I am very behind on my Christmas presents for 2015. I managed to complete all of the ones for my immediate family–some made, some bought; but, I’m not quite finished with my in-laws’ presents. I have a few on that side done, but will just bring them all when we go visit Omaha (I WILL have them all done by then). I actually only have two to finish plus a requested present for my mother-in-law. She has asked for a few more tote bags similar to this one. I have them all planned out, and just purchased the correct-sized canvas tote bag I want to use as the support/lining. Found the right ones at Hobby Lobby. They will be very different and all made from my scrap collection. I actually love scrap projects, so I should be able to finish them here soon.
The presents I managed to finish and send (late-but better than never) are below. I must say, the cost of shipping packages has gotten RIDICULOUS. It’s like the shipping itself is a Christmas present. I did use patterns for these – kind of. I adjusted for the amount of fabric I had, plus personal taste. Basically, I got a little more creative.
Here are the throw pillows that I made for my siblings:
My sister Renee collects unicorns, and when I found this fabric at a thrift store I knew it was PERFECT. Not only does it have unicorns, it has a redhead riding them! The back of both pillowcases are the unicorn print.
This is actually not the finished pillow case – somehow I missed taking a picture of it…but you get the idea. You should recognize the fabrics from here.
Chris loves Superman – so hopefully that has made up for his fear of bright colors. These pillowcases are a bit intense. They have a theater/game/workout room in their basement-so I’m sure they will work great either there or his office. I used scraps from the pillowcase I made for Zach last summer.
I will have to get photos from my siblings to see them as actual pillows. Hopefully I’ll remember to include those in a future blog once I receive them.
Here are some “bonus” mini projects I have completed. I finished them while I was pregnant and they are sitting on the bookcase in the nursery.
Feel free to explore the about me section on this blog, I’ve posted more info to make this place more “complete.” The old blog will stay up so there is access to old posts, but this is my new blogging ‘home.’
While I continue to sort through all of my photos from the past year to find all of my craft project photos (progress and finished project photos), I figured I’d post about the scrapbook pages I have made recently. I’m still working on making more for other “life events.” I will probably be making more soon, since it is one of the easier craft projects to do – and doesn’t require clean up.
I am a HUGE fan of digital scrapbooking. For the following reasons:
You can share the pages with more than one person.
You can print off your projects at different sizes, and even make alterations.
You do not need a ton of space in a craft room for your papers, embellishments, and other supplies.
You can scan in papers, etc that you find in real life to use. So no missing out on ones you find and love!
In addition to purchased “digikits” there are plenty of free downloads and you can always make your own!
No mess to clean up!
For digital scrapbooking, I use Serif CraftArtist 2. I have also tried My Digital Studio, but I prefer Craft Artist. I don’t know if it is because I like the features or setup more, or the fact it is just what I was using first. I may just be used to it more since I had the older version as well. I seem to learn new features and get better at using it each time, so I’ll stick with it.
The most recent project I made was our Christmas Card pictured at the top of this blog post. I went on a couple different websites and quoted their cards (where you just insert the photos in their templates), and it was going to be around 80 dollars for 5×7 cards (we were also sending out birth announcements that were that size). Then, a light bulb went off and I realized I could just order them as prints if I designed them in CraftArtist and uploaded the jpeg. Half the price! I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that for previous cards. I was a little disappointed that when printed a small amount on the left was cut off, even after reviewing them. I think it was just a goof and it wasn’t major. I had already procrastinated getting them done–it wasn’t worth having them reprinted.
In Other News…
Right now my days consist of nursing (he is still hungry every 1.5 to 3 hours), changing diapers, napping as much as possible, eating and chatting with Theodore. He is starting to be awake more often and he so far his favorite things are listening to music, being sung to, or listening to one way conversations. He has started smiling more, but laughing has only been happening in his sleep. I may start working on my resolution to read more books and read out loud to him.
I can’t believe this guy is two months old this week!
I try to get one chore done a day and it is an accomplishment if I manage a shower. Doing “fun” things only happens a couple times a week, and usually consists of me wanting to get out of the house. Not so much crafting. I haven’t figured out how Theodore reacts to the sewing machine yet, hopefully he won’t mind it. He will have to learn to tolerate it eventually. The thought of cleaning up after working on a project – eh, not worth it. At least for now.
Sorry about the obnoxiously long post. It may be a bit of a ramble. It’s late and I refuse to proofread at this point. My next blog post will have pictures! So hopefully that will make up for it. I finally got my sisters’ Christmas presents in the mail and they have both received them! That means I can finally post a blog about them 🙂 That will be the next one!
This year I have a few resolutions that I look forward to fulfilling. By “a few” I mean EIGHT. However, all eight of these are things that are continuously worked on and do not have an “end goal.” They aren’t something to cross off a list. Basically, I am going to start or continue working on these this year. In reality, that is a small goal. One worth achieving, and one I need to hold myself accountable too.
Get in Shape. I know, I know. Most stereotypical and unoriginal resolution EVER! I am hoping to get back into running and “Just Dance”ing. Right now it’s just walking. I’m still recovering from delivering cute little Theodore in November and have only been cleared for walking. Tomorrow I have another exam, and am hoping for better news. The post about my fitness journey is found here on Instagram.
Read more books. Another one that’s very unoriginal. Oh, well. I only read and finished one book last year besides a couple on pregnancy and parenting. Those I didn’t really read straight through, which is why I am not counting them. They were more of a “is this normal, I need to look this up” type of research book. How depressing! I have 3 others in progress and my goal is to read at least 12 this year (not counting children’s books I read to Theodore). I am still undecided if I will be active on goodreads. It might be a good idea, that way others can hold me accountable for my progress. This may also help me start a writing blog I am planning on doing at some point.
Drink more tea. Now here’s a unique one! It may seem like a strange resolution. I love trying new teas, but I currently have a cupboard FULL of teas. I can’t justify buying anymore until I reduce my current supply. My goal is at least one cup of tea a day. Unfortunately, I will have to mostly focus on my decaf teas since caffeine upsets Theodore’s stomach. At least black tea does, green and white teas may be fine with their lower caffeine content. He has such a sensitive stomach! I am hoping he outgrows some of his sensitivities. Besides caffeine, he has been preventing me from consuming anything with cow protein (this includes beef and even the lactose-free dairy products like aged cheese), tomatoes are an uncertain one as are onions. Fried food seems to upset both our tummies. Baby bellies are so sensitive! Side note: I am currently drinking decaf Acai Mango herbal tea and it is DELICIOUS. I love fruity teas.
Get better at sending photos of Theodore to my dad. This is a personal one related more to relationships. My father has asked I send him at least one photo a day of his grandson, and so far I have not been doing such a good job with that. It doesn’t help that he refuses to have a social presence online, anywhere 😛
Build relationships. I know this one sounds extremely vague, that is because it is a very big resolution. I mean all relationships, friendships and family. I have not been good about keeping in touch with people. I do not mean posting on facebook with updates and reading other posts. I mean truly communicating and showing I care. If this means actually physically writing, emailing, or calling then that’s what I’ll do. I feel so distant from most people now. I do not want to sound like I think the internet and technology are evil- but they certainly allow us to put less effort into our relationships with others. I also want to focus on developing new friendships. I used to be great at this while moving around growing up; but, it was much easier when in school. Right now I am not even working. I’m going to actually have to overcome some social anxiety and go out there and do things with people I have met and groups that I wish to join. Right now I am joining the local stroller warriors and la leche league. I hope that will help me meet some like-minded people. I also am hoping to get involved with the spouse group of my husband’s squadron, after all they threw me a baby shower! The key spouse is going to be retiring with her husband and is looking for somebody to take over. I am considering it since organization is “my thing.” When it comes to family, I am hoping to build better relationships with my extended family and in-laws. I saved the most important for last, my baby and husband. This past year has definitely been the best one of our relationship. Yes, we may be in the worst spot financially that we’ve ever been in and we haven’t been able to go on the mini vacations we used to (we live by the beach–so not complaining), but our relationship is the strongest and most open and honest it has ever been. I want to make sure it stays that way and gets even better. It will of course be different now that we have a baby, but in a good way. Right now it seems a little non-existent with this little guy’s demand for food every two hours and my fatigue mixed with TJ working two jobs, but I know that will get better. Obviously this is not a one-way goal, and I look forward to others wanting to build relationships with me. The problem with meeting new people is they often “flake out.” So I’m looking for real friends.
