Friday, April 28, 2017

Hello! Why Yes, This is Another Apology for Neglecting My Blog...

Gosh, time sure does fly! I cannot believe I have not posted in over a year. Bad, bad Mona! I have no real excuses, I've written things in my head, begun posts a hundred times, but simply never made the time to actually do it. I am sorry.

A lot has happened in the last 15 months or so. We moved. Again. Yup. We moved, again. This came in the form of my husband's company closing their Memphis location. We had the option to move with the job to New Jersey, but we said no way! No offense, but it wasn't as if the job location was in a nice part of the state and the cost of living was way too high. No thanks. I don't do crowds. Not at all. I think I have a problem. It isn't unusual for me to go to a store to shop and once I get there simply stay in the car and say forget it, its too crowded for me. And we didn't want to trade the high crime of Memphis to the high crime of New Jersey. And the job morale is rather low.

Anyway, so the job search started back in July (got the notice in June) and in the fall my husband started getting hints that someone in one of the other company locations wanted to hire him. The job market wasn't exactly hot and we were starting to get nervous. This position would allow us to stay in Tennessee, but move to the beautiful side of the state.  So, we could continue not paying state income taxes, we wouldn't have to get new driver licenses and pay new tax, tags. titles. The homeschool laws don't change. And my daughter would be able to keep and use the Tennessee Lottery Scholarship. And, she was leaning towards a vet tech degree and there is a community college here that offers it (the degree isn't offered everywhere, which was surprising to me.) And we would be closer to family by a few hours.  So, by the end of December we had a promise of a job position and salary. We did have another offer on the table (and a couple not worth mentioning in Memphis because the salary and benefits were laughable.) We really tried to make a job offer work in Savannah, GA, but the boss wasn't an honest man. Constant wheeling and dealing in the negotiating process.... something was offered and later taken away as if never offered. Working for someone like that would have been a nightmare.

So, we listed our house at the end of January of this year, had three offers at the end of the first week and we were under contract shortly thereafter. It was nice finally being in the market to sell a house while the market was hot! All of the staging and putting away of crafts and projects and putting a stop to our fostering was worth it.

Here are some photos of our house for staging.

All that I can say about selling a house is - do the work. Put your stuff away. Stage it following the realtor's suggestions for photos and then stage it again for every day living. It's a balancing act! Be prepared for showings at the last minute... 15 minutes notice, anyone? We had our first showing 3 hours after the listing went live while we were eating brunch after Mass (the call came an hour after it went live.) You can say no to showings, but the key is to get the house seen as much as possible. It isn't convenient, we saw our fair share of weirdos, but being "on call" for showings was totally worth it.

And when I say "on call" I mean answering the phone when the realtor office calls or installing their nifty app that notifies you almost instantly when there is a request for a showing and approve that request as soon as you can. Getting up early and making sure the house is clean and organized. Put away your valuables, clean up the dishes, put the clean clothes away and the dirty clothes in the wash. We had 4 dogs and 3 cats to get out of the house along with us humans, I think the dogs fell into the chaos and reward of a car ride faster than we did! In a hot market, that means eating dinner late most nights, but again, its worth it, it just means you need to be really flexible schedule-wise or be good with flying by the seat of your pants.

And as busy as you thing the selling part is, it gets a little busier with having to deal with a relocation company (they didn't actually streamline the process, in fact they just plain sucked,) and then the inspections and all of that. Be timely with the responses, don't be the one the realtors and buyers are waiting to hear from. 

So, if you need the name of a FANTASTIC realtor in the Memphis are, message me and I'll get you her name.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 28, 2016 Time Flies!!! The Foster Updates

Oh my goodness! Time sure does fly by too fast. Sorry for not posting more often, life has been incredibly busy. We are down to only one foster dog and we actually adopted one of our others. I think I've mentioned Z-Bo before, but in case I haven't, here he is.

We actually found in the Frayser area of Memphis and gained his trust and brought him home to be nurtured, trained a bit, and vetted. We helped raise a good amount of money for his vetting because he turned out to be positive for Heartworms. The rescue group we work with, SOAR Doggy Rescue,  took him under their wing so we gave them the funds and used their vet. Anyway, that was back in May 2015. Heartworms treatment took 3 months and now we are waiting for his forever family to find him. It doesn't seem like people are looking for a big dog and thus it has been a slow process. Sometimes I wish we would stick with the easy to place dogs, but then I look into his face and start laughing because he is such an adorable goof! He is a very good boy, especially when my husband isn't home. When my husband is home, Z-Bo has trouble focusing on anything except for him and horsing around. His only goal in life is having a good time and when my husband is home, having a good time right next to him is the main goal. LOL. Anyway, I try to remain patient while we wait to find his people. After he finds a home, we will take a short break from fostering while we get some home projects done.

