Saturday, December 6, 2008


Just got back from the windy city and the dreaded dress shopping day. It really went well. We had such a nice time and I GOT A DRESS for the wedding...and it's even cute. I will blog about our day and the dress on Monday when I have a bit more time.

It was such a great week this week, except for the eye issue...but I see the eye doctor on Monday and we will see if he has any other contacts he can try for these goofy eyes of mine.

I had 4 sales in my etsy shop, and one off etsy order for 10 cards this week. Two of the sales were even for my funky serving plates to the same person, and then two sets of bookmarks. I was so excited. I know the person that bought the plates, and she is giving them as gifts, one to her mother-in-law and one as a secret Santa gift. It makes me so happy that she loved them when she saw them, and that someone else is going to be excited when they receive them....and I made them! It's such a great feeling.

I also have a new line I'll be doing for my shop and that will mean reopening MyOtherShop after the holidays. FourDogDay is already pretty full and the new line will require sections of it's own. I already bought some materials and I can hardly stand it. I want to start making the stuff so bad, that I truly might have to go lock the materials in the trunk of my car so I can't see them. I have so many other things I need to get done before I start something new.

I am working very hard on my personal Christmas cards. I just put together the special ones for my sisters and brother. I hope they like them. They look really neat.

Now it is time to get back to work. My toes are still frozen from being out in the cold so much today. I think I need a warm dinner, a warm shower, some warm jammies, some warm slippers and a warm blankie....then I can sit and work on my Christmas cards!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dreaded Dress Shopping Day Has Arrived

It's here. The dreaded dress shopping day has arrived. If you aren't familiar with my dreaded dress shopping day, you can go back and read my post from November 13 .

Tomorrow morning I will board the 6:23 a.m. train for Chicago. My daughter, Tresa, will pick me up at the station, we will take her car back to her house and then hop on the bus to head downtown.

Tresa is familiar with the stores downtown, so I am letting her decide what stores we should try first. I have been online many, many times and have seen no dresses that I even remotely like, but that's what happens when you don't like dresses.

I told Tresa today that I was bringing my camera to take pictures of our day. I am envisioning this really funny blog post with lots of pictures of all of these hideous dresses and hopefully some nice ones. I see me making faces and just having the greatest time, and Tresa capturing it all on camera.

The only problem is that I really have no sense of humor and Tresa has even less!! After a few e-mails back and forth today I had her convinced that doing a dreaded dress shopping day photo documentary could be fun. Her response was, "I'll try."

So, I leave you tonight feeling hopeful that I will walk into that first store and this amazing kick butt dress in my size, will jump off the rack (maybe even the clearance rack) right at me...I will try it will be the dress of my dreams (even though I only have nightmares about dresses, not dreams) it will fit perfect and it will be marked down to about $50!!

Now that would kick butt!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eye Got A Problem!

I went to the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago, since I was way over due. I wear contact lenses except at night when I am watching t.v., then I throw on an old pair of glasses. My eyes had been starting to bother me, so I figured I better get in. Well, as it turned out, one eye had gotten better and one had gotten worse. No wonder I wasn't seeing very well.

I have "older" eyes, so needless to say, I can't see close up or far away and that means I need bifocals. The way contacts work for me is to wear one contact for close up in one eye and one contact for far away in the other. Oh, I also have an astigmatism (an odd shaped eyeball). Anyway, they stopped making the lens I was using for my astigmatism, so he gave me a different kind to try. I had not ordered glasses in a few years since I rarely wear them, so I ordered a pair of those too.

I started wearing the contacts the next day and for some reason, that right one didn't feel very good at all. I thought maybe I just wasn't use to the new prescription, so when they started to bother me, I just took them out. It started to get a bit annoying because I couldn't even get through the day without them irritating my eyes. I started getting headaches and that right eye felt terrible. The amount of time I could wear the contacts kept getting less and less until on Tuesday I actually took them out...while I was driving to work in the morning!

That afternoon I got a bad headache and actually felt sick. I decided I better call the eye doctor the next day and go back in. In the morning my head was pounding and my eye hurt. I called in sick at work and called the eye doctor as soon as they opened. They got me right in, and get this.....I am allergic to the new plastic in the lens he gave me....the one that everyone is using and just loves!!! Only I could be allergic to my contact lens!!

Well, he tried another pair and I couldn't even see the eye chart with those. He decided to go back to something similar to what I had been wearing originally. Woo hoo! I could see! They eye chart was crystal clear. I was so excited! He suggested I try the new pair for a few days. I drove home thrilled with the ability to read the street signs and the clarity of everything around me. Ah, success at last!

