Monday, September 22, 2008

teddy & giveaway winner

I just walked past Cami's room... I looked in to see her bed so nicely made and "Teddy" with a place of honor. She's been making her bed like this for awhile, it's just one of those moments when how special it is hit me. Special because my little girl is such a sweetheart and it warms my heart to think of how proud she is of all the little things I make for her and her big sister. Special because I made "Teddy" 20 years ago for Leila and after all these years Teddy still gets love and a warm bed to sleep in. (Although he now only has half a smile. Cami refuses to let me fix this.) Special because both of my girls are growing up so quickly. I am so proud of them and their accomplishments. I look forward to sharing in their continued growth... and I hope Teddy will continue to share their hugs and kisses too.

The winner of this month's chocolate tag giveaway is Nathan! Congratulations Nathan! I'll be sending out your set of chocolate tags soon! :)

creative & busy team leader...

It's been about a month since I mentioned who the featured EtsyBlogger is... that means it's time for this month's big announcement!!! The featured EtsyBlogger for September is...

Joey and Aleethea

I have to say that the EtsyBloggers would be nothing without our fearless leader! She is the Admin and Team Leader for our team. I don't know how she juggles it all! Two small children, her busy, adorable etsy shop, the blog, the team.... she must be super woman! :) Look at the adorable items in her shop! (Sampling seen below.) Take time to see what else she's up to at her happening blog! Thanks so much for all you do for our team! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a new pincushion

I finished creating a new milk chocolate with white chocolate swirl truffle today for allyegator. (She requested one similar to my avatar.) It's been a month or so since I created a new chocolate pincushion. I really enjoyed sitting down with my needle and thread to create it. Thanks allyegator! :)

I have three finished chocolate tops that are waiting to be made into magnets or bookmarks. I have to decide.... hmmm... maybe I'll do both! A chocolate bookmark and a pair of chocolate magnets. I'll have to look at them again and figure it out. I'm kind of dragging today so I suspect that they'll stay in their current state a little longer. I've been having more good days than bad, but those bad days sometimes just seem to creep up on you. I definitely feel the pressure from it this morning. My next doctor's appointment is on Friday, it will be nice to hear about the results from the test I had last week. In the meantime, today is one of those days that I think I'll need to take it a little easier.

Monday, September 15, 2008

recap & new list

Custom Order - Chocolate Swirl Truffle Pincushion
Flower Bookmark
Chocolate Items

Custom Order - Chocolate Swirl Truffle Pincushion

Flower Bookmark
Chocolate Items
added: Custom Order - Chocolate Tags Set - Completed
added: Custom Order - "3" Birthday Clippie - Completed
added: Devilish Headband - Completed

New Blossom Card - Completed
added: Custom Order - Chocolate Tags Set - Completed
added: Custom Order - "3" Birthday Clippie - Completed
added: Devilish Headband - Completed

It was nice to have some custom order requests during the week last week. I always enjoy creating things especially for someone. Today I will begin work on another custom order, a chocolate truffle swirl pincushion. I also have some chocolate tops complete waiting to be made into a set of chocolate magnets. I'm hoping to have those completed this week too.

Friday, September 12, 2008

devilish headband - september challenge

September's challenge for the CCCOE (California Crafters Club of Etsy) team is "Fall Traditions." This theme encompasses holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Rosh Hashanah. I think we'll see a very broad range of items in this theme! :)

My entry for this month's challenge is my "Feeling VERY Devlish... Headband." I first created this headband last year for Cami and her friend to wear to school for a special event near Halloween. I was so happy with how it turned out! Cami loved how comfortable it was to wear AND the fact that all her friends thought it was pretty cool! :) I was going through my box of extra items and came across my prototype. I hadn't written down any instructions so I went to work on recreating the headband... this time writing down how I made it! :) I also made one with white horns that turned out really cute too!

I really would like to add some other variations. (Another item to add to my future "project lists!") I made some cute pig ears headbands last year too... they were for Cami and two other girls who were in the school play as the three little pigs. They were so cute! Click here to see a picture of the pig ears headband.

You can check out the challenge participants here. Go to the last page of the thread to see the most current list of participants. The list of entries will continue to grow until the deadline, September 30th.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I LOVE blue!!!! ...and chocolate tags give away...

I LOVE blue... all shades of blue! (Even my car is blue!!) I decided it was time to make a Blossom Card that had a lovely blue flower. (It helped that it was also an EtsyBlogger carnival challenge to show your favorite color in your work as well! :) ) This aqua blue floral paper just grabbed me when I saw it at a store months ago and it's been patiently waiting in my stash for the perfect time to bloom. I really love how it "pops" against the orangey pink background paper. I just listed this Blossom Card in my shop as Blue Posies Blossom Card.

Now it's time for the September drawing announcement!!! This month's give away is for a set of 3 of my chocolate tags. Drawing will take place on Monday, September 22nd. (Comments counted until Noon, PST on 9/22/08. U.S. residents only, please.) So, leave a comment so I know you’d like to be entered in the drawing and tell me, what's YOUR favorite color! :)

UPDATED 09/22/08 @ 1:30 pm: Drum roll..... The winner of this month's give away is... Nathan!!! Congratulations!!! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

chocolates & radioactive scrambled eggs

I made these cute little chocolate candy tags for barneybetty today! It had been a little while since I had put together my little chocolates and I had fun cutting and pasting them into yummy candies. Thank you barneybetty for the order! :)

This morning I went to the hospital for the gastric emptying study. They had me eat some radioactive scrambled eggs (not yummy) so they could watch my digestion (or not). I had to lay still for an hour and a half in a confined space while the machine did it's job. I'm hoping that somehow I've gained some super hero trait through the radioactive eggs... at least maybe I could glow in the dark! :) I'll keep you posted! I'll get the results from this test next Friday when I see my gastroenterologist.

Hmmmm.... super hero traits... what would you choose as yours?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

celebrating a new year clippie

I'm so thrilled to have some energy today! I got to work and finished an item that's been on my "to do list" for WAY too long. (Thanks mommab for your patience!) This little hair clippie was a custom order for a mom of a soon to be 3 year old. She's just going to look so precious showing off her newest number/year! :) The number "3" and all elements of this clippie have been hand embroidered.

