Monday, October 22, 2012


I’m feeling scattered. In many ways…messy house, overwhelmed with business stuff to do, transitioning kids into a new school, busy time of year and riding an emotional rollercoaster. I know I’ve been very lapse in posting to my blog. I recently took a look back and found a pattern of decreasing blog posts. In May, I was talking about being in overload and only posted once for the month. June was not much better with only 2 posts and then by July, I was still looking for my Mojo and not posting any more often. I missed August and September altogether.

I know that those who read regularly understand and support me while I chase my busy life, sit back and feel blue or look for my mojo. So, I’m not looking for pity just maybe thinking out loud. Trying to sort all the many thoughts in my head (Yes, over thinking again, as I do all too often.)

Several weeks ago a fellow blogger was planning to start a weekly blog party where we could post about the things we’re grateful for. At that time I was feeling sad and thought writing about my gratitude would help lift my spirits. I sat and wrote out a post listing all the blessings in my life. Then, I deleted it (like I almost deleted this one.) Not because I’m not grateful but it somehow seemed predictable or boastful and I didn’t feel any happier for looking at my glass half full. It just didn’t seem worth someone else’s time to read my little words.

Since then, I have occasionally thought of a few typical blog posts that I could write up and post. But then I talked myself out of writing and I think to myself, “who cares what I have to say”. I guess I’m searching for my self worth. And no one can find that for me, I have to discover that one on my own. I’ve had it in the past so I know it exists but I somehow misplaced it.

Once upon a time, I was a really good Occupational Therapist and LOVED that career. I feel okay with that being in my past. I left O.T. to be a full-time stay-at-home Mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that I am able to be at home for my children and so very grateful that I was given these beautiful gifts from heaven. I try to work daily at being the best Mom they can have. Sometimes I fall short but I work harder the next day and I think I’m doing a fair job. And I know that I will continue to get better at this job.

But I want more than that for myself and for them. I want to have something else in my life both for my own sense of accomplishment and to set an example for my children.

Therein is part of where some of my current struggles are coming from. This whole business thing I do is a tough, up and down world. If only I had a crystal ball. I know I make very nice jewelry. My purses are very pretty and unique. In everything I make I use quality products and my attention to detail is incredibly high. Walking away from a weekend spent at a vendor show with subpar sells is more than depleting. I spend week’s diverting my attention from my children, to produce my inventory. Then I miss a weekend of family time to sit at a table and watch people walk past. I would do it over and over again if I knew the outcome would result in some big break or that my kiddos would somehow benefit from the ground work I laid.

I don’t want this to seem whiny I just want to say that I’m still here and I do think about returning to blog land but for now I’m seeking out my self-worth, dealing with an occasionally chaotic life and coping with wavering inspiration. I’ll be more consistent when graceful words appear on the page before me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good Luck Olympians!!

Every now and then I get the kids to make a T-shirt for their Dad. We usually make them for Father’s day. Sometimes I think up other reasons to make him a shirt. With the opening ceremonies this Friday, I decided hubby could use a new shirt for the Olympics.

If you want to try one…
Here’s what you’ll need:

T-shirt (washed and dried)

Cardboard covered with a plastic bag (to slide inside the shirt during painting)

Fabric paint in Red, Blue, Black, Yellow and Green

Some paper plates and disposable cups

Working with one kid at a time I used their hands to make an American flag (sort of).

Drizzle some paint on a plat and press little hands into the paint. The boy did the field of blue, then my middle child did the top stripe and the oldest one did the bottom two stripes.

After they were done with their part, I worked on the rings from the Olympic flag.

Using the top of some cups I mimicked the rings. I was doing fine right up until the last one. (Isn’t that the way it always goes???) I smeared the green rings as I was making it so I went back and did something similar to the other rings so it would like I meant to do that… Urg!

I was doing fine right up until the last one. (Isn’t that the way it always goes???) I smeared the green rings as I was making it so I went back and did something similar to the other rings so it would like I meant to do that… Urg!

Bottom line, the kids got to work on a craft for Daddy and they had fun.

Go team USA!!!

Good Luck to all the athletes from all the countries!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Have you seen my Mojo?

