Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 A Year in Review



What a year. Time to reflect and review. I am joining with Cindy at My Romantic Home to look back over the year and share.



I had a wonderful year in my home based business as a Health and Cleansing Coach. I have personally coached many many folks in to Improved Health, Better Sleep, More Energy and Released Pounds and Inches like Crazy! I love helping people and hearing those happy comments about how our program has changed their lives is what keeps me going. I have taken on some new business partners in 2009 that have become more than partners more than friends (you know who you are!!).

I look forward to helping more people in 2010 with health and also how to make serious money working from home. more here: www.myskinnystory.com We are beginning a weight loss challenge right after the New
Year....would you like to join us? email me.



I found Facebook early in 2009 and I've been hooked ever since. It makes me feel connected to the "outside" world. I work from home and live far from town, so it's nice to have friends that are constantly there. Are you on Facebook? Come find me isastephanie@yahoo.com

In Feb I found the One World One Heart Giveaway event. It was pretty much at the end and I was so happy that I found it. I gave away a crystal necklace that I made. I visited each and every participant, I think it was over 900. Wow. That was a blast.

And, I won several wonderful handcrafted items. My favorite was Miss Annabelle. You will see her again when I show you my finished (well it's not finished yet) sewing room reFRESH.

I did alot of sewing, mostly Refashion. Did some beading, knitting and decorating.

Then in March, I started guitar lessons. I wanted to learn to play for our camping trip in June. In April, my teacher asked me to sing with his group. I thought he was crazy. By June I was performing at the local Farmer's Market. That continued through the summer.



By Fall I was in the band and doing Gigs (that what we call a show....who came up with that anyway?). Music has dominated ever since. Hubby joined the band with his harmonica. We are both learning new instruments (more about that in the future). Here is the band: www.crystalimagemusic.com



Over the summer we lived for those wonderful family BBQ's!! And, brunches and sitting on our deck just enjoying where we live.


I also participated in Pink Saturday pretty consistently up until mid summer. I'm hoping to jump back in, I really miss my pink friends!


Family vacay in June...that was so fun. And, yes, I did play my guitar. We are really looking forward to this year.


video
This was the year of rafting for us. We love to raft in Yosemite, but that season is very short. This year we found a cool place close to home. I can't wait to go again!






At the end of summer we were graced with a visit from our beautiful Granddaughters. Aren't they precious! This was at our visit to Tea Eras.


In November I actually finished my project for my ASG group "Classic Clothes". I have procrastinated with this project for years. It took a luncheon to make me finish it!! That was so fun, those ladies are truly talented!!




In December I was elected to be President of Amador County Women's Network for 2010. I'm super excited about it and looking forward to a whole lot of fun and networking. It's a fabulous group and it is an honor for me to serve as President. Yay!

We had a wonderful Holiday Season, Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family, and we hope that you did too! Right now, I'm enjoying this quiet time after the holidays. I'm setting my goals and plans for 2010. I just know it's going to be a great year!


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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I can't stop making these....

I was privileged to tour a new friend's sewing and craft room. Sigh. It was lovely...BEAUTIFUL and full of treasures and so organized. I haven't wanted to even go in my own workspace. I just keep shoving more and more stuff in there, it's not nice anymore! So, Lulu's Cottage is in chaos. I have pulled everything out of my craft/sewing room (a closet really). So far, it's just a huge mess! My daughter said it looked like I was having a yard sale! I need to purge. It's so hard to let these things go.....I might want them. I decided to take a break and show you my latest obsession....


I made these for Christmas presents. I really enjoy making them while watching tv.




This doesn't even include all the ones that I already gave away. I must be crazy!! My favorite isn't even featured here, it's red with black and I wear it alot.


This pattern is SO easy!! And, I just adore how it turns out.








I may have a problem here. What the heck am I going to do with these? I have a new one already started and ideas for another. I must be crazy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is this lame?

My goal for this Christmas was to make all our gifts, and spend NO money. I usually do make things at Christmas. To be honest, when I look back on some of the gifts I made and gave away...I shudder. I decided on scarves, crochet (using my extensive stash of yarn) and I found a pattern I liked. For the guys I decided on something simple. And for my son, I decided to add a beanie.

