Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Good News, and then the Bad

I'll give you the bad news first.
BAD News:
I'm hella busy and stressed out. My kids, not ONE.SINGLE.ONE of them will listen. It's like they have all suddenly suffered complete and total hearing loss. My big kids fight like toddlers, my toddlers fight like toddlers, and my husband throws tantrums like you guessed it, a toddler. You know that mom in W-Mart that is just pushed beyond her limits and has the breakdown in public? That was me last night. I had a moment of seriously considering leaving both my girls locked out of the suburban. In the cold. And just driving away. That's how awful they are being.

I'm pretty sure none of my ornaments are going to make it through this holiday season alive. My almost 2 year old keeps eating parts off the dough ornaments I made with my mother when I was his age. We've had 3 balls this morning shatter on the floor. I'm going to pull my hair out.

And the final, Facebook is stupid! They have a new rule where you can no longer do FB giveaways. So while I wanted to get to 50 fans for my giveaway of those handy awesome snack and sandwich bags, I'll have to cut it short at 42.

Had enough of my overly dramatic life story? Good, me too. Moving on....

Good News:
We are almost debt free. As of yesterday, 3 credit cards have been paid off. BIG chunk of debt gone and hopefully forever. We now only have one credit card with a balance and then our mortgage. Which is a whopper, but what do you do?

My Christmas tree is decorated. I'm working on finding my holiday spirit.

And I have a winner for the giveaway, I just can't figure out how to do a screen shot of the random generator. So I'll just let you all know, the RG came up with the number 9 and counting down my fan list (not counting me) we have:

Camille Richards Stevens!! Yay, let me know your info and which one you want and I'll get those out to you.

Now I'm off to clean my house, and try to sew up some replacement stock for this Thursdays Holiday Boutique.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Breaking News: Elmo is DEAD!

Shhh, keep it on the down low. We don't want to instill panic in our little people, mass hysteria, or a flood of tears. I just had to let you know, Elmo has officially left the building. I should also warn you that Marys' Little Lamb got butchered too.

What's that I say? How can it be? Let me tell you a little story. I was tied to the nursing chair, cruising blogs and looking for crafting inspiration. I was also perusing my creativity inspiring Sewing Mamas forum. Somebody posted a linky doo to this blog with a crafting project that encompassed everything me and my blog strive to be. Creative upcycling.

This lovely creative woman (gosh I wish having all these kids didn't kill billions of my brain cells, I might have been able to remember and link you to her! But alas, I forgot where I found it) took her children's' long neglected stuffed animals. She was going to throw them away or donate them, but the children begged. And I think there might have been tears. (Not so with my bloodthirsty boys) So this genius of a mother thought up a way to keep the stuffed toys AND have them be useful. She killed them. Bisected them right down the middle, disemboweled and then sewed them into scarves. ABSOLUTE GENIUS!!

That's how we came to Elmo dying. I wanted to try it out. Elmo being the good sport he always is, volunteered. My oldest son cheered me on. Told you he was blood thirsty. We hit a little snag when it came to Frankensteining him back together. But that was just because my machine loathes working through thick materials. Perseverance paid off and we came to this:

Aren't they fantastic? I think I might actually be able to get my guys to wear scarves now, and keep them on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

WOW! I might be on a roll

Two days in a row, lovelies! Isn't it amazing? I think I've figured this blogging thing out. Well, kind of. I just need to have a 2 month old infant that never lets me leave the my nursing chair, aka the desk chair. Hey, it rocks, swivels AND rolls. Sadly, it is the most comfortable seating option we have in this house. (hint DH, we REALLY need new furniture)

We had a wonderful turkey day. And in spite of my fondness for dressing and ham, I managed to lose a pound. I think it's probably because my littlest is sucking me dry. I'm literally drained of energy. Or maybe it's just a sugar crash from all the carb loading that comes along with the turkey. Whatever, I'll take the weight loss, and gladly accept some energy if anyone has some to spare.

Yesterday my husband informed me that he was disappointed in our Thanksgiving spread because there was no pie. ??? I'm pretty sure I made a pecan and a pumpkin pie, and my MIL brought a turtle pie. No, there wasn't any pie because there wasn't any fruit pie. So I made a berry cobbler. From scratch. Like the baking mix from scratch, scratch. It was lovely. Bonus: I have bisquit mix in the freezer now, and I never have run to the store for the pre-made stuff again. I foresee some turkey and dumplings in our near future!