Monday, September 8, 2008

recap & new list

Flower Bookmark
Chocolate Items

New Blossom Card

3 New Blossom Cards - Completed
Flower Bookmark
Chocolate Items

3 New Blossom Cards - 2 Listed

I'm keeping my list fairly simple this week. I still need to work on my office and some of the paper management!

Friday, September 5, 2008

treasury & your chance to vote

Yippee! My Apple Felt Bookmark was featured in another treasury! This one was put together by localcolorist... (Thanks so much for including my bookmark in your wonderful collection of items!) This treasury features some of the entries for the CCCOE (California Crafters Club of Etsy) Team August Challenge. You can vote for your favorites here, until Sunday, September 7th... So please stop by and vote (I'm #31!!!) for your back-to-school favorite! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

a featured item & new blossoms

I am so happy that my newly made Apple Felt Bookmark has made it into a treasury! Yippee! Thanks so much Katy of KisforCalligraphy for featuring my bookmark!

I've been hard at work today on two new Blossom Cards. This one is the Polka Dot Plum Blossom Card. I love how polka dots make things look so cheery!

This one is so fresh! Chains of daisies on a field of green polka dots!!! I guess I was in a polka dot mood today! I listed this one today as well, it's the Daisy Blossom Card.

I have another Blossom Card that I'm hoping I'll finish and be able to photograph tomorrow. It's always fun to see how the paper combinations turn out. I get a thrill every time I pull the ribbon to open the blossom. When it's fully open is when I can see if it came together like I imagined. Isn't it so fun to create?! I LOVE it! :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

recap & new list

3 New Blossom Cards
Flower Bookmark
Chocolate Items

3 New Blossom Cards

MORE Blossom Cards! Order of two cards - Completed
Get to that Bookmark!!! Completed

Blossom Cards
Bookmark??? :) Completed

Ahhh.... A three day weekend! It's so nice to hear Cami playing with a friend in the pool. The BBQ is all fired up too! Yummy!

I am hoping to organize my office a little this week also. Putting up my new computer made me realize how big my stack of "items to scan" has grown. Time to do a little paper management! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

a brilliant blog award...

Miesmama nominated me for a Brilliant Blog Award... Thanks so much miesmama! She's one of the fabulous, friendly people from my EtsyBloggers group! You should check out her WONDERFUL blog, now that's some good reading! She also makes and sells the most amazing selection of items at her Etsy shop... you can see some of them here. Go check out her shop to see all she has to offer!

Now the best part of being nominated is that I get to nominate seven people for this award... So many choices, I had to narrow it down to some family members and fellow EtsyBloggers. Here they are:

Here are the "how to's" for those who were nominated! :) It is my turn to pass on this prestigious award.

Here are the rules for the nominees:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

an apple bookmark - august challenge

I am so happy to have finished this bookmark in time to have it submitted as part of the August Challenge for the CCCOE (California Crafter's Club of Etsy) Team. I recently joined this team and this is the first challenge I am participating in. The theme for this month was back-to-school. I immediately knew that I was going to have to make a bookmark! I drew up a couple sketch ideas and decided to stick with the good old apple. I love it framed against the black background!

I spent quite a bit of time hand embroidering this bookmark. The apple, leaf, and stem have all been hand cut and embroidered onto the bookmark. "Read" was also hand embroidered. I stabilized the pieces and sewed together the back and front of the bookmark. It's sure to cheerfully keep your place marked if you HAVE to put that book down for a little while! :)

This bookmark is number 4 in my felt bookmark series. I just listed it on etsy as, "Don't Forget to Read - Apple Felt Bookmark." I really enjoy making these bookmarks. They are little pieces of functional art!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

an artist to treasure...

It is such an honor to be able to feature another wonderful Etsy artist/EtsyBlogger for the month of August. It's...

Tulip's Treasure Box

She is one of those EtsyBlogger team members who make everyone feel welcome (especially the newbies! I know!). She has very beautiful pieces of jewelry in her shop as well as wonderfully functional, eco-friendly bags... Here's a sampling:

If you check out her blog you will see that she is always “sharing the love” and focusing on other artists. What a kind, thoughtful, creative artist! You can read all about artists that inspire her and other interesting happenings at her blog.

I enjoy checking out her treasures in her wonderfully stocked Etsy shop. Viewing any of Lily’s items definitely makes you feel like you’re looking at treasure!

Monday, August 25, 2008

August winner & new...

The winner of this month's fabulous August "Blossom Delight" give away is miesmama!!! Congratulations miesmama! (Please contact me via an etsy conversation and send me your mailing address.... I'll mail out your card this week!)

I have been very busy doing a S-U-P-E-R BORING job today, all for a VERY good reason. First the job is copying ALL my bookmarks and pasting them into an email to myself. Why? BECAUSE I GOT A NEW COMPUTER TODAY!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!! I'll be able to work on a project without having to step away between each "enter" because it takes too blasted long! I may have had the slowest computer on the planet... or close to it at least! Hip, hip, hoooooorrrrrayyyy! (Thanks honey!) Now I'm copying all my documents to a backup hard drive and I need to copy my fonts next. This time I am NOT going to lose all my fonts because I forget to do this step! :) This is definitely taking lots of time to get all this done... but I can't wait to have everything transferred! I'll actually be able to use photoshop without my computer shutting down on me OR working super s-l-0-w-l-y.... I guess I'm going to have to reinstall all my software too. This is definitely a time consuming, but-oh-so-worth-it, project!

Back to my job as computer geek today! :)

UPDATE: Norm just showed me how to export my favorites! Hallelujah!!! Although I wasted lots of time at least I won't have to waste the time opening all those links on the new computer! I had LOTS of them! :)

recap & new list

MORE Blossom Cards!
Get to that Bookmark!!!

