Monday, December 31, 2007

Custom Order

So these are what I will be working on the next week or two:

Blankets for the nursery at my parent's church. I also will be working on curtains for the two rooms. The curtain fabric is white with dots in the same colors as the plaid above. The nurseries were hard to find fabric for, as one is yellow and the other is turquoise, but I found these at my local quilt shop, and think they will look lovely.

I spent some time today planning out the next several weeks. The craft fair in March is coming up sooner than I want it to, and I have much to sew, put together, label, and prepare! I figured I'd spend a week on each group of items I want to sew/create, and should be able to make plenty. Sewing Guru and I will have a booth together, so between the two of us we should fill things nicely. That is, if she doesn't sell out before the craft fair! She can't keep anything in stock! Hooray for her! :)

I'm excited to get started, and hope my plan works out well!

MonsterBug Blankets

Late Birthday Present

Goodness, if you look over to my Etsy favorites (to the right, under my store listings), you'd never know that I got some gorgeous pearls from my Honey for Christmas--necklace, bracelet, and earrings! Does getting pretty things makes me like even more pretties??? Or did I just happen to stumble upon such pretties and think they were nice to look at? I don't know!

I woke up from nap yesterday absolutely exhausted. That seems weird. But I didn't want to do ANYTHING, much less sew. It took about an hour and a half to get up the gumption--and then I didn't want to HAVE to sew something, I wanted to have fun. What to sew, what to sew??? Then I remembered Bug's birthday present she never got from us because we were up north for her birthday--unexpectedly. And I got busy!

Back in September, I bought a used babydoll crib/bed, with a mattress and pillow, for Bug's birthday present. I washed the mattress and pillow, but wanted to cover them in new fabric and also add a blanket. (I also wanted to paint or do something to the wood, but that's not gonna happen!) SO I dug around in my stash last night, and found a sweet flannel fabric in blue with tiny yellow flowers all over it. It took less than an hour to make covers for the mattress and pillow and then a little blanket. The covers are similar to pillowcases, the mattress or pillow just slide in, then I tuck the fabric down in.

Bug saw what I was doing, but assumed it was for some other kid. :) She even said she wanted me to make her a small pillow, too. :) I finished just before dinner, so she didn't see it. And once I was done eating, I slipped into my bedroom, pulled out the crib, scrubbed it down with vinegar water, and set up the bed with a baby under the blanket. She and Monster got down from dinner and played in the living room, and eventually I had to just tell her to go into the library. She went in and was soooo excited. Then she tried to climb in the bed and cover up with the blanket--not so much! That's ok, Monster kept using it to stand on so he could turn on the tv today! I think that gift was a hit! Even if it was late.

MonsterBug Blankets

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Checkout Buttons, a Pretty Scarf

What have I been up to tonight?? Checking out Google Checkout, and adding cool checkout buttons to my website. You have to go to the Dive Flag Blankets page to see them. :) And then I had to update all my Etsy listings, stating that I now accept Google Checkout.

Why am I going with Google Checkout?? Well, I had a really bad day with Paypal, and decided to add Google to my payment options. Originally, I wanted to do away with Paypal completely, but many, many, many people use it and are comfortable with it, so I am keeping Paypal for now. And since then I opened my own, separate checking account--so any money hijacked by scammers will just be my own, not our family's.
I sewed a pretty scarf for our neighbor's daughter this afternoon. She attends Auburn University, so I used a yummy orange corduroy on one side, and a thin blue and white stripe on the other. It's an understated nod to her Tiger Fever.

I also worked about an hour on Monster's late Christmas present. I'll show it once I'm finished. It involves an airport runway, helipad, and a hangar for airplanes. It's very much in concept stage right now--trying to put what is in my head onto fabric. I hope it turns out like I want it to! We'll see.

That's it for now.
MonsterBug Blankets

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The rest of the presents

Ok, I'm finally getting around to posting pics of the presents I made this year. Here we go......
Bug's Cinderella skirt--it was worth the four hours I worked on it! It flounces so beautifully!

Some purses--for Sewing Guru and her daughter--who ADORES Sock Monkeys, as do I.

The purse Bug wanted made for her dance teacher. SHE picked out the fabrics--a light blue with white polka dots on the outside, and a spring green with white polka dots on the inside. :) She was soooo decisive--it was hilarious!
The Handprint Pillowcases I made for the Grandparents and an Aunt. :) I found that I like to applique. There may be more of it showing up here in the future!

And a lovely sweatshirt for an Auburn fan. Again, love that applique!

Ok, the only pictures I didn't post were the ones I forgot to take back in November, and the one of Husband's Dive Flag Blanket. It's lovely and big, and not quite finished. :( I still need to embroider the kiddos handprints all over it--other than that, it's done. It measures over 4.5 feet by 6 feet, and has two cozy layers of red fleece, with a white fleece stripe--all handstitched together. We both fit under it while sitting on the couch--with no fighting over who has enough blanket! First time in over 11 years!!!! :)

Anyway, that's the end of my handmade Christmas. Ooooohhhhhh, yikes--forgot. Yeah, Monster's present is still on the drawing board. I'm working on a new idea, and haven't quite figured it all out--so he'll have to wait. Thankfully he's too young to know he's missing out! :)

I've enjoyed not sewing for the past several days. And being a total zombie. It's been soooooo needed. Today, though, I found some lovelies that make me itch to sew. I visited Reece Antique Mall, and found a gorgeous cutter quilt and a great little boy's quilt top made of flannel. And I can't wait to turn the quilt top into some baby quilts. I've been eyeing both quilts since before Monster was born, and today the timing was right--I had the money AND they were on sale--40% and 25%, respectively!

