Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flea Market Sunday

Cousin Liam has been staying with us for a few days. Just look at the train track the boys built in the playroom! It's huge. It goes all the way back to the castle way back there in the background.

It's nice to see all those Thomas toys out of the bin again. Jack hasn't played with them in a long time, but they are one of those toys that I refuse to part with because I know they have many, many more years of kid's play ahead of them.
It was a lot of work to get us all out of the house bright and early before the heat this morning to hit the flea market.

I have pretty much quit going because 1) it is way too hot and 2) there is nothing to buy, so why sweat to death and torture the kids?

I bought this old doll stroller this morning and that's it. I even tried garage saling with no kids yesterday and I came home with some rick rack.

I mean really. It's not worth the gas this year I guess.

Several weeks ago I managed to buy this old doll playpen and Jack has been using it in the playhouse.

Maybe you are having better luck!

I have a BIG pile of sewing library books waiting for me. I have the itch to make things.

Happy Sunday to you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cyanotypes, aka sun prints

I remember seeing sun prints in Martha Stewart many years ago and thinking they were the coolest thing ever.

But at that time the paper was pretty pricey.

I've since discovered the paper can be found at Hobby Lobby (hello coupons!) for a really reasonable price.

Santa brought some for Jack and we have been playing with it.
The first object we used was a dried butterfly we have kicking around the house. It worked well, but it was kind of boring.
I REALLY wanted to make some with queen anne's lace, which is blooming like mad right now.
These looked AWESOME when we made them in the sun, but after rinsing and drying they are not as vibrant as I would like. (And not nearly as vibrant as the butterfly.)

Maybe it's because the sun gets around the flowers.

Maybe we didn't wait until the sun was bright enough.

Maybe we didn't expose them long enough.
Whatever the reason, since it has been 100 plus degrees for something like 18 days (with no rain, it's pretty much like phoenix here this summer), we have nothing better to do but make more!

The littles were having themselves a grand old conversation on the couch yesterday, which was too cute to not take a picture of.

We are in the 2 week countdown to the first day of school here already. It's been too hot to do very much, so I am a little bummed about that. Particularly since Jack will be gone all day, every day for the first time and the only time to do the fun stuff now will be the weekend.

Darn you blazing hot weather. Go away already! (Our forecast for the next 15 days show nothing but more of the same. Which means the kids will end up released from school for "heat". Why did they change the start date to before labor day anyway?)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Hi there.

We're here.
Sweet cheeks is working on sitting up!

And Jack attack is working on dodging the camera.

Let's look at him 6 years ago today instead.

Cute little bugger.

We've been busy. Doing what? I have no clue. I just know we are busy.

The cars needed repairs, the garden needed tending, bowling leagues were finished for the summer, school supplies have been acquired, we've watched a 1,000 movies, we've been swimming, I've done some "need to do" sewing, I've pondered moving from this spot (but frankly we are on day 15 of scorching hot weather and I have little desire to do so), the kids have been sleeping late so the days seem rather short, and on and on.

It's all rather boring really.

I am sure that any day now I will be struck with something interesting to say.

Until then everyone (and I mean you!) go give Jane and her little miracle a lot of love, okay?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Feedsack Fish

Back when Sammi was tiny and I was spending a ton of time nursing her and surfing the internet, I found this fish and bookmarked it.

It's Christmas in July tomorrow, so I whipped one up for the Sammi monster.
I obviously made mine a little different than the pattern.

I used feedsack and vintage fabric scraps for the scales.
And this HORRIBLE stretchy yellow fabric for the body. (Which is why his body is weirdly lumpy.)

Man he is cute! And Sammi loves him. The scales are just stuffed ever so lightly and are easy for her to grab.

Pictures of her playing with it are on my to do list, but right now it's nap time and Dave is stuck at Costco buying tire number 5 and 6 for this week ALONE. Ouch.

I am off to make a new pillow for the couch in the meantime. My clean sewing room is SO AWESOME and easy to use. Yiiiippppeeeeee.

Friday, July 22, 2011


As of last Saturday, Sammi is officially weaned.

And I feel good about that.

We doubled the time I spent nursing Jack.

There was a good long period where she was exclusively breastfed.

And we made it to my 6 month goal.

There were many days when it sucked hard core - when she wasn't gaining weight, or it hurt, or her reflux was terrible and she had colic so bad she would just cry, or she was refusing bottles and it was all me, all the time.

There were many days when it was blissful - it was easy, it didn't make all that extra work that bottles make, and it was free!

Now she is gaining weight like a champ, trying to sit up (the reason for the blurry photos), eating all kinds of baby chow and doing all the things that growing up babies do.

And I have one less thing on the to do list.

(Until we (if we are lucky enough to) have a third baby.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The always messy playroom

As soon as we were sure Sammi was coming, we knew we had to relocate the toys from the spare bedroom to the basement.

Dave spent a large portion of last year remodeling a huge part of the basement to make a playroom.

