Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our first...

You would think a family with 4 children has been through pretty much everything... but Tuesday night we had a new first- our first kid with a broken limb. Of course, I knew someday we'd have to deal with this, I just didn't expect it to happen to the youngest.

I'll be trying to post updates on her regularly- we've been getting plenty of calls since "the news" broke. She is doing well. Right now, she has that splint on her arm that you see in the picture. This afternoon, she'll get a cast. I'm curious to see which color she picks-I don't know that she has an actual favorite color yet.

I suppose I should tell you how it happened (for those that don't know already!)- Tuesday evening she and big brother Tommy snuck into mom & dad's room and decided they would start jumping on the bed. Mike heard them jumping from the other room and told them to get down. Tommy launched off the bed (as he does off of everything he can get away with). Maya tried to do the same, and didn't quite make the landing.

She did very well in the hospital and cried only a little. In fact, there were quite a few times we got her giggling pretty good. Mommy was even able to sneak a hotdog into the room for her to munch on while we were waiting. She did pretty much cling to daddy the entire time we were there though.

Since we've been home, she's been a trouper. She's still trying to climb on things. We did get her to settle down and watch a video for a little bit yesterday. She's found a love of the Muppets and Kermit. And let me tell you, watching her eat soup yesterday was a hoot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Time to brag a little...

I just had to share, I'm in a treasury on Etsy for the very first time!
A special thanks to Uniquely Nancy for featuring me! How awesome! To see my items and the others that were featured up close, click HERE! By the way- the green star cane is mine. :-)
I'm going to run now... If I'm going to get a walk in tonight before it rains, I've got to go NOW!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Busy busy busy...

Yet again, it's been a bit crazy in Crafty Mom household. I know I shouldn't be surprised by this, yet I am. We've already completed one school fundraiser. Caylin has her first major project due on Friday that I'm getting way too involved in.
Jake has been busy with his freshman soccer team and we've hardly seen him at all the last month. Tommy is absolutely loving every minute of school. And Miss Maya is teething, but at least she's finally learned what yes mean, and that she can say it. But she's also mastered the phrases "I want" and "I don't want"- and how to scream when it's not her way. I think Mike is just trying to reduce the number of middle-of-the-night calls he gets from work.

As far as me... I've been fighting a cold for the last few weeks, but that hasn't made me any less busy.
I completed and sent off another letter tile for the PCAGOE Alphabet Charity project. We've finally got one complete set, and there's only one tile left for the other set!

Isn't it cool? It's going to be donated to a children's hospital or advocate. The Y in the lower left corner is mine- I'm so proud!

I also completed this little guy for the PCAGOE monthly challenge. The theme was Day of the Dead. While he didn't win, I was still very happy with him. He was something new that I tried, and it's always important to try new things. And of course, he's for sale on my Etsy!

Speaking of my Etsy, I've listed one of my Mayan pendants- take a look!

Lastly- we had our first frost over the weekend! I harvested my basil and oregano. The basil has already been quick-dried in the oven, and the basil is hang-drying. It's kinda neat seeing it there in the kitchen... I think I'm going to have to do more herbs next year!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Long Time?

Gosh its been a while! We were thrown back into the dark ages last week- everything digital of ours was out... phone, internet and digital cable. Thankfully, we still had our cell phones and regular cable... but no DVR!!!! (insert scary horror-movie scream here)

So, during that time we went on a nice little drive to a local archaeological site, called Aztalan. There are 2 re-built pyramids-- yes, you heard that right, pyramids in Wisconsin. Ok, so they're really big mounds, but they are pyramid shaped mounds.

We had a blast hiking around, seeing all the nature. But a week later, I find myself fighting some horrible cold that started yesterday with aches, chills, and you-don't-want-to-know-the-rest, and has progressed to a headache, scratchy throat, and still you-don't-want-to-know-the-rest.

I think it's time to snuggle under a nice warm blanket.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deals, Portfolios, and Careers, Oh My!

As a woman, and I know this is a bit stereotypical, I L-O-V-E shopping, but I particularly love finding things on clearance to re-purpose and use for something else. I found this nifty shower caddy on clearance at Target- simply because it was labeled as "College 2008"- for around $2.50. The same kind of thing is at Walmart for just under $5. While I have no need for lugging around my bath and body products, it's working out great for toting stuff to and from the "studio" (aka basement). It's got the 2 large compartments big enough for baking tiles, and some smaller ones for things like tools, rubber finger cots, and a few lumps of clay. Perfect for when I don't want to be lonely in the cold, damp basement. PS- If you look closely, you can see my latest project- for the PCAGOE Day of the Dead Challenge!