I'm not feeling very motivated these days...
Over the past several weeks I’ve had a few passing thoughts of possible blog topics go through my head. I even sat down and began to write a few times. I just can’t seem to find the right motivation. I’m not feeling very passionate about writing right now. Maybe, I have writers block. Maybe I can only multi-task in so many areas of my life at one time and something had to give. Maybe it’s that “blah” feeling that is holding me back.

It could be that I am overextended. Summer vacation from school means Mommy has to fill in all the gaps. I try to have the kiddos in a few structured programs but that just means Mommy chauffer is busier. If they are not otherwise involved in a program, I try to vary their activity with a trip to the park, a play date or something like that to keep them stimulated. All of that, is using up extra brain power. Not to mention that I have two July birthdays that had me a little busy. A Family party and 2 kid parties with all the shopping and whatnot that goes into those plans takes up what spare brain power I have.

I don’t know. Am I complaining? Maybe I’m board with my routine. Maybe I need to do something to shake it up for ME.

I came across a blog post today that got me thinking.
When I’m reading blogs, I like to stop in and see what the Domestic Fashionista is up to. She recently had a post titled What if…?

The idea is, that when things seem to get boring, you ask yourself… What if…?

I felt that I could relate to some of the questions she asked herself.

What if I stopped blogging?

As you may have noticed I haven’t really been up to date there much lately so that didn’t really help my problem but I do wonder what it would be like to not worry about what to blog next or how to keep readers interested and coming back.

What if I painted my walls white?

If you’ve been around here at all, you would know that that is something not possible in my world. In fact, I just painted the kids bathroom and my son has finally had his room transformed from nursery to Big Boy room. (There might be another reason I’m not blogging much now.)

What if I only wrote from my heart and not to fill in time or space?

I don’t know that I fill my time with blogging so much but I do think I’m not always writing from my heart. I hold back often, worried about who might read the things that are in my head and then (gasp) not approve.

What if I stopped worrying about pleasing other people?

A-ha!! Stop Worrying!!?? Well then, that would solve a few of my issues but I worry it would create more trouble. If I didn’t worry, who would? If I didn’t worry then I might be way too honest. What kind of fallout would come of that!!???

Then I came up with a few more questions to ask myself…

I need to shake this funk and try to be more motivated in a few areas so, What if…

What if I had more time in the day? (Would I do more or get less done?)

What if I didn’t worry so much? (Is that possible? Please tell me how?)

What if my work space was really organized? (I think I need a bigger space first but to be more organized would help me enjoy my work more. Then I remember what my Pap-pap used to say, “It’s like getting 10 lbs. of s**t in a 5 lbs bag” just not going to happen.)

What if my house could stay clean for a day? (I start at one end and by the time I get to the other end things are a mess. It usually looks like a bomb when off in here. I think I would feel really good, a sense of accomplishment, if I could turn around and see a clean house)

Where do you find your motivation??

What kind of questions do you ask yourself??

What if......

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's made where???

Do you read the label on the items you want to purchase? Do you check to and see where, before you buy? Does the “Made in…” weigh in on your choice to make the transaction?

I feel like I’ve been shopping for a pair of jeans for years. It seems to be one of the harder things to find. Let me clarify. A good fitting, flattering, pair of jeans, within a reasonable price range, seems to be a hard thing to find.

Every now and then, when I’m feeling up to the challenge or the mood strikes me just right, I muster up the courage to try on several pairs of jeans, in the hopes that I might come close to something that fits me…flatters my shape and is somewhat affordable.

Several months ago, I wandered into a store that sells only jeans. “This should make my task easier” I thought. I selected 4 or 5 pairs and went off to the fitting room. The first two were a “no go” with out a second thought. The third pair, shockingly, fit great! Unfortunately, I waited until this moment to check the price tag. What was I thinking!!!???!!!

Once I managed to leave (running, screaming from) the store, empty handed, I decided to put jeans shopping on a shelf for awhile. So about two weeks ago I was kid-free for a few short, fleeting hours and thought it would be a good time to try on some jeans.

So I went to the women’s section of a well known superstore (not the one where scary people in their pajamas are found… the other one).

I pulled 3 pair of jeans from the shelf and sauntered off to the dressing room. Low and behold… One of them fit!!! And not just fit, but it hid what I needed it to hide, flattered in just the right way and I was sure that it would suit my budget.

