Come on by!
Go over to Treegold and Beegold to check out the new weekly project post on a building a light box.
So I've had this personal blog for awhile and I've dreamed of getting my business blog up and going. I just don't have the time to do 2 different blogs though so I'm considering migrating all future material over to Treegold & Beegold. For awhile I would post links back here to send traffic that way but I think that if I ever want to have Treegold & Beegold be my main online presence then I need to start doing that now while I'm still small. I'll probably copy over some of my most popular posts also, the ones relating to tutorials or general information.
All this is coming about because I am slowly seeing my traffic numbers increasing and I've started working on a large tutorial and pattern that I am planning to offer free on the site. I am projecting that this pattern may help to increase my traffic by quite a bit and well I really want the traffic over at Treegold & Beegold more so then I want it here. I also forsee having more time to put forward towards the blog in the future. I've received some unfortunate news from work. Due to the continued decline of available projects for at least a temporary amount of time I'm being asked to drop my hours from full time, taking about a 20% pay cut along with it. So I'm going to take this opportunity and try to all my extra time at getting Treegold & Beegold up and running strong. Expect a week or so for me to get all the formatting and links done.
I hope everyone will continue to follow me over there. I'll make sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.
I've added 3 new and I think major links to the reference page.
These links are to 3 of my personal notebooks in Evernote and are constantly updated with information I find around the web. I know I've gone on and on about how much I love Evernote and really I can't say enough. Those should show you the power of it. I have craft projects from sewing, to crochet, to knitting, along with felt food, and cupcakes. The projects notebook at this exact moment contains 137 notes. I'm sure by the end of the day their will be at least 5 more. Earlier today I clipped multiple tutorials from around the web on felt food. I've tried my best to ensure that all notes link back properly to their source.
Many of the project notes contain .pdfs or files that contain a pattern or the instructions. Please enjoy and continue to check back in with all the folders.
I have a zillion different notebooks including one on recipes. In time I may share that one to the public also but at the moment I'm still trying to collect and compile it to be a good representation of what I have. For a long time I downloaded all my recipes as .pdfs to my computer and after awhile that did not lend well to good sorting. The technique was good for archiving everything but one of the powers of Evernote is the ability to tag every note and search by tags or just words within a note.
I've thought of doing link round ups and posting some of these hear to the blog directly but I'm unsure as to what everyone wants to see. Are their any types of projects that someone is most interested in? If so I'll keep an eye out among my blog roll and post them as they come through.
So I found this on Lifehacker this morning and thought I'd share it with everyone. We all have that lonely sock or multiple lonely socks that have lost their mates. Well here is a useful way to put them to use. My office desk for sure could use one.
Conquer Your Cable Clutter with an Extra Sock
There is an alternate universe that claims our socks after we put them in the drier, leaving us with an orphaned member of the pair. What can you do with that extra sock? Home and lifestyle blog Real Simple suggests you use it as a cable organizer.
All you need to do is cut off the toe at the end of the sock to essentially create a fabric tube that can keep all your cables together while still giving them a little breathing room. To be extra safe, just keep the sock away from any electrical outlets or the base of the plugs.
2 Clever Ways to Organize Your Cords | Real Simple
Remember I said I won a blog contest that involved a crafting book? Well this is what I won! It's so awesome and I'm so happy to have gotten it.
Added to the blog to do list is a review of it after I make something.
Between work and the kids birthdays things have been crazy. Wee Rose's 1st birthday party is on Saturday. I can't believe its almost been a year already.
This week I didn't get to finish completing any project but I did work on Wee Rose's baby blanket some more. I'm glad I decided to make a more toddler sized blanket because of how long this is taking me. I swear I'm closer to done then is in that picture.
Instead I made my first good apple pie. I love apple pie and I've always been good at the seasoning but not so much at the top pie crust. Well I got it figured out this time. I also took pictures because I was so proud. I used this recipe for the pie crust and this one for the apple filling.
I think next may be a berry cobbler. I've tried it in the past to minimal success, now to find a good recipe.
The blog Happy Together has put up a great tutorial for an adorable nursery item. She does such great things. I only wish I could sew like her. She is awesome at altering clothing. The project includes a tutorial and print outs for the background. If Wee Rose's walls weren't already full I'd be so tempted to make this myself. Umm.. maybe as a future baby shower gift for a crafty mom.
Check out her site though, it's adorable.
