Thursday, July 29, 2010


How is everyone doing? I’m busy. I decided to start yet another project. This one has a good cause. I’m making hats to help a one year old little girl with cancer. I’m still working on setting things up. The basic premise is to make hats and sell them at the farmers markets and on Etsy. The proceeds will go to help care for the little girl’s expenses or donated for research.

Here’s a pic of the original hat made for the little girl. It has a locket to hold a picture of her mom and dad.

Today we did the photo shoot for our theme picture. Afterwards, I had to take many pictures of Rowan’s other stuffed animals.

When you see the teddy bear pic to the side it should mean it’s set up and ready to link to the Etsy shop.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Short Post

Right now is the busy part of my week and I'm hoping to not be around at all tomorrow. I wanted to post a couple of pics from earlier this week. I was driving and missed my turn on purpose accidentally and ended up at the Goodwill. I figured I could either turn around and exit or maybe there was a reason I ended up there. I decided to go in and take a look around...
Hello Mama! Look at these. $7 for both. Oh sure, there's some tiny imperfections but they are staying outside in the garden. Awesome awesome awesome happy dance.
This is a partial victory. I saw these dishes last month as a full set. I hemmed and hawed because of the price and skipped them even though I loved them. This time the set was gone and only these 4 plates managed to escape and hide, waiting for their real mom to find them. Though I wish I had the whole set, I can be happy with just a pinch of their cuteness.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Journey of Crochet...

Crochet is one those skills I wanted to work on. I got my opportunity when I saw Vickie Howell's blog with a free pattern for a hat. I had to make that hat. It's rated easy, which usually means easy for someone with a master's degree in crochet. However, it really was easy. And fast. I made this over the weekend. Get Out! Yes, I did it over the weekend. She even gives you a video to learn how to do that puff stitch. I used a different yarn than she did. I used a 100% wool yarn. What better yarn to use on these chilly 100 degree summer days. And now I have my winter hat.

This is my hat model. She's cute. You can write to her at... the women's prison. She's in for a stint of writing bad checks. Not really. I can say this about her since she said my practice crochet was so incredibly horrible that there really was no hope for me.

This is the practice crochet I was learning with Saturday morning. It's a square...It's supposed to be a square. Are you done laughing? I'm posting this because I want you to see that you too can go from this blue square to making that great hat in just a few hours.

I have a long history of crocheting really bad. In fact, years and years ago I made this koozy thing. It's my very first piece. It's like it has magical powers. Anytime it's brought out it causes hysterical laughter from all in the room. I'm actually not allowed to get rid of it because of everyone's love of its' patheticness.

I'll keep working at it. If anyone else makes this hat I would love to see how it turns out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Knitting Class

Yesterday I took the plunge and went to a knitting class. I'd been meaning to go for over a month now but just hadn't been able to schedule it. I also arrived on time. I hate being late.

It was a small class. About every age and skill was there. Most of them were crocheters. Apparently knitters can mix with crocheters and no fights will break out. Some knew how to do both. Shut..up. Is that even allowed?

I was mostly impressed with the 16 year old knitter. She was like pro-am or something. She was all "yeah, I thought it looked like fun so I started last week and now I'm making this sweater off the top of my head and it'll be done tonight." She didn't really say that. That was how it sounded in my head, though. She was doing like this speed knitting thing. Apparently there's also a Guiness Book of World Records fastest knitter in the world category. You can see her on YouTube.

I stuck it out and studiously concentrated on my knitting pattern, plodding through. Guess what? I actually got better. I learned some technique tips from the 16 year old and since I didn't have the distractions from home I could actually focus better.

This class was free at Hobby Lobby. If you are interested or broke, get thee behind to a class in your area. It's worth it even if you're just getting out of the summer heat.

*The picture is from Wikicommons.(A basket of yarn, from {{cc-by-sa-2.0}})

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Craft, Inc.

If you're thinking of going into business for yourself, I would recommend this handy little book. I just ordered mine. I've been borrowing one from a friend and have been dying to scribble and underline all over it.

It's packed full of relative useful information. It's good business sense for any field but mainly relates to crafting businesses. It covers brick and mortar, your online site and blog, and Etsy or related type sales. Haven't a clue about a business plan? There's an outline. I've reached the part about creating a press kit, which sounds like big important words. This little book is going to walk me right through it.

There's some additional stories from other startups and their mistakes and successes. The back has 2 full pages of internet resources. At 160 pages it's an easy read. "Craft, Inc. is the ultimate guide to turning what you do for fun into what you do for money."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Writer's Block and Rain

There hasn't been a whole lot going on this last week. I came to blogger a few times, sat down, stared at the screen, and nothing. I couldn't think of enough to put a post together. Upon reflection, it makes me kind of happy. I had writer's block. This is an evil bestowed upon real writers, of which I haven't considered myself.

Most of the nothingness of the week revolved around rain. It rained almost every day. It did stop for 2 days and then started right back up. Jace said, "Oh good, I thought that drought would never end." This is a joke. Because there's this weird thinking about rain around here. There's never enough. We could have a Noahdic rain and it still wouldn't be enough. Jace says they're something like crack addics. "All I need is one more inch and I'd be happy." And they say inch, eench. And they never let it go. We're under flash flood watches and people are still completely ingrained to complain that they only need one more eench.

