Friday, December 22, 2006

Insert Evil Laugh Here


Guess what I'm doing? Wrapping Christmas presents.
Guess what I made? Mwa ha ha (is that how you spell it?)

The ever elusive red and white twisted twine. This is how you do it. I used embroidery floss.


OK. See you in 2007. For real this time.

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing you (and me) a peaceful and relaxing Christmas surrounded by those we love. Safe travels, best wishes, and hugs!!! See ya in 2007! :)

p.s. Gumdrop wreath courtesy of kiddley.com. Isn't it cute? We don't have a decent wall to hang it on, so it serves as our kitchen table centerpiece. I've caught the kids licking it and picking at it more than I want to remember. We'll see how long it lasts. hee hee.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fa la la la and a freebie


Well, I'm finally caught up on the laundry and have restocked the fridge after throwing out all the spoiled food. Thanks for all your well-wishes after the storm. Can't believe some of the comments. Pregnant and in the basement for 7 days? Holed up for a few days in the cold with a 10 day old baby? Ahem! I feel very very fortunate (and wimpy). Anyhoo.

Working like a crazy person to get the Christmas cards done and mailed. Don't know why I'm hurrying so, since they are FOR SURE GOING TO BE LATE ANYWAY!!!

I was being all serendipitous over at Say La Vee and saw this post and knew right then that I needed to have the "three wee kings" stamp for my Christmas cards. Found it on ebay. There you have it. It's one of those things I'll use just once. There aren't that many moms of 3 boys out there, are there? If you'd like the stamp for next Christmas leave me a comment. If there are multiple people who'd like it, I'll draw names. ;)


Here are my 3 wee ones. Getting this photo was a ton of work. The only way I could get them all down like that was to tell them they were having a crawling race.

ETA: The stamp goes to Africankelli. Send me an email with your address, Kelli, and I'll get it in the mail to you. :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Warm again

Coffee--the old fashioned way:



Thanks to last week's windstorm we've been without power since Thursday night. Things weren't so bad on Friday. We were hopeful that the electricity would be turned on soon. We had plenty of firewood for the day and our gas cooktop for heating water and doing simple cooking. Then we drove around in the van to stay warm and got to see the actual damage. Holy moley. In our little neighborhood alone, there are at least 15 downed trees. One of our neighbors managed to have a tree smash down on their car AND their house, blocking their front door. Friday night we scoped around some more and went to the only grocery store around that was open (running on a generator). It was full of people, but there was hardly any food. No bread, no milk...we bought some canned soup and Ramen noodles. It felt like a war zone (minus the war, of course)...now I know why my dad and mother-in-law and anyone else who has lived through a war seems to have a perpetually well-stocked fridge and pantry. We went home got out our sleeping bags, roasted marshmallows and camped out in front of the fireplace. Saturday morning we woke up to a 50 degree house. We drove around to survey the damage and then realized that it all looked exactly the same as it had the day before. Radio reports were very Seattle-centric, which is fine normally, but when you want to find out specifically how things are doing on the eastside, forget it! No info about how things were progressing and no one was willing to commit to anything.

Here's a recurring conversation:

me: Awww. Mikey's crying. What do you think is wrong?

hubby: Well, is he hungry?

me: No. I just fed him. Maybe he's not feeling well. He does have kind of a runny nose.

hubby: Maybe he's just cold. Yeah. He's cold.

We finally decided to go to a hotel. We had to drive about half an hour to find one with electricity and a vacancy (of course). It was a hotel that normally charges about $130/night for a room. . . not a fancy place at all. They charged us $280. Because they could! We got one of the last rooms. People behind us in line were turned away.

Anyway, I won't go on and on with this story. I'm just glad that we're back home and we're warm and we don't have to wonder anymore if Mikey's crying because he's cold. They're saying that in some areas people won't be getting electricity back until at least Thursday. Brrrrr.

