Monday, May 29, 2006

Ugh!


From Ahhhhhh last weekend to UGH! this weekend. We spent much of saturday in the constant unrelenting downpour, moving big piles of dirt around and seeding the lawn. The rain this week was horrible. All week . Wet and cold and just really miserable. I was so excited because the roses and peonies had all exploded and were literally covered with these amazing blossoms. And then the rain came and beat them all into muddy brown pulps. Just sad. I brought some in anyways and they look ridiculous but they still have a nice fragrance so that was a nice suprise. The upside of this weekend was a visit from a dear friend who now lives in Holland. Because of the distance we only get together when work flies her out for meetings in the office that happens to be here. Lucky for us or I'm not sure when I would get to see her. Its always an easy comfortable fit with little to no adjusting back to each other. She and her family hope to move out here in a few years so I am keeping my fingers crossed for that.
I did find a good garage sale which is where I got the fabric above. A woman had bolts and bolts of fabric in her garage she was selling off for $2 per yard. The felt is always nice to have and a steal at that. I bought the white fabric with the little red silohuettes with someone in mind so a yard of it will be getting mailed off. I am trying to get a box of projects and activities put together so that when school gets out we can have a big box of projects ready to go. Maybe designate a day of the week to dive into the box. Im hoping it will make my life a little smoother this summer between trips to the pool.
Speaking of the pool, our neighborhood pool opened this weekend. Its great fun to be able to walk around the corner and swim the afternoon away. It opened yesterday and ,though it was grey and cold and rainy, the kids and hubby got in .(I was out shopping with my friend so I had a good excuse!) We went back today and thankfully the sun is out and it is warming up. Here is the problem: Hubby and I take very seriously our responsibility of raising children who are kind and respectful. We don't have cable, we don't have video games, we are pretty "strict" as one might say. We try hard not to be permissive and to help them make good choices and find that balance between being fun and"the parent". ( Hey, we don't sound like very much fun! I promise we do have a lot of fun!) The problem lies in the fact that we are the least lenient parents on the street. There are tons of kids, which is tons of fun, but the rules for them and the rules for our kids are pretty different. For example, today there were peers of my child throwing a ball back and forth across the long end of the pool. These kids are 7 ish- they don't have complete control over things they throw so people kept getting hit. All the parents of these kids were there- yet not one said anything to prevent a child from imposing themselves on the rest of the folks at the pool. This is one example of the stuff going on today. I tweaks me off when we have to explain to our kids that , no, they can't behave that way, but they see other parents saying its o.k. for their kids to behave that way. I guess the bottom line is we have to stick to our guns (which we will) and keep doing what we think is right for our kids. I think we are doing something right because I see how they are and see little ways where they show compassion or awareness of others and I think we are on the right track. Speaking of kids, its time to snuggle for a little before bed wind down- I love a good snuggle!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!



Wow. For the first time in nearly three years, we went somewhere out of town, as a family, for the sole purpose of HAVING FUN. Is that as sad and pathetic as it seemed to me while I was soaking in all the loveliness of being somewhere with my beautiful family , all of us just enjoying ourselves? So now that I have been made aware of how wonderful and essential it is to get away just for fun, I am sure we will do it again soon. We used to be so much better at enjoying things a bit. My trying to navigate the whole making money around the kids need came in which meant if I wasn't being mom while my hubby was at work, I was working while he was home. It got ridiculous and I see how much we were missing out on. Even though I wish wish wish there was someway for us to live on one income without selling the house and moving in with our folks (ha ha!), I know having this part time job is a blessing. When I got my first paycheck I held it up for him to see and I said, "Know what the best thing about this is?- We get another one just like it in two weeks!" And that feeling of security is almost as good as the paycheck! At any rate, the beach was amazing. How wonderful is that sand castle? We just came across it on the beach and I just thought it was so charming. It was sunny and clear and warm and incredible. Next time we are planning ahead and bringing firewood so we can have a fire on the beach and roast marshmallows and snuggle under a big blanket, the four of us, while we listen to the ocean. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Here is a little backtack preview. I am finding about a million fabrics in a million colors that I am inspired for for this project. But wait! I have to stick with the black and white! I am enjoying having to come out of my color comfort zone but I am struggling with what color to use for the 20% color part. I have this incredible piece of very vintage yummy perfect yellow velvet ribbon which I want to use but then I keep going back to the light blue/aqua that I love so much. Only time will tell! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. We are seeding the lawn finally! And then its off to the rock store! I cannot wait for it to be all done and pictures posted!

