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December 2008
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February 2009

January 2009

Hello from Florida!

I lost track of time this week...


...and ended up in Florida on a mini vacation at my folks' house just outside of Tampa.  Whoops, that came fast. 

Mom, the twelve year-old and I went antiquing in Tarpon Springs today.   Antique stores are always a good eye opener for me, considering I am used to spending less than $8 on a full outing at local thrift stores.  I wish I could remember all the cool stuff I saw.  More than once I thought of a friend or two at home who would flip over something so perfectly retro. There was a fantastic mid-century booth in one of the shops that blew my mind.  It had one of those stereo systems that looked like it was from the future with it's white plastic egg-shaped body and curvy stand.  We picked up a bright orange vinyl wallet complete with notepad and pen for my middle-schooler.  It reminded me of those little plastic envelope 'purses' that came with Barbies back in the day.

That particular district is very Greek, so we ate well.  Everything smelled so good and the people were friendly and warm. The 12yo decided she liked baklava very much, indeed. 

Miss America Party pics and review will have to wait until ourreturn. I'm still waiting on some photos from the others (ahem); it wouldn't be right to just post pics of the others when I know you'd love to see my preggo belly in an evening gown. 

It sounds like my friends in KC will have decent weather this weekend, so here's so sunshine and skipping outdoors sans parkas for us all.  What a treat.

bits and pieces

The Miss America Party was a whole lot of fun.  I'm still sorting through photos, though, so it may be another day before I can share them in all their glory.  Let me tease you by saying that my sister showed up in something a la "27 Dresses", only without the shepherd's hook.  For reals. 


My sister and I went thrifting on Saturday.  She was able to take advantage of my luck, and we found her Perfect Party Dress ($3.50, on sale), three cooling racks she had said she needed (.50 ea), and few chunky sweaters that will do her some good in this delightful winter weather.  In fact, I think she was getting ice today in her neck of the woods.  Stay warm, sis.


I also happened to have a bit of luck as I had recently been telling hubs that I wanted a cast iron skillet, but had priced them and really wasn't sure which one to invest in.  Maybe it was just the ones I was looking at, but gol-ly.  Those things can be expensive.

Good thing I turned around on Saturday and saw the one waiting for me for 5 bucks.  Check.  That's a good day.   


These photos are of a baby sized quilt I made for Carrie's biannual donation to her local children's hospital in memory of her little Mae.  Both sides are from new-in-package vintage sheets.  The colors are cheery, and I hope it brings a smile to a little one. 

Fidget was so interested in this blanket. I used the yellow sheet in the nap blanket that she had used every day for a year, so she liked that hers was 'the same' as the one we were sending to the sick children in the hospital.  It was so sweet to see her think about mommy's project and want a connection, too.

the horsey top (Butterick 5119, again)

In the end, it turned out just fine.  This is the third time I've made this particular top for Fidget and it is, by far, her favorite.  I suppose all you have to do is choose the right fabric.  Horses, evidently, rank pretty high.


This photo was taken after 3 consecutive wearings, a purple marker gone wild, and a tossing on the floor.  But I know you'll excuse its crumpled, pathetic appearance because you're nice.   (And what about that chunky little bald babe in that photo? *sigh*)

Here's the wee one herself, after I asked her to pose for a picture.  I couldn't help but share.  She thought she was pretty dandy.

I asked her to pose, and..

She liked the little last-minute hairband, too. 

Modifications on B5119, size 3:

- lengthed the "top" A view from the hemline 1 inch
- shortened the sleeve length about 1 inch
- made an elastic casing closure on the sleeve, rather than the ruffle.

This is a great first-timer kind of project.  You don't even need much fabric.  Have fun.  And let me know if you try it, too.  :)

The waiting chain

Let me start by saying that this is not a new idea, by any stretch of the imagination.  However, it has saved my sanity more than once.  And, shoot, there's a smidgen of a chance that someone, somewhere, could use this as well.


It's our waiting chain.

See, Fidget is really impatient for things.  She is terribly interested in our plans for the day, the week, tomorrow, whatever.  Where we're going, when, what holiday is coming, and so on.  This interest is great except that she has no real concept of the passage of time.   So Next Week means, well, the same as tomorrow.    And the questions never end. 

Not that I mind answering questions like that every day.  It's just that she isn't getting it, the idea of track-able time.  My answers mean nothing to her. 

Somewhere along the line I remembered a teacher-friend of mine who had made a huge paper chain throughout her kitchen so their family could track the days until they left for a family trip to Hawaii.  Every day they took off one more link and got one day closer to their trip.  I thought it was brilliant.

So, when we told the girls that we had planned a rather last-minute trip to Florida to see my folks, Fidget immediately asked, When I get up from my nap, we'll get in the car and go to the airport and get on the plane to see Nana and Papa?

No, sweets.

I had her help me make the chain and we hung it up front and center in the kitchen.  Removing a link each day is an exciting ritual for her.  She never forgets.  (Although she still gets confused when she wakes up from a nap; it seems like another link should come down then, too, I guess.)

the only way I can keep fidget at bay

The best thing is that she has a visual reference for our plans.  She knows just by looking at this chain that she made that it's not Today yet.  She also knows that on day 5 she has another outing planned, so she can see that coming up, too. I love watching those little Aha moments.

(Oh, and the little horsey top turned out perfect.  She wore it two days in a row, but the lighting has been awful for photos...)

One more thing.  If you have a chance, stop by Grace's new collaborative project, Near:Far.  It's beautiful.


getting back on the horse

back into it.

It's been several months since I made something that wasn't a gift or a block for Twelve Square, and I'm missing it.  Part of the reason was that I was soooo very tired that any spare time I did have was spent napping. 

We also swapped the playroom and my sewing room, so things were topsy turvy for a while, too.  The new playroom is getting there, but I sure do miss the old one.  It was in the basement and we just weren't down there enough for her to enjoy it.  Now she has all of her things on the main floor, which makes dinnertime easier.  At nearly 3 (in just a few weeks), she's starting to enjoy some solo pretend play and is delving into her pretend world of babies and picnics and doctor visits.  It's so heartwarming to hear her take care of her Baby 'Carson' doll.  Man, she loves that baby. 

Anyway, my sewing room feels different now, and I'm still getting into the groove down there.  My folks got me a drop-leaf cutting table for Christmas and it is a life and back saver; I can't believe I've waiting this long to really use it.  Thanks, mom and dad.  It is working out just great.

So this morning, instead of sneaking in a little nap before my California office comes online, I got out good old pattern Butterick See & Sew 5119 and started a little shirt for Fidget using some Heather Ross horsie fabric that has been waiting patiently in my stash.   You've seen this pattern before, here and here.  I figured I ought to start slow with a quick and easy project.   I love this top.  It's got 3 pieces, comes together so quickly, and wears well.  I am making it a bit longer again with fairly short sleeves that she can wear a long sleeved tee underneath... I hope it's as cute as I imagine it will be.

Funny, it occurred to me this morning that the two horses in this print look very much like the ones we pass every morning on the way to school.  I wonder if she'll notice.  Of course she will.  She notices everything.

Have a happy weekend, friends. xo

December Block for Twelve Square

Kristena at Thimbly Things had December's Twelve Square block, and I was so happy to see her request for scrappy log cabin style.  By the looks of it, we all got very different scraps of fabric, so this quilt is going to be really quite cool when it's done.  I think that is awesome.  She'll have bits from all sorts of old projects when she puts it together. 

For Kristena (december)

Hopefully, this late submission will work with the rest.  I cut my scraps pretty small, but I liked the randomness of it all.  I didn't worry too much about straight cuts or perfect angles either. 

for Kristena (dec block)

You can see the other blocks sent in for Kristena over here at flickr.

We've already got January's assignment from Leslie, too, and it is a free for all with bright juicy colors.  That should be fun as well. 

It's that time again.

That time.  Miss America Party time


For those of you who missed out on my M.A. post last year, here's the deal:  We're not serious about it at all (except for maybe my friend Michelle, a former Miss Southern Union and Miss Alabama contestant); it's just another excuse to get together and act silly.  Only with a theme.   Every year, my girlfriends and I get dressed up in thrift store gowns and wear too much makeup and high heels and sashes and feather boas and watch the pageant.  We drink out of champagne flutes and eat like queens off of the nice china.  Some of us wear crowns.  It's very regal, in a tacky way.  And not the last bit uppity. 


Remember last year's yellow chiffon number?  I was a vision.

Well, I can't wear it this year due to the expanding waistline and all.  (Which is a shame, because I earned the name Yellow Belle last year and really like it.)  However, I found this little number at a favorite thrifting spot on Friday:

it's almost that time again 

It's got an empire waist, which is perfect.  The champagne dupioni silk is very pretty, actually.  I'm a little nervous that this particular dress will be a little too, well, nice.  Which is very funny, since I got it for $4.50.  I might have to add some tacky jewels to the front or something.  Not sure exactly.

This year's pageant is Saturday, January 24.   It's not too late to set up your own party.  Really.  I highly recommend it.  You can always wear that bridesmaid's dress that the bride said 'you could always wear again.'

So random, I can't come up with a title.

leftover temptation 

I can't seem to put these away.  The candy canes are the only thing left from Christmas around here; major cleaning is still in process. 

Today the sofa slipcover is in the wash, which is a necessity when you can see shoeprints on its kick pleats and bookclub is here next Monday.  I have to say, having an off-white slipcover shows me exactly how dirty things can get.  It makes me look at my other furniture and think, hmmmm...  It doesn't help that we have a golden retriever who likes to snooze with her back to the couch in the same spot every day.  A lot of that dirt is from her.  But I'm pretty sure the pen marks and smudges on the cushions are not.  Anyway, I don't mind washing it.  I really like knowing it's clean. 

Speaking of bookclub, has anyone else read "The Double Bind" by Chris Bohjalian?  I really enjoyed it, but it is the kind of book that you can easily ruin for someone just by talking about it.  Just imagine The Great Gatsby + photography + mental illness.  I'm sure that cleared it up for you.  Ha.  The end did catch me by surprise, so I can't wait to discuss this with my fellow bookclubbers.  Now I just have to figure out what to serve for dinner and we'll be ready.

16 weeks

One more note.  I promise I am not going to turn this into a pregnancy blog.  But I did go to the doctor today and we have a strong heartbeat, which is such a relief.  Also, since I am considered 'high risk' due to my 'advanced age' (ahem), I automatically qualify for a Level II ultrasound for my next appointment in February.  There will be lots of detailed measuring to confirm healthy growth and normal development.  I'm hoping not to be so paranoid after that session.  

Oh, another thing.   We really don't want to find out the gender, so hopefully they can keep that under wraps, too. Fingers crossed.  I found out with the other two, and since this is my last chance at experiencing this miracle, I want to look at my husband and have him tell me in his own words whether we'll need the blue or pink going home outfit.  I can't even imagine how awesome that would be :)

Have a happy weekend!

Made in 2008

Thank you, each and every one of you for the sweet congratulations on our newest little Big Project.  2008 was a strange year for me -- not the least of which was a month-long emotional drama resulting in a miscarriage last summer -- so the baby news is something that I am, shall we say, cautiously excited about.  We are 16 weeks along now, and every week I feel more confident.  Last weekend I actually pulled on some maternity jeans, so I suppose it is real now.

Anyway, you just have no idea how much your sweet words meant to me.  Really.  So thanks.

Made in 2008

2008 was also the year I tried to crochet.  And slip-covered my little settee.  And did a lot of satin stitching.  And clothes-making.  Even for myself, which was something I had never done. I picked up watercolors for the first time since college and also made silly sashes for our annual Miss America Party.  Sarah set up a flickr pool called 'What I made in 2008" and this was just the little push I needed to look back and review.  

It really was a productive year.  October, November and December seemed so light on the Making, mostly due to feeling, well, tired and queasy. I was surprised how much I got done before then, though.  (And I actually forgot to shoot a couple of things.  A couple birthday number shirts and other embroidered gifties that got wrapped and given away before I could document them.  Oops)

So, here's to 2009.  I have a quilt to finish.  Some more quilt blocks for Twelve Square.  Some more sewing for the girls.  And a nursery to arrange.  That sounds like enough to keep me busy for a while.

What are your big plans for 2009?