Friday, December 21, 2012

For the Makers Box--December 2012

I got my very first For the Makers subscription box yesterday!!! 

Here is what I saw when I opened the box:

This month's box was inspired by the Roaring Twenties and the GREAT GATSBY.  The inspiration card was right on top with lovely illustrations of the included projects.

I laid out all the supplies to get a good sense of the different projects I would be doing:

I'll be making a geode stopper, a watercolor desk calendar. an Art Deco-style necklace and a vinyl business card holder.  I got to work on the wine stopper and necklace right away.  I gave away the wine stopper as a gift the very next day.

Here are the other two projects I have finished:

These are some of the calendar cards that I did with water-soluble watercolor crayons. I like some more than others. 

This is the Art Deco necklace which I think looks really great.

Just one project to go!!!

I can't wait to see the January box!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wet Ones Sticky Situation Facebook Contest!!!

I love Wet Ones and make sure to carry them in both of our cars.  There are so many times when we are out and about and nowhere near a sink.  That is where Wet Ones come in handy!  I have also find them very useful when doing messy art with my son.  Cleanup is so easy!!! 

When I heard that Wet One was hosting a Facebook contest where you can submit your favorite sticky situations, I knew I had the perfect picture:

You can submit your own funny and crazy story and photo for the Wet Ones Sticky Situation Facebook contest here or by clicking on the photo below.  The winner will receive an iPad Mini!!!!  May your holidays be filled with lots of fun sticky situations and plenty of Wet Ones to clean them up!!!!

(I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.)

Wet Ones Sticky Situations

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Memory of ...

(artwork by Stephanie Ackerman)
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message [they are] Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
[They were our] North, [our] South, [our] East and West,
[Our] working week and [our] Sunday rest
[Our] noon, [our] midnight, [our] talk, [our] song;
We thought that love would last forever, [We were] wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


I have been struggling with the events of last Friday as I know most of us have been.  Every time I read a story about the tragedy, I am reminded of my own child and the tears start all over again.  I cannot begin to comprehend the loss that this community is grappling with right now.  All I can do is grieve with them and remember that "night cometh" for us all.  None of us knows how much time we have so we must make the most of our opportunities to say "I love you" and to hug each other and value each other.  My father was killed when he was walking across a street on the way to work.  Just like he had done every day for years.  I still struggle to remember what my last words to him were.  

It seems trite and wrong to look at the preparations for Christmas on the internet and all around me.  All the ads and sales and giveaways.  Even though I know holiday sales are so critical for small businesses.  It just doesn't seem important.  But life goes on.  We have to celebrate our time with our loved ones in order to honor those who cannot. 

Even as I struggle to find understanding and maybe even some sort of compassion for the shooter, I will never again say his name.  I will not allow him fame or notoriety.   This holiday season, I will hug my loved ones close and remember to tell them that I love them every chance I get.  

I appreciate each and every one of you.  I wish you joy, good heath, and prosperity in the coming year.  And....most of all.....peace.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pastor Gifts Done

I bought a few unpainted Nativity sets from PICK YOUR PLUM last year and set them aside for pastor/neighbor gifts.  I actually remembered to dig them out and put them together this year!!!  These sets are going to our two pastors at church:

I think they are pretty cute for less than $5 each. I have seen a similar set posted on Groopdealz but it didn't include the star. I think the star really makes the set.

I have one more set of gifts to package and then I can finally mail all the outgoing gifts.  I have mixed feelings about some of my homemade gifts.  The travel magnetic paper doll set wasn't as magnetic as I hoped.  I also made some homemade soap which is a little slicker than I had wanted.  Still, it the thought that counts.  Right?

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Yesterday, I joined in on Katy Dill's Day of Twelve challenge. The idea was to Instagram your day on 12/12/12 and try to post a photo at 12 minutes past each hour.  I didn't quite get every hour but I did a pretty good job.  It was kind of fun to capture "a day in the life" on such an unusual date.

