20 minute crafter. {photo ornament}

Hooray!! At long last I have another 20 minutes crafter for you!!
Now this one is a Christmas one...and I know it's August.  But if you *really* want to make things to give as gifts...*this* is the time to start...and not in mid-December.
So here is what we are making...cute little photo ornaments for your tree!
Or to give to grandma...or teachers or anyone who would just LOVE a photo of your child...or pet...or you! :)
Here is what you need:
one 4 1/2in by 6 1/2in white piece of white or light colored fabric
one 4 1/2in by 6 1/2in piece of patterned fabric
approx 9in of ribbon
a 2 by 3in piece of vinyl
(i get it from Joann's...i don't know the gauge...but get something in the middle range...not too thick and not too thin)
either a set of letter stamps and ink pad
fabric pen
Step one...stamp the name you would like on your fabric...practice on paper first to get a good feel for how hard to press and make sure everything is spelled correctly.  If you are using a fabric pen...practice first! :) You can lay the vinyl in the middle of the fabric to get an idea of where to stamp. 
Step two...using a zig-zag stitch go around the bottom three sides of the vinyl.  
Step three...fold your ribbon in half and pin it in the top middle of the piece you just sewed.
Step four...lay your patterned fabric on top of what you just did...right sides together and sew around the perimeter leaving a two inch or so opening.
Step five...clip the corners.
Step six...turn right side out and stitch around the edge...leaving the opening.
Step seven...stuff and sew closed...either by hand or with your machine.
Yes, this photo is sideways...sorry.
Add a photo and you are done! :)

Enjoy and have fun!
I'll answer any questions in the comments!

on the agenda.

This week is going to be Busy.  With a capital "B".  I don't plan on sleeping much. We are going on a much needed vacation soon and I know I will enjoy myself all the more if I can get certain things done over the next several days. 

First things first.  There will be a SHOP UPDATE TONIGHT! :) 
I will be listing several unclaimed hoho's.  And since vacation is coming up this may be the last batch until the end of September.  I am going to try to squeeze in another batch before we go but I can't promise it will happen.

So SHOP UPDATE TONIGHT at 8pm! :) (est). 
I am also working on a pattern for the shop for my "What's in a name pillows".  
I hope to get this done this week...
I also have a 20 minute crafter ready to go in the next day or so...maybe tomorrow? 
I am also working on some more quilt squares...a thrift store find remake...and lots of other stuff.  So if my blog is lacking good posts...just hang in there...I will be back. :) 

Happy Sunday to you.  :)

why i love my job.

I believe that God delights in showing us His love for us in little ways...little moments placed in time that others would look over...but are significant signs to us that we are ever on His mind.  
Not too long ago I receieved an email from a lovely customer/blog reader/friend. :)
With her permission here is what it said:

hi crystal!

i just had to share something with you about your hohos.  i ordered one for each of my kiddos a couple weeks ago.  i was hoping beyond hope they would arrive before my son started kinder (last tuesday) cause i wanted him to have it as a special symbol of how he's perfect just the way he is.  well, it arrived the day before and he LOVED it!  my daughter likes hers too, but for henry it's extra special since he can understand the meaning behind it.  it's even a little extra special since the one i bought for him has the selvage from an alexander henry fabric on it, so it actually says henry!  he's taken to putting his snuggley from when he was a baby into the pocket each night so they can all three sleep together.  i'm convinced it's helped him during these first days of kindergarten.  thank you so much for creating something that has such a wonderful story and meaning behind it.
we love ours!!
Call me crazy but God loves Henry...and wanted to show Him that.  My favorite part of this story is that from the listing that Heather bought...you can't see "Henry" or the part of the selvage that says his name anywhere in the photo. :)  I believe that God wanted to show Henry a little special love...because he is ever on His mind. :) 

I get emails like this often...about how a package arrived just in time...or made the day...or helped through a hard time.  I LOVE to hear where my creations are going and who they bless.  Your emails and stories, to me, are some of the ways that God tells me that He loves me and that I am ever on His mind. :)
Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 1 Peter 5:7
 And in random shop news...I made four sweet little lovies...made from hoho fur. :) If you order one of these (which I will most likely NOT be making more of) I can make you a coordinating hoho (for purchase) to make a super cute baby gift. :)

Hope your day is happy.  I PROMISE that I have some 20 minute crafter segments up my sleeve...soon!

bag winner {and etc}

So...the winner of the lovely owl bag...that will be just like the one above is YOU.  If that is you...could you kindly email me in the next couple of days to claim your new adorable new Fall bag. 

