Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Chool" redo

You know those 50's style chair/stool combinations? I'm calling it a "chool", for ease (and because I like to say it). I've seen 2 versions of the chool out in the world- one where you lift up the chair seat and there are 2 steps underneath, and one where the stool steps actually pull out and forward from under the seat. I love both chool types- being the junky nostalgic that I am. I was lucky enough to find one of the first sort at a garage sale for $2 this summer. (Notice I say "lucky", Dave would beg to differ and probably say he was "cursed" that I found it). The vinyl seat was torn and the step tread unglued, but otherwise it was in decent shape. The chool was the beloved avocado color from decades ago... which actually looks OK in my eclectic house. I did a bit of online searching to find vinyl to replace the torn seat, but then discovered iron on vinyl stuff that you just iron to normal fabric. What will they think of next? I had some fabric that I've been hoarding that matched the green perfectly. I gave the chool a good scrub and then reattached the seat with the new cover. Not perfect, the iron on vinyl is a bit shiny for my liking, but I think it looks much better. As a bonus, it is the exact height of our bar height kitchen table, so it will serve as an extra chair that we can pull up to the table in a pinch.

Here is the chair in the garage sale condition. I had to have Rowan hold the top of the stool on, because I had already started taking it apart when I remembered I wanted to capture a "before" picture.

And now the "after"...better, right?

Griffin/Indiana likes it. Well, he didn't like it when he thought it was a "time out" chair, but when I explained it was an Indiana Jones chool, he was game to pose for a picture. I know, I'm going to a bad, hot place for telling him things like this, but real live parenting is a lot harder than it looks on TV...sometimes you do what works. Plus, look how cute he looks...

Fall Fest Fun

The kids and I met up with friends today at the Fall Fest in Columbus. With a combined 10 kids between the ages of 3 months and 6 years, you know that much fun was had. They loved seeing the fire trucks & various farm animals, going on pony rides and having their faces painted. We made it all the way to the corn on the cob, which was dang near nap time, but then Griffin hit the wall and we headed home. The good news? I did not flush my phone down the toilet (like I did last weekend. More detail about that at Brooke's blog). The bad news? Griffin cried about leaving his friends the whole 15 minute ride home. It is nice that he is so much more interested in playing WITH kids instead of doing his own thing, which usually involves antagonizing other kids... he is definitely growing up.

Grady and Sophia on the fire truck...

Rowie and Grady on the back of the truck... Griffin and the goat
Rowie on her pony Flash.
Corn on the cob for all... well, except for Veda.

Cash and his corn
Rowie and Kendall in the face painting line.

Rowie the Cat girl.
"Smile with your corn kids!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Apron Swap

Hooray! Today I got my Sassy Fall swap apron from Rheba. She apologized for sending it late - it being hard to sew with a broken toe and all. I have to say, it was well worth the wait. I LOVE this apron. The collar is adorable, the colors fantastic and the materials very fun. I really love the polka dots... OK, I love the whole thing! I thought brown and aqua was my favorite color combo, but now I'm falling for brown and pink. It would be great in Rowan's room. See how these crafty adventures perpetuate each other? Next thing you know, I'll be painting her room and learning to quilt cause I love Rheba's apron so much!

(I apologize. I just re-read this post and I may need to use the word [sic] to indicate that the word love was used too many times in the past paragraph. I did not edit though, since I *heart* this apron a lot.)

Check out the hot pad - it is made to look like little bloomers!

Speaking of aprons, I will soon be making more... I just got the "A is for Apron" book in the mail this week. I am becoming a bit obsessed with aprons of late, but it looks like I'm in good company. Seems that tons of folks are collecting, making and obsessing about aprons on the web. It is comforting to know that I am not alone. Others share my kooky, domestic yearnings as well!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a night out...

Dave and I went out with some friends this past Saturday night. Wait - should I say it louder? It is only the 2nd weekend I remember doing something without children this summer, so maybe it deserves all caps? WE WENT OUT THIS WEEKEND!! I don't want to yell AT YOU, just to yell in joy.

We went to a party at a co-workers house where a ton of our other co-workers had gathered. Dave brought his guitar and I brought some vodka and red bull. We had a fun time - though it turns out that, for me at least, the less frequently you imbibe in alcoholic beverages, the worse you seem to feel in the morning. (Note to self: It is also painful to get up only 4 hours after getting to bed, and when your alarm is not a clock, but little voices arguing over a fast food restaurant toy. )

Now, as indicated above, it is rare for Dave and I to have a night out together. I should probably take the time to acknowledge those that helped us get there. First off, our friend Kim (a.k.a Griffin's "My Kim") chauffeured us to and from the party - Thanks Gierks!! We were thrilled to wake up at our own home, instead of staying in a dewy tent many miles away, and then dragging our tired butts home. Next, my sister made the drive down from Duluth to watch the chillies. The kids love when she comes - since she brings a cousin of each gender for them to play with. Thanks Bree! Am I forgetting to thank anyone else? Oh - the lovely lady who sold me my Grey Goose at the Liquor store. And a final THANKS to my friend Betsy at the party for making a TDF beer cheese dip. Yummy. I think that about covers it!

