Friday, January 30, 2009

Be My Valentine: Mad About Dots Necklace Giveaway

Hopefully, after loving the pics of my necklace yesterday, you went and took a look at Home Studio.  Isn't their stuff just so fun?  If you did take the time to browse, you may have come across this necklace:

Mad About Dots

The folks at Home Studio have been kind enough to let me give one of these away!  It will include the pendant and the snake chain pictured. Think of it as an early Valentine in honor of all the love I've been shown in this community.  I have had so much fun getting to know those of you who have been regularly stopping by and I wish I could give one to each and every one of you!  But, since there is only one to give away, you'll have to play along for a chance to win.  

Like I said, I've been having fun getting to know some new people and I assume you must find me at least remotely interesting, or you wouldn't come back ;-)  In that spirit, and because soon comes the month of love, to get your chance at that super necklace you need to leave a comment on this post filling in the blanks on the following questions about some of your loves:

1.  The thing I love most about myself is______________.

2.  A place I love and dream of going back to is___________.

3. I secretly (or not so secretly?) would love to know how to_________.

4.  I feel most loved when__________.

So, play along would you?  I'll close the comments Sunday 2/1/09 at 8pm EST.  I'll try to figure out how to work that random number generator thingamajig and then Monday I'll announce the winner and post my answers.  Sound like fun?  Good!  

Oh, and good luck! ;-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

So Maybe I AM Oprah...

Right after Christmas, I changed my mind about sharing some of my favorite things to give and get.  But I do want to share the thing at the very top of my list because, like Oprah, I get to give one away to one of you!

This necklace was my favorite gift of 2008.  It is a pendant and snake chain from the Etsy shop: Home Studio.  They are beautifully repurposed scrabble tiles in a huge variety of designs for a very reasonable cost.  Mike and I gave them to both of our mothers, his grandmothers and sister and he surprised me with my very own!  What I love best is how much fun it will be to change these up as I get more pendants!

Please, head over to Home Studio to check them out for yourself or for somebody else.  I can't imagine a girl out there who wouldn't find something on this site that she likes.....  AND, check back here tomorrow to find out how you can win one of these for your very own!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

There are definitely some booboos here, but this is SO STINKIN' fun!!!!  I've been working in seed stitch to get a lot of practice with both knit and purl...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Theology 101

Tate and I had an interesting conversation about God today.  One I wish terribly that I could have recorded and during which the following was concluded by Tate:

1.  God is a girl right?  I know God is a girl because She talks like a mommy.

2.  God is hard to hear with our ears because She whispers

3.  There will be good food in heaven.  God will cook it in the kitchen there and She is going to make pizza.

There were so many more gems that I wish I could repeat the way he said them.  Oh darling, darling Tate.  You are so fun at four!


Chapter 1: In Which the Small Ones Have a Grand Time and Make More Mess

If perchance, on a Friday morning, you are happily blogging away whilst your 4 and 1 year olds are playing away upstairs with nary a "MINE" being yelled or a scream being let loose, please be aware that upon going up to visit with the little angels you may find something like this:

"That's odd,"  you may say.  "Do her children sleep on plywood without a mattress? Oh, no, there it is.  I see it on the floor BEHIND the bed..."

Chapter 2:  In Which the Children are Bathed

Check out that hair!

Chapter 3:  In Which Something Gets Hung on My Bare Walls

So this is a corner of my kitchen, which is essentially most of the kitchen.  There is also a lettuce postcard on the other side of the window and I am realizing now that they are tough to see at this size.  Sorry about that.  They are rather fun.  The coat rack was a quick save from my folks who are forever supplying me with something when I say "you know.... I could really use a _______."  This was bestowed as a place to hang wet coats and snow things since they currently freeze in the unheated breezeway.  Thanks so much as always; it works perfectly!

Some new friends have stopped by recently and I am so glad that you did!  Please stick around; I like the company.  And, if you check up on me this Friday, you can find out about a chance for us all to get to know each other a little better and a chance (or chances) to get a little goodie out of the whole deal!  Happy week to you all!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Odds and Ends

In keeping with my "keep it real" theme around here lately, the following bedroom has not been cleaned in order to share more of the general chaos of my life...... and because I will never post if I wait until it's cleaned.  

