Saturday, January 17, 2009

Welcome To The Frozen Tundra

Just a quick little post today. Michael just came over and I am going to get out of my workshop for the first time since 7:30 this morning! Don't forget to leave your comment each day on my blog for extra entries into my very first Giveaway. Remember to visit my shops and leave your favorite item in a comment for a couple of extra entries.

Welcome to the frozen tundra of northern Illinois! Wow, what a week we have had. The temperature reached about -25 and with the wind, there were some areas with wind chills of -40. Our school closed yesterday because of the weather. There are a lot of kids that bus to school and it wasn't safe for them to be outside waiting for the bus I guess. (Gee, when my kids were in school and it was cold or raining, I drove them to the bus stop and let them sit in the car until the bus came......I guess parents don't do that anymore)

People's cars that sat outside would not start so that kept the gas stations in business running around jumping everyone's cars. Switches on the railroad tracks were freezing, so guys had to be out there working on those.

I felt sorry for the people that have to work outside. That wouldn't be for me. Once I am cold, I am cold for hours and hours after that, even when I am in the house!

I was out and about yesterday and had my camera with me so I snapped a couple of cold weather pictures. The first icicle picture is not my house, but the second one is. The horses looked happy enough, but something tells me they might have preferred a warm barn to the cold field, even with the little blanket on their backs.

The birdfeeders are mine. They are in an area that we don't shovel in the winter so they are empty. I just thought they looked cold and lonely like everything else right now. My other feeders get filled. Irv said the other night that he wished he could bring in the little birds that live on our deck. He said he could see the tail feathers of one of them sticking out of their little "house". They must have all been packed in there trying to stay warm.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Love Days Off

(Don't forget to leave your comment for an entry into my very first Giveaway. Click here for the post with the rules!)

I took the day off today because I had a doctor appointment for my annual physical with my internist. They called at 6:50 a.m. to let me know that the doctor had an emergency and they needed to reschedule my appointment. So, I rescheduled the appointment for Monday because I am off for President's Day.

No longer needing to head over to the doctor, I looked at my "to do" list and did a little rearranging. I spent a little time on Twitter and in the etsy forms and then got to work on some new decoupage things I'm making for MyOtherShop.

Did I ever tell you how much I love days off? I live for the day that I can retire and be home every day to do whatever it is that I feel like doing. Since that isn't in the cards for quite some time for me....I try to make really good use of my days off from the other job.

I worked in my shop for a while and then went to run a few errands. That included a stop at the Bead Boss in town to scope out some possible ideas for Tresa's wedding necklace, and a stop at the craft store to do the same thing. While I was there I sent Tresa a text to ask her a few questions to try to help narrow down the necklace possibilities. Sparkly? Green? Gold? Chain? Beads? Pearls? Pendant? Stone? We narrowed it down to green, gold, chain or beads and pendant. Still haven't bought anything yet.

When I got home I hit the workshop again and took some photos and got some things ready to list. I ended up having a really productive day. I listed a photo in FourDogDay. It's a friend of Matt's hiking up the side of a mountain with his snowboard. The view is awesome!

I also managed to get some descent photos of a little purple floral trinket box and a really fun photo frame I had finished a few days ago. I got them both listed and they even got some immediate views. That was encouraging. I also finished another little bird house and another cute picture frame. I am having so much fun with the stuff for MyOtherShop. I love the painting and cutting paper and gluing and sanding and making things look old when they really aren't.

I thought I would make cards and tags and bookmarks forever because I really enjoyed it, but I love the messiness of decoupage. So even though my day off didn't start out as planned, I was able to grab that extra time and make good use of it. I really feel like I have found what I am meant to be doing.

How about you? If you have an etsy shop, are you making what you have always made, or did you start out doing something else and change course along the way? I would love to hear about it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Made With Love

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while know that some of the members of our family had decided to have a "toned down" Christmas this year...a more meaningful holiday. We wanted to keep our traditions, but eliminate the over the top gift giving and the waste.

I made my Christmas cards this year using a beautiful snowy mountain photo that my son, Matt had taken, and I wrote a personal message inside each one. I made a special card for my 4 siblings using a photo of our Christmas dinner from 1954.

I purchased less gifts, but I purchased gifts that were needed and wanted. In that same spirit, Matt, my 25 year old that lives in Colorado decided to make gifts for all of us this year.

Matt is very conscientious when it comes to recycling and not wasting. He hates that people run out at Christmas and buy, just to buy, with little care as to whether the gift they are buying is really needed or wanted. Many of those unneeded, unwanted gifts don't get used and end up in our overflowing landfills.

