reynolds Photography: http://www.artfire.com/users/erinreynoldsphotography

2) B Q E: http://www.artfire.com/users/thebqe

3) Makins by JBH: http://www.artfire.com/users/makinsbyjbh

4) Gingersnapz Fine Art and Photography: http://www.artfire.com/users/gingersnapz

5) Candace Rose: http://www.artfire.com/users/candacerose

6) Molly Heyer Photos and Graphics: http://www.artfire.com/users/mollyheyer

7) Intuey's Handcrafted Treasures: http://www.artfire.com/users/intuey

8) Erin Johnson Photography: http://www.artfire.com/users/eireanneilis

9) Small Hands Photos: http://www.artfire.com/users/smallhandsphotos

10) My Mountain Studio:
http://www.artfire.com/users/mymountainstudio


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Featured Artisan: Lisa of JYOUlry


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Today's Featured Artisan is Lisa of JYOUlry.

-- Jessica

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am the mother of three boys. My twins are 7 and my little guy is a year and a half. I am an interior designer turned jewelry designer. jYOUlry is a uniquely designed brand of photo jewelry, it is fashionable, trendy and each piece is handcrafted with love. Our high quality ensures your gifts can be treasured for a lifetime and can be passed down through generations. Our low prices and quick delivery make jYOUlry that perfect gift for someone you love or a special treat for yourself!

1. When and why did you start crafting?

I have a necklace with a photo pendant of my two older boys on it that I bought years ago. About 2 years ago when I was pregnant with my baby, I tried to order a new one, but sadly they were no longer making them. I wasn’t able to find the pendant I had in mind anywhere, and finally I decided I would simply make it myself. And just like that, my new business was born! At first I merely wanted to replace my old pendant, and perhaps make some for family and friends, but it has grown past that and I finally realized I needed to offer my pieces online. My family and I relocated to Panama about 2.5 years ago and my Spanish is not very good to say the least, LOL. so this has also developed into a great way for me to work and speak in English :)

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

The design. I started like every other photo jewelry maker out there with square and circle shapes. Although they are excellent starter pieces to my collection, I love designing the one of a kind jewelry pieces for my collection you can't find anywhere else. Unlike my competition, I am actually a jewelry designer incorporating treasured photo keepsakes into my designs. I also love that I feature unique photo accessories and gifts as well. My collection is not just for woman!

3. How did you find out about your online selling venues and why did you start selling there?

I've known about Etsy for many years and I used it to buy many of my supplies when I started the business so it just made sense to sell there as well. Artfire I discovered while also searching for supplies. I found several shops selling what i wanted on Artfire, which I had never heard about before. So I did a little research on it and found it also to be a great marketplace for my product.

4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop? Is there anything you dislike about selling online?

I love selling online, its very easy and keeps overhead at an absolute minimum so I can continue to keep my prices low for my customers. It is hard losing a little of the one on one experience of working with a real person. However it's like have a store open 24 hours a day and that's great! Many of my customers buy in the middle of the night when the house is quiet and I love that they can shop calmly in their pj's without the stress of needing to get somewhere or the kids touching something breakable, etc... you know as mom's we've all been "there"!

5. Do you rely on your online selling venues to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?

Mainly for fun and extra spending money although now I do need it to keep growing to support itself so I'm not putting more of my own money into it to keep it growing.

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than your online selling venues? Why?

I do sell offline. I have a wholesale program I offer mainly to photography studios but to some boutiques and specialty shops as well. I do enjoy the wholesale process a lot because I am dealing with the same buyers on a regular basis. I can anticipate the re-orders and which designs to be sure to have in stock.

7. Where else can you be found online?

Of course I have my Etsy (www.jYOUlry.etsy.com) and Artfire (www.jYOUlry.artfire.com) shops, I also have a mini shops on zibbet (www.zibbet.com/jYOUlry), craft is art (www.craftisart.com/jYOUlry) and my own website: www.jYOUlry.com as well as a fan page on facebook (www.facebook.com/jYOUlry)








Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5: Tuesday's Top Ten


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I have always been a lady who loved solid wood items, especially if they were hand-carved. Today's top ten artists are all very talented woodworkers. I have my eye on a few of their items as Christmas presents. :o)

