Thursday, August 31, 2006


One of the moms at a recent playdate pulled out the coolest blanket- it was waterproof fabric on one side and a lovely patterned fabric on the other. She told me she'd gotten it from Babystyle; when I looked it up, I nearly had a heart attack over the $75 price tag. I still liked the idea tho- a nice comfy blanket to sit on at the beach or park, without having to worry about dampness soaking through. I spend a lot of time sitting on the grass in our front yard while the boys play so we have some pretty raggedy old quilts that I use for that purpose. But it's never fun to stand up and discover that the grass was wetter than I thought so it soaked thru and my bum gets wet.

So I started scheming and this is what I came up with:
new beach quilt

The top is made of some fat quarters that I picked up on a whim at the fabric store a few months ago. I didn't even trim them, just sewed them all together and then added a couple of borders from stash fabric. The backing is leftover waterproofed cotton that I had from sewing cloth diapers for Little Man (yay for stashing!). I've had the waterproof stuff *forever* and just couldn't get rid of it because it had been quite expensive. Plus I had over two yards of the stuff. It ended up being the prefect size for the backing of this quilt.

I was stumped for a while on what to use for the batting. It had to be very washable and since I wasn't going to heavily machine quilt everything, the batting had pretty much hold itself together. For a while it looked like I was going to use some old flannel, but there just wasn't enough. Finally I found some $1.99/yd fleece at the fabric store and bought a couple of yards. It worked perfectly for the batting- I didn't even have to cut it. The fleece has the added advantage of being totally washable and machine dry-able (is that a word?). This quilt is going to be throw into the wash many times so I didn't want something that I would have to be careful with.

We took it on a test run today and it worked great! It was heavy enough not to blow away in the ocean breeze, but not so big/heavy that it was difficult to carry (a major consideration when you're carrying all the gear + two kids down to the beach). My only addition will probably be to add some ties so it will be easier to roll up.

And here are some other beach pics from today:
beach day

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006


"it's bigger than his head!"

Friday, August 25, 2006

Some musings and a new bag

Thanks all for the comments on the shoes below. I still haven't decided if I'm going to get them or not. They are so cool looking, but like some of you commented, I'm afraid they might just sit in my closet to be admired instead of worn. I'm sick of wearing flip flops, Keds, and Crocs all day long....tired of "mom shoes" (the footwear version of 'mom jeans'). It would be fun to occasionally wear some heels, but I need heels that I can chase a 20month old in!

Now onto something completely different....

Lately I've been thinking of putting my DSLR into my diaper bag so I can get better photos of the boys when we're out and about. The big drawback with that is the weight and size of the camera- it's quite a bit larger than my current point & shoot. Plus there's the worry that it will get banged around too much in the diaper bag.

I was trying to figure out a way to keep my camera safe without lugging around another large padded case. Then I saw SouleMama's handsewn camera bag and was inspired. Here's my version: new bag
It's got two layers of batting and is pretty heavily quilted on the bottom. The inside is lined with the same fabric as the top. Not quite happy with the ribbon drawstring, but it'll do will I come up with something better.

This small camera bag fits into my backpack/diaperbag with room to spare. Hopefully it will encourage me to use my DSLR more often. I miss working with my 'nice' camera and lenses- I can tell I've gotten rusty with my photography skills.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yay or nay?

Trolling Zappos.

Need new shoes that aren't Keds.

You tell me-

Yay or Nay?

(says the woman with no fashion sense)

Monday, August 21, 2006

WIP and a little art

My Little Lacy Top continues to grow. I'm well into the stockinette portion of the bodice and will soon split to work the armholes/arms. I've already added an inch to the lace in hopes that the top will actually cover my stomach. Now I'm seriously considering some short rows over the bust for a better fit. The LLT has become my 'movie knitting' since it's currently so mindless (miles and miles of stockinette in the round). Last night the Dearest and I watched "Inside Man", which was pretty enjoyable and provided plenty of time to work on the LLT.

