Thursday, July 29, 2010

the good life

That's our state slogan you know, "The Good Life" and we put that to the test this week on our little family vacation. We packed our car to the absolute hilt then headed out to Platte River State Park for three days of fishing, hiking, bike riding, swimming, horseback riding (oops - changed our minds on that one), and general downtime.
Turns out 6 and a half years old is a perfect age for these activities. 2 and a half, however, struggled a little bit more. If we somehow could have coaxed him into just one nap during the trip we might have fared better. Oh well. I'm 100% positive that everyone had a good time so that's all that matters in the end.
My favorite part of the trip were the hikes. We even made a friend or two along the way...

Oh, I almost forgot...
We couldn't leave without a trip down the road from our cabin to the craft center. I made a leather bracelet and felt like I was ten years old again, it was awesome.
So now it's time to unpack, do a million loads of laundry and start thinking about school starting in a couple of weeks! Holy smokes, folks!

Friday, July 23, 2010

blog post soup

I just have random bits to share today and I am hoping this 'soup' won't be too bland. Let's see what I can cook up... I finally snapped a photo of a sampling from our 'five gallon garden'. The cherry tomatoes have been the most successful this summer but they tend to get gobbled up so quickly that getting a shot of them has been tough. Aren't they gorgeous? We lost a pepper plant along the way and the cucumber kind of fizzled out unfortunately. But what remains is more than we had last year so I shouldn't complain.
And this, friends, is the latest love letter I have received from Vince. Isn't it romantic? I mentioned the other day that I might be contemplating digging my bike out and dusting it off. Before I knew it he had done just that and equipped it with new gear shifters, reflectors and a bell. Oh, and a cute pair of riding gloves were presented as well. Vince is over the moon that I might be taking up something that he loves. It seemed a little odd to me until I realized that if he suddenly said he wanted to take up embroidery I would probably outfit him with a flossbox, needles and hoops so fast his head would spin. That would never happen of course but it puts his enthusiasm in perspective for me.
In other randomness I really have been playing catch up this week. Running errands and cleaning have been popular activities. Recently it has also struck me how quickly Summer is going by and I suddenly feel an urge to make sure we do some of the fun things I hoped we would do over Summer break. So, a trip to a museum, a bookstore, and the splash park, as well as some family bike rides have all made our week a bit more adventurous - more like the Summer I hoped we would have. There is still so much I want us to do over the next few weeks. I always get worried this time of year that Summer vacation will be a disappointment for my kids - isn't that ridiculous? I suppose when the boredom starts to hit (and it has hit - hard) I worry that I haven't spent enough quality time with my boys. Silly, I know.
On that note let me share this article I recently read in Newsweek about creativity. After reading it, it's easy to see how boredom can be a blessing in disguise - making way for a lot of creative exploration. I thought this article was fascinating. The authors, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman also wrote Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children ,which I am currently reading, so I was excited when I happened upon this article. So far this book has been a real eyeopener - lots of things we assume about kids get turned upside down here and it's been so interesting to read about the research behind it.
Well, I promised randomness and I certainly delivered, didn't I? And not a single stitch to share *sigh*. I'd like to close with a big huge 'thank you' to the one or two people who have read this far. Please feel free to share you own boredom busting ideas and/or any great books you have read this Summer - I would love to hear about both!

Monday, July 19, 2010

a craftastic week

Sadly, my California friends have started their journey west and the flurry of crafting has come to a close. We had so much fun and actually got a few more projects done than we thought we would. Behold the cute clutch I sewed...twice. I had some trouble with the tabs at the ends of the zippers and ended up tearing it out when it was all done and starting over. Oh well, these things happen. If you would like to try this project you can find it here. Mind those zipper tabs though!

And here is my very favorite project I tried. It was also the easiest! I have wanted to make some silhouette portraits of the boys for ages and it went so quickly that I am kicking myself for putting it off for so long. The hardest part was getting some profile photos of the squirrels to use. *sigh* I admit I put them in front of the TV to get the shots.

I still need to mount them and frame them but you get the idea, right?

Oh and check it out folks - I made this!
What is it you ask? Well, it's just me learning some crochet stitches, it will never actually "be" anything. My very talented friend showed me two basic stitches and I somehow got through a few rows of them. I promised her I would practice through a whole skein of yarn before I tried to actually make something. I'm not sure how well I will do without her next to me answering all my silly questions but I will give it my best. Not too shabby, eh?
As for this week - catch up on all the boring things I ignored for the last 7 days! boo! hiss!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

farmers market bag - check!

Remember this fabric? I know I said I wanted to turn it into a farmers market tote bag but let's be honest here, I didn't really have a whole lot of hope that I would actually get that done. But in spite of that here it is! Had my dear crafty friends not been in town I don't know that I would have done it but they are very motivating. I used a pattern from Sew What Bags - a very useful book I might add. Guess what else...
it's reversible! (Don't you love that Happy Campers fabric?! - I do!)
There are a couple of other projects in the works too so there will be more to share as the week ends. I wish they could stay longer - there is just something about having a crafting 'team' around you that can make magic things happen. I recommend it highly.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

things are about to get wild

Allow me to just brag on Omaha a little bit here. We have an awesome zoo. Seriously. Our house happens to be pretty close by and we try to spring for a membership each year. Believe me, we have been using the heck out of that thing lately. The newest exhibit features "lemur island."
It's an enclosed walkway where the lemurs run free. Really, they do! There are some keepers there who stop you from hugging these fuzzy guys or trying to take one home with you but other than that, they are just there - hanging out with you. These are some photos from our last visit, don't you love these guys?
Is anyone else looking ahead to a crazy July? I have a very crafty friend arriving with her super crafty daughter next week. We will be um...crafting (and drinking and laughing). I cannot wait! After all the mod podge, fabric scraps, buttons, glitter and wine bottles are cleaned up from that visit we will be heading out for a tiny little family vacation of our own. Does it count as a vacation if you drive less than an hour away from your home?
I'm excited about all of these adventures and I think it's going to be a really fun month. What adventures will July bring for you?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

tis the season to be stitching

It's early, I know but the 'festive flock' have landed at SeptemberHouse nonetheless. I figure even if people aren't Christmas shopping just yet they may be starting to think about Christmas crafting so I let myself get started on this pattern set that has actually been in my head for a while now. This partridge has been pecking at my brain the longest waiting to be let free. I love how this pear turned out! I used one strand each of two shades of yellow/gold and did a chain stitch around and around the inside until it was filled. I will absolutely be trying that again sometime.
This is actually cardinal number two. The first one I sketched and stitched - and re-stitched - did not make the cut (thanks Vince for telling me the truth about that one!) When we were in high school (yes, we went to high school together) our school mascot was a cardinal so perhaps some of my not-so-great memories of those years crept into my stitches the first time around. Hopefully those demons have been properly exorcised!

And finally there is the sweet little dove taking flight. I would love to stitch this one up on some navy blue linen. In hindsight I wish I would have done that for my example, I think it would have been a bit more striking. I have to get over my addiction to that natural linen - it's just my favorite right now is all.
And yes, there are ornaments in the works as well. I have NOT, however, started playing Christmas music at my house yet, I swear!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

my fellow americans...

Happy Fourth of July! Hope everyone who is celebrating the holiday has a grand weekend!
* photo taken on the ladder of a very old slide in a very tiny town where they don't worry so much about lawsuits from parents of young and careless children who could so easily slip off those very cool treads!