I also bought two older Winnie the Pooh books that I plan on making into notecards. Then I HAD to buy some colorful notecards to mount them on. HAD TO! I'm telling you--the clerk had my arm tied behind my back! I kept looking and looking--I couldn't find exactly what I wanted for the price I was willing to pay. There were some lovely dark brown cards--20 for $4.99, but then it was another $5.99 for the envelopes (or vice versa). So $11 for 20 cards. :( I'll have to go back when they offer a weird discount for a percentage off the entire purchase--then it will be worth it. Or steal coupons from all my friends for 40-50% off an item. Enough of those will get me what I want! :)

I also purchased a heart muffin tin--well, a silicon muffin baker thingy--to make up some Valentine Crayons. The Christmas Trees I listed sold well, so I will try my luck with Valentine hearts. The cool thing--if they don't sell, I just melt them into some other cool shape!

I opened up a bank account solely for my business today. It was exciting. All these neat steps that make me feel like I'm growing. An Etsy shop, a domain name, a blog, a website, my own bank account--it's silly to write, but so exciting to experience. I made sure that I did NOT get overdraft protection linked between my checking and savings accounts. I'll be using Paypal, and I need to protect my money from some crazy person trying to steal my identity and spend my money! But that's another post for another day.

Gotta go--bedtime! Husband says!!! :) And I'm TIRED!

MonsterBug Blankets

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My own site!

I went onto Freewebs tonight, and FINALLY began work on my site: My domain was originally forwarded to my etsy store, with the intention of eventually starting my own site--and now it has begun. :) I'm rather excited! Not that there's much on there, but I did it--all by myself.

I have several ideas of things I want to sell--now and eventually--and I can't list all of them on etsy. Some won't be handmade, so I can't list them on etsy, and some will be created for adults, and my etsy store is more for children. This is the reason for starting my own website.

I'll soon start creating for the Piney Woods Art Festival, and will post lots of my new things as I go--so keep your eyes peeled! I can't wait to start!

Merry Christmas!!!
MonsterBug Blankets

Thursday, December 20, 2007

beckagator photography

Ok, here's one proud sister who HAS to feature her little sis. My youngest sister is starting up her own photography business called beckagator photography. She takes AMAZING pictures. Check out her deviantART site! She has tons of pictures posted in the gallery. Becka is still working on her website--getting it up and running--but check it out as well:

My favorite picture--well, it IS hard to choose!--is titled "I see spots." She had this in her spare bedroom--the bedroom the kids and I took over on our visit in November--and I am so in love with it! Her walls in her house are filled with photos she's taken--and they are so wonderful. (Have I gushed enough yet??)

MonsterBug Blankets

PS--I was featured today on Wendy Baylis' blog: Dharma Designs. She did an amazing job of combining my random answers into something that flows and sounds so lovely. Wendy also creates jewelry, and sells it on etsy. Check out her shop:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Favorites

I wanted to spread some etsy love today--so if you look to the right, under my store, you'll find "My Current Favorites". It's a listing of some of the beautiful things I've found on etsy. Wish I had thought to put it up awhile back--so people would buy some of them for me for Christmas! :) :) Maybe around my birthday....

I finished three gifts today, and worked some more on Husband's gift. Bug proceeded to tell him--AGAIN--that "we" worked on his Dive Flag Blanket today. Yes--she blabbed immediately after her nap the other day. Gotta love it! But it's different than the Dive Flag Blankets I've made so far. So while there's no surprise element, I think he'll like it.

While telling a friend about Bug's slip, Husband may have sold one of my Dive Flag Blankets, so that's cool!

Goodbye for now--be sure to check out the pretties at etsy!

MonsterBug Blankets

Monday, December 17, 2007

Presents Done--Check!

Well, the ones that have to be shipped, anyway. :) While I didn't take the "Buy Handmade" pledge this year, I can proudly say I only bought five gifts this year--and made 17 (?) so far--with more to be made! Sorry I didn't support others making handmade gifts, but I do enjoy creating gifts on my own! (Though I DID buy this awesome necklace for myself!)

I worked most of the day, finishing off the last three presents. I took pics, but will need to post them after Christmas. I'm thinking of offering these mysteriously unnamed gifts as custom orders on will be perfect for new mothers, grandparents, mother's day, father's day, and even for kids heading off to college. One more idea in the notebook to work on--once January arrives! :)

I'm kind of scared about pushing things off to January--scared I'll end up not accomplishing what I'm wanting to do. I'm not very goal oriented--goals actually terrify me. :0 So this "goal" of starting a bunch of things in January makes me worry a bit. We'll see, I suppose. Just because I've been a certain way in the past does NOT mean I have to be that way now.

(Note: Sewing Guru--keep me on my toes!)

It's getting late and the screen keeps blurring. While some of it can be attributed to dirty glasses, the majority is sleepy eyes. I have much to do tomorrow! Husband is helping me bunches by entertaining the kiddos so I can work. :) And Bug keeps "sewing" nearby. It's been nice!

