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Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Blog Has Moved!

That's right - I've upgraded to my own domain!  Exciting for sure, but also kind of a learning curve that goes along with the new format.  I will slowly be transferring my favorite posts and projects from this blog onto the new one so feel free to check back often to see what's new!
You can now find me at !

Friday, March 13, 2015

Around Here - Almost Spring!

I've been trying to think of a better lead in to this blog post than something cliche like "I can't believe how fast time is speeding by" or "It's the middle of March ALREADY?!"  But I couldn't because the fact is, the days really have been going by too quickly for me and often by dinner time I'm left with a partially unfinished To Do List and not enough energy or time to do anything other than hope there is something decent on the DVR so I don't get stuck watching some strange documentary my husband runs across on the History Channel.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not overwhelmed or stressed right now.  I'm on top of all my Have Tos for the house, the kids, the Etsy shop, finally getting a handle on an exercise routine and getting more active, and even working in time with friends, fun things with the family, and even a few things from my When I Get a Chance list.  Still, there always seems to be things I don't quite get to for days at a time - like blogging!  So I thought I would do a quick Around Here post, if only to get myself back into the blogging groove. 
This is what my craft table looked like this morning - remnants of last night's Card (making) Group and today's crop of countdown blocks getting ready to ship out.  

And have I mentioned I finally joined Instagram?!  

It must be "baby season" again because I've had a pretty big bump in sales for the pregnancy countdown blocks in the past few weeks and quite a few friends and acquaintenances have announced pregnancies in recent months too.  It was my turn to host our monthly card making group so, of course, I chose baby cards for the theme.

Can you guess which one was mine?  Yup, the one with the baby feet ;)

Speaking of babies - it's baby season out on the ranch too.  We have a handful of new calves born the last few weeks, including this little guy.
He was born in the middle of the night during a really cold snap and my Dad was concerned that he wasn't eating.  I was the only one around to help out first thing and "got" to spend the better part of my morning playing cowgirl as we attempted to get the baby and his mom in from the back pasture and into the small corral near one of the closer sheds.  It was quite a process and in the end we had to bring almost the entire herd into the corral then take them all back out to the pasture again.

On the up side, while it was may have been cold it has been absolutely gorgeous outside.

On the Mom Front - the kiddos are keeping busy with school and activities.  Miss Kate is doing great on the swim team and knocked quite a few seconds off a couple of her best times at the meet last weekend. 

Tyler's class was required to participate in the school's creative challenge (the theme being "Behind my Reflection is so Much More, Talents and Skills for me to Explore) and he chose to do a photo project in which he used mirrors to take selfies doing things he enjoys or is good at.  We got that turned in just in time for him to start working on a "storytelling" presentation that must be 3-7 minutes long and include expression, guestures, and props.
Kaitlyn also had a big book report due, in which she had to turn the book into a breakfast cereal then create a TV-style commercial for it.  We all spent a funny evening as cast and crew recording said commercial.  I was dreading it, but as it turned out I haven't laughed that hard in weeks.  Seriously though teachers, can the parents get a little break here?
As I said, the weather has been gorgeous with very few storms and the a-typical practically snow-less winter has continued.  I was nervous that we wouldn't get a chance to use the groupon for tubing that I got the kids for Christmas but we managed to slip in on one of the colder week nights shortly before they closed down (early) for the season.  The only snow in sight was what they had manufactured for the tubing and cross country runs.  Crazy weather.  The tubing itself was tons of fun.  We also managed some time at the ice skating rink with cousins, which was pretty much the last of the activities left on our (imaginary) Winter Bucket List.
My husband got both of us fancy new pedometer thingy's and we've been trying to make being active a priority.  That has involved a lot of walks outside - with the dog on the ranch, or loading up the kids and their bikes/rollerblades and getting to know the local walking paths.  The second option was prompted in part the day the dog came home all muddy and full of burrs from our walk in the field, and from the fact that no longer living in a neighborhood means the kids can't just step out the door and have somewhere to ride their bikes.  Everything else makes up for that little issue though, and we are very happy to be living "back home."

And that, my dears, is part of what has kept me away from the blog lately.  That and the multitude of things that needing fixing - the computer spent a week being repaired, the brand new fridge finally arrived but conked out within days of it's arrival, and so on.  But I'm trying not to dwell on the annoying parts and enjoying the fact that for today I have found some free time to do some "catching up"  And maybe, just maybe after I grab some lunch I might be able to do some scrapbooking before the kids get home from school.  Ya think?!

Friday, February 20, 2015

New Size! Wall Mounted Laundry Drying Rack

Funny how life works - all kinds of give and take, schedules, rhythms, changes, priorities, juggling. As it happens, the busy season for the laundry drying racks in my Etsy shop isn't during the build up to Christmas.  Our busiest time is January, February, May and that worked out great this year because with the move and settling in, frankly I don't know how I would have handled it all if orders had been more abundant in November and Decenber.  Now I feel like we're past the settling in part and we can turn a little more attention to other things.  
I am excited to announce that we are adding another (smaller) size option for our laundry drying racks!  This is something we get requests for quite often and I have been considering doing for quite a while now.  The new smaller racks are 23" wide - perfect for tight spaces without being too small for adult-size clothing.  Available painted white or unfinished for any DIYers out there.
(And isn't it fun that I was able to take some photos of the new racks using our old hay barn as a backdrop?)

