Friday, September 28, 2007

Worshipping God Tonight

I have spent some time tonight listening to some of my favorite songs and I thought I would share one with you all. I cry...no...I bawl everytime I listen to this song. So powerful.

Please be aware that this video contains some graphics in it that you might not want your young children seeing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm So Excited I'm Crying

Literally!

I have got to tell you that this next bit of news is some of the most exciting news I've gotten to share with you in a long time. You all might not realize just how exciting this is, but for me...it is something that makes me want to dance around the house while laughing and crying and just making everyone around me think I've lost my mind.

And you know what??? I DON'T CARE!!!

I want to share with you a very new and VERY special blog. It is called Dear Friend. Go read it. Right now...stop reading mine and go read it. Then come back here and finish reading this post.

Why is this blog so special as to warrant an entire post devoted to it? This is my bestest friend in the whole wide world. We met while we were in the 8th grade. My father was leaving the church he was pastoring and we started attending another church in the area. My first time attending the new Sunday School Mary came and sat by me. We were instant friends. She was the sweetest and nicest, most caring person you could ever meet. We did everything together that spring we met. My family traveled to Romania that summer and Mary wrote me letters all summer long while I was over there.

After I graduated highschool we didn't have much contact with each other. I don't know why but I always kept Mary's parent's address in my address book and last year we came back into contact with each other. Through this past year, God has been placing Mary on my heart more and more and I began to realize just how much she means to me. Mary is a friend I will have for the rest of my life. (and for the rest of eternity)

This is why I am so excited to present this blog to you. Because this is a way I can keep in contact with my dear friend Mary while she serves the Lord in Africa. You heard that right. Mary is a missionary to street boys in Africa. So go read her blog and I promise you, it will be interesting.

I LOVE YOU MARY!!!!!!!! I am so thankful for your friendship! You mean more to me than you will ever know. (and don't forget New York in December)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Perfect Day!!!

There have been two days in my life that I would consider as close to perfection as I am going to ever see or expirience this side of heaven. One was the day I looked into my darling little girl's eyes for the very first time. I will never forget that moment.

The second day happened long before the birth of my daughter. It happened nine years ago today, actually. The day dawned bright and early. I woke up at my parents house where I had stayed the night before with my cat Pattycakes. We had left our apartment. It was raining. Now on most days, I could care less about the rain. It doesn't really faze me. I am an indoor person anyways so its not that big of a deal. But not on this day. I needed for it to be sunny. You see...I was to get married that day. And the wedding ceremony was to be held in my parent's garden.

We hadn't gotten the chance to set up the day before because it had been pouring down rain all day long. I was fearful for the worst. We would have to set the ceremony up inside the house. All those people crammed into my parent's house. Oh My!

But at about 10:00 in the morning, the sun came out. We were able to scramble and get everything set up outside.

3:00 in the afternoon, I stood before my father with James by my side and about 30 of our friends and family sitting in chairs behind us and I said, "I do". Miracle of all miracles...James said it too! We were married!!!

At 19 years of age you don't really grasp the concept of what marriage is all about. Oh yes. We loved each other. No doubt about that. James was my best friend. I wanted to be by his side every waking moment from the time I first laid eyes on him. You hear of love at first sight and most people don't believe that it actually happens. Well, I am here to tell you that it does. Its real. Somehow, I knew in my heart the moment I saw James that he was mine. I even told my girlfriend, "I want to spend the rest of my life with him." And all I knew was his name. We had yet to speak a word to each other.

You say, "For better or for worse, in sickness and in health" without really realizing what the "worse" part of that vow could mean. Or what the sickness could mean. Or even "till death do us part". That could be a very long time, you know.

These past nine years have taught me alot. I have grown. I have loved. I have laughed. I have danced. I am slowly becoming a lady...the lady God created me to be. I am not perfect yet though. I say things to James that I don't want to say. I sometimes treat him like a child instead of the man that he is...the leader of my home. I sometimes please myself instead of looking to satisfy James' needs.

But you know what??? He has stuck by me. Through all the moods. Through all the tears. Through all the hurts. He has stuck by me and loved me. Through good times and bad, he has been there for me. Steady as a rock. Loving me. Holding me. Cherishing me. I am humbled by such a love. I am honored by it. I am one luckly lady.

I want to share something with you to show a bit of his love for me. He bought me a very expensive little sewing machine for Christmas because for years I had been begging him to. Then I started sewing. I have made quite a few projects with my sewing machine and he ohhs and ahhs over everything. He is so darned proud that I am sewing. (I think he likes it better than my crochet...although I will never give up my crochet, my first love) I even joined a sewing forum where I learned about a nifty little gadget called pattern weights. Little weights you place on your pattern instead of using pins to cut out your patterns. I heard that this would save TONS of time cutting out patterns. I just happened to mention these weights to James and he thought they were a pretty clever idea.

Every time I have sat down to sew since that moment, he mentions "You need some of those weight things". And I say..."Oh...they would be nice, but I am doing just fine with these pins".

This morning, he comes to me and hands me three pieces of paper he printed off the computer. The first paper was a printout of this...

An Ergonomic Rotary Cutter

Wow!! That alone would have been plenty. Terrific. A wonderful anniversary gift. I pulled up the second sheet of paper though and saw this...

Pattern Weights

I almost lost it at this point. I didn't though. I couldn't speak, but I didn't cry. I didn't think there could be anything better than that. I really didn't. I already thought this was too much for a silly little anniversary. But the third paper contained this...

Shape Weights

What a wonderful man I am married to. What a wonderful man. I have been blessed to stand beside this man for the past 9 years. I pray that for the rest of our marriage, I will be the kind of wife he needs.

Its time for me to go make his peanut butter and jellies for lunch tomorrow. I will show you my pressies when they arrive next week. (they aren't here yet which is why James gave me printouts of the items) Happy Anniversary James. I love you!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Whim

I bought this 100% wool yarn at one point in time to make some sort of felted purse. (felting is on my "want-to-learn list") I have since misplaced the pattern (or gave it away or something like that) and the wool just sat in the drawer waiting for inspiration. Well, that inspiration came to me Saturday evening.

I don't know how or why these things happen this way. Part of the designer's nature I guess, but when the mood to design strikes, I must answer the call. I set down "the dress" and rummaged through the drawer to find the perfect yarn. At that moment, I didn't really have anything in particular I was looking for, nor did I know what I was going to make. But I KNEW I needed to make something. And it needed to be small. And quick.

After about 2 hours worth of crochet time this is what it turned into.

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Not bad, eh? I think they are rather cute. Granted, they are not finished yet. (I don't think you could miss those ends glaring out at you saying, "Anna hasn't woven us in yet!!!" But hey...they can wait. The main thing is I got the little bags crocheted. I also plan to line with. Really line them. Not my traditional method of crocheting the lining but with real fabric and a real sewing needle.

I have yet to think of a clever name for these purses. I also have yet to decide if I want to offer them as 3 different free patterns on my site or as a set of free patterns or as a set of purchased patterns. They sure are cute though. I plan on making a few more (since they are so quick) and selling them in my Boutique on the site. I might even have some up in time for my next website update next week. (maybe I dream to much...hmmm...)

