Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What have I been crafting?

What have I been crafting in the last week?  Let's see...

I have been doing a lot of spelling.


This one spells "Connor" for anyone attempting to unscramble :)

These were the letters that started it all!  Painted for Charlie's little friend (I'm sure you can guess who).

We opened the Soap Shop on Etsy!  A lot more work than just making soap, which is why it didn't happen as soon as I thought... pictures, listings, packaging, labeling ingredients, shipping supplies, and on and on.  But I am super excited nonetheless.  This week its all 20% off to celebrate the Grand Opening -- you just have to enter the coupon code GRANDOPENING at checkout.

And the last crafty thing little C and I did yesterday...


Started some seeds that will grow into tiny plants to go in the garden in May!  Well, really I did the seed starting...Charlie threw dirt and hit stuff with sticks.  I started just 3 things... zucchini, spaghetti squash, and jalapenos.   I'll let you know if we get any sproutage in the next couple weeks. 


Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Big Soapy Mess

I was humbled got my butt kicked by my soap today... and yesterday. 

I had this idea of a beautiful soap that looked like the ocean, so I made a 40 oz. loaf of soap just as I imagined it.  It smelled like VACATION! It took a couple hours to make.  I was in love with my soap.  That was Thursday (at 12:30am, so I guess it was really Friday).

On Friday I started to cut my soap bars from my loaf and I got a big, dumb mess of layers that didn't stick together but still smelled like a vacation on the beach.


YUCK

So I tried again last night.  Loaf #2 was finished at 1:30am.  Today, loaf #2 had the same fate as loaf #1 (see above).

I put one piece back together and took a picture to remind myself of what was going to be in my shower...


Tan sand on the bottom, layers of blue water, foam from the waves on top...

Score this week: SOAP 2, AMIE 0

I also planned to open the soap shop by the end of this weekend, no guarantees but that may still happen. must.conquer.ocean.soap.first.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Special Day

3/19/2011


Saturday was a special day. Not only did my little man turn 18 months, but it is the one year anniversary of my last day at work (and Charlie's last day of work since he came along with me).

Little 6 month Bubby one year ago


My stay-at-home anniversary has led me to some reflecting.  I loved my old job, but things there were very timely, structured, and quite complex.  I have always been an "achiever" from my earliest memories -- school, work, whatever -- there was always another thing to achieve.  Kind of a stressful way to live sometimes.
 
This year has been a refreshing time to slow down, decompress, and spend time on the things I enjoy.  I feel much more like myself.

The first month of my stay-at-home life I sat in my yard and read books and magazines, most with no relevance whatsoever (embarrassingly the entire Twilight series and the final Harry Potter book-- phew, felt good to get that off my chest).  It was terrific. 

Many days go by without any appointments and obligations.  I am rarely on time anywhere.  It takes my wobbling toddler 25 minutes to walk part of our regular route that used to take 3 minutes because it is VERY important for him to say hi to every dog, touch every tree, and climb on every rock along the way. I don't even shower daily.  New clothes mean a great pair of walking pants.  Did I just make myself sound sloth-like or what?

I still do a lot... I just do things I love.


I look at my sweet natured, happy little boy and I want to do all I can to nurture that.  I want to build up his character and his creativity.  Its fun to be 1 - so much adventure and time to explore.  Time when nothing has to be "achieved" and everything can just be enjoyed.  I am so thankful for our sweet little life.

My big boy one year later...quite the climber.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Friday


I have a couple exciting things to share this morning (well, exciting according to me).

PAINTINGS WITH PURPOSE
First, I have been pondering the idea of a little something called Paintings with Purpose.   I didn't come up with the name, I have to give credit to my Etsy pal Lindsay who makes super fun/affordable paintings like these "State Love" canvases:

CHOOSE your STATE or COUNTRY - Affordable Original Painting, Wall Art, Home Decor - Made to Order State Love (8 x 8 Canvas)

Looks like Texas is a popular place to love.

Anyway, the concept of Paintings with Purpose is super simple -- to give back a portion of what I receive.  Giving is good. I have a structured way of doing this swirling around in my head.  More about the big Paintings with Purpose plan later though.

Next week you could win some really great items from my new friend Kim's Big Giveaway.  She has a neat heart and a passion for Ethiopia.  All of the money she raises helps an orphanage that she is involved with there.  You can read more on her blog if you want!  One of the items in her giveaway next week is a Murray Designs custom canvas piece.  I was so honored when she asked me to be part of this.

SOAPY SURVEY RESULTS AND GIVEAWAY
A million thanks to all those who gave me some really great soap feedback!  I am sure you all were on the edge of your seat to know the results of the Soap Survey:)

Here are your top 5 favorites:

1. Peanut Butter Cup Soap
2. Grapefruit Slice
3. S'mores Soap
4. Spring Flower Soap
5. Tie between Polka Dots and Citrus Swirl

I am so glad I asked! Could have guessed some of these for the top 5, but not others. My favorite (the cookie with the bite) got 2 votes -- lowest of all. 

And now, of course the moment you have been waiting for, and the reason you are still reading this... the winner of soapy freebies. The winner was picked randomly, meaning I numbered all the comments (Facebook and blog comments) and then called my husband/assistant and asked him to pick a random number. 

The winner is Comment #3 -- Sarah H!

Happy Friday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I need your opinon...

Although I would like to think I have terrific taste, I realize that what I think is awesome may not always be what the rest of the world thinks is awesome.

So, as part of my new soapy venture... I need your opinion, blog friends (yes, all 5 of you who read this!).

Here is the deal -- just leave a comment ranking these soaps from most favorite to least favorite.  I'm thinking I will pick one of you on Friday(at random) to receive soap freebies in the mail. 

If you want to just give me your top 4 or 5, that is super helpful too! Feel free to just write the letter.

Here they are:
A. Toast with Butter and Jelly -- Soapy Clean smell (think clean laundry)
B. Soapy S'mores -- smells like dark chocolate
and vanilla cookie
C. Polka dots - smells Soapy Clean
D. Spring Flower - Honeysuckle scent
E. Cheese and Cracker Soap - Smells like Oatmeal, milk, and honey

F. Citrus Sherbet Swirl Soap -- Smells like creamy orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime

G. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cup - Smells like dark chocolate

H. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bite --
Smells like a warm cookie

I. Pizza Soap - Smells Soapy Clean

J. Grapefruit Slice - smells like grapefruit! 
Also comes in lemon/ lime slices

K. Chocolate chip cookie bar (with sugar scrub brownie layer on the bottom)-- smells like chocolate and vanilla cookie

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Biggest Fan

Want to meet my biggest fan?  Its this guy...


Charlie

Every time I make something new, he sees it and shouts, "OHHHH WAOOOOW!"  Sometimes instead its, "OHHHHH YAHHHHHH!" 

It is just so dramatic that I crack up every single time.  But a real self esteem booster nonetheless.

This week I decorated some primary colored letters for his Dr. Seuss room and got the usual over-the-top Charlie reaction. 


The letters are a little wild, but so is his room.

He is also obsessed with the painting room and loves to pretend paint


I love my #1 fan and I think he will be a fantastic painting buddy when he's big enough to not eat paint.  We'll stick to crayons for now.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Surprises

I love surprises... but its no fun keeping them a secret. 

Often I am asked to paint something that will be given to someone else as a surprise.  Let me tell you, there are some very thoughtful and creative people out there who like to surprise loved ones with art.  I have vowed not to put pictures of these items anywhere public until after the surprise... no one wants to have their special gift spoiled by someone's blog or facebook page.


So there are two things I have made that I am so excited to share with the world... but I must wait so that I am not a surprise ruiner.


But here is something that isn't a surprise... I was able to make this growth chart on canvas recently to coordinate with a little girl's room.  I love when mom's have great ideas for their kid's rooms.  Functinoal art, I like it. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Confession of a Hoarder

Maybe I should be too embarassed to tell this to the world.  Maybe its the pain meds talking (I had minor surgery this week).  Oh well, here I go.  I'm a hoarder... of toothpaste. 

Let me back up and explain.  When we decided I would stay home with our little Charlie and our family would live on one income I thought I could help the family's finances by shopping responsibly with coupons.  We ordered the Sunday paper and I started clipping. 

I have a favorite blog (well two of them now) Springs Bargains and Denver Bargains that tell me exactly what store deals I can match with coupons to get the best bargains.  Wow -- this deal-finding stuff is maybe a little addicting... which brings me to my toothpaste issue.

You see, our grocery store often puts Crest or Colgate on sale for $0.99, which you may think sounds like a pretty decent deal.  Wrong! There is an ABUNDANCE of $0.55 toothpaste coupons delivered to my driveway in the Sunday paper, making the $0.99 toothpaste now only $0.44.  Great deal? Nope!  My grocery store doubles coupons, lets you use 3 of the same in one transaction, and even takes expired ones.  What this means for me is the $0.99 toothpaste is now free once my stack of expired coupons has doubled. 

So each time toothpaste is on sale  free, I come home with a few.  The next time I go to the store, I see the cheap free toothpaste and can't resist even though I know our family does not need another tube of toothpaste.  I just think of how much money we spend there each week and how thrilling it feels to buy receive something free.  I don't think I have actually paid money for toothpaste in 9 months.  The problem is that I feel like I have become a toothpaste hoarder. I am not even sure how many we have upstairs right now and I am way too embarassed to actually go count or take a picture.

Embarassing fact #1 about my toothpaste hoarding:  I had to move the spare toothpastes from the bathroom to the linen closet (move aside towels) because there just wasn't enough space.

Embarassing fact #2: My husband finally asked me if toothpaste has an expiration date.  I have no idea! I have never even had to think about that before. 

If you are still reading my hoarding confession, I'm amazed.  If there is ever a natural disaster in Colorado and you can't get to the store to get toothpaste... come on over to our house and bring your toothbrush.