MonsterBug Blankets

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Odds and Ends Ramblings

The last few days I've been working on presents for Grandparents and for my Husband. Wish I could show you--but then they would see! Not a good idea. :) I'm starting to freak out a bit over whether I can get everything done before Christmas! I already know that I won't be able to complete Bug and Monster's UNC blankets. I gave up on those last week. But there are other things I wonder if I'll have time for. I try not to think about it too much, and just work hard each day, but I'm getting a little scared!

Husband went out of town over the weekend, so Bug and I have been working on a special present for him! I sure hope she doesn't tell him!!!! She's been super about NOT telling me whatever she and Daddy shopped for last week. She loves talking about buying a present for me with Daddy, and telling me where it is located, but I usually make sure to tell her NOT to tell me--that I would be soooo sad if I found out before Christmas!

I was asking my Sewing Guru about how to sew with a 3 yr old around. She gave me the great idea of letting her have some fabric to pin. OOOHHH how Bug LOVES to pin! So I let her pick whatever fabrics she wanted out of my scraps, and she was in heaven, pinning the fool out of everything! I had 30 minutes of sewing peace the other morning! Well, somewhat, cause Monster was pretty upset that HE didn't get to pin, too. :)

I've slowed down on worrying about etsy right now. I was trying to list new things everyday, and keep on top of everything--but there aren't alot of people shopping online right now. I think the shipping cut off is too close, and truthfully, I'm not really in the mood to rush to the post office and worry about whether something will get to its destination in time! Traffic seems slower on etsy--and has since I got my last order almost a week ago. Some people are still getting sales, but it's not worth it to me to push so hard right now. I have better things to do. It's hard at times, to sit back and not do anything, but nice at other times.

There was a discussion on etsy about when to start re-listing items, add new items, etc--basically, when will people begin online shopping again? My guess--on Christmas night! I used to shop like a mad woman on the 25th--great online deals! But as a seller, while the buying may be good that night, I don't want to spend all evening listing items and worrying about sales--I want to relax and enjoy my family! Maybe I'll spend 20-40 cents to re-list 1-2 items, just to get my shop in the first pages of searches, but maybe I won't! Maybe it's not THAT worth it!

I'm stretching like a lazy cat--I think it is time for a nap! Then more sewing! YAH!

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets and Gifts for Babies and Toddlers!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Impatient for January

We're sitting here, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. I've been wanting to write on here, but can't seem to think of anything. My mind's a bit numb. Finally getting around to dealing with my Grampa's death.

I've been busy working on Christmas presents. Some I can show, others I can't! :) Too obvious!
This first one is for someone who loves green trucks. I hope he likes it! The second is another set of Christmas Pillowcases. See how well they match the tv Bug and I are watching! I need to find hers and put it on her pillow. She'll like that.
It's frustrating waiting for January to come. I have soooo many ideas to work on, and am excited about beginning! I'm trying to think through my ideas--what will sell on etsy? what will sell at craft fairs? What should I put more of my time and effort into--the craft fairs or etsy??? It's so hard to know what to do--especially when I have limited time each day.
I haven't sold any of my baby blankets on etsy, and truly wonder if I will. It seems that more original ideas sell well there, and baby blankets are a dime a dozen with crafters. But, I think they will sell better in person. People can touch them and hold them, and peruse the colors and styles. And the Tag Blankets aren't made alot by crafters here. I think they will sell well--I'm hoping they will. But it is hard for me to spend so much time making them IF they don't. UGH!
I have alot of ideas for sibling gifts--toddlers-preschoolers. I don't think I'll share them now, you'll just have to wait until I create them, and show them off online! :)
I think that's it for today--I have a Bug to go love on!
MonsterBug Blankets

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crafty Morning

OK, My sis-in-law wanted me to post pictures of our mantle and tree--so here they are. My chair gets a good view of them both and of the trees outside, so I am a happy camper! Now if we could just get it to snow down here in Alabama--so I could watch it settling on the earth while drinking coffee, staring outside, and telling God how lovely everything is--life would be perfect! :) (Oh, and yes, the bottom third of the tree IS a bit bare. Our two little ones like to play with and re-arrange the ornaments--so there is no keeping them on the tree!)

I entered a link to Capps Cove Bed & Breakfast over to the right, under "blogs/sites I like". The other night I was reading in Country Living or Country Home about inns at Christmastime. The pictures made me think of our time this fall at Capps Cove--when my Husband and I went away for the first time since Bug was born. If you ever need somewhere special to stay--I HIGHLY recommend Capps Cove! They have two luxurious cabins to stay in, and serve the most scrumptious breakfasts! Our cabin overlooked a small creek/river. I sat on the porch swing and drank my coffee each morning--looking at the creek, listening to the bugs singing, and hearing the fish jumping out of the water! The area is lovely--I didn't realize the base of the Appalachian Mountains ran into north Alabama--but how nice to see my beloved mountains!

