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I’ve been working on taking pictures for the etsy shop today.  All day.  Since 6 am (ish) or whenever the sun came up.

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It’s been quite the marathon photography session and I’m feeling my brain being stretched to the limit, but its so exciting!  I didn’t realize until I started seeing everything on screen just how much I love this stuff!  Hopefully others will too 🙂

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There is still quite a bit of work to be done as far as editing all the images and getting the listings online, but I’m loving the process right now!

 

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Anxiety just seems to be something I can never outrun.  No matter how much I try to control my surroundings and “input”, I always end up careening toward a meltdown.

In talking to other creative types, I’ve found that this is actually pretty prevalent.  No matter how much happiness and satisfaction our chosen “craft” brings us, they can also have some negative aspects.  Most of us have a million ideas a day, but never enough time to bring a fraction of them into reality.  This in itself can make you feel anxious and frustrated, but then when you pile on all the perfect images on pinterest and instagram, you can’t help but feel defeated.

I personally have a bad habit of being in  the middle of one project, and thinking of a handful of new ideas I want to try out next.  Then I’ll hop on google or pinterest to see if I can find similar projects or techniques to refine my idea.  Seeing those projects gives me inspiration for 10 other things I could try, and the current project is as good as abandoned  (lets sew a dress!  build a pallet bench!  paint the front door red!  plant an herb garden!!!!)  This creates a ton of excitement in a creative person.  Its true happiness.  Really gets the heart pumping…

And then.

The baby starts crying.

And the toddler starts crushing her crackers into the rug (or, literally, just now, decides to “paint” the wall with diaper cream.  That stuff is thick, y’all.)

You glance around at all the toys and non-toys on your floor and think about how long it will take you to clean that up before you can even think about vacuuming.

And the whole system crashes, because:

“I’ll never be able to do any of those things!!!  …  I can’t ever get anything done!!!   …  Why did I think I could start a craft business with a needy infant and toddler?!?!   …  Why is this so hard?!?!  …    Which leads to:  All my ideas are crazy…  Everybody is gonna think my stuff is dumb…  I suck at life…”

Blah, blah, dramatic exclamations, blah blah…

This is when my brain explodes and everything shuts down.  The accumulation of all those unfinished projects, plus kid noise, plus brain noise, plus visual clutter, plus physical clutter just overwhelms me, and I surrender to an ugly cry and a migraine.

When will I learn that if I just practice a little moderation, I’d save myself a lot of grief?  Its clearly an idea I need to explore.  After I take a nap.

Hat Sizing Guide

0-3 months                  14-15”
3-6 months                  15-16”
6-12 months                16-18”
1-3 years                      18-19”
3-10 years                    19-21”
Teen/Womens S          21-22”
Womens M/L                23-24”

How to Measure:
Use a flexible measuring tape, measure the circumference at the widest part of your head, just above the eyebrows.

** Sizes are approximate based on age. When available, please use head measurements, rather than age, as children’s heads tend to vary quite a bit.

PRICES

beanie plum wine stacked

Cross-Stitch Beanie Hat (with 3 flowers)
Baby (0-12 months) $24
Childrens (1-10 years) $28
Teen/Adult $32

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brimmed hat gray

Brimmed Newsboy Hat (with 3 flowers or strap with buttons)
Baby (0-12 months) $24
Childrens (1-10 years) $28
Teen/Adult $32

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pixie hat chocolate pink

Pixie/Gnome Hat (with 1 flower)
Baby (0-12 months) $24
Childrens (1-10 years) $28
Teen/Adult $32

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poppy hat blue

Poppy Beanie Hat (plain or with flower applique)
Baby (0-12 months) $20
Childrens (1-10 years) $24
Teen/Adult $28

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white sun hat

100% Cotton Sun Hat (with 1 flower)
Baby (0-12 months) $24
Childrens (1-10 years) $28
Teen/Adult $32

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team hat

Team Logo Hat (Brimmed Hat with Felt Logo)
Baby (0-12 months) $28
Childrens (1-10 years) $32
Teen/Adult $36

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cowboy3

Cowboy Hat (with optional flower)
Baby (0-12 months) $28
Childrens (1-10 years) $32

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fox hat

Custom Animal/Character Hat
Baby (0-12 months) $28
Childrens (1-10 years) $32
Teen/Adult $36

 

 

 

Just get started.

Stop procrastinating.

Just do it.

Don’t overthink it.

flowers and coins

It won’t be as hard as you think.

It won’t take as long as you think.

And even if it does, won’t you feel awesome when you actually finish?

