Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #7...

This is a shot of a little table we have down in our "blood-red" basement (lets just say, I'm no longer allowed to pick out paint on my own, without supervision of some kind).
I'm not 100% positive, but I think I remember Gabe saying that his dad made this table back in the day and it ended up traveling with him when he moved out of his parent's house and into his first apartment, then of course, surviving several moves since. It's where we stack some of the girls books and very rarely looks as organized and clutter-free as it does here (I caught it on a good day, but what you don't see is how close the table is in proximity to the basement door that goes out to the garage, and it ends up being a "catch-all" spot for whatever we may have when we come home through that door).
The pot on the table is one my sister made back when she was in high school and gave it to me as a gift, and a few of our favorite books are visible (some on the table, others under) like "The Grouchy Ladybug" and "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie". Ah, the reading material available in our home :)

I should probably get going as tomorrow (or probably "today" by the time anyone gets a chance to read this) is picture day at school and look at how I'm sittin here bloggin, not yet having figured out what the little women are gonna wear tomorrow! Oh well, I'm sure I'll figure something out... hopefully it'll all be clean though... oh man.


UPDATE: I started this post last night but I wasn't able to upload the picture till now so,I just wanted to let you know that picture day at school is officially behind us. I've got my fingers crossed that they'll all turn out ok, but, I'd say we're already ahead of the game compared to last year when all three of the little women were sobbing, and not wanting to get their pictures taken at all. Nobody cried, and everyone's hair was fairly static-free. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kickin' butt and takin' names...

For the last several Tuesdays, my in-laws (or at least my mother-in-law) have come over to watch my kids while I get me some coffee and shut myself down in my workshop for a full day of UNINTERRUPTED jewelry creating. I CANNOT EXPRESS how thankful I am to them for giving me the gift of TIME. Just knowing that I will at least have one day a week to make things is a HUUUGE blessing and worth more than it's weight in SILVER... well, maybe worth about the same :)

Here are some shots from my oh-so-productive day...

Sawin' away. It's actually strangely relaxing...

Bits and pieces (and apparently I need a new bench-top. I didn't realize how chewed up it was till I saw it in this picture!)
Messy - nothing out of the ordinary...

The final products (two rings and a brooch/pin)...

I think from now on, Tuesday blogging (or perhaps Wednesdays, depending on how late i feel like staying up after photographing everything) will be reserved for showing off just how productive my most recent workshop stint happened to be.


PS I keep forgetting to mention that this past Saturday was my 3rd etsy-versary! It's hard to believe I've been with etsy for 3 years now, and it was a very strange thing to look back to see exactly what date I first opened my shop, only to realize I opened it exactly one year to the day before Sophie was born! It was a good day to say the least. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just another regular day...

The other day, Sophie discovered that the hole in her sippy cup was just the right size to fit cheerios (as well as lucky charms) through, so for the last several days, I haven't been able to give her cheerios and a drink at the same time, or else we end up with a half full cup of milk, with a bunch of cereal floaters inside. When we left to pick Isabel up from pre-school the other morning, I thought it would be safe to let her bring her cup as there were no cheerios to be found (well, at least none within reaching distance - as a mother of little kids, it is expected that there be at least a handful of cheerios on the floor of my car, as well as a baby doll or two and some random shoes). Needless to say, I was wrong, as apparently she had discovered that her hair clip fit nicely through the hole as well. Who knows how much milk was left when she shoved it in there but I didn't notice it till the milk was nearly gone. I'm only assuming that they don't use lead-based paint on those kiddie barrettes right??? Just another day in the life of a mother of small children. Happily,

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday little one...

Today is my baby girl's birthday.I can hardly believe she's already 2 years old! She is the youngest of our 3 of our little women and gets away with more then we told ourselves we'd ever let her. She is inquisitive, strong willed, and possesses the ability to melt your heart with only the scrunch of her tiny little nose. She is truly equal parts sugar and spice (sometimes I wonder if the spice is cayenne!), and our family would not be complete without her.

Happy birthday Sophie, I love you more than you'll ever know.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #6...

