Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Charming.

Three things happened at three different times to bring us to the fun we had yesterday.

1st- A while back I saw a neat tutorial on making charms out of shrinkable plastic over at Sublime Stitching and thought it looked really fun.
 
2nd- The other day,  I just happened to walk right by the shrinkable plastic at the craft store. I picked up two packages, clear (clear worked best for us) and white, and thought "Why not?"

3rd- Yesterday, we needed something neat to do between school-work and dinner. "Let's shrink plastic!" It wasn't a hard sell...

We made the cutest charms! We just traced some Sublime Stitching transfers and colored them in with sharpies. So easy! We made our own designs too. The big hit were simple hearts with our initials in them. We made a ton. If I know where you live don't be surprised if you get one. The boys got some cursive practice and were surprised by the idea that you can use lower-case letters for proper names! I told them that you can change those kinds of rules as an artist. They really liked that. I think they liked using Sharpies even better.

We made one special charm, nice and tiny for a certain firefighter we know to tuck in his pocket when he is away.

Sadly, we also had one casualty. Despite all the warnings of; "Hot cookie sheet coming through!" and "Don't touch babe." and "Be careful, this just came out of the oven" or "Take one step back kiddo." And many reminders of, "You can look close-up once they are cool OK?", we still managed a burned chin. Poor guy. I couldn't blame him though. It really is exciting to take 'em out and see the finished product. I got a bit giddy too just thinking about all the cute little necklaces, and ornaments, and treasures, and magic coins we can make. Really, it's addictive.

We will be making leaves to go with the leaf project that Sully took the lead on today. 

Can't wait to share the leafy-ness tomorrow!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy.

Has your intro to Fall been as busy as ours?

We have been celebrating special birthdays, running to the beach and enjoying Dad being home. There has been a little (frustrating) embroidery. A complete update is soon to follow on that project. Maybe when not so frustrated:)

Other than that we have been out of the house lots, which is good because today with all the wind and morning-time grey, we just want to be inside and cozy. 

The weather has also inspired this girl to try on her new boots! They have been thoroughly worn in by her brothers and have seen many puddles in their day. They should do her just fine.

Next time we will remember pants.

Have a great Tuesday! Any cozy projects on your to-do list?




Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Prepping For Kitchen Table Projects.

Today was hot again. I am not fooled. I am preparing for all the cooler weather, indoor projects that are just around the corner.

A few weeks back I found some neat oil cloth in lots of fun prints and colors. Then I had a vision, a vision of PLAY MATS! I have been wanting something other than paper shopping bags for playing and surface protecting. We don't have many paper bags around the house anymore anyway, so it was definitely time for something reusable.

I had a ton of felt left over from the underwater project below. That blue felt needed a purpose.

I cut some felt into one large piece for the back/play side. I really liked both sides of the oil cloth. So, for the front/messy side, I cut the cloth in half in order to use both and to make it interesting.

Turns out the black part of the oil cloth is also a chalk surface, bonus! Then I just stitched the oil cloth down the middle to make one piece and sewed it to the felt. I did a diagonal stitch from both corners, creating an X, (a sloppy X mind you) to keep it all together.

I punched two holes with a hole puncher on one end and looped a length of yarn through each so we can roll up the mat and tie it together like a sleeping bag for storage.

Here are both sides being used and they are a hit! It worked and I am no seamstress so ANYBODY could make one. The felt side is ideal for roll-y Legos, tiny beads or mini bike parts as shown above. The other side can be wiped down after paint, clay, chalk or anything else messy. One user said the felt side was good for bike jumps if you bunched it up a bit. I told him I totally planned that and constructed it that way on purpose, (wink-wink.)

Indoor projects, we are ready for you!

Have a great weekend! Is it still warm where you are?



Love Those...

...impromptu, mid-week, twisty road drivin', 

boardin' with your Uncle, flip-flop losin',

baby toes in the sand, fish-n-chips eatin'

...trips to Stinson Beach.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Relishing.

The boys came home talking all about Autumnal Equinox. 
 
We ate outside on our first official autumn day. I always start living "Fall" when school starts so the official season has finally caught up with me. We had some yummy fish tacos, then a walk and some frisbee and of course plenty of picture taking. 

I found myself complaining earlier about how brown everything is and how I longed for green again. There really is beauty and fun to be had from the beginning to the end of each season. 

Having kids around helps remind me of that.

Here is the easy recipe for "Jeff's Fire-House Fish Tacos". He got the idea from work and tweaked it a bit. Man those guys can cook (and eat!). The kids seem to enjoy them and they were voted one of the favorite meals from our house-boating trip. That says a lot because we eat GOOD on those trips! 



