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Preview: All Kinds of Handmade and More

All Kinds of Handmade and More

Updated: 2017-10-06T22:57:41.752-04:00


Back in Business!


Sometime ago, I posted that something new was coming to Minnie Maes. After a long wait, that something new has made it's debut.

Yes, you read that correctly, Minnie Maes is back in business.  Yes, there is a new product in stock. As a matter of fact, this awesome play mat is currently one of a kind. If it sells, there will be more to come like it. I actually have an under water mat, a cowboy mat, and a super hero mat that are in the process of being duplicated. (The originals are being kept for a little one at my house).

I haven't forgotten about the spiky fellow in the photo. He is anxiously awaiting a new home too.  

Stay tuned for new goodies to be added daily.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization...


Above the stove organization

I'm still working on trying to get my kitchen in order. So far I have bought these nifty little containers to store our medicine in. Each little plastic container is labeled with what is inside so it makes it really easy to find what we need, when we need it. I had a three-tiered shelf that I was able to put our vitamins and supplements on. Short little plastic trays made a nice home for random things that I need almost every day like baking powder and salt.

I saw this awesome tutorial on using Dollar Store cookie cooling racks to make spice shelves. It only took a few minutes to make all four of them. They are held in place by plastic, ashesive hooks.  I'm a little leery of trusting those adhesive hooks but so far they are holding fine. Spices don't weigh very much so I think we'll be ok.

The next job that I'm going to tackle, is the school cabinet. I may have to call for reinforcements!

The Organization Bug bit me....


This just happened.  Right now.  I mean, sort of....ok, last night, this just happened!

I now have a kitchen command center. I'll have to train myself to check it often but I'm pretty sure it will be a good thing in the future.

I'm slack in the tutorial department.  I'm sorry.   I can tell you that if you take advantage of the back to school sales right now, you can pull this off too.

I had the bottom cork board already (dumpster dive at our storage facility- don't judge, it was just sitting there on top of a box waiting for me at the dumpster).  I bought the two dry erase boards and the calender at a local retail store for around $22.00.  They even came with fancy-smancy markers and erasers. I bought another large magnetic eraser and the magnetic marker holder for somewhere around $6.00.  The picture at the top was on clearance at another local retail store for $4.99. 

Everything didn't start off having black trim.  A can of spray paint fixed that and, voila, matching frames.

So, with some picture hangers, a level, and a hammer, it came together. I'm pretty happy with the end result.   :)

Crafty Fail #??


Vacation Bible school is next week. I had this great idea to make a sensory bottle.  Well, the sensory bottle did not turn out ANYWHERE like those cute ones on Pinterest.   Where did I go wrong?  I put in water, baby oil, and cooking oil.  I added a bag of these cute little butterfly charms and the glitter.   I hot glued the cap and screwed it on.  Easy peasy, right? 

Maybe I should have used fine glitter and not so much red?  I don't know.  Maybe a smaller bottle?  Speaking of the bottle, I bummed it from my son.  Now he doesn't have a water bottle.   I'm feeling guilty now but I'll make sure he gets a new one.  Well, chalk one up for a crafty fail.  Life will go on!  :)

Just When I Had Given Up on My Seeds...


This here, is a pea in the making.

Its been 2 weeks since we planted our seeds in our square foot garden.  It had previously been pretty cool outside but for the past 3 days or so, we've had some nice, warm, spring weather. 

I guess thats all it took.  I'm so glad because I was worrying that my seeds were too old to come up at all.  They are all heirloom seeds because I feel that it is extremely important to stay away from all of the GMO infused concoctions that are becoming so common.

Maybe we'll have come carrots and cucumbers in the near future.

Still Painting...


The final painting

I've lost count of how many days its taken to accomplish this monumental task but, we are done!  I have to wait one week for the paint to completely "set" and become scratch resistant.  (A necessity concerning play equipment!)

The finally paint count: 4 cans of blue, 4-1/2 cans of green.  Seriously,  it took that much. At least we have some blue left over that can be used to help decorate some props for Vacation Bible School that is coming up soon.  :)     

Once our 1 week "curing" time is up, I'll post a pick of it all put together.  I'm excited!