This week I thought I'd show you a little "before and after" of the corner of my room I use as my office. Though the nearest IKEA is about 4 hours away in MN (I stinkin LOVE that place!) and most of the furniture you see is from there. It's still kind of a "work-in-progress" and not completely situated how I'd like, so I'm sure you'll see more pics sometime in the future...



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apparently I've been tagged...

Thanks Carrie! ( I've never been tagged before! "Cyber-tag" - so intriguing! Sooooo, I've just gotta come up with 5 things most people don't know about me eh? Let's see...
1. I am VERY allergic to cats, and said allergy has caused a sort of sick disgust within me for the snooty little fur-balls (no offense to those of you who may be cat-lovers out there, I just have issues with anything that causes me to itch, water, and otherwise enter a state of complete misery as they do).

2. I've never seen "Star Wars"... any of them. (...or "Goonies" - I know, I've been told repeatedly that it's really quite un-American).

3. I played the violin for a brief period when I was young (and of course, now, I WISH I had stuck with it).

4. I have flat feet.

5. I am color-blind, but only where dark colors are concerned (blacks, navy blues, deep purples, etc all tend to run together). I've been known to ask a store clerk (as well as my kids) the color of an item a time or two...

Me: "Excuse me ma'am, can you tell me what color this shirt is?"
Clerk: (with a puzzled look) "um, it's kind of a plum color"
Me: "oh... so it's not brown then?"
Clerk: (again, puzzled) ""
Me: "aw man, oh well, plum is cool too. Thanks."

I suppose this is where I say "TAG - You're it now!"Let's here it people! You can either post your dirt in the comment section here or on your own blog (if you have one) - We're waaaaaating!



This was me tonight. Sittin in front of my computer... with a blanket, scarf, new wrist-warmers/fingerless gloves, and some hot chocolate (I can't remember the last time I had hot chocolate!...soooo gooood). For some reason, I just can't bring myself to fire up the furnace yet... like doing so will be like admitting I'm ready for snow... which I am not.

Don't worry, it's actually much warmer downstairs where the girls are tucked snugly in their beds. Apparently our house has some sort of strange "opposite of the typical 'hot air rises' rule" vortex or something. Perhaps I should have that looked into...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Painted nails and other pretties...

I don't paint my nails nearly as often as I used to, partly because I just don't have much time for it, but also partly due to this strange little formula I have, that I use to determine if painting my nails is actually worth it... it goes a little something like this... inside my head mind you...

"Ok, how long are your nails Em? As you remember that you have a MAJOR issue with uneven fingernails and if one of them even so much as CHIPS, you have to hack them all off to nothing and start all over again right???... so back to the original question, how long are they? Not very long, as you just accidentally ground a few of them down with your dremmel... oops.... and subsequently had to cut them all and they've only just now begun to grow out a bit. Certainly long enough to give them a solid coat of deep red, but you know red doesn't last long as it starts to chip after a dish-washing session or two... so a light color then? Perhaps they're just long enough to merit french tips? But that does take a bit of time... and is only justified when you know you've got at least a couple days before you'll be doing anything that would jeopardize those shiny white slivers... what day is it now, Saturday? Ok, so tomorrow is Sunday, church all day, then Monday, house-cleaning - but nothing too detrimental, then Tuesday, when you work in the shop all day and can kiss your manicure goodbye. Ok, it's what 9:30pm now? You should be thinking about going to bed but, I suppose, now is as good a time as any! Go ahead and paint them and hopefully you'll lay still enough tonight that your nails won't be covered with blanket marks and fuzz by the time you wake up tomorrow."

Now, just picture that taking place, inside my brain, within a matter of seconds really, and wa-la!... the french tip manicure that took longer than it should have to apply, I messed up 2 fingers by the time I actually went to bed, and not even 2 ful days later, it's starting to chip. Ah well, they looked pretty for one day. :) Oh, and please forgive the "make-up-less/unwashed hair" state of this picture - I hope the "tigress" pose makes up for it somehow. :)

I also wanted to post a pic of the pieces I was afraid to show off the other day for fear of ruining some lovely ladies' Christmas surprises. I have since been informed by their purchaser (I'll call her "Willimena" as to ensure that our bases remain covered) that it is safe to show them off, so here they are! 6 tiny pendants - working on a much smaller scale than I'm typically used to, and I made a point to thank "Willimena" for forcing me out of my "zone of large-scale-jewelry-comfortability". I am anxiously waiting to hear what she thinks once they arrive!!!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall has flung...

