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Creative Potpourri

• woman • wife • mother • daughter • sister • friend • designer • occasional blogger and Thirty-One representative • everyday dreamer and muse • always opinionated and mostly harmless •

Updated: 2018-02-15T19:07:40.061-05:00


Air Plants are SO cool


I really enjoy air plants.
It sounds so weird, but my first interaction with one was back when I used to receive the subscription box: Whimseybox…I don't think they still exist.

In one of the boxes had an air plant, a bag of concrete mix, instructions, and a piece of cardboard. The project was to fold the cardboard to make a vessel to hold the concrete mix which would then cure (once water was added) and you would have a lovely concrete 'vase' for your air plant. Sounds like it wouldn't work right?
You would be correct…it didn't work. Guess what, cardboard «no matter how coated the cardboard is» will not hold a wet concrete mix.

So I think I just abandoned the project just putting all the left over items back into the Whimseybox box (they were REALLY nice boxes» and walked away. Months later when I was getting ready to move I cam across the box again and the air plant inside and much to my surprise…the air plant was fine.

Thus starting my love of a plant, that I can't kill!

I think I eventually did lose it-probably in the move. And not knowing how to get more of such unusual plants…I kind of forgot about them.

That was until this winter and Pinterest!

Thus my obsession began again. At Christmas time we had the Tiger's Daisy troop use air plants in a project for the school support staff-janitors, lunch ladies, etc…

Which is what spurred a little more of my creativity and my need to figure out what to do with the left over air plants.

Thus my latest video!

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Embarrassed and excited


Honestly, I am!

Let's start with the embarrassment…

I was so gung ho on finishing and publishing a pattern for my soap sack-see previous post.

Gung ho meaning eager to finish not to be confused with Gung Ho meaning eager to watch the 1986 movie staring Micheal Keaton…although now that you mention it, I'd like to watch that now.

But it has taken me MULTIPLE-like six-passes to get this thing correct! I mean, I used to do this stuff ALL the time.

My knitting/patterning muscle is so rusty!

I am still working on it!

Next, let's talk excitement! 

I have been playing with the YouTube thing for a while…toying with the idea of really putting the time and effort into a channel.
I think I'm ready!

I uploaded my first video today and I already have plans for others…including my next one. Which I have chosen to promo in today's video.

My thinking for that was two fold:
1. give a watcher a glimpse into what to expect next and entice them to come back
2. a LOT as accountability to me to get it done and out next Thursday.
This is either brilliant or stupid—your guess is as good as mine.

Anyway, this decision road has been long…but I'm doing a soft launch. Mostly because I'm scared out of my mind! And secondly, because I am still not sure about the identity of the channel as a whole. Which is still why I'm so hesitant here on the blog.

But, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking that it should be a total extension of this blog, which is a lot about crafting and some of my life thrown in for spice.

My other struggle is with the OneCraftChick thing—it's been my Etsy shop for a while.
Do I dump it, do I have a separate name for my Etsy shop «which let's be honest, the shop has been a back burner item for a while». Or do I change everything over to Creative Potpourri?

I have a social media presents as OneCraftChick…but my YouTube channel is Creative Potpourri.

Maybe I figure out how to go the other directions, to One Craft Chick and away from Creative Potpourri «ie, changing my YouTube Channel to OneCraftChick»
 Lord, please give me some guidance!

Easy Valentine Garland Tutorial


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That's right!
Just in time for Valentines day, I did this video tutorial on how to make a Valentine Garland to decorate your home.

Mine is on my mantel-which I love and is fashioned after this one by Momma from Scratch.

But lets get back on track…

This tutorial turns a set of mini-light that were set to go to a charitable organization into a festive Valentine garland.

I love this technique, it is so easy to modify to make into whatever kind of garland you'd like.

I am showing you a valentine one, but other uses could include:
• making «from paper or fabric» or finding, green leaves, bright flowers and using a hole punch for spring garland
• taking a couple sets of colorful plastic eggs and poking a hole into the bottom and then placing them over a strand of lights for Easter
• making shamrocks «from paper or fabric» and use a hole punch for St. Patty's day
…the possibilities are endless!

Be a Knitter again!


I have been really into knitting lately. I have forgotten how much I enjoy the process, how relaxing I find the entire experience and how challenging it can be.All things I need. And the knitting made me think of how I started this blog. It seems SO long ago.It was back when blogging was really just something everyone was doing. There were some 'professional' bloggers out there, but no one was quite as polished as they are now.Now it seems like you have to have a whole crafting empire to be taken seriously or find an people to connect with.Maybe that's just my perception of  blogging now. I mean, there is NOTHING worse then seeing a recipe, article, craft on Pinterest and clicking to read more and then being bombarded by pop-ups to Subscribe or the waste of time for 100 ads to load… I just want to read the post people, not be asked to buy something or get more junk in my email box.Where was I before my rant…Oh, starting this blog and knitting.I miss my knitting-blog friends. I miss knitting swaps. I miss just small little gift swaps.It seems that the majority of people I met back then have disappeared-just stopped/or slowed down with blogging. I have two people from that time that I still keep «a little» in touch with. One has stopped blogging «although, I should ask her if she has stopped completely-she has reinvented herself online multiple times with different crafts and cooking—must ask her…Jennifer if you're reading this let me know if/where you blog» and the other is Cristina over at Little Wilds.I wonder if Ravelry is a good community for getting that old cyber-knitting-community feel. I've been a member over there since 2007. I became a member back when there was a waiting list to become a member-the site was growing so fast the creators had to ration letting people join and the site hasn't really changed much since it began. It does need a facelift and some structural changes.Anyway, I made myself a hat the other day—a top knot hat «see above». I can't write out the pattern, cause I kinda made it up as I went, but maybe I'll try again. I'd like another one-in black.And I need a soap sack, I have somehow lost all the ones I previously made. And since I'm going through my Purge, Create, Learn program I need to Purge some bars of soap.So to really merge all the items in my 'program' I will be Createing a soap sack, and I'm Learning how to write a pattern so I cam Purge bars of soap!Yes, I'm writing a pattern. When I'm done, I will post it here AND on Ravelry—I do already have one on Ravelry, my spring wreath «blog post» «Ravery»!I do hope ti have that done and up by Friday. Stop back and see if I can accomplish that!xoxoP.S. In looking back for links to past items-the wreath and soap sacks; I came across this. It combines a swap, soap sacks, and my sweet Oscar «and my old house». Man, I kinda miss those days.[...]