My favorite photo was the creepy one I took of my myself in the library stacks. (middle of the top row)  I captioned it "Yes, your librarian is watching you."  I'm not really a librarian but sometimes it easier to just say that than explain my library worker status.

I hope you had a nice 12/12/12.  Now, we just have to get through December 21. The end of the world (as we know it).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Festival of Trees

A local women's group called the Petaluma Fabulous Women hosted their second annual Festival of Trees this past weekend. I am fairly active with this wonderful organization that takes a grassroots approach to fundraising.  The Board identifies a need within the community and then builds a fundraiser to address that need.  The founder of this group was featured on OPRAH.  It's such a great idea that really embodies the idea of neighbors helping neighbors.

Last year was the first Festival of Trees. The Fabulous Women got local businesses and organizations to decorate 4 ft trees for the event.  The trees themselves were either donated by a local home improvement store or were underwritten.  The businesses and organizations then decorate the trees and add a few extras such as gift certificates, wine tastings, bicycles, massages, mani/pedis, etc.  The trees are then bid on through silent auction.  There is also live entertainment, food, crafts, vendors and a a chance to visit with Santa.  All the money from the event goes to three different charities.  This year, one tree went for $1000!  The tree winners not only get a fabulously decorated tree to take home but all the add-ons as well. I wish I could have bid on a tree but they were all in the $100-$500 range by the time I got there.

The local Woman's Club that I am President of donated a tree:

 My mom and I created a peppermint tree that came with a one year's membership to our organization and two bottles of wine.  My mom ended up winning the tree.

I volunteered again this year and worked the food table where we were selling pastries, hot chocolate and s'mores on a stick:

(photo by Paul McGavin)

I wasn't overly fond of the Santa that was at the event.  Neither was Noodlebug:

(with his buddy by Paul McGavin)

I only let Noodlebug visit Santas with REAL beards but this visit took place while I was busy volunteering.  He wasn't scared.  Just not very enthusiastic.

Looking forward to next year's event!!!

P.S. I am giving away a beautiful picture book on my book blog.  Come by and check it out!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bringing the Coffeehouse Home with Torani

Regular readers of my blog know that I am sucker for Starbucks.  While I am year-round Mocha imbiber, I look forward to the holidays each year when I can indulge in their special holiday concoctions like Salted Caramel Mochas and Peppermint Mochas.  Even buying a small mocha a few times a week can really add up, though.  That is why I jumped at the chance to try two of Torani's syrups through SheSpeaks.

I got the Gingerbread syrup and the sugar-free Salted Caramel Syrup and they arrived just in time for Thanksgiving!!! I was able to offer my friends and relative a little extra holiday cheer with their post-turkey coffee.  I took my Starbucks home-brew and added some milk and the Salted Caramel syrup along with a dab of whipped cream for an indulgent home treat!!! And I felt a little less guilty because the syrup was sugar-free.  I was surprised to learn at how many different types of sugar-free options that Torani offers.  With several diabetic friends, it makes me happy to be able to offer them something special in their warm beverage.  I'm really looking forward to trying more of their flavors.  I was pleased that the flavors were pretty darn close to my coffeehouse favorites.  And the syrups are pretty affordable!!! I was happy to hear I can find them at local stores like CostPlus.

Since 1925, 3rd generation family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothies. Coffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.

To up the ante on your own holiday hospitality, Torani is offering my readers a $1.00 off coupon on any flavor that is good until January 7.  Go here for the coupon.

