So this is why I haven't received my unpaid funds.

 First paragraph of an email received from Dr. Desmond:
It is obvious that you have not received your fund which is to the tune of 5.8million due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund. 
Blasted corrupt Governmental Officials! Also, best run-on sentence ever? Methinks so.
Further down in the email, after discussion of the $100 fee needed to get me my funds:
You are therefore advice not to toy with this developments as a mandate was also  issued to terminate the fund immediately if you fail to claim your fund soonest. I have done my best as a clergy drafted newly to this position to assist people like you the rest is left for you. urgent response will enable me forge ahead towards the onwards delivery of your payment to your residential address.

Man, good thing I can still get in on this! And that I have the clergy on my side!

Oh, and according to my inbox, I can still do something to make her New Years the biggest ever, if you know what I mean, wink, wink. 
In other news, Christmas happened.
Dazed from all the Christmas goodness.
Cute baby, book, and slightly disturbing stuffed animal head.
(Little B wasn't feeling photogenic - couldn't get a pic of his face because he was too interested in what he got!)

Hope your holidays have been wonderful! Anyone want to join me on a cleanse?


Here's a special gift to all my readers.

All five of you.
You're welcome.
Watch it through to the end or I'll call you a pansy.


These are the things on my mind.

Watch out, there are bullets involved (imagine bullet sound effect, done properly by a little boy, as these thoughts go whizzing past your head).

  • I have a lot of piano practicing to do. I am not a great pianist, especially when I am accompanying other people. Yet, I find myself being called upon to play, both at church and by my family. Is this some sort of using-your-talents-so-you-become-better thing? Or a that-which-you-persist-in-doing-will-become-easier-because-your-abilities-increase? Because I don't think it's working. Be prepared to sing a cappella, dear women at church. 
  • Speaking of bullets, did you know you can buy them in tins, for putting with your food storage? My name for these tins? Spammo. I am a marketing genius. 
  • A heartwarming Christmas scene, compliments of the Lego addicts around here. Everyone knows Christmas is R2-D2's favorite holiday, which he likes to spend with his close friends, Two-Face, Power Miner Guy, and the life of the party, the Shadow Snapper. Note the use of the force by Almost Darth Anakin. 
This IS the holiday season you are looking for ...
  • The Bean is FINALLY getting this whole walking thing! Except she now likes to walk to the top of the stairs and act like she's going to walk down the stairs. Freaks me out. How is she ever going to have an unbruised head if she insists on acting like a toddler?
  • I love my siblings. Just wanted to put that out there.
  • The Bean loves her some Santa. Obviously. 
She is our first Santa Screamer. We're so proud.
  • Took pictures at our neighborhood Christmas party, with the above long-suffering Santa. The Bean may have been the best screamer, although there were a couple kids that really gave her a run for her money.
  • Got a Silhouette, and haven't had the opportunity to properly play with it. Especially want to try cutting fabric for appliques with it. 
  • Have a lot of fabric. Must. Make. ... Things.
  • Um, must come up with things to make.
  • Actually, have plenty of things to make. Must narrow things down.
  • Pronouns are overrated.


I am here for you.

How am I here for you? Well, I'll give you a couple Christmas ideas.
First up? A couple of friends who have taken their sewing skills and created their own businesses.
Kreated by Kim has cases for your iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nook ... Protect those electronics, people!
And then, we have Made by Meegz, where you can get camera straps and lanyards. Great for those photographers in your life. They come in many great colors (I think she currently has over 30 choices in shop right now).
Support those who take the initiative to start their own businesses! Unlike other people who just keep adding to their craft/sewing stashes without a shop update in sight! I have no idea who I could be talking about!
(Okay, so maybe someday I'll get it together and start actually putting stuff in my etsy shop!)
Other Christmas ideas?
Love these for the ninjas or robots in your life. (Or ninja-robots? Man, I'd like to see some of those!)
A frame like this! I love this frame, whether it's used as a bow holder or not.
I'd like to try to make one of these at least once in my life. So dang cute.


I took some pictures.

And you can look at them.
(This is my brother, his fiancé and her son. They are getting married this Thursday, SQUEE! I'm so excited to have a new sister-in-law and nephew!)



Yes, they really are this good looking in real life. Good thing I really like them, or it would be really hard to be around them. Really, really.


I make good pies.

