Monday, April 21, 2008

How I spent my weekend

Let me preface this blog entry by saying that Mr. Kay and I are plant-stupid. We have absolutely minimal experience when it comes to landscaping and growing plants. We have lived in our house for almost ten years, but have never done anything with the yard, other than throwing down some grass seed and hoping for the best. Most years, I will buy some colorful annuals and plant them in a large pot on our front porch. They usually last until the end of June when I get tired of watering them, it stops raining and the Kansas July sun burns them to a crisp.
Over the last year and a half, we have painted and re-roofed our house. It looks wonderful, now, so we felt inspired to add a teeny bit of landscaping. We ventured out on Saturday evening to a nearby nursery and after wondering around looking at the variety of plans and listening to a young man speak plant Greek to us, we finally chose a few victims, I mean plants, and brought them home.
After church on Sunday, we went to our big box store and bought some plastic edging, weed paper, plant food and potting soil. Then we came home and set to work. And when I say work, I mean the kind of back breaking work where you sweat profusely, even though it's not an extremely hot day. I'll be honest. I am not an outdoors kind of girl. I prefer air conditioning and shade. But I hung in there, and I'm pretty proud of what we accomplished. After we started turning over the dirt, we did get a little worried and "invited" my parents to come give us a hand. I'm glad we did. It made us a bit more confident to have the voice of experience helping us out. And, we learned a few things.
So, what did we plant? I'm not really sure. There are a couple of forsythia bushes, two dogwood bushes, some spirea, a couple lillies, some hostas and some pretty little ground cover plants with blue and purple flowers. The real question is what will survive? My mom wondered if we were planting things a bit too closely together. I assured her that it was fine, because we are counting on about half of them dying. I'm just being realistic, here.
Being a total klutz, there was no way that I could escape this adventure without an injury. I have a lovely scraped bruise on the back of my right calf. As I was putting my foot on the top of my spade to force it into the ground, I slipped and scraped the back of my leg against the top of the spade. Thank goodness I was wearing jeans, but boy did it hurt. It got worse in the evening, and I can still feel it everytime I step down on that leg. I was surprised at how black and blue it isn't. As much as it hurts, it seems like it should be more colorful. I suspect the bruise goes pretty deep. I really should not be allowed to use tools. I'm a danger to myself.
I'm sure the folks in our small town and wondering what is up with us! First paint, then a new roof and now landscaping? It's about time! We'll see how long it lasts!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

EtsyBloggers Featured Seller

This month's featured Etsy Blogger is StormyDesigns. Because I am hard pressed to make snakes out of play-dough, I am absolutely amazed at what talented artists can accomplish using simple polymer clay.
StormyDesigns creates absolutely stunning jewelry and other home accessories out of polymer clay. I am completely enamored with this necklace and earrings set. I love how the leaves shimmer!Being a Kansas girl, I can't help but love this little bowl with its beautifully shaded sunflowers.And, check out the detail on this seahorse necklace! Isn't this fantastic! Look at the seashell clasp! How clever is that? Seriously. It would be like wearing a work of art around your neck!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kansas Rocks!

Now, I am no sports fan. I rarely watch a televised sporting event, but when a Kansas team is playing for a national championship, what Kansan wouldn't watch? Mr. Kay and I watched two basketball games this season - KU vs. North Carolina and KU vs. Memphis. And look! Our team won both times!

Even though today is a rainy, dreary, cold, cloudy day in Kansas. We Kansans all woke up with a smile on our faces! All Kansans are Jayhawks in their hearts. So, what's a Jayhawk, anyway? Here's a little history about the mythical bird.

Watching last night's game reminded me of how much I really do love basketball. I played basketball in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade. I am a terrible athlete, so I spent a lot of time on the bench, but I still love the simplicity and speed of the game. This is a sport that I understand, unlike football which has never made sense to me.

I went to a school where basketball was king! Our high school men's team won 4 consecutive state championships for our division. There were at least a couple years when both our men's and women's team were both playing for state championships. I cannot forget the excitement and energy that goes through you when you are watching your team play hard and win. There is nothing like being in a stadium full of screaming fans.

I have to admit that I'm not a huge KU fan. It's not that I don't like them, it's more of an apathy. However, I'm surrounded by KU fans. I work for one, and my sister and brother-in-law are die hard fans. My excitement about the big win last night is the fact that KANSAS won. You know, Kansas, the state that no one wants to visit and no one wants to move to? Well, it rocks! So there!


Friday, April 4, 2008

And the winner is...

