Monday, August 31, 2009

Preschool, First Day

Wow, Jack has been home with me for a long time this summer. His last few days of Mother's Day Out were before Memorial Day, so it's been 3 1/2 months. We usually send him to MDO at least one day a week during the summer, but our program shut it's doors this spring, so it's been just he and I, come hell or high water. (And there has certainly been a little of both this year.)

I felt a bit under the gun when it was time to choose a preschool last spring (it was all happening right when all of my inlaws were visiting), so I just went with the school that his little MDO friends were going to.

About two weeks ago my inner voice starting saying I should find a different program.

My inner voice and I have a complicated relationship, which mostly involves her yelling the right answers at me and me promptly ignoring them.

I am trying to be committed to not making those mistakes anymore, so after a disastrous open house at the first program, Jack and I set off to find a different school last week.

I found two choices that my inner voice was happy with, a fancy chi-chi type place and a Montessori school. Jack definitely thought the Montessori program was "funner" (and I tend to think there was more room for him to grow "academically" there), but Miss Inner Voice told me he would quickly get bored with the "work" and not be as pushed to make little friends there.

So, off he went today to the fancier chi-chi school.

There were tears. (And some were nearly from me!) But I've already called to check on him and the teacher reports that he "is experimenting with cars and incline planes". (How very Sid the Science Kid, no? LOL)

I really hope this works out.

For both of us.

Friday, August 28, 2009


We are still in a holding pattern with the new house, hung up in some red tape that seems to be taking forever.

In the meantime we are dreaming about what kinds of renovations we want to make and how we want to decorate.

Where do you find your favorite internet house inspirations? Links please!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh yea!

It all started with this quilt .

Then I found this tablecloth .

And the next thing I knew I was totally ga-ga for lavender.

I started trolling ebay for all things "vintage lavender" or "vintage lilac".
I won this WONDERFUL fabric there. (Destined to be either curtains or a duvet cover for the new house.)
Two days ago I found myself trolling ebay and I noticed some vintage chenilles in my lovely lavender.

And this morning I drug Jack to the thrift store (is preschool EVER going to start again???), and lookie what I found!
A vintage lavender chenille. For two bucks. Score.

Now to decide what to make with it...
Even better, when we got home look what was in the mail box.

Holy smokes, I love Halloween. This totally made my day.

As Jack likes to exclaim, "OH YEA!"

Now if you'll excuse me there is a magazine waiting with my name all over it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paper cutting, I'm obsessed

First let me say these are not great photos. I love blogging, but the photo taking part is not my favorite part. LOL I simply don't have time to wait for the right light, blah blah blah.

I made Dave a paper cut squirrel Valentine this year, and I knew I loved paper cutting right then. It's hard to find good templates though, so I didn't spend much time doing it.

A week or so ago I rediscovered a blog with templates, Scherenschnitte , and I have been cutting non-stop ever since. (All of the paper cuts here are from her free templates).
The colors on this photo are just plain bad, but I love the pink cowboy and his cowgirl on the green flowers.
The bicyclist reminds me of Dorothy and Toto.
This was a pre-cut piece of paper I bought at Archivers last year, I just cut it into a heart shape.
A mama hen and her chicks.
And my absolute, to die for favorite, toadstools! I mounted this one on a fancy piece of round paper.

I think part of what I like about this craft is the combining of the patterns on the papers. But I am seriously struggling with finding good papers. I need more solids and papers with tiny, tiny patterns. I've tried both Archivers and Michaels with no real success. Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wascally Wabbit

Back in early June Jack was driving me a bit batty one afternoon looking for something to do. He really wanted to plant something, so I dug out a packet of carrot seeds I had gotten in the mail from some charity and sent him outside to "plant" them.

He scratched around a bit in our flower bed, declared them planted and I never thought about them again.

Until I was weeding a few weeks ago and noticed something that looked suspiciously like carrot greens in the flower beds.
He yanked one out just before we left for Chicago and what do you know! He actually planted and grew carrots.

I am trying to get him to leave the rest in the ground a little bit longer.

The trip to Chicago was a bit, well, insane. It was ridiculously hot there, the a/c in the hotel did not work like we are accustomed to, the beaches were very crowded and Jack was getting sick and running on very, very little sleep.

I have very few pictures of anything because we were all a bit crabby, LOL.
This house is somewhere on the Indiana shoreline and the shutters are to die for cute! (click to enlarge it)).
We visited Fair Oaks Dairy Farm, which was quite an adventure. (And I have a lot of mixed feelings about it oddly enough, but that's neither here nor there.)
And I managed to buy something at my favorite flea market.

Although usually I totally fill up my shopping cart at that flea and this year? Wow, I had a hard time finding ANYTHING to buy.

I guess the dry spell is back.