A 15 minute Plan


Today was the girls first day back to school-my first day alone in the house for over 2 weeks and my first time to get some much needed creative uninterrupted  time for my design clients.And I really needed it!Although I really didn't want to do work, I just wanted to bask in the quiet. I did a little. But not as much as I wanted.But I did try something new. I needed to be able to get some things done—home things, general life things—as well as my client work.So I devised this 15 minute plan that actually worked!I would set my alarm for 15 minutes do a single task, or do a set of tasks.It was kinda awesome.I spent my first 15 minutes, listening to Kristianne Wargo's AWESOME podcast from today. It was short and provided so much for me to marinate on. If you do't listen to her-DO NOW. But that marinating time is hard for me. I think the podcast was like 7 minutes so that left me with 8 minutes to think.It was incredibly hard for me to just sit there with my thoughts and not be consumed by my list of To Do's. But like all kinds of meditation…when your mind starts to wonder you have to wrangle it back in. Sometimes easier said then done.Then I chose the easiest shortest client project for my next 15 minutes. Which was kinda the perfect amount of time for the task.Next 15 minutes, a group of short tasks from my to do list—put in a load of laundry, set up the Instapot to make a batch of hard boiled eggs «my favorite recipe», walk around the house and pick-up a couple things while turning on all the smelly things I have «candle in the bathroom I'm trying to use up, a couple of diffuses». I was kinda amazed how much I could get done in 15 minutes.Started another project for the next 15 minutes and then let that one sit for a next 15 minutes while I went onto another client project. It was really great. I didn't get too bogged down in one design clients stuff «over thinking as I often times do».It was really a productive day.I even ran out and put checks into the bank, and purchase the items to start making a scoby «an utterly discussing looking gel organism-but such a cool bit of science» to start brewing my own kombucha «one of the many things on my Learn list for the year»So the 15 minute plan worked until the Tiger came home from school and then all things were occupied by her: about her day «Jack found a dead mole on the playground-this was the number 1 thing», what to have for snack, 1st grade math homework, etc…Then came picking up the Dragon as well as a rotisserie chicken «Earth Fare $5—a great deal», made a green bean side, bath night and bed.All in all, I'm stickin' with this 15 minute thing, from time to time maybe I'll up it to 20 minutes «I'm getting crazy out here in the midwest». But it's a pretty good average day system.Do you have a system? I'd love to hear what works for you.xoxo[...]

One More Thing…


…today was one of those days.
You know the ones—the day that you have 1001 things to do. But you know, because of one thing on that list, you wont get even 10% of that list done.

Yep, that was today.

And although I had a completely different blog planned…this isn't it.

This is just me typing to get it done so I can mark one more thing off my list-thus feeling «slightly» better about the day. Then paint my nails «clear», while I listen to some podcasts «Optimal Living Daily is playing now», then watch some YouTube «a little Phillip DeFranco» and fall asleep to One Crazy Summer by read by Sisi Aisha Johnson.

So, goodnight. 
I hope you had a wonderful day and I promise something better tomorrow.

Learning is Action or Vice Versa


Well, it's been a couple days—but I did say in my Purge post that I would write about learning on Friday.So, I am not behind!So, here we go: I've talked Purge. and Create.Now it's time discuss Learn.Again, let's start with what Merriam-Webster says about Learn:Now, I have kinda started this learning quest a while ago. I've mostly relegated learning to Podcasts-I heart them! They are free «I use iTunes to download/find, but I have used Google Play», easy to listen to «iPhone-other smart phones, iPod—yes I still have like an iPod or 3, don't judge». And you can listen just about anywhere «I did yesterday while I was grocery shopping».You can see what I listen too over in the sidebar or you can read about my love here.Most of the learning I have gained thought podcasts has been more about people, places, ideas, and getting back to zero «God».And all of that has been wonderful and inspirational. But as Chris Guillebeauwould say…—Chris Guillebeau, Side Hustle SchoolThe more I think about it…maybe Action should be a fourth word for the year?Must…marinate…on…that.Going back to learn.On the top of my list of things to learn, is video.Shot lists. Shooting. Editing. YouTube-ing «again, I think I'm just making up words, but who cares»I have a sorta photography background-high school photography, plus my own amateur fun skills.A couple of good cameras.I have iMovie-because I own an Apple computer and it's FREE when you get an Apple. I'm also a working freelance graphic designer, so I subscribe «mostly because I HAVE too in order to work» to Adobe Creative Cloud which gives me access to Adobe Premiere Pro. And my understanding is that Premiere is better then iMovie and since I already pay for it,  I think that I will be taking some time Learn that.And to prove that I'm serious about this, over the last 2 days I made a video. It's a first step into stop motion film, which is yet another thing that fascinates me, and will be my first set of experiments for my YouTube channel.Thanks for stoppin' by again!xoxo allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560">[...]