Something Old is Going to Look New


Laying out the first piecesKind of what we're starting with Marking off the "wood"A work in progress with 1 coatI bought some used, plastic kiddo furniture.  I was thrilled to get it.  Like most plastic outdoor furniture,  it was a little faded but otherwise in good shape. I had seen these "Little Tikes Make Overs" on Pinterest and I knew that I had to make a go for it.  On those "make over" tutorials, most suggested a particular brand and type of spray paint.  This is the point where I was stopped in my tracks. Why, you ask?  I went to both home improvement stores in my town and guess what?  They didn't have any other than 4 cans of a "girly" blue.   That was not going to work. My search continued......  I finally found what I was looking for at a local department store.I bought 2 cans of blue, 2 cans of green,  and a can of brown.   Having already washed the pieces down with some Charlie Soap earlier in the day to allow everything to dry, we got to work spraying the first coat on most of the pieces. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to spray most of the pieces with a second coat. I've already used a full can of green so I'm assuming I'll have to go buy at least one more can of both blue and green.  We'll just have to see....Posted via Blogaway[...]

Something New Coming to Minnie Maes


A few months ago, I was asked to join my sister in law at a craft show at the local high school.  I've been stuck right in the middle of "sewing" burnout and really didnt feel like sewing up a bunch of purses and whatnot.   I decided to think outside of the box and make something totally different.  I visited my local craft store and bought a ton of felt. I turned some of that "ton" into a felt play mat.  It made me happy to design this little mat!!  Who knows, maybe my burnout is gone....

 I'll be putting some of these little jewels up for sale very soon in my Etsy shop.  Each mat will come with some plastic characters to play and imagine with. I have a western theme, under the sea, a super hero theme, and my favorite girly one; a princess/ fairy/ mermaid mat!  My mats will be a little different than others I've seen as they will have the ability to close up and be carried by handles. There will even be a deep pocket to hold all of the cute play figures in. 

Why are they not up for sale now, you say?  I simply need to take some photos.  It's that simple.  

Where in the world did I go?


                                                I took a vacation.

A pretty long vacation at that. Don't give up on me now. I promise to blog a little more than once in a blue moon.  So many crazy things have taken place over the last couple of years, that those crazy things took top priority over the Internet.   That's the way it should be. Your family should come first.   :)  

Stay tuned because my plans are to share some ideas, some tips, and maybe a laugh or two along the way.

Tell me what you think this is.....


Possum (yes, I'm southern, it's possum around these parts- not opossum), badger, or mole?

My oldest son was watching me put together some fleece hats the other day.  I had lots of pieces of paper (don't tell Scott I "borrowed" lots of his computer paper) (with ideas for new fleece animal hats drawn all over them), scattered all over the bed.  He asked me if I could make a possum hat.  I tried, I really did.  I'm just not too sure what it turned out to really be.  You see, this guys isn't even finished yet, he is missing a black, outlined mouth, whiskers, and of course, a liner.  My son wants him to have red eyeballs and blood spotted teeth when it's finished.  Regardless, it has been born, I'm just not sure what it is. At this rate, I'm not even sure when it will be finished with Christmas getting closer and closer....

That's where you come in, tell me what you think it is.You can leave your guess in the comments below.  I'd appreciate it, I really would.

Fleece Puppy dog and Mice Hats at Minnie Maes!


 Pink Puppy Dog Fleece Hat   After a long break, Minnie Maes now is the home of some furry, fleecy, critters of the wearable variety.  (I love the word critters)  My Roly Poly girl loves dogs- probably more than most 8 year olds.  I made her a one of a kind puppy hat last winter and after getting it out for this winter's cooler weather, I decided to make some "not so one of a kind" doggy hats based on the one that I made last year for my girly.  I've made 4 dog hats and two mice hats and put them up for sale at Minnie Maes.  Where did the mice come from?  Well, it was a last minute thought just before I put up my fleece material for the day.  I thought to myself, "Self, I haven't seen a mouse hat anywhere on the net- I can fix that!"  So there you go. Mice and dogs have invaded Minnie Maes.  I have some other critters in the works but that's a secret for now.  I can tell you that a couple of them are critters that I haven't seen on any hats, on the net either.    Tan Puppy Dog Fleece Hat Grey Fleece Mouse HatBlue Puppy Dog Fleece Hat Brown and Black Fleece Puppy Dog HatThanks for looking![...]



