Saturday, December 31, 2011

Personal Goals of 2012

I'm not a fan of resolutions. I think that they are made, like rules, to be broken. Instead, I like goals. I set goals all the time in just about every aspect in my life. This goes very well with my love of lists and mantras and desire to complete something. You've already seen my professional goals, so here are my personal goals for 2012.

1 – Find peace within myself and love myself more. I am a big believer that you can't be at peace or love someone else until you do those things for yourself. I think that my outside world feels tumultuous because my mind and soul feel like a choppy ocean. This will probably be one of the harder goals to reach but I am determined to reach it. And hold on to it with both hands.

2 – Find a job I love. This will happen. I know it will. And I won't stop looking. And the job that I'm meant to have will come just when it is supposed to.

3 – Get Scarlett Key and Little Life of Mine to a place that I'm proud of and to a place that I want to sponsor and do giveaways on other blogs that I love. This sounds like a professional goal, but these things are so very much a part of me that they needed a goal here too.

4 – Spend more time with my friends. I am extremely susceptible to feeling lonely, this could be stopped by actually making more of an effort to see my friends. I'm also very unsure if I will continue living in Dayton – and if I move over an hour away it will only get harder to see the people that I miss now when they only live minutes away.

5 – Spend more time walking. I don't want to set a goal to lose weight – a girl with a history of an eating disorder shouldn't place too much emphasis on this – I merely want to be more active. I have a treadmill for a reason.

6 – Actually get some face time with my dear bloggy friends. Camille & Haley, I'm looking at you!

7 – Make peace with my sister. This is by far going to be the HARDEST thing to do. Just the idea scares me.

8 – Stay up-to-date with my 12 in 12! I'm really looking forwards to this!!!

I'm sure this list will change and be edited throughout the year. BUT, that is the point of goals, they're supposed to grow and change as you meet them. I'm excited for 2012 and can't wait to see what the world will throw at me!

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Etsy stuff coming soon!

Scarlett Key will be getting added to soon!  I will probably be posting things over the course of a few days, or if I really get frisky I will do it all next week when I go home sometime!  Want some hints?

Newly designed by me headbands
Large & funky rings
Large & funky bobby pins
Handcrafted wooden pens (made by my daddy!  I get my crafty gene honestly!)
Earrings - some chain/beaded and some wooden ones
New color cup cozies

....and soooo much more!

In other news, I follow Susannah on Twitter and Blogger and each month lately she's been running a quick mini contest for her Twitter followers of winning a small monthly ad on her blog!  How fun is that!  I missed last month, but I won this month!  So, starting Sunday or Monday my little blog button will be on her sidebar!  How rad right?!?!  She does fun sponsor posts at the end of the month too so I will get a little write up there!  I emailed her my stuff tonight so, fingers crossed, everything goes well and my reader/shoppers will go up this month!  If you follow her on Twitter you might catch her giveaway next month!  (hint, she usually does it around the 20th or so...)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bookworm Wednesday!

Let me set a scene for you...think of a big bed, lots of blankets, a bowl of chocolate chips, and the Real Housewives of the O.C on the tv. Yep, that was my Saturday night when I picked up this book. Best combo every? Possibly.

I have followed R.G. Ryan for almost as long as I've been on twitter. I don't remember how I found him, but an author that seems easy going and talks to his followers? Sign me up please! We occasionally send a tweet here and there and he is really just a great guy, very down to earth, and deserving of any praise that he gets.

Oh, back to the book! Snapshots is just a delightful book. I don't usually find myself drawn to short story collections, but this was different. This is more, well, snapshots into a world you can't help but be drawn into the vignettes. They will make you laugh...Conversations with Eddie – Part 7. They will make you think...Church Lady. They will make you believe in hope...The Treasure. Some will even make you so teary that you may have to put the book down and walk away for a minute...Captain Mike & Ma Fille Speciale & La Petite Princess. Ultimately all of these stories touched my heart, my soul, and my brain in a way that will stay with me for many days to come.

