Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear Auntie Lizz,

Thanks ever-so for the crying baby doll you gave Moo for Christmas. She's kept the three of us busy all morning. Mama has begun to twitch every time one of us presses the crying button on the baby. We think that means she likes it too.

Your nieces and nephew

Notice; The New One will henceforth be referred to simply as "Moo"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Eva; Winter Wuss, Pampered Pansy

Yesterday, on our first morning in winter, I started the car, put it in reverse and discovered that my rear view camera was iced over. "Now how am I going to get out of the driveway?" I thought with disgust. Then I remembered the rear view mirror and mocked myself as I backed up the old fashioned way.

The other night, we pulled up to my brother's house and I noted his un-shoveled drive.(love you Boy) I thought about how, if we moved to a climate that included snow, I'd have to shovel it. That was never my responsibility when I lived here. Then, as I (ok, the Mr was actually the one on the drift side) climbed out of the car into a snow drift I remembered the ugly truth about visiting friends in winter time. Unless the friend in question has ample space in the drive way, you will be climbing into a snow-drift when you de-car. Either that or the ankle deep slush of the road. In that moment, all I could say was "Winter is...awful"
In spite of all that, I am enjoying my stay. We had a very Merry Christmas and if I can find another spare minute, I'll show you some of the things I made for it.
Fare thee well

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Limbo

We're traveling for Christmas. We'll be embarking on those travels...sometime.
The Mr is at work laboring feverishly (I'm sure) to get things done so we can leave.
I'm here, teetering between various things.
Things like working busily and knowing I've got everything in hand and sitting on the sofa staring dejectedly into space as my to do list mocks me from it's perch on the crowded kitchen counter.
Or relief that I've got this extra time at home cut with the itch to get out on the road.

I've got a package coming one of these days. I finally decided on a pair of boots but it seems I decided a day too late. UPS' tracking site tells me my boots, as of 4:08 this morning, were in Ft. Worth. Even after that report I held onto hope that they'd make it here today.
A few hours ago the garbage truck, in combination with a drop in visitor had me convinced I was receiving a Christmas miracle.
Even after the sting of that disappointment I dared wish, but just now as I was cleaning out Dusty Miller in preparation for the eventual drive, the UPS truck came.
Sped by my house without even slowing down. Do you think that driver knew he was crushing the spirit of hope just then?

So here I am, preparing for a trip that we will at some point leave on, wishing for delivery miracles and despairing that my boots and I will be as ships in the night.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm up to

Last night I hemmed six 45"x45" play silks.
Thank heaven for selvage edges, for it was by their grace that I only had to hem 2 sides per square rather than four.
This is what my counter looks like tonight.

What's not littered with empty Kool-aid packets is dribbled with multi-colored splotches.
My last silk, the green one, is in the dye bath now hopefully soaking up the final wisps of color suspended in the liquid.
It's been a long week, we've had one activity or another every night and I've followed each up with a few hours of top secret Christmas Elvin work. I'm pooped, and I've got a long way to go. I'm not going to make a list here, that would just be discouraging. You're just going to have to take my word for it.

By the way, I'm using this tutorial for the silk dying.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A gift idea and a how to: painted cds

I love tucking my favorite Christmas mix in with some goodies for neighbor gifts. I love it so much in fact, I've done it for the past two years.
Ok, technically I've only done it one year. Two years ago I passed out blank cds. I carefully ran each one through the CD burner but I found out after they'd all been distributed that the shell script the Mr wrote to enable me to burn them all with one simple click of the mouse had malfunctioned.
Saving me from complete embarrassment over the incident was the crafty inspiration I'd had to up the festive quotient of the gift by painting the CDs. My friends and neighbors got a fancied up CD on which to burn their favorite Christmas mix. It wasn't what I'd intended (I would have enclosed a note explaining the intent if it had been) but it was better than a plain old blank CD.
Last year Zizza did the painting and handed them out to her Joy School friends. (after I triple checked to make sure there was actually something burned on them)
Here's what we used.
CDs (last years were the printable kind with a white papery surface. that makes it a little easier to paint on but I actually prefer the silvery sheen of a regular disc)
Half a broken jewel case (To keep painty fingers off the back)
Acrylic paint
Water for rinsing
A pencil. (if you're using printable CDs)

