Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Naptime Crafting and Gratuitous pictures of boy in cute pants

 So we had a beautiful day today.  We woke up and went to the park to meet a new friend who has a daughter who had a couple of febrile seizures just like Kieran.  A mutual friend hooked us up so we could talk about it, and at least feel like we have a little support system now, even if the doctors say it the seizures aren't harmful and they will grow out of it. Anyway, it was nice to meet someone who I liked right away, and it was obvious we have more in common than just children with frightening conditions. Actually, it was funny that she had on the same shoes as me, and her girls have the same shoes as my kids. It was very kindred-spiritish. We were meant to be friends, I am sure of it!
 And Kieran played so hard on the playground that he ate his entire lunch and fell asleep for almost 3 hours! How lucky is that? I was able to give the girls a snack, hang out laundry, clean a little AND make him 2 more raglan shirts from Sewing For Boys.  The one pictured above was actually made from an adult turtleneck that I picked up at a thrift shop.  I loved the hues of blue stipes and the weight of it.  And of course you know it needed a fox.  I actually traced an embroidered fox from my favorite onesie that he is too-quickly out-growing.  I am so pleased with this and it is so huge that it will likely fit him next fall and make a cozy Spring and Summer evening shirt right now. And the second is pictured here (don't ask why he looks so angry!):
 I used some mushroom fabric from the MODA "A Walk In the Woods" line which is where his fox pants "foxlets" fabric came from.  I LOVE this line of fabric!!! I can't wait to show you what I made for the girls!! And because I spent a good part of my afternoon chasing Kieran around to get a few good shots of his pants I finally posted my first pair of pants in my shop!! Hooray!
 Reversable, cute, and foxy.
 The butt patch just kills me every single time I see it.  I can't imagine my life with a boy without these sweet, sweet pants. After our little photo-shoot I filled the children's garden with 3 fresh bags of sand! It was so much fun making mini castles and buckets of sand soup.  Kieran is definitely ready for his very own bucket and shovel. After our sand bonanza, I made a quick stir fry, gave baths and after a story (okay, and an episode of Curious George which was Anastasia's reward for not screaming or squirming while I removed a very deep splinter), everyone is finally asleep in their little beds. 
 This picture was from yesterday:

I went out with a couple of friends to Starbucks to sit and knit, and chat.  I really look forward to my hour and a half date with girlfriends and my latte once a week!  It just so happened that 1 1/2 hours wasn't very long last night, and we went over to Target to shop as their Starbucks closes at 9pm too.  I mused to myself that you know your life has reached a certain level of perfection when walking through the baby section of Target with friends is way more fun than I remember shopping at those fine shops in Georgetown in my pre-baby days. :)   And when I came home after enjoying my time out, away from my family, I found everyone curled up asleep in my bed and I felt that my life was in that moment, perfect. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rainy Day Craftiness.

Today it rained. And it rained yesterday too. The girl's have been begging me to give their Waldorf dolls new hair, and I am so pleased that I spent my morning finishing Anastasia's (left). Last fall, Isabel threw her doll, that she once loved and carried everywhere, out the window. I found it days (weeks?) later after multiple rainy days, caked in dirt, leaves and growing a nice colony of mildew on her face. I was not happy. Anyway, fast forward to last week and she has a new doll practically.  I deconstructed her face and head and re-did them. Good as new! It is funny how oddly different the two dolls look now.  Their faces don't even look like the same species! ha! I also knit The brown-haired doll's sweater last month thanks to my friends who get together and craft at Starbucks each week.  I too easily forget about my knitting needles when I set them down somewhere.
 Last week, Isabel woke me one morning, begging for a doll (like her Nimble Thimble doll that the Easter bunny brought 2 years ago), with red hair, a purple dress and an acorn hat that she could name Isabel and play with forever. Well, who could refuse such an offer?  I would have gladly supported the lovely Danielle on Etsy, only her dolls are so hard to get ahold of these days.  So I tried my hand, and made something similar to delight my demanding 3-year old's heart.   
Yesterday we cleaned the house, so I was also able to get some pants made for Kieran today during his nap. I wish I could take a nap, and have new comfy, handmade clothes waiting for me when I woke up! haha! 
And as you can see, they work great for his new favorite thing to do.... washing dishes! These were the usual (is there any other pattern out there??)  Quick Change Trousers.  I will get better pictures on a sunny day because there will be a custom, made-to-order pair in my shop here shortly... along with matching somethings for little girls!