Blossom Cards
Bookmark??? :)

Blossom Cards - 3 new patterns - In process
Bookmark - Back to School - CCCOE Team Project

Blossom Cards - Listed 2 new

I knew it was going to be a busy week... and it was! Magic Mountain was a blast with Cami. It was wonderful to have my brother and his family visit. Cami is registered for middle school. Leila was home for a couple of days. B-u-s-y, but nice! :)

School starts on Wednesday. I'll be running out of excuses soon... :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

recap & new list

Blossom Cards - 3 new patterns
Bookmark - Back to School - CCCOE Team Project

Blossom Cards

Blossom Cards - 2 new patterns - Completed
August Blog Drawing Project - Completed

Blossom Cards - Listed

I have lots I want to accomplish in a very short week! This week is busy with lots of end-of-summer-school's-going-to-start errands! Cami and I head to Six Flags Magic Mountain for rollercoaster fun tomorrow and then my brother, Andrew, and his family arrive at the end of the week for a visit. I better get to work! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm not ready... & Blossom Delight Drawing

Back to School…

Oh my… those three words have so much meaning. I get excited thinking of having a schedule again with Cami at school. It means I have more time to work on my projects. The flip side is that I’ll miss my sweetie… I love having her help me run errands, do housework, keep me company, make me laugh, hang out together… and all the other wonderful summer time things we get to do. Summer has a sense of freedom: freedom from strict bed times, freedom from “it’s a school night,” and freedom from homework schedules. It’s a break that you really start to long for beginning around spring break, when you get that first taste of summer with a week of freedom!

We’ve had a packed summer. A few trips away, lots of friend sleep over nights, swimming, and relaxing. We have one more get away weekend planned, a day at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and a couple of beach days… then the summer days will be a memory and the back-to-school schedule will begin.

Summer time’s running out and school’s just around the corner. I sense the anxious excitement in my soon-to-be middle school student. It’s time… she’s ready… I’m not.

All right… I enjoyed having a drawing so much last month I have decided to have one monthly along with my EtsyBlogger carnival post! YEAH! :) This month’s drawing will be for one of my Amy Butler - Sparkle n Glitter Wildflower Blossom - 2 in 1 Cards. These cards are reusable! I include extra paper and a nice little explanation on vellum on how it all works. The blossom itself can be used after the card’s life has expired. It can be detached and added as a gift tag or placed anywhere you like. (It’s attached with Velcro!)

Drawing will take place on Monday, August 25th. (Comments counted until Noon, PST on 8/25/08. U.S. residents only, please.) So, leave a comment so I know you’d like to be entered in the drawing and tell me, has summer gone too quickly for you?! Happy getting ready to send the kids back-to-school! :)

UPDATED 08/25/08 @ 3:00 pm: Drum roll..... The winner of this month's give away is... miesmama!!! Congratulations!!! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog!

Miesmama, please send me your mailing address via an etsy conversation. I'll send out your card this week! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NEW Amy Butler Blossom & treasury & shopping

YEAH! I'm featured in another treasury! Thanks so much localcolorist for including my Sushi - California Roll in your "Pincushions & Dolls" collection. You can check out the treasury here until 4 am Wednesday.

I had a chance to list the Amy Butler - Art Deco Lotus Blossom Card today... and it already sold. YEAH! (Thank you storybeader! Check out her shop for some BEAUTIFUL jewelry!!) I have one more in this pattern that I'll list tomorrow as well as a new pattern that should be ready to list in the morning.

Cami and I have been busy... We did her back to school shopping and I'm sad to say that she's graduated to the Juniors section. (She could still fit in the girls section but those long legs really work better in Juniors now... so she's a size 0 or 1! My spindly little thing!) She was sooo excited about getting some new jeans, shorts, and shirts. We also got her 3 new pairs of shoes... even her feet grew over night to a size 7!!! My 11 year old is definitely g-r-o-w-i-n-g! I can't believe that school will be starting in two short weeks.

All right.... I better get to packaging up the Blossom Card, it's traveling to it's new home in Oklahoma tomorrow! :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

recap & new list

Blossom Cards - 2 new patterns
August Blog Drawing Project

Blossom Cards

Complete reserved listings for dajellybaby - Completed
Blossom Cards - 4 new patterns - Two Complete

Blossom Cards

I was so happy to send off SEVEN cards to dajellybaby in Australia last week! The new blossom card paper combinations are looking great! I am excited to get photos taken and listings up this week! :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

treasury, blossom, volleyball, & olympics

I am so happy to have been featured in another Etsy Treasury today! Thank you so much storybeader for adding my Sushi - California Roll to this great collection... This treasury is available for viewing until 11:00 pm Saturday night... so check it out and look at all the beautiful items made by my fellow EtsyBloggers! :)

I worked on two of the new Blossom Card patterns today. I completed one that will be a birthday card for one of my friends. I love the pattern combination. I can't wait to get photos taken and the new patterns listed!

I was supposed to play in a Women's Volleyball Tournament tomorrow. I called last Sunday and let them know I wouldn't be able to play.... that S.U.C.K.S... I just knew that I didn't want to let the team down if I wasn't feeling well. I'm glad to hear they have enough players and I know they'll probably win the tournament. It's a bunch of women that I really LOVE playing with AND we won last year. I think I did the right thing though as my stomach is still giving me a very uncomfortable time and I really didn't want the pressure of trying to pretend that I was feeling well and that everything was OK. This way I can look forward to putting in a few games on Sunday with no worry of letting anyone down, plus knowing that if I end up not feeling well I can just take a break or head home. It's depressing.

I am SUPER excited about the Olympics starting today! I LOVE watching, it doesn't matter which sport is on, I will be glued to the television as much as possible over the next couple of weeks! I'm such a geek... I always wished I could be an Olympian.... (da, da, ta-da, da, ta-da, da, ta-da) Can't you hear that music... and wow... to hear the National Anthem play when one of our athletes takes the gold... it's the best! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

cards getting ready to travel

Yeah!!! Seven cards from my shop are getting ready to head off to their new home in Australia!!! All the Blossom Cards I had listed as well as all the Dress Collection cards. (Thank you dajellybaby for your order!!!) I have had such a great day working on getting the cards all set to go. One reason I was particularly excited about this order is it's the first one where I'm trying out some new packaging for the Blossom Cards. I used to put them in a clear envelope and they looked good but NOW I'm putting them in a plastic case and they look GREAT! I was bothered by putting these cards that I put loads of time into, in something that didn't show them off to their best advantage as well as wasn't as sturdy as I'd like. Now I feel that the case is beautiful enough that the white envelope will never be needed. Just keep passing the card to the next recipient in the lovely clear case. I can't wait to hear some feedback on the new packaging! :) I took a photo trying to capture the side view of these containers too...