If that is not you...so sorry...I wish I could give you all one...but I can make a couple for some of you.  I bought enough of those fabrics to make a couple more of these...if you would like one you can still get one: ) I'll be listing a couple tonight along with...

A small shop update that includes only TEN hoho's! :) I'm shooting for about 7:30pm EST. 

And a request for you.  I have promised Doug that I would send him to his Monday meetings every week with a homemade baked goodie to share with his colleagues and hopefully make those meetings a little easier...and it is my little way to show him that I love him and support him and his career...

So, from you, if you don't mind, could you share your favorite go-to baked good?  You know, the one that everyone always wants the recipe for? I'd love you forever...and my husband may as well. 

:) See you tonight! :)

so far.

 two brothers.
58 hours. 
6 baths. 
two times running the steam cleaner before 8am. 
12 loads of laundry. 
6 or so outfit changes per child per day. 
2-3 per adult.
three kinds of saltines. 
ten hours of sleep per adult for the last two nights.
10 different kinds of clear liquids.
30 hours or more of children's programming. 
two rugs hosed off out in the yard.
one terrible diaper rash.
and one thankful mama.
and I am not thankful because it's over, because we aren't sure it is...though once it IS over (which we are ever so gently hoping it IS) I will be thankful. 

I am currently thankful that this is the worst we have ever had it.  That in a few short days our lives will be (God willing) back to normal.  That in a couple of days my boys will be back to their normal, wild and crazy boy selves.  That in his almost four years on this Earth we have only had to take Moses to a non-well baby visit three times.  Aaron has never gone. 
I am thankful that we could get in the car and just buy whatever it was we needed or thought we needed to help our boys get better.  I am thankful that we didn't have to think twice to buy everything we thought they could/would eat to help them get back to normal.  I am thankful that they are normally super healthy and happy boys.  I will take our last 58 hours over some of the things that other parents have to deal with on a daily and sometimes forever basis.  

This whole time they have been sick, I have had such peace and knowledge of God's presence.  Not saying that it was easy(because it hasn't been)...but it was definitely God that has helped me to clean these messes...messes that otherwise would have normally been impossible for me to clean.  I could almost hear God saying "One minute at a time...this too shall pass". 
God has been gently reminding me how good I have it with these two boys...these two, strong, fast growing boys who rarely fall out of the high percentiles for height and weight.  

These last couple of days God has gently nudged me and brought to mind people to pray for...who have kids who are always sick...who are fighting more difficult things than a stomach bug...who have kids who never came home. 

I am thankful for this stomach bug.  
And even though I am totally drained beyond drained...I am thankful that at least this was Doug's weekend off.  And even though I am weary at the thought of starting up this next cycle of work at below zero physically, mentally and spiritually...I will take these problems and give thanks for them. 

One day...one moment at a time.

I am also thankful for clorox wipes, my steam cleaner, a working washing machine and a temporary gut of steel.

So if you are waiting to hear from me...or you just think of me...please be praying for us to be on the mend...in all sorts of ways and on all levels. 


