Happy Birthday to Me!!

Yesterday was a monumental day. I turned a great big 50.  My plan was to simply spend the day in my sewing room. However, the weekend has gone like this:

Thursday – Joel came home from Minnesota. Happy dance

Friday – Joel and I had dinner with our friends John and Debbie and stayed out until 1:30am!

Saturday – I spent a lazy morning online


(my birthday shirt to myself)

then I went down to the sewing room and enjoyed myself:




(finished Kurt’s Christmas present sleep shirt)


(covered a couple of cardboard boxes with contact paper)

Promptly at 4:30 I had put on a little makeup because Karra’s boyfriend was coming over for presents. My first present was a blindfold and a note that the best presents can’t be seen. Uh oh. They drug me out of the house with a little makeup, bad hair, and a blindfold.

We arrived at my Bestie’s house for a surprise 50th birthday party. Bumble themed, of course.


(Kristen made a cake for me)


(She cried when it was time to put candles in it)

And there were balloons and presents and my closest Ohio family to celebrate. It was a WONDERFUL birthday! There were balloons, too, but I didn’t get a picture of them before Catnip found them.


And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Oh, Hello

Well, WordPress sure changed while I’ve been away.

Happy Thanksgiving

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

That’s covers the major ones. I have been away.

The Holidays were good and I got most of my projects done – still haven’t stained Kutt’s new bed ūüė¶ He’s being a trouper about the delayed bedroom makeover.

I accidentally went off my depression medicine right before Christmas. I think I’m still messed up from that. I waited until I had 3 pills left, like I usually do, only this time, the refill expired 5 days before I called. The pharmacy said they would call my dr.’s office. Six days later, I’ve been off my pills and am having the most bizarre dreams!! I’m getting dizzy like crazy and feeling like when I turn my head, it takes 5-10 seconds for my mind to make the turn with my body! Really creepy. And was a grouch!!! My kids would have used a different word: b*(^*&*. Karra announced that she would be following herself to Michigan if I was like that for Christmas. Personally, I would have liked to see her follow herself. Anyway, I called my dr. office and got back on my meds. I’ve been a much nicer person to be around since then.

I’ve really been re-thinking my blog lately and haven’t decided if I should continue on with the hobby farm, revamp what I write about, or start a completely new blog. Until I decide something, I guess I’ll keep rambling to you.

I feel like the hobby farm is winding down – or maybe just changing seasons. We butchered SugarBelle in September and I sold LibertyBelle in December – she’s now happily mated to a Hereford bull and expecting a Baldy calf. Torpedo is a steer – not as much fun as a moo moo mama, and a little on the grouchy side being by himself most of the time. ¬†I miss my cows. If we venture into a milk cow again, I’ll make sure I can get her bred easily, and also probably go with a regular sized cow. The Dexters didn’t prove to be all we had hoped for. I want a sweet cow. I want a dehorned cow.

The sheep are so easy to take care of – not to mention breed. Shamrock joined the ladies October 1st and we separated them in late December. Honey and Stormie already show signs of udder development. Kristen has bumped the girls and she’s pretty sure that 4 of them are pregnant. Rebekah we’re not sure of – she’s an awful lot like her mama, Daisy. ūüėÄ

One of the things I’m thinking about for future hobby farming is replacing our Shetland lamb that died and raising some woollies. ¬†It would probably be smarter to go with a spinnable wool hair sheep, but we’re still pretty leery of horns on animals. Soay have horns. Painted Dessert sheep have horns. When it comes to wool, Jacob sheep and Icelandic sheep have horns. Icelandics are pricey, too! ¬†I’m thinking about alpacas or llamas, too. My niece had a beautiful llama when she was in high school – Dominick. Oh, he was gorgeous!!!! ¬†If I could raise the fleece, there is a mid Ohio fiber mill where I could have them washed, carded, and spun. I could put them on my Etsy shop (which I finally opened!) as roving, or knit them into something.

We’re also talking about replacing our chickens this year, but not Brik!! And we may be getting piggies to grow for the freezer. Yum, yum.

My head continues to spin with ideas for how to start my own little cottage industry from my own little – well, big – cottage. ¬†The transcription course got bogged down in cyber relax massage chairs (don’t ask) and I’ve gotten very discouraged with it. I know it’s something I could do, but I really got hung up with it. And quite honestly, all I want to do is spend the days and hours of my life in my sewing room creating things. Fun things, usable thing, whimsical things, nonsensical things, practical things. Things that will bless people. Things that people can bless other people with.

OK, the Etsy shop. Yes, I opened it. The only item in it is one of Kristen’s paintings. I’d love to see her sell it, but in the meantime, it hangs in my living room and I really, really like it!