Our babysitter has recently returned from her vacation, so I had some time to shop by myself last Friday. I hit a couple of thrift stores (found nothing, yuck) and also stopped by Tuesday Morning to buy a birthday present for a friend. Swinging by the crafty aisle netted me these nice birch knitting needles for only $4 a set. Woo hoo! Nothing like some kid-free shopping and a great bargain to make a momma feel happy happy happy.

And today there was this:
We haven't taken out the paint and glitter glue for a while so we pulled everything out and Little Man went to town. Even Monkey Boy got into the act and a fun time was had by all.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday Sky

sunset 04/02/06
A sunset from earlier this year.

Friday, August 18, 2006

baby yoga

baby yoga
Originally uploaded by shizzknits.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Math scares me

I've started thinking about Fall projects. Yes, yes I know that I haven't finished any Summer projects recently, but you can never plan too far ahead when it comes to knitting! The Simple Knitted Bodice is on top of my list to knit.

Isn't it gorgeous? I got the pattern a couple of weeks ago and have been trying really really really hard to use stash yarn for the sweater. My first couple of swatches included some Malabrigo worsted and some Silky Wool in Claret. The Silky Wool was just lovely, but it's knitting up at 5.5 sts/inch and the pattern calls for a worsted weight silk knitted at 4sts/inch.

After an evening spent cussing at a calculator, I finally got the math figured out and cast on to knit with the Silky Wool. I'm about two inches into the neck (the sweater is knit from the top down) and now I'm not so sure about my choice. The Silky Wool might be knitting up too densely. Ugh. I think I'll go a couple more repeats and see how it looks. Wish me luck!

The boys wanted to play in the front yard today so we got out the pool and I spent some time knitting on my Little Lacy Top while supervising the fun. The lace part is completed and I'm about an inch away from splitting for the armholes. The stockinette is going *much* quicker than the lace!

Here's what the boys did while I was knitting:

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Video Sharing

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

a little bit of sewing and a FO

Thanks to Heather's free pattern, I whipped this out last night:

Hello Headband
hello headband 2
I used a couple of scraps of "Flea Market Fancy" fabric from the stash. The pattern is super easy and the finished product is totally fun to wear. I have always liked wearing headbands, but the plastic ones inevitably make my head ache after only a few minutes. The Hello Headband fits a lot more comfortably and doesn't slip off like most fabric headbands. I might have to make a bunch more!

Now, lest you think I've completely abandoned knitting for sewing, here is a FO
blue socks
These lovely socks will be going to my sister in Vegas. She picked the yarn out at the LYS and I told her I'd knit the socks for her. BTW the yarn is Austermann Step (with aloe). (another view here)

death by rice burial

our favorite sushi place
We always bring a small bag of toys and crayons to entertain the boys when eating out. Most restaurants give out kids' menus/crayons, but I like being prepared if they don't. Plus Monkey Boy doesn't color yet- he just likes eating the crayons- so the toys work better for him.

Yesterday we met the Dearest for dinner at our favorite sushi place. LM and MB played happily with their toys till the food came. I was so busy making sure everyone had their sippy cups, miso soup and pieces of tamago that I didn't notice Little Man's bowl of rice till later.

Poor pirate (but at least I got to eat my salmon in peace).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

old photos, new photos, and acquisition

I was trolling my harddrive this afternoon and came up with this photo I shot last year. I had just gotten a new lense for my camera and we went down to Old Town San Juan so I could play.

And just so Monkey Boy doesn't get left out- a photo of him around the same time.
Amazing how much he's grown, isn't it?

Our local movie theatre shows free movies for kids a couple of times a month, and today was one of the 'free" days so I decided to take the boys. It was Monkey Boy's first movie ever so I didn't know how he'd do.

