Monday, December 28, 2009

Sometimes you just gotta have it

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

The husband and I got a day out a few weekends back and we ended up doing the thrift stores. I know, exciting lives.

This is my new favorite thing. It is a lamp for a child’s room.

Aren’t they great? They are painted wood. The center part can be wound up and then they spin and play music.

I am revamping the guest room. Right now it is where the kids play stuff is. The plan is to turn it back into a fully dedicated guest room and do it in red and white. I have an old red and white quilt from my mom’s family, and this lamp will work perfectly.

This makes me so happy!

Happy Spring…Achoo!

Monday, March 26th, 2007
I truely have not meant to ignore this lonely blog the past few days. We’ve been in Williamsburg heping the parental units get their house ready for sale. They are moving up here near us. (Yay!)

The husband has now tiled their kitchen and master bath, hung new lights, plumed things…all sorts of general handyman things.
Moi? What have I been doing? My KoolAid sweater is almost done…I lost one ball of the purple yarn has disappeared, so I am having to improvise a bit.
I have also done some shopping for fabric for the girl’s spring wardrobe. I need to get cracking on this too, they have outgrown most of the rest of their clothes.

We now resume our regularly scheduled program

Monday, March 19th, 2007
Today was soooo much calmer. Kids survived school. I survived school. Thanks for all the lovely comments…I will catch up on responding, promise!
And this evening I got an hour to work on:

Sorry for the grainy photo…The camera doesn’t work so well indoors.
I started this while we were in Florida. This is a better shot of all the colors:

It is a bunch of Knit Picks yarn I over-dyed with koolaid. I was almost done, but the sleeves were getting tedious. I figure I have a few weeks left where I can use a lightweight sweater, so I might as well crank it out. It now has half a sleeve and a neck.
In the vien of sprint cleaning I am trying to finish a few things.

Weekend Wrap up

Sunday, March 18th, 2007
(Warning: This is a long post mostly concerned with near-miss disasters. If you are looking for crafting content please check back later. This mom is lucky to be awake, and should not be touching anything sharp or pointy.)
This weekend was one of those where you can’t quite wait for Monday to get here.
It all started Friday afternoon…40 degrees, pouring rain…you get the idea. Big-sis tripped as we left my school and landed on her bottom in a puddle of water.
Actually, calling the moat that surrounds the back of the building a puddle is a bit of an understatement. She has more chance of leaping the River Nile.
So there she is, submerged up to her waist in 40 degree water…pants soaked, shoes filled with water. Total disaster.
Let this serve as a word to the wise: your car cannot be well enough stocked in time of emergency or disaster. I had always planned on keeping an extra set of clothes in the van…as of today they are firmly in place, but I digress.
I did have dry socks, and I managed to sop up some of the water in her pants with paper towels. I poured the water out of her shoes (yes, poured). Then I wrapped in in the spare blanket, and called the husband to let him know he needed to pick up Little-sis since I needed to hurry home to get big-sis dry.
At this point it is important to set the stage. I teach in a school isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life. Cows roam across the street. The picture of rustic simplicity.
This means the “highway” we use to drive there is narrow and has no real shoulder. Not entirely safe.
It winds over hills through gorgeous farm land. Gorgeous, unless your power steering goes out because of a puddle. A puddle that cannot be avoided because of an oncoming truck.
I did manage the next few miles to town without crashing and stopped at the local tea house and called the husband (my hero!) A mini van is not easy to steer even with the power steering, and at five foot one and a quarter inches I am quite proud of myself for being able to get to a place I could stop without needing to be towed out.
The folks at the tea shop were wonderful, and gave Big-sis an extra big hot chocolate with lots of extra whipped cream. They didn’t complain when I let her take her wet shoes off.
Never fear, the husband arrived about 30 minutes later with clean clothes and Little-sis. Everyone is dry and safe now, fully restored.
The rest of our weekend was eaten up with getting the van fixed…the serpentine belt fell off, if you ever heard of such a thing. Not broke, fell off.
Today the super-husband (he might need a cape) spent the day tiling my parents kitchen floor. They needed this done super fast since they are moving! They were down in Williamsburg, but will now be about 10 miles from our house, mere blocks away from big-sis’ school.
As Big-sis put it: “Once they move I won’t ever have to wait an hour for dry pants again!”
Amen, sister!

