Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Saturday Night!

Use code SNS25 at checkout for 25% off my entire store!  Check it out!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I'm doing these hops today.  Hopefully.  Check out some of my stuff, cause this post ain't hitting on much.

Thrifty Ninja Follow Me Friday

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday To-Do July 28, 2011

It has been one wild ride of a week.  After my blog post last Tuesday, I was contacted by Four Green Fields Gallery in Summerville, SC through Etsy.  From looking at their website, I would just love to go in here, and probably will make Hubs stop there next time we're on our way to Charleston.  They try their best to use South Carolina artists.   

After email conversations back and forth with them, and a phone conversation on Saturday morning, I'm going to be doing a wholesale order of 12 wallets for them!  I'm super excited about doing the order, but as always, I've been spinning my wheels because of my work schedule.  I first had to wait on my snaps to come in, now I'm waiting on some zippers, but even if I had these things, I'd still be just sitting on them.  I've got the rest of today (til 10:30 PM), tomorrow and then two 12 hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday, then I'm free for Monday and Tuesday!  That's when I'll get the wallets made and hopefully mailed out by Wednesday.  If not, they'll get out by Friday. 

The lovely ladies at Four Green Fields also asked if I could make roll up market bags and jewlery cases.  They said they've seen these products around and would like to carry them, so I'll be working up an example of each too in the near future.  I had to buy some clasps and D-rings for these. 

Buying all these supplies finally got to me though.  I decided that I had reached the point where I would pay for all of my supplies with money that I've made from my shop.  Tuesday, I spent half of what was in my Paypal account on supplies.  Luckily when this wholesale order comes through, it will be more than replenished, but I keep thinking of things that I think I need.  Until then, I'm just gonna have to wait. 

I did start using Wave Accounting online to help manage my expenses, and I think this will be a good thing.  It makes graphs and charts for me (things I know Excel can do, but I don't want to make it do it).  I like graphs and charts.  I hope that the fun doesn't wear off too quickly. 

So my To-Do List looks like this:
~Finish Zinnia Head Band for Adrina--Due Tomorrow

~Finish Brown and Pink Grayson Leigh Hat for Kim--Due Tomorrow

~Do wholesale order of wallets--Due Tuesday

~Make examples of Roll Up Market Bag and Jewelry Case--Due Friday (this is tentative, just so I'll get it done)

~Take up the Girls' skirts--Due ASAP

~Get my hair highlighted by one of my best friends--Friday @ 5:30 PM :)

~Maybe take Hubs out on a date Friday after highlights

~Finish the duffel bag that has become a major hurdle in my life.  I just don't want to finish it for some reason.--Due September 15

~Make my jacket for the mountain trip in October--Due October 27--As an aside, I bought this pattern to make a canvas jacket with a flannel lining.  I'm using black canvas to make a jacket like the yellow one on the bottom.  I've never sewed with a pattern before.  This could be interesting.

~Make a matching hat for the jacket--Due October 27

~Make the plaid peasant dress using a fabric very similar to this that I've been dreaming of--Due October 27

And there is, of course, finishing the organization of my studio.  It's coming along rather well.  I'm still not entirely proud of the outcome, but Hubs seems to like it.  I guess it looks good for my usual state of craft-fairy-threw-up-in-here-ness.  I'll get pics and post some helpful tips on organizing stuff on a budget in small spaces that may need to move.

I guess the good news is that my To-Do list is cycling pretty well.  There are only a couple of things lingering there that I need to finish.  But it's just tough when you don't have a "real" deadline.  The duffel bag, for example, doesn't have to get done.  It's for my own personal use.  I'm gonna finish that thing or die.  Whichever comes firt.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Studio

I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon with all of these lovely crafty ladies who are posting pictures and writing about their studios.  I could sit all day and tell you about my studio.  How it's well organized, my decorating choices, the little things about it that inspire me, how Hubs helped me install custom lighting and build a table to suit my needs...

But the fact of the matter is, that my "studio" looks like this:
See, so well organized.  I've got my sewing machine in one spot, and everything else everywhere else.  About my decorating choices, that boat on top of the 80s model TV, that's the Gorch Fock.  Whatever that is.  How could you not be inspired by looking athte Gorch Fock?  I actually did the custom lighting by myself.  I crawled under the Lifetime foldable table that Hubs really did set up and plugged in my old desk lamp from college.  I don't think Hubs would be happy that I posted this picture. 

This is the room that doubles as a "studio" and and office and in a few years will be a nursery because Hubs doesn't want to take down the guest bedroom to be a nursery.  So I don't want to buy furniture or permanent shelving that I will have to move soon enough.  It will also be a place where our middle schoolers from church meet in the fall, so something's gotta give.  There is minimal space in here.  The closet is even full of junk that has nothing to do with crafting.  I've got to move some stuff around, reorganize a bit and hopefully make it work.  Well, make it work better.  It works right now, just in a mess.  This is a project for this weekend.  I had hoped that a trip to the DG (Dollar General) would fix it, but I'm starting to think more along the lines of Wally World.  Hopefully I can do something so my studio doesn't get disassembled come September.  

I hope I've provided a look into what the life of a small time handcrafted business woman really looks like sometimes.  Maybe I've made some of you feel a little better about your messes.  I know the pictures of the pretty shiny studios make me feel guilty about mine.  I'll try to post some "after" pictures later with some helpful tips on a studio makeover for people on a budget with limited space.

Do you have pictures of your not-so-shiny studio that you would like to share?  Remember, there's safety in numbers!   

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I'm back again after a blogging hiatus.  I surprisingly got almost everything done on my to-do list from the last post.  I didn't get the set of letters cut out for Emma's Harry Potter scrapbook, but after cutting the letters out for her card, I decided that it would be better to just invite her over for a scrapbooking party.  So, here's what I've been up to:
Emma's Birthday card and envelope.  She didn't want to open the envelope and ruin it, so it was surgically opened with a pocket knife.

My mother-in-law's second flower.  I put a leaf on this one because the yarn I used wasn't as big as for the black one.

And Hubs took some pictures of me modeling my crochet flower headbands so I can get them in my Etsy shop.  I'm not real sure why, but I like this picture. 

I didn't get the skirts taken up, but i figured that having clean skivvies was more important.   

Friday, July 15, 2011

What the Friday?

So besides the post on the Foil Pack Chicken Dinner, I have fallen off the face of the blog world this past week.  I was trying to get things done, and they just didn't happen as planned.  I'm not quite sure where my 3 days off went.  I even made a list, which ususally helps me get things done, but it didn't help.  I think I will perpetually be two steps behind.  

I did get a couple of custom orders made:

And I figured out why the white balance wasn't working that well on my pictures.  I had two different kinds of light bulbs.  I thought Hubs put the same kind all together in a box.  I was wrong.  Thus the difference in the top and bottom pictures. 

A high school friend also bought a Train Engineer Hat for her new nephew, and that was pretty exciting too. 

I think I'm finally building a customer base.  I've been trying to wear and use my products and some people that I meet in real life are starting to ask about things.  Hopefully this will continue.  July has been a very good month for my business.  I should probably start doing some book keeping.  Time to get out Excel, and make Hubs help me since he is and Excel guru. 

Now...on to the weekend!

Tomorrow night I actually get to go out.  It seems like it's been forever since I've gotten to go out on a Saturday night.  My middle niece is going to turn 10 on Monday and wanted to go to a Japanese steakhouse for her birthday.  Bless this child's heart, she always wants to make sure I can come because she is one of the few people who understands that I have to work at night.  Did I mention how much I love these girls?  So we are going to Wasabi in Greenville.
For some reason this one is never crowded.  It's a year or two old, very clean, very reasonably priced, they give you TONS of food (I take home about half), and it's in the busy part of town.  But it's never crowded.  I'll take it.  But before we go to eat, I have a mini To-Do List for this occassion.

~Emma is a HUGE Harry Potter fan.  She saves her money to buy the Harry Potter Lego sets.  She's very artistic, loves to read, loves to craft.  My sister-in-law told me that she wants to make a Harry Potter scrapbook and asked that if I find anything while I'm shopping that would work well in a Harry Potter scrapbook, that I get it for Emma.  I didn't find anything in the stores Monday, so I decided that I'm going to break out the Cricut and make her some alphabet cutouts using a free Harry Potter font I found online.  So that is to be done.

~I'm also making Emma's card.

~I need to take up the skirts I made for the girls.  They were about 4 inches too big, but I think that shouldn't take too long.

~I need to finish my mother-in-law's crochet flowers.  I don't know why I have been avoiding this.  They are practically done.  I just need to finish them.

~I need to sew and pack up another wallet that I sold.  I had every intention of doing this last night, but I had a few kinks in the custom ordered heart wallet and at 3 AM I was tired of dealing with wallets.

~I have got to wash clothes.  I know this is TMI, but I'm out of underwear.

I think i'll leave it at that.  Hopefully it will be a good night here at the hospital, no computer downtimes like last night.  If so, I'll go home, sew up the wallet, pack it up, and go to bed "early" (1 AM-ish).  Then get up early-ish and get to the post office and finish all of the goodies I need to finish.  I need to get back on a regular sleep schedule anyway.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Foil Packs--It's What's For Dinner!

Since I have been home the past two glorious days and I will be home for yet another one thanks to my 12 hour shift on Sunday, I have been cooking supper.  Last night, I made Nikki's Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken from the Chef in Training blog.  Let me tell you, I absolutely LOVE this blog.  And my chicken turned out great.  Hubs and I (just us two) ate a whole pack of chicken, with lettuce, cheese, and tortilla chips, and I was down a pound from the day before!  I highly reccomend it.

Tonight though, I made up my own recipe.  Well, I adapted two Kraft recipes it until they became my own recipe.  I present to you Foil Pack Chicken, Broccoli and Rice!  At the bottom I have included abbreviated directions for easy printing.  But I can't promise the abbreviated directions will be as clear as the full out version.
Prep Time:  about 30 min
Cook Time:  35-45 min
Total:  1 hour and 5-10 min
You will need:
1 package Tyson Trimmed and Ready Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 box Uncle Ben's Fast and Natural Brown Rice
2 teaspoons or 2 cubes chicken bullion
2 cups water
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
The same number of rather large sheets of Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (here in the South we still call it Tin Foil) as you have chicken breasts (I happened to have 5 in my pack)

A few notes on ingredients: 
~The Tyson Thin Sliced chicken is a little more expensive (unless it's on sale), but to me is totally worth it.  I know I claim to be a good cook, but I don't like bones and I don't like trimming skin and fat.  I have better things to do with my time.  So it's totally worth it to me.  It also cooks quicker (great for grilling) and when it is on sale, you just buy extra and throw it in the freezer just like you bought it. 
~You gotta use Uncle Ben's rice.  I've tried other brands, and Uncle Ben's is the best.  Dry rice keeps, so look for it when it's on sale and Uncle Ben's always emails me pretty good coupons (like a whole dollar off).
~Everything else, go Laura Lynn, that is if you live near an Ingles.  Often, it's cheaper to get Laura Lynn than it is national brands on sale.  And almost everything is just as good as the national brand (rice, instant oatmeal and the frozen veggies you cook in the bag are an exception). 

See, lot's of Laura Lynn

To start with, you'll want to boil your water and dissolve the bullion in it.  Doesn't take much, just enough to dissolve the bullion.  When it's dissolved, pour the put the dry rice in a medium sized bowl and then pour the newly made broth over it.  Let this sit a minute so the rice can absorb some water.  You may also want to preheat your oven here to 400 degrees F.  I forgot this step and just put it in a cold oven and it turned out fine, but whatever floats your boat.  If you're cooking with a convection oven, you may want to make sure that there are only two racks with ample space between because I had to use two cookie sheets.