I don't have the order completely ready to go out yet... Tomorrow I'll finish packaging the dress collection and then I still need to put together my "extras." Boy! I sure do love putting orders together... It makes me VERY happy!

I do have one more Blossom Card available in the Pink n Chocolate Retro Style that I listed today. So for now it's the only blossom card available in my shop! I have 5 more paper patterns selected so I hope to have some of them made up to list by the end of the week!

I was excited to have one of the photos I posted on flickr yesterday featured in an article. I received an email asking if I would give permission for the photo to be used in an article called, 'The ever Growing Desert's of the World! The Earth is about to become Mars Like!' by Uwe Paschen. I was really happy to be asked to have it included. I love it when my photos are noticed! :)

What a lovely, productive day!

Monday, August 4, 2008

recap & new list

It's been a week since I've posted... where have I been?.... ON VACATION! This is why there was no list or recap last week! I'm starting anew this week, so here goes...

Complete reserved listings for dajellybaby
Blossom Cards - 4 new patterns

Blossom Cards

I have L I S T S of items I want to make. I've had a wonderful time on vacation (more on that in a later post) but I'm very happy to be back in my little studio! :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

featured: a keeper's jackpot

July is my first month as a member of the EtsyBloggers team. Every month I have the opportunity to write about one of my fellow team members. The featured EtsyBlogger this month is...

A Keeper's Jackpot

“A Keeper’s Jackpot” is a wonderfully talented and friendly etsian. She opened her Etsy shop in October 2007. She’s one of those SUPER artistic women who creates gorgeous jewelry using multiple techniques such as wire wrapping, wire crochet, and polymer clay to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. Her newest endeavor is decoupage. I am anticipating seeing some gorgeous pendants using this medium… I’ll be checking her shop often! :)

I chose a FEW of my favorite items from her shop to show here… Unique and beautiful jewelry, lanyards, bookmarks… she has it all! Interested in seeing what she’s currently up to!?! Check out her informative AND interesting blog!

A Keeper’s Jackpot… definitely a keeper! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

TWO treasuries

I'm featured in TWO treasuries today... YEAH!!! Both treasuries were put together by fellow EtsyBloggers team members. WOW! They're so supportive and I'm sooo proud to be part of the team! Thank you VERY much EcoKate for including my Sushi - California Roll in your treasury. I'm so happy to be included with such beautiful items!
Another "thanks" goes out to spottedcowsoaps.... Her treasury of red hot items is sure to please the eye! She included my Black & Red Blossom Card in this collection. Again... I am so honored to be included with such amazing artists!

Thank YOU so much EtsyBloggers! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

a l-a-z-y afternoon & bookmark delight

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO READ!! However… I have a hard time putting a book down in the middle of the story, soooo I have to limit my reading. (or nothing else would EVER be accomplished… besides the important fact of not leaving characters in limbo!) Is there anyone else like this? I know my sister, Bethany, is like this too (admit it, Beeper!)!

Well… a couple of Sundays ago after a nice morning of volleyball, my husband had a great suggestion of spending an afternoon out in the Jacuzzi/pool AND maybe I should bring out a book (see how this is all HIS fault… or just his way of guaranteeing that I’d be outside the rest of the day!). It sounded like such a relaxing way to spend a Sunday… so I went to my book stash (books that NEED to be read!) and selected one in a series of three that my mom gave me (I guess we can say this is also her fault!).

The book I selected to read was, “Full House” by Janet Evanovich. (I did get teased and harassed by my husband and daughter throughout the afternoon about the title… My husband kept asking if Uncle Joey was dressing up as Elvis yet, and lots of other things that are just best not repeated… AND it is NOT about the TV series!!!)

If you’re looking for a book that is “light” reading that keeps you turning page after page with crazy characters, “a little” steamy sex, suspense, and funny dialog… well, then, this is the book for you! I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. It was a l-o-v-e-l-y way to spend an afternoon! I can hardly wait for the next lazy afternoon to present itself… that’s when I’ll read the second book in the series! :)
OK… to celebrate my first EtsyBlogger carnival post, anyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered in a drawing to win this bookmark (appropriate, don’t cha think!). This bookmark is marked #3 in my bookmark series. It’s a new item I wanted to make for my shop. (I’d love to hear what y’all think!) I have made a couple of other similar bookmarks as custom orders and I’m excited about adding more. All elements have been hand cut and embroidered. (I did use a sewing machine to accent the leaves and flower center as well as to sew the bookmark together.) No two bookmarks will ever be exactly alike, as I hand cut and sew all pieces, PLUS I’m not a robot! :)

Drawing will take place on Monday, August 4th. (Comments counted until Noon, PST on 8/04/08. U.S. residents only, please.) Better leave a comment… and tell me, do you get caught up in books too?! Does everything stand still while you “rescue” the characters?! (…and most importantly… what do you think of the bookmark!?!) Happy Reading!

August 4th @ 12:42 pm.
Here's the winner of the bookmark! I can't even believe it! I had my daughter choose the name out of the container... she mixed it for what felt like h-o-u-r-s... and whose name does she pull out but her Aunt Heather's! (I'll be mad Heather, if I find out that money has exchanged hands!!!) :) I am VERY happy for Heather though, as she could use some good luck right now! Congratulations!

