Saturday, June 25, 2011

Isle of Palms...

Here I come!

Finally getting to go on vacation!  I have to admit that this has been one of the most stressful vacations to plan.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to get time off.  Then when I finally did get my time off, a month after I requested it, the original house we were looking at was booked.  Hubs has been  out of town for the past 3 weeks and I've been sewing like mad trying to get ready.  I'll be glad when we're on the road because that means I can leave everything here behind me.

My vacation means that I won't be around much next week.  I'll try to find a wifi hotspot at Starbucks or somewhere of the like.  But I'm going to be enjoying sandy beaches, salty breezes and the new books that I downloaded to my Kindle. 

So I'll see y'all later.  Have a good week!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Searching for God's Will...

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I know God's Will is good and perfect and is infinitely better than anything else that I could dream for myself, but at what point are you able to realize that your dream might not be God's?

I have had such mixed feeling lately about my crafting and Etsy and blogging.  Sometimes it seems as though God is on my side, and others it seems like he's telling me in a firm voice to stop. 

It doesn't help any that my self esteem has taken a hit because I can count on two hands the people in my offline life that support me.  It even seems that some people that I thought would support me don't want me to be successful. 

If it's not God's Will for this to continue, I'm fine with that.  After all, he knows best.  But I would like a definite "yes" or "no" as to whether or not I should continue.  I don't want to live outside His Will while I try to figure out whether or not something is His Will. 

I'm so confused...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We Did It Wednesday!

So most of you who religiously follow my blog (how many can that really be?) may think that after a solid week of new and good information, I fell off the Earth yesterday.  Truth is, I had a day off from work, so I went shopping and got my nails done for the first time.  Fingers and toes.  It was lovely.  I really wish I could paint my nails that well.  I really wish I knew what kind of voodoo they worked on my nails. 

Anyway, onto the real meat of this post.  I've been busy, and have almost finished my beach gifts.  And I found the Sew Much Ado blog somewhere in my blog wanderings and decided to participate in the We Did It Wednesday. 

Here's my entry:

These are the appliqued tote bags that I kept talking about for my nieces.  It's hot pink canvas, with lime green polka dot cotton appliques, sewed on with bright blue thread and bright blue cotton webbing handles.

The above are closeups of the appliques.  Complete with a crazy shadow formed from the lens of the camera blocking the flash.  I would normall make better quality pictures, but since we're leaving for the beach on Saturday and I still have one skirt and two Towel Rolls to make before we go, you're lucky to get a blog post!

I'm really proud of how these turned out.  Especially since this is my first attempt at applique. 

This is what you get when Hubs is away on business, I have two days off completely to myself, a few glasses of sweet tea and several midnight mini Moon Pies. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Buy Nothing Summer

As I have discovered among people in the craft world, we all have too much stuff.  By stuff I mean materials.  We all seem to hoard fabric, and buttons, and paper, and yarn and whatever else we have ever used for any project whatsoever. 

I started following during the Sew, Mama, Sew May Giveaway Day 2011.  She gave away a dump truck load of zippers that I rather wanted.  Alas, I didn't win them, but I did find a new blog to follow that has been very entertaining. 

Moira has decided that she is not going to buy any more crafting materials from now until September 1 and just deal with what she has.  I think this is a fantastic goal.  So fantastic that I think I will join.  Starting Tuesday.  I have a few things that I know I'm going to need before this weekend (i.e. seersucker, broadcloth, some buttons and maybe, just maybe a peek at the clearance table). 

Moira has her own rules and exceptions, and other people have kind of set some exceptions for themselves.  Since me saying that I won't buy anything all summer would turn me into a liar, here are exceptions:
1.  I can buy things that I run out of that I need, such as zippers, snaps, buttons, interfacing, etc.
2.  If I have a request for an item in my shop and I am out of that fabric, I can go buy more of that particular fabric.  Same goes for yarn.
3.  I should not buy anything off the clearance table just because I like it.  I need to use what I have first.  But of course that doesn't mean that I won't.  But I'll try my darndest.

I think I'm going to create a page here on my blog chronicling the undertaking.  I'll post pictures of things that I have made as a result of my stash busting, and maybe you can send me some of your pictures!  I love pictures!

So there is is.  All the credit for this goes to Moira, but I would like to know if you are participating.  Let's make it a party!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blog Hopping

I found this today, and decided to try it since I'm stuck at work.  I have found that blog hopping can be some degree of work!  Anyway, here it is.  Check it out, there's bound to be a cool blog that you haven't found yet!

