Monday, October 25, 2010

Christmas Crafting has begun ...


Close-up of sign:


And I've warned everyone, if you see your present in progress, it's not your present anymore. (And no, this is not my only line of protection!)

What? Halloween? Umm, yeah, I'm working on that too. I still have 7 days LOL!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New lens ...

Earlier this year I was generously gifted an amazon gift card - for which I was very grateful for but struggled to spend it (because I'm strange and I've always had trouble spending gift cards often because I have too many things on my wish list and can't figure out just what to get LOL!)

But last week I read this over at Joyful Abode and kind of fell in love with the idea of her new camera lens. So I hemmed and hawed. And hawed and hemmed. And then I ordered the camera lens =)


And I love it. I've been wanting an actual macro lens for a while now (and was this close to purchasing one this summer, but held off because it just felt like too much to spend with our vacation and everything else). But I think this will be a nice filler. I can get closer with this lens than I can with my other lens. And so it will keep me happy for a while!


(Just a fun spur of the moment pic I took with it to see how it does with little things. Not bad I'd say!) I imagine next spring/summer, I will have a blast photographing flowers and other such summery things with this lens. Not that I plan on not using it until then - oh no. I will be playing and testing it out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A new scarf!

So, here's the thing. I love scarves. I have several of them already. I wear them all the time - and when it's just a bit chilly out, I'll often wear a scarf even if I don't need a coat. I guess I must really like my neck warm!

Anyway, earlier this year, I had a chance to visit Galena Log Cabins and visit with their alpacas (which yes, was indeed fabulous!) While we were there I did purchase some alpaca yarn, because well, it was a special trip and it was nice splurge! It didn't take me too long to start knitting it up - but it did take forever for me to finish knitting it up! Well, last week, I finally finished it. And, dare I say, I think I have a new favorite scarf =)


I was able to wear it out already and had some nice compliments on it. Which I don't expect, but always love to hear!


The pattern is called Silver Bells and I found it at Ravelry!


And I love it. And I'm so glad I'll have a new scarf for this winter =)


P.S. Don't forget about my Wendy's gift card give-away over here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yummy lunch (and a giveaway!)

Yesterday, courtesy of Wendy's and theMotherhood, I was able to get out of the house for a little bit and eat lunch with some very wonderful people. And I can't lie. It's always nice for me to get out and get to talk to other adults face-to-face!

Anyway, Wendy's is launching it's new pick 2 menu!

(*note: I copied and paste this image from here)

Basically you get to pick from one of four salads and then an extra side for 4.99. If you ask me, not a bad deal at all. I picked the very delicious Apple Pecan Salad

based on a recommendation from a friend who had recently eaten one. And I have to say, she was right. You can tell by looking - it's not just some iceburg lettuce shredded and thrown in there - it's so much better! It was delish. So good in fact, one little 4 year old kept "stealing" bites of it! And I admit, it's very hard for me to be annoyed at my child for stealing salad!


In addition to my salad, I also picked the baked potato, which was yummy too! Someone else ordered the chili, and oh my, it looked really good to me. Secretly, I wanted to pick the frosty, but thought mutiny might ensue from the children should they realize a frosty was a part of my lunch. So I went with the potato. And wouldn't you know it, they all ended up with frosty's anyway when they finished eating their lunches!

As if the food wasn't enough, I also got to talk to some very lovely people and finally get a chance to see Tracey - because we've been talking about getting together forever (okay, for maybe 6 weeks now) and it was so nice to finally get to see her!


In addition to see Tracey and her lovely family, I also got to chat with Michelle, Weasel Momma, Emily, Paula, Lydia, and several other very lovely people! I wish we had more time to chat truthfully because I could have done that all day. Alas, my children couldn't and they let me know exactly when it was time to return home LOL!