As I said yesterday, I am focusing or goaling «I don't think that's a word, but whatever» toward three words this year.Purge. Create. Learn.Lets talk Create!We'll start with Merriam-Webster definition of Create: And we'll go with either of those two definitions: Bring into existence or produce through imaginative skill-both are exactly what I want to do.I've always been a creative and visual person; and I have a drive to make things-almost anything really. It's a blessing and a curse. Anyone else feel that way?Anyway…Last year was a bit of a low year for me. I created things for other people: magazines, brochures, social media posts and graphics. But I feel like I did very little for myself. Very little to flex creativity to exactly what I wanted, I did the creativity for other people to meet their expectations/needs.And I can feel the lack of MY creative time. It makes me irritable and ungrateful and just generally—a no so nice person to be around. I think because it's a piece of me and when something is missing and you feel like you can't get it back…it just makes you kind of bitter.YES Good word! BITTER. Last year, I was bitter.I found myself pulling away from others—cause who wants to be with someone who is irritable and bitter. I'll tell you who…NO ONE. And maybe if I hadn't pulled away, I would have found a creative outlet with others.  It's not like, not creating is a #ThirdWorldProblem.Of course it isn't!But feeling like you aren't getting to be yourself, not getting to propel a huge piece of your psych forward — is a problem.And what if that hole in you, the missing piece bleeds out into other areas of your life…areas of the world where you have influence? What if Donald Trump is just feeling unfulfilled in his life and that is why he is constantly lashing out and trying to figure out where he should be going/ trying to find a way to get back to a core piece of who he is? What if he is so far removed from his core that he doesn't even know what's missing. And because of all that, he is this jumbled mess of contradictions we see far too often?Wow, I have NO idea where that came from. That was weird and political and not something that I would ever really normally say or think about…Let's move on!What will I be creating this year?So glad you asked…and as always I have a million and one thoughts in my head.I think I need to start some with my quiet crafts—writing «this blog, maybe I'll try the #BohoBerryChallenge» knitting «I hear the Monthly Dishcloth KAL calling my name, but only after I get the—royal pain in the arse—hat I started, off my needles-must Purge first».I also want to start making more videos. I really wish I had stuck with my tcom major in college, but there is no going back. However, with everything «phones that take video, camera-video and SLR's getting cheaper» there is no reason for me not to learn and have fun. To see if I can't cultivate some of my love of movies and making «ie crafting» into that arena.You can see check out my latest video or some of my older ones on my YouTube channel. Up until now, it has all been experimental fun and it will continue to be for a while. But I think that my channel will be a great place for me to put two of my goal words to use: Create. and Learn.Which brings me to my final word. Learn-come back to read about what I will do with that one.And as always…thanks for stopping by and let me know…what will you be creating in 2018. Doesn't have to be craft. I know I'm talking a lot about that. But I don't think that just physical crafting will be my sole focus for the word Create.XOXOP.S. I want to Create a home I'm happy with. In appearance, as well as, just the feelings of everyone who lives here. And that, will be a much longer blog post for future Maria…present Maria is still marinating on that one.[...]

A Blank Slate


Happy 2018!It's a new year and this means, it's time to 'start over'.Not in everything. You can't start everything over, but I can change me, how I react to things and my goals.I am starting small.I have three words for the 2018: Purge. Create. Learn.Today, I'm going to start with Purge. Tomorrow I'll talk Create. And Friday, Learn.Let us begin with the basics: Merriam-Webster defines purge asI'm going with #2 to get rid of unwanted things.I'm not doing some crazy minimalist thing and throw away half three-fourths of my wardrobe or anything like that. I'm sure the Marie Kondo things works for some people—just not me! I do feel trapped by my belongings sometimes, but that is mostly a trap I have made for myself. I have this really bad habit of 'saving' things.Somehow in my head I say: This «tea, face mask, yarn, etc…» is so awesome, I don't want to use it right now, today isn't special enough.WTF am I thinking?It's crazy to think that. And more often then not—I FORGET ABOUT IT/it expires/I purchase something else equally as spacial that I also squirrel away/it gets freezer burnt from sitting in my freezer for 3 years.  Not that any of that has ever happened to me…especially not that last one with a turkey beast I purchased for Thanksgiving 3 years ago.Anyway…my goal is to STOP that thinking and use the-mystical-special it. I wish I knew where that thinking that something is TOO special to use came from. I'm chalking it up to some stinkin' thinkin'—some stinkin' thinkin' that today is (or I am) not special enough.When the truth is that I AM special enough and today IS special because I am still breathing and walking and have the ability to do most anything I want.So take that stinkin' thinkin'!Another part of this purging process is to get rid of things I purchased but before finishing them, I purchased something new (because I saw it and wanted to try it and/or it was on sale) or I didn't like something but for some reason think I'm going to change my mind/need to use it again so I enver get rid of it. This is never more evident then with HABA (Health And Beauty Aids) products: lotions, make-up, lip balm, etc…I want to clean out what I'm not going to use. Use up the products I have before I allow myself to buy something new.Even better would be to sell off what I'm not going to use and then be able to take that money to buy something I will use.I started this with make-up. I have make-up samples/special buy packs I have gotten from Ulta as well as just make-up that I tried a couple times and just didn't like it. (I try and be especially clean with using make-up. In case I don't like it and plan on giving it to my sister or a friend.)I love make-up, but I am not good with make-up…mostly because I have no interest in spending the time to make myself good at putting make-up on my face.Learning about products-watching YouTubers and their make-up hauls/chats YES.Taking the time to follow-up with that knowledge (beyond purchasing and trying a couple times) NO.Therefore, the other day I put a couple mixed lots out on ebay to see if I can't get rid of stuff and maybe make a little money to buy what I do like when I truly need something new-foundation seems to be a problem area for me…I have tried a bunch but keep going back to my standard Origins. It's not drugstore so it's more expensive, but if I added up all the money I have spent trying (and not liking) drugstore foundation, I'd be able to buy what I know I like and what makes me feel good.So, we'll see what happens. You can check out those listings here and here.How about you? Are you as bad about using things up as I am?What are your irresistible items?Come back tomorrow for more of my crazy talk :)XOXO  [...]

