Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sewing with the Monkeys, and a giveaway

The older Monkeys and I did a bit of sewing today.
They had been wanting to sew themselves some skirts for quite awhile, but I never made time to help them with this. But since my schedule has been a bit more relaxed as of late, we decided to tackle this project today.

We used this tutorial for a very, very simple pattern for the older girls' skirts. For fabric, the girls chose some inexpensive stretch knits from the $1.50/yard table at Wal-Mart, or from my stash. We also got to use my new-to-me serger, and they were really excited/nervous about that, too.

We all had a lot of fun. . . .

And aren't they so lady-like?

Of course, I wouldn't leave my sweetest, littlest girl out of the fun, so I finally made her this skirt, using the easiest skirt tutorial ever.

She has asked for 3 more. She'll be getting them very soon!

And a giveaway. . . .

A very talented, very sweet artist, Erin, is having an awesome giveaway on her blog, Erin Compton Design. You've seen her work before. . . .

The (soon-to-be-framed-because-he's-outgrowing-it) Ocho luchador shirt! Adorable!

Now be sure to drop by and leave a nice comment on her blog!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another early morning picnic

Such nice, cool weather we've been having, especially for this time of the year in Texas. I felt that another little trip to the nature preserve was in order, complete with some apple-walnut-raisin muffins and 8 energetic Monkeys. . . .

. . . to celebrate a very special Monkey 4's birthday.

Monkey 1 took these photos. . . . very nice.


My favorite photo . . . .

All in all, a lovely morning!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sporadic, and slowing down

My posting, that is. Between schooling, house hunting, packing and sheer exhaustion. . . well, there just hasn't been much time for crafting, sewing, or blogging.

I'm slowing down -- way down -- on the Etsy front for awhile. I have a wonderful stash of autumn-y fabrics, loads of ideas and designs and sketches. . . but no motivation. My thoughts and time and energy are elsewhere, and I hope someday it may come back to Etsy. But right now, I don't know.

My time, my priorities, have been so unbalanced. Every so often, at the end of the day, I would realize that I didn't really see my children that day. I saw lavender. I didn't read to them. I read convos. I didn't pack up the van and go to the park. I packed up orders and went to the post office.

I thought reaching certain milestones and goals in my business would bring me great satisfaction and reassurance. A pat on the back that I thought I was missing. Instead, I felt empty, and strained ahead for the next goal, the next milestone, the next pat on the back. Meanwhile, missing out on my little ones' milestones and little daily celebrations. Carelessly overlooking the hundreds of pats on the back in the form of slobbery kisses, bear hugs and innocent laughter.

Don't get me wrong -- I love my Etsy shop, my work, my customers. But I love my children more, and my time with them as little ones is very, very brief. I have felt this pull, this whisper, for a long time, but ignored the message. This whisper recently became a wail through certain events -- and I can no longer ignore the message.

This is a hard decision for me, but so easy at the same time. I will still be here, sewing, crafting, creating, as this is part of who I am. But in the grand scheme of things, it is but a small part, and certainly not the most important part.

I have several Monkeys that would attest to that.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cloth diapering -- again?

I tried cloth diapering once before, and I gave up after several weeks. It became much more expensive than disposables, since my little Owen is such a heavy wetter, and the laundering was a huge hassle.

I've decided to give it another try. I went with gDiapers this time, on the glowing recommendation from a friend. They are a "hybrid" diaper, whatever that means. All I know is that they are trim (not bulky), and they don't leak. That alone earns these diapers a gold star in my book.
You can purchase both disposable/flushable inserts and/or cloth inserts for the gDiapers. I did purchase one package of the flushable inserts for when we travel, and have only used one so far. It held up great -- no leaks. For every day home use, I purchased some prefolds from a friend of a friend, and trimmed them down to the size of a small prefold. This works amazingly well, and was very inexpensive ($15 for 2 dozen!)

I did have to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to get the perfect fit, but it was short and very helpful. So far, so good. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Congrats!

Congrats to kimmay for winning my 1000 Sales Giveaway! I hope you enjoy these!

Thank you for all the kind comments and congrats. . . I really appreciate them all!

And yes, they're finally ready --

Other than that, we've been packing, cleaning, decluttering. Not much fun, but it sure feels good to be making progress.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hope.

We all need this. Please watch this little film -- it's short -- and spread it around to everyone you know.


Monday, September 7, 2009

1,000 kind of seems like a big number. . . . Plus, a sale!

Last week, I reached a crazy milestone in my Etsy shop -- 1,000 sales! WHOA. I cannot believe it. But I think something this awesome should be celebrated with a giveaway, don't you? Please leave a comment below, and I'll enter your name into a drawing for an eco-friendly laundry kit! We'll draw the winner's name on Friday! The kit includes two recycled wool dryer balls. . .


a set of three sachets. . .


and a little vial of lavender essential oil for refreshing your dryer sachets!

Good luck!

And a really BIG sale!


It's time for our Etsy Texas Crafter's First Monday Sale! Over 100 shops are participating this month. . . which could mean early holiday shopping for you at deep discounts. Check out this link for a list of participating shops and their sales! (I'm offering 20% off everything in my shop today.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Deeeelicious pumpkin cream cheese bread, and some news

News first. . . .

We're moving, for real this time, within the next 6 weeks or so. Or as soon we find a new home. I'm sure I'll have more to post on this later. And I'm sure you can't wait to hear about how I pack and move a household of 10, complete with action shots. :)

Now, the bread. . . .

If the photo is not enough to convince you, please take my word for it -- you really MUST try this recipe. It's very simple, and the pay-off is huge. It made 2 loaves, with pockets of cream cheese (cheese cake!) throughout. Very moist, and absolutely delicious.

The walnuts are on top of my bread, only because I forgot to add them to the batter. That's what I get for trying to house-hunt online and bake at the same time.

Just remember, if you buy the huge can of pumpkin (like I do), or make your own pumpkin puree, the smaller can (15 oz.) called for in the recipe is equivalent to 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree. Thanks to Olivia27 on Craftster for posting this fabulous recipe!