Wednesday, February 28, 2007

it better not be a sign of things to come

-there was no milk in the house this morning. I had a big glass last night, finishing off the gallon of milk, because I knew that there were two cartons of chocolate soymilk for the boys to have in the morning (they *must* have their choco milk in the AM). Then the Dearest drank one of the cartons last this morning I only had one carton of soymilk to split between the boys. Their Majesties were not happy about that.

-while pouring the soymilk, I managed to squirt some out on the counter and all over my hands. Nice.

-we ran into an accident after dropping the Dearest off at the airport. At least the small men got to watch the airplanes take off as we sat there, not moving, for 10 minutes.

-Monkey Boy spilled a whole bottle of water inside my car on the way home. At least it was just water!

-After we got home, I glanced out an upstairs window and saw our dog running down the street, barking ferociously at some poor ladies out walking. I had to run out into the street and chase her down. She led me on quite the merry chase before I finally got a hold of her. I have NO IDEA how she got out- I thought she was in the house!

-I sat down to read some emails and heard Little Man yell, "momma, an emergency!" It turns out the dog had pooped on the carpet upstairs. Double nice. At least Monkey Boy didn't pick it up or step in it.

It just turned 9:00am when I wrote this. PLEASE tell me the day will get better from here on out!

Monday, February 26, 2007

quickly crafted

The Dearest and I had tickets to the Ducks' game on Sunday night. I'm *always* freezing at hockey games, so I had a plan to make a patchwork scarf to help keep my neck warm. Remember this fabric? Saturday night was spent cutting, sewing and quilting while watching "Monster In Law". Here's the result:

patchwork scarf

I made the scarf 60 inches long so I could wrap it around my neck doubled if I wanted. It's five inches wide- just perfect to keep the back of my neck nice & warm.

All of the fabrics are from Amy Butler's line. The backing is yellow chenille...nice and cozy against the skin.

I didn't really follow a pattern for this- the original inspiration was the patchwork scarf in Denise Schmidt's book. But I made mine up as I went along. The only thing I should have done was pay more attention to how the fabrics were lining up at the ends. Not too happy with how they are a bit too matchy matchy.

The scarf worked really well to keep me warm during the game. We were sitting way up in the nosebleed seats, but it was still fun.

Friday, February 23, 2007

do the fondue

Did you know that chocolate fondue is a full immersion experience? Witness:

fondue as a full immersion experience

By the time dinner was over, Monkey Boy looked like he'd been mud wrestling. All his clothes went straight into the washing machine, and he went straight into the bath.

Little Man was a tad more tidy (but check out the choco-stache):

day 52 of 365/photo a day
day 52 of 365

Have I mentioned yet how much I love this new kitchen gadget? Because I do! We've used it three times in the last week and I can't wait to use it again. The kids love it, and it's so easy to set up and use.

The Dearest agrees:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

love thursday


-tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches

-small men crafting:
day 49 of 365/photo a day

-going to Disneyland in the middle of the week

-watching Little Man picking out his reward Lego set after he finished his chore chart (two weeks' worth of stickers were required for the reward!). He was so excited to go to the Lego store and have his pick of the sets there.

-my new fondue pot- so far we've done cheese fondue and shabu on the list is chocolate fondue

-Little Man's skill with chopsticks- he can actually pick up noodles and peas now! Pretty good for a not quite 5yr old.

-Monkey Boy's instant attachment to his new quilt

-the color commentary coming from the backseat, courtesy of Monkey Boy: "biiiig truck!" "bus! bus!" "faster faster" "biiiiig truck!"

what are you loving this week?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

crafty FO

Monkey Boy's train-themed quilt is finished:

quilt top

I ended up using 6 inch squares sewn together with green and yellow borders. Since Monkey Boy really likes to play with the tags on his 'lovey' blanket, I sewed a couple tags into this quilt as well.

