Tuesday, December 22, 2009

merry Christmas!

i am bustling this holiday season... i decided to make just about every single one of the gifts we are giving this year--- along with the handmade cards we sent.... crazy, right? actually, its the making of things that keeps me sane. i know that staying up til midnight some nights is taking it's toll on my sanity, but in general i am so much happier on the days i get to make something with my hands.
at the moment the biscotti is in the oven and my embroidery basket is full of cute little fabric bird pieces. i have several things in process on my knitting needles. i have a patchwork soccer ball half sewn for e... and a few project e and i have been working on together.

all that to say... sorry for the long absence once again...
i hope that your holiday is blessed with things that make you happy--- most of all the knowledge of God's gift of love He sent us in his son!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

we are heading to the woods for thanksgiving week and then after that, anna and i are heading to the big apple to visit my sister ( i feel very brave to be attempting such a trip!) all this to say- i am taking a bit of a blogging leave and letting you know ahead of time.

just wanted to leave you with a picture of a less picturesque moment here: i am being covered in stickers while feeding anna while trying to knit at the same time-- ridiculous!

happy thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

my atelier

i am beside myself to present you with my studio space! we are now using our basement for more than just storage and beer brewing. i finally have a home for all my creative endeavors-- and believe me, i know how very blessed i am to have such a space! i have two wonderful work tables from ikea-- one of which is height adjustable. that feature comes in handy now for cutting fabric, it doesn't hurt your back as it would to stand over a standard height table for long periods of time.... for now fabric is my medium (easy to pick up and put down at a moment's notice or baby's cry, as the case may be). later, when children are in school and i have longer periods of time to myself, i know i will get back into pottery and painting- and this space will most definitely accommodate such pursuits. i read a fair amount of a fascinating book while in college ; "the poetics of space: the classic look at how we experience intimate places" was an interesting delve into the different kinds of spaces and how they influence us. well, i am loving how my studio down in the basement-- in the belly of the house... one quote from the book about cellars : "there, secrets are pondered, projects are prepared. and, underneath the earth, action gets under way. we are really in the intimate space of underground maneuvers." well- these days there are an awful lot of "projects being prepared" in our basement (cellar).notice hints of a play area in the foreground... and children's play area, that is... the whole thing is a "play area" for me ;-)
here is my space-- arranged in a "u" shape, great for sewing, cutting and ironing ( which i have lately realized is so very important in sewing)

and here is the excellent sewing book by my favorite fabric designer that has taught me so much about sewing! and has some very fun patterns.... i highly recommend it!

------ on a side note, when i was looking back through "the poetics of space" i found a nice quote--"Over-picturesqueness in a house can conceal its intimacy. this is also true in life." how true how true!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

mama made

indulge me in one more shot of anna wearing the pumpkin hat... what a pumpkin!
here are some red shoes i made for her... like all of the shoes i make, they are lined with wool, so they are cozy, warm, and breathable... and above all--- fun and funky! i have a longstanding love of red shoes.. i even had my bridesmaids wear them even though their dresses weren't even red ;-) ... so of course my little lady needed some her size.
and here is another pair of cozy mama made shoes. ( also note the cute rick-rack hem of the dress )
now, let it be known: i may make a lot of things, but my house is not very well kept, and my car is a total mess... and i don't ever watch tv.

Monday, November 16, 2009

speaking of food

here are the classic " first food" pictures. she had a lot of fun discovering all the sensations of broccoli, and some of it actually made it into her mouth!

she also ate some baby food from a spoon, but where is the fun in that?

speaking of food: the blog- "smitten kitchen" has a delicious recipe for pumpkin bread pudding... it is very easy and very yummy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

