Happy Halloween and new blogs

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate! We still need to carve our big pumpkin. I did 3 little ones with my kindergartener and two of his friends after school yesterday. It was fun if a bit disorganized!

I still need to get candy for the trick-or-treaters. Yikes! I'm afraid we may be the one house on the block that hands out the "bad" candy if the store shelves are empty.

And now, on to new blogs for you to check out:

Cyndy is new to blogging but I've enjoyed her sense of humor for a few years now. Oh, go tell her you love feet too! LOL

Like Merchant Ships offers a comical look at frugal living.

Dooce had me cracking up at her daughter's insistence she lick her lollipop for her.

My crazy Life features another mom of boys who has taken up running. More power to her. I get enough running just chasing after my boys.

Collage Contessa creates, what else, beautiful collages! In her 8.29.07 entry, she has a comprehensive list of creative blogs.

Calamity Kim is one busy lady. Just look at her Halloween photos and doll quilt tutorial. Wow!

turkey feathers Is one of those sites I keep coming back to when I see it in other blogrolls. I can't believe I haven't added it before now. Once I get going on hand embroidery, I"m going to have to buy patterns from her Pattern Bee site.

allsorts is another one I've read forever. Her pumpkin is much cuter than mine, even with all those eyeballs.


End of the season

We went to our local theme park on it's last open day of the year. I wasn't used to being there in late October and was fascinated with the setting sun.


Sewing Notions Swap

After hitting a sewing notion bounty last week (see post below), I posted on Wardrobe Refashion I wanted to trade some things I won't ever use. I was unprepared for the response and decided to create a real swap.

If you'd like to participate, send a comment to this post. Include your website and I'll post it along with your name when I pair up swap partners.

Suggested things to include are sewing notions, spare fabric, how-to books or magazines, patterns, buttons and finished craft products. You have until Friday to enter. have fun!

Additional information: Christy asked how big the box should be. I'd say around 9" X 12" X 6" based on a box I have sitting on my counter.

Big thrift weekend

It's a good thing garage sale season is coming to an end. I spent waaaay too much money on Friday. I see things and can't resist. If I don't see them, I don't know what I'm missing. Much like with certain foods being in the house, lol.

I saw a similar cardigan embellished with ribbon and want to try it. No way this cute skirt will fit me, so I'll probably make a purse from it.

Haven't even read this book yet. Bought it for the illustrations.

This vintage craft book has dozens of ideas for kids.

The floral is a pillowcase and and I thought the other two pieces were table runners. I checked out the manufacturer and they are actually Kenyan beach wraps. I'll use them on craft show tables or the picnic table in summer.

The cockatiel tray, vintage popcorn popper and Lucite-handled bag, as well as the items in the next few photos, were from the same little sale. I'm glad I decided to stop at it. I almost passed by.

This darling piece is from Belgium.

This one is Pyrex. They'll both hold pincushions soon.

The planter is Hull Pottery. They were practically giving away the rose postcards and costume jewelry.

You can't tell in this photo, but the red pieces have knights' helmets on them.

Now to the mother of all garage sales. The owner just passed away. I'm not sure how she and her husband lived in their condo. The garage and driveway were filled with unworn name brand clothing and a room inside was filled with shoes. Most items had the tags on them still.

Books filled most of the rooms, including hundreds of brand new hardcover decorating, crafting and cooking books. I narrowed it down to 13 titles.

I'm glad I only glanced at the clothing (honestly, too much to look at, esp with a toddler in tow). I found crafters' Nirvana in her sewing room. I picked out two trays of trims and a box of closures...

...plus pretty ribbon and white trims...

...loose ribbons, a scarf, tape measure and sewing machine needles. As the owner's daughter helped me get everything to the car, she said her mom sewed all her children's clothing and worked for Singer for years. I hope to do her proud when I use her things.


It's show time!