Back in August we fostered this little guy, Mr. Waffles, and after less than a week, we knew he would never leave our home again. He fits right in. I'm not really a small dog person, but Mr. Waffles is like a big dog in a little dog's body, but he doesn't try to rule the pack, he's happy just being in it. He doesn't prefer just one person and shun everyone and everything else... And the cats like him. Those of you with cats know that that is HUGE!

He's about 8 months old now. Here is Mr. Waffles! The cool thing about him coming to us to foster is that we just volunteered in case one of the litter didn't get fostered thinking there was no shot of it. Then when we were told we get to foster we just said we would prefer a female as the boys (Charlie and Z-Bo were outnumbered.) And Mr. Waffles was the cutie that came home to us.

Here he is with Charlie... these two get along so very well! Mr. Waffles gets along with the others, as well, but Charlie is the one he looks to as his leader and role model and protector. Although Luna surprised us as the one being overly protective of the little guy when he was meeting our foster dog, Z-Bo for the first couple of times.

Our other two fosters, Maggie Moo and Ruby have both been adopted by wonderful families and we couldn't be more happy for them.

January 28, 2016 Time Flies! Part 2, The Beaded Paw Print Ornaments

I'll post some of my other beading and crafts in another update, but I did want to post these ornaments that I made... I used my paw print pattern and made a bunch of paw prints in size 10/0s Delicas and then used various sizes of seed beads for the rest. I do not have a pattern for the ornament. I am not sure how to go about doing a pattern for that except for step by step photos and I don't have the time or patience for that. I originally shared a pic of each of them on Facebook and Instagram and thought I'd better get a Blog post out and document it.

The first one I ended up sending out to my friend in California, just a surprise, a little something to say hello and Merry Christmas! She's a dog lover like myself and advocate of dog adoption. The second one is slightly different because of course, while making one, I had some thoughts of what I'd like to try next. I sent that one to my cousin, I hadn't been able to get out there and see her in a very long time, it was like sending her a hug via the U.S.P.S. And the third one was a combination of the two. I have other ideas, but Christmas came too quick and I ran out of time. Perhaps I will do some more in the future. the pink seemed to get the most attention, although I love the color of the black and white. Thankfully I didn't get any trash talk about the black and white not being in the Christmas spirit.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's Been Going On 7-10-2015

Well, once again I've slacked on my blog....

I have good reason!!! Or should I say, many good reasons!!!

Things are still just crazy busy. Our church life has grown by leaps and bounds, we found a Catholic Church here in Memphis that we really like. We are doing what we need to do to get Jay back in good standing as a Catholic that's been through confirmation and everything. This means we are taking classes on the weekends in order to get remarried in the church... so that the church recognizes our marriage. After that, the kids and I will take catechism classes so that they can be baptized and then the three of us will be confirmed... I think that is what you call it. We are going to a Traditional Latin Mass and doing things the "old" way which means Jay is learning everything all over again... the right way. I'm enjoying it. I find that I actually sleep pretty good at night.... I guess I needed to go back to the faith and teach my kids the faith. Some days I'm ashamed that it has taken me so long, but I honestly had no idea that there was a Traditional Latin Mass, let alone a church that follows the Pre-Vatican II stuff. I feel like we are home.

And we started fostering Maggie Moo again. Her adopter ended up getting ill and as a single woman, could not take care of Maggie Moo. She remembered everything about being here and was happy and excited. She and Ruby were thick as thieves. Ruby was adopted about a month ago and the young lady is in love with her and she's living the life she always should have had! Happy life to Ruby - WOOF! Maggie Moo has had an adjustment getting used to life without Ruby, but we think she has finally found her perfect family which includes kids and two parents and a cat and lots and lots of extended family.  Prayers that this adoption works out and that she is in her new forever home by the end of the month.

In May, we found a dog and fed him for a few days and earned his trust and brought him hope on a hope and a prayer that we'd be able to get the rescue we foster for to take him in. A few good people have donated towards his vetting (shots, neutering, and Heartworms treatment because he was, of course, positive) and SOAR Doggy Rescue took him in. He's a big goof ball and has charmed quite a few people... including us. I can tell he's going to be hard to give up when the perfect family finds him. We are calling him Z-Bo... that is the nickname of one of the Memphis Grizzlies that is a Michigan State University Alumnus... Zach Randolf aka Z-Bo. I love Z-Bo a lot. The HW treatment is tough, he's on crate rest most of the day because he's too hyper otherwise. We are almost done with the first treatment, next week he goes in for the next  2 injections and then it's another 4 weeks or so of crate rest. He's tough and he's keeping his sense of humor through all of it. I love him.... did I already say that? So far he loves all other dogs... especially Charlie and I think he has a crush on Apple, which is funny because she's old and grumpy and always growls at him. She only has an interest in him when he has food.

