Friday, December 17, 2010

The stockings were hung...

     For years we haven't put out our Christmas stockings, because there just wasn't a good place to do so.  Then the other day i'm driving down the street and what should appear-- a shelf with exactly the right number of pegs for everyone's stockings!  It was "country" to say the least.  Matt took it down to the basement and gave it a few coats of paint and hung it in the dining room .  Now our stockings are finally joining in on the Christmas fun again!



     I would like to "shabby" it up when I get time so it matches with the mirror better.  I don't think I will leave it up all year, just at the Holidays.  Right now I have some Christmas trinkets from my past on it. Stuff I wouldn't get a chance to put out otherwise, so I am enjoying looking at it and savoring all the memories that go with those items.  However, I think I can put together a nicer display in the future.  At any rate, something was saved from a landfill that fills a need I had , and cost next to nothing!  Booya! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

This is Jassy's nutcracker collection in all its holiday finery.

Our wee tree trying to look big and glorious!  Note my Mother's wall hanging, which is actually big and glorious!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Matt does freezer paper stencils quite well

Matt has been messing around with some freezer paper stencil designs.  He has some put away for the boys for Christmas but also has done a few here that I can post.

A really cool Moguera shirt that was crazy complex!

Then, some undies for his Dad...

He is having a lot of fun with this, especially with stuff for the boys.  There are a lot of good tutorials out there, like this one from a great blog named

while Mom's away, the boys will play

This is the kind of stuff that goes on when I'm at work.  Add a camping play set made by my Mom with some figures from He-man and throw in some marshmallows and you get this...

Or maybe you'd like some gum?

  And reason 1,000,001 of why i love my husband is...  He leaves love notes for all of us!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Appreciating the vintage...

Just looking at some of my favorite vintage kitchen stuff makes me feel like I ate a big bowl of mac-n-cheese with stewed tomatoes and cornbread.  Comforted.

milk glass, a star-bottomed pitcher, trivets and a favorite tablecloth.

Grandma's old measuring cups, icepicks (which is one of my most useful kitchen tools), a juicer,  ice cream spade and a double boiler that I received for my birthday.

A special tablecloth I got on my last day of  living in Washington at a local thrift store and a new-to-me cake carrier in  amazing condition from the thrifty peddler in Lakewood.  I got that baby for just a couple bucks!

What things do you use all the time that bring you comfort and joy?  A favorite mug?  a special blanket?  There is something about making the mundane  into something special that makes life immensely enjoyable for me. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Something for Winter, Something for Spring

     I whipped myself up a couple of things lately that have made me happy.  First of all, I know it is almost Thanksgiving, but I made a skirt for Spring.  I found 2 pristine vintage pillowcases and couldn't keep my hands off them!  So what if it was practically snowing when I sat down at Hazel (my sewing machine, yeah, I also name my cars!)  Those pillowcases demanded to be reworked into something more fabulous!

Then, reality set in and the knitting needles came out!  Time for something warm!  I had picked up a cute vintage swing coat  for a steal at $10 and needed a hat to go with it.  I used a pattern I found on Ravelry by Rachel Iufer .  I of course, screwed up and knitted too many rows but salvaged it by flipping the brim.  On the bright side-- my ears will be even toastier!
I have fallen in love with the color!!!!!!!!
While I was busy making this stuff, my daughter was busy making my grand baby!  She was a little early, but her Mom tried her very best to keep the little bun baking as long as possible!  I have had the chance to finally hold her now that she is out of the NICU and it was heavenly!!!!!!!!!

What a dolly!!!!!!!!!  Olivia Jean!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time to be appreciative..

     I need a big dose of counting my blessings right now, so here's a few...
***Amazingly warm, gorgeously golden Autumn day!

***Sweet husband that gave me a super hairdo!

***Awesome friends and family that helped celebrate the hopefully-still-month-away birth of my Granddaughter at Jassy's shower.  I love a gathering of women of all ages and experience levels.  I always learn something, laugh at something, hug somebody and become energized by everyone's company.
***The Tooth Fairy.  As described by Wolfie, "She has wings and a wand.  She has a beautiful dress and a pretty nice looking face.  She has good hair, like green or something."  Vlad thinks she will ride in on a purple motorcycle and wake him up.