Now onto a concept called mis en place.  As I learned from a teacher who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in France, this means, "everything in place."  This is the quickest way to put these packets together.  Mis en place is not quite as essential here as it would be as if you were battering and frying the chicken, but it makes life a whole lot easier.  To have enough room, I moved from the kitched to the adjoining dining room.
There are my sheets of tin foil, my broccoli, cheese, opened mushroom soup with a spoon and my rice with a spoon.  My cookie sheet is in the middle and I have the tin foil molded into little bowls.  The rice mixture is runny, you want tin foil bowls.  Now what's missing?  Oh yeah, the chicken.  The chicken needs to keep it's slimy self somwhere that can be disinfected.  In this case, it's on a dinner plate in the sink.  Raw chicken is notorious for carrying Salmonella, a nasty bacterial species that causes...uh...digestive distress.  That's why the waitress will never ask you if you want your chicken cooked rare.  Always, ALWAYS disinfect any surface that the raw chicken comes in contact with and try to touch as few things as possible after touching raw chicken.  Use your elbow to pump soap and such as that.  I'm not a germ-o-phobe, but Salmonella is one thing I don't play around with.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox.

Now, back to the food.  You may want to spray each sheet of tin foil with Pam, or you could use this little baby.

This is my Misto.  A refillable olive oil sprayer.  It's aerosol free.  Just pour in the oil, pump it up, and spray.  Now of course it doesn't spray as evenly and as long as an aerosol can, but considering you know exactly what you are spraying (have you ever wondered what Pam really is?  I don't know.) and there are no Chloro fluoro carbons (CFCs) eating a hole in the ozone layer. 
Ok, after you have sprayed the tin foil, divide the rice AND water in the rice among the 5 sheets of tin foil.  There's no exact science to this, just guess at it.  Then put about 1 small spoonful of mushroom soup on top of this.  You'll use about half the can of soup for all five packs.  After that, go get your chicken.  Put one chicken breast on each rice pile.  Now go put the plate the chicken was on in the sink and wash your hands.  Then spray the plate and sink down with Clorox, or whatever you use to disinfect.  Let that sit a while.  It'll be ok.  Go back to your packets and plop a spoonful of mushroom soup on top of the chicken.  Spread it around if you like, it'll make the broccoli and cheese stick better.  But don't lick the spoon when you're done!  Throw that in the sink too!  Remember, raw chicken juice.  Now sprinkle a handful of broccoli on top of the chicken and rice and soup.  It uses about the whole bag.  And then definitley sprinkle the whole bag (2 cups) of cheese on top of that.  Here's what you'll have:
Mmmm, now doesn't that look good?  No, not really right now.  Here comes the magic.  Very carefully fold up two sides of the foil and fold them over together.  I say carefully because you don't want rice juice spilling everywhere.  Then carefully fold up the sides.  Don't wrap it up too tight, make sure there's enough room for steam to circulate.  Then place the pack on the cookie sheet.  When you're done, your cookie sheet will look like this:
So neat and tidy!  Now, as I said before if you have a convection oven you can cook these at the same time, if not, cook them in batches or get a bigger cookie sheet.  I suppose you could just place them directly on the racks, but it makes getting them out harder. 

Let these babies cook for 35 to 45 minutes, until the chicken is done.  If you use bigger pieces of chicken, cook them longer.  These took about 45 minutes and weren't over done. 

When they are done, pull them out and serve them directly on dinner plates.  Don't unwrap them before serving.  Let your...ahem...patrons...carefully unwrap them.  They are full of hot steam that will burn your fingers if you aren't careful.  I guess if you have little ones, you should unwrap theirs for them, but leave it in the tin foil.  That's part of the fun of eating them.  Then when you're done, ball up the tin foil and chunk in the trash can basket ball style.  No scraping dishes or plates!  

Hubs ate two.  They are really more food that what each looks like.  It went down pretty easy.  With a little sweet tea of course!     

Printer Friendly (copy and paste into your word processing software):
Prep Time:  about 30 min
Cook Time:  35-45 min
Total:  1 hour and 5-10 min
You will need:
1 package Tyson Trimmed and Ready Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 box Uncle Ben's Fast and Natural Brown Rice
2 teaspoons or 2 cubes chicken bullion
2 cups water
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
The same number of rather large sheets of Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (here in the South we still call it Tin Foil) as you have chicken breasts (I happened to have 5 in my pack)

Preheat oven to 400 F
Boil water and dissolve bullion in water
Pour boiling water over dried rice in medium sized bowl
Spray tin foil sheets with Pam or oil
Divide rice among tin foil sheets
Put 1 spoonful of mushroom soup on top of rice
Put 1 chicken breast on top of mushroom soup
Put 1 more spoonful of mushroom soup on top of chicken
Put a handful of broccoli on top of mushroom soup
Divide 2 c. cheese among each packet.
Fold up each packet and bake at 400 F for 35-45 minutes. 

Enjoy your cheesy chickeny goodness!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sale! Saturday Night Special!

Hi everyone!

Tonight is the weekly Etsy Saturday Night Special (SNS)!  I join up with several other Etsy sellers to offer my biggest discount on EVERYTHING in my shop.  Different sellers do different discounts and specials, but I offer a full 25% off everything when you use the code SNS25 at checkout.  My newest listings are the wallets like I've mentioned in previous posts.  Normally they are $10 with $2 shipping for a total of $12.  Tonight with the coupon code, they will be $7.50 plus $2 shipping for a total of $9.50.  You'll get it for less that what it costs before shipping costs!

I'll also do custom color combos with the SNS, just buy one of these wallets, then tell me in the message to seller what combo you want. 

There are some other things in my shop too.  There are a few cards and some crochet baby items.  Just click on my name below to go to my shop!  Also check out the other specials going on in other shops here --> SNS Thread on Etsy for July 9, 2011.  Have fun everyone!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finally Another Freebie Friday!

Yeah, I've been slack with Freebie Fridays.  I have so many dreams and ideas that it's hard for me to figure out which to do first.  I have time management issues outside of my "real job." 

A few weeks ago in a To-Do post, I said that I cut out some shapes with my Cricut and SCAL software for our church youth group to make cards with.  I finally got around to pulling those SVG files together and I think that since there are three, I will post one a week for this week and the next two weeks. 

First up, is the ever popular Jesus Fish or Ichthus.  They are used to mark common objects to indicate that the person it belongs to is a Christian.  They are on cars, jewelry, stationery and many, many more things.  Now that you have an SVG file for one, you can put it on just about anything you would like.  It would probably come in handy for Vacation Bible School, GAs, RAs, AWANA or any number of different church crafts.  For the cards that the kids made, I used a length of about 2 inches and they came out nicely, although I will say that one too much smaller may have lines that are too thin to easily work with.  I have included both my SVG and JPEG files below. 

Jesus Fish SVG--This is a Google Docs File.  To download, click "File" in the upper left hand corner and then click "Download Original." 

Jesus Fish JPEG--Also a Google Docs File.  To download, click "Download" in the upper left hand corner. 

Let me know if you have any trouble with either and enjoy the Fish!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buy Nothing Summer Fail

Yep, that's right, I gave into temptation.  But I did go a solid two weeks without buying ANYTHING.  And I do feel that my purchase was justified.  First of all I got a few things that I reallly and truly needed.
I was running low on the fusible interfacing and it was on sale.  I only had one snap left.  I thought I was about out of key rings, turns out I had a whole 'nother pack, but I got 20 of these for the price of 6 was a good buy.  And the fat quarters were to make sure I could relist a wallet in these colors.