I started by outlining the shapes Ziz wanted to paint with the pencil.
She got right to it and painted up a storm.
With the outlines filled in, she focused on embellishment.
Here's the finished batch from that day's painting. As you can see, she added a holly bush to the tree CD. The m&m's on the candy cane one were all her own as well.
She got carried away on that blue one, I think we went back and added some white snowflakes once it was dry.
These are the CD's I handed out blank in aught 7
This one was my favorite.
I wasn't planning to do any this year, but it looks like such fun I might break the paints out if I can find a minute.
By the way, if you need suggestions to fill out your mix, remember you can't go wrong with Wham's "Last Christmas." That's a classic right there.

Friday, December 11, 2009

conflict, of the inner variety

For a long time now I have hated Uggs. Even when adorning the feet of loved ones I've hated them.
The exception to this rule was babies. I had a pair for Zizza when she was a tiny and they were adorable. I'd forgotten about them until I read Cjane's post about boots for the chief.
That got me thinking that uggs would be a good option for Enzo. Since it's grown too chill for his beloved flops (and also we left his favorite orange pair at his cousin's house on Thanksgiving) He's taken to wearing his cowboy boots, sans socks, everywhere we go.
If I plan ahead and approach it just the right way I can get him into his sneakers, but those are getting a bit snug so it's only a matter of time until the cowboy boots are his only option and they rub leaving scabs on his dear chunky feet.
I followed Cjane's advice and looked at the girl's imitation uggs at Target. They didn't have his size.
A funny thing happened during the course of all this.
I started, sort of, wishing for a pair...For myself.
I have not stopped hating them, no sir or madam, I'll hate them to the day I die but I would sort of like a charcoal gray pair for me to go along with the chocolate brown pair I'm still hoping to find for Enzo.
Have you ever wished for something you hate? Or loved a thing for it's ugliness?
This is not the first time for me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to- narrowest rolled hem

I used to dream of tiny delicate rolled hems and despair over my inability to make a rolled hem foot work on anything but straight edged pieces of sturdy cotton. I was somewhat consoled when, while at work for an opera company, I learned of the "rolled hem" capability of some sergers. Still, I didn't have one of those so the despair continued...
I moved to Arizona and got a job in a bridal shop working for the best seamstress I've ever laid eyes on. (and I've seen a few) I started as a basic dress wrangler, Suzi doesn't let just anybody take needle to her gowns. After a few months though, I wasn't just anybody anymore and in the heat of bridal season even the best need extra hands. Hands that can execute a killer hem.
And that is how this dream came true for me.
Now, I'll share it with you.
Start by folding the edge of your fabric, just once, about a quarter of an inch. Don't bother pressing that fold, it will slow you down and make things harder. Just fold as you go along.
Put it on your machine and stitch as close to the fold as you can get without running off the edge. That will be about one sixteenth of an inch.
When you've made it all the way back to your starting point, pat yourself on the back and admire your work. Here's what the inside should look like.
If you have any bits like this, don't sweat it.
Just trim them off. Also, if you notice any places where that raw edge is notably wider than the rest, trim that down.
Now get back on that machine!
Fold your hem in one more time. Your previous seam should be just to the inside of the fold. Keep-a-goin' till you get back to the starting point,
And Ta Da! Rolled hem perfection!
Wrong side
Right side
Doh! This is what it looks like if you missed trimming a trouble spot before you stitched down the second fold. It's really not a big deal, just trim it now and you'll never know the difference.
Now you're going to want to press the whole thing to smooth out any ripples that might have occurred as a result of the hemming process.
The fabric I was working with here was stretch chameuse cut in a circle. You can bet there were ripples going on when I finished sewing. They didn't stick around though.

Happy hemming!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Drafting a dragon

I signed us up for the kid's ornament exchange at the Crafty Crow this year. Such fun! The theme is fairy tales, I was thinking of doing something easyish like gnomes (a felt cone on a wooden bead with a cotton ball beard and done!) but Zizza declared dragons to be her inspiration and since this is a kid's swap I thought she should have some say.
I was thinking paper mache at first. Basically making mini pinatas with a water balloon as the abdomen. The problem there was, I couldn't decide how to make the hind legs. Then I realized I hadn't even considered the matter of a tail and I scraped that whole Idea. Instead we're going with basic painted paper plus a little wire for stability. Here's my prototype;
I'm still trying to decide on the orientation of the tail spike, this way?
Or this way?
These were my first wings. I thouthg they looked upside down and rather batish so I tried again.
Attempt number 2 taught me that the first wings were not upside down after all, just slanted the wrong way.
That brought me to set number three which were a winner.

Now I just have to make six more and then turn the kids loose with some paint! Who knows, I might even get crazy and let them use glitter!

If you'd like me to, I'll make my dragon template available for download

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

pepermint bark

It's delightful stuff. It really is. Unless you're my husband or similar.
But did you know that there is a better way to eat it than the conventional method of sticking hunks of it directly into your mouth?
There is.
Now, if you come around here often, you might suspect that I'm going to suggest dipping it in peanut butter.
You also might be gagging at the thought.
Fear not, there is no peanut butter involved in what I'm about to tell you. Even I have limits.
The best thing to do with peppermint bark is submerge it in a cup of thick rich hot chocolate.

It's way better than just stirring with a candy cane. That white chocolate melts and adds a yummy mellow richness to the cocoa which is, you guessed it, yummy. By the way, there was another chunk, twice that size already at the bottom of that cup.

Now I have to tell you something else.
I don't believe in hot chocolate mix.
I used to believe in it. I've still got a number ten can of it in my pantry, but I don't use it anymore. (huh, maybe I should throw that out?)
A few years ago, my mother in law was out of cocoa packets when the grand-kids came. She, being the resourceful person that she is, whipped up some cocoa using chocolate chips and milk.
I have never gone back.
I've worked and slaved and drunk countless cups of cocoa to come up with the ideal method for putting my mother in law's discovery into action and I'm going to share that with you now.

Super-fantastic Hot Cocoa

1 bag milk chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)
1 Gallon milk (the higher the fat content the yummier, I make it with skim all the time though, and it's still good)
a splash of vanilla

Pour the milk into a big pot and heat it to drinking temperature. Watch it close, you don't want it to get too hot. Every moment you spend waiting for your cocoa to cool is a moment wasted.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips.
When your milk is warm and your chips are liquid, whisk the chocolate into the milk until completely combined. Add vanilla to taste and you're good to go.

I've never come up with an ideal ratio for smaller quantities, I just guess at it every time. That's most of the time because I don't often have cause to make a whole gallon of cocoa. Believe it or not you can add too much chocolate.
Another thing, the other day I made some and let it sit in a thermos for a few hours until drinking time and it came out tasting a bit stewed. You know the cooked milk taste of warm pudding? It was kind of like that.
I happen to like warm pudding so it worked for me, but if you don't now you know how to avoid it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

second hand soup

Ok, that's kind if an unfortunate title I chose. Just to be clear, I do not mean puke. Puke does not enter into this equation in the slightest.
Now, let's begin.

Do you remember my plans for the left over braising liquid from the ribs I made last week?

They were wildly successful.
I needed some extra liquid for the barley to absorb as it cooked so I added 2 cups of water and a can of chicken broth to the four-ish cups of left over fabulousness I had in the fridge.
Then I dumped in the barley (about half a cup) and let it all simmer until the barley was tender. (20-30 minutes)
Meanwhile, I made some mashed potatoes to submerge in the beefy barley glory.
I ate it for dinner. I ate it for lunch. I ate it for dinner again, and I never got tired of it.
I should make more ribs so I can have more soup.

