Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vintage wee quilt from Grandma #3

I've saved the best for last. I suppose you thought I'd forgotten? This is my favorite doll quilt of the three. The lovely colors and all of the tiny, tiny squares and stitches make me happy. Grandma is pretty sure that Mrs. Richards (is the name right, Grandma?) next door made it for her when she was a little, little girl.

I have fabric on the way that reminds me a bit of this same feel, one print is quite modern and one has the vintage-look of the truly vintage fabric in this quilt. Both will be made into some wee little quilts.

Random thoughts:

  • I'm looking for a pattern to recreate "The Perfect Skirt." It has to be very, very simple because my entire sewing experience with clothing consists of a pair of wacky royal blue shorts I made when I was about 10. My 'perfect skirt' is not just a pipe dream; it's actually an Isaac Mizrahi skirt from Target (bought many years ago). It's an A-line and goes just past my knees, and it was my first A-line skirt. Who knew I'd been missing something so wonderful for so long. I feel my very best in it and it's so forgiving. Seriously, when I was teaching my colleagues would walk by me in the hall and say, "I see you're wearing your 'perfect skirt.'" I let everyone know how much I love the darn thing. I want to make several to wear all spring and summer in the same shape but without a zipper (I'm not up for zippers yet). I don't want a really bunchy waistline so I'm worried about elastic, but I have to use elastic right? Any ideas? Being home I figure I could make three and rotate through them, wearing only those through fall, and nobody (aside from the boy, of course) would ever be the wiser! I'm only half-way joking. Speaking of the boy... He's made his first fashion choices lately, demanding what we've deemed his "fancy pants" every day. They're bright orange hand-me-down cargo pants. They're WOW! Sometimes he wants my bright blue and green striped scarf to wear with them. Anyhow, I don't think it would bother him if I wore the same skirt every third day!
  • I like this "do something every day" idea. I saw Shiso Mama's collage-a-day via Whip-Up and I liked the commenter's idea of 100 words of fiction a day. That seems doable. I've mentioned before how I'm always "WOW! And this... Oh, and I could add this and do this and WOW... and... Why isn't it done already?!" Via Apartment Therapy (Nursery) I just saw this artist as well. She does a painting every day and I really enjoyed her site. I suppose I already do incorporate this idea into my life. I do the dishes every day, and make the coffee, and brush my teeth...
  • I need Timtex for a pattern. I know nothing about it. Is it something I absolutely need to order (craft/fabric stores around here don't carry it), or would something else work just as well?
  • I'm feeling old. It wasn't my birthday this past weekend (it was my husband's) but events are conspiring to make me feel old. I keep finding these absolutely incredible web sites where these women are doing amazing things, only to discover that they are so young too. Like here, at Inside a Black Apple. It makes me a bit panicky, like how I feel when I read an outstanding book and discover that the author is about five years younger than I am. I get this clutchy feeling in my throat and chest and think, 'but I haven't written my book yet?!...' Anyhow, really enjoyable things going on out there by people that have so MANY wonderful years of creativity in the wings. Not that I don't. I'm just feeling old. I've been painting with white paint lately on the boy's kitchen and then last night in the basement I'm doing, so I have all of this white paint in my hair. I keep looking in the mirror and seeing the white and thinking that I need to really do a wash number in the shower; then I look more closely and it's just the gang moving in. That's what we call the white hairs around here: the gang. They're slowly taking over the neighborhoods in my hair. Oh, and my sister gave me a tour of "My Space" (with a chuckle that I hadn't ever visited before) and I found all of these people from my high school and from T's school (I didn't recognize anyone really). So many of them just look so old. T and I both felt like we don't in any way look like those people do, but of course we must. We're getting older. But it's OK.
  • My lovely and talented sister added in a link to some of her Flickr images on her website and I think so many of them are so outstanding. Some of those England pictures look like stock photography (in a good way). They're gorgeous.

