Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I think I have become someone I do not especially like.  I have been working so hard at trying to find some balance and freaking out because I need to make some career changes (and that is scary - especially because I am 38 years old and the bread winner!!). I have been forgetting to take care of the little things.  I have gained back the 15 pounds I lost in the spring, my house is a disaster and I have fudged Penelope's home reading the last two weeks.  I think I deserve a great big F in life lately - I know I can do better.  I will do better.

I miss PITA, she helped me keep my head above the water when I was not doing to great job at it myself.... I need to get my poop back in a group.  A winning lottery ticket would be helpful... I am worried that if I give up the shop all together, I will feel like I did when my Grandmothers died - I was in an emotional black hole for months with both of them.  It won't be the same I know but I am worried none the less because already everyday all I want to do is stay home and cook and clean and hide.  I will admit, I am getting a little worried about me.

I read a quote about Pinterest today.  Same goes for my blog.  I wish CH would read and look at who I am, I don't think he really knows. I am no sure it would help him but it might, a little.  I tend to keep everything in - well not everything.  I love to write.  It is a safe and easy way for me to talk about how I feel.

"It hadn't occurred to me that such an online service also would be a window into me for my husband who sees me every day."
The Wall Street Journal

I have a huge list of what I should be doing and I am spending all of my time here - or reading blogs or pinning.  So off the frickity-frackin' computer and onto more productive things!

:o)  Tina

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fill in the Blank Monday - what the???

I have been away - well not really away, but away from an internet connection that works well enough for a blog post even on my phone - for the last few days (Wednesday night through Sunday night).  I was at a craft fair selling some of the things I have accumulated over the years - including slippers and hats that my Mum crochets, quilts and quilted things that were previously samples in the shop, and some crafty things that I like to make to sell.  It went really well, I had a vintage quilt that I sold for $75.  I was pleased.

I thought I would have time to post this on Friday but I was at the craft fair until 9 and then came to the shop for Quilt Till You Wilt until almost midnight.  I was so pooped I went straight to bed.

Baby Hayden, when he was about 10 days old.
He is now 5 1/2 weeks!
Saturday was pretty much the same.  At the mall until 6, then to the Smokies game (which they won!!!) and them home and right to bed. It was a great game, CH me and PITA's men were hoarse from yelling at the refs and cheering for our team.  It was SO fun!

Sunday, I had the craft fair and then another baby shower for my lovely new nephew Hayden, and then back to the craft fair and home to bed.  I am starting to feel a little more normal and have a crap load of laundry to catch up on tonight!

*I just spent the last hour and a half on Pinterest.  I got side tracked there while looking for an image of a needle and thread to use as a section break in my post.  Pinterest - oh so good, yet so very very bad.

1. Waking up at the break of dawn to go shopping is my idea of complete and utter madness!  There is no way on God’s green earth that I would wake up at dawn to go shopping in the freezing cold no matter how good the deal was!  American’s are nuts – we do not have a shopping day like that in Canada and if we did I am sure I would not attend (although the rest of my family probably would, Grandpa, CH, my Dad, every one of them loves a great deal and will go out of their way for it).

2. If I were to go shopping today I would be on the hunt for a stainless steel kettle.  I am tired of the electric one and would like something a little more interesting to sit on my stove.  My dear sweet cousin Tegan has one with a bird that whistles in the spout - you can take it out and let the water keep boiling - I covet it. I am a "little" OCD about my tea making process and like to keep the water at a full boil while I hot my mug and it would be nice to do it without the kettle whistling and annoying everyone (but me).  The Little Man with his own little dose of OCD, comes and unplugs is while I am standing there.  I think OCD might be hereditary.

So I found it!!!  This is the one my cousin has - did I mention that she lives in the British Properties?  I can buy this puppy for 90 pounds or about $175!  I don't think so!
Source: amara.co.uk via Tina on Pinterest

3. The best thing I ate yesterday was ... I never had anything exceptionally good.  Tim Horton’s sandwich for lunch and greasy spoon fish and chips for dinner. Wasn’t terrible but wasn’t special like an American Thanksgiving turkey dinner or anything either. :o)

4. Something I've been learning lately is that sometimes is it okay when you have to give up your dreams and start over. I am starting over with the shop and hoping to get it right this time and to always remember that I am doing it for the love of doing it and making money from it will (hopefully) come from that, rather than trying so hard to make money from it, trying so hard to have everything everyone asks for - and getting lost in that concept.  I want to feel like I am working for me again!.

5. I cannot start my day without a cup of tea! (Duh!) I also need like an hour to drink it and wake up.  I am not very good at mornings - even when I don't I stay up too late at night.