By the way, I substituted beef stock for the wine in P-dub's recipe.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

White choral bells

A scrap of charmeuse, my narrowest rolled hem and some elastic thread and we've got a smidge of lovely.
It reminds me of a lily of the valley blossom.
Little things like that sleeve are what I love about making baby dresses.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

A few years back I was introduced to this recipe by a friend.
I didn't know if I would like it. Plain pancakes with nothing but plenty of melted butter had always been my true breakfast love. I'm an adult, however, not the picky eater of my childhood and I've learned to give new things a chance...sometimes.
I tried the pumpkin pancakes and it was worth it, they are good.
That first morning eating pumpkin pancakes, three year old Zizza and eight month old Enzo polished off four apiece. If I hadn't been hooked before, that would have done it.
Now a days I make them just about every time we have breakfast for dinner. The pumpkin in there counts as a vegetable see, and that makes me feel better about things nutritionally.
I also like to use whole wheat flour in this recipe. It gives the pancakes a nice texture.
True the picky child inside of me, my favorite way to eat them is with nothing but plenty of melted butter.
Syrup or cinnamon sugar are fine too but butter alone is just so good I don't need to bother with anything else.
By the way, thanks Stacey

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I made braised short ribs for dinner tonight.
Actually the Mr and I tag teamed it on the ribs last night, then after church today I just moved the whole pan from the fridge to the oven to reheat.
They were good folks, really good.
The best part was, I think, the juices. So delish. And good news! There's a whole bunch left over! The plan is to re-purpose it into soup later in the week. I'll let you know how that goes. There are a few ideas floating around in my head. Possibilities that include things like barley and mashed potato dumplings. I'll let you know what I decide.


I missed another day. That makes three. I don't think I can claim any kind of victory over NaBloPoMo this year. I'll still pull through with 30 posts in 30 days but I can't in good conscience call it a win after missing 3.
Next year I'll know better than to start an intriguing series of books during the month. That's why I missed last night. I forgot to post before I started reading. I'm going to finish the last book tonight, I'm so close. Once it's done I'll get my focus back.
I'm going to be doing some sewing this coming week. It seems like ages since I made anything.
I've got a baby dress to get ready for next Sunday.
Silk chiffon, mmm I love that stuff.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I went to the Chinese bakery
To get a loaf of bread
She asked me what my was
and this is what I said

My name is El-eye El-eye
Chickel-eye Chickel-ey
Pom-pom beauty
Walla Walla whiskey
Indian Cheif,

Five years I've been waiting to teach this gem of a clapping game to my child. Time after time I fail.
Admittedly, my first attempt (I think she was two) was a little early.
She's five now. That's old enough for kindergarten, old enough for recess. She should be ready.
It's time to launch initiative "Teach Zizza to Play School-Yard Clapping Games"
I think I'll start in with something a little simpler than the above. "Peas Porridge" would be a good one. Also example videos might be a beneficial tool. This one comes to mind. Sorry, embedding is disabled so you'll have to go to the link.
I'll let you know the initiative proceeds.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks be the giving

Mercifull Heavens I am full!
I made a sweet potato pie this year. This is the first time I've had that partucular pie and I tell you, it was delicious.  That is why I ate 2 pieces and that is why I feel rather plumpish and sickish right now.
I hope your pie eating was equally satisfying.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Imagine you've spent your afternoon baking.
There's a pie in the oven and two dozen perfectly shaped butter-horn sweet potato rolls on the counter puffing themselves up in anticipation as they await their turn in the oven.
Your younger children are at the table sharing a snack and you step upstairs to check on the progress of the room cleaning assigned to your older child.
The sound of laughter mingles with the smell of baking peach pie and they waft up the stairs together. You smile to yourself, happy that the two so enjoy one another's company.
The timer sounds and you decend to retrieve the golden beauty from the oven.
As the room comes into view you notice something odd. There's some kind of light peach-ish goo hanging from the boy's extended finger as he swings it around.
Realization hits and you exclaim using the boy's full name and rushing to snatch the mutilated dough lump from his hands. You're only just in time to stop him feeding a sizable glob to his baby sister.
Three would-be rolls are missing from the pan with a fourth smeared hopelessly out of shape.
As you might imagine, the boy does not finish his dinner.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My curse

