Sunday, December 19, 2010



I think Justin Timberlake should cover Wham's "Everything She Wants".

That's right. I said Justin Timberlake should cover Wham's "Everything She Wants".


tweet this, folks. #justingeorge

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Occasionally, I am funny

But just occasionally.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I would go out tonight, but I haven't got a stitch to wear

So far, I have:

• Read some Sookie Stackhouse
• Eaten Cool Ranch Doritos
• Finished an ice cold can of Coke
• Watched an episode of Weeds
• Listened to Thriller

And later I will:

• Go to Ikea for craft show table supplies
• Eat a healthy dinner
• Introduce my husband to the wonders of True Blood
• Pay some bills

And MUCH later, I will:

• Stay up crazy late sewing.

Today is the bomb.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My friend Ngan has featured me & my shop on her blog . . . plus we're running a GIVEAWAY!

Check out the blog for your options to enter, and remember my Black Friday sale (this entire weekend!). :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am so in love with this movie and all the music from it. Besides knowing some of the topics within it so intimately, it reignites my daydream of becoming a singer/songwriter who has guitar, will travel. Sigh. Though my guitar would need to be a keytar. ;)

Some of my co-workers and I have joked around about creating an office band . . . maybe we should!

Black Friday Sale!

Hello friends . . . I've been MIA, just busy with life! I do hope to post more of substance soon but wanted to let you know of my Black Friday sale - all my cozies will be 15% off PLUS free shipping! Any orders of 3 or more cozies will receive a total discount of 25%!

I've been a busy girl at my sewing machine so I have TONS of new cozies - some are featured below. Winter/holiday items, a new "city series" featuring famous cities, a simple line of corduroy items for the person who wants something a little less frou-frou . . .

My Black Friday sale will be going on Friday, 11/26 through Monday, 11/29. If you're not interested in cozies, still - check out everything else on Etsy. Use the search terms "etsyholidaysale" and "etsyfreeshipping" to find items that are marked down. You can combine those terms with whatever you're looking for - for example you could search for this: etsyholidaysale london and you'll find items that are tagged with those keywords (like one of my cozies in my city series, hint hint). ;)


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Today is my 33rd birthday.

Looking back, I have accomplished some things and not others . . . while I have had success with employment and I really love what I'm doing now, I'm not sure anyone would call what I have a "career". I don't own a home, am on the very low end of middle class. Still working on my bachelor's degree.

I have created a family - our kids are 11, 9 and 3. My husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage. We're happy and healthy and all working towards things that better ourselves - better health, more education, hobbies and interests.

So in some ways, compared to my peers, I'm behind. In some ways, I'm ahead. In some ways, I'm right on track. I think I feel a lot of pressure when looking at my high school classmates' lives, when looking at my co-workers lives . . . I feel pressure to have built a certain lifestyle by this point. And sometimes, I really want those things. Just this morning I was dreaming of having endless disposable income so I could go buy the boots I will likely never buy, because they cost a couple hundred dollars. Because, you know, endless disposable income is necessary in order to spend money like that. :)

Anyway . . . I guess I'm rambling, sorry. Just taking stock of where I'm at, where I'm headed, how I measure up. Once again, I come to the conclusion that the stuff of this world is fleeting and I want something more, I want to spend my time on something more, I want to spend my resources on something more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Etsy-versary, sale and Giveaway!

Today is my Etsy-versary! It's quite a thing to look back on. I opened my Etsy account in March of last year, planned all kinds of stuff (so many twists and turns) and finally, after meeting with my knitting group in November and having to report that I still hadn't yet opened my shop, went home, spent the wee hours of the morning getting things ready, and listed my first items! Sorry about the length of that sentence. :)

I got my very first sale the next day from a co-worker. A few of my friends promoted my shop like crazy, and thanks to that, some serious blog promotion and the Christmas shopping season, my cozies took off! I have now sold 111 cozies through my Etsy shop, and I want to say that as many as 90 sales were completed before December 15th.

