Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coming Soon! Twelve Days of Christmas

Starting December 1st, I am going to be showcasing a different charity a day for 12 days. If you make a purchase at catinanapron.com, I will donate 15% of your purchase to the charity you choose from my list. I know this holiday season is difficult for many of us, and I'm afraid the charities will also be taking a hit. This way, you can buy a great gift for someone you love (or yourself!) and know that you are supporting a wonderful charity during this difficult time. However you celebrate this season, I hope it is warm and filled with people you love!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Poinsettia Pins

Here they are! I'm so happy with how they turned out! They were really easy to make - well, I'm not finished yet, but putting the first bits together went pretty fast! I was setting aside a LOT of time to make these! I cut out squares of red and green, then cut them into the shapes, then felted them together. Now I'm going to sew some gold beads in the middle, and sew on the pin backing, and they'll be done! I think they'll look just lovely on a warm coat, or a crisp white shirt. I'm going to attach one of these to one of our poem cards with a 15% off coupon for the swag bags for the show I'm doing December 6th.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Christmas Tree Ornaments

I've been making felted bags for a couple of years now. I LOVE FELTING! It is like painting and sculpture only faster. I make little hand bags that are lined with cotton and are bigger, so I thought smaller ones would be great for the tree. The body is a recycled wool sweater that I felted, and the designs are needle felted on. I gave them as gifts last year filled with cellophane bags of candy that I made. They also fit a gift card perfectly. When I was growing up, my parents always put special gifts ON the tree, and these are a lovely little holder for them.

I'm making some great pins in the poinsettia design, too. Right now I'm focusing on getting them done for the swag bags for the Holiday Shopping Soiree that I'm doing on December 6th. Hopefully I'll get enough done that I can put them on here, as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Truth About Santa

When I was 4 or so, we lived in an A-Frame that was totally under construction out in the woods in Alaska. My dad was the contractor and the entire construction team. It was at the 10 mile post on the road out of town, so it was called "10 mile". We lived at "10 mile"... In fact, though, it was more than 10 miles from out of town, because the mileposts were never changed after Valdez was moved after the 1964 earthquake. Even while typing this - my past, and total consciousness - it seems so STRANGE! I'm not sure how finished the house was when we moved in, but i remember just framed walls that we could walk through, rollerskating on the plywood floor in the living room, sleeping in a little nest i made between joists in the attic that i crawled up a ladder to get to, and playing in the giant piles of sawdust my dad made from cutting down trees and cutting the lumber for the house. I remember the chemical 'toilet', hauling water from friends' houses in giant square soft plastic containers with little spouts at the bottom, doing laundry at their houses, and even showering there. I LOVED every second of it as a child, but i can only imagine how my mom felt about it!! i would HATE to live that way now! She had to get my brother to school every day in town, i have NO idea how she cooked out there, and i don't know HOW many times she got the truck stuck in snow on the tiny little road that led to our house.
ANYWAY, when we were living in this wonderland of a house, I found a box and inside this box, was a little mirror. It was one of those mirrors that seemed prevalent in the 70's: a little squarish mirror in a flowered plastic frame with a little handle. I remember wanting one of these mirrors SO badly! (I hope that doesn't say anything about my vanity...) I took it excitedly to my mom and said "MOM!!! Where did this come from?? Is it for ME??" She whisked it away and said something about snooping through boxes and "go play outside". Christmas morning (yes, i imagine we were sitting around on the plywood floor in the living room) there was my shiny, perfect mirror IN MY STOCKING. FROM SANTA. I asked my 5 years older brother if mom and dad were Santa, and he said "yep." without a pause. I didn't have the heart to tell my parents that i knew, so for YEARS i played along on drives looking for Rudolph in the sky, and thanking Santa for the AWESOME barbies he left for me. I'm not sure how old I was when they finally sat me down to tell me most teenagers don't believe in Santa anymore... i wanted them to think they were doing a good job!
If you need some help, click here for great ideas to keep Santa alive for your kids.

Computer dies, but customer service at DELL rocks!

My computer has died. I had a mini breakdown when my husband told me - got a little dizzy and everything. I couldn't think about it, so i just "unplugged" myself for the weekend. It was wonderful, but at the same time, this nagging at the back of my head about what could be lost, and what i SHOULD be doing was pretty horrible. I called DELL, and they sent out a tech yesterday who replaced the motherboard, and for about 2 minutes i saw my DESKTOP!! Thank you GOD, my hard drive is happy and safe - just inaccessible. Turns out the NEW motherboard might be a 'lemon' so they are going to replace it again today. I'm just so happy the hard drive is okay! and I'm so impressed with dell for coming to ME - i don't have to mail it anywhere or take it anywhere - just great.
Now, however, I'm typing on our OTHER machine. We set up my old tower computer for our kids to play games on. The keyboard is VERY old, and doesn't type "W's" very well! so i have to hit the damn w key THREE times to get it to type one!! very frustrating. And when i read what I've written, it is filled with hens, and hys, and hats!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On A More Worthy Note

And this is what we should all REALLY be doing this holiday season. What an easy way to make a huge difference in a person's life!

I'm donating 2 pairs of shoes right now.

DWR: Limited

I'm sure you are already huge fans of Design Within Reach like I am. My dream home would be walking into the pages of one of their magazines. I don't even care which one, or which page! They are doing the coolest countdown of goreousness right now. Some of the things are vintage and selling at auction, some are just for sale, but OH, are they all amazing. Today is The Flocks Aran Rug:

It sells for a mere $9000. I'm thinking of getting one for each room. If I had the kind of money to spend $9000 on a 7' x 5' rug, would I? I'm not sure. I'd like to think I would feed the hungry first, but it really is a peice of art. And the quantities seem to be limited, so you need to act fast to get yours.