Thank you so much, everyone, for your entries! I had a lot of fun reading about everyone's favorite handbags, and the funny things you keep in your purses. In fact, I had such a good time that I am sure there will be future give aways, so keep checking back!
By the way, our winner also has a very nice blog, herself! Check it out here.
elisabeth, drop me a line with your mailing address. beckykaydesigns[at]

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Love Story

This week's EtsyBloggers Street Team Blog Carnival theme is "Diamonds and Daisies". Now, I'm not all that into daisies, but I certainly do like diamonds. What girl doesn't, right? I own a few diamonds, but, obviously, my favorite is the one that I wear on my left hand ring finger everyday. I thought I'd share with you all the story of how it got there.

Once upon a time, I was 18 years old and had just moved back to my small hometown in Kansas, after discovering that my chosen college was too far from home for comfort. My mother sent me out to find a job and suggested that I try "that jewelry store." Now, in all my teenage wisdom, I knew that there was no way that the jewelry store was hiring. Those kinds of places are never hiring. So, I traveled to a nearby town and spent the day gathering applications. Right before I was ready to go home, I decided that I better try the jewelry store, because if I didn't my mom would want to know why, and I'd never hear the end of it.
I went into the jewelry store and asked the lady if they might, perhaps, be looking for anyone to work there. Oh my goodness! They were so excited to see me! Before I knew it, I was working as a salesperson in a jewelry store.

I soon found out that the owner's wife had not hired me simply because she thought I would make a good salesperson. She had ulterior motives. Her plan was to set me up with the apprentice jeweler who was currently spending a semester studying art in Greece, but would be coming back to the States in November. Unfortunately, I was already very seriously dating someone else. In fact, we were discussing marriage.

Needless to say, I was more than a little curious about this person that someone else seemed to think would suit me. I knew he was an art student and a senior in college, and the ladies at the jewelry store all seemed to like him very much.

I finally met him around Thanksgiving. I don't remember if I was really prepared for the tall, thin guy with long dark hair that walked past me as I was standing at the gift wrapping table. I do remember thinking that he seemed kind of sexy, mysterious and a bit dangerous with his long dark coat and high cheekbones. They really thought that plain, boring, glasses-wearing me was his type?!?

So, I got engaged at Christmas time to my high school sweetheart. That tall dark stranger turned out to be a terribly nice person, and we spent hours at work talking and teasing and joking. In fact, he was the best thing about my job.

Nine months later, I was enrolled in a small local college, planning a wedding, going my merry way, when the engagement ended. Just. Like. That. And guess who was there to pick up the pieces just a few months later?

Less than a year after we started dating, Mr. Kay presented me with a beautiful half carat marquis cut diamond solitaire. He ordered a special setting and mounted the diamond himself just minutes before he proposed. In fact, I was rather miffed at him for keeping me waiting at his apartment. I didn't know what he was up to! I love the way my ring sparkles, and the pretty scrollwork setting. I love knowing that he put it all together himself, and, chances are that no on else has one just like it.

My 100th Sale!

Here it is! Sale number 100! I am really pleased to be sending this cute little bag out to Laurie in Mississippi. It's been just over a year that I've been on Etsy, and I cannot believe how many bags I have made and sold. Who would have thought? And, there will definitely be a little something extra in Laurie's package!
Last night, I was doing my taxes. I know, I know, April 15th is less than two weeks away! Normally, we have them done well in advance. I've been putting them off, because I was afraid it would be too hard to do them myself. Guess what! It's not hard! I bought one of those tax software packages, and it talked me right though it. And, we're getting a refund. I just need to go through it all one more time, add in a few things I didn't have at my fingertips last night, and I'm done!
One thing I learned last night as I added up my receipts. I bought waaaay too much fabric last year! I never said I wasn't addicted.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A new project

I've started a new little project specifically for myself. I know I should be making more purses for my shop, but sometimes, you just need to do something for yourself.

Felicia at Fluffy Flowers blogged about making this top. Her results were so cute that I had to go out and buy this pattern for myself. It's Simplicity 3835. I usually shy away from making clothes, because I'm never particularly happy with the results. This top seems simple enough. I'm going to give it a go.

Last fall, I bought this Favorite Things Cute Skirt Pattern. I haven't made any of these skirts yet, so last night I cut out the flounced skirt. (EIGHT panels and EIGHT flounces!!)It's the yellow one in the picture. I'm using coordinating fabric for the top and skirt. I'm not sure yet if the two styles will complement each other, but if not, they will still look good separately.

I need to run to the store at lunch today to get some 1/4" elastic for the top. I thought I had some, and I probably do, but I could only find 1" in my stash. Perfect for the skirt, but I need 1/4" for the top. I'm hoping I can get a lot of sewing done tonight.

If you haven't already, be sure to comment on the giveaway post! I'll be drawing a lucky winner on Friday evening.