Friday, September 30, 2011


We have a normal schedule every day when my son gets home from school.  He gets the mail, I go through his backpack, we talk, etc etc, then I log online to check my email while he watches Phineas and Ferb.  (OK, we're both watching, I love this show--so I'm being "authentic" here.  The episodes never get old!  And the songs are fun to have running through my head, much more than Thomas and Friends.  "Gitchee, Gitchee Goo means I love you!" and "Those boys are evil--E-V-I-L-B-O-Y-S!"  Love it!)

Anyway...I logged onto my homepage and saw this:
What the...?  Is that MY NAME?? 

It is my name!!  And my Halloween Pinterest board!  I'm so excited to be featured--it's kind of crazy how excited I am, lol.  Now, off to email everyone I know and show off share on Facebook.....
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Too Much of a "Perfect Thing"

Did you ever get something for crafting, like paper, ephemera or cloth, and then be too afraid to use it?  Well, not "afraid" exactly, more like keeping it for a "better" project while you instead on go crafting, only a "better" project never shows up?

I've been doing that.  Back in August (I can say that, because its almost October!) I bought 1 yard each of the perfect lime and the perfect turquoise for my obsession crafting.  I also got a yard of this yummy brown material that uses all the colors together. Only...I've never used it.

I'm not sure why, but those 3 materials are still sitting here, perfectly folded, while I've used all kinds of other random, boring, not-quite-right materials to make:
a lampshade
a pinboard
basket slipcovers
approximately 20(thousand, lol) flowers
and covered my 12x12 scrapbook paper storage thingie (did I show my storage thingie?  It's a stack of Pizza Hut boxes, clean ones of course, stacked and taped together.  They're the perfect size!)

see this cute but non-matching material?  My skirt from my college days...and this tower needs more work still in this picture, it looks better now
Well, no more!  I am resolved to MAKE SOMETHING with my "special" fabric this weekend!  Although I have no idea what.......
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Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm Trying To Choose Authenticity (the short version)

(I've written 2 versions of this post.  One is the Real Truth, the other is the "Reader's Digest" version.  I'm too afraid to publish the other version now, even on this little blog not even my husband reads.....)

I read a lot.  I read books, I read blogs--I have at least 20 blogs that I keep up-to-date with through my email, and another 10 or so blogs on my Google homepage.  I've always been a reader.

Earlier this year, I read an amazing, gut-wrenching, life-changing book called I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power by Brene Brown.  (#20 on my book list, on the sidebar--->)  It's me to a T--I get very hung-up on this idea of having the IMAGE of a perfect life to the point of making myself and my family miserable, and making myself physically ill.  And then this summer, in the throes of the hardships of LIFE, I read a column on Christy Tomlinson's blog about this topic and I was inspired to address the issue on my own blog

But like other Life Lessons, it takes a long time to learn, a long time where there is nothing but failure, and a hard journey to walk alone.  This book addresses the issue of SHAME and how the burden of it weighs us down, sometimes to the point of not being able to breathe or even function "normally."

I have major depressive disorder--and because of the constant shame I feel, NO ONE knows the truth of my life.  But, my point to this post: I came across a little "badge" on another blog, and when I clicked on it, I found myself on Brene Brown's website.  I didn't even know she had one!  I was astounded, and once again awed by the kind of "coincidence" that comes only from God's Love.   So I've added the badge to my little blog, at the top, right over there----->  I'll see it every time I proofread a post, and try every day to live up to this new AUTHENTIC LIFE.

Obviously, I'm not doing a great job of it, but: baby steps, Kimmy, baby steps........
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Friday, September 23, 2011

It Helps If You Can See It

I've been trying to organize my craft supplies lately, and I've learned one very, very important lesson: if you can't see something, such as a great piece of fabric you bought 2 years ago, then it will continue gathering dust while you spend hours a day looking on Pinterest for a Muse.  But I also came to this important lesson through my mom.

It's beginning to be actual Fall here in Northwest GA now, and the leaves are beginning to fall.  My mom was raking leaves in the yard of their new farm, and burning them once the pile was large enough.  She was using a rake, thank God, because when she went back to stir the pile and make sure it was a controlled burn, a black snake jumped out at her!!  It wasn't poisonous, but still, it scared her so badly she said she went from the yard to the porch in 2 steps!  She didn't know she'd raked a snake until it was too late.

So this story, along with this very awesome idea of Ashley Connelly on The Creative Place, I made my own version of a frame and twine inspiration board.  I plan to use it to display fabric swatches, craft ideas and inspirational "crafty" sayings. 

