Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Disclaimer of Sorts...

As a side note. I'm always apprehensive to post pictures of my house, (stupid? yes, but follow along) because so many blogs are full of beautiful, serene homes, tastefully decorated, and always immaculately clean.

This isn't one of those blogs! =) My house is a work in progress (and if you saw the slew of 70's decor we're battling, you'd understand that its a gradual process) I have plans for every room, but have to wait for money and time.

There are toys in the middle of the floor, there's likely to be a basket of laundry in the background, and there's a good chance you'll find handprints on my mirrors (and washer, and oven, and some windows)

Life with a 3 year old, I constantly clean, and I never get to stop! :) So at any moment, there is likely chaos ensuing in another room.

I have white walls, brown carpeting (uh...orange/brown/yellow combo in the kitchen, nice!) and a 70's bathroom that makes me sad to even go in it. (you should see my drawer of paint chips, yes DRAWER, because I've spent so much time picking paint colors, just waiting to be used!)

But...it is what it is for now. :) So, ignore the clutter in the background, try to say something nice about my kitchen (its harder than you might think!) and stick around, because at least this way you'll get to share in my GLEE when each room gets painted/decorated/torn apart! :)


Huh, there's a word I don't seem to use often! ;) But turkey feathers (turkey feathers'?) "finish what you have" challenge has motivated me to finish the pile of "WIP"s. I also finished a few washcloths, and a scarf that I have no use for. (why did I make it? I liked the yarn. *shrug*)

So...at any rate, my "things to finish" pile is smaller. Which is good, because my "things to start" pile is mounting. Oh, and someone pointed out that Christmas is three months from TODAY.

I'll pause here, I know that probably made you feel a bit shaky and dizzy.

Deep breath - Better? Ok!

Yeah, scary thought! Because in my crafty brain, I can make Christmas gifts for everyone on my list!! And I can. If I start January 1st. Hm. Might be cutting it a bit close this year ;)

I've got plans for baby blankets, socks, hats, embroidery items, scrapbook stuff, you name it. And 3 months to get it all done. If nothing else it will be amusing for you all to follow along and watch me lose my mind before admitting defeat on December 20th, and making a late night dash to Old Navy for gift cards! =) Oh, it'll be great!

Having said that, I can comfort myself temporarily in the fact that I FINISHED this 'quilt'! WOOHOO! My first, finished, quilted, binded (bound) quilt! No small victory!

The downside? uh...its too small. Way too small. Not done correctly, FULL of mistakes, AND I noticed a side is already coming apart at the binding - which I feared might happen, if you saw it when I was sewing it on - but I'm a pro at denial, and hoped it would work. ...it did not.

So, what was supposed to be a baby quilt for my nephew - who I claim is due ANY day, she's due the first week of October but I'm putting money on getting a phone call by the end of next week - it came out so awful that I'm keeping it, and making him a new one.

Well, I hope. (refer to baby prediction above)

See, if I hang it on the wall, it doesn't look bad. If you stand far away, it doesn't look bad. If you held it in your hands, and showed anyone who has made a quilt, they would suffocate and die from a vicious fit of laughter that left them unable to catch their breath. And I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

But here are the pictures, because after all, from far away, its still cute! :)

So then, I realized I can't get a good 'full shot'. I asked my trusty assistant to help!

"Wait! Zach, you need to stand still!"

That's the face that leads to trouble.

See how big it looks when a 3 year old holds it? Its downright huge!

Oh. Maybe not.

And he's all for helping, but there was a game on, so don't expect him to look at you.

So there it is. all 20.5" of it. Hopefully "Kayden Quilt V. 2.0" goes better!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Looking for a Quilt Binding Tutorial

Allright blog readers, help me out here, apparently my brain left work early today for a long weekend at the lake and never told me.

I remember seeing on someone's blog, a great 'tutorial' on quilt binding. I couldn't tell you who, or even when, beyond "sometime after April? and before...October" ;)

So, if you know of one...any. As long as its about quilt binding, I'll take it!

