So . . .off for some BSMET shopping goodies, I am deciding on what goodie to get for myself after the holiday rush!
Check out this little Treasury of goodies, until the 18th, that is!
I want it NOW
Have a great night!
So, Miss Chatterbox and I went to the fabric store yesterday and picked out a lovely sparkly pink for her to go with some fabric I had at home. She wants a bird on hers, too . . so we bought some cute little dove buttons and she also ga-ga'ed over some cute pink roses that 'exactly match' her pink fabric and a butterfly. I want to convince her to let me make her a bracelet from the butterfly - its a wooden button with the raised back, so perfect for a cute bracelet.
She picked out a fun green star print and an off-white w/ light gold snowflake print for the other stockings. I will make a fun applique for D's stocking if he wants, so that his is special, too. And I have some fun buttons to add to his.
Will have to post pictures after they are done.
I did get a fairly decent amount of shopping done over the past couple days. *phew*!!
Check the fun pom-pom/ marshmallow guns from BoyToys - I got for a whole slew of giftees and they're handmade to boot!!
And these so adorable butterfly origami hair ponies for Miss Chatterbox and niece Princess, from Asianexpressions
She also made a gorgeous set of cranes that I am turning into a mobile for above the MIL's new spa tub. They match perfectly with her decor and theme! And, Asianexpressions is a member of The Big Sky Montana Etsy Team.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving - I have to get some more cleaning done and clear out a shelf to take out of the livingroom before tomorrow, because then its the start of the cooking marathon. Turkey, ham, green bean casserole, coconut cream pie . . .on and on for 15 people! I'm really excited, though. I think it will be fun to have everyone over.
Now I have to get to the pile to go to storage, go through my craft stuff - fabric is done, now it's to beads, wire, scrapbooking extras, computer parts, odds and ends, and thread & needle stuff. Gah! I seriously have a craft issue.
I am going to try and go as handmade as possible, but the boys in my life are not making that easy at all! Miss Chatterbox is easy, though!! She wants fairies, a lamb from Judy Liz, and a white deer from Fantastic toys. She also wants a fairy house and I will be searching for one for Gramma Kathy to get her. Should be fun!!
The D-man, however, yearns for a Nintendo DS - yikes!! Starting the hand-held electronics thing a bit early. I think I may look into Leapsters, too, though. Hubby says the DS does have educational games, but not sure if I'm ready to sink a couple hundered into a game for 6 year-old who is getting a lizard for b-day that isn't cheap.
And daddy is asking that the kiddos pick out his present all by themselves. I asked them what store they wanted to go to and they said WalMart and I almost choked. I told them that WalMart is the answer to all the shopping one can do . .that we could go to a more electronis-type store, we could look on-line and we can keep thinking about it. So, changed tactics and asked what they want to get him. D answers, "Daddy like pirates, cause he was going-ta be one for Halloween. So, pirate stuff." And Chatterbox goes off on a Halloween tangent and we get home, so conversation turns to what snack is. I will keep working on them to ditch the WM idea and shop elsewhere. I do understand the need for big-box stores, but I want them to appreciate the other things, too.
Off to do something in the way of going through beads to take to girls group tonight.
Hahaha! I am trying to get ready for the housefull in less than 2 weeks (yikes! Not even close to cleaned-up) and meanwhile procrastinating on the cleaning thing by playing and making stuff on Etsy! I am so in love with all the wonderfully fun, interesting and absolutely AMAZING things I find on Etsy. I already have a few Christmas items bought and picks for hubby to get me. Gah -- back on topic.
MissKnits and sarahinflorida are running a Thanksgiving Contest here at this forum thread.
Stop by and vote for your fav by giving it a heart - yeppers, that means that if you do not have and Etsy account of your own - shame on you!!! - you gotta get one so you can VOTE FOR MY COMP-U-COPIA (completely shameless plug).
Check out all the listings at once and MissKnits awesomely fun blog at: missknitsetsy.blogspot.com: Etsy Thanksgiving
And hop on over to Etsy to get your hand-made on!!
I can't wait to get really going and get labels, stamps, ingredient lists, packaging and all that fun stuff for this cleaner line! WOOOO-WHOOOO! I don't think I have ever been so excited about something in a long time - well, something that didn't have to do with the kids.
Soon we will be making the liquid soap and I can whip up the spray cleaners and then move on to the other sprays I am working on.
Yeay, and yeay, yeah!!
Have a wonderful Saturday night!
Miss Chatterbox has a bad day and needs constant attention, I need to take so and so to this, hubby has a ton of homework and cannot help with anything, a volunteer gig takes way more time that expected, taking someone to the airport and on and on. I absolutely have no problem doing those things - this is not me complaining about having a gazillion things to do. This is me wondering what on Earth I am going to do to make a schedule work?!
Agghhh! I seriously have all these wonderful ideas and fun projects ... things I need to research for the cleaning stuff and books to read to get even more info on herbs and essential oils ... new items to put together for my Etsy store and blogs, networking sites and social sites to keep up with ... kids to take to appointements and take to and from school ... kids to rad to and spend time playing with or crafting with ... dishes to do, rooms to clean, clothes to fold ...
