Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zip e dee do DUH

Zippers.

I read once on a TripTik from AAA that zippers were invented* n Meadville, PA. Not sure if that is true or if my memory has collapsed on me, but zippers make me happy and frustrated.

It is a fabulous concept. I rarely buy a purse without a zipper. Why, then, would I sell at purse without a zipper?

Easy.

I hate putting them in. I haven't figured out how to cleanly add a zipper that doesn't look like a 4th grader put it in. Since I am adding it to a felted purse, my fabric is very thick and doesn't lend itself well to my sewing machine.

I am going to hand sew.

and I am afraid.

* update, not invented, but thecurrent home of the zipper, or the Universal Fastener Company. Thanks memory, you were pretty close for knowledge stored in my brain for over 15 years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Blog Reads

My two favorite blogs to read lately are Juicy Bits and Yummy Goods.

These girls make me happy.

These girls remind me to be proud to have the desire and talent to create with my hands.

These girls remind me that it is important to have an outlet in which I can rediscover myself and keep my crafting side in line with my family. Ultimately, the boys will always come first, but sometimes, the craft may need to come a very close second.

These girls remind me to not lose myself in the lives of my kids and their activities.

These girls remind me how it is important to set and follow through on personal creative goals.

These girls are like me.

(I hope they don't think I am stalking them!)

Emerson Taymor's Great Idea

3 D Business Cards

Brilliant Idea!

Also, a quick thanks to my dear friend Linda for helping me wrap my brain around a project to do for the Buffalo Indie Market as a Workshop. Still in its infancy, my idea (Linda's idea) is to have folks weave their own drink coasters. They will weave four at once and have the option of a couple colors to create solids, stripes, whatever they choose. I will pin their name to the section they weave and secure all the threads at home and ship the coasters to the crafter. Any thoughts? Comments? I am going to use thick cotton yarn so that we have a solid base and it is a quick and thick weave, maybe 10-15 minutes per person. How about a suggestion for the warp color? What would you pay to learn the basics of weaving and create your own coasters?

Thanks for dinner, too, Linda! If you ever want an excellent meal, with gluten free selections on the MAIN menu (you don't even have to look off of a printout that you brought from home), head to Curly's Bar and Grill. Worth every penny.
You may even get a free recipe from a crazy waitress for Beef Stroganoff without mushrooms!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kulana


It's pedal power! My boys surprised me with this totally cool cruiser for my birthday. It has huge handle bars, white wall tires and a lovely pink and white basket.

I have had a bike for a while that I haven't ridden because the seat slips off it's fittings and slides me off the back and most recently, the chain had a kink in it. So, since O got a bike seat for his birthday, we needed a bike to put it on! After three days of looking for the directions, Tom finally got the seat put together and on. I put O in...but his legs were draped over my seat. The space between his seat and my seat wasn't big enough for a knee to fit through. I pulled the bike seat away from my seat to squeeze that little leg through. Quite a struggle. He cried, then I put on his helmet. More cries. I did manage to get around the block twice, only cries half the time. We raised my seat to alleviate the knee situation, but he wasn't having any of the bike riding. Maybe we should have gotten the trailer...

Either way, I love my Kulana. Even with O in the seat, I feel fast and free. Sam and I went for a ride around the block. Again, felt really good and fresh.

I tried to look up the meaning of Kulana, to no avail.

I have decided Kulana means...

Mommy Freedom.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Etsy Challenge

Dear Friends,

At noon today, my blanquilt will be entered into a fun little challenge on this new Etsy Challenge Blog. I am told it will be in the needlework section, so please, take a couple minutes and vote for me!

We had a good weekend (well, not really, trying to be positive). I did get a couple purses made, now they just need some jewels to spice them up. I am going to try to sew a zipper into a felted purse. Depending on the results, this could be WeaverGirlGuz's first giveaway. I mean, if it is free, you can handle a little miss-stitching, right? I need to practice somewhere! I found some of my first felting tries from last fall and cut them up, maybe I can use them for some other little things.

Sunday morning, I went to Antique World's Flea Market with my Dad. It was shocking to see how few tables were out. There were threats of rain all day and thunderstorms in the afternoon,(we got out the backyard pool and were splashing in the sun at 2 pm)so maybe that is the main reason. Any way, having a little "non-buyers remorse". There was an adorable tricycle with big air filled wheels that I think the boys would have loved. It was reasonable, but I thought Tom would be mad that there was one other item we needed to store over the winter so that we could get the cars into the garage. I should have got it and stored it at a friends house in the winter. Still thinking about it...maybe it will be there next weekend. I did find a couple old wooden puzzles for the boys and a couple pins/jewels for some purses. Would have been great if there were more tables. I hope this isn't the beginning of the end of antique/flea markets.

