Monday, April 30, 2007

Have you seen...

My monkey!? No? Well, here she is! And she is FOR SALE! Well, not this exact one. One I custom make just for you! I've found a reasonably inexpensive way to peddle my "stuff". So you too can have your own monkey business shirt or a beep beep shirt, or a tote bag. Or whatever else you like that comes out of the creative stash in my head. After Owen's birthday I will be setting up my .mac site to include a FOR SALE page. In the meantime if you'd like a monkey business shirt you can e-mail me ( and I will get back to you about price, sizing, and colors. Oh, and the business part of monkey business is that under the monkey it's supposed to say "business" but I liked her by herself so I just left her.

The monkeys are done out of wool and acrylic felt. All hand stitched. All washable and dryable. The bow on mine bled a little so I will be using acrylic felt for the bows in the future!

Oh, and size doesn't matter. I've got one going right now that is for a BIG man. The shirt is 3X! I have to enlarge my monkey! And yes, I can do boy monkeys too.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Is this friggin' cute...

or what!?This is Owen's birthday present! When I was little I had a jack-in-the-box. And it scared/startled me everytime it popped up. So I decided Owen had to have a JITB too. While I was searching the internet for one I came across this one and being that I LOVE gnomes and O was a gnome for Halloween this is the JITB he had to have. It's metal with a cute little crank just like a JITB ought to be. Not plastic. And it plays the classic JITB song. Pop Goes the Weasel. Which now that I think about it, that song can't be good. Like ring around the rosy. So now I'm going to have to find out what that song is really about.

So in seven days my little baby is going to be one. I can't believe it. This year has gone so fast. Exactly one year ago today was my last day of teaching. Owen and I went down to see The Girls and have lunch on Wednesday. It was nice to visit but I don't miss it. I like being with Owen. Friday we went and had lunch with my mom and sister at their work. So we get out as much as we can. It's been so nice here that we've been going to the park to swing and playing outside in the afternoon while we wait for my sister to come or for Morgan to get home. Owen is loving being outside. He's really into leaves and sticks! Yesterday I brought out some toys but he was mostly interested in filling up this bowl with leaves and then I gave him a stick and he was stirring them a bit.

It's amazing how much being a mommy can change your life. Everyday I marvel at how he's growing and changing and developing. It seems like he is more expressive everyday and it's fascinating to watch. It makes me sad that not all children and loved and cared for the way Owen is. That not all children come into the world loved and wanted. That has always saddened me, but more so now and in a more profound way, now that I am a mother. There are so many people longing for children but people who can't or won't care for their children don't give them up to people who can. And I find myself wondering how I can protect Owen from the scary things in our world but educate him about them too. So many, many things that we are responsible for as parents. It's a good thing parenthood is a journey just like childhood! So much learning and growing to do!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Week 15...

Here is my card for week 15 of the DOM challenge. The theme was "parents".
Initially I was not excited about this theme. I don't have two parents. Well, I do. I obviously was not conceived immaculately! But growing up, and now, I've always just had my mom. And then I decided it was okay for my theme to be just "parent". But then I couldn't decide what to do. I wanted a picture of my mom but these are few and far between and the good ones I have are of her and Owen! There is one I wanted to use of when I was small but it's at my mom's house. So yesterday I went downstairs to work on this. I found the "she loves me" on some pattern paper, I picked a piece of green cardstock that was lying on my table and cut it to size, got out the rubons, did the journaling and then the paint. It took me all of about 10 minutes I think and I love how it turned out.
My childhood was not always easy or rosey but I always knew that my mom loved me. Even when I thought she was too strict or being mean. She did the best she could for my sister and me and has always supported us in whatever we've done. No matter what. Well, there was this one time when I decided it would be a good idea to get engaged at 22 and a junior in college. She was not happy about that. But I got over it and him and so did she.
Earlier this morning (4am!) Owen woke up and needed a little mommy comfort. After he fell asleep and I put him back down Morgan and I were talking about childhood memories. He doesn't seem to have a lot of them earlier than the third grade. I on the other hand remember tons of stuff from as early as 3. So I was telling him about some of them. And those events, big and small, are part of who I am and my mom is the reason that lots of those happen. Our parents, one or two (or more!), shape us from early on. They give us a foundation upon which to stand and as adults it's always there. Even when we don't realize it.

Here are the goodies I bought last Saturday after my classes with Donna. I couldn't leave a Scrapbook store without some goodies! I'm going to use the Flourishes on Denise's circle journal because her word is FLOURISH!
If you live in the Twin Cities, Scrapbooks Too is a great store! Lots of great supplies and all nicely organized. Sue, the owner, is very nice too.

The 2P's challenge for today is:
Challenge: Have you ever had a miracle? Witnessed a miracle?

There isn't one that comes to mind right now. But I know they happen and I believe in them. I believe that God is working in us and through us and around us everyday. And sometimes miracles are teeny tiny and other times they are huge.

Actually, I've changed my mind. Owen is a miracle. And everyday I thank God for bringing him to me and Morgan.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Better late...

than never. I've gotten behind on my blogging!

