Archives – November, 2006

Seeing the forest for the trees, and Santa.

No more trees.  I've been doing nothing but trees it seems. Keely has been having fun playing in her little forests. Here are most of the gift sets.  They are a little topsy-turvy there because they don't have weights in the bottoms yet. After making 20 or so of these guys I started worrying that the recepients won't even like them! I get that a lot of people don't care about artsy-craftsy stuff and don't want to decorate their house with it. No one in our family sews, so I don't know if they'll dig fabric trees or not. Oh well. The trees are made and they are getting them.  Here's one of my sets. Red corduroy is good.

I thought we'd try for our annual christmas card photo shoot yesterday since the sun was shining.  Keely agreed to wear her props, but only if I referred to her as "Santa". 

Santa then took off running and giggling.  She was screeching, "Hey Santa! Where are you going?" "Santa, come baaaack here." "Mommy wants a picture of you Santa."

I like this one, but I know the recepients of the card will want to see HER, not her back. Santa soon disrobed and said, "AAAAH, Santa is naked."
So I guess the shoot was a no go. I'll try again another day. But isn't that wool coat cute? It's really old. I got it for $5. It looks like it was never even worn. I didn't think she would have a thing to do with it because the wool is too scratchy and the construction is sort of tight and stiff, but for 5 whole minutes she did wear it. I know she'll never, ever, let it adorn her body out anywhere- so I guess I'll just have to settle for one nice photo of her in it. Honestly, I bought it because it was so cute and I knew I'd like how it would look in photos-not because I thought she'd wear it. 
***Thank you all for the kitten mitten praise!*** 

13 Comments November 29, 2006

Multiplying Trees and Kitten Mittens!

Alrighty, I've been a sewing fool.  The trees have multiplied.  I'm working on making some sets of 3 for Christmas gifts. Sewing things for other people is kind of hard-what colors to choose and all the other personal-ish decisions to obsess over. I've got many more to make. I'm going to need much more stuffing I think. I'm loving the little snowy chenille baby in the middle.

And, drumroll please… I finished up my little project. I have been planning on making these for months. It is one of my favorite things I've made so far. 

What is it? Well, dear reader they are sets of mittens and indoor snowballs (or just snowballs for the child who doesn't get any real snow). I didn't have a pattern for mittens and tracing mittens I had didn't help because most mittens are made of some slightly stretchy material and that makes them easy to get on, but when made with ungiving fabric they are tricky to make fit. I tried over and over. I finally got the right size and shape. 
They are reversible too! Minky-dot on one side and Three Little Kittens fabric on the other (You know, the three little kittens who lost their mittens? Yeah, them. This amuses me endlessly. I'm simple that way.). I made two sets of these. One for Keely for Christmas and one for another special girl. I want some of these mittens myself now. Love the minky.  I was going to take it one step further and make the snowballs 3 different sizes and have velcro on them so they could be stacked-up for snowman making, but I think the bottoms would have to be a bit flat for them to stand up. I'm not up to figuring that out right now. So, it's just some snowballs- really, really soft snowballs-that will never melt… and KITTEN MITTENS people-ack! kitten. mittens.

22 Comments November 27, 2006

Thanks and Thanksgiving

A big thank you to one of my sweet readers, Jennifer. She doesn't have a blog, perhaps she should? Anyway. I wanted to show you all the fabulous goodie box she sent me to cheer me up last week.

Do you see all of this stuff? She put so many thoughtful things in there for me and for Keely too. I love the little bundle of fabric so much and all of those snowflakes! They'll be hanging up soon.  Thank you again Jennifer.
Well my head is racing with Christmas plans these days…things to make and do and make and make. My list is ridiculous, especially since I haven't even started working on scratching things off it yet. oy.
We'll just be hanging around here for Thanksgiving. It is a quiet holiday for us. Just us 3 at home having some mashed potatoes. Oh, I did make some ginger bread that Sara+h posted about today and it was delish, especially while it was still warm. I think I would like it with some good vanilla bean ice cream too. A very good chilly weather treat.
Whelp, I'm going to go get started on my christmas list over the next few days. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday.  Gobble, gobble.

