Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Nephew's Newborn Business Suit

My cousin ("nephew" is her son) shared a picture with me in June of a baby with a necktie and asked if I could make one.  I created this set and gave it to my cousin at her shower on Sunday.

The hat is based on a free pattern I found on Ravelry  before Joshua was born.  I had the printed directions from ages ago so I'm unable to link the exact pattern.  I wrote my own pattern for the diaper cover for Joshua's newborn photoshoot.  After looking at a few free patterns on the internet that were free, I decided I could do better if I wrote my own pattern for the tie.  I really wanted that authentic tie triangle look.

Now we wait for the adorable pictures of Nathan the business man to come!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer of Pinterest--the abbreviated version

Well this summer did not exactly turn out the way I'd planned.  I did want to share the few things I did get to try along with a brief review.  

This was delicious!  It was the perfect way to use our abundance of tomatoes and basil from our garden. 

This has done great things for me.  Originally I started doing this to help boost my metabolism, however I have discovered that ACV has many other health benefits.  After about 4 days you get used to the taste.  I mixed up enough for 4 days at a time.  I've been taking it for 10 days and I've seen significant weight loss.  I'm not sure if it was bloat or fat but my mother, sister, and husband all made comments before they knew what I'd been doing.  I haven't changed anything else.  Specifically the area of my lower stomach that was left somewhat pouchy has flattened out.  I wish I had taken pictures or stepped on the scale (I have a bad relationship with scales, I try to avoid them).  I've also noticed a boost in energy and generally feeling better.  If you're trying to lose a bit of weight, struggling with depression, or would like to lower your blood pressure, this is worth a try.  

This was yummy. The mint was from our garden :) 

This was ok.  I think our homegrown zucchini was too big.  I should have made it into smaller pieces.

This sort of worked.  There was improvement but my husband is a very messy cook so maybe if I do it a few more times, it will be as good as I want it.

This was as fantastic as all the pins claim!  I really wish I'd taken a before and after shot, but I don't want the internet to judge how disgusting my tub and shower were.

That's all for now.  Have you tried anything new from Pinterest lately?  How did it turn out?

Monday, August 19, 2013

How Far $10 Can Go at Dollar Tree

 Well I am a teacher and the budget is tight for the summer, the catch 22 is that it's when I have the most time to get things done around this place.  Therefore, off to Dollar Tree I went.  I'd seen a few posts on pinterest about organizing your entire home using items from the dollar store, but I decided to target a few areas that have been annoying me.  Below is what I bought, I did go back to buy two more of the blue and pink baskets to the left for a total of $10.

First I had this bin in my laundry room that was ok, but having a small bin for each person's socks made more sense.  I chose a different color for each person.  They are stackable so they take about the same amount of space in my small laundry closet.  Bonus: this led to mating about 10 pairs of socks.  

The other addition to the laundry closet is the tiny trash can you see.  It sits on the dryer and is the perfect place for lint and all the other pieces of trash that are found in a certain man's pockets.

 Next I tackled my biggest nemesis, under the sink.  It's been ignored since the garbage disposal came unhooked and made a mess my husband *claimed* he cleaned up close to three years ago.  Basically things were just thrown in there.  Wow was that a wake up call.  I had to wipe down a ton of products, pull up the shelf paper (which I still need to replace) and give it a good cleaning.  Then we could get to the organizing.  I sorted the items according to their purpose, dishwashing, disinfecting, wood cleaning, etc and put them in baskets so it would make sense.  Due to the fact both the hubby and I tend to stock up and the fact he will sooner tell me we are out of something than move something to find the 80 million of whatever he thinks we're out of, there was a lot more under there than I believed.  The green basket is for kitchen laundry.  It always bothered me to put a damp kitchen cloth in with the family laundry hamper until I do wash, but I don't need to do towel laundry frequently enough to just throw it straight in the washer, so this was the perfect solution.

I also took those four little purple tubs (top left of the first picture) and put one under each sink in my house for cleaning sponges.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Free Old Fashioned Flower Crochet Pattern

 I was reorganizing my crafts board on pinterest and came across this inspiration I'd pinned a while back. Unfortunately the link was broken and there was no pattern. I liked it enough to write my own patters.  I write a lot of patterns for what I carry in my etsy shop, but I don't share them or sell them for now.  I figured I probably won't sell this pattern since someone else created it, so time to payback the crochet world for all the awesome free crochet patterns I've found.  Here is what I came up with. 
My creation
The petals on my old fashioned flower are a bit more distinct, but I like it that way.  What do you think? 

Here's the pattern along with pictures of each step.  

I used three colors, a G Hook, and Caron Simply Soft Yarn. 

