Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No time on my hands

I just need a little more time. Just a little more. I don’t mean to be greedy about it. I know I should be grateful for the time the good Lord allows me.  That being said, I just need a little more.

There are people, friends of mine, people whose face book pages I follow, and even family members who always seem to be doing something. From the outside looking in, their life looks like a three ring circus. I AM NOT one of those people. I always wonder how they do it. Most days I feel like I’m lucky to get to work and back and maybe a bite or two before bedtime...only to start it all over again the next day. 

So it is by complete surprise that I find myself in the middle of one of those circuses. I’m not sure how I did it.  I was gliding right along, doing my daily thing. I don’t look for things to keep me busy. I really don’t.  I am a happily un-busy person. So I’m crusin’ and then BAM! I have a 24 hour day to complete 30 hours worth of tasks.
What is that all about?

On a whim and a prayer, I decided to start a business. That has kept be pleasantly busy, not too much, just enough really.  Somewhere along the way I had the brilliant idea to make scrap books out of  recycledjeans. The prototype was awesome, and I hope to get 2 in the booth this weekend.   
I can do this!

Last week I found out about a craft fair. Why not? A Craft fair means more exposure for my little business. Ok, let’s jump on it. So I did. I’m trying to build up enough product to stock my booth at the shop and my booth at the craft fair.  I figure 2 dozen scrap book pages at each location ought to do it. And I’d really like to take 2 of the denim books to this craft fair.
I should be able to do this!

Then a friend suggested that along with my scrapbook pages, I should sell my bandanas too. You see, I made several  Rosie the Riveter bandanas (scarves) recently for a friend who was preparing for brain surgery. I like to rock a fun Rosie the Riveter bandana from time to time myself. So, sure I can whip up a couple dozen scarves for the craft fair. That should be plenty.
Sure hope I can do this.

Then I find out my friend, the one who recently had brain surgery, is having a slower than expected recovery. And now she needs help with expenses. She has no idea when she might be able to return to work, and her paid leave has run out. So, of course, I  put my brain to work and remembered how much  she loved the scarves. Ok, I’ll make some scarves and sell them to the girls at work to raise money. It worked, I took in 12 orders the first day.  
How am I ever going to do this?

So, 2 dozen new scrap book pages, 4 denim scrap book albums, 3 dozen bandanas. 3 days. Oh Boy! What am I going to do? I wish I could delegate, but I'm a right brained- creative -control freak and I just can't delegate this. So I'll Pray. Simply Pray for more time. There is no doubt in my mind that I can do all of these things, if only I had more time.  
I will do this!!!
PS. If I can find the time, I'll post a picture of the Bug rocking her Rosie the Riveter bandana!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Denim Mini Album Giveaway

This weekend I created a denim mini-album from recycled jeans. These will be part of a giveaway for another fb page. I WILL be making more of these to sell at the booth. They are about 6x8, this make them the perfect brag book size! They will come in both boy and girl themes. Hope you like them as much as I do.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Following a Dream

About a month ago I decided to finally get off my duff and do something productive with R-Bug. A local shop advertised that they had a booth open, and I started thinking… What would I do with a booth if I had one? What is my passion? What can I do in my spare time that brings me joy and with enough luck and know-how might turn into a retirement plan too?
I pondered and prayed. Then I told Mr. Bug what I was thinking. I was about half hoping he would talk me out of the whole thing. But no, being the ever supportive hubby that he is, he said This is a no-brainer, what are you waiting for?”
With that ringing endorsement, I called one of my dearest friends. That friend seconded hubby’s thoughts on the matter so I signed a contract for the booth rental and I was off and running.
What is my passion you ask? My passion is now, and for a very long time, has been scrapbooking. I was doing it way before it was cool or marketable. My first scrap book consisted of a 3 ring binder full of old school papers. I dumped all of the school work out, and then punched holes in construction paper. Throughout the school year, I glued, taped, and stapled prized school papers, Valentines, Christmas cards, and even ribbon from birthday presents. I added a monogrammed napkin from a wedding I attended with my parents and the  invitation from a Daddy-Daughter Dinner that I attended with my (now late) daddy.  That was way back in the forth grade.
Fast forward a few decades, and now I’m launching a dream that began brewing all those years ago. My game plan for now is to sell custom pre-made scrapbook layouts. My mission is to make scrapbook easy for everyone. And if that isn’t easy enough, I also make entire albums for those who just don’t have the time to do it themselves. Please follow along as I walk this walk.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Seussical Party