1) Mosabox: http://www.artfire.com/users/mosabox

2) Wood Designer: http://www.artfire.com/users/wooddesigner

3) Elle Z Designs: http://www.artfire.com/users/ellezdesigns

4) Grah-Toe Studios: http://www.artfire.com/users/grahtoestudio

5) Dewayne Williams: http://www.artfire.com/users/dewaynewilliams

6) The Sawduster: http://www.artfire.com/users/thesawduster

7) Simply Rustic: http://www.artfire.com/users/simplyrustic

8) Tom Roche Woodworking Designs: http://www.artfire.com/users/trochewooddesigns

9) Words in Wood: http://www.artfire.com/users/lorienmalacek

10) Etta Mae: http://www.artfire.com/users/ettamae


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Going Beyond the Basics


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Everyone who has read this blog, visited my fanpage, or gone through my shop knows that I make and sell chainmaille jewelry. What many people don't know is that I also love to knit and crochet. Mostly crochet, but I get a hankering to knit every once in a while. I have amassed a fairly large stash of yarn over the last few years from gifts, destashes, and "inheriting" (i.e. someone who did yarncrafts passed on, or someone who wanted to learn yarncrafts gave up.) Not having a lot of room to store stuff at the present moment, I finally put my foot down and forced myself to sit in front of how-to videos that took me beyond basic crochet and knitting. (I could single crochet and I could knit and purl, but beyond that, I was just tying knots in the yarn and angering myself.)

I'm currently making a test scarf using single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, double crochet, single crochet repeating with a line of single crochet between each line for sturdiness. It has honestly been frogged back to the beginning about nine times now. I'm waiting for my husband to start calling it the "Never-ending Scarf," but I'm learning.

I will post some pictures of my attempts soon. Some are embarrassing, so they may stay on the camera until I get ready to delete everything, but I have a few attempts that look fairly nice.

Beyond that, I've been very quiet because everyone in the house is sick right now. And with me being in my last 33 days of pregnancy and running around behind an 18-month old, I just don't have much more energy to spare. So I create and learn while I am having to sit and rest, then nap when she decides to rest. I will get back in the swing of things soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Featured Artisan: Terra Rodgers of Salamander Art


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Today's featured artisan is Terra Rodgers of Salamander Art. :o)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Growing up around Greenville, SC, I am rooted to the mountains there, although we live in Alabama. I've lived in India and traveled to other parts of Asia, where I've been able to collect some hard-to-find supplies.
My shop and blog are named Salamander Art because we love salamanders. There are more species of salamanders in the Carolina mountains than anywhere else in the world. They are crazy little creatures that spend part of their life in the water and part on land and are very susceptible to environmental degradation. We have spent part of our summers catching (and releasing) salamanders in streams in the Carolinas, keeping one foot in a different world like the salamanders. My Grandmother loved the native wildflowers that grew around their mountain cabin, many of which are either rare or endangered such as Lady Slippers and Trillium. Much of my love of art and native flora and fauna came from her. When I paint, I am connecting not only with the beauty of my home but with my Grandmother as well.

1. When and why did you start crafting?

I have always made things. My Grandmother was an artist. My dad sold paintings for date money in college. Mom and I made doll houses from coke boxes when I was little. I even remember doing an oil painting when I was 6 and had the chicken pox. Art and craft were never forced in my home, but it was just a natural thing we did. Like eating or walking.

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

When I'm making something, be it a painting or a book, my brain goes to a different place, one that is focused and peaceful. Making things is rejuvenating. Making books offers a particular sense of satisfaction because they are neat and clean and can often be made in a day.

3 & 4. How did you find out about your online selling venues and why did you start selling there? What is the hardest thing to do for your shop? Is there anything you dislike about selling online?

Etsy and ArtFire have been around for a while. I considered starting a shop a few years ago, but with a newly adopted child it wasn't the right time. I have a friend who has been selling books online for 9 years fairly successfully. The difference is that you really have to market yourself to sell art. It's why galleries make their big 50%. When you sell online, you are the gallery and have to do the promotional work as well as the work of creating. Promoting myself does not come easy.

5. Do you rely on your online selling venues to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?

Fortunately we don't rely on my art to pay our basic bills, but to create a cushion and save for college for our kids (4 and 11).

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than your online selling venues? Why?

I sold paintings in a gallery before we adopted the kids. It certainly was easier.

7. Where else can you be found online?

My blog: http://www.SalamanderArt.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SalamanderArt/153790657988981
Artfire: http://www.artfire.com/users/salamanderart

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28: Tuesday's Top Ten


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Today's Top Ten Artists are all very talented yarn-dyers and spinners. Please take a few moments to check out their shops, and if you buy something, please let them know where you found out about them.


