Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

For the last weekend through Monday, I've been watching my friend's 3 year old girl, Lauren. She and my oldest are good friends and if you read my last post, are engaged. Yesterday I had Lauren all day. I let the kids run wild and do what they wanted so they could work off some energy. Thankfully, after 4 days of rain, yesterday was sunny and warm. It also gave me the opportunity to observe the differences between boys and girls.

Now, I have two boys. Two, dirty, rough, trouble making boys. And I love them for that. I love that in good weather, they need a bath ever single night from playing in the yard all day with dirt, trucks, bugs and the dog. I love that they are fascinated with gross stuff and will talk about it at dinner time if given the chance. I love every bruise, scrape and cut on them. Girls, I just don't know that much about. Here is what I've observed these last few days.

Girl needs help getting out of the truck. Boy jumps.
Girl doesn't like the dog because he makes her messy. Boy plays in the dog's water dish and licks his hands after.
Girl wants to make sure her outfit matches. In pink. Boy doesn't even know what shirt he is wearing.
When I say no, boy says "yes ma'am". Girl want to argue and comes up with suggestions and alternatives.
We had a few ants in the toy room. Girl won't play in there until they are all gone. Boy pokes them.
Girl stands on the couch because of ants in toy room. Boy stands in the middle of the floor and roars at them at Girls' behest.
Girl wants a drink. She asks with her hand on her hip and demands juice. Boy jumps up and down barely getting the "pleeeaaaaase" out.

Girl stepped in dog poo outside and squealed until I cleaned her up. Boy wanted to smell it.
Girl gives boys orders. They listen.
Girl wants a new sippy because the baby boy used it. Boy shares his with the dog.
Girl must have ribbons in her hair. Boy chews on ribbon.
Girl is looking for dress up clothes. Boy brings her a Bob the Builder tool belt.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

True Love

I've been helping my friend Molly move in this weekend. Her daughter Lauren, has had a great adventure as well. First she spent the night at Chelly and Jaina's house then she came to my house and spent another night. She has had a blast. While Lauren, Stasiu and Bohdan played, I was over helping to unpack and organize the new house. I'm not sure I got much done, but I was there.

A little while after I arrived, my husband called. Apparrently, Stasiu proposed to Lauren and she accepted. Yes! That is a daughter in law we would love to have! One of the nice things about Lauren is that she bosses Stas around--and he listens! A mommy can appreciate that. A little while later I got another phone call. They had professed their love for each other and were talking about a wedding. I tell the group at the new house and her mommy laughes and says "no baths and keep all feet on the floor". Daddy's not terribly phased because Lauren will undoubtedly change her mind.

At dinner that night, Lauren and Stas decided they need to have a wedding. Lauren has no dress up clothes here at my house so they are going to wait until we go to her new house and they are going to do it there. I asked what she is going to wear. She will wear her Cinderella costume and my son will wear her Belle costume.

Yes, I will be there and I will be taking pictures.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Baby and a Box of Tissues

What happens when a baby gets a hold of a new box of tissues?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Picture Techniques

Is anyone else having problems with blogger? I cannot sign in from my main page. I have to go through my gmail account to do so. I've noticed some others have the same gobledy gook on the top of their pages too.

On to today's real post.

I read an article recently by Tim Adams on Handmadeology. I know you etsians have heard of him. He has an "empire" where he has tips and techniques for helping crafters sell and improve their shops. I found this article through My Handmade Handbook.

One of the things Tim mentions is that photography is one of the main reasons why one does or does not sell. I knew this and have been trying to improve my pictures. I purchased some items to do a diy lightbox ( I need one more desk lamp) and have been using complimentary backgrounds for my cards. This particular article talked about staging or using props for your items. Yesterday happened to be a beautiful, sunny day so I took some picutures outside. If you look at my shop, you can tell when I've made cards. The pictures outside were done in the summer and the darker pictures were made in the winter.

Here are some before and afters:

This one was obviously done inside. I had a bit of a sunnier day through my one studio window and have learned photo adjusting techniques.

This one turned out so much better! I took it outside in a bed of herbs. The herbs are such a nice backdrop for this particular card. And the lighting is just better.

I took this picture a acouple months ago inside (obviously). I edited it in picasa and used a background that I thought would show off the card. It is dark.

For this one, I used filtered natural light and some of my son's matchbox cars as props. I still have to get used to the prop idea, but I see where he is going with it.

I have more work to do with this idea and have to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to taking pictures. Overall, I like the newer pictures better. I especially like the top card in the herbs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

My Jessamine has recently started blooming. We have it all over our porch just off the back door and just off our bedroom doors. The smell is wonderful! It is sweet-not flowery. The above picture is just off my back porch.