Then I noticed a tag that suggested reading the washing instructions because of the dark nature of the dye. That is when I noticed     “Made in …”

Now, I know we are building relationships with other countries and when relationships are new a certain amount of trust is needed up front. I also feel like some trust needs to be earned. This particular country gives me uneasy feelings. I do not trust.

So should I not buy things made from there in a stand to not support a country that I do not trust? I feel they are not forthcoming with their knowledge of some evil people that may have been sheltered within their boarders. Will it matter at all that I don’t buy these jeans? What of all the other women who will, in all the other towns across this country.

About eight years ago I had a really bad experience at a large department store. Despite repeated efforts to get a resolve with their customer service I was left feeling very dissatisfied. I stopped shopping there for at least 6 years. Yep, six years. Even now I rarely go there or buy anything from that store. They never called to beg me to come back and I’m pretty sure they didn’t really miss my business. So does it matter?

Back to these jeans. Does it matter that I’m not going to give my money for a product that came from another country. I’m sure in whatever trade agreement we have with them that they have been paid for these goods. And the worker has most likely been given their $0.12 cents pay. The store is not going to notice that I have not purchased these jeans. I like the store. I shop there regularly and will continue to shop there.

So, does it matter where something was made? Do you care, who down the line, might benefit from your hard-earned dollar? Do you check to see where something is made and what bearing does that have on you choice to purchase?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Camping 101

I survived!!!!!

Some of you may remember that I have NEVER gone camping. Not even in the back yard with hubby and the kids.

We were invited to go on a camping trip over Memorial Day weekend with a group. I said yes right away and figured that I would worry about the rest later. I want my kids to get as many fun experiences as possible and I don’t want to stand in the way of them building great childhood memories.

I knew my husband had been camping and would be able to guide me through what I needed to do to survive. One of my closest friends had been on this trip the past 2 years and I knew she would hold my hand as well.

Between her and my husband, I had a few shopping lists to go from and a good idea of what supplies to gather.

The kids got home from school just before 1:00 on Friday (early dismissal). Hubby took a half day off from work and was home before the kids and I was well on my way to ready. By 2:30/3:00 we were all loaded up and pulling out of the neighborhood.

I was a little nervous about the whole event…

Things I worried about…

Kid’s safety

Too many icky bugs

Meeting so many new people at once (overwhelming)

Being the new girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing

Being a downer for others

Not having enough to do (I need to ALWAYS be busy)

Less than 2 hours after leaving our house, we were pulling into our campgrounds.

The group had reserved three group sites. The first two sites were side by side and made a big open area. This is where the majority of the families were and the “kitchen” was set up. The organizer of the group did the shopping, meal planning and most of the cooking for breakfast and dinner. Each person (family) was on their own for lunch.

I know this is not typical for most people when they go camping. It was part of what made this trip a good first camping experience for me.

About 30 feet of woods and then there was the third camp site. A smaller site with room for about 4 tents. Here is where we were along with two other families. One of which we are very close friends with and the other family lives in our neighborhood. We have met them a few times so this all helped ease me into the experience.

The kids were off and running, Mama still a little nervous.

We walked over to the main site and started mingling. We enjoyed dinner and I started to relax.

The first few hurdles to over come…

1. Setting up systems or routines for the kids (and me). Getting them to understand taking shoes off outside of the tent, no dirt into the tent, and how to open the tent-get in–and close the door to keep bugs out.

2. Not having the comforts of home. The camp facilities were quite a distance away. Not something you want to have to travel to in the dark and not a trip you could make urgently. (I’ll spare you the details but some things don’t function well when traveling. This can make a person cranky.) Thankfully hubby didn’t listen to me when I protested the idea of a portable potty for inside the tent. I thought the idea was gross but it proved to be a godsend.

Our first night was upon us. I got the kids ready for and tucked into bed. I lay down still unable to be far from them, I was not comfortable with going back to the main site for socializing. Hubby went to sit by the fire and chat.

After dozing off I was awakened by my middle child. All three kids had been struggling with a stomach virus the week prior to the trip and this was her night. Again I’ll spare you the details but lets say there was some serious clean up needed.