I happened to have a large picture frame where the glass had broken.  I measured the sides and made the decision to create my twine lines every 2 inches all the way around.  Ashley used nails and tied her twine, but this frame is most likely plastic, so I went with the good old hot glue gun and burned fingers route. 

Here's the finished frame, it'll help my explanation make sense.  I've not written "tutorials" before.

I marked where the lines should lay and started gluing all the way up one side (let's call it north, for my sake.)  I then moved onto the adjacent side (east) and glued twine lengths there as well.  To connect the east twine to the opposite side, I pulled the twine as taunt as I could and made sure the glue had a good hold (hence the burned fingers.)  For the last (south) side, I braided the twine in and out of the east/west lines and again made the twine as taunt as I could.

Now, I love my glue gun, I really do.  But there are times when it fails me, and I did not want this to be one of those times.  So as a precaution, to keep the twine from popping off, I glued a long piece of twine all the way around the frame (on the lip where the glass would normally sit) covering the ends of the twine, giving it one more layer of stay-put-it-ness.
The back, nice and smothered in glue
Another view of the back, for perspective
Leaning against some cardboard, waiting for me to decide where to hang it

Wow, I didn't realize those little metal tag thingies were so noticeable, I'm going to break them off, and get to swatch clipping!

Oh, and the other thing I've made today (so far) is a headband with rolled flowers.  I used the tutorial from Craft Snob except I didn't sew any of mine.  Did you know my sewing machine hates me?  It does.  I can hand sew a few stitches, that's about it.  That may be why I'm co-dependent on my glue gun....  Anyway, normal headbands from the store always slip up or off my head, so I took one that almost fit, added a couple more inches and voila!  It really was the easiest thing ever!
It's blurry, sorry, totally not used to taking pictures of my own head
The other night I made a monogram in all my favorite colors.  It's now hanging together with my lace frame here:
Chocolate brown, turquoise, lime green, pastel pink and cream--all against the unfortunate and hideous mustard wall.  Eventually I'll give in and paint this darn room, but in the meantime, I'm killing it with as much stuff I can hang on the walls as possible. :)

So, that's about it for today.  Thanks for hanging out for a bit!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I love my cat.  In fact, I'm a "cat person," as opposed to being a dog person.  I can name all my cats I've had since high school, and they all had different personalities, habits, etc.  Just like people, right?
But why, oh why, do they ALL do this?  See my mouse in the first picture?  She wanted to lay down ON my mouse and I pushed her aside. 
And that's my pen, which suddenly attacked her, apparently, as you can tell from her "What?  I got it, everything's good now, thanks to me--AGAIN" attitude in the 2nd picture.  She's not even supposed to be in this room, she should be on the bed asleep.  But no, she had to come visit me and then save me from my pen.

Aren't you glad to know I was saved from the human-eating pen?  Because if you don't admire her prowess and rub her head, something far, far worse will attack my feet once I go to bed.....
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What's That I See Outside My Door???

Hmmm, what's that I see, it's too dark in here.....
Eeek!  Are those...GHOSTS???
Why yes, indeed, we do seem to have spectral visitors!

We are having a blast decorating for Fall and Halloween this year.  My lil Scarecrow "Welcome" man has been on the front porch for at least a week now.  I used tracing paper to cut some simple ghost shapes and James and I gave them eyes and punched holes to hang them from yarn stretched across the room.  He also has another line of "ghosts" over his bed (that he deemed are a "spooky" dark red color, lol) and some turquoise ghosts with pointy heads, where Mr Man got into my "good" paper stash to make some ghosts in my favorite color.  They are my favorites indeed. :)  They're stuck to the walls as opposed to the flying ghosts in my picture there.

We also have 5 orange jack o' lanterns on the walls--mine with happy faces and James's all have very scary faces indeed.  I really hoped for one more "happy" Halloween as opposed to "scary," but it looks like I'm out of luck.  And more decorations are on the way!