I had a fabulous weekend! On Saturday I got to take 2 classes at Scrapbooks Too with Donna Downey. I couldn't tell you the last time I took a class! I usually teach them or help everyone at my crops. I went by myself, no friends or other people I knew. Just me and the other people in the classes that I didn't know! The first one was at 11:30 am. The second was at 8:30pm. Both were great but the 8:30 was my favorite. That is about the time I create at home, there were fewer people in the class, and it was a more creatively free class with a more relaxed atmosphere. Donna was a terrific instructor. She teaches her classes like I taught art in my classroom. I loved that.

This is the journal we made in the book binding class.
This is Donna demonstrating how to do something.
This is me and Donna!
And this is the album we made from "garbage" as Donna says, in the Creative License class.

The cover is made of chipboard and covered with a brown shopping bag. She said you can use leftover "garbage" to make covers and such. Cardboard etc.

On Sunday my mom picked Owen up for the afternoon so Morgan and I could get some work done around the house. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped but every little bit counts. I'm hoping to get more work done this weekend as Morgan parents will be arriving Thursday morning and Owen's party is next Saturday. I can't believe my little man is going to 1 already!

It's been nice out lately so we've been going to the park to swing. He loves the swing. He's also been enjoying some time playing in the yard. He's fascinated with leaves and sticks.
(tilt your head to the left for better viewing!)
This week I need to get back to creating something everyday. I've fallen behind on that too. I've got 2 cards to do to be caught up on my Deck of Me challenge. Even though the weather has been lovely I've been in a bit of a slump!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A little funny...

My cousin e-mailed this to me and I just had to post it. Having been a classroom teacher I heard kids say a lot of funny things. I miss that. I will probably change my mind about that once Owen starts talking though!

Here is Owen in his Ladies Man t-shirt that my sister made for him. I had a hard time getting a picture of him in it because he moves so fast!

Here is the shirt that I made for him. He's wearing it today but we haven't had time for pictures.

This is Frannie the felt Frog that my sister made for me for Easter. She will hang out with Olivia the pig in my craftroom.
And this is the felted Easter basket my mom made. She made one for each of us. (Me and Miranda). Today is a lovely day here in MN. The sun just popped out and it's looking like it will be up in the low 60's. This week is supposed to be like that all week. I love this part of spring. The sun is out, the temperature is just right and everything is starting to green up. We can have the windows open and get all the stale winter air out.

I don't think I've mentioned this recently but I think body snatchers took my husband. One night last week he had his cell phone and his wallet on the vanity in the bathroom. He put them there on purpose. Both of them together. He's lucky if he knows where they both are at the same time! And he had his shoes in the bathroom and his clothes hanging on the door knob of the closet in the hallway. I crawled into bed and asked where my real husband was. He said he was trying to be more organized. He's also been reading some books from the library about decluttering and being organized. He's writing a speech on this topic. Hence the books. But I think it's also occurred to him that clutter can have an affect on your mood and disposition. That it is irritating to not know where things are and have piles of papers and stuff all over. Can I just say HALLELUJAH! I've been waiting for this to happen! I've been hoping for it. I've been trying to force it upon him. And I guess I just had to wait for it to come to him on it's own.

Now I will be the first to admit I have a lot of stuff. But over the years I've parted with things that I don't need, won't use, and don't have space for. Every spring and fall I go through all my clothes and get rid of what I don't wear. Well, sort of. I'm still hanging on to this I KNOW I will get back into! I get rid of all our bill statements after they clear the bank. I particularly dislike mail. Good mail I love. Junk I don't. I'd prefer not to get any of the coupons in the mail but you can't opt out of those I guess. But they go right into the recycling. And I can make a mess. And I do. But I try to contain it to my craftroom where it won't bother anyone but me. I guess my point in all of this is that for years I've been the only one fighting this clutter battle and now it seems I might have an ally! He is doing the dishes more! And that is always a plus!

Monday, April 16, 2007


we made it through the night without Owen waking up!! I woke up briefly at 4am, looked at the clock and wondered if I should go check on him since he hadn't woken up yet. He hasn't been sleeping through the night for the last couple of weeks. Sometimes waking up 3 times in the night. I really thought we had conquered this and we couldn't really figure out what to do about it. I got the sleep book from the library that we used a few months ago and it talks about babies being able to soothe themselves to sleep. Well, O can do this. He does it every night. He has been fussing before he goes to sleep at night or naptimes. So we were at a loss. Of sleep and solutions! Last night we gave him his bottle early, before his bath. Then he had a bath and then a story and was in bed by 7:20pm. He fell asleep straight away. And didn't wake until 6am! A little early but we all slept through the night! So we will try the same thing again tonight and see how it goes.

So that's why I've been AWOL from my blog the past week. I've been catching up on sleep and getting projects finished up. I had sample cards to finish for a class I'm teaching at Artsy Tartsy in May. I'll post pictures later this week. I finished a project two weeks ago for the show That's Clever! They are filming in MN next week but I haven't heard back so I don't think they picked me. I got Owen's birthday invitations finished last week and mailed out. And I'm trying to conquer some of the clutter in our house!