I have a large amount of WIPs (work in progress) laying around I realized. This past weekend Hubby and I worked diligently on tidying up and organizing the house some. In doing that I came across an almost completed project. It was a modification from this pattern at MyGurumi. Everything for this crocheted flower was done except it wasn't put together. I had made the stem, all 5 petals and the 2 leaves but they were just sitting in the box. I just finished putting it together and then took apart a wire coat hanger to add into the stem so that it would be stiff.
What is worse is this project was intended as a gift. Yes yes I know really bad of me. But not it will make its way to the intended recipient and I hope they like it.
This got me thinking though. I have a laundry list of intended projects or in progress projects. So each week I'm going to either finish a project or report on the status of one. I have one or two I expect to take longer than a week to complete so I must at least show you all what I have gotten done.
In a way this is to make me accountable. After I have completed my intended projects I'm going to move on to creating at least one thing each week out of my craft supplies stash. This includes my fabric stash and my yarn stash. I can not buy any new primary supplies to create a project, notions will be allowed though. I really don't have that large of a stash of them and things like interfacing. I can not buy any fabric to complete it though. And I hope to continue this through the and of the year.
I guess we can call this a mid years resolution since I never made one in January.
Wee Rose appears be starting to wean herself. She has little interest in her bottles anymore and the only good size bottle she will eat anymore is at about midnight everyday. We think that one is out of hunger. We're trying to adapt to giving her more solids, specifically finger foods that are good for self feeding. Unfortunately her skills there are still developing and it's looking like a mix of spoon fed food and finger foods is best. Well to give her a bit more variety to her diet I went on an Internet hunt for suggestions and recipes. I found this site aptly labeled Homemade Baby Food Recipes.
This morning I put forth on of the sites suggestions in regards to sticky fruit that is hard to pick up. I cut up some peaches and dusted them in baby oatmeal. I'd only call it a so so success. Yes she was able to pick up the fruit easier and eat it better but boy was it a mess. She had this sticky oatmeal on her fingers which she got all over her face and into her hair. We finished off the peaches with just a bowl of oatmeal. I think it worked pretty well as a breakfast. At least she still lets us spoon feed her. When Lil' R switched to finger foods he refused anything but that. He's always been an very independent sort where Wee Rose is much less.
This site has this recipe up which I really want to try. It looks like it's something I could make in bulk and freeze the extras.
Infant finger food recipes - Butternut Squash Ravioli (age 6 months+)
2 oz (1/2 cup) flour (unbleached)
2 oz (1/2 cup) semolina flour
2-3 fl oz (1/3 cup) very warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
around 6 oz (3/4 cup) butternut squash, peeled, cooked and mashed
pinch of sweet paprika (optional)
Mix the flours together, then slowly add the oil and water, mixing well (this is easiest to achieve with a food processor set at the lowest speed).
The mixture should become a ball of dough - if it seems too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until a ball is formed.
Knead the dough thoroughly, then divide into two pieces.
Roll out each piece VERY thinly.
Stir the paprika into the butternut squash.
Take heaped teaspoons of the butternut squash and place at intervals along 1 sheet of pasta.
Place the other sheet of pasta over the top and press down around the 'mounds' of butternut squash.
Next, cut around the butternut squash mounds with a very sharp knife.
Create a decorative edge for your ravioli by pressing all the way around the edge with the wet prongs of a fork.
Splash out on some ravioli moulds.
They are inexpensive and make it much easier to create perfect ravioli shapes!
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then carefully slide in your ravioli shapes (we find it best to cook just three or four at a time).
When the shapes rise to the surface of the water, they are ready. Carefully remove them with a slotted spoon.
Serve as they are - with a fresh tomato sauce for babies already enjoying tomatoes - or even with a sauce of another veggie puree thinned with a little stock!
I'll let you all know how it goes.
So remember awhile back when I started my Organizational series? I wrote one on Evernote and Part 1 of a group on Google products. Well I've been diligently trying to work on the the next one on Google Calendar but I use it for so much it's pretty complicated because I use it for a lot. Insert curve ball though in that Evernote just did a major update to 4.4 and it looks like I'm going to adjust a bit how I organize my meal planning. There has always been a kink in my process in that I have always desired a place to have a single list of our favorite recipes to easily reference. Well I've figured it out by combining my use of Evernote with Google Calendar.