6 Comments November 21, 2006

Hemming and tape bracelets!

I hemmed my first pair of pants. This is huge. Oh, don't you so what? me! You don't know how hard it is for me to find a pair of pants that fit me nicely and that I like. If I do find a nice fit, they are almost always a foot too long. I'm short. Not leprechaun short or elf short, but still shorter than clothes designers want me to be. And I have wide hips but a smallish waist.  Anway. I finally found a nice pair of chocolate colored linen pants while a-thrifting for $2. They are H&M and really cute and they look decent enough on me, but no lie, they were at least a foot too long. Are you all this tall? I decided it was time to try hemming pants. I did it. It was easy and I'm going to do it again. I think I hemmed them both the same length too! Amazing. This sewing thing is so handy. 
Now, Keely and I were going to make some nature bracelets today out of packaging tape. Fancy, huh? The idea came from MS Kids I think. You are supposed to wrap a piece of tape, loosely, sticky side out around a kiddos wrist-and go about hunting for nature bits to stick on it. Then, put another piece of tape on top of it to seal it together. Tie it off however you like when it's done. Well, we weren't out the door yet and she was getting upset about the tape sticking together and twisting on her, so we quickly opted to just go for a walk and bring a bag to collect things in.
We came home and she picked out what she wanted on her bracelet. Mostly she wanted dandelions. 
The tape didn't stick down too well on those chunky bits though.
 So we made another one with flatter leafs and such.
They'd be cute little bookmarks or place cards too for kids to make.
I also let her loose with some glue and leaves. 
I working on giving her more opportunities to create. She's been drawing and painting, but I think it's time that glue, glitter, markers come into play now. I'm also getting together some other stuff for her to explore with indoors during cold weather. I'll share those things later.

18 Comments November 20, 2006

I was there, they were there…


What was I supposed to do? TWO short, little, chunky chairs for $3. I could not stop myself. So what? We have a few (cough, cough) too many chairs in our house. You hushie upppie husband.  Also, look at this.
It's a little vintage doll changing table! ACK! Killing me with cuteness. Keely rarely even plays with dolls, but perhaps this will inspire her too. Just look at it! It has little storage baskets underneath, a little mat…It also folds up to half the size. 

I really intended to stop posting my thrifting finds, but I couldn't resist sharing those. 

Also, I got the most super-fabu pin cushion in the mail from Capello. This thing is awesome and it's stuffed with cotton, not cheap polyfill like I sadly use. I must go get some of the good stuff now. I'm a convert. Thank you Capello for all the goodies.

Happy Weekending. 

7 Comments November 17, 2006

Soaking Steve

The following are things I would have previously scrapped about, but here is the new blog method.

Keely has started using the word "soaking" all the time. She does not use it in the correct way though. She uses it to mean "too" as in, "too much".  Mommy, it is soaking hot in here! Oh, this floor is soaking dirty. I'm soaking tired.  She started it because she is always playing in the kitchen sink and I am always saying, "Keely try to keep the water in the sink please. The floor (and/or counter, walls, rug, dog) are soaking wet now." etc. I'm using soaking more often now too. This gal is soaking funny.

Also, about a month ago she would say something odd and I'd say, "Keely who says that?" or "Where did you hear that at?" and she would say, "STEEEEEVE said it!"  Who the heck is Steve? We don't know anyone named Steve. This continued for awhile. The hubby and I started joking that Steve was my secret beau who was sneaking in the house while he was at work. This was especially funny since my husband and I can barely even have a conversation while living with Keely, so it is impossible that I could do anything else with another person. Anyway, we kept on laughing about how often she was bringing up Steve.We all started saying odd things like, "Yeah, well. Everyone wants Steve." and if something was missing we'd say Steve must have done it. Then, one day she was playing in her animal box and she came running up to us with this in her hand. 