FIRE HOUSE FISH TACOS

Stuff you'll need-

corn tortillas and a tad of oil
frozen fish sticks or fillets (stay with me)
shredded cabbage (or lettuce or somethin')
1/2 onion
handful cilantro 
a little garlic
shredded mozzarella cheese
lime juice
any salsa you want, green and mango are our faves. 
grated parm (optional)

Heat fish sticks/fillets as directed. Cut up your onion, cilantro and garlic. Combine to make a little relish. Add salt and pepper if you want. Heat and soften your tortillas any way you like. We use a bit of oil on the pan and lightly heat both sides. Sprinkle shredded cheese on open tortilla. Lay one fillet or two fish sticks end to end in middle of tortilla. Sprinkle with the relish. Add some shredded cabbage and drizzle with lime juice. Spoon your salsa on top. If desired, line up assembled tacos and sprinkle with grated parm before serving. 

Try it out and let me know what you think! Happy Autumn!



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wings Over Two Rock.

So here is a glimpse into the most beloved hobby amongst the boys around here.

Remote Control Vehicles!  

Personally I don't get it. I love watching and supporting, but I am constantly terrified that these beautiful planes, cars and boats that have been so lovingly hand crafted (I am talking HOURS of work) are gonna crash and burn before my eyes. It seems to be a lot of time in production and very little in the air or sea. 

Here is the latest model plane with my (ahem) little Kodak EasyShare camera strapped to the wing with foam and tape. This was the 4th try I believe. They will have to do another flight when the grass is a little greener and when we have more cows hanging around. 

(Don't feel bad if you don't watch all of it. It makes me dizzy:)

video      

Have a great day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Throughout The House.

How was your weekend? Ours was good! Beach and Grammie and Grampie, need I say more?

J is home and gets 4 whole days off! We all get so happy to see him after being away for several days at a time that we are just buzzing around with excitement. I just love that he gets his weekends in the middle of the week! It turns out we are adjusting to and even enjoying the new schedule.

So here is a little update and we gotta get back to our "weekend"...

Here are the little butterflies I stitched up weeks ago. The design is a Sublime Stitching transfer. I stitched 'em on some pretty fabric squares and up they went in their hoops on Minna's little wall. (She still just has a little nook in with us.) Someday I hope to hang them in her very own bedroom above her bed. I am going to appreciate the flowery yellow when the rain hits the windows.

Next up? It's a big one. 

My eyes fell upon this beauty and I instantly thought of the Christmas advent calendar my siblings and I fought over every year. It was a beautifully drawn doll-type house with lots of rooms and a cute little Santa that moved throughout the house 'til he reached the tree on December 25th. Clever huh? I am crazy enough to recreate the scene with fabric and thread so we can have our own advent calendar to fight over. 

I am tracing it carefully and while doing so, omitting some unneeded busy-ness and adding some details that personalize it for us. Of course it has to have 3 kids instead of 5! There will be some other neat little changes and as soon as I find a way to get the drawing onto the fabric and actually start the embroidery, I will share more. 

Like I said, it's a big one.

Have a great Monday! (Or weekend, whichever the case may be:)


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dinner And A Movie.

We have had a hot week! 


The cool of our coast hasn't been bringing the temperatures of the evenings down like we are used to. With the 5 of us cooking and living in the house our little place gets quite warm. So outside we go for dinner! We grab our plates, the highchair the Thanksgiving table cloth, (well we were very thankful) and to the deck we went. It felt good...

Then off to the fire house for movie night! I forgot my camera so let me paint you a picture...

Many little ones in their jammies and pillows cuddled with friends, old and new. Babies, cozy and nursing. Homemade hot chocolate and whipped cream made right on sight. Don't forget baby marshmallows! Kettle popped popcorn served in little kid-sized tubs that had the perfect ratio of butter and salt. Excited kids with flushed cheeks who got to run around and play afterward in the dark and on the fire engines when they know they really should be in bed already. (Remember how wonderful that was when you were a kid?)

Fun night and it is finally cool! Good thing we got the left-over hot chocolate. I think I may be ready for a cup shortly.

Sleep tight and have a fun weekend!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Knittin' All Around.

With the 100th out of the way, I have to mention some projects!

We did lots of knitting and learning on the boat! The boys are enjoying it almost as much as myself. I think what they really love is the one on one with Grandma and the fact that she packed new kid sized needles just for them. They are adorable! They have just enough grip to hold the yarn in place while little fingers do their thing.

Colyer liked making the yarn chains and I hope to crochet them into something down the line. Sully-boy is a pro at straight knitting already! Maybe a scarf will be his first project?

