Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Seems as though I can't post but every few days I have decided to post my New Year's resolutions today. I work the next two days so I won't be back until New Year's Day and then it will be too late.

As I look back at this year and reflect on my life many things have changed. Not only the obvious divorce, my health, my kids growing up, but my view on certain things. Some things for the better but some not so good.

I have become cheap alright politically correct term FRUGAL because of my situation of being a single parent. I shop at the thrift store. I rarely go to the primitive shops I use to because I make the things I want rather than buy them. I save up for the things I want then if they are still there I buy them or if I can barter. However, I have found I am not making things as often for myself or for others like I use to. I miss that, but obviously I don't have the time I use to. When I used to wholesale I loved to hear that my items were selling and they wanted more. That my friends was an awesome feeling.

I also found I am working A LOT. Mostly out of necessity, but I did turn down a 24 hour shift today. I want to be home with my kids more. I want to do the things I want to do or be with the friends and family. So I will tighten the belt and budget better so that I don't have to work extra shifts. Once again that FRUGAL thing comes into play.

This one is the hardest for me. This is a very dark secret and I can't believe I am telling you. I am becoming very jealous of some of you. This I DON'T like. I look at your beautiful houses and think to myself the house I gave up to my ex. No I couldn't afford it by myself, but still I had free reign to paint and decorate as I liked. I am now living in a duplex that I can't paint (though I might anyway) with a smaller area to try to decorate. I don't own it which the hardest for me. I hate the fact that I can't buy another house until mine sells and as long as it doesn't go into foreclosure before then. Not that I could afford a big house, but it would be mine even if it was a shack. LOL. Don't get me wrong I LOVE to look at your homes for ideas it is just makes me angry thinking about what I gave up.

As I ramble on there are many other things I would like to change which you will see in my list. This is my top 10 list. There were many others, but I'll start with 10. LOL.

10. Use up some of my fabric stash.

9. After using the fabric stash clean up my basement. OK this will probably not happen since I have a lot of stuff. LOL

8. Only go to the thrift store once a month. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL will probably be broken in January.

7. Try to make more items to sell or giveaway.

6. Save money if that is possible.

5. Go on a vacation. I haven't been on one in 14 years.

4. Learn how to use power tools and not be a big sissy. LOL

3. Decorate my bedroom.... ongoing saga.

2. Steve and I to spend more time by ourselves. It's hard to believe I've known him for a year come New Year's Eve. We went on a date Saturday night to dinner by ourselves to the place we went to on our first date in January. Let's just say I had just worked 14 hours and was tired by the time he came to pick me up. But we still went and had a good meal.

1. Spend more time with my kids before they grow up.

I am hoping to accomplish all of these, but you know it's OK if I don't. The one I really want to work on is being happy with what I have. Decorate and enjoy all of the things I have collected over the years. I still have plenty of time to get a house and start over. It just takes time. As you can tell I am impatient, which is not a good quality. LOL. That's why I have a hard time doing crafts that take a long time. Hence the quilt I am still quilting. LOL.

So here's to you my friends I hope peace, happiness, and plenty for all of you in 2010.

Oh I am thinking of another swap idea. This would involve no money other than postage. I have lots of decorative items that I don't use anymore and would like to trade. I am sure many of you do too. So how does a swap involving decoration trade sound to you? And if you don't have anything to give up then you can make something to trade. I haven't figured out all the rules and stuff yet just getting a feel. Let me know what you think.
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!!! I want to thank all of you for reading my humble ramblings all year. LOL. I am so thankful for all of my friends. Yes I consider all of you my friends whether or not we have talked or you just stop by to read. So I am hoping all of you are having a wonderful Christmas season.

I am sorry I have not posted since last week, but it has been hectic. It still is this morning as I type this. My daughter is making a pumpkin pie to take to my ex's family's house this afternoon. She learned how to make the crust and pie in her Foods and You class this school year. She is receiving some help from Steve as she has a difficult time with measurements. I am waiting to make my food for my Mom's house til she's done. My son is playing with all his new toys and of course had to change into his cool new clothes. LOL. I bought the jeans yesterday at the outlet mall while he was with me. I am so glad he realizes there is no Santa. It made things so much easier this year. Anyway, thought I would show you some of our Christmas this year.

So much for a white Christmas. It is raining and turning what snow we had into slick slush.

LOL I can laugh at myself. This is yours truly in rare form. Not only do I have my ratty robe on but my jammies too. Man I look tired in this picture. Hey this is me I am not a made up fancy type of person. I am a down to earth talk to anyone person.

