Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I Have Two Favorites

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I have made two dolls that absolutely make my heart sing... I mean, I love them all. I won't create something I don't love. But then there are dolls that you look at their sweet little faces and it's like seeing one of your own children. The first was Celia. Sigh.... Celia was hard to send away. And now Miss Anouk. Maybe it's because, like my mother pointed out, she resembles my own Zoe.

Anouk got her name while I was watching Chocolat. I didn't actually mean to, just found myself calling her Anouk while I watched and worked on her hair. I think it suits her, though. She is the first made from a new pattern. She has more little details than any doll I've made before. I had resisted the details, preferring to keep them simple and traditional. But I'm feeling more like stretching myself as a doll maker; trying new things. And I like it!

Anouk is a 12" Waldorf doll. Her body is sewn from cotton interlock and filled with wool. Her hair is a crocheted cap of mohair. She comes with a cotton top and pants, cotton panties, and wool shoes with a wooden button. She is available through my Etsy shop.

Monday, July 1, 2013

So, Everything Changes

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Dear friends, I want to send a GREAT-BIG-THANK-YOU out there to all of you that stopped by to offer me support and encouragement over the past couple of months. I have been so overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit I've been shown.

And here we are, my little ones and I, in our apartment. We moved in a couple of weeks after I last posted and told you all of the separation. I got unpacked very quickly and we proceeded to feel around around for the best rhythm we could find. We're still working on that. My girls are taking their dad moving out really well, but not as well the time they have to spend away from me.
If you've been following my blog awhile you may remember that my husband and I were separated once before. We had been back together for a year and a half but were separated the 2 previous years. What can I say? I gave it everything I had but in the end he just wanted something else.
Anyway, though I've been a single mom before, it's different this time because I had an enormous amount of help from my parents before and we lived just beside of them. We moved away from there this past September and, though I could have gone back  I chose to do it completely independently this time. It's just something I need to do.
But it means I spend a lot of hours working. I'm still working from home, making dolls and toys, but it's not just to bring in  a little extra income anymore. My parents do still help me by watching the girls during the day, Monday-Thursday and my mom (who homeschooled my younger siblings and I) has taking over their schooling. I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. I miss them, they miss me. There have been some behavior issues with the two littlest and Kaiya has let me know very directly that it is not acceptable for me to work when they get home.

 But, we do love it here in our apartment very much. There's a ton of light in here (a must for me) lots of closets, a playground right outside our door, and a little balcony for my herb pots and the girls to step out on whenever they want. We're right in town and we like being able to walk to the grocery store, a first for us.

We're doing really well. I mean it, even me.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Let's Move

Hello friends! I hope the beginning of a new week finds you all happy and well. I'm sharing another video from my new blog, The Only Journey, to share with you all some big happenings in my life right now. Please hold my little family in your thoughts and prayers this week as we move into a new chapter of our lives.

If you're interested in taking advantage of the 30% off coupon code (applies to your entire order, including customs) it is LETSMOVE.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

A New Direction

Hello, friends! I'm very excitedly/nervously here to introduce you to something new I'm starting. I'll let the video (my first vlog!) tell you what it's about and I'll leave you a few new links at the bottom.




Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just For Me

March is here.... that means in just a couple of weeks it will be Spring! Here in western North Carolina we had an excessively mild winter. Feels silly even calling it that; more like a little bit of kinda cold days, some measly snow flurries and a whole lotta rain. Very blah, and not at all a satisfactory 'Ahh, that was winter!'. So I'm over it and ready to move on and feel the creative rush that always hits me the first weeks of spring.Photobucket
Creatively speaking, I'm not there yet. But my body is feeling a strong urge to lighten up! Remember my last post, about taking care of me? My body is one of those long neglected things I'm finally getting around to giving the proper attention it deserves. Starting with what I'm putting in it. I had gotten into a negative pattern of giving into every craving that crossed my path, and you know how that works... every time you (or at least I ) give into a craving it opens the door to many more. I was also stress eating like crazy.
Something I won't divulge even to my own mother is a number, when it comes to my weight, but let's just say that it crept up slowly while I was pregnant with River and the subsequent PPD got it to a place that I'm really unhappy about. I've had a weight problem ever since I was, ohh.... about 12-13. But I've never been one to beat myself up over that. I never had the poor self esteem that frequently comes with being over-weight. But that doesn't mean it was something I was OK with, either. I wanted to change it,but... well, what is it? What is it that holds everyone with a weight problem back? Lack of drive in that area, maybe? Maybe procrastination? I don't know, really, but it started at 12 and, at 32, I'm just now feeling an 'in earnest' attempt, no, real DRIVE, to do something about it.
Photobucket So here goes, right?! My number one roadblock is saying 'no' to the foods and the amount of food that I want. Sure, I could choose the pasta with veggies and very light dressing, but what I really want is a plate of the noodles swimming in cream sauce (minus the chicken, please) that my dad ordered sitting right across from me (true story, but I made the better choice anyway). So, what do I do? Say no to that craving, of course, but then there's that feeling of not being fully satisfied and I really dislike that feeling. What I've found that is working really well for me is saying positive affirmations before I go to the restaurant, before and while I am grocery shopping, while I'm preparing meals. Something like this;

I enjoy making healthy food choices. I enjoying choosing foods that support my healthy body weight and fill me with energy. I enjoy eating foods that make me feel light and support the good health of my body. I enjoy foods that are clean and whole and are truly made to support my physical well-being. I enjoy these foods. I enjoy eating proportions that leave me light and full of energy. 

....and on and on until I truly connect with the affirmations and have created a strong, positive vibrations in the direction of my health. I tell you, it really is changing my relationship with food and truly easing my cravings and helping me to enjoy making better choices.
To some it may seem hokey to think you can just talk yourself  out of wanting something rich and decadent and really talk yourself into wanting good things for your body but just try it. Try it whenever you are around food or going to be around food. If it doesn't work for you,well, what do you have to loose?

Please share with me what you're doing just for you!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just For Me

For me, me, just me! My yarn arrived yesterday and I'm going to make this cardigan. I've not knit a sweater for myself since I was a teenager and first started knitting. I think I knit two for myself then. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I picked up my needles to make something for me. I'm thinking there might have been a pair of fingerless mitts back when Zoe was a tiny baby... she's 6 now.

So, it's about time, wouldn't you say?! I'm taking a lot of time for myself right now. Picking up some pampering habits I lost back when the oldest was born and I'm finally giving my body the time and attention it deserves. I'm also taking a lot more time for inner work, learning new ways to interact with the universe and finding a peace within myself and a peace with my place here.
Since becoming a mother I've become really low maintenance and I thought that was a good thing (not that it isn't) and what I wanted but I've recently come to realize that not taking the time for me is not doing myself, or my children, or my husband, or anyone else I come in contact with any favors. They do say (you know, THEY) that you cannot take care of others til you take care of yourself and I feel like I've really come to understand that the hard way. Not in some big and life changing way, though, I suppose that it all added up to be be life changing and that's why I'm here, at this particular point of view. Just  a slow decline, really. And the thing that made me stop and think was, of course, what I was writing about the other day here, the post from Erin that started a most pleasing change in my way of thinking and feeling and doing.

I'm following my inspirations and my feelings and finding them leading.... to me! Many, many good, new  habits that have no other purpose than to make me feel good and strong and healthy and beautiful and whole. And I'm finding that when I do listen to that inner voice of inspiration and tune into my feelings and go where they lead me, even though they lead me to care for me, they are leading me to be open and receptive to just about everyone and everything else. I'm finding judgment and emotional walls slipping away and my heart just opening up!

Life is so very full and abundant when we do not forget ourselves. I think as mothers it's very easy to forget that, but perhaps we're really the ones who most need to remember it. So won't you please join me in paying a little attention to ourselves? When you get the chance it would be lovely if you would write a little post and link back here to what you're doing Just For Me right now. Maybe you're not doing anything that's for you and here's the little reminder you need to do it! It doesn't have to be a big thing. The little things we do for ourselves daily become the moments we really look forward to during the day and the ones that bring us quiet serenity. So please do share. It would be wonderful to inspire one another.

Friday, February 22, 2013

In Appreciation

I read a post last month that was very timely for me. At a time that I felt like I was failing and life was failing me. We have all (most?) felt that way at some point or another, haven't we? And I found myself really letting that beat me down and take my peace and my confidence in my ability to steer my own ship away. For a very long while I had forgotten who I really was.
I had forgotten that joy is a choice. That peace and love are rightfully mine and I am so very worthy of them and only have to allow them to come into my life. That all goodness and all things I can desire and dream of are only a thought away and life is mine for the creating.
I had forgotten and am in very deep appreciation for the reminder. I am very purposefully and with great intent setting out to really, finally make my life what I truly want it to be. For a very long time I have held on to resistance, not in a purposeful way, but in a habitual way. I have only surrendered to old thoughts that did not serve me and perpetuated a hard and disappointing life. It doesn't have to be that way. I know from deep within my core being that it does not have to be that way.
That full of peace, love, and joy is our natural state of being. How could it be any other way? We come from love, we are pure love. We just need to remember that, I believe.
Maybe you do not, and that is OK, because we are all set out on our very different and individual paths and isn't that the beauty of being human? That  we all get to make the choice and decide who we are. And I know this is beyond my usual postings here, but it's where I am and I want to put it out there, should it be beneficial to another who is seeking.
PhotobucketAnd so I am living every day with deep appreciation for everything that already makes my life so wonderful and everything that is coming into my life that is wonderful and beautiful and worthwhile and greatly abundant.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Easter Egg Swap

Our swap is now full!

I am so glad that a Facebook fan reminded me of last year's Easter Egg Swap, this morning, and suggested we do it again. I am so happy to! I had so much fun doing it last year and can't wait to get started working on this year's goodies. Photobucket Here's what I made last year....Photobucket And here's what I got back!
I have no idea what I'll be making this year but I will include idea links at the bottom of the post.

This year we will have 11 total participants, including myself, leaving open 10 spaces. To give us all plenty of time to craft and ship (Easter falls on March 31st this year) this will have to be US only. Otherwise, I'm afraid packages just will not make it in time. I had meant to remember to begin this earlier this year so that we could open it international but life has just been hectic and time got away from me!

What you will be making is one wool egg and one extra little something (Waldorf inspired) about $5-15 in value for the spring nature table or Easter baskets for each participant (10 eggs and extras total). If you've not welt felted before check out this link for a great tutorial from Nicole. Or if you'd rather you can try your hand at some of these other great techniques; knitted eggs, crocheted eggs, flip top crochet eggs, sewn from felt, felt pocket eggs (or this one) or needle felted. Though, I must say, it's always fun if the egg opens to hold a treasure or two.

All packages must be in the mail by March 18th Deadline has been moved up from the 18th to the 11th to allow a couple of international swappers to participate.  This will give us a little over 2 weeks to get all of our crafting finished.

If you would like to participate leave me a comment on this post or you can email me directly at thiscosylife(at)yahoo(dot)com. I'll close the entries once we have 11 participants. Be sure to leave me your email address and I'll email you within 48 hours to let you know that you have a spot. It will be up to you to respond to  my email within 48 hours with your confirmation and mailing address or you'll loose your spot.

If there are a surplus of people wanting to participate we can either add them, if there aren't too many, or, have two groups. Also if there are 2 or more people from one country that would like to swap with one another I am happy to set that up, too.

ETA;  The first 10 spots filled quickly so I am opening another 8 (since 2 are already spoken for) for a second group. If there are any Canadians that are interested in swapping I do have another that is interested so just let me know.

ETA; Just *2* spots left for the second group. Please note the change in deadline in the red text above.

Our swap is now full!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Winner

Photobucket He's not quite finished yet but I am ready to call a winner for him. Congratulations to Stephanie K.! I am still knitting on his hat and tiny shoes and will have him ready to go in just a couple of days.

Thank you to everyone for entering and sharing!
Also, about giveaways here on This Cosy Life....  I would love to host one for you, too. The only requirement is that your site/blog and what you are giving away is a good fit for my readership. I ask nothing in return; if you want me to review I can but that's entirely optional. It's mutually beneficial and I love being able to showcase other crafty mamas! Use the contact tab up at the top of my page to get in touch with me.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Bed For Dolly

OK, just one more handmade birthday post, I promise... at least for this birthday!
This time not by me though, other than the rag doll which you already saw. My parents, actually, teamed up to make this sweet bed set for River. My dad made the bed itself and my mom the bedding. I gave them pretty short notice, asking if they'd do it just at the beginning of this week, but I think they did such a  great job! My dad wants to make more but he's not totally happy with it yet, he just didn't have the time to go back and do any of it over.
I gave my mom a handful of fabrics from my stash to make the quilt. We don't exactly have the same taste in fabrics and I wanted to make sure it was super fun and girly! I would absolutely love to have a quilt for my own bed like this.


She's feeling cosy, I think.


Photobucket It was a project they both enjoyed working on so I think I'll be working on setting up their own selling space on Etsy. Mom's going to work on some more felt birthday crowns like she made for the girls, and probably some various quilting, which she loves to do. I'm really excited to see what all they come up. They're both retired and eager to focus on this creative outlet and to supplement their fixed income. And I'm just happy to help!

PS Last chance to enter to win this 7" doll... I'll call a winner tomorrow!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


As promised, a few pictures of the rag doll I made for River's birthday. And, if you scroll past you can check out the little dude that in the works for my 7" doll giveaway. Photobucket


I just loved working on this girl so much that I'm going to play around with a Waldorf type rag doll pattern. That is, head shaped in typical Waldorf fashion, interlock 'skin', but still lanky and floppy and will probably keep the butt panel I used to make this one sit and leave the 'hands and feet' unshaped.

He said 'I want this one!' And now that River's birthday is past I can knit for him and have him ready to travel to a new home next week.


If you've not entered this giveaway yet you'd better do so right away; I'm drawing a winner this Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Birthday For a Three Year Old

The birthday girl has finally settled down for the night and, I think it's safe to say, boy, it's great to be three! She tried to shimmy out of my bed quickly this morning but then the sister rushed in and there were presents and a birthday crown and the day just started out right for her.  photo 1-IMG_5247_zps07f03f7d.jpg
What a sweet, happy-go-lucky girl we are blessed with and what a happy day she had. She's been singing 'Happy birthday to meee!!' all day. So excited!
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Her mama-made sweater... I used the In Threes pattern.
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I don't know... not sure if she loves her dolly or not...
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I mean, what do you think? She said "she can talk and she can play peek-a-boo!". Seriously, this is why I love making dolls. I'll share some better pics of her tomorrow.
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But being three doesn't make her any less mama's baby. Just look at that tummy, will  ya? I just want to eat her up!
 photo 1-IMG_5294_zpsc224e478.jpg The birthday is not completely over yet. My parents will come over tomorrow with the bed my dad made for her doll and we'll have homemade pizza, as she's requested, and the cake, of course.

Be sure to check back in with me tomorrow. I'll post better picture of the rag doll and will have progress pics of the giveaway doll, too. Have you entered yet? Only two more days!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Working On....

What I'm working on today....
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River (my littlest) turns 3 tomorrow, as I mentioned the other day. So I'm working on a rag style doll for her. Yes, it's tomorrow and I really should be further along. But I had this vision in my of a thin, lanky, and floppy body and it's taken me a few days to get it where I want it. And then the hair... I'd only done felt hair for rag dolls before so it's taking some getting use to to sewing the yarn down to a flatter head than I'm used to. I do love how's she's turning out, though.
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I assisted the sisters in making pipe cleaner dolls for her. Kaiya found the idea in a kid craft book. So cute! I've got to pick up some more beads because they've got plan to make many more.
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Now I'm back to that dolly!