In otherwords all the gazillion things every mom has to do everyday. I just can't see to get a schedule to work for me! And if I don't schedule then there are certian things that I just simply don't get done and those things tend to be the creating things.
Anyone out there in mommy crazy land have any ideas?!?!?! It almost seems like now that I only have one at home it's harder to get things done.
Anyway, I would love some hints and ideas that you might do to try and get things done.
Timers, charts, hour-by-hour time schedules . .etc. Then how you work around big interruptions ie taking 4 hours of your day to do something to help someone that you had not planned on.
I am not giving up, though! There are so many fun things going on that I forget to stop by and do my bloggie ... well, maybe if I knew there were people sitting there, waiting for me to post I might be a bit better - ROFL!!
So today I am going to be totally random and share a recipe for some yummy pumpkin muffins. It started as a pan of bars recipe I found and have switched up a bit to put more good stuff in it and still keep it kid-yummy.
Here it is:
1-1/2 cups pumpkin pie filling
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups applesauce (unsweetened is best)
1/2 cup safflower oil (or a vegetable oil)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons (or to taste) cinnamon
2 cups wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans *optional
1/4 cup white or vanilla frosting *optional
about 48 pieces of candy corn *optional and you may need more
orange food coloring *optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 muffin tins with wrappers or lightly grease. I have only one good tin, so I have to do this in 2 batches, but they bake better when you only do 1 tin full at a time.
In a large mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a meduim to small bowl; gradually add to pumpkin and applesauce mixture and mix well. If adding pecans, stir in by hand after pumkin and flour mixtures are well mixed.
Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. If you do 1/2 instead, you will end up with about 28-30 muffins, instead of 24, but I think the size is better for little ones.
Place, one pan at a time in preheated oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center muffin. Cool while you bake second pan full.
** (optional part - helps to make the muffins more kid-appealing) While your last batch cools, combine frosting and food coloring in a small bowl. Place orange frosting into a small piping bag, or resealable ziplock and snip off a small tip on one end. Pipe small dots where you would place the eyes, then place candy corn over the frosting dots so they stick. Then, pipe funny pumpkin mouths onto the muffins. Serve for a snakc, breakfast of special treat.
These muffins could also be given a more Thanksgiving flare by making little turkey-type decorations of pilgrim hats on top. Or decorate for fall by piping a leaf shape on top. My son absolutely loves them and his classmates the past 2 years devoured them, too!
I will try and post a picture of the yummies tomorrow!
I am not big on the being scared thing - I remember liking that in about middle school, staying up and watching creepy movies (when Freddy was, like, so scary - hahaha), but now it is definately not for me. I help out at the annual haunted house by making goodies and helping manage the line, but I will not go in. The lady that does it does a crazy scary job!
So, anyway, I finally figured it out! It's a holiday of sorts - I try to remember it as less to do with commercial stuff (make our own costumes here) and more of a harvest celebration, the coming of winter and all that. But, it's no stress. You get to just have fun, be silly and don't have the big "holiday" hoop-la. Makes it so much more bearable.
Speaking of no stress - I have yet to start making costumes, so I am feeling a bit out of sorts on that. But we do have just about all the parts for the fairy and all we need are black clothes for bat-child. I am going to be a geek - so get to dress up like hubby - -hahhaha!!!
So, up until the big day I will be posting fun finds from Etsy for Halloween.
Look for a few later today.
Been trying to keep up a bit more on vacuuming, dusting the floor with baking soda before, cleaned up the bathrooms from head to toe with my homemade cleaner and double-duty on the kitchen counters.
Then I found myself this morning thinking - should i suck it up and get the bleach out?! Then I realized that Miss Chatterbox was sick at the beginning of the week, but has not gotten sick again. Little Dude has not been feeling superb for a few days, but has not actually gotten sick, sick. So maybe he was taking so long to get rid of it because he just couldn't get it out - if you catch my drift.
Hubby is still unaffected and I truly think mine is just plain not being able to sleep and in pain from lame shoulder issue.
So, I will hold out and wash sheets to get rid of beddy germs, clean kitchen floor and wipe up bathroom doors and counters again. Then we will tell if bleach really is all it's cut out to be - or if plain old non-hazardous cleaning and waiting it out for a reasonable amount of time is really where it's at. I have no desire to deal with super bugs and all that crazy stuff - so I will not do the mommy panic and go overboard and spread more chemicals and yuck through my life.
Now, off to cleaning a bit and contemplating the joys of cleaning with stuff that I do not need a mask, gloves and goggles and crappy, ruined clothing to use. And relish in saving all that rinsing water and not poluting my front yard with my septic draining nasty chemicals into it because I had to have the germ free zone.
Gah . . .dude was seriously off his flipping rocker. Swearing up and down, making insane accusations that the bookstore was trying to brainwash the general public into believing "that socialist bullsh**". He even went on to make comments that would have him under investigation as a terrorist or at the very least someone of 'interest" to certian persons on protective duty to presidential candidates Granted, no direct threats as to what he would do, but the desire to see some one no longer alive. Yikes!!!