Looks like the Jessamine has decided to wind itself around one of my wind chimes. We have to go around and trim it. It is a fast growing vine and we end up taking it off the sides of the house every year.

I took about 15 pictures, playing photographer and just having fun.

What were my boys doing while I was playing?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Welcome Baby Card in Pink

I recently did a wonderful trade with Joyce at Happy Cloud Moments. I had seen her beautiful earrings and just had to have them. She was very agreeable to a trade and one of the items she asked for was my Welcome Baby card in pink. I just love how it turned out! I liked it so much I put another one in my shop.

Trading is really a great experience. I've done a few on etsy and have had a wonderful trade with all. These days it's a wonderful way to get something for yourself or a gift.

When you have a chance, go on over to Happy Cloud Moments shop and see what is there. She does a beautiful job and has many wonderful pieces.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Little Artist

He's been working on this off and on all day. He finally finished just after supper ( after a very long break playing outside).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blue Journal for a Friend

As luck would have it, another friend had a birthday within days of the last. So, I made another journal. I like how this one turned out as well. The base for this is a plain old composition book. I like how the covers are easy to work with and I also like the size. I made one for myself a while back and use it all the time. As a matter of fact, it is sitting next to my computer now as I work!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog Candy

Go on over to Three Clover Designs and sign up to win some great blog candy. She is giving away some Martha Stewart border punches among other things.

The giveaway has to do with this jar of candy. Have fun!

Pink Journal for a Friend

A friend of mine recently had a birthday and I decided to make her a journal. I took a wire bound journal from the dollar bin and covered it in pretty pink papers inside and out. I then took the same pink papers to frame the Bella image on the front. Some pretty ribbons to secure the wire binding completed the journal and made it a bit frillier.

I like how this turned out so much I think I'll grab some more of these journals and put some in the shop.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coffee and Friendship

I'm tremendously lucky. I have some very good friends here. I've moved around a lot in my life and never really formed strong friendships except for one or two. I keep telling my husband that we aren't moving from here. If he finds another job somewhere he can move to a cheap apartment and send back money!

I made this card for my friend Jenn's birthday. She's the one that I called at the last minute earlier in the week to watch the baby-who-hadn't-napped while my oldest and I ran around town trying to excise a rock. She loves coffee like I do and I thought this was just perfect. You can find one in my etsy shop if you like it for your girlfriend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Etsy Greetings Treasury

I have been included in a wonderful treasury by What I See featuring members of the Etsy Greetings Street Team. It is comprised of a talented group of people specializing in Greeting Cards. My card, the Journey Card II is on the bottom middle. The treasury will be up till the 14th so go check it out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Rock

I don't mean Dwayne Johnson or even the movie. I mean the one up my son's nose. Yup, he did it again. Saturday night he got up in the middle of the night and decided it was a good idea to shove a rock up his nose. We still don't know why. Unlike the last time, I wasn't able to get this one out. I wasn't even able to see the entire thing. He had shoved it so far up his nose, that I couldn't even see the entire rock. After trying for about a half an hour, using the usual methods, (sigh) we first called our new pediatrician. My son sat on my bed with me while we waited for the call back occasionally whacking the back of his head with his hand in order to try to get it out. My husband and I still can't talk about that without laughing hysterically.

My husband gets out the insurance card in anticipation of the inevitable hospital visit. He notices there is a 24 hour nurse hotline and calls. We told her our problem, and after she quit laughing, she told us we needed to go to the ER.

Stas wants Daddy to take him so I stay home with the baby. They get home about an hour and a half later. The nurse at the ER couldn't see the rock and assumed he swallowed it. Or it's in his sinuses. Or it fell out. They never did see a doctor. The ER was shorthanded and they were told it would be 5 hours before they saw an ENT. On the way home, Stas tells Daddy the rock fell out in the car....

Yeah, right.

On Sunday I clean the ENTIRE car. No rock. No pebbles. No boulders. Nothing. Do you know how hard that is with two boys?

Later he goes to the bathroom and calls us in --he's very excited. He says the rock came out his bum. He felt something tight come out and he's sure it's the rock. I explained to him that the rock wouldn't pass that quickly. Nope, he's sure he pooped it out.

Monday morning he goes to school and I called the pediatrician office. They want him in right away. So, the baby goes to a friend's house and I pick up Stas to go to the doctor's. She examines him--you know by sticking something up his nose. He throws such a tremendous fit that it took 3 of us to hold him down. Now, he will happily shove rocks with hard and sharp edges up as far as his fingers will allow but a smooth plastic nozzle attatched to a light being wielded by a professional is traumatizing. Go figure. No rock. Again.

