Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Four years ago, we had Grandpa's funeral the day before Thanksgiving. Didn't leave a lot of room for feeling grateful at the holiday. I told Steve then that I thought it was really important for us to share out loud every year what we were thankful for. I asked the family this morning and here's what they said they're grateful for:

Matea: All the unicorns in the world. ??????
Bella: Some turkeys and sometimes apples. ???????
Crafty Papa: My family (as he's quickly kissing me, rushing out the door for work and I think, a little annoyed that I picked then to ask my question).

No one asked me but I'll tell you anyway. I'm thankful that we're all healthy this year (minus the ongoing hallucinations, of course). We missed our family Thanksgiving last year because Bella had pneumonia and a 106.5 degree fever. I'm thankful that Steve still has a steady job and we have food on the table for our family every night. I'm thankful that even though we're struggling, we're able to provide a Christmas for our kids this year unlike so many other families who have lost their income. I'm thankful that I have some really great customers who send me nice emails. I'm thankful for my friend Shanna, who chats online with me every morning. And thankful for Lena who has been a lifesaver, watching the girls when I've had appointments come up. My neighbor and friend, Sharon, who is still selfless and giving even after the worst year of her life. Thankful that my girls have grandparents they love. My dad just left yesterday and the first thing Matea said when she woke up this morning was, "I miss my Grandpa". Mostly, I'm thankful that I get to stay home with my girls (even though I've already told them this morning that they're driving me crazy) and thankful that I really do have the best husband a girl could ask for.

Monday, November 24, 2008


So, about 15 hours after my Love for Nie post below, Crafty Papa surprised me by telling me that he was taking me on our first night away since having kids almost 5 years ago! I was so excited, but also a little nervous about not being there to put Tate to bed at night. She's my snuggle bunny and I knew I would miss her.

Anyway, I'm so happy we had the time away together. We spent a lot of time talking about the kids but really just enjoyed getting to spend time together without the kids distracting us. And holding hands which we never get to do since we're always wrangling children! Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Cindy for babysitting!

We stayed at the Avila La Fonda. The perfect place for a romantic beach get away. And of course, the bargain hunter in me can't go without mentioning that they offer a 30% discount to Costco members:)

And don't worry, I'm totally aware of my suddenly massive double chin. I mean, I've always had a kind of round, chubby-ish face but I swear that the chins have been taken to a new level since I turned 30. So I'm doing the Biggest Loser challenge on my scrapbooking board and plan to totally whoop their asses and get my scrapbooking gift card prize. Then when some of the girls come out for our beach retreat in January, I'll spend the whole weekend in a bikini. The fillet mignon and churro french toast during our night away didn't exactly help with this endeavor though.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Addicted to Love

Like so many others, I have become completely wrapped up in reading "Love for Nie" and her sister, Courtney's blog. I found the blogs just after Stephanie's crash and I check them everyday. I usually end up crying a little, and pitifully recounting the stories to Crafty Papa. Last week, when Courtney posted about Stephanie's first phone call with her children, I bawled like a baby. And a few weeks ago, when she woke up and sat up for the first time in months, I felt excitement as though it was my own sister. I can't imagine what that family has endured but it's been so amazing to be involved in the recovery, even if it's just to a remote degree, reading about it on the internet.

Christian and Stephanie's story is such a great reminder to focus on the happiness and love in your life instead of all of the negativity. Nie was able to do that even before the crash that almost took her life. Her blog was so full of appreciation for her children and husband and finding happiness in the day to day monotony of motherhood and marriage.

So, tonight, instead of being annoyed that Bella's bitching about popcorn, Matea's trying to physically fight with her, and Crafty Papa is making me watch an off road desert racing movie, I'll just be thankful to be in the same room as them.

I just magic erasered all the doors in my house

And I was hoping one of you could stop by and tell me how nice they look. Or maybe just leave a comment here that says, "Damn, your doors are so white and clean, I can see them from Arkansas."

In addition to magic-ing the doors, I've cleaned the master bedroom which had a huge pile up of laundry and miscellaneous crap from the girls' room to be put away, both bathrooms, the girls' room which included vacuuming up millions of little beads before they caught me, my car, and then actually put away all of the items that were in the bags I dragged into the house from the car.

