30 July 2011

Weekend To-Do List

I have a bunch of stuff I want to get done this weekend:

- de-clutter certain areas of the house (office, my side of the bedroom, craft space).
- clean the house (including washing the floors!).
- bake chocolate chip cookies.
- open my second etsy shop to start selling my new product - SO EXCITED!!!
- get pictures taken of the patio stones in our back yard and list them for sale on kijiji.
- get rid of the fly-away garbage around our house - people walking down Ottawa Street like to litter.
- make t-shirt yarn out of the old t-shirt pile.
- sew new buttons on my shirts and do the new button-holes - kinda nervous about that one.
- finish crocheting my scarf.

If I'm able to get all of this done, I will be so happy! I know the chances of getting all these things done are nil, but I'm going to at least chip away at this list. I love lists. :)

I also know that it is a holiday weekend, but Jeffery is probably going to be gone to the zoo with the youth group tomorrow (they needed drivers for the teens, so the kids and I couldn't come along), so I'm going to try to be productive while he is away.

Wish me luck!

29 July 2011

A Whole Lot of Nothing!

The title really sums it up! I haven't made anything for For Any Occasion. Sure, some items have sold, and I've made them again to re-post them on etsy, but other than that, no paper crafting for me this week.

I've been really busy with the kids and not much time to create. I've also been trying to finish the scarf. I was hoping it would be done for today, but alas, the last 20 or so rows need to be done before I show it off!

I've also been working on my new product line, which will probably be a separate etsy shop once I get the inventory up - since it's a little different than paper crafting. But you won't get any details until I open the shop. I want the anticipation to grow! It's an awesome product, and I'm having so much enjoyment in creating these items!


28 July 2011


Here are pictures of a few things that I like. I forgot to get the source for all of them, so if you are responsible for these photos and would like credit for them, PLEASE let me know, and I'll add the source URL right away. Thanks. :)

My dream bed - but make it a king size!


Imagine a tiny scream each time one is put into the tea. lol

really cool.

I want to go there (Meteora, Greece)

where do I get a few of these? awesome!

Single Ladies!

such a great idea!

picture these hanging in the car

27 July 2011

Constipation and Toilet Training Gone Awry

Every morning, when I come downstairs to get Isabel up, I see this:

Do you see her left leg? She's trying desperately to get it up enough to stand! Isabel is constantly trying to stand up!

In this picture, you can see we have a potty for training Alexander. We got it from my mom. I tried last Monday, but I've since stopped. Even though Alexander was showing some signs of being ready (staying dry for more than 3 hours at a time, showing interest in the toilet), he is not ready to be trained yet. He fought be each and every time I tried putting him on the toilet. No sweets, stickers, or encouragement would get him to do it without whining. No, Alexander would rather play under the dining room table with his dinosaurs.

Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far. I don't think it broke the record, but it was pretty close. Heather came over with Emma and Evan. We all enjoyed the air conditioner and the pool in the back. The water was SO WARM, but somehow it still cooled us down. I really enjoy company. :)

On Saturday, we attended a get together at Harald & Michele's place in Caistor Centre. It was great to see old friends and catch up with them. We brought our camera in hopes of taking pictures, but we didn't even take it out of the case! That's a big shame because we all had so much fun.

The kids all played together really well, for the most part. Alexander sat on a big boy swing finally, and he learned to jump on a trampoline! We left once the mosquitoes started biting. Thankfully Alexander didn't get bitten at all, only I did - about 15 times! oh well. I'm used to that by now.

Jeffery made a bunch of stuff to bring to the get together: cheesecake, granola bars, and bars with three layers (graham crackers, cocount, melted chocolate and peanut butter), all from scratch! Sometimes I really do think that Jeff should have been the stay at home parent! I didn't take any pictures while he was making any of these, but the next time he makes any of those items, the process will be documented and posted on our food blog.

Isabel has been very happy since Sunday. She had been constipated all weekend, not pooping at all for 3 or 4 days. On Sunday, I tried a suppository, and she pooped out about 2 inches. She's been pooping 2 or 3 times a day since then. Shame on me for not having any more prunes in the house to feed her (that's why she got constipated in the first place).