Check out the listing in the shop here.  Or the unfinished version here.  And of course our standard size is available in painted and unfinished options as well.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Photo Book for the Kids

Happy Valentines Day!  Is everyone feelin' the love?  Honestly, most of my Valentines-type celebrating has been done already.  The husband works weekends so we took advantage of his day off on Thursday and went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch - totally yummy and no V-day crowds!  The kids had their parties at school yesterday and the last minute Valentines to loved ones far away went in the mail.  This morning the kids insisted we wake them up before their dad left for work, so gifts have already been exchanged and pink waffles have been consumed.

I ran across this great idea a few weeks back in which the parents made their kids special photo books every year for Christmas.  Obviously we were past Christmas but I thought "what a great idea for Valentines!"  I didn't get them put together and ordered as early as I could have (in order to blog about it pre-Valentines and er, so as not to sweat that they wouldn't be here on time) but they did appear in my mailbox just in time yesterday - yay!
These are 8x8 soft cover books from Snapfish (I had a coupon) - there are tons of sites that do great photo books.

 I wanted to go with an ABC's of Me theme - using words to decribe the kids and their interests right now.

 Some of the letters were easy and I had WAY too many ideas, others were hard and I had to reach a bit.

 Tyler got a big grin about the boots one and said "oh I love those!"

 This one made me laugh - I couldn't resist putting that close up photo of the flaming marshmallow on there ;)

And there they are all wrapped up, along with the other book and candy I got the kids for Valentines.  The paper airplane is a printable I found here.

Best of all, when they opened up the books this morning the kids loved them and had to read them cover to cover right away.  Kaitlyn even said, "wouldn't it be great if we got a book every year?"  Hmm... great minds really do think alike, don't they?  ;)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quick and Inexpensive Valentines

It's been kind of a rough couple of days.  Not in the classic sense of the word - I haven't had a bad day or anything.  But my kids have been sick and in Mom World, that's rough.  Not only do we not want our precious little ones to feel badly, but we end up putting almost everything else on hold simply to be around and take care of them "just in case."  So here I sit on day 2 1/2 of house arrest, with the TV tuned to the Disney Channel, the humidifier going and trying to do low key things while the kids endure it (and hoping that I DO NOT catch whatever it is they have.  Knock wood).

It just hit me how close we are to the end of January.  February is tomorrow!  And with it will quickly come Valentines Day.  Seems like we just finished Christmas, doesn't it?  With a bunch of family and friend's birthdays in January, it kind of feels like we haven't had much of a break from gift giving and big events.
 I'm afraid I don't often have much motivation by this point to get really creative and crafty when it comes to Valentines.  This year I pretty much just jumped on the first idea I spotted - which happened to be some fun mini puzzles at Michael's.
I added a quick chalkboard style tag and they're all set to go out.  Just one more example of things not having to be complicated or pricey to be cute and effective, right?
I also picked up these cute monogram notebooks for the teachers and added a few pencils I already had on hand.  That's it - school Valentines DONE!
Which leaves me two weeks to get the kids to work on their Valentines for their grandparents and the other special people on their lists.  Kaitlyn got the paints out (which are now residing on the coffee table until everything is finished - yay) and started on hers today, but Tyler didn't get any further than figuring out a plan before having a coughing fit.  *sigh*

I have a fun project in the works that I'm going to give the kids.  I will work on that some more after I get them to bed (T minus 5 minutes until bedtime - woohoo!)  No idea what to do for the hubby though - ideas??!

Friday, January 30, 2015

One Little Word 2015 - January Workshop Prompt

January.  My month of reflection, reevaluation and motivation.  I do this in bits and pieces as life keeps whirling along at high speed, but throughout the month I do spend quite a bit of time thinking about how my life is going, what I like/don't like, and what direction I want it to take in the next year.  Part of that process, for quite a few years now, involves choosing my Word for the Year (you can see the word I selected for this year here) and figuring out how to incorporate that into my every day life.  Last year, in a bid to keep my goals and intentions more present in my daily life I joined the year long online One Little Word workshop - such a great decision!  So I happily joined the workshop again this year.
While I shared most of the layouts resulting from the workshop prompts last year, I don't intend to post quite so many of them here on the blog this year.  However, I did want to start out the year by putting it out there - making myself accountable and sharing what I have been thinking about lately to clarify some of my intentions and goals.

My word for this year is Light.  I used my previous blog post for the journaling section on the "reason why" cards.  The photo was one I had snapped with my phone at sunrise during our vacation to Utah this past summer.  And while I'm not a "yellow person" I decided that my word practically demands that yellow be used, so I'm going with kind of a yellow/gold and blue color scheme.  I think.
That little heart is a wooden one I found in my stash.  I just used a little chalk to give it a blue tint and free-hand cut out the star, folding the paper back-to-back first so that the back matched the front since I knew I wanted to just slip it into the pocket and leave that section open to the next page.
Page two and so on.  I'll let the photos tell the story from here on.

So as January comes to a close, here's to seeking out and finding the light and the joy in everyday life.
What are you hoping for in 2015?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crochet Boot Cuffs

Quick Show and Tell today.  

Seems like I have plenty to blog about, but am finding it hard to get on a regular schedule to sit down and put together blog posts.  That doesn't, however, mean that I haven't been finding time to craft.  In fact, earlier this month I dusted off the crochet hooks (which haven't been used in who knows how long) and tried out a pattern I saw on Pinterest months ago.  With our move back to the mountains, and a friend with a birthday in January it seemed like a good idea to make a pair of the boot cuffs I kept running into online.  I think they turned out nicely for a first attempt and I'm happy to report the pattern was a very quick and easy one.  (that should be my tagline, right?  Quick and Easy ;) )
 Pattern found here

I now have a second set (different pattern) in progress - finish date to be determined ;)
I'm curious - what's on your crafty To Do List?  What have you been meaning to try but haven't found the time for yet?