Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mrs. Lovett, I Presume

As it happens, along with my latest crafting endeavors, I have decided to make a concerted effort to cook healthier for my family. While there's nothing "wrong" with what I've been making, I have recently come to the (now obvious) realization that as long as Gaven helps me cook something, he will eat it. This INCLUDES green vegetables! *insert collective gasp here*

The first step in this healthier regime is simply to make more from scratch. It is no longer enough for me to have the knowledge and ability to do something. Now I will actually apply that knowledge. Seriously, I've started making my own yarn, so what's cooking a whole chicken more often? Or making a good breakfast in the morning? Well, okay...the big breakfast will take a few weeks to become a daily phenomenon, as it is I have to wake up at 5 just to shower. But it will happen! I will make it!

A huge part of this "return to homemade" plan is reverting to things that I learned from my grandmother...affectionately known as Nan. Her and my grandfather ran a functioning farm for years and years. She made everything from scratch. She was the one who watched me while my mother had to work up until I was school aged. It was with Nan that I picked vegetables with in the garden to make dinner with. She taught me to mend my own clothing, basic sewing skills, and basic cooking. And strangely enough, one of my fondest memories was helping her to make her own hamburger, mincemeat and sausage.

Yeah, a lot of people may say 'ewwwww', but when you're 5 and get to turn the big hand crank on the meat grinder, you feel pretty special. Therefore, it goes without saying that meat products are going to be one of the things I will be making from scratch. I didn't ask for that meat grinder for Yule a few years ago for nothing! Now it will finally get to work. I will know what goes into it and can control the amount of fats and types of meat.

In the end, I am simply trying to cut back on processed items in my families food. How hard will it be to MAKE more cookies instead of giving in and just buying a bag? Not hard at all, Gaven loves to help me bake and he learns from it too. How difficult is it to make my own crust for chicken pot pie? It's not difficult in the least. And how hard is it to make my own sausage & hamburger? Once again, not hard at all. Now if Nic will just stop referring to me as Mrs. Lovett whenever I take out the meat grinder I'll be off and running! On second may do well to keep him on his toes...and Helena Bonham Carter is my favorite, after all :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crafting Addiction #113 - TAKE ONE!

I'm screwed. I have found that I LOVE spinning. It's relaxing and it's fun and it's COLORFUL! I ended up getting quite impatient while waiting for my drop spindle to arrive, so I made myself 4 instead. I also went to the local yarn shop (Spinning Yarns) and purchased some beautiful, amazing, soft purple roving to spin. And spin I did. And after getting some quite chunky areas I am starting to even things out. WOOT! For me :-) I am not anywhere near done my 4 oz of roving (and you have no idea how much 4 oz of wool's A LOT of wool). But so far this is what I have:

Like I said's a bit uneven (yes..a BIT)...but it's soft and wonderful too! And when I make something with it (that will undoubtedly be lopsided), it will be wonderfully awesome too!

Now for the 'screwed' part. That whole theory of me not buying so much yarn because I'm spinning? Remember that? Uh....well..... turns out I actually buy more. Yeah, I know. Shush. But how I can NOT! I recently became a member of and that's been my downfall. There are so many projects that are beautiful and fun and silly and useful and pointless! *sigh* But look what I made! It's officially my very first FINISHED crocheted project! Ready?

Yep! It's a Golden Snitch! And happily I have a son who loves Harry Potter as much as I do, so I can get away with this without the weird looks from other adults! Unless they know me all, really.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spin Me Right Round

In my quest to create I mentioned my new found love for crocheting (yes, love...despite some of the language I use while actually doing it). I have been knitting since I was little and am quickly finding that I believe I enjoy crocheting even more and am learning it quicker than I ever did knitting. With this discovery I set out to find an online crochet group to match the quilting one I belong to and love.

First of all, I couldn't find one I liked. Most of the groups I found had little to no activity since 2008, not good for answering questions. Soon I became sidetracked on my quest. It seemed that almost every group I looked at mentioned that it welcomed crochet fanatics, knitters and spinners. Spinners? Really *said in the voice of Ace Ventura*. And my crafting world exploded.