A couple of pics from around the neighborhood:


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Something useful

Last night I was making cookies for a cookie swap. They were double-dipped in chocolate, and since the chocolate hadn't fully set yet, I wasn't sure how to package them. I didn't want to just pile them on top of each other, because that would ruin them. I didn't have enough plastic containers to single layer 3 doz. cookies. And saran wrap on a paper plate wasn't going to work either. So this is what I came up with. (Didn't take a picture last night, so I'm reenacting this for you ;))


Put your cookies on a paper plate:

Put another paper plate on top and snip through both plates where indicated:


Take your string, ribbon, or raffia and wrap away. Those little snipped areas really hold the string nicely and keep everything together.

Now if I could only find some of this red and white string, I'd be all set!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thank you, friends!


Got some more goodies in the mail. Thank you Beki for the adorable appliqued bib and onesie. So sweet! Mikey just started eating solid food this week, so the bib came just in time. Actually, who am I fooling? He's been wearing bibs for a while now, since he is the world's most drooly baby. I love the get-up Beki! Thanks so much!



And Lera sent me this soap she MADE!!! Not the melt-in-the microwave glycerine kind. The kind they made in the olden days with lye. Am I right, Lera? It so lush-like. And smells yummy. Good thing it has "Do Not Eat" on the label, because it smells very edible. Hope my kids don't say any naughty words or I might actually make them eat it. (It's a joke. My kids are very pure and would never say anything naughty!) And did you see the little ornament that she sent me too? The little snowman is so simple and rustic. I love it, Lera! And speaking of Lera--she made the cutest little baby shoes.

And speaking of baby shoes, any one who uses my pattern and lets me know about it will be my new BFF. So there! Check out the new ones on the flickr group. Especially these. She made them with silk brocade. Aren't they so very Petunia Picklebottom? I need to make some diaper bags out of silk brocade and sell them for $150. Do you think anyone would buy them?

One more thing--thank you for those of you who comment. I honestly don't know why you do--I've been so bad about commenting back lately. I'm really trying to just keep my head above water here, with hubby being out of town, and trying to just maintain my sanity some days. I can totally relate to this post and this post on the frustrations of being a mom. I think I really need a vacation.....

Friday, December 01, 2006

Grateful Friday

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We went on a road trip to Portland for Thanksgiving and then had Dave's parents visiting with us the week after that. They left yesterday, and we already miss them terribly. I've been blog reading, but not commenting, but hope to get caught up on that.

It's been so long since I've posted that I don't even know where to start. I think I'll just write what's been on my mind lately. Non-crafty content coming up, so if you're not interested, that's ok. I won't mind if you click away now.

This was the year we were going to indulge in a couple of things. First, we decided to get new sofas. The old ones were 9 + years old and we bought them before we had kids, so we foolishly chose white, and they just got uglier and rattier as the years went on and I just couldn't put up with them anymore. So, yay! New sofas. The second thing is that we decided to have the exterior of our house painted. It badly needed it. Our house (and original paint job) is 20 years old, and here in the PNW, where it's damp and moist, that's already past the limit, I think. So we had that taken care of too--early last month. Things started snowballing from there...

1. We had our ducts cleaned. Figured they were due, since we moved in to this house over 4 years ago, and who knows when that was last done. The duct guy had to go into the crawl space to reconnect a duct. He noticed some poopies.

2. We had to call an exterminator who said we had rats. He set up traps (no rats were found--thank goodness), but he went up to the attic and noticed some sunlight streaming in.

3. We called the roof guy to come out and do a patch job. He said to keep a close eye on things, and that we could maybe hold out for another year or two. In the meantime the painters stepped all over the roof (it's cedar shake and doesn't respond well to being stepped on), and now it turns out our roof can't wait, it needs to be taken care of ASAP. So that's on for next week...

4. In the meantime, our van broke down. The same stinkin' van that was in the shop the week before my due date. It's broken down pretty consistently--let's see. Mikey's 5 months old now. The van's been in the shop 3 times since then. Yeeesh. It's our only vehicle that can take all of us (Dave drives a Ford Ranger). So it stinks being stranded. We wanted to drive the old van until it died (have you ever read The Millionaire Next Door? We aren't millionaires, but the whole simple-living and the "living beneath your means" aspect of the book really appeals...more on that some other time.) So we bought a van last week, a gently used but reliable one. Sigh.

