Sunday, May 31, 2009

i'd like to introduce you.... my new friend.   Her name is Ravelry.  I know I am behind the times on this, so if this is old news to you, just humor me.   I have not had much time to spend with her due to the move, but I think she and I will be good friends.  She is a bit coy - if you are interested in joining Ravelry you have to sign up then wait for your invitation to join the community.  For me the wait was a whole 3 days.  Why??? I don't know my new friend well enough yet, so I won't complain.  I guess she's just popular.  I look forward to getting to know her, though I fear her peer pressure and am not sure I'm strong enough to resist her.  We shall see.....

I hope you had a great weekend.  June already?  I can't believe it....

Saturday, May 30, 2009


We are in the midst of moving, and in the hassle of it all I forgot that my photos are on our main computer (packed, moved.......)  Therefore.....  you will not see any photos for a week or so!  Sorry!  I'll be around in the meantime with some other tidbits.  For now, I'm going to sleep - tired from moving heavy items all day....  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We're back from Maine and catching our breaths - well, trying to. We're all a bit sniffly. Let's hope it passes quickly! As far as my crafty/creative needs, I manage to find ways to work some magic here and there, thus sanity preserved. I have nothing to show for my work yet, but hopefully soon. I have been a bad girl lately - spending too much time on etsy and getting way too many ideas. Good thing we're packing to move, or I may be tempted to actually buy lots of materials. I have exercised restraint and lately have only purchased this. I promise it is being crafted into something and it isn't just sitting there. One problem is I read other craft blogs and get introduced to all of these great fabric lines and designers whom which I would otherwise be blissfully ignorant. I LOVE unicorns and the whole fairy tale theme, but just noticed the price on that Heather Ross fabric bundle - what the heck?!?  UPDATE.....  That item link now no longer works.  Do you mean to tell me someone bought the entire 24 yard collection for $320?  I am jealous and amazed....  Here is Heather Ross's blog so you can see what I was referencing (the fabric designer for the Far, Far Away fabric I'm drooling over - more so now that it is so sought after and pricey - it makes it more exotic.)  

(As you can see, I learned how to use the link tool! I LIKE!)

I'll leave you with some shots of the day. A congested baby getting much needed rest - note the 3 pacifiers and 2 bug bites =( , and a shot from my window. I love this view of the winding driveway that is turning greener by the minute (photo not altered at all!) with all of the gentle rain falling as I type.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

taste of summer and loose ends

For dinner we had a summer favorite - tomato cucumber sandwiches.  Sounds simple and boring, but with mayo, salt and pepper it is far from dull!  They will only taste better as local, fresh veggies emerge.  Yum.  We jazzed them up a bit tonight with sliced fresh mozzarella and some basil.

Also, I realized in my rush I forgot to mention how I made Charlie's pants...  I traced a pair of his and made them a bit larger.  I also used this tutorial to refer to....  Lastly, I cheated a bit and used the bottom seam of the t-shirt as the bottom seam of the pant legs.  Fun and easy!  I am starting to read about serger sewing machines and wow does that seem luxurious....  maybe someday...  

We're off to Maine for a wedding this weekend and leaving in the AM.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

pants procrastination

My mother called me out on it. I am definitely procrastinating from packing at this point by sewing! Here are some pants I made for Charlie out of one of Adam's old t-shirts. Not the best job in the world, but they'resoft and comfy.  They are also a bit long, but I hear they keep growing...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

chef's apron and hat

I came across this link and thought the hat and apron were adorable.
My guy loves to play in his kitchen and stir empty pots while I cook, so I couldn't resist. I followed the hat pattern to a "t" - it is very large on him, but because it is adjustable it is doable - not that he's too into wearing it at the moment. He likes to look at it and throw it. I figure in a year or two when he gets the whole cooking thing and thinks dressing up is fun he'll enjoy it. I made up the apron pattern but looked at this one just to make sure I wasn't way off. I love the red fabric (from Robert Kaufman). I originally bought it with an apron for me in mind (one too many shirts with grease splash stains!), so that may be a project not too far down the road....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a great day

