Monday, January 31, 2011

Yesterday's Projects

I really tried to clean up my scrap/craft area. I got about 2/3 done and lost my motivation and energy for it. There's just too much stuff. I don't know where to put it or how to store it. I do know I need to stop collecting it, though.



So rather than finish, I did these two things yesterday:





How totally Embellishing Life is this? I absolutely love how it came out. I wasn't sure with the silver frame and the burlap but I really like it.


I didn't take pictures of the process because, well, you can figure it out. I used a Martha Stewart punch (from the Christmas Tree Shop that had never been opened; have I mentioned I have a slight collecting problem when it comes to collecting crafting supplies?) on some old pink paper (from a paper stack) . . . the paper was seriously on its way to being recylced but first it stopped off here.


The solid pink heart was going to be popped but I couldn't find my 3-d adhesive squares (what? you think reorganizing would mean I could just lay my hands on them when I wanted them? Yeah. I thought so too.) so I just layered 7 or 8 together. You can't really tell behind the frame.


The burlap was a fat quarter (maybe) I grabbed at A. C. Moore (because every time I go to Just a Girl, I love that framed starfish).


The next project requires a long story, too. The other day at Joanns, Kate wanted a Tangled/Rapunzel blanket and I of course was not buying it for $30 (not to mention my issues with the princess trope, but that's another post)(hey! that was more at the store). I agreed to get some Rapunzel fleece and some pink fleece and I was going to make her one of those no-sew tie blankets and she refused to let me do that, so I had 1 1/4 yards of pink fleece (end of a bolt so $2) sitting around. She uses the piece of Rapunzel fleece as a blanket.


I love this but again with the not needing to spend that. So I came up with this:







I used a toddler pillow for the form and did the letter like I did the number on her birthday shirt. And that is the pink fabric I used for her bow holder (I thought there were 2 yards of that pink toile. There's 4.)


Craig was really impressed with this, especially the zig-zag stitching. He wanted to know how I did it . . . um, with the machine.

Linking to the Craft Catwalk at Embellishing Life.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here's the Thing . . .

I always say that in conversations: "the thing is . . . "

"The big thing for me is . . ."

"and another thing . . ."

Cabin fever has struck me early this year. I'm going nuts a little bit. Not the unmanageable depression of the fall, but just at loose ends and weirdly dissatisfied. I trace a lot of this to spending too much time on the computer reading blogs and blog-hopping.

I get off the computer and not only do I not have some wicked cute craft to work on or take pictures of and post, I don't have gobs of cute fabric or craft supplies to make said wicked cute craft.

And on top of that, my house is just average . . . clean some days, messy others, slowly getting organized (if S & K could stop getting things out while I organize) . . . not fantastically lit and staged.

So I've decided to cut down on computer time. I have a lot of pictures on the camera I want to post but they're all projects in the middle of something and I want the "final" pic before loading them and writing posts. And maybe I won't get to them.

Because I want to do things because I want to do them and not becasue I think it'd make a good blog post.

I like the Craft Catwalk at Embellishing Life and other memes around that I've seen but I know I could drive myself crazy trying too hard to make something to be in them.

I look at design blogs and hate the mess I see all around.

So I may not be here much . . . I want to be, but I hate the feeling of "not good enough" that I get from blog-hopping and trying to "compete."

I'm going to try to focus on real life for a little.

The thing is, real life won't wait the way this blog will.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Already?

Seeing as how last year's goal (I think of them as goals because I've had such failures with resolutions in the past) didn't get accomplished, I'm amazed that I get to show you this this soon.

Before:




King-sized bed. No head board.

Mulfinger linocut.

After I put it on my list, I thought maybe I should mention it to Craig.

Since he'd be building it and all.

He was very gung-ho about the whole thing, sketching and measuring





and building






I meant to take a picture of it in the basement, painted, before we moved it, to complete this little montage, but I didn't.

Preliminary after picture. I want to take one similar to the before, with natural light (maybe I'll have the fan in the picture that time), but now I'm waiting for the above-bed art to be ready.
It will not be a Mulfinger. That will have to find a new home.


Friday, January 21, 2011

If/Then

Monday was no school for the MLK holiday.