This evening, I was supposed to be meeting with some other women for a networking dinner party of sorts, but unfortunately it was rescheduled. One good thing has come of it- I spent a good portion of yesterday evening formatting and printing a portfolio of my work.

There's so much I don't have anymore, and some of my favorite pieces have found loving homes far far away. This is a great way to showcase those things! Just a small 3-ring binder with page protectors. I had one with the clear plastic cover, so I printed up a nice cover as well.

Lastly, I stumbled upon this fun little test. It takes the colors that you like and dislike and tells you what career path you should take. I was pretty surprised at how accurrate (in my opinion anyway) it was! Give it a shot!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Has it been this long?

Wow- has it really been 2 weeks since I posted last? I'm a horrible blog mistress- I'm sorry. Here's a pretty yellow rose from my garden to make up for it.

I was in a foul mood almost all of last week, and thought it'd be best if I didn't subject all of you to that- it was bad enough my hubby had to deal with it!

So, lets catch up! Since I've been away, Tommy and Caylin have both started school- Tommy is in 4K and Caylin is in 2nd grade this year.

Missy Maya is the only one not in school, but I don't think she minds. She's keeping us all busy with her climbing. What a little monkey! See the skirt she's got on? I whipped that one up all on my own. It's nothing special- just a couple of quarters of fabric, cut in half, and sewn together, with an elastic waistband. Luckily, she's still short enough that I could get away with that!

Speaking of climbing, Caylin has discovered her own climbing talent! Do you see her way up there? She loves climbing to the top of our apple tree and I think she enjoys scaring the be-jeeezes out of me too. Her theory is that the best apples are at the top of the tree. Next year, we may just have to spray so the bugs don't get to them before I do... my husband can already taste the Apple Dapple Cake I'll be baking next year. I may just have to surprise him with one.... one of these days.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Your Mission...

...should you choose to accept it:

Go vote for your favorite textured entry at PCAGOE!!
This month's challenge was "texture". All of the entries are so wonderful, I'm not sure which one will win! Don't forget, by voting you're automatically entered to win one of two fabulous prize packages!

I gave my husband a mission this weekend. It was to clean out all of my son's GI Joe accessories. It was all supposed to fit into one box. In his opinion, we just need a bigger box. But, in mission control's eyes, well... he didn't make it out alive.

So far this weekend, I have cleaned out my son's room and the garage. Still on my to-do list is the basement. But the sun is shining so bright and beautiful outside, I'm not sure I can force myself into the basement for too long.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wishing Stars

Well, we're still not exactly back to normality, but we're headed in the right direction I think. Last night was the Meet & Greet at Caylin's school, and today Tommy had his bus orientation. And I'm still working on the wishing stars. They're cut out now!

To be honest, I don't have a whole lot to write about today. I would like to show these image transfers I was working on last night.

Also, I drew this a while ago, but colored it today. I plan on making a cane with it, but I'm not sure what color to make the background. I was thinking a faux wood would be really neat, but I'm not completely sure how I would do that (although I have an idea or two). If you have any thoughts, leave a comment below!

I would like to say I was feeling a bit in a funk today. I meandered over to and found a couple of great articles.

The first is "Are You on the Right Course?" by Martha Beck. She believes that there's a superhero in everyone of us, we just have to peel down the layers to find our spandex-clad super-selves. Pretty good read for someone down in the dumps.

The other is "6 steps to Get Your Creativity Flowing" As told to Jancee Dunn. There are some great insights from Tom Kelly- IDEO's general manager.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to normality?

We're back from "up north" and I'm missing it already. Its so calm and peaceful. The cold crisp air is so refreshing in the morning. And the smell of sweet flowers, grasses and vegetables saturates the air.

Even cruising through the fields on the ATV's was relaxing. Feeling the cool breeze on my face was just what I needed.

Even Caylin got to ride on her own- with the help of a speed regulator. She did great!

Tommy caught a blue gill that was about 6-7 inches long. Not bad for a Lightning McQueen fishing pole manned by a four year old. Unfortunately, I was in town when it happened, and the camera wasn't handy. It was the only fish caught all weekend. I do have my own fish story, but you'd never believe me....

