31 December 2007


oh dear, it's been awhile. i must have jinxed myself with that computer free stuff...i sure did go for it. i think i needed some down time. or, as elin put it, a lot of time doing nothing. but i was doing something...knitting, thinking, reorganizing lots of stuff...

big sigh.

so here i am on new year's eve...and i've been thinking this post in my head while scrubbing the floors, vacuuming up pine needles, and dusting the cobwebs...so here
i'll go...

2007 was a hard year for me. maybe the roughest i remember. and i am happy to see it go. normally, i have excitement for a new year...new possibilities, new dreams, new energy. i don't have that for 2008 yet...and don't know if or when it will come. i've been talking about this with some folks...having hope, but fearing it at the same time. i believe that i've been carried through this year, day by day, moment by moment. i believe that God has provided for me in the strangest ways manna for every day. strength in times where i felt the weakest, rest when i was weary, peace amidst confusion, balm for my hurts. and i believe this manna will continue to come day by day. i have hope for this new year, just not the faith in that hope yet...you know? anyway...

one way i feel that God has taken good care of me this year, is through this silly old blog. it has kept me connected to friends i may have never been in touch with again (and ann-krestene, i am SO thankful!) it has given me inspiration, courage, a resource and source to show off my creativity, and just a place to go and feel connected. some of you provided stability to me in ways you will never know. thank you all for this...

i do look forward to this next year for these reasons...seeing these two lovelies grow and bring joy to everyone they meet...
(eli "playing" twinkle, twinkle little star on our tree's violin....)

(stella wanted this shot...decorating the tree in her christmas outfit...)

i also look forward to meeting you all here, reading about your days, your thoughts, your creativity...

i wish you all love and joy and peace in this new year. and lots of manna.

11 December 2007

i need this

so i'm doing it. committing to it (for now).
i need balance. or something.
so, i'll post tomorrow and probably thursday too...
but friday? nope.
not even checking in.
i'll come back on the weekend maybe (prolly),
but friday? nope.

10 December 2007

weekend update...part one

the crafty side...

here's what's been happening around here:

knight dress-up capes for nephews, sons and daughters...

the valiant

(this one i made up on the fly...)

the princess (and back view...sorry, bad photo)

more eye pillows...for???

(adapted from the rice heat therapy pillows tutorial found on sew, mama, sew's blog.

tissue holders...to be added into the wellness packs

(also from a tutorial found via sew, mama, sew)

the christmas skirt

(yep, tutorial (although i changed it a bit) found you-know-where!)

meanwhile...the kiddies stayed in jammies for WAY too long!

but they were happy!

had to get these photos up...just to show y'all. more on the weekend tomorrow (hopefully)...it was very nice!!!

08 December 2007

priya's plaastique bagues

i was just updated with an acquaintance's latest endeavor that NEEDS to be shared!

(drawing by 'bittersweet genevieve' and copied from priya's myspace id photo)

priya is fashioning some very cute clutches and boy bags out of recycled plastic bags...thus the name, plaastique bague!

a custom design that i love ::

a mama and me style :: matchy matchy!

the boy bag :: i find myself saying constantly how eli needs a boy bag...maybe this is the one???

it is so great to see another fashionable option to recycle those plastic bags. remember july's project of the month? lura tipped us off onto the melted plastic bag craze (i don't think any of us dared, so here's a non-toxic option!!!)

i am so excited for priya and for her great bags. i wish you tons of success, priya!!!

now...go buy some handmade recycled bags!!


07 December 2007

gifting music

it's not necessarily handmade and not necessarily not (whoa...too many negatives), but music is SOO much fun!

we have always been a family who plays with music...here's proof (ripped from Sally's Music Circle's website): me very pregnant with eli and stella playing with sticks...i think its to the tune of "oats and beans")

and i've been reminded of just how much kids love (and in my opinion, need) music in their lives recently by stella. she received a cd player for her birthday in october and we have been blessed to her choice of tunes daily ever since. this has had it's ups and downs. one can only listen to the cars soundtrack so many times. or the american girl theme song (too much when eli is singing in eli talk "hey hey hey...it's great to be an american girl"). so she started venturing into our cd rack. how funny when i find her listening to low, pedro the lion, sufjan stevens, edith piaf, but more times than not, the beatles. she has her taste. and it happens to look a lot like her daddy's.

there is so much good kid music out there...for some hip, fun and wacky songs, check out wxpn's "kids corner". they even have podcasts!

but when i am trying to encourage more playfulness and a little less "cool," i ask stella to put on some of our music circle cds.

