Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weekend Sewing Frenzy

I have already posted pictures from the first half of my four day sewing spree, so now its time for me to post the rest of the story. (just to prove to you that what I am spending today doing is worthy of my time - more on that later in the post.)

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What we have first are more Barbie clothes. I have no idea why I am so fascinated with Barbie. I have been since I was a girl. Not that I had a ton of Barbies or anything. Maybe that is why I am fascinated with her. I only had one little Barbie family and one Skipper doll as a girl. And my favorite thing to do with them was sew them clothes. I didn't have a sewing machine, mind you...I did all my sewing by hand. I guess that is where my "designing" started.

Anyways, all Barbies need panties so I made her some to go with her dresses. You would think that those would have been the hardest of the bunch to make but on the contrary, they were the easist. In fact, they were so fun that I think I shall make more in the future. (after I finish our winter wardrobes, of course. Right Ladysnow??)

I couldn't stop with the doll clothes though. I had to make more for the larger dolls while I was at it.

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Chloe sure is going to have the best dressed dolls around. These were fun to make but I think I like the sunsuit I made the other day better. Onto bigger and better. I made a dress for Chloe.

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A simple dress that wasn't very simple for me to make. I don't know why it is...it is harder for to sew a big thing than it is for me to sew a doll dress or Barbie outfit. Its like that with my crochet too. I can crochet with thread so much easier than I can with yarn. Weird, eh?

And now for the best project of all. Something for myself.

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I am totally and completely in love with this skirt. I adore it. I love the fabric (cream with rose-colored roses and olive green leaves) and I love the style. I just love this skirt. In fact, today is the second day I have worn it in a row. I love it that much.

But after all that sewing I needed a break so I whipped out my knitting needles and some Paton's Grace I had in my stash and am now working on a sweater for Chloe. It is from the book Total Baby Knits by Candi Jensen. I have the back of the sweater finished and hope to have it completed by tomorrow or the next day.

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Well, I must be going. Lots to do and not enough time in the day. Have a wonderful afternoon everyone. Kiss someone you love today and tell them you love them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

QUICK!!! Get Me a Bib!

I am drooling all over myself!! Look at what some wonderful fairy godmother at the ville dropped into my mailbox today for Holidays in July!

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Oh my goodness! I can hardly believe it. These are some of the most gorgeous doilies I have ever seen. Stunning can't even come close to describing these doilies. AND I MUST HAVE THEM!!! But the magazine is written in another language with charts for these doilies. I don't know how to crochet from a chart...YET!

Just look at these gorgeous doilies...

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Gorgeous, I tell you...gorgeous. I was literally ohhhhing and awwwing as I was flipping through this magazine. I kept thinking to myself "I need that one...oh! I need that one too. AND that one!" Each doily in this book needs to be made and displayed in my house. I have decided that.

As I was flipping through my new magazine (and being careful not to let any drool drop on the pages) I opened up a page somewhere in the middle and what do I see???

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A doily just for me!!! Isn't it gorgeous??? I am assuming that this thread is from another country since the magazine is and the package it came in had a foreign address and foreign stamps. This is DEFINATELY going in my Anne of Green Gables challenge. No doubt about that.

There are so many doilies in this magazine. I can't get over it.

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That's another one that is calling to me...begging me to make it for my dining room table. (or bedroom dresser...wouldn't it make a stunning dresser scarf?) So, I guess this means I will be learning to crochet from a chart now. I have been wanting to try it for some time now. This will be fun! Thank you so much fairy godmother for the delightful surprise. I really was surprised and this magazine will be used. You can count on that!

Planning for our Winter Wardrobe

Boy! I am exhausted. (not really since its morning and I had a good night sleep) But I have to tell you...sewing for 4 days straight really is tiresome. I finshed up another skirt last night (pictures to come later in the day) and my back was beginning to ache so I am calling it quits for now. But all this sewing has got my mind working. (that can be a good thing or a bad thing...I have yet to decide)

As many of you probably already know (and if you don't know, you only need to read a couple of previous posts on this blog to find out) that I strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman. A woman who uses her creativity and abilities to care for and bless her family and her home. I have been struck with the notion lately that I need to sew, crochet and knit more for ourselves and our home. Pretty much all I have done in the past year is crochet dresses for little Chloe. That's not a bad thing, mind you, but maybe God wants me to shift my focus a little bit?

With this in mind, I have begun to devise a plan for our winter wardrobes. (mine and Chloe's. I am not experienced enough to attempt to make anything for James that he would even consider wearing) The next couple of weeks I will start working on this wardrobe plan and see how much of it I can accomplish.