Now I'm cracking the whip on Bella to finish up a Christmas gift for Grandparents coming into town tomorrow and I still have to clean my office/craft room. It's disgusting in here. I have a headache and am highly irritable today but the cleaning must be done. Maybe I'll post a before pic so you can see just how bad it is. I need a diet pepsi. And some kahlua cupcakes. And a good movie on tv.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Remembering Grandpa

Four years ago today, my grandpa who I mention here often, died fairly suddenly. He had battled lung cancer off and on for 7 years but his attitude was so good, I don't think any of us really thought he was going to die. I think the whole family realizes how lucky we were to have him so long after he got sick, but that doesn't make living without him any easier. He was one of those strong, fighting spirit types who continued to live his life as a cotton farmer in between chemo treatments and xrays. I'm sure he suffered on a daily basis but rarely complained about it and most people wouldn't have known he had cancer.

I absolutely believe that next to my girls and husband, he is one of the most special people I'll have in my life. Four years later, I still think about him every single day and have the most wonderful memories of growing up with him. He was as hands on as a grandpa can be and really played a large role in helping to raise my sister and I after my parents divorced. He had such a great sense of humor and was one of those rare people who just seemed to really enjoy life.

Today, I'm thinking about how his blue eyes would sparkle when he smiled. The smell of his pipe tobacco. How soft his bald head was when I leaned down to his recliner and kissed him goodbye for the last time. The way he kept track of all my doctor appointments when I was pregnant with Bella and would call me after each one if I didn't call him first. I'm thinking about how excited he was to be a great grandpa. So excited that he bought Bella her first electronic, ride on John Deere tractor when I was only 5 months pregnant. The way he would shop for her at Kohl's and have a stack of pink and purple outfits for Bella when we visited. And I'm remembering when he told me in the hospital that my sister and I meant the world to him and that we had made him very proud and happy. And then when he came home from the hospital for a few days and we thought he might recover, he told my sister he took back all of the nice things he said. We adored him, and knew that he adored us.

He loved to celebrate and was the life of the party. So, tonight we're having tacos which is what my mom always made him on his birthday. We'll also have ice cream and Steve and I will take a shot of grandpa's favorite Irish whiskey. I'm really not a spiritual person but I'm hoping to feel him with me here today. I still miss him so much that I feel sick. Our family just seems so incomplete without him.

Here's a scrapbook page I did about him last year for my journal book...


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MRI Results

Everything was clear! It was so nice, my doctor walked in and the first thing he said was "Your brain is fine". We talked a lot about all of the other withdrawal symptoms I'm having in addition to the hallucinations and it turns out I may just be at the beginning of this ordeal. Apparently even at the low dosage that I was taking, it's recommended that a patient step off their dosage over a 3 month period. I went cold turkey! Now I know why my pharmacist's jaw dropped when this all first started and I told him I was off it cold turkey. I guess the doctor I saw the first night this all happened (my regular doctor's partner), wasn't aware of how extreme the withdrawal process could be.

So, because I didn't gradually go off the medicine, it could actually take a few months for my body to readjust and for all of the withdrawal symptoms to go away. I'm so relieved that the MRI was clear but still upset to hear that this all will go on for a while longer. Thanks for all of your good thoughts.

Is it as cute as I built it up to be?

I think so! Ahhhh, I so want to keep this one but I so need to feed my family. Decisions, decisions. Have at it ladies.

Oh, and I'll be back this evening with MRI results. Heading out to the doctor in a little over an hour.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If you loved yesterday's owl...

Be sure to check my shop later this afternoon. I'm working on a pink, orange, and brown owl to go with this fabric...

No fighting, ladies.

ETA: Ok, you'll have to wait until tomorrow. I just found out I can get in for an MRI this afternoon. Wish me luck! For the actual MRI results and not totally freaking out in that tube. I have a little fear that I'll be working so hard on relaxing, I might start to drift off and then start hallucinating like I do at night. Hallucinations + Trapped in Tube = Disaster

Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't you just want to hug him?

Really, how cute is this little owl? I decided to try my hand at embroidery last night and couldn't be more happy with how he turned out. I drew my own original design, transferred it to my fabric, and grabbed my needle and new colorful embroidery floss. I think he gives the bag so much personality and a touch of a retro feel too.

