Ho Ho Ho strip quilt

Again, playing with my new toy, the EQ7.  Such fun time…. I made this in my mother’s honor.  🙂 HO HO HO

I used the new Moda collection… yep, you guessed it…. Ho Ho Ho.  🙂  Yeah… I can’t believe that I am thinking about Christmas already, either!

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Christmas in July!

After the slowest SLUMP of sales I have seen since first opening my store with less than 70 items, business has started to pick up.  (Thank heavens.)  I just got in a bunch of Christmas batiks, and the pics just don’t do them justice!  I also got in a collection from Moda called “Ho Ho Ho” and a bunch of other stuff.  Yay!!!

I have been super busy tearing wallpaper off of my kitchen wall, a visit from my mother (who broke her arm after being here less than 24 hours,) becoming a first-time grandmother, and trying to manage the day to day life of my Etsy stores (yes, plural) it has been crazy.  Temps have been so high that I have to wait until dark to walk my dogs since the pavement is too hot.  Today it is raining and cooler, and I am not upset about that.  🙂

I just got a new program called Electric Quilt 7.  I am just starting to learn how to use it but my first attempt turned out pretty well.  I can design a quilt from scratch, or choose from thousands of layouts and blocks already there.  I can then put in a swatch of fabrics that I actually own and put them in the design and see what the quilt will look like before I even start cutting fabric.  I love this, since I sometimes pick out fabrics and wonder what on earth I was thinking.  LOL….  I am excited to explore this program further and see what great features it has!!  I also got a new seam ripper that I am trying out.  It has a lifetime warranty, so I will report back since I have entire baby quilt that I quilted but I pulled it too tight and it puckered once I took it off the frame.  DANG IT!  I hope everyone is having a great summer!  I will have more fabrics arriving daily.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!!

Well, I have to say that I have had better Mother’s Day days.  LOL…  I had to finish a baby crib, rocking chair, and ottoman for my daughter’s nursery.  I picked up my son from college to come spend the day with us, and cleaned my house.  With that said… I just had a scare with my grandmother being in the hospital.  She was released on Saturday, after a few days in there.  I am SO GRATEFUL that she is ok…  I don’t know what I would have done if something terrible had happened to her.  I love that lady soooo much.  She is awesome!!!

mom me mammaw

You have never met a more sassy, spunky, AWESOME lady in your whole life!!!  I am very blessed to have such a great family.  We are a little crazy, but I would not have it any other way!!  🙂  Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, would-be mothers, those who want to be mothers… and everyone in between!!

It is one of THOSE days!!!

UT

Yeah… Sunday was just one of those days.   The handsome young fella on the left is Bentley, and owner surrendered Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer? mix who is so super sweet.  I found him on a website for the animal shelter, and my curiosity got the best of me.  I went and took him for a walk, and that was it.  I wasn’t leaving there without him.  He was so skinny…..  yes still wagging his tail, politely protesting going back into his “cell” and he turned and his eyes talked to me.  They begged me to not put him back in there.  I didn’t.

I brought him home, and he was so sweet on the way home.  He sat quietly and looked out the window, then laid down and slept the rest of the way.  Usually dogs have an adjustment period in a new home….  but he hasn’t had any problems, and not a single bathroom accident.  He has been here for about a week.  I took him to the vet the next day, and they didn’t notice any problems, but sent me home with some antibiotics in case he developed kennel cough.  Well, he did….  and since he has been at my house, he has been quarantined from my other dogs with the exception of a Sunday walk and the nap (pictured above.)  I still didn’t let them close to one another, no eating or drinking after one another, etc.

I found him a “forever home” with a family eager to greet him….. until we went to the vet yesterday.  While we were there, he started sneezing blood.  😦  The POOR BOY!!!  He is now on kennel rest, doctor’s orders, and a stronger antibiotic.  He is going back on Friday to see if he is well enough to travel to Vegas on Saturday to go to his forever home.  He is so awesome, it is hard to not get too attached.

I need tech help from my 14 and 10 year old daughters.

Apparently, I somehow changed the background of my blog by deleting images from the stored images, in an attempt to make room for more images.  LOL…. shows how much I know about tech stuff…. NOTHING.  So embarrassing to have to ask my 14 year old to help me edit in Photoshop, have my 10 year old help me download things and work the fancy TV remote, etc.  Ha ha ha ha ha…. come on…. I KNOW that I am not the only one.

I hope that everyone had a great Easter weekend.  I was going to take off next week from work, because my kids are on Spring Break.  I was going to finish my tutorial I am making on the dog bed (STILL not finished) and also to make a few things for my daughter’s upcoming baby shower (and my first grandchild.) However, I have to go in to work tomorrow, so now my day is completely a ruin.  I will try again on Tuesday!  It is ok, I will still get a few things done tomorrow, just not as much.  Plus, ANY day that I have to get up early is a complete ruin.

Today I made some soy candles for shower party favors, and I found some great tutorials on Pinterest.  I also made some sugar scrubs and I am going to have to make some printables that say “from Alexis’s shower, to yours” on them, as well as labels for Lavender Sugar Scrub.  My kitchen smells heavenly!  Tuesday, I will  make the cream cheese mints, and put them in the freezer.  Have a great week, and I will strive to finish the dog bed tutorial by the end of the week….fingers crossed.

Busy weekend!