5. By the way, did I mention our dishwasher broke down a couple of months ago and needed to be replaced?

6. OK, here's the kicker. After the van, we were in a weird way feeling relieved. After all, we didn't have anything left that could go wrong. Right? Yeah. 2 days after the van, Dave came downstairs and tried to boot up the computer and the dang thing wouldn't start. So merry early Christmas to me. I'm right now typing on my new laptop.

Why after all this am I grateful on this Friday? I'm certainly not glad all of this happened. I'd much rather have the money in the bank than all the new "stuff." But I do recognize that for some people any one of these things could have been a huge setback--possibly affecting their livelihood, or ability to stay at home with the kids, or possibly even pushing them into financial ruin. We are and pretty much always have been scrimpers and savers. And now the scrimping and saving has paid off when we needed it to. I'm the type of person who balks at spending $9 for a yard of fabric and I hardly ever go to Joann's without my 40% off coupon. I sometimes feel like we're grown ups now and so maybe we should replace our IKEA table and chairs with a set from Pottery Barn. But you know what? I'm so over that. At least this month I am. From here on out, I'm going to stifle those jealous feelings I get when I go visit people who have it better than I do...great furniture, huge house, slab granite countertops...enough! I'm SO extremely grateful that when all these things happened and needed to be addressed we were able to address them. Being grown up isn't all about buying the good stuff. It's about being able to take care of yourself.

I'm grateful for parents (on both sides) who weren't ashamed to buy store-brand, who taught us the value of a dollar and the value of hard work. And I hope that we can pass that on to our kids as well. And yes, we're approaching the Christmas season when money seems to flow like a river, right out of people's wallets. Not much is left in our wallet this Christmas season. But who really cares? That's not what Christmas is about anyway.

Friday, November 17, 2006

No Whiplash

I've never entered a whiplash competition, have you? Finally this month I thought I'd give it a try, but then the "alternative materials with traditional techniques thing" threw me off a little. Then I thought of something I'd made that would actually fit the theme. This cute little old lady bag I knit using lace I found in my church basement last year. It knit up really quickly and I also knit in a strand of fake pearls. It's so cute and dainty (and so not-me). I've only used it once. I'm really a jeans and sweatshirt type of girl. And when I dress up, I wear a dressy shirt, but somehow still wind up wearing jeans on the bottom.

Unfortunately, I can't enter this in the whiplash competition. I didn't make it in the last 2 weeks. I made it over a year ago. I was thinking maybe I could pretend that I'd just made it, but I already blogged about it. I cannot tell a lie. Oh well. Maybe next month? Maybe not....

I'll be inundated with houseguests for the next week or so, so I'll be lucky if I can sneak off to craft or catch up with my blog peeps. I'm feeling the withdrawals already. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

p.s. Dana of Deep Run Days and Cindi of Cindi's Sewing have both made cloth shoes using the tut. Hee hee. I'm so tickled. If you've made any, please let me know so I can go have a look. :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Apple Squeeze Story


A few weeks ago we went on a road trip to Anderson Island, WA to this down-homey apple squeeze being held at historic Johnson Farm. We woke up early, did the drive-thru breakfast thing, drove for an hour, took the ferry for 20 minutes. The boys were super excited to be there. We pulled up and parked when I realized I wouldn't be able to actually go with them because it had been a long car ride and Mikey needed to nurse. So I sent them off with Dave to enjoy the festivities while I stayed behind in the van. Whatever. Par for the course. So I'm sitting there with Mikey when a red sports car pulls up and parks in front of me, but no one gets out. Next thing I know the young couple in the car is making out passionately and is totally unaware that I can see everything. Gah--some people! Get shaded windows already! So I tried to avert my eyes and think pure thoughts (ha ha). When they were done with their business, they stepped out and, lo and behold, the girl was wearing the most beautiful coat I'd ever seen: Long, dark brown tweed with large felt flowers in fall-harvesty colors hand-appliqued along the bottom. Not the most discreet girl ever, but at least she had some fashion sense.

