Saturday, July 31, 2010

Simple Saturdays...

I love Saturdays. Saturdays are my Sabbath, a day of rest, reflection and time with God. I often read, write, and quietly peruse the internet for things I find calming, restful and to draw closer to God. No matter your spiritual belief, you can use a day to refresh, renew and recenter yourself.

What do you do to recenter yourself when you're out of balance? I'm grateful to have this opportunity every Saturday. Even if you don't do it on a regular basis, what are ways you calm yourself, and refocus on what's important in life? Feel free to share!!

One thing I do is to take pictures and look around at other photographers. Etsy, Artfire and Flickr are some of my fave spots to find photographers.

This is my shot of the marshes outside Carr Drive in Slidell, LA .

So peaceful!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bath Salts Tutorial--Impatient Craftaholic Series

It's time to move my bath salts tutorial to this blog since my soap shop will be on an extended hiatus until I can catch up with life, kids, and shops :)

My Bath Salts Tutorial has been fairly popular though, so I want it to still be available to you all! Please let me know if this link does not work in any way.


Thanks all, happy salting!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's the Most WONDERFUL time of the year...........

BACK TO SCHOOL!!! Yes I LOVE back to school time! For the past two years Harrison has attended Head Start, which I was delighted in as I am a former Head Start teacher and firmly believe in the program. He is absolutely a better developed child because of Head Start. Many of his sensory issues have subsided due to his time in the classroom already. 

Naturally, I'm excited and nervous for my "baby" going off to kindergarten. I'm also excited for me. I have always LOVED back to school. I don't know what it is about the new supplies, the possibilities, the education, the joy and anticipation of a 'new year'. I actually been enjoying the preparation, the supply shopping, picking out his little bookbag, etc. I have no idea if he'll love school like I did, or come to hate it as his daddy did. Hopefully I can help mold him into a good student who does enjoy it and can help him learn what he wants to learn.

Yes, I am looking forward to some time alone. :) I do have Eli at home, but any mom will tell you the difference between 1 and 2 (3,4,5) kids is all the difference in the world. I enjoy that alone time with Eli because it gives him the same solo time Harrison received by being the first born. Eli also needs a lot more time with me so we can work on his therapies to keep him moving on kicking Autism's butt. 

Eli himself may start school at least part time in January when he turns 3, which I really look forward to because he absolutely needs to be around other kids so he can learn the social cues so absent with Autism. But until then, he and I will enjoy some solo time. :) I will substitute when Head Start needs, they know they can't be rid of me :) 

And if you need some nifty stuff for Back to School, then hop on over to my shops!! :) I have back to school ponytails for the girls at Mama's Little Monkeys, nap mat covers at Nap Mat Covers and even some badge reel ID Holders for your favorite teacher at Badge Reels.

Back to School Ponytails

Back to School  Badge Reel

Michael Miller Nap Mat Cover

Back to School RIBBON Clothespin Magnets

And hey, even if you're kids are ready for school or you homeschool, you still have to keep your house clean, right? So check out my lovely shop Micro Mops full of green, clean, and organizing items to keep your home healthy and happy!

Happy Schooling Everyone!!! :)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sock Monkey Tutorial--Impatient Craftaholic Series

I've decided to save myself some emailing, I'll have my Sock Monkey tutorial straight on this blog instead of in my Etsy shop. :)

Let me know if this link does NOT work!

This tutorial is in two parts because I left out vital parts in the first version (first tutorial I ever wrote)

There fore some images in part one are from a public tutorial from:

Here is my tutorial: PART ONE


Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions! :)


Winner of the Buttons Contest Is......

Amanda of Ryleigh's Room! She guess 298 leaving her just 26 off the actual amount of button pieces at 324!
Robyn of Jewelled Trellis was a close second, only off by 28!!

So Amanda drop me a line at Badge Reels and choose your id holder/keychain!! :)

Yup, 324 button PIECES fill up that bowl. And yup, I will use them ALL!

Thanks to all who entered! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Operation Simplify 2010 Update

Hey gang, it's been awhile since I updated my Operation Simplify 2010 plan! I'm doing OKAY at it! Let's face it, its hard for a supply hoarder to SIMPLIFY!!! I have however, continued to purge the house and giveaway or sell things we don't really need. When the seasons change it will be time to purge the closets and everything that the hanger is still facing the wrong way on--OUTTA HERE!

I'm aiming for a more organized life, that's for sure. Harrison will be in kindergarten in a few short weeks and that frees up my days a little, going back to having only one child at home much of the day. The online shops are doing well and I'm looking forward to having that uninterrupted naptime!!

I've been a hermit lately, but I think that's because I've taken a more active role in keeping this house in ORDER! I've got a goal to keep it tidier, more organized and with less STUFF!! (OKay so I still do the frantic 5:30 clean before my husband gets home so it LOOKS like I've been cleaning all day.)

