Wednesday, December 30, 2009

shirt dress placket for the new year

I wanted a new dress/shirt for the new year and since I didn't get anything from Anthropology for Christmas I was inspired to just make my own.
At Target yesterday I saw this shirt dress ( pj's!) & grabbed it, vowing to figure it out as I went.

I looked in my stash & found I had a remnant of this amazing Japanese fabric. I cut a rectangle of fabric & cut it in half. Placed it on either side of the opening & turned under edges. I shaped the top angle, nearest the collar using iron, it's not very precise because I knew the collar would cover it. Top stitched around each piece. I wanted to soften the edges so I added this antique trim & top stitched it.

This is about as sassy as I get at 3 in the afternoon.


oscar is obsessed, absolutely obsessed with balloons. Morning, noon & night he talks about them 'pop ballooooon ?' I admit that we encouraged it for a while because it is his first real sentence but now, come ON ALREADY.
what can I do???

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

where I've been

the pile in my studio of the finished & the unfinished gifts.
my SIL's knitting tote, filled with 2 skeins of wool ( pink of course) & a simple tutorial from here.
this was the last last last minute gift, I saw here & immediately ordered the supplies. I wrapped an embroidery hoop with extra batting trimmings ( from the next project) and wrapped more felt around it so it would be fatter. It worked well, without having to go to JoAnne's again.
(sorry about the orientation ) This year for some reason I made my first quilt, for Felix, I'll have another post about the whole process later, with better photo's.
A knitted penguin for Oscar, another one is on the needles for Felix. I saw the pattern here & had the perfect yarn. An easy pattern I would recomend to any amateur knitter ( like myself.)
Quick little vest for Oscar in this cute polar fleece. Felix is getting some pj pants made from the same material. Couldn't help it.
And a few totes for my other SIL's & in-laws, inspired by at the end of this row.

I didn't mean to make so much or to make myself crazy ( or my husband). And all in all I'm feeling very satisfied. Maybe it's because I won't be with my family for christmas, or maybe I'm trying to prove something but I hope all of this shows that I enjoy making functional art. And like everyone, we have no money to spend this year, so it was a good challenge. Most of the material & yarn was from my stash, yeahhhh! Most of the inspiration was from my com-padres here at home or online, and all was doable. Maybe after all of this Christmasing I'll get back into CCsking again with my extra time. or maybe not.

hope you & yours have a great holiday, I think it's time to make cookies!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

christmas magic is here

(Sorry it's been so long, I won't dwell on it, all of us are crazy busy rite, just how it is.)

When I was little my mom ( in top photo) made us feel that winter was the most magical season of all. With St. Nick arriving early in December and St. Lucia Day beginning on the night of December twelfth.
As a family we would bake the sacred saffron cream rolls on the eve of the twelfth, recipe here. We would make wreaths of juniper boughs and make ready all of our white dresses for our early morning journey. Even though it was hard to sleep that night our mother would wake us by candlelight at 5am to begin our tradition. We would put our white embroidered dresses on top of our pjs, put a wreath on our sleepy heads and grab a large basket of rolls or orange slices.
We would make our way, by candlelight, to many neighbors homes, good friends who knew we were coming too. We would wake them by their bedside, in a halo of candlelight giving them a few rolls and oranges. And than we would quietly walk out and onto the next home. The five children and one weary mother would tromp back home rite around daybreak, where my father would make hot chocolate, scrambled eggs and we would all choke down a few more rolls. We would nap on couches until it was ready to go to school. It brought magic to us, bring back the light to our neighbors and good friends, that Christmas was coming.
This year we switched things round a bit. My mom came over during nap time and woke my boys by candlelight to help us make St. Lucia rolls. Sleepy boys at the table making aliens and bears and the traditional shapes out of the dough. We spent time together in front of the Christmas tree, eating our prizes. Thinking about my siblings(1,2,3,4) and my mom and what a perfect way to begin the Christmas magic.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a big kid

early labor
year one
year two
year three
another year gone by in this parenting adventure. Happy fourth birthday felix.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the hill

This fall the boys & I have found ourselves, many times, on top of this hill. It is near our house, an easy stop on our way to or from anywhere. What I love about being there with my boys, and many others in tow, is the freedom they have to run, throw and explore this great park. This year is so different now that Oscar can run & keep up with Felix. I'm more relaxed because I'm not either pregnant or toting around a baby. I just pack a few apples & we either throw them or eat them, most likely both. Felix & Oscar are really really acting like brothers now. sigh........
( Notice that felix has his hill sweater on for the occasion. )
more holiday crafts coming up soon, if I can get it together.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

craft night prep & potty training update

Felix has finally decided that big boy underwear are worth the effort. Now it's like I get my kid back, no frustration, no pressure, no more diapers, it was a long long long long road for us. I started to really resent those who are fortunate enough to have a child who 'decides' to go in toilet. Maybe I'll get lucky with Oscar.
on to a lighter subject ....... craft night,
Tonight I'm making onion & garlic bags for my siblings, here's the prototype.