for the first couple years after chris and i got married (and pre-kiddos!) i worked for a great, small company called Sally's Music Circle. i loved doing these preschool music classes. they are so much fun and the kids really do benefit so much from singing and playing with music with their mama's and daddy's! (speaking from the "violin teacher" mouth now: seriously...kids that participate in this type of program and sing and play at home with music come ready to learn their instrument at an earlier age with more competence...ok enough jibber jabber) i took stella to the classes until she was literally too old to go! (classes typically end at age 5, but we'll see about that!) and we STILL play with our instruments and sing the songs. i have watched eli slowly sing along...in tune! and do the little chants...with GOOD rhythm! stella absolutely loves them and i couldn't be happier.

these cd's are great even if you don't live in the philadelphia area (or baltimore at peabody prep). the cd's alone are magical. sweet songs, chants and lullabies that kids truly love to sing. so you can hop on over to cdbaby or itunes and grab one or more for yourself! you can buy the hard copy cd and they'll mail it to you or just buy the download! i've pictured two of our favorites (because it would be obnoxious to show all the photos!)

listen and enjoy!!

*****totally unrelated and absolutely hilarious...go here!**********

****edited to correct the link to Sally's Music Circle CDs on CD Baby...go NOW!*****

03 December 2007

handcrafted holidays meme

more answers...


* Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?
~ I love to give cozy, comfort gifts. cuddly friends, soft blankets, slippers, teas, candles, anything that might make the recipients day a little more peaceful and restful. creative gifts for kids, something to inspire, motivate and encourage independent learning. (i am sometimes the nerdy aunt!) and finally, books are the next best thing!

* If you’re making gifts this year, what are you making?
~ well you've seen some of them, and as they are completed, you'll see the rest: spinny skirts, cozy friends, beading kits, and more planned...!

* Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you’ve given or received?
~ My first knitting project ever (when i taught myself to knit!) was to make outdoor mittens for my dad. i was totally winging it and the first mitten came out HUGE. like bigger than a tea cozy kind of huge. it ended up hanging on my mom's front door with greens in it! a big mistake put to good use...

* Name one thing on your personal wish list.
~ ooo, just one? a ball winder for my yarn. i hate that job!


* What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
~ as silly as it is, we hang a pickle ornament on our tree and the first person to find it, opens the first present! we have one here, but we normally let stella find it! we still play this game at my parents on christmas day!

What do you love most about the holiday season?
~ the warmth. the feelings, the foods, the coziness of it all. (i like cozy things!)

* What do you like least about the holiday season?
~ the materialism. the shopping. the panic. the stress. the absence of peace.

* What is your favorite holiday food?
~ hot chocolate and cookies. shared with stella before bed. we've been making "real" hot cocoa (so less sugar!) and adding mini-marshmallows (extra sugar!)

* Do you have a great recipe to share?
~ i have to think on this one and will post it soon. i LOVE to cook, so choosing one is very difficult. i think i'll pick a cookie. maybe that'll be for tomorrow!

02 December 2007

crafty update and free pattern! (a LONG post)

what a day! we spent the day in parkesburg, pa, helping my folks remove carpet from their living room in preparation for some hardwood flooring. i say "we"...chris and my brother-in-law, chris (yep, right). my sister, lura, and i set up my grandmother's christmas tree. it was a really nice day. and then i checked out my favorite blogs. i have this routine now. goes a little like this: angry chicken, soulemama, wee wonderfuls, whipup, sewmamasew's handcrafted holidays, bandwidow, under the weather, my girl hazel...

so i begin that routine and come across this(page down a bit)! i was shocked to see my little name mentioned here! so excited to have so many new visitors today, yet horrified at the thought, "well, melis, you better get some photos and you BETTER finish those projects!!!" come to think of it...that's a good thing~~~accountability! so, thank you, sew mama sew, for mentioning my blog! and welcome visitors from so many places!!! hope you enjoy your time here!

AND... i finally have some photos to show off from my holiday gift-making, and one from my stella~~~

i've been dying to share this with you all. stella had asked for some clay a while ago and got it after being very brave getting the flu shot! anyway, she had very clear plans as to the first project with said clay...that being: baby jesus in a manger with mary and joseph. here it is:

stella's nativity made of clay and painted with tempera paints. yes, joseph is missing an arm (to be glued in the morning).

okie doke. how about those therapy bags i've been bragging about! tell me what you think... i wish we had scratch-n-sniff computers for this one, because they DO smell SO SO SO good...

small cold therapy bag for the freezer, filled with peppermint scented barley:

eye pillow, filled with eucalyptus scented flaxseed:

large heat therapy bag, filled with lavendar scented rice:

my wellness packs! all have removable, washable covers made of 100% cottons and linens (like the japanese prints? thanks superbuzzy!)

detail of my favorite print set!!!

and i decided to share a favorite knitting pattern of mine with all of you! it's my favorite scarf that i knitted two years ago and wear it ALL the time. the minute it is a bit chilly out...there it is. and it is loved by many...requested by my mom for christmas, infact! so as i knit hers (out of louisa harding yarn's "grace" - silk and merino! ooooh! aaah!), my friend, loren, will be knitting one out of blue sky alpaca's sport weight for a friend. feel free to knit along! and send photos of the finished product!! you WILL love this scarf!

here it is, modeled by me...headless!