***apple picking in the countryside, by yourselves.  Quiet, except for apple crunching!

***Colorful flowers in the yard, at the end of October.

***Perfect french toast.
***"Madeline" episodes on

***Dog cousins lovingly being fed lollipops. Complete with requests not to chew it, only lick it.  Don't want to hurt the teeth.

***A nice boss.
***A daughter that is still excited about being pregnant, even though she is having a hellified pregnancy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How do you hide Giant cupcakes?

Put them in a pot and the boys will think they are dinner and avoid them at all costs!

                             And the sad little cake that was frosting repellent, but was eaten anyways...
This was all in the name of Birthday Joy for My Mom-in-Love, Jo!  She requested a Christmas tree skirt as a gift, which I attempted to sew.

It was quite an endeavor, as my fabric shrunk.  a lot.  Like 6 inches of project gone.  I went to the fabric store at least twice a day for enough days in a row that I was afraid they might think I was a stalker and take out a restraining order.  I just couldn't get my head around this project.  I am easily distracted-- oh! colorful pins!!  Sewing madness ensued...

 At any rate, I finished it and got to spend a great day with a great lady (a lady that receives some really good birthday cards, ahem, Momma K, Bettye and David!)

P.s.  Matt left the boys this drawing the other day and I think it is really sweet, because the boys LOVE Manatees!

Isn't he the best?!?!

I heart Hedgehogs!

     My sweet husband made his Mom a super-cute tote bag for going to the library with the Hoffbros.  It is just one of the things the boys love to do with Grandma!  The tote has a pic of a hedgehog on it.
 It made me think about these little old ladies that used to visit the nursing home I worked at in Washington every week.  Sometimes they had a basket on their arms covered with a tea towel, like it should be filled with warm cookies or some such treat.  But no!  it was filled with little sweetie-pie hedgehogs!  Rolled into balls and busy being darling!  Then just a few weeks ago, i was at the zoo with my Mom and a lady had  some little HH's too!  They get me all fired up.  So I went looking for more of them and found that they make me smile...
Poor little guy has a boo boo!

A Girl!

Madonna and child

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil


Friday, October 8, 2010

5 senses time!

tasting :: Mac -n-cheese from hot sauce williams!
hearing ::   Yet another tantrum by Wolfie as he figures out how far he can push the boundaries.  bliss.  joy.
smelling :: all manner of lovely food smells wafting around in the autumn air while we ran errands tonight.
seeing :: Pictures of Vlad we had taken tonight in a little jumpsuit that was Matt's as a tot.  We now have photos of Matt, Wolf and Vlad in it.  Vlad just barely squeezed into it (Wolf's pic was taken at 1 1/2 years old, Vlad is 3!)  He looks like a child living on the USS Enterprise!
feeling:: tired.  Not wanting to work this weekend.  I'm just not in the mood to do all the convincing, motivating, coercing, etc... that it will require of me.  

What are your 5 senses, um, well,sensing today?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A little Q & A...

Making : goo-goo eyes at my sweetheart!
Cooking : an awesome last minute casserole, using leftover rice, homemade pesto,
broccoli/onions/'shrooms and a little cheese.  Turned out much more delish than expected.  Plus,
bonus points for using up the leftover rice.
Drinking : had a peach cider slushie today at the orchard. mmmmmmmmm!
Reading: "Simply sublime gifts : high-style, low-sew projects to make in a snap" by jodi kahn
Wanting: Less crap in my house.
Looking: rough around the edges
Playing: Not much today, it was very busy!
Wasting: "waisting"-- I have been eating too many goodies lately.
Sewing: baby stuff!
Wishing: for an extra couple hours each day!
Enjoying: Apples, fresh picked.
Waiting: to have my fridge fixed.
Liking: My husband's artistic side.
Wondering: when Olivia will be born
Loving: Getting to spend extra time with Jas
Hoping: Vladdie will get back to normal pooping.  Currently holding it in, ever since potty training.  Making himself miserable.
Marveling: at Wolfie's first loose tooth
Needing: motivation
Smelling: Matt's old-timey cologne, lilac vegetal :)
Wearing: a chewbacca shirt that says "let the Wookie win"
Following: not much. Behind on the news.  Not watching any tv.  Not interested in sports, movies,
Noticing: I got out of work on time today, for a change
Knowing:  "This too shall pass" is a good mantra
Thinking: about Jassy's baby shower
Opening: my mind to positive thoughts
Giggling: at something Matt said in the car, wish I could remember what it was.
Feeling: aggravated that Wolfie has another stuffy nose.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Making swag for the grandbean

 I have finally made a few goodies for the grandbean!  I knit a baby cocoon!  This cocoon was knit using the Laurel Love Cocoon pattern. 

