Cross Stitch Work in Progress

Y’all.  I really want to get this done before my Grandmother’s birthday in April.  I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I’ve been stitching like a bad woman this past week or so!  I figured I’d share a progress report here since I don’t have anything new and scrappy to share.


I started on some of the back stitching already so I could break it up a bit.  I have a long way to go, but at least I’m making some progress!

I’m still plugging away on my December Daily, but I’m in a bit of a scrappy holding pattern until that’s done.  I need to do a major clean up/ purge of the space, but that just seems so boring.  lol.  Once that’s done, I think I’ve decided to go ahead and start my 2017 Project Life album and just work on 2016 at the same time.  I also need to make a serious dent in my back log of to be scrapped photos.

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Happy New Year! Goals and Reflections

Oh 2016.  What a year.  The highs, they have been high; and the lows, they have been low.  It’s been a wild ride!  This December, I found myself in need of perspective so I’m starting off the new year by rereading my favorite book of all time, Shogun.  One of the characters is teaching another about Zen Buddhism and I find that I need to reread those lessons every few years.  :)  As you can see, my copy has been well loved.  lol.  Pretty sure I “borrowed” it from my mom when I was in high school and never gave it back.


In other news, I’m working on my annual January purge!  I finally accepted that I am not going to put the twins back in cloth diapers and I’m boxed them all up to pass on to another mom who is picking them up before I can change my mind tomorrow.  Hopefully this is the jump start I need to clear out all of the babies’ outgrown clothes and sort through our latest boxes of hand me downs.  I also really really really want to do a major purge/ reorg of my craft room and my bedroom.  We’ll see how far I get before I run out of steam.  :)

I made a goal this fall to actually finish some projects before starting new ones and I did pretty good on that front!  I finished a cross stitch project, a set of felt letters, and two stockings, all had been in my To Do pile for at least a year.  Of course, now I’ve got a whole new pile of projects to finish, but truthfully I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Some big ones are a surprise baby blanket for my sister, a massive cross stitch project for my grandmother, and 2 more stockings.  I also want to make some new shirts and stuff with my silhouette and maybe even try to sell a few of them to pay for my vinyl habit.  😉  And then, as always, my never ending scrapbooks.  lol.  On that note, how about some goals for the month.

  1.  Finish December Daily.  I’m on day 16 and I’m keeping it pretty simple so I feel like I should be able to knock it out this week.
  2. Finish cross stitching the base of the design.  Back stitching can be for February.
  3. Ball up yarn and finalize design for blanket.
  4. I’m skipping ahead a few months (I should be on August 2015), but since I have all of my Christmassy scrapbook stuff out, I’d really like to knock out December 2015 and make a dent on December 2016.
  5. I would also like to start catching up on Project Life.  Hmm…  Maybe I should go ahead and try to stay current with January while going back and filling in the gaps of 2016?  I’ll ponder that further,  Let’s just say 8 Project Life layouts.
  6. 2 trash bags from scrap room.
  7. 2 trash bags from bedroom.
  8. Pack away Christmas stuff.
  9. Design and create Valentine’s Day shirts for the kiddos.
  10. Design and cut out designs for our snazzy new water bottles.

So, some big goals, some small goals.  I’m also going to try to blog more regularly, but I know better than to make it a goal at this point.  lol.

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Christmas Pics

I finally took some pictures of the kiddos.  They aren’t perfect, and next year I am totally hopefully finding a way to have a pro take some for us, but nevertheless I’m glad to have something.  I even got a few pics of Xander that are actually pretty good.  :)


The secret?  Candy canes.  lol.  Baby boy never sits still so most of the portrait type pics I have involve Mia sitting like a little angel while Xander is a blur running off in the background.  But he apparently loves candy canes.  :)


My other trick was to have Kate read them a book so that there was hope they would sit still.  It worked!