My Week In Review: Number 1


This is a new feature I came up with the other day…I think it's a great way for me to write «everyday» and a good way for me to have a standing regularly scheduled post. I didn't come up with the idea until Friday so that's when I began. I will try and post 'My Week In Review' every Sunday.FridayShower: YES «I even shaved my legs»How glorious it was to feel the warm/hot water beating my back and flinging off the dirt and grime from days «2 days» of not showering. I wasn't that dirty «the water wasn't gray or anything» but just the daily schmutz that clings to your being, example: the smell of cooked/burnt dinner.After the shower I had the time «and motivation» to rub several dime-size handfuls of lavender baby oil on each of my legs, arms and a little on my décolletage — between the warm shower and the lavender baby oil all I wanted to do was go climb into bed and take a nap.Of course, I found 1 long leg hair. Ladies you've run into this right, you know that area right above your heel just behind your ankle? That area where 1 or 2 things happen:1. you miss some portion of it completely for weeksor2. you cut the dickens out of it and the blood turns the water all pink for the remainder of your showerYes? You know what I mean right?Please don't leave me hanging!I dress, into something too nice apparently and the Boar thinks something is up. But honestly, I just have on a pair of jeans and a sweater instead of my normal uniform of comfy «sweat/yoga/leggings» pants and a t-shirt. But we do have to go to a school festival with out oldest daughter that eveningThe Tiger in the middle of an art installation at school.SaturdayShower: NoI woke up late—was awaken by the Dragon and I only had 1 hour before I had to leave for work.Got up…got coffee…fed the Dragon and the Tiger «she woke up 2 minutes after we went downstairs»…washed up «this included washing my face, and a quick sponging of all my tids and bits», fresh deodorant, and my work clothes.Worked, shopped after my shift — couple of Christmas gifts purchase and got myself some helpful  items for easier podcast listening.BlueLounge Cable Clips for my headphones and a ReadeRest Magnet clip so that my iPod and headphones.Got home and played with the girls for a bit before I was thrown over for the neighbor girl «she will be referred to from this point on as the Snake-not because of who she is, but based on the Chinese calendar and when she was born»Then we went to church, we love our church-mostly because our children love their neighborhood class. I think that the Boar and I are feeling a little less filled by this particular bit of our God-time.The Boars hand «holding his coffee» and my coffee +Northview Church Well…that's what I have for now! Come back next Sunday to see what I did during the week.XOXO [...]

I'm a hot mess right now


Designed by kues1 / Freepik

This is pretty much what my brain looks like.

Kinda beautiful and interesting…but just a jumble.

I've been trying to get so many things done, but I just can't seem to focus.

Do you ever feel like that?

Blogoversary 2017


It seems fitting that I I'm in the process of restarted this blog and that today is the anniversary of when I started so many years ago.

I have decided that this will be more of an 'old school' blog. More about sharing my thoughts, sharing my craft and hope that you will join me here to share YOUR thoughts and your crafts.

I'm not so worried about trying to monetize with sponsored posts, I just want to find other crafty people I can connect with and maybe share some experiences with.

I do hope you will join me.