Now I am off to do some much needed work on my forum, edit some patterns in testing and type some new designs. Does my to-do list ever get any shorter? It doesn't appear that way. It just gets longer and longer.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Its Time to Say Goodbye to George

Our basement windows are terrible. I wouldn’t even classify them as “windows” really. On the outside we have these screen things that barely stay on…and sometimes don’t. On the inside we have this plexi-glass stuff. There is about a 6 inch space between the outer screen and the inner plexi-glass. Now, the plexi-glass is all broken out with holes and on some windows, one in particular, its non-existent.

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The outside screen.


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The inside plexi-glass. You can't see it very well but the space in between the plexi-glass and the outer screen is filled with cobwebs. Notice the hole in the plexi-glass? YUCK!!!!


What this means for us is that we have many visitors in our basement. James has always been pretty good about “taking care of” these special guests for me - that is, until recently. Our most recent guests have been crickets. If you think crickets chirping outside are annoying, you should try having them in your basement. (which we use as a family room…with our TV and computer down there.)

I realized we had a major problem when one evening while we were watching series 24 there came a cricket, hopping along the floor. He sat down in front of the television and there settled himself. (He must have a thing for Jack Bauer)

I immediately asked James to get up and kill the cricket. He told me, “No!”

Me: “Please kill the cricket, James.”
James: “No, Anna. That cricket has a name.”
Me: “It’s just a cricket, for crying out loud. Go get it out of here.”
James: “Anna. That cricket has a family and a name!”
Me: “James. GO KILL GEORGE!!!”


Needless to say, George was NOT killed or removed from the premises and he now visits us every time we watch a movie or play downstairs. He chirps away all day long and sometimes brings friends over to party in the bathroom down there.

It is time for George to go!

We bought new windows and we are in the process of installing them.

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Much better.

James has decided that I am much better at mortaring the window blocks into the openings so while he held the windows in place, I mortared. You would never believe it, but somehow mortaring windows could be considered "art". At least it appealed to my artistic nature.

While I mortared in the windows, James suggested builing out the mortar to make an even ledge. This is where the artistic nature of mine took effect. I filled the cracks and then shaped the mortar into an even and smooth ledge that would rival any professional mortar-person's job. Mortaring is a delicate art. If done poorly, it will dry in an undesirable formation. My first window, for example, has long finger marks indented along the whole wall. My second and third window are much better. No finger marks and the ledge is almost perfect.

We have one window left to install but the sand in the mortar rubbed the tip of my ring finger raw and I opted to wait until next weekend to finish that last window.

And just because we were working in the front garden and snapping pictures, I thought you might like to see a picture of my gorgeous shrub rose that sits in the front garden.

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Oh how I love roses. I think next year I am going to skip the vegetables and fruit altogether and plant tons of roses. Fragrant ones too. Climbing roses. Just a garden full of roses. And maybe lavendar and chamomile while I am at it. Oh...and delphiniums. I missed those this year.

Well, I am off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday. I started something on a whim last night while perusing my yarn stash. A certain yarn spoke to me and said "MAKE ME!" and so I did. I am not quite finished yet but when I am done, I will show you. (maybe tonight...but no promises)

Happy and Blessed Sunday all!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Suzy HomeMaker

It is official. I AM Suzy B. HomeMaker.

I have been called by that name many times in my lifetime. (well, only in my 9 years of marriage, actually) While I secretly harbour proud thoughts in my heart (or mind, since that is where most thoughts occur) whenever someone mentions this noble title in conjuction with my name, I must say that I actually didn't consider myself accomplished enough in homemaking to be worthy of such a name.

Until yesterday.

I have done many things that might be considered "Suzy HomeMaker"-ish. Cooking my food from scratch. Making homemade bread, cookies and cakes. Making Christmas gifts. Knitting. Crocheting. Running my own business from my home. Gardening. Vacumning. Dusting. Hanging the clothes on the line. Using cloth diapers. All those things are lovely, but doing them didn't make me feel like Suzy HomeMaker.

Until yesterday.

As my sewing machine was plugging away making 3 little dresses for Chloe, it hit me. THIS is Suzy HomeMaker. SEWING!!! In my mind, sewing is what makes Suzy HomeMaker...well...Suzy HomeMaker. Now I can proudly say, "Yes, that's me!" when someone calls me by that noble woman's title. And someday...yes, someday, I would like to meet the original Suzy HomeMaker (for I KNOW she is a real person) and I would like to show her the following projects. (or at least pictures of them)

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I made 3 of these dresses yesterday in assembly line fashion. They are a very easy dress but a tad bit time-consuming from all the gathering. I don't mind gathering though. I actually kind of like it (aside from the time-consuming part) because the seams don't HAVE to match up. I get to MAKE them match up by gathering them to fit. Ahhh...how simple. I hate it when seams don't match up and then you have to make a "pretend" gather where there isn't supposed to be a gather. So when the pattern calls for gathering, I breath a sigh of relief knowing IT WILL MATCH UP!!!


So, the pattern I used is Simplicity 5695 The pink fabric in the dress above was actually bought FOR this pattern. The other fabric was leftover from a skirt I cut out the other day for myself. I just love having matching clothes. Call me weird, I don't care. Its motherhood. Does weird, sappy things to you.

Anyways, the skirts aren't going to be made until at least next week. But the other dress I made Chloe is on her today (yay...no more naked bottoms peeking out from under dresses) so I snapped a picture of her.

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I can hardly wait to get more sewing projects done, but alas, the crocheted dress for my customer must be finished so I will be working on that today. Hopefully I will get it done today so I can show it to you all. No promises though. We all know what happens when I promise something. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Can You Hear It?

I'm sure you can, by now. The sound of my sewing machine whirring as I crank out a massive amount of sewing projects. And when I say massive amount, I mean MASSIVE amount. Don't believe me? Let me show you...

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And just because I feel like it (and also because I have nothing else to talk about today) I am going to list out for you everything you see in the picture above.

~ 12 dresses for Chloe
~ 2 knit shirts for Chloe
~ 4 nightgowns for Chloe
~ 2 skirts for myself
~ 2 shirts for myself
~ 2 baby doll nightgowns

Okay, after you pick yourself up off the floor from where you fell out of your chair, let me explain this to you. That list might not seem like a long list but you need to look at those numbers. Those numbers alone will cause you to tumble back off your chair again in complete shock.

I realized this week that all of Chloe's 18 month dresses are waaayyyy too short. I don't like how short they are getting. Not one little bit. Her little diaper peeks out underneath. Problem is...she doesn't actually wear a diaper most days. (still potty-training...she's got it pretty good unless she has panties on; then she tends to "forget".) Anyways, we might venture outdoors to explore the great unknown and I might possibly forget to put some panties on her (because I am forgetful that way) and she might climb up the slide we have out there for her and WOOOOOO loooo looo....all the neighbours are privy to baby bottoms. Cute as they are, I do not wish to show them off to the world.

So, its time for new dresses that COVER the child. I must get going though if I am to get any done today. And maybe...just maybe, I might even quite possibly by chance have some pictures of some of those dresses done by this evening. You never know with me. Ta-ta for now!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

IT BURNS!!! Oh How it Burns!

My legs are on fire! My arms are on fire! Every muscle in my body is on fire!!! Why did I put myself through this? What good did I think it would do?

