Monday, December 28, 2009

See...They DO Grow Fast!

Just a few short pre-Christmas days ago I posted a picture of my son, nephew and niece. It was from about 1992 or thereabouts. Here they are today! Again, my Steve is in the middle. What a dang good-looking group!

My nephew Jake, son Steve, and niece Anna.

Christmas Eve candlelight supper at my sisters.

Here’s more of my family (and almost-like-family-friends!) – from our out-to-eat-breakfast. What fun!

My sister Sue and her husband Ken.

My nephew Jake and good friend Kim.

Good friend Dan (Kim's husband).

A hearty Ho-Ho-Ho and Happy Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time DOES Fly

Christmas 2009. Hard to believe. The weather-people are talking about alot of snow - plenty of white stuff to make us nervous and create more worry about our children on the busy, holiday roads.

Three college kids heading to the family Christmas celebration. How can my son, my niece and my nephew all be that old already? Seems like just yesterday when then were young and carefree...

(My son - who is now 6'5" - is in the middle!)

May God keep them and all others safe during their holidays travels.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

When It's Time to Sleep

I think I'm going through a midlife change/crisis. I never have trouble sleeping. Now I do.

Sure - for those that know me - they know I'm a sleeping machine. Heck - I'm so good at it, I can even do it with my eyes closed. (Ha!)

But lately, I can't get to sleep at night. I toss and turn and think of every issue, problem, worry and/or non-worry available to me. Tonight I'm having trouble again. I'll have to be up in a few short hours (5.5 teeny tiny hours to be exact) - and I'll be tired. But I can't get to sleep.

Maybe if I join my Charlotte on the couch, I'll be able to drift off into slumber. Yawn...see you in the morning...

Winter Wool

While dismantling some wool sweaters about a week ago, I ran across this tag in a sweater.

I cracked up. Who would have thought that someone felt it was important to mention to keep this particular sweater away from fire. Hmmm….don’t you think that is a pretty important rule for all of our sweaters…blouses…pants…blazers…socks…shoes…etc?

Thank goodness we don’t have to print the obvious on tags of everything. We’d need “keep out of oven” tags on our books and magazines, “keep away from dogs” tags on our ground beef packages, “keep only in arm pits” tags on our deodorant, “keep out of mouth” tags on yellow snow – well the crazy list would go on and on.

All I know is that if Santa’s suit is made of this wool, then he better be darn careful when heading down those chimneys!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Crap. It Snowed.

I know. I know. It’s my fault.

I should have gotten to all of my fall chores by now. But I was busy.

I was busy traveling, working, felting, stressing, worrying, sleeping, blogging, reading pages and pages of great blogs and other sites, eating, shopping, having mini-breakdowns – you know – normal stuff.

So when you live in Wisconsin and have a screened in front porch, there is a really good reason why you need to put up plastic in the fall to protect it from the winter weather. I know that. I just didn’t get it done in time.

Go ahead and giggle. I have to a little bit myself. But, yes, this is what happens when you don’t get your fall chores done properly and on time. This is how my porch looks right now. This is the mess I have to clean up. Tomorrow.

I didn’t have time today. I was busy. I was busy, working, felting, stressing, blogging…..ok fine. I was procrastinating.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Incredible ReSweaters!

While browsing the One of a Kind Show in Chicago last weekend (drooling and with my tongue hanging out!), I saw the most incredible resweaters made by a woman near Madison, Wisconsin.

I instantly fell in love with her creative and beautiful work. She must have had a fantastic show, because she had a sell-out weekend!

She sells her work on Etsy at Jill2Day. Don’t look today – because I understand she’s busy sewing and restocking her shop. But do keep your radar on her site because you’ll want to see what incredible work she does!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I’m Tickled Purple

I received an email note this morning from a fellow Etsy friend ( that she featured my snowman pillow in a Treasury.

I’m not sure about other Etsy artists, but I find it to be such an honor when someone chooses one of my items – out of thousands – as something they like.

It’s a happy thing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One of a Kind Scha-zzzam!

I just returned from Chicago. I had an opportunity to spend a short while at the 35th annual One of a Kind Show. All I can say is – Scha-zzzam!
There are so many incredibly talented artists there. I was nearly knocked over by a couple of the wool booths (of course). The altered clothing and other wool items took my breath away. What great stuff!

There was a special Etsy corner – and I was able to quickly introduce myself to an Etsy employee and thank them for the opportunity to present my wool goodies to others online.

The close of the art show visit (at 9:00 pm) made me want to drop everything, run home and create – but I still had two more nights to stay in the hotel and for some reason didn’t have any wool with me to occupy my fingers. So, instead I went to bed and tried to bring sleep to my up-since-six-and-working-a-conference-all-day exhausted body. About 35 minutes later – after much tossing and turning (of myself and the creative side of my brain), I was forced to get up, turn on the light and feverishly scribble down everything I could think of that was running through my mind. Not only did I get new ideas for things of my own – I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the internet and browse further the sites of some new artists I just met.