A day or two before we brought him home, we found another little critter... a kitten stuck in a fence. The vet says he was about 6 weeks... barely eating regular food (and not without having to get the syringe and squirting it in his mouth to get him to eat.) He was in good shape, no fleas, but was developing a respiratory infection... probably due to being hung up on the fence in an all night storm. Of course, there is a reason why we don't foster kittens.... it's because its too hard to give them up. So, Little Loki will be living with us forever. Our cats all love him, so it was kind of an easy decision to make.


So, since Z-Bo has been undergoing treatment, I've been slacking in the beading and creative areas. I guess I feel bad that he can't have much fun except for brain games in his crate.

Next time I will update you on the projects.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Beadwork That I Learned Before Christmas

So here are some pictures of the bead stitches that I learned before the holidays started:

This first picture is Herringbone Stitch, both flat and tubular. It's an interesting stitch and I haven't decided if I like it or not. I do want to try it using Miyuki Delicas to see if I like the way it lays or not, as compared to the round seed beads.  I used a couple of YouTube videos to learn how to do this stitch. Two videos came from Beadaholique and teach Tubular Herringbone as well as Flat Herringbone Stitch and another couple of videos from Jill Wiseman.

This picture is of a chain (it ended up being a necklace) done in Chenille Stitch. I love this stitch and I'm sure I will be making plenty of necklaces in the future.  This video from Potomac Bead Company helped a lot.

And these fun things started with the hollow square and triangle via Sara Spoltore's videos.I need to play with these some more and finish experimenting (see that spiral thing next to the tubes of beads?) The Peyote Triangles were also completed using Sara Spoltore's videos.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A New Year, A Better Effort....

Well, I can't say I'm sad to see 2014 come to an end because I'm not. It was a very productive year, but also a very trying year. Now that the new year is here, I'm making a new effort to make regular contributions to my blog as well as to myself. I really put my crafty things on hold in order to focus on other parts of my life and I miss it. Truth be told, I'm much more balanced when my creative side gets fed. 

So, a brief review of some of the things that took up my time.... The kids joined a homeschool bowling league and are having a fabulous time. They only meet once a week, but of course, there is the inevitable practice time that goes into it. The bowling center is 45 minutes away from where we live, so that eats up an entire afternoon. They continued golf until mid October and look forward to starting again this spring. And my daughter has been learning to drive --- it's been fun and not as hard as I thought it would be... well, my husband is handling it better than I thought he would, LOL. 

We've fostered a few more dogs since Jack found a home. We took about a month off and then jumped in to foster 2 puppies for a real good rescue group called SOAR Doggy Rescue... sisters named Rosemary and Maggie Moo. We fostered them for about 2 months before they were adopted. Then right before Thanksgiving, an acquaintance begged us to take one of his dogs that he had recently rescued from the shelter because he was moving and couldn't take her with him. I hate that excuse, but she is a very loveable dog and deserves a good home, so we took her into our home to privately foster and find her a home. 

So, with the fostering, our home improvement projects are at a crawl again. I hope to have the main bath remodeled, the fireplace surround updated, and the rest of the rooms painted by our 3 year anniversary here. And we need to paint the wood trim outside, as well! It's a never ending list of things to do. 

Oh! And we've started going to church.... back to church for my husband - my kids and I are new to it... growing up my church experience was limited to being baptized and going for the occasional holiday. So far, we are enjoying it and I look forward to learning a lot. We are going old school and attending a traditional Latin Mass in Memphis and us girls are wearing dresses/skirts and veils and the guys are wearing shirts, ties, and jackets... dressing up, but modesty is very important. We are taking it seriously and it's been a breath of fresh air.

I've managed to only get a few beading things done for fun before the holiday frenzy.... I learned (finally!) how to do the Chenille Stitch and the Herringbone Stitch. I've also made a few beadwoven shapes. 

One of the online stores that I listed my stuff at went out of business so I will have to update links and post my things on one of the other sites. And another site has changed things so much that most of my patterns don't show up (limit 10 free listings) and so I either need to pay for a shop or list those somewhere else, as well. 

Look for another update next week!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New Patterns Posted to My Zibbet Shop!

I've finally gotten around to creating and posting patterns for some of my dog cuffs to my online Zibbet shop. Without further ado, here they are!