Here is my list so far of what we will need to see us through the winter:

FOR ANNA (that's me)
Sewn
1. 10 skirts (5 everyday, 3 "visiting" and 2 hardwork)
2. 10 tops
3. 2 Sunday dresses
4. slips and other undergarments (to wear with dresses and skirts)
5. 2-4 Headcoverings
6. 2 Aprons
7. 4 Nighties

Knit or Crochet
1. 2 everyday sweaters
2. Sunday Sweater
3. Socks (however many I feel like knitting. I really want to learn to knit some socks)
4. Hat and gloves
5. Long Knit Coat (okay...you knew I had to add this in here because I HAVE to have this coat, right???)
6. Legwarmers (gotta have me some of these for around the house...the socks would probably do the trick but I really love this pattern and it would be a great project to learn cables on)

FOR CHLOE
Sewn
1. 10 dresses (for everday)
2. Coat
3. 5 nightgowns

Knit or Crochet
1. 2 Everyday sweaters
2. Sunday Sweater
3. socks
4. hat and gloves


So this is the list I have compiled so far. I have no clue what we will actually need but I think this is a good start. So, am I crazy? Do you think I can get this all done before winter? We will have to see. I have already been browsing my knitting books for some sweater patterns to start with. I am dying to knit something other than dishcloths. I may even design a sweater or two in crochet.

Have a wonderful day everyone. I am off to find something to knit. (quite possibly a dishcloth since that is up my alley and I need to work on stashbusting thios week anyways)

Friday, July 27, 2007

In Miniature

It didn't start out so small. Honestly. I didn't even mean for things to get like this. It began in such a state of largeness that I had no idea it would become so small. But then you all know me by now... (I like the small/tedious things in life. Weird, I know.) If ya'll remember, I have been sewing a few skirts and such lately. I crocheted a couple more yesterday.

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This is the same pattern as the skirt I crocheted Wednesday. This fabric is a corduroy and I absolutely love it. It is a heavier skirt that will be perfect this fall/winter. While sewing the two "winter" skirts, I realized that I may have been jumping the gun a bit. It is summer-time and I don't really have any summer skirts I can wear for everyday use. So...I made one in a light cotton fabric that I have had for a while.

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I used a different pattern for this skirt. The pattern looked harder than the first skirt I did, but it was actually easier. WAY easier. I have a couple more to make this weekend from some fabric I have on hand. I have enough of this blue rose fabric left over that I can probably make a dress for Chloe AND her dolly. Speaking of dolly...

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...I went ahead and made a little romper for her. I thought it would be a great idea to make some doll clothes from my scraps so I went out last night and bought a couple of patterns. (because patterns are on sale this week at JoAnn's) I couldn't wait so this morning I went through my fabric tote and found this fabric that I salvaged from an old out-dated shirt. I got the shirt for free from the Airman's Attic (for air force members...like a thrift store but free) a few years ago to make yo-yo's with but I never got around to it. It makes a cute baby doll romper though, doesn't it?

So, I made a couple more.

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I played with the pattern a bit on these. I used different bottoms with the same bodice...a skirt and some shorter pants. Pretty cute. I gave the dolls to Chloe to play with and she enjoyed the new outfits for all of the 15 seconds it took her to get them OFF the baby. Then she proceeded to carry her baby dolls around naked for the next hour. (she even tried taking off her own dress a couple of times but I quickly made her put it back on.)

As if those baby doll outfits weren't small enought for a beginner seamstress I got out the Barbie doll patterns and started sewing some clothes for Chloe's Barbies. I gotta tell you...if you want a challenge you should definately try sewing Barbie clothes. I figure if I can get it right in such miniscule then going back to Chloe-size or my size ought to be a breeze. We shall see...because I aim to do just that tomorrow. I have two dresses for Chloe already cut out. I just got sidetracked for a day with the doll clothes.

So here are some Barbie clothes I made.

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The dress in that picture was actually quite fun. Challenging but fun! So fun, in fact, that I made another one.

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For this one I made a matching jacket to go with it.

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I am really enjoying this sewing thing. It is almost as fun as crocheting. Right now I would have to say that it is more fun than crocheting...for two reasons. ONE. Its a novelty. It is new to me and anything new must be conquered. Once the novelty of it wears off I will probably get bored and go back to crocheting. And TWO. Crocheting has become work. What with a business to run now and all...crocheting is work. Oh...don't get me wrong. I still love it. I adore it. My fingers ache to crochet. But for some reason I feel like sewing can be a hobby whereas crocheting is something I work at. Does that make sense?