{{Apply to your current situation as necessary…}}

My plan for the morning was to get a ton of pictures taken of my items for the Etsy store, but the weather didn’t want to cooperate and I couldn’t get enough light to do the things justice.  In the meantime, I have a to do list of other tasks a mile long.  I’m trying to find the balance between my crazy OCD perfectionism wanting to do everything to the max, and the desire to just throw it all out there and wing it.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of some of the things I’ve been making:

crochet explosion

The idea is to have all kinds of hats and hair accessories with interchangeable flowers in lots of different colors.  Obviously its not really hat season right now, but they are so fun to make that I can’t help myself!  I clearly have a crochet addiction.

Now to get on with the day and go make something new!

Morning Benediction:  As you rinse green blow-out poop from your baby’s onesie with the sink sprayer, may you remember to be thankful that you no longer have to worry about her constipation.

Obviously, I’m super consistent with this blogging thing seeing as how my last post was November 2012 and its now halfway through May of 2014.  I guess having babies will certainly take you away from any non-essential tasks!  Anyhoo – here’s a little update on the Carter family:

Mr. Carter:  an all-around awesome dad, and digging into his new-ish position as a shoe buyer for Journeys Kidz.

The Mrs. Carter:  trying to stay sane while juggling a clingy, reflux-y newborn and a “high-spirited” 2 1/2 year old.

Alice:  General Tornado, Investigator-of-All-Things, and crazy kid (oh wait, I forgot I was politely calling her “high-spirited”).  So smart at 29 months that its terrifying, and able to be both aggravating and insanely cute at the same time.  She has been a trooper since the birth of her little sister, whom she will only call “Baby.”  I think we’ll keep her.

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Stella:  The newest addition to our little family, and my constant companion for the last two and a half months.  We’ve already been through a lot in this short amount of time, and while I have moments when my arms are about to fall off from holding her, I quickly have withdrawals if I’m away for too long.

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Karma:  Sadly, not with us physically anymore, but lovingly memorialized and remembered fondly.

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**From here on out, its mostly baby talk.  Feel free to get on with your day if you are currently experiencing baby overload from your own life or Facebook feed…**

{{I tend to shut down and go into “get it done” mode whenever I get overwhelmed, so I’ve spent the past few months with my blinders on, just focused on keeping us all alive and fed and relatively clean.  Apologies especially to my family if I seemed distant, its not that I’m not calling You, its just that I’m not calling Anybody.  Now that the fog has lifted a little bit, I’m going to see if I can do the Cliff Notes version of this, because I feel like I need to get it out, and maybe someone else can benefit from knowing that they are not crazy for thinking the newborn months are horribly misrepresented.}}

So now back to Stella.

The young miss was born after only 4 hours of intense labor.  The first contractions I noticed had started around midnight, already at 5 minutes apart, and we went to the hospital around 2 a.m.  There was no time for any drugs or the epidural I had decided to get this time around.  Nothing to do but get the job done.  After four or five pushes, she was born at 4:05 am.  All I can say it is that it was NOT fun, but hey, at least it was over quickly.  And, I thought I knew what to expect with this whole baby thing.

It was clear pretty quickly that she was not going to be a mostly-easy-going baby like her older sister.  She shut down my breastfeeding plans within 4 weeks because she could never seem to get enough to eat, and even when she did, she would immediately spit up most of it and be in pain from gas.  So I cried, and had an anxiety attack, cried more, then switched her to formula.  (Side note:  I was glad to hear Tina Fey’s account of her breastfeeding experience in Bossypants, when I listened to the book a couple weeks later.  It made me laugh out loud, almost pee a little, and generally feel better all-around…)

Well, the bottle-feeding and formula weren’t quite the full answer either, as the reflux persisted and she continued to be angry with the world.  After talking to my neighbor, we decided to try putting a little bit of rice cereal in her bottles to give them more thickness.  Now before you start to tell me this-or-that about why I shouldn’t be doing that, let me quickly tell you that the spitting up has gone down to normal levels, my baby finally seems to be satisfied after a meal, and she is MUCH happier and content to not-be-held-every-single-minute-of-the-day-and-I’ll-take-my-chances-with-possible-food-allergies-later-thank-you-very-much!!

She is finally becoming more independent every day, although she still wants to be held a lot. Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to be held by anyone but me, and as she doesn’t have much interest in Corey yet, Her Highness now has three baby carriers so we can keep her calm and still get on with our lives.