This is a sponsored post by SheSpeaks and Torani but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

End of Year Wrap-Up and 2013 Plans

I spent the past year really trying to work on myself.  I read Gretchen Rubin's HAPPINESS PROJECT, spending one month on each chapter.  I took Stephanie Ackerman's year-long journaling course.  I took multiple classes from Brave Girls Club along with Jeanne Oliver classes and Christy Tomlinson classes.  Sometimes I made it all the way through an online class and sometimes I didn't.   I am starting to figure out that online classes that require a lot of supplies don't work for me.  I feel like I learned a lot over the past year.  I'm starting to realize that even though I still like many of the same things that I did 10 or 15 years ago, those things no longer define me as they once did.  I used to have a very modern-looking home filled with strong bright color and Mexican folk art. I still like those things. But the new Amy is craving a farmhouse with more of a shabby chic aesthetic.  I am returning to my Texas childhood with my desire for a house out in the country where I can keep chickens and bees and have a large garden. I am no longer a "Big City Girl."  I am a long way away from reaching my goals.  Having my husband out of work for two years was devastating. He is just now starting to make a little more money through contract work but isn't close to earning what he did at his old job.  It will take a long time to climb out from under our debt.  But we are working on it and I'm starting to feel hopeful again.

This year, I am going to scale back on online courses. Right now, I am just signed up for one. I'll be taking Tamara Laporte's LIFE BOOK 2013 class. It features some of my favorite artists like Melody Ross and Christy Tomlinson and I think I already own most of the materials on the class list.  I want to continue this journey of self-exploration. I want to try and make more handmade items that I can sell with my friend Monique at craft fairs. I want to gain more confidence in myself and my creative abilities. Noodlebug will be entering Kindergarten next year. (gulp)  I want to be active in volunteering at his school which means scaling back other commitments. This year, I'll be reading DAILY STRENGTH FOR DAILY NEEDS by Mary Wilder Tileston for my year-long book.  I'm making plans and getting ready for the new year.

Assuming the world doesn't end on December 21. (wink)

What are YOUR plans for 2013?  I'd like to hear about them.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crafting Gifts!!!

I am busy bee once Noodlebug goes to bed each night!!!

I am working on painting his castle that I am giving him as a Christmas present.  It is slow going! Lots of nooks and crannies!  Hopefully, it will all turn out the way I hope it will.

I also found this great tutorial at Alanna George's CRAFT NEST.

(image source)

I gave Noodlebug a set of LILY AND THISTLE paperdolls for Thanksgiving and he really really liked them. So, I thought I would do a miniature travel version as a stocking stuffer and give a set to some other little girls we know.  Alanna's tutorial is great.  I got all the items but I need to sit down and make them.  I'm hoping it won't be too time-consuming to cut out all those little pieces of clothing!!!

The paper doll set was $10 and I think I can make three gifts out of it.  The tins were $2 at Michael's.  I got the magnetic paper for about $3 with a 40% off coupon at Michael's.  Not sure how many outfits I will be able to make out of that. Go here for Alanna's cute tutorial.

I'll keep you posted on my holiday crafting progress!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Subscription Boxes and Why I Love Them

I have become addicted to subscription boxes.  I don't get to go to shopping at physical retail stores very often and I love surprises so getting these subscription boxes in the mail each month is so much fun!!!

Since everyone is looking for holiday gift ideas, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.


(image source)

I have mentioned Kiwi Crates before and I just love them!!!  For $19.95 a month, you get a lovely box in the mail that contains two projects for kids that go with a particular theme.  Everything is included.  You don't need to hunt down a bunch of materials. Usually just a pair of scissors.  And they even include a child's pair of scissors in your first box!  The themes are always really creative and you can go online to get additional ideas for projects and activities surrounding a particular theme.  Noodlebug gets so excited when our box arrives each month.  We sit down and do the activities together (there are usually enough materials to do two of each activity) and it provides us with much-needed bonding time. I love Kiwi Crates so much that I am an affiliate.  I don't do this often. Only with the few products I really believe in.  Kiwi Crates now offers holiday crates, party favor crates and imaginative play crates that you can buy in addition to their subscription boxes. Go here to learn more about Kiwi Crates. They would make an amazing holiday gift!!!