If said wack-job had not appeared so unstable, self would have walked up to him and told him that he was harming my child by using offensive language and wishing some one no longer a member of the planet Earth.
Wack-job even asked the poor clerk who just wanted to get him out of there before he made a huge scene (poor, poor guy) to give him the number and address for the corporate office so he could tell them how said chain bookstore was dissillutioning the public by having those books on display and should not allow this store to display or carry said books. It was apparently not even a matter of opinion. Cannot recall exactly what wack-job said, but it was along the lines of the ideas were so harmful that freedom of speech did not even cover them. WOW! So wanted to tell him then his freedom of speech should be revoked for being such and idiot!!!
I will say that said clerk did a very good job in not even responding to wack-job other than to ask him to step out the door and "have a good day" and give him the info he wanted. I seriously doubt my ability to be that calm while I was being yelled at like that over something I had no control over . .. and being the crazy liberal I am would have given him a piece of my mind.
She has a name picked out and is ready to go, I have a HUGE list of potential names, but none really feel like the name. I have narrowed it down by doing some online research for something that has a similar name, or even if I thought of a name already out there - want to get my bases covered.
Now, I will have to find some good info as far as natural products and what is good, bad, better .. and still waiting for government yoo-hoos to give a rip about what I asked and get back to me.
Also wondering if I am wasting my time when I do Etsy store upkeep and such. I know that I will still be doing a few things here and there for itsiebitsies, but just not sure what the time scale will be. Really why I don't want to just ditch all the work I've done. And I know that I still want to do some of those things and have fun making my creations.
Then, I keep taking time off from thinking to watch things like debates (they are all so peeving me off!!!) and other less politically important, but oh, so much more sensible (haha). Like Top Design, What not to Wear ...
And I just had to watch Project Runway last night - - of course LeAnn would win - - I mean, duh. Korto does marvelous work, but I could just tell after the episode that Joe got the boot it would be LeAnn. She did fabulous work on her collection and was horrahed for almost each piece.
I would LOVE to see if Korto does work that she sells, but alas, I am probably too chunky for her stuff - size 10?! huh, what, that's a large, don't you know?! Blah. And I don't think I would be able to to fork over what she is worth to have her make something for me . .. wouldn't I love to, though. If the business venture takes off ... tell you where I'm shopping. Weee-whooo!
Kenley's collection had a few really fun pieces, too. The pinkish dress with the painting on it . .. LOVE!
Seriously, they all did something far beyond me and totally amazing .. Major congratulations to all 3 ladies.
Alright, off the PR tangent.
And on to my fun finds tonight:
The toys made by FantasticToys are just so wonderful! These fawns are so cute. Makes me wish I was little so I could have all of them. My daughter loves the butterfly puppet and mushroom house she got for her Birthday from FantasticToys!
And of course, the to-die-for-geekieness of GeekCentralStation!! Hopefully I can snag a Luke, or *hint* an Anikan for the little dude for Christmas!! This one is a pattern for the clothes, but I need the little guys - just do not have a crochet skill to try to make these guys.
DD wants to be a "scary fairy with purple and a little black" - I did not realize that at 4 years old you would want to be a Goth Fairy, but, hey, I think I can still make it cutsie and get away with it. Just won't use dark, dark purple and only a small amount of black. Apparently the 'scary' part is to be accomplished using fake vampire teeth, too. At least that is what I was told.
Then, DS wants to be a bat with scary teeth and claws. I think the major desire to be a bat stems from the desire to run around all day and night making horrible high-pitched screeching noise he makes when pretending to be a bat. And, no, not Batman - not even a little, a real bat. Will have to invest in glow-tape or glow-in-the-dark fabric paint for these costumes. Have not yet had such dark ones that we need to worry as much. So far has been more of the ghost, princess, Bob the Builder costume set - -ack! does this mean they are growing up?! EEEEKKKKK - -now that is mommy's Halloween scare.
And DS wants to make a spooky house for Halloween, too. We are going to make some skeletons and bats out of the wood left over from grandparent's remodel and bought some cheap black and white spray paint today and some cool chain to hang them with. I am really excited to have a DIY Halloween this year. It should be so fun! Plus, I am making a goal to make an entry for the DIY Halloween Contest being hosted/ sponsored, what ever you call it by instructables.
Halloween is one of the best holidays, and I really use it as a chance to showcase my creativity, rather than spend a boat-load of moola.
Look for my entry in my Etsy store: itsiebitsies
These awesome shadow puppets by orangemoontoys would look too cool in a Halloween Decoration. I can picture them set up on a spookified table by being placed in different sized bottles and jars - all painted black.
Brilliant idea, if I do say so myself!
And this guy might just be batty enough for the DS, but I doubt I can get him to wear a necklace. Would make a superb addition to a vampire or witch costume! Made by RockPaperSilver.
Happy Halloweening!! Catch you later.
Alas, I think I will be ok .. .been driving in the good old Montana since I started driving. Back roads, dirt roads, snowy roads, wet roads . .. all good. Just keep me away from those big old, nasty bridges and don't make me look down the steep drop-offs and it will be smooth sailing-ish.
