Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Friends with Giveaways

I love love LOVE me some giveaways! I wish I could have one on my own blog every week. (I'll work on that) But seeing as I'm already single-handedly keeping the post office running financially, I'll share with you a few giveaways on my favorite blogs!

Jenni makes the cutest laundry bags, and she just introduced a new line of passport covers. And I just love her, she's been incredibly supportive practically since the day I opened shop, just a really great gal. Anyway, She's giving away a passport holder of your choice, and you can enter until tomorrow (Thursday) at midnight.

I'm sure you are all following Kari of U Create already, but just in case you're not, you should. Just about every day she's having a tutorial or a giveaway, and it's all just very inspiring. Her giveaway is for her new sponsor, Love Letters, who makes seriously adorable vinyl wall decor. Enter by Friday night and you could win a $25 gift certificate!

I've been enjoying Alli's creative blog, One Pearl Button, for a while now and she just opened a photography shop on etsy! To celebrate, she's giving away a print of your choice until Monday, 4/5 at midnight.

So go, enter, and may the force be with you!
(Ok sorry I'm a total Star Wars dork)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Must Be Dreaming

A bit dramatic? Maybe. But still, so awesome that I did a happy dance like no other all yesterday afternoon.
If you're a facebook fan, you've already been barraged with the news, so... sorry!

Let me start by explaining the reason for my excitement. I've always been crafty, and I've always wanted to make it my job.
When I was a kid, I'd make little "purses" from fabric scraps and force my family to buy them from me with fake money I gave them. I pretended my room was my retail shop, and I even made a little "open" sign for my bedroom door!
Ok so fast forward 20 years, and I'm still figuring out what I want to do. I go to the library every week and check out the same book over and over:

And embroidery has been my crafting medium of choice ever since. Thank you Jenny Hart.

So yesterday I'm checking my email and I see: "Etsy order confirmation from Sublime Stitching" And I'm like Oh wow someone stole Jenny Hart's business name! Then I check the shipping address, and almost threw up: Austin, TX. Well, ok, so a Jenny Hart fan has taken stalking to the local level, surely.
But no, there was a note:

Message from sublimestitching:
I will wear it proudly! It's so beautiful I can't stand it!
xo Jenny

omg omg omg it really is Jenny Hart! THE Jenny Hart, Queen of Embroidery, the woman who has single-handedly brought the lost art of embroidery back to hipness! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

But wait, it gets better...
I'm so excited I can't even tell you about it. Just check it out for yourself!

A blog post. About me. BY JENNY HART!!!

And as if that wasn't enough, I wake up to another sale thanks to her wonderfulness. Just. Wow! I couldn't be happier if I'd been asked to be on the Martha Stewart show. Which btw was my secret fantasy, until now. This is way better, because Martha never inspired me to try embroidering. (Glitter embossing, ok maybe, but that's not the subject of my slowly growing business.) Thank you thank you thank you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another (Mostly) Great Weekend

So sorry I've been skipping weekend posts, it's a sign of a busy weekend though. That's a good thing!
This weekend was our annual two-day special Bible assembly. Congregations from all over Ohio get together, and it's a great time because we get to see all our friends who don't live close! And it's a reason to dress up just a bit fancier than usual, especially for my munchkin. I was so excited to take lots of pictures to share, but the poor thing got sick on the way there Saturday, and by evening she had a horrible fever and has been laying on the sofa moaning ever since. My parents took care of her Sunday so that my husband and I didn't miss the rest of the assembly.

Oh, and I wore this:

I've been seeing these on etsy for awhile, and I've desperately wanted to own one but I can't afford it right now, so I put this one together from fabric scraps and vintage rhinestone buttons. It was really hard!
Well at first I was cutting a circle of felt for the base and then stitching the fabric strip to it, and it was very awkward and difficult to manage. So I started stitching to a larger piece of felt and then cutting it out when the rose was finished, and that made it a lot easier. Still, I had no idea what I was doing- Mine look messy and un-uniform. *sigh* I guess it just takes lots of practice!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Favorites Friday: Vintage Planters

So I haven't done a Favorites since my blog break during the move last month, and I really missed it. I hope you did too!

