Thursday, June 28, 2007

I finally managed to finish getting the girls' pajama pattern cut out. I started working on it, but after five minutes using the iron in this heat...thought I'd wait until tomorrow when it's supposed to be a bit cooler.
So instead I returned to my marionette for a bit. Currently the only part that is complete is the sleeves and a portion of the bodice. I've spent most of my time cutting out pieces of fabric and pinning things here and there trying to get an idea for how I want to the dress to look. Here's a little peek at my work in progress...
As you can see I've a little ways to go yet until I'm done--lots of pins to be removed, lots of sewing to be done, and a little bit more trimming this...and adding that...gathering this...and flattening that...embellishing this...and simplifying that. Pheeew...yes not much more to do at all!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer is upon us in all its 100 degrees and toasty loveliness. I tried to work on my marionette today...but it was too hot to work with the velvety fabric for her dress. Tried working on a new bird today...but I felt hotter just looking at the felt I'd have to work with. Thought I'd try out knitting...but knitting things just seemed...too hot. Tried sketching a new bird pattern...but couldn't get any work done as I had to keep seperating, irritable, kicking, punching, shoving, babies.
So what to do but...get in the pool! Yes, a perfect day to relax, play games, and splash away in the pool. So cool, so refreshing! The babies were immediatley one hundred times happier and was I! But all that kicking, splashing, playing, though fun, was also very tiring! So tiring that some of us...
just couldn't make it through dinner.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Phew! Yes, I finished that picnic blanket just in time! It was a late night Saturday, finishing up the binding and doing the tufting--ending up with a very achey back from bending over so much. *sigh* Long...tiring...but so worth it!
Sunday morning, when Pookie discovered the picnic blanket, she promptly made off with it to her crib and proceeded to tuck herself, Curious George, Mimi (a Waldorf doll my mother made her), baby, and cat underneath it. There was some momentary worrying about whether or not Pookie would let me steal the blanket back in order to take it to the park...but no fear--I managed to sneak it away and once it reached the park the blanket was immediatley put to it's proper use.
Of course there was a little inward wincing here and there regarding potential food spills, but I kept reminding myself it was a picnic blanket and it was going to get dirty at some point...
And after our picnic we were treated to a lovely performance of the Sound of Music. Pookie just loves the songs in the Sound of Music, so this was such a treat for her! She sat absolutley still and was completley mesmerized during the whole first act (we left shortly after intermission as Fig was tired).
Fig stayed still for about half of the first act and then proceeded to eat grass...I'm quite sure that there was a very bare spot on the lawn by the time she was done!
Oh yes, a fun, fun, weekend--and I'm so glad I finished the picnic blanket in time for it!
...and now back to Monday...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm here...still here...yes I'm still here...I'm just working...working frantically...but moving slowly...
I now have just three days in which to finish the picnic blanket. It needs to...or at least I want it done in time for our great-summer-outdoor-theatre-trip on Sunday. And so I sew, sew, sew, and hope that I'll be finished in time.
And while I sew I have the best of company. Pookie likes to come sit with me while I work. It's our nice quiet time alone (as Fig is napping) together and it's a time I relish. Sometimes Pookie sits beside me and plays with quilt squares, other times she stands on the chair next to me and recites all the words she knows, and sometimes she sits across from me at the table and draws or paints.
She is a very serious artist. She spends a long time picking out her colors (she normally settles on blue or green), leans in very close to her paper, and goes to work. When she's done she leans back and scrutinizes her work adding a big flourish here or a little dot there.
Sometimes she pauses to show me what she has drawn--a baby, a chicken, a shark, Curious George, a goose, or a horse.
And maybe this is why I am moving so slowly on this picnic blanket...maybe I am too distracted watching my daughter create, what is in my eyes, a masterpiece. Yes, I think that "distraction" is a perfectly good reason for moving slowly on my project...a very good reason.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The weather has improved just a bit. The rainy drizzle has disappeared, the gusty winds have calmed some and the sun actually showed itself for a minute or two. Yes, the weather improved just enough that we dared to venture outdoors...with sweaters and plenty of bug repellant on.
First on our outdoor expedition, we stopped at a nursery to look at the plants, and oh what a delightful place this farm was! Not only were the plants beautiful, but there were animals to see!
There were tiny little horses eating in the fields, chickens and their chicks running underfoot, ducks waddling across your path, geese floating in the pond, and some very unusual exotic birds. The girls were fascinated! We spent nearly an hour just wandering, gazing upon all the beauty, and marveling over birds we'd never seen before. It was so much fun that we fully intend to go again sometime soon!
And then we were off to a bakery for some coffee and treats. Having gotten just a bit chilled from our time at the farm we opted to eat inside where they have some perfectly lovely seating for some perfectly lovely little children. Lemon cookies with raspberry filling--the girls would tell you they are quite yummy!
Such a wonderful, relaxing, pleasant day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