Jack Russell Terrier Peyote Cuff

Chihuahua Peyote Cuff

Mutt Peyote Cuff

Pit Bull w/2 Paw Prints Peyote Cuff + Bonus

Click on the caption under the pics to be taken to the shop page... and keep in mind, for every 2 patterns you buy from my shop, you get one of your choosing equal or less than the purchased patterns. And if you just buy one, you get a free pattern of my choosing :-) 

I'm working on a few more, hopefully they will be up by the end of March.  And don't forget, if you want the free Spider Web pattern from a few entries ago, please email me and I will get it to you. I will have a new free pattern soon!

Friday, January 31, 2014

What I've been up to

Once again, I let my blog go stagnant. Sorry, but I've got some good excuses... We are fostering a dog for local rescue. We sort of got into it by accident. We found a dog dumping ground one night looking for an alternate way home due to an accident further up our usual route. We ended up picking up two puppies a couple of days later. We kept one and vetted the other and then found her a home. Before we were even done vetting them, we made plans to rescue the female dog that was hanging out with these puppies. She ended up being hit by a car and dying before we could gain her trust, so the very next day, we picked up another one of the dumped dogs. We named him Jack, we are working with Bailey's Arms Rescue Center and he is almost ready for adoption.

These two are Reba (blonde) and Luna (black), we guesstimate that they were about 4 months old, we still have doubts they were from the same litter. We found Reba an awesome new home and Luna has come out of her shell and keeping busy with our pack. We made sure they received their shots, were microchipped, spayed, and dewormed. It is expensive, but we're just doing what we can.

This is Jack. We cannot believe how far he has come, it still makes me cry when I look at his picture the day we rescued him. He's a real good boy, eager to please, on the younger side of 2 to 3 years of age. He was heartworm positive, but is now cured! He's received all of his shots, been neutered, and has put on weight. His skin is almost back to 100% and we are so pleased with how he is doing. Someone is going to be really lucky when they bring him home!

This is a young dog we picked up along the highway about 10 days ago. She's really thin, scared, and yet, full of love. She's starting to trust us and is finally feeling okay about our dogs. We are still looking for her family, but if we don't find them soon, it looks like we will be vetting her and looking for a forever home for her. I would love to find another rescue group to work with, but so far, most rescue groups are just too busy. Memphis has a real problem with dumped dogs and cats. We're calling her Willow and one major concern is that she may be pregnant. She is certainly old enough, her nipples are enlarged, but not sagging as if full of milk, she wasn't leaking.... so she is either in the early stages of pregnancy or was pregnant and dumped after the puppies were weaned. I'm trying to stay positive and think that we will find her owners, after all, in Fayetteville, we found a dog and kept her and found her family after over a month. Positive thoughts! Or, at the very least, perhaps a rescue group will step forward and help us help her. We will foster her along with Jack, if need be. What's one more dog?!?!?

Anyway, in the meantime, I've been squeezing in some beading when not homeschooling or dog wrangling. Here are some photos of what I have been up to. 

This is an open loom that I made with some leftover copper pipe and elbows. Pretty easy, nothing is soldered so I can take it apart if I don't like the size. The pattern is mine and this is a current work in progress.

I made these star earrings for my mother using 15/0 Delicas adn sterling silver, copper, and gold plated findings, and some of them also have Swarovski Marguerite crystals. I used a pattern from one of the beading magazines that was published several years ago.

This is a Cellini Spiral necklace that I made for myself. It took a long time in between unpacking, but it was so worth it. I made it for a wedding to go with my dress. I used this tutorial for a guide and I used a silver plated magnetic clasp to finish it off.

I designed these flower earrings myself for my mother's birthday. They took a long time to design... first I started on paper and then all of those versions of flower petals were made with 15/0 Delicas and round seed beads and after what seemed like a million tries, I had the earrings I liked. I have not created a tutorial for these as I am not very good with computer software, nor do I really have time to take step by step photos and use Photoshop to help create a tutorial. I will eventually make a few to sell in my online shop.

These three pictures are just a few of the spiral ropes that I beaded up.... they helped pass the time while being fun and easy. One of these days I will take some decent photos so that I can post them in my shop!

This is a pattern I designed as a Christmas gift for my sister and brother-in-law. I was trying to mimic blackwork that I've seen in embroidery, only of course, I would be doing it with beads. It is done in 3-drop Peyote stitch with just white and matte black Delicas. It came out to about 9 1/8" by 9 7/8" and I ran out of time to mat or frame it, but that was ok because I was nervous about mailing a frame during the holidays. I may offer parts of the pattern in my pattern shop, but this is  one time thing with the 3 pets in the same picture... it represents their fur babies. This project took about a month to do amongst all of the holiday activities and shopping, etc. 

And this last photo is the most recently completed project... again, this is my design for loomed beadwork or square stitch.... it might even work for cross stitch too. It came out to 5 1/8" and 5 1/2" and I am currently working on another one for my friend in different colors. I will eventually get this pattern listed in my shop.