The hat was also a hit.  And you can’t see it since she’s sitting down, but Kate has on her red cowboy boots.  :)


This was a new spot for me to take pictures (but apparently a popular one.  lol.  We saw at least 2 actual photographers out there) and by the time I found the best spot the light was fading fast as were the babies.  And then my camera battery died.  lol.  I was going to drag everyone out again the next day to try again, but then RaptorDad pointed out that that was crazy.  So here they are!  My imperfect, but good enough, Christmas card pics.  You know, for the Christmas cards that we aren’t sending this year.  😉


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January is coming.  A new year, a new beginning.  December has been hard, y’all.  I wasn’t really feeling the Christmas spirit, although I tried to keep things fun for the kids.  RaptorDad, bless him, really stepped it up this year as far as holiday traditions go.  Plus, I must have been an exceedingly good girl this year as Santa brought me the fancy Kitchenaid mixer that I’ve been dreaming of for the past 14 years.  :)  And since his elves at Amazon shipped it in its original packaging, I got it a week early!  RaptorDad was so mad that his surprise was ruined, but I loved having it for Christmas baking.  I even tackled the oft requested merengue pie.  I foresee a loooooooot more baking in my future.

But January.  I always love January.  It always seems so shiny and new and full of endless possibilities.  I love making lists and goals for January.  Why wait!  I’m going to make a little mini to do list for the week right here to keep myself accountable.  Starting with blogging!  I’m shooting for 3 times this week.  With actual pictures and finished projects.

  1.  Blog 3 times.  Shoot, maybe I’ll even go nuts and have some more blog posts cued up for next week!
  2. Write and mail thank you notes.
  3. Mail Raptor’s Girl Scout Christmas Cards.  I even bought stamps today.
  4. Pictures of the kids.  Let’s be honest, Christmas Cards aren’t happening this year, but I at least want some pictures.
  5. Pack away Christmas stuff.  I know, I know.  I should leave it out until epiphany, but I’m just done this year.
  6. Work on December Daily.  I have 9 days done; I’d love to get at least 5 more done this week.
  7. 1 garbage bag of clutter from art room.
  8. 1 garbage bag of clutter from my room.
  9. Deal with laundry nightmare in the babies’ room.
  10. Find out where to donate cloth diapers.  Sorry Mother Nature, we lasted about a year longer than I expected with twins in cloth, but the jig is up.

And since I promised pictures of finished projects, did I ever share pictures of the babies’ stockings?  I finished right in the nick of time.  (I literally finished Mia’s stocking on November 30th lol.)


And here it is!  The cording for the marionette strings is not a task that I ever wish to undertake again, but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out overall.


I love the nordic feeling of Xander’s.  :)  The one weird thing is that their names went on the backs of the little hanging ornament/ snowflakes.  I might end up creating something new for that down the road, but for now, I’m just thrilled that they are done.

I’d say that I was going to take a break from the felt for a while, but I just told my sister that I would make my brother-in-law one so it looks like I’ll be playing with felt for a while more.  Luckily there’s still plenty of Gilmore Girls to watch.

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December Goals

Oh my.  Perhaps I should just accept that I only seem to be capable of blogging once a month.  ::sigh::

I have a strict policy of keeping things happy and light on the blog, but y’all, I just can’t right now.  My best friend lost her battle with lung disease this weekend and I am just broken.  I am going to try to continue with December Daily, but let’s just say that the holidays have lost their sparkle for me this year.

With that said, I’m still setting some crafty goals for December.  How’d I do in November?  It was hit or miss.

  1.  Take down Halloween decorations.  Done.
  2. Make some kind of handprint canvas with the babies. Nope.
  3. Finish stockings.  I actually accomplished this amazingly enough.
  4. NaNoScrapO!  This was a fun idea, but it kind of fell by the wayside as the month went on.  Maybe I’ll get more organized and try again next year.
  5. Oh February 2015.  I not only finished February, I finished March which filled the little gap I had.  Now I’m caught up through August 2015.  Which is to say, I’m still ridiculously behind.
  6. Felt Letters.  I didn’t finish them, but I’ve made some progress.
  7. FALL letters. Nope.
  8. Make a new calendar.  Like this one.  Done.
  9. Christmas Card pics.  Still need to do these.  The weather has been so gross though.
  10. Blog!  lol.  I blogged all of twice last month.  I don’t anticipate this month being any better.