I encourage anyone who is constantly bookmarking sites for inspiration in any manner but would love to add notes on top of it then Evernote is the greatest your best friend. I have recently started using it to help organize things in my office and it's streamlining things so well. No more trying to find that single note file I saved on how to do something, now it's at my finger tips, literally, since it have it both on my Android Smartphone and my Nook turned Android Tablet. (oh yah that's another post idea!) So to add to my too do list, my Google Calendar blog post, my Evernote part 2 post and turning my Nook into a full Android tablet.
I know I haven't sewn or made anything in a bit, though I did make my android a case but I really don't like it much. At least not enough to show it off. Maybe I'll try it again and show it off. I've been all about technology recently either regarding the Android, Evernote or searching out new blogs. If you go over to Treegold & Beegold I've added a Blog bundle of all the awesome Pagan blogs I've been reading recently. It's a pretty decently length list and I'll hopefully keep adding to it.
Is there any interest in my discussing Android apps I find useful for organizing crafts & family also? I'm forever hunting out new ones and trying them out. I don't know how many people have smart phones now and are specifically Android ones (though some of the bigger apps are on multiple platforms). If you're interested in that idea either leave a comment or just click the "interesting" box.
Okay well I'm off to make some notes and update my to do list.
In the past few weeks I've won contests at 2 blogs, go me!
The first was over at a friends blog Uniquely Normal Mom, she was having a giveaway for Skoy Cloths. I've started using them around the kitchen for general cleaning, and spills. They really do work well. I won a pack of 4 and I'm sure they are going to last a long time. It's just breaking my paper towel habit that's going to be harder.
The second contest I won was over at Whipup.net. She was doing a multi-day giveaway of Family friendly books and honestly I'm not sure which book I won! Yes I know that's pretty bad but I'm excited to see which comes in the mail soon.
It seems this blog has been around for quite awhile but I just stumbled across it and I just had to share. It's called A Magical Childhood and is a blog full of ideas for making every day with your child that, magical. Not in the spiritual sense but it could be applied that way. To me my children's laughter is spiritual in itself and I look forward to doing some of these activities with my kids. Especially now that Lil' R is getting to the age where he can begin to do this stuff.
I'm going through her archives and I bet her children have a lot of fun. There is everything from playing in the mud, dancing in the rain, salt paintings, building towers out of blocks with shaving cream as the mortar, and many more. Often she links to other sites but she appears to be a wealth of a resource. I hope you all enjoy it too.
Blogger informed me today that I can now set my blog to have a mobile version for viewing, awesomeness! So if you have a smartphone check us out and if you have a Blogger blog yourself you'll find the setting under Settings -> Email & Mobile.
Besides sewing and crafting you all should know by now is that I'm a huge geek and I'm always on the look out for the coolest newest technology. Well I came around this in my blog roll and thought I'd share it since so many have their own blogs they may find it useful. It's a service that helps to embed about anything you want into your blog. Want to imbed a CNN video, a tweet, Facebook, or something from deviantART? It currently supports 218 services.
Here is a test embedding an article from Wikipedia.
A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.
And a video from National Geographic
A lot of the services are video or photo services so for someone who often writes blogs commenting on current events, movies, etc. this could be really useful. I'm not sure how often I'll get to use it. I know it'd be a lot more if I started making Youtube videos of tutorials etc. but I don't see that happening too soon. Until then it's just a nifty thing to know.
When it comes to sewing patterns made by RAE has some great ones. Last fall I purchased from her the Big Butt Baby Pants pattern which is specifically designed for the big butt of a cloth diapered baby and I finally got around to sewing 2 pairs this weekend for Wee Rose. See we were starting to run into an issue with her in regards to pants. Because of the cloth diapers and that she's a chunky monkey she's gone up in sizes by leaps and bounds. She'll be 11 months next week and already we're putting her in 18 month clothes. If it's a t-shirt often she can wear a 12 month size but if it's pants the 12 months look like Speedos.
I'm happy to say that the pattern is a huge success!! I forsee myself making quite a few pairs of these in the next few months. For my first try I used some quilting cotton I had laying around which I have no pictures of her in. It was really to make sure I didn't screw up using the cute fabric. For the second pair I used this adorable cotton print fabric I made a dress out of for my niece. There was the perfect amount left to make Wee Rose the pants. The size I made is a bit long but I just cuff the pants up and she seems to get around okay. I may do a basic hand stitch to keep them where I want but easy enough to remove once she grows taller. The patterns has directions for multiple variations including a ruffled butt panel. I think I may try that out for the next pair. I also want to set some jersey knit and make up a few that would be great for pajamas. This may call for a thrift store raid to look for interesting fabric.
made by RAE has a lot of great patterns for boys and girls. Please go check her out!
