Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Tuesday Sale at Prairie Sunshine Soaps!

Hi, folks!

It looks like Cyber Monday is winding down just in time for Cyber Tuesday!  Yes, I made up this sale at our Prairie Sunshine Soaps shop on Etsy because I was too busy getting back into the swing of teaching today to pay attention to Cyber Monday.  But never let it be known that this woman's procrastination might let you down.

You can save 15% on your entire order by using coupon code CYBERTUESDAY now through  December 3, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. CST.  Of course, I am still offering free shipping on a minimum purchase of $15.00 or more through December 21 by using coupon code FALLFREESHIP.  I am not sure if you can use both codes at the same time but you might as well give it a try.

For your perusal, here are a few of the soaps in our shop:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, lavender and fir needle soap, and Fifty Shades of Jamie Dornan

The kids and I usually put up the Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving.  We were too busy getting ready for Chris' birthday parties, which were Friday evening and Saturday all day.  So today was our day.   Unfortunately, at least 1/3 of our tree's pre-lit branches did not illuminate, and this tree is only a year old.  Bummer.  So I had to venture off to the store to find some lights (and behold, Jo-Ann had a 60% off coupon as well!) and we finally got down to decorating the old Tannenbaum.

Here is a before picture:

And a few after pictures:

I love these kids!

I made some new soap this afternoon as well:
It's organic lavender and fir needle soap made with shea butter and avocado oil.  I can't wait to use this!  It should be ready around December 29.  

And lastly, I found out that Fifty Shades of Grey has begun filming in Vancouver!  Here is a pic from fiftyshadesofgreyfans Tumblr page:

Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey
I was disappointed that Charlie Hunnam won't be in the movie, but I do love the choice of Jamie Dornan.  Who can resist a dreamy Irishman?  Oh, and the rest of the cast looks pretty good too.  I am not one of those people who just HAS to have certain actors in certain roles.  I mean really, I'm not a casting agent nor a director so who am I to say who should play a particular part?  I do need to get back to work on my novel so I can do what E L James is doing, hobnobbing with dashing stars, galivanting around Seattle and Vancouver, and enjoying life as a bestselling author.  Of course, my dashing hottie will be Michael Fassbender!  LOL!

Now it's the end of the long Thanksgiving weekend. Only three more weeks until winter break.  I can't wait!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I've become a knitting fiend!

I have been crocheting for the last two years pretty consistently, as my right wrist tendonitis can certainly attest to.   I have dabbled in knitting a time or two and have even taken a beginner's class.  But knitting always left me feeling inadequate and deathly afraid of dropping stitches.  I pretty much have avoided that entire aspect of yarncrafting except to admire other people's beautiful handiwork.  

Yet for some reason, a couple of weeks ago I bought several Red Heart Boutique Sashay yarns (what am I talking about--I'm sure it's because they were on sale and the gorgeous colors called out to me!) and decided to try to knit one of those lovely ruffle scarves that so many people wear these days.  I watched a few You Tube videos on how to make them but couldn't exactly figure it out and was left frustrated once again by knitting.  But the next day I tried it again, determined to figure it out once and for all.  And surprise, surprise!  I finally had success!  

The first scarf I made was using Sashay Team Spirit in gold/black.  Those are the colors of the school where I teach and I think it's very pretty.  I don't usually wear yellow so this is a bold statement for me.  I figure I will wear this on Fridays when we teachers get to dress down and wear school related apparel.

Here is the next one I made:

This yarn is called Conga.  I remember buying this last year when I first had the thought of making this scarf but had no idea how and gave up.  I need to stop giving up so easily.  :)  

And my latest scarf finished late last night:

This is my favorite color so far--Salsa.  The colors are more beautiful than this photo demonstrates, with gorgeous jewel tones in shades of purple, red, and orange.

Michaels had Sashay on sale last week and I picked up a few more:

Of course, there is the black/gold in case someone at school wants one.  Then there are three Sashay Metallic colors of Aquamarine, Amethyst, and Rubies.  And lastly, the one on the bottom that I plan on starting next, Disco.  

My friend Connie has bartered with me to teach her how to knit this ruffle scarf over Thanksgiving break.  She is a fabulous chef and she is going to bring me something homemade in exchange for learning how to make a scarf.  She will get a pretty Sashay Boutique ruffle scarf and I will get some homemade deliciousness--sounds like a pretty good deal to me.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cherish Your Health

It was a chilly Autumn morning today and whilst teaching some sort of interesting vocabulary tidbit to my French 1 class, I felt a very sharp pain in my chest.  It didn't hurt me enough to stop teaching but the pressure remained throughout that class and the next two Spanish classes.  Since we thankfully have a school nurse on duty, I decided to go talk to her during my lunch and she pretty much told me I had to call my husband and go to the ER right away.  I guess chest pain is not to be taken lightly.  Geez, all I expected was to get a couple of aspirin and be on my way.  

Well, my husband arrived about 30 minutes later, picked me up, and took me to the emergency room.  A team of efficient medical professionals swarmed in, placed sticky things all over me and took my blood pressure, pulse, and several vials of blood. Luckily, my EKG came back normal as did my blood work with regard to heart problems.  However, I do have high glucose, which I need to fix. The doctor thinks the pain is acid reflux but I tend to think it's a pulled muscle.  Of course, he went through years and years of medical school so who am I to argue?

Lesson learned today?  I need to get off my derrière, exercise, and eat healthier foods.  You know, like we should all do every day.  That and I need to appreciate my good health much more than I do.  I want to be around for my family for as long as I possibly can.  I want to see these two wonderful youngsters become the people they are destined to be!   ¡Salud!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hug the ones you love a little tighter

My love of languages has led me to become a language teacher.  I am in my first year at a new school, the high school where the middle schoolers I taught for nine years have attended high school. I also get to do lunch duty this year. I encounter perhaps 150-200 young people every day.  I love what I do for the most part, although grading is not exactly a picnic.