Wait a minute. Let me back up a few days here. Last Saturday I went with a girlfriend to the library. Harmless enough, right? We got booku books between her three children and Chloe and I. Boy oh boy. Well, being my first adventure to the library since we moved here (don't know why it took me so long to go there...guess I am a little bit shy to go new places...especially new places where I actually have to TALK to someone) I was dazzled by all that mine eyes beheld. Before me was endless amounts of books. HEAVEN! (for a book lover like me)

What amazed me most was the loads of dvd's they had there. Almost any movie you could imagine. But they charge for them. Almost as much as Blockbuster so I opted not to rent one. (we get unlimited movies two at a time for abotu $14 a month delivered to our door) But...thier workout videos are free! That got the gears in my head cranking. Wouldn't that be a great way to get started exercising? With a free video for 3 weeks?

Oh boy...I wish I had just told myself I could go on a walk everyday. I did the workout with the vidoe yesterday and I was beat. Plumb beat! But that was okay. Denise kept telling me I was burning fat! and gaining energy! (which is what I need) and she was smiling the entire time so I believed her. I really did!

Today I woke up and my body is on fire! James told me I need to take a day's break to let my body heal. Silly me. Oh silly me. Why do I not listen to my husband? Needless to say, I only got about 3/4 of the way through the workout before I fell up the stairs to take my shower. BUT!!! I will press on. This light workout knocking the life out me just goes to show how much shape I am out of. That's right. I am out of shape!

I figure that my tiredness and all the recent headaches (and nausea) must be related to the fact that I get NO exercise. None...unless you could hauling the vacumn up 3 flights of stairs every morning. I don't count that though. So, anyways. I have 2 1/2 weeks left before I have to return this video and its my goal to be able to get all the way though it without keeling over by that time. Then maybe they will have anther video I can swap this one out for.

So now that my body is in recouperation mode, I figure its time to show you all some recent sewing projects of mine. Recent as in last month. I feel terrible that I didn't show them to you when I finished them but, hey...what's a girl to do with a scrambled brain?

First is a nightgown.

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I am NOT pleased with this nightgown at all. I still wear it but its HUGE on me. I made a size 14 and I am thinking I should have made a 12. I have been making size 14 skirts because I am a little nervous that a 12 would be too small. Now I am thinking otherwise.

I had enough leftover fabric to make a shirt for myself. I LOVE this shirt. It suits me to a "T". I love the fabric and the style and the colors. That is the whole reason for making my own clothes, right? To do a style I like in pattern/colors I like that is modest and stylish?

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I started this shirt (McCalls 2094) during Bible School in August and I finally got around to sewing the buttonholes and buttons yesterday. Yay! Its done just in time for me to pack it up for spring!!! (drats) But notice the skirt? That is my favorite project I have made yet. Oh I adore this skirt pattern. Simplicity 4188.
I love the fabric too. Its denim with blue embroidery all over it. Sooo cute.

I even had enough left over of the denim to make a little jumper for Chloe. (Simplicty 4056)

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I love this jumper but it turned out way too short. WAYYY too short. I am thinking of jumping up sizes to a size 1 for her. That way the dresses will fit her most of the winter. Anyways, I have some lace I am going to see if I can add to the bottom to make it a little longer. We will see. I also need to add the zipper to the back. I really need to get going on her wardrobe though. Her dresses are getting way too short for her and the weather is cooling off.

Last I want to show you an apron set I made last month. I don't recall if I showed this to you already or not so if I did, I'm sorry. Its just so darned cute though, isn't it?

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I used Simplicity 3746 for this set. I love it because it even has the apron for the doll too! How fun is that? I am thinking this might make a good Christmas gift for some neices of mine.

Okay. I am off to cut some dresses out for Chloe. I hope to get some made this week so I can start packing away her summer clothes. I also recieved my yarn from knitpicks yesterday so I can finish the dress I am working on for my customer. Hope to get that done this week too. Have a great day everyone! Go out and enjoy this beautiful weather!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Peanut Revenge

If ever there was a time for revenge, now would be it. Don't get me wrong here. I love my sister to death. She is my best friend, sticks with me through thick and thin. (and some of those thin spots have been pretty thin for I have not been the nicest sister to her during our lifetime) But what have you...we are sisters. We are blood and that is a bond that NO ONE can break.

That is until she broke it this last week. Oh...it might seem harmless enough to most. It came in the form of a package. A birthday package for everyone in our household. Yes, it was James birthday last week but also included in this package was my birthday gift and a gift for Chloe as well.

"Hold up! Wait a minute!", you all say. "Wasn't your birthday in April? And wasn't Chloe's birthday in March?" Why yes...yes they were. But hey...better late than never, right?

Here is Chloe opening her gifts after she got up from her nap.

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She got markers (a mom's best friend) and watercolor paints (even MORE fun!!) and some crayons. I guess the crayons are part of the whole "theme" of the package because she also got a book called Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. If you would like a cute book for your kids, this is it. Simple but imaginative. I love it. Makes me want to read more of them. (think the library might have some???)

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And ya'll remember the lovely teapot/teacup I showed you yesterday. That was in the same package.

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That teacup could have been the reason for the huge box filled with peanuts. Yes...I did say peanuts! Those tiny styrofoam pieces invented by someone who didn't have kids to give to thier arch-enemy who did have kids.

What started out as fun and games...

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...turned choatic in a matter of seconds. You all know that dear little Chloe has a fascination with climbing into things...boxes, tubs, pillowcases; pretty much anything you can think of. Well, I thought it wouldn't be so bad to let her climb into that box. WRONG! I don't know where my brain went that day, but it wasn't in my head, obviously.

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After having dumped out the box of peanuts it was only a matter of seconds before the entire living room floor was carpeted in peanuts. Oh...but it didn't stop there. More fun was to be had. Yes, indeed. Running through the peanuts around the coffee table. If you don't have children you may not know this next fact, so consider this a warning.

PEANUTS THAT ARE RUN UPON CRUMBLE INTO TEENY TINY PEICES...QUICKLY!!!


So, now I have been plotting revenge on my darling sister. (who has three delightful children of her own.)Ah yes...you can see where I am going with this one, can't you??? Imagine this...

Christmas morning, three little youngsters each get a gift from thier Aunt Anna who happens to live far away. They open thier giant box and what do they find inside??? Ahhh ha ha ha ha...revenge is good!!! Revenge is good!!! And my darling little sister can't take the peanuts away because, after all, they were a gift from thier favorite Auntie Anna. Ahhh...the sound of that is delightful!

But do you think I can do something like that? No...I don't think I have it in me. The peanuts were cleaned up by Chloe and James and I then vacumned and she did send me that gorgeous little teacup/teapot so no...all is well with me. They will most likely get some cute little dress-up clothes or something from thier beloved Auntie. Its just nice to dream about though....

Brooding

Brooding (v): 1. To be deep in thought; meditate.
2. To focus the attention on a subject persistently and moodily; worry
3. To be depressed.


In addition to a headache that struck me Friday night and didn't leave until I slept it off last night, I also succumbed to a "brooding spirit" this weekend. As you can see from the definition above, this is not a happy sort of place for my mind to be. What I am unable to figure out is why my spirit insists on dwelling in such a depressing place.