These little shoes were inspired by that coat. If I had a girl I like to think that I wouldn't just stick to pinks and purples. I really like the "peasant" look of these shoes. One of my friends is having a baby girl and these shoes will be going to her. But I figured they wouldn't get much use if she didn't have something to wear them with. So I had to make her a top. Do you know how hard it is to find plain onesies in earthy colors? Next to impossible. So I took my first foray into fabric dyeing, and am pleased to say it was actually pretty easy. The hardest part was to keep the kids from touching the dye bath because they were so intrigued.



FYI, in case you're interested:
The shoes were made from a placemat from Crate and Barrel.
Rit dye: cocoa brown

Oh, and one more thing. Look what I had today. MMMMMM. Peanut butter pumpkin cookies. Recipe courtesy of AfricanKelli found here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The 2 Avas


I'm so amazed at all the bloggers who are doing a post a day this month. I feel lucky if I'm able to post once a week. And this week's post is going to be a shorty. My baby's sick with bronchiolitis and we've been back and forth to see the doctor twice already. When he's awake he's sad, and when he's asleep he hasn't been sleeping well. So we're all bleary-eyed here. The weather has been so wet and rainy, too. Davey's last day of soccer was today, but we didn't go. I couldn't handle the thought of making my sickie hang out in the rain for 45 min. I didn't even mention soccer to Davey. I'm hoping he doesn't remember that today was supposed to be soccer day. Was that bad of me?

Here are a couple of little things that have been done for awhile, I just didn't want to post them until the recipients got them. I've been wanting to make a little something for Joyce's baby Ava and Beki's baby Ava. The two Avas. Joyce, Beki and I were all preggo at the same time, so I've sort of felt a kinship with them. Anyway, it was pretty cool that they both ended up naming their daughters the same name, and it was fun making these little get-ups for them--dressing the two Avas alike. By the way, see, I'm not totally one-dimensional. I don't just make shoes; I still know how to embellish a onesie!

OK. I'm all tired and everything, but I still do have the energy to watch Grey's tonight. By the way, one of Dave's co-workers moved here to Seattle partially because his wife was so crazy about that show. Things that make you go "hmmmmm."

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I love getting packages! Especially the kind that contain fabric. Lookie what I received from Carol of Celadon Cupcake. Some fun fabric and a couple of goodies. The green strip on the top is a headband she made that I wore around all day yesterday, but unfortunately at the time of the photoshoot today my hair wasn't photo-worthy! Sorry. Maybe I'll have to model it some other time. And look at this cute apron cozy for my dish soap.

I'd never really paid attention before, but, yes, my dish soap container is actually shaped like a human body--sans arms and legs. I love it, Carol! Thanks so much! :) I already know what I'm going to make with that orange floral fabric: an apron! I've never made an apron before, but now I know I have to. Can't have my dish soap outshining me in the kitchen.

On Saturday we went to a birthday party for a little friend who turned seven. I made her this tote bag and we filled it up with goodies.


One of the goodies was a Junie B. Jones book that we read before we wrapped it up. What a riot. It was one where Junie B.'s school has a carnival with a coin toss, a cake walk, a putting tee, etc. Of course after we finished the book we had to reenact all the carnival activities. It was a perfect way to spend a rainy Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween


Happy halloween! It sure was fun, but man, am I glad it's over. Enough already with the "Is it halloween yet, mommy? How many days until halloween????" Although I guess it won't really be over until all the candy is all eaten up--sometime in mid-February?

The boys wanted to dress up as cars this year. More specifically, Davey wanted to go as his most recent hotwheels acquisition: Shapeshifter. And Keith wanted to be Sally from the movie Cars. Here they are. They don't look like they're there, but really they're hiding inside those boxes. For some reason, they didn't want their pictures taken that day, and everytime I aimed the camera at them, they ducked down inside.

I took this picture before their costumes were complete. I attached fabric shoulder straps (Barney style), so that they didn't have to carry the boxes with their hands. The boys' verdict: Yay, these costumes are the coolest things ever. Mom and Dad's verdict: Way too boxy! Caused too many traffic jams in the hallway at dad's work. Dad got tired of carrying Keith's. Nix.

Oh, by the way, did you think you were finally going to read a shoe-free post? Guess again! Ha ha! I've been making knock-off's for my baby. You've already seen the uggs:

Here are the crocs:

Here are the Keens:

I've pretty much hit shoe overload and am starting to feel a wee bit one-dimensional. I promise to branch out to other things soon. Really!