Playgroup prep

For the little ones...

...and the mamas.

There were lots of toys to play with too, though eating is big!

Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm not making the Singer sing yet

I want to love it, but I'm beginning to think the last machine wasn't just used for a project and then taken back to the store. Perhaps the person tried it and then burst into tears after the extreme build-up of happiness at the prospect of trying a brand new sewing machine was destroyed by oil on the thread and a broken needle for no good reason. Just a thought. Maybe we just have to develop a relationship?

The boy's new apron (made from a Martha Stewart kitchen towel) and a bit more kitchen excitement. More aprons will be showing up in the little shop any day now.

I've always loved the vintage yo-yo quilts I've seen, and I'm intrigued by this handy little tutorial. Who knew they were so easy (you probably knew, but humor me).

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fabric for the huge pile of WIPs

Do you recognize this fabric? This will all be in beautiful baby balls soon. Below is some of the fabric for the boy's new kitchen accouterments. By the way, when the kitchen is done done, you're going to hear about it in a big way. I feel like it needs its own blog: mylittlekitchen.blogspot.com. Oops. That should read: theboy'slittlekitchen.blogspot.com, right?! I painted it twice yesterday, and this morning we rearranged the boy's room for some added play space and room for culinary fun. We'll find the duktig here in a minute or two (ha!-- it's in storage... It'll take a good half hour!).

I fell in love with this little "smocket" on Alicia's site the minute I saw it, and actually begged for the pattern. I have no little girls for the smocket, but I'm making some any way. They are so darling! I followed a comment link about the smocket to Artsy-Crafty Babe which I love. Beki actually offered to send me one of her extra patterns for it and she's now my new best internet friend of all time (!). She doesn't know that, of course, but I think that's just so incredibly generous. I'm going to find a little something in the way of a "thank you" to send right back to her. I'll be smocking in no time.

I'm also enjoying Pixiegenne and Amstershiresauce lately. Lots of good, creative Mama stuff going on over there.

It's T's birthday today and there's a banner overhead and birthday dinner plans in the works. We're making a week of it with a family dinner tomorrow and a trip to Seattle for fun birthday things like new socks next weekend. In spare moments I'm itching to attack the new fabric, work on the kitchen and play with my new machine. Oh, and clean the house and cook for playgroup here on Monday! Good times.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday reads

"So, what're you reading" was just too long and now we have "Friday Reads." In a nutshell I am reading nothing. Nada. Except the boy and I have read our Mary Had a Little Lamb book about 50 times this week (and I'm just talking Tuesday on) and we're reading lots of Maisy books, Spot books, and several books with this illustrator from Barefoot Books. C really seems to love her bright pictures and I think her birds are the best. I'm not a big fan of Spot, but I don't really have a vote in the matter.

I did find this book at the library and drooled over the fabrics (not literally mind you, though the kid books we get from the library often make me worry about drool). I'd love to have this book but what would I do with it? I did a little research and found this one too. If I was Heather Bailey, with new fabric in the works, I'd so buy them. By the by, look at her studio. It's incredible and I'm not really a pink person even. I love the shelves... It does remind me of the one over at Posie.

This is a random book but in our quest for the perfect clip art a couple of weeks ago I found this fun clip art book. I didn't buy it, but I'm putting it on a Christmas list. Yep, it's February and no, I don't really have a Christmas list. Maybe if I write it down here I'll remember. I want this book and I really have no idea how I'd ever use it!

Again, very little in the way of actual reading. Wickett's Remedy is overdue now, and the Debbie Bliss books I got at the library don't really count as real reads either. Sigh.

Not a read, but you can buy this fun card and others at Stella Marrs. They also have Nikki. You know all about Nikki by now!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It was used

Okay, the sewing machine had already been used. USED! Not new and shiny and fresh out of the box but used. Well, it was still shiny and it was new to me but it wasn't the same. It's gone and I'm searching. This has happened to us a lot in recent years; there were several baby items we bought for the boy and when we got them home we opened them only to find that they'd been used and then stuffed back into the box and returned. Do people just buy a sewing machine, use it for a project, then bring it back to the store? I would feel such never-ending guilt.

