Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday Favorites (on Saturday)

1. Gorgeous necklace on Etsy.

2. Pink Sugar perfume. You know how when you order online from Sephora they send you a bunch of little samples? Well, Pink Sugar was one of the samples I got when I ordered my Bare Minerals a year ago. I loved it so much, I've been rationing it for the last year and then suddenly started wearing it everyday this week. You know you're broke when you start shopping for discounted perfume on Ebay.

3. The low-ish calorie cocktail I just invented and am currently drinking. Fresh pineapple and banana, diet 7-up, a tiny bit of coconut extract and rum. I like it so much, I invited Shanna over from Arkansas to share in the festivities (there aren't really any festivities) but she's unable to make it in the next hour.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Deep Thoughts

Now that I've been a part-time retail sales associate making just above minimum wage for a few weeks, I feel totally qualified to share some of my profound workplace observations. Make no mistake, I'm really enjoying working and the whole idea of avoiding financial ruin is nice too. But I can't help but find humor in comparing my current job to my former career.

Don't include any Cheetah Girls songs in your business' musical line up. A small part of your employee's soul will die when she hears "One World" every night at approximately 8:00pm. The same can be said for the Bubblegum song.

If you're going to have your 17 year old, high school senior supervisor train the 30 year old former Human Resources Manager, you might want to give them some kind of heads up beforehand. In doing so, you can prevent the awkwardness involved with the child telling the elder that she's doing a great job and really picking up everything quickly and then asking the elder if this is her first job.

Oprah says 50 is the new 30, not 30 is the new 50. Thirty seems awfully young to be the oldest employee.

Don't ask me if I want candy from the machine every time you go to break. Yes, the offer is nice but I don't enjoy having to say no while you stare at me in disbelief and I silently (or sometimes out loud) remind myself that I'm the fattest I've ever been.

Don't tell me mid-transaction that you think some humans have super powers that are left untapped because we live in a society where everyone has to fit "in the box". My mind will stumble and then I'll have to figure out what I've already scanned and what's left to scan.

If you're an 8 year old girl shopping with a friend and no parent in sight, don't offer me $5 for $7 socks. At first, when you offer to "trade me" the $5 for the $7 socks, I'll think it's cute. Then when you get an attitude and try to force me to take the $5, I'll have to resist the urge to put you in the naughty spot.

Don't spend 45 minutes walking through the store gathering 20 items of clothing and then stuff them somewhere random. Just bring the pile to the counter and tell me you suddenly got diarrhea and have to leave or your super powers told you someone needs to be saved. I'll understand.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back at it

Birthday party and retreat prep are over. House guests have all gone home. It's time to get back into a routine. A routine that involves sewing with a cranky two year old, working part-time nights and weekends, and finding time for myself. Oh, and also continuing to feed my addiction to the wii fit. Everyone here is in my face crying right now but I'm going to ignore it and plug along.

Listed not one, but two bags this afternoon. I love, love, love this first one! I had totally forgotten that I bought this fabric from Jona almost two months ago. See what fun things you can find when you clean and organize!

This second bag is "not quite perfect". The snap is slightly off center. I'm not really sure what happened. I did enjoy two refreshing margaritas last night but I don't drink and sew so I can't blame the booze. Anyway, I listed it at the chipper-chicken price so if you love it, there's a good deal to be had. I just realized "chipper-chicken" is something that Steve and I say that will make no sense to anyone else but I'm going to leave it and let you wonder where the phrase came from.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Best Weekend Ever!

This past weekend was the ultimate scrapbooking retreat weekend that I mentioned here a few months ago. 10 scrappers in a beach house for three days, most of us meeting in person for the very first time. I finally got to meet Kristi, Keeley, Shana, and Shanna and was lucky enough to have Shanna stay with me at home for a few extra nights. I know it probably sounds weird to some people, but after chatting online regularly with some of these ladies for several years, I felt like we knew each other as well as we would have if we had seen each other in person all this time. No weirdness or uncomfortable moments, just a lot of fun.

I was especially sad to see Shanna go after getting to spend extra time with her. Bella had grown quite attached to her and even cried at the airport yesterday! Shanna and I have been chatting in instant messenger pretty much every morning Monday-Friday for about two years now. My morning routine is always the same...slowly drinking my coffee while chatting with Shanna. Sometimes we talk about important stuff like money issues, child rearing, an argument with our husband. And other times, we (ok, me) just share embarrassing stories or talk about nothing at all. It was so nice to see that the rest of the Crafty Family loves her as much as I do...Crafty Papa even took her out on the town for what seemed like a first date except that I was in the car too! Anyway, I really do feel immensely grateful that I got to meet Shanna in person finally and had a really hard time at the airport. Today, I'm trying to focus on how much fun I had with her and how she really is a great friend (even if it isn't the traditional type of friendship) instead of thinking about how I had to send her back to Arkansas yesterday and won't see her again for a long while. She was really easy to be around and I just felt like I could completely be myself with her. Not everyone gets to find a friend like that.

