Wednesday, April 30, 2008

sneak peek

My purse is ALMOST finished! I have a few more inches of hand sewing the binding. I was so excited about the progress I had to take some photos to post as a "sneak peek!" I love items that are convertible or "2 in 1." This purse has a couple of two in one features...

1. Handle can be long (top left photo) or can be a double short handle (bottom right photo). These two images are showing the back of the purse... (looks good enough to be the front!) :)

2. Purse "jewelry". Feel all summery and flowery? Attach the daisy... or in a simple bow mood? Attach the ribbon! Don't want anything? Then use the back as the front! :)

This bag is nice and roomy. It can hold almost anything you can imagine! Laptop, water bottles, beach stuff, purse stuff, yarn, etc. This bag is so sturdy and well made it will stand up on it's own! I have lined it with a COUPLE layers of fleece as well as buckram (a nice sturdy canvas type material). The handle is even lined with fleece! Material is a nice heavy weight cotton. I have spent lots of time on this bag and I hope it shows! :) It has a beautiful coordinating fabric lining with 3 pockets. I plan on spraying the bag with scotch guard once it's done for a little extra protection. This purse is dry clean only.

I plan on making this bag in two sizes... the one shown as well as a smaller version. I have had sooo much fun working on this and I am thrilled with how it's turning out!

Last night I mentioned that I was making some cards to give to the neighbor with the beautiful flowers. I finished a set for her this morning and I packaged them up for her. It made me feel really good to be putting together a gift that would be such a thoughtful surprise to the recipient. I was doing something nice for someone without being expected to or asked. (Not that I don't ever try to be nice to people... this was just different. It may be because I knew how much she loves her gardens and now she would have little memories of this season even after the last petal fell.)

As I was getting ready to go to the grocery store I saw Eva getting ready to leave. I caught her attention and asked if she could wait a moment. I ran in and grabbed her little package. You should have seen the surprise and delight on her face when she realized what I was giving her. It really made my day!

The photos were really beautiful... I may have to add a set to my etsy shop in the future.

OK... I better finish up that purse...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

flat tire and flowers

My day started with a flat tire... so I walked Cami to school today. It gave me time to admire the beautiful flowers blooming across the street at my neighbor's house. I had to take some photos! They were magnificent!! I'm so glad I took the time to do more than notice them in passing... I'm going to make her a little set of cards. It will be my way to thank her for the beauty she's sharing with all her neighbors. I guess I'm also glad (in a VERY broad way) that I had a flat tire... it made me stop to smell (photograph) the flowers...

I did have time to take the photos and list the chocolate magnet set with altered tin. I think it would be such a great mother's day gift. I know I love little chocolate magnets holding things on my fridge! :) I'm so happy with how the tin turned out... it's perfect packaging for the little faux chocolates. (Yeah! One item on project list complete this week.)

I worked on the purse a little today as well. I was able to hand sew another 3 or 4 inches. It's slow work but it sure is looking nice. I'm going to have to decide whether I'm going to list it or not once it's finished. I'm struggling with that one right now... keep it for myself or list, keep it for myself or list... hmmm... what should I do?

Norm is in Seattle on a business trip. Cami and I miss him already. The house seems very quiet right now, I miss hearing his laugh while he watches some goofy show before bed. Speaking of bed... I better get going, that alarm rings pretty early!

(maybe I'll just put together a couple of the flower cards first...)

Monday, April 28, 2008

home again AND first weekly "project list"

The Vegas Volleyball Tournament was AWESOME! Although we had some major injuries occur during the tournament (Tram, Julie, & Robert) we had such a great time. We had FUN together. I love it when you can be competitive AND joke around. Our "Get Some" team was Julie, Art, Tram, Dale, Anna, Robert, Jared (thanks for saving us!), and me. Tram took some AMAZING PHOTOS of our team in action. I can hardly wait for the next tournament! (Heal quickly everyone!)

I also had such a wonderful time with my mom and sister... We had a lovely dinner together Saturday night and celebrated Heather's birthday. It's always such a treat when we are able to spend a "girls weekend" out. It's another benefit of my twice a year Vegas Volleyball tournament! :)

It was a very big weekend! Leila went with a BUNCH of her friends and her boyfriend to the big 3 day Coachella concert. She had a terrific time! I can hardly wait to see pictures. She stopped by the house today on her way back to school with souvenirs for all of us. Super thoughtful and sweet! :)

Norm & Cami partied it up while I was gone (of course!)! They spent the day Saturday with friends, swimming and barbecuing and relaxing... sounds nice, huh?!