I'm working on finishing this quilt (aka...wall hanging, because Sarah did bad math in her head! ...you'll see...) and I'm thinking either I just suck at this, or I'm doing something a bit wrong.

So...quilt binding blog posts! Got any? :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Finds - Vintage and Otherwise

Ok, give me a minute to catch up. Its THURSDAY? When the heck did that happen?

I've missed you blog, sorry I've been gone a lot, its just...now that I'm working...

Well ok, I'm not really working. But it has kept me VERY busy this week whilst I learn my new job. A few weeks ago a friend approached me about working part-time for her. Its actually the best opportunity, and I'm DELIGHTED she asked me, and its the best 'fit' right now.

Being that I'm a "stay-at-home-mom" (gah! that phrase! like nails on a chalkboard I tell ya!) and have NO DESIRE to "work" anytime soon, I wasn't even entertaining the thought. Had I even considered it, it would be nearly impossible with E-dawg's schedule - which is pretty 'set', but can change at any minute, and forget holiday weeks. ...those are just chaos.

SO...she's asked me to be her "office assistant" (which sounds funny to me, because it makes me feel like I need to put my hair in a bun, and wear smart glasses and crisp tailored white shirts) She's a photographer, so I'm just doing all of the 'behind the scenes' stuff. Filling, ordering, a bit of cleaning, filling orders, etc. Which is my...ideal. Put me in an office, with a list of what needs to be done, and let me go. No phones, no customers, no interruptions, and pens!

(I should clarify, her customers are lovely, I'm referencing customers from my cashier days. You know who you are.... The ones who accused me of switching sale signs on the 44 cent acrylic paint "just to get you", or accuse me of lying when I tell you "we don't have any more 40% off coupons" - yeah, you got me. My whole goal today was to wait for you to walk in, and yell "HAHA! SCREW YOU!") ....uhm....I didn't really love being a cashier some days ;)


Right, new job!

I'm a bit of an office supply nerd. ...I'm A LOT of an office supply nerd. Nothing makes me happier than new pens and a new notebook. So...this makes me happy. :)

Its very part time, and aside from 'training' this week and next, I can go in whenever my little heart desires. An hour after dinner? Sure! A couple hours on Tuesday morning? Why not! THAT itself, is the beauty of this thing.

...and a little extra fun money never hurt anyone ;)

So that's what I did on my summer vacation. If my summer vacation was the last week.

In the midst of all of this employment, Zach and I stopped at a yard sale on Thriday (it was Thursday or Friday, I can't remember) and found these lovelies:

Good Morning vintage aprons!! How are you today?

Pink ric-rak detail (we can vote later on your preferred spelling of ric-rak, ric-rac, etc.)

I actually had to take a picture to be able to 'see' the pattern in this. looking at it in person its REALLY hard to tell, you know its supposed to be something, but it wasn't until I got this picture I could see it.
The very lovely woman I talked to said they're from the 60's. I'm kicking myself now for not asking her if SHE had made them, though I'm pretty sure they were hers.

I also came out with this lovely pile: eh...scratch that, I apparently never loaded the picture? We'll come back to that. Its super cute fabric, you'll see!

Oh! the newer finds you ask? Behold....

Oh yeah! Those are kittens. And yes. They're on my porch.

...and no. I don't want them to be. At least - that's what I have to keep repeating to myself 100 times a day or they'll come inside and never leave.

No, I'm not an animal hater, quite the contrary (or else there wouldn't be kittens on my back porch!!) Its just we're looking for a new puppy right now (if there happen to be any Boston terrier breeders perusing my blog, let's chat!) And one kitten, maybe. Two? ehhhh....

I *think* they're both boys. But...very wiggly boys, so I'm not 100% sure until they'll sit still long enough for me to ask them to turn their head and cough. They're very sweet, and INTENT on coming in the house. I'm not sure why (I know what you're going to say! Don't you dare!) because you'd think they'd be scared of a new place. Oh no! Not these guys! "Let's go on in! I bet the couch is this way!"