As promised, here's beautiful vintage baby doll quilt number two. I love this design.

I spent a couple of hours last night starting on the basement (the one I'm painting to do the parenting class with the boy... oh, and I suppose I'm also doing it now to buy a new sewing machine!). I enjoy taping and like the preciseness of it all. On the way home in the car I was listening to NPR. The show (which is one I don't generally care for) was focused on technology, specifically laptops as the primary vehicle for learning in countries with extreme poverty. I can go on and on about this because I've thought so much about it (given my personality I could probably go on and on about it even if I hadn't really thought about it much, but I digress); when I was teaching I received a grant for around $15,000 of training and technology for my classroom. So I won't go on and on about the issue, and if you stick with me for a second I'll get to my point (Geesh... I'm such a windbag), but have you ever seen the Alliance for Childhood? My dad (also a teacher-- Mom too) showed me the site years ago. They did a huge study on computers and children.

Anyhow, we're rounding the corner on my point here: I found the show's discussion about constructivism to be really interesting. I've thought a lot about constructivism as well, and certainly in my first grade world and in my boy's world my interpretation of it really is how children learn best. Then I was thinking that "learning by doing" (which is not, incidentally, "constructivism" but is an extremely watered-down sound bite that works for our purposes!) is really how most people seem to learn best. As I was driving I realized that I have been so happy learning by doing in these recent months. Physically creating things (be it a splat mat, a little play kitchen, a bird...) is so satisfying to me and it's something I didn't have much of previously. I was learning about teaching every day in my former life, but this is different and fulfills a different part of me. With the boy I'm relearning about how we do every little basic or even big life thing, because he's learning about life as we go through our days. Focusing on those steps, creating things on my own... It's important. And I'm glad I'm able to be doing right now.

Are you still there? Well, if you are, here's a list of things I've been enjoying lately. They're all connected somehow, but you know how you can look on the internet for fifteen minutes and you can't for the life of you remember how you got there?

  • Optimist looks to be a good start. I'm not as into "modern" as all of this, but there's a good mix of fun, inspiring things for kids.
  • Pretty Darn Swell is such a great idea. The artists donate a portion of their sales to designated organizations, and they have a great group of artists. I think this came to me via Daily Candy.
  • OH MY GOODNESS... Have you seen all of these free, fun patterns, appliques and prints over at Ottobre? Of course you have. But go look again! It's such a wonderful resource. And it's free!
  • These are so much fun. I love just creating designs but I might actually make some neat stuff if I spent just $3 on some of these embroidery patterns over at Sublime Stitching.
  • I think the Craft Mafia idea is fantastic. I so wish I had a group of other crafty people to "band together" with. I suppose surfing in the internet craft world is something, but I so wish I had something similar to Laura's Friday group.
  • I absolutely love this site, Tea Time, and can't understand a single word in it. No, that's not right. Under that cute baby picture (scroll down) I understood "adorable" in the comments! I saw that crib and all I could think of was how you could totally fit a pop can through those bars. I'm such a worry wart.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quilts for little ones and a machine

I have a category in the shop called "Quilts for Little Ones" which has nothing in it. It's not for baby quilts but rather for baby doll quilts. This is one of my mom's ideas from years ago; she really feels like there aren't beautiful, little handcrafted doll quilts out there, that they'd be fun to make, and that people would buy them! I was talking with my grandma the other day and she sent me home with some of her baby doll quilts from childhood for inspiration (just to borrow, mind you!). Can you see the stitching in this one? I love how much care and detail goes into these, and how you can create something so satisfying and beautiful without spending months on it! I suppose I do have a bit of a, ahem, short attention span at times. Wait 'til you see tomorrow's vintage baby quilt.