I also sold a good number of cozies to co-workers and other acquaintances here and there . . . I was in one local craft show which didn't earn me much (just paid me back my entrance fee) but gave me some much-needed experience. Plus it helped me get over the fear of something new - now I know I can do it!

I have been inspired by friends who have successful shops, and I have inspired others. It's pretty amazing to say that. Some that I inspired have gone on to be incredibly successful - quitting your day job successful! They have turned right around and inspired me.

I joined a local "street team" made up of other Chicago crafters who sell on Etsy, we've shared expertise and ideas and frustrations. I'm sending some of my items to a consignment shop in another state and may (finally) begin approaching local businesses to see if they want to sell some of my items. I have ideas for other things I could make, but haven't been able to commit the time to test them out.

I've done all of this while being a wife, mom of 3, full-time employee and part-time college student. It hasn't been easy, and I certainly can't excel at all of those things at the same time, so something has always had to give. Often, it's my Etsy shop. I didn't do much with it at all over the Spring and Summer . . . but now I'm gearing up for what will hopefully be another busy, successful holiday shopping season.

I plan to feature other crafters between now and Christmas so you can think of some new places to buy great handmade items.

Right now, in honor of my Etsy-versary (and my birthday tomorrow), I've continued my recent sale (FREE SHIPPING and 25% off of orders of 3 or more cozies) and am also hosting a GIVEAWAY! To enter, you need to leave a comment on the One In The Hand Facebook page, telling me what your favorite cozy is, of my currently listed items. If you want your name entered into the contest two more times, leave a Facebook status update linking up my Etsy shop or Facebook page. If you haven't added the Facebook page yet, I hope you will!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I extended my sale through the end of October - free shipping and 25% off if you order 3 or more cozies!

Also, I created a new treasury: Blame It On The Rain! ;)

This is my attempt at doing a muted treasury. Hope you'll take a look!

A sneak peek:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It’s time for a SALE!

This weekend (Saturday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 24th), all my cozies will be sold with FREE SHIPPING!  And! Any purchase of 3 or more cozies will be discounted 25%!


They’re really cute!


Seriously.  Come check out my cozies and stock up on some sweet gifts for yourself or those you love.

One In The Hand at Etsy




Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love Will Tear Us Apart

I’ve created a new treasury full of Joy Division themed items. It’s a ton of fun! And by fun, I mean . . . depressing, tragic and awesome.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reconsider Columbus Day!

Do you celebrate Columbus Day? Do you talk to your kids about it? Do you not really think about it?

I understand why we celebrate it - it's good to think about where "we" started. But is that really where "we" started? And is it ok to act like what Columbus (and his peeps) did was honorable, since it got us to where we are today?

I don't think we should celebrate Columbus Day. I think we should replace it with a Native American remembrance day. Not just to celebrate their culture - that's important and I'm glad we have a Native American Heritage Month (November) but Iwould like a day that focuses on honoring the great loss that the native nations suffered.

I hate our reluctance to admit that we screwed up. Today, one of my co-workers posted a motivational quote on Facebook, and it started out something like, "Remember, there are no mistakes - only lessons learned."

Ok - I get that sometimes we beat ourselves up too much and get stuck focusing on the negative. But why can't we call a mistake, a mistake? We did likely learn a lesson from it - but it was still a mistake. Why live under a mantra of "I don't have regrets"? What is so wrong with admitting your imperfection? What is so wrong with saying "I have not always made the best choices?"

This bugs me, both personally and as part of our national culture. Why can't we just say that we got some things horribly wrong? Why can't we be willing to teach our kids that along with the "freedom" we fought for, we also stepped on a lot of people to get to where we are today?

This is the sort of blind nationalism and "patriotism" that I don't understand. I want my children to be able to see the good and the bad and to weigh pros & cons. I don't want my kids to blindly follow ANYTHING.

I think we should get rid of Columbus Day. It's time that we as a nation set this straight.