The doctor questions him and decides that he really doesn't know what happened to the rock and says to be on the safe side, we need to see an ENT and they will call with an appointment in a couple days . I go pick up the baby, visit a while and take the kids home for lunch and a nap. The ENT's office calles as soon as the baby fell asleep and said they wanted to see us now and the doctor would only be there for an hour.

Ok, wake baby up, call husband to come home. He can't. Wok is at her doctor's appointment. Family friends from the morning are painting. Called Jenn; she said sure! I warned her the baby hadn't napped. She's not fazed.

I get to the ENT in exactly one hour. He wants to use a scope to look up there. It's about the size of spaghetti. Stas FREAKED out. The ENT goes to get a couple nurses while I calm him down. I decided bribery was the way to go. Here's how it goes: You don't kick, hit or flail and we can have Old McDonalds's for dinner. Done. He squirmed but let the nurse and me hold him so the doctor could look up there. No rock. He must have swallowed it the doctor assumes. But we are on the lookout for smelly snot. Yay.

Around 9:30 that night Stas gets up and asks for a tissue. We just look at him. He declares vehemently "I didn't put a rock up my nose, I'm just stuffy!" Yeah, we got your number, kid.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Treasuries at Once!

I awoke yesterday to find that I was in two treasuries! What a treat!

The first one is done by Minnie Maes and is a wonderful collection of pinks. My card is on the top right. It is a set of 4 and has been very popular since I listed it. You can view her beautiful treasury here.

This next treasury has such a great color scheme. Lazy T Crochet of Etsy Twitter Team put it together. My Thank You card is on the bottom middle.

Be sure to head on over to the treasuries and click away!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Serene Happiness Card

I made this card to give to a relative who recently got married. The paper on top is shiny and smooth. I really like this particular card stock set. I then embossed the daisys on the front for some textural interest. The corners are rounded for a softer look. The inside sentiment says "wishing you happiness today and always". You can find this card in my etsy shop.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Beauty School Dropout

I've gotten tired of the children's haircut game. This is how it's played: you spend $20 for a decent kid's cut and hope that particular stylist can get the cowlick right or you spend half that at a Great Clips or such place, cross your fingers and spend $20 to get it fixed afterward.

Several of my friends do their kid's hair--and after all, most people my age didn't go to a fancy schmancy salon till we were older anyway. So I bought a set of clippers, read the directions, asked my friend Jenn for advice and cut the boy's hair.

The above and below pictures are "Before".

"After" with a number 4 guide. Wonder if they have a 10 guide? The boy loves it! Thank God! His poor little head itches all the time due to extremely dry skin so this should help.

My husband said if he had done this, I would have killed him--and he's right.

Yeah, I really messed up the back.

Thankfully, he's 4 1/2 and doesn't really care that his mom can't cut hair. I am going to a friend's house next week to have her show me how to use the clippers properly and to get his cut fixed.

My husband will not let me near him

The baby is going to the salon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day

It started on Sunday. We were only expecting 1 to 3 inches of snow--tops. Not even expecting. Often we are told to expect snow and nothing happens. That's how it goes in the South. Yup, the South as in South Carolina.

By late Sunday afternoon, the flakes were big, fluffy and abundant. By evening, we hit the 3 inches, the topmost expected amount, and the snow had not slowed down. By the end of it all, we had about 5 inches of snow. The city shut down on Monday and many businesses and all schools are still closed today. We lost one tree and parts of two others. We also lost our internet access and cable for about 20 hours. We never did loose power. We were lucky; there are still many here without power. Here are some photos from the last couple of days.

Now you see it.....
Now you don't.

I took this picture at night, right before the tree fell. I was lucky, I had just walked under it before it fell. The house does look pretty though with all the fluffy flakes.

My oldest thought Christmas had come again with all the snow. We spent nearly the entire day outside with breaks for lunch and dry clothes.

My youngest started out in the snow enthusiastically enough but soon tired of it--and falling in it.

We made snowmen. Pirate snowmen! Arrrr!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Made Etsy's Front Page!

The beautiful treasury I blogged about earlier today made etsy's front page! How cool is that?

Stormy Atlantic Ocean Treasury

Pins and Needles Basket has put together this beautiful treasury and included my Thinking of You card-it is in the middle on the top row. She did a beautiful job with the colors, don't you think? Take a few minutes and do some clickable love! Make sure you check out her shop, too. She has beautiful knit items.

One last thing---did you know that if you click on every item, it moves the treasury up? I had no idea myself. I learned this on twitter--one of the many fine things I've discovered recently.