Saturday, March 27, 2010


I've had allergies all my life, but a new one has been cropping up lately and it is driving me absolutely crazy. It's tags--the tags they put on the inside back of the neck of shirts and tops. Those simple little pieces of fabric, so unassuming, supposedly just there for our to wash, size of garment, and so much more information in a font size I would never use in any document. Yet those teeny, tiny, little tags feel like freeway billboards made out of the roughest burlap ever imagined, continuously scratching and irritating my skin.

I know I'm not alone. I've often wondered why companies choose to use the scratchiest fabric for those tags, but let's admit it, it's all about the cost. Using silk would be cost-prohibitive. And they can't put the tags somewhere else, because then they wouldn't have that "free", constant advertising for their company. I know that some of the newer garments have the information printed on the shirt instead of a fabric tag and I applaud those companies, but that's not all companies yet.

So in the meantime, I cut--or want to cut, but wear something underneath instead--all the tags off my shirts and tops. I hate doing that though, because we like to donate our clothing to good causes when we outgrow it.

It's ridiculous that something so small can irritate me so much. I scratch, then catch myself and stop. I apply our Healing Lotion, Herbal Salve, etc. to heal my skin, then put on the wrong shirt and it starts all over again. Right now while I'm typing this, I can feel the tag in my shirt digging down into my skin getting ready to drive me crazy. What do other people do?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mini Me--How Did THAT Happen?

I've worked in different types of companies and different positions. Like everyone else, I tend to bring my work home, talk about it over dinner, or just think out loud about problems I'm wrestling with.
When you think your kids aren't listening is when you should pay the most attention to what you're saying. Because later it can come back to haunt you....
My son has picked up on all the bath and body product conversations at home. And now that we are getting a new building, he's into colors and decorating, because that's what I'm talking about. I watch his mannerisms and at first wondered where he got them, and then BAM! I realized he's a little version of me! OMG do I do that with my hands? ...that little cock of the head? YES I DO!
Now I'm paying closer attention to those things he does. Yes, he has my mannerisms when talking about sugar scrubs and perfumes and the wall colors. His facial expressions when he gets passionate about something (like math and spelling) are versions of me. And the worst part is when he says things that make me stop in my tracks because it's something I've actually said and never knew he was listening. And it's usually when we're in a store or other public place with people around.
The funniest thing he did recently was when we took him to our new Heaven and Earth Essentials building to check out how the remodeling was going. He did the "Oh My Gosh!", hands up to the face, reaction that you see on Extreme Makeover-Home Edition every week. It was hilarious!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Telling it Like it is--Whether You Want to Hear it or Not

I spent part of my day today talking with my brother. He has been in sales and marketing all his life (yes, ALL his life--even as a little kid he was always trying to sell something to someone!), and right now he is starting up his own Marketing company ( He is also helping Heaven and Earth Essentials with some new marketing programs and new website this year.

There are very few people in my world that tell it like it is...most sugarcoat what they want to say, or try to be diplomatic so as not to hurt my feelings. That's what I like about my brother. He is one of the few people that say exactly what the deal is, and he can get away with it because he isn't malicious about it. He lays it out on the table. Don't like it? Too bad. Get used to it.

Do I like hearing the facts like that? Not always. But sometimes we need that jolt so we make the changes that are necessary to move forward. Sometimes we get so set in our ways that it's hard to make that change, easier to just keep doing what we've always done. My favorite comment of his today was telling me exactly what was holding me back on a particular issue. He said to look in the mirror. Ouch....

So, Doug, I WAS listening, and I DID take notes while we were talking on the phone today. You have a lot of great ideas, and we will implement them as we can...just not all at once. I'm accomplishing one right now as I type this (I can check this one off the list--check!).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Alien Landscape

We got a new camera this year and I just love taking pictures now. I'm whipping it out every chance I get, almost obsessively. The other morning when I was getting Alex ready for school I looked out the front living room window and saw this lake of fog resting on the field, and just the tiniest bit of the neighboring farm's silo peeking up out of it. Then, of course, when I saw the moon hovering over all of it, I just couldn't resist running and getting the camera.
So there I am in my bathrobe and snowboots taking pictures outside in my front yard. Thank goodness I live in the country and the neighbors and passing traffic can't see me!
But I got some beautiful shots. Now the snow is melting everywhere and we have standing water in the yard, driveway, and fields; all is mucky and muddy. There are no pretty pictures out there now! But we hope Spring is on her way, we've got a warm spell this week to help melt even more snow and eventually it will all be dried up.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Life for Leather

Sewing with leather is not as hard as many people make it out to be. I just finished a fun project, a leather pillow with appliques. We live out in the country, so the horse theme seemed natural.

The black background leather was actually a coat of mine that developed a tear after many good years of use. I decided it needed a new life as home accessories, so I began cutting--at first I was very tentative--I mean, it was my coat! I just kept thinking how pretty it would be as a pillow and kept going. Then on to the scraps of turquoise leather I bought from someone who makes leather coats. I spent a lot of time cutting out the small pieces, I wanted them to be perfect. I experimented with my different types of scissors and a surgical knife until I found the right tool.

I placed the pieces on the background and when I was satisfied, I tacked them down with a little leather glue. Then a very slow process of sewing the intricate pieces on, I didn't want to screw up because the needle does leave a little hole, so no mistakes!

The end product is this beautiful 16" square pillow. The back is zippered to make stuffing easier.

My next project will be another pillow, red on black this time, with a spiral on it for the circle of life. These pillows will look beautiful on my black sofa with Pendleton wool blanket on it.
I love giving new life to something outdated or something you can't use anymore. It's recycling at it's best!