I have been with Cravebox since they were in their beta-testing phases. They have changed a bit since then.  It used to be a regular subscription service but now you enter drawings for boxes that interest you.  You never know what will be included but they do reveal the themes of the boxes. The last box I received was a Holiday Spruce-Up Box that included both full-size and sample sizes of cleaning products as well as two high-value coupons. Boxes vary in price from $10-$15.  One thing I really like about Cravebox is that they do offer full-size items in their boxes.  The desirability of the items themselves can be hit or miss but I have enjoyed the program so far.  Go here for more info.


I am new to the FOOD WITH LOVE subscription service. I have only received one box so far.  These boxes are $12 a month. ($10 for the box and $2 for shipping)  The box is small and contains mostly sample sizes of gourmet food items.  What I love about these boxes is that the food isn't "fake."  The offerings are interesting and tasty and I have already bought several items from the last box after I enjoyed the samples so much.   These aren't necessarily item you would find in your local grocery store.  Except maybe Whole Foods. With each box purchased, a meal goes to a hungry child. I can't wait to see what yummy items my next box will hold!!!  Find out more about FOOD WITH LOVE here!


This is a new one and I haven't even received my first box yet.  But I'm already excited!!!  I figured Noodlebug has his own subscription craft box....why not me?  I saw this one in COUNTRY LIVING magazine and knew I had to try it out.  It's a bit more expensive ($29 a month with free shipping) but include four high-end crafty projects.  The founders have worked with companies like Anthropologie and Kate Spade so the projects reflect those types of aesthetics.  As soon as I get my first box, I'll do a review post and let you know how I like it.  In the meantime, you can learn more here.

Do YOU subscribe to any subscription boxes that you love? I'd love to hear about it!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Calendar Extravaganza *UPDATED*

I'm starting to think we may be getting too many Advent calendars.  How many does one household need?

First, we have this one that Noodlebug got when he was a toddler.  He still loves it:

(image source)

Last year, I got Noodle a LEGO Advent calendar but it was a big dud. The pieces for each day were so odd.  The theme seemed to be "police and criminals" which didn't translate very well for the holidays.  So, this year we are trying a Playmobil calendar:

(image source)
 I love all the little woodland animals in this one.

I recently downloaded the EVERDAY EMMANUEL e-book from "What's in the Bible."  I am always looking for ways to get back to the true meaning of Christmas.  It includes some printables for making your own posterboard Advent Calendar and using the characters from the video series.  I finished it just in time for Advent!  The book includes a variety of activities that you can do during Advent. More than enough to put one in each slot:

The "Countdown to Christmas" and mini-Buck Denver were included in the e-book.  I used mini-envelopes cut in half for the pockets and an Advent calendar printable from HOW DOES SHE for the numbers. Our first activity was to make a "Hope" ornament for the the first Advent calendar. (the ornament printable was included in the e-book)

My husband brought home a Trader Joe's chocolate Advent calendar from work.  Then, we made sticker Advent calendars in Sunday School this past weekend. So....we are at FIVE Advent calendars and counting!!!

I have wanted to make a cookie sheet Advent Calendar for years and thought I would finally do one this year but I think three calendars might be enough.  I already have to worry about the arrival of our Elf on the Shelf.  (Ours is called Crumpet and he'll be here December 1)


I'm really glad my Christmas shopping is basically done so I can just focus on family traditions and the real "reason for the season."

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season so far!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pin and Do!: Little Bit Funky Fingerprint Ornaments

I have been looking for an expensive gift that Noodlebug can make and give away for Christmas so I was excited to see Little Bit Funky's fingerprint ornament tutorials. I pinned them on Pinterest some time ago and hoped to return to the project for the holidays.

This weekend, I stocked up on Michael's coupons and headed over to pick up some ornaments. While I was there, I noticed some cupcake boxes and crossed my fingers that the ornaments would fit inside. Noodlebug and I decided to make both snowmen and reindeer.  He'll be giving all the aunts and his godmother the snowmen ornaments and all the uncles the reindeer ornaments.