My Favorite Scarf

How to Make It:
i have no idea what yarn i used for this particular one shown, but i recommend using any yarn suitable for size 10 or 11 needles. something a bit chunky, or use sport weight and hold two strands together (that's what i'll be doing with the silk/wool, and what loren will do with the alpaca). You'll need one ball of a chunky yarn and two of sport weight.

CO 25 sts
Work in K1P1 rib (row 1: *K1 P1*repeat from * to end; row 2: *P1 K1*repeat from * to end) for 3.5"
End WS.

Make "holes" to tie scarf:
Next row (RS): K1 P1 K1, BO next 7 sts, finish row in pattern
Next row (WS): P1 K1 (7 times) K1, CO 7 sts, finish row in pattern
Continue in rib pattern for another 4 rows. finish WS)
Next row (RS): K1 P1 rib for 15 sts. BO next 7 sts, finish row in pattern.
Next row (WS): P1 K1 P1, CO 7 sts, finish row in pattern.

hole detail, keep in mind they have been worn for two years!:

Continue in rib pattern until piece measures 15" from beginning.
End WS.
Place 11 sts on holder. BO next 3 sts.
Working with last 11 sts, contine in rib pattern until this "tail" measures 12" from split. BO in pattern, weave in ends.
Pick up 11 sts on holder and work in pattern until this tail measures about 16" (or you run out of yarn...whichever!)
BO in pattern, weave in ends.

to tie it on, i hold it with the short tail on top. wrap it around your neck, put the short tail in the top hole, and the long tail in the bottom. i leave it just like that, but you can tie it in a knot, bow, whatever!

how to tie it on:

i have imagined this scarf for kids detailed to look like a monster with crooked eyes (the holes) a silly grin and two long legs...but have yet to make it that way.

anyway...hope you enjoy the pattern. it's my first one ever shared publicly...so please give me feedback! thanks so very much! stay tuned for more holiday giftmaking!


01 December 2007

first day of advent

in looking for a "grown up," more inspirational advent calendar...i did a search for online advent calendars. found this and love it.

they have a daily meditation, daily scripture verses (they call it the daily office), a carol of the day (...which is BEAUTIFUL!), podcasts and great charitable gift-giving ideas.

i was particularly moved by the meditation of the day today...here's a snippet:

"In the beginning God created everything. Created by God, we are called to be stewards of all that we have and receive from God. The mystery of the incarnation, Christmas, and Christ’s coming invites us to enter fully into God’s ongoing acts of creation and to participate joyfully in the reign of God...The first step in Advent is to remember that we are created by God and loved by God." (click here for the full meditation)

the carol today was angels from the realms of glory...i had to listen to it 4 times. really peaceful to listen to and nice to reflect upon. some lyrics for ya...

(original lyrics by james montgomery, with the refrain of: Come and worship, Come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King! instead of Gloria! In excelcis deo)

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Gloria! In excelcis deo!

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light;
Gloria! In excelcis deo!

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations,
Ye have seen His natal star;
Gloria! In excelcis deo!

Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear:
Gloria! In excelcis deo!

i love the angels winging o'er all the earth and the call to sages to leave their contemplations...brighter visions beam afar!!!

anyway...hope you enjoy it too.

on craftier news...i finished up the "wellness" packs. i love them so very much. they were really fun to make. and they do look lovely!!! so hopefully i'll borrow that camera tomorrow and get some photos. i was going to answer more of the meme here, but think i'll leave that for tomorrow...too contemplative, er, um, i mean inspired right now.

peace on earth.


30 November 2007

back in the game

so to speak...

today was pretty productive and good for the most part! 3 cheers!!!

we got up and went with our friends loren and milja to get some yarn at my new favorite local place(some koigu kersti hand painted camo-colored merino for some boy leg warmers!) and then we were home to prepare the "wellness" packs. also called heat/cold therapy bags. whatever...they are awesome. and beautiful, if i can say so myself! i am going to borrow a camera tomorrow to take some photos for y'all. thank you to sewmamasew's kristin for the great tutorial and ideas!

so...got 3 big lavendar scented rice bags done. i did the main bag out of cream colored cotton flannel. the covers are strip pieced out of cotton and linen with some great japanese prints thrown in! yeah! i love them! i also did 3 peppermint scented barley "boo boo" bags for the freezer (same process with sewing) and 3 eucalyptus scented flaxseed bags for eyes/sinuses! i'm now a little too into this and want to make more!!!

but i need to take a moment to make a couple of these great hooded towels for stella. the poor girl still loves her baby towels, but she is just too darn big! so i'm off to tjmaxx to grab some great towels to alter.

so...i'm gonna get some sleep now and hope for another productive day tomorrow. hoping to have those twirly skirts done! i need a check list...

