Archives – January, 2007

quiet time

I'm taking a wee break from the blog. I have to put some time and energy into a few other things. Back soon!

5 Comments January 31, 2007

Oh, D.E.E.R!


This weekend I busted out an old pocket chart and Keely loved it. You can use these nifty things for all sorts of games and whatnot.I thought she'd want to just shove leaves and buttons in the pockets. But this girl is all about letters right now. She and I put all the alphabet in order (using magnetic foam letters) and she put in photo/alphabet flash cards in the pockets to match up with the letters. You know, Cat photo with the letter c.  I didn't expect or think she'd want to do the whole sequence, but she wouldn't let us stop until it was complete, a-z. (Brag alert) Then, that night she was sitting drinking a little bottle of Deer Park water and she started sounding out the letters…and then she said, "Deer! It says DEER!"  She read her first word all on her own! Holy Moly kid. She's been able to read a few words for awhile, but we've helped her learn those. This was all her. Oh, deer. Guess I better start feeding her needs more and bump it up a level. I was trying to hold off "teaching" her pre-school/k stuff because we aren't sure if we are going to let her go to public school or homeschool her yet. I was scared she be bored out of her mind in kindergarten since she already knows so much, but it's pretty silly to not expose her/supply her with information that she wants to know right now. She is interested now, so I'm going to give it to her.                         
I had to sew a new dust cover? cozy? for my sewing machine, not because our house is that dirty but because somebody always messes with my needle/presser foot/knobs if it's left uncovered. She wore the cheap, thin, plastic cover that came with the machine as a hat. It split in two. It was ugly anyway. Now, I have this exciting thing.

Well, it is reversible to a crazy floral grandma-esque print. Does that make it more exciting? nah. I threatened to make cozies for all the kitchen appliances to my hubby. Ones with flags, hearts, and lined-up dancing teddy bears! Pure 80's craft style you know? You should have seen his horrified look. I was kidding. No need to hide the waffle maker. This is the only cozy we'll have, dear. Promise.


We've moved Keely's baby loving stuff into the living room.
Since I got that little changing table. She has loved changing diapers. She also sits in the rocker and reads baby books to whoever is sleeping in the cradle. She's just gotten interested in dressing her animals/dolls, but the doll clothes are kind of hard to get on and off. I'm trying to think of a way to make some easily removeable clothes for her to play with. I've been dying to make some of the sweet little smocks type shirt/dresses going around, but I know if I do my gal won't wear it, so maybe I can get my fix by making some for dolls…with velcro instead of ties or something? First, I must make a cute diaper bag like someone else has and some more play diapers.

Today we've played all day. Feeding horses vegetables in their barn (which is the dining table), tea parties, re-arranging all small pieces of furniture to re-create our real living room in other rooms of the house. oy. She has pretend couches set-up everywhere. I'm tripping over things all the time now. I can't imagine where she gets this "must move furniture around" need from. hmmm.  Alright, it's naptime and I'm off to research camera lenses, brush up my manual shooting mode knowledge (f-stop wha?) that has long been forgotten and study some photoshop all in 40 minutes. ha.

14 Comments January 29, 2007

Keely at almost 3 1/2.

Just a few things I want to record for my girl before they pass or I forget. 
(Flying and watching your shadow fly too.)
You love birds. You always pick berries and put them in little piles on the sidewalks for the birdies lunch. You say when you grow bigger you want to go fly with them. You talk about flying and growing a lot. One night when we took a walk you said, "Mommy, when I grow as big as you I'm going to fly up to the sky and get some of those pretty stars for you." 

If we say something about you that you disagree with you say, "No I amn't!" You're barking and panting playfully. "Keely, are you a puppy?" "No, I amn't!" The way you say something- "some-sin".  "I'm hungry. I think I want a cracker or some-sin." Anytime you are really happy you still say, "I'm sooo exciting!"  Makes me laugh everytime.

We play a little game called "Babylove or Stinker?  You're cuddling/sitting with me and if you say, "babylove" then I give you soft kisses on your forehead. You always go all sleepy-eyed when I kiss you there. If you say, "stinker", I tickle your chin.  You say each one almost an equal amount of times. 