They were fairly easy to make but I had a little trouble using the Sharpies on top of the paint. I ended up doing most of the detail work with acrylic paint instead.

And they fit perfectly in the cupcake boxes!!!

So excited to be able to cross those gifts off my list!!!  I am now pretty much finished with Christmas shopping. I really REALLY don't like Black Friday.  I get sick to my stomach by all the emphasis on commercialism and couldn't believe it when some poor store employees were actually KILLED last year in the name of trying to get a good deal.  I try to get all my shopping done by the end of the October so that I can spend the holidays focusing on important things like my family, my friends and the birth of a Very Important Person.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, my friends!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Action Pack: Family Apothecary

The new Action Pack is here!!!

I have been so excited for this issue to arrive because I have been really interested in making my own products at home lately.  This particular issue has 50+ pages of salves, lotions, balms and crafty projects for the whole family!!!

Find the following recipes in this issue [all using herbs and commonly found simple ingredients like beeswax, olive oil and bicarb soda (plus a few special products too -- like coconut oil and kaolin clay)] :
  • Home herbal medicinal recipes (salves and cold remedies)
  • Eco-home cleaning and freshening ideas (natural cleaning products and washing recipes)
  • Eco beauty treatments (lip balms, creams and hair tonics)
  • Natural personal products (toothpaste and deodorant)
Buy this e-magazine for only $10 and start making your own products at home. I think they will also make lovely holiday gifts.

Get your issue here.

(I really believe in this product and I am an affiliate for it)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shop High, Buy Low

I love a good deal so I had to share this find with you!!!  (This is just something I found....I get no kickbacks whatsoever)

I have really been lusting after this J. Crew bracelet:

(image source)

At $125.00, I was never going to get this bracelet.

Then, I saw this lovely thing on Groopdealz today:

(image source)
$24.99 with free shipping!!!  Now THAT'S more like it!

A little gift to myself so that I have something new and sparkly to wear during the holidays.

I have found the best deals at Groopdealz lately.  The quality and diversity of their items is really improving.

If you want your own bracelet,  I think it will only be available for two days or until they sell out!

In other news, I have been trying to quickly make a few items for my mom's craft show on Saturday.  Made a few felt flower pins, some recycled bracelets and a few travel pillows. Wish I had more time but I'm happy I got something done.  Photos to come!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Die Monique's Fabrik

My wonderful friend Monique finally opened an Etsy shop!!! She is starting with these lovely handmade flower pins that incorporate wonderful fabrics and vintage notions. Think this one would be perfect for Fall:

Based on how special the fabric and notions are, the pins range in price from $12-$19.  Perfect for Christmas gifts!!!

Stay tuned....we'll be doing a "Die Monique's Fabrik" giveaway soon!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thank You

(image source)

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me
what I asked of him."
1 Samuel 1:27

Monday, November 5, 2012

Kids ATC Swap 2012


Noodlebug and I decided to join the Kids ATC Swap this year hosted by Bright Eyes + Blue Eyes.  Noodlebug is more of a free-form artist and chafed a bit under the constraints of the task. Still, he managed to produce something.  He told me that these are pictures of superheroes with sidekick pets.  (You'll have to use your imagination) 

We are sending these gems off to our swap partners and we are very much looking forward to start finding wonderful treasures in the mail! 

I can't believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner!!!  I have some holiday gift crafting to start!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to our friends near and far! I hope you are all warm and safe.  It's probably going to rain on our trick-or-treating adventures this evening but we will press on!!!

Noodlebug is currently on costume number two.  This past weekend, he got fixated on the idea of having a Charlie Brown costume.  So, thanks to a sale t-shirt from Michael's and some fabric paint, we made one.  He is wearing that costume at school and will change into his Ghostbusters costume for Trick-or-Treating.