Well, it is getting very late and I really must be getting to bed now. I sure hope I am able to sleep though. I can hear some sort of car racing going on in the neighbor's house next door. They must be watching a Nascar movie or something because all I hear is car engines. Vroooooom Vroom! Kind of annoying at 12:30 at night, but hey...that's life in the city, right? Someday I will have my farm. (maybe)

Good night ya'll. Talk at you again soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Becoming Her

I just finished another book. One that I have been reading for my devotions for the past month or so. "Beautiful in God's Eyes" by Elizabeth George. I have to tell you...the way this woman writes is right up my alley. This is the third book of hers that I have read and each and every time she challanges me and my heart changes. (for the better) Now I have always loved Proverbs 31:10-the end. I might even venture to say that it is my favorite chapter in the whole Bible. It certainly is my "life verse". I strive to be more and more like the noble woman of character depicted in this chapter. I have far to go but my hope is that each and every day brings me one step closer to my goal.

Lately I have been feeling sort of...well...I guess you could call it "frumpy"? Not quite frumpy...but just like I don't take care of myself as well as I ought to. I don't make myself as beautiful as I could for my husband. I wear shorts and a t-shirt most days (although alot of my t-shirts are pink...which happens to be a fairly feminine color) and I just feel like I could be more ladylike in my dress. I know there are many ladies who wear skirts everyday and I thought to myself, "why not?" I can certainly wear a skirt most days, right?

So with the decision having been made I am now in the process of transition. I don't have enough "every day" type skirts and with the price of clothes (for the style I like) I can't afford to go out and purchase brand new skirts. Yesterday I bought some fabric yesterday to make some skirts. I made one last night and I am quite pleased with it.

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I am actually wearing this skirt as I type this post. It is much prettier in real life than the picture says it is. I think I am going to have to find some patterns to make undergarments though. I need a slip for this skirt and the slips I have are not long enough for my taste. They only come to my knees. I think it would be neat to sew my own slips (as well as other undergarments) and add my own lace and trimmings. I could even crochet some. But that is a dream that might or might not take place.

Back to the skirt. I went all out when selecting my fabric yesterday. I bought enough fabric to make 4 skirts (more to come later as I have plans to spend the weekend sewing away to my heart's content - James will be gone for the weekend) and I was a little "choosy" with them. I took a certain amount of money with me and I knew I couldn't overspend so I was careful in my selections. I wanted to make some heavier skirts for my fall/winter wardrobe but I didn't want them to be too heavy so they would incumber my movements. Remember that these are every day skirts meaning I need to be able to clean my house, change diapers, dance with Chloe and such in them. I picked out the patterns first (because they were on sale) and then got the fabric. I choose two denim materials for the hard work skirts (like days that I will clean the house or garden or something) and then I choose two prettier fabrics for days when I go visiting with friends or run errands. (the latter is what the skirt I made last night is for). I used a suede-like fabric that I believe is called "suede-cloth" but don't quote me on that. (my memory of these sorts of details doesn't work quite as well as I would like it to) I just love this fabric. It is soft and feminine but it will hold up well. I love the stitching detail on it too.

I started explaining to my husband just how much I loved this skirt and why. (from the financial standpoint because thats all a man wants to hear, right? How much did this cost him???") I figure if I were to find a skirt like this (that I LOVE) in a place like JC Penney's I would pay...oh...so around $50. Right? Because, as many of you already know, the clothes that we absolutely LOVE never find thier way to the sales racks. And if they do they are either small enough to fit a toothpick or large enough to fit a beached whale. If I went into Ann Taylor (which I have done a time or two because I love the clothes in there and I love drooling over them as well) I can estimate that this skirt would probably cost anywhere from $200 to $300. (I was flabbergasted at the prices when I first walked into an Ann Talor store. I actually choked, sputtered and immediately walked back out. It was only later that I learned how to walk in and drool without looking at the price tags.)

So, with those prices in mind, I calculated the cost for my "designer" skirt. The suede-like fabric was $9.99 a yard and I got 2 yards of it. That means $20 for the fabric. But it was on sale for 30% off so I got this fabric for $14. Not bad. Not bad at all. Then the price of the pattern was $1.99 so that makes my total cost for this skirt $16. You can't even find those kind of prices on the sale racks. It is a bargain skirt that I simply ADORE!

I also made a nightgown for Chloe yesterday.

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I bought the supplies for this nightgown (as well as fabric for 6 more) a couple of months ago. I find it amusing that the pattern companies write on thier pajama patterns "not intended for sleepwear". Ironic, isn't it? What else would you do in pajamas???

I had intended for this nightgown (and the rest that I will be making) to be Chloe's winter pajamas but after I started sewing it yesterday I realized that the flannel I was using was quite thin and I might want something thicker once it gets cooler. I let her wear it to bed last night. Her bed is next to the air vent and she gets quite cold so this nightgown is perfect.

