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Category Archives: Crafty

Party Pouches

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Check out the making-of the change purses we custom-created for a 7-year-old’s birthday party. The party theme was “Girls Night In” and featured a movie and snack bar from which the guests had to purchase their refreshments (with play money provided by the host). Enter the personalized change purses complete with wristlet feature to meet the needs of the modern 7-year-old about town. They were given to each guest as party favors and were, I’m told, a big hit.

The friend of a friend who ordered the pouches had the idea for them but was super flexible about the particulars – she just told me she wanted them to be girly, have a secure closure, and preferably be personalized with a wristlet. Colors, patterns, shape, and construction methods were left up to me. This is the kind of project I LOVE – I’m not really great with precision, as I think I’ve mentioned before. So I fiddled around with ideas and made a couple of prototypes to figure out the way they worked best for me, and then I went to town- one-woman-assembly style.



I got so into making these change purses that I cut out fabric for extras to sell on my (yet to be fully launched) Etsy shop. Have I done a thing with them? NO (but I’m blaming two weeks of helping run Girl Scout camp). Anyway – loved making these and loved working with my friend’s friend. And some glorious someday, when I finally launch the Etsy shop, maybe it will feature some pouches like this!


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There’s nothing quite like life’s door slamming in your face to motivate you to make sweeping changes where you can. I’m sure its a control thing – trying to exert control over the details of life that I am still (to some extent) in charge of. So in that vein, I’m announcing some big changes for The Spotted Elephant – the blog and the business.

Well, kind of. There are big changes coming, and I am announcing that….but that’s all I’m saying for now. We aren’t quite ready to reveal everything yet – but we are super excited about them and wanted to give a couple hints. Hint: a name change is coming!  Another Hint: an Etsy shop is in the works! (BTW: I thought the cat was pretty well out of the bag about Etsy – what it is, etc., but I recently found out that my own sister had never heard of it. SO – if you are currently thinking “what’s an Etsy?” please click the link and check it out – amazing online handmade marketplace!)

*Picture above taken with my new Cannon Rebel T3i at Girl Scouts during our water experimentation day. Its a picture of change. Get it? 🙂

I am the Web Master

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Today I felt like I could not possibly do our regularly scheduled house cleaning if my life depended on it. Luckily for me, I have a partner in crime who graciously stepped in and offered to do my portions of the chore for me. This is happening way more than it should this month – I have absolutely NO drive. So while Randy was toiling away on the house, I tried to make myself useful by completely revamping our Spotted Elephant website. It was my first time ever fiddling with the website and the MacBook Pro (we call him Mr. Macky because we tend to anthropomorphize EVERYTHING in our lives) made it super easy. I know the web site is not amazing or uber professional, but for our purposes I think it turned out pretty darn great. It also now features our newest staff member and male model – our nephew Daniel. Get used to seeing his face under our hats. 🙂

Go check it out…..and while you’re there, order something (if you want to)!

Click here to go to The Spotted Elephant Website

Two Week Wait Day 6: Things I Worry About

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Two Week Wait Day 6: Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yesterday was bad. I was nothing but nervous all day long. Today started out very promising – I woke up with a can-do attitude. I made French Toast. I marveled at nature and felt like I could do ANYTHING. And then without warning, the worries struck. So I thought it would be a fun exercise to list all the different, sometimes ridiculous worries that go through a person’s mind during the two week wait, when the crazy level gets turned WAY up.

A Sampling of Worries:

  • Water flushes things out of your system. If I drink a lot of water, will I flush out the embryos?
  • If I laugh too hard, will the vibrations dislodge the embryos?
  • If I cough too hard, will the vibrations dislodge the embryos?
  • What if that 12 pack of Coke and gallon of milk I just lifted were too much weight all at once?
  • Did I wait too long between taking my doses of progesterone?
  • Is my abdomen getting too hot with the dog laying on it? The nurse said no heating pads – she is like a living heating pad.
  • I was having a lot of breast tenderness and now its gone. Its all over! There’s no hope!
  • I need to dye my hair. Can I dye my hair? Better not – fumes.
  • My head hurts. Is this a normal headache or one of my classic PMS mondo-headaches?
  • I cried yesterday – I hope the emotional stress didn’t ruin my cycle. I know I just read the study that found that stress had no impact on the outcome of an IVF cycle but still….
  • I feel some twinges of cramping. Maybe its a pregnancy sign. Or maybe its PMS. 😦
  • My temperature is too high – the embryos are burning alive.
  • My temperature dipped down to normal for the first time since the transfer. Maybe the higher temp was a good thing and this dip means its all over!
  • I’m surrounded by so much support right now and its really keeping me going, but…. what if this cycle fails? I will disappoint everyone and they won’t like me anymore. They won’t care about me like they do now because I won’t be interesting anymore – I’ll just go back to being bitter and sad and no fun to be around.