Today I'm looking at all the vintage planters in my etsy favorites. While I would just love to fill these darling little figurines with plants and set them all over my apartment, I think they're better suited for craft room supplies! In my dream craft room, I would have a wall of shelves full of these cute little guys, and everybody would have a stash of pencils, brushes, thread spools, etc. I know that'll never happen, but it's a nice thought.
Anyway, I've never quite figured out how the plants go in these. They're so little! I have a lamb from a vintage shop, he's so old that all the paint is worn off his little face, but I love his heavy, high-quality glossiness. I tried to put a little plant in him, but since there are no drain holes the plant just got moldy. I don't get it. But he's still cute to look at!

I came across the neatest etsy shop, Succulents Galore, the other day while browsing my favorite blogs. (I'm really sorry to whoever posted about this, I can't remember who it was, but thank you for the link!) Look at these gorgeous plants!

I can just picture my little balcony entirely covered with pots of these beauties, stacked artfully on flat stones or nestled in pretty logs. *sigh*

Also I want to grow tomatoes, but I think I've missed the planting window again! Last year I planted tomato seeds in June and they made pretty plants but of course never got a chance to make fruit. I hear there may be a tomato shortage this year, so I'm a little freaked out. I loooove tomatoes! Especially with basil and mozzarella... mmmmm. Too bad I can't grow a mozzarella plant, then I'd be all set! Well ok, if I also had a waffle plant, a nutella tree, and a cookie plant!

Do you have any garden plans for this year?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adventures In Babysitting

My Nemesis: Baby clothes that snap.

Yup, you know the kind- Jammies that have like eleventy billion snaps down the front and on the insides of both legs, strategically placed so that a kicking baby with absolutely no control of his motor functions can easily elude them.
I mean, really, why do they even make those things? Hello, zippers!

Anyway. So if I thought those were bad, boy was I in for it...

Gahhh! What is that thing? How are that many snaps mathematically possible? What the heck do I do with them all???

It's a cloth diaper cover.
When my brother and sister-in-law told me they planned to use cloth diapers, I was like ok whatever, so I fold up the cloth and pin it in place with those adorable giant safety pins with yellow plastic ducks on the top. Nooo problem.
Now the cloth diaper company has to get all high-tech with their modern plastic snaps.

Do not fear for the child's safety, his mother has carefully snapped the covers in place for me ahead of time.

***Obligatory Cute Photos***

In other news, I'll be so happy when the water gets turned back on. Well I mean, it's been back on for the last two days, but we're still under a boil advisory. So we can take a shower and wash our hands, but any water for consumption should be boiled for five minutes. I'm a bottled water snob anyway, (yeah I know I'm killing the earth) but I haven't washed dishes in three days. They're currently stacked all over the dining room carpet. And of course this means I can't make coffee! Is this some kind of extreme intervention to get me off caffeine? Fortunately I have a Tims right down the road mwahahahaha!
Although I have been brushing my teeth without boiling the water first, and I'm not dead yet so it might be just fine to wash the dishes. But the water smells like a concentrated swimming pool, seriously the bathroom reeks like some kind of science lab.
On the bright side, I get a chemical peel facial for free. And I live in a place that has running water. Also a plus.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crafting Inspiration

A few weeks ago Jenny Hart tweeted about this vintage book, Embroidery Magic on Patterned Fabrics. And of course, since the suggestion came from Jenny Hart, I practically beat down the virtual doors of to order a copy for myself.

Mom: "If Jenny Hart jumped off a bridge would you do it to?"
Me: "Are there Jenny Hart patterns waiting at the bottom?"

Anyway, it was a great investment. Of 75 cents.

So it's a pretty great book, very inspiring and all that. And I do have some lovely vintage fabrics that would look great with this technique. But the thing is, I'm the worse sew-er ever. So I could embroider all the fabric I wanted, and that would be the end of it. Maybe I could frame it in those adorable little wooden embroidery hoops?