It probably doesn't help that, while in this moody frame of mind, I read Emily's Quest by LM Montgomery for my 50 Book Challenge. Don't get me wrong. I love this series. It delights my senses and tickles my imagination. If ever I were to be a famous author, I would want my books to create a mood very similar to LM Montgomery's.

But this is not what my spirit was dwelling on this weekend. Very much like Emily in Emily's Quest, my spirit brooded over dreams that seem to me unattainable. Questions fill my heart and soul. Questions I don't really want to ask myself because I am fearful of the answers. Okay...fearful is not the right word here. More like petrified or terrified.

Why am I so tired all the time? Why am I feeling so sick all the time? (headaches and such)
Why have I not gotten pregnant in almost two years of trying? (when we got pregnant with Chloe in one try) Why do I feel the need to get pregnant so bad? Why can I not enjoy the one precious child I do have?
Why do I pile my to-do list so high that no one (not even Martha Stewart) could ever accomplish it? Why can I not find pleasure in the task at hand? Why do I always think about what's next instead of enjoying what's now?
Should I spend less time designing crochet patterns and more time on things my family really needs? How many crocheted dresses does Chloe really even need? What does my family even really need?

And all these questions (and more) lead down to one....Am I in the center of God's Will for my life? Is He pleased with where I am at and what I am doing? How much does he really want me to do? (okay...so that was three questions. I obviously cannot count.)

In our sermon on Sunday the pastor mentioned briefly the passage from Matthew 25:14-30. Ahhhh...the parable of the talents.

Matthew 25:29
"For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."


This got me to thinking about another passage regarding this very issue.

Luke 12:47-48
"And the servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."


I like that passage in the NKJ better. I used the NKJ in my early schooling, not switching to the NIV until about 5th grade so there are still some verses I have memorized in that earlier version.

Anyways, I have been mulling this over and around in my brain for the past couple of days, trying to grasp what God is telling me through this. Obviously enough, I have been given much in my life. But now the question remains...what is required of me? I feel as though I am spreading myself too thin. Shouldn't I be focusing on a couple of things and getting better at those? Advancing my skills? Am I too young to be considered a master of my trade? So therefore its okay to spread myself so thin? Exactly what is it that God wants me to do with this crochet business? Sometimes I feel as though I devote too much of my time to it. But then again, I devote too much time to blog-surfing and eating chocolate and gossiping. So, does God want me to give up the chocolate-covered gossip and devote myself to my hobbies? Or does my house need to be spotless before I sit to crochet?

See? I told you. Brooding. Plain and simple. My mind is filled with these brooding thoughts and I can't seem to enjoy life.

Of course, there are those moments that stop you on a dime and you wish you could live in that moment forever. I sometimes let Chloe sleep in my bed with me. For naps or on nights when James is gone. Last night was one of those nights. "Feed the homeless nights" is what I call them now. He doesn't get home til about midnight and I get awful lonesome so I let Chloe sleep with me until she falls asleep. Then I move her into her own bed before James gets home.

Last night we were laying in bed, but sleep wasn't coming. Somehow we got to giggling. She tried to lick my face but I pulled it away at the last minute. This got us both laughing. So then I licked her face after which she bust up laughing. It became a little game and we both forgot that we were supposed to be sleeping. She accidentally scraped my eyelid with her fingernail during our little game and I said, "Oh ow!" She was still in giggle mode though and no matter how many times I asked her to "kiss Mama's boo-boo" she just pulled away and giggled, saying, "no kiss...no kiss". I gave up. We laid there for a bit, still playing, and then I began to stroke her head and talk to her. She reached up and stroked my head. It was a tender moment between mother and daughter. After about 5 minutes of this (which is a long time in toddler-land) she popped up, cupped my face in her hands and pulled it down to her face and gently kissed my eyelid.

I cried. I have to tell you, I have not cried like that in front of Chloe for a very long time. This little girl amazes me. She then said, "Mama crying?" and I said, "yes...Mama is crying, but its a happy cry." She grabbed the corner of the pillowcase and very gently wiped underneath each of my eyes.

Its times like those that make everything else worthwhile. So, while I struggle to find my place in God's will, I know that I am raising a child for Him and I KNOW that is right smack dab in the center of His Will. I know He is pleased with that. I know He was looking down at us last night and He smiled and even, quite possibly, shed a tear of joy along with me.

I am off now to enjoy a lovely cup of Ginger Peach tea in my new little teacup for one that my dear sister sent to me for my birthday. (more about that package in my next post) I hope you all have a wonderful day and remember that even in the storms of life, there is always a God who loves to bless you and "give you much".

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Goodness

God is good. There is nothing more I can say. He is good. I can't begin to comprehend his goodness. I am in awe of it today as I sit and think about all that He has blessed me with in my life. A great husband, a darling little girl, a yummy cup of tea, crochet supplies and playdoh. What more could a woman want? (Some sugar cookies might be nice but that might be asking too much, or is it?)

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I thought it might be fun to make sugar cookies with Chloe today instead of our regular day of playdoh which we usually have every Friday. She enjoyed pressing the cookie cutters into the dough but unfortunately she has become so used to playdoh that she didn't grasp the concept that each "cut" should be made seperately instead of on top of each other. I spent a few minutes teaching her to space them apart a ways to make individual cookies and then she had a ball. (of course she then tried to take each shape and wad it into a "ball" like she usually does with playdoh so I got my workout this morning trying to get each cookie onto the cookie sheet before it got demolished)

Now sugar cookies must go into the fridge for an hour so what else to do while we wait but get out the playdoh. Lately, I have been struck with the notion that I need to be "teaching" Chloe more instead of letting her go at things on her own. So, I got out the flash cards with the playdoh.

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What on earth do flash cards have to do with playdoh? (aside from the fact that Chloe totally LOVES these flash cards, I mean) Well, I had Chloe pick out a flash card and then I created a playdoh version of the image.

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Pretty good, isn't it? I could probably sell this stuff to art galleries and make a fortune. Its art, right? (come on...someone would pay money for this, wouldn't they? I have seen some pretty crazy stuff for sale) Anyways, I figure once Chloe is a little bit older and grasps the concept of this little game, she can do the same thing. I would pick a card for her and she would try to re-create the image. Could be fun. Or could be torture. Never know.

It was James birtday this week so I took him to Outback for dinner. (our favorite restaurant of all time) He got a picture of me while we were there so I thought I would share it with you all. I am usually the one holding the camera so we don't have a ton of pictures of me. This one turned out pretty okay so here I am...

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Still look like I'm 12 too. Guess I could quit wearing braids down my back...that might help.

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And speaking of goodness, I recieved the loveliest little package in the mail yesterday from my secret pal over at the ville. I wasn't supposed to have a pal this round, but somehow Smee got onto the computer one night and worked behind Lori's back so I could have one. (yippeee)

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There is a little candle in a cute tin with a letter A on the cover. How cute is that? Also there is a little stickie note package in the shape of an A. Is there a theme going on here??? The tape is so cute. It has Happy Birthday written on it with little pictures. I have never seen anything like this in my life. What will they think of next? So, I am wondering what to do with this tape? I could wrap a gift in white paper so the tape would show up...that would be cute. Okay, there is also a mousepad in there with a spot to put a photo in it. I am thinking James and Chloe??? Together!!! But look...there is THREAD! I got THREAD! And this isn't just any thread. Its Monoco thread. We looked it up on the internet (well, James did) and we found out that its from the Philipines. How cool is that??? Anyways...I am seeing a hate for Chloe with this thread...or a special doily. Maybe a PK doily??? Thank you to my secret pal for the lovely gift. I appreciate your thoughfulness.