Oh, and I've had these tucked away all the while as Hillary Lang over at Wee Wonderfuls (remember the bunnies?!) remembered this wall and started to make her own. Very fun!
I have to go now. I have a -gasp!- new sewing machine to go look at. Not at the store. I mean I actually have a new machine in my living room at this very moment. Amazing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

We'll always have Saturday + Rose

This is Rose.
She is not a chicken and would be offended if you thought so. She's soft, oh so soft, and she has vintage button eyes which make her look very wise and a little quiet.

She does have a big back-story but she's not sure if she knows you well enough to share it all. She has some relatives who are chickens, and her eyes came with sewmamasew fabric. Rose has two siblings. She looks much better in person but there's no light here in Olympia. None. And I ironed that fabric about five times. What's the deal?

Last night the sewing machine got mad at me. Really, really mad (trip to the machine-fixer-upper place mad). I also actually stepped on the box of straight pins laying on the floor (major crafting party foul) and T had to come yank them out of my bare foot. The boy is getting incisors; misery, with the never ending rain, beset our household yesterday. As we were falling asleep last night T said "we'll always have Saturday." It's true. Saturday was magical fun with a little something for everyone and happiness all around. The only thing that seemed to stop the boy's frenetic, whiny pace yesterday was to cuddle under a big quilt with lots of books, which isn't so bad when you think about it. Today we have our class and a visit to the post office so we'll hope that with goldfish crackers and some cuddles we can make it through 'til nap time!

I love this tiara/crown and must make one (a crown) for the boy in the near future. Wouldn't it be a wonderful little gift for some deserving boy or girl (and what boy or girl isn't deserving of a beautiful crown?!). I'm also smitten with these owls over at Moonstitches.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thrifting, playing, and a googa

My sister and I are thinking alike, which happens more often than not. I had this picture sitting in iPhoto waiting for the weekend, and she has a beautiful picture of thread over on her site.

Things have been busy around here, in a good way. We've been having fun as a family, visiting the zoo and having milkshakes in one of our favorite little places (if you're ever in Tacoma, try the espresso milkshake). I used a jig saw, drill, table saw, skill saw, electric sander and hammer yesterday. Can you guess what I'm making? I can't wait to paint it and to make the curtains (and find the Duktig). Ever since watching yesterday the boy keeps banging his hands on things and saying, "Bam, bam, bam, bam."

T & the boy with the "baby beluga"
or "googa," if you're the boy.

Tacoma's also the home of my new, favorite thrift store. I spent an hour finding lots of treasures including a baby quilt (I'm going to save it from bleeding red, recut & repurpose) and a gigantic, beautiful sweater dress of angora and lamb's wool (for little animals). Did I mention it's angora and lamb's wool? With an absurd amount of fabric? For $3? I remember standing outside a thrift store when I was little but old enough to be too worried about what others thought about me, refusing to go in and being absolutely mortified about looking for clothes inside. I've changed a bit! Among other myriad treasures (for $30 total-- oh, my goodness) I found many "daycare explosion" variety toys for the boy. At $1 a piece I can't pass up little goodies that can make a rainy afternoon pass more quickly. I hide them away and bring them out when I'm desperate. Before they are allowed in the house, however, I have this elaborate system of cleaning and sanitizing and making them ours. Are other people this neurotic about such things? There's bleach, laundry soap, scrubbing with toothbrushes... It's elaborate. But once I'm done I'm confident that even my little guy could put the item in his mouth and it'd be clean. That's what it takes to make it "ours!"

Via Moonstitches I found this wonderful pattern for a doll. Have you found this? Funny, as I'd just been cutting out lambs and chickens from another Martha pattern. We aren't really into dolls around here right now, but we always could be at some point. It's good to have a good doll pattern handy.