29 November 2007

couldn't you have guessed?

You Are a Fruitcake!

You taste like nothing else in this world.
And get ready, you're about to get tossed!


wellness, yes. that's what we're wanting right now. it seems like the moment a stressful situation is over, i get overwhelmed with sickness. when we got home from eli's endoscopy, i was SO tired. (but understandably so...) so i napped. woke up feeling achy and tired. hmmmm. stella has had this sinusitis thing for 3 weeks. on nasal spray, antibiotics, etc etc etc. coughing all night long, yada yada. so...i wake up tuesday morning SO stuffy, headachy, tired...the works. eli gets diarrhea.

we rest. i knit more. we watch tv. (merry christmas, charlie brown) i'm pumping the vitamin c, echinacea, tea, water...take alkaseltzer cold. that stuff is gross.

wednesday. still not feelin' it. call out of work. more resting. more tving. (shrek the halls...the grinch)

today. a little better. ran errands, decided to cancel stella's violin lesson. just not 100%...restful night. now i'm thinking, more alkaseltzer? not sure. it's on it's way out. hoping for a cough free night with some REAL rest. (an hour into it and so far so good)

tomorrow? making the wellness bags featured on sewmamasew's handmade holiday's blog. got all the supplies lined up and ready to go. first one i'm making? the eye pillow with flaxseed filling and eucalyptus oil for the sinuses. and it's gonna be mine.

26 November 2007

we're home

the endoscopy is done.



eli did great, and everything looks fine. dr. tung took biopsies to make sure of everything, but the pics look "normal". while we have copies of the photos: esophagus, stomach, intestines, i think i'll spare the weak tummied.

thanks for your prayers and thoughts. results in 2 weeks.

now, to take a nap.

25 November 2007

gift making

er, um...yeah. exactly...well, a gift for me, that is! how stinkin' selfish is this...i spent the whole weekend working on this!

(knit in blue sky alpaca's sport weight in a nice, deep green (almost brown)mmmmm, cushy!)

well, i'm blaming it on the need to relax, sit still, and not stress. the testing for eli begins monday morning, 7am. he's not to eat or drink anything after midnight, which will stink, taking that he still nurses and typically right around 4am. i've been fighting the tears and the worry (for i know it adds nothing to your life!), but man is it hard! so...cute sweater in tow, i will set off to the surgical center at 6:30am with chris and eli. stella will stay with grammy and boppa for the night. can't wait for monday to be over!!!

so back to that holiday gift making (the real kind...you know, for others!)

23 November 2007

handmade friday...


as you know, i have taken a pledge to give the gift of handmade this christmas. now, i do have a couple little exceptions, like books, and a couple good quality toys for the kiddos. (stella LOVES her american girl doll...and well, i love that she loves that!) but anyway, in response to my pledge, i am furthermore VOWING to NOT shop today, black friday. instead...i will spend my day creating some of those said gifts (and possibly ordering books online!) i wanted to participate in sewmamasew's handcrafter's holiday blog meme...so here goes. some of what i'm up to:

For starters:

Gifts I'm Giving...

i am so excited for stella on christmas morning! i already have a couple skirts in the works from The Merry Church Mouse's charm pack skirt tutorial, and the house on hill roads twirly skirt tutorial, these barrettes from angry chicken (which we've made before, but i am going to MASTER this time!)
(i will take photos next week when they are all done! check back!)

i think lots of kids on my list will be getting the crayon roll-ups from skip to my lou's tutorial...how great are they? perfect for taking along (no crushed boxes!) i am thinking of adding my own coloring pages to that (my own drawings made into a simple book...maybe).
i also plan on making some "cozy friends" pillows. simple creatures sewn out of soft cotton fabrics...either prints or maybe plain for them to draw on themselves???? hmmm...

some grown-ups will get some stocking stuffers of tissue holder's and key chains.
there are also plans and supplies purchased for a very nice scarf, lovely placemats, and more!

that's it for a start. check back for more info for the blog meme...i'll be posting more photos, projects, some details about traditions our family celebrates and more.

for now...hoping you enjoy a restful friday and somehow avoid the madness!

