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Archive for the ‘Crafting’ Category

Rather than try to give you excuses again to why I have been gone so long, I will just tell you what we have done since my last post.

1.Moved from our basement dwelling into our new home (10 days before Christmas). This required us to rent a UHaul load and unload our boxes stored in a friend’s garage (just the two of us), move all of our furniture from a storage unit, move the rest of our stuff from the basement.  Clean the basement. I think this is the hardest move we have made yet.  Thanks to our friends who helped us out.

2.Set up house…you know what that involves…unpacking, unpacking and more unpacking…as well as… organizing, moving more boxes.

3.Decorated for Christmas, finished buying and wrapping presents, and baked fun Christmas treats.

4.Huge snow storm.  Started the day we began our move.  Couldn’t move our cars for two weeks.  Snow was over our bumpers.  Thank goodness Brandon’s office is only 4 blocks away.

5.Had Christmas, my parents came, my brother and sis-in-law came.

6.Turned 34…Brandon threw me a surprise party in our new house.

7.Eyob turned 2….we threw him a party.  Since he was only home a month before his first birthday we didn’t have a party last year.

8.Brandon turned 35….I took him out for a surprise dinner. I was so excited to actually surprise him for once.

9.Lots of baking and cooking going on. Making up for the months with no oven.

10.Lots of enjoying our own home and the wood heat.  What is it with men and their wood supply.  Brandon is seriously obsessed about how much wood we have in our wood shed.  There isn’t enough ever.  He even came home early tonight to chop some wood. 

11.Started some new crochet projects…had my mom teach me how to read a pattern. 

12.Made four New Year’s resolutions… 1. Keep it simple…..in keeping with that 2. Floss my teeth….3. Wash my face….4.Above all keep it simple…Doing pretty good so far.

13.Stayed at home more in the last 6 weeks than I have in I can’t remember how long.  I am actually loving it.

14.Started walking in the morning again.  This neighborhood is a little sketchy in the dark so I carry my mace, but also pray my way around it for 45 minutes.  So glad to be back into that routine. 

15.Read a couple of new books in front of my woodstove.

16.Enjoying having dvr again…you know recording shows to watch later.  So glad to be done with the commercials.

17.Had our first family movie night last night….watched Kung Fu Panda…ate popcorn and candy curled up together on the livingroom floor. Yes, we used our new big pillows mom!  I can’t believe we haven’t done this before.  It was so much fun.  Can’t get “Kung Fu Fighting” out of my head now though.

18.Brandon’s parents visited this past weekend.  We had a blast. So good to see you both.

19.Made 3 dozen muffins, 15 dozen cookies, 2 dozen granola bars, and five dinners today. How’s that for a big day.  Oh yah and did a boat load of laundry that I need to go fold.  Found some great recipes that I will post soon.

20.Got involved in a new blog project that will launch tomorrow. So check back for details.

Pictures to come soon.

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some good….. one not so good.

Burnng computer….not good.

sewingmaching-015  I was burning a candle and I guess one of the boys pushed it a little too close to the computer… so when I pushed the monitor back to take the glare off the screen, I pushed it right over the flame… not long after I smelled something.  Strange, but it registered really fast what it was.  Thankfully, nothing on the computer, aside from the case was damaged. OOPS!

Sewing….good…

sewingmaching-001     sewingmaching-003

Feeling crafty… I had decided early in October that a couple of the gifts I wanted to give this year were going to need to be sewn.  I don’t have a sewing machine so I planned to use my friend Jenn’s.  But when I was looking for something in one of the closets in our basement home, I noticed a couple sewing machines tucked away. I asked Diane if I could use one.  I need to stop here and tell you that I have only sewn a few times in my life and always with my mom’s help.  She would always wind the bobbin and thread the machine for me so all I had to do was point and sew.  Well, this sewing maching had no thread on the bobbins and the machine itself wasn’t threaded.  So I found the manual online and following the directions I wound the bobbin and threaded the machine myself…. and it even worked.  You would be proud mom. I didn’t even get frustrated.  I didn’t have a pattern for my project ( a couple of bags to hold the gifts I am giving my nephews) so I started out and just did it.  Each one is different and imperfect (hopefully no one looks closely) but it sure felt good to get it done.  It was fast too.  There really is something about successfully tackling something you have always felt really incompetent at.  Lots of things that my mom had told me during our brief sewing sessions came back and I created something out of nothing.

sewingmaching-007  Didn’t realize that the pattern was  going the wrong way until I was already done, but it was so easy I may get some more material and start again, but then again maybe not.  Don’t judge.

sewingmaching-008  Large bag to hold the duplo legos we bought for Sean for Christmas off of ebay… cheap, but with no lego container.