The plan is to stock The Crazy Bumble Bee.Etsy shop with baby blankets and bibs. At least to start. I have a partially finished blanket in the sewing room for my friend, Sarah, whose baby shower I couldn’t attend on Tuesday because I’M SICK! ¬†I really like piecing together squares for a simple baby blanket. It’s fun. I’m looking forward to blessing the Woman’s Clinic of Columbus with baby blankets, as well as stocking the Etsy shop. ¬†Hopefully by fall I will have some Christmas items done that I can stock as well. I would still like to do a completely Christmas shop, but I’ve felt God speaking to me about that, so it may be something I keep separate from The Crazy Bumble Bee; I’m not sure at this point.

Kurt’s LEGO robotics and invention team is doing well and they’ve advanced to the State Finals competition next month. Go LEGO Force! ¬†Kristen had her first IEA show yesterday (I left my death bed to attend). She did respectable for her first Open classes, two fourth place finishes. She and our team’s top horsemanship rider both drew the same horse and after watching her teammate have a not so good ride, Kristen started to get her in her own way. But when she went out to ride, she rode that horse! She definitely had the better ride and when we watched a really good rider on him later, she only finished one place above Kristen and her teammate on the same horse. It was a big win for Kristen in that she didn’t let herself focus on her teammate’s ride, but went out and tried to do something different to find the horse’s buttons. And it worked! Our next show is in West Virginia! and is the weekend after Kurt’s LEGO competition.

And That’s What’s Been Happening on the Hobby Farm.




Finally a DIM to Share!

I’m not sure I’m going to call it a success – it was a royal pain in the rear end!!!

It all started with my cute little sewing bag that is really being used to corral my knitting projects.



Isn’t it the cutest? ¬†If your observant you’ll notice that it matches the cover on my ironing board. ¬†Of course now that the new sewing room is up, the ironing board is in the laundry room and we’re using a pressing mat for sewing. ¬†Of course the knitting bag is in the living room, so even though they match, they’re not in the same room where you can see it.

After this darling (but difficult to put together) bag was done, Kristen wanted one for a show bag – except with the pockets inside. ¬†Okay, that shouldn’t be too difficult, we’ll just make it and turn it inside out. ¬†WRONG!!! ¬†She wanted a contrasting bottom, so we couldn’t use the lining as the outside. ¬†OK, we’ll just make two outsides and leave the pockets off of one. ¬†WRONG!!! ¬†First I ironed the super thick interfacing onto the pieces that were supposed to be the outside instead of the pieces that would be the inside. ¬†Pulled that off, but stretched the fabric a bit. ¬†We were cutting it super close on the fabric as it was, so I didn’t have margin for ANY errors. ¬†Got that mess straightened out. ¬†Put the inside together with the pockets and it looked beautiful. ¬†Where we had to use brown fabric for the inside pockets, the green and brown went really well together.


The green is actually a very dark green, but the lighting in the laundry room and the flash make it look very bright.

Then I made¬†the outside and put it all together. ¬†Except the sides didn’t meet at the bottom. ¬†So, I added another piece of fabric. ¬†And then it was 4″ too tall!!!! ¬†Well, good grief. ¬†And the super stiff interfacing makes it very difficult to line up corners and edges. ¬†Ugh!! ¬†So, I decided that I would just fold over the excess at the top and maybe it would have a cute little cuff to fold down. ¬†Nope, that won’t work, it would be sown together right through the velcro (that I had already had to move). ¬†So, after folding down 3″ I had to jiggle it all down so that the tops lined up. ¬†I was in a hair’s breadth of running out of brown thread, but made it by the skin of my teeth!

Now it was all put together. ¬†And after breaking my arms to get it ironed and a top stitching put on – I had to make a tuck in the outside down by the bottom to take up the excess fabric that was still there! ¬†I have officially retired this pattern. ¬†I’m glad that I have my knitting bag and I’m glad that Kristen has her show bag, but I am so sorely disappointed in my workmanship. ¬†I do however understand perfectly why they made the pattern exactly the way they did! ¬†Amazing the things you learn when you try to re-do someone else’s idea.


The completed brown bag with a barely visible contrasting bottom.  (Notice my black and white ironing board cover?!)


And filled to the brim (and heavy) with all of her hair stuff and jewelry and make-up and extra spurs and boots and whatever else it is that she carries. ¬†And no, the brown thing with the eyeball is NOT a fish head – which is exactly what I thought when I first saw the picture. ¬†It’s actually a spur strap. ¬†But gosh, it looks like a fish head.

