Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homefront Team Winter Challenge


Hey Everybody, my team on Etsy is doing a winter challenge and voting has started! Please visit and pick your favorite!

To vote you just leave a comment with your favorite entrant. They are all so great, it was hard for me to choose! Mine is the second one down, the girly newsboy cap.

Thanks and vote vote vote! Good practice for next month hehehe.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Girly Newsboys

Just a quick post to show you my newest product. It is a slouchy version of the brimmed beanie to create a newsboy cap for girls. I love how they look and they've been a hit so far.

I've stopped taking custom orders in my shop for now. I have a few to complete before the move and then we'll be on the road and homeless for at least a month. I'll have my already created inventory with me, and I'll be doing some crocheting here and there to have new inventory when we finally get where we're going. But the custom orders will have to wait until we are settled into a routine again. Thanks for understanding!
Less than a week before the movers come! I can't believe how fast it has crept up on me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hectic, but doing well

It's been way too long since I posted an update. I apologize, but life has been hectic and full of things to do besides blog. Let's see, where to start....

I'll start with life. We've got the house up for sale. We haven't had any bites yet, which is making me a bit nervous. But we have decided I will be leaving South Carolina at the same time that Mark leaves for Airborne school either way. I guess the kids and I will just be gypsies for a few weeks. Then we'll meet up with Mark in Iowa and make the trip across country together to our new duty station. Keeping the house uber clean all the time just in case someone finally calls to look at it is kinda stressful. But it's also really nice living in a constantly clean house. My daughter is no help, she is Miss Destructo, but my son has been really good about not messing things up. For a five year old, I find that pretty impressive. The good part of all of this is that I'm super excited to move. Our new duty station is going to be right up our alley I have a feeling, and we can't wait to get started on our new life there.

I've been slacking on new items for a couple of weeks. My mom is visiting, so that takes priority. But I do have quite a few new things since my last blog update, so I'll post a couple of those.

First is some new seaglass earrings. There is also a few new pendants posted, one comes with a beautiful sterling silver snake chain. I'm trying out including the chain, but seems like most people are happy to buy the pendant and use their own chain. Any opinions on that? Mom brought me a bunch of new pieces of seaglass from her island too so I have even more to play with, love it!

Next I listed some more crocheted hats. The hat to the left is my Flap Happy Monkey Hat. It looks so cute as you can see on my little monkey. I have also listed a Pom Crazy Earflap hat that is super cute too. I love that all of the styles are completely customizable, whatever colors a customer wants I can probably provide. These things are so addictive, to make and to own. My own kids have quite a collection of them now.

And a sort of new item. I had magnets before, but none quite like this. :) They are miniature chalkboards. What a great present for a teacher, right? Or label your kids' artwork with them. It's totally up to you, and you can change them whenever you like. Just rub them clean with a damp cloth and use them over and over.
I'll stop rambling for now. And hopefully the next update won't take so long! Thanks for visiting me. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Got this in an email, thought it was worth passing on.

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend.

He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend,
'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. He asked her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who desires children but are unable to have them.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean
or sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another - Remember that not one of us is without sin.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tooting my own horn haha

I'm so thrilled with how well my hats are doing. This week I listed two hats and had them both sell straight away. (Thank you to those who purchased them! I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.) Here they are in case you missed them in my store. I plan on making many more in different colors. As of right now I am sold out of hats in my shop and have a custom one to make tonight. If you'd like a certain color, please ask, I'd love to make something special for you!

Also have added some new earrings recently.

On a more personal note, we showed the house this weekend. They seemed to really like it but I honestly got the impression they aren't seriously looking to buy. The husband might be, but the wife isn't. And we know how that usually goes. On the bright side having them come to see the house made us get off our butts and get a lot done on the house. It's looking really good. More to do of course, only so many hours in the day, but we should be able to get it listed officially when Mark gets back off TDY.

