Can You Hear That?

It’s the sound of silence.

It’s a rainy Friday night here in the ATL. Miss L is tucked into bed and I’m camped out on the couch, surfing for a few before I dive into finishing up a tutu order. My oldest is off to the movies with his not-girlfriend and a couple other folks. Honey is away at a firm retreat. My middle child doesn’t start spring break until tomorrow, so he’s still at boarding school.

This is what my life will be like in just a few short years. In a little more than a year, the first of the boys heads off to college and his brother will be only a couple of years behind him. It will be a party of one in Kidville.

Really, it’s not something we didn’t know, back when we were planning and peeing on a stick every month. Honey’s sister is eight years younger than him, so we’d actually seen a little bit of it firsthand.

Tonight, though, is a little piece of that future. I have to admit it’s rather nice. The pace is so different, after all these years with teenagers. Usually, they are up at least as late as I am — if not later. We talk and laugh and fight over the remote control. That little girl, though, has a much earlier bedtime which gives me a bit of alone time that’s rather foreign for me.

But I could get used to it.

Nothing Crafty Here

Posted On December 3, 2007

Filed under Kids

Comments Dropped 2 responses

Nope, nothing about crafts at all. Instead, a little bit about the amazing time Miss L and I had at the Laurie Berkner show today. OK, maybe I had a little more fun than the bunny; she seemed pretty nonplussed about the whole thing. I really enjoy Laurie’s music — it’s fun and doesn’t annoy me, which is more than I can say about most contemporary children’s music.

While we were in the lobby before the show, I spotted Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. Not too big of a deal, since she’s a hometown girl but I still thought it was kind of cool and made a mental note to mention it to Honey later. She and her peeps ended up sitting in the row right in front of us, about four seats to my left.

We were not the only ones to notice her. During The Goldfish, when she sings about the fish playing musical instruments, she said something about starting a band and she, Suzie and Adam played “Closer to Fine.” The audience just roared! Those of us sitting near the actual Indigo Girl all checked out her reaction (she seemed flattered and smiled). By the way, Laurie and band did a great job with their homage.

I give the show five out of five Buzz-Buzzes.

It’s Photolicious

Posted On October 26, 2007

Filed under Home, Kids, Sewing

Comments Dropped 16 responses

As promised in my last entry …

I decided a few years ago to do Miss L’s Halloween costumes based on storybook characters. This year’s inspiration is Little Red Riding Hood.

I started with Folkwear’s Kinsale Cloak for Young Maidens. It’s made with a rich red baby cord and lined with a dark-red rose printed fabric. I love how the cloak turned out but it was a real challenge.

I find the Folkwear instructions difficult to follow and invariably make mistakes. It took me about two weeks to sew the cloak because I kept stopping to read throug the directions repeatedly before moving on to the next step.

In spite of all that, I look at it and think, “Yeah! I made this!” LOL!

(As I was handstitching the hem closed while waiting for Liesl’s ballet class to end, one of the other moms offered to buy it from me when I was done with it. That gave me a huge ego boost, especially because I still had to finish hand-stitching the lining to the hem. Can we say “tedious”?) .

You really don’t see what’s under the cloak while it’s on but I know my daughter will end up taking off the cloak as soon as I’ll let her. Underneath is a white peasant styled top with shirred neckline and cuffs. I used Michael Miller’s Dandy Damask for the skirt. The apron is hand embroidered, based on a pattern from Doodle Stitching. I actually worked on the embroidery during my Junior League meeting and got lots of teasing from my friends. It’s the first embroidery I’ve done in decades and I think it turned out pretty well.
A close up of the hood while it’s on. You can see on top of her head the ties that gather the hood around her face. In retrospect, I wish I had used the lining fabric for the ties so it would not only blend a little more but also be easier to tie. That cord gets kind of bulky. On a side note: right after I took this picture, one half of the frog popped off the cloak. Boy, am I glad that happened today instead of while we are out trick or treating.