In the course of a few hours I went from first entertaining the notion of possibly trying to make my own yarn to purchasing a beginners drop spindle kit. I somehow came to the conclusion that it was fate when the shop I bought it from was in Maine ( I tell myself that my possible new addiction to spinning fibers (you can't imagine the colors!!!) is okay because if I decide to continue to make my own yarn it will offset the amount of yarn I actually purchase. In theory. But then again Communism works in theory. Don't judge me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As of late, I have found myself becoming anxious more often, even stressed out. Now, it's easy to ask how someone like me who balances having 2 small sons, a husband, a full time job, a side business selling my own homemade herbals and candles, another side business doing online tarot readings and taking 4 belly dance classes a week (insert some sporadic performances as well), could ever get stressed out?......... Okay, so maybe the problem is more apparent to others than it has been to me. Fine. I get it.

I decided to use the beginning of the new year to take a good, hard look at what I'm doing and what I WANT to do. What I've found is that it's been far too long since I've been able to create something beautiful simply for the sake of creating something beautiful. I discovered this with the completion of my last two quilts. I loved making them. Every step was a joy for me, a quilter who hadn't even touched her sewing machine in MONTHS because I haven't had time. Just setting foot in the fabric store made me feel lighter.

Cutting and piecing the fabrics gave me a sense of happiness that I haven't felt in a long time. Watching something you make with your own two hands come together is a feeling like no other. And with those two quilts down, I already purchased fabric and have plans for at least 4 more. Something that I will follow through with, without a doubt. My father-in-law even put together a sewing room for my mother-in-law and myself. So now, on weekends, that's where I'm spending much of my time. And let me tell you, when it's snowing a windy out, there's nothing I like can think of that's more enjoyable than quilting in a room with ample table space and a wood stove!

During the weekdays, when I don't have access to my sewing machine, I have submitted myself to my newly discovered love of crocheting. After years of trying to figure it out, I have grasped the basics and am running with them as far as I can. I have a baby blanket and a baby sweater in the works and both are actually working according to the patterns.

It seems to be that creating is in my blood. It doesn't matter to me what it is, whether it's a beautiful meal, a crocheted cardigan, a quilt, a dance, or even this blog. Working with my hands, guiding the fabric through the sewing machine, feeling the yarn slide through my fingers, serving my family a meal, or feeling a veil gripped in my hands while I practice's all creating beauty and it's all a part of me. This is what I had lost sight of and what I needed to regain into my life. So if I have anything resembling a New Year's Resolution, it's simply to create. To add little bits of beauty into the world, both through creativity as well as random acts of kindness, and to me, those two things go hand in hand.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Support Your Local Cryptid!

There is absolutely no denying that while growing up I was an odd child. While most 7 year old children were in getting into My Little Pony, G.I. Joe or Barbie I was obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster. And I wasn't alone! Oh no. I had my best friend Molly to help read books upon books about Nessie with! We even had special notebooks just for "evidence".

Now I'm older....but I still LOVE Nessie. Sure, most of those photos in my "evidence" folder have been proven fakes and not much new is heard from her these days. But I still love that cryptid as dearly as I did back then. Which is why I was so overjoyed to find PearsonMaron on Etsy ( Not only do they feature multiple Loch Ness Monsters on wheels, but magnets and pins with her too! It's like a dream come true!

"Spotted Loch Ness Monster - Mini Sculpture On Wheels"

Okay, so maybe you're not Nessie's biggest fan. Maybe you favor the Chupacabra...or Bigfoot? They SO have you covered! Can't choose? You could always get the pin pack and wear a different mystery animal everyday!

"Cryptid Silhouettes Pin Pack - Loch Ness, Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Jackalope"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fancy Photos...yeah.

