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randomosity: January 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Living in a fat suit

Do you ever feel like you're living in a fat suit?? I do.

I was sending Rach a text with my new phone (that happens to be a mirror as well.. ugh) and realized I look nothing like me. I mean, gaining weight doesn't happen overnight, but I'm like woah.. I am huge. When did this happen??

I was looking back at pictures when I was 30lbs lighter and I was still big. What the hell was I thinking gaining all of this weight? I know a lot of it has to do with the depression I went through after the surrogacy/adoption, but still.. no excuse. It's been over a year. It needs to stop.

I gained a LOT of weight with my first daughter.. a little with my second.. a little with my third.. and quite a bit with the last (surro) baby. So, that's four pregnancies. I didn't lose hardly any weight after any of them. Seriously, who has time to exercise when they just had a baby? I don't get it. I ate when I could, I slept when I could, and that's about it.

So, anyway, I'm sick of living in the fat suit. I have tried to lose weight by diet and exercise but I just haven't made much progress. At the end of last year, I lost 15lbs. I've gained most of it back. I know I have thyroid issues and it can cause weight gain, but with no insurance I can't go to the doctor and get it fixed. So, I have to fix it myself. I ordered some diet pills (save the lectures), and I am going to see how they work. I've never really tried diet pills before because I've always thought the best way was with healthy food and exercise. Starting in March, our gym membership will open up again (we had to freeze it due to finances) so I know that will help lose some of the weight. The pills will just give me a jump start. I'll post before and after pictures AFTER I have some after pictures. :)

I was going to post some pictures of the new laptop case we made, but I don't have any on this computer. I will post a tutorial later. :) Currently, I'm working on knitted wash cloths for Valentine's Day baskets. They will have a washcloth, some hand-made soaps, and maybe a few pieces of chocolate wrapped up. I'll be sure to post pictures when they're finished!

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

So busy, so thankful, and a scarf.

This week has been crazy busy. I'm thankful for it, though! I just got four tutu orders today. So exciting! :) Now I just have to wait for UPS to deliver thousands of yards of tulle to my apartment. My wifey is going to be soooo thrilled haha not! I finally have some organization going, though. I have 3 shelves JUST for tulle and ribbon. I will try to take pics some time.

Today, I spent the day with my mom. I got a new computer, so I was able to chat with Rach while I was at my mom's house. That was neat. We only talked for a few minutes but it was still fun. I felt like a kid again!

Mom and I sewed all day. If you remember from the beginning of my blog, I do not sew.. I do not even like sewing. Ick. But I survived today! My mom loves to sew, so I thought it would be a fun way to spend the day together. In all honesty, it would have been nicer if I would not have taken my 8 year old with me.. but it wasn't so bad. I couldn't leave all 3 kids home with Rach, that would not have been too fair.

So, this is how it started.. I wanted to make a scarf but I didn't want to knit it. I started googling things, and found a patchwork scarf idea. A new project was born...

Then, I got distracted.. I went to AT&T and bought a new cell phone. :) It's a Pantech Impact. It's super retro looking, and I just L-O-V-E it!!

Okay, so moving on. I didn't want to mess anything up, so I left the cutting to Mom. She ended up messing it up anyway and had to tear some seams out mid-scarf. Here's Mom, working hard..

This is how it turned out (Sorry for the unedited pictures, I haven't installed Picasa yet on this computer).

We made it 60" long and about 6" wide. We cut different sized blocks from 3 different fabrics. One had flames, one had skulls, and one was plain black. We just stitched them together, layered batting in the middle, and used black fabric as a backing. The trickiest part was sewing the bottom edge after we flipped it outside right.. but it wasn't SO bad.. right, Mom?? :)

We ran out of time, but I did start on a scarf for Mom. Here's a preview (yes, that's me sewing)

She loves patriotic stuff. Going to her house is like visiting the fabric store -- she has an entire closet full of fabric, plus like 4 totes and a dresser.. ALL full of different types of fabric! I started a tye-dye scarf as well. Oh, and Mom is making me a laptop case for my new computer. She almost had it done when I left. She promised it would be ready next week. Can't wait to post pics!

Here's a little sneak peek..

I'm so glad I inherited the craft gene -- I didn't appreciate it until very recently. But I'm lovin' every minute of it! :)

Mom, if you're reading this.. I had fun today! No Jenelle next time...

If you're here for the giveaway, click here!!

Or... if you're here to order a tutu, click here!! :)

Thanks for stopping by, and please leave a comment!

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

How to make 2 shelves for under $15

Okay, so I realized about halfway through my somewhat difficult shopping trip to Home Depot that I should've made this one of my goals. Darnit. You live and you learn.

If you have any of these supplies on hand, your cost will be less. I think the total was $14.32 at the store, for all the supplies I used except paint. You can buy a sample of paint for like $2 though, so you can still keep your costs very low.

Supplies Needed:

One piece of wood, cut in half ($5.39)
L-Brackets - 1 for every 12" of wood, at least 2 for each shelf ($1.27 each)
Sandpaper ($3.47 for a block, you can get it for under $2 at Wal-Mart per sheet)
Paint (had on hand)
Paint brushes (had on hand)
Screws (the neighbor gave me a few screws)
Electric screwdriver or drill

First, pick out the piece of wood you'd like to use. I have no idea what size mine was. We looked at 2x8s and 2x10s so whatever you like the best. If you're making smaller shelves, it will cost you less (or you can make more shelves for the same price). Have the hardware store cut it in half -- Home Depot makes up to 6 cuts for free.

Next, grab some L-Brackets. You will need to pick out the right size according to the wood you pick out.

If you don't have screws or paint and brushes on hand, you will have to purchase these. Same goes for sand paper. I recommend buying some craft paint for $1 a bottle, because you won't use much. You can get paint brushes at the Dollar Store for $1 as well. Same goes for screws - if you don't have them on hand, make sure you purchase some. You will need bigger ones to go into the wall and smaller ones to go into the wood itself, to hold the L-Bracket to the wood.

Once you get all the supplies you need, head home and get to work! It can get a little messy, so cover your area with newspapers or work outside.