As mentions before, RG tweets, and recently opened up a blog. He writes in such a way that he can make you wish for the day when you might run into him at your local coffee shot. Just remember that he likes a medium coffee. With room for cream. :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

I have a confession

I hate opening gifts in front of people.  I intensely dislike being the center of attention.  It makes me sweat and gives me an upset tummy and just generally makes me a nervous wreck.  So opening things those people watching me have given me?  Yeah, makes me all kinds of a silly nervous wreck.  I always feel like they're expecting a different reaction than I'm showing.  I choose to not open my Christmas presents in groups if I can.  I'm pretty skilled at it at this point.  I make a huge deal of watching everyone else open stuff for so long that usually I get forgotten--the one and only time it is great to be the forgotten baby of the family!  I wonder if this all has something to do with the fact that we never really had big birthday parties when I was a kid so I was never really forced to deal with this situation when I was little, I never had to learn how to find a way to get through the whole process.  Even when we did Christmas when I was a kid, there were always enough of us that I could hide a bit. 

This year was super easy when we were with my brother's family because I could get anyone to focus on B at any time pretty much, so I didn't open anything.  The gift my mom got me?  Yeah, I managed to not open that during gift time yesterday, I opened it this morning sitting alone on the couch.  I like it better that way.  I can appreciate whatever the gift is on my own and in my own way.  The only time this isn't a good thing is when something like today happens when my aunt was super excited about what she got me and wanted to see me open it.....but I hate opening presents in front of people!  haha, I managed to get out of opening it until we were back on the farm and I was alone in the house because mom and dad were down in the barn. 

I'm slightly afraid that people will think I'm ungrateful for gifts in general and then I'm reminded that the people that love me and understand me know that I don't like this at all and therefore are ok with it.  My best friend, Allicen, is great with this, usually I can get her to tell me what she got me so that I don't *need* to open the gift in front of her.  Anywhooooo, I only have two more gifts to open and they're the ones I'm most excited for!  I still have my Christmas package from Camille at my apartment that I will get tomorrow probably (only if she gets hers!) and then I'm exchanging with Allicen on Wednesday when we spend our chill-out day together which is something that is much needed for both of us!!

I hope everyone had a magical holiday and got everything they asked Santa for! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Birthday!

To my babies Max & Bear!!!!!!!!  They were born late on Christmas eve many years ago and both were given away...and they both found their way back to us.  I love them both very much!  But, while Bear thoroughly enjoyed his pork neck, Max let the cats have his....always they loving Uncle Max as we cal him! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kinda freaking out over here!

It *just* hit me that it is the 22nd....of DECEMBER!  That means only 2 days until my immediate family Christmas!  And ya know what?  I only have gifts picked out/bought/made for 3 of the 7 people I need to have something for.  I've never put my shopping & making off this long!  I think I tried to forget it was coming this year, kinda like if I don't acknowledge it, it won't happen.  I was sadly mistaken about this.  I still need to figure out stuff for my parents, my brother, and my nephew.  You know, the hardest ones to buy for....thankfully, though, I always get my brother the same thing so he will be easy.  I'm thinking clothes for B since that kid has nearly every toy...and plays with about 3 of them.  As for my parents.  I have ZERO clue.  I've thought of a million different things but nothing feels right.  Do you have to shop for anyone like that?  What do you do to break the "gift block"? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bookworm Wednesday!

It All Began in Monte Carlo is a fun, beach-y type read that begins on Christmas Eve so I thought it would be fitting to do it this week! It takes you to, where else, Monte Carlo and plops you in the middle of a situation involving a girl running from a stupid guy and the robberies she ends up trying to solve. The great thing about Elizabeth Adler is that she writes characters you want to be friends with. She makes you feel like you're there in the thick of the action with those new friends. She's a great writer and I can't wait to see what she will come out with next.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 in 12!

This is probably one of the things I'm most excited about with the incoming new year!  I have my 12 in 12 pretty well figured out and I wanted to lay out the schedule on here so I hold myself (and you all can hold me) accountable!  If I don't follow through, someone please give me a virtual kick in the ass? mmmm-kay?