This is my big present from Steve. My new settle bench. These pictures don't show the true color. It is a dark brown with of course our bubbly paint technique on it. Steve says he'll take orders. Ummm... doesn't come with the boy, but if you want him we can make a deal. LOL. I also got perfume, which I have never owned, and Bath and Body Works items.

My daughter getting her new camera that she guessed last week. GRRRRRR I was so mad. She loves to take pictures and make cards so I also got her a Hallmark card making computer kit too.

My son who mainly got toys and a few new Ohio State t-shirts and wallies for his room.

And of course Steve who got clothes and food. LOL. I found this great little Amish bulk food store about 15 minutes from my house so I got him pistachios and pumpkin seeds and also beef jerky. The clothes thing was difficult as he has really long arms and a Santa belly and is really tall LOL. I found that JcPenney has a Big and Tall section. Everything was on sale. Yippeee!!!!

So as not to keep you away from your family. From our home to yours Have a Blessed Merry Christmas!!!!!!
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas For Me From Me

Like my title? I know no one else in my family would go shopping for me at the Goodwill so I went shopping for myself for Christmas. It seems as though they can't see the worth in trash errr... ummm... treasure. I did drop off some things so I just had to stop in and see what was new. Not like I don't have enough already to do around here to keep me busy. You know drop off and take home. Am I the only one that does this? LOL. They rearranged the store so it took me a minute to get oriented to where things were. But in no time I found the section I was looking for.

First things first... This huge bowl which I will repaint the inside was $1.50.

I know you saw it in the previous picture but this spoon for $.50.

This bucket that I will peel the rope braid off and repaint $1.50.

A quilter ruler that is 6 inches wide was $2.50. The one I have is only 3 inches. I think I'm getting a longer one for Christmas, but don't say anything my Mom will be mad if she thinks I know. LOL. Why else would you go to Jo-Anne Fabrics?

Last but not least TADA!!!!! A real pewter plate for $.50. It has been there for over a month according to the tag. Hello it was waiting to come home with me. Woot Woot!!!! happy dance!!!!!

I know this is early but I have decided that one of my New Year's resolutions is to not go to Goodwill more than once a month. It sounds good right? I doubt it will happen, but hey I normally break all the rest of my resolutions so what's one more. LOL.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Other Swap Partner

Unfortunately, with swaps sometimes you have people who can't follow through for whatever reason. The partner I originally gave to Jo-Anne from The Carter Clan did not have a blog and I only had an email address to contact her. We both tried and for whatever reason we couldn't get a response back, so Jo-Anne and I decided we would do the swap between us. We had talked last year about doing a swap between us, but things in my life got hectic and we never did. I am a long time admirer of Jo-Anne's fabulous quilts and was so excited to do this swap with her. She told me I didn't have to, but are you kidding a chance to get something made by her!!! I already have some awesome earrings from her she sent me last year. I just knew I wouldn't be disappointed. Secretly I was hoping she would make me something quilted, but I didn't tell her that. LOL. She asked me what I would like and of course I couldn't lie... I told her table runners or place mats hoping she'd get the picture. LOL. I'm going to tell you she is sharp as a tack!!!!

Anyway, I walked out to my mail box today and lo and behold.... this is what it looked like. The mail. person put a plastic bag over the end and left it sticking out of my box. I'm glad no one stole it before I got out there.

I could hardly wait to open the package... Well this is what I found...

Now on to the good stuff. I THINK this is the Goodwill find. Not sure because it looks brand new and awesome!!!! Can't wait to hang it on my peg rack.

Next was this fabulous sign, post it notes,(I think she's trying to tell me I'm to busy and that I need to write stuff down so I don't forget. LOL I don't know how she knew that.) and the little ornie. She also sent me another gift when she sent me her fabric, but I can't show you because Steve took it to use for me.

Now on to the most amazing gift. I am just so excited. I wish you could be here because I can't type fast enough to tell and show you what she made for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these. I wish you could see the quilting close up. I can't wait to use the table runner on my dining room table and the small quilt on my end table. I am so excited I'm giddy. Oh and the caramel corn YUMMY!!!! She also sent me the recipe to make it.

It's hard to tell but I sent her tan, green, blue, and white fabric fat quarters. She did such an amazing job and even added fabric to it to finish it.

Jo-Anne thank you so much for everything. I LOVE it all!!!! You have been such an amazing friend with words of wisdom and strong faith since we first "met" in blogland over a year ago. I appreciate your emails and help with my many projects. You are a wonderful person I am so glad we met.

I went to Goodwill yesterday, but that will be another post. I don't want to compete with these amazing presents. I found some goodies though. Lots of make over potential.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Swap Addition...