Here are the Pinterest-inspired treats we brought to preschool today:

I walked around with them playing the Ghostbusters theme song on permanent rotation on my iPhone so that they would have appropriate musical accompaniment.
Since my life always feels like a 3-ring circus, I thought I would make it official:

Have a wonderful Halloween!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Alphabet Glue Win and Something New

I have been a fan of Bird and Little Bird's ALPHABET GLUE e-zine for quite some time. Each issue is stuffed with activities, printables, and book recommendations.  I have been stockpiling issues until Noodlebug got big enough to try some of the activities.  The release of the latest issue (volume 9!) was accompanied by a wonderful giveaway!  Annie offered a wonderful assortment of crafting materials and supplies perfect for making projects from the Alphabet Glue archives.  And I won!!!

Noodlebug and I had such fun unpacking the box!!!

A real treasure trove!!!
It will be hard to decide what to make first!  Thank you so much, Annie, for all the wonderful goodies!

And here is a little work-in-progress on my crafting table:

This is a project from Brave Girl Art School. I am woefully behind but I keep plugging away!!!  The background color is actually navy blue.  The colors are a bit off due to lighting. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Story

(unknown source)

Okay, deep breath.

I was adopted through a closed adoption when I was three months old. I lived temporarily in foster care until the adoption went through.  There has never been a time I haven't known I was adopted.  It has always been just another characteristic for me: brown hair, fair skin, adopted, freckles, etc.

As the only child of an only child, I come from a very small family.  I've had a wonderful life with wonderful opportunities and blessings.  My parents always told me that my birth mother gave me up to give me a better life.  And she did.

Today, the majority of adoptions are open adoptions.  Families have different levels of contact with each other but, at the very least, they have names and medical history.  I had none of that.  But being a part of a closed adoption allowed me to be 100% a part of my family. There were no divided loyalties and there was no confusion.  I've had curiosity about my birth family off and on over the years but I have never had any real need to seek them out.  If I wanted to, I knew I could always go to the agency I was adopted through and begin the process for contact which would include counseling sessions.

The world is changing.  Privacy is getting harder and harder to find. Many government records are getting digitized.  A few weeks ago, I received a message through Facebook from someone claiming to be a member of my birth family.  I was immediately suspicious.  This family member had gotten involved with a researcher who makes it her business to track down members of closed adoption triads.  Using government documents and records that were online, the researcher was able to locate  me.  I contacted my adoption agency and they were able to confirm that this was indeed my birth family.    Because I am very public person and because I chose not to change my name when I got married, I was pretty easy to find once they had a name.

Since then, I have been dealing with the fallout of all of this.  There have been lots of conflicting emotions and I feel confused a lot of the time.   The hardest part was that any choice about this matter was taken away from me and my birth mother.  There was no process. There was no counseling. Just a Facebook message. Not how I would have chosen for this to happen.

As I feel my way through all of this, many issues have arisen that I didn't expect. I'm not the only one involved. There is my birth family and then there is MY family.  Especially my mother.

In the end, though, I am reminded of how adoption changed my life and that of my parents and extended family.  I am reminded of all the blessings and all the opportunities I have been given.  God put me in this family and told me to bloom and I have tried to do so to the best of my ability. So, as I was work my way through all of this, I am meditating on one of my favorite sayings:

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homemade Halloween 2012

We love to play dress-up at our house.  I always try to keep several yards of felt in a variety of colors in case inspiration strikes and we need a quick costume.  The downside is that Noodlebug now uses me as a bespoke costume service.  I probably shouldn't have let him know that I could do costumes on demand. 

Recently, he asked me for a "Bob" costume.  I could not figure out what he was talking about.  He has very limited exposure to television and only PBS at that.  And we don't really have anything related to superheroes in our house.  In spite of that, he gets exposed to a lot of things at preschool.  I kept asking him questions trying to figure out who "Bob" is.   I finally figured out that "Bob" fights with Batman.  In other words, "Robin."  (He also calls Eeyore from "Winnie the Pooh" by the name of "Jorge.")

