Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Many Blessings

I tried to reflect throughout the day of all that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving and my list was like conversation whiplash ~ ever hear of that expression? My first thought was flavored coffee (probably because I was drinking it at the time). I don't think I could get through my mornings without it!!! Then I thought of my family, friends, and customers that have been so supportive of my business and my wonderful husband (who do you think helps me with all those grommets and rivets?). But then I felt pretty shallow because it's not all about me or my work. It's so much more. And that's when my thoughts went to the other extreme.

Our family is so blessed to be happy and healthy. We have food plenty, a warm shelter, love, and freedom ~ the basics which we take for granted everyday. I believe Thanksgiving is a reminder that we need to appreciate one another and all the blessings that often get overlooked when doing life everyday.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to enjoy special time with your family and friends!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yay, I did it!

I'm so happy that I made my first hat, and Camille loves it. She's worn it every day proudly (even when she's inside). I let her pick out the yarn and of course, it had to have some pink in it. And it fits perfectly.

Here's a picture of Camille with her new hat and Jonas with his latest love ~ "glubs" (as he calls them). He wears them as much as he can, even to sleep at night. We've had to sneak in his room later on and peel them off. He wasn't a happy camper either when we wouldn't let him wear them while eating. You gotta draw the line somewhere!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unexpected Sign

While driving down a country road by our house the other day, a small announcement board outside of a church caught my attention and has stuck with me.

"Trust your talents, not your doubts."

Sometimes it's the smallest things within our day that speak the loudest.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thinking Christmas Already

I know this sounds kooky, but we already broke out some of our Holiday music this past weekend. The kids were so excited and it felt great to actually listen to the music without being rushed & consumed with the normal holiday craziness. My husband got me hooked on Martina McBride's "White Christmas" cd many, many years ago (while we were still dating!), and I still love it to this day. My kids are hooked now too. It's classic and uncluttered, and her voice is so rich and velvety. Our favorite is "O Holy Night" ~ she can belt it out like no one else.

On Sunday night my husband and I actually got to have a nice dinner out by ourselves (our first in months). It was so nice to reconnect and talk without being interrupted. After our dinner, we went to Borders and just perused the endless shelves of books and magazines. I could literally spend hours in a book store. Anyway, you know you're a true parent when you're out on a date night and you buy something for your kids. I walked out of the store with a "Highlights High Five" magazine for Camille as she loves doing workbooks and activities. There is a fantastic idea in the magazine for Holiday ornaments. So cute and so easy so I wanted to share it. It's a great craft to make with your kids, nieces/nephews, or grandkids and give as gifts.

Scented Ornaments

1/4 cup cinnamon
4 tbsp applesauce

Flatten dough until it's approx. 1/4" thick. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters. Put on a paper plate and poke a hole in the top of each shape (use a pencil). The ornaments take about a week to dry on the plate and then are ready to string and hang. They're supposed to smell amazing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Zippered Pouches

I've been busy the past couple of weeks preparing for several home trunk shows and making lots of these zippered pouches. They make great holiday gifts and are even better when stuffed with a gift card from a favorite store.

There's the Puckered Pouch which features slight puckering on the front and back. The strap on both pouches is detachable by nickel hardware and is secured with a nickel rivet. It makes these pouches very versatile. You can use them as a clutch for a night out (holiday party, wedding), zipper pouch in your handbag, or wristlet depending on your need.

The Organized Pouch keeps everything in its place and easy to find with two separate zippered sections. The front panel is great for keeping receipts, money, or whatever you prefer that needs to be easily accessible.

I'll be posting both pouches in my Etsy shop this week after my home trunk show this weekend.

I'll leave you with this. . . what does it mean when you overhear your 4-yr old daughter singing this nursery rhyme to your 2-yr old:

"This little piggy went to Wal-Mart,

This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none, and
This litty piggy cried wee, wee, wee, all the way home."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This and That

The one thing I dread about the start of cooler weather is the onset of flus and viruses. So I guess it's pretty normal that one of us catch something already, and of course, it was me. I've been down with some kind of stomach bug the past couple of days. Monday was so bad that my husband had to stay home to help with the kids. That's only happened two other times in four years so you know this bug is ugly. I'm finally feeling better and have some energy today. Too bad the weather doesn't feel the same (sigh). It's rainy, cold and dreary here. I really miss the sun.