I was watching tv and crocheting away when a commercial came on. It was a guy about the same age as my son. He was holding a scrunched up knitted beanie in his hand. He said something like "homemade gifts are LAME", then he went on to the rest of the commercial. I was at that MOMENT making a beanie for my kid. I had to ask myself, "is this lame?". Whatever. When I finished said hat....it WAS lame. It was worse than that, it was UGLY. Argh. I quickly found a different pattern and made another hat that was less lame. We ended up discarding my goal of all handmade gifts and used a gift card that we won from Lowes to buy things. Still didn't cost anything, so that sort of fit in with the original goal.

This is the "less" lame hat. I added a scarf at the last minute.

This is the Lame and Ugly hat and scarf. He wanted to keep it because it's warm and he lives in a cold climate.

What a sweet son....showing enthusiasm. And, he wore this cap for the rest of his visit here....making me so very happy!

Dear Daughter showing off one of the TWO scarves I made for her.

Son in Law seemed pleased with his scarf. I choose to BELIEVE that he was indeed pleased and not just trying to score points....which he did ...either way.

It was a lovely Christmas here at Lulus Cottage. We ate and ate and ate. And, we enjoyed just being together.

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas too.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Top to Jacket....refashion

Sometimes, I know just what I want and either can't find it, or when I do find it...it's just way too expensive. This happened last Saturday. We were playing with the band at a country club and we were supposed to wear black. I wanted a snazzy jacket to wear over my dress. But, I didn't want anything heavy or hot. Well, "hot", but in a fashion sense..he he. I also was hoping for beads.

I went to the thrift store and bought a stretchy and very soft (I LOVE soft clothes!) top. It was only a few dollars, so if my project was a bust...I wouldn't care. I also picked up some beads at Walmart.



My next step was to lay out all of the things that I thought "might" work in the project.

I tried imagining how they would look together. I decided on the beads with the crazy threads, second one up from the bottom. What would you have chosen?


Now it's time to find the middle.


And cut it open.


I tried it on and found the length that I wanted and marked that.


The sleeves were a little tight. First I removed the hem. That loosened them up a little. Then I stretched the fabric as I attached the trim. After that, they weren't tight at all.


Next, I turned under both sides of the front and sewed that down. Then, I took the rest of the trim and attached it to the hem.


I had this frog in my "stash", and I thought it was perfect!


I love the result. I wore it happily AND it was pretty chilly in the club, so I actually needed it after all! I wish I had a picture of me wearing it with my dress. Oh well, next time.


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Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've been tagged!

Melissa over at Little Things in Life, tagged me. I am to tell 6 things about me and tag 6 other people to do the same.

Hmmm. This is hard. If I did have any secrets....(wink wink), well I wouldn't want to tell them now would I?

1. Even though I make jewelry, I don't like to wear it. Hate having anything around my neck and most times can't remember where I set my wedding ring (oops).

2. I love reality tv...dancing shows, talent shows, batchelorette (guilty pleasure!) and I LOVE Survivor!

3. Started singing in April and performed in public in June, that is too crazy to be true! In fact I'm singing with the band tonight! Soooo fun!!

4. I'm a gadget person. I love technology! My favs are, my pda phone, ipod, camera/video and my computer of course!

5. I know html. It's the code that makes websites work. I only know the basics...sort of like "see jane run" (remember those primers?). But it's really cool. If you want to try for yourself, go to www.pagetutor.com

6. I've had the same best friend for 22 years, shout out to Connie! She is my "sista from another mista"! One good friend is worth more than hundreds of so-so friends.

Now, I must find 6 people to tag. I know, I know, we've all been tagged, so what else is there to say?? Dig deep. You CAN do it!!

1. Connie
2. Debi
3. Donna
4. Nancy
5. Charlotte
6. Susan

I'm looking forward to reading your 6 things!!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Does my sofa need ironing?

Hello my sweet little blog....I've missed you! Really I have. I've thought about so many things to post, what happened to me??

This bag contains the slipcover that came with my sofa when I bought it several years ago. Yes, I finally bought the WHITE sofa that I had wanted for sooooo long. The lady also sold me a store model blue slipcover, and I thought it was such a good deal that I would have it for a spare. And, it's been on the sofa ever since.