Monday, May 22, 2006

All dressed up!




whipup

So it is week 6 of whip lash. I am really starting to enjoy this little exercise as it is sending me off in directions I had not anticipated. But now its over! But thankfully I have ideas I have yet to execute that were born of the inspiration I found in whip lash, fodder for future projects.
The theme this week is "color" . How wonderful, I thought, considering my official occupation is "Color Designer" . (yes, its actually a job) especially given that the last few weeks I have been immersed in color as we are ramping up the season. I bought this fabric mainly for the color and the energy of the complementary colors. I have always loved blues and oranges/reds together and this was no exception. I should have taken before shots but its 11: 20 p.m. and time is a wastin' so suffice it to say that the vase and candleholder covered by these cheery little slipcovers are a bit ratty at best. Especially the candle holder. All smeary melted wax. Not attractive. Using the inspiration of the abundance of great big ruffly roses in my garden right now, and the inspiration of that corally colored rose in the right of the shot, I came up with this ruffled complementary colored vase slipcover. And given that this time of year there is nothing nicer than dining alfresco into the wee dark hours of the warm evenings, I made a slipcovered candle holder to go with it. (more of those will be coming as you can't have enough candlelight). So there you have it. A fond adieu to a fun few weeks of projects. The best part has been seeing what everyone has come up with , all with the same starting point. Pretty great stuff out there!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Treasures from China

So one of my coworkers went to China for work and look what she brought back! My favorites are the apple one and the one to the right of the apple one, but I love them all! I am such a fabric junkie. I received an order from www.kittycraft.com this week and I am in love! What a great place. I have also started my first Noni Bag and am getting very anxious to have it done. It seems like it will be a fairly quick and easy knit, but the felting is still scary to me! I will keep you posted.
So it is time for another round of Secret Pal. I wasn't sure if I would do it this time as last time my secret pal was mia and completely flaked out. The good news is that I found I enjoyed the spoiling as much as being spoiled so I am giving it another go. Here is the questionaire for my sevret pal, whoever youare!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I dont think I am too much of a yarn snob though I really go for the feel good yarns in yummy colors- pinks ,blues, greens, purple etc. My last spoiler sent me the yummiest baby alpaca and it felt so good to knit that I tend to that direction now.
2. Do you spin? Crochet? I don't spin or crochet but I am going to try to learn to crochet.
3. I just got a great needle roll so they are in there.
4. how long have you been knitting? Off and on about 15 years but on now about a year Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I would say I am a beginner plus
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?Nope
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)I like vanilla and tropical florals- also clean grassy scents
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?I have sweet teeth and I like chocolate but I am trying to finally lose that baby weight. (from several years ago!)
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I love to sew and bead and garden
9. What kind of music do you like? I like happy music. Latin,hawaiian, or pop or anything with a beat you can feel happy withCan your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) No mp3 player here
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I love pinks, blues ,purples,greens. I really love most to all colors
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I have a boy, 6 and a girl 4 ,a hubby and a hamster. My six year old boy is learning to knit now too! He knows how to sew and my mom in law thinks I am going to "sissify" him but Im not worried at all! He loves it and it helps him think in different ways so we will keep it up!
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Sure
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Soft and yummy
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I dont like a real stiff feeling yarn like some of the more mass produced stuff
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? I want to learn more techniques so I am going to start doing some of the smaller projects in Lucinda Guys handknits for kids. Really knitting in general is getting obsessive- its so portable!
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I dont really have a favorite
17. What are you knitting right now? My first Noni Bag!
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I love it. Nothing better than the stuff people make
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Im still not sure
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? bamboo and aluminum. The aluminum reminds me of my beloved Grandma
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? no but I would like to!
22. How did you learn to knit? Fell in love with a mormon guy in highschool and he went on his mission and I wanted to knit him a sweater. Thats all I remember. Wonder what that guy is doing now?
23. How old is your oldest UFO? 7 years old but I abandoned it without intention of finishing. Does that count?
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Hmmm, as far as animation goes, though its not animation , Im a sucker for Japaneese cute . Animals I like are birds, pandas, penguins, seals, whales
25. What is your favorite holiday? Valentines Day! Chocolate, love and glitter!
26. Is there anything that you collect? Not so much
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?I dont have any- I usually just get what looks good at the knitting store though not very often.
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? Not that I can think of since I got the LG handknits for kids for christmas
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Really anything sounds good.
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am not a sock knitter but I would like to try that. I will get back with my measurements
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) June 26

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Whip up- Yarn!





whipup

The theme this week was "Yarn" . My first gut reaction was that with my knitting skills the weekend was not long enough to do anything with yarn! Then I thought about it a bit and came up with this. Grandma brought this cute as pie doll cradle from a garage sale over the other day. It was without any bedding and who here can get snuggly, doll or not, in a bed with no blankets? I bought a merino wool sweater verst from salvation army for $2. I thought it might felt but it didn't come close to felting though I washed it and dried it very hot. No matter, I bound it in this cute fabric I scored at an estate sale awhile back. Then I added the little fabric squares. I think my favorites are the pillows. I used the placket from the vest to create the one buttoned pillow which I though was pretty cute ,if I do say so myself. The best part about this little bedding ensemble is that the minute I had it in the cradle to photograph, the kids were running off to find softies who needed a cozy nap. They are already using it and thats the way I like it! I will also say that while looking for sweaters to felt at the salvation army, I stumbled across a 100% cashmere sweater that looks barely worn for $2! My first cashmere and boy is it yummy! I had better get outside because we have been tilling and digging and weeding and just plain wearing ourselves out in the yard. It is coming together so I will be posting before and afters in a couple weeks. I am super psyched with how things are going out there- its looking pretty good! Enjoy your sunday afternoon!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