I'm also trying to finish up a book for book club. It's called Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral. It's a good read but if I had known that the woman died of cancer I probably wouldn't have picked it. I hate cancer. I hate what it does to people and their families. It makes me terribly sad and scared. Scared because I don't want that to happen to me or anyone I know and love. And it seems as though the possibility is so real. We have a friend at church who has been battling cancer for a few years now. He seems to be doing well but it could always take a turn for the worse. There is a woman on 2P's who's 13 year old son is dying of cancer. He was diagnosed in December and has a very short time to live. I cannot imagine having to go through that as a parent or preparing your child to die. My heart aches for her and her son and her family. And it makes me wonder why God lets this happen. I can understand violence and evil and sin but I don't see the purpose or the good that comes from a child having to suffer from the pain of cancer.

I have a bunch of things I'd like to post this week. My felted Easter basket that my mom made. Frannie Frog. She is a funky felt frog my sister made for me for Easter. The bunny she made for Owen. The cute Ladies Man t-shirt she made for O. My That's Clever! project. A onesie I made for O last night. The cards for my card class and I'm sure I'm forgetting some things! So I'm hoping to get back to blogging everyday this week! Hopefully sleeping will continue to go well!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Week 14...

This week's theme for the DOM challenge is Birds. At first I thought I would try something different. A different theme. Emily says it's fine to make your own up if you are not inspired by the theme she chooses. But I've had this little birdie stamp sitting on my work table for a couple of months. And the more I thought about birds the more I decided I enjoy them. They are the first signal of spring. And I frequently watch the cardinals in our lilac bush out the window while I work on the computer. I wrote the little poem because I love to listen to their tweet, tweet, tweet early in the morning at the beginning of spring. Hopefully they will all still be tweeting after get the forecasted snow over the next couple of days. Spring in Minnesota! Anything can happen, and frequently does!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

You just never know...

what's inside of people when you see them. When my mom and I were at the outlet mall with Owen we were coming out of the Carter's store at the same time as another woman about my age with a couple of little ones. We held the door, she said thank you, and I noticed her St. Thomas University sweatshirt. This is where I went to graduate school so I asked her if that's where she went to school. She said no, it's where she teaches. At the law school. And I guess that has stuck with me because first of all, she was about my age and she was a law professor. Second, she was just a regular girl with little ones doing some shopping. And still a law professor. I would have pegged her for a teacher of high school.

And yesterday Penelope Crackers left the nicest comment on my post. She does the DOM challenge too. Her cards are among my very favorite. The first time I saw them I just felt awe because they were so much like illustrations from a beautiful book. And it turns out she is a SAHM with a hidden artist too. I would never have guessed that were as much alike as it seems we are.

Again, people are not as we always perceive them. Our preconceived ideas and our experiences are always influencing our perception of people and situations. And that is very important. It protects us and helps us make good choices. But we always need to keep an open mind so we can be surprised and awed by people too. Because we all have a hidden part of ourself.

Have a great day! It's super cold here this week. After our 80˙ day last week it's rather harsh. But the sun is out and I'm going to go find something to create!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Some thoughts...

First, here is my Week 13 card for the DOM challenge. The theme for this week is "what's on your mind."I am not a good sleeper. And it's mostly because I can't turn off my brain. Last night I was up until about 2. I don't toss and turn in bed all night anymore. That just disturbs Morgan. So I got up. The sleeplessness is what inspired my card!
Thought bubbles are a brush called blahblahblaaah by Seishido. The picture I took with the iSight camera on my Mac. Then I colored around each bubble with colored pencil to give them some color and then I filled them in with crystal laquer.

As I mentioned last week I've been reading a book by Sark. The chapter I've been reading is titled the Land of No about all the reasons we don't live our creative dreams. One section in particular spoke to me. It's about procrastination and perfectionism. Perfectionists tend to be procrastinators because they set the bar so high. It's not that they are lazy. And I loved this part... The blessings of perfectionism are that the work is often uncommonly good, if the perfectionist can just get brave or determined enough to share with a sensitive and insightful person. So true isn't it! For so long I didn't share my ideas or things I made because I didn't want to be judged. Or I want ed to get things "perfect". That's why I stopped painting in high school. It was never good enough. Now I realize how silly that is. Art, or any creative endeavor, should be done because it makes the artist happy to do it. She also says that "we can learn new habits of completion". I love that idea too. I've created so much more this year than I have for so long. And I feel so good about it. It makes me happy. And I think because I am creating more and frequently the ideas flow better and all of that makes me like my end products more. Last week I was feeling in a bit of a rut and I just had this awful dread that I had lost "it". My creative mojo. But I think it just ebbs and flows. I think and then I make. And then do it again. One cannot just create like a machine all the time. Then there would be no time for reflection, or refinement, or new ideas. Or just observing. Which is where a lot of my inspiration comes from.

And off to left field!... I have not post any pictures of Owen recently. I've been taking them! But they just haven't gotten on here. So here is my little man "helping" with the laundry!
He loves to kneel by the basket and pull things out. And this day he must have decided that there was enough room for him!