Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mostly Good Muffins

On a cold day, I love nothing better than an oven warmed kitchen and the aroma of hot baked goods. So as it was quite cold and windy, the girls and I turned on the oven and mixed up some pear granola muffins.
The girls had a blast making these--partially because they love cooking, but mostly because it meant they could take turns using the sifter. (They're big fans of the sifter, not such big fans of taking turns...) They thoroughly enjoyed the muffin batter, greedily eating it by the spoonful, and were amazed at the sight of muffins "growing" in the oven. The finished product, however, was not such a hit.
After one bite, Pookie and Fig (unbeknownst to me) quickly disposed of their muffins by handing them off to Little P. who, it appears, thoroughly enjoyed one of her illicit muffins and smooshed the other into every puzzle, game, and stuffed animal in the playroom.
I enjoyed my muffin and took a picture of it on my retro tablecloth...which I just ironed, starched, and burnt.
We'll consider the day...half successful.

Monday, March 23, 2009

In the Kids' Room

Things I'm loving in the kids' room right now.
The addition of this bird (that I was unwilling to part with, but unsure what to do with) to the girls' mirror. A few more, added here and there, have given the room a much more lively appearance.
And this lamp...
from an antique store. The girls love it because the "princess" has such a beautiful dress--I think I love for it for the same exact reason!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Please, draw on the walls!

Like most girls, "Little Women" was one of my first and favorite novels. I wanted to be one of the March sisters (though of course Anne of Green Gables or Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm would been equally acceptable.) I read that book over and over again (always with a box of tissues ready for the part when Beth passes away.) I watched the movie over and over again too...also with a box of tissues handy. Despite living at least a hundred years before my time, those March sisters were just soooo cool.
Since moving to this area my one wish has been to visit the Louisa May Alcott house. Today, that wish finally came true. My mom and aunt watched the girls and, with a sister and cousin along for company, I was finally able to visit the "Orchard House."
It was beautiful, it was fascinating, and surprisingly I've walked away thinking not of Louisa, but of her sister, May. Really. Shocking, I know.
May, just like Amy in the book, loved art. Her parents, wishing to foster her love for art, but unable to afford much in the way of art supplies, allowed her to draw on her bedroom walls. Beautiful pencil drawings all over the room. It was incredible! She later became a successful artist (her still life painting was chosen over Mary Cassatt's for an exhibit in the Paris Salon!) and I think that, in may ways, her parents had a lot to do with that. It has given me a lot to think about--the girls freedom to pursue what they love, the opportunity for them to be creative and how I'll support them in all their endeavors. Something I'll think about during an afternoon tea party and some Little Women paper doll cutting. Fun and tasty!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Continue or Quit

Pookie's dress is giving me so much trouble. *sigh* With all the previous dresses I've always cut out the bodice the perfect size and then gathered and attached the bottom half of the dress to the bodice--easy. This time around I thought I'd try something different by keeping the shirt all in one piece and just pleat the bodice until it was down to the right size.
Why oh why did I do decide to do that??? I have no idea how it can possibly be but, after numerous fittings, this dress is still too big. And now that I've sewn on the binding and the straps I'm feeling a bit less than enthusiastic about pulling out the seam ripper and tearing everything to bits again. I'm thinking about scrapping it and starting fresh with a new shirt, but there's a big part of me that hates to be a quitter.
I think I'll give it the customary 24 hour wait period and then see how I feel. Maybe I'll be up to the challenge tomorrow. Maybe...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Little P. Helps Out