Miss L seems to be happy with her Halloween costume, even though she wasn’t particularly overjoyed to be doing a fashion show. She wore it to the Halloween Carnival at her school this morning and it was a big hit. We’re planning to go trick or treating at one of the malls tomorrow evening, which will give her another chance to wear it.

In addition to sewing, I’ve also been occupied with some home improvement projects. Someone who shall remain nameless learned how to climb out of her crib recently, which sent us looking for a bed for her.  I found a nice twin mattress and box spring at a clearance center near my house and a $30 twin bed frame on Craigslist. The wood of the headboard and footboard was painted black, so I set the boys to sanding it down so it could be repainted.

I already had bedding for it, picked up on clearance at Pottery Barn Kids last year. We have a lot of beachy things throughout the  house and the bedding for her room was a nice complement.

I used a deep, hot pink for the base coat and a crackle medium to let the bright apple green topcoat separate and “age” the piece. Please excuse the off colors; it’s really overcast here and I just couldn’t get good light for these pics. A funky bed meant refinishing the dresser in her room, too.

When I was pregnant with L, I stained the unfinished dresser cherry to match the crib we bought. Off that came and on went the bright orange and pink, pulled from the bedding. The brass drawer pulls no longer worked; I found these pewter starfish on Ebay and they were the perfect finishing touch.

Congratulations if you made it this far! LOL! I’ll save my painting disaster story for this weekend. It’s a fun one!

Three

Posted On October 23, 2007

Filed under Kids

Comments Dropped 11 responses

Happy birthday to my sweet Miss L, who is now three years old! I love you, my funny honey bunny!

Weekend Fun

Posted On October 15, 2007

Filed under Kids, Photography

Comments Dropped 7 responses

Oh, what a fun weekend, albeit a busy one. Dinner with friends, birthday party, shopping excursion, Homecoming. Whew! I’m glad for Monday and a bit of rest.

It took me a couple of hours to go through all my photos and edit them, crop them and upload them so I can get prints. I think I ended up with about 40 for printing and sharing. Most of them include other people’s children, so I can’t share them here. But I will share one pic of Miss L, snapped as she waited for a slice of her buddy’s birthday cake.

Our Houseguest

Posted On August 29, 2007

Filed under Kids, Photography, Ramblings

Comments Dropped 5 responses

I sent our younger son out to mow the lawn this weekend. Actually, I sent him out to finish mowing the lawn, since his initial attempt was so poorly done (he mowed only the very front of the yard, not the sides, and left grass mohawks EVERYWHERE). While in the backyard, he nearly mowed over a turtle — but didn’t — and brought it up for us to check out.

(Read More)

Slap It On

Posted On June 23, 2007

Filed under Confession, Kids, Ramblings

Comments Dropped 5 responses

It struck me earlier this week that all my fun plans for the summer — the field trips, the crafts, the activities — seem to have fallen by the wayside. I’ve just been so caught up in my own agenda that I’ve pretty much ignored the kids except to boss around the boys.

Bad mommy.

Honestly, I do know this does not make me a bad mother. I’m human; I’m not perfect. I can, however, try to make things right.

So off we went yesterday to the paint-your-own pottery place at one of the malls. There’s a method to my madness: I figured the mall offered enough distractions that I could keep the toddler entertained, if need be. Plus, cheap(er) eats at the food court.

Really, I should have scrapped my plans and waited until a better day. As it was, we didn’t leave the house until 11 a.m. — so that gave us only 2.5 hours to drive there (~25 minutes), paint, eat lunch and drive home before we missed Miss L’s nap window (and thus subjected ourselves to the horror of a cranky and overtired child for the remainder of the day). Since we are completely incapable of staying on schedule, I’ll just go ahead and skip to the end and tell you we left the mall at 3:30 — a full two hours past her nap time — got her home and down for bed (surprise!), where she took a nice little nap. Whew!