This morning, Husband's schedule allowed me to get in some sewing before he ran off to work. So once I had my coffee and woke up enough, I put together these wallets:

One is for a dear Auburn fan. :) These crazy Alabamians and their allegiances to either Auburn or Alabama (cause no one from VA is crazy like that--everyone KNOWS that the Wahoos are better than the Hokies!!). And the other one I can't show too much of--the cities would be too familiar to the person I'm giving it to for Christmas! :)

So, two more gifts done--8 million more to go! :) I have to work fast and furious these next two weeks! :) No more postings on Etsy till these are all done. I wish I had more time--I would use it to make more Chunky Christmas Tree Crayons--they have sold soooo well! But I will remember that for next year! :)

MonsterBug Blankets

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Decorating

We put up our tree today. It's so pretty, all lit up this evening. The stockings are hung, and I put the extra greenery from the tree on the mantle. Bug just woke up, and is cuddled with Daddy, looking at the tree in wonder. It's the first year we've had the tree in the living room in this house. I really like it here--where I can sit in my chair and enjoy the prettiness! We usually have it in the library--but since I've taken over that room with my MonsterBug Blankets stuff, we cleared out space in here. Helps that Monster is no longer in his highchair, so we got that out of here, and moved the orange, bouncy chair into the library.

Lest anyone think we're high and mighty cause we have a "library", let me help you understand. This house used to have only two bedrooms, and many years ago, someone decided to put in a staircase and two bedrooms upstairs. The staircase is in the old 2nd bedroom--and it is now just a walk-through room. There's not alot that can be done with the room--so we put our bookshelves and most of my books in there. And when I started MonsterBug Blankets, I put an old fest table under the windows, and it became my workroom, though we still call it our library.

It was fun watching the kids' faces light up when Daddy brought the tree in from outside! Even Monster--though he doesn't remember last year--was all excited by the new addition! He did his closed-mouth talking about it. They love pulling off the jingle bells, carrying them around, and putting them in some old Lebkuchen tins that are music boxes. Monster likes to try his newest accomplishment--throwing the jingle bells in the trash! (I thought I was doing something helpful by teaching him to throw his diapers away--ha on me!)

The nicest thing about putting up the tree is looking through all our old ornaments. Handmade (and some not) items from family and friends--or friends' kids! The pink booties from Bug's first Christmas. An ornament my 3rd grade teacher made me. The ones from our travels in Europe--the Christkindlsmarkt booth, an angel from Ireland, stars from Poland and Belgium, snowflakes from Rothenburg and Steiffen. There's also the Moravian star for the tree topper--we bought in Germany, but reminds me of our time in Winston-Salem, NC. There are the ornaments my late Grandma Scott used to buy me every year, and ones I've bought at craft fairs here. Helicopters and airplanes, and now a little ballerina for my Bug.

I also found all the old Christmas cards I thought I threw away. Why is this important? Because of the new tag cutter I have! Christmas cards make the most beautiful gift tags! Not all of them will get cut up, though. I have one from Grampa Scott last year--I'll be keeping that one. A few others I've set aside, but the rest are fair game! I'm going to have a load of fun!

MonsterBug Blankets

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Busy Saturday

It's been a busy day. Daddy and Bug went Christmas shopping--for me!--and also bought a Christmas tree. Monster napped the whole time they were gone--yah!--and so I got to sew my butt off. But first, I had to call my sewing guru, Sonja, because I had this lovely, thick table runner fabric that I was scared would ruin my machine. I ruined my first sewing machine years ago because I kept trying to sew my husband's unit patches on his BDU's and such, and used the wrong needle and probably did fourteen other things wrong. (Now I just tell him to pay the ladies on post the 50 cents or whatever--they have the professional machines made for that!) She assured me that with a jeans/corduroy needle and a walking foot (since I can't adjust the pressure feet on my machine), I should be fine.

So I went to work, measuring and cutting fabric to make a table runner and two sets of placemats. Of course, once I saw how they looked on my table, I wanted some, too. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric. :( But, I WAS wanting to make a "holiday" purse for the neighborhood Christmas party tonight--so I had the bright idea to use some of the leftovers for that. Here's what it looks like:

I like it ok, but not nearly as much as I do the table runner and placemats!

I need to get back to work now. I have sooo much more to sew before Christmas! I can't slack!

MonsterBug Blankets

Friday, December 7, 2007

Handmade Gifts

While I was getting set up to sew today, I cleared off a few things from my antique sewing machine, and found the pretty little angels we'd gotten on our trip last week. I'd forgotten about them in all the commotion of getting home. We'd stopped for lunch at a Cracker Barrel in SC. We were waiting for our food--all three of us starving and tired and sick--when one of the ladies from across the aisle stopped at our table. She gave us these pretty angel ornaments for the kids. I asked the lady if she made them herself. She smiled and said yes. She sooo made my day! She has no idea what a lift her kindness gave to me, halfway into a 13.5 hour drive! And to get something handmade--I LOVE them! So we have two angel friends to join the other ornaments on our tree. :) Thank you Ellen!

I always enjoy getting homemade presents. My Grandma and my aunts would sometimes make us special gifts, and alot of times us kids would work on projects together--and then turn around and give these things to each other! So this year, even before I found Etsy, the plan was to make most of the gifts we are to give out. I haven't been as busy as I should be--I keep getting sidetracked trying to sell online. :) But I have been working, nonetheless. Here's what I worked on today: Pillowcases!