Thank you to ALL who commented... and please check back! I plan on having a MONTHLY drawing! I'm planning for August's drawing now! :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

recap & new list

More Clippies!
Magnet Set
New paper pattern - Blossom Card

Magnet Set
New paper pattern - Blossom Card

Continue work on:
Chocolate Magnet Set

Blossom Card - Amy Butler print - Completed
Chocolate Magnet Set

This week is really starting out GREAT! I'm going to get LOTS done! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

widgets & running with the bulls

I've had too much fun today adding a couple new widgets to my blog! I had to add a video game... of course, since I LOVE video games. That's why Mario is here! It's little but you can actually play it! (Arrow keys to move & jump. Spacebar to select. 0 for menu. You'll need to point with your cursor to start the game and select your player.) I think I may have to have a game of the month or something... :)

The other widget I added is "the drama llama." The drama llama sometimes wanders around our house and the houses of certain members of my family. We tease each other that it's someone else's turn to "feed the drama llama," if lots of drama has been going on at someone's house. I thought I might do my whole family a favor if I "sponsored" this drama llama. Now all my sisters (and anyone else who needs it) can come and feed the drama llama here, if they need to. You know... I do what I can! :)

OK... I have to add this picture and mention... Leila sent me this photo and the video clip where you catch a glimpse of her boyfriend, Mike, running with the bulls in Spain! She's circled him! I think that's a little too close to the bulls myself! (But I have to admit that must have been SOME adventure! Mike... I hope you're OK and that your mom didn't have a heart attack!) Mike is participating in a study abroad program in Spain for the summer. Leila is missing him but happy that they can communicate via skype.

Monday, July 14, 2008

recap & new list

Continue work on :
Chocolate Magnet Set

Blossom Card - Amy Butler print
Chocolate Magnet Set

Custom Order(s) - Clippies - in progress
Continue work on: Shop Set Up Package for Dizzybroad - in progress
Chocolate Bookmark Extras - Design Completed
Chocolate Magnet Set - in progress

Blossom Card - Amy Butler print
Chocolate Magnet Set

Last week was a little crazy!!! Most of my projects have been shifted to this week. Let's see what I can do to get them off my list... :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

in progress & volleyball recap

In progress... Those two words can really mean a lot! I have many projects "in progress", dinner is "in progress", my life is "in progress... see what I mean! :) It could make you crazy!

Today I worked on two items that are on my project list for this week. The embroidered clippie is on the left. The flowers are looking so cute... that's what made me think to take photos of it "in progress!" I have a few more flowers to add to this one before I start the next one.

The project on the right is "in progress" as well. I thought that it was pretty cool how the chocolates were looking three dimensional as they sat there on my desk. I actually cut them out (see all those tiny zig zag cuts!) of one of my chocolate truffle pincushion photos. I thought they would make super cute little chocolate bookmarks. I've made some chocolate bookmarks out of felt and I love how they look but I got a little bug in my head when I saw some cute little photo magnet bookmarks at the bookstore. I had to come up with my own! :) The next thing I'll do is make a base with my logo on it and then they'll be almost finished. I haven't decided yet whether I'll offer them in my shop or whether they'll be a cool little "extra" with a purchase. It did take me an awful long time to cut them out... (I know, I'm anal retentive and it had to be perfect... but look at them... I think it was worth it!)

Let's see... It's Wednesday! That means it's time for the Volleyball League update! (Hope you were able to find my blog Brian and Laurel!) All right... all I can say is that it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING team play tonight! Special mentions must be made though! First of all... OH MY GOSH! Brian was ON FIRE!!!!! Blocking like c-r-a-z-y AND hitting like it was nobody's business... I'd be waiting by the phone Brian, because I think that you might get a call about making a trip to China to play for the USA... Yes... it was THAT good! :) Another special mention... this is to.... (drum roll) ART!!! (You know it Art!) All I have to say is, JUMP serve! Your serve gave us a great start in the first game AND it brought us from behind and finished the game for us in the second game. Plus, I could talk about your defense, hitting, etc., etc. You know... you just might want to wait by the phone too! :) Now not to leave anybody out... I know how y'all like to see your names here... Brent! OK! WOW! Great cover, digs, and step-in setting! (Sorry I didn't get you many sets tonight... I don't know what was up with me!) Garrett! CONSISTENCY! You always know that you can count on Garrett in a clutch play! He did everything well! :) Dale! Talk about some smart shots and great hits! Even when I didn't get you an optimum set you made a play out of it! Some terrific defense too! ...And last but not least JULIE! She was all about hustle! Diving after those balls! Covering the blocks! She was everywhere! ..and the hands... like BUTTER! Team great job tonight! Super fun... I always love it when we play against Jared's team... and once again they gave us a run for our money! (We won two out of three.) Great competition!

I'm up late tonight. I had to eat a big meal at midnight. I had some ribs, chicken, half a sausage, mashed potatoes, and the rest of the fixings. (I was instructed to eat lots of protein.) It felt very odd to eat that late and it was really difficult for me. Now... I have to stay up a little longer, I'm hoping to avoid being sick. Why did I do this, you ask? Tomorrow morning is my EGD. We're trying to find out what's going on with my stomach. Hence, the big meal at midnight. The doctor wants to see if my food is digesting properly along with some other fun and not so exciting things. I just want to start feeling better. The medication the doctor put me on for the past few weeks has made a HUGE difference. The nausea has stopped and I have made it through the night without having to get up and be sick. I only have had one small episode since I began this acid reducing medication. I am so happy to not feel seasick anymore.

I've been feeling a little anxious and nervous about the procedure for the last couple of days. I don't think I'm as nervous about the anesthesia and actual procedure as I am hoping that they are able to pinpoint the issue. I had so many tests done a couple of years ago and it was frustrating when nothing could be determined exactly. It made me feel like I was making it all up or being a hypochondriac or something. That's one of the reasons I went so long without following up about it again. I also tried to pretend I had it under control by never eating late, going to a bland diet immediately upon feeling the discomfort begin, and ignoring it the best I could. It finally got to the point where my dear husband had to tell me... enough is enough. And he was right. I was really starting to become a little depressed to be feeling like that more and more often. Keep your fingers crossed for me... maybe this time they'll have an answer.

I guess you could say that my health is also "in progress"...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cami starts a blog...

I got Cami's blog up and running today! She has invited all her cousins, aunts, and grandma! It was so much fun to see how excited she was about it... She did a great job completing her profile and writing her first post. I'm going to enjoy reading her entries!