I didn't get home last night from Vegas until around midnight... I've been a little sluggish (not to mention sore!) today. It's also been VERY hot here AND our air conditioning system is broken. We've been getting quotes but it will be another couple of weeks until it's replaced. It's a good thing that it cools off some at night!

Last week I mentioned that I would begin to list projects at the beginning of each week that I wanted to create. These project(s) must be art and/or craft related. (I can't say... I will "do the laundry.") The purpose of this is to push myself and not allow myself to spend as much time procrastinating about each idea that pops into my head. I want to see some of these ideas to completion. I feel like if I'm having to "list" these projects and recap my progress at the end of the week, I may actually begin to get beyond my own art barriers. Alright... enough with the self reflection! :)

Chocolate Magnet Set with Decorated Tin
CA Roll - Sushi (Faux Food/Pincushion)
Blossom Card - 2 in 1 card - New paper pattern
FINISH "the purse"

I have so many projects on my BIG list... I feel really good about starting to chip away at them. It's going to be exciting to see more items listed on etsy and to see my "gift" list items checked off. I hope to have a head start this year for the holidays! :)

I did work on the magnet set/tin today and should be able to take photos and list it tomorrow.

I had such an exciting and wonderful weekend... but... it's soooo nice to be home. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

full moon?

I'm here (Mom's & Dad's - St. George, UT)....

I started to get sleepy a couple times driving and then my husband suggested I start listening to talk radio instead of the music. That definitely helped! I was only able to get about 4 hours sleep last night... so it was tricky.

The Wednesday league volleyball finals was last night! The team I'm on won!!! :) It was a super exciting, competitive match! The finals is a best of 5 format. We went 5 games to determine the winner. A real nail biter! The team really held it together to push through and win that 5th game! Congrats team! This game was the reason I only got 4 hours sleep! By the time I got home and showered it was already 11:00. I had to get up at 3:20 to make sure I was on the road between 4 and 4:15 am.

It's felt like a full moon today with 3 very odd events...

#1 - Stopped outside of Vegas. I filled up the car with gas, used the facilities, and decided to buy a small bag of chips to help keep me awake. I had my credit card in my pocket. I try to check out with my .89 cent bag of chips and the cashier wants to see my ID. I told her I would need to get it out of the car. I walk over there, come back, and she tells me "you could have just picked up this card in the parking lot...". I told her that I would hope I would have tried to buy more than an .89 cent bag of chips!

#2 - I went to lunch with my mom and sister when I got to St. George. Heather and I ordered an omelet WITHOUT green peppers. (I have a reaction to green peppers... not pleasant!) I got the omelet after an EXTENDED period of time took a bite and realized it had the flavor of green peppers.... so I opened it up and there was a big chunk of green pepper. I told the waitress and she told me that it was green onion... then she said, "Oh... It's only ONE green pepper." There was no sorry, no let me fix it, no nothin'! She did end up taking it off the bill, but that wasn't the point. If someone asks to not have an ingredient due to an allergy, etc. It's because they don't want ANY not even ONE!!! I also asked for tea at this restaurant. It came with a nice little teapot for the table, HOWEVER the teapot spout was totally broken and jagged. I tried pouring it as I was desperate since it took SOOO long just to get that pot, it spilled as much as it poured. When I pointed this out and that they may want to replace that teapot she was definitely put out and had the attitude like I was lying about the tea not pouring properly out of a broken teapot. (Not to mention the fact that the one glass I poured I kept thinking... "I hope I'm not drinking glass.") Mom's meal wasn't great either... the way I look at it is... ANYWHERE we go to eat now will be absolutely amazing! :)

#3 - My allergies are always particularly bad in St. George. Today they are even worse as there is a brisk wind blowing. I knew immediately upon getting out of the car that my Zyrtek wasn't going to do the trick. I was going to need to get Claritin 24 hour decongestant. I go to the local grocery store with pharmacy. I know I'll have to provide ID... However, the way the girl asked (no DEMANDED) my ID was as if I were a criminal running right out to juice up my meth lab with ONE box of Claritin!

Total attitude from all three places... I had to think... am I wearing a sign that says, "CRIMINAL" or am I asking for trouble and problems everywhere I go? I decided that the safest thing might just be to hang out at the house for the rest of the day. It's funny how sometimes there's no good reason... things just seem to go a little crazy. Well... that's it! Back to nice people who care about their jobs and customers tomorrow... (hope, hope, hope)

Maybe it was a full moon... :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

finals and packing

Finals tonight.... I'm starting to get a little nervous...

I have to finish (start!) packing! I leave at 4:00 in the morning to drive out to St. George. I definitely need to be ready to go so that when I get home from finals tonight I just have to worry about taking a shower and getting into bed as quickly as possible. I guess I better get stuff done now!