I received an email today with over 150 pictures taken at the party. (Notice I'm not thanking the photographer? Just photographic evidence of my silly behaviour.) I'm afraid that some of the pics may come back to haunt me, but I edited wisely and chose just a few to post here. Hope everyone else had a fun weekend too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

belated crafts...and Auntie Nancy

It is a bit belated...but I finally got around to posting some of the pictures of crafts we did while my Aunt was visiting from Texas this summer. First off, a quick disclaimer... "Aunt" seems, somehow, to give an impression of a matronly, gray-haired, bee-hived old women wearing floral dresses and sensible shoes. My Aunt Nancy is none of the above...she is only 10 years my senior, was my Matron of Honor in my wedding and brought me to get my first (only) tattoo the year I turned 18.

Now - with that out of the way... a bit of background may be useful. Nancy comes "home" for a few weeks each summer (where she has not "lived" for over 15 years,but we still call it her home) and we plan all sorts of crafty adventures to partake in while she is here. One year, we commandeered my Grandma (her mom) and painted my living room (yes - it has dreaded vaulted ceilings) and stairwell as well as "enameled" the pantry cupboard. My grandma has not forgiven us for sticking her up on the ladder to paint the tall spots. Last year, we attempted to do some serious landscaping and update (read: DESTROY and REDO) the 5 rock gardens at my home. They were ugly and had came with the house, and I thought with her added muscle we could get them "pretty", but the red lava rock beat us in the battle, and we only fixed up one rock bed. I think that after the rocks beat us, I made her climb the extension ladder and paint my house a bit too.

This year, with last years defeat still smarting, we opted for smaller, more "feasible" projects. We made tons of tote bags from the Sew Mama Sew tute out of clearanced tablecloths, soda pop top bracelets for the kiddies and spoon bracelets from my Granny's antique silverware. We also spent some time stitching - I ended up giving her my beloved Doodle Stitching book so she could discover the joys of funky embroidery, and we both bought tons of hoops from garage sales to practice on. Here are some pics of our endeavors!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Griffin!

My baby is did that happen? I've just noticed in the past week or so (now that Rowan has been at school and he can get a word in) just how big Griffin actually is. I mean old big - not just large big... he has always been that! He talks non-stop - mostly about Indiana Jones - and has more questions than stars in the sky. He told me last week, when asking me what his Grandma and Grandpa's "real names" were, that his "real name" was "G -dog". He cracks me up all the time with what comes out of his mouth.

I remember when he slept through the night at 4 weeks old (the benefit of a 10 lbs baby?), started walking at 10 1/2 months and then did not start chatting until closer to 18 months. So opposite his sister - so much his own little personality. He is really a sweet boy, with the best smile and imagination. To celebrate his birthday, we had my family meet for pizza up north this weekend. He dressed as his hero - Indiana Jones. "Call me Indiana" was his mantra... We've now been through phases of John Deere tractors, Jack Sparrow & Pirates of the Caribbean and Spiderman. I'm happy that the Indiana phase seems to be a bit less violent, though definitely requires more climbing, jumping and stunt work.

We'll be heading to Space Aliens for some intergalactic fun tomorrow night to celebrate his birthday with some friends (including Griffin's "my Kim"). Happy Birthday G -Dog!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

1930's Wife test

I saw this test referenced on a crafty blog, and HAD to take it. I assumed I'd be a pretty decent 30's wife. I consider myself pretty crafty and domestic - traits looked at as somewhat old fashioned now days. Looks like I was wrong :)


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day of Kindergarten

AAK! My big girl started kindergarten today. It seems just yesterday she was like this:

And now she is like this.... Notice she is wearing her little brothers' sandals so she "doesn't forget about him". She has the kindest heart - and a 5 years old girls habit of being very sentimental and finding meaning in EVERYTHING. Surprisingly we only fought for 20 minutes over her clothes this morning- which she did pick out herself last night. Oh well, she may be a big girl, but she has definitely got her own opinions. Someday I'm sure that will be a more admirable trait, right? She was not nervous at all - but mom was a basket case. I was at the dreaded Wal Mart at 11 pm looking for a water bottle and personal Kleenex packs. Then I packed and repacked her backpack a few times. Then the waterworks started... when did she get so dang big??