Welcome to Saturday Stalk – REMIX! We are now blog hopping for the whole weekend! Join Just Married with Coupons AND Debbie Does Coupons & YOU! We will pick a featured guest each week to hop along with us to keep it fun and fresh. We will randomly pick a new participant each week. **New** If you would like to be a featured guest for Saturday Stalk, please fill out this FORM. Make sure you look out for our e-mail with “Saturday Stalk Featured Guest” in the title!
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This week’s featured guest is: Reflexions

Thanks for those who have been participating from week to week and a big welcome to you if this is your first time. We are so glad you are here! This blog hop is all about having fun, meeting new bloggers and building new readership!

Blog Hop Rules
  1. Please follow us: Just Married with Coupons AND Debbie Does Coupons then we WILL FOLLOW YOU BACK.
  2. Copy the Saturday Stalk into a blog post.
  3. Come back and post the direct link to your blog post here into the link forms below.
  4. Follow as many participants as you would like, leave them a comment letting them know you’re are following them.
  5. Follow back anyone that is now following you and leave them a comment back letting them know you’re following back through this event
  6. Please follow the rules or we will have to delete you from the list =(

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beach Gifts for my Nieces

As I've stated before in other To-Do List posts, beach gifts for my nieces are top priority right now.  I kind of started this tradition last year when I was so excited to just be able to go to the beach and spend time with my family that I put together little gift bags for them.  They had beach balls and other little beachy trinkets in them and crochet top tank tops that I made especially for them, OOAK (one of a kind).  Both of them are crafty too and really appreciated the tank tops.  Emma even begged for us to match when I told her I had a black tank top and khaki shorts too.  She was also pleased when I handed my flip flops down to her when I couldn't wear them anymore.

So this year, since I've started sewing, I decided they were going to get good beach gifts.  And not that I have entirely ulterior motives, but making gifts for nieces is always a good way to practice new techniques. 

So I have some hot pink canvas that I'm making the gift bags from with this to applique their initials with:
I think I'm gonna do the zig zagging around the letters in bright blue too. 

Then I'm going to make the Towel Roll using some black and blue kind of Hawaiian fabric that I found at Hancock.  I was actually at a loss as to what to do with this fabric.  When I bought it, I had never sewn anything before and thought that it would be OK if I ruined it.  I bought it on the clearance table for about $1 a yard.  But then I found that sewing was easier that I thought it might be and just kind of shoved this stuff to the bottom of my stash because I didn't think it was the most beautiful fabric in the world.  It's too much dark color, but too much floral happiness to make something entirely out of it.  But then the Towel Roll came along and I paired with a white towel, it's going to look great!  Sorry, I don't have a picture of this fabric.

Then lastly (that is if I don't come up with any other ideas), are the skirts.  Thanks to April Baylor at Sewing Novice, I found out how to make a full skirt for a kid.  I was going to make it reversible like mine, but had some issues.  Sewing at 2 AM when already tired is not recommended.  But the more I thought about it, the more I decided that the lining was too thin to be seen on the outside anyway.  So I ended up with a full gathered skirt with a built in slip.  This one here is for Lila. 

And I put my label in it, down near the bottom of the slip so it won't itch.  I was going to make a tutorial about it, I even started taking pictures, but I got tired and frustrated and didn't feel like doing it anymore.  So maybe I'll make a tutorial when I make Emma's.  It's really super easy, as long as you cut the fabric the right length, which I didn't the first time.  Now to make another trip to Hancock to get more elastic and more lining fabric.  When I bought the fabric, I had no idea that for a skirt this full you had to double the waist measurements.  So I ran short on lining.  Oh, well.  You know how much I hate making trips to Hancock!  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blueberry Fro-Yo

I finally have time to post the long awaited Blueberry Fro-Yo (or Frozen Yogurt) recipe!  I've had so many other rather time sensitive things to blog about, and I have so much more for the next few days that I was really starting to wonder when this would happen.  And I also have lots of pictures.  I love picture recipes.  So without further ado, here it is.

Blueberry Fro-Yo

Makes about 1 quart of frozen yogurt
You will need:
1 pint of fresh blueberries
1-500g container of Greek Yogurt (I used fat free and the 500g can vary a bit) 

2/3 cup of sugar

And that is it!