As you can see, I am one blessed lady. Thank you Jesus for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me today! I love you. I am off to enjoy my cup of tea today.

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Today is Cream Earl Grey tea in my lovely teacup I bought in England. I am going nibble on some yummy sugar cookies, the perfect accompaniment to my afternoon tea. Have a lovely day everyone! It really is a glorious day to rejoice in the Lord!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Its a Pattern Sale

And just so you don't miss it, I am telling you about it. Get on over to JoAnn's this week for butterick patterns. They are on sale for $1.99. I am still waiting for a $.99 sale on patterns but those aren't as common as the $1.99 ones.

And, you all know me...when there's a sale, I just gotta get new patterns. Today I picked out nine.

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I also bought more fabric. Okay. I didn't actually need more, but some of it was on sale and some of it was for specific projects that I want to do. (like the whole winter wardrobe thing...haven't gotten very far on that endeavor yet)

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The bright pink fabric above will make a couple of shirts for Chloe to wear with jumpers. The brown and dark pink fabric will be shirts for me. Which shirt? This one.

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Cute, eh??? And modest. I am really trying to be modest in my clothing but its so hard to find cute things that are modest. This one fits the bill. (unless it turns out to be lower cut than it appears in the picture...that has been known to happen before. I seem to remember my mother struggling with this problem)

But now! For the exciting part. I got a cute...cute...TOO cute pattern for Chloe.

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And do you wanna know what fabric I am going to use to make this cute dress? We have enough for three dresses here. First, every girl needs pink.

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I think the polka dot is going to be the pinafore and the "pretend" eyelet is going to be the dress...or was it vice versa, I don't remember. Oh well. It will pretty darned cute when it is finished regardless which way it goes. That being said, check this out. This one will be even cuter.

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Ahhhh...the kid does love her Mickey. They had three fabric choices for Mickey and all of them were boyish. I decided to go for it anyways. The ruffles and pinafore on the dress will be enough to "girlify" it, I hope. Oh boy. You should have seen Chloe's face in the store when we pulled this off the shelf. She even tried to carry the bolt around with us as we browsed. (good thing it was only the 45" wide or she wouldn't have done as well as she did - which was about 5 seconds worth of toting, then it went into the cart)

But I do believe that this next fabric is going to make the CUTEST dress ever worn by a child. Yes, indeed. I don't think it gets any cuter than this...

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That would be a red fabric with tiny white polka dots and the pinafore will be...nothing else than...RAGGEDY ANN! What did I say??? Cute, right?

So, once I get the next round of testing ready and also the dress I am crocheting for a customer, I have plans to get out my sewing machine and sew to my hearts content. Yay! I can hardly wait. I am having a hard time convincing myself not to drag it out right now though. I gotta keep on crocheting though. Almost done, almost done.

Have a wonderful day everyone. Its almost fall!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Powerful Love

I found this over on A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and wanted to share it with you all. This is very moving. It explains who I am and where I came from.




God's Love is so amazing, so divine...it demands my soul, my life, my all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ACKK! I Ran Out!

Arggghhhh!!! I hate it when I do this. HATE IT! I ran out of yarn in the middle of a project. UGGG. Now I have to sit and wait for the order I placed yesterday to come in so I can finish the project.

What's worse, this particular project is for a customer and now she will have to wait for it as well. Thank goodness she wants the dress for Thanksgiving. I still have plenty of time to get it to her, eh?

Wanna see my progress though?

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I have at least two more ruffles to go on the skirt. I actually altered this dress a tad bit from my original design. I increased the skirt section so it would be fuller. I also added length to each ruffle so there wouldn't be so many ruffles. (which means I use less yarn...more ruffles means more yarn)

I also didn't order enough tan yarn so I am halfway done with the shrug.

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But...the good news is, the hat is done. Completed. Finished. Well, all except the weaving in ends part. But you all know me and weaving in ends. I will put it off until the last possible minute. Most likely I will be weaving them in as I place them into the shipping box. *rolling eyes*

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Isn't that caramel color yarn just delicious? I have spent a good portion of this afternoon licking my lips. I even snuck a snickerdoodle from the cookie jar. Only one though...I am practicing self-constraint. The name of this yarn color is willow (Knitpicks Shine Sport yarn) but personally, I don't think willow describes it. Willow, to me, depicts more of a green willow-y sort or color. (think weeping willow here). I think this yarn should renamed something like delicious. Or delectable. Or lip-smaker. Or howabout Ummmmmm. That would actually be a perfect name for it. Ummmm. Maybe the yarn companies should hire me to name their yarns. That would be a pretty cool job. Heck! I would even do it for free.

So, now the decision must be made. What am I to do with the rest of my afternoon? Should I do chores around the house? No...never. Can't do chores in the afternoon. That would be...well...ridiculous. I just don't do chores in the afternoon. Okay then. What else is there? Oh...I could start a new project. But wait! I have so many projects I need to finish...how can I possibly fit room for one more project in my workbasket? I could always work on a WIP. Now that's an idea. But then my pattern release for testing is coming up in about 3 weeks and I don't have any patterns ready. Maybe I should crochet on one of my new designs. I guess this is what I will do then. Now to decide which design to work on. The apron set, the dress ensemble or the Pink Collection. (that's a surprise) Oh brother...here we go. I'll just go work on something and tell you about it later. Bye!

On This Day in History

20 something years ago today, a little baby boy was born into this world. He took his first breath and cried. Even before this boy was conceived, God had a plan for him. A purpose. I am so blessed to be a part of that purpose. So truly blessed.

That baby grew up into a boy and then into a man. It was this man who asked me to marry him and 9 years ago, I became his wife. Oh, I am so honored to have this man in my life. He can make me laugh like no one else. He knows me better than I know myself. I enjoy watching baseball with him. (only if its the Yankees though) He will sit and unwind my yarn balls for me as I am crocheting. (of course, he jokes that he is going to tie my finished project to the back of his truck and drive around the neighborhood, watching it unwind so he can see how long the "string" is, but I honestly believe this is only a threat. He knows what would happen to him if he tried) He gets up in the middle of the night and plods downstairs just to get me a glass of water. He will turn on his bluegrass music and dance with me in the middle of the kitchen whenever I ask him too. He will eat burnt steak if it is set before him. He will sit in bed on Friday nights and play Yatzee with me. He will wake up early in the morning and drink a cup of coffee with me while we both write out our Bibles. (good point to know: James detests coffee)

Oh, I truly am a lucky woman to be called his wife.

Happy Birthday James. I love you so very much. My deepest prayer is that as the years of our life together goes by, we will grow closer and closer to each other and to the Lord. James, I want to grow old with you. Someday, we will sit on our front porch (when we ever get our farm) in our rocking chairs and we will remember when...

Click here to watch "our life song".

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Ministry at Home

Lately I have been asked by members of our church to serve the church in different ways and I am unsure of how to say no. I want to serve the church, don't get me wrong. I believe that part of my ministry to my children is for them to see us (both James and I) serving the Lord in our church and to join in with us in that service. But there are choices that must be made.

