Thursday, January 29, 2009

Project Valentine's Day Cards

Last year after spending way too much time on Harper's classroom valentines, I swore I wouldn't do it again. Her cards were the only homemade ones in the bunch. Not that it matters, but it left me feeling like most people just don't care. Why should I?


I wanted her Valentine's to be personal. I wanted her to be a part of the process. She colored every single card. I probably thought about it way too much and should have just grabbed a box of mass produced cards signed her name to it and called it a day. Well, unforunately that is just not in my nature. So here we are again. Valentine's Day is drawing closer and yet again I find myself obessed with classroom Valentine's. I just can't bring myself to buy any. There is something in me that just can't do it.


The only difference this year is I have 2 sets of cards to worry about, one for Harper and one for Miller. I have vowed not to spend any money on materials (unless I make the dum-dum flowers in the photo below and I will have to buy dum-dums). I have plenty here we can use. I have also decided to keep it simple. I just want them to be a part of the process. I have many ideas swimming around in my head, but have not settled on one yet.


I thought I would throw out a couple of other green options if you do not want to go the handmade route. A good compromise is the Stubby Pencil Studio set. The kids still color the cards, but most of the work is already done. You can also purchase this set from Endangered Species Chocolate. For $9.95 you get 24 cards and 24 pieces of chocolate. Plus 10% of their net profits are donated to help support species, habitat and humanity. Gotta love that.

Head over to Stacy's to see some more projects.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shop Update Tuesday

For the last several weeks, I have updated my shop on Tuesday. So I have decided that this will be my shop update day. It makes it a little easier to list several items all at once rather than updating as I go. I am finding that the hardest part for me is photographing and getting the stuff listed. Having a designated day for this will help me be a tad bit more organized. So you will get to see what I have been working on all week and I don't have to think about what I am going to write here too much. Lucky you, right?

As you can tell I have been thinking about Valentine's Day.

Here are a couple of coffee sleeves I made for a wholesale order.


Little felt heart barrettes.

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Another scrabble magnet set.


A tote made from a reclaimed thrift store skirt.


Pinky. Another stuffed thing I had to sneak away from Harper.


I really like owls. My sister-in-law claimed this one.


And finally some lavender dryer sachets.

Harper claimed one of these as her own too and has been sleeping with it under her pillow. She calls it her dream pillow. I think the smell is a little overpowering to have right by my head, but she loves the smell. I tried them in our laundry over the weekend and the smell is really subtle, but nice. They are a great alternative to regular dryer sheets.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Best Shot Monday- Hangin'

We went to my brother's house on Saturday morning to let the kids play and to just hang out. It was so nice to watch the kids play and to spend some time with my brother and his wife. My brother and I work together and the kids all go to the same daycare. So it's not like we don't see each other, but rarely do we just hang out. My brother cooked up an awesome brunch too. Can't beat that.

Harper has finally decided to cooperate during my photo sessions (most of the time).


Look at this little stinker. Looks like she is sleeping, right?


Nope. Just pretending. She is about as cute as they come!!


Oh, and then there is my little nephew. He is turning 1 in a week. So I am sure you will be seeing more of this little guy next week.


I just can't get over his sweet curls and blue, blue eyes and what about that milk dribble?


He has the most precious smile.


And just so you know that Miller was there too, here's a shot of him slamming the door in my face while yelling, "NO!" You gotta love that.


I can't possibly pick a favorite. It's just too hard.

Tracey hosts Best Shot Monday every week. You really should check it out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Winter Wonderland

The theme this week over at Stacy's is Winter Wonderland. On Monday I mentioned we spent some time outside on Sunday. I took this opportunity to snap some shots of our backyard in all its wintery glory. So these photos represent our little Winter Wonderland. We have been battling colds, coughs, and ear infections at my house this week so these photos are SOOC. I just didn't have the energy to edit them.

One of my blueberry bushes. I sure hope it gives me some good blueberries.


Some irises popping through the leaves.


I am not sure what this is, but it is kind of pretty in a dead flower kind of way.


What's left of my herb garden. Just a little bit of sick looking parsley.


The fairy house still stands. Harper made some repairs.


Visit the The Land of KA to see more winter wonderlands.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Paper, Paper, How I Love Thee


I love magazines, books, lists, and pretty stationary. I love paper. This creates a problem when you are trying to be environmentaly conscious. I try to stay away from magazines eventhough Real Simple was calling to me the other day at the store and I had to buy it. I borrow books and go to the library. I reuse paper for lists and taking notes at work, but sometimes that is not enough.