6. My night time attire consists of nothing at all! Sheets, a feather duvet and a nice snuggly husband. Eewww. Don’t like my answer do you PITA? Hahaha. Just being honest. :o)

7. I am looking forward to everyday!  Other than money and the constant disaster area my home is, I would not change anything. My life is wonderful, and I look forward to everyday with my amazing short people and the rest of the pack.

So for now, good bye but I will talk to you soon. I have been pinning all day and it has given me lots of inspiration for posts. I think I need to make a "look book" with the things that I have made... Shall I pin it or post it? Probably both!

:o) Tina

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Local Blogger AND Fabulous Artist!

It is such a small world - especially here in the Kootenays.  I am always meeting people that have connections to people that I already know.  The other day Jen and I were talking about my hopes for the direction of the shop and she mentioned this great local artist whose talents I may want to draw upon.  I had a look and LOVE her style.

Source: etsy.com via Tina on Pinterest

So, I am poking around her blog and am led to her portfolio - which includes basic webdesign for her Aunt's store in Creston.  So strange, I know her Aunt - not like she is my bestie but to say hello and perhaps make small talk.  Anyway, I am looking at her picture - her about me photo on her blog and I am thinking - I know this girl.  That was Tuesday.  On Saturday, she comes into the shop to pick up her serger (we were servicing it for her) and I instantly know who she is!  I love that, definitely a perk to small town living.

Hanna Sandvig - check her out on her blog, Hanna's Life is Cool.  Stay tuned for an beautiful blog makeover - I sent her an email...

Source: etsy.com via Tina on Pinterest

:o) Tina

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Were You Wondering?

I have not been posting about the books I have been reading, because I have not really been reading much.  I read a big string of really great books, and have been in a bit of a slump since.  If you have any recommendations for something I will not be able to put down, I am all ears.  For the last three weeks I have been reading The DaVinci Code in hopes of discovering some big secret.  :o)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

I always use the image provided by the little things we do to fill in the blanks, but this week seems kind of inappropriate - it does NOT look like this outside right now.  Everything is covered in snow!

This is my neighborhood... pretty, huh?
Source: google.ca via Tina on Pinterest

1. A nervous habit I have is chewing the inside of my cheek I would love to stop doing this mostly because it is a dead give away when something is bothering me and the more I am chewing the worse the problem and the more obvious to those close to me and chances are I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT! :p

2. Something that makes me sad is the way that people treat each other. I work really hard to make sure that the children I am raising today grow up to be gentle, caring, responsible, considerate adults - and that they are that way as children as well.

3. Today I am thankful for my friends. I am so happy that this circle has expanded, I have PITA, Andrea, Krista, Lynette, Karen, Jessie, ... - it is so nice to have a bunch of close friends again after a few years of feeling abandoned by the people I thought were my friends during my 20s.

4. My favorite room in my house is my bedroom. It is the only room in the house that is clean and tidy all (most) of the time. It is all white and yellow and cozy and my bed is the comfiest ever and I love it.

5. I can't stand the value society has put on the stuff a person has over the value they put on who a person is. Why does it matter what you have or what you look like, it should only matter who you are and how you conduct yourself as a human being.

6. If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would take my kids to dinner at Boston Pizza and go to a movie. I have been a little extra broke lately and I would really like to have a little spending money for a treat for them. :o)

7.The last person I hung out with was Andrea. She is my favorite lunch buddy! Right before she left, Lynette came and we had a really great talk. I love her so much and so grateful for her! For both of them! :o)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A New Approach to an Old Plan

I want feed back - please comment!!!  I am about to embark on a huge change in my shop - and hopefully my life - and I want to hear what you have to say. (Nothing negative though please - negativity messes with my head).

I asked for a sign from God and the electricity was turned off.  Was that a sign?  I asked for a sign from God and my till got robbed.  Was that a sign?  I don't know.  I don't want to give up all together, I want to change.  I want to grow and to become something.  I want to continue being creative and feeling the way that I feel when I am teaching a class of presenting someone with the beautiful (original) quilt that I made them (PITA, I need pictures please).

So I am going to find a way to grow and to change and to prosper.  I am willing to put in the work.  I want a good life, an easier life - for me and for my children.  I want for them the childhood I had.  Never having to worry, always getting what I really wanted.  Being happily carefree. 

The shop when it was in my home...

She was my reason for keeping it simple.  I want to get back to the basics.

Since I began Sugar Shack Quilting in November of 2005, it has undergone an enormous amount of change – all of which seems to happen beginning in the month of November! (I was approved for the self-employment program in November 2005 and began the loan application process to expand in November 2007.)