6 months (and a half)

here are some of the pictures i took of anna on her six month birthday. now she is halfway to 7 months-- oh my! she has really turned into a different kind of baby: sitting up on her own... eating solids... and i know y'all will think i'm crazy, but sometimes when she is crying she'll cry "mmm" and i really think, since she hears Elisha saying it all the time, she is crying "mama"!here is my happy girl wearing the first dress i have made (i learned that following a pattern is easier than making up your own! ;-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

a mother's reprieve

what helps me put my brain back together the best of all after a day of mommy madness?
i'm sure everyone has the own recipe for coping... i have to say that i have lately found a delightful combo. i am really enjoying knitting hats while listening to jane austen... i love to read (and austen novels best of all) and knitting is so nice and calming... the repetitive nature helps release stress- i'm convinced. maybe b/c i am in a phase of life where my 'multi task' mode has to be on most all of the time, i now find that even when i am having "down time" i feel the need to multi task... it isn't enough to just enjoy one thing at a time...

ps-- the pic is of anna's sweet head in my first hat... the pumpkin hat is a bit big this year, but that just means she can wear it for years to come. the wool is soo wonderfully soft! it is purewool from Uruguay. it is a risky buy b/you have to wait months... literally months for it to arrive, unless you want to pay for fed ex shipping instead... and most of all you have to pick the colors from photos online which can be deceiving--- and their dye lots are extremely variable. but if you love the look and feel of minimally processed wool and you don't want to pay double digits per skein--- this is the way to go!

pps- i'm still working on that slide show issue-- any flickr folks feel free to give tips... or anyone w/ a free slide show host-- i'm very open to suggestions. and as anna was actually just 6 months, i'll need to get that slide show done too!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

here is one of the 5 month pictures i took of anna ... it is almost time for 6 month ones!! i haven't found a slideshow site that i like... i'm going to give flicker a try. you should be able to click on the click and see the other pics:

Friday, October 30, 2009

important announcement

i am interrupting this extremely long blog break to inform you that you should rush to publix to buy their pumpkin pie ice cream------ it is soooo delicious!!! even has pieces of pie crust and whipped cream mixed in..... super yummy!

i have many reasons for the long blogging break... i don't think i will go into all of it. but, i would like to thank those of you have told me that you have missed my posts-- it feels good to think that anyone at all enjoys reading this stuff ;-)

i will (on my new working computer--thank you dear husband!) have more posts to follow--- i promise! part of my absence has been due to some mia (manic in action) behavior... which i can account for in pictures perhaps...

on a side note: does slowly inching backwards count as crawling?

while a good question for life in general- i was actually thinking of it in very literal terms... that is what our dearest anna is doing these days... along with sitting up by herself and eating tastes of our food (and at the moment a lovely hot pink organza ribbon ;-)

now as e has said all morning while driving off in his police car (that he calls a fire truck) " bye bye- i'll see you later"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

conversations w/ a 2 yr old

here is a glorious moment from one of our many road trips this summer... both children asleep- at the same time!

now on to my post topic:

i feel the need to document some of the funny conversations we have at home these days. elisha is changing so quickly that i know his wording and thought process is constantly maturing.

today he was eating his morning cereal and the converstaion went like this-

e- "baby anna has bones?"

me-"yes she does and so do you"

e- "isha has teeth"

me- "yes, you do"

e- "baby anna no have teeth"

me-" we can't see her teeth, they are hiding under her gums... but they'll come out so we can see them soon"

e- "baby anna mouf dark"

i guess it is the same idea as blacked out teeth ;-) very observant fellow!

this afternoon after his nap i put him in a new pair of pants(well- new to us) and they are a bit big so that they will fit him throughout the cold weather to come. he grabbed the leg and said, " mama, these no little!" to which i asked him if they were too big.... he said, "yep"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

super fab- you gotta do this!

i can't wait to do this! i'm thinking that anna will be more into this than e-- but who knows. if you have older kiddos than mine -- get started. here are two links to this project... it so simple and so wonderful! i saw the link on simplemom.com ... if you click on the tutorial link she shows pictures of another version that is super cute as well!



i am trying to peek your curiosity by not telling what this project is... so cute! i'm dying to play w/ it myself!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

this little bit hung out w/ me this morning while...
this little fellow went to his first day of "school"... maybe i wouldn't feel so sad about it if i called it parents day out... but it is officially pre-school. book bag, pick-up line, lunch and all! i am somewhat torn about it... but i keep coming back to the fact that he is loving it... and i think i will too-- a chance to give anna one on one time, run errands... and make use of my new studio space in the basement.