Sand the edges of the wood down. If you're going to paint the shelf (I painted one, didn't paint the other), you need to sand the whole piece of wood down.

Next, unless you're going for the "natural" look, it's time to paint.

I put 3 coats and I recommend you do the same. Paint the top AND bottom, and 3 of the sides. You can leave one long side unpainted, as it will be against the wall.

While the paint is drying, you can start setting up to hang the shelf. You will need to screw the L-Brackets into a stud (the piece of wood behind the drywall on your wall). Hint: The studs are 16" apart. If you find one, you can find another. Here is my neighbor helping me find a stud in my bedroom. ;)

We put a little dot where the studs were, so we wouldn't lose them. After the paint dries, you want to screw the L-Brackets into the wood. Place the screw on the underneath side of your shelf, and make sure the longest part of the bracket is under the wood. The short side will screw into the wall. Use the shorter screws to screw the bracket into the wood, and the longer screws to hang them on the wall. In this picture, I am screwing the bracket (WITHOUT the shelf attached) to the wall. You should actually "create" the shelf and THEN screw it into the wall.

Use a level if you aren't sure if it's straight. Continue until all L-Brackets are secure and voila! you have yourself a shelf!

This is so easy, anyone can do it. I've never worked with a piece of wood, ever (even though both of my parents were carpenters at one time!). I've also never painted anything! These shelves are awesome! I left mine unpainted but you could stain it if you'd like to have a "finished" wood look.

Two shelves for under $15. Amazing, right?? :)

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Introducing.. Strawberry Skies!!

You saw it here first, ladies and gentlemen! :) The newest creation from Nellie Bug's!! Actually, this was a customer's special order, but we are keeping it around as part of our collection. :)

So, what do you think??? :)

If you have pictures of your little ones in one of our creations, please send them to me at sadielankford(at)ymail(dot)com so we can feature them on our Princess page!!

Oh, and I curled Gracelynn's hair for the first time.. I think that should have been a goal in itself! *Sigh* That child..

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Want to be featured on our website??

Would you like to be featured on Nellie Bug's website?? If so, please email sadielankford (at) ymail (dot) com. I changed the entire layout today, and am working on the main page and a link page within the next week or so. I would like to ad as many blogs/websites as possible to the links page.

What does this mean for you? Exposure to your blog/website.

What does it cost you? It's free, you just have to link back to us in your side bar or on your links page. Basically a link exchange. Doesn't cost you a dime! Free advertising!! :)

The kids and I have been super busy today. I am working on a new tutu design, I hope to reveal next week! I also added a few Allie Clip Sets (Including a CUTE "love" set that would be PERFECT for Valentine's Day).

The girls are asking to do more and more crafts every day! :) I loooove it! We went to the library today and got a lot of books. We will probably do a few tomorrow or the next day.

Don't forget to check out the giveaway I have going on. Also if you check that out, you can find the OWOH link and enter over 600 (and growing) giveaways JUST by leaving a comment on their blogs. I have entered over 200 already! I really need to teach Rachel how to do this.. lol. My hands are tired.

Please let me know what you think of the new website design, I changed a lot! And, as always, let me know what you'd like to see added to the website!! Is it a certain tutu? A certain Allie Clip theme?? A package? Let me know! Thanks. :)

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Some goals, a tutorial, and a OWOH giveaway!!!

Okay, just a warning.. this is going to be a long post! I will make each title bold so you can skip some if they don't interest you.. or hey, be a trooper and read them all! :)

Goal #1, partially completed
Organize all 3 craft totes -- 1/3 now completed! I organized my scrapbooking tote, which was the hardest one. I put ALL of the loose photos in a leftover priority mail box that I had laying around. I got rid of a LOT of stuff, and just put everything into categories. I used the film envelopes for holding stickers.

#4, Complete 100 swaps, now 19/100
I finished some more swaps this weekend, so I'm now 19 for 100 on swaps! w00t!!

#16, Add 20 items to ETSY
So I added one item to etsy this weekend. I just don't have the energy to add more than one at a time. Anyone wanna do it for me?? lol

#19 -- COMPLETED!!!
Organize craft desk.. completed! WOO HOO! This was so fun, seriously. Now this is taking real guts to post before pictures, try not to cringe too much!

And here are the after:

After looking at plastic organization things at Wal-Mart, I decided I'd make my own. I used leftover priority mail shipping boxes and stacked them together. I cut out one side, so it was open. I am using it to stack my scrapbooking papers and just various things inside. I used the bottom of a Velveeta box to hold all of my notecards and recipe cards to send out in swaps. I used a tin from some candy for paint samples (more on that later). I used the bottom half of a plastic juice bottle to hold all of my stamps. Oh, and I decorated the top of the paper organizer with some leftover scrapbook paper. :)

I sent some reflexology information via a private swap this weekend. It was a $5 profile surprise, so I just included those as an extra.. the lady was a knitter so I sent some 100% cotton yarn, some inchies, some glitter gel pens, and a few other things.

I hosted my first swap!! That means 1/5 completed on that goal.

Last but not least, the kids and I made paint sample books!! The guy at the paint store looked at me like I was crazy when I took a bunch of different colors. Oh well. :) We had LOTS of fun with them. I tied them off with leftover tulle scraps, but you could use ribbon or yarn.

I made Gracelynn a sight words book, and made Jenelle a cursive letters book. I made Sapphire a colors book, as well as a letters book -- I wrote the colors on matching paint samples.. and I wrote the capital AND lowercase of each letter of the alphabet in the other book. That was SUPER fun.

Making crayons
We also made crayons today. We have been busy! We took ALL of our broken crayons and put them into a container. We spent some time peeling the crayon wrappers off.

And some more time... (this is one of the VERY few activities that kept them involved for more than 20 minutes.. they didn't want to stop!)

Getting distracted, "swimming" on the floor.. look at that outfit! LMAO!

After we were done peeling, and swimming, we broke the crayons into litttttle bitty pieces and placed them into a mini muffin pan.