On Sunday night, my sister Laura came over to babysit the kids while Jeffery and I went to see Harry Potter 7.2. It was a really good movie, very well done. It's one of my favourite movies out of all eight of them - number one being the best (since it's closest to the book).

Our pool is infested by pieces of tarp. :(  Jeffery thinks that the birds and squirrels who go on the pool cover to get in on some of that rain water on the top have been inadvertently scraping the tarp, and the bits are going into the pool. The water now looks foggy, like milk has been poured into it. I think I'll get one of those mesh-scooper things, and we'll see how much of it we can get out.

Anyhoo. That's all for this week!


26 July 2011

Cool Down!

Just thinking about the heat we've been having is making me sweat! These items are frosty-looking and cool.


25 July 2011

Product Review - tbcollection

Tiina, the genius behind TBcollection, was a fellow vendor at the "Keep & Collect Market" on June 25. I have one necklace. And I really do want to have more. Tiina's work looks so beautiful and simple, I knew that I wanted to have one of her necklaces.

I didn't see anything that I HAD to have, but I liked her style, so I talked to her about creating a custom piece. I knew I wanted purple (what's with me and purple lately? I don't know), so we went with that. Tiina asked me for the desire length (around 20") and closure clasp (I chose the lobster closure - I already knew how to do one of those!). I knew I would have to wait a while to get it in the mail, since Canada Post was experiencing the lockout at the time. I wasn't in a rush, either, so I had no problem with waiting.

I got an email after the lockout ended, confirming all the specifications again. I was glad to see that Tiina was communicating - especially since it is a custom piece; it's something that I would do.

When it came in the mail, I didn't even get to open it! Jeff saw it and opened it (isn't it illegal to open someone else's mail?). I saw this:

So Tiina had also made me a matching bracelet! Awesome! She guessed at the length to fit, and it does, perfectly! It has a different closure, but it's still easy enough to put on and off.


These items are beautiful, Tiina! My daughter (7 months old) LOVES that they sparkle in the light. Simple, lightweight, beautiful, a perfect combination! I would have liked to have pictures of me wearing them, but I can't really take a picture of myself and have it look halfway decent. lol


You can see more of TBcollection on Tiina's etsy shop.

22 July 2011

More Paper Clips

So apparently the decorative owl paper clips that I made are a big hit for teachers who are going back to school in September. I had two sales for them within 8 hours of each other! I also created some penguin paper clips too. Just because. :)

Here are a few more things I made this week:

front of the card

inside of the card

As for the scarf I told you about last week, I'm on the fourth (out of six) colours. But I won't show you any more pictures of it until it is done. I can't wait to show you, though! :)


20 July 2011

Focus on Family - Staying Cool in the Pool

This past week was another week full of pretty much only every day stuff. Running around outside, playing in the pool, taking walks to the park, trying to stay cool, that sort of thing. I know our air conditioner doesn't work very well, but at least it works. With the weather the way it is (SO humid, and it's projected to be 47 degrees C tomorrow!), everyone should be staying either in air conditioned spaces, or in the pool - the only ways to stay cool.

Isabel is officially crawling, as of Sunday evening. She was on her hands and knees on the floor, and Jeffery was standing in front of her, and she just started moving her arms to crawl! As you may or may not know, she has been moving her legs, but not her arms. Now she's finally moving both! It's so exciting! I love seeing her move around and discover new things every day!

She is even trying to pull herself up on the furniture! She gets her hands on the middle shelf of the TV stand, and she's up on her knees, trying to get her feet up onto the floor! That's kind of scary, because she only does it on the tempered glass of the TV stand, so if she ever fell, that would hurt. a lot.

Alexander's favourite thing right now is the pool. He prefers the pool to the swings at the park - and that's a BIG thing. The swings were his favourite thing. Alexander and Jeffery play in the pool very well together. Alexander likes filling up the milk container with water and pouring it over Jeff's head. Of course, when Jeff fills up his tiny pail with water and pours it over Alexander's head, Alexander doesn't like it very much. But Alexander starts it every time, so he knows what's going to come when he does it!