--fashion trend for the fall: it's all about the accessories... lampshades, hair bows .... ;-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

while the boys are away...

the girls will... throw a baby shower... and watch a low budget jane austen film. andrew took the boys (e and otis) to visit family and play in the woods. and i helped host a delightful baby shower for my good friend sara- we are thrilled about the little boy in her tummy!

anna helped sara try out her sling

anna and her friend lilly were chatting in the corner... anna was quite the social butterfly ;-)

here are some the flowers...

and here is what they looked like before i had fun with them

Saturday, August 15, 2009

duck... i love you

i only have a minute, plus my brain is trying to recover from being in the car all day w/ my 2 yr old and 3 month old-- they were great... but still. really what made me crazy was the running hyper fellow getting his pent up energy out after the car ride (we have been at the beach). after all that i could handle i stepped outside to catch my breath and check on our garden (lots of zinnias and gobs of basil were picked). elisha came out with me and found one of the "baby duck" toys he has. he then came inside saying "big duck, where are you... where are you big duck??" it was such a pitiful voice... after i handed 'big duck' (his beloved bedraggled can't-sleep-without friend) to him i realized that the pitiful voice was baby duck. elisha was pretending a sweet reunion. big duck and baby duck were hugging and saying, "where were you? i love you... i miss you" i'm still smiling!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


why have i started hearing "why" all the time? isn't my just now two year old a little young to have started asking 'why' ALL the time!? i want to say "because" or "because mama says so" every time, but i know that this is how he learns, so i am trying to garner some patience.... oh boy! i have how many years of this???

Friday, July 31, 2009

i love goodwill

yes as in "peace on earth and goodwill to men" ... but also the store! i was reminded of what a treasure trove it can be today. i was just stopping in to get some wool sweaters to cut up for some projects i have been working on (perhaps you'll see those later ;-) then the bottom fell out-- there was no way i was going back out to the car w/ both kiddos in the deluge... so we just milled around. i think that is what you have to do @ goodwill (or tjmaxx etc) to find the buried treasure. i did get a couple wool sweaters and then i found lots of new organic cotton tees in baby/toddler size. one of them had the cool plant print you see in the picture- but the rest were blank, just wait for a cute applique... and only $1.50 each! in fact each item you see in the picture was $1.50 or less!!! that is two carved wood trivets- so cool and we have been needing some. the little chair is just so fab... it is my dream to have one my size and all i can say is - i am so glad i have a little girl who will love to put her dolls in this chair, b/c i would feel silly playing w/ it by myself. i really like the green glasses a lot-- so many of ours have broken that i was really needing to restock- we'll i got a set of ten for $8... not bad!
don't be fooled by the picture... we found many more treasures. we got a handful of good family night movies- black beauty, the old black and white classic 'shaggy dog', hamlet w/ mel gibson, a national geographic special on trains-- e will love it! and since our dvd player keeps breaking they are vhs-- a minimal $2 each. we also had fun looking through the children's books as it poured down rain- and walked away w/ some great ones... we got a copy of "goodnight gorillia" , and a really cute one called "chicka chikka boom boom"- about alphabet letters- i highly recommend it. elisha is loving letters these days and begged to read the book a second time before his nap. we got a few really wonderful "vintage" books i love the artwork and one is about creation and just great-- and did i mention-- only 75 cents!
and the fun didn't end @ goodwill; my little toddler loved being a helper by wiping off all our treasures w/ lysol wipes. of course, i wiped everything off too(especially after noticing that the woman checking us out had on latex gloves...) and now need to clean the two baskets i got-- i think i'll spray them off in the shower.
another nice thing about all our purchases- they are getting a second (or 3rd,4th...) life. i like that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

this weekend...