15 Months Is A Loooong Time......

Yes, it's been that long.  Life has a way of making you sort your priorities and blogging has been shoved to the back burner.  I'm sorry.  I have every intention of coming back to the blog world on a regular basis.  I just don't know when that regular basis will be.

To be perfectly honest, I am making this quick post just so Blogger doesn't think I abandoned my blog or something, for good.  See, at least I'm honest still ((grin))...  Meanwhile, if anyone is still out there listening, I'm still here, I'm still around, I'm still hanging on as best I can, and one day, yes one day, I will be back on a regular basis.



The past year or so has been a whirlwind so to speak and I've hardly came by here. Actually, I come by here a lot, it's just that when I get here, I'm called away. I've always said that the phone, doorbell, and children's voices are linked to the power button on my computer. As soon as I click that button, I'm immediately called away by someone or something or another. But, isn't that the way it goes for any mom? It's ok, this time is fleeting and I'm trying to do my best in these times.My little Roly Poly girl has been feeling very sad lately. She cries when she sees a picture of a gray horse. She remembers my Dusty quite well. Her sadness got me to thinking, to remembering.Dusty was my friend of 25 years that passed away under an oak tree on May 4th of last year. He trotted, galloped, jumped, and honestly, shyed at every object I can think of over the years. He once ate a Whopper (burger) by accident when I dropped it and wasn't quick enough. He was known to gulp down Dr. Pepper or any other beverage you offered to him. You know what? Arabians really can drink from a tea cup like the old legends say....or at least Dusty could. He could count his age with his hoof (even if he eternally thought he was seven years old), eat mulberries from the tree limbs, crack and swallow pecans, jump in a river, cross a creek, shake his head, and dance. Yes, he could dance. He only danced when he was scared or nervous. I always made sure I didn't see him dance on purpose.He loved me when my heart was shattered at the loss of some loved ones. He made me laugh and he was loyal. ......... (Alright, he was loyal to anyone that fed him), but he and I shared a friendship. He knew I loved him. I didn't make him relieve his past of getting beaten or kicked, or bitten. He knew he was safe with me, with us. I'm so glad that "O.J." caught my mother's eye across the road from our front porch, out in that pasture. I'm glad I was able to make his life a little nicer.Roly Poly girl misses the only horse that ever paid her attention and carefully watched out for her feet while he sniffed at her pockets for a treat. We have our memories and they live on....I wanted to share something special with you. Something about Dusty. Not many people can say that someone wrote a song about their beloved pet, but I can. Thank you Gray Lee (and A.D. for remembering) and for finding the right words.Track #2 is a song about Dusty, a Song For A Horse...........[...]

SCTEam on Etsy is Hosting a Spring Giveaway!


It's a scavenger hunt of sorts so be sure to click on over to SCTeam's blog for all the details on how you can participate. There are some great prizes to be won! The promotion begins on April first through April 4th so be sure to get your name in the running....hurry, hurry, don't wait, click here for full details!!

Sewing Daleks, Melvin's makeover, and a yarn obsession....