Unfortunately the theatre was PACKED. We walked in 15 minutes early and there were almost no seats available. Single seats were scattered here and there throughout the theatre, but I couldn't but Little Man in one of those and sit in another because they were too far apart. Luckily my neighbor and her son were there and they had two seats together. We ended up sitting with them- five of us in two seats! LOL Somehow we made it work and it wasn't too bad after all.

Monkey Boy did pretty good for a 20month old; we only had to leave the theatre once, about halfway thru the movie. My neighbor stayed with Little Man while I took MB out to the lobby. After playing with the video games for 10 minutes, he was ready to go back in. Here we are at the end of the movie:
first time at the movies

(I think Monkey Boy liked the big bag of popcorn the best)

Now, on the subject of acquisition, I had a chance to browse through Amy Butler's new book, In Stitches, today and loved it. Thanks to the Amazon Elves, it will be on the way to my house shortly. Yay!

Oh, and thank you for the nice comments regarding my blog re-decorating. Nice to know that people do read this thing. :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Whatcha think?

Ok, I have no idea what the heck happened to the comments on my blog. Why are they showing up all of the sudden with each post? Very weird!

ETA OH shit. Looks like I somehow reverted my blog back to the orginal settings. Just. Great.

Now I'll have to find some time to fix it all up again.

ETA again....I did some tinkering and republished my blog. I tried about 20 different colors for the background and finally went back to clean and simple white. Still have to re-do my links and such, but we're getting there!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday dinner

Complete set here.

Lately, the Dearest and I have been taking the boys out for Sunday dinner at The Spectrum. We eat dinner and then walk around people watching or spend some time listening to live bands perform (there's always at least one band there on Sunday nights). It's fun for the kids and it's a nice way to kick off the week.

Prior to heading off to dinner, I spent some time sewing a baby blanket for my lovely neighbor's new little girl.
new baby blankie
If it looks familiar, it's probably because I used the scraps from my Log Cabin quilt to make the strips. The backing is just some sueded fabric that I've had in my stash forever. There's no batting in this little quilt as the backing is fairly thick. It measures about 30x34inches.

Today was also a good day to clean out my car. I spent about an hour vacuuming out the carpets (sand from the beach, anyone?), then the boys and I went to the local automated carwash. Monkey Boy especially enjoyed the ride, as I finally turned his carseat around so he faces forward.
facing forward at last!

Friday, August 11, 2006

summer daze

The set here

Fried chicken, corn on the cob and coleslaw....perfect beach food according to Monkey Boy.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

log cabin & crib bag

I've discovered a way to do minor sewing while Monkey Boy is awake. I put the sewing machine on our center island, iron on a towel spread out next to the sink, and do any cutting on our kitchen table. MB can still reach the sewing machine, but he can't stick his finger into the moving parts so it works.

Using this crazy setup, I was able to make a small bag to hang in MB's crib. I wanted something to hang on the side of the crib for books and toys.
MB's new crib bagMB's new crib bag

I can't remember where I got the outer fabric from- it's a very lightweight corduroy. The lining is some 99cents/yard clearance fabric. MB helped me hang it up:

And here's my finished Log Cabin quilt...
finished my first log cabin quilt

All the piecing together was a pain in the patoot, but I love the way it turned out. Here's the back: backing
I"m glad to have another sewing FO- now onto another tote for myself!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wednesday Randomness

We went to the farm again today; the boys had a lot of fun running around in the avocado orchard and playing in the huge vegetable garden. But before any of that could happen, we had to visit the chicken coop:

some little boy fingers to munch
Do chickens like little boy fingers?
boy watching the chickens watching the boy
Still life: boy watching chickens watching the boy

Plus there was this to melt a momma's heart (especially since it was totally MB's idea):

Let's all say it together: 'aaaaaawwwwwww!'

Now onto randomness:

-Thanks for the commiserations and comments on the last post. It's always nice to hear that I'm not the only mom who has been puked upon!

-My 'beginners log cabin' quilt is finished. I washed it last night in preparation for a photoshoot this morning, but since we were at the farm all day I missed the light. I'm going to try for a shoot tomorrow and hopefully will have some pics to post then.