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Chloe was so tickled pink with her new pajamas. She went and climbed into her couch/bed thing we bought her for Christmas and called the pajamas "Pee....why" (which means Pretty Butterfly for those of you who don't speak "toddler")

Well, now I must be off. Its time to brush teeth and for me to cut out some skirts and dresses. Yay! Hopefully I will have more sewing projects to show you later today!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Angel in Pillowcases

I am issuing this warning first before I get into this post. BEWARE! There are many pictures in this post so consider yourself forewarned. Maybe (just maybe) this large amount of pictures might mean less amount of rambling. We will have to see. Okay. Now on to the post.

You have got to see this little angel and what she got herself into on Sunday morning while I was dressing for church. I walked into the room and found her like this.

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We even got video of this because she was acting so silly, but alas, I am still not quite sure how to get it onto this blog. (actually, the problem lies in getting it off the video camera)

And speaking of angels, I made one.

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Its kinda funny about this angel. I got out my size 20 ball of used thread to make her and as I was crocheting, I kept thinking to myself that the thread was awfully small. I plodded on, however, despite the circumstances. Well, after I was about halfway done with her (and now noticing how small she was becoming) I decided to look at the wrapper for the thread. Lo and behold it was size 30. Not 20!!! She turned out cute though. Here is a close-up of her wings and head.

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I got the pattern from Crochet Memories, a wonderful site run by a lovely lady. This particular angel is called Royal Pineapple Seraphim.

This weekend I made up more jam. YUMMY! We even broke into a jar and boy...it was the most delicious jam I have ever tasted. I don't think I can go back to store bought jam. There is something about eating the "fruits" of your labor that make it taste so much more heavenly. YUM!!! Someday I would love to have a farm with a huge garden so I can grow all my own food. Ahhhhh...what a dream.

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The red jam is plum jam (which was fun to make. I even have a blister on my finger as proof of that fun.) The yellow jam is mango jam and I am a little nervous to try it. I sure hope it turned out good. Maybe we will break into that one next. I'll let you know how that goes.

So, with my website updated (for the most part...still got some little "tweaks" to do) and all my patterns into testing, I decided to take a little break from things. As you all know I have been making cards like crazy lately. Sunday I made even more. I got some new stamps from Miss A (that I bought) and so I played around for a couple of hours. My friends birthday was yesterday so I made her a card first.

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I have so much scrap paper left over from scrapbooking but I don't even come close to using it up making these cards. I can see that I will be making TONS of cards in the next few weeks just to bust my scrap stash. (because I am not getting very far on the yarn stashbusting lately)

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This next card was alot of fun to make. I whipped out all the creativity I had withen me and this is what came out. I used pop-dots to get the butterflies to stick up from the card.

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While making this card I came to two conclusions. ONE. I really need to get some different colored ink pads. I only have four and they don't work for everything so I need more. (like sage green, light purple, pink and such.) TWO. I need to get some stamps that say things like "Happy Birthday" or "Get Well Soon" or something along those lines. Stamping Up has a couple of sets I am looking at.

This next card was fun to make but took me a long time. I even did something slightly different on each card. (I made two of each card except the birthday card...only made one of those)

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I used my nifty little crop-a-dile and attached the butterflies and thank you with ribbon. I think the ribbon adds such a nice touch to the cards. A little dimension and texture.

That is all I have for today. I hope to make more cards sometime this week but you all are probably getting so bored looking at them I might not show them all to you. I did want to show you all something I recieved in the mail on Saturday. I was so happy to find a nice little package addressed to me. Inside were four Janette Oak books. A lovely little fairy godmother from the ville sent me these books as a Holidays in July gift.

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I can't wait to read these. I haven't read any of them before so this will be fun. Thank you very much fairy godmomther. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Speaking of books, I just finished reading another book last night. "Out To Canaan" by Jan Karon. Ahhh...what a delightful book. If you haven't started reading the Mitford Series then you are missing out on some the nicest books you ever could read. (not quite the same as Anne of Green Gables but nice just the same) I love these books and have already started the next one. "A New Song".

Well, have a wonderful evening everyone. Tune in next time to hear about some sort of WIP I have pulled out of the workbasket. Its gonna be gorgeous!!! And if anyone knows this blog like the back of you hand, you can read my sidebar and figure out just what WIP I pulled out...because a little something has been updated. But more on that later. I am off to eat Greek food tonight. (my own cooking, of course)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

SLUDGE

I like coffee. I love my tea, don't get me wrong. But I have to have a cup of coffee every morning and sometimes a cup of decaf after dinner. That is actually how I motivate myself to do the washing up after dinner. I allow myself a cup of decaf coffee only after the entire kitchen is clean. It started out that I would allow myself a piece of dessert but then I found myself not wanting the dessert any more. Just the coffee. I sit with Chloe who receives a little cup of ice cream and I drink my coffee while she eats her dessert. I love this little routine of ours.