I think this is the cutest display. Its in the window of my favorite bakery. It was tough to get a good photo of it without a lot of reflection, but I think this shows it pretty well. I love Mother's Day. I love every day of being a mother. My oldest ended up sleeping with me last night as he does every once in awhile. I always end up with his little moppy head burrowed as deep into my armpit as it can get, my arm raised up uncomfortably high. When I wake up on feeling him burrow even closer, I just sigh and smile and count my blessings. Both of my babes are about all I could ever hope for and everyday brings new reasons to be thankful. So to all you moms out there- Have a happy happy mom's day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The yummiest!

This is a photo of some labels I did for these incredible candles amde by B Pure. If you haven't been to www.bpurebody.com , you should go. The lotion is the nicest non greasy nice thick lotion that there is. I discovered it when I did a trade with the owner of B Pure quite some time ago. We found each other on www.theswitchboards.com , and I'm so glad we did! Her lotions are also really nicely scented and if I shower at night and put lotion on before bed, everything still smells good the next morning. Its one of those things that makes me feel a tad feminine in an otherwise decidely not very femine existence! I try- I love a lot of feminine trappings but I am tired and short on time so I don't always get too feel very girly. At any rate, Mary asked me if I would be interested in doing the labels for her new candles and I , of course, said heck yes. It is a line called "Islands" so all the scents are tropical in some sense, though not all overtly so. The recipient of the bunny I did and posted awhile back came over and literally buried her nose in one and just sat and inhaled it (and literally drooled all over it!) for quite awhile until we got it back from her. Mary was so sweet and she sent me a big box of candles which was so great. I have been generous with a few but am having trouble parting with very many! I am pretty happy with the way the labels turned out too so that was icing on the cake.
We had such fun today just being silly and enjoying each other's company. We had a playdate with a friend of L's and it was pretty clear there is a little crush at work. They get a tad shy with each other and a little goofy too. They just need a little time to warm up to each other and before you know it they are getting crazy pretending to be different creatures together. I don't say anything to L about it because I know he would be mortified so I try to just roll with it so that he doesn't start feeling uncomfortable about her coming over. They have a great time together so I would like to keep it that way. Her mom told me she was writing his name and drawing hearts around it before they came over so I guess the crush is mutual! Six seems so young to be already getting into that! Time to watch Lost on tape. Have a great thursday!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pretty Baubles






whipup


I have a thing about jewelry. I love it all. Well, no, I love most of it. I find that I make most of my jewelry, 1. because I know what I like and , more importantly, 2. I'm cheap, I mean thrifty, and it is so much cheaper to make it myself. This weeks whip up was "chic to classic" (or was that Classic to chic... no matter). What is more classic than pearls? So I whipped up some new baubles for the week. I have had these beads for awhile so it was nice to finally get them made into something. I like to wrap the long strand twice around my neck. The clasp is so pretty and the beads all heat up on my skin which I love. It is made with peruvian opal, adventurine (?) pearls and laboradite. The green beads with the pearls are chalcedony and the pearls are tiny and drilled offset which I think looks really nice. I think the earrings are my favorite. Funny thing about shorter hair is that you dont really see my earrings much because my hair is not long enough to pull back and it hangs just below my ears. These are a tad larger so I think they will show a bit more. At any rate, I am happy with them and excited to have something new to wear tomorrow.


Check out the lettuce! Looks so great, and in the nick of time. The tree above the planter is leafing out now so the sun that fed this gorgeous lettuce is all filtered now. That means out with the lettuce and in with my begonias. I got a nice piece of Dubliner cheese to go in our salad. Too good!


Lastly, I was weeding up a storm this weekend ,prepping the garden for new plantings and mulch and who should be peering out at me? We hear the frogs all the time but they are pretty shy about being seen. What a sweet little gaurdian of the garden. Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Thrifted goodies



The start of estate and garage sales is officially upon us! Atleast you would think so living here- the sun has been out and the sales have been going on. I think that tea set is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I bought it for M, really I did. Or maybe I bought it for us- I mean, it has a weiner dog on it, how could I resist? The other goodies were from a sale across the street. I love the old thread colors and the fabrics are a nice addtion to the stash. The little pink hankie was only 50 cents and was the cutest in a bunch of other hankies that were all $1-$2. I love it when the thing you like best is the most affordable one and not the other way around!
M had a lovely party on saturday despite the fact that her party started at 2:00 and the rain started at 2:05. It then continued to rain for the next two and a half hours and then it was done- along with the party! The great thing about living here is that generally people learn to roll with the whole water from the sky thing. We headed in and did projects and played games and everyone had a great time. I can't believe my little one is 4!