Yesterday I was in such a rush to go to work I didn't finish taking pictures and showing you what Kim sent to me in the swap. She reminded me about this little flicker candle I forgot to show you. I had already put it in a display and it looked like it had been there forever I didn't think about taking a picture. So here it is...

This is the CD she got me also. Wow this is a terrible picture I just noticed.

I think I have everything now, but if not Kim let me know. Anyway, Kim and I met on a chat board maybe a little over a year ago. She has offered me some great advice and said what I was thinking going through my divorce. This was a total random pick on the swap by one of my work partners. However, when I found out I got Kim I was excited as she and I have similar taste. So THANK YOU again Kim your doll is now sitting on top of my tree and I will be decorating with the rest today. I am not answering my phone if it is work as I want the next two days of vacation to me. LOL.

I finally finished my stockings though I'm not happy with some of them. I will be ripping out mine and redoing as I have time. I am so mad at myself for messing them up. OH WELL live and learn.

Those bright spots are not there in real person I think it was the lights casting on it. And you can see the words in a shadow and I must have been shaking when I took the picture. Too much coffee!!!! LOL

GRRR... the red bled on this one... I put this one in the oven and it bled. I let the rest hang to dry in the basement and none of them ran. Lesson #1 LOL.

Mine you can't see the snowflake I stitched on it because dummy me did it in white thread and HELLO when you coffee stain it picks up the stain too. Can you say Duh???? So I will be ripping it out and redoing. Lesson #2 LOL

I am going to try to bake today as my kids want their Christmas cookies. Alright I want them too. LOL. Oh by the way have you tried the Hershey Kisses candy cane??? I am totally hooked on them. I normally don't like white chocolate but these are wonderful. Guess these won't be going in any cookies. LOL. I am hoping to get my M&M cookies done and the peanut butter blossoms I didn't make last week because I made no-bakes instead. Oh and has anyone ever heard of making maple no-bakes instead of the chocolate ones if so can you give me the recipe? Just drop me a line please.

Update... awhile back I posted on my birthday in September that I got a scented reed diffuser. I told you I would tell you if I liked it or not. NO I do not like the one I got. It lost it's fragrance after the first week despite turning the reeds every couple of days. Now the type I received was a national brand candle company not one made by a local artisan, so I can not tell you whether theirs are different or not. However, I do not think I will be buying any for myself any time soon.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Christmas Swap Goodies

Merry Christmas to me!!!! As you all know I hosted a Christmas swap last month. My first partner was Kim from Simple Needs. I have to tell her I am very sorry I did not get this posted sooner as I didn't find it on my porch until Sunday morning then worked yesterday and had a Christmas choir concert last night. I worked until late on Saturday night and of course no one else in my family noticed there was a box sitting next to my front door. GRRRR... and it rained all night and I don't have a porch. I just happened to walk outside Sunday morning to check the weather and lo and behold a box. I brought it in and tore into it. The individually wrapped presents just kept coming. Kim really spoiled me. She also knows my taste well.

So check out how lucky I was....

The first part of the swap was to send one yard on fabric to our partner. Kim made me this fabulous colonial inspired doll. Her dress is the fabric I sent and Kim added a beautiful black cape a wreath to her. I think she will be going on top of my tree when I get off of the computer.

Next was this ditty bag filled with provisions I would need before my Mother could get to me riding on the wagon train. LOL I know you are all thinking what the heck???? In this ditty bag was some buttons,a thimble, wool, pipe tobacco, and thread and a note that Kim came up with that sounds like it was written in the 1800s from a Mother to her Daughter. Great idea KIM!!!! Then of course the birds made from my fabric. I don't have any of these so these were a fabulous choice to put on my shelves.

Next was a Goodwill find redo... LOVE the shelf!!!!

Next was also the fabric I sent as a background for this awesome stitchery... a these warm gloves with snowflakes stitched on wool then stitched to the gloves. I don't know whether to wear them or decorate with them they are so cute!!!!

The last part was a free for all... And boy did Kim nail my tastes on this!!!! She also sent me a Christmas CD Joy To The World a Reader's Digest Series which I forgot to take a picture of because as soon as I got it out of the box it went into the CD player.

Kim also sent me a recipe for biscuits that Steve keeps bugging me to make. He says they sound delicious. I'll let you know how they turn out. LOL

Now can you tell why I was so spoiled? So Thank You Kim I LOVE everything.

Now off to work I just got called in on my vacation day.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

My Stockings and Fat Friday Recipe

I promised yesterday that I would post a recipe for my swap buddies since I forgot to write it down and put it in their swap boxes. It's pretty bad when it's your swap and YOU can't even do it right. LOL. Well, since I haven't posted a Fat Friday Recipe in a LONGGGGGGG time I will do it today.

