Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life stages through SLEDDING

1. Have your first child.
2. When your kid turns 2, go to store to buy proper boots, snowpants, scarf, mittens, hat and long underwear. Go to several different stores to look for the safest sled available - you know, the one with the back and seat belt. Buy other cool sleds, too.
3. Bundle everyone up, apply vaseline to your child's cheeks. Apply lip balm. Load up car with the 6 new sleds you bought (and the pump, in case the new tube sled deflates), and drive 17 miles across town to the best hill. Bring camera and camcorder. Stop at gas station to get fresh batteries.
4. Watch your husband go down the hill with your child, screaming WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE each time.
5. Videotape your child going down the hill at least 23 times.
6. Make jumps by gathering and packing large amounts of snow in strategic spots on the hill.
6. Take pics of your child eating snow. Put hand warmers in child's mittens. Wipe her nose.
7. Get different sleds every 10 minutes and go over jumps with each one, comparing speeds and height of jumps.
8. Talk to everyone you see, saying: isn't the weather beautiful tonight?!?!
9. Leave after 2 hours. Go home and drink hot chocolate with tons of marshmallows. Sit by the fireplace.
10. Upload and edit all the videos you took and forward them to friends and family, who of course are DYING to see them.

Several years later:

10. Have your second kid.
11. When this kid turns 5, dig out hand-me-down boots, snowpants and whatever else you can find in your musty basement. Wipe off the cobwebs with your shirt.
12. Put baggies in the boots cuz they probably leak.
13. Grab the two sleds - you know, the one that has a big crack down the middle and the other one that has a broken handle. Look for rope to fix handle. Give up on finding any rope.
14. Drive to the closest lame hill, which happens to be 1/2 block away.
15. Park the car and let your kid out.
16. Stay in car and watch kid go down hill, as you are already exhausted from the preparations to go sledding and your foot hurts. You feel a backache coming on, too.
17. Sit in car for an hour with the heat blasting, reading a week old paper with the dome light on.
18. Notice your kid and another kid repeatedly pushing each other down. Notice your kid getting run over by inner tubes full of roudy middle schoolers.
19. Yawn and look at your watch.
20. Roll down the window and beep your horn, waving your kid into the car. Time to go.
21. Come home and tell your kid how lucky she is to have a mom that takes her sledding.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas shopping

I decided I was going to take the "buy handmade pledge" very seriously this year, as I want to support small business owners, but frankly, even more-so, I just cannot stand the crowds anymore. Etsy has been good to me, so I wanna be good to etsy.

I bought several items for my daughter, Molly (15). If you read my blog at all, you know she's a sorta FASHIONISTA. If you knew me at all, you'd wonder how I birthed this child. I am super plain and uninterested in getting my nails done, shopping, etc. Poor Mols.

The first item I bought is the most precious little heart ring made by Sweet Nirvanas. Is this just the sweetest darned thing or what? Franky (the owner) is just as sweet.

I fell in love with Cory's shop, Sweet Petula. She has a definate gift. She has created a wonderful look and feel to her shop, don't you think?

For myself, I bought a solid perfume called "Sweet P". It's made up of five different kinds of essential oils, the main being Lavender & Litsea-Cubea. I love lavender and lemon verbena together, so I'm so excited to get this!

Molly loves lip balm. I bought one pomegranate and one dark cherry. YUM!

I did a search for "silver bird necklace" and found Just Jaynes. I love her style! I found a lot of silver bird necklaces, but when I saw this one, I knew this was IT. She has a very nice following and I enjoyed her blog, too.

Have you bought Christmas gifts on etsy, too? I'd love to hear what you bought!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Circles for the tree

In an effort to hit that critical "100 followers" mark, I'm posting yet another witty, constructive, family-friendly story. :) :) :) <--- chock full of smilies for your enjoyment
Need something fun and simple to do with your young children? Don't have enough on your plate? If you are bored (HAHAHAHAHAHA) and have lots of time and lots of patience (ahem)... and of course LOTS OF FELT, then this project is JUST FOR YOU. Felt. I can't get enough of the stuff. Except in the winter it gives me the creeps when I touch it with my nasty dry hands.

Anyhoo... Cut your felt into circles... we used a pinking shears and a regular scissors to add some SPICE-OLA! And of course don't cut all your circles the same size. That would be so Martha. Plus you will argue with your children cuz it's impossible for them to make them perfect (believe me, been there done that).