Work on my language skills. I am currently using duolingo to “re-learn” Spanish. I took 4 years of it in high school (though only one really felt like I was learning to actually speak Spanish). I feel like I have forgotten all of it. I want to at least be able to “get by” on understanding it and possibly speaking it. Demand for people who are bilingual in English and Spanish seems to be on the rise in job postings. More importantly, I am dedicated to spending time working on sign language. I was a little lazy about it before, but I need to become fluent and make sure Theodore starts off learning it and will be fluent in it as well. Babies learn sign language easier than the spoken language, so we can learn together.
Work with my dogs. For being a former dog trainer, my dogs behave horrendously. They used to be great, but I have not kept up with their socialization nor their basic training. I need to change this, and make sure it is greatly improved before we visit home in a few months. Otherwise, nobody will want to watch these dogs. I need to work on getting them to stop barking and their socialization with both other dogs and people. Amos used to be great with people coming over, now he is a bit guarded. I think it’s because we don’t have people over enough. The funny thing is, they are both GREAT at the dog park with both people and other dogs. But when on leash, Amos gets VERY protective of me and is quite viscous sounding. Bruce feeds off of that and then they continue to feed off each other and sound like a pack of wolves. They also keep going ballistic at anybody that is outside the front of our house. Clearly these are BIG issues. The good thing is they are both great with Theodore.
Make money from my skills/in my field. I cannot justify working most of the jobs in this area, as childcare would cost more than I would make. This is not a very good job market. In fact, it is terrible. I found a better job in Shreveport and that is saying something. Every move so far, I’ve had to take a significant pay cut. Two dollars an hour from Nebraska to Louisiana (I am counting my second job there-not the first) and another three an hour from Louisiana to here. Aren’t you supposed to earn more as you go? I hate how companies always start you “at the bottom of the totem pole” often regardless of you experience. For example, I have ten years of retail/customer service experience and recently worked as a cashier. Not exactly moving up in the world. The only way I would be willing to work outside the home right now is if it were in my field and paid well. There is a seasonal job opening this summer that I am hoping I get, as my mother will be here to watch the little guy and I will be working in my field. That’s a ways off, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I am planning on completing my Jamberry U training (I should have completed it already, my bad) and working on selling more Jamberry products. I am not a pushy salesperson, but I do think it is a great product. You can learn more on the Jamberry link above. I also want to build up an inventory of things I make. There is a shop here that has local vendors that sell unique baby items, and since I have a baby and will be making baby items it seems like it could be a great partnership. I would set the prices (they have to be fairly low for this shop since it is a consignment/local store, but small items would be priced low anyways), and they would get 25%. Not too bad, plus it would build a customer base for an etsy shop and/or custom orders. I currently don’t have time to sew, and have some gifts to finish up for late Christmas. I’ll get to it, I’m determined. I have no idea how Theodore will react to my sewing machine, but he will just have to get used to it!
What are your New Year’s resolutions (if you have any)? Are you planning on doing something new? Do you have any especially unique goals this year? Post them in the comments below!
I am new to wordpress, so feel free to give me suggestions and let me know about features you think I would like!
After hearing from friends, family members, and fellow bloggers: I have decided to try out a new blogging platform. I was comparing different ones, and I decided I’d like one that is simple, has plenty of features, is more user-friendly, and is both blogger and reader friendly. After doing all of the comparisons and pros/cons, I have decided to try out WordPress. I have plenty to blog about from the past year, so that will help me really “test the waters.”
I can’t believe I haven’t posted a blog since October! With good reason, I suppose. I have done plenty of craft projects, but most of them were Christmas presents. Another great deal of them are sitting in some stage of “to be completed.” Some others I just haven’t gotten around to posting about.
Not only that, but I have a new baby to blog about! So don’t be surprised if there are some baby blogs or blogs somehow related to babies, parenting, or even product reviews that I feel necessary to share with the world and not just customers on Amazon (where we all go to read reviews-whether we buy items there or not).
As you can tell, I have been very busy since that last blog post in October.
I left off when I was 35 weeks pregnant, we had just painted the nursery, and I had a surprise baby shower thrown for me. So much has happened since then! I’ll have to do some catching up…
Look forward to blogs on:
Sewing / Quilting
Pregnancy / Labor & Delivery
Pets – Amos, Bruce, and Agent Zero
Events around town / Travel
Side notes after blogs – usually reviews or small updates