The other day I was out and about with a girlfriend who is not so well versed in tea as I. (not that I am an expert or anything...I just like tea) I asked her why she didn't drink more tea and she told me she was more of a coffee person. She then proceeded to inform me that tea is much healthier than coffee and she wanted to start drinking more of it. I asked her why it is more healthy. I shouldn't have done that. I should know better than to ask a question like that. Word to the wise: DON'T EVER ASK A QUESTION IF YOU AREN'T GOING TO LIKE THE ANSWER!

She explained it to me like this...

"You know the stuff in the bottom of your cup after you finish your cup of coffee?"

I said...

"Yes?????" (with a slight increase in fluctuation of my voice that clearly said "Do I want you to continue?")

She replied...

"Well, a friend told me that this is what your insides are covered with when you drink coffee."

Gross!!! That is just wrong. I told you I didn't want to know the answer to that question. And I LIKE coffee. I like it alot. So, here I am...a couple of weeks later...trying to drink a cup of coffee and the only word I can think of each time I take a sip is "sludge". I am drinking "sludge". Many of you already know that I like words. There are many that are my favorites. Sludge is not one of them. I shudder when I hear the word roll off my tongue. It is horrible horrible word. Of course it rhymes with fudge which happens to be a purely delightful word, but for the life of me I cannot think of fudge when I take a sip from my coffee cup. Nope. The only word that comes to my mind is "sludge". Do you think this stops me? Oh no. I drink my sludge, I shudder, I don't enjoy my coffee quite as much as I used to BUT...I keep on drinking it. Why? Why I ask you? I don't know. Maybe I have a little addiction.

So now I am off to drink another cup of coffee, cover my insides in gross, black sludge and start cleaning my house. We might have a little adventure today so I need to get the house cleaned before we leave. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Cards

Just popping on real quick to show you all some new cards I made today. Yes. That's right. I didn't do anything aside from make cards and play with Chloe today. It was a very much needed break for me...although I think I should have gone to bed a couple of hours ago instead of staying up to watch a movie. (because now I have a silly song stuck in my head and it will most likely rattle around in there for another hour or two before I will be able to settle down into sleep)

Anyways, without further ado...here are the cards I made today.

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Just some "Happy Spring" cards that can be used to send a cheery note. I made these first this morning to get my creativity flowing. The next set of cards I made I used a stamp I bought for a dollar at AC Moore during the Christmas shopping season. After I bought it I figured I would probably never use it but then the inspiration hit this morning and wa-la... (the card is missing something though. I am thinking a giant snowflake to one side of the ribbon)

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After that little bit of inspiration I made a run to a wonderful scrapbooking paper supply store I have seen in a long long long time. Boy...it was so hard to keep it under $100. So very very hard... I found this new stamp in a style that I have been dreaming about trying. The stamp itself was 50% off so I talked myself into buying it. It is one of those stamps that you use for a background. The thing is huge. Check out the cards I made with it.

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I have to tell you...this stamp is not all its cracked up to be. (not that I have heard any "cracking up" regarding it or anything) It was extremely difficult for me to get the thing centered on the card. In fact, if you look closely (please don't!) at the cards you will see that some of them are entirely crooked. ENTIRELY! BUT...the good news is...I bought some little eyelets at this wonderful scrapbooking supply store to tide me over until my order from Miss A comes in. I played with my new little gadgety-tool that sets them into the paper so nicely. Ohhhh...this was so much fun. I want to play with it some more. Just gotta wait for the inspiration to hit for more cards. The next couple of cards I made didn't call for eyelets.

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This is my favorite that I made today. It is sooooo elegant. I will be giving this to my parents for the wedding anniversay next month. I ran out of cards after this one though so I only got one made. Then I had to resort to using card stock to make the rest of the cards. (novel idea. Sometimes my brilliancy amazes even myself) I even added a special little touch to the inside of this card.

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I used the same stamps but changed the layout and design a tad bit on the next cards. I like it better with the pink card stock but I like the first design better. Still, these aren't half bad. I tried a new technique I learned from Miss A called "masking". I enjoy this. You take a piece of paper and place it over the part of the card you DON'T want to stamp on and then you stamp on the area. When you pull the paper away only the portion where the paper wasn't covering will be stamped. This is how you can get a partial image on a card. I tried it with the leaves of the rose stamp. Its the same stamp...just masked. So it looks like its coming out from underneath the box but its not really. Pretty cool, eh?