Visit the Reconsider Columbus Day website- learn about some who are petitioning to change the day. Here is the petition content (coloring mine):

To: All people of the world
Congress of the United States
Senate of the United States
President of the United States

We the undersigned come together before you to request that each of these governing bodies take all necessary action to bring about a Federal Holiday for Native American Elected Leaders, To include Congressional hearings on the racial exclusion of Native Americans in movies, television, sports advertising, music companies, etc.

With the special government to government relationship between the Indian Government of America and the Federal Government it is fitting for the Federal Government to enact this holiday, and conduct Congressional hearings.

Indian governments and the people they represent are requesting that the federal government bring about a National Holiday for Native Americans to be celebrated by all citizens of America and people around the world.

This holiday would pay tribute to Indian Tribal Leaders to include Alaskan Leaders and Hawaiian Leaders. This holiday would also pay tribute to those that endured the world's longest holocaust and most costly in human lives.

It is further stated that no Indian Government nor its people find reason to celebrate and pay for Columbus Day.Seventeen states do not recognize Columbus Day. The state of South Dakota has changed Columbus day to Native American Day.

Therefore be it resolved that the Federal Government should reevaluate Columbus Day by moving it back to its original day the second Wednesday of October and not be a tax paid holiday as is St. Patrick's Day and Octoberfest, and make the second Monday of October a Federal holiday for Native Americans.

The polls we conducted across the country show that the vast majority of Americans prefer changing Columbus Day as to creating a whole new holiday.

It is inappropriate for Indian children and children of America to celebrate Columbus discovering a nation of people and not having a holiday paying tribute to the people of those nations.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pretty Galore!

I’ve created a couple new treasuries at Etsy, I hope you’ll take a peek, comment and “heart” any items you like!

Here’s a preview:

Aqua Bomb


Dance Party!


If you see something you like, spread the word!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Work Through The Pain

I've applied to get a booth at this December's What A Load Of Craft in Iowa City, mainly so I can get front row seat to a performance from Leslie and her gold pants.

Please send a representative . . . I have just made the world's largest gem sweater. In the world.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family Tree Woo Hoo!


. . . plus a bevy of other likely-pretty-evil-considering-the-stuff-they-decreed royals, all across Europe.

Because when you're related to one medieval European royal, you're basically related to them all.

Wreckin' shop East and West. Get it? East and West?

If only I could convince certain people that this lineage gives me the right to WRECK SHOP ALL OVER THE PLACE. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This photo from the White House Flickr account shows a young boy rubbing President Barack Obama’s head. Reportedly, “The youngster wanted to see if the President’s haircut felt like his own.”

Having a self-identified black man in the White House matters. Yes, it does.

I've had this photo and caption from Love Isn't Enough (formerly Anti Racist Parent) posted outside my office door for over a year. Today a new student stopped by to tell me she appreciated the photo and it was an example of why she chose to attend our school. The fact that I'm not only allowed but encouraged to express this sort of sentiment is why I chose my school as an employer.

In other Obama news, I had a good discussion with friends on Facebook today about whether combat for American soldiers in Iraq is really over or not. Looks like it's not - maybe combat lead by Americans but the truth is that Americans will engage in combat in Iraq indefinitely. Please do not think the war is over. The war simply has a different name in Iraq and a lot of it has moved over to Afghanistan.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

weekend projects, here we come!

i've been thinking about ways to give our house some color and design when we have no money to spend on anything right now.  i came across a blog called make it and love it that has all kinds of DIY tutorials (home, clothing, food) and have found some projects that i can do with the kids where i can use things we already own (old boxes, fabric, glue, wood) to make.

things like . . .

. . . fabric covered boards for artsy wall hangings . . .


. . . photo collages . . . (ok, this is nothing too exciting but i have tons of frames i've picked up over the years, i just need to get photos into them!  this is my reminder . . .


. . . fabric-covered storage boxes . . .

. . . i'm also inspired to spend just a *little* money on some things i have room to finally do now that we have a garage, like . . .

. . . painting an old piece of furniture so it's shiny and pretty and new . . .


. . . getting wood at the sale section of the local home depot type store and making cubicle shelving (or painting/staining the wood) . . .

