Thursday, November 27, 2008

100 Things to be Thankful for

You read that right.  100 things.  Maybe you're thinking "there's no way I can think of 100 things I'm thankful for."  That's what I thought at first, too.  30 tops, but never 100.  So I thought I'd give this a try just to see if I actually could.  I snagged it from This Gal who stole it from Her.  I thought I'd give a shot at keeping the love going, so here goes . . . 

1.  My husband.
2.  My boys.
3.  My girl.
4.  Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra.
5.  Taco Beaux & Lady Grace - our yellow & chocolate labs.
6.  Living in the woods.
7.  Living near the beach.
8.  My Grandmother in Tennessee & being able to go up there to see her.
9.  Ms. Sandra - an influential woman in my life who helped my Dad raise me.
10.  My awesome, talented, crazy fun Dad.
11.  His loving, patient, tolerant and vibrant wife, Sandy.
12.  Coffee from Chiapas, Mexico
13.  Chocolate from Chiapas, Mexico.
14.  The Ok Cafe in Atlanta and their Mac & Cheese and Squash Casserole.
15.  The Tin Top Oyster Bar in Bon Secour, AL.
16.  Nail polish.
17.  Pedicures.
18.  My sewing machine.
19.  My new serger.
20.  Being able to homeschool my children.
21.  That my husband is secure enough to wear pink.
22.  Bravo channel reality shows.
23.  Only cooking one dish for Thanksgiving this year.
24.  My babies cuddled in the bed with me.
25.  Sleeping late.
26.  Vacations to anywhere.
27.  A friend who's still a friend even if we don't see each other or talk for a while.
28.  That I love to be at home.
29.  An endlessly packed fridge and pantry.
30.  Front-loading washing machine.
31.  A husband that can build things, soundly.
32.  Chalkboard paint.
33.  Dry-erase paint.
34.  Padded bras.
35.  Flip flops.
36.  Stacks & stacks of fabric.
38.  Caller ID.
39.  Pink hair coloring.
40.  Margaritas.
41.  Hot, hot, hot bath water.
42.  The old claw foot tub my husband is going to restore for our bathroom remodel.
43.  Black furniture.
44.  My husband's Grandmother's silver.
45.  Mystery novels.
46.  Photographs of family & ancestors.
47.  My 6 yr old's imagination.
48.  My 8 yr old singing songs from my generation and before.  And loving them.
49.  My 4 yr old's innocence.
50.  Memories of my Grandfather.
51.  A mother-in-law & father-in-law who are willing to baby-sit almost any time I ask.
52.  My own creativity.
53.  Dishwasher.
54.  Oven.
55.  Coffee pot.
56.  My mini-van.  It's nice and doesn't break down all the time.  
57.  Windex.
58.  Target.
59.  Bare Minerals make-up.
60.  Fat little baby toes.
61.  My children's artwork.
62.  Tropical plants around my house.
63.  A husband that knows all about plants so that's one less thing I have to figure out.
64.  Ikea.
65.  That we're able to give to others.
66.  Foley's Irish Pub.
67.  Charlotte Mason.
68.  Stainless steel sinks.
69.  King size bed.
70.  Vintage looking tile.
71.  Freedom.
72.  Therapists.
73.  Cold weather for a change.
74.  My husband's Primo grill.
75.  Hand-me-downs.
76.  Our peacocks.
77.  Monkey chandelier.
78.  100 yr old desk my kids do schoolwork at.
79.  Loving, Christian friends and aquaintances in our life.
80.  The people who teach and/or watch my children when they're at church.
81.  Our neighbors and their children.
82.  Our employee Shane.
83.  Hundreds of oak trees surrounding my home.
84.  My broom.
85.  Fried turkey.
86.  New bathroom cabinets.
87.  A new closet, designed & built by my husband.
88.  Shoes.
89.  My restaurant ware dishes.  Indestructible.
90.  Waterfront Rescue Mission.
91.  Growing up in the South.
92.  Raising my kids in the South.
93.  Music piping through the speakers in my back yard.
94.  Screened porches.
95.  Sweet tea.
96.  Split-leaf philodendron.
97.  That my husband just told me he'd agree to getting a Wii for us all for Christmas.
98.  That he's willing to wake up at 4 am so he can be at Sam's Club and in line by 5 am to get one.
99.  That I'm making the majority of our gifts this year.
100.  That I'm lucky and blessed enough to be able to say I'm a Mom.  

That wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it'd be.  

So, what's on your thankful list this year?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sneak Peek

I've been working hard at getting all my ducks-in-a-row for the Thrifty-Fifty Challenge.  Pulling fabrics, gathering notions, making a list for anything I don't already have.  Which isn't much, thankfully.  

I've even managed to get a few things cut out, but nothing's actually sewn up or completed yet.  And then I decided to make myself a little crazy and make Audrey an outfit for Thanksgiving.  Yes, I'm well aware that it's tomorrow.  But a little deadline like 12 hrs or less isn't gonna stop me.  No sir!

