Friday, August 28, 2009


Isn't she lovely? This is the lucky find I hinted about in yesterday's post. A hand stitched linen tablecloth in the most cheerful colors and most precise cross stitches.
Personally, I think this tablecloth was seeking me out. I found it in the fabric section, not the table linen section of the thrift store. It had been marked down 4 times and was finally priced at $7. I tried so hard to just say to myself "isn't that nice" and just walk away. After all, I knew for certain it would not fit my table and that I could never dream of putting something like that on my table until my boys are like, 18 or something.

It wouldn't stop calling out to me though and well, it's mine now. I apologize for my bad photos. I'm not used to having to take photos of something this big and well, I was too lazy to try to figure it out at this point. And yes, I probably should have pressed it first as well. But it's just getting folded up and tucked away again until I figure out what to do with it. Until then I will be keeping it far away from any threat of crayola markers, sticky peanut butter hands, and fruit juice spills!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

girls girls girls

So, I have been a bad blogger as of late, I know. I know. I am working my little fingers off stitching new Christmas ornaments. I am having a ball with them even though I know a few need some serious revisions. But that's all part of the process, right?

I'm sharing some children's book illustration love once again this afternoon. Today's features are three little girls that have delighted me lately. Maybe it's just their dresses, or their expressions, I don't know. They all caught my eye though and I thought you all might enjoy them as well.

First up is the irresistible Miss Ramona Quimby. This is from "Ramona The Pest". [by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by Louis Darling] I liked the Ramona Quimby books as a kid but as I have re-read them again as an adult with Peter I have a whole new love for this little girl and the remarkable talent of Beverly Cleary who brought her to life. faaaantastic! Next up is a girl I don't even know. I picked up "Mystery in Little Tokyo" [by Frank Bonham, illustrated by Kazue Mizumura] at the thrift store the other day. I thought Peter would like it and the line drawings inside really appealed to me (I'd love to embroider this page!). Something about the snarl on this girl's face, oh, and that great dress, made her stick in my head. Now I have to quick read and find out what her problem is. besides the broken pottery that is.
Speaking of great dresses, check out Rosamond from "Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail" [by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont]. She is kind of an odd character with a bit of a darker side so of course I could not help but love her. If you can't tell from the picture, she is a bit of a crazy cat lady in the making - thus all the feline friends. So those are all the little ladies I have to share today. I need to take a photo of my other great thrift score for my next post. It makes me smile just think thinking about it!
What is making you smile today?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

raise your hand if...

you like free stuff

Hop on over to Spoonflower today for free swatch day! You know you want to try it and here's your chance to try it for free. Then you will want to come back and buy more because they have just added even more fabric choices and the folks over there are so nice. go go go!

Monday, August 17, 2009

so long, summer

Oh my goodness, my house is so quiet. It's just plain weird. I might as well try to squeeze in a little post here while I can. We have recovered from our short jaunt into rural Nebraska. We logged many many miles that looked a lot like this: Some of us got more into it than others.
We had a lot of fun and it was good for us to get away from home and our routine for a little while. Adios Summer Vacation....
Hello first grade!

We always take a photo on the front porch on the first day of school. I usually like the goofy shots better than the posed photos. I feel about 1,000 times better about the school year this time than I did last year when Peter started kindergarten. Last year he just seemed so small in a public school that is so big and this year I think we both feel so much more comfortable. Still, I can't wait to pick him up and see how the day went.
In embroidery news, I was lucky enough to be asked to design and stitch a custom embroidered piece for a wedding so I worked on that a lot this past weekend. I just loved making it and it is so sweet and pretty I can hardly stand to send it away. But since it does have the bride and groom's names on it I expect it wouldn't work in my house all that well. :)