Yesterday I worked very hard at managing my time. I find books to be rather addicting. I have a hard time putting down even the most mediocre of books once I've started reading.
The Books I'm currently working on are the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson. They are a favorite of The Mr's and the time finally came for me to read them.
I was raised on fantasy, so this series is right up my alley. Plus, these books are well above mediocre so the time management part of reading them has been an extra challenge.
I made a deal with myself. Every time I completed a household task, I would read a chapter (or two, I'm an addict remember?) This worked well all day. I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, then I read. I folded a few batches of clean laundry, then I read. I folded some more laundry, then I read some more.
When evening came, I cleaned up dinner, tucked the kids in bed, got my blog on and was ready for more reading.
After a while The Mr. finished what he was doing and went in to bed. I planned to follow but soon I noticed the bedroom light go off. If he was sleeping anyway, I might as well read a little more.
I read for another hour or two and something strange happened. The Mr's alarm went off. I wondered to myself why his alarm was set for the middle of the night. Then I looked at the clock. It wasn't the middle of the night. It was morning.
I didn't go to bed until he was up and dressed. I finished the book though.
Lucky for me he is a early riser so there were still a few hours for me to sleep before the kids got up.
Zizza had to eat a granola bar on the way to pre-school. There was no time for breakfast.
I've got to learn to control myself.

Monday, November 23, 2009

You'll never guess what I just sang to Enzo as a lullaby

I regularly take requests during our bed-time snuggle. Tonight he wanted a "Library Song"
The only thing that came to mind was "Reading Rainbow" so I sang it with all the vigor that I remember from those days in elementary school when as a special treat the teachers would herd a few classrooms worth of children into the ELR (do any of my elementary school comrades happen tot know what that stands for?) where we'd sit in rows "Indian style" (how's that for "P.C."?) and watch Lavar do his thing.
Inevitably as the opening sequence began one child after another would break out into song. I remember a boy named Ian who sang along with unmatched fervency. As the song progressed the strength of the impromptu chorus grew finally ending with most every child holding a strong forced vibrato on the last note of the final "rainbow."
I always viewed the practice with a combination of terror ( I was very shy) and scorn (Let's just say Ian put on quite a show) I did however quite enjoy singing the number in the comfort of my home, thus I was well prepared to sing it this evening.
Sadly, since it doesn't actually include the word "library" the song didn't satisfy the request and I had to sing one of those impromptu made-up numbers repeating the requested word until he'd had his fill. It just goes to show, in the world of lullaby's there's no accounting for tastes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I'm in the middle of a book, well a trilogy actually. I started the second book this afternoon.
I'm enjoying it so much that all of my spare brain power is being sucked into thinking about it.
Ok, that's not entirely true. I'm also thinking about "Defying Gravity" ever since it was on Glee (love that show) a few weeks ago it's been circling around my head. I was just you tube karaoke-ing it in fact. That's the kind of nerd I am.
"Endless Love" was on last week's episode of Glee and that's tugging at a little piece of brain power too.
If you'll excuse me I'm going to see if there's an "Endless Love" karaoke video available on You Tube. Once that's done I'll get back to my book.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jingle Bells Batman Smells

I just tried to explain to my five year old why that song is funny.
It was a difficult task and I'm afraid I failed.
When you don't know who Batman is, let alone Robin or the Joker it's hard to get the joke.
You know what she does think is funny?
Last time it was my turn to drive carpool to preschool she heard her brother mention the word "breakfast" as she and her friends were discussing which of them knew better how to sing"Twinkle Twinkle."
Zizza laughed heartily and said to her friends "My little brother just sang 'Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you want for breakfast!"
Her companions thought it was just as hilarious as she did and the rest of the week's journeys were peppered with requests from the three girls for Enz to sing the hilarious number. Enzo was only to happy to oblige. Attention from your big sister and her friends is a priceless commodity.
Soon the song was simplified to "Twinkle twinkle little breakfast" following which the three little girls in the back seat would disintegrate into laughter until one of them recovered herself enough to ask him to sing it again.
Now that's a joke.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Get me some purple leather, STAT!