I can't take how stinkin' cute he is.  And speaking of cute, we have tiny new (temporary) members of our family:

2 little kittens!!!  I feel like an irresponsible pet owner for letting Kahlan get pregnant, but what punishment! They are so tiny and helpless and my daughters are in love.  It is so special to see the beauty of new life in the same spot where we loved our last cat out of this world a few months ago.  Sadly the first of three kittens died during birth or shortly after.  I missed it by minutes while hanging laundry!  It was so sad and I rubbed the kitten and tried to get the mucus out of its mouth and nose, and though it was warm and pink when I got to it, it just didn't make it. I am grateful that there weren't more, and am very pleased with our two little, fat, fuzzies.
They are 1 week old today and still haven't opened their eyes yet. They are currently named Clover and Buttercup. Named by Anastasia after I convinced her that one Anastasia and one Isabel are more than enough of for one household. If anyone wants a kitten, let me know! Kahlan is a very sweet kitty, and has been purring all day cuddled by her kittens' side.  But there are many moments she looks longingly outside... and I totally know how she feels.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Things have been a little different and crazy around here lately. Nick is in between a nice cushy, long-commuted, salary-paid job annnnnd a part-time grading/full-time woodworking job. Between jobs means he is being trained in the mornings and works late into the evenings. And I am on my own. All. day. long. Until after bedtime or so. I am not trying to complain (although I could sure give you an earful if you wanted to listen) I am just stating that, well, its been exhausting for everyone. This past Sunday was completely free, and so we took advantage of our day of freedom and drove off into the wilderness and ended up at Swallow Creek Falls State Park in western Maryland.
Muddy Creek Falls (above) was the largest and most impressive of the falls we saw. It is somewhat amazing how a seemingly normal forest opens up to such a dramtic drop in water! If you haven't noticed, we have a thing for chasing waterfalls all over the area. This park was about 2 hours away, and even though I had my doubts as our small town sunk further and further behind us, it was worth every whine and question... "are we there yet?" My husband delivered yet another sweet spot of beauty... within the borders of a far away land.

Kieran loves being outside and pretty much anywhere that isn't our house, stuck indoors with 3 women. He spent most of our adventure in the Beco on Nick's back. He was mesmorized by the water, as were our little hiker girls.
I enjoyed trying out my Nikon d3100 while photographing the amazing views, but more unfortunately I learned a very important lesson: When slowing the shutter speed to get the soft, flowing water look... USE A TRIPOD. Remember that advice when you venture into the world of dsl photography without AUTO mode. I am still happy that I have such a nice camera and feel that trial and error is the only way to learn... even if for me that means many, many errors.
The above picture is probably my favorite. This small 5-foot fall was very pretty and it cascaded into a sandy pool of freezing cold, crystal clear water! The kids were thrilled to death to cast aside their sandals and splash around for a while. Even Kieran enjoyed throwing handfulls of sand into the pool.... for a very, very long time. I think we could have stayed forever.
The entire forest surrounding the creek was composed of hemlock and white pines that towered over us magnificently. The entire ground, and fallen logs below were covered in a bright green moss and we felt as if we had stepped into a fairy land.
I am so grateful that we are so close to such neat little pockets of nature and that my children get to participate in it. I know that even though our house is tiny, and we are often imperfect parents, my children will remember these times, when we go venture in to the forest in search of magical places.
And on our way home, we happened to take a road that led past Black Water Falls State Park in West Virginia. We enjoyed a quick hike to Elakala falls there:
This is definitely one of our favorite falls. :) It is so beautiful and you walk across a bridge above the falls to get to it. Apparently there is a pretty long hike you can take and view about 6 different falls. Maybe next time! :) I already have so many ideas for our next trip out this way! There is a really neat site whre you can find a whole bunch of swimming holes in different regions. Some of them are "Walden's Pond" rated meaning that they are safe for children. Of course, safe means something different to different people, but I can't think of too much better than swimming in a pool fed by a waterfall. Can you?

Friday, April 13, 2012


Easter has come! Lent is over! I love Easter, maybe as much as Christmas! I like the peaceful calm that leads up to it, the mournful, solace of lent, a far cry from the chaos of Christmas. I like the lack of obligations and gift-frenzy that Christmas brings. And I love that when Easter is over, there are flowers and birds chirping, and months of warmth to look forward to. Again, a better alternative in my book to the depressing low you get after New Years when all you have to look forward to are months of cold and lent. And most importantly, Christians all over can celebrate Christ conquering death with His boundless love!