Today was Miss Addison’s 7th birthday party. It turned out well despite the fact that none of her school mates came (insert sad mom face here). Thank goodness for family and friends. (They were so awesome that Addi didn’t care that her friends were no-shows.)

Showing off her necklace from Sis Sammi

 What I thought was a brilliant idea turned out to be not good at all. Here are some of the obstacles that we faced and discoveries that we made along the way.

  1. Addison’s birthday is June 15, by mid June all of the kids have scattered (usually on vacation or at joint custodial parents' houses for the summer) so we decided to move her party towards the end of school. Life got in the way so we couldn’t have it until the day after the last day of school.
  2. You know what happens the day after the last day of school? High School Graduations!!!
  3. You know who goes to High School Graduations? EVERYONE!
  4. I wanted to have it in the late afternoon: the weather man said it was going to be 100o by 2:00. So I moved it to late morning.- result: Cooler weather and lots of  “no see-ums” munching on us.
  5. Also, I had no idea that so many mom’s and dad’s (& people in general) worked on Saturday mornings. (Including 4 of her 6 siblings!) Thank goodness her oldest sister’s hubby and her oldest brother’s wife were there to represent for 2 of the missing sibs along with the 2 sibligs that didn't have to work.
  6. I had originally planned to have it at our house: Addi wanted it at the park. Ok, I can move it to the park. Result: severe limitations on our decoration possibilities.
  7. This was our first year at this school. At our last school, few of the mom’s worked outside of the home (I did but had Saturdays off) and everyone had –“invite- your-whole-class room-to-your-party”- parties. Not at this school! At this school apparently it’s –“take-a-friend-or-two-to-Chuck E Cheese-or-a-movie-and-call-it-good”- parties. Result: Addi goes to school with a bunch of party poopers!!!
  8. So while I thought I planned the party to a T: theme, games, candy buffet, cool off the wall “cake”, party favors, decorations, and even photo props, it turns out I FAILED everywhere else in the “Throw your kid a party they will never forget” game. 
But the wonderful people who DID come, made it a wonderful day just by being there and showing Addi how much they love her.


Our theme was Dr. Seuss. Addison has always been a Dr. Seuss fan, I mean come on, who isn’t?
Here is the invite:

Sorry, I don't know why it's fuzzy

So, originally I had planned to have a Seuss themed food table: red fish/blue fish, green eggs & ham etc., and a Seuss themed candy buffet. When we decided to move it to the park, I aborted the food table (all I could think of were bugs and things).

But, we had still had a candy buffet (all of the candy was in sealed wrappers). I have to say, the buffet was a fun idea. We had planned on naming each of the sweet treats after some Dr. Seuss story or character, but after adopting the park setting, I also adopted a much more laid back attitude toward the whole thing. So, fun food without the fun names was the new premise. I found these "pop corn" tubs at the dollar store. I bought several and put them to good use.

I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the Candy buffet.
Well, here is a view of if from the back side.
Just ignore the table cloth that doesn't quite go all the way around. LOL

In addition to the candy, I made tuti-fruti pop corn (Seen above in the green bags). I found two recipes on Pinterest, neither was quite what I was looking for, so I combined the parts that I liked from each and came up with my own. Here are the links to the ones I found,

and here is my recipe:

¾ c unpopped pop corn (I air popped mine) makes about 8-10 cups popped. I think you can use 1 bag of microwave pop corn and get about the same yield.