... i'm looking forward to :
kabobs on the grill
enjoying a clean house
and a clean car (notice the optimism)
dancing in the kitchen (it has been too long)
perhaps finishing a few sewing projects
maybe seeing monet's waterlilies
having an family old movie night...

what are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

where has the month gone?

yikes! this little one is almost three months old!! and i haven't even edited and posted the pictures i took on her 2 month birthday! i may or may not get a slide show posted... but i hopefully will at least get pictures taken on her 3 month b'day.... i'm hoping to do one every month of her first year-- we'll see if i make it ;-)
yes- her diaper cover is one that i knit for her-- i was thinking i would finish it as a "labor project" -- something to work on during early labor, so you aren't paying too much attention to contractions until you have too... i thought i would finish the binding on her quilt too(also pictured) as it turned out there wasn't time for that... i did work on them during that last week, which could count since i was having contractions off and on and obviously must have gotten some of the "work" of labor done b/c once things really started up (and woke me up) it was less than 6 hours until she was born--- and during that time i was trying to stay asleep... or at least rest in bed b/c i thought it was going to be a LONG day... and then i too a shower and then started to rush to the hospital and then as soon as the doc. saw me i started pushing ! so as you can imagine, i had to find time over the next weeks to finish my "labor projects" i am still planning to write out anna's birth story for those interested in every detail (who haven't already heard them all from the horse's mouth)... and for those of you who aren't interested i do hope you will just skip over it ;-) it may take until her first birthday to get it all written out though-- we'll see....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

she puts up with it!

he is a good big brother- oh, so helpful... brushing her hair...
"gently" shoving the paci in her mouth...

and of course putting a car on her when she seems unhappy-- notice how confused she is by this last one ;-) mabe if she were male she would get it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

it's a wrap

we have now spent a good part of the summer just like this-- me knitting, anna enjoying her ride/nap in this wonderful baby carrier. you can buy a stretchy wrap like this one @ www.mobywrap.com or you can do what i did and make one. i promise this is as easy as it gets! you jst buy jersey fabric (~60 in wide bolt) that is ~97% cotton w/ a bit of lycra in it. you will need 5.5 yards, but you will get three wraps out of it. you simply cut down the lenght of the bolt to divide it into thirds-- see, you don't even need a sewing machine. now if you want to add a bit of pretty to it- then, you cut a ~ 14in square of fabric to add to the front middle. you can find instructions for use on the moby website- and probably youtube as well. it may seem tricky, but i promise after a couple of times it will be a breeze!


well, i tried a new kind of sponge-- but it only further convinced me that i am sold on the
brand i normally use. yes, it is a pain to have to go to william sonoma to get kitchen sponges, but well worth it. i buy a pack (i think ~ 10 come in a pack) of the smaller size and it probably lasts the better part of a year. they are so thick, so durable-- even when washed in the dishwasher a couple of times each week. i keep two in rotation, one is being used while the other is being cleaned in the dishwasher. it is great to know that the things you are cleaning with your sponge aren't gettting dirtier than before b/c of the nasty hidden germs in the sponge!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


missing my dear friends from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. if you haven't read it and made friends with them as well you are missing out. it is a charmingly delightful read- wonderful for book lovers esp!
i HATE reading books that end... which basically means my relationship with a book always goes south in the end. maybe i should read War and Peace so that i can at least delay the ending for a good long while ;-)
maybe i'll wait a few months - maybe even a year and then reread it... i have a handful of books that i regularly reread-- i just start missing the friends i made while reading them!

p.s. - let me know if you get to know the members of the guernsey island literary and potato peel pie society as well!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

why i can't keep up w/ this blog...

between mothering this little thing... and this slightly bigger one...

