I hope you had a great Christmas.

Things were a bit bumpy around here for me. The first post-separation batch of holidays. It was a trial navigating them. But I have survived, as I always will.

I was a little down realizing, since my kids are so young and I’m manless, I wasn’t sure I’d have a gift to open. Which isn’t about the gifts I was just more sad about what I had lost and realizing I’d have to fill my own stocking. Lame pathetic thoughts like that.

But my best friend came to my rescue, as good best friends do. She took my boys out and had them choose something for me. When she brought them back that night she said “Your boys know you well” and I was so proud. The kids were all secretive and “Don’t come in here Mom!” while they wrapped things. Putting them under the tree with a “It’s nothing special going on in here” and such. It was cute.

So on Christmas morning I opened these great gifts.

Wesley chose the tea mug. Which is an amazing pic for me. I drink tea constantly, love it out of big mugs and the quote nails it too.

Nate chose the polar bear. I was a bit puzzled when I opened it and when I looked at him he was soooo incredibly excited and blurted out “Because you like bears Mom!!!! Right!!!!” He was bouncing up and down and everything. It was the sweetest thing ever.

Bear has been the centrepiece at every meal since. I think it might be a bookend because I know they were shopping in the bookstore, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s definitely a super sweet gift and a story I’ll remember.

This one time, I had a blog.

Wow. I’ve been so neglectful here, in my life, in my creating. It’s about to change.
Just before Christmas I got this lovely email.

“Dear Tara

Thank you so much for inspiration!
My son had a special wish for christmas: a construction site.
In a dark corner of my mind I found the memory of a celebrate the boy collection, with streets and playcosies and such cool stuff. So I started the hunt and stumbled over your project. Just the right thing
So I started sewing and tadah: here it is.
The pictures are taken with my phone, therefore no star quality… But I hope you recognize it.

Thank you for inspiration and tutorial.

And Happy holidays!
Love
Barbara
From Switzerland”

I think she did a great job and I’m so happy I was able to help her create something for her son.

The tutorial is from the wee beginnings of my blog. I giggle now to look at my badly taken photos and how little my big boy is in them!

I’m also grateful that she’s given me a little kick in the butt to get back on this blog horse! See you tomorrow.

My art wall.

Ok I think it’s done . . . for now. Here’s some close ups.

#1 from Lisah
#2 & 5 from the lovely Jenny, an original hoop I won (yes won!!) from her 365 project and a print available in her Etsy shop.
#3 from Coucousalut
#4 bought from from Elsie herself at Renegade Chicago a few years back.

#1 Bought at a craft show, sorry about the glare. It says “When I get sad, I just stop being sad and be awesome instead” Thank you Barney Stinson.
#2 freebie from an Etsy event, made by 1canoe2
#3 print from ninjandninj
#4 another from from Jenny’s Etsy shop.

#1 From Julie her stuff is great, sadly her shop is empty right now.
#2 I don’t remember at all, bought in Ottawa at a craft show many, many years ago.
#3 Cub and Cabin on Etsy.
#4 Laura Jean‘s amazing work. I even picked more up yesterday from her.

#1 Julie again.
#2 Light and Paper
#3 Happy Town USA
#4 Made by my best friend. Says “Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle, because sparkle” Based on this and something funny my son said.
#5 One of two great prints I picked up at Make It Indie last year from Christine Benson
#6 Mittens by Katie Muth

I had another plan for the wall that my headboard is against but I started on the mission and realized it wasn’t going to work out as planned. I’ll have to rethink that one for now and make a new plan.

That kind of day.

I’m in my jammies in the big chair in the living room.
I’ve been here for hours, starting at 4pm when I got home.
I have my lappy.
I bought something online already.

I have a book.
I had snack.

A pile of things to do, as is my way.
I don’t think I’ll leave this chair other than to feed us and put the kids to bed.

Although I may go create something. I do have a craft sale on Saturday. Plus those new pouches are super awesome. I might have to try making one, we all know how much I love Michelle Patterns.

Piles

Oh boy I have a problem. It’s making piles of stuff.

I spent the weekend trying to undo the various ‘piles’.

The kitchen table piles really only got moved, in all honesty, because I had friends coming over for dinner on Sunday.

This one’s my ‘I make Kool Aid jammer bags in the kitchen because then I feel I’m sort of upstairs with my kids and not being a neglectful mother by taking time to go create while they play’. Yeah, in the corner of my kitchen. Really need to clean things up.

How are all your work in progresses stored? Are you guilty of piling too?

Tap, tap, tap.

Is this thing on?

Yeah I know I’ve said that before and here I am saying it again. Oh well, it’s my blog I’m allowed.

I’ve been sooooo busy with this 9-5 job thing, which is funny because it’s technically an 8:40-3:10 job but it’s still taking loads of work. The beginning of the year is super busy and we’ve been working really hard in my classroom to get things in order. I haven’t had much time to create things, other than fill orders and that’s just boring to post about. However, I’m sitting here in bed sewing buttons on this 25 cozy order to ship out tomorrow and then I’m all caught up on orders!

But last weekend I went to Blissdom Canada and boy was it a fun, crazy, learning filled time!