So I fell off the meal planning wagon. After our vacation to Florida Pagan Gathering I got completely screwed up. We came back and I immediately needed to grocery shop for a weeks groceries with no meals figured out. I also had to go back to work immediately so I didn't really have to free time to figure it out either. Well yes that was a few weeks ago and I still haven't gotten the full swing back.
This is horrible because without knowing what to cook our food bill went up immediately. I mean the difference was $40 when I bought things "just encase" I mean it isn't like the food went bad it's in the pantry or freezer still to be eaten but we didn't need to buy it. If I don't get my act together quick though we're going to repeat this all over again. I go shopping again this weekend and only have a handful of meals down on the calendar.
I think part of the problem is that I'm bored with I've been cooking. I need to change things up a bit. It can't be too much though or I know I'll feel overwhelmed. I picked up the Sneaky Chef Cookbooks because Lil 'R won't eat a vegetable save his life right now. I've already started adding a puree of sweet potatoes and carrots to our mac 'n cheese which he doesn't notice but I need to add more and more green vegetables at that. It has this recipe for egg and bacon breakfast bars that I want to make within the next few days.
Anyone have any favorite recipes that they cook that can be done either in the crockpot or within 30 minutes at night? I suck at making things ahead of time though I really wish that wasn't the case. If I could do that I know we'd be eating a thousand times better.
I finally have begun launching everything for my home business. I just finished up the first posts on the blog. From there you'll find links to the Facebook page where the shop is located and also a link to the new Facebook I'm running for parents who follow any form of pagan spirituality.
This blog will continue to exist as a personal outlet with hopefully more entries. I think I just have too high of aspirations. I need to first post regularly and build connections. I worry too much about doing big posts and get so caught up in them needing to be these big things. I need to think baby steps.
On two occasions now we've had to go through sleep training with Wee Rose. The first time was well the normal first time just getting her to sleep through the night, the second time was after a prolonged illness that led to her learning new sleep associations.
The first time we went through sleep training Wee Rose was sleeping in her crib and having no problems falling asleep but she was still waiting up every 4 hours or so. She was 5 months old. I borrowed from the library a book called The Baby Sleep Solution. Though the book was very breastfeeding friendly I was at this point having difficulty pumping while at work and we decided to switch to formula during the day. One method the book said to do was increase of food per feeding during the day and gradually decrease the amounts per feeding at night. It took a few days but soon Wee Rose was asleep 11 - 12hrs. It was so easy and so glorious.
The second time was much tougher and we're still working on it a bit. This time Wee Rose had formed sleep associations with sleeping in her swing. While ill we had let her sleep in her swing to help ease the pains of her congestion. She was congested for over two weeks though and at the end of it refused to go back to sleeping in her crib. We made a hard call and pulled out the big guns. I had previously bought Dr. Ferber's book when we were looking for solutions the previous time but it didn't arrive until after she was sleeping through the night, so I never read it. This time I read it from cover to cover.
Dr. Ferber gets a bad rap often. I thought his book was going to be very harsh just saying to let our baby cry and cry until she just gave up on us. It expressly says no NOT to do that. Yes there is a progressive stage of time where you let them cry but crying isn't the point of it all. The point is for the baby to associate what you wish them to (in our case and most parents it was her crib) with sleep. If you let them cry but they never fall asleep then all of that crying was worthless. Once I thought of it that way it really changed my few. I didn't want my baby to cry at all but if it was going to happen then I certainly didn't want her crying for more than was needed. So once she was fully better I settled in for a hard night. That first night we went in like advised after 5 min then 10 minutes and then she was asleep. What was harder was 2 hours later she woke up and it took 20 minutes for her to get quiet to just wake up 10 minutes later and start over. We all survived and she feel asleep. Since that night it hasn't been perfect but more times then not she sleeps in her bed. Last night she went all night without waking either for the first time in awhile. I think she just went through a growth spurt because on Sunday - Wednesday nights all it took was a bottle and she went right back to sleep in her crib.
The moral is that though CIO seems tough what is tougher is instead of a few nights of crying going through months of it. It can work and everyone can be happier for it. Remember the point isn't to cry but to fall asleep.
I finally have photos of some finished products up. I've produced 6 different designs in the bows and 7 bottle caps that can be interchanged. The latter was Hubby's idea and I think it was a great one. 4 of the bows represent the 4 elements while the others are more in tune with the 5th element, spirit. The bows are all 4 inches wide whereas the bottle caps are 1 inch in diameter.