I have been asked this week to help with Awanas. We quickly came to the conclusion that this was not best suited for me. (Chloe is too young to get anything out of it and I don't believe in leaving her with a babysitter so I can "serve God".)

Then I have been asked to join the choir. I have always dreamed of singing but never had the courage to do anything about it besides joining the highschool choir. But after praying about it I just don't feel peace in my heart about it. I rely on that peace a bit in my decision making process. I figure if God wanted me to do this, he would give me a peace in my heart after I have prayed it over. When all I feel is turmoil or torn, I doubt it is from God. At least for the time being. That's not to say I will NEVER join the choir, but for now, its not where God is leading me.

But the question still remains...how can I serve the Lord in my church? Today I got a revelation of sorts. Ideas starting coming to me and then, after talking with a girlfriend, more ideas came up. As many of you already know, James goes to feed the homeless with some others from the church every Monday night. I like to bake. I decided today that this will be part of my ministry from my home. I will bake cookies, breads or other such goodies for James to take with him on Monday nights. Each member of our family will have a part in it. (including Chloe because you all know she helps me in the kitchen every day)

So, today I spent the afternoon baking. Wanna see what I made???

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Cookies. Two kinds. I think those men (and woman) down on the streets can really appreciate some good homemade cookies. I am sure they don't get them very often. Last time I sent some homemade bread they told me the homeless guys really loved it. It makes me happy to know that I am serving Christ by making these cookies. I may not be down there witnessing to them or even meeting them in person but because I took the time to make them, they will be showered with the love of Christ. I made Snickerdoodles and Oatmeal Scotchies. (the kind with those extra-yummy butterscotch chips in them)

The rest of my baking today was for my family. I made some bread because we are completely out.

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Here we have some cornbread which we enjoyed for supper. Don't mind the brownish tint to my cornbread. I use mostly whole wheat flour in this house. I keep a touch of white all pupose flour for special occaisions when you want your cookies to be the "right color" or something but other than that, I bake with whole wheat flour. I like to think that I am getting a little something healty in my chocolate chip cookies. LOL. The cornbread isn't really affected by it either, if you use the right kind of flour. I have found that some store brands of flour actually smell like chicken feed and taste like dog food. Not pleasant for homemade goodness. But if the right kind of flour is used, you can't really tell the difference. (well, maybe YOU can but I have been doing it for so long that I can't really. It ALL tastes good.)

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One thing I like on my cornbread is molasses. Weird, huh? But boy is it good. Ten times better than honey-butter. Oh ya!

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Tomorrow is James birthday so I made him a cake tonight. I will attempt to frost it tomorrow. I am thinking chocolate frosting. He asked for chocolate something.

Me: "What kind of cake do you want for your birthday?"
James: "I don't know."
Me: "Well, I need to know so I can bake it for you. Do you want yellow cake with chocolate frosting?"
James: "Just make me something with chocolate in it."
Me: "So, your okay with the yellow cake and chocolate frosting?"
James: "I guess so."


I'm glad because I had half a box of yellow cake in the cupboard. I don't know why I have a box of cake mix, let alone HALF a box but its perfect. It makes a small cake, perfect for two and a half people. That way we won't be eating cake for breakfast for the next week. I will frost the cake tomorrow with chocolate frosting. (homemade) I gotta figure out if I have any cake decorating tools so I can attempt to make something pretty on top of this thing. I have no idea if I have any cake decorating skills. We shall soon find out.

Another idea that were shared about a "stay-at-home" ministry I can do for our church was to build and maintain a website for the church. I have learned alot in building my own website and I think I can do a church website justice. I just need to get up the guts to call the pastor or his wife and mention this idea to them.

We could also make baskets of goodies filled with things like homemade breads or cakes or cookies and maybe some of my handiwork (like doilies or such) and a book or something. James, Chloe and I could deliver these baskets together to members of our church who we think might need a little uplifting. I could even make cards for this. I really liked this idea. I could cater the baskets to the individual and thier needs. Like a widow, someone who just had a baby or recently was in the hospital (or is still in the hospital). Just whomever we feel needs a little encouragement.

I also thought we could go as a family and visit older people in the church who maybe can't get out as much. I went this morning to visit such a lady and she adored having us there. Especially Chloe. For some reason, older people LOVE being around babies and children. It brings back so many memories for them. James could work around the yard (because thats the sort of thing he enjoys doing for others) and I could either work around the house like cooking meals or cleaning or something or I could just sit and visit with them. They tend to get so lonely. The lady I visited yesterday said that a couple of times, just how lonely it was for her. She rarely gets visitors and her children don't even come to see her but maybe once a week. Can you imagine living by yourself and not seeing anyone for days? She can't drive or go anywhere unless someone takes her. My heart breaks for people like that. I wish I could go visit her everyday. Anyways, it would be a wonderful ministry opportunity and I think my children (or Chloe for now) would benefit greatly from participating in such a ministry.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful evening. Take some time to think how you can bring a smile to someone this week. You never know how much you will touch thier lives by something simple. Even just a note to say I am thinking of you can bring joy and cheer into someone's life.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Can I Do It?

I consider myself a fairly strong person when it comes to certain things. I love strongly. I hate strongly. (I must be Irish) I pursue my ambitions and dreams strongly. But one things I am not very strong at is resisting something I really want but don't really need. (consider my extensive yarn stash - enough said)

Take at look at what a blogger friend showed me the other day. Its a knit-a-long for Anne of Green Gables fans. Oh me, Oh my. Why on earth would she show something like this to me. ME! A person who is so easily enticed by things I have no business being enticed by. I don't NEED to join this knit-a-long. I really don't need to do it. But will I resist it? Will I be able to say no to adding one more thing on top of my already extensive to-do list?

Okay. In order to help myself out here, I will write out for myself some prefectly good reasons for me NOT to join this knit-a-long.

1. I don't knit. Well, I do knit...but not very well. I am only a beginner.
2. I already have my own Anne of Green Gables challenge and isn't one enough???
3. There is no way possible that I could WIN the competition. (my knitting is quite sub-par)
4. There is a reading schedule for all the books over the course of a few months (the duration of the knit-a-long) but I have already read this entire series at the beginning of this year. Do I really need to read it again after such a short span of time?
5. I seem to remember alot more in those books about crocheting than I do about knitting. Maybe I should start my own Anne of Green Gables crochet-a-long? (again, my already swamped to-do list might not stand up under that kind of pressure)
6. I don't know anyone who is doing this challenge. (and if I know you and you ARE taking up this challenge, don't bother telling me about it. It might cause my resolve to cave in after which I would unwittingly sign up)
7. How often have I finished ANY "a-long" that I have started? (I don't want to talk about this anymore...)
8. James already thinks I am a nut. Do I need to make it any worse?
9. I can be a fan without joining, right?

I think I am running low on reasons but I feel pretty confident in myself that I CAN withold myself from joining....for at least one week. Anyone who cares to differ from me...can just leave me alone. I AM STRONG!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Nice Little Award

Wow. I got an award today. How sweet of B to give this lovely award to me. I am honored.


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“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

So now I have to choose 7 people to give this award to. Oh...how hard this will be. Hmmm...