Tuesday was no school because of snow.

Wednesday was a 2-hr delay and I kept Kate home.

Thursday was a regular school day.

And I thought, as they predicted snow for today (Friday), if there is no school on Friday I am going to crack up.

go bananas.

freak out.

go nuts and bang my head on the wall.

And then, the call came this morning.

No school.

UUUUGGGGGHHH, I thought, as I burrowed back into bed. We are going to go insane here, climbing the walls, getting on each other's nerves.

And then I was reminded of our Esther study from the fall (stay with me here, I have to give you some background).

For the first half of the study, she (Beth) gave us scenarios: It's tough being a woman in a mean world. It's tough being a woman in the shadow of another woman. etc. (there were 7 of them. Or maybe 6).

Then she showed us how we were going to "turn these around." She spent awhile one week explaining the overall principle: If ____, then ____.

If we don't have school, then I will crack up.

And Beth showed us a way better way to fill in the blanks.

If (this thing I fear happens; the worst thing I can imagine happens; my expectations are not met; I can't deal), then GOD.

God will still be there. He'll still love me. He'll still be in charge of the universe, He'll still be faithful and good.

So IF we school is cancelled, then GOD.

I know: having the kids home from school is not a "big" problem. But as I thought of this truth (as God brought it to mind), my spirit was calmed and I drifted back to sleep . . .

. . . until Kate came to shine a flashlight in my eyes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Somtimes I amaze myself

Last year I decided I needed to wear scarves. I thought they looked very stylish and made an outfit out of jeans and a t-shirt, so I went on a hunt. I bought 3 in one day and Liz helpfully advised me to keep them all. I added some more over time and Craig even got me one for Christmas this past year.

My method of folding them on my sweater shelf wasn't working.

I was always muttering where is that scarf?, having a visual in my head of the one I wanted and no frame of reference of where to start looking for it.

I was going to hang a bunch of hooks on the wall so they would have a home, but that wouldn't work for the knit ones and also would leave them out for little fingers to grease.

And then, shortly after Christmas, I thought of this:



The shoe one has been there for a long time . . . I've had it since Bloomsburg. The one on the right, the scarf one, was in the hall closet for awhile, then Sam's closet, then Kate's, where it never really held anything. It used to hold her sweaters but she'd always pull them out so I found another home for them.
I am so please with the results AND it helps me with my (unwritten/unspoken) goal of getting this entire house organized before summer when it all falls apart again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Color Code

Early on in my freshman year, I came face-to-face with BJU's interracial dating policy. I was in a group for English or speech or something and our group was to meet and the only people who showed up to meet on a Sunday afternoon were me and a guy whose name I can't remember. He is black, I am not. On a Sunday, the only place we could meet was the dating parlor.

Only we couldn't sit together in the dating parlor. Because then it would be a date. And there was no interracial dating.

So we sat on the steps to the dating parlor and planned out what we were going to do.

It bothered me then and bothered me now.

It made no sense.

Years later, Camille would put words to it. I was a student raised in the north who attended the school after 1983.

Bob Jones didn't give up its tax-exempt status because it didn't want to be accredited*, it went all the way to the Supreme Court and lost its tax-exempt status over interracial dating.

*as I had been told and as I had self-righteously explained to others: "Bob Jones University is the only private institution to pay taxes because they don't want the secular government telling them what to do, who to hire, or what to teach."

They had to admit students of color but they held fast to that interracial dating policy.

I wish I had known. I wish that if I had known, I would have had a voice to speak.

That I was part and party of racism, however ignorant my involvement and unwitting my participation, sickens me. Twists my stomach. Shames me.

I didn't know "separation" = "segregation" to them. I didn't know a lot, but this in particular disgusts me.

I'm sorry that I didn't know. I'm sorry that not only did I not know, I didn't do anything but mindlessly parrot their defense.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And Another Thing . . .

I forgot to list 2 books I want to read:

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

and what in the world was that other book? Did I mention Beth Moore?

Plus I've found this lovely tutorial (by way of One Pretty Thing) that I might have to try.

