Friday, April 24, 2009

Blog? Huh? I don't think I know what that word means.

As I see my traffic reports for Snippets each week, I am reminded that I haven't posted in quite a while. I tend to find that when my life is going well, or at least busy and fulfilling (for the most part) I don't care to blog about it as much as just live it. However, I do greatly enjoy the chronicling of my mundane life, family, hobbies and random interests when I go back and reread them later. There could be a book in me somewhere at sometime, and so, I think it is important to start keeping up with the blog, at least more often than I have.

That being said, presently I'm not so interested in writing about my life, but would like to track my creative endeavors a little more closely. I've been working on some projects in the sewing studio and would like to share them here. A good friend and I have been discussing ideas for creating an Etsy shop... I'm not sure that would be very lucrative, but it could be a start.

As I have been teaching art to third grade boys this year at our home school co-op, I learned of a new (to me) method of batiking and tried it out with them for a lesson. I was so impressed by this that I decided to use the same method to create a fun and artsy lining for my bff's coat that needed a red0.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

ho ho ho

L: Mommy, is Santa Clause real?
Me: No
L: Good, cause I want to be bad.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Despite the look from this picture, I did not celebrate my birthday alone. On Sunday, November second, my actual date of birth, I was treated to lunch at Gertrude's by some girlfriends. That same evening, another special girlfriend came over with food and cupcakes to watch a movie with me. The following day, my folks celebrated with me over a lovely meal prepared by my mom. This particular moment captured on my new camera(yay! and thanks family!) is funny because the reason I'm smiling/laughing is because my adorable five-year-old daughter is screaming in the other room. Why is that funny? Well, sometimes I just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. She was having a particularly difficult evening, and by the time dessert rolled around, she was being disciplined until she could settle down. She wasn't allowed to join the rest of us until she could and here she was screaming, "I'm calmed down now!!"

Today, a whole week later, she asked me if she could sing Happy Birthday to me, because she didn't get a chance to. I had forgotten that she missed out on the singing and presenting of the cake (which only added to her fury, but I wasn't going to let my birthday wait on her unpredictable attitude). Anyway, it was a very nice birthday... even if my special cookie arrived the day after due to a mistake on UPS's fault. It just made celebrating last a little longer.

The trees (these in the East yard) always put on their most colorful leaves to celebrate the occasion.

Here is more glorious foliage, an example of our Creator's great work. The boys play on the tire swing in the background of the yard at "Mrs. A's" preschool.

So I'm teaching art this year at a home school co-op... On Halloween my third grade class finished up their paper masks. D is in that class, he's on the far right, his mask reminds me a little of Darth Maul. K wishes he was in my class too, and often tries out our projects at home. He made his horned mask and then made a kitty one for his little sister. (What a sweet big brother!)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Costume Cuteness!

On left Z, L's best friend, and surrogate sister, is Sparkle Mist fairy. On the right, L as Princess Hello Kitty. I made L's costume, a stroke of genius, I think. :) White fleece pillow like head stitched to a hood lining I made. I copied the design from a placemat L already has. The tiarra was from Target $1 bin. I drew a yellow nose on L, but it didn't really show up. L picked the fabrics for the dress out of my stash and told me how she wanted it to look, then I made fleece underthings and mittens (not shown) to keep her warm. She got lots of compliments and double takes, "Oh, it's Hello Kitty!"

Left, D is a glow in the dark skeleton again, which simplified things for me. Center, Puss in Boots, he's not mine, but oh, so cute! His parents made his costume! On the Right, K as Teen Titans Robin. I made this one from scratch too. I cut the sleeves off a red t-shirt and sewed on green ones. I used a p.j. pant pattern I developed for the green pants (which will now be worn as p.j. pants!) I bought the green cotton rib knit and yellow poly double knitfrom The black poly I purchased last year at Walmart. The cape is a separate piece, I didn't use a pattern, just sort of guessed at it, and it worked ok. I made his gloves by tracing my hand as a pattern, knowing his hands are just a bit smaller than mine. The mask is white fun foam and black paper tied on with string.
And I grabbed a pair of L's kitty ears and pinned a tail to my darkest jeans, paired with a black sweater, and drew on some whiskers and a nose and I was all set to trick or treat with the kiddos!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blog? What Blog?

Yesterday, Lil Miss turned five years old. The night before her birthday I took out her baby book, which was also my prenatal journal and read some of the entries to her. I was surprised that I took the time to write so much in the midst of very difficult circumstances, and was pleased to relive some of those very happy moments.

That said, I have noticed that I haven't taken much time to write or journal, here or elsewhere over the past many months. And it's a shame really. I've been spending my free moments sewing for my kids and myself, maintaining important friendships or taking deep breaths... it's a very busy year for us and it's only just begun. L is in preschool this year, three days a week, which she LOVES and requires about 4.5 hrs of driving a week for me (Ugh). Also this year we are in a home school co-op which is stretching all of us in good ways. I'm teaching third grade art, and the boys are getting some subjects I don't have to teach at home. The kids have all made some nice friends, but it is one more thing on the calendar each week.

So, the blogging hiatus hasn't been due to anything bad in particular. Things are going generally well for the kids and me, just a change in circumstances that require me to be "on duty" a whole lot more than before. Unfortunately, swing dancing has been placed on the back burner for the time being, but I hope to resume my efforts in swing and Lindy Hop once again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

I'm presently out in Cheyenne, Wyoming, visiting my brother and his family on F. E. Warren AFB. Last weekend it was Fort D.A. Russell Days and also the beginning of Frontier Days. It's the biggest thing that happens around here and there's a lot to do and see. So far we've watched a parade, seen civil war reenactments (I missed this because D fainted and I had to take him to the ER)*, historic house tour on base, Indian flute playing, Native American Dances, Thunderbirds Air Show, and "The Daddy of 'em All" CFD Rodeo. And there's still more to do!

*D had been tired, Johnny's kids have been sick and we (the doctor's and I) think that he was suffering the onset of a virus coupled with the heat and some dehydration. We had been watching the Trotters (a civil war horse battalion doing called manoeuvres) and been invited over to pet the horses. While I was helping L to pet a horse on it's nose, I heard a thud and D had fallen down. We quickly got someone to call 911 and then he came to. I moved him into the shade and immediately some military personnel came over with a cooler full of ice water and tried cooling him down. Within minutes the ambulance had arrived. D was able to climb on himself, but he was ashen faced and very tired. They ran tests (all negative) and gave him IV fluids and after a couple hours let us go. He's been improving each day, but the other kids have gotten the cough, gunky nose, bloodshot eyes virus from their cousins.... so we're trying to break up the activities with periods of rest.

Here are some pictures: Home on the Range
Indian Village

Friday, July 04, 2008


I spent last weekend at Beantown Camp in Beverly, MA. It's dance camp for adults and it was absolutely fabulous! I can't remember the last time I had so much non-stop fun. So instead of boring all of you with the rundown of my weekend, I thought I'd just list my favorite things about it, in no particular order.

1. Beverly, Massachusetts is a very quaint little town. I fell in love with it the second I saw the knee high stone walls that bordered the streets.

2. Endicott College campus, where camp was held, is absolutely beautiful. While the campus map was impossible to comprehend, it provided opportunity to explore the campus to find my classes. I found a lovely little path which led to a bridge over a pond, complete with croaking frogs and ducks.

3. Camp food. The food was good, and I'm not going to complain about any food I didn't have to cook or clean up after, even if there wasn't any beef served (that I can recall).

4. Alone time. Because I drove the 8 hours to and from camp and also didn't know anyone who would be there, I was afforded lots of much needed alone time. Since I didn't bring anyone or know anyone, I felt no obligations to anyone. I came and went to classes, meals and dances as I pleased.

5. Fun, Talented Instructors. A few of the instructors seemed really familiar to me, and I'm not sure if it is because I watched videos of them on Youtube or saw pictures of them on the Beantown website, or what... I think I actually had Jojo and Kevin at a Charm City Swing workshop, but I'm not sure. Personal favorites: Evita and Michael, Marty (so adorable I kept making mistakes because I was distracted by his cuteness) and Sylvia, Ryan and Jenny (famous UK dancers with credentials longer than my arm) and Eric the amazing hiphop/ movement instructor (I was feeling his class for days afterward).

6. Social dance time. Every night there was a dance giving us all opportunity to practice the days lessons and to fake at being better dancers than we really are. I was happily surprised to have several of the more experienced leads ask me to dance and show me how it's done.

7. Diverse people. From a grumpy octogenarian to the perky 18yr old hiphop dancer; French Canadians and Brits; many races, religions and origins. There were even French Canadians. Overall I found this diverse group fun and welcoming to a newbie like myself. I do hope to get back there again.

8. Dancing all day. Can't feel guilty about eating dessert at lunch and dinner when you're moving all day long :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Six Million Dollar Man Intro

Six Million Dollar DAD

So dad is doing pretty well now. He's back home, moving about the lower level of the house and the upper area of the "ground" in his wheelchair. It will take a lot of physical therapy and another surgery to get him back to full mobility. We learned this week that he will need a new shoulder. I have a joke with my kids when they get hurt that I ask them if I need to go to the ____(fill in the hurt body part) and get them a new _______(body part). Usually this makes them laugh, but if it doesn't, I suggest that we'd better hurry in case they run out of the little kid parts, and we get stuck with hairy man parts and then I get a little chuckle. Well, I had no idea you could actually get a new shoulder! It's pretty cool, really, but will be a major surgery and can't happen until dad is ambulatory perhaps in a few months. When all is done, my dad will have lots of metal in him... not sure if his surgeries and care will total six mill, but it's getting close to one.

"Gentleman, we can rebuild him....better, stronger...."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hanging on

Dad was in a motorcycle accident last week. He'll be alright, eventually. His doctor's expect a full recovery, it's just going to take a long time to heal his two broken legs and bum shoulder. Because of this and some other stuff I've been clinging to these verses a friend sent me. I thought I'd share the blessing.

From Isaiah 43
...listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

5 "Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

10 You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,
and understand that I alone am God.
There is no other God—
there never has been, and there never will be.
11 I, yes I, am the Lord,
and there is no other Savior.
12 First I predicted your rescue,
then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world.
No foreign god has ever done this.
You are witnesses that I am the only God,"
says the Lord.
13 "From eternity to eternity I am God.
No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
No one can undo what I have done."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Twins! sort of

My latest project was a birthday gift for L's best friend. L requested that I make "Twin dresses" with the pink and white fabric I promised to make her a dress from (last year). There wasn't enough of that fabric to make a "Spinny dress" so I incorporated some soft pink cotton knit fabric, the last of my pink knit stash I'm afraid. But the dresses turned out super cute. Here are the girls, Z on left and L on right.

Celebrating Z's birthday was a pretty big deal too, since her birth nearly killed her and her mom. I'm happy to report that both are doing great, five years later. Mother and daughter are spunky and adorable as ever.