Friday, October 27, 2006

What to do?




What to do with all the leftover bonded fleece? Why make a bomber hat, of course. And little shoes to match. Fun fun! Have a great weekend, all!




Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cloth Shoe Pattern



It doesn't take much to make these shoes...just scraps of fabric, some interfacing, elastic. The only thing that might be hard to find is the bonded fleece for the sole. It's suede on one side and fleece on the other. If you can't find that, try doubling up two layers of fleece.

Download the shoe pattern and tutorial HERE.

But while you're here...check this out:





AN INVITATION FOR YOU!

I'm so excited to announce the launch of my brand new wellness blog: wake-sleep-dream-oils.com  I hope you'll head over and join me there.  I've got a pretty good deal going on right now for those of you who are interested in signing up for a Young Living Premium Starter Kit--$20 back from me!

See you there! xx


Monday, October 16, 2006

Don't hold your breath (I know you're not)

I hope no one is holding their breath for the shoe pattern/tutorial. I'm gonna get it up there, I promise. It's just that I've been a little preoccupied making shoes, heh heh. I'm also a little nervous about posting a pattern that has so many possibilities. I've tried it out in many different fabrics, and the shoe's fit/stability/whatever is affected by the different fabric weights. So yeah, I claimed that the shoe really stays on, and some of them really, really do. But then I'll use a different fabric, and make a real cute shoe that is floppy and gets flipped off in two seconds. Before I give you any instructions, I want to make sure I get everything just right. I would hate for you to try it and then be all mad at me for wasting your time on a bad shoe.

Okie dokes....that's enough shoe talk for now. I have some that I want to show you but need to wait until the morning when there's enough sunlight to take good pictures.



In the meantime feast your eyes on this lovely pouch made for me by my bloggy friend Joyce. As if the Amy Butler book she sent me wasn't enough, she gifted me with this, too. And it even has a zipper (I'm in awe!). Thank you Joyce!



And thanks for the fun gift tags Kirsten!!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Obsessed!!!



I guess I shouldn't have made such a big a deal out of my newest crafting obsession. Afterall, just because I'm consumed by it, doesn't mean that you'll be as excited. Having said that, here it is:

SHOES!! Baby shoes. The kind that actually STAY ON...imagine that.

The first shoe pattern I ran across was Heather Bailey's felt Bitty Booties. Then I recently saw Ohelene's tutorial for leather shoes (similar to Robeez). After running all over town with my kids unsuccessfully trying to locate leather in fun colors, I finally gave up and decided that I would just come up with a similar pattern that I could use with fabric (which I have plenty of). It took a long time getting the dimensions right, 19 tries, to be precise. Here's the proof--the reject pile:



But now that I know how to do it, I can't be stopped. Little guy is going to have shoes to go with every outfit, and every baby I know is going to be gifted with these. Picture the possibilities: A quilt with matching shoes; a monogrammed towel with coordinating terry cloth booties; a homemade fleece hat with fleecy shoes to match; a baby sling with...well, you get the picture.

Here's the little man himself. "Awwww, Ma. Why can't I have store-bought shoes like everybody else?"

**edited to add: Why yes, Alicia A. , you do smell a tutorial coming. Hopefully I'll be able to get it posted in the next week or so. And Kirsten--I have the knock-offs from Target. It was all I could do to not rip them apart to figure out how those shoes were put together! I told you I'm a woman obsessed!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Goodies


Not sure where last week went, but I was a little bit obsessed by crafting something--so much so that I didn't keep up with my blogging buddies, and I couldn't fall asleep for 2 nights in a row I was so excited about it. Do you ever get like that? That doesn't happen to me very often. I'm not quite ready to post pictures yet, because I'm still working on it, but maybe later in the week. In the meantime, I'm going to try to catch up with everybody tonight sometime between putting the boys to bed and watching my show.

I was surprised by a wonderful swap package from Joyce of Slateblu a few days ago. I made Joyce a baby sling (for her cutie pie, Ava), and she generously sent me the Amy Butler book, In Stitches, that I've been eyeing for a while now. Thank you so much, Joyce--it has so many neat projects in it that I can't wait to try!