Window Shopping

Sunday, March 18th, 2007
Look at this site, go ahead, I’ll wait…

They have the best shirts! This one is our favorite right now…As the mother of child determined to be the first librarian in space (and no, I’m not kidding), I have to endorse this shirt. Isn’t that the best? I am planning on ordering one ASAP.
She plays library almost all weekend. Makes you sign out the books and sends out overdue notices. For my next paper project I am planning on creating a printable for her to make the little library cards and pockets so she can check things out for real. I might even request the Easter Bunny deliver a rubber stamp that does dates. If I work it out I’ll post it. My child can’t be the only library freak out there.
As a side note Big-sis has announced her backup plan in case the whole librarian thing doesn’t happen. She wants to be a crossing guard and live in an RV. That way she can just drive her house to work.
We are all keeping our fingers crossed about the librarian thing.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Saturday, March 17th, 2007


The how to and stencil are here.

Spring has Sprung

Thursday, March 15th, 2007
This is the witch hazel the girls gave me for Mother’s day 3 years ago. I haven’t been able to see it bloom since we’ve been in Florida the last two springs.

It smells amazing!

Mia’s Blanket Done

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
I just finished this blanket for the girl’s newest cousin this weekend. I started in November, when my sister in law asked for a blanket with holes in it.

Since I slammed my hand in the car door a few weeks back I wasn’t sure if it would ever end. I do not crochet much anymore, so with the bruised hand it felt like it took forever. . but now, done!
I used Valley Cotton from Webs, which is always one of my favorite yarns. Little sis’ ni-night was made in this yarn, and it has survived for four years now.
There was also this:

Needless to say I love the stuff.

Free Sewing patterns…vintage!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
I had to share:
It has a ton of free patterns, including stuff for children.
This one is my current favorite:

It has that sort of 80’s flair that is in right now. I know a lot of folks that are not enthused about the return of the 80’s, but as a high school teacher it is great…much better than the underwear-as-outerwear thing that left everyone’s bellies exposed!

Freezer Paper Stencil How-To

Thursday, March 8th, 2007


  • Freezer Paper
  • Acrylic Paint
  • T-Shirt or other fabric
  • Washable fabric glitter
  • Iron
  • X-actoacto Knife
  • Sponge brush
Note: Be careful with the iron and the freezer paper. You should never touch the iron to the shiny side of the paper, it will stick and can ruin your iron!

  1. Transfer the design onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. To save time you can print a design directly onto the paper by cutting it to fit in your printer.
  2. Cut out the design using aactoacto knife.
  3. Set the iron to the highest setting.
  4. Put a piece of freezer paper and iron it onto the back side of the fabric you are stenciling. Make sure the shiny side is touching the back side of the fabric as you iron.

  5. Position the stencil pieces shiny side down on the fabric. Remember that any place where the freezer paper is placed will show the fabric.
  6. Hold the iron on the freezer-paper stencil. Check every few seconds until the paper is sticking to the fabric.
  7. Use the sponge brush to apply a light coat of the acrylic paint. Make sure no fabric is showing through.

  8. Optional: Sprinkle glitter over the wet paint.

  9. Wait a few minutes until the paint dries, then carefully remove the stencil.

  1. You can reuse the stencil. Just use a regular piece of paper over the stencil before you iron so the paint doesn’t stick to the iron.

Freezer Paper Stencil:


Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
For the past few days I have been bogged down with doing taxes. I won’t bore you with details, but between the husband’s business, the move back from Florida and all I have at least 5 sets to file.
Long, deep sigh.
So to help lift the spirits I am trying to focus on appreciation today.
First a call from the husband…”You want some dirt?”

Bad photo of the dirt and the 71 Volvo.
He was working on an article out in Powhatan, a good 45 minutes away, and had come across a guy selling dirt, well, for dirt cheap (sorry, couldn’t resist). So he called, I said yes, and in the middle of the day he brought home dirt.
That’s the kind of guy my husband is. He’ll take a time out of an overcrowded day to bring home a huge truckful of dirt for our vegetable garden.

Nerd Day

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
I am and always will be a nerd. Majored in math. I enjoy doing taxes. I teach computer science. It’s not my fault, I was born this way.

So I thought I’d share my two favorite new websites:
  • -this site lets you create “sticky” notes. It can create categories, contacts and to do lists. Fun! Plus I can access my to do list at any computer. I am so into categorizing the endless stream of things I gotta do.

This is my stickkit to remember my next cool site:
  • The Pocket Mod - This site lets you create a small fold-able book to fit in your pocket. It has fun templates, like graph paper and SuDokus. You print it out, two folds, one snip, viola! Handy tiny organizer.

The girls love the storyboard pages…they draw a picture then write a story.

New Project

Monday, February 26th, 2007
I haven’t really worked on anything for me lately, which is fine. I have had a ton of fun knitting and sewing projects to work on. However, in a few weeks I need to start on the spring/summer sewing for the girls, so now is my last chance for a while.

I have all this great Peruvian Collection Highland Wool yarn from Elann, this is from a contest I won last year. I thought it was going to become Rogue from Girl from Auntie. But as I look at the color I don’t think the color is quite right. I think I want a light blue Rogue.

So now I am fixated on the idea of a cropped jacket for spring.The swatch is on size 6 needles…if I could only find my size 6 circulars I’ll be all set.

It’s Here!

Saturday, February 24th, 2007
So I ordered these on Thursday…and they are here! Two days!
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am. Sewzanne’s Online Fabrics is amazing. I think this is hand down the fasted internet delivery I have ever had.
Plus, they sell this:

This is a Heather Ross fabric. Is it not amazing??
And my favorite Heather Ross fabric:

Wouldn’t this be amazing as PJ’s? I’m saving my pennies.
Here’s a shot of the Ottobre designs…not enough to violate any copyright, but enough to get an idea:

Look at all those lines!!


Thursday, February 22nd, 2007
Well…I am off sweets for Lent. I try to cut this out every year. Sugar is my one true vice.

So I am trying to find other ways to treat myself. Especially since I am currently mired in the husband’s corporate taxes.

So, what’s my treat? Ottobre Design Magazine
These are from Finland (don’t worry, they publish in English). If you haven’t seen them it is really worth a look. Lots of great ideas. I love that you get so many patterns for only $14.
I ordered them last night from Sewzanne’s Online Fabrics. I just got an e-mail saying they are on the way…can you beat it? One day turn-around!!
Big-sis has announced her new favorite color is blue, so she wants some Capri’s. Little-sis is still obsessed with pink, so we know where that’s going.
Next stop, the fabric store!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy President’s Day

Monday, February 19th, 2007

I have a thing for corny historical plates. The top is Abraham Lincoln during the Lincoln Douglas debates.

This one hangs in the girl’s bathroom which is pink, green and black.

This is the home of Martha Washington, mother of George. It’s hard to see in the photo, but around the edges are scenes of her garden and her drawing room.
I have visions of eventually having a whole set of president plates…the ones with all the presidents heads, like George through Eisenhower, or Nixon. Hilarious!
So happy birthdays Abe and George!

Gray Day…Gray Socks

Sunday, February 18th, 2007
Is anyone else missing the You Knit What? blog? It’s been such a grey few days I need a good laugh.

View from our front door
The husband is sick. The girls have been locked in for days now, so I have been trying to get them to play in the basement so he can sleep.

These are the socks I am working on fro the husband…sort of a late Valentine’s Day gift. He has the world’s widest feet, so they are taking a while.

For the record it is very hard to get semi-interesting/visible pictures of gray socks. This is Wildfoote yarn I got last weekend from The Yarn Lounge.
Nothing else of note, so here are some interesting blog posts from today:

Spring Cleaning

Thursday, February 15th, 2007
OK, I realize I am trying to force spring to happen. Daffodils and now this.
I am used to being very organized. The difference now that I am back to work after staying home with the girls is that I am no longer willing to bring home hours of work each night to finish.
So I decided to list every current project, personal or work:
I eventually ran out of post it notes

I got this idea from skimming “Getting things Done” by David Allen. Apparently he’s a guru of such things. I didn’t even know such things had gurus. What can I say, I broke up two girl fights in the past week, I don’t get out much.
Then I grouped everything into three piles…must do, maybe and manana (later). The idea is you develop a system to track all ongoing projects so that you do not have to actively think about it. You create routines to check your system, and have a less cluttered brain.
My poor brain needs all the dusting it can get. I have to teach recursive algorithms next week…enough said.

I needed to focus on. In the middle of the pictures is the calendar I use to organize house and kid stuff. (click here to see it better). I might eventually try to rework it along the lines oprojects.Anyone
Anyone else have any ideas? I can’t be the only one a bit overwhelmed with the to do list…

Busy Bag

aturday, February 17th, 2007

We have officially entered birthday season. Little sis and I just got back from one today. We have 2 more this coming week.

As always, our budget is pretty well stretched. I also prefer homemade gifts. So this year we are giving Busy Bags.

These are just bags I made from leftover fabric. Then the girls and I pack them with things to keep kids busy…crayons, blank books, stickers, plastic animals, etc. I got a great deal on all this stuff from Michael’s a while back, so we are fully stocked.
These are pink and white stripped on the outside, ad blue gingham inside, left over from Halloween 2005:

The girls in Florida
I decorated this one with silk flowers. I remove them from the stem and sew on with a button.

I might redo this one…I want one for myself!