First, here is the banner for the posts.  Of course, El has to be in the pictures because I'm sure he will be ever-ready helper in most of the projects.

(this is a normal way to lay for him....serious.)
So, starting with the first Sunday of the year, I will be sharing my projects for 12 in 12!  The monthly schedule will look like this (I'm hoping!)

FIRST SUNDAY - Crochet square.  I'm hoping to do a square that is about 12 inches so at the end of the year I will be able to make a 36x48 throw blanket....or I can do a few more blocks and end up with a 48x48 throw....then add a pretty border. 

SECOND SUNDAY - Charity hat.  I want to be able to give back as much as possible.....hopefully this will help my goal of donating as many hats as possible this year.  As noted in my professional goals, I will also be doing something with Scarlett Key along this route as well...and I've decided what I'm doing with that!  I will share soon!

THIRD SUNDAY - Quilt block.  Same idea as the crochet square, but in patchwork or paper fabric :)

FOURTH SUNDAY - Original design!  This is probably my favorite!  I spent most of one day last week creating and brainstorming my own designs for crochet!  Can you believe it?!!?  I will be sharing the finished product, but not the pattern.  I think.  Not sure about sharing the pattern or not....if they're half way decent then I may try and sell them via Scarlett Key and/or Ravelry.  So, if anyone knows someone that can crochet that can test patterns for me, that would be awesome!

As for if there is a fifth Sunday or not....well, those will be my off weeks when I can take a break.  How do these sound?  Would you do anything differently?  Are you doing a 12 in 12?  Share! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Professional Goals of 2012

While I have my personal goals that you'll be seeing soon, I am such a goal-minded person that I also have professional goals. Since I'm still unemployed, my professional life is still just my little 'ole Etsy, Scarlett Key. Other than the obvious “make it profitable” goal, I have three ultimate goals that I've set for the shop.

1 – Add new products. This will include my doily art, my interpretation on the dream catchers I grew up with, and a few other ideas that I have rolling around in this noggin of mine. I'm really excited to try new things and learn new crafts.  (edited prior to posting - I can't handle it!  I have to share a few more things that I'm looking into making!  Wooden buttons.  Jewelry.  Crochet stuff that I've designed.  Crochet patterns in pdf form.  More vintage goodies I've found in my mom's closet.  New bag designs. I'm really excited!!!)

2 – Do something good with my store. I want to take a product or two and donate something from them. This will either be donating part or all of my profit from a product or if you buy one, I will donate one. I'm thinking that it will be involved with something quick to make like baby hats or something. Can you tell that I haven't totally thought this one out yet? My goal is to have this done by February 1st so that I will have the majority of the year to do something great hopefully! Won't you help?

3 -- Get my blog and Scarlett Key to a point where I can confidently sponsor blogs like Camille's or Susannah's or Kaelah's.  These three blogs really got me into blogging to begin with and all are huge inspiration to me so to have the confidence in my products and words to sponsor and really put my name out there would be a great place to be.  (Random, but I've had this post written for a while and then I saw this post by Kaelah that made me feel even more like I'm in the right direction!)

Do you set goals for your professional life? Do you have an Etsy or Goodsie store and have new ideas for it? Share 'em!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let's not forget something this holiday season...

Anytime I can give back, I do. I have seen how much charity can be appreciated and needed so I constantly keep that in the back of my mind. During this time of year it is easy to get caught up in getting gifts for loved ones, but please don't forget that there are people in this world that don't have loved ones and animals that don't have a forever home. I just wanted to share a few charities that are very dear to my heart.

1 – Animal Shelters. They're always over crowded and in need of something. Sometimes, though, they just need someone to love and hug and walk the dogs and cats they have. Would you want to stay cooped up in a cage all day, every day? If you can't share your time then they are always taking in food or blankets or anything you can think a pet would need or want. They aren't just looking for people to give a forever home, but that would be AWESOME if you could share your world with a fur baby!!