So lunch out with friends is so great. And Wendy's new Pick 2 menu is so great, I have TWO $7.00 gift cards to give to you so that you and a friend can go and try out the Pick 2 menu at Wendy's! Just leave me a comment - tell me who you would take to lunch with you. (Make sure you leave an e-mail address so I can contact you). That's it. You have until Tuesday, October 26th at midnight to enter. I'll pick one winner (only open to those with a US address though!)

Disclosure: I am working with The Motherhood and Wendy's. My lunch and my friend's lunch was paid for and I was paid a monetary stipend for participating. All opinions, however, are my very own!

*Closing comments as give-away is now over!

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Project ...

Because I needed a new project just about as much as I need another whole in my head ... (meaning I have a billion unfinished projects, still no Halloween costumes, and still not working on Christmas gifts yet) .... I went ahead and started a new project this week.


So we had this laundry basket of clothes that don't fit. I pretty much always take old clothes to either goodwill or pass them on to other families. This year though I changed things up again. Mostly, because well, just because I could!


So I started cutting things apart. I can't lie ... I didn't start with a plan. I just took things apart and then looked at all and figured out I could do a quilt. So more cutting took place to get some squares.


(5" squares if you are curious)


Interestingly enough, at about this point the kids started to get excited and wanted to help. So I told them 1. No two pieces the same touching and 2. No two pieces with patterns touching (because we didn't have as many of them so I wanted to make sure they were spread out). And set them off to the living room floor.

IMG_5698 IMG_5695

And after not too much time the floor looked like this:


I've carefully pinned things and kept them in order of their row. I haven't started sewing. I hope I get to it soon because they seemed excited about it and so I want to finish it soon!I promise to keep you all updated as I work on it. And soon I will have some other finished projects to share (yay!!!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hello October.

Umm, yes, can someone please tell me when October showed up? Because I swear it was August or something like that last week.

Alas, it's October. (and no, I do not yet have any Halloween costumes made. Because I'm procrastinating). Anyway, since I last wrote we've had at least 3 more illnesses come into this house. 2/3 kids are on some sort of medication and the third child now has a sore throat. All of that aside, I've actually been able to accomplish a few things! Yay!

Last week I finished reading Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder. I was sent the book by Kim, who said she read it and was kind enough to lend it to me!

So I just think this is a wonderful book that has made my dream for chickens become even more serious than it was before! Because chickens are cute and practical and I think everyone should have some! I will admit thoguh, at times I was torn: keep reading or stop and go try what Frauenfelder was talking about (yes, I now want to make some instruments, do some wood carving, build something, make something, anything, everything!). This is a book I want to keep forever and ever. But I also want others to read and love it. I think I need to buy two copies of this book. One to keep and one to share. I loved it just that much. (And also, I want to go and check out all the books and blogs and other things he mentions so I really do need to have a copy to keep!). This is going to be a book that leads me to more books, that lead me to more books, and so on and so on. And I love those sorts of books as well.

To date I haven't yet tried anything specifically talked about in the book. Because of life. But that's okay. This book isn't a how-to guide. It's more of a motivational book - his main message is get out there and do it. You will screw up. It won't be perfect. And that is not only okay, but really really great. And just to prove that, he doesn't just talk about his successes, but shares the stumbling that took place along his journey! I just loved the whole book. One of my favorite quotes in the book came from Mister Jalopy (one of Frauenfelder's friends)

People are afraid they are going to screw something up, that they're going to ruin something. And unfortunately, it's valid -- they will. You will scrw stuff up. Things will be broken. But that's one step to overcome to get on the path of living this richer life of engagement, of having meaningful connections to the objects around you. It's that necessary step you have tot take - the courage to screw things up - so you're able to fix things, or make stuff from scratch or to refurbish stuff to live according to your standards.

Wow. That spoke to me. Because I get it - fear of failure holds me back. It holds back others I know. Failing is scary and I believe we are taught from a young age something to be avoided at all costs. And I think we'd be much better off if we threw that kind of thinking out the window. =)

So you should absolutely read this book. Then you should overcome fear of failure. And just get out there and do. Because doesn't that sound like so much fun? =)