It is currently 54 degrees outside and just in case I haven't told you already that fall is my favorite season... FALL IS MY FAVORITE SEASON!!!! and I am so thrilled that it actually, FINALLY feels like fall out there! I'm sure there are several of my townsfolk who think I'm crazy and may or may not have taken down my license plate number, as I have recently stopped in front of several of their houses and rolled down my window to snap pictures of the GORGEOUS trees in their yards... those pictures are as follows..

We pretty much only have evergreens around our house (and the trees that aren't evergreens, don't turn very interesting colors in the fall) so I have essentially been forced to go elsewhere for fall-leaf-color-changing-enjoyment. Ah well, no cops have shown up at my door yet so I'm not too worried.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #5...

This is a pic of yet another wall in my bedroom (my room is HUGE - an aspect I thought I'd love when originally looking at the house, but now, I've come to realize that the bigger the room, the more furniture you have to fill it with as to diminish the "cavernous" feel, as well as more space to vacuum). The "glider" is one we bought at a discount shopping center right before Lillie was born, and we couldn't have paid for than 50 bucks for it brand new... which totally explains the fact that it no longer "glides" but more "lurches" and "juts" back and forth. The only reason I still keep it around is due to the aforementioned fact about "more furniture diminishes the cavernous feel of a large bedroom"...well, that and a place to pile all my clothes ;)

The writing desk is an antique that my uncle gave me years ago to use as a drawing table, which I did quite often, back when I had time to just sit and draw. Ah, memories. Atop the table are an assortment of bottles, pots, jars, and drawers that all house any loose change I get. I don't EVER spend change when I get it, rather, I stick it in those jars, and cash it in when they get reasonably full. My last "cash in" amount was a little over $155! I automatically convert that amount in my head to how much Starbucks I could buy with that...

The other thing I would like to mention in this picture is the curtain. It's not actually a "curtain" but a twin bed sheet I bought a while back at Goodwill. It's quite a rusty shade of orange, but it looks much lighter/brighter in the pic as the afternoon sun was shining through. I actually bought it for the original intent of wearing it as a wrap skirt (which I did...and YES, I washed it first...) but as I was thinking one day that it would be nice to have a curtain for that window, the sheet popped into my head. I think it looks pretty good - and I doubt I could have found myself a curtain anywhere for .50 :)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just a little somethin somethin...

I've recently finished several pieces I'm quite happy with, but I fear I shouldn't post pics of them yet as I know they are being purchased as gifts for people, people whom I cannot be sure are not following this little blog of mine... SOOO... Until I know that the gifts have been given and are safe for world-wide-webular viewing, I shall post a few pieces that I am equally proud of, yet are not reserved as surprises...

A recently completed custom order where the idea was "bring on the embellishment"...
A little mis-matched pair of "GEARrings"...
Another custom order...
And in keeping with the tried and true "3 for you and one for me" rule, here's one for me :) (I don't really keep to that formula but I was feeling it was time for a little something new for myself... but of course, this means I'm gonna have to get rid of a different piece I've had for a while - a REAL rule I have for myself) :) This ring features one of the stones Gabe's grandmother sent home with me after our visit with her this past summer. Both she and Gabe's Grandpa used to be rock-hounds and she sent me home with quite an amazing little collection of some of the fruits of their laboring. All of those treasure stones will be staying with me...Happily,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Do blondes really have more fun???...