I'm definitely no Martha Stewart, never will be. A clean house is a sign of a wasted life, I agree. But one's clean is another one's messy!!! LOL

Sooooo, I've purged, given away, found lost clothing in closets, given away supplies (YES FOR REAL) and tried to stick to a schedule. My next goal is to keep track EVERY DAY ALL DAY of what I do for a day and see where my time sucks are.

Thus ends this update on Operation Simplify 2010....purge people, purge!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flower Ball Tutorial- Impatient Craftaholic Series

You'll love how easy this one is! This makes my No Sew Fabric Wreath tutorial look like hard work! Seriously, you'll love this!

Materials Needed:
Styrofoam Ball (available at many craft stores)
Artificial Flowers
Satin Ribbon (however long you want your ball to hang)
Wire Cutters
Tacky Glue or Craft Glue (Optional)

Step One:
Snip the bloom off your flowers. Save some of the greenery on the bouquets because those add nicely to the flower ball! If you purchase your flowers in a bouquet at craft stores when they're on sale, you'll get more for your money.

Step Two:
Insert your stem into the stryofoam ball. If you want to put a little glue on the tip of the stem you're inserting in the ball, that's fine but it's not really necessary.

Shove the bloom into the ball until its snug against the ball. Continue to do this over and over until the ball is covered in flowers!

Step Three:
Insert your ribbon. You can use your screwdriver to push the ribbon into the ball. You first poke a hole with your screwdriver in the ball, add some glue in the hole and then push your ribbon in if you'd like. You want to push the ribbon in folded in half so the two ends of the ribbon comes out, allowing you to tie a knot where you want to hang your ball.

That's it! For real!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Lazy Mama Recipes: BBQ Chicken

It's Lazy Mama Recipe Time!


Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins (We use one pkg)
BBQ Sauce (your choice, I use Kraft most often because I know it's Gluten Free)
Glass Baking Dish with Sides (size based on how much chicken you want to use)

1. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Do whatever you're supposed to do to chicken before you cook it, wash it, pat it or whatever. But I'm lazy so I just throw it in in the dish. You don't even have to have it thawed...but if it's frozen it'll all be stuck separate the pieces before you freeze em. Ehh, just throw it in the dish.
3. Cover chicken with 1 bottle of BBQ Sauce. Make sure all chicken pieces are coated.(regular size, unless you're cooking for a bigger family...and really love BBQ sauce, then just pour whatever the heck you want in.)
4. Heat Oven to 425 and cover your dish aluminum foil.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove, stir chicken around, turn pieces over, recover and cook for antoher 20-30 minutes. (the more chicken you have you may have to add a bit of cooking time.)
6. Remove and serve! Check to make sure the chicken is not pink in the middle. Serve with baked beans and corn on the cob. Easy, cheap and quick (well, quick to prepare.)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Serged Cloth Wipes--Impatient Craftaholic Series

Hi guys! Tutorial Time! This one is for those with a serger or who have access to a serger. Chances are many of you already know how to do this, but this is a great newbie tutorial! :)

Materials Needed:

Serger (or sewing machine with overcasting stitch--not QUITE the same but close.)
Threads, needles, scissors (usual sewing stuff!)
Flannel (Terry Cloth and Sherpa are other good wipe fabrics)
Fray Check
Rotary Cutter or Large Scissors

Step One:
Gather Materials. Choose the size of your cloth wipe. I used a flannel I had previously cut for Beau Beau bags so the fabric was already cut to a certain point. I cut this fabric 6 inches tall and 14 inches wide. If you are using a directional print, be careful in your cutting. Remember, measure TWICE, cut ONCE! This fabric is folded RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER in my pics, but in reality you can cut it WRONG SIDES together because you're going to serge it. This tutorial is for a two ply wipe. If you'd prefer a one ply wipe, just serge one layer of fabric at a time.

The size wipes you end up with will vary based on your choice in cutting size.
Because I had a long strip 6x14, I cut the fabric at the 7 inch mark to make two wipes.

Step Two:
We're making two ply wipes here, so take your fabrics and put them right sides facing out if you didn't cut them that way. (Sorry I'm an impatient crafter so I took pics without thinking ahead!)

Step Three:
Now head over to your serger! If you do NOT have a serger, but have a sewing machine with an overcasting stitch, you can use that. It's not quite the same, but it does work some. So mosey on over to your serger with your little square with wrong sides together.

Serge down any side you choose first, if you are doing multiple wipes at once, you can serge down the side of many at a time in a chain.

Generally once I do a bunch on one side, then I start on another side.
Step Four:
So just continue on and serge all four sides until your wipe is complete!! Add some Fray Check on the corners to help them from fraying in the wash.

And now you're done!! Use your wipes for cloth diapering, kids hankerchief's, cleaning and more!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friend or Parent?

