Thursday, May 31, 2007

The First Grade Play

Oh, the cuteness!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

10 Summer Outings

The summer always gets away from me. We are buying Thing One a new backpack and I am wondering what happened to the summer I fantasized about in May. The summer full of jaunty outings and crafty activities as promised in "Family Fun" magazine. The summer of my childhood memories: playing in the sprinkler, eating ice cream sandwiches and reading in the hammock.

So I have made a couple of lists (I am so good at lists!) to help me pace myself.

Summer List Number One: Ten Outings

1. A local amusement park for ages 10 and under.
2. The King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia
3. The Philadelphia Zoo
4. Hiking (hopefully this will happen more than once!)
5. My Dad's cabin in Potter County
6. Cape May, NJ
7. Annapolis, MD
8. A free concert in Long's Park
9. Longwood Gardens
10. My brother's house to visit the cousins

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

History of A Garden, Part One

Originally uploaded by stephgibson23
This little corner by the front porch was covered with English Ivy. Took me two afternoons (one last summer, one this past weekend) to get rid of all the ivy. Finally, four years after we bought the house, the ferns are free to breathe.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I Love Summer

We kicked off the summer with a perfect weekend. A picnic with my Dad's family at one of my favorite spots in the whole world - my grandfather's farm. (more on the farm later). Dinner on the patio with our favorite neighbors last night. Their son is a year younger than Thing One and they play really well together, each new game starting with the phrase "Let's pretend..." I got a ton of work done in the garden and we survived our first power outage of the summer. And Geoff has the day off today, so more summer fun to come!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Would You Rather....

No, it is not one of those "revealing" questions games.

Wondering about my Etsy promo blog and whether anyone actually reads those lengthy (but fascinating!) interviews. Do you like the interview format or would you rather see a great photo and a short blurb with a link?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Friday, May 25, 2007

One Small Change: Week Two

Your Life is 40% Green

You're on the right track to living a green life, and you're definitely doing your part to help out.
You care about the earth, and hopefully this quiz has given you some ideas on how you can do more!

Well, I thought for sure I was doing better than that!

I have thought about using cloth bags for shopping, but here is the thing. We do not buy trash bags for our house. We use the grocery bags as our trash bags. So I think that kind of cancels out the fact that we do not use cloth bags. Although, I could use a cloth bag when I go to the farmer's market.

So, my new small change this week is to hunt down (hopefully on Etsy) and start using a cloth bag for market day.

And, I am sad to report that last week's change will have to carry into this week's change, because I only cleaned my kitchen one night out of seven. There are so many pathetic excuses for my slackness. Let's just say I am going to try better this week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What A Big Day!

Just stumbled upon one of my necklaces in a Trousseaux to Treasure Collection. See it here.

And I was in two different treasury lists with two of my bloggy buddies. A brown pearl themed list with Ginger from MsBelle and an orange themed list with Maia from Glass Beach.

And since I am the lamest girl in blogland, I could not figure out how to get a screen shot. Not with help in the forums, not with help from Mac. Bah. So, if you are curious, click on the links above.

I Am Becoming THAT Neighbor

So this morning while Thing One and I were out in the yard, I noticed the HS age neighbor slouching down the street toward his house with his backpack. We are not within walking distance of the school. Where did he come from? Why isn't he in school? Knowing that his mom was having some trouble getting him to go to school over the winter, you can imagine where my mind went for these answers.

So do you rat him out?

Feeling like the world's biggest busy-body, the world's oldest tattle-tale, I called his mom at work. Because I want to live in a neighborhood where we are all watching out for each other, where we pick up each other's slack, where the village is raising the child (oh, I tried so hard to avoid that last cliche!). And even though I am the last mom in the neighborhood who has not gone back to working outside the house, I am really hoping someone will be there to rat on MY kids when they are not where they are supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Artist Profile - Lemon Cadet

Stop by Mira and see my interview with Lemon Cadet. The place to buy adorable onesies and YETI PANTIES. You have to see them to believe them!