It's going to be so fun to see family AND have a full weekend filled with volleyball! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

earth day

Today I decorated a tin to package some chocolate felt magnets I made. As it is Earth Day today I only used recycled materials (except for ink and glue) or scraps. The paper came from scraps I had left from the Polka Dot Blossom Card, ribbon I saved from a gift I received, and the tin was an empty one I saved that previously held chocolate truffles. I really enjoyed putting it together. I hope I have enough ribbon to make another in this pattern! :)

I try and use every little scrap and recycle or reuse as much as possible. It amazes me to see how much waste there is around us... if I can do a little bit every day, even when it is as little as bringing my own bags to the grocery store, I feel like it will help. I am happy to see more people beginning to value the world and community around them. One example of this is that my daughter's school is having a fundraising that is done through "greenraising." All the products in the little catalog have been recycled, are fair trade, or Eco friendly. It's nice to see the effort become more mainstream.

We all definitely need to work together to keep our earth happy...

Monday, April 21, 2008

a c t i o n

I really enjoyed putting together a "bunch" of my chocolate magnets to use in the promo packages for UniquelyPampered. I really hope that it will bring me some business.

One of the great things about doing this project is that it pushed me to solve an issue I've been having with chocolate magnets that I've been including with orders. The problem was I didn't like handwriting my shop info on the back... The shape and the foil made it difficult to get a nice consistent look. I solved it! I designed a sticker with my tag line and shop info! It looks sooo much better! I'm glad I had to do so many chocolates, it really forced me to take the time to correct the issue. While I was at it I created another round sticker that includes my logo in the middle. Yeah! Now I had a sticker for the front of the promo bags as well! :)

I've been thinking about my "to do" list of projects. One of the reasons I've been thinking about it is due to greenbean baby art's spring clean-a-thon. I really wanted to participate but didn't get my butt in gear to get sponsors. (I was actually afraid to ask anyone... I want to feel more confident in my art and work, I hope by doing this that it will help.) I'm not going to just let it slide though. I want to create my own accountability by listing here every week what projects I plan on accomplishing that week. (I'm going to shoot for Sunday or Monday posting the week's goals and recapping the past week's list.) I need to do this! I have so many projects I want to get to and I think I sometimes need a little push. I think I'm my own worst enemy. I spend too much time "thinking!" It's time to DO!

I love to create... it's time to stop being afraid. It's time to stop worrying that it won't be perfect, or about what other people think (although I do hope people enjoy my creations!). I am excited and a little nervous. This will be a new adventure... It's time to take action!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

volleyball week

Yesterday I mentioned that it was a very busy week.... Looking forward to this week I feel like I'm going to be saying the same thing! This week is the Vegas volleyball tournament. I'll drive to St. George, Utah on Thursday to spend a couple of days with family and then drive down to Vegas on Saturday with my mom and sister, Heather. (It will be Heather's birthday, too!) They'll do some shopping as well as hang out for awhile as our team's fan club. (We play all day Saturday and Sunday.) I booked a room for that night so we can enjoy a nice dinner and have more fun celebrating Heather's birthday AND just hanging out. (Of course, I really won't be able to tell you all about what we do, because what happens in... you know the drill! :) ) I go to Vegas twice a year for volleyball tournaments and every time my mom, sister, and I make a girl's weekend out of it. It's just the best! :)

My Wednesday night volleyball league won in playoffs... so we have the finals game on Wednesday! (Definitely a busy volleyball week... I also play tomorrow night!)

I've been busy tonight making up more of my paper chocolate promo magnets. UniquelyPampered asked if I wanted to participate in her raffle. I was so pleased to be asked! I'm trying to get it all set to mail off tomorrow. I also have a couple of orders to mail tomorrow as well.

I miss my car... The latest is that the repairs will take a couple of weeks... So I have probably another week and a half without it. I'll miss not being able to drive it to my tournament, I'll be driving Norm's car instead. His car is very nice and comfortable... but it's not my MINI... (sigh)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

where did the week go?

Wow! This week has been a whirlwind!!!

Gigi and her family came for a few days to visit... We had such a great time! Cami LOVED playing with her cousins. I allowed her to stay home from school on Friday so that she could spend as much time as possible with them. They spent the afternoon in the pool... it was a perfect day! They left this afternoon, it seemed way too short! Gigi and I had fun "talking etsy" and crafts! It's always fun to hear about her new ideas and projects. She's so creative and talented!

