I craft! Spinning, sewing, knitting, quilting...it's all here, along with so much more. I just love making things and writing about them. I hope you'll join me.



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Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Further Complaint on Blogs and Articles

So it may seem I'm full of complaints lately. Given my predisposition toward foodie/recipe blogs. But here's another one that hopefully many of us can relate to. POP UP ADS! Even though I use blockers on both my desktop and phone, it seems like these little buggers can invade our web viewing no matter what. Often, it's advertisements that the bloggers or the website have added to their own site, not just Google or spammer ads.

Let me set up the scenario for you:

You find an article or blog that you really want to read. You're reading through it and suddenly the screen goes a little bit darker and BAM, there's an advertisement obliterating whatever it was you were reading. So now you're a little aggravated, to say the least, and trying to close out of it without accidentally clicking on the ad. You can't find the little 5 pixel font with the words "Close" and the magical "X". Someone wants you to subscribe to their newsletter and you can't go anywhere or do ANYTHING without giving out your email, your mother's maiden name, your social, your next of kin, your dog's favorite chew toy, last known address of your third cousin... You see where I'm going with this?

Or how about the ones where it redirects you to ANOTHER page which is obviously collecting all vital information from your computer or phone and using it against you. Before you know it, someone in a third world country is racking up a $200 charge at the Walgreens on your debit card and every contact in your phone book hates you because they've received a text directing them to a site that collects the same information from them! Ok, so maybe a little overly dramatic, but let's face it, it happens.

It's irritating and invasive. As a web designer I try to limit the advertisements and pop ups that will cause my readers and viewers to navigate AWAY from the web page. Does anyone ever intentionally click on these ads and actually buy something? There's nothing wrong with monetizing, but it can be done without throwing it in your viewer's face and demanding that they sign up for or buy something. It's very unattractive.

So, for the love of Pete, please please please please please DO NOT integrate pop ups into your website or monetize in this fashion. You're losing viewers, shoppers, and readers. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Foodie Blogs and Why I HATE Them: A PSA

I basically hate foodie/recipe blogs. And it's not because of their focus that I hate them. I love food and cooking as much (maybe more so) than most people. But have you ever followed the link for a delicious-looking recipe, wanting to know how to make it and the ingredients involved, only to spend the next 15 minutes reading about someone's grandfather that used to make this particular recipe. Or how picking their kids up from school inspired them to create it? I've literally had to scroll through PAGES of non-essential information just to get to the recipe. Which, by the way, is usually found at the very bottom of the page or on another website and with  nothing more than a link to the original.

So here's my PSA for all of you food/recipe bloggers out there. Shut. Up. No one cares. I know that sounds harsh, but all we really want is to get the recipe. We do not want to background, how your day went, where your grandparents came from...blah, blah, blah. Put the recipe at the top of the page if you absolutely feel that you must include that information. Then, if someone really is into your daily life and adventures, they can read it. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sewing Machine Needles - Choosing the Right Size

In my last post I told you that I had picked up the fabrics to start a new quilt. I've actually come along a good bit on it and today I was sewing together some sashing strips to put between the blocks. The quilt uses batik and cotton and the batik is thinner than regular weight cotton. I was having some problems with the batik fabric coming through on the bobbin side of the seam. So I made a little video to show you what I was doing and what I did to correct it. Hope it helps!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Life Changes, So do We

I very nearly deleted this blog. When my mom died over a year ago, I lost all interest in most things in my life that had seemed important. The majority of my crafting was put on hold. I looked at my phone or watched television. I went back to work in September of last year as a cashier. In February I was promoted to office assistant. When June rolled around I was offered a new job as an assistant accountant. I took it. I stayed there a week. I was offered another job as a receptionist in a chiropractic office, which was more my speed, better pay, and more hours. I lost sight of what was important in my life.

I still homeschool four of my children. My oldest son moved out in January and came back with the news that his girlfriend was pregnant and due in September. My first grandson was born on August 26. He is beautiful and I'm so in love with him. They are going to get married soon. I pray for them.

Working full time, I was missing out on so much of my life. We bought a house and moved in on July 13. I couldn't even find the time to move because 90% of my day (8:30 am to 6-or-later pm) was spent at work. My kids were falling behind in some of their studies. They had a non-existent social life. I couldn't even guarantee they would make it to youth group or chorus practice on time. In reality, I was not engaged in the calling God had set forth to me. I was falling down and my family was suffering.

About a month ago I called my job and told them I wouldn't be in any longer. My husband was ecstatic and so was I! I went out and bought all the materials to make a new quilt. I also took up hand embroidery. I'm re-engaged in my children's lives, my new home is looking wonderful, and I'm re-prioritizing everything! God and family first. Enjoying life to the fullest. Making money when and where needed. Taking care of my beautiful grandson when his mommy and daddy go to work and being the best grandma I can be, because those are important to children.

So here are some highlights. These are my most precious moments to celebrate over the last month. Six Flags, buying a classic 1979 Ford Pickup for our new home, my grandson, my family, pumpkin carving, and so much more. I am so blessed that God has called me to care for my family, that he has given my husband a job where I can do that, and that I finally listened. God bless you all and stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Big Room Switch of 2016: Craft room to playroom

This actually started way back in November when my son decided that he wanted to renovate and move out into our attached carport shed. It's a fairly small room, but contains a sink, access to the main home's bathroom, and is about the size of a small bedroom. Perfect for an 18-year-old seeking some privacy and independence. Then about a month later I hear he wants to move into the home of a friend with his girlfriend. Not much I can say or do, since he IS 18 now. I voiced my concerns, but I'm one of those moms that feel a person can only experience the world and the result of their decisions by living through them. Having moved out at 17 myself and over 1000 miles away, I didn't feel that the 30 minutes was unreasonable. So off he went.

