Saturday, December 28, 2013

Almost back to normal....

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas!  Ours was good, but as always, I'm happy when it's over.  It seems it takes forever to prepare and in a flash, it's all done.  I was ambitious enough the day after Christmas to pack away everything, so now my house and life seem normal again......(less the mess on the dining room table so far though.)  I must admit, that I love seeing that table completely bare for awhile.  Poor thing has hardly see the light of day since I bought it four years ago.  lol

Other than that, I haven't really been doing much.  I did get my awaited "Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew" books that I talked about last time for my darling great niece, and I think today I will start drawing envelopes for time like the present, and it will take awhile to design and color 37 envelopes for that series.  That way they'll be ready when I want to send them.  (A word to the wise...postage is increasing in January, so load up on FOREVER stamps now!!  You can order them directly from USPS.COM and have them delivered directly to your door for a VERY reasonable fee.  That way, you get exactly the ones you want!)

Since I'm not sewing yet, and not sure if the "ladies" that are missing have been revealed to the owners yet, I will have to just show you envelopes you haven't seen.  Hope that's okay?

Then........I MUST show you my Toby in his glory!  My friend, Marilyn, from California sent him a new coat for Christmas........poor little guy wouldn't move a muscle with it fact, wouldn't even move for cheese, which is his biggest love in the world!  Things were really serious until I pushed back the hood.....even then though, he wasn't too happy with me:

I'm telling you, he is such a love and keeps us constantly entertained!  Best dog in the whole world!!  We still think about a brother for him.  And then, look what friend's other dog had a litter on the 23rd and there are two boys.  This was taken when they were less than 24 hours old. 

The one on the left might be calling my name, who knows???  Until next time....have a great New Year's Eve and be well!!  I'll see you in 2014!!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Isn't it funny how sometimes it's the little things in life that make us the happiest?  (Or is it just me?)  Call me a dummy.....but just this week it occurred to me that I could probably get some good deals on kids books through e-bay.  HELLO????!!! I must have been hiding under a rock all these months!  As many of you know, this whole envelope decorating fiasco started this spring because my 5 year old great niece learned to read before kindergarten and I decided to send her an early reader a week in a cute envelope.  One thing led to another and pretty soon, it was two books a week.  One was an early reader (we're up to the 2nd grade level now) and the other was a "series" book of some kind that her parents could read to her before bed and that she would eventually read on her own.  So far the A-Z Mystery series was her favorite.....but alas, we have gone through all 26 books in the series (her mom, being a former teacher had some already), plus 5 additional extras that he wrote.  Next, I sent a pirate series of 6 books......well, not quite since there is one yet to send.  She also likes pirates!  No girly-girl here, believe me!  So.....I have been searching for another series that she might like and I discovered "Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew"!  I "hit" my 2nd hand bookstore this week (which I have used in the past), to look for them, but they only had one.  THEN.....the light bulb went search e-bay and I hit the jackpot!  In transit to me are 29 "Clue Crew" books (out of the 37 total in the series) for $54 including shipping!!  Can you believe?  Hello?  They're $4.49 each at Amazon.  I'm so happy, I could dance on a table!  YEAH!!!  More fun for me, and for Audrey!  (And maybe the postal people who seem to enjoy my drawings too from what I've heard!)  So...just a word to the wise....if you are looking for something....check e-bay.....or Craigs list.  You never know how a deal might make you a happy camper too!

Not much else going on here.  Just the hub-bub of the Christmas festivities.  I have a gang of 16 coming tomorrow afternoon/evening for appetizers, and gift opening and then my family on Christmas Day for brunch.  So many last minute things to do!  I'm sure you all know what I mean.  My sweet Toby needs a bath and grooming........

Such a sweet boy!  WHO, I'm sorry to say.........will remain our only dog for awhile, it seems!  You know I was considering that darling puppy, but my friend, the breeder and I have determined that he will be too small as an adult and might not even make the breed standard for weight.  I think she is selling him to a lady in Chicago who lives in a high-rise.  He will be perfect for her!  This was never a good time of year for me anyway to housebreak a dog!  It's just as well.

So, other than that, here are the envelopes for the week:

So, my friends.....until next week, Merry Christmas!  I hope all your dreams come true!  Love ya!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Still undecided.......

Well, I was pretty much sure that I wasn't going to take a puppy last week when I was down with bronchitis and the snow was coming down a mile a minute....but then I got better and went to visit my breeder friend, Patty, and the babies on Thursday.  Dumb move!  Now I'm all goofy again (no comments from the peanut gallery please......)!!!  You have to admit that this first picture is waaaay cute!  All 10 puppies from both litters crammed together for a little nap.  Funny how they stick with their litter mates even then.  

Then, last night, Patty e-mails me this picture!  OMG......can I resist?  He's 7 weeks old here and is still such a tiny little thing at not even 2 lbs yet.  Be still my heart................

On another note, my list is getting shorter for the holidays.  The dining room table is cleaned off, the decorations are up, the cookies are all made, cards sent out (after decorating each envelope....see below), shopping and wrapping completed and all I have left is last minute things.  I love it when I can relax with a good book right before all the hubbub and enjoy my house in it's festive glory.  It makes this time of year even more special!