I'm still sorting through the pile of library books from last week. I'm madly in love with this one, Embroider A Garden. I will definitely have to buy it, or else check it out of the library every two weeks!

Normally I'm happy just to outline stitch on cut felt shapes, but I might be getting a bit bored with that. Shhh!
I mean look at that, though! I gotta try it:

From another library craft book, I love this idea:

It's a collar, and here they've made it out of linen. I'd love to try it in leather!

Speaking of which, I've had these sitting on my worktable for a couple of weeks:

Supplies for more leather jewelry, even though nobody's been buying my first leather cuffs. But I can't help it, they were so much fun. I think the mustard and green are going to be a statement necklace? My husband says those colors don't go together at all. Boys, what do they know? Hmmm...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli!

Remember last week when I was talking about embellishing the truth to get kids to eat healthy? Well mostly I was just trying to be funny, but it really is an issue of concern in this family. Since then, I've stopped buying sugary snacks (I still make cake and cookies from scratch for dessert) and have piled the dining room table high with all kinds of fruit. I was chatting with Chiara in an etsy forum on this subject, and she had some fantastic advice- she even blogged about it here!
I already put a few of the suggestions into practice, and they've worked great! At the library, we found this book:
It's really cute, and Munchkin gets a kick out of saying what a good girl she is because she loves carrots. And boy does she! I think we're going to need three bags per week instead of just one! She'll tell anyone who'll listen how good they are for your eyes and how they're making her big and strong.

I also love Marisa's suggestion with the dipping sauces. She's right- my kid will eat anything if it's been dipped in some kind of yogurt, sauce, or peanut butter.

I've also been letting her help with preparing dinner. She seems to be much more excited about eating it if she can boast to her daddy that she made it. She especially loves our homemade beef stew- We usually make it as a family, all helping to wash and chop the veggies, sprinkle in the herbs, and give it an occasional stir. When it finally hits the table, she's practically hysterical with joy. It's pretty adorable.

Also, I've been sure to fall all over myself with excitement when shopping for veggies (I'm sure this makes a great show at the grocery store) and when putting them away at home. Last trip, we bought ingredients for a fresh salad. the mushrooms and tomatoes have been sitting in their packages on the table, and every day she's asked me what they are. I always tell her the truth now, but in a really excited voice, and then I tell her how much I love them and how yummy they are. And she can't wait to try them!

Ahh, potential diabetic crisis avoided.
Next stop: The Whining. *cringe*

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Nerdy Weekend

What's our weekend activity of choice?

The library!

Not all of those are mine. Maybe most.
I had a great time in the childrens section. Remember the Berenstein Bears books? One of them was about eating healthy, where Mama bear outlaws junk food. I remember reading it as a kid and thinking how awful it would be if my mom ever did that. So why do I think it'll work on my own kid? Ehmm....

Also I checked out some Beverly Cleary Ramona books. I loved those! And Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I still laugh uncontrollably at the "I Thought You Said-ers." Maybe Munchkin won't have the patience to listen to me read them, since there are no pictures and they're longer than her normal Dr. Seuss books. Then I'll just read them to my baby nephew, he'll have no choice since he can't crawl away yet. Mwahahaha!

After the library we had to stop by the mall for a completely legitimate and necessary small purchase, but of course we left with two more fancy schmancy spring dresses for the little diva. The downside to having no less than a dozen formal-ish dresses is that we'll run out of opportunities to show her off long before we run out of dresses. Oh believe me, there will be photos. On this blog. And you'll have to look at all of them!

Anyway, my little brother had a cookout so we went there, did that. All was going well until someone started a push-up competition, and then we all ended up participating in a family arm wrestling event.

Also, there was this bean bag throwing into wood circle thing going on:

I don't think that's quite the way it's played.

So anyway that's why I've been the lamest blogger ever the past few days. C'mon, my champion arm wrestling arm is sore! But we had a great time!