Unfortunately I didn't get much done besides Cami's blog! I did learn a lot in the time I spent on it. I took a template and totally transformed it. My first time messing with a blog template... it was FUN! I want to thank Lena... she has an amazing and simply fabulous tutorial and some great free blog templates. Her work inspired me to try my hand at my own template. Cami's blog template is based on one of her backgrounds.

I'm also feeling a little out of sorts. Norm made reservations for our San Diego trip and Leila called to ask if I'd go to an appointment with her the day that we're leaving... then the guilt starts and I start worrying. I hate that! I know I need to relax... I know I can join her another time. I guess I have a tendency to read more into everything than there needs to be. Relax, Holly! (sometimes it's not so easy...)

Monday, July 7, 2008

recap & new list

Custom Order(s) - Clippies
Continue work on: Shop Set Up Package for Dizzybroad - (in progress)
Chocolate Bookmark Extras
Chocolate Magnet Set

Blossom Card - Amy Butler print
Chocolate Magnet Set

Custom Order - Initial Card ~ Completed
Custom Order(s) - Clippies
Continue work on: Shop Set Up Package for Dizzybroad - (in progress)
Begin Chocolate & Sushi - Bookmarks

Custom Order - Initial Card ~ Completed

Kitchen Delights (fun with fabric)
Sets - Booties, Clippie, & Card :)
The Fairies
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas

My goodness... last week sure went by quickly! I had such a great time planning and getting ready for our big BBQ! This week I hope to catch up on some of my projects... I'm looking forward to a productive week! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

r e c o v e r y

Ahhh.... What a BBQ!!! (I wish I had taken more photos...)

It may take me a few days to fully recover! We had more than 30 guests at our BBQ! It was a BLAST!!! I hope that our friends had as wonderful a time as we did! Although I am totally exhausted today I am already looking forward to planning another one in August. I feel so lucky to have such a great bunch of friends. They are all such nice, thoughtful, funny, interesting people. The party began around 4:00 and lasted until around 11:30 or so. There was relaxing in the spa, "competitive" billiards, a little Rock Band (Tim... we needed you! Next time! You'd be impressed... Julie was rockin' out on those drums and guitar! Maybe next time we'll get her to sing!?!), AND lots of just hanging out enjoying each other. Nearly everyone we invited came... only a couple of invitees were out of town and unable to join us (Art! and Jared!). Hopefully they'll be able to make the next one! :)

I am sad to say that our dear friends Nathan and Zhanna weren't able to make our BBQ... they had some excuse about the commute was too long or there was traffic or something. (They recently moved to Connecticut, this is NOT an excuse!) We missed you! :)

I don't know how I made it to volleyball this morning... I was definitely even more tired when I got home! Cami, Norm, and I relaxed in the spa for a couple of hours and just enjoyed being lazy. It felt great. On the way back into the house I couldn't resist taking photos of my succulent that has been blooming so beautifully for the past few weeks. I LOVE the colors... sage and a peachy orange. I wasn't certain if I would be able to capture the delicate and unique nature of the bloom. I hope I have. I also took some photos of one of my hibiscus plants that had a blossom open today. The petals and stamen were perfect. I posted a couple of macro shots on flickr.

I am very excited! I was featured for the first time in a treasury today! Thanks so much Mizzdraconia! I feel very honored to have one of my listings noticed and categorized with such wonderful "chocolate" themed items. :)

What a terrific weekend it's been!

Friday, July 4, 2008

more party preparations

The backyard is ready! The grill is ready! I was starting to get a little nervous about the grill... Norm got a new grill recently. We changed over from propane to gas. We had a plumber out to put the switch on the gas but we didn't have the right hoses so he didn't hook up the grill. Norm got all the parts he thought he needed but needed a professional to make sure we didn't blow up the neighborhood! I'm so glad that one of our dear friend's dad (the professional) was able to come over and finish plumbing the gas for us. Super nice of him to come on a holiday too! I'm so glad that it's all hooked up. This party will be our "break in" for the new grill. I had been teasing Norm that our BBQ was going to end up being a pizza party if it didn't get hooked up soon! :)

I posted a few photos on flickr of our new backyard furniture arrangement. It's amazing what a new arrangement can do! I loved how we had it before... but now it just seems perfect! We replaced the outdoor rug and I LOVE it. I found one that had swirls that imitates the swirls in the paisley pillows on the couch (plus it was 50% off!!! Hallelujah!). The new lights around the exterior added a nice touch as well. The torch lights on the coffee table are new also. We have matching torches that are on the hill side of the pool. I can't wait to see them all lit up tomorrow!

It was baking day today. Here are SOME of the cookies I made today! I made oatmeal chocolate chip, Reese's and Snickers filled butter tarts, lemon bars, AND cheesecake. My house smells wonderful... sniff... mmmm.... Tomorrow I have TONS to do! Norm is in charge of the BBQ and I handle all the other stuff. I guess I better make it an earlier night as I'll be up early. It's party day... almost! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

party preparations

Today was easier than yesterday! I'm glad all that shopping was done yesterday... I did have a couple of items that had to be picked up but it was simple stuff, ten minutes at the store kind of easy.

My sous/pastry chef (Cami) and I made the BBQ sauce and mixed up two types of cookie dough. Norm and I put some new fresh lights (the old ones were definitely ready to be replaced!) up in the backyard. It looks sooo pretty. I'll have to take a photo to post as soon as we're finished putting the outdoor furniture back. It's those little things that feel so special. We had such a lovely time this evening getting those lights up and figuring out how we were going to arrange them. Our backyard is small but it's lovely to sit back in the gazebo and watch the kids swim in the pool. It feels homey and comfortable. I love it!

I contained myself today... I almost went out on a tangent of wanting to make all these little candle arrangements... Luckily, I got past that initial crafty add-another-item-to-the-list thing. Pheww.... that was close! I would have really stressed myself out in trying to get everything accomplished! :)

I kind of feel like I should have done more today (probably due to that close crafty call)... but I think things are going pretty well. Tomorrow Cami and I will do the baking and prepare a couple of other items that can be made ahead of time. Of course... there's still the question as to whether any one will show up! ;)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SUPER busy

It has been a SUPER, SUPER, busy day! We're having a big BBQ on Saturday so today was the day that I did all the shopping I could for supplies. It was A LOT! Cami was a great help. We made our lists this morning and then headed out for our day of errands.