I currently have a brown purse. I don't know what's become of me.
When I was purse shopping last I found a fantastic dark purple one. At the time I was only minorly impressed, but the idea has grown on me.
Couple that with my increasing disappointment with the purse I bought that day and you have a girl in need of a big purple purse
My brown one is attractive and all, but brown is just so "gihhhh" When I bought it I told myself that having a neutral bag would be ok because my clothes would be enough to convey my love of the bright side (incidentally, the t-shirt I'm wearing now is inscribed with the words "the bright side") but I have changed my mind. I am not projecting my true self when I carry a brown purse.
Another problem with my current bag is it's lack of space. I had been sans children for a day and a half when I bought it and that clouded my judgment. I keep showing up places with not a spare diaper or wipe to my name because I removed my diaper wallet to save space on a quick trip and never put it back.
Long story short, I just decided I want a bag like this out of royal purple leather. That would be dreamy.
I supposed if I compromised and made it out of royal purple not-leather I'd have a much larger chance of ever actually making it.
In any case, I need a new bag. One that's screaming with vibrant color and roomy enough for the diapers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The New One's Shoes

Would you just look at how adorable these little shoes are?

The New One doesn't like the feel of her feet on the floor, in so much that she will not let them touch down if they are bare. This meant that we needed shoes. Shoes with a soft sole. Shoes that she could wear every day.
I started looking around Etsy because I wanted something that would make me as happy, or at least close to as happy, as cute little bare baby toes do when I see them. Nothing I was finding in stores was fitting the bill. I knew I'd have to really love whatever I bought because without that love I might forget to put them on her and if I never put them on, and she never put her feet on the floor, how would she ever learn to walk?
I chose the elephant shoes from scandeez because of everything I looked at they were the best combination of functional and attractive. Also because gray is currently my favorite neutral and as part of the "wear them everyday" thing neutral was necessary.

Almost got me

I've just realized I didn't post yesterday.
With two years of NaBloPoMo under my belt I seem to have gotten cocky and let things slide.
Now NaBloPoMo is smirking as only a rebounding foe can smirk and yelling things like "How do you like me now?" and "Thought you'd kicked my hinder eh? Turns out, my hinder isn't that easy to kick! This was my plan all along and not I've GOT YOU!"
Obviously I can't stand around and take that kind of abuse. I've got to get back on that horse and show NaBloPoMo who's boss.
I'm posting now, and I'll be posting later. Oh yes I will. I'm not about to let some month long blogging challenge get the better of me!

This morning I was taught by a 22 year old man who walked on his toes like my little brother how to avoid having my mouth vomited in while administering rescue breaths to an unconscious individual.
I learned other things as well, like how to give yourself the Heimlich in your car if you happen to choke while driving. (Pull over, roll down your window, position yourself so your upper body is hanging out of the car through the window as you kneel on your seat. Fall against the windowsill like you would a chair back were you Heimleching yourself in the comfort of your home) Also, the toe-walking instructor has a friend who has had to do this not once, but twice.
Dude, stop eating jaw-breakers in stop and go traffic.
Currently residing in my wallet is a CPR card with my name on it. My new skill set makes me a much better foster care provider. Of this you can be sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Boot Shopping

I went to Dillard's today to do a little boot reconnaissance.
If you recall, I was referred there by a reliable source.
We were at the mall as a family and The New One and I stole away from the rest while The Mr. kept them corralled in the children's section at Barnes and Noble.
I entered Dillard's on the second floor. Since the shoes are on the first floor and I was pushing a stroller my first order of business was to locate the elevator.
I found it without trouble, boarded and pressed the button for the first floor.
When the door opened again I got out , maneuvered around the stroller of the mother waiting to get in, and went in search of shoes.
The first thing I noticed when I got out of the elevator alcove was that the same old lady who was working in the department upstairs seemed to be downstairs as well.
"Maybe there's an employees only elevator back in the corner right here," I thought. Then I laughed at my own silliness and decided that Dillard's and old ladies must just get along thus, the matching employees upstairs and down.
I couldn't find the shoes, though I did notice an alluring sweater dress, so I asked an associate for assistance and was directed down stairs. I was surprised at first but then I remembered that the Dillard's in Fashion Place mall back in Utah has a basement, so why not this one? The hole in this hypothesis was my memory of the 2 floor options on the elevator key pad.
When I was once again passenger in the elevator I found my memory to be accurate. There were indeed only 2 floors available for my shopping pleasure.
So the first time I was in the elevator I either pressed the 2 by mistake and then stood there, not moving until someone outside pressed the button and the door opened, or I pressed the right button, the elevator went down and then forgot to open up and let me off before going back up to fetch it's next passenger.
I suppose I'll never know what actually happened in the elevator today. It will remain one of the mysteries of my life.