It was a great day overall. One of the highlights was definitely going into Joann's alone. The things I took for granted before. I wasn't completely alone... the boys were in the car (Charlie sleeping), so I didn't feel as if I could peruse freely without consequence, but nonetheless it was nice. I grabbed some great fabric and a few other necessities, and I already finished a project but now want to make something else to go along with it before posting a photo. My model also wasn't complying (to be fair it was 8 PM when I finished and said model needed sleepy time badly...), which is the real reason I have no photo at the moment. One thing I will tell you is I used fabric from Robert Kaufman's Metro Market line.... I saw this fabric over a month ago and told myself it was great, but I didn't need it. Since then it has crossed my mind many times so finally I caved. Hopefully I'll have postable images tomorrow!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pizza Fatigue

Pizza has been our go-to Friday night dinner for the past 3 seasons.  I couldn't take another night of it!  Having vetoed that plan I was stuck with what to do for dinner on a Friday.  Darn!  Trying to encourage the nice weather to stay I went with cool snack night foods.  In 2 hours while Charlie slept I boiled shrimp, made cocktail sauce, cooked fiddleheads, made veggies and dip, made a pasta salad and a strawberry rhubarb crisp.  That's right - all of that in 2 hours.  I love having time to myself to cook, but as I raced around the kitchen trying to get it all done before the babe woke up I kept reminding myself to enjoy my "me" time.  Haha!  It wasn't bad.  It became this race against the clock thing - a "see how much you can get done in one nap" game.  I even did a load of laundry in there somewhere.  (What the heck did I do with all of my time before Charlie?  Seriously?  Was I a lazy sloth?)    Just as Charlie was waking up I was trying to put out the cheese and crackers and pickled herring - "meal" complete.  Sure, I really didn't need to make all of that food, but you know when you go to the grocery store and instead of trying to think of one possible thing to make for dinner, 5-6 ideas pop in your head and the ingredients aren't too insane AND you can fit them all in one basket while hauling your baby (toddler!) in the other arm, as you promised yourself you only needed 4 things and why bother with the cart?  No?  You've never had an experience like that?  =)  Needless to say, I have had this happen often and my biceps are TONED - especially the left one - the one always carrying the toddler in those situations.  
Anyway, no pizza for me, and I'm a happy girl, until next Friday when I have to dream up something again.  It won't be this elaborate I can promise myself that.  

Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I have tried 2-3 recipes over the past few months.  I didn't have chocolate on hand, only cocoa today.  Wanted brownies, but wasn't willing to go to the store.  Here was the recipe that met my needs...
Definitely good - I just found them to be a disaster to cut.  They weren't pretty, but were very good (i.e. craving met)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rosemary Focaccia

I'm eating this as I type.  It's yummy - I give it 4/5 stars.  I agree with some of the reviewers that rosemary in the dough would be a nice addition, and also a bit less flour might make it more chewy in texture.  I baked it at 500 for the first 5 minutes and 475 for the last 10-15 - I took it out when it was nicely browned.

Monday, May 11, 2009

things I'm loving today

(Don't worry, Mom.  We aren't moving to Germany.)

I'm not a total hippie, but definitely have some tendencies =)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bath/Swim Shirt Take 1

When my brother and I were little, Mom made us terry cloth shirts/robes to wear after swimming lessons. The other day I bought a beach towel and thought I'd try to make one for my guy. I figured I needed to make it large considering terry doesn't stretch. I used a very worthy 2T sized shirt for my pattern =). You can see the finished result. I was so excited to try it on him and it STILL didn't fit despite the large size. After thinking about it for a day I have decided to make it a robe. It won't have quite as much fabric as a typical robe, but I don't want to trash it! I"ll post the finished project once I figure it out...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