While sick, I realized how much I deprive myself of relaxation time. I can't tell you how great it was to lay around, watch my favorite show, and just be in slow motion. I think my body needed this awful bug (I know it sounds weird) to remind me that I need to slow down, savor more moments along the way, and sometimes be still. I'm learning and I'm a work in progress so hopefully I'll remember this tidbit along the way.

On another note, we went to see Madagascar 2 as a family this weekend. We were all looking forward to it and loved the first version. This would be Jonas' first movie theater trip, and Camille was already craving the popcorn. We had a great time, but it probably wasn't the greatest movie for young kids (guess I should have paid more attention to the ratings & reviews). There were quite a lot of violent scenes with the little old lady (you know what I'm talking about if you saw the first film), to the point where it was dragged out a bit too much. There were guns and "stupid" was thrown around quite a bit. I struggle with all of this because I want to protect my children from these types of things as long as possible. I'd like them to see the beauty, good, and innocence in everyday moments before being exposed to all the awful stuff in our world. Some may call me "naive" or "goody-goody", but I think it's worth a try.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Toasty Roasty

When I was crocheting several weeks ago, Camille asked if I could crochet something for her. I thought, why not a scarf? She loved the idea and so I set to work. She picked out the leftover yarn from my stash and was super excited. Well, then she waited and waited and waited for the cold weather just so she could wear it. And it finally came today ~ cold, damp, and gloomy. Nothing to celebrate, but for her it was reason enough. Now I just have to make a matching hat. . .it will be a first for me so it should be interesting. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Breakfast Time

I've forever vowed not to cave in to those big name brand cereal makers. You know what I'm talking about. . .the ones that advertise like crazy to appeal to your little ones and are full of sugar and artificial ingredients. I also knew that once my kids tried one of those cereals, that's all they would want for breakfast. It seems that every kid's motto is "the sweeter, the better". Don't get me wrong, I definitely have a sweet tooth. I have to be honest, we do sometimes indulge in cinnamon rolls. But, I try to come up with other ideas for breakfast. We usually have pancakes, waffles, muffins, and lately my kids have really gotten into oatmeal. I found this great recipe for baked oatmeal and I tweaked it to fit our tastes. We've really taken to it and thought I'd pass it along. Hope you enjoy it!

Baked Oatmeal (serves four)

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 apples chopped in bite-size pieces

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spread evenly in a greased 9 x 11 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with milk poured over it or put in your favorite yogurt.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Growing Up

My little guy is in the perfect stage right now, so full of energy and wonder. Always questioning what's going on around him and experiencing lots of moments with new understanding. Two is my most favorite age because he's learning to piece words together to make phrases and sentences. Sometimes he gets a confused look from us or a huge belly laugh because he'll say something so cute and off-the-wall. And he'll look so innocent while doing so believing that he's truly said it correctly and we're just plain crazy.

Whenever I'm not in eyesight, I'll hear a loud bellow, "Mommy, where you are?". And if Jonas doesn't like something, he won't hold back one bit. You'll get the "yucky" face and a muttered "I not like that". I try to remind myself to write all the "Jonasism's" down in a notebook or his baby book, because I know one day I'll forget all but a few. I hope he keeps more coming for now because I still want to soak them up for a time.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Stuff on the Way

I have found that one of the most challenging parts of designing handbags is the search for supplies. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent researching and sampling to find just the right interfacing, the best magnetic snaps, and even thread. Sourcing materials is definitely time consuming and sometimes you have to try many, many, many different brands until you find that "perfect" item.

Well, I'm on the search again. . .this time for new nickel hardware. I have some ideas and designs that I've been dying to introduce, but the search for o-rings, adjustable strap slides, and such has been on-going for the last month. I think I've finally found a great source for all these items and am now anxiously awaiting their arrival in the mail. I also found a great shop on Etsy for purchasing small zippers. I love supporting other Etsy shops whenever I can so this worked out great. I have a stash of zippers being delivered just in time to make zipper pouches for the Holidays. These make wonderful gifts and are even more special when stuffed with a fun gift card for your family/friends.

I'm still on the lookout though for metal teeth zippers. One of my new handbag designs will include a zipper closure, but I can't start selling this until I find a supplier. So my search once again starts (sigh).