After much exparamenting with angles, light, camera modes, and different kneeling positons I have finally made progress in the "Product Photography" realm. No, they're not GREAT, but they're better than they were. And all I had to do was buy some foamcore poster board, set up 3 desk lamps, and take pictures on macro while holding a mechanics light in one hand bent in half. Who would have thought it would be that easy? :-) See:



Not perfect....but making progress. Now to work on getting my act togeather to blog things! WOOT! Maybe I'll even get some followers :-D Double WOOT!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Herb Gypsy Boutique

My life is all sorts of crazy (which anyone who knows me at all realises already). At the moment, there is a giveaway featuring one of my Blackberry Sage candles on blogspot! So go here: and try to get it :-)

Speaking of my candles....the new shop is coming along awesomely! Here are some pics:

Our awesome, hand-painted signage (some young ladies made this for us!) :-) What other store do you know has peacock feathers coming off of their sign?

Upon entering, you see our counter, our aprons, and my jewelry display! The chair in the front gives you a teeny tiny peek at our little consult area (for herbal issues & tea enjoyment issues).

When you look the other way you get a view of our giant shelf (thanks to Nic's dad!), our herb weighing station, the clearance rack and my tote display!

Here is a close up of my tote diplay! I love old shutters..they're far more useful than the people who threw these out believed!

I hate that this next picture came out all dark...the wood is really bright and natural! This is our bulk herb shelf (we are herbalists after all)/candle display! Pretty soon I'll have to spread the candles out a scent line is GROWING!!!

Close up of the jewelry display! The basket on the bottom conatins bath fizzies....SO much fun!

As we really are herbalists, we do love our herbs...and blending them into teas! We ALWAYS have a pot of tea favorite is the Yerba Mate Breakfast Blend! It smells like waffles! On this day it was Peppermint Orange Tea.

And where to drink the tea? In the afore-mentioned tea area of course! You have to take my word for's in this picture :-) But most prominent in this picture is what makes the shop so business partner Dawn, my boys, and Dawn's awesome daughter Maggs! Family owned and run all the way :-) And boy do the children LOVE to help!

So there you have it, a very quick tour of The Herb Gypsy Boutique! We are quite proud of what we have accomplished! So if you ever get the chance, come on down and see us!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Wants It....I Wants It SOOOOOO Bad!

Anyone who knows me well also is quite aware that when it comes to spending money....I hate it. And when I do spend it, it's RARELY on myself. Even when I buy fabrics it's generally to make things for others. This does not mean that I don't have a huge list of things that I want... oh, I do....but it does mean that I don't get them because I feel guilty spending money.

Now bring in life issue #2. I have 5 more pounds of baby weight to lose. If I actually tried I could do it in a relatively short amount of time. But, to be honest, I haven't given it more than a half assed approach.

My solution to both issues? I lose my 5 pounds I get to buy myself something that's on my 'want list'. I even have it picked out already! Yeppers! An awesome woman ( I met through this whole blogging thing makes these awesome, smile-inducing recipe boxes and recipe cards with her other half! Go look at them!!! (and follow her blog, she does give aways every Monday from other crafters who make awesome handmade thing!)

I wants the raven's become my very own precious (oops, my inner dork leaked out).

So it's back to bellydancing with me! I went Monday night and did drills hardcore. It felt SOOOOO good! And now Sabrina (my teacher) wants me to perform in October! WOOT! This is my mission. I have chosen to accept it. Damn, now I just want something to self destruct!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Brain is Leaking.....

At the presant moment, my brain is going in about 12 directions at once. This happens FAR more often than I would like, but alas, such is my life. So, to clear my brain a bit, I am sharing my disorganized thoughts with the guys at least.

-The longer I live with my beagle, and the more I hear about other people's beagles, the more I think the entire breed in braindead. Therefore, it really shouldn't mystify me when my dog pees in her crate, and instead of drinking the nice clean water in there with her....she drinks her own pee.

-Uh...if you ever come to my house, you probably shouldn't let the dog lick you. The whole saying that "dog's mouths are cleaner than humans" does not, in ANY WAY, apply to my dog.