Well that prompted "What are we to do with this room that we put so much time, money, and effort into?" My 14-year-old daughter had a suggestion: She wanted it. Hmm...this does solve some problems. We have a 3 bedroom home. One room is shared by me and my husband, of course. Another housed my youngest son, and the third contained 2 teenage girls and 1 preteen. This third bedroom is also the biggest and the Master bedroom. My husband and I had used the smallest bedroom for the last 4 years, choosing to give the space to our 3 daughters. I also had the second largest room in the house, which I was using for my craft room. That left one other room, that was now open. The playroom. When my oldest son moved out, my youngest son was able to move his toys into his own room. Oh, the possibilities!

We decided between the 6 of us that my daughter could take the shed. My other twin would take the craft room. The craft room would move into the playroom/sun room area. My husband and I would take the Master bedroom, and my preteen could have our room. This was going to take some time.

The sun room/playroom needed renovation. The carpet that had been in it was urine soaked from my dog's puppy days and her occasional need to just go in there and pee. We took that out along with the padding. Underneath was some press board sub-flooring that was ruined from condensation on the windows and the urine. So my son and I (mostly I) began removing the sub-floor which took about 2 days. After removing the tar paper, I found that the boards underneath were in really great shape. They needed some filling, a little repair in some places, and painting. However, the cost was reasonable to do this, so we did it.

The windows in this room were terrible about drafts and keeping out the cold/heat. They also had a tendency to get a lot of condensation from drastic temperature differences inside and outside of the home. This caused the condensation to drip down onto the floor and window frames, thus causing mildew problems. The outsides had caulking, thankfully, but the insides had nothing. So after filling in the boards on the floor with backer rod and caulking, I caulked the insides of all of the windows. It worked! No more condensation. I also put weatherproof plastic sheeting over the windows to help with the heating issues. Now to paint! 

I used some Olympic Assure that has a mildew block. It turned out wonderfully in the medium gray that I chose. 

That was the easy part compared to moving everything from the craft room into the smaller sun room. I had a lot! But we managed, I consolidated and eliminated, and now it just needs a little more work and sorting to be finished. Anyone want some fabric? 

I plan to scrape off the old white paint on the bricks (this was at one time the exterior of the house) and paint it a soft yellow. It was the same yellow my mom used in her kitchen. I think it will be lovely and add a bit of color and brightness to the room. And a bit of my mom, as well. 

Look for more posts on the other rooms! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bunny updates and Spinning Info

The babies are getting bigger fast! I recently took one to the vet for a check up and flea preventative. She already weighs 3 pounds! They are 12 weeks old now. I picked up a new hutch for Peter, because we all know how rabbits are and this guy will be no exception. No accidental litters here. :O. Yesterday I brushed them all out and got them looking so cute. Even Easter allowed me to trim down her legs and get some mats out. She wouldn't allow me to take a picture, though. That was just too much for one day.

So here they are at their 12 week debut!

Wendy Darling

Peter Pan

I've also been working on some more alpaca and spinning some Tunis fleece for my contracts. I have come to love alpaca. I think I do it differently than most people, though. I love to card it and spin it woolen, which to me enhances the softness and spring of the fleece. But I don't spin woolen like most people. I strive for a uniformity that doesn't usually come with woolen spinning and to achieve that I use a draft and hold technique. I'm thinking a video may be in order to explain this. 

In other news, we're gearing up for a new school year. This is always an exciting time for me. I can't wait for school to start so that I can spring the new curriculum on my kids and see what they think about it! Of course, I'm dreaming if I think they'll ever be as excited about it as I am, but it's good to dream.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Working Through It All

Two weeks ago today, I lost a good bit of the magic in my life. My mom passed away. She was only 57. She woke up in the morning with a migraine headache. Nothing that she hadn't had or dealt with since she was a child. She got sick and called my stepdad in to help her. She told him she felt numb on one side of her body, then she passed out. He called 9-1-1 and she stopped breathing. That was the last time her breath ever came. My mom died of an aneurysm.

It has been very difficult for me these past 2 weeks. My mom was my biggest fan. She encouraged me to write and create and told me she marveled at what I could do. I don't believe I was or will ever be as good as she thought I was, but that is a mom's job. To believe in their children. And she did that very well.

About 3 weeks ago I told her I was getting some new baby bunnies. She was very excited for me and wanted very much to see them. I had been struggling with what to name them, wanting to maintain my fairy tale theme. But I was getting 1 boy and 2 girls, and there are very few trios in history like that.

So when my mom passed, I wanted to honor her in some way. I have named sewing machines and spinning wheels after the beautiful and creative women in my life. But I didn't have anything that was new and fitting for my mom. And while it may seem silly to some to name tools and animals after people, these tools and animals mean a lot to me. They are things with which I am involved on a daily basis and put much love and care into. Especially the animals.

Knowing how much my mom wanted to see these babies, I thought it only fitting that one get her name - Wendy. And that, of course, finally revealed to me what I should name the 3. Peter, Wendy, and Tinkerbell. As fate would have it, they all 3 live up to their names.

So while my heart aches, and I've picked up the phone to call her at least 20 times in the last 2 weeks, I pray that she is smiling down at me and loving the new babies. She left behind 3 children that loved her dearly, a devoted and loving husband, and 2 little dogs. One of them, dear little Teek, she rescued from an abusive situation and the little dog loved her beyond belief. My mom was a wonderful person. So full of love for others. Her presence in this world was a blessing to so many. I seem to miss her more as the days go on. But each time I miss her I snuggle these new babies and remember her love for animals and for me. And I will care for them and love them as they deserve. 




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