When Sugar Shack first began and I was going through the self-employment program, the co-ordinator at the time said to me that writing a business plan was like taking a 1,000 piece puzzle, throwing all of the pieces up in the air and then putting them all together so that you can see the big picture.  I remember the feeling after my business plan was done of knowing how right she was to give that advice.  So, now, on the cusp of another big change, I am beginning the re-write of my business plan.  This time I am doing it only for me, to get my feet on the ground, to see where I am want to go and how I will get there – or if it is even a possibility.

In February 2008, I moved the shop taking over an existing shop downtown and transforming it into the bigger, better than in my family room, version of Sugar Shack that I hoped it would be. I thought it would be so much more profitable - busy all the time - I thought that was what I wanted.  I was wrong on both counts and now, in November 2011, I have given my notice in the space I am in and am planning for the future.

During the course of my mental planning I realized that a lot of where I wanted to go with the shop is very much where I have already been.  When I started, I started with the idea of selling the work of others as well as my own but I had not really gotten my creative feet under me yet.  I really wanted to have and sell fabric and felt that it was the be all end all of my crafting life.  I have since learned that it takes a little bit of everything as well as a lot of talent to create and it takes even more than that to be successful and to make a profit.  I have made a lot – a lot – of mistakes along the way, but I have learned so much.  I am at the point now where I want to fix the mistakes, take what I have learned and apply it to a changed concept.  I have new ideas and I want to pursue them.  I have old ideas that are resurfacing and I want to re-explore them as well.  I am excited for change.  I just need to pause and get on the right page so that I know how to do the things I need to do to get back to where I want to be – so here I sit, writing my business plan for the third time in 6 years!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

1. My favorite new blog of the moment is not new, but I love The Blogess - always good for a chuckle; there are about 20 million craft blogs that I love as well. The thing is, that since I was granted a Pinterest account (thank you Karen!), I have been reading blogs via their images.  Love, love, love Pinterest.

2. Something I am thankful for is PITA and her ability to "get" me.  Means a lot Lady. x

3. Something that made me laugh this week was ... sadly, I cannot think of a big laugh that I had this week. I will have to try to lighten up a little this week!

4. An item that is currently on my wish list is stainless steel kettle. My electric kettle is on its last legs and since I leave it out all the time, I think a nice stainless one on the stove would be much nicer.  :o)

Source: amazon.com via Tina on Pinterest

5. I am excited about moving the shop to a new (cheaper) location and the renewal I will feel and the excitement that it will create for me and for my customers. I am looking forward to heading in a little bit different direction - more of a creative retail space where people come to work and learn and create and just to gather - and of course to buy.  This is the spot I am hoping for - I would really like to purchase this building but I do not have the ability to do so now - maybe next year.  :o)

6. If I were a color I would be yellow. It's cheerful but mellow. Happy but not overly exciting. It is the colour of sunshine and is often associated with joy, happiness and intellect. Here is good link to read about the meaning of colour.

7. My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by puttering around the house, maybe doing some sewing or crafting, and cooking something yummy for dinner. I like to be at the shop on chilly days too - warm inside, cold outside always makes me smile.

Well, I am off to shop for Quilt Till You Wilt. Talk to you later.

:o) Tina

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stumbled Upon

Felt like I needed to write up a post.  Didn't feel very inspired.  Went to Pinterest.  Inspiration problem solved.  This is what I found. :o)

Love this.  I might make one for the door of the shop. Everyone needs a little something every now and then and this will at least provide them with a smile.

Source: facebook.com via Mandy on Pinterest

So badly want to get this for the smoker of my Christmas list but I am pretty sure she would not see the humor in it. :o)

This is SO me. I am ridiculous. When I am not running from the imaginary things in the basement I am actually quiet normal. I think.  But then again, if you think you are crazy then you  probably aren't.  :o)

Source: facebook.com via Tina on Pinterest

I would like to make one of these before the shorties hands are bigger than mine. The Little Man is quickly turning into the Medium Man. :o)

I would like to plan my whole house around this table runner. Although most days you would not be able to see past all of the kid junk to see it! It is so pretty and crafy and I love it.

I gotta go to bead. My eyelids are suddenly not wanting to stay in their correct position.

:o) Tina

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

My baby snuggling with PITA's baby. :o)
1. My favorite thing about this week was all the snuggle time I got with baby Hayden. Nothing makes me feel more calm, at peace, and happy as snuggles from a child that I love and a fresh baby is even better!

2. Colder weather makes me happy. I love to stay inside and sew and always feel guilty doing so when it is sunny and warm - not to say I do not love a day outside with my kids at the beach or at the park. I just love it when everyone wants to stay home and I get something yummy on for dinner early in the day and it is filling the house with delicious smells and the kids are happy doing there own things and I am sewing and CH is sleeping in his chair. Sitting down with my giant mug of Tetley, flipping on HGTV or Discovery and sewing makes me very happy.