We started by going to the car wash. My MINI was begging for a cleaning. This was the fun part of the day because I told Cami to bring her Nintendo DS so that she and I could duel guitar hero while we waited for the car... (I don't know how long the guy waved his rag before we noticed! C'mon... we HAD to finish the song!) NOTE: I did win AGAIN! 2 out of 3 games... YES! She did play on hard, ...whatever!

Then the real errands began! C O S T C O . . . Luckily we went today because I can't imagine what the madness will be like there tomorrow as people get their last minute shopping done for the 4th! We filled up my MINI with lots of good stuff, went home unloaded, fixed a quick lunch, double checked the list for Ralph's, and headed out again! We filled the car once again at Ralph's... It's a good thing I have that extra fridge in the garage! :)

Cami and I are all set to start with cooking tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll make the barbecue sauce, a couple of the cookie doughs and start some of the other organization. Friday she and I will do the baking. It's going to be busy but fun! I am so excited about having a big group over. We have plenty of BBQ's but I don't always invite friends. Norm always teases me that I don't have any... so for this party I invited a bunch of my volleyball friends... He keeps teasing me that a) no one will show up... or b) I had to invite strangers on the street! (He better not be right!) :)

All right... back to getting stuff set... (I sure do hope I have friends show up!) :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

initial beauty

Initial Beauty... I like the sound of it! It's the new name for my initial/monogram cards. MommaB custom ordered this card to match the booties she purchased from me. It is going to be the card to go with the booties she's giving as a gift. She has inspired me to begin offering matching cards to go with some of my items... (I'm really excited about making a card to match the Skull Mary Jane Booties I have listed right now. I think that will be on next week's project list!) I hand cut, pierced, and embroidered the "j" on this card. It is mounted slightly above the card stock. The dimension really finished off the card nicely. YEAH! Initial Beauty! :)

I'm imagining lots of ways to play with initials... this is going to be FUN!

Monday, June 30, 2008

recap & new list

Custom Order - Initial Card
Custom Order(s) - Clippies
Continue work on: Shop Set Up Package for Dizzybroad - (in progress)
Begin Chocolate & Sushi - Bookmarks

Custom Order - Initial Card

Kitchen Delights (fun with fabric)
Sets - Booties, Clippie, & Card :)
The Fairies
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas


This will be another fast moving week! The 4th of July weekend is going to be a blast! We're planning a big BBQ here... so I have LOTS to do to get ready.... what this means is that I won't have as much time to work in my shop. I tried to be pretty realistic as far as my list goes for this week, so we'll see how it goes! (That's also why I added a "longer term project" section.... I don't want to forget what I want to make BUT I don't want to make it a goal for the current week. Kind of a procrastinator's way out, don't cha think?!) :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

recap & new list

VACATION!!!!!!!!!! :)
No projects or listings this week...

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (in progress)
Replenish "Extras" for orders (in progress)
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
Blooming Clippie
New Amy Butler Blossom Card - Completed
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card - Completed
Kitchen Delights (make sample from sketch)

New Amy Butler Blossom Card - Listed
Blooming Clippie & Baby Bug
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card - Listed

It was a busy week... I knew I was stretching it with my project list! I'll just be ready with things to start on when I return from vacation. I also have some custom orders that I'll be working on once I return. I'm so excited to be going away with my family... ahhhh..... v a c a t i o n! :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

guitar hero ON TOUR

I LOVE video games! We had preordered TWO (One for me and one for Cami, because I DON'T want to share!) of the new Guitar Hero games for our Nintendo DS Lites... They arrived today!!! Oh my gosh, it's the coolest thing ever! I have a feeling I know what I'll be doing A LOT of during our vacation next week! I just finished working through the tutorial (that's the kind of person I am, PLUS I thought I might learn some tricks so that just maybe I'll be able to beat Cami once before she figures out all the little tricks! ...Hey... I can dream, can't I?!) The guitar duel features are sooo cool! You can earn "weapons" to use against the other player like fire (start their guitar on fire and they have to blow into the microphone to put it out and continue playing, break a string (they have to reattach), throw something to be autographed (they have to autograph it before continuing to play), and all kinds of other VERY neat things. These are the things I'm hoping that Cami hasn't learned yet. All right... I'm going to test out my luck... CAAAAAMMMMIIIII!! (wish me luck!)

UPDATE: I just beat Cami!!! THREE TIMES!!!! See it was worth learning some of the "weapons"... I'm sure this is the only time I'll be able to beat her so I think I'll have to torture her about my wins the rest of the day! (Of course she did beat me at the regular competition where no weapons were allowed.) The game is a BLAST! Such GREAT songs too! (Heather... Jessie's Girl is on there... I know you're running to the store NOW!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

t h a n k s

I just wanted to shout out a very quick THANKS! Thanks especially to MommaB and dizzybroad for buying more of "my stuff" this week... I really appreciate your encouragement and super kind comments. You're the best... Thanks!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

21 & graduation

Leila turned 21 yesterday! I'm so happy that she came home and shared this special occasion with us! We had such a great time!! Cami, Leila, and I caught up on episodes we were behind on for "So You Think You Can Dance." Leila opened her gifts AND we went out to a very lovely dinner at Mastro's Steakhouse. We had DELICIOUS Maine lobster and YUMMY rib eye steaks. (Oh... I think I'm still full!) It was one of those dinners where everything turned out perfectly: our location in the restaurant (nice corner), food, service, and best of all: company! We miss having Leila around all the time and so it's especially nice when we get the chance to all be together.

Cami had a special day as well on Leila's birthday.... It was the last day of school AND her graduation from elementary school. It's another one of those "where has the time gone" moments for me! How does this happen? Cami was awarded with the "President's Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence." We're so proud of all her hard work. Here she is with her wonderful teacher... Cami has absolutely LOVED being in her class. (One of the things I really liked about Cami being in her class is the emphasis she put on the kids to be good people and to treat each other with respect and kindness. Sometimes simple things like this are just plain overlooked. It's sad.) She is definitely going to miss her, but she's VERY excited about moving on to middle school.

