Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Necklace

I really like this new necklace. It's a bit dressier with some super sparkly beads that you may not be able to tell from the picture. I gotta learn to take better pictures.

What I did with my new fabric

 I have redone my living room. I made 2 red pillows and one blue pillow. Then I made a the blue curtain and a tablecloth in the red. I'm really loving it all too. We have started pulling out the Christmas decor too. 

 Last year a friend handed me some fresh cut holly in a tin can and I loved it. I did the same but used Mod Podge to attach some decorative paper to the tin can and cover it. plus I added some tall pineconey thingys I found near my house. It looks so much better without the flash but I can't get it to focus automatically and not flash. I dislike machines. I want to make a live wreath like this one but don't know if I'll have the time or resources. Especially because I just found out my sister- in- law is coming to visit next week. Yea!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fun Christmas Stuff To Do with the Kids

I love these two ideas for crafty things to do with kids for Christmas time.

1. Pinecone wax ornaments. This blog explains how to dip pine cones in melted crayon wax and string as ornaments!

2. Paper house winter village to color. This blog offers a free download of a paper house you can color and stand up. She also has a village for sale with a grocery, 2 other buildings, and trees for only $5. I think we might do these at the homeschool group I teach art to. So great.

Kim's Advice About Time Management

I get asked a lot about how I manage to homeschool, have a 2 year old, and do all my crafty stuff. So I thought I would give you my thoughts on the subject but not before I give some warnings.(Note: This is about getting some "me" time not managing homeschooling or housework, etc per se.)

1. Know where I am coming from before you read this. I have 4 kids under 7 and I am homeschooling  only 2 of them at this time. I don't work at all except the occasional selling on Ebay or Etsy. I am a Christian with a strong belief in the Word of God (i.e. I think the Bible is where it's at).

2. This is not the Word of God but my opinion. I don't judge you for doing it a different way.

3. If you have an infant much of this will not be applicable. Infants require much and that time should be more about focusing on them then getting anything accomplished.

4. This post will probably be way too long. I am hoping to keep it under novel length.

Ok, time management. Here is what I do and think in illogical order:

1.Plan  Each Day.
I keep a daily planner. I write my tasks for the day including "homeschool" and I keep the tasks reasonable and small. Example- Homeschool, start laundry, figure out dinner, research how to make a necklace, check grocery sales, play yahtzee with the kids and go the library ( if time)
The next day will probably have a couple of these repeated because they didn't get done but I will plan my day and manage most of it because I know what I want to do that day. I write each day each day usually in the morning because planning too far ahead is frustrating. Sometimes I plan a week but not past that. (Note: I often only manage to write in my daily planner 4 times a week and sometimes less. That doesn't stop me from going back to using it.Don't make hard rules for yourself.)

2. Get you "chores" done with the kids around or involved.
I don't wait for the kids to go to bed to fold laundry or do dishes, etc. I get everything I can done with them around so when they are napping I can work on my projects. I also involve them as much as possible. Joffre Jr. puts away silverware, Renata folds laundry, they all put away their clothes,etc. ( Note: Mopping is the main chore I have to do when they are sleeping. This is probably why my floor is always so dirty=).

3. Don't mind some mess. I allow a certain amount of mess before everyone cleans up. I leave messes to get a project done then clean it up. I try to have the house neat ( things put away) before bed each night but often leave a couple dishes in the sink. My standard about mopping and dusting are low right now. ( Note: I have the kids pick up upstairs, their rooms, once a day and downstairs 2-3 times a day. I do not pick up after them.)

4. Break projects down into small time frames.
The hardest part of getting things done with kids is the constant interruptions. I break my projects down into 20minute-1 hour long sections. I try to have a long term goal in mind ( ex. I will finish this quilt in a month.) My daily planner has the records of what to try to get done each day. I don't sweat taking a long time to finish a project and having 3-4 unfinished projects around at a time. ( Note: I do have times where I don't let myself start another project till I finish some of the others because I usually have more than 4 unfinished projects around at a time. More like 8- 20 hee hee. Yikes, I am revealing all my dirty secrets.)

5.Make a mandatory "Nap" or quiet time.
My kids have to play in their rooms or nap for at least 1  1/2hrs a day. This is time for me and good for them to not need me. This time and right after bed time are when I do most of my crafting. Sweet uninterrupted time.

6. Be flexible.

Life with kids demands flexibility all the time. Don't make too many rules for yourself about what you should be doing just accept what you can manage each day.
Understand that I demand obedience from my kids the first time I tell them to do something. I discipline them if they don't obey this. So if I tell my children to play upstairs they do. I have that expectation but I don't push their limits. So I always expect my two year old to obey but be the first to come back downstairs in about 10 minutes. My 7 year will stay upstairs till I say it's time to come down or she asks from upstairs if they can come down.  Some days I demand more time for myself and some days I purposely don't demand any. If I see all my kids busy enjoying something and content without me I run off to work on a project I have left out ready to go for such a moment.

