Bad Mom,  Bug,  Family Matters,  Shop Talk,  Tis the Season

regarding my lack of web presence

envelope elf

Greetings from the Shipping and Receiving Department! You might as well call my living room the north pole because there are toys being made (flash cards) and there are elves. My elves just happen to not be very helpful.


Baby Bug thinks it’s great fun to empty my warehouse size box of envelopes, 250 at a time and the cats? They think all these new flat surfaces with paper on them are special beds just for them.


Yesterday I had to call in reinforcements. The Grandmas. It was a two Grandma day. The Grandmas are great. They might not be good at peeling stickers and ironing on decals but they are very good at playing with Baby Bug and making gravy.

Have I ever told you about Toby’s undying love for gravy? In his book, it is one of my fatal flaws that I am not fascinated by the process of which one makes gravy. Ugh. I just can’t be bothered. I don’t know how to make it and who needs all those extra calories anyway? Apparently, Toby does because he’s always asking me to watch his mom and learn how to make it. I’ve tried but I’ve been a dismal failure so far.

I’d much rather be peeling stickers and ironing on decals. How can I think about the art of mixing flour and oil to the right consistency when I have characters in my head just dying to get out and be illustrated? Sigh. I keep forgetting that he pays me to be the housewife and mom and he barely tolerates my little side business I have going on. But that doesn’t mean I can’t pan the gravy job off on his mom when she is here!

One Grandma had to go home but my mom is still here. I think I might force her to stay all week so I can get caught up with work (tis the season!) I’ll have to take more pictures today. The ones I took are pretty pathetic. No wonder everyone always complains about being too busy to blog. I guess this is what that feels like.

Shop news: Orders are being filled. Bags are here and first set of 50 cards are printed. Second set will arrive today! I’ll post when I send out the first batch.


  • bluejaye

    The second set of bags should go out to you today. You should have them by the week-end. By then you will have a system down.
    Is Grandmas’s gravy good? I’ll teach you how to make gravy next time we meet. It is a facinating process. My gravy is lick you plate good, if I do say so.

  • Michelle

    Secret Agent Kitteh sez – “I can has 50/50 split of profitz?” – A little I Can Haz Cheesburger humor on this beautiful Ohio morning :o) Baby Bug does look like a little elf in those stripey tights of hers! Keep up the good work, and I second that emotion on gravy! T’s mom’s recipe is gravy perfection, but mine, not so much…boo hiss!

  • girl fried egg

    Love your elf.

    I agree about making gravy. Maybe it’s something you have to learn early on, or gravy-making is in some people’s genetic make-up. I’m a pretty good cook, but just can’t see the point either of gravy. Only difference is I do like the stuff, just have a block against making it.

  • Gramma

    You CAN make gravy without oil or butter or drippings. It’s not as good, but works in a pinch. Just dissolve one boullion cube in hot water. Stir 2 Tbs cornstarch in another 1/2 cup cold water, Combine the two. Voila!

  • Sari

    An adorable elf is much more valuable than a helpful one!

    As for the gravy, I have a foolproof recipe: Williams-Sonoma Turkey Gravy Base. Well worth the $9.50 :)

  • Kuky

    What a cute little elf, even if she is oh so NOT helpful. And I can’t make gravy either. I’ve tried a handful of times for Thanksgiving and every time it was a disaster. This past Thanksgiving the hubby thought he’d give it a try, show me what’s what (even though he’s never made it). He said how hard can it be? His gravy looked like boogers, brown nasty moist boogers!

  • SmockLady

    NAK – ‘scuse shorthand plz
    Cute elf. Nice pants.
    Smart cat.
    Good gravy – I am a gravy queen too. I usually make the gravy right in the pan the meat was in using the drippings from whatever meat I cooked. Yum-O!

  • BeachMama

    Now you have the cutest Elf ever, even if it means a little extra work. You have the most fun business going, even if you got yourself a little extra work around the holidays. That is what makes it all fun.

    As for Grandma’s, well they rock :). I have reinforcements coming on Sunday so we can clean up our construction zone in the basement before everyone arrives for the holidays. I didn’t dare ask for help to finish all my homemade presents, then she would see what she was getting ;).

    And gravy… mmmm…. I just finally got it down pat, but I don’t use any oil. I do throw in the water from the potatoes to help out though. It is all good….

  • carrien

    Well, I can make gravy, but I can’t make cute paper goods to sell soo…

    Gravy is a simple process overly complicated by years of tradition and superstition. You take meat drippings, you heat them until they are gently bubbling. You grab a big handful of cornstarch (Okay, see there’s my secret, cornstarch, so much easier and never lumpy.) You dissolve said cornstarch in a bit of cold water. You slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the bubbling drippings mixture, stirring as fast as you can with a whisk in the other hand. Keep stirring. In a few minutes you have gravy. If it’s not thick enough, add more corn starch, repeat.

    Here, I”ll come make you gravy, or Toby gravy, and you can come and plan my 4 year old’s miniature tea party for her birthday, okay? It’s only 3 days before Christmas, come on you know you want to….

  • cc

    carrien – if you don’t already have something else whipped up a winter wonderland themed tea party would be pretty simple.

    snowballs for cake – laid on a platter in a pattern like a snowflake.
    paper snowflakes hung from the ceiling
    hot cocoa instead of tea (my girls didn’t like the tea at their tea party and they were 2 and 6)
    mini marshmallows, regular marshmallows, gumdrops, licorice/twizzlers and toothpicks to make snowpeople
    fake jewelry from the dollar store
    anyways, you get the idea there are so many ways to throw a tea party. Have fun!!!