. . . i'm excited!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I finished reading the Twilight series. I really liked the last book, Breaking Dawn, but think that Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse should have been condensed into 1 book, making it a 2-book series. There was enough pointless filler in books 1-3 that you could have removed 2/3 of it, shoved all the funny, steamy & dangerous parts (i.e. the good stuff) together and made just one book out of it.

The final book was about SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! Bella's life after becoming a vampire. It was awesome, I loved it. It was just what I was looking for - fun, exciting, light reading. Too bad the entire series didn't measure up to the last book.

* * *

My kids start school today, 4th and 5th grades in a new school. I'm excited for them. I'm anxious for them - I hope they make friends. I know they will, they always do. They already do have neighborhood friends who will be in the same school but in different classes. Especially Bennett (4th grade) - he makes friends immediately, wherever he goes.

Still, I'm anxious. Kori is in 5th grade, the new girl. She's sensitive even though she tries to hide it. She's smart, funny, cute, has cute clothes (though nothing too expensive). Unless she has some MEAN GIRLS in her class, she should have no problems fitting in. I don't care about her being popular, I just don't want her to suffer because someone thinks she's an easy target because she's new.

Last night was a "welcome back" picnic at their school. We met their teachers and the kids played for a while on the playground. Bennett was surrounded by his "peeps" (seriously, you should see him and his little friends saying 'whatup' and giving each other bro-hugs and daps), while Kori hung out with us. Rian (3 years old) wants to go to school like his big brother and sister. We do need to get him into pre-school or something so he'll be less of a terror when we unleash him on kindergarten.

Sometime in the next day or two I'll be writing their teachers a letter, the way I do every year, telling them about my kids - their strengths, weaknesses, interests, etc.


My babies are growing up.

* * *

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my own schooling and career.

I've been a little burnt out on school but now it's time to get back in gear. I have a detailed plan for getting back into volunteering and using it as personal research for learning more about the various fields I *think* I'm interested in. I also need to get some admissions & faculty interviews set up at a couple schools whose grad programs I'm considering applying for.

Last but not least, I need to get back on my game in terms of using the professional development resources my job has to offer. I'm lucky to have full-time career & employee development consultants available to talk to.

Here are just some of the things I'll be looking into, to see if I might be a good fit and if there is work in my area:

~ Anti-racist advocacy.
~ Getting resources to those who are poor and especially those who are poor and without a voice, especially immigrants, especially immigrants who aren’t here legally.
~ Teaching about privilege.
~ Getting resources to the working poor and/or those who make too much money to qualify for subsidies (welfare) but don’t really make enough to make it.
~ Closing the gaps for people who are on the verge of moving to the next level of self-sufficiency but aren’t quite there . . . maybe if they could just get decent childcare, they could. Or if they could get reliable transportation. Or if they could take one year off of work to finish their degree.
~ Developing more innovative education and social mediums to draw white, middle-class women into discussions about racism, privilege, class, welfare, philanthropy.
~ Helping others get motivated and involved in community service, including finding ways for people to serve when they have very little free time or have some roadblock, like no childcare or something.
~ Promoting the idea that K-12 and college education should always involve a service component.
~ Promoting service programs to pre-college and college students.
~ Promoting community service “tours” which result in getting college tuition, better loans or training, like our veterans get (like some other countries have).

I think one day, policy might be an area I could do well in . . . but I have to gain much more experience and education before I can be of any value that way.

EDITED TO ADD: After hashing this out with some friends, I'm also strongly considering staying in higher ed at an institution that makes the world a better place (like where I work now). I'll likely write more on this in the future - the actual debate ever raging in my brain called, "What am I supposed to be, what am I supposed to do?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Probably taking things too seriously

Another Twilight entry, but more about the message it sends to young readers. Get ready for your heads to explode with “OMG ASHLEY IT’S JUST A BOOK” (kind of like when I criticize movies because “that wouldn’t happen in real life”).

I added a few people on Goodreads and one commented on the Twilight series – that she liked it but it rankled her feminist self and also concerned her as a domestic violence advocate.