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I find myself wanting to make more and more and more cards. But alas...life must go on. I have no clue what we are doing tomorrow but I can pretty much guarantee that I will NOT be making cards. I got away with it for one day so I dare not hope for another. We might go to a park tomorrow with a beach we can go swimming on. I sure hope so. Or else I would like to venture up to Gettysburg. We shall see. Have a wonderful day everyone. (or night...or whatever. I am too tired to care at this point) Good night ya'll.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A New Toy

Isn't it nice to be able to get a new toy for yourself every now and again? Rarely do I spend alot of money all in one place on one thing for myself. I always say I can't afford that...but then I will spend the same amount of money on a bunch of little things that add up to the large amount anyways. So, I asked myself, "Why not? Why not splurge and buy a little something for myself?" And I did. I had a 40% coupon for AC Moore and I went and bought myself a nifty little gadget yesterday.

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Many of you probably have no clue what this gadget does. Some of you might, but I am going to assume that most of you are looking intently at the picture trying to guess its purpose. Well, I will tell you. It is called a Cropadile. Yup. Rhymes with crocodile. (clever, eh?) This little sucker costs a pretty penny but with a 40% off coupon, I couldn't resist. I just had to have it. What does this thing do??? Funny you should ask.

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See that card there??? I made that tonight while I was playing with my new little toy. (actually, there are six cards there but more on that later) Do you notice the little flower on the card? That flower is actually attached to the card with a miniature brad. The brad was inserted into a teeny tiny hole punched out by that handy-dandy cropadile. Now that is not all this cropadile can do...oh no...that is not all. But alas I have not the rest of the embellishments neccessary to put this to good use. Once I get my hands on some though, I will be able to set eyelets into my cards and scrapbook pages along with other cool things I have yet to discover. A new toy is always fun.

So, I ordered some pretty eyelets from Miss A (the pastor's wife) tonight at the stamping party and must anxiously await their arrival in a couple of weeks. At the party tonight, Miss A showed us how to make a few cards. I actually liked the cards we made this time although I probably would have chosen different colors. They are so cute though.

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Too cute. I took the idea from one of the cards and came up with something of my own with some scrap paper I have left over from scrapbooking. I have so much paper scraps that its about time I start making cards with them.

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One thing I learned to do tonight was to glue ribbon onto the card. This is a very clever little trick that uses a glue stick, a card and a length of ribbon. Little did I know until tonight that you can use any kind of ribbon. Ha!! What an ingenious idea!! Being new to card-making I just naturally assumed you had to use the "special" (meaning...expensive) ribbon that you see next to the rubber stamps in the craft store. Nope! I can use all that ribbon I buy for 25 cents a spool on sale at JoAnns. Woooo Hoooo! Jackpot. I have a huge box of ribbon. (because I love ribbon, of course)

Anyways, to explain my ealier comment about the 6 cards. I am making cards to give as Christmas presents to the family and so I need 6 of each card. Each person will get one of each kind I make in the next few months. I hope they like it because I am really enjoying making them. This is going to be fun. I guess this is my new craft this year. I thought I was going to learn to make paper and possibly learn calligraphy but that isn't happening yet and I highly doubt it will now that the year is halfway over. But, with the introduction to this rubber stamping thing with Miss A, boy oh boy...that's all I gotta say. It suits me. It suits me to a "T". Okay. Its time for me to get to bed. Have a wonderful evening everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Good Girl That I Am

And I am too! A very good girl. I posted this morning about my desire to forget about duties and chores and routines and to just spend the day scrapbooking and doing whatever I felt like doing. Well, I DIDN'T! I actually spent the entire day on my feet working like a mule. Really. I cleaned the house (like I am supposed to every Monday...including scrubbing the tub and toilets and dusting the furniture) and I planted some flowers I bought yesterday. I transplanted some roses, because...check this out...

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Yes. It is quite obvoious that I have no clue what I am doing here whatsoever. My brilliant idea for having an all-inclusive garden in a 60' by 2' space sort of backfired on me. The tomatoes and herbs are doing well. But I guess these cucumbers and melons want alot more space. They completely choked out the roses so I am in the midst of an emergency transplanting session. I have one rose left that I am unsure of where to put. I am debating whether to put her on the other side of the yard? or by the shed (kind of welcoming people to the shed entrance...kind of romantic. I could pretend its a little cottage...especially since we painted it green with white trim.) Anyways. Back to the rose. I could also put it in a pot. A giant pot. That might be neat. So this will give the cukes a lot more room to spread out. They are currently climbing the fence which I have a friend who suggested just leaving it to see what would happen. Well, I think if it turns out to be the cantaloupe that is climbing the fence and not the cucumbers, we will have some major issues with weight.

The basil really took off too.