Matt imagines he's holding a grand baby burrito...

OMG!  It is Totoro Puchajda!!!!!! (I'm pretty sure they will NOT name the baby Totoro)

I also made a crinkly taggy which is a thing that is crinkly and has tags for the bean to chew on and grab at.

It is crinkly, it is taggy, it is a crinkly taggy!!!!!!

Who knows what else Hazel (my sewing machine) and I will cook up together before the beanie baby is born???????

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh naps, how I miss thee!

     Napping, one of the greatest joys in life.  I had forgotten about the wonderfulness of a nap, because, in all honesty, I can't remember the last time I took one!  I was reading an article in a magazine about the virtues of napping and it all came back to me.  I have always treasured a nap, a little sneak of a sleep.  When Wolfie was born, I made a solemn vow to nap when he napped.  It made all the difference in the world to this old Mama's over-taxed brain and body.   Then Vladdie came, and naptime became a battle--  Trying to discern exactly the right moment that two children on different developmental schedules might possibly be coaxed into falling asleep.  Two boys that had way too much to do to possibly fall asleep.
     I began to think back in my napping history to some of my most famous naps.  Ones that practically make me drool just thinking about them today.  I can remember as a little girl, sleeping on a Saturday, while my Grandmother's vacuum hummed from the reaches of the house.  Light streaming in through yellow gingham curtains while the little dust sparkles, kicked up by Grandma's cleaning, no doubt, twinkled in the beam.  I remember feeling peaceful and right with the way everything was and drifting off to sleep in my great big bed.
     I remember sneaking into the library, the cool air conditioned library of my high school.  I would find an empty bottom shelf, somewhere hidden, and put my purse in place as a pillow, sleeping in that little nook all afternoon.  I like to imagine that the librarian knew I was there, but wished she could do the same, and let me sleep, sleep, sleep.
      I remember back in the days when having a tan meant you were "healthy", laying out in the sun, damp enough to sizzle in the heat.  Feeling the rays bake my skin while listening to America's Top 40.  A beach towel over a plastic chaise lounge chair and the smell of  Hawaiin Tropics in the air.
     I remember playing hooky when I got my 1970's era Impala, a boat of a car, with bench seats that were so long, I could lay out fully across them and still have room.  A detour on the way to school on a beautiful spring day found me in the Metroparks, in an area more like a forest than a park.  I opened the windows, stretched out, covered up and slept for hours with the sunlight playing through the leaves of the heavy trees.
     I longingly recall the times I spent near  Lake Erie on a Saturday afternoon.  Jasmine was old enough to play with her friends unsupervised, so I laid out a blanket under a big old tree on top of a hill overlooking the lake.  I read, meditated and drifted off to the sound of the water lapping at the beach, children playing and a breeze blowing just enough to keep the temperature perfect.
      That brings me to the days of trying , sometimes for hours to get the boys to nap at the same time so that I might get a sliver of rest too.  It was like wrestling them to sleep, terrible, yet wonderful once I finally succeeded. I laid in that bed, all of us together and relished it, truly relished it.  I felt compelled by the deliciousness of it to write this at the time:
    A Family Naps
The fan hums,
the music box lullaby trudges dutifully on
tethering restless minds to drowsy pillows.
like a nest of puppies.
Feet touching hips, knocking knees, locking elbows, mussing hair.
While wisps of words are mumbled like peeks
through a keyhole into their dreams.

     Oh to nap again, someday, I tell myself. When I am less needed, less busy.  Then I will sneak off for another nap of epic proportions.  I swoon just thinking about it!  What are your favorite napping memories?

    This one is Jasmine coaching me during labor!