¾ sugar

¼ c water

1 package jello gelatin in flavor of your choice
(to make our tuti-fruti, we made 1 batch using orange, 1 using grape, 1 using lime, and 1 using strawberry.) (We had 20 pop corn bags and put about 3 C. of pop corn in each and it came out just about even)

Parchment paper

Cookie sheet

Small pan

  1. Pop the corn and set aside in a large bowl. (I mean LARGE bowl- I used my punch bowl)
  2. Put next 3 ingredients in a pan and heat to a full rolling boil over medium heat. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Slowly, pour this syrup over the pop corn, stirring well as you pour. You may not need all of the syrup. So only use as much as you need to coat the pop corn, if you notice you have a pool of syrup at the bottom of your bowl, stop pouring and mix.
  4. Once mixed thoroughly, pour pop corn out onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Spread out evenly. Set aside to “dry”.
  5. Repeat this for all of the flavors you are making. I noticed that even though the pop corn felt dry, when I bit into it, it was a bit gooey. So I plopped them into the oven, one cookie sheet at a time. 250o for 10 minutes worked perfectly. But I think that letting it air dry first was important. 
  6. Also as a side note, if you are using a flavor that is particularly strong, and not necessarily one of your favorites, only use ½ a pouch of jello (that’s about ¼ cup). I wish I had not used a full package of the lime flavor. OOOHHH it was very limey!!!

For games we played twister. We spray painted circles on the grass and played it the traditional way. We were going to have stars (like Sneetches) instead of circles, but good ‘ole mom left the template at home. The kids had a blast with this one. It looked like this.
Don't you love my symmetry?

Addison contemplating her next move

Then we fished for Norvel (the talking fish from Cat in the Hat). We set it up like a carnival game. There were 3 little fish bowls each with a gold fish in it. And 7 mason jars with colored water, and 3 brightly colored ping pong balls. Just like in the carnival game, the kids had to stand at a reasonable distance and toss the balls at the glassware. When their ball landed in a fish bowl, they won that fish. Much like actual carnival fish, one of the 3 fish died before making it to the park! So that game only rendered 2 fishy winners.

Can you see the 2 Norvels?

Autumn is seriously contemplating this

Then we had a Hop on Pop sack race. We forgot to take pics, but imagine if you will,  6 kids each in an oversized pillow case, hopping from start to finish. These kids displayed some serious athletic skill out there. We may present this to the next Olympic committee for consideration.

Then it was time for the Birthday “cake”. This was my take on a Pinterest find. It was probably the biggest hit of the whole day. This was kept stashed at my mother in law’s house right down the street from the park. It went quick and every one loved it. Here I utilized another pop corn container from the candy buffet.

Here was the inspiration:

For this "cake", I ran each popsicle stick through a cupcake liner. This served 2 purposes: 1. It worked as a drip catcher for the fastly melting sicles and 2. They covered up the styrafoam that the sticks were stuck into.

My Popsicle cake

What started out with rocky beginnings, turned out to be a very fun party. As each person readied to leave, they were handed an empty goodie bag and told to fill it up at the candy buffet. Also included on the candy buffet table, was a tub of toys.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gender Reveal Party

Tonight was such an exciting night. We had the big gender reveal party for my son and sweet daughter in law.

It all started on Tuesday when the three of us plus the other grandma went for the sono exam. When it came time to check the nether regions, the proud parents looked away while the Two Grans looked on. So just to be sure we knew what we were looking at, the tech typed in the gender on the screen and then erased it just in case.

Here was the invitation:

So, tonight was the party. I wish I’d had done more, but the spunky little mom-to-be is very self sufficient and did most of it herself with the help of her mom.

Team Blue with their mustache's and blue pom-pom photo props

Close up of Team Blue's 'stache's

Team Pink with their lipstick lips and pink pom-pom photo props

They had a cute table set up draped in half blue and half pink. It was equally covered with various pink and blue foods, candies, and balloons etc. They also had baby pictures of mom and dad. It was all very adorable. Oh and we must not forget the pink and blue punch.

