Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Etsyblogger of the Month: Pruitt Handcrafts

Straight from her profile: "I am a Breast Cancer Survivor & Grandmother of 25 grandchildren and all-around creative person! I blog about family, inspiration and creativity." And she still finds time for 3 shops and a blog!! I wonder just how many hands she has for her handcrafts?!?

That 25th grandchild...she just arrived earlier this month. Wanna see the sweetness?

And now to show off some of the things you can find in her shops:

Breast Cancer Lap Quilt


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Pruitt Designs: Hurry on in to this one....it is closing on January 15th...
be sure to read the shop announcements for special store closing sales...

Pink Lampwork Bead Bracelet

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"Helping you make the music of creativity"

Square Flat Green AB Beads

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Etsyblogger Carnival: Holiday Traditions

This carnival is brought to you by Ms. Moo from Spotted Cow Soaps. These were the choices:

1. There are many different holidays and celebrations this time of year. Share some of the traditions from your holiday celebrations.
2. Share your favorite Holiday recipe and tell us why it has become your favorite Holiday recipe.

I do have a new holiday recipe that I love to make, but I have written about it before. So I will go with traditions.

Fist off...the tree. Every year we get an ornament from my mom. She always finds the perfect one. My tree is covered with most of my ornaments for as long as I can remember. Well, except for those few I left at her place. It's always fun to search her tree for some old faves. My boys and hubby also get one. Someday this tree will be dripping with ornaments. Until the boys move out and take some to their places.

Traditions tend to change over the years as family is moved and added to. Hubby and I got lucky in that there was not too much overlap once we merged traditions. We always did Xmas Eve at my dad's parents with all his sibs & their families, the morning was the usual immediate family opening Santa's gifts at home followed by Xmas afternoon at my mom's sisters with her side. Hubby did Eve at home & church and pretty much the same thing again the day of. Big difference in family quantity living nearby.

So, since his family stuff was the same group both days & mine were different sides, we still hit everyone. Eve has moved to my parents house for my dad's side - very convenient for me since they live closer than Grandma. We leave just a bit early so hubby & the boys can get to the church service (depending on how awake the little guy is). The morning is spent just us opening our gifts to each other...and from Santa. We have brunch with hubby's sis + family & parents. We have switched to our places instead of his parent's since we live about 1 mile from his sis. Very nice :)

Xmas day afternoon is still at my aunt's. We don't spend quite as long as we used to, but long enough to visit for a bit. Bonus - she is just a few blocks away! It also serves to be the marker for us to grab my parents and head over to their house for the last stop on the Xmas tour. This is the most relaxing portion of the whole shebang. It is just us - me, hubby, the kids & my parents. We nibble on leftover goodies and open our gifts to each other. My brother would join us except he was a traitor and moved down to the Nashville area. Sheesh - just because you are offered a fantastic job, in a beautiful area & can live in a gorgeous new home...can't understand why they would defect to , um, well, okay, so I know why. I just miss 'em so I have to rag on him a bit :)

Sounds hectic, but it really isn't too bad. Lots of family - very lots with mine - good food, fun gift exchanges and not too far away. And we do not have the kind of family that fights, so even better. Hope your holidays are as happy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Okay, yes, the teens are cold. But add in the wind and you get this...

...negative teens. It is kind of funny to see the heat index at 10.

Bottom line - school is out. The roads are horrid. Ice underneath the snow makes for an interesting drive...as I found out last night on the way home from the Ypsilanti Holiday sale at Riverside Arts Center. Normally it would take about 45 minutes. Last night, doubled. Cars off the side of the road...a couple dozen easy, in just a 3 mile stretch. Thankfully it looked like no one was hurt. But 30mph was about the limit.

It was a happy ride though. Why? Because the show went well. It was 2 weekends long which helped. Big thanks to Dee for setting everything up! I sold most of my small zip pouches, some larger wristlets, a large painted tote and my large giraffe hobo bag that never even got as far as my shop. That felt nice :) I think I may make more...what do you think?

I have some fun prints in this same textured fabric - almost a burlap feel, but sturdier.