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Luckily I had enough presence of mind to plant them the appropriate distance apart. They still took off like wildfire and I am now scouring the internet for recipes that call for basil. My girlfriend I scrapbooked with this past weekend showed me some basil leaves she had dried so I thought I would try that today as well. (it smelled so heavenly dried). So, not knowing what I was doing, I picked some leaves I thought might do well and I placed them on a cookie sheet with some paper towels.

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Yummy. I can't wait to eat this with something. I also found a pesto recipe that I will be trying soon...very soon. Just gotta pick up some pine nuts. Wanna know something else I did today? I baked 9 loaves of bread. Yup! That's right. NINE LOAVES OF BREAD. What on earth am I going to do with 9 loaves of bread, you ask? Well, James goes with some people from the church on Monday nights to feed the homeless downtown. I thought it might be nice for them to have some homemade bread. This isn't your sandwhich and lunchmeat type bread though. I made the Amish Friendship bread which is more of a tea bread. But, they seem to like it. I started this thing a couple of weeks ago and let me tell you, if you want to have bread coming out your ears then this is the recipe for you. Your supposed to give away "starter babies" to your friends for them to make thier own bread with. I didn't do that. I kept it. Well, last time I made it, I didn't make ALL of it and so I had extra starter this time around. 9 loaves didn't even use all the starter I had. BUT (and that's a BIG but) I used 18 eggs, 12 cups of flour and loads of other ingredients to make these 9 loaves so I figured I was done for the day.

What does every good girl deserve after a day of hard work? (because I was literally on my feet all day!!!!) I asked James to run to the store for me to pick up some flour since I ran out and I needed more to finish my loaves. Well, he returned a bit later and brought the bags into the house. He went back out for more and as he was coming in the door again he said, "I got you some white flour for your bread and some red flour for your heart."

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Isn't that the sweetest??? What a dear husband I have to buy my two dozen roses while out shopping for flour and sugar and canning lids. I am truly blessed to be the helpmeet to such a wonderful man. Truly truly blessed.

Have a great evening everyone. I am off to bed.

Scrappin' with Jam

No. I didn't scrapbook with jam, nor did I scrapbook any pictures of jam either. (at least not yet...that will be coming later. MUCH later!) I decided that a good thing to do when you have too much to do is simply find something to distract yourself. Then you can get lost in a new activity and not worry about everything on your mile long to-do list. An ingenious idea, although still in "tial mode". There are a few kinks to work out. (like what to do the next day when the to do list is longer and you didn't do anything about it the day before...that causes alot of guilt, so now I have to figure out what to do about that)

Anyways, with all that I have to do, I thought it might be fun to make some jam. So, Friday morning I headed over to the local fruit/veggie stand and picked up some strawberries.

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Now that is alot of strawberries. I made the mistake last time of not getting enough so this time I bought more than enough. (ya think??) But never fear. With a toddler addicted to strawberries like I am addicted to sugar we didn't have anything to worry about. She ate approximately one and a half pints of strawberries that day. (its amazing she didn't get sick)

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I figure there is only one time a year when we will be making jam and so why not let her indulge herself. It will give her such pleasant memories of "helping" in the kitchen and I want that so much for her. (sort of like my mother letting us lick the beaters for the electric mixer whenever she made cookies or icing or something. Sis got one beater and I got the other and sometimes we shared the bowl or else mama got that one.) I was suprised that it actually worked though. I actually made JAM! My very own jam and my first try too! Every single jar sealed and set and did everything else it was supposed to do. I think this batch will be used as gifts for Christmas and such. I want to make some pint jars of jam for ourselves. I will working on that this evening after I pick up more lids and pectin. I found some jars at Elijah's barrel at church yesterday so YAY!! Free Jars!

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Instead of working on all that I had to do Friday on Saturday I went scrapbooking. Oh. But firstm before I get into that. You all are probably wondering how my little adventure went Saturday morning. Yout might recall my asking for some prayer last week for my giving the devotion at the Ladies Prayer Breakfast on Sat. Well, let me give you a little background to this. I am NOT a public speaker. I like to write. I do NOT like public speaking. I am extrememly self-conscious and fairly shy...especially around new people and ESPECIALLY in large groups. I tend to just listen to everyone else talk. So a couple of months ago, Miss T asked me to give the devotion for the prayer breakfast and I politely (as politely as I could without sounding harsh) told her that I don't speak well in public. I told her it wasn't my cup of tea. I even told her that I would be willing to write her a devotion for her to read, but I just didn't feel comfortable speaking in front of a bunch of women I don't know. She tried to ease my feelings by letting me know since it was summer that very few people would likely show up and she asked me to pray about it. Well, after praying about it, I felt that God was telling me to do it just this once because maybe, just maybe I could grow from it.