This is STEVE!!!! she excitedly said.  Huh? Really? Alright. So he is Steve. My husband has a great talent for funny voices and impersonations, so he gave Steve the voice of Pepe from the Muppets & Long John Silver's commercials. If you have no idea what he sounds like, click here. Steve is very popular around here. At night, daddy tells Keely a story of her choosing.  As we lay in bed in the dark, she cuddles with him while he says the tale. Lately, it has been stories like, "Stevielocks and the Three Bears", "Steve and the Beanstalk", "The Three Little Steves". They are all entertaining stories.  "Okaaay, so listen…Steve carried a basket of food to Granny Steve….okaaay?" I wish you could hear the stories. Anyway. It's all about the Steve. 

Lastly, the artwork. 

I love her drawings. This is Keely's description of it. "The bottom is of a whole family. They are all happy, except him (the third one in). He is sad because he wants his mommy to come back. She is trying to catch that bat in the sky." Do you see the fourth smiling lady reaching up to grap that black blob/bat? ack. Loving it. The top giant drawings are of a cat family. That middle cat is awesome. You go you little artist you.

 And one more thing, after having my fancy schmancy camera for what? 6 months, I decided I should figure out the self-timer thingie last night.  We had fun playing with that. It's the magic camera that can take pictures by itself.

Always got the hand on my ear kid. Always.

17 Comments November 16, 2006

returning, a house, and being still

Hi there. Doing a little bit better over here, getting myself together. I'm still working on making some changes in my life and forcing myself into better habits. It's a process. More on this another day…maybe. 

Last weekend we took a little road trip to look at a different farmhouse, not the antebellum one. On the way there we passed so many cotton fields. I like cotton fields. They have such a surreal quality to them. NO! I did not run across the streets to pick some of it. How could you think such a thing. I mean, really. And that is NOT stems of freshly picked cotton in my dining room.

Anyhoo, the house was interesting.

It was pretty large and had a lot of neat qualities. I couldn't take photos of the interior because people were living there and that'd be kind of rude. It was on 3 acres of land and had a horse pasture and barn on it. However, the price was too much for the condition it was in. We'd have to put a lot of money into it to make it home for us. So, it was a no. This was the view across the street.

Yeah, I'll take that. I liked standing on the land and not hearing a sound. Not a sound but the light wind. Ah, so nice and calming. It made me realize how noisy it is in our neighborhood-constant traffic noise from the interstate, roaring airplanes and jets over our house from a base, sirens etc.  I hope whatever house we find has some quiet. Speaking of quiet. Here's another cotton field shot. I told you that I liked them. It was quiet there too!

So, I must tell you all that I was going to stop blogging. I do enjoy it but I spend too much of my free time doing it and I don't get around to doing the other stuff I want/need to do, but during my wee break I really missed a lot of you and I also missed writing. I didn't know I liked to write so much. It is good to write everyday and blogging also makes me take photos and that too, is good for me. So, the blog is staying up. I am going to back-off a bit though. Blog in moderation, if you will. I also must stop myself from replying to every comment, every post. It takes me most of the beloved naptime to do that. I really enjoy your comments and I appreciate every one of them, so I hope this won't stop you from commenting. All bloggers love their comments.

I am also going to try and make this blog heavier on documenting our lives (so I can stop feeling guilty about not doing it elsewhere) and a bit of journaling too. I sure am throwing that word around a lot here-documenting. Sorry. I don't scrapbook as well or as much as I'd like, and I don't journal (hand-written, old school style) often either, so the blog is good for that. I can combine writing and photography (two therapeutic outlets for me) and also get to catch up with some of you really wonderful people, so that's the plan man. Thanks for sticking around.

Oh yes, and because I realized that I always make myself be busy with something, I bought this giant still life last week for $2.

Nothing's wrong with the painting's condition, it is just showing too many reflections in this shot. It is kind of ugly and grandma like, but I like the thing. I don't like the cabbage in it at all though. Why is there a cabbage in the basket of flowers? Were they all growing in the garden, ready to be harvested at the same time? Probably, but still take it outta there.  This painting is reminding me to BE STILL sometimes-that I don't always have to be moving and busy. Every time I look at it I remind myself, be still. Still can be good.

     a few more photos

15 Comments November 14, 2006

thank you

Thank you so very much for all your supportive comments and emails. They really mean a lot to me. You all had me crying. I mean, I was already, but still… Anyway, I think I've responded to everyone and again, I really appreciate your kindness. I'm off the blog (I'll still check emails) for maybe a week or so.