I have a few orders to get ready today to mail out tomorrow and I couldn't be happier about it all! Splat mats covering the kitchen floors of the world...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sunny play day

There's actually sun shining through our windows today. Sun. After days upon days of gloomy rain and clouds, we're all itching to get outside! Play awaits.

Here's a little playtime for you:

  • Also via the Elizabeth Mitchell website I enjoyed the Blue Butterfly site with 5 easy steps to a healthier childhood.
  • I want to buy all of these shoes for the boy.
  • Did you see this playroom on Apartment Therapy? Oh, my goodness. It's the size of our house, for one, but it's also so tidy and together. It led me to this site... Beautiful. How do people have time for all of this?

Friday, February 16, 2007

So, what're you reading?

Friday's going to be SWYR day around here. I've got to encourage myself to spend a little more time with books. It gives me such pleasure and it's always the first to go (well, mopping the floor's been on the back-burner too...). Music has to be thrown in also.

I'm mid-way through this. It's very validating, I suppose. I get these guilt trips sometimes when I see the Daycare Explosion variety of plastic toy goodies a lot of kids have and then I think about our guy's little selection. This is more about what I believe.

This book has the neatest little mice in it; I've got to try them. I'm not so sure I'd want to knit at a bar, but I appreciate the sentiment.
Added: No way can I make those mice. They're HARD.

I bought this for T for Valentine's Day. Very romantic, I know. Remember how we're trying to read them all aloud as the big build-up to the last book? We're making slow but steady progress!

Am I the last person on the continental block to discover Elizabeth Mitchell? You Are My Little Bird (or is it you are my little bird, no caps?) is the sweetest little children's CD. Her Three Little Birds is beautiful and I love Peace Like a River. I want to have "peace like a river in my soul" all the time.

And, oh goodness... I want to eat just about everything in this book. I'm searching for a little mealtime inspiration and this might be the right place.

Hmmm... Not a lot of solid reading going on around here right now. These are pretty light selections. Maybe next week.

Here's a fun thing for you, courtesy of my sister. Take a look at this sewing machine commercial. Amazing! You'll want to see it again.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Apples, oh my


I'd never made applesauce before the boy arrived, and never knew how easy it was. My parents always have lots of apples every year and now that we're in the same town we are often the lucky recipient of apples and pears too. These apples were sitting in boxes in my parents' garage, waiting and hoping to be put in a pie or some such thing. In an effort to "save the apples" my mom baked something like eight or nine apple pies one day the other week. Applesauce is much more doable!

Quarter them, add a bit of water, and boil until they start to break apart. Then grind them with a doohickey (a.k.a. food mill if you want to get all technical).

Ta da! Add cinnamony goodness.

When we were moving and whenever we had to eat on the go I used to buy the boy's food (in the baby food stage). Aside from those times I made his food in big batches and froze it. This book by Annabel Karmel made it easy, gave me confidence about food safety and also had lots of great combinations the boy really liked. (Just because I'll worry if I don't add this as an aside; the book doesn't seem to incorporate the latest research about kids and allergies so be wary of recipes including nuts, eggs, etc. if you use it.) I think I like the previous version better (the one the libraries seem to have) but the newer version is just fine for the baby food. When I made big batches of food I liked to sit there and calculate how much money all of the results would have cost us if we'd bought the baby food instead of making it; very rewarding to a thrifty (read: always worried about money) gal like me.

Did you see on Daily Candy that the Goodwill has an online auction site now? I'm still holding out hope that they miss good stuff every once in awhile. When I looked they had fabric, amazing vintage hats and dresses, and some cool tools. Wow.

I justified the basic Typepad expense to myself, finally, and signed up for the 30-day free trial. I was so excited about making a move but I think I've discovered that you can't upload your own banner with a basic account. Is that true? Am I right? I can't justify spending more than the basic level, so is Blogger my home for good?

I completely, totally, 100% forgot that I'd practically begged T for About Alice for Valentine's Day. Being the wonderful husband that he is, I unwrapped the book in utter surprise last night! It looks to be almost the exact article from the New Yorker with wide double-spacing. Still, it's such a lovely thing.