This is a card I've designed to hand out in an attempt to better advertise that I actually sell at craft shows. I plan on being at a few more shows this season but haven't gotten all of the applications yet.

I'm in the process of sorting through all my newer finished items -- pin cushions, Christmas ornaments, yo-yo pins and barrettes, pillowcase dresses, double necktie scarves as well as my older totebags, stockings and notecards. Ironing and adding price tags while trying to finish up just a few more things.

My handyman son put hinges on two pairs of rustic old shutters so I can have a nicer display. I just need to clean them up and seal them then add hanging hardware.

I'm getting excited! Who else sells at local shows?


Something old, something new

No, not as in a wedding. I just have two things I want to share with you. One I've had for many years. The other I got from an Etsy shop just yesterday.

After my first son was born, my mom gave me this Hummel, "Little Drummer." It was put away in a dining room cabinet along with other breakables for years. Then I remembered it was there and brought it out. My son had started playing snare drum in the bagpipe band by then.

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum?
("The Little Drummer Boy" was my favorite animated holiday special when I was little.)

I was browsing around Etsy earlier in the week, looking for Christmas gifts and bought this one for myself. My own "Little Drummer Boy" charm from a shop called Objects of Affections.

Lani takes adorable images from vintage children's books, puts them between glass and solders them together to create one-of-a-kind charms. I collect old kids' books mostly for their illustrations so this jumped right out at me when I saw it.

I added a piece of tartan ribbon (perfect to tie it in with my family's bagpipe band affiliation) and am wearing it today.

(BTW, the drum instruction book in the background was my dad's. He played drums in a bagpipe band nearly 40 years ago.)


More about me

I took this photo of myself yesterday afternoon while sitting in the van waiting for my kids (my 3 of school age and my "extra" afterschool kids). I read that Nita at Red Tin Heart wanted to start up a self-portrait challenge. What I didn't notice was she wanted the first round of photos to be taken in the kitchen. I spend nearly as much time in my vehicle as in my kitchen, so does it count?

The only place that rivals my time in the kitchen and in the van is here at the computer. Nearly a year ago, November 3rd to be exact, my cohort in crime, Martha, and I started writing The Moms Blog for the online version of our local newspaper. Months later, I realized I was posting more about crafts than kids and parenting, so I started this site as my creative outlet.

They occasionally intertwine, but mostly are kept separate. I did want to share today's Moms entry since it includes chickens is about a worthy cause.

My other online presences are on Flickr, eBay and Etsy. Flickr has single-handedly brought me back to photography. Well, it and the ease of using a digital camera. Ever since discovering Flickr as a way to share photos of our trip to Scotland this past summer, I take and share a lot more.

eBay partially funded our trip to Scotland, lol. Selling off collectibles last winter did raise enough to pay for all of our passports. Big chunk of change with the new rules in place and having a family of six. I now prefer Etsy over the high cost, low return of eBay. I like that it seems to be a more crafty group over there too.

Anyway, those are all of the incarnations of me on the world wide web. Enjoy!


a thrifting we will go

I headed out on Saturday with my two middle boys. Our plan was to visit 3 craft shows to see if I wanted to sign up to be a vendor next year. We only made it to two sales, at a Methodist Church and my city's senior center. Turns out, they were more flea market and less craft show. I got lots of good deals so it wasn't a waste of time. (At least that's what I'm telling myself, lol.)

First up, I feel stupid, but what are these flowers? Despite the date on the calendar, they were still abloom outside the senior center.

Most of the things I'm showing off today were from the senior center. They had 3 tents and two porches outside, plus five rooms inside filled with all sorts of goodies. I'm going to have to visit their regular thrift shop in the future. Such great deals!

More of my favorite green in an index card box and covered dish, plus a delicate blue bowl filled with tiny metal ornaments for my grandmother-in-law's tabletop aluminum tree. I now have a collection of metal rose-covered trays. All the trays and those air mail envelopes will probably go up on Etsy real soon.