Leila brought her boyfriend, Mike, home today. It's the first time we've had an opportunity to meet him... and it was a pleasure. It's so nice to see Leila happy. Hopefully we didn't scare him off! :)

PURSE UPDATE: ... oh sooo close! I only have to finish doing the hand stitching on the inside of the binding. I've worked so hard on it I didn't want to finish that part with machine stitching. I feel with the amount of work I've put into this project the extra time to make that finishing detail look consistent with the rest of the purse will be well worth it. (I did have fun showing off the purse in it's almost completed stage to Gigi! Her reaction made me feel very happy! Thanks Gigi!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

jet lag

I think that jet lag has caught up to me... I'm feeling very tired (and a little depressed) right now. Besides my body clock adjusting it probably has lots to do with my car being wrecked, lots of expenses, and frustration of not being able to do anything to help Norm get a break from work. Although we did get away for a few days, he really needs to take a vacation that is more than just a day or two.

I did have a chance to work on the purse a little today. (Of course I ran out of thread, which put a sudden stop to my progress!) I hope to have it complete in the next couple of days...

Cami was so excited about a book she got at the school book fair today. It's called, "The Girls Book - How to be the Best at Everything." She has been reading little hints and facts all afternoon. Super cute! :) I love it when she gets so excited and just chit chats... It reminds me to take a minute and just enjoy. Time goes way too quickly to be rushing it along.

I'm going to try for an early night and look forward to an early morning walk to get me started in the right direction tomorrow...

Monday, April 14, 2008


Ok.... so today I planned on giving the BIG update on how the trip to Miami was and how fun Norm and I had and the story about me being TERRIBLY seasick on the deep sea fishing trip... blah-blah-blah-

All that seems like old news now. My little baby MINI was injured today... (sniff) I am soooo sad. I was driving to pick up Cami from ballet, a truck was stopped on the street (looked like he was talking to some neighbors standing on the sidewalk) so I stopped so I could see whether he was going to get driving again or whether I should go around him. I suddenly see his back-up lights go on and he begins backing up QUICKLY I slam on the horn but it's too late. He totally SMASHED into my sweet little baby... (sniff, sniff) He said he had decided to back up and go down a different street since there was some smoke down the street. (I guess he thought that would be better than just TURNING around!!!!!) He said he didn't hear his back up beeper make a noise!!!!????!!! Can you even believe it! CRAZY!!! He didn't even turn and LOOK! :(

Sooo.... I guess the good news is...
1. he has insurance
2. he lives just a few houses away (easier to give angry looks to the truck that hurt my baby everyday)
3. no one was hurt (except my sweet little baby)
4. many people saw it happen
...I can't think of anything else good right now.

We'll see what the damage is tomorrow when we get it to the shop. (hold on there sweetie... you'll be good as new...)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

t o m o r r o w

We leave TOMORROW!!!! I can't believe it... I'm soooo excited, yet nervous. The nervous part is just the worry about Cami and Leila. It feels so odd to think they aren't coming with us. I just want them to be safe while we're gone...

I have to hurry and get my stuff packed up. I did find a casual yet fancy sandal today (finally)! I feel like I'm all ready! Norm wondered why I had to get all this stuff to go to another state... I told him it was just the catalyst to do something I SHOULD have done a LONG time ago. I think he agrees..... He's planning on taking some of my old wardrobe pieces on "a long drive, in a pillowcase." What do you think he means by this? :)

Well... I better get back to making sure I'm set to go... I only have an hour left because I have volleyball tonight. My team's in playoffs this week!

Monday, April 7, 2008

on the road again

It was misty and foggy this morning on my walk. I love walking when it's still dark and I have the roads to myself and my thoughts (and music). I get all bundled up (Cami says I look like a burglar) and I enjoy not worrying about dodging traffic as I go up and down the hills in my neighborhood. It's good to be back... on the road again!

I was able to work on the purse today. I fused the interfacing, sewed the front panel and back panel pieces together, and sewed the ribbon on the panel pieces. (I also got Norm's ironing done in between fusing the interfacing!) Tomorrow I'll fuse the fleece and layer the buckram to the panels. Hopefully I'll have time to do that.... I have trip preparation to do tomorrow as well!

Norm and I went over the itinerary for our trip and he helped me choose the outfits for the two evening events. It's a relief to have that part done. Tomorrow I'll head to Target (I have a return) and the mall (I know, AGAIN!). I plan on getting some nice looking flat sandals, maybe a black jacket or wrap, and maybe a somethin'-somethin' at Victoria's Secret.... :) I also need to make sure that I have the groceries that Leila and Cami will need, plus instructions, emergency lists, etc. I hope all this won't take too long... my purse will be waiting... :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

mini summer holiday

It felt great to play some volleyball this morning. The exercise was great! I'm looking forward to Wednesday volleyball... my team made playoffs and that will be the first playoff game. I love the competition of playoffs! The play seems to go up a notch.

