Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Nothing too exciting to post today. I just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year.

We stayed home last night. My husband had to work late, and I wasn't in the mood to go out and celebrate. So I stayed in and watched a marathon of The Twilight Zone. Exciting, I know.

One of my goals for 2013 is to find the time to craft more. Between school and the kids and running a house, I realize I do not have as much time as I did before. However, allowing myself a little bit of time to craft will help with my sanity. If I can't craft, then I'll at least read. So, I guess the goal really is to allow more time for myself.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year. I also hope that 2013 is everything you hope it to be!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tissue Paper Canvas Prints

You'll have to bear with me on this post. It's been almost a month since I've done this project, and some of the steps are a bit foggy in my brain. As always, if something does not make sense, or more clarification is needed, please, do not hesitate to ask!

This year for Christmas, my father was the only one to receive a handmade gift. Between school, kids, and moving twice, I simply did not have time to make more homemade gifts. That being said, this is perhaps the most favorite gift I have ever made.

I made him a wooden sign, with the quote "The only thing better than having you as my dad, is my girls having you as their papa." It was cute, but I felt it needed something more. Perhaps a picture of my girls. I stumbled upon the idea of canvas prints at home while browsing Pinterest, and after some additional research I put a few different methods together. This is not the only way to do it, but it was what worked best for me. I found a wonderful video on this method, but I cannot find the link now. If you do a Google search of DIY Photo Canvas, you will come up with a lot of hits. Finding a method that works for you is key to success in this project. I had many mistakes, and had to throw away a few attempts.

Another update on me

As I stated in my previous post, I had an appointment on the 17th. After looking at the test results from my bloodwork, and pressing on a few soft spots on my body, I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. So, that's why I've been in pain, although she admits she's never seen it manifest in joints as well. Basically, my nerve endings are going nuts, as are the pain receptors in my brain. So, now it's a continuation of some meds. Thank you all for being so patient.

I'm not in any pain as of right now, so I'm going to do another tutorial post, one I promised to do almost a month ago.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Apology for my absence

I just wanted to take a moment and apologize to my fans for not posting in a while. As usual, I've been extremely busy, and this is a "finals" week for me. My online classes are only 9 weeks long, so every 9 weeks, I have 2 huge projects due.

However, this past week has taken a huge toll on me. I have a post I've been meaning to do, but just haven't been able to do it yet. Why? Long story.

I woke up Sunday morning with pain in the arches of my feet. By Sunday evening, the pain had spread to my ankles, shins/calves, knees and hips. By Monday morning, the pain was up into my back, as well as my wrists and hands. I went to Prompt Care, since I was unable to get into my doctor for 2 weeks. He diagnosed me with bilateral joint pain, which I already knew, and prescribed me an anti-inflammatory. By Monday night, the pain had spread all the way up to my shoulders and neck, leaving me in a lot of pain any time I moved, sat, or stood. I went to bed that night, hoping I would wake up in less pain the next day and that maybe I overdid it or something.

I woke up Tuesday morning, and the pain was worse. I could hardly walk, doing dishes killed me, and forget about playing on the floor with my children. Tuesday night, I decided to go to the ER, the pain was getting worse, and ibuprofen, Aleve, and Tylenol were just not helping a thing. I had also tried ice, heat, a warm bath, and even stretching. Nothing worked. I spent 5 hours in the ER, only to be told the same thing, they didn't know what was wrong. They gave me some pain medication as well as a steroid. As I was driving from the ER to Walgreens to fill the prescriptions, a cop decided to pull me over. By the time I reached Walgreens, I was in so much pain I could barely breath or talk. It felt like a gallbladder attack, but I had mine removed in 2009, so I knew that wasn't it. The cop had pulled me over to warn me about my license plate light being out, but ended up calling me an ambulance instead, as there was no possible way I could drive back to the ER. So, within 15 minutes of leaving the ER, I was right back there. I saw a different doctor, and handed him my discharge papers from earlier. He told me I was suffering from condylitis in my ribs. He referred me to a rheumatologist, and told me to continue to take the steroids and other meds.

So here it is Friday, and I'm still in pain. The steroids helped the first day, but now I'm back to feeling like I did before. The pain meds are enough to dull the pain, as I did not want anything that knocked me out due to my children. I can't get in to see my doctor until the 17th, and the rheumatologist's office hasn't called me back yet. All of my blood tests came back normal, so I really have no idea why I'm in pain, just know that I am. Typing this post has been incredibly painful, as is doing anything these days. I'm hoping to wake up each day in less pain, but as the days wear on, the pain gets worse.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A lesson in empathy

My children are spoiled. As hard as that is for me to admit, they are downright bratty children that tend to treat me as a maid. And, as hard as it is to admit, it is my fault they do so. For the last 4, almost 5 years, I've been cleaning their messes with little repercussions on their end. I usually just cleaned up the mess, and put them in time out because I didn't want to deal with the fight that would ensue, and I could clean it up faster myself. This all changed a few days ago.