Well the success lasted until I got home and sat down at the was ONE BIG BLUR!!! I tried to tell myself that maybe my eyes were just tired and that if I gave them a little rest, they would be fine the next day.

This morning I popped those new little babies in again and headed to work. The drive in was wonderful! I could see for miles! That's a slight exaggeration, but that's how I felt. I got to the office and sat down at my the computer up and running and there it was again...the GREAT BIG BLUR!!! Out came the contacts yet again. I will give the eye doctor a call tomorrow and ask him if he has anything else up his sleeve that we might be able to try. Thank goodness he is such a nice guy.

The other problem is that since I NEVER EVER use my glasses for anything except t.v. I didn't get bifocals this time. So the glasses can't help me at my computer either.

So, I am back to square one.....we shall see what Mr. Eye Doctor has to say when I call him tomorrow. Allergic to my contacts.....go figure!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Cards to Remember

When my kids were little, I always let them make our Christmas cards. I had them draw a beautiful picture and then we had the cards printed on red or green cardstock. We always put their name on the back to make it an "official" card. When they got a little older, they lost interest in creating our card. That's when I started purchasing them. For a long time it was Hallmark, and then I transitioned to the cute line of cards at Target. I never thought about making my own cards...until this year. I own a card shop! There is no way I am going to the store and buying cards this year.

I mentioned in a previous blog that I had selected one of my son's beautiful mountain photos and I am making our cards. They are turning out quite nice. I scanned one to show you. It's done on white cardstock, and I chose to use black photo corners to attach the photo. The picture itself is so gorgeous, that this way people can keep the picture and even frame it if they like.

While I was making my cards, I thought about how fun it would be to send my brother and sisters a special card this year. So, I started digging through my old photographs to find ones that would be special.

My sister Karen is a few years older than me. She lives in Tennessee. I see her a couple of times a year. I found a "very posed" picture of her and me that I am going to use for her card. I will write something about sisters and friendship and love and make it very personal. I just love her pants!!

My sister Kay is a few years younger than me. She lives in South Carolina and I see her every few years. I found a cute one of the two of us dressed in our little coats and hats. I'll write something very special for her as well.

My sister Ann, or Sis as we have always called her lives in Arizona. She and my brother Jack who lives in Georgia, are a bit older than my other two sisters and me. Their dad died when they were quite young. Mom remarried and had Karen, me and Kay. There is a 10 year gap between Sis and Jack and the three of us. Do I have you totally confused yet?

Anyway, in my digging for photos to use for cards for Sis and Jack, I came across a Christmas dinner photo from the early 50's. The photo was obviously taken by my dad, since he isn't in the picture. The only other person missing from this picture is my little sister Kay, and I am guessing that my mom was pregnant with her when this was taken. The picture has three of my grandparents in it, my grandma's "boyfriend", my mom, Karen, me, Sis, Jack and my brother Bob who died in an auto accident many, many years ago. I just love this photo! I plan to write something about family in their cards. I don't get to see either of them very often, so I want to make it very special.

I think I will get the pictures ordered and start thinking about what I want to write in all of them. Christmas is about family and the love we all share for one another. It's about traditions and special memories. I wonder what special memories we will be making this year....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Journals and Photo Albums for Kids

I am one of those people that believes in letting your children try a lot of different "things" when they are that in doing so...they will find their hidden talents. Tresa played the clarinet, she was in the marching band, she played softball and she swam. Michael and Matt tried every sport imaginable.

I encouraged reading from a very young age. We belonged to a variety of book clubs. In fact, I have boxes of kid's books just waiting for the day I have grandchildren coming to visit so I can read to them! My daughter was a fluent reader before she entered school. The boys.....they could take it or leave it at that time. They were too busy trying to juggle a soccer ball or hit a home run.

Since I was always doing some kind of crafts, we always had art supplies in the house. The kids always made me "special" things. I have some of the most elaborate Christmas decorations you would ever want to see. There is nothing better than a special gift made by little hands.

My kids are all grown up now, but many of the things they were exposed to as children are still very important in their lives today. Matt still plays soccer and softball, and gets his workout hiking and rock climbing. Tresa loves to run, works out and does yoga. Michael played soccer through college, and has recently taken up running. Matt does most of the photography for our shop, still draws and loves to write poetry. Tresa has been thinking about taking some art classes. She and Michael are both very good writers. All three kids still love to read.

Knowing how important it is to expose kids to art at a young age is what inspired me to create some children's journals and photo albums. You just never know where that next little talented artist or photographer might be hiding.

The journals I made have blank pages and heavy cardstock covers. There is a cute picture on the front of each journal and some of them are decorated with buttons and brads. The journals are held together with eyelets and ribbon, and each one comes with a pencil, an eraser and a sharpener. The journal and all the "goodies" come in a handmade cloth drawstring bag.

