Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crossing Things Off My List

I have been wanting to submit my manuscript to an agent for awhile. I sent it off to a few publishing houses that accept unsolicited submissions earlier this year with no success, and I thought why not see if the agent route would work better for me? If I think my manuscript is worthy of publication, then shouldn't I think it is worthy of having someone other than me fight for it?

So I did my research and found an agent I am interested in and I have sent it off via cyberspace. I totally unduly stress myself out over these things . . . I want everything to be 1000% perfect and so I get all tweaked, and I am sure I annoy all of my friends and family. I received a very nice auto response saying:

"Thanks for your submission, if we want your stuff we'll let you know, if you don't hear from us in six weeks then go jump off a cliff."

. . . ok, that isn't really what it said.

I suppose I shall use the next six weeks to research other agents I feel might be a good fit for me, because the odds are that the first agent will say no . . . actually they won't even say it, they just won't ever email me back.

I realize these are the odds, but even so I will probably react like this at the end of six weeks when my email box is sad and lonely and empty:

Isn't this an awesome photo? It's one of my "sneak peeks" from the photo shoot the babies did with Marisa a few months ago. Doesn't Maddie look as if she should be sitting in the middle of war-torn Sarajevo or somewhere equally awful? But she's not. She's sitting on a trolley track in Glendale. I suppose as a mom I should look at this photo and say "awww poor baby," but I don't. I look at it and laugh hysterically.

Here is our sneak peek of James from the same session. Notice he is not screaming. He's just standing about looking beautiful. That's pretty much how James handles getting his picture taken . . . it's sort of like "well of course you are taking my picture, why wouldn't you?"

Agent submissions aside, I am horribly behind on the rest of my life due to this whole working for a living thing. If you are waiting for a package in the mail from me, I promise they are all going out Friday . . . Saturday at the latest. Really . . . I promise.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Contributing Writer at MamaBuzz

I have some exciting news! I have become a contributing writer at MamaBuzz! I will be contributing articles on the topics of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Crafts and Creative Projects, and Entertainment. I am super excited! Make sure to check out MamaBuzz (note the new awesome button in my side bar), and the contributors page where you can see a bio of yours truly. I am working on my first article and hoping to get it finished up and submitted this weekend in. So look for it in the next week or so!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shop Feature - Rya Creations

Just a quick reminder - you can still enter to win one of my zippy ruffle pouches on Miss Print - giveaway open until July 23rd!
I recently won a giveaway on Shey B, which is pretty amazing because she has a ton of readers and hundreds of entries for giveaways. I won a bracelet from a shop called Rya Creations and I love it so much I thought it would be fun to feature the bracelet and the shop in a post!
Rya Creations is a shop full of gorgeous one of a kind bracelets and brooches, run by the lovely Robin. Here is what she says about her shop:

***I am a proud SAHM, living in beautiful Montana, born and bred. I dabble in all sorts of crafts and art, basically anything I can get my hands on! I will be adding some photography to my shop very shortly and closer to winter will be adding some crochet scarfs. And who knows what else! Congrats to Jessica for winning!***

Here is the bracelet I won!

It has gorgeous, creamy pearls in three different sizes. I wear it to work all of the time, it instantly classies up whatever outfit I am wearing for the day (is classies a word? If it isn't, it should be.)

Here is an action shot of my bracelet at work:

My coworker claims it makes me look tan(ner), there are few things whiter than me, but thankfully I am not lighter than pearls ;)

Robin's shop is full of lovliness . . . here are a few of my favorites:

Shades of Gray

Spring Me Some Green

Apple Corral

Pearls at the Wedding

Are you drooling yet? You should be!

Be sure and visit Rya Creations and Robin's blog Robin in Reality.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zippy Ruffle-y Love

My little ruffle pouch has grown up and moved out on it's own . . . all the way over to the blogiversary giveaway on Miss Print! The fabulous Kaye is having her two year anniversary party including four days of giveaways with several giveaways each day. Today my blue and brown zippy ruffle pouch is one of the featured giveaways. Yay me!
So make sure to head on over and enter to win!
If you are coming from Miss Print, welcome!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jamie's Birthday - recap

Just thought I'd share some of these pictures from Jamie's party because he is the total cuteness and deserves to be bragged about. . . . I promise this is the last post about his party . . . I have to move on because tomorrow is my turn in the big ol' giveaway Kaye is organizing on her blog Miss Print . . . I suppose if you must you can go over there now to enter the last three days worth of giveaways . . . you, know, like if awesome prizes really mean that much to you.

