Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Silly baby is my 1st in the 90th percentile whatever.
This means he is busting out of his 0-3 monthers: look at that shoulder stretch!
Which is not acceptable. This little honey of a shirt, for instance. A little turtle with the caption "thrill seeker". How awesome. Plus, green. And how little time we enjoyed together...

national CPSIA blogging day

a good explanation of the whole issue here: Sarah Jane Studios
which is just the link Design Mom posted because I'm too busy with
my crying baby and
my sadly-cleaning-their-room-on-a-snow-day girls and
the painful sty in my eye. And
waiting by the phone because my little sister's --baby sister having a baby!-- water broke this morning and although she's just 35 weeks, it all means I get a new baby niece today who will be wee but probably just fine.
and I wish I had $500 to spend on a plane ticket for tomorrow
because I'm dying for newborn sweetness.
Especially hers.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been trying to cook more with beans.
I haven't been wildly successful.
Tonight, I burned my pot of black beans. Because I forgot about them.
Marian (who is just learning to eat, at age 7, and not usually so cooperative) ate them anyway.

Until she couldn't stand the taste:
"Mom! It's so yuck, that burned taste. It's like a giant with dirty socks on!"

I am awesome.


by artist Willard Wigan
a miniature of the new first family
in the eye of a needle
7 weeks to sculpt
painted with a hair from a fly.
(image taken from Elsita's blog)
how can I not love this???

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Audrey's Christmas gifts

My favorite 2 Christmas projects this year were made for Audrey. I finally bought myself a scroll saw this fall and promptly stopped working with wood until I carved out the mountain treasure scene above. I was madly in love with the Spiel and Holtz fairytale blocks, but (1) couldn't afford as many of them as I want and (2) always like making myself best. The gorgeous fairytale village that was sold in Magic Cabin catalog this season put me in a hard spot, though, because I loved it so and yet didn't want to commit the artistic sin of straight copying. Alas! What to do?

When my mum came for her charity visit after Reuben's birth this fall, I forced her to draw me some ideas, since, although she saw them once, she hadn't drooled over and memorized the Spiel and Holz models, so had a chance of coming up with something fresh. I meanly refused to let her peek at them while I shoved backs-of-the-legion-returned-math-worksheets at her (my favorite design paper), and I chose a sketch of a waterfall between two mountains with jewels. I kept most of the original design, adding some functional details and layering the doorways to get more play pieces. For those who didn't yet obsess over these blocks, they're meant for imaginative play. They have puzzle function, but can be used as arches and homes and caves for wee fairies and bitty wood animals. I like a rough carved look, which I worked in with a not-so-sharp (my diamond stone attempts just made it worse; I need to look up youtube sharpening videos) old Buck knife and my little buzzy sander. I'm the proud new owner of a belt sander as of Christmas morning (husband who knows me and read the list I gave to him), which will make the whole process faster next time. I ran out of time to polish it all with beeswax, but A informs me that this will not be permitted, "because now it's more like rough stone." Good girl. Also awesome: a friend brought me the wood, scraps from the woodshop he works with. He brings them home to burn.Also for A: a little lake scene. The princess doll is a Kathe Kruse dollhouse doll. The girls get one each Christmas. Okay, starting last year, but it's a good tradition. I crocheted the lilypads & lilies from cool old textile weaving spools I bought at a street festival from an antique vendor. Except the light one. I bought that at Michael's :). Bought the glass fish from a Waldorf school I visited in Boston because I stalk those places. Sewed the milkweed pod canoe from lovely thick plant-dyed wool felt bought at the same. And lined with-you guessed it!--my favorite bamboo fleece. Very milkweed pod-ish. Blue playsilk we dyed this summer with koolaid. I think I never posted that adventure...later. The girls got the rainbow in 36" squares; Reuben in 12" squares for peekaboo and sucking. A long sky one for A & a long rainbow for M.

Audrey's favorite gift I made for her in 2008? A new brother. Home grown. ADORED.
and another gratuitous baby shot. An unblurry grin!
OOooo, Roo baby, we love you so.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We were talking at dinner tonight about the packages we were expecting (and won't be getting here on Monday because of the holiday, which we do appreciate for different reasons, of course), and had to laugh at the names, all so us:

Audrey: MindWare
Marian: Magic Cabin
Valerie: All About Cute & Zippitydooda
Goat: Sage Cycles


My friend Shannon told me once that she envisions the UPS man coming every day, dropping off packages at our door. I think she thought it was hyperbole, but add Mr. FedEx and Ms. Postal Service, and YUP. In our defense, I won the bag in a Design Mom giveaway & Marian & Audrey are using giftcards from our landlord (to WalMart, but I elected to use those on diapers & give them credits at their favorite stores). What about my defense? asks goat, after he has A read this aloud. Okay: he's been riding on broken wheels for 2 months. And for my cycling man, that is a whole lotta miles.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

gifting, pt. 1

I didn't want to post gifts pre-Christmas, but still want to share. Part one: small personal gifts I mailed out this year.
Reuben "drew" his cousin Zander's name for Christmas this year. Owl babies (book & nest full) to go with the owl I made him for his birthday last year. From me is from Reuben, because he really begrudges any time I spend not giving him every bit of my attention.

I threw this in my mom's package for my sister Camie. I thought at one time I had her name (but that's because I messed up the rotation) and made her this for part of her gift. Still thought she needed it! I discovered the lovely blog resurrection fern when I saw this acorn necklace tutorial on another blog. Or three, because it is so great.

My mom got bowls and our great blockprinting project (more on that later), but I wanted to give her something sweet and detailed, since she appreciates that sort of thing. Mini bottlecap pincushion & needle book. The pincushion is made around a bottlecap (yup, the plastic Coke kind) so the pins don't go right through, and there are lots of tutorials out there. Like this one.

Monday, January 5, 2009

small creatures

"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
-- Carl Sagan

Marian re-started school today.
Reuben turned 2 (months) yesterday.

Mama is much more overwhelmed than they.

Luckily, Audrey is there to help me hold it together. Even when I keep her in the same braids for days. Oh, and the goat. But he doesn't get photographed as often (out of bike kit, anyway).