Isabel LOVES the water as well. She goes in the pool in the evening before bed to cool off (the a/c doesn't reach the second floor very well), and once she's in the water, she just starts kicking and giggling! She's tall enough to reach the bottom of the pool, and the water goes up to just below her armpits. I'm able to keep a good grip on her arms while she's flailing away in the water. It's hard to get a picture of Isabel in the water because she's moving so much!

I want to say thank you for your prayers last week in regards to Jeffery's work. His schedule hasn't really gotten busier, but God gave us enough sales to pay for everything for the next two weeks in TWO DAYS! AND there is a sale for the next pay too! So God is totally answering our prayers. He is also helping us both stay assured that He is the one providing for us, not Jeffery. Sunday's church service was a good reassurance for us too, since the message was conveniently about money (the parable of the shrewd manager - Luke 16:1-15).

I've also been shifting my priorities a bit. I've been trying SO hard to promote my business and create products and list items, that the roles that God put me into (wife and mother) were suffering a bit. So I'm putting more importance on being a wife and mother than being a creative business owner. It's kind of nice, because now there are goodies to eat when we want goodies (banana muffins!), and the floors are swept every day, the dishes don't stack up like they used to - and I feel better for it.

As most of you know, my older sister, Anne, is pregnant with twins, so I am collaborating with my mom and Heather, a friend of Anne's from church, to host a huge baby shower. Anne only wanted one baby shower before the babies were born, so it's going to be pretty big - over 50 people have been invited! It's going to be held at the Immanuel CRC fellowship hall (only place with enough space!). I'm making toppers for the cupcakes. I'm also thinking about making a photo booth - all we would need is a tripod for a camera. I'll be going around taking photos as well, and that is going to be LOTS of fun; I really do love taking pictures. We have a few games available, but it all depends on how long it takes for Anne to open all the presents; we may not have time for games! But I do have a game that we can play through the shower - we don't need time set aside for it, so that one will be easy. AND FUN!! I'm so glad I'm able to help with this shower!

Anyhoo. That's all for this week! Next week's post should be full, since we have a few things planned for this weekend. Cheerio!


19 July 2011


. . . and the livin' is easy . . .

Well, not when it's almost 50 degrees C. GAH! I'm very glad we have air conditioning.


18 July 2011

Featured Artist - Krystyna81

There is a new feature on etsy (if you have an account) where you can take a "taste test" of sorts of things you like, and etsy will show you different shops and items that match your results. I was, at first, a little annoyed at this tool, since it was at the top of the screen, and I didn't see the usual front page anymore. But as I have looked through these images, I'm finding that I enjoy it more and more. It's a few rows of items that I really like! I've added more to my favourites through this tool than I ever thought I could in one day! And this is how I found today's featured artist.

Kristina, from Woodstock, GA, is a REAL artist. Like drawing people from live models, real. I remember doing that in art class, and I enjoyed it, but I was never very good at it. But Kristina's work is BEAUTIFUL!!! Here are a few of my favourites:

This is the picture that drew me to Kristina's shop. It's from a picture that the customer sent her, and it's so beautiful!

This picture has graced the cover of a book! Isn't that wild?!?

This last picture is my favourite. There is something about the colours used, the shading, the graceful pose, I just love it! I wouldn't know where to put it in our home, though. Probably in our bedroom. I think it's just GORGEOUS!!!

Here is video snapshots of one of Kristina's drawings in progress:

And here is a picture of Kristina drawing from a live model at a gallery opening!

You can find more of Kristina in cyberspace on her blog and etsy shop.

15 July 2011

It's Beginning to Feel Like Christmas (sort of... not really, actually)

My list of things to make is SO BIG! I have so many things written down to make yet, and although I'm chipping away at that list, almost every day I write down one or two more ideas (and yesterday, it was another dozen!).