The bow that I am calling Air along with the Air bottle cap.
The Earth bow with the Earth bottle cap.
The Fire bow and bottle cap.
The Water bow and bottle cap.
Black and silver bow
Pentacle bottle cap
Triquestra bottle cap
Purple and Black bow with pentacle bottle cap on and off.
If you would like to get into making bows yourself it is quite easy. On the references page I have up many links to sites I found useful for free tutorials. Also check out Youtube. I didn't spend anything on materials or tutorials and neither does anyone else. There is plenty of free material on the web.
I've been working on the launch of my side business recently and I haven't gotten much sewing done. Mostly I've been working on bows.
I have both a Facebook Page and an Etsy site so please go visit. There you can see why I haven't been posting recently.
As of this moment there is nothing up for sale. In the facebook shop are examples of items I have made. Right now I'm in high gear for an event that is next week and I have a store that will carry my items consignment. I'm trying to get enough up and going to start marketing myself. After the event I will hopefully have some stock left to put online.
So the route of making cloth diapers is coming along. I posted a bit back all the resources I was using to design my own. Well with so input from Hobby who really changes most of the diapers I think I've come up with my final design. It includes gussets on the legs to help contain blow outs.
There are a few things I've learned.
1. Don't use too much fabric in the actual pocket diaper or the elastic won't bring it in much, they can't be top stitched nicely, and they take forever to dry.
2. People use cloth wipes not for the reason to be green but because it's easy to just plop them after use in the dirty diaper and throw it all in the laundry bag. With normal wipes trying to figure out where to put the dirty one now in the middle of changing is ridiculous.
3. The baby will need bigger pants because wow does it give the baby a booty.
I am planning to do a full tutorial on my diaper once I've finalized and test drove it for a bit. Keep checking back and if you cloth diaper what things have you learned?
I'm always hearing other moms swap how they manage organizing all the little details of their life such as appointments, meal planning etc. I've come up with a method that works great for my family and this is organizing via Google.
The first thing to explain is your Google account is based off of a Gmail address. If you already have a Gmail account then you're one step ahead here if not just sign up for one for free. Now that you've made an account you have access to all of Goggles tools and everything will be saved for you. Anything you do can be accessed from any location. Also if you've fully drunk the Google Kool-aid like me you have Android phone (which is Google's mobile OS system) so everything syncs nicely. Once you have a Gmail address not only can you use it for e-mail but you can then use it as your login for anything Google. The chief programs I use are: Calendar, Reader, Docs, Blogger, Bookmarks, and Voice. Youtube and Picasa are also owned by Google and can be linked to your same Gmail account but we won't be going into those.
The biggest power of using Google items is the ability to work on something on one computer and access it without the use of an external storage device anywhere I want. I function primarily in two different locations in my life, home and work, but I need access to organizational tools in both these places. I did this for a few years and recently added in a third, my Android cell phone.
Google Calendar is exactly what it sounds like, it's a calendar but it has some extra functionality such as being able to make different calendars, share calendars, add items from e-mails, have a Task list, and import calendars from other sources.
Google Docs is a simplified online Microsoft Office that allows sharing of spreadsheets, documents, forms, presentations across computers. It can also be used to view Microsoft or Openoffice Documents if you have neither program. It can even just be a storage place for other file types. You may not be able to view them but you can upload them for storage.
Blogger is the blog program I run this blog on so I don't think is needs much more explanation.
Google Bookmarks is my bookmarking program. I save everything based on tags and can access them from anywhere. No more worry about loosing bookmarks because they aren't local.
Google Voice is phone service where you can get a free phone number and make calls directly from your computer or even a cell phone if it has a data plan. I use mine for the free text messaging so I don't need a text plan on my cell phone and as a 2nd phone number. Currently that has little use but as I get closer to launching my store front it will have a purpose.
That about covers the basics, await part 2 for more details on how to use each to organize for a typical family.
I know I'm sucking at blogging right now. I have that long post in the works but normal life stuff just seems to keep getting in the way. I came across a blog earlier that has given me a load of new ideas for things to make.
The link talks about how to do screen printing at home. I have everything here but the fabric paint. Ideas I'm thinking of include images on fabric blocks or maybe details on a plushie. I need to just check into the safety of fabric paint if ingested by some little mouth.
Also I've begun to look into making hair bows and maybe use the bows in other applications.