7. Prioritize

These are probably starting to sound very typical but they are how I manage. Always put the family and others before yourself. God promises to bless you in this and it has always been the case for me. They are more important. I constantly so this and still find the time to do my projects. Be open to moving in different directions. I love painting but rarely do it now because I need undivided attention o do it. The kids are more important than me becoming a fantastic painter right now.I moved into sewing and other crafting for this time of life and I am enjoying it. I also have days where I grab Joffre and say, "I need to paint .Take the children away for 2 hours!"  I don't do this often because it is not what I should expect and demand of my husband. He doesn't need to come home from work and have me throw the children at him saying , I need MY time, My space! Its like slapping him in the face. He always helps when he is home but I try to think of not demanding him to totally take over or take them away because then when he does I am more grateful about it and figure out how to manage a lot without that.

8. Enjoy your kids.
If you aren't enjoying your kids you should consider sacrificing some of "your" time or at least begin but taking a day to only focus on the kids. My two year old was whining this morning and I was deciding how to deal with it. I tried interesting him in something else and tried enlisting his brother to play with him but he was still whining. I was about to start disciplining him when I realized I had been running around all morning not paying attention to him. So I asked if he wanted to cuddle. (He loves to "cuddy") His face was like sunshine and he was in my lap chatting away for 10 minutes. He then went off to play without more trouble. The laundry didn't get folded for another 1/2 hour but I enjoyed my two year old instead being frustrated with him.

Ok, I am tired. I hope that was helpful to someone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fun Talks

Here are some fun conversations I have heard lately.

1. Ward got in my lap last night and gave me a huge goofy (and I mean goofy grin) and said, "I cute, Mom. I cute."

2. Joffre Jr. said to me this morning. "Mom, I have hair all over me! My arms are covered with tiny hairs!"(He was very excited.)
 Me:  I know, Son. We all are covered with hair and when you get older you will have more."
Joffre Jr.:  So you have hairs on your arms and legs too?
Me:  Yes, but I shave the hair on my legs and under my arms. Men don't because that is what is normal for our culture.
Joffre Jr:  Why don't men shave? Do some men shave there legs?
Me:  Well... yes, some men do-swimmers because it makes them go faster in the water and leave it at swimmers.

3. I saw Ward run by in full Batman costume and not far behind was George yelling, (weird shooting noise) "Fire Teenager, Fire Teenager!" This is the new superhero he has made up for himself.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Heart IKEA


So we went to IKEA to get bunkbeds for the boys . We have never been to an Ikea and it was super fun...for me ( Joffre is not so fond of crowds). First thing to know is that Ikeas are HUGE and crowded ( at least on a Saturday). You should go online and printout your shopping list before you go because it includes the aisle and bin number for your store and makes it so much easier to find what you are looking for. The other neat thing is that at the store there are sales that you can't get online. (Like the $9.00 (yes, nine dollars!) sofa cover I got that is regularly $149.00.)

Here is what we got except for a couple Christmas gifts I can't share but wish I could ( they have a great toy section):

Nice glass serving bowl for only $4. It's big. Not as thick as I'd like and I'm pretty sure one of us will break it within a year but it's nice.

 The bunkbeds. They are really nice and simple and sturdy $159.00. (We stored a boxspring under ours till we get another mattress for Ward.) The kids are pleased as punch about having these.

I love this paper roll for a tabletop ($ 6.99 + roll of paper for $5). They had wooden stand up easels with chalk board/ white board/ roll of paper for $15 too.

This was a big surprise and fun thing for me. They had fabric by the roll in decorator weight. I got this fabric for $2 a yard! I really like it, very Swedish farm house to me.They had other really neat stuff but more than I wanted to spend. (FYI most of the fabric looks much better in person than on the website). I want to make table cloths and napkins out of it . Wouldn't this be fun for Christmas too.

  Now this sofa cover was $9 but not what I wanted at all. I went to get a white, bright, light cover and I wasn't sure if these covers would fit my sofa at all.This one is so very dark denim and doesn't go with anything in my living room.  I decided to get the dark blue because it was so cheap and test it out. I doctored my sofa a little bit and it fit really well.

We had one of those one piece covers that is halfway on the floor when you have sat on it for 10 minutes. This one zips around the cushions. Heavenly. They even make each piece reversible so you can switch them when they start fading or get stains.