homemade natural insect repellent

I finally got my order in yesterday from Mountain Rose Herbs and was so excited to get mixing up some recipes from my body care book. First on the agenda was definitely bug spray. It is spring in the Northeast. It was a simple blend of 1/2 cup soybean oil (known for its natural insect repelling qualities), 15 drops each of catnip, lemongrass and geranium essential oils and 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil (or basil essential oil - I bought eucalyptus as it is used in many other recipes in the book). I also bought the bottle that you see the finished product in from Mountain Rose Herbs - great website - they have a huge selection of herbs, oils, teas, containers, etc. You mix the ingredients in the bottle, shake vigorously to mix and let sit for an hour before use for max potency. You have to shake the bottle before each use. I'm really hopeful about this as I detest little annoying bugs and hate to use poisonous sprays on myself, and definitely needed a safe solution for Charlie. We shall see how it works! A side note - catnip smells very weird! The other oils kind of mask this, but a study found catnip essential oil to be more effective then DEET.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mama's Little Helper

So back to the post 2 days ago... there's something so cruel about getting new fabric and having to go through the process of washing and ironing it before you can dive into your project! Here's my son, trying to be helpful by digging the fat quarters out of the laundry basket and bringing them to me as I tried to gather them together and start a wash. It turned into a fun game of "cover the room in fabric and play hide and seek with it"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

The Madphrey Margarita..........

2 oz tequila (reposado)
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 oz grand marnier
ice cubes
(salt rim of glass if desired)

have your one year old give it a good shake.....


Monday, May 4, 2009

for all of you who quilt....

... look at this site! Limited fabric availability, but wow would I feel spoiled!
This site is also extremely cool!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

the never-ending vest

Have you ever had a project that just won't end? As much as I loved making this vest and was very excited about it, it is not the best project to put down for a few weeks (ok, maybe months) at a time and then pick back up. Especially considering the fact that I am not a great note taker and thus when I picked the project back up again I had to "read" the piece I was working on to figure out where I was in the pattern. Not fun. It made picking it back up again painful at times. I started this project in October just after I finished a cute green sweater for Charlie and I was entering the time of year where I really get the knitting bug. It wasn't the type of project that I could easily work on while doing something else - the pattern required attention, and often at the end of the day when I had time to sit down and work on it, I was too tired. Had it been a project without cables I probably would've been done with it in a few weeks. Something I will try to remember for projects in the near future. Thank goodness my little man is a peanut and he still fits in the size I made for him, though I did make it a bit bigger to maximize wear-time. I'm not sure he'll get much spring-time wear out of it as the temperature inevitably rises. Maybe it will still fit in the fall???

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I almost wasn't going to post this, but it was so enjoyed by giver and receiver I thought I should.  My darling baby brother turned 30 yesterday.  YES - that means I am a "thirtysomething."........  For his b-day I was trying to think of something nice, thoughtful, cute, clever.....  What I came up with turned out to be just as much of a gift for him as it was for me.  I took a piece of paper and using my paper cutter neatly sliced it up into 30 pieces (half length-wise then 15 cuts).  I wrote a memory on each piece - put them in a ziploc and tucked them into his card.  I really had the best time doing this.  I dreamt it up some sleepless night probably 2 weeks before Nick's birthday, so I had a few ideas in mind before pen actually hit paper, but I was shocked at the memories that came out of the pen the actual day I sat down to do this.  Things I hadn't thought of for YEARS!  For instance... I was struck by this memory of Nick and me receiving this beautiful pop-up book for Christmas from someone our dad worked with.  We were probably 5 and 7.  It was a shared gift.  We begged to differ.  I remember we fought over that thing like it was Hungry Hungry Hippos or something.   Memories like that are strangely so precious.  I love my brother so much - we are busy in our daily lives right now, but how lucky are we to go through life with someone (and for me the only one) with such similar genetics - such similar life experiences (until we fly the nest)?  At first I thought I should buy him a new shirt or tie for work for his big day.  I'm so glad for my insomnia........  I loved the experience probably more than he did, though he called me to assure me he loved it as well.