One of the other things I like to do with my time is read. If I sit down and read I know I am relaxing- usually this sort of activity is how I end my day (it’s my favorite part). I have 2 ACTUAL books I am reading (Plenty and Snowflower & the Secret Fan), but I have one book I am listening to and I love it.
Have you seen these cool contraptions at your library? They are called PLAYAWAYS and are digital books you listen to with your own set of headphones. I’ve been listening to my book while baking at work, sewing, and I attempted to listen in bed…that didn’t work out so well!
I love to listen to books on tape. Some people scoff at this way of reading, but honestly there are certain types of books I will stick with if I am listening…long lengthy descriptions, several characters to keep track of, content I am not familiar with…
Anyway, this technology is brilliant! By the way, the book Suite Francaise is a great read.
I’m thinking I need to stop beating myself up for not making my 3 kids baby books. There is no question whether or not their lives have been documented- it’s just all jumbled up in a box…3 marked ones, mind you.
This past Saturday night, something got into me and I finally completed the 3 silhouette collages I completed way back in January. Remember them? It took me nearly 9 months to finish the edges and frame them- hey, I could have had a baby during this time! ANYWAY, I love them and they are hanging very simply in my reading room- just off our bedroom.
I was deeply influenced by paper collage, icons, and of course the old fashion silhouette portraits…using the freezer paper stencil as my technique.
I gave each of my kids various words that I hope they will continue to hold close to their hearts. Their “words” or the title of each piece I marked on the back…I’ll share…
“pure”- my hope is that Ellie will be pure in action, thought, and spirit. she has such a wonderful presence and I want her to be a person of integrity, sincerity, and kindness to her friends and strangers.
“wonder”- Simon has such a sense of curiosity and amazement. If we lack wonder, our lives are stagnant- I imagine this kid will use his wonder to be a strong member of the world.
“joy”- Penny gives to so many joy and happiness. There can be a little bit of stubborness thrown in, but her positive attitude and genuine love for everyone is already evident. Love that.
Okay, sorry for the sap. I really didn’t mean to go on and on…
I really enjoyed making these and I am thinking of making custom portraits. Would anybody be interested? I would have you send a photo and a description of your child or anyone really…pets too. I really liked this process and would love to make more…
A quick trip down the street to my local farmer’s market, got me thinking about pie!
There was an abundance of concord grapes and so I gave in to make one of my very favorite pies.
Perfect to involve 3 year old hands. Dough is in the fridge, chilling…
I will post the recipe, complete with photos so you can make your own wonderful pie. I swear it’s easy. You can even buy a store bought crust, I don’t care…just make it!
Nine years ago today, Nathan and I met our very first child- Elisabeth Helene.
After taking a castor oil cocktail and my water breaking, I was on my way to know what it is like to give birth to a child. There was MUCH pacing, breathing, body positions, tearing (yep, stage 4), and pushing, and chanting “Fa fa fa fa (not sure why I chose that sound, but hey, I was pain killer free!) and then IT happened…the most lovely, joyous, and proud moment occurred…I met my babe.
My kids’ birthdays are always so special to me- much more than Mother’s day. Their births I celebrate with such a sense of gratitude- these 3 souls have been entrusted to me and my husband and they have given me so very much!
Happy day to Ellie- she is my sweet joy.
Oh- and if you think the images that I have posted are a part of a finished baby album…you will be horribly disappointed. I think I am still on her 8 month page. Ahem!
My kids started off the school year with a 1/2 day today. There is no other way to start the new school year, but to shoot the obligatory photo and then again on the last day as well. I love taking these photos and comparing how they each have changed. I’m really proud of my kids and really grateful for them and their individual sweetness and quirkiness too!
Ellie is in 4th grade, taking violin, and involved in Jr. Girl Scouts.
Simon is in 1st grade (can NOT get over this), in gymnastics, and Tiger Scouts.
Penelope is my preschooler and companion- so glad I still have her around!
What did you do while in grammar school? I feel like I am constantly reminding myself that it’s okay to NOT have my kids busy every night of the week- I didn’t have them to cart them around, right?
I have been so productive these past few days that I am attributing it to my “moving of my sewing space”.