21 November 2007

happy thanksgiving

hoping you all enjoy a day of rest, good food, loving friends and family, and gratitude...

the menu:
martha's maple glazed turkey with riesling gravy
basic cornbread stuffing casserole
cranberry stuffing (inside the bird)
basic smashed potatoes (the way stella likes them!)
candied sweet potatoes (yes, with the mini marshmallows!)
roasted asparagus
my mom's sauteed mushrooms (a holiday meal is not complete without them!)
cranberry sauce (you know, the real kind)
cranberry jelly (you can't deny the canned stuff...mmmmmmm!)
crescent rolls
sparkling grape juice (by request of stella!)

REAL pumpkin pie. yep...a real pumpkin, really roasted, pureed, spiced and baked into the PERFECT pie crust. can't wait to bite into it! (loren and i adapted from this recipe)
i think chris' mom will bring another dessert, plus ice cream for the kiddies (and the spice wafers!)

enjoy your day!

17 November 2007

pay it forward

have you been seeing this out there in blogland??? i have, and it got me. you know how things do that...you see it, you think, wow...nice...then you can't stop thinking about it and it sounds nice and fun...so you sign up.

well here is your chance to join the many...

here is what happens:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

easy enough...
now sign up...

16 November 2007

pray for eli

tummy boy
Originally uploaded by picking.up.purls.
well...another trip to the pediatrician results in more failure to thrive. this time, eli fell off the growth chart for weight all together. we saw his GI doctor yesterday who prescribed a battery of tests: urine ph, pancreatic elastase, IgA level, and Celiac Panel, along with an upper endoscopy to be done on the 26th. i've called the nutritionist again, but can't see her until december 17th (!) but asked her to call me...as i need this to get moving a.s.a.p.

he weighs 20 lbs. 15 oz.
he's 18 months old.
he is 31 inches long.
he is developmentally at a 2+ year old level....what the heck???

he doesn't eat much at all.....
he's so sweet and smart.

please pray for him (and us).


14 November 2007

a whole new kind of christmas...

here are some sites that i am finding informational, inspiring, and downright scary...

a list of ALL the toy recalls...YIKES!

an inspiring blog post by my favorite, soulemama, on why to go wooden.

another favorite and inspiring post on not made in china by angry chicken.

so...check 'em out...and let me know what you think!!!

11 November 2007

get ready!

photos are here (finally)...i'll post some here but be sure to check my flickr page for tons more!

but first!!! i received my fall swap package in the mail this weekend! it is so nice to get fun mail! alison sent me a hand quilted scarf! (she said she never quilted!!!) it's pieced on one side with great cotton prints and the back is this lovely velvet/fleece piecework. so cozy! and lovely!!! i also received 2 appliqued tea towels with fall leaves and a GREAT pincushion. i LOVE this pincushion so much!
how much joy can a pincushion bring??? lots i tell you, lots. THANK YOU, ALISON!!! and thanks to chara for hosting this swap. i really enjoyed it. i'll post photos of my goodies when i get THOSE developed. i'm slow on that part, really.

onto the photos! first:

stella's party...

the flower fairies we made...

what we do at "school"...some of the time!



and some recent crafting for lilly's 8th birthday gift. i made her an embroidery kit. check it out...
the gift bag (why it is sideways...i can't figure...) i embroidered a little mousey tea party on it from wee wonderfuls stitchette's.

a peeky inside...the nicely lined bag (wink wink) and another wee wonderfuls transfer for lilly to embroider herself!

the goods...the bag, the transfer on linen in a hoop, floss, needles, and handwritten instructions (not shown)...

well...hop on over to flickr now to see the rest. eli did not get proper attention here, but i can't figure out the flipping of the photos. nor how to upload straight from flickr...so whatevs.

thanks for hanging in there folks. you keep me going! i'm gonna try to keep on looking up...needing some inspiration, hope, change...
big sigh...

07 November 2007

so embarrassed...

i just noticed that i haven't posted for 24 days. not good. yeah, i've been "busy" or "stressed" or just plain uninspired (and still waiting for those photos...pickin' em up tomorrow). but here are some things that have been spinning in my head:

i finished my fall swap package and mailed off to canada on friday. i am so excited to share whhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifat was in it but can't until alison receives it! everything was so fun to make and put together. i'll post photos when (1) she receives it and (2) when they are developed.

halloween...oh it was fine. i worked so missed out on trick or treating. stella was a spooky cat (black cat costume made by elin for lilly a couple years ago...SCORE!), eli was a mouse (by elin for ida!!! hooray!!! no work for me!) even thought october's project of the month was to make a costume, i will count the 7 fairy skirts, pairs of wings and face painting i did at stella's birthday party...think that's ok???