Now I have to decide what to do with the rest of the bags that I am no longer going to create more of. Sale? A fun giveaway? Or as someone at the show pointed out...I should keep them as is & just point out that not only are they handmade, but only X amount of that pattern was ever even made...generally less than 10 and never the same material twice. Hmmm...

Either way, I need to buckle down and make some Xmas gifts before I do anything else shop-wise. That is one problem with this time of year...I want to make everything for everyone and make it now. Can't happen. Two hands and one brain can only work so fast. Especially when you sprinkle in the 5 year old LOL!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gobble Gobble

I hope everyone (in the USA anyway) had a great Turkey Day...free of drama and full of goodies! I know I did. I did the usual - the dessert. But I took the easy way out this year...mostly thanks to a migraine the day before. I did make a couple apple pies, but I bought some cheesecakes. they were SOOOO good! Our neighbors across the street recently opened a new cheesecake shop. Everything is made there by them...so many flavors to choose from! I went with pumpkin (of course), almond and plain. If you are ever in the Metro Detroit area, I strongly recommend stopping by Peteet's and grabbing some of these delicious treats for yourself.

And as for the turkey, well, I am 95% vegetarian, but I did try a nibble. Now these turkeys...these I can see having...

One Dozen Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies by The Sweet Shop Cookie Co




Shades of Brown, Thanksgiving Card by Paper Creations by Laura





Autumn Turkey Fabric Wreath by Soo Boo Designs




Custom Boys Turkey Tee by Pirate and Princess Couture




Turkey Pig Greeting Cards by Pigatopia

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Been Busy

My busy has been a hodge-podge. Not enough of any one thing and too much of everything else.

Creative-wise, not enough. I did manage a photo shoot. I lost my light halfway through though. No big surprise in Michigan this time of year. I was lucky to get any at all. I still need to edit them though. The majority of the pics were of these fabric baskets. I hope to get them in the shop before the end of the week.

I did get some actual sewing done as well. The paler pink pillow actually has 2, with different applique and backside strip placements. The darker pink pillow was a single. I hope this find their way to the shop soon also.

Exercise. Remember my post last week? Well, I have been doing pretty good. I had 2 sessions with a personal trainer at our gym. He worked me out perfectly. Muscles burned and stretched and built. Not so much as to cause pain, but just toasty enough to know the job was getting done. I am thinking of taking this bag out of my shop & keeping it for myself. It's the perfect size for the gym. A pair of shoes, small sweat towel, book & iPod fit just right. It's all I need. Or I may make a whole new one just for the heck of it. Hmm....I just can't decide.

I did not get to the gym for a 3rd strength session...the weekend was packed. And it was all the big guy. Friday night my son's band No Alternative, had their first gig. It was awesome! They totally rocked. The owner of the cafe forewarned them not to expect too many people, maybe 50 tops. There were about 120. They also played longer than they thought. I was such a proud mama. He had a bass solo in Welcome to Paradise...I teared up. The pic below can take you to a video of it. You don't see much of him during the solo, but it is audible :)

And then the next day was the parade. The marching band...the State Champs by the way...marched in the Royal Oak parade the next morning. They sounded great rocking out Rudolph.

There was still more to come. In the afternoon I took him to Harry Potter. He & his friends kept making plans to see it, but with everything going on it kept getting put on the back burner. So I took him. With just enough to spare for the Choir/Orchestra concert that night. The men's ensemble which he is a part of did a great job with In the Still of the Night. Again, click the pic to get to the video :)

So to sum up...great exercise sessions, fantastically proud mama moments for her awesomely talented young man, decent photo session...just not enough sewing. Maybe next week.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And so the journey begins...

cross stitch by Sew Crossed


Actually, it has already begun. But the sharing part has only just begun. Yes, I am going to be one of 'those' people that drag you along on their weight loss journey. I hope it will be more than just that. While weight loss is at the top of the list, getting healthy & strong are very close seconds. Not to mention the wonderful emotional side effects. Looking forward to those too.