Haha. Did record some of my tunes - no listening to that country stuff!
So here are some fun finds for you to enjoy while I'm driving away.
DoSiDough makes some awesome looking playing dough. I am afraid to buy it only because it really does look good enough to eat and I can so see some people here giving it a nibble.
This little guy is just cute and scary and all Halloweenie! Love him! Check out curlsofsunshine for patterns and cute little toys!
I am on the finishing touches of the newsletter and it's new-ish design. I did change most things, but until we can really go all-out and offer up full-color or at least colors on internal pages, I feel like it really doesn't change.
Used BRIGHT pink for the high-light color on the front and back pages for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am hoping my fellow GFWC MT ladies will appreciate that.
We are also announcing that we will be offering the newsletter electronically - -wooo! Great idea Susan! We can work on the old ladies (as I fondly call them) going green! I really do hope that they at least try it for one issue. We will officially announce it at the Board of Director's Meeting this coming weekend and they will get the announcement in their Fall issue of the GFWC Montana Woman. *crossing my fingers for a good response*
So, in honor of going green here are a few cool 'green' Etsy finds, ya'll!
Just too cute and organic to boot!!
by mingus :: Origami Elephant Organic Purse
Fat Cat is SO cool and I think I may have to hurt someone who buys him out from under my nose, really would love this little guy under my tree for Christmas. by RisingExpectations
Cheers all! I will be back soon - hopefully tomorrow. Miss me *LOL*
And I have ZERO ideas for the project I need to do.
Erg, ugh, bleechh. Need ideas, need brain power, need ....
Honestly, I think I need some sleep to energize on this.
So in honor of my need to re-energize and SLEEP here are some sweet Etsy finds:
Sleeping Fox Brooch by DandelionThief
Energy (bright citrus scent) Limited Edition Soap with Shea by BeautifulSkin
ChiWizard Orgone Generator - Rocket by ChiWizard
That's all folks! Have a good sleep the next time you venture that way.
Come visit this thread to see all the items that are still available and will send full proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Here are a few wonderful things you can find:
From tnkerr - the Breast Plate
From KreativeKarryAlls -
Cheers and have a wonderful day!
Items that were not sold will continue to be promoed on the Etsy Promotions forum - I'll post the link soon!
We had so many wonderful participants and kudos go out to the winners:
♥♥♥♥♥ The Winners Are! ♥♥♥♥♥
For the most overall vote:
CreationsbyChristina for her ribbon candy http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15529348
For the Most donated from sales:
Coryelldesigns for her beautiful bracelet http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15076407
and Peoples Choice went to:
DistressingDelilah for her beautiful art http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15044191
Congrats to all the Winners and Thanks to all who participated!
We Raised a grand total of $313.75!!!!!
Amazing work and continue to support Breast Cancer Awareness and Research by purchasing another of the wonderful items made!
Check out this lovely by liquidsabre
Congratulations again to
Check it out:
And check out this sweet T that I found on ThisNext's chadosko's reccomendation list
Here's where you can get your PAlien (for $15, I might add)
You should go a few times, too ... she will be changing it up as the time goes!!
THINK PINK and Shop for a Cause!!
Learning about something on the internet can be daunting - there is just so much information out there - who is telling me the real deal and who is full o' beans?
Here is one place to start in your search for more information, fundraising ideas, support and screening recommendations: Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Think pink and find out what you can do for yourself and for others!!
Shop for a Cause and THINK PINK
So check out our merchandise that is all made especially to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
Breast Cancer Awareness Items Page 1
and Breast Cancer Awareness Items Page 2
To view all the unique creations that will benefit this cause. All proceeds from sales of items listed as Breast Cancer Awareness or Boob Challenge in these seller's shops will go to the Foundation. **please note there are alot of images located on those pages, so they will take a few moments to download, be patient and you will be rewarded. Be warned that there are also some items that have visible nipples, breasts, etc; they are not real, but they do look real.
Visit the Etsy Forum thread to see the complete list of links (no pictures, though) or to vote for your favorite.
Visit my Etsy shop at: itsiebitsies on Etsy
to vote for your favorite Breast Cancer Awareness handmade creation and check out the wonderful things YOU could have to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness!!
THINK PINK and Shop for a Cause!!
The following 4 handmade beauties are in the lead right now for vote
The yummy candies are made by CreationsbyChristina.
The 'Throw a Fit' special edition doll is made by MissKnits.
The wonderful watercolor was done by paratu.
And the very creative carryall was done by KreativeKarryAlls.
Click on the image to go directly to that handmade beauty and click on the seller name to visit their shops on Etsy.
Great work everyone. Go see the list of items that you can purchase at:
The items in my Etsy mini at the right are all part of the Challenge to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation!
Thank you MissKnits and SarahinFlorida for the idea and the Challenge!
Here is the item that I voted for:
Made by KeenasKreations
She also has some beautiful tatted pink items for the Challenge, tatted Halloween items, sock critters and scarves!! Amazing!