Make sure, though, to check out their daily variety of the ultimate in COOLNESS.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Costume Contest Winner

What a great costume! and great photos! She is who we voted for, too, and she won! And what did she win? She won one of my very favorite Flipside Hats from Cat in an Apron! I've been talking to the very cool mama of the little bride, and I could NOT be happier that the hat is going to her. Check out HER blog, as well, Scrappin' Hillbilly. Makes me happy.

New Blankets!

YAY! I have a new batch of blankets finished! I'll try to get them up on the website today. They are so incredibly soft - I'm really happy with how they turned out. I could just swim in these lovely prints.

Hunger Monster Cure

What a fantastic idea! I don't know how many times I'd run out the door thinking I couldn't eat another bite, and then as soon as I drove out of the driveway, I'd be STARVING. In nine months of being pregnant, I never did get the whole "eating small meals all day long" thing down. The idea of having these in my purse and just grabbing a container of milk whenever that hunger monter hits is SO GREAT!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

AAAHHH caffeine!

My husband had to go back to work last night. He is so awesome (yes i SAID it, AWESOME) that he comes home after work, eats dinner with us, gives the kids a bath, gets them ready for bed, reads them books, THEN goes back to work. I hate that he has to work so late, so often, and I hate the architecture industry for making it necessary, and for paying SHIT wages, but I love that his priority is us.
Anyway, he went back to work, which means that I don't go to bed until he gets home. It makes no sense, but it is the way it is. He got home around 12:30, we got baby o. ready for bed, talked a little, etc., and before i knew it it was 2 a.m. Baby O. woke up to eat at 5:30ish, the kids woke up and went downstairs, only to start screaming "DAAAAD" 10 minutes later, and then we were all up for good. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands trying to get up the energy to get in the shower, and Marc's cell phone rang. Now, when someone calls us after 9 pm or before 9 am, I always assume the WORST. Marc is fumbling around looking for his cell phone, and I'm thinking "Who died THIS time?? How am I going to explain it to the kids? What do I have to wear to a funeral??" And I'm running through the list of people who it could possibly be.
Turns out it is our neighbor. He is calling to ask if he can BRING. US. STARBUCKS. because he is walking over anyway. Seriously?!? How fantastic is that?! It completely turned my day around. I stepped out of the shower to my husbands hand jutting into the bathroom holding the beautiful drink! And the cups are the snowflake holiday design!! I felt like bundling everyone up and going for a walk in the SNOW to sing Christmas carols. I'm this easy to please.
I tried to avoid Starbucks for a long time while I was working. I was trying to go the whole "Starbucks is too corporate, and a sell out, etc. etc." In my old age I've accepted that some things just work, you know? and i LIKE them! Starbucks makes me happy. Maybe it isn't GOOD coffee to a connoisseur. Maybe they are more marketing than service or product. and yes there is one on every corner, and i should be supporting the local shops (i do this, too). But, OH, how Starbucks can make me happy! The steaming, creamy chai tea latte warms me and seriously makes my day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sew Mama Sew - Handmade Holidays!

I LOVE to read about all the lovely things they are making over at Sew Mama Sew. I don't see any time to actually try any of them in my near future, but in a couple of years, when the kiddos are a little older, i'll be ALL over them!
And I LOVE their fabric, too!

Pilates post pregnancy

I'm looking for a good POST preggo pilates dvd. I did this one through my whole pregnancy this time: Pilates for Pregnancy. It was very NOT challenging, but I was proud of myself for doing it at all as I did not work out at ALL with my first two babies. Now I would like to find one that is specific to getting a post preggo body back into shape. I'm terribly worried the third one did the final damage that I won't be able to recover from!! I worked out around 2 weeks after baby O. was born, and it was pretty easy - I was happy that I had worked out throughout, but now we are at SIX weeks, and I've been so sleep deprived that I've totally slacked off. I'm starting again.
Here's a whole list on amazon.
I'll check them out AFTER I do my regular pilates dvd... ugh.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thank You Gifts

The sweet kids in Mr. H's class made a beautiful poster when Baby O. was born. Each one signed it, and I know it will be a real treasure when they are older and look back at their kindergarten scrawlings. We have it hanging in Baby O.'s bedroom (even though he has yet to sleep in there...). We were so touched we decided to put together a little thank you gift for the kids. Each one of these little bundles has two tulip bulbs in it. I used tissue paper I already had cut into squares from Miss Mae's birthday party, ribbon from Patty's baby shower, and stickers I bought on a whim and hadn't used yet. I'm happy with how they turned out, and I hope the kiddos all go home and plant the bulbs so that next spring they'll remember Baby O.'s birth!

Vote for one of the great costumes!

One of these darling kiddos will win a bloggeritaville prize for best costume - including a Flipside Hat from Cat in an Apron! Hurry and vote today:
Tales from Bloggeritaville

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hormonal Emotional Tides.

I'm having the craziest moments of incredible joy and sadness due the great tides of my post preggo hormones. I thought I'd keep a few for posterity....

First "it brings me to tears":

The idea of my daughter trick or treating, walking up to a house and selecting the perfect candy out of the giant bowl of brightly colored boxes. She chooses RED, because it is her favorite color, but has no idea it is a box of RED HOTS, because she can't read.

When I found the red hots in her candy bag this morning, I actually cried.

Yay! A new Lord England webisode!

And Lady England smacks the Lord.

Lord England opening lyrics

He's not English, he's an anglophile,
and he calls his mommy mum,
He converts his dollars into pounds,
and he beats his redcoat drum,
Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord England!

Just in case it is stuck in your head, too, and you need ALL of the words...