I’ve had times since March that I literally thought I was losing my mind.  I’ve had moments of extreme irrational anger, and even more moments of intense guilt and feelings of failure.  Lest I seem even more ungrateful and melodramatic, let me assure you that I am insanely and completely in love with my little Stella Marie.  More than anything, I’m grateful for her demanding presence because its given me the time and motivation to figure out what I want this phase of my life to look like and how to begin taking steps in that direction.

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Seeing as how I have a baby strapped to my body for many hours a day (yes, even in the bathroom sometimes — gasp!) going back to work immediately is going to be a little tricky.  However, diapers and formula don’t buy themselves, so some creative problem solving is in order.  So, I’ve decided that I’m gonna start a little one-woman cottage industry here in suburbia, and like so many pioneering females before me, I’m going to open a shop and sell my wares on the ol’ interwebs.

If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m kind of cheap (thanks Dad),  but I like pretty things (thanks Mom),  I’ve learned the value of buying items of quality (thanks Corey)  and I rarely do things the Right way but it always seems to work out (I guess thats just my own fault).  So this should be pretty interesting.  I thought I’d share my experiences along the way and maybe we’ll all learn a thing or two.

In the immortal words of Mr. Rogers, and now, Daniel Tiger…  “Won’t you ride along with me?

I came across this project in my blog reader this morning – its from an adorable site called eighteen25.  The project is a nifty printable banner that says “Gather Together & Give Thanks.”  They have free image downloads – just click here and scroll down!

Here is my version:

I loved the look of their kraft paper cardstock, but I didn’t even know that it existed til this morning, so I didn’t have any lying around!  What I did have were some cereal boxes that I cut apart and saved ( I knew I could use them for something!!!)

I also learned that you can run cereal boxes through your printer!  Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure all the bumpy edges are cut off
  • Run it through one “page” at a time – you may have to give it a little push to make sure the wheels grab on properly.
  • Make sure you know whether your paper should be face up or down!

The rest is easy!  Color in the circles and letters (great for kids or a Momma that needs a break), cut out, punch holes in the corners, tie together, and hang!

Ok. Clearly my head has been in a different place lately.  It’s now November 17th, and my calendar is still in October-land.

In a way, its nice that my life doesn’t have to revolve around intense planning and timetables any more.  But still – I’m sure I missed a thing or two!

I’ve been in a crazed crafty mood again lately.  After finishing three crocheted fox hats for Halloween, I thought I would need a break.  But I think completing those hats really boosted by crochet-confidence, and I’ve been learning new stitches and trying out lots of patterns. (Thanks ravelry!)  Sorry family,  looks like you’ll have to endure another round of handmade Christmas gifts…

This also means that I have little piles of finished projects sitting around that neither Ali or I can use or wear, which leads Corey to nag me to open up my Etsy shop again.  And I’m thinking about it, and making some progress in that direction.  Slowly.  It makes a lot of sense to go that route, but I’m stubborn and I want to *do it right*.  Ahhh.  There’s that perfectionism again.  Well, maybe I’ll get it done when the calendar says December, but its really January!

Here are some pics we took for Ali’s 11 month birthday:

Here is the chili recipe I’ve been making for over 15 years now.  Corey took it to his office for a chili cook-off last Friday, and we won!!

This started out being known in our family as “Tammy Wayne Chili” because our neighbor made this for us one year during a big snow storm.  It was awesome to come inside after redneck sledding and playing in the snow to have a warm bowl of meaty chili.

I don’t really think of this as a super-extraordinary recipe, its just really easy, really good chili.  I probably started making this when I was about 12 years old, so I know anybody can make this happen!  You can keep most of the ingredients on-hand in your pantry, and this is easily doubled (or tripled) for a crowd or for the freezer.  We think this is a crowd-pleaser because it has great flavor and spice, but it isn’t too hot or overwhelming.  We also like some crunch with our chili, and highly recommend Frito’s Scoops corn chips for scooping or crumbling on top, but tortilla chips or crackers are also yummy.

All-Time Favorite Chili

serves 4-6

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can kidney beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can tomato soup

1 small jar salsa or rotel (or both – your choice of heat level)

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp Cajun seasoning or blackening spice (not original to the recipe, but tasty)

Saute the onion over medium-high heat til soft, then add the ground beef and cook til browned.  Drain and toss into a large pot.  Open up all the cans and jars and dump everything into the pot (I do usually rinse the kidney beans, but the juice from the tomatoes should go in).  Add the chili powder and stir until everything is well combined.  Let everything come to a low bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer at least 30 minutes.  You can also put everything into a crock pot and cook 4-6 hours on low.

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