I haven't been working on anything too exciting lately, but last week I whipped up a few quickies.  Summer is SO not on it's way around here, but if I don't start thinking summer wardrobe now, I won't have one when it comes...especially bottoms.  The older I get (I'm not saying I'm OLD), the more I just hate my legs.  I am not in great shape and all the veins and bruises and scars are just not all that gorgeous in a pair of shorts.  I'm not saying I can't get away with them, I'm just saying I no longer prefer them when I'm hot.  So, I've been thinking that a quick skirt is just what I need and when I spotted this tutorial over at Polka Dot Cottage, I was thrilled!  Why had I never thought of this?  Elastic waist?  Who cares?  I never tuck anything in... and the sheet is already hemmed for me!  Yippee!  Since I already had some thrifted and handed-to-me flat sheets on hand, I got sewing.

Easy, breezy.

For sure, I will make some more skirts when I come across some sheets that are not white.  Who wants to bother with a slip?  That seriously negates the comfort of a summer skirt

With the other end of the brown sheet and my lighter thrifted ones, I made sleep pants. These are my favorite.  You may remember the fabric from the lining of this bag.  They are just incredibly soft... and, again, hems already done for you.  I did not use a real pattern, but followed the basic instructions given here for sewing up kids' pants.  

Here are the other two (yes, the brown ones are dirty, but if I waited..... you know) and these still had the ends with the larger hem, so I totally dig the big cuffs on the bottom.  

I've also been starting to knit a scarf.  It was supposed to be for Tate, who immediately after he saw that I could do this began begging me to "make me a scarf, NOW."  However, when he saw the yarn I chose, he was NOT happy, informed me that he would not wear it and that it had to be purple or yellow.  Jeepers.  So, I think I'll do it for Cal.  It was going along so nicely until this morning and then I don't know what the heck I did, but every time I thought I was fixing it, it just got worse.  Then I tried to take some rows out and fix it and it is still all goofy.  Might be starting over, but I can use the practice so it's ok.  They can always use the scarfs next year, right?  ;-)  

Happy weekend everyone.  I have something really exciting (at least for me) coming up in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned, ok?  

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where It's At

at the end of a long day

when i am worn out

i will look at these pictures and know

this is where it's at

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So, I did NOT forget by bedtime. I practiced a bit more and tried some experimenting with different stitch combinations too.  Looked hideous, but it was fun!  Does the way you knit say something about you as a person?  I think I am a tight knitter.  Possibly too tight. What does that say about me?  I am pretty sure it is a physical revelation of the uptight, anxious, stressed out, overcritical person that I try very hard not to be.  I feel a thesis coming on here.

And, speaking of tight knits, check out these polyester beauties that Elle is wearing:

They are the REAL DEAL folks.  Vintage Healthtex.  I got two pair of them out thrifting when Ellerie was just TINY. The other pair is yellow, red, and green with trees and flowers (photo currently unavailable).  They totally crack me up.  These literally could have been mine, or yours when we were tots.  I LOVE it.  

What I don't love is that they are 3Ts and my baby is not even 2 yet.  And I would blame it on their vintage status, only she has started to wear that size in a lot of things.  Seriously. We grow 'em big around here.  Oh, little Bird, don't grow TOO fast.... pretty please?

Monday, January 19, 2009


I learned how to knit and purl today!!!!  I no longer add a stitch every time I finish a row!!!!  This is one of my little practice pieces and I am just so darn excited!!!

Watch out everyone; you know the scads of cotton dishcloths are coming, don't you?  Well, too bad, you're going to wash your dishes with them and like it because I KNOW HOW TO KNIT!!!!!

I hope I don't forget by the time the kids go to bed....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekend Dreaming

Ahhhh... much better.  

Now, I can think and work (as long as I close my eyes when I am in the kitchen).  You will notice that the walls of our "recently" moved into home are rather bare.  Hoping to BEGIN to remedy that this weekend, even if not in this room.  And, what you can't see in the over exposed window, is a tacked up bath towel.  Hoping also to get a rod up and start on a shade for that soon.  

Since we moved, we haven't been very disciplined about opening boxes of things that we haven't needed on a daily basis.  There are tons of them in the basement, likely more important than the one I am choosing for the afternoon but, CLEARLY, this one is trying to tell me something.

Here's a peek at what's inside: Some framed pictures, my precious few Martha Stewart Kids mags, my vintage apron stash, 

and these giant clothespins that I am itching to do something cool with.

