Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clarification- I've Never Lived in Mexico

While riding in the car on the way home from Sonshine School is begins to divulge what he told the lady who drives the pick up van.

"I told her we use to live in Mexico." He said quite proud of himself.

"ISH! You can't tell people that." I replied

"Why not?"

"Well, for starters, it's not true."

He sat there looking a bit puzzled.  So I tried to explain a little better why this might become complicated in case the whole fiction-reality thing wasn't enough for him.

"What if one of the teachers comes to ask me why we lived in Mexico or what about this or that about Mexico. I wouldn't know what to say because we have never. live. in. Mexico."

"Oh don't worry about that." He assured me.  "I listened very well in my World Explorers class when we studied about Mexico. I told her all she'd ever need to know.  There won't be a need to ask you questions about anything."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sock Monkey

In 3rd grade the kids have monthly projects to help them learn about something or another. This month's project was to read a non-fiction book about an animal and make a power point, diorama or 3-D model of the animal.

Geo really wanted to do his project on a tiger, but he was beaten to the punch by another classmate, so he "settled" for the red crowned mangabey monkey (aka the red capped mangabey).

Geo was going to do a power point for his presentation complete with "all those fun things that spin and turn" and I think LK (a power point truest who believes they are actually better sans flying graphics and about 75% of the words most people fit on one slide) almost had to disown him.

Thankfully peace (and inheritance) was managed to remain intact with the suggestion of making a 3-D SOCK MONKEY!!!!

But since this was Geo's project- it's wasn't going to be me making this monkey- Geo had to do his fair share.  So he helped measure where to cut (socks provided by LK).

 (Don't worry about Geo huge hand there the left.  It's actually mine)
Then, because I have this fear of sewing machine needles going through fingernails (I'm not sure where I got from but man I have it!) I only let Geo help with the foot of the machine while I ran the fabric through.  He did a great job keeping the pressure even.

He also had to help me stuff the monkey.
(Ish is very excited that the monkey is getting some depth to him)

He helped sew him up once he was stuffed.
He helped me layout the tail.  Red crowned mangabeys have a white tip on the tail so we used part of a white sock turned inside out on the tip to give a "realistic" look.
He helped sew all the arms and legs and ears and the tail on by hand.
And he helped tie on the 457 pieces of red, orange and brown embroidery floss to make the crown.
He did a great job working on his first sewing project!
And I think we got a pretty good likeness to the real thing:
Now if only we can calm down all of his late night monkey business
Sorry ... I really am. ... But you know ... it had to be said :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In Memory of Lisa

Among other things, regular Saturday things, that I spent yesterday doing, I spent yesterday preparing egg salad for the meal of condolences in honor of my friend Lisa.  She wasn't my bestie but she has been in my life for the last 3 years as Geo and her son have attended school together.  We've helped together with class parties and talked as our kids have played together at birthday parties and summer pool gatherings.

Twenty months ago Lisa found melanoma and fought hard to beat it.  But the last time I saw her, on the last day before winter break, she told me all that was left to do now was pray.  She and her husband were researching experimental treatments and trying to see if there were any last ditch efforts she could qualify for (explaining the complications of cell matching and the like that qualified or disqualified her from such treatments).  But in reality, she looked tired.  In reality this once vibrant, ultra-involved mom, sat in a chair in the boys' classroom and said how thankful she was that family was coming in to help do the things she no longer had the energy to do.

Within one month Lisa's kidneys and liver had shut down and she passed away.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I think pale is beautiful, to lie and say I don't like a bit of that "healthy glow" a suntan brings.  Or sit here and tell you that I didn't spend summers as a kid, as a young adult, laying out to get tan.

But I will tell you this- burying someone at 44, seeing a son without a mother, a husband without a wife- it's enough to have me lathering up (and calling my brother the dermatologist at every new fleck on my skin).

It has me hoping that you, or someone younger than you is willing to watch this video and make the change too.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Feather Skirt

Last year I found (and fell in love with) this great feather skirt DIY from PS I Made This.
 But sadly, I could never find any feather trim like this.  So I had a skirt ready to go
but it sat trimless, waiting for its feathers.

Until the fateful day I met these ladies:
And by layering them together I achieved not the full on feather skirt but a pretty fun cousin to it.
Here's how it looked on
FYI-  I tried fabric gluing like the DYI shows and it was a MESS!!!  Better to sew it (now that I can)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


ISH has decided to take a break from karate to try his hand at soccer.

To help get him ready for "clump ball"* LK went and got him a ball and they spent time on Saturday practicing kicking and scoring into an old soccer net the previous owners left with the house.

Today ISH asked if I wanted to come and practice.  My job was to try and kick it into the net because, he explained, he enjoyed being goalie best.

But, every time I kicked it towards him he'd shreeeeeeeek and fall to the ground.

"ISH," I said as kindly and as supportive as I could, "I don't think the job of the goalie to scream and fall to the ground every time the ball comes near him."