Rabbit holes are dangerous


I've been listening to a lot of Podcasts lately…Podcasts are my jam-at least they are right now.I listened to Podcasts years ago—like 10 years ago, after they first came out.«Maybe that was 20 year? How long have iPods and Podcasts been around?» I hadn't thought about them in quite a while but like 4 months ago, I decided to look and see if they still existed-you just don't hear much about them anymore «at I haven't»But much to my delight,  they do! I decided to go looking to see if I could find any on crafting and/or happiness «I'm sure I was feeling particularly low that day» and I came across one by Gretchen Rubin «AKA The Happiness Project lady» which led me down a rabbit hole of other podcasts.I subscribed to a couple, I did this through Google play «I have an Android phone and wanted to listen there instead of having to downloading/sync to my old school iPod-5th generation». But then, about a month later while at MOPS «Mothers Of Preschoolers» we started talking about Podcasts…I don't even know what led us to that discussion. One of the other moms «one I adore and admire very much, despite having just met her this year» mentioned the NPR podcast Serial, which I couldn't find on Google Play, So, back to the land of Apple and iTunes I went. Where I fell DEEP-down another rabbit hole: the NPR rabbit hole.And then the more I listened to my initial list of podcast, they led me down another rabbit hole.Man, rabbit holes are dangerous!I've almost completely abandoned crafting podcasts-they are truly more fitting for YouTube vlogs or video podcasts; this is due to the visual nature of them-which is a completely different rabbit hole/blog post.So I have made a conscience decision to stick with inspirational: God, life, craft, business themed within' the inspiration realmI'm loving my new field of podcasts. I'm inspired daily and have been far more productive. Less time in the TV rabbit hole—this rabbit hole is my comfort zone comfort hole: where I go when I'm too overwhelmed to figure out what to do; too frustrated with my life because I'm so irritated with how things are moving…where I go when I just want to hide.All those things are within my control—and although I have always known it, I think I have just forgotten about it over the last 5 years with everything that has happened. With marriage and motherhood I have let myself fall into a different rabbit hole…one of depression and an attitude of day-to-day-just-survive. Since everyday I want to thrive instead of just survive…Podcasts have become my healthy rabbit hole. How about you? Are you thriving or surviving?I hope you're in the thriving camp. If you need a buddy for your thrive journey…Lets walk this thriving path together. xoxo P.S. Checkout the list of what I'm listening to over in the sidebarOver here somewhere-------------------------------------------------->>>>>>> [...]

Summer update


We went and saw Despicable Me 3.

It has been a busy week and a half.

We survived camps.
The Tiger went to girl scout camp—which she LOVED!
We are very lucky to have such an active Girl Scout association in Indiana. There are no less then 8 different state-wide camp locations for girl scouts to attend.
And the Dragon went to half day camp at a local community center—she was not as thrilled with her experience.

We also got through our next adventure—4 days with Glammy and Pap. Which means 4-days of freedom for mom (and dad), except I worked a lot during that time.
What to do?

But I did get to focus on sleep, setting up/cleaning my office, and updating/cleaning out my Etsy shop (which is having it's first sale).

What would you do if you didn't have your kids for 4-days?

And we have just survived Independence Day which was called "The worst day ever!" by the Tiger because she didn't get to stay up late and watch fireworks. Which we did on the 3rd of July. But earlier in the day was called the best day ever because we got to see a long-lost friend.
Can't win for losing can I?

What's next?

Your guess is as good as mine.

A long week and a vinyl haul


My vinyl haul from has been my joy this week.
Honestly, this has been a long week.

Filled with anxiety.

The Tiger's last days of Kindergarten was Wednesday and there was a lot happening around that.
The Boar started a new job and all he wants to do is talk about it at the most inconvenient time.
And the Dragon has been very needy.
And I got some blood test results back.

And nothing I seemed to do this week worked out.

I tried making Milk-Can Supper via Cook's Country.
I love and trust Cook's Country. After seeing that episode a couple months ago, I  knew I wanted to try it. And then I saw the recipe on Pinterest and though that maybe I could adapt it a bit and make it in the InstantPot.

Which would be a nice challenge for someone who has had an InstantPot for ONE WEEK!
But why not?
It's just about adjusting the time and then everything else is pretty much the same, right?

Yes, that is how I rationalized it. I looked up how long to cook potatoes in the pot and called it good!  And it would have worked, everything was cooked properly…however, the flavors just were not there. I was going to document the whole thing and then tell you all about it. However, it's not even worth mentioning beyond these two paragraphs.

And that meal just turned into more fuel for my anxiety flame.

Which is why, instead of starting my friends order for 21 t-shirt Heat Vinyl Transfer's, I shot a video instead. I think I just couldn't take it if one more thing went wrong this week.

But since the video turned out pretty well—except for the lack of solid focus for the first half and the lack of me properly staging my shooting area, and my editing skills in iMovie.

So here's my video «below also», my one thing that «sorta» turned out the way it was supposed to.

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I'll try again for something better—this weekend.

My Silhouette Cameo—which is actually such a good deal right now I'm almost considering purchasing a new one. But I will not, because my husband would kill me. Besides, I also have a Silhouette Portrait, how many cutting machines does one person need?
I mean, I don't really need both machines, but…what can I say.
I like gadgets.
And crafting.

