Tuesday, December 21, 2010


There are only a few handmade gifts this year--one per girl to be exact.
This little Waldorf inspired doll is for The Littlest.  She's made entirely of items I already had around the house--some mismatched socks, an outgrown (and too stained to save) toddler dress, and some yarn and stuffing from the stash.
Pookie and Fig have already named her Pepper, but we'll see what The Littlest thinks of that!

Friday, December 10, 2010


We had our first hard frost about a week ago.  The hydrangeas immediately became a mass of limp green leaves, but the roses bush wasn't as easily conquered and continued budding and blooming awhile longer.
Just the other day, the rose bush produced two more flowers and then gave in to winter and went dormant.  Though this bush normally produces bright pink roses, these last two came out decidedly pale, looking a bit tired and worn out.
I'm feeling just a bit like these roses right now--pale, tired, worn out.  Two weeks ago, I came down with a horrible head and chest cold and the recovery process has been frustratingly slow.
But, at long last, I think I am finally getting better.  And just in time, Christmas is right around the corner!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Little Big Bed

The Littlest moved into a "big girl" bed a little while ago.  Getting the mattress was easy, but finding the bedspread and headboard hasn't been so simple.  I'm still searching for the right headboard, but the search for the perfect bedspread is now over.
This one turned up at my favorite antique store and I am just so in love with the pattern and all those lovely colors!  It makes me happy just looking at it!
Now if only the perfect headboard would show up in time for Christmas...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time Away

We just returned from an incredibly relaxing vacation--ten days in New England, visiting family and friends, eating and drinking at our favorite coffee shops, walking the beaches, and getting a whole lot of rest.  It was a much needed vacation!
The only downside to vacationing--all those suitcases you have to unpack when you return home.  Not my favorite task...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Into the Wild Blue Yonder!

I was sick for just about week there, a horrible stomach bug that left me too tired to do much of anything.  The only thing I managed to do, was make it out to the airshow with the family.
Some of my favorite moments:
Seeing a sky full of paratroopers.
Really cool to watch, but so glad this is not my job!
The Thunderbirds--definitely the best part of the show.
Although this pass made me so nervous every time!
All in all, a really great time.  If there's one in your area be sure to check it out!

BTW--Halloween costumes are coming up soon.  What with that illness and all, I'm way far behind schedule on the costumes!  But soon--promise!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Butterflies

Butterfly specimens are always so hard to find, but luckily for us, they've been cropping up everywhere lately.  Or rather, they've been cropping up in parking lots lately.
We've recently stumbled across quite a number of butterflies, deceased or dying, in store parking lots.  Most are injured (probably hit by a car), but some appear to have just reached their end naturally.
I could never collect and kill (that's just not me, I just couldn't do it) so it's always such a thrill to find a butterfly that is already deceased and in perfect condition.  These recent finds have been making me happy:
One we haven't identified yet.  I'm thinking I might try relaxing this one in order to spread it's wings.  I've never tried doing that before!
A Buckeye.  We only found the wings.  I'm assuming that the ants took off with the rest of it.
A Red Spotted Purple.  They're really quite blue and very beautiful.  But as much as I love the top of them...
...the underside is even more beautiful if you ask me.
And a Spicebush Swallowtail.  I love the colors on this one as well--it looks like someone sprinkled blue glitter all over the wings!
I recently looked at a butterfly checklist for our area and discovered that there are at least 100 different species here.  In looking at our "bug book" photos and our specimen collection--I think the girls and I have "collected" about ten species.  Obviously, we have a long ways to go before we've spotted them all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fig's Dress

A few weeks ago I started shopping for some fall patterns for the girls.   There are so many adorable, cute patterns out there--I'm having a hard time whittling my wish list down to just a few items!
But, before I started in on the fall wardrobe, I figured I'd better finish up the last of the summer dresses...
And so, at long last, Fig's pink dress (the same as Pookie's blue dress, just pink) is done.  It's still plenty warm here, so she'll probably have a good couple of weeks in which to wear it.  And hopefully, if I'm lucky, it will fit next year too.  In fact, I really hope these fit everyone next year, because I've already bought the material to make a third one with...
Anyway, now that that's done, it's time to make those fall purchases and get sewing!
Oh...and make some Halloween costumes...