Lastly, I designed these cute owl t-shirts for the retreat and ordered extras because I thought they were too cute not to share. You can find them in my shop.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brace Yourself

I'm going to be honest, I don't even think the before pictures show just how bad it was. I have all of this great storage with the high top tables and shelves and the closet organizer, I just can't seem to get my lazy self to use it. But now that I'm on a mission to impress my friend, Beth, I'll make extra effort.

So, here's before...

And after. Some of the changes are subtle. Notice how organized the wall racks are now. And the under table shelves. I purged a 13 gallon trash bag and a laundry basket that's over flowing. I bet now you're wishing you would have brought me that frozen yogurt like I requested. I totally deserve a reward.

To go with my new shoes

I really should keep this one, don't you think? It goes perfectly with my shoes and I really do like the size and shape. And just for Marie, shorter straps which are at pre-"breastfed two children for a year each" boob level. Lets just say, that's a few inches higher than normal boob level. The zippered hobo bag may have gotten the best of me for now but I think this is a good alternative, don't you think? I listed it, but I might have to check it out in the mirror with my new red shoes later so if you want it, get it now.

Crafty Papa is going to be out for most of the night tonight so I've assigned myself the major task of cleaning my craft room. Like, really cleaning it. Not just shoving everything into the closet or under the table. I need to purge. There's just too much yarn, fabric, paper...everything. So, I think if it's been sitting here longer than six months, it has to go. It's bad in here. Like, bad, bad, bad. I'm going to take before and after pics and post them here tonight which will be highly embarrassing and shameful but maybe it's the motivation I need. I also need a movie to watch on the desktop while I work. But, I don't live "in town" and driving in and back to get one will take up a half hour and require that I get out of my pj's. So, one of you can pick up a movie for me and drop if off along with some fat free frozen yogurt.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Stuff

I haven't had a very successful sewing week. First off, Matea not napping is really messing with my schedule. When Bella gave up her nap, I could still get her to hang out in her bed and rest and read books. Matea, not so much. On top of that, I've been messing with a zippered hobo bag for a few weeks and am finally admitting defeat. I just can't get it right. I've read online tutorials and even bought a pattern and I still can't get it. My attempt is now sitting next to me in the trash can and I'm just going to forget about it for now and move on.

After an ice cream bribe, I got the girls to occupy themselves for a bit this afternoon so I could work on this bag. I'm really liking this style and I think the size is super versatile.

A few of you have emailed me asking about my new job. I started on Monday and actually had a lot of fun (Carters has some of the cutest kids clothes - I love looking at all of the bright colors and fun prints). The only down side was that my feet were KILLING ME when I got home. Think nine months pregnant, post-grocery trip ankles. You know, when it feels like they're just going to explode with pressure. Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and spend a big chunk of my soon-to-come first paycheck on a pair of nice shoes. I was prepared to pay $100+ but got lucky and found these on clearance for $30!

How cute are they?! I'll tell you. So cute that I also bought them in silver. Honestly though, I think good shoes are going to be a necessity with this job so I don't even feel guilty. I did my homework so I didn't base my decision solely (get it? shoes - soles....solely) on cuteness. These are Privo which is a division of Clarks so, cute and orthopedically superior.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Super Cute Skirt

Jona has a new skirt pattern coming out soon and I was lucky enough to be a tester! I decided to use the pattern to make Bella's special birthday baby turned 5 today!

I absolutely love how this turned out and thought the directions were really easy to follow. TONS of pictures and really basic info., very much unlike the last pattern I tried. If you're not already on her mailing list, make sure you sign up so you can get an update when the pattern is available.

Here's what I really like about this skirt...the apron is super sweet and feminine, it doesn't require a lot of fabric, and it has excellent twirlability without being too big and heavy. Fabulous!

Friday, January 9, 2009

For the Girly Girl

Two new bags in ultra-feminine patterns...

And, I updated the pics on this listing because I thought the previous ones made it look washed out and not true to it's deep color.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gainfully Employed

Remember how a few days ago I mentioned that I needed to get a real job? I got one already! And it totally just fell into my lap!