Introducing: MY INSTANT POT…Mabel is her name


Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6 Quart 1000WLast week, after months of watching video, reading recipes and lots of thought…I took the plunge and purchased an InstantPot!And then, I spent the rest of the week watching MORE videos (check-out my YouTube Watchlist) and trying to decide if I made the right decision. And even more time trying to figure out what recipes I would start with.Now we begin. My first recipe was Hamburger Stroganoff and I decided on it because: #1 I had the ingredients #2 It seemed pretty easy-like I probably couldn’t f-it up.#3 and most importantly…identified with the story Julie shared in her post.I left my full-time job 3 years ago to be a part-time freelancer and I miss full-time work. And over the last year things completely changed.My husband's job moved all their engineers 3 states away and he (along with all the other engineers in his office—decided not to take the move offered to them, therefore he was out of work for 6 months looking for a new job), resulting in taking my youngest daughter out of full-time daycare and turning me into a SAHM, resulting in me not able to take quite as many freelance jobs and both of which mess with my sanity. I keep asking God for direction as to what to do next. For my purpose.I feel that being a part-time freelancer and a full-time SAHM for my youngest daughter has not be the best situation for either of us and I'm not very good at either of them, because I feel like my life is missing something.I just have no idea what that something is, although if I could make a living crafting all day…I'd do it. And I am praying that this summer, I will get the chance to do it. Maybe rebooting my blog time-my me time is that I need.Let's talk recipe-nitty gritty #1 up there: turned out not to be as true as I thought. Luckily I have wonderful neighbors and one of them let me go raid her garden for an onion.Which was a adventure all of it’s own. I couldn't find a bulb onion.…resulting in me pulling a couple carrots and then finding these scallions on steroids. After shoving what I pulled back into the ground, she came over and helped me. Letting me know that those scallions I thought were on steroids were really…Walking onions.Learn how to make one of the newspaper boxes by watching Asian Beauty Secret's video 8 Asian Life Hacks. This cutting board is: Epicurean Non-Slip Series Cutting Board, 14.5-Inch by 11.25-Inch, Natural/BrownAnd I feel that that is the only place the recipe wasn't as good as I'd hopped-the onion flavor was missing.But they did provide me with a lot to add to my homemade composter.Although I wasn't completely happy with the seasoning, I think it turned out great!It was honestly, the perfect first recipe. You use a lot of different functions requiring you to figure things out.I probably tried to start the high pressure cook function timing about 4 times—don't judge me! :) It wasn't as easy as I thought and it required me to get familiar with all the buttons and the display.I'm really grateful that I chose this recipe for my first InstantPot meal[...]

Life is full of stranger things


Honestly…it really is. full of stranger things.Not stranger thing like the show—stranger things that are unexpected, unusual but always interesting.Honestly, my life has been full of them and I'm kinda waiting for the next one.I need one.I chalk strange coincidences up to God and his ultimate plan. Which is sometimes easy to do years down the line: Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.For example:A couple of years ago, I had had a falling out with some friends. It doesn't matter why and no one was to blame, it just happened. I think we were all in the throws of a transition and the fallout was what we needed to move each of us out of our comfort zone and into the next phase of our lives.In the midst of the fallout, was my birthday. My 31st birthday…not a big one, but it was to me. I had spent a hard year and a half losing weight and I was really in a place where I felt good . And I wanted to go out and celebrate. However, the falling out had left me with few going out friends.So what did I do…I called a radio station. WHAT?Well, I did. I don't know why.It was completely out of character for me to do that, but something God told me to make the call that morning. So, I blindly followed. Again, not something I usually do, but I did and it set me on a course that would change my life.You should ALWAYS blindly follow what God says…God's plans are so complicated and taking that first step in blind faith sets off a chain you don't expect…it's basically Freakonomics. Actually, that whole movement should have been called God-onomics!Anyway…the DJ put me on the air saying something like:"My 31st birthday is this weekend and I have no one to go out with. What should I do?"Now, this wasn't a Dear Abby kinda morning show. This is pop music and stupid silly bits kinda morning show.But people called in and said they'd go out. Now, to a cautious person this is a scary proposal. I mean, I live in the midwest and most midwesterners are nice/kind but…you never know.Melissa, Me and the other random girl who showed up-but didn't stick around.They hooked me up with one of the callers: Melissa and two or three other girls—only one other of which came out. But Melissa and I…instant sisters separated at birth.Most of the Crew out blowing.And that course changed both of our worlds. We hung out a lot. Met men. Broke up with men.Made new female friends.Stayed friends with some of the men we dated and pulled everyone together to form a little crew… a dysfunctional family . We all loved each other.I married one of the men from that group and we all stood my Melissa as she ran into and fell back in love with a guy she had know since middle school.That one 'Stranger Thing' changed my life, from which it has yet to recover and sometimes can't even believe it all happened.Melissa moved away shortly after getting married—that middle school guy was now a Navy man and there is not staying in one place for long with a Navy man. Not to mention, no midwest living— land-locked states are not Navy friendly.And our crew broke up.We were all again, in the throws of life changes, but this time…the straw that broke that camels back was me.And I know why…I have a tendency to tell people the things they don't want to hear, but they know. Deep down— in places they refuse to acknowledge. And that has a tendency to break things up/make things awkward…sometimes for years.It is worth mentioning, I have been correct everytime I have spoken out. I'm not saying that to sound superior, but I'm just saying it to show that you might think I'm a bitch for speaking out, but I'm not. I just somehow know—another str[...]

Love is Back!


If you've been here before you know that I really like TV.Lots of TV…and movies. I have had a couple of post ideas in my head that I desperately need to work on—Sorkin-love being my #1 idea.But today, I am going to talk (again) about the Netflix original LOVE (previous post here). I saw the trailer for it last night, and I could not be more excited! allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="530">Start at the beginningIf you haven't seen the first season, I highly recommend going back and watching it. I'm actually going to rewatch it so I'm ready for season 2.It's a little hard to explain why I like it so much. Probably because I can see pieces of myself in both of the main characters. Judd Apatow has crafted a show about hownerds awkward and flawed people fall in love.I can say that because I am an awkward and flawed person. And it true Apatow fashion, the series finds the humor and heart in them and their experiences.Watched and or interested in watching?I would love to do a Google Hangout or Periscope watch (and craft) session for a couple episodes.Is anyone interested? Comment below if you are. Maybe we can even start next week with season 1.[...]