Tomorrow the eldest of our brood goes back to school, with the youngest starting school September 5th. This week is full of meetings and getting ready to go back to school. We've begun labeling school supplies, and packing backpacks. For the 2 grade-schoolers, we've made wishing stars, with goals written on them. We'll be hanging them in their room, and as they accomplish their goals, we'll be putting them on a board for everyone to see. Tommy's goals include learning to write his letters. Caylin wants to read 1 chapter book a week. It's been great for getting them excited about school. I'll put up pictures once they're hung.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's gonna be a loooong night

Can you believe it's almost Friday already? This week has zoomed by! I can't believe I haven't even blogged since we've returned from Disney! Yes, we did survive... although I wasn't postive we were going to get out before Fay hit. BTW- the hotel had the cutest comforters on the bed. I was there almost a day before I realized that the characters from Nemo were on it!

So seriously, it's 11:09 pm here in Wisconsin- and I'm only halfway done with what I need to do tonight. My mother's birthday is tomorrow, which always means a late night for me. I suppose if I started her birthday presents sooner, I wouldn't have to stay up quite so late, but that just takes all the fun out of it!
Thus far, I've made guacamole, made a custom envelope, made her present, and wrapped said present. I'd show it to you, but my mom reads my blog from time to time... Hi Mom!

Still left to do for tonight, and going into this morning- downloading 158 pictures from said Disney trip. I've also got to pack up these letter tiles to go to the PCAGOE Alphabet project. We're making 2 mosaics of polymer clay letter tiles that will be donated. I don't believe they've decided on who it'll go to, but if memory serves, there was talk of a children's hospital. But, it doesn't matter- they were a blast to make!

Oh, yeah, and I've got to pack tonight, because we're going out of town again! This time, we're going to my uncle's cottage "up north", eh. That's Wisconsin talk for even further north than we already are. And we get to behave slightly less civilized and enjoy things like walking barefoot through shallow water with our pants rolled up to our knees. Or catching frogs and turtles and fish. Or getting four wheelers stuck in some muddy spot.
PS- It's now 12:51 am. I was going to make some of these muffins posted on Lisa Clarke's blog, but I'm all out of steam. Get ready to laugh- maybe I'll do it in the morning before I go to work. Hahahaha!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


It's official, we're on vacation!
I am off work today and tomorrow (and Monday too!). Last night, I had the last hissy fit allowed for the next 5 days, and this morning my good attitude is back. I suppose you're wondering what said hissy fit was about. Does it really matter now? If you must know, it was a combination of work stress, packing stress, and... well.... you REALLY don't want to know the rest.
So... so long-we're going to Disney! See ya on Tuesday!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I've been tagged!

I started laughing when I found my "you've been tagged" notice in my e-mail- what a fun thing to do, except, I think everyone knows just about everything about me. I'm really gonna have to dig deep to find some interesting things! Thanks Ginny for the tag, I think I'll enjoy this! You can find Ginny's blog at Designs by Ginny Baker.

Here are my things:
1. I have a tattoo on the small of my back, in the symbol above, except the 2 crescents are filled in. I was too chicken to have the circle filled in as well. It is three phases of the moon, which is a pagan symbol of the triple goddess- the maiden, the mother and the crone. It is there to remind me that inside of every woman is a goddess, no matter what age. It is also there to remind myself of my inner goddess, because more often than not I forget she is there. I think there is strength in every woman, sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.
2. I lived in Belize for a month after my first year of college, to study Mayan archaeology. I stayed in a "dorm" made of 2x4's and plywood above the lab in the middle of the jungle. I spent 6 hours a day in a hole that was just barely wider than my shoulders, digging for soil samples for a week. Another 2 weeks I spent excavating the ruins of 2 separate homes, one that shared a site with a small pyramid(that included a burial chamber). Another week I spend excavating an agricultural site. I have many stories of howler monkeys, wild pigs, toucans, and other animals and bugs that would just take up way too much space here!

3. I met my current and my previous husband on the internet. My first marriage lasted just over a year. My current marriage is in its 5th year. We got married in Las Vegas, with our entire family there. After dinner, my husband and I took a limo to another hotel, and saw an "Elvis" show, still dressed in our wedding attire. We also got married on the exact same day as one of my hubby's childhood buddies.

4. My husband was almost sent to Iraq 2 weeks before our wedding. One day he called me from work and started to tell me things I needed to take care of, but wasn't able to tell me why until he got home. I still don't know how he was able to convince whomever to have someone else go instead.