So, wish me a productive weekend inside as it is crazy cold outside (currently 7 without windchill).  Stay warm, wherever you are!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Not Frontin'

I'm taking a big risk here, people, with what I'm about to show you.  In light of the previous pile of laundry shared, this is really going to make me look like a slob.  But I've just been having one of those weeks.  You know, the kind where things sort of started out messy and then you had three mornings in a row where you were out all morning running errands and with appointments and by the time you got back it was lunch and then nap and a few random things and then it was supper before you knew it and then quick pick up the dishes and chase the kids for an hour trying to get them into bed and then they baby wouldn't go to sleep until nine and you were supposed to do stuff for work but you didn't get to it and then you were exhausted so you just put your feet up and indulged in American Idol?  You know, right?  One of THOSE weeks.  

To be fair to myself, I DID get some things done or almost done.  Fleece linings for our knit stockings (still need to be sewn in, but they are made), one window shade for the boys' room (more on these in the future), kids' bedrooms cleaned, dental appointments, everyone has been fed and clothed (although possibly not bathed) and we have clean underwear if not clean sheets.  But what seems to happen to me is this:  every time I manage to accomplish some small thing, everything ELSE falls apart.  For example, this afternoon I got the upstairs bedrooms and bath cleaned.  Hooray for me!  But here (Dana, this is for you..-*wink*wink*- more photos of the house!) is what has happened in the meantime:

And, I'll be honest, it looks much worse in person.  
Really, much worse.
Cuz I'm not frontin'.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Lament

I am BEAT today.  It would be helpful if I could stay up all night, but I like sleep.  I'd rather forgo cooking, but I LOVE to eat. (Although that IS done for the day) I can't leave off my (highly..hahaha) paid job, or it will be gone.  Birdie is crying her blessed lungs out right now for nothing save she's as beat as me.  I'll go take care of her because I can't NOT, poor thing.  It's crazy all these different hats we wear and the snippets of time we sneak for ourselves.  The to-do list will wait, but I wonder if even half the ideas I get in my head for me, for them, for all of us, will come to be.  Duty calls.  Goodnight.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Small Happy Things

So, I started wearing the new haircut curly (wavy, whatever) and I am not hating it so much. Here is the chop.  Man I love iphoto.  Wish I could blur out my zits like that in real life!  Maybe I should have done the dark circles too......  

This weekend I sort of reorganized the kitchen.  You don't want to hear all about how much I (stupidly) agonize over where things should go and what things should be kept or donated or stored.  My goodness, I was a mess.  Luckily, Mike is nothing like me and when he came in from clearing out the driveway was ever so helpful in focusing me and getting things done.  We still need to hang up my "artwork" (framed seed packet notecards) and some sort of drying rack for the wet snow gear until someday when the breezeway is heated.  Also, the hutch needs to be painted, but I think I'll wait for spring to be doing any painting that isn't touch up.  This was my first and probably ONLY decisive contribution to the project (also my favorite, as counter space is at a premium here):

And last, but by no means least, I found two more of my favorite bra EVER for 10 bucks apiece at TJ Maxx this weekend.  Nevermind that all three that I own are chocolate brown.  I'll just never wear a light shirt again.  That is how much I love these bras.  And now that I've tried to link to them, I want to cry because I just saw on one site it says they are no longer available from the manufacturer!  Oh help!  Maybe I will never wear white again, unless amazon can hook me up....  hook me up, get it?  Tee-hee, I'm killing myself here!  

Oh happy week to you all.  Hope it is filled with happy things, big or small (please no puns here about the size of my bras!).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Worth Every Penny

Just wanted to pop in and let anyone who doesn't read Blue Yonder that, first, you SHOULD be reading Blue Yonder and, second, Stefani has put together an incredible monthly guide- called The Book of Days- to encourage inspiration, learning, and growing together as a family.  The January installment is for sale now at her etsy shop and is completely worth the modest six dollars she is asking.  I know from following her blog over the past year or so that she is an exceptional teacher to her three boys.  For us muck-abouts who can't seem to get our act together half of the time, the legwork she has put into these simple, but oh so meaningful, activities is just the thing to get us focused and purposeful in how we spend some of our days.  Stefani, you are a doll for sharing and can't wait to look over MY Book of Days come next January.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Practice Makes (almost) Perfect: Therapy

So, I have decided I need to share and continue to focus on crafty goodness and the like, or the hope that ran through my last post will be trampled under the stampede that is the doom of impending monetary diarrhea (not to be confused with verbal diarrhea which is rather like this "sentence") in the form of an extremely likely tooth extraction and implant (read as: I currently have a rather bothersome toothache in a baby tooth (yup, I still have two of them) that has no big tooth to replace it) a recently recovered old van that is BLEEDING oil and is up for an inspection in not too long, vibrating brakes in the other one, two little boys that are eating like teenagers and growing like weeds.... oh my.  Let me stop now!