I'm back! Can you believe it? Live has been too busy or so it has seemed to me. Isn't always busy? I'm beginning to think I have too many pokers in the fire, so to speak!Everything has been a whirlwind since Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, I made quite a bit of handmade goodies over the past couple of months. I tried to make as many Christmas gifts for my side of the family as possible (because they just eat up that sort of thing) and a few things on my hubby's side too. I think, if I remember correctly (and that is a big, "think") the total of handmade items was the following: a quilt for my mother, a quilt for Scott (unfortunately, it still isn't finished- argh), an insulated lunch bag for my sister, and some tapestry purses/totes for my two sister-in-laws and my niece. Everybody else got store bought or gift cards. I did give my other sister a disk of my favorite knitted hat pattern and the circular needles to complete it with (I think that counts as handmade- well, urrrr, sort of).Speaking of knitting, I have become obsessed. I am still a beginner, (well, maybe an advanced beginner) and I do have a couple of hats under my belt at this point. Add a few scarves to that total too. I started trying to teach myself over a year ago and I guess I've done pretty well up until this point. I'm thankful there are tons of helpful videos out there in cyber world that help when I'm totally lost on a project! I have a few books that have helped too.I'm constantly finding myself waiting anxiously for those 40% off one item coupons that Hobby Lobby puts out sometimes. Hey, those things can take a bite out of the price of a skein of yarn people. Take a kiddo with you and they can use a coupon too. (That's my little secret to economizing....)We've had plenty of "knitting" weather too. Our little area of the south recently got 8 inches of fluffy, white stuff. Believe me, it was probably the most exciting event our area will have witnessed for quite sometime. The roads were sheets of ice for almost a week. Four wheelers raced up and down our highway at nighttime (which was a little irritating), schools were canceled, and of all things, I needed to go to the grocery store about 4 days into the icy lock down- geesh. We made it through though.....During the storm, our tree dude, Melvin, got a makeover courtesy of yours truly. Our white stuff is gone and we are cautiously awaiting another round of white stuff. After all, it's only January- eeeek!I had a customer that had asked if I could make a fabric bunny. I tried 4 different times to get the head right and this little guy is the result (the last try too- I'm giving up!!). My son's friend named him Boozle. Boozle is a gender neutral name, I think, so if someone buys him (or her), they will be happy to decide if this particular bunny is a he or a she. Boozle will soon be for sale in the South Carolina Etsy Street Team shop. You can click on over if you want to see if he (or she) has arrived yet.Remember the title of this post? I mentioned sewing Daleks. I'm not going into a long spill about it, but Daleks are bad guys on the longest running science fiction show, Dr. Who. My husband (and several of the kids) are obsessed with anything Dr. Who. I started Scott a quilt a long time ago and I tried (I really, really, really did try) to get the quilt done before Christmas. I didn't make it but at least a nice looking Dalek was the result.This is the Tardis panel (what Dr. Who travels in) and the finished Dalek panel. The fabrics shown in the photo are so perfect in matching how the show begins. I bought them a long time ago when our local Walmart closed it's fabric department and had e[...]

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from my house to yours. May you know the real reason for the season and keep Him in your heart.

Have you ever had "one of those days?"


"Huh?"You know those days. The ones when everything is weird, backwards, and just didn't come out anywhere near how you thought it would? I'm proud to say that I'm old enough to take life's punches. It doesn't matter that when the wind blew, the power line that hooks to the house melted and caused power surges all over the house. (Yes, the Wii did survive-the kids are now dealing with their post traumatic stress syndrome over it all.) I was even able to handle waking up at 5am to the sound of the fish aquarium's pump starting up, ........over, and over, and over again because of the power surges. Yes, I did not bite my nails when I had to wait patiently in the dark for daybreak to finally come so I wouldn't be so scared if the house did catch on fire and we all had to run outside. Thankfully, that little scenario never came to life.Thankfully, (and I vowed 6 years ago that I would never say this after being powerless for almost 2 weeks during a freak ice storm), our power company came to the rescue fairly quickly and solved the problem. The nice technician even disconnected the "juice" to the pole in the vacant lot next door. We had been worrying about that line falling down for a long time.... simple blessings...Anyway, I guess we have a lot to be thankful for. Never mind that we didn't get the first thing done in school today- the kids didn't mind at all. I even had to run to the next town in the van (which, upon my late, and unfortunate discovery, was almost out of gas and the van didn't like the fact that it was almost out of gas. Never mind that the roofers came unannounced to inspect the roof (Oh, please, oh please roofer man, don't ask to come in for some reason! After a day of hardly using power, nothing has gotten done and I'd be mighty embarrassed if someone seen the state of my house!)I'm OK, really. I am. Like I said, I'm older, wiser, and I like to kid myself. I'll probably panic later. For now, I'm blogging (and still hoping the roofer guy doesn't need to come in). Afterall, I only get a free moment here and there. I'm taking advantage of the "there" right here and now.Somebody else had a bad day too.....I found this interesting photo on my camera today. Apparently, it's really a big deal when your army jeep crashes into the Lego sea and actually burns underwater. You just gotta love those Lego games! You should see the time and thought put into creating scenes of mass destruction like the one above. Go Cart Boy puts most of these together. I don't think that kids can ever laugh as much as Go Cart Boy and his older sister do when they are creating Lego chaos....Even though my day was weird and went totally haywire, at least I can say that my couch isn't covered in spider webs?? After all, I could be like this poor guy that lost his jeep and couch in the same day to unfortunate circumstances.At least, I can smile and know that tomorrow is another day......[...]

