Friday, July 30, 2010

July's Swap gifts

The July swap that I participated in for my Etsy Texas Crafters group was themed a Pet Gift Swap.  We didn't swap actual pets - LOL.  We swapped gifts for our pets.

My partner was Danielle of ZandDArt.  Danielle makes crocheted amigurumi.  You can read more about her creations on her blog.  She has made some really cute things so far including Mario mushrooms which my son would LOVE.

Danielle sent me a gift for our evil cat, Sparky and also a gift for our sweet Mac.
She sent Mac this awesome dog bone with his name on it - in red, his favorite color.  And she sent Sparky this adorable fish toy.  It can be dangled from a pole or a door knob or just your hand.

Mac immediately started playing with his bone and loved it! 
Sparky was in hiding at the time we recieved the package but wandered into my sewing room a couple of hours later.  I showed her the new toy and she played with it for awhile.  Then she tried to bite me.  Bless her heart.

We love our new toys Danielle!  Thanks so much!  ---  Love Mac and Sparky

I'll post all about the gift I made for Danielle's cat Archimedes in my next post.  Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Fabric!

Fresh from just in time to make up into aprons for Halloween and Christmas!

I love getting new fabric in the mail!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Best big, fat, chewy chocolate chip cookies!

My DS, Ben, helped me make these cookies last weekend.  He's really getting pretty good at measuring and mixing. 

I found this recipe in my Easy Everyday Favorites cookbook.  I just have to say, I've tried many chocolate chip cookie recipes, but this is by far the best I've ever tried.  They really are big, fat cookies.  They stay fat even after you cook them.  Some cookies seem to cook flat and crispy, no matter how big you make them.  But these are great!

Here is the recipe:


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2.Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3.In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
4.Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

You can also find the recipe on at this link:

We added M&M's to them too - because everything's better with M&M's, right?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Handmade Card

As I stated in this post,  I really enjoy playing with the paper flower pack that I have.  You can put lots of different colors and patterns together and add embelishments, etc. 

So this is the latest card that I've made.  I sent it with my last gift swap item.  I don't think she's received it yet, but if she reads my blog, maybe it won't spoil the surprise too much. 

I added glitter this time. 
I had fun making it and I think it came out cute.  Not professional looking or anything but it's still cute.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My project for last week

This is what I worked on most of last week.

What could it be???  Can't say yet but I really had fun making it and it turned out really well (I thought).

I'll be posting more about it in a few days!

I will say this though, people who work with this minky fabric all the time are to be commended.  It just flies everywhere when you cut it.  I keep a swiffer duster in my sewing room all the time because I'm constantly dusting off my work tables to get the fabric lint and strings out of the way.  But this minky fabric just flies everywhere.  I had to get out the vacuum hose to get rid of it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

June's Gift Swap

I participated in the June Color gift swap with my team Etsy Texas Crafters.  The color of the month was Pearl or White.

My swap partner was Stephanie of Gemuine Creations and she made me this lovely bracelet out of howlite and hematite.   She wired the beads together with sterling silver wire.  I love it and it fits perfectly. 

There was really no way I could go wrong with this swap as all of Stephanie's jewelry is beautiful.  She has a shop on etsy as well as her own website.  I was so impressed with her website.  Especially when she told me that she and her husband built it by themselves.  It's so professionally done and I have to say that I've been to websites before that looked very Mickey Mouse and they were much larger companies.

My swap gift to Stephanie was a decorative pillow for her home.  I used black fabric with white flowers and I appliqued the word "HOME" in white letters on one side of the pillow.  Then I made flowers out of satin fabric with turquoise satin for a pop of color and attached those on the front.  I really had to edit myself with this pillow.  I changed it about a hundred times.  This picture is one that Stephanie took after she received the pillow.  I think it looks really nice in that chair (and I love that chair!).

Thanks for being my June swap partner Stephanie!  I love the bracelet and I've already worn it several times.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Laptop Keyboard

One day, about 4 weeks ago, I was doodling around on my computer while sitting at my dining room table.  I had a glass of water sitting next to my computer.  And then oops!  I spilled on the keyboard.  ACKK!  I panicked and turned the laptop upside down and started shaking it, trying to get all the water out.  Then I got out the can of air and blew and blew under the keys.
Then I cried.

Well, after all that, and rebooting, the 1,2, E,R,T,I,O,U,S and _- keys didn't work.  My DH says, "well, you can just use my external keyboard".  But what's the point in having a laptop that I can move all around the house if I have to attach a big ol' external keyboard to it?
So I say to myself, "I know what I'll do, I'll call the geek squad people at Best Buy.  They'll tell me what to do."

So I did.  I called and talked to geek #1 who told me that I had probably short circuited my keyboard and they would have to send it out to their lab to replace the keyboard because they can't do it at the store.  He said it would probably cost $80-100.  Well that's not so bad.  It's not as much as a new computer.

So the next morning, I take my computer up to Best Buy and speak to geek #2.  This guy says that there isn't anything he can do and I just need to either get a new laptop or an external keyboard.  So I tell him what geek#1 said on the phone the night before and he says that guy was wrong that it would probably cost several hundred dollars to send it to the lab and they still may not be able to fix it.  I almost strangled geek #2.
In my fit of anger, I decided to take my laptop to a locally owned computer store right around the corner who has a big ol' sign in the window that says "computer repair".  I talked to the geek guy there who is the computer technician.  He said it wouldn't be any problem to order me  a new keyboard and it would only take him about 15 minutes to pop out the old one and put in the new one.  He said the new keyboard would probably cost about $80 and would take them about a week or so to get in.  (sounds alot like geek #1 at Best Buy, eh?)

