Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pinewood Derby

Saturday morning I got an email from overnight prints* with a code for free stuff, so I decided to quickly take a new photo of the kids together.
This was the best one I could get in the 10 minutes I had to do it in.
This was the runner up.
Then we had to rush off to the pinewood derby!

Jack is a tiger cub this year and Dave has been (spending a ridiculous amount of time and money) working as the den leader.
Our car only placed 9th (so much for the "dad is an eagle scout advantage!").

But the other tigers voted Jack's car "the coolest car", so he was pretty happy with his little trophy.

Jack has been home sick from school for two days with the most dreadful cough. I have him quarantined, but holy moses I hope none of the rest of us get that.

Back tomorrow with my contribution to the heart to heart swap this year - the boxes really started rolling in yesterday!

*I love postcards from overnight prints. They never pay me to say this, but it is worth signing up for their emails. Every year I get free postcards which I use as thank you notes. Cheaper postage and who doesn't want to see cute kids in their mail box? It was definitely time for a new card, Look how little Sammi is in last year's card! .

Monday, January 30, 2012

My dad rocks

A few years ago my dad moved about an hour north of here to a little town on the river. He lives in an awesome old house (built in the 1860's), and he recently bought the dry cleaner in town when they closed.

He plans on turning the building into a "man cave" for himself since there is no room for a garage at his house.

He let me come up there in the fall to see if there was anything I wanted to salvage out of the dry cleaner. I took a piece of fabric I used for Jack's birthday and an old laundry cart which is now Jack's hamper.

But when we were sitting outside the building I had the EPIPHANY of the century - the letters on top of the building!

Mine, all mine.

Dad thought I was nuts at first. That's okay, just ask him what he thinks of me painting all these "perfectly good brass" chandeliers.

And don't even get him started on the painted furniture.

He delivered the letters the other day.
They are AWESOME.

And big. 12 inches or more.

And heavy aluminum.
They used to spell CAMPBELL CLEANERS.
Now I am dreaming of what I want to spell. Any ideas?

And where to put them.

My dad rocks.

Even if he is a skeptic. :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wait a minute Mr Milkman

I finally broke down and signed up for milk delivery.

I have wanted to do it for a long time, but Jack is not a big milk drinker.

Sammi is.

And I was getting tired of driving up the highway every 3 days to buy milk for her.

So now the milk man brings it to me every Wednesday.
I put this fancy cooler on the porch...

and he fills with it glass bottles of milk.

I feel so retro or something.


*The milk itself is about twice the price of conventional milk, but is comparable to the price of organic. My kids do not like organic milk at all because it is ultra pasteurized. I like that Oberweis comes in glass not plastic (for so many reasons!) and their farmers are committed to being growth hormone free.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Notebook paper baby quilt

Someone FABULOUS has had a beautiful baby girl and I finally finished a baby quilt for her.

Now, I have tried to take photos of this blasted thing 4 different times, and I suppose this is as good as it gets.
I saw the idea on pinterest - a quilt that looks like a piece of notebook paper.
And I knew I wanted to add their initials as "graffiti".
Then I fell in love with the perfect Denyse Schmidt fabric at Joann for the border.
It should have been an easy quilt.


But I tried to use my sewing machine quilting guide on my presser foot and all I ended up with were VERY crooked lines.

Which I had to rip out. Every last one of them.

Then I wised up and drew the lines on and did the sewing. MUCH better.

Except then I washed it before I put the binding on to make sure it looked okay without the lines drawn all over it. Which made the batting at the top edge completely rip apart. So I had to piece new batting in there. Dave suggested using white thread and just making more lines on that section, which works, but in the photos it sort of ruins the piece of paper effect. (Which is what you see in the photo above - a line of white stitching right above a line of blue. That's where the batting piecing had to begin.)

I also wish I had sewn on the holes before I put it together so you couldn't see them on the back.

Live and learn.

In other thrilling news - Cheeks has enough hair in her mullet for tiny pigtails.

I die.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Walton quilt is finally MINE!

It's winter.

It's cold.

And I am getting desperate for junk already. Oh PLEASE I need yard sales and flea markets.

This is how I know I am truly a *junkie* and not someone who does this as a *hobby*.

So, off I went in search of treasure.

Now, I might be the only person on earth who does this, but I watch television to see fabric. Dr Quinn, Little House, The Waltons - all fabric eye candy for me. I sit there and judge the quilts and the fabrics - "no way! Those colors are all wrong for the year this is supposed to be!" or "isn't that fabric on that bolt 36 inches wide? It shouldn't be 36 inches wide!"

I have noticed that on the Waltons a lot of the quilts are Fruit of the Loom quilts. Didn't know Fruit of the Loom made quilts? I have been eyeballing them for several years at the higher end antique shows, but they are always out of my price range. (I know they are made by Fruit of the Loom because they have labels).

Lately I am ADDICTED to the Waltons and it has reignited my quest for a Fruit of the Loom quilt.

And what came my way yesterday?

My very own Waltons quilt!
Man I love the calico prints on these things.

And it's in perfect condition too.