i took the pledge, did you??? (see the button???) i am really gonna try. i hate mass produced junk...but i know some people prefer it to be "returnable" or ...well, just mass produced. oh well...we'll see what i do with them.

for handmade gift ideas you should check out:
sew mama sew
creature comfort's holiday gift guide
indie collective's gift guide
and, of course, etsy
there's gotta be something for everyone in those lists!

i am thinking of hosting a swap for december...kinda like a big pollyanna...for project of the month. you'd send me email, name, address, i'd match you up w/ someone, you'd send a handmade gift of some sort. any takers? i'll decide if it's for reals later on.

for november, i want to collect thanksgiving recipes....i was thinking of posting them all together for a reference of sorts. so if you have a favorite, please send it my way!!!

alright...check out the poll i have and answer honestly...

i hope to post photos tomorrow...for now, check out chris' flickr page...he's hooked!

i'm gonna hit the hay...eli has a fever and who knows what the night will hold!!! (if it's like stella's from saturday...it'll last 8 hours, end up with yuck in the trashcan, if you know what i mean, and then fine and dandy...we'll see.)

alrighty...thanks for hanging in there...this was a rambler!

14 October 2007

birthday weekend...

ooooohhhhhh am i tired! we've had a wonderfully exhausting weekend full of celebrating stella's fifth year! i will be so happy to share photos (i'm back to film) after they are developed! hopefully tomorrow...for now...i'm hitting the sack...

thank you to everyone that helped me and contributed to making stella feel so special...especially loren and rich...they gave their time, house, friendship...i love you guys!!!! and my sisters who supplied cake, snacks, nail polish, face painting...oh the joy!!! and my mama, who made caramel apples, marshmallow fairy-mushroom-snacks!

it was so great...but i'm seriously falling asleep right here...so off to bed and photos will be up soon!

07 October 2007

ETA: 6:47pm ACTUAL: changing every minute

so this is a desperate wife waiting anxiously for her hubby to come home. i think i've had it with the touring for now. it's been a busy year for it and i don't handle the temporary single-mom-ness well. anyway, i'm just jotting down my current neurosis because it is so funny....i wanted to see how chris' flight was doing...you know, on time, etc. so i googled JFK airport arrivals...at some point i ended up here where i've been SERIOUSLY watching his plane do circles over the ocean! stella and i are cracking up at the little red line behind the plane make little tiny OOOs...anyway...can't wait for him to be home!!! and according to flightstats...that'll be soon!!!

edited 7:16pm...landed on runway at 7:13. now...for the drive here from new york...

05 October 2007

a week away to 5

i can't believe my little girl will be 5 next week. i think it is a universal feeling that the fifth year is significant. some bridging over from toddlerhood into little-kid-ness. this year, stella has decided exactly how and what she wants her celebration to entail...we will be having the obligatory family ice cream and cake on friday night, the day after her "real" birthday, and the all girl outdoor fairy beauty shop party on sunday. what a combo. we've been gathering ideas and supplies for the girls tranformation...she wants them all to get fairy skirts (we'll be making those), flower face paint (aunt lura has to do it), painted nails (by aunt andrea), and fancy hair (any volunteers!!??) we are having a pink tulle fairy house all decorated with gathered pine cones, acorns, leaves and other findings from stella's outdoor gathering times. this is all her. and i love it.

something very fitting popped up last night over here...i bought mine promptly and hope it arrives in time for me to stitch it up for her! acorn fairy's must be in the air! stella collected acorn tops for hats for the clothespin doll fairies she wants to make. we'll use some wool for hair, glue on the acorn hat, draw a little face, dress her up with fabric scraps, make some feather wings...and voila! this will be the "craft" for the party.

did i mention she also wants to make her own lip gloss...??? we'll see about that!

oh dear...she is getting big!

anyway...we're off to pick up the car from the shop, grab some things at trader joe's and maybe get some more supplies at joann's. i'm hoping for a very productive weekend while chris is away in iceland! sigh...

also...did you notice i moved project of the month over here??? i'm hoping you'll still be inspired and email your photos to me to post in the sets...i jst can't manage 2 blogs right now! alrighty...have a great weekend! see you back here on monday!

01 October 2007

change is on the way

well...i'm in need of a new outlook...so keep your eyes peeled for a new blog look. changes in content, intent, and purpose! i'll be reexamining project of the month...it may be a goner, and just a feature here (you'll still get to craft-a-long!)...just really trying to get some new inspiration and focus...

thanks to everyone for the well-wishing, light-sending and prayer-requesting. it's helping in a big way.

i'm hoping the changes will be done and in effect by the end of the week...
stay tuned!