I guess these aren't really resolutions; they're more like plans.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Food, Less Whine

When I brought veal Parmesan to the table last night, Kate exclaimed, "This is my favorite!"

She ate her noodles on her own and the veal with a smidgen of encouragement.

Sam was just getting over some kind of 24-hr bug so he ate noodles and we were happy to not have to seem them again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Christmas Books

I'm going to try to write this without getting up so we might not make it to ten here. Ohamanda did this topic last week* and I thought I'd do the favorites in this house.


Top Ten Favorite Christmas Books:


1. Room For a Little One: It's so simple and beautiful.






2. Mortimer's Christmas Manger: This one doesn't even get put away; we read it all year.


3. Robert Sabuda pop-ups (particularly The Night Before Christmas [which, by the way, bothers me, since the poem is called "A Visit from St. Nicholas" but that is neither here nor there]): I got three of these for $2.99 each at Christmas Tree Shops several years ago. They all have some kind of typo/printing error, like in The Night Before Christmas, on the first page: "not a creature was stirring/not even a mouse?"


"not get up"? HAHAHA. Not only did I get up after writing the above, I didn't come back to this for three weeks.

*by "last week," I mean three or four weeks ago.

(and not only that, but I left it here stuck at 9 until today . . . started 11/29, posted today, when it's no longer seasonally appropriate. oh well . . .)

4. Christmas in the Manger: A board book and I love it for its simple, worshipful feel.


5. The Nativity: Familiar KJV Christmas story and great illustrations (oh wait, I haven't seen that naked baby before . . .)


6. Advent Storybook: We've read this for maybe 4 years now (I can't remember; I wish I'd written the year in it) and I've become fond of the story as it's become familiar.


7. The Polar Express: of course.


8. Santa's New Suit: Sam read this by himself the other day as I cleaned the kitchen; he called out the letters of the words he didn't know for me to tell him what they were.

9. Winter Walk: It's not Christmas-specific but it's so good I had to put it on here. This is one of those books I can quote from memory (another top-ten I was working on).

10. Seriously . . . after all this time, 6 weeks of rolling around in my subconscious, I still don't have a #10. We have more than 9 (8) Christmas books, but these are the ones I really like, and read often, and suggest to my children. The others I leave in the basket. Do you have a good one that I missed?

Head over to ohamanda for more top-tens and to see her fantastic Tangled party.




Monday, January 10, 2011

Taco Night

Have I mentioned how I find it exhausting thinking of what to eat? We want to do a chicken stir-fry later this week but had chicken last night so didn't want to do it tonight.


So I decided on tacos.

Craig likes them. The kids, not so much.

But tonight they both ate with no complaints. None. Kate was excited to make her own taco - lettuce, cheese, lettuce. Sam made his own and ate it.

Kate didn't want to eat any meat but when I fed it to her, she did.

It was all so calm and not whiny that it wasn't until later I realized that they'd eaten.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year

Last year, I had one goal (not exactly a resolution): to take my boots to the cobbler. Seriously. I like to set the bar low so that I can experience the satisfaction of achievement.

Yeah, well, the boots never made it.

I tried; I really did. The one guy had his shop closed for a month or so and the other guy didn't fix heels (the one heel is loose) and then when the travel guy was back I went too late in the day and he was closed.

Plus these cobblers are in Nashua and I find "city" driving to be so harrowing.

I do have a list of projects I'd like to do (or at least begin):
a quilt out of Kate's crib sheets
a Christmas quilt I have been planning to make for 3 or 4 years now
a ruffly Christmas tree skirt (because doing Christmas projects in December just doesn't work)
painting our bedroom furniture (ha! Craig is not going to go for that one)
making a headboard for our bed (OK, that's actually more Craig than me)

And books I'd like to read:
couple by C. S. Lewis - The one about grief and Mere Christianity.
Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller - pretty much everyone else I know has read this years ago so I guess it's my turn
Testimony by Anita Shreve - I have no idea what it's about but I've read every other book by here (except this and the newest one) so have to keep up.

Go back to exercising, be a better mother and person, keep the laundry at bay, use my time wisely, dust, and not beat myself up if I don't achieve these things by tomorrow.

And of course, play every level of my Harry Potter game.

How about you?