I got my package from my Flirts partner, Liz, yesterday.  If you recall, I did the "easy" group in the Christmas swap.

So many presents from Liz

My Flirts Christmas package from Liz

She lives in Sweden and sent me a Swedish Christmas.  How fun!  I can't wait to try the tea....I've never had Swedish tea before! And look at those pretty coasters.  Wow!  How fun!

Oooppps, almost forgot to show you the envelopes.  I bought Christmas cards, and decided that the envelopes looked too plain, so decorated them to somewhat match the cards.  I must say, it was a bigger project than I had expected.  I originally bought 36 cards, but after checking my card list, noted that I needed 24 more, so went to the store to buy more.  Thankfully, I was smart enough in the beginning to make a template so all I had to do was trace each image on the envelope.   I love the result though:

48 decorated Christmas card envelopes....

My sweet niece and friends are still receiving colored envelopes.  Here are the latest:

Painting the town red

Santa envelope to Audrey

Goofy reindeer envelope to Audrey

Busy Elf #1

Busy Elf #2

I'm almost out of Christmas fun envelopes so good thing we're getting down to the wire.  I think I have about 5-6 left.  Hope you're smiling!

So, that's about the news.  Like they say, no news is good news, huh?  Stay warm my friends and enjoy the season!!  Until next time................

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lady #59 plus more

Happy Birthday, Natalie!  (You ask me how I know that?)  Well, it's 'cause her daughter, Ellen, ordered "her" for her 75th birthday, so now she's officially Lady #59.  

Lady #59 - Natalie

And here is the photo I worked from:

Ellen was also kind enough to send me a picture of her mother with "herself" taken this week at the big reveal:

Lady #59 - Natalie with herself

Another happy customer!!  Yeah!  The final portrait for the year was mailed yesterday so right after Christmas (or maybe a bit thereafter since I think there is another January birthday gift in there) you will see the remaining 2013 ladies.  I must admit, I had a ball creating them all this year!  So fun!

On another note, here are a few envelopes you haven't seen yet:

Freezing chicken

Pirate Series Book #2

Christmas theme for the weekly book

Big Mouth Bass

Christmas is coming......

Santa and his plane

Pirate Series Book #3

Painting the town red

Whew!  I guess there were more than I thought!  That's what I get for posting about puppies, huh?  Kinda screwed up all the creative!  Just for the record, no decision in that regard....yet!  I've been down for the count with a cold, or something weird, and finally went to the doctor yesterday, so I haven't been back to see the little darlings.  Hopefully, I can pop back to wellness fast before we get hit with a snowstorm....yuck!  I'm not crazy about driving in that stuff anymore.

So, that's the news!  Be well, my friends and stay warm!  Winter is here!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"The Babies"

 No takers for my fabric........guess everyone has enough of their own, huh?  Well, my two sewer friends will be happy, because each will be blessed with a box today!  And I'm sure they both thank you! 

I still have not tackled the dining room table (which is just about driving me over the edge), but until I am done with "ladies" for the year, it would be pointless since so much of what I use is there.  I'm happy to admit that Lady #64 is flying her way home "down under" and #65 will be started today or tomorrow and will be the last one for 2013.

In the meantime, I am still in a decision mode over this puppy problem.  If it were only spring!!!  Winter is such a bad time for me!!  And puppies need to go outside.......yuck!  DH and I visited last week and saw both litters together.  All 10.......yes, TEN!  What fun!

Me & DH with ten 5 week old puppies, yesterday!  Eikes!

Do you see that little nosy one at the back left?  That's the little guy I originally had my eye on.  I think though, that he might be a handful......who knows?  He wasn't very interested in us at all. More interested in getting in trouble!  Now, hubby and I are thinking maybe a girl.  E-gads this is hard!  Do I want to, or not?  I wish I knew!  Maybe you can help.......!!  Here is the litter at 5 1/2 weeks.



At the end of next week I will visit again.  By then I should know, don't you think??? you think I can talk my friend, the breeder, into keeping my puppy until March?  Now, that would really be good!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Sale

Remember last week when I told you I had to clean out some stuff?  Well, believe it or not, I started.    Since I still have to do Lady #64, and most of the stuff for my ladies is on the dining room table, I started with the mess in the corner of my bedroom:

Time for purging, I think!

Those bins (except for the bottom one) were so full that they were spilling out of the tops.  I couldn't stand it!  Besides, I knew there was an overabundance of fabric for my needs.  I really haven't been sewing quite as much lately and needed to purge and see exactly what I had.  So, one by one, I brought the bins into the kitchen and sorted:

After going through three bins (which is all of my available fabric...other than the black and whites, solids & specific holiday fabrics), I decided that this stuff needed to go.  I couldn't believe that I had 2 yards of some fabrics.  Mostly I buy in 1/8 to 1/4 lots since I do lots of smaller projects and need variety rather than quantity.