Last Minute Valentine


Sometimes holidays just creep up on you. Especially if you have kids and you are dealing with all their school valentine responsibilities, your home valentine celebration can get thrown to the side.
Here is a super easy valentine gift/project you can do with your kiddos today.
1. Decide whom you'd like to have them give this too-dad, grandparent, aunt, friend—All of the above!
2. Print (you don't even have to download).
3. Ask your kiddos the questions (or have them read them).
4. Record the responses (have them write them).
4. Laminate. Don't have a laminater, skip this step.
5. Have your kiddo give it as a gift.
6. Go grab a glass of wine cause you just won Valentines day!

Budget Crafting: Valentine edition


Valentines Day…hearts and flowers…pretty pink (and red) paper…a holiday for children…and sickeningly sweet lovers that wont last. But valentine crafts are for fun!And since it is all of those things I will decorate. I will fill the house with a little more love then there was in January and a little more then there will be after February 14. Which really—when you think about it—is sad.We should be filling every area of our lives with love everyday, right? But sometimes the grind of  daily life: dirty underwear, homework, making lunches and dinners, cleaning marker off of… well—EVERYTHING; it can put a hold on some of the little things that show love. Reading that extra story at bedtime, giving the Boar a hug when he gets home or a kiss before he leaves for work.So, let's bring in the love! At least some love via my favorite thing: Crafting!So, leading up to Valentines Day, I will be posting a #love inspired craft video.My first has been a been…a headache. Not making it, but the video caused me several fits, from filming to uploading to YouTube. I have been trying to decide if God just didn't want me to do it. But I persevered, and although NO WHERE near what I had hoped it would be, it is uploaded and I am on to the next.I hope you enjoy. This is the perfect beginner craft. It's easy, kid-friendly and required limited supplies. Supplies are ones that you probably have around the house-I have provided alternatives for any of the 'fancy' supplies I used (my supply list is at left). So please head over to my YouTube channel, follow the tutorial and let me know what you think.What you need for this project: • 5-6 pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper • Aleene's Tacky Glue • Clover Wonder Clips or plain old paperclips • Fiskers Paper cutter or scissors/X-acto knife, metal ruler, and a self-healing cutting mat[...]

Tutorial: Make some ABC playing cards


Maybe I mentioned it, but I've been WAY into YouTube lately!Videos…some are just fun or interesting, while others are actually educational and inspirational.This blog has been inspired by this Sweet and Simple Home video on her favorite activities for kids. We have been working on the ABC's with O. She kinda hates it…she just would rather do anything other then “tell us what this letter is.” On the flip side, she has discovered games-Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. Let's meld games and working on that alphabet.So, here's my take on the SSH's Sight words Bust card game…an ABC Bust card game.Let's chat about paper… I didn't want to do a lot of cutting or have to use a ton of ink by printing the backs of playing cards. But I still wanted them to look pretty.So, I started with pre-printed scrapbooking paper.I also decided I wanted to use 6x6 paper so I wouldn't have to do more then one cut—3x6 cards seem like a good size for little hands.I picked up this tablet of paper at Tuesday Morning for $2.99. It has 36 pieces of paper and I only needed 28 so this gave me room to…how do I put it nicely…F-up a couple sheets!Let's get to printing You'll need this ABC cards template and if your printer wont print on 6x6 paper, you'll need this template as well.  If your printer wont print on 6x6 paper-like mine, you'll need to tape your 6x6 paper to an 8.5x11 piece of paper to get it printed. Using a template like this is fairly common…people use the same process to print on Post-It notes.To tape the 6x6 paper to the 8.5x11 paper, I used Scotch brand tape—it comes off easily but sticks well. I had blue lying around so…blue it is!Make sure you tape the 6x6 paper, plain side up right into the block on the 8.5x11 paper.Time to start printing the cards. I sent ALL the pages to the printer at once, I also printed two of the 8.5x11 templates…that just helped make the whole process go faster. Have one printing while you are getting the other ready to print. Make sure you load your 8.5x11 paper into the printer TAPE SIDE DOWN!Look…it printed!  Gently remove the tape and load the next set of paper for printing.All printed…don't they look pretty!Now it's time to cut! One cut, straight down the middle.Done!Time to play.You can find directions here. I am opting for no coffee container and to use a timer to encourage some small bursts of focus. :) Stay tuned: Next week I'll post a tutorial on how to make a box to hold your cards.Thanks for stopping by!xoxo[...]

I've started this blog about 15 times…


…and I still can't get my thoughts out.

Let us just go with this:
I AM Stress Paralyzed!
…and perhaps have adult onset ADD

Between work, my home, my kids, my spouse…I don't even know what to do.

Lets start with this: I'm an avid lister. I love lists…
Really you can probably find about 6 other blog posts about how much I love lists. :)

But I haven't made time lately to make my lists. I am actually beginning to think, that is my problem.

No 'brain dump' so I can get everything out of my head…which helps get ME out of my head.

How I hope to get out of my slump.

I will:
• take a deep breathe;
• put a load of laundry into my way overworked washer (did I mention that we had a run-in with lice this week);
• set a timer for 30 minutes and spend time making/prioritizing my list;
• make myself a cup of tea-Harney and Son's Hot Cinnamon Spice (fall is upon us);
• take another deep breath;
• start working said list.