On the menu: Pear Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate biscotti, from this recipe.

I have missed some of our meetings because of work but normally we meet monthly except for December when its almost weekly. These are a few of the fine talented ladies who will hopefully be joining me this evening, Meg, Beth & Mary Jo. The others are equally talented & we keep encouraging them to start a blog, but than you'll see who I copy from. I feel very fortuante to have such talented friends.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wait...I take it back

so.....I seemed to have gone through the finding inspiration process pretty fast by the looks of it. But maybe I'm just loosening up. Here are some shots from the studio today. The thing I noticed today, that I still have objects that I collected in college ( 10 years ago) that inspire me. Hmm, stuck in the mud or just good taste?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

wild thing

Can you tell I'm into plaid? Felix, that lucky little boy & because he was sick, this year for Halloween 2 handmade costumes. The first was a detective, which lost favor once he saw another kid welding a weapon. Sooooo we compromised on this Wild Thing Costume. The hat ( a little small but who cares) was made from this pattern. I really like the way it came out, and he looked darling. And to show that I haven't been been neglecting myself I made a new scarf, made from recycled suit wool that came my way via Five Green Acres.

I'm feeling a little restless in my art/craft making these days. So as not to waste too much material & precious studio time I'm taking a craft hiatus. Every few years I need a break, once I realize that I'm making the same things over & over. Need a refresher on what inspires me. I've started to carry a sketchbook around with me instead of a knitting project. Looking at the world around waiting for inspiration may seem a little silly, but rite when you think your searching something like this appears.
This video was taken before I even had kids, a quiet lunch in our little kitchen in the old house. I noticed this reflection on the wall and was mesmerized.
( don't mind the sound, it's just our community radio station. )

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

views from the day

Today felt like the days when I was a new mom, only a few years ago. All day at home, quiet music on, small tasks, lots of books, nap times a must. I tried to stay off of the computer & out of the kitchen. A vintage puzzle was unearthed from who knows where, a drawer maybe. A coloring station, a tent. I know that with the boys getting bigger I tend to run them more. Going on more errands & adventures, which is fun. But today was a good reminder that to be home all day, again, can be simple & fun.

Monday, October 26, 2009

counting coins

Like many others we're sick around here. The little guys have fevers but are lively & have a good appetite, T & I are waiting for the other shoe to drop, we'll see how the next week goes. So, home bound. Felix has been wanting to count out his owl bank lately ( his birthday IS coming up) so I came up with this little teaching moment. No counting, values or anything too complicated ( yet). I found a nice coin chart here, took a sheet tray & uncorked the owl bank**. We matched, stacked & talked about all of them for....about 5 min. Maybe your children will last longer, but I bet we will come back to this during our sick spell.

**Oh, I didn't take ALLLL the coins out, only a good variety.

hope you all are well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

missing riley

some of you close to us know that we had to let our dog go up into the clouds last week.

I'm reallly missing him today. During nap time he would accompany me in the kitchen, making a sweet treat for later. I'm off to bake a little without him. I know everyone in my house is missing Riley. He was one of those great dogs.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

weekend in the north woods

Headed up north this weekend to a old family spot my husband used to go. It was lovely, grandparents & aunts & uncles to hang with the kids. I knit a few projects, and picked up some fresh cranberries ( $1/lb!!). We saw fall and loved it.
hope you had a good weekend too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

sitting down?

Been too long. Life's a whirlwind here at my house, as I'm sure yours is too. 2 season's worth of clothing everywhere, moving toys inside from here, and the general juggling of home.
I think the last time I sat down with the boys was to do this button sorting project. Now nicley displayed in our living room. I was surprised at how many different shades of gray, black, white & off white there were. I'll have to do a color chart with buttons when I have a free week or so.
hope this seasonal transition is treating you well, best of intentions to get back here soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


My little Oscar is a scratcher. Since I knew I couldn't be around him at the party I tagged him so all other parents would know. Pick up your kids when he's around.
Dancing in the shop after hours. Thanks T for putting in that new floor !
Todd on the guitar, Tim on fiddle, Karl on Base, Peter on banjo, and others made up the band for the evening.
After the potluck and a happy birthday song we started to dance. Jessie was the caller, a farmer & fine fiddler himself, he got everyone moving.
Flower prep the night before.

Thanks to everyone for coming and thanks to my family for helping me put on the party that I had in my mind. " wouldn't it be great if we could square-dance in the backyard!? " If this is what Thirty looks like I'm so in. Babies at our feet asking for another piece of watermelon. Friends picking up any child who needs help while maintaining a spirited conversation with a neighbor. Musicians who can grill chicken, and Family who will pick things up where you left off.
I think we'll do this again.