I didn't get to work on my purse at all today. Cami, Norm, and I enjoyed sitting in the jacuzzi this afternoon and then went to the mall (where I found sunglasses) and had dinner at "The Cheesecake Factory." We ordered their appetizer sampler as our food to share. It was perfect! Little bites of lots of flavors and we didn't leave overstuffed. We sat outside and it was just lovely.

This weekend felt very relaxed. I love how the weather contributed to making it feel like we were on a summer holiday.... (ahhhh)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

summer preview

Cami had her friend, Alanna, sleep over last night. Today they swam and played in the jacuzzi for HOURS!!! Here they are showing me how "old" their feet and hands are... don't they look like they're having fun! :)

It was so nice to hear them chit-chatting away and just messing around. It made it feel like a summer afternoon... so relaxing and satisfying. It was so wonderful.

I was able to get all the pieces for my purse cut out. It took quite awhile! :) I had to cut the fabrics, interfacing, fusible fleece, buckram... I thought it would never end! Tomorrow I hope to get started by at least getting the interfacing fused to all the pieces...

I have volleyball in the morning! Yeah! I've been in withdrawal... both of my leagues have been off for a couple of weeks... I NEED exercise! :) I am happy that I have officially started back on my walking routine (began again yesterday)... I had stopped when Norm had his surgery. Cami reminded me of that. It's amazing how so many things in our life stood still for awhile.

Friday, April 4, 2008

t i r e d

Errand day today... this means I had no time to work on anything. (sigh)

I did get the grocery shopping done (Ralph's AND Costco) plus I did my regular Friday house cleaning and fixed dinner... Pretty much no time for anything else! :) I wish I had some energy to do something now but I'm feeling very wiped out like it's time to go to bed or watch mindless TV for a little while. Oh! I was also up at 5:15 to walk 4 miles... no wonder....

Sounded like an awful lot of excuses, huh?!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

cherry pie

"She's my Cherry Pie"..... this is the song that wouldn't leave my head as I made an adult sized adjustable headband today. I love the cherry fabric and it seemed to beg out for rick rack embellishments, so of course I had to add it! :) I have some more fabrics that I think would make some great headbands but tomorrow I need to work on the new purse I plan on making. I want to make two. One for me to take to South Beach and the other to list. I think I have all the supplies I need so it's time to get to work on it to see if it will turn out how I am imagining.

It was hair cut day today... I love that! I'm just a short hair kinda girl. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

crown of buttons

The spring nymph put the crown of buttons on her head and danced in the flowers with glee…

This is what I thought as I made my new adjustable headband! I corrected the items that I didn't like about yesterday's samples. It's so cute and I love how it's a small, medium, and large - all in one! This one fits 18 to 20 inch heads... perfect toddler-to-kid sizes!! I plan on making a newborn/baby version and an adult size also. I think it would be so cute to have matching mother-daughter headbands... wouldn't that be wonderful for Mother's Day? :) I have another fabric chosen and ready to go. I think I'll make it in the adult size to make sure my pattern works out as nicely.

I didn't get a chance to complete the other items on my list from yesterday, but all in all, I feel satisfied with what I did accomplish today.

Dancing with the Stars: UPDATE! Julie called me today to tell me that she watched back the episode that we went to AND that she saw me!!! I had my second and a half of fame! :) Of course, I had forgotten to record it so I was a little upset that I couldn't check it out... but then I remembered that we live in the internet age and I checked out the website... lo and behold, FULL EPISODES!!! Needless to say, I HAD to check it out! If you didn't know where to look it would be hard to spot me... but I found it and was able to show Cami and Norm. Now I can pretend like I'm famous the rest of the day! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

trial and error

I've been messing around with my sewing machine a little today. I have wanted to make some cute reversible headbands for a few weeks and I drew out a couple basic patterns so it was time to actually see how they worked... I love the fabric combination, but I need to adjust the width... I think it's a little too wide. Tomorrow I'm going to try and make one that is adjustable with the new width. My model (sounds better than guinea pig) Cami, looked very cute in the two prototypes I made today... I can't wait to see what the changes do to the new one I plan on making tomorrow. Tomorrow I hope to cut the fabric for another project also. While I'm sewing I'll work on a few more felt flowers... it's going to be time to work on another little spring painting! :)

It seems like I just listed a LOT of things I plan to do tomorrow... I have to remember Cami has a short day at school on Wednesdays... I guess I have Thursday planned out too! :)
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