"Oh," ISH stated rather of mater-of-factly, "apparently it is."

This coach is going to have his work cut out for him that's for sure.

*for all you non-children homes out there clump ball is the act of small children clumping around a soccer ball and following it around the field instead of playing actual positions. For example

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Last night I finally carved out some time to sit down with my new Bernina. It's not new new, but it was my grandmothers and when she passed away this fall my aunt thought I would have some real fun with it.

But then it sat in my laundry room for over 2 months.

Over Christmas I determined that the only way I would really make time to use it would be to get it out where I would see it. So I claimed a small corner of my office for sewing. (no comments on the fact that I will see something when in my office 20xs more than I will see it in my laundry room.)
I had originally made the table to hide the dog's cage underneath but then found another spot for her that she likes better.  I can store my fabric underneath the skirt and for a seat I'm using the stool from my grandmother's house that my dad remembers climbing on as a child.  It's made for a nice little spot for crafting.

So last night I finally got the time to sit down and see what she could do.
Oh my goodness my aunt was right!  This is going to be fun.  Look at these amazing stitches the machine can do!

I used a different colored thread on the bobbin so I could see how it stitches as well and I think the look turned out pretty fun. Kind of Southwest-like in these colors.
It was too much not to do a project last night.  So I rummaged through my scraps to see what I might have that would be big enough for a project.
And I was able to find enough neutral canvas to pair with some dishtowels I'd bought at Target so I could make this dishtowel apron.

The original blog calls for regular fabric for the ties but I didn't have enough pretty fabric on hand (and it was already too late to go and procure some).  But I did have plain canvas and a fun new machine.  So I made my own embroidery on the canvas.

I did the two colored stitching like with my test fabric- orange in the bobbin and pink on the top.  I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Here's how the whole thing looks.
And I know so you don't have to tell me that the whole apron of the pants look went out in 2004.  I know that. But I have to say, I'm liking the versatility of the look. 

What I mean is, I am a professional and I'm a mom.  I work from home and at any time could be meeting with clients or frankly when I'm at the grocery store or anywhere, everyone I meet is a potential client and so I need to look nice.  However, I'm a full time, from home mom, so power suits and office attire doesn't really work either.  But the apron- this apron over a plain white shirt and pair of jeans and the look becomes something so much more than a white shirt and jeans.  It's like a scarf for my belly. See:

Thanks to LK for taking the picture.  And I either chopped the head off because a) it's a paper doll effect where you can put your head on the picture and see if you like the look for yourself or b) I thought my face looked goofy.  Your choice.

I'm looking forward to many more fun sewing projects!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Making Pretty Magnets

I spent some down time during the Christmas break on Pinterest racking up crafts I want to do. Which got the creative juices going in overdrive.

The problem is - it's busy season at work which means less time to do things (like even the laundry, let alone crafting) and I still haven't figured out this new sewing machine. And the really big problem is that once these juices start going- they have to go somewhere. And if they can't go into DIYs- they start coming out in things like turquoise nail polish (done) or me wanting to dye blue streaks in my hair (don't worry I haven't... yet).

I knew times were getting desperate- as in I was really studying the blue hair dye the last time I was at the store and trying to figure out how it could still look "normal" if a meeting with a birth mother was to come up.

I needed a project. STAT!

Enter- the broaches, magnets, and hot glue

Most of these came from cleaning out my grandma's house but some where broken pieces or ones I don't really want to wear anymore but are too pretty to give up.

First step is to pop the no-longer-needed hardware from the back.

Pretty easy. I did it while waiting in the pick up line for the kids.

With the backs off, bring on the hot glue (done at home.. I haven't attempted hot gluing in the carpool line... yet)

When the glue was dry, they were ready.

And it was time to tackle the fridge. 

LK says that refrigerators are like lawns, you either have nice clean ones, or you have kids.  We clearly have kids.

But in my mind, there is a place where kid stuff and pretty live nicely together.  And I think, with these magnets, I've come one step closer to that place.

Now, the bottom still needs reckoning- I'll have to keep you posted on that.  But, focusing on the top-  I think we're one step closer to pretty.

I think we've staved off the blue streaks- for a while at least.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Genesis 4-15

Genesis 4
V 1 wow. Eve thinks she has created man and just as God did. Lord help me never to look at what I have done and think it is as good as you could do. And as with Eve - help me not to look at a miracle you do and try to take credit for it.

Genesis 5
From Adam to the birth of Shem, Ham, and Japeth

Genesis 6
v 15 the ark is 450' long x 75' w x 45' tall.

That's big!

Genesis 11
From Noah to Abram

Genesis 15
V2-3, 8 I love that Abram, a righteous man, the man God uses to kick start the convenient Christ fulfills, questions God and asks boldly for what he wants.

God still works in his way and his timing but he listens to Abram's request. Help me to remember that you listen to mine as well.