And That’s What I Did Myself on the Hobby Farm.

And Now for the Rest of the Week

We got our heat back on Wednesday. ¬†It was a very cold day and Kristen couldn’t feel her feet most of the day. ¬†Just as we were leaving for church at 5pm the mail finally came with the new thermostat. ¬†We had to get Kristen to band practice so we couldn’t even go back and install it! ¬†We came home to a cold house – but it worked and our heat came on and we left it at 74 all night and all day Thursday – as the weather warmed up. ¬†I have since discovered that the LP is not working and we are getting all of our heat through the heat pump. ¬†Lord, help my electric bill!!!!

Now that the heat is back on our dog, Lexi, is freaking out. ¬†She pants and shakes and hides in the bathroom – or better yet, the laundry room. ¬†She had us scared silly and I actually took her to the vet (not a wasted trip since the dogs needed their heartworm shots anyway). ¬†Physically she’s fine and the vet sincerely doubted he would find anything if he did blood work. ¬†He gave us 3 days of anxiety medicine for her which hasn’t done anything either than give her big chunks of yummy peanut butter. ¬†I moved the dog crates in the basement, but she still “walked” her crated during the night. ¬†Poor baby. ¬†Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Also on Thursday, my daughter Karra was offered a real “grown up” job (that does not entail wearing an apron). ¬†I won’t say where for privacy reasons, but it’s a BIG deal. ¬†Benefits, retirement, tuition reimbursement and almost $4 an hour more than she’s making slicing cheese and making sandwiches. ¬†Weekdays only, professional attire and it will give her great connections in her future career. ¬†We are so proud of her!!!!!!!! ¬†Our friend, Penny, insisted that we all go out to celebrate Friday night (after I had spent all day doing the grocery shopping – 8 different stops – and sat at the barn for Kristen’s riding lesson in the cold. ¬†Did I mention, cold? ¬†I finally agreed to go and we met at the Cheesecake Factory for a celebratory dinner. ¬†With cake and balloons:

Karra's Big Girl Job party cake!
Karra’s Big Girl Job party cake!

Then Penny and her friend took Karra and Kurt to see Star Wars on the IMAX screen. ¬†Kristen and I got home from dinner at midnight. ¬†It was after 2am when the movie goers drug in. ¬†It was a fun night and I’m so glad that I went. ¬†We don’t celebrate enough in this family and I know that Joel would have said, “Go, have fun!” ¬†So, we did!

On Saturday the big sewing room move began.  Remember a year ago when I did the big clean and remodel in my sewing room, and it looked like this?



And I was so happy and excited to get started working in a clean and tidy environment.

Well . . . . . .  one year later my adorable, made-over sewing looked like this:




So, Kristen and I worked and put up shelves in the basement so the move could begin.

Before we got started, we gutted the area


And then we put up the shelves – after some warm discussions about how things should be leveled. ¬†She claims I’ve never worked with Dad. ¬†Well, let me tell ya; I quit helping Joel do remodeling after I couldn’t hold a piece of drywall over my head while he balanced it on the top of the door to screw it into the ceiling! ¬†The chair he was standing on broke, he fell, the drywall fell and I QUIT!

The shelves made it up. (On the right)


And then the moving began and the mess in the sewing room moved to the basement.





¬†It was hard to believe that I had all of that stuff in a tiny 4×9 room.

See the cute, fuzzy, black and white 4-footer? ¬†That’s my Luke!! ¬†See the back of the cute, not fuzzy, pajama clad 2-footer? ¬†That’s my Kurt!!

Don’t anybody panic – these are not the final pictures. ¬†We still have construction to do on the room – lattice on the back of the shelves, bead board on the ceiling and some sort of rug on the floor. ¬†I gained 108 square feet! ¬†It’s big enough for Kristen and I to work together. ¬†I’m thinking I want to hang a peg board where the curtain is to give us some hanging space. ¬†I’m planning to paint a section of the wall with magnet paint. ¬†I’m not certain how we’ll attach things to the cement block walls, so my happy wall decor has to stay in the old room for a little while. ¬†I’m hoping to show you the organized pictures later this week.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm

Time Sure Flies

Gosh, where is the year going? ¬†I can hardly turn around anymore without wondering where I am. ¬†Oh, that’s pretty usual for me isn’t it? ¬†Well, I guess if I ever figure out how I got to where I am, I might know where I meant to go. ¬†Make sense? ¬†Me neither.