Daddy plays a similar game called, "Elephant".  Daddy says, "If you say elephant one more time, I am going to tickle you."  You always say it. He always tickles. You really like to be tickled. I don't and neither does her daddy.  Your laugh is really the best, so we tickle on when requested.
You have a great sense of humor and you're starting to do more funny voices, crazy faces, and imitations really good, like your daddy.
You have been very interested in clocks and our heater vents since you were about 1 year old (Yeah, there's no photo of our heater vents here.) The interest is still growing. I am not kidding, playing games with them & talking to them. Actually, not just ours but anyone's, including ones at stores. "Mommy, is that a heater vent over there? Does it go into the stores attic?" etc. You want to know all about them. What they do? How they do it? How they work? Why they are where they are? You like to take tours around the house to visit all the digital clocks and then one more to "listen to all the analog clocks that tick." Before you were 2 you wanted to know the different names for the different kinds of clocks. You kept asking what this one on our microwave was and what this one on our wall was. It took me awhile to figure out that "a clock" wasn't the answer you wanted. You wanted to know their more accurate names because they are not the same. Talk about getting some weird looks…when your 2 year old says, "Is that watch an analog one?" in public. heh.  Now, you want to know "what time is it and when the hand is on the 4 what will that mean?" and so on.
Your hair. Your soft, fine, wavy hair is crazy. The moment your brushed hair touches another surface…you sit down, spin, lay down-it looks like that. There's really no point to brushing more than absolutely necessary. We've accepted that homeless head is your look. 
You love animals. You must pet every dog/cat we ever see. You also are always asking what noises a particular animal makes…not your typical barnyard cows, but lemurs and meerkats. What noise does a hedgehog make? What does it eat?  I have no idea usually. We have to go look it up online. 
(Maxie and C.J., your neighborhood pals) 
The other day you asked if "In the springtime, when it's warm and we grow a garden…Can we grow popsicles? Lots of popsicles?"   
I love you my kinder mcbender bottenheimer schmidt. You are the best.

17 Comments January 26, 2007

Meet the cats, Claire & Janie

Two cats made to Keely's specifications:

Not too shabby. Keely has named the big cat Claire and the sidekick Janie. Keely was all over me while I was making them so they aren't going to be a surprise, but that's alright. Her face just lit up when I handed them to her all finished. Warm a gal's heart right up I tell ya. I drew the patterns myself and I have yet to figure out how to easily (without munch grumbling, re-sewing, seamripping etc.) sew the body of a softie together while all the animals limbs are stuffed and pinned inside. It's like shoving this huge bulging pie in my machine and trying to get my needle to hit anywhere near a seam. I don't get it. Not yet anyway. Neither one of them really look how I thought they would, but I think they're quite cute.
I first was going to make something similar to Monsterella, but with cat ears. Then I started drawing cats. I looked around online at cats. I considered Wee Wonderful's pointy kitty and many others, but in the end my drawings were mostly a hodgepodge of them all and resembled Loobylu's dolls more than anyone elses. I'm using "resemble" loosely here. {Ode to Loobylu: Her dolls are perfection, mine is definitely not. It's strange that Keely named her Claire all on her own because Loobylu's name is also Claire (Hi Claire if you happen to be reading!) Our last name has "clair" in it. I assume that's where Keely got it from. I know our Claire cat is nowhere near as well-made, well-dressed, symmetrical (omg, poor Claire cat's arms!), or complicated as hers.} Anywho, Keely wanted Claire's eyes pointing in two different directions but I just couldn't do that. I mean, Keely, the cat's arms are in two different locations and my embroidery skills are laughable, so let's not intentionally give her crazy looking eyes too! We settled on the suspicious look to the side. Keely also requested stripy tights for both cats. The big blue cat with tights and a dress is completed, as requested. Janie now, based on Keely's drawing in the previous post, was much easier to make.  
Go ahead, scroll down to compare the drawing with the cat. You know you want to. What do you think? Keely named her Janie after Jamie Lidell, the singer, and she expects Janie to sing his songs all the time. Keely really likes her Janie cat. The long arms crack me up. They can tie around things which is entertaining.  I wanted to slip little hearts or some kind of charm inside of them before sewing them up completely, but I didn't have anything on hand. Instead, I wrote little I love you messages to Keely and put them in the stuffing.
Our entire house is a disaster after having made these two little cats. With no real craft room it seems that the whole house becomes the craft space. Fabrics, threads, scissors, papers, pins,  toys of all kinds, drawing paraphernalia, all over the place-in nearly every room! Yikes. The question is now, make something else since everything is out or clean up? Hmmm. 