Definitely hooked on embroidering and planning to work on a few more projects like this later this week. Any suggestions? A birdie? Snowman? Kitty? Swirls and flourishes? Or just more owls?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Memo To: You

I'm sewing right now. Like, actually making a bag to list in my shop. I know, it's been weeks. It's a new shape, neutral, beautiful Amy Butler prints. Make sure you check my shop for it later because I think I'll only list it briefly before deciding to keep it for myself. I'm also working on making aprons for some events I'm doing next month and I probably won't list those until after the events. But, if you're looking for a quick gift for a teacher, neighbor, holiday party hostess, email me and I can let send you pics of the aprons I have in stock.

And thanks for all of the well wishes on my hallucinations and general mental instability right now. Here's a little laugh for you...last Friday, during one of the hallucinations, the shadow of my ceiling fan turned into a man waving at me. Obviously, I knew it wasn't real but it was still weird. After hallucinating a person in my closet when I woke up that morning (crazy stuff huh?), I declared that we would be leaving the scene of the crime for a while. So we've been sleeping on our aero bed in the living room for the past week and I finally thought we should move back to the bedroom last night. I'm not freakin kidding you, that stupid ceiling fan man was back and not only was he waving, he started doing this dance move where he was moving his arms up and down, side to side, while rolling his hands around each other. Like John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" or whatever that movie is called. Crazy huh? I told Crafty Papa and he burst out laughing. I'm starting to think ceiling fan man is my secret admirer or something. Not really, that would alarm my doctor but I do think it was thoughtful of him to provide some humor during my regularly schedule 2am hallucination.

ETA: Hey, I actually finished it. I surprised myself with my sudden productivity and I may even try to make a smaller version of this bag later today. Oh yeah, I'm back to taking pics on the bench. I really like the bench. it was an old porch swing seat we bought at a yard sale for $5 and then Crafty Papa mounted it on some stumps in our backyard. I think it was feeling lonely and unappreciated. And I'm attempting to learn to link the Etsy listing in the pic so click on it and see where it takes you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crafty Mama or Crazy Mama?

Some of my friends who read the blog already know this, but I'm having some really weird medical issues right now that would definitely be classified in the crazy category. A few months ago, I started taking medicine to treat fibromyalgia. After not taking it last Thursday night, I woke up in the middle of the night with visual hallucinations and voices/buzzing/music in my head. I went to the doctor immediately the next day and have stopped taking the medicine altogether. 8 days later and I'm still having the hallucinations every night and sometimes during the day if I try to rest or nap. I've been to the doctor again this week and agreed to have an MRI on Monday if the hallucinations aren't gone by then. After pressing him, he finally told me that the only thing they'd be looking for on the MRI as a cause for the hallucinations (besides the medication) is a brain tumor. He's confident that it's the medicine and not a brain tumor but even the small chance that it's not the med is making me totally freak out. Like all day and night.

It's been a really hard week for me and I'm feeling more upset and anxious than I've ever felt about anything. I'm just so exhausted and overly emotional and don't care at all right now about sewing or doing anything creative. I know I'm having a big pity party and hopefully it will turn out just to be a reaction to the medicine and I can just look back on this as a time where I totally freaked out unnecessarily. But please keep me in your thoughts. I don't feel at all like myself and am having a really difficult time. Sorry for the downer post. I think I'll go back and watch that Dennis Quaid Starbucks clip again.

Friday Favorites

It's been forever since I've done my Friday Favorites but I'm finally back with some tv related items...

1. Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs". Does this really need any explanation? Good looking, smart, and really great sense of humor. Also, almost 20 years older than me. But since the chances of a relationship between us are slim - mostly because I'm already married - I'm not worried too much about the age difference.

2. "Top Gear". I would be shocked if anyone other than maybe my dad, is familiar with this. It's a car show on BBC America but I'm going to say it's only about 25% actual car talk and 75% entertainment and humor. Crafty Papa and I watch it together every week and laugh our asses off. And it's educational. I've learned terms like boot, bonnet, and caravaning. I've also learned that in Europe, they pronounce "coupe" and "coo-pay". That's some very important international travel knowledge right there.

3. "The Starter Wife" on USA. I netflixed all of season one and got really into it. Season two doesn't seem to be quite as good so far but I really like Debra Messing so I'm going to stick with it a while longer.