At the beginning of the summer I did some arranging of rooms, furniture, and basic temporary household chaos. I achieved a lot- scaling back, semi-organizing photographs, shedding furniture and toys. I was really pleased with all of the change. But the one thing I noticed, my new sewing room was not working for me.
I decided to use the little sun room right off our bedroom as my new space. This space was a nursery, reading room, sewing room, empty space, space piled with cast offs…you get the idea. It just never felt right and I really did try to like it and improve the new set up. I figured my lack of creativity and desire to sew was that summer was here and I had more demands on me.
Something just popped in my head last weekend and I realized that the playroom/sewing room really became my dog’s room. No one was in it except Ollie and that was just absurd. So after moving more furniture around and cleaning up, I am back home again and I love it!
I love that my kids are back in the playroom (they love to follow me), love that I can stream KCRW, love that I can hear Ellie practice her violin, love that Ollie has my legs to lick (yuck), love to hear my finch chirping…I love it!
Hopefully I will be more productive. Isn’t it ironic that school starts next week and I have my new/old space again?!
So- my projects are…
*a new backpack for Penelope and her upcoming preschool year. I basically made a simple tote bag, added straps and velcro for the top. I wanted something easy for her to open and shove all her cute projects she will be coming home with- can’t believe my youngest is ready for this!
*headbands from this book…2 will be for Ellie as birthday gifts and they are quite addictive to make, so Penny gets one too! Can I just say how much I love wool felt?
I finally completed a quilt for my oldest daughter- just in time for her birthday. In the beginning I was amazed with how quickly the process went and figured I’d have my goal of 3 done by the end of summer. Not so.
The hand sewing of the binding took me forever, but it was one of those projects I looked forward to in the evening. I must admit that I didn’t even work on the binding every night so I predict that next 2 quilts COULD go a little faster, but what am I racing toward?
I really love how this quilt turned out. It’s exactly how I wanted it to look and let’s be honest, that doesn’t always happen. Sure, there were a few mishaps, but I let those slide…all in the name of handmade and original.
By the way, I was inspired by this book for the simple design and excellent instructions. I tweaked the pattern a bit to fit my daughter’s twin sized bed. I also used a flat sheet from IKEA for the backing- a great tip from my sister-in-law.
On a completely unrelated, but important note…
Last night, my daughter and friend were approached by a man in a car yesterday. He was asking for directions. Now this may be completely innocent, but my daughter and her friend reacted perfectly. They got up and walked away and went straight to her friend’s house. The friend’s parent called the police and the police actually came to question the girls. They praised the girls for their response. It was also a good idea they informed the police in case there was any other suspicious activity in our community.
I refuse to live my life in paranoia, but there are those times that we get too comfortable and need to be reminded not everyone has my kids’ best interest and protection. This man may have really needed directions, but to ask a 9 and 10 year old girl is probably not the best choice…there are plenty of gas stations, etc.
Anyway, I just wanted to let those of you who have kids or have kids in your life. Make sure they know what to do- a subject that is so difficult to think about, but SO important.
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I am a creature of habit, I really am! Fortunately I have no unhealthy habits that I am trying to beat- maybe the occasional sugar splurge, but you already knew that.
Here are a few more:
- I grocery shop every Monday. This will soon change with the upcoming school year routine, but let’s just say the folks at Trader Joes call me “Monday”, even if I show up on the odd Tuesday or Thursday.
- I absolutely need to read before going to bed, even if it is just a paragraph.
- I need at least 7 hours of sleep or I feel jipped the entire next day.
- It is optimal to wake up before my kids- I love to drink coffee and check blogs before the day starts.
- I need to make a list each week of all our family meals. This may be just plain organized, but it is a habit I do automatically each Sunday night for my Monday shopping trip.
- Okay, this is a bad habit…I drink out of my water carton using no glass. Don’t worry, I make sure if you are my guest that you don’t drink out of my carton.
- In the winter, I immediately put flip flops on while puttering about my house. Wearing socks is just annoying to me.
I think we are done here- before I bore whoever is reading, but I do have to say this…
My sweet Ellie (photo above) is getting a rude awakening this week on her ongoing “bad habit”. We have been forcing her out of bed at 8am to prepare for next week’s 7:15am wake up call- ugh. The 10:30am wake up call is definitely a fantasy she made up while hanging out in her “lounge” before bed at 11pm- yes, we have a night owl a habit we cannot break!