Thursday, May 31, 2012

More felting…


I’m working on this bag right now. I started it over a week ago and just can’t seem to get excited about it anymore. Maybe because there is a lot going on right now…

Yesterday we had family pictures taken at 7:30 PM. I started getting ready at 4:00 PM – running everyone through the shower and making sure clothes were clean took forever! We spent an obscene amount of money on these pictures…but we have to had them “touched up” (which costs big bucks) because I have a cold sore…in/on my NOSE! I didn’t even know this was possible! By the time I figured out what was going on I’d poked and prodded it so much my entire nose was swollen, and sore. The swelling had mostly gone down by last night but the sore is still apparent – geez. I’ve been hiding in my back yard and house…it’s ugly! The pictures were taken at our church as a part of a new church directory and were done by LifeTouch. They really did a nice job and I’m excited to get them! (About 2 weeks from now) This could very well be the last time we are all together for a family picture like this. The middle child is getting older and I can easily see him flying the nest soon after he graduates. I did… :) And we kinda have to be forced into getting something like this done because it is such a pain! I think I’ll try to get one more professional family portrait before the kids grow up…but I’m so bad at stuff like this…just trying to coordinate our outfits makes me break out in a rash!

Today is the last day of school! woot woot!!!! I’m so excited! Almost as excited as I get for the first day of school! No more shower wars in the morning! No more “get-to-bed-right-now-because-you-have-school” wars! No more homework wars! Now we get to start the “chore-wars” and the “spend-time-with-me” wars lol! It’ll be a nice change.

We are having Abby’s graduation party on Sunday and so far the weather is forecasted to be NICE! I am so relieved! We’ve rented the “cook shack” down at the park and it should be a really nice time.

Well, that is it for now…Happy Crafting!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Graduation and wet felting…

Those two things don’t seem to go together do they? Well, in a way they do…


Here’s my girl!


And here is Pam…


Here’s all my children…geez they are getting BIG!


Here’s us – “the fam”… Abby used that smile for most of the pictures lol!


My parents came for the evening… my dad drove up from Iowa where he was working!

It was a great evening. I don’t have pictures but I had three girlfriends surprise me by coming for support and boy did I appreciate it! I surprised myself by not crying. I held it in. The closest I came to bawling was when I hugged Pam. That just choked me up. I’m actually choking up right now just thinking about it…



I wet felted a handful of the wool I’ve been cleaning. Just to see…it felted up nicely! Then dyed it pink…and now I’m adding a little red…don’t know if I like the red…but it is fun to experiment!!!


Then I felted up some of a wool batt just to see…and it also felted up great! woot woot!!! (This is a little pouch – I think the needle felted flower needs a little something in the center though…don’t you?)


And I’ve been working on this bag off and on…I think more leaves are needed…and I’m finding out I like needle felting branches! I’m not thrilled with the background color – it’s kind of a blueish white…maybe some more leaves to hide it!! The felting has been therapeutic…it keeps my mind off the future…I know I don’t have to worry about the future because God tells us not to worry and to leave it to Him. But sometimes it helps to keep your mind occupied with other things…wool fills my mind right up!

I think I’ve been posting about twice a week lately and now that the kids are getting out of school I don’t know what our new “normal” will be. So…I might be posting a lot more…or I might be posting a lot less but with more information in each post…again, that’s the future, I’m not going to worry about it…

Happy Crafting!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A giant – HUGE Thank you!!!