The kids are doing well despite being sick over the weekend. My daughter came down with a bad fever on Friday night. It was severe enough to cause me to take her to the ER. She is fine, just has an ear and throat infection that seems to be getting taken care of by the antibiotics. Now my son has come down with the fever as well. So I suppose I'll be taking him to the doc to get some antibiotics too. They are still in pretty good spirits except for the occasional "we miss daddy" moments. They are obsessed with the movie Enchanted right now. I've got the songs in my head constantly. Cute movie though. "That's how you knoooooowwwwww...." lalalalala

Monday, July 21, 2008

What have we learned so far?

We've learned quite a heckuva lot actually! I attempted a hat with no pattern, just an idea in my head and a will to live. After a few nights of work, no idea how many hours exactly, this is what I came up with. I made it to my daughter's size, because I knew there was no way it was going to be perfect and therefore unsellable. And I was right, it has definite flaws. But she looks like a cutey patooty in it, so I'm pleased. Especially since I learned so much doing it and will be able to make a great one next time. :) Plus my son wants one now too...of course!

We spent the weekend preparing our house for potential buyers to see it next weekend. Still a lot more to do this week but if they decide to buy it'll save us a lot of work in the long run. Keeping our fingers crossed the wifey likes it! The husband has already seen it and is ready to buy, but you know how it is!

Here's some fun pictures of my kids displaying their inner nerds:

No idea where they go that from! ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Goings on.

I have posted a few new things in my shop that I'm excited about. My new earrings are going to break my heart to leave, they turned out so beautiful. But I can make myself more, I have to remember that. I seriously have to tell myself I can't keep everything I like.

Also made some new magnets that are really cute. The pictures just don't do them justice! I like them so much I'll be making another set for myself.

And I'm still adding new crochet items whenever I get the chance. I'm offering an add-on flower as well. And today...drum roll please...I sold my first hat! I did a happy dance with that. So that's what is going on. With my creative juices flowing and our lives about to get crazy busy with selling the house and moving to's hard to stay focused! I should be able to get a lot done during Mark's upcoming TDY trips. Crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Downer of the Military

Today is one of those days we military folk have to deal with from time to time. The day when a friend leaves us for a new duty station. This is one of the parts I don't like about being active duty military. You get to know someone, become good friends with them over the two to three years you are stationed together, then it's time for them to move on to somewhere new. And we'll do it too, in October we will be the ones leaving our friends here behind. Someday we hope to be lucky enough to be stationed together again, or maybe be able to visit....but when, after retirement? Eight years down the road for us. We'll be moving three more times and leaving a lot of friends during that time. The good thing is the times we live in. We have the internet, email, digital cameras, webcams, Myspace, blogs, and cell phones and excuse not to keep in touch.

On top of it being a friend who is leaving ME, it's a friend of the entire family. She and her husband were a couple we spent a lot of weekends with, playing poker, watching sports, just hanging out. She babysat my kids and they love her. My son especially is very close to her and had a pretty bad day when we had to tell him she was moving far away. Heck, you can't blame him, he's five now and she has been a regular babysitter and friend to him since he was two. She threw me a baby shower when I was pregnant and she was there the day my daughter was born. She sat in the hospital room visiting me and holding my newborn daughter for hours. She is one of those people that is right there whenever you need them, and without hesitation or expectation of payback. I hope I was able to convey my thanks for that properly. I helped her for several days preparing her house to sell in time for her day to leave...a bittersweet duty when you want to slow them down and keep them around for just a few more days.

So to my friend, she knows who she is, I wish you the best at your new place of duty. I hope it can feel like a home for you. Be safe on your upcoming deployment, and you better keep in touch! The Thompson family will miss you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Store Section!

So after crocheting beanie after beanie, hat after hat, I finally was able to get the sizes right. So I've listed my first couple of crocheted hats in my etsy store. Yay! I'm so excited about it. They have been well received so far, lots of hits in the first day, and got some good comments from my fellow Homefronters. (Thanks ladies!) Now I just need to get a good selection going and see how they do! Check 'em out.