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 large can of sweet potatoes
3/4 stick of butter or margarine
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs

3/4 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup chopped nuts (may omit)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 stick of butter/margarine melted

Warm potatoes and syrup in a pan. Mash until smooth using a blender (very important) I then pour the mashed potatoes back into the pan to add the sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs. Mix well. I use a spoon or whisk but you could use a hand mixer. Pour in to a 8X8 pan or bigger (depends on how deep you want it. I have never used a 9X11 but I have one just a little smaller than that I like to use.)Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Mix up the topping in a separate bowl. After the 20 minutes spread topping on the potatoes and brown another 10 minutes. That's all there is to it.

I have been working on my stockings that I had a mental block on. Thank you everyone who left comments on that post to help me. I haven't had a lot of time as I had my fire department physical yesterday, which gave me a clean bill of health to be hired. I also don't have any signs of hearing loss and my lungs are better than predicted on the computer program they used. Then we had a doctor appt for my daughter in the afternoon yesterday too. Then I decided to take my kids out to dinner at Longhorn. Therefore, I am not as far as I would have liked. I am home today, but I had to clean bathrooms and do laundry before I could craft. I get to craft if I'm good and I do my housework first. LOL. So the stockings still aren't done, but I thought I'd share my progress.

Well now they look like this... Not sure you can see the cuff but there is a green vine with red berries across it. Oh yea thanks Jess for letting me know the sayings looked good!!!!

My son saw me working on his sisters and asked how I was going to do his. I told him the same as his sisters and he said no he wanted a Santa. I laughed and said I didn't know how to do that so he told me a Christmas ornament. This is what I came up with... Guess my mind is made up that they all aren't going to look the same.

They are still missing something on the foot part. I'm still trying to figure that out and then I will coffee stain them. So now I'm off to figure out how to do mine and Steve's.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wanna a Good Laugh...

I happened to be looking at my screen savers today as I walked by and noticed some of my old creations from years past were flashing by. Thought I would share with you some of the things I created for Christmas using no patterns just my imagination...

OK this goose is my pattern that I use to sell... so yes I do use my own patterns.

Same pattern...

There you have things I've made the past couple years. LOL. I am working on my stockings today as I worked the last three days. So I'm hoping to show you progress tomorrow. I have a couple things to do today outside the house so not sure how far I'll get. Wish me luck going out because the wind is blowing so hard here that it just pushes your car off the road. The wind chill is suppose to get below 0 tonight.

Swap girls I would like for your swaps to be in the mail today. If you can't please let me and your partner know. My swap buddies please forgive me. In the rush to get your packages in the mail I did not put your recipes in so I will post a recipe on my blog that you and everyone can enjoy tomorrow.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Opinions PLEASE Mental Block!!!!!!!

You as my trusted friend and fellow prim/colonial lover, who always give me honest advice, are again about to help me. I need your opinions...

I have been working on these stockings for all of us. Each one is in a different language according to our heritage. They all say Merry Christmas ( I think). I'm pretty sure on the English one. LOL. If not and you speak either German, Serbian, or Irish please tell me now if it doesn't. Anyway, this is how they look. Oh and NO the dates are not our real birth years!!!! LOL My kids think I'm old, but I'm not that old.

Close up of Steve's... (He's the Serbian one and this is his real name on the stocking).

Each one is made from osnaburg fabric and when finished will be coffee stained.

Alright, this is where I need your help because I am stumped. I purposely left space between Merry and Christmas on each one thinking I would be stitching a twig Christmas tree in between. Now I don't know if that's what I want. Then I thought about putting something different in between on each stocking tree, deer, holly and berries, snowflakes, stitched of course. Or do I cut patches of red and primitively stitch them on heels and toes of one or two of them? Then I said no leave them blank as is and just stain them. Do I want them all different or the same??? Decorated or plain I can't decide. GRRRRRR... I'm having a mental block!!!!!

Then the other problem is what do I use as the cuff? Do I just fold it over and primitively stitch the seam, or do I use another fabric and make an actual cuff and if so what color? Do I sew rusty bells on the cuff if there is one? See the ideas are there I just can't decide.

Now if I'm totally off and you have another idea please leave a comment below. My skills are limited in the wool felt department as well as other sewing skills, so if that's what you see please make it easy on me. LOL.

Reminder to my swap girls... All swaps should be sent out by the 10th. For those who have already completed your swaps and posted them they are all fabulous!!!! Thanks for participating and I hope you had fun.
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