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've been away from this space for a bit, just savoring those last few moments of summer--those final days of carefree nothingness and relaxation.
But now, despite the still warm weather, summer has passed and autumn is undeniably here.  The pool has closed, the schools have opened, the migratory birds and butterflies have been hastily flying by, and the leaves have just begun to change color and fall.
And just as the outside world has been gradually changing, so has the inside of our home.  After a busy August spent decision making, online shopping, and assembling furniture, we now have our very own schoolroom and two very excited little pupils--Pookie and Fig!
We are now three weeks into our homeschooling adventure and we're happily settling into this new routine. 
And now that all of the changes are behind us, I think I'm ready to return to blogging.  More soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


A few pictures of butterflies today...
While my flowers have consistently failed to entice any butterflies to venture near our house, the kids play-doh did wonders.    In and out of the patio they swooped, investigating all the bright colors on the patio table.  Who would've guessed?
My husband found this specimen for us while on his way to work one day.  It's missing half it's wings, but it's still a lovely specimen.  I need to get a riker mount for it.
I love seeing their wings up close--so much more beautiful than anything I would think to create...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rain Rain

Lots and lots of rain this week.  Three days worth.  No need to water the lawn.  No need to water the flowers.  No need to do anything until...
...it was over.  Then there were puddles to jump in and fall in.  Muddy clothes to be washed.  Muddy feet to be cleaned.  And mushrooms everywhere.  We hadn't seen any mushrooms since spring...
Today the hydrangeas look parched and dry.  All of the mushrooms have shriveled, shrunk, and toppled over.  The nasturtium leaves are brown and dry around the edges.  I need to go get the hose and water the garden.
Did it really just rain?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Dinosaurs all in a row

Friday.  Clean up day here.  Trying to get the house in order so it looks nice for the start of the weekend.  Dusting, vacuuming, and...
...putting these dinosaurs in order on the windowsill.
That probably wasn't necessary.
Making sure that the all of the triceratops and stegosaurus were evenly spaced apart.
Umm...really wasn't necessary?
Wasting ten minutes trying to find out what the plural form of stegosaurus is.
Uhhh...very unnecessary.  I guess.
But, just in case you were wondering, according to my research, the plural form of stegosaurus is...stegosaurus.  Although, there are a few websites that say you can use stegosauruses or stegosaurs.
I will probably never have a reason to use the plural form of stegosaurus again.
I think I may just be procastinating now.
Back to cleaning...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Birthday Girl

Well, I had big plans for Little Miss P.'s birthday.  And I started on said "big plans" real nice and early.  Nothing was going to stop me from getting the job done--I was prepared, I was being timely, it was going to be a success!  And then, as you already know, everyone got sick.  There are some things you just can't prepare for...
So, I had to scale back on Little P.'s party plans.  Waaayy, waaaayy back.  In the end, though I was disappointed that things hadn't gone as planned, I was glad that, miserable as I was, I managed to get something done for her birthday.  Something is better than nothing, right?
Anyway, part of the plan was to have about fifty or so paper mache hot air balloons.  By birthday day, I had just fourteen.  Thankfully, fourteen is just enough to spell out "Happy Birthday" with and still have one balloon leftover for the cake.
The girls painted almost all of the balloons.  I painted a few leftovers and added the decorations.  The Playmobil kids were nice enough to hang out in the baskets and hold little letter signs.  (Thanks guys!)
And then there was the cake.  I used my favorite Martha Stewart One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe, and sadly,  for the first time ever, the cake was a disaster.  One layer was horribly lopsided (think 2 inches on one side sloping down to about 1 inch on the other side!) and the other layer was constantly losing large chunks of cake off the sides.  Thankfully, after some trimming and patching and a whole lot of icing, the cake looked okay.
Loads and loads of white icing were piled on top to look like clouds and then one last balloon, with it's little passenger, was set floating atop it all.
The birthday girl enjoyed it all--balloons, cake, presents, being the center of attention--it was all great.  And now she is officially two!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Sick Days

Where have I been?  Well, I wish I could say I've been off doing fun and exciting things, enjoying myself so much that I just didn't have any time for blogging, but sadly, that wasn't the case.  I've been sick.  And I've been tending to sick kids.
The kids and I managed to come down with a horrible illness of some sort that involved high fevers, headaches, coughs, sore throats, achy joints, etc., etc.  Thankfully, we're all almost better.  Or rather, the kids are already better and I'm slowly getting there...
Thankfully, I was well enough to enjoy some 4th of July festivities.  We managed to make it down to the lake for some free ice cream, games, and balloons.
And then, much later, we sat by the lake and watched the firework display.  The kids were excited and amazed.  So was I.  Fireworks never become boring or dull, at least not in my opinion.
We also celebrated a birthday over the weekend, pictures of which will be coming shortly...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vintage Picnic