I went into the Carters outlet yesterday to buy a birthday gift (you'll get it in a few days Avery:) ) and was chatting it up with the sales girl. We got along so well, I asked whether they were hiring and she said they were looking for a night and weekend person. Just the shift I was looking for! She gave me an application and insisted that I bring it back in today when the manager was there. Well, she was right because I got hired on the spot! I go back in tonight to fill out the paperwork and am hoping to casually find out whether there's an employee discount:)

Definitely not the level of work I was doing pre-kids but I'm so looking forward to it. I think I had almost forgotten that I could have a life outside of the house. Adult interaction here I come! I plan to continue bag-making for at least the next few months. I have tons of supplies built up that I really need to use and to begin with, I'll only be working 10-15 hours per week. Hopefully, everything will work out well and when tourist season rolls around in the spring and summer, I can work a little more and will probably start sewing much less frequently. Just think, I could actually start sewing for myself instead of you guys.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'll trade you two complaints for two recipes. First, the complaints...

I will be without a laptop starting tonight through 1-2 weeks. And there's really no reason for it. My laptop keeps me alive, much like Diet Pepsi and chocolate.

Crafty Papa contacted Dell a few weeks ago about replacing some cracked parts on the computer. All exterior, cosmetic stuff (ok, maybe more than that, it was a new screen and the top that goes around the keyboard). Anyway, the guy showed up on Friday night to replace everything and after he left, our monitor was no longer working. I've suddenly realized how much time I waste on the internet, and that's as much of a bummer as the broken computer. We still have the desktop but marching all the way (like ten steps) into the office to use it is so much less comfortable than being on the laptop at the kitchen counter, watching the kids play and pretending like I don't have laundry to fold.

Next complaint. I burned almost all of my fingertips last night. That's what I get for cooking every night. In a bold move, I grabbed a 450 degree glass dish with my bare hands. It did not feel good. And still doesn't. I have blisters on some of my fingers and purple spots on others. I'm using the very tips of my fingers, up by my nails to type. Good times. Anyway, I picked the wrong bag to sew this afternoon. The strap required turning a sleeve for cording and that didn't work out well for my burned skin so it'll have to wait.

If you wasted 5 minutes reading that, I'll reward you with two recipes.

First, I made this granola today. Delicious. I eat just a little bit with yogurt because as you probably know, granola is full of fat and calories. On the up side though, I used ingredients that I regularly keep around so I didn't have to buy anything special. I estimate my cost at bout $1 for the batch compared to $3 that I would pay for a box if I could find it on sale. I feel like I've made Michelle Duggar proud.

And right now, I have this tortilla soup on the stove. Again, delicious. And cheap. I bought low fat and low sodium chicken broth for $2, tomatoes for $2 (crushed them myself instead of buying the cans), and an onion for $.50. I already had peppers in the freezer and left over chicken. I'm adding corn and then will sprinkle with a little bit of cheese and baked tortillas. I think I'm well on my way to being able to call Crafty Papa "Steve Bob" when he gets home. (If you don't watch The Duggar's tv show, you really should so you can get the Steve Bob reference.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

I know I promised another new design for Sunday but instead of sewing, I spent the day out with the family hiking,
eating apples...

and enjoying the perfect beach weather.

I finally got around to finishing this one this afternoon

and let me tell you, it was a big balancing act. Two bossy, sassy girls, one who needs a nap and won't take it, the other who's been on school break for almost weeks...does not equate to relaxing sewing time for Crafty Mama. I kept telling Crafty Papa how much I enjoyed having him home for four days in a row and now I'm realizing, it was even nicer than I realized. Being with anyone all the freakin time would be wearing enough but add to the mix the fact that my companions are largely dependent on me for everything and it's just too much sometimes. Lucky for me, we're broke like much of America is right now so I'm looking to work part-time nights and weekends soon which may give me the break I need from my ladies.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Another new style...

in fabric that coordinates nicely with my new hair. I woke up this morning determine to recolor it and then Crafty Papa went on and on again about how much he loves it. I'm starting my bid early for wife of the year in 2009.

A small zippered hobo bag is still in the works and I'm hoping to list one more new style tomorrow that includes o-rings. Tatey Cakes is still determined to give up her nap so I'm trying to figure out what my new regular sewing schedule will be.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Got my hair did

Bright red (actually kinda pink) for Crafty Papa. You like? Hate? Crafty Papa LOVES it, as evidenced by the fact that he's kissed me at least a dozen times in the last hour. I think it's a little much for me but I did it for him so I'll keep it for now.

Off to sew a new style bag while Steve takes down the tree and Matea continues her boycott on naps. Thankfully, "Little Bear" is available to babysit for the next half hour and then I think Wubzy is available.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

For Your Shopping Pleasure

Some of the new styles you can find in my shop.

I'm hoping to list a few more this weekend but just found out that we have Crafty Papa home again this week for four days in a row so I may just ignore all other duties and enjoy being with my hubs.