Step 3: The wagon wheel becomes a hexagon
    Steps 1 & 2 make a wagon wheel
    with 6 spokes of 2 DC each
  1. With color one Ch 4.  Join with a slip stitch to form loop.
  1. Slip stitch into loop.  Ch 3.  DC. Ch1,  [2 DC, CH 1] 5 times.  Slip Stitch into top of Ch 3.  Tie off Color 1.
  2. Join Color 2 in any CH 1 space.  CH3 DC, CH1, 2DC all in first chain 1 space.  [2DC, CH 1, 2DC] in the five remaining CH 1 spaces.  Slip stitch into top of CH 3 to join.
  3. Slip stitch in next stitch,[slip stitch into CH 1 space, CH 2, 6 DC, CH 2, Slip stitch into same CH 1 space, Slip stitch in next three stitches] 6 times.  Tie off color 2.
Now it's starting to look like a flower!
5.  With Color 3, Join by single crocheting  into the top of the first(rightmost) CH 2 of any petal. * SC in next 6 stitches of petal.  Skip CH 2 and next Slip stitch, SC into next stitch covering both the slip stitch and the stitch below. Skip next Slip stitch then SC into top of Chain 2.   Repeat from * 5 times. Slip Stitch into first stitch with Color 3 and tie off. 


Weave in the ends and voila!
 There are a bunch of ideas floating around in my head about how I'd like to use this...You may see some soon in my shop :) What would you do with them?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Laundry Closet Update

So I finally got my indoor retractable clothes line installed (we received it about a month before but life got in the way).  It was an impulse buy when I saw a friend had pinned it.

It was easy to install, however because the cheapie drywall anchors that came with it didn't seem to work and to my husband's dismay the directions did not say what size drill bit to use, we replaced them with these which just happened to be sitting on my washer from another project.

The hubbie was a little frustrated and uttered what my be my favorite quote of all time.  "Did you find this on Pinterest?  Don't go on there anymore!" 

But in the end, it was installed.  It's everything I imagined (once you get the hang of holding the plastic piece so all the lines get an even amount of tension when you pull it out for use).  Seriously though, it holds all my cloth diaper laundry and I no longer have to take up space in my son's room with a drying rack :)
Ready to use

Holding about 20 cloth diapers.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Life is hard sometimes.

July was a really tough month for me and my family.

Things will never be the same.

I'm not sure if I'm still in the denial phase or if this feeling that she is still with me bears some truth.

It's hard to collect my thoughts so they make sense for others.

So I haven't written.

Well that changes now I guess.

On July 8, just a few days after we were told my grandmother, the Erma this blog and my Etsy shop are named for, had about 6 month to live, she passed away.  My siblings, my mom, and I were all at her side.  We were called in after she basically passed out because of being short of breath.  She never woke up.  My gut says that once she saw that door to heaven was open for her, she ran for it.  As much as we love her, I tried to understand the reasons she was ready to go.  She grew up in a family with 9 children, only she and my Aunt Alice were left.  Her only child, my father, had passed on 13 years before.  It must be tough when more of the people you love reside in heaven than here on Earth.  And so she went.

The most beautiful thing about her passing is that there was nothing left undone or unsaid.  Sure her leftover coffee was still in the pot, but those who were dear to her knew where they stood.  In some ways, the words "I love you" didn't even need to be uttered.

I am so thankful for the innumerable precious memories I have of her.  It was amazing to see her love my son.  She played with him every time she saw him, which was almost every weekday while I worked.  Without directly instructing, she taught me so much about mothering a little boy.  She taught me so much, cooking, crocheting, knitting, and so much more.  I thought often of those times when I was holding onto her hand at the hospital wishing for a miracle while I knew she was praying to go home.

There's a saying, "A home is a house with a heart in it." Well she was our heart.  Every holiday was celebrated at her house.  There was always a delicious meal featuring everyone's favorites prepared with love.  When my dad passed away she helped my mom keep everything together.  She made a promise to my dad that she would take care of us if anything happened to him, and boy did she keep it.

I asked her to give my little Alex kisses from me in heaven.  I believe she is sharing her sweet love with Alex just like she did with Joshua.  Oh, how I wish Joshua would be able to remember that love.

Our family will never be the same.  But we are better for having had her for 87 wonderful years.

It wasn't my intention to write so much.

On the same day we got the prognosis about my grandmother, my husband got a call from his dad in Arizona.  His mom had terminal colon cancer that had spread to her liver.  She had 5 months to lives.

The stories intersect, because the next day I went to visit my grandma and told her about the news we'd received.  I told her I can accept it and I know she (Erma) had a good life and she was ready, but I couldn't control the tears revealing how burdened I was with both of those sets of bad news.  So she did what she always did.  She took my hands and prayed that God would give me strength to get through  the difficult times ahead.  While my faith has wavered at times, there is no denying the presence of God when holding hands and praying with my grandma.  And now when I think on it, I remember that Erma means strong (my grandma has told me that many times). I feel perhaps, I was given a piece of her to help me through

  Doug immediately requested time off from work as soon as they could fit it in the schedule so we could go down and spend time with his mom.  She wanted to see Joshua before she passed.

She did not get her wish.  On July 19, my mother in law passed away in a terrible fashion that I would not wish on my worst enemy.  As mother in laws go, I cannot complain.  We made the long journey (which is an unfortunate story for another day) to Arizona with our soon to be two year old for yet another funeral.  We were there for 2 weeks

And so I haven't written.  Now that changes.  Life is for the living.  We must go on.
Holding on to Erma