We braved the heat and the humidity today and had a little tea party picnic.
Decked out in their new dresses, everyone enjoyed some chocolate milk and cupcakes.
Fig's ABC dress is complete.  It took me a long time to find some buttons that matched (I wanted something other than white), but I finally located some at the local antique store.  Fig loves this dress because "It has puffy sleeves like a princess and a twirly skirt like a princess."  The skirt is incredibly full and I really ought to get some kind of ruffled slip or something to go underneath it and give it more volume.  And the puffy sleeves, what girl doesn't love those?
And with her sisters all decked out in new vintage attire, Little P very much wanted her own dress to wear.
She found this one in my box of "still not finished" projects and insisted on wearing it.  I managed to coax her out of it just long enough to hem the bottom and put a button on.  This dress was such a disappointment back when, but now it looks perfect.  Or, rather, it did look perfect.  There is quite a bit of chocolate milk on it now...
I think a vintage fall wardrobe is definitely going to be in the works.  I am just so in love with these dresses! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Paper Balloons

Back at the paper mache again, working on some party decorations for Little P.
Just getting a little bit done here and there, in between day trips to the pool and evening trips to the playground.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vintage Dress #2

So here is yet another vintage dress that I'm working on for the girls.  (Yes, it is still a work in progress, so please just ignore those bright blue marking lines everywhere.)  This particular pattern is for a dress and a very ruffly apron, which means that Fig, who loves all things girly and ruffly, immediately fell in love with it and just had to have it all to herself.
I'm really loving these vintage patterns.  Just like the last one, this dress has an amazing fit and a gorgeous shape.  If there is one downside to these vintage patterns, it's how time consuming they are.  There are a good number of bias strips for necklines, arms, waists, etc., etc. to be measured and cut from remnants, lots and lots of hand sewn elements to be done and little details everywhere, that aren't quick and easy, but really help to make the dress.  No instant gratification here, but the end result is totally worth the time and effort!
So this dress just needs a whole lot of hemming and some buttonholes to be complete and then it will be on to the apron!  And then, of course, there will be the pink dress to finish up.  And then...we'll see!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Lots of painting outside today.
Followed by lots of painting the outside.
Eveything is now covered in paint.
Hopefully it rains soon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Continuing our Search

I've been slowly working my way through two more vintage dresses for the girls, but have had to stop as I need to make a trip to the store and buy some matching bias tape and buttons.  Although the girls are really anxious to have some new dresses, going to the store is not tops on their list of things to do.  It's been pleasantly cool and sunny, the perfect weather for all day play at the playground and evening fishing at the lake, so that's what's been winning out around here with the kids.  It is supposed to get hot and humid again shortly though and when it does I know I'll have three red faced, cranky and irritable kids very ready to take a trip in the air conditioned car to the air conditioned store to buy bias tape and buttons.
So besides hanging out at the playground and fishing at the lake the kids and I have also been continuing our search for new bugs to photograph for the bug book and new bug specimens for our bug box.  We've had a bit of luck with the bug specimens thanks to some pretty frequent storms in these parts.  Flash floods do in a number of bugs, so it's just a matter of getting out at the first glimpse of sun and finding them before the ants do.  And we've definitely had a lot of luck with our bug photographs.
Like this little fellow who I believe is a katydid nymph.
It took us a long time to ID him.  The antennae kind of threw us off for a bit there...
And then there is this as of yet unidentified fellow.  Little P is big on finding bug specimens, so when she found this fellow she immediately brought him in the house for us.  When he turned out to be alive there was an awful lot of squealing and back out the door he went!
And grasshoppers galore.  They are everywhere.  I had no idea there were so many different varieties...
Then there was this bee fly (I think) which we spent a long time trying to get a pic of.  There was a whole lot of, "he's over there!!" "no, I see him, he just flew over there!" "no, wait, I don't see him anymore!" during this photo shoot.
And finally this Gray Hairstreak butterfly, which, sadly, is the only butterfly we've managed to get a picture of so far this season.  I've planted all kinds of flowers that butterflies are supposed to love, but so far not a one has dropped by.
So those are just a few of the pics we've been taking.  We have a ton of these to print off, ID, and add to our bug book.  Maybe that's something we'll do when the weather turns horribly hot again...right after we get those buttons and bias tape of course.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Pookie's dressed is finished!  I am absolutely loving this dress, as is Pookie.  She says it's the perfect spinning/dancing dress and I definitely agree!