My second elevator attempt was successful. At long last I gained my destination and was well rewarded.
I've been looking around for a pair of gray boots. Something casual and comfy that I'll be able to wear most every day all winter long. This pair have been on my Wist in yonder side bar for months now.
They are what I asked after in the store today. I couldn't remember who made them though, so the sales associate and I wandered through the department each with our eye out and you'll never guess what I found.
You remember Missy's boots right? I just linked to them up there at the beginning of the post. Remember now?
Ok, here's the picture.

After seeing them that night I hopefully looked them up on Dillard's website with my fingers crossed for gray and was disappointed. The only colors listed were tobacco (as above) and black.
Imagine my surprise when I walk straight into a gray pair proudly on display in the store!
I know!
And you'll never guess what comes next. I'm looking around while the kind associate goes to get my size and on the table just beyond is the Dolce Vita boot.
And it's on sale.!
$20.00 less that I've seen it anywhere else.
You probably think I'm sitting here in a band new pair fabulous gray boots and you're just waiting to find out whether they've got wedge heels or not.
I'm not wearing new boots though.
The BCBG's zipped over my husky calves but only just, and the boot I buy will need room to accommodate a tucked in pant leg. Plus, as beautiful and comfy as the heel was, I'm less likely to wear something with a heel in the midst of my regular mommy life and I'm in the market for an all the time sort of a thing here.
The Dolce Vita's were roomy enough, but a flat dissapoints after a nice heel. It's an unavoidable truth. Also, the boots in the store were "sand" rather than "grigio." They were, for all intents and purposes, gray excepting the tan buckle straps which were a total downer.
Long story short, I couldn't commit, but I'll be dreaming of the BCBG boots tonight. If they'd been the pair on sale you can bet I would have forgotten my objections to their practicality and plunked down my money.
I guess I'm glad for that. There's not much worse than buying a boot you adore and not being able to wear it the way you want to for this or that reason.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nesting Cubes- More Specific

This is a post I wrote for my guest blogging stint last week at Presser foot. I thought you all might want to actually know something about those nesting cubes. So I'm re-posting it here.

I've finally finished the grand plan I had for my cube pouch, and here it is;
A set of five nesting cubes with various closures for little ones to play and practice with.

The littlest guy ended up being sort of oblong, but I'm just going to pretend I meant it to be that way.

He fits inside this two inch fella

Who fits in this three inch lace up job

Who buttons into this four incher

Who's all snuggled up in the five.

To make your own set of nesting cubes, use the following measurements and apply them to the instructions given in this tutorial by Indie House.
5" cube- 11"x10.5" corner seams will be 5" long and 2.5" from the point.

4" cube- 9'x8.5" Corners seams will be 4" and 2" from the point

3" cube- 7"x6.5" Corner seams will be 3" and 1.5" from the point

2" cube- 5"x4.5" corner seams will be 2" and 1" from the point

1" cube- 2.5"x2.5" corner seams will be 1" long and 1/2" from the point.
I cut my 1" cube 3"x 2.5" and I didn't seem to need the extra half inch when things got that small. I haven't tested the 2.5"x2.5" measurement but I think it will work. I also didn't put inner lining in my 1" cube. That probably affected the measurement of my finished project as well.

The longer side of your fabric is the side you want to put your closures on. So, on my 5" cube I sewed my zipper along the 11" side of my fabric rectangles.
If you're using buttons, snaps or anything that needs to over lap rather than meet flush, add and extra half inch to shorter measurement, bringing things back to square. That will give you an inch of overlap in the center to accommodate closures.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thank goodness

The kids are finally in bed.
For a while there I honestly didn't think I was going to make it through.
Sundays without church are a major bummer.
It didn't help that while the kids were sick enough that I couldn't take them to church, they weren't sick enough to be sweet and cuddly.
They were plenty sick to be irritable, but well enough not to be sleepy.
When The Mr. got home from Church I was sitting on the top stair concentrating my entire attention on making sure no one opened their bedroom doors.
Oh Sunday, you're usually a favorite of mine but this week I'm afraid you were a horror!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Advice requested.