Pink/Blue table with some of the goodies
close up of the baby pictures
HErSHEys candy bars
Blue and Pink punch

We played the Old Wives Tales game. It was a hoot and the Old Wives were expecting a boy. Score one for team Blue. You can search the internet for questions, but here are the ones we used. We used a dry erase board to keep score.
1.Shape of Mom's Belly-Some say if the woman’s belly is big and round it means that she is carrying a girl. Likewise, if her belly is smaller and sticking straight out than she is carrying a boy.
2.Fast Heart Rate Tale- Some people believe that if your baby has a fast heart rate, near 170 beats per minute, then that means you are having a girl, and that if your baby’s heart rate is closer to 150 beats per minute then you are having a boy.
3.The Key Test- Then there is the key test. Some say that if you can tell your baby’s sex by picking up a single key. If you pick the key up by big, round (top) part then you are having a boy. If you pick it up by the narrow part on the bottom then you are having a girl. Then, as if it isn’t detailed enough, if you pick the key up by the middle you are having TWINS!
5.Cravings-Some people say that if you crave salty food while pregnant it means you are having a boy and if you crave sweet food while you are pregnant it means you are having a girl.
6.Morning sickness-If you have morning sickness that seems to last all day long and last for longer than your first trimester, then you are having a girl.
7. This one you can do just by looking south: if you're carrying high, break out the pink. If your bump is low, you're carrying a boy
8.Nice Ring to It- Pop off your wedding ring -- if you still can! -- and tie it to a string. Hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circle, a little guy's in your future. If it goes back and forth, you've got a girl.
9. Weight Gain-Thankfully, this one doesn't refer to your weight gain. The belief is that, if your husband puts on weight during your pregnancy, then you will be having a girl. If he doesn't put on a pound, then you're carrying a boy.
10. Do you crave the heals of bread or the middle? Heals: Boy //Middle: Girl
11. Are your hands Chapped/Dry or Softer? Chapped: Boy// Softer: Girl
12. Eating more or sick/nauseated? Eating more: Boy// Sick: Girl
13. Can people tell you are pregnant from the back? Or are you pregnant all over? Just from back: Boy //All over: Girl
14. During the pregnancy, have you been crabby or happy?
Crabby: girl// Happy: boy

15. Which side do you lay on when resting: Left: Boy //Right: Girl
16. During the pregnancy, have you been clumsy or graceful?
Clumsy: Boy // Graceful: Girl
17. Show me your hands. -Shows them palms up: Girl // Shows them palms down: Boy

The group is trying to decide if she is carrying high or low.
We decided it was high

We played “Guess how many candies are in the bottle” game. There was a clear baby bottle filled with pink and blue Mike n’ Ikes. Someone on Team Pink won that game.

And we played a game that I had found at the app store just for baby showers. No. this wasn’t a baby shower per se, but we needed games and it was fun. It included trivia, baby facts, charades, and even mini scavenger hunts. I’m pretty sure Team Blue won that game. The game is called “The Baby Shower Game” and I found it in the iTunes app store (free).

Then it was time for the reveal. I was in charge of the cupcakes, aka the reveal tools. I was not having a good day, and this was not the day to not have a good day!

My idea was to fill the muffin cup ½ with the proper colored cake batter (pink or blue) and then top it with white cake mix, to hide the color. This was a great idea… in theory.

First of all, I am not a baker. I can cook nine ways to Sunday, but I cannot bake. So I bought boxed mixes. I have used them in the past with some degree of satisfaction. I bought 2 white mixes and 1 strawberry mix. I did not know at the time why I bought 2 white mixes, I was fairly sure 1 would be more than enough. I found out later why I would need 2. Anywhoo, I made the first batch, and it was awful. I over filled the cups, and the color ended up slopping over the sides and there was no way I could cover it with the small amount of icing I had. Plus the strawberry kinda tasted like barf. So those went in the trash and I started over.

This time I mixed a very small amount of white mix with a very small amount of red food coloring. You know how, at Easter, you want a red egg. But you never get a red egg, it always turns out pink. Not so for baby showers. When you want pink batter, you get red! (Next time I will buy the hot pink gel food coloring instead of using the standard liquid stuff.)

So I added more batter. And finally ended up with pink batter. About a cup of it I guess. I should have left them almost red as the color faded drastically in the baking process.

I made mini cupcakes because of the amount that was going to be needed and because I was going to have to transport them a fair distance away from my house. For mini cup cakes, should you decide to go this route, here is how I filled them: With the gender color batter add 1 generous tsp of batter to each cup (I could have used a tad more but I was gun shy after the fiasco of the first batch.). Then cover with 1 scant Tbsp of the white batter. This turned out to be the perfect combination. I looked over each cupcake to make sure the pink was covered before placing them in the oven. I baked them according to package directions.

Here is a blurry picture of the finished cupcakes

Once cooked and cooled, I iced them. I chose to top them more like a petit fours. I was afraid that because of the small amount of color on the inside, that if I put too much icing on, once someone bit into it, they would see icing and not the gender color. This worked out well especially because the pink batter faded so much.

Then came time for the reveal. I instructed everyone that on the count of 3, they could peel the liner from their cupcake, and they could bite into it and see if it was pink or blue.
She can't quite see what is inside but he see's it

My son was fast. His was unwrapped and half bitten before his sweet girl could even see what hers held. She couldn’t see the color very good on her cupcake and asked my son “What is it?” when he answered “Its pink!” she replied “oh…… OH! IT’S A GIRL!” And then smiled from ear to ear. Mom- to- be was Team pink all the way.

He tells her that it's pink and the light bulb comes on!

Everyone hugged and squealed and congratulated the proud new almost-parents. Every one had a really good time, and I strongly recommend having a reveal party the next time you or your bestie have a new arrival on the way to your family.
See, smiling from ear to ear! Such a beautiful girl.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pinterest Picks

These are my Pinterest  Picks of the Week-

I love, love, love these little stone feet. I see a nature walk in the near future for Miss. A. and myself. I can picture these little feet lined up along the edge of my herb garden.

I wish I could give proper credit to these little guys, but the pin was “uploaded by user” and not linked to a site or blog.


My next pick of the week is simply genius! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this years ago! Once again there is no link for this, but below the picture, the “uploader” explained the simple steps needed to complete this great project. Rather than put this next to Miss. A., I will probably attach it to the back of the head rest of the seat in front of her. Here is a pic, and the instructions.

Book holder for the car :) The pockets were cut to 8x9in. with a felt backing. It has four pockets topstitched onto a 11x30in solid panel of felt (front and back) that was sewn top and sides. The pockets overlapped about 3 inches. Inserted a piece of cardboard into the solid panel and then finished the last side. Add straps, and done!

And last but not least, my 3rd Pinterest pick of the week is this fabulous T-shirt recycle tutorial. I absolutely can’t wait to make some of these for my new grand-munchkin on the way. I just have to wait until next month when I get to find out if it is a boy-munchkin or a girl-munchkin! Yay I love munchkins!!!

Here is a pic and a link for the tute:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tote Tutorial

My first tutorial


I decided I needed a new tote. As it turned out, I needed a new project too. So, there ya’ go, I had a new tote project on my hands. Well really, it was in my head, but a short trip to Joanns with some handy dandy coupons, and then I had a project on my hands.

I made this a while back, and I will do my very best to remember exactly how I did this. If the measurements aren’t exact, just keep in mind that no 2 home made projects are alike, right? I tried to take pictures along the way, but I’ll admit I got caught up in the making of the tote and forgot to take pictures of every step.

Begin with 3 coordinating fabrics. I chose cotton, but denim or canvas would work too.

You will want:

1 yard each of your 2 main fabrics (A&B)

½  yard of the 3rd fabric (C)

I went with a (A) large polka dot, (B) hounds-tooth, and (C) pindot.

Stabilizer (1/2 yard)

Matching thread (I used upholstery thread)

Coordinating bias tape (1 pkg.)

Woven belt-like material for the strap (roughly 4 yards. But I wanted mine really long so I could use it as a cross-body if I decided to).

Here is a picture of my three fabrics. Aren’t they great?!

Lets start with the SHELL

STEP S1-Fabric (A)-  cut this into two ½  yard pieces (A1) & (A2). Iron stabilizer to the back of A1 then fold in half lengthwise (selvage edges together). Iron a nice crisp crease on the folded edge (this will help line up the outside pocket later.)