We baked them in a 265 degree (F) oven for about 12 or 13 minutes. We let them cool for a half hour, and they popped right out. We didn't use anything to line the muffin pan. Some places suggested lining with foil, but we took a chance without it and everything turned out fine. We never use the pan without liners for baking, so we are safe. :)

They have been sitting at the table for about 40 minutes coloring on paper bags. I swear nothing has ever kept them entertained so long! It's amazing, I love it!! Make these with your kids, it's a life saver! :)

Sorry this was so long!! We did SO much this weekend!! (Did I mention I babysat while we were doing all of this?? Yeah, 6 kids in our apartment, 5 of them 4 and under.. WEEEE!!) I hope yours was a great one as well!

Oh, and I almost forgot! The giveaway! :) We are participating in


We are #252 on the page! :) Stop by to check out all the other AWESOME giveaways!

We are giving away a set of our home-made oatmeal soap bars (great for sensitive skin, no harsh chemicals or dyes). This is open to INTERNATIONAL bloggers as well (a first for us). (We do net sell these on our website, it's just a project I enjoyed doing so I'd like to do more.)

All you have to do is leave a comment, and I will generate a winner by a random number generator. The contest ends February 12th at 11:59 CST, and the winner will be ANNOUNCED on February 15th, 2010.

After some consideration, I have decided to add a custom tutu to the giveaway!!!

This picture is of a rainbow tutu but the winner can customize his/her own. Up to size 7/8 in little girls. Please allow a few days for tutu to be made AFTER winner is chosen!

Get ideas for your custom tutu HERE. Let me know in the comments which tutu (size and colors) you would like if you win. If you do not leave the size/colors in the comments, I will assume you are entering to win the soaps. Thanks!! :)

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

#79 and #89

We made soaps this morning! They're awesome! And easy! :) Can you tell I'm excited?? We actually made TWO videos for this one. One, the kids made and explained how to make the melt and pour soaps. The other one, I just used some pictures to make a slide show -- I think the instructions are a little clearer when they are typed out.

Slideshow with typed out instructions:

Video instructions by Jenelle:

That means I have completed part of goal #79 (make 10 YouTube videos) and we definitely completed goal #89 (attempt to make soaps). We tried last night and kind of failed.. we didn't let it set long enough (the package says 20 to 40 minutes, it took 2 hours for the bigger molds). When you try to pop them out, if it's hard to do that usually means it hasn't set long enough. Be patient.

I'm babysitting a little boy today.. he's like 16 months old. They're so cute when you know you can send them home!! Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

I just had to!

Okay, so I TRY (really try!) not to post twice in the same day.. but I just had to post this!! I just got a ton of mail and wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who sent me something (even if it was required for a swap lol) and I need to give a shout-out to

David Gallagher -- Any Three Words

He made this metal coin for me and Rachel! Rach says there used to be machines like this at the skating rink, where you could make your own. She used to collect them. I guess I'm not quite old enough to know about them lol. But anyway, we sent a donation to him via paypal and I just wanted to let everyone know about what he does!! He will print these coins for anyone, you just have to put in the order! It's FREE... but I think it would be decent only if you sent at least a small donation to him. :)


I also got my love letter from Michelle at The Muse Factory. It cracked me up! I'm going to upload it if I get her permission.. it's hilarious. Though I tore the paper a little trying to figure out how to get the seal off. Woops! Rach is going to get a kick out of it as well. Oh, and she signed it "BYE TURD" ... haha that was the best part!!

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Savings, a goal completed, and a new challenge

I added a goal (#96) to save at least $120.00 with coupons this year. That's only $10 a month. Easy enough. This morning, I saved $15.66. I still have a few things I need to get, and will probably save $5 more! w00t! I'm excited!

How did I do it? By clipping coupons and price matching. If the place I shopped would have offered double coupons, I would have saved even more. I know a lot of places do offer that, so you should look into it! If you didn't know, Wal-Mart offers price matching. That means you bring in a Walgreen's, or Schnucks', or whatever ad and they give the item to you for the lower price. I saved 25 cents on Skittles that way today. :) Oh and I saved 63 cents on soy sauce.

Buy a Sunday Paper, look at the Red Plum ads (go online to for more savings), and clip the coupons you need. I actually clip EVERY coupon and send off a few hundred a week. :) I also buy the "ALL YOU" magazine every month. I usually get at least $10 worth of coupons that I can use out of each issue. Plus, they have a lot of great recipes, health tips, etc. Last but not least, look online. Just google "free printable grocery coupons" and you will find some. Don't sign up for anything, or register anywhere, just find the places that let you print the coupons. (Sometimes you'll have to install a coupon printer in your browser.)

I was able to mark off another goal (#94), but didn't get a picture before the kids took off with my knitted dishcloth. I also added another goal to the list (#97): No shampoo.

Yes, that is correct. I'm taking the 6 week no-shampoo challenge. If I like my hair after 6 weeks with no shampoo, I'll stick with it. Shampoo (POO for short) is filled with all sorts of chemicals, and just.. JUNK. Why use it if we don't have to? Now the "no poo" way of life doesn't work for everyone, but it's worth trying out. I'm on day 4 and my hair is lookin a littttle greasy.. but that's to be expected. I have plenty of bandanas on hand if need be. :) I have noticed it's a lot curlier.. I think I can hang!

Oh, and I attempted to make a headband (goal #27) THREE times last night. Failed miserably all three times. Will post pictures when I finally "get" it.

Anyone else make a goal list? I'd like to see yours!!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pizza box craft and 1 goal completed

Okay, so this isn't one of my goals, but when I saw this project, I couldn't pass it up. That's what I get for blog jogging, huh?

I didn't have an exact-o knife, so I used manicure scissors... go figure. These are very simple, and you can decorate and embellish them any way you choose. I let the girls decorate these with pop-out stickers.

I would recommend using thick paper for this project because you are folding and gluing them into boxes. I think they would be cute Valentine's Day gifts with a few pieces of candy or a few little notes in them. Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. I might use them for swaps, or start shipping my bows in them. They're just so dog-gone cute!!

Print out the template. Follow the directions (cut, score, etc)-- I used paper that was colored on each side so the inside of the box would be cute, too.

Glue the little tabs inside the bottom part of the box, add stickers or other embellishments (ribbon would be cute), and you're done!!

I'd love to see what everyone else comes up with.. leave your link!

