Sunday, November 25, 2007

I must spend more time behind the camera than I realize...
because somebody has started doing a pretty good imitation of me!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Some Thanksgiving sugar cookies made for the children..
...but enjoyed by all!
Hoping yours was a beautiful (and tasty) Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The problem with being away from one's blog for a long time is figuring out where to begin when one comes back. At least that's what my problem is. Where to begin, how to explain, how to condense this last month into a reasonably sized post. Phew! Hard work, but if I don't begin now...well it will only get harder I suppose.
So we moved. We have a lovely little home that upon entering I immediately fell in love with. It was built sometime in the 1950's and so is full of charms and quirks. The stairs creek, the floors (all hard wood) are scuffed and scratched, there are funny little shaped closets, and the doors bang (as only old well used doors can) comfortingly behind you when you leave the house. So for just about a week I unpacked all those many, many boxes and then...repacked a few suitcases because it was time to leave again.
We took a four day drive into the deep south where we were to stay nine weeks while my husband attended a class. We're now just over halfway through our time here and am I ever looking forward to getting home! Of course it's all been very new, different, and interesting here (I've been stung by fire ants, been awakened in the middle of the night by tornado sirens, and buried my feet in some Gulf Coast beach sand), but I'm homesick. I hear I've already missed the first snow sighting of the year!
And I miss my craft supplies! I had time only to grab a needle and some fabric scraps before leaving the house and...I'm still figuring out what to do with them. Christmas is around the corner (and I won't be getting home until just a week beforehand) and while I've resigned myself to the fact that most of the girls' Christmas gifts will have to be store bought this year...well I still have dreams of a handmade item or two under the tree. So we'll see. I'm busy searching the internet for craft and fabric stores around here and hopefully, hopefully something will work out...
...and then maybe I'll have something new, exciting, and fun to share with you!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Moving! Be back soon!

Friday, September 21, 2007

And blue and purple make five...
...five lovely little Christmas ornaments. Five more to finish and...I need to hurry--my creative free time is running out what with the move and all. Oh to be done of packing boxes!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pookie is two. Old enough to remember what things were like last month and old enough to notice that things are different this month. What she notices the most right now? Leaves.

Pookie and I like to play color games. Kind of like "I spy" but easier for a toddler, I point and ask what color something is and she tells me or I ask her to show me something of a particular color and she points it out. Up until this point leaves have been green and something green is leaves. Not now...

Pookie brought me this leaf today. "Mama, Mama...color?? red???" She's just a tad bit confused as to why these leaves aren't green.

So we sit and talk about the seasons, but it's kind of a hard concept for a two year old. She has a book that shows a tree throughout the seasons and she's constantly bringing it to me asking me to explain it to her over and over again. The changing seasons, so very ordinary to me, are fascinating to her.

I love rediscovering the world through my children's eyes...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fig's quilt pieced together perfectly. I was feeling quite happy with the whole project and was gleefully thinking to myself that I'd have it done in no time...but then it came time to add a border to it. The red polka-dot fabric I had been planning on using was the wrong shade red (too orange) and so I had to go out shopping for a different fabric to use.
On shopping expedition one I came up with nothing--everything was too modern, too new looking, too busy, or...just the wrong shade.
A week later there was shopping expedition two. I found the cutest flannel for the girls' winter pajamas...but nothing for Fig's quilt.
Shopping expedition three was planned for several days later and while I waited to shop I stared discontentedly at Fig's quilt. This is kind of how most projects go for me. I get just so far and then that perfect last element...can't find it. So the project sits and sits and sits while I think things over and keep searching.
But I was determined not to let that happen this time--I mean really, we're having cold nights now so perfect or not Fig needs that quilt! So on shopping expedition three I gave up on my "dream fabric" and settled for something. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't what I had envisioned, but it was going to work. And upon getting the fabric home...well I think it's going to be almost perfect after all! So soon, very soon, Fig will actually have a finished quilt!
And hopefully another almost perfect quilt will be in the works soon. Pookie will be moving into a big girl bed (still searching for the...umm...perfect bed) and will need a new twin sized quilt. She has already informed me multiple times that hers should be green. Yes, green--it's her new favorite color. For now though--well I think she can just share Fig's. Afterall...
...apparently nap time is just that much better when you can nap together.

Monday, September 17, 2007

And the weekend went just as planned. One box filled, taped, and labeled...
...and then apple picking and...
a little bit of pumpkin picking too. And a final stop on the way home at the country store for some cider and my all time favorite maple sugar candies!Drinking hot cider and eating maple sugar candies...Mmmm! This is why I love fall so much!
(Thanks for the pictures Dad!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finished this little bird...
...and I'm really immensly fond of this color combination. Something about it feels so very fall to me and I love that.
Fall is my favorite season--I love the cool days, the cozy sweaters, the fall folliage, pumpkins, hot apple cider, raking and jumping in leaf piles! There's so much I want to do with the girls now that it's fall and yet there is all the packing, the moving, and the planning going on.
I'm trying to find a balance between the fun and the work. Trying to enjoy our time now, while getting ready for our future. My plan? Use this weekend to pack a couple boxes...and then go apple picking and carve some pumpkins with the girls!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another bird finished. And another in the works...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More trips to the beach.