-I have recently become completely and possibly irrivocably what? Making baby shoes and PJ pants. The flannel just comes in so many colors that my mind overloads at the fabric store and I just end up buying everything.

-There's a ghost in my house. She's a little girl. I'm starting to think she's more annoying than my 3 year old. And she apparently hates the show Ghosthunters......go figure.

-Nic got rid of his mohawk....*tear*

-How is it that my 3 month old already thinks that farts are funny? He farts, then he laughs. It's the cutest, stinkiest thing ever. See, this picture was taken while I was holding my nose:

-Calling Syrus "Mr. Stinkypants", apparently motivated my son to call the cashier in Wal-Mart the same. Lucky for me, he liked kids. :-)

That's about it for now. I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, but my brain is fried.....damn, I could really go for some fried ice cream.....

Monday, March 9, 2009

NO MAMA! I can do it!

I am such a proud Mommy today! Gaven invented 2 things this month (not bad for a 3 year old lol!). He invented a new drink for Mommy made from cranapple juice, pineapple juice, orange juice and gingerale. This came about by asking me to mix togeather things in the fridge (he loves helping me cook).

Well, from there he decided that he wanted to put the same juice into the popsicle molds we have :-) He poured all the juices togeater into a big pyrex measuring cup, mixed them himself, and even poured them into the molds by himself (my kitchen floor and counter top can attest to that lol!). Then he put the sticks in and carried it to the freezer.

Later that day we had.....

Oh yeah... that is one Proud Gaven!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Awesomeness With Fabric Scraps

As I continue on my quest to shun major clothing stores (because I am Supermom! and can make my own damnable clothing!), I have jumped yet another hurtle! SHOES! Sure, I still have to buy Gaven's shoes because he's all walking and stuff, but Syrus isn't! I did my first attempt at shoes with the outfit in a previous post....they are now my favorite thing to make :-)

As you can see from my previous "Sing Along with Ozzy" post, I am already raising one Mini-Metalhead. Well, thanks to a free online pattern, scraps of polar fleece from making Gaven some pants, and scraps of fabric from the quilt I made Nic for Christmas/Yule, I give you the finished product:

I plan on making many more pairs! He also has some plain black ones and some plain Navy Blue ones....but these are my favorite :-) Here are the black black ones on little baby feet:

The possiblities are endless now! And if you're a friend of mine with a small child...they will be recieving them too! MWAHAHAHAHA!!! *ahem*

Thursday, February 26, 2009

After two months of not getting dinner made until 7:30pm, I began thinking to myself: 'Self, there must be a way to keep the baby happy & fed WHILE I make dinner and do chores'. After some searching I have discovered "Babywearing". I have now made myself two different "baby wraps" and I love them! See, LOOK!

That smile isn't there because I'm getting more sleep! OH, No. It's there because I have a happy sleepy baby AND dinner done before bedtime! It's a miracle!

But is this the end of my baby-stuff-making? Nope! After a long and discouraging trip to attempt to buy my rapidly growing infant some clothing, I found that EVERYWHERE has already switched to summer clothing. Well, it's still February. And I live in New England. It's cold. Swimsuits do no good in 2 feet of snow and a -3 windchill. So after a bunch of looking around and using language which probably shouldn't have been used in the childrens section, I gave up. I threw a mini-tantrum and I bee-lined for the craft section of Wally World. There I bought myself a pattern for baby clothing. This was the end result:

Nice, warm, polar-fleecey goodness! Clothing stores be damned!

Monday, February 23, 2009

We DO NOT Maim Mommy!

Time: 3:00 am EST
Place: The Wolford Living Room

There I was Officer, innocently laying in my bed sound asleep, when I was awoken by a familiar squaking sound coming from the baby monitor. I waited a moment hoping he was just sleep-squaking, but alas, the squaking turned to screeching. So, being the awesome mother I am, out of bed I climbed, threw on the bathrobe, and stumbled my way to Syrus.

