Spring!

Okay, so it’s been rough for me lately, health-wise, but I have managed to do some vinyl crafting in spite of that.

004I’ll start you off slow with this simple window sticker that my dad ordered. Know what it means? “Welcome to the View of Nothing Ranch”. :-D I love his sense of humour! Maybe that’s because I inherited it….

star

KoepkeHere are a couple more mailbox decals I’ve done. I also did an Akita dog, but neglected to get a picture. I’m hoping the customer will send me one!

mustache_wordThis is a sticker I made just for one of my cousins. I have no idea where she stuck it. ;-) But she says she loves it!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a colorful little plaque I just did today. It makes me smile. :-)

Crafty Gifts

I have a new craft cutting machine! It’s  called a Pazzles™ Inspiration. I chose it because it lets you design and cut your creations without cartridges. What I found out, though, is that it involves a huge learning curve. At first I was discouraged, thinking I may have wasted money, but then I read something that encouraged me. I wish I could remember the context – it wasn’t even about crafts – but this person had purchased an expensive machine and found themselves overwhelmed, too. However, he stuck with it and eventually became proficient with it, making him grateful for the money-saving results, and also for the determination to stick with it. So I’m not giving up.

What we have discovered, though, is that my husband is better at designing art than I am! Who knew? Here are a couple of projects we made and gave as gifts this Christmas.

mailbox modifiedA simple mailbox design for my in-laws… now if vandals won’t come along with a baseball bat, we’ll be doing good! I like this so much I’m going to do it for my own mailbox next!

This next one requires a little explanation. My 13yo nephew once described his hunting technique by saying, “I just spray and pray!” It was so funny, it’s become a family joke. So my husband designed this sign for him:

004-001He loved it so much he said it was going on his bedroom door. Success!

Out here in the country, many of us have cattle brands. So for several of our friends we also created window decals of their brands for them to put on their vehicles (or anywhere else, I guess.) ;-) They loved it, and it was a unique, inexpensive gift.

A word about the vinyl… I bought my first vinyl from the Pazzles store, but then found a site called My Vinyl Direct, which offers it quite a bit cheaper. So we’re having fun playing with our new toy, but we hope that we will learn enough to actually make it profitable in the future.

Fencing update: Tana earned a few hundred dollars in fudge sales before Christmas, and it’s a good start towards getting her to the Junior Olympics.

001We’ll continue to sell fudge if anyone wants some for New Year’s parties, or Superbowl parties, etc. But we’re also seeking something else for her to do to raise money. Anybody have any ideas?

Christmas With Challenges

Alright, Christmas. Two weeks. Yeah. Okay, take a deep breath!

I’m sure we all, as wives and mothers, feel a lot of pressure at holiday time. Some of us face challenges and stresses of one sort and another. Mine is my health, AND the resulting shortage of money. So I determined to make most of our obligatory gifts this year. My husband and I gave each other our concealed carry licenses last month, so we agreed not to spend any more money on each other. And the kids are getting one large-ish gift each. I’ve pulled together a few handmade extras for everyone, and suggested some they can make for me. I’m finding that it’s not easy to come up with handmade gifts for certain people! You don’t want to give something that is tacky. Or at least, I don’t. I feel like what I make and give needs to be of a certain quality. So that’s taking some extra thought and care.

Oh yeah, another challenge is that we’re living in a construction zone. I am NOT complaining; I love my house! But there’s no room for all the standard decorations. So today my daughter got creative and transformed our living room into a winter wonderland. It helps that we here in Texas are having our first really cold day of the season!

047The stockings were hung by the, um, window with care. We covered it with the tree skirt. ;-)

043Christmas lights make even construction look better!

044This is the arch over the kitchen doorway, showing off our Western ornaments.

Tomorrow we are starting to make fudge. My 16yo daughter is again going to the Junior Olympics in fencing! She won two golds and a silver in the qualifiers this year!

075I just love her pink socks!

129Last year Tana crocheted scarves and sold them to raise funds for the J.O.’s, which were in Salt Lake City, Utah. This year we’re going to Baltimore, MD. Yes, in February. :-) We thought we’d make fudge for a couple of weeks. We may have to come up with something else to do after the holidays, but that’s okay. God is leading all the way!