My son wants to be a cook, he loves everything domestic, he especially loves these Melissa and Doug wooden pot and pan set from Grandma, Pop Pop and Uncle Andy. Yes, those are his real eyelashes, it is so not fair.

He is apparently also a fan of monetary gifts.

A family picture, sort of kind of. Look ma, Maddie has no face! (And Daddy got wet supervising Maddie's pool time.)

James loves to snuggle up on Grammy (his great-Grammy), he lays his head on her lap so she can play with his hair.

Maddie spent pretty much the entire party in the pool, a big thanks to Rebecca for all of her Maddie monitoring time!

The party was a rousing success, and just think in a year we get to do it all over again!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jamie's Birthday - Field of Dreams . . . er, Cake

I am not a cake decorator. I never will be a cake decorator. I'd like things I spend so much time on to last more than a few minutes. However, I want my kids to have cute birthday cakes and (here's the rub) I don't want to spend large amounts of cash to get said cute cakes.

Earlier in the year I perfected my "grass" frosting technique with Maddie's Winne the Pooh birthday cake, and I was able to whip it out once again for Jamie's "Field of Dreams / Angel's Stadium Without Any Walls Or Other Identifiable Features" birthday cake.

The color is a bit off on these pictures because I took them with my iPhone mid-decorating at 2:30 am the morning of the party . . . cause, um, yeah . . .

I am pretty sure there are a few daylight pictures of this cake on the cd Grammy gave me, I so hope so because pretty much all I have of the cake from the party is this:

I love how the candle is standing amidst the wreckage . . . like a noble warrior among the destruction of his homeland . . .

Or something.

James seems to have enjoyed his cake and ice cream at least.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jamie's Birthday - Angels Bunting

My one big crafting project for Jamie's first birthday party was his Angels baseball bunting. I've been wanting to do bunting for awhile, and oh my goodness it is so easy! This is definitely one of those projects where the reward is greater than the work put in! I followed this super easy tutorial from Deb of Works in Progress. The nice thing is she doesn't give you a ton of measurements so you are free to go with your own size for your triangles. I did a sort of mediumish triangle, and I freehanded my template, so it was a bit wonky on one side, probably if I was going for a cleaner look I'd print a triangle template.

I used both white and red fabric I got in the bargain section at M&L fabrics for under $2 a yard, and I think I had a yard of each (I did have some left over). The Angels fabric I got from my Mom - I looked everywhere for fabric with the current logo on it and was totally stymied at every turn! I am sorry, but it is just plain wrong that fabric stores within spitting distance of the Big A are carrying Red Sox fabric of all things, but no Angels fabric (in their defense both did have Angels fleece, but somehow fleece just does not say summer pool party to me). But of course, my super Mom had Angels fabric on hand! And yes, purists may complain that it is the least loved of all the Angel's logos, the wing logo from when they were owned by Disney, just a little too Angels in the Outfield for all of us die hard fans, but the point is, it's Angels MLB fabric, so there.

The one major alteration I did add was letters, my bunting is so long (too long in my opinion) that you can't really see all in one picture that it says Happy 1st Birthday James.

I am actually quite proud of my lettering because I freehanded it as well, and I have never been good at drawing bubble letters.

For those of you that have never appliques, it is so easy . . . especially raw-edge applique like this. You just iron some wonder-under on to your fabric, pin on your template (backwards so it ends up front facing on your finished item):

Cut it out, peel off the backing on the wonder-under, iron it (right side up this time) onto your project and then sew it on. Ta-da! I was kind of hoping I could skip the sewing part as it was getting closer and closer to my deadline, but it was not to be. I think it ended up looking cute anyway - especially the red stitching on the white letters.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jamie's Birthday - Just Another Halo Victory!