Oh, and one goal completed!! (#87) I surprised her when she woke up from nap.

Check out The Cutest Blog on the Block for cute layouts like the owl one I am using!! They are much easier to use than most blogger layouts - you just add an HTML gadget and paste it in. Nothing to it!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A book review

I've never written a book review, and quite frankly I'm usually bored with book reviews.. so I will keep mine short and sweet!

While My Sister Sleeps gets 4 out of 5 stars, for sure! It was a great book, a definite page turner. The only thing I didn't care for was the ending - it was expected and kind of boring. This is one of those "Lifetime movies" waiting to happen. I recommend it for the mushy types.

Rachael Ray Yum-o gets 4 out of 5 stars as well. It is a family cookbook, and has some GREAT recipes in it. Some of the ones that make you say "yum" include the Bottom-of-the-Box Breakfast Sundae (1/2 cup berries, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup cereal from the bottom of the box.. layer in a parfait dish), Tortilla Scrambles (tortilla chips, eggs, cheddar cheese, and salsa), Jerk Chicken with Roasted Veggies, and the Peanut Butter and Jelly french toast (basically pb&j sandwiches dipped in egg mixture and cooked up like french toast, then sliced with syrup on top).

Some that made me go "What were they thinking?!" were the Tuna Salad Pinwheels, Fish tacos, Creamy Tuna with Tarragon and Egg Noodles, the Chicken-Eggplant Steak Roll-Up salad (really??) and the Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta.

A nice surprise that we might just try -- Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers and Zucchini Sticks with Cheddar-Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce!

The book is cute because there are recipes that readers contributed, plus it's full color and has LOTS of pictures. We could easily use at least half of the recipes in the entire book, which is unheard of in this picky icky household! Definitely recommend.

Not sure which of the 100 goals I should work towards first. I started organizing my craft stuff yesterday and made a little progress, but I don't have the energy to tackle the other two totes. I'm kind of bored with knitting. Considering adding "learn to crochet" to my list.. just because I know it's hard and will be an actual challenge. I did send out two more swaps today, so I guess that's a little progress. I worked on inchies a little bit, too. Hmm. Maybe a bag would be a good project to do next.

What do you think??

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100 goals for 2010

So, I finally gave in and made a goals list. I was going to do 50, but I just kept going and going and got to 100!! Most of these are craft projects, but a few are other things.

1. organize all 3 craft totes (3/3) -- Completed June 2010. Got rid of one tote, downsized to two organized totes.
2. make Gracelynn's birthday scrapbook (by March 7th) -- Failed. Hopefully by the end of the year I will get this done.
3. domino alterations of some sort -- earrings? necklace? -- Haven't had time, not really interested in doing these anymore....
4. complete 100 swaps (104/100) -- Completed 100 swaps and then quit swap-bot to focus on other things
5. eye spy bags for the girls (3/3) -- I made Eye Spy Bottles - they LOVE them
6. collect 50 cancelled stamps -- Actually have about 100! Pics will be posted eventually. If anyone likes cancelled stamps let me know and I'll mail some to you!
7. knit a bag or purse -- A friend knitted one for me, so I got out of this one LOL
8. chalkboard globe -- Made chalkboard table instead, 2-22
9. work with clay -- polymer beads, maybe? -- Still very interested in doing this, just haven't had the time.. focusing on craft shows and the website
10. make my own rubber stamp -- Can't wait to do this! Just trying to figure out what supplies I will need.
11. finish our (mine and Rach's) scrapbook
12. frame some artwork
13. make Sapphire's scrapbook (by August 30th)
14. knit a pair of socks for Rach
15. make spreadsheet for tutus - Completed 2-8-2010
16. add 20 items to etsy shop (Completed -- 30 as of 3-27-2010)
17. make a clock
18. add 10 tutu designs to website (6/10 as of 3-27-2010)
19. organize computer table (Completed 1/24/10)
20. bleach art shirt
21. turn a scrapbook into a journal (Completed 2-4-2010)
22. add more pictures of bows to website (Completed 2-10-2010)
23. make mohawk hats -- without the ear flaps, ick! (1.5/4 as of 2-10-2010)
24. frame some inchies
25. make a family recipe book, out of a scrapbook maybe?
26. knit a lap blanket for my mom
27. knit myself a headband
28. make mail bags and letters for the younger girls (Completed 2/3/10)
29. knit something for charity -- any ideas??
30. curtains for bedroom -- make or buy
31. make skirt or dress for one of the girls
32. visit the zoo at least 5 times (0/5)
33. visit the science center at least 3 times (0/3)
34. visit the arch at least once (0/1)
35. knit stockings for the girls for Christmas (0/3)
36. make a doll or bear for one of the girls
37. knit a ball
38. make heating pad for me and Rach (0/2)
39. make a book safe
40. 52 reasons I love you decks, one for each (0/4)
41. drink at least 3 bottles of water each day (Working on that..)
42. fabric book
43. rice sock
44. lose 40lbs (Down 5 lbs as of 3-29)
45. rainbow cupcakes
46. make reusable grocery bag -- knit? out of a t-shirt? not sure yet
47. library tote bag
48. diaper cake
49. go back to college
50. make chalkboards -Made a chalkboard table instead, pics to follow
51. set up at flea market
52. make pop-up card Completed 2-3-2010
53. remote control holder
54. write 25 articles for eHow -- Please check out my current articles!! (4/25 as of 2-27-2010)
55. clean hall closet
56. weigh in weekly (3/49) - Epic fail!
57. make laundry soap
58. post ad to craigslist for tutus at least once a month (2/12)
59. turn Christmas cards into Christmas tags for next year
60. teach Grace sign language ABCs (in progress..)
61. trick or treat bags (0/3)
62. teach Grace to read 25 sight words (0/25)
63. take more cemetery photos, possibly host cemetery swap??
64. teach Sapphire to write her ABCs (2/26)
65. make rapunzel scarf
66. teach Nell to use a dictionary
67. teach Nell to use a thesaurus
68. make cassette tape wallet -- Anyone want to send me a cassette to use?!
69. make something religious/spiritual - maybe artwork?
70. make ribbon organizer (or buy one?)
71. make wire ring
72. make something with my button stash
73. share reflexology info via a swap (Completed 1/24/10)
74. make a journal and swap it
75. host at least 5 swaps (2/5)
76. complete an art project with Rachel
77. paint an abstract.. something or other
78. make something "zombie"/dark/goth for Rach as a surprise
79. make 10 YouTube videos -- Please check out our videos!! (2/10)
80. paint my fingernails (yes this has to be a goal.. lol)
81. make a zentangle
82. design a new business card (completed 1/20/10)
83. design new address labels - Completed 2-22-2010
84. scan old pictures and post to facebook (completed 1/19/10)
85. make yoga pants from an old t-shirt
86. Read at least 12 books and post a review of each(3/12)
87. Make baby doll blankets for the younger two (completed 1/21/10)
88. make a pillow
89. attempt to make soaps (Completed 1/23/10)
90. attempt to make a candle
91. make MIL's pup a dog toy -- Dog bit Sapphire, and is finding a new home. No toy made!
92. make a no-sew fleece blanket
93. learn how to knit an i-cord? I think that's what it's called?
94. make Rach a dishcloth (completed 1/21/10)
95. make Rach a piece of jewelry
96. Save $200 by using coupons ($54.62/$200)
97. try to stop using shampoo -- Haven't used shampoo in 2 months!
98. Make a treasure map with the kids
99. Pay ALL bills ON TIME -- Awesome so far!
100. make paint chip books for the girls (Completed 1/24/10)