I really, really, love this pattern.  It fits her perfectly and just has such a lovely shape to it.  Fig and I can't wait to get her version started!  In fact, Fig can't wait to get started on a bunch of dresses.  She's been busily browsing the vintage patterns with me on etsy and has been making me "favorite" all the ones she likes.  You'd have to hear her talk, "That one, with the short sleeves, not the long, and I want it in yellow not blue, and I think we should make the skirt a little longer.  I like the flowers, but maybe they could be white.  Can we get a hat like that for it?"  Fig, a little fashion designer in the making perhaps?
So now I'm off to work on dress two and then, if I'm still feeling energetic and enthusiastic, there might be a little bit of pattern shopping next!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Still sewing...

I've been meaning to post all week about the sewing challenge, but I seemed to be making so little progress, a post didn't seem worthwhile.  But it's Friday (!) so I most certainly need to put up something by now!
So here is Pookie's dress which is almost finished.  I've really been taking it slowly--making sure that I do everything right and that all the seams are finished nicely.  There is still a bias tape trim (that goes around the neckline) to do, four buttons and buttonholes to add,  a very large bow to sew on, and some dreaded hemming and then I'm finished with this one!
And I really need to hurry up, because Fig is dddyyyiiinnngg for her dress!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day One

Okay, it's day one of the kids clothes week challenge and I've already gotten in umm, well more than one hour of work, technically speaking.  Granted, most of that time was spent rummaging through boxes in the garage and complaining loudly to the dog about how impossible it was to find anything, but that's hard work, right?
I did finally manage to pull together a pattern, some fabric, and a bit of bias tape.  The fabric is all ironed and the pattern is traced and ready to be cut out, but I can't begin sewing anything until I go out and buy a needle.  Sewing machine needles were just one of the many things I could not find amongst all those boxes...  *sigh*
So I'm going to be making two dresses from the vintage pattern pictured there (the white and red polka dot dress view) and I'm hoping that a vintage size 4 fits both Pookie and Fig.  I'll be making Pookie's dress out of the blue print and Fig's out of the pink.  A quick trip to the store for needles, a bit more bias tape, and some buttons and I should be good to go.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get a lot more done tomorrow!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Birthday Prep

Birthday's are still 2+ months away, but I'm already preparing for them.  Last year, birthday's were sadly very boring and uneventful due to our move, so I really want to go all out this year.
That and seeing as all the birthdays take place over the course of just seven weeks, a little bit of early prep certainly doesn't hurt...!
So here is a little bit of what I've been working on for Fig's birthday.  There is still a lot of thinking and tweaking and what not to do before it's just right, but it's coming along.
An easy project for me to do a little work on here and there...in-between unpacking all those boxes of course!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Lake evenings

Throughout the moving process, we've spent most of our evenings down at the lake.  Sometimes the kids fish with Dad and other times they just putter around the lake throwing pebbles, pulling out aquatic plants, and picking flowers.
Everything stops when a fish is caught though.  Suddenly there's a scramble to get to Dad and see/touch/poke the fish.
Then the begging and pleading starts.  "Can I puhleeeeze put the fish back in the water?!"
As soon as the fish swims off, the kids all return to their play as if nothing had ever happened.
The kids didn't hold a fish last night, but they did see a duck egg, smell honeysuckle, and listen to a chorus of frogs.
I guess fishing isn't always about catching a fish.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


We have moved! And yes, we have internet again!  I'm frantically working at unpacking boxes in the hopes that I'll be done in time to participate in The Kids Clothes Week Challenge.  Of course, I don't necessarily have to be done unpacking in order to participate, but I do have to find the boxes that have all my sewing tools in them...  Not an easy task!  If only these boxes would unpack themselves!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nature Sketchbook

We found a dead bird in the front yard recently.  It had obviously flown into the window and perished.  The kids were pretty excited about this nature find, Pookie especially.  She spent a long time observing the bird and kept saying, "I've never seen a real bird this close before!"
My sister (who was here visiting for the week) whipped up a little sketch book for Pookie and then the two of them settled down, pencils in hand and proceeded to sketch the bird.
I was surprised to find that, a half hour later, Pookie was still contentedly sketching the bird.  It was the first observant drawing that had ever done and she was really enjoying it.  She really took her time examining the bird and adding all the details to her drawing.
A few days later, I started searching online bird identification guides in the hopes of naming our mystery bird.  Every time I settled on a bird, Pookie was quick to point out why it couldn't be that bird.  "No, it had spots here, remember? No, it was all brown here, remember?" No its eyes were yellow, remember?" she kept asking me.  And no, sadly, I didn't remember.  Without the pics I'd taken, I would never have been able to identify the bird.
We finally determined that our bird was a Brown Thrasher.
I wanted to keep the bird around for its skeleton, but sadly something took off with it during the night.
I think I'm going to make Pookie a larger nature sketchbook.
And I think I'd better make one for me too!