27 Comments January 24, 2007

this and that

A few of my recent finds. First is this set of old ceramic drawer pulls.
Aren't they awesome? They are really brightly colored and heavy. I haven't found anywhere to put them yet though.I wish there were more of the blue ones. I won't complain though because I got the bag of them for a great price. Then, I got this old set of wooden blocks.

I love the illustrations on them. They have little sentences that you read by turning the blocks."Nancy and Ned make good numbers." for N.  Good stuff. Let's see what else… oh, here are two other cards I made.
The birds are from an old book and I typed and sewed the rest. It's alright. And this one…
Ink, watercolors, fabric. I like the little birdie.
Hmmmm….On to sewing talk now. 
I realized since yesterday was my blog's birthday that it has also been one year since I decided to teach myself how to sew. One year since I sat staring at the machine in the box for a few weeks, scared to take it out. I think I've learned a lot in the last year. I'm so glad I gave it a go. And speaking of sewing…
For Valentines, I am planning on making Keely a softie. A cat. She wants a blue cat. So, I'm trying to pick out some fabrics…
and then trying to draw some kind of pattern. This should be interesting. I was telling Keely that I don't really know what it should look like and she said, "Here mommy, I'll show you what a cat looks like." She drew this.
Freakin' CUTE! Now, I gotta make one like that too. I think I'll try to make the big blue cat I have in my head and make this little guy in her drawing as the cats toy/friend/sidekick. That's the plan. So, that's what I'm off to work on. Thank you for all "one year" congrats. You made it quite a fun day.

14 Comments January 23, 2007

One Year

Today my blog is one year old! So, thank you to all of you who visit, comment, and share such good stuff with me. I appreciate it. I had intended to write a long post about the crazy land of blogs, but I'm feeling pretty quiet so I'll just say thank you to all of you who visit, comment, email, and share with me. You've been the bright spots in many a day. Thank you.
The weather has turned gray, cold, and rainy (blah! The worst weather for my mood.) and we've been kind of stuck home. I took a break from the food making and worked on a few cards this weekend. I couldn't get a decent photo because of the weather, but you get the idea.  
(The image is clickable.) 
I was also working on some little collage like things for Keely's room but then after hours trying to put them together, I realized what my hold up was. I don't like looking at my own stuff! I don't want my "work" hanging in our house. Things I've sewn are fine, but something I've painted or drawn, I just turn my nose up at. They just look silly to me. Ater I realized that, I finished up the little collages quite quickly. Apparently, if they aren't for us then I don't have to agonize over every little detail. I'll just keep doing those things for other people and buy other real artists work to hang up around here. I have my wish list of artists I hope to buy work from someday. I'd love one of Ana Ventura's paper dolls or a screenprint. I also really like some of Camilla Engman's work and Jen Corace too. Guess I'd better start saving up. 

25 Comments January 22, 2007

tea for two

Last night I was drinking some hot tea and you know what occurred to me? Make Keely tea bags. So I didn't even finish drinking my tea, instead I went and made her two little bags.

I don't know if you can tell, but they have "tea" inside of the bags. It's just a piece of dark brown fabric to give it a bit of realistic appeal. The "bag" fabric is kind of see through.

Sooooo, are y'all sick of my food fun, yet? You see this is what happens everytime I start making something. I get obsessed. It's all I think about and it's almost all I want to do until I extinguish my thoughts on the subject and then I never want to do it again. nuts. I'm trying to slow myself down though before it gets to that point. Trying to break my habit/work ethic/obsesso-matic nature.