Any more I should add? Let me know!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inchies attempt #1

Swap-bot has introduced me to so many things... swapping, zentangles, inchies.. oh my! Today, I attempted inchies. First, I googled inchies. Then, I gathered the materials suggested, and started on my way.

For this project, you will need magazines and/or catalogs, old books, card stock or index cards, glue, scissors, black ink (optional), a pen (for writing on the back), and patience (for working with these little boogers).

I didn't take pictures of the "process" of making them, because I wasn't sure how they would turn out. Plus, my 3 and 4 year old were sitting at the table making their own "inchies" so I was a bit distracted.

Cut out 1" squares (I used a punch, $6 at Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon) of index cards or card stock. I would punch at least 10 or 12 out, just in case you mess up. If you don't mess up, you'll have extras for next time (trust me, there will be a next time).

Thumb through your magazines or catalogs... find pictures that interest you. I chose people, animals, etc. I cut them out with my punch and then cut closer with scissors.

Find a background that matches the picture you will be using. Punch it out (cardstock) and glue it on to the index card you started with. Then, glue on the picture of the person, animal, etc.

Look in your old books and find words that will go with the picture or "theme". Cut them out, glue them on, and you're almost done.

An optional step that makes the inchies look MUCH better is dipping the edges in black ink. Gives it kind of a "vintage" look. I just rolled the edges on my stamp pad.

Don't forget to write your info on the back. Some suggest name, address, email, blog, and whatnot. I just put my swap-bot username for now and the date. If you're doing a series, you could number them or name them on the back as well.

Finished product (excuse the messy scan, it's my first one ever lol)......

I hope that helps anyone who is interested in starting with inchies. Don't be intimidated like I was. Just do it, and if you mess it up just start over.. throw it away.. or act like you meant for it to be that way. :) Most importantly, have fun!

**P.S. A note to the swap-bot followers of my blog... if you are in a swap and have to follow my blog, don't just leave me a general comment. I will give you a 5 but you will not get a heart. Actually READ my post and comment on it. I'm not that boring, I promise.**

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday blahs!

I definitely have a case of the Monday blahs! Rachel went to work at 11 but came home an hour later, not feeling well. While I was happy to see her, it threw off my whole day! I had a plan! Oh well, stuff happens. :)

I went shopping at Hobby Lobby (40% off coupon this week) and Michael's (BIG Dollar Days Sale!) this morning with my mom and the kids. I got some cute little ribbon so I can make some more Allie Clips. Also got some wool, so I can make some Mohawk hats. I don't know how to follow a pattern (at all), so I am going to just knit a beanie (no ear flaps.. ew) and then add some wool to the top and felt it.

I have quite a few swaps going on right now, would love if you'd join the one I'm hosting -- it's a mini journal swap!

If you are here from swap-bot, please leave your swap-bot username and let me know you're following me. Last swap I rated everyone a 5 but realized not everyone was following me. I'm keeping on track of it this time.

I hope everyone has a great Monday. I think I will spend the evening crafting!!

I will leave you with a video tutorial for the Allie Clips I linked earlier. :)

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who wants coupons?

Last night was a good night. All three girls went to Mammie's house. Rachel and I went to dinner - had lobster - went to Hobby Lobby to look around (got a .25 pen for Rach to start working on zentangle inchies for me), rented The Hangover, watched it, and went to bed. It was really relaxing. I finished her scarf, she loves it... though as I type, it's sitting by my feet in my craft corner... hmm.

I decided to do away with the schedule for my blog for now. It was making me crazy, I felt like I had to fit into a box. I hate hate hate that! Even though I made the box lol. But I will still post daily and will still have recipes every week as well as a tutorial or two!

Today when we were picking the girls up from Mammie's house, an older guy (probably 70s? or older?) was talking to me and Sapphire (our youngest). He was saying how cute she was, and then Rach walked up and took her and he asked if she was my other child. WHAT?! SHE IS 30!! I AM 24! No, she is not my child!! lmao It was HILARIOUS, to say the least. I'm 6'2" and she is barely 5'5", plus when she is all bundled up she could pass for a 10 year old boy. But it was just so funny, I had to say bye and walk away as quickly as possible because my eyes were filled with tears. It was great. Not sure if Rach liked it so much. Heh.

I buy the Sunday paper every week, without fail, and only use about 20 of the coupons (yes, it's worth it!). I'm going to start a coupon swap in a few weeks, but for now I'm just giving them away. Anybody want them? There are some REALLY good coupons in there. Lots of food coupons, some toothpaste, beauty products, hair dye, crackers, etc. Just leave me a comment and I'll email you to get your address.

And I leave you with.... a Sunday FUNNY!! This is how I want our wedding to go when we finally are able to get married!! w00t!! How fun does THAT look!?