5. I not-so-secretly wish that we had a farm, even though we have a lovely house, in a small town. Every now and then I ask Mike if we can have some kind of farm animal. I've asked him for ducks, chickens, lambs, and cows. I think next I'll have to bother him about a pig. ;-) My daughter really wants a horse too.

6. If I let myself, I can fall asleep on the couch around 8:30, especially if Mike is near. If he's away, I can stay up all night. I'm just more comfortable when he's around, and I have a hard time sleeping without him.

7. When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a nurse. When I went to college initially, it was for a degree in nuclear medicine technology (before I switched to archaeology). I went back to school in 2003 to become a nurse, but didn't finish for various reasons-none of which included grades, as I had a 3.8 gpa. If I had the time and resources, I would go back to become an obstetrician. I think it's one of the most amazing jobs in the world!!!

I'm tagging:

Lynda at SCDiva
Pippa at Pipsjewellry
Linda at NKDesigns
Lilin at Artbylilin
Heather at swoondimples

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Artist of the week-Kerijoy

Kerijoy has an amazing story, and she details in it in her profile so much better than I could paraphrase it. Here is a small sampling:

I began the 'Wall Dancers' in February 2003. After 15 years of being a Senior Designer, I lost my "passion" for my art. Just when I said 'No Mas!' and 'I knew' where my life was going (silly me!)- Our Higher Power decided to display a sense of humor and I've been 'along for the ride' ever since! I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in February 2002 that kept me literally bed-bound. It's been a 6-year tough battle but my ‘choice’ was not to take the victim role. The first dolls were actually made in bed with me in my jammies! I was told by all of my doctors that "these were impossible to do" and still to this day they still wonder 'how I do it.' ~smiling~ You just have met the 'Rainman-Of-ETSY!'

I think the one that speaks to me the most is her Peace Destiny Serenity doll. 2 things that I want and one that I try to understand. Maybe by finding peace and serenity, I will understand my destiny. Cheesy, yes. But that comes with the territory.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Technical Difficulties

It must be something in the water. One of my favorite blogs dissapeared a week or two ago, and now I'm having difficulties. My laptop is dying. Yes, I just got it- but it was free for a reason. There is a poor connection bewteen the power cord and the computer, and the only way to fix it is to replace the motherboard. The battery absolutely refuses to hold a charge, and even though I have it on a stationary surface, it'll shut down, usually in the middle of something that took hours to work on. So, I have neglected my lovely blog, but no longer--NO LONGER, I say!!!

And now for something completely different- Something to drool over...
And beg hubby for. Ok, so I've made a VERY strong, VERY obvious hint that it'd make a wonderful Chrsitmas present. So strong and obvious that he received an email from me with a subject line of "Christmas present", the words "HINT HINT HINT" in it, and a link to her website. I'm shameless, I know. And in case you didn't take the time to visit Donna Kato's website, if you pre-order, you'll get an autographed copy. I expect mine under the tree in November, darling.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Keep Swimming

One of my mantra's of late is from Disney's "Nemo"... when Dori is singing "Just keep swimming..." Many times I've been at a point lately, where I need to remind myself to just keep swimming. It's silly, but it makes me smile a little too.
This is one of Swimmy's friends, getting ready to go into the oven. I made him for a swap on Etsy called Swim It Forward. Just post a message saying that you'll make a Swimmy for the next person that posts, they'll convo them, and you send a Swimmy. You can also make one and send it directly to the Etsy HQ-find more details on that here.

So, go make your own Swimmy, and swim him forward!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Featured Artist of the Week

Check out ArtByLilin's Etsy site this week!!

This was just posted today and isn't it gorgeous? I love her peacock collection- this one is KORBEE. Reminds me of the peacock we saw at the zoo last week with its' feathers so proudly displayed for all the hot peacock chickies to see!

Lilin has done an excellent job mixing colors, and just look at that scroll at the top of the pendant! Lilin- you've outdone yourself girl! Nice touch on the peacock feather in the background too.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New computer

What a weekend! Poor Tommy's been sneezing so hard I thought he was going to blow his brains out of his nose! He's got an upper respiratory infection, so I stayed home with him today.

I've got a new-to-me laptop, and am currently typing this from my living room! No more late nights alone in the kitchen! And it only took me 2 hours to figure out how to get the wireless connection set up. I'm still got to upload my photo software and a few other things though.