I knew fabric food wasn't an original idea (but the burrito design-maybe?). I did want to make an ice cream or a cupcake for Keely, so I thought I'd look on etsy to see if there was some neat stuff out there- there was.  Check out these links if you want some inspiration for you food creations or if you just want to buy some. Make sure to look at the other items that the seller/crafter offers too.

Chenille ice cream cones

Complete dinners made out of felt, and this little felt pizza looks easy to make too.

Recycled bag of blueberries.  I was thinking you could do the same kind of recycled bag and fill it with blue wooden beads too as an alternative.

Katurah's cupcakes or these ones    Cute goodies, no?

Alright, there ya go. Go crazy crafters.  

24 Comments January 18, 2007

on the crafting front

 I found this half-finished apron while thrifting a few months ago. It is made of neat fabric. I don't know what it is. It's kind of a tight knit linen, but softer? It feels old. It has a scalloped top and a little red-trimmed pocket, but it had no ties to tie it on, no neck loop. Finally, this weekend, I added its missing pieces. I'm going to start wearing an apron now. I wish I had some of my great-grandmother's aprons.

While finishing the apron, I figured I'd might as well make Keely an apron too. It too has been on the to-do list way too long. So, here it is…
I used red bias tape for its ties. She doesn't want it tied on her, hence the loose fit here. She does like it though. I have plans for a mathcing oven mit in the future. Do you see the pocket? It's made of new (non-thrifted), fabric store fabric! Another Christmas present to myself. I love my cheap, almost entirely thrifted fabric stash, but there is something really fun about getting a little bit of new stuff. Oh, the little alphabet print on the right end is from a gift package that Jennifer sent me. Thanks again.
After the aprons were done, I was working on recovering some throw pillows. One of them was a bolster. So, I had the end circles cut out on the table and Keely picked one up and rolled it up. "Look! I have a burrito! Can we make burritos? Ha. Ha. Ha."  I stopped mid-seam to see her creation. "You are so clever kiddo. Yes, we can." I put my pillow work aside and grabbed some scraps and made a burrito!
It has a soft tortilla shell, a layer of beans, and is topped with tomatoes/salsa and sour cream. It folds over and stays closed with two little velcro squares.
See?  I am so easily amused. I love the burrito, although Keely will not let me play with it. It's hers. I might have to make another. Alright, that's all the crafting for now.

24 Comments January 17, 2007

thank you and a too many photos

WOW! WOW! WOW! That was a lot of birthday wishes. I am so touched by all of you who stopped in yesterday and to all of you who "delurked". I love to know who is reading here and I just had no idea how many of you there were. Many thank yous to all of you! 
In case you don't know, I'm 31.
Yesterday, it was 75 degrees so we decided we'd go out and play tourists. We went to some neighboring historic areas and walked around. I took photos and the hubby (I guess he outted himself yesterday so I can now call him Ryan here, ay?) kept Keely out of the street. We had a nice day together, just us 3.
I took about 250 photos, so I'll upload some of them to FlickR over the week.
I'll tell ya now, I've never met an old staircase, door, or window that I didn't want to photograph.
or chair, of course.
On our way home the car started making funny noises and odd smells. When we got home there was smoke coming out of it. Ryan was investigating and I was carrying Keely, running away from the vehicle like it was gonna blow at any second. Ryan is just squatting down, face inches away from the smoke looking at me like I was nuts.  "I don't think it's actually going to burst into flames." Not with us around it's not! Car troubles are not fun. I'm just glad it didn't do this when I was out alone somewhere with Keely. I would not have handled that well, neither would have she. Anyway, still a good day and I thank you all again for the wishes!
I've got a few crafty things to share with you,  so that'll be in the next post. 

12 Comments January 16, 2007

A Happy Birthday Hijacking

Hello, blogworld.  Angela's husband, Ryan, here.  Angela's blog has been temporarily hijacked in order to inform you all that today, Monday, January 15th, is her birthday.  I know that she would never presume to post that here, but I thought that some of you might like to know.

So happy, happy birthday, Angela!

57 Comments January 14, 2007

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