Wash your blueberries and place them in a food processor.  Chop them up to the consistency that you want.  I don't like big chunks, so I pureed them pretty fine.
Then add the sugar to the food processor and chop some more until the sugar is well incorporated.  It should start to form a syrup.  Let that mixture sit in the food processor while you dump the Greek yogurt into a medium mixing bowl.  Next pour the blueberry mixture into the bowl with the yogurt and mix well.  Greek yogurt is about the same consistency as sour cream, so make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl while mixing.  I know to do this from experience.  After mixing, it should look like this:

At this point you can taste to see if you have enough sugar.  I find the 2/3 cup works fine, but the yogurt is pretty tart and some people may want a bit more sugar.  Now dump this into your ice cream/frozen yogur/sorbet churn.  Hubs bought this new toy for just such an occasion:

It's a Cuisinart 2 quart frozen dessert maker.  We got it at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I think it's about $80, but we used on of their trusty 20% off coupons.  No ice or salt required.  You just stick the bowl of the churn in a big freezer bag, then put it in the freezer.  The bowl turns as opposed to the paddles turning to churn the yogurt.  The bowl goes in the base, then the paddles go in the bowl, then the lid goes on top.  Just turn the knob on the front and it starts churning.  It's really quiet too.  Anyway, here's what the mixture looks like before it's frozen:

Then when it's frozen, the yogurt just sticks to the paddles and doesn't burn a motor up.  Like this:
Not the best picture, I know, but this was done at about midnight, so forgive me.  Just remove the lid and the paddles and scoop out your goodness!  I will recommend not using a metal spoon to scrape the goodness off the sides of the churn.  We accidentally scratched it a bit trying to do this.  And it takes a while for the churn to thaw and for the yogurt to melt away, so we used an ordinary plastic spoon (the kind you eat with at cookouts and family reunions) to get it off.  Very carefully, might I add.  Hubs sat on the couch with the churn and a pot holder (because the churn is so cold) practically licking the bowl.  He can do away with a whole quart in one sitting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pay it Forward Giveaway!

I found this lovely little thing over at The Little Mouse blog.  I think Esther may have followed my blog during the SMS May Giveaway Day 2011 and somehow I missed it.  She has such a nice little blog.  Anyway, I found this on her blog and thought, "Hey, why not!"  So here it is.  I've copied the rules directly from Esther's blog 
Here are the rules:

1.  I will make something for the first 3 people that comment on this post.  QUICK! Comment now and read the rest of the rules later!  Just kidding... you might want to see what you're getting yourself into before you commit.  Also, if you do comment, make sure that your email is attached to your account, or include it in your comment.  I need to have some way of getting a hold of your to get your address!

2.  I will have a full 365 days to make and send your item.  Maybe when you least expect it and have forgotten about this, it will show up in the mail.  

3.  Once you comment here, you must post about your Pay It Forward on your blog to keep the fun going with the Pay It Forward badge.  You then will have the joy and fun of making something for the first 3 people that comment on your post!

Also, feel free to join the Flickr group to see what else is being sent!
I'm looking forward to this.  I really get a lot of joy out of making people happy, and what better way to do it than this!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday To-Do, June 14, 2011

For alliteration's sake, I'm making my To-Do List posts on Tuesday now. 

The SS cookout was great!  My house was clean, the food was good (we are all very good Baptists), and the kids had fun.  Our neighbor has pecan trees and one of the kids found a pecan.  It was from that point on a coconut.  But we won't be having company again for a while, so I'm completely nixing the "prep the house" To-Do list.  But my crafting To-Do list keeps growing.

Hubs is gone on business again.  I don't like it.  He'll be gone until late Friday night, so I'll have to find things to amuse myself until then.  My problem is prioritizing things.  There are a bazillion and one things I'd like to have done by tomorrow morning.  The reason I'd like to have them done by then is because my Tools4Etsy ad goes live tomorrow morning!  When I signed up for the ad, I really thought it would be months before it appeared since it's free and the featured advertisers are chosen lottery style.  But nope, it's tomorrow.  So here's my attempt at prioritizing my To-Do list:

~Make the graduation gift wallets

~Make a couple more wallets to put for sale in my shop and list them.  Due: tonight

~Newest project:  Beach Roll--I've bought two large bath towels that I'm going to attatch a printed roll pillow to (handmade pillow, of course).  I'm also going to sew a strap on the back of the towel so that when it's rolled around the pillow you can tie it up.  Due: tonight

~Finish cutting out shapes for our Church Youth Card Ministry.  The kids were supposed to make cards last week, but someone only put out the cheesy boxed cards for them to sign.  This is no good.  I'm using the trusty Cricut to make some stuff for them to glue on.  This means that you will get free SVG files soon!  Due: tonight

~Sew the ribbons on the luggage for my Mother-in-law

~Sew beach gifts for my nieces (This is one of those things that keeps growing.  There is the Reversible Skirt, the Appliqued Tote Bag, and now the Beach Roll) Due: June 24
~Make the tutorial for the Reversible Skirt while I'm making one
~Finish the duffel bag and matching makeup/tote/toiletries bags that I started months ago and intended to carry to the beach Due: June 24
~Make the tutorial for the Crochet Zinnia.  Due: whenever it gets done