5 Comments November 8, 2006

Onward searching and recording…

I heard back from the house people on Friday. They said the could only show the house during normal working/weekday hours. Very helpful. They did send me some more photos of the house and some other information though. All I can say is "YIKES!" The house was in terrible shape. Trees, vines and other things were growing inside in several locations and there was a long list of other big issues so…..back to the searching. The kiddo's cold is still here, but is slowly getting better.

Random: Anyone else find cotton to be one cool plant? I found some old cotton that I picked several years ago and I'm still amazed by its textures-spikey leaves and pillow fluff.  Very cool to my brain.

I finally put the 3 year old shoot together in Keely's annual album. The Red Chair Chronicles?




I'm so glad I started this little album. I've tried to keep an album for the hubby and I too- just a couple of pages about the highlights of the year-what we did, where we went, how we spent our average days. I'm not doing such a great job with that one though. Slacker. I'm going to try harder. I can't keep up with half of what I want to be doing. I try to think of myself as the family historian. If I don't write this stuff down, take the photos, and keep it together, who will?  All the things we will have forgotten. All the little things that are really the highlight of most days. The small stuff that makes life good.  Keely talking to our heater vents (She really does. And our digital clocks too.). The stories of Graham and Ima Cracker. The places we absolutely.positively. must stop at every day on our afternoon walks around the neighborhood. I think about when we are old and gray and our kid(s) come home to visit (She will come and visit us won't she?), how neat it will be to pull out the endless boxes of photos, drawings, scrapbooks, printed blog pages, the captured memories. It's even nice to look at/read them now, when I'm not having a good day.  It helps me re-focus and feel greatful for our lives together. We don't share all the little stories among our family so much, even if we did how long would they remember the year Keely thought "zucchini" was the word for "candy"? or how she called everything dah-bull-day until she knew the real name of it? Would they remember the little message glued to a toothpick and stuck in a sandwhich that said, "Eat Me!" from my husband? We don't live tribally or communally. We don't have the oral traditions that families did centuries ago. The tales, trials, and daily details of our lives don't get past on generation to generation without a little work. If my memory doesn't hold, hopefully the papers, writings, and photographs will.

9 Comments November 6, 2006

colds, cold, and a house trip?

 Sugar maple leaves are my favorite.

So, the poor girl's stinking cold started to go away and now it seems it is back, with all the joyous crankiness. Thanks. The weather has also returned to chillier fall appropriate temperatures and I have turned into an old woman. Something is wrong with my body temperature regulator thinga-ma-bob.  If there is the slightest nip in the air, I'm freezing! This is new for me. I have layers of clothes on and my side of the bed has SEVEN blankets on it. SEVEN people! Three of them are quilts and one is a down comfortable. That's not normal. I can't move under there because it's so heavy. To get up I have to sort of slide out from under it and onto the floor in a heap. ker-thunk.  It's only in the 60's.  This winter should be interesting. Indoor parkas anyone?

We decided we should attempt to go see the civil war house this weekend to one, check out the town and two, see how bad the house is. It's in rough shape, needs total rehabilitation, but it is being soldy quite cheaply. I can't get a hold of the preservation office, who has the house listed, to set up an appointment though. Seems like that might make it difficult to actually get in the home. However, after I inspected some enlarged photos of the house- I see that we may just be able to tap or ever so slightly blow on the front door and it will promptly fall in. Who needs a pesky agent to take us around anyway? Also, it appears that vines are growing INSIDE the house. Right. If vines can get in, so can we. The house is about 3 hours from us and we previously said that we would go drive and check out any town or house that appealed to us so…..we shall see. Hopefully, the kiddo will make a full recovery before Saturday and we'll take the bitty road trip.

And in other news, our kid can spell! Well, like an early 5 year old anyway. She/we were drawing last night and writing the names of what we drew. Daddy drew a doctor and she started sounding out the world…."ddddd, doct, eeeerrrrr"  Then, she said, "D, R, Doctor!" And she tried to write it. She got the D written correctly and the R was a bit wonky, but still we are so impressed. 


Have a fallish weekend all. 

11 Comments November 3, 2006

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