To cope with my love of paper, I am constantly trying to think of new ways to reuse it. So when I received a package last week from a wonderful Etsy seller, I was thrilled to see my buttons stowed away in a box made from paper scraps. I immediately unfolded it so that I could see how it was constructed. Then I found a tutorial online to fill in the blanks. I had to make boxes for each of the kids and they both took them to school the next day.

Then I stumbled across another tutorial explaining how to make gift bows out of recycled magazines. Too bad I found this after Christmas.

There are a countless number of projects you can do with scrap paper, magazines, and paper bags. These are just a few that I have stumbled across lately. Anyone else have any other ideas you want to share?

I guess paper is on my mind these days. I have listed a few paper type items to my shop this week. I have been working on taking better photos for my shop too. It has been very challenging for me. I am getting better, but welcome constructive criticism.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Little Touch of Color


I have been having major withdrawals from taking outdoor photos. It has been so cold and dreary we have not been spending too much time outside. Yesterday was warmer and the sun was shining so we took advantage of the nice weather and spent some time in the backyard. As I was taking stock of all the outdoor chores that would need to be done this spring, I noticed a splash of red out of the corner of my eye. We have several of these bushes that produce tons of little red berries. The kids love to pick them. I convinced them to leave them alone yesterday. I need to see a little touch of color in our yard.

Happy Monday everyone.

Visit Tracey's for more Best Shot Monday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

16 Things About Me

Since yesterday was all about me, I thought I would just continue with the theme today. This meme has been floating around all week. I have seen it at Mother May I, Hip Momma's Journal, and A Little White Space.

16 Things About Me

I am....
an optimist
an organizer
a dreamer
a procrastinator
a sleeper, but not a napper
a morning person (most of the time)
happily married
in love with my kids
a coffee lover
a beer drinker
a romantic
a cuddler
addicted to blogging
a bit obsessive
not a perfectionist
a thinker

I would love to know more about all of you, so if you feel like doing this meme I would love to read it. Just leave me a comment so I can pop over and read it.

Because I know you want to see a little bit more of me, I put together this collage using some CoffeeShop actions I have been playing around with lately. If you are a Photoshop Elements user like me, this website is great. There are tons of free actions and tutorials. It makes the fact that I can't use The Pioneer Woman's Actions a little less painful.

Coffeeshop Collage

Ok, this is the last thing I promise. I have accepted the fact that I am the New Green Mama so I will now have my blogger account routed to I know this won't matter for most of you that read my blog through a reader. I just wanted to simplify things and for $10 it seemed worth it. I also want to spruce up my blog you know when I get a free minute :)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Self Portrait

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I really, really, really do not like to have my photo taken. I do not like posing. I do not like looking at photos in which I appear. I am very happy behind the camera. Thank you very much. So when Stacy challenged us to take a self portrait, I can't say I was ecstatic. However, there was something about it that made me a little bit excited. Maybe it was the challenge of doing something I had not done before. Or maybe it was the idea of actually getting a good shot of myself. I can't say that I succeeded at that, but I did have fun.



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Yeah, I was trying to go for a wind blown sort of look and I am not sure what is up with the head tilt. I had many others that did not involve a head tilt, but these happened to be the best. As you can tell I also had some issues figuring out where to position myself in order to be in the frame. I did not spend as much time on it as I wanted to, but I feel like I learned a couple of things in the process. I even managed to put on a little bit of makeup.

Of course, the kiddos had to help me get everything set up. Miller loves pushing that remote.



To see more self portraits check out The Land of K.A.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting Back to My Green Roots

Reading Tracey's post yesterday about having intentions rather than making resolutions really inspired me. I already posted some resolutions, but have had I will now call them intentions rolling around in my head. The first big thing that I would like to focus on is posting something "green" at least once a week. I feel like I accomplished so much last year and I want to continue to share my journey with you.

As a recap (mostly for myself) here's what we did to be greener last year:

1. Started using reusable grocery bags at the store.
2. Stopped buying bottled water.
3. Reduced the number of Ziploc bags we use.
4. Installed a low flow shower head.
5. Started turning the thermostat up or down during the day when we are not at home to save energy.
6. Used a rain barrel to water the plants this summer.
7. Grew an herb garden and planted two blueberry bushes.
8. Started making our own yogurt.
9. Started unplugging appliances (coffee maker, toaster, computer) when not in use.
10. Replaced our light bulbs with CFLs.
11. Took shorter showers.
12. Started eating more organic foods, milk, and mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.
13. Reduced the amount of new clothing items purchased.
14. Switched to safer and more environmentally friendly health and beauty products.
15. We no longer use paper towels or napkins. We use cloth instead.