Should we create our own Flickr group to share our personal creations?
I'm finding that I am entirely in love with living a mobile computing life. I knew I would though and I resisted updating entirely because of the cost of the phones and the monthly fees. I'm working on a longer post about how I'm integrating google into my organizing everything between my 3 primary computing devices, my office computer, my home desktop and my cell phone. I've been working using a portable system for quite awhile now but it relied on using my portable harddrive and the use of portable apps. I'm still doing this because not everything is easier mobile. Such as to really do a good blog post I prefer to do it on a computer and not my phone. The phone is great for the quick picture post but not for anything really longer.
I am learning that some of my previous systems are now useless. One such case is I spent a lot of time downloading and organizing all my recipes onto my harddrive and then hyperlinked them to a spreadsheet. I was going to use the spreadsheet to rate the recipes and make notes but in the end it just turned into a list. Now with my mobile phone I've gone back to using bookmarks so that I can access the recipe from my phone easily. I did try putting all the files on my phone but it is easier to read webpages then it is to read pdfs.
I'm soon going to be at the point where if I were to lose my phone I'd lose my entire life. Thank you google for backing it all up.
Work is kicking my butt this week but I promise to work on that fully flushed out, including screenshots of my phone to have it out by early next week.
I almost let stress overcome me yesterday and I nearly dropped the ball again big time at work. I was working on a SWMM 4.0 model that we received from another company for the purpose of making our proposed modifications to it for a watershed to see if there were any impacts. In a gist, this model based upon input will output information such as water level and flow rates where specified. Well the entire thing is text based and I f*ed up an input. I put the wrong value in somewhere. I didn't catch it either before both my supervisor on the project and boss were questioning that their must be an error in the inputs. They didn't immediately place blame on me though and my supervisor asked for my files to check them. I actually caught the error and fixed it before sending him the files but if I didn't have a reason to rerun the files I was still screwed.
Well, come this morning and my supervisor did find something but that something was that the company we received the model from changed a few inputs and he didn't previously notice it. So that probably was the real issue not my typos and I had an excuse to rerun the model. The results of the rerun were expected. In the long run everything came out just fine, whew...
To my flip out last night. This showed me how much stress I'm under and how work and home stress are snowballing on me now. Stresses from home are causing me to be distracted at work and then make stupid mistakes like the above. Then I bring the stress from work and it affects my attitude at home. Somehow I need to slosh all of this off and start from square one but I'm unsure where to start.
I love plants but unfortunately I don't have much of a green thumb. My problem is I have a tendency to forget to water them. I'm trying again though. Here is a picture of my new herb window box. In it is sweet basil, Italian parsley, and oregano. I had good luck last fall with a sunflower in this window. What eventually led to its demise was not lack of water but that it grew too tall on a small stock and snapped. FYI this is the kitchen window that gets great sun during the day and is right by the sink. It makes it easier to remember to water it. Hopefully within a few months I can share news of my success. I hope so because the front yard needs some serious landscaping.
Anyone have any good pointers?
I love many tv shows but I hate them all at once. The spring is a hard time in our house because there is just so many good shows on. Sometimes I feel like all we do at night is watch tv. I mean tonight we have American Idol, Big Bang Theory, Whip Out, and Jersey Shore. We are getting this pretty crazy back log of shows on the DVR too. I guess there are plenty of worse things out there. TV is a great escape though. I guess it could be said to be one of my vices.
I found this recipe for Calzone Hearts last week and decided it would be a great thing to do for the family Valentine's Day dinner. I prepped them on Sunday night because making the dough and forming the hearts took quite a bit of time. I won't kid you the dough is a pain in the butt. It is a very stiff dough and at times I almost wished I had a pasta machine to get it right. While watching movies with Hubby I put together all the calzones and it took me over 2 hours to do it all. First I rolled and cut out all the dough. I happen to have a heart shaped cookie cutter so I just used that. Once they were all cut I prepped the filling. For ours it's just mozzarella and turkey pepperoni. I chopped the pepperoni really fine first. Once I put the filling in I just crimped the edges with a fork. After I was done though I just covered them in plastic wrap and stuck them in the fridge to be baked the next evening.
The next night I made garlic bread and threw the calzones in the oven. While they were baking I also make a berry cobbler like dessert for later. I got the recipe from Allrecipes.com called Easy Fruit Cobbler. I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Yes, it was very easy to make. Based on the comments on the the site I added vanilla extract to the dough and some brown sugar on top of the berries before baking it.