A familiar family whistle and I managed to get hubby’s attention from the next camp site over. He grabbed a flashlight and came to our rescue. The running inside the tent with his shoes on threw me off for a second. Then I had to realize that going home that instant was not the best plan. Ok, regroup. Clean up, find some new blankets, get my girl into clean PJs and get my yellow haired butterfly settled back into bed.

We all made it through the night and she slept well into the next morning. Our friends also had a mini “kitchen” set up in our small camp site so we woke to coffee and a quiet small group of people we knew.

We had breakfast at the main camp site where I repeatedly reassuring those folks that I was ok and not plotting my escape.

My little goldie locks seemed to be bouncing back rather quickly so we continued with the plan fort the day. Rafting down a nearby river.

We survived a 2 hour adventure and came back to swim at the camp ground pool. Night two was far less eventful (whew!!!). The next day we showered the kids, had a very nice church service and then got ourselves bathed while our friends watched the kids. Then we all headed out for a trip to Laurel Caverns.

On the way back to the campgrounds, we stopped at a local winery. We did some tasting and then purchased several bottles. (Woo Hoo) One we grabbed was chilled so we could enjoy it once we got back to the camp.

Another peaceful evening and night.

Things I could have done without…

Stomach virus (but it was manageable)

Bathroom facilities not like home (nothing you can do about that when camping…I lived)

Bugs (I looked like I was performing an African tribal dance at time in an effort to get them off me!) (Again, I lived)

Things that made it great…

Someone doing the meal planning and cooking

Hubby helping me enjoy the trip

A great friend at my side

Fun activities to do during the day

Coffee in the morning and wine all day ;-)

All said and done… It was a fun trip and my kids made some wonderful memories!!! They had a blast and I can’t ever ask for more than that!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In Overload

There is a certain amount of stress in every person’s life everyday. Stress comes from anything that changes our daily routine or our life status. It can come from things that we perceive as good, not just those things that we know should cause us to feel stress.

They even have scales or tests that can determine the likely hood of becoming ill as a result of too much stress. Our bodies need time to process and absorb the stress before encountering more stress. When there is not enough time between events, then our resistance is weakened.

This topic has been on my mind recently because of potty training. While it has been more of an irritation for me than a stressor, I started to think about how stressful it must feel for my son.

These stress scales are set up for adults but I’m sure there is something to be said about what children have to deal with as well.

I know several years ago my husband and I were off the charts on this scale.

Within 12 to 18 months we had..

Got married
Got pregnant
Moved from one state to another
Changed jobs for him
Decided to stay home from work for me
Bought a house
Had a baby

Remembering what that felt like I started to think about all the things my little guy is dealing with.

Started pre-school
Out of the high chair and moved to a seat at the table
No more sippy cup but big kid cups with no lid
Learning to ride a bike
No more baby swing but a swing with no seatbelt
No more naps (His choice not mine)
Watching his clothes and baby toys be given away so he can get more size/age appropriate items
Transitioning from diapers to underwear

These are all steps in the natural age progression of toddlers. In his world, these must seem like such huge changes. It is so easy to say that I feel stress with more spills or more laundry or a crazy schedule to keep up with but I didn’t slow down enough to realize that this was a lot of work for him.

All of this is easier for me to see now that we are struggling less with most of these issues.

Knock on wood, we have been in diapers only at bedtime for a week and last night he insisted on no diaper for bedtime and he made it all night!!!

Woo Hoo! (Insert happy Mama Dance here)

So how are you doing on the stress scale?
Even if you’re doing fine, it might be a nice idea to think about the other people in your life and the things that they have to deal with in their world.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Not my cup of tea.

Have you ever tried to do something that you knew wasn’t really for you but you went ahead and tried anyway??

I am always trying to teach my kids to be open to new things. Try a new activity or a new food, something you haven’t done before. “Who knows, you might like it.” So with that in mind, I try to step out of my box (I really like my box) and do things that I might not be comfortable with or things that are different for me. I want to expand my horizons, meet new people, try new things and see what the world has to offer. It’s part of the journey, right???

I don’t think I’m a prima-Donna. I’m not really THAT prissy. I like to get dirty. I love to dig in the ground and plant my flowers. I am always looking for something to paint and often spend days trying to remove some spot of paint from my skin or hair. But when I socialize, I like to be comfortable. I really don’t function when I’m cold. Like; coat on, shivering, my toes are numb cold, is not going to work for me. Standing around in a dirty garage, tolerable in short bursts. All evening??? Nope. No plate, no napkins and I’m probably not going to be interested in food. (That says something because I love food.) I find cigar smoke very offensive. I will be distracted by the smell and my burning eyes and find it hard to converse.