If I had more of the aforementioned pennies I'd do this.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wishing you a happy day full of love

I, too, have been a little ambivalent about Valentine's Day in my life. Sometimes it just feels like so much pressure and I always think about how showing your love and care should be a daily event, not just a yearly thing. Really though, we could all probably use some prodding in this department every once in a while. How often do I really, really tell and show T how much I care about him? Does he know every day how proud I am of him?-- How amazed I am that he goes off to a wonderful and meaningful job every day, using his art to support education, and using his work to support our family and to let me be home with the boy? Does he really know every day that watching him be Daddy to our little guy fills me up with more happiness than I thought possible?

When I was teaching the "hassle" of Valentine's Day in the midst of the 100th day of school "festivities," Groundhog's Day, Presidents' Day, mid-winter break, etc., sometimes made me dread it (well, especially the party-- the parties always get first graders so riled up!!). Then the joy on the kids' faces when they exchanged their little cards was always so special. Creating the perfect little surprise for someone, being on the receiving end of some good "mail," and just focusing for a day on happy things, showing others you care and you love them... What could be better than that?

My grandpa (Pops) always, always, without fail gives us gals a box of Sweethearts or some such goody. Last night I called my mom and Dad had just brought home a dozen roses; I love that and it's so like him to do something wonderful and surprising with a twist thrown in (who'd expect something like that on February 13th?). Last night the boy head-butted me in his enthusiasm to give me a "kiss" on his way to bed, and then, because of another eye tooth, the first hour and a half of "bed" was the two of us cuddling in the double-bed, snoozing away in the early evening. T worked into the early morning on the laptop, slept for a few hours at most, and then was heading out for work before the sun started to rise. I am surrounded by the most hard-working, amazing, thoughtful, and funny fellows and I am so thankful for that today and every day.

In our quest to share the love we have a Valentine for the librarian ready to go in our book bag. We also have one for the firemen who came to our house the other day for the boy, and I have to pick up some candy to go along with it. I thought I'd bake some cookies to bring but then I realized that, with the times being what they are, they might not eat them. Chocolate's always good.

In the "people I'm proud to know" category, my sister's getting started on that little blog of hers and I love taking a look in the morning. Cob houses? Who knew? It looks a little "cavey" to me but, then again, it's a house of their own. I want that. I'm not quite sure how it could have been assessed at $200,000+ but, then again, that's one of the reasons we had to keep moving south; we'd never be able to afford a house in the greater-Seattle area given our life priorities. Never. The cob house made me think back to the Brown Dress Project I discovered through Happy Thing's other website. Perhaps I could view my pathetic wardrobe, the wardrobe wherein almost nothing in it reflects who I see myself being or feeling at this point in my life, as an exercise in resourcefulness. Ha.

Oh, and back in that previous "people" category a friend just popped her first handcrafted-to-sell-on-Etsy creation up onto the site. She's so creative and I love that fabric she chose. Wow!

Are you into pincushions? I've never really thought about it much but look at these little beauties. And if you think you are (into pincushions) or might be, go to the Pincushion Challenge to look at some more. Very fun.

I love finding new blogs to enjoy like this, this, and this.

Wishing you a happy day full of love...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Zen Woman with a million and two ideas

I'm not an 80's music freak by any means, but I just had to add this in after that last post. Now the Police are back! Crazy! These guys know how to get a little cash flow.

Aaahh, cash flow. We could use a little more of that around here. The boy and I just started a parenting class this morning; we had visited as a guest a couple of weeks ago and just loved it. I had resisted like crazy, thinking I've had enough child development coursework to last me for awhile. After hearing the instructor though, and seeing how the boy love, love, loved the experience I was sold. I think it'll make me a better parent to hear what she has to say and to mull it over through the week, to "practice," and to ask my questions in a good space... I didn't want to like it because I didn't want to figure out how to find the money to make it happen! To pay for the rest of this quarter and next I'm painting a basement. Not my basement, mind you, but a basement all the same. Time to hang out alone with a paintbrush and some tunes (or, of course, This American Life) doesn't sound too bad anyway.