When Christmas came, I couldn't wait to open Matt's gift. He is a very creative young man. He can draw, take wonderful photos and writes amazing poetry. His gift to all of us was a 18 X 22 inch framed print. He had cut and pasted words....lots and lots of words....things like "magical, forgiving, friendship, optimistic, faith, love, thankful, promise and dreams with the word FAMILY in larger, bolder letters throughout. Then as if that wasn't beautiful enough, when you look at it closely, each of our names runs vertically within the words....Kathy, Irv, Tresa, Michael, Matt, Bernadette (Michael's wife) and Chris (Tresa's fiance)! You can see my name in the close up on the far right side....Kathy.

We were all so touched. Matt's gift will be loved and cherished forever. It will hang in a place of honor in each of our homes and it will never, ever end up in a landfill.

I received many wonderful gifts for Christmas this year. Everyone really took the time to find things I had asked for that I truly needed. It made the holiday so very special.

Have you ever received a handmade gift that made your heart melt because you knew how much love went in to it's creation? I would love to hear about it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Giveaway Time!

I am really fairly new to blogging, and I have never done a Giveaway. I thought it might be fun. It's the middle of winter, the weather here stinks and it just sounds like a cool thing to do. If it goes well, I'll do it again next month.

The prize will be a decorative wooden bird house from MyOtherShop in the color scheme of your it will be custom made for you after the drawing. Plus, you can choose any 3 photo greeting cards from my FourDogDay shop. (The birdhouse is one of the decorative ones I sell in MyOtherShop, like the photo, and for indoor use only.) Sound okay?

The Giveaway starts today and runs through February 13, 2009. The winner will be drawn and announced on Valentine's Day February 14, 2009. The rules to enter are simple.

Each day that you leave a comment on my blog, you get one entry. (One entry per day) If you would like to earn a couple of extra entries, just visit my etsy shops, FourDogDay and MyOtherShop and come back to my blog and leave a comment telling me what your favorite item is in each shop. That will earn you 2 extra entries. You need to visit both shops and pick one item from each shop to earn the 2 extra entries. You can only do that one time. Fair enough?

(Be sure to leave an e-mail address unless I can reach you through your comment link.)

The drawing will be done the old fashion way. I will put all of the entries in a "hat" and have Irv draw the winner. That way if you don't win, you can be mad at him and not me.

Wrigley is actually a pro at pulling scraps of paper out of the trash in my workshop...maybe I'll have her do the drawing....oh, maybe not...she usually eats what she pulls out so that might not work.

So, read my blog post for today, leave your comments, visit my shops, leave a comment and hopefully win a prize!

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Little Bit Of This and A Little Bit Of That

Wow, we are really counting down the days until the wedding shower. Last week we decided on the food and today we picked the desserts. We can bring our own desserts in, so I am ordering from Deerfield Bakery. They're awesome and we are getting their little pastries. Click here and take a look at this page of pastries! I know, it's unreal isn't it?

I've decided on the Cream Puffs, Eclairs, Dipped Strawberries, the Cheesecake Tart, Key Lime Tart, Tira Misu Cup, the Napoleon and the Petit Fours! I think we are going to do 8 of each for our group of 20 which will give us more than 60 pieces. There is no way we will eat all of that, but Irv and Michael (my human garbage disposals) informed me that they will gladly take care of the leftovers for us! HA!

Tresa did ask me today if I was still going to make the box for the reception that people drop their cards into.....I said, of course I am! I do have a cute idea. When I start working on it I'll tell you what I am going to do. She doesn't want the traditional one that looks like a wrapped gift, or a satin one or anything like that. I think she'll like what I come up with.

Okay, that's enough shower talk.

I am planning to start doing giveaways on my blog. I think a monthly one. I know, I know.....some people like them and some don't. I've seen some that make you jump through hoops to me....I won't do that. Just a comment on my blog and maybe a visit to my shops. I would like to start this week if I can figure it all out. We'll see.

We were supposed to have a blizzard last night and this fizzled out. I was bummed because I was thinking maybe I would get a day off of work. No such luck. Then they had one up for tomorrow and they changed that one too. What's with the weather guys anyway? I think they like to say that so everyone is sure to tune in to their next's a conspiracy for sure!

Remember how I said I don't watch much t.v....well tonight is American Idol and I will definitely be watching!! It's always good for a laugh in the beginning!