STEP S2- Now take fabric (B) and cut it into two ½ yard pieces (B1)& (B2).

Using (B2)- while still folded and selvage edges together, trim 3 inches off of the selvage edge, set aside the 3 inch strips for another project.

STEP S3-Take this newly trimmed piece and fold it in half width-wise inside out, iron a nice crisp crease on the folded edge. Sew a seam the length of the long raw edge. You now have a 9 in. wide tube. Length depends on how wide your original material was. So my tube is now 9x40. Turn this tube right side out.

STEP S4- Take the (B2) tube and line the sewn seam up with the ironed crease. Iron again. Now the seam is in the middle of the tube not at the edge. Sew a strip of bias tape over each of the two short edges of the tube.

Fabric (B2) tube with bias tape on the edge.

STEP S5-Now the fun part. Line up the seam on fabric (B2) with the crease down the center of fabric (A1). Center (B2) evenly (from top to bottom) of fabric (A1). Make sure the seam on B2 is to the inside.

Step S6-Now carefully stitch down each long side of fabric (B2) onto A1. Do not sew across the top where the bias tape is. This will be the outside pocket opening.

Step S7-Take your strap material and cut it in half. You now have 2 straps. Fold your new (A1-B2) piece in half from top to bottom. Iron a nice crease at the bottom of the new (A1) piece. Place the strap over each seam where (B2) connected to (A1) .

Once again, make your strap as long or as short as you want it to be. Remember I wanted mine to be long. And I wanted my strap ends to be hidden under the bottom piece (C). So I placed my strap ends 4 inches from the bottom fold. Yours does not have to go down as far as mine did or be as long.

Step S8-Now that you have decided where to place your strap, sew down both edges from the bottom of the strap to the edge of the outside pocket. Repeat for both sides of both straps.

Make sure to make reinforcement stitches at the pocket edge. If you are not going to put the bottom edge of the strap underneath the bottom cover, you will want to reinforce stitch there too.

Now let’s create a nice reinforcement bottom for the bag. Ideally this would be of some type of strong material. Like canvas or denim. But I couldn’t find any that I really liked, so I just used cotton. Knowing that this bag won’t suffer too much abuse, this should be sufficient.

Step S9-Take fabric (C) – Open material and cut it at 20 inches.  You now have a piece that is 20in x18in. Yes, you will have quite a bit of material left over. Use this for another project later.

STEP S10-Once cut, turn inside out and sew on the 18 inch edge. Iron a nice crisp crease on the folded edge.

STEP S11- Turn right side out and center the seam over the ironed in crease. Iron again making 2 new edge creases.

STEP S12- Place this tube over the bottom fold of (A1). Line up the seam (and crease) of (C) with the ironed in crease at bottom of (A1). Seam side down. Pin in place and sew at each edge of (C).

STEP S13-Turn right sides together, and sew up the sides through all layers. Turn right side out.

You have now completed the outside or shell of the bag.

Let’s work on the LINING.

STEP L1-  Using (B1) – open up the material and fold it with right sides together and keeping selvage edges together. Sew along cut edges of material. Make this seam wider than the one you used on the Shell sides. You want this bag to be slightly smaller than the outside bag.

STEP L2- Do not turn this bag inside out. Take it just as it is and set it inside the Shell of the bag. The insides should be facing. Line up side seams. And sew a stay stitch around top through all thicknesses. Make sure that the straps don’t get caught up in the upper seam.

STEP L3- Sew the bias tape around the top of the bag, once again making sure you don’t catch the straps as you sew.

Confessions: 1-I made my bag with a flat bottom. I don’t really know how to explain it, and I didn’t take any pictures. And, I wish I would have just left it with the regular-pointy corner- bottom. 2- I used (A2) to make pockets around the inside of the tote. But once again, I forgot the pics and wasn’t sure how to explain it. So, I left both of these out of the tutorial.

Well, I hope this makes since, and that you enjoy your new bag. I know I have. BTW this is a good size tote for a full size lap top. Plus accessories.

Here it is- the finished project. (The measurements are approximate)