Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The last day of January

January seemed to drift on by whether we were aboard or not.  It went by fast!  January conjures up images of “winter work” to me.  When one should sit and do that pile of stuff they couldn’t do when the lawn needed mowing or things needed to be canned.  My January list usually amounts to more items than there are days.


I moved my sewing machine up to the kids playroom and sat much of the month away cutting and sewing neutral things for the little one. 

Though I thought I would always consider myself an organized person,  somehow I have been relishing the sewing mess I’ve created amongst the kids play things.  It really is a grand room with a grand mess.  Henry and I blast records from “Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra” to Neil Diamond’s “You don’t Bring Me Flowers” and of course if we are feeling the groove we will listen to “Sesame Street Disco” with Grover in his 1970’s leisure suit on the cover.


And truthfully I’d be lying if I didn’t admit not only do I try my best smoky voice to all the Adele songs but Henry knows all the words, too.  It is a great way to spend January while the outside world spews out ice and snow and various shades of gray.




This outfit is probably my favorite which is why I haven’t done the buttons yet, it needs eight buttons and we all know the chances of eight buttonholes coming out just fine are slim.  When I am feeling optimistic I’ll attempt them.

The little duckling is from an old transfer pack, using an old transfer  is hit or miss, it took me a couple tries.


For the first time I played with some ink jet transfer paper.  I took a picture from a children’s book with my camera and after uploading and editing it I printed it on transfer paper- the kind that is like an iron on.



Ironing it on was almost too easy.  I think I’m about to become an iron on freak.


Hope all is well in your world!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

indoor voice

Lately I’ve been writing a lot.   Writing has always been much easier for me. 

Talking? Not so much.

It’s been like that moreso than ever.

I don’t feel like talking.

I’m not mad, sad or glad.

Just quiet. 


My kids share their day with me with all the appropriate drama and exclamation that kids use and I grunt my wows and uh-huhs. 

I have been sitting at my sewing machine making little clothes for the wee one.

I have been going to auctions and sales and selling my junk on ebay. 

I’ve been reading Dickens which fits right into these gray winter days.

And having (too many) doughnuts and tea.

All of which takes no spoken words at’ll.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012



Have you ever made something with good intentions then spent way too much time on it only to have the tension on your sewing machine eat a hole into it as you were sewing the last stitches so you use fabric glue and glued felt cowboy boots on it to cover the holes-that-made-you-almost-cry, then stood back and wonder if you even like what you made?


Molly says she loves owls (though her sister says she only likes owls because SHE liked owls first) and she said she liked the owl shirt even though I told her she could just wear it to bed if she wants, but really I believe she really does like owls because they are kind of trendy and kids usually like trendy things, and truthfully I don’t always like it when my kids like trendy things but in this case whoooooo cares, it’s just an owl.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A little bit of this and that

This brown paper shade has been amongst my craft supplies for a really long time.  It was one of those things I got so used to having in my stash that I kind of looked over it.  I remember having it in a house when I only had one child.  That’s a long time ago!


I covered it over with craft paper and embellished it with an image from the children’s book Blueberries for Sal.

We love Blueberries for Sal…do you?

I actually cut the image straight from the book…but it’s okay, I think.  This last year I’ve been trying to “use what I have”.  It turns out I have a lot of stuff.


Aside from the nice copies of Robert McCloskey books we keep on our family shelf I found some older editions a few years ago at a used book store.  So even though I cut one, there’s still two more.


They were in the clearance bin, why would a Robert McCloskey book be on clearance?  His books are timeless and we have had many a happy story night reading all of them.  His illustrations are among my favorite…


On a day that looks like this outside:


The kids were surprised with a day off.

We did a little of this…


And a little of that….


What about you?  What was your this and that today?

Monday, January 9, 2012

baking, growing and the window box


Though I tried so hard to schedule the amaryllis to bloom during Christmas it has an agenda all its own.  It’s finally about to burst and each morning as I make my way to the kitchen I get a little excited to see if it will be the magical morning. 


Growing things has always been miraculous to me, especially during the cold gray days of January.  My plants sit in the glass window box tricked by the brightness of the day, I will never tell them how cold it is out as surely they would shiver themselves into hibernation.  Fresh herbs make cooking more fun, I love fresh basil, tomatoes and garlic over oily spaghetti noodles.


This morning was a raisin bread morning.  It was one of those mismatch kind of mornings when everyone's routines bumped into one another and the stress of it was almost too much.  But raisin bread fixes all that.

But more than plants in the window box, the splendor of bread rising, or the growing of an amaryllis…I love the miracle that’s growing in my belly.


A baby…soft and sweet.  Growing each cold winter day until the green returns to the grass and the sun shines a little longer in the sky.  It will be here in time to sit snuggled in a sling against me as we turn the earth for our family garden.  It’s hard not to count the days!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

wrapping around everything

Four years ago I discovered craft blogs while searching for wraparound skirt patterns.  I think I found Cece of All Dolled Up, who sadly no longer has a blog but will always be among my favorite blogs ever.  I remember going to bed with my thoughts swirling.  It has changed my life in so many ways.  All for the better.

Anyhow it’s today, four years later that I finally got around to deciding on a wraparound skirt. 


This one I altered for Molly and her teeny tiny waist, which at the moment is the opposite of my own waist.

My oldest is heading back to school tomorrow, after a nice long stay at home.  I’m trying to act like her going to school faraway is okay.  Yup. Just fine.  Though I have a house full of other kids to care for and enough stuff to stay busy with I just want that kid here too.  She is super funny, and she likes crafts.  That’s good-people qualities, you know?

Though it seems like I am just rambling on and on, I’m not really. It’s all relative.  The wraparound skirt was research of sorts to look through lots of old patterns and fabrics and make a gigantic mess…which in reality was therapy of sorts to keep my head happy busy.


I’m trying not to make it homely as the pattern, but there is really only so much you can do to make a wraparound skirt not come off as homely.  Regardless, I love the simplicity of a wraparound and if ever someday when my baby is toddling around and my waist doesn’t look like I have a front butt* I would like to wear one, too.

* I made this phrase up, it’s pretty clever, eh?

Monday, January 2, 2012

ever since

Making bathrobes for my kids is one of those things that seems like it might be too much work but really it takes no time at all.  There’s no zipper or buttons, it’s right up there with making an apron as far as ease…and the benefit is actual utility. My kids always wake up cold and end up wearing an old sweatshirt on top of a nightgown or something ridiculous.  At least they look decent if the neighbor stops by.  It might be 3:00pm, but at least they look decent.


The only trouble is ever since I gave Henry his he has been acting different. 


He’s taken to wearing an ascot and calling me ‘babe”.

I must stop using my kids as props, he hardly noticed I did this to him as I bribed him with Scooby Doo cartoons.

Hope your 2012 is off to a good start….Happy New Year!