I got it in my head that I would put on the white one if I ever got hardwood floors. Well, a few months ago, we had new floors put in. My son in law did an EXCELLENT job installing them. Then I realized that this slipcover was going to be a whole lotta WHITE, so I needed brighter pillows. I couldn't find the right pillows and proceeded to make slipcovers for the ones I already have. Someone told me (here on my blog) that this would be easy. I guess I had my doubts because I really procrastinated. Until yesterday. And, yes, they were pretty easy. They aren't perfect, but they look good and feel great!



The bare sofa looks white....until I brought out the white slip cover. Get out your sunglasses, this is going to be very bright!!

But, wait... first, a little reminder of what it looked like before. (notice the ugly carpet that I'm so glad to say is gone! Wonder who picked that out?? Wait that was me!)




Ta da!! Aren't the floors so pretty?


I can't help it....I still adore the blue one!!


I think I might put a white sheet on the couch...we do have a black cat afterall. And, what about this table? I always thought I would paint it white, but now I think not. Can I paint it a color? Any ideas? I need to find a coffee table party in blogland...


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Monday, July 6, 2009

I love this video

Awesome video "Stand By Me" sung and played by street musicians from all over the world.

It's amazing. Hope you enjoy it too!






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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Here's wishing you a happy 4th of July. I'm so grateful for my country and my freedom. We are so very blessed.



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Pink Saturday


Yay! It's Pink Saturday. I've missed the past 2 Pink Saturdays....sigh. And, YES, I have really MISSED them!

I have a relaxed weekend planned and I'm looking forward to visiting blogs!

For my own contribution, here is a cute bag that I saw on vacation. There were loads of pink things in the gift shop, I liked this one best.



If you have a hankering for more pink, visit Beverly's and take the pink tour!



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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yosemite Family Vacation

Boo Hoo. Vacation is over. Do you ever feel sad after vacation? I miss my son and his family who live far away, and my youngest son. I miss that wonderful feeling of anticipation and planning. I miss all that "looking forward" to something that you just KNOW is going to be AWESOME!

And, it was AWESOME! This was our 8th family Yosemite Trip. I would be able to say "in a row", but we did not go last year because of dear daughter's wedding.

I will now indulge myself in memories of a fabulous time. Is that okay?

Here is our little "home" for 6 days. There are two sides, this side was mine, the other side was for my son and his family. I decorated both sides with lights and blue paper lanterns. Don't you think it needs a little "decor"?





This is called the "bear box". All food and toiletries must be kept locked up in here. They are very serious about this. Bears? Hmmmm.




We got a fabulous campsite this year. This is the view from our campfire area. Can you imagine? Just sitting there watching the Yosemite Falls in the distance and the river right in front of you? So relaxing!


After we get our camp all set up, our first night tradition is to go to Curry Village (on bikes) for pizza. It's the perfect way to start the week.


Yummy. And, we are all still "clean"!



The first day is "my day". That means that hubby and I are responsible to feed and entertain everyone. Our "theme" is Mardi Gras. Now, I have never been to Mardi Gras, so this will all be my own interpretation. My kids expect my "Swedish Hotcakes" for breakfast, it's a dish that my Grandma used to make, and now it's MY tradition. It's really just crepes with powered sugar. I bought some gold and green sprinkles, magically transforming them in to "Mardi Gras Hotcakes"!!


Mmmmmm, delicious!!



After breakfast we have a mask making session. Everyone thought this was the most fun!! And, wow, did they ALL get so creative! Notice the vintage lantern above their heads? This is something my oldest son found out in the shed. He painted it gold and it is now the "trophy". The best theme day will get the trophy! Yes, we (hubby & I) won last time!!! It's talked about (trash talking of course) all year!!



The glitter remained on the ground for the rest of the trip.


Our youngest son works at the Awahnee, it's his job to keep this room clean! Hubby got a very special tour of the place. Wow.


There are always some very special moments that happen. This was surely one of them! My Mother in Law came for only one day. Wish she could have stayed longer.


Rafting is my favorite activity. Seeing this makes me want to go back right now and raft!



The evening festivities are about to begin! Here is my granddaughter playing with the dart board. Notice the yellow, purple and green streamers for Mardi Gras! Dinner was Jambalaya (a little "hot" if I may say so myself!).