He kept asking me for me a Robin costume for his dress-up trunk and I finally broke down and whipped something up.  I made a basic open sided tunic and we used the belt and gloves from his Prince Philip costume from last year. It's hard to see in the photo but I also added a yellow felt cape.

The mask needs a bit of work. I was in a hurry to get it done and I'm not happy with the eye holes.  The whole mask is felt and attaches using velcro in the back.  Although this is not his official Halloween costume, we wore it to an event yesterday.  It was comfortable to wear and I like that it is adjustable. Everything is sewed down except for the decorative elements on the front. I didn't like the way the thread was looking and used hot glue for the "R" symbol and the yellow ties.

I wonder what costume I'll be making next.  Thank goodness for felt!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

Something very painful happened in the last few days that has shaken the bedrock of my life.  It is going to take a little time for me to sort through my feelings and figure out how I want to move forward.  I can't tell you what happened at this time. I CAN tell you that my family is all healthy and well including myself.

I could use any prayers and good thoughts that you can send my way.  Posting may be sporadic for a little while but I will still be here....reading all of your blogs and comments and enjoying the things you share about your lives.

(image source)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcome October!!!

I love Fall.  It's my favorite season. And I love Halloween too.  Noodlebug and I spent some time getting out Halloween decorations this weekend. We are both suffering from colds so actually putting the decorations out will be a work in progress.

As I unpacked the boxes, I came across some old friends:

(Mrs. FinkWinkle from Hippie Dog Creations)

(Witch beeswax crow from Jennifer Conway)
(Halloween Pixie Witch from CariKraft)
(Honeycomb ornaments from CariKraft)
(Halloween Party Cat from HippieDog Creations)
It was like seeing old friends again as I unpacked all of these treasures.  They were all purchased before Noodlebug was born.  As I pulled them out, I realized that many of these people don't blog anymore. Or they have completely changed their focus.  The blogging world is an interesting phenomenon.  I have been blogging since 2003.  When I first started blogging, blogs were more like public journals.  I don't think any of us even thought about their potential as moneymaking devices.  Now, the blog world has completely changed. Many bloggers who were my early favorites have disappeared into the ether.  Those that survive seem to care less about monitizing and more about sharing. Once blogging becomes work and takes over people's lives, they tend to drop it.  I tend to blog when it suits me and never put any pressure on myself about it. I don't care about numbers or followers.  I just love sharing and connecting with other people.  And I have found so many treasures through blogging. (see photos above!)  It won't be long before I'll be unpacking the Christmas boxes where more blogging/Etsy treasures await!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I just love "Modern Family" and I am so thrilled that it will be coming back tonight!  Such a great show that manages to be both hilarious and heartwarming. (I have to admit that Cam is my favorite character)

I was so happy that "Modern Family" did so well at the Emmys.  Despite Sofia Vergara's wardrob malfunction, the whole cast looked great.  Especially Aubrey Anderson-Emmons! Wasn't she adorable?

I was thrilled to find out that her dress was custom-made by Tea Collection!  Tea has decided to make this limited edition dress available to the public. If I had a little girl, I'd snap it up for the holidays!  The little bubble skirt is adorable and age-appropriate.  If you are interested, the dress ships in November.  Just in time for all the holiday parties!!!

(I am a Tea affiliate and all opinions are my own)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


My friend Charles has been hard at work creating cronies for the upcoming Halloween and Vine show.  He posted some sneak peeks on his blog and I can't decide which was is my favorite. 

I think it might be Winnie:

(photo borrowed from and owned by Charles Batte)
These adorable cronies will be available this weekend at the Halloween and Vine show along with hundreds of other Halloween treasures.  Hope to see you there!!!