4. These two video clips from Ellen's website. Both bring tears to my eyes for very different reasons. First, this Dennis Quaid clip is so hilarious, I've watched it ten times now and laughed so hard I cried every time.

Then this clip from Keith Olbermann is so moving and I hope, though provoking for some people. Crafty Papa is very against me saying anything political on my blog but I don't think I'd be true to myself if I didn't say that the passage of Prop 8 makes me physically ill.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans' Day

Hope some of you will enjoy this Veterans' Day special good through midnight tonight.

Buy one item, get another item half off in my Etsy shop today only!

*Not valid on custom orders or personalized items. Discount applied to item of equal or lesser value.

And sign up for my new mailing list over there ------>.
You'll get the latest Crafty Mama news regarding new products, fabrics, and sales. And as an added bonus the first 10 people to sign up will get a $10 Crafty Mama Creations gift certificate!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quit yer Crying

Some of you were sad/mad that Kristi swooped in and bought all of the personalized fabric planner covers that I listed last week. Damn her for thinking of her friends and family and buying them as gifts! Anyway, I just added a whole mama load of them to the shop so no more whining.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stuff for Me

I know what you're thinking and the answer is no. No, I do not have any idea why I thought I would applique an owl on the widest part of my body and then take a picture without any hair or makeup or gut-sucking-in-ing. I'm going to blame it on a lack of sleep. I was awake until about 1:00 this morning battling shoulder and collar bone pain from my fibromyalgia. Who knew your collarbone could ache so badly?

While I like the idea of the owl, close up, the applique looks really crappy. I think maybe I used too wide of a stitch and too big of a needle or something. I'll probably just go over it again with the proper settings because I'm way too cheap to just throw the shirt away and start over.

And speaking of cheap, lets talk about the crazy hair above. I've had short hair off and on for about 10 years now. Crafty Papa loves my short hair and I really do think I look better with it short. But being part of a one income family is apparently not compatible with the every 5 weeks hair cuts that short hair requires. I've already had to start coloring my hair at home and I just had to call my hair lady this morning to cancel my appointment for tomorrow because I can't justify spending half of my weekly grocery budget on my hair. So I've decided that if my hair is going to look bad during the growing out stage, I might as well wear a big sparkly headband and make it look really, really bad. This morning Crafty Papa said, "Sooooo, you're wearing a headband now?" and I said, "Shutty".

Ok, I'm much more excited about this next project for myself. It's a personalized, fabric covered planner/calendar. Seriously, how cute is it? I'm in love with it so much that as soon as I finished it, I had to sit down and transfer all of my birth dates from my 2008 planner to my 2009 one. Definitely going to be listing these in my shop and making a few for an event I'm doing next month. And I'll be giving some for Christmas gifts too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Table Runner or Big Ass Place Mat?

You may have heard that the economy is in the crapper. I'm sure that info. comes as a shock to all of you. It's a great time to already have been poor like we are because we had nothing to lose. Not such a great time to depend on income from Etsy. It seems that people are more worried about buying food for their family right now instead of a fabulous handmade, one of a kind bag. The bastards!

Anyway, like most other Etsyers, my sales are way down right now and instead of wallowing in self pity like I usually do, I'm trying to finally make some things for myself and our house. And thus, the table runner/big ass place mat.

Crafty Papa is fairly against the idea of holiday decorating or really anything fun around the holidays (he would probably disagree but he's really just too practical...maybe one of you can send him a memo about how holidays and practicality don't go together). Now that we've been married for 8 years, I find pleasure in occasionally doing things just to irritate him. Like buying a bunch of new decorations at a yard sale after he made me throw away things last year. Or making my own new, completely useless decorations.

I'm really bad about starting a project without planning anything at all and then being disappointed with the results. So of course, I didn't measure anything for this project and it just happened to be the exact width of our dining table. So, I don't really know what it is but I do like it even though it totally clashes with my pink hydrangeas.

Anyway, I do have one more custom order to finish this week but I'm thinking about taking on a few other projects for myself. Maybe an owl appliqued tshirt for me that I can rub in Shanna's and Andrea's faces. And a personalized fabric planner cover. I feel a trip to Walmart coming on. I've already been there on Monday and Tuesday this week and they might start to worry if they don't see me there today. Although, when I walked out yesterday, I distinctly remember telling the children that I would never ever bring them there again.