I'll let you know how it all works out.

If you want to keep up with me on Instagram.

It's finished


I promised a post about the Little Girl's Hooded Sweater—here it is!

Honestly, the project knit up so easily…my biggest hang-up was 'sewing' it all together. I've never made something that had so many pieces that had to fit «nicely» together.

And there is NO information about how to sew a sweater together that is made in pieces. Maybe my problem was that I was only looking at how to sew together sweaters and only looking at videos. I don't know.

Most people make sweaters in basically ONE piece. This mean's no one is giving instructions on how to sew an body and arms together or front to back and arms to body…that had me in tears!

But I did watch a couple of the videos I did find and my saving grace was the fact that I did this sweater in stripes. This completely helped me know exactly how the pieces needed to line-up.

All that being said, I'll do it again.
Why you ask,
Because this hooded sweater was for my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter always want to wear one whenever her big sister does. Which is—of course—completely adorable, but also means that I need to make her one.

Ugg! :)
Well, that's all I have for now.

What have I been doing?


Obviously, not blogging.

I did finish my Auntie Ellen's projects «well most of them».
I don't think I posted about the finished hoodie. I'll write that up this week.

Lately, I've been obsessively planning or just obsessed with planners—yeah, that's more like it.
Obsessed with planners and planner accessories.  
«If you follow me on IG you have probably seen that. »

Planners and lists, oh my!

I have always loved lists.
I love crossing things off the list.
Sometimes I write things I just did on my list, just so I can cross it off.

And I have found midori's fauxdori's.Which completely feeds my need to make lists AND to craft-there are tons of ways to customize.

So that's where I've been doing. Crafting/creating for my planner.

Planning = posting right?

So…if I'm planning…why aren't I posting?
Oh, that's so simple and logical.

My problem…I plan, but then don't follow the plan.
Do you have that problem?
I Love LOve LOVE planning things…execution is where I fail.

Do I have a plan now?

I plan on being a part of the next 30 Days of Lists-as a sponsor.  Having accountability helps with my execution problem. :)

Other things I'm focusing on…
My Etsy shop-which now features printable inserts for leather journals «helps with my obsession problem I talked about above».

I've even done some videos.  I love the new challenge. I'm still trying to figure that all out.

So, that's me right now.
How are you?

Dinner, Dining and Desserts 4: Calico Rice and Franks


Oh my!It's June and I have not finished my plan.I have been working, but I haven't been posting.Let me start with a quick round-up: The hoodie is done (finished last night).I haven't finished—or started— any other 'craft' type project.I didn't finish all the items in Dinner Dining and Dessert «mostly the cookies».I did make the last dinner on Sunday night.Let's talk about that. Peach Spinach Vinaigrette Can you screw up a salad? No not really.But this salad wasn't really all that great. There were just no flavors that really stick-out. It was just kind of flat.Does that make any sense?We had had bacon and eggs a couple days prior to making the salad so I just saved back some of the bacon-that was helpful.It would have really benefited from some strong cheese (Feta, Gorgonzola, even Parmesan).  1 can (16 oz) cling peach slices in light syrup 1 bunch of fresh spinach4 strips bacon¼ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced3 tablespoons vegetable oil3 tablespoons lemon juice¼ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon pepperDrain peaches. Wash spinach; pat dry with paper towels and tear into bite-size pieces. Fry bacon until crisp; cool and crumble.Place peaches, spinach, bacon and mushrooms in salad bowl; toss. In cruet or jar with a lid, place oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; cover. Shake until blended. Pour over salad; toss. Makes 6 servingsEasy to print recipe is here.Future modification:Addition of Feta-cause it's always in our house. And I'd use olive oil for the dressing instead of vegetable oil.Calico Rice and Franks OK, read the ingredients on this one.Go ahead, skip down and read them…I'll wait.OK, what do you think? Sounds good, sounds bad? Sounds HORRIBLE doesn't it? Honestly, who would have thought to out those things together?But honestly, it wasn't bad. Maybe it was the day…Sunday here was cold and rainy and we did pretty much nothing.But it was oddly comforting.Like soup on a rainy day.My girls didn't really eat it. But DH and I did and like I said, oddly comforting.Hotdogs were from a couple days previous when we cooked out on the grill. I didn't buy the correct size fruit cocktail and I had no onion so I used the green onions. 1 can (30 oz) fruit cocktail1½ cups uncooked, white rice½ teaspoon salt⅓ cup prepared mustard¼ cup chopped parsley3 tablespoons finely chopped onion12 frankfurtersDrain fruit cocktail; reserve syrup. Add water to syrup to equal 3 cups. cook rice according to package directions using syrup-water mixture. Heat oven to 375°F. In baking dish 13 x 9 x 1½, mix cooked rice, fruit cocktail, mustard, parsley and onions. Score 8 frankfurters; reserve. Slice remaining frankfurters; stir into rice mixture. Top with reserved whole frankfurters. Bake 15 minutes or until frankfurters are cooked and rice mixture is hot. Makes 8 servings.Easy to print recipe is here.Future modification: NoneConclusionI'd say…give it a try. Salad really is nice during the summer and the addition of FRESH peaches would be excellent especially with a strong cheese.And try the rice and hot dogs…but save it for the cold rainy fall day.[...]