Off to make another one now. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Dynamic Duo

I love my kids, but they are crazy. I get the camera out and they really just lose it. Banana sandwiches crazy. But at least I got my daughter to leave her new hat on long enough to let me take a couple of pictures! I think it helped she saw her brother was also wearing his hat. Okay, so it's a tiny bit big for her...I'm still learning about how to get the size right for the right age, but it still looks cute on her and she has room to grow. And she'll need it if she ends up with a big ol' noggin like daddy. For some reason the angle of this shot makes the flower look too high up and really big, but in real life it is in a good position and isn't very big. Weird.

I had planned on having another one done this evening, but I fell asleep on the floor with Ava at 8:30! I'd say my sleep deprivation caught up to me. Normally as soon as it's bedtime for the kids I suddenly get a burst of energy to get me through some alone time. I slept for four hours on the floor with Ava and woke up starving. So rather than having another hat to share, I'll share the little cell phone pouch I made myself last night. More practice for making different things. And an easy one to make in any size, love that.

And last, but never least, my son dressing himself like five year olds tend to do. Nuts crazy mad, but I love them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kyle's new hat

The many faces of Kyle while sporting the new hat Mommy made for him. Can you guess which ones he calls his rocker face? He really likes the hat and says he looks like a skater. Now he wants more hats. Yikes, I've created a monster! (I did pick him up some camo yarn, but he doesn't know that yet. shhh) This is only my third hat, so I hope for them to get even better. I've picked up a few patterns to try and have another one for Ava about 1/3rd done. I'm loving it so far, let's just hope this next one fits her. If not I know lots of little girls to give them to. ;)

More pics, he was being a ham. That last one is for Daddy, his idea.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm a walking advertisement

Okay, DRIVING advertisement. I got some decals done for my vehicle to advertise my little business on Etsy. They turned out pretty good. Not too much but they stand out enough for drivers to read. Mark even put a little one on the back of his car. hee hee Now I feel like I'm advertising my biz whenever I go out, cool! Makes the gas money worth it? Not quite! But I hope it at least drums up a bit of traffic. Please excuse our dirty cars, ahem.

I got the decals made from

Friday, June 6, 2008

Commission Finale!

I finally finished this commission that has been stressing me out for so long. Thought I'd share the completed piece just for the heck of it. It's 16x20 and all graphite. Please excuse the poor photo of the drawing, I packaged it up for shipping and then realized I hadn't scanned it or photographed it. After the luck I had with this commission I decided rather than risk damaging it by exposing it to any elements again I took the picture in the plastic I seal it in for shipment. Better than nothing I suppose.

Also shown is the one reference photo I was given to work from. I thought the composition of the photo didn't flow right, so I took some artistic license there. :)

UPDATE: I got word from the customer and they are in love with the portrait. They said it was beyond their expectations and can't wait to get it on the wall. The husband said his wife just stared at it with an open mouth for ten minutes. I'm so thrilled they like it! I can breathe now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More Treasuries!

I'm honored to be included in the following treasuries: Please click on them to see them full view and be able to visit the great shops included!

From EllaBearBowtique:And one I put together:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

South Carolina Treasuries

Beth Singleton was kind enough to include me in her South Carolinian treasuries. That's my little Pineapple giclee print on the left. Thank you, Beth!

And another with my Sea Nymph earrings. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So recently I've lost some of my patience with my kids. I hadn't had a decent break in quite a while and stress is starting to pick up with a big move coming up later this year. I was feeling bad and remembered I kept an article a few years ago for just such an occasion. It was written by Catherine Newman from her "Bringing Up Ben and Birdy" series. It helps me every time I read it. (Along with a couple of hours of mommy freetime.) I thought I'd share it with you, for those times when your little ones are bringing out your monster side.