Thread a big needle with embroidery floss and connect your circles. We used a nice long piece of floss. Tie more floss on as needed. Samantha connected them all herself. She's one of those crafty, arty kids THANK GOD. I wanted one SO BAD. My oldest daughter hates crafts. And nature. Which I don't get. How can anyone hate nature??? Like I'll see a hawk and get all freaked out and impressed and she'll be like I JUST DON'T GET WHY EVERYONE GETS WORKED UP OVER A BIRD. THERE'S BIRDS EVERYWHERE. Sigh. I threaten her with country living sometimes.

Anyway, you can put your finished string of circles on your tree (OBVY! as my non-nature girl would say) or do like we did, hang it over one of your windows ... super cute! Of course when I went to take a pic of it on her window to share with you, my batteries in my camera were dead-as-a-doorknob. Can you just visualize?! Her room walls are pink and her window frames are light wood. Oh... the windows are sorta dirty. I know you can see it right now. If you can't, I know you really don't care, cuz you're thinking one of two things: I really don't care OR I wanna do this myself and I don't care what it looks like in your house cuz I'm already thinking of where I'm gonna put this thing in my house and if it's worth having it around for like 50 years. And untangling it like a million times. I'm guessing you're thinking the latter.

So here's more pics:

If you take this on, let me know and post pics!!!

Yours forever,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

morning dilemma

So as I'm literally half asleep this morning going pee I noticed we have NO back-up toilet paper. Just a smidge left on the roll! EEK.

Samantha (6) is waiting for me to finish so she can go. I tell her not to use much tp (good mom) as we have hardly any left and Molly probably needs to go yet.

"We have another roll!", she proclaims.

"What??? Where???", I ask. I know she's mistaken, but being the good mom I am I go along with her confused state of mind.

She pulls me out to the living room and points to the tree in front of our house.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back at the Scene of the Crime

Finally it seems our family is at the end of this piggy flu thing. It's been a long two months. It sorta just lingers, this thing... you think you are fine then POOF, you feel like crap again and suddenly have another earache or sore throat or are coughing up God Knows What.

So today my daughter talked me into having one of her friends over, even though I knew it was too late in the day and a bad idea as Rick and I spent the day in the kitchen preparing for Thanksgiving. We were tired and grouchy. Any parent knows not to let their children have friends over in that state of mind.

But, I don't always think.

So we called her best friend. Coincidentally, she is the one who I believe gave us the piggy flu in the first place, two long months ago. I can't prove it, although I seriously wish I could.

So she comes in and we hang her coat up and the conversation goes something like this (names are changed to protect the little germ-spreader):

Me: How's everything, Katie?

Katie: Ohhh... okay (she looks down at her chubby little feet and sighs).

Me: Uh-oh, doesn't sound good (me trying to get the latest dirt on her parents).

Katie: I was hoping you'd invite me over here today. I needed to get OUTTA MY HOUSE!!!

Me: Why's that? (Ooooooh, this is gonna be good!!! I continue to frost my cut-out cookies so I don't look so obvious).

Katie: My brother's sick and I am getting tired of taking care of him!!! He's puking and has diarrhea and I had to serve him his lunch in bed today and change his pukey sheets!!! (she moans).

Me: Oh my. (gulp)

Katie - being the perceptive little thing that she is, she says: Oh don't worry, I washed my hands when I was done.

Monday, November 16, 2009

front page LOVE

woohoo! Must be how it feels to win an Oscar! The coveted front page appearance is what all us etsiers want... if someone tells you different, don't believe them. (that's my little wooden doll there, in the red, with the star...).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clock Making

A very nice woman contacted me through my etsy shop and asked me if I could make a clock for her daughter's bedroom. I took pics of some of the different steps and thought I'd share with you!

First, I cut the birch wood to the correct size (well, dh does... i'm terrified of the table saw and try to avoid it when possible). Sand the edges well and lightly sand the front with fine sandpaper.

When I shade the face, the watercolor pencils I normally use are raw sienna, burnt sienna, venetian red, turquoise blue, rosey pink, flesh pink, white, slate blue/gray and black.

Cover the stamped area with the neutral color light paint in varied thicknesses. Leave some peaking through.

I like to use tissue paper for some of the layers. I've also used tulle', scrapbook paper, magazine paper, vintage text (use this a lot, love dictionaries and encyclopedias), or any pretty or cool paper you can find.

This piece I left pretty translucent, since the customer wanted it mostly green and pink. I applied the green paint in different hues, using the darker greens on the outside of the piece more. I normally add a tad of yellow (very translucent) to most of my paintings as I like the warmth of it. It adds a lot of dimension. I use my fingers a lot to rub in into the creases, etc. I also use sponges, clay tools, texture tools (bubble wrap!), etc. I have a box of goodies that creates texture (old cookie cutters, shelf liner, etc... I really like this part ... creating all the texture).

