Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is Sandy a Boy or a Girl?

Well, there's never a dull moment around this place... that's for sure! I've been keeping myself busy getting ready for the Open House and filling custom orders. Have you seen my latest product? I'll make your family out of paper dolls and frame them in a shadow box! They're proving to be quite popular. E-mail me at TheCraftyInsomniac@stny.rr.com for more info on that one.

As if this wasn't enough to keep us busy, we were threatened with Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Post-Tropical Cyclone (really??) Sandy, a.k.a. Frankenstorm. And let me tell you, people around here panicked! Stores were devoid of water and bread, which led me to wonder whether people (other than myself and my family) gather 'round a lantern and eat loaves of bread and drink gallons of water together during power outages. So odd. As for us, we really didn't do anything special to prepare. I just had a feeling that everyone around here was going way overboard. I made sure there were batteries in the flashlights and my phone was charged. I mean, I still have to be able to access Facebook and Twitter!! I also made it a point to cut out extra doo-dads on my Cricut just in case we *did* lose power... That way I'd still have things to keep me busy. Don't need electricity to run a glue stick! All of the area districts cancelled school for Tuesday, so we were looking forward to sleeping in.

We managed to finally carve our pumpkin...

...and the wind started howling and the rain started coming down.  While dinner was in the oven, I went down into the basement just to see what was going on, if anything.  Yep, there was water - in the usual place.  But this time, I was finally able to see where it came from!  The culprit was the window in that part of the basement.  For some reason, it looks like the window well was flooding.  I felt kind of bad for the little toad family that lives in there, because one of them was trying to climb up the window!  Anyway, I took about seven gallons of water off the floor and hoped for the best for the remainder of the night.  And I took relief in the knowledge that the water was coming from the window & well, which is a relatively easy fix...  and not a possible crack in the foundation or walls of the basement!

We crawled into my bed around 8:30 (Daddy was at work) and snuggled up and went to bed.  It was so nice!  Daddy put her into her own bed once he got home and settled.  And the rain and wind continued.

We woke up to gray skies, no rain, no loss of power and a lazy day today.  Everyone got whatever they wanted for breakfast this morning, we made a delicious lunch of pizzaiola and rice, and I worked on a very special order for a customer.  This afternoon I had a phone interview for a temporary medical billing/accounts receivables job, then I traipsed back down into the basement to take care of the mess.  And to be honest, it wasn't as bad as we had anticipated!
 Believe me, I've seen it a lot worse this summer!

And here is the dirty, rotten culprit!  
 Note the mud staining the wall.  Nice touch.
  Scrub brush and I will be spending some quality time together soon!

Shop-Vac to the rescue!

Let us not forget to acknowledge the super-awesome boots!

Let me tell you, I have this down to a science.  My water-removal system is a well-oiled machine - Shop-Vac, bucket, sump-pump and hose.  It's so good, I was done in 45 minutes.  BAM!  Just in time for the rain to start again.

Tomorrow everything should be back to a semblance of normality.  Aside from the fact that it'll be Halloween and every child in the country will be on a sugar and adreneline high, that is!

Let me just leave you with this little nugget of Crafty Insomniac goodness...  hot off the presses.  Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce the paper version of the Imagination Movers!  (Live show companions included...)
Left to right:  Brian, Rich, Scott, Smitty, Dave and Kyle
My MM compadres will note that our friend Brian is not wearing his name tag, rather he's holding it.  You'll understand that one...
I'm not quite ready to put these ones on the sales block yet, but perhaps after the Open House.  If you're interested, let me know.  I haven't decided on a price point yet...

Don't forget...

Monday, October 22, 2012


I've been keeping myself very busy this weekend with custom orders, and it all started on a whim.  After we made our mini paper selves to ship off to Detroit with Kiki and family for the Imagination Movers show, I posted it on my Facebook page.  After a bit, I thought...  why not?  I offered up paper dolls in the likenesses of whomever anyone wanted!  It's kind of fun having your family made up into little dolls!  And boy, did the orders pour in!

The idea that started it all...

Then I made a mini Kiki up as a Thank You for hauling our Mix across state lines...
Ain't she purdy??