A sneak peek at a few of my Thrifty-Fifty projects and Audrey's dress will have to suffice today.

This will be Audrey's dress and pants - A little Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler and vintage orange velvet from The Main Man's seamstress Grandmother.  She's been gone for a few years now and I was blessed with some of her stash.  It's precious to me and I can barely bring myself to use any of it, but this velvet was just perfect for a little birdie applique.

This ensemble is intended for a purse, matching eyeglass case and key fob for my Aunt.

What little boy doesn't dream of being a cowboy?  I'll be making pj bottoms out of the multi-print here and the brown bandana pattern will be used to applique 
horseshoes on some plain white t-shirts.  Gotta do two sets of these for the boys.

I'm planning to turn these pretties into a precious nightgown for Audrey.  Going along with the western theme here.  I'd thought about making their pj's Christmas-y, but figured we'd get 
much longer wear without doing them in a holiday style.  

I had originally put this combo together for a grilling apron for my father-in-law.  Then The Main Man saw it and remarked how he thought that was "really cool fabric" and that he "wished he could live like that guy".   
So guess what one of his gifts is going to be?  

So there's some of the lovely fabric I'll be working with over the next few days.  And I'm not sure why those pictures are showing up so muted....they were much crisper/brighter in my photo program.   I'll have to figure that out, but it'll have to wait for now.

I'll be back soon with updates on all my projects, with pictures.  
That is, unless, I become buried under it all in my frenzy.

Love to all,

The Case of the Missing Spaghetti Noodles - Chapter 1

It was a cold, dreary night.  The wind was howling and a dense fog was setting in.  In a cozy house tucked back in the woods, lights were glowing and people were stirring about.  You could hear the chatter and rumbling going on in there.  Something was amiss.

The dame of the house walks into the kitchen.  It's that time again - the natives are hungry and getting restless.  She's had to draw herself away from her happy place of sewing and creating.  She thinks to herself, "Why do they have to eat so much?  Will I ever have a day where I only enter this kitchen to fix myself another cup of coffee and go back to my happy place?  It's a good thing I love 'em, ragamuffins." 

Relenting to the necessity of feeding their hunger, she dons her self-made apron, gathers big white bowls, shiny silver forks & spoons, napkins, sparkling glasses.  They're all set up on the counter and ready to go.  The garlic bread is slapped together and thrown into the oven in no time flat.  

Her bread-winner bursts into the house - arms laden with even more food that they'll eventually want prepared, served and cleaned up, at some point in the very near future.  

"Hi, Honey.  I'm home!  I got everything you asked for."

"Oh, hi dear.  Glad you're home.  And, technically, I didn't really ask for this stuff.  Not for me, at least.  I just know that if it's not here everyone will want it and I'll end up having to go get it all myself, plus prepare it and feed people with it.  So I'm saving myself half the battle by asking you to pick it up for me.  But thanks, nonetheless."

"Ohhhh, I don't mind.  Anything for my gal!"
(slap on the bottom)


"So, what's for supper?"

"You, too, 'huh?  Left-overs.  Spaghetti.  Take it or leave it."

She pulls down another bowl.  Grabs more utensils.  Another glass.  Then sets to work finding the containers of noodles and sauce in the Fridgidaire.  The sauce was easy enough to find.  Right there in the front.  White bowl with a blue lid.  Tupperware, of course.  The noodles?  Where are the noodles?  They were in another Tupperware container.  Clear with a tan lid.  She knew right we're she'd put them but...but....they're GONE!  

                                         DUN - DUN - DUNNNNNNN!     (gasp)

Looking to the counter and not seeing them there, either, the dame starts to think she's losing it.

"Did I already get them out of the fridge?  Where did I put them?  What on earth?!"

That's where I come in.  "JJ" Finder, Private Eye.  Little does this broad know, I was expecting her tonight.  My services haven't been needed much, as of late.  But, as always, I'm johnny-on-the-spot.  Always there, in the dark recesses of her mind.   Just waiting for the right moment to come to her rescue.  She can't survive without me and she knows it.

TO BE CONTINUED . . . . . . . . . . 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pick me! Pick me!

Oh - they did. They picked me! I've been lucky enough to be one of 50 people chosen to take part in a fabulous Christmas season challenge.

I  am really happy to have been chosen to be part of this group.  So is my husband.  With our recent trips, car accidents (which the at-fault-driver's insurance company is fighting the claim, by the way - therefore incurring even more costs to us at the moment) this could just not have happened at a more perfect time.  