I also picked up a 1930's polka dot dress for a toddler sized Sammi (photo shoot here we come!);
this interesting vintage fabric (sadly it is something silky like rayon and I have no clue what to make with it, and there is a LOT of it);
another quilt - this one had these horrible patches on it. The patches were old and I know she was trying to save it, but I took them all off. It ruined the aesthetics.
It's a lovely wedding ring. With a big ugly stain. I think I will let it marinate a bit in the washer and see if I can get it out.
I love the purple polka dot.
There was also a BIG puffy vintage eiderdown...

with a rosy paisley print; The remnants of a baby rattle;
a pile of vintage hearts (I am thinking garland for valentine's Day);
A sweet (very tiny) rocking horse, destined for dolls;
And a what the hell was I thinking. A vintage baby scale with a wicker basket.
I just got rid of one these. Why did I buy another? Oh yea, because this one had a wicker basket.


Hurry up spring, this only wet my appetite even more!

*There seems to be no history on the internet on the fruit of the loom quilts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pinterest fail

I pinned these pink cookies and thought I would give it a go for the milk and cookie party.

There were problems from the get go.

The directions are so, well, vague.

Beat until peaks form? How freaking long? What speed? Hi or low? 5 minutes or 20 minutes?

They sounded suspiciously like a meringue so I got out my trusty Joy of Cooking and was getting the very real notion that they were going to be a fail no matter what. The cookbook says you must have cream of tartar for the egg whites to work.
I made them anyway. They looked okay cooking.

And then they cooled.

And every single one developed a hole in them. Where it was obvious that the inside was filled with uncooked egg whites and the outside was fine.


I think I am very quickly finding that pinterest is great EYE CANDY but not much else. Bad links, bad tutorials, bad recipes (more than one recipe from there has been a total fail).


P.S. I knew before I posted yesterday that some of you would be at the park on your phone. I stand by what I said. When there are 75 children at a park you need to be paying attention. My children (who are not at ALL agressive) should be able to play too without being trampled by more agressive kids (who granted are just being kids). And I shouldn't have to mind other people's children to keep my children from constantly being stomped to death. Do I think you need to *direct* their play? No. Do I think you need to help them be mindful of others? YES. I wouldn't turn my kids loose in the zoo and I won't do so at the playground.

P.P.S. If we are in our OWN backyard I read magazines or play on the iPod while the children play. It's quiet so I can hear them, we have a large, secure privacy fence and I still keep Sammi at least in my line of vision. Jack obviously has a lot more freedom, but he is seven.

P.P.P.S. Perhaps I am neurotic but any damn fool could have taken a child and it would have been a long time before those texting parents noticed. The playground is HUGE, the parking lot is far away and it was crowded.

P.P.P.P.S. This is an epidemic issue in my opinion. I see kids IN THE THRIFT STORE toy aisle miles away from their parents doing whatever they please. When I asked the cashier about it she said it happens every.single.day. I swear there is something happening here where people feel like their kids are every one else's problem but their own. They do not mind them in the store, at the pool, at the bus stop (where they tear up other people's property), at the park, etc.

I believe, VERY STRONGLY, that you must be PRESENT. Nothing on the internet is more important than your children.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Sammi, Parks and annoyances

Sammi had new portraits taken last week.
I think *those places in the mall* get a bad rap.
Artsy photos are great.
But they are so darn expensive.
Besides, she is adorable! even in mall photos. :-)

It's 65 degrees again, so I took the kids to a new park.
I don't know how it is where you live, but around here "inclusive" playgrounds named after a specific child are all the rage.
My kids prefer to sit and cuddle apparently.

Or eat the food that other people have allowed their children to toss all around the super expensive playground.
(Which I do not understand. There are picnic tables. It's DANGEROUS to eat and run. Besides, aren't they playing and not eating? Frustrating when you have a baby who is like a stealth missile for half chewed gummy bears and pieces of cheese popcorn on the dirty ground.)

While I am complaining - if this is you, please stop that. You are at the playground! GET OFF YOUR PHONES FOR A MINUTE! I swear you will not die. (More than 50% of the parents there just sit and talk/text while their children do whatever.)

Whew. I feel better now. How about you?

Want to complain about those people throwing cigarette butts all over the playground?

Worse than food eaters and the texters.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A very pink party

Picture overload time!

Blogger loads pictures in whatever order it wants right now, and I am way too lazy to reorganize 25 photos, so there is no logical order her. It's my party and I'll blog how I want to. :-)

Pink milk in doily wrapped bottles;
Pictures with everyone in front of the photo wall for the guest book;
Naked cake eating;
New! toys! rock!;
Happy birthday message stenciled on doilies;
Vintage pink honeycomb on jadeite;
Luv you bunting in chalk;
Pink dottie paper straws;
Presents wrapped with love by a brother (and a silver baby rattle, thank you goodwill!);
Pink meringue;
Pink animal crackers;
Pink chocolate vanilla wafers;
Vintage honeycomb from the ceilings;
Pink tulle on the chairs;
A very pink cake (I hate making cakes, but it looked pretty at least) on more jadeite;
The cookie bar;
More pink animal crackers (these are deadly good);
Oreos with pink filling!;
Pink wafers (the kids favorite by far);
Balloons on the high chair;
Martha doily bunting on the doors;
The guest book (I had everyone write her a message next a blank page, I can paste the pictures I took of everyone holding Sammi next to their message for her forever box);
The cake topper (which I didn't dare put on that cake that took me forever);
Doilies on the cabinets.

Dave asked at one point if this was an exercise in death by doily. LOL

It means so much to me to have had people here to celebrate Sammi with me. She truly is my miracle baby and her birthday was about so much more than just turning one to me. A big huge thank you to everyone for coming.

*I really, really thought I was making an *easy* party. Not a lot of stuff to buy (I have pink everything already because I love pink), no activities to plan, etc. But smokes! every party is a LOT of darn work. :-)