Needless to say I'm making a flyer for el-husband to take to work. I feel better putting it there where he "knows" everyone and can tell who is serious and will actually neuter (or spay, if my judgement is TOTALLY off) these buggers.

and yes, they're VERY cute and I'm resisting the urge to name them, even though a few have crossed my mind.


On that note, have you ever googled LOLCATS? do it now. it'll waste the better part of an afternoon, but you didn't have plans anyway.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Best Birthday Present EVER

...and its not even mine. Though I deeply covet it....

Uh..that's great, Sarah. But...what is it?

Ah! I thought you might ask...

Its a strand of lights with 'boxes' on each one. Yaya made each one, and sent it for Zach's birthday. (do you feel that warm fuzzy feeling? I do.)

But why you ask? (aside from the fact that they look awesome!) When Yaya and Papoo where here in July, she would take a piece of paper, fold it into a box, and blow it up for Zach. He thought this was the greatest trick a human being could perform. Once we opened the box, I flashed back to a couple of weeks ago when we were talking to them on Skype and I mentioned that he'd been asking me for weeks to make him a box, but I couldn't remember how, and had told him we'll have to ask Yaya to make one. After I thought about it, I vaguely remembered her saying something about it, but had forgotten until we opened the box and there it was!

Its SO amazing! We're going to put it up in his room (which is WAY behind schedule! Now that its cool enough, we're going to paint it SOON!) And I'd been debating on what color to paint his room. I wanted to do 'vintage primary' colors. You know, the colors from 50's toys. That really great red, golden yellow, lighter green versions. And these lights finally pushed me to decide that's what I want to do. They're perfect. So now I feel inspired to actually DO his room, the way I want.

(see, originally...I had just randomly picked some fabrics, made a quilt top and thought we'd go around that. Except...I hate it. lol. But didn't want to 'waste' the quilt top. But...I just can't do it. I'm going with plan B)

Needless to say, I think its the best birthday present ever. Even if he doesn't understand how much time and thought went into it, I will love and keep it forever.

The Dangers of Blogging....

I've come to realize, that I have about 10 blog posts "missing" in the sense that I had every intention of posting, but never got around to it. Why you ask? ....Evil Bloggers.

Sure, sure, they act all innocent with their delicious recipes, inspiring projects, and fun snippets. But really? They're malicious time suckers!!! Cleverly disguised as blog writers.

I'm onto you.

See, this is what happens: I get onto my blog, and think "well, I'll read my blog roll first" no danger in that right? (psh!) But see, then THEY have blog lists on their blog, which...I'm obligated to read, because they MUST be interesting...and they are. And then that blogger links to another blog, and then pretty soon, I've spent an hour on the computer and I'm deep into the blog underbelly. ...and with no blog post to show for it.

SO...I command you all, STOP! STOP being interesting, funny, inspiring, or decorative! Cease and Desist! ....long enough for my "attention span of a kitten" self to make a blog post!

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter!

(Ok, don't really stop, I'd go into withdrawal....but...give me 10 minutes.) =)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tagged: Middle Name Game

I turned my back for ONE second, trying to catch my breath, and there she was. Kalurah slapped me on the back, yelled "Tag!" and darted off again before I even knew what happened!

She's sneaky like that. So...I'm it.

So, the idea being I take the letters of my middle name, and use them to create a list of favorites. Let's start with my middle name - Hallé. French Canadian eh? er...oui? I'm not even sure the 'accent' is going the right way, I could ask my Pepere (grandpa), but then he'd make me pracitce pronouncing it "correcTly", and he'd point out that I didn't put the correct 'accents' on Pepere, and I'm not up for that this morning. =)

(I jest, but I think the man would burst with pride if any of us ever REALLY learned french, instead of the broken garble a few of us learned in high school.)

So, my middle name is Hallé. Which is my Memere's (grandma) maiden name.