Friday, May 18, 2007

One Small Change: Week One

Inspired by this post by Gillian (of Gilfling), I am going to strive to make one small change in myself/my life every week, with the hope that in a year's time I will be a new, improved Steph.
My first change stems from something I read in this interview with Julie of Puffluna fame. She said, "...if you can't clean the whole house because you are too busy working, just make sure the kitchen is clean." And as I read this I realized that I feel stressed when my kitchen is a mess, but the rest doesn't really bother me. Sooooo..........

My first small change is to clean the kitchen before bed.
Every night.
No dishes in the sink.
Clean counters, clean floor.
Every night.

I'll report back in a week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Five Happy Things

I am sort of stealing this idea from Jenn. After the grumpy posts, it is time to share five things that made me happy (in no particular order) today:
1. Thinking about visiting the cabin pictured above. Middle of nowhere Michigan. A small lake. Lots of forests. Some books.
2. 10 more days until school is out for the summer. Thing One is really ready to be home for a while and Thing Two and I are really ready to have her here. We probably should do something more than lie in the sun and read all summer long, but I think she and I share that fantasy.
3. Thing Two and his cousin actually played together today, rather than shrieking "no, no, mine!" for 10 hours.
4. Chocolate ice cream.
5. "Lost" is on tonight.

Well, You Really Know How to Cheer a Girl Up!

Thanks to everyone who had good wishes for me. Thanks to Maia, who came up with the worlds greatest response to being over-tagged (I am going to get around to stealing that idea sometime this week!). Thanks to Sara, who invited me to participate in a trunk show at the EtsyLabs. And thanks to Elise for the nice little surprise in my in-box.

Thank you friends in the blogosphere! Hope I get to give you all real hugs someday!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Little More Whining

It is only a small fracture and I am able to complete the custom order, but I can't do anything very complicated and I don't see how I am going to do any gardening before we celebrate my Mom's birthday. Bah! I am so grumpy about it.

I realize there are people out there with real problems.

Promise to be ungrumped tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I whacked my fingers against the door jamb while running Thing Two to the potty (yes, it IS about time!) and I think I did something bad to them. I taped them per my sister-in-law's instructions (she is a Physician's Asst.), but my pinky is all black and blue.

The worst of it is that I was in the middle of two different knotted necklaces, and I can't make knots with my hand like this. Or at least, I can't make knots that look nice. And I got a custom earring order tonight. Will I be able to wire wrap? I am scared to try it and see.


(and yes, I am planning a trip to the doctor's tomorrow.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

What would you do?

The pink azalea on the right (we are not the ones who initially trimmed it into the shape of a rectangle) hangs about six inches over the walkway (currently obscured by the pile of English Ivy waiting to be taken to the compost center). If we trim the azalea enough to keep the walkway clear, we will be cutting all the leaves off and it will be a big bush of sticks.

So, my options as I see them:
1. Cut it back hard this fall, because then it will come back smaller next Spring? (I am really hoping this is true, but have no research backing this up)
2. Leave it as it is, because it is too pretty to get rid of. Visitors don't mind squeezing between the bushes.
3. Get rid of it. It is too big. Plant a smaller one in its place.
4. Leave it as it is. Dig out the green thing on the other side of the walkway and re-lay the walkway two feet to the left.
5. Pray some gardening genius who also reads my blog (you know who you are) will have a suggestion that trumps all the above.

Please, please share your thoughts.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Boy Did I Drop the Ball

I think, at the age of 7, Thing One should know better than to whine for crackers while I am mid-sentence on the telephone. Shouldn't she?

Where did I go wrong?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Two blog posts I read this week have made me start thinking about my shop and what I can do to make it more successful.

The first was Miss Fickle Media's post about her 1,000 sale in which she outlined her Etsy history. She wrote about working "smarter, not harder" which sounds good to me. She did a lot of research of selling trends and the habits of top sellers. This led me to believe that it is time to do some research of my own. After some light research of a few top jewelry sellers I see that they each have between two and five very distinctive, very simple items that they sell over and over again. So, what can my item be? Yes, well, it is going to take me more than a few days to figure that one out.