There are definitely some things in the books that bother me, mainly because there are gads of teenage girls reading them. And yes, if your teenager is getting all of their relationship advice and modeling from a book, there’s a problem. But you can’t underestimate the power of fairy tales shaping our expectations. How many young girls have been raised seeing their parents relationships, compared to what they see in movies and books and think “XYZ is how relationships should work”, while XYZ is completely off the mark?

Here are some things I dislike about the series:

• Edward and Bella’s obsessive, all-consuming relationship is shown as the way “real” and “mature” relationships are and should be. The other teen romances are treated trivially. Bella’s parents’ relationships (with each other and new significant others or lack thereof) are shown in an immature light – her Mom rushes in without thinking and her Dad is emotionally stunted. 2 teenagers are seen as having cornered the market on the way REAL love should be.

• The other relationships that are given any credibility are all “soulmate”, “made-for-each-other”, “I have no option other than to love you forever” things, among the vampires and the werewolves. Theirs seems to be an instinctual love and it’s not based on compatability or values. No credence seems to be given to people learning about each other, committing and then choosing to love one another when times are rough and the fireworks have gone out. Sure, their characters love each other through tough times but it’s always because they have no choice in the matter.

• Bella starts off as an independent person who craves time alone. After falling in love with Edward, she can’t bear to be alone. The guy is with her at school. After school. All night long. It’s literally said in the book that the only time they’re apart is the couple of hours when he leaves, before her dad goes to bed. Then he sneaks back in. So they’re together 20-22 hours a day and she can’t handle those 2-4 hours when he’s not with her?

• WHY they actually love each other has nothing to do with their personalities, beliefs, talents, goals . . . it’s just instinctual, physical . . . it’s destiny. Ok, whether you believe in that sort of thing is beside the point – even if destiny is what drew them together, shouldn’t we see WHY destiny drew them together? Shouldn’t it turn out that their personalities complement each other or that they both have a passion for something? We could assume that these things are the case but they’re rarely implied or explicitly said. Even when they talk about loving each other, there is no WHY. It’s just “I could never exist without loving you.” Ok . . . why?

• Edward – and Jacob – and Bella’s Dad . . . all control the CRAP out of her. Especially Edward! Sure, it’s because she’s hunted by everyone and their dog, but still – as long as there’s a good reason, it’s ok to order your girlfriend around, kidnap her, completely defy her parent’s rules and boundaries?

• Bella sees nothing outstanding or special about herself. And no one else tells her otherwise. Sure, people like and love her. But um, what are Bella’s talents? What are her interests? What does she want to be when she grows up? Here’s what we know: Edward thinks she’s beautiful. Bella is clumsy and seems to draw danger. She was kinda sorta into music and literature but gave it up when Edward hurt her/when she’s with Edward (which is all day, every day). She got into extreme sports and stuff but that was just so she could hear Edward’s voice in her head. She thinks college is pointless, she wants to become a vampire so she won’t be physically older than Edward all their lives.

Don’t get me wrong – I still think the books are fun, though I still have my complaint about too much filler, not enough of the fluffy good stuff (I’m doing a lot of skimming). But these are some things I really don’t like about the way relationships are framed in these books.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My herd instinct is in full effect

There’s a book I’ve been meaning to read, considering I’ve been in a “lighter = better” reading mood lately. I put it on hold at my library since it was checked out, and was able to get it today. Started reading it and OH YEAH, OH YEAH. Me likey.

When I was in high school, I used to write “stories” and bring them for my friends to read. In particular, a couple girls in my Spanish class – one who was on pom with me and one who later got pregnant and I threw a baby shower for her AND she was prom queen – loved what I wrote and would always ask, “do you have more story?” I’d write a little bit at a time and bring in new sections every day or two. These were always teen romances. The truth is I’ve had these stories going in my head ever since then and the characters have matured as I have, though I occasionally dip back into my youth and imagine characters who are young, unmarried, without kids. I love romances (stories). Don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of other movies and books, but if you throw in romance, it seems to make things EVEN BETTER.