H...has stumped me. Its taken me a day to post this because I CANNOT think of an 'H'. But then sitting here I just thought of one! Holidays! I'm a nut for holidays! Christmas and Thanksgiving mainly. First off, I'm part of a family of VERY good cooks! And a family that cooks like its feeding a small town. I love holidays! ;) But also because its one of the few times that almost everyone is in one place for any period of time. There are 13 cousins ranging from 25 (me) to 11? 12? So between college, school, friends, etc. It seems like there is always someone missing at most of our causal gatherings. But holidays, every one is there...whether they like it or not! ;)

Plus, they just give me the warm fuzzies. Every year I have visions of our house decorated for the season, and dinners, cookies and treats. ....Every year I fall short of that vision. lol! but I'm getting better =)

A...apples? (I do love gala apples) no. How about - A Prarie Home Companion. That's better! I LOVE that show! I've missed it the last few weeks, and I'm hoping to catch the repeat tonite! I never imagined I'd be one to listen to a radio show, but here I am, professing my undying love for the whole 2 hours of it.

L...man, I have 2 L's and I can't even think of the first one. Why can't my middle name have a Y(arn) or a P(aper) or an F(abric)? Lamps - I apparently have a thing for lamps. I'm always looking at them at the store, trying to find one that 'fits'. I love funky ones.

L...Little things. Yes, its kind of cheating, and maybe a bit corny. But its true - little things make me happy. A nifty frame on clearance, a note from my husband, my coffee cup, when my son leans against my back and says "I like you". ...those are good.

E...envelopes, in the form of mail. I'm all for technology, but I still love getting things in the mail. ...except bills... But I'm the kind of person who watches the mail from the time I order something, even though I KNOW full well it won't be here for 2 more days. But I still check, just in case warp speed was integrated by the US Postal System. Its possible.

This...was HARD! And I'm sure I'll think of better answers for all of them once I post this and stop thinking so hard about it. But for now, that's Sarah Hallé in a nutshell. Emphasis on the nut ;)
Now the tag-ees....
1. Kristy - too bad I couldn't incorporate "Desk" into my name, because even though I'm 25, I am in LOVE with her daughter's desk!
2. Soule Mama - aka Amanda - whose book is on my list of things to buy soon!
3. Turkey Feathers - though I'm WAY behind reading the blog, I didn't realize she was back from summer break! Lot's of good catching up to come...including this finish what you have idea.
4. Lou - At some point I must have clicked her blog link on 2 peas,
and she's got some amazing scrap projects! Plus, just good blog stuff :)
I realized I just happened to be playing favorites today: My favorites: cup, nail polish, camera, sweater, and pants. and my wallpaper in the background. We're going to take it down (its starting to peel/age) but I'm going to save some and frame it. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I'm a Cheapskate...

No not really, but this post will most likely make me sound like one. I'm not really a cheapskate, but I am a 'stay-at-home-mom' (I'd pay someone to come up with a better title!) who has gone through some *tight* times before and old habits die hard. ;) I'm one of those "save it where I can so I can spend it somewhere else" people. I'm sometimes cheap, but also have my little luxuries ;)

If you're easily bored, its best to walk away now.

So...let's begin!

I signed up for the grocery game back in ...December? The concept being that grocery store sale ads work on a 12 week cycle. Generally speaking, every 12 weeks the sale repeats. The idea behind it being to stock up during the sale, buying it at the cheapest price.

Follow so far?

Ok, so you choose your store 'lists' - I use Hy-Vee and Walgreens. (You do have to pay for the lists, but its something like $2/list every 8 weeks? The amount I save in groceries pays for it.) It will track that store, and each week, has a list of things that are at their lowest sale price, it also keeps track of coupons that have come out and pairs them up with sales that week.

So let's say a certain brand of cereal is on sale 2/$4.00 this week, there's also a "$1.00 off of 2 boxes" coupon. So cereal will cost you $1.50 a box. Uhm...I buy a lot of cereal at one time! :) If you've ever met my husband, you'll know why. ...Boxes of cereal.