The Cheapest Halloween Ever , Spools, Cupcakes, and My Excuse


Yeah, I'm making excuses. I have neglected my poor blog for sometime. (Wow, the entire month of October in fact!) Anyway, my excuse is that I've had other things keeping me too busy to type, type, type. Mommy, wife, and responsible citizen issues. Actually, at this moment, I need to be getting ready to go to the grocery store but I wanted to visit the blog world at least for a few minutes today."Spools"It takes time to resize photos so this is all I had done at this time-sorry. These spools are a collection that I have, that is actually for sale in my Etsy shop, Minnie Maes. There are 16 plastic spools for $1.00 plus shipping. Yes, people do buy empty spools. I have successfully sold all of the spools I have had in the past. There are people out there that make creative things out of spools. I don't. I'm just not that creative I guess. Anyway, the point is, I have these spools for sale so if you need them, grab them up while you can!For this past Halloween I had to make my kids some costumes. I got all of my stuff out to get started and found that Roly Poly Girl had decorated my pin cushion. Captain Jack and Link battle it out.....I did a lot of thrift store shopping to find this and that for the kid's costumes and things turned out pretty good if you ask me.This was the cheapest I've ever came out on Halloween costumes. Here is the breakdown of the two costumes pictured above:Pirate Costume: Grand Total: $7.50Pants- $1.00- actually a pair of men's extra large sweat pants that I sewed the waste up enough to fit my skinny son. It was on a clearance rack at Goodwill.Shirt- $0.00- Old tee shirt we had on handPirate Shirt- Goodwill find- $3.50Bandanna- $0.00- Had on handBoots- $3.00 (I guess) Actually I found an old faux couch cover at Miracle Hill for $6.00- I made two pairs of boots between the two kids so if I divided the cost, it would be $3.00 each. I still have plenty of this material left for other things too!Don't ask how I did the boots- it was hard and I will probably never be able to duplicate it again. There is a pair of sandals inside them in case you are wondering.Link (you know, from The Legend of Zelda Video Game and Cartoon series): Grand Total: $7.50Hat- $1.50 hospital smock from Miracle Hill- I simply cute two triangles and sewed them together.Green Tunic- $1.00 hospital smock- was on the clearance rack at Miracle Hill- I just tucked the sleeves inside and tacked them so they wouldn't fall down.White undershirt- $0.00 had on handBelt- $1.00 found at Miracle HillPants- $1.00 on clearance rack at Miracle HillBoots- $3.00 (see above description on pirate costume)Sword- $0.00- had on hand- (Thank you Go-Cart Boy)Gloves- $2.00 fabric in remnant bin at Hobby LobbyNot pictured was the makings for a fairy princess and an army guy. The fairy princess: $9.50Army Guy: $3.00That made the grand total for all 4 costumes: $27.50! Not too bad in my book... Now, if I could only come out that cheap next year.....I made some cupcakes for the church festival. I got the idea for these out of a Family Fun magazine. You can find the recipe for these over at the Family Fun Website. Mine are certainly not as pretty as there's were, but I think they turned out cute anyway.Sometimes I can turn my camera on and find strange photos that two of the kids "secretly" take when I'm not looking. Based on the feet in this photo, I think I know who the culprit is this time.... Roly Poly Girl.And last, but not least, I've been sewing up some tapestry tote bags for my Etsy Shop. This is one of the cutest ones so far. It's reversible and has a totally different sn[...]