The wallpaper was from last week's visit to Salvation Army for orange pumpkin fabrics. I want to use it on the insets of two wooden cabinets I have. They are now painted a bright white. I think I'll need to change that to go with the cream and green of the wallpaper. Might be too big of a project to add to our never-ending list of projects so it will probably become shelf liner.

At both sales, I bought a lot of books -- and the cowboy puzzle. The knitting book of men's sweater patterns will be going up on Etsy since I don't knit. The little books of presidents (and Ben Franklin) are full of fun facts. (Speaking of fun facts, I also bought a large tome for dh's office. It is a 1911 Standard Dictionary of Facts. Nice contrast to the high-tech world of a newspaper new media director, lol.)

I loooved the graphics of the Penn Dutch ABCs and the Country Living book joins many friends that already reside in my living room. The best deal of the day was the Bobby Flay book. Got is for a buck and when I got it home, saw that it is signed. That's going on eBay!!!!

Buttons, buttons everywhere. All these buttons were contained in 3 ziploc bags priced $1 each. They had dozens of bags but I resisted. (It bugged me that the woman before me was trying to negotiate down the price per bag -- it was a fundraiser for the seniors and she couldn't pay a buck each?)

The two pillowcases in the back left, the green sheet in the background and the pink sheet on the right are from my trip to SA. The pink one is newer but was 25¢, so how could I pass it up. The two floral fabrics on the upper right seem like homespun, the floral on the bottom left is Waverly and the white eyelet is a dust ruffle (a 50¢ bargain) and were all from the senior center.

As were all of these trims and notions. Most were contained in a bag for $2, along with everything in the next 3 photos. The senior ladies were discussing the cost of new fabric and I told them that's why I shop vintage!!!! (See why I want to go back to their thrift store?)

The white gloves were from a garage sale across the street from my house. The wife passed away a few months ago and the husband is now in the hospital. So sad.

I have a new love for these embroidered trims. Now to find a use for them....

Lots of little bits of ribbon. Gift wrapping? Ribbon roses?

And I've decided I can't have enough eyelet and other white trims. LOL

Joining two previous inhabitants is Ginny the Boyd Bear on the right. She moved here from the house across the street. My youngest decided she needed to lose the hat. Can't you picture them sitting in their Adirondack chairs overlooking the lake and enjoying the fall-colored mountains? That warrants a road trip with them. I can just see the looks on my boys' faces when I suggest it.

Lastly, I've become one of those flea market people. I found this cart at SA for $2.49. It will come in handy when I sell at craft shows too.

Now I need to find places for everything to go. My dining room studio is crowded as it is. Between getting ready for shows and moving everything upstairs from the basement so we can refinish down there, there's no room to walk much less craft. Send out a search party if you don't hear from me in a few days, lol.


Drum roll please....

....and the winner is Natalie at Chicken Blog. Not only will she be receiving the Christmas goodies shown here, she'll also get some poultry-related surprises. Natalie, please email me your snail mail address so I won't have an excuse to procrastinate about a trip to the post office.

Thanks to all of you who have entered and left me such positive and uplifting messages. Each week, I feel like I am less and less talking to myself on this blog, lol.

Sorry Jeanne at Luv 2 Stitch, you didn't enter before I had my son pick a number, but you did get me to come to your blog. I'll be back to read about your quilts and Jasper's antics, lol. I see you've been winning all over blogland anyway. Can you share some of your luck with the rest of us?

Stickmen in stitches

I've wanted to try my hand at embroidery for some time now but didn't know what to stitch. My boys have been fascinated with stick figures since buying this book. I decided to reinterpret some of their sketches.

This is one of many drawings my 9yo did while we were at a coffee house performance a few weeks ago. The kids got bored really quickly after their dad took his turn playing bagpipes and one of the nice church ladies brought them crayons, markers and paper plates. To take this photo, I had to track down my finished piece. It was wadded up in his bedroom, hence the wrinkles.