More layers of paper!

I normally paint the entire eye with white first. This way I can let some of the white shine through part of the iris area paint if I want it to. This helps the eyes to be really bright and alive. Eyes are very tricky and it's taken me a long, long time to get them to where I'm happy with them. Initially my eyes were more harsh, with sharper lines. Now they are softer and more natural looking. Of course I'm continually learning and refining my style!

I think a good artist is well aware of their strengths and shortcomings. My biggest shortcoming in my opinion is composition and the laying out of my "scene". I struggle with this and normally paint very simple scenes. I think sometimes I'm too restrictive and I play it safe too much.

I think I have two strengths:

The first is COLOR. I love color. As most artists do, I have colors that I use more than others. I love greens and pinks and black! I remember reading once that some artists think black is not necessary and shouldn't be used. WHAT???!!! I love BLACK! I love the contrast it provides.

I feel that my other strength is DETAIL. Once I have the main character(s) completed and the colors and texture done, I get out my ink pen and my teeny tiny paintbrush and GO TO IT! This is when I shine! I love this part so much!!! I call it the "doodle" stage. I feel so free during this time and it's just natural for me. I just keep writing and drawing and doodling and painting and it just flows. No hesitations. Ahhhh....

Here I cut the text out of an old dictionary that my mother-in-law gave me many years ago. This dictionary literally weighs probably 15 lbs! It is HUGE! You all must be laughing at me cutting up my mother-in-law's gift! Don't worry, she'd approve!

I have my husband attach the clock mechanism. Then I stamp or draw out the numbers (or letters, in this case). This clock says "how time flies" starting at 12:00 and going around (clockwise, of course!).

After the clock part is done, I antique it a bit with some warm brown/sienna wash. I wanted to keep the green really pure in this piece, so I used very little of the antique wash. I normally apply it with a tiny sponge that I've cut into a sort of round long piece.

Then I sign and date it and paint the back. Then a nice layer of varnish is applied. This makes the paint and ink and all of it POP and really come alive.


Sunday, November 8, 2009


I know you all are so tired of seeing Halloween pics of kids. But I guess I don't care enough to not put you through it again, LOL.

Samantha decided to be a witch. This fit her well as she is so grouchy when the camera comes out! She got right in character.

So here's Miss Witchy (although she was sweet enough to leave me a little bag of M&M's on my (unmade) bed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Love Hate

Monday, October 26, 2009

teen driving

Our daughter just got her temps. This is an exciting time for her, but it does highlight the unfortunate fact that we have just one totally working car and three soon-to-be drivers (our second car technically works, but one must not go over 30 mph, which is sorta hard to tell cuz the speedometer doesn't work (NOTE TO SELF: google how fast 2 rpm's is).

Somehow Rick and I are getting the sick feeling we'll be pushovers (as usual) and be stuck home without a car on a regular basis. Good grief. Life sure does come full circle.

So I'm doing what I do best: concoct far-reaching impractical schemes that will never pan out. And most importantly that I would never even do anyway. Cuz I'm practical. But I like to waste time.

For a short while (minutes) I thought maybe I could find an old golf cart. Cheap and doesn't go too fast. Eh... wouldn't work as I don't think she's that self-actualized YET. Plus the pesky little winter problem. Then I thought maybe she could use my husband's scooter. But then the visual of a big semi smashing into it (and her) pretty much eliminated that thought (and her - UGH!). And then there's that pesky winter problem again.

So on the way to school one day, the answer was right there in front of me! Safe AND cheap! Plus if she happens to be driving past a house fire she can earn her much-needed community service hours! Bingo!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


When our daughter Samantha was 4 years old, we did an evil, evil thing: we put a little tv in her room. She had chronic ear infections (almost constantly), and tv was all that would help her sometimes. Our whole family was exhausted and at our wits end and frankly, there were times I desperately needed a break.

Well, now that she's 6 and isn't sick all the time, we've decided it's high time to remove it. I mentioned this to her as I was snugging with her at bedtime. I told her we were going to take the tv out. She sorta complained a bit, not bad. I said, "You're going to have to play with your toys and color and stuff more." Since her toys are pretty pathetic lately, I asked her if there's anything she'd like us to get for her room.

She said, "Yeah. A pool and a hot tub."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

my DAD

The local paper here in Green Bay did an article on my dad (sculptor). Check it out HERE.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Supah's post-it note Tuesdays...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

homework oops

Upon checking Samantha's homework folder, I found this "tally practice" we had after supper one night. Yes, there really were 8 farts after supper. And yes, this *almost* made it to school and into her dear teacher's hand.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FREE SHIPPING at primoriginals!