So now it’s Sunday evening, have retrieved (or maybe she would say rescued!) my girl, Charlotte, from the doggie boarding kennel, snuggled in back at home and anxious to work on new wool projects. I've got a happy girl and all is well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thankful Day

I’m like millions of other American’s today – both terribly thank“ful” as well as “full”.

Yes. I’m thankful for being blessed today – and every day – with a wonderful family. A wonderful son, great sister, brother-in-law, nephew, niece, dog-child and cat-nephew: my immediate and grand family. I would have hand-pick them all myself if given the chance. Luckily, God took care of that for me.

I’m thankful for all my extended family, friends and new friends that I’ve yet to meet.  I’m thankful for my home,  job and new creative online venture. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to be thankful.

Earlier today, I was thankful for turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and lefse! Tomorrow I’ll be thankful for leftovers…

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Behinder I Get

What’s that saying….the faster I go, the behinder I get? Is behinder even a word or do I have the whole thing wrong?

I may be confused about the saying – but not what it means! It seems I keep spinning my wheels but don’t get as far as I want to with my wool. I know. There’s only 12 hours in a day. (Well, at least that’s what it feels like.)

But, I did manage to get three scarves and a new pillow (that I just started and finished tonight) on Etsy. I love the purple blanket used in the pillow.

Have I mentioned that I love purple?

I either read or heard someone say that if a person passes by a beautiful field of entirely purple flowers and doesn’t bother to look, it pisses God off. I think that must be right.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feeling A Bit Nostalgic

The dark, brisk colder evenings of late fall/early winter make me want to stay cuddled inside where I’m warm, cozy and protected. That nestling good feeling can at the same time make me feel lonely and a bit nostalgic.

And, as the holiday season quickly approaches, I remember that I am especially grateful for my wonderful family here on earth, but I miss my parents (who have both passed over) tremendously. I guess I’m missing them quite deeply tonight. So I’m taking this opportunity to post this great photo of my mom, dad, sister and I just a few short years ago in 1965! We are properly and respectfully dressed for Sunday church services. (I'm the little one!)

Blessings for great holidays with family and friends…

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Knit One, Chat Two

Today we started what we think is the “official” day of our Every-Second-Saturday-Of-The-Month-Knitting-Gathering. We met promptly (ok, I wasn’t prompt but only missed it by about 10 minutes) at 9:30 am at a local yarn/coffee/bookstore.

This morning gathered six of us. We all either brought our own beverage or purchased a hot cup of something from the shop while enjoying their cozy fireplace, couches and rocking chairs. One generous knitter even brought just baked gingersnap/gingerbread bread. Yum – a perfect addition to a fresh November morning.

Several of the knitters have been enjoying the craft for many years. One knitter is a little newer to the art – having started her knitting adventure with a lovingly made dishcloth for her husband last Christmas. She playfully described her dishcloth journey which started her in the knitting world and reported that somehow her finished dishcloth ended up with a slightly distorted shape. Luckily, we all are very aware that a free-form shape works just as well as one with a mathematically correct outer parameter. Thank goodness!

The same member of our group was even able to complete a scarf project this morning that was started last winter (it's around her neck in the photo to the right)! Whoo Hoo! We all love a happily completed project.

After two swift hours of drinking, eating, chatting, shopping, laughing and, oh ya, knitting, we said goodbye for the day. A morning well spent.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Undeniable Blessings

Just got back from a great weekend with family. We visited my son and niece at college. What fun – and to top it off, it was gorgeous weather! 60’s and sunny. My that’s nice - especially during the first weekend of November in Wisconsin.

I headed out by myself, later Friday night for the five hour drive. The road was pretty much mine – and I kept it at an even 70 on the interstate while I privately bopped to the music on the radio. :-)

My son and his girlfriend have two young cats. Meet Leo. She has six digits on her front paws and is so friendly and loving.

Also meet Lucy. She is so cute and sweet – and has such small, dainty features.

They love being sisters and it’s so fun to watch them play (or some might call it "wrestle") together.

A blessing of a weekend with a blessing of a family. I’m a lucky gal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Getting What You Wish For

I've been anixous and hoping that maybe I would start getting some nice orders from my Etsy shop. This past weekend, I got an order for 25 of my retractable tape measures. It's a great thing! A nice $200 order - and right before Christmas. How sweet! Now, now challenge will be figuring out when I'll find some free time to make them and get them happily delivered on time.

Luckily, I have 13 already made (which I determined was an extremely lucky number!). WaaLaa -  1/2 of the order is magically complete!

I also spent time this weekend with some fun friends that are ready to "(wo)man a booth" and are going to sell some of my wool items along with additional items from other fiber and paint artists at an upcoming conference.  When asked "Can you get some items ready?", my immediate response was "Sure, I'll see what I can do."

Excited? You bet.
Anxious? You bet.
Nervous? You bet.
Overwhelmed? You bet.
Crazy? You bet.
Thrilled and energized? You bet.

Never give up on good wishes...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Too Tired to Type

Yup. I'm back from a trip to White Plains, New York.

