Monday, January 30, 2012

Happiness is a Quick Fix

Hey there, Happy Spots!

You are making my Craigslist office chair look rather spiffy!

And making my little computer corner cheery indeed.

Now.. what else can I spruce up?

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Want Another One Just Like the Other One!

Tate brought home another face. This one even more interesting to me.

I think I am impressed largely because I always felt that people and faces eluded me when it came to drawing. I took a look at his faces and thought, "Hey, that's almost as good as work I was doing in high school!" So I dug some of them out.

The weird thing is that 20 years gives you some perspective. I actually was okay at this drawing business! Why was I so hard on myself? I really did not see any talent beyond my years here.

If my kids brought home sketches like this from school I would be high- fiving them! And I think my parents did too, in their own way (I remember them complimenting my art and being proud of me), but I also am not sure I showed them a lot of things. Oddly enough (ahem) 20 years has also blurred my memory a bit.

So I am having a fun little trip down memory lane with these sketches and seeing drawings that I have not even looked at in close to two decades.

Stay tuned for some more sharing. I'm not doing anything much in my CURRENT artistic life, so why not reminisce? ;-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slippery Slope

I've never really been anywhere to go sledding. Sort of funny, considering I live in snow country. But, growing up, my parents had property and hills. Some of my friends' parents had property and hills. I think, only once, did I ever go to a park for sledding and that was when I was a teenager. My kids have been sledding, but also at my parents and some years we've had so much snow we've just built a hill in the back yard! So, when friends invited us for an MLK Day afternoon at a local hill, I wasn't sure what to expect.

What we found was a beautiful and slickly packed hill on a warming afternoon and a whole lot of kids. We had a little storm over the weekend (Oddly, the only of the season this year) and already the temps were rising again and turning the run into an almost icy slant. Today it is raining and slush abounds but a whole lot of people had the right idea yesterday: enjoy it while it's here!

There were a few collisions and a LOT of bumps, spinning sleds and tumbles, but mostly there were brave and daring kiddos

happy smiles

and some learning to steer and stop.

I suppose we'll be forced to do this again. ;-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January Things

January has been very Januaryish, except regarding the weather which has been warm- and- green- and- rather weird- but- we'll- take- it- ish. No worries. A big storm is coming, supposedly (which probably means we will get two inches of snow but the kids will be all vamped up hoping for a snow day), and the temps will drop and maybe we'll get some pretty snow. But then we have to shovel. Toss up over here on how I feel about that. Otherwise though, January is January. Full of beginnings and hopeful organizing and sickness. So in and around the sinus infection, pink eye and ear infections that have been going around at my house the past couple of weeks, here's what's happenin'.

There is some basement demolition going on. Slowly. Mike tore out some of the end paneling because we had a gross incident which required a visit from Mr. Roto-Rooter, a few days before Christmas in the basement, that kind of yucked up some spots worse than they were previously. The plan is to fix this "finished" space up as a sewing/crafting room for me, but with a little "hang out" space incorporated (that may also serve as a "guest room" of sorts eventually) and a place to watch tv so I can sew but still hang out with Mike in the evenings. Right now, we're just taking some old parts down to the bones to see what is in good shape and what we need to do and just how many nickels we will need to rub together just to do a simple job here.

He also took out the bar that used to be in this nook. Might be replaced with a kids/Mama crafting table and storage or might be part of the "hang out" area. Waiting to see how things come together. At any rate, I will be pretty much doubling the amount of space I have in my current sewing room so I have no complaints as long as it is cleaner than it is now and it's warm in the winter!

While I have been busy trying to begin (once again in my adult life) to incorporate some exercise time into my week and scheming ways to make our house space more pleasant and beneficial to our family, my boys have been creating. Calvin, at church kid's club, got crafty with paper.

Mr. Tate brought this home from school. I think both of my boys show artistic talent beyond average and, while I'm not one to cry "genius" at every little thing, this one caught my eye for a 7 year old.