Be sure to Shop for a Cause the handmade way on Etsy
I joined a the BoobChallenge on Etsy, started by MissKnits and Sarahinflorida and there is a wonderful group that have made a great selection of wonderful things for your shopping pleasure on Etsy. Some are a bit mature and others more along the pink ribbon lines. Very beautiful and very fun things.
There are gorgeous ACEOs, chocolate nipple suckers, pink jewelery, a gorgeous plate and so many other things. The challenge includes a voting round from Sept 20th to Sept 29th and all proceeds from sold items go directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
"Imagine the world with no breast cancer" and support the foundation and the wonderful artists and crafters who put together some new ideas to support the foundation.
My minis and posts over the next few days will revolve around Breast Cancer and the items in the Challenge.
LOL .. so the sister's wedding is finally over! I made it through yet another one (of hers). Big hair, high heels - hiking in high heels, even - drunk people, pictures and more pictures, bossing people around (ok that part is kind of fun), making flower arrangements and making food. I tell ya, if the other sister and I were to give her a manual labor bill . . it would be up there. Along with her friends bills, too. I really do hope that she sends out some very nice thanks yous to the people who helped her - for free.
And the hotel staff where she had the wedding were super wonderful to work with and very helpful. If you live around Kalipell, MT the Hampton Inn has great staff!!!
It wasn't even my shin-dig and I am actually considering writing them a thank you.
The bride and groom are off to Mexico and I will be getting my little niece tomorrow morning, so in honor of their trip and my wishing that I could be on a trip to somewhere tropical and secluded right now ... I am doing a tropical mini for the next couple days.
Then I will get to doing a boob mini again!!
1 cup soap flakes
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup baking soda
I have to grat my own soap with a cheese grater. The only commercial soap flakes I can find are Ivory and that contains animal products. FYI here, anything containing a form of tallow, contains animal products. I use Kirk's brand castile soap. It has no scent to mix in with the laundry.
I use a basic recipe and add the baking soda to help with odors. If you have hard water, then up the washing soda and borax to 1 cup each.
Use 1 tablespoon per load, 1-1/2 to 2 if it's extra dirty. This recipe does require soaking for mud, caked in dirt and grime, etc. For spot removing mix a bit of borax with water to form a paste and rub into spot (be sure of color fastness for this, though).
Happy green laundrying! :-) And remember this is a home-made recipe that works for me, you may need to adjust it for yourself and note that it does not clean the same as chemical filled products. Also, put this in a jar or container that is CLEARLY labeled and leave with cleaning supplies, you would not want to injest this at all!
The team has kids from 4 to 6 years old, the one 4-year-old was very much no into playing, though. She was off doing her own thing - I really don't blame her at all, all those kids running around crazy. Our 4 year old thought it looked interesting, but she said she was not ready to play.
"Next time it will be fun, Mom" Translation, I'll do it next year, after my brother tells me how fun it is and talks it up for a whole year.
She is waiting for T-ball, though. Really excited! And so is he, finally getting them into wanting to do organized sports. Didn't push before now because we really think that they should just be able to play around and enjoy running and jumping and being silly before organizing games. We play our own versions of those type of games and teach them to bat and throw, but nothing major and if it only lasts 3 minutes, then, so be it . . . they tried for a bit and they can try again another time. Encourage the fun, not the getting it done the right way.
Ah, there I go getting all preachy sounding, didn't mean to. Just how we do things and how they have fun. A benefit of living in the boonies and having room to really run and play, too. can't do that as easily if you live in the city.
The little guy seemed to really like it, but we need to work on focusing this week - -he's out on the field posing like a rock star and watching the airplanes and birds, not the bright pink ball! Haha. He sure can run, though. Stopping .. .well, not so fast. LOL!
And boy was he tired after. Took a nap from 6:30 to 8 and was still asleep by 9pm (a bit later then normal fora school night, but he needed to eat and do stories before bed since he crashed basically in the middle of dinner.
Here's to soccer and cute little kiddos having tons of fun!
Don't get me wrong, Iwould not turn down a gorgeous new necklace or beautifully crafted scarf (hint, tell my hubby I want one of Celeste's scarves for Christmas) or other cute thing and appreciate a good imported chocolate (drool). I am not vegetarian, although we eat a limited amount of meat at our house. We use CFL bulbs and I even make my own all purpose cleaner and laundry detergent. I cannot stand the smell of vinegar, though, so I make cleaners from castile soap, essential oils and water.
About 6 months ago I read some research by a group called Women's Voices for the Earth on chemicals in cleaners. It really shocked me and got me thinking. And their research shows chemical cleaners can affect breathing and asthma. They may not be the direct cause, or they may be, but I cannot find anything that says such things do not in any way contribute or aggravate symptoms.
So, why not try it, I already do other things to help, why not improve my home's environment by using non-chemical products. Those chemical filled cleaners stink and make my stomach turn and also cause me to use so much more water than needed because I rinse like crazy!