i have been not only buying fabric as i mentioned in a previous post, but finally getting some order to my stash. i researched ways to organize fabric stashes online and then headed off to the comic book store to get the cardboard pieces that you back them with if you are a comic book collector( very interesting folk- i might add). i folded each piece of fabric around the boards making mini bolts and am sorting them in drawers. now i can see all that i have and get to it so easily! (ps- i have a drawer devoted to bird fabric ;-)

and one of the fun things i have made w/ some of said fabric is a little bag for knitting. it is lined w/ silky material so that the yarn slides off the ball easily but doesn't roll out of your lap. it has been so nice to have my yarn and needles for the sweater i'm knitting in one little bag that i can carry with me-- i can knit while keeping an eye on e!

the pretty green one is for my sweet cousin who knit baby booties for a... and the lovely pinkish knitted bit is a preview of the sweater i'm knitting for the little lady.

Friday, July 10, 2009

little lady

here is our little lady after church a few weeks ago... and yes i know it is ridiculous for her to wear bracelets, but i couldn't resist! i remember loving to look at the tiny jewelry box mama had with baby jewelry in it- the tiniest bracelets . as silly as it is, i think it is the very fun right of every mother to play dress up with their babies... it is pay back for changing their dirty diapers ;-) the lovely dress was made by her grandmother nana.

this is anna meeting my grandmother-nana. to avoid confusion we have told my children that she is grand nana, or gran nan. however, ellisha has started calling her " weegee weegee" b/c that is what she says when she baby talks to them. it is so cute... she has always done it when she sees even just a cute picture of a little one. Elisha thinks it is so funny, and i think it is so funny that he has picked up on it ;-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

around here

anna has made it through her second "wonder week" (i'm telling you- get the book!) she was needing to be held constantly-- i had my moby wrap(that i made) on for 8 hours last week and she was in it almost the whole entire time! but now she is taking a two- three hour afternoon nap-- in her crib and just hanging out in her bouncy seat alone for long periods of time... well, not totally alone- she has made a new friend. notice the lion that now hangs out w/ her. they have become fast friends... she makes faces and coos to him. i kind of feel sorry for her though b/c i don't think she realizes that he isn't loving her back ;-) it is so cute to see her meeting this little guy that elisha enjoyed looking at and talking to when he was her age.... and it has also been cute to see elisha come and make the little lion roar at her. there are some hazards associated with having a two year old brother, but i think the fun out weighs them for her. this is anna in he first back carry. i'm wearing her in a "gypsy mama" cotton gauze wrap that i got at the consignment sale for $20. andrew helped me get her there. i had things to do without her in front of me and she had no desire to be left alone, so this was the compromise... and she quickly fell asleep.

working on it

i'm not sure why, but i hate posting w/ out pictures. we have worked for hours to free up a measly 3 GB! but that is enough space for me to upload some more pic... but then th battery on the camera died. i have a lot of great pictures- and stories to go along w/ them-- so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

yikes! too much temptation...

just as was getting embarrassed about my fabric obsession-- what happens?!? my easiest temptation- www.fabric.com sends me an email about a 30% off sale on ALL their cotton prints! oh my goodness... i didn't hold up to temptation for long-- just long enough to fill my cart and hit the checkout button ;-) well, i think i'm pretty well stocked for the making little bit some cute clothes for the fall and making some great Christmas presents... if you are a maker, then you know as i do that Christmas is just around the corner... you have to start planning now ;-)

i invite you all to this fabulous sale which lasts until june 29th... check out the amy butler fabric and anna marie horner's drawing room collection -- those are some of my favorites... and if you order over $35 you get free shipping!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2nd time in a row!

it's official! anna has rolled over at 7.5 weeks! she just went from her tummy to her back... and she is not happy about it- got to go ;-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


the brownies mentioned in the previous post are driving a wedge in my marriage. there is no way he can love them as much as i do... why should he get any?