boys {and other things i made}

Just some boy things going on around here lately...Moses *needed* a new backpack for his two day a week preschool.  Somehow preschool does not play into the "to homeschool or not" debate.  He is going to one of the best in town and Uncle B wanted to pay to send him.  And Moses is thrilled.  And this is a great way to "test the waters" so to speak...
...oh, and of course hoho needed his own monogrammed back pack to match. :) 
I love these wonderful boys.  Moses and his "I hate loud noises but I am the loudest noise ever".  And Aaron and his insistence on feeding himself...and doing a better job most times than his older brother.
We learned this summer that the boys love frozen things.  In this case I just froze some water in plastic cups.  Free entertainment for an hour.  Mommy loves.
We also did this again this this summer...several times.  Tiny toys, frozen in a bowl.  Hours of entertainment as they use water squirters, a small screwdriver and toy hammer to pry the toys out of the ice.  More free fun.
Hoho loves to help with the hoho making process.  He's in charge of cuddle quality control. You can tell he takes his job seriously by all the squeals and giggles that he exudes. 
I walked out one morning to see that Moses had lined all these little guys up on the fence...I'd love to know what scenario sparked this formation. :)
And in other things I have made...I have a new favorite quilt pattern...the wonky star.  This one is for a group project I am working on...
And this one is on a pillow going in the shop. :) I LOVE it.  The center was begging for a little doodle embroidery. 
And this is another set of squares for the same project...another I am sure to use again. 
CJC-What do you think of this pattern for your table runners?
And if you are not a Facebook fan you may not have seen these...these are a pair of "keepsake hoho's" I made for my last batch of hoho's.  These are made from baby clothes given to me to use by the customer...wouldn't you love a hoho made from your sweet bundles baby clothes? 


Well...that's life in a nutshell lately...bits of this and that all over the place. :)

birthday goodness.

This birthday was lovely.  All grown up and fit for a mom. :) 

My week started with this lovely arriving in the mail for me.  I LOVE it.  
I got it from *The Noisy Cricket*.  
Her shipping was fast and her prices are wonderful!
The workmanship on the necklace that I got is some of the best I have seen on Etsy...perfectly done...and comes so sweetly packaged. 
My favorite part...is that when I am wearing it, the two charms make a sweet little noise, like a soft little jangle...from the first time I put it on, every time I hear that noise I am reminded that these two sweet boys are the reasons for my days...the reason I get up and work hard and do my best. 

I am pleased to have her as a new sponsor.  Hop on over to *The Noisy Cricket* for a super sweet gift.
And my BIG birthday gift came from Uncle B last week.  What kind of gift comes from an Uncle B? 
Why...a practical one of course...in the form of a load of gravel and a driveway redo!
Here's a before and after...*before* hadn't seen nary a gravel in years...*after* was edged out and filled in with fresh gravel.  We spent the whole day tilling it up, leveling it out, putting in the edgers and spreading the gravel.  The result is a perfectly respectable driveway where a couple of strips of mud once were. :)
Moses was perfectly pleased with the whole event.  This photo is of him at the end of a day FULL of playing in the dirt and digging in the rocks.  The highlight of the day was when a "real live dump truck" came to our house to dump the gravel.  To say he was dirty is an understatement.
It's all so neat and cleaned up.  This photo is at the top of the driveway...to the right will be filled in with stones and some sort of creeping plants in the spring.
Then the couple of days before my birthday Aaron came down with a high fever and a bit of nasty ick. 
He's a pitiful lump of baby when he is sick...because all he wants to do is see and play with "mimi" (that is Moses in hoho language).   These last couple of photos were from the last time he was under the weather...he came down from a nap and then promptly fell back to sleep on Doug for over an hour.

So that's why I said my birthday was all grown up and fit for a mom...driveway redo's, sick babies and all.  

BUT.  I made it another year.  I have another chance to do better...to make myself better.  I have a fresh new start to a new year of me to make changes, improve areas and put more junk behind me. 

And I am SO thankful for the life that I have.  I have been saved from myself through Christ.  I have THE worlds best husband.  I have two wonderful, healthy boys and a great set of in-laws that surround me.  If I had no other blessing in my life ever, those things would be enough Joy in themselves to carry me for the rest of my life.  I am blessed and fully aware and thankful for it. 

And thank you ALL for all of your lovely wishes...I am so thankful for each and every comment and email I received. :) You are each a treasure for sure.

Happy day to you!

it's my 31st birthday...

But I want to give you a gift. :)
Enter to win and I will make you a bag out of the above fabrics...your bag will look something like this:
All you have to do is leave a comment...saying anything you want. :)

I'll choose a winner Monday. :)

Happy day to you!

photobooth documentary-part 2

You can see part one HERE.
I love the photobooth feature on Mac's...such a fun way to capture little snippets of our random life. :)

These last two weeks have been CRAZY.  I am working on getting back to normal...on all levels. :) So soon I hope to 1) do some new 20 minute crafters, 2) work on a new pattern for the shop 3) work on some Julia projects and 4)get some other personal projects done. :) 


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