No really, I do!
I made a pecan pie and a coconut cream pie for Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's house in Colorado. I've made both of them before, with varying results.
The pecan pie is this one, courtesy of Pioneer Woman. I first made it a year or two ago, and it did not turn out well. The filling never set. The top layer of chopped pecans and gooey caramel was delicious but the inside? Syrup. This time, I fiddled with the cooking times, leaving the foil on for 40 minutes, taking it off for about 20 minutes, and finishing it off for a final 10 minutes with foil around the edges. And behold, it set without the edges burning!
The coconut cream pie is from America's Test Kitchen and it's a no fail for me. I think I've made it three times, and each one turned out wonderful. (Yeah, that link totally will not work if you don't have a membership with them. Very annoying.)
But, there are no pictures of these pies.
I didn't really take any pictures over Thanksgiving, besides a family group shot that is not that exciting. So no pictures for you, just a promise that the pies were delicious. As was the homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest, also a Test Kitchen recipe (I have their binder cookbook, a very wise Costco purchase a couple years ago).
Be sure and ask me for the recipes for next Thanksgiving!



I just found this:
Owl Lover 2011 Calendar
You get to choose which illustration you'd like for each month, then download a calendar file. It prints four months to an 8.5x11 page. Mine turned out so cute!


You are too normal to do this.

I love music. LOVE IT. But I am very particular about what I will listen to: NO country, no American Idol singers except sometimes Kelly Clarkson (okay, maybe not even her), extreme limits on the hair bands and 80s stuff. 
And, up until now, pretty much no LDS music. Not even Mo Tab. It just isn't my style of music, apologies to those who love it. I usually find something wrong with the song, whether it be the tempo, the singing, the over-produced sound of the music, the fact that it's a keyboard pretending to be a piano and a drum machine instead of real drums ... gah! I think my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it.*
But then, I was introduced to Scott Wiley. Well, not actually to him (wait, I did meet him briefly once, but at this point I hadn't), but to the music he produces. His album, Nearer, came out, and I read about it here, and voila, I had Sunday music.
And then, AND THEN ... I heard about The Lower Lights. One video, and I was hooked. And I waited impatiently for the album. I endured to the end! And I bought my album the day it came out. Wouldn't have been surprised if it was the hour it came out.
A whole bunch of musicians? Playing hymns the way they want? With MULTIPLE BANJOS? Yes, please. And now Sunday (who am I kidding, every day) is filled with this music.
I forced the entire family down to Provo to see them in the Rooftop Concert series. It was late, it was far (hour and a half one way) (oh, and the traffic! a BYU game, methinks?) and I really started doubting if it was a good idea, but I couldn't back down. I am so glad I didn't. It was wonderful, especially for Little B and me.
Afterward, Little B and I met several of the Lower Lights members:
With Debra Fotheringham and Cherie Call

With Ryan Tanner
Oh, how I wish taken pictures when he met Scott Wiley, Paul Jacobsen and Mindy Gledhill!
We're going with friends to their concert on November 20 and I can't wait.
So here's the dilemma, my friends. I want this band to succeed! Because I want them to make more albums for me for everyone! But I also want them to stay "my band" — you see my issue?
When something is starting out, you have the chance to feel like you are a part of it. And their Provo concert really allowed me to feel part of it.
So, apologies those who have musical skill and are actually members of The Lower Lights; I promise not to sing loud enough to be heard (you are so very welcome!) and I won't try to play any instruments (my piano is barely good enough for Relief Society, and I just don't think I could rock the tambourine better than Cjane), but I'm a part of your group.**

*Yes, I drive B nuts with this. Heck, I drive myself nuts!
**Oh, and Little B's in, too. He can be the group comic book artist. Doesn't every band need one?


We tried to take pictures ...

... but someone was on one.
I am baby, hear me roar?
What's that? Is that the camera? Huh?
We did make friends with a ladybug.
Things I like today:
This pattern for newborn pants. They really are so easy to make and a great use of old shirts or fabric pieces that just aren't big enough for anything else.
I made chicken pockets from Mad Hungry and man, were they good! I'm excited to try more recipes.