~Redo my shop banner, avatar, and some other things to finish rebranding my shop. Though I do have my outfit picked out, just gotta take the picture.  The picture will probably be made at the beach.  Due: whenever it gets done
~Make the concealed carry handbag I've been dreaming up for the past few months I have decided on the fabric and mostly the design for this.  I'm using the primary birdie fabric.  So there will be this cutesy little bag with a .38 revolver hidden inside.  I like the irony.  Due: whenever I can get it done

Look for pictures and posts in the next few days.  I'm hoping that even though I'm not happy with the fact that Hubs isn't home, his absence will make me get stuff done.  I'm in serious need of a fire under my hiney to get things done.

Grab my Button!

Hey everybody!  I made a button tonight!  Grab the html code from my sidebar and simply paste it into a new html/Java script Gadget to put it on your blog!
Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday To-Do List, June 8, 2011

I was informed that my last post was saddening.  So I'm updating with a happy post. 

The cookout for my father-in-law was wonderful!  We had way to much to eat, especially considering that my mother-in-law made two cakes, we had a whole 6 quart churn full of homemade chocolate "Frosty Style" ice cream and and a 2 quart churn full of homemade strawberry fro-yo (frozen yogurt, I learned this while looking for recipes).  And this is only for 14 people.  But we still have to have the Sunday School Class over.  So my updated to-do list looks like this:
~Vaccuum the chair moulding and baseboard moulding (I won't be doing this again for a while)

~Mop the floors Though I may mop the kitchen again since it makes things smell good

~Vaccuum the carpets~Straighten up the rest of the house (so this got done, and then life happened, so I'll have to do it again)

~Clean the kitchen (I don't really cook much anymore)

~Clean the bathrooms
~Dead-head the roses (this will be a chore) This got halfway done, I'm hoping hubs will help out with the other half.  I did do it in my black bikini, so I got a little tan :)

~Find some lovely fake flowers to put beside the front door since real ones can't take the afternoon sun

~Get the food I want for both, the one for my Father-in-law is pretty good, for the Sunday School, not so much (But I do have a list)

~I probably need to figure out some yard games for the cookout this weekend, or we could just watch the young'uns play.  That is just as fun for me since I don't have young'uns of my own yet.

I feel like I've gotten a lot accomplished lately, but I have so little to show for it.  Hubs has been gone since Sunday night on business, so I've had the house to myself.  It's strange and I don't really like it.  But I have gotten some crafting done out of sheer boredom and trying not to miss him too bad.  I'll be glad tonight to have him back in the house with me.  I did, however, get my business cards designed.  I'm letting Vistaprint do them and I think I'm gonna come out cheaper than if I tried to print my own.  I'm so proud because I took all the pictures and completely designed it myself.  I've kind of rebranded everything Etsy-wise with this business card, so I've got some more computer designing to do.

Also, as an update on my snap pliers.  Initially, I thought they were a piece-o-crap.  And they still don't have the reach that I thought I needed for them.  But after completely destroying a finished wallet and about 5 different sets of snaps, I learned how to make them work.  I think the finished product turned out nice.

It has my library card in it for size reference.  And the snap doesn't look half bad.  At least Morgan won't lose her ID out of it.  I have this for sale in My Etsy Shop along with the Turquoise and Orange one like in my giveaway.  There will be more colors to come. 

I also finished crocheting a nylon flower for my mother-in-law.  She bought a "macrame" bag that she loved, but didn't really like the flower on it, so she asked me if I could make one in colors that she wore.  I've got a pin on the back of this one so it's easily removeable.  
This one's also for sale in My Etsy Shop with, as always, more colors to come.  I've just got to remember what size thread I used.  I will also have the crochet pattern for this one up in a few days.  I've just got to make pictures of it because it's done without breaking the thread in kind of rows and rounds.  I'll just have to show you.  With a color other than black too.

So...after all that, here's my to-do list, with updates in this pretty purple:
~Make the graduation gift wallets (Got one done!)

~Take pictures of wallets (and everything else I make for that matter) We're just going to mark this off since I'm doing a good job of taking pictures as I go now.