The boys and I each chose little figurines to paint: a seahorse (me), a pirate parrot (J) and a Mogwai (G). (Don’t know what a Mogwai is? Perhaps you did not grow up in the ’80s. Or care nothing for pop culture of that decade. See Gremlins.) I picked out a nice, round coaster for my sweetie, since I figured that was the best way to blow $8.

The boys picked out their colors and I loaded up the girl’s tray after I filled mine. She promptly sloshed her paintbrush through all six colors, smeared them on the coaster and started using it like a stamp to decorate the paper on our table. That’s my girl! I was pretty impressed with the care with which the boys painted their pieces. The last time we painted pottery was maybe five or six years ago and they have become much more meticulous.

As expected, the 2.5 year old tired of painting faster than the rest of us. I conned convinced the boys to  chase after her (mostly retrieving her from the mall) while I finished my piece, telling them I’d go walk around with her as soon as I was done. It’s amazing how well that worked! In the meantime, the boys kept popping up out of their seats like Whack a Mole toys to chase down their sister. Run, boy! Run! See the teenager sprint. See the toddler speed up. Listen to the toddler shriek like she’s being pinched by teenager. What a mean brother!

Once my piece was done, I turned my attention to the shrieker my daughter. I loaded up a brush with some of the paint from my tray and used it to cover her little palm. We then pressed her hand against the coaster. What a lovely, smeary blue handprint! The girl at the counter used her little paint bottle to write my girl’s name on the coaster, next to her hand.  I think it will be a nice addition to her Pop’s office. (He’s already laid claim to it; I don’t think that’s fair but I’m not going to argue with him over it. I’ll just take her and make another for me.)

We left the boys to finish their pieces, then strolled to the bookstore and a few other places to do some window shopping. The poor girl really was not in the mood, not even after I picked up a chocolate milk at the coffee shop for her. We periodically checked in on her brothers, lest they think we’d abandoned them. (As long as it was taking them to paint, the thought did cross my mind.)

In the end, we turned over four really interesting pieces of pottery. I’m pretty sure everyone had fun, although I think the fun for the youngest ended after 3.6 minutes, at which point she was over the whole pottery thing. I’m really looking forward to picking up our pieces next week. I think part of the fun for me in painting pottery is the little bit of the unknown that goes along with the process. What you see isn’t always what you get once that little thing gets good and cooked. And I kind of like that — which is weird, considering what a control freak I am.

A little bit of mom guilt assuaged. You just can’t put a price on that.

Click!

Posted On June 13, 2007

Filed under Kids, Papercrafts, Recycling

Comments Dropped 5 responses

I don’t know about your kids, but mine are fascinated with cameras and taking pictures. Perhaps it has something to do with their mother shoving a camera in their faces all the time. Maybe there’s some other reason. I don’t know. But they all love taking pictures — even my little bitty thing. Of course, I’d prefer she not touch any of the cameras, since she’s 2.5 years old and a little rough on her toys, never mind a digital (read: fragile) camera.

That’s what makes this nifty craft idea so much fun — and perfect for little hands.

Have you seen the print advertising for the new Nikon d40?

The magazine ads I’ve seen include a die-cut camera that’s the same size as the actual camera. It’s actually pretty nifty. But the niftiest thing about it is that it’s the perfect size for a child. And with a couple of modifications, it makes a slightly more durable plaything:

Remove the camera from the ad and peel off all the adhesive.

Use a craft knife or small pair of scissors to cut out a window from the back side’s “viewfinder” through the front of the camera.

If desired, you can cut a picture (from a magazine ad or maybe an old photograph) the same size as the “LCD screen” on the back of the camera and tape it down.

Use Contac paper, laminating sheets or a Xyron with double-sided laminate cartridge to encase the “camera.” Trim around the camera, leaving a thin border of laminate so it remains sealed.

Voila! A nearly instant, cheap camera! If you want, you could even hole -punch the sides and string a ribbon through to make a camera “neckstrap” for the proud owner.