I knew going into the gathering that I might not have fun. I tried really hard not to express myself too much (smile) and I held back from running home as early as I wanted. But I think they all noticed.

How will I integrate with a new group if this is how I started???
I want to be part of the group but some things stress me out more than they should.


We’re going camping soon. Not just my micro family but with a group. A group of old friends and new friends.

I’ve never been camping.

I get close sometimes. By close, I mean in the morning after hubby has “camped” in the back yard with the kids I bring coffee down and sit for a few minutes.

I’m not only worried about the camping trip but fitting in with the others who are going. After running away from the smoke filled garage party, I want to be sure I’m not the one whining and complaining about the conditions. I want it to be a good memory for the kids and for all of us. Hubby is so excited for the new tent and has been tracking its delivery minute by minute.

I don’t want to be the topic of conversations. (“Remember that girl who didn’t let her kids get dirty?” “Wow she was so uptight about everything”) I don’t want to be that girl. I want to have fun and make memories for my kids. I’m just not sure camping is my cup of tea.

I keep thinking about the skiing trip and how much I liked sitting by the fire, drinking Irish coffee. That was all I liked about skiing. It’s not my cup of tea either.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Roll-up Car Play Mat

Boys are different.

I keep hearing this again and again when I talk with other Mothers. As if I didn’t know there was a difference. Nonetheless, when I bring up something like potty training or how they communicate or play, the other Mom will almost always come back with “Boys are different”. I guess having two daughters first is what is throwing me off from understanding his thought process from time to time.

So, I’ve learned that I need to find other ways to engage him in activities. The girls were happy with a pen and paper or a book and they would sit in church or at a doctor appointment and wait quietly. They were content while I talked to someone. He needs entertainment and paper and pens aren’t cutting it for him. Several months ago I made an activity mat for him to drive his cars while we were at church or during the girls sporting events/practices. It works as long as I remember to always provide different vehicles. ;)

After seeing what a success it was for him I made one for for my Etsy store. That first one sold fairly quickly so I thought I would make another one and share the “how to” with you.

You will need
1 sheet Black felt
2 sheets dark green felt
2 sheets dark grey felt
And some pieces of lighter green and brown felt
Fabric glue
Ribbon and a sewing machine

First set the machine on a wide zigzag stitch. Stitch the two pieces of green together using green thread to make a large play area. After I sew it on the machine, I go back over the area wider with a needle and embroidery floss to make it more durable. (This will be hidden under the road later.)

Cut the black felt in half lengthwise.
Then cut one half into two pieces. These will make the pockets for storing the cars.

Pin down the pockets and add small pleats to the bottoms and sew them onto the remaining black piece.

Sew the pocket (garages) onto one end of the grass area.

At the other end sew a piece of ribbon so that when the mat is rolled up you can tie it closed.

Using some paper I sketched out the plan for my road, cut that out and pinned it to my grey felt.
Once the grey felt was cut out I set my machine on a straight stitch but on mine I set it to run a triple stitch. This was to make the stitching stand out more so it would be more visible.

First I used white thread to mark the linen for the parking spaces

Then I used yellow to mark the dotted lines on the roadway.

When sewing the yellow dotted line, I just moved the felt and continued my sewing. After around the whole road I went back and cut the treads but only on the top.

After all the stitching is done you are ready to glue the road down to the grass.

While I’m waiting for the glue to set I work on a few other details. I used some white fabric paint to make bumpers for each parking space. I also added a few other details like thicker grassy areas, a few trees and a stop sign.

Allow the glue and the fabric pain to dry at least overnight and then you’re ready to play.

If you’re not ready to make one yourself you can check to see if I have one listed here.

Drive safely!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

By Special Request

One of the things I have been making for my jewelry collection is family pendants.

I make “Peas in a Pod” and “Bird Nests”.

People request the number of eggs or peas they want to represent their children or grandchildren or sometimes, I have sisters or best friends who get a matching set.