I tell technicial guy to PLEASE go ahead and order the keyboard and to please call me when he's ready for it.  I even offered to go ahead and pay.  He said he had to contact his other store in Longview (about 1 hours drive from this store in Tyler) and would call me with the price of the keyboard.  I said I would be happy to give him my credit card # over the phone to cover the keyboard cost.
I waited all day for his call.  Then I waited the next day.  Then I called him and he said they were still waiting for the Longview store to contact them with the price of the new keyboard and that he FOR SURE would call me as soon as they knew the price so it could be ordered.
That was at least 4 weeks ago.

So how did we fix my laptop since Best Buy and this other store didn't seem to want to help me with this really easy, quick fix??
I looked up how to change keyboards out on a Toshiba on the internet.  I found a site where they explained it in detail with pictures.  Then I ordered a new keyboard for $25 from guess where? 
I kid you not. 
My hubby changed out the keyboards in about 10 minutes.  Then he listed the old broken one on ebay for spare parts (yes we said it was broken but it didn't sell anyway).

I don't know what I could have done differently.  I practically begged 2 stores to do this quick easy fix.  From now on, I'm going to search the net for any problem that comes up instead of taking it to computer stores who don't seem to care about their customers and just want to sell new computers.

Here's a pic of my new keyboard on my laptop:
Nice huh?

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Sewing/Crafting Room!

As promised, here are pics from my newly painted sewing/crafting room.  I've now got a large open area with tables in the shape of a U.  I can cut my fabric out in here now (instead of the kitchen island), pin pieces together, every thing that I needed a big space for before, I can now do in here. 
I'm sooo happy!!  It was a real pain when DH and DS were home to keep the kitchen island clean when I was working in there.  Someone was always wanted to put stuff on it or make a sandwich or something.  Can't they see I'm working?  LOL

Anyhoo, now I won't have to worry about it.  I've got my nice clean, all my own space, girl room.

I painting the walls Dancing Mist as I mentioned here.  It's a light turquoisy blue color.  I found crinkled shear curtains at Target in this pretty green color that I thought would be a nice contrast to the blue.  Plus, they were only $5 each.  I also found some clear storage boxes at Target that were on clearance that were perfect to store my ribbon in.  You can see them on the black shelves.  They have outlines of green dots on them in the same color as my curtains and some have green lids.  The story behind the floor can be seen here in this post. 

I'm not showing the ugly gray shelf on the other wall because it's ugly.  I thought about spray painting it black or white but I was afraid stuff would stick to the painted shelf, so I just left it ugly gray.  It holds alot though, so I really needed it in my room.  I have all my completed jewelry, jewelry supplies, craft show supplies, etc. stored on it.  There's also lots in the closet that you can't see in the pics.  :)

I still have more pics to hang on the walls.  I framed 2 tonight.  And I've asked my son for some art work but he hasn't done any yet.   I have 1 picture of his that he drew a few months ago that I think I'll frame.  He likes to draw pictures of robots with chainsaws and axes and stuff like that.  :(

So, now I have no excuse not to sew.  I really need to get a move on if I want to be able to do any craft shows this fall.  Sorry I don't have before shots.  I thought I did but apparently I've deleted tons of pics from my computer's picture file.  If I find them, I'll post them. 

Oh, and one other thing.  My big beautiful window that gives tons of natural light faces my neighbors AC unit where their little boys go to pee when they're playing outside.  Lovely. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm Back!!

I can't believe it has been over 2 weeks since I posted in my blog.  Guess where I've been??  Guess, guess??  Someplace fun and exciting?? NO!

I've been sick with some weird virus.  It's been a joy.  I haven't been this sick since I ....... well, actually I can't remember when the last time was that I was this sick.  Basically, I had a temp for 6 days straight and swollen neck glands - the left side of my neck looked like I had swallowed a ping pong ball.  So along with the fever, of course you get body aches, extreme exhaustion, hot flashes, almost constant sweating, nausea, and the list just goes on and on but I'm sure I've already told you more than you wanted to know.  I am so glad that it's over.  I hope no one else in my house gets it.  Apparently, it's going around our community - according to my doctor.  We're usually really healthy during the summer.  It's too hot here in Texas for germs to survive for very long.  LOL

On my last post, I mentioned that I was taking some time off to paint my sewing room and I did.  It took me from June 26th, right after my last post, until about July 1st to finish painting the room, all the trim in the room and the 2 doors in the room.  Then my DH and son helped me move everything back into the room and I went shopping for a few things for it like curtains.  But before I could get it all finished, I got sick on that Friday (July 2nd).  What an awesome 4th of July weekend that was!  We had plans to take a short out of town trip to see a Ranger's game and do some other fun stuff.  But instead I spent the next 6 days in bed. 

Finally today, I finished getting a few things up on the walls and was able to start sewing.  YAY!  I'm still not feeling 100% - I'm only at about 75% so I'm trying to take it easy.  I did manage to do about 30 minutes of very gently yoga stretches this morning which is great.  It's just incredible how fast your body freezes up when you're inactive.   So stay tuned for the pics of my beautiful new girl room.  The only room of my house that isn't overrun with testosterone.  :)