It was fun taking the orders...  seeing what everyone chose for their "outfits" and the like!  Plus, I got to stalk people's Facebook pages when I needed specifics on things like what their husbands' hair looks like or whether their ears are pierced...  Anyway, I know that some of the orders have made it to their destinations, so I thought I'd share them!

Here we have Miss Amy, my first order.  She requested a pink shirt and cowboy boots!  :-)

This is Barb, a.k.a. Steroid Barbie.  A sneaky little devil ordered her and...
Imagination Mover Scott and had them sent to Miss Barb as a gift!

As of this afternoon, I've finished up the first round of custom orders.  I even had a request for a zombie version of someone...  that was fun!  So if you're looking for a paper doll version of yourself, family members, friends, or (yes) even Imagination Movers, e-mail me at thecraftyinsomniac@stny.rr.com and we'll get you all set up! 

In the mean time, check me out at my Etsy shop!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whatever You Do, Don't... Fall... Asleep!

As a teenager, I was a horror movie junkie.  But to be honest, I had one real love.  He lived in a boiler room and he terrorized you in your dreams.  Johnny Depp was one of his first on-screen victims.  I even had a poster of him in both of my bedrooms!  (Yes, I had two bedrooms.  Don't judge!)  So when Mel and Michele asked us to Ketchup with them again, I was ready!


In 57 WORDS OR LESS, retell the plot line of your favorite horror movie. And, if you can find one, be sure to include a movie clip of your own.

Nancy's parents and their friends offed child killer Freddy Kreuger years ago, and now he wants revenge.  He comes to you in your dreams, so whatever you do...  DON'T.  FALL.  ASLEEP!

  I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy!

Ketchup With Us

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Startup

So I'm not sure what I expected, but this "business startup" thing is a lot of, well, work!

I've been going practically every waking moment...  doing something with it.  My mornings used to consist of getting up, getting ready, getting Sassy off to school, then doing the morning dishes, checking my Facebook and Twitter pages...  then (yes, I'll admit it) usually going falling back to sleep on the couch for an hour or two.  Not anymore!  Now as soon as I'm done with the dishes I'm out in my office working.  Cutting out paper on my Cricut, assembling paper pieces, putting together inventory listings, creating forms, printing labels, packaging product...  you name it, I'm doing it!  I've set up my Etsy shop:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyInsomniac.  I've set up my Facebook business page:  http://www.facebook.com/TheCraftyInsomniac.  I've put together flyers and made business cards.  I'm rocking the business startup!

This happy little birthday cake just about put me over the edge this morning with the sprinkles.  Oy!  lol

Of course, all of this is time-consuming.  Very time-consuming.  To the point where I am almost feeling guilty...  almost feeling a bit neglectful!  Well, it's probably because Miss Sassypants said to me today, "Mommy, could you just not be on your Cricut or your computer or your iPhone?"  Face slap!  I've been so obsessed with building up my product inventory for my first Open House that I can think of nothing else!  This afternoon when we were working on homework together (I had to quiz her on some map questions), she gave me major attitude when I didn't go through the list in order, to the point where she got her first Time Out in months!  When it was all said and done, we talked about it and I got the distinct impression that this was the heart of the matter once again.  This time the point is that she wants to be involved!  We sat together and she put the product labels on the baggies of my paper balloons; she was pretty happy about that.  She wants to help so badly and can't understand that I can't really let her because each one of these little guys is money.  They need to be darn near perfect.

This afternoon, though, we sat down and made paper doll versions of ourselves.  See, our very good friends over at What Kiki Say are heading to Detroit this weekend to see the Imagination Movers.  Usually, we do concerts together...  we're kind of known to travel as a quartet.  We're K2E2!  This time we're not able to make the trip (I'm heartbroken...  I we need my our Movers fix!)  Instead, we're sending along a treat.  Knowing that the boys get a little tired of sweet treats (and that they try to steer away from sweets in general), we made homemade Chex Mix for them to share with the crew on the bus ride.  I thought it would be funny to "go along for the ride," so Sass and I attached paper versions of ourselves to the container!  And here we are...  in living color!