I guess I have to end this post by saying how EXTREMELY proud I am of both my girls and the people that they are. They inspire me everyday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

bride, blossom, & friends

I'm having one of those days where I feel like I'm getting things done, but there are still SOOO many things to do! I am glad that I was able to get a couple of things done for my shop and now I have to concentrate on getting everything set for Leila's birthday and Cami's elementary school graduation. They are both tomorrow! It will definitely be a day to celebrate in our house!

One of the items I finished was the custom order Bride Card. I think that the red and white polka dot background look amazing with the white dress! I edged the card with the same ribbon that I used on the dress. The shine from the ribbon added a very nice touch. It's a terrific combination! I think "MommaB" is really going to like it! (I hope!) :)

Yesterday I posted the new Amy Butler Magnolia Blossom Card. Cami chose this paper because she wanted me to make one for her ballet teacher. Now I'll have two more cards available in this combination. I love that she still asks me to "make" presents for her teachers... She's my biggest fan! :) The chocolate brown, pinks, and cream look wonderful. These patterned papers make beautiful blossoms!

She also chose another Amy Butler paper pattern that she wanted me to make into a blossom card for her school teacher. Here's a preview of what it looks like... I'll list that blossom card tomorrow. I adore how bright and cheerful this card looks with it's stripes and rainbow of colors. The inside blossom paper looks like it's alive with wildflowers. I LOVE it! The red ribbon tied it all together with such pizazz!

Let's see... I also packaged up some Amish Friendship Bread Starters for Cami to give to 3 of her friends tomorrow. She thought it would be fun (as did I) for her friends to be able to bake with their families and pass the wonderful "friendship bread" to other friends all summer long. (Click here for a Starter Recipe... pass on the goodness! Send me a comment if you'd like a copy of my "pass it on" instructions that you give along with the starter.)

I better get back to making Leila's and Cami's cards... tomorrow is sure to be a very special day...

Monday, June 16, 2008

a ballet-rific weekend

WOW! I definitely have a little ballerina!!! :)

This weekend she performed Saturday and Sunday in "Sea to Shining Sea," a dance recital for her dance school. Saturday's performance was in the costume shown above. Her teacher choreographed an adorable number that was so entertaining. It was one of the crowd favorites for the night! Cameron was AMAZING! ...OK .... I knew she was good, (I'm her mom after all!) but seeing her on a big stage, and the confidence, ACTING and dance... WOW! Just thinking about it now makes tears come to my eyes. She had the time of her life AND you could see it! Just look at the photo above... this was taken BEFORE the show... she's not nervous... she's calm and just anticipating the show. Oh... how I wish that my parent's lived closer. I know they would have loved watching her perform.

The photo below was taken after Sunday's performance. Leila was able to come home to celebrate Father's Day and attend this night. (I sure have gorgeous girls! ...proud mama talkin' again...) It was ANOTHER outstanding performance by Cameron... in fact, I heard people behind us in the theater comment on her grace and elegance during her dance. She really stood out! I'm so proud! I guess I'm going to have to buy both DVDs of the performances! (Of course they wouldn't put all the performances together... You must buy separate DVDs for each night! $40 each, adds up! They also prohibited any recording in the theater... so you're pretty much stuck! Oh well... I know she'll love being able to have all her relatives watch it!)
It was definitely a ballet-rific weekend! I don't know if my husband's first choice for Father's Day weekend would be to spend over 5 hours watching ballet for the weekend.... but he was definitely the proud papa! Happy Father's Day honey... our kids are lucky to have such a wonderful, funny, generous, video game playing, silly, scary movie watching (and torturing), BBQ-ing master, hard working, thoughtful, supportive dad.... I love you!

recap & new list

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (in progress)
Replenish "Extras" for orders (in progress)
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
Blooming Clippie
New Amy Butler Blossom Card
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card
Kitchen Delights (make sample from sketch)

New Amy Butler Blossom Card
Blooming Clippie & Baby Bug
Custom Order - Bride Dress Card

Work on Banner Design for Dizzybroad (carryover) - In Progress
Baby Bug Clippie (carryover)
New Brownie Photo Card - Completed
Replenish "Extras" for orders - In Progress

Brownie Photo Card - Listed
Chocolate Truffle Pincushion - Listed
Relist made-to-order Skull Tops - Undecided

I've listed lots of items to do this week... A couple of the projects I actually began working on last week and should be close to completing. I don't know how realistic it was to list so many items as I didn't list the "teacher gifts" I need to complete! It's also Leila's birthday this week and she'll be home beginning Wednesday... I guess I better stop chit-chatting and get working! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ballet, tomato, chocolate!

Cami's BIG ballet recital is this weekend. Yesterday she had dress rehearsal at the civic arts plaza. She'll be performing on stage in front of 1,800 people! WOW! She is sooo excited! I'm upset because camera's aren't allowed, however, I was able to "sneak" in a couple of shots at the dress rehearsal yesterday! Look at her form! I am definitely the proud mama! :)

This morning I picked the first tomato from my garden. It had to have an official photo shoot... (I'll have one for the first yellow crookneck squash, cantaloupe, etc.) I felt such satisfaction holding that perfectly red, delicious and fresh smelling tomato in my hand. I'm planning on eating it up tomorrow. I haven't decided yet whether I'll eat it in a salad or just slice it and season it with a little salt... mmmm... yummy!

I listed "I ♥ Hugs" chocolate truffle pincushion today. I finally took the time to get the photos ready and list it. I now have a variety of the chocolate pincushions in my shop. I did start the embroidery for a new set of the chocolate candy magnets. Those sets have been sold out for a few weeks so it's time to add another set within the next couple of weeks.

I'm really glad I'm keeping track of things I need to do on my weekly "project list." I feel like I'm accomplishing something even when it is only a small thing. I may actually get through all the things on my MASTER list one day... (OK.. so I'm dreaming... I know I add more ideas for projects faster than I do them... That's what makes art so exciting!) :)
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