I finished a purdy blue scarf  for my own neck while on vacation. Here I am modeling it on the lake in a swim suit. Is that weird? 

I started another scarf too! It's a bit quirky but such a pretty purple! This one's in the works for a certain little sis of mine that will be living in much colder climates come January. Almost done K!

So now, a poncho for my girl. I am not going from a pattern so wish me luck. Seems simple enough, just two rectangle pieces kind of pieced and stitched together with a hole in the middle. Wait. Was that simple? We all know how over confident I am in my hand working abilities so check in soon to see what happens. 

I want my girl's shoulders warm this coming season!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monkeying Around With This Blog Business.

ONE HUNDRED! 
That is kind of a lot for something I was inspired to do one minute, 
and on a whim, just did it the next.

People around me have said "I don't get it." Or "Well, if  YOU like it, then go ahead." I am not sure I get it myself. For some reason trying to journal the old fashioned way doesn't have the same appeal. I do enjoy seeing my photographs and meager text on the computer screen. Very satisfying, and humbling. That's a nice balance.

I also hear "But, why?" I have come to find the answer to that for myself only as my posts have numbered. There are countless posts all over the Mom-blog universe that try to answer that question. An article in a back issue of Mothering magazine which served as inspiration for me, featured several amazing, creative, blogging women and for all of them writing about the importance of family, connections and embracing their daily lives were all common themes. 

The "why" for me is that it is very fulfilling to grasp, photograph and write about something that comes up in my own daily life that is beautiful, fun or interesting. Even if only to me. I have proven to myself that there is ALWAYS something, no matter what. It can make a person a true optimist in spite of the dizzying moments and stressful days. Even through the days where I raise my voice and all the times that I feel I am not parenting the way I want to. There are days when we all feel we weren't productive or living like we want to be. 

So somehow, in between the not so pretty day to day stuff, the loves of my life inspire me to be more conscientious of how we live and they inspire me to be productive. Even if it is just by putting one of my pictures and a few words together that represent a sliver of one of our days together. One moment of our history. We are creating a family history, everyday.


So this girl, with camera at the ready, is attempting to capture it in any way she can. 
(And she really appreciates when you folks are along for the ride:)


* Note* 
Contradictory of what I said yesterday, no self portraits here! I am the goof on the left in the top photo, could you guess? Good one. My lil' photogs, Sully and Colyer took the bottom two for me. It's funny, I feel I look most like myself when the kids are in the shots with me. One of these days I will try to compose a self portrait. I still think it is nearly impossible...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Morning Person.

I have always considered myself a night person. I still am a night person at heart but I tell ya, almost-autumn mornings around here are so lovely that they could convert me. The sun is still rising early enough so we can wake to light coming in our windows. And being in California, we are still on the cusp of needing a sweater and not needing one. 

If it weren't for the brown hills and baby pumpkins popping up all around us, I could almost be convinced it were the beginning of Spring instead of Fall. What a nice transition.

Tomorrow will be my 100th post! I may even be daring enough to post a self portrait. (First I guess I need to take one, we''ll see.)  Then I will be back to covering some project updates plus, all our handmade holiday goodness is just around the corner.

Fall brings all kinds of good things.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back In The Loop.

No matter what, after a trip we always come home to empty cupboards. So I plan some meals and start a new to-do list. I slowly try to get things back to our standard routine. I don't know if you can truly have a routine with 3 littles and a husband with an odd work schedule, but we do our best.

I needed to try and fill our cupboards and pick up a few odds and ends that our little home office lacked. So, list in hand, off we went...

2 hours later, I am home, minus two of the most important items! It is not a quick trip into town either. 

Don't worry yourselves though. At least I came home with these neat old embroidery hoops I found at Summer Cottage Antiques. That place always gets me sidetracked. (Darn you neat little sewing baubles!)

Oh well, the busy work in the office can wait anyway.

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rested.

We are rested. 
The tears caused by leaving the houseboat
 and the rest of the family behind have been wiped away. 

Now there are the memories...

and the pictures.

The kids have grown so much over the past year and they have more fun together with each passing trip. Lots of laughs, and gettin' in trouble. We had buckets, shells, wet swim suits and muddy orange foot prints scattered EVERYWHERE.

Minna and I did lots of toddling, nursing in the shade and knitting. (I wasn't the only knitter in the heat either.) I even finished a project. More on that later.

There were little boys with newly acquired wake boarding skills that rivaled the bigger boys. 

As if there weren't enough hilarity amongst the group, we added the crazy contraption below to the mix. That thing was fodder for many laughs...

...and heart-attacks.

We got one spectacular sunset that my camera could not quite capture.

But I sure tried.

'Til next time...