1. Life's an Expedition: http://www.artfire.com/users/LifesAnExpedition

2. Three Stitchers: http://www.artfire.com/users/ThreeStitchers

3. Yarn 2 Spin: http://www.artfire.com/users/yarn2spin

4. Mainewoods Yarn: http://www.artfire.com/users/mainewoodsyarn

5. Bittersweet Woolery: http://www.artfire.com/users/RowsRed

6. Denim Schmenim: http://www.artfire.com/users/DenimSchmenim

7. Lambs Ears: http://www.artfire.com/users/LambsEars

8. Turtle Purl: http://www.artfire.com/users/Turtlepurl

9. Teresa Levite Studio: http://www.artfire.com/users/TeresaLeviteStudio

10. Lotus Blossom Knits: http://www.artfire.com/users/Lotusblossom_Knits

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday's Featured: Tina and Tammy of Entwined Vines


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Today's featured artisans are Tina and Tammy of Entwined Vines on Artfire. Happy Friday, everyone!

- Jessica

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


We love beads in all there splendor. We both started out string and re-stringing and have learned many other techniques to be able to say we are skilled in Viking knit, wire braiding, chainmaille, knitting, crocheting wire and adorning with beads, delicate wire work, interesting yet unique color and design challenges, and repair work of many forms. We are not a metalsmiths or stone workers (although we work with stone in a variety of ways).
Tina is married with four kids, and is an in home daycare provider Monday thru Friday.
Tammy is single with no kids, and works in corporate America Monday thru Friday.
We both value time with family and friends, own and maintain our own homes, enjoy reading, the outdoors and anytime we can combine any of them all the better.

1. When and why did you start crafting?

We have both been crafting for as long as we can remember, all types of crafts. In addition to jewelry, Tammy enjoys painting, while Tina enjoys sewing. Crafting is a creative outlet that has the added benefit of feeding our souls. We find zen moments in our different crafting adventures, which is a nice break from the normal hectic lives we lead.

2. What do you enjoy most about your crafting?

Watching the pieces come together into something beautiful that we can then share with others to enjoy.

3. How did you find out about your online selling venues and why did you start selling there?

Tina suggested selling online, so we started researching. We went with the online option for two main reasons; it allows us to reach more potential clients. Secondly, we are able to manage our time better and not feel like we are working 24/7 even though in reality we are.

4. What is the hardest thing to do for your shop? Is there anything you dislike about selling online?

At this specific moment the hardest thing to do for our shop, we would have to say is getting the pictures to come out, so they are a true presentation of what we have created.
I think this is the answer from all artisans, the paperwork boring side. We are artisans, we just want to create and not bother with the boring side of things. Yet, we manage to keep it from eating up too much of our creative time. That is the great thing about working together, we split the work load, which leaves us both with more creative time.

5. Do you rely on your online selling venues to help pay bills or is it mainly for fun & extra spending money?

We are just starting out, so in the short term it is extra spending money. Our long term goal is to have Entwined Vines be our primary source of income for living expenses.

6. Have you tried or do you sell in offline shops? Do you enjoy that more or less than your online selling venues? Why?

We have and do. Occasionally we enjoy being in a crowd of people at an event, but it isn’t our favorite thing. The advantage is people are able to touch and feel the product. But we prefer handling most of our sales online thru email.

7. Where else can you be found online?


We can be found at:
http://www.facebook.com/EntwinedVines
http://entwinedvinesjewlery.blogspot.com/
http://www.twitter.com/EntwinedVines




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21: Tuesday's Top Ten


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Today's Top Ten Artists are all very talented. Each specializes and sells something entirely different from the others. Please take a few moments to check out their shops, and if you buy something, please let them know where you found out about them.


1. Linnea Silver: http://www.artfire.com/users/LinneaSilver

2. Crafty Katie: http://www.artfire.com/users/CraftyKatie

3. West Coast Origami: http://www.artfire.com/users/WestCoastOrigami

4. Toys 2 Treasures: http://www.artfire.com/users/toys2treasures

5. Tutu and Edie's: http://www.artfire.com/users/tutuandedie

6. Moxie and Oliver: http://www.artfire.com/users/moxieandoliver

7. Good Scents: http://www.artfire.com/users/GoodScents

8. Pandula Arts Creations: http://www.artfire.com/users/Pandulaartscreations

9. Cedar Point Designs: http://www.artfire.com/users/cedarpointdesigns

10. Dahlia Handbags and Accessories: http://www.artfire.com/users/dahliahandbags


Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have you heard? $5.95 for a Pro account on ArtFire!!