Onto December.

  1.  Finish felt letters.  I only have 8 to go.  I want them done this week.
  2. December Daily.  There’s no way that I’ll finish this in December, but I would like to try to at least take some pictures every day.
  3. Christmas photo shoot.  Need to make this happen.
  4. Order Christmas cards.  Meh.  I usually love Christmas cards, but they just might not happen this year.  Wow.  I am really setting the bar low with these goals.
  5. Um…  I’ve got nothing.  So it looks like just 4 goals this month.  I’m cool with that.


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I decided to morph NaNoScrapO into NaNoCraftO.  What is NaNoCraftO you ask?  Well, RaptorDad does NaNoWriMo which means that every November he writes a 50k word novel.  Which means I’m left to amuse myself for a month, oh the horrors!  This month I decided to come up with my own project to keep busy.

Initially I was going to try to scrap a page a day.  I’ve done that before and, while it does encourage me to get a lot of stuff done, it’s just not as much fun unless a whole group is doing it with challenges and stuff.  Side note, I miss 2peas so much.  ::sob::  So I decided to give myself the freedom to finish any crafty project!  What have I done so far?

November 1- I made a new washi calendar.

November 2- I edited our Halloween pics and made a Halloween layout.

November 3- Another Halloween layout.

November 4- I got nothing done!  But the babies did try out playdoh for the first time.  Mia thinks it’s delicious.  lol.

November 5- I scrapped 4 pages!  One arty one for Halloween (yes, I did 3 layouts for trick or treating.  lol.) that I counted as project number 4.  Then I finished February 2015!  So glad to have that done.  I really need to pick up the pace and try to get closer to caught up.

I’m focusing more on creating and less on taking fancy pictures for the blog, but if you want to see what I’m working on I am posting on instagram with the hashtag #NaNoCraftO.  I’d love to see it become a whole movement!  :)

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November Goals

Oh man.  October was pitiful.  Halloween is pretty much my favorite holiday but I totally phoned it in this year.  Le sigh.  I was just kind of in a funk, but I’m turning over a new leaf!  Tomorrow is another day!  ::insert random platitudes here::  For real though, I was looking through Pinterest last night and I felt my crafty mojo flickering back to life.  Plus it’s NaNoWriMo.  If you’re not familiar, that’s when RaptorDad writes a 50k word novel in the month of November and I’m left to amuse myself in the evenings.  Which means I can watch all the Great British Bake Off I want!  <3  (Have we discussed my obsession with this British baking show?  No?  I’ve now resorted to watching it on YouTube since I’m blown through all of the episodes on Netflix.  Twice.  It’s awesome!)

So how did I do on October goals?  Not very well.  lol.  Let’s take a look.

  1.  Scrap February 2015.  Not a darn thing.
  2. Finish July and August Project Life.  I got July done and 2 weeks of August.  I need to step up the pace though.
  3. Halloween Prep.  Sad sad sad.  The children ended up with costumes, but it was a last minute cluster.  Perhaps deserving of its own blog post…
  4. Finish Xander’s stocking.  Nope.  I tried to work on Mia’s a bit, but realized I lost a small piece of black felt and just threw in the towel for a bit.  But it’s crunch time!  I’ve got to get these done this month.
  5. Hand Towels.  Done!!!  And I went ahead and gave them to my mom even though they were meant to be a Christmas present and it was only October.  She loved them.  :)
  6. Felt letters.  Well, I got one letter done.  lol.  Sooooo many to go.
  7. Cake smash pics.  I gave up on the idea of a cake smash, but I did take some pics of them.  It’s much harder to take pictures of 2 babies than 1…
  8. Onesie Papers.  My mom ended up not needing these.
  9. Survive Road Trip!  Emphasis on the word survive!  But we did it.  :)
  10. Fix buttons.  Still need to do this.

November Goals.