Here I am in all my glory...  including my infamous lime green Crocs!
And here's Sassy...  in her Movers suit, as per her request.  She can't make anything easy for Mommy!

It was a fun project to do together, and I think the guys will get a kick out of it.  At least, I hope they do!  :-)

So here we are...  trying to find the balance.  I just keep telling myself that once I get my inventory built up, it'll get better, right???

And remember...  for all of your paper needs:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Did It!

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The Crafty Insomniac (the custom paper-crafting company-in-infancy) has now finished its first custom order!  YES!  I've had my first paying customer!!

OK, yes.  The customer is my sister-in-law, and I gave her a smashing deal.  I mean...  a deep discount...  but you take care of your family, right?

And the occasion?  My niece's baby shower.

Wanna see what I made?  Do ya?  I know you do.  (Please say yes!!)

OK, you've talked me into it.  Here it is!

You likey?

It looks so simple when you see it like this.  Simple and cute.  Truth be told, this little invitation represents many, many hours of work.  You see, when the giraffes came off the machine, the spots weren't fully cut out!  It took an additional ten minutes to finish cutting out each of the 32 invites by hand.  Lordy, I couldn't wait to be finished!  I'm so happy with how they turned out, though.  The final touch of the glitter glue tails did it for me.  :-)

So, remember...  if you're looking for anything in the way of paper goods, let me know!  I am currently in the process of building my inventory of paper-pieced embellishments like these:

Check me out at http://www.facebook.com/TheCraftyInsomniac for more information on this venture!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

NYC: Day Two, or Our Rainy Day in the Big Apple

The girls were up bright and early Sunday morning to play with their American Girl dolls. Me, I was up at 2:30 in the morning... bolted awake from a dead sleep realizing that I'd forgotten to take my medication. Actually, it was the cold medicine that I really wanted the most. I had a wicked cold over the past few days and I finally felt semi-human yesterday, but it's always worse at night. Once that issue was resolved, though, it was all good.

We were ready to go, but we could tell that the weather was probably not going to cooperate with our plans. Tell me... How can it be 72 degrees and sunny one day and 50 & rainy the next? Oh, yeah... This is New York. By the time we all got ready and ate, and made out way to the bus stop (with a bonus ride on the New Jersey Turnpike, no less), we were turned away by at least three full buses before we could embark for the Port Authority. The kids didn't mind, though... They were having a great time playing!

When we finally made it over to the city, the real fun began: navigating our group of eleven through the New York City subway system to Battery Park so we could go see the Statue of Liberty! This was a surprise for the girls as well, and none of us had done it before! I'll say - the kids did great on the trains! When we got back to ground level, we stopped at a stand and got hot dogs to eat - Miss Sassypants refused. I'm not sure whether it was because she was still traumatized by the Polish sausage incident in Washington, DC, or if she thought we were having a "real lunch" later, but no one could talk her into it. Oh, well! Mine was pretty good!

We got our tickets and entered the Security line, which was interesting. Truth be told, I haven't flown since 9/11, but this was airport-style security! Everything went through x-ray machines and we went through metal detectors. Both the lady in front of me *and* my friend Beth had to take their shoes off! At least they got cute little paper slippers to wear! lol

The ferry first took us to Liberty Island, home of the Statue herself. It was awe- inspiring and something everyone should do at least once if they can! Sassy photo-bombed everyone's pictures, and that lightened her mood. That, and the half a bag of Goldfish crackers she ate on the ferry. We made our obligatory gift shop stop and snapped a few photos of the Manhattan skyline before getting back on a ferry for Ellis Island.

The door handles for the gift shop

It's amazing how they've restored much of the main building of the island into what it looked like 100 years ago. It's not hard to imagine what immigrants saw and experienced when they came through the doors and began their lives in America for the first time! It was very moving for me.

From there, we walked the few blocks to the World Trade Center site. Our objective had been to go to the 9/11 Memorial, and although it's free to go, you do need tickets. When we had checked weeks ago, there were no tickets available for this weekend, but we all still felt it was important to pay our respects. I'm so glad we did!