As of late, my almost 5 year old, Harrison, has been asking me, "Mommy, are you my friend?"

He's been asking this... a lot. Incessantly. At weird random times during the day, not always when he wants something or I'm fussing at him.

So when he asks this, my mind wanders for a he going to be this needy, whiney little child who needs constant gratification and praise? Will he be 40 and running off his third wife because he can't stop asking her if she really does love him?

I only ponder these things for a bit and then I reply, "Yes, honey, Mommy loves you and is your friend, but I'll always be your Mommy more." Sometimes we continue and talk about how mommies are teachers and our jobs are to teach our children how to be healthy, happy people.

Sometimes we don't.

What is my point? My point is, although I'm satisfying his growing need to understand family relationships, at this point, I will have to teach him at some point that mommies are parents first, friends second.

Why is this important? Because I really do feel that too many parents are too worried about being a friend to their child, than a parent. My mother always tried to be my friend first so when she wanted to slip into the parent role and lay down the law, I scoffed at the idea.

I am constantly reminding myself that his few minutes of happiness if I give in to something he does not need, or I backtrack on a consequence, are not worth the years of heartache it could lead to down the road. He is slowly learning that Mommy and Daddy are the parents, the 'bosses' as he says. :) We take the time to explain the hierarchy of families and WHY we believe in them, using the Bible and our religious beliefs as our base of understanding---explaining it in kid terms of course.

Pretty soon, Harrison will start Kindergarten and although he's been in preschool for two years, alas, public school is a whole new ballgame. He will learn the ropes of real friendships, enemies, fun and heartache. Hopefully he'll find those few good true friends who will stand the test of time like I have, and hopefully he'll continue to learn that although Mommy is always there for him, my role is not as a friend per say but a role model, teacher and "boss".

But for right now....I'm happy giving him a hug and saying, "Of course I'm your friend buddy....but you still have to eat your peas!"


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Covered Button Badge Reel How To--The Impatient Craftaholic Series

Enjoy!! Part Four of the Impatient Craftaholic Series. Fabric Covered Button Badge Reels! Easy peasy! Don't feel like making them? Buy them from my Etsy Shop! :)

Find great blanks for your own badge reels at:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Playing with my Webcam and Cleaning my House...

So, since I farted around during most of Eli's nap playing with my webcam:

Ok, don't ask...I don't know what I was doing but that webcam was fun.

Anyhoo, since I farted around doing this, I had to clean in the afternoon. I got myself in a tizzy because it was just'll see:

The Craft Room: Still Looks like this...

The boys room: still looks like this:

Living room: BEFORE!
The Living Room AFTER!

Annnnnnnnd I cleaned my kitchen!

Ahhhh it's so nice...while it lasts...which isn't long with two small children!

So we treated ourselves to a snowball (for your northerners, snowcone) and when we came back home, we noticed our Parish had put up the Autistic Child sign I requested on TUESDAY!!! Can I get a what what for tax dollars actually at work???? I mean, I was shocked. I thought it would take weeks. I do wish they had more variety, perhaps one that said  "Slow Down: Autistic Child" but I'm happy with anything. There are maniacs who go flying down my street at 40 mph (its 25mph) and perhaps that sign will slow them down just a tad..even if just to read it! Thank you St. Tammany Parish!

So that's my was your day??

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for one of my Badge Reels in this Guess How Many Buttons Giveaway! Click HERE! :)


Monday, July 12, 2010

Giveaway Time! Guess How Many Buttons!!???

I haven't had a giveaway in awhile! I think it's time for one :) How's this? Guess how many buttons are in this jar!!! Whoever comes closest wins their choice of any one badge reel/keychain from my shop, Badge Reels.

So here's your challenge! Guess how many SIZE 60 button PIECES are in this glass bowl. Size 60 buttons are 1.5 inches wide. Remember that there are two parts to a cover button :) Leave your guess in a comment below along with a way to contact you if you win!! :)

Good Luck!

Beau Beau (rice therapy bag) Tutorial-- Impatient Craftaholic Series

I hope you're enjoying my little tutorials! I'm no tutorial expert, but my main goal is to make the handmade life easier for everyone! If I can create, anyone can!!

This tutorial is for my Beau Beau Bags, also called Boo Boo Bags, Rice Packs, rIce packs, ouch pouches and a gazillion other names. Basically it's a bag you use on ouches. This is for your traditional square rice pack, you can make them in a variety of shapes and sizes. Larger ones can be made for headaches of menstrual cramps.

Materials Needed:
*Fabric, you're cutting a square of your choice size, so you want at least a fat quarter to get a typical size bag, your choice flannel or fabric, even terry cloth or minky might be nice.
*Rotary Cutter or Scissors
*YardStick or Cutting Guide
*Sewing machine, Thread, needle, usual machine stuff
*Ribbon (optional)

Iron and lay out your fabric on your cutting surface. I chose this nifty Cars flannel I had around the house. Depending on the size of your fabric is how many bags you will get out of the fabric. One yard can make quite a bit of bags.