My 5yo did this drawing, titled "This is me! I am special?" in his kindergarten class. At first, I omitted the light saber but he insisted I put it in, lol.

Seeing how easy it was, I now want to find some coloring or children's book illustrations to work from. Maybe Christmas-themed.


Giveaway reminder and I need help

You have until tomorrow morning to get into my 100th post/6 months of blogging giveaway. Leave a comment on this post and maybe your name will be picked to get the Christmas goodies.

Now for the help. Why are some of my photos not showing up when you scroll down this page? Even if I open that entry up itself, the boxes are empty. If I try to edit it, it shows nothing between the text. Any ideas? Thanks.


This is how I do lazy

I started out Thursday wanting to have a lazy day. My youngest slept until 10 -- totally unheard of -- so I followed his lackadaisical mood. Planned not to do any housework or any crafts and just veg.

While he still slept, I made a batch of pumpkin-raisin muffins. Grocery shopping was included in my resolve to do no housework. We had barely any food left and veggies were definitely in low supply. None frozen. None canned. And only onions and celery in the fridge. At least with pumpkin muffins, I'd get a bit of produce into my kids.

Timing was perfect. Little guy woke up just as the first batch was done. He sat in his highchair eating one for breakfast as I finished up. And tried not to eat more than my share of the muffins.

Then we moved to the living room where I got caught up on 4 days worth of newspapers and watched repeats of season 2 of Project Runway. WARNING: Gratuitous cute kid photo coming up:

Yes, he is wearing a leopard costume and we aren't quite to Halloween. I haven't unpacked his warm clothes yet and these little one-piece outfits are the only thing that was handy. He slept as a bee one night. And will probably be a dinosaur/dragon tonight. He's pointing at a leopard in the newspaper, lol.

Anyway, my laziness didn't last much longer than that. I took a look at a mini pumpkin and realized it closely resembled the shape of the pin cushions I've been making lately. If only I had some orange fabric, I could make some cute fall decorations.

No such luck finding any orange in my stash, so off we went to Salvation Army. Bonus! Green and blue tags were 50% off and I was lucky enough to find two shirts (and some other things I couldn't live without) at half price.

The botanical print on the left is an authentic Hawaiian shirt made in Hawaii. I debated cutting it up but knew no one here would ever wear it. It was just perfect for this project and I have plans for it in the future. The orange plaid is a modern boy's shirt. The floral is an extra-long pillowcase and there's enough left over to make a pillowcase dress. The green was in my stash. Years ago, I washed and shrunk many of my old wool sweaters. Some for mitten ornaments and others for handbags. This bottom hem piece was leftover.

I cut out circles in a variety of sizes, sewed them up like yo-yos and stuffed them with poylfill. I then added thread "lines" around the body of the pumpkin (or mumkins as my little helper calls them) segmenting the round shape. I cut circles and rectangles from the wool to create stem toppers. I used hidden stitches to double up the stem making it thicker. Pulling the thread tight naturally caused the shape to curve. Just the effect I wanted. I then sewed the topper to the pumpkin body.

And I worked them for the next 24 hours straight. LOL So much for a taking a holiday from crafts. I admittedly did relax while doing them. Sitting here at the computer. Sitting in the van outside of school. While cooking dinner, watching tv and sitting in bed nursing my baby. I even worked on them today with a houseful of kids here (no school today). It was a rather portable project, I must say.

Nine cute little punkins modeled after the real thing in three different colorways. Taken outside to be photographed just as it started to rain.

So they posed for me inside too. I really think I want to make a giant one out of this plaid.

Probably won't make any more out of the tropical shirt. When I asked one of the kids what it was, I was told "a tomato." Poor misunderstood multi-colored pumpkin.

So, now I'm done with them and had time to get back to housework this evening. Trying to find the unfinished projects under the clutter in my studio. Things have a tendency of piling up like that when I become hyperfocused on a new project.