We had a pretty relaxed Easter as we just overcame a cold the last week of lent. I also was goat-sitting my former-goats who now belong to my neighbor, and they got very sick during my watch on Good Friday. I was so worried about them, and felt horrible that they had ingested some poisonous plant when I was caring for them. Thankfully Sharon came home and nursed them back to health and they all seem to be fine now!
The Easter Bunny came bearing baskets of goodies for my littles. I made up this really elaborate story about how the Easter Bunny came to be, and his friendship with Jesus, and how all the animals and creatures of the forest get together and make gifts for children who are pure of heart and deliver them on Easter morning. The girls were certain that a bear would give a gift to Anastasia because she loves bears, and a deer would bring something for Isabel, who loves deer. Thankfully a last minute trip to cracker barrell and a little printing, and the girls indeed were gifted honey lollipops from a black bear and a package of candy coated sunflower seeds from the deer. Both with little foot prints and a note "with love, from bear/deer" on them. They were elated that their forest friends thought of them. :)
I never got pictures of all their Easter baskets, but they had art supplies and coloring books, sketch pads, a bit of candy, Annie's organic bunny grahams and fruit snacks, a game, and some calico critter babies. I try to avoid the candy, but Easter and chocolate bunnies seem unable to exist apart:
I also knit up these little chicks for the kiddos as well:
I used this pattern from Fuzzy Mitten and they knit up super-fast. And you could easily make little birdies from the pattern instead of chicks. I only wish I had opted for a fuzzier yarn. Otherwise they are perfect. :)
Above is a picture of our little moss garden we made on Good Friday, inspired by my friend Regina's post here. It is our little garden of Gestheme and while originally we just made a tomb of rocks, Anastasia added the cross made from the wood supposedly from the real garden of Gestheme. And it was perfect, beautiful, and connected the children to Christ's suffering.
We split up mass on Easter Sunday because Kieran really can't handle a normal mass, and a long mass would have been too much for him. It is nice to bring the children to church, but equally nice to leave them at home. We then went to my parents for an Easter ham and I made carrot cake and a very runny cherry pie for dessert. It was delicious! We had a nice little egg hunt for the girls where they ran around in their Easter dresses that I didn't make, looking for colorful eggs in my parents field. I did make Kieran's pants at least:
The girls' dresses from last year fit them fine this year so it seemed silly to stress over making or buying dresses this year. And I really wanted to make Easter bonnets, but alas, too many ideas for the too little time I have. Speaking of ideas I have soooo many new items to make for my shop! I am really, really excited! I just ordered quite a bit of fabric to FINALLY add some children's clothes. It might be a bit slow at first... but depending on how they do, I would like to do more in the future! And, I have a few new gnome sets coming too.
But now it is 1am and my kitchen smells like trash which means I need to go to bed now, and scrub under my sink for a good part of my day tomorrow. So my great plans will have to wait another day at least. I do hope you are all having a joyful Octave of Easter, spending it with those you love most and looking ahead to the promise of life everlasting. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our yard has bloomed into a wonderland of flowers and bright green leaves. It has been so long since I have blogged it seems. As the trees busy them selves with flowers, I have busied myself with gnome-making. Easter orders this year were great, thank you all so much who ordered from my shop! There have been many nights of 3am crafting and watching Merlin... a new favorite show. Between sewing for the shop, and sewing for my girls, we have been playing outside.
And Kieran has discovered mud. I am so thankful for Burt's Bees babywash at the end of the day and how nice and clean he is for a little while. I wish if I can order buckets of it though. I also just started weaning this little biting, mama-chewing MONSTER of a child. He looks all cute and sweet, but lately he has been nothing but trouble! This is the second night that mama's milk buffet is "all gone" and after crying angrily for 15 minutes straight last night, it seems he has accepted his new fate... I hope. Only, I don't remember what life is like not nursing or being pregnant. Its been almost 6 years! Wow.
Excuse my daughter's weird facial expression, and turn your eyes to her skirt! I made this adorable patchwork skirt from this tutorial at the Polkadot Chair. I used Riley Blake's new "Woodland Tails" fabric from a charm pack and added some other random fabric to make 2 skirts. One for each girl. I would love to have taken a better picture, but I know if I waited to get one, this would never get posted. It was an easy skirt, but took more than one afternoon to make both skirts. I could see this looking awesome in pretty autumn tones as well.
Here is a good action shot at the River near my mom's house. It was 86 degrees that day... in March! We had such a great day at the river splashing around in the shallow water followed by Carl's Ice Cream. Spring is so sweet.
Kids and water is a beautiful thing. I am already itching for a trip to the beach and have loads of summer clothes on my to-do list for my cutie-pies. Unfortunately we are all sick with what I hope is just a cold that will be gone by Easter Sunday... Anyway, Kieran just woke up... better try and get him back to bed... sans nursing. Hope you are all having a perfect Spring too!