So, I packed it up and squished all into 2 large flat rate priority boxes.  Who's game?  (US residents only, please!)  I figure $45 is a fair price for 8+ lbs of fabric....including shipping for 1 box.  The flat rate priority cost is $16.85 and there will be a Paypal charge, but when I googled "How many yards are in 1 lb of fabric?" I got between 3 - 4 1/2 yards.  Not bad!  One box weighs 9 lbs, the other 9 1/2 lbs.   So........2 boxes for $45 each!  What a deal!

They're all packed and ready to go as soon as I get your mailing info (and $$).  If you are interested, please e-mail me at the address on my sidebar.  There are only 2!   So, first come, first served!  BUT, we need to talk first.  DO NOT send $$ until we talk via e-mail, please!  Happy shopping!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's snowing.......UGH!

I should move!  Every year I wish for a snowless winter and in all my years, it has yet to happen.  Duh!  'Course, if I didn't live in Wisconsin, I suppose it might make more sense!  (Duh, again!)  I don't even think it's pretty anymore!  And I hate driving in it!  That's all!

On another note, I have been busy drawing holiday envelopes:

Christmas envelope #5

Christmas envelope #4

Christmas envelope #3

Christmas envelope #2

Christmas envelope #1

Pilgrim with a turkey leg.....

Then, there were these 3:

Fishy envelope

Everything's better while doing the Hokey-Pokey

Pirate Series Books #1

Glory be......I sewed!!!  I joined the FLIRTS Christmas swap and made my partner these cute coasters:

Christmas coasters to Liz for "FLIRTS"

And then, I wanted to add something a bit extra so I thought perhaps a refrigerator magnet might be fun.  Never in my life did I think I would get carried away enough to make 48 of them are the first 30.  They're 2 inches square each...and I sent out sets of 2.

15 sets of Silly Snowmen refrigerator magnets are some of the boxes all ready to go:

But this week, I have to not only concentrate on baking 3 pies (my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast at my sister's house), but also clean this mess and the next and decide what to do with the excess fabric:

Time for purging, I think!

Time to think about cleaning off the dining room table....again!

Oh.....I also will be putting up the tree and decorations for Christmas!  And all the while, I will be thinking if I should get this little guy or not.  E-gads!!!  Here is his 4 week picture.   Believe it or not, I've already named him in my head.  Meet "Tucker"!  (Maybe)

Have a wonderful holiday, my US friends.....and blessings to you all, no matter where you live!  Stay warm and healthy and thank you for being a fan!!!  Love ya!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lady #63, plus other stuff

Well, today is the day!  Today I go see the possible new addition to our family.....eikes!  I must be crazy, but we'll see.  One day I completely poo-poo the idea of a new puppy and the next day, I'm gung-ho, so who knows what might happen?  For now, I am just sitting tight trying to accomplish the stuff I need to do before the upcoming holidays (just in case I have to "puppy housebreak" right around that time too) and my house is a disaster!!  The cookie ingredients are on the counter (I freeze my Christmas cookies way ahead), the sewing machine seems to have taken permanent residence on the kitchen table, as well as the ironing board next to the island, and the dining room is as bad as ever stacked with fabrics and bags of threads.  E-gads!  I'm thinking if I hadn't joined that Christmas swap, I might be more organized now.  My "little extra" that I made for my partner was so appealing to me that I'm making about 40 more........YES, you read that right........40!  I've already placed 3 orders for stuff because it seems I can't stop.  I can't wait to show you, but my partner needs to get it first.  I don't want to spoil the surprise!  Maybe next time!  Here's the little "hint" I posted though:

What can this be, huh????

In the meantime, let me introduce you to Lady #63, Bianca from the Netherlands.  Bianca told me that she has 6 earrings in one ear and 4 in the other, so I gave her some really fancy

Lady #63 - Bianca from the Netherlands

And here is the original photo Bianca sent to me:

She also was kind enough to take a picture with "herself":

Lady #63 (Bianca with "herself")

Then, I suppose you might like to see the envelopes you missed???  Yes, they are still flying out of here like crazy and I must admit that the USPS is delighted every time I place a stamp order online of about $56.  Who knew I'd go so nuts??  (No comments from the peanut gallery, please...!!!) These are the ones I sent to Audrey:

Reader of the week to Audrey

Dinosaur envelope to Audrey

"Gobble gobble"

"Snow" reader to Audrey

And my friend, Annie, got these.....(most ideas which I stole from "Pushing the Envelope".  A blog on my sidebar.)  Bad me!

An owl to Annie

Crazy letter envie to Annie

Copycat from "Pushing the Envelope" blog

What's Up?

So that's it!  I'm hoping that I will be in a better state next week.  Hopefully, by then I will have finished all 40 little fun things I'm making, Lady #64 too, and maybe even my Christmas cookies.  I'm cutting way back on them this year.....usually, I make about 14-17 different kinds, but we all agreed that no one needs the calories anymore, so I'm only doing 5.  (Unless I all of a sudden have a passion for a recipe I!!! )  Until then......stay warm, have fun, and smile lots!!!  And most of all, thanks for being a fan!  Love ya!