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Today is Abby’s last day of school and I’m freaking out. I’m not scared but just jittery and nervous. This a big day! This is Abby’s last day at our school and the reason I think I’m freaking out is because I’ve always felt so comfortable having Abby at our school. Abby’s main teacher for most of her years has been Pam. Pam. Is. AWESOME! Having Pam at the helm has given me such confidence in our school. I KNEW nothing was going to get by her and I was able to step back and let her do her job. Pam and her staff has always been respectful and cheerful. Geez I appreciate that…we are now moving into the unknown and I’m nervous. Some nerves have been calmed down because I met with her teacher for next year and she seems great…but I’m moving out of my comfort zone. New territory. New routines. I wish Pam was going with her. So THANK YOU PAM!!! Thank you for being so awesome! Thank you for taking such good care of my girl! Thank you for laughing on the phone with me and thank you for crying on the phone with me. Thank you for all the funny Abby stories you’ve told me over the years. I’ve truly appreciated your of humor!!! I so wanted to do something special for you and your staff but I kept putting off any planning cause I guess I’ve been in denial. So I dropped the ball. I’m sorry and I hope you tell everyone Abby’s mom appreciates them, and it is too bad she’s (me) so emotional. I wanted you to have the prism because I want you to have something to remember us by. And you know Abby is so cheerful – rainbows and light seemed appropriate. Well, this isn’t goodbye – cause I have your cell number – but this is goodbye to the excellent daily care you’ve given Abby. Thank you!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our epic journey…

Abby and I went to the Shepherd’s Harvest sheep and wool festival in Lake Elmo! It was a three hour drive there and a three hour drive back! Phew! We got up and left our house about 6:30 in the morning. Abby was the only child of mine who would go with me. The boys were all like “Um, no offence mom…but WOOL? It just doesn’t interest me…” (actual quote) My hubbie had to work (otherwise he would have totally gone with me…not!) Abby didn’t even want to go with me until I promised her lunch! What is with this family…can’t anyone else embrace my hobbies? I know…someday far far in the future I’ll have a grandchild who will think I’m the coolest grannie ever and then I can share all I know…

Here is what I came home with -


A lot of wool! The bag on the left has been washed and carded. The bag on the right … is fresh off the sheep. So now I’m doing this-


Inside that net burrito is wool. Even on their best days a sheep isn’t very hygienic. What is stuck to the wool is politely called VM or vegetable matter. lol. You know what it is…lol! I have to be very careful washing the wool so I don’t end up with a felted brick. It’s all a learning process. One thing I did notice is that I half-filled the sink and the bag doesn’t look any smaller…as a matter of fact I think it grew in size! I’m going to be washing wool forever!!! But this is the cheapest/thrifty way of doing things. The price difference is shocking! Some of the wool at the fair was $10.00 an ounce!!! This well-over-ten-pound bag was $30.00. But you never know…after all this processing $10.00 an ounce might seem like a bargain?

I considered bringing home a sheep and stashing it in my back yard. Or just rotating it among friends and family…yes I mean you Julie and Mary. Then whenever I needed wool I could just go out and cut off a chunk. That would be the saddest looking sheep ever! $30.00 isn’t so bad to have the best part of the sheep…

Yesterday (Mother’s Day) I used some of one of those gray balls of roving. I tried wet-felting. I won’t describe what that entails cause this is getting long. But basically it is a work-out! In the end I ended up with this -


It’s a case for my iPod. Here’s the back -


I’m not done with it yet I have to figure out a closure and needle felt the flowers a bit more. But there are no sewn seams! My ultimate goal is to make slippers but I’m going to start out with little stuff. I’m glad I did. This wool didn’t shrink as much as I expected and I would have had some giant slippers!

Well, this is going to be a BUSY week…again…personally I can’t wait until June…

Happy Crafting!!!

Update: an hour and a half later…Just found a poop-ball in my washed wool! Should have picked through it a little better before I started!!! Fyi - sheep are very messy eaters and poopers! There has got to be a way to wash and dry a sheep before it’s sheared! Car-wash then spin-cycle in washer perhaps? And…I swear I haven’t been messing with the wool but I think it’s felting!!! (OK…guess I messed with it enough to discover the poop-ball…)

Friday, May 11, 2012

If you’ve ever had a Senior…

Or really just a kid in school you know how crazy May is!