Saturday, January 16, 2010


So, there were only 4 people who participated in the giveaway yesterday. So, I decided that they are ALL winning a set of Allie Clips! I was kind of thinking that anyway when I started the contest, that whoever entered would win, but of course you can't SAY that type of thing up front hehe. So, I will be emailing the winners for their email addresses this weekend -- or you can email me at Let me know what your top 3 color choices would be, and I'll try my hardest to get them.

Today is Swapping Saturday. Honestly, not much has gone on swap-wise this week. I'm signed up for quite a few swaps, and I even started my own Journal swap. Next week will be a BIG swap week! This is a really cool swap that I'm doing Journal w/ a twist -- we have to make a journal, it's a theme-a-day journal, and then we have to include a CD or memory card with pictures and music of our life. It's really exciting, but it is going to be VERY hard to part with my FIRST journal like this. :( I hope whoever gets it appreciates it, or is nice enough to send it back lol.

**I did send my "Christian Bible Verse Swap" off, to all 3 partners, and also sent the coupons to the mom who replied to one of my blogs.. I didn't realize there were SO many coupons! Awesome!**

So, congrats to everyone that won the Allie Clips! And thanks for all the comments on Gracelynn's video -- we hit 1,500 views yesterday!!! And the neighbors found out she wanted to be on TV so they took her down to their apartment and let her watch herself on the PS3, so she was on TV! She was SOOOOOO excited! It was awesome. :)

Don't forget -- FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS through midnight tonight (central time). MY WEBSITE

Tonight, my mom is watching all three girls (that NEVER happens!) and Rach and I are going to celebrate our anniversary. I'm so excited!! Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

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Friday, January 15, 2010


Okay, so I tried to make a video telling ALLLLL about the giveaway (so I didn't have to type it out), but it's "in the wrong format" and won't upload. PSH!

Here are the details...

I'm giving away 3 sets of Allie Clips. They look like this:

Allie Clips are for sale on my website for $2.50 for a set of two.

I am offering FREE SHIPPING (use code NOSHIP1) on all orders placed through tomorrow (Saturday) night at midnight CST.

Ways to get entered into giveaway:

Follow THIS blog

Leave us a comment in my guestbook telling me WHY you love our tutus!!!

Follow us on Twitter

Facebook us

Myspace us

Comment on Gracie's video

SUBSCRIBE to us on YouTube

Make sure you leave a comment here EACH time you do one of the above things or I will not know that you did it. I will check to make sure they were done and then you will be entered into the contest. SO, just for leaving a comment saying you're following me, you will get entered once. BUT, if you do ALL 7 of the above things, you will get an EXTRA entry - making it 8 entries!

Get it? Got it? Good!

**Contest ends midnight CST today, January 15th, 2010**

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Odd enough.

I am hosting my first swap. I'd really appreciate it if you'd take the time to check it out and join if it is something you might like. I would like my first swap to be successful!

Today I started my first journal. I'm participating in another journal swap and it's pretty time consuming! We have to do like 30 entries, it's crazy. But I've had so much fun with it! Um, so much fun that I didn't realize I was sitting on my Caramello candy bar the entire hour I was journaling. Soooo... it was squished and melted. (Did you know that you can squeeze a melted chocolate bar out of a hole in the wrapper and it still tastes good? Trust me on this one.)

I'm excited for tomorrow because it will be my first giveaway on my blog! I have given away about 20 sets of hairbows and 12 tutus so far, since I started in October. I usually give them away on Cafemom or Myspace or Facebook, but I think this is a good place to start giving things away, too! Wouldn't you agree??

To be entered in the contest you just have to leave a comment on tomorrow's entry and be following my blog. Tomorrow, I will also post other ways to get MORE entries for the contest. WEEE!!

I attempted to make a scarf today on my round knitting loom and failed miserably. First, I forgot that you don't do it in a circle, that you stop before the end... and I knitted like 8 rows before I caught myself. Then, I tried knitting just half of the loom and couldn't figure it out - at all. I'm going to continue my search online for a tutorial. Maybe I should make my own on YouTube when I figure it out. I can't stand it when I don't know how to do something!

I will leave you with this journal prompt, feel free to answer it on your blog or even in my comments. I'd love to hear what everyone says.

Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes, or a week without a change of clothes, but be able to bathe?

I would rather go a week without changing my clothes, but still being able to bathe. Because my clothes don't get THAT dirty and if I can still bathe they will stay even cleaner.

Please join my swap... and don't forget to come back tomorrow and win some hair bows! I will be giving away more than one set -- that means more than one winner!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not as easy as it sounded..

I made the "schedule" so I would make myself post every day. Problem is, yesterday I was in a craft posting mood and today I'm in a recipe posting mood. ARGH.

Maybe I should just vow to post every day, no matter what it's about? I just thought it sounded like a good idea. Plus, if you like recipes but not crafting you could just read on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. Blah. I don't know. Am I talking to myself? :)

My neighbor came up and helped me figure out how to finish a flat project on the knitting loom. I figured out how to do hats on my own, but finishing off these leg warmers was a different story!! They are super cute, though. And hot pink, I might add.

I worked on the website today ( I added free shipping for orders over $50, I added a purchase option to the Allie Clips, and tomorrow (hopefully) I will try to add knitted hats. I also added a coupon (2TUTUS) if you are ordering more than one tutu, you will save $6.00 on shipping. Pappashop is where I hosted my website, and I thought they were great, but their shopping cart SUCKS!!! Customer service told me I could install another shopping cart of my own (WTH?) but I'd have to uninstall theirs. Go figure. The entire REASON I chose them (instead of GoDaddy, which was cheaper) was because of how simple they kept everything. FAIL.

As for a craft, I'm starting on zentangles. They are supposed to be drawn with a VERY fine tip pin, completed all in one sitting, and they are drawn up on some type of tile??? Does anyone know what type of tile they are referring to? I am practicing with a sharp pencil and some card stock. :) I also think zentangle inchies would be fun to try. Whatcha think?