My Charming Husband enjoying
a Canucks' game. Take note of the
iPhone securely in his hand and
remote strategically placed at his
elbow where I will not be able to
get it without alerting him to the
fact that I am about to turn the
channel!  :o)
3. Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are Hayden, my kids (always, everyday for almost ten years), the fact that I know something new and wonderful is right around the corner waiting to be discovered.

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose comfy flip flops. Although I like the cold weather I like to have naked feet (hot feet make me feel frustrated) and wear flip flops or sandals as much as possible, for as long as possible.

5. My personality type is INFP Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving.  I am would not have thought myself to be introverted but I paid $5 for this test so it must be right - right?

6. I have a serious problem resisting anything crafty.  I love the way it feels to become creatively inspired and seek it at craft fairs, quilt shows, Pinterest, Etsy, my friend Krista (she always gets me ready for a creative adventure).  I was also recently led to Craft Gawker (but I have been going to the link and Pinning stuff rather than having another internet addiction). 

7. My favorite color to wear is I cannot give one answer to this questions - I love colour. Right now I am wearing "hot" pink. I love orange, red and almost any shade of pink (but not peach!), turquoise, and blue (not baby blue!). I always wear black or denim on the bottom but have always wanted to try khakis.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Maybe I need some medication.  I feel way better today  - although being broke is still p'ing me off - but I have been really off my game the last few months.  The thing is, it is not just being broke, it is being unsuccessful that bothers me (and hurts me).  I am almost 40, I should not be getting disconnection notices from utility companies.  I should not be worried about how I am going to afford ski lessons, dance lessons, Christmas gifts.  My life was meant to be easier than this.  Uh oh, maybe I am not feeling any better!  Hahaha

On a more positive note, I have been working on Mini PITA's quilt the last couple of days and it is coming along nicely.  I know PITA will love it!  I found an illustration in my travels and am using that as my basis.  I am pretty excited about it - I love it when my creative juices are flowing and the sewing machine is whirring away and projects are coming together.  I spent the last weekend and this week making sure than my house is nice and tidy so that I could take the time I would be cleaning this weekend to SEW!!  Pretty excited.  I still have to put the rest of the kitchen stuff away... oh yah, did I tell you it was finished... or sort of.  Another coat of paint still has to be done and the doors and drawers put back on but the sink is in!

I have tried to contact littledewdrops.com to ask for permission to use the image but have had no luck - when I click on the email link it does not work.  If you know them or are them PLEASE CONTACT ME.  I am going to work out the pattern but I don't know if I can sell it or if they will, so check back.

:o)  Tina

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Weight of the World

I just got off the phone with H1.  I called him to ask about snow pants and to talk to him about ski lessons for the Little Man - you know, to make sure he was okay with Dominic going every Saturday for a few weeks in a row.  We got on the topic of Dominic doing chores and the mess which is the exterior of my house.  H1 expressed that he felt bad for me because I carry the weight of the whole family on my shoulders and I do it alone.  :(  I take care of the home, manage the finances, organize the shorties, I am the bread winner, and I have to take care of the yard work.  He is right.  I look forward to the day that Dominic is old enough to help out more.  PITA was bugging me yesterday about him mowing the lawn - that he already should be.  IF HE COULD DON'T YOU THINK HE WOULD BE SO I HAD ONE LESS THING TO WORRY ABOUT?  Damn right.  Hopefully next year...

So H1 said something about wishing that I was not so negative about Shannon (that is the step-mother - we will call her WSM from now on) because...  blah blah blah.  I stopped listening and told him why I was negative about her.  H1 and I both cheated - I got caught and therefore admitted it and he did neither - until today.  So I say to him, of course I am bitter with her, she ended my marriage.  I had a fling - a couple of days and then it was over and never happened again.  I got pregnant with the Little Man and we moved to Christina Lake to try to start fresh.  She pursued him even after we left North Vancouver and he let her!  And he fooled me until I left and saw all the things that I had not wanted to see.  And, Halla-fin-luya, he for the first time today did not deny it!!!!  Now I am mad and sad and frustrated and stuck at work by myself (thank Goodness for Blogger!).... in part because I finally have confirmation of what I have always known; in part because I have confirmation from my X-freaking-husband that my life is hard and pathetic; and partly because sometimes I feel sorry for myself (and this is clearly one of those times).

I have told my brother more than once - if you do not like your life, change it.  I need to take my own advice and make some drastic improvements quickly.  I am sinking and everyone  around me can see it (except, strangely, for CH) - even my X-husband!

Today will get better.

:o)  Tina