Monday, November 21, 2011

Slow Down!

Goodness sake!  The holidays are upon us.

I always plan on being more organized this year...More on top of things...ahead of the game.

I love to decorate.  I love holiday projects.  I love making presents and giving presents.  I love everything about the holidays.  I love the busy time...the barely managed chaos, especially when it all comes together and balances out and everyone is happy because of the work I've done.

This year is no different.  But, I have found these past couple of weeks that I am having a hard time coping with the stress of it all.  And, I have found that I am worrying myself too much about things that aren't as important as other things.

Things like my blog.

Not that I don't love my blog, because I really, really do.  And, I really love my group of followers and friends who have been so kind with comments and friendship.

But, with taking care of my home and kids, work, church responsibilities, and my husband about to dive in head first to finals, it has just become too overwhelming to keep up with all of my posting.

I've been doing projects and planning posts, but I have had a hard time finding quality time for my computer.

The time will come back.  I'm sure it will.  And, I will pop in here and there.  I've got a few guest posts set up and some awesome blogs.  I've got things to tell you about.  All those projects and ideas and fun things waiting for their time to shine!

Guys, I have even been given some blog awards (which I am so thrilled about)!  I have to give my speeches for those and pass them on!

I was planning on taking some time off for the holidays anyway.  It's just become necessary a little sooner than expected.

So, Happy Holidays.  Enjoy them!  Have fun with your families.  Find time to give and love and feel loved.  I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am Grateful for crochet

I can remember as a child watching my grandma crochet.  It was what she did when she was sitting down watching TV or talking.  
To make a half double crochet 2 together (hdc2tog), (yarn over and insert the hook in the next stitch, yarn over, and draw up a loop) twice, then yarn over and pull the loop through all 3 loops on the hook.
Her blankets were beautiful and it wasn't long before I wanted to play too.

I don't remember if she taught me the basics or not, but I know that at some point she helped me figure some things out.  For the most part, though, I used a book to learn crochet.  It was a skill that I caught on to quickly and easily and I like to think that is from watching her for so long.  (crochet by osmosis?)

It has now become a source of relaxation for me:  something for my hands to do when they are bored (if that's the right word...boredom is something I very rarely experience lately), but also a focus point to calm my mind when it gets overwhelmed and stressed.  

When my grandma passed away, I inherited some of her crochet hooks and pattern books.  I feel close to here whenever I bring out my yarn and hooks.  

I am so grateful for the skill I have and for the connection to Grandma.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sugar Bee Crafts Holiday Extravaganza!

Hey all!  I'm participating in the Holiday Extravaganza over at Sugar Bee Crafts today!  I'm so excited!

Come on over and see the fun craft I'm sharing.

I am Grateful for Socks


Is there anything else like a nice comfy, cozy pair of fuzzy socks?  Especially when the air is cooling off and your toes are having a hard time staying warm and happy.

It's like wrapping your feet up in a soft, cozy blanket and giving them hugs as you walk.  Beautiful.

I am grateful for my socks.  =)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Handprint Turkeys!

Have you visited Meet the Dubiens?  It is one of my all time favorite blogs!  I love all of her projects.  They are fun and simple and kid friendly.  AND it's packed full of fun lunch ideas.  So inspirational!

So, when she posted this tutorial for hand print turkeys, I decided it was time for me to stop admiring from afar and actually give one of these beloved projects a try.

My girls were thrilled when I pulled out the paints, construction paper, and glue!  They ran for their paintbrushes and started painting away.

They were totally mystified when I grabbed L's hand and started painting directly on it!  But that changed to fascination when I pressed her hand down on the paper.


By the time it was O's turn, she was pretty eager to have her hand painted and she didn't need any help stamping it on the paper.

Here are the final results:
O, very careful and clean and precise.

L, a little more "creative liberties" taken here, but beautiful just the same!

Be sure to check out the original tutorial and enjoy spending some time browsing her fantastic blog!

By the way!  It is 1:11 on 11/11/11...Make a wish!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am Grateful for Fall

A while back, I found this beautiful printable over at the letter 4.

I fell in love with it and downloaded it immediately!

It should be noted, though (in case you haven't noticed already), that I tend to take simple things and make them a bit more complicated.  =)

So, I took this print, transferred it to a nice scrap of white fabric I had just waiting to be beautified, and embroidered it.

It is hard to tell from the picture, but I added glitter paint to some of the leaves and to the word "fall."  Then, I mounted it on a fancy fall woven place mat thingy I've had forever.  

I made this project specifically for a new blog that I am a contributor for!  Woo!  Isn't that exciting?  The blog is called A Crafting Start.  It is a place to go for inspiration and help getting your creative juices flowing.  I am very excited about it.  Come by and visit!

I am very grateful for Fall.  As much as I love Summer, I love how Fall brings with it the holiday season and all the happiness involved with that.  It brings it in with warm colors, comforting smells, and good food.  =)  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I am Grateful to Create

The talk this video is taken from, Happiness, Your Heritage, changed my life.  

For so long, I had felt the desire to craft and create, but at the time this talk was given I felt that taking the time for my crafts and projects was more a luxury than a necessity.

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul."

My heart was touched.  It was a deep yearning for me and it brings me great joy, especially when the things I can make bring joy to my family.  

I love how creating can bring me closer to God, no matter what I am creating: quiet books, paintings, cookies, happy kids, a clean home, laughter, tears, comfort...


By creating, I learn who I am:  A Child of God.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hoo Are You!


1.  Do you type on a keyboard the correct way or do you peck like a cute little chick?

I type correctly.  Interestingly, I never officially learned to type until I was in college.  Now, though, my whole career is typing.  I am a medical transcriptionist.  I type for 4 hours straight (almost), 5 days a week.  And, I type very fast...about 90 to 100 words a minute.  So, no pecking, but I'm still a cute little chick.  =)

2.  Typically, how long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

This is assuming I get ready at all beyond getting dressed.  It usually takes me at least 30 minutes to get myself actually up and moving.  I can get out of bed and give my girls breakfast, but then I have to allow myself some time to wake up.  If I do get ready, since I don't usually wear makeup, it takes about 20 minutes (that's with a shower).  Add 10 minutes on a makeup day.

3.  Do you prefer lip gloss or lipstick?

Lip gloss.  It tastes better, usually glitters a little, and isn't as dry and sticky.  

4.  Do you take clothes to the dry cleaner or wash them yourself, even if they say dry clean only?

I try to avoid buying "dry clean only" clothes.  But, especially now that the closest dry cleaner is pretty far away, I wash it on a gentle cycle and hang it to dry.  

5.  Do you prefer Walmart or Target?

Target has cuter things.  I don't mind Walmart, but Target just makes me feel happier.

I am Grateful for my family.

My mom, my dad, my sisters, my brother.

They are some of the most amazing people I know.  They are my best friends.

I have been through my toughest times with them by my side and I have supported them through their hard times.

I love being close to them.  We have so much fun together and we always have!  I miss them, but knowing that they are part of me and that they are thinking of me fills me with so much gratitude and love that I have a hard time finding words to express myself.

It is my prayer that my own family will share the same kind of closeness and love and joy that I grew up with.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I am Grateful for L

She is one of the sweetest, friendliest, and most affectionate people I have ever known.  Her kisses are quick and plentiful along with her hugs.  

She is also fiery with a quick temper that sometimes baffles me.

She is learning to talk and in the morning will stand in her crib saying, "Mommy!" over and over and over...and over.

She adores O and follows her around all day long.  

She loves her Daddy so, so much; he can make her laugh like no other.  

She is kooky and sweet, fiery but gentle.  

I am grateful for L.

I'm alive!


I am over at Tales of a Trophy Wife today!  Come on over and say hi!

I'll be back here later today to catch up on my gratitude.  =)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 for Thursday!!!

Whoa!  I almost didn't make it!  Let's go!

Three things that is stole borrowed from my kids' Halloween stash.
1.  All the Baby Ruth mini bars.
2.  A caramel apple.
3.  Smarties.

Three things I buy that have to be name brand.
1.  Dawn dish soap.  Nothing works better.
2.  Chewy Chips Ahoy.
3.  Edy's Rocky Road ice cream.  It is the only one left with real marshmallows.

Three things I spend more than 15 minutes doing every day.
1.  Pinterest.
2.  Sleep during Sesame Street (late nights, early mornings = Mommy has earned a daily nap.)
3.  Try so hard to keep up with bloggy friends and e-mails. 

Three things that put me in a fantastic mood.
1.  Belting out a good song.
2.  Talking on the phone with my mom or sisters.
3.  A good hug and/or kiss from the Mister.
Three things I do that a grown woman has no right to be doing anymore.
1.  Use any excuse I can to put glitter on my face.
2.  Watch only the Disney channel.  (Ok, I branch out sometimes, but rarely.  The TV is only on when the kids are awake.)
3.  Freak out (just a little) when I go to the basement at night to change the laundry.

Three pictures:
I just recently uploaded a bunch of photos from my iPod.  These are all from my trip home this summer.

Me and one of my sweet nieces.

Maybe I should have listed this under one of the things a grown woman has no right doing.
This is one of about 5 pictures of me and my sister, Erin.

Ok, perhaps I'm brown-nosing name-dropping a little here, but...
I got to visit with Evelyn when we went home.  This is in my mom's backyard and that boy that L is lovingly gazing at is Evelyn's son, Dee.  I thought she should see that.  =)

There!  Now, to join in the fun, head over to Evelyn's blog, Hanging By a Silver Lining!

I am Grateful for O

She is my firstborn.

She is beautiful in body and spirit.  

I don't believe I have ever known such a sweet and tender person.  She is friendly.  She is loving.  Every person she sees, especially other little girls, are automatically, without hesitation, considered friends.

She is like me:  Emotional, meticulous, a rule-follower, organized, a planner.  

She is not like me:  Her hair is blonde!

I love her so.  I love talking with here and hearing the thoughts running through her busy mind.  I love that several times a day she will call out to me, "Mommy!  I love you!"

I am so blessed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Am Grateful, Day 2

I am grateful for my husband.
Isn't he handsome?

He is a full-time (I'm talking over 20 credits for the last 4 semesters) P.A. student.  He works very, very hard on very little sleep and even makes sure I am taken care of (getting out of the house on occasion, eating enough chocolate, reading good books) before he thinks of himself.  He is adored by his daughters and loves to take them on picnic dates to the park or give them horseback rides around the house.  

He is a good hugger.  He is a good listener.  He loves to cuddle.  He thinks I am the best cook in the entire world.  He even likes the food I burn!  He is an amazing husband.  There are not enough words in the world to describe how much I love him and how grateful I am that he made me his wife.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Am Grateful

Welcome to November!

I absolutely love this time of year.  Today is the day that I feel the holiday season officially begins.  Halloween is just like a little teaser.

I have always felt that Thanksgiving and Christmas go together.  Each is a way to celebrate the many things I have to be grateful for and to serve and love and be happy.

I had a great day planned today to kick things off.  Unfortunately, I have instead been in bed for most of the day with a rather nasty little flu.  Dang it.

That's ok, though.  I'll get through it and still enjoy my holidays.

Now, I have a lot planned over the next couple of months: lots of gifts to make, treats to bake, decorations to create.  It's all going to be great fun!  I will share with you what I can, but some of my recipients read this blog faithfully.  Sorry, Family; I won't be posting pictures of your gifts here.  I'll post those in January.

For this month, I would like to take a little step back from some crafting.  I want to take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to give some thanks and to share with you a few of the many things I am thankful for.

I'll probably still post a few crafts here and there, though.  I can't really resist, you know.

So, to start things off, I need to express gratitude for something I should have mentioned ages ago.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a Mormon.  I don't talk about it very much and I am sorry for that.  I hold my feelings about the church very sacred and I hesitate to talk too much about it on this blog and I will probably continue to do so.  I don't want to seem pushy (if you have questions, though, please feel free to ask me)  But, it should be obvious to all who know me, that my church and my beliefs are very important to me.  I am who I am because of the Church and I am very, very, very happy because of the Gospel.

Recently, I got to go on a trip to the LDS Temple in Washington D.C.  I was so excited to go.  I have never been to Washington D.C. and I haven't been able to go to the temple in about 2 years.  So, everything about this trip was good for me.

The temple was so beautiful.

And, just so you wouldn't think I just posted a picture of a picture, here is a picture of me making a weird face (not on purpose, but the only picture I took) in front of it. 

But still, standing in front of it, I felt as if I had walked into a painting.  A very peaceful and welcoming painting. 

I went with the women in my branch and had a great time!  It is always fun to spend time with friends.

There was a lot of good food, good conversation, a few laughs, and even a little bit of this: 

Oh!  And, we went to Golden Corral for lunch.  Did you know they have a chocolate fountain there?
Oh, yeah.

Today, I am grateful for my membership in the Church, for the peace and joy it brings into my life, for the friendships I have made, and for the person I am because of it.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!!


I feel like I've been missing for a few years!

I've been sitting at my sewing machine pretty much all week working on costumes for my girls.  I have not been able to focus on much else.  I'm sorry if I've seemed absent lately.  But, they turned out so cute!

Here is L:
She's a cupcake.

She liked her costume so much, she wouldn't stop dancing.  It was hard to get a good picture.  =) 

Finally, Daddy picked her up and tickled her legs. 

P.S.  Her costume was inspired by this pin:
Here is the link to Lemon Tree Creations and her tutorial.  I didn't follow her tutorial, but I was absolutely inspired.

Next is O:
She is a pirate princess.

Her wand was a bit distracting. 

She loved it.

But I finally got her to stand still.  

We went to a church party on Saturday and we had a great time.  You know, we brought home A LOT of candy.  We might not need to go trick-or-treating tonight!

Oh!  I almost forgot.

I forgot to get a picture of my costume, but my husband was kind enough to sneak one in at the party.  It's fuzzy, but you get the idea.

I think striped tights and tutus should be part of every day wardrobe.  Wouldn't that be fun?!

Happy Halloween, All!  May you receive a great bounty of candy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are you a category eater?

I looked down at my cute new desktop while I was working the other night and saw this:

I don't really remember doing it, but I know I was saving those 2 beautiful purple skittles for last.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hoo Are You #59

1.  Do you like the season Fall?

Yes.  But I like pretty much all the seasons.  Fall gets me all excited for the Holidays.

2.  What is your favorite Fall smell?

Hmmmm.  I'd have to say cinnamon and apples and pumpkin pie.

3.  What is your favorite activity to do in the fall?

Bake pumpkins to freeze for the year, trick or treat, play outside when it isn't too cold yet, wear sweaters. 

4.  Do you dress in fall colors during the season?

I'm not really a fashion literate type of person.  I love fall colors, but I don't consciously wear them during the right time of year.

5.  Name 4 qualities about yourself that start with each letter in the word FALL. 

F- Friendly
A- Astute
L- Loving
L- Lyrical


Halloween Haunts

 In case you missed it, here is the project I posted over at Doodles and Doilies.  

Remember my Felt Dot Garland?  I love it.  Really, I do.  But it is Halloween and it needed some spookifying.  

Here's what I did:

I added some haunts to the garland.

Here's how I made them:

The first thing I did was find a circle cookie cutter and trace out 3 circles.  Then I sketched out the faces that I wanted.

I'm going to focus just on the ghost for the sake of space.  Hopefully, that will give you the basics enough to run with it, but if you need help or advice, please feel free to contact me!

Once you have your sketch/idea in mind, move on to some felt. 
Trace out and cut 2 circles.

Using the sketch, cut out the features for the face.
This was the mouth for my ghost. 
Please ignore my chipping nail polish.  It was late at night and I really wanted to finish this.  I figured it was better to have unfinished nails than an unfinished ghost.  I hope you'll understand.  =)

Now, using black embroidery thread and a running stitch, I sewed that mouth into place on one of the circles. 

On the second circle, I drew the letters.  BOO! 
Then, with the black thread, I embroidered those letters.

Now, it is time to create the ghost.  

I grabbed some purple ribbon to hang it with.  Place it on one of the circles in the position you like and pin it (take a lesson from me, pin on the right side so you don't lose your pin).   
I also grabbed a scrap of tulle, folded it up into a kind of a messy gather and pinned that in as well.

To sew the two pieces together, I used white thread and a running stitch again, being careful to keep my knots on the inside.  I was also very careful to make sure that my thread caught the ribbon and tulle to hold it in place.

Before you close it up, stuff it just a little with some fiberfill... 
which, by the way, was pretty much impossible for me to get a good picture of with my little camera.  You get the idea, though, right?

Finish sewing it up and, *bing*, you're done. 
He's kind of cute!   
For a ghost.

The possibilities are endless.  You can use any design you want!

These could even work at Thanksgiving (how cute would a turkey be?) or Christmas (reindeer?)  
What would you make?

I'm linking these haunts up here!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, my birthday was almost 2 months ago.  

Yes, I've procrastinated posting about my glorious birthday present.  

Better late than never though.

Look at what my mom got me!
Hello, Beautiful.

I'm sooooo excited!!!!

Here's her first project. 
I found a pretty flourish design, downloaded it, and cut it from some pretty purple vinyl.

It was fascinating.  (Oh wait!  That's blue vinyl!  This picture must have been from a different project.  But it still works because she does that every time I use my pretty Silhouette.)

Then I put it on her. 
I think she needs a name.  Any ideas?