Kim, her twin sister Kris and all of the behind-the-scenes people over at You Can Make This
do an awesome job of providing quality e-books on such a variety of topics.  From sewing to crocheting to appliqueing - even how to bake pies.  And I'm really grateful to all of the talented authors who are happy to share their expertise.  I've yet to find something at YCMT that I wasn't interested in, couldn't afford or that didn't live up to my expectations.  The patterns and e-books are super affordable and so laden with detail  and info that they are worth far more than their price tag, in my opinion.

I'm excited to be on a great team, too - TEAM CARLA!  "Carla C", as she's known around YCMT, is a fabulous author & designer.  I've learned many an invaluable skill from her e-books and credit her thorough, clear instructions for helping me build my confidence in designing and sewing.  She was a bonafide scientist once upon a time - Funny that such a creative soul lurked for years behind a lab coat & petri dishes!

So one of the first challenges in our group is to "Show Your Stuff".  All or some of the things we'll be using to meet our "Thrifty-Under-$50" goal or the space we'll be doing it in.  I'll do both.  While all of my supplies aren't visible in the pictures below, some are.  More supplies are in another room and out in the shed, but will be moved in here over the next week or so. 

This is also our classroom, since we homeschool.  So here's a view from the center of the room, down toward the end where my fabric, machines, etc. are..... 

There's empty boxes to go out, paint, etc.  This room is still in-progress.  Fabric to the left - fabric to the right - here I am, stuck in the middle with you - oh, my, my.

This is only about 2/3 of my stash.  I have more in a wardrobe that needs to be emptied and moved in here, as well as most of my notions.  I tried to organize it by color and/or pattern - reds, oranges, yellows, etc.  Then stripes, checks, dots, black & white, dark prints, light prints that didn't fit into the other colorways, exactly.  Then the bottom right cubbie has fabrics that I've set aside for specific projects for myself or kids...special stuff.  As you can see by the top of that shelving unit, there's still more to sort and put into the cubbies.  It'll be stuffed!  Plus the fabric that's still in that wardrobe in my den.  Have I mentioned how much I love fabric?

Here's my sewing desk.  Not really set up yet, I just haven't had a chance to try the layout yet to see what'll work.  More fabric, this time on bolts - duck, laminates, upholstery.

There's some craft supplies on the shelves up top - glue, buttons, cutting tools and the obligatory googly-eyes.  Gotta have googly-eyes.  Also, the fabrics for Audrey's Thanksgiving outfit is sitting near the machines.  Better get busy on that, I think.  And that danged rolling drawer unit - it fit under the desk before when it was in another room but now it's almost an inch too tall - I think I'll have to perform surgery on the top of it to get it under there.

And here's part of the other end of the room - the dry-erase wall (sorry it's so dirty - I ran out of that spray cleaner stuff for it and my kids had used the black & red markers to play hang-man.  That partial shark you see was the fate of the hanging man.)

Off to the right is more "stuff" to go out to the shed, thenthe doorway to my laundry room - thus the wad of giant white tablecloths under my folding table that have yet to be laundered after a function in October. Yep. I'm a slacker.

So - that's my space and my stash. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

That post on the super hero capes and "A Letter to Ree" will have to wait for now. My oldest son went hunting today and killed his first deer!! So I'm off to his grandparent's house to squeeze him a few times (the kid, not the dead deer), take pics and then go cry for while. My firstborn is no longer a baby. Not when he can go out and bring home dinner. He's that much closer to manhood and forgetting his poor Ma. *sniff*sniff*

Stay warm!

Love to all,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

At least, I hope we do.  Sorry for the delay since my last post.  I recently was given a new Mac Book Pro by my awesome husband but have been struggling with many issues in learning how to use it.  For some reason, after my last post, the Mac and Blogger have not been getting along.  Or maybe it was the Mac and Me.  Who knows.  But I think I have it figured out finally and will hopefully have no more hiccups.

A lot has been going on since my last post.  More homeschooling, of course, which is always challenging.  (More on that in my upcoming, very belated post "A Letter to Ree")  The Main Man went on a week-long mission trip to Mexico and one week after he returned, we all had a 10 day trip to Disney.  The Main Man also had a wreck 2 days after we got home from Florida - no one injured, thankfully, but lots of headache over it, nonetheless.  And we've made some big decisions and changes regarding my businesses - Cocina Couture and Sugar Hill Studio.  More on that in the next few weeks.

Another recent happening is staring you right in the face, acutally, as you read this post.  My blog design is fresh, new and ever so sparkly!  Since I only own two diamonds, which are very small but very precious to me, I thought I'd give myself a few big 'uns to light up my life a little more.  Even if it is only pretend.  Gosh - I don't think I'd ever want a real one as big as the ones over there.  Pretty sure it would have a bad effect on my sewing, trying to hold up the weight of a rock that size.  For now I'm content to just gaze at the sparkles here and dream a little.

Yet another fun and motivating thing has happened to me - that will be announced soon, so stay tuned!   I'll leave you for now with a few pictures from San Cristobal, Mexico.  I swear - I'd better get to go next time!

Love to all,