Friday, June 19, 2009

flights of fancy

i have been on such a bird kick. now it is spreading to butterflies. i have found more fabulous fabric ( i know, i have an addiction!) with butterflies... and some great ones w/ owls. the question is -- what do i do w/ all of it? i think i may pick up quilting in earnest b/c i need something to do w/ all the wonderful fabric! which reminds me-- i don't think i have made a post about my first quilt- the one i made for anna... well, once i clear my computer a bit and make enough room to upload more pics i'll post about it
... b/c, as you may be able to tell- i'm trying to make up for neglecting my blog so much as of late ... i can't promise that i can keep this rate up. but the option of delaying posts for a later date is nice b/c then i can do several at a time to be posted over a series of days.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

brownie temptation...

because we are part of an amazing church community we have been so blessed to have meals every other night or so for a month... lovingly prepared and brought to us by members of the church. i think it is one the hugest blessings as a new mom, or new mom of two, or three etc... i t allows you a little more time to focus on all the new things that need attention during the transition and yet everyone is still fed!
along with a yummy meal we received yesterday we were given a plate of mint fudge brownies. i LOVE all things mint chocolate. i LOVE brownies. why have i not already eaten every single one? because as i sat there for a while w/ my ice cream accompaniment yesterday, and milk today i finally remembered an important word. after eating about one and a half of these crazy rich brownies with no intention of stopping, i remembered--- the law of diminishing returns. i realized that these later bite were not as truly irresistible as the first ones... and if i stop now there will be more for next time when it will be irresistibly delicious again. now if i can start applying this lesson to french fries ;-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

growing boy

here is my "big boy" at his birthday party holding his favorite present-- "baby anna". i was thinking about this time last year and all that has changed since then. he has grown so much... it isn't really that he has changed as he has grown... i kind of think of it as getting more colorful. like watching a black and white picture become color-- the structure of his little personality has been there, but more of the details are coming out... especially in his constant chatter. he narrates everything, then retells it later, and often comes up with wild stories from his imagination. thankfully along with the "terrible two" fits he throws we also get blessed with some genuinely sweet behavior. he says please when he asks for things a lot of the time-- and even thank you too... and best of all- he really loves the new person we have added to his life. he giggles with excitement when he talks about baby anna. he is dying for us to put her in the bath with him. he loves to wedge the paci in her mouth and sit trucks and cars next to her...

here are some pictures from this time last year:

my sweet sleeping babe... with his super short haircut from last summer.

he wears these clothes this summer, but he fills them out much more! same spunk ;-)

this shirt i made was really too small for him... anna wears it now- it is a bit big on her, but you get the point ;-) it was/ is cute-- no point in letting a little issue like fit deprive them of wearing it!
here is a good comparison pic-- last year (april) some one had to get in the bath w/ him to keep him from crawling around, standing up... basically drowning and knocking his head open in excitement. {look @ the cute baby chub still there }

this year (may) : full fledged toddler, slimmed down from all his running... and full of color ;-)
- i guess we all get more colorful as we get older... that is certainly something to look forward to in my opinion!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

training unders @ hanna

hanna andersson is having their twice a year big sale... if you are potty training, or headed in that direction, their training pants are the best-- and the xs size works well for younger children... and if you are going to potty train a younger than (american) average child i recommend "early start potty training"-- and the baby bjorn little potty and the potty that ikea sells for only $4... and if you want to spend $20 you can get the "baby wonder under" which is clear so that you can see if any thing has happened without having to disturb your child! seems yucky to have a clear potty, but it is actually very helpful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

some of that

hey y'all! what's up... (aren't the cherries so cute? to bad it is newborn sized and won't fit much longer!)
here is the little man painting--- take note: letting and 2 yr old finger/ hand paint inside w/ clothes on is a bad idea... i wish someone had warned me! at least it was a tile floor...

... and amazingly enough all the screaming that occured when i said it was time to clean up and put the paint away did not wake anna up from her nap in the swing.