I will leave you with some pictures. These are NOT my work.. just pictures I found online.. so you know what I'm talking about! :)

Created by PRaile on FLICKR:

A few zentangles

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A bad dream, a cough, and a recipe-ish...

Last night, I had a dream that our youngest daughter (Sapphire) DIED. Yes, actually died. I've never had a dream like that and it was absolutely horrible. I left her at daycare for 4 hours, came back, and they were like "Yeah, sorry, she didn't make it". Um, excuse me?! Didn't make it? At daycare? So, long story short, I spent the next few years trying to have a baby through a surrogate (which is odd, because I have been a surrogate). And then I finally gave up. Thank God I don't send her to daycare or I'd be too afraid to send her again!! It was such a stupid, awful dream. I think it had more to do with me being a surrogate than anything. I am talking to a couple and their son died. I think it was at daycare, too. He was still a toddler. I guess it was me feeling their pain in my dream. Thank God I woke up from it. They weren't able to. :/

Okay, sorry for the sad starting note. I don't usually do that. But it was creepy and I had to share it. Then after I thought about it, I think it was a lesson or maybe a sign. Score!

Gracelynn has a cough today. Our kids VERY (very) rarely get sick. We don't vaccinate, and we don't do antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, and we try to keep them as natural as possible. That has worked out very well for us. But Grace just got this icky cough and can't seem to shake it. It's only been a few days, but it *hurts* when she coughs. :( We finally broke down and got some cough syrup. I am going to try and bribe her into taking some honey if it's not better by tomorrow.

It's Recipe Tuesday. Cooking is one of my favorite things to do, so I figured sharing recipes would be a GREAT idea. Um, wrong. I cannot motivate myself to post recipes. Why? Because I don't USE recipes. I just make stuff up. I guess I didn't realize that - until now.

Now, these aren't really recipes but we eat them a lot so I will share pictures and some directions on how to make them. First, is buffalo chicken salad. It's not really a recipe because it's like DUH of course that is how you make it. You take a boneless skinless chicken breast and cook it in a skillet with spray butter, then you cut it up into inch size cubes and add hot sauce when it's done cooking. You cook it for another few minutes to let the hot sauce soak in. Let the chicken cool off, and then add it to your salad. If you cook a BUNCH up ahead of time, it's GREAT to keep on hand in the fridge. Plus, it's not SO spicy that the kids can't eat it. Our kids LOVE it. Top it off with southwest ranch sauce and you have an awesome lunch.

Stop eating cardboard pizzas!! We used to buy a few of these a week because they were easy and cheap... or so we thought! We have been making our own pizzas for a while now and they are much cheaper. Grab a few packets of the pizza dough from the grocery store (they're like 50cents a piece), and then grab a stick of pepperoni (cut it yourself and it's cheaper) or whatever toppings you like. The shredded cheese is JUST as cheap as the block cheese where we are, so we buy the shredded stuff. Then of course, mushrooms, black olives, etc. Things we already have on hand. It literally takes 15 minutes start to finish to make your own pizza. About the same time it takes to make the frozen cardboard pizzas!! You mix the dough (which entails mixing water in with the dough mixture in the packet), let it sit (covered) for 5 minutes, and then cook it for 5 minutes in the oven. Add sauce and toppings, and then cook for another 5-10 minutes. The great thing about these is that you can make a thin crust, a thick crust, whatever kind of crust you want - you aren't limited by what the store has! You make your own! w00t!

Cream cheese corn. It is heaven. No, seriously. It is. Try it. You take a can of corn (or use frozen, whatever) and drain the water/juice/whatever from it. Cook it with a teaspoon of butter until it's almost done. Add a half of a stick of cream cheese (4oz?) and stir until it's melted. OH. MY. GOSH. I know it sounds weird, and I almost didn't try it when it was served at Thanksgiving, but it's the best thing ever. No, seriously. Go try it. Now. :)

Okay, so I typed WAY too much. I know I have like 5 people who read my blog. I won't blame you guys for not reading the whole thing. But at least try the cream cheese corn. K??? :)

Can't wait for giveaway day!!! Stay tuned, and remember to win you have to be following my blog! :)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Does anyone want these coupons?

I have 60+ coupons I'd like to send to someone. I have them divided evenly and put in two seperate envelopes. Just reply and I'll email you for your address. Most of them expire in February, March, and April. SOME expire on 1/23/10. So, I'd like to mail these out by Friday!! Just leave a comment. Thanks.

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So, I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions. At all. I'm happy for that! It means I haven't broken them already.

However, yesterday while we were grocery shopping, Rachel informed me she didn't want to eat red meat anymore.


Well, that was my initial thought. Then I went over to look at the meat (alone, because Rach said it would be too tempting for her-- already? PSH.). I got really grossed out!! I mean, I've always had a queasy stomach when it came to meat... but I actually thought about how terribly disgusting red meat is!

So, I mosied on over to the pork chops -- my fav, by the way -- and then I thought "Wow.. if red meat is gross, WTH is this??!". I gagged. In the middle of the grocery store. Go figure.

And that is how our "resolutions" were born. On January 10th, 2010, we decided we are going to seriously cut back on red meat. We were eating it at least 4 times a week. Beef tips, beef roast, hamburgers, you name it.. we ate it! Now we will eat it no more than once a month. Period. The reason we are saving that once a month is so we won't feel guilty when/if we go out to eat and REALLY want a steak!!

But pork? Out the window all together. Shrimp, too. After thinking about it, they are just too gross to be putting into our bodies!!!

Okay, rant over. Those are my "resolutions", so to speak. Let's see how this goes!! Recipe day is tomorrow, and 90% of my recipes are for BEEF or PORK. EEK.

OH, and today is our anniversary!!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, RACH!!!

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The new schedule

Just wanted to give everyone a little run-down of the weeks to come! I have designated each day as a special one! Mostly so I can make myself blog daily, but also to hopefully have something for everyone that stops by!

Sunday -- FUNNIES -- Jokes, mostly cheesy ones... and hopefully a funny picture or video, courtesy of my kids.

Monday -- RESOLUTIONS -- How is everyone doing with their resolutions? I will ask, you will tell! I will also post my resolutions and how I am doing with them!