Monday, September 1, 2008

Garage sale finds - Summer '08

I've been meaning to blog with the pics of my favorite garage sale/thrift store finds this year. Now that Labor day has come and gone, I think it is probably past time to actually do it. Here we go... Remember, some of these items will come back to haunt us all in the future when I do whatever crafting and/or re purposing of them to make something new :)

First up is a coca cola wood box that I actually got from foraging in my grandma's garage. I've got it placed in my entry way with a lovely bowling pin inside. (yes - I am a bit kitschy and my decor does not please is ok if this scares you!) Grandma also gave me boxes of old vinyl albums that I was going to make bowls with until I read how hazardous and terrible for the environment it is to melt them. Now they may just serve as wall decor in the band room.

Not a good picture - but I found some old (could we say "vintage"?) sheets at a thrift store that I plan on making pj pants with from Amy Bulter's In Stitches book. I think I'll be able to make at least 2 adult pair and the sheets were only $1 each and in GREAT shape.

This looks odd - but I've been searching and searching for a souvenir tablecloth to make a skirt like the one in the Sew What? Skirts book. Unfortunately, I have not found a cloth for anywhere near a reasonable price, but I did find a dish towel that reminded me of it. I think that while I may not have this skirt any time soon, Rowan will. I'm not sure if she'll like it as much as me (England on her bum?) but she will sure look cute!
Next- a broken ladder turned blanket rack. Dave HATES it, but I think it is fun. Thus far, Griffin has not attempted to climb it as he acts out his Indiana Jones stunt work either - BONUS!

These patterns were a quarter a piece - I haven't decided if I am going to try to actually make the apron and leisure suit/dress, or if I should just frame the packaging to decorate my craft room walls!

Box of hoops - I've been making a stab at embroidering hoops lately, so finding these for a deal was sweet! I love the oval shapes...

Fabric, fabric and more fabric. My aunt, grandma and I hit the mother load at one sale and found a whole room of a church devoted to fabric and sewing notions. This just shows part of the bargains I went away with - but I LOVE the Swedish looking ribbon, the lacy pillow cases (that will be pj's for Rowie) and the floral fabrics... all pieces are at least a yard and washed up great. I think I probably paid $4 for this entire basket of treasures...

My aunt found the floral trays (underneath the scarves below) and they were 6 for a dollar. She generously shared 2 with me - well, only after I found that she had stolen my embroidered table cloths.. but share she did. The silk (or "silk like") scarves were a quarter a piece and look adorable in Rowan's hair. I think that they would make great purse handles too.... more crafting to come :)

Alas, we are drawing to a close yet another season of garage sale-ing. It is now time to turn full force to the thrift stores!!

Sassy apron swap...

I got my "sassy apron" out the door on Saturday morning for the swap I joined (link on right side) - with a few days to spare from the deadline. With the best of intentions, I had planned on tracing an apron that my Great Aunt made for my Grandma and then make my own pattern to "build" for the swap. As as I got closer to my deadline, (and not yet started) I opted to go with a tried and true favorite. The Emmeline Apron - you know, the one I made for all the mom's in my life at Mother's day. I found some fun fabric at my favorite fabric outlet- a red/yellow/orange batik for one side (fall leaves, anyone?) and a fun lime on the reverse. I had thought of adding bright orange pumpkin pockets to the lime side, but thought that would make it almost too Halloween-y and not very useful for the rest of the year. Since my swap partner declared a love of bright colors - I'm hoping that the lime and purple combo won't scare her unnecessarily.

The swap dictated (in addition to a fall sassy apron) an oven mitt or hot pad as well - so I reconstructed a kitchen towel into a pad/mitt with a bit of ruffle to match the apron. Honestly, I was more scared of the hot pad requirements, since I've never done something like this. I have a pattern for a quilted hot pad in one of my books, but my partner is a true quilter, and I did not think my rookie attempt to quilt should be done for this swap. So, the mitt itself was designed using one of my own oven mitts as a loose pattern. Nothing great of fancy, and I just noticed that it looks (and is) a bit wonky and crooked in this picture- but it is practical and hopefully will actually protect a hand from heat:)

I'm pleased with how much easier this Swap was for me, and how the apron actually went together. I'm getting a bit quicker and straighter in my stitches - and I think I'm understanding my machine better as well. I'm glad I didn't risk a new homemade pattern on a swap, but I do plan on making my own version of Great Aunt Mary Ann's apron in the next few weeks! I'll be sure to make it plenty Sassy!