I'm working on a "recycled" outfit for Pookie. She picked out blue and I'm adding some white cotton trim for fun. While this dress is going to be entirely different from Fig's, I do want her outfit to have a matching headband like Fig's had.
After hitting a rough spot in dress construction today, I started playing around with some ideas for the headband. While I loved Fig's, the flower on it was just a bit too small. Oversized flowers seem to be the hair accessory of choice at the moment, so I thought I'd try my hand at making one for the headband.
Sadly both Pookie and Fig refused to model my first attempt. Apparently their Playmobil people were in the midst of some great adventure and could not be abandoned. Thankfully I still have one child left who is currently incapable of refusing to model for me.
And so we have Little P. modeling a headband with a flower that is about half the size of her head. Although it is seriously oversized on her, I actually kind of like the way it looks--very baby flapper, obviously requiring the pearl necklace accessory you see there. I think, that if there was anyway to guarantee that it would actually remain on her head, I would make one for her too.
Anyway, it is still very much a project in the works. It has the flat back (perfect for attaching to a headband) that I want, but is much, much, too messy looking for me. Hopefully it will only take a few more tries to get it right and then...we'll see, maybe I'll have Little P. model again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fig's Dress

Fig selected the discarded purple men's shirt for her dress. Her only request was that she be able to "twirly dance" in it. So, out came the scissors and the seam ripper and several hours later Fig had her dress...
...and a headband to match.
Fig is ecstatic about her dress and talks constantly about her "bootiful dancin' dress." Yes, thankfully it passed the twirl test!
I'm thrilled that it cost me nothing but some thread and a little time...
...and made Fig the happiest little twirly dancing girl in the world.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Disappointments and a Dress

Wondering whatever happened to Little Peach's dress? Well, it's still in the works. I was dreading having to sew on the collar (baby collars and I don't get along too well), so I put off working on the dress for awhile. I finally worked up the necessary courage to attempt it this morning, and thankfully everything went smoothly.
Now that the dress is almost complete I'm feeling a bit disappointed over a few elements. I really wish that I had used something other than yellow floss for the smocking. The yellow hardly shows up at all--all that hard work smocking and you can hardly make out the pattern. Next time I'll know better.
I'm also feeling a bit disappointed over the fit of the dress. Although the dress pattern said 1/2, the dress seems somewhat large and Little Peach's head looks a bit like it's disappearing between those two sleeves. Thankfully, it's way too cold for her to wear it yet, so I'm hoping that by the time it has warmed up some, Little Peach will have gotten a little taller and little fatter and consequently the dress will fit a little better. If it doesn't....I'll have to see what I can do.
So, I think I'm going to put the buttons and pockets on and then give this dress a little break again. I'll do the hemming and any necessary tailoring later when the time to actually wear the dress comes. And in the mean time I can start on that much asked for dress/skirt for Fig.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

March came in like a lion... The ground is once again deeply covered in snow and the temperatures are well below freezing. I'm boycotting the outdoors until something more spring like makes an appearance (which is supposed to happen tomorrow, so this will be a rather short boycott.)
So we're back to doing indoor stuff. Somehow, despite one still sick baby and two sick again toddlers, everything has been going perfectly this week. At this moment, I could almost accept the title of "supermom." I baked cookies and muffins with the kids, folded and put away all the laundry (which hasn't happened since the birth of Little Peach), and the house is almost "neat, clean, and tidy"...almost. Of course, I'm quite sure that in no time everything will go back to crazy, chaotic, and messy and the "supermom" title will be revoked...but still, I'm gonna give myself a good ol' pat on the back and savor the moment while it lasts.
And while I'm doing that, the kids will probably keep devising new ways for "Jonah" to be injured. Jonah, that little fellow down there.
He came with their latest Playmobil acquisition, an ambulance. Since his arrival, the poor fellow has been bitten by a Spinosaurus, attacked by an alligator zoo escapee, and knocked over by a penguin (just to name a few). Of course, after each accident, my job is to strap the poor little guy to the stretcher and load it in the ambulance. Then off the kids go, ambulance in hand, only to come back a short while later and remind me that they do not have anywhere to drive Jonah to. I'm wondering if this subtle hinting/logical reasoning is their latest attempt at getting me to purchase the hospital for them. They just might succeed with this tactic....we'll see.