Due to the discovery of new allergies that I didn’t know I had, it prompted a friend and I to make some DIY body products and laundry detergent.  I then decided to make them into a sort of “recipe book” for my children to use, as I have some adult daughters.  It was fun making them, and we only made a moderate mess.  The ingredients cost a LOT more than I expected, but given more time ….. I think that I could have found some better deals.  Today, I made sugar scrubs (not pictured,) whipped body butter, lotion bars, and lip balms.  In 20 minutes, I made 3 double recipes and put them in jars.  I found good deals on jars at Hobby Lobby when the glass is half off, and I ordered some of them on Amazon.com.

making DIY body stuff making DIY body stuff finished products

We used some silicone molds to shape the lotion bars into shapes.  It was a fun day.

Is Christmas over, already?

Wait!!  What happened?  I cannot believe that Christmas is over, already.  My 10 year old got the tree out, and it had ONE whole ornament on it.  YIKES!!!  I am now getting ready for Valentine’s Day… my LEAST favorite holiday of the year.  Why, you ask?  Well, I have been dumped 8 times on Valentine’s Day.  EIGHT!!!  Who does that?  At least wait until the day after…..  LOL….  Oh well……

I was “off the grid” there for a while, since I was so swamped that I couldn’t keep up with orders!  I am a one-woman shop… but I learned some lessons and I will get started earlier this year.  I am going to do some collars, leashes, and such for Valentine’s Day, and I have a new dog rug/blanket I am working on…. and I have something up my sleeve for Halloween that I will work on throughout the summer.  😉

I am also expecting my first grandchild in early June, and I just found out that she is having a boy.  Of course, I will have to sew some stuff for him…..  and I currently have 2 foster Rhodesian Ridgebacks…. and I am getting a puppy in mid to late January.  The foster dogs have a home to go to, so they will be leaving soon.  We will be sad, but I am so glad that they have found their forever home!

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Stop school bullying?

Where did the summer go?  Geez….  I didn’t even get to enjoy it much!  With that said, my kids returned to school this week.  I am actually sad….  I have so much homework to help out with, and I don’t like all the hussle and bustle… I love the laid back atmosphere of the summer.  With that said, my kids and I had a chat about bullying and how to handle it. 

I grew up that dorky, geeky, skinny, redheaded kid.  I was picked on, taunted, and teased.  Relentlessly.  Nonetheless, I handled it well enough that it stopped.  What was my secret?  Well, think about it….  why do kids bully other kids?  Low self esteem, behavior they learned at home, to make themselves feel better (which goes back to low self esteem.) 

I first addressed with my kids the behavior that they may have learned at home.  There is a need to have some compassion for a child who has grown up under not the best of circumstances.  NOT to the detriment of yourself or others, but to at least have an understanding of where they are coming from in order to best handle it.  Of course, being the sassy person that I am, I would say right to them…. “oh, I am sorry…. do your mommy and daddy pick on you at home?  Do you need me to call some adults to help you out?”  I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS ONE!!!  BAD IDEA..   I just am sassy and I don’t care.  The beating that may result from the bully isn’t worth it to you to say that to them… for me, that is another story.  😉

The other issue is MUCH easier to address.  The bully is wanting attention, negative or otherwise, because for some odd reason that fills a need that they have… or perhaps just a want.  Regardless, my daughter, now 23 years old, came to me when she was 16 or 17 and said that bullies would not leave her alone and would say awful things to and about her and her twin sister.  I advised her to reply with “thank you for sharing your opinion with me.  Is there anything else that you would like to share?”  The bully stammered while the other kids standing around started snickering.  The bully turned around and stomped off. 

Not to be defeated, the bully returned the next day to try again.  After all, the ego was damaged from the previous day and they had to “save face.”  The usual insults were hurled at her, and she gave the same response.  The bully replied with a shove.  She stood her ground and asked them if they now felt better, and asked if there was something that they wanted to talk about.  The bully replied with a hurl of insults as they stomped off. 

For the week to follow, the bully had NOTHING to say to her.  What good was it to try, when they would just end up looking stupid?   She came home and proclaimed me a “genius” for helping her solve this issue.  I am FAR from being a genius.  I am certain that this will not work for every type of bullying.  Some bullies are just downright nasty and physical, and those require a totally different type of intervention.   Kids who bully are mean and awful, but it is so out of control right now that the issue needs to be addressed at a higher level than I could ever provide.  This is just a suggestion from a mom who has been there….  this isn’t the total answer to bullying.  But, at least it is a start….. 

The First Booth

My first booth

My first booth

And there it is… my first booth.  It was fun, a LOT of work and not very productive. 

I had the quilts in there, as well as stockings hung throughout.  I realize that August, in 100 degree weather, doesn’t have a person thinking of Christmas.  However, the most commented on stockings won’t be available long, as the manufacturers have already sold out of the fabric.

And then there were the wreaths:

IMG_0358My daughter didn’t want me to sell that one.  🙂  But I made this mustache wreath, and people were disgusted that I was charging $45 for it.  The supplies alone cost me $38 since I got them half off at Hobby Lobby.  I found the mustache in the Scrapbooking section and I had to paint it myself, which took over half an hour to do 2 coats, on both sides.

IMG_0359But EVERYONE had to come over and look at it.  It is fine, because it looks GREAT on one of my walls.  I have another booth for the Strut Your Mutt on Sept 13 in Salt Lake City, and this weekend I will be making the dog leash tutorial!!  Enjoy your weekend!!