Well, I prepared a little devotion and I was petrified. I went to the restaurant and sat down and watched as lady by lady entered in the room. So the other two prayer breakfasts they had only 5-6 people had shown up and didn't Miss T tell me that there would probably be less than that? Well, we got up to 8 and then 9 and then 10 and my heart was racing...literally racing. I started shaking already. We had a total of 14 ladies show up, most of them I have never meet before. I WAS SACRED STIFF! Miss T had told me I could read my devotion so when the time came I placed my piece of paper on the table in front of me and I read the entire thing without looking up even once. I knew if I looked up and saw all those faces staring at me I would get lost and not be able to recover eloquently. Needless to say, it sounded like I was about ready to cry the entire time I read the devotion. My voice was shaking worse than I have ever heard it shake. Thank goodness I wasn't holding the paper in my hands or I would have dropped it. My shoe almost fell off from my shaking so bad. I looked a complete fool. But I did it for the glory of God and I got through it and I hope I am never asked again to give a devotion like that. I don't think I can do it.

What better way to relieve the stress of the morning by scrapbooking the rest of the day. Yup. Saturday was scrapbooking at my friend's house. Miss B and I were the only ones there. Yay! That was kind of fun and different although I think I talked too much. (I do that when I am comfortable with a friend. I talk WAY too much. I need to work on that) Anyways, I got quite a bit done, so much so that I had to do a couple more pages when I got home that night. Here is what I got done this weekend.

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Just so you know I thought I would point out why there isn't any writing on any of my pages. I do my journaling on the pages after the album is completed. This way I can sit down with the whole mindset and no distractions and I can write better that way. I used to try to write at the crops and with all the chatting going on my mind gets distracted and I will have a sentence half-written and I'll forget what I was going to write. That has happened to many times to count, so I don't write any more. The page above is when our friends from England came to visit. These pictures are the morning they left to go back home. I miss them terribly. Miss R was a very good friend to me. The best actually.

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A few days after they left from their visit for Christmas, James deployed to Afghanistan. (if ya'll remember this last year, he had two months of training and got to Afghanistan, spent a day there and then came home because his father was sick and dying. He never went back. But we didn't know that at the time so I took these pictures thinking I wouldn't see James for another 7 and a half months)

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Here are some of the pictures James took while he was gone. I love the pictures of the urinal (in the floor) and the boxes of cigarettes with the "health warning" on them. James took a couple of pictures like this that I found funny so I had to include them in the scrapbook. I don't know if you can see the actual pictures very well but the mountains are the mountains of Afghanistan. I thought these were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. (from the plane...I probably wouldn't like them up close and personal...too hot for me there.)

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A friend's birthday party. I made her the slippers (sandel type slippers) and the purse. That is actually the very first purse I designed and I designed it for her. She loved it.

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Just some pictures of Chloe. I am trying to cut down on the amount of pages in my album (since I am working on ablum 2 for our stay in Louisiana) so I made this sort of a collage of "Chloe pictures". Turned out cute.

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While James was gone to "afghanistan" I went home to stay with my parents for that 7 months (turned 2 months). It was nice because I got to be at one of my neices birthday parties. That is one of the hard things about military life. We miss out on so many family times with everyone like birthday's, family get togethers...all that jazz. It was nice to be there for this one.

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Chloe's first birthday. I am trying to do pages that are different now, showing more creativity. I am getting tired of having a pretty paper as my background with the pictures backed in a color. Too many of my pages are that way so this one I went with something different. I love how it turned out. I didn't write "Happy Birthday" on the page anywhere but I think the point comes across with the paper choice. I will, of course, journal about it being her first birthday and the people that were there and all.

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Just some pictures of family while I was staying up there. By this time I knew I was going home and not staying the full 7 months so I just took some random pictures every day.

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Upon arriving home James and I spent alot of time doing yard work. We knew we would be selling the house in a couple of months so we planted flowers and took out a stump and all. (many of you might start recoginizing these pictures since they are only from last summer and I have already talked about these events in posts from last summer.)

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The last page I worked on this weekend was my birthday page. I do a TON of birthday pages and I find myself getting quite bored with them. (same with the whole "Christmas Eve/Christmas" thing. How many Red and Green pages can you do? So, I am trying to come up with creative ways to display these types of pages. I think this page turned out elegant. The picture doesn't do it justice at all.

Well, I am off now to do something. Don't know what yet. I really should clean the house today or work on my site (got some bad links and pages that need added) or crochet on some items or about a billion other things. I only feel like scrapbooking though. Is it bad to take some days off from "work" and just scrapbook? Is it going to kill us if I don't vacuum the floor and clean the bathtub today? I have also been quite headachy this weekend and extrememly tired so I don't really want to do anything. I have a book that is calling me...and I really could use another cup of tea. Oh. What to do, what to do! I'll figure something out.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!!