There it is sitting in the oven. It tasted great. Hubby had it with whip cream where I prefer vanilla ice cream with mine.
Voila!! Lil' R loved the calzones so I think I may go through the torture of making them every year.
Here is Wee Rose holding her own bottle. She'll be 7 months tomorrow. Really that long has passed? Sometimes it feels like just yesterday she was born and other days I feel as if there never was a time before she arrived. It's the same with Lil' R. It's hard to think back to the days before I had him. Having children changes your life so drastically. I feel as if I was even a different person. As the kids age I'm sure I'll see the differences just grow with them. I love all of it though and know I will miss the day when Lil' R and Wee Rose are no longer little like this.
Maybe instead of beating myself up over not getting out enough full blogs a week I should instead just do quick mini blogs. Blogger just put out an app so now I can easily update from the convenience of my couch. The only thing that sucks is when the touch screen errors out mid sentence.
I wanted to sew tonight but we have to leave early in the morning. I save to prep all the kids stuff for the day. I'm wondering if I am ever going to get the diapers done. I guess I should get up off my butt and get to work.
Somehow putting up a link on my Facebook turned an old friend into probably a soon to be lost friend. Somehow they became my first 'troll' in a sense too. As I learned long ago in my time on the internets to not feed into things like this and shut my mouth upon the second comment.
What actually happened though is I put up a link to a science blog I read regularly with the title No, a pole shift won't cause global superstorms. I made my comment on it about, glad to know that this doomsday story has no validity.
Well an old friend who is now solely a Facebook friend commented with some rant that mostly involved Global Warming being untrue, the end of the world in 2012 theory, and how the Earth will end on us when she wants. Yeah, just to say I was blown away. I think what pissed me off even more was he then in turn copied his exact comment and posted it as a note on his own page. My response was to be defensive and tell him I didn't appreciate his pseudo science tirade to my sharing of a link. I attached a link from National Geographic that did a good job on talking about many of the points about global warming but overall I tried not to argue much of what he said. What was his response? That I was the one being rude to him (I guess the pseudo science comment got to him) and then proceeded on about how Stephen Hawking thinks the pole shifts are a big deal and how done of us were alive during the last shift so who do we know what will happen. Also ending it with a very condescending remark about how I need to think of the many people who came before me.
WTF?! Where does any of that have to do with a scientific discussion? Yes some of those people who came before were scientists and they made great leaps in knowledge for those of us now. I'm not discounting a single one of them but I don't think many of them were talking specifically about pole shifts causing superstorms. They put forth magnetic theory and other scientific theories that tells us why it isn't such a big deal.
I made one last comment which was only to say I thought he was being rude and condescending with his comments. I had been neither and though I wanted to say more I was going to refrain from it. I almost typed "I will not feed the troll" but the smart me stopped.
Hubby added on in his not so nice voice about people full of themselves having read one book and now believing they were the end all to be all on the subject. Often he says what he knows I just can't bring myself too.
He just couldn't let it go though and came back with one more condescending gem,
"Otay(sic) sorry I often fail remember speculative thought is a seldom acquired ability like discretion it is a highly atribute.(sic)"
To define speculative means to engage in speculation which is:
To engage in a course of reasoning often based on inconclusive evidence. (yourdictionary.com)
You speculate on subjects where there is a lack of evidence you don't just throw out evidence if it exists. It doesn't make you better because you can speculate. In my eyes if evidence is available and you refuse to see it or even consider it because you'd rather live in conspiracy type theories it just makes you ignorant.
My Facebook account is entirely private, if you are not already friended and wish to just send me a message.
Nothing got made this weekend so I have nothing to put up to show off. Instead we got some much needed socialization time and then we got a lot done in regards to the house. Mostly it was some much needed deep cleaning.
Friday night I went out to a local Tex-mex restaurant with some other moms. All of who are the wives of men in Hubby's Stay-at-Home-Dads meetup group. It was really nice. It's been awhile since I was just out with friends having dinner, a couple of drinks and talking. We were there for 6 hours. It was pretty obvious we all needed that. It's a wonderful treat every 2 or 3 months and I look forward to the next one.
On Saturday night a close family friend came over for dinner to introduce us to her new boyfriend. We did a bit of a pot luck dinner. She cooked the entree, brought dessert and I made the sides along with some fresh bread. I'm happy to say that on first impressions we really like her boyfriend and we've discussed making the dinner party a monthly event.
