Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh...It's a Pony-O!

Miss Katie sporting her new Pony-O that matches her dress for church.

The next item to go into my Etsy shoppe...the Pony-O!

Miss Audrey doesn't have enough hair for a Pony-O, but she loves the colors!

A Pony-O is a hair elastic that has ribbons fixed to it--like streamers. In fact, I've seen these called Pony Streamers or even Pony Screamers! Screamers sound a bit frightening to me, so I'll just stick with a Pony-O.

These were made to match local school colors.

The Pony-O is great for anyone who wears a ponytail. It adds a bit of umph and color to an otherwise, well, boring ponytail. The ribbons hang down about six inches on each side, but can be customized to any length you'd like. Just about any color is also available. These would be great for a cheerleading squad or a dance team! They can be also be customized to go with any school color imaginable.

The ribbons are hand-sewn to the elastic, and all ribbon ends are sealed to prevent fraying.

Leave a comment if you'd like more information before I get them listed in my shop!

Still Doin' the Pirate Imitation

Just a quick update for those of you who have prayed for me and have been so kind and asked for an update on the Bell's Palsy that's taken over my face--

It's still here.

No real changes. It's just more annoying now.

I'm still thanking God every day that I didn't have a stroke.

Please continue to pray for me!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Basic Photo Composition: The Rule of Thirds

Basic photo composition is very easy to learn and can take an average photo and turn it into something that's much more interesting!

The Rule of Thirds says you should take your photo frame and make mental lines disecting your frame into thirds, both horizontally and vertically:

Where the lines intersect (and you see the stars) is where you would put your subject.

If your subject is horizontal (like a landscape), your horizon line would be on one of the horizontal lines, and NOT right in the center. It just makes for a more interesting photo:

The horizon line (the base of the church) is roughly on the bottom third line. The steeple is roughly on the right vertical line.

If your subject is vertical (like a person standing, for example), it should go on one of the vertical lines:

The bride is also positioned where a horizontal and vertical line intersect.

The subject in the photo below is actually the bee. The bee is roughly where a vertical and horizontal line would intersect, making the photo less static.

The Rule of Thirds also applies to portraits. In a head and shoulders portrait, the eyes should be in on the top third line:

If all of this is clear as mud to you, leave me a comment in the photo section, along with a way to contact you, and I'll address the questions in a later post.

Now go out and take some great photos!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ahoy, Matey!

I'm really NOT doing a pirate imitaiton here.

I have Bell's Palsy.

It started on Sunday night with an earache, and ended up Tuesday morning in an ambulance thinking I was having a stroke.

The left side of my face is pretty much paralyzed. I can't close my eye all the way, hence the eyepatch to keep it from drying out by keeping it closed. My mouth only works on one side too. You don't think about things like eating or drinking neatly until you can't do it anymore.

The good news is that it should get better. 75% of people fully recover. In the meantime, I'm taking steroids and taking it easy.

The girls think it's Mom looks pretty funny! Please say a prayer for me.

Call 9-1-1!

Katie split the back of her ear open by falling on the windowsill. (No, the windowsill was NOT hurt. Thanks for asking, Doc!) This meant a trip to the ER. I figured she'd need stitches.

Did you know they rarely use stitches anymore? Nope! Now they use GLUE! I love this! No needles to numb it, and no real pain afterwards.

She couldn't get her ear wet for a few days so this is how she was getting a bath. I think she looks like one of the Jamaican jellyfish in that animanted movie where Will Smith is the voice of the lead fish. He works at a whalewash (carwash) and is chased by sharks who are the "mob." What WAS the name of that movie???

She won't let me take a picture of her ear.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Over the River and Through the Woods

Not long ago Katie and I went to visit my grandma in the assisted living facility where she now lives. She always remembers me, even if she doesn't call me by name. She still remembers that Katie is my daughter, but never remembers her name. That's ok, though.