These are placed at the top, near his head so he can find them easily. I also sewed one smaller tag into the foot of the quilt just for fun. I also wanted to personalize it, so I got daring and tried some embroidery for the first time:

my first try at embroidery

It's not quite that wonky in real life- I promise! LOL Everything went together really well- the only problem I ran into was mis-measuring the green border fabric. I ended up not cutting enough and not having enough fabric to go all the way around the edges (I was barely 6 inches too short- ughhh). After thinking about how to salvage the border, I came up with adding small patchwork squares so they would be the right length.

day 51 of 365/photo a day
day 51 of 365

I'm sure that the more experienced quilters out there are rolling their eyes at my noob mistake- but I was pretty happy that I was able to solve the short borders pieces without too much gnashing of teeth on my part. And the result turned out quite cute IMO.

Monkey Boy was really excited to get his train 'pinkie' and wanted to use it right away so I guess it is a hit!

it's a hit!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

fat tuesday

Eat those pancakes while you can: Lent is starting tomorrow!

We're a household of lapsed Catholics- both the Dearest and I were raised in the religion, but neither of us are currently part of a church. However, the Catholic guilt is strong and long-lasting and tends to make itself known during the big Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. After 10+ years of Catholic school (back in the day when real nuns ruled the classrooms with iron fists) there's no way I'd forget that Lent is starting soon.

Since today was Fat Tuesday (also known as Shrove Tuesday), I decided we should have the traditional pancakes for dinner. When I told Little Man my plan, he was shocked: "Pancakes? For dinner?"

I used a simple recipe & made the pancakes from scratch...after resting in the fridge for 20 minutes they were ready for the griddle.
round n square

And of course you can't sully from-scratch pancakes with store-bought syrup. So I found a recipe for homemade syrup and gave it a try. It turned out quite yummy- not too sweet and a little thicker than real maple syrup.

day 50 of 365/photo a day
day 50 of 365

Now we're ready to face Lent!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

love thursday


this quote:
"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.
" Pablo Casals

-the feel of freshly washed quilting fabrics out of the dryer; folding them just so and sliding them into place in the stash:

freshly washed stash

-new crafty fun:

new embroidery patterns


-peanut butter n chocolate

-soaking in the bath with one of these

-seeing Little Man in the preschool newsletter

-crafty fingers:


what are you loving this Thursday?

have a happy Valentine's Day!

day 44 of 365/photo a day
day 44 of 365

Red roses from the Dearest for V-Day. Chocos were included, but they are currently being eaten.

A sweet and happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

v-day crafting

day 43 of 365/photo a day

::valentine card crafting::
day 43 of 365

Little Man's preschool class has their V-Day party tomorrow. We made a baker's dozen of these cards/cookie holders for him to hand out (original idea from Norththreads via Kiddley). Little Man stamped the cards & punched out the circles for the tags. I glued the tags & flower punch outs together. He stuffed the CD cases with candy hearts and we slid the cookies in (we had to put the cookies in small plastic bags because they were 'bleeding' grease thru the paper). The backs of the CD slipcases are stamped with his name and more hearts. Luckily we only had to make 13 of these.

And thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. Today was the Dearest's birthday and we went out to our fave sushi restaurant with his parents. Neither of us got a cake for our birthdays this year, so I am probably going to run out and get one tomorrow. Better late cake than no cake, I always say!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

birth day

-Saturday night dinner with the Dearest, followed by a massage at the local chi-chi day spa (heavenly)

-not having to do the dishes AT ALL- for one whole day

-uninterrupted craft time so I could cut and arrange this:

quilt top in progress

-wearing my new Noro Silk Garden Light socks while knitting with good friends at LPK:
new socks for me

-smooches and tickles from Monkey Boy (who is finally feeling much better).

-"birthday gift flowers" picked by Little Man himself:
day 42 of 365/photo a day

All in all, a nice way to spend a birthday!

Friday, February 09, 2007

day 40 of 365

day 40 of 365/photo a day

Our babysitter came to watch the small men today & I was able to spend a couple of hours with the Dearest. He had to run a quick consulting call in Laguna so I took my knitting, ready to hang out in the car & wait.

It turned out that there was a lovely little path into the canyon right next to where we parked, so I went exploring. A few minutes later I found a small weatherbeaten bench to sit on. It was a little chilly, but I was able to start a sock and enjoy the silence of the canyon for a while.

one of these is not like the other


The Dearest on the left, Monkey Boy on the right. there some sort of family resemblance going on?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

love thursday

Oh what a week it's been! Both the small men are sick with some kind of pre-school borne plague. Yesterday we got a notice home from school that pink-eye is running rampant thru the student body (what kids are left after being hit with the current round of illnesses). I've been rubbing my eyes constantly since getting that notice. ugh

Things are looking up, though! Monkey Boy's fever is down under 100F and he's eating and drinking again. Little Man sounds less like an old Ford engine turning over when he coughs. Our household might actually be climbing out of the well of used tissues, 2am wake up calls and requests for sippy cups full of Gatorade.

In that vein, here's what I'm loving this week:

- my new box of goodies from Rebecca in Belgium (sorry for the lackluster pic, this is all I could get with Monkey Boy being so clingy yesterday):

yarn ahoy goodies
This is all from the Yarn Aboard swap. Lots of fun fiber (including some from a special breed of sheep called the Ossuem (sp?)). Rebecca had the roving in the plastic bag dyed especially for me by Hello Yarn. Sweet! There were also some lovely stitch markers (already being used) and a bar of delicious handmilled soap (also already in use), as well as a tube of yummy smelling hand cream. A little pink notebook completed the package. Thanks, Rebecca! And thanks again to Amanda for running the swap.

- the rovings sweet Chelle gave me for my upcoming birthday. Also the fact that Chelle remembered it was my birthday (cuz I had pretty much forgotten! LOL), and brought cupcakes to LPK last night for everyone.

- my new Chocolate Fatale soap from WyldeIvy. It's like showering with a big bar of chocolate....yuuuuum.

- finally getting my sewing desk in order (almost). I might actually be able to put my sewing machine on top today. yay!

- the Dearest, just because.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

the face of misery

day 38 of 365/photo a day
fever+croupy cough= up all night with momma

Monday, February 05, 2007

got your sunglasses handy?

Today passed in a blur; both the small men are sick (low grade fever & croupy cough, but that's it- they're still running around) and I am just tired for no reason whatsoever. Ok, maybe sitting up with Monkey Boy for half the night might have tired me out some, but I really was useless today. The only chore I got done around the house was managing to get the dishes out of the sink & into the dishwasher. Some days you just have to take what you can get.

I should have laid down for a nap this afternoon, but I was sidetracked by the arrival of this:

train-ish fat quarters
An assortment of train-ish fat quarters from Bear Paw Quilting. Aren't they cute? I know they're super busy and I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with all the busy-ness.... But the important thing is that Monkey Boy LOVES them all. He pet them and kept saying "pinkie? pinkie?" (his version of "blankie").

After playing with the fat quarters and the fabrics I bought previously, I came up with two possible combinations for the quilt. The first uses yellow as a binding & the second uses red for the binding:

possibility #2

possibility #1

Right now I'm leaning toward the yellow binding; the spotted fabric will be combined with blocks of the train fabrics for the center of the quilt. Not sure yet if I'm going to do actual pieced blocks or just strips.

And just to complete the overall busy-ness of this quilt, check out the backing fleece I found:

backing fleece

Are your eyes bleeding yet?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

quilt-y potential and a visit with granny

Material Possessions, a local quilt shop, has a Superbowl weekend sale every year. They mark all fabric 20% off, then have a special selection of fabrics that are $3 & $4 a yard. This sale is usually controlled chaos- lots of ladies wearing appliqued sweatshirts jostling each other to browse the special selection fabrics. It all starts when the shop opens at 10am on Saturday and I heard that the line to get in the door was at least half a block long this year.

Luckily I didn't show up till I was able to walk in and the whole selection/cutting/paying process was actually fairly painless. I was looking for some fabric for a train quilt I want to make for Monkey Boy. I found all of these in the $4/yd pile:

for monkey boy's quilt

They might not all be used, but at $4/yd, I figured I could always make something else out of them if they didn't end up in the quilt.

Then I spotted some gorgeous 30's reproduction fabrics also at $4/yd. I wandered around some more and look at what I came up with:
a quilt for me? a scarf? dunno yet

The top four fabrics were $4/yd and the bottom one was 20% off $7/yd. I am seriously thinking of making a quilt out of these because I love the red and blue so much.

These will hopefully turn into a lovely chenille & patchwork scarf (similar to the one in Denise Schmidt's quilt book):

the start of a scarf

And somehow I couldn't pass up this sweet color combination:

day 35 of 365/photo a day
day 35 of 365

After shouldering my way out of the store (it was like being a salmon fighting its way upstream!), I met with the Dearest and my Mom for lunch with the small men. My Mom loves hanging out with them, and she spoils them rotten (isn't that what grannies are for?). Just a couple of images of the afternoon:

granny "p" and monkey boy
the trio
(more photos here if you're interested)

All in all, a great way to spend a lovely Saturday!

Friday, February 02, 2007

a crafter's still life

When I took photography in college (back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, gas was under $2/gal., and cameras actually used FILM), we often had assignments where we had to shoot still life images.

Back then my still lifes were usually of fruit, or kitschy little displays of plates & cups from my dad's kitchen. What I liked about still life images is that they often told a story- it was interesting to see what objects other students would pick, and see how the same objects could be perceived in completely different ways.

Here's my recent 'crafter's still life':

day 34 of 365/photo a day
day 33 of 365

fabric: Flea Market Fancy fat quarters (been sitting on these for nearly six months and still haven't been inspired...but I'm beginning to feel like sewing again so maybe they'll turn into something very soon)

black vintage button: from my mother in law's button collection, which was recently gifted to me

yarn: my own handspun; 100% Blue Face Leicester, two ply

minibook: memories from Little Man's first trip to the punkin patch (he was 18mos in that photo). the book is 4inx4in, and bound with ribbon

wooden tray: from a Melissa & Doug wooden farmhouse set that I got for Little Man when he was a wee one

I look at this image and it tells a story- one of a sometimes harried momma to two wonderous boys. A momma who aspires to crafty goodness and sometimes actually makes it!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

the right time of year to visit D-Land

It has been raining for the past couple of days and it looked like rain again this morning. So what did we do? We played hooky from school and work and went to Disneyland, because we locals know that crappy weather = the shortest lines & best times.

Today could not have been more perfect. First, the monorail (or "Spencer train" as Monkey Boy calls it) was finally operating again. So the small men were quite happy and so were the Dearest and I since that means we don't have to walk all the way thru Downtown Disney, or put up with the lines at the entrance. Woot!

The park was so empty that we basically walked onto every ride. The most we waited was about 10 minutes. Plus the employees/cast members were really easy going today. There was a lot of "Oh, you don't have get to get off when we're done. Go ahead and go again." The musical bands were out in force, too. I think we counted three bands in one circuit of Main Street!

Little Man was very interested in going on all the boat-ish rides: the ferry to Tom Sawyer's island was a hit. We spent quite some time on TSI, running over the bridges and into the caves. (LM wanted to know if the caves were haunted. When I assured him that they weren't, he was finally willing to go in.) Then Monkey Boy and LM saw the big Mark Twain steampship and wanted to go on that.

Because they weren't at all busy, we were able to go up to the wheelhouse! The small men were super excited to be '' the way up high". I think Monkey Boy's day was made when he was allowed to pull the whistle. Check out the short video clip:

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We hit a couple of more rides after that and then headed on home as it was getting late. We're already hoping for more gray and gloomy weather soon so we can go back in the next week or two.

And for this week's love thursday, may I present the photo edition:

a day at D-Land

What are you loving this week?