2 – Ronald McDonald House. Did you know that the average stay at a RMH is only about a week or so? Well, my brother stayed at one for nearly six weeks while B was in the NICU. In those six weeks, I learned a lot about what they do for families. In addition to providing a bed for moms & dads, they have a kitchen that's stocked (Trevor was super pumped when he found their stash of Girl Scout cookies! Haha) and open so that they could cook there. They provided security for Trevor and Jamie walking to and from Children's (our Children's isn't in the best neighborhood....). More than anything, they provide peace of mind and emotional support to families. They have created a place that parents can meet other parents and find a shoulder to lean on that belongs to someone that knows just want they're going through.

3 – Did you know that most Children's hospitals are non-profit? And, like most hospitals, they're desperately short-staffed. They can always use volunteers to rock babies (I saw this a lot in the NICU!), to make craft packages for kids, to play games with kids. They also take in donations for hats for kids, blankets, bears (make sure that your hospital will take them if you go this route....Dayton only accepted certain types of toys...).

These three are very near and dear to my heart. I would love to hear any charities that you love!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bookworm Wednesday!

I complain about the drama in my family on a regular basis (I know I'm not the only one!!), but the Astor family has million dollar-sized issues, and in Mrs. Astor Regrets it all gets put out in the open! In 2006, Brooke Astor's grandson sued is dad.....and then shortly after her death in 2007, that son was convicted of a variety of things, including looting her estate. This book covers everything...from her childhood of opulence to her death, including how the wealthy family spent their money on charities and other, more frivolous, items. It is a good juicy read that is made all the more tragic because it is true.

(random...but I'm to the point where I'm starting to get worried I've posted twice about a book, so if I have, let me know so I can do another post for that week :) )

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I have my bad days.

And today is one of those days.  I have been diagnosed as manic depressive for years now.  It started back right before my senior year of high school when I pretty much had a nervous breakdown.  I was the youngest kid of three... My brother had his career and life pretty much figured out.  At that time he was already working as an aircraft mechanic and would be engaged to Jamie by Christmas.  My sister was the smart one.  She got the good grades, did all the extra work for everything, excelled at sports, basically did all the "right" things.  Now, well, me...I was a conundrum for the teachers I had --  many of whom had both my brother and my sister in their classes.  Trevor did enough to get by and pass while Amanda did everything extra to be the over-achiever.  Me?  I was some where in the middle and the teachers didn't really know how to handle me sometimes.  This is something that I have brought into adulthood quite often.  As I look back at my job I see the same pattern of doing just enough to garner some praise and then drop off just enough to test the waters and see how far I could push my boss.  I was the perpetual 5 year old bending the rules to see how far I could push things and just what I could actually get away with.  Anyways....Back to my senior year.  Here I was facing what is arguably one of the most intense and life-deciding year of my education and I had ZERO clue what, where, who I wanted to be.  I mean, I was barely 17 and I was supposed to figure out my life?  I was in a part of the country, a part of Ohio, an area that was full of girls that got married before they could drink legally (though that age thing didn't stop us!) and would be popping out babies as fast as a baker popped cupcakes from the oven.  I grew up in Small Town America where you were raised and told what you would be doing for the rest of your life because that is just how it was always done.  Well, my brother and his very mechanically-intelligent mind knew that he would have a future in that somehow.  My sister, the girl that always took care of things and made sick animals better, knew she'd be involved with animals somehow (she is now a vet tech, well, was until she got pregnant).  Then there was me.  The girl that didn't have to speak until she was nearly two because her brother did/got/fetched anything she wanted or needed.  The girl that was always the "baby" when she played house with her sister.  The girl that went shopping with her dad and he got her $40 shoes...when she was just 18 months old (he told mom it was because "those were the ones she wanted"... I can still use this excuse with him at 26!).  The girl that spent time with her mom in the kitchen because then she felt special and like she was the only kid in the house.  I was never really pushed to figure out a life plan.  I was never really pushed down a path that showed where I excelled with ease.  I just thought that I would end up being a stay at home mom to my 20 farm-grown kids who would grow up to be farmers just like their dad.  Well, when I was 17 and facing down the barrel of my senior year, I was shocked to realize one day that that wasn't what I wanted.  I wanted something....different.  But, I didn't know what different meant or what I thought different should be.  I just knew I wasn't going to settle.  That realization through me for a loop and I had no clue what to do or where to go and I was lost.  So utterly lost that I started having regular anxiety attacks.  So utterly lost that I had to be so medicated and sedated that I don't even remember the first few weeks of that school year.  I absolutely couldn't tell you how I functioned because I don't remember. 