Friday we visited the zoo for their Kid's Night. We decided to be different, and go through it out of our usual order. And of course, since we're in Wisconsin, we had to visit the cows. LOL

These are Tommy's giraffes. Hehehe. He's named them Bubbles, Bubbles (Jr.), and Giraffey. What a goof. He's also named just about every other animal we came across.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Featured artist

Now that I'm blogging daily, I'm going to begin featuring at least one artist weekly. This week's artist is Etsy's BiMiki.

I love this adorable asian style necklace! BiMiki says she's a technique junkie, and I completely fall into that category. Added bonus, in her profile she says "A minimum of 25% of the cost of each item is donated to Christian recovery programs like Celebrate Recovery and counseling programs."

Her Etsy already looks great, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her wonderful work!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mamma Mia!

My sides hurt from laughing so much! My mom, a couple of good friends and I went to a sneak preview of Mamma Mia! tonight, and it was absolutely wonderful. And it really was a great movie to see with my mom!
Now that I'm home, I'm about ready to strangle my computer! My email is acting up- not letting me attach or download files, and my flickr isn't allowing me to grab links to my own pictures. If only I could get a new computer... maybe I'd get a laptop. If my mom were reading this now she'd remind me how I hate laptops- but that was before I started blogging regularly and had to leave nice comfy couches for a hard uncomfortable kitchen chair.
Anyone out there know how to fix my computer problems? Send me a comment below!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Junk day

I'd like to start things off today with a moment of silence... you see, Goldie the zombie fish finally went to the big fish bowl in the sky last night. Caylin flushed her down the toilet without a single tear. She was so strong. Afterwards, I sent her up to ask her daddy if she could finally get that baby chick, now that we had one less pet. I'm so evil. Tee-hee!

Today was sort through junk day. By 5pm, I realized that I was carrying WAY too many things in my tote, so we had to slim down. I had 5 different notebooks, 3 magazines, a make-up bag (not that I ever put any on regularly), migraine meds, a collapsable file folder, thank you cards that I never wrote out, an empty change purse, a garage door opener, various loose papers, and a cinnamon candy cleverly disguised as a peppermint. YUCK!

After consolidating, I had every intention of taking updated, better quality pictures for some of my etsy items. Pictures that I was supposed to take over the weekend. As I was going through things, I kept finding all these unfinished projects... like earrings that I just had to throw together to make a complete set, or the pendant and toggle for a necklace that just needed to be thrown on rubber cording. Not to mention the sheet of clip art I had printed nearly 6 months ago to do image transfers with! So, 2 1/2 hours later, I've got 5 complete necklaces, 3 sets of earrings, and numerous pictures just waiting to have the paper dissolved off of them. Wee!

Now I just have to figure out- Should I keep them, or post on Etsy? What do you think?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Meetings and messes

Here I am blogging, just like I said I would... I even got my tail up off the couch from under the nice warm blanket to stick to my blogging commitment. I didn't think it'd be good to slack off on my first day.

Today was the meeting for the Metro Milwaukee Polymer Clay Guild. It has been far too long since I've met with these wonderful ladies! It's so nice to get together with people that understand clay obsessions... not that I'm obsessed or anything. I've only been in my studio all weekend!

At the meeting today, Beth taught some great cane making demos! She had some great leaves and flowers. I love how my leaf turned out, but I think my flower could've used a darker outlining color on it for contrast. It's spawned a lot of ideas that seem really good in my head right now- hopefully I can bring them to life in clay!

Looks like I'll be demo-ing at the September meeting, doing image transfers! I've only done one so far, but I've been wanting to revisit and master that technique.

Speaking of technique, I learned a great one that makes a big huge fun mess from the Winter 06/07 issue of Polymer Cafe. It's Laurie Prophater's Ancient Metal Technique and it was tons of fun to do. If you get tired of being exact with canes, this is a great thing to try and just let it take you where ever it goes.

I made my own stamps, based off of Mayan hieroglyphs. Its just some scrap clay, cut into squares, then I used very thin extruded scrap snakes to make my stamp designs. (I've got a whole bunch more in mind...)

I followed Laurie's technique and the above is what I ended up with. These are drying after applying a coat of minwax to them. Normally I don't varnish, but I didn't want the finish to rub or scratch off. I love them, and can't wait until I have one strung to show off!

Here's another messy technique I worked on this weekend- stamp into some white or off-white clay, then cover with a mixture of liquid clay and alcohol ink. I don't remember where I read about this technique, it was months ago, but I love it. I think it looks like ceramic glaze. I have decided I need to get some additional inks though- I only have 3! I'm not sure how to finish these off yet. Any thoughts? Post your comment below!