I forgot to take pics of the ones I made the kids earlier, and the ones I made while visiting family, so I made SURE to capture these ones on film--oops, on digital! It may be hard to see--but the fabric's from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! YAH! :) I'm making these for the kids as well! Daddy tivo-ed Rudolph when it was on the other night, so Bug will get to watch it and then sleep on her Rudolph pillowcase! :)

I worked some last night getting set up a website on I only saved a template, and then went to bed cause it was getting late. I'll have to play more with it later. Right now, I've purchased my domain, and it is re-routed to my Etsy store. But I would like to have a website, where I can post past creations, fabric choices, some sibling gifts I'm working on and can't sell on etsy, and other various things. I'll have links to my etsy store, too. I just would like a little more than what I have now--and freewebs seems pretty good for that. We'll see as I get further in!

MonsterBug Blankets

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Popular Crayons

Wow, my chunky crayons seem to be a hit! :) Was it being featured in PersonalTreasure's blog yesterday? The forums this am? Just random timing? Prayer!!! I sold three more orders of crayons this am! Can you believe it?? And three of the four orders were for two sets of crayons--so 7 sets total! I had to make a new batch of the Christmas tree ones today, and stop by Walmart to buy MORE crayons! Who would've thought I'd go through those 800 million I got from my mother-in-law in just a few days???

So I dropped by the post office to mail out my first three orders, and found a weird little scale system for under five bucks. You stack the 1lb, 2lb, and 3lb scales on top of one another to weigh packages up to 6 lbs. You place your item on say the 1lb scale, and if the middle touches the counter, it weighs over 1 lb--so you put your item on the 2lb scale. If it doesn't touch the counter, your package weighs under 2 lbs.

At first, I was wary--cause it doesn't give exact ounce measurements, but then I realized that the usps charges based on lbs--ounces don't really matter (at least for the packages). This will come in handy for using! I was getting sooo scared of using my bathroom scale--what if it is wrong, and the customer has to pay extra shipping??? And I wasn't ready to shell out the money the other postal scales were going to cost.

I wrote this little question to my fellow etsians today:
So does this obsession slow down......this obsession with etsy and selling here, with posting to blog(s), getting comments, getting hearts? With wondering if you are on the gift guide or posted on someone's blog?? With checking the forums constantly to make sure you are not missing something, or with checking to see how many views you have now compared to 3 hours ago?? I can't think I'm the only one! :)

I had my first sale on etsy last night, and there's a part of me that hopes things will settle down for me now. (See, someone DOES like your stuff--and not just friends and family who have pity on you and buy that raggedy looking "flower" you made from an egg carton and are now selling for 5 cents.....)

This first sale from a stranger seems different than selling to friends and family. Maybe it has to do with someone finding my store on this vast web--and choosing what I made. Does it take one sale? five? ten? 100??? Or does the obsession stay with you the whole time--wondering and waiting for the next sale? Seeing if such and such works, or if I time this renewing blitz for now, or whatever it is we do to try to trump up traffic to our own store.

I'd like to know. :)

Goodnight for now!
MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets to cuddle under!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

First Sale on Etsy!!

Wow--two blog posts in one day! But I JUST made my first sale on etsy--two sets of my Chunky Crayons! It took 24 days, and I thought it would never happen. A couple days ago, someone was asking in the etsy forums how to get more sales--one lady mentioned prayer. Haha--would seem simplistic, and as I talk with God regularly, you'd think I would have asked Him already. But somehow I hadn't. Why?? I don't know. But today I talked a little about how I would like to make some sales. "You have not because you ask not." Imagine that!

I am featured in an Etsy seller's blog. Am I the only one who finds it cool for someone else to post info about them (good info--not creepy stuff-hahaha!)?? I can't think that I am!

So, those are my warm fuzzies for the day!

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets to cuddle under!

Car Decal

I HAD to get this on my blog! Bug was outside playing, and I figured it was a good time to get out the windex and clean my back window for my new decal. I'm not a sticker/magnet-on-my-car kind of person--but anything for the business--right?? :) Will it generate sales??? We'll see. But for $12.50, it's a good deal to at least try!

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets to cuddle under!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Funky Scarf

Check out this scarf I made--I think it's wonderful and funky! Husband doesn't think so! :( It's a gift I made out of my Grandpa's old ties. Had to find some use for them! I woke up from nap today, trying to figure out where to begin on sewing Christmas presents, when my mind drifted to these scarves I saw the other day. Somehow, I thought up this scarf from there, and am very happy with it! I want to make one for myself, too--but suppose I'll only get to wear it on my mommy days out--when I'm not going to embarrass Hubby! :) :)

I helped Bug make this Rudolph shirt today. She had fun with me painting her foot and hands! I want to do it with Monster as well, but have NO IDEA how to keep him from wiggling around and making a huge, brown mess! :) Perhaps I should belt him into his highchair--that MIGHT help a bit.

I spent an hour after the kids went to bed cutting fabric for more Christmas presents. Figured I could do all the prep work tonight, so if all goes well with naps tomorrow, I can sew away--and not have to start and stop, start and stop. I hate that.

