January 07, 2013


I've decided that's my word for the new year. I'm going to try to simplify things a bit by doing and having less. And I'm going to try to worry less, stress less and obsess less. How's that for a tongue twister? I'm going to have a shorter to-do list and figure out what's really important and what makes me happy.

I've got a good start on the year doing some decluttering, mostly kids' stuff which is very hard for me since all of it holds memories. And I've cut down on my computer time and it's made me more relaxed and rested. It's nice to just sit and play with the kids or fix dinner or go to bed at a decent hour, without thinking I have to check my email or facebook or other blogs. What's really important is right here in my house not the world behind the screen.

So, I've decided to give this blog a break too. Not that I was blogging much anyway, but it's become a stressor, something in the back of my mind that I think I should want to do, but I really don't. So, unless I have something really cool & exciting to report on, I'll be putting it on the back burner.

I'll just wrap it up with a link to my etsy shop since I've added a few new things in the past couple weeks. I hope to add more soon! Whoops...did I just say MORE? Oh well, crafting & sewing are things I hope to do more of when I weed out some of my other time wasters.

Here's my shop- By Gretaliz on Etsy

November 26, 2012

Christmas Quilt

I decided I needed a project to kick start my holiday mood. Because, it does NOT seem possible that December starts on Saturday. Wasn't I just taking the kids to the pool on a 105 degree July day? I can protest all I want, but I suppose it won't make time slow down any.

This is a super simple quilt that I sorta based on this design. Rag quilts are easy. They don't require true quilting, you don't have to baste or bind and you don't have to be a perfectionist.

I chose three different (but similar) Christmas fabrics, used white flannel for the "lining" and ended up using red fleece for the backing. Turned out to be a very cozy quilt that helped keep me warm on our Thanksgiving trip this past week. Granny likes to turn down the heat at night! I brought it along to snip on our trip and I was able to put it to good use.

Here's the finished project:

I asked hubby what he thought of it and he said, "It's very Christmassy." I guess I'll take that as a compliment.

November 15, 2012


I'm just barely squeaking this in before the deadline! It's a fun little project that is part of a fabulous festival called, "Donktober!"


It's a gathering of crafts & sewing projects centered around a donkey theme. My entry for Donktober is this pair of sock donkeys. Full tutorial here. I've made several sock monkeys before and I just adore them. And I've seen patterns for sock elephants, but this is my first encounter with sock donkeys.

I was just going to make just one and give it to one of my kids, but then I decided they should each have one. That way, the donkeys can be friends and then there would be no fighting or hard feelings amongst the kids. There's enough of that going on anyway.

So, how adorable are they? Definitely not perfect and lovably lumpy (I'm not so good at the stuffing part).

I'm not sure how much mine actually look like donkeys. Perhaps more like moose, or a character from Backyardigans?
Oh well, whatever they resemble, they are definitely cute and the kids think so too. We're still deciding on names, so far, it's just Donkey and Mr. Donkey.

Now, this has got me wondering...am I making some sort of political statement by making these and joining in on a donktoberfest? If so, I should probably go ahead and make those elephant ones just to be fair.

Thank you to Missy Mac Creations for sponsoring this party!

November 14, 2012

Catching Up...

on a lot of things around here. It's been such a busy month.

We went on a nice autumn vacation to the Ozarks:
We survived Halloween! Spaghetti & meatballs turned out awesome-

My pumpkin creation won a prize-

My son's definitely deserved a prize too, but he's been first place three years running (time to let someone else win!)

And we survived the craft fair. It was fun, a bit stressful and sometimes a bit discouraging, but overall I'd call it a success and definitely a huge learning experience! Here's our booth during set-up:

So, now I'm awaiting the busy storm of the coming 6 weeks. I've vowed to try as hard as I can to keep things low-key and low-stress, low-budget and low-"gimmie". Hopefully when January comes I can say that we succeeded.

I've been doing a bit of sewing during the past week, mostly Christmas gifts and today I tackled a fun little project that I'll be posting about tomorrow...

October 01, 2012

Happy October!

Where did September go? I do so love this time of year, I sure wish time would slow just a bit. The leaves are starting to turn, the air is drier and chillier and I'm loving getting out all my fall decor. Got scarecrows in my pansy-filled flower pots, mini gourds in baskets and almost every room in the house has something fall-scented in it. Fall scents are the best!

Another amazing scent is baking bread. And I baked exactly two loaves today. That's a HUGE accomplishment for me, especially on a day like today when my to-do list was pretty long. The first was just a regular loaf of oat/wheat bread and the next was a new recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil bread. It turned out so good and was quite lovely to look at too:

The only thing I'll change next time is to reduce the salt, probably to 1/2 a teaspoon.

It sliced up nicely:

And we ate sandwiches for dinner. Piled on the turkey, cheddar & some horseradish mustard, with sides of sweet buttery dilled carrots and cole slaw. It ended up being a hit of a meal, everyone cleaned their plates with no complaints, other than the fact that I didn't make enough carrots.

This month promises to be a very busy one! I'm trying to finish up craft show stuff, we're taking a mini vacation for fall break, there's Halloween costumes to work on, and a prize winning pumpkin to create for the annual pumpkin contest. My plan is to win first place this year. Good luck to me in all my October endeavors. I think I'm going to need it.