Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Dressing Station

Chloe owns so many hair bows and clips and ribbons and doo-dads and hair ties and...well...you get the idea. She needed a way to store all these accessories in an easily accessible manner. After giving it some thought and peeking around Pottery Barn Kids a few times, I came up with a solution.

Wall shelves.

Chloe begged and begged and pleaded and begged some more for a mirror. Honestly, she asked for one for two Christmases in a row, poor dear. So, a good dressing station would involve a mirror of some sort too.

Here is what I came up with.

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White mirror - $4 at Target.
Wall shelves - $8 each at Target.
Jars - $5 for the set at Target.
Hooks - $3 at Target.

And she has a dressing station fit for a princess.

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I still need a ruffle curtain. Pottery Barn Kids has the most gorgeous one in the entire world. Unfortunately, I cannot afford the price tag for such beauty. I found a simpler one at Target for $20. I might purchase that one and add some lace and trims and all that "girly" stuff. Won't that be so pretty?

The Moon

Speaking of the moon...

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The real moon. (and no...James did not hang it. Although closet doors come pretty close.)

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I took those pictures through the telescope with my camera. I borrowed a lens from another stargazer to get this next picture. My lens could not get anywhere near this close.

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I need to get out my manual and read up on how to change my shutter speed. I could have gotten a much better picture if I could have found the button, but it was very dark, even in the light of the full moon.

I just think its pretty cool that I got the images I did with my camera and limited photography knowledge. We saw some other cool things too. Like two stars that appear next to each other but are really lightyears away and the M16 Nebula star cluster. So very cool. We might need to go stargazing again.

P.S. We are studying space for school right now, hence the stargazing through telescopes and knowledge of M16 star cluster and such. I am getting a quality education over here. I wonder if they will let me homeschool college too. I would be all over that.

Hanging the Moon

James hung the moon. Okay. So not literally. But he might as well have. He hung some closet doors for me AND he laid laminate flooring in my entryway. Major improvement. Here are the "befores".

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Note how terrible that floor looks. Inside the closet is the original hardwood floor. Choke. Gasp. Agggghhh! Sigh. Yes, underneath the carpet is hardwood flooring. Isn't that sad? Little did we know this fact until after we purchased the carpet before we moved into the house. And since we didn't actually see the floor, we don't really know the condition of it and how much work it would take to make it presentable. So, we just live with the knowledge that its down there. Its enough for us.

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There is 1/4" subflooring underneath that "peel-and-stick" tile. Yes, someone put plywood subflooring on top of hardwood floors. Really makes me wonder about the condition of our hardwood. Anyways, about the time our new kitchen was going in, the doors on our entryway closet broke. I've put up with a broken closet door for 6 months. Talk about annoying.

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So there it goes. Bye-bye! My main job for the day was painting the new closet doors. Every time I turned around my painter's canvas was twisted up in a pile instead of nice and flat like I left it. Hmmmmm....how does something like that happen?

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Yup. Found the culprit. Leave it to a kitten to play with everything. She got a little antsy when Chloe went outside to help daddy though. She waited at the window for her, watching her little girl.

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And by the end of the day, the entryway was finished. Isn't it beautiful?

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Its always the little things that you don't notice that make the biggest difference. I love the whiteness of those doors. They change the entire look of the living room. I love how quietly and smoothly they open. I never noticed how noisy and ragged the old doors were. They were hard to open. These just glide along with absolutely no effort.

Thank you James.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It Begins

The website transformation has begun.

Okay. So honestly, not much has happened yet. We are researching Joomla. I love the shopping cart feature they have. Customers will be able to instantly download the patterns with a link provided them with Joomla's shopping cart. I have been wishing for something like that for a LONG, LONG time. As things stand now, I still email every single customer the patterns when the order them. That means I can not be away from my computer for more than 2 days. And do you want to know what I  have found in the 5 years I've been doing this? Customers don't like waiting. Do I need to mention when my husband deploys and my internet or network goes down. How do I get the patterns to my customers then? Sometimes they get very angry with me when this happens. Very angry. And dealing with irate or irritated customers is one of the major reasons I have felt like giving this whole business up. I desperately need that instant download feature. Desperately!

We are in the process of trying to install Joomla on the server as I type. It will take us some time before anyone on your end of the computer screen will see any difference in the website. But things are happening. And I can hardly wait. A transformation! A streamlined website! Wow. This is exciting!

I learned a new word today. Metadata. I know what that means. Isn't that exciting! What a fun and confusing word. I am not comfortable using it in a sentence yet, but I could probably explain it to someone (not a geek) in 1,000 words or less. I feel quite accomplished at the moment.