One of the many great things about embroidery is that you can do it while watching tv. Otherwise I just don't know if I could have finished this because "Flight of the Conchords Season 2" on DVD arrived from Netflix this week and I really needed so spend some quality time with Bret and Jemaine. I still have a few episodes to watch while I start stitching Christmas ornaments! I am so excited about working on them. I have been sketching out ideas for a few weeks and am itching to get out my needle and go with it. I need to do some tweaking here and there first though. I hope I'll be sharing those here very soon!
Of course I have plenty of other things on my "to-do" list now that I have a little more quiet time each afternoon:
* Plan 6th birthday party for Peter (oh yeah, and BTW it's this weekend - yikes!)
* Backup my files and delete the megabytes of junk that are clogging up our computer - I hate that job.
* sit myself down and do some research into the healthcare proposals in the House and Senate. This has been nagging at me for quite some time. I really need to get educated about this issue!
* Figure out what I'm going to wear to my sister's wedding in September. One of my sisters is already sewing her dress for the wedding. I'm jealous! I won't be sewing my dress of course but I would love to find an adorable little vintage number on Etsy.
* and finally - TOY PURGE - big time.
What's on your Fall "To-Do" list?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

recent aquisitions

A few lovely items have fallen into my lap lately and I can't help but share a couple of them with you all. I was talking to my mom last week about a children's book that I remember loving when I was a kid. It was just a little book all about, you guessed it, trees. Here is a photo taken in the backyard of their new house so, you know, the subject of trees comes up once in awhile:
Anyway. My mom found it and gave it to me - she's so awesome. And, it's even better than I remembered it.
I don't know what it is that appeals to children about books that categorize, catalog, or organize things but for some reason I just loved looking through this. I also recall a big book of different dog breeds that was a favorite at my grandmother's house. My sisters and I all loved looking through that one. And what is a beloved item with my boys now? It's a book my mother-in-law gave them called "The Ocean Life Dictionary". It's just full of information and illustrations of different kinds of sea life. They adore it. So perhaps instead of adding more great story books to our collection the next time I am book shopping, I should maybe opt for a nice thick non-fiction volume instead.

Additionally I also am now the proud owner of another much-loved treasure from my childhood:
My grandmother recently moved and one of my sisters was helping her pack up some things. These paper dolls surfaced and my grandmother was ready to toss them out when my sister mentioned that she thought I might like to have them. This news shocked my grandmother who could not understand why on earth I would want these. You can understand though, am I right?
I really love paper dolls and I have so many memories of playing with these at my grandparents' house as a kid. I have no idea what on earth I will do with them (any ideas anyone?) but I am glad they live at my house now and not at the dump.
And finally, the bags are packed and the family and I are off for a few days visiting some friends and family. It will be a nice way to kick off the very last week of Summer vacation!
Where will this weekend take you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

summer sweets

Yep, rock candy. The mysterious blue substance in the jar was rock candy. It took two attempts, then one week to "grow" it and about 1 minute to devour it. I wish I would have taken some good photos of those crystals though because it really was beautiful before it was chomped so mercilessly. I think that will be the last of the summer 'mystery projects'. I have a few more things planned but I don't think they will make it to "So September". Next summer I think I will take a slightly different approach. The activities and projects that Peter seemed to like best were the one that he initiated. We spent a few afternoons making Naruto weapons out of tin foil and electrical tape. Another evening we worked on a wristband/pokemon card holder. These are not things I would have chosen to make but he really had fun and we were able to be creative together and that's all I care about. So next Summer I think we will work on the project book together. Oh, and next summer we will have a two - almost three year old buzzing around as well so he may need his own book of projects by that time.
And these beauties are another 'spare time' project I have going on right now. They are tissue paper flowers for my sister's wedding in September. My other two sisters and I are working together on this and it is a lot of fun.

I'm not putting the bouquets together - my green thumb, farmer girl sister is doing that part - but I will try to get some good shots of the final results when they are complete.
Oh yes, and I also wanted to add a little note about how Peter started playing "Etsy Shop" last week. He named his shop "lows" because he has "low low prices". He sat down and drew a stack of pictures and priced them all without a trace of the hand wringing and brow furrowing that I am plagued with when pricing things. (lucky boy). Then he stood on the porch shouting "pictures for sale!" He made a sale to a neighbor and one to mom of course and was over the moon. Instead of investing his money back into "Lows" however, it was promptly handed over to the ice cream truck folks in exchange for one 'sour wower'. The next morning when he came downstairs the first thing he said to me was "let's do some more business!" The fact that my son plays Etsy shop is either really amusing or really really sad and I am still trying to decide which.