Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Treats and Ironing

Yesterday there was a surprise in my mailbox. A good surprise. A very good one. Joanna sent this monogrammed zippered pouch (which is so yummy -- love that fabric!); a pair of fabulous earrings (they are to die for); and some personalized labels (I'm almost too afraid to use them!). I was secretly coveting her zippered pouches and was so surprised and pleased when I was the recipient of one. So talented is she. Thank you, Joanna, I love all of it! It made my day!

This is a little children's ironing board. We picked it up at the swap shop last week. It has a wooden top. The cover and padding were ripped, so after hosing it down with Lysol, I removed the cover and added a new one:

I've been wanting to craft lately, but have been finding that I have little time and energy to do so. This is one project that took minutes. All of the kids love it (even the boys) and want to iron, which is good, because I don't like to iron. (And the toy iron was found at the Swap Shop, too. It takes batteries and lights up on the bottom and it may make a sound or two.) Oh, and the fabric came from Angela.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Ugly Truth

Here is secret, exclusive footage of the Swap Shop. (This is the "outside." I say that because the building really only has 3 walls. It's really like an outside room.)

This is the front of the building. (If you look closely, I am just below the yellow sign with my hand in the box and I just found something cool -- see bottom photo.)

Oh, and here I am again. Joe wanted everyone to see the funny rules of the Swap Shop. We love the bottom sign.

Now a peek of the inside. (Some pictures didn't turn out. I felt kind of dumb with my camera in there. I was trying to be discreet, but when the flash went off, the whole place lit up. My secret was exposed.)

A pile of craft books. I found a few cross-stitching books for my friend, Brinda. (It was so cold that day that I went through the pile as quickly as possible.)

The box of Christmas ornaments with spaghetti was still there. Trash has been added since. Some other nasty stuff has been cropped out of the photo.

And, at the Swap Shop you take the bad with the good. The good part is finding cool things (i.e., these two Pyrex baking dishes). The bad part is sifting through some of the junk (i.e., see the black spots in the dishes, it's mouse poop!) A little bleach (or actually a lot of bleach) and a cycle through the dishwasher and they are good to go).

Oh, and I realized late yesterday that when I was talking about my angel with the "moustache" I think I had mouse poop on the brain. I really do know that mustache does not have an "o."

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Long Weekend

On Thursday Joe had to go out of town for the night. Since the boys only had a half-day on Thursday and no school on Friday, we went with him. We were in Nofolk, Virginia, and visited the U.S.S. Wisconsin battleship. The boys loved it.

We went into the Nauticus Museum and the children enjoyed the "touch tank" where they touched live starfish, horseshoe crabs and a few other things.

The had boat races.

They saw how the shoreline is shifting.

And they went inside this circular ribbon "room" that spun around and around. I did not go inside. I only stuck the camera in to grab a shot. I was dizzy from the outside of that spinning madness.

There was also a maze we went through. The boys loved it all.

And before we left for our trip, we stopped at the Swap Shop. Here are a few of my treasures.

On the left one plate, on the right a set of four melamine plates. The look very 70's-ish.

Two Christmas ornaments and a small tin. (Joe says the angel has a moustache. It's really her halo that is dangling at her neck.)

A roll of paper for Jack, my artist. (I've been having trouble finding a replacement roll of paper for his art easel. It's too heavy to fit on the easel, but the width is about the same.)

And a tragic end to an old glass Christmas ornament. I dropped it while getting out of the car and it smashed to smithereens. At least it was free.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Snowmen Feet

Christmas Eve 2004 we made snowmen out of our children's feet. I always loved seeing my kids footprints and how they grow each year. Now with Sawyer here, it was only appropriate that we do it again. So, on Monday night we did it. (I wanted to do it before Christmas, but this was one of the things that was crossed off our to-do list.)

This time I used a lighter blue fabric (duckcloth). The edges are straight, even though they don't look like it in the picture. We used brown for the stick arms (I couldn't find brown fabric paint when we did them the first time). And a glittery paint for falling snowflakes, which are kind of hard to see.

I used a dowel rod in a pocket the first time. I was thinking about attaching 3-4 ribbon loops at the top instead. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ahh ... The Swap Shop

Since Joe was out of town all of last week, he took off yesterday and today. So, what else do Joe and I do best but visit the Swap Shop?

I think this was my funnest trip ever.

Joe usually goes in first and looks around (it's a three-walled outdoor shack that is too cold and dirty for the children). Then it's my turn. By the time I went in, I was the only female and I'm pretty sure the only English-speaking person. Being the only female, I had my pick of most things that men aren't interested in.

One of the boxes I was digging around in had Christmas ornaments and lights. When I stuck my hand in the box, I saw the little Santa ornament. Then I started digging for more. As I'm digging through this box of mostly junk, I realized that the box had dried, uncooked spaghetti thrown in it. I was digging amongst food for my treasures. It was worth it because I found three of the ornaments.