I had already been reusing things for crafts and creating, I even started a compost pile and was digging up garden plots and visiting the farmer's market when it made sense (it doesn't make sense to drive 20 miles round trip to buy my green beans for the week), I buy the local and in season produce at the grocery store and buy organic when it's availiable, too.
The only thing I use vinegar for is cleaning the inside of the potty - it works great. Sprinkle in1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda all around the bowl, then pour in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white vinegar, close the lid and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Scrub with toliet brush and the vinegar will get foamy again. If there is a really bad spot, you can add some kosher salt and let that sit, or do a borax soak (without vinegar) for 1 hour to overnight.
You do have to scrub with the cleaners I use, it's not easy-cheesey or anything, but for the sake of fewer chemicals in your home and around children it really makes a difference. No worries about breathing too much cleaner, you can let them help you and not worry about chemical burns like have happened with those magic earaser cleaners (yikes).
I have been using the cleaners I make for about 4 months now and the only time we had to go to the Doc, other than normal check-ups, was for an ear-infection my daughter got from swimming lessons - major swimmer's ear. You can hardly contribute that to germs in the house. My house does not smell like pine sol or bleach clean, but I know it's clean. And spotless has never been my goal, either -- clean enough to be happy, but not too clean that you won't use anything and you would go into convulsions if muddy kids, pets or people walked into your house.
Tomorrow I will post the laundry detergent recipe, so come back -- it works well and only uses 1 tablespoon per normal soil load! So, it's a bargin to boot!
Wow! I am relieved to have it all done and to her and that she likes it. That thing took on a life of it's own, so I was rather overwhelmed and have not been allowing myself a chance to think about it, for fear of going into a tizzy about that whole deal.
Maybe it was a lack of not having a worked-up sketch for her to review before starting, the terrible first attempt, my worry that the bags just are not the thing ... I am not sure. Probably all of it rolled together, but I had many days of just sitting in front of the materials with no clue. Staying up at night thinking about it.
AHHHH .... here I am torturing myself again.
Anyway, I am so glad the bag was a success and I know I have learned so much from this experience.
But this past summer I went to a GFWC (General Federation of Women's Clubs) volunteer convention and one of the, how to they say it? ? ? . . . um, endorsed, yeah, that's it. One of the nationally endorsed fundraiser companines was new and they were a Fair Trade Coffee Co based in Washington State. The members of the club I am in are girls that would go for a fundraiser like that, rather than the wrapping paper, candles, Chico's clothing . . .we're really not into that stuff so much. So, I stopped by the booth and the gentleman there was very helpful, very nice and gave me the literature and also a sample of the coffee blend they made for our fundraisers for our organization. I go thome and about a week later, I made the sample and shared it with the girls. It was pretty good, better than what I had tasted so far. I thought that maybe I had waited to long to try it, though, because I know that really good coffee does not have a terribly long shelf-life and with it having been shipped from Washinton to Chicago then home with me . . .well all that airplane riding can't be good for the flavor.
So, I decided to check out the site and see about other blends to try for myself before I really pushed this fundraiser.
I had just bought a huge tub of good old folgers right before I left, so I knew it would be awhile before I needed more coffee and I could not order some and wait to use it, so I bookmarked the page and waited until I got close to the end of my supply.
Well, 2 weeks ago I was finally at the point to order more . . . so I hoped onto Grounds for Change and found 2 choices, one dark and one light. They got here last week and I have been in heaven since! I could eriously drink even more coffee than normal, but instead I drink a little less because I actually enjoy the flavors of the coffee and the smell!! OMG, the smell.
I would be hard pressed to decide if I wanted this coffee or chocolate and I love good chocolate.
So, if you are looking for yummy-licious coffe and are willing to pay a bit more for really good fair trade coffee, look up Grounds for Life. So far I have tried the El Salvador "Alpaneca" and the Nordic Blend and the GFWC blend.
Happy coffee drinking, or send this as gift to a coffee drinker you know - - Fair Trade is the thing now, right? And they do 1% for the planet, too!!
Hubby and I are hanging out in the house putting away lunch dishes and I am considering what craft project to try and do an we look out the window and both burst into gales of laughter. There is this little convoy of campers that starts with Grandpa carrying very brightly colored kiddo folding chairs and the tent, then little sister in her bright pink sweater directing her brother and cheering him on as he works his way down on his little electric 4-wheeler (which does not go even as fast as he can walk). And he has gear in the back of that - it has a small cargo spot.
Then, I go nab the camera (they were a good distance away, but I tried) and little Miss Thing tells her brother to stop, stop . . . and runs around the back of the 4-wheeler and gives it a good smack, then I hear her say "now it will go faster, don't worry". And run in front of him saying 'you can do it, you can make it . .. go D, go!!"
I have the chance to get to know Carolyn of LilBabyThangs who makes the sweetest little booties and patterns . . . I can picture how much more adorable those sweet babies who get to wear her booties look and the joy it brings her to know that there are sweet little feet with her booties on them, all comfy and cozy!!
She has a wonderful tutorial on her blog to help those of us who just cannot use a pattern (I am the type of person who can make many things . .but I cannot follow a pattern for anything, so pictures really help me). I recently purchased one of her patterns and will be posting my finished result :-) I'm SO excited! Visit Carolyn's blog at: http://lilbabythangs.blogspot.com/
Here are a few photos of her work and a bit more about Carolyn ........