1. Of course I have to give it back to B. She is a very nice blogger and she leaves comments on my blog all the time. I also found out today that not only are we sisters bu we are kindred spirits as well. She loves Anne of Green Gables too and anyone who loves Anne of Green Gables is a kindred spirit.

2. Next I would have to give this award to LadySnow. She truly is another kindred spirit and also a very good friend of mine. Her blog inspires me to be a better mother, wife and master of my house.

3. Christine is another blogging mother who deserves this award. I love to read her blog as she strives to be the godly mother and wife God has called her to be. She is a treasure.

4. Minwifeofboys also deserves this award. She is a godly woman who encourages me in my walk with the Lord and whom I KNOW prays for me and that is more than anyone could ever hope for. I admire this lady of God.

5. Heart was one of my prevous secret pals and we found out we are sisters in Christ and that we have alot in common. I think she is very deserving of this award.

6. Busyhsmom is another godly woman deserving of this award. She has 7 children that she homeschools and trains to be godly men and woman for the Lord. What an ispiration.

7. Debra is one of my oldest computer friends and also the lady who built my first website. She also has lots of kids and strives to be the woman God created her to be. I admire Debra's strength as she faces lifes challenges and am honored to be able to call her my friend.

I am truly blessed to have such good internet friends. God really does use this internet for His glory as he brings people closer to his heart through it. These woman challenge me, inspire me and encourage me to be a godly woman. Thank you all for everything. I love you all and can't wait to meet you all in heaven. (if we never meet on earth)

Sad News Turns Adventurous

I was deeply saddend when a friend (Miranda) informed me that my utmost favorite yarn in the entire world is being discontinued. At first I didn't even believe her and thought she was seriously pulling my leg. It was no joke! Paton's Grace cotton yarn is being discontinued. (that page states it although the Paton's Grace website does not)

In light of this bad news, Miranda shared with me a link to some yarn she finds comparable to my lovely Paton's Grace. I ordered some. Let me explain.

I recently recieved an order for my Thanksgiving Harvest Ensemble to be crocheted for a size 5T for a customer. Her daughter picked out the color and I ordered it from Lustersheen. (since that is what the dress was made in) Well, when I recieved the yarn, the color didn't look anything like what it did on the internet. So we had to start over. I decided to try this new yarn that Miranda suggested. It arrived this past weekend and I spent about an hour Tuesday night winding balls.

It is important to note that I recently went yard saleing and found 3 baskets the lady sold me for $1. I was ecstatic. Elated. Perfectly happy. One of them was perfect for storing potatoes in so I could keep them in my kitchen. Well, the other two baskets have been toted around the house by a certain toddler because I have no other use for them. Finally, Tuesday night it dawned on me. I could use one of them as a little workbasket. I have a larger workbasket that fits tons of WIPs in it but it is chuck full and if I add one more project to the pile it will fall out on the floor or get lost in the bundle.

So, this little basket is perfect. It fits one little project in it and the neccessary supplies like scissors, tape measure and pattern. Isn't it the best?

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It even has two little handles that come up so I can tote this basket around the house to whatever room I want to crochet (or knit) in. Its perfect and I am pleased with it.

Now, back to the yarn. As you can see in the picture above, the purple is already wound into balls. I had great pleasure in winding this yarn. You wouldn't think that one could have fun winding balls of yarn for an hour. But this yarn sure made the daunting task pleasurable. This is one of the softest yarns I have ever laid my hands on. (aside from synthetic yarns which I consider "fake" yarn and I am beginning to get to the place where I refuse to use them...call me a yarn snob, I know. But that's just the way it goes) This yarn is automatically better than my second favorite yarn, lustersheen for the simple matter that it is cotton and lustersheen is "fake". Lustersheen is the BEST "fake" yarn you can find. It almost feels like real cotton sliding gracefully through your fingers.

The yarn above is called Shine Sport and is put out by Knit Picks. I have linked to Knit Picks in my sidebar for almost two years now but I have never actually ordered yarn from them. Not any more. This yarn really is almost comparable to Paton's Grace. While I think nothing will ever compare to Paton's Grace, this Shine Sport will soon become my favorite yarn. (because Paton's Grace will be no more)

I started the dress project Tuesday night. (and was going to continue on it yesterday but as mentioned in my previous post, my good intentions were waylaid by the flood) I worked on it some more this afternoon and have gotten the bodice done.

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I have to say after working with this yarn I am utterly in love. I would be in heaven if I could cuddle up for a good read in a sweater made from this yarn. Maybe I will have to design one. (like I will ever have the time for that) But it does make me anxious to try out the other yarn I got with my order.

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That is a lovely olive green wool called Telemark and I have plans for a sweater with it. Then I was thinking today that it might be a little fantastic to have a sweater AND skirt set with this yarn. The design is in my head too. (stitch technique and everything) I just need to crochet it. Oh...how wonderful it will be. I can't wait. I have never crocheted with real wool before and I am anxious...yes...very anxious to try it.

But first things first. Gotta finish the dress and then work on some projects for my secret pal and then work on some designs for my Oct 1 release. THEN I can design a new sweater/skirt set for myself. Maybe in a couple of weeks??? That's a noble goal. High, but noble.

Okay, I am off now to crochet more. Break time is over. (and my tea is getting cold) Have a great evening everyone!

Along the Road of Good Intentions

You can see many sights along the road of good intentions. Although the destination is not always fun (desination is actually "nowhere", the way there can sure give you a thrill. (or a fright, which can also be exciting) Take yesterday, for example. I had many well-formulated plans for things I wanted to accomplish, things I didn't want to accomplish but needed to accomplish and things that MUST be accomplished.

I was well on my way along this road of good intentions. You do realize that to be on the road, you must first have the good intentions. That's exactly what I had. Certain things needed cleaned. Other things needed crocheted, or mended, or sewn or stamped. I even started a list yesterday of projects that I MUST finish by the end of the year. (alot of them by the end of the month) That list is currently 33 lines long. YIKES! I knew I had to get busy if I wanted to get to that list yesterday.

I headed downstairs to grab my bucket so I could clean the floor of the coat closet. (my zone cleaning chore for yesterday) As I stepped into the unfinished portion of the basement, three inches of water immediately swirled around my bare foot. YUP! WATER. My basement was flooded. Its not the first time our basement has flooded but this WAS the first time it flooded with the washing machine OFF and no thunderstorm going on outside.

So, I got out the good ole ShopVac we borrowed from our friends and I proceeded to vacuuming out the basement. About an hour and a half later, James came home from work to help. In that time, I hadn't made any progress with the water. As soon as I emptied the rather large canister of water and started again, it appeared as though I hadn't even touched it.

James figured out it was coming from our hot water heater. By about midnight last night, he finally got the valve on the hot water heater fixed so he could shut off the water to the heater without having the water to the entire house turned off. (we went all day without water)

Today, I am exhausted. We didn't get to bed til after 3:00 am last night this morning and it shows. I couldn't function when I woke up. Literally. I tried to get Chloe's breakfast ready and I couldn't remember where the cereal bowls were kept. Oh and milk. I guess it helps to have milk in cereal. (if you can't figure out why your toddler isn't eating, check to make sure there is milk in the bowl) Because the state of my mind was in such disrepair, I opted for cold cereal. It would have been disasterous to attempt cooked oatmeal while in such a sleep-deprived state. And the coffee. I had to take a nap for an hour directly after breakfast in order to be able to comprehend the steps neccessary for a cup of coffee.