Meanwhile, the warm temps have brought Gigi several dates with her boyfriend, Charlie Dog. Isn't he gorgeous?

And I, in my infinite "I know a useful bargain when I see one" way, am buying this locker cupboard from Charlie Dog's mama for 50 bucks and rearranged my living room to suit. Hello there three cubbies which have excited my children into actually putting away their things! I like you. Too bad you remind me how BLAH my walls are, but stop pointing it out. It's not on the current list.

Something that has made the list is recovering this old desk chair, which has taken quite a beating from my kids in the last couple years. Of COURSE, I didn't look ahead of time to see how the vinyl was attached so I bought awesome, albeit fairly heavyweight, fabric to cover it with but now I am afraid it will tear without some fused interfacing. So, here the split seat sits until I get my next coupon for Joann's.

Maybe, I should now get off MY seat and accomplish something in the quiet while everyone is at school. 45 minutes is going to go awfully quick.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas 2011 Parts 3,4, and 5: Three Christmases

Three Christmases and many pictures, so I have picked one from each day. The end.

12/24/11 Christmas at my parents'

everyone was there, including my soon-to-be niece-in-law (?), whom i had never met
there was music and much talking and laughing
and football around the ipad

12/25/11 Christmas at our house

first Christmas, with just us, where we have not had to leave during the day
started way too early... a little after 5am
kids were wonderful and appreciative and no tantrums until maybe 7pmish? a record
disappointing green weather
Christmas naps

12/27/11 Christmas at Mike's parents'

time with aunt laurie again....and her barbie dolls ;-)
games on the ipad, games on the table
Papa making tiara's with Ellie
food, food, food

Merry Christmases and, we're done!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas 2011 Part 2: Mama Sews Something

I didn't plan any of my sewing this year very well and I didn't do much. I am such a life procrastinator and it showed in my holiday crafting. I have some ideas for this year and I am hoping to not put things off so long. So in some late nights the week before Christmas, I made the kids messenger bags.

Truthfully, I hadn't even planned to do anything for them this year. Shame on me. But a month or so ago, the mom of the neighbor we gave the Spider Man bag to asked me if I would be able to make her son a messenger style bag if she bought the material. I figured I could, but as I had never made one before I thought I should mock one up to show her and to let her know specifics on amount of materials, etc. Thanks to advice from my dear friend Meg, who has made her own boys bags before, and material I had in my stash (including an old flannel bathrobe and a cool sweatshirt with a broken zipper) I figured it out and Tate's bag was born.

As it turns out, my neighbor never got around to picking out the fabric for her son's bag, so that was shelved for now. But I was inspired to put together a couple bags for the other two from stuff I had here already.....

including vintage Holly Hobbie fabric from my mama,

and one of those pairs of action pants with holes in the knee... ahem.

Every time I put something together like this that I love and feel so good about, I wonder why I don't make more things. Why I have so many plans but don't carve out the time to carry them out...

I'm not really sure I know the answer to "why," but I'm working on a way to make my sewing more pleasurable and convenient and, dare I say, more profitable? What can I say? A new year makes AnyThing seem possible.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, More or Less

We interrupt these late Christmas postings to bring you a New Year's greeting! Please note, the following picture was one of THREE good ones, out of about 75, taken in the fall in order to get a decent one of them all smiling and looking at me at the same time. Let me tell you, that was WORK people. Worth it though, right?

As for the new year: less is more. Unless more is better, then more is more. But I think it depends, more or less.

I'm hoping for...

less coffee, more water
less thinking, more doing
less spending, more saving
more exercise, less cellulite
less stressing, more praying
more books
more dark chocolate
more storage bins
less doubt, more self confidence
less wrinkles
less acne
less gray hairs
more wishful thinking :-)
less Bejeweled (I confess my recent addiction), more blogging
and Whirly Word, cuz that game rocks
more sewing
more knitting
more singing and dancing
more focus
more discipline
more time

Ecclesiastes 3
A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.13