-My pal Hoover has caused me to become obsessed with clean carpets. I spend all day scheming about the best time to clean the carpet in a room (since the carpet can't be walked on for a few hours afterwards). The stairs are my Holy Grail right now.

-Gabriel, who owns the farm we visited today, insisted on taking the Dearest, the boys, and me out to lunch. We ended up going to the local golf course and visiting the 'clubhouse' to enjoy a quick meal. As soon as we sat down was asked for a high chair for Monkey Boy. The waiter said it would be out shortly. Ten minutes later, MB was still crawling all over the Dearest's lap, spilling ice water on him and we were still sans high chair. Ten minutes after that, the food was served and I quipped "What are they doing, making a high chair for us?!". About five minutes later (while the Dearest was struggling to eat his roast beef sandwhich with a 20 month old MB in his lap), the bus boy arrived with a brand new high chair. I had been right: they were putting the high chair together. It must have come straight ouf the box because it was so new it still smelled like plastic! The Dearest and I had a laugh over the visual of the poor sod who had to put it together in the back while we waited impatiently. I guess the country club doesn't get many children!

-Monkey Boy does a pretty damn good imitation of a rooster.

-Homemade iced coffee is my drink of choice lately. YUM

-I got an email asking about Chelle's baby blanket and realized that I hadn't posted a FO report. So here it is-
FO Report: Chelle's Baby Blanket, v.2
Yarn: Shine Sport from Knitpicks in multiple colors
Comments: The blanet started out as squares knitted by several different people. Then Joyce and I got together to seam it, which turned out to be a total bear. We just couldn't get the seaming to look good no matter what we tried. In the end, we ripped all the squares and started over. Joyce took the yarn home and made up her own pattern...basically 10rows of garter in cream Shine, then each square was knitted up and placed on stitch holders. She did the squares in columns, adding 4 rows of garter stitch in more cream Shine between each square. Each column was separated by a row of three garter stitches in cream. She finished half the blanket and gave it to me. I did the other half.

We're both really happy with the way the blanket turned out. My only regret is that it took me so damn long to get it done!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

irony just isn't the same when you're a mom

I'm embarrased to admit that we've lived in this house for nearly eight years and I've never had the carpets cleaned. Yes, I know it's gross...but we live in a two storey that's completely tiled downstairs (kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc.). The only carpet we have is on the stairs and upstairs. Also, we don't wear shoes in the house at all- shoes are taken off immediately upon entering the house so it's not like we wear them upstairs.

Up until Little Man came along, our carpets were in pretty good condition. But once he started eating and drinking in our upstairs family room/loft (where the TV is), the carpets reached yuck status pretty quickly. I kept asking around for carpet cleaning company referrals but no one could give me a good experience with a company. Either they were super expensive (one friend said she paid nearly $500 to have her less than 1200sqft house cleaned), or they weren't reliable, or (insert bad experience here) .

Finally I decided that enough was enough and I went out and bought a Hoover deep cleaner. As soon as I got home, I put Monkey Boy down for his nap and Little Man went into his room for quiet time while I put the cleaner together. An hour or so later, MB woke up- I noticed he felt a little feverish and was really clingy. I figured he must have picked up a virus, but clingy baby or no, I was going to clean me some carpets!

MB hung out quietly in the Ergo backpack as I set to cleaning the hall carpet. An hour later, the carpet was beautiful, fluffy and sweet smelling. As I stood there, surveying the expanse of freshly cleaned carpet with one hand on my new pal Hoover and feeling like a domestic goddess, I felt a strange warmth trickling down my back.


Suddenly I heard retching and an Exorcist-style stream of YUCK came shooting over my left shoulder. Straight onto my fresh, CLEAN CARPET.