Life

Funny how life gets in the way of our virtual reality here on the internet. I won’t bore you with all the details. Instead, I’ll just show you some pretty pictures. Okay? Okay.

I love aprons! This one has an old-fashioned appeal, with an extra roomy pocket.

My sister sent me a lot of her all-natural, goat milk soap to put in my Etsy shop. She’s still trying to help me raise money for medical bills, and I treasure her for it!

What better to combine with homemade soap, than some hand-made cotton cloths? I’ve made both knitted and crocheted cloths in several different colors.

I’m kinda proud of this one. It’s an infinity scarf made from a rather unflattering jersey-knit skirt that I bought from a thrift store because I loved the colors. I embellished the scarf with one of my crocheted flowers. Pretty neat, eh?

In the interest of time, I’ll stop with the pics. I read an article somewhere that said it’s best to have a minimum of 100 items in one’s Etsy shop. Whoa! I’ve never reached that number before. But it seems like a worthy goal, and if it’ll increase sales, then I’m all for it! So stop by and see all the pretty items I’m adding. I still haven’t hit 100 yet, but keep checking back. I will eventually!

Pumpkins & Critters

I’m going to have a craft booth in October at a local festival, so besides all the other things I’m doing in my life right now, I’m also trying to get enough crafts made to make a good showing. Here are some of the items I have done:

Fabric pumpkins!

It’s a pumpkin patch!

It’s very hard to take pictures around here without kittens getting involved!

Stop that pumpkin thief! :-D But I digress…

Another item I’m making in large quantity is animal ornaments. It just started out being Ann Wood’s horses, but I got requests for other animals, so my repertoire is expanding.

These are unfinished…

and so is this one.

This is the first one I did. Selling it is what sparked all my subsequent orders!

Enjoy this glimpse of my current projects because it may be quite awhile before I resurface again. :-)

Fabric Pumpkins

I’ve been so sick, and out of state at the clinic so much, that I haven’t done much worth writing about. But I had a good day today, so I did some sewing. Lookie, lookie!

This was my first attempt at following the tutorial I found on a blog called Thompson Family Life.

It was so quick and relatively easy that I made another one before quitting for the evening. This one’s a little bigger.

The first one is almost 12 inches in diameter, the second is 16″ around. Sorry the pictures aren’t the best. I couldn’t wait until daylight to take photos!

I think I’ll be making a bunch of these to sell in my craft booth next month.

God Is So Good!

“Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:23, 24

After sixteen years of illness, the Lord has led us to a detox clinic in Tennessee that holds great promise for helping  my body fight off this lyme disease (and the apparently numerous other bacterial and viral infections raging in there). Unfortunately, insurance won’t pay for it. Fortunately, we serve a great and mighty God! Many of His servants have donated money, time, and efforts to help us raise the money we need. And God has smoothed our path and worked out every little detail at just the right time!

My sister is making beautiful soaps and donating the proceeds.

Beautiful, huh?! Smells heavenly, too, and since it’s made with goats’ milk and all natural ingredients, it’s soooo good for you! Six bars for $20 is a very reasonable price, I think.

Not to be outdone, I’ve been trying to do my part.

I make these crosses out of horseshoe nails and colored wire. They measure 1-1/4″ wide by 1-3/4″ high. They come in all sorts of colors and as you can see, I can do key chains or necklaces. They’re $10 each, plus $2 shipping.

Of course, I also have an Etsy shop with lots of other goodies, most of which I’ve shared here.

The thing I’m most appreciative of, is that people have been praying for me. My husband started a page on Facebook called Prayer Warriors for Kyria and there are over 600 members! My sister started a fundraising page for straight donations, and today I learned that Bethel World Outreach Church in Brentwood is paying for eight nights in a hotel suite so we can cook gluten free while we’re there! This came about through the friend of a friend. God’s people are amazing! These are just some of the ways God’s people are reaching out and blessing us. I hope that I can pay it forward adequately. I’m sure gonna try!

Oh, one item I made the other day for sale didn’t turn out so well. I thought I’d share that, too. ;-)

Gorgeous, isn’t it? What you can’t see is the little hole in the muslin, right on the front of the apron. :-(  I’m hoping I can cover it with an applique of some sort, but I don’t’ know how it will look. At any rate, I love the pattern and I’ll be making it again soon. Can you see how roomy that pocket is?