Again, back to the cash. I'm trying to bring a wee bit in with the splat mats, etc., in the little shop but am frustrated with the lack of time to create and always over-anxious for things to sell! The pics are some of my lovelies from this weekend. T and I stayed up 'til 3 a.m. working on our respective projects Saturday night; it was very old-school, back in the dorms style with a little too much caffeine flowing for us "old" 30-somethings. I'm itching to finish my little project for the boy and was so excited to see this kitchen today. Isn't it beautiful? I'm so happy to see people repurposing and creating, and buying a little less in the 'plastic monstrosities for kiddos' department.

Oh, and is the project we worked together on this weekend. You can't tell in this picture (it might as well be 6 p.m. for all the light we've gotten in here today) but the paper is a beautiful shade of light green. It's perfect for a garden party, which is what this will be, and the flower is just right. It should be; as I mentioned it was hard to find! If you're ever looking for just the right flower clip art for a 60th wedding anniversary and 80th birthday bash, I'm your "man." I've got the book right here. I wish we could have screen printed like this amazing stationary (have I already linked to them?-- Sigh. They're just gorgeous...).

T keeps laughing at me because every other day or so I say something like, "We should get a letter press. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a letter press?" or "We should get a set up to do screen printing. Wouldn't it be wonderful to do screen printing?" I will say though that the other day we were heading off somewhere and I can't remember what I said but T replied with some funny comment about being married to a "Zen Woman." We paused, and then cracked up. There's no way Type-A-Me or Married-to-Ms.-Type-A T would have ever thought those words would be uttered in our relationship. This Mama business has chilled me out quite a bit, I'd say. I have better perspective when I sit down and really think about things. I'm still the crazy idea gal though and being a bit more relaxed doesn't stop me from wanting one of these.

Wait, Valentine's Day is tomorrow?! I've got work to do!

Aaahhh... I just read Alicia's post and realized T's been in the Crazy-Beth Olympics for about a decade now. I'd say he's winning all golds too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Life is just better

Okay, they turned out a little more 80's than I originally pictured (and the zig-zag inspiration came not only from all of the little shop's splat mats but from this invite too, I'm sure!). T says that's fine though because the 80's are back, as evidenced by Wham reuniting and Prince's (he's not former any more, right?) Superbowl half-time show! The boy did the painting and coloring, and of course it's his hand. I did a similar one last year and I thought it'd be fun to include his hand every year so we can see how much he's grown. My, how he's grown!

C's art is so beautiful, and we're just barely into the scribble a bit and smash a bit of paint onto the paper phase. He looks so proud of himself whenever we do a little project and then hang it up on the art line by our front door. When his Nana and Grandpa came over one time days after he'd done some art it was the first thing he wanted to show them (at 13 months old!). Look at this wonderful idea from another Mama. Now that's one for "When he's older!"

T & I spent an inordinate amount of time this weekend making Save the Date cards, but I'm sure we'll all agree that it was worth it once the finished product is trimmed today! The poor boy had to make it through three bookstores in our quest for the right flower or tree clip art. He turns into this crazed little blur in bookstores, madly wanting to look at everything (flinging aside what doesn't interest him). It's exactly how I feel inside when I have a half hour in a great bookstore; he really is our little boy.

He's now officially a 16 month old and though the month "birthdays" don't register quite as much as when he was so new to us, it still throws me when a new month comes around. How can the boy be 16 months old already? Last week's ER visit threw me for more of a loop than I thought. I'm generally always fine in an emergency and then fall apart after (better, I suppose, than the alternative). My falling apart seems to be in little, heart-stopping, panicky aftershocks all week-- when I look at my little guy and am so full of who he is and then I remember how suddenly things got scary last week.