Suffice to say, my brain is a messed up place right now and I have to give a hand to the people who are on the front lines every day, trying to help me sort out the crazy. Randy is my superhero – he managed to get me up and out of the house yesterday for a date and he coordinated us working together to actually accomplish something in between worries – this custom quilt for a loyal customer.

Note: This pic was taken in the elegant surroundings of Randy’s cube at work with our broken camera, so no judgment on the less than stellar quality, please 🙂

Also, Randy: cleaned the entire house, changed the cat litter, went through Mt. Mail and organized it, cleaned out the fridge, went grocery shopping where he bought us some Samoas :), made dinner for tonight AND a casserole for tomorrow’s dinner, washed our sheets and re-clothed the bed, took care of Zipper’s every need, washed-folded-put away about 5 loads of laundry, AND took apart my camera to see if he could fix it (Note: do not take apart your digital camera – turns out there are bajillions of tiny screws and microscopic parts that you can barely pick up, much less screw back into place. Randy was able to use his patience and attention to detail to get everything back where it belonged but I don’t think many people would. The camera needs SERIOUS professional help.) And he probably did about 10 other things I’m forgetting right now. I don’t know how I was so lucky as to find my Randy, but I’m thankful for him every second of every day. And he doesn’t laugh at my crazy worries. 🙂

Cycle Days 10 &11: There’s Life Outside of Fertility Treatments!?

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Cycle Days 10 & 11 – Thursday and Friday, February 10 & 11

So it turns out there is life outside of fertility treatment – who knew? Jobs, craft deadlines, housework, and family/friend events march on despite the inconvenience it causes me – the nerve! Actually, being busy is good. Any amount of time I’m thinking about something OTHER than follicles, eggs, embryos, hormone levels, pregnancy symptoms, injections, ultrasounds, etc. is vital to my sanity right now. So after a very brief treatment update (not much new to report) I am going to actually post about the other stuff going on these days!


Once your follicles and hormone levels progress to a certain point, you have to keep a tight reign on them, because they just may go rogue and decide to mature TOO fast. Enter Ganirelix – another nightly injection that keeps me from ovulating too soon (remember this in a few days when I talk about the injection I will take to induce ovulation). I added Ganirelix to my nightly cocktail Thursday – and other than itchiness at the injection site it doesn’t change much about the routine. I will be taking Ganirelix every night until its time for the ovulation induction.


Okay – on to regular life!

I finished the Cookie Monster hat I custom made for Tricia and I LOVE it!


Randy and I started a low carb, high lean protien, low fat diet and pictured above is my first ever Chipotle order that wasn’t of the burrito persuasion. My order: salad with grilled chicken, onions, and peppers, corn and tomato salsa, and a sprinkling of cheese. I brought Greek yogurt with me to sub for the sour cream. Although it was no burrito, it was much better than what I had been eating this week. Upon reflection, Randy and I have decided that life without bread is not worth living. That particular diet lives no more under our roof.


We started our program at another school this week – a school housed in an amazing old building that I hope to document through many more photos of over the coming weeks. I will leave you with my new favorite quote – overheard in the 4th/5th grade group this week:

Girl A: I can’t believe he kicked you in the knee!

Girl B: I know. But the next time I see him I’m gonna kick him right in the peeny-wacker!

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I worked on a custom hat for a friend this weekend. and had a photo shoot. and played around with iPhoto. The results are below. 🙂

Now We’re In Business!

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Today we finally turned the corner in the craft room. I can tell because I no longer feel like I’m on the verge of a panic attack every time I enter. I call that success.

The Big Picture:


The Details:

Yarn sorted by fiber type AND color! I’ve died and gone to heaven.


Fabric scraps folded and sorted by color. Its Christmas all over again.


A beautiful basket of my favorite fat quarters. I like just gazing at it.


Watch out – get ready for some serious crafting, the likes of which this town has never seen.