That's all I have for tonight. :)

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets to cuddle under!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Unwrapping Crayons

Who would've thought that it would take me three and a half hours to unwrap all the crayons I got from my mother-in-law??? Definitely NOT me! :) I thought this melting crayons into new shapes thing would be easy, not too time-consuming! HA on me! Not only did it take 3.5 hours to peel, but then it took me most of the morning to break them all, put them into the pans to melt, freeze them, re-melt a few that cracked, and then the photo taking and packaging! And this afternoon, the touching up of photos and beginning to list a few on etsy. BUT--aren't they adorable???? My favorite are the strawberry and raspberry ones. I also am partial to the camouflage ones--ie. the way you use up all the "ugly" crayons!

I worked on unwrapping the crayons last night while Husband flipped through the tv channels. And I even had time to glue the cardstock onto the back of all the tags I cut out last night. I still need to cut out the holes in the top and string them with ribbon or embroidery floss--I can't wait to see them finished.

My friend, Sonja, wandered through Downtown Dothan yesterday, too. We're looking at going in together with some craft fairs this coming year--so we're all giddy with ideas--what we like and don't like, how we want to do things, etc. I got a long email from her and could feel her ideas flying all over the place! :) It was fun!

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets to cuddle under!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fun new toy

I bought a cool new "toy" today. It cuts out these lovely gift tags! I used an old sectional map Husband used to fly with while in Germany, and I cut away. He's at Walmart buying glue sticks so I can paste the maps onto the blue and green card stock. I also have some other things to cut up--old books, German dictionaries, more maps, and some old papers I got from my Grampa's boxes.

I went to Downtown Dothan today. It's a craft fair/winter fest type event. They had a snow maker--so all these southern children could actually play in the snow! Snowballs were flying everywhere! :) Originally, I was going to have a booth with a friend, but it didn't work out for either of us, so I went to scope it out for next year. One thing I saw was that the 10'x10' booths were rather generous! Most people were set up well outside the boundaries. I liked best the booths that were set up with the tables to the front and sides--not where I had to walk in. This is with a tent--without a tent, I like it the opposite. I think I feel claustrophobic or something with those tents! Like I'll get sucked in and not be able to leave!

While there I bought a lovely smelling soap from Soaps by Sarah (334-447-1860). It is mint, and I can't wait to use it tomorrow morning! I also saw a booth with beautiful nursing covers, She had lovely fabric choices--and I'm such a sucker for pretty fabrics!

That's all for tonight!

MonsterBug Blankets

Blankets to cuddle under!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Some marketing, some pics of things I've made recently

Here are the purses I made. I'm finally home to post pics. I realized that I didn't take pictures of anything else I sewed while away. :( Gotta hate that!

I tried today to get MonsterBug Blankets listed on google and yahoo. My mother-in-law just did it for the business she works for--why on earth didn't I have her help me while I was there??? She said it was free. I did list on google's business locater, and added some tags onto my domain (hosted by yahoo). Google even had a coupon I could post. So I did. :) We'll see--I'm not holding my breath that this will help generate any business. :) But if it does--someone will get 10% off!

I received my car stickers from!!! Now I need to figure out where I want them, and stick them on! I also updated this blog with an etsy mini--a sample of my shop! I like it--don't you think it's cute??

That's it so far today. Oh, and unpacking! Boy is it nice to be home!!!

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets for babies to drool on and toddlers to cuddle under!

Meant to post these earlier:
My new wallet, from a map of Tauberbischofsheim--near where we lived for four years.

Monster's new diaper/wipes pouch-love that train fabric!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Soon we'll be home!

Tomorrow we leave for home! While I don't look forward to all the packing, or the 11+ hour drive--I can't wait to be there! No more nights away from my husband, no more living out of a suitcase, no more crazy schedules! No more driving without being able to see out the back window cause I'm loaded down with Christmas presents and boxes from my Grandparents' estate.

I have done well with sewing during this trip. It's not as much as I would have liked to sew--but I am surprised at how much I did get done. On top of the Christmas presents I finished, I sewed a Thanksgiving table runner for my mom, and a beautiful black shawl for my mother-in-law (with enough fabric left over for Bug to get one, too!). The snaps for the purses ended up being more trouble than I thought. I bought a "handy" tool to help me press them on--so I didn't ruin the purses when I bashed the snaps with a hammer. But the tool wasn't as handy as I thought--they should really think about making the ends magnetic--cause it was hard to get the two pieces lined up through the fabric... Anyway, even with it taking longer than I thought it should--the snaps are on, the purses look beautiful, and I didn't mash any prongs in the process!
I visited a craft fair in Greensboro, NC the day after Thanksgiving. I enjoyed walking around, seeing how people displayed their items, and getting ideas for when it is MY turn. I bought only one thing--a beautiful HUGE mug from Bay Pottery. It has several layers of glaze on it--in greens, blues, and a little bit of brown. The handle is wonderful--large enough to put my whole hand in! I just had an awful thought--what if it gets broken? Thankfully, with the internet, I could order a second.

There were only three baby vendors--and only one carried blankets. So it was hard to gauge what will/won't sell. But I loved seeing what they created! And with the views and hearts I've received on, I'm getting a better picture of what people seem to like of my blankets, and what I need to look at creating in the future. I can't wait to get home and list more on etsy.

At the craft fair, my eye was drawn to all the beautiful pottery. And I kept thinking--I would LOVE to learn how to do that. As though I have ALL the time in the world! Another thing I'd like to learn is to make soap. All the smells and shapes and colors! Oh, too many ideas, too much I want to do all at once!!! I am busy enough as it is!