Then I spied this adorable little red bag. Leather.

At the Swap Shop you just kind of grab things and decide later if you want it. If you walk away from anything, it might not be there in a few minutes. Being the only female, no one else was interested in the red bag, but I grabbed it right away anyway.

Inside of the bag I found this:

hard, dried, stale bread!

I was seriously ready for my hand sanitizer after this trip.

And, as always, everything at the Swap Shop is free. (I did find a few more treasures that I'll share another time.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Skirt

I decided that I needed a new skirt to wear to church on Sunday, so I whipped this up. You may recognize the fabric from my banner. (It's not photograhing well.) I hemmed the skirt in light blue bias tape. It was a last-minute decision. I had originally planned to do a double-rolled hem. I'm happy with the blue bias. And I had just enough left over from the baby's bunting.

I used Simplicity pattern 5505 again. I'm going to try something new soon. Really. I promise.

* * * *

Yesterday Mason wanted to play in the "snow." He went out alone, as Spenser was napping and it was too cold for Sawyer to be outside. He was under strict orders to stay in the backyard. When I couldn't find him out the back door, I went to our mudroom door and saw this:

Mason stuck trying to climb over the gate! He was crying, too. And asking me not to take his picture.
* * *
In case you didn't know this, today is the birthday of someone we all know and love. Go wish her a happy birthday today!

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Repurposed Tee

Many many years ago my mother gave me this shirt for my birthday. It was large. Shapeless. And it served its purpose. (You probably can't read it, but under the flower it says, "You are my sunshine.")

I think when I first saw the shirt, I thought it would make a neat pillow. I had forgotten about it for years. Before Christmas, I found it with some craft stuff and decided it was time. I re-washed it and sat it in a WIP pile until Friday afternoon.

That's when I decided to just do it. After years of thinking about it. After years of planning it in my mind. And, boy, I was nervous. I had never sewn a pillow with a zipper. And then my friend, Christy, talked me into using piping, too (which I had never used before). I only had one chance to do it right. One. Chance. Uno.

I was getting ready. And more nervous ...

It didn't turn out perfectly. But I love it! And so do all five of the older children who fought over it Friday night.

* * * * *

It's not a snow day for my boys. School is only two hours late. But I'm fine with that.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


It's a snowy, wintry evening in our part of Maryland. It's the first snow we've seen this season. And it's not much.

The children and I watched the movie Snow Day for our Friday-family-movie night. They are all hoping for a snow day. After all, "anything can happen on a snow day."

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Finished WIP and Some Yoga

On Saturday I primed my wooden high chair. It was warm. I was barefoot in the grass spraying along. Then it started to rain. I moved it to the porch to let it dry.

I forgot about it, even though it was sitting on our front porch and I saw it a few times a day. On Wednesday I decided it was time to paint it. By then, it was freezing. Freezing. What a drastic change in temperature in just a few short days. Anyway, I painted the chair. I think it was too cold to paint. The paint kind of bubbled in places as it dried. Or maybe I didn't paint it evenly. Who knows. And Joe's not around to ask. (Although he will be home tomorrow night.)

Now I'm wondering if I should have painted it black or red. I always go the safe route and paint everything white. We have a lot of white-painted wood furniture.

When we went to the library for Jack's art show last week, we picked up a children's book on yoga. The kids have been having fun doing the positions. I read the book aloud (usually holding or nursing Sawyer) and show them the photos as they do it. Jack helps Spenser and Mason figure out what to do as I read. They keep begging for me to read it to them. (I may have to buy a copy.)

And I so wish I had this photo yesterday when I posted about Sawyer's blankie thing. He fell asleep in his swing like that yesterday afternoon. Sweet little man. He just played and played until he wore himself out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Baby-Blankie Thing and A New Look

My grandmother believes that all babies need something to hold. She has been known to give babies hankies and washcloths to play with. Sawyer is 3 1/2 months old, but cannot hold rattles safely yet, as they are too heavy and he bonks himself in his head.

I decided to make something that was lightweight, small, and visually stimulating. Thus, this small patchwork baby blankie was born. It was sewn from scraps of black and white polka dots and red fabric. Squares on one side; stripes on the other. It has cotton quilt batting in between the layers, which makes it a little bulkier than I intended, but still nice to hold onto. (And absorbent to catch drool and spit-up.) It's pretty small. The finished size is approximately 12" x 12".

He loves it. (Why didn't I think of this 10 years ago when Taylor was a baby?)

I now have plans to make one in different textures. I have some terry cloth, minky, chenille, a stretchy suede-like fabric, and flannel all in baby blue and white. Joe thinks they should all be squares (no stripes) so Sawyer can grab a corner at a time. I like that idea. I'm still trying to decide if I should put batting in between the layers.