This statement has always perplexed me a bit as I have never been blonde myself, but I usually have quite a bit of fun. Going completely blonde is not now, nor will it ever be an option for me, as I can only imagine the levels of "completely washed out" I would achieve. Personally, I'm not big on "highlights" but I do like to mix it up a little from time to time. This picture is from a few years ago (Lillie and me after getting our hair fixed for my sister's wedding) when I had my bangs blonde.I loved the way it looked but after having it done a few times, I started to notice that my hair was breaking off pretty badly. Ever since then, I decided that if some of my hair was gonna break off, it may as well be underneath where no one would notice :)

This pic was taken just the other day after a recent touch-up job.Thank you Miss Whitney, for keepin me perdy.

I am always amazed at the number of women who (OBVIOUSLY) dye their hair but are adamantly opposed to admitting to it, (kinda like those women who won't admit how old they are). I am not ashamed to say that I regularly get my hair dyed for a few reasons...

#1. I prefer how my hair looks when it is a bit darker than my natural shade

#2. It's fun


#3. To cover the grey.

Yes, I said GREY. I am 28 years old and I have had the silvery strands gracing my head since the first one showed up when I was 13 years old (THANKS DAD). Now, please don't misunderstand, I am not embarrassed by them in the LEAST, rather, I just don't care for how they look. I think once I am a bit older and I have larger sections of grey, I will most likely embrace them and allow them the shine through in all their glory, but for now, they gotta go.

I'm curious, what's the craziest/furthest from "au-natural" thing you've ever done to your hair???


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #4...

Well, for this weeks installment of "Peek at my Pad", I thought I'd show off my pair of lovely shelves that stand quite stately in my tiny upstairs living room. It can really hardly be called a living room, but more the "room you first enter when you come in the front door and pass thru to get either upstairs or downstairs" (where the "real" living room is). Perhaps I shall start referring to it as my "parlor"...hmmm... I much prefer the sound of that. So, in my "parlor" you will find a rickety flea market table upon which sits our stereo system and several family photos, one chair (which has become more of a place to toss coats rather than have a seat), and these 2 bookcases. I actually had to lay on the floor in order to get the camera far back enough to get the shelves and artwork above photographed in their entirety (hence the tootsies in the shot). I love these shelves as they were actually the first 2 pieces of furniture I actually picked out for myself as an adult. Aside from the 2 baskets that house a number of things that are meant to be out of sight, there isn't anything on any of the shelves that isn't meaningful of purposeful in some way or another. The items are as follows...

I'm not an avid reader (like I wish I was) but I do love flipping thru home decor books and the ones I love most find their home here. Another book is the "Spotter's Guide to Stains" (if you even need to know how to get urine out of carpet, you need only ask). As far as novels go, Frank Peretti is an author I really enjoy and I have a few of his books here. One in particular is entitled "This Present Darkness" which was good enough on it's own, but after reading the book I was quite flabbergasted to find out the inspiration for this book was actually a small town not too far from where i live here in Iowa (I'll tell you about it some other time - it's CRAZY!)

I love pictures and picture frames and these shelves house just a few of my favorites (really all the pictures around my house are my favorites as I wouldn't frame any that weren't). One is a picture of Gabe kissing my belly when I was 8 or so months pregnant with Isabel. Another is a family picture we had taken shortly after Isabel was born. The 3rd is a picture of my grandma in her Navy uniform when she was in her 20's - my mom looks SO much like her in that picture. I also keep our wedding album here. The girls like to look through it often and almost every time, Isabel asks why she isn't in any of the pictures. :)

Some other things are some old books I acquired after my grandma passed away, a few little elephants (2 Gabe brought back from a missions trip to Africa and a 3rd made out of hardware - nails for tusks and such), a geode sawed in half that Gabe's rock-hound-grandma gave him years ago, a full box of .32 short colt "kleanbore" ACTUAL lead bullets (fear not for they are up high enough out of the reach of tiny fingers) in their original packaging (not sure what year they're from but they're quite old), and an OLD Prince Albert pipe tobacco tin, full of antique buttons.

Beyond the shelves themselves, I have some of my brother Matt's artwork featured above. The 2 wire sculptures on top of the shelves are some he made in high school, and the framed piece on the wall was part of the study he did for a piece he made in College entitled "Turn or Burn". We are not Catholic, but he attended a Catholic university on a full ride soccer scholarship where he then majored in Art and minored in Theology. It made for quite an interesting 4 years. I'm sure I'll talk about him more at some point. He is just starting out in his new art endeavors (where he has actually managed to merge both his fields of study into one fascinating career) and doesn't have his website set up yet. As soon as he does, I'll be sure to give you a link.