Mystery Squash Pie


Remember that squash that Uncle Bubba sent us the other day?I had a plan.....Roly Poly Girl helped me carry out my plan..... She scooped the "guts" out of the squash and we got it ready for the oven.Here it is in the oven. I baked it at 350 degrees for an unknown amount of time- sorry, I didn't look at the clock- just went by smell to know when it was done.We got all of these seeds out of the squash so while it was cooking, we laid these little guys out to dry. We are saving them for Uncle Bubba to plant next year. At this point I wasn't sure if having these squash in the garden was worthwhile but I soon found out that it was.This particular squash tastes just like pumpkin when it's prepared in a pumpkin pie recipe. I didn't even put a crust in because I was that unsure if it would turn out a disaster or not. (After all, pie crusts make me nervous and I didn't want to waste the time and effort to create one from scratch if the pie might turn out "yucky")The verdict- It turned out tasting and smelling just like a pumpkin pie. It is a strange color for one thing. The pumpkin, when done roasting in the oven, turned out a white color. I knew that the kids wouldn't eat a "white" pumpkin pie so I added brown sugar to the pie mixture for some color. It worked. One of the kids didn't even realize I had a "pumpkin" in the house to even make a pie from!So, it turned out pretty yummy. I told the kids not to eat the last two pieces because we were saving those for Uncle Bubba- afterall, I'm sure he will want to know how his squash turned out.Later that day, I made a jar of lacto-fermented sauerkraut. I used a combination of 2 recipes. One from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon and the other that you can find here. I had some left over that wasn't going to fit into the jar so I just added some mayonnaise and, the three of us that like "slaw", had a treat.....and last on the food agenda of the day, my in-laws blessed me with a bag of pears. I have no idea what to do with them but I'll have to do something with them soon.....Any ideas?[...]

Corn Worms, Compost, and Curtains (Not necessarily in that order)...


I've felt kind of mischievous lately. It might come from the wonderful invention called, "vitamins" or something. Hey, I'm not complaining. I'm just glad to be feeling better lately.I've even gotten the gardening bug. Well, uhm, I guess you could call it, the "next year" gardening bug. Remember that cold frame experiment from yesteryear? I figured one of those old, wooden frames might have another year or two of life in them- a new life so to speak. No one ever goes behind the playhouse in the backyard so, I figured starting a compost pile at the house would be a good venture. It would be out of the way. One of those old cold frames would make a good housing for some rotting good stuff.Last time, I filled a 5 gallon bucket with scraps and about once a week or so, I took that bucket to Uncle Bubba's farm to join his compost. Now, I'll be able to make my own. My goal is to make enough good stuff to plant my seedlings in next year. With that being said, I'm planning to garden next year. Having not really "gardened" to any large scale this year, I realized that gardening makes me happy. Hey, you just gotta' go with what makes you happy sometimes. It took shucking some corn to make me realize that....but that story is to come....Here is the beginning of my compost pile. It already has 2 spent heads of lettuce, several apple cores (and a few peelings), the watermelon that was cracked (and we didn't realize it until it was too late), some cucumber peelings, the leftover organic dirt from my cucumber plants, some leaves, and of course, all of the corn shuckings and cobs that you see in the photo.Where did the corn come from? Uncle Bubba. He gardened pretty big this year even if he got started a little late.Scott and Go-Cart Boy brought these ears home the other day. We had no idea what condition (or stage for that matter) that the ears were in since the crop had been ready for many days."Hey, what are you lookin' at?"I guess you can figure that my insect loving daughter had a ball finding all of the corn worms. (This corn was totally organic- nothing was sprayed on it so it was bound to have some critters in it)."This acorn smells like corn"I've never liked the wiggly critters. Even when I was younger, I always passed the "wormy" corn to my Daddy. (Let me rephrase that- scream and throw the corn down on the ground). He would just reach down, and flick them off and break off the "eaten" pieces. It would gross me out a bit. Have you ever come across "wormy" corn? If you have, you understand how gross it can be. Well, with age comes wisdom. I can now "flick" corn worms and break off the "eaten" parts of a corn cob. Roly Poly girl had no problem with it at all from the start. She didn't get that from me!This is what we ended up with. The two dark orange cobs were already dried out! In case you were wondering, this corn was an open pollinated variety (heirloom) called "Bloody Butcher". It's an all purpose corn good for roasting, animal feed, and grinding (think grits). Uncle Bubba is going to let a lot of it dry out so we might have a "grits" making post one of these days. I'll have to read up on that before we attempt it though....Roly Poly Girl found one tiny, little ear. She squeeled, "BABY CORN!!!" and took off for the house to tell her "baby corn" eating brother about it. They actually washed it and halved it. I didn't ask them how it was.Scott brought some other goodies home too. The yellow guys are some type of Asian melon that taste like cantaloupes. The big squash, we have yet to[...]