We had a good visit. I took my camera and snapped several photos. I also let Kate take some photos with my digital point-and-shoot! (She's just like me and LOVES taking photos!)

One of the workers offered to take a photo of the three of us together. Katie didn't want her photo taken and was not cooperative. Imagine that. This is the best one we got.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Botany 101, Continued

We planted two little tomato plants last week. We're considering this part of Botany 101. I don't know how many tomatoes we'll actually get from just two plants, but I'm sure the girls will love picking them, and then eating them.

I've also tried to pretty up a corner of the back yard. Wind funnels back there and trash (from who knows where--ok, the elderly lady who lives next door keeps dumping stuff there) accumulates. We raked it all up, dug up all kinds of gunk, raked some more, and planted sunflowers and wildflowers. Lining it with bricks has greatly decreased the debris that accumulates. In fact, we've had no more to gather up!

The "trash" has yielded one plus though: The stuff had mulched into a very rich, dark soil. We could probably grow just about anything there! I'll post an update when it doesn't look like it's all weeds.

Here are the sprouts of flowers we planted at the back of the house. Lining the area with bricks helps keep little feet off the plants!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

They Grow So Fast

When I made this nightgown for Katie for Christmas just over a year ago, the hem hit the ground. In fact, she kept tripping over it so I put it up for awhile.

Fast forward! It still fits her fine, but it's MUCH shorter! She's growing like a weed!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Miss Audrey is Always Busy, Busy, Busy!

Miss Audrey is always busy!

First, she had to sweep the porch....

Then she had to sweep the yard!

After all that sweeping, it was time to start mowing.

She should sleep well tonight!

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Latest Project

This is my latest project: Monogrammed Badge Reels!

This is one of the first successful projects I've made with my embroidery machine. The shiny reels are covered with vinyl for medical employees who may need to clean them off. I've been experimenting with fonts and threads to get a good combination.

I hope to have these in my Etsy Shop soon! If you'd like one made for you, leave me a comment and I'll get back with you soon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What DOESN'T Work for Me Wednesday

There's a new twist on Works for Me Wednesday this week. This week it's what DOESN'T work for me. Before I get started, head on over to for more of what NOT to do!

In no particular order, this is what doesn't work for me:

Flylady. There, I said it. I can't believe I said it. I know it CAN work. I know it SHOULD work. It just doesn't seem to work for me. I can't stick with it for any amount of time. If it started the day with something other than cleaning the bathroom, I might be able to make a go of it.

Low rise pants. I can't figure out why anyone would want to wear pants that have the potential of showing crack. It's an even worse idea for babies and children.

The current fashion of tops that look like maternity tops. They just make me look about 7 months pregnant.

Junk toys for children. I probably don't have to elaborate on this one.

Wordless Wednesday

For more Wordless Wednesday, go to

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Going to see "Rocko Bama"

Katie and I went to see Barak Obama speak in Bloomington last week. I figure that he has about a 30% chance of being elected president right now. If he's elected, she and I can say that we've seen an American president in person.

He was supposed to start speaking at 8:30 p.m. By 6:15 the line snaked around Assembly Hall and out onto the sidewalks.

I was meeting my aunt and cousin. My uncle drove us out there and dropped us off after stopping at Subway to get sandwiches and chips for everyone for dinner.

After finally spotting my aunt and cousin near the front of the line, I tried to be cool about it and get up to them to give them their food, and hopefully join them in line. While I was trying to get nearer, a security attendant told me that no food could be brought into the building. Now what was I going to do? I had no car there, food in hand, relatives near the beginning of the slowly moving line, and a hungry child.

I did what any mother with a hungry child would do: I sneaked the chips in. I put them under my aunt's jacket and put her jacket over my arm. The metal detectors obviously don't catch the metalic-like lining of a bag of baked Lays.

However, when I put my purse on the table to be examined (and they looked through EVERYTHING), I noticed the woman in front of me had a package of graham crackers in her purse and they didn't make her toss them. I then felt better about my secret chips.