For this reason, I have no WIP progress to report, nor did I anti-procrastinate anything. DRATS! I really was going to, too. Well, maybe not the anti-procrstination one...but I really wanted to work on a WIP. I really did, I tell you. I don't know as I will work on anything today aside from an order that came through for a dress. A size 5T dress. I will have to share the details of this another time. It involves that yummy new yarn I mentioned yesterday.

May you all have a great day and may your feet stay dry!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fun Little Questions

Here are the rules of the tag:

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the questions. Your answers must be real places, things, names... nothing made up. If you can't think of anything, skip the question. You can't use your name for the boy's/girl's name question. If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, you can't use my answers.

FAMOUS SINGER:
Audio Adrenaline (so its a group...oh well)

FOUR LETTER WORD:
atom

STREET:
Avenue

COLOR:
amythest

GIFTS/PRESENTS:
accordian

THINGS IN A SOUVENIR SHOP:
astonomer's guide to the galaxy

BOY'S NAME:
Adam

GIRL'S NAME:
Amorelle

MOVIE TITLE:
Aladdin

DRINK:
A&W rootbeer

OCCUPATION:
anesthesiologist

CELEBRITY:
Aidan Quinn

MAGAZINE:
Alaska Sportsman

U.S. CITY:
Albany, NY

PRO SPORTS:
Anaheim Angels

FRUIT:
apricot

REASONS FOR BEING LATE FOR WORK:
amnesia

SOMETHING YOU THROW AWAY:
apples with worms in them

THINGS YOU SHOUT:
atta boy!

CARTOON CHARACTER:
ariel


Okay. Now for the tags. I tag Melanie, Misty, Kim, Miranda, Christine, B, Ashlie and Christa. Don't forget to leave a comment when you answer your questions so I read yours.

Playing With New Stamps

Last Tuesday (not last night) was stamping night at Miss A's house. Boy, do I love those nights. I come away with this insatiable need to create cards. As my small stamp collection grows, my stamping gets better. (meaning - I like the cards) So, when I recieved my new set of stamps I just had to try them out. Many times!

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So, there you have it. One Wednesday afternoon of stamping and I have loads of cards to give away. Some of these are going to my secret pal for the ville's secret pal swap and some are going to family.

While I was making these cards I got the idea of selling them. I could totally make sets of cards and sell them on my website. Everyone needs cards and with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, I think they would be a huge hit. You never know.

I mentioned this idea to James and I even suggested that maybe all the money I make from the card sales could be thrown back into buying more stamps. (because, quite literally, I want more than half the stamp sets in the catalog) He thought this was a great idea. So...now I just need to finish up everything else on my long to-do list and I can get started on this new endeavor. Its not like I need another endeavor. Not at all, but hey. The idea of more stamps sure is pleasung and this would be a great way to fund that desire. So, we will see. We will see.

Have a great Wednesday everyone. I am off to plan my menu for the next week, write my grocery list and do a bit of zone cleaning. I might even have a WIP to show you later...and some new, yummy yarn. (not new as in just released, but new-to-me)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Was it Worth it??

My legs are covered in huge, itchy spider and mosquito bites. The bug spray didn't work. (Guess I should have re-applied it after the shower. That might have helped) I have been applying anti-itch cream like crazy today. I am prone to bites and the bites I get always seem much bigger than bites on anyone else. James even agrees. He thinks maybe I am more allergic to bugs or something. Who knows. All I know is that they itch something fierce.

So, was it worth it? Are these terrible bites a sufficient price to pay for a weekend camping in the wild woods? (not so wild since it was only about an hour from our house...about 30 minutes outside of the city...and about 2 minutes from the local town/highway) I would have to say YES!!! This weekend was just about perfect. The weather was outstanding. It couldn't have been any better. We even said that while we were there. It was THE best camping weather you could ever have.

I haven't felt this relaxed in...I don't know how long. It felt so refreshing. So quiet. So peaceful. We just were. Just James, Chloe and I...together. No phones. No computers. No tv's. It just felt good. We went fishing, bike riding, walking. We played games, listened to James play the guitar and built campfires. We ate hot dogs, baked beans and smore's. Did you know that there is something better than smore's? I never knew it until the second night we were there.

I was busy gathering the neccessary supplies for making smore's. Graham crackers, marshmallows and...oh yes...CHOCOLATE. Can't forget the chocolate. I dug into the cooler and lifted out the package of Hershey's chocolate bars. (silly me bought two packages thinking there were only 3 in a package and that you needed half of a bar to make a smore. WRONG. There are SIX in a package and you only need a quarter of one to make a smore...so we have a whole package left and another 3/4 package of candy bars - they are in the freezer for the next camping trip...or the next chocolate binge, whichever comes first)

Well, as I was pulling out the chocolate bars from the cooler, I saw the package of reeces peanut butter cups sitting snugly below the chocolate bars. I lifted them up and hollered to James to take a look. He just nodded with a grin on his face and we experimented. All I have to say is YUM!!! Now I am not a huge fan of reece's peanut butter cups. I will eat one if there is no other form or sugar around. But I have to tell you, using this in a smore was simply divine. I have never tasted a smore so good. The toasted marshmallows melted the thin chocolate on the reece's so it was dripping out of the graham cracker sandwich. Ummm.

We went fishing a couple of times while we were there. The last time (Sunday night)we let Chloe fish. James cast his pole and then had me hold it so he could cast Chloe's pole. Yes. We have a pole for Chloe. We had great fun playing with her too. It had a plastic fish attached to the line and James would cast it into the camp driveway and let Chloe chase it while he reeled it in. She thought this was a riot and we ended up doing this over and over everytime we sat down at the picnic table.

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Back to the real fishing though. I was holding James pole for the couple of minutes it took him to bait Chloe's hook and cast it. In that little amount of time I got a bite on my hook and I reeled in my first catch.

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Just a tiny little thing that we threw back. Well, by then I was hooked and I caught about 3 more fish. I even caught a teeny little catfish. James got a bite on the Barbie fishing pole (we didn't think that pole would actually catch anything) and he had Chloe reel it in.

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She was so excited. James tried to get her to pet the fish but she wasn't having none of that. She like the reeling in and jumping around because she caught one, but she was not about to touch the thing.

James was having so much luck with the Barbie pole that he kept fishing with it and let me continue on with his. A little while later he exclaimed, "I got a HUGE bite! This is a biggun!" And lo, and behold, it was the biggest fish any of us caught that day.

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It was a catfish. Caught with a Barbie fishing pole designed for a 3 year old. At least we know it works. These catfish are funny though. They make a little, sort of squeeking noise...I can't describe it. Both of them did it. We have never heard catfish make this noise before. It was weird.

Okay, so here is a picture of our campsite.

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It wasn't much but we had a blast. I really enjoyed our time away. Here I am sitting by the campfire with Chloe.

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And here is a cute picture of Chloe. When we first got to the campsite, she got out of the car and started investigating the area. She found the nearest tree and attempted to climb it.

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I hope you all had a great labor day weekend as well. Have a wonderful new week!