While I was rolling my dough out, my oldest son grabbed his mini roller, the kitchen sponge and a seat on the floor. Want to know what he was making? Sponge Cake!! How brilliant is he?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heads Up,

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday! Pretty exciting, isn't it? Well it is for me. Most people don't even know it exists, so I thought I should share some fabulousness with my friends. So for the lowdown, cyber Monday is where online retailers offer up deep discounts, free shipping or other incentives to encourage shoppers to sit in the comfort of their homes or offices and spend their dough.

I'm no different lol. From 12:01 am to 11:59 pm Monday, November 29, 2010 I'm offering 20% off all in stock items. And just a hint: Stocking stuffers GALORE.
The coupon codes are listed on my facebook, but to make things easier on you (after all, that is the whole POINT of Cyber Monday) I'll list them out here as well.

The Etsy code is 20Thanks

The Hyena Cart code is 20%Thanks
Now here is your tease frame

Monday, November 22, 2010

Did I mention?

I'm doing a facebook giveaway. All the cool kids are doing it so I figured I needed to jump on that bandwagon. I'm kidding. About the bandwagon, not the giveaway. In my effort to spread crunchy goodness to all, I'm giving away a set of reusable snack/sandwhich bags, winners choice. All you have to do is "like" DustieBottoms on facebook to be entered. Pretty simple, huh?

Want to see the prize? Photobucket
Pretty enough to start packing your lunch? How about something fun for the littles? Photobucket

Don't you worry! There is a print for boys or girls, moms or well moms. lol I don't think I've done any manly ones yet. To see all of the options, head on over to my facebook (that neat-o black box with a bunch of faces can take you there) and become a fan. Only 18 more until I get to do the random generator.

Ok, and for anyone wondering. I just don't have too much exciting happening in my life to do daily updates. The girls made sweet yeast rolls for Thanksgiving dinner prep. Tomorrow's agenda includes a pecan pie and another trip to the post office. Sounds like fun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I couldn't be happier

That my husband is coming home tonight! My left shoulder is covered in spit up, my teeth have been brushed but my hair hasn't, and I have a headache. That could possibly be a direct result of the bongo pounding and VERY loud rendition of "I miss my Dad, I love my mommy" being sung by Kane. Cute, but my head is pounding in perfect rhythm to the beat of the bongo. I need a mommy time out. Four days of alone with 5 kids is enough.

In other news, we had "oinkmeal" and "ahmal" for breakfast. I'm going to miss the days of oinkmeal when we start just eating plain ol' boring oatmeal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas is coming! Christmas is COMING!

GAH! (that's a favorite expression of mine when I'm overwhelmed and can't say $%#@!) Do you realize we have a little (and I mean minuscule amount of time if you are like me and haven't bought ANYTHING yet) over a month left before we tread through heaps of shredded wrapping paper and overstimulated/overindulged children? I have seriously NO IDEA what my game plan is for this Christmas. I'm still trying to figure out how to fit in a shower every day with the new little guy.

I mean, I kinda know what we are getting for the kids. I do know what I'm getting for the hubs, but the kids, they want everything and would be happy with the boxes they came in. My girls are fairly easy. Blondie wants a digital camera. Red wants clothes, which is a little more daunting since I'm the anti-woman woman and loathe clothes shopping. The boys like all things with wheels so that is fairly easy as well. It is just finding those "perfect" gifts for the people who I don't speak to on a daily basis. My in-laws for example. My step-mother who has everything she wants and no qualms about buying something for herself if it catches her eye. My dad just wants time and I have NO idea where the heck I'm getting that one from. See the above paragraph about showering.

What's your strategy for those hard to shop for people? Your service providers, teachers, and casual acquaintances? Me; I made coffee cozies and travel tissue holders, and for the people that I really like, aromatherapy therapy sets! I'll be stocking them in my Etsy and HC stores for Black Friday, as well as offering them up at a local Gift O'Faire.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's a "nothing" day

What are you doing today? Nothing. I'm doing nothing and it looks something like this: Make breakfast, nurse the baby, wash three loads of laundry, fold said laundry, nurse the baby, clean the kitchen, pick up the lego mess in play room. Nurse the baby. Transfer electronics, books and organize junk from one rickety bookshelf and falling apart entertainment console to one fantastic, oversized, way too fancy for our house new entertainment center. Somewhere in the middle of all that, nurse the baby. Clean up mess in playroom. Ship package to Romania. Back home. Clean up playroom overflow in living room. You guessed it: nurse the baby. Darling dear husband sits on the couch and says "We haven't done anything today".