So now we're back in line. Linda and Carrie had special pink bracelets. These bracelets belong to the people who are going to sit behind Obama as he speaks. They went off to do the VIP thing while Katie and I joined the masses who were hoping for a seat that wasn't in the nosebleed section.

We traveled with the masses through the maze that is Assembly Hall. When we finally went through the door into the gymnasium, everyone was going down the steep steps to get a seat near the stage. We stayed right at the door-level so that we wouldn't have to go up and down for the infinite number of potty breaks that I knew were coming, and so that Katie could eat her chips without the scrutiny of those around us.

By now it's about 6:40 p.m. Katie kept busy with her crayon roll-up, coloring pictures of flowers. A group called "Straight No Chaser" was performing--loudly. Kate ate a few of her chips, asked for a bathroom break, and chatted with the older couple who eventually came to sit next to us.

In the meantime, the "chosen few" who sit behind Obama began to filter in. They had a "handler" who was staging EVERYTHING! He passed out the "homemade" signs that you see behind Obama at every rally. They practiced holding up their signs and cheering. He sent them in groups to go to the bathroom. More practice.

Kate pointed out a group a few rows in front of us who came in with sodas, water, and chips. We went on a bathroom break (again!) and saw where the concessions were being sold. I paid $3 for a Sprite! The concessioneer took the cap off the bottle and I thought it was nice that he was being polite and opening it for me. Then he tossed the cap into the trash. I asked him why we didn't get to keep the cap. (I could just see this soda being spilled all over the folks in front of us!) He said that the Secret Service didn't allow the caps because "the caps could be used to make a projectile and separate from the bottle...bombs....projectiles....Secret Service....blah, blah, blah." I didn't think I should argue with the Secret Service.

At 8:00 someone came in and led the Pledge of Allegience. FINALLY! Something was happening!

I was wrong.

Another bathroom break.

At 8:45, Obama made his appearance! The crowd went crazy! Everyone was on their feet. People were chanting his mantra, "YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!" Kate liked that part, and even joined in.

We listened for about 10 minutes to Obama working the crowd. It was all about how much he's like us. He was speaking at Assembly Hall, home of the past NCAA Champion Indiana Hoosiers, the center of basketball heartland, and starts talking about how when he's already told his people that when he's elected, he's having the bowling alley taken out of the White House and is putting in a basketball court. Hysteria erupted. It was all in the name of working the crowd.

He eventually told everyone to sit down because we were going to be there for awhile. Katie needed ANOTHER bathroom break. I decided it wasn't worth trying to keep her entertained in there. We went to the bathroom and started walking around the inside perimeter of Assembly Hall. I could hear snipets of what was being said and people cheering. Katie and I perused the building, looked at pictures and trophies, chatted with the security folks, and walked, and walked, and walked.

10:00 came and went before it was over. It was WAY past Katie's bedtime and she was more than tired. Now we had to find Linda and Carrie in the mass exodus. Cell phones come in handy at times like this!

It was 11:00 before we got back to Dan and Linda's. Katie was tired, hungry, and grumpy--and I didn't blame her one bit.

She slept very well that night.

In retrospect, I can see how Obama could sway people to believing whatever he says. He didn't get this far without being persuasive. A lot of things make sense on the surface, but I'm not so sure about the long run. Maybe I'll blog more about that later. I'm not much of a political person. I wanted to see if he addressed the Jeremiah Wright issue or his Muslim background. If he did, I was with my daughter and missed it--and she's much more important.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Welcome to the World, Miss Maggie!

Our Katie was enthralled with her newest cousin, Miss Maggie.

My sister and her husband, Sharon and Don, welcomed a new little girl into their family on April 29th. She weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 20.75 inches long

Margaret Grace, better known as "Maggie" is beautiful! We were all surprised that Don made it through the delivery without "kissing the floor." Both Momma and Baby are doing well!