Now on to the Fail...
In my defense, I had a custom request for a black and yellow wallet.  I just already had some black and yellow fabric that I could have used, but I liked this much better.  And the grey and pink and pear fabric were on clearance for a dollar a yard.  A DOLLAR!  And I had to get matching fat quarters to line wallets and bags with.  And zippers.  But that's all I bought!  So I suppose I'm doing good.  Plus Hubs told me that I didn't buy them, that they are a present from him.  (That really makes no sense since all of our money goes into one bank account.) 

And I found the Etsy shop of all Etsy shops.  Well, Jenilyn showed it to me.  Zipit has wholesale zippers for a quarter of what I can buy them in the fabric store.  And that's calculating shipping in.  I'm gonna be buying a sampler pack like seen here --> 8 inch Zipper Sampler then I can decide which colors I need more of.

Zippers fall under the category of things that I may run out of that I need.  They don't count in the Buy Nothing Summer.

So, yes, I did fail, but not much.  I'm hoping my newest purchases can keep my happy for a while.  If not, I'll just go get my toes painted at the nail salon.  I may just do that anyway.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday To-Do, July 5, 2011

I'm back from the beach, as my previous post indicates, and back to the reality that is my busy life.  On the main menu of my weekly To-Do list, is the Tuesday Time Out Link Party hosted by Reasons to Skip the Housework and Chef In Training

For the rest of my To-Do list, I think I'm starting over.  Most of my deadlines were supposed to be met for the beach trip.  I got all but the towel rolls finished, though I did make one towel roll.  I'll post pics, and maybe a tutorial, but it didn't quite work the way I had planned.  I think mine needed more fiberfill and it was a little bulkier to carry to the beach than I would have liked.  It might be good, though, if I was only taking that and a book to the beach as opposed to helping Hubs carry beach chairs, umbrellas, umbrella anchors, extra towels, sunscreen, a book, a hat and various other things that our nieces can't quite carry in their little arms. 

So here we go:

~Make more wallets, lots more.  In lots more colors.

This is what I had in mind originally for these babies.  We had to scan our ID to get in the cafeteria, so like this, you don't have to pull your ID out of your wallet.

~Make a few more flower headbands.  These are my latest and greatest creations.  I used the crochet Zinnia pattern to make them using Lily Sugar 'N' Cream cotton and they are adorable!  I made one for each of my nieces while we were at the beach, so I'm hoping that other mommies will be jealous and want one for their young'un.  Especially since Emma wants to hand out my business cards at her birthday party.  I love those girls!

~Make some more Teeny Tiny Bags like seen here in different colors of course (I think they'll be $20 in My Etsy Shop):
(Yeah, I know, I'm a loser for taking pictures in my car.  What can I say, I'm running out of time)
These things are surprisingly spacious.  I easily have several tubes of lip gloss, a stack of business cards, a Zippered Keychain Wallet, a Benadryl Spray Pen, a travel size bottle of Advil and a few other things tucked neatly inside.  The straps are long enough that I can throw it over my shoulder with one hand.  And the small size keeps me from cramming too much junk in there.  That's what my oversized zebra bag is for.  

~Take pitcures and list everything that I've made.  This could be a challenge.  I guess I've just got to bite the bullet and do it.

~Get Hubs to take my new avatar picture.  

~Work on my Halloween baby hat ideas.     

Oh, and I mentioned business cards a little earlier.  I finally got mine from Vistaprint a couple of weeks ago and never had time to post them.  So here they are:
I think that's all for now.  I'm sure there are a million other things to do and I probably won't get many of these done until next week when I have 3 days off!  Whoo hoo!  I'll, as always, keep you posted on the progress!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to Reality

So...I'm celebrating Independence Day by working for a hospital that I'm indentured to. 

But I had a good vacation, though it did make me realize how mundane the rest of my life is.  And I got some good pictures with our nice new camera.  So here you go!
Me and my Birthday Present
Hubs looks good with his farmer's tan

Supermodel pout pose

Here's where we stayed 710 Carolina Ave, Isle of Palms, SC

My In-Laws

Me and Hubs

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...