Ending this post with words from the boys.

Sam's words: "Mom, every time I look at you, you are making another purse. Why don't you just stop and take a break?"

Oscar's words: "Mom, play with your yarn."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Art Time

I may have created a monster. A good monster. This was the scene a couple days ago and since then, I hear 'Where are my dots? Can I have my dots? Wanna do dots, Mom?'

O calls his watercolor tray, Dots. They both did quite well. After four or five painting sessions, we only had one small water spill. I think I like watercolors more than markers. Watercolors wash up, wipe out and clean off much easier than even a washable marker.

We also learned something new. Papa, pay attention, you may not yet know this but, blowing on the brush makes the colors stick to the paper better. See example below.

If you are a Mom of young ones, and think painting is too messy, pick up a pack of Crayola watercolors (or two, we are in the fighting mode now that the tray Sam was using is gone) and let them play. You will get a good 20 minutes, at least, of 'Mom Time'.
But, if you aren't a mom, pick yourself up a tray of watercolors. They really are fun!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now THIS is Breakfast

A little chocolate atop a Gluten Free stack of pancakes is the right way to start the day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Meet Paprika



She was so fast to crochet and felt, but the beading took a couple hours. I just love it. I think this may be the beginning of my first 'patterned' piece. Against all my better judgement, I may actually write down how many stitches and dimensions and try to replicate the same idea, making it a tad bigger. And...adding a zipper. I want this to be something I would feel confident about tossing it around, as I usually do. Or, my kids do for me.

UPDATE: Paprika moved to Washington DC to a lovely home. Thank you!

Maybe I'll try this with fabric that I have and mix it up a bit...I smell a giveaway (mimi).

I think I need to make a list. I have one purse to finish, two to felt or re-felt, a set of roman shades to make, a baby gift, a blanquilt to embroider, 'my choice' yarny for Sam, and some yarn begging to get onto that loom! Not to mention the show I signed up for. So much, yet so exciting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Price of Things

NOT FREE
FREE

Between groceries and gas (although that is coming down a bit), school clothes and child care, it is nice to get something for free. Many bloggers are putting up free giveaways on their blogs and getting loads and loads of responses. I am considering that, although the last time I had a giveaway, I had to beg for guesses. If I can get a couple more comments of interest, I'll do it. I think I will take it personally that you don't like the 'giveaway' and that is why there aren't any comments. Not true, right?

Back to the Erie County Fair. We went, figuring we would drop a bit of money, but as the last carnival type event for the summer, we wanted to go. Kids are free to get in, these tractors are free, all the animal exhibits are free, the pig races and the monkey races (wish we could have caught that) are free. Let me take one step back, Free for the child, but the adult admission is $9. Some very nice people in the parking area gave us some free tickets - we were totally excited, until they were refused at the gate. Thanks for the embarrassment. I am sure they thought they would work, but the fair has gotten all electronic with scanners and they tell you when the ticket was used. Maybe that is why it is $9 for an adult, to cover the electronics.

I may be rambling, but what I am getting at is the days of free things are gone, but you can find some good deals. We are a family on a strict budget (show me a family that isn't) and managing to find cheap or free things seems to be getting easier. Maybe it is because I am exploring options instead of just going to Chuck E. Cheeses or the movies. Side Note: I am very discouraged by the commercials for CEC where they have children playing outside in a lake or exercising, yet you walk in the door of this monster video game land and I just can't find that lake...

Even though the bounce house and the tractors left much to the imagination, I think the tractors were the best value, even if I would have paid $13.

>> NEW Wristlet to be uploaded to Wash My Cloth at Etsy very soon...maybe even tonight! I love it.

Wordle Time


Look at this Wordle!

You can make your own Wordle here. Once you have made your list and click GO, you can 'open in a new window', in the new window at the top, you can change colors, font, variations of where the words are placed. Very cool. And fun, perfect for a Monday morning.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Meet Our New Friends




Pretty colorful for trip to the county fair! The fancy gobbler was the Grand Prize Winner. Not sure if that equals a pardon come November, but he looked pretty proud of himself.

We had a lovely time at the fair.

That's a lie.

I was miserable. We paid for a wristband for Oscar and he turned out to be too short for most rides in Kiddieland. Which, he actually liked more than the ride he went on. Wasn't really a ride, but a bounce house maze that he only got through the first room.