Through October 11th, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on anything in my etsy shop! No limit!

Also, spend $25 or more (before shipping) and receive a free magnet gift pack (3 mags, ready for gift-giving). The magnets make great little gifts for teachers, friends, or whoever! The magnets will be carefully chosen for you and will include a nice selection!

Please mention the word "OCTOBER FREE SHIP" in the comments section when ordering!

Thanks everyone,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rollip and no teeth

Samantha lost her two front teeth. My favorite mouth-time of childhood.

Actually, truth be told, the first one was knocked out by my 15 year old daughter, Molly, when they were wresting. And the second one was knocked out by my husband when they were goofing around! I am not making this up. (qualifier: both were loose already, not that that makes it any less ridiculous).

Learned about rollip today while reading dear jane's blog. Rollip is a cool site that you can make your own digital polaroid photos. Hope you have a couple hours!

New Dolls! and SALE!

A new batch of wooden dolls in my etsy shop!

Also, 10% off sale thru Sunday, September 27! Please mention sale in comments section when ordering. I will send you a revised invoice, OR if you pay I will prompty refund the 10%.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Very cool clock

Find this funky clock here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Stuff

I made three little wall art pieces... available in my etsy shop ... these are so fun!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

When you are THIS cute....

you have to find ways to hide so people leave you alone:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wood Dolls in my shop!

I had so much fun making these, really!

Seems like the smaller things are the more I like them. Reminds me of when I was in high school and I spent a study hall writing everyone's name on pieces of rice, LOL!

These are available in my etsy shop.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


As many of you know, my husband had surgery on his achilles tendon 6 weeks ago and cannot work (he drives a school bus and also works for the Dept. of Corrections). His doc won't sign a work release for another six weeks (for obvious reasons).

So.... poor guy is going absolutely NUTS! All summer on crutches and not working.

Me, being the good wife, told him to get his butt going and do something. Anything.

He's been a woodworker for several years, mostly making tables, big blackboards, shelves, etc and selling them in local shops and at shows. I thought most of his *normal* stuff was a bit too large to ship without me having temper tantrums, so he started making smaller stuff that he could ship at a reasonable cost.

So this is what he's been doing:

And I love them all. I especially love the last one right above this text. Those bolts are so darned CUTE! He won't let me have it, though. He's mean.

He's been in two Gift Guides on etsy already, and on the front page at least once! Good grief! ::::jealous:::: This proves that the art section on etsy doesn't get enough kudos! (sorry for the little whine)

So, to celebrate and share his goodness, both at woodworking and at fathering/husbanding/laundering/cooking/cleaning, of which I really miss, I am offering 10% off anything in his shop. Yes, I did tell him he's having this sale! He said the usual, "Okay."

Please mention the code ACHILLES TENDON sale in the comments section when ordering!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Something has changed our once fearless dog. Can you see the uncertainty in her face?

No, it's not a big mean neighborhood bully dog.
No, it's not a unruly child.
No, it's not cuz she gets dressed up in bandanas and cat ears on occasion.

It's the chipmunk living under our porch.

It took me a couple weeks to figure this out.

This morning when I was trying to get Teddy to go outside to pee, the little rodent was right there on the steps. STARING. The two of us stopped for few seconds, not knowing exactly what to do (I'm terrified of mice and little rodents). When I say "two of us", I'm speaking of me and the chipmunk.

Teddy, being approximately 1000 times the chipmunk's weight, had bolted as fast as she could, sliding on the laminate flooring, and hid in the bathroom behind the toilet.

In a feeble attempt to ward off the chipmunk from the safety of the bathroom, Teddy barked her most annoying of barks. Evidently chipmunks aren't afraid of dogs that hide behind toilets, because the little bugger decided to catch some chow at the bird feeder then. He was in no hurry whatsoever.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Friday, August 28, 2009

yes oh yes it's that's time again

Years ago I wished I was one of those mothers who cried when her children went back to school. You know the ones -- sniffling at the bus stop, hugging and smooching in the hallway, their children perfectly dressed and groomed (if you are one of those moms, bless your heart, really). But, I wondered to myself: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? WHY AM I FEELING SO RELIEVED AT THIS MOMENT?

I'm old now (43) and smarter. Maybe I'm just more comfortable with my selfishness.

Kids exhaust me. As much as I love my two daughters, they exhaust me. Did I mention they exhaust me??? I think my problem is that I'm so "intuned" to them (Is that even a word? I don't think so cuz the spell check underlined it). Some might say I'm neurotic. I like to think of myself as INTENSE. I need to always know what's up. Every stinkin detail, no matter how insignificant or boring (I'm one of those annoying moms who sends text messages to my teenage daughter on a very regular basis. This is where an unlimited texting plan comes in handy).