There is something going on every day! Yesterday Abby participated in her last (as a Ranger) Special Olympics! She ran a 100 meter dash, was in a 400 meter relay, and the softball throw. Boy does she get excited!!! It’s great to see these kids compete – they are just as excited for each other as they are for themselves. They will run their fastest for their race and then turn around and cheer on the kids behind them and high-five the ones who finished before them. It’s awesome! My mom and dad and sister and her son came to watch too. My husband and I also pulled our boys from school for the day so they could watch also. It was a great day!

In crafty news…there is no news. When I have the “want to” I don’t have the time…and when I have the time I don’t have the “want to”! gah!

Happy Crafting!!!!

edit: again, posted to the wrong blog – lol – originally posted Thursday! Have a great weekend!!! Abby and I are sooooo excited to go on an epic journey Saturday…tell you about it next week!!

A no picture post…

I haven’t gotten lost…I just know I won’t post until Thursday … over the weekend we set up for a garage sale for the Ironton Fire Department Auxiliary and had the garage sale on Saturday. Church on Sunday. Sunday afternoon was for napping and reading. Monday was spent cleaning. Today was running errands in Brainerd and more cleaning. Tomorrow is Special Olympics. I think Thursday is a quiet day…I’m not sure…I’m kind of scared to look at the calendar these days…

Happy Crafting!!

edit: I accidentally posted this to the wrong blog! So here you go – originally posted Tuesday…

Friday, May 4, 2012


Well, it’s been another busy week. One day I had to go to Brainerd to open-enroll Abby for the next school year. More on that in another post. One day I had to take Abby to the doctor to have a sports-physical so she can participate in the Special Olympics next week. One day I had to take Abby to the water park where they were signing up for Girl Scouts again. (Our troop surprised Abby with a lifetime membership to Girl Scouts as a graduation gift!) I also had to go to our church and pick up some fleece panels and bring them home and tie them for a blanket that will be presented to her in church on Sunday (we are also coffee servers that day). Well, while at church I saw them setting up for a rummage sale! Everything was .50 cents! Here are some of my bargains!!!


I like to have some sort of candle holders out in the summer months because when severe weather hits you don’t have to worry about batteries…and our power goes out during storms a few times a year. I’ll put a “frog” in the bowl of this add some flowers and have a lovely way to display candles. I found it on ebay for 29.99 plus shipping. I paid .50 cents. It’s silver plate.


Boy the colors got all wonky in the photo but this is a knitted and felted bag!!! I got three!!!!! Triple score!!!!!!!! I’m so excited because the knitting shop where I teach needle felting classes wants to do a class on embellishing bags…and I didn’t have any. Well now I do! I already had some flowers made up and just threw them on to see if the colors matched and they do -


Here are the colors a little better. I can’t wait to see this finished.

006 005

Here are the other two black bags. The biggest problem I have now is trying to narrow down my ideas. I want to embellish these about 50 different ways…. We’ll have to wait and see. lol! It will be so much better to have samples to show!


Then I went to the dump last week and this basket was laying right on top. Nothing. Wrong. With. It! I’m keeping my roving in it for now…looks a lot better at the game table than the messy pile I had going on before. Oh – and that little wooden bowl the gnomes are in came from the church sale too.


I pulled this little beauty out of the garbage. I’ve found it on ebay for $45.00 plus shipping.


This beautiful vase came out of the garbage too. And the flowers were given to Abby at school the day after the mass band concert. They were given to her by her band instructor. She felt so bad about forgetting Abby. She called and sincerely apologized. It’s all mostly OK. And thank you all for your kind words and emails. It really helped!!!