Instead, meet Charlotte Rose.  My dear friend, Meg, made her for Ellie last year around this time.  She is made from a free Ruby Doll pattern over at One Red Robin.  Isn't she perfectly sweet?

Last week, having been invited to a two-year-old's birthday party and finding a post-holiday black hole in my wallet, I stitched up this little chick to give away.  I didn't name her, even in my head.  I think I was mad at her for giving me such a hard time.  Those skinny little legs about gave me carpal tunnel trying to turn them out (I knew those new tweezers I got for Christmas would come in handy!) and I made her neck WAY too long (can you say swan?), turned her around, tried to fix it and gave her some sort of crazy crooked neck that DID save her from looking like her arms were coming out of her waist but failed to look human.  This time, really don't look too close and whatever you do, don't lift up that lace collar!    

Still, I found her rather fun and satisfying to whip up (in spite of the fact that I doubt the little girl who got her will ever look at her twice amidst all her talking babies and Disney Princess paraphernalia).  And I was pleased with giving her a whole head of big hair (rather what mine looks like right now.  I did get it cut, but since I don't love it, I don't have to keep it!  Aha!  Slacker perfectionists unite!  Or, don't, if it's too much work.  Whatever ;-)  So, I decided to give it another go.

This time, I left off the round face piece as it looks a bit ghostly without the little "hood" around it, gave her some fringy bangs and paid a tad more attention to where I pieced the neck together.  It's still wonky, but WAAAAY better so I felt free to leave it naked. Probably a good move; the lace might be itchy.

I have secretly named this one Violet.  But it's going to a slightly disgruntled 4- year- old new big sister, so I imagine she can come up with her own name.  I can see though, that these little dolls will be HIGHLY addictive for me.  I can sew one in an afternoon, use all scraps that I have lying about and NOT spend that time thinking about the hole in my wallet (nor make it any bigger in the gift giving process).  So, anybody I know that's got little girls, these are probably coming your way at some point.  And Charlotte Rose is going to end up with an army of buddies around here too.   

AH.... good session.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm Printing a Retraction

So, I know I suggested that I might be sharing some of my favorite things from this Christmas, but now I don't want to.  One, Christmas is over.  Two, who am I?  Oprah?  Anyway, I am ready to move on, so I will.  Maybe I will bestow my incredible tastes on you all another time.  

Really, for the past few days I have been in a very fresh-start sort of mindset, but not always feeling peaceful about this new chapter or my place in it. Wanting many things to turn out a certain way and knowing full well that things may go nothing (for better or worse) near the ways I have imagined.  I have a lot of thoughts and a lot of fear about missing the mark on the dreams I am dreaming.   Often at New Year's, I want to reflect on the past year.  I have seen so many lovely photo mosaics posted on other blogs recently of that very thing.  But this year, so many things have weighed on me heavily that I feel incredibly grateful for the start of 2009.  Oh, don't get me wrong, in the midst of all the struggle last year, there were a lot of blessings.  God is good....even when I don't understand Him.  But somehow being able to just open this new calendar is the best sort of fresh start, even when I know that the year could be as marked up as the last one. 

Still...... it might not be.  And that makes all the difference in the world.  

And, I must admit that I have not always been one for resolutions.  I think it must be the "slacker-perfectionist" in me.  (I'm pretty sure that's the technical term for it)  You know, if I don't make them, I can't break them....which, I am bound to do.  It's so much easier not to be disappointed if you keep your expectations low.  In a sneaky way, maybe I am still doing that as my resolutions are not all that specific.  But I am posting them here to celebrate the clean slate and to be at least SOMEWHAT purposeful in how I fill it.  


1.  Have fun

2.  Do sit-ups

3.  Learn to knit

4.  Read more

5.  Let people take pictures of me

6.  Get a haircut I like and stick with it

7.  Wear flowers 

8.  Be patient

There you have it.  Guess we'll all see how I do.  Although, I COULD cheat on the sit-ups and no one would be the wiser...... ;-)