* * * * * * * * *

Did you notice the new look of The Sky is Pink? I'm still trying to get used to it. And I'm not sure if I like it. It is a work in progress and it still needs help. (Notice the large margin above my new banner? I need to figure out how to shrink that. Maybe I should enlarge the height of my banner? I really, really don't know about these things! And if you don't believe me, ask Karyn, the recipient of a late-night email of me freaking out!)

I've been wanting to do this for so long and have been working on it, trying to come up with a banner. When I accidentally screwed something up on my template last night, I knew I had to bite the bullet and do it. Be warned that you may be seeing some more changes again soon.

* * * * * * * * *

One more thing. Yesterday the boys' school had a fire in one of the girls' bathrooms. They said it was electrical. It was right at dismissal and very hectic. The boys hoped that school would be closed today, but the didn't cancel.

Thifting and a Meme

First I need to thank you for your kind words about my pillow. Really, you were way too generous in your comments. But, thank you. (Maybe it was trick photography?)

Now onto the thrifting.

Joe had a four-day pass this weekend, so we headed to the swap shop (swap shop = free thrifting). It was the busiest I had ever seen it. People in and out. I did manage to find a few things (above pix). The little Christmas tin without its lid is now the home of Jack's dry erase markers. The little figure with the broken-off legs reminds me of half-dolls from years ago. She's sitting in a teacup in my cabinet. The book Read-Alound Horse Stories claims to be a book of "gay, merry-go-round of stories every child will love to hear and read again and again." Who could resist that? One lonely mug. Two rooster bowls that have some chipping along the edges. One little china bowl (has a small chip).

The swap shop had a lot of junk there on Friday. For example an animal cage with bedding inside! The bedding looked used. That is so wrong! And nasty!

Then we headed to a "real" thrift store and I found the above. A small blue Pyrex dish with lid. A medium size unmarked mixing bowl. And, a dog butter dish. (At least we think it's a butter dish. That's what I plan on using it as.) It must have originally had a lid, as the tail has a hollow hole in it. I love it with or without its lid. He cracks me up.
So, now onto the meme. Laura (a.k.a. Capello) tagged me, so here goes.
Six weird things about me, not that there is anything weird about me!
1. I have no idea what bra size I wear. I have been wearing a nursing bra for nearly 11 years.
2. I am afraid to go into my basement alone. If I go alone, it is only during the day with a flashlight and preferrably a hooded sweatshirt and boots. And I walk hunched over.
3. I don't believe in ghosts, but I think my house is sometimes haunted. And the house we owned before this one, too. (Not the reason I won't go into the basement alone.)
4. I sleep on the right side of the bed. For some reason, when we sleep in hotels, I sleep on the left side of the bed.
5. I usually have to fall asleep with the TV on. I need the background noise. Especially when Joe is out of town (like this week!). When Joe is out of town, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I sometimes turn the TV back on (with sleep-timer) so I can fall back asleep.
I'm saving the best for last:
6. I am afraid to open those biscuits in a can. You know the ones under pressure that "pop" when they open. I think it's the anticipation that makes me extremely nervous and uncomfortable. I blink my eyes a lot when trying to pop them open.
For other weird things about me, read this post.
I am not going to tag anyone for this meme, but if you would like to play along, I'd love to read how weird you are. It makes me feel normal. :-)
Sorry, Blogger is taking out all of my line spacing again!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

65 years

This weekend we attended Joe's grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary party. 65 years! What an amazing accomplishment.

In honor of their anniversary, I made them a patchwork pillow. Because I waited until 2 hours before the party to work on it (about the same time I came up with the idea), it didn't turn out quite how I would have liked. The quality of work suffered because of my rush.

I had rotary cutter problems. Well, actually Lera problems. The rotary cutter veered off and I cut some of the already-embroidered squares a little funky, resulting in not-level-not-squared-squares. I didn't have time to fix it. (See the date is not level.)

At the party, Mason was trying to rollerskate. He has been wanting to do this for so long. We don't have a place at our house for him to try. And cobblestone sidewalks certainly aren't safe or easy for little ones. One of Joe's sisters bungeed a pillow to Mason's bottom to cushion his repeated falls. Kudos for trying, little man!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Carter' Best Day Ever

Saturday was dubbed Carter's "Best Day Ever" (by Carter, of course!). Carter was baptized on Saturday morning by Joe. In our religion infants are blessed and children (at age 8) are baptized. We believe that infants do not have sins and that the age of eight is the age of accountability. Joe (like most men in our church) holds the priesthood, so he is able to perform the ordinance himself (as he did for Sawyer's blessing).