I could tell Syrus was glad Mommy had arrived (at least until he figured out that I was going to change his diaper BEFORE feeding him). I finished changing his diaper, carried him past the dog crate (noting that the dog has peed in her crate again), and sat on the couch.

Sir, this is where things took a turn for the worst. I attempted to nourish my child (he's nursing), but apparently I took too long trying to open my bathrobe and he didn't like it. *getting teary* That's when it happened. He reached up and tried to claw my eye out! Luckily he only nicked it....but he's my own son!

No, I don't want to press charges. I know he feels guilt for what he did, as upon my jumping and whimpering, he started to cry (obviously showing remorse). I may try to get him into anger management though....I just fear that we won't know what sort of progress he's making as he can't talk yet.

THE ACCUSED: Syrus Xavier Wolford
(mean looking little guy, huh?) :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just Another Day

Well, now that I have taken a friends advise and made my blog more "Sophie-ized" I am feeling much better about it! Unfortunatly, the background site didn't have anything to perfectly symbolize my love of creme brulee, quilting, fishing and Halloween all rolled into one. Go figure.

For those of you following the progress of my store, it is moving to a bigger, better location! YES FRIENDS! It will no longer be located in a nearly inaccessible office behind a loading dock in an old mill! It will now be located in a retail space in...well...another old mill. BUT this time, it has windows! WOOT!

On a random side note, Tim Burton is making a version of Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. This is news so exciting to me it rivals the news that Edy's is making Thin Mint ice cream!

I will end with a picture of Syrus being all cuddily. Why? Because he's freaking adorible. The end.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sing-A-Long with Ozzy!

I should have seen it coming. Really I should have. Gaven is 3 1/2 now, and by the time he was 2 I had taught him how to make the "rock on" sign with his fingers. And in the car, we've always taken turns picking songs off of my iPod (he picks one, then I pick one). So it really shouldn't have completely shocked me when I put Gaven to bed a couple months ago and as I went to sing him the usual "Hello Moon" song, he stopped me.

"No Mama. Tonight please sing Iron Man."
"You want me to sing you Iron Man?"
"Yeah know....Da da dadada....Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind?...That one Mama"
(Here I am staring flabberghasted)
"Mama, sing now please"
(And he rolled over and shut his eyes)

I sang it. A bit confused, I sat there and sang Iron Man as a lullaby to Gaven. This has been the norm every night since. After a few days I thought little of it (although I'm pretty sure Nic thought this was the coolest thing ever).

Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed a change in his music selection in the car. When it was his turn to pick a song, he no longer picked "Dance Magic" from the Labyrinth, or any of the Disney tunes I have. No. He wanted Iron Man by Black Sabbath, One from Metallica, and Cherry Bomb from Joan Jett. I tried to steer him back to his original music by picking his usual songs....but to no avail. Finally, I subcumbed to letting him pick what he wanted thinking that it would be a stage.

This morning I dropped the children off at daycare. I saw Gaven's teacher coming up to me with the "We need to talk" look on her face. She tends to talk to me in the morning because my mom picks the kids up for me in the afternoon. Apparently, Gaven had to go in time out the day before because at Sing-A-Long time he kept asking to sing songs that, for obvious reasons, they don't have the music for at daycare. After the teacher explained to him that they didn't have the music for Iron Man or Ace of Spades Gaven coped an attitude and announced "That's stupid! Motorhead rocks!"

As you can imagine, that made me feel like Mother of the Year. I told her that I would discuss this with Gaven. And although I will admit that deep down, part of me smiled a bit at my mini-metalhead, I guess it's time to teach my son not to be a Music-Nazi.

When we drive home tonight, Grateful Dead it is :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Welcome

Here I am, adding to the jumble of opinions and thoughts echoing across the internet with my very own, brand-spanking-new blog. Here I can share my ideas, feelings, opinions and observations with lots of people who may, or may not, give a damn.... and, man, am I excited. So starting tomorrow, there will be nearly daily installments of my life as a mother of 2 boys, ex-wife, wife, shop owner, random thought maker and caffine addict. Welcome to the chaos that is my life.