Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO to you!

Well, I managed to get a few decorations up for Halloween. Most of my decorations are in storage and I'm hoping to get a little more organized before Christmas rolls around.

Noodle has decided to go as Jack Skellington for Halloween. (his favorite movie is "Nightmare Before Christmas")  I managed to dig out my old Sally costume which is a bit snug but I'm going to wear it anyway.  When I used to work at the public library, I had a special Halloween storytime each year and I always dressed as Sally.

It might be a little ambitious to try today but I love this free banner from Pick Your Plum:

It is free today only and would make a great Halloween decoration if you already have the materials on hand.

Get your own here.

I took a photo of the pumpkin we carved and I'll try to post it here later today.

Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Kindness of ...

I am always amazed by the kindness of strangers online friends.  I recently admired Charlotte Lyons' new pattern for Maggie's Farm:

Each year at Christmas, I try to make at least one handmade gift for Noodle.  When I saw Charlotte's new pattern, I thought it would make the perfect gift this year.  (If I can ever get my workroom organized so I can find all my materials!)  When Charlotte learned of my recent struggles, she sent me a copy of the pattern as a gift.  So generous and thoughtful and it totally made my day.  I now need to find a way to pay her kindness forward.  In the meantime, if you want to stitchalong with me on this project, get your own pattern here. I have purchased quite a few of Charlotte's embroidery samplers and I just love her designs.

If I can get organized, I may also FINALLY try to finish Amy Power's ABC wooden spool project from one of her amazing Inspired Ideas magazines.  Find it on page 32 of her Autumn 2010 issue:

Amy will be releasing her latest Holiday issue next week and I can hardly wait to see what brilliant ideas she has to share.

I feel so blessed to have found such amazing people as Charlotte and Amy through blogging.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Recently, Noodle was selected to be a model in the Fall campaign of a local children's boutique called Cupcake. Here are a few photos from the shoot.  The kids were all so adorable!!!

(all photos by Mariah Smith)

The clothes are by Knuckleheads and that adorable hat is by Sand Cassel.  Noodle just loves that hat! It was a fun experience.  He is such a ham and really likes having his picture taken. What can I say? I'm a proud momma.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Highs and Lows

Well, we are in the new house.  We said goodbye to the old one. I did pretty well until I had a moment by myself in Noodle's room dismantling his crib.  (we decided to start him in a twin bed in the new house)  I put that crib together the day before my water broke.  I cried a lot. I will miss that house so much.

We are now surrounded by boxes and I have no idea where anything is.  It will take a long time to get settled.  To add to the stress, there was a major family row that could have permanent repercussions.  I know part of it was due to physical and emotional fatigue but it was pretty horrible.  I didn't really sleep last night.  I spent most of the night praying off and on and trying to find a solution to this problem.

We did manage a few moments of happiness yesterday morning. We headed to a Halloween event and Noodle wore the prince costume I made him. I didn't get the hat finished and his boot covers didn't quite fit so this Prince happens to wear Converse sneakers.

(petting a goat)

(with Grandma and a ghost)
(with his Godmother)

The cape was from GROWING UP SEW LIBERATED.  I improvised with the felt tunic and belt and made my own pattern for them.   I was going for Prince Philip from "Sleeping Beauty."  It looks okay.

He has store-bought Tigger and Jack Skellington costumes and will probably wear one of those for Halloween. I'm just glad he got some use from the Prince costume.

Now I'm off to unpack and pray some more.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh My Stars!!!

I have mentioned before how much I love my stained glass stars.  They were one of the first things I packed up for the move and they will be one of the first things I UNpack. Every time I see my stars in the front window, it makes me feel so happy.  I have gotten all of my stars from Kurt Knudsen's Piggy & Dirt Etsy shop.

I am very selective about products and artists that I support on my blog.  Not only are Kurt's starts beautiful but they also come in some of the most lovely packages I have ever received!

I am craving this one for Halloween:

(image source)

And I need two sets of these for my Christmas tree:

(image source)
Think Santa might be able to find his way to my new home a bit early?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moving On

Finding a new home has been a stressful and humbling experience.  We dearly love the house we have been renting for five years.  It is going to be so hard to leave it.  Beyond that grief, there has been the struggle to not only find a reasonable alternative but also to "sell" ourselves to potential landlords.  A few times, we were convinced we found the perfect house only to be turned down by landlords who did not find us to be desirable tenants. Even though I know it's just business, it's hard not to take it personally.

After making us jump through quite a few hoops (that often felt humiliating), a landlord finally decided that we were acceptable.  We have found a new rental home. It is a fairly big step down from our current home but it is nice and clean with a yard for Noodle (see above photo).  We are moving this weekend.  I feel better knowing we will have a roof over our heads and that we will be more or less settled before Halloween.  I want so much for Noodlebug to be able to enjoy the holidays.  I want that for all of us.

The freelance work my husband has been doing is improving and he is slowly adding to our family income little by little.  I'm trying to view all the changes as the beginning to a new chapter in our lives.

2010 was the "annus horribilis" and it spilled a bit into 2011.  I think these past two years have been a time of transition and change for us.  Personally, I have been drawn to opportunities that allow me to work on myself.  I have been reading SIMPLE ABUNDANCE by Sarah Ban Breathnach all year and I have taken both Soul Restoration courses offered by Brave Girls Club.  I have been re-prioritizing my extracurriculur activities and trying to figure out the best fit for my family. I've tried to start exercising regularly and have become more active in my church. 

I think when I look back at these two challenging years, I will discover how much growth and learning took place.  I can't see it right now....but I will.

I'll be back online next week after the move and hopefully I will have gotten the chance to get my craft supplies organized in the new house. Thanks for all your good wishes.  They helped!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mary Engelbreit Online Store!

(image source)

I just love Mary Engelbreit. I love her sweet graphic designs and I can never seem to stop myself from buying her products when I see them at Michael's.  I'm bummed that I missed out on experiencing her magazine but I am so so happy to hear that she is opening an online store!!!  The store open on October 10. Wahoo!

Check out the new store here and enter her contest while you are there!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Good Life

It's amazing how it was the combination of unemployment and the loss of our home of five years that brought me to my knees. These are not insurmountable obstacles but it felt so big.  It took me awhile to regain my footing and my perspective.  We have been lifted up by friends and family and surrounded by love and good wishes.  People that do not know me have sent me love and prayers and good thoughts.  It has been unbelieveable.  Only good things can happen. This is not the story of a family getting torn apart or about people facing deadly illness or the forever loss of a loved one. We are unbelieveably blessed.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I believe in the combined effect of goodwill and good wishes from others.  Look at what happened in Amy Powers' life last week.  Amazing.  Thank you to all of you for lifting me up.  I wish I could give each and every one of you a hug.

We have two applications in on two possible rental homes.  Hopefully, we will know something by next week.

In the meantime,  this is a Good Life.  A good good life.

Can't get this song out of my head today: