Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy 3rd 21 days

Taking a break from slacking, err....being otherwise busy, to finally share some pics from the Tot's 3rd birthday. Aside from him coming down with an illness about half way through the day, it was a good day. The cake baking and decorating was less stressful, the gift opening and candle blowing out was actually performed by the Tot, and the mess at the end was slightly less messy. Oh, yeah - there was the one glitch where I discovered that the reason the chocolate cake tasted just a little off was because apparently the oil that I used (at my mom's house) was oil that she had already used to make french fries. Oops. She really should keep that in a separate place - or in something other than the original bottle. While I am all for reusing, I do not recommend this particular application. Although nobody said they had an odd craving for ketchup with their cake, so it was all good.

This was the happy child during his birthday lunch of chocolate milk and toast with jelly, still wearing his jammies. If I let him, he would probably indulge in this behavior every day.

The cake - he wanted a train and rather than do any of the actual train cake designs out there, I created the scene with tracks and used a vintage wooden train candle holder that my mom pulled out of her endless supply of vintage goodies.

And, yes, he did receive a hand knit sweater which I will have to blog at a future date as he has thus far refused to model it for proper photographing.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ah, Fall!

Thanks to some cool weather and blogless Erin's request for some pumpkin colored yarn...I came out of my knitting slump! When I turned to my stash I found that I had lots of pumpkin colored yarn, as well as some green and brown (although not the right gauge for Erin). I found a simple pumpkin pattern on ravelry and now I have my first Autumn decoration of the year.

Finn holding it to give you an idea of size...

I only got one quick shot of the lone pumpkin before my assistant lay claim to the squash and would not allow me to continue, so I guess he likes it despite the look he's giving me in the photo. My yarn was bulky, which worked just fine for the chunky pumpkin, though the pattern did call for worsted. If I make more of these for myself, I'll probably do them in different sizes and try some light green and/or cream to make them more Fall and less Halloween-y. Now...I just may cast on my gray yarn and have another go at that sweater.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I think I know what that is...something about using needles with yarn to make loops. Oh, yes - I did some of that a few months ago and was well on my way to a soft and beautiful, knit cardigan for myself to wear this fall. I had even made a gauge swatch or two for the project (that's a big deal, here). And then I realized it was not going to be for me to wear at all unless frumpy is "in" or I gained lots of weight. I DO love doughnuts and ice cream, but I wasn't gonna go there. So after ignoring it and all other yarn in my bag for a long while, I got up the courage to deconstruct.

And this is where I am now. Unraveled, having second thoughts about continuing the project (darn you, new, enticing patterns attempting to steer me from my path). And I'm afraid it will take some cool weather to bring back the knitting mojo. Which means it probably won't be finished in time for me to wear this Fall.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Favorite Jammies

I know we all like to hang out in our jammies every now and then, but I think my latest sewing project has put the Tot over the edge with his own desire to lounge. Well...he'd actually like to wear them in the sand box and all over town, but I've drawn the line.

These whipped up rather quickly using only supplies I had in my stash. I sort of winged it on the top and the result is a rather large neck opening, but he doesn't seem to mind. I was going to make the bottoms short, but kept them long because the try-on for size revealed how cute they are full length. The light fabric makes these the perfect summer jammies. (Albeit flammable for any safety freaks out there.)

I must makes me so happy that he seems to love these over the store-bought jammies with the toddler-enticing, drum-playing dinosaurs on them.

Oh...and the vintage child's hanger in he first photo was my father's.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Are we gonna die?

Wow! Just shy of having a two month lapse here on the blog. Sometimes life just gets in the way. And this is going to be photo-less (!!!).

A few weeks back, Cara shared this recipe she had come across for Brown Butter Ice Cream. She was hoping someone with an ice cream maker would make some for her. I love to make and eat ice cream and am no stranger to butter, browned or otherwise, so I jumped at the idea. Okay, I initially jumped and then after several occasions of having all the ingredients but never having the time or forethought to do the cooking part, I finally got my act together and made it last Friday. I figured I would make it first for myself to test and then again for Cara.

The results: A good custard recipe with the nutty aroma and flavor of brown butter. It turned out nice and thick. R and I each had a small bowl and after a couple spoonfuls, the words "Are we gonna die?" were uttered in all seriousness. Sadly, it was not, "Are we gonna die from eating a whole batch of butter ice cream in one sitting because it is so good?" It was, "Are we gonna die because I can already feel a 1/4" layer of butter on the roof of my mouth and can only imagine how my arteries are going to look if I take one more bite."

If you like to eat butter by the spoonful, this recipe is for you! Otherwise, I caution against getting your hopes up for this one. We just couldn't stomach the grease. Maybe I did it wrong since the author of that article seems pretty confident in it's yumminess.

Afterthoughts: I'm wondering if you could get the brown butter flavor without the greasy mouth by pouring off most of the melted butter before adding it to the mix and just using primarily the browned bits. Seems a bit wasteful, but so is contaminating an otherwise good batch of ice cream.

Also, I initially thought that the 1/2 cup of butter in the recipe was a reasonable amount, but in the end this seemed to make much less than your average homemade ice cream recipe and so turned out to be a lot of butter per serving (provided you can actually eat a normal size serving, which I doubt).

I considered using the remaining ice cream on top of waffles on Sunday morning, but we just couldn't do it. I would offer up the remaining ice cream to anyone who wants to try it, but we both dumped our half eaten bowlfuls back into the main batch. If you don't mind our saliva, come on over.

Since I'm not sure I can bring myself to make this again, I'm willing to lend you my ice cream maker, Cara. I think I'm going to keep my brown butter far away from my ice cream for now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

the model

Ask and you shall receive...

And I was so pleased to get these vintage shoes from my mom's stash. These would have been one of my brother's from the 60's...well worn, but so much nicer than the crap they sell today. I even got another, less worn pair in a larger size for future use.

Now, I'm going to try not to stare at these photos all day because I'm supposed to be packing, but darn, isn't he cute!?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dapper Dan

Well, he's not a Dan, but I must say that Finn looked quite dapper when I stuck this on him for his cousin's wedding last month. However, he does share his middle name with his great grandfather who was named Dan and he ALWAYS wore bow-ties. Still no sewing machine (getting it back in working order this weekend!), so I stitched this up by hand.

Yep, that's the seersucker from the fabric fair extravaganza. Just the touch needed to finish off his linen suit.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pop the cork...

my Bubbly is done! Started over a year ago, but neglected for the majority of that I don't know why I didn't just finish it sooner. Once you get past the first half of the pattern it becomes much easier since it is much less random.

Here it is blocking...

There are two problems with the final product.
1) I ran out of yarn about 80% of the way through. I ordered more and while it's barely noticeably while hanging on my door, there is definitely a color shift that became apparent when I blocked it. I'm really not concerned with this.

2) The entire curtain used 8 balls of yarn, which means lots of ends to weave in. Since this is a rather sheer knit being held up to the light, that means that the woven in ends become visible when light streams through from behind. Ooops. So, if you're going to attempt a curtain that will be sheer, either get a large enough skein or cone of yarn with no ends, or perhaps switch balls at the end of a row and weave in ends up and down the edges. Since it is already starched, I think I'm going to let it go, but if I ever wash it again, I'll consider trying to weave them in less noticeably.

Despite these little issues...I LOVE it! The photo is a little looks awesome live. I starched it like mad and it does hang pretty flat, but there is a little drape and I probably should have made it just a tad wider to accommodate that. Still deciding on the rod to hang it...the makeshift rod in my photos is actually a plant support - that's how eager I was to get it up on the door.

Okay, Erin...your turn! ;)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yay, Fabric!

Nothing like a little (or lots of) fabric to bring the blog out of hibernation. I'd been looking forward to making my inaugural trip to an annual, thrifty fabric fair for a long time and was lucky enough to attend with some like-minded friends. Indeed, the fair did not disappoint and we were happy to hand over a little money for a lot of fiber. While there were a lot of people, we were definitely outnumbered by the goods being offered and it was a polite crowd, so making your way through the yardages was not an unpleasant task. Alright, onto the goods...

Some basic cotton with a little seersucker thrown in (I see blue summer jammies in the tot's future)...

a few cotton canvas pieces...

some lovely florals (yum!)

a few small bits (perhaps with a future as doll dresses?)...

some yarn thrown in for good measure...

and this lovely quilt top that pulled me in with its crisp white and bright colors...

Are you noticing a trend with the blue, green, and purple? I've always been purple and green's biggest fan, but the blue is a bit of a surprise to me. Perhaps a little influence from the tot who is rather blue-obsessed?

I also picked up some great fabrics for baby-wrapping (business expense, right?), a bit of wool, and several packs of bias tape. Sadly, I somehow missed the buttons - I'm thinking there was a crowd around them when I was in the area and so I just never got a peek. Grand total...34.90.

Now...there's just that little issue of my sewing machine having decided to give up on me last month. Where there are good friends, there are loaner sewing machines (did you all know how cool Michelle is? Very cool.), but I'm determined to resolve my machine issues for good later this month. Until then...I'll either be knitting that yarn or planning some fun new sewing projects. I'm looking forward to having the fabric determine the projects as opposed to the project driving the fabric selection as is usually the case.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A lesson for you

The tot cannot stress enough the importance of keeping moisturized during the winter - the heat can be so drying, not only to your skin, but to your hair as well. A few squirts of Aveeno should do the trick.

Later the same day he managed to completely soak himself with water and then in his third outfit of the day, he ended up covered in flour from head to foot. This is how we stay busy in winter.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

as read by the Tot

Food, food, food, food, food, food.

The End

Isn't that beautiful? He often insists on reading his books to us after we've read them to him. Sometimes it's the same series of mumbled sounds repeated page after page, sometimes it's a few choice words or a single one, and sometimes it's a lovely poem. Almost always, it ends with "The End."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

week 2

When it's zero degrees outside...

And a self-portrait by Finn...with some friends.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Holiday Recap

A few quick tidbits:

The holidays were lovely. Finn was definitely into Christmas more this year, but was still a little overwhelmed, I think. Understandable, considering the magnitude of Christmas morning in our family can be overwhelming for an adult. We do "our" Christmas morning at my parents separately, before everyone converges for the big family Christmas morning . We set up at one of the smaller trees that my mom decorates. This year Santa brought Finn a new tricycle. He doesn't quite have the hang of it, but some of his older cousins gave him a demonstration.

He's sporting his Christmas jammies that I made.

Additional handmade gifts included two scarflets. One for my mom...

and one for my sister-in-law...

details on ravelry, folks.

I also made some lovely ornaments for the girls, details and photos to come.

And, I haven't forgotten the "share your treasured ornament" request from the Spice lady. I didn't do a full size tree this year, so I didn't have all of my ornaments out. There is one from my childhood, a Paddington Bear glass ball, that was always special because it made me feel special. Most of the ornaments on our tree growing up were my mom's, but this one was mine and none of my siblings had a similar ornament to claim as their own. It needed to be hung at the top of the tree so that it wouldn't get broken and this required my dad to hold me up so that I could hang it. I felt sooo honored to have my ornament displayed at the top near the star. I guess when you're the baby of 8 kids, it's these little things that make you feel special.

As an adult, I think some of my favorite ornaments are the ones that have been made by my sisters or mom. Here are a few from recent years:

this one made by my sister from an artwork postcard...

this one received from another sister this Christmas, made from a vintage paper spoon that came from the grocery store that my grandparents used to own...

and here's a little birdhouse made by my sister-in-law a few years back...
and the first of what I'm sure will become great memories, a puzzle ball ornament that I made for Finn this year.

It was made using the fabric from last year's Christmas pajamas and this year's Christmas pajamas. I plan to make one each year using his pajama fabric and he'll have ornaments on our tree that he can play with as well as a set of balls to take with him when he sets out on his own... a long, long, long, long time from now : ).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Week 1

I have loads of catching up to do and I hope that it will happen soon, but until then I just wanted to put this out there in the hopes that maybe I can recruit some others to play along.

If you're a flickrite, you've likely heard of this or other similar groups. 52 weeks - my kid(s) and me. The goal is to take a photo of you with your child(ren) every week for one year. I've thought about doing this for a while and now I'm going to attempt to make it a reality. So here's my first week...two pics, but whatever.

I got a remote for my camera for Christmas and you can just barely see in the second photo that the tot is the one holding it, so he actually took both shots.

If you've got a child, I invite you to give it go, share it on flickr, share it on your blog, share it wherever it is that you do your sharing. It doesn't have to be fancy and you can have someone else take the pic if you need to. No pressure, just encouragement to capture some of the daily moments that you share with your little ones. Hey, my first week is no make-up, straggly haired me and the tot in jammies - anything goes.