This summer in Photos....


Summer around our house has been pretty busy. The bad thing is, I missed a lot of opportunities to take some funny pictures because I wasn't carrying around a camera with me. Oh well, that's alright. There will be other funny moments in time. In the mean time, I did take a few snaps of some things we've done over the past couple of months. I grew these cuties. Yes, "grew"!! I had ordered these little guys from Baker Creek Seeds and planted them in pots out on the back porch. If you remember, it was part of my "gardening epiphany" project. I managed to keep enough little cucumbers coming in to make one small jar of lacto fermented cucumbers from my 6 or so plants that survived. I gave them to Uncle Bubba since lacto fermented cucumbers are good for the gout. He could use all the help he can get in the "gout" department. They actually tasted pretty good but were a little too salty. The recipe was from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.We went to a birthday party at a local lake. I took this little snapshot of the birdhouse not far from the dock. I have to admit that it made me a little nervous knowing that just some wood planks were the only thing between me and numerous mud turtles.We threw a few birthday parties......Go Cart Boy did some "ice" experiments..... quite pretty actuallyUncle Bubba brought some boxes of clay for us to play with. Go Cart Boy made this alien. I made an alligator (he turned out so hideous that I didn't want to share).......and last but now least (and probably one of the funniest things) Poppy was bit on the nose by an alligator.... or is that a crocodile?[...]

SHARK ATTACK!!! (or, what's outside my windows)


It's been quite awhile since I saw something interesting outside my window. Well, this little doozy made up for the months of no excitement!This is how it ended:You might be saying, "dead shark". Yep, it met it's match. You see, that guy in the right corner calling 911? He's the cause of this predicament.Now, this is how it all started..... Balloon man (in the black shirt- inside the shark's mouth) was apparently trying to help this poor shark out by checking his teeth) The tall guy holding the shark's nose thought he would provide some extra insurance for Balloon Man's safety by holding the creatures snout firmly.I knew instinctively at that moment that disaster was in the air.......Notice the guy's arms are bending slowly as the shark is inching pressure down. Balloon man is frantically hurrying to finish his inspection as he knows the danger is rising......Then it happened..... it was inevitable. The shark broke free of the guy's grasp and swallowed up Balloon Man, the guy holding the shark's nose, and the guy that had been watching from the side line. All that was left was the strong guy in front. He called for help immediately......This guy, who happened to formerly be a zoologist, leaned over to examine the situation and give his scientific input. The strong guy on the left said, "I'm not waiting for your scientific mumbo jumbo" and he quickly punched the shark in the nose!"Take that you evil creature!". He moved his position to scope out the situation and see if their were any survivors...So that is how the situation unfolded (or should I say, "deflated"). The zoologist and the strong guy were the only survivors that sad day. What is the guy doing in the picture you ask? He's calling for help to remove the other three guys from the dead shark.I have to say that this situation was the most exciting thing that I have ever seen "outside my windows".... Don't you think?[...]