  1.  Take down Halloween decorations.
  2. Make some kind of handprint canvas with the babies.
  3. Finish stockings.  It’s do or die time!  I’ve got to get these done so the babies aren’t stockingless for their second Christmas.
  4. NaNoScrapO!  I just made that up.  lol.  But I’m going to try to do a page a day in November.  Fingers crossed!  I’ve been getting the Hip Kits Project Life kits (and I love them!) but they don’t make one in November.  Instead I’m getting their December Daily kit, their regular scrapbooking kit, and their embellishment kit.  So excited!  Current plan is to set aside the December Daily kit to use for my December Daily (obviously) and then bust into the other 2 kits and try to knock out December of 2015.
  5. Oh February 2015.  How I’ve out you off so.  But with NaNoScrapO, I’m going to try to power through.
  6. Felt Letters.  This is getting ridiculous.  Must finish these.
  7. FALL letters. I have all of the supplies, I just need to sit down and do them.
  8. Make a new calendar.  Like this one.  They’re a bit of work, but it’s so nice for Kate to be able to see what’s coming up .
  9. Christmas Card pics.  Professional pics just aren’t in the budget this year, but I took some decent enough pics last year.  It’s a but harder with 2 mobile babies, but I’m up for the challenge!
  10. Blog!  It keeps me accountable.  I’m going to shoot for 3 posts a week in November.  We’ll see how it goes!
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Safety First!

Ah.  Remember these?  Vintage Raptor!  She was just 18 months in this pic, the same age as the babies are now, and I thought she was sooooo grown up.  I thought it was hilarious that she swiped her friends “phone” and jumped in her brand new cozy coupe.  (Side note: might need to look into getting one of these!  I’ll bet it would blow Xander’s mind.)  But the reality is that it’s kind of scary to think of Kate being old enough to drive, especially in the age of cell phones.  Talk about things I’m not ready for!


I know that there are apps that you can use to track your teen’s location (I *might* have one on my phone that I’ve used a time or two when I’ve gotten hopelessly lost) but those always seemed kind of helicoptery to me.  I mean, either you trust your kid or you don’t, right?  (Friends with teenagers, feel free to point and laugh at my naiveté.)  At the same time, the stakes are awfully high.  Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death for 15-19 year olds in the United States.  So even if you trust your teen, it would be super helpful to have some objective information to help them improve their driving, right?

Check this out.  My brother-in-law and his wife created a product to do just that.  I know this is a bit outside the realm of what I usually post about, but I think it’s a really cool product so you get to hear about it anyway.  lol.  Basically, you pop it in your car (it’s super easy to install; RaptorDad and I had tester units) and then it tracks data on your teen’s driving that you can access on your smart phone.  Actual useful stuff like how hard your teen is breaking, or how fast they’re accelerating.  It can also tell when your teen swerves a little, you know, like when they look at their phone or are messing with the radio.  And it gives suggestions to actually improve your teen’s driving.  Win win.  I love that it’s framed as a positive with suggestions for improvement as opposed to a “gotcha” mentality where you’re just trying to catch your teen making a mistake.

Kickstarter Link

Here’s a link to their kick starter campaign where they have a great video that explains more about the product and its features.  I would love it if you would go check it out!  The more safe drivers on the road, the better.  In fact, maybe I should leave RaptorDad’s installed in his truck.  😉

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October Goals

Ah September, don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.  I was sick, Kate was sick, and there was just not enough consecutive napping going on from the babies.  All that to say that I didn’t check too many things off my list completely, but I did make a lot of progress on some ongoing projects.

  1.  Scrap February 2015.  I got absolutely zero progress done on this goal.  Whoops.
  2. Finish June, July, and August for 2016 Project Life.  Even I knew this goal was insane, but I did make some progress.  I finished June and I only have one more week of July to go.  Of course now I need to add September to the list.  😉
  3. Decide on Halloween costumes.  Partial success.  Kate has decided that she wants to be a fairy so we procured some wings.  She already has a dress that she wants to wear so I think we just need to figure out some accessories.  I have no idea what to do for the babies though.  Suggestions?
  4. Scrap 10 current (non Project Life) layouts.  Well, I got 5 done.  I need to figure out a way to get these babies napping at the same time!
  5. Work on Xander’s stocking.  I got Xander’s stocking almost finished and I was feeling pretty good about then.  So I decided to pull out Mia’s.  Oh my, hers had almost nothing done.  :/  So I put Xander’s aside and worked on Mia’s.  lol.  I’d say that it’s possible that I can finish one, if not both, in October.
  6. Finish hand towels.  I’m so stinking close!  I’m on to the dreaded backstitching.  The end is in sight!
  7. Make FALL letters.  Well, I bought the letters.  lol.  Baby steps.
  8. Organize DVDs.  Nope.  ::sigh::  I really am a terrible housewife.
  9. Finish felt letters.  Yikes.  I didn’t even pull these out.  Rolling this goal over to October.
  10. Figure out something for family pictures.  I didn’t figure out anything for family pictures, but as the babies are turning 18 months in a few days I’ve decided to embrace my tardiness and do a Half Birthday cake smash.