My children are not allowed to have crayons or markers in their room.  They both know this, but that doesn't stop them from trying to sneak a crayon in there once in a while. Usually I catch it, but the other day, I didn't. My husband put them down for a nap while I was cooking for Thanksgiving. After their nap, I walked in to find all 4 walls, the dresser, the window, the closet door and bedroom door, and a toy bin all colored on.

Instead of putting them directly in time out, I called my oldest into the room. I knew she had done the drawings, as my youngest is just too short to reach where the crayon marks were. And, it was a continuous line around the room. After I pointed this out to my oldest, she admitted she did it. So, while I put the laundry away in her room, she was scrubbing the walls with a magic eraser. Yes, I made her clean up her crayon marks. She whined, complained that it wasn't fair, and pouted about it.

I took that opportunity to talk to her about her feelings. I explained that it was okay to feel that way, but to remember that mommy feels the same way when mommy has to clean up a mess that mommy didn't make. I also explained that it was okay to not like cleaning, but it is something that has to be done. And, since this is a rental, I explained to her that it is not nice to vandalize other people's property. It was a light bulb moment for her, she finally gets it. I'm hoping this is the start of something better, less big messes, but it was a good moment.

She didn't clean it all the way up, I did have to finish it. But, she had to sit in time out while I finished. When I finished, we reiterated our earlier chat.




Friday, November 23, 2012

Rice pack tutorial

This is the third tutorial I promised for this week. I know I have done a tutorial on rice packs in the past, but this is another version. I use this one in my home all the time, and prefer it over my heating pad. My husband also loves it. Mine is made from muslin, with a cover. However, I made this one out of cotton, so it did not need a cover.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Charm pack coasters

This is the second tutorial I promised. My sister liked the coasters I made for my living room, and wanted a set for hers. I hate cutting and measuring, and found that charm pack squares make a perfect coaster. The only cutting I had to do was the batting, or in this case, felt.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Padded Camera Strap

As promised, here is the first tutorial for this week, a padded camera strap with little pockets for an SD card.

My sister is an avid photographer, and she is quite good. She recently bought a new Canon camera, and needed a camera strap to cover the one that came with the camera. I happily obliged! You will have to forgive both the quality of these pictures, and the mess in the background. We are still unpacking from our recent move, and I was rushing when I made this.

First, measure your camera strap. I added 1.5" to the width and 2-3" to the length to allow for seam allowances, hemming, and the padding. If you want to add pockets, cut them the same width you cut the strap cover, and about 5" long. You will need 2 of everything. Cut your padding the same as the cover as well. I used felt instead of batting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This blog post is for my sister. While she was home, I made a chicken and rice casserole, and she asked for the recipe. It's relatively simple to make, but I thought I'd post it here so she can always reference it.

This recipe yields enough to feed my husband and I, and our two children, with leftovers.

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, thawed if frozen
1 package flavored rice side, Lipton and Knorr's both make it. I usually use Cheddar Broccoli.
1 can cream of something soup - Again, you can use mushroom, chicken, even cheddar soup.
1/2 can of milk - After you empty the can, fill it up about half way with milk.
Seasonings - Salt, pepper, and whatever else you like. I usually add sage to the chicken.

Additional, but optional ingredients:
Frozen broccoli
Shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray, as the rice will stick.

In a mixing bowl, mix rice, soup and milk together. Pour into casserole dish. Add broccoli, and then lay the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle with seasonings. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for approximately 1 hour. I use a meat thermometer to make sure my chicken is finished. Remove from oven, top the chicken with shredded cheese, and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quick, Simple tutorials coming up!

Over the next few days, I'm hoping to find the time to share a few tutorials with you all. My sister was home for a visit these past 2 weeks, and she requested that I sew her a few things. I was more than happy to oblige, and took pictures along the way.

So, coming up will be a tutorial for each of the following: a padded camera strap, charm pack coasters, and a rice pack warmer. You will have to forgive the pictures, I was rushing as I made them, and the lighting is a little off. Stay tuned, I am hoping to have these posted this week.

Each project is relatively quick, I did them all within 4 hours. This includes hunting down craft supplies, considering I still haven't completely unpacked all of mine.