I'll probably take off the rest of this week from sewing, so I can rest and be a zombie! But starting on Monday. I need to work more on Christmas presents. I also need to think about what we're going to give friends for Christmas this year. Last year Husband made up some of his salsa--YUM! We'll talk when I get home.

Home--that sounds sooo lovely. Wish I could just snap my fingers and be there!

MonsterBug Blankets
Blankets for babies to drool on, and toddlers to cuddle under!

In loving memory of Grampa Scott, 19 December 1930--22 November 2007.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weariness while waiting

I'm tired tonight--real tired. I keep thinking I should be sewing, I should be sewing.....but even surfing online is wearing me down. Too much emotion, too little sleep for mommy, too little sleep for Bug and Monster. It's just past ten, and they are finally asleep. At home, they are in bed by 730, and asleep within 30-40 minutes. Here Monster wails and Bug bosses, or they both giggle and play. And then it's after ten and I just want to get into bed--but they are still awake..... Little stinkers!!! Of course, I can't blame them that I stayed up till 2am last night--can I!?

I wish I could post pics of the Christmas presents I'm making. This is not my computer, though. I sewed a set of Christmas pillowcases last night. The fabric is a pretty light blue with green trees decorated with red balls. It's simple and I like it. I added a band (?) on the edge of green gingham. I suppose I'll end up making some for me, too--if I get around to it. I think I want red gingham, though.

I sewed a quick table runner for my Mom's table today. She showed me some napkins and dish towels sis#2 gave her last year--and wished aloud for a table runner to match a plaid in the dish towels. While surfing through the walmart fabric today--they had all their autumn fabrics for $1 a yard--one of the plaids was similar in colors to the dish towel. So I bought three yards, cut it down the middle, squared it off, turned the edges under twice, and sewed her a table runner for our Thanksgiving feast! I was so excited to make it for her--I hope it looks pretty on her table.

Speaking of Walmart--I forgot I had left the land of Alabama vs. Auburn--and was pleasantly surprised to find I'd entered my husband's favorite place--UNC-land!!! :) Oh the pretty pink fleece to make Bug a blanket with--and the Carolina blue to sew for Monster! I bought some of the cotton fabrics, too, and am debating on how to use them (and if I should go buy more!). Bug would be adorable in a simple lined jumper--made just in time for March Madness! Her Daddy would be sooooo proud! :) Anyway--I don't know when/if I was ever so excited in Walmart before!

The purses I started last week just need snaps--Walmart had the handy tool to help me connect the snaps--so I don't have to worry if I'll damage the snap by banging it with a hammer! :) Yes, I DID do that with my purse, and lucked out! But not for gifts! Mine was just the prototype!

Lets see, what else??? I framed one of my photos, and some other pretties that I can't mention where certain people might read! Can't spoil Christmas--and these people would know by my description that the present was for them! But they are all framed, and the kids woke from nap before I could wrap everything.

I have a few wallets I'd like to start on tomorrow--I finally figured out one that was troubling me--so now I am excited. Oops--tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I doubt I'll get anything done--I'll be at mom and dad's all day.

That's about the end of my brain working. Good night, and have a lovely Thanksgiving!
Blankets for babies to drool on, and toddlers to cuddle under!

PS--the title is a description of life right now--while we wait for my Grampa to pass away. It is heartbreaking and exhausting--wondering, worrying, wishing.... I wasn't sure how to address it, as it is hard to even put my thoughts into words. He's been taken off his ventilator, off the meds for pneumonia, off his feeding tube. The morphine has been dialed up, and the end is near. Sleeping is hard.

On the up side, he gave me kiss after kiss on Tuesday when I went to see him. :) It is a wonderful memory to hold close to. His time in this pain-filled life is nearly over--and his new life, his eternal life, is going to be so much better!

I told Bug that Jesus wants Grampa to be with Him. She then chattered something about how she saw Jesus with the goat yesterday. :) WHAT??? "I DID, Monny!"--trying to convince me! Got to love the active imagination of a nearly three year old!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Well, I sit here writing this from my sister's kitchen. My Grampa is not doing well, so Monster, Bug, and I packed up the car and headed north to be with family. It's the second year in a row for us--my other Grandpa passed away last year November. I struggle with not wanting to feel this pain and whether I am stuffing too much of it (cause THAT always goes well!). It's hard to let go of the people we love. I hate it. Always have hated goodbyes.

Husband helped me pack up the car--and all my sewing supplies (no, not ALL--that would be insane!--just what I needed for Christmas gifts). Naps and after the kids are in bed are my times to sew--and being out of my routine while here--the sewing will help me feel a touch normal. Plus, Christmas presents do not make themselves! And this was the week I was to begin sewing for others.

I worked on three purses yesterday. Didn't get to finish them, but all that's left is the top stitching and the snaps. I was scared to pin at sis's table--mines an old, old one with a rough, used finish--a few pin marks won't hurt it! But hers is sleek and beautiful! I ended up pinning on top of her ironing board--worked well.

The kids are up and going strong. They do not sleep well when we travel. Good news, though, is that my Monster is actually sleeping! That's a new one! He likes his bed and his bed only. They are playing in the bedroom--I can hear them giggling and jabbering and making a ruckus. :) I was glad to see a pack of earplugs on my sis's table this am--I feel better that MAYBE she's able to sleep in a bit! She's not used to all this commotion--or the before 7am wake up giggling! :)

Pray for my Grampa and our family, please. Thanks.
Blankets for baby to drool on and toddlers to cuddle under!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can't believe it's November

I'm having a REAL hard time realizing that it is November. I'm not sure why, but it has plagued me for 13 days now. As my husband and I sat talking this morning, he mentioned that Thanksgiving is next week. NEXT WEEK???!!!!! What? Then we're discussing our schedules for the next 6+ weeks, and I mention Bug's birthday party (#3!) is the Sat after Thanksgiving. He said, "You know, that's next week, too." WHAT??? (He's a smart one--he figured if I couldn't recall that Thanksgiving is next week, I may not realize the party is then, too!) :)

Soooo I have some tutus to begin making.

Bug started dance class this fall--tap and ballet--and LOVES it. A few weeks after she began, I saw some lovely apple green tulle at Walmart, and planned to make a tutu out of it for her birthday. I placed the tulle on my worktable, not thinking about it. When Bug came down the stairs from her nap, she hollered soooo excitedly, "Monny (yes, MoNNy, not MoMMy!--don't know why)--"Monny, you make me a dance skirt?!!?" Well, how could I NOT make it for her the next day???

About the tutus. Bug is in LOVE with Cinderella. She wakes up one day and says, "I want to go to a ball, Monny. I want to go up, up, up to the castle." So for her third birthday, we're inviting a friend over for a ball. And I'm going to make them fancy little tutus in shades of blue, with a gorgeous silver, blue, and purple ribbon waistband. And we'll read Cinderella, and dance to pretty music, and eat. I picked up some tiaras after Halloween for 39 cents, and we have some plastic Cinderella cups I picked up along the way. Just enough to be fancy and prancy! :)

I also picked up a wooden baby bed at a local kids market. I'm going to sew covers for the mattress and pillow, and a baby blanket. Bug uses everything for baby beds. I'm forever thinking I'll break my neck coming down the stairs--cause each one is covered with some animal or baby doll--and I'm told, "shhhhh--the babies are asleep." I'm not allowed to breathe even. So the bed should be a hit. Now to find a wooden highchair, so Monster can stop getting angry with Bug about using HIS for her babies! :)

Husband also asked me this am how I was doing on the Christmas presents. Ummm. Yeah. Uh. Well, you see..... I made the two pillowcases for Monster and Bug this weekend as prototypes for the ones I'm making as presents.... :) So now I'm banned from doing any business stuff till after the Christmas presents are done. Where would I be without my dear one??? He keeps me on track (or tries his best!). He KNOWS I'll fritter my time away with this and that, and not get anything important done. I need this man! But BOOHOO--what about my etsy???? What about building up my store???

I couldn't sleep last night. My Grampa is in the hospital--he had a stroke and possibly a heart attack yesterday, but I didn't know that last night. I just was worried and scared. So I got up for a bit to fret and pray and to be busy a bit. And during that time, I mapped out the next year of creating. I figured out what shows I want to try to do and how much of what I'd like to bring to each. And when I need to begin and finish creating for each. I basically have the month of April "off"--though I want to try my hand at making a quilt for my Grandma out of old clothes and ties from my late Grandpa. I was going to do this for my siblings, dad, and Grandma this year, but 1. I often put things off that I've not tried before due to fear, and 2. I got busy researching all this business stuff! I NEVER guessed sooooo much time and thought would go into this. It drives me crazy sometimes!

So that's my day. Did I get to make anything--not really. Though when Bug was eating lunch, I mapped out an idea for Monster's Christmas present. I worked on it some, but then he woke up from his nap, she was done with lunch, and chaos began to reign!

It's November---it's November---it's November.......
Blankets for babies to drool on, and toddlers to cuddle under!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Manic Creativity

Welcome to MonsterBug Blankets!

I've been in a manic creative phase lately--and am just coming out of it. I made this adorable little purse a few weeks back, and it is soooo perfect for what I wanted! It's made out from a set of curtains I bought at Ikea several years back--that I loved, but never went in my house! I made a wallet out of my husband's old sectional maps from Germany, several prototypes of a diaper and wipes holder similar to the diapees and wipees brand (where have I been that I never knew about diapees and wipees?? For three years I've needed exactly this perfect little holder!), two adorable Charlie Brown Christmas pillowcases for my kiddos, a pillowcase dress for my Bug made out of bandannas, a couple of Dive Flag blankets (patterned after the scuba diving flag--made out of fleece--check it out on, several dive flag ornaments, filled a few orders of tag blankets and baby blankets for friends and family, and a couple other things I've completely forgotten about. AND I filled about 40 pages in my creative journal. AND I found, a lovely and creative site that I find myself addicted to!

It's been fun to think and create and to have a plethora of ideas storming my brain, but now I'm ready to just work, just sew, to make things. Good timing, I suppose, cause all the Christmas gifts won't make themselves--but I'm REALLY wanting to sew for my business--to build up inventory and to make all those ideas into reality. Somehow I don't have 4,000 hours in each day--and this bothers me! I want to be mommy and wife full time and still have all the time I want and need to create and sew and research and sell! :)

Blankets for babies to drool on and toddlers to cuddle under!