After a friend of mine mentioned my item, I got an increased interest in the bird nests. One woman made a special request. She wanted a broken egg. This is actually something I have been planning to showcase and having her request one told me I was on the right track with the idea. Usually, I make the peas, green and the bird eggs, blue. But for the angels that have gone to heaven I use a natural colored pearl to identify their spot in the family.

So many women go through the pain of loosing a child. I can only imagine their hurt. I was so honored to make a special nest for her to cherish the child she has and pay tribute to the child she lost.

She was planted on earth to bloom in Heaven- by Unknown Author

The death of a baby is like a stone cast into the stillness of a quiet pool;the concentric ripples of despair sweep out in all directions,affecting many, many people.--by De Frain

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo Props

As many of you know, I love Halloween. We have a pumpkin carving party every year. Some of the young gests are reaching the tween years and I wonder if they will still be interested in coming to a family party.

This past year I made some photo props to help entertain them a little more.

I’ve seen these popping up across blog land. I see people adding them to different themed parties and they seem to be a new hit at weddings. I guess you could work them into just about any kind of party you are hosting. A little tweaking and they could suit any theme.

I made some rough drawings of various moustaches, beards and glasses. I used a few sheets of stiff felt to cut out the shapes. I bought a bag of small dowels and used hot glue to secure the cut out to the dowels so they could be held up like a mask.

Here's my little man having fun....

For just a few dollars you can add some unique fun to your next gathering. Not just for Halloween. Try them at any party, wedding or social gathering.

If you’re not feeling too crafty, I found a few people who sell them ready made here and here.

And here are some that are even made from chocolate so you can eat them after the picture. Mmmmm.

Have fun!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Have you seen my MoJo??

The first weekend of this month I co-hosted a huge vendor show. We had 40 craft and art vendors together in one room for the weekend to show and hopefully sell their work. The planning was at times challenging but in the end Oh, so rewarding. It was a little bit of an extra challenge to also be a vendor in the same show. The dual role was new for me and I admit, it has taken me awhile to re-group from the whole thing.

Here you can see as many of the vendors are finishing their set up and getting ready to start.

The room was full of talent and people wanting to shop.

At times it was even like a party. I love meeting so many people.

Pulling off what turned out to be a rather amazing show was such a “high”. Afterwards, I had a new found determination to make business grow. I learned so much from the experience, things about myself and from some of the other vendors. Things like networking and marketing are very important and there is a strong need to stay current. All of this can cause your mojo to waver.

So many of us find such joy in the creating, that it’s hard to pull away from that to do the more tedious work of getting your item out there. After spending any amount of time self promoting and it can get hard to maintain your level of confidence.

Taking a break from the tedious side of things and not quit “feeling” the creative spirit in me, I thought I would take a look at a few talented artists I’ve stumbled over. These aren’t any of the vendors from my show but people I have found just floating around on Etsy.

Here I found a gentleman who does pen and ink drawing. I’m always amazed but people with this kind of talent. There are some things you can learn or skills that can be improved over time but there are some things that are just a god given talent. I think his drawings are so detailed and beautiful. I’m in awe.

Here is a woman who has an eye for art. She works in mixed media paintings. I love the way she sees things and put different items together.

Here is someone who has the old fashioned art of handwork down to a science. I remember my grandmother making things similar to these. I can do most of those stitches but I don’t think I could put them all together and have them look like more than a pile of string. Well done.

I hope you enjoyed your little peek at some Etsy artists. Go visit their store for a better look and pop into a few other stores while you’re there.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Full disclosure…to tell the truth

I often think that the price of telling the truth doesn’t always equal the reward it should.

I believe that more people should make it a regular practice to be truthful. Don’t have plastic surgery and try to act like you woke up one morning looking 10 years younger or 50 pounds lighter. If you color your hair, own up to that, don’t try to fool others into believing you are naturally free from grey hair. Don’t lie about your age, the lie will catch up to you. Ok, so you can be vague. I’m in the 35 to 45 demographic. No one needs to know exactly where I fall on that timeline.

But what else should we be more truthful about?
I think I’m an honest person. I (to the best of my knowledge) do not outright lie. I may be vague from time to time or give a “political” answer to avoid the cold hard details of the truth. For the most part I am honest.