That's my day of "nothing".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Drive By

I'm going to keep things short today. It is a beautiful sun-shiny day, the temperature has a nice crisp feeling, all my kiddos are home and healthy, and my Dear Husband is a grump! How is that for irony? (in his defense, his holiday is being spent replacing an alternator for the second week in a row!) I also have to finish an order that is going all the way to Romania! I'm just astounded that I have a customer on the other side of the world. The www is certainly an awesome tool.

Yesterday I mentioned that I would show you how to use wool in your diapers as an extra-super-duper soaker, without having to knit, crochet or buy expensive wool interlock (though it IS a really yummy fabric). You want to start with a heavily felted 100% wool sweater. It doesn't matter what kind of wool, it just needs to not be "superwash" (meaning you can wash it in the regular laundry without expecting it to fit a dolly). My newest sweater is in the dryer as we speak so for the purpose of this, I used an "oops" pair of woolies that are already felted to the point of no more stretch.

Then you want to sketch out your pattern. Be creative, and don't worry about symmetry, it's getting peed on, it doesn't really have to be pretty.

Now take your cutting tools (I couldn't function without my rotary cutter, but scissors work fine), and cut out your pattern pieces.

Now you should have some super felted wool soakers to use as a booster for your diapers! You can choose to lanolize them so they don't have to be washed unless they are "dirty" and only wash them when you do your regular wool laundry routine, or you can leave them un-lanolized and just throw them into the diaper pail to be washed with your diapers. You can sew them together, serge them, or leave them as is. Because they are heavily felted, there is no need to "finish" the edges because they wont fray!!!


Bonus: Remember a long time ago? Like yesterday? I showed you my super awesome scrappy wool dryer balls? (lol say THAT fast 10 times) Just so happens I have a picture of the pattern piece I used to sew my ball. I cut 6-8 of them to make the ball, depending on the size, though I found that having more pieces didn't really affect the finished size of the balls (see yesterdays post). The pieces are 4.5" long and 1.5" across. HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ch-ch-cha-Changes (you have to sing it with me now!)

You might be noticing that things appear a tad different, then again you might not! Melissa (Ethan's Mom) was very sweet to send me a note that my facebook followers feed was eating into my blog posts. No matter how I tried to tweak the other layout it just wouldn't work. So I set out to find a new template. It was so easy this time! And because I had a dose of good Karma coming my way, the new design required no searching or tweaking, it compliments my new Hyena Cart design so very nicely. That's one change.

I've mentioned the new hyena cart (Grand Opening November 15th!) store, but what I didn't mention is that I got a new logo as well! Heather of Dragonfly Designs did a fantastic job of designing my store front and logo! She does beautiful work.

Second, We are ditching dryer sheets and saving gas! I've been repurposing with a purpose. I love, I mean love with all caps LOVE working with wool. Sadly I can't knit or crochet to save my life (sorry Grandma, I tried) so using thrifted wool sweaters is my means to getting fabulous wool for diaper cover and such. (side note; did you all know you can actually use wool IN your diapers as a soaker? With no special washing routine too boot! Amazing stuff, I'll show you how tomorrow.) Anyways, I found a fantastic, X-Large 100% wool mens sweater and made a cover plus two pairs of longies. There were some scraps and the frugal part of me hated to just throw them away. I took some of the scraps, wadded them into a ball, then wrapped them up tightly with my wool yarn (leftovers from my last attempt at knitting). Then I took more of the scraps, cut leaf shapes out of it, sewed them together and stuffed the yarn ball into my sewn ball. Hand stitched the opening closed, stuffed THAT into a knee high pantyhose and tied a knot. Repeated the process two more times and then washed and dried on hot twice. I now have some nicely felted wool dryer balls. I LOVE them.

Last share of the day because this is becoming a novel. Did you see those two absolutely fabulous animal print diapers?! Those are being submitted to the pattern maker of the Happy Snap One Size (great diaper!) for licensee approval. I had to temporarily give up on drafting my own diaper pattern. I just don't have the time right now and would like to use a widely popular diaper in my stores. One that has a tested fit and I know works (not that mine don't work, they have just only been tested on my kiddos). I'm crossing my fingers, but regardless these will be listed on my hyena cart.

Kuddos and cookies to you if you made it through all my rambling!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holy CRAP!

Where the heck did this year go? Just yesterday I was packing away the tree and ornaments it seems. Seriously, this year has just flown by and I find myself horribly behind in just about everything. It's the time of year for me to up my production on the gift making front and I just don't even know where to start!