On Wednesday I cut my finger pretty badly trying to get something into the blue box for recycling man to pick up. And occasionally it just starts bleeding again, so I haven't made any paper things since Wednesday, for fear of getting blood on the card stock. But here is what I've made this week:

I've also partially finished some Christmas seating tags, but I need a specific punch to finish them. I won't show them to you until they are done. I'm adding quite a few Christmas things on my list of things to make; I guess I'm wishing for colder weather already!

Last week I had made a template for a soap holder, but I needed 100% cotton yarn to make one. My mom gave me a huge roll of 100% cotton yarn and I LOVE crocheting with it! It's like silk compared to acrylic! Anyways. Here's what I made so far with the cotton yarn:

It's still a little big, so I think I'll have to decrease a stitch or two (or three) going up the sides. The bottom fits perfectly.

I also made a little face scrubby. That was fun! I really do love working in rounds better than rows.

I started making this without actually knowing what I was going to make, but this just sort of happened. As you can tell from the residue on the soap, I was putting the soap on the paper bag I got the soap in. I needed a dish. Now the bits of paper bag are stuck on the soap, and I can't get them off. I refuse to scratch at the soap to remove them, so I'll just let it come off naturally. Just watch; one morning I'll have bits of paper bag on my face that I won't know about until someone in the grocery store asks me what that weird brown stuff is on my face! lol  That would be funny!

I've also been wanting to make a different style of winter hat for Alexander - maybe a bear hat, with the ears and everything. I think I'll try that for next week. I like making hats.

As you may remember, I did a feature for colorshift yarn a few weeks ago, and Erica sent me the yarn pictured above yarn as a thank you. I had been contemplating what to make with the yarn, as it is beautiful yarn, and I wanted to make something special.

I originally wanted to make little bowls to put my embellishments into at the craft shows I do. But there would have been so much yarn left over from making two small bowls of each colour, so I decided to make a scarf with the yarn instead. I've finished the first colour, and am about half way through the second.

That's what it looks like right now. I was working a little on it this morning in the few moments I had when neither child wanted anything from me. I hope to work on it more this afternoon, too. Isn't it just a gorgeous colour? All the little variations in the yarn? I love it! This picture is showing the purple a little redder than it is in person, but it's still beautiful!

I'm guessing it will end up being only 3 feet long or so, so I would like to get another set of this colour to make it longer, but that may have to wait a while. It's not like winter is coming tomorrow, right? The yarn is a lot thinner than anything I've ever crocheted with before, so I'm using a 3.5 mm hook. I didn't want to use the 5 mm hook I have, in case it would have made larger holes in the scarf; don't want that.

Anyhoo. That's all for now! If I keep going with creating things every day, hopefully I'll have most of my list finished.


13 July 2011

A Broken Record

This picture sums up what we did this week:

That's right. We played, learned, grew and loved. Alexander is continuing to learn and try to speak new words. Isabel continues to caterpillar along the ground (bum up, stretch out, bum up, stretch out). But nothing spectacular happened.

Oh! I forgot! We got a futon on Sunday to go into the office. So when we are watching movies or tv episodes on the computer (we don't have cable), we can now watch them in comfort and style. It's a normal, black-covered futon. I plan to get some of those cylindrical pillows (bolster pillows, I think they are called) for the sides, and I would like to crochet a huge blanket for snuggling. Those are my grand plans for the futon.

This morning Isabel got her 6 month shots. She was brave and cried for about 30 seconds, then she was fine. Currently, she is jumping in her jolly jumper and giggling. Isabel weighs a whopping 20 lbs, 0.5 oz and is 28" long. When Alexander was 6 months old, he weighed 20 lbs, 14 oz and was 26.5" long. So Isabel is taller, but not quite as heavy as Alexander was at this age. Funny, I thought it would have been the other way around. Anyhoo.

I don't want to sound like a broken record (though I know I do, so I apologize), but we need more prayer in regards to Jeffery's work. This is supposed to be the busy season, where there are tons and tons of appointments, and lots of sales, so we can save up for the slow period in the winter. But it's like it's the slow season right now! There aren't a whole lot of appointments (Jeff is not booked out months in advance, as he should be), and not a whole lot of sales either.


