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