And with that, I have a sick kid to tend to (not strep, but he has painful lesions on his tonsils), a mountain of laundry to get washed (Jack would like me to know he has his very.last.pair.of.pajamas.ever on right now), and I am going away with just the girls for a girls weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks!

Wooooohooooo. :-)

See you next week with my latest crafting obsession.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's a scrappy world

The last of the recently acquired quilts, this was the other one on the basement floor at an estate sale several weeks back.
Not a spectacular pattern or anything, but being a lover of all old fabrics, I love investigating all the bits and pieces she used to make this scrappy wonder.
The yellow with the fruit is pretty wonderful.

Thank you for all of your thoughts on the last post. A lot of you mentioned walking, and I had already decided that morning before I posted to start doing that with Jack every morning.

And of course I have been makin' projiks like crazy. :-)

Anyway, I am feeling a bit better already. I think my girlfriend was right and it just takes awhile for the stress hormones to actually evacuate once things start to calm down.

I am trying to focus on the fun parts - designing a kitchen! a dining room with a farm table in front of the fireplace! main floor laundry! and just "let go and let God" with the rest. I'll be sure to let you know how that works out, LOLOLOL.

We are off to the Chicago area for a few days of rest* this weekend, so I will see you next week.

*And IKEA (see aforementioned kitchen reno) and flea markets and the beach and perhaps a visit to legoland. ;-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The comforts of home

I have always been an anxious person. I remember that when I was in elementary school an event like a field trip was enough to give me an upset stomach for a week.

I hate the unknown.

I love structure and routine and sameness.

For example, I am still using the same digital camera I have been using for going on 10 years now, a 2 megapixel camera, I hate the idea of having to get a new television remote, I wear the same shoes
This whole year for me? Not at all routine or comforting or "same".

And it's all starting to really get to me.

The anxiety keeps me up at night. My old standby remedies are no longer working. Between all the stress and pressure and anxiety and sleeplessness I am starting to feel like I might blow my top at any given moment.
I would take a prescription drug, really I would (and have before), but I am still hoping for another baby.

Yesterday everything started to boil over.

Finally some portions of grandpa's estate are settled and that means I am close to that part being over.

Except I am still anxious as all get out.

Because it means moving for us.

Leaving the comforts of our little house here.

Embarking on a giant renovation project.

Moving into my grandparent's house.

This stuff is so hard for me. And I still feel pretty raw emotionally about the loss of my grandfather.

It's really hard on Jack too, who is so very much me like it seems.

I think of you all as friends. Perhaps you have some words of wisdom? A useful way to help relieve racing heart anxiety? Ways to help kids deal with all of their worries about moving house?

With any luck our lives will be settled down again after Christmastime, but that seems pretty far away, doesn't it?

Now I must click publish before I lose the nerve...

(The quilt is another I recently picked up. It's baby/kid sized and a rather simple pattern, but perhaps if you look closely at the enlarged photos you can see that she has hand quilted baby chicks into the white squares. They are sideways in the photos. I happen to think it makes this quilt *extra* special.)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

With apologies to Barbara

Dave woke me up before the chickens were even up this morning, dressed and with his shoes on.

"Ready to go to the market?" he chirped.

"Are you insane?" I growled and pulled the covers over my head.

Jack was awake not 5 minutes later, so off we went anyway.

I was wandering around out there grumping. It's bloody hot. Half the vendors didn't even bother to come today! I kept thinking "and people like Barbara think this is some kind of vintage quilt paradise!" (And then I wished I had my camera with me so I could show what the flea market is REALLY like*, complete with chickens and stray kittens needing home and piles and piles of junk.)

And then I heard her siren song.

I've been wanting to add a Texas Star quilt to my collection for quite some time now.

This is not exactly the Texas star, but close enough.

I am seriously lucky.
She's a beauty, no?

So sorry Barbara.

This year the flea really IS a vintage quilt paradise!

I have a few other quilts that are piling up that I have been waiting to show you. (I am sure you will be shocked to hear that quilt cabinet is filling up.)

And when I am done showing them to you I have another one that needs one of you to give it a good home.

Oh yes I do.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Totally random

I have a whole lot of random things to talk about. Ready? :-)
I developed a thing for antlers this past winter. I have a whole box of them I bought off Craigslist. This just came in the mail today, the Sept issue of Living, and I LOVE that mirror.

Ya'll know I have that chandelier, umm, fetish right? I LOVE antler chandeliers.

That's weird. Maybe.

I don't usually pimp magazines here, but the Sept issue of Country Living was delicious. I have looked at it several times already. The best magazine in a long time, IMO.
Jack wanted to buy a bag of colored Popsicle sticks at the thrift. When I explained that they were for crafts and not actual Popsicles he asked if we could make paper Popsicles.