Blissdom Canada

It was an amazing weekend. I went last year and met some fantastic people and this year I met even more. I have no clue what next year will bring. This year I was a community leader and I spoke at 3 micro sessions. I talked about Etsy and blogging and using the good of Etsy as a social media tool, even if you don’t have a shop there. It was nerve wreaking but I managed.

There was loads of SWAG and fun activities. Honestly such a good time. I recommend it for anyone nearby to attend next year!

I have some pictures but they’re going to have to wait for the next post, I’m sleepy now!

A whole lot of ‘not supposed to’s

I should be writing about Blissdom (it’s coming I swear), I should be working on the things I have to do that are due tomorrow, I should be posting with lots of well lit photos to break up the text, I should be going to bed soon, I should be creating, I should be posting about something I made . . . but instead I’m going to get real for a few mins.

I’ve had a busy, busy few weeks. I feel like life hasn’t stopped. I was sick last week, putting out fires at work a lot lately, away for the weekend and yesterday was my son’s 7th birthday. I sort of hoped today once the school bell rang at 3:10 that I would get to breathe. I did run out of my classroom almost right away but I had to go get gas, stop at the bank, make it to an appointment, stop for groceries and then get the kids from the sitter. That happened at 5 and I usually like to be home with them before that.

Then I had to unload the car, Wesley wanted me to build his new LEGO with him, I said I would but just needed to do some things first. Some things turned into – put groceries away, make dinner, clean up the kitchen, empty the dish washer, eat our dinner, clean up and oh hit the washroom. THEN I helped Wesley with his LEGO creation, which Nate asked me if he could try the Mario Cart game Wesley got for his birthday yesterday. So I move onto that . . all the while needing to get to my homework . . . so I make Nate his mii, load up the game, show him how to work it only to have him scream and cry because he’s hitting walls. I irrationally try to explain to him that I’m 38 and that’s why I could drive the car and that maybe at 4 years old it takes more practice. My strategy wasn’t working out.

I ask them to tidy the living room. This request is met with whines and complaints. “Why can’t you clean my LEGO!” “Because it’s your LEGO. I just cleaned the kitchen, it was all our mess but I did it. I’d rather be playing” “It’s because you’re the grown up Mom.” Great.

Then I get them up here to run the bath, and while it’s running Wesley yells his lamp lightbulb is burnt out and I’m try to fold some laundry, so he comes in and tells me he needs a lightbulb and Nate comes and asks for something else. And I hear ‘mom’ a zillion times during all this.

Sometimes I wish I had one of those little clicker things they have at fairs and stuff to count how many people attend. I want to know how many ‘mom’s get said in a day here. It’s a lot I bet.

So I put them in the bath THEN I remember I have to make lunches.

I’m sort of grumbling while I do. Then with the noise of them on the floor above me, having a blast and being silly in the tub I have an idea. Hopefully when they open their lunches they’ll smile a bit and forget I was sort of crabby tonight.

Blissdom is coming.

Annnnd I’m a community leader! Along with all these great peeps. If you don’t know who this particular person is, please take a moment to meet Shannon. She’s an amazing writer, bring up topics I’ve either never thought about or says things on topics I’ve thought about in the most perfect way. After some Tweeting last year, and a delayed flight for her, she walked into our hotel room to find me in my PJs sitting in bed. We said hellos and went to sleep! But then we went on to have a great time together at the conference and it’s been a pleasure to know her for a year.

There are some other fantastic people speaking as well. Last year was my first time and I have to admit I wasn’t very savvy about who people were ahead of time. I’m hoping this year to recognize some faces and also to go stalk all these community leaders before Blissdom starts.

I’m going to be speaking about Etsy, affiliate programs, Passionfruit, sponsorship and basically how to add all those fun things to your blog or business. I’m hoping to sound all professional like.

If you happen to be going to Blissdom, and I don’t know that yet, please let me know now and I’ll be sure to seek you out! And be happy I know someone else.

I splurged a bit.

When my shop was featured I had some money come in and it was just my birthday and some lovely people gave me money too so I decided to treat myself to some of my Etsy wishes. Since I have a tote/purse/bag weakness I stumbled upon, and fell in love with, this bag from luckycann.

I had a terrible time deciding on the colour I wanted.

Now that it’s arrived I’m totally in love with it and want to order more colours just because!

Just for fun I wanted to share what I actually carry in my bag! It’s funny when the bag I’m using is one I’ve made myself because when people ask “Did you make that?” I usually answer with “Yes and this and this and this and this . . ”

Clockwise from top left – budgeting envelope, coin purse, wallet (pattern here), notebook with cover (tutorial here), purse organizer (pattern here), thing I put my earbuds in (pattern here), sunglass case, pencil case (pattern here) and in the middle, of course, my cup cozy!

So this happened last week.

I was listed in the Etsy October Gift Guide email.

A rush on my store followed. The Etsy iPhone app is awesome, it goes “cha-ching!” when you get a sale. My phone was going nuts while I was at work. Sadly, I work in a windowless classroom with very poor signal so I had trouble keeping up with renewing listings and replying to convos all while working. But it was a good day.
I treated myself to some items I was lusting for and then I responsibly left some money in my Paypal account and moved a chunk into my bank account. Savvy business woman right here!