I almost didn't include this picture as I hate that the walls are still so stark and white but I am planning on painting them sometime soon(ish), as evidenced by the paint color swatches taped to the wall on the left. I think I've actually narrowed it down... Any volunteer's to come help??? I'll make peach tea and lasaaagne...mmm...

Fall has flung and I hope you are all enjoying it to the fullest, for though snow may not be around the corner for you wherever you are, I fear it will be here before I know it! Ah well, snow is just as good an excuse to wear a scarf as any!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Serve 'em up...

Aren't they absolutely decadent!?? The Stone I'm holding is particularly delicious in my opinion but sorry gals, it's already spoken for! (But I'm sure Carrie wouldn't mind me sharing pics of it once it's all set and dressed up fancy!) I'm headin down to my workshop to turn a few of these loverlies into wearable treasures, of which I should have pictures soon.

Forget the quintessential "box-o-chocolates" for Valentines Day, I'd take a plate of these lovelies over candy ANY day! (except maybe for a Godiva smooth dark chocolate bar...mmmmm...)


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh brother...

I just wanted to take a sec to let you know that my baby brother (well, one of them anyway) has FINALLY caved to my persistent and constant recommendations that he start his very own blog and he has done just that! His name is Chris and I think you'll find his wit and humor quite entertaining... I know I do. Go read his first post then try to imagine what Thanksgiving dinner must be like in our family :)


The goods...

I just wanted to take a sec to show off a new piece of mine I'm quite proud of. I decided, back when I first starting making jewelry, that my barometer for whether I was happy with the direction my work was taking would be that "if I love each and every piece so much that I have a strong desire to keep each one for myself" that I'd be heading in the right direction. I don't ever want to get stale or complacent about my work and if during the "making" process, if I can already sense that I'm not gonna be thrilled with the result of any given piece, I either take it in a different direction than I had planned, or I don't finish it. I think that is exactly where the idea for these faceted blobs came from.. a piece that was not shaping up to be very exciting that needed a little "somethin-somethin" extra. Wa-la. This time my "barometer" actually kinda backfired though... like I'm pretty sure I'm actually gonna keep this one for myself. :)


PS If you're wondering what's with the goofy pose in the pic, I was just trying to display the ring and simultaneously conceal the ghastly blemish protruding from my forehead... I'm 28 for pete's sake! ENOUGH already with the zits! (thankfully, my 4 year old niece helps to encourage me not to mess with them by reminding me "not to 'pimp' your pimples"). :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Peek at my Pad" Thursday #3...

For today's post I thought I'd show off the "border" I've put up in my kitchen. It involves "plates" but not the type you'd think. I'm typically not a "wallpaper border" kinda gal but anytime I can use things for purposes other than what they were meant to be used for, I'm all about it.

The, uh, COLLECTION, started with an Iowa license plate my dad gave me off of his lawn-mower/grass-haulin' trailer many years ago, with the letters "EMY" on it - an abbreviation of my childhood nickname, "Emmie".I hung onto it for several years and displayed it proudly, but it wasn't till after my hubby gave me the Nebraska plate off (I think) his Camaro IROC-Z (black with red racing stripes...mmm...) that I really felt the itch to more of them :)

The plates are in all different conditions, from brand new, to quite mangled, but the thing I love the most about them are the combinations of colors - from the letters, to the licensing stickers, to the plates themselves. At one point I looked into buying a 50 state set off ebay but, after I realized that I was probably gonna have to shell out a FEW hundred dollars, I quickly convinced myself that I would just have to meet someone from every state and get a plate from each of them. :)

Right now I have 17 plates, but they are all from either Iowa (where we live now), Nebraska (the state next door where my husband is from and where his parents still live), Delaware (where we lived for 2 years right after we got married), and Pennsylvania (close to Delaware where friends of ours live). So I suppose it's "4 down, 46 to go"...