The water is almost too cold for wading in now.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

There was lots of packing this weekend, but there was no packing today. Today the girls and I made chocolate chip cookies to send to daddy, who is at boot camp...
...because I'm almost certain they don't serve chocolate chip cookies at boot camp...
and cookies just make everything better, wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The cold nights we've been having reminded me that Fig does not yet have a quilt for her crib. And so I've started this little blue and red themed one for her...
(The colors are very off in this picture. I'll post a better picture when the quilt gets a bit bigger.)
Nothing fancy, no design. I want it to look more like a scrap quilt than anything else (even though only half the fabric being used is actual scraps.) I'm trying not to think about precise measurements, accurate angles, order, etc., etc. and just be random and have fun. So far I'm enjoying it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I packed one box today. That's something, right? Not a grand something by any means, just a small measly little something, but it's something. And I'm content with that.
I've determined that if I pack just one box a day, everything will be packed in time for the move. And of course, once I've packed my box for the day, I can do all that sewing/crafting without feeling guilty. So far, so good--I like this plan!
It leaves me with time to work on this:
an embroidered tablecloth that I still haven't gotten around to finishing. My enthusiasm for this project started to wane when I discovered, after several days of hard work, that I still had 200+ flowers left to do. Looking at it now I'm thinking about how lovely it would look on our table in our new house. Enthusiasm back? You bet!
Now let's see, I have one box to pack a day...and how many flowers a day to embroider??

Friday, August 24, 2007

A recent trip to Goodwill and for just twenty-nine cents apiece were these lovelies:
I've been wanting to try out smocking, so these patterns are just perfect. That long sleeved smocked top with the pants would be just perfect for fall don't you think? And I'm loving that little bonnet in the other pattern--too cute!The baby pattern happens to be too small for the girls, but I'm sure I'll have plenty more opportunities to use it. I'm really loving the little sail boat romper and shirt. And the other pattern is a bit too old for the girls now, but really so fun don't you think?

So there we are, me collecting and buying more things and...not making anything. I think I feel a little guilty about crafting when I should be packing (yes, another move coming soon) and so because I just can't work up the enthusiasm for packing I'm not crafting...if that makes sense. Maybe next week I'll be more productive and get a little bit of each done. Maybe...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Autumn has arrived early. Already there is a haze of yellow, red, or orange around the trees. The mornings and evenings are chilly and the days are just warm enough for short sleeves with a sweater close at hand for when the sun wanders behind the clouds. Autumn, when the tourists begin to pack their bags and and head home...
...and the beaches become all ours again.
And though the water is too cool for swimming in...
...the sand is just warm enough for playing in.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We're all back from camping.(Yes, even Curious George.)
Wearing a slight sunburn, smelling of campfire smoke, and thoroughly, yet happily exhausted.
Catching up on sleep and chores.
And spending these last few days together, enjoying ourselves.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

In case you were wondering, here is Fig's birthday cake.
A very yummy, scrumptious coconut cake. And yes, yet again, the recipe came from this Martha Stewart cookbook.
One more birthday, one more cake to go. It's going to be a lemon one next!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The three happiest days of my life have all happened in August. My wedding day, the birth of my first daughter, and the birth of my second daughter--all three happened in August.
It is Fig's birthday today. She is now one year old.
How time flies. A year already...can that be?
Happy Birthday Fig--I love you sweetie!

Monday, August 06, 2007

A little late night crafting after the babies have gone to sleep.
This little guy is almost complete.