Camping on a mountain-top for 5 months with 6 boys, ages 2 to 19, and keeping your sanity would definitely rank as a ‘most memorable experience’ . . . and it certainly is one of Carolyn of lilbabythangs. To Carolyn, it is all worth it, as long as she is home in Montana.
Carolyn calls much of western Montana home and says, “I need green, the woods, the sound of the breeze through the trees, the streams babbling, the animal and bird sounds to soothe my soul, my nerves and allow me to hear myself think.”
Carolyn has lived around the United States, including Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Pennsylvania - she finds her best inspiration in Montana. And she must be very inspired! Carolyn makes the sweetest baby booties and wonderful patterns. Carolyn has even had 2 patterns put in the Clotilde catalog! Congratulations to Carolyn on her amazing work.
Carolyn puts a great amount of effort and joy into crafting her patterns. She says, “I enjoy the pattern drafting and getting it perfected on the computer so it will print up nice, the most, [of her creative process].”
Lilbabythangs are created by Carolyn when she has peace and quiet, order and no interruptions! She says, “I have things in order, so I clean up and clean off - I just don’t put away well, till I have to. And I really hate interruptions.”
Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing yourself and your creations with us and Etsy!
And Tuesday was run around and get ready for school day. SO I will get it posted today . . . are you ready for it?!?! Who is it going to be?!?!?! Hehe -- come back to find out.
So, I have been really immersing myself into Etsy and my new team and also looking at healthy lunch goodies and in general avoiding thinking about it.
I found a cute sandwich idea and tried a version out on my daughter, who is 4, for her before bed snack and she is completely addicted . .it's hilarious. She nows thinks the best food on Earth is a 'jelly roll-up' ie: a piece of bread with the crusts cut off, then rolled flat with a rolling pin. Spread jelly of choice on it and roll it up - -yummy-licious. LOL
So, In honor of her discovery I am going to do a jelly-mini and find the most scrumptious looking BigSkyMontanaEtsyTeam member to feature, right after lunch.
But, there is one thing that I am so ready for and cannot wait to get started on . .. GFWC Polson Women's Club starts up its new volunteer year in September!!!
We are still getting things together and trying to figure out what we can do each year, however, we all have so much enthusiasm for getting things done and helping others! It is so great to be with such a fun and excited group of ladies. We will be looking into space to have consistent meetings this year . . . doing on-line business and utilizing 'meeting' time to make things happen to give us more time for doing and have planning done in spare time when we find it . . . revising Bylaws to allow for on-line voting, business sessions, etc . . . and coming up with some superb new projects and writing some fabulous reports to go along with those!!
All my club friends mean so much to me and we are excited to welcome new friends all the time. We will be hosting a Leadership Day in October to help women understand that there is a leader in all of us . . . no matter what you want to lead!!
And we will be working on our Domestic Violence Awareness Cookbook - a matter that is closer to everyone than they want to admit. We encourage everyone to go and become one of the Million Voices Against Domestic Violence and pledge to speak out against violence! No one should feel afraid to go home our to be with someone who uses the phrase 'love' when they really mean control. Click on the link, then click the "Join the Million Voices Campaign".
Ohhh . . . I am so excited and so ready for this!!
Here is the diaper bag that I made for my sister's co-worker. I hope that it is something that will be liked and well-used. After quite a bit of trial and error, I am happy with how it turned out. It is on the larger side, rather than smaller.
The measurements are: bottom is 15" x 7 1/2"
top is 14 1/2" x 6 1/2"
and it is 11 3/4 inches tall
the handle strap measures 33", with out length for the clasping/ connecting pieces
So . .. what can I do to use that instead of it rotting? Well, the kiddos love to play dress up and have puppets and all, so why not make a stage. A simple, easy one since tools are not plentiful around a geek house.
I found several 3 1/2 inch screws and the drill bit and the hack-saw and got to work.
There were 2 4x4's of roughly the same length as the width of the large board and then a 2x4 that was only a few inches longer than the length of the board. Phew! Not too much cutting to do at all.
I measured the 2x4 against the board and then cut it off with the hack saw. Then placed the 4x4's on either side of the board and marked spots for those, then spots for the 2x4, so they would flush together at the front area of the stage. Using the drill (thanks goodness we at least have that LOL), I put 2 screws through the top of the stage and into each 4x4 - one at the front of each board and one at the back. Then, I screwed the 2x4 into the 4x4's with 2 screws on each end.
Phew . . . hardest part done :-)
Then, I went on a paint-finding adventure in the garage (can you say, save too much stuff) and found an interior, non-oil light blue color and painted the sides and top with 2 layers each (dried for about 12 hours in between) - I even had some kid help for the painting, teaching them how to use even, smooth strokes and they both put in a very good effort. We let it dry for 24 hours and brought it in the house to decorate with water-based acrylics. I let the kid's decide on all the pictures I would paint and also had them painting at the same time.