I've been selling my wares on Etsy for almost 2 years now and I have thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is time for me to (hopefully) expand. I'm moving my cloth diapering goods to Hyena Cart (grand opening November 15th, under the same name) and will continue to use Etsy as a place for my mommy goods and clothing. So keep your eyes open, I'll be stocking my Ultimate Eye Masks and Therapy Sets there very soon. They make such lovely stocking stuffers and pampering gifts.

Now I'm off to sew up my "Safari" inspired diapers and mix a batch of aromatherapy filling for the therapy sets.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

A day late but still. I hope you are all wallowing in overindulgence right along with me! We had such a good trick or treating time with my parents and sister. Not much else to add, except does anybody have suggestions on how to get rid of all the loot without having to eat it or be wasteful? lol

Lego Boy With a Side of Moo

Thursday, October 28, 2010

15 minute Pants

A few days ago I mentioned that I would be back soon with an easy sew pants tutorial. Well get this! I am actually back with the tutorial. Pictures included and all. AMAZING! That means that I was able to 1. find my camera, 2. my table was free of food particles so I could actually cut fabric and 3. my monsters (I mean darling children) allowed me the 25 minutes it took to sew these up. But I digress. This is what the end result is:

So, your first step is to find a pair of RTW (that's ready to wear if you aren't in the know)pants that fit the person you are making them for. Then you need to fold them up, with the front of the pants hidden, and the back exposed, making a little point in the butt. Don't you like me technical terms? lol This is what your pants need to look like before you start cutting.

Then with the butt pointing to the outer part of the fabric, cut with an approximate 1/2 inch added. After you cut the one side, flip the pants and cut the other side out, with another 1/2 inch added. Note: Please add at least 1 1/2 inches to the top of the "pattern". You'll see why later.

Now take your pattern pieces and turn them right sides facing each other. Pin the top part, that will be your waist, serge or sew up the rise. If you're sewing, use a 3/8" seam.

Now you want to take your pants to the other side of the house where you have your iron because you are just organized like that. You are going to iron leg cuffs by folding the pants "leg" up, then up again. Then stitch a cuff, remembering to backstitch or go back a bit to lock the stitching.

Now you are going to trek back to the East Wing to serge up the pants legs. If you were truly organized you would remember to also press the waist. Alas, I am NOT this organized so we'll come back to it. with right sides still facing, match up the crotch seams and pin the legs. Start at one cuff line, sew/serge all the way to the other cuff edge. Backstitch! Now we go back and iron down the waist (this is why we left extra inches at the top of our pattern), then sew around the waist creating a casing but leave at least one inch unstitched to allow room for feeding the elastic through. After you feed the elastic through the casing, sew the two ends together and now you can finish your
pants by closing up the casing seam.

And Viola! You now have a super cute, easy, and quick pair of pants and you even created the pattern!

Monday, October 25, 2010

What's that you say?

"Eh? You have to speak up, I can't hear you! Let me call you back!" Chances are if you want to convey a message to me during the day, and make the mistake of doing it verbally, you have heard this in numerous variations and tones. You will have also learned that the internet is my life line to adult communication.

Between the cars being driven on the wall or launched off the couch to only clatter onto the laminate floors, someone is crying that somebody else did this or that, the new guy is crying because he can't sleep over the chaos and darn it!, he's hungry too. It gets insanely noisy in our home. Tonight we have the roar of the crowd (Monday Night Football, clattering of dishes, correcting of little tantrums, and if you listen very carefully you might hear the whir of a sewing machine and serger. That's right, it's the time of year when my sewing gets kicked up quite a bit.

Todays project were flannel lounge pants. I drafted the patterns and you should be o the lookout for a pictirial. I'm getting a couple Christmas gifts out of the way early. And suprisignly, if you ask who they're for, all you'll hear is silence!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hello from the trenches of mommyhood!

Wowza, wowza, it has been such a very long time that I visited my own blog! Let's see, since my last entry, I've become pregnant with our fifth and final addition, and even better, actually given birth to him, and managed to lose sleep falling in love for well over a month! It really has been that long.

I do apologize for my extended absence. It was a horrid pregnancy that seemed to hit me just when my (now)middle son learned how to climb. EVERYTHING. Add spidey-boy to complicated pregnancies and I just had nothing to give the blog, much less my sewing or crafting. Heck, I even gave up on being frugal. We ate out a lot. I bought fabric, and it sat in my closet. That's it. But the end result is absolutely wonderful and worth it all (though I'm done. Truly DONE).

Introducing King, the newest reason for my tired eyes and happy smiles