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That's right, ArtFire.com is running an incredible deal right now. From the Group Deal page: "ArtFire is offering a limited number of people the chance to lock in a never-before-seen $5.95/month rate. In order for us to offer you this deal we need at least 20,000 members, including you, to opt-in for the exclusive $5.95 rate. Don’t miss your chance to lock in the best deal in e-commerce." To see all the details, and sign up for this amazing deal click http://www.artfire.com/groupdeal. At this price, why wouldn't you sign up? If you already have a Pro shop, you can lock in this lower rate. If you have a basic shop (or more than one, even) you can now go Pro and reap all the MANY benefits, including the Market Hub, where you can link to your Facebook, Flickr, Etsy, and much more (yes, ArtFire does allow you to promote other venues you sell on), the Merchandizer, which allows you to easily rearrange your studio any time you like, Promo labels for sales, free shipping, and more, in studio Artisan Blog, and SO much more. And ArtFire only keeps getting better, coming up with more tools, techniques for improving sales, and not only do they listen to the artists, but they implement their suggestions. ArtFire wants us to succeed, and they give us the tools and knowledge to do so.
Once ArtFire reaches 20,000 members signed up for the Group Deal, the lower rate goes into effect, so hurry in and let's reach 20,000! And tell your friends- you won't find a deal like this again!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lazy Monday


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I think I'm having one of those days. You know, where you get up, get yourself ready to do a ton of stuff, and then go "meh, it can wait until tomorrow." I've been hanging out with Anna most of the day. She's got a new thing for the movie "Enchanted," so we've been watching that on repeat most of the morning. I'm a little sick of it, but she's loving it, so I can deal. She also discovered that my stomach contains something that kicks. Really, really hard. I have right around a month and a half to go before Sammy arrives, approximately. I still am not sure if they are going on the right start date, but they are the people that went to school for this, so I'm just following their lead at this point.

I have done a little bit of designing today. Haven't made anything or cut any new rings, but I have sketched out a few potential pieces. I have a couple of custom orders to figure out how to do, and fortunately, the customer knows that I am having to locate a specific color of rings before I can make the item, so they know it's going to take a while. If anyone knows where I can get 16 gauge 1/4" white chainmaille rings, please let me know. I know I can't get them in anodized aluminum because anodizing white is supposedly not possible. Enameled copper will work, and I guess rubber Oh rings will work, but the client really didn't seem too keen on the rubber, so trying to find them in metal if at all possible. If anyone has any leads, please let me know! I'll be eternally grateful.

Otherwise, it's been a fairly quiet day. I do have a new piece to list and I will do so soon. Have a few findings I need to get made, but I have to wait until Anna decides that it's her naptime. And honestly, that isn't looking like it will be anytime soon. Probably not for another two hours or so.

For now, I am going to go watch "Enchanted"...again. I'll be singing the songs in no time. :o)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Purple Anodized Aluminum and Bright Aluminum 'Star Trek' Earrings


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Today's newest listing. I love these little earrings. They are really lightweight and will soon be available in an assortment of colors. Purple was just the first bag of colored rings I opened. I also have violet, blue, turquoise, black, yellow, gold, green, brown, red, and pink.

I know my store seems sparse, but I'm trying to list an item a day so that it is full but not stagnant by the time Sammy, Jr. arrives in a little over a month and a half. I'm going to ask if my husband will list items for me while I'm in the hospital, and I'm going to try to schedule some blog posts to go out, but depending on how things roll out, it might not happen. I shall return, though. :o)

I will have several more necklaces available soon, and I've begun making jewelry with copper rings, so that metal will be available in the store soon as well. I'm still pricing silver and gold, and as soon as I find a supplier with a fair price, those metals will be arriving in my shop as well.

I will also have non-jewelry items available eventually. Since I'm setting this shop up in the midst of chaos and craziness in my life, I'm taking things one step at a time, but it'll all show up eventually.

Just wanted to stop in and drop a note. Anna has finally collapsed for her afternoon nap, so I need to get a little bit of cleaning done.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Chickadee Tree: Grand Opening!


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The Chickadee Tree has officially opened on Artfire. Our first item listed is this beautiful chunky turquoise and silver aluminum bracelet woven in a very simple chainmaille weave. More items are queued to be listed. I hope everyone enjoys my work, and if you buy a piece, please let me know what you think about it once you receive it!