Frugal Dinner……good

I have been really working on cutting back our food budget and trying to use things we have on hand to create our meals.  This months experiment was to make a menu plan for the month shop once and live off of the food for the month.  It worked pretty well and ultimately I think I saved money, but I did have to go to the store every week for things like fruit/veggies and milk.  I didn’t keep track of the specifics so I can’t say for sure about the savings.  I will probably do this again (plan for the month) but I will keep out some money so that each week I can buy the fresh stuff we need.  I really enjoyed having all the meals planned out (I planned 19 dinners, froze some breakfast items, planned lunches) and having all the ingredients on hand allowed me to pick what sounded good that day.  Keep in mind that pretty much all I planned had to be cooked in an electric skillet or in the crockpot.  Having the menu planned kept the stress off of daily needing to come up with something to cook, which is often the worst part of cooking in general.

So on to tonight’s dinner….

sewingmaching-013      BBQ beef sandwiches-  roast was buy one get one free and I cut them in half and frozen them.  Probably 2.00 a half.  BBQ sauce- Free (part of a white elephant gift from B’s christmas party)

sewingmaching-014  Rolls- .89 clearance after Turkey day- frozen/then thawed- still good

sewingmaching-012  2 Cans of green beans- .39 a piece- like my hot plate?

sewingmaching-010  Jello singles with little M&Ms- yes they are in repurposed yogurt containers (I don’t have very many bowls and cups out) – .50 I had a coupon-  M&Ms about .97.  The boys thought it was a fun treat.  Except for Eyob who wouldn’t eat his beans and so didn’t get the dessert.  So that was a pretty cheap and tasty dinner.  Sure it lacked the fresh veggies, but you win some and you lose some. 

All in all, it was a productive day, except for the computer.  See you tomorrow!

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22 Days To Go ….

and I am back again.  I bet you thought I couldn’t possibly post three days in a row.  HA!

So I don’t know what it is about the holidays, but every year before Thanksgiving, maybe even closer to Halloween, I get bit by the crafting bug.  Now, I am not really a crafty person. In fact, most of my life I have kind-of rebelled against doing anything remotely domestic, especially crafty.  I am sure that it often made my mom sad, considering she is a domestic genuious and she and her two sisters are amazing crafters, I am sure they inherited the crafting gene from their mom (my grandma Bonnie) who is crafty in so many ways.  Don’t get me started on my dad’s mom (Grandma Dorothy) now there is an artist…. amazing organist and pianist as well as painter.  Wouldn’t you know I married into a family of artists as well.  Brandon’s grandma is fabulous with all things flowers, Christine (Brandon’s sister) cooks amazing, sews beautiful quilts and so much more and Brandon’s mom, Diane……. I can’t think of anything she can’t do.  Crafters…..Now I don’t use that word lightly….. I think crafting is an art form.  You should see some of the unique and wonderful things that the above mentioned ladies in my life come up with. 

Then there is me.  Over the last few years I have tried many “crafty” things from scrapbooking and card making to photo stuff and even knitting (remember Kaylee… didn’t last long did it?).  Back when my sister-in-law, Chrisitine, and I were first married she would come up with different things for us to do around Christmas time and we would work on projects together.  I have collected tons of “craft” supplies for different projects I have wanted to try, but never actually got around to doing.  Much to Brandon’s frustration, I am sure, we have moved those supplies from house to house……I can’t seem to settle down or find my crafting groove.  I think my biggest problem is that I am impatient.  I want to instantly create something beautiful and I don’t really want to do it unless I can do it perfectly… sounds like something I said related to blogging (hopefully I won’t pass that lovely trait onto my boys).     What I am realizing, though, is that crafting is creating… it isn’t instant… it isn’t perfect… it is perfected.  I want that.  I think what I ultimately desire is to slow down.  To try.  I want to give simple gifts that I have created and I want my boys to see the world from an artful perspective and I know if I don’t show them that they won’t learn it from a world that is all about fast and furious. 

So after many years of hiding my desire to craft… I have been bitten by the bug. Sadly, my mom isn’t here to help me and so I am going it alone.  Just me and the many crafty blogs I stalk and the books I check out from the library.  I am going to try stuff.  Get down and dirty.  Experiment. Start!!!  I am going to quit buying craft stuff that I never use and actually use it.  I can’t wait until we move into our new (to us) house in 10 days.  Homemaking is a craft an art form… and I miss it. 

My mom has been teaching me to crotchet and I actually really enjoy it… I have got to the end of a project she was showing me and I have to wait until she comes to visit to finish.  But in the meantime, I have checked out some books and I am teaching myself some other crochet techniques.. Today was double crochet. Don’t look too closely, I know it isn’t perfect but it is a start.

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