So, I am off now to enjoy a cup of coffee while I read up on parameters and the difference between subscript and superscript. Goodness, though. It boggles the mind. Have a bright, sunshiny weekend!

Friday, September 09, 2011

My Refuge

"I would have enjoyed that a lot more, had I known I was going to live through it." - Mark Lowry


I was watching some of my favorite Christian comedians on YouTube yesterday talking about fear. I loved what Mark Lowry said. I absolutely love it. 

We've been through a lot this summer. But through it all, Jesus stayed by my side. Holding me. Comforting me. Whispering his Love into my heart. 

Psalm 46: 1-3
"God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
God is my ever-present help. He is always here. Always! I will not fear. I WILL NOT FEAR! Though my house shakes and rattles in an earthquake. Though a hurricane blows through and my electricity shuts off. Though the basement floods and water saturates my belongings. Though the doctors probe and stick me with all sorts of needles and questions. Though I sit through yet another EEG, praying Chloe experiences no seizures as she comes off her medication. Though bills arrive yet money does not. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, I WILL NOT FEAR! God is my ever-present help.

Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth."

Be Still! Know that God is God. He is. He will be exalted. Though everything on earth may crumble and come to ruin, God is still God. He will still be exalted. He will still be by my side, my ever-present help. 

And I can't help but wonder if its true. If what Mike Lowry said is true. When I get to heaven and look back on my life here on earth, will I say, "I would have enjoyed that a lot more, had I known I was going to live through it."

So, now I am off to find some joy in the rain. And make my daughter laugh. And enjoy a good book. And spend some time shopping with my best friend. And hunt for owls. And paint a picture. And hug my darling child. And kiss her tummy. And cuddle my kitty. And maybe, just maybe, enjoy this life because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will live through it. And when I die, I will live through that too.






Tuesday, September 06, 2011

New Design

Ahhhh. There it is.


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The beginnings of a new design. It feels so good to look at that and know that in a few more days, or weeks, or months, it will be a new article of clothing and a new pattern I can add to my website.

Once I get my brain screwed in place, I will update you on some family happenings. Have a fantastic day.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Back to Business

What? I have a crochet business? Woah. What happened to that? Okay. So, I took some time off from my business. A lot of time. Like 3 1/2 years. I've been thinking lately of giving it up altogether. But I just can't seem to cut it off like that. I loved it. It was my baby. My passion.

Where did that passion go? Toward homeschooling. That's where. I love homeschooling more than I love crocheting. And carpel tunnel. That whole "syndrome" slows a person down considerably. And cooking 3 meals a day takes time. Cleaning up the kitchen after cooking 3 meals a day takes time as well. And somehow life picks up speed and you begin to realize that there are more important things at the moment. Things like putting puzzles together with your daughter. Teaching her to ride a bike without training wheels. Making sand castles at the beach. Dancing around the living room to Jack Johnson. Baking chocolate chip cookies. Watching birds soar through the trees. Catching leaves. Skipping rocks.

But lately, James has been asking me to put a bit of effort back into the business. I know I can't crochet 8-12 hours a day like I used to, but surely I still have something to offer. Right? Surely I can handle a new design every now and again.

So, a bit of that passion has returned to my soul. It won't be like before. I have other passions now too. But, I do want to design again. I want to create heirloom clothes for Chloe to wear. (She asked me to crochet her a Christmas dress yesterday. I said maybe I would sew one since I probably don't have enough time to crochet one before December. We'll see.)

That is where things stand at the moment. We are looking at re-designing the website soon and advertising in various places. I have added most of my patterns to my Etsy shop and will be adding them to Artfire this week. I have emailed the owners of Ravelry to see about getting my name linked to my patterns there as a designer. Baby steps. Baby steps.

In the meantime, I have picked up a hook and yarn again. Boy does it feel good sliding through my fingers. Crocheting feels so natural. Designing is in my blood. Just so long as I remember to take it slow.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Funny Moments

Chloe says some of the funniest things. I love to laugh. This was a match made in heaven. Here are a couple of her most recent phrases.

(While setting up the board game Mousetrap) "Mommy. Do you want to be green? Green wants to be you."

I bust up laughing. I couldn't help it. I know she was totally serious in her question but it was too funny.

Last week I took Chloe in for some labs. Chloe hates bloodwork. Fiercly. On the way to the facility she said, "I can't wait to get to heaven Mommy."

"Why?" I queried.

"So I don't have to do bloodwork." (Short pause) "Will we have blood in heaven?"