Anyway, I’m totally loving the book I checked out today and am glad there’s a Bears game on right now to distract Vincent, so I can sit quietly, listen to Fleet Foxes, and read . . . Twilight.


I wrote that Saturday evening and was so very happy to be waiting at the library doors on Sunday as they opened, so I could run in and track down New Moon and Eclipse. The last one (I forget the name, the one w/the chess piece on the front) is all checked out but they have it at another nearby branch. Finished Twilight Sunday, began New Moon and I'm almost done. Tonight will go to the branch and get the last one so that tomorrow or Tuesday when I finish Eclipse, I'll be ready.

Oh yeah, it's fun. :) As I was reading Twilight, I kept thinking, Who in their right mind could say, "Team Jacob?!?!" but now that I'm almost done with New Moon and things have developed between Bella and Jacob and Edward is being such a "but I don't want to hurt you" pansy, I can understand it. But I'm still Team Edward. Sorry. I also have been all "OMG JUST MAKE HER A VAMPIRE ALREADY" but I just read the part in New Moon where they were in Italy and saw the group of tourists led to their deaths, and the lady was scared and praying on her rosary and stuff. I mean, if Bella became a vampire we assume she'd stay with Edward and the Cullens, but what if she was really different and decided she wanted people? That would ruin everything. And sure, how would she have a real relationship with her parents again? And Jacob - she and Jacob would be enemies, even if there was a treaty. Also - if she was a vampire (and this is something I've been thinking all along), wouldn't she lose her smell? Would Edward really want her the same as when she was human? What if she became immortal and he was like, "Yeah . . . you just don't do it for me anymore. My bad." ???

As with Harry Potter and LOST and all things I come to late in the game, I'm sure those of you who are through it all are shaking your heads at my silly guesses. Oh well. It's fun!

Oh, and my friend Robin thought the guy from the Vampire Diaries wo
uld have been a much better Edward. I did try to imagine him with that face instead of Robert Pattinson's - and although I do think that the Vampire Diaries guy is more "perfect" looking, he's just not big enough for me to really believe him as Edward. AND I think Robert Pattinson gets "sad and tortured" better than Vampire Eiaries guy. Just Sayin.

Vampire Diaries guy

Robert Pattinson
Enough with the wishy-washy, Edward.

Friday, August 13, 2010

oh yes

it's almost time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Come on, next week! I'll be on vacation (from work), but staying at home. My Dad and Step-Mom will be in town for a couple days, they'll take the older 2 to Kansas with them for a week.

I'll be:

. . . sleeping in . . .

. . . dragging the family around Chicago while they're in town . . .

. . . sleeping in some more after they're gone . . .

. . . sewing . . .

. . . reading . . .

. . . visiting fabric stores to daydream . . .

. . . going out to a goodbye party for a couple work friends . . .

. . . and generally doing nothing that I don't want to do. Of course, things always come up that you don't plan for, but I'll deal with those things when they happen.


Friday, July 23, 2010

My baby is growing up

Today is my toddler's birthday - he's 3!

Last night as I held him and "stole" kisses and hugs from him, I told him, "You have to let me kiss you! You're almost not my baby anymore!" And it's true . . . he's *thisclose* to being completely potty-trained (we're lazy trainers), finally enjoying books and "reading" them, doing all the things a just-turned-three-year-old should be doing. His baby fat is almost melted away.

But there's good news! I have 2 older kids (just-turned 9 and almost 11) and I am happy to report that it took many years for me to stop seeing "baby" in them. I mean, I still do - I can instantly see the way they looked as babies . . . and when they sleep I get a little verklempt looking at them. They'll all always be my babies.

But this one . . . he's my BABY. For a while, at least.

My oldest, Kori:



  kori summer

She and her brother really are best friends and have been since the beginning.  (Of course they fight like crazy as well).





Here’s Bennett, the middle child.


ben mohawk ben summer

And now, the reason I started this post in the first place!

Rian . . . not even due for 3 months!  DANG.


rian turtle  rian tattoo

Happy Birthday, Rian!  We’re so glad you’re a part of our family.

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