I did get a lot done, I just didn’t get the satisfaction of crossing many things off.  I also created a fairly elaborate badge workbook for our upcoming Girl Scout camping trip, and photographed/ printed/ laminated a “Me Book” for Mia.

On to October Goals!

  1.  Scrap February 2015.  Ugh.  I just need to sit down and power through.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…
  2. Finish July and August Project Life.  I’m stuck on the last week of July which was our family vacation week.  Since I’ve already scrapped a bunch of the pics, I’m a bit tired of working with them.  I need to either buckle down and get it done or just skip ahead.  Or maybe a bit of both…
  3. Halloween Prep.  I need to finish Kate’s costume and decide on and create costumes for the babies.
  4. Finish Xander’s stocking.  RaptorDad ordered me some new beading needles and I found a new season of the Great British Bake Off on YouTube.  Bring it.
  5. Hand Towels.  My thumb is about to fall off from holding the embroidery hoop.  My goal is actually to finish these today!  If not today then tomorrow.  Or you know, the next day.
  6. Felt letters.  I feel like these are a goal every month…  Le sigh.  Must.  Finish.
  7. Cake smash pics.  Hmm…  They’re a bit old to do them just in diapers.  I’m going to have to ponder further, but I want these done this week.
  8. Onesie Papers.  Not sure what to call these really.  My mom is hosting a baby shower and she wants to have little paper onesies for the guests to write advice on.
  9. Survive Road Trip!  Kate is off this week for Fall Break so we’re taking a road trip!  We’re going to San Antonio (which is about an hour and a half from us) for 2 days.  RaptorDad has to work so I’m flying solo with the kids.  Don’t worry, I added wine to the packing list.  😉
  10. Fix buttons.  I have 2 super cute dresses that need minor button repairs before I can wear them again.  I’m still nursing the RaptorTwins and I think it’s a bit more wear and tear than most designers expect on largely decorative buttons.

Hopefully as I finish some of these things I can photograph some of them and put them on the blog!

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Take the Dang Pictures!

Ok.  I have a really nice camera.  And a really nice lens.  And lately they’ve been capturing more dust than memories.  So you know what?  I took some pictures today.  And no, I didn’t dress the babies up in cute matching outfits and take them to a field of flowers or some picturesque barn.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  I embraced the chaos that is our right now, messy floor, unmatched jammies and all.  And you know what?  I have a feeling that in 10 years I am going to be thrilled to have these pictures.


Here’s the picture that started it all.  I am a sucker for the “baby in the bucket” picture.  The fact that they were surrounded in books made it even better.  So I grabbed my phone and snapped a pic.  But then I thought, wait.  I can do better.  Instead of instagramming that bad boy, I went and dug out my camera and climbed up on the cedar chest that we use for a coffee table and took some pictures.  Xander thought climbing on the cedar chest was a marvelous idea.  Whoops.


Then I just sat on the floor for a while and took pictures.


Some of them are rather extreme close ups because the babies thought my camera was pretty cool, but you know what?  I love them anyway.


Turns out the light in my living room isn’t too crappy in the mornings now that I open the blinds every day. :)


And I finally captured her lone baby tooth!  Side note: it is hard to get a picture of a baby tooth!


My happy girl.  :)  I think I might do this again tomorrow.  But, you know, in matching jammies.  lol.

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