25 September 2007

weekly update

so that blog malaise is lingering...

truth is, my mind has been overly occupied with not so creative, more contemplative thoughts that don't lend themselves to blogging, ya know?

so...i thought i'd let you in on the mundane in my life:
1. we did switch totally to gdiapers and i love it. feel good about flushing it away and not piling it up in the landfill...sigh of relief!
2. we got some klean kanteens and a sigg for chris (inspired by rachel and others out there in blogland) i plan on making some kanteen kozies to spruce up the look (stella wishes for a sigg now because they are so cute!)
3. just finished watching season one of curb your enthusiasm. pretty funny. not stellar though.
4. also just watched grizzly man. bizarre and disturbing.
5. happy to find routine these days. i need it to keep my mind from spinning.
6. i'll be posting some photos soon of the apron and tea for 2 set i made for the women's auction at my family's church...happy to say it brought in some good cash thanks to a devoted fan!
7. has anyone ever done sitemeter or the like? you can see who visits your site when and from where and how they found you. interesting at first, freaky after you think about it for too long...but interesting nonetheless.

and here's an idea...maybe y'all should leave a comment saying hi so i can "meet" the people visiting my little blog...that would be fun, wouldn't it??? and i don't think i'm being sarcastic...really...

okie doke. hopefully fall will arrive here soon with crisp cool air and refresh my brain and spirits...needing some rejuvenation these days...so send some light my way, think happy thoughts, pray for some inspiration...

so dramatic, aren't i!!???

thanks for keeping me going girls...i'm still loving the updates on your blogs!!! makes me happy!

11 September 2007


well...we've been home from seattle for almost 2 weeks...and while the clothes are all put away (except for chris...whose clothes are now repacked and somewhere in amsterdam), i feel as though we are still mentally unpacking the trip. we loved our time there so stinkin' much...with offers of places to stay if we wanted to move....it gets tempting...but truthfully, i'm not ready for that yet. could yall just move back east????yeah, seattle is a nice city, but its YOU i like, every part of you (mr. rogers...)

ok...and i have been suffering from general blog malaise...i think in part due to no camera!!! annoying!!! i should just do film. no digital. we'll see.

anywhoozle (loren, it's contagious), we're truckin' along...and i hope to back in blog form soon...sorry for being a bit boring...but i'm in good company

alrighty folks...have a good week...maybe i'll getup the gusto to type some more...

20 August 2007

the diaper dilemma

boy have i been stressing over this for way too long!

i have (since stella was born) wished i could use cloth diapers...and had i taken the plunge then, i'd probably be ok with it. the only trouble is, we live in an apartment with little space for a stinky diaper pail and have to pay to do laundry...so cloth is not cheapest in our scenario.

but it obviously is not just about being cheap.

i cannot handle how many diapers i am sending to the landfill to sit in heaps for the next 500 years. i have used huggies on both kids...until now.

i've been trying out and wanting to use gDiapers. they are flushable, compostable and biodegradable...and about double the cost of disposables of any brand. (seriously...i did the math: huggies $0.22/dipe, seventh generation $0.26/dipe, gdiapers $0.38/liner...plus you have to buy the outer pants one time for about $50 for 4 of them (includes some liners))

so i think i might have to settle on seventh generation they are not biodegradable, but they are a bit more environmentally sound and the price is good....

dangit gDiapers...why are you SOOOOO expensive...????

i just have to be ok with it...but i'm having a hard time...my conscience is torn...frugality vs. "green"...
i gotta reach a compromise here...right???

18 August 2007

gee whiz

i think august should have been officially take-a-blog-break month (hmm hmm rachel) i just haven't found the time lately!! and i want to be writing and photo-ing (but the camera situation...)

anyway...here is a quick update...

today my friend loren is getting married to her sweet man, rich. we are so excited for them, as their baby girl, milja, is eli's best friend...they are just so great!!!! i'm baking a wedding pie and stella made wedding brownies!

then its a week of getting ready for our trip to seattle!! look out, friends, here we come! so...i may try to squeeze in a note before then, but it may not be until after josh and erica's wedding that i blog again...

so hope you have a great end to your summer...i'm ready for september...aaaaahhhhh....cool weather....

04 August 2007

down time...

chris just took stella to see ratatouille (for her, again)...just to get some daddy-daughter time in. it's too hot to do anything else. so what am i doing, you ask? well, dressing eli up in knee socks (his request) and trying to finish a lap quilt for stella from amy karol's bend-the-rules sewing book (that i've gone nuts over). it's done except for the binding...hopefully tonight! i have no idea when i will have a photo as our camera is on the fritz!! i'll have to borrow a friends again!(thanks loren or lura!)

anywhooooo.....later we'll head to the farm to grab more veggies. my box from the market on thursday is already dwindling!!! the kids (and chris & me) go nuts over the organic heirloom tomatoes, corn, eggplant, yellow watermelon, peppers, squash, etc....its unbelievably delicious! it makes me happy to feed my family, i tell ya! can you see that i'm excited here??!!!!!!!!! (too much punctuation!!!)

alrighty....just wanted to check in...more depth next time! back to the quilt!