It's always messy, so I haven't shown it to you yet, but, let's get real, we are lucky I can get Dave to vacuum down there. LOL

We didn't do the ceiling, and we never painted the doors or the trim. (Or even put up the base boards.) But it functions. And it's great when there are ton of kids in the house because I can just banish them all to the basement.
The whole room.
The dress up area.
My vintage toy hoard.
The store.
Containers of little toys.

And the family room area. (Much needed during storm season.)

It's actually quite nice. The walls are a great aqua color and the floors are this peel and stick vinyl that looks like wood. We were on a mission to do this for as little money as possible, so the paint is a mix of a bunch of ooops paint and leftover upstairs paint. And the floor came from a liquidator place that was going out of business (scored for 38 cents a linear foot!).

Now to get Jack to go down there....hmmmm.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A basement play house fit for royalty

Last summer we refinished part of our basement and turned it into a playroom (that Jackson NEVER EVER plays in, despite it being a complete toy store down there). When Dave was building it we had an awkward little area that we were unsure what to do with, so he decided to make it into a play house.

It's been a long work in progress.
When I was in the hospital having Sammi, my dad and Jack framed up the door )(it's an antique door I bought at a yard sale for $5) and hung it and finished out the window. Dave and I finished it up with a porch light, a mailbox and a window flower box. To the right of the window is a sign my aunt made many years ago for my grandma that always hung on the front porch of the house. I couldn't bear to throw it away when we remodeled.
They even installed a peep hole at little people height!

Shall we go in?
We put bead board on the lower portion of the walls and I wallpapered the upper half with a vintage pastel striped wallpaper.

View from the door.
The window.
Laundry area.
Kitchen corner...
complete with message center.
Fridge and aprons.
And the flea market find that inspired me to get Dave to finish this project once and for all, a little hutch! God I love this thing.

I put some vintage contact paper on the back to show off the dishes.

It's still a little bit of a work in progress.

I need to paint the window ledge.

I would love a little vintage rug for the floor.

We need house numbers on the outside (we are thinking 7 1/2, since our house is number 7). We also need proper flowers for the window box, not just whatever was lying around the house!

I am working on art for the window wall. I haven't decided what to hang there.

And I want a toy iron to use with the washer/dryer/ironing board.

We still need to mount the tree that used to be in Jack's room to the right of the door.

And hopefully (please come through craigslist) we are going to find a wooden kitchen to replace the plastic set. (But not the fridge or the washer dryer, those are cool and the kids LOVE them.)

But if I waited for it to be "perfect" you would never see it! (Like the rest of the basement playroom that I have yet to show you. It is always a big mess down there.)

With any luck Sammi will at least use it! (I know my niece LOVED going in there before it was finished, she is going to adore it finished!)

Thank you Dave/Daddy, it is lovely, even if it was a giant pain in the ass. ;-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

8+ years, 2 houses and 2 kids later

When I cleaned out the sewing room (AGAIN) last week, I discovered the foam boards from our engagement were still in the closet in there. Dave has been reluctant to let me get rid of them and I finally had a brilliant idea - let's go back to where we got engaged, take photos of them and make them into a photo book. Something small and easy to keep and we can finally get rid of the boards themselves.

So this weekend we hauled the kids back to the middle school where I worked to take the pictures. He actually proposed on Valentine's day and it happened to be during a passing period so the stairwell he was standing in front of outside was FILLED to the brim with middle schoolers. (That stairwell no longer exists.) When the kids saw him standing out there they started to whoop and holler and stomp and clap and cheer and it filled the entire three story building with the MOST deafening noise I have ever heard.

And there the kids stood until he got to the very last sign. (And was nearly arrested as the principal went running outside to see who was trespassing and what the commotion was. LOL)

And here we are, 8 years, a few cars, one big move and two adorable littles later.

The last two or three years have been particularly challenging, but, I think I'll keep them - the husband, the kids and *maybe* even the foam boards.

After all, I did just clean out the basement, didn't I?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yes, is this 1-800-fabricaholics?

Yesterday the kids and I dropped off another 3 trash bags full of stuff at the thrift store. And just outside the parking lot I spotted a sign that read "really cool yard sale".

The first time I drove past it because there was no place to park. We swung back around and found a place to park.

And then Sammi had a poopy diaper.

By now I was boiling hot and Jack was whining and I was thinking Lordy, I just got rid of all this crap, we should just go home! But my little voice was saying "fabric fabric fabric" even though it looked like all kid stuff.

Sure enough, there were 2 bins full of fabric.
Don't let the looks of this pile fool you. This was almost a full trash bag of fabric. And the picture is blurry because I was DYING to sort it.
The keep pile is small.

And it's mostly scraps.

But honestly, I love scraps. A 5 inch square of a really good vintage fabric makes my heart sing.

How could I have left that there?

And she said there was more.

A lot more.

I left a phone number, just in case she might call. (They never do though.)

But I do honestly believe I should get off the computer and dial 1-800-fabricaholics.

I clearly need a 12 step program.