But how far should we take the truth?
I so often want to explain myself or my ideas to the extent that it sometimes gets me into a bigger hole. This past Christmas, I sent a card to my former sister-in-law’s house addressed to the children. I purely wanted her kids to get mail at their house and know I was thinking of them while they are dealing with a new family dynamic. My sister-in-law and I were never close or friendly with each other and we usually saw each other just once a year. I know she was not sitting around waiting for mail from me. It’s been at least 6 years since she made a trip out to visit our family. I know she will not miss seeing me in the future. I did not send the card as a dig to her but she hit the roof and publicly went after her ex-husband and started screaming about “family” and then called my house and tore my head off.

I know she is in a place right now where she is looking for things to turn into an issue. However, I want so badly to rebut with an explanation of my intentions. I’m still fighting that urge but I do know that it will only bring more hardship to my brother-in-law. I also know that no matter how hard one may try to present their perspective on a situation it isn’t always seen the same way from where the other person sits.

What about when a friend does something hurtful, seemingly unbeknownst to them, do you speak up about your feelings? If you are really irritated by something, is it worth creating the proverbial mountain out of the molehill just to get it off your chest. You know, they ask “How are you?” and you say “Fine”. While it eats you up inside.

Do you ALWAYS tell the truth?
When do you… or should I ask HOW do you know WHEN to draw the line and just say nothing? I want to be honest and put my cards on the table with the idea that it will improve relations but all too often it does the opposite.

What do you think???

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shopping on Etsy the short and sweet “How To”.

More and more people are discovering how fun it can be to shop on Etsy. You can find just what you are looking for without leaving the comforts of home. Etsy offers such a vast variety of products, you’ll be amazed. If you’ve never bought from Etsy, here’s a quick run down of what you’ll need to do to get started.


Before you can start shopping or make a purchase, you will need to register for an account on Etsy. This is so Etsy can identify you and communicate with you as needed. It’s very simple and fairly quick. Go to Etsy, click register in the grey banner across the top of the page and fill in the form. It’s basically your name, your e-mail address and a password. Then you’ll need to check your e-mail and verify your account. Now you’re ready to shop.

Search for a store

If you are looking for a specific store that maybe you have heard of or one that is owned by someone you know or have seen at a craft show, you can search within Etsy for that store. In the top banner you will see first, a drop down menu that usually defaults to “handmade”. Click on the drop down and then choose either “people” or “shops”. Then in the search box type in the info you have; like the person’s name or their shop name. You may need to check first in one category (people) and then in the other (shops) to find the person/store you want. You will be given a list of options found based on the info you have typed into the search box. Click on the link to go to the store.

Search for an item

If you are not looking for a specific store but want to shop for a particular item, then Etsy will find those things for you from all stores listing that product. Use the drop down menu to pick “handmade”, “vintage” or “supplies” depending on what you are seeking. Then type in the search box the product name or key words. Etsy will show you all products that it can find. Click on the images that interest you. You can also use the list of categories on the left of the home page to narrow your search or to give you some ideas of what might be available.

Contact seller

If you have any questions about the item you see, the store owner will be happy to answer them for you. In some listings you might even read as part of the description for you to “covo” the seller. This just means to e-mail them in a “conversation”. Once you have clicked on the item, there will be a blue button on the side that says “contact” Click there and it will give you a space to write a note to the seller and it will automatically include the item name/listing that you are interested in purchasing. The seller will get an e-mail from Etsy with your note and you will get a reply the same way.

Add to cart

If you want to purchase the item then click on the green button that reads “add to cart” Now, you’re almost done. You can continue to check out or shop some more.

Note to seller

The note to seller section is used if your item requires that you give a detail such as color or size before purchase. You can also use this section if you need to have your item shipped to a different address as a gift.

Make payment

Some shops will accept payment directly from the buyer using a credit card. Most buyers and sellers are more comfortable using Pay-Pal. Click on the button to “check out with Pay-pal” and you will be re-directed to sign into your PayPal account.


If you have never used PayPal it is the easiest and safest way to purchase items or exchange money on-line. You will need to set up a separate account with PayPal. They will need your e-mail address, shipping address and a credit card as well as bank info. PayPal acts as the middle-man to make the exchange of funds. Once PayPal has all your data then you can make on-line purchases safely anywhere on the internet. PayPal sends the money to whomever you have bought from and charges your credit card. This way you are not repeatedly giving your credit card to several stores. Your information is in just one place and safe.