~Sew the ribbons on the luggage for my Mother-in-law (had to buy some liquid stitch for this.  I know it's cheating, but there is no way I can sew the ribbons on there without tearing the bags apart, and there's no way I can get the bags back together after tearing them apart)

~Sew beach gifts for my nieces (I'm thinking a reversible skirt for each like seen here -->Reversible Skirt and a bag they can take on the beach, something that sand and salt won't hurt) I bought the fabric for these today!  I got the same pattern in a light blue and a mint green with a white lining for the skirts.  For the bags I got a thick hot pink canvas with this for appliqued initials.  Yes, I'm trying appliqueing.  I'll let you know how that goes.

~Make the tutorial for the Reversible Skirt while I'm making one

~Make the concealed carry handbag I've been dreaming up for the past few months I have decided on the fabric and mostly the design for this.  I'm using the primary birdie fabric.  So there will be this cutesy little bag with a .38 revolver hidden inside.  I like the irony.

~Finish the duffel bag and matching makeup/tote/toiletries bags that I started months ago and intended to carry to the beach

~Redo my shop banner, avatar, and some other things to finish rebranding my shop.
That was another big post.  I've still got a lot to do, but I feel that I have so much accomplished.  I'll keep you updated on the dirty details.

Oh yeah, I'm going to attempt to make blueberry fro-yo tonight as a coming home gift for Hubs.  I'll take pictures and post the recipe tomorrow! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nothing Good

I have nothing good to say today.  Actually I have tons of stuff to say, just no pictures.  I'm gonna work on that when I get home.  In the meantime, you are stuck with this measley little post. 

I hope you have enjoyed it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 To Do Lists

It's been a whole week since I've blogged and a lot of stuff has happened.  I started last week off with a 12 hour shift that I hadn't planned for and thus was tired all week long.  Add to that the fact that I was fighting a sinus infection and the fact that those extra four hours were overtime and the fact that I worked a 7 day stretch.  Whew!  My birthday was Friday, but due to all this stuff, we didn't even celebrate until Monday.  But did we celebrate!  We went to my parent's place on Lake Secession with them, my brother and his girlfriend.  We had a cookout and played in the water.  I went wakeboarding and am feeling it here two days later.  But on to my To Do List.

This weekend is my Father-in-law's birthday and we're having a cookout at our house for that.  We're also having a cookout the next weekend for our Sunday School class.  So these To Dos are for both these weekends.
~Vaccuum the chair moulding and baseboard moulding
~Mop the floors
~Vaccuum the carpets
~Straighten up the rest of the house
~Clean the kitchen
~Clean the bathrooms
~Dead-head the roses (this will be a chore)
~Find some lovely fake flowers to put beside the front door since real ones can't take the afternoon sun
~Get the food I want for both, the one for my Father-in-law is pretty good, for the Sunday School, not so much

I broke my oath to not buy new fabric until I did something with what I already have, but I have good reason.  We have a rather large youth group at church, with a rather large graduating class, so I decided that I'm going to make the gifts for the kids that send us graduation invitations.  Since I loved my ID holder so much in college, I decided that I'm going to make Zipper Wallets for them in their chosen college colors.  So I bough four fat quarters and two zippers for that.  Maroon and Black for Marlee going to Erskine college (my alma mater :D) and Royal Blue and Gold for Morgan going to Southern Wesleyan University.  I'll post pics later.  I also decided that the ID window needs a snap so the IDs don't fall out, so I bought one of these because I had a 40% off coupon:

We'll see how that goes.  And then, because they were on big time sale, I bought some of this:

On closeout, of course, plus another yard of a yellow cotton fabric with primary-ish colored birds.  It will be for more wallets.  All in all I came out for about $36 dollars at Hancock, and considering I bought technically 4 yards of fabric, the snap pliers and some extra snaps, really isn't too bad.  So here's what my sewing To Do list looks like for about the next month (or two):
~Make the graduation gift wallets
~Take pictures of wallets (and everything else I make for that matter)
~Sew the ribbons on the luggage for my Mother-in-law
~Sew beach gifts for my nieces (I'm thinking a reversible skirt for each like seen here -->Reversible Skirt and a bag they can take on the beach, something that sand and salt won't hurt)
~Make the tutorial for the Reversible Skirt while I'm making one
~Make the concealed carry handbag I've been dreaming up for the past few months
~Finish the duffel bag and matching makeup/tote/toiletries bags that I started months ago and intended to carry to the beach


I've got a lot to do.  I guess I'd better get busy.  Plus I have a new mini dream.  Before August, I would like to have made enough money through Etsy and crafting, to take my nieces on a surprise trip to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood for a weekend.  But this means I'd have to make about $300 in the next few months here.  If we didn't go to Dollywood, it would be $200 but that's still a lot.  I guess we'll see if it's meant to be.  Wish me luck! 
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