Cut your fabric to a 5x5 inch square (with fabric RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER). This step is customizable to your needs.

If you cut this on the fold you'll only need to sew 3 sides of the bag :)

Sew ALMOST all the way around the bag. Because you're going to have to turn this bag right side out, you'll be stopping about 1-2 inches from your original starting point. You'll be turning in a corner, so you can start about an inch from one corner, making sure you leave that corner open for turning.

Once you've stitched almost all the way around, you can clip close to your seams--NOT THROUGH the stitching then turn the bag right sides out.

Now you have a right sides out bag! Use a pencil or scissors to poke out the corners (except your open one LOL) and press if you'd like. (Flannel usually doesn't have as many wrinkles if you used that). 

Now it's time to fill your bag! I usually use rice because it's the least expensive option but you can use flaxseed, dry cherry pits or even deer corn---DEER CORN not popcorn. Although if you use popcorn, I'd sure love to see the pics of exploding popcorn inside your bag...

I use a cup and a siphon to put the rice in the open corner hole.

Fill your bag approx. 3/4ths of the way full (or to your desired fullness) and tuck your open corner in nice and neat.

Cut a small ribbon or piece of fabric if you wish, fold it over and tuck it in your open corner. Stitch (straight or zigzag) the opening closed, making sure to back stitch. I stitch the opening at least twice to make sure it's secure.

Admire your handiwork! We like to store our bags in the freezer for beau beaus but you can also microwave the bag for 15-30 seconds at a time for a hot pack. USE CAUTION when handling the hot bag!

Now, why do I call it a Beau Beau bag instead of a boo boo? Because down south where I live, my family always said beau beau (pronounced like the actor Beau Bridges) instead of boo boo. I don't know anyone who says boo boo around here! Not that it's wrong if you do, that's just my story of why I call it what I do! :)

Enjoy your bags, whatever you call them, and feel free to share this tutorial!


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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Easy Pillowcase--Impatient Craftaholic Series

In keeping with my for the Impatient Craftaholic series...allow me to introduce "The Easy Pillowcase". 

This tutorial is what happens when you bring your children to the fabric store with you just to get ONE THING (I swear!) and they find fabric they like. Sigh. It's hereditary.

1 yard of your chosen fabric (we chose Spiderman..natch.)
Serger and thread (if you have it, if not, its ok)
Scissors and the usual sewing odds and ends.
Sewing Machine (unless you love hand sewing..which if that is the case you probably aren't needing this series of impatient crafting...)
Set your coffee to brew...this project is pretty darn fast.

Step One: Measurements, Schmeasurements.
I just grabbed a pillow from the house and used it as my measurement. Because this print is a directional print, I had to fold it raw edge to raw edge. In the end I ended up with a piece of fabric, folded, right sides together that measured about 33x18 or so. Your final measurements will vary based on your pillow size.

Step Two: The Almighty Serger
Now don't fret if you don't have a serger. If you DO, head on over to it with your fabric still in its nice little 33x18 inch or so fold. Since there is already a fold, you don't have to stitch that side of the pillowcase. So serge down the shorter side first (looking at the above picture, its the right hand side first). Then the longer "raw edge" side. This leaves you an unfinished pillowcase!!

Step Two: If you don't have a serger:
You can still sew down the same sides as the serger in the step above with your sewing machine. Because it is a pillowcase, it really doesn't matter if you have a raw edge inside the pillowcase---at least in my world it's okay. Just stitch with your machine in a straight stitch as I said in the serged instructions. If you really feel the need, use pinking shears to 'pink' the edges along the stitches for security.

Step Three: Hemming It up
After the inside of your pillowcase is done, move on to your hem. Keep the case with wrong sides out, and fold down a small hem. How big your hem is, really depends on the size of your pillow and how much extra fabric you want hanging off your pillow.
Use your iron to press your first hem.

Step Four:
Fold down again until you find a hem you're comfortable with. Nope my lines aren't totally straight. Ahem, Impatient Craftaholic....

Step Five: Head back to your regular sewing machine
Now at your regular sewing machine, just stitch your hem! Sew one line close to the folded edge, then if you'd like, sew another line on the outer edge.

Now fold your pillowcase right side out and viola...a nifty spider man pillowcase!! (Yes I know, I need a picture of the finished pillowcase...but the kid is sleeping on it right now..)

And if you keep some fabric left over, you can make a nifty SpiderMan shirt for your little one :)
***Enjoy and happy sewing! Let me know if you have any questions! Stay Tuned for the Next Installment of the Impatient Craftaholic!


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