But what happened today makes that little inconvenience seem completely meaningless. Today, an otherwise healthy 17-year-old student at my school passed away. He had suffered a stroke during his football game last night, underwent surgery this morning, and never recovered.

I did not have Andre in class, but I saw how this tragedy affected the kids in the lunchroom and classroom today. My school community has a close-knit, family atmosphere and it is wonderful to witness firsthand. Those kids lean on each other in their time of need, as they should. Unfortunately, this school has had more than its fair share of tragedy in the last few years.

I cannot imagine what his family has been going through for the past 24 hours.  My heart is with Andre's family, teammates, classmates, friends, and indeed the entire SMW community. Rest in peace, Andre Maloney.

KC Star article about Andre

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wishing for Washington state!

Waxing nostalgic today for the state of Washington.  Chris and I were lucky enough to enjoy a 15th anniversary trip there in 2011 for the Sequim Lavender Festival as well as other side trips.  Yes, I dragged my husband to lavender farms.  Yes, he liked it.  Real men like lavender, in case you didn't know!  :)

The temperature today where we live in the Great Plains didn't get much higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and we were even cooler than Sequim, WA.  I know this because Sequim is saved as a favorite place on my Weather Channel app.  The sky was overcast and we had a little bit of rain, which suited me just fine.  It felt so much like Washington state that I started thinking back on our time there and felt like sharing some photos.  

I miss all this:

A Kansas girl can't get enough of the ocean

Pike Place Market, Seattle

First Starbuck's, Seattle

Seattle's Puget Sound

Lovely lavender!

Snow in July!

It's love at first sight.

View from our B&B window--Port Townsend

We weren't the only ones celebrating 15 years!

Point Wilson Lighthouse, Fort Worden State Park

Old Consulate Inn, Port Townsend

Cape Flattery

Hoh Rainforest

Me and my sweetie at Hurricane Ridge

Washington, je t'aime et tu me manques!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Last vestiges of summer, Labor Day, et al.

Summer vacation was over for me a few weeks ago when I had to report back to work. But the summer season is officially coming to close with Labor Day weekend nearly over.

Thanks to our forebears in the workforce who fought for a living wage, a decent work week, and no child labor, most of us in "civilized" countries enjoy vacation time, sick leave, and many other job perks despite the current stagnant income.  I won't delve too deeply into this topic; I just wanted to make sure I gave a shout out to those brave men, women, and children in the past.  As a proud member of a union, I mourn the lack of union presence in the American workplace today.

But onto less serious stuff, here are some photos of our final taste of summer:

I even got in a little quilting this weekend!  This is Savonnerie layer cakes by Moda Fabrics. I will most likely make a two-sided tablecloth out of this.  

So tomorrow it will be business as usual:  no swimming pool, no sewing machine, no late night Danish movies on Netflix. Alas, I will roll up my sleeves and act like Rosie the Riveter:  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Origami Owl!

I have been waiting literally for months to become an Origami Owl Independent Designer.  The company has been THAT successful!  I got my kit today and I have made my first Living Locket:

This week marked my first week at my new school.  I have gone back to teaching high school after being a middle school teacher for 10+ years.  I am so exhausted from waking up early again, getting to know the school layout (where the bathrooms and copy machines are is quite important!), and being on my feet for nearly eight hours per day.  But it's a good kind of exhausted.

Then I came home today to find my Origami Owl kit waiting for me.  And I also found this in my mailbox:

What a great end to my school week!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Last creative projects of the summer

School is starting back up soon but I wanted to share my last creative venture of the summer--two cool bags I sewed myself. This is quite the feat because I never figured I would be able to sew much of anything. But I think they turned out pretty well. I got the idea from Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Co. Here is a link to the You Tube video.

Such a fun, creative summer it has been but it's time to get back to the old grindstone.  :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finally got our vacation album done!

I love Shutterfly!  They have so many wonderful products.  I have ordered many of their photo books and here is my latest one.  It details our recent road trip from Kansas to Walt Disney World.  I can't wait to get it.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lizzie's afghan is finally done!

I made this beautiful afghan using silky soft and gorgeous textured Homespun yarn by Lion Brand. The color is called Coral Reef.  Coral Reef is one of the painterly colors of this yarn, which means it is self-striping.  I never have to change colors at all while I am crocheting--the yarn does that for me.

Homespun is also made in the U.S.A. and it is machine washable and dryable.

Lizzie seems to quite like it!

Here is a short video featuring Zonte from Lion Brand about Homespun.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wrapping up those unfinished projects

Well, summer is winding down and I will be heading back to work soon.  
I am not complaining, mind you, lest you think I think I deserve to be eternally on vacation.  That is definitely not the case.  I am looking forward to changing schools and meeting my new students as well as seeing lots of kids I knew from middle school (I am moving to the high school into which my former middle school feeds).  It will be a completely different schedule and I will even have a Spanish course to teach. ¡Olé!  

I am just thinking about all those scrapbooking, crochet, lavender, soap, and quilting projects I have started this summer but have yet to finish. Like this one:

And this one:

And this one:

And even this one:

And there are several more. I have a tendency to think I am going to be a supercrafter during the summer.  I think I do OK but even I have to relax too.  

I have exactly 14 days until I return to school.  Can I finish any or all of these lovely projects?  I will post my progress over the next several days. Would you mind keeping me on track and making sure I work on them?  Thanks. 

I'd better get myself off the computer now and get to work.  Time is a-flying.