Still no idea what James is going to choose to be for Halloween this year.  He was a cowboy last year, and this is one of my top 5 favorite all time pictures of him. They were playing "hot potato" in his preschool class, and I love how happy he looks in this picture.  He was just giggling away! 
(As a side note, they were using a Rocky Horror Picture Show record for the music, and I remember thinking at the time that maybe that wasn't the wisest choice of songs, but it was only on for a few seconds each time, so the kids weren't really listening.  Plus, it was a RECORD.  Who has records anymore?  We don't even have CDs around!)
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Life of a Crafter

My mom thinks I'm weird.  Well, "creative," she calls it, but I know what she means, lol.  I managed to be gifted with these babies while at her farm last weekend:
That's about 6 or 7 extremely high-quality leather belts, which I'm going to use to make bracelets out of, inspired by:


Between giving me broken jewelry for my birthday and leather belts no one wears, I believe she has just decided to give in to my eccentricities.  Christmas will be sparkly and fashionable this year!
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9/11 Story

I will take on the challenge and tell my story of 9/11, but only because of this:
I got home and just now uploaded my pictures from a weekend trip.  I found some of these that I had taken to be disturbing, when in fact they're nothing.  But not now.  Not this day.  And not this time.

We visited my mom's new farm this weekend, and had a great time.  Played in the yard, fed the horse and rode around in a 4-wheeler, typical "farm" stuff.  We watched a few minutes of the memorial today and I cried.  It scared my son to see me cry, in fact, so I walked away from the TV.  We had all discussed where we were, repeated the stories we've told before but did so today with special significance.

Chasing the flying pieces of boxes from the fire.
When I took these, we were burning boxes and the dead grass from the edge of the small creek right next to the house.  No big deal, but important enough to James for me to take some shots, and I'm glad I did.  But oh, just now...memories overwhelmed me.

Remember what a beautiful blue the sky was that day?  At the time I remember that the horror was made worse by the innocence of the crisp Fall weather.  Remember the paper in the air?  As the towers fell, I remember all the paper in the air....  And the burning field in Pennsylvania, echoing the burning wing of the Pentagon.  These were in my camera from our trip as well:

 It amazes me how the context is so important when looking at pictures and even videos.  It is impossible for anyone to fully express our "before" and "after."  By that I mean that a picture of burning debris will never take my son's breath away like this photo did to me.  He will not look at the smoke and remember the true fear of feeling "un"-safe for the first time, never knowing that we did feel safe in the first place.  The attack was beyond my imagination--I knew there were people in the world who hated Americans, but everyone hates someone, right?  It sounds arrogant now, but we weren't arrogant.  It sounds naive, but we weren't that either.  "Blissfully unaware" is how I would describe my son chasing burning debris, not us as a country back then.

So with that, here's my story, not as bad as others because it ends happily:

I used to travel for a living, and by that I mean I was away from home for at least 85% of the year--we traveled.  That's where I met my husband, in fact, we worked together.  I remember the day we met, what we said to each other, and how I commented that Jason was someone I could see being married to for forever.  I left the company in January of 2001 in fact, exhausted of living the life of a constant traveler.  I am so, so thankful I did.

My honest first thought when I saw the smoke and the building fall was for my now-husband and the others I used to work with--thankfully, none were anywhere near danger and were being called home--by car, the airspace was closed, remember?  I was not dating Jason then, but that being my first thought told me something and I reached out to him, found that his heart was as much with me as mine was with him.  Ten years later, we're married and my son is joyfully chasing paper in the air, and now I have a good memory to replace the scared bad ones.

My heart tonight is with those whose stories are the opposite of mine--the ending of a marriage, not a beginning, and with all those of my fellow Americans.  We will not forget.  We will survive.  We're different, but still the home of the free and the brave.
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

HEADLINE: Pom-Poms NOT So Evil After All!

Spotted around our house this week:
Fluffy Happiness!!
My Love Bug from Build-A-Bear is guarding the pom-pom pile

I figured out how to make pom-poms!  Some tips for anyone else who is similarly pom-pom challenged:
1. Tissue comes in a package of 9-10 pieces.  Plan on ONE pom per package.
2. You can make smaller ones, I actually made some cute little tiny ones, but don't try your first time.  The pink pom in the first picture is one of these tiny versions.
3. They look much, much better if you trim the edges before you start fluffing.  Round or pointy is fine, just not plain.
4.  If you finish it, and it looks horrible, don't give up!  I have one that I folded and cut one direction, hated it, re-folded and re-cut it and then went back to the first version.  It ended up working out just fine!
5.  When fluffing, you can always go back to that first layer, and it helps if you can slide your fingers down into the folds.
6. Quality counts!  I paid $1 per package for both kinds, but one brand was of much better quality.  I just can't remember which store it came from, lol.  I know for sure that the 35-sheet packs from the Dollar Tree are not good for this project, the tissue is just way too thin and won't hold any shape at all.

I'm looking forward to having a couple of these on the Christmas tree!

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