I assume that the sales would be better if the leads were better. Jeff has been given appointments that shouldn't have been appointments in the first place. Like renters (Jeff needs to see the owners), and people who have water leaking from their pipes, and people who need foundation work, and people who say that their sump pump is broken because it's constantly running. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!! If your sump pump is constantly running, it means that it IS working! grrr. I know that it's not always about the leads, but it seems to be the case right now.


Sorry about that. I just had to put that out there in cyber space; get it off my chest. So yeah. Prayer would be really appreciated right now. Thanks in advance.

Jeff just told me that he is hearing the squirrel moving about in the basement. It would be so great if the squirrel would move into the trap. But this is a sneaky squirrel. Stubborn too. Oh well.

See y'all next week!


12 July 2011


Since my review of Soulful Soap, I've been looking at the different kinds of soaps that are made and sold on etsy. Here is a small collection of my favourites:


11 July 2011

Product Review: Soulful Soap

Today's post is not a feature, it's a review! I love getting to do reviews because it means I have a tangible product. I have had experience with the customer service and product quality that pictures cannot produce.

I met Vanessa, owner of Soulful Soap, at The Keep and Collect Market on June 25, 2011 - a fellow vendor. I was lured to her table by the irresistible smell the soaps exuded into the air. I smelled "Sensual Suds" first, intrigued by the name. It was (and still is!) the best smelling soap I had ever smelled. So wonderful.

I used "Sensual Suds" in a bath. After using the soap, the water turned a lilac purple colour - it looked as pretty as it smells! It lathered very nicely, and it didn't make my skin feel greasy, like some soaps do. This soap fills the entire bathroom with its scent, and I can smell it as soon as I walk into the room - heavenly! I can even smell the soap while I'm walking up the stairs if the bathroom door is open! Every time I take a whiff of "Sensual Suds", I sigh and smile - I can't help it!

I used "Zen Garden" in a bath about a week later. It lathered just as nicely as "Sensual Suds" did, and the aroma in the air (and on my skin) was a great combination of the lavender, lemongrass and orange Vanessa put into this bar. I felt like I could have fallen asleep in the bathtub, something I've only done once in my life.

Of course I didn't because I had to shave my legs. ugh. Shaving is not something I enjoy doing. It takes so long and my legs get all itchy after I'm done, even when I put moisturizer on afterwards. But this time was different. I wondered why my legs were not itchy this time. It was because of the soap! That was the only difference from my usual shaves to this one! That fabulous "Zen Garden" soap also kept my legs from insufferably itching for about 2 hours after my shave! I LOVE THIS SOAP!!!

I use "Clear Complexion" every morning and every night. I honestly couldn't tell you if it has helped my complexion - it hasn't been long enough - but this soap is great in that it keeps my face from being all oily in the morning. The first time I applied this soap was at night. And, being summer with no a/c in our bedroom, my face gets all sweaty and oily through the night. My face did get sweaty, but there was the absence of the usual amount of oil on my face! So I used it again in the morning.

Another great thing about the "Clear Complexion" soap is that your face also smells really clean too. The first night I used it, when Jeffery came to kiss me, he asked if I had had a shower. It was because of the fresh, clean smell of the soap that he was smelling on my face!

Not only are the soaps beautiful to look at, smell so so nice, and are fabulous, Vanessa is also a really friendly woman. When I popped over at her table, she was still setting up (the event hadn't started yet), but she was okay with me picking up each kind of bar that was on the table and smelling them.

We talked about the items we made and the different shows we had "vended" and are planning to "vend" at. I also discovered that Vanessa lives only a few blocks from me! Vanessa is a lovely girl to know.

You can find more of Soulful Soap on etsy, her website, facebook page and at the brick and mortar store humblepie. Vanessa also sells her soaps at the James Street Art Crawls every 2nd Friday of every month, and at the St Jacob's Market.

I would totally recommend Soulful Soaps to anyone who is looking for locally handmade soap.