The travel involved a time change from CST to PST and, of course, back again.

Saturday night involved Halloween and daylight savings time.

That all makes for goofy tricks (with maybe just a few treats) on my body.

So, I'm feeling too tired to type.

I hope to see you tomorrow night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What a Day

My excitement is busting out! After boo-hoo-ing yesterday about not being productive and getting work done, I checked my emails last evening and I had a great Etsy sale order! I actually sold two items that I just posted yesterday (!) and two other items. And to top it all off, as a newer Etsy seller, I’ve thought it would be so fun if my “number of sales” on my Esty page was larger than my “posted items” number. My sale yesterday, moved me there!

When I was having an email conversation with my wonderful customer, I was so excited, that I went ahead and told her the story about the number of sales. After I sent the message, I was a little worried that perhaps it sounded cold and selfish – like the number of sales was the most important thing to me. When in actuality, it’s really all about people liking what I love to do enough to place the order. My customer wrote back the sweetest note congratulating me and calling it a “victory”! How nice.

I’m thankful for nice people. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Such Great Plans

Here it is - almost Sunday evening already and it's back to work on Monday morning. I had such great plans for the weekend. I was going to be extremely productive and get my house cleaned, fall outdoor work done, pay bills (yuck!) and work on wool.

A little of that has happened - but certainly not to my satisfaction. Why do we always think we have to be so productive in order for it to be a "good" day? And, then when we don't reach those goals, we feel like we've "wasted" the day? I don't know the answer. I just know that I do it all the time.

And speaking of things to do - I keep waiting for the day that I will be more organized and do the postings on this blog that I hoped to do. I look forward to the day that I am prepared to post some tutorials for making wool mittens, flowers, softies, pillows and more. Hang on. I'll get there.

On the positive side, I did at least manage to finish three new wool chicks and a pillow for sale on Esty

(And I even got a "heart" on my pillow after just being posted for about 30 minutes - what a nice compliment!)

I even finished a chick for my friend Diane's birthday gift.  Shhh....she hasn't seen it yet!

In the meantime, I guess I'll get back to what I was....or wasn't....doing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unleashing a Monster

Come on. You know how it is when you get a new toy. No matter how old you are - you get a little obsessive about it. I got a new camera this weekend. Couldn't afford it but did it anyway. (Hoping maybe I get a few Etsy sales to pay for it!) :-)

After being gone all weekend, when I got home with my new toy, I only had enough energy to play with it from my comfy chair.  But look at all the fun you can have from one chair!

Shot from across the room...
(My dad made the shelf and the two items on the outside were once my grandmothers. Bless them.)

Christmas snowman ornaments soons to be finished and posted on Etsy...

Books I love...

Wool balls, balls, balls...

Pin cushions at work...

Last but not least, my jeans.  :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sleeping in Seattle

I just returned from a trip to Seattle. My daytime job involves helping to coordinate conferences in a variety of locations throughout the year.

We had glorious weather and a very successful conference.  One of our talented speakers, Brene' Brown, posted about her experience on her blog this week. I am fortunate and honored to be a part of her blog.

Take a peek here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Fall Excitement

This fall is such a busy time for me - so I'm not able to devote as much time to my Etsy shop and my blog as I'd like.  But, I'm so excited - of the few fall items I was able to prepare, my fall pillow is currently being featured on an Etsy Gift Guide! I'm not sure if it's true or not, but I heard that it often can take a couple years before anyone's work gets featured on an Etsy Gift Guide, and I've only been selling on Etsy for 2 1/2 months! Lucky me! I'm so honored!

Take a peek here:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's Scarf Weather

I hate to have to admit it, but here in Wisconsin, it's getting close to warm scarf weather. On one hand, I love it - because it means more fun for me making new scarves. On the other hand, I'm hesitant, because it means cold winter weather on the way.

I decided to use some of the smaller pieces of recycles wool sweaters that I have (which gets to be a lot!) and work them into new scarves. After stitching together rectangle pieces to make the length of the scarf, I knew more embellishment was in order. Enter flowers, grommets and "seam" fringe!

I love to add flowers to a lot of my work - so why not some happy summer flowers for those long winter months? I stitched on flowers and leaves to one end of the scarf and embellished the flowerettes with some simple embroidery using black wool yarn.

Then came the grommets. I knew I wanted to add some fringe at the ends using the seams of the wool sweaters. (I always carefully cut out the seams of wool sweaters when disassembling and then felt them for new uses.) I decided that four grommets on each end would be sufficient and chose to use the nice large size.

With grommets in place, I then tied on the fringe and made small stitches through the knots of the fringe to assure they don’t loosen during use.

WaLa. In no time I actually had two new scarves! Maybe I might just make a few more for some fun Christmas gifts this year…

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Fever

I love fall. I don't always love what comes after it - but it's sweet while it's here.

I've decided that I don't really like the mess and work of carving pumpkins anymore - but I still love pumpkins in all their cool colors.

This one is in my front yard. Love the white.

But yet some of my flowers are not quite ready to go to sleep for the season...

Gotta love persistence!