I had to show you her gorgeous handwriting. I love to see people's handwriting. Not that I'm a penmanshipologist, or anything, but I can tell you just from looking at it that aside from being generous, she is also very creative and artistic. Oh, I guess I knew that from her blog anyway (smirk).


And thanks to Randi, here's a new ironing board cover I made for myself using leftover sling fabric. I didn't realize I needed one until I saw her tutorial, and then suddenly I couldn't live another minute without one. Thanks Randi! And by the way, no, I don't usually do my ironing outside. It's one of those overcast, drizzly Seattle days where there is hardly any natural light in the house.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Corners of My Home

This is where I sit, read, knit, enjoy the sunshine and nap. And when I look up, this is what I see:


Isn't that a pretty light? Handmade by a local artisan.

Oh, did I say this is MY home? I lied. It's a model home we toured last weekend. A cottage-y subdivision. Their attention to detail was so yummy and so inspiring that I want to move there, even though they have no backyards and shared front yards and detached garages, and are a much longer commute than we want to deal with. Oh yeah, and they cost money. Lots of money.

I felt kind of bad taking pictures. But oh well--how else am I going to recreate this house when I win the lottery?

Wouldn't you love a landing like this? If you have one already don't tell me about it.


Check out the Denyse Schmidt Quilt on the bed. All the furnishings in this place are from Maine Cottage. Don't click on the link, because if you're like me you'll be drooling all over your keyboard.

Thanks for coming. Let me show you to the door.

How pathetic am I, blogging about a model home.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Baptism


Thanks for your well wishes on Mikey's baptism. It was special for us...a little bit bittersweet, since this is the last time we'll be experiencing this with a baby of ours. Funny how I always figured things with the last baby would be a little more ho-hum, been there, done that. But it's absolutely not true. If anything, I'm savoring it all even more.

Anyway, about the event:

Most of our extended family is spread all over the country. The relatives that are the closest to us are Dave's bro and sis-in-law in Portland. They were able to spend the weekend with us, which was wonderful! We had a great time visiting with them and were so glad they were able to share Mikey's special day with us.

After the baptism we sang a song for Mikey. It's was Davey's first time to hold a microphone, so that was a big big deal. We sang "Beautiful." It's the song we sing every night before the boys go to bed.

Beautiful Beautiful
Jesus is beautiful
And he's making beautiful things of my life
Carefully touching me
Making my eyes to see
That he's making beautiful things of my life.

Such a simple song, but so full of hope. Makes me tear up when I hear my little guys sing it--off key, off-tempo...I love 'em. Anyhoo...

Since we don't have much family around, we are trying to create a "family" here made up of friends. So we invited a bunch of people over for dinner after church. It was mostly food from Costco. I love to cook, but at this point in my life I can't do gourmet when I entertain. I can either have a clean house or make a nice meal, but I can't do both at once. Well, maybe I could if I had a maid. I always sort of dread having people over, get grumpy, etc. But when everyone's gone home, this huge wave of accomplishment takes over me and it's like, "yeah, we did it."

So, yeah, we did it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hi Butt face!


Just a quick post while two-thirds of my boys are sleeping...

Oma gets zillions of catalogs. They're fun to browse through. One day last month when we were visiting, Davey and I were looking at a really cheesy one. This guy was holding a towel. One end of it said "face" and the other end said "butt." Davey thought that was absolutely hilarious.

I thought it imperative that I make one, since we all know how important it is to keep those rotten face germs away from our private areas.

Hubby thinks I should do butt/head instead. Yeah, yeah....

Mikey's getting baptized this Sunday, and we're having a ton of people over, so I'll be busy getting this house in order...most of which involves cleaning up the craft room so we can have our dining room table back. Beki, you just went through this, so I'm sure you can relate! So this will be my one post for the week.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A New Series

And now for the first installment of a new series I shall call bye bye and hello. Here I seek to streamline my life by ridding it of things that no longer perform their function in a satisfactory manner. I know you're just holding your breath in anticipation!

Bye bye!



Helloooooooo!


Stay tuned for the next exciting episode. Here's a preview.