New Halloween Goodies at Minnie Maes (sorry- not the eating kind)


I've been busy at the sewing machine lately. The result, you ask? A bunch of Halloween trick or treat bags were born. Last year, I made 3 of my kids a bag each. Do you want to know what I really think about these bags- they are wonderful- and I'm not biased because I made them. They really work, they are durable, they fold up to be stored out of the way, they can be washed, and they are just plain, cute!Thanks to my fabric savvy sister in law, I was blessed with a bounty of Halloween fabric last year. I had forgotten about the fabric until last week when I came upon the bag of it- buried deep in my fabric "tub". It was actually kind of exciting to pull the bag open and see what she had bought me. I don't know why I didn't look into the bag last year. No matter though, it was nice to get a surprise. There were at least 2 yards of approximately 7 or 8 different patterns. Whoo Hoo!!Here are just a few goodies that I sewed up from my gifted stash:This brightly colored trick or treat bag is my favorite because of the bright colors and cute pictures. You can find out more about this bag here.This is the second bag that I made from this bright orange fabric with owls. Do you want to know what happened to the first one? My owl crazy sister fell in love with it. She got an early Christmas present- even if it was Halloween related.The bag in the photo is a double lined grocery bag that can be used for all sorts of things. You can find out more about it here.This is one of my toddler treat bags. They are made especially for small hands to carry. After all, little kiddos like candy too you know! You can read more about this bag here.Like I said before, these are just a few new goodies so be sure to check out my Etsy shop to find more handmade goodies![...]

I'm Still Around...


Betch'a gave up on me didn't you? Well, I'm still around. I've just been super busy- in crazy spurts no less- if that makes sense. You know, things seem calm and slow and then, BAMMM, everything jumps into high speed. At this particular moment in time, I have a free moment and thought I'd let you all know what was going on....that is if things don't jump into high speed all of the sudden.I was alerted that Uncle Bubba built a scare crow, so we took a trip over to take a look. I'm not sure how good it was working on his corn. With the looks of that scare crow's t-shirt, it looks like he has been doing some hard labor. Maybe that hard labor will pay off with some corn. Scott said that one day he is going to sneak over there and paste a ridiculous photo on the scarecrow's face and see how long it takes Uncle Bubba to notice. Hee, hee, can't wait for that one...My little cucumber plants started blooming at last! I ordered an heirloom variety so it was extra important that the little buggies visited these little blooms. This photo was taken a few weeks ago and since then, we've harvested about 5 little cucumbers. They turned out being this tiny gherkin kind. (I had misplaced my seed catalog and couldn't remember if they were the tiny ones or the regular ones- now I know). 5 cucumbers is not enough to make pickles so maybe next year.Look at that- nature ties a better knot that I can!Our former neighbor built the kids a playhouse out of some old scrap wood. This is the frame of it on the first day he started. If you look really, really, closely, you will see that it was built over a stump. Yes, you read that right, a stump. We call the finished playhouse- The Stump House. The kids were really excited about this new playhouse and so was their cousin Rachel. She made this housewarming gift the day it was finished. If you can believe it, that grass stayed alive for almost a week and a half! I thought it was sweet that the new Stump House was graced with live foliage (at least for a little while anyway.) Scott even installed a solar barn light inside (which the kids left on the other night and nearly made me jump out of my skin when I saw it glowing in the backyard!). For now, we haven't installed the shingles or siding but the kids don't care- it's just the most awesome Stump House ever. Good summertime fun is in store!Hope summer is going great for everyone![...]

A Cheap and Educational Day Trip...


Campbell's Covered BridgeI don't have a lot of free time lately to blog because we've been busy hitting the school books. But, I have managed to squeeze in some time to share a recent day trip that three of the kids and I made. ( a little wading and splashing was involved by the way).We visited the last covered bridge in the state of South Carolina. I was amazed at how open and friendly the area around the bridge was so we got out and rambled a bit. (did I mention their was wading and splashing involved? Oh yeah, I did that already)....Kind of makes you think about all of the wagons and cars that travelled across this boarded floor....You wouldn't want to meet an oncoming wagon or car back in those days when going through this tunnel....This little guy was hiding in the "fake" well nearby. I wasn't sure what he was in the light but was delighted to check my camera after I snapped the photo to find out he was an amphibian and NOT a reptile. Thank goodness for small miracles!Overall, it was a nice day trip and we got to actually see and "touch" a piece of fleeting history. That was nice (Oh, and did I mention, it was a cheap trip- and there was wading and splashing involved?)[...]