We saw a big billboard in our clip art quest yesterday. It showed a woman getting a massage and said, "It'll change your life." I was telling T that I would so love to get a massage some day (in my life... Chances are it could happen some day, right?) and he said, "It'll change your life." I had this moment of thinking I wasn't so sure I'd want it then. It'd have to change my life for the better, because things are pretty good around here!

Wow, do a lot of people live life listening to This American Life? I thought it was just me, but here's another crafty person's favorite. My all-time favorite radio moment is the story in Fiasco! (episode 61) about the Peter Pan play. I've listened to it over and over and I crack up every time. Hilarious.

I meant to show scone pictures but I got this far and then, suddenly, they were gone. That's how good they are, people!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A week of "fighting the funk" and how do we feel?

Fighting the funk #7- Start some big projects. These little packages are the smallest of some large purchases (size-wise, not cost) made today at Lowe's for the boy's little kitchen. I'm so excited! I love a new project (and a jigsaw is just plain fun-- ask Molly!).

Have you seen this? Great stuff every day, and they even have my favorite, Nikki McClure, on there again.

Gotta go. I'm updating the little shop!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bake & rock

#6 Warding off the February Funk Pic- The real pic of yummy, yummy scones is on the way. For now, you see my problem. I'm out of sugar! Warding off any kind of funk with me generally includes some sort of baking. Bake often. Eat it all up. Enjoy. Share the goodies and share the recipe!

I know they just weren't into scones over at Colorfool, but neither was T until he had this version. They are SO GOOD, and you must, must douse them in sugar and cinnamon. Yum! The recipe is adapted from my All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking book which I don't like nearly as much as the older versions. I asked my grandma to keep an eye out at garage sales for an older version for me and she found a beautiful copy of The Betty Furness Westinghouse Cook Book, which my great grandma enjoyed and passed along to my grandma. It has a wonderful meat loaf recipe (lots of great basics) so if you ever see it, snatch it up! Anyhow, here's the adapted recipe (from the Classic Currant Scones recipe on page 791 of the All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking book).

Classic Scones

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

Drop in:
6 T (1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into little pieces.

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the rest resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in (they say whisk it together and then add it all at once but I hate using more than one bowl!):
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (they say heavy cream which would probably make them much better!)

Mix until dry ingredients are just moistened. Knead dough together with hands, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and pat dough into an 8-inch round (about 3/4 inch think). Cut into 8 or 12 wedges and place at least 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

They say to brush the tops with 2-3 t cream or milk but I never do.

I COVER the tops with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake about 12-15 minutes and eat warm.

Okay, aside from baking around here we're also grooving to the music. We just got this at the library and I think it might be worth a buy. I like about half of the songs on it (better than most kids' CDs!) and I love The Rainbow Connection by the Dixie Chicks. I'm not a country fan but they do a beautiful cover of this and it makes me think of Kermit and the gang singing in my childhood! I also love Baby Mine by Bonnie Raitt and How to Be Strong by Rosanne Cash (all on this CD). I might need to make a little mixed album for us to dance to and include that Wilco song What's the World Got in Store and Great Lakes Swimmers' See You on the Moon which I discovered on Sweet Juniper's blog. Oh, and Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles would have to be on there... Other suggestions?

Random, but also have you seen this index of amazing tutorials for bags of such from Craftster, courtesy of not martha? It'll give you enough great ideas to use up a weekend or two!

I'm making a bit of progress on the little cat (two more episodes of The West Wing last night)!

Aahhh... And in the ideas category once again have you seen this banner Laura's friends made for her shower? We have one like this in plastic that I whip out every time anybody has a birthday around here. It's wrinkled and, well, plastic. I'm going to make one of these! Would interfacing between two layers of fabric work to make it two-sided?

Shower. Must shower while the boy naps.