Double check your shipping address as you are checking out. When you purchase your item, most sellers will list in their policies how long it takes to ship an item out. If not, you should get a notice from Etsy that the seller has marked your item as “shipped”.


If you are still unclear as to how to shop from Etsy see their frequently asked questions page.

While you are shopping Etsy be sure to stop by my store and say “Hi”.

Happy Shopping

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The workings(?) of the male brain...

Did you ever wonder just how a man’s brain works? Now they say women are the gathers and men are the hunters. The thought is that women go out and we take it all in; looking at everything, surveying our choices and collecting what we need or might need or can somehow possibly use in some way at any point in time. Men go out, get just what it is they set out to get and return with just their intended goal, frequently oblivious to all other surroundings.

I had coffee with a friend a few days ago and we were talking about these differences and it reminded me of a funny story.

Several years ago, I was planning my wedding. We were going to have an outdoor ceremony and I had found a wonderful old iron arbor that we would use to exchange vows under. I had spent the better part of a weekend cleaning it and giving it a fresh coat of paint to spruce it up for the event. That Monday, I was home from work, so I managed to drag the two very large pieces in from the yard, down the hall and into our bedroom. I’m sure I must have look like some sort of contortionist as I made attempts to get both piece standing with no ground to push them into for stability. Trying to keep these heavy, awkward iron pieces from scratching the wall I used every muscle I could to hold the two pieces together while attaching them to each other with some wire.

After it was in place, I wanted to see what it would look like decorated for the ceremony. I draped some silk ivy over the top and down each side. I wove some wide blue ribbon through the openings and then I hung word charms all around the arbor.

Amazingly, I had the whole thing finished before my future hubby came home from work. Now, there it sat, against the wall across from the bedroom door. It stood at least 6 ½ feet tall and about 4 ½ feet wide. It was dressed up all pretty and ready for display.

I worked on the project for a great deal of time and I had given a lot of attention to all the details. I was brimming with anticipation as my intended walked down the hall and into the bedroom to change out of his work clothes. I stood out in the living room waiting to hear his reaction.


There he was walking back down the hall towards me asking about dinner.


So I say to him… “I think you missed something”

He checks his fly to make sure he zipped himself up and looks down at himself making sure all clothing is where it belongs.

Looking at me with that blank “What do you mean” look on his face, I point back down the hall and say “Go back into the bedroom”.

This time I follow him. As we stand in the room he looks around and holds out his hands as if to say what am I missing.

In amazement I point to the arbor. He chuckles and says sarcastically, “It’s not like it’s 7 feet tall or anything”.

Now I have a greater understanding of how he can walk past the sock on the floor 10 times and not see that it needs picked up and put into the laundry basket. The down side is he falls back on the 7 foot arbor as an excuse any time I have expected him to see/do something.

Monday, February 20, 2012

T-shirt scarf

For months I was seeing these T-shirt scarves on various blogs. They look cute and seem to be easy enough to make. I do love a good accessory to liven up the old wardrobe so I added it to my ever growing “to do” list. I was pretty sure I could handle the task but once I tried it I knew it would be great to do with my girls. It really was as easy as everyone said.

The straight forward version is to cut strips across the body of a T-shirt and then stretch them out and tie them together.

Ta-da. Yep, that easy.

I was about ready to make mine when I saw this post and she added a braid to hers. A little more sewing was needed to secure the braided ends but still really easy to make.

My girls made their's one Saturday morning.

My girls made their one Saturday morning. My six year old was worried about cutting by her self without a line to cut along. So, I folded the t-shirt and pressed down with my fingers to leave a mark for her to follow.

They also decided to get a little creative by mixing one strip of their colors with each other.

Through the magic of Pinterest I found this one. So I had to try it out for myself. Yep, still pretty easy. It takes a little more time to make but very simple and no sewing required.

Trace some circles...

Cut out as many as you can from one shirt...

Spiral cut each circle....

Ok, so I said no sewing but it satisfied my OCD to stitch the pieces together. After I had them all cut I laid them out on top of each other and put a couple stitches in the middle to hold them all in place.

They add the perfect touch to a T-shirt wardrobe and with a cute flower pin you can dress up the most boring outfit.