I am going to be doing some catch up posts . . . the end of June was so insanely busy, and it feels like it has just ramped up since then! So I am going to do a series of posts on Jamie's first birthday party. His theme was Angels baseball (whoo hoo!) and we had the party at my friend Liz's pool.

His invites were to die for cute, and designed by my great friend Tori. Jamie has his own baseball card!



The decorations were pretty minimal as it was poolside, but I did manage to score an awesome Angels mylar at the party decor story by Grammy's house (which meant I made her pick up the balloons on the way to the party . . . she stuffed them in a plastic garbage bag but apparently the garbage bag kept floating around in her car so she had to pull over and stuff it in the trunk.

Our good friends the Samuelsons got Jamie this awesome hat - doesn't he look ready for the majors?

And here is the aforementioned Angel's bunting, I will put up a separate post about it tomorrow with the link to the tutorial I used to make it. It ended up a little bit long, but I think it added a certain summer feel to the party decor.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Giveaway Alert - Fabric Love!

Marie Madeline Studio is having an insanely great giveaway for a bundle of twenty-one (yes, 21, you read me right) fat quarters from the Flower Sugar 2 collection. That is one fat quarter of every print in the collection! I am seriously all twitterpated over this fabric right now.

Let us take a moment to drool over it shall we?

Ooooooh, pretty . . .

Be sure to head on over to Marie Madeline to enter!

Monday, July 5, 2010

100th Post! And Winners!

This is my 100th post! Though this blog has been around over for two years, it has gone through periods of neglect and reimagining . . . and now I have finally reached that 100th post milestone . . . and how cool that it is a post to tell you who the winners of my last two Birthday month giveaways are!
The winner of the Birthday Month giveaway #5, the apron pattern, purse pattern, and ruffled pouch, is . . .

Sy . . . who is apparently very lucky on my blog because she won giveaway #3 as well!
And the winner of the final Birthday giveaway . . . the Your Space sewing/decorating book, ruffled pouch, and special surprise handmade item is . . .

makeitgiveit . . . be sure to check out her amazing blog chronicling 100 creative challenges she is completing in 2010.
Congratulations to the winners! Be sure to be looking for emails from me!
We are finally starting to get back on track after a week long illness . . . it started with Maddie on my birthday, and then we all got sick soon after. We are feeling better but haven't quite gotten life back on track, especially as I was offered my old job (temporarily until November as the company is closing this location). They actually offered my slightly better than my old salary, and so here I am back at work for 4 or 5 months. This is my third day and I am having a hard time adjusting to being a working mommy as I miss my little beans dreadfully.
I do have an exciting giveaway on another blog coming up soon! I will give you all details when I have them but I am thrilled to be participating in a giveaway on Miss Print. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birthday Giveaway! . . . only one day late!

I apologize for posting this a day late! Yesterday was my birthday and I started out the day at 3 am getting my 2 year old's cookies tossed all over me and running her a cool bath to reduce her fever.

Fun times.

We did manage to make it out of the house for a few hours, at 8 pm, to do some celebrating, yay!

So without further ado, here is the final birthday month giveaway. Remember, this weeks earlier giveaway is still open until Sunday night, so make sure to enter here.

First I have this awesome book called Your Space by Shannon Mullen, it has awesome projects for your home with gorgeous photos and step by step instructions.

I had to take some pictures of the inside too, the fabric choices are so yummy!

Also, yet another of my handmade zippy ruffled pouches in the small makeup bag size, it has a tone on tone ruffle and then a contrasting inside.

Last but not least, a little handmade lovely by me, what is it you ask? It's a secret! And therefore there is no picture of it ;)

So what must you do to win?

Simply leave me a comment telling me if you've done any sewing for your home, or what you'd like to make in the future!

For extra entries (and you know I love those extra entries), leave me a separate comment for each that you do:

1) Follow my blog

2) Leave a comment on any other non-giveaway post on my blog

3) Follow me on Twitter

4) Tweet about this giveaway and include a link to this post and @narniamum

Here is a sample tweet:

#giveaway Spice up your space with fabric - win the book Your Space on @narniamum http://bit.ly/cHwPJF

I will close the giveaway on Wednesday, July 7th at 11:59 pm, and post a winner on Thursday, July 8th).

Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for entering!