They were easy and fun.
(You will have to click to enlarge this photo to fully appreciate it.) So, that is my grandpa's cat doing her best ninja kitty impersonation there. She is standing on her head trying to wedge herself behind the blue door in the hallway. See her in the right hand corner?

It took me 3 weeks to catch that little bugger from his house. I finally caught her and kept her locked in our bathroom (safe from my 3 gigantic cats) for a few days to get her used to my house. I took her in to get her spayed and vaccinated last week and during her operation the vet discovered a rather serious problem. She had a severe uterine infection that was just days from killing her. She's all fixed up now, but she is howling like the devil to get out of the bathroom so at night we have been locking her in the office in the basement.

Except she climbs up into the drop ceiling down there. Last night she came crashing through the ceiling and came face to face with the other cats. There has been some hissing and some batting at each other.

But that isn't the biggest problem.

She is now lost somewhere in my house! She is really quite timid (and tiny!) and who knows when I will manage to find her again. Oy. (This is a problem for about a million reasons.)
I thrifted this tablecloth this week.

It might be my favorite one ever. And it's perfect. All clean and stain free and freshly ironed and wonderful.

It's already on the kitchen table.
I am really crushing on the pale green/lavender combo lately.
I also picked up this nifty picture frame. Roses and roses and more roses, oh my!

And last, but not least, this is consignment sale week here in town. If you aren't already consigning your kids clothes, do it! (But try and find a once or twice yearly sale and not a place like Once Upon A Child. Nothing against those places, but ours is insanely weird about what they will accept and they offer me peanuts.) I have a pretty good system down by now where I am able to sell Jack's outgrown clothes for just about the same amount of money I spend on his new clothes twice a year. (My only "store bought" costs are underwear, shoes, socks, undershirts and occasionally pajamas. Pajamas are hard to find in good used condition sometimes.)

This week I dropped off 41 items for consignment and picked up my shop early ticket (for consignors only). Then yesterday I went and did my shopping. (MAKE A LIST! It can be overwhelming.) I was bummed out because there were no decent jeans to be found for Jack for this winter and I hate paying retail. But the thrift Gods smiled on me this morning and I found all the jeans I needed at the thrift. Woohooo. No retail jeans for us.

My total out of pocket cost for his entire winter wardrobe after I had sorted through what we already have from last year that we can still use, is about $115. I will let you know if I break even when I pick up my consignment check on Sunday.

Recycling at it's finest - buy used, use it for a year, then resell it. Awesome.

Whew, did you make it? I think I need a nap now.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Coral Cross Stitch

I tore this picture out of an old Elle Decor magazine thinking it would be awesome as a cross stitch. (Even though cross stitch is not usually my kind of thing.) The magazine shot is of tiny glass mosiac tiles.

I love G's needleworks over at doe-c-doe and she definitely planted the seed that grew into the coral I made.
Once I started stitching it quickly became apparent that I was going to need to find the frame so I would know how big to make the needlework. I stumbled on this framed Jesus in a Goodwill and snatched it right up. It was the frame I had in mind - oval with a flowery edge.
About a bazillion hours later I had a coral. (Seriously. I watched something like 10 movies, countless hours of leave it to beaver, etc while stitching. This is NOT an instant gratification craft.)

It turned out wonderfully, exactly as I imagined. Except there was a small framing disaster and the frame now has a big crack at the top.
Jack would ask me every day how long it was going to take me to make my "tree".

I explained to him that it was really a coral and we talked about how they grow in the ocean.

His little eyes lit up and he went off running to my bedroom exclaiming, "I know what you mean! I know what you mean!"
And he returned holding this...two pieces of coral that I keep in a bowl full of shells in our bedroom.

I was a bit stunned. I mean we never spend any time discussing that bowl of shells beyond "Mommy and Daddy got those when we lived in Florida." Clearly he has spent time investigating them though...

That kid of mine is amazing. :-)

And forget what I said about cross stitch not being my kind of thing. I am currently engrossed in another one, and this one? Oh man I love it already.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Thrift Bliss, the preschool version

I've been looking for a ride on toy for Jack for two summers now.

The thrift Gods finally obliged and we found one on Saturday.

Jack is in L-O-V-E.

I always manage to find whatever it is we want if I give it enough time. (We could never have afforded one of these things at the $300+ retail price. I managed to get this one for $15*.)

Now if only it were that easy to trust that ALL of our wants/needs/problems will be cared for in every aspect of life...

*If you buy one of these second hand, price batteries first. That's why it took me forever to find one, the batteries are expensive and I was not going to pay $50+ for the used toy and then another $50+ to put batteries in it.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Faux Bois

Martha made me do it.

And I love it.

And I can't wait to find more. (It only took 3 years to find the first one!)