02 August 2007

doh! very fun...

silly, i know, but stella just created this avatar of me...do it yourself here...i'm liking the bluish hair...waddyathink???

the tales of emma sofina

this is stella's imaginary sister...emma sofina. love the name, don't you? well lately emma has been into some trouble.
a little over a week ago stella sat down next to me and said, "mama, emma has been very bad."
i asked why? what has she done?
stella says, " last night, when her mama was asleep, she opened the door, went down the elevator and drove herself to the Bratz doll store." (stella's face is one of shock and horror, with a motherly disappointment)
i say, "oh wow, that's pretty dangerous (thinking motherly thoughts of...hmm is stella thinking of sneaking out? uh, no) what else?"
stella says, "then she bought herself a bratz doll, came home and put it right on the toy box! do you believe it!"
i sat there smiling, thinking...uh oh...she wants one of those horrifically (is that a word?) ugly and demoralizing dolls.
so i say, "stell, do you want a bratz doll"
she says in a whisper, while throwing her head back onto the pillow with eyes closed, "oh mama, i LOVE them"
holding in my giggles, i ask what it is about bratz dolls that she loves.
her answer: a dead on look into the eyes and a slight shake of the hair, " they are SO fashionable!"
my face sinking into shock and horror.

the next half hour or so was spent figuring out an alternatively fashionable yet mother-approved substitute. we settled on a groovy girl. but she had to earn it.

so time has passed and every day stella has made sure her room is spotless and beautiful. she has practiced her violin without argument. she has been helpful. not much of this is different from her normal life...except maybe the room part. so we head to the local target.

rushing down to the toy department, we spy the groovy girl section. we both stand in front of them with shoulders a little droopy and a smirk of, well, ok? they weren't so great...they weren't doing the trick. so stella says, "mama, maybe we can look around a little." i agree.

around the aisle is this little section of dolls called "only hearts club girls". a little homely looking. long barbie-style hair, but soft bodies and flat chests. i say, what the hey. she picks a bride with an accompanying everyday outfit named "olivia hope". stella is thrilled and loves her...so far i have not heard the word Bratz come from her lips.

and emma sofina?...well she is back to stunning behavior. in fact, she recently was playing with olivia along with stella.

don't you love a happy ending??

25 July 2007

hooray mamma made!

wow...exciting little review for mamma made designs at coolmompicks.com!
check it out! you have to scroll down a bit to see it, but then there is the adorable spider dress from rachel! seems like there's a bit of a contest there too (not sure if it is over)...anyway! way to go rachel! - and megan on the coat!

check out mamma made's website for the fall line. you'll see some great stuff (my sweaters, hmmhmm...)and adorable kids. (updated photos coming soon!)

ok...enough tooting of the horn!

19 July 2007

swappity swap

love this.
the doll quilt swap was so stinkin' much fun. i'm planning a swap for project of the month...stay tuned.

so...i sent chris off to the post office to mail our usairways coupon for our flights to seattle (we're booked!!), along with my doll quilt to be airmailed (hint hint). you see, the recipient does not know who made her a quilt...just as i had no idea who was sending mine...well, i get home from work to find my little package!!! i was giddy with delight. mine came from virginia, from the lovely maggi
here it is:

the front

hand stitching detail...amazing!

the label!!

the lovely back...this fabric kills me!

so thanks to Lisa who organized the swap and my Swap Mama, along with the others who did so much work (there were 100 of us!!) PLEASE do it again...i had such a great time.

and did i say this was my first quilt EVER! scary and fun.

big sigh.

so i wanted to show off my other crafy goodies made while chris was on tour...all from bend the rules sewing by amy karol
but instead of all that uploading...please just click on over to my flickr page and take a gander. this book is heavenly. easy fun projects that are addictive to make!

so...i'm off to the farmer's market w/ my market bag...will post that photo soon!!
have a great day!!

18 July 2007

big post on the way

i've been busy busy busy with finishing the quilt for doll quilt swap II among other things so have been neglecting the blog...but IT IS FINISHED!! and i'm happy with it...sending it off today...here it is:

sorry they are crooked...i'll fix it later and will show you all the other fun stuff i've been doing from bend the rules sewing (book by amy karol)!! FUN!