Then, our cute family split up. Sam and Tom were doing the tall boy stuff and so Oscar and I found the animals. Then the 'Rudes' were gone. Maybe it was the animals that calmed everyone down.

The 'Rudes' are the people that have no respect for the others around them. Mothers yelling at their kids (loudly and in my ear) to come, come now, even though the gate was closed and they had not been granted the mere ability to get out. One lady was yelling at her kids to hurry up and feed the goats so they could leave, yet had a larger handful in her fist. Just makes me wonder if that is the public display of parenting, then what is the private display.

As I said, the Rudes were gone once we were by the animals. Oscar loved the animals above, but his favorite were these little bundles of pork sausage. And I mean that in a cute 'Chuy from Chelsea Handler way', not so much in their 'future life way'.

Once I saw those cute bacon bits, I recalled the challenge from a Mimi at Pink Card Nation that asked readers to do something different and pay attention to people and give them a chance and instead of saying..."oh, that's weird" or judging them (the Rudes), think of something positive. It was hard, but I came up with a couple things. I also smiled at a lot of people at the fair, that was interesting.


I think they thought I was weird.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Chenango


I have updated the shop with this new bag. I was really happy with the way it turned out and how the yarn felted - like butter.

And...this is post number 100 for this year. I can't believe I had that much to say.

Maybe I'll celebrate with another Klondike bar.

Now THIS is Lunch

Who's with me?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dancing Hook

Fortunately, I had some time to crochet in front of the campfire. I did, unfortunately, get caught up in photography for a bit and therefore lost a little hook time. I think crochet is mesmerizing. Unlike knitting, at least the way I knit, crochet lets the hook dance, or fly. It really is pretty to watch.

This is another purse to be. I think the only appropriate name for it will be 'The Chenango' - right? I am finishing up the handles tonight and hopefully starting the felting process tonight, as well.

On another dancing note: I was putting on my pajama bottoms when O walked in. He said, "the dancing part". I was a little confused. Then looked down, and saw what he was talking about. My gut. The gut that he helped form. Not sure if it was the polka dotted undies (TMI?) or the general buoyancy of the area. Either way, 'the dancing part' sounds much kinder than what I call that region!

Ladies...cheers to your dancing parts!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Home Again


Thursday it rained.

Friday it rained.

Saturday it drizzled.

Sunday it rained.

When we arrived home, it was raining.


Aside from the rain and the frustration of the first night being very, very wet, we had a great time. It was nice to see all the cousins together. For the most part everyone got along. I was thinking back on the last time I went camping and it was just Tom and I. This time, every thing was different and I don't think we talked to each other about anything other than the whereabouts of the boys. Maybe one of these days we will get out together and talk...


We went to Chenango Valley State Park, which I highly recommend. We stayed on the park grounds the entire time we were there (need I remind you of the rain?) and the kids were entertained with nature trails, swimming, boating, biking and even a horse drawn wagon ride. Please note that the wagon ride was special, for us. Okay, maybe for the park's 75th anniversary. Pam and Lisa picked the best spots for us, too. So great, that we are making it an annual event at the same place, same sites. I am looking forward to watching how the kids grow from year to year.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Budding Photographer or Budding Clown?

This picture makes me laugh.

After I set the camera down, Sam decided he should take some pictures. What I found was a smattering of walls, a giraffe, stairs, light fixture, my messy hallway, a wall switch, gray, a foot, a very blurry storage bench, more stairs, and this picture above.

Sam set the image perfectly in the frame and got the expression that I see from a different angle. It commences after 5 or 6 previous photos and reads a little like this:

Uh, mom. Mom, he is doing it again. He is in my face and I think I am not liking this. Mom, can you hear me with my eyes?

I love it.

Digital cameras offer a great opportunity for kids to see things in a different way, without breaking the bank on developing the entire roll of walls, a giraffe, stairs, light fixture, my messy hallway, a wall switch, gray, a foot, a very blurry storage bench, and more stairs.

And my Budding Clown? More so, the budding photographer is also a budding artist. Oscar allows Sam to use him as a canvas. A friend had a 'Lady's Night' a while back where we ate, drank and 'traded' toys and clothes, except I didn't bring any. Moms with extra toys appreciate that they aren't getting anything back in return. I snagged this Body Crayon Book by Klutz and the boys love it. It comes off so easily with a wet wipe or soap and water, doesn't stain and offers hours (yes, moms out there, HOURS) of fun.

I just checked Amazon and the book with the crayons is much cheaper than just the crayons.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Here Woody, Here Woody Woody Woody


Oh, the magic of the Post Options! Another Gluten Free Goodness. Man, do I love these!