That little blogger break there...well you can blame that on Anne Bronte. I really only meant to read just a chapter every night, but wouldn't you know it, two pages in and I was hooked! I carried the book (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) around with me everywhere, sneaking a paragraph here and a sentence there, every chance I got. And now it's over. *sigh*
So it was supposed to be back to crafting today...but it just wasn't meant to be.
The girls have gotten very accustomed to their ten o'clock play time out in the yard. They get a chance to explore, run around, splash in their pool and essentially get all their energy out. Not today. No, the weather doesn't like us. The temperature hovered around 55 for most of the day, which would have been playable in but for the wind, drizzle, and mosquitoes so thick you practically inhale them with every breath. So there we were, stuck inside.
Both girls, normally happy and cheerful, were instead extremely irritable today (Pookie being tired and Fig having a very slow erupting right front tooth that is causing a good deal of pain) and not being able to go outside...made things that much worse. It wasn't long before their morning play turned into lots of shoving, pushing, bottle stealing, toy grabbing, hair pulling, screaming, yelling, and crying.
What a relief when naptime rolled around! I thought then I'd get some crafting done! But naptime was short, very short--teething babies don't sleep long. And so my sewing was limited to just about 40 minutes today. I only managed to quickly finish up the front of the picnic blanket and start cutting out the girls' summer pajamas (a simplicity pattern I belive, but I haven't got the number handy at the moment).
Not that they'll need these, mind you, if the weather stays in the fifties. But I'm thinking that June will finally begin to act like summer again sometime soon and then these pajamas will get much use.
And so here's hoping for a pleasant sunshiny happy baby day tomorrow. For now...well it's been such a crazy day...I think it's time for bed!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Just a quick weekend update to share with you the picnic blanket I've been working on. (Sorry the lighting is so bad, we're having more of that dark, cold, looks rainy but never rains weather.)
Pookie kept running off with the squares (she really loves arranging and rearranging them on the floor) and so I thought I'd best hurry and get it done before all the pieces went missing. The front is just a little over halfway done and the still a mystery. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with the backside of the blanket...more squares? plain fabric? a different design? (so it's reversible)...I'm just not sure. At any rate, I've got to make up my mind sometime soon as it needs to be ready by the end of June--we have an outdoor theatre event to catch!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The great thing about summer--how many things there are to look at! There are the obvious things to look at (flowers, trees, birds) and then there are the not so obvious, very tiny, lean in super close and squint your eyes a little...bugs to look at!
Bugs dancing in the wild rose blossoms...
Lady bugs snoozing in their leafy green abodes...
Butterfly's gently stroking the last of the lilac blossoms farewell...
And fuzzy caterpillars just waiting to be captured by curious children's hands.

There is so much to see and discover!

Monday, June 04, 2007

After a glorious weekend of sun and fun...rain, rain, rain. It's been a pleasant rainy day though. The girls needed a chance to catch up on some sleep and what better kind of day to sleep away than a rainy one. So after Mother Goose hour at the library (lots of singing "The Wheels on the Bus and The Itsy Bitsy Spider), off the girls went for a nap and I had a chance to work on my marionette for a little bit.I used an Edith Flack Ackley marionette pattern for the body and I'm really happy with how it looks with the head. I've really enjoyed sewing together the body. The seam allowances on the pattern were so small I decided to hand sew everything rather than attempt tiny curves on the machine. And how nice it has been--I've really enjoyed the slowness of sewing by hand.
A reminder of how nice slowness can be, a call to slow down all around--take a minute, smell the flowers, feel the warm sun, see my babies grow into toddlers...enjoy this summer.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Ice cream--the perfect summer dessert. Cold and refreshing after a long, hot, muggy day--it can't be beat. And my all time favorite ice cream? That would be the Raspberry Chocolate Chip ice cream my husband has been making for us. Delicious!
Last night, as we had finished yet another batch of ice cream (the ice cream does seem to disappear rapidly around here) my husband kindly agreed to make some more. (I really love that husband of mine!)
And Pookie was such a great helper. She helped Daddy by testing several of the raspberries to make sure they were tasty, testing the sugar to make sure it was sweet, and testing way too much bittersweet chocolate to make was chocolatey enough? And she thoroughly enjoyed herself, can you tell?
And she likes the finished product just as much as she likes all the ingredients. That would be Pookie's little hand you see there stealing some ice cream. She just couldn't wait until I was done taking pictures--she had to have some then and there!
So if you have an ice cream maker and are looking for a delicious recipe to try...well then you'll need (oh and please note this does make a lot, but you'll eat all of it, I promise!):
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half and half
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups raspberries (you can use frozen or fresh, just be sure to mash them up a bit)
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (we use a grater in order to get fine chocolate bits)
4 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together and...follow the instructions for your ice cream maker. Enjoy!