Right down the block, we found a pizza shop to eat dinner, and it was so good!

We hopped back on the subway and rode back into Times Square. We took all of the kids to Toys "R" Us and we rode the Ferris Wheel! Sassy and I ride in the Monopoly gondola with a really fun mother and son whom we didn't know. Afterwards we found the Lego department where you'd have thought Sassy had died and gone to Heaven! They had some pretty boss displays there!!

By this time it was dark and the rain was pretty bad, but we pressed on. We promised the kids ice cream, so we found a Cold Stone Creamery on 42nd Street. 

 Then two touristy souvenir shops later, we were back at Port Authority buying our bus tickets back to New Jersey. Back in our rooms, we cleaned up, got snacks and did some badass mamma-jamma things like punch out circles from basketball-textured paper for Beth's pre-K class before settling in for bed.

Tomorrow we head back upstate. Back to reality; back to our lives. I really don't think any of our girls will soon forget this weekend, though. I hope they all realize just how incredibly blessed they are to have opportunities like these in their lives! I know I sure do...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Super-Secret Surprise... The Jig is Up!

For about two months now, Miss Sassypants has been earning marbles to fill a jar as a way to earn this "super secret surprise." For every ten minutes she reads, she earns one marble; plus we throw in a few extras here and there for things like a great soccer game or above-and-beyond good behavior. Well, Thursday night, just in the nick of time, she finally filled the jar! I'll tell ya... this kid was as happy as a pig in poop!

And just what *is* the super-secret surprise, you ask?



A trip to New York City!


Yes, my eight-year-old daughter and two if her best friends, along with one other girl (and their respective parents, of course) all hit the road at 8:30 this morning for the 5-hour drive to the Big Apple! The occasion: two of the girls are celebrating their birthdays! I don't know about anyone else, but when I turned eight I got a family party at my grandparents' house and birthday cards with two bucks inside... not weekend trips to New York City! What we don't do...

The hard part was that none of the girls knew where we were going, or how long we'd be gone. That made for an interesting time packing! Plus I had to sneak Helen, Sassy's American Girl doll, out of the house without her noticing.

With all of the covert packing and implementation a success, we loaded into the car, said Goodbye to Daddy and off we went... to pick up the next members of our party. Then to the third stop, we here we loaded all of our gear into my friend C's brand new minivan and off we went (again) to drive 45 minutes to pick up our final passenger. Finally our Minivan Convoy was ready to hit the open road!

We had Sass and E in our vehicle, and they kept trying to guess where we were going. We told them Alabama, Kentucky, the City Dump (to shoot rats, naturally), Canada, Montana... At one point they were talking amongst themselves and TOTALLY GUESSED IT, but we all just pretended we didn't hear them.

We rolled into our hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey in the early afternoon, and left all of the kids in the vehicles with the dads while the moms ran up to one of the rooms and quickly decorated it as an American Girl birthday surprise, complete with Helen and E's doll Olivia, plus invitations for each girl *and* their doll! Then we let the girls into the room and they discovered the surprise - that we were going to NYC and the AG store! we thought there would be screaming and shrieking, but nooooo... I think they were baffled! lol
Nonetheless, once it sunk in they were quite excited and then we were off!

We took a bus into the city that put us at the Port Authority Terminal, and from there we hoofed it. We walked through Times Square (referenced by Sassy as "the place the queen came to in 'Enchanted'") and passed by the Today Show studio on our way to AG. Sass thought that was *so cool* since we watch about ten minutes of "Today" every morning before school.

Then, we arrived...

American Girl Place!

Let me tell you, that place is a dang gold mine! There had to be literally thousands of girls there, parents in tow, squeezing past each other for a chance to buy something! And buy, we did! Sassy had money left on her AG gift card that she earned from selling a bazillion Girl Scout Cookies in the spring, so she finished that off and then some. Plus, since we were celebrating her friend C's birthday, we bought her something as well. Oh, and Helen just *had* to get her ears pierced! Let me just say, though... It was a great experience. I would definitely go back there. As soon as I find a buyer for one of my kidneys.