Well, kids.  I'm lost again.  How do you find your way back when you're so lost you don't even know how to breathe sometimes?  When you wake up just to go back to sleep because you can't bear to face another day of feeling so lost?  When you know that you should do something, anything...but you just can't.  How?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday DIY - Wreath Ornament

How adorable are these?  And they are super easy and quick to make!!!

I've seen this little project in a few different places, but you know when I craft I always end up putting my own spin on it. I love these little decorated wreaths for present toppers and you can tie them around things like cookie bags for the recipient to keep as ornaments. 

  1. Take a mini wreath form (I found mine at Michael's for about 50 cents), pretty yarn or ribbon, personalizing elements (I used mini rolled fabric flowers), and hot glue (but you could also use Fabric Tack or something similar)
  2. Start wrapping your yarn/ribbon around the wreath, make sure to cover all of the form by winding it close together. Secure the beginning and ending piece with a dab of hot glue.
  3. Place your embellishments where you want around the wreath. This is the totally fun part for me because I can get as creative as I want to!
  4. Cut a piece of yarn or ribbon for a hanger. If you've placed your embellishment so that it sits a little to one side then you will most likely have to place a dab of glue on the back of the hanger so that it will hang at the angle you want it to.

And, voila, you're done! How adorable is this? And there is so much potential for making this all year round for different holidays and seasons!  I also took one of the wreaths and just popped a fabric flower on the edge, I like that it ended up looking like a little nest snuggled in the wreath!!  They're so cute hanging on my very un-decorated tree right now!

Link up in the comments if you make some!  I loooove to see what you come up with!

Edit 10/15/2012 - I'm making these for a bazaar at the end of this month and am using shower rings instead of wreath forms for the completely covered ones.  Just thought I would share :)

Let's be honest....

My blog schedule that I worked so hard on (right!) and thought so much about (uh-huh!) is slight askew!!

So, please bear with me while I try to get things back on track, sometimes you might see two posts in a day, but I promise it will all work out!  haha

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ornament Swap Love!

I participated in a mini swap in my Seasonal Swap group on Ravelry and these are the ones I got back!  Aren't they delightful?  I think we're going to do a mini swap each holiday if you want to join us!

The Santa hat with knitting needles is from Anna....the matroshyka (Russian nesting doll) is from Sarah....and the red mitten is from Gizella.  I honestly love them all and will be so happy each year when I pull them out to put on the tree :)

Bookworm Wednesday!

In the early 1900's becoming a wife and a mother were still high up on most women's ultimate life to-do lists. So what happens when that doesn't always happen the way that it is supposed to? Well, The Doctor & The Diva explores the relationship between an opera singer and the doctor that is supposed to be helping her have a child. Now, add a potentially very jealous husband to that mix and you're in for an interesting story.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another Saturday photo share....

El finally found out I left some quilt batting in the chair from when I was basting stuff the other day.

My kind of Saturday.... a jeans and thermal kind of Saturday.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Usually by now I've got two or three trees up, stockings everywhere, all my holiday bakeware set out, etc....this year though?  I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit of the season.  Today I did what will probably be the extent of my decorating....voila, two minutes later I have my mini tree out.  It only took two minute because this tree stays fluffed out with lights on it in the closet.  The red mitten ornament is the first I received from the mini swap I was in over on Ravelry.  Anyone want to exchange cards and maybe get me a little more in the Christmas spirit? 

For now, though, I will sit with the lights off staring at the pretty lights...