As this posts, I am enjoying one or two of these little guys by the fire and if my timing is off, I might be drinking Reisling from my bag-o-wine that lived a past life as a box.

Boxes get soggy in ice.
Either way, Cheers. Have a great weekend!
p.s. It is okay to drink at any time whilst camping. Rules of the land.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The First Cookie

I am hard pressed to think of a better way to eat a cookie, than to eat it from the first batch, fresh out of the oven, when the chips are just the right temperature that they are warm and gooey, but not too hot. Yummm.


We are off to Chenango State Park this weekend for a long camping trip. Tom's brothers and their families, along with Momma G are all lined up in four sites next to each other. Otherwise known as the 'buffer zone' or 'noise barrier zone'. There are three men, four women, five boys and one girl. The youngest boy is my precious godson, who turned one year old in May. I am really excited and nervous.
That is why I made these cookies. These gluten free discs of heaven are the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookie ever. They change my demeanor with every bite. Ahhh. It is a gf cookie by nature! I don't add or subtract any gluten. They are made for me. They are made for Celiacs and they are made sooooo good.
Simple recipe.
1 cup peanut butter (I use chunky)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (I over pour - you can NEVER have too many chips)
Mix together, form into balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
As you are reading this, we are in the car, driving away, eating cookies.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Pants


This is a boy that loves the Route 66 pants.

The best part of the pants, is that once they go on, he gets tired. See "Lazy Sunday" post.

We found this fabric a long time ago and I can't even remember, and am too lazy to research, if I had posted a pic of this fabric. Either way, here it is.

Oscar has a matching pair.

And so does, Tom. They all were pretty large, except for Oscar's. I copied a pair of pants that Oscar had, since the pattern wasn't made small enough for those little legs.

I think this fabric is officially used up. Who am I kidding, I am sure I saved a scrap somewhere.

When it cools down and normal people where lounge pants, I'll try for a family picture of the boys.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

December Fourteenth

Wash My Cloth is going to participate in the Buffalo Indie Market on Dec. 14th for their big Holiday Show. And the best part...I am bringing my loom (Tom, please take note, I'll need your help) and (Dad, can I borrow your van?) and (Mom, be there?).

I have plenty of time to get ready, right...famous last words. I will note this blog entry around the 12th of December, and say something like "why did I do this in the middle of December???".

Sharing this with you here, puts me on notice.

A Big Bag


I have realized that the plane is good for my Etsy Shop - Wash My Cloth. It allows me the time to let my brain relax and think about one thing only. A new bag. This is bigger than all the others I have made, but same concept. Use wool and felt the bag after completed. But, I made a mistake on this one. See that yellow? It is Wool-Ease. Not Wool. Yes, there is wool in it, but not enough for it to shrink. I only realized it until after the thick blue line you see in the pic - a full plane flights worth of work. So, I am keeping it and hoping for a really cool mistake. I believe that the yellow will pucker and give a dimensional feel to an otherwise flat surface. I hope my mind is showing me what the future holds. We shall see. There were some other things I wanted to do with this bag prior to felting, but with the unclear outcome, I may not waste the time.
The colors aren't all that accurate. They really do go nicely together. The salmon looking color you see is really Paprika, and is a shade lighter than the real paprika, the blue is a peacock blue and the yellow is more toward the mustard side.
This will be interesting.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lazy Sunday


This was a small part of our day, yesterday. Apparently, there is nothing like laying around on pillows with fleece blanket in the dead of summer! Granted, it was a chilled 77 degrees, but still hot enough. It was 'Fabric Fun' with the new pillows from leftover (more on that later) Route 66 fabric and the car blanket along with Sam's sign fabric blanket.

Oscar sat on my lap at the sewing machine today. Oh my. I must be a real nerd, but I thought it was the COOLEST thing. He watched and placed his hand on the fabric as it moved toward the presser foot. I just can't find the right words - but I am in love with that little boy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An American Girl in Germany - a new blog


My very talented sister-in-law, Brooke, has arrived in Frankfurt for six month tour of duty. Okay, maybe not a tour of duty, as in the military, but she is there for work. I have a feeling that this is going to be a very well documented blog since she is there without her sewing machine and my brother. I can only assume she didn't bring her sewing machine, although with five pieces of checked bagage, it is very possible! This is the view from her apartment window.

My brother will be able to visit and I am a little jealous of their quiet Christmas in Germany together.

Enjoy - I am sure she would love to hear your comments, as well.

Blog: An American Girl in Germany