One last thing...there was a post in the forums yesterday morning by Ozark. Every morning Ozark gives a quote of the day and some words of wisdom to go with it. Here is the forum thread. This one was about how it takes 26 muscles to smile and 62 to frown, so she suggested we all smile. Even though I am shy, I am always quick to smile at people. It's about as outgoing as I get. My thought is that you just never know what an awful day that person you see might be having. They might have lost their job, or a loved one, they could be sick or just very sad. Your smile might be just what they need. So, touch someone's heart and give them a smile. It won't cost you a thing!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh So Shy

I think I saw it in the etsy forums the other day. People were talking about blogging. Someone whose forum posts I really enjoy reading said that she is really shy and that is why she loves the internet. I never would have thought that of her. Her forum posts are friendly and informative. I would have guessed her to be a very outgoing person that was comfortable in a crowd.

I knew as soon as I started blogging I was going to love it and I knew exactly why. I am also really shy. In fact, I am a very quiet person. Now my family would laugh at that statement, because they know me to never shut up. I wake up in the morning talking and I go to bed talking! I'm not referring to when I'm at home with family....I'm talking about when I'm out and about, when I'm at work or around people in a social setting. Then I'm quiet.

Sometimes I'm quiet because I don't like the topic of conversation. I don't gossip. It isn't my thing. If that's what is going on, I will never participate and often times will find a reason to leave.

I don't have friends that I hang out with or talk to on the phone, and I'm okay with that. I am a bit of a "happy loner". We had many friends when our kids were little, but when the kids grew up those friendships didn't last. They were based on baseball and soccer.

I love blogging because I can talk and talk and talk and no one talks over me or interrupts me or steals my spotlight! It's wonderful.

I don't like people to look at me either, so this is the perfect platform for me. And even though I love doing nice things for others, a quiet thank you is sufficient. I don't want any applause and I don't want any awards. I don't speak in front of crowds big or small. I'm a behind the scenes kind of girl.

Now, on the other hand I am very opinionated. I know where I stand on certain topics and I will defend my position without hesitation especially if it is something that I know I am right about...and did I happen to mention that I am always right? :-)

I don't go on line searching for friends or people to talk to, but I have met some amazing people through the etsy forums, my blog and twitter that I call my "online friends".

So, here's to the internet, etsy, blogging and the many friendships they have brought even this shy girl from a little town in Illinois!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wedding Shower Progress

Okay, I busted my little you know what today. I started this morning working on some items for MyOtherShop, then I changed gears and started working on the menu for my daughter's wedding shower in two weeks, then I went back to more decoupage, then I went back to the menus, then I finished the menus (woo hoo), then I spent some time on the etsy forums and twitter, then I worked on the favors for the shower, then I started on the place cards for the shower, then I printed the little thank yous that go on the favors for the shower, then I worked on the place cards again, then I ate dinner and now I am blogging during commercials of the season premier of 24!! So, how was your day?

I talked to my daughter tonight and I made her promise me that she won't visit my blog at any time over the next two weeks so that I can share some of the things we are doing with you. She promised. Now, I would like to believe her, but Tresa is NOT really good with secrets. If she knows I am writing and posting pictures about the shower, she is going to want to peek. Hopefully she won't. I want everything to be a surprise and for heaven's sake....she's 34 years old. I hope she can refrain from looking!

My daughter-in-law Bernadette, my son, Michael and I went on a hunt yesterday for paper and ribbon for the menus and the place cards. What a nightmare it turned out to be. Tresa's color is a medium green with a few brown accents. I bought little kraft paper jewelry boxes on etsy to put the favors (keyrings I am making) in. They are so cute.

Well, we were going to do the menus and place cards in the same color and add some green ribbon. Oh no, not a chance. Couldn't find the card stock in that color. They had one sheet at one of the stores. Didn't want to wait for them to order. Been there, done that. Won't do it again. We looked at every color cardstock they had. If we found one we like,d we couldn't find ribbon. If we found a kick butt ribbon, we couldn't find cardstock.

Our mistake was going into this with a vision of what we wanted. Sometimes I think it's better to start projects without any idea of what you want to do so you don't go nuts when you can't find what you have your heart set on.

So, we finally decided on green, and we found some...not enough, but Michael went up front and they called around for him and a couple of the other stores had some so we were in luck. Poor Michael, I felt so bad for him. Bernadette and I are really picky....let me repeat that....really picky....when it comes to stuff like this. It took us forever to come to any decision. All the while, he was trying to be so patient. He did a really nice job considering we were in the craft stores for a good couple of hours.

Now all we needed was the ribbon. We looked and looked and looked. We would find one we loved, but of course it didn't come in our color. At long last, we found ribbon. I don't think either of us are entirely in love with it but it's cute and it matches the paper.

I'm not done with it all yet, but I did complete some of each thing I'm making so I could share them with you. I'll show you some of the keyrings another day.

Now it is time to sit myself down in front of the t.v. which I almost never do, but 24 isn't a program that you can watch while doing other things. So, off I go to vegetate for a couple of hours.

Blog Archive