By the time we were done there, everyone was pretty hungry for dinner, so we went to the Hard Rock Café on Broadway. Yum!! They even did a birthday deal for C and I and gave them ice cream sundaes. Plus we got to see the Beatles' original gray suits, so I was pleased as punch!

On our way back through, we had to stop at M&M World. Holy Tourist Trap, Batman! It was so incredibly crowded in there! Sassy managed a pair of earrings.

On our way back through Times Square we saw... The Naked Cowboy! Yes!!!! I'd been hearing about him, and there he was, in all his tighty-whitey glory!

We made our bus back to Jersey with seconds to spare and finally got settled into our rooms, got the girls showered and settled in. Tomorrow we tackle Ellis Island, Central Park and whatever else comes our way. But for now, I think we all deserve a good night's sleep!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dude! Don't Cuff Me, Bro!

This time around, Mel and Michele ask us to tell about a time we were caught red-handed. I'll admit... I've struggled with this one. I mean, basically, I'm a goodie two-shoes. Sad, but true. I am a rule follower. If I ever get in trouble, even as a kid, it was almost always because of something stupid and thoughtless that I did.


Tell us in 57 WORDS OR LESS about a time you were caught 
red-handed, like a rat in a trap, with your hand in the cookie jar.

This morning, I was in the shower... and my mind wandered (as you'll have). All of a sudden, it came to me! My badass moment! And man, it was a good one.

So, without further ado, may I present - Ketchup with Mel and Michele #3:

The year: 1999. So many changes! One change - my bank. I closed my account not realizing I had one check outstanding.

Next thing I knew, a bench warrant in the mail! Check to the parking garage: bad!

Went to court to fix it - THEY BOOKED ME! HANDCUFFS! FINGERPRINTS! HUMILIATION!! All over $32!

I've never told my husband...


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Brother from Another Mother

I am an only child. Believe it or not, I have been that way my entire life! The way that we grew up in our family, however, all of the cousins were really close; more like siblings. And growing up, I always had a very special relationship with my cousin Anthony. We were definitely more like brother and sister than cousins.

From the time we were very young, we spent countless hours together. We played, made up our own games like "Post Time," based on his dad's favorite watering hole. We would concoct the most horrible drinks from anything and everything we could find in our grandparents' refrigerator and make each other drink them, dragging the hamper out of the bathroom to use as the "bar." We re-enacted all of our favorite episodes of "Mork and "Mindy," "The Greatest American Hero" and "The Muppet Show." We spent hours playing with our Star Wars action Figures and sets, Hot Wheels and just about anything else we could find.  This went on all the way through our teen years.  We'd spend the night at each other's houses, but mostly at our Gram and Pa's...  more than likely driving them insane.

After college, Ant moved to The Big City, a.k.a. New York, and we all saw less of him.  I'll admit it, I always look forward to holidays for the sole reason that I know he'll be home to provide entertainment.  Cuz the fact of the matter is, my little cous marches to the beat of a different drummer.  

Truth be told, I really miss that little sh*t!  We're still here for each other when we need it, though.  He came home and ushered at our wedding, and in turn I had the Star Wars theme as our entrance song at the reception.  And now, the little sh*t is all grown up.  He's married to a beautiful ballerina (!!) named Gwyn...

And now?  Well, now, he's going to be a daddy!  Unbelievable.  No, not unbelievable.  The truth is, I think he's going to be a great, fun, loving and attentive dad.  There, I said it.  Guido is going to be awesome at this "dad" thing.  Don't tell him I said so!  ;-)

Houston, we have a problem!

With their busy schedules, we weren't sure when Anthony and Gwyn were going to be able to come home so we could have a baby shower for them.  And hardly and of us have even met the bride/mother-to-be (but she must be awesome if Ant has picked her!).  So when is the baby shower?  This weekend.  

When is our trip to New York for Emily's friend's birthday?  The one with the visit to the American Girl store and all of the major landmarks?  You guessed it...  this weekend.  Wah!!!  What are the chances?

I texted my favorite boy cousin to tell him the situation, and his response?  
What is this...  Bizarro World?  You're going to NYC the one weekend I'm coming to  Corning??

I heart him.