I haven't decided if I am going to change my decor to go with this sofa but it's growing on me and the fabric I bought matches it perfectly even though it wasn't my intention to use it for the living room. I was considering drawing leaves across the cushions with a bleach pen ( I've seen it done on napkins on Angry Chicken's blog) but it would take some courage. I'm sure I will be sharing all my ideas soon.




Friday, November 19, 2010

Boys and Jokes

Boys are a very different breed. For example, this morning George was trying to tell a funny story. At some point he realized his story was falling flat and he was the only one laughing. So he looks over at his brother and interjects,"... and then I farted. Ha Ha Ha." Joffre giggled and Renata rolled her eyes. George will giggle even if you say "diaper". So ridiculous. I think to myself, "I can't wait till they're wait they'll still giggle."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Traffic Jams

The other day the kids and I were in a traffic jam stuck behind a huge semi on the way to basketball practice. Joffre Jr. asked, "Mom is this a traffic jam?" I replied, "Yep." I thought that would be the end of that.

Then a the next day we were on the interstate again and Ward kept saying, "Traffic jam, Mom. Traffic jam." We all kept trying to correct him but he persisted to keep saying it even though the traffic was moving smoothly. It happened again the next day and I finally realized Ward was saying it every time we passed a semi truck. He thought semis were "traffic jams". So cute I had to share.

What Else I Have Been Making

 hair barrettes out of felt

 camera case
Finished art bags. I think Ward's cowboy one is my favorite.I found all these tutorials to make these online for free! Sew Mama Sew's blog is posting tutorials all through November and I love checking them out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What I'm Making

 So I think I can get away with showing some of the Christmas gifts and other things I am making and not let  the kids see them. First I have some doll clothes for Renata. I haven't finished the coat and probably should have waited to show till after I had but oh well.

This is an art bag I am making for all the kids to take when we travel down to Florida for Christmas.The tutorial is here. (Sew Mama Sew's blog has great listings for tutorials all this month and great giveaways. FYI.)This one is Georgie's.

 These last two are for me.Here is another necklace I have made that I don't usually wear with turquoise but with brown. I'm into the chunkier beads right now. I have a really neat one I am still working on. And lastly I made myself a fall purse that actually looks like a fall purse. Love me some brown argyle!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


My mom sent me pictures of her dog dressed for Halloween so I thought I should reciprocate and show her the kids. We go to my 93 year old neighbor's Trunk or Treat at her church. She likes introducing us to al her friends.

Renata wanted to be an artist ("like her mom") so she had fun making her costume. Ward was in awe of the whole process and really enjoyed his candy. Georgie changed his costume idea every 5 minutes till we left and ended up with his old favorite, Batman. Joffre went as a soldier the day before at our church's Reformation Celebration but wanted to be a cowboy for Halloween. He tried to include as many accessories /weapons as possible to each costume.

It was lots of fun.

The Death of a Chipmunk

My cat is killing the chipmunks that populate our yard. I suppose most homeowners would be thrilled to be rid of them because of the holes and uneven ground they make in the yard. I think it is super sad. I think chipmunks are adorable. Squirrels, moles, mice and definitely rats I would be fine with but not my cute little chipmunks. We have a ton of these guys in our yard and I love looking out the window of the kitchen while making breakfast and seeing them running about their business.

Anyway, the other day we found this little dead one lying so peacefully on the ground. I decided to draw it and paint it. It isn't often you get to draw an animal from life that is still so I took the opportunity. Joffre thought it was funny (especially because I am bummed the cat is killing them) so he took some pictures.
I had to fend off the cat so he wouldn't play with it, yuck!

My New Hobby

While my cousin Bonni was here she did something dreadful....she got me into a new hobby. I have too many hobbies and she got me addicted to a new one. Bad Bonni! She has started making jewelry and taught me how to while she was here. She also made me some lovely earrings I have been wearing constantly.

Here are some of the necklaces I have made so far.I am working on matching earrings.

I have another 2 strand one that I think is going to be really awesome. I loosely based it on this necklace I saw on Anthropologie's site. I have to buy more beads for it though. I love the knots in that one but I am using beads and different colors. I just got the idea of how they used color and size.

I have been making things like crazy especially since Christmas is coming up. Unfortunately I can't show them because I don't want the recipients to see their presents. You'll just get to see the 101 necklaces I make for myself. One fun thing is Renata also got into the beading and is making necklaces. I taught her to do a pattern and stick to certain color schemes. It is a fun thing for us to do together.

Cousin Bonni

Sorry to neglect the blog for so long but we had some internet changes and we were without it for about 2-3 weeks. It felt so very long.

We had a fun visit from my California cousin Bonni. It is so very awesome that her company has a warehouse here and they send her here every so often. The kids love cousin Bonni. One of the many great things about Bonni is she is a picture taker. So we got some nice pictures while she was here. I love the one of her and Renata.