Cue desperate, crazy removal of backpack and still-puking baby. Holding Monkey Boy at arm's length, I took him straight into the bathroom where I stripped him naked and put him right into the tub. Then I proceeded to strip to my underwear and give MB a cursory clean up. I threw his clothes and mine into the washing machine and turned it on. Then I ran back out into the hall and attempted to mop up the lovely chocolate colored grossness that was sprayed all over the carpet.

Little Man supervised by standing in the hall holding his nose and telling me over and over that MB "spit up".

The Dearest called while I was watching MB in the tub and simultaneously steam cleaning the carpet again. I begged him to bring home dinner, and since he's a smart man, he did so without asking why I sounded so harried.

The cleaner paid for itself though....I did manage to get all the stains out of the carpet. MB was fine after throwing up (in fact he chowed down on black beans and rice for dinner). And I learned once again that being a mom will teach one the finer points of irony.

Friday, August 04, 2006

O. My. Gawds.

knitted baby blanket
It's Chelle's baby blanket that (blogless) Joyce and I started -oh SIX months ago! It's not Joyce's fault that it has taken this long. The first blanket we knitted together was ripped and turned into this one. Joyce did the bottom half and then gave it to me at least four or five months ago. It's been sitting in my knitting basket forever because I kept forgetting to work on it. Part of my forgetfulness has been caused by my dislike of seaming, since the blanket required seaming up each section of white between the squares. Ugh.

But I FINALLY got it done and it's going to Chelle asap- before her baby outgrows it. LOL I am so glad to have this project done done done DONE.

I've also been working steadily on the Little Lacey Top in AllHemp3. Here's a WIP shot:
Little Lacey Top wip The lacework at the bottom is finally completed and I'm on to the stockinette at the top. Hopefully this will got a lot faster!

cool dude

mmmmmm black beans

From lunch with the Dearest at The Blue Coyote in Laguna....Monkey Boy being "cool" and enjoying his black beans.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I've been bitten by the quilt bug. Witness:
Little Man's new
This is a "Cars" quilt I made especially for Little Man (and being modeled by Monkey Boy). Grandma O took LM and his cousins to see the movie a while back and LM is totally into anything "Cars". Recently, we found some Lightening McQueen fabric that I used to make into a pillowcase. There was a little over a yard left of the fabric and LM said he wanted a blanket. So what did I think of? A quilt of course!

I had the black fabric in my stash, but had to buy the yellow hazard stripe and the checkered fabric. LM and I laid out the strips, playing with them till LM liked the way everything looked. Yesterday we went to Joann's and LM picked out the fleece backing. I didn't want a really heavy quilt so instead of using batting inside, I just sewed the front directly onto the fleece backing. At the time I wasn't sure it would work (cuz what do I know about quilting?!?), but it turned out fine. Here are some more closeups:

My somewhat wonky contrast quilting on the black stripe:
quilting closeup
The fleece backing:
the fleece backing

It turns out that I made what's called a "summer quilt"- the backing and front are quilted together sans batting to produce a lightweight blanket. For only my second try at quilting, I'm pretty pleased. The strips were a lot quicker to sew together than the piecing type of blocks and I like the way they look. There are some really crooked seams up close, but LM doesn't seem to care and I'm not about to worry about it.

After my Log Cabin class at the local quilt shop, I wasn't so sure that I wanted to keep quilting. There was too much Perfectionism involved, IMO. All those little tiny peices of fabric...and the Math. Not to mention the "musts" (as in, "you must use 100% cotton thread or DIE", "you must have three different colors of fabric or DIE", etc. etc.). But after winging it on this strip quilt, I can definately say that I've been hooked by quilting. All that gorgeous fabric is just as much fun to browse as yarn. Plus the FOs are done a lot faster (3 days for this little quilt). So I'll probably end up doing some more blankets- just don't expect me to start wearing pink sweatshirts appliqued with patchwork florals. *shudder*

And lest you think that I've abandoned the knitting completely, here's a glimpse of my Prairie Tunic:
prairie tunic

Now I'm off to hit Costco with the boyz and stock up on mega rolls of TP!