I know in the past I've vented a few times about missing having a close friend but I think much of those came about as the result of me just needing some real socialization on any level. Between those 2 evenings and then some great time spent with Hubby I mentally feel refreshed.
Seems it was a weekend for freshening up all around both of my mental/emotional state and the house. :)
I want to start a series that I'll write on occasionally about technology I use to not only write to this blog but also as a tool to help with my crafting. I was raised a complete geek and have been using computers from a very early age. My mother was a self taught graphic designer starting in the early 1990s and let me play around with many programs. I'm also a bit Obsessive about finding the best programs to keep myself organized.
This time I wanted to mention Evernote. This is a great program that can be used to piece together information from multiple sources easily. I use it mostly for grouping ideas.
First here is the front of Evernote that you'll see when you first come to it. The greatest thing with it now that I have a smartphone is that I can access my entries at home where I have Evernote downloaded, from my phone where I have the app or at work where I go through the web. Evernote is free to a point. There if you have the paid subscription service then you can upload as much as you want per month, if not there is a monthly maximum. I have yet to reach that monthly amount though so at the moment I'm still on the free service.
Your notes are sorted both by notebooks and by tags. On the left you can see my notebooks and in the center some of my notes I have within one. This is my hodpodge notebook, as you can see it contains recipes, decorating ideas, and clips from webpages.
Here I am creating/editing the entry on making this post. It contains all of the normal formatting options though really I wish they were a bit more user friendly. I often have to fight with it if I want something pretty. Really though I've learned to just live with it being a bit messy and think of it as part of the creative process. You can also attach files to a note which is great for .pdf patterns or photos from the computer.
Once I've collected everything I need then it's time to implement the project in whatever way is appropriate. If it's a blog post well then I turn to writing it. And voila, from idea to published.
It'd be great to here how everyone else composes there ideas be it on a scratch pad by the fridge, or in a word document. So tell me what you do in the comments section.
Sorry not much to write today, I've been very distracted for the past 24 hours. Hubby and I are finally out of the cell phone stone age and got smart phones. I'm a bit OCD about finding the perfect apps and organization for my homescreens so this may take a bit. When I first started in the world of online/cloud type working using a mix of portable apps and google apps I tested and tried 4 money softwares, 5 task managers and dozens of other little programs. In the end what do I use? Google Docs for managing our finances and Google Tasks for to do lists. The only nifty program I added on was EverNote. But that is all just an example that I will be tweaking this phone for awhile until it's comfy and worn it like a well loved pair of shoes.
Also I've added a chat window to my blog over on the right. You can easily catch me via yahoo anywhere as long as I'm paying attention to my phone. So go ahead and try it. :)
We decided to switch to cloth diapers for Wee Rose to save some money and I decided like a nutter to make them myself to save even more. I estimated I could probably make enough to last until she is potty trained (or needs training pants) for less than $150. Sounds great right? Well I don't think I thought the effort through.
What I've done so far:
I'm hoping to be done with all the cutting by Friday so that I can start assembly this weekend. I do have a deadline. I have about 2 weeks before we run out of disposable diapers to have at least half of my goal done. I'm aiming for 40 diapers.
Online Sources I am using:
Plushie number 2 has been completed. I would like to introduce my first zebra. One thing I need to work on is the scale. I've just been creating these guys on what fits on a single piece of paper and I would like them a tad bigger than that. I'm trying to fix that with my next critter. He's a tad bigger but not by too much though.
I actually took a series of photos as I worked on him. More than the ferret.
Here shows the zebra cut out using the freezer paper patterns. The pattern has no seam allowance so I just cut a bit larger than it. Doing that lets me see the smaller details that would be lost if I added a buffer around the guy.
First I stitched together the ear and attached it through the slit on his head and sewed on the muzzle to each of the 2 body pieces.
This shows how the ear is attached to the head through the slit. Make sure all the fabric is pulled in so that no loose strings will show around the ear.
The under gusset shown stitched together with one of the feet added.
A close up of the mane sandwiched between the two body pieces which are right sides together. This was very tricky. I had to think a bit about the placement so that when he was turned right side out the mane would be in the correct place.
The head all pinned up ready to sew. When the plushie is turned right side out the mane will stick straight up.
With the safety eyes added. I found these at Joann's though I know there are loads of online sellers too.
And finally stuffed. I purposely didn't sew the under gusset at the tops of the legs. I didn't want him to stand. He's intended for a small child and I though the laying down was cuter. I wanted him slightly floppy too.