If you want to see more of my thrifted finds you can check out my pinboard on Pinterest. I’m slowly compiling a list of things I’ve found and what I paid and what they are worth. I figure someday somebody in my family might be interested …

Happy Crafting and have a great weekend!!! Ours is going to be busy -

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New wooden ornaments and…

First crafts – cause this is a craft blog…


I have a bin full of wooden shapes. I got most of them at one garage sale last summer. I think I spent $15.00 on all of them and there are a lot! There are especially a lot of hearts. Remember back in the 80’s when everything had a heart on it? Well, that isn’t so popular now and I’ve been brainstorming since last summer about how I could use some of these up! This is one way. There is a red heart on both sides of this ornament with a painted bead at the top and they are strung with vintage baker’s twine. I love how these turned out! Very Scandinavian smile, and simple smile. I have made about 16 for the Spirit of Christmas Bazaar later this fall. I want to get as many things made now as I can. That will free up a lot more time later…

Now for the and

I’ve mentioned that this is Abby’s senior year in high school. It is quickly becoming a mine-field of emotions for me. I keep thinking the last time she’ll do this – or the last time she’ll do that…Last night she participated in her last “Mass Band Concert”. She plays the tambourine mostly. And let me tell you, you can hear her playing! She keeps a good beat!!!! There is only one tambourine in the band and Abby rocks it! There are different levels of band and Abby has stayed in the "Concert Band” made up of 7th and 8th graders. She is very comfortable there.


Grad picture I took of Abby…

Well, typically at the last band concert of the year the Seniors are acknowledged and given a flower. That happened last night. The music teacher said something about there being five Senior’s there that night and what a great job they’ve done. And she mentioned that back in the day there were lots of kids from their class in band and now there were only five…blah blah blah. Then she asked the five band members, by name, to come down and get a flower from her. She forgot Abby! (In her defense this was her first year teaching here.) Instantly I teared up and did my damndest not to cry out loud. Hard. I also took a good look at Abby (sitting across from us on the bleachers) and she didn’t seem upset. I think it helped that these five Seniors were all boys. I think it helped that they were dressed differently. The Senior’s are usually in the “Symphonic Band” and dressed all in black. Abby, being in “Concert Band” was dressed in black pants and a white top. She was the only female Senior and she was forgotten. Abby has been in band since 5th grade. The five boys got their flower and posed for a picture for the paper. But… she got forgotten.

My husband told me I had to keep it together and he held my shoulder. (He knows I’m a bit of a cry-baby when it comes to things like this.) I can only speak for myself but my mind was spinning. I wanted to stand up and yell “Abby! We love you!” I wanted to go to the music teacher and say something…but we were in the bleachers – up high – with no way down unless everybody else moved out of the way. And again, I looked hard at Abby and she didn’t look upset at all. Because believe me, if she’d been upset, I would have jumped over all those people to do something about the situation. But she was clapping and happy for those boys so instead I started planning the phone calls I was going to make this morning. Then they were playing their next number and I kept wiping under my eyes because they wouldn’t stop leaking. Again, I can only speak for myself, but once in a while I’d feel my husband squeeze my shoulder harder in commiseration and he’d whisper “it isn’t over yet…”

Then, just before the last number was to be played a little boy ran over to the band instructor, must have said something, and she said “OH! Abby! You’re a Senior too?” Abby said “YA!” and started pushing chairs out of the way to get to the front. The band instructor said “You’ve been in band since 5th grade?” Abby said “Ya, ya, ya!!” and she reached out to give the instructor a hug. The instructor gave Abby a scarf she’d just been presented with from those five Senior boys. Abby laughed out loud and wrapped it around her neck, gave the instructor another hug, went back to her seat, and proceeded to play the school song with enough enthusiasm to power the lights in this whole town.

I just wanted Abby to have her moment to shine. I wanted her to be acknowledged for her dedication and enthusiasm for band all these years. I guess all ended well enough. Although I went to bed with a headache and a backache from the tension and my mind wouldn’t shut up. I could hear Abby in her room laughing out loud and yelling “Ya!” occasionally … but this was normal. It usually takes her hours to settle down from the excitement of being in a band concert. Again, I’m speaking only for me – this is a mother’s perspective and that is all. It’s both harder and easier to have a child with special needs. Well, that is a conversation for another time.

Happy Crafting!!!