Evening included, best masks, chosen by the girls, a performance of "You are my sunshine" by the girls, and a New Orleans style music club at our campfire. We had guitars, singing, harmonica and everyone got involved. Even my Mother in Law joined in and taught us all some songs.


Now, it's Wednesday morning and time for a New theme day. It's my daughter's turn. Since her hubby could not come, she recruited her younger brother to help out.

Can you guess the theme?


Mexican Fiesta!!


Yummy food, her day always has really good food! Breakfast burritos in the morning, tortillas and fixins for lunch. And, Carnitas for dinner. I was supposed to bring a crock pot and I forgot. So, my son borrowed one and they rigged it up to be plugged in to an extension cord and still locked in the bear box. We could smell it all day, mmmmm.


She had lots of fun planned! This looks promising.


We had a lot of wind. We had to "wrap" our little tent area to keep everything from blowing away!


After lunch we took raft trip. This entails a lot of preparation. The rafts have to be left at our starting point. Then the truck has to be left at the bottom of the river to take the rafts back. We have to leave another vehicle to bring back the people. We developed a system for this and everyone knew just what to do.


Finally!! We get to eat the yummy dish that has been cooking ALL day!


We must pause for a moment and take another look at this gorgeous view from our campsite. Aaah.


After dinner, there were games! We had teams (competition?.....I'm in!!). We raced to open our pinatas, find a whistle...on to "pin the tail on the donkey", then we had to kidnap 2 people from another campsite to come back with us and perform the "Macarana". Which we managed to do.

By this time, we were gaining somewhat of a reputation in the campground. Everyone is wondering what the heck we are up to!



S'mores anyone? We were visited at our campfire by some "Aussies", visitors from Australia. They had never had a S'more. We fixed them up!! Delicious!


Thursday. What is the theme today? Can you tell?


Yep, it's "Pirate Day", mate. My oldest son made a wonderful breakfast. He may get my vote on the bacon alone!!


Dear daughter and I rode bikes over to Yosemite Falls. It's the same waterfall we can see from our campsite. There are so many people in Yosemite from all over the world. It's so interesting to hear all the different languages people are speaking. It's pretty common to take pictures for one another. No words necessary. Gestures with the camera are all you need.


This is the bottom of the "Lower Yosemite Falls".


My youngest son who works in Yosemite, found a quiet place for hubby to get some work done.


More rafting (of course).


Everyone has to carry their own raft up to the truck. Aren't they adorable?


Our evening entertainment was a murder mystery. We were all given characters and assignments. It's was sooooo much fun!! Everyone played at 100%!


What a bunch of actors!!


I was "One Eyed Wanda". A rough and tough Pirate....Aaargh!


Hubby was the "Govenor". Don't you just love his "hair". He is pretty creative. He even made a scabbard for his "sword" out of a plastic cup!


Lot's of swordfights broke out. Roudy bunch, wouldn't you say?


The evening ended with Poker. That sounds like something Pirates would do, doesn't it? I would like to mention the delicious ka bobs they fixed for dinner!


We all decided that Pirates loot is way better to play with than poker chips.


Last day is a "free day". Everyone must fend for themselves as far as food and entertainment goes. Auntie does her fancy braiding for the girls.

As we go around camp, folks are asking us what our "theme" is today. They seem disapointed that we don't have one. I guess we entertained more than just ourselves on this trip!


They got compliments all day!


A work of art!!


Most of the group went hiking. I opted for more rafting. That more my speed!


Last night here and it's time to vote! Do YOU have a favorite theme day?


It's a secret ballot of course!!


And the WINNER is .....(drum roll please) Pirate Day!! Those girls were so very proud to have the trophy.


It's our tradition to take the family picture. We all decided that we must do this picture at the beginning next time, when we are all clean and excited, instead of at the end when we are all dirty, tired and ready to go home.....and maybe just a little sad to be saying goodbye.


Will it be another year before they get to see Uncle?


Lot's of hugs to go around!


Awwwwww.


Time to pack up all that stuff that we just HAD to have!

It was the best of times. Is it too early to start planning for next year? Heck no....that is most of the fun!!

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