I am sure there are things that I forgot, but it is a pretty good summary.

Here are some of my green intentions for 2009:
1. Bake my own bread.
2. Build a compost bin.
3. Grow a bigger garden.
4. Have one green post a week.
5. Continue building my Etsy business.
6. Focus on reducing and reusing.
7. Plug the TV, DVD player, Wii, etc into a power strip and turn it off when not in use.
8. Be more aware of where my food is coming from and try to eat more local food.

I am sure this list will grow, but that is what I have for now. And since I can't have a post without a few photos, here's a cute little owl I made last week. The front is made from felted sweaters and the back is a vintage sheet. I had to sneak the owl out of Harper's room because she decided that it was hers. The owl is now listed in the shop. Shhhh. Don't tell Harper.



Here's a wrist cuff I made too.


Does anyone else have any green intentions for the New Year?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best Shot Monday- Too Cute

I really wanted to have a non-kid photo as my Best Shot Monday this week, but sometimes things are just out of your control. I took this photo of my sweet little niece and I fell in love with it. Those big round eyes. Those sweet lips and perfect little cheeks. I just want to gobble her up.

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Makes me almost want to have another one. Well, ok not really and don't tell my husband I even mentioned it. But she is still really stinkin' cute.

Head over to Tracey's for more Best Shot Monday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm back in the saddle again. Well, figuratively speaking at least. I made myself do some sewing last week to get my wholesale order out the door and even made a couple of purses for myself. It was so nice to actually make something for me. I also updated my Etsy shop with a couple of new items. So the fog has officially lifted and the creative juices are once again flowing. Yippeee! I was worried there for a little bit.

I made this little purse first. It came out smaller than I anticipated, but it is perfect to take with me on a quick errand (without kids in tow). The fabric is a remnant I picked up awhile back so I don't have enough left to make a bigger purse. The lining is ,made from a wool skirt that I picked up at Goodwill.


This is the second one that I did. I made it from a thrifted Eddie Bauer wool coat. I utilized the existing pocket and used the lining from the coat for the inside. The strap is a belt that came off of a pair of pants. It had been sitting in my closet forever so I thought I would put it to good use. I was happy with how this one turned out as well. I made it just the right size to fit a couple of diapers, wipes, and then my essentials.


I have purses on my mind so hopefully this week I will get at least one done to put in my shop.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Best Shot Monday- Bubble Bath

I am not sure that I am ready for a full work week. The last few weeks have been a nice break from the normal routine. Since my brain is still on vacation, I will just leave you with some photos.





You gotta love bubble baths. The second shot is my Best Shot Monday. There's always more over at Tracey's.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I am not big on New Year's Resolutions. Last year was the first year in a long time that I actually made a few resolutions. I was pretty happy with the results. For one, it lead me to start this blog and meet all of you lovely folks out there in the blogosphere. The blogging kept me honest and accountable as well. It also was the reason I became so interested in photography. Isn't it crazy how one thing leads to another?

So many things change and happen over the course of a year. What will next year bring? Since today is New Year's day and all, should I make a resolution or two? Honestly, I have not put much thought into it, but there are a few things that I would like to accomplish in the New Year.

I definitely want to continue blogging. Even though it can be time consuming, it is a much needed outlet for me. I want to improve my photography skills and branch out from my comfort zone. I want to take time to enjoy my kids. Sometimes with work, housework, yard work and other chores everything seems like work and that's just no fun. I want to continue updating my Etsy Store, but I don't want it to take over my life. I have really enjoyed this as an outlet as well, but there are too many other things that have to come first. Lastly, I want to continue to be as "green" as possible and increase my awareness of the environment as well as my impact on it.

Call them goals. Call them resolutions. Call them wishes for the New Year. Whatever they are, I can't wait to see where they take me.

Here some photos from our New Year's Eve hide and seek game. A New Year's Eve party is not complete without a little game of hide and seek.

Hmmm....where are those kids? I don't see them anywhere.




Oh there they are.
Happy New Year everyone!!!


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