This little trait I have causes me to be aware of any ever-so-slight change in my kids' mood or general demeanor. I THINK SHE'S HUNGRY... IS THAT SHIRT TAG BOTHERING HER? SHE NEEDS A FRIEND OVER!!! It annoys me, this gift I have (I use the word "gift" very loosely). I try to change it, act all casual and cool, but it creeps back before I realize it! I'm wondering if others have this problem. I really don't know. But I've often wondered.

So, when summer is done, and I send them off to school, it means that for 6+ hours my "kid gauge" can get some rest and fuel up for the wild and crazy AFTER SCHOOL time, in which my tank must be full. I need my tank fully loaded for THAT.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How to make a 10 minute bike ride last 2 hours

1. Offer to take two six-year-olds to store for CANDY -- on bikes
2. Realize that all six tires are flat
3. Dig out pump from garage and fill tires
4. Go in house and get band-aid after bike falls on leg while filling tires
5. Start riding bikes
6. At first corner, turn around and go home for water
7. Start riding bikes
8. Stop at park to let monkeys do the monkey bars a few times
9. Start riding bikes
10. At same corner, turn around to go back to park to look for lost butterfly ring
11. Accept the fact that ring is lost
12. Start riding bikes
13. Realize you forgot the bike lock and leave kids at park while you go get one
14. Start riding bikes
15. Argue about who gets to be in front
16. STOP and argue some more
17. Start riding bikes again
18. Listen to kids argue for 3 blocks about who is the oldest
19. Listen to kids argue for 3 more blocks on whose SISTER is the oldest
20. Watch helplessly as one kid crashes into a bush
21. Recover and start riding bikes
22. Get to store and lock bikes
23. Go into store and check out candy selection, which of course is wedged next to checkout
24. Change mind 1,237 times on desired candy
25. Make final decision on candy
26. Argue in store about whose candy is best
27. Knock over bin of gum while in checkout lane
28. Pretend not to see annoyed people behind you
29. Pay $7 for two snacks and a soda
30. Go outside, unlock bikes while man sits in truck and stares at you while you freak out
31. Pretend not to see man staring
32. Be told by an annoyed six-year-old to SMILE AT MAN!!!
33. Bike home vowing next time to take the *#!$@# car!!!!!

the end

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

summer over?

Most of the pools have closed here in Green Bay... it's eerily quiet lately. Everyone's sorta moving slower I SWEAR.

In Wisconsin people really "SUMMER" hard. We have to cram it all in a few months.

Our family tends to do less than most people though, as vacations and getaways aren't something we like, quite frankly. Our oldest daughter Molly would love them, actually, but the rest of us... BLECH.

We get away very occasionally and I am always so relieved when we are home. The practical side of me is very strong and I can't wrap my mind around spending so much money on something NON-TANGIBLE. I hope I'm not sounding dreadful here. I am not an anti-vacationer, really. More power to ya!

When we are hanging out at home, we love popsicles. Or should I say my husband and daughter do. We go through them like water. Samantha has been known to snag one in the morning when I am having one of those "can't get out of bed" issues.

Hope you are having a good-relaxing-end-of-summer time.

Friday, August 14, 2009! molly! and foot!

I've been using picnik lately for my photo editing. I like it better than Photoshop! Maybe it's because it's so much simpler.

The pic above I did for my husband's new etsy shop! I had a blast with the digital daisies! ;o)

This is our Mols. She's going to a party tonight. My eyes are swelling with tears right now as I type. I keep staring at this picture. Over and over. She's 15. I can't seem to believe it lately. She's a young woman. There's things I wish I would have said and done, but all in all we are so proud of who she is and our joys and struggles of raising her all make sense somehow.

On another note: while I was loading up my stuff for a farmer's market I did Wednesday night, I stepped on the curb wrong and heard a POP and felt the pain go through my foot immediately! UGH!!!!!! I couldn't walk that night or the next day without a cane, and even then it was very painful. Many of you know my hubby had surgery on his achillies tendon a few weeks ago, so we have a wheelchair, crutches and a cane in our house! So Rick let me use the wheelchair, LOL! Hey... if I don't laugh, I will surely cry and cry! Long story short, doc doesn't think I broke anything. Perhaps a tendon or ligament snapped. I have an air cast on and have to take it very easy for a couple weeks. If the pain gets better it's probably not broken. Please say a prayer for us over here! It's been one thing after another. I tell people who come over that they must enter AT THEIR OWN RISK!

:) Liz