Tuesday -- RECIPES -- I will post at least one recipe, hopefully along with pictures!! I love to cook, and I love helping others with easy recipes. Pictures always help me, hopefully they will help you too!

Wednesday -- CRAFTS -- My favorite subject!! I will post a new craft, pattern, picture, whatever... something that has to do with crafting!

Thursday -- ODDBALL -- This will just be a random blog.. probably me griping.. I was thinking about "bitchin Thursday" but I just might not have anything to bitch about that day. We will see!!

Friday -- GIVEAWAYS -- I will do a giveaway every Friday. Eventually, I may do a review/giveaway because I'd love to review other hand made products... but it's a work in progress! Until then, I will give something away every Friday. Hair bows, knitted hats, maybe even a tutu. You must be following my blog to win. :)

Saturday -- SWAPS -- I will post my swaps for the week. What's going out, what's been sent, what's been received... and what I think of it all!!

I hope you will join me on my daily adventures!!

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Sunday Funnies

Sunday Funnies... yes, they are cheesy. But the video is the cutest thing EVER. :)

Paper crafters never die, they just become unglued.

My mom is a quilter, so these are for her!

You Know you are a Quilter If........
There's more Fabric in the House than Food
"Fat Quarters" are not the heaviest part of your body
Your ironing board is always set up but you never iron clothes
You think of your job as an interruption of your quilting time
You pet Fabric
You clean up your sewing room & they think you are leaving

A young man called directory assistance. "Hello, operator, I would like the telephone number for Mary Jones in Phoenix, Arizona."
"There are multiple listings for Mary Jones in Phoenix," the operator replied. "Do you have a street name?"
The young man hesitated, and then said, "Well, most people call me Ice Man."

What's wrong with lawyer jokes?
Lawyers don't think they're funny, and nobody else seems to think that they're jokes.

The above video is our 4 year old daughter, Gracelynn. She came home from Grammie's singing that song. Apparently it's a song on Nick at Nite? Go figure.

Today will be spent crafting. Rachel will clean most of the day (as she does every other day) and I will knit some stuff! I just finished a hat for my FB friend's 6 year old daughter. It is SUPER cute but of course I'm not happy with it. I'm never happy with any crafts I complete. How do you get over that?? Can anyone tell me?

Well, anyway, happy Sunday!!! I will be posting some recipes soon. I think I'll make it Recipe Tuesday! What do you thinK??

Leaving with a hilarious video.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Knitting, again.

Sorry, comments were not working all week. I just figured nobody saw this blog so I wasn't concerned. But I got 5 emails about it! Thanks for caring, guys. I appreciate it!

So, I've been stuck on knitting. I've discovered that you can knit almost anything on a loom!! I went to Hobby Lobby today (with my 40% off coupon in hand), and bought a set of knitting looms. They were $14.99 (for a set of four! w00t!), but with my coupon and tax (oh, and a roll of ribbon.. shhh) the total was only $10.81! How awesome is THAT?!

I came home and made a hat for Grace, and am now working on a hat for someone's daughter. My wonderful neighbor, Dana, told me about the best knitting website ever! It is There are (some) free knitting patterns, ideas, etc and it's free to sign up!

My next project (after this hat, after a hat for Rachel, and after a scarf for Rachel), is going to be fingerless gloves for my 8 year old daughter, Jenelle. Ravelry has a FREE pattern: Here

Then, it's on to leg warmers. I'm super excited about these!! These are from Sign up is free for their website as well.

FREE Leg Warmer Pattern

So, I have a lot of work ahead of me! Pictures will be posted soon! Er, well, as soon as I get off this computer and start working on them...

Don't forget to check out our newest tutus at!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010



Join our eParty at 5:30PM CST (6:30EST, 4:30PST) for your chance to win.

eParties is doing giveaways and we are, too!

Everyone who shows up to our party (5:30CST-6:00PM) will receive a gift from Nellie Bug's!!

We will be keeping track of everyone who shows up, all you have to do is email us afterwards and let us know you were there! ( We will confirm it, and mail you your prize!

RSVP to be elligible for the giveaways: CLICK HERE

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to knit on a loom??

So my neighbor let me borrow a small knitting loom, and I'm addicted! I only know how to make hats right now, but I really want to learn how to make fingerless gloves! I probably can't do that on the loom, huh? I can't follow patterns.. I have no idea what any of the "stitches" are.

I know I'm not the only one who wants to learn how to knit, so I thought I'd kind of provide a mini-tutorial.

First picture.... the supplies. Also helpful would be a big plastic needle (I'm sure they have a name?) for tying off at the end.

First, you have the beginning. Make a knot (that you can untie) to keep the yarn anchored.

Next, you make "e" loops around the loom. The reason they are called "e" loops because you wrap the yarn around counter clockwise and it looks like a cursive "e" (so says Google).

After you have made an entire round of "e" loops, you will push those down a little on the peg, to make room for another set of "e" loops. Once your second set is completed (on top of the first set, leave a little space), you will take the hook (that comes with the loom) and wrap the bottom set over the top set. I think it's called... something... lol.

You will continue this, over and over (and over and over) until you get the length you want. I didn't count, I just guesstimated.

This is what it'll look like from underneath.

And this is the finished product! Ta-da!!

At the end, you will need to tie it all together. I just took the working yarn and cut it at about 8 inches after I was done with the knitting and got the length I wanted. I weaved it through each of the "e"s and at the end I just knotted it around a few pieces of yarn. I just winged it, really, but it looks good! You will have to experiment with the ending... it's a lot more complicated than the actual knitting on the loom.

I am not very good at explaining things, so I'm hoping these pictures helped. I made Gracelynn a hat, a matching tutu, and a matching outfit for her bear. She was ecstatic! The hat is a tad on the small side (I am going to try a bigger loom next time), but it's still adorable. You can use two pieces of yarn at once to make the hat not so... hole-y. Or you can just wrap it twice and then pull the one piece over the two pieces. Makes sense, right? :)

I also decided that since the rainbow tutu is SO stunning, I'm going to add it to the website. Click here to order one!! They are $19.99 for most sizes, and made with a satin ribbon waistband not the elastic that can stretch out and show the band.

Happy knitting!