Ok...still with me? If so I'm amazed, I'm terrible at explaining things! :)

The idea is you're only buying at the lowest price, and buying enough to last through to the next sale. We're not talking MASSIVE STOCKPILING. (uhm...well, most people. Some...go the distance) My 'stockpile' fits on one of those 4 shelf plastic shelving units in the basement.

Top shelf - toiletries
Next - Boxed - cereal, granola bars, etc
Next - Canned - peanut butter, jam, soup, etc
Bottom - cleaning supplies

I know its not every one's thing, but it saves us quite a bit in groceries (and I haven't had to make a mad dash to the drug store for toothpaste in a while!) and they let you do a 4 week trial for $1. It does take a bit of time and energy. I buy 2 Chicago tribune's each week for the coupons (bigger papers have better coupons) so it does take some time to cut them out, organize them, print my lists, and go to (sometimes) 3 different stores. But I'd guess that I spend 3-5 hours a week including shopping. (most are less, some are more if I have to break up my shopping) I probably only spend an extra 1-2 hours a week doing coupons and then putting my lists together. Some weeks I don't even do it though because we don't NEED anything aside from perishables.

Oh, and CVS can be done through grocery game. I just never signed up for it, and just recently found the hotcouponworld website. The concept is similar, you go through the sale ad each week, pull any matching coupons, etc. The difference being, CVS does Extra Care Bucks, which basically act as a "save x amount of dollars on your next purchase" coupon. Which add up.

I'll leave it at that, because I see eyes glazing over, and I saw a few of you sneak out the back there while I was rambling. =)

How fitting that as I'm sitting here, I hear nothing but the sound of crickets chirping outside my window....hmmm...

I promise my next post will be more interesting. =)

Thursday, September 6, 2007


So...I SHOULD be going through my coupon folder, and making my lists (yes lists plural) But I'm stalling.

...SPEAKING of stalling....
My husband is out with our friend right now, jumping our Aztek. (And I'm hoping he's still chanting "red is always positive, red is always positive...")

I thought I'd tackle one of my "to-do's" for today, and vacuum the thing out. It was NEEDED! We'd taken the carseat out when they went up to Milwaukee to get the scooter (the scooter! I didn't tell you about the scooter!) and it was rather disgusting. It looked like the Keebler factory had at one time existed underneath our carseat. Ew.

So...I'm vacuuming - a chore I could live the rest of my life without - and I'm vacuuming, and I'm vacuuming. And to make this vacuuming more tolerable, I'm listening to the radio. And all of the sudden...I realize....I'm not.

That can't be good.

Sure enough, I try to start it, and it makes that "ugh, quit it" sound that tells me, my battery....went kaput. FABulous.

The only upside being I was only about 6 blocks from home, and aside from being wet from rain a bit earlier, the weather was actually pretty decent, so walking home was almost - almost - enjoyable. Not quite...but awfully close.

So somehow, in all of that, I've lost my motivation to be productive. See what productivity got me??? A walk home, and wet pants! (I'm short, all of my pants are too long, and thus get soaked when its raining/wet outside)

Alright fine...I'll go make my lists. Yes, 3 of them - CVS, Walgreens and Hy-Vee. Why you ask? More on that later. In the meantime, if you're truly interested:


http://www.hotcouponworld.com/ (look for CVS)

I'll explain tomorrow.

And just for kicks, a cute picture:

Not a great picture mind you, but he is awfully cute! ;)



Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sleepy Progress

Step 1:
Step 2:

Step 3: Sleep. Goodnight, my contacts are LITERALLY sticking to my eyes.

P.S. Don't check my work, they don't line up, its not even totally straight. You know those people who are self-taught, and its just mind-boggling because their work is amazing and flawless? The kind that leave you wondering how they took to it so naturally?

....I'm not one of those people.