So, We bought this dining set. I've had my eye out for something this shape for ages and finally found something on Craig's list Hurrah!
The only trouble is this shell motif that's carved in the legs. I'd really rather have smooth legs (that's why I shave every day)

It seems to me that with a combination of wood putty and sanding, I could make the shell design disappear. But I don't know anything about refinishing furniture, or wood working, or anything of the sort. I'm planning to paint the whole thing so the bare wood won't need to look pretty.

Tell me friends. Is my goal attainable?
Will elbow grease and the advice of more experienced friends leave me with a smooth legged table, or should I learn to live with the shells?

Also, what kind of paint and brushes should I use? And how do I avoid paint drips? And what else do you think I should know?
All advice will be appreciated, thank you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cubed and Wilted

Zizza was up in the night.
Not crazy, just feverish, 100.2. Children's Motrin was dosed and she went back to sleep.
Morning came and brought German pancakes for breakfast. She ate her's up and I changed my plans. Instead of a trip to the Doctor's office I would finish the set of nesting cubes I've been working on this week.

By the time the cubes were done, so was the Motrin. She drooped and withered all the while making excuses to exclude illness.
"I'm just tired because I watched like six Bob (the Builder)'s with Pop last night." (note: They only watched one)
"I'm just not very hungry because I ate so many bread sticks last night. Also, we had a big snack at preschool yesterday" (note: She had 2 bread sticks at dinner and nothing else)

"I think I'm just ready for my quiet time," she told me.
Now, I've fed the other two kids and I've come to offer the snuggle that was all she wanted for lunch.
She's hot to my touch.
"But not as hot as when I was sleeping," she says
Actually, she's hotter 101.

A second dose of Motrin and a nap later she's only slightly under the weather. She even perked up enough to eat some rice.
That dose should wear off around 2 a.m. Here's hoping the fever stays away once that happens.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's greener

From the browning thatch of nearly dormant bermuda spring the bright and slender blades that will make up our winter lawn.
We've never remembered to seed for winter grass before. We're apparently getting the hang of living in this climate.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am a genius

I cooked last night. It seems like it's been ages since I actually cooked rather than just fixing dinner.
I was cookin' up some sweet potatoes for my Zizza. She's been asking for them. I was trying to keep it super simple, because that's how she likes it, but still interesting enough for The Mr. and me.
So I peeled them, tossed them with olive oil, plenty of kosher salt and black pepper and a few crushed garlic cloves. Then I put a glob of butter on each slice because butter=guud.
I covered the pan with foil and popped it on the grill on low heat. I used the grill because it was already hot whereas the oven was not.
I left them on for about 15 minutes and when I checked I saw the char on the bottom and thought all was lost. I turned off the heat under the pan so they were just getting indirect heat from the rest of the grill to cook them through.
Fifteen minutes later they were fork tender so I pulled them off and took them inside. I'd been planning to cut off the charred bottoms and pretend nothing had ever happened, but when I turned one over and looked at it, I saw that is wasn't actually charred. So I tried it.
Seriously, so delicious. Caramelized to perfection.
Maybe it doesn't count as my own genius since I didn't plan it to go that way but I'm going to claim it just the same.
You can't stop me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An experiment

The Sugar Witch came last week and carried off what was left of the Halloween candy, but somehow I still have chocolate in my pantry...interesting.
Any way there were these 3 Musketeers sitting around. I'm not a big fan of the 3 Musketeers but they are chocolate and as such can't be thrown unceremoniously into the trash with the lollipops and laffy taffys.
I had to do something with them and an idea suggested itself.

They weren't the best thing I've ever dipped in peanut butter but they were vastly improved.

In other news; I'm guest posting at Presser Foot this week. Pop over and say "hallo"