The second blog post belonged to Littleput Books. She has some terrific tips for Etsy sellers on her blog. In particular, tip #10 stood out for me. Sell What You Love. She suggests you get rid of any item that does not represent you at your best. According to this advice, I have several items that I should toss from my shop. That is going to be really hard to do, because it has happened more than once that just as I was thinking I should get rid of an item, somebody bought it. Nevertheless, Littleput is a very successful seller, so I am going to compromise. All the items that don't seem to fit with my favorite things are going on sale and will not be renewed. When they expire, I will put them in my box marked "old stuff" to be scavenged for parts at some later date. My second "Sell What You Love" plan of attack is that I am just going to stop worrying about the price and make what I like (see the photo above. $135) To some extent I have been doing this with bracelets and wire wrapped necklaces in the last couple weeks, and while those items have not yet sold, they do have lots of hearts, so i must be on the right track.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

One Reason I Love Blogging

Okay, so it is not really such a new idea that the internet makes our world smaller. But how often do you truly experience the results of this increasing sense that the world is your neighborhood,

Over the weekend I was driving around doing errands (read: having some alone time) and listening to NPR. They had a news story about a conflict between Russia and Estonia over a Soviet Era statue that the Estonians want to move from one place to another in their own country. Three months ago I would have listened while thinking about other things and would not really have taken any of this story in. But now, because of my blog-friend connnection with Eva, I actually listened with interest and wondered how Eva felt about it. I recognized the name of the capital city (Tallinn) and could actually picture it in my mind.

So, three cheers for blogging, which has made me a better citizen of the world!

Monday, May 7, 2007

New Artist Profile

Please check out my profile of lorimarsha, one of my long-time favorite Etsians, and maker of fabulous jewelry, handbags and clothing.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

I've Been Tagged

Sylvia tagged me, so here are the rules:

• Start with 7 random facts/habits about yourself

• People who are tagged have to write their 7 things on their blog

• Then choose another 7 people to get tagged and list their names

• Don't forget to leave them a comment to tell them they have been tagged and to read your blog

1. There was a long period of time from ages 24 to 33, when I did not wear any jewelry. I started wearing it again when I started making it.

2. I reluctantly purchased a minivan when my son came along. I just didn't want to be in that demographic. But now, I love my homely blue van. You would not believe how much yard waste I can take to the community compost center in that thing! Not to mention vacation gear.

3. I periodically get restless and need to make big changes - usually moving to a new house. But I am going to have to find a new way to shake things up, because I love the house we are in right now, and I know Geoff will not tolerate another move.

4. I am saving up my Etsy sales money to buy a button maker.

5. I hate taking my kids to the pool in the summer, but I feel like it is my duty as a mother to take them. If you survived childhood summers without going to the pool, please let me know. It would be quite a load off.

6. I have fantasies about taking our kids camping in Acadia National Park in Maine, even though I have never gone camping in my life and have no idea where/how to start planning such a thing. (Funny coincidence - as I was typing this, my daughter yelled from the other room, "I wish I could go on a camping trip!")

7. I love reading these lists, but hate sending chain letters. If I tagged you, and you don't feel like playing, no worries.

Friday, May 4, 2007

You Know Things Have Gotten Out of Hand When....

I set the kitchen timer for one hour, with the goal of catching up on the blogs I regularly read and often comment on. The timer is about to start beeping and I am only half way through. This is not good. This is too much time spent on blogging. But I love you all......

And I was tagged two days ago and still have not made my list or tagged anyone.

Nor have a checked my shop yet today.

The blog was supposed to support the shop, not replace it in my heart.

Something must be done!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


I finally have my first interview posted on my Etsy promo blog, Mira. Please stop in and check out my interview with Ginger Wagner, of MsBelle. She is a ray of southern sunshine and a talented jewelry maker. Come see why I love her!

See my new blog here.