I even made an Etsy treasury and an Artfire Collection in honor of it. And a post on my treasury blog. All of which have also given me some sewing ideas :)

It is hard to pinpoint the actual start for this journey. I could go back as far as 6 months when I decided I need to do this. Or 5 years ago after I had my son and knew it would have to be done. And truthfully, I already made it halfway down this road a couple years back. That's a story for another time.

This start was actually back in August. I came back from vacation and took the first step. No more pop. I only drank diet, but pop is pop is pop. Too much sodium and bunches of chemicals. So bye bye to that. Have not touched it since.

The other fist step was food. It was only a minor tweak, for me anyway. I spent years as a vegetarian. I fell off the wagon when I was preggo. Now I am back...and feeling so much better. I was never a huge fan of meat - grosses me out, so it was not too tough.

Add in walking every morning after I dropped off the little guy at school - w00ts for all day Kindergarten!!!! And bammo presto chango...I am down 15 pounds. I only now realized how much slipped off. It was gradual & I only just now fit into the next pant size down. They are on the tight side, but not seam splittingly tight, so I chalk it up as a size lower.

The other weekend I got a call from my gym...a Happy Birthday We Have a Free Personal Training Session For You call. Best gift. I went this past Monday. It felt great. I went to school for exercise science, so I know what to do. But doing still gets done better with some help. It was a great motivator. I plan to do a few more sessions to kick start things.

I track all my food and exercise on Livestrong's My Plate - awesome site for anyone looking for a great online tool during their fitness journey. It helps to have that keeping me honest. And so will this. I plan to update here weekly and fill in with some back stories. So if you see some time go by and it sounds like I have not hit the gym...feel free to give me a little kick in the pants.

I also have this nifty graph I made to help show any loss. Hopefully the next time you see it, the new updated colors will be lower.

And no, I did not crop the chart wrong...I am keeping the actual numbers to myself :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blogfire: Table Settings

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad

I love this dish as a side or small meal...I do tend to add one more celery & use whatever juice I have on hand.

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Wheat Berries
3 tbsp Safflower Oil
1/4 cup Apple Juice
2 tbsp Natural Rice Vinegar
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper, Black
2 medium stalks Celery
1 medium Apples
1/4 cup Red Onion
1/2 cup Unsweetened Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Pecans, broken up
1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley
2 tbsp Agave Nectar

Directions:
Soak wheat berries overnight with just enough water to cover - in fridge
Drain & cook berries in 3c water for 1 hour - simmer covered
Whisk oil, juice, vinegar, salt, pepper & agave
Drain excess water (if any) from wheat berries
Stir in half of the dressing & let sit to get to room temp
Add the remaining ingredients & dressing

Nutrition (per cup, roughly):
Calories 283, Total Fat 17.39g, Saturated Fat 0.74g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 321.15mg, Carbohydrate 29.04g, Fiber 5.01g, Sugars 10.67g, Protein 3.72g

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Review

Halloween was good to my little devil this year. The costume was easy. Red sweatpants & waffle tee. Borrowed red cape & hat with horns. Pitchfork - cheapie from Target. The weather was dry, chilly, but dry. Chilly enough for a winter coat, but luckily, his jacket...red. Awesome.

This first picture was taken during their school parade around the block on Friday. It's a tad blurry. I am so used to stills that I did not set the camera for action shots. Oh well.
They moved inside and headed off to art class. I stayed on with another kiddo's mom to get the party started! *cue the Black Eyed Peas* We worked well together. We are both casual & went easy. Cider and doughnuts...perfectly crisp on the outside locally made cake ones. Yum! A Halloween banner & a couple garland pieces. Non-candy treats like mini playdough, pencils, erasers, cards packs, and eyeball bouncy ball.

We wanted to keep it simple. Each kid got a brown paper gift bag to decorate with foamie letters, pirate paraphernalia, googly eyes, wood figures and monster stickers. Baring a few glue mishaps, it went well.

They trick-or-treated for all the goodies and played a quick game. Using two wooden spoons they walk raced across the rug with the eyeball balls. Then they took some pictures.

And danced.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blogfire Carnival: Halloween