Then, after another 24 hours of drying, I sprayed the surface with a sealer to protect the paintings from feet and such.
The project itself was so much fun to do together and now it's a very popular part of the dress-up/ pretend play room, which will eventually be turned back into my daughter's room - she's been sleeping on brother's bunkbed for awhile now.
You are sitting there, happily creating a piece of work that is just going so well and turning out wonderful . ..when *poof* into your brain full of current craft project jumps
NEW, SPARKLING . .. gotta do it RIGHT NOW or I'm going to die of craft mania idea!!
Stop . . .wait . . . working on project that was not happening and now totally feeling it . . .cannot, must not stop. *I need to stop, I absolutely MUST at least write down my idea . . . must make one teenie little sketch* says crafty brain that has no sense of in the now, or maybe too much sense of in the now!
So . . . what is a girl to do?!! This cannot be a disease that only I posses?!?!
And I try to explain this to people who do not craft and they look at me like "what the hell is your problem? Being able to just come up with ideas?! Isn't that, like, amazing?!"
No, no, no!!! It is not, I am going to go crazy. I cannot follow through on anything when this happens?!! How do you NOT understand?!?!
GRRRR . . . so, gotta figure something out. Alas, until I do so, I will forget wonderful ideas in the pursuit of current projects or drop in the middle of current project and leave a big ol' mess and make my teenie, tiny sketch/ note/ whatever and then pursue said project until another evil idea comes coming hopping along.
And this comes about today because the diaper bag I have been despairing over and feeling not too confident about has come to life! I guess the idea of writing it down did help . . .I feel it coming together in my head and in the fabric! Ohhhh . . it is too great now . . .want to have another wee one so I can have one. But, that is a whole other story!
"I don't really know. you're a really crafty person, you'll come up with something great."
I am very flattered, but very overwhelmed, seeing as so far I have only made purses, wrist cuffs and trick or treat bags (other than Halloween costumes). I diaper bag is something that you have to cram so much into, use forever, be able to wash frequently (at least I did), etc, etc.
So, I made one attempt and it was something that I absolutely hated, hated so MUCH that I barely took the time to tear it apart for the salvageable pieces.
So, now I have cute out material, have another plan and have several pieces decided on, but cannot, no matter what I do convince myself to "go for it again". I have a vision of a really cute but not overly cute bag, some really great fabrics and everything is ready, but I cannot make that darn thing come together?!!!
I think I have a case of craft fright!!!! Argghhhhh. I sat down today, with my newly cleaned space, all my pieces cut and organized and just could not get far at all! Maybe writing about it will help me, a journal entry of sorts?
I will work on it after bath time . .I will . . .I will! I so can make the vision in my head appear, right?!?!
OK .. . extracting children from tub, wrinkles and all.
Then silly mommy proceeds to say to daughter, when you get older you'll be able to tell your brother which girls to stay away from. *thinking, oh, crap . .. why did I just say THAT!*
And then I get asked 'what girls would I want to stay away from mommy?'
'Um, icky girls,' replies mom who should have kept her mouth shut! OMG!
To which smart little girl in her car seat says, 'Yeah, the icky girls. You know icky girls are the ones who don't take a bath-tub when their mommies tell them to.'
To which mommy replies with gales of laughter! I least I am saved from explaining what I really meant.
My first year at attempting to plant a decent-size garden of veggies and a patch of strawberries. I did not get the bigger area planted until after the snow in June, so it still has alot of growing to do. I have a bunch of peas and the cucumber plants are getting huge! The beans are starting to come out and *cross your fingers* the corn is maybe going to do something. If nothing else it will look cute transplanted into front barrels in the fall :-) I also am hoping on some mini-pumpkins for Halloween and for fall, but not sure about them. All this in 100 square feet and the strawberry patch is about 40 square feet. The kids ended up eating all of those as they came up red - we only got about 10 berries (3rd year plants and they were transplanted from another person's garden)
Fall will be here all to soon and I will have more time on my hands - maybe?! One of the kiddos will be starting Kindergarten and soccer and all that goes with sports, etc!
I recently joined a wonderful Etsy team called Big Sky Montana Etsy Team. I have not been much of a help there, though!
Now that I finally finished the Summer newsletter for GFWC of Montana - a 20 page issue at that- I will have more time to devote to Etsy and my crafty self! The newsletter is all layed-out and published by yours truly (on an volunteer-basis)! It is a good amount of work, but SO much fun when all said and done.
Then, over the week I got school shopping done and my craft supplies are getting sorted through! I so need to destash, but I cannot bear to part with anything! Even my ever-growing collection of cereal boxes - never know when those babies might come in handy. They are great for painting on (for the kids and myself) and making pillow boxes out of.
My volunteer efforts are slowing down for the month, but will be starting up the new volunteer year with a bunch of projects and aspirations! I am the State Leadership chairman and still the newsletter publisher, as well as president of my local club.
Well . . . I do have quite a few things to get started and several to finish. So, you think I should hop to it?!! LOL - I better get all my crafty supplies gone through and get to work this weekend. I have a diaper bag to finish.