Happy crafting and happy shopping to everyone! And Happy Labor Day Weekend! Travel safely, please!

~Jessica, The Chickadee Tree

Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Real Mother's Day


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It was actually my second, but last year, Anna was all of seven weeks old, and I was still in the surreal phase of "I can't be a mommy," so I don't count last year. We went out to lunch with my mom's side of the family, then Sam took me shopping. There are times I do prefer that he buy me a gift, but those have always been a bit of a letdown because I literally have to spell out what I want for him (no surprises for me), so he just takes me shopping at whatever store I choose (which is usually Michael's Craft Store). This year, however, we went to the new A. C. Moore that had opened up near Target.

Don't get me wrong, I love Michael's, but the one in Greenville leaves a lot to be desired at times. Nothing ever seems to be restocked, and their selection on a few things (mostly yarns) is abysmal. Yesterday was the first time I had ever seen Sock Yarn sold in a major department store. I refrained from buying any because it will not be used for a long time since my wrists have started getting "carpal tunnel-like symptoms" from being pregnant, but it was so, so pretty. I had to stick to buying some bulky yarn to use on my looms. I'm not a real fan of loom-knitting usually, mostly because I have cheap looms, but it lets me knit and create when I can't hold the needles for more than 5 minutes without my hands trying to lock up at the wrists. I figured I'd make Sam, Anna, and myself a new hat for this winter since my husband tends to lose his and mine, and Anna has outgrown all of hers. I'll post pictures when they are done. I managed to get Sam's brim completed on his last night before my eyes started burning, so it's coming along fairly fast.

My mother's day was nice and quiet though, which is how I like my days to be. Even lunch was fairly peaceful, as my dad, Sam, and I talked about farm work and church (my dad has recently taken over the church website that hasn't been updated in a few years, and my dad known zilch about HTML, so he's trying to talk me into taking it over).

But that was my mother's day. For now, it's the morning after, my daughter is still asleep for the time being, and I'm in dire need of food, so I shall say adieu and run as quickly as I can to the closest restaurant before she wakes up.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

While We Are On Our Lunch Break....


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Whilst my daughter is receiving her lunch one drive-by spoonful at a time, I figured I'd drop in here and write out a post. I love Saturdays! The house is almost always quiet on Saturdays, with the exception of Anna's giggles as she chases the cat with her Slinky or some random piece of paper she stole from my recycling bin while I wasn't looking. Sam sleeps in and rejuvenates himself so he can get up during the night during the week so his pregnant and exhausted wife can sleep a little more. It really does help out so much.

I woke up this morning and, after feeding and changing Anna and setting her up in her play area, stepped out on my balcony to water my herb seedlings. Those dastardly squirrels had gotten into my wee babies again. Almost all my seed pots were overturned and spilled over onto the balcony floor. I hardly have any left. It truly looks as though about five squirrels sat on the edges of the trays and just went "nope, no seeds in this one," and tossed it over their shoulders. I really hate squirrels sometimes. I have a few pots left, but they have a small amount of disturbance on their surfaces, so I'm not really expecting them to germinate and come up. So, I may not have an herb garden this year. Stinking squirrels. . . (There is one sitting on the railing of the balcony, staring at me as I write this sentence. I think he's mocking me.)

After I salvaged what I could of my seedlings, I came back inside and flew Anna, airplane style, to the craftroom, where she quickly took to running around the room and squealing as loud as she could. I tackled my storage closet while she was running around. Figured that going through my boxes of fabric couldn't be too hazardous to either of us should she grab a piece and take off with it. Worst that could happen is that a pile falls over and few pieces come unfolded. Might scare her, but probably wouldn't hurt her unless it was the huge bolt of corduroy. I tackled the chainmaille rings, scales, and wire-wrapped findings after she went down for her nap. I'm still in the process of cleaning them before I put them neatly into their boxes again, so I really don't want her running around, snagging things, while I'm using harsh chemicals and small, swallow-able parts. Scares me just thinking about it.

And then she woke up about an hour and half later, so I went and got my food and her food, and that is where we sit now. I'm through with my pasta bowl, and she's done with her crackers, but her applesauce still has a few more spoonfuls and she still has her 4-ouncer of milk to drink. Once she finishes those up, we'll head back to the craftroom to sort through more fabric. Very tired of organizing, but once it's done, I'll be able to work more efficiently and not have to keep such a close eye on Anna in that room while I am working. She won't be able to get into anything that will hurt her.