Are silver linings in the eye of the beholder? But what if I'm the cloud, what then? Is the silver lining the mere hope that I will change yet, become more the person I want to be? Or maybe if I'm the dark and brooding one, then the silver is these children who shine out nonetheless, glimmering from the gloom like angels of joy. But let me back up a second, and tell you what happened to me today at Whole Foods.

The kids were with Michael at a friend's house, and I was meeting them there for dinner, picking up just a few things on my way. And if you ever, ever get a chance to go grocery shopping without your children, then you know what it's like: this kind of dreamy wandering around looking at this and that, not pushing that godforsaken car cart that moves like a cross between an amusement park ride and a beached whale on the sand, not pulling mysterious strawberry hulls out of your baby's mouth and shuddering to wonder where the strawberries even came from in the first place, not figuring out exactly how many microseconds you are from the bathroom at any given moment.

I love grocery shopping. I love grocery shopping by myself. So imagine my surprise when, in my gauzy-happy state, like I was meandering down the aisle at my own wedding, I took a cheddar cube from the bowl of "tryers" (as we call them) and was practically slapped across the face by the aproned cheese worker who darted out from behind the counter to scold me. "The toothpicks are right there!" he said, yellingly. Then: "Jesus Christ," while he whipped the whole bowl to the back, to be incinerated, I suppose, with the rest of the earth's Contaminated Things. Honestly, you'd have thought that my fingers were oozing with smallpox blisters.

And yes, I should have used a toothpick. I understand that. I've worked enough food service jobs in my life to know how irritating it is when people don't follow basic hygiene principles, like Don't put your lips to the mouth of the ketchup bottle or No vomiting on the glass front of the pastry case. But to be scolded so! I flushed crimson and my eyes filled with tears. Not that I felt so bad about the cheese cube itself — but oh, the shame of being chastised! My heart banged. I practically scuttled out of the store without even the lettuce and cilantro I'd been instructed to pick up.

Later, I wished that I'd recommended that maybe that guy quit his job. When everything anybody does constitutes proof, for you, of the evil and bankruptcy of human nature? Time to pursue a new line of work! (And again: I know the feeling. Once when I was waiting tables, a woman held up a slime-edged salad green and yelled across the restaurant to me, "Would you serve this to a guest in your home?" and I yelled back, "Would you yell at the host of a dinner party?" and quit. Okay, I didn't. But I wished I had.)


Are you wondering where the silver lining comes in? Or what on this green planet any of it has to do with childrearing? I'll tell you. Walking ashamedly back to my car, it occurred to me: This is how Ben must feel when I scold him. And it's one thing to be scolded because you behaved in a way that was unkind or frankly dangerous. It's another thing to be scolded because you made a mistake or were dawdling or had a negative feeling or were being a child, for goodness sake. I have so blissfully few opportunities to be reminded of that vulnerable/humiliated feeling that comes from being spoken to in that way. And here was an opportunity.

You see, this thing happened when we were in California — not such a big deal, but I've been turning it over in my mind. We were staying in a youth hostel on the coast, and in the kitchen there were lots of recycling bins and a special can crusher to make it all more compact. I thought it would be fun for Ben to try, so I called him over, and we popped his empty orange juice can in, and I showed him the handle to pull. Only when the can was halfway crushed, Ben grabbed it back out, said, "Mama, no!" and burst into tears. I was, inexplicably, furious with him. Partly, I think, because he was "acting like a baby" (ugh — I see how awful that is), partly because it was such an unpleasant surprise, his response, especially when I'd had this idea that the whole thing would be fun for him (our own expectations are always glumping everything up, aren't they?). Maybe I was hungry, too, and tired. And I spoke so sharply to him that I'm ashamed to write it here. I didn't ask questions, or bend down to find out why he was sad or worried. I just said, "That's enough, Ben! My god, it's a can. I don't see what you're getting so hysterical about." And I more or less grabbed it from his hands and crushed it myself.