This is my trophy! The first tomato. It's a regular/big size tomato. The pic just makes it look small. I picked it because it was starting to turn red and all the rain was making it get some little hairline splits. I put it in a paper bag for a couple of days to ripen it up, making sure I checked it everyday to not let it over ripen. We'll eat it today. The consensus is that it's a Roma tomato. Interesting because we don't have any Roma seeds. Maybe there was one in the carrot seed packet?

Another project we did during the Great Rain was making animals with fuzzy sticks. Or if you're old and decrepit, pipe cleaners. This project was Rowan's business mind come to life. Right now I pay her in snow cones for helping me at the farmers market. Now she has decided she wants to move up in the corporation to product development and sales. I guess the menial labor has inspired her to make something she can get real cash for.

The problem with this idea is that none of us are particularly talented at making animals out of fuzzy sticks. The above pic is Jace's rendition of a giraffe... We like to refer to him as croco-giraffe because he kind of has a gator head. Also his head is on the same end as the tail.

Here, I made a flower. Apparently I do not know that a flower is not an animal. I was therefore not following instructions.

Here's the final collection of a giraffe, mouse, spider, snake, and flower.

My last topic for why I wasn't blogging is because I had a tummy bug. I thought it was due to stress but could have been bubonic plague, ebola, or food poisoning. Jace did the good husband thing by throwing medicine at me and ducking for cover, hoping I wouldn't stampede him in one of my 1.000 trips to...the toilet paper origami station. I'm back on the mend and managed toast and hot cocoa today with no subsequent episodes. In my misery I managed to write this post in my head and a couple others. Hopefully next week will be more blogeriffic!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Radical Homemaker

Today I'm passing on to you an article about Radical Homemakers which I found through reading Shiny Red Houses, one of the queens of homemaking.

It's something I knew was going on but hadn't put a name to it. This is something I've obviously been doing if you've been reading me for awhile. Maybe my motives are different than other women in doing this. I get the whole being greener and stop being a consumerist, but it's something else...

Skills. I recently woke up in a midlife crisis. However, my crisis is realizing I'm...39 and don't know how to do some things. How could I reach this age and not know how to do some of life's most obvious things? You do not want to eat my gravy. I really suck at making it. But that is because I didn't learn how to make it. Jace had to teach me how to make mashed potatos.

That's part of the consumerist society thing. Buying it already done for you. But now I want to know how to do it all myself. I have a feeling it's going to get more important down the road...oh in about 6 months. There's some nasty little tax things that are going to happen. Something else a lot of people don't seem to know anything about. I figure if I know how to do a lot of this house stuff then maybe we won't be throwing a full time paycheck towards these taxes.

There's also a sense of fulfillment when you have skills. You don't feel like a bumbling idiot. You know more about starting a lawn mower than a tanning bed. You know how to pick a melon. You know that the chicken of the sea isn't really a chicken...

If you can, read the above mentioned article to know where you fit in, if not just to know the name of the movement going on. There's going to be a lot more radical homemakers popping up all around you. I'm going to keep on learning some "new" skills and I'll pass on those adventures to you. Because you know the first time I try to make bread it's going to end up looking like road kill. Plus, Rowan always spices up that homemaking equation into something resembling a complete disaster or total miracle.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Catch Up

Is it Friday already? The time flew by but I can say I did get done what needed to be done. Right now we seem to be getting a huge amount of rain which limits my time out in the garden. There's not much to do in it anyway. Just wait for things to grow. Some things tend to grow a lot more than others... Like this tomato plant. I think it's a Black Krim, though I can't be sure because it's in the carrot patch. I didn't plant it. It just showed up one day and it looks like my other Black Krim tomatos. It's gotten a little out of control and I got it a chair to sit in.

Here's one of the tomatos it's growing. This one is bigger than a baseball.

Here's some other tomatos peeking out on another plant. I call these Lowe's tomatos because I can't remember what kind I bought, but I do know I bought it at Lowe's. It has 12 tomatos on it.

This is another tomato plant. (I do have 28) This one has evidence of my garden enemy, the tomato horn worm. You can see this as some parts look like little twigs because some big fat worm/catepillar ate the rest. Gardening does require feeding some bugs, which is why I planted so many.

Here's the sunflower harvest. The big one is the size of a car steering wheel. I got the seeds out of them, soaked in 1:3 salt water and baked at 200 till they were dry. I have a half gallon of seeds to eat now. Not bad for 2 plants.
One of my goals on my days away from the blog world was to have fun. Rowan and I went to the park and got on this 3 person tire swing. This is a pic of her while we're swinging and I'm trying to get a pic while only holding one chain. She's laughing at me trying not to fall off.

The other day a friend made some homemade hot fudge sauce and insisted that I put on a ton of weight try it.

So here is exactly what I think of that hot fudge sauce! I also had a dream that my boss sent me a text message saying that Dolly Parton was killed in a plane crash in Europe so I would have to go into work. That was really weird since my job has nothing to do with airlines, Europe, country music stars, or Dolly Parton. And I want to say that I have nothing against Dolly Parton, either. Maybe I better lay off the sauce.