The photo albums are made from a purchased album. I recovered the album with cardstock and decorated it as well. Each album comes with a disposable camera for some great picture taking. The album and camera also come with a handmade cloth draw string bag.

My kids would have loved these when they were little. I can just picture them toting their little bags all over with them.

I have additional kid's journals and photo albums available in my etsy shop. I also have two beautiful lined journals for the non-kids that love to write!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Happened....Already

Well, I knew it would happen at some point, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. Unfortunately, it has. You see, I am already sick of my little "Trying To Get In Shape" plan. Yep, I am. I was really hoping I could be excited and entusiastic about it until my daughter's wedding in March, but oh no, not me. I hate having to do something every day. I hate the time it takes to do it. Sure, I know how important it is for everyone to exercise. I get all of that.....I just don't feel like doing it any more.

With that said....I will keep doing it. I made myself a promise and I plan to stick to it. It is really hard though. It was easier when the weather was nice. I would head out at 5:45 a.m. and walk the dog once around the neighborhood..briskly. Then after work I would alternate yoga and pilates. I do enjoy them both, and I can really feel myself getting stronger and more flexible. I just don't like having to sacrifice precious time right now to do it, and it's darn cold out there at 5:45 a.m.

Do you work out? If you do, what keeps you going? I have done this so many times. I get really excited and do really well for a short time and then I miss one day, and then another and then that's it. I'm done..until the next time I try again.

On Saturday I am headed into the city (Chicago) to spend the day with my daughter, looking for my dress for the wedding. I was trying to lose some of my belly before this outing. Even after all of the walking and working doesn't look any smaller to me. I even weighed myself last week and I haven't lost a single pound. I think that was what started this downward spiral. I thought I would have lost a pound or two. I am not overweight, but I am out of shape. I want to get in better shape, but just can't seem to find the one thing I need to get me to stick with it.

Well, tomorrow is another day. No matter how cold it is in the morning, I really need to walk. If I don't, it is hard to make the time to walk and workout when I get home knowing I have my etsy business to take care of.

So, if you have any really great ideas as to how on earth I can stay motivated until spring with this wonderful plan of mine....let me know. I'm going to need all the help I can get!
Actually, I feel a bit better just having written about this little problem I am having, but I am still open to suggestions. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What a Day!

I got up early this morning, because I had so very much I needed to get done today. I got the computer going and went into the forums on etsy. The first thread I responded to was, "Good Sunday Morning! Are You Working Today?" by BannerQueen. I replied that I was and as I started to type in everything I needed to do, I suddenly became a bit overwhelmed. How on earth would I ever get all of it done?

The next thread I responded to was, "The POWER of Positive Thinking" by Ozarkana. As I read her post, I knew without a doubt that I would get done everything I needed to get done today, and if for some reason I didn't....oh well, tomorrow is another day. The world is not going to end if I don't finish it all.

The first thing on the agenda was to go grocery shopping. We shop about 25 minutes from our house, so it's about a 2 hour task. Lo and behold, my charming husband offered to go himself so I could dig into that "to do" list! At first I told him no, that I would go with him, but the more I thought about that precious two hours.......I took him up on his offer.

I did my yoga, started the dishes, threw in some laundry, ordered some photos online and started working on my own personal Christmas cards. I chose a really neat mountain photo that my son took out in Colorado.

Next, I ran to the craft store. I always go to Joann's, but this time I had a gift card for Michael's which is down the road from Joann's on the opposite side of the street. I spent a lot of time in Michael's because I have this idea in my head of something new that I want to make so I was looking for supplies. I am also making the favors for my daughter's wedding shower, so I needed more supplies for that....and cardstock.

I finally got done there and pulled out onto the highway. My head was spinning thinking about where else I needed to go and what else I needed to do and after about 5 minutes I happened to glance at my surroundings and realized I had pulled out and gone the direction I would go had I been pulling out of Joann's. Unfortunately, I was pulling out of Michael's! I had gone in the total opposite direction! I could not believe I did that. Talk about being totally spaced out and thinking so much about other things that I don't even know where the heck I'm going! Can't wait until my husband and kids read this....I'll never hear the end of it!

Anyway, I did finally get the rest of my stuff done and arrived home, bags in hand. I made my way to my workshop and have been here ever since...except for a lunch break and an apple pie break...gotta eat that pie or I'll have to throw it away and I hate to waste food! :)

Well, once I get my blog done here, then it's back to the cards and the shower favors and a gift I am making for a special friend for Christmas! I actually ended up accomplishing everything I wanted to accomplish on my list and even more! Like I said....what a day!

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