Both must wear white (church-owned, we don't own any funky white jumpsuits) and Carter is fully immersed in water (our baptismal font, below), as Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (but in the river Jordan, not an indoor font).

Carter was in the best mood all day. He was so sweet (sweeter than normal). If I asked for help, he jumped up and helped right away. And he stayed very close to me all day. It was his best day ever. He even wrote that in his journal.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Prestigious Art Show

Last night we attended a prestigious art show for local artists. Young artists. Very young. Elementary-age artists.

My little Jackson was one of the artists:

My budding artist. He is very creative and loves to draw, cut, hole-punch, tape, staple, glue, decorate, embellish, and use every available medium to create pieces of art.

We are very happy for him that his piece was selected for display.

I finished a mailorder bonnet for Spenser. I was having a bad day a few days ago and decided I needed to sew for a few minutes to get in a better mood. It didn't help. I had massive lint in the shuttle, which resulted in my machine making loud, scary noises before it stopped working. After three attempts to clean it out, it started working again. Until operator error caused another problem, which resulted in an intense workout with the seam ripper. And then I quit. I was in a more discouraged mood than when I started.

I just finished it this morning. Spenser tried it on for 2 seconds and became suddenly bashful when I whipped out the camera.

(She's sitting in the free thrifted high chair.)

Elbow Update: I am going to the doctors this afternoon. I'm hoping they just drain the darn thing. While it still feels warm from the outside, from the inside it feels cold. Totally freaky! I feel like I'm wearing an ice-pack on my elbow.

Carter's Girlfriend Update: When Carter came home from school on Wednesday, I asked him how Laura was. Very innocently he said, "Oh, I 'quit' on her." What a brief, whirlwind of a romance.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

School Lunches. It's a Four-Letter Word.

Every morning I dread packing school lunches. Each of the three older boys have different preferences. It's a zoo in the morning before school and I feel like a short-order cook.

I have come up with a few things that have made it easier for me. In my pantry I have 2 crates. One for sweet treats/fruit (above) and the other for salty snacks. Each of the boys gets a sweet treat (cookie, pudding, granola bar) and a fruit (applesauce, diced peaches, mixed fruit) and a salty snack (PB crackers, chips, Doritos, "dipping things"). (Of course they get a sandwich and 100% juice box as well.)

It still isn't a smooth morning. But at least it's somewhat more organized.

And on Fridays. Well, I love Fridays. Fridays are always pizza day at school and the boys buy lunch!

Come on, Friday!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Moments with Mom

This morning, I had just finished nursing Sawyer when my bedroom door opened and standing in the doorway were Carter and Jack. With breakfast in bed for me. Trix yogurt and a s'mores granola bar. The bowl is empty because Carter was holding a bag of cereal (that he chose) for me to pour.
They are so sweet to me. They did this often while I was on bedrest. What loving little boys.
I had interesting conversation with Carter yesterday after school. It went like this:
Carter: I have a new girlfriend. Her name is Laura.
Me: That's a nice name. ::smile:: What happened to Kayla? (The love of his life for more than 2 years.)
Carter: Kayla picks her nose and eats it.
Me: Oh ... ::gagging::
Carter: Kayla likes Justin.
Me: Oh.
Carter: Laura likes Justin, too.
Carter in his short 8 years has had many girlfriends. But he has adored Kayla continually since kindergarten. She's a pretty girl, but she just strings him along. Accepting his gifts. Telling him he's her boyfriend ... one of many ... but that she won't marry him. (LOL!!! Marriage!) But I think that was just 1st-grade talk. Now that they are in 2nd grade, things are different. He's ready to move on and not just be "one" of her boyfriends.
* * * * Totally not related, but I need your opinion* * * * *
On Friday afternoon Mason and I put together this giant Star Wars Lego thing (while Spenser napped). While we were working on it, we had the project on a big wooden board so it wouldn't fall apart. It took a couple of hours of work and my elbows were on the board most of the time, either putting the pieces together or searching for the correct pieces. My right elbow has been hurting ever since. I think I bruised it.
Anyway, I was reading an email this morning from Karyn and had my arms folded. My left hand was touching my right elbow. It felt freakishly warm. I compared it to my other elbow and that was of normal temperature. Then I started looking at my elbow (as best I could, since it's my elbow) and "massaging" it. It is swollen and I think there's fluid in there. It is still freakishly warm. And the "fluid" looks like a lump! What's up with that? Anyone ever had this before?
FYI -- Blogger is taking out all of my line spacing. I tried to make this post easier to read with spacing, but Blogger has a mind of it's own. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's Hard to Believe ...

... that, not only did my little man turn 3 months old on Christmas Day, but that his first tooth has broken through his gums!
(Mason and Spenser put these Superman sunglasses on Sawyer one afternoon while I was fixing their lunches. I cringe to think that they might have poked him in the eye!)