I know I got pretty hyped up about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle a year ago and honestly I was pretty disappointed once I got it. ¬†I didn’t feel like it helped me or hit where I was at. ¬†Well, I told myself I wasn’t going to waste anymore money on those ebook bundles. ¬†Until Monday. ¬†I got this little 4-step mini-course on restarting your creative juices. ¬†I really enjoyed the challenge of looking at creativity as part of my life instead of something I do if/when I get the chance. ¬†So, I bought the bundle (it’s no longer available, sorry). ¬†I was surprised. ¬†Between the ebooks, ecourses and bonuses, I am going to be so busy, sewing, knitting, crafting, writing, learning to digitize photos, scrapbooking my smart phone photos – and the one I’m most excited about – learning to art journal, that I’m going to be super creative for two years at least!!! ¬†It just made the juices flow.

I told Kristen I’d have her new show vest done for Regionals (a week from Saturday), but things have gotten in the way (of course). ¬†So, between shopping for SOMETHING for Kurt’s birthday next week and making Easter dinner on Saturday so that it can warm in the oven while we’re at church on Sunday, I’ve GOT to find time to get her vest fitted and sewn. ¬†I promise pictures – I PROMISE!

I do have a great collection of pictures on my phone and just uploaded them to dropbox, so it should be easier to get them here and to photobucket. ¬†Anyone have experience with Snap Monkey? (I think that’s what it’s called). ¬†I’m not as happy withe photobucket as I thought I’d be.


Remember our art making cat, Catnip? ¬†He chased chickens yesterday. ¬†For a whole minute he thought he was a wild safari animal. ¬†Then he realized what he was doing and panicked. ¬†Silly cat. ¬†I guess he doesn’t really want to live free and in the wild.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm



The Transformation

Something came over me Friday. ¬†It was supposed to be Day 1 of our Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza. ¬†But no. ¬†I decided that my sewing room just had to be re-organized. ¬†Well, 2 days and about 17 hours later it has been transformed. ¬†My refuge, my sanctuary has been restored to peace and tranquility. ¬†It’s no wonder I’ve struggled the last few months. ¬†My place of peace was covered in cobwebs, dust, and chaos. ¬†My creative soul has now been revived. ¬†Kristen wants to steal my room – can you imagine? ¬†Here’s a peak at the move from chaos and dust to tranquility and restoration!

IMG_0421 Yes, the calendar actually folds up on itself when the room gets humid in the summer and it never goes back Рend of calendars in the sewing room!


Two cute thread holders that I don’t use because the cat eats the thread off the wall!


Um, somewhere in here are projects and things of importance – I’m sure of it.


Doesn’t any of this stuff have a home somewhere??


Oh, look! ¬†There IS a sewing machine in here. ¬†At least I think that’s a sewing machine buried under there.


Holy cow!! ¬†There’s the purple box full of expensive yarn that had to be thrown out because the cat decided to pee on it – grrrrr!! Bad Cat!

Are you ready?  Ta Da!!!!!!!


Welcome to my new and restored to full use sewing room!!


There was even a table under that sewing machine ūüôā


The hats above the window are from our last trip to the flea market in Shipshawana, IN.  My  Mom and I always forget to take a hat and then we have to buy them!  I love hats. This is also my favorite picture of the transformation.  I found some notes that I had jotted about wisdom lost in the shuffle of dust in the sewing cabinet.  I typed them up on the computer and printed it on cardstock and will frame it to put above the clock to balance that side of the window.

IMG_0424This is the toy organizer that Kurt emptied and got me started on the “I have to clean out my sewing room” roll. ¬†It is now brim full of projects – but they are finally organized projects!!

IMG_0429Just look at those shelves! ¬†I can actually find things and the box of cross-stitch floss isn’t hidden 2 shelves above my head!


Aren’t those cats on the bottom shelf cute? ¬†The large one is a duplicate of Kurt’s stuffed cat, Fred, ¬†that he got when he was about 18 months old. ¬†The cat is now flat, furless, and oh so still loved. ¬†This is Mama Fred and the little one is Baby Fred. ¬†I love them. ¬†Beside them is the mantle clock that belonged to my Grandma that my Mom left with me to take to a clock repair business near by. ¬†Yes, Mom, it got buried in the chaos and I forgot all about it (since May).

Behind the cats and the clock – organized onto ONE shelf – are all of my cross-stitch magazines that I kept, Christmas cross-stitch books and craft magazines, sewing and knitting magazines and books, and one notebook with miscellaneous patterns and project directions. ¬†I’m so pleased that I could narrow the pile to one shelf. ¬†I actually had Christmas craft items in THREE different places!

I can only hope that the kitchen cupboard/pantry makeover that is planned for after Christmas goes as well as this spur-of-the-moment project did.  I feel so, well, organized!!!

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm!