Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gluten & Eczema????

As many of you know, my little boy who is now 4 has been plagued with eczema since he was a few months old. It has mostly settled in on his legs down around his ankles. We tried cutting out dairy for a few weeks and there was no change. Then we thought the culprit may have been eggs. We cut them out and no change. It would seemingly flare up for no reason at all. When it was at its worst, we took him to the dermatologist and I tried to find out from her what internally could be causing this???? She wanted to only give me creams filled with crap and tret the symptoms. They worked at first and then quit working. I thought, well, I guess he will grow out of it. He turned 4 last September and guess what.... he hasn't outgrown it. He has always been skinny but I felt he just has a high metabolism like me. No big deal. I was talking online with another mom and as moms do, we discussed poop. Caleb may kill me for this later talking about his poop, but the boy has always pooped 2-3 times a day and it was never "normal" stuff. I chalked this up to high metabolism again and dubbed him Sir Poopalot :) I never put the 2 together until I started researching, but the symptoms really seem to line up with a gluten sensitivity. I don't think his body is absorbing the nutrients he needs. Along with being skinny and the eczema, I have noticed his hair seems a little dry and he just overall doesn't seem healthy like he should. I am very excited to try this new theory about the gluten because for once, the symptoms seem to line up. We will be on our way to the health food store for some snacks and some bread that he can eat hopefully. If this is it, we should know in a few days.

On a more fun note, the kids put together a gingerbread house. They had so much fun. A day later they ate most of the candy off and demolished it :)

I will be back to update in a few days about the gluten prognosis. This has got to be the answer. We have struggled with this so long and it is so hard to see my baby afflicted with this mess.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The World's Worst Blogger

That is me. I have come to realize I just stink at blogging. We have had soooo much going on and I barely have time to breathe. Even though Caleb is now 4 years old, he seems to be more demanding of my time than ever. Running a full time business from home and helping James with his really wears me very thin many days. I am very excited about where Woollybottoms is heading for 2009. We spent months developing a perfect fabric to start using in our footies made from a yummy blend of 80% wool, 10% cashmere, and 10% angora. It is incredibly soft and just perfect. I know at first many were like WAIT!!!! We want our recycled wool!!!! The truth is, I can not meet the demand in numbers dealing with recycled wool only. It is unpredictable to work with and does not offer the consistency in product that we want. We will continue to offer recycled wool and are NOT doing away with it. Working with recycled wool is a passion of mine that will not be done away with. This is merely going to be an expansion to help alleviate the supply issues. I would love to eliminate the whole stalking thing and that is my goal for 2009.

As for what I have been doing here around the house, we decided to paint our kitchen cabinets after living here for about 10 years. The house was built in 1962 and the cabinets were honey stained pine with ugly beaten copper hardware. I wanted to go white being the conservative that I am, but James wanted color so I went and picked up all kinds of samples. We ended up going with tomato salsa RED!!!! I was a little freaked out at first but now that it is up, I LOVE it. I would post a pic but James has the doors at his shop and they are still being painted. With the cold and rainy weather, drying time is taking MUCH longer than anticipated so the doors are still off. I feel like my whole life is exposed to everyone since everything is out in the open. For the cost of a gallon of primer and paint and a LOT of muscle power, it looks like a new kitchen.

I also wanted to share this adorable coat of Caleb's. Now that we have ours, I can share :) It is made from wool and lined in THE cutest vintage cowboy print. Priscilla of Bebops makes the most adoable coats for kids and they are each so unique and timeless. This is the Audubon coat and we love it. You can find her shop here: http://hyenacart.com/Be-Bops/

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My New Best Friend

Move over June Cleaver... I am tearing it up in the kitchen now. I work a LOT of hours through the week including odd hours at night, helping my husband with paperwork at his business, taking care of kids, yadda yadda. Sometimes I don't even schedule time to shop for groceries much less cook. So I end up staring blankly into the pantry and either give up immediately and go out to eat, call James and ask him to bring home something frozen, or throw together something pitiful. I hate to cook but not because I can't do it, but because I was not organized. People, I had spices that expired in 2001 in my cabinet and moldy things in my fridge. I buy healthy food with good intentions and then it goes to waste much of the time. So I came across this site, Relish http://www.relishrelish.com and was skeptical. I thought why should I pay $7 per month to have someone tell me what to eat and probably be some kind of recipes where I couldn't even find half the stuff on the list much less the time to make all this stuff. So I thought eh, I will try it for 3 months and see. I am going into week 3 now and there is no turning back. I am spending a little more at the grocery store now, but I am not eating out. I am feeding my family healthy stuff. Everyone is happy to see what I am making at night and the food is sooooo good!!! I am buying things that I would have never picked up before and my cart is filled with fresh fruits and veggies. I bought Bok Choy last week people! Never had it before or even knew what to do with it. The only down side is I am having to buy a lot of spices and things that I didn't have before which really isn't a bad thing, but I am spending more than I would like every week. I know it will get better once I get my spice "base" down. I love how you have 15 meals to choose from and you get an organized list and menu to follow. We are semi-vegetarian here (we eat fish and chicken) and have have had no problem coming up with a wonderful menu every week. Sometimes I choose something that may call for beef or pork and if it really sounds good, I substitute for chicken or turkey. We ususually have leftovers every meal so there is plenty for lunch which is really great. So, overall I give it a huge thumbs up and it is worth a try.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Our new goats!

I have been so busy with working around here that I realized I had not taken time to update this blog lately. Well, I did something to my back so here I sit :) I occasionally have this nerve at the bottom of my spine that gets pinched or something and pain shoots down my lower back and one leg and man it hurts. We have had our goats for a little over a week now. Ashton is our lighter colored goat and she is 50% Nubian and 50% Toggenburg. She has a super sweet personality and she is loud. She hollers Maaaaaaaa every time you step outside. According to her, she never gets anything to eat. Our dark goat is a purebred French Alpine by the name of Opal. She is the boss of the 2 and she growls at Ashton when food is involved. According to her, she never eats either :) They are both very tame and love to be petted and we are already in love with them. James who really did not want goats at all has become quite attached. He was out there building them a little shelter. They are very curious animals and the kids really enjoy them. We have plans to actually fence in a large part of our property so they can have lots of roaming space. They are both pregnant so come early March, we should have some new little babies.

Our chickens are growing as well. We still have all 9 babies (most of them roosters though I am afraid). They are big enough now where I let them out in the yard during the day. They are all hand tamed and I walk through the yard and I hear a mass of running chickens at my feet. I thought this picture was kind of funny since they were all in the middle of something. I love living here. It is so much fun!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fun with Interlock Scraps

So I have this overflowing tote of interlock wool scraps. I had just run out of the one color of wool I was using and didn't have enough to create a waistband for a pair of pants last week. I have had this idea for about a year and just never DID it. So, I sat down and did it finally and I really like how it turned out and it was fun to do. So, introducing the patchwork yoga style pants.

Time to Spice Up the Blog :)

I felt a little dirty taking this pic and even a little dirtier posting it here (hi mom) but it is really pretty incredible. If I had time, I would love to do some photography stuff with a "real" camera. This is a pair of praying mantiss (or however you make praying matis plural... is it manti?) I nearly stepped on them this morning going into my studio and they were not real happy. They moved (as a team LOL) to the side of the building where they decided to camp out all day. These bugs are quite scary looking and don't like humans at ALL but are really cool. I am sure they got tired of me looking at them. They actually had their heads turned towards the camera fo the pic and I would swear she looks like she is smiling if you have a bigger version of the pic. I always heard rumors that the female eats the male, but as of the end of the day, his head was still intact :)

On other life notes, I always procrastinate every year when I complete my continuing education hours required by the state for my insurance license. In my former life I worked in insurance and I have a license for life/health and property/casualty. I can't bare to let my license expire so I wait until the last day to get everything done. Talk about a load off my shoulders!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So what did our moms of girls pick this week?

Last week we offered 3 custom slots in our hand dyed interlock. We dyed the fabric bubblegum pink and allowed the moms to have free reign to design a pair of yoga style pants or footies. I think they turned out fabulous! I had a great time working one on one with each mom and look forward to doing it again very soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yesterday was pretty exciting!

I experienced something that I don't care to re-live ever. I was on my way to pick up Sarah from school but first stop off and bring James some lunch. I was about to make a tight left hand turn off the main road onto a side road. The road is 3 lanes at this point. I had to wait shortly for an oncoming car to pass so I could turn. I heard something behind me and split second looked up to see another car slam me from behind. Looking at the road, there was only about 10feet of skid marks which slowed his tank down very little. He claims he didn't even see me. I am guessing he was going 60-65 mph. Anyway, his bumper hit me and somehow I guess lifted the car from behind and rolled me over. I thought I had rolled twice but I think I was tossed up and landed down on the hood and then continued to roll. I ended up in the other lane back up on my tires and facing the wrong direction. Thank the Lord I didn't have Caleb with me. God's hand of protection was on me yesterday. I lost some hair and had scratches on my head and some bleeding, but could have walked away had I been able to open the door :) But to look at me, you would NEVER know. I am so thankful. I was wearing my seatbelt which saved my life. My gorgeous Cute2Carry purse was tossed out in the road unscathed. My cell phone was out there in pieces and was put back together and works perfectly. I have no doubt I would have broke my neck or been thrown from the vehicle without my belt. Instead I sat there with a wad of hair in my hand and one small piece of glass in my eye which came right out. All the windows except the very back ones were gone. I got the "fun" experience of riding in an ambulance and was released quickly from the ER. So, with blood in my hair and all over my shirt, I proceeded to the rental car place and have a blue Ford Taurus with zero get up and go and then proceeded to the pharmacy to get some antibiotics filled. You should have SEEN the looks I got from people. I have had days where I looked better I suppose :) Anyway, I am so thankful to be here and realized how quickly life can end. I just knew I was going to die and had enough time to just think about that. You don't have time to prepare. I thank God for everything he has done.

So here are some pictures. The big Cadillac belongs to the other guy. I am glad he wasn't hurt and hope he has learned something from all of this.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My baby is growing up!

My oldest baby, Sarah, turns 8 in a few days but we decided to have her party today. It was a great party with family. It is so hard to believe that 8 years ago, she was a little bitty 5lb 2 oz thing and her little backside could fit in the palm of your hand. My first born is growing up. It is interesting watching her become the person she is and a blessing to have in our lives.
I had decided to give her my first sewing machine. I debated about it because she is young but her maturity level and the way she works with her hands I could tell she was ready. Anyway, I set it all up in my sewing building. Ignore the ugly table please. I set it all up last night and we surprised her with it. I showed her how to sew and seriously, she took to it like I couldn't believe. She went and cut up some fabric and made the little bag all by herself. Next I will teach her how to thread and troubleshoot and all that good stuff. I know this is quite a few pics, but I couldn't resist :)
Happy Birthday Sarah!

Our babies are growing!

Well, all 9 babies are now just shy of a month old. I can already tell that we have several roosters in the bunch. I don't know what I am going to do with all of them :) They are already getting real feathers and can get up in the roost with the big ones at night. They are a ton of fun to sit and watch (if you can stand the 100 degree plus temps that is). We make sure they have plenty of water. They stay in the dirt to try and stay cool. So, do you remember the brown mama I told you about that had like zero mothering instincts? Well, I actually had to keep her separated from the babies when they were itty bitty. She would actually pick them up and throw them if they got too close to her. Well, about a week ago I notice the babies gather around her and she was actually starting to feed them and give them food. Well I guess she decided babies are not such a bad thing because my daughter ran and told me she was sitting on a nest. I didn't believe her and sure enough she was sitting on 3 eggs. She has been sitting for about 4 days and I am not real optimistic. I went out today and she was sitting on an empty nest and I noticed 1 of the 3 eggs had been broken. I took the other 2 and put them in the nest with her and she pushed them under her so we shall see. It was like she didn't want to sit in the dirty nest :) I think the eggs will be fine because it has been 100 outside and she had not been off them long. Anyhow, here are a few pics of the progress.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fabric Addiction???

So, I had this realization about myself yesterday as I was sitting there on ebay refreshing a listing as it counted down the final minutes. I NEEDED this fabric (well, not this one here in the photo, I haven't received the newby fabric just yet)... I would just die if I didn't get it. The lightbulb moment happened where I thought, get a grip Shannon! You are a knit fabric addict. So, I decided today to take an inventory and organize them all. Let's just say the camera battery had to be recharged and I didn't get them all done today. I am in the process of uploading them neatly in Flikr. It's not like I have yards and yards of each of these... some are just little pieces. That makes it OK doesn't it? :) I am guessing I have about 40 more to take photos of which I will tackle tomorrow. It feels good to organize a bit and now I can keep track of what I have and what I need :) I hope to offer some semi-custom-pick-your-footie-fabric slots in the future and this will make it a little easier as well. Whew, say pick-your-footie-fabrics 3 times fast :)

So, here ya go :) Fabric Addicts Unite!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We have babies!!!!

Baby chicks that is. I am no chicken farmer by any means. We only had 1 lone rooster and 2 hens. We are quite attached to our pets and we enjoy yummy eggs most of the year (they take a break in the coldest months and lay eggs based on hours of daylight... that is the science lesson of the day) Our brown hen would not sit on eggs to save her life. I am not sure what kind of breed she is but if she thinks she is going to get to eat, that is where you will find her. She follows me in the yard and acts more like a dog than a chicken. Our white chicken though has tried to have babies for the last 2 years. The first year she was sitting on 1... yes 1 egg. It did hatch but something happened to the baby within about 2 weeks. Year #2 she was sitting on eggs and something managed to get them about half way through while she was setting on them. Goodness I felt sooooo sorry for her. This year she decided to set on 9 eggs and we watched her closely and checked her several times a day. Lo and behold every one of the eggs hatched and now she has 9 little babies. She was setting on eggs that she had laid and our brown chicken had laid and you can tell some of them are going to be brown and the others white. Our daughter, Sarah, gets up super early and runs outside to open the door to the roost and puts up a ramp so they can get in and out. We keep mom and babies inside the pen to try to make sure that all the babies will make it. They are soooo tiny and fluffy. They came out of the nest the very next day after they hatched. Sarah goes out and does a head count about 5 times a day to make sure none of them gets lost :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goodmama London Print & Woollybottoms Come Together

I had such an incredibly fun time working with Suzanne creating footies to match some of the new 2008 Goodmama prints. This is the debut of the London print that is on auction today. http://http://hyenacart.com/prod_details_auction.php?id=55692&vid=844 There will be several more coming over the next few weeks.

A Busy Week!

We have been running like crazy this week. Since we have had such heavy rains this year so far, going to the lake has been impossible. We invested in a $20 pool and it has been the best.thing.ever! The kids are living in it (along with tons of grass and dirt even after I told them to wipe clean before they got in it). I guess I was the only one as a kid that spent the whole time in the kiddie pool with a fish net scooping out ever single piece of debris. What can I say.... they are like their daddy. I took some time out to be Miss Domestic Super Woman yesterday and made up some cloth napkins. I found some fabric this weekend in cleaning out a closet and thought this would be great. We have not used paper towels in forever and were using dish rags which got the job done but were not too pretty. So I whipped up a dozen and they are great and the kids thought I was the coolest mom ever. Then I sewed buttons on 2 pairs of James' pants that had been popped off. I felt like I had accomplished something.

Then I had a complete website redesign. I had designed the original one myself and well.... you could tell. I can sew but don't have a clue when it comes to a professional web design so I left that up to the talented Cicily of August Afternoon(for design) and Michelle of Elemental Muse (for technical cart and hosting stuff). I am in love and should have done this from day 1.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Little Tease.....

of what is to come :) We are planning a fun set of collabs with someone special. There are a few more that did not make it into the photo that are still partying in my sewing building. But you can't see what is on the feet you say? Dang, I must have forgotten to take a pic of the really cool new prints. Oh, but wait!!! I did find JUST one here that I can share. Woohoo! I am not totally for sure when these will be available but I am guessing sometime later this month.

Garden Update

I have been pretty busy this past weekend and week getting caught up on several orders I had going so am running a little slow getting items stocked this week. The garden has been calling my name and I have been playing in it. I need to get some more stuff planted. It has been so nice and wet this season that I don't think I will have any problems with planting late. Here is the progress. The squash are doing really well now. I had a mystery squash plant pop up. I had been composting directly in one of the beds over the winter and it came up so I let it grow. I *think* it may be a spaghetti squash. I noticed though today that there may possibly be some worm damage. They bore into the base of the plant and take up residence inside the plant potentially killing it. I doused the base with poison (yeah, I know... not real organic), but the plant already has tiny squash on it and I REALLY want to see what they will be. I am in the process of re-mulching in between the beds hence the 2 colors. I also rolled out this big cool stump. The kids love it. I sit on it, they jump off of it or use it as a table. So, enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Pile of Soakers

I was busy this past weekend dying wool for our newest retailer, Terra Tots in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The owner picked the colors and they really turned out great and make a wonderful gender neutral cover without being the traditional gender neutral mint green & baby yellow. I am hoping once I can get a predictable influx of wool fabric to begin to open the interlock line to other retailers as well.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Late Night Visitors

I work 5 nights a week from about 9-12. I have a porch light on my work building that attracts all sorts of strange critters ranging from oversized mosquitos, beetles, moths, and the occasional frog. The next day I always have some of the visitors that decide to hang out. I thought these moths were especially unusual and beautiful. I am constantly amazed at God's handiwork. I have never seen any quite like these and may never see them again. I had to touch the white one to see exactly how a moth with wings so small could fly. I have also had a Mocking Bird that for the last several nights decides to start singing at 11 pm. It is kind of creepy almost and I am sure the other birds were probably a tad bit annoyed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Garden Update #2

It is a really slow start this year to the garden. I have had to deal with some pests already and some poor germination and weather. We have had the threat of tornados it seems like every few days so I would keep getting put off on the updates. We have strawberries that are ripening but due to the heavy rains we have had, many of them are cracking open, but there is still a good amount that are good. Our tomatos that we planted from seed are coming up really well and starting to take off. Almost all we planted have germinated. What is up with the squash? I had all of 2 plants come up and those are the easiest thing to grow. I think the seeds may have not been viable so I re-planted and dumped a bunch in the ground.... watch the ALL come up now :) I quit on green beans. Those danged rabbits eat them as soon as they pop up so I have all of maybe 5 plants. If I can get over my anger, I MAY replant and put some kind of fencing over that bed but am tempted to dig it all up and stick in some flowers or something. I had a bed of okra and cucumbers together and NOTHING came up and you know why? Tons of birds have decided that it is the best place to take dirt baths. I could not believe my eyes. They get in there and ruffle their bodies in the dirt. Lots of them and I think they may have killed the seedlings. I have never dealt with that before.... they are as destructive as our chickens.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A pair of special footies for a sweet little guy...

I was contacted by a momma over the weekend whose little guy had suffered some pretty severe burns on his leg and foot. So, he has some pretty good sized bandages that keep him from being able to wear shoes and play outside (since everything needs to stay covered up especially during outdoor play). My son Caleb had been a victim of a pretty good burn himself so I can relate to that mess pretty well myself. So, we put our minds together to create something that could stretch over the leg and foot yet be tough enough to handle some play time outside. I hand dyed some 97/3 heavier weight interlock in a nice darker sage color and used recycled leather for a full foot bottom and toe coverage. Our original thought was to do a full leather foot top and bottom but that would not allow for the stretch needed on the foot area. So, here is the result and I am really pleased at how it turned out. Not only is it functional, but I think he will look pretty darn cute as well :)

Oh, and yes I know I am due for a garden update... I will grab some pics later today. I haven't forgotten :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Follow the Garden Progress!

Good grief! It has been 2 months since I have blogged. I didn't realize I had slacked that badly. I have been extremely busy with several new wholesale accounts and training our first employee.... Yeah! So, after last year's pitiful garden, I am making time this year to get my passion going again. I have always enjoyed gardening for as long as I can remember. When we first moved to this house, I loved the huge yard. However the dirt pretty much stinks. It is all weeds and little rocks and just sad dirt in general. I had James to work quickly and we started with 4 raised beds out in the middle of the yard. That of course wasn't enough and I had him add some more the next year and then get rid of the grass in between the beds. The little white picket fence was salvaged from my mom and makes a nice backdrop for the humongous Arapaho blackberries and raspberries. I should have taken a before picture. Everything was filled with weeds and took me a couple of weeks of hand labor. If you let neglect happen, the weeds take over in no time. Caleb has been out there pulling as well so now you see the result. I don't can vegetables so please don't ask me about that :) I don't have the time or the patience. I just pack a bunch of different things into the beds and we eat them as we pick them. Grilling veggies on the back deck is lots of fun. If it is freezable and we have extra, we "might" freeze them but pretty much it is a pick and eat fest. OK, so here is what we have planted. We have strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries that come back every year. In the middle is an herb bed with different herbs that come back as well. This year I planted a few snap peas (first time to try those) along the back fence, yellow squash, zuchinni squash, picnic watermelons (my favorite thing to grow!) green peppers, eggplants, cantaloupe (another first), okra, and cucumbers, green beans (I have failed on those the last 2 years thanks to bunnies) and tomatos. I think that is it. You really can get quite a bit into a small space and we only plant a few plants of each. There are a few things starting to pop up after a few days. My poor chickens have been banished to stay in the pen. Normally I let them stay out with me in the yard when I am out there but they tear up everything. Needless to say, they are not real happy and they pace at the door.

So, here are a few pictures and I will try and update weekly with the scoop. Our neighbors have cows next door in a field. I noticed some really great poop right across the fence. I may scoop it over and throw it in the beds. Cow poop is the best thing ever!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


So about a month or so ago, I blogged about my miracle of grapefruit & Zicam. It has come through for me yet again. So Monday afternoon I started noticing that feeling you get right as you are starting to get sick. The flu has been going around horribly and I just knew that is what I was getting. All my energy was sucked out of me and I started feeling achy and nauseous. I immediately ate a grapefruit, crunched up the seeds and ate those too, sqeezed out the juice and drank that, and then Zicam up the nose and went to bed. Tuesday rolled around and I was feeling about the same, but no worse. I did the same thing in the morning and I was soooo tired. I could tell my body was actually trying to fight this thing but didn't know if it would win this time around. I pretty much rested and actually laid down and took a nap during the day. I repeated the grapefruit/Zicam thing right before bed. This morning I got up and I am still a little tired feeling, but the body aches are going away and my head is totally clear. In the past, I know I would be laid up in the bed with tissue inserted up my nose by this time. I had struggled for years with an immune system that didn't seem to fight off anything.... I was always sick. It is so nice to actually have it working doing what it is supposed to... of course watch me get it full blown by tomorrow LOL :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Day in the Life Continued...

So of course my day didn't unfold as I had planned yesterday. You always have something come up and you have to change it all around. I feel like I am getting sick.... body aches and slugishness. Just plain blah. I have started back on my Zicam & grapefruit regimine but I don't know if I can hold this one back. I plan on taking it easy for the next few days and taking a nap today. Half of my face and head feel hot which is really weird. I am glad I cooked some chicken yesterday and saved the broth. I think I will make some warm chicken noodle soup later today.

So, if you are wondering about this critter here, this is a possum which is quite common here in Arkansas. I had come in the house at about midnight yesterday and was preparing my grapefruit (which I managed to squirt directly into my eye by the way) and I hear something outside the door. I always set the bag of trash out the door for James to do something with (which usually ends up being a few days so I don't know why I even bother sometimes). I peer out the window to see what it is. We have had a racoon in the past and a cat. I look out there and see this oversized possum that has made ever so neatly a tiny hole just big enough to dig his nose into. I open the door and bang on the glass storm door which is less than 2 feet away from this thing expecting it to run away in fear. It turns around, looks at me and actually comes right up to the door. If I opened the door, it seriously would have come in the house. So, I took the opportunity to go get the camera and snap a shot. By this time, my cat was at the door face to face with this thing and she was not a happy camper. She was hissing and growling. She was already irritated because she wanted me to go to bed since she likes to sleep in the same room as me (yes she is a cat that prefers a certain bed time at NIGHT!) The possum finished eating I think a can of tuna and then walked off ever so calmly. Now I know why I passed 2 dead ones on the way to school this morning. They are just not the smartest.