Friday, August 03, 2007

It was hot again today. Hot as in almost a hundred. Hot as in sweat beads then pours off of you as you sit still. That kind of hot. Our third day running of hot...and humid. No beach for us today, we wanted an artificial cool environment, we wanted air conditioning.
And so we sat, all hot and irritable, thinking about where we could go that would be worth a visit and would have airconditioning. It's hard to think in the we thought for awhile. And then it occurred to me that the library had free passes to the art museum--a worthwhile place to visit, inexpensive (two dollars for parking was all it cost us), and air-conditioned. The perfect place!
So we spent our day at the art museum. We saw some Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt (the girls liked the babies in her paintings), Winslow Homer, and my personal favorite for the day Edmund Tarbell. You can see some of his paintings here (we saw the first and third ones on the page--Summer Breeze, in person, is beautiful!)
The girls enjoyed themselves for a time and then got a bit antsy, so thankfully there was a children's room where the girls could interact with museum artwork...
...replicating the painting above them(our girls would never have sat still long enough for painting!)
...piecing together artwork puzzles
...exploring the interiors of historical houses
...and running laps around furniture (Fig had a lot, a lot of energy.)
It really was a perfectly lovely day!
And now we're back home wondering where those thunderstorms (and the cooler weather supposedly behind them) are. Hmm....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My husband leaves for training in just over two weeks, so we're wisely spending our time creating enough good memories to last us until we're together again. Day trips to the city, mornings on the beach, hours playing on the jungle gyms, after dinner ice cream treats, and bed times...what are those? Who needs sleep when there are summer nights to be enjoyed?
We're making the most of the time we have left...and loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One bird finished for an order...
...nine more to go. Squeezing it all in between pajama making and pool time with the girls!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I bought a few books just about a week or so ago. I didn't bother to share them on the blog--I buy a lot of books, at a lot of used bookstores, and this would quickly become a book blog if I posted about all the books I buy. Anyway, I happened to be in the plants/animals section of the store (I have no idea why, guess I was just wandering or something) and came across a book I thought I'd read a long time ago, "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell. Breezing through the pages, I came across the mother/baby scorpion dinner table fiasco and immediately knew it was in fact the book I had read back when. Obviously I bought the book and I intend to read it again sometime soon. It's a hilarious story about a young budding naturalist and his eccentric family, all of whom are living in Greece...really good for a laugh, but fascinating at the same time! You can read more about it over here. My point in all this (besides making a book recommendation)...sometimes it feels just a bit like that book around here--not as regards the eccentric family part (I don't think...), but rather the whole naturalist/insects in boxes bit. Just this past weekend, I found a fishfly in the pool (and don't worry I didn't take any pictures of it, but if you're really interested and not too squeemish you can see one here.) As it turns out they're a fascinating insect--they live in the water most of their life and only get wings and fly for about 2-3 days before dying. This one was dying at the time of discovery, was protected from the ants (anxious to carry him away), and when he had expired was promptly saved in an empty gerber baby food container. He'll be joining my mother's collection of other interesting dead bugs (who, no need to worry, all died from natural causes). At one point I would have thought this was all kind of gross, but I find I'm starting to warm up to bugs. I'm starting to pay attention to plants and animals a lot more too. And I can only attribute this developing interest to my girls. They're fascinated with everything--nothing outside is too small, too gross (okay except slugs, the girls have decided those are gross), or too boring for them. Every little bug, every little plant--they can't get enough of them. And as I crouch down on the ground with my camera and look at the world close up the way they do, I'm discovering what a fascinating world it is too.I'm thinking the girls I might just have to start our own dead bug collection sometime soon...
(...oh and those pictures are of a great spangled fritillary butterfly, a northern cloudywing skipper, and some sunflowers!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

At long last I have finished one set of pajamas.
Sadly my poor pajama model is sick (both Pookie and Fig are suffering with a "runny nose with a little cough" cold of some kind), so those were the best pictures I could get of the pajamas. They are Simplicity pattern 9968. I love these pajamas!!--they are extremely cute and I'm already planning on the long sleeve/pant version, long sleeve dress version, and bathrobe for Christmas...hopefully. I still have Fig's pajamas to go...and some doll sized versions to do for Mimi and Flossie (the girls' waldorf dolls) at this rate I ought to start Christmas pajamas... now? Oh wow...guess I'd better get back to my sewing machine!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The house is really rather full. There are eight of us living here at the moment. However we all willingly made space for one more. And nobody minds at all. He's an extremely obliging guest. He doesn't mind sleeping in the kitchen. He only wants a little sugar and water at meal time. And the girls are fascinated with him!
We found him several days ago. He was sitting in the driveway, one wing horribly askew. We admired him for a time and then moved him to the lilac bush--he was gone several hours later. The next day he reappeared, first he was spotted resting on a pine tree and then later he was spotted enjoying some of the garden flowers. He was easy to identify--due to his broken wing he could only fly in circles. By day three he was looking extremely tattered and weary so we invited him in to stay awhile. And though I can't say he's looking any better now (his wings keep breaking off a little at a time) I would have to say he looks pretty happy.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The great outdoors from a Lilliputian's perspective...
Toadstools everywhere. This little red one--charming...
Peering through the leaves...being peered back at...

Staring up at the sky... through the black eyed susans... at long last we have blue sky!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

At long last, one little bird almost ready to enjoy the summer weather.
That one last little wing isn't attached yet...I'll have to get to that sometime today.
I had a horrible, horrible time getting a picture of this bird. A little while back she talked about how hard it is to get pictures of something red. I didn't understand the problem at the time, but now I do! Ugh, three-quarters of my pictures were worthless and even this one...not quite right. I'm making up a "to do" list today, top of which is going to be getting the girls' pajamas done. Is it me or is summer just flying by?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's someone's birthday today!
So obviously we needed a birthday cake! This is yet another recipe from the Martha Stewart cookbook. Chocolate cake with a chocolate peppermint ganache icing and some mint leaves for decoration. So nice looking and soooo tasty!Pookie helped me make the cake and icing (yet again while Fig was napping). I'm slowly learning to let Pookie cook with me. I've come to the realization that she is capable of doing so much more than I think she is. Today she carefully poured the cream into a measuring cup and then carefully poured it into the mixing bowl...I was amazed! And it's really fun cooking together, we both put on our aprons and we both take turns sampling the ingredients...

...the chocolate chips tasted just fine--thanks for checking Pookie! I'm looking forward to when Fig is old enough to cook with us--then it will really be fun to cook!

And so happy birthday to my husband/daddy! Here's to many many more birthdays!