We still have to buy the supports to put up four shelves in the work room, and I want to buy several of the tall three-drawer plastic organizers from Walmart to store my fabric in beneath my work tables. Then I have the great joy of cleaning out the closet. I have stashed so much stuff in that closet that probably could be thrown away or sold. But it's a rather large closet, and I can only set foot about two feet into it before I'm out of space to move because of all the stuff I have crammed into it. So that will be a job unto itself.

And for now, I am going to get back to it since Anna has finished up her food. Updates and photos coming soon! Happy Weekend Everyone!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Craft Room


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It's getting there. It may all have to be moved again soon (when the new baby gets here or when we move), but it's slowly taking shape. I've gotten the tables laid out in approximate positions, and I have shelving. Well, I own shelving. It's still sitting at my dad's house until he can find a couple of hours to drive it out here with the sofa, love seat, and dining room set someone gave us. Our little biddy Scion just can't haul anything, so dad has it on a trailer to haul here with the Yukon or the Van. He just has to find the time to get it here. But as soon as my shelving gets here, I'll be able to get all my fabric out so I can start sewing.

I've gone through all my beads and separated them into a Destash, Keep, and Trash pile. The beads being trashed are broken or cracked. The destash group are just those that I can't think of a way to use with chainmaille at the moment. There probably is a way, but my brain isn't wrapping around it and my storage bins are very limited on space, so they have to go. And the rest are going to be given a thorough cleaning, and then they will be placed in their properly labeled containers for creating.

Other than that, I have two open shelves that I need my husband to put up as soon as we buy the hardware needed to attach them to the walls and support them. I have to have somewhere to stash all my stuff when I'm not using it. My piling system has become quite ineffective as of late, since my daughter insists on piling them her way. I just need to find a place to put the tumbler, dremels, and anything sharp or toxic so she can't get a hold of them. Up high seems like a good place.

And since my morning meal and waking up has been completed, I must enter the craft room to continue cleaning and organizing. Hopefully, Anna will prefer to run around with balls of yarn instead of "helping" me organize today. :o)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Garden 2010


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We got our garden in the ground yesterday. Well, the vegetable part, and most of them. I sank into the mud halfway up my calf as I struggled to plant my seeds. It was too wet to plant some of my root vegetables that have to have finer soil, so those didn't get planted. And Anna's sunflowers didn't get planted because they were at the end of the garden that was still under about three inches of standing water. I will take pictures throughout the year as things progress and grow. We (my dad and I) tried a couple of new plants this year that we've never grown before. We are trying broccoli, which to be honest, I didn't even know what the plant looked like before I carried the flat to the garden. We are also trying Serrano Chili Peppers. I'll have to be really careful when harvesting and working around them to make sure I don't transfer any of the capsaicin oil to Anna's skin.

We planted our herb seedlings today. They can't go outside for another month because of the big dip in temperatures that are still occurring at night, but they'll be ready for their pots by the time the temperature evens out.

Other than that, today has been a quiet day. I've written out a few more recipes that may be fairly tasty that I need to taste test, but that's just about it. I'll keep you updated with garden pictures and process pictures as we go. :o)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bad, I'm Really Bad


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I'm sorry. I was sidetracked with the upcoming holidays, then I just never got back in here to post anything. I really think my mind went on vacation for a few months. However, I do have a few things to update.

Our upcoming season has started off fairly well. I have replenished the grill rub and dip supply, and they are packaged and ready to go to the Farmer's Market with my father this year. I have a few soups that are ready to be mixed and packaged as soon as the "soup season" gets here. And, starting this week, I'll have a rather large garden planted at my grandpa's house filled with my fruits and vegetables, and my balcony will be teeming with many containers of herbs. Any extra fresh produce will go to the market every other day with my dad. This includes fruit, vegetables, and herbs.

My Artfire shop (http://thechickadeetree.artfire.com) is estimated for a grand opening around July/August this year. This is all dependent on how well my stuff does at the market this year and if any other income comes in that I can use a little from to buy a few presentational items. (Better packaging, photograph props, equipment, etc.)

Further good news is that my husband and I found out that I am pregnant again just a few weeks ago. I'm due approximately November 4th. We won't have a definite date until we have our ultrasound in another couple of weeks, but that is the doctor's best estimate on when I will be due. So, Anna will be getting a younger brother or sister around Christmas. :o) All of the grandparents are thrilled, as is Sam, so it's all good. I will just have to be really careful while I'm in the garden this summer not to get too hot or lift anything too heavy.