  • November appears to have sneaked up on everyone. I've ready many, many blog posts that say, "Can you believe it's November already?!?" "November already?" "Is it really November?"Yes, yes it is. I think this happens at the beginning of every month. 
  • Except maybe March. Seems like February lasts forever, especially in Utah. It's usually pretty gross outside, with dirty snow and lots of mud. So people will say, "It's finally March!" and "I'm so glad February is over!"
  • November did not sneak up on me. I knew it was coming. It was a natural progression. And I use a calendar, so when all the days of October were marked off, I knew it would be November. No sneaky months here. 
  • The Bean took a little step tonight. She is almost 15 months and not walking. Little B and J were both walking within a couple weeks of their first birthdays. Am a little weirded out by how long she's taking, but I'll get over it. 
  • Unless it's a serious problem. Thank heavens she took a step tonight! Now I can freak out over other things at 3 a.m.
  • I'm going to this concert. I saw them when they played the free Rooftop Concert Series. We hauled all the kids down there and even though J was EXHAUSTED and spent most of the concert laying on a blanket on the ground, everyone else loved it. Hey, perhaps another post I'll actually talk about that concert! And mention the new one!
  • You know, I want The Lower Lights to do well, of course, so they keep playing and putting out albums (I think I'm ready for another one) but there's also part of me that doesn't want them to do too well, because I want to still be able to go up to them after their shows and make an idiot of myself. That would be hard to do if their entourage and security detail gets big, due to their incredible fame. 
  • Although, now that I think about it, there are few things that prevent me from making an idiot of myself. That's a comforting thought. 
  • People, I love the banjo. And the piano. I love the banjo and the piano when they are used unexpectedly. And in bluegrass that isn't too bluegrassy. But not country. Never. Country.
  • The end.



We did some decorating.
I painted these canvases using images I found on the internet. The Frankensteins are outlines from the actual movies. The witch if from Martha, with the nose changed a bit.
This was purchased from a local farmer. Everyone thinks it looks like a regular pumpkin that was deflated somehow!
 Our kitchen table. I can't explain all the mustaches.
Left to right, J's pumpkin, Little B's, and my white one.
 J grew these tiny pumpkins in our garden. In fact, we got about 25 mini pumpkins. It was our most successful plant!



I love these things today, but will I later? How much do tastes change once you become an adult? I know for certain that my tastes have changed from childhood and my teenage years. All I have to do is look at pictures. Pictures that I won't put up here, for your sakes, gentle reader. Of course, pictures taken of me now are almost worse. I have a couple friends who are always quick with their camera phones when I'm being an idiot. I just have no pride now.
There's a little town in Capital Reef National Park called Fruita that has been turned into a museum of sorts. It used to be a living town, with orchards, but the people were nudged out, for want of a better term, so no one lives there now. It's beautiful, and my favorite part of visiting Capital Reef. I loved seeing these baby clothes ...
I love this dress. You can't tell too much from the picture, but it is long, like a blessing or christening dress.  I wanted to make The Bean's blessing dress, but B's grandma wanted to purchase one for her, which was very sweet. The dress ended up being lovely, and I was grateful because it really relieved my stress at the time, but I still want to make a blessing dress! I have several patterns now that range from simple to fancy schmancy. Perhaps I'll have someone to make one for someday. Of course, they may just want to borrow The Bean's dress!
 I also loved this dress. It looks so cool, and the hand stitched detail along the bottom was very sweet. I would like a dress like this for me! But I'll probably just go buy another housecoat from Wal Mart, because that's the way I roll these days. You know, with a zipper up the front? So I can wear it to get the mail? My neighbors are very lucky people.
I want one of these looms, too. I'll have to visit Fruita again to remember what the rugs you make on it look like. Because someone didn't take a picture. Blasted someone.
 And it's important to visit the fly-riddled horses outside while wearing your largest hats or your stripiest stripes. Sweet.
Also well loved, at least for now:
This girl's style. The Bean will grow hair someday, right? RIGHT?!?
This facepainting. Must do. But I'm thinking snakes.
This binding technique. Think I need to try it on my simple receiving blankets.


Let's try this again ...

My old blog was not getting that much attention.
Well actually, neither of my old blogs were getting much attention.
The craft blog was being ignored.
The family blog was even more ignored.
I just wasn't 'feeling' either one of them, and wasn't able to get myself motivated to post anything.
So, what to do?
Start a new blog! This is a fresh start, and hopefully will get a lot more attention than the old ones!
And I actually have something to share, right off the bat! We should be so proud of me.
My sweet little niece G celebrated her first birthday earlier this month, and that required a dress. 
 She looks absolutely amazing in yellow, so I chose a yellow 'linen look' from JoAnn's and used my favorite pattern that I can't find right now. I love the pattern because the dresses can be worn with leggings when they are not long enough to wear as dresses.
The pattern calls for bias tape around the neckline and sleeves, but I used elastic instead. The flower was made by folding a strip of fabric in half lengthwise, basting it just inside the fold, then gathering it and twisting it into a flower. I handstitched it to the dress.
I haven't gotten to see it on G, and to tell you the truth, I'm afraid the sleeves are too small. That would be typical of me. Should check with my sister to see if it fits!
After making this dress, I just had to make more, so I whipped up 4 from the same pattern for my own little one, The Bean. I'll have to get some pictures taken of those.
Well, whew! A first post! And hopefully more to come. I love reading blogs, and sharing in other people's creativity. Hopefully I have something creative to share with others, too!