On the bulletin boards a few weeks ago, in response to my having written about scolding Ben for lying, a reader wrote this:
"I don't usually chime in here — but I had to this time, to say, please, let's go easy on our kids. I felt so sorry for Ben in this installment. Lying by a 5-year-old — considering it such a terrible thing — seems overblown (and I know Catherine acknowledges that). As one wise poster has said, for the kids it's an experiment. When your world is fluid and your heart is good, lying is not such a big deal. I'm trying to remember to treat my 5-year-old more as I treat my 2-year-old — to relax and remember he's just a child. I hold his heart in my hands."

Yes! Oh yes! Every time I think of that line "I hold his heart in my hands" I practically burst into tears.

In the car, maybe five minutes after the can incident, I apologized to Ben for having been so unkind and so impatient and it was only then, when I finally asked, that he had the opportunity to explain his reaction to me. "Well, for one thing," he said, "the can was so pretty, with that bright orangey picture of an orange on it. But also," he hesitated here, "I thought that machine was going to put more juice in it! I didn't realize it was going to smash it up." I was stunned. I had forgotten to explain to him what was even going to happen. Imagine how horrified you'd be if you put your whiskey sour glass up on the bar for a refill and the bartender whipped out a hammer and smashed it to smithereens! Poor Ben. "I'm so sorry," I said. And he said, brightly, "That's okay! Can we get pancakes with strawberries again?" And I was forgiven.

But oh, yes, we hold each other's hearts in our hands, don't we? All of us? But especially those good ones, those small but enormous ones of our children. Gentleness is such a worthy goal. Doing no harm. I rededicate myself to that purpose.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I do every time. It might instill some guilt, sorry 'bout that, but I think it's more helpful than anything. And now my patience has returned, even if only temporarily. Whatever it takes to be a better mommy, I'm willing to try it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Is that seaglass real?

A few people have asked me where my seaglass comes from. My parents live in the US Virgin Islands and we visit there a few times a year. When I'm there I spend hours combing the beaches for seaglass. I enjoy wandering up and down the beach by myself, finding alcoves in the rocks where the waves crash in bringing debris from the ocean bottom with it. Amongst the broken shells, seaweed, and stones a flash of color will pop through, and if you can grab it before another wave crashes in, you have a beautiful piece of seaglass. It fascinates me that our carelessly discarded litter is turned into a lovely little gem by years of exposure to the churning ocean, the weather, and other natural elements. They come in all colors, shapes and sizes and no piece is ever exactly alike. Sometimes while hunting I pick up lovely smooth stones to keep as well. When I started making jewelry again it was a natural progression to encorporate my seaglass collection into it. So there you go, each piece of seaglass you see in my creations is handplucked, by me, from the beaches in the Caribbean.

I can see this becoming a new addiction...

So how do you start a blog? I guess the best way is to tell you why I'm here, yea? I am a Mom first of all. We have two beautiful, wonderful kids. A son who is going to be 5 in June, and a daughter who is nearly 18 months. I am a military spouse second. My hubby is a Career Counselor in the Army, currently stationed at Fort Jackson, SC. And an artist third. I have been selling my art on the internet for a few years. Been doing commissions for customers all over the world. And although I have always loved drawing, I really got burnt out on doing art that everyone but me was choosing. So I started doing some for myself in my spare time, as little of it as there was. And I loved it, I was back to feeling the passion and the excitement of finishing a piece. Then recently I found Etsy, and another excitement found me. People came to this site to find handmade things, and they wanted them to be handmade! They didn't want something handmade just because it was cheaper than storebought, they really wanted something crafted and loved by human hands. I thought, wow...I could start making jewelry again, which I stopped doing years ago for lack of money and time. I could start trying to get it out there. So I did it, I opened an Etsy store. See Beth's Jewelry, Art, and More. And it's been a slow start